Sara's Awakening Ch. 03

byHelenofTroy©

About halfway to the garage, yelling broke out in the lobby. Sara could hear shouts of alarm, which quickly turned to shouts of terror. A woman, and several men, screamed. Someone with an authoritative tone shouted for everyone to get down, then the distinct sounds of an uzi opening up could be heard.

"Must go faster..." Sara felt like she could make the distance between here and the garage in under a second. In her mind's eye, she imagined herself being targeted by dozens of soldiers with guns and being cut down in under a second...

Connor reached the stairs and instead of trying to walk down them, it jumped. Amazingly it landed safely, only to collide with the gate. It backed up a step... and smashed into the gate again.

"Great, like that's not going to get everyone's attention..." Sara was standing at the top of the stairs, listening to the frantic gunfire in the lobby. She timed her shot with the shooting in the lobby, tagging the padlock on the fence with a bullet and letting it swing open.

The world erupted in noise as Connor stumbled into the garage. Shouting started: at first it was a ragged chorus of greetings for Connor. Sara guessed they were too far away to see the blood all over Connor's uniform, or they assumed it was hers. Greetings turned to curses as Connor lifted his uzi and unleashed a hail of bullets haphazardly into the garage. His aim wasn't great. She could hear people jumping to the ground for cover anyway.

Taking her queue, Sara ran while maintaining her crouch. She went through the opening in the fence, past the zombie, and rolled behind a tool cabinet before noticing that she was outrunning bullets.

"What?" As soon as she stopped and studied a bullet, hanging ethereally in the air and spinning its way towards its target, the effect ended. The bullet turned back into a barely visible flash and 'spang' as it didn't go anywhere near its target.

"Sara?!" Merton yelled from the top of the stairs where he was still crouched.

"Get in here!" Sara peeked around the corner of the cabinet and could see the men were recovering quickly from the shock of Connor shooting at them and going for their weapons. "Fast!"

Merton stood and ran, taking her literally at her word. Muttering to herself about walking targets, Sara peaked her head around the cabinet and gave him some cover. Her shots were much more accurate than Connor's, striking mere inches from where frantic people crouched behind convenient pieces of metal. Between the two of them, he provided enough noise to make things sound dangerous and she provided enough actual aim to keep people down.

Merton made it behind the cabinet as one of the guards looked out from behind the truck he was hiding behind and shot at the necromancer. Sara made him pay for it. He didn't duck back fast enough and screamed in pain as hot metal ripped through his shoulder.

"How many?" Merton was breathless as he crouched behind the big metal cabinet, crunching himself up to keep from poking out behind it.

"I counted six..."

"Okay..." Merton looked around from where he crouched. The six guards were firing desultorily, unwilling to risk their necks quite yet. Connor was squeezing off bullets more slowly. It had to be coming to the end of his clip. "How much ammo does one of those things have?"

Connor stopped firing; the reports of its uzi replaced with the frantic clicking of an automatic weapon without any ammo.

Merton gave Sara a panicked look, and then the sound of six people with submachine guns all firing at once split the garage in two. Connor was strangely silent as bullets hammered into its body from all directions; it shuddered and jerked with each impact but kept sweeping it weapon back and forth in front of it, firing nothing.

The guards were good shots and knew their own limitations with jittery weapons like uzis; they all aimed for and mostly hit Connor in the chest. Bullets sank into Connor's vest and body, spraying blood in a gory cone behind it, and if Connor was human it would have been dead almost instantly. As a mindless zombie which felt no pain, it ignored the lead shower.

Sara punished the guards for being so eager with their triggers. Two went down with bullets in the neck before the rest jumped back behind cover.

"You should make it reload. And run." From a crouch, Sara somersaulted backward over the cabinet and hit the ground running towards a truck she'd spotted at the other end of the garage: close to the doors and not currently being loaded with supplies. Perfect.

