Max vs the dark stranger II
Just as Erix made his next attack, he found himself being tracked by several rounds of laser fire. He was about to hit the deck, but he just couldn’t resist the opportunity when he saw that Max was even more startled by it, and lunged at him. Max turned his attention back in time, and just barely managed to deflect Erix’s attack, but it still knocked him down, just in time to avoid the rest of the stray shots.
“Shit!” Erix hissed as he stumbled across the deck, ducking behind some supply crates. Wondering if he just inadvertently saved his stubborn opponent, knocking him out of the line of fire like that. Given the direction, a brief glance from his hiding place revealed the source of the shots to be someone aboard Sentry I.
Hadn’t expected a backwater outfit like this to have a sniper. And again cursed that mysterious blackout that silenced both of his power pistols or he would very much enjoy returning fire. Deciding to test that theory, he unstrapped his helmet and held it out from behind the crates in a loose grip—
“Damn!” he muttered, watching his helmet fly right out of his hand. Glad now that he hadn’t stuck his head out there.
When the shooting stopped, it only took Erix half a second to figure out the implication. Wasting no time, he sprang out from his cover, dashing in close to his opponent. Keeping Max between himself and this unknown shooter as a human shield.
Max was still staring at Sentry I, and it was only seeing Erix’s movement out of the corner of his eye that saved him as he jumped aside.
“You don’t have time to look around while you’re fighting me!” Erix told him, staying close to his adversary to confound any sniper in the distance. That was when he recognized Max’s face from his recon earlier. “I get it… You’re the one they hired as an outside observer, aren’t you? Never guessed you’d also double as a guard.”
“That’s not what they intended,” Max replied curtly, trying to focus on defending against Erix’s renewed assault. Finally seeing his enemy’s visage behind the steel faceplate, lean and angular, framed by a shaggy mane of black hair, but what struck him the most was the left side of his face. Streaked with three slashmarks, and a glass eye that gazed blankly at the world, one clear grey eye gleaming on the right that matched his wolfish grin. It took an effort of will to look straight into that eye, yet Max continued, “but I’m still going to protect them anyway!”
“Who cares about them?” Erix demanded. As they continued to trade attacks, he reflected that this Max guy was stronger than he originally gave him credit for, having lasted far longer than most. Still, if he let this fight drag out too much longer, it would give the Island Patrol a chance to interfere in his plans, once they boarded the Seeker. “I’d be more worried about myself if I were you, pretty-boy!”
For his part, Max steeled himself to carry on as long as he could. He knew he was engaged in an uphill battle against his toughest opponent yet, but he was determined to hold out at least until the Seeker crew was rescued. All the same, he found a part of him didn’t want to back down now, even if defeat meant certain death.
It was all he could do for now to keep this Erix occupied, and hope his friends were still alive out there.