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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Thrillers  |  House: Booksie Classic

Chapter 34 (v.1)

Submitted: February 15, 2011

Reads: 60

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Submitted: February 15, 2011

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Chapter 34
3:45 a.m., Friday
Heartbroken, beaten, Brian decided to go back down to the lab to await a fate unknown. The doors opened; a gunshot rang out from down the corridor, a ping sounding off the elevator entrance.
Daka. Somehow Daka was up and conscious. He stood at the end of the lab corridor, legs wide apart as if he struggled to stand upright. But how? Brian thought. I thought Barnes had taken down his computers?
With no time to think, Brian leaped over the still unconscious body of Barnes and sprinted to the nearest office along the corridor, the same office where he and Montgomery had been not 10 minutes before. Another shot barely missed him in the process.
He stepped over the table in the small office when he heard Daka’s cool voice pierce the air.
“Come out, Mista Minor. You have nowhere to run. Come out and play.”
Brian judged the African to be at least five meters away from the door. A shield. He needed a shield.
Past panic now. Past fear, Brian stuffed his gun into the front of his jeans and hefted the office’s small metal worktable off the floor, holding it in front of him, legs pointed outward. He winced, his side feeling like it would split open at any moment from the bruised ribs.
Holding his body close, his hands clasped on the outer edges of the table, Brian darted through the doorway and into the hall. He yelled a battle yell, something in him activating a rage after losing Montgomery such a short while ago and now being threatened again. He screamed as he ran full-speed down the tight hallway toward his hunter.
 
#
 
Daka’s eyebrows raised as the table appeared and began rushing toward him down the hall. Fast. He was coming very fast. He shot twice in hopes to catch a finger or a foot, but little of Minor’s body showed, and he was still fighting to regain control over his brain. Barnes being knocked out had, somehow, reawakened him. Time to concentrate, he thought. Time to finish this boy off.
His mind flashed back where he had been the one intent on running the boy down with his car. The tables have turned, huh, Mista Minor? he thought. 
From his vantage point toward the end of the hall, Daka took a few strides back to the corner and sidestepped Brian’s bull rush at the last moment, raising his gun to shoot his opponent in the back.
 
#
 
It took five or more seconds to reach the end of the hall, the corner where the lab’s office faced out toward the main area and its beam of light. It felt endless to Brian, though. At any time, he thought he would collide into the other man. He yelled the whole time. Rage at how his life had been altered propelled him to move. Rage at losing control of his neat, little life of school and fatherhood. Rage. Brian had never felt rage before.
Unable to see his own flight down the hall, he heard one, two pings sounding off the table before him. But, strangely, the idea of being shot at didn’t faze Brian. He kept on moving, moving . . . until he realized in his rush that he had passed the entrance to the lab’s main office. Another step and he caught Daka out of the corner of his eye, a cool, self-contained Daka poised just around the corner and waiting with gun in hand. To take him down.
“Ahhhh!” yelled Brian, realizing he had left himself vulnerable. 
He didn’t have a plan. All he knew was the moment and that he must . . . he must get Daka before the man got him. Life or death, in a primal flow now, Brian released the table he held in front of him, his body following in one, fluid motion to ride on top of it as both continued forward. The action made a loud, screeching noise as the table, in its momentum, sped across the lab’s floor, its legs quickly driving marks into the white tile before collapsing under Brian’s weight.
 
#
 
Daka heard the yells and the screams. He hadn’t been phased, though. He could block out most things when his mind was intent. As Brian rushed past him with the shield table, Daka squeezed the trigger—but again missed, the foggy nature of his recuperation still making his shot unsteady. The boy had fallen on top of the table just in time!
Blinking once at the strange display put on by the boy, Daka aimed at the back of Brian’s receding body and fired again.
 
#
 
A stabbing pain ripped through Brian’s left arm as he careened with the table across the lab floor. Two . . . three meters, and both came to a halt beside another hallway leading away from the main room, this one to Brian’s left, the hallway off of which Josh’s sleeping body rested in a closet.
Brian grunted from both the impact of hitting the floor and the sharp, slicing feeling that rang out from his upper arm. Still berserk, still enraged, he rolled off the table and into the adjacent hallway. He rolled and rolled, further pressing his shattered body on the cold, hard floor, leaving a slick trail of blood.
 
#
 
Hit. Daka knew he had hit Minor on that shot. Not the best location, but a hit nevertheless. He tried a second one, but the man was still acting crazed, rolling off the table and into the other hallway. His bullet rebounded off the collapsed tabletop behind the fleeing man.
But he still had plenty of bullets to last. Daka casually wiped his brow with a forearm, pointed his gun at the hallway, and stalked his way to finish what had been started.
 
#
 
Stars in his eyes, Brian came out of the roll and into a crouch. He grimaced and retrieved the gun from the front of his jeans with his right hand. He noticed his left arm hung limp, the pain shooting from shoulder to fingers.
“Daka!” he yelled, holding the gun tight, spittle flying through the air. “Daka!”
 