As she reached the truck, Merton finished processing the command and leapt out of cover much less gracefully than she. He sprinted across the concrete while Connor began the laborious process of reloading its gun. Sara leapt into the back of the truck and turned to face the rest of the garage. With a good view of her opponents' backs, she braced and held down the trigger. The thunder of her uzi blasted loud in her ears, and the whole garage lit up with the intensity of her muzzle flashes. Gone were the quick, precise shots she'd been lobbing earlier. In their place was a screaming fury which bore down onto her captors and tore their lives from them.

She tracked quickly across the garage, sending hot death at each guard in turn. Screams of pain and the smell of blood filled the air, a fitting soundtrack to Merton's frantic dash between half loaded vehicles, until he stood at the back of the truck and Sara eased off the trigger.

"Damn..." He wiped sweat out of his eyes and turned to look at the path of destruction behind him. "What now?"

"Can you hotwire?"

"I... think so."

"Do it. We need to go." Sara jerked her head in the direction of the truck's cab, and reloaded while she could. Unlike Connor, her movements were spare and accurate. While it was still finishing unloading its clip, she was locked and loaded.

Merton cursed loudly as he fought with the lock. She settled into an easy crouch in the truck's flatbed, sighting at what she thought was the only entrance to the garage, until Connor suddenly lost its head.

Appearing as if out of nowhere, probably from behind a side passage, was a man... with a sword? Except for the cowboy hat and sword, he was dressed like the rest of the guards. The sword was big: the blade was easily seven feet long and almost a foot thick, yet he swung it with frightening ease. It was also apparently quite sharp; it severed Connor's head from its neck and continued in a practiced arc until the man was facing Sara. She couldn't make out many of his features: he wore heavy, dark glasses and his oversized cowboy hat obscured the rest of his face in shadow.

"Uhhhh, Merton?"

"Busy..." There was a sing song quality to Merton's voice when he said it. Then a click and a triumphant "yes!" as he unlocked the door and hopped into the cab.

"Kind of important... there's a guy with a sword here now."

The man stood over Connor's headless corpse and slowly, deliberately drew out a handkerchief to wipe the blood off his sword. He didn't even look at Sara while he did it, just cleaned the weapon as if nothing was wrong. For a moment, the only sound was the rhythmic wiping and Merton humming to himself. Then Merton stopped.

"Sword?"

"Ya. Sword, cowboy hat and a hell of a lot of swagger..."

"Shit! Dragon Knight... uhh... uhh... don't let him get close. Like, twenty feet or something."

Sara considered the distance between herself and the Dragon Knight. If he were anyone else, she was sure she could kill him before he got that close.

"Okay..."

She opened fire.

The Dragon Knight continued to ignore her, even as bullets flew... right around him. Sara stared in amazement as each and every round went wide, some even curving out of the way so that they avoided him. Frowning in concentration, she waved her gun in a complicated pattern until she could see the path of enough bullets that it was clear something invisible and oval-shaped was preventing him from getting hit.

"Well, don't shoot him. That's obviously not going to work."

"Thanks."

The Dragon Knight finished with the blade and looked back up. Sara thought she saw a cheeky smile form on the man's face, then he started walking forward. Slowly. Calmly.

"Son of a bitch!" She hopped out of the truck and grabbed the nearest thing to throw at him. It turned out to be a motorcycle.

With her free hand, she hoisted it up behind her and lobbed it baseball-style at him. Despite being a heavy hunk of metal and plastic, thrown with enough force it flew fairly straight.

The Dragon Knight didn't even slow. He brought his sword up and parried the bike, shifting his weight to one side to let it sail past. That damn smile grew wider.

Next, Sara tried a truck. She grabbed the one beside theirs and lifted the back end up off the ground. The heavy vehicle creaked and groaned in protest, and she could feel her muscles starting to complain. Good to know... anything much heavier than a truck she might have trouble lifting. Still, that was pretty good.

With a shout of rage, she hurled the truck at the Dragon Knight. The scream of twisting metal filled the garage as the truck wobbled through the air. Bits of metal and grease flew everywhere, and this time the Dragon Knight ducked at the last minute to get out of the way of the flying vehicle.

