Darkness Leaves No Survivors

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Chapter 5

“You sure you guys don’t wanna negotiate this? I’m a pretty understanding guy.” Miles laughed as “Sparky” and “Psycho”, as he had officially termed them, were swinging in tandem in attempt to hack him into pieces, but he juked and jived around her blade and his fists.

Sparky advanced forward with a front snap kick, but Miles leaned back, reached up and grabbed his ankle, slammed an uppercut to the back of his knee, and yanked him off balance and off the ground. With the momentum, he spun around and threw him straight for Psycho, but she hopped up and pushed against Sparky’s gliding body, slamming him into the ground, and propelled herself toward Miles.

She pulled back her blade and activated the square, emerald green stone at the base of the black, rectangular, wooden handle. Thin, sharp streams of wind quickly picked up around the blade and outlined the blade with a razor sharp stream of wind.

Miles chuckled to himself as he quickly unsheathed his longsword, activating his stone the moment the tip exited the sheath, and stopped her attack literally single-handedly. He looked into her eyes, though they were obscured by the inner darkness of her helmet.

“Tell me rookie, have you ever experienced true fear?” He spoke sadistically strong. In one fluid motion, he shoved her blade away, pivoted in full circle, and flicked his wrist. Before he could give her a moment to think, he thrust the sword forward and both engulfed and forced her away with a stream of fire. The stream was powerful enough to push her off her feet, throwing her into Sparky who was on the counter offensive.

With Psycho against his arms, He skidded to a stop. However, instead of helping her, he threw a reverse uppercut into her side, plunging her straight into the ground. Without a second thought, he rushed Miles who was still recovering.

He rushed with a knee strike, but Miles dodged in reverse as he noticed not only was Sparky gunning for him, but also four arrows were flying straight for him. As he dodged the arrows, Sparky advanced and connected a quick roundhouse. The kick threw Miles off balance, whom in response, sheathed his sword and tried to regain his footing.

Sparky moved in and the two began an almost choreographed assault on each other. Jabs, crosses, kicks, and knees were thrown and blocked, few actually connected and threw the receiver off, but they quickly countered and struck their opponent.

“Any day now, retards!” Sparky yelled out.

“Calm your arse.” Psycho yelled out as she leaned down and pulled the back off the wooden contraption strapped to her forearm.

She reached into a small brown leather sack strapped to her belt and pulled out a brightly glowing blue orb. She lobbed it into the opening in the tube, slammed the cap back on and pulled the plunger back until it clicked.

“Hey numb nuts!” She yelled out to Sparky, distracted him from his conflict. In that moment of distraction, Miles struck Sparky with a powerful right cross to his helmet, which pushed him back and threw him into a rage.

Sparky tightened his entire upper body and encased his hands with a miniature golden lightning storm. He darted in and threw a furious right hook for Miles’ face.

Miles leaned back as the crackling fist flew just inches away from his face, but was suddenly thrown back by a strong Spartan kick from Sparky.

Miles rolled back violently through the grass and dirt, desperately trying to plant his feet back on the ground. He rolled onto his knees, was able to grip the ground, and stopped himself. As he came to a stop, Psycho leaped into the air, her arm extended and the cannon aimed straight for him.

“Sucker!” She exclaimed triumphantly.

With a down flick of her wrist, a loud pop sounded off and the blue orb, now a blue pill of pure, glowing energy, flew at screaming speeds straight for Miles.

Barely enough time to brace himself, the shot hit him square in the chest, but had no stopping power behind it. Instead, it broke open and splashed Miles with enough water to fill a bathtub.

Dripping wet, he laughed unnervingly. “You’re kidding right? What was your plan? Drown me with your tears?”

Sparky clenched his fist, surging electricity through each of his fingers. “Nah. . . just this.”

He raised his fist in the air, and then swiftly slammed his gauntlet into the ground, sending an electrical current through the soil, right to Miles. Arcs of lightning began surging on, around, and through him, causing him to cry out in agony and drop to one knee. Though the lightning was making his muscles spaz and contract, he slowly reached for his longsword.

Like father, like son. Lance chuckled under his breath.

The shortest solider rushed in and capitalized on the opening, flanking Miles from his left. She held her sabre out to her right as she came within reach.

As she moved to swing, Miles struggled through the remaining paralysis, his now unsheathed longsword burning sharp, and barely blocked the attack. The two pushed against each other with no sign of letting up.

“Come on short round, you’ll have to try harder than that!” Miles yelled out as he stood up and pushed her back.

