Chrono Continuum Chapter 75

Impossible Odds

By Cain

1999 AD

Ayla jumped forward, tucking back one leg while sticking the other out straight, into a flying kick, hoping to end the fight quickly with one strong blow.

Ledune, however, wasn't going to go down that easily. Without even shifting his feet from their places, the Hellbound swung his arm around, and grabbed Ayla's ankle. In the same split second, he pulled her leg upward, reversing Ayla's position.

The cave woman grunted with pain as her back hit the hard metal of the bridge, knocking the breath out of her. However, before she could recover, Ledune, his hand still gripping her ankle, pulled her up in the air, and swung her up, over his head, and back down, into the metal door behind him.

Ayla slumped to the ground, dizzied, and nearly unconscious, when Ledune bent over and grabbed her shirt with one hand. With no effort at all, he lifted her off the ground. Then, with his other hand, he grabbed one of her thighs and lifted her entire body over his head.

Ayla had only a moment of clear consciousness before Ledune threw her across the bridge, and she slammed, hard, into the huge machine in the center of the "room".

She fell roughly to the platform, her head propped up against the machine, her eyes rolled to the back of her head. However, she could still hear it as Ledune walked toward her, his footsteps echoing in her dazed mind. She had no idea where she was anymore, only knew that something was coming for her.

Summoning all the strength of will she had, she opened her eyes, and looked up, to see Ledune standing over her, sword drawn.

Without a moment's notice, Ayla turned her body to the side and kicked, her legs tripping up the Hellbound. Then, using the momentum of the sweep to stand up, Ayla bent over and grabbed the still-falling Hellbound by the legs. Finally, ending her spin, she slammed Ledune, face first, into the machine behind her.

However, as soon as her hands released Ledune's feet, allowing him to fall to the ground, he flipped in midair, landing lightly on his feet. Instantly, he brought up his leg and kicked the surprised cave-woman in the chin, throwing her back halfway across the bridge.

Ayla rose up on her hands and knees, shaking her head. "You... strong," she remarked.

Ledune nodded, uninjured, not even breathing hard. "As are you. Indeed, woman, you are a worthy opponent."

And with that, the Hellbound dashed across the bridge, closing the distance between them in a blur. Before Ayla could react, Ledune's knee crashed into her face, knocking her into the air, stunned. Instantly, while she was still in midair, Ledune jumped up and brought his fists down, slamming them into her chest, and knocking her back down.

Ayla hit the bridge hard, bouncing up into the air for just a moment before Ledune, now standing on the bridge, kicked her, sending her rolling twenty feet.

Ayla finally came to a stop, lying on her back, eyes closed, breathing regularly. Ledune walked up to her prone form, sword drawn, expressionless. He shook his head. "Strange. I didn't think it would be this easy..."

Shrugging, the Hellbound knelt beside her, and raised his sword in the air. "Too bad. I was hoping for more of a chall-"

His statement was interrupted when Ayla's fist slammed into his face, knocking him to his back. The Hellbound opened his eyes to see Ayla suddenly sitting on his chest, before she punched him again, the force of it causing his head to make a dent in the hard metal of the bridge.

Still, Ayla didn't stop. She punched him again and again, putting all her strength into it. The dent in the bridge grew larger and larger, until finally the Hellbound's head broke all the way through. Ayla hesitated for a moment, and that was all that was needed.

Ledune's fist came up through the gap in the flurry of punches, slamming into Ayla's gut. The cave woman made a choking sound for a moment, before Ledune grabbed her by the shoulders and threw her off of him.

Ayla recovered quickly, just in time to see Ledune's legs raise up in the air, making his body upside-down. Effortlessly, Ledune used his arms to push away from the bridge, pulling his head out of the hole, and bringing him into a handstand. Ledune pushed again, this time into the air, and landed on his feet. Calmly, he bent down and picked up his sword.

Then the Hellbound turned to her. Ayla was surprised to see that Ledune had a slightly bloody nose, as opposed to her appearance. She was quite sure that she'd broken many bones, and she couldn't see through her right eye.

Ledune remained still for a moment, then smiled, the gesture sending chills down Ayla's spine. "Frankly, I'm impressed. I didn't think you'd get back up, let alone hurt me. I suppose this means I can't afford to go easy on you anymore."

Ayla blinked her good eye. "Easy?"


Same Time

The snow rose up in a cloud up around Marle as she fell, but with all the snow falling, one wouldn't see the small cloud, or the woman who'd made it. And that was exactly what Marle was afraid of.