#
 
Daka knew better than to corner an angry lion. His vision was blurred by a memory of himself as a teenager. He had taken part in a lion hunt in his homeland, a man-eater that had raided his village. Pinned in, caught, the wounded beast had made one last charge at his group of hunters. Before being taken down by shots and spears, it leaped into a young man, tearing his face with a huge claw and crushing him with the dead weight it had become in death.
No, Daka would wait. “You have no escape, Mista Minor,” he said, having paused before looking down the hallway that held his prey. “Your time is done.”
 
#
 
“No!” Brian yelled again. “No,” he whispered the edict to himself. He drew a deep breath, holding back the pain that wracked his body, centering his mind for one final attempt to take Daka down.
 
#
 
Daka stepped lightly toward the wall across from the main office, the wall that opened up to the corridor in which Brian had escaped. Keeping his eyes open, hand on trigger, the African crouched down and, not a meter before the hallway entrance, grabbed the end of the fallen table with his other hand.
Time for another diversion, little boy, he thought, remembering the few number of shots left in Brian’s gun. Time to draw your bullets away. And, with deft strength, he raised the broken piece of furniture up and quickly pushed it all the way across the open corridor with another loud creak as it slid over the floor.
 
#
 
Brian saw the black hand appear next to the table, saw the table being pushed along. His tension was so much, though, that he had already fired toward where the hand had been before he could stop himself.
One more bullet, he thought. Better make it count.
 
#
 
One more bullet, Daka thought. What should I toss his way now?
But the African didn’t have a chance to think about his next move, for Brian had taken an impossible risk. After firing his next-to-last bullet, the student said “No!” again and jumped toward the corner around which Daka stood. His beat-up body went into a somersault as his head and one outstretched arm poked out of the hallway only to curl up under his body. Brian flipped over on his back, his momentum bringing his body all the way over to incredibly plant him, once again, on two feet.
Not thinking how he had done it, his gun still clutched tightly in his one working hand, Brian instinctively pointed and fired at the person standing now a few meters beside him in the main room. He fired his last bullet, hoping it hit, and again threw himself to the side to avoid any retaliation from his foe.Daka grunted. The boy had shot like that? Eyes wide, the African shot twice, missing both times as Brian’s moving body left him little room for error. It then dawned on Daka that he had been shot. Me?
A single, bloody hole marked his chest, exiting out the other side of him against the wall. Daka stumbled. A look of incredulity crossed his face as he stared down at his now red-covered shirt.
Brian had tossed himself to the side, barely avoiding Daka’s last two shots. He forced himself up to again to move quickly out of harm’s way, but, upon seeing his aim had been true, Brian stood still, panting, looking surprised that indeed the impossible had been accomplished.
“You little bastard,” Daka’s sing-song accent whispered. The black man’s gun fell to the lab floor with a twang, the man himself looking down and touching the front of his blood-soaked shirt. He looked back up at Brian with surprise and . . . fear. “You bastard!”
The man rushed Brian with a renewed burst of strength. Daka’s hands outstretched and fingers flexed in anticipation of encircling Brian’s throat. “Aaaaahhh!” the African screamed.
 
#

Brian, dazed from his exertion, reacted slowly this time, allowing Daka to reach his body. He tossed his own gun down to stave off the dying man, reaching with only one hand to keep those muscular palms away from his neck. The man still had so much strength! Brian thought.
Daka’s eyes were crazed; he showed the white of his gritted teeth. Around the men spun, Daka actually getting the better of Brian, his hands finding their way ever so surely to Brian throat.
Brian began to panic. He felt the African’s sharp fingernails draw lines across his neck. His mind shouted, No! No more! No more of this! His body reached down to again pick up the sense of rage that had thus far kept him alive.
“No more!” he yelled into Daka’s face, and, with all his remaining strength, pushed the larger man away from him.
Daka groaned. He lost his balance. Still frantically trying to get at Brian, the man nevertheless went backward from Brian’s force. He stuttered. He tripped. And, with a loud yell of his own, the dark man fell backward with all his weight into the glass tubing that held the room’s centerpiece pillar of light.
A fantastic shattering rang throughout the room, echoing from wall to wall. Shards toppled from floor to ceiling with a rainbow of lights cascading, filtering into every crevice.
Daka’s body fell full into the light’s beam and was engulfed by the particles therein. He screamed a terrible scream of pain as the minute motes knocked against him . . . went through him? . . . in their flight upward. His body went into convulsions as if electricity ran through it, and, after a good five seconds, the beam finally released the man to fall on its other side in a lifeless heap.
Brian stared in shock for a moment before realizing that the shattering fragments signified a possible release of the nanoparticles inside. He took a last look at Daka’s seared and bloody body and took off running toward the lab’s elevator doors.


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