Show Off Your Fight Scenes!

Post your fight scene below! I’m totally not reading these to learn how to write a good fight scene!

Make sure we know where to read your story if it’s posted.


Don’t mind me trying to find a smaller one that doesn’t last for three chapters that I can put here :joy:

Okay, here’s two. They’re both unedited though :sweat_smile: The first is from what will be the final, published version of Battle for the Photon Core. The second is from Tear in the Megaverse which can be found on Wattpad

Lyriumians vs. Terpolites (Battle for the Photon Core (Final Version (Unedited)))

Amneris was pinned down. She could hear Kek coming closer. It was only a matter of time before he reached her. She had to break cover. Sure, no matter what, she wouldn’t die, but getting shot to pieces wasn’t exactly an enjoyable experience. Amneris cursed again. She wasn’t that much of a fan of using her power while stressing, especially without something to channel it. It never ended well. Then again, maybe she didn’t have to.

Something Leo told her about Earthen weapons a long time ago came to mind. Unlike many weapons from the God Worlds, Earthen weapons had a limited supply of ammunition, their version of power. It was similar to the very primitive versions of the Galaxy 200-10 Leo sometimes used, though those no longer required refiling. At the rate Kek was firing, surely it couldn’t be long before—


Before that happened. Amneris spun round. She dug her hands into the ground, pulling the boulder from the dirt and holding it over her head. She grinned. “Hello, again.” She tossed the boulder straight at him.

Kek ran.

“Oh, no you don’t.” Amneris pulled her staff from her back, flicking it into its full length. She charged forward.

Amneris swung her staff down like an axe. Kek rolled out of the way, kicking Amneris back with his feet before flipping to his feet. The two circled each other slowly. Kek snapped his fingers. Several soldiers appeared around him. Amneris hummed in annoyance. Did this guy ever go anywhere without backup? Oh, how she longed for their old one-on-one fights.

Wow, that was a depressing thought.

Kek pointed forward. The soldiers ran toward Amneris without hesitation.

Amneris raised her staff to the sky, her power channelling into it. She took up a low position and swung the staff around her head. A pale energy shield barrelled into the group of soldiers, knocking them to the ground. Amneris jumped over them, body slamming Kek to the ground. She punched him once, twice. Kek caught her third punch, flipping them so he was on top, pinning her arms to the ground.

“Whatcha gonna do now, baby girl?” Kek drawled.

Amneris headbutted him.

Kek fell back, hands grasping his nose. “F-king b-ch!”

Amneris found her staff, pointing its head at Kek. “Oh, f-k off.” A blast of energy sent him flying away. She stood. “Well, that was easy.”

A flash of light made her cry out, rubbing at her eyes.


“Not me!” he yelled back.

“Sorry!” came Colt’s voice. “I pressed something.”

Amneris shook her head violently and blinked, her sight slowly returning. “As much as I like those things, throw them the other way!”

The blobs of light around her begun to take shape. Two of them she recognised. Amneris cursed under her breath, raising her staff in time to block Semele’s attack from above, the blade of her sword bouncing off Amneris’ staff. Amneris kicked the woman’s shin, shoving the head of her staff toward Semele’s stomach. The Fae woman twisted out of the way, using one hand to brace herself, kicking up with one leg. Amneris caught the woman’s leg, dropping her staff to take it in both hands. She spun, swinging the woman around with her and tossing her into a group of soldiers.

Before Amneris had time to consider her actions, a silver arrow flew cross her eyes. Amneris gasped at the closeness, almost fall in surprise. She followed its path. The Light-Bender woman, Ileana, stood on a stone, a bow held strong. Ileana loaded another arrow and fired. Amneris knocked it aside with her staff. The woman was a good shot, but not good enough.

Ileana knocked another arrow. Amneris readied herself—

The arrow was shot toward the sky. Amneris’ eyes widened. “Oh, f-k!”

She dropped to the ground, covering her hands with her arms and tossing a barrier over her form. Thousands of energy-made arrows pelted down from the sky, striking her shield with immense force. There were too many to dodge. Her shield was beginning to crack. The Light-Bender’s attack showed no sign of ending. She was stuck! Ileana knew it, her concentration never wavering from her target.