She'd been walking for so long that she couldn't recognize time anymore. The island, all around her, was falling apart, and she had yet to find Epoch. If she didn't find the ship soon, she would freeze to death, and even her magical immunity to ice couldn't help her for long. The problem was, she didn't know where she was, or where Epoch was.

Wearily, she rose up, out of the snow, and trudged onward, heedless of the lack of feeling in her hands.

Abruptly, she turned. Through the white blanket of falling snow, she glimpsed something. Something darker than the snow.

Could it be Epoch, she wondered, not having gotten a good look at the form. Well, even if it isn't, it's my only chance. Be it Epoch, person, or cave, it's all I've got.

And with that thought, she braved onward.


Same Time

Robo turned his head, just in time to spot the incoming fireball. With lightning quick reactions, he cut off his rockets. As he fell, the fireball passed directly overhead, continuing through the electricity shield, only to be torn apart by the lightning bolts outside.

Robo quickly reactivated his rockets, looking around for the two Hellbound, both of them hard to spot. Wethreem's black armor gave him the perfect camouflage for the cloudy background, but Robo could spot him with his infra-red sensors.

However, Caerina gave off no heat, making it impossible to find her using infra-red, which meant he had to visually search for her. That meant that he could only see one of them at a time.

This handicap became painfully clear as a blast of energy caught him in the leg, shorting out his rocket in that leg. Robo quickly cut off the rocket in the other leg to maintain equilibrium, but knew that the hit to the leg would be his undoing. His dodging capabilities were now next to zero, meaning he'd have to rely on a quick eye and heavy firepower.

"Oh well," he lamented, aiming his shoulder cannon at Caerina as she rocketed by. "When life gives you lemons..."


Same Time

Marle collapsed once again into the snow, her sheer force of will the only thing keeping her alive. Whatever it was she had seen, she couldn't see it anymore, and she was now too exhausted and cold to continue searching. Maybe Epoch had been smart enough to get off of the island before it collapsed. Marle could only hope that was the case.

Her eyes shot open as she heard a crunch, as of a footstep in the snow. Her gaze raised slightly to reveal a pair of dark blue boots, directly in front of her face. She looked up further to see the rest of the person.

"Oh no," she moaned.

The person smiled. "What's wrong, sweetie? Not happy to see me?"

"Leave... me... alone, Drissom," she stated as firmly as she could, while trying to reach for her crossbow.

"Oh, I'll leave you alone. Just as soon as I do this," he told her. Powerless, Marle couldn't even protest as Drissom wrapped an arm around her waist, and lifted her.

Marle could only pay vague attention to where they were going as Drissom carried her along, seemingly unaffected by the cold. Finally, after she could stay awake no longer, Marle's eyes closed, and she was sucked into the void of unconsciousness.


Same Time

Ayla performed an agile backflip, just barely avoiding being sliced in two by Ledune's sword. However, Ledune didn't stop at one slash and continued swiping at her again and again.

So, with little choice in the matter, Ayla continued flipping backwards, the blade always just an inch from her flesh. Every flip brought her a little closer to the door at the end of the bridge, and Ayla wasn't sure what she'd do when she got there.

Ledune slashed at her again, but Ayla, mid-flip, was surprised to find the door closer than she remembered. Too close for her to land on her feet, giving Ledune a free slash at her back. She couldn't have that.

So, Ayla continued the flip, allowing her feet to contact the door. Immediately, she pushed off from the door, somersaulting over Ledune's head. In midair, she pushed both legs out, and kicked Ledune in the back of the head, slamming him face first into the door.

However, she couldn't regain momentum and ended up falling face down on the ground. Trying to escape Ledune's reach, she immediately pushed off the ground with her arms and legs and leapt forward into a roll, which brought her to her feet.

She turned quickly, just in time to see Ledune's blade swiping down at her head. Everything seemed to slow down as Ayla instinctively jumped backwards, attempting to escape the sharp blade. She knew she was going to escape death, but the blade was still coming down too fast for her to completely avoid.

Ayla cried out in pain as the blade bit into her forehead, cutting through skin and muscle, less than a centimeter away from the bone. The tip of the sword continued downward, moving around the edge of her good eye, and continued down her cheek, past the edge of her mouth, finally exiting at the chin.

She landed on her feet, a few feet back, her expression one of shock. She self-consciously raised a hand to her face to survey the damage. When withdrawn, her hand was covered in the blood running down the side of her face.

Ayla's gaze broke away from her hand, to the man before her, his face as expressionless as ever. Her eyes narrowed and the entire world seemed to take on the same blood-red color as her hand.

She growled. "Now, you die."


"You may be disappointed if you fail, but you are doomed if you don’t try."
-Beverly Sills


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