Before I could take down anyone else, I’d have to deal with this Union bitch. If I tried to make my way over to where Lancelot and Smasher were, she’d shoot me again. If I tried to go after King Arthur, ditto.
We were in this now. I couldn’t live unless she died.
I suited action to these bitter thoughts, deliberately throwing myself back down to the ground where I’d spent so much of this fucking fight.
I stifled a scream as my bleeding side protested. Something felt like it had become unseated within me, a curious wrenching sensation that promised agonies to come.
As soon as I got down I started to scuttle, one arm pressed to the bleeding wound, focusing my healing gift with everything I had. I scurried around a pair of my soldiers who were rushing towards the rear, then drifted back into their wake, using them as cover against the Union bastard’s perch.
Out of sight, out of danger, I was hoping.
Ahead of me I could see the forest of legs and knees pressing in on the ruined trucks, one form after another vanishing as they climbed up. Everyone seemed to be pushing in the same direction, so they’d been pressed back entirely off the ground, or I was missing something.
I paused as a wave of pain shot through me, unable to keep a keening shriek from escaping my lips. Holy SHIT being impaled hurt! I’d never suffered this badly in my entire life, my world was a scintillating curtain of pain.
I abandoned any further attempts to get closer to her, focused every ounce of energy on keeping my head up off the ground and turning slightly from side to side, keeping the illusion that I was still combat effective intact.
She might tolerate a point of view that took a second to recuperate, but if I passed out, if I box blocked Her before the end of the fight could take place, then I was done for. I had to seem badass, however I could pull that off.
If I thought I’d used all my energy before, it was nothing compared to what it took to stand up. I dragged my leg in, put it underneath me and pushed, forcing myself as much by fiat as by any actual sensation to get back up, desperation pushing me on.
I knew, intellectually, that my healing gift was at work. If I hadn’t died in the initial hit, then it had to be getting better now, didn’t it? I’d been standing up just a second ago, surely I should be able to stand up now!
My body refuted these cogent arguments with pain and nothing more, which didn’t seem super fair, but was actually really convincing. I made it about half way up, back to a stoop, and then I had to reach out and grab someone, one of my gals who was passing by.
She recoiled instinctively, raising a fist, then lowering it as she recognized me.
I didn’t react or acknowledge the moment, I couldn’t. It took all my effort to drag myself up her arm, look out over the crowds once again.
In the back of the battle, or at least where the back had started out, I saw the Union making their last stand atop the crashed trucks. The bitch who’d shot me struggled with a pair of my Ultras, and so did all of the other enemies that I could see back there. None of them seemed like they would be winning.
I looked over to my right, over to where Smasher should have been finishing off Lancelot and her Knights. She was showboating, as I expected.
That was the reason this had all gone to shit, or at least one of them. Fucking Smasher. Fucking drunk. If she’d just done like her name suggested I wouldn’t have gotten fucking shot.
As I watched she thrust out an arm, sending Lancelot dancing away. Or, not dancing, moving with Ultra speed. I dunno, it always seemed like dancing to me, legs hitting the ground far faster than they would for anyone moving naturally.
Both of the two were wounded, and they fought alone, surrounded by a clear space at least ten feet around.
“How the fuck had she managed that?” I said, half under my breath. I couldn’t get a goddamn second to myself but she managed to arrange an out of bounds space on her private duel, and everyone was apparently buying it? It wasn’t fucking fair.
Lancelot feinted towards her, jumped aside as Smasher’s fist whipped through the air before her.
Close. A bit closer and she’d have had her, and the least little contact would be enough. Nothing Smasher hit full on would stay on the planet, much less in one piece.
“Fucking finish her!” I snarled, pressing my hands violently into the Ultra I was clinging to. I was pretty sure I could stand on my own at this point, but pretty sure was nothing to bet on.
Smasher’s fruitless pursuit continued, she hurled out a windmill of punches and kicks, every one of them narrowly missing as Lancelot continued to dodge back, orbiting and chasing around the cleared out space.
The last of the Knights had fallen over there. Lancelot was alone in a knot of my people, but none of them moved to help Smasher. She apparently wanted to do this alone.
“Kill her!” I screamed, or tried to scream. It turned out that some part of my injury had something to do with my lungs, because taking that deep breath had not been the greatest idea. I clung to my supporter and shuddered for a moment, focusing on not passing out.
Meanwhile the stupidity continued.
Smasher tried to get tricky, instead of going for another punch or kick she threw her whole body at Lancelot, trying to maximize the sheer volume of space she could threaten. Lance leaped right over her, kicking down as she passed, a bruising Ultra shot to the ribs.
It was a savvy move. Any attack from a direction Smasher was going would see you obliterated, but her gift didn’t protect her from attacks that she wasn’t moving into. That must have been how she scored the initial hit.
I looked back the other way. The Union were all down now, my Ultras were tearing bodies apart, breaking the Trucks and in other ways celebrating their victory. A number of them were heading over to where Smasher fought, since it was the last battle that was going on.
“Kill her!” I shouted again, successfully this time. The Ultra I was leaning against, at least, heard it and picked up the cry.
Those who heard me echoed me. They’d taken it as encouragement for Smasher. It started to become a chant.
“No YOU-“ I was shouted down, the ‘Kill Her chant drowning out what little other talking was being done.
I clawed at my Ultra, then shoved her aside and started staggering towards the fight.
Or, walking, rather. I was well enough to walk, albeit a sort of stilted walk that didn’t bend my torso in any way.
Ahead of me Smasher finally did the obvious, stepping back from her pursuit and striking at herself, moving to ‘smash’ her own wounds away.
My eyes widened and my hands raised as I saw what was about to happen, but no one could hear my warning, and I wasn’t nearly close enough to do anything about it.
Lancelot dived in the instant the move began, punched furiously. She moved a little faster than she had previously, she’d been lulling her victim, hiding her true capabilities.
Her punch landed, but not on Smasher’s torso or head, she hit the back of Smasher’s arm, added her own force to the self directed strike, before it landed.
Smasher slapped her arm right through her own torso, cut herself nearly in half.
I felt like my rage was going to dig a hole in the world, like sheer frustration and anger should rip out and stop this stupidity from happening, but it didn’t. Nothing did. Smasher coughed up blood and toppled over, torn nearly in fucking half by her own fucking gift!
Cold comfort that the Ultras around Lancelot promptly mobbed her, tore her apart. Cold comfort that there wasn’t a living enemy left to be seen.
Warm comfort, actually, that I could walk and talk again. I resolutely didn’t look down at the wound. I couldn’t take the chance of Her seeing any more goddamn setbacks or wins for the other side. I wouldn’t be doing any more fighting, but I could at least lead.
Fucking killed herself! By PUNCHING!!
I pushed it aside, with immense effort, as I plotted out my next move. Looked like I had 18 Ultras left in my warband, and no one from my Posse that I could see, though I still held out hope that Builder or Owner were alive somehow, hiding.
I had to act.
Actions, choose one or write in:
- Push army immediately into the restored zone, find Arthur before she has a chance to generate a new force or get away.
- Consolidate, check over those downed, look to see if Builder or Owner are alive, grab any supplies we didn’t time for. This will also give me time to heal, hopefully enough to fight in any future conflicts.
- Declare victory, start speechifying, act like King Arthur isn’t even a thing. Hopefully She will show up, at which point the battles are over and the target zone is secured.
- Other? (write in?)