Robeson and Bayard came at me together, as I had known they would. Robeson slashed high, and the tip of his blade would have opened up my forehead if I had been any slower. But Bayard’s attack was the real one, a deceptive cut at ankle height that snaked into a lightning fast midline thrust meant to penetrate my gut.

I batted Deputy Robeson’s blade up just enough to duck beneath it, even as I kicked Deputy Bayard in the face so hard that his nose spurted blood and his thrust lost all power. These fucking humans were not going to arrest me. Not today.

Perhaps Robeson expected me to make a dash for the door. Perhaps not. When I pivoted and kicked a folding chair into it as I cut at his face, he sidestepped the chair easily and partied my attack as economically as if he had read my mind.

He hadn’t expected me to cut his Achilles’ tendon with a blade on my shoe.

I left through the back without killing either of them. Dumb. I’m not sure what’s wrong with me these days.