This is a sequence from a novel I worked on for a time, but never managed to get it to work. The structure is steampunk meets lost world. A mole machine has burst up out of the ground in the midst of the hidden city of Geharne. Stahlmor, leader of the Vettsch army force, has seized control with his troops. The heroine of the book, Talenne, intends to run while Stahlmor demands that the ruler of Geharne surrenders.
There was a sudden gasp from the old man. Talenne looked round to see Stahlmor casually withdrawing his sword from Turaga's stomach. The old principal's face was ashen, disbelieving, broken words half-formed on dying lips, blood trickling from the corner of his mouth. He crumpled slowly to the ground.
Talenne snarled an obscenity in choked rage, horror and fury turning her thoughts crimson. She spun the knife in her hand at Stahlmor. The cast was swift and unthought, the blade spinning cleanly through the sunlight on the balcony. Stahlmor had already begun to turn away from his victim, and caught the glint of steel at the last moment. He twisted, trying to evade the blade. He was almost fast enough, trained military reflexes serving him well. But not well enough. The point of the knife thudded into the muscle of his shoulder, not the neck she had aimed for. His oath, in harsh Vettschian, was the least hideous sound she had heard that morning.
A corner of her mind reminded Talenne that she had just thrown away the only weapon she had. She advised the sensible corner of her mind that knifing Stahlmor was worth it, and she then concentrated on running.
As always, comments welcomed!