Her opening strike knocks out of the timeline. Relativistic shrapnel drags you along a quantum shear plane and by the time you’ve reoriented you’re about to hit the Mirror at 8 stadia per second. Conceptual weapons are still manifesting, the only way out is through. You brace.

The moment of impact arrives like a rising chorus of cicadas as particle turns to wave and wave to particle. Integrity systems spew a million error codes, blurring back into the miasma of pain they’re supposed to replace as eternity resonates onto one long pure note.

Then you’re through, and the Mirror is falling away from you as you tumble into the Unreal amidst a shotgun blast of diverging counterfactuals. Vector confinement comes back online. Warding fields blossom out in fifteen dimensions as your tactical systems finish manifesting. You yank open the command authority socket, control surfaces magnesium flaring with grip friction. Conceptual weapons are up, datalink reestablished, time to waltz.

Your awareness is a rapidly ballooning sphere already extending up and out past the crater you left in the skin of the Mirror, that’s how you know she’s preparing a followup shot. You twist imperceptibly and hit the superstring feet first.

Subatomic fire leaves afterimages as your momentum drags the collapsing ring singularity behind you. Energies twist, coil, you make a cut. A supernova bullcrack slams you back towards the Mirror. She’s already firing again, same move twice in a row, they never learn, do they?

The ribbon of boiling quantum foam spirals upwards in a corkscrew as you roll out of the way of the incoming strike. Her attack is as precisely timed as you knew it would be and the string you accelerated curls around it perfectly. You’re already starting your deceleration burn. You smirk.

And then there’s light.

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