Previous chapters in this story:
- The Azren Chronicles: Winter Kill – Chapter One
- Winter Kill – Chapter Two
- Winter Kill – Chapter Three
- Winter Kill – Chapter Four
- Winter Kill – Chapter Five
- Winter Kill – Chapter Six
- Winter Kill – Chapter Seven
- Winter Kill – Chapter Eight
- Winter Kill – Chapter Nine
- Winter Kill – Chapter Ten
- Winter Kill – Chapter Eleven
- Winter Kill – Chapter Twelve
“Yes, sir. We’ll be there in ten minutes,” Racquel said and then ended the call. She turned to the others. “Mooney says to go to the loading dock at the harbour. He’ll have a ship waiting for us and the Polychora.”
“Gotcha,” Britchy muttered as she turned the steering wheel to the left to change course. Rue noticed that she glanced into the rear view mirror. Normally she wouldn’t even noticed – it’s what all drivers do – but the fact that she had done it with five second intervals for the past minute or two was bothering Rue. Maybe she’s just a nervous driver, Rue thought. Then, almost as if she had heard Rue’s thought, Britchy frowned.
“Racquel, was an escort of any sort for us mentioned in your conversation with Mooney by any chance?” Britchy asked with a casual tone.
Rue saw Racquel frown as she tried to recollect the whole conversation. “Um…no.” She turned to look at Britchy. “Why?”
“Look,” was all Britchy said.
Rue glanced at Racquel and Bond, then looked at one of the rear view mirrors.
“I see nothing,” she remarked. “It’s heavy traffic. How can you be sure someone is following us?”
“There is a Mauve coloured van that has been following ever since we left the museum,” Britchy elaborated.
Rue looked again. Where is it?
“Duck!” she cried out.
“Aw, shit!” Bond exclaimed as a bullet hit both rear view mirrors and glass flew inside the cabin and on the road.
Rue screamed as shards of glass sliced her right arm and cheeks, drawing blood. She clutched her right arm, doubling over as pain shot through her body. She slammed into the wall, then into someone’s side, who let loose a stream of curse words.
“Britchy! Watch out!” she heard Racquel cry out.
There was a screech and Rue was thrown against the dashboard; then she felt things stabilise.
Hands gently but firmly gripped her shoulders and pulled her back up. Bond then appeared in her peripheral vision, holding a first aid kit that Rue assumed must have been in the front cabin somewhere.
“Hold still,” he ordered as he began applying some sort of cream to her cheeks. “Did you hear? Someone’s chasing us.”
Rue couldn’t help crack a smile. “Really? I didn’t notice.”
“But not for long,” Britchy muttered and slammed her foot on the accelerator. They all braced themselves as they shot down the street and swerved around a corner. The first aid kit flew out of Bond’s hands and hit the windshield, cracks spider webbing across the windshield.
Racquel raised her legs and kicked out the glass. “Should help you see now,” she commented to Britchy.
Fighting a wave of nausea as she was thrown around the cabin, Rue managed to choke out: “Um…shouldn’t one of us be driving?”
Britchy flashed a smile. “Don’t worry – I’ve had plenty of experience.”
Bond raised his eyebrows. “Really?”
Britchy’s smile turned to a grin. “Me and the police go way back,” she quipped.
The other three all looked at each other. That’s not very encouraging, Rue thought. She glanced out of the left-hand window…
…and saw the Mauve vehicle coming up alongside of them. The side door was wide open and a dark-haired, olive-skinned woman in a black skin-tight suit was kneeling in the doorway, holding a rifle in her hands.
Rue instantly kicked the door open at the same time that she saw the flash. The bullet pinged off the door and she heard a satisfying groan as it flew back and hit the shooter.
Without thinking, Rue leapt out of the cabin and onto the woman, knocking both of them to the van floor.
The woman slammed the butt of the rifle into Rue’s forehead. A piercing white flash shot through her head. She heard screaming as she rolled off the woman, clutching her head. That’s me screaming! she realized. She felt someone tugging her. Shaking her head, she swung a kick.
“Ow! You’re going to pay for that!” the woman growled and kicked Rue in the abdomen.
“Oof!” Rue curled up into a ball. She gasped for air. The woman kicked her again and again. Rue gritted her teeth and, grabbing her foot, twisted her off her feet and pushed her out the open door. She heard a thud and someone shouting “Call an ambulance!”
Rue saw a man in the front passenger seat aiming a gun at her head. She swung a roundhouse kick and it knocked it towards the drivers head, unintentionally setting it off.
Blood splattered over the windshield, dashboard, and some splattered on Rue’s face. She knife-handed him between the left and right collarbone. He slumped in his seat, out for the count.
She reached over the driver’s body and opened the door. Keeping one hand on the steering wheel and one eye on the road, Rue unclipped the seatbelt and pushed him out, feeling a pang of guilt. There was nothing else I could do. Except for maybe moving him to another part of the van, but if I had, we would have crashed as no-one was driving. Taking the driver’s place, she lowered the window and looked over at the truck. Britchy looked over at her and Rue gave her a thumbs up. Britchy nodded and they continued towards the harbour.
Turning a corner, Rue suddenly heard a burst of static from somewhere in the car. Looking around, she spotted a hand-held radio clipped onto the belt of the unconscious man beside her. Leaning over, she unclipped it and held it up to her ear while driving.
“Omega Wolf, this is V.”
Rue’s blood ran cold. She knew that voice.
“Omega Wolf, this is V. Come in, please.”
What do I do, what do I do?
A groan came from beside her. He’s waking up!
He reached up and massaged his forehead. What happened? Oh, yeah. That b**** knocked me out.
Something cold and metallic pressed into his forehead.
“Omega Wolf, answer me!!!”
“You’re going to say that everything’s fine and going according to plan,” a cold female voice threatened. “Or I am going to pull this trigger and send 1,000 volts of electricity into your body. Your choice.”
He gulped. “Okay.” She pressed a button and he swallowed. “V, this is Omega Wolf. Everything is going according to plan.”
There was a pause. “Are they dead?”
He glanced over at her, then back at the radio. “Affirmative. Obstacles have been eliminated.”
“And the Polychora?”
“In our hands. We’re taking it to the rendezvous point as we speak.”
“Excellent. Over and out.”
He pounced on the woman, slamming a fist into her nose. Blood began trickling out. He punched her again and she slumped in her seat, unconscious. He dragged her out of the drivers seat and took her place. Driving with one hand, he took a gun and, aiming at the truck’s front cabin, fired rapidly inside.
Several police cars and other government vehicles suddenly swarmed onto the street surrounding them. The truck screeched to a stop as well as him.
Britchy raised her eyebrows as the police and government agents surrounded the truck, weapons all aimed at them. Not again. “Out! Everyone out with your hands up!”
Having no choice, Britchy unbuckled herself and climbed out, hearing Racquel and Bond do the same. She looked around and gave the nearest police officer a sweet smile.
“Anyone for tennis?” she quipped.
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