Anausa spun on his heel and lobbed the drone’s core at Brick’s feet. The brute’s eyes went wide as the makeshift weapon sailed towards him. He turned and tried to run, lost his footing, stumbled, scrambled away. Anausa advanced cautiously, uncertain how great an explosion to expect, unwilling to risk Brick surviving the blast. If it killed him, fine. If it weakened him, Anausa would finish him off with his knives. If he was knocked off-guard, Anausa would press the advantage. And if he was utterly unharmed and ready to fight, then Anausa would adapt and overcome.
The core detonated with a wave of heat and sound that shook the thoughts from Anausa’s skull, but his training was too great for that to stop him. Battle was a part of him. Instinctual. Programmed into the very core of his being. As the crowd gasped in surprise and cheered in delight, as Brick roared a litany of curses, Anausa drew a pair of knives and leapt into the air. He came down on Brick’s back and sunk them to the hilt into the monster’s back. “Arrogant,” Anausa thought. “All that armor on your front and nothing here? Did you think you were invincible? Did you–”
A hand clamped around Anausa’s throat, fingers digging into flesh like a vice, cutting off his breath. He barely had time to register shock or pain before he felt himself go flying through the air head over heels, his back slamming into the ground. Above him, the beast roared in fury and pain, gauntleted hand curling into a fist and drawing back to come crashing down upon him.