I stared Calico in the eyes, letting him know that I was deadly serious, pun intended. He must have figured out that he should do what I say, because he cleared his throat.
I heard a faint click and he suddenly yelled, "Intruders! Intruders in the inner sanctum!"
I slammed my fist into his windpipe hard enough to effectively silence him and called the rest of Alpha, Bravo, and Delta teams into the room.
"What's going on?" asked Tony.
"The bad guy called for backup," said Bolt. Penny looked over at him, eyebrow raised.
"Shit," said Eve, which basically summed up the situation. We had no time.
Gunfire sounded in the halls and the double doors started ringing as hundreds of rounds bounced off of it.
* * *
Cujo walks out of shadow, into the light of the only lamp in the room. It had been turned on earlier.
"How've you been, Scar?" he asks conversationally.
She bristles at his use of her name.
"What, you didn't think I'd remember your name? I remember everyone who does things like that to me."
The chain around her neck lies in such a way that she can sense a way to get out of it. To hide her escape attempt, she says, "Hey, dog, how did your master know to come after me?"
"I talked to him. He seemed very surprised, but I explained to him that all animais can talk and he immediately sensed the tactical advantage of it."
She shook her head, partially to suggest her disappointment and partially to loosen the chain.
"I can't believe that you did all of this just to get me. I mean, the only things that were done to me was the tracker being cut out of my back and getting tazed," she said, mocking him. "And I beat the shit out of you."
* * *
"Where is her cell?" I asked Calico.
“Bah. I’ll never tell you,” he said.
I looked at Rich and shrugged. Slinging the FAL over my shoulder, I drew the Five seveN with an across the body pull, pointed it at Calico’s knee, and calmly pulled the trigger.
Rich was ready with a gag and he shoved it into Calico’s mouth when he opened it to scream.
I waited, but for segundos only, for the entirety of his group of henchmen were surely closing in on us.
“Are you ready to talk now?” I asked.
He nodded, his big green cat eye glistening with tears.
I nodded at Rich, who pulled the gag out.
“Take a right, a left, a segundo right, and the stairs to her cell are the third door on the right. It’s underground,” he gasped around his tears.
“Thanks,” I chuckled, then thumped him on the head with the butt of the handgun. He went out like a light.
“You heard the man, a right, a left, a segundo right,” I yelled out. “We need to mover before we get boxed in here!”
Too late. We already were.
I unslung the FAL and double tapped the screws holding a ventilation cover in place. They exploded and the grate fell to the floor.
We had around thirty segundos to get everyone in the vent before the doors failed under the weight of the onlsaught of gunfire. I’m proud to say that there was only one person not in the vent when they finally failed. It was me and I had the M203 grenade launcher on the rifle loaded with a high explosive round .
I let the round fly and it hit the mural and detonated with a thunderous roar. Shrapnel flew everywhere and Calico’s guards screamed as the sharp chunks of metal sheared through their body armor. I scrambled into the vent just ahead of a barrage of bullets.
* * *
Cujo walks behind her, but Scar doesn’t notice it, intent as she is on getting the chain over her head. She thinks he has left until she feels a cold wet nose touch her tail.
“Oh yes,” Cujo says happily, glad he’s finally getting what he wanted. She squirms away, but he pops up behind her again and shoves his nose between her legs.
* * *
I dropped out of the vent seguinte to the third door on the right that Calico had specified. Rich and Uriah dropped out behind me and covered both ends of the hallway. I slung the FAL again and silently drew the Five seveN, clicking off the safety.
* * *
She feels his legs on either side of her hips and knows without knowing exactly what was about to happen.
"No..." she whispers, looking up as Cujo grips the back of her neck with his teeth to prevent her from running off.
A thunderous crash echoes off the walls, followed swiftly por a rough shout.
Two firecrackers go off right after the one word.
Scar feels Cujo fall off her back, and she jumps quickly away.
She turns to look at him, stunned to see him lying on the ground. She goes closer and spots two red holes in his side.
* * *
I re-holstered the Five seveN and pulled out a chunk of plastic explosives.
"Hold on, Scar," I told her, shaping a small charge that would break the chain.
The small chunk of explosive detonated when I pressed the trigger, and the chunk of chain fell slack.
"I need a bolt cutter over here!" I yelled. Rich appeared a segundo later, handing me one.
With one fluid motion, I cut the thick chain off and it fell into a heap on the floor.
