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Schnee was frozen to her bones by the time she clambered up the rocks. Water dripping from her hair and salt staining her leather armour.
As she looked up she saw Kinētikos staring down at her, waiting for god knows what.
“W-well are you going to kill me?” she asked, she cursed at how weak she sounded but the cold had set her teeth clacking.
“You will hand over the silver knights!” it commanded, its voice vibrating with malice.
“What the fuck are you on about. You work for the ruled; you took down our defences and for what?”
“The Silver knights were stolen by the crew of the craft you fell from! You will hand them over!”
The small bag hanging off her belt suddenly felt a little heavier. The two golden kings inside didn’t look like conventional coins but they were valuable. Schnee could tell, she had worked around money all her life. And she never lost a pawn to nobody.
“I get it.” She started “perhaps we could work out a deal. I give you these.” She fished out the coins, throwing and catching them in her metal arm, showing the goods and loosening the arm. “And you get me back to the port were I can kill some arse-holes and get you the rest. Hmm?”
Kinētikos remained silent, save for its hum and ticking. ‘Is it thinking’ Schnee thought ‘can it even think?’ but in the end it didn’t matter. Schnee had never lost a pawn to anyone. She wasn’t starting now, and when the so-called captain dies she will have a large bag more and an airship to boot.
Without another thought she threw the coins into the sea. Kinētikos went to follow them, desperate. Schnee took this opening and using braces in her legs launched herself onto the giants Shoulders.
Her arms unsheathed the only weapon she had left: her blades. They spun faster than buzz saws as she slashed at its neck and joints, sparks flying with every hit. But there wasn’t a scratch on the Giant. It reacted, its own metal arms reaching behind it to grab her.
But she counted on this. Schnee flipped off the giants back and swung under its arm. Had she had her real arms they would have been burned to the bone but not these. She thrusts her first sword into its left eye. The glass smashed and fire launched out of the socket. With her other sword she went under its arm and stabbed its exposed the gears.
Her blade lodged in the works. Fire Island steel was the hardest metal known; it is exactly what her swords were made from. The blade held against the strain and immobilised its arm. Schnee landed right in front of it. Her arms were red hot, her body sweating and exhausted.
She watched Kinētikos, expecting it to short circuit and die. But instead it just made a series of clicking noised. Then with its functioning arm it pointed right at her before releasing a high pressure shot of steam.
“What the hell just happen back there?” Musket shouted when they were clear.
“Not now Musket! We have work to do!” Pry was busying himself on the thrusters. The speed they gave them wasn’t perfect. They overheated and shorted out. Now he was busy fixing its coolant before they can be used again.
“I saw you push her! I saw what you did! She wasn’t perfect, she wasn’t kind or caring but she was Unruled. One of US!” she screamed the last word.
Pry rounded on her “It was after us damn it! That thing! Whatever it was, wanted us! You saw how it looked! You saw what it could do! I pushed her because she wasn’t at the heist, and it would have ignored her and followed us!” each word he stepped towards Musket, backing her it the corner.
By the time she was backed against the guard rail he had finished and a tear rolled down his face. “If she’s dead then I fucked up. But there is still a chance it ignored her and is following us right now.”
Musket looked down at her feet, ashamed at her accusations.
The rest of the crew had gathered at the commotion.
“You think this has something to do with the heist captain?”
“Yeah, I do, look at the coins. They bear a different mark to everything else we’ve stolen. I wager it wants those back”
Bomber raised her hand like a school child. “Does this mean we need to warn everyone at home? We spent a lot of it getting the ship upgraded and the drinks we bought.”
“That’s right. We need to get back to town and get every weapon and everyone able to fight. We can’t take it down alone but nothing is unstoppable.”
Veetwo looked down at the charred corpse. Kinētikos waited behind him, gears free to move and its eye bubbling molten silver as it healed.
Veetwo had changed since entering the Silver Knight. Silver lines traced his face and eyes. He stood upright and appeared stronger and smarter than he did before he went inside. It changed him and made him more alive than the product he was.
He looked down at the body with what? Sympathy? Regret? He doesn’t know yet, but he did know what she felt before death, anger. And it was powerful, they could use that.
He picked up the burnt corpse and turned to his giant companion. It knew his intention and agreed. When the body was placed in the command chair Kinētikos closed itself up and started her reconstruction.
Soon the three of them will burn the Unruled until they were nothing but glass.