From Autumn Into Fall

She took them on, all twenty at once. The assailants formed a perfect circle around her, their movements concentrated and sharp. She took in the unified flow of warriors and smiled. That was their fatal flaw.

Break the pattern, disrupt the flow. Her first fist sent a man flying off the arena dais, flashing around his arm, which rose too slow, and connecting with his solar plexus. The momentum from her punch became a duck as another fighter tried to take advantage of her position and move in behind her. But instead of rolling forward, she hit the ground and sprang back, catapulted both legs to kick the warrior full in the face and off his feet, forceful enough to take out the woman behind him as well.

She could feel the fighters react and close in around the gaps in their formation, their weaknesses. Again, she predicted the ebb of the fighters around her. Legendary Strike, Heavenly Wave, Leaping Tiger. A clawed hand sent a fourth warrior stumbling backwards while clutching at her face. The remaining warriors coalesced, tried again to compensate.

She picked off the others, a streak of furious Thousand Cuts that found openings around not-quite-fast-enough guards. Paralyzing Palm blasts that struck and incapacitated before the well-trained unison could react. Three more down and two finally pick up on her style, so she shifted. White Demon interchanged with Spirit Thief with no discernable pattern to her chaos, no predictable formation. She made seemingly training-error mistakes that left her sides and back wide open, but not one of the fighters could capitalize on her weakness. False opportunities and shadow feints, and she took six more down groaning. The remaining seven became more leery, focused, but it was only a matter of time. Those already on the ground—on the dais or the sandy floor—would eventually walk away with bruised ribs and egos but nothing worse. She hadn't struck anyone to kill, yet.

Wu the Lotus Blossom eyed her remaining opponents, her wild hair a tangled black net that flared around her. Her face was a savage mask, pale and slitted and sharp, like broken porcelain. She took up a Lunar Crouching stance, a school of her own invention, and held out her hand. The remaining fighters moved in, a perfect circle, the only thing that made her feel still alive.

OoOoOoI'm not dead—whew! Short drabble I wrote up while trying to write the other epic, "A Dream of Blood and Snow." The premise of this scene is based on a similar sequence from Jet Li's movie Fearless.oOoOoO