‘She’s alone’, noted the kakai , ’ I can sense her anxiety’. ‘If I double the volley of my steel needles, I can defeat her and the others’, it decided as it rushed towards the three children.

‘This is bad’ realized Naarkie . ‘ I rushed here certain that other asafo would not be far behind but there is no sign that they will even be here’. She let loose three arrows at the fast approaching kakai but watched in horror as it simply snatched them in midair!

Without breaking it’s stride, it stretched out it’s right hand and released 15 long, steel needles from it’s palm. Naarkie tried to dodge them all but 5 of them buried themselves deep in the hand that held her bow.

She gasped in pain,stumbling back. As it drew nearer, she pushed the pain aside and released 5 arrows at the kakai, forcing it to dodge to the right and skid to a stop.

‘It is pointless, child, ‘ it said. ‘Judging from the manner in which you hold your weapon, I can tell that this is your first battle so even with that in your hands, those arrows will never reach me’

‘You may have summoned enough strength to set loose 5 more arrows ,despite your injury’ it said as it began to walk slowly towards her, its steel claws glistening in the afternoon sun. ‘However you now have only enough strength in that arm to hold the bow for two or three shots at most’.

‘It’s right’ naarkie realized with a growing sense of despair.’ I didn’t even complete archery practice before I noticed the alert’. ‘But …maybe I can buy my friends time to escape, at least before it….’

She suddenly felt a tug on her battledress. ‘I’ve been watching that thing for some time now,’ Baaba said calmly as she pulled herself upwards, with Twumasi following suit. ‘If we use long and mid range attacks in a particular pattern , we may have a chance to defeat it together.’

‘Eh!, what are you saying, Baaba?’ Naarkie asked ,surprise in her tone.
‘She’ s saying, said Twumasi, that you should lend us your sekan(machets) to engage it in midrange combat whilst you use the bow and arrows.’ She’s seen it’s attack pattern and we have sustained minor injuries ,so it may work.”

‘You do not have to sacrifice yourself for us,Naarkie, Baaba said , laying her hand on her shoulder.

‘Strange', mused the kakai, 'it seems those two are not as helpless as I thought.’ On top of that , the unarmed girl seems to be devising a strategy’

‘Pointless', it decided as it let off a volley of 20 steel needles and watched in shock as they evaded them all and began to flank him, with two wielding machetes and approaching on both sides.

The kakai drew out two steel blades and blocked the attacks by both Twumasi and Baaba but took an arrow in the chest fired by Naarkie, leaving black spirals across it.

It gnashed it’s pointed teeth in pain and leapt back. The three changed positions with Baaba moving behind the kakai’s retreating form and Naarkie taking her place on the right of the kakai and Twumasi leaping towards the kakai, machete outstretched. It retracted it’s blades and aimed it’s palm at Twumasi in midair.

However it noticed an arrow shot by Naarkie and cut the arrow with a blade from it’s right palm. It blocked Twumasi’s attack with it’s left blade. However Baaba slashed at it from behind, leaving a trail of black spirals running diagonally along it’s back. Enraged, it pushed back against Twumasi and slashed wildly at them.

‘Impossible, I the second kakai of the south crevice, cannot be banished by two civilians and a rookie asafo', it gasped as the spirals began to spread across its body.

As the three watched, it drew out a serrated spear from it’s left shoulder blade and swung wildly at Twumasi and Naarkie, driving them back with each slash. They fell back, wounded by this sudden attack.
Glaring at Baaba with all four eyes, it suddenly threw the spear straight at her! But she must have foreseen it’s intentions because she swung her blade and shifted to the right,causing the spear to merely graze her shoulder and deflecting it to her left.

Ignoring the searing pain, she suddenly rushed at the kakai as it was recovering from it’s spear throw, flinging her sekan at it’s head.

It barely had time to dodge the sekan before she drew out Naarkie’s akofena from the scabbard and lunged at it, brandishing the weapon.

It attempted to attack Baaba with steel needles from it’s right and left palms but Twumasi approached it from the right side with the sekan Baaba flung earlier as well as the other sekan he had.

As it blocked Twumasi’s attack with it’s right, Naarkie fired two arrows at it’s left arm, which it blocked with it’s blades.

With both of its arms blocking attacks from the two,it was unable to stop Baaba's subsequent attack.There was no hesitation on her part as she slashed at it from the top of its head to its feet, leaving a trail of black spirals on the creature.

The kakai staggered back from the attack and soon several black spirals spread across its entire body. It fell to its knees before them and trembling violently, suddenly vanished,creating a gust of wind that sent dust and leaves flying.

Gasping heavily, Baaba fell to her knees exhausted, glad to be alive. Suddenly two new kakai gates emerged and were forced open like the first. then several steel needles flew out towards the trio . Despite their exhaustion, they scrambled out of the way and watched in despair as two more kakai emerged ,one from each gate.

They each pulled out a serrated spear and held it high when suddenly, each one had a spear thrown into it’s chest . their eyes widened in disbelief as black spirals began to cover their arms. Behind the trio, several asafo emerged from the bushes.

Before they could retreat, the two kakai were pummeled with several arrows,spears, machetes, akofenas and afowatsenas wielded by the asafo before they too were soon gone just like the first. Orders were soon given to tend to the trio and they were helped up and given first aid.

During their first aid treatment, ‘Naarkie asked, ‘how were you able to formulate a strategy like that so quickly,Baaba?’

‘Well….its attack pattern and use of …blades and needles from its palms helped me to draw a conclusion that…’

Naarkie realized that Baaba seemed to be distracted as she was gazing intently at three figures in asafo battledress and wide brimmed straw hats that shaded their faces. They seemed to be the ones in charge as they gave out orders to the other asafo.

‘Those are the asafo captains, Naarkie explained, although I am certain that on my way here they were not part of the group I was sent with’.

‘In fact’, realized Naarkie, none of the asafo here are part of the group I was sent with.

Baaba watched the asafo captains intently as they each drew out an akofena and thrust it into a gate and turned it.

There was a creaking sound as the gates began to close and they soon faded away. The one in the middle began talking with the others and suddenly turned in Baaba’s direction. The figure turned back to the others and then abruptly walked towards Baaba.

Before the captain even reached her, Baaba was already walking towards the figure. They stopped abruptly in front of each other before rushing into each other’s arms.

‘I don’t know what exactly is happening here, but it’s good to see you, Maame(mother),said Baaba .
‘I’m so glad you’re safe, Baaba my child’, the captain replied soothingly.