Sara growled in frustration and started throwing other things, dropping the uzi so she could use both hands.

Packing crates, tool cabinets and a wide variety of power tools found their way across the garage, each crashing to the ground near the Dragon Knight as he calmly got out of the way. Sara kept gauging the distance between them after each throw, and he was getting frighteningly close to the danger zone Merton pointed out.

"Uhhh, Merton?"

"He dead yet?"

"No. Advice."

"I'm almost there. Stall him!"

The Dragon Knight was also almost there. Desperate, Sara threw herself at the man. He might be fast. He was not as fast as she was. Also not as strong, or he would have been catching and throwing things back... so... she dashed forward and launched herself into a flying kick aimed directly at the man's chest.

She knew it was a risky maneuver when she tried it. Somehow, the words of martial arts trainers floated into her head as she did it, warning her that the power of the move was equaled by its danger. Were those her mentors? Connor's?

Pain was her reward for the kick. It rocketed up her body, starting from her foot and then aggressively turning her muscles into jelly and her world into blinding agony. She distantly heard herself shrieking. She felt the concrete as she fell out of the kick, hard, smacking to the ground and bouncing. She couldn't care. There was only the pain: white hot, insistent, everywhere.

When it stopped, she realized that she'd been lying on the ground with her back arched as far as it could go. She slumped back to the ground. Tingles of agony still ran up and down her body, and her muscles refused to respond. She stared helplessly upward as the man with the cowboy hat came into view.

"Now, I know he said no closer than twenty feet..." The man spoke with a thick southern drawl, and now that she was closer to him she could see his cowboy boots too. If it weren't for the smarmy grin, he would be handsome.

"F... f... f-f-f-f-f" She tried to swear at him. She couldn't get her lips to work right.

The man pointed his empty hand at Sara. What? She briefly saw the electricity trace a path from his palm to her chest before the pain came back.

She was more prepared this time... her muscles were clenched tight against the pain, her teeth gritted down as far as they could go. It still hurt like nothing she'd ever felt before. Through the pain, she managed to force her spasming muscles to bring her to her knees.

She was damned if she'd die on her back.

"There's some fight... Gareth just pissed hisself." The man's laugh was bitter and ugly.

"Hang on, Sara!" Merton shouted from the cab. Sara could barely hear him over the sound of her teeth grinding against each other. She did hear the truck starting. Another few seconds...

The Dragon Knight heard it too. He stopped sending pain into Sara and lifted his sword. Sara blocked the blow with the last strength left in her arm...

Wait! Don't block!

Too late.

Her arm managed to turn the sword enough that the tip of it struck the concrete beside her instead of cleaving her in two. That was good. She stared in shock at her arm, limp and lifeless, lying on the ground in front of her. That was bad.

"Pick it up and get in the truck!" The truck's engine was roaring nicely, and Merton was yelling from the cab.

Dazed, Sara managed to hang onto his words and focus on them. She grabbed her arm, bit back tears at the disturbing sensation of holding unresponsive flesh in her hand, and jumped into the back of the truck. The Dragon Knight was still staring at his sword in disbelief as Merton gunned the motor and the truck lurched forward.

With no strength left, Sara fell backwards into the bed of the truck as they roared off. She distantly heard the sound of the Dragon knight shouting, and she heard the sound of a chain link fence being torn apart by the truck. Her attention was entirely on the bone-deep ache left by the Dragon Knight's assault, and the blossoming pain of her severed limb. She could feel a warm puddle of blood surrounding her, and thought that maybe the swimmy feeling in her head was from blood loss.

Ha... blood loss. She was a vampire and she was losing blood.

"Hey... hey! Stay with me! You need to hold that against the stump."

"Wha...?" She stared dumbly at what looked like a piece of timber lying in the bed of the truck. Why did he want her to hold wood against her shoulder?

"Come on... come on, do it."

Not understanding, she picked up the stick. It flopped around unnaturally. After three tries she managed to press the pink end of it against her missing arm. Ha... pink stick... she giggled.

Darkness rushed up to claim her.

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