...All at once, the backdoors of the van burst open, and three men appear with shotguns raised. The Big Boots. I slow down slightly as I quickly examine where the barrels are placed. I see they are side by side. From my position, they are unlikely to do much damage to me. I throw my bottle through the air towards the van. Two of the men dive out of the way as it hits the ground not far from the van, and petrol splashes into the air. In a second, it catches fire, and one of the Big Boots erupts into flames, running forwards in panic, then rolling across the ground screaming in agony. Brain rushes towards one of the Big Boots, wielding a knife above his head. A shotgun blast echoes throughout the tunnel, as he turns to Brain and fires a shot directly into his face, killing him instantly. Brain’s lifeless body is propelled backwards by the blast, and lies slumped at the side of the road. His head resembling a mutilated hunk of gory flesh.
Brain’s killer turns rapidly, shrouded by smoke and fire, looking for us desperately. He turns to face me, spying me through the smoke, and starts in my direction aiming his shotgun in my direction. Pogo emerges from the smoke directly behind him, wielding his bloodied machete. In an instant, he slashes at the back of his neck, expertly targeting the unprotected part underneath his helmet, and above his back plate. He drops to his knees, grasping the back of his neck with his hand. Pogo seizes the opportunity to stamp his heel into the man’s hand, shattering his fingers and discharging the shotgun. The shot spreads out across the floor, missing Pogo. As the echo fades, the shrill laughter of Pogo can be heard as he descends on the wounded Bootman like a vulture.
I can hear the heavy footsteps of Brass and Indy behind me. I look towards the second Bootman, who is wading through the smoke towards Sadie. He spots her, raising his shotgun to take aim. She holds the revolver out in front of her and pulls the trigger, but no shot rings out. She dives behind the car which blocked the van’s escape. A shot is fired towards the car, narrowly missing Sadie. I stop short of the Bootman, grabbing a stray rock from the side of the road. I take aim and hurl it towards him. It hits him on the back of the helmet. He turns to face me. I rush to the left and he discharges the gun once more, narrowly missing me. He steps forwards into the smoke, looking down at the lifeless burning body of his comrade, he discharges another shot into the smoke. For a moment, I think he may have hit Pogo, but turn to see that he is unperturbed by the near miss, and is maniacally stamping on the injured Bootman he’d accosted earlier.
Brass continues the charge, running straight towards the Bootman, as he desperately tries to reload. I run parallel to Brass. Rushing past Pogo. I move around to the side of the van, the flames of which are beginning to die down. Coming around to the front of the van, I see the car. Randian is leaning across from the driving seat to the back door, opening it, Sadie throws herself inside, and he begins to reverse. I continue running around the front of the van to apprehend the Bootman from the back. Brass is engaged in a fight with the man, swinging his Brass knuckle-imbued fists into the Bootman’s face, clipping his helmet each time. The Bootman is staggering backwards, trying to reload the shotgun. I rush forward, leaping into the air feet first, I kick the Bootman hard in the back, knocking him forwards towards Brass, who uppercuts him in the chin.
The Bootman manages to hold his footing, dropping the shotgun, he swiftly pulls an extendable baton from his belt, and swings wildly, hitting Brass across the face, knocking him backwards to the floor. I leap onto his back, wrapping my forearm around his throat, and tightening it. He lashes the baton backwards against my flailing legs. The impact rocks my shins, but I feel no pain. Indy charges forwards from the front, a flick knife in his hand. He jabs the blade forwards into the Bootman’s stomach. The impact is absorbed by the armour. Indy pulls back and slashes at the Bootman’s wrist. The cut is deep and bleeds immediately. The Bootman drops the baton, and I release my grip from his neck, and begin throwing punches across his abdomen, to little effect. Indy slashes wildly at the Bootman’s face, who begins to retreat. Brass recovers, standing tall he removes the padlock and chain from around his neck, steps behind the Bootman, shoving me out of the way, and loops the chain around the Bootman’s neck, twisting it tightly, choking him. I move to where Indy is stood, and hold my hand out. He hands me the knife, and I lunge forwards, driving it over the chain and into his throat. Blood erupts from his neck, as his feet give way entirely to the chain. Brass grips it tightly, as the Bootman submits to his injuries, twitching violently. Eventually, Brass releases him, and he collapses to the floor, a pool of blood spreading across the tarmac.
Myself, Indy and Brass take a moment to look down at the man briefly, before turning to the direction of Pogo. Who is straddling the remaining Bootman, laughing maniacally, smashing his fists into his face, as he tries desperately to escape.
A shot rings out, and Indy crumbles to the floor, cradling his leg. His bowler hat falls off his head, rolling across the floor. We turn to the direction of the shot. The driver stands there facing us, wearing a long beige coat and holding a pistol in his hands. In a flash, Brass and I dive for cover behind the van. Three more shots ring out, one of them ricocheting off the van. Crouching down against the wheel arches, we exchange glances briefly.
“He’s got two shots left” I say to Brass, who nods in return, “We could rush him from either side of the van”
“One of us will get it if we do” Brass responds hurriedly.
“Indy’s gonna get one in the head if we don’t”
Brass scowls at me, but quickly relents.
The sound of an engine roars, as Randian pulls the car up next to us.
“Get in.” He impetrates.
We throw ourselves into the back with Sadie, pressing her up against the window. Before we can close the door, Randian reverses rapidly.
“Heads down” Randian says leaning backwards, “Now!”
Randian pushes the gear stick into first and slams the accelerator down, jolting the car forwards. I keep my head up. With my head between my knees, a crash will break my neck.
Randian swerves violently around the van, heading straight towards the driver. He turns around, fires a shot towards the car which shatters the windscreen.
A dull thud is heard as Randian crashes into the man, sending him crashing over the top of the car. I look out of the back window, which is still intact, to see the man crashing limply to the floor.
Randian brings the car to a halt.
“Fuck!” Brass barks, cradling his shoulder, “That fucking hit me.”
I open the door again, rushing out towards Indy, who is rolling around on the floor in agony.
I quickly swoop to the floor to help.
“Get up Indy, we’ve got to go.”
“The bastard shot me Pick!”
“I can see that, suck it up, we’ve got to go.”
“I can’t walk Pick.”
I grip him roughly by the shoulders and heave him up to his feet, letting him rest most of his weight on me, and we limp back towards the car.
I throw Indy roughly into the car.
“You alright with them Sadie?” I ask.
“Wait here for me.” She responds, “Don’t die until I get back.”
She exits the car from the other side, and walks over towards the man on the floor, picking his pistol up from the ground nearby, she aims it at his head and pulls the trigger. His head bounces against the ground as the bullet shatters his skull. She tucks the pistol into her belt and casually walks back towards the car.
Brass, still cradling his shoulder, crawls across the seat and exits the vehicle.
“Sadie” He says in a strained voice, “Get back in the car, stop fucking about.”
I climb into the car next to Indy, who has pressed his leg up against the back of the seat to stop the bleeding. I take my shirt off and wrap it around his leg like a tourniquet.
Brass walks over to Pogo, gripping him by the shoulder, and throwing him off the barely conscious Bootman.
“You’re coming with us” He growls angrily at the semi-conscious Bootman..
(c) JC Axe 2014
Original content: http://jcaxefiction.wordpress.com/2014/09/04/x-faction-soldiers-part-2/