Abridged Too Far – Six
There was once a woman called Nariko. Now I know exactly what you are thinking; “A woman? And she isn’t called Lara Croft?” I had to check my sources but apparently she is a woman and she isn’t Lara Croft. Nariko lived back in an age when saying you were going to ‘Google’ something, would have gotten you killed. She was daughter to Shen; a great army general and leader of men (Oh that rhymed!). But Shen, and those that he led, were mortified when Nariko was born. See Nariko was supposed to be a boy. Her father had already bought the football shirts, painted the nursery blue and even arranged a bride for when he would have turned 10, but this was not to be. But what riled people more than anything, was that she was supposed to be the ‘The Chosen One’ who would have the ability to rid them of their foes, and wield ‘The Heavenly Sword’. They had been waiting 100 years for this ‘Chosen One’ to appear and now they get a girl! Shen’s first thoughts were to kill the child, but was swayed by the extra income he would receive in benefits, so he kept Nariko and trained her to be a great warrior. A warrior that would one day fight the hellish armies of King Bohan.
23 years later and Nariko is now..23! She had been trained into a fierce fighter and had hair longer than Ron Jeremy’s anatomy. But her fellow soldiers were still unhappy that she was still around. They saw her as a curse. Needless to say, she still wasn’t allowed to vote.
One day, whilst decapitating the chicken for that night’s dinner, her homestead came under attack from Bohan’s army. Shen threw her the Heavenly Sword.
SHEN: Protect the sword Nariko. Don’t use it though! You can finish dinner when you get back.
NARIKO: Oh, thanks.
Nariko tied the sword to her back. It was huge, although not as big as other Godly weapons such as The Blade of Olympus! The Heavenly Sword was actually 3 weapons-in-one, kind of like a JML product only not available in stores. Weapon 1: Two separate blades for a quick fight. Weapon 2: Blades on the end of chains for range and Weapon 3: One solid blade for strength. The third weapon was even strong enough to remove Jodi Marsh’s fake tan.
Nariko resisted temptation and fought hard using just a knife and fork, although she obviously wasn’t looking where she was swinging because her colleague fighting next to her was now missing an arm. She whistled and moved away so he didn’t suspect anything. Nariko couldn’t help but notice that every soldier she fought looked identical. After an hour or two, Bohan’s men retreated; they were no match for a moody woman with a knife and fork. Despite this, Nariko was still bullied by her fellow fighters. One of them even said she had bad hair! As night fell, the bushes outside began to rustle and it wasn’t due to Paul and Mary this time. Assassins had arrived. Shen went and had a word with a small girl called Kai; Nariko’s sister. Kai was a bit…special. In the sense that she spent most of her time hugging the floor, doing cartwheels and shooting defenceless animals with a humongous crossbow.
SHEN: Kai, do you think you could climb up that tree and start killing people for me?
KAI: Of course daddy, what are children for?
Kai climbed a tall tree where she had a good view. She readied her weapon and began to shoot those she could see creeping around in the woods. She was one hell of a crap shot though. She actually managed to only kill one person, but to be fair, the motion of the bow was difficult to control and she was good enough not to throw the bloody thing at the floor. So Nariko stepped in and made mincemeat out of those who were left. They all cheered and went to bed. But at dawn, Bohan’s army attacked again (persistent if nothing else), only this time they had toys. They had brought Trebuchets, Rams and the second edition Buzz Lightyear where the wings spring out.
SHEN: Bollocks! They realised we had no serious weapons! Run Nariko. Take the sword, head east and keep it protected.
KAI: I want to go with Nariko
NARIKO: Right, well I’ll see you later then. You have to stay here Kai because…well you know…you are annoying!
So Nariko took the burden of the sword onto her back (literally) and headed east, away from Bohan’s approaching minions. But she did not get far (which is no surprise as the sword weighed more than Fern Britton before the stomach staples). She came to a stop at the edge of a huge cliff. There was no way across and Bohan himself appeared. He had Shen.
BOHAN: Nariko, Nariko, Nariko. Did you really think you could escape me?
NARIKO: Actually, yes. Hey aren’t you that guy who played Gollum and King Kong?
BOHAN: I did a bit of acting when I was younger but never mind that, give me the sword and I’ll let your daddy live.
Nariko reached behind her and removed the sword from her back. She grasped the handle with both hands. It had been a while since she had one she had to use both hands for. The crowd gasped. What had she done? The sword fused with Nariko and she could feel its power. But, she had now signed her own death certificate. The price paid for wielding The Heavenly Sword, is the user’s life.
NARIKO: How do you like them apples?
Nariko leapt off of the cliff with skill. She managed a double somersault, exiting into a full pike and finished with a 2 ½ Twist rotation before hitting the ground and knocking herself out cold. GBR: 10, USA: 10, CHA: 10, RUS: 10, ITA: 9.
