Admittedly, in his favor, he was the one with the best chance of defeating her, but was starting to think he had perhaps overestimated his chances. At the same time, though, the others were engaged against the rest of the crew, keeping them from interfering in this duel. Which was for the best, because if anyone else ganged up on him against an opponent of this caliber, he held no doubt that it would be the end of him.
Just holding his own against Striker alone was proving to be an uphill battle.
As the two of them hacked and slashed and parried their way back and forth across the deck, Max wondered just how much more straight punishment he could stand up to. Striker was a good deal stronger than he expected, even for a Cyexian, and though he managed to take the offensive a couple times— briefly— her defense was solid, and he was mostly being pushed back. Though Max had the edge when it came to form and technique, it was obvious Striker had been doing this for a while, and had likely bested stronger opponents than he.
“I don’t know who the hell you think you are,” Striker warned him—
But Max took the chance to parry her attack, forcing her back with a swift kick.
Striker hissed sharply, rather than cry out; she was not going to lose to some nobody.
“Max,” he filled in, resuming his attack, “and don’t you forget it.”
Striker deciding that perhaps this Max was not as crazy as she thought… or perhaps hoping he was even more so.
“I couldn’t care less,” Striker informed her wild enemy, hammering his guard relentlessly, “but nobody fucks with Striker and lives to tell about it!”
“Why don’t you say that after I’m dead?” Max shot back, then, seeing what might be his only opportunity, struck at the first real opening he had seen in this fight.
Only to discover, belatedly, that Striker’s opening was just a feint, and he took the bait hook, line and sinker.
Before he could counter, she tweaked his sword out of his grip with a flick of the wrist, nearly identical to one of his childhood friend Cleo’s favorite moves, then knocked him down with a vicious kick while he was still off-balance. As he spun around toward the deck, he got a brief glimpse of the battle. Of the Triad being ganged up on at the boarding ramp of their own ship, of Shades and Justin pinned down by enemy fire from a working weapon, an intense energy blast that reminded him of NK-525’s super-laser, disintegrating part of the cover they were so valiantly losing from. And knew that they had gambled and lost.
He hit the deck to find the tip of Striker’s energy blade pointed at his throat.