As usual, here is your warning that this story has cursing, sex (not graphic), innuendo, and violence. It’s my Rated-R action adventure called Derailing Bedlam. This is the fourth outing (third official) for Cassidy and Lloyd, so feel free to click on one of the two covers to see how it started. Each one is 99 cents!
Pulling a fresh magazine from her dark blue flight jacket, Luca slaps it into her handgun and stands to put three shots into a charging man. Ducking back behind the overturned table, she peeks out the other side to fire into the crowd. One woman goes down while the rest of the gang members scatter, two of them stepping into range of a shotgun blast that goes off from a weapon sticking out of the bar. Katie quickly leans out to grab a fallen rifle and disappears before a spray of bullets puts a hole in the wall. The gang unloads on the bar, which leaves some of them exposed to Luca’s precise shots. Fearing that the warlord did not make it out in time, the bounty hunter tries to move the table closer for a peek into the wreckage. She only makes it a few steps before Katie pops up on the other side of the room with a bottle of cheap vodka, which is topped with a flaming rag. Hurling the Molotov cocktail, she creates a wall of fire that prevents their enemies from advancing or aiming.
Both women drop to the floor when the door is kicked open and Dale walks in with a large machinegun. The bodyguard’s chest is protected by a metal breastplate and a matching sleeve is on his solitary arm, which he keeps in front of his face as a shield. Walking to the middle of the dining car, he grunts before lowering his weapon and clicking off the safety. As the flames doe down, the small mob of intruders sees what they are up against and scramble to get through the exit. The machinegun goes off like rapid thunderclaps and slaughters the entire group, who never bother to take a single shot. One badly injured woman manages to stand and fires at Dale, but hits his quickly raised arm instead of his head. Instead of wasting bullets, the towering man hurls a chair that knocks the dying gang member into the wall.
“One more car to go and we’ll be at the garage,” Katie announces while she locks the door with a chain. Finding a strap of shotgun shells under a cart, she picks it up and slings it over her shoulder. “They aren’t going to fall for that a third time. Especially since there’s nothing to hide behind in that car. It’s all windowed rooms for people without suites to use. Probably a bunch of bad guys hiding there too. Any ideas?”
“I could use this,” Dale suggests, holding up a stick of dynamite. Seeing the confusion and worry in his allies’ faces, he puts it back in his pocket. “We need flashbangs, but those are back in the armory car. What about crawling along the floor?”
“Sorry, but I’ve never heard you talk before. Your voice is oddly soft and musical,” the warlord says as she steps over two of the bodies. Pressing herself against the blood-covered wall, she closes the door enough to prevent herself from getting shot by lurking enemies. “Luca and I could crawl along without being seen, but you’re far too big. They’d hear your arm and gun scraping against the floor. We still have about thirty people between us and Cola, which means going back for flashbangs is a bad idea. Lloyd told me that climbing along the top would be a mistake, which means attacking from above isn’t an option.”
“I can try to do it,” Luca offers before putting a fresh magazine in her handgun. Taking off her jacket, she drapes it over a chair and heads for the door. “One of the things I was taught in Miami was how to take my time clearing an area. You can’t always depend on backup these days, so you need to learn a few tricks and try to be a one-person SWAT team. Needless to say, it got a lot of people killed, but I’m still standing. Honestly, taking down perps like this was always one of my favorite parts of the job. Gives me the most delicious adrenaline rush and makes my senses tingle.”
Katie pushes the door open and everyone gets out of the way of a few bullets that are fired into the room. “We didn’t sign a contract just for you to die a few bloody days later. A handful of Molotov cocktails could help clear the shite out of there. Best to charge in and scare them than take on a suicide mission. Let’s take another minute before doing anything crazy. One of us has to have a better plan.”
Gripping the warlord by the shoulder, Luca easily tosses her to Dale and steps into the other car. With her handgun held in front of her, the bounty hunter’s eyes constantly move from side to side in search of movement. She counts reflections in some of the windows to get an idea of how many enemies she is facing. A sharp whistle from Luca draws out four curious gang members, each one getting two shots in the head or chest before they can fire. When another man rolls into the hallway, the bounty hunter steps to the side and shoots with one hand while pressing herself against the wall. She drops the gunman before he can sweep his weapon towards her, but those in the nearest rooms rush out. Taking advantage of the tight quarters and their surprise at seeing only one target, Luca rushes into the crowd and focuses on their guns. Their shots hit each other due to her always moving just enough to avoid the barrels. Her only attacks are done from pointblank range, which leaves her dotted with gore. One enemy manages to graze the woman’s side and is promptly grabbed by the garbage can lid strapped to his chest. Killing the rest of the group, the bounty hunter holds up her human shield to block the rest of the bullets and dive into one of the empty rooms.
“Must be getting rusty!” Luca shouts while dangling the injured man into the hallway. She uses the space between him and the wall to fire at the remaining enemies, her shots either hitting limbs or missing completely. “This is hard for me to say, but I could use a hand. Maybe a repeat performance by the big guy?”
“You got it,” Dale answers before firing his machinegun. He does his best to get some of his bullets into the far rooms and stops at one point to trick the survivors into walking into the open again. “Hope that helps. What do we do next?”
“Clean up,” the grinning woman whispers as she leaves the room.
