Day 18 & 19

Day 18 & 19

A Chapter by Esana Bridges

How good are you, really?


The current head of the Clan family watched the ceiling fall in on a full wall, HD, plasma TV and became quite amused as both Éclair and Tonnerre’s hair turned gray from dust. They both dropped to the floor, keeping their eyes shut to keep dust out. Only Danzin’s eyes were open, his irises sparkling lightly through all the grit and dust caused by the implosion of the ceiling.

Cute ferret. How does he do that? Matthias wondered vaguely. Once again, it occurred in the back of his mind that maybe Éclair was only as successful as she was because Danzin was always by her side. It was a thought that often came to the surface of his thoughts, but one that had usually been dismissed on the basis that Éclair was a human and Danzin was a simple animal.

Now though, he wanted to believe that Danzin was something more than just a good luck creature that Éclair carried around. He trusted completely in Éclair’s abilities, and Tonnerre would no doubt impress him as well, but a bit of magic on Danzin’s part might help the two of them complete a task that lay almost completely in the realm of magic.

Mathias watched intently as a troop of men dropped from the hole in the roof, guns in their hand, cocked and ready to blow some body parts off. It was unusual to test unarmed or barely armed fighters against gun-wielding mercenaries, but the opponents that Éclair and Tonnerre might face soon were far stronger than bullets.

In the backdrop came a deep laugh. Mathias ground his teeth. He hated the dramatics of Lynn James, a young woman fighter who was deeply jealous of Éclair and the success that she had had in the past few years. She’d challenged Éclair numerous times when she’d first appeared, but each time had been beaten in progressively less moves: first five, then three, then two, and finally it had only taken Éclair one move to dispose of her annoying aggressor. Her father was a director, so she’d spent most of her life before becoming a mercenary in a staged existence.

Still, she was useful in a situation where he wanted to test the abilities of his fighters. A little suggestive therapy and voila: she had conjured up a group of outside mercenaries to attack the two. Originally, Lynn’s grudge had been only upon Éclair, but a bit of tweaking in the therapy had changed it so she hated the slim newcomer as well.

Currently, she was standing on the roof, looking down at Éclair and Tonnerre, laughing her imitation of an evil villain laugh.

“You are not going to get out of this one, Éclair. It’s over for you, and the Head will finally see that I am the best fighter around here.”

Éclair blinked at the group of soldiers standing in front of her, guns just a few feet from her mostly unprotected heart. She squinted through the dust up at Lynn, who was still laughing manically. “Are these mercenaries? Paid soldiers?”

Lynn’s laugh increased in volume. “Why of course they are. Can’t you see even that?” She leaned down, her face twisting in hate. “Take a good look at them, because soon they’re going to be the very last things you see.”

“…You, a mercenary, hired mercenaries to attack us?” Éclair’s voice was splattered with disbelief and bemusement. “And you think that you’re a good fighter?”

“I am! It’s just that you came along and then -” Lynn broke off and reduced herself to glaring at Éclair, who was waiting very patiently for her to finish. “You were supposed to interrupt me!”

Éclair blinked. “Oh. Really?” She shrugged and then shook her head.

Next to her, Tonnerre was looking at the guns in distaste. “How ugly,” She murmured to herself.

One of the soldiers growled. “You’d better not be talking about us, kiddy.”

Ignoring the side conversation, Éclair called up to Lynn, “What kind of a fighter are you that you need to hire someone else to defeat us?” She looked at the soldiers, at their official uniforms and guns held very professionally, ready to fire at any moment, and shook her head. “You’re not worthy of being called a mercenary.”

Anger flashed in Lynn’s eyes. “How dare you say that! I have been a mercenary for twice as long as you have, and I am a far better mercenary. I’ve accomplished over a hundred jobs successfully and - and -” She flushed again. “You were supposed to interrupt me there, too!”

Again, Éclair blinked. “What? Oh. Really?” She waved the words and Lynn’s furious nod aside. “It doesn’t matter. You fail at being a mercenary.” She looked at the soldiers.

Be nice. Issue a warning first, Danzin ordered. He’d calmed down a great deal after realizing who their assaulter was, though there was still a slight tingling in the back of his mind that told him that something wasn’t right. Still, that could be dealt with after they’d taken care of the half a dozen or so guns pointed at Éclair’s chest and the equal number at Tonnerre. Also, tell Tonnerre. Coordinate your movements with her.

Sighing, Éclair folded her arms together and stared at the soldiers, who glared back at her. “Okay, here’s your warning. I’m going to knock you all out if you don’t drop your weapons in the next minute, and if you try to resist any further, I might break anything. There.” She glanced at the ferret still on her shoulder. “Was that good enough?”

Fine. Tell Tonnerre.

But that makes her sound like... Éclair made a face. Like she’s actually my partner. Under her breath she muttered, “I do not work with people.” To Tonnerre, she called halfheartedly, “Tonnerre, if they don’t drop their guns, knock them out, okay?”

From the other side of the wall of soldiers, who were starting to look pissed, came Tonnerre’s voice in its usual rather cheerful tone. “Okay, Ms. Éclair!”

Again with the ‘Ms.’ Should I say something? Éclair wondered. She shook her head and turned her attention back to the situation currently at hand. “Are you going to back off now?”

“Cocky b***h, aren’t you?” One of the soldiers spat. Éclair lifted her foot automatically, and the spit landed where her foot had been. The soldier glared, hazel eyes darkening in dislike. “You think that just cause the world thinks that you’re such a good fighter that you actually are one? Those stupid lights can fake anything, moron. This is the real world.”

A slightly muffled Tonnerre cried, “That’s ridiculous. Ms. Éclair is the most amazing fighter ever! She has never staged a fight! She doesn’t need to!”

