Raised voices approach behind the door, “What the hell is going on in there? If that girl is any more trouble I swear she’s out of here. I don’t care what you have to say otherwise.”
My panicked eyes jumped around for a place to hide. Then I realised that the room was trashed. it would be painfully obvious someone had just fallen through the ceiling, and I somehow doubted this girl would be forgiving on me dropping in while she’s… getting changed or whatever.
The lock chimed a sharp chirp as whatever key-fob was brushed against it. There was a click of the bolts retracted. I could see no lock on this side, but this was a whore-house, I guess they locked the girls in. Electronically, it wasn’t a cell – or they didn’t expect the occupants to know how to cut the power.
I’d managed to get back to my feet. With only a few moments I grabbed for a weapon, ignoring the girl in the room. Somehow I felt she wasn’t much of a threat. I pulled out a strip of steel from the wreckage of the ceiling I’d brought down. It was light, but I was desperate.
As the door started to open a female voice spoke over the man’s ranting. “I’m not letting you do what you did to her sister. Shut up will you, let’s just fucking see.”
I ran forwards to intercept the opening door, surprise was my only advantage. The lush carpet made for silent movement at least.
“What the-” I kicked the guy in the nuts as he stepped into the room. It wasn’t pleasant with bare feet but situation demanded it. Even without boots he grunted and his head came down. I brought my impromptu weapon down onto the top of his head, but it had little impact – deforming on impact. I dropped it and grabbed for something more effective. With all my strength I smashed the door into his face so hard I had to skip back as it swung back and hit the wall. He hit the floor.
The woman charged into me before I could react. We both fell backwards into the room. I rolled away, jumping to my feet. She was kneeling, fumbling for the pistol at her hip. In that moment I realised I’d brought my own. All that time worrying about a weapon and I had a gun at my belt.
Without time to draw it I leaped forwards and lashed out with a kick to the head. Deflected clumsily with her forearm it felt like I’d just kicked a solid concrete wall. While it felt like my whole leg shattered at the contact, it didn’t seem broken. Bootless, I wasn’t going to be able to stamp or kick effectively.
She drew the pistol to aim. I threw my body into her. The shattering noise of the first shot rang out. It went wide as we crashed together, blasting off a chunk of plaster. I grabbed the hand that held the gun, all my efforts concentrating on getting it away. With a combination of teeth, twisting fingers and slamming into hard objects I detached it from her vice like grip. It fell, and in the struggle caught on someone’s limb. I heard it bounce off into the corner of the room.
I began to try find a limb and start a lock. It was what I was best at. Find the weak spots. Get a joint and push it beyond what it can cope with, break a bone. Destroy their ability to resist a finger at a time if I had to.
Her fists pounded my helmet but it was an ineffectual distraction. She was on-top of me, an advantage of weight, as usual. I had flexibility and unexpected strength. In our struggle we’d met the edge of the room. Seeking an opening, I slapped my palm into her ear. In her disorientation, I pushed her head into the wall with a satisfying thud. In her moment of confusion I found an elbow and twisted. She let out a scream as I approached the limit and let me push her movement, trying to prevent it from snapping her arm out of the shoulder joint.
I know how much that hurts. I twisted her around and rolled us over, shoving her into the corner so I had the upper hand. All it needed was one clean quick shove and she’d be incapacitated.
I held her there, remembering the feeling when I saw my arm’s odd angle after falling from the hospital.
Could I do that to her?
My hesitation was interrupted by a gunshot. I felt the breeze of the bullet as it passed in front of my face. I could taste the dust of the plaster it tore from the wall. I turned my head, tensing, knowing I wouldn’t have time to react before the second found it’s mark. I’d spent too long trying to subdue this woman. A fatal error. The first man in the room had recovered enough to pull out his own gun. He was just correcting his aim.
I stared, the barrel was just a black spot. I could think of nothing else to do, trying to dodge didn’t even cross my mind.
The second shot.
I blinked at the noise, but I felt no thud of hot lead into my armour. No pain, not even the breath of a bullet passing over my shoulder. When I opened my eyes the guy staggered a step forwards, confused, clutching his gut.
The third shot hit him in the chest. Blood splattered on the wall behind.
He fell to his knees and slumped sideways. Confusion still plastered on his paling face.
Having forsaken her comically pathetic stool and opted for something considerably more deadly: the gun I’d wrestled from my opponent. With it still clutched in her grip, she stared at the presumed-to-be corpse looking just as bemused as when I’d dropped into the room.
Me and my forgotten opponent froze, locked in a struggle over who can cause the most damage, and stared at the girl with the gun. A girl we’d both neglected to consider a threat.
After an age for it to sink in she turned to us, pointing the gun firmly at me. I wish I’d landed on her. Maybe not; I’d be dead by now. Still, wouldn’t matter much if she put a bullet in me now.
“I don’t know who you are, but I’ve wanted to do that for a whole long time.” She looked me right in the eyes, then she focused on the woman I was fighting. “Stop fighting, leave her alone.”
I relaxed my grip, and the woman fell limp the floor, resigned to her fate.
The girl continued, “You were always… good to me Danni. You were better than them, but… fuck you!” She was sobbing, her hands shaking. She pushed the gun out towards the woman like it was a live firework and squeezed her eyes closed, looking away. I could see her finger working the trigger.
My eyes went from one face to the other, but where there was a mass of emotion in the girl – the woman looked… tired. There wasn’t a trace of fear. She closed her eyes, like she was just accepting her death like this.
But the girl didn’t fire. Her expression contorted with emotion. Her fingers opened and the black pistol tumbled from them to the floor. With a sob, she staggered backwards to the wall and slid down. Her head in her hands, she quietly wept. All the while I felt like screaming at her to take this chance to run.