You Done Messed Up

As Michelle expected, the queens were good fighters. One might think that nunchucks versus a sword was a losing proposition for nunchucks, but somebody had forgotten to tell Ruby, as she used hers to effortlessly block the incoming blade strikes.

She wanted to see how Ronnie was doing, but her opponent was so good she knew even a moment’s distraction could prove dangerous.

Do you really want to hurt me? / Do you really want to make me cry?

The burst of song did distract her for two reasons: it was too early and it was the wrong song.

Her opponent took full advantage and thrust at Ruby’s heart, but a last-second dodge ended in a cut on her rib cage.

“Mmm, the blood of heroes,” her opponent said, and licked the blood off her short blade. “Can’t wait to bathe in the rest of it.”

“Okay, ew,” Michelle said, and they resumed fighting.

*****

It may have just been a small cut, but the psychological effects were far greater. The queen, more confident now since she had drawn first blood, pressed her attack, forcing Ruby almost completely into the defensive.

I will survive / As long as I know how to love I know I’ll stay alive

“Not if you keep playing the wrong song,” Michelle muttered under her breath.

She dodged a thrust meant for her head and countered with a punch that landed just under her opponent’s ribs.

And girls, they wanna have fun / Oh girls just want to have fun

Mouse may not have been playing the right song, but she could feel the fight’s momentum shift in her direction. As her opponent doubled over, Ruby lashed out with her foot, hitting her opponent’s knee, and then followed up with her trademark kick, sending her opponent sprawling.

“It would appear these are adequate fighters, sister,” said one.

“Yes it does, sister,” said the other. “Gemini Form?”

“I believe so, sister,” said the first one.

Before Ruby or Ronnie could stop them, the queens grabbed each other’s hand and shouted, “GEMINI FORM!!!”

A bright light erupted from them, forcing everyone to cover their eyes.

*****

When the light faded, the queens were gone, and in their place was a creature with four legs, four arms, and two heads. Each hand held a sword, much longer than the ones the individual queens used.

“NOW WITNESS OUR TRUE POWER, WORMS!!!” the creature shrieked.

It was twice the size of the queens, which usually meant it was half as fast, but in fact the opposite was true; it was twice as fast.

Ruby’s speed and agility helped her avoid the worst of the creature’s attacks, but most of them still landed, resulting in cuts all over her body.

Death by a thousand cuts, Michelle thought as she cartwheeled away from the creature to catch her breath.

At least that was the plan.

The creature kept pace with her and lashed out with all four swords, catching her on all four limbs, and causing her to land in a heap.

She saw the creature gloating, confident in its victory.

Then a war cry that made the gods sit up and take notice reverberated throughout the throne room.

Ronnie had launched herself into the air, her ax held behind her, readying herself for a massive overhead strike that would surely cleave the creature in two.

The creature swung its swords, and Ronnie, in midair and fully committed to her attack, landed on them, impaling herself.

It looked at her a moment, then threw her aside and returned its attention to Ruby.

This was it, just as she had expected. The fight had gone sideways. It was now or never for Mouse.

A quick glance in his direction revealed him to be rummaging through his backpack while Shelly was throwing random items at guards approaching her son and Mick was fighting off several others.

The creature reached her and stood over her, its swords poised to finish her off.

“Any last words?” it said.

Ooh baby I love your way every way…

Ruby smiled, and the gods watching shuddered in terror.

She launched herself into the air, spinning away from the creature’s coup de grace.

“Want to dance?” she said.

*****

The creature swung at her, and she, keeping time with the beat, stepped out of its way.

To a rational mind, it made no sense. The song’s rhythm was far too slow to be an effective fight song, and she was moving at the exact same pace, yet somehow she was just fast enough to evade the creature’s attacks while landing all of her own.

But the attacks seemed to have little effect, and she knew she had to find something big to hit it with.

Still moving in perfect time to the beat, she led the creature towards one of the room’s many pillars.

It slashed at her with all four swords, and she hurled herself into the air, landing on the pillar and running up it as all four swords slashed through it, causing it to fall and land right on the creature.

As for Ruby, she jumped off the pillar as it fell, landing on the ceiling and somehow holding herself there for a second in defiance of all laws of nature. She then launched herself at the creature, which had just lifted the pillar off itself.

Her punch struck it squarely between the eyes, knocking it out, and the song ended.

“That’s why you lost,” she said to the fallen monster. “You got no soul.”

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