”Yeah Cassie. I found them too. Get back here. Now.” Came Reiker's response crackling over the comm, either a bad signal or a rather shoddy phone. Of course, it was rather obvious to her that Reiker had found some 'hospitality' of his own, despite the white noise in the background she could still make out the sounds of gunfire. Armed with a witty retort about how it almost sounded like he cared and that if he missed her so much he shouldn't have sent her out in the first place, however it never left her lips. In fact the smile that had lingered there died away as she heard a pair of voices around her. One was in front, to the left and just out of sight, while the other was right behind her, the one in front spoke in a low deep voice and the one behind a nasally shrill one. Well this was exactly what she didn't want to happen and exactly why she usually bought her weapons with her.
As the pair spoke up she came to a stop and responded to Reiker, not a measure of panic nor concern could be heard in her voice. Something which would seem out of place in the situation she was in. “Well shoot Reiker baby, seems I've been invited to another party and my dance cards quite full.” It was almost jovial the way she spoke, as if this was all a joke of some kind. “I don't know if I'll be getting back this time Reiker, don't wait up.” The call would end rather abruptly on Reiker's side, the sound of a rifle firing and then the line went dead. White noise filling the gap where Cass's light tone had once been.
Cass had, as soon as she'd finished speaking to Reiker, thrown the phone in the direction of the rifle user. Her plan had to be either to distract or confuse him long enough for her to dive and roll behind one of the trash cans in the mouth of the alley. However as she'd thrown it he had fired and as she had dive rolled towards the trash can she had heard it shatter into a thousand brilliant shards that rained down not ten feet from where she'd been standing. That had been much closer than she would have liked! As she got behind the trash can she heard the pistol fire and heard the bullet strike the can. “Well boys, I'm flattered you and your boss have taken such an interest in me but shoot, I'm already employed and quite like my bosses at the moment.”
One would call this cocky and unnecessary blabbing but Cass was trying to buy time or stall them but triad didn't fall for such ridiculous tricks. She should know after all, it was from them she had learned a lot of her moves. She heard the cocking of the rifle and was already moving, throwing herself to her feet and the other side of the alley as the rifle fired and the can splintered violently, sending a plume of garbage and can pieces into the air to briefly shroud her retreat. Approaching the can the pair quickly realised the woman had not been hit, or even scratched by the looks of it and were quick to lock on to their targets fleeing form.
The pair dashed into the alley that Cass had run down, following after their target and slowly making ground. The rifleman had to slow so he could lift his rifle and take aim, another shot rang out in the alley and Cass felt the bullet brush passed her hair but she didn't stop to see how deep in the wall it had embedded itself. Nor did she spend too much time thinking about how that shot would surely have killed her had the man been stationary. Two more shots from the pistol rang out, striking dirt and wall but getting no where near the target, the pistol user cursing in his shrill voice but laughing all the same.
In other circumstances she could have seen her and the Shrill man being good drinking bodies, they seemed to have an understanding. Mind you, the rifleman could fuck off, calling her a whore was completely unnecessary and he had no eye for taste it seemed. If I didn't know better I'd say Richie was trying to get me killed, don't take weapons he said, it's just a supply run. Of course he'd actually said something more along the lines of 'For the love of good Cass leave the scalpel's behind they're meant for the fucking doctor we're hiring.' Sadly her gun was being cleaned and checked over after the fire fight with Tso, it had taken some damage, somehow, in the fight with the sentries and it hadn't been firing right since. Laurie was seeing to it so she'd had to leave that behind as well.
Turning a corner abruptly as another pistol shot rang out she looked around for somewhere suitable to stand her ground. The street vendors had quickly packed up and left, leaving less valuable items behind simply in their rush to get out of the way. Though said items were of little use, half rotten fruit and scraps of clothes did not a good defence make and unless these triad's were allergic to slightly over ripe tomatoes she wasn't going to be able to mount an offence either. There were some odd loose planks on the shack side stalls, a lump of lead pipe which, although a good weapon, would be too weighty and slow to help her at all.
