Saturday, 26 May 2007

Chapter 60: One On One

Captain Stein took a deep breath and gripped his silver-plated sword with both hands. He completely focused his mind and body on the next few seconds. He blocked out his peripheral vision and stared directly at Roxy. No other vampires would dare attack him while he was fighting with their leader. She didn’t tolerate interference and wouldn’t hesitate to cut down her brothers and sisters if they got in the way of a fair fight.

With swords raised, Roxy and Captain Stein took a small step towards each other. They looked into each other’s eyes for a few seconds, then Roxy swung her sword at Stein’s body. He parried the blow but didn’t have time to swing at her before she came at him again.

It was like sparring practice with Private Brown again, only this time Captain Stein was on the back foot. He had fought vampires enough times to know he shouldn’t underestimate their strength. Female vampires were notoriously brutal but he was still surprised how much he was struggling. She was putting incredible power behind her blows. Stein was doing all he could just to get his sword between himself and Roxy’s.

Just when Stein thought he was done for, he got a chance. Roxy swung her sword and he blocked the blow with more force than he’d been able to muster until now. The sword flew out of her hands and clattered down the steps.

He had his opening. A flash of shock swept across Roxy’s face as Stein swung his sword at her with all his might. She just managed to dive out of the way and Stein’s blade narrowly missed her torso. She hit the ground and rolled away from the steps, then jumped to her feet and drew her silver sword in time to block Stein’s second attack.

Stein had failed to capitalise on the opening and Roxy was on top again, now fighting with more force and edging him backwards, towards the steps. One blow was too hard for him and he lost his footing. He landed on the steps on his side and painfully rolled down to the bottom, his head and joints banging into the edges of the steps.

He shook off the pain in his head and looked around him. Roxy’s steel sword was just within reach. Still with his silver sword in his right hand, he picked it up in his left and spun round in time to use it to block Roxy’s attack. As she moved forward again, he saw another opening and knew he had to take it. Her legs were exposed so he swung his silver sword with his right hand, slicing them open above the ankles.

Roxy fell backwards onto the steps and looked down at her legs. Ash was already pouring from the wounds. She turned over onto her front and quickly crawled up the steps towards the piles of ash and weapons where the vampires had attacked Captain Stein, looking for a steel sword. Even as her body was dissolving, she was cool and focused under pressure.

She found what she was looking for next to a decapitated soldier’s body and grabbed it with both hands. She turned over and raised just it in time to parry a blow from Captain Stein. Before Stein could swing at her again, she leapt into the air and quickly used the sword to chop what was left of her legs off above the spreading wounds.

Stein drew his gun and fired shots at Roxy, but failed to hit her as she flew into the darkness above him. He resigned himself to having missed his opportunity to take out a senior vampire but was happy to have made it through the fight alive. He quickly looked around to assess the immediate danger to him and his men.

He saw one of the wooden towers topple over. The soldiers in the remaining two were unloading their rifles on the vampires crawling up towards them. So much for the ultraviolet lamps: they didn’t appear to be doing anything to keep the vampires away from the soldiers in the towers. They had no chance of survival. All they could do was try to send as many of these devils back to hell as they could.

The soldiers in the field were all dead and a large crowd of vampires was advancing on Hartley House. The troops in the remaining helicopter were fending off a swarm of vampires as it made its way towards the house, but their ammunition would only last so long. The helicopter would reach the house in a matter of seconds.

‘Alpha Two, this is Captain Stein. Head for the roof,’ he shouted into his radio, ‘we’ll be there in sixty seconds.’

He looked around for the doctor and the detective.

Where the hell are they?

Rebirth is available from the following online retailers:

Amazon UK - £7.99
Amazon US - $16.95
Barnes and Noble - $15.25

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