With a hulking seven-foot giant looming over me, I have decided that my bad day has finally bottomed out. It’s probably going to get better from here. In fact, I know it will.
Because… I think nothing’s going to be worse than seeing one of the most frequently visited places in my life annihilated by a barrage of missiles.
I’m far past the point of mental breakdown. Hell, I’m basically lying in fetal position on the ground here, tied up with rope and constricted with metal restraining discs.
“C’mon, you,” Dragon taunts. “You won’t fight back?”
“I’m just handicapping myself so it’s a fair fight,” I mutter. I barely have the strength to make responses to these idiotic comments. But I keep on. It’s the only way to keep my mind off the fact Jones and R8PR may very well be dead right now, which that’s something I can’t afford to dwell on.
Dragon kicks me. Kicks me so hard I skid across the warehouse floor until I collide with a support beam in a resounding thud against my cranium.
“As long as you don’t die, you’re fine, right?” Dragon asks. “You can heal from anything, right?”
“Anything but heartbreak.”
Dragon picks me up by the sleeves of my ripped-up work suit and grins. “Heartbreak…” He turns me down and then slams me down on the concrete floor, impacting directly against my chest with an electric-charged burst.
My chest–and the rings constricting it.
The surging pain doesn’t slow me down. The cracked ribs don’t affect my focus. In fact, I’m kind of enjoying it.
I flip myself over and look at the guy towering above me. “Thank you for that,” I say.
“You’re welcome– What?”
There’s tears, in my suit and in the steel–
Another scream– and the metal breaks. Pieces of shrapnel fly out and one stabs Dragon in the arm. He lets out a brief howl of pain.
It’s just a second before I rip the rope bindings off of me, and now I’m fully free. Torn up, injured, and absolutely furious. This is Morgan Harding, protector of Atlanta and full-on friggin’ superhero.
Dragon pulls the piece of metal out of his arm and tosses it aside. “You want a fight? Again?”
“What? I didn’t hear you.”
“I said, you want to go against me?”
“No, that’s not exactly what you said. You said, ‘You want a fight? Again?’ Slightly different wording.”
“You… What? Say that again?” He’s lost his composure completely. He’s in shock, and that’s a vulnerability he’s about to lose out for.
Before he can react, I’ve already dashed around him in a full 180-degree rotation. He doesn’t have enough time to even turn around before I’ve shoved him in the back, catapulting him into the same pillar I collided with moments ago.
The other guards, four in number, run towards our fight, taking out their magitek taser wands and zapping them at us. Why is it always tasers and electricity… I take a look at them to see what kind of formation they’re taking–
And then Dragon’s already backhanded me with his oversized palm. I duck to avoid the second blow, but now I’m surrounded on all sides. Luckily, there’s not much of a threat from most of these sides.
The guards charge up their wands for another round of zaps. I stay ducked, muster all the strength in my legs, and launch!
Right as the wands go off, I jump up, avoiding them completely, and going so high up I can touch the roof of the warehouse. Which I do, of course.
On the way back down, I realize have a couple seconds to plan a flashy attack and knock everyone out at once, but I decide to let my mind rest and use my instincts to propel me forward.
I land–foot-first on one of the guard’s heads, of course– and then take off running in a random direction. Yep, it’s Morgan Harding, protector of Atlanta, fleer of battles. Trusting my instincts has had pretty bad optics so far.
Wait— I get it now.
By the time I’m on the other side of the warehouse, the three guards still standing are way far behind, and too tired to slow up. Now, with Dragon fast on my heels, it’s an even fight again.
So I stop in place.
He overtakes me and keeps running, forcing himself to skid to a stop and turn around. He’s panting hard, the creepy smile replaced with a fierce scowl. I’ve made a fool of him. More importantly, I’ve tired him out.
Even though he makes his best effort to charge at me like a raging bull, it’s after hours for Dragon– he’s past the point of no return. No bringing out the dead for this chump.
When he’s close enough, I do one sidestep and force him to turn around once more. And with the distance closed, he’s wide open for a simple attack.
I call it: The Four-Hit Knockout.
First punch, left fist to chest. Second punch, right fist to stomach. Third punch, left fist to chest. Right fist… Uppercut!
Dragon flies backward, unconscious before he even hits the floor.
I exhale. Time to deal with–
Dozens of cops swarm the warehouse, with fully-suited Blade Runners leading the charge.
The adrenaline wears off and I suddenly realize that I’m in a considerable amount of pain. With my hands in the air, none other than Coop Yates himself comes up to greet me.
But, instead of saying anything, he lowers my hands behind my back and cuffs them tight.
He reads me my Miranda Rights.