Amneris yelped as the arrows begun breaking through her shield. One barely missed her leg. “Little help here!”

“You’re a f-king God,” Nikki yelled back from where she fought three of the Terpolite soldiers with one of Leo’s swords. “Do something Godly!”

“Do you want me to murder everyone here?”

“Yes! They’re bad guys!”

“F-king Shifters,” Amneris muttered under her breath. She scrambled back as another arrow broke though the shield, missing her hand by less than an inch. “Okay, fine.” She yelled to Nikki, “You seriously want me to do something Godly? You know I can’t control it!”


Amneris sighed. “I hate it when she says that.”

She slowly stood, pushing the shield along with her and holding her staff in one hand. Amneris tossed it aside. She closed her eyes, holding her hands out in front of her. She could feel the fire building up inside. Only a part of her senses focused on Ileana, on the other enemies who realised her situation. She could feel Nikki making a run for it, grabbing Leo and Colt on her way. The power continued building up higher and higher.

Amneris dropped her now-clenched fists to her sides and let out a ground-shattering roar. Pure white energy zapped around her form like lightning. Amneris slammed her fist into the ground. “Supernova!”

The ground exploded. The very planet shook. Rock, dirt, water and soldiers went flying into the sky. Even Leo, Nikki and Colt – all running for their lives – were blown from their feet.

Nikki was the first to come around, sitting up with her head lolling. “I take it back,” she moaned. “Don’t do something Godly.”

Leo whacked her arm. “This is your fault.”

“When I said, ‘do something Godly’, I didn’t think she’d use that!

Leo raised an eyebrow. “Have you met her?”

Nikki attempted to splutter a comeback before relenting. “Yeah. I walked right into that, huh?” She cupped her hands around her mouth. “Next time, wait until we’re out of range!”

Amneris’ quick reply of “f-k you!” came accompanied with a finger. Nikki swiftly returned the gesture.

Kayla and Yinepu v. Sef (Tear in the Megaverse (Unedited))

“Big lion,” Kayla said.

“At least it’s not a two headed lion,” Yinepu countered.

“Good point. What do we do?”

He frowned. “There is a chance it will recognise me . . .”

Yinepu stood before the lion and begun speaking in rapid-fire Kemetic. The lion tilted its head as he spoke, seeming to listen. It lowered itself, giving the God a good sniff. It pulled back as Yinepu continued to talk. Whatever he’d said was a bad idea. The lion immediately went on the defensive, growling.

Kayla tapped his shoulder and hissed, “What did you say?”

“That I am God of the Death, a worker under Auser, currently lost and looking for a way home, and that I think the only way to make my power work is to reach the top of the mountain. And . . .”


“And that it would be nice if they would let us pass before we were forced to make them.”

Kayla raised a hand to her head. “Suddenly understanding why you and Amneris are friends.”


“Try rephrasing before it attacks.”

“Somehow I don’t think that will work. I also think we may want to run.”

The lion had its paw raised.

“Yup,” Kayla gulped. “Running sounds good.”

The paw came down.

Kayla and Yinepu ran, Kayla scooping up Ammit. The paw hit the sand. The three went flying.

Kayla shot her new friend a glare. “You just had to make it mad.”

Yinepu clicked his tongue. “Look, all we have to do is get past it—”

“I’m a Healer!” She spread her arms, accidently dropping Ammit in the process. “Fighting really is not my thing, and it’s not like I have weapons. For that matter, do you see any water around here I could use? Because I sure don’t!”

“Fine,” he said. “I will get past it.” He ran off.

Kayla sighed, glancing and Ammit who sat curiously at her side. “We should help him if we want to get home.” Ammit jumped up, tail wagging happily. “Oh, alright. Let’s go.”

Yinepu was holding his own against the lion, Sef. He held a black sceptre topped with what looked like a jackal’s head. Strangely appropriate, Kayla thought. He used it to whack the lion’s head. It fell to the sand with a groan before standing, swiping at Yinepu with a clawed paw. He jumped back just in time, Sef’s claws cutting through his shirt but not breaking the skin.

