Then she moved. Before the nearest man to her was out of his seat the Stranger spun around and smashed the back of her elbow into his face. Without pausing she stepped through and completed the rotation with a left-cross at his friend’s jaw.
A third man stepped in on her already, grabbing her from behind so the rest of them could lay into her. The stranger dropped down into a low stance and out of his grip, grabbed his arms above her and folded herself forwards to throw him onto a table made out old wood pallets and kegs. With a loud crack the table collapsed under his weight and crashed to the floor.
The crash bought the Stranger enough time to draw her shock baton. The next regular had already charged in, already fully committed himself to his haymaker that he couldn’t stop the stranger’s baton poking him in the gut. As the powered shock travelled up his nervous system to turn out the lights, the Stranger barged past him and zapped another regular in the side of the head.
The next man grabbed a chair and caught the Stranger’s baton as she thrust it at him. Thinking fast he turned the chair away, catching her baton and tying up that arm. The Stranger replied by bumping her hip under him, disturbing his balance long enough to pull him the opposite way and wrench him off his feet. She buried her knee into the side of his face before extracting her baton from the chair’s legs and tapping him in the gut with it.
A bottle smashed into the back of the Stranger’s helmet, stunning her long enough for one of the boys to kick her in the back. The Stranger fell forward, landing half on the floor and half on her last victim. The man who hit her followed up with a kick to her ribs. She rode the impact and rolled away, getting her feet under her so she could get back up.
Balthazar decided that this had gone on long enough and drew his pistol. He fired a warning shot across the room to get everyone’s attention.
Unfortunately, the Stranger’s reflexes were too quick to realise what Balthazar had intended. When she heard the shot her pistol leapt from its holster and she put a round into Balthazar’s elbow before he could realise his mistake. The sudden pain caused him to yank his arm away just as the bullet broke his grip on the pistol, sending the gun flying across the room.
The three remaining regulars unfroze and reached for their own guns. The Stranger had only a moment to realise she wasn’t going to get the drop on all of them and took off in a head-long rush for the bar.
The first man with his gun out set it to full Rock’n Roll and opened up on the Stranger. She poured on the speed, the hail of bullets cracking past her shoulders until she dived right over the bar and into the arms of the robot barkeeper.
The sudden introduction of 65kg of soldier plus armour into the droid’s working load knocked it off its feet and they collapsed in a tangled heap.
While the first man reloaded the other two opened up. Their pistols emptying dozens of rounds all over the bar. Bottles shattered, ashtrays disintegrated and bullets ripped holes through the flimsy plywood panels. The Stranger untangled herself from the robot barkeeper and pulled it up to use as a human shield. As their fire pelted repeatedly into the robot’s metal body she set her own pistol to ‘Hammer’ and blasted a shot from all six-barrels at once into the bar. Her first shot punched out a fist-sized hole, opening enough of a window to see the first gunman reload his pistol.
Her second shot blasted a fist-sized hole through his sternum.
Seeing their companion stumble into a table and collapse encouraged the last two men to seek cover. The Stranger tried to move around to see through the hole she made but they over turned some tables and she couldn’t get line of sight to them.
The Stranger slowed her breathing and forced herself to calm down. She could hear her assailants reloading behind their barricade and worried they might get their act together to fire and manoeuvre
around her. She needed a way to flush them out.
Behind the visor of her helmet she glanced her eyes up at the ceiling and breathed a sigh of relief.
Just as the two men resumed their fire the Stranger aimed up and put a hammer-shot in the middle of the fluorescent lights dangling above them. The shot obliterated the fitting, shattering the tubes into clouds of dust-fine glass that rained down onto her targets.
The two men panicked and stopped shooting. In the next moment the Stranger vaulted over the bar again and hurled her shock baton at the furthest man, catching him clumsily in the chest but still making enough contact to send electric shocks rippling through his body.
The next moment the Stranger’s feet touched the ground and she sprinted towards the last man. Desperately he brushed some glass dust from his face with the back of his sleeve and squeezed off a shot at her.
The Stranger pulled to the side as she kept charging and felt the bullet thump into her shoulder just before she reached him. She batted aside his gun-hand, elbowed him in the face and threw him over her hip and onto the ground.
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