Saturday, August 23, 2008

Elysium Nebula: A brief anecdote.

If he hadn't noticed the cut power lines from the other side of the engine room, Keller would probably have strolled right into the assassin's blade. As is, the human mechanic had stopped in the doorway and thus had an instant for several thoughts to cross his mind as the black-clad figure stepped out from behind the generator and moved to close the distance between them.

The first thought caused feelings of frustration. After the last mysterious sabotage attempt, he'd spent a full day customizing and augmenting the ship's security systems, and assured his crewmates that no one would be able to hack this vessel like they had before. But he hadn't accounted for someone hacking the systems in a more literal fashion.

The second thought was more practical, and led to a surge of fear. Keller was no anthropologist, but his trading days had given him enough experience with elven culture to identify the oncoming figure's robes as the traditional garb of an adept. Which meant this mysterious enemy his group faced was in all likelihood a very dangerous one- and more to the point, so was the individual charging at him now. No one was more dangerous at close range than one of those martial mystics.

The third thought ran through his mind almost casually: Keller wondered if the attacker knew that he wasn't the only one in the have studied the eldritch arts.

As the figure rushed towards him, the human turned and bolted towards the toolkit he'd left open on the shelf yesterday, chanting under his breath. After all the hours spent juggling metal spheres without letting them touch his hands, it took only a moment for him to tap into the waiting current of power and send the arc welder hurtling across the room into his outstretched hand. He spun around and dropped into a crouch as the blade slashed through the air where his neck had been, thumbing the activation on the welder as he brought it down against the floor.

Even with his free arm held over his tightly shut eyes, the light given off by the welder as it scored along the metal floor was enough to blind him for several moments. But as his vision cleared, Keller was treated to the sight of his assailant staggering back and clutching at his face. And that's why you always wear a welding mask, kids. Never one to waste an opportunity, Keller lunged forwards.

The elf sliced the arc welder in half with a one-armed swing of his sword, eyes still closed. There were times when Keller really hated magic.

The tech backpedaled as the assassin stabbed at him, but by going for the welder he'd trapped himself in a dead end. Desperately he began to intone the ritual chants once more, this time focusing on the blade in the attacker's hands- as stupid a gamble as he'd ever had to make. His opponent probably had a lifetime of experience with using and countering tactics like these; an attempt to disarm him with telekenesis was doomed to fail.

Keller inhaled and made a forceful gesture, tugging the blade to the left. The adept reacted by tightening his grip on the sword, maintaining his hold even as Keller dropped the feint and pulled the blade in the opposite direction with all his strength. And because of this the elf was still in full contact with the blade as its tip plunged into the adjacent generator.

The human watched in amazement as his assailant was thrown bodily against the wall, the sword still wedged into the sparking generator. The smell of ozone and burned flesh rose in the air as the elf slumped over. Keller breathed a sigh of relief as he rose. "Well, I guess that tells us a little more about- OH, COME ON." The assassin was staggering to his feet. Keller took the sight in for a moment, then decided to retreat while he had the chance. Let's let the people on the crew with *guns* handle this.

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