The Hunted Chapter 36 snippet

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A flash of lightning lit the night sky and Kate pressed herself against the trunk of the tree she was in. The damned storm had gotten worse, the rain intensifying to a point where it ran down the inside of her coat like a stream. If this mission was a success, she wasn’t going to ever want to be caught outside in a storm again.

Despite the storms obstacles, she had managed to reach the missile launcher. Ahead of her, portable lighting, a generator off near the edge, lighted a small clearing. A single command tent was beside the generator, a hydrogen cell producing power for it. The way the marines were patrolling their perimeter, someone had to have tipped them off that they had company-but who?

It really doesn’t matter who or what alerted them, she thought with a sigh. There wasn’t any way reinforcements could arrive if the launcher remained battle worthy.

Below, a man in officer’s fatigues activated a com unit. A short conversation ensued, which she listened to intently. So, Ferini had gathered she survived…hmm…he must have found about the loss of his empire. That would make him like a cornered animal: dangerous as hell and something you didn’t want to approach unless necessary.

The officer spoke to a blonde with corporal stripes, the short conversation reaching Kate’s ears. So, they were going to patrol the perimeter to keep her out? That would work normally, but when there were only nine people to do the job, it became tougher for one person to stop her. Oh well, that was their problem.

Kate let an eyebrow rise in surprise at an epithet the Lieutenant used. So, she was a bitch, eh? Why was it that man loved to use that word to describe a woman? Were they so insecure about themselves that a woman outperforming them caused a major issue?

Nine to one weren’t bad odds considering the training a Special Ops Agent received. However, Kate mused, it was going to be considerably more difficult to neutralize the soiled marines without alerting others on the compound that she was here. Ferini might suspect she was here, he might even be pretty sure, but if she screwed up, it would remove all doubt from the Game Master’s head.

What was the best way to try to approach the situation, Kate mused. If they had everyone patrolling the perimeter, then there would be a gap somewhere. However, what would hurt them the most? Did they have night vision scopes on their rifles?

Kate let her eyes focus on the marine’s weapons and a plan formulated in her mind. They didn’t have night scopes, which made her enhanced vision a major advantage. All she had to do was to destroy the generator without being detected and everything would work out!

The corporal walked away from the Lieutenant and Kate dropped to the ground. With the trees and shrubbery providing cover, she wound her way towards the generator. If things just stayed like they were for a couple of minutes, then everything would…

Damn!

A flash of lightning illuminated the area and made her visible to the marines. Curses filled the air as the men and women turned towards her with their rifles. The Lieutenant shouted orders and someone started to fire.

Kate hit the ground, mud splashing onto her face, the bullets chewing into trees. That was too damned close for comfort! She pulled the rifle off her back and aimed towards the command tent. Let’s see how they like this!


Even the storm couldn’t muffle the thunder of the combat rifle. The flash suppressor did what it could, but bright burst of flame accompanied the bullets she fired. A lucky shot penetrated the hydrogen fuel cell and it exploded.

The flash filled the air, everything turning to daylight for a brief second. Flames erupted into the tent and the air despite the heavy rain’s effort to smother it. An inhuman shriek filled the air and Kate winced when she realized what it was. A single human torch raced from the tent, flames covering its body. Everyone watched the marine stagger into the center of the clearing and collapse.

The marine’s death provided the distraction Kate needed to move to a safer location. A burning flesh smell filled the air and it took every bit of her self-control to keep from retching. God, that was a horrible way for a person to die-no matter what side they were on!

There was only one way to get out of this alive and that was to keep the enemy off their toes. After taking a deep breath, Kate launched herself from the shrub and into the clearing. The rifle felt like an extension to her body, the recoil minor, the sound silent, while she ran across the clearing. In her wake, three marines were left dead and dying.

Kate ducked behind a tree before a hailstorm of bullets chewed into its trunk. That had cut down the odds but it had also made them angry! What to do next?

Damn, she thought with a smile, the generators only a few meters away!

Kate dropped to the muddy ground and crawled towards the machine. Once there, it took only seconds to pull some explosive off her belt and place it on the machine. With the timer set, it was time to get the hell out of there before it blew!

Let’s see how they like being in the dark! She thought with a chuckle.

###

Wilkerson felt the shock wash over him like a tsunami. The command tent was gone and with it Corporal Lewis, the com tech. How had the damned woman been able to blow up a supposedly non-explosive fuel cell? Was she superwoman?

Panicked voices filled the air while his men tried to find the agent. He hefted his rifle up and started to scan the area. It probably wouldn’t do any good against her, but it made him feel safer with the weapon in hand.

“Sir!” Matthews said over the com net. “There’s no sign of the woma-“

A black and gray blur emerged from the woods, firing a rifle as it went. Before Wilkerson’s eyes, three more of his men were mowed down, two killed outright and the last dying while he watched. The woman was going to kill them all, and there wasn’t a damn thing he could to stop it!

“Matthews!” he shouted. “Fall back! Fall back!”

“Moving, sir,” she said. “That woman is ****ing chewing us up!”

“No ****!” It took Matthews this long to figure it out? Jesus! “Just drop back to my position!”
Before sergeant could answer, another explosion filled the air. In a split second before the lights went out, Wilkerson saw the generator disintegrate into shrapnel, the pieces mowing down a woman unfortunate enough to be near the machine.

The darkness fell over the remnants of his troops like a black cloak. A flash of lightning lit the sky, giving him a brief glimpse of the agent. My God, she was young! Dressed in a pair of gray denim pants, black shirt and long, flowing black jacket, the woman looked like the grim reaper coming to take his soul.
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