Saturday, May 28, 2011

Always toward absent lovers love's tide stronger flows (Part Three)

My bed felt empty when I woke, I allowed myself a few minutes for my mind to catch up with my body. I had landed here just under 24 hours ago, between organizing weapons, and talking to contacts I had only made it back to my second apartment in the city at just past day midnight as they called it here.  That'd be roughly 0500 standard, still hours before sunrise, actually just heading into dark, a rough 3 hours ago. Days were long, but so were the nights.

I had been recognized by the various cell leaders I managed to contact yesterday. A interesting group of fighters if I had ever met any. The thing about creating a stimulus was you didn't need to find people who's views matched yours exactly, just ones with influence, resources, and malice usually were good enough. The first group had started out as a militia going nowhere quickly, looking to expand their credibility by pulling off something "large." They'd be the hired muscle in this case, lots of guns, very little experience or intelligence. A perfect distraction.

Some of my other cells, though I doubt they would love being called that if they found out who else they were 'working' with, included various independent hackers, anarchist groups, and a single old Rote crewman who had grown tired of the good life after retiring from a STUGH battleship just after AT8. Likely just after watching my Bhaalgorn get torn to pieces. He had been most helpful, but wouldn't be participating further.

I slid out of bed, still mostly dressed, I had left my boots on, the shirt resting over a chair close to the bed. Today would be my chance to get ready, and clear any remaining trail back to me. A rustle drew my attention to the wooden, though metal reinforced front door. Feet moved on the other side and I tensed, soft whispers just barely registering with my enhanced hearing.

My time was up in this apartment, I grabbed my leather jacket, my mind taking off at incredible speed, the apartment was on the second floor, overlooking a convenient escape stairwell mounted to the side of the building. Windows be damned, I plowed through, my crash corresponding to crash of some kind of ram, or person slamming into the front door of what was previously my apartment. I landed sideways on the stairs, using my momentum to propel me over my back and onto my feet, tearing off down the single flight of stairs, my booted feet crunching noisily in the alleyway. I looked back just in time to see a pinched Amarr face peer out the window.

Looking out like that always confused me and I wished for a weapon to reduce my tail by one. I barreled around the corner, just as three pursuers, including the Amarrian, made it onto the balcony. They were too slow by seconds, sheer luck had saved me this time. I wasn't clear yet.

My heart beat in my ears, drowning out the sound of any pursuit, and of my footsteps. I pounded down one street and then the next, ducking into the dark alleyway, noticing for the first time the oppressive darkness all around and the chill in the air. Implants activated deep in my skull, lightening the surrounds, a small overlay map appearing in view at just the right place. It networked sounds and sensory inputs too small for my brain to make out to map the local area, just two angry red place markers falling off behind me. I threw on my coat to combat the cold and mute my sounds a bit, aiming towards a corner that would hopefully lead me back to a main street, where ambush was less likely.

I near slid to a stop around the next corner, the Ammarian inches away from me, slug thrower raised just below my shoulder level. A bad place for him, especially given the surprise registering on his face, he must not have expected me so soon. My body crouched, more by instinct than command, my right arm was leading around the corner, it popped up slam against the gun-holding fore arm, jarring the gun up and to the side, the bang of the gun rattled my eardrums, some kind of hasty suppressor reducing the crash of the high velocity slug to a bark.

The Amarrian, to his credit, did not wait to see if his shot had landed, his other hand was already in motion, heading towards a nasty looking knife concealed in the folds of his pants. It came up towards me with incredible speed. My left hand met his just above his wrist, denying his first thrust by redirecting it outwards, my right arm and hand pivoting to twist around his right, taking the gun out of the fight while I was able to stay inside his arm span.

My left hand balled and struck while his side was exposed, striking his exposed armpit before I came at him again, my fist connecting with the side of his face, sending him limply to the ground, his face bleeding, or possibly that was my knuckles. I realized I was still holding his gun arm, and relieved him of the gun, a smallish caliber pistol, well worn, with a improvised silencer attached to the end.  The two other goons crested the turn behind me, winging barking shots off the wall next to us both. I ducked back, considering taking the Amarrian out of the fight, more permanently.

The two other goons took that option away from me by charging me in a show of sheer bravery. One that I ended with three shots, the first one, quiet, impacted in the ground next to goon one's boot. The next took goon two just below the sternum, dropping him mid run to the floor as the impact and exit of the bullet separated his spine from his body, tossing it all over the ground behind him. No body armor, I mentally noted, and moved on to my next shot. One that should have missed, but goon one, failing to continue his luck from the first shot, dove towards me. Firing his gun, like a bad holo-drama, as he flew through the air towards the ground. Not surprisingly, his shots missed by a wide margin. My third shot was headed for the ground, an easy miss if the goon hadn't dove towards it, bullet three met goon one's eyeball and exploded, with the bullet and remnants of his brain, out the back of his head. It was the kind of crazy thing that can only happen in a fight for life and death.

The Amarrian stirred at my feet and I have him a short, sharp kick to the side of his head for his trouble, reaching down to take the knife from his limp hand. My map resolved in my vision again, apparently the Amarrian hadn't gotten so much in front of me as I had run in a tight circle, taking two lefts, a right and then three lefts. I smirked, nearly as smart as some of the things I said to Usagi. It was time to see who, and why. The knife was deceptively sharp for it's size, I made sure to dull the blade on the wall while waiting for my visitor to wake. It also took about that long for my hands to stop trembling.

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