Coming Storm.

There was an explosion of dust as Deathblade’s spike thrust into the street. Alerak had jumped to the side at the last second, still firing. He aimed at where Deathblade was trying to free himself and melted the cement. He pulled out more grenades, tossing them at Deathblade as he distanced himself. The explosion came quickly, and with it Deathblade blasting forth from the smoke. Alerak continued to fire at him, but he wasn’t sure how much longer he could last.

* * * * *

“Would you… get off!” Deathblade yelled, throwing Ekajra away from him. Ekajra took no time waiting and drew his knife as he went through the air, attacking Deathblade again. He made a quick horizontal slash, which Deathblade blocked and followed with a vertical slash of his own. Ekajra blocked it with his right arm, the chains grinding into his flesh. He pushed Deathblade back and managed to get a slash right across his middle.

The nanites began to reform as Deathblade went on the offensive. He made a horizontal slash from the left, which Ekajra blocked. Deathblade immediately followed with another slash from the right. Ekajra pulled free from Deathblade’s other arm and blocked this one. He was then caught in a back and forth attack as Deathblade did one slash after another. Slowly the speed began to pick up, and Ekajra couldn’t keep up. He fell back as Deathblade slashed him down the left side.

Ekajra yelled in pain as he grabbed his bleeding side. The blood soaked into his fur, deepening its red color so it was nearly black. “Ugh, if I at least had another knife or something for my right hand, I might be able to keep up with hi… what the?” Ekajra looked down with a look of surprise as he found a short, curved, single-edge sword in his right hand. He didn’t have time to question the gift however, as Deathblade was already on top of him. He blocked Deathblade’s nearly finishing move with the sword. Deathblade was also surprised as to how Ekajra had acquired the blade, and wasn’t able to react in time to block Ekajra’s jab to the stomach with his arm knife. Ekajra wrenched his knife up through Deathblade’s body, curving to the side at his shoulder.

Deathblade stumbled back, almost splitting in half. What looked like a silver spiders web began to form along his chasm, the nanites reaching out and fusing back together. Ekajra charged forward slashing wildly with his new sword. He broke through where the nanites were reforming, and made another deep cut across Deathblade in the other direction before being knocked away.

There force of the slash that Deathblade had used to throw back Ekajra caused his mostly severed body to lose balance. First, his top section fell down, and then the rest of his body with it. Ekajra walked up cautiously. “I have a feeling this isn’t over yet. But it will be soon.”

* * * * *

Alerak released the trigger of his gun, smoke pouring from the tip and jumped to the side as the almost spherical spiked Deathblade plowed past him. He slammed the gun against the back of Deathblade’s neck, and then brought it back to his hands to fire. But all that came from the gun was a clicking noise, and a light lit up indicating the plasma cell was empty. Alerak reach for more ammo, but his hands grasped nothing but air and vest fabric. “No, I can’t be out. This is not goo… ugh!” his words were cut off as Deathblade slammed into him.

Alerak flew back, blood beginning to seep from where Deathblade had stabbed him. He cast aside his spent gun and grabbed the rifle, loading it with its final cell as he impacted the hard street cement, skidding on his back. He fired off shot after shot in sequence as Deathblade slowly advanced on him, but the mechanical menace simply block the shots with the long spikes on his hands. They would explode each time, but he simply reformed them. Clearly nothing would stop him from attaining his goal.

Soon Alerak had run out of ammo with the rifle and simply threw it at Deathblade. He stabbed it with his blade, and brought it in to his hand. “Running out of options are we?” Deathblade mocked as he crushed the shotgun. A small bullet deflected off the side of his head. He looked down at Alerak who was slowly getting to his feet, down to only his pistol. “Face it, you’re out of weapons. You’re finished.”

“Not quite,” Alerak said calmly, reaching into his pocket.

* * * * *

Ekajra’s body tensed as Deathblade’s nanites began to swarm around him. Slowly his body lifted itself up, reforming, as Deathblade laughed. “It’s all over for you!” he said, still laughing manically. “Even when I’m chopped to pieces I still come back. And do you know why? Because this your mind, which I control!” Deathblade broke out into more uproarious laughter. “I’ve already explained this, you have no chance of surviving! And soon there won’t be much left of your friend, either.”

Ekajra’s eyes widened. Not because of what Deathblade had said about Alerak. Rather, everything was finally making sense, and his suspicions about the sword and his getting free from Deathblade’s grip earlier were confirmed. His trademark danced spread across his face. “Don’t be…” he began, fizzling from sight. The next second he was standing behind Deathblade, sword at the ready. “… so sure!” he finished, thrusting the sword up through Deathblade’s chest from behind.

* * * * *

“Though it isn’t going to change your fate in the slightest, tell me what exactly that is,” Deathblade said as Alerak pulled a small white disk from his pocket.

