Terri got her hand up just in time to parry the downward swing of the knife. She'd been trying to bring her gun around for a shot, but not being sliced open was good too. The edge of the cut throat razor was so close it shaved some of the hairs off her eyebrow as her assailant crashed into her and they started to fall.
Everything about Terri's attacker was glossy black, apart from a shiny zippered mouth. She found herself staring into the lenses of her missing night vision goggles, seeing her own shock reflected in them. They tumbled off the path and Terri's back crashed against the trunk of a tree. Her attacker slid off her and seemed to run halfway up the next trunk over before doing a back flip and twisting turn to land facing her with the blade raised over their head.
Terri raised her gun. But for the occasional glint of light reflecting off the razor blade or zipper, her attacker was little more than an absence- a darker section of the darkness which was all around her. She didn't fire, there was suddenly nothing there. Her back burned. If she lived long enough she was going to have a bruise running parallel to her spine and almost as long. She could feel, and practically hear, her heart beating harder and faster than at the end of her morning run. If she didn't regain her composure soon she'd be dead, sliced up by a psycho in a gimp suit.
With her gun held in both hands and pointing down, Terri worked to regulate her breathing and heart rate. She began to discern the noises of the forest and started guessing where her attacker was. Were they teasing her, or did they think she'd bounced straight back into fighting shape? It didn't really matter so long as she got the time to regroup.
There was a crashing of disturbed and broken branches to her right. Terri swung, raised the gun and fired. At nothing. Her attacker swung around the other side of the trunk and kicked her in the back, sending her sprawling forwards and back onto the steps. She lost the gun, it clattered down a few steps and then bounced into the undergrowth.
Right in front of Terri's nose was her torch. It was still lit, but the beam was swallowed by the rock it was pushed up against. The switch atop the torch called out to her. It had two settings, she'd only been using the low power one, saving battery life. There was the light slap of her attacker landing on the stones behind her. Terri grabbed the torch, rolled and flicked the full power button.
Her gimp suited attacker was a shadow in the sun bright circle of the torch beam. The light was going to mess with Terri's night vision, but it was going to do worse to her attacker. Both the shadow's hands went to the goggles, which had overloaded and now presented nothing more than a searing green to them.
Terri was on her feet with a forward roll. She memorised the scene, switched the torch off and swung it at her attacker's face. There was a crunch as at least one finger caught between the torch and the goggles broke. Terri swung the metal barrel again, aiming for the side of her attacker's head. She missed, they'd ducked out of the way.
Her situational awareness returning rapidly, Terri flipped the torch in her grasp and hit the high beam again. Her gimp suited attacker had managed to remove their goggles, but was caught full in the beam and blinded again. Turning on the darkness again, Terri flipped the torch and brought it down on the top of her attacker's head. She aimed a kick at where she expected the body to fall. It wasn't a hard contact, but she heard the satisfying sound of a body bouncing down the steps.
Turning uphill, Terri used the low beam to find Prescott's gun, torch and knife. Without looking up, she grabbed the gun and struggled on to the junction. She turned once to look back down the steps. There was no sign of her attacker. She reached the junction and took off down the path back to the house at top speed.
* * *
Tiffany felt Sam come deep inside her. She hadn't quite made it, but if she ground some more she was going over the edge.
Something warm and wet spattered across her chest just as Sam's hands dropped away. There was a gurgling sound that wasn't quite right, and the scrape of metal on stone. Confused, she opened her eyes.
A black clad figure struggled with a large machete which had sliced most of the way through Sam's throat. It had jammed in something, she didn't want to guess what, and now the figure was trying to work it loose. Tiffany cut her squeal short, but it got the figure's attention. They turned to face her.
The figure wore a balaclava, on which was printed a skull. Their eyes, cold and blue, were all Tiffany could see of their face. They glanced back at the machete, wondering what to do next, then released it and reached out for Tiffany.