Without turning - Looks like he is a professional, Danzin noted - the soldier spat, “You’re a stage fighter. Everything is staged.” He sneered. “You’re reputation’s probably all made up.”

A bit irritated now, Éclair replied, “I don’t stage fights. Are you going to drop your weapons?”

From above, Lynn yelped, “We don’t need to! Prepare to die, Éclair!”

“I can go now, right?”

Go, Danzin ordered. And Tonnerre as well.

Sighing a bit at the latter order, Éclair ducked down, calling, “Tonnerre, go!” as she did so.

Mathias leaned in closer, switching views so that the one that captured Tonnerre was in the foreground.

She had done the opposite of Éclair, jumping straight up at Éclair’s call. Her hair streamed behind her briefly before she used the wall to jettison herself at the foremost soldier’s stomach. She rammed him hard with her shoulder and slipped through the gap he left as he dropped in pain. A quick spinning kick knocked over the next two in line, and then she ducked, diving for an outer soldier’s leg, hooking it out from under him.

Two smacks to the head sent him into the world of unconsciousness and a quick hoist, accompanied by a grunt, Tonnerre lifted him up with difficulty, using him as a shield. The remaining two soldiers on her side hesitated, eyes shifting from side to side. The one that she’d first hit was coughing, but it seemed that he hadn’t been seriously capacitated.

Darn it. I thought that that would keep him down longer. He’s pretty tough. Tonnerre smiled at the challenge and then with a muscle contraction that took all her current energy threw the man she held onto the recovering man and then pushed off his body several feet into the air. She flipped over the remaining soldiers’ heads, turned and delivered two quick hits to their backs, then several more under their chins.

A bullet grazed her shoulder.

Instinctively, Tonnerre ducked and rolled, using the bodies as a cover.

The one that she had attacked first was struggling to get his fellow off his shoulders. His gun was held shakily, which was probably why he’d missed so terribly.

Tonnerre thought for a moment and then grabbed the bullet that the man had shot. She stayed under cover and then threw it at the man. A gunshot rang out �" the man had pulled the trigger the moment that her hand had come out �" and then a cry of pain as the bullet she’d thrown hit the man’s hand.

He dropped the gun.

Without hesitation, Tonnerre slipped out and delivered a punch under the chin, effectively knocking the man out.

A bit showy, Mathias thought critically as he watched. But I guess that makes sense since she did just come from a show fighting career. He watched as Tonnerre carefully examined the piles of downed men for any that’d escaped her wrath. Still, she’s good at fighting. That should be enough. He leaned in closer. Probably.

She’s not bad, is she? Danzin looked up at Éclair, black eyes opened wide.

Éclair made a noise like, “Meh,” and looked away. There was a very neat line of bodies in front of her, each of which had been taken out with swift chops to the base of their necks. The guns had been arranged against the wall, and Éclair was letting Danzin alternate between watching Tonnerre fight and keeping an eye on Lynn, who was steadily getting angrier above.

Still, Danzin considered, she probably won’t do anything because that’s not how a script villain would do things. She’ll wait until we finish.

“Ms. Éclair! Are you alright?” Tonnerre hopped up after finishing her check and skipped lightly over to her partner.

“I’m fine,” Éclair said, a flood of mild irritation entering her system.

Together, they looked up at Lynn.

Now that seems like it’s part of a movie, Mathias thought absently. At least Lynn will be happy when she gets taken down.

“Should I take her down?” Éclair turned her head so that she spoke directly to Danzin, who was also looking up.

Danzin considered the question for no time at all. Go ahead.

Éclair backed up briefly and then ran up the wall, shooting off at the last moment and grabbing the edge of the broken ceiling. Just before it broke, she used it to throw herself onto the ceiling next to Lynn. Dust fell on Tonnerre, who shook her head and then began to prop the bodies against each other to build a staircase up.

That wasn’t very nice.

“She’ll get up,” Éclair responded carelessly, waving off Tonnerre without even looking at her. She turned her attention to Lynn. She was backing up, hands scrambling for the gun that she had hooked into her belt.

Okay, so if this were a movie, she’d get time to rant first, Éclair thought as she shot forward. And if it was one of those parodies of movies, then I’d say something about ‘if this were a movie’. She shrugged mentally as Lynn dropped to the ground, mouth still opened in preparation to speak. Then again, since this isn’t a movie, I guess none of that is necessary.

Mathias smiled. He’d always enjoyed Éclair’s very straight to the point way of fighting. She would sometimes embellish more on stage, but off the stage, all her show fighting went out the window. The point of the fight suddenly became to take the opponent out as quickly as possible so she could get back to doing nothing.

She’s very effective. Confidence swelled in him. Yes, she can do it.

A motion in the corner of the screen caught his eye. Tonnerre had pushed the bodies in a three foot pile and was using them to flip herself onto the ceiling, a movement that was swift and yet very beautiful. She carefully dusted herself off, movements graceful and elegant.

Slowly, Mathias’ mouth curled in a dark smile. Yes. They can do it.

© 2011 Esana Bridges

Author's Note

Esana Bridges
Day 18 and first part of Day 19. Yes, I wrote a lot yesterday. Finally have time.

My Review

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Wow, well done! I have read this story, but just I though it would be easier to review on the latest chapter. So here I am. In the first few chapters I was thinking 'this isn't what I normally read. And I don't know if I like it.' But even if I hated it (which I don't), I wouldn't be able to leave it be. I just wanted to know what happens next, what's going on, and I like that in a writer. Very well done!

Posted 12 Years Ago

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Added on November 19, 2011
Last Updated on November 19, 2011


Esana Bridges
Esana Bridges

I love mysterious things that send shivers down my back. I like emotion. I love craziness. Fairy tale rewrites or something to do with Alice in Wonderland will draw me in immediately. Feel free to .. more..

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