2.4: Holes

Shuri’s biggest takeaway from the Drijadi Hills training was how to use kinetic force to control the weight of his WEBs (wind energy blades). The faster and more intensely he adjusts the rotary motion, the lighter and sharper his WEBs become. To avoid early morpu drought, Shuri doesn’t lighten the WEBs until right before attacking. His ability is still fledgling, unable to detach the WEBs from his hands so as to use his twin swords simultaneously. With the additional power of whirlwinds that his WEBs can summon, he opts to leave the twins in bed.

     The first person he sees cornered is Roy. He can tell from the shaking of his arms from the shoulders down that the weight of his hand claws is getting to him. Shuri judges he won’t reach his classmate in time, so he swings both WEBs straight up. The gusts they generate blow away half the Pure agents targeting Roy, who himself defeats the other half with his bizarre martial arts moves.

     “Hey, where are Aven and Pan?” Shuri asks after putting his back to Roy’s, observing the battle royale. “I can’t imagine they’d miss this.”

     “They’re not,” Roy answers. He removes his hand claws, latching them onto a hook on his belt. As he rotates his shoulders, he explains, “They’re off fighting elsewhere. Pan is the security tower and Aven’s protecting Ne–” Roy thinks of not mentioning that critical detail a second too late.

     Shuri’s WEBs waver as he turns. “What? Protecting my grandfather? Why? Where is he?”

     “I don’t know. Only Aven did. He went alone.”

     A flood of emotions lock down Shuri’s legs, the most potent being fear. He knows his grandfather wouldn’t sit idly by during all of this and the only thing to keep him from doing just that is if he’s unable. Shuri regains the ability to move again by reasoning that his grandfather is alive since Aven went to protect him and you don’t protect the dead.

     Shuri shuts his eyes and exhales slowly. The air currents that traverse the battle royale carry sounds to his ears. The taunts and cries of help are things Neth would fight to put an end to.

     “Cwen, I’m coming!”

     “Somebody get this freak off me!”

     “Wallace, stop!”

     A pained scream.

     Shuri opens his eyes, his heart more in sync with his grandfather’s than it’s ever been.

     Stay alive, grandfather! I’m coming for you as soon as I save our home!

     Shuri races forward as his WEBs form hilts. He grips them without skipping a beat, moving to assist everyone he heard cry out or being attacked.

     He kicks the woman standing over Wallace and Sutar wielding a bloody butterfly knife. He slices her fingers off, making it impossible to use the knife from now on. He orders Roy to cover them as he assists Koren next. He jumps over the circle of Pure agents surrounding the cat-boy.

     “I need to know, can you support 140 pounds?”

     “Yeah…why- oh, okay, we’re doing this!” Koren exclaims, keeping his balance even as Shuri hops onto his shoulders.

     “Now, spin as fast as you can!”

     “Hold on tight!”

     To Shuri’s surprise, Koren’s rotation is faster than he hoped. Together they help Shuri’s WEBs generate enough force to blow away the ambush group. Some land hard and stay down while others touch down only somewhat hazardously and rise again.

     “Okay, that was cool,” Koren says.

     “Stay focused!” Shuri shouts, backflipping off the cat-boy’s shoulders and racing off once more. He reaches Cwen and Marsh at the same time as Lauron. He blows away the Pure agents piled on top of Marsh as Lauron smacks her plain-looking scabbard into the face of the agent restraining Cwen with a chokehold.

     “Nice entrance.” Lauron looks down. “Nice swords.”

     “Shuri, are you okay?” Cwen asks.

     “I don’t think any of us are right now,” Lauron snaps, though she looks at the injured professor softly.

     “But we will be!” Shuri declares. He takes a closer look at Cwen, Lauron, and the others. Lauron’s body is a canvas painted with bruises. Koren’s already surrounded again. Roy’s muscles are on the verge of collapse. Wallace is in tears, clutching a gash in his arm.

     Stay alive a little longer, grandfather!

     Shuri reenters the fray.


     Rum struggles to keep pace with Stark and Liamria, even with the latter injured as she is, and it eats at him. He’s committed to supporting Stark but finds himself running in place, the waves they produce from each strike difficult to surmount.

     This sucks! Stark’s fighting a brick wall and I can’t help without BOTB! And if I do, I run the risk of distracting Stark!

     A blow to Stark’s thigh forces her to the ground. Liamria clasps her hands together to strike down on her daughter’s skull.

     It’s now or never!

     Rum uses his lightning-call to direct his buster sword toward Liamria. The currents of azure lightning between his fingers chirp as they dance. His sword severs Liamria’s watery arms. When he sees the crazed anger in her eyes trained on him, he wonders how Stark could fight while seeing that from her mother.

     Stark rises and uppercuts Liamria and that half of her face splashes apart, leaving one crazed eye locked on Rum. She dashes at him, half her face missing, as her arms reconstitute. Her right arm spins and forms a liquid drill she fires at Rum. Her other liquid hand keeps Stark from intervening.

     It’s a good thing she doesn’t have three arms!

     Rum uses his lightning-call to beckon his buster sword back to him. The electricity from his palm surges into the glass disc. He holds his weapon laterally to shield himself. The drill crashes into his blade so hard that his teeth rattle on impact. He loses his footing as the drill pushes him through a series of puddles. The drill curves upward and knocks his sword from his grasp. He watches in terror as, lightning-call or not, the drill will reach him first once it loops back around.

     The reality of the disparity between him and Liamria comes at the grim consequence of his heart being pierced when his place is taken.

Tameri’s chest explodes after she pushes Rum aside.

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