Excerpt from Gabriel’s Redemption, Book 1 of Scifi Trilogy – Hand to Hand Combat

Meanwhile the titanic struggle between Brevik and Rheaves had reached a crescendo. The two bodies were crashing into workstations, chairs splintering under their combined weight. Rheaves was slightly larger, but in the clumsy Chinese battlesuit lost out to Brevik in dexterity. Realizing this, Rheaves attempted to keep the fight close to overwhelm Brevik, but each time he thought he had the upper hand, Brevik slid from his grasp.

The two men separated briefly, panting hard. Brevik’s pulse rifle arm had already been damaged by Rheaves’s first grapple, and Rheaves’s assault rifle was well out of reach. Both men were unarmed, but neither cared.

“Well, old friend,” Rheaves said, gasping for breath. “Is that all you have?”

Brevik gave a dead smile. “It’s all I need. You should have never left the academy. You had potential.”

Rheaves laughed. “Potential. Yeah, potential to get stuck in a dead end job like you?”

Brevik eased closer, preparing for another assault. “I’ve got friends here. You’ve got nothing. One last chance for you. Give it up,” he said.

Rheaves spat on the floor. “Screw you, Harris.” He rushed Brevik.

Brevik caught the big man’s left arm and spun, using Rheaves’s weight and momentum against him. Rheaves twisted awkwardly, crashing into a workstation, and shards of screen glass sprayed in all directions. Brevik gave a hard yank and Rheaves’s armor cracked, the shoulder popping from its socket with a tearing of cartilage. Rheaves bellowed in pain and rage, and pushed up from the workstation’s wreckage with his good arm.

“I’ve lost my patience with you, Harris,” he said, grimacing in pain as his left arm dangled uselessly at his side. He lunged forward, right arm outstretched.

Brevik stepped inside Rheaves’s move, blocking his arm, and punched with all his strength into the center of mass. His combat armor’s servos whined in protest as his own muscles pushed the suit beyond its limits. His armored fist crashed into Rheaves’s chest, and the Chinese-made battlesuit collapsed in on itself. Metal splintered and flakes of paint erupted in a tiny dust cloud.

Rheaves staggered back under the blow and looked down at the ruined chest plate with wide eyes, feeling his cracked sternum and rib cage tearing into his lungs and heart. He fell back into a seated position, coughing and gasping, and clutched at his chest with his functioning arm.

Brevik took a step forward and stood over him, looking down with pity. “Shame you didn’t see it my way,” he said, and gave a kick to Rheaves’s shoulder, toppling him over onto his side. The mercenary gave one last gasp and died.


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