I wasn’t sure how I was going to fight Ueshiba in a way that could both protect him and make Faakhir satisfied, but I needed to figure out what to do, and fast. At least I knew that he could understand me, I was worried that the language barrier could cause us even more problems, even with the help of mental talk, that could sometimes overcome languages, I wasn’t sure I would be able to get through to him, a person like him, with such strength could be very difficult to talk to telepathically.
Faakhir had managed to move the group to the patio, to a place where most of his disciples could watch us fight. I was getting nervous, there was a lot at risk. The man I was supposed to fight was someone important to Kimball, someone he respected and liked. To fail in saving him meant to fail Kimball, and I wasn’t sure I could stand that, even if he said it didn’t matter, I knew he would resent me.
Faakhir told us to fight, but master Ueshiba didn’t move, he was just standing there. I knew he was expecting me to attack, because that would give him the advantage in the fight, but only in a hand to hand combat, I had many long range attacks I could use. I stood my ground and threw a wave of energy through the ground, making it break under our feet, that would give me the terrain advantage. The master didn’t even flinch, so I used my powers to grab him and lift him in the air, just to buy some time.
As soon as I lifted him I noticed something weird, my mental hold, that was supposed to be perfect, wasn’t. He was moving his body in a weird way, and my hold was getting harder to maintain. It was getting too difficult to hold him, so I used a little bit more force to throw him up, and then I moved the ground to form some spears that would receive him once he fell. The problem was that he moved again, and managed to dodge all my spears, he even got hold of a couple of them, breaking them and throwing them to me.
I needed to show him just who he was dealing with, so I decided not to dodge his attack, using my psychic wall to break the spears. The sound of the spears hitting my wall and breaking was very loud, but that was good, it showed better just how strong my defenses were. Despite the show we were giving them, none of us had done anything to harm the other, or to take any advantage over the other.
I used my powers to create a small whirlwind and fed it with sand, I knew that even if he managed to dodge it or escape it, the sand would at least harm him. But despite my efforts, he managed to stay just outside of my whirlwind reach, and even if he was getting some burns because of the flying sand, it was nothing significative. I felt like I was fighting Kimball, there were many similarities in their fighting style. I dispelled the whirlwind and created more rock spears, I tried to take him by surprise, but I wasn’t fast enough and he managed to dodge every attack, he even took some of the spears and threw them back to me. I tried to use my mental connection to the spears to attack him while he was holding them, but he noticed and changed his tactics.
I needed to do something drastic if I wanted to reach my goals. The way things were going he would have the upper hand in no time. I couldn’t keep going at the same rate for much longer, but he was fighting smart, barely wasting energy. I took some branches from near trees and broke them into even smaller pieces, then I lighten them on fire before calling another whirlwind, my idea was to form a wall around us with the smoke and the fire, to hide us, to give me a chance to speak to him and get his cooperation. Once he agreed I would use the lack of oxygen to make him pass out and make him look dead.
I thought it was a good plan, and I was sure it would succeed, but as soon as we were surrounded I had a bad feeling, I knew something bad was going to happen, I just didn’t know what. I was on alert, trying to prepare for anything, but the attack still took me by surprise. So far in the fight, I had moved first, so I was surprised when he initiated the attack, I was sure he knew just how dangerous his situation was and wanted to finish it.
“Wait a minute!” I asked him, trying to make my voice sound loud enough to be heard by him, but not by others.
“No time for words. Many lives are depending on me. Lives that you may not care about, but that are very important to me.”
“I know what you mean, that’s why I want to talk to you, give me a minute to explain.”
“I don’t have time to listen to a person without honor, to someone that sells her abilities to anyone with power.” His words hurt, even if that was what I wanted people to think of me, it still hurt to hear people thinking I had no honor.
Before I could try to reason with him, he attacked again. My double mind allowed me to keep the whirlwind going, and still fight, but I didn’t have my psychic wall to protect me. I couldn’t let him hit me, or I would be in trouble.
My enemy was fast, and every one of his hits were perfectly positioned. It was true what Kimball had told me, he could find anyone’s weaknesses and use them against them. I felt at a disadvantage, and despite all my power I felt like I could die if I wasn’t careful. Maybe he didn’t know it, but I had more to fight for than him. He was protecting his people, same as me, but I was fighting for all the innocents in the Dominion, not only one country. I knew that some sacrifices had to be done for the time being, but in the long run, I would save more lives.
For a moment I felt like I was taking control of the fight, but in reality, master Ueshiba had given me a false sense of security to force me drop my guard, so he could get to me. His hit left me breathless, and broke my concentration. I fell to the ground, trying to get some air in my lungs, while master Ueshiba moved over me. What he hadn’t considered when attacking, was the consequences of breaking my concentration. The whirlwind I had created exploded, and the branches flew in all directions, even master Ueshiba was thrown into one of the buildings, not the one we had been using before, it looked like one of the buildings that the refugees were using as housing. I wasn’t sure, but I had to get there before he could get out of it.
I was still feeling hurt and bruised, short of breath, after his attack, but I needed to keep going if I wanted to finish the fight in my favor. I couldn’t keep going much longer without getting a psychic headache. I got near the building and noticed that some of the branches had fallen near it, and it was already catching fire, I knew that because of the materials it was made of, the fire wouldn’t take long to extend. The idea of letting the families without homes didn’t sit well with me, but it also helped to build my image as a heartless bitch.
