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How we think the fight will go
Vin burned pewter and dropped a coin on the grass of the empty field, Pushing herself into the air at a slight arc, perfectly aimed to drop down atop the barbarian standing before her.
No time for pleasantries—not that she was feeling particularly pleasant this evening.
As she descended, she dropped two more coins and Pushed down on them, effectively keeping her in mid air as the brass circles shot down at tremendous speed.
Logen looked up, unsure as to what exactly was going on. He could see a small girl floating in the air, and two shiny objects hurtling towards him. He didn’t need to understand magic to know it when he saw it, and if he’d learned anything from Bayaz, it was don’t mess with magicians.
He tucked himself into a roll just as the coins whispered by, landing on the ground as if permanently affixed there. He didn’t spend too much time thinking about that, because every fiber in his being told him that this little girl wasn’t about to let bygones be bygones—even if he’d never done anything to her in the first place.
She kind of reminded him of Ferro in that regard.
He’s quick, she thought. But she knew he wasn’t burning atium, because she would have sensed it. No, this man was simply a well-trained fighter.
Let’s see how fast he is now. She was still falling down from her last Push, so she reached into her coin pouch and threw a handful down at the swordsman. Once again, she Pushed, the scattered coins practically creating a sheet of raining metal.
She watched as he quickly lifted a large round shield over his head just in time to catch the coins in its leather covering.
As he did, she Pulled on those very coins, causing them to descend rapidly, and she landed feet first onto the upraised shield before he had time to lower it, the force causing the man’s knees to buckle. He stumbled, and she burned a bit more pewter, flipping adroitly off the shield so that she was standing behind him.
She pulled two obsidian daggers from hidden sheathes in her sleeves…
How she was able to move at such speed was unnerving. And though she didn’t weigh all that much, Logen hadn’t expected to be deflecting a body with his shield, and his left arm was now dangling uselessly. It wasn’t broken, he could tell, but it definitely felt like his arm had popped out of its socket.
Still, he spun to his right, his sword leading, just in time to catch the slashing of two black knives.
Are those made of stone?
He didn’t have time to contemplate it for too long, because she was a dervish with those blades, and even though he was able to parry her attacks, each time his steel caught the stones, it was all he could do to hold his ground.
“You’re awfully strong, little girl,” he muttered.
That was new—it had been a long time since Vin could remember an opponent say anything to her in the middle of a fight. And it was an even longer time since someone had dared call her “little girl.”
She feinted with the knife in her left hand, at the same time burning iron and pulling on his sword. He hadn’t fallen for the feint, but he still wasn’t prepared for the sudden tug on his sword. And yet, it wasn’t wrenched from his hands, as she had expected—his grip, though casual, was clearly much tighter than it appeared, and with his weight, she found herself being pulled towards him, even as he stumbled.
She burned more iron, hoping to find metal to either side with which to pull herself off her current course, but it was an empty field. The only blue lines that she saw were the coins she had shot down, and there wasn’t anything to Push them against in order to brace a Pull…
The girl crashed into him even as he struggled to maintain his hold on his sword. The Pulling stopped, but the girl was spinning off him before he could get his arms around her. One of her knives sliced into his side, but that was nothing compared to the agony of his injured arm as the shield—seemingly of its own accord—flew across his body…
Vin had drawn first blood, and she Pushed away from the warrior using the rivets in his shield.
No one in the Final Empire would use metal in their shields. Who is this idiot?
The Push created some distance between them, and she knew she needed to take his sword out of the equation. She switched her focus from the shield to the sword, and this time burned duralumin as well, the metal enhancing the effects of steel and giving her enough power to cause the sword to go flying across the field.
Her steel drained—as well as her duralimun—she quickly replaced a knife in its sheath and withdrew a small vial of alchohol and metal shavings. Vin downed its contents.
She took out the rest of her coins and using her new steel, Pushed them at man, at the same time burning bronze. Vin knew she couldn’t Soothe him into being docile, but sometimes getting an opponent riled up would force him to do something rash, and all she needed was for him to not react so quickly.
