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 in which Johannes is difficult



As it turned out, sneaking in had actually been the easier part of the plan, Amadhay begrudgingly acknowledged, ducking out of sight, and behind a dresser.

Atlas hadn’t been joking when he had said that Borg Queen would be difficult to take in. The sound of a laser warming up was the only warning she got that her hiding place was not secure.

She jumped from behind the dresser, to the other side of the room, tucking her legs under and rolling over the dirty carpet to get behind an overturned table just in time before a ray of destruction slammed into the dresser, turning it into splinters. Listening carefully, she waited for the cyborg to enter the room. Once she entered, Amadhay would have the advantage. It took twelve precise clicks for the cyborg’s laser to reboot and four for it to warm up. In sixteen clicks, Amadhay could take her.

She hoped.

A heavy step told her that it was her move. She used her Gift to speed up her jump over the table and run to the cyborg, and was almost to her when she stumbled back. Borg Queen’s eyes were tracking her as if she were moving at an average speed. Amadhay braced her body to fall back, but before she could, Borg Queen’s arm flashed forward and grabbed her by the front of her shirt, pulling her to her. Amadhay already knew that she was in a bad position, considering she couldn’t get out of the cyborg’s grip as she had before. She had already lost her favorite jacket to the cyborg when the woman had grabbed her the first time. Her gun had been lost already, dropped around the same time Amadhay lost her jacket. Sloppy, but considering how things had been going so far, she wasn’t going to beat herself up too much about it.

Amadhay gasped and, on instinct, kicked at Borg Queen, even though the woman had been proving pretty impervious to her physical attacks since she had sneaked into the fortress five clacks previous. Five clacks and Amadhay had spent a majority of them running and hiding. That was not her normal game plan, but the cyborg had almost been ready for her when she’d managed to get in.

Amadhay had sneaked in as silently as possible, her sneak boots silent against the tile floor of the building, and almost immediately, had run directly into the cyborg. The woman hadn’t said anything, merely focused on the red phoenix emblazoned on Amadhay’s mask before her arm had changed from arm and hand to the open barrel of a laser.

Amadhay had kicked at her, but barely had any response, as if the cyborg were a pile of bricks and she was only a small rock trying to move it. It had been that way every time she did that. The one time the aelfe had tried to punch the cyborg, she had been positive that she’d broken her hand and run away as fast as she could.

But something was different this time. This time, when Amadhay’s feet landed the kick on Borg Queen’s stomach, there was real, soft, flesh. Borg Queen cried out, dropping Amadhay in favor of holding her stomach and Amadhay landed on her bottom on the floor before the cyborg. For a moment, the teenager stared in mute surprise, having definitely not expected that reaction. Then, though, she smirked, realizing that she finally found Borg Queen’s real weakness.

Yes, Borg Queen was faster than the average person. Yes, Borg Queen had cybernetic parts that were magic resistant and quite a bit stronger than Amadhay. Yes, Borg Queen was able to track her movements. But now Amadhay had a foothold in the situation. She knew that Borg Queen’s laser was incredibly dangerous and could destroy her as easily close-up as far away, but she also knew that the cyborgs aim was shaky on a moving target, that it took four clicks to warm up, and took twelve clicks to reboot. Not to mention, it made a horrendous sound. She knew that Borg Queen was incredibly magic-resistant and had skin grafts so hard that it was like punching metal, but she now knew that there were some spots that were vulnerable, a few spots that were still sensitive, almost-human, skin.

Borg Queen was watching her warily now, the laser attached to her arm aimed at Amadhay’s head. Amadhay smiled, standing up straight and raising her hands up in surrender. When the cyborg faltered, her laser going out of focus, Amadhay launched herself at the woman. Grabbing her arm, she turned it away from herself, aiming at the wall and squeezing the arm to force Borg Queen to accidentally shoot her laser, which she did. Once that was done and she knew she had sixteen clicks, Amadhay landed the first punch before she could be hit. She knew at this close of a distance, that any hit was likely to do her serious damage with only the least amount of effort on the cyborg’s part.

She tried to kick Borg Queen stomach again, but the woman saw it coming, grabbing Amadhay’s ankle and twisting. To avoid having her ankle broken, the girl twisted with it, ending with her leg high up in the air. Borg Queen started to say something for the first time their entire encounter, but Amadhay recognized that the woman was distracted by her flexibility and took advantage of that, slipping one of the blades out of her wrist binding to stab the cyborg in the stomach.

Immediately, Borg Queen dropped Amadhay’s ankle, which the girl didn’t take gracefully. She nearly fell, but caught herself just as she was going down, landing instead in a kneel before the injured woman. Borg Queen was breathing hard as she removed the knife from what Amadhay assumed must have been her real flesh. The blade was stained with the same red blood that also seeped from the wound, drenching the cyborg’s white top. Borg Queen groaned softly, dropping the knife. She aimed her laser at Amadhay again, but this time, without any help from Amadhay, the aim went wide, blasting another hole in the wall to the left of Amadhay. Recognizing this as her chance, Amadhay grabbed the cyborg taser from the holster on her thigh and slammed it into the woman’s side.

For a moment, Borg Queen kept eye contact with her and put both hands on Amadhay’s shoulders, squeezing them hard enough that the girl was sure they were going to dislocate. For that brief moment, Amadhay feared that she wouldn’t be able to stun the woman into unconsciousness, but then Borg Queen’s grip loosened. When the cyborg fell back, Amadhay slipped the taser back into its holster and took a deep breath to steady herself. She pressed the woman’s side with the toe of her boot and when she didn’t move, Amadhay relaxed the slightest bit.

“One down,” she muttered, pulling the woman up enough for her to teleport with her. She was thankful that she wasn’t as heavy as expected, given her robotic parts, because it would be crazy to leave her, even for a click, to go get someone strong enough to actually carry her to teleport. With the luck she’d had today, Johannes would be gone by the time she got back and then she’d be in even larger trouble. “One more to go.”

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November 2016

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