Talia raced down the ramp and then sprinted for cover. Time slowed to a crawl, with each second feeling like an eternity, as a hailstorm of bullets descended on her. Individual slugs spun through the air before one touched her hair, tearing a path through her locks before continuing on its way.
Another bullet passed by, missing her face by inches as she hit the ground and slid to safety behind a palet. She scrambled on hands and knees, crawling to the far end, making room for her fire team. Perspiration ran down her face and her chest heaved as she leaned against the steel. She wiped the sweat away with the back of a gloved hand.
Ready, Talia? Let’s do this, girl.
She side rolled and then rose up into a kneeling position. The rifle kicked hard against her shoulder, its roar loud making her teeth rattle, as flame erupted from the suppressor. Bullets struck a rebel solider, ripping him apart.
Enemy bullets descended upon her like locusts but she held her ground. They pinged off her armor, each one making her flinch, as she continued to fire. Out of the corner of her eye, Talia saw Brady racing for safety as the rifle’s counter dropped towards zero.
“Brady!” She growled. “Move that ass!”
It hit zero and she rolled to her left as the last marine crossed the deadly opening. She used her feet to push herself across the ground and then ejected the empty magazine. Sweat dripped into her eyes, making them sting, as she rammed a new one home.
Another quick wipe with her hand and she was back in business. Everyone was there, which was all she asked for. Bad thing was they looked at her like lost puppies and she sighed.
She thumbed on the throat mike. “It seems our friends didn’t like us dropping in on them,”
“They’re just pissed we didn’t call ahead and bring pizza and beer,” Methos said. “You know how humans are ‘bout the Super Bowl.”
“Is that today?” Crios asked. “No wonder they’re touchy! They want to check out the latest ads.”
Talia smiled slightly “I’m betting it’ll be some beer commercial that wins.”
“You think?” Methos fired off a few rounds. “Got any bright ideas of how to get us out of this mess?”
“I’m working on it,” she said, “but Team Delta will be here shortly.”
“I hope Dannae would hurry up,” Crios said. “I’m feeling like the donkey in a game of ‘pin the tail on the donkey.’”
Talia peeked around the end of the pallet and cursed softly. The sightlines were horrible. A bulldozer stood ten yards away and it’d give her a better view, but could she count of the kids to cover her?
“Brady! Get over here!”
The Private’s voice shook slightly. “Yes, Ma’am,”
“Get with the program and cover me!”
Brady scrambled away. Hopefully that took care of the problem for a couple minutes.
Provided they didn’t die first, she thought.
“Brady, get ready!”
“I’m on it!”
Marines moved into position and their rifles started to roar as Talia rolled to her feet and then sprinted towards the safety of the ‘dozer. Good kids! Now, if they just keep it up long enough…
She raced across the opening and then leapt for cover before landing on her knees and sliding to a stop. The rifle’s steel grip felt warm in her hands as she crawled to the far end of the vehicle and then bellied down.
She thumbed on the mike. “Is it wrong to say that I missed this?”
“Here we go again,” Methos groaned. “You’re getting back into combat mode again aren’t you?”
“What do you think I’m supposed to do? Knit socks and bake cookies??”
“Hey,” Crios said. “At least let her talk!”
“You stay out of this, Wonder Woman!” Methos chided. “Because the minute Miss Leap Before Looking comes up with the plan, you’re going to go chasing after her like a puppy.”
“Do you two numb skulls mind?” Dannae interrupted. “I can’t hear myself think over here!”
“Dannae,” Talia said. “Where are you?”
“Getting closer to the front,” she said. “It’s slow going. They planted enough land mines to make a Creoth jealous.”
“Great,” she sighed. “You guys just keep holding the line, I’m going to take care of the problem.”
“And here comes the bad idea,” Methos said.
“Pipe down pipsqueak,”
“I’ve got your pipsqueak…”
“What do you plan to do?” Crios asked.
“I’m going to use the left flank to get behind their lines. Should cause one hell of a mess,”
“There’s no cover over there,” Crios observed.
“It’s enough for me and four marines,”
“Oh, good-o!” Methos said. “She’s at it again. Anyone want to place a bet with me that I’ll have to bail her ass out?”
“That’s a sucker bet,” Dannae said dryly.
Talia gritted her teeth. “Just keep them busy, ok??”
“Can do,” Methos’ tone turned serious. “Just keep your damn head down, ok?”
“I plan to,”
“So, Skipper, what’s the plan??”
Talia made a face. “Brady? What the hell are you doing over here?”
Brady blinked innocently. “I thought you needed some help,” she smiled slyly. “And I brought friends,”
She looked over her shoulder. “I thought I told you guys to stay put,”
“Sorry, Skipper,” Brady said. “I didn’t hear that order.”
She shot Brady a “you’re so full of it” look. “Fine, but you follow my orders to the letter from here on out. This won’t be a cake walk.”
“I’m a marine; I didn’t sign up for easy.”
