Eternity flat out pounced on the guy. I have to hand it to her...She's fast. She didn't even give me time to respond to this proxy's demand that we surrender. Not that either of us intended to, but...Instead of words, she leaped at him with a knife. They both fought like cornered cats...Despite being crippled, he still fought like the soldier he claimed he used to be. They went back and forth, knife versus cane. If this wasn't such a serious situation, I'd say the fight was pretty damn awesome. She slashed him across the palm and a few minutes later, across the shoulder. Then he connected with her wrist, knocking the knife to the ground..then he hit her across the face with the cane. She dropped to the ground, and he just kept beating on her. Screaming the whole time, some (mostly incoherent) words involving revenge and pain. I felt frozen to the ground. I couldn't move. I don't know how she did it, but she managed to get up and shove him through a first-level window. She jumped through after him..I didn't see what happened next. All I know is that shortly after, I heard him yell and then everything went silent.
And then, as if things couldn't get any worse, his buddies show up. Three of them. I came out of my frozen state just in time to dodge an attempted hammer blow to the skull. At this point I figured that they had given up on capture and were aiming to kill. I retreated through the back door, throwing any sort of object I could find to slow them down long enough for me to reach my objective. To the immediate left, into the workshop. I prayed (to what or whom, I have no idea) there was still spare gasoline for the lawn mower...and if not, at least there were things I could defend myself with. I wasn't disappointed though. There were still three full containers.
I did the only think I could think to do. I lured them into the workshop area and for the second time set fire to the building. I didn't look back to see if I was being chased. All I wanted to do was find Eternity and outrun the flames.
I found her barely conscious by the window, blood streaming from her head, holding a piece of bloody glass in her hand. The proxy was also there, not moving. I didn't bother to check if he was dead or alive. I didn't care. We had to get out. Too hot...the backyard area was already consumed by flames that spread much too quickly. The wall was collapsing inward, dropping hot pieces of wood and siding on top of us. I grabbed Eternity and made an awkward stumble to the basement door, which is luckily fireproof. Opened it up, tossed her in, and collapsed to the floor.
A day or two later I woke up. I was amazed to be alive. I thought we were dead, for sure. Thank god for fireproofing...If by some random chance I ever meet the original owner of the house I will thank them profusely. Amazingly enough there was still quite a bit of food and water left over from my last basement adventure. Nothing in the way of real first aid though. I made do with water and scraps of old t-shirts.
I ventured out a few days later to clear away some rubble and survey the area...Get this. My pack survived, as did the phone I stole from the boatman a few months ago. I guess the fire didn't reach out that far? No clue as to whether or not any of our attackers survived. I hope not, as horrible as that probably sounds.