From the Ashes: CATU Book 6 Ch. 24byJoeBarnosky©
RAVEN CASSIDY AND SAGE GREYSON step through the doorway into a brightly lit and very large room filled with electronic equipment and video screens. At the opposite end stand two figures looking straight at the two agents. When Cassidy and Greyson see them they instantly raise their weapons up at them.
"I suggest you reconsider," the voice from hall says.
A moment later a squad of six soldiers fills in behind the two agents pointing guns at their backs.
"Colonel Pierson I'm guessing," Greyson states as he and Cassidy lower their weapons which are quickly gathered by two of the soldiers.
"Very perceptive," Pierson answers. "Now if you and Agent Cassidy will quietly surrender yourselves it will be most helpful."
"And if we refuse?" Cassidy asks with a sneer.
Pierson smiles. "Then you surrender by force my dear. Grines has informed me about your, how shall I put it, feistiness."
"Son of a bitch," Greyson mutters. "I knew something felt wrong in this whole damn thing."
"Then I guess we have no choice now," Cassidy says.
Greyson looks at her and nods and then turns and steps into the closest soldiers throwing his forearm into the man's throat crushing it. The other five quickly react but Cassidy is already one step faster dropping to the ground with a leg sweep, knocking two of them down. As she stands up she grabs another of the soldiers about to attack Greyson twisting him around and away into the path of incoming fire. She shoves the dead soldier into the remaining two then pulls out a combat knife and drops down as the other two begin to stand and runs the knife quickly across their throats dropping them right back to the ground.
Greyson on the balls of his feet launches himself after the thrown soldier and onto the other two throwing his body onto them as well. His massive arms slam into their faces driving their heads into the floor.
Greyson stands up next to Cassidy who has just finished fishing out a .40mm off one of the dead soldiers. They both look across the expanse of the room to see Colonel Pierson say something to the figure masked in the shadows next to him and then step away through the door behind them.
Cassidy looks up to her partner and says, "I'll go after Pierson, you that care of this guy and catch up."
"Not leaving it up for debate are you?"
"No I'm not," she says seriously as she pulls back the slide.
Greyson nods and pulls out his combat knife stepping to the side toward the figure while Cassidy slips away toward the wall away from the upcoming conflict. The figure doesn't move until Greyson is nearly on top of it, when it does the CATU agent isn't all too surprised.
Kazubeil steps out from the shadows revealing a massive muscular chest and arms. A large scar runs the length on his chest down to his abdomen and another across his left eye causing it to be completely white adding to his overall ferocity.
Greyson doesn't show any emotion. He tightens his grip on the knife and steps in to slice at the horseman across the abdomen, drawing first blood. The demon doesn't flinch from the strike and instead quickly grabs the agent by the wrist and twists sending a jolt of pain up through into Greyson's elbow causing him to release his grip on the knife. With his other hand in a fist, Kazubeil comes across with a back fist with such force Greyson feels like his jaw has just been broken as blood is slung from his mouth.
Kazubeil hoists the smaller human higher and drives his fist into him repeatedly before swinging him around and releasing the grip on the agent's wrist and sending him into the far wall. Greyson slams with force into the concrete wall, caving in several of the bricks and sending cracks through several more.
"Damn, I need to find a different line of work," he mutters to himself as he rolls over to his back. He rolls his head to the side and sees the horseman approach slowly through blurry eyes. As he rolls his head back something catches his attention and he blinks a couple of times to bring his eyes into focus. When he does a plan starts to formulate.
Rolling onto his hands sends a new set of pains through Greyson's rib cage, but he ignores it as he pushes on to his feet. He looks back over his shoulder once more to see Kazubeil steadily crossing the room and showing no interest to finish the job any faster.
Better for me.
Greyson drives his elbow into a glass box and pulls out a fireman axe. He turns taking in the room's contents then steps forward and rear's the axe back, flinching from the pain in his ribs and throws the axe toward the horseman.
The axe flies end over end toward Kazubeil and the horseman without breaking stride leans to the side allows the axe to pass barely nicking his shoulder in the process. A grin forms on the demon's lips followed by a deep laugh.
"Yeah," Greyson says, "we'll see who gets the last laugh." He drives to the floor grabbing a heavy desk in the process and pulls it down nearly on top of him to use as a shield.
The axe, unhindered, continues to the opposite wall and into one of a series of hydrogen tanks. The impact ruptures the tanks and a moment later explodes causing instability in the rest forcing the others to do the same. Within seconds the room with Kazubeil is engulfed in flames.
CASSIDY TAKES ONE LAST LOOK at Greyson just before he reaches the shadowed figure as she steps through the doorway with the confidence he can hold his own.
Cassidy steps into a room very similar to the one she just left, except this one's monitors are lit up with images and maps and Colonel Pierson standing at a large computer screen.
Quickly she raises the gun and aims it at the back of the colonel's head and is about to pull the trigger when he turns around and says, "You may as well pull that trigger and start the end of humanity as you know it."
Cassidy tightens her finger on the trigger almost to the point of firing the gun then hesitates. She lets out a slow, deliberate breath and loosens her finger.
"In this business hesitation will only get you killed," Pierson says.
"Call it a state of curiosity," Cassidy bites back.
"Do you know what this is?" Pierson asks throwing his right hand up in an arc across the screens. When Cassidy doesn't answer right away he continues. "What you are looking at are True Solar's energy plants in full working order."
"You're bluffing," Cassidy scoffs. "We shut down and dismantled each one of those."
"Of course you did," Pierson grins devilishly. "The dismantling was turned over to none other than Section 8."
"How convenient," she says sarcastically. "I suppose Grines helped with that as well."
"Of course," Pierson confirms. "After Typheryian deviated from the project's original intention upon the discovery of Samantha Roberts, Tancheres jumped at the opportunity at completing it, at Natalya's urging of course."
"That seems to be a name that comes up more often than anyone would like," Cassidy says bitterly.
Pierson's face remains stoic. "Your stalling tactics aren't working."
Suddenly an explosion echoes from the other side of the door and the room shutters and the lights go out with red emergency lighting cutting on. Cassidy steals a quick glance over her shoulder before turning back toward Pierson. "Doesn't sound like I need any."
Pierson laughs. "You've still failed," he says moving his hand toward the computer's keyboard.
Cassidy pulls the trigger without hesitation splattering Pierson's brains across the screen. "You've failed asshole," she says turning around.
She takes three steps when a beeping sound from the screen rings out. Quickly she turns around to see a map of the world on the large screen with three blinking lights that Cassidy quickly recognized: Argentina, Australia and Siberia.
"What the fuck?" she says to herself as she rushes over to the computer.
By the time she reaches it the blinking lights disappear and a new one appears over Greenland. "Shit," she says and begins typing on the keyboard. Doing so causes an Access Denied screen to pop up on the screen almost immediately.
As frustration starts to set in the grinding of the door comes from behind her. Cassidy spins around, gun in hand and aimed at the door. Relief overcomes her and she lowers the gun. "Thank God you're alive."
"You're telling me," Greyson says. "It got a little heated up in there."
Cassidy smiles. "It sounded like your handy work."
Greyson replicates the smile until he sees the screen behind his partner. "What happens when that timer reaches zero?"
Cassidy spins around to see a giant box on the screen with less than twenty-five minutes counting down. "Whatever it is doesn't affect us, but it isn't good for whoever is at the receiving end."