“This is a special electromagnetic pulse wave emitter. It’ll shut down any sort of electrical device nearby. I didn’t want to use it because I hadn’t gathered enough data on how it might affect Ekajra or me. But at this point I don’t really have any other choice!” Alerak yelled as he threw the disk at Deathblade. It flew towards him perfectly, but at the last second Deathblade sidestepped it. With incredible speed he covered the short distance between Alerak and himself. Alerak yelled in pain as Deathblade sank his arm spikes into the joints at Alerak’s shoulders.

Alerak hung his head, but instead of giving up as Deathblade had anticipated, he smiled and began laughing. “What is it? Just giving up on fighting and going out with a laugh?”

“Heheh, nope. Not quite,” Alerak said, looking Deathblade in the eye. “That disk I threw at you… that wasn’t the real EMP device.” Deathblade looked down to see Ekajra had slammed a similar looking disk into his stomach, and the center of it was beginning to glow.

* * * * *

“What? How did you get behind me?!” Deathblade questioned, stunned with surprise as he looked at the blade protruding from his chest.

“It was easy. I only had to think about it. This is my mind after all. And even if you claim to be in control, I can still do whatever I want. Like, say, make a giant mob of myself.” The next second the two of them were surrounded by Ekajras. The main Ekajra kicked Deathblade in the back, sending him flying into the crowd.

“This is for all the headaches and stuff that you did to me inside my head!” one of them yelled, punching him in the stomach. Deathblade stumbled back, and another Ekajra picked him up and threw him, yelling, “This is for all the trouble you caused with my body!”

Deathblade landed on his back, and the Ekajra’s circled him. They all fused together into the one Ekajra standing in front of Deathblade, who picked him up by the neck. “And now,” he said, hoisting Deathblade in the air above him.

* * * * *

At the same time, outside the mind, Deathblade was stumbling back from Alerak. His arm blades had disintegrated, freeing Alerak as the nanites slowly began to lose function. Alerak pulled back his fist for an uppercut as, inside his mind, Ekajra threw Deathblade into the air and pulled back his arm.

“This is for my friend!” Alerak and Ekajra yelled together. Simultaneously, both in Ekajra’s mind and outside the now failing body of Deathblade, the two echidnas delivered powerful uppercuts right to Deathblade’s jaw. And he felt both of them, flying backwards with double the force.

Alerak looked at his fist in surprise. “Wow, didn’t know I had that much strength after all.” He then turned and ran to the body before him, stumbling due to his legs being weakened by the EMP. The nanites had been deactivated, which, while stopping Deathblade, had the unfortunate side effect of causing the armor to simply freeze where it was, instead of sinking back into Ekajra’s body. Alerak got down beside Ekajra, knocking away the spikes all over the armor before trying to crack through the parts closest to Ekajra’s actual body. He had soon freed his face, and Ekajra began to cough, small bits of metal flying out of his mouth. He opened his eyes, grabbing a flake of hardened nanites off the side of his mouth. He held it up, and looking at no one in particular, said, “And that children is why you should always check your Halloween candy.”

Alerak just laughed as Ekajra looked at him. “Not really the season for that quite yet,” he said.

“Well, it’s still a good lesson, if not a bit ridiculous. Now, it would seem I can’t move very well. Especially over there,” he nodded his head towards his limp left arm.

“Yeah, that’s probably partially my fault. I used an EMP,” Alerak tapped the wave emitter on Ekajra’s stomach, “to take care of Deathblade. It’s probably messed your cybernetics a bit too. Hopefully it wears off soon. But for now, let’s get this stuff off of you.”

* * * * *

“So, are you done yet?” Ekajra asked, walking into Alerak’s room. It was a few days after the Deathblade incident, and pretty much everything surrounding what exactly had happened had been cleared up by the EST and Knuckles. The way they’d explained it to the Echidna Council there was simply a rouge robot attack from some unknown source, but they were positive it had been destroyed and that no more would follow. Ekajra and Alerak were glad they’d been left out of they story, though it had definitely changed Ekajra. You could tell just by looking at him… though that was probably because he currently didn’t have a left arm.

“Yeah, as much as I’ll ever be I suppose,” Alerak said. “With the limited technology I’ve got at my disposal I wasn’t able to build a completely new arm. But taking yours apart helped me to isolate the nanites still inside it. Hopefully I removed all of Deathblade from you, or at the very least made him less apparent.”

“So, no more headaches?” Ekajra asked, walking over to Alerak’s desk, hand in pocket.

“Yep, and no more crazy rampages.” Alerak stood up, arm in hand. He grabbed Ekajra and turned him so that his left side was facing him. “Now let’s just shove this baby back in there.”

“This isn’t gonna hurt, is it?”

“Well, not too much.” And before Ekajra could protest Alerak had slammed the arm back into its joint.

* * * * *

Meanwhile, miles away from the Floating Island and Echidnaopolis, a dark force was plotting its demise. The aged, cybernetic echidna leaned forward in his chair. “Yes, soon they will pay for what they have done to their own kind. And after that, the world will bow to us!”

————————————————————————————————————

Previous Chapter.

Index.

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