Recovery.

Ekajra woke up to find himself lying on the couch he used for bed, Alerak sitting nearby working on something. His wounds were bandaged up, and his left arm had been fixed. Alerak looked over, and noticed Ekajra moving into a sitting position, and about to get up. “Whoa! Hold it! Stay down, I’m not much of a medic, so I don’t know how well those bandages will hold up. I fixed your arm though it wasn’t as bad as I’d worried, luckily.”

“Alright, thanks.” Ekajra mumbled sitting back down.

“So, who was that you were fighting? He said his name was Deathblade, but he looked familiar.” Alerak asked.

“It’s Akaja. Well, at least, was Akaja.” Ekajra said quietly.

“Wait, your brother? What do you mean?” Alerak asked, more forcefully. Ekajra recounted the whole event, and when he was done, Alerak had leaned back in his chair, folding his arms across his chest, thinking. “Hmm, this changes things. I’ll have to alter the design a little, and…”

“Design of what?”

“Well, when I shot at him, I saw his arm spreading out and reforming, and when it absorbed the bullets, I realized that they were highly advanced nanites. I thought it was just some construct and I’ve been working on something to take it down. But if it’s controlling your brother, that means it must work differently that I thought.”

“So, you know a way to stop it?”

“Maybe, but I’ll need some time to rework it. Hopefully by the time I’m done you’ll have healed, and fight it again.”

“We don’t have time! I need to beat Deathblade now! For all we know he could be attacking other people.”

“I don’t think so. I think it just wants to fight you. The only reason it let me take you is because it didn’t want to finish you off when you’re such and easy target. If he were just out for crazed destruction he would have done it already. It’s already been a day since you fought him.”

“I’ve been out for a day?!”

“Well, yeah. How do you think I got so far on this?” He indicated the thing he’d been working on earlier. “So like I was saying, I think he’s gonna wait for you. He may think he’s strong, but he probably knows that there’s a chance that if he pushes it, he’d lose control. So, for now all we can do is work, and wait. You focus on healing up, I’m gonna work on a way to stop him.” He turned back to his work, and Ekajra, mumbling something to himself, lay back down, and went to sleep.

*****

He woke up again early the next morning, the sound of rain beating against the house. He looked over to find Alerak having fallen asleep at the table, a screwdriver still in his hand. Ekajra chuckled, and then eased himself up to his feet. He walked over to the fridge, pulled out can of Chaos Cola, and walked over towards the window. He opened the can, and then lifted it up to his face, taking in about half the can in one large gulp. He lowered the can, and opened his eyes to see Deathblade staring at him from just outside the window, an evil smirk on his face. Ekajra jumped back in surprise, the can dropping to the floor as Deathblade laughed. “Just remember… I’m still waiting…” and with that, he was gone.

“Pffh, that guy…” Ekajra held up his right arm to look at the bandage, and then clenched his fist looking back out the window. “… is gonna pay.” He picked up the can, threw in a pile, and then picked up rag, setting in on the small puddle of brown fizzing liquid. He then went to back to the couch, and lay awake staring at the window for what seemed like forever, before he fell asleep again.

*****

A few days later Ekajra had fully healed, faster than Alerak had expected, and so he hadn’t yet completed what he’d been working on. “Must be the guardian’s DNA, he’s apparently a fast healer.”

“Great, now the guy’s helping me.”

“Well, at least you have more time to prepare. Go train or something, I’ll have this finished in no time. Just… stay away from where you fought him.”

“Got it.” Ekajra said, turning to walk out the door. He went into the woods behind their house, into an area where he normally trained, and got work, harder than ever. Alerak continued to work on whatever he’d been working on for another day, and in that time Ekajra had trained almost non-stop. Finally, one morning Alerak was waiting, something very small in his hand.

“That it?”

“Yep. This chip is designed to shutdown Deathblade’s control core, making the nanites self-destruct, and he’ll be taken down for long enough for you or Akaja to get it off him. There’s just…, one problem.”

“And that would be?”

“You have to actually get it on the main control unit. Do you know what that is?”

“Well, I remember Akaja putting a computer chip on the back of his neck. He said it hooks up to your implants… that must be it!”

“The back of the neck. Ah man, that only makes it harder. Well, it should be no problem for you, just be careful.”

“Come one, when have I not been careful! Uhh, don’t answer that.”

“I didn’t intend to. Now, just take this,” Alerak gave Ekajra the chip, which he put into his pocket. “And go confront Deathblade. I’ll be nearby, for back up.”

“Alright, time to give him what he’s got coming!”

“Then let’s go. I have some things to tell you on the way…”

*****

Ekajra stepped out of the trees into the clearing. There were still signs of the battle that had taken place days ago, though some had been washed away by the rain, which had settled now to a light drizzle. He looked around, and then called out. “Hey Deathblade! I’m back, and ready for that rematch!”

At first there was silence, but then there was a flash of light, a slashing sound, and one of the trees in front of Ekajra fell down. And out of the shadows jumped Deathblade, landing on the overturned tree. “Well then, welcome back.” He said, smirking.

————————————————————————————————————

Previous Chapter.

Index.

Next Chapter.

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