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Breed: Thirty-eight


  12:41:00 am, by Nic Wilson   , 1269 words  
Categories: Breed

Breed: Thirty-eight

Mahmoud tried to slow his breathing. The press of the gun barrel in his neck was cold and hard, and he couldn't help but imagine the scorching lead firing out of it. Sweat dripped down the back of his shirt, but he dared not move, not even to breathe.
The door into the room burst open, and two people in tight black paramilitary gear, including full face helmets, filled the doorway. One knelt down, low to the ground, and used the door frame for protection as she lined up a shot. The other tried to aim with one hand while holding the other palm down towards the floor.
Suddenly the floor beneath them bucked, and Mahmoud felt his legs go out from underneath him.
The red dot from the two intruder's pistols danced over the gunmen flanking Mahmoud, until they found purchase above their body armor. Both intruders pulled the trigger, and the gunmen fell.
?Check your corners,? the female intruder said, remaining crouched,? I'll cover you.?
The large man made it to the first doorway and posted to one side of it. Another man filled his spot at the entryway, then the woman stood up and entered the room. She snaked around the couch, then pointed her pistol at Mahmoud. He put up his hands. ?Don't shoot,? he said.
?On the floor,? she said. Mahmoud slowly lowered himself to the ground.
Then she proceeded to flank the opposite side of the door as her partner.
Two more people filtered into the room. ?Saw something,? one of them said, pausing at the end of the couch to peer into the adjoining room. ?Movement in the dining room.?
?Want to clear the room?? the first woman asked.
?Gladly.? She held out her hand, and concentrated, until she was holding an explosive. She flung it inside, and put her hands on her hips. ?We've got three, two-? The dining room table flipped over as explosives upended the room.
But something had also rolled back to them. ?Grenade!? the first woman inside yelled, leaping onto the small gray cylinder. It didn't detonate.
?Here,? another intruder said, giving her a grenade pin.
She slipped it into the grenade. ?It's deactivated,? she said.
?Stairs!? The last woman said from the entry.
A gunman went rolling down a flight of steps on the far wall. When the gunman reached the ground floor she kicked off the ground, falling back into a darkened room at the foot of the stairs.
?Anybody get off a clean shot?? one of them asked.
?I'm not sure,? one of them said.
?No,? Mahmoud said from the floor.
?Shut up,? the big man said. ?You're dead, and the dead don't talk. Unless you're a zombie.?
?I'm not dead,? Mahmoud said, ?you haven't gotten me killed yet.?
?Either way, shut up,? the first woman said. ?We need to split. You're with me,? she said, nodding to the skinnier of her two male partners. They snaked along the wall. ?Cover the stairs,? she said, focusing on the doorway where the gunman disappeared. ?Can I get a light??
?Sure,? her partner said. He held out his hand and it caught fire, He flicked his fingers, and flecks of fire rolled off. They caught the carpet, and smoke started to roll off the places where they smoldered. ?Crap,? he said.
?No,? she said, ?it's good. The light wasn't enough. Maybe we can smoke her out. But you're on the stairs. Open doors to clear, but don't go inside.?
?But there is the other problem,? she heard from inside the room, ?that it craps on your visibility, too.? The woman rolled low out of the dining room, sticking a knife in her shoe. She pointed her sidearm at the intruder on the stairs. ?Cool it, hot foot,? the woman said from the floor.
?Bang bang,? the woman behind her said.
?You're a casualty,? the other woman said from the floor.
?Take out your knife.?
?And free you??
?And see that there isn't a drop of blood on it. You hit between the toes. Might hinder my mobility a bit, but not so much I can't shoot you.?
?Shit,? the woman said from the floor. She pulled her knife out of the floor and slipped it back in its holster against her thigh.
?You're dead,? the man said from the stairs.
?I'm going to go put out the fire you started, before this place burns down.?
?Probably a good call. How's the dining room??
?Smoke's clearing now,? the big man said. He stepped inside. There were two bodies on the floor. ?Check for casualties. Weapons up.?
He knelt by a woman, and checked her neck. ?Casualty,? the woman said.
The woman with him knelt beside a man. She checked his neck. The woman beside her raised her pistol, lined up a shot and pulled the trigger. ?Casualty,? he said with a smile.
?Got movement in the kitchen.?
?We're with you,? the larger woman said, standing. They got into position around the doorway.
?I don't see anything,? he said. ?Cover me, I'm going in.? He rolled inside, and the women took either side of the doorway.
?There,? one of them bellowed. ?Right side.?
?Pin him,? the large man said. The two women fired, trying to keep from exposing themselves while they did.
?Let us know if we get a hit,? one of them yelled.
The man crawled around an island filled with cabinets. Then he saw the gunman, unable to move because of the suppressive fire. He sighted the gunman in, and pulled the trigger. ?You're dead.?
?That everybody?? the gunman asked.
?Yep,? Mahmoud said, standing. He walked over to a laptop on a small desk in the front room. There were images taken from the 'guns,' the gunman with red dots where shots would have been had the been using live firearms.
Linc, the final gunman, pulled off his own mask, and walked into the front room. ?That was some surprisingly adept maneuvering, Ms. Fessuns, as well as some excellent firefighing. Are you sure you didn't do a tour with us??
?I'm sure you'd remember if I had,? she said, sheathing her knife.
?That was a live smoke grenade you hopped on,? Linc said with a smile, nodding to Rox.
?Live?? Ben asked.
?It wasn't going to hurt anybody, so long as Tso didn't try to eat it.?
?Which is saying something, if you know Tso,? Rox said.
?But she effectively made it a dud. But I'm impressed. That's the first time one or all of you hasn't ended up dead.?
?A stopped clock,? Raphael said, peeling off his mask.
?No. This wasn't luck- at least, not inordinately,? he smiled at Rox. ?They did things right, were cautious, protected each other. It's one of a dozen- and that's a good number to dwell on. Right now you've got a one in twelve chance of not getting your friends killed. It was good, Not great."
"Seems a little harsh..." Ben said.
"I suspect you got a little assist," Linc added, looking at Rafael.
"Hey, I told you, it isn't always conscious. I wanted them to win, so maybe that helped them."
"But it's a start," Linc said. "A good start, but a beginning, not an end."
?Let's roll it again,? Rox said, circling her finger in the air.
?I was promised pizza,? Ben said, and his stomach gurgled.
?That growl is definitely going to give his position away,? Rui said.
?All right,? Linc said, ?You sweep us again, I'll double the pepperoni.?
Ben's stomach gurgled again. ?That wasn't hunger, that time. He's afraid.?
?He should be,? Rui said.

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