Dust: Chapter 07 Part 1

Chapter 7: Cutting Fingers

I went right back to trembling like a rabbit locked in a cage with a tiger.

Kiru casually slipped off her tiny jacket and tossed it at Crocman. Then she pretended to loosen up her neck, which is about as necessary for a cyborg as a regular haircut.

Then she made her move. Kiru didn’t leap or dash at us, she was simply standing before us one moment and gliding into our midst the next. Kiru waved her hand in my direction and a monowhip emerged from all four of her fingers.

Needless to say I got my head the hell out of the way. With the practised grace of a catwalk model Kiru pivoted without breaking stride and brushed her left hand my way just as the strings on her right finished retracting. When she completed her turn her left arm continued its arc and swept a handful of monofilament wires Tachi’s way just as he was about to take a cautious step towards her.

Tachi held his step until the strings passed him and rushed in, right into a side-kick to his midsection. The hit forced Tachi back and Kiru stepped into close range. Bringing her arms up around her face in a dirty-boxing guard Kiru easily parried Tachi’s return punch before backfisting him in the face, trapping the back of his ankle with her foot and hip-throwing him to the ground.

I dodged Tachi’s falling body as I closed on Kiru with my knife. Kiru turned and shot out her deadly finger whips at me, forcing me to swap my charge for a dive-roll under her attack. I flew past her, narrowly avoiding the strings on her other hand as I got up.

Tachi took advantage of the distraction and got his feet back under him. Kiru immediately ignored me and brought both her hands to bear against Tachi. Striking out with one and then the other like she was making figure eight patterns with a pair of paper fans. Tachi desperately dodged around them, but Kiru had the initiative, each wave forced Tachi down a particular direction and into the path of her next, shortening the margin by which she missed with each one.

Before she could take off one of Tachi’s limbs I readied my knife and dashed in close to stab her in the back. The second I stepped within range, Kiru took one hand away from Tachi and waved it at me without even looking my way. I abandoned the attack and stayed put. Wondering in all seriousness if Kiru had an extra set of cybereyes in the back of her head.

Kiru pivoted again, putting both me and Tachi on the one side of her and stepped back, allowing her fingers to fully retract back into her hands.

Kiru put her hands on her hips and smiled at me. But it wasn’t just any old smile. Kiru smiled like she was about to lick her lips and give me the ‘come hither’ eyes.

Tachi.” I said, hoping my next words would diffuse some of the tension. “Your sister’s kinda hot.”

Tachi sighed. “Those were your last words Dust. You chose poorly.”

Kiru took her next graceful step towards me and brushed out her hand, I jumped back as soon as I saw her move the leg more than an inch, but she was on me in the next second anyway.

I ducked under the swing, rolled away from the one after that and quickly pushed up into a hand-stand jump to avoid a third. Straightening up again in mid-air I ran out of room and a parked car interrupted my flight path. I had just enough time to realise what had happened and say “Ow” before the next wave sailed towards my face.

I pitched my body to the side and dropped into a breakfall, grateful for the elbow padding in my jacket. Kiru had thrown her second wave at where my head would have been had I simply ducked down and gone for another roll like I had done thus far.

As the second wave passed over me I tucked up my legs and rolled away then. I knew enough to change my tactics after Kiru had seen them enough times. What I didn’t know was what I was going to do the next time she forced me into that position.

Tachi followed after Kiru, moving quickly but cautiously, ready for the moment she turned her attention towards him. Once I’d rolled out of range she did exactly that. Forcing Tachi to step away.

As Tachi retreated I stepped in and Kiru had another wave coming at me immediately. I interrupted the strings’ path with my knife a second before they would have divided my head into four flesh and brain plates of equal width.

The strings coiled around my knife, the monofilament edges grinding together and holding before the wires completed their loop and sliced effortlessly into the back of the blade. Kiru retracted her fingers and the knife disintegrated in my hands, the useless metal shards sprinkling down onto the concrete at my feet.

Hopelessly I threw the handle at her as I tried to get away. Kiru’s follow-up wave caught the handle in mid-air and wrapped around it. I managed to take another step away before it too was sliced into a dozen pieces.

Kiru continued to dance her way towards me. I kept dodging, slowly but surely making my way towards the rear door we’d come in by. I knew it was useless. I may have had stamina to spare but it was only a matter of time before I zigged when I should have zagged and she’d shred me like a carrot over a salad. I knew the door was coming ever closer and I wanted to just turn and run for it, but Kiru would end me the moment she realised her toy didn’t want to play anymore.
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