Here it is, the actual test. And that means there’s about a thousand words in this excerpt, because I need to get the kids all set up and relax before I unleash hell. Yeah, things are not going to be nice and are going to start to get a little bloody real fast.
So I’m going to excerpt each of the phases of the fight on separate days. Today you get the first phase, tomorrow you get the second, and instead of getting a video on Saturday morning you get the third along with the aftermath. Given how much time I’ve spent discussing this in the past, I hope this comes off as being interesting.
Now that all my preliminary talking is done, all that remains is the butt kicking. Well, with a little more set up first:
(The following excerpts from The Foundation Chronicles, Book Three: C For Continuing, copyright 2016, 2017 by Cassidy Frazee)
Annie and Kerry moved to the designated start spots and waited. As was the norm when they were engaged in a combat situation, Kerry stood with Annie on his right and she stood with him on her left. This was to accommodate their primary hands and prevent them from accidentally hitting each other with weapons.
While they watched Isis do something on her tablet at the far end of the room Kerry spoke to Annie in a low voice. “I don’t like this. There has to be some sort of catch here.”
Annie kept her eyes locked on the cabinets as they opened and homunculi shuffled out. “Dispatch eighteen in three and a half minutes? That’s far too easy.”
“I agree. By now they know we can do in Self Defense class.” He snorted quietly. “There’s some kind a gimmick goin’ on.”
There was no need for her to ask what Kerry meant by “they”. Given the complexity of the test and the fact that both Helen and Isis were present, either as observers or assistances finalizing preparation, meant the “outside organization” responsible for this test were the Guardians.
But like Kerry she was a bit concerned regarding the requirements. Though they didn’t appear any different than homunculus they’d fought in the past, Annie knew there was something special about these. Three for each of us during a minute long phase? Given the skills we now have, Kerry and I could dispatch nine each in half the time they’re giving us for this test.
Ramona waited until Isis had walked across the test area and was standing alongside Helen and her before she clapped her hands. “The test is about to begin. The safety enchantment will be raised and the music will start momentarily after that. As soon as the homunculi at the far end across the white line, the test begins. Good luck.”
When your test subjects are questioning parts of the test are about to take, you know they smell something fishy coming on. The previous excerpts have revealed, more or less, that it’s possible the Guardians aren’t quite on the level as far as this test is concerned, and now that the kid’s butts are literally on the line they’re starting to feel the same trepidation.
Now they’re about to be sealed up in an area with a bunch of shambling zombies–
Annie and Kerry felt silence descend upon the test area as the safety barrier went up. While it was designed to keep out distractions, they knew everyone on the other side could hear everything happening on the test area. Three seconds later the lighting diminished slightly, causing Annie to look up. “They’re going to make a bit more gloomy in here.”
“Can’t make it too easy for us.” Kerry shook his arms more out of nervousness than a need to prepare. “Those all look to be our size, so they gotta give us a bit of a handicap against the zombies.”
“I’m sure that’s the reason for the music. I imagine the going to play it loud enough that’ll make it difficult for us to communicate.” As if on cue the first strands of the song faded in. “And just like that…”
Kerry recognized the song Relax by Frankie Goes to Hollywood instantly. He turned to Annie. “What the hell?”
“Not one of my songs.” She noticed the homunculi twitch and began moving toward the white line. “Here we go.”
In unison the homunculi took two shambling steps towards the white line before taking a third step over. They pause for a moment as if to orientate themselves—
All six broke into a run.
“Shit.” Kerry skipped nearly a full step to his left. “Rage zombies.”
“Spread out.” Annie skipped a step and a half to her right before planting her feet and quickly crafting a spell as she prepared for the attack.
Running zombies: you gotta hate that. And if you are looking for the twist, there it is. The zombies are fast and maneuverable, and are coming it Annie and Kerry three-on-one.
They’ve got their work cut out for them.
After months of mentioning that I had an idea for scene where Frankie Goes to Hollywood plays while the kids are involved in some activity, here it is. The song is 3:58 in length, so there’s your four minutes–oh, did I say for? More like three and a half. Hey, I’ll even give you the song to listen to while you read through the ass kicking…
And speaking of ass kicking, here it comes:
Kerry had less than a second to act, so we decided to take the most direct approach. He waited until the trio of homunculi were nearly upon him before sidestepping to his left and thrusting his right arm straight out in order to close line the nearest attacker. The pseudo-zombie slammed into his forearm and went down as its feet shot out from underneath. Kerry spun with the impact, lessening the damage to his shoulder, then informed a quick Air Hammer in his left hand as he swiped his left arm downward. The Air Hammer caught the homunculus in the mouth and tore the head apart, spraying fake blood and brains everywhere. With one assailant down, he knew he’d have an easier time dispatching the remaining two.
Annie planted her feet and pointed forward. She thrust her elbows outward as she directed a spreading Air Hammer at the middle homunculus and blasted it apart. She stood her ground while the other two zombies were pushed to her left and right, even though she was sprayed with some of the remains of the recently destroyed creature. Keeping in mind her triangle step placement—your feet stand at two points of a triangle and every turn is to the open point—she attacked the homunculus on her right. She arm locked it as the creature began to turn toward her, then punched it hard in the throat, crushing its windpipe, before executing a flat palm smash to the nose, driving bones and cartilage up into the fore brain.
As it went down she moved two steps to her right and spun around to face her third attacker. She swept aside its right arm and shot her forearm up into its jaw, snapping its head back. She swept its left arm aside as she grasped its right and slammed her fist into his shoulder joint, popping the arm out of the socket and throwing the homunculus off-balance and to the ground. She fired Air Hammers at their heads, crushing their skulls and killing them. She looked up and saw six more homunculus waiting to cross the white line—
Kerry found himself being attacked simultaneously by his remaining two homunculus. Delving into paninipa Kerry kicked his first attacker in the calf and swept the back of its knee before arm locking his second attacker and viciously punching it in the throat. He wheeled around and stomped on the throat of the downed homunculus, then turned back to his second attacker and fired a Electrify attack directly into its face, scorching its flesh and exploding its eyes while frying its brain. He pushed it away with a kick then fell to his knees in order to deliver an elbow slam to the forehead of his last remaining opponent, caving in the skull.
He had just hopped back up onto his feet when Ramona’s voice rang out just loud enough to be heard over the music. “Second Phase: weapons allowed.”
Let’s talk about a couple of things expressed here in the preceding paragraphs. Annie is using the triangle method for her feet placement and is just as she says: imagine your feet are in two points of the triangle and no matter how you turn, it’s always towards the empty point. This way you don’t have sloppy footwork and you keep yourself centered to be able to repel attacks. It’s one of the things that Kali stresses and Annie knows what she’s doing.
Paninipa is a regional Filipino word meaning kicking, and this comes from a concept found in Panantukan, or Filipino street boxing. So Kerry got down and dirty on his opponents, which is fine: Kali is all about surviving and right now the kids have to survive–
At least until the next phase…