Several things happened at once that Rin with her heightened senses could see everything that was happening in slow motion. She could see the short man running forward, bringing up his pistol. The light glinting off the polished black metal. Each pounding step that he took as it splashed in the thin puddles at their feet. The man behind them was jumping up on the fountain to bring his weapon to bear. His cloak was fluttering as he took aim. She could see a third man, an undercover operative squaring his shoulder as he brought up his handgun. The crowd gasping, screaming and running form the Princess and the assassins.
Rin’s mind ran faster than her body could manage. She could kill either man with a thrown blade but she was not fast enough to catch them both. So she did the only thing that was left, she tackled the Princess, bringing her back to the shorter attacker where she had hoped the magic of the cloak would prove enough to save her. The assassin to their rear was began to shout something but was taken out so all he cried was a gargled scream. He got a shot of though and it tore through her magical prosthesis as she brought the Princess down in a splash of water from the fountain.
A much larger splash fell beside them as Sir Hanar plunged in the shallow fountain. He was aboard an undercover airship in a Daedalus Class mecha-suit. She looked up at him, a Rose on his breastplate with blade and handgun drawn standing protectively over them both. “Are you alright?” she could hear him ask. It was like he was far away. Everyone was far away as Rin did a quick look around, the water running into her eyes. There he was; the short assassin. Rin did not even think about it as she got up and leapt over the fountain.
“Watch her! I am going after him!” she cried and started running, leaving the Princess peeking over the edge of fountain. She could see the guardsmen coming into the square and the people in the plaza panicking.
He was fast, probably faster than her but for the bullet wound he had taken in the leg. She could see blood splattered on the ground as she could see him ducking around the corner before the coming guardsmen. She quickly edged herself around the corner, taking care not to be shot at. “Damn," she muttered as she could see him duck into a sewer grate. She didn’t give it another thought as she ran to and slid feet first past the grate.
She landed feet first and a knife palmed in her right hand. Her left hand was a bit stiff due to the gunshot wound. She cursed herself. She had acted too quickly to do a self-assessment after she was shot. “Damn it Lady Rin,” she could hear Sir Hanar say in her ear. “Where are you so we can sent backup?” he asked, though it sounded more like a command.
She took out the earpiece for a moment listening for the labored breathing and looking for ripples or blood in the darkness. She heard the feint beats of footsteps coming from her right. She edged down the passageway, trying to find that balance between speed and silence. She put her earpiece back in and heard the Princess talking.
“Rin, come back!” she was saying but static was building up.
“I almost have him,” Rin whispered and hoped that they had heard her as all she now heard was static. She felt alive though as the excitement of the chase pumped adrenaline in her system. When the chase was on, she often acted without thinking. Part of her loved the chase and part of her felt like she was letting Itami down for leading her into the trap.
She stopped. She could no longer hear the footsteps that she was following. She berated herself again in her mind and was coming to a junction carved though the volcanic rock. Water poured down at her feet over the edge of the precipice going deeper into the earth. There was very little light, save for what was coming in from grates that were above her head.
“Damn,” she whispered. “It seems like I lost him,” she said though her mike. She continued to look through the darkness and could barely see the passageways that lead to this junction.
“Good,” she heard Sir Hanar say. “You can come back before you give Her Highness a coronary.”
Rin sighed and backed away from the edge silently. She listened on more time for anything out of the ordinary, but all she heard was the water moving, dripping and falling down. She didn’t hear the footsteps behind her as it bashed her in the head with a sap.