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Nature Abhors a Vacuum

to. When he couldn't dodge or duck, he managed to deflect the attack with his sword,
sparks flying from the two great blades when they met.
Pacian and Nellise were keeping another pair of bandits occupied, and yet another
was aiming his hunting bow at Sayana. Sensing her peril, she raised an empty hand
towards her axe and remarkably, it flew through the air and landed in her outstretched
grasp. An arrow flew right past her, and her response was to rise to her feet and throw the
axe with all of her strength.
Despite her diminutive size, the axe tumbled impressively through the air and lodged
into the surprised archer‟s chest. He coughed a spray of blood as he fell to the ground.
Aiden heard a cry of alarm from Nellise, and saw she was having trouble keeping her two
enemies at bay. Pacian had his own problems, trying to face off in a stand- up fight
against yet another man.
Aiden burst into action, running over to where the two bandits slashed away at
Nellise with their long knives. She was clearly no novice with the quarterstaff, but the
two men were quick and knew how to work together. Blood trickled down her side from
the tears in her robe, but they were so intent on their prey they didn‟t see Aiden charging
He ran one of them through with his blade, using the force of his charge to drive the
point home. They crashed into the other bandit, sending them all tumbling to the ground.
Aiden pulled his blade from the body and brought it down on the other bandit, taking him
directly in the chest.
Gasping for breath, Aiden turned to see Colt slowly being overcome by Fletcher,
who was clearly an experienced fighter. Both men sported minor wounds, and when the
ranger‟s blade was thrown from his grasp, Aiden thought he was done for.
A grey form dashed past Aiden and dove at Fletcher's exposed legs. The grey wolf
Colt had nursed back to heath sank its vicious teeth into the bandit's hamstring and
brought him to his knees. The wolf thrashed about so much Fletcher couldn‟t bring his
weapon to bear, much less keep his footing.
Nellise took advantage of the distraction to charge in and slam her quarterstaff into
the back of Fletcher‟s head with all the force she could muster. He went down like a sack
of potatoes.
“Your captain is down!” Nellise cried out as loudly as she could. “Drop your
weapons at once and you may yet live!” The few bandits still conscious in the vicinity
looked over and saw Fletcher‟s unconscious form and gave up the fight at once. Instead
of surrendering as Aiden had anticipated, they broke off and ran into the forest.
“Good enough,” Nellise remarked between breaths as she leaned heavily on her staff.
They breathed a collective sigh of relief at having not only survived the fight, but
successfully taking down the vicious bastard behind the blockade.
Pacian kicked the backside of his fleeing opponent, but did not pursue. He wore a
look of seething outrage as he turned to regard Fletcher, a look Aiden had seen before.
“Just keep your cool Pace,” Aiden advised as they began to gather around their
captive. “We took him alive, so we'll get him back to Bracksford and let O laf deal with
him, and then get paid. You like money right?”
“Don't try and distract me,” Pacian growled, circling the unconscious bandit with a
dark look marring his features. “This prick has been keeping Bracksford locked down for
weeks. He‟s got to pay.”