If she was right the rifleman had one bullet left, when she'd briefly seen it it had looked like a standard issue, non-modified weapon. While it packed a weighty punch its user did only have a maximum of four attempts to get the target before needing to reload. If she was right it was also a rather slow reload as each bullet had to be pushed into the chamber individually. The pistol, well she hadn't seen that at all as it had been behind her, though most pistols had a six to eight bullet clip, which could be ejected and replaced. He'd reload quicker if he had a spare clip which would make him more dangerous. This was assuming the pistol too had not been modified to hold more bullets.
She had ducked beside a pair of crates, balanced on the balls of her feet so she was ready to move as soon as she needed to. She could hear them breathing behind her, one slow and steady, a true man of conviction and emotional void. The other was rapid and shallow, excited and unpredictable, it was this one, the shrill one, that called out to his partner. “She's fun, it's a real pity.” This seemed not to sit well with his counterpart who sighed and replied, “You make me uncomfortable. Focus on the job.” There was a shrill laugh and the sound of a trash can not far away being tipped over, she didn't have much time to make a plan, it wasn't as if the street was completely filled with clutter.
Then she saw it, by whatever grace there was the exact thing she needed, well, wanted. A semi-automatic would have been nice but no one was going to leave one of those out in the open. No, instead it seemed one of the shanty's windows had been shattered at some point, not twenty feet from her was a pile of glass and amongst it was a large, jagged shard. It was about five or six inches long with a point on it, glinting in the sunlight as if a gift from above. It would suck as a long term weapon, easy to break, self destructive, however it wasn't intended to be a long term weapon. All she had to do though was get to it, it was off to her left, she'd have to break cover to get to it and hope she wasn't filled with lead as soon as she raised her head.
Releasing a breath to steady her nerves she spared a brief, fleeting thought to all those she cared about. After her brother she was out of names, which seemed a little sad really, so she tacked Richie and Reiker on there too to make herself feel a little better. Her brother was enough though, there was so much she needed to find out about him, about their parents, though she did not dwell on such thoughts. She glanced about herself and found a small, empty wooden crate. It wasn't too heavy but it was about the size of a head, she turned slightly and threw it forward and left as far as she could, hoping it would do it's intended purpose.
Which it did, as she dove out of cover and sprinted the twenty foot gap she heard the rifle sound off. She was slightly annoyed that the pistol man seemed to have just had enough time to reserve the bullet upon realising it was nothing but a distraction. When he saw her though he fired, due to his own excitement, or a combination of that and her own rapid movement the shot only seemed to graze passed her pants and neither of them were able to tell right then if there was any damage to be seen.
The riflemans deep voice cursed and the smoking barrel was dropped and cracked open, she'd been right, it was a four shot! As he cursed to the weapon she'd reached the shard, turned one eighty on the glass around it and grabbed it with her off hand. Immediately she felt the sharp, jagged edges cut into her soft flesh. She hadn't the time to wrap it with anything so the cool feeling of her own blood running between her fingers was a feeling she'd rapidly have to adjust too. She wasted no words and almost as soon as she had it in her hand she was sprinting forwards, directly at her two assassins, the pistol user looked almost gleeful and raised the weapon. Fuck he has more, now what? However it seemed not, the pistol's trigger clicked but nothing happened, at this distance it would have more than certainly been curtains for Cass if he had had any left, looking both annoyed and confused he popped out the magazine, about to check it he caught sight of Cass closing in fast, loosing a switch blade with his other hand he was almost ready but Cass was on him.
Pistol jumped back and out of the way, narrowly avoiding what would have been a large piece of glass in the shoulder, which left her the time and distance she needed to get to the rifleman. He was still shoving shells into the rifle, glancing up only when he heard his counterpart call him. She was too close now and so he dropped his rifle and went for the combat knife strapped just behind his hip. By then though it was already too late, Cass had reached him and while he'd had an inch or two on her the girl had seemingly sprung up when she'd entered range. The scalpel slicing up the man's cheek before catching on the eye socket and skittering into the man's eyeball, a soft, sick squelch as it buried itself inside. She released the scalpel and had jumped back but not far enough, the pain was clearly excruciating and he'd struck out like an angered buffalo, clipping her in the arm and sending her spinning, though following the momentum of the attack she rolled and popped back up.
