I’m sitting in the back of a stolen car and my little sister, Annie, is curled up in my lap, crying.
My left eye is so swollen its almost shut, my lip is split, I’m covered in bruises, and breathing’s difficult because I have a couple of fractured ribs. I think I have a concussion, too.
See, this is why I don’t like Mondays.
Who knew that it was going to start with me getting shot twice, and then go downhill from there?
Following the dust-up in the restaurant kitchen, D14 decided to high-tail it. We’d taken one of our assailants with us, but inconveniently, he came out of paralysis and popped a cyanide tooth on the way to the vehicle, so we left his body behind. We’d barely driven off, when a pursuit vehicle was on our tail; complete with flashing police siren. We considered it unlikely these guys were actually police and decided we needed to remove them from our backsides.
So as we turned a sharp left corner, and the car raised onto two wheels, Dimitri (held by Annie) leaned out of the back door and planted a claymore mine in the middle of the road. I detonated it moments later, when the pursuit vehicle passed over it – scratch four more bad guys.
Realising that our transport could well be under surveillance from spy-in-the-sky technology, we pulled our much-loved ‘switch vehicle in a car park’ stunt. Annie wanted to go get her kid which seemed pretty reasonable, all things considered, so we made our way to her place, in Fulham. Marcus stayed with the car while Annie, Dimitri and I headed for the house. The front door was ajar, so we proceeded inside with due caution. Gunshots from above quickly made us dispense with that, though.
Rushing up the stairs, we found the bodies of two dead intruders and Annie’s husband, Steve, with a smoking gun. Steve and I go way back, we dated for almost a year before he and Annie got involved, so it was nice to see him, although probably not under the best of circumstances. The re-union was cut short by the sound of gunfire from outside. Dimitri took the first floor window and I headed to the door, to assess the situation.
Marcus had been attacked by two armed assailants and was slumped forward in the now-rolling car. I emptied an SMG clip into one of them (bless my in-laws for always keeping military fire-arms around the house) and Dimitri took out the other. My little nephew Richard’s first fire-fight aged all of eight months, welcome to the happy world of the Progeny, darlin’.
Seemed like a good idea to get moving again, so that’s what we did – the six of us headed for one of Marcus’s hideouts in London (after pulling another car-park-car-swap manoeuvre, Jaysus but we’re doing no favours for Londoners’ insurance premiums). Steve and Annie settled down, while D14 considered our options (and drank a toast to the man we’d fought and killed in the restaurant kitchen earlier- a determined adversary and a warrior worthy our respect). Then an unexpected data hit presented a potential opportunity – evil Nina and evil Dimitri had checked into rooms in the Regent Hotel in London. As had Paul Phoenix. Seemed like too good a party to miss, so we decided to attend (having dropped off little Richard at his grand-parents, en route).
The initial plan was for me to wait outside for Paul, pretend to be evil Nina, and lure him into an ambush, so that we could kidnap him. That went tits up pretty quickly though; he wasn’t fooled, in truth I didn’t really expect him to be. So he says to come in, we should go up to his room for a chat, and well, I’m just a girl who can’t say no, so in I go, keeping comms open to the others.
On the third floor, he opens the door to his room and there’s evil Nina and evil Dimitri, and they’re fecking Americans, and ever so glad to meet me. By which I mean they were intending to beat me to death. I’m not particularly liking the odds here, and I know from comms that the rest of the team are ready to make their move, so I give the signal for them to do so, not knowing what they have in mind. For Marcus, this involves kicking the door in and rushing Paul; for Dimitri, it involves detonating multiple explosive devices and wiping out floors one and two of the Regent Hotel. I’m starting to think that Dimitri has some sort of explosions addiction.
So the group of us pick ourselves up from a two-floor drop, dust ourselves down, and get into it. Just about the toughest fight of my life. Evil Nina is an exact copy of me, so presumably whatever genetic tweaks they made to me, she got as well. And the bitch will seriously not shut up. Into the mix then come Dimitri, Annie, and Steve, and much to my surprise, Steve decides to shoot me, leading me to ponder that perhaps Steve is actually evil Steve.
Whoever he is, he’s a causing a wee bit of trouble, wandering around the place randomly shooting the good guys, that is until our old friend Adolph Lepus turns up and shoots him in the head, right in front of Annie. Steve’s pretty much the only man, aside from our Da, that we’ve ever both loved, so that wasn’t such a good thing to watch. Annie pretty much freaked.
Meanwhile I was trying to deal with Paul and evil Nina at the same time. They’re both pretty good and the worst of it is I have to listen to both of their bullshit the whole time. I can’t decide whether Paul wants to screw me or kill me or both. Knowing him, probably both at the same time, actually.
By this time, the fight’s moved into one of the ruined corridors, I’ve lost track of Marcus and Dimitri and the weight of numbers is starting to catch up with me. I’m starting to break Evil Nina down nicely, but I can’t do her and Paul at the same time, and inevitably, I slip up. Evil Nina hits me with a negative Chi strike and that’s disorienting enough for Paul to punch me in the head and put me down.
My recollections after that are a bit fuzzy: I remember Paul picking me up of the floor, holding me up by my arm-pits, and telling me about all the awful things he’s going to do to me, then I feel the concussion wave of a huge explosion (which at a casual guess I would attribute to Dimitri) and me, Paul, and evil Nina go flying. My last thought is, ’I’m going to die with Paul Phoenix on top of me’ and then I black out.
I come to in the back of our latest stolen car, with Dimitri’s hands on my chest; he’d apparently just performed Chi Healing on me, so it seemed ungrateful to complain. Adolph was there, too, advised us to check out Area 51 and provided a location (Ellis Testing Base, Groom Lake), and two names – Gavin Ross and Project Garnet. Checking with HOST data turned up no records of either.
Meanwhile, Annie’s going mental because she doesn’t know if she’s just lost her husband or not. I re-assure her that of course it wasn’t Steve, it was obviously a clone because real Steve would never do something like that. I wish I could be so sure I believed that.
I’ll be honest, I’ve had better days….