The Shadows Loom.

The blast from the explosion shook even down to where Ekajra sat. “What was that?”

I’d say an explosion from a high power laser,” Deathblade’s voice said from within Ekajra’s head. “Are you sure you don’t want my help?

“Are you kidding? You’ll probably try to kill me while you have my body.”

As enjoyable as that sounds, unfortunately I can’t, as killing you would likely destroy what’s left of me.

“Well, I’m still not doing it.”

Very well. But if that bounty hunter dies while you’re down here, I doubt you’d survive.

“Don’t worry. Dehr’s a lot tougher than you think.”

* * * * *

Kage began to get up, hunched over in pain. He turned to face Dehr, pure fury showing in his one natural eye. “Blasted echidna! How could you possibly survive that?” he yelled. His gaze then glanced to just behind Dehr, where there was a pile of stone. “That coffin technique? But how could you possibly use that in your condition?!”

“Well, it certainly wasn’t easy,” Dehr said, stepping away from the rocks and grabbing his left arm. “My whole body aches, especially my arm. But judging from the looks of you, that laser attack didn’t do you very well either.” Dehr let go of his arm, grabbing the double bladed dagger. “So, how about we do this the easy way. You give up, and I don’t kill you?”

“Ha! A Dark Legionnaire such as myself would never die because of the likes of you!” Kage yelled, struggling to stand up.

Dehr quickly pointed his gauntlet at Kage, and fired a small dart at Kage. It embedded into his left shoulder, blood shooting out as well as a small spark. Kage yelled in rage and pain, wrenching the dart out. “You wanna bet? Face it, you’re as good as beaten. Just give up now.”

“Never!” Kage yelled, running towards Dehr, who fired another dart. It stabbed Kage in the chest, but he didn’t stop. He didn’t even seem to notice. He swung his left fist towards Dehr, but he blocked the punch kicked Kage in the face. He went rolling away, but quickly stood up, looking at his right arm as he moved his fingers somewhat. “Hmhmhmhmhm, it seems my energy is returning quicker than I thought.” He began to move his arm gradually, soon bring his arm up and rolling his fingers into a fist. He drew his blades and ran towards Dehr.

He launched a violent attack, swinging with a suddenly newfound energy. Dehr managed to block the volleys, but couldn’t attack himself. Suddenly Kage changed his attack pattern and swung up from underneath Dehr. Dehr was caught off guard, and Kage’s claws made three long slashes across Dehr’s chest.

Dehr jumped back, the blood soaking through his fur. He flung the double bladed dagger at Kage, who brought up his right arm to block it. It flew to the side and nicked Kage’s face. Dehr was already charging Kage and started launching his own attack with his gauntlet blade. Kage continued to match Dehr, and two continued the same pattern of slash and block.

* * * * *

Meanwhile, Ekajra was starting to get short of breath. “Honestly, at least borrow my power to escape before you kill yourself.

“You just really… want me to… use you, don’t cha? Miss wreaking… havoc?” Ekajra said, as more of a statement than a question.

Well, yes, but as I said, I’d rather not let you die and leave me stuck with you.

Ekajra thought for a moment. There was a chance that Dehr might not be able to beat Kage. He’d heard the guy was quite the relentless warrior. And either way, Ekajra couldn’t last much longer down there. He sighed as he came to his decision. “Alright, I give in. But the second we escape you’re going right back to dormancy.”

Deathblade laughed. “Of course…

* * * * *

Dehr punched Kage in the face. He swung around and slashed at Dehr’s back. Dehr ducked, kicking Kage in the stomach. Kage grabbed his leg, and threw him to the ground. Dehr jumped up, stabbing at Kage. Kage caught Dehr’s blades with his, and knocked him away, swinging towards him.

Dehr jumped back farther, throwing a handful of shuriken at Kage. He deflected them with his right arm then charged Dehr. Dehr slid to the side and swung low, slashing Kage’s side. Kage brought his elbow down onto Dehr’s head, slamming him into the ground.

Kage kicked Dehr, and he rolled away, getting up quickly. Kage was already running towards him, so he brought up his gauntlet to block. Kage’s blades scratched against Dehr’s armor, and Dehr pushed him off, quickly firing two darts into Kage. They created a small explosion, not enough to mortally wound somebody, but enough to mess them up.

