Shots Fired

David flipped down the cover to the night goggles, his vision turned green. QT would warn him and Hema before the lights changed.

David was behind a chair with the gun Hema had given him. The extra ammo was in his pocket. Any other items he might need were also in his pockets.

David heard Cassandra in the hall; she had said something about forgetting something. David wondered what he had forgotten about.

“QT, turn on internal silent mode, transmission via chat to all people. Is Cassandra secure?”

“Almost, she is having trouble getting here. She remembered that the boy probably would not be safe in the closet. That is why she was upstairs again. I anticipate that she will be here in about five minutes.”

Shots from outside could be heard. David turned his attention back to the living room area.

“Any word yet from Alex?” Hema asked.

“I am having trouble determining how many have entered the grounds. They must have masking signals,” QT said.

“There are at least five coming your way. I have already taken out a number of them. I cannot be fully sure of the numbers,” Alex’s voice came over the connection. “They are all in black, they do have night vision. They are coming in from the direction of the kitchen.”

David turned to see Hema’s position in the kitchen. Her head was looking over the kitchen counter and out the kitchen window.

David wondered if he should move to a different location. He was in a direct line from the kitchen. He still needed to cover the living room.

He decided to move the chair that he was using for cover. He slid the chair over so that the wall separating the kitchen from the living room was behind him. It would at least cover his back for a little bit.

“David, I have them in site. Some are moving off, they appear to be moving to circle around. QT, a few more are moving off in the direction of the bedrooms. Be ready for infiltration from there,” Hema said.

“Roger, doors are locked and windows alarmed. Once inside I will be able to track them through the pressure system. All friendly signals are coming in strong.”

“David, incoming, might be smoke, gas or light.” The glass on the patio doors broke. There was a thump on the floor.

David pulled a pen like object from his pocket. He put one of the ends in his mouth. He closed his eyes and covered his ears.

David heard a muffled bang. He saw light on the other side of his eyelids.

He heard shots; he removed his hands from his ears. He heard Hema firing at the targets out in the dark.

David trusted that Hema would tell him if he needed to now watch his back.

“I count ten in my direction. It looked like five at least headed your direction.”

David saw them.

Gunfire started to come into the kitchen.

David counted five.

“I confirm that I see five here as well,” David thought through the internal communication connection.

“Roger, sir, I will be back at the house in two minutes, who will need the help?” Alex asked.

“I am fine right now,” Hema said.

“Incoming,” David yelled through the connection. He again closed his eyes and covered his eyes.

There was another bang. David smelled the smoke. He started breathing through the pen-like device.

The smoke made it harder to see. There were light lines in the smoke.

“They have laser scopes. QT, can you see what frequencies that they are using for communication, and block it,” David said.

“Working on it,” said QT. “As an update, Cassandra and the boy are in my room. The door is locked and they are settling in.”

“Good,” Alex said.

David agreed with Alex.

Hema was still firing shots outside into the dark.

David heard the rest of the glass in the living window breaking. They were coming in.

“They are in the living room,” David said. He heard the crunching of the glass.

“I will be there in a moment, sir,” Alex replied.

“They are approaching the kitchen.” Hema said.

David poked his head up over the chair. David tucked his head back behind the chair. He flipped up the lenses on the goggles. He closed his eyes. “QT, lights.”

The lights in the living room turned on. He opened his eyes and came back up from behind the chair. The people in the room were all cringing from the light. David started to fire on them while they were incapacitated. He got two shots off bringing down two people. The three men left started firing blind into the room. David ducked down and crawled on his stomach towards the hallway. There were bullets flying everywhere.

“They are coming into the kitchen now,” Hema said. More glass was breaking. “There should be five left on my side.” Hema fired a few more shots at the targets as they came in the patio door. The incoming men took shots as well as they came through.

“Alex, where are you?” David asked.

“Almost there, there should be eight left if no more were taken out.”

“I got two more, but they also got me. Alex, the living room is still the best bet for you. I will need a moment to recover. I am down so they have moved on from me,” Hema said.

“Will you be alright?” David asked.

“I will need a trip to the doctor. I will live at this point.”

“I am sorry,” David said.

“It is not your fault,” Hema said. “Just keep your concern for yourself right now. You still have enemies at your front.”

“Sir, your best bet might be to go down a level. “QT, unlock the upper doors. They will probably look at the rooms up here. Sir, you would be able to pick them off as they come down the stairs. It would give Hema and me some time.”

“I feel like I would be deserting you,” David said.

“It would be more of a strategic retreat, sir. You are wide open in the hall up here.”

“All right, go ahead,” David said as he backed up. He heard the locks from the rooms click.

Bullets went flying over David’s head. He started down the stairs. When he was far enough down the steps David turned and ran down.

“Locks are taken care of. Communication signals from the intruders have been neutralized.”

There was not much of a place to hide on this level. The equipment in the gym would not provide any cover. The medical room would not be safe either. The reading room/den only had some furniture. It did give him a corner to hide around. David headed into the den. He needed to move a couch to be able to hide right around the corner from the stairs.

