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PART three: buns

Chapter 13: The Revolt

Five male OSZA, armed with axes and pitchforks, moved in, tightening the circle they had formed around her. She looked at them as she weighed her options. She only had enough bullets for two of them. She needed to decide, very quickly, which two to put down first. She had known that it would all end in violence from the second she had arrived at the mine. She had seen it countless times before. Poor OSZA angry about their land and their resources being exploited without fair compensation. Greedy corporate clowns thinking that the sight of a few mercenaries would hold them back indefinitely. The tension between the two sides always escalated silently, through stares and hostile body language, building up like the pressure in a cooker, one without the necessary whistle to expel the steam that built up inside it. It always ended in one of two ways. Either a mercenary or a guard, some rookie idiot with an itchy trigger finger, cracked under the stress of it all and fired off an accidental shot, or one or more of the protesters got too carried away by the rhetoric of some speech and took things too far, did things that the rest couldn’t take back. She wasn’t sure which was responsible for the massacre unfolding tonight.

She made up her mind as the circle tightened a second time. She didn’t care who she had to brawl with. The pitchforks needed to go first. She fired off two shots and got rid of them. The three axes that remained reeled back, and gave her the opening she needed. She ran to one of them and kicked him between his legs, and immediately lunged at the OSZA next to him before he had a chance to prepare himself. He, just like his predecessor, went down without a fight, but the one left standing proved to be stronger than she had anticipated. He grabbed a pitchfork, and ran at her before she could get off the OSZA she had just dealt with. She barely managed to avoid its prongs from being thrust into her. He ran for her again before she could recover. She managed to avoid him a second time, but he pierced her shoulder on his third attempt. He immediately kicked her in the head and chest, disorienting her, after which he pinned her to the ground using his stronger leg. He pulled the pitchfork out, and lifted it over his head with both hands, readying for the killing blow.

She thought she was done for. Her hands desperately searched for anything they could grab. Her left hand found what felt like a dead animal. She threw it at the OSZA that towered over her, and managed to hit him right in his face. But it made no difference. It didn’t hurt him at all. He laughed at her, instead of reeling back like she had expected. And then it happened. The pitchfork did not come crashing down. The fatal blow did not arrive. In its place came a loud sneeze. The OSZA attempted to bring the pitchfork down on her again, only to be stopped short by another sneeze. He hadn’t realized it yet, but his leg was no longer putting as much pressure on her. She grabbed it, and bit as hard as she could, as he sneezed once more. He lost his balance, and fell back. She grabbed the pitchfork, and despite her sight still being hazy, finished what he couldn’t, and fell to the ground beside him.

She got up a few minutes later, and looked around. She wanted to know what had saved her. Her eyesight was still hazy, and it made her fumble around for longer than she knew she should have, considering that the battle around her was still ongoing. She found the dead animal just as her eyesight returned. She laughed loudly when she realized what it was. A stuffed toy. A little white, albeit quite dirty, SKIMMA. It had lost one of its eyes in the battle. The one still attached to it, was large, wide open, and bright blue. She realized that it must have belonged to one of the child laborers that worked in the mine. She grabbed the little creature and barreled towards the supply cache to grab more weapons. The night wasn’t over yet.

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