Serial Saturday: Nightmare Engine of Doom Part 15 – Unsavory Battle

Both Enzo and Xavier were surprised when Enzo went hurtling through the air and hit Xavier. Fortunately, while Xavier had cat-like reflexes, he still reacted to startling situations basically like a normal human being. Enzo’s reaction to surprise, on the other hand, was to lash out like a crazed wolverine, which served him well now.

Once the little sociopath was inside the reach of Xavier’s blade, the Belgian assassin had no chance. I almost felt sorry for Xavier as he was born to the floor by his small, but utterly demented opponent. His sword went clattering off down the corridor as he fell, which utterly sealed his fate. I hardened my heart to his pathetic cries by reminding myself of the the bloodbaths he’d perpetrated in Shanghai, Mexico City, Lisbon, and countless other cities at the behest of the Countess.

I was shaken from my reverie of these grim deaths–Marcus LeChance, shot eighteen times in China, Betty McFlannery devoured by specially-trained Pumas in Mexico, Thomas Swenson pushed down a flight of stairs in Portugal and so on–by the realization that the fight was coming to an end with shocking suddenness. Enzo had gotten some sort of garment consisting of various buckles and grommets and lace around Xavier’s neck and was using it to garrote him. At one point, Xavier half-rose, but was unable to throw Enzo off his back, and as he fell again I saw that his face was becoming decidedly purple.

I realized that not only would my input not be needed to decide the battle, but that I had better get clear before Enzo found himself once again with some free time on his hands. This impression was reinforced when Enzo managed to gather both ends of his impromptu garote in one hand to free up the other to make a gesture that involved first pointing at me, then drawing his finger across his throat.

I had to admire his dedication to risking his own life in a desperate battle just to make a threat, but it spurred me to get clear before he could make good on it. I thought perhaps if he had a bit of time to cool down, some semblance of clear thinking might manifest himself and Enzo might set aside his petty desire for vengeance and begin to see things my way.

Unfortunately, the struggle was blocking the aisle of the car, and I was by no means certain that if I tried to edge past Enzo would not make a grab for my ankle. I turned and began to shift the trunks Enzo had left in front of the other door, desperation giving my movements speed.

I cleared aside the luggage faster than I would have thought possible, the sound of Xavier’s death rattle from behind me as I pushed aside the last of them alerting me that I had finished not a moment too soon.

Enzo’s angry bellow followed me out the door as I desperately lunged through it. I sprinted through one car and out the other side, hearing the sound of Enzo’s pursuit behind me. Rather than continuing the race down the train until I reached the dead end of the engine, I clambered up the ladder on the outside of the car and doubled back across the top of the roof. I was banking on Enzo’s shorter legs making the pursuit difficult, and as I made the end of the roof and clambered down the ladder on that end and glance back showed no sign of Enzo.

I made my way through a few cars at a less frantic pace, and when I reached the club car I stopped for a drink to soothe my jangled nerves. In retrospect, the club car was not a good place to hide from the likes of Enzo, but I was perhaps not thinking completely clearly after the stress of the night.

The door banging open to reveal a wild-eyed Enzo caused me to cough and spit out much of my Scotch. Enzo strode toward me in a business-like fashion as I scrambled off my bar stool, snatching a bottle from a table as he went by and draining its contents before inverting it and making to smash it against another table.

It looked like it was going to get messy, but suddenly the door behind Enzo banged open again, framing two train porters, one of whom held a pistol.

“Murder!” he shouted.

Copyright © 2012 SM Williams

~ by smwilliams on January 21, 2012.