Swiftly walking along the body-filled hallway, Luca puts a bullet in the head of anyone who looks alive. Reaching the farthest room, she comes across a woman with a double-rowed mohawk and a shotgun. The gang member fumbles with the weapon and misses her shot, but manages to avoid getting hit by the bounty hunter. Luca is about to aim again when she is charged and grabbed by the waist. She braces her foot against the wall to avoid falling down and takes two steps to push the struggling woman back. Yawning at the feeble punches to her hip and side, the bounty hunter calmly holsters her handgun. Forcing the intruder’s arms apart, she shoves her away and delivers a savage kick to the face. The gang member’s head jerks to the side and dangles at an unnatural angle as the body crumples to the floor. Kneeling to check for a pulse, Luca waves for her allies to come forward before putting a bullet in the fallen enemy’s head.
“She wasn’t dead, so I did a mercy shot,” she argues when her companions stare in mild surprise. Letting Katie go ahead, she takes her jacket from Dale and claims a few fallen magazines to replenish her supply. “Hope there aren’t any people in there. Not that I’m getting bored, but we’re running out of time. Those two idiots are going to be showing up any moment. We can’t be that far from Nebraska either.”
“You two walk to the side and let me have some fun,” Katie whispers as she cracks open the door. Clearing her throat, she works on deepening her voice and hiding her accent. “We got them, but could use some help. A lot of injured here. One of the women is still alive too. Got her stripped naked if you want to take a break. It’s the cute one with the sexy accent. The other was too much of a problem to take alive.”
“Do you really think we’re that stupid?” a voice asks from inside the other car. A minute of silence passes and is finally broken by the sound of people getting closer to the door. “What’s going on in there? We can’t see through because something is in front of the window. Hey, are you guys still there?”
Unnerved by the silence, the four men and women in the garage come to the door and push it open. They are confused at the sight of Katie’s bowler falling to the floor, the black hat having been used to block the window. Packed into the doorway, they are easy targets for the warlord’s shotgun blasts. One of them manages to escape with a pulverized arm, but cannot fight back due to dropping his weapon. The gang member backs away as Katie leads her companions into the car, the man abruptly trying to make a run for the far door. He wonders why they are not pursing him until he gets dizzy and collapses from his severe injuries. Landing against the cage, the leather-clad man slumps to the ground and ends up sprawled in front of the door. With a sigh, Katie rolls the dying figure away and breaks the lock in order to get at the box of keys.
“We only have to move these three cars to make space for the jeep,” the warlord states as she rummages through the collection. Handing one set to each of her allies, she places the rest back in the cage. “Lloyd and Cassidy should already be outside and are just waiting for us to open the door. I think there’s a ramp around here somewhere. We should put that down to help them get inside.”
“It slides out of the floor,” Dale says after moving his vehicle. Heading for the door, he grips the handle and uses all of his strength to open it. “There’s the jeep. Only problem is that the ramp might fall off once they hit it. If we could connect the chains over there and there to some of the cars then it should work as an anchor.”
“Son of a bitch, those two morons are already heading our way!” Luca shouts before putting out the ramp. She grabs one of the chains and frantically waves at the other one. “There’s no time to attach them to the cars. Take that one and pull for all you’re worth, big man. I don’t like those dumbasses very much, but I’ll be damned if I get blamed for their deaths. This is really going to hurt.”
Luca and Dale each grab a chain and prepare for the jeep to hit the ramp with all of its weight. The large man finds it easier to gain leverage by spreading his legs into a wide stance while his slightly shorter companion is forced to plant both feet against the wall. Luca ignores the strange looks she gets and focuses on their steadily approaching allies, her knees already threatening to buckle from the pressure. As soon as the speeding vehicle makes solid contact, the chains groan and the pair pull to stop the ramp from scraping against the ground. Bullets bounce off the parked cars and floor, but the pursuing Nebraskans are eventually cut off by a line of trees. A high-pitched whirring makes everyone fear that the jeep is stuck and about to slip backwards, but a sudden lurch gets it rear wheels onto the ramp. The break is enough for the vehicle to get into the train and Dale closes the door before they can be shot at again. With the screeching of tires, the returning jeep skids into the most expensive sports car onboard.
“It’s good to be back!” Lloyd announces as he clambers out of the driver’s seat. With a big smile, he hurries around to give Katie a hug. “Sorry about making you worry. At least I hope you worried about me. Anyway, this is Bart and he’s going to be the new conductor after we bludgeon Cola to death with an entire six-pack. How bad is it looking up there? Please say you left me some people to kill. I’ll be so sad if I missed the fun.”
“As if I’d be so cruel,” Katie replies, stealing a kiss. She nods to Cassidy and Bart, who both check the jeep for damage. “We have about thirty people between us and Cola. They might have already started searching for us, but I doubt it. We created enough noise and destruction to terrify all of the pathetic cockroaches. The only problem is that it’s going to be tight quarters for six of us to all go ahead.”
Bart clears his throat while wandering off to the cage and peeking inside. “Give me about five minutes and I might be able to solve that. All I need is a wheeled cart, some duct tape, and at least twenty barbeque lighters. Possibly some aloe afterwards if this fails. Would you people stop gawking at me like I sprouted an extra nose? Lend a hand or go take a nap. Silly children and their rude staring at their elders.”