Brook came out of a twirl with a knife in her hand. A moment later the knife was sailing right past the shirt guy’s ear and towards Wu’s arm.
Wu’s eyes caught the flash of movement just in time and he ducked down.
The androids raised their assault rifles. Wu turned and fired a spear shot into the torso of the nearest of them. Then in the next instant Brook’s booted foot rammed into his back.
Sheriff Rose shoved Penny hard from the side. “Look out.”
Penny went with the roll, her own camouflage unravelling as she went over it. A moment later the space she’d just been lying in was torn up by automatic gunfire.
Penny rolled onto her back and looked down the creek, another pair of androids were walking
up the space towards them. They opened fire again.
Penny pulled herself up off the canyon floor and got behind the nearest piece of rock cover. Across the gap from her Sheriff Rose had done the same.
Back under the ship Brook leapt at Wu with a machete she’d pulled from the sheath on her hip. Wu ducked aside, pulling the loop of rope off him as he did so. When Brook spun around to face him again Wu swung with the grapnel, forcing her to retreat out of the line’s reach.
Wu maintained the momentum, switching from a radial spin to a figure-8 in front of him. Brook jumped back again and Wu kept pace with her by pulling in the grapnel and shooting it out at her like a harpoon. Brook side-stepped the thrust and rushed in.
Desperately Wu recoiled the line, the hook-ends missing Brook’s face on their return by inches. Brook ignored the grapnel and got in close to thrust with her machete.
Wu dodged aside and she swung at his neck. Wu brought the grapnel up to block, only for Brook to turn her wrist around and come at his neck from the other side. By instinct Wu raised the loop of rope and Brook’s machete found its way into the hole in the middle. Wu yanked back with the loop, trying to pull the weapon from her hand, but the razor-sharp blade sliced clean through the rope like yesterday’s rice noodles.
Wu threw the handful of strands at her, hoping to buy some time, but Brook rushed through the severed rope and brought her blade down towards his head. Quickly Wu brought the grapnel up to block and as soon as he heard the metal clash he violently pulled the grapnel to the side, its hooks catching the back of the machete and snatching it clean from her grip.
Wu’s heart sang in triumph as the blade bounced across the stone floor, but Brook had already closed the distance with him and brought her knee into his ribs.
Wu swung back with the grapnel, trying to catch the side of her head, but Brook ducked under the swung and shot her hands out at him. Wu brought his other arm up and body-blocked her strikes, turning macros intended to paralyse his whole body into useless commands on his arm. He swung out with the grapnel again, but Brook was ready for him, catching his arm at the beginning of the strike Brook formed her fingers into spear-hands and struck out at the elbow, wrist and tricep of the arm holding the grapnel.
The macros completed their command, causing Wu’s nanomachines to make his arm go limp.
Wu brought his foot up and side-kicked Brook off him before the grapnel had even reached the ground. Brook rode the hit, cartwheeling away from him on the energy he’d given her.
Wu put his foot under the grapnel and kicked it up into the air as Brook rushed at him again.
As she closed Wu tried to split his attention between trying to catch the airborne grapnel and keep an eye on the silent woman closing in on him. In slow motion Wu reached out for the shaft of the grapnel…
In the next instant Brook was on him. Wu tried to force her back with a front-kick, but she parried it aside easily and came at him from his paralysed side. Wu spun the other way and swung his limp arm at her like a flail but Brook saw where his arm was going from the start and ducked under it easily.
Her spear-hands thumped into his arm in rapid-succession and with growing horror Wu felt his other arm go limp.
Penny waved a hand over her head and shouted “Cover me.”
Sheriff Rose stuck her gun above the rock and began squeezing off random shots. Penny waited until she saw the return fire speckle the top of the Sheriff’s rock before she popped up.
In the excitement Penny hit the trigger too early and her first spear shot cut into the first android’s left arm. As it turned its attention back to Penny she forced herself to hold a breath and hit the trigger again, this time the spear shot cut right through the droid’s centre-mass and hit the cpu inside. Penny dropped down and turned to look back into the canyon as the Sheriff popped up to take out the second droid.
Penny looked over her shoulder at the ship and saw a paralysed Wu being carried inside by one of the droids, followed by an Elena being carried in her partner’s arms. Elena was already showing the first signs of recovering from Wu’s nanohack attack.
Brook looked out at where the gunfire was still coming from and locked eyes with Penny. Barely a flicker of recognition flashed across her face and then she was sprinting up the loading ramp.
Before she was even halfway up the ship was already firing its engines and lifting off the ground.
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