One last duel once more

He slammed back into the bulkhead wall, hard enough to hear something crack. Celes crumpled to the floor, seemingly unconscious. Her mind floated in and out in a hazy fog. She found it hard to focus, blood caked the back of her head and ran down fresh and hot, soaking her collar and armour.



She tasted blood on her lip. Her teeth felt loose. Celes pupils narrowed. She begun hyperventilating.




KILLL!!! KILLL!!!!!!! KILLL!!!!

Something in Celes snapped. Something deep inside her roared, and quite simply lost all sense of reason. There was a blood curdling howl from something behind him. As if something, some animal had lost all sense of reasoning.

He turned and looked back, and the once confident Porhen killing machine had a look of fear in his eyes. Celes was virtually unrecogisable. She was hunched over, breathing hard. Her hair was tangled and mussed, but one eye was visible through her blonde locks. Her pupils were dilated, bloodshot, and crazed. Celes’ fingers were clenched until the knuckles were bone white and every muscle in her body was corded like steel cabling. She gave a banshee roar of fury, the bloodlust coursing through her veins.

The killing machine could only whisper one word. He had heard of such Loyalists before, but never seen one. Just one had been known to massacre entire platoons of conventional infantry. “Berserker…”

Max had never seen her in such a state before. It was an awesome and terrible sight to behold.

And that was all the respite he had. Celes gave a blood curdling howl and leaped at him, sword swinging away with unnatural strength, ferocity and speed. The man barely blocked a viciously swung swordblow before another came in, again, and again. Her teeth were bared in a rictus grin of berserk fury. Desperate, the man timed his parry and gave her a hard uppercut that would have stunned a bull. Celes took the impact, blood and teeth spewing out in a hail of gore. Not that it fazed her. She not only shrugged it off, it seemed to only make her madder and increase the ferocity of her attack. Her hammerblows, though innacurate were strong, fast and relentless. The man was an excellent swordsman, but no course prepared for one to deal with a berserker. They felt no pain. They did not tire. They did not die easily.

The man knew that in her berserker fury, even his enhanced strength was barely a match for her strength and speed. Pain meant nothing to one in such a state. He had to stop her. Prevent her from reaching him. Desperately, he fought for distance, giving some space so that he could use his blade while keeping her at bay. Like a dervish, she fought to get closer, both hands holding her reg blade and swinging away while attempting to savage him with her teeth. 

Using every last ounce of skill he had, he parried another mighty blow that cause her to temporarily open her guard. Then relying on every last ounce of nanotechnology enhanced strength he had, he gave a mule kick that slammed her into the bulkhead again. With a roar, the man threw his blade, point first right at her. It would have hit her head, if not for the fact that she got up instantly like a rolly-polly. Instead, the blade sink itself hilt first into her shoulder, and into the bulkhead. Warning sirens blared as onboard systems warned of possible decompression. She didn’t even feel a thing. Celes tried yanking the thing out but it was sunk too deep. She then tried to tear her way out, ignoring the possible damage to her, but the blade was sunk too deep. She had no leverage, even if she was willing to lose the arm. Her teeth gnashed as she tried to madly grab for her enemy.

“Fight someone your own size Asharouk”

The man snarled in recognition at the voice and turned. Kian walked into the room, his duster swishing.

They circled each other slowly. In the dim light of the ship, they both instantly recognised each other.

Both of the combatants grappled like vicious dogs. They both jabbed, punched and slammed each other with such ferocity that the air literally whooshed with the sound of their blows, blocks and counterblows before they both rolled back and away from each other and coming out, weapons drawn. Kian feinted out of his roll with his reg blade drawn in a low iai draw position. The other man seemed to make an almost puppetlike hop back before punching the air with his fists to reveal wrist mounted vibro blades.

“You!” the tall man said in a sibilant hiss as he circled Kian.


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