The two of them moved into the final room and took cover behind a set of barricades as a hail of fire greeted them.
"Whatever happens next, stay down, you understand?" Ghost hissed to Havoc. He raised his voice.
"Afternoon, Marlowe! Finally lost the plot, have we?"
The kamysh clad figure laughed maniacally.
"Always with the bravado, Ghost. Will you not learn to respect your betters?"
"Well, that's a matter of opinion." Ghost shot back. "What say you we settle this like men?"
The firing stopped, and Ghost stood up, his m4 hanging on its sling.
"We don't need AEG's to decide this." he repeated. Marlowe looked thoughtful, then unslung his RPK, placing it carefully on the ground next to him. Ghost did the same with the M4, then passed the Desert eagle from his dropleg holster to Havoc.
"Get this to Hardcore, get the girls, and get out. Don't be a hero."
He and Marlowe walked towards each other, each letting their long coats drop from their shoulders to the floor to reveal the lightsabers hanging from their belts.
"You ready for this, old man?" Ghost smiled as he ignited his saber.
"Don't call me old." Marlowe spat, igniting his own. The two men faced each other, swords ready, eyes locked, their stances frozen in the classic pose of the samurai.
Then battle was joined, the two men attacking with speed and veracity that belied thier calm demeanour. Their blades met and flirted as they circled, tap and brush and slither of blade on blade, their feet never still, points held high and eyes locked as they fenced.
Marlowe's face remained grave. Even with the light touches of the blade, he had evaluated his man. Remembering past encounters, he had not expected to be met by such strength and skill. Stepping in lightly now, he launched his first serious attack, driving in with a series of vicious lunges. Ghost retreated, checking each thrust but feeling the power in it. Then Marlowe suddenly drove for his throat, and the moment Ghost blocked he dis-engaged fluidly and dropped on bent right knee and cut for Ghost's ankle, the achilles stroke intend to cripple him.
Ghost vaulted lightly over the flashing blade, but felt it tug at the heel of his boot. With both feet in the air he was momentarily out of balance, and Marlowe straightened, turned the angle of his blade and went for Ghost''s stomach. Ghost sprang back but felt it touch him, no pain, but just a tiny snick. He bounced back off his left foot, and aimed for one of Marlowe''s eyes. He saw the suprise in that eye, then Marlowe rolled his head and the point slit his cheek.
They backed and circled, both men bleeding now. Ghost could feel the warm wetness soaking through the front of his shirt, and a scarlet snake ran down past the corner of Marlowe's thin lips and dripped from his chin.
"First blood was mine, I think, sir?" Marlowe asked.
"It was, sir." Ghost conceded "But who's will be the last?"