Gunfire could be heard from upstairs.

“David, there are two on the stairs according to the sensors,” QT said.

“Ok, let me know when they are close.”

David could hear something hit the floor above him.

“Two more down,” Alex said. “Another started down the stairs.”

“Confirmed, a third man on the steps, the first man should almost be to the bottom,” QT said.

David heard the bottom stair creak. He had not gotten around to fixing it yet. David was trying to keep himself from being seen. He was hunched down on the floor to prevent himself from being too tall for any shots.

David was ready to point and fire.

QT said, “Now.” David pointed the gun up, poked it out around the corner and fired. The man fell to the floor.

David immediately ducked back behind the wall. Bullets hit the couch and the wall near him. Plaster and foam splattered around him. His skin was turning white.

The firing stopped, it sounded like weapons were being reloaded. David peaked out around the corner. Only the body on the floor could be seen.

David went back between the couch and the wall. He slid down the space between the wall and the couch. More shots were heard from upstairs. David heard the doors on the other end of the floor open.

David moved to be behind the other couch in the room. David could not see anyone in the den area yet.

“David, the men are coming in your direction. The pressure sensors show that movement,” QT said.

“Has anyone started down to your level yet?” David asked.

“No, they are still only on the first and second levels.”

David bumped the table by the couch. The glass figurine wobbled.

* * * *

Cassandra thought how warm the boy was. He was still curled up in her lap. Cassandra closed her eyes. Her back was cold, her legs were cold.

“QT, what is the approximate air temperature in here?” Cassandra asked.

“The air temp should be about minus twenty, give or take a few degrees,” QT replied.

“It feels colder.” Cassandra pulled the coat over her head, trying to keep the cold air from coming into the cocoon of jackets.

* * * *

David heard the figure wobbling on the wooden table. A hail of bullets quickly followed the sound. Only David’s feet had bumped the table. He pulled them in quickly and was just able to be out of range of the hail of bullets, but now his position had been given away.

He could see the feet of the man in the room when he looked under the couch and into the room.

“All infiltrators eliminated upstairs,” Alex said.

The man in the room with David moved closer. The springs on the couch creaked from the weight of the man.

David’s heart rate jumped. He tried to keep his breathing quiet.

“David, are you alright?” QT asked.

David knew that the man could not hear the conversation that he was hearing. He also knew that he could answer without being heard. He just did not want to tempt fate.

David heard a gasp above him from the man on the couch. David knew that he had been spotted. He held his breath waiting for the shot he knew was coming.

* * * *

Cassandra was breathing deeply. The boy stirred in her lap. Cassandra did not move. The boy started to panic.

“Do not worry; she is only asleep, thank you for helping to keep her warm. As you have heard it should be over soon. There are only a few left,” QT said. “David will be all right.”

The boy settled back down in Cassandra’s lap.

* * * *

David heard the shot. It sounded further away than he would have thought. He heard a gurgling sound, something was hitting his back and it was wet.

Another shot in the room, something hit the floor.

David looked under the couch again. Hema’s body was sprawled out on the floor.

“Hema!” David yelled through the connection.

Another shot and David saw movement behind Hema.

“That should be the last one, sir,” Alex said over the line. “I should go back out and verify that everything is clear outside.”

“I concur, all the signals I had in the house have stopped moving,” QT replied.

David came out from behind the couch. He ran over to Hema. David stepped into the pool of fluid on the floor.

“Alex, before you go can you take Hema to the medical room?” David asked.

“No problem, sir,” Alex said as he picked Hema up.

“David, I think we should also move Cassandra as soon as possible. The boy and the coats helped to keep her warm. She is currently asleep and her body temperature is starting to drop. I know that I could wake her up but it would take her a long time to get up the steps with her injury,” QT said.

“Alright, we will be down in a moment,” David replied as he started down the flight of stairs. “What happened to her? How did she get hurt?”

“She slipped near the bottom of the stairs you are on. Something happened with her ankle. She had to hop against the wall to move. It took her quite a while to get down the stairs in that condition.”

David was already through the hole in the wall and starting down the stairs when Alex caught up to him. The path was fully lit, the door to QT’s room unlocked right before David got there.

“QT, where are they?” David asked.

“As far as you can get from the door,” QT replied.

David weaved around in the maze of computer parts. He got to the far corner and saw the pile of coats. He pulled the top coat off the pile. The boy clutched onto Cassandra.

“It is ok, things are alright now. All the men have been taken care of. Alex is here to take Cassandra upstairs,” David said. He held his arms out to the boy.

The boy looked at David for a moment. He let go of Cassandra and went to David. The boy wrapped his arms around David’s neck. David stepped back so Alex could get Cassandra.

“I am sorry that I did not think to have you go to the room when everything started, I am glad that Cassandra remembered to go back up for you. I am glad that you were here to help her get down here. I am glad that you were able to help keep her warm.” David wrapped his arms tighter around the boy. “Thank you.”