Shyan shrugs and gestures for the rest to follow the glowing sphere. They do so, and Shyan falls in behind. She makes a fighting retreat, scooping up stones and pinecones to launch at their pursuers. When bone darts start slamming into tree trunks all around her, she drops her missiles and sprints after her companions.
They reach a dark thicket of leafy branches and Shyan signals for silence. The gang slows its collective breathing, and soon the only sounds are morning doves, insects, and the soft buzz of the glowing sphere. Somewhere beyond, the gang hears tentative steps of sentries.
Cang meets the guard’s gaze as soon as the branch cracks. He’s ready for it: time almost seems to slow, warp, and twist. The guard’s four-fingered hand drops to his belt with a long, blurred trail. He grasps a poison-coated bone dart, its green tip coated with wet ichor. The guard brings the dart up and arcs it in Cang’s direction.
Cang leaves the guard aside from his attention, focuses entirely on the dart. It cuts through the air, a slice of white against the deep green foliage. Cang raises his hand and as the dart reaches him, snags it from its place in the air, careful not to touch the poisonous tip.
The guard can’t tell he’s caught it until Cang throws it back. In an instant the dart’s sticking from the guard’s shoulder, and a second later, he collapses, tumbling to the ground below.
A man in a bright white blazer hustling along at a jog in nice shoes; in the street. The November darkness swallows his black and bearded figure, save for his brilliant jacket.
Why is he not on the sidewalk, a half-dozen metres away? He’s on the wrong side of the car wall.
(That’s their home and it’s dangerous to be in it. One may dart across, nimbly, without hesitation, should the way be clear and such an act IN NO WAY interfere with traffic.
Even the pitiful Cyclist will yell, or ring his feeble bell should you be caught in combat with the Rule of the Road (thus such an act conveys a potent shame indeed!))