"Payback" - Part Three

The headless body slumped back against the BMW's front grill, splashing blood and brains across the hood and windshield.

I spun, dropped to a low crouch, and scrambled for the Shelby's driver side door.

Heard Mouse carom off the hood and drop down next to me in a flapping of leather.

From the corner of my eye, past her, I glimpsed one of the Smith's muscle bring a pistol up to bear on us.

Then his head blew apart.

"What the fuck--!" Mouse began.

A rolling burst of automatic fire from across the street.

I yanked the driver's door open.

Mouse dove in.

I followed a second later and slammed the door shut.

Through the windshield, I saw the other muscle bounce repeatedly against the side of the BMW, torso convulsing and arms jerking as a concentrated hail of bullets tore him apart and gouged out chunks from the car.

I cranked the engine.

The Shelby roared to life.

Dropped her into reverse, half-turned to look out the back window, and mashed the accelerator.

Tires screamed and we lurched backwards.

Five meters from the end of the block, the world erupted in a blast of thunder, fire, and dust and an avalanche of rubble dropped into the middle of the street.

I slammed on the brakes.

The Shelby squealed to a stop centimeters before plowing into the two meter-high pile of debris.

"Sonofabitch!" said Mouse.

I spun forward, put the Shelby into gear.

Two more blasts shook the ground.

At the intersection of Jacques and Allen ahead, past the BMW, clouds of smoke and dust rolled in from either side of the street.

"You're shitting me!" Mouse said.

Then another blast.

At the far end of the block ahead of us, past the intersection, the upper floor walls of the warehouses in either side of the street blew outward and rained debris and chunks of concrete into the middle of the street.

Then: a loud woosh.


The LAW rocket sped down from the third story window of the office building to our right and slammed into the BMW, ripped it in two, and sent both burning halves spinning across the street.

Boxed in.

Easy targets.

Fuck. A. Duck.

Mouse let off a string of profanities then stopped to inhale. Before she started again, I held up a hand.

"I know," I said. "This is bad."

"This is beyond bad," she said. "We are seriously fucked."

"We've seen worse."

"I think this one tops all the others. Ideas?"

A dozen jumbled images flashed through my mind. "Working," I said and tried to focus on one.

And the back window spiderwebbed with a loud crunch.

We both flinched but the armored glass held.

"Work faster," said Mouse.

"I know."

"I meant it."

"We need cover," I said. "Besides the Shelby."

Another round spanged off the car's right front corner.

Again, the armor held. I silently thanked Tinker.

"He's either a bad shot or he's fucking with us," said Mouse.

"He's fucking with us," I said.

"I get to kill him first," Mouse said.

Not enough time to get to the FAL in the trunk--

An idea struck.

I reached into a cargo pocket and pulled out the one smoke grenade. "Got smoke?"

Mouse pulled one from her trenchcoat pocket.

I gestured toward the warehouse on our left. "Pop smoke and run for that."

"Right behind you," said Mouse.

I yanked the pin on the grenade and cracked the door open just enough to drop it on the ground. It rolled toward the back of the Shelby spewing a steady stream of white smoke that quickly covered the car.

"Go," I said, shoved the door open, and sprinted for the warehouse.

Reached the door, shouldered it open. It groaned--

--and stuck.


(to be continued...)

Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 4

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