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- She doesn’t need to look back to see her opponent, not really. Magic has a weight to it, and the kind of a magic that goes into a mantle is heavy enough that pointing out where he is would be no more difficult than spotting a star in the sky. Still, being able to see your target with your own two eyes (not just your third) is an edge—the small, underlooked kind she knows wins you fights—so she kicks up the impulse a little, just enough to put some distance between her and her prey, and then banks round, hard as she can afford.
- Turning a mantle is an art unto itself. Interdiction loves the feeling of the gales she leaves behind in her hair as much as any other ace, but that feeling only lasts up until you have to make a hard right. Then the invisible hand of g-force drives itself up and into your ribs, and if you’re lucky you get away with black spots in your vision and the urge to throw up for the next half an hour. If you’re not lucky, not enough of you survives to worry about it.
- So it’s a balancing act. Cut it too tight and she’s going to win the battle for the other side; cut it too loose and she’ll find herself on the wrong side of the Circle, burning mana according to her enemy’s laws.
- She ends up coming close enough to the border she could reach an arm out and have her fingers in another state altogether. Mid turn there’s a sickening pop in the front of her skull that she knows means a blood vessel in her eye’s blown: acceptable losses, that turn was as close to perfect as she could hope to get it.
- They pass each other for under one tenth of a second, but it’s enough for Interdiction to open fire.
- Her preliminary propositional batteries rake the enemy with death threats and bribes, aimed not at him but the demons powering his mantle. Layers of k-defilade contracts and auxiliary potential modulation peel away in a dazzling strobe as a few demons default on their bindings; nowhere near enough to win her the fight outright, but enough to let him know she means business.
- By the time he tries to return fire, the damage has been done; she’s already pulling up and away, swinging around so the heavier firepower she’s packing can get a better lock on him. Confidence smooths her thrust profile as she spins around to make eye contact with him; with the sun behind her and the might of the Circle behind her, she feels invincible.
- That starts to fail when she sees the look on his face. It collapses entirely when warnings start blaring in her HUD, ambient mana warnings a bright red streak across her vision.
- Frantically, she invokes emergency ablative contracts, rebudgeting her mana for as much incoming fire as she can handle. His mana burn peaks right as her last layer of shielding slots into place, giving her enough to take a railgun to the face and walk it off.
- There isn’t a hit she can’t take with defenses at full power; which is why he doesn’t hit her.
- He just teleports her across the border, and lets angular momentum do the rest for him.
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