Chapter 25

Riley felt like she had just stepped into Star Wars as she watched the first guard approach Saber, his sword outstretched. With two swipes of her electric sword…one slicing through the blade, the second through his arm…the guard reeled back, screaming in pain. That didn’t stop the others because as one moved back, two more approached. Saber quickly brought up her saber and took them out.

After the first three guards fell, the captain quickly turned toward the door. “Guards!”

As Saber took on two more, Riley doing her best to avoid the guard coming after her, they both heard the clang of armor approaching quickly.

“This isn’t looking too good,” Riley called over her shoulder.

The guard took advantage of her distraction and lunged forward, but she reacted swiftly, grabbing his wrist and kicking his side. She had hoped to knock the sword out his hand, but his grip was strong. He did fall, but the weapon fell with him.

“No, it’s not. You going to help at some point, or just let me do all the work?” Saber deflected a sword jab.

“I don’t have a weapon!”

Saber kicked a guard, making him reel back. “Then conjure something up.”

“How?”

“Think like you did while fighting the dragon.”

“Okay, but what?” Riley yelled.

The guard began climbing to his feet. She was thankful the rest of them were more occupied with Saber, leaving the lone guard to get her. He glared at her. Obviously, he didn’t like being bested.

“I don’t know. Just pick something. Get a machine gun or something. Mow these suckers down.”

Riley thought about it, grimacing. She didn’t like guns. They were violent and not something she wanted to use. She couldn’t think of a weapon that did feel right. In Skyrim, she was a ranger and used a bow, but had issues fighting up close. For close combat, she always used her elf magic.

Riley saw the guard swing his sword. Unfortunately, she didn’t move quickly enough, the guard’s blade nicking her arm. Blood welled up and dripped to the floor, but what she really noticed was the pain. It was like a flaming sword had stabbed her and left flakes of hot metal in her shoulder. She cried out, glancing at the wound.

“You okay?” Saber called back.

“Yeah. He just scratched my shoulder. Little scratch.” Riley gritted her teeth, biting back the pain. “Just surprised how much it hurt.”

“What?!” Saber yelled and turned to face Riley.

She grabbed her by the arm, both of them bolting to the farthest side of the room. Once they had some distance between them and the guards, Saber looked at the wound.

“That’s not possible,” she breathed out.

“You can say that, but I can feel it and I’m bleeding.”

“We can’t get hurt in a dreamscape. It messes with our heads. Sometimes we’ll see our arms get cut off, but there shouldn’t be pain.”

“Saber, I’ve felt all of it. The hot air in the lair, the cool air in the corridor, and definitely this,” Riley said, pointing to the blood dripping from her shirt.

Saber’s eyes widened in horror. “I need to keep you safe. Stay behind me.”

“Why? What’s going on?!”

“Just stay behind me.”

Saber took off toward the guards, immediately surrounded. There were too many of them, but she pushed forward, swinging her blade, taking out the guards’ swords, then their ability to fight. It didn’t matter, though. There were just too many of them for one person, their numbers continuing to grow no matter how many Saber cut down.

Riley had to do something, but Saber told her to stay out of this fight. What was she thinking?

She’s just trying to protect you.

Yeah, well, I don’t need anyone protecting me. I can protect myself.

Anger flooded Riley as she watched the guards overwhelm her friend. It was time she did something.

Without thinking, Riley stepped forward and lifted her hand, a battleaxe forming. She didn’t think about what weapon she wanted. It just appeared, but as soon as it did, it felt right.

Lifting the other hand, she flicked her wrist to the left, sending the guards on that side flying into the wall. As their bodies fell, she flicked her wrist to the right and did the same to the rest of them.

The ones rushing through the door stopped, studying their fallen comrades. Saber turned around and looked at her, her jaw dropping, but none of that stopped Riley. She passed Saber, breaking the guards out of their shock. They now rushed at her.

Riley was ready for them. She held her axe in both hands. Suddenly, the blade glowed with a purple light and with each swing of the large weapon, she sliced through guard and weapons alike.

“Watch out!” Saber called.

Riley spun seconds before a guard behind her brought down his sword. She had no time to react. When his sword struck her shoulder, it bounced off, as if deflected by some unseen force. Riley flicked her wrist, throwing the guard back against the far wall, his bones sounding like they shattered as he slammed into it.

Momentarily awestruck by what she had just done, Riley didn’t see the guard coming at her, until Saber moved and blocked his strike. They both fought hard, nearing the door and the captain standing next to it. He barked orders. The more he yelled, the more guards rushed into the room.

“Get to the captain!” Riley called out.

“What?”

“The captain. I have a plan.”

Saber barreled toward the door, swinging her electric sword, chopping her way through the incoming flow of armor. It didn’t take much for her to alter her route.

Riley held back, swinging her axe at the ones who came toward her. While she had never held one before, it felt natural. She could almost have fun with this.

As her latest victim fell, she noticed many of the ones she had flung into the walls getting back up. Riley thought she had knocked them out. She set her legs, preparing herself, but noticed they all ignored her. They had their focus on one person. The one nearing their captain.

“Saber, look out!” Riley called. As she did, she took one quick look around, ensuring she wasn’t in danger herself. Safe, for now, she moved one hand through the air. The guards about to swarm Saber flew back to the farthest part of the room this time.

Riley groaned, realizing she could have just trapped them in the room. If they didn’t make it out this door, they now had nearly ten guards behind them to keep them from retreating.

“Crap,” she muttered and turned back to the action. At least they’re knocked out this time, she thought, but she wasn’t convinced.

It didn’t matter because Saber had reached the captain. Three more guards started to enter the room, but Saber ignored them and made one last plunge, driving her sword into the man’s chest.

Just as Riley expected, the guards stopped. The three by the door just stood there. All it took was two quick swipes of Riley’s axe for them to fall.

Then the room grew silent. The battle was over. They had won.

Saber looked at her, surprised, as Riley walked toward the door. “How’d you know?”

Riley shrugged. “Simple. Just like a badly coded video game, minions always keep coming until you kill the level boss.”

“But-” Saber started, but Riley was already out the door. Saber hurried to follow.

Now Available web

Published by JasonRDavis

Author of the #zombie apocalypse trilogy Invisible Spiders and the Edge of Darkness series.

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