I got in and found master Ueshiba already getting up from the place he had landed.
“People like you don’t deserve this kind of power,” he told me, and I knew he was insulting me.
“People like me are the ones that should have it. People who had fought all their lives to get it, people that knows the price you have to pay when you have not enough power, people who are willing to lend it to those who don’t have it.”
“You don’t seem the giving kind.”
“That’s because you don’t know me.” I heard a commotion outside, and I knew that our little talk was safe, the rest of the people was too busy trying to stop the fire to pay attention to us. “You know my husband, what do you think of him?”
“He is one of the best disciples I had. He is a person I admire a lot.”
“And yet you think him to be so blind as to give his love to a woman without honor,” I waited for my words to get to him, but he had already decided what to think about me.
“Love can make people make mistakes. After the death of his family he lost his way, you are a clear example of that.”
“Nor my husband nor I want to support Faakhir or the Dominion. We are looking for ways to finish them from the inside. I’m afraid I have to stop you, because your actions put mine at risk, but I hope that once you understand what we are trying to do you would help us reach our goals.”
“I can’t be part of a group that condones the actions of people like Faakhir and his queen.”
“This is for the greatest good. I just hope that sooner or later people will understand what we are doing.”
“No matter what happens, I won’t leave my people alone. These people are here because they wanted my help and my protection, and that’s what I’m going to give them.”
“Your solution is only temporal, I’m offering a long term solution, it will only take more time to achieve.”
“I don’t know what you are offering, but I’m not interested,” with that he attacked me again, moving too fast to see.
The fire was extending and I could feel the heat reaching me. I knew that I could be able to leave the place without problems, but I wasn’t sure what to do with master Ueshiba. I couldn’t let him there, I couldn’t let him die. Even if Kimball didn’t say it, I knew that he would have trouble accepting his death, and would probably blame me. So I started to form a new plan.
Part of the floor was broken, so I moved to a place where I could connect to the ground and used my powers to build a ramp. At the same time I strengthened my psychic wall, I knew it could withstand his attacks for a short time, luckily enough time to finish what I was doing. I knew that once I finished, I would be exhausted and would probably have a psychic headache, so I needed to make sure the job was well done, or I would end up in a vulnerable position.
Once I finished clearing a space big enough for master Ueshiba to survive for a few hours, I started to move the different materials in the house. I needed to time it perfectly, because I knew that with someone like Ueshiba my task wouldn’t be easy.
“I hope that you will understand that I’m doing this to help everyone, even the people you are protecting. I hope that you will make the right decision and join us. If you decide to join me, you will live long enough to see the fall of the Dominion and the restoration of the old order. If you decide to go with Kimball, you will live to see a world without Faakhir. If you don’t, if you decide to show the world that I’ve been living a lie, that I haven’t been murdering, but saving people, then we will have to get rid of you. We can’t allow you to endanger people. You will have time. Think about this.”
I let the floor under him collapse, leaving him to fall into the room I had created. His quick reflexes allowed him to land without harm, while I was closing the space above wasn’t doing my job and he wasn’t doing my job any easier. Taking several wooden stakes I let them rain over him. He started to dodge my attacks, just as he had done before. I wasn’t sure if it was because of luck or ability, but I managed to hurt him with one. I knew that the injury wasn’t dangerous, but it was at his side, so it was painful every time he moved. That gave me the time I needed to keep going.
Once I finished closing the space I knew he would be safe, and I let the rest of the building collapse over us. I knew Kimball was near, he would be able to reach his friend in time to save him, and if we were lucky, he would convince him to help us. After using so much energy I was exhausted, and I got a few scratches and minor injuries as I fought my way out of the rumble. The fire hadn’t touched me directly, but I felt my skin burned, it was red and tender, especially in my neck, where the burnt scar I had gotten from Vasuman was hurting like hell, making me remember another time.
Ueshiba’s son was the first to see me, and his face morphed into one of horror when he saw me alone, he ran to what was left of the building, but I put my psychic wall up and stopped his approach. I needed time, I needed to convince Faakhir my job was done, and take him away from there before they started digging Ueshiba out.
“I’m sure that one of the supports fell on him and killed him, it was fast,” I said in a strong voice, making sure everyone heard me, even if most wouldn’t understand me. “Even if he wasn’t dead, the fire will finish the job. My part is done. Master Ueshiba is death.”
His son started screaming, trying to break my wall and get to his father. His daughter was smarter and she attacked me directly. I was too tired, and all I could do was dodge, but one of Faakhir’s men arrived and knocked her out with a hit to her head.
“I suggest you take care of the living and left the dead for later,” Faakhir said. “Your father is dead because he challenged me and the Dominion’s power. But I’m willing to show you mercy. I will give you and your people a couple of days to mourn him. I expect all of those who had stolen from me to go willingly to pay for their crimes at the concentration camps. If they don’t go, my men will come and they will finish every single one of you. Understood?”
I didn’t wait to see what their answer would be, Faakhir was doing what he did best, and I needed to send Kimball a message to tell him what had happened and what to do, and I really needed some rest. I was at my limit and about to collapse any minute, and when that happened, I needed to be in a safe place. Being vulnerable around Faakhir and his men was extremely dangerous, as much as being in a camp full of warriors ready to avenge their master.