She tightened her muscles and caused the blue stone on the hand guard to start glowing brightly. Water began streaming in dual swirling streams around the sabre and shimmered with an angelic glow in the sun’s rays.

“A water Hunter. You gotta be kidding me.” Miles calculated to himself. “Better take her out first.”

Just as Miles was about to step forward, Short Round brought the blade to her cheek and twisted it sideways. The blade instantaneously froze over, and the swirling streams froze onto the iron as well. She held it horizontal to her helmet and gently blew through the openings.

A white mist quickly flew off the Sabre and toward Miles who began to freeze where he stood. It only took mere seconds before he was completely frozen in place.

“Aw, the Fallen Dragon is all cooled off.” She mocked him in a playful manner. “Oh come on now, this isn’t the best you can do is it? And here I was scared about taking on your royal big-headedness.”

“Y-y-y-you sh-sh-sh-should be.” Miles exhaled softly and slowly melted a small portion of the ice away.

Short Round backed away as he broke the ice, shards flying in every direction, and swung for her neck. Just missing, he spun around using the momentum and blocked Psycho’s blade as she attempted to get him from behind. He smirked and lit his sword ablaze.

He stepped in and struck a right haymaker dead center in her torso and knocked her back in time for him to back vault high into the air as Sparky slid underneath him, trying to knock him off his feet.

“Such an amateur move, Sparky.” Miles chuckled “You mustn’t be afraid to think a little bigger, dip stick.” as he fired off a enormous fireball streaking for Sparky, but just before it hit the ground, Short Round fired off two waves of water in the shape of the cross, causing the ball of fire to evaporate.

Sparky, Short Round, and Psycho all lunged upward and chased after him into the air. Sparky quickly threw two jabs into Miles, shocking him lightly. He attempted to land an uppercut on Miles’ chin, but was parried by the cross guard on his longsword.

Miles stopped him dead in his tracks and slammed a palm strike into Sparky’s chin, followed by an over-the-shoulder throw back into the ground below.

Psycho became frustrated and began swinging wildly; almost as if she was praying that she would connect somehow in some way. Miles anticipated every swing though, and blocked each strike accordingly.

As the two went at each other, Short Round sheathed her sword and readied her bow again, reaching behind her and grabbing three arrows. She quickly drew back and fired all three arrows in mere seconds.

Psycho grabbed Miles and threw him away from her. He instantly noticed the arrows coming at him, and quickly flipped his grip over the sword and blocked each arrow, splintering each one into nothing but shards and pieces of wood.

Short Round reached behind and grabbed five more arrows, and with just as much haste and ferocity as before, fired each arrow. Miles blocked each one, but the final arrow struck his D.I.E.S dead center and cracked it into pieces.

“My, my stone!” Miles spoke in disbelief. All had seemed to freeze in that moment of time as even the soldiers stood in awe.

However, the peace did not last as Short Round and Psycho moved in and began swinging chaotically at Miles. Both had activated their stones and pushed their elements to their limits. The sky was lit up with a spectacular blue and green light show as the three continuously swung, parried, and riposted.

“You’re pathetic! Just give up and die already.” Psycho called out as she knocked Miles blade out of his hand and kicked it away.

Both soldiers spun around and simultaneously kicked Miles directly in his stomach. The blows landed dead on and sent him crashing back into the ground a few feet below. He slammed into the ground with enough force to knock the wind out of him. He coughed up a little blood and tried regaining his breath.

“What, what is with these guys and kicking me?” He barely spoke through the wheezes and the coughs. “I’m not, not down yet. I need to— Whoa!”

Miles rolled out of the way as the tallest solider moved in and nearly ended him with a drop ax kick.

He picked himself back up as the soldier threw six bolts of lightning at him in quick succession. He raised his forearms to guard his face, but the golden bolts flew right by and landed on the ground surrounding him without making any contact.

“What’s the matter Chicken Legs?” Miles laughed mockingly. “Are you crossed eyed as well?”

He turned and looked around as the grass beneath him started glowing brightly yellow. The blades of the grass began to stand upright and fire off tiny sparks of electricity, the brown soil beneath started glowing gold, and he could feel an increasing breeze of air coming from beneath him.

“I’m ashamed of you, boy!” Lance proudly yelled out. “Looks like you activated our trap card!”

Lance chuckled, activated his D.I.E.S, and gracefully swung his sword around his entire body, leaving a stream of fire in its wake. He flicked his wrist, deactivated his stone, and quickly stepped back.

