002; MabelMature

The everything-and-nothing-all-at-once feeling rushed over her and through her in one swift onslaught, and then she was an isolated body with her feet on the ground once again.  Breath crashed into her lungs, a cool breeze nipped at the hairs on her arms, her heartbeat thundered loud and clean in her ears.  A cocktail of adrenaline and endorphins reacted inside her skull as she opened her multi-spectrum eyes.  The shift was as natural as anything else - but with it, she could see so much more.  Everything, really; or as unnaturally close to it as humanity could get so far.

“Where are we?”

Elco took his first curious steps into the new world, moving ahead of her for the first time in their trip. 

“Stop,” her command was instinctual and his response was, thankfully, programmed.  He froze mid-stride and set his foot down where it had been.  “Come back to me.”

He turned to obey, his line of vision immediately searching for her, and something akin to awe softened his expression.  Bodies of heat moved in the darkness behind him, she could see bones, she could see organs and blood and heartbeats.  By the time he reached her, she had little choice but to grab his neck and throw him into her wake as she launched herself into the moonless night of Dimension Quad-Beta. All it took was a hard blink for her vision to lock in, but it made all the difference.  With only glowing red shapes lunging at her, she had no fear of the fangs or the poison in the tipped tails.  Her nunchaku unlatched into swords and from there it was just slicing; just shapes rushing toward her rapidly getting cut down.

All the while, Elco’s heartbeat an anchor for her awareness.  A homing beacon still signalling for her to come back.  It felt like a lifetime of war lived in a few moments, but at long last, she could find no more heat signatures nearby; allowing herself a pause where she stood, her arms and torso slicked with sweat and the blood of creatures she didn’t even know the names of, her eyes closed, she regulated her breathing.

When Elco put a tentative hand on her shoulder she did not flinch although every muscle in her body wanted to recoil away from the touch of another person.  Her vision was restored to normal when she opened her eyes again, and wordlessly she retracted the blades back into the nunchaku and wiped the sanguine fluid from their tops.  Not for the first time, she was grateful for self-cleaning weaponry.

“So, where are we again?”

The End

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