ave / stories / You are on your own ch.12

The door slammed open. The mechanic looked up in annoyance at being torn from his magazine, and jumped up at the sight of the gun in her hand.

"Wait, no!"

He grabbed under his desk and pulled out a shotgun - as the de-facto gate overseer, he was one of the few permitted to carry one. His secretary peeked over from the neighboring kitchen unit, coffee pot in hand.

"Cage is a Z! He attacked me!"

The mechanic idly cocked the gun. "And why would I believe that? Drop it," he grumbled back. A shudder went through his body as a tiny hole appeared in the second `a' of the `Aaron' tag on his chest. He looked down, then up, then fell limp into his chair. Glass shattered and a secretary screamed as Rae burst into the room, pummeling into her target and shoving her over the desk. Belinda smoothly rolled with it and dashed out through the staff entrance at the other side, firing a couple shots behind her as she ran out into the hangar. The door lady lunged for the shotgun on the soiled carpet. Before she could even touch it, Rae grabbed her by the neck and slammed her against a wall, shattering her skull like an egg.

"COME TO DADDY!" she yelled into the garage. As she jumped out, Cage entered, limping from the stray bullet that had caught him in the leg. His hands were shaking as he loaded another bullet into his footlong rifle. Getting a bullet in the face inconvenienced you like that sometimes. Looking back up, he steadied his hand and put a hole in the front wheel of Belinda's vehicle from across the hangar.

"How the fuck are you still alive!?" she shouted back, unloading another series of bullets in their direction. Rae wasn't even running anymore - having cornered her prey, she was looking forward to toying with it, face straining to contain the eagerness of her grin as she waited for permission to tear it apart.

"You could be one of us, Belinda Gates!" Cage spread his arms. "The offer still stands, maybe hear me out this time?" His soliloquy was a lot less impressive now that he had to limp across the hangar, blood bubbling through his nose with each word. Considering that he'd had half his face and leg blown off, it was still rather terrifying that he managed to gesture and monologue with such careless ease. Belinda leaned back against her beloved mammoth. She knew that the moment she tried to unlock the doors, the rabid dog that her once object of interest had become was going to lunge at her, and her chances of escape would become negative.

"You are a monster!"

Rae started laughing. It was a mad thing, howling at the roof. Cage hobbled up next to her, steadying himself on her shoulder. "We are survivors! Fighters! We adapt to this insult to mankind," he pointed at the storm outside, "and we tame it! We were meant to rule this world, Belinda! It is ours by right! So stop being stubborn and come join us!"

There. Her fingers finally found the latch, and flicked it so hard she could feel her knuckles rub against each other.

"Cage?" The engine of her baby started up with her still outside, the wheels kicked into gear before Rae could react. "Go fuck yourself," she recommended wholeheartedly as she grabbed the trunk behind her and swung herself into the aisle between the trunks at the back. The car rammed into the garage gates at considerable speed, and as she had expected and hoped, they tore open on her military bumper, the trunks on her sides keeping her safe from debris. A furious howl accompanied the roar of the engines as she clawed forward, into the car proper and towards the controls. Fortunately, Tacoma cleared out a perimeter around their bases, so she had some leeway before she had to worry about crashing into trees. She made sure the throttle was still on high, took the steering wheel-

Holy shit she was catching up.

Pale-faced, Belinda let go of the wheel and started working on the safety trunk to her side. The rabid bitch was chasing after her overpowered, trailblazing, three-engine monster, and she was gaining in on it. Through a sheer stroke of luck, Belinda managed to get the trunk unlocked in time, and pulled out her second-favorite toy. If a pistol didn't work, this would, she thought as she lowered the windshield and aimed a noticeably larger caliber at the beast.

A moment of quiet, despite the roar of the engines.

A rabid face, closing in.

A flash and a bang.

Silence, again sans the engines.

Belinda crashed through the entry gates, doing a mad spin to slow down and point her car the right way on the highway before dusting off again. She was too far gone to see her predator get back up again. It looked longingly after the speeding car, then back towards the concrete building behind itself, and, sulking and wet, headed towards the building. The other figure there had sat down in the shattered gates, bandaging his lower leg with a makeshift splint. Murkily, she sat down at his feet, mumbling something before taking over for him.

"At least that'll heal up fine. First one got me in the cheek at point blank." He started frowning before he realized it might not be a good idea with a third of the muscles required missing. A prothesis! What blasphemy! Or he'd have to show the world his face with a chunk of it missing, and bear the disgrace of the implications of that . . . "And you? Your legs look fine."

Rae had to cough a couple times before responding. It came out red. "Chest. Big caliber. Cracked a vertebrate, broke a couple ribs. Pierced lung, obviously." Cough. "Don't wanna end up in a wheelchair."

"Pathetic." Splint done, he shoved her back and got up. "Better not get too comfy, we still have to report." Noise started coming from behind him. Someone must have discovered the coffee stains on the carpet. "Oh, and . . . cleanup."

His pet looked back inside, towards more figures shuffling around. Bloodlust filled its eyes again.

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