In the blink of an eye, he blitzed forward, spun, and struck the artistic stream of fire, transforming it into a small fire tornado and sent it streaking toward Miles.

The attack flew past the other soldiers and just before the cyclone hit his son, it expanded rapidly and it overtook Miles completely.

Without missing a beat, the six lightning streams broke out of the ground, flew up over the whirlwind, and combined directly above; creating a yellow pillar of electricity that flew straight down and entered the eye of the burning cyclone mingling perfectly. The tornado now sparkled and crackled as thick golden lightning bolts arced in and out of the fire.

All that could be heard was Miles yelling out in pain. The fire made no contact with him, but the spiraling heat was hot enough to melt a city of iron with ease. Taken to his knees, Miles thought of a plan of escape, but his chances dwindled as quickly as the tornado continued to spin.

Hot, hot, hot!” Miles was barely able to breathe as the tornado was sucking the oxygen out of him. I can’t beat the heat, the lightning is keeping me stunned, and I’m running out of options . . . no wonder why He’s the leader of this place.

He looked down at the remaining shards of his D.I.E.S., removed it from the sword, and struggled to his feet. I’ve only got one shot. Time to light’em up!

All of the soldiers, Lance included, stood and watched the spectacle. Psycho and Sparky stood at ease with their arms crossed as if everything was finished. Short round and the unnamed soldier stood side-by-side, swords still drawn, ready for anything. Lance walked over to Chicken legs and rested his hand on her shoulder.

“Did we fail?” She asked with concern.

“Mmm. . . I don’t think the fight is quite over yet, soldier. Look.”

Soft as it was, Lance could hear a growl slowly grow louder and louder. The tornado began wavering and spinning out of control.

Suddenly, Miles let out an animal like roar and disrupted the cyclone with a shock wave of flames. The fire and the lightning simultaneously died off. Breathing heavily, head lowered and hands covered in a blaze, Miles spoke with a deep, menacing voice.

“Is that really the best the five of you can do?” He looked dead into his father’s eyes, his silver eyes glowing with two small slivers of red. “I tried playing nice. But I’m done with that. I’ll burn every one of you to ashes!”

He grew even more furious and the flames encasing his hands grew to cover his forearms entirely.

“You talk big, but it’s time to shut you up!” Sparky yelled out as he burst forward. He increased his lightning two fold and moved at twice the speed as before, moving in the blink of an eye. The others were caught off guard and were unable to track his movements, though Psycho watched his every action, completely unfazed by his speed.

He threw a cross aimed for the side of Miles’ face. But Miles quickly reached up and grabbed Sparky’s wrist with the cracking fist just inches from his face.

“Wh- What?” Sparky was stunned “You’ve never been able to—“

“I know . . . shocking, isn’t it?” Miles taunted with a serious demeanor. “You should be lucky you’re protected. . . Tell me if this hurts.”

Miles pivoted to the side, pulled Sparky toward him, and connected a strong blow to the armor covering his stomach. The strike was so strong; the armor was completely dented inward and rendered ineffective.

In rapid succession, Miles switched his grip over Sparky’s wrist while simultaneously pulling it down, pulled his right arm back and connected a dizzying haymaker to the side of the helmet.

“I’m not done with you.” Miles growled as he leaned and stepped back, pulling Sparky back toward him, and connected a staggering spin back kick straight into his upper chest. The last blow knocked Sparky unconscious, and was thrown past Psycho into the far east wall.

“Bro!” Psycho yelled out as she loaded a red, blue, and yellow orb into her cannon.

She rushed Miles, who merely stood still, with her Kusanagi drawn. She flipped her grip to reverse, hopped and threw her sword in a spinning dance. Miles stood passively as the blade came into reach of his neck.

He raised his arm up and stopped the blade in its place with the blazing gauntlets.

“Wow, I am sooo impressed, Psycho.” He chuckled. “What’s next? Are you gonna use telekinesis and push me over?”

“No, I’m just gonna drop the boom!” She yelled out as she vaulted over Miles, aiming her cannon straight for his feet.

She fired all three shots off for him, but the wind redirected the shots to land around his feet, causing the ground to explode with the different elements and created a cloud of smoke around Miles.

She landed next to the unnamed soldier and Short Round as they all watched and waited for his next move. A malefic laugh could be heard emanating from the smoke.

“Such cheap parlor tricks.” He belittled Psycho. “Let me show something new.”

