Loonatics Unleashed

Le Renard Rouge II: Rogue Agent

Chapter 6: Labyrinth

All forms of communication are off. I cruised on my Ducati through the English Countryside, and found the manor. Old Foxworth Hall, and here I am Rosetta. The training facility hasn't aged a day. I took off my helmet, and shook my head. I went to have a look around the manor. As usual no visible security units, Rosetta always took our bouts personally

I kept my steps steady in my gait, and my eyes alert as I entered the maze. It is a love maze copied from a 17th century design. This would be a lovely place to take Mr. Tech on holiday. There is an uneasy quiet in the maze with only the sounds of the local sparrows singing their spring song. The breeze is just right against my fur. Still, I am on my guard

With the songs of the sparrows came the calls of the cicadas. The traps are not where they usually are as I remember this as the final test to become an agent. Strange, indeed. I had reached the center of the maze when a sword blade blocked my way making me step back a step, "So pleased you could make it," Rosetta purred, and tossed me a sword.

"A Pattern 1897," I said with a light smirk,

"You know your swords," Rosetta praised,

"I know more than you perceive," I replied,

Rosetta unsheathed her sword and attacked with slashes toward my chest without a second thought. I evaded, weaved, and spun around her back while unsheathing my sword. Rosetta parried a swipe to the side of her neck. I made a back handspring to dodge a slash to my torso, and had the tip pointed at her. Acrobatics mix well with swordsmanship.

"First blood drawn from the torso," said Rosetta,

"If you insist," I said, lightening the mood a bit. I gave her a light waggle of the eyebrows and a small grin. She growled with annoyance, and attacked. I blocked and parried all her attacks, and found a small opening in her guard and put her on the defensive. With the sounds of clashing steel, our bout between sisters went on seesawing back and forth.

Rosetta had a placid grin, but a dangerous look in her brown eyes, a driven look. She was relentless in her slashing and thrusting attacks to me, and was rarely on the defensive, "That is your only fault, you never could take a life, you're just too soft," Rosetta said with her sword crossed, and pushing against mine. I pushed back, until I saw a wrist knife.

"Because I take better care of myself," I sassed,

Rosetta snarled, unamused and attacked, "Pity,"

I broke off the stalemate, "You really should try it,"

I moved to the side to narrowly evade the dagger blade, but she slid her sword blade inside the guard, and a saw the tip going toward my nose. With a flick of the wrist and a back kick to my ankle, she took me down to the ground, with both swords crossed at my neck, "As I said, you're too soft," she repeated with a venomous purr, "it's so tempting"

"Then do as your empty heart desires," I replied,

"I'm not as empty as you'd think," said Rosetta,

"I have a hard time believing that," I said back,

She pulled the swords away, "I won't, I'd rather face you when you're at your best, tah-tah," With that, she threw down smoke bomb, an old shinobi trick. Once the smoke had cleared, she vanished. I was left all alone in the maze. Amid the buzzing sound of the cicadas, I was tracing my steps until out of the blue my clone attacked with a hard backfist

'Not this time!' I thought, using a hand to block it to the side. She then came with a jumping whip-kick to the side of my head. I weaved to evade the kick from taking my head off, and moved inside her guard and struck a hard kick to the supporting leg to bring her down. She stopped herself with her hands, and looked at me with a look of killing intent

'So this is what Rosetta wanted?' I pondered,

'You are me, can you be me?' I added to my thoughts,

'Still there is something I can do' I thought to myself,

There is no other option to her. She will not accept failure. She attacked with a spinning kick to make me release my vice on her. The clone put a hard knee into my gut, and everything went dark after I felt a strike to the back of my neck, falling face first. My vision blurred when I heard her voice echoing, "Foxy? Foxy...," I woke up to see 'Agent P'.

I found myself in a blanket as I woke up from a sofa, "Oh..good, you're awake, you didn't look so good when I found you," she said, I rubbed the back of my neck where I was struck, and that was the last thing I remember. Though now, I got a feeling I know what Rosetta's plan is, and I think 'Agent P' can help, or at most be on the same page as me.

"This was not the only time, mind you, but...I thought I was seeing 'double'," I explained to 'Agent P'. The tuxedo cat lightly nodded, and poured me a warm cup of tea, "thank you," I said with a thankful grin to her. I know my tea, and I know this cup is not laced with anything, "I believe this plot is thinning out in some areas, and thickening in others,"

"You know about Rosetta's inner works," I stated,

"I've done some work myself," said 'Agent P'

I was most intrigued by this, "Oh really? Do tell,"

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