Chapter Thirty-three: Mal
Battle of the Aussies
Books fell around them as shelves were knocked off their pegs. Cynthia grunted as Mal connected a fist to her gut. He'd never hit a woman before, but wasn't really worried about this case weighing on his conscience too much.
Cynthia obviously hadn't gotten to where she was by standing back and watching. She screamed in fury, which soon turned into a roar as she partially shifted. Not many creature could pull of a partial shift, and Mal had no idea Cynthia was strong enough to pull it off. Before he could react, however he heard the ripping of her clothes as large golden wings sprouted from her back and her hands shifted. He was soon starting at a partially shifted sphynx.
Her claws came out and she swiped at Mal right across his chest. He was just a little too slow in jumping back out of the way. If it wasn't for his leathers, he'd probably be dead. Mal crouched down in a defensive stance as he stared at the creature in front of him. Her hands were large, bigger than any lion's he'd ever seen, sharp wicked looking claws extended from the tips.
"Surprise!" Cynthia said, her voice sounding sweet and almost magical.
Mal scowled at her and pulled his knives, one in each hand. He twisted them around a couple of times as he sized up his new opponent. Mal could hear Kaden panting and groaning behind him, but he couldn't look. He couldn't take his eyes off Cynthia. Mal was well aware he needed to get this fight over and done with so he could get some help for Kaden. At least he knew his way to the medical wing, he just had to finish this and get Kaden there before his wolf lost too much blood.
Cynthia swiped at him again, this time Mal was ready for her and ducked in under her outstretched arm. He flicked his wrist, his sharp blade easily slicing through cloth and skin.
Mal dropped, rolled and sprung to his feet once again outside her reach as Cynthia screamed in pain.
"We can stop this right now, before you get even more hurt, all you have to do is come with me and hand yourself in to Akemi."
"That bitch." Cynthia spat. "Brownnosing little whore. Thinks she knows what's best. She has no idea what it takes to do what we do. The sacrifices needed."
Mal waved around him. "You don't seem to be sacrificing anything, sitting up here in your posh office, giving orders to those below you. It seems innocent people are sacrificing their lives so you all can run your experiments and act like lords over people that don't even know you fucking exist."
"You will be the next in a long line of those who give up their lives to the cause!"
Her large wings beat, lifting her off the ground slightly as she once again attacked Mal. Mal didn't back down. He was running out of time. Instead he hurled himself at Cynthia.
Not expecting the move Cynthia wasn't braced for Mal and the pair crashed to the ground, Cynthia screamed as she hit awkwardly. Mal heard the snapping of bone and couldn't believe he'd broken another wing. Mal would never live this down.
The pain only seemed to enrage Cynthia as she clawed repeatedly at Mal, who was tangled up with her as they rolled around the floor.
There was only so much his leathers could take, soon enough Mal was feeling the bite of claws as they pierced his skin. He wasn't the only one feeling it as his knives sliced at Cynthia. He was very careful not to stab, no matter how much he wanted to.
They upended the desk as they fought, papers scattering everywhere, the computer hit the ground with a shattering noise. Still they continued to fight.
"You're surprisingly capable for a human." Cynthia said through huffing breaths.
"I'm a fucking dragon ranger, bitch! And before that a Ranger for the Australian Army. If I can't best you than I don't deserve either of those titles."
Cynthia laughed at him. Mal bided his time. Her wing hung limply behind her. He didn't feel anywhere near as guilty about breaking this one as he did Ashe's.
Mal finally saw his opportunity and he took it. He ran and leaped up on one of the guest chairs, that had surprisingly survived their path of destruction, from the he threw himself at Cynthia, wrapping his arm around her neck and swinging himself around until he was behind her.
Cynthia fell forward with the unexpected weight on her.
Mal locked his arm around her neck securing it in place with his other arm. He squeezed tightly cutting off her air for a couple of seconds. Her wings made Mal's position behind her very awkward, but now that he had her he wasn't letting go.
Cynthia was gasping for breath and struggling in his grip. Her paws were clawing at his arms, Mal gritted his teeth and held on. Tightening his arms slightly.
