Prelude Part 2

Even across my dozens of fights with hundreds of opponents, one crucial factor has made me the sole survivor: that being pros and cons. Knowing your strengths and weaknesses on either side determines whether you live to see another day. And for better or worse, I’ve seen far too many.

Arachne seems to focus on distance and has a resistance to bullets. So I’ll stick with CQC for now. It was easier said than done as I barely dodged a thick ball of goop. The sudden sound of splintered wood from the bookshelf behind me was all I needed to know: taking further hits wasn’t an option. Upon the next blast, I switched weapons. With a violent quickdraw, I deflected the next shot.

Utter shock took over Arachne’s face before realizing I had unfurled a collapsible metal staff in the blink of an eye. An item I put to immediate use as I lunged forward, deflecting his next shots without losing momentum. My sheer speed locks Arachne in place as I thrust my staff straight towards his head, forcing a block, which proved punishing as I struck his left leg. A sickening crack echoed across the office as Arcahne buckled.

“Ouch! How dare you-“

I struck his face next without warning, setting him down hard. Looking to finish this, I aimed a precise flip kick at his trachea. Instinctively Arachne reacted, using one of Stan’s thrown-out trophies to block. That temporary buffer meant everything as Arachne’s gloves sprouted gold-tipped talons. I dodged his deadly swipe by the skin of my teeth, giving him the distance to flip himself back up safely. Immediately I closed back in for another haymaker.

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Unfortunately, my other hand started limiting me, sapping my power for Arachne to block confidently. He then grabbed my staff and lunged his talons toward my neck. With no other options, I put my glued hand to good use. Arachne’s piercing strike was deadened by his web, giving me room. Snapping back, I elbowed his face while locking his trapped arm. From there, I judo-flipped Arachne right over Ben’s desk!

Tremendous force turned thick oak to smithereens, sending my enemy reeling in pain. He had more to worry about as I lunged with sai in hand. Golden claw meets silver steel as my blade dangled over Arachne’s right eye. His pressing resistance only increased my conviction as I pressed the sai closer. Before I drew blood, though, I got interrupted.

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“Sarah, you’re out of time. I’m counting at least five guards coming up,” James said anxiously.

Within earshot, I heard several footsteps in hot. My focus was interrupted for a moment, which was a grave mistake. I should know how different fear affects people. It can turn you into a sniveling coward or a seasoned warrior; throughout the fight, though, my opponent showed the latter. Death’s chill gave Arachne newfound strength by leg-locking my head and throwing me forward. Using his momentum, I tried getting back up, only to get met with another blast of golden acid I barely dodged.

The attack was more distraction, as Arachne’s powerful left jab was the thing that sent me outside of the building ten stories tall. Pulsating adrenaline blindsided my painful headache, forcing me to unleash my grapple gun. In mid-air, I reappointed and fired while holding on for dear life.

Once the line grew taut, I instantly got whiplash as I swung back toward the building. From there, I braced while crashing through a lower floor’s window. A wave of piercing pain washed over me, followed by a growing numbness filling my body, making my surroundings darken. I probably would’ve stayed there, too, if it weren’t for James.

“Sarah, Sarah, give me a signal anything! I’m getting you out now. Just hold there -” he said, panicky.

His loud voice alone was enough to break any potential silence as I returned up while stating.

“Don’t worry, James, I’ll be fine. Just need to catch my breath,” I said in pained breaths while preparing to reshoot my grapple gun back at him.

However, a growing concern filled me when I realized my grapple gun got jammed from glasses shards, which didn’t help matters anymore as two more bodyguards barged in the door.

Desperately I used my last ace in the hole, throwing down a trusty flash bang and disappearing. In the chaos, I slipped past the guards and descended the building. Minutes later, I returned to James, both hurt and tired. So much so that he had to hold me up, only making my humiliation feel worse.

“I’m sorry, James, I couldn’t-“

“Hey, don’t worry, we’ll get them next time. Let’s return to Titan for now,” he said with comfort.

As usual, I kept quiet about what he said, but that didn’t silence my thoughts. Since while walking away, I couldn’t help but stew in my failure.

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