Something’s brewing, y’all!
With a growing feeling of dread, Sugar smashed her forehead into the nose of the guard in front of her, breaking it, and rendering him unconscious. She released her grip, allowing his body to fall. He landed on the pile of defeated men and women that accumulated as she and her sister fought their way to Zo.
The first wave of armed guards arrived just after Sugar and Mae spotted Zo waving at them from the confines of what appeared to be a small cell. There were ten of them, all holding electroshock extendo-batons, carrying shields, and wearing riot gear. Mae ripped through all ten of the shields with her flaming staff effortlessly. Sugar, for her part, swung her fists and feet like a mad woman, cracking helmets and eye shields, leaving no doubt that hand to hand combat was to her advantage.
Right on the heels of the first wave came the second, larger, more specialized force. Sugar and Mae had only advanced an insignificant amount of yards deeper into the building before they were ambushed again. Mae, sensing movement to her right, wasted no time in transforming her staff into a sword and slashing at the moving shadow. That shadow turned out to be a small woman, dressed entirely in black and wielding what seemed to Sugar to be a double headed axe.
She landed hard on the guard, clutching her side. A red puddle formed beneath her and spread rapidly. There was a moment of stunned silence as everyone present watched the woman bleed onto the floor. Sugar and Mae shared a glance, and immediately turned and placed their backs against each.
“No time like the present,” Mae announced.
Sugar fought hard, though admittedly, she forced herself to hold back. Even though she knew that someone had to answer for the life of havoc that she and her sister lived, she did not believe in killing people who were just doing their jobs. Mae, on the other, fought as if she could return the lost years to her age, if she could only rid the world of those who robbed her.
Now, cocking her head to one side, Sugar listened for the patter of feet that would signal a fresh influx of reinforcements. Other than the sound of her own ragged breathing, and the grunts and hissing coming from the direction of Mae’s final battle, she heard nothing.
That was odd.
Forcing herself to breathe through her nose, she started to tally up the body count.
“Let’s see,” she murmured, “I’ve got 12, no, 13 injured and unconscious, while Mae has-” She glanced over at her sister’s arena and groaned. With a heavy sigh, she added, “And Mae has 15 dead.”
“Don’t say it like it’s a bad thing!” Mae shouted as she pulled a flaming dagger from the neck of a still twitching man. “At least I used my weapons. You strapped on all that stuff and haven’t bothered to take them out.”
Sugar’s hands flew to her stash of concealed weaponry, checking to make sure they were all accounted for. She huffed, half in relief that they were undisturbed, and half in anger at her sister for having to point them out.
“I haven’t needed them. Yet. I just think that we should avoid blind slaughter! And you still have no idea where she is, do you?”
“I know we’re getting closer.”
“Yeah? Well now what?”
“What do you mean?”
Sugar turned her body away from her twin and pointed at the corridor in front of her. “This thing branches out. Do we go left, or right?”
Mae considered the choices. “Which way did these jokers come from?”
“Right, I guess. Why?”
“Then that’s where we’ll go.”
“Fine.” Sugar sighed again. She started forward, and then stopped. “Mae?”
“Are you really okay to continue this?”
“I feel pretty good, actually. Stronger, but-”
Mae opened her mouth to answer, but instead of words, a stream of thin, orange-ish fluid erupted from between her lips. She fell forward, coughing and sputtering. Her glowing dagger lost its form and wound itself around her wrist. With both hands now freed, she pressed her right hand into her abdomen and clutched her throat with her left.
“MAE!” Sugar shouted, and moved to sprint to her twin’s side, but Mae shook her head vigorously.
“Stay. Away,” she rasped. Once more she vomited; her body shuddered as she expelled the last of whatever was left in her stomach. Breathing hard, she released her neck, and used the back of her hand to scrub her face, wiping away sweat and tears.
“Don’t suppose you’ve got water or a smoke hiding in that suit of yours, huh?”
“Goddess!” Sugar muttered. To the older woman, she said “You scared the crap out of me!” She raised a trembling hand and pressed it against her face, covering her eyes. The strange feeling she first felt when the fighting started was getting worse.
Something terrible was on the way.
Without uncovering her face, she deep breath and said, as casually as possible, “Oh, by the way, Mae, I’m been meaning to ask you something.”
“We’ve been together, pretty much non-stop, since we were born. We’ve been hunting together damn near 20 years. We lived in the same house until 5 years ago.”
“So tell me, when the hell did you have a kid?”