Faster than Lara

May 23rd, 2022
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  1. There was a weird, chirping scream and then the vent cover flew outward, followed by a python-shaped blur in the air. Even as it arced toward us, that shape flowed and changed into that of something low-slung, stocky, and viciously powerful, like maybe a badger or a wolverine.
  2. It hit Anastasia high on the chest and slammed her to the floor.
  3. And on the way down, I caught a flash of golden-yellow eyes dancing with sadistic glee.
  4. I turned to kick the thing off of Anastasia, but Lara beat me to the metaphorical punch. She slammed the barrel of her machine pistol into its flank as if driving a beer tap into a wooden keg with her bare hands, and pulled the trigger on the way.
  5. Fire and noise filled the room, and the skinwalker went bouncing to one side. It hit the ground once, twisted itself in midair and raked its claws across Justine's midsection. Using the reaction to control its momentum, it landed on its feet and hurled itself out of the room by way of the window behind Lara's desk.
  6. Justine staggered and let out a small cry of pain.
  7. Lara stared at the window for a second, her eyes wide, then breathed, "Empty night."
  8. I turned to Anastasia but she waved me off with a grimace. It didn't look like she was bleeding. I turned to Justine and tried to assess her injuries. There were six horizontal lines sliced into the soft flesh of her abdomen, as neatly as if with a scalpel. Blood was welling readily from them-but I didn't think any of them had been deep enough to open the abdominal cavity or reach an artery.
  9. I seized Lara's discarded coat, folded it hastily, and pressed it against Justine's belly. "Hold it here," I snapped to Justine. "You've got to control the bleeding. Hold it here."
  10. Her teeth were bared in pain, but she nodded and grasped at the improvised pad with both hands as I helped her up.
  11. Lara looked from Justine to the window, her eyes a little wide. "Empty night," she said again. "I've never seen anything that fast."
  12. Given that I had once seen her cover ground in a dead sprint at maybe fifty miles an hour, I figured she knew what she was talking about. We were never going to get that thing to hold still long enough to kill it.
  15. Turn Coat Chapter 25, Page 231-232
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