“You’ve got guts, Georgia; I’ll give you that.” Talia looked at the defensive positions again. “We’re going to keep moving to the right and wait for Dannae.” She smiled like a shark. “Somehow I get the feeling these guys aren’t going to tip the delivery woman,”
Dannae stopped a couple yards from the edge of the forest. She knelt down, with Gunny Brown beside her, and scanned the facility. Interesting, no one is covering the front door.
She analyzed the situation for several minutes before licking suddenly dry lips. The Cabal might be a merciless and immoral group, but they were far from stupid. Things were too quiet, and it concerned her. She’d lost count of how many times during the War things looked peaceful only to end to be mousetrap.
Damned if she was going to risk anyone until they’d softened the target. While Talia had elected not to have them, Dannae insisted on carrying RPG’s, and now they’d be put to good use. Besides, a wolfish smile darkened her thin face, I’ve always been the smarter one anyway.
Hitting the second and third floor should get their attention nicely and not kill Josephson. “Gunny, I want to put RPG’s through those windows,” she pointed. “That should bang their gong a bit.”
“And the Admiral?”
“That punk’s on the fourth floor,” she said, “And I’m betting he’s watching Talia’s battle.”
“Cut the ‘Ma’am’ crap, Gunny. Just call me Dannae,”
She sighed and then rolled her eyes. “Wake ‘em up, Gunny,”
Brown slipped through the brush and then approached the soldiers with the RPG launchers. He knelt down and whispered in their ears before crawling back to Dannae.
Flame erupted from the launcher as the miniature missile raced across the open field and then smashed through the armored glass. A bright flash, followed by a loud clap of thunder followed before gouts of flame blew out windows, sending shards flying.
Alarms wailed as soldiers poured from the building before a man leaned around the corner and then fired off an RPG. Dannae cursed and then pressed her face against the ground as the missile landed thirty feet away and exploded.
Bits and pieces of grass, armor and flesh landed in her silver hair and she winced as the screams of the wounded reached her ears. How many went down? And who the hell was going to take down that damned launcher??
She grabbed her rifle off the ground and then aimed at the rebel soldier. The weapon kicked against her shoulder. A split second later a 14mm armor piercing round touched the rocket’s tip and then depressed it.
The rocket exploded, taking the man with it, in an expanding yellow and orange ball of flame.
We’re committed now. I hope this helps Talia.
Methos cursed as she fired twice and then ducked back into cover as a firestorm of bullets tore past. Damn it, where was Talia? She’s was supposed to be taking the pressure off!
If Dannae doesn’t get here soon, I’ll be out of bullets before ever reaching the building!
“Damn it, Talia, where the hell are you?”
Talia’s voice sounded in her ear. “Still moving along their flank, sis, can you cover me?”
“Not unless you’ve got a magic wand in that bag of tricks of yours.”
“Sorry, I forgot it at home. A couple more minutes and I’ll be behind them. You should be able to move then.”
“Whatever you’re going to do, you need to do it sooner rather than later.”
“Hang in there,”
“Where else am I going to go? I’m waiting to see the halftime show.”
An explosion rocked the interior, knocking Sean off his feet. What the hell! Was that from the front?? How did they manage to drop a team without me knowing about it??
He cursed and then climbed back to his feet. Great, he thought, that complicated things! Now he had to divert troops from the rear to help protect the front! Damn it! How could someone that young be so sneaky? She’s got me by the short hairs and I never saw it coming!
The big question was would he have enough ammunition to hold them so the Admiral could move to the command bunker. Fighting two fronts would burn through it at a prodigious rate, meaning the old fart needed to make a decision soon. A part of him wanted the Admiral to leave while at the same time he wished the man to go down for his stupid decisions.
And he should’ve seen this coming! The girl proved too willing to duke it out without making an attempt to reach the building. That should’ve told him she had an ace up the sleeve!
He made his way down the corridor and then slipped outside before taking cover behind a forklift. Ok, who could he afford to pull to support the front? Two of the teams were pinned down which meant…oh shit!
Where’s Almir and her team?
Motion on the left caught Sean’s eye and he looked over. The damned girl!! She was using the area he’d left uncovered to flank him!! Who the hell was she? Super woman??
He spotted a Sergeant. “Get over there and tell them to get those troops on the left!”
Sean watched him run across the room. It was already too late. By the time the word reached his troops, She’d be shooting at them. Just the very thought of what was to come caused the bile to rise up his throat. So, how in the name of all that was holy, am I losing to some college aged bitch??
He activated his throat mike. “Captain Mays, take up positions for interior defense.”
“Yes, Major.” She said. “Eight are protecting the Boss.”
“That bitch is going to be inside within twenty,”
“Funny, I have one out front kicking my ass.”
“Great! Did they clone those bitches??”
“I don’t know, sir, but they’re damned good,”
Sean swore. “Ok, let’s get set for a nasty door to door battle. I’m on my way in.”