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!
Having hidden the jeep in the forest, Cassidy and Lloyd split up with the mercenary hurrying towards the marina. There is still enough sunlight for her to feel exposed, so she keeps an eye out for people and darts from one hiding place to another. A crackle in her ear makes her wince and she can barely hear Lloyd humming a familiar theme song over the headset. Cassidy fights the urge to talk, part of her wanting to tell him to be quiet and another having an amusing barb to throw his way. Covering the microphone near her mouth, she whispers the insult to get it out of her system and focuses on finding a sniping location. Having talked with the couple who intercepted the message, the mercenary has a decent idea of what they are up against and the best place to set up her nest. The only problem is getting to the marina without being seen, which grows more difficult as she gets closer to the water.
Praying that Lloyd is having better luck, Cassidy gives up on sneaking around and walks along the sidewalk as if she belongs there. The few people she runs into give her a curious look, but they always go about their business after a brief examination. She gets the sense that the locals are used to dangerous people roaming Bayview, the large case in her hand clearly holding some kind of weapon. The mercenary is thankful that they stay out of her way and none of them go running towards the base on the other side of the bay. Not wanting to test her luck, Cassidy becomes more cautious as she reaches the marina and sticks to the thickening shadows. Only moving when she has an opening, it takes her longer than she would like to reach a pier that leads to the helpful couples’ boat. Pulling out a crow bar, she pops off the planks behind her to prevent an enemy from easily attacking her rear. She stops doing this halfway to the small structure, which houses a tarp-covered motorboat.
“I’m in position and setting up,” Cassidy says over the headset. Getting under the tarp, she turns on a flashlight and goes about putting her rifle together. “This thing is small enough for me to lay across and not feel too cramped. Perfect view of Admiral Krutz’s base, but this tarp will be a problem. Might have to expose more of me and my weapon than I planned. Do you know what to do?”
“Come on, kid, we’ve done this bit at least once per adventure,” Lloyd whispers, his voice oddly muffled. The sound of metal being moved bursts across the microphone and he is silent until just after a weird sliding noise. “I’m at the perimeter and will go through the brazenly open gate once you start shooting. I keep hiding and lurking until you hit that generator, which will cut the power to the building. After that, I go stealthy slashy on the people inside until I get the one with the biggest hat. Does he have a hat?”
“I don’t know, but you have the gist of the plan,” the mercenary replies while she finishes preparing her spot. With the sun completely down, she turns off the flashlight and waits for her eyes to adjust. “I’m going to be at a slight disadvantage because of the dark. They have some floodlights, but aimed mostly at the water. Most of my shots will be at the people on the pier and the submarines. Let me take a look around from here and I can give you a better idea of the terrain.”
“Check us out being all cautious and smart.”
“Well, I wouldn’t want you to get shot.”
“Because we’re such good friends?”
“That and I worry Katie would stick me with Luca if you die.”
“In that case, I want you to be safe too. I can only handle Officer Scrotum Crusher in small doses.”
“Where did that nickname come from?”
“We had an incident.”
Ignoring the image that flits through her brain, Cassidy uses her scope to slowly scan the enemy base. She pause at the sight of anyone who might be Admiral Krutz and watches how the others react before moving on. It is only when she sweeps towards the rooftop that the mercenary spots an old man who appears to be giving orders. He is partially obscured by shadows, but Cassidy can see enough to make out a puff of white hair and a long beard that covers a traditional sea captain uniform. An old fishing rod is over the man’s shoulder and a skeletal trout dangles into the circle of light coming from a weak lantern. She notices a strange glint from his right eye, which he eventually takes out and polishes before putting the glass orb back into the socket. Confident that she is looking at Admiral Krutz, the mercenary hisses over the headset to make sure Lloyd is listening.
“He’s on the roof and I have a somewhat clear shot,” Cassidy whispers as she reattaches the scope. She lays down and takes aim, but her target steps into the light and his head is blocked by the arm of small crane. “Shit, I can only get a chest shot and it’s from the side instead of back or front. Not very confident with those, but this means you can corner him in the building. Look for a man with white hair, a long beard, a fishing pole, and he’s wearing a dark red pea coat. Son of a bitch, there’s a bullet hole over where his heart would be. Are you laughing? That asshole has my mom’s coat.”
“Sorry, but the coincidence is amazing,” Lloyd replies, the sound of him drawing his machete coming over the microphone. There is a briefly scuffle that ends with a muffled gasp and a dull thud. “A guard got curious and then lost whatever this squishy organ I’m standing next to is. Give me a second. Okay, it’s part of a heart. The light isn’t very good here. Seriously though, you can’t be too surprised that somebody took it. Nobody would think that pea coat was a memorial. Too bad it didn’t go to a nicer person, but what can you do?”
“Put a bullet up his nostril,” the mercenary growls before taking a shot. One of the other men steps in the way at the last moment, the bullet hitting him in the lower back and causing him to fall off the roof. “Cocksucker! Hit the wrong guy and now everyone is spooked. I don’t see Krutz, which means he went inside. Head for the building and I’ll cover you. After that, I’ll pick off the people outside.”
Instead of hearing an answer, Cassidy sees Lloyd rush through the gate and slip behind a stack of barrels. Wanting to draw attention away from him, she shoots at a woman standing near a mounted machinegun. The weapon goes off as the anarchist goes down, the bullets pelting a sailboat and scaring the crew into the water. Sweeping back to Lloyd, Cassidy finds him only a little further along with two bodies in his wake. He still has fifty feet between him and the front door, so she takes out a few more enemies from different areas. One man stands up and rubs at the hole in his head, but another bullet to his chest sends him crashing into a pallet full of gas cans. With a shrug, she takes a few shots at the flammable containers and causes a small fire that draws more people to the opposite end of the building from Lloyd. Cassidy goes back to her partner to find that he is slipping through the door after leaving another three corpses behind, the bodies arranged with their butts in the air.
