‘Garovel, tell me the soldiers are safe.’
‘They’re not. You need to buy another two minutes or so.’
‘Two minutes?! Do you know how long that is in the middle of a fi--?!’
The attack came from the side, catching Hector under the rib cage. Light burst out of Harper’s fist, cutting through metal and flesh like butter. He sailed into the rock formation, which stood strong against the impact, not even cracking.
The right side of his chest was gone, but he didn’t let that slow him down. More spikes, broad as he could make them.
Harper tore through them with a spray of light.
He raised the mirror shield. It protected him but shattered. He dove away, knowing another attack was imminent, hoping for another chunk of aluminum and not finding it.
Abruptly, Harper shuddered. The man doubled over onto his hands and knees.
Hector had to spare a moment of surprise before deciding to keep attacking anyway, but by the time he launched another spike from his gauntlet, Harper had vanished again, the trail of light leading behind Hector this time.
He didn’t get the chance to turn around before feeling the next impact. The beam of light cleaved horizontally through his chest, finishing Harper’s earlier work. Hector’s legs and stomach flew one way, and his upper body flew another. Still perfectly conscious, he splattered to the ground in a bloody heap, arms mangled but still functioning.
He made to attack another time, undeterred by the loss of over half of his body, but when he saw Harper hunched over and trembling again, Hector hesitated. He suddenly wasn’t sure that attacking was the smartest move. On the one hand, he of course needed to provide a distraction, but on the other hand, if he provoked Harper too much, then the fight might just end instantly, and then everything would be for naught. So he stayed his hand this time and observed.
He squinted. ‘Harper’s not looking so good...’
‘Not surprising,’ said Garovel. ‘The hyper state takes a very heavy toll--heavy enough to kill him and Darsihm both if they can’t control it well enough.’