Roughly I shoved Adonie to one side. Alarm slashed through me as this
caused the tallest woman instinctively to act to protect the leader. She
concluded Adonie's movement was an attack and she struck out. The side
of her hand could break bones. I lunged, shoving Adonie again, and
glimpsed that the woman's arm did not strike Adonie's skull but across
her shoulders. Adonie staggered to her knees, and on one hand tried to
rise, but another blow rapidly descended. Only her forward movement
onto her hand saved her head that time. The second strike chopped Adonie
across the back of the neck.
I pitched Olive into the shadow of the side bay window and whirled. The
leader was mine. She was the only one who counted.
No picture, no awareness of what I did remained with me. I would not
allow us to be accosted like this; I would not let Olive be taken in this
crude fashion, warlord to peon, terrorist to victim. It was not possible
that I would allow that. Everything that was
me and had been me as long as I could remember would never accede to