A bullet pings off the front of the motorboat, forcing the mercenary to dive under the tarp with her weapon. More shots hit the water and pier while Cassidy uses the scope to search for the enemy snipers. The opposing shooters remain quiet, so she takes out her flashlight and tapes it to a life vest. Holding her breath, she puts the decoy in the water and turns it on facing away from the base. With a gentle shove, Cassidy sends it floating away from the pier and goes back to watching for muzzle fire. She catches three shadows rising to release quick bursts from the rooftop, but notices that the snipers drop out of sight after every shot. Getting back in position, she waits to see if there is any movement, but it quickly becomes apparent that they are watching for signs that she is still alive and active.
Knowing that she might only have two shots before having to hide again, Cassidy fires at a wall that is shielding one of the snipers. She immediately aims for just above the lip of the roof before shooting and flattening herself against the bottom of the boat. Two bullets hit the gunwales and she remains still until enough time has passed that she is sure they are back to waiting. To her relief, the third enemy is draped over the roof and there is a streak of blood to prove that they were killed by her second shot. Cassidy takes a moment to scan the rest of the building and catches sight of Lloyd rushing by a window. A screaming man is sent hurtling through the glass, his body bouncing off the hood of a jeep. Silhouettes on the curtains repeatedly show someone swinging a knife and others losing pieces to the wild attacks. Splatters hit the windows and make it more difficult for the mercenary to figure out what is going on. She can only assume that Lloyd will let her know when he gets his hands on Admiral Krutz, so she continues handling those outside in the hopes that they are almost done.
It suddenly dawns on Cassidy that her partner might be heading for the rooftop where the remaining snipers are waiting. Deciding to push her luck, the mercenary aims for the concrete again and takes a slow breath to calm her nerves. The first bullet hits between the two targets and she immediately moves to fire a second to the left where she expects one of her enemies to appear. Without making sure her plan is working, Cassidy aims at the right and shoots as the sniper rises to take his own shot. The man gets hit in the chest and flies back, his feet being the last thing she sees as he topples over. Shifting her attention to where the last enemy would be, she scans for any signs that her gamble paid off. Her heart sinks when a hand comes up to grab the edge of the roof and a woman in black drags herself up, blood seeping from a shallow wound on the side of her head. Aiming for the face, Cassidy pulls the trigger to hear a soul-crushing click of an empty weapon.
“Fuck, fuck, fuck, fuck,” she mutters while reaching into her pocket for a bullet. She watches as the other sniper groggily picks up a rifle and puts a leg on a nearby crate before aiming for the boat. “That’s a good angle. Just my fucking luck that one of those idiots had to be talented and smart.”
Loading her rifle, Cassidy rolls out of the boat and falls into the water an instant before two shots hit where her torso used to be. Kicking her legs and stretching her arms, she fights to keep her weapon above the surface while the rest of her goes under. With no other ideas, she floats on her back and cranes her neck in order to watch the final sniper. The woman is still standing in the open, her own rifle making it difficult for a clear headshot. Noticing how she is leaning forward, Cassidy turns around with her weapon ready and fires her last shot at the sniper’s knee. The kickback causes her to drop her precious gun and she desperately dives in an attempt to retrieve it. Fighting a throbbing pain in her shoulder, the mercenary manages to catch the scope and gently pulling the entire rifle into her arms.
Breaking the surface and gasping for air, Cassidy drags herself into the boat before taking a look at the base. She finds the enemy sniper lying still on the ground, most of the body hidden by a parked truck. When she tries to find Lloyd, the mercenary spots Admiral Krutz sprinting out of the building alongside two men in sailor uniforms. She scrambles to get bullets into her sniper rifle and prepare for a shot, but the three anarchists are already closing the hatch of a submarine by the time she is ready. Cassidy attempts a desperate shot at the small opening, her bullet managing to hit whoever’s hand was in her sights. To her frustration, the bloody target is still able to grip the handle and pull the cover shut. The heavily armored vehicle moves slowly at first and quickly gains speed as it leaves the port.
“The Admiral is in a submarine, Lloyd!” Cassidy shouts over the crackling microphone. She turns to the motorboat’s engine and checks to make sure there is fuel, her hand already on the pull cord. “I can get out to it before it goes under. I want you to-”
“I’m already heading for the jeep, kid,” the serial killer says, his breathing ragged. A series of screams break out, the noise loud enough to be heard without the headset. “I assure you most of this blood isn’t mine! This finger is it because I cut it on a piece of glass. Anyway, kid, I missed because this big guy with some tattoos and a lot of green in his teeth got in my way. The bastard took enough whacks to make Lizzie Borden cringe. So, I’m going to bring the jeep to you and then we’re going to make a quick stop. I saw something as we drove along the coast that might be able to solve our problem.”
“That sounds more promising than what I was going to do.”
“By the way, move quickly because I may have angered the locals.”
“What did you do?”
“Steal one giant tub of imported beers marked with a ‘Do Not Touch’ sign and they pull out pitchforks.”
“They might be tridents, which raises more question than it answers. Either way, move your ass, kid! Stop aiming for my tush, you yokels!”