Kate felt her eyes narrow. The man was just plain psychotic, she realized, and no matter how many times he was cloned, he would stay that way. Soon, he would want her out there; just so he could see what she could do. It was all absolutely insane, but what could so do?
“Let’s get this over with, Ferini,” she said, standing tall.
“You never were one to avoid a fight, Katie,” he said smiling.
“Keep calling me ‘Katie,’” she said. “And you’re going to wish you hadn’t.”
Stepping out onto the mat, Kate clenched her hands into fists. She never took her eyes off Ferini, as she heard the guard’s step onto the mat. A smile crossed his face as he pulled the pocket computer out.
This is going to be very interesting, she thought, looking at the five guards surrounding her.
“I want to see you at full strength, Katie,”
“Do you have a good medical bay for your boys?” She asked. “Because they’re going to be hurting."
Ferini didn’t answer, his hand raised in signal. Taking a defensive position she watched them. She moved in a circular fashion, keeping all five before her. Without warning, they charged.
Ducking the first man’s blow, she slammed a fist into the second. Hearing a rib crack, he went down. She spun around, her fist leading. It connected with one of the guard’s jaw. He went spinning to the floor, blood pouring from his mouth.
She launched herself into a backward roll. Landing on her feet, she looked at the three remaining guards. They eyed her carefully, not wanting to make the same mistakes. Her speed had stunned them, she realized, but not for long.
The three charged in unison. A roar came from behind her, as others entered the fray. This beating is going to hurt, she told herself, preparing for the pain.
A fast set of punches rained down on her face. With a grunt, she blocked them all. However, a crushing blow struck her on the kidneys. A cry of pain escaped her lips. Falling to her knees, she gasped at the pain.
She didn’t have long to reel in it, because a set of hands grabbed her. The world rotated in her view as she flew across the mat. Slamming into the padded floor, she bit her lip. The taste of blood filled her mouth as she slammed into the wall.
“Kate!” Brooks yelled, knowing better then to move.
Groaning, she lay still for long moments. The pain in her body was excruciating. Rolling to her hands and knees, she spit blood out of her mouth. So, she told herself, that is how he wanted to play it! Ferini had always been an asshole!
She reached out with her hands. Pulling herself to her feet, she spat some more blood out. She wiped her lips with the back of her hand. The guards waited for her, sneering in contempt at her.
Taking a deep breath, she launched herself again. She landed in the center of the guards, her hands and feet a blur. Down went one guard. A second and a third went down. She jumped back to gain some room, looking at the two survivors.
“You want me to keep hurting them?” She asked Ferini.
He motioned with his hand, and four more charged her. The burn of exhaustion started to build in her chest. They were going to beat her, she told herself, because she hadn’t recuperated fully from Haven. There just wasn’t anyway she could keep the pace up.
A lucky strike landed to her face, sending her reeling. A second slammed into her gut. She felt her wind leave her at once. Another blow slammed into her face, and she felt her nose break.
The blood poured down her face as they took turns. For five, torturous minutes, the beating continued unabated. Finally, Ferini called the guards off, and Brooks went running to Kate.
Everything about her was a mess. Her nose had broken, sending a stream of blood down her face. Both eyes were swollen shut after the repeated blows. Brooks wiped her hair off her face. A soft moan came from Kate as she struggled to move again.
“Be still,” Brooks said, looking up at Ferini, she spat: “You bastard!”
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