Tiffany jumped up and backwards, making a sad little squeak as Sam's still hard cock popped out of her. She let herself fall backwards off the plinth, relying on years of gymnastics training to cartwheel over the nearest grave marker and land in a crouch behind it. She reached down to her chunky knee high boots and pulled at tabs on them.
The skull faced figure yanked hard at the machete and pulled it free. Sam's head rolled off the edge of the plinth. Tiffany didn't watch it, she kept her stare levelled at their attacker. When her hands reappeared they each held a long stiletto blade. Skull face faltered in the step they'd been about to take.
Tiffany wasn't scared- at least, no more than was natural when facing a blade wielding murder- nor was she falling back on her training. It was helping, but what she felt, what showed on her face, was anger and a desire for vengeance. She'd had a crush on Sam since he'd joined the team and this had been her chance to act on it, to see if there was any chance of the future together she had been dreaming of. She was going to mourn him later, but now she was going to avenge his death. Skull face shifted their stance, considering the next move. "Okay motherfucker," Tiffany addressed them, "let's dance."
Skull face weighed the machete in their hand and glanced around, uncertain how to handle an armed victim. Tiffany flashed the scariest grin she could manage, spread her arms and showed off her naked, blood splattered breasts. She had the weirdest feeling skull face was a woman, but the sight of bare breasts was still distracting them.
Tiffany's corset was on the other side of the grave marker, propped where it had landed. She hooked it with a quick move then wrapped it around her left arm. Modesty wasn't the priority- the stiffness in the corset was provided by ceramic bands and knife proof panels. It wouldn't stop a direct thrust from her own stilettos, and a square blow from the machete could still break her arm, but it would be good for parrying the big knife.
Skull face stopped contemplating, raised the big blade above their head and charged. The machete swung down, right through the space where Tiffany had been. But she had hopped back and up and now balanced precariously on the next grave marker along. The machete dug into the earth between graves and Tiffany got one good kick at skull face's jaw before she fell.
Skull face staggered back, machete held loosely in one hand as the other rearranged their mask. As Tiffany struggled up she realised that skull face had started looking at something behind her. She rolled to one side just as something swung down and dug into ground where she had been.
Tiffany swung her right hand up, and the stiletto in it dug into something softer than wood and stayed there. She swung her left hand toward skull face and let her other stiletto fly at the frozen figure. The blade entered the cheek, scraped along bone and came out in front of the ear. Skull face stepped back, dropped the machete and reached for the stiletto lodged in their face.
Tiffany jumped up. She didn't look at the attacker behind her, but started running toward skull face. A jump and a well timed push off a grave marker saw her flying almost over skull face's head. She managed to grasp skull face's balaclava with both hands and balance upside down on the confused figure's head.
Skull face's legs were buckling under the added weight. The pair began to fall. With a move of her legs, Tiffany guided the topple in the direction she wanted, taking skull face with her. With a sickening tearing sound, skull face was impaled, all the way across their shoulders, on the rusty spikes atop the fence. Tiffany landed on the grass beyond the fence, clumsily but still in one piece. She had even managed to yank out her stiletto at the same time.
Skull face was twitching on the fence. In the graveyard a dark shape was pulling a blade from its shoulder. Tiffany didn't try to take any more details in, she set off for the house as fast as she could.
* * *
Loomis didn't feel the knife until it grated between his collarbone and ribcage. His right arm went cold and numb, then there was a sharp pain as the figure twisted the blade. He swung a punch with his left which connected with the side of the figure's neck, not quite on target to crush his windpipe, but harsh enough.
They staggered apart. The first round had gone convincingly to the stalker, even as he slid in the pool of blood and fell sideways. Loomis bumped into Freddy's headless corpse and knocked it over. Something clattered out of a sleeve and skidded across the floor into the shadows. Loomis recognised the shape, it was one of Freddy's derringers.
