Had an opportunity to work a bit more tonight

Had an opportunity to work a bit more tonight. Work is kickin' the hell outta me. Well, anyway, here it is.

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Chapter 5

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The Anubis clone swept around in a zigzag, dodging the oncoming torrent of blasts with infuriating ease. It would feint a charge at a cluster of LEVs and then dodge back, twisting out of the line of fire at the last moment.

Every now and then, the purplish wisps would lash out and snare a LEV, tossing it about for a bit, then cripple it by crushing some vital component or another.

This went on for ten minutes or so, the LEV pilots growing increasingly irritated with this childlike foe.

Suddenly, the clone stopped, and it swiveled around to face the shining blue blot rocketing in its direction. The head of the shadow covered machine jerked up in a defiant gesture, and with a sweeping flourish, seemed to taunt the oncoming Frame.

In the cockpit of Jehuty, Leo ground his teeth, staring dagger at the superimposed image on his console.

"So it thinks it's funny."

A.D.A's irritatingly logical reprimand soon followed, "As a lower function AI, it is doubtful it can simulate humor."

"It was a figure of speech, ADA………." Leo groaned half-heartedly. Despite his new attachment to Vic Viper, Leo felt comfortable in the familiar environment inside Jehuty's cockpit. Thinking about how well suited he had become to fighting in a Frame brought a smile. But on that same note, he remembered the grief the Frame had brought him on that day at the colony.

Shaking himself, Leo returned his gaze to the Anubis clone.

The LEVs were hesitating, many taking the time to shift back to a barrier formation around the ships.

The clone was waiting patiently for Jehuty to arrive, now ignoring the surrounding enemies.

With Leo's battlecry, Jehuty charged head on into the clones face, the arm blade whipping out across the front of the intruder. The frame moved quickly, swatting its arm out to meet the other. They sat locked for a second, before the clone jerked outward violently, sending Jehuty reeling back. The boosters ignited, and Jehuty was circling vertically to the clone.

Another cry, and Jehuty plummeted towards the clone. Before they came within striking distance, Jehuty seemed to blink out of existence. With a gesture of uncharacteristic confusion for the clone so far, it looked around for sign of the disappearing frame. Behind it, the image of Jehuty shimmered and wavered into solidity. Jehuty's arm jabbed out to impale the frame with the armblade, but the frame had time to whirl to the left out of range.

Exhibiting the strange lack of inertia, the clone switched direction with impossible speed back to connect a hard blow with its forearm. Jehuty drifted a ways, then swung around with a pulse blast in its fist. The aim was true, and the blue fire washed over the clone. Again, the ear-splitting shrieks echoed over the comms, and the writhing frame's shadows were ripped away, exposing the skeletal frame.

Jehuty surged forward to land a blow, but the frame twisted back and out, its ability to change direction effortlessly yet again keeping it out of harm's way.

Leo groaned, "The way it moves, the Goliath won't be able to hit it…."

As if on cue, "The comms channel switched to a private transmission.

"Commander Stenbuck, this is Captain Balkra. The Goliath has reached 80 and is rising to full capacity."

"Hold your fire for now. I need to stop this thing from moving before the cannon will be any good." Leo took the time to curse the engineers that had wanted to keep the vector cannon for study at Command.

Then an idea struck him. He grinned briefly. Zero Shift was terribly useful.

The clone had by now reshaped its shadowy skin. It faced Jehuty defiantly, ready to continue the battle.

Jehuty, drawing itself straight, blinked out again. It reappeared next to the clone, which lashed out, only to swish through dead space. Jehuty popped up again above it, and disappeared again right as the enemy attacked. The new game grew faster, each couple of seconds punctuated by the passing in and out of space right next to the increasingly agitated frame.

Its movements grew random, striking wildly at the elusive foe. The speed picked up even more, Jehuty now leaving after images all around. Then, in a microscopic instant, Jehuty closed its arms around the middle of the enemy frame. The surprised AI twisted madly, trying to shake off the new weight.

Leo grunted amusedly, "This thing really isn't anything compared to Anubis. Heh, try again BAHRAM. Captain Balkra, fire at the frame!"

"But sir, you're in the line of fire!?"

"I'll be fine, just fire the damn cannon."

Not far away, the two specially designed cruisers had joined from the top, and between the two of them sat a massive contraption, reminisce of the vector cannon. The power rings were rotating wildly, and the air between the ships shimmered with the zero space being ruptured.

Hesitating only a moment, Captain Balkra, joined by Jarren, gave the order to fire.

The bright blast of energy lanced almost point blank onto Jehuty and the clone. In the instant before the blast connected, Jehuty's Zero Shift kicked in again, and the clone alone was obliterated.

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Oh how like me, a dramatic ending to yet another chapter. I think I watch too much tv…………