No sooner had the rattle stopped than she was in my arms, burying her face in my arms, tail wagging.
"It's alright, Scar. No one's going to hurt you," I said soothingly, stroking her head.
"Foxtrot one to Alpha one," crackled the radio.
"Go for Alpha one," I said over the radio.
Johannes' belgian accent sounded even mais foreign than normal over the bad quality speakers.
"Multiple tangos heading your direction. Recommend you get out, now!"
"Acknowledged. Gamma one?"
"Go ahead, over."
"Initiate plan Bravo Two Three," I said.
"Good call, sir," said Phillip.
I could tell he had a smile on his face.
"I don't remember that plan," said Rich over his shoulder.
"You wouldn't. You fell asleep when I was going over this one. It doesn't matter though. This is one strictly for the distraction team," I told him. "You got that shotgun ready?"
He swiftly racked the slide. I had my answer.
A sudden thump behind us sent all three of us whirling around. But it was merely Cujo taking his dying breath and trying futilely to get to Scar before he died.
"Alright, let's get the hell out of here," Uriah said, changing the mag on his M4. "I closed the door when we came down, and the vent's closed. But Penny called in over the radio that a full squad of tangos ran under them."
I nodded once. "Let's go then."
* * *
Back in the hallway, we were almost instantly immersed in the fight. The unexpected sniping attack had stunned everyone, but they were swiftly recovering. We got everyone else out of the vents. We had to get out, now.
We left what had been Scar's cell, and what was now Cujo's grave, and almost instantly ran into a pair of guards. I dropped one with a double tap to the chest and Scar snarled so ferociously that the other one just turned and ran for his life.
"Go ahead, mad dog," she said.
"We need extraction double time!"
"Need the boy with the S.A.W.?"
"Coming right up!"
"Alright, Trudy's coming in for us," I told everyone. Scar was very happy to hear that Trudy was here.
We fought our way out for another few minutes, until we finally hit the door to the outside.
The Merlin was sitting there on the grass, rear ramp and side door open, and Jason, Eve's mate, was sitting in the side door cradling the monstrous M249 Squad Automatic Weapon.
Everyone piled aboard and Trudy lifted us clear.
"Tangos, three o'clock!" Trudy screamed as Jason opened up with the huge cinto, correia fed machine gun.
Spent brass clinked all over the inside of the helicopter as he chewed through the ammunition. The bad guys scrambled as the helicopter lifted and swung around on a heading to pick up Foxtrot and Gamma. Foxtrot was holding station at the sniper post, Garth still being unconscious, and Gamma was out executing the plan, which basically involved a lot of fired bullets and charging wolves. The plan hinged around the fact that Calico's guards would be so terrified of a pack of lobos that they would just run.
I heard lobo howls and knew somehow that that plan had gone horribly wrong.
"Trudy, get me down there!" I yelled over the radio.
The chopper banked and Rich slid open the side door, extended the boom, and dropped a rope. I clipped a carabiner on my uniform to the rope and slid down.
The FAL was raised a half segundo after my boots hit the dirt, but there was nothing to shoot. Instead, I saw a cluster of lobos and one human crouched in a círculo around a shapeless form on the ground.
I stepped up to the círculo and looked down. Laying there, with a single bullet wound to the chest, was Candu. I felt a sharp sting of sadness, but it would have to wait.
"Trudy, come on down, the LZ's clear."
I didn't pay attention to her response. I was too busy picking up Candu and straightening some of his fur. The little Beta lobo almost looked like he could be asleep.
The helicopter set down and Rich and Sweets got out. Just them. Rich looked at Candu in my arms and sighed. Sweets just looked.
I turned to board the helicopter and suddenly I heard Sweets yell out, "No!"
I turned around to see Sweets, the kind, sweet little Omega, clawing the shit out of one of Calico's henchmen.
"Sweets, no!" Rich and I both yelled.
I sprinted to the helicopter, gave Candu to Uriah, and came back out.
A shot from the FAL served to restore order. Sweets looked up from the guy she was mauling and he managed to crawl far enough away before she noticed he had gone that she didn't bother going after him.
Before anyone else died, we got everyone piled into the helicopter, and Trudy lifted us away.
Scar immediately curled up in my lap, and I stroked her pele, peles softly, just the way she liked.
"Thanks for rescuing me," she said softly, then sleep took her.
"I'd never leave you behind," I said softly, even though she was asleep.