Cassie didn’t wait to find out if he’d shoot. She swung her staff at him, hitting the laser encasing his right arm with one of the electrified ends. A bunch of different things inside the casing made popping noises, and I smelled electronics burning, a smell I know a lot better now than I did before I started dating Nick.
Laser Guy started doing what most of the League calls, “the lightning dance.” That’s when you get shocked, and it’s enough to make you flail around, but not enough to knock you out. I don’t know who started saying it, but between Rachel’s gloves, Cassie’s staff, and Vaughn’s lightning, there are way too many people flinging electricity around during team practices. I’ve been hit more than I want to think about. It’s irritating, and it hurts.
The staff didn’t put enough electricity through him to take him out. He got off one shot, but it didn’t go anywhere near Cassie because getting electrocuted doesn’t help your aim at all. It burned through the wall a little above the big window in the living room.
Laser Guy stumbled backwards, out of Cassie’s reach. She didn’t get up, and I could see why. The laser had burned through muscle and bone. Disturbingly, spots of blackened skin and muscle were already beginning to be absorbed and turn red, and both ends of the bone in the center of her leg seemed a little longer than they had before.
Unfortunately, she wouldn’t have time for the bone to grow back before he shot again. He lowered his left arm, pointing it toward her head. He knew how her father had died. Everybody knew how her father had died.
He never got a chance to fire.
I’d started as he pointed the gun. With my first step, I jumped most of the distance between us. With my second and third, I gained speed. With the fourth, I grabbed him and leaped with both legs, hurling both of us through the picture window, shattering wood and glass.
He landed face first in the lawn in front of the house. I pushed myself off his back, hitting the grass with the palms of my hands, flipping over to land on my feet, and turning around to face him.
He began to shout, but I didn’t understand what he said, and maybe that should have been a warning sign, but by the time warning signs start appearing, I’m not rational enough to notice.
So he said something, and I didn’t understand it. Don’t get me wrong, I know he wasn’t shouting, “I surrender!” I could hear his tone of voice, and I could smell him. His smell said he was going to fight.
I said something back, but it wasn’t really words. It was somewhere between a growl and a scream, and I didn’t stand there as if I was making conversation. I jumped at him. He didn’t stay still either. He was pushing himself up with his right hand, and trying to aim the left arm’s laser at me, but he was slow. Cassie must have hurt his right arm when she zapped him, because he winced as he pushed himself up.
I landed off to his left, and a little bit behind him. I stepped forward with my right leg, twisted, and ran my hand’s claws across his lower back, ripping his shirt (he’d ditched the trenchcoat), and leaving bloody trails behind. Frustratingly, none of them broke through the skin, not even my extra claw, the one next to my thumb. I could see a line of my poison dripping downward with his blood.
So, maybe I should have guessed a scrape wouldn’t stop him from the way he didn’t get hurt on the way through the window, but I wasn’t thinking that carefully.
He turned around with the bluish white laser already running. I know I didn’t think about it then, but later I couldn’t believe it. I’d jumped over him on the way out of the house, but I’d moved behind him by then, so when he was waiving that burning laser around, he was pointing it at his sister’s house where she, her husband, Cassie, and his niece were all watching.
Not that he’d worry about Cassie, but you’d think he’d worry about his niece at least. I mean, she was in the front room upstairs.
The beam cut through the pillars holding the porch’s roof up, and it fell in with a crash, but I barely noticed. He wasn’t aiming at the pillars. He was aiming at me. I ducked under the beam, but felt its searing heat across my back. I didn’t even think enough to wonder whether he’d hit me. All I knew was that I wanted the pain to stop.
Not thinking about anything but that, I threw myself forward under the beam, and punched him in the stomach, throwing him backward. I didn’t stop. I jumped on top of him before he got the chance to aim or fire.
I grabbed his left arm, sank my claws into the metal of the casing, and ripped it apart. Then I pulled the insides out, ignoring the sparks. He tried to hit me with his right arm, but I heard it move, and knocked it away, hearing him gasp in pain as my fist hit.
He smelled like fear.