Virtually Perfect



  • She stood in the room, the sound of her heartbeat ringing in her ears. She cradled the sword perfectly in her left hand as it sat with its sheath. Her eyes darted between the four of them, gauging each of them.

    They were trying to circle her, yet she countered their movements as best as she could. To an onlooker it would seem like a choreographed dance routine or primitive mating ritual as they began to evaluate each other’s stance.


    Unconsciously her right hand drew the tempered steel blade from its resting place, the moonlight reflected in its battle-hardened glory and held it across her body. She reasoned that Axe-Head and Spear-Boy looked the most likely to rush her, while Closed-Fist and Sword-Girl would hang back and then try to take her while she was distracted by the others.


    The battle-scream came from the throat of Axe-Head as he charged. She gripped the sword, waiting for the last possible moment. The double headed axe was an unwieldy weapon, and required tremendous upper body strength to use effectively. It’s weight provided for truly devastating results – however it was countered by the fact it could never be described as a quick weapon.


    She crouched as the razor sharp blade fizzed above her head – in the blink of an eye she swept her right hand upward. Blood spray against her clothes as she registered movement in her peripheral vision. Her sweeping motion deflected the spear as it was jabbed into the space her head would have occupied. The butt was next, as Spear-Boy countered by twirling it round. However, she had seen this in her mind and smacked the sheath into his face.


    As he recoiled from the shock the sword was already being driven into his chest. It pierced flesh and tore through organs as his expression registered dismay at this turn of events. She stared into his eyes as life faded from them – and then she saw her. Sword-Girl had taken the initiative and was only moments away from delivering a fatal blow.


    Her reaction was instinctive, jumping up and pushing off from the now dead body of Spear-Boy and propelling herself over her attacker. As the sword withdrew from the fleshy carcass, she twisted her body in flight, using it to draw a neat, red line down the back of Sword-Girl’s clothing. They both hit the floor at the same time; only Sword-Girl was no longer a threat.


    She turned to see Closed-Fist standing there – a smug grin on his face. She was confused, she had expected him to launch into an attack as she landed on the floor. Then she saw it – small pistol. It spat leaden death at her. Even with all her training she knew she was delaying the inevitable. She twisted and dove, dodged and weaved as each shot drilled past her, occupying the space she had been in.


    She hit the floor and registered the pain in her left arm. She looked at it – the blood was flowing from the flesh wound – one of them must have nicked her. Her breathing was hard as she looked at him, slowly rising to her feet as their eyes locked.


    “One shot.” She said as she closed her eyes. “That’s all you get.”


    He complied, raising the pistol straight at her and pulling the trigger. The sword flashed before her eyes. The smell of cordite filled the air and she opened eyes.


    The bullet hole was a neat red spot in his head, right between his eyes. His face registered what had happened yet it seemed disbelieving as he slumped to the floor.


    The room filled with white light.


    ****


    She adjusted the headset as she wiggled on her chair, the alarm clock was chiming and she knew it was time to call it a day. The screen in front of her winked as her fingers hovered over the “off” switch.


    “Same time next week guys?” Her question was met with murmured agreements from four different continents. “Who knows, one of you may get lucky and actually beat me once.”


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