I sat in the kitchen. My own blood had puddled. I attached my newly acquired sleevegun to my wrist. It was a dull, faded black. Designed to dwell in the long sleeves of a man, its camoflauge minimizing the chance of perceiving the deadly creature coiled inside. A viper. Hiding away, waiting to strike, suddenly. To pounce on its victim, a killer in wait.
Waiting to be switched open with the flick of a wrist. Waiting to sink its hot lead teeth into the unfortunate prey. In many ways, it was just like a watch, small and compact, cold and metallic, stylish almost. The thought of it made me sick. The men must have come to the door, knocking, planning on sneakily blowing mom away when she opened the door. But, the door had remained closed, so their impatience brought the door down. She had fought, but was over-powered by the vile beasts…
And their weapon. It was very high-tech, and despite its size, carried a deadly venom indeed. A viper. I had seen its swift bite. No petty thief would own this gun, it was far too valuable, impossible for a simple criminal to own… The sort of weapon a member of the Meeting would have…
The front door opened. I flicked my wrist instinctively, and the barrel opened with a quiet click. Two shots. Two Guards entered the view of the open doorway, directly before my seat. I had become quite lightheaded, but my pain was under control: the bleeding was slowing. The bullet (which I had removed earlier with a pair of simple tweezers) sat on my lap, and the screaming pain of the wound had been reduced to a dull, moaning ache.
“You need to come with us.” He spoke as if nothing had happened, as if he wasn’t hovering a mere meter from my mother’s corpse, standing on a bloodsoaked floor. Was this the Emergency team I sent for? Why would they send Guards?
“You need to come with us.”
Under the mask, the calm, they seemed nervous.
“I need medical attention.” I retorted yet again. My recent trauma seemed to be interfering with my intelegence. Guards weren’t to be negotiated with.
“It will be taken care of. Come with us. Get up. Now.”
One swayed, ever so slightly. He was inexperienced.
Guards were not sent to help the wounded.
Guards were sent to remove problems.
I closed my left fist. The viper pounced.
Most of his skullcap vanished. The reinforced plate helm shredded like tissue, red soaked his crimson armour. I was up. The Guard’s hand was like a blur. A bullet struck my shoulder, my thigh. I flew foreward like a blazing rocket, meeting him with full momentum, shouldering him through the doorway. His weapon left his hand, cluttering to the floor. He drew his blade, but no faster than I threw my fist into his iron-clad face.
The final bullet burst through the helm with a shining fountain of grey matter at its heels. His blade had pierced my side, about a thumbnail’s width deep.
Another stolen breath filled my lungs.
Seemed I had some power over Death after all.
I wondered when reinforcements would arrive.