John sucked in a gulp of air and held his breath as his feet slid to a stop in the brush. Other than the pounding of the veins in his head and the vibration of his heart knocking against his ribcage, he heard nothing in front of him. He put his hand behind him as Andrea's chest ran against it. He turned to her and brought his finger to his lips as he exhaled the lungful slowly. He returned his attention to the front and brought his weapon to the shoulder, his eyes glancing just above the sights. Slowly, and with nearly silent steps, he continued forward. He peered down from time to time and scanned the forest floor. Jagged footprints had ripped the moss from its resting place and cleaned leaves from the forest floor. Soon, he reached a clearing, and squinted as he searched the blades of grass for disturbances. The moment he realized there were none, was the moment he heard a crashing sound behind him.
His body spun around with incredible speed and he instantaneously acquired the target. A dirty, disheveled face lay directly in his sights, right next to Andrea's hazel eyes, open as wide as he'd ever seen them.
“Drop the weapon,” came a raspy voice from the man, as he stuck the sharpened end of a stick against Andrea's throat.
John shook his head. “Don't do anything stupid Michael.”
It was Michael's turn to be wide eyed, and sensing the opportunity, Andrea drove an elbow right into his ribs.
With a grunt, Michael reared, not quite relinquishing his grasp on her. They both tumbled backward and rolled a couple of times down the hill.
Michael was getting back to his feet when he felt the stick get ripped out of his hand with such force that the sensation of pain in his fingers didn't quite register until John had tackled him to the ground. He looked up to see that chiseled jaw surrounding a set of clenched teeth before his head resonated like a bell. When John's face finally came back into focus, blood was dripping down his forehead, and it became clear when he felt the hot liquid oozing from his nose that it was not John's blood. With a grunt, he locked his leg behind one of John's knees and bucked his hips, hurtling John on to his side. With what little advantage he had gained Michael climbed up and straddled John at the waist.
A messy wrestle ensued with neither of them getting much contact other than awkward palms to the face before a lucky break got Michael's hands around John's throat.
John's eyes bulged and blood vessels ruptured as a disturbing guttural clicking escaped the now pin hole sized opening in his esophagus.
It was then that the spear made a comeback; this time cracking in two against Michael's back.
Andrea was delivering a second blow when Michael abandoned the strangling and grasped her wrists before using her momentum to effectively throw her over his shoulder.
He turned his attention once again to John when he felt a tug on his wrist and realized too late that he was in an arm bar. Milliseconds afterward, his back slammed against the forest floor; his shoulder being painfully leveraged against John's hip. Michael grunted and rotated his body to avoid the inevitability of a dislocated shoulder and tried desperately to muscle his way out of the submission. He tugged and flexed, twisted and pushed but John was just too strong. He could practically feel the tendons ripping from the bone as the moment came where he could no longer withstand the submission.
As if it where nothing but a schoolyard scuffle, both men simply turned and stared at her like scolded children.
“Just stop it,” Andrea said, tears running down her face.
John released Michael's arm.
Michael sat up, groaning and holding his shoulder.
John, in the meantime, had already risen to his feet and brought his rifle up to his shoulder in one swift motion; the barrel trained on Michael's head.
Andrea walked up to him and placed her hand softly on the weapon, staring at John in his bloodshot eyes and shaking her head. “That's enough.”
“So how exactly do you know who I am?” asked Michael, rotating his arm to make sure it still worked.
“We've been waiting for you,” Andrea said.
Michael laughed.“Oh yeah?”
Andrea's face became stern. “Yeah,” she said, with anger in her voice. “We've been waiting for seventy two years.”