Not think so clearly.
Logen cursed every woman he’d ever met as his sword was wrenched from his hand. He cursed Bethod for forcing him to fight, Bayaz for keeping him alive, and every ancestor and god who had ever thought to get involved in his life.
When the coins tore into his flesh, he cursed his luck.
The coins had slammed into his back and side, but it was something else that seemed to slam into his heart—an anger so profound that he wasn’t sure he could see straight.
He wasn’t sure if he was Logen anymore…
That should have killed him, she thought.
Instead, the crazy bastard was charging at her, like a koloss in a blood frenzy.
She immediately stopped burning it, but it didn’t seem to have an effect. She reached into her pouch for a coin to use to launch herself into the air, but the pouch was empty.
All of her coins were scattered across the field…or inside the man running towards her, his left arm hanging off his body like an empty sleeve.
She burned atium, and rolled to her left.
Everything was red.
Everything needed to die.
She rolled to her left, but he didn’t care. He swung his shield at her tiny head, ignoring the fact that he had to twist his hips in order to make his left arm move at all. With no control, the shield didn’t raise up high enough, and it only caught her in the chest.
It felt like he had punched a stone wall.
He growled, dropping the shield and using his momentum to spin backwards, the back of his right hand smashing into her face.
How is he hitting me?
Vin was burning atium, and though she could see his moves, they were blurry, as if he wasn’t sure himself what he was going to do.
As if he was planning his moves—and that his instincts were faster than the future the atium should be predicting.
It was only because of her pewter that she was able to withstand his blows. First the shield, then his fist.
And then his fist again.
He was pounding on her, and though she wasn’t taking much damage, the pain was still there. Maybe not as intense, but definitely enough to make her realize she was going to be burning a lot of pewter in the next few days…if she got out of here alive.
He punched her again, satisfied to finally see blood fly from her lip.
That’s right, little girl. The Nine want their blood!
His right hand shot out again, but rather than punching, he caught her throat in an iron grip.
Vin’s pewter was running out…and so was her air. She tried to Push off the man, but there was no more metal on his body—he might have had steel in his shield, but there was no belt buckle or buttons on his simple clothes and furs. She tried to Soothe, calming him from this fury, but it was almost as if there was nothing to hold onto.
He had only one emotion, and it was rage.
He could feel the life ebbing from the girl in his hand. Her throat was getting softer, his grip closing gradually around the windpipe.
It would collapse—he was certain of that. Certain enough, that is, to not worry about the stone dagger plunging stabbing into his chest.
She was weakening. Her arm felt like lead—another useless metal—as it plunged her obsidian knife into the monster who was crushing the life out of her.
So like a koloss.
It was hard to think straight. Hard to even think of Elend, or Sazed, or Ham, or Breeze.
She could only think of air. The lack of it, and the lack of strength…
His hand opened of its own accord, much like his sword and shield had.
But it wasn’t magic—at least, not magic directed at his hand.
He looked down, the red draining from his vision, being replaced by black.
Standing before him, gasping and choking, was the little girl. Her right arm was thrust forward, and he tried to comprehend its path.
It led directly towards him.
Directly into him.
The second vial.
Another bit of duralimun.
The last bit of pewter.
Vin’s arm was almost through him, and in fact—had she been able to see behind him—she would have found the tip of her blade poking through his back.
His look was one of bewilderment…and happiness.
“Thank you,” he whispered, collapsing to the ground, dragging her with him.
She lay there, gasping for breath, too tired to withdraw her arm from the body it had stolen the life from.
Just like after her fight with the Lord Ruler, she was left with a dead foe and cryptic words.
There was little comfort in that thought.
Predicted Winner: Vin
NOTE: THIS MATCH ENDS ON THURSDAY, MARCH 10TH, 2011, AT 5 PM, ET
Vin image courtesy of Chris McGrath. Logen Ninefingers image courtesy of Chris McGrath.