I’m in the middle of writing two Empirian-rant heavy fight scenes. Duel scenes are a better term, I think, as they are all…duels. I have this one and two in book five. Ugh, spoilers? I don’t know. Book five is going to be awesome and light hearted and fun. Shh.
–Beginning Expressive Narration of Recording 31 - 2–
As stated at the end of Recording 31 part 1, this Recording picks up immediately where the previous let off. Mark and Lapadj have just tackled each other. Sarela and Grapefruit float off to the side, observing the brawl.
Mark grabs onto Lapadj’s shoulders and then slams his head into Lapadj’s. The Kharatzara stumbles back. Taking advantage of that weakness, Mark lands a heavy punch on Lapadj’s jaw and then steps away. Our agitated protagonist rubs his hand over his face, noting a trickle of blood coming from his lower lip.
“I knew the cloak was good, but I did not think it was that good,” Sarela says from the side. “So perfect looking.”
“Very authentic,” Grapefruit says.
“We tourists are obsessed about appearance,” Mark says. “Unlike, Lapadj, is it? You are sloppy. You disgrace tourists everywhere.”
“My name is Lapadj and tourists do not need me to disgrace themselves,” he snaps back.
“I suppose we really do not,” Mark muses. “Empirians such as yourself can do no harm to our face.” Mark runs a hand over his own cloaked countenance. “Both literally and metaphorically.”
“I do not like him,” Grapefruit says.
“Aye ky to that,” Sarela concurs
Lapadj simply stares back at him. His eyes flickering with primal fury.
“The only thing you could do right now is break cloak first and assault me in your true form,” Mark continues “thereby rending apart your own honor. That is what is in your power. Nothing more, nothing less.”
“Would it still be face-damaging if I devoured your Kharat and won this fight?” he asks.
“Yes, as you would still be breaking cloak first,” Mark replies. “Is that not obvious?”
Lapadj shakes his head and the runs over to Mark with surprising swiftness. The other Empirian is taken by surprised–he does not move away fast enough to dodge the punch Lapadj lands on his face. Seizing that moment of dominance, he throws his fists against him in rapid succession and then jumps on him. Straddling his waist, he begins to do something that is a mix between slapping and punching at Mark’s face. He is clearly expressing anger towards him. Sarela starts chanting his name over and over again, cheering him on. Grapefruit joins in.
He breaks for a second, acting weak like a Human. During this second, Mark throws him off of him, sending him rolling down the inclined plane of the parking garage. He gets up and stares down at him. Blood covers his cloaked face.
As Lapadj rises up, Sarela and the Goddess float over to be next to him, and he says to Mark: “Is that face damaging for you?”
“This is not my face, so no,” he answers. “You did not even dent my cloak.” The integrity of the cloak is easily seen and sensed.
Those words cause Lapadj to tilt his head. He blinks. Then he smirks. “I am going to do more than just dent your cloak,” Lapadj says, a half mad look upon his cloaked face. “I am going to break it into a billion pieces and find out what race you are.”
“By punching me repeatedly?” Mark inquires and then spits out some artificially generated blood and saliva.
“Yes, after first punching through my own cloak.”
Lapadj summons up the overlay of the cloaking technology. For him, it is colored a dark red-brown-purple hue. Information and settings swirl into vision. It focuses on one particular option: the setting to shatter the cloak and revert back to the Empirian form. It exists in the air in front of him as a circle. A target to punch through. Empirians sometimes enjoying a more practical and direct way of doing something. Shattering the cloak by punching a portion of it is a way to do just that.
It is also what Lapadj is threatening to do.
“Really?” Mark asks, eyes wide at the sight.
“Lapadj,” Sarela says sharply.
“Really,” Lapadj affirms, and then cackles. “Maybe I am a terrible tourist. But maybe I am an excellent dueler. Maybe I am the strongest Kharatzara you will ever meet. Maybe I will take your Kharat and put it into my tail gem for millions of years without any hope of getting it back. Maybe I do not care about my face. Maybe I am stupid.”
“Maybe, indeed,” the Empirian responds cooly, feet grinding into the ground. He brings up his overlay. “You first. I would love to see you humiliate yourself.”
“I would love to see you torn to shreds,” Lapadj says semi-hysterically. “Gods, I am going to do terrible things to you for ruining my subpar Human existence.”
“Then you have to break your cloak to do that,” Mark taunts.
“Lapadj, think about this,” the Szarehan says to him.
“I am and I am going to break my cloak,” Lapadj says.
He brings his fist up and pulls back, preparing to punch through his cloak. Mark does the same, mirroring him.
Many moments pass as they stare each other off. Both in nearly the same position, waiting for the other to make a move.
Then Lapadj punches.
I have again decided to break apart Recording 31. The next part will continue the events of Lapadj’s fight with Mark. I will begin at exactly this moment in the next section.
–Ending Expressive Narration of Recording 31 - 2–