Dust: Chapter 07 Part 2

Tachi almost had to sprint to stay with us. [I’m going to try something: When she turns to attack me, try to put her in a hold. I’ll only need a second.]

[Do it.]

Tachi stomped his next step down hard so Kiru would notice and just like it had always been the next step in her dance Kiru changed direction and waved at Tachi.

Tachi pulled back. A half-second later he realised his right arm had declined to come with him.

Tachi gasped. I did as I was asked and I locked my arms around Kiru’s waist. Kiru went to elbow me so I buried my face between her shoulders. With a quick heave I raised her off the ground and slammed her into the concrete. Kiru hit hard and I scrambled on top of her to maintain my mount, going for wrist control immediately or this would all end up being an elaborate suicide.

Kiru’s arms flowed around my own like greased tentacles, before I knew it she’d caught my arm at the wrist and the elbow. I went to hit her with my free arm, but she twisted her wrists and then snapped my forearm right in the mid-point and folded it neatly in half.

It made the kind of sick, wet snapping noise that, even if I survived this, would haunt my dreams for the rest of my life.

I screamed like a Beatles fan before my pain editor could throw up a shield between my arm and my brain. Kiru punched me in the face to unbalance me, then gained mount with little difficulty.

She grabbed my throat and pinned my neck to the ground in a rape-choke, before triumphantly pulling back her free hand and extending her fingers. I had just enough time to wet myself before Tachi hit his sister with a step-up side kick that plucked her off me and sent her hurtling through the air.

Kiru arched her back in mid-flight, her fingers grasping hold of the concrete before twisting the rest of her body around to land gracefully on her feet.

That was when the parking lights on the white sedan Kiru was right in front of flashed on and the engine roared into life. Behind the wheel, Kitty threw the car into reverse and stepped on the accelerator.

Kiru’s cat-like grace disappeared as she jumped out of the car’s way, but Kitty had the space to correct her aim and smashed Kiru between the boot of her car and the hatchback parked on the opposite side.

Kiru lashed out at the car’s roof, but her fingertips bounced harmlessly off the metal. Kiru retracted her fingers and began pushing against the boot of Kitty’s car. To my amazement it actually began to move.

Kitty reached across the passenger seat and opened the door. “Get in!”

You didn’t have to tell Tachi twice, I felt a tug at the back of my belt and suddenly I was airborne. Tachi stuffed me into the seat like a school bag. “Get the roller door open. I’ll hold them off.”

Kitty switched gears and put the hammer back down, the tires squealing in protest as the car lurched away from Kiru. She tried to chase after us, but her knee-joint collapsed and she crashed to the ground.

As Tachi closed in to finish her off Kiru roared and pulled a breakdance move that spun her around on the ground, her hand-whips still working more than well enough to take out Tachi’s legs if he tried that again. Tachi carefully backed away as Kitty pulled the car up in front of the metal doors and they began to open.

I reached into the back seat and opened the door. “Don’t worry about her, we’re getting the hell out of here.”

Patriot Rap’s voice came back over the cype. [Make it fast. I got emergency frequencies coming at you from all sides.]

Tachi stole one last glance at his sister, cursed and broke into a sprint. He dived into the back seat.

Alright he’s in.” I yelled, but Kitty was already putting her foot down and gunning it out the door.

I snatched one fleeting glance back at our enemies before we cleared the threshold and got away, catching a glimpse of Crocman leading a broken Hair guy in a pitiful crawl towards their mistress.

Kitty almost got the sedan airborne as she coasted the car park’s ramp and muscled her way into the traffic. It was late at night on a Wednesday, but the CBD roads were still densely packed.

Kitty stopped at the first red light, her hands gripping the steering wheel so tight it drained the blood from her fingers.

Atom’s vidwindow appeared in my vision. [That was…]

[Traumatic.] I snapped.

[Yeah but… at the same time that was so damn exciting.]

[I’m glad you enjoyed it.]

[It’s just that, I had no idea how you were going to do it. And then Boom! You’ve sliced his foot clean off and Tachi kicks the other guy’s head into a pylon. It was amazing.]

I tried to laugh, but lacked the emotional energy and could only sputter out a cough.

The light changed to green and Kitty cannonballed the sedan across the intersection. She stopped at the next set of lights, barely fifty metres from the last set. She sucked in a breath and looked at me. “Was there a plan for what to do once you’d found me?”

Step 1 is skip the country. Step 2 is get to Seattle. Step 3 is make contact with our handlers and deliver Atom to them.”

In my head Atom made a worried noise, but didn’t actually say anything.

Kitty bit her lip. Then Moe-Moe appeared over the cype. [Assuming we don’t get picked up in the next five minutes.]

I sat up. [What’s going on?]

[Somebody just alerted the authorities. Calls about a bomb blast in the car park. There was a call about a fallen cyborg on someone’s car, but that one appears to have been buried.]
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