[USS Vanguard] After 'After the windmill...'

  • From: Kieran Darkwater <kierandarkwater@xxxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: ncv80221@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • Date: Fri, 24 Oct 2003 12:35:20 +0100 (BST)

Galinia 4
<Time - After 'after the windmill'>
?So what do you suggest?? Cynan asked, without turning, surveying the landscape 
for signs of the assault.

?We rush the gates, I guess. They?re not outside the field, the security 
perimeter of the transport site would have picked them up.? Kieran suggested, 
hoping the Security Officers in sight there had done their work.


?Fair enough, do you want to take point or should I??


?Point? I figure one left, one right and take our chances.?


?I?ll take left, then ? let?s me swing outward.? He gestured with the blade, 
and Kieran nodded, turning back to the cluster of refugees behind him, a few of 
whom had appropriated weapons from the fallen figures in the hideaway.


?When we start, keep running for the transporters. Don?t stop and get 
sidetracked into a fight ? they?ll try to draw you off and isolate you, but 
your strength lies in staying together.? A few frightened nods were all the 
response he got ? or expected, and he turned back, ready to head off.


Cynan lifted a hand in a silent count ? three fingers, two, one ? and then they 
were off, bounding across the rubble and debris with the demoralised contingent 
of homeless behind them. In the centre of the broad expanse he stopped, seeing 
from the corner of his eye that Cynan was doing the same. The refugees, 
sticking to their instincts and instructions, ran for the safety afforded by 
the Security detail within the transport site, and for a few seconds he thought 
they might actually get away with it.


Then the first arrow drove into the dirt at his feet, and he had to duck as 
another one passed close overhead. Two figures appeared above the rubble ahead 
of him, bows raised, and began to sight again, as a few of the refugees turned 
towards them, raising swords and makeshift clubs.


?It?s a diversion!? Kieran shouted at them, hustling them along as he cut 
through the line. Cynan was steps ahead of him, already advancing towards the 
largest pile of rubble as a dozen figures emerged from behind it, charging 
towards the line. Cynan spun, the sword-levelled at shoulder-height, scything 
into the charge, but even with his superior fitness and skill the dozen or more 
attackers were spreading out too far for him to get to all of them.


Skidding to a halt, raising his hand ready for his defence, Kieran stumbled as 
a stray arrow buried itself in the back of his thigh, and the first of the 
figures approached with a savage glee on its face. Twisting the arrow, thankful 
that the heads were smooth-bored and not barbed, he jerked it free, spun it in 
his fingers and lunged forward, burying it in the stomach of the axe-wielder 


The adrenaline in his system was sending his pulse racing, and the hole in his 
leg was rapidly lowering his blood-pressure, causing spots to appear before his 
eyes as he struggled to rise to meet the next attacker. His fingers closed 
around the hilt of the sword that had been swung at him, digging the point into 
the floor to support him as he stood.


His weight rolled onto the good leg as the blade rose, turning outward to ease 
the lunge past his ear and then rolling around the parry to stab downward into 
the shoulder. A hastily raised defence caught the next blade as it swung 
towards his face, and a half-folded fist lashed out in a Tiger-punch into the 
offender?s larynx, cracking it with an audible snap.


Blood-loss took its toll, though, and he looked up in time to see the last 
blade lashing down towards the crown of his head before his face was sprayed 
with blood and he fell back, unconscious.


Cynan pulled the blade free of the corpse, breathing heavily before rolling it 
off the prone figure of Kieran, checking to be sure he wasn?t badly injured. He 
looked pale and the wound in his leg was bleeding heavily, but he?d make it?


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