BOHAN: Well, I did not see that coming.
Bohan took Shen and the rest of the clan as his hostages and headed back to his kingdom. Meanwhile, Nariko was regaining consciousness only to be confronted by Kai force-feeding her worms and dead birds. The freak!
NARIKO: Kai, what happened?
KAI: You jumped off the cliff, Shen was taken by Bohan and I completed my colouring book without going outside the lines.
NARIKO: Where is Shen now?
KAI: I don’t know I wasn’t really paying attention.
NARIKO: If you tell me where they are, you might be able to get to play ‘Twing Twang’.
‘Twing Twang’ is what normal people like to call ‘Murder’. But if you sugar coat it, you get away with it. So Kai guided Nariko through beautiful landscapes to Bohan’s kingdom. She ran through the land slicing, dicing and sautéing. Bohan’s inept army were no match for 16 tonnes of solid steel. Nariko finally came to a watery clearing. It was calm and peaceful, except for Shen hanging dead above her and a rather fishy looking woman called Whiptail. That doesn’t mean she was suspicious looking, Whiptail was actually part fish!
WHIPTAIL: Hahaha Look who it is…
Nariko had no time for cliché speeches so she let Whiptail ramble on whilst she cut Shen down. She laid him on the floor and placed both her hands on his chest.
NARIKO: I need 10cc’s of Nitroglycistratehdnohfjsknadn stat. Clear!
She zapped Shen with magical powers that the sword had bestowed upon her and he came back to life with a kick.
NARIKO: Run. I need to take care of this talking Salmon!
Shen fled the area.
WHIPTAIL: Oh, what did you do that for?
NARIKO: Because he is my dad. I didn’t do it for the halibut!!
Nariko was creased up with laughter at her own joke. Whiptail was not amused. The pair began to fight. Whiptail was formidable but had a repetitious attack pattern and Nariko quickly worked out the next move, allowing her to plant the sword right through Whiptail’s scaly torso. But for some bizarre reason Nariko ran off without taking the sword.
Whilst the fight was going on, Shen had made his way out of the clearing and was now facing death at the hands of some oncoming minions. But Kai was well hidden and began ‘Twing Twang’. The arrows flew and glided through the air piercing one soldier after another. She had certainly improved. Shen was saved (again). But there was no time for reunions. Kai ran off to find Nariko. But that would not be easy. For some reason, not explained anywhere, Nariko had been captured by Bohan’s son; Roach. Roach was about 7ft tall, 8ft in diameter and with a crusty face. So Nariko now resided in Bohan’s jail, and The Heavenly Sword now rested in Bohan’s armoury. This was not going well.
But, after serving nearly 3 days in jail, Nariko was found by Kai and she ordered her to find the sword before it was too late. A couple of hours later, Nariko was summoned to ‘The Pit’. Think Gladiator but with less tigers. Here the crowds cheered, all baying for blood. Bohan first ordered her to fight the clan she had saved on several occasions. She did not hesitate in killing her former colleagues, and secretly she quite enjoyed teaching them all a lesson; don’t mess with moody redheads.
NARIKO: Is that it Bohan? That was easy.
BOHAN: Oh, well if you want more, I can supply more.
NARIKO: Bugger! Note to self; Keep quiet.
Gates to ‘The Pit’ opened and out crawled a clawed beast. He bounced and rolled all over the place and Nariko struggled without The Heavenly Sword. But, luckily for her, Kai had done her job. She threw Nariko the powerful sword and the battle was over quicker than Usain Bolt running 100m. So Bohan released four more into the arena. Easy.
BOHAN: Damn it! You are good. Um…Roach, go and fight her.
ROACH: Okay then!
Roach wasn’t the sharpest tool in the shed.
NARIKO: Roach, wait. What is 47 multiplied by 249?
ROACH: Um…er…oh…My head hurts.
NARIKO: Do you want some cake?
Nariko gave Roach a piece of Colossal Blue’s cheesecake. He sat down on the floor and had no interest in continuing the fight. Bohan was not best pleased. Nariko and Kai fled the arena and were on the run again. But, unbeknownst to them, they were being followed by Flying Fox. Flying Fox was another of Bohan’s top warriors. He had several knives attached to his back. These performed no real function other than to attract a mate, like a peacock. That never worked though on account of the fact that he was emaciated, ugly, weird and most importantly of all, had a pony tail! But Flying Fox was fast. Very, very Fast. He snatched Kai and disappeared. Now normally Nariko would have been grateful for the peace and quiet, but it was only fair that she rescue her sister like Kai rescued her. So onwards she fought. The enemies seemed to be getting more and more plentiful, still all identical, so Nariko naturally suspected cloning. It was the only logical explanation. She finally found Kai, hanging by the neck over a massive canyon. On the platform next to Kai, Flying Fox stood there laughing. Nariko raged forward, swung left, swung right, swung down the middle, but all attacks were dodged. This was one quick Fox. Much faster than Megan. Nariko couldn’t do it. She couldn’t kill Flying Fox. So Kai, who was now fed up with having to wait, mustered the energy to lift her crossbow and shot an arrow right through Flying Fox’s head. William Tell eat your heart out. Nariko rescued Kai and carried her all the way home.