Miles forced away the smoke and tightened the muscles in his arms, causing the fire to burn brighter and hotter. He forced all of the flames into the palm of his left hand.

He threw a jab toward the three, who stepped back scared in response. The fire suddenly died off his hand. Unnervingly, Psycho called out.

“Wow that was ‘sooooo’ impressive. The Fallen Dragon is just a pathetic lizard.”

Miles didn’t respond, but merely flipped his hand over and held it still, ready to snap his fingers.

Lance exploded toward the three and yelled out.

“Get out of the way! It’s a trap!”

Just as Lance bulldozed the three out of the way, Miles snapped his fingers. Without warning, a spiraling pillar of fire emerged from the ground and overtook the area the three were standing in. Lance wasn’t quick enough and the ends of his cape were singed.

“Hey! That was my favorite cape.” He yelled out as he and the others put the embers out before the cape was any more burnt.

“Come on ‘Psycho’.” Short Round giggled. “We’ll take him down together.”

“Yeah sure, whatever ‘Short Round’.” She uncaringly retorted. “Now give me back my sword, Miles!” The two dashed toward him with murderous intent.

The unnamed soldier went to spring forward, but Lance quickly, yet gently grabbed her shoulder.

“Wait!” He said. “Let’s wait to see what happens. Be patient and look for an opening.”

She looked back hesitating, but nodded and helped Lance back to his feet.

Miles kept his cool as he parried Psycho’s kicks and jabs with her own Kusanagi. Every attack she threw, he used the blunt end of the blade to redirect her entire body, pushing her to either his side, or behind him completely.

“Too bad your fighting isn’t as good as your mouth is big.” Miles snickered. “Now stop trying and actually hit me!”

Psycho only grew furious and her strikes, though even more aggressive, Miles could see she was losing even more and more control over herself.

She squatted and pivoted, throwing her right leg out and underneath Miles in an attempt to trip him up, but he quickly dashed away. Thinking he had won, he completely forgot about one thing: Short Round.

He turned around just as Short Round hopped up and connected a devil of an uppercut to his chin, throwing him up into the air.

She quickly activated her stone and thrust her sword toward Miles, shooting a strong stream of water straight for him. The stream was so powerful; it pushed him further out and caused him drop the Kusanagi.

She leaned down and softly blew on the stream causing a wave of ice to surge through the steam. Every droplet of water froze instantaneously into solid ice, capturing most of Miles’s body within its cold clutches.

Without a single word, Short Round pulled the gigantic icy club back and with every ounce of strength she could muster, moved to slam the giant icicle onto the ground.

Just before the ice made contact, Psycho grabbed her blade, flew up, and cut the pillar in half. The chunk containing Miles fell at half the speed and merely cracked apart on the ground.

Short Round flipped out as Psycho landed a few steps in front of her. “I thought we said we’d take him together?”

“Whatever.” Psycho brushed off without a care in the world. “I do what I want. I can’t be tamed!”

Miles broke out of the ice and brushed himself off.

“I am one hundred and ten percent d-d-d-done!”

Miles dashed for the two as they stood completely oblivious to the raging demon running straight for them.

Without a second thought, he grabbed both of their helmets and picked them up without so much as a struggle, causing Psycho to once again drop her Kusanagi.

He blitz across the yard with the two in tow. With the wall in reach, he stomped his front foot down and he slammed them, back first, into the bricks. With no wind or consciousness, they slumped down and sat lifeless next to Sparky’s sleeping shell.

“Three down, two to go.”As Miles spoke, he felt the hairs on the back on his neck stand up. He smirked sadistically without making a move. “Pathetic.”

He stepped out of the way as a single bolt of lightning flew by him and struck the wall, digging a ball size crater into it.

Miles turned around and stared her down with a malicious glare. “An attack that moves faster than the speed of sound and you still managed to miss me? You don’t deserve to even be a Hunter.”

She dashed toward him, her sabre encased with a thin line of electricity, with the intent of finishing it. He stood still as she pulled the blade back and readied it to strike.

In the blink of an eye, he got into stance and threw a grip straight into her neck. The attack lifted her off her feet as he raised her, his hand wrapped around her throat.

She hung there seemingly lifeless, a few feet off the ground, as Miles slowly tightened his grip. He could hear as her breathing slowly became shallow. He felt her heartbeat as it beat harder, yet slower with each beat. He stopped for a brief moment. A few moments later, he raised her body up and quickly shoved her back into the ground.

“Now stay down, or I’ll drop you six feet lower.”