The major threat was nullified, with one good eye, even if he could work passed the pain, he would not be able to take aim with his vision so thoroughly impaired. “I ain't no whore.” Was all she said as she dodged behind another flailing fist of utter rage and stepped behind the guy who seemed to have slowed down with the pain he was in. She finished retrieving the knife from it's holder and was about to plunge it into his back when he spun around and caught her square in the face with the back of his hand. She fell sprawling to the ground in front of him, satisfied he had downed her the guy had grabbed hold of the scalpel and was in the process of bracing himself for the final pull to yank it out. His other hand wasn't idle though and as soon as he saw Cass recovering her senses he was reaching for her throat. Cass gave him neither time to remove the scalpel nor grab her, plunging his own combat knife into his groin area at a twisted angle from her position below him.
He seemed to stagger a moment and both hands dropped, first seemingly to wrap about her neck but then to cover his mouth as he bent double and vomited up blood and whatever he'd had for lunch. He staggered forward, filth on his face and hands as if he were going to strike Cass, however the wounds were too much and even as he threw a fist the girl easily deflected it and moved out the way. Watching 'rifle' tumble face first into the dirt, briefly trying to use his legs to get up before he simply slumped there. A heavy breath kicking up the dust near his lips before settling once again, it wouldn't be long for him.
The pistol was reloaded and Cass barely had time to grab the rifle and roll behind a wooden barrel before it fired. The counterpart didn't seem too interested in the fact he'd missed again, as his shrill voice spat out something in the native language of the west highland terrier. Which is to say it was so shrill and high pitched she didn't understand a word of it and just trying to decipher it made her ears hurt. A second shot rang out, swiftly followed by the sound of splintering wood, which told her her make shift hiding place was not going to take too much damage before collapsing around her.
There was an alley not five feet from her position, the shacks seeming to make up lots of alleyways between streets and houses in this part of town. She didn't think twice about it, not even contemplating it might have been the very same one she'd run into before, before sprinting into the dankness. Her leg flared in pain but with the adrenaline in her system she couldn't tell if the area was wet or just slick with sweat, if she lived through this she promised herself she'd check it out. The alley though was quiet, no gun shots rang out, no shrill dog whisperer voice either. Just her feet and her ragged breath, just as she began to find this suspicious and began to slow her pace she was bought face to face with the pistol man, who had looped around the building to beat her to this side and cut her off. He rose the pistol but she threw herself down across the ground, two shots rang out would would have hit her square in the chest, a further shot fired into the dirt where her head had been seconds ago. However luckily for her science, or gravity at least, worked on all planets, as she'd thrown herself down ad full sprint, inertia and kinesis were more than happy to thrust her forward on her ass.
Pistol man's legs weren't wide enough apart for her to slip through them like a professional, so instead she messily landed against them, forcing him to stagger backwards and briefly lose his grip on the pistol. Had she her wits about her Cass would have used this time to happily remove the gun from his grip but she to was shaken and had broken her shard of glass into a much smaller version. Several shards embedded in her hand and she'd nearly lost the grip on the rifle too. Pistol was the first to regain his footing, Cass quickly regaining her senses and sending a jab towards his gun hand with her smaller butter knife of a glass shard. He was quick though and again she missed her mark but it meant he had to give up aiming at her yet again as well. “Real damn shame I have to kill you.” The shrill one spoke, getting back into firing position only to find empty space below him.
It was obvious Cass hadn't left the alley, it was too long the other way for her to have gotten out of sight already and he would have felt her brushing passed him if she'd tried to slip through. Which meant she was somewhere in the space alley. There weren't many things big enough to hide a human and he aimed and fired at the centre of all three in rapid succession. The first was an over turned table, two legs and one at a broken and twisted angle, the fourth missing altogether. An old oil drum which was filled with stagnant rain water which began to seep into the dusty ground below and finally a tarp hanging from and old doorway, halfway to being filled in with bricks and boarded on the other side. The tarp fluttered like a wounded bird from the shot and the alley fell into a still silence.
