I was panting hard, fog covered the inside of my visor. That was a bad sign, something must have messed up the mechanism that usually kept it clear.
That, and the fact that the usual flames around her blade were gone, nearly made me miss her strike for my neck. Miss blade girl knew her art.
I put all that I had left into my dive to the left, and it wasn't quite enough. My upper torso was save, but might right arm hurt as hell. I tried to grab a stim from my belt, but I couldn't feel my fingertips, and my vision -- oh, I've told you about that one already, haven't I?
After feeling like the big shot fighter for some time, I had to swallow my pride and admit defeat.
Now, how to get out of here alive? Waking up in my only clone 12 light years away was unacceptable.
I rolled around, dragged myself to my feet, and turned the dial on my Machete's shock setting up to eleven. This would likely drain the battery completely, I had been actively ignoring the LOWER POWER WARNING for way too long.
Blade girl had an evil grin on her face when she approached me; she knew she had won. I closed my eyes as I parried her stroke; the contact between our blades triggered the huge flash from my trusty Machete.
It did not harm her, but she would be seeing afterimages for maybe 20 units or so. For a fraction of a second I considered attacking her again, now that she was disoriented, but the dead status light on the hilt of my weapon convinced me to make a run for it, as I had planned.
I sprinted some twenty meters, and then dove behind a pile of rubble. And stayed very still, hoping my blinding maneuver had worked.
»Playing hide and seek, are we? I thought you were looking for a fight?«
Her voice came taunting, but I could hear she was out of breath as well.
»If it saves me from the cloning vat, all day long«, I only thought. Didn't want to give my position away. I'm a sucker for strong women, but this one didn't want to play. At least not just play. And believe it or not, I'm not that stupid.
I knew I couldn't hide for long, but then it didn't have to, just long enough for...
There was movement, barely noticeable in the corner of my eye, and I started sprinting again. She raised her gun, but before it was pointed at me, I heard a noise, phiu, phiu, phiu.
The sound of a rifle with a silencer, rapidly repeated. I know that sound very well, and the weapon that makes that characteristic sound. I had never been happier to see that the man whom the weapon was named after join the battle, thoroughly distracting and then destroying blade girl.
It was good to get away with my clone intact, but even better knowing that my friends have my back when I meet my match on the battle field.