Kage ran towards Dehr, the points where the darts had struck smoking. He moved to slash Dehr, but Dehr fired off a cable from his gauntlet into a tree behind Kage. He was pulled along and he kicked Kage down on the way. He ejected the cable and landed on the ground, throwing a smoke bomb at Kage’s feet.

Dehr ran through the smoke, but Kage could see through the smoke with his left eye and managed to block most of Dehr’s attack. Dehr grabbed another knife with his left hand and slashed at Kage, but he jumped away before Dehr could hit him. Dehr discarded both knives, and looked for a new weapon. The head of Reipar was embedded in the ground next to him, and he reached down and pulled off the small hatchet that served as the back of the blade. He ran out of the smoke bomb in the direction Kage had went, and swung at him with the hatchet.

Kage blocked it with his claws, though the force of Dehr’s attack cracked one of them. Kage held his position, and the two pushed against each other.

* * * * *

Ekajra could feel a strange sensation filling his left arm. Suddenly the hole from Dehr’s knife and his fingers began to repair themselves, and he could feel the nanites spreading across his chest. “Alerak said this would be dangerous… I’d better get out of here before something happens,” he said as he knelt down, the nanites spreading over his body.

* * * * *

There was a sudden explosion of rock a short distance from where Dehr and Kage were engaged in a stalemate. They both turned to look as, out of the dust, a strange silver being emerged. The surface of its body seemed to be rippling. It looked at Dehr and Kage, and swung its arm out towards them. A sudden stream of nanites shot out from it, and Dehr jumped away as they swerved towards Kage, who managed to dodge them.

Ekajra turned towards Kage, who was backing up into the woods, retracting his knife. “Hmm, this is rather unfortunate. I see no reason I should battle against two opponents. Don’t worry, this won’t be the last you see of me, traitor and bounty hunter!” Kage turned and jumped off into the woods, just as the nanites began to fall from Ekajra. He was quickly trying to pull them off, starting with the ones surrounding his head. “Dehr, quick, throw me one of those bomb knives!”

“Ekajra, is that you?”

“Yes! Now throw me a flippin’ knife!” Dehr threw one of his bomb-knives to Ekajra, who activated it, and held it close to him. The explosion blasted away most of the armor, burning Ekajra somewhat, but he ignored it as the few remnants of the nanites crept away towards his left arm and disappeared.

“What was that?” Dehr asked as Ekajra walked towards him.

“The less you know is probably the better. You’ll never see it again though, that’s for sure.”

Hmhm, that’s what you think,” Deathblade laughed.

“Shut up!” Ekajra yelled, turning to his arm with no one to look at.

“I didn’t say anything,” Dehr said, looking at Ekajra strangely.

“No, not you. Nevermind. So, Kage ran off.”

“Yeah, that guy is one crazy fighter. He broke Reipar in half…” Dehr said, looking at the hatchet in his hands and the two haves lying on the ground nearby. “Oh, and he almost tried to kill me.”

“Oh yeah, of course, but more importantly he broke your precious axe!” Ekajra said, laughing. He stopped once Dehr hit him with the flat side of the hatchet. “Okay, okay, sorry. So, what do we do from here?”

“I say we go home. I need to make sure Mitchell didn’t do anything to your friend. I’ll give you a lift.” Dehr pulled out a small remote from one of his pockets. He pressed a button on it. There was a beeping noise, and a speeder came out from behind the shed. “Good thing I parked this baby here. Otherwise it’d be a long trip back to the city.”

* * * * *

After picking up some of Dehr’s weapons from the battlefield, such as Reipar and his shotgun, they went off through the woods on his speeder. They were just pulling up to Ekajra’s house, and it sounded like a fight was going on inside.

“I told you already, I’m not gonna do it!” Alerak yelled.

“Come on! Just come back with me…” Mitchell replied.

“Great, sounds like he didn’t get my message. He must be trying to get Alerak to go back to the Legion,” Dehr said, sighing.

“Well, we’d better get in there and stop him!” Ekajra yelled, and they jumped off of Dehr’s speeder. They ran to the front door, bursting in.

“Mitchell, the job’s been called off, don’t do anything drastic!” Dehr yelled as he came in.

“Alerak, are you okay?” Ekajra asked. They both looked around, and found that Mitchell and Alerak were simply sitting at the table, having a drink.

“Well, for now. Ekajra, get over here and convince this guy that we’re not gonna let him run experiments on our cybernetics!” Alerak said, as Mitchell calmly took a sip of his beverage.


Previous Chapter.



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