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STORMKILLER
by Craig Rettig

I see you coming
One mile away
I will not listen to a word you say
I will never apologize
 
Look into my cold dark eyes...
I will never apologize
 
EAT STEEL
—Gwar Eat Steel


Alex lit up yet another cigarette, his third in the last twenty minutes. He stretched back in his chair and stared at his TV, although he hadn't bothered to turn it on. Rachel had left twenty minutes ago, and Alex was still wondering if the scratches on his back were going to show through the shirt of his uniform at work tomorrow. Alex checked himself, later today. It was far past midnight, and Alex was working second shift, the dinner hours. Ah well, it was worth it.

As Alex finished his cigarette, he got up and walked back into his bedroom. Not even bothering to turn on the light, he practically fell into the bed. Rachel's perfume still clung to the sheets and the pillow, leaving a faint smile on his face as he drifted off to sleep.


Charlotte Gillian paced around her hotel room, sharpening a large knife on a whetstone. Not one to wait for anything, she especially hated waiting for phone calls. The radio was on, and the DJ was getting ready to sign off, wishing the city of Cincinnati a good night.

"F*cking bite me," snarled Charlotte, suddenly hurling her knife the length of the room, imbedding it in the door, directly above the peephole. Just then, the phone rang.

"'S'bout frigging time," snapped Charlotte as she picked up the receiver. "Is everything ready?"

"Everything has been prepared according to your specifications, Ms. Gillian," came the voice over the other end.

"Good," replied Charlotte, "tell everyone to get a good night's sleep, and we'll make the extraction tomorrow night."

"Very good, ma'am. Oh...um...Mr. Owen did have a message he wanted me to pass on to you."

"And what would that be?" Charlotte snapped.

"He said, 'Alive this time.'"

Charlotte slammed the receiver down on the phone hard. Damn him and his damn superiority! The last Omega in Indianapolis had gotten her into a me-or-you situation, and she had to kill him to save her own life. Frustrated, she pulled out her .50-caliber Desert Eagle out of her suitcase and began cleaning and oiling it.

"Oh, 'e'll be alive, all right. Mebbe not in one piece, but alive..."


Alex was amazed how a good mood made his shift go a lot quicker than usual. Eight o'clock came around in no time, and Alex was out the door into the brisk winter air. He was in such a good mood, in fact, that he didn't even see the hands which came out of the alley he was walking past, grabbed him, and pulled him in.

Alex twisted quickly, throwing up a shield between him and his attacker, forming a spiked club in his hand at the same time.

"Relax, lover, it's only me!" shouted Rachel, pulling herself off the ground. "Dang...paranoid one, ain't ya?"

"What the hell were you doing?!" Alex shouted, dissipating his weapons. "I could've killed you right there!"

"Ooh...you know how danger excites me," Rachel said, grabbing Alex in a full embrace and planting a warm, wet kiss on his lips. "Besides, how do you know it isn't me who's going to kill you?"

"Because that's our job," came a female voice in a British accent from the alleyway entrance. The woman stood in the entranceway, with two heavily-armed men on either side of her. She was pointing a nasty-looking futuristic weapon at the two of them. Without another moment's hesitation, she fired.

Alex threw up a bubble shield around him and Rachel, watching as the barbed taser bounced harmlessly away.

The two men to the woman's left and right opened fire with their weapons, which were significantly more powerful. Alex diverted more power to the front of his shield, then he remembered Murphy's Law of Combat #44: "Fortify your front, and you'll get your rear shot up." Sure enough, Alex felt blasts from behind him knock him and Rachel onto the ground. Fortunately, his shield held.

The soldiers continued to fire on his shield, and while Alex was confident he could hold it back, sitting there like the proverbial duck wasn't on his list of priorities. Also, if his shield did fail, he didn't want Rachel getting hurt in the process. In a gutsy move, he formed two large hands out of his Omega and sent them hurtling at the two groups of enemies, knocking them back. Alex quickly grabbed Rachel then used his Omega to propell himself up onto the roof—right into the sights of two more armed soldiers.