Lance jerked forward, ready to move in and finish it himself His heart beating a mile a minute and as hard as one of Miles’ haymakers. But just as he stepped forward, he could hear her cough and watched as she rolled onto her side.

Miles walked forward, grabbed the Kusanagi, and stood still, the menacing stare still in his eyes. Glaring straight into the last soldier standing, he examined her stance, her grip, and her overall presence.

Hmm . . . this one is different from the others. Miles pondered. “Well ‘Unknown’,” He taunted. “Looks like I saved the best for last.”

The soldier stayed silent as Miles continued taunting her.

“Just one of you left? Well allow me to welcome you to the end of your miserable life . . . and I can assure you that you are going to suffer. I’m sure you’ve heard of me, right? Miles ‘The Fallen Dragon’ Pyro? Do you honestly believe you can even hope to go toe to toe with—“

Before Miles could finish, the girl flicked her wrist and activated the white, diamond cut stone in the bell guard of her Sabre. The stone flashed a bright white light that engulfed the entirety of field. Miles shielded his eyes, but the light still stunned his vision briefly, through which he struggled to see where his opponent was.

He was able to regain his vision, but when he looked to where the soldier stood, she was no longer there.

“What the . . . ?”

A quick pulse of cold shot through Miles’ neck as he felt sharp metal against his throat, the soldier standing to his left. He could only chuckle at the strategic advantage she gained in the blink of an eye.

“Tricky fish.” He spoke amused, but sternly. “I guess that’s what I deserve for monologuing.”

The soldier snickered under her breath, removed the blade, and stepped directly behind him. She activated her stone once again and lined the cutting edge of her blade with a snow white light.

Miles turned around, activated the green D.I.E.S., and readied himself in his battle stance. The two stood ready for what felt like an eternity as they waited for even the slightest opening to strike. Lance smirked as he watched the intensity grow between the two. The tension was so thick; a sword would be needed to cut through it.

“Now this will be entertaining.” Lance chuckled to himself. “Miles seems even more focused. . . I wonder if he’s figured it out.”

The soldier stepped back and lowered her weapon. She raised her empty hand up and motioned Miles to come at her.

The motion pushed Miles over the edge. He slammed his heel into the ground, dashed away, and he immediately swung the blade, firing off three small, razor sharp waves of air aimed to hack her in threes.

The soldier literally danced gracefully around the first two waves. But just as the third came within her reach, the light lining the blade was extended out, molded and filled in to match the shape of the blade, and sharpened to the touch. She sidestepped the wave while simultaneously guiding the air wave around with her weapon and redirected it back toward Miles even adding a spiral to the attack.

Miles pivoted and leaned away from the strike, but the wind barely caught edge of his black hair and clipped a few strands off. He stood upright as she moved in and swung at him.

He instantaneously parried the strike and riposted, but she parried, sidestepped, and countered. The two danced in a circle as one would gain the advantage and move to strike, and the other quickly countered and struck back with no end.

He slammed her blade away and swung down, but she quickly sidestepped, spun and dragged her blade through the dirt and up for his chest. He blocked the blade and sparks began flying as the two pushed for the advantage, but their strength was equal and neither would give up. Miles roared out and literally shoved her, forcing back onto her heels.

“When are you gonna call it a day!?” Miles yelled out as he swung vertically upward.

She flipped back away just as the tip of his blade barely touched her armor. She quickly landed and thrust her sword forward, firing off a bright shot of white energy aimed for Miles.

He quickly swung his blade against the shot and deflected it. He ran full speed and slid for her feet, but she gracefully vaulted over him.

He thrust his blade up mid-slide and created a mild gust of wind. The gust quickly stopped and launched the soldier into the air.

He casually stood to his feet and rested the Kusanagi over his shoulder. He started to whistle a tune, snapped his fingers, and casually stepped out of the way and waited. He glanced at his bare wrist and mouthed to himself.

“Three, two, one. . .”

Suddenly the soldier slammed face first onto the ground and laid there motionless.

“I had so much hope for you.” He sighed with disappointment as he slowly stepped forward to her. “It’s ok though, I know you rookies need your rest.” He knelt down and patted the shoulder guard with a patronizing smile. “Maybe next year.”

As he stood to his feet, he was caught off guard when the soldier quickly lifted herself from the ground and quickly rotated her body, twisting and pivoting in a spiral up and, in one graceful motion, landed a spin heel strike to his jaw line. Despite the blow being strong enough to take even Lance off his feet, Miles stood completely still, his faced turned away from the soldier whom waited for his next move.

