A Time to Fight and a Time to Die
Vika watched the Dragons from the darkened apartment across the street through parted curtains. The Cybrid set the binoculars down on the nightstand and sat on the edge of the bed. Determined fingers with red nail polish typed a message and hit the send key to set her attack plan in motion. She pulled the covers back and slipped under the sheet. A pistol rested on her chest with hand on the grip, ever ready to point and shoot.
The Assassin looked up at the ceiling and thought of her little boy, Nuru. Nuru was the only living soul that could melt her icy heart. Kirill was good to his child and her. Vika was thankful for that. She stared up into the blackness and promised herself she would return to Kirill and spend more time with Nuru. She would teach him to fight Dragons. Someday he would follow his father and lead the revolution to find freedom and self determination for their people.
She looked over at the clock. In a few hours, the battle would begin. A low rumble of distant thunder in the mountains echoed across the neighborhood. Vika grimaced. “I hope they enjoy themselves. It’s their last piece of Dragon ass.”
* * *
Gloria reached for the cell phone just as day broke over the quiet neighborhood. Raul turned over to get away from the annoying sound. Someone sent them a message.
Cybrid team inbound to your location, ETA 10m.
Gloria shook Raul. “It’s on, let’s go.”
Raul and Gloria dressed. While Gloria put on her gauntlets and leggings, Raul grabbed the silenced pistol. Together, they headed to the first room on the first floor.
“This should surprise them if they had an expectation of us being on the third floor for some reason,” Raul laughed.
“Once we kill the lower lookouts, the team that goes up the stairs are trapped unless they are superb at jumping out of third story windows.” Gloria mused.
“I’ll suggest they dive head first to save themselves from a mauling.” Raul’s eyes were beginning to transition to the Dragon as adrenaline flooded his body.
Gloria put her ear to the door and listened as Raul staged himself beside her. The muffled slam of car doors sent arrival notices to the waiting Dragons. Gloria heard muffled voices and shuffling feet then the quick footsteps up the narrow stairs. It was show time. Gloria’s eyes opened wide in anticipation. Breaths came in short pants with a slack jaw. She licked her lips. Gloria tried to swallow, but her throat was too dry.
“There is one or two passing by the door. Probably lookouts.” Gloria warned.
“You open the door, and I’ll aim down the end of the hall, you come out behind me and go toward the stairs. On three, ready?” Raul spoke in a rapid cadence.
“One, two, three – Go!”
Gloria snatched the door open. Raul darted out. She jumped into the hall and went for the man two steps up from the landing as Raul’s pistol spit two shots into the face of a Cybrid soldier. Gloria’s target wheeled around, his startled face illuminated by the glow of the dull yellow hall light. He fell dead to the floor, the deep slash in his neck an obscene and bloody grin.
Raul Rushed up the stairs. Gloria followed watching behind them. At the second landing, Raul killed the next sentry. Gloria leaped over him, bounded down the hall, and severed another surprised Cybrid’s throat before he could scream a warning. She held him down as he writhed in her grip until she felt his body relax.
Slick with blood, Gloria slipped into the beast, her awareness only a thin thread keeping her from an all out attack mindless of any threat to her or Raul.
Raul talked in a firm voice to bring her back. “Now for the fun part, my love. We’ll take out the closest soldiers by hand then shoot the ones down the hall. We still have to find the Cybrid whore and kill her.”
“She won’t be far away,” Gloria replied.
“Don’t stop for any reason until they are all dead.” Raul’s words and fierce eyes turned Gloria’s killer instinct into a burning fire. She nodded, and they bound up the stairs to the third floor.
Raul put a bullet into the skull of the Cybrid guarding the third-floor landing. He eased the Cybrid down on the floor. Gloria leaped over Raul and hit the next one as four men rushed into the last room down the hall where they spent the night.
The last person to enter the room looked down the hall and saw the Dragons ripping into the flesh of his Cybrid brothers. He shouted an alert to the others as he tried to assess the situation. It was a fatal pause. Raul moved up and shot him balanced on one knee.
Gloria raced down the hall. Raul was right behind her ready to leap as she took down the next Cybrid reaching the door. Her thrashing was like a lioness on a gazelle. Her powerful movements trapped the Cybrid and severed his spine leaving him bleating like a lamb in a wolf’s mouth.
The barrel of an assault rifle sprayed Gloria at the same moment Raul killed the Cybrid behind the trigger. Blood splashed on Gloria’s back as bullets tore into her synthetic flesh. Gloria screamed from the hammering impacts and kicked away from the torrent of bullets.
Raul, shocked by the sight of his love gunned down in the hall disobeyed his orders and sealed their fate as he rushed to Gloria’s side. Gloria looked in his face with a dazed look as he knelt down. He lifted her shirt and turned his head at the sight of the purple and red bruises leaking blood down her back.
The last terrified Cybrid, hiding behind the bed, opened up on the two Dragons in a wild frenzy of fear and hatred. Bullets tore through the door jambs. A terrible cacophony of hammering violence sent splinters of wood and plaster across the narrow hall as more bullets impacted the far wall filling the confined space with dust and debris.
Raul grunted as a bullet tore into his left side and exited the lower right of his waist. Gloria fell to her side as another bullet slammed into her armored leggings. Raul’s automatic reflexes pointed the pistol and squeezed three rounds in rapid succession. The last Cybrid fell face first and lay still on the floor. Blood pooled around his head.
The dead Cybrid’s radio crackled. A woman’s harsh voice demanded a situation report. Raul picked himself up and helped Gloria sit up. Gloria’s eyes were filled with pain as she looked at her man. He was calm as if nothing had happened. In the back of her mind, she wanted to believe they were both okay.
“I believe our whore is calling us, Dear. I’m in the mood for love. Shall we go to her?” Raul’s joke in their dire circumstance lifted Gloria’s spirits.
“Only, if you promise to let me go first,” Gloria grinned, snapping her talons as she strained to stand up. She felt like she was drowning in the blood that welled up in her throat. Her body ached. She swallowed hard to keep from choking.
“Lady Dragons first,” Raul quipped as if going for ice cream on a Sunday stroll.
Vika ranted on the radio. Raul moved stiffly over to the Cybrid and lifted the radio.
“Wait one.” His short reply was code for wait one minute. The quick response would signal the Cybrids were at a crucial moment and couldn’t talk. He hoped Vika would take the bait.