The Climax, Part 3
I throw Kara over my shoulder and dash for the exit. Nepotism and Solomon are still fighting on the catwalk above me. Solomon has not missed a word in the song. Armitage has reformed, arms raised and held out before it’s chest, talons crackling with pure blue energy. Kara is still unconscious. I slide her off my shoulder and drop her. No time for niceties.
The Desert Talon is in my hand like it never left. My first three slugs make black flowers on Armitage’s shirt, blowing holes the size of quarters in front and melons in the back. Solomon breaks free of Nepotism and lurches on a rail.
The entire secret is already loose. Solomon stopped in mid-"Puuuuuuuuuurp..." None of them expected gunshots. No matter how hard they try to conceal it, everyone knew shit was real from here on out.
Armitage, the other hand, blasted me in the chest with the energy discharged from his fingers. I’m laid out on the disc like a stripper at a Motley Crue show. The momentary distraction allows Nepotism to knock the sword from Solomon’s hand. It clatters on the grate a short leap away from me.
Nepotism jumps off the platform by the drums, leaving Solomon looking down on us from the Tree of Life. Armitage looms over Kara with bent arms above his head. His eyes are wild with the kill, hands already starting to glow.
I shout and wave the gun, trying to divert his attention for a second, long enough for me to aim and fire, but the Scrubber pays no attention. Kara is waking up now, propped on one elbow, heel of her hand heavy on her forehead, unaware of what is about to strike. The music is too loud, or her head is still to foggy, but she doesn't even open her eyes a slit when Armitage wraps his long, knobby fingers around her neck, lifting her easily off the stage. The audience screams for blood.
I pull myself to my feet and lunge. Armitage spins and slams me to the ground with his other fist. I can't get a decent shot around Kara.
The Scrubber hisses, frail, spindly body rigid like Nosferatu. Armitage’s eyes widen as it arches its back, the tip of a sword blade sticking from the Scrubber’s stomach. Still holding Kara, it turns, yanking the sword out of Nepotism’s hand. Armitage narrows its eyes as it leans in, holding Kara off to the side, forgotten. Nepotism loses no hint of bravado before the Scrubber. Somebody needs to have a little courage, or we're all fucked.
I take the grip of Nepotism's sword, and with all the strength I can muster, rip it from Armitage’s spine, spinning to wind up. Before Armitage can turn to see what I'm about to do, I chop off the arm that's holding Kara. She falls in a heap at the Scrubber’s feet, long, knobby fingers still tightly clutching her throat.