Ready for another chapter? Here it is! The second draft of chapter 13 of Dragon’s Fall: Book Three is ready for your critique. I’m looking for the good, the bad, and the ugly. Let me know what I did right, let me know what I did wrong, and let me know where I can improve. I want this sci-fi book to be the best in the series! Thank you so much for your feedback. :0)
Terkeshi fought for air. His heart thudded as the crook of Tokagei’s cybernetic arm crushed around neck. His lungs screamed for oxygen as a building heat saturated his face.
He groped for the man’s eyes, struck at his arm, and tried every other trick he could think of to get out of the hold, to no avail. Tokagei’s solid grip remained.
A tingling spread to Terk’s limbs. Dizziness swirled into a tunnel of blackness. His heartrate pulsated.
Desperation overtook him and he tapped out. As soon as Tokagei let go, he choked in air. His head and face prickled as freshly oxygenated blood rushed in.
Laughter broke out and echoed throughout the small ship. Terk’s blood ran hot. How dare they laugh at him, the last Dragon Prince, their leader.
“Knock it off,” he said with a roughness in his throat caused by the choking.
The laughter died down, but the smiles didn’t leave the men’s faces.
Terk glowered. “Let’s see all of you fight off someone with a cybernetic arm.”
A couple men dropped their mirth.
Terk pulled back his shoulders. “Again,” he said to Tokagei.
The man smirked but went into a fighting stance. They circled one another in the small open cabin area of the ship. The other senshi hugged the walls and corners or watched from atop equipment.
Terk considered his options. Sensei Jeruko often advised to let his opponent make the first move. Though Terk usually liked to be the first to attack, he waited for Tokagei this time.
Tokagei’s mocking smile broadened. “Come on, boy.”
“That’s my Lord to you, you cock-eyed freak.”
Tokagei shrugged, then shot a double punch. Terk blocked both and counter struck. Before his strike landed, the man’s cybernetic arm blocked him and sent a twinge along the nerve of his forearm.
Terk gritted his teeth and swung again. Tokagei parried and jabbed. Terk deflected and threw more punches.
Neither of them made contact. A new tactic was in order. Terk threw a lower side kick to Tokagei’s knee. The man avoided it with ease, but Terk followed with a punch to his jaw.
As Tokagei’s smile fell, the corner of Terk’s mouth curved up. He held his own better this time, but his forearm where he’d been blocking titanium force itched with increased numbness. When he tightened his fist, a sharpness ran up his arm.
Tokagei put on a wicked grin and attacked. Jab. Jab. Uppercut. More punches and swings. Terk blocked them all. He should have been grateful for the decreased sensation in his forearm, but his muscles weakened.
He growled and let out a slew of counterstrikes. He aimed for the head, kidney, and sternum. The closest he came to hitting anything was a weak punch to the side.
Tokagei laughed, then aimed a side-strike at Terk’s head. His cybernetic arm easily smashed into Terk’s weakened arm and followed through with a strike to the temple.
Terk’s head rang, but he maintained his balance. He aimed a counterstrike, but Tokagei hit him with his metal fist. Terk’s vision rattled, sending him stumbling. Tokagei took advantage and kept at it. Three more blows sent Terk to the floor. Warm blood burst from the side of his eye.
Tokagei stepped back with a laugh. “You need to hit harder.”
“Fuck you.” Terk struggled to stand. He grasped the corner of some nearby equipment and wiped the blood from his temple. “I don’t need a cybernetic arm to win a fight.”
“Haven’t seen you win anything yet,” Tokagei muttered.
Terk fumed. “You’re supposed to be teaching me, chima. Show me how to defeat you. Surely there’s a weakness in that fake armor of yours.”
Tokagei shrugged. “I don’t have any weaknesses anymore. To be frank, my Lord, you’re either gonna need more skill or get some armor of your own.”
Senshi Pachin frowned at the smug cybernetic warrior. “No need for insults. Prince Terkeshi is still a teenager. Give him a chance to hone his skills.”
Tokagei huffed. “Insults build character. If he doesn’t like it, he can just try harder.”
Terk blocked Pachin’s line of sight. Although he appreciated the man’s attempt to defend him, he didn’t need the help. He glared at Tokagei. “The only reason you’re better at fighting than me is because of your cybernetics. But those haven’t made you any smarter. You’re still the same dumbass who tried to pick his nose with a metal finger earlier.”
Tokagei glanced at the laughing onlookers. His larger bottom lip stuck out as he frowned. “I haven’t seen you outsmart anyone, my Lord.” He bowed mockingly. “Your own little brother was smarter than you. He schemed right under your nose, and you had no clue.”
The men snickered, some covering their mouths—as though that hid their asinine behavior. Terk crossed his arms and sulked. He had known all about Jori’s plan. Hell, he’d even helped him. They didn’t know that, though. Look who has no clue now, stupid chima.
“You better watch it, Tokagei,” he replied. “I won’t always be this young.”
“And inexperienced,” someone jeered.
Terk pivoted on his heal and left the cabin in a huff. Quiet laughter lingered behind him, but there was nothing he could do about it right now. Someday, someday soon hopefully, he could kick their asses, and show them once and for all that he wasn’t a Dragon to be messed with.
“Dismissed,” Terkeshi said to the man in the cockpit. He dropped into the pilot’s chair and reviewed the information on the console. Two more hours and they’d be at the space station. Not too long after that, he’d lead these doubting assholes on a successful mission.
It would be nice if he could put his father in a good mood for once, too.