Black-Heart: Fighting Back

What’s happening here? thought Aaron. It was sudden and unusual turn of events. The art of sword fighting was an old tradition that few practiced. So it was rather uncommon to see a swordsman in a universe where the primary choice of weapon was a gun. It was more uncommon for someone like that to catch him off-guard. Yet, he had…

Out of the corner of his eye, Aaron saw the other man, the veteran who he’d been heading toward just moments earlier, emerge from the retreating crowd, rifle raised. Then he noticed the small revolver on the man’s hip. It looked of similar size as his own pistol.

Aaron leaned to the side, flexing his leg muscles. Inside his head, he focused his mind trying to stop himself, trying to regain control.  He assaulted the cursed presence that controlled his movements trying to overpower it as it had him.  Suddenly he had feeling in his legs and he tried to slow himself as he turned and flew forward at the man. In the instant he moved, the swordsman did too, racing forward to close the distance between them.

I am your opponent!” he shouted.

His sword came up and Aaron shifted his weight, dodging back away from the blade.  He wasn’t fast enough though and the swordsman struck out at him.  Aaron used the pistol as best he could to block the strikes that came at him.  The clash of metal was loud as each hit struck and Aaron deflected it with the pistol as best he could.

He was surprised by the swordsman’s speed and power.  Each strike drove him a step back further and further, forcing him to retreat.

Aaron could feel himself weakening.  His body couldn’t take this kind of punishment.  He hadn’t moved with this kind of speed or force in a long while and it was starting to take it’s toll.

He tensed his muscles leapt backward as fast as he could, dodging to the side, he ducked under a wide slash and came around behind the swordsman.

“STOP!” shouted the swordsman, whirling around.  He was too slow to react though, as Aaron made a break for the veteran.

The older man had been following their movements and had lined up his shot.  He tracked Aaron as best he could.  His finger tightened on the trigger, but it was too late.

Aaron struck the man, the rifle let out a loud crack and shot went high, as he fell back.  The rifle clattered away as he lost his grip on it.  His body hit the ground with a loud thump.  Aaron stood over him.

He tossed the veteran’s revolver away, and flipped open his own.  The small click of each round sliding perfectly into the cylinder of the heavy, black pistol rang loud in his own ears.  To Aaron, the rest of the world had gone silent.

The last round slid into the chamber and he flipped the barrel and the cylinder back into place.  Six rounds out of seven.

He felt himself take aim.  The old veteran stared up at the barrel of the pistol pointing between his eyes.

Mentally Aaron closed his own eyes, focusing his mind on controlling his body.  He ignored the presence of the pistol in his hand.  This was his body to control, his alone.  Focusing all his strength, he tried to move his hand.

“Move!” he shouted at himself.

Aaron felt his finger tighten on the trigger.  The loud crack of the weapon was deafening to him.

Not letting up, Aaron focused on what had happened.  The veteran stared up at him.  Shock in his eyes.  The round had penetrated the solid rock of the thoroughfare next to his head, missing it’s mark completely.

Aaron let out a mental sigh of relief, turning his attention to keeping himself from moving.  He hadn’t gained control yet, but he was able to feel his own actions again.  The presence fought him though.

“Demon!  Kill him now!” it whispered to him, trying to coax him into releasing his focus.

It wasn’t going to happen though.  He’d had enough.  No longer was he just going to focus on trying to suppress the presence of the weapon.  He was going to fight back.

“Never!”

Aaron make one last push with his willpower to move his foot, to step back from the veteran.  He was surprised to feel it work.

He took a staggering step back and then suddenly a wave of fatigue hit him.  His body had reached it’s limit.  He took another step back, raising his hand to try and catch his balance.  The world started to spin and he felt himself falling.  Darkness closed in on him and he blacked out before he hit the ground.

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