Sifu recognised the first strike of a nanohack sequence and brightened. “Very good.” She purred. “Let’s see what else you can do.”
Meanwhile on the floor Bristol gained mount position on Wu, he managed to pin both of Wu’s arms under his rifle and raised his free hand to rain punches down on Wu’s face. Wu pulled his head out of the way of the first hit and slipped one arm out from under the gun. By slamming that arm down on the barrel and shifting his hips at the same time Wu managed to swing the the stock of the rifle up at Bristol’s face. The stock didn’t quite reach him, but it did interrupt his ground and pound. Deciding the rifle was suddenly more trouble than it was worth Bristol threw the gun out of Wu’s reach. With both arms free Wu supported his shoulders on the ground and brought his hips up to wrap his legs around Bristol’s neck and left shoulder, locking him up into a tight triangle choke.
Sifu parried three chain-punches from Brook, retreating a step as Brook pushed forward. Brook changed tactics and swung a high hook to Sifu’s temple. Sifu ducked under the punch and returned with a liver-shot, which Brook blocked with her elbow before jabbing back at Sifu.
Sifu slapped the fist away and shot out a jab of her own. Brook went to parry but Sifu pulled the feint and lashed out at Brook with a push-kick. Brook rode the force of Sifu’s kick and cartwheeled away from her, then cartwheeled again to avoid Sifu’s round-house kick. As Brook came back up again Sifu caught her this time with a step-up side-kick.
This kick, which carried with it the full force of Sifu’s two strong legs and the momentum of her run up, snatched Brook off her feet and hurled her into the shop’s main window. The force of the woman’s weight coming into violent contact with the glass was too much. The window exploded into a shower of marble-sized crystals as she passed through and crashed down onto the street outside.
The shattered window brought Mac charging out of the kitchen. In an instant he took in the chaotic scene before him and levelled his pistol at Sifu.
“No.” Wu shouted. Scrambling to his feet he dived in front of Sifu as Mac pulled the trigger.
The hammer-shot hit Wu in the sternum like its name-sake. Sifu whipped her head around in time to see Wu fall from the shot.
Desperately, Sifu sprinted for the broken window. Mac tracked his aim after her, unleashing blast after blast from his pistol. Behind Sifu Mac’s aim destroyed a garbage bin, tore a hole through the back of a chair and caught the tail end of Sifu’s jacket before she dived out the same hole Brook made.
“Damn it.” Mac cursed. He moved to follow Sifu when he heard the sirens blaring from barely a street away. “Damn it all.” Mac hurried out of the shop and towards the loading ramp of his ship.
“Wat! Get us out of here.” He yelled as he disappeared inside and the ship rose into the sky.
Back inside Jie stood frozen still off to the side. His finger pointing at nothing and his mouth hung open.
Sifu walked back inside. Her hands bloody from where she’d landed on the glass. She carried a paralysed Brook over one shoulder.
Jie patiently waited until Sifu lowered Brook onto the floor before detonating in excitement. Just in case she did something cool again.
“THAT WAS THE. MOST AWESOMEST THING. EVER! OF ALL TIME.”
“Thank you.” Sifu breathed as though Jie had complimented her shoes. “Now could you help me with Wu. I think he’s dying.”
“What?” Jie’s mood did a one eighty, making him excited in a completely different way. “Oh my god, what can I do?”
Sifu knelt down to administer to him. “Find me something to elevate his legs on. I’m going to see if I can minimise his bleeding.”
“Alright.” Jie said breathlessly. “Okay. Umm.”
He saw a chair and rushed to bring it over to them.
Then another voice called from behind them. “What in all nine circles of hell happened here?”
A tall black woman with long, curly chocolate hair and a leather duster stormed into the room. She looked accusingly at the survivors for an answer.
“ONLY THE MOST AMAZING THING I’VE EVER SEEN IN MY LIFE.” Jie diplomatically began. “We were just sitting around minding our own business, when suddenly Whoosh! Mad Mac McCarty and his gang swooped in with their guns out. They started taking hostages and getting angry at Mr C. They took him out the back to steal some stuff and then BOOM! This chick starts kung fu fighting everybody and that dude leapt across the table and smashed that guy right in the face and…”
The Sheriff held up a hand to stop him. “Thank you Jie, I’ll read all about it when it comes out on ebook. Mr Choi, what happened here?”
Mr Choi shrugged at her and stared blankly. “Like the kid said. The gang turned up and took hostages and then this lady and gentleman fought them off.”
The Sheriff crinkled her nose at that. “Looks like it cost them.”
“IT WAS THE COOLEST THING IN THE WORLD!” Jie exclaimed again. Then a flash of realisation passed behind his eyes. “Oh wait, I have to find a chair.”
Jie grabbed the chair and brought it over to Sifu’s side.
“Thank you.” Sifu said. She lifted Wu’s feet up and placed them in the seat. Then she went back to performing gentle nanohacking motions on his torso.
“What are you doing now?” Jie asked, breathless.
“I’m trying to staunch his bleeding. On a willing subject a little manipulation here and there can encourage blood vessels to clot.”
The Sheriff peered over Sifu’s shoulder. “He going to be okay?”
Sifu did not take her eyes off her work. “I hope so.”
“So do I. Be a shame to waste a pretty face like that.” The Sheriff turned and started to head outside. “Ambulance is here. You can give me your official statement on the way.”
A pair of android orderlies with red cross emblems on their torsos walked inside in perfect synchronises, they carried a stretcher between them.
Sifu got up off the floor to give the droids space to do their work. She joined the Sheriff outside. A cordon had been set up. Uniformed police kept the small gathering of locals at bay.
Sifu brushed her bleeding hands together and held in her wince. Just because your every movement caused you pain was no reason to admit weakness to the locals.
“So.” She said to the Sheriff. “Where is a good place to buy new clothes around here?”
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