A Trial of Judgment: The Throwdown

We have our combatants in place, and the trial is underway.  Annie is up there in the air, floating around–well, not exactly floating–and she’s not gonna make it easy for someone to hit her.  Which is what we’re gonna see today, more or less.

There was, to be honest, a hell of a lot of writing against last night.  My weekly recap of Humans ended up running about fifteen hundred words, and that’s a lot.  Then I sat down for last night’s segment of this novel, and between it and chatting up some people who were asking me questions, I still managed nine hundred words, and brought the novel to just under five hundred words of the one hundred and ten thousand word mark.

I should point out that all of this occurred while my computer was having a bit of a nervous breakdown, and there were moments where I couldn’t do anything for about five minutes at a time but wait for things to unfreeze.

But that’s all in the past.  Let’s get to the buttkicking, shall we?

 

(All excerpts from The Foundation Chronicles, Book Two: B For Bewitching, copyright 2015 by Cassidy Frazee)

She threw up her defense spells while she shifted quickly a few meters to the right, then zoomed five metered to her left before dropping nearly to the floor. She didn’t want to give Rikkard too many chances to get her in his sights, and her Flight gift allowed her to move much faster in every dimension than any witch could hope for using levitation. I wonder if he’ll figure out what I’m doing?

There wasn’t a need to worry about that now: her opponent had recovered from his fire ordeal and was crafting up another attack. Pouring a bit more magical energy into defense screens, Annie gently ascended back over the mat.

While she wasn’t interested in being a target, she wanted to see if Rikkard was going to craft drain spells in an attempt to weaken her screens, or even attempt to set up a drain field around her. According to Wednesday a drain field was difficult for a D Level, but not impossible. She gave him a chance to cast so she could feel the spell as it struck the screens: a drain spell, as she’d expected. He’s playing things safe and conservative

Two purple balls of electrical energy stuck her screens while she was busy shutting down his drain spell and reinforcing her defenses. Annie was momentarily blinded by the flash, and enough of the charge made it through that she felt a numbing tingle rush through her legs. She speed forward and then to her right, missing two more Ball Lightning attack the boy quick crafted. She needed a moment to shake off the effects of the charge and regroup. Stop playing with this boy. She hovered some seven meters away from Rikkard. He isn’t going to let you win: you have to make that happen

Annie charged Rikkard.

 

So Annie now knows her opponent can magically sucker punch her when possible, and he likes ball lightning.  That’s good:  Annie likes other things:

 

Three meters from him she rolled to her right, shot off a few meters, and then unleashed a vicious Air Hammer. She didn’t expect it to make it through his defense screens, but that wasn’t her intention. As soon as she threw her attack, she jumped three meters up and five to her left before throwing another Air Hammer, then dropped close to the mat and threw a huge Air Hammer low and hard. Annie was trying to keep him off-balance and unfocused so he wouldn’t have time to make an effective attack against her.

On the contrary, she intended to put an end to this contest as fast as possible.

She moved into position, some six meters away from Rikkard and nearly five meters above the mat, and began fast crafting her next attack. She’d not used sorcery yet, because she didn’t want to spend a lot of time with smaller amounts of dark energy: Annie had something better in mind. I’ve weakened his defenses . . . She spun around once, acting as if she were about to throw another Air Hammer, then steadied herself so she was facing him. Now’s the time to remove them completely.

She gathered together all the dark energy her witch powers allowed her to draw at one time, formed the image of her attack in her mind, pulled her arms around and sighted Rikkard over her hands, opened her palms, and put every gram of willpower into her magic.

Annie fired her killshot.

 

A killshot isn’t always something designed to kill a person, though in this case it could.  Because Annie wants to dust this fool, she save all her sorcery for this moment, and when someone tells you there’s no light in darkness, well, they don’t always know what they’re saying . . .

 

The inside of the Manor was bathed in blue-white glare as the Lightening spell emerged from Annie’s hands like a crackling laser. It hit Rikkard’s defenses and bowed it enough that the screen snapped back and struck him. His magic fought against Annie’s, undulating and popping as the energies spilled several meters away from the point of impact, making students recoil with nervousness and fear.

Annie heard someone screaming out something in another language, but they weren’t word of fear but rather those of excitement. She figured it was Kerry cheering her on, but she wasn’t about to look. She concentrated on holding her spell for five seconds, knowing it would wear her down a bit, but if she ended this trial in the next few seconds it wouldn’t matter.

She finished her lightning attack, then pushed herself forward until she was directly over her opponent. Annie checked long enough to see if Rikkard was still on his feet—he was. That was all she needed. She threw another Air Hammer down on to Rikkard, a massive blast that it bored straight through his screens and slammed him hard to the mat.

Annie watched the boy for a sign of movement, and a few seconds after he hit the mat he began to stir. As he found his way to one knee, Annie slowly floated until she was a half meter off the mat, then close on him, stopping a couple of meters away. She hovered there with a ball of electrical energy in one hand and a sphere of cold fire in the other. She waited until he was up on one knee before moving into his field of vision—

He stopped moving and locked eyes with her. Annie said nothing for a few seconds, then spoke in a low, serious tone. “Step out.”

Rikkard nodded as he stood. Not taking his eyes off Annie, he turned his hands palm down and walked backward until he was outside the combat circle. Annie nodded back and killed her spells.

The trial was over; Annie emerged victorious.

 

And this is how it killshot appeared:

More or less.  A lot less, actually.

More or less. A lot less, actually.

As for the last scene of her hovering a few meters away with glowing balls of death in her hands–yeah, I’d love to see that scene drawn out.  Anyone seeing her do that–and seeing that grim, dangerous look on her face–would likely hesitate to ever mess with Little Miss Sorceress again.  The chances are that Rikkard was probably dazed pretty hard from her laser-like electrical attack, because if it was enough to drain his shields, he was probably getting zapped as well as he tried to keep from being lit up.

You’ll probably see tomorrow, when judgement is rendered.

Probably.