Shrieking in frustration and stamping his foot the pistol man cracked open his gun again, either he'd hit the bitch and she'd died, or he'd missed completely and now had to find her. Cass spat out Richie's tobacco pouch which had muffled her noise, the teeth marks might need explaining later but she tucked the pouch back into her pocket and lay the rifle aside. Briefly gripping her side she felt the sickly, sticky feeling of her blood as it oozed from the wound that grazed between her hip and ribs. With glass shard ready she charged at the man from behind the table, this time she caught him off guard enough to make him drop both the clip and the pistol as he moved back and out of the way of her attack. However he wasn't unprepared, he unfolded his earlier switch blade and it's duplicate before she could get in close again. Licking his lips he chuckled and and it was his turn to attack.
Cass was forced to dodge back just to keep away from the sharp blades, he slashed wildly but there was a precision about it none the less. He was nimble to be sure and while she managed to get the odd swipe in, she didn't make contact with anything but air and remained more on the defence rather than the offence. With nothing to really block or guard with, she had little real means to defend herself with, no armour -that was on the ship in favour of her now ruined dress- and even the possessions she'd lifted from the first assassin held little that could offer her a reprieve from the constant attacks. The sunlight licked the gun and she had an idea, one which would be foolish, perhaps suicidal and a little bit fraught with danger. She just had to get to the gun and that would decide this fight. However the way to the gun was blocked by the knife wielder, she was uncertain the clip had even been fully inserted properly before it fell to the ground -and she couldn't tell from here- and even if she got to it, even if it was loaded she wasn't sure if she could get a shot off in time. Still, what choice did she have?
As they continued to fight she was losing ground, though it was not strictly on purpose it did give her the edge. Dragging the table between them she hopped back over the slick pool of mud that was forming form the spilled oil drum. As she'd hoped he'd kicked it aside without really taking a look at where it was placed. By the time he noticed the table skidding on the mud he'd already lost his balance on the filth and she had slipped around the side of the table and broke for the gun. As she reached it she dropped painfully to one knee and grabbed the gun, taking aim as them an staggered to his feet only to realise the clip had not in fact been fully engaged before he'd dropped it and there was no chambered round with which to fire.
The shrill man was already up and turning on her as she grabbed the clip and rammed it into the gun. Popping up from one knee she had no time at all to take aim. As he reached her and his blades whipped out like hungry snake fangs a shot rang out from the pistol, followed by a deep silence. Both the adversaries remained stationary for a moment and both wore a perplexed look upon their faces, after a long moment that felt like eternity it was the slender man that staggered back. The bullet had only grazed his shoulder, barely hit him in fact, however he'd run gut first onto the length of glass she'd still been holding. One of his blades had intended to come in at her chest but as she'd levelled the gun she'd unwittingly blocked it and dislodged the blade from his grip. The other intent had been to bite in under her ribs and up towards her lungs. Though as he'd run onto the glass his attack's strength weakened until it was just a cut across one forearm.
Staggering back the shrill one gripped hold of the shard in his stomach, his other blade briefly limp at his side as he focused on keeping hold of the glass which had cut Cass's hands to ribbons. Cass spared no shred of mercy, remorse or sympathy for the man, she didn't even gloat. Dropping to a crouch she grabbed the blade he'd dropped, sliding one leg forward to close the gap between them and as she popped up she rammed that blade beneath his chin and through the soft part of the jaw bone. The blade slipped effortlessly through the skin and muscle but skittered and caused her to release it as it met the roof of his mouth, he was in agony and began to sag immediately, torn between removing the glass which cracked as he drooped and removing the blade, both of which were incredibly tender. “I'm glad you think my work is beautiful. You should see me when it's a real party.” Cass purred, sending her knee between his legs the man's eyes rolled back into his head and he fell to the ground with a distinct thud.
She didn't waste too much time looting, stealing his wallet and remaining blade, folding the latter thrusting them both into a pocket before grabbing up the rifle and walking back down the alley towards where she left the first corpse. This time she didn't give a damn how guilty she looked she just planned to get back to Reiker and Richie. Pistol, with safety on, stuck down her belt loop and rifle held down at her side with, she'd counted, two shots loaded, she finally pushed down the bile that rose in her throat and broke into a swift job back towards the terminals where the ship had been left.