The only one untouched by the carnage was Haydrift Eaglebeard. He didn’t know if it was lightning reflexes or instinct that had moved his hand, but he found he was in a pink cavity where the exploding neural tissue and fragmented bone had stopped about an arm’s length away from him. He would have to work on that, a detached part of his mind thought, with a bit of expansion he could have protected the group, although ‘Schripp’s proximity to the barmaid meant he couldn’t be helped. Still, he passed his hand over the damaged face of his friend and the pain although not the blindness was taken away.
‘Schripp was focused on the eyes of the girl. His sword, razor sharp, a fractions gap from her throat, and then the world exploded. His face was an agony of pierced flesh and his vision was gone.
With the calmness of a warrior he turned to where he knew Stiletto would be, and handing him his blade, took a napkin from the bar, and wiped the pureed flesh from his face and useless eye sockets.
He felt the presence of Eaglebeard, and a callused hand was passed gently over his face. The pain had gone, only the blackness remained.
“Come on Zatoichi,” his friend whispered, and taking his arm they ran off at a sprint.
The alarms were still shrieking and ‘Schripp slid on the slimy floor but managed to keep up. After one hundred metres he felt the pressure to stop and the tsuka of his katana was slid into his hand. ‘Schripp pushed his awareness out, and found his hearing and smell were super acute with the absence of his vision, and he silently thanked his old Master for the constant drills with and without a blindfold.
A concussion rocked the space as Stiletto fired a gun of some sort and the friends raced off down the corridor, Haydrift keeping close, but only maintaining the barest of touches arm to arm. ‘Schripp could sense a space coming on the left, and the threat concealed there. Blade held lightly in the right hand, left arm brushing his friend’s, he moved across to that side of the passage, sword tip slightly raised as he became open to the void.
He felt the change of pressure in the confined space and with unerring accuracy slid his stance forward to meet the attack, bringing his blade through the neck of the Tark mercenary. There was a thud as the mercenary’s head bounced on the floor and rolled away.
He could hear the sounds of battle around him, and instinctively knew the feel and presence of his three friends. The time for concealment was long gone, and taking weapons from their fallen opponents, blades were sheathed, and heavier fire power was unleashed. In all, fiftynine seconds had passed since his world exploded, and apart from Eaglebeard’s joke, not one word had been uttered.
“NOW,” yelled Eaglebeard, and ‘Schripp felt a powerful heave as they all slipped through the portal Eaglebeard had opened with his replacement hand.
Copyright Jhedron Luckspar © 2014 2018