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Subject: Final fight

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Date Posted: 23:28:41 03/05/03 Wed

Three men lay dead, but there were too many more left. Another minute and she would be surrounded, with no escape. She slashed at the next man but then was pulled back suddenly by a vicious strength. Thrown to the ground, somebody stamped hard on her wrist, forcing her fingers open. The dagger was kicked away as an angry red print blossomed on her pale limb, quickly assuming the purple of bruised muscle. A startled hiss of pain broke from between her clenched teeth but she refused to cry out. Devoid of a weapon, and with her attackers closing in, her scrabbling left hand pulled an arrow from its quiver on her back and made one final desparate lunge. It’s point tore into the hunter’s throat and Faeirex seized the oppurtunity his dying thrashes afforded her to break from what had threatened to become a fatal skirmish and flee.

Her arrows were running low, and her injured wrist throbbed painfully. She wasn’t sure if he had broken it or not, but there was time to neither stop and check it nor rest it. Painful as it may be, she still had to use it to fire her bow and try to thin down their numbers as much as she could. The thick trees had helped to slow the mounted men down a little, but they had also proved obstacles to her shooting. Many arrows had missed their mark. More had hit however, and there were fewer chasing than before. She darted through a break in the trees and stopped suddenly. The vast expanse of river stretched out before her, leaving nowhere to run to. They had her trapped. As they came crashing through the undergrowth to surround her she readied another arrow and spun around to face them.

Four arrows left. It wasn’t enough. She glanced around quickly, counting how many men were left. Five on horseback still, plus at least two on the ground that she could see. Not even an elf could kill seven men with four arrows. A twig cracked somewhere to the side of her. Make that eight.
The arrow was notched and the string drawn as she span round and put it straight through the youth who had been trying to sneak up on her. He fell to the ground with a strangled gurgle, the sword dropping from his hand to lie innocuously amongst the leaves. She tried to judge the distance between them; was it close enough for her to be able to get to the weapon in time?
As if reading her mind their leader signalled to one of the other men, who moved his horse forwards to block the escape route. Drawing his own sword he grinned broadly, daring her to come any closer. Faeirex cursed softly.
An arrow thudded into the ground beside her and she swang back, killing the unsuccessful archer before he could try again. While he was still falling to the ground the second arrow took flight; towards the ringleader this time. He was faster off the mark though – his sword knocked the shaft off-course before it could reach him. He watched it hit the ground before turning back to her.
“Well girly, you gave us a good run for our money. There’s nowhere left to go now though,” he said conversationally. She glared at him furiously, still refusing to give in. Out of the corner of her eye she saw another man start to move forwards. Killed him.
"You bitc..."
"Leave it Leon."
“That was her last arrow. It seems your brother managed to achieve something with his death, though he was a useless lump in life.

The conversation went on over her head; she ignored it. One, two men had arrows levelled at her head and chest. Another held a sword at her back. The younger one, he held only a dagger, but was looking at her with blood-lust in his eyes. They didn’t matter. Only the older one did, the one who now dismounted and approached. She raised her eyes up to meet his defiantly.
“You have killed many of my men.”

She didn’t respond, didn’t need to. The bodies in the forest were testament to that. Is mine going to join them?
The blow when it came snapped her head back and her teeth pierced her lip. The blood had a copper tang in her mouth. I won’t give in to you.

“So brave? Wait till night.”

She suppressed a shudder. If anything, she would make them kill her before allowing them to touch her. You disgust me. The message was clear in her eyes, and the man couldn’t fail to see it. If anything though, he seemed amused. He knew his power over her.
“Leon, bind her hands.”
The youth moved in, but she didn’t look at him. Her eyes remained steadily on his leader, unmoving, until the dagger pierced her body. Only then did she turn her eyes to him and only he saw the sudden fear and bewilderment that flashed through them before they turned glassy and she fell to the floor.

“I loved my brother, useless as he was.”

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