Dust: Chapter 23 Part 2

The merc and I stared at each other for a moment. Then, even through the mono-visor built into his face I saw the penny drop.
He turned to his side and reached for his holster with his left hand, while I dumped the damaged mag and slipped a fresh one from the pouch at my waist.
The Merc got the gun out of the holster and turned it right way around in his hands before raising it up. I slammed the new mag home and yanked back the cocking handle again.
We both pulled the trigger.

I got my first five rounds dead on target before his heavy-calibre return hit my chrome shoulder and threw off my next ten. Before he could squeeze out a second shot I dived behind the BBQ.
Clearly not dead yet I stuck my gun over the top of my cover and opened fire, following the Merc’s mad dash for the boat’s kitchen through my Smartgun’s camera. Then a flash bang he’d dropped went off, throwing blinding light everywhere on the deck.
When the flashes died down I pulled the PD9 back and stood up, still behind my cover. Across the boat from me the Merc had to be behind the kitchen bench. That couldn’t be that hard to shoot through, so I started unloading the mag all across it. As my first rounds ripped straight through the fibreboard, the Merc’s pistol popped up from behind the middle of the bench and shot three big rounds back at me.

Those rounds hit close. Telling me that he also had a Smartgun and that I should get down.
In the breath I caught behind the BBQ, I checked the ammo status on my HUD and saw that this mag was still half-full. However, it was clear that the smaller AP rounds weren’t punching through that bench. Maybe that was where the mini-bar or the dishwasher lived. At any rate, I reached behind myself again and drew the Tri-star from behind my back.
A metallic ‘thump’ sounded beside me. I looked down at it and saw a fragmentation grenade rolling gently across the deck.
My body froze but my mouth dropped open and my lungs unloaded. “Fuuuuuuuu….”
Then a sleek, high-heeled foot swung out of nowhere and kicked the grenade overboard, where it detonated.
I looked up and saw Kiru standing right beside me.
She snapped out a kick at my head that smashed in the back panel of the BBQ when I slipped under it. Kiru followed up with a stomp I had to roll away from. As I rolled back up I squeezed off a shot from my Tri-star but between my hand lining up the shot and my finger pulling back the trigger Kiru’s other foot shot out and knocked the shot off course. She swung her hips back the other way and again her foot tried to squash my head against the BBQ. I caught the leg as it began its acceleration and Kiru succeeded in pushing me up against the wall instead. I tried to get my PD9 in her direction and Kiru dropped down onto me, pinning my gun wrist to the wall with her knee while she tried to punch me in the face. I brought my revolver arm up to block it, then brought the gun down to put a bullet in Kiru’s torso. Kiru ran her hand down my arm till it hit gun. Her hand actually slammed the hammer down on the next round, setting it off harmlessly as the gun left my hand.

A second grenade hit the ground at the same time as the gun. Kiru saw it, fired both heels and dived for it, one hand catching her as she turned over and the other scooped up the grenade. As Kiru wheeled over she came up and over-arm bowled the grenade right back at the kitchen.
It didn’t quite make the distance, the fuse burned out halfway and detonated in mid-air. That was when we realised it was a flash-bang rather than a fragmentation grenade. Kiru fired her heels and with reckless abandon for her own life she dashed through the blinding, strobic light just as the Merc came out of cover. Her jump didn’t quite make the whole length of the deck and she landed in a long dive-roll that ended with her on the side of the bench opposite the Merc.
As Kiru dropped out of his sight he noticed me coming up behind the BBQ and popped off a quick shot at me.
For once Kiru deflected the path of a shot for my benefit as she pounced up from behind the ruined bench and turned the Merc’s hand away from her while her other hand grabbed him by the back of then neck and slammed his head into the counter.
While I flinched and pulled my head out of the way of the shot that Kiru had already saved me from she reached behind the Merc’s armpits and dragged him over the counter to her side.
I recovered, brought my weapon up to my shoulder and put a burst Kiru’s way. Kiru kept pulling the merc down onto her and my burst cut into the armour on his back.

The two cyborgs grappled on the deck, but while Kiru’s custom prosthetics were the Merc’s equal in strength, she was also a lot smaller than he was and used this to move around him.
I opened fire again, and this time Kiru had turned him around and put his chest in the way of my bullets. I kept hitting the trigger, putting burst after burst into him until the black vest over his fatigues was a tattered rag and I finally saw fluid leek out of his body.

When I next hit the trigger, nothing but a hollow click reached my ears.
Automatically, I got down behind cover, ejected the empty mag and reached for my last one.
Across the deck, Kiru slipped the Merc’s pistol from his hand.
I popped up from the other side of the BBQ and opened up on where I’d seen Kiru last. She wasn’t there, she was running with her pistol blazing away in one hand and the Merc’s body clutched to her chest in the other.
I put three quick-bursts into the Merc, but even if any rounds did go through the old holes they still had the back of his casing and his armour to get through. When Kiru was only a few steps away she dropped her empty pistol and hurled the body at me.

I jumped back to dodge the prosthetic, bringing up my gun as it dropped out of my view. Then I was face-to-face with Kiru again. I hit the trigger, putting a few rounds into her shoulder before she turned the gun away and palmed me in the face. I fell backwards, Kiru coming down with me.
I tried to roll with the landing but Kiru’s hand driving my head down didn’t help. I managed to kick her off me, but only after she slammed my head into the deck.
Pushing through it all I got up to my knees and spun around. Kiru was dodging and spinning around, making herself a hard target as she circled around to come at me from the side.
Her centre-mass still had to be in the middle, so all I needed to do was sweep a line of fire across her arc. I readied my aim and pulled the trigger before swinging the gun hard right.
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