Protect and Serve: Fox and Feral|
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Copyright ©2011 Angela Knight
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All hell was breaking loose down in the New York street ten stories below. Gunfire sounded in a continuous pop pop pop, sounding thin and harmless at this distance. The way the NYPD cops huddled behind their cars revealed just how far from harmless it really was. They were outgunned all to hell by eight men with M-30s who strolled up and down the sidewalk in front of the bank, firing as if they were at a shooting range, not bothering to take cover at all. Didn't need to. The robbers were wearing military grade body armor, designed as protection against weapons a hell of a lot more powerful then the cops' handguns.
Luckily, our armor was better. And we hit harder.
Thing was, they had a hostage. Bank teller, or maybe a customer. The leader held her with an arm around her neck while he shot around her one handed. The woman screamed once, thin and high, like a rabbit being killed.
I could almost taste her terror. We had to get her out before they blew her brains all over the street.
Saving people is the whole point of the FBI Special Services unit. We get called in when hostages are in imminent danger and the cops are afraid rescue is impossible.
"Well, this is a Charlie Foxtrot," Feral drawled, using the Marine expression for another Marine expression: cluster fuck. "Saving that hostage is going to be a bitch, Cap."
"I'll get her," I told him. "You distract the asshole brigade." And try not to lose your frickin' mind. I didn't say that, though. Thanks to the Desert Warrior program, it wasn't something he could really control. Besides, three tours of duty in the 'Stans, two as Black Ops, had left Feral with some serious issues.
I keyed my throat mic to broadcast on the cops' frequency. "Fox and Feral, coming in. Hold your fire."
Feral leaped, a perfect, flat dive out into space. I tried not to watch the flex of his ass under the dragon scales, but it's one hell of a view, and I'm a girl who loves a fine male behind. But then, everything Feral's got is fine.
As he shot his line at one streetlamp, I aimed my fist at another and sent a mental message through my armor. The thin, high tensile line shot out of my wrist unit, and its weighted end swung around the light support. I gave it a tug. It held, so I ordered the line to retract and leaped off the roof of the ten-story building. Any normal human would have been street pizza, but neither of us had been completely human in years.
The top secret military program we'd volunteered for in 2032 had altered our DNA, increasing our endurance as well as the strength of our muscles and the density of our bones. We were now six times as strong as a human the same size and gender. And considering how damned big Feral was, that's saying something.
Being a hell of a lot smaller, I'm nowhere near as strong as he is. But I'm fast, and agile, and I know how to use what I've got.
The line jerked me down toward the streetlamp. For a moment, it was like flying -- a breathtaking swoop through empty air, the ground careening toward my face. If I mistimed the release, they'd have to hose me off the side of the bank.
Christ, I loved this.
My timing was dead on. The line stopped retracting at my command, and I swung upward, slowing my plunge just enough. I released the line at the top of the arc and went free fall, tucking into a ball to hit the ground rolling. The impact jarred my teeth even through ten layers of Titan Laminate helmet and an inch of anti-concussive gel.
I bounced to my feet. There were two thugs between me and the guy with the hostage, so I threw myself into a roundhouse and kicked one robber right behind the ear. His helmet cracked under my Titan-cored boot, and he fell like a bag of wet cement. I glimpsed a figure whirling toward me and drove my elbow into his throat, not quite hard enough to crush his larynx. He choked and collapsed, more interested in breathing than giving me shit.
I raced to the hostage's captor, snapped one booted foot up and kicked the bastard right in the back of his thigh. Crack! He went down with a howl, dropping his gun to grab for his broken leg. Greenstick fracture, given the way I'd hit him. Served the fucker right.
I hauled the hostage up from where she'd fallen in a heap with her captor, pushed her ahead of me, then bent to scoop up the jackass's gun. "Go, go, go!"
She looked back, saw my facemask, and screamed like a horror trid blonde.
"I'm a federal agent!" I yelled at her. "Get your ass moving!"
She ran, skittering on her high heels as best she could. I galloped behind her, one hand on her shoulder as I sought to both steady her and shield her with my body.
Hey, I was wearing full body armor. She was wearing JC Penney.
Something that felt like a Volvo rammed me in the ribs. The impact spun me around and dropped me. My head hit the pavement with a meaty melon thunk, and stars exploded behind my eyes. When the pretty lights faded, I saw the girl get snatched behind a patrol car by a long, blue-clad arm.
I couldn't breathe. My chest felt paralyzed.
"Fox!" Feral shouted in my ear on our com frequency, but when I tried to answer, my frozen diaphragm still refused to budge.
He made a weird growling sound, building to a howl that might have been my name. Oh fuck, he's gone berserker.
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