Sadly, unlike the spoiled kid from the broadwalk, the Interceptor kept his pistol on single-shot. Theresa barely wasted a quarter of his ammo before he twisted around and pulled his hips out from under her. Theresa clamped her hands down tight on his gun and wrist, rolling herself over him, she spun around on the ground and twisted the pistol right out of his hand.
As Theresa’s fingers closed around the pistol’s grip a warning flashed in the corner of her vision. The Interceptor had locked the pistol to his own nano ID. Theresa cursed as she heard the quiet click of the weapon’s safety catch locking in place.
The Interceptor’s hand shot out to regain his grip on the pistol. Theresa pulled the gun away and his hand closed around her arm instead. She quickly shifted the pistol to her other hand and as his arm yanked her down onto him she belted him in the face with the handle-end.
The hit stunned him a moment, giving her the time to hit him with the pistol again.
His hold slackened enough for Theresa to break out and step away from him. But he was already getting back to his feet.
She hurled the pistol over the rows of boxes and heard it hit the ground some distance away.
Growling like an enraged beast the Interceptor threw himself into a tackle, trying to grab Theresa around the waist. She threw her legs out behind her just before he could wrap his arms around her hips. As they fell to the ground together Theresa kept on top of him, pushing him into the concrete floor.
But the Interceptor kept his arms down to break his fall and pushed right back up, unimpeded by Theresa’s meagre weight. Both fighters got their legs under them at the same time, but the Interceptor brought himself up with a lunging knee at Theresa’s ribs.
She blocked by driving her elbow down into his thigh before he could get the knee all the way up. While his leg retracted Theresa jabbed out at his side with a pecking-fist strike, following up with hook to his head, which he blocked, and a ridge-hand strike to his neck, which he didn’t.
Theresa smiled as the first two hits of her nanohacking sequence landed true. If she could complete the sequence she could upload a virus into his own nanoputer that would lock up all of his joints and paralyse him.
The Interceptor responded with a wide-hook Theresa ducked under, but as she moved around beside him she was yanked right back by the fistful of her hoodie he’d grabbed instead.
He scored a light hit to the ribs and another to her shoulder while she was still unbalanced and before she could right herself again he pulled the hood over her face and turned her around. Theresa tried to keep turning to defend herself, swinging back with an elbow, stomping on his shoes, but the Interceptor got in close and struck Theresa four more times, completing his own nanohacking sequence.
Theresa felt every muscle in her back tense up involuntarily. The painful spasms travelled down her legs and through her arms until she collapsed onto the cold concrete floor.
The Interceptor smirked and reached down to the socket on her wrist. He pulled a wireless dongle from a concealed pocket in the collar of his jacket and slotted it into her arm.
Helpless, Theresa grit her teeth as the Interceptor’s allies hacked through her nanoputer’s security and dug through her personal data.
The Interceptor smirked as the information they sought scrolled across his vision.
“Well would you look at that. The Black Mask Society really do have people squeezing the marines. Guess that wasn’t just them blowing smoke after all.”
A warning beep sounded in Theresa’s nanoputer and the command ‘Restore Factory Settings’ flashed into her field of view.
Theresa did her best to growl through her paralysis as her own nanoputer began a total wipe of her wetdrives and reinstall the operating system.
The Interceptor’s smirk graduated to a deep chuckle.
Then without warning a skylight on the other side of the room exploded. A lone figure dropped down to the floor, landing in a crouch as shards of plexiglass cascaded off its armoured body. The figure was decked from head-to-toe in the uniform of a Federation Ranger, its colour-shifting surface set to a jet black. The figure got up from the floor and looked out at the Interceptor.
With a dark voice that held authority like a clenched fist he said. “That’s no way to treat a lady.”
The Interceptor’s hand instinctively reached for his pistol, stopping only when he found the empty holster. The Interceptor put on a brave face. “What I do is none of your business Fed.”
The Ranger squared his shoulders at him. “Wrong twice son. I ain’t no fed. And if y’all causing trouble between the factions and distracting us from our real enemy, you just made yourself my business.”
“Yeah?” The Interceptor replied. “You want your data back? You come get it.”