Taking Texas: Excerpt.

Just a minor battle.


They rushed her two by two, all but ignoring the dog. Big mistake. Kate feinted left, then dodged right, gaining a precious half second as they reoriented. She charged in, slipping inside one’s reach and catching his sword arm. Her fingers curled into talons and hooked into the fabric of his jacket. She helped him along the trajectory he was already following, shifting it slightly to his left. Directly into the line of his nearest companion’s sword-stroke. He fell away, blood spraying from a deep gash in the shoulder, sword slipping from suddenly nerveless fingers.
She kept these two between herself and their fellows, circling to her left even as they all tried to converge on the same spot. Maintaining control of the first ninja’s weapon arm, she spun him in the opposite direction, directly into the path of a third fighter.

Then, reversing her stance in a snap, she lashed out with a foot to the back of his lead ankle, sending the lot of them tumbling to the ground in a heap. The third ninja’s unsecured weapon thrust out as he tried to maintain his balance, biting deep into the second ninja’s thigh.

A single scything heel-kick took both of them out of action.

The rest of them swarmed around their downed fellows, trying to close the distance between them in something of a mad scramble.

She back-peddled, using the massive, mostly empty interior of the warehouse to best advantage. She had no intention of letting them surround her. She was good, but there was only one of her. Against eleven of these bastards who didn’t seem to feel pain, grief, or anything else resembling a human emotion she needed every advantage she could get.

She pulled one of the heavy rubber balls, about the size of a child’s fist, from her belt. She hurled it directly into the knee of one of her closest attackers. It struck slightly off center, bouncing sideways and clipping a second ninja’s ankle on its way to one of the warehouse’s metal support columns. It rebounded there, clipping the back of a third ninja’s knee.
Then she was in their midst, slipping aside from a vertical slash that would have split her head like firewood, and grasping the man’s arm to help the blow along its current course. The precise moment the blade struck the cement floor, she stomped on it. The sword snapped, sending the tip flying. From the corner of her eye she saw one of others ninjas stagger a little, though she couldn’t tell the extent of the wound.

Before he could react, she sank her fingers into his cowl and jerked it sideways, blinding him. She followed it up with a crushing knee to the side of his head, then executed a long, shallow dive to her right which took her out of range just as another clump swarmed the spot where she’d been, swords biting empty air.

She flung out another ball, this one skipping off the concrete and bouncing off a steel plate in the floor, soaring upward to smash into a ninja’s chin like a vicious uppercut delivered by a superhuman child. His feet shot into the air as if rocket-propelled. The ball bounced twice, deflected off the hip of another, and rolled beneath the foot of a third just as he lunged in an attempt to overwhelm Kate’s defenses.


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