With one arm out of action Loomis couldn't hope to move Freddy's body around to find the other derringer, or the holstered pistol which was trapped under the dead weight. He glanced at the slasher, who had paused in his struggle to stand up just long enough to understand what was happening. Loomis would have to turn his back on the slasher to get to the derringer, but he chose to take the risk.
Loomis ran some of the distance into the shadows and dived the rest. A psychedelic array of lights filled his vision as the knife twisted against his bones but he managed to clasp the butt of the derringer. Despite the pain he rolled, cocked the pistol and fired both barrels in an instant. The bullets had both gone through the exact spot the slasher had occupied seconds before, but he wasn't there any more. Loomis was the only one in the room. There was nothing, not even bloody footsteps, to indicate where the slasher had gone.
"I fucking hate it when they do that." Loomis told himself. With the aid of the wall he pushed himself up. He debated trying to get the gun off Freddy's body but decided against it. The others would have heard the shots and be on their way. He headed, unsteadily, for the door.
Loomis steadied himself in the door frame, at the top of the flight of stairs down to the landing. As he stood there he got the sick, prickly feeling running all the way down his back. If he looked around, he knew he'd be face to face with the slasher again. His hand reached up to the only weapon he could think of, the knife still jammed into his shoulder.
With a surge, the slasher threw Loomis down the stairs.
* * *
Todd had stood up and started sullenly knocking balls around the table whilst Crystal ignored him. They both looked up at the sound of tumbling bodies above them.
Crystal's book dropped to the floor and she sprang across to the dining table. Todd tested the heft of his pool cue, then decided he'd rather have a gun and joined her.
"Where's my gun?" Crystal was staring at the array of weapons on the table. Todd held up the small revolver she had used in the bedroom. "Not that one. The 1911, the nickel plated one. It was there."
"Did you put it back when we got back from the woods?"
"I didn't take it into the woods. I took one of the MP5s. It's one of my indoors guns."
There was a loud crack from upstairs. They looked at the ceiling, it had been muffled, but the sound of both barrels of one of Freddy's derringers discharging was familiar. Todd waved the revolver at Crystal and she grudgingly accepted it. He picked a gun from the table and they ran out into the reception area.
Two figures grappled on the balcony. The dark clad figure with the blank white face mask had Loomis up against the bannister. Loomis' jacket was tattered and bloody and he was fighting the figure for a blood soaked knife. His right arm hung limp by his side.
Crystal aimed, but couldn't pull the trigger. "I can't trust this gun at that range! You take the shot!"
"Me?" Todd waved his gun around, "I'm wasted, bitch. I can't even tell them apart."
"Will one of you just. Fucking. Shoot him!" Loomis called out.
Crystal fired a half hearted shot deliberately high, then started walking up the stairs so she could get a better angle. Todd guessed where the slasher was and fired two shots. Somehow neither of them hit Loomis and one actually hit the blade of the knife the slasher had wrested from Loomis' grasp, knocking it from his hand.
The front door crashed open. Todd and Crystal whirled. Todd fired again as he turned, but the bullet merely splintered panelling.
"Fuck!" Tiffany screamed at being shot at by a team mate.
Todd took in the fact that Tiffany was topless. "What the tit!?"
"There's more of them! In the woods! They killed.... They killed Sam!" Tiffany's attention shifted up to the balcony as there was a crash and a cry from Loomis. "What's going on?"
The dark figure of the slasher had disappeared, leaving Loomis propped up on the bannister with the hilt of the knife protruding from his chest. "Fat lot of fucking good you lot were." he managed before sliding along the bannister a short way and then collapsing to the floor.
"There's one in the house." Todd told Tiffany, in case she hadn't worked that out.
There was a crash from the rear of the house. Crystal braced against the bannister and Todd turned yet again. This time he managed to keep his trigger finger still as Terri ran through from the kitchen.
"There's another slasher!" she announced, "Up in the," she slowed her delivery as she took in the scene before her and realisation dawned, "woods." Loomis' blood dripped over the edge of the bannister and landed at her feet.