Out of the dark foliage a figure dressed all in black burst from the trees, cleared the distance in one tremendous leap and landed on the deck of the boat with katana drawn. He quickly engaged me and I front snap kicked his sword out of his hand before he had a chance to blink and landed a series of kicks and punches to his midsection, all of which he blocked, and then retaliated with a few of his own. A palm strike to the chest and leg sweep took me down as he moved for his sword and I, in turn, took his feet out from under him before he took two steps. Once on the deck we continued to pummel each other with back leg kicks, side kicks, punches and double strikes.
In the background I could hear Lady Gina and Uttam fussing at each other about the boat not wanting to start and out of the corner of my eye I caught sight of several black figures swimming for the boat.
I side-kicked my opponent so hard he flew backwards and landed by the railing in a curled up position, holding his ribs. “We have company!” I shouted and rushed toward the side of the boat to engage the new arrivals; brandishing my short sticks. They came crawling up over the side, one at a time, and I encountered each one in turn; busting skulls, smashing fingers and breaking bones as fast as they tried to come on board. Blood and bodies floated in the river and I knew it would only be a matter of time before the crocodiles would make their appearance, but that didn’t stop the assassins from surging forward. More approached the boat as the poison darts resumed their deadly flight. “Uttam! We can’t wait any longer!” I shouted as I spun and twisted and just barely missed being grazed by a dart, while I continued to kick and punch my way through the new wave of assassins trying to climb aboard. “Hurry up!”
I was suddenly grabbed from behind and used the distraction to my advantage. I sunk low in my legs and landed several elbow strikes until my opponent cried out and his grip loosened, and then flung him over my head. He landed in such a way that four assassins climbing on board were knocked back into the water, clearing the side completely of targets. I heard the engine finally kick over then rumble to a full healthy start and knew I had to get rid of this last guy before we took off. I grabbed him by the front of his shirt and hoisted him to his feet.
“Who sent you? Why are you here?” I shouted in his face. He grunted and groaned and refused to answer, and just as I reached for his mask a cloud of darts headed my way. I turned just in time and used the assassin as a body shield. His back was pummeled and as the poison set in his eyes rolled back and his body went limp in my hands. Death was quick and painless. I tossed him over the rail just as the boat lurched forward and we sped down the river.