Alex quickly grabbed the two soldiers with his Omega and tossed them over the edge of the rooftop. He was pissed now. Who the hell sends a squad of six armed goons and one psychotic bitch after one lone teen Omega who isn't bothering anyone that didn't already have it coming? Just then, a barrage of fire came up over the edge of the roof from the alleyway below.

Alex jumped, tackling Rachel to the floor of the roof. "Stay here and don't move!" he ordered. He had half a mind to check his wallet again, but decided this wasn't the time or place. Looking back at the alley, he smiled sadistically. "Okay, how many of you guys saw 'Terminator'?"

Alex made a large block out of his Omega the entire width and length of the alleyway. Then he punched it down—hard—a little too hard, in fact. Alex winced. This was the second time he had done that. Alex looked over the rooftop, he saw the six armed soldiers lying unconscious in the alleyway floor. He walked over to one of them, bent over and looked at the uniform. No distinguishable markings. So who the hell are these guys with weapons and stuff hunting me down, and why? Alex didn't have time to answer these questions, though, as a sharp boom penetrated the air, and a small portion of his upper arm flew away from the rest of his body in a spray of blood.

Alex fell to the ground, writhing in pain. He looked up at the British woman, who was pointing one of the largest pistols he'd ever seen at him. "We've moved on to real bullets now, I take it..."

"I was supposed to take you alive, but you've been too much f*cking trouble already," said the woman, advancing on Alex. "I'm not sure you'd be right for the project anyway. Besides, I'm going to enjoy this a w'ole 'ell of a lot more." She stood about six feet from him now, the gun pointed directly at his head. Alex was almost in shock now from the wound, he couldn't clear his thoughts enough to even make a decent shield. The most he could do was try to talk his way out of the situation—Fat chance.

"What project?" Alex screamed, at least wanting to know why he was being killed.

"Why, Stormkiller, love," replied Charlotte. You were going to be our Omega assassin, both in name and occupation, but now...well, let's just say there's been a change in plans." She cocked the pistol and prepared to fire.

"Alex, no!"

Alex and Charlotte looked up. Rachel was leaning over the edge of the roof, yelling at them. Charlotte smiled for a moment, then shifted her aim from Alex to Rachel. "Bye, pretty," she said.

Alex, in one desperate move, lashed out with a tendril of his Omega, which hit Charlotte in her gun hand so hard it shattered several of the bones in her hand. Charlotte, for the first time in her career, screamed.

Just then, the Cincinnati Police, punctual as ever, pulled up at the alleyway entrance. Alex didn't want to have to answer any questions, so mustering up the remainder of his Omega, propelled himself back up to the rooftop, where Rachel quickly grabbed him, and started pulling him towards a fire escape.

"Come on, Alex, we gotta get out of here!" she screamed.

"Let's see how fast you can move with a piece of your arm missing!" Alex seethed sarcastically, trying to move as fast as he could. The only good thing was that he could hear that British bitch cussing out the cops as they were placing her under arrest.

As the two of them managed to finally make it back to Alex's apartment, Rachel dumped Alex in the tub, so that he wouldn't bleed on anything else that would need cleaning. After finally getting Alex's jacket off, she went about cleaning and bandaging the wound, which ended up looking worse than it actually was. A nasty scar would probably be left, but a hospital stay was unnecessary if the wound was kept clean and covered.

Eventually, Rachel led Alex to his bedroom, where she carefully laid him on the bed. "What now, doc?" Alex asked jokingly.

"Well," Rachel said, "you just lie back and rest and let this here nurse take care of you."

"I can live with that," Alex said, closing his eyes.


NEXT!:
Just stay tuned...

Stormkiller™ is the brainchild of Matt Rossi used with his permission.

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