Home Coming

Wet leaves brushed against lightly oiled skin.  Night insects cried from the thick branches growing throughout the jungle.  Moonlight filtered through the thick canopy overhead dappling the world with spots of softly glowing phosphorescence.

Storm led the warriors on a silent run through the forest.  Their bodies diving and twirling through the heavy growth around them, their feet gently tapping the moist loam of the forest floor to propel themselves forward.  They were shadows passing through the forest, dark demons from the nether-realms summoned to slay the intruders.  They were unstoppable.

Through the trees Storm spotted the temple.  She rolled to a stop and, behind her, the legion of Amazon warriors slipped into cover one by one.  A hundred eyes peered from the dense foliage observing their erstwhile home.

Only two guards at the gate.  Two sleep-deprived men with barely enough courage to follow along on the raid, barely paid enough to keep them interested.  They would be an easy kill.

Storm signed to her warriors; a quick series of gestures with her right hand.  Mei Ling observed her friend carefully then repeated the gestures and was repeated and on down the line.  Without looking back Storm slipped around a patch of growth and disappeared.

She crept closer to the main entrance.  Rough stone slid beneath her practiced fingers.  Storm spread herself flat against the walls of the temple, flowing with the surface of the stone.

Sweat trickled down her neck, between the cleft of her chest, curving along the underside of one full breast and then dropping down to follow the taut curve of her belly.  Her fingers caressed the leather hilt of her throwing dagger, her body’s heat warming the cold steel until it felt almost alive beneath her eager grip.

One body-length away from the nearest guard and still undetected.  They leaned heavily against their pikes, eyes half-lidded with lack of sleep.  Storm crouched slightly, readied herself and leapt.

Storm’s dagger flashed through the air, the nearest guard was startled for the briefest moment seeing it fly past his nose.  Within that same moment Storm’s foot materialized where his neck wanted to be and a horrifying sound, of cracking bone beneath soft flesh, heralded the man’s death.  Storm slipped past the first guard and threw her fist at the throat of the next but he was already sinking to his knees, his eyes staring, disbelievingly at his chest where the simple hilt of a blade had materialized.

The man’s head popped forward in response to Storm’s fist on his throat.  Her palm slapped against the leather hilt and she pulled her blade from his chest in one smooth motion.  She stopped then, kneeling on one knee with her weapon next to her chest and her other arm held out from her body.

All time stopped for just that moment, nothing moved, there were no sounds to disturb the absolute purity of that brief second of time.  Then the forest erupted.

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