I could’ve easily won by keeping my distance. Pyreans had nothing on Storm Riders when it came to fighting at a distance. Lightning would cross in an instant, too, no chance of dodging. But I wanted the close combat. I wanted to know how to hold my own up close, and without the home court advantage.
I pulled my board from around my back, and darted forward, looking a lot like the Silver Surfer from comics as I leaned in. Again, I avoided the lightning, not just because it felt like cheating, but because it tended to use a lot of my own energy. I could hold more wind than lightning, so I let the wind circle my fists in tight bands, weaving them into a pattern. It wasn’t solid, like my wall had been. This was something else.
Carl hadn’t been idle, though, getting airborne on his jets again. I didn’t see any kind of obvious attack, but I knew he had to have something ready.
My instinct said to make the first move, to blow him out of the sky and neutralize him before he could attack. I could probably do it, but that was Jack’s way. His words came to mind again from our training. “Hit first, hit hard, then hit the buffet.”
Carl closed, then pulled out a blue hot sword out of nowhere. I had seen that sword before, saw it cut through an otherworldly thing like a laser through Jell-O.
Must’ve pissed him off. Probably not for hurting me, I hope. But it’ll cut through any kind of attack or defense I bring up. A sword of lightning would probably block it, but I don’t know how to make one, even after weeks of Jack trying to show me.
I pivoted on my board, feinting a dodge even as I lashed out with bands of wind. They snaked out instead of jetted, curling around unpredictably. He cut through two of them with a swipe of his sword, but two others reached him. Instead of hitting him like a blow, they coiled around, one around his sword arm, the other around his torso.
I poured more wind into those bands, taking them from thick rope to giant pool noodles wrapped tightly around him. His sword arm was completely immobilized, and I was squeezing the air from his torso.