As I mentioned yesterday, quick, deadly, confusing. Just like any real fight. I again thank God that I switched what will be these few chapters to Jimmy’s perspective; that made this simpler.
A special mention and thanks to the two pharmacists who tolerate me at my DayJob. Curious about what Aurie jabbed into herself, I asked their opinions. All productive work for the hospital was suspended while the merits of different meds were discussed. It came down to PCP v epinephrine, with the latter taking the win (although I think we’ll find it was mostly epinephrine). Thank y’all!
Looking ahead, I think I’d best see Aurie to a hospital for that shoulder wound. Her last line here will prove pivotal.
She turned back to the north. They were almost ashore.
“Jimmy? You are unarmed. Seek cover and concealment in this building. Colour? Move left about twenty yards and stay down where the brush starts. You are only to shoot if you or Jimmy is in immediate danger. Sergeant Alvis? Flank right, using your judgment,” she quickly ordered them. “Your mission is to keep them from surrounding me.”
“Now, look, Miss…”
“You have your orders.” As Jansen moved left, Hardt took her rifle and chambered a round before returning it to her shoulder. From her jacket, she produced some plastic tube and held it aloft in her right.
“I am the spear of the Change!” Jimmy had heard her in pleasure and even a little mad a bit ago. This voice… She reached with her left to draw out what looked like a syringe.
“My body is steel! My blood, fire!”
She dropped the plastic tube.
“We… have withstood much pain… to renew this world.”
“Aurie!” Jimmy called out of his concern. “Are you…?”
She ignored me.
“So to my enemies,” she stabbed the syringe into her left thigh, “I promise Unlimited Death Works!”
Suddenly gone, Burns saw her blurred form already fifty meters ahead, shooting.
“Crap,” Alvis muttered, dropping to a crouch and moving right and forward, rifle up.
Two women in a firefight? I can’t just…
“Get under fucking cover, Jimmy!” Jansen yelled in a shaking voice from off to his left. He ran to the edge of the Assembly Building but peered around.
No bursts of automatic fire but a continuous report of one shot after another, less than a second apart. Her guess was low, he thought. There are ten men per boat. But they are already falling…
Any time he tried to focus on her, she would not be there anymore. The rifle sounds stopped but a series of smaller pops began. She had a pistol? There! Oh, no!
Hardt stood between two of the pirates. He watched her shoot the one on the right and then lean to open the throat of the one on the left with a knife. Gone again.
To the right, Alvis finally began firing into the invaders. Perhaps not expecting resistance, some of them were wavering. What the…!
She had leaped into the air, plunging the knife into one’s chest then spinning the dead man’s body about as a shield to close on two others. But rather than retreating, they sprinted forward.
Toward the tower.
Jansen began to fire but there were almost to Burns.
The one on the left fell. The knife in his back. Hearing an animal shriek of rage, the other also fell. With someone on his back.
That someone reached down to the man’s throat and drew back quickly, blood and tissue everywhere. It looked up…
That’s not Aurie. Covered in blood, fingers dripping flesh, teeth bared, and eyes a golden fire, Burns looked right at a demon on earth. It can’t be.
It hissed at him like an angry cat and was gone again. There: trying to catch the last three, running for their boat. One fell. Then another. Where was she? The last fell to his knees, hands over his head, begging not to die.
The demon was behind him. It paused before twisting his head front to back.
All was quiet.
“What just happened?” he asked no one at all.
“Jimmy!” Colour shouted, nearly scaring him to death. She rose from her crouch but kept her rifle up. “Fall in behind me. We have to help her.”
Bent low, he trotted to about two meters behind her. Some goddam man, I am… Off to the right, he saw Alvis slowly walking north. The… thing… had not moved. Looking up a moment, it appeared the ship was turning about as fast as it could.
“Aurelia?” Colour called from ten meters away. “Friend?”
It, she, slowly turned about. He now saw she had taken a bullet to her left shoulder. Tears streamed down her face, washing a little of the blood off. Her lips were peeled back. Dear God, she has blood in her mouth. Did she bite one of them?
“Christ forgive me,” Aurelia cried. “I love this!”