We're coming to the climax of this series, I figure about 4-5 more 'chapters' to go to finish it off the way I have envisioned. Hope you're enjoying it!
Chapter 1 Chapter 2 Chapter 3 Chapter 4 Chapter 5 Chapter 6 Chapter 7 Chapter 8 Chapter 9
Chapter 10 Chapter 11 Chapter 12 Chapter 13 Chapter 14 Chapter 15 Chapter 16 Chapter 17
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I wanted to get very close before I made my move so I advanced towards another table with a patron watching a vid screen that was sitting near the back wall where Rusack and his associates were located. I kept my eyes on my destination and let my peripheral vision watch my target. Rusack was a seasoned criminal and had looked at my as soon as I walked into the room, and out of the corner of my eye I could tell he was looking at my cross the room. I could even see the momentary look of surprise as he recognized me despite all the changes I had gone through since we last met. Well, I guess you don't get to be a survivor in his business without being sharp.
He started to rise from his seat and I swore under my breath, reaching for the gun at my back. Now, I did do some small arms training in the Navy, after all it was mandatory. But I did a lot more elective training in armed and unarmed close combat, using knives and weapons of opportunity. This is all to say that while I knew how to aim and shoot the handgun, hitting a moving target from about 20 feet away is not my strong suit. As I drew aim he was already bolting sideways from his seat in a crouch and trying to get behind other tables while bolting for the kitchen, and presumably an exit. I fired and missed, a picture on the wall behind him shattered.
With no clip and only one round in the chamber, now expended, the gun was useless and I knew it would take too long to reload it. I ran towards the kitchen doors in an attempt to cut him off. I succeeded and tackled him full speed, slamming him and I into an occupied table, the people there bowling over as the table legs gave way under our combined weight.
As we rolled to the ground in a heap my close quarters combat training took over and by instinct I drove my left fist in short punches into his floating ribs as he wrapped his arms around my head in an attempt to get me in a headlock. I felt his left fist strike the side of my skull but I had kept my face and temple buried into his chest and his blow on my hard skull hurt his hand more than me. I shifted my weight and rolled us so that Rusack was underneath me and my weight on his hip in a half guard, his right hand holding my jacket. I locked his arm to my chest with my left and started to rain blows down on his from my superior position with my right, his attempts to block me mostly failing and I bloodied his face. I let my rage explode and some of my strikes were sloppy as a result, but I knew I was going to win.
Until someone shot at me. The bullet whizzed past my head and I looked around wildly. Back at Rusack's table I saw his associates has stood up, a large Amarrian man and a Minmatar woman, and the man had an ornate handgun in both of his meaty palms pointed at me and shaking a little bit. It took me a second to recognize Blodel, the businessman we worked with back in Perimeter before Rusack screwed my brother and me out of our share of the profits, and his slave Derranna, the woman who probably saved my brother's life in the fallout of that double-cross.
I was stunned at seeing people I recognized and frozen by what to do about the weapon Blodel was aiming at me. Rusack took advantage of the situation and whacked me with a broken table leg he grabbed while I was distracted. The plastic was lightweight but hard and it hurt my forearm like a son of a bitch as I blocked the sudden attack. I leaned back and while off balanced Rusack was able to throw me to the side and start scrambling up. Blodel fired again at me now that I was clear of Rusack but the man had even less skill than I did and adrenaline in his system made his bad aim worse. But I knew even the worst shot would hit sooner or later.
"Shoot him!" Rusack yelled as he shakily got up against the wall.
"I'm trying!" Blodel yelled back. Derranna simply looked shocked at the events behind him.
I tipped over another table and crouched behind it, frantically looking for my own weapon that I had lost when I crashed into Rusack. Another shot punched a hole in the table but missed me. I swore, panic sweat running down my brow furiously now. In the back of my mind the thought that Blodel probably had a foreign dignitary permit that allowed for him to carry a personal weapon; it was not uncommon in Gallente or Minmatar dominated stations where Matari emotions at Amarrian slavers might boil over unexpectedly. I spotted my weapon on the floor and lunged to grab it, another shot punching through the table top right where my head had been.
"GODDAMMIT! Shoot him already!" Rusack was moving away from the kitchen doors and towards Blodel. I knew if the hardened criminal got the weapon I was dead and I moved as fast as I could to reload my weapon with shaking hands.
"I'm trying!" screamed the Amarrian back.
"Give me that gun," Rusack ordered and I looked over, relieved to see Blodel pull it back.
"Its my weapon, I'll do it!" he pouted like a child. I dropped the bullet before getting it into the chamber and swore again.
"This is not time for your Amarrian pride, you ass!"
"I said I'll do it, get out of my way!"
I scooped the bullet up and somehow managed to slip it into the chamber. I slammed the barrel back into position and stood up. The other two men saw me rise and Blodel took aim two handed again as Rusack stepped back. Every fibre in my being wanted to shoot at Rusack but I knew the greater threat was the man with the gun. I started running zig zag around the chairs and table towards them, wanting to not waste my second shot like I did the first one.
Blodel tried to keep his aim on me and fired.