“A sneak attack . . . well done rookie.” Miles scolded sarcastically. “All right, school is in session. Time for your final lesson.”

Miles dropped the Kusanagi and simultaneously entered into a horse stance and threw a quick, but strong punch straight for the soldier. However, his fist phased right through an illusion. The mirage smirked and quickly faded away, revealing the soldier as she threw a superman punch straight into Miles torso. The hit pushed Miles back and threw him off his guard.

She quickly capitalized on it by sheathing her sword, and attempted to land a staggering jab into his nose, but he caught the fist mid-air. He quickly countered and connected a dizzying haymaker straight into her helmet, but the impact had no effect.

The two began a hand to hand fight as if two martial art masters were at war with each other. Fists and legs were flying, armor was clanging and denting, and battle cries of two passionate fighters were the only sounds that could be heard for what felt like an eternity.

The two stepped forward and, in perfect unity, threw ferocious haymakers. Both attacks connected and sent a mini shock wave throughout the field, rustling the grass around them. As startling and as powerful as the strikes were, the two merely stood there, each fist still pressed against their target’s cheek and dented helmet.

The two stood silently for a brief moment, until a chuckle broke through the silence. Miles closed his eyes and breathed in deep as she quickly moved in for a quick hook, but he caught her by the wrist. He opened his eyes to show that the red shards were glowing against his silver iris.

“Time to put you to sleep.” He spoke with such a demonic grin. “6 feet deep . . . lets hit the depth.”

In a flash, she found herself being barraged in a machine gun volley of punches, jabs, uppercuts, body shots, and haymakers. Her armor began rattling and received so many dents that it was rendered ineffective entirely, and there was no sign of him stopping.

His speed was almost as fast as Sparky’s, but the sheer brutality he attacked with was a sight to behold . . . and factor to cause for worry. Beads of sweat began rolling down Lance’s face who could only stand by and watch. Worry and fear slowly began to seep into his heart.

This is just like that mission three years ago. But why . . . why is it re-surfacing again?

A heart-stopping uppercut landed dead into the soldier’s stomach armor, now nothing more than a crumpled plate of soft iron. She stepped back and slumped over as she coughed, attempting to get her breath back.

Miles spun forward in a full circle, lowering himself to the ground only to explode upward with a final uppercut landing dead center of the soldier’s chin, throwing her up and back away from him.

Her body arced through the air as he landed on one knee. With a loud thud, the shell of her body slammed back onto the ground and skidded shortly through the grassy terrain.

He looked at her body, seeing if there were any signs of consciousness left in her mind. A few seconds passed and the only movement was her shallow, yet rhythmic breathing.

He turned to face Lance whom stood ready to fight, but Miles could see a hint of fear in his eyes. The thought of his father being in fear of him made something inside his heart grow out of control with excitement.

“What’s wrong old man?” He scolded Lance coldly. “Are you not entertained?” Just as he went to step forward, a voice called out from behind him.

“Hey hot head!”

He turned around and was met with a hooked uppercut that knocked him onto his heels. He attempted to counter, but she merely bobbed around his attacks and countered them with her own, keeping him off balance and unable to land a single strike.

He lowered his shoulder and dashed with a tackle attack, but she sidestepped out of the way. Using her momentum, she spun and kicked him in the back of his knee, dropping him to one knee. Without missing a beat, she hopped and landed a spin roundhouse kick directly to the side of his head, laying him out onto the ground.

She quickly hopped on top of his backside, holding her sword to the back of his neck.

“Roll over . . . slowly.”

He complied and slowly rolled over, as she adjusted to his movements, but continued to keep the sword to his neck. He rolled onto his back and glared up into her helmet.

“I thought I knocked you out. . .” He asked, angered, completely baffled, and out of breath.

“It’s called acting, my sweet Miles.” She teased sarcastically, but playfully. “You never even came close to ‘knocking me out’. Although I love that adorable spirit of ‘no quit’ you have.”

“I will put a black mark on that perfect record of yours one day, Amora.” He smiled from excitement, a hint of snarl in his tone.

“I look forward to that day, my sweet lizard.” Amora playfully taunted as she removed her helmet, revealing a brown-haired woman that, though her cheek bruised and the side of her lips slightly bleeding, held an unfathomable beauty. She leaned down and gently kissed him on the cheek. “oh by the way? Happy birthday, sweetheart.”

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