Chapter Twenty: Lightweight

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Riku forced open his eyes and looked up at the door just in time to see it split apart as a body was thrown through it, causing it to shatter into pieces. The crack of bones shattering rang out, making Riku want to throw up again.
"Hey, Riku, how're you doing. I saw you were going all one on one, so I muted us from your mic so we could focus on the five guys who appeared after you left."

Riku gasped as he stood up straight. He slowly peered his head out from the wall and at the courtyard. He saw Vlad walked towards the room with four bodies behind him. He only saw two complete bodies. There were several scattered puddles of blood and more than a few scattered limbs. Riku lost it, throwing up on the mat again.

"C'mon, don't be such a lightweight." Vlad called out.

"I... I got one." Riku called back as he fell forward against the wall, barely holding himself up with the wall, blood dripping down the wall.

"Riku!" Vlad said as he ran towards Riku and picked him up. Vlad quickly looked at the wound. He put his hand on Riku's back near the wound. Immediately, the blood stopped flowing out of the wound.

"Your lucky I can make your blood clot faster. It'll hurt for a bit, but you won't bleed out."
Vlad helped Riku sit down outside of the room. Riku lied his head back while Vlad looked around and kept an eye out.
"Leo, do you see anyone coming?" he asked.

"No, you guys are good."
Vlad walked back to Riku and knelt by him.

"Riku, I'm going to try something." He put his hand Riku's chest.
"Now breathe deeply. I'm going to try stimulating your remaining blood cells."
While Riku was no longer bleeding, he was still dazed, only hearing half of whatever was said.

"Your going to stimulate my what?" Riku asked, sounding somewhere between drunk and concussed.

Vlad contained his laugh and focused.

"Let's see if learning anatomy was worth it."

Riku closed his eyes. When he reopened them, his vision cleared. He took in a deep breath and let it out slowly. Vlad stood and offered his hand.

"Can you stand?"

Riku took his hand and slowly stood up. He felt the wound. It simply felt like dull ache and wasn't in immediately reopen and become an issue. For now, the only thing it would do is look cool. Riku stretched his arms, touched his toes, then cracked his neck. His eyes then fixed on Vlad.

"How long could you do that?"
Vlad shrugged. "About a minute. Think you can keep going for another round?"
Riku turned and faced the wall. He clenched his fists and punched the wall. He didn't feel his wounds holding him back. He felt his full strength return to him. He turned back to Riku.

"Yeah, I think I'm good."
He walked back into the room. After almost slipping on his vomit, he walked over to Duncan.

"Was he your first?" Vlad asked as he followed Riku into the room.

Riku pulled off the three scabbards, putting two of them onto his back.

"My first what?" he asked as he put Diabolik and Algolic into their scabbards on his back.

"Your first kill."

"Oh, that." Riku picked up Genocidic and put it in it's scabbard. "Yeah, he was."

He walked towards Vlad and pushed the scabbard into his chest.
"Let's finish the mission."

"Where are we headed to now, Leo?"

"The guys Vlad slaughtered came from rooms identical to this, if these scans show anything. Try the one door out there that isn't made of wood.

"How are Cole and Kira doing?" Riku asked as he scanned the courtyard for the door. His eyes soon spotted a large metal door. He pointed towards it and began running towards it, with Vlad following behind him.

"Well, they defused the bomb. I think Cole blew up his earpiece somehow. As for Kira's..." he paused. "I've gotten something from her signal, but I think they're busy with something."

"Well then." Vlad said.

Riku wasn't paying attention to their conversation. He had to focus on not getting impaled again.

Riku and Vlad got on either side of the door.

"My scanners can't go any farther. Should I try to break up the other two to get you guys some backup?"
Vlad stood in front of the door and kicked, sending the metal door into the room.

"They can have their fun, we can have ours."

Leo watched on the scanners as Riku and Vlad disappeared into the building. He guessed that he was delving deeper into the fortress. Leo then stood straight up with a realization: he hadn't checked on Lucia in twenty minutes. He quickly turned and ran into the living quarters of the ship. He saw Lucia tiptoeing towards the boarding ramp. Lara saw him and quickly turned to Lucia.

"Abort, abort." she called. Lucia looked down and sighed.

"Lucia, no." Leo said as he walked over to her. He grabbed her by the back of her shirt and walked her back to where she was sitting before. Halfway there, he reconsidered and walked her to the cockpit.

"Lara, come here.' Leo called. Lara followed them into the cockpit. Leo sat Lucia down in a chair and sat back in his spot.

"Lucia, go to sleep now." he said.

"But Leo, I can he..."
"Go to sleep now." he repeated. Lucia felt her eyes get slightly heavier.

"But Leo, I..."
"Go to sleep." he said again.

"Lucia." he said. Lucia felt her eyes weigh a lot heavier than they had a minute ago.

"Yes Leo?"
"Go to sleep. Now."
Lucia yawned.

"OK." she said as she lied her head back against the chair and closed her eyes. Before Leo knew it, she was unconscious.
"Lara, you go to sleep too."
Leo turned to see Lara sitting on the floor with her back against the wall, sleeping soundly.

"Dang, I'm good." Leo said as he turned back to the cameras. None of the cameras could detect any movement. He made a mental note to put in an order for enhanced cameras and basic weaponry for the jet. He put his feet up against a fairly empty part of the control panel.

"So, if these guys are chess pieces, it looks like we've reached the endgame. Those guys better be ready to play..."

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