Dust Chapter 12 Part 7

The next instant she’d gained mount. I fought to put my back to the ground. When I was sunning side up again Kiru reached down and tore the hood from my face, clearing away the remains of my tech specs. I forgot myself and opened my eyes to see her straddling me. She cast aside my hood and smiled. Her fingers spread wide.

A flash of titanium later and I saw that hand drop down towards me, free from its owner from below the shoulder down.

I pulled my head aside as Kiru’s arm hit the floor. Accidentally putting it right where Kiru was placing her other arm to support herself for her retaliation. Kiru planted her weight on my face, reared up a leg and piston-kicked Tachi away.

As Kiru pulled her hand away from my face to finish me off I saw the lab doors slide open and Rembrandt and Duke strode in.

Rock and roll muthafucka.” Rembrandt yelled as he shouldered the general purpose machine gun and opened up at Kiru.

The big 7.62mm NATO rounds thumped out of the two-forty like hits from a pro-boxer on the speed bag. Kiru rolled off me and behind an operating bed while the rounds cracked passed my face.

Rembrandt walked the fire towards Kiru’s bed, giving me the safety I needed to crawl the fuck away. I stayed low because I saw Duke flanking to the right, barking shots out of his twin carbines as he circled around.

Then I heard the familiar ‘Hisss’ of a piston, only it was louder and it came from behind Rembrandt.

Rembrandt’s body pitched forward, while his head got pulled back a second later and I saw the two separate from each other.

Hairguy jumped around Rembrandt’s body while he reloaded his arm, Crocman grabbed Rembrandt’s body before he could fall over completely.

Duke split his attention, his right gun staying on Kiru’s operating bed, while his left took aim at Crocman.

Crocman lifted Rembrandt’s body under his armpits and charged straight at Duke. Kiru broke cover and joined him.

Duke sized up his two targets and opened up on Kiru, unable to bring himself to shoot Rembrandt’s torso. Hairguy locked his arm in position and heard the gas recharge, just in time for Tachi to swing down and take the arm off his body. Hairguy looked up at Tachi in shock, before Tachi added his head to the scattered limbs rolling on the floor.

Kiru dropped down beneath Duke’s fire and fired both piston-heels, launching herself at Duke’s knees.

Duke dived out of the way of her wires and onto a hospital trolley. The rubber wheels screeched as the trolley pitched away. Duke turned over to his back and the whole thing shook as it tried to make up its mind to tip over or not. Duke opened fire with both carbines, catching Crocman in the flank before he could swing Rembrandt’s body around to shield himself.

Kiru moved behind Crocman, reaching out with her remaining arm to vault over him and kick one of Duke’s carbines out of his hands.

Then Tachi appeared behind Crocman, who suddenly didn’t have any legs. Crocman dropped like a lamppost hit by a drunk driver, Rembrandt’s significant weight crashing down on top of him.

Duke pulled his remaining gun back to keep it out of Kiru’s kicking range, only to see it bisected on the diagonal by a wave of her hand.

Before she could follow it up Tachi came at her with the monosword again.

Kiru saw Tachi coming and fired her heels, leaping into an elongated back-flip to gain distance.

Duke threw himself off the trolley to retrieve his other carbine.

Kiru landed like an autumn leaf on wet grass and quickly took in the situation. Duke snatched up his weapon and began speed-loading a fresh mag into it.

Tachi formed up against her, flourishing his twin swords.

Kiru grit her teeth, gave me one last cold stare, then turned and ran for the window.

Duke chambered his first round and opened fire.

Tachi reached out a hand towards him “Wait.”

Kiru neither heard, nor cared. She dived into a roll as Duke’s fire passed overhead and smashed into the tempered glass. When she rolled up onto her feet she took to the air again and amidst the last of his ammo she fired both pistons into the glass. The impact threw her away from the window before the final rounds made it shatter. She flipped back onto her feet and dived through the debris into the night beyond.

We were on the third floor.

Iie!” Tachi yelled. Running towards the hole, he dropped his swords and they stuck into the floor.

Tachi reached the window and looked out.

Duke reloaded his carbine and reached for Rembrandt’s body, helping him to his feet. He looked at Tachi. “The hell is wrong with you?”

Tachi turned back to him and growled. “She’s my sister, you half-wit.”

That made about as much sense to Duke as could be expected. “The Fuck?”

Duke shrugged it off and guided Rembrandt towards his head.

I wasn’t really in the mood for standing anymore, but doubted anyone was going to stretcher me out of here. I looked around for my arm and gave myself a great view for what a clumsily-dissected human brain looks like.

I looked up at the screen, still displaying Noodles’ avatar with that glazed look in its eyes. Like he was high as a kite.

At least you look peaceful.” I croaked.

Dust!” Tachi saw me and ran over. “Are you all right?”

No.” I said. Then the sound of distant sirens reached our ears and I found new energy. “Definitely no. Everyone grab everything you brought in, we’re leaving.”

Duke put Rembrandt’s head in his hands and helped him out. Tachi policed up his swords, I made the decision to take my PD9 over my own arm and we staggered out.

We’d made it all the way to the van before I realised we’d left Crocman and Hairguy still alive in the lab.
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