Nariko reached the safety of her clan’s fort where she was greeted by Shen and a few other soldiers.
SHEN: What happened to Kai?
NARIKO: Flying Fox hung her.
SHEN: Get her inside. She should recover.
NARIKO: I’m fine by the way; I have had a whale of a time.
Just then a Raven flew over their heads. It was Bohan’s pet.
NARIKO: It followed me all the way home
SHEN: Which means the enemy will be here soon.
NARIKO: Go away Raven. Tell Bohan we are here and we are ready to fight.
The raven flew back in the direction from which they had come. The final battle was upon them and it wasn’t long before hundreds of thousands of clones and catapults appeared from the distance. They were outnumbered 1200:1. Steve The Bookmaker was watching with interest. The catapults fired, the soldiers raised ladders to the walls and good old fashioned Hell broke loose. Nariko was virtually all alone. None of the rest of her clan appeared to be doing anything and Shen was about as much use an inflatable dart board. So Nariko ran from one position to the next. She took charge of cannons and destroyed the catapults, she ran around killing those who had breached the fort and finally, she ventured outside. She was pissed. She now faced insurmountable odds. But she then began to convulse and spasm. The sword was taking over. She hit the floor quicker than Ronaldo. The sword lit up and began to burn ancient writing all over Nariko’s body. She was dead. The crowds began to gather around her, when all of a sudden a burst of blinding light radiated from Nariko. She rose to her feet as a Goddess. She swung the sword left, then right. Dozens of men went flying with each swing. This was fun. Bohan, who was watching from the mountains, couldn’t believe it. He turned to his pet Raven.
BOHAN: Oh wise Raven. Grant me your powers and I will rid this land of that sword wielding, voodoo using, beautiful pain in the arse.
The Raven turned into a thick black smoke which Bohan keenly ingested. Sure he was strong and sure, he had raven wings but he had now been given a face that had more veins than an 80 year old’s leg. This is obviously because he was a bad guy. Nariko gets beauty, Bohan gets veins. It’s the oldest story the book.
Bohan descended onto the battlefield. He and Nariko engaged in a truly epic, if not slightly annoyingly hard, battle. He had the upper hand with the ability of flight, but Nariko defended well and fought hard. Bohan rushed in for attack but Nariko dodged like a pro and as he passed her, she ‘pistol whipped’ with the handle of the sword…so technically she ‘Sword Whipped’ him. He was dazed and she took the opportunity to pluck his eyebrows. Angry at his latest cosmetic feature, he grabbed her by the shoulders and flew upwards at astonishing speed. Nariko lunged forward and grabbed Bohan by the throat. The two exited the flight and landed somewhere different. It was not clear as to where they now were but Nariko was pretty sure it was the piece of land that Tescos had earmarked for their newest store. They fought again. This time Bohan focused mainly on staying airborne, using magic to thrust fireballs and lightning bolts in her direction. Nariko had to use The Heavenly Sword to deflect the attacks back in Bohan’s direction but was confused by which block deflected which attack and it took her some time to achieve this goal. But eventually she did and the pair plummeted back down to the battlefield below. It was not over however. A third fight ensued. By this time Nariko was not amused at the repetitiveness of the offence Bohan was presenting. She wasn’t enjoying it as much as she had hoped. But Nariko had one last trick up her sleeve.
NARIKO: Bohan, wait. Look over there.
She pointed into the distance and Bohan looked.
NARIKO: Haha, fooled ya.
Bohan turned back around only to feel The Heavenly Sword slice his flesh, detach his stomach from his intestines, halve his liver and tickle his spinal cord. He was defeated. He coughed like a chain smoker and out spewed the Raven’s smoke. The bird formed again and pecked out Bohan’s eyes just for good measure. The Raven flew away in a huff and left Bohan crying on the floor. Nariko was contemplating finishing him off but Roach came running over and asked to take his daddy with him. Nariko let him go. She turned to face her clan and father. She stumbled towards them, drained of energy. Kai was still in intensive care, so Nariko bent down next to her sibling and placed both hands on Kai’s chest (don’t get too excited. It’s only fiction and it wasn’t that kind of hand-on-chest action). Nariko used the remaining amount of life she had left, to heal Kai. Not as a gesture of love but because if she was going to die, she at least wanted to leave Shen with something to annoy the hell out of him.
Nariko took a deep breath and managed some final words.