"What's so special about your dragon breeding program that people have to die for it?" he hissed at her.
"Fuck….. you." Cynthia said, her paws now hands once again as she struggled to grab Mal's arms and loosen their hold around her neck.
"Fuck me? I don't think so lady. Now tell me!" Mal shock her, her broken wing hit Mal's chest causing Cynthia to gasp.
"You…. Wouldn't…. understand."
Mal loosened his hold on her very slightly. He didn't want her passing out just yet. He had to get answers first. Cynthia gasped as she sucked in large lungful's of air.
Mal looked to the other side of the room and notice Kaden had passed out. He didn't like the large puddle of blood under him. Mal had to get him to the medics and quickly.
"Try me!” he snarled at Cynthia.
"We needed a new breed of dragon that would be susceptible to the nano technology we're developing."
"Why?" Mal asked. "What does it do and what does it have to do with the dragon Rangers?"
"God, do I have to spell it out for you?" she snarled at him as he still struggled to release Mal's arm from around her throat.
"Yes, I don't want there to be any misunderstandings."
"You stupid idiot. We're attempting to make communication between dragons and humans a reality."
Mal stopped dead. Unable to comprehend what he was hearing. Cynthia took his lack of attention as the perfect time to act.
She launched herself up, Mal only just managing to maintain his hold around her neck.
Mal grunted when his back slammed against the ground, Cynthia atop him. He tightened his hold, needing this to be over with now. Cynthia continued to struggle for breath, her hands pulling and scratching at Mal's arms.
He didn't want to kill her, just make her pass out. He needed to get her to Akemi and her guards and he knew she wouldn't come along quietly.
It didn't take long before Cynthia went still in his arms. Mal didn't trust the woman one iota and held on for just a little longer. When he knew for certain she would be out he slowly loosened his hold.
When she didn't move Mal pushed her to the side and quickly scrambled to his feet. He found the phone that had been thrown across the room when the desk had overturned and ripped the cord from the wall and unplugged it from the base of the phone. He then proceeded to tie Cynthia's hands together behind her back, under her wings, which hadn't been able to retract due to the broken appendage.
Mal had no idea how he was going to get Kaden to the medics and Cynthia to the guards. He needed help.
Mal went to the door to the office and opened it, peeking outside.
Down the passage, going from door to door were a half a dozen guards, checking each office. It wouldn't be long before they were at Cynthia's office. Mal didn't know if these were people he could trust or not, until Jariah stepped out of the last office, giving orders to the remaining guards.
Mal could have cried in relief.
"Jariah!" he called out.
The guards all turned as one towards him. Weapons drawn. Even Jariah had her arm raised in his direction, her wrist crossbow loaded and ready to fire at him.
"Wow, calm down guys. I'm on your side here." Mal said as he stepped out of the office, his hands raised.
Jariah grinned at him. "Stand down. He's one of Akemi's motley crew."
Mal didn't know if he should take offence to that or not, but going by the wide grin on Jariah's face she meant no offence.
"I need your help."
"Whatever you need," she said as she made her way to him.
"I need to get Kaden to the medics. Cynthia Papa… whatever her bloody name is shot him and he's lost a lot of blood.
"Where's Cynthia now?" Jariah asked.
"Inside, tied up."
Jariah looked impressed. "You took down a White Stellar Majesty, sphinx shifter on your own?"
"I deal with dragons on a daily basis. This was a piece of cake." It wasn't really. His body ached, and he could feel every last slice to his skin when her claws had made it through his leathers.
Mal led them back inside the office. Cynthia should be coming around soon.
"Go. Take Kaden and get him seen to. We'll take care of this," Jariah said as she motioned some of her men to grab Cynthia.
"If you find my knives, I would greatly appreciate it if you would return them to me," Mal said as he leaned down and checked Kaden for a pulse. It was still there, but very faint. He had to hurry.
"I'll see it done." Jariah assured him.
"Thanks." Mal picked up Kaden, and once the man was secure in his arms he ran from the room.