He frowned at his torn shirt. “I liked this one . . .”

“Priorities,” Kayla sung, pulling a knife from her bag.

“Don’t kill it,” Yinepu said. “We just need to—”

“Get past the giant cat? No problem.”

Together, they charged.

Sef lashed out at Kayla. She jumped over its paw, ducking under the next and slamming her knife into its paw. Sef looked down, seeming not even hurt by the small bade. It shook its paw, Kayla still holding onto the hit of her knife. The blade slid free. The injury healed immediately. Kayla dropped to the sand with a yelp.

Yinepu leaped over Kayla, sceptre in hand. Given a new target, Sef turned its attention back to him. It eyed the God closely, watching him race forward. Sef’s eyes glowed with a bright, golden light. Its head pulled back. Its entire body light up with a power so bright Kayla had to look away. Sef’s head turned to Yinepu. It let loose with a breath of golden fire. He cried out, being thrown back to where Kayla knelt. His entire body was steaming. Kayla cursed under her breath and begun using her power on him. Distracted, she didn’t notice Sef preparing to attack until it was right on top of her—

Something caught Sef’s paw! Ammit was standing between the lion and her friends. She growled, a faint silver light flickering to life around her. The light was also around Sef’s paw. The lion pulled back. Ammit’s light grew brighter, surrounding her until she was encased in a giant, glowing version of herself! She stood over Kayla and Yinepu, protecting them.

Ammit open her crocodile jaws, teeth glistening as she roared. The sound kicked up sand on a sound-driven wind. Sef braced against the onslaught, being pushed back a few metres. The roar ended. Sef looked up at Ammit. Their eyes met. Ammit growled low. Sef lowered its head and sunk back into the sand. The power around Ammit vanished until she returned to her small, adorable form. She turned to her friends with a grin, tail wagging proudly.

Yinepu, now healed thanks to Kayla’s power, pat Ammit’s head. “Good job.”

Kayla was in awe. “Did – did you know she could do that?”

“Of course.”


It’s not great, (it used to be three different scenes, one from a different character’s pov) but here’s the most recent one I typed;

Johnna v. the Ma'ak-pins

No sooner had she had that thought than a shadow dove from above like a bird of prey, precise in its attack. Right on the base of her ear. All the force of a bucking horse whipped her head to the side and took her body with it. Son of a merciless mother, she couldn’t bite back a yelp at the agonizing stab. The world spun in dizzying circles. Deafening ringing blotted out all sound from that side. Ow, ow, ow.


“Go!” she shouted, jumping to her feet. She drew her chain knife, skimming the surrounding woods. Rory and Jael were ahead, not as far as they should have been but getting farther. Johnna grinned, cocky at perhaps a less than appropriate time. Adrenaline warmed the blood in her veins, excitement brought every detail into sharp focus. The situation was terrible but this—this—was what she lived for.

A branch fluttered, she flung her knife. Felt the twitch of the line and the slowing of the knife’s flight as it sliced flesh. Another rustle from up the path they had come from pricked her non-ringing ear. She called her knife to her, drawing the chain shorter with her chain hand. For an instant her own weapon flew at her, as eager to draw her blood as the blood of her enemies. Then she turned, guiding the knife, and with a flick bent the chain over the apex of her elbow to launch it at the grey creature. Once, the smack of the chain would have left her arm bruised and stiff, but now her skin was calloused and the sting was familiar.

Got it.

A wild grin made it halfway across her face when something heavy struck her from the right. Air left her lungs faster and harder than air was meant to leave lungs. Her stomach ground into a snarled root. Pounding footsteps approached, distant over the ringing in her ears. She twisted hard, throwing the weight off her back only for it to slam onto her stomach.

She blinked stars away in time to see four pointed claws arcing towards her. Slamming her arms up she took the brunt of strike on her left forearm. It felt like a hot poker skewered her. The grey creature snarled, ripping its claws out of her to strike again. With a crack and an earsplitting bang the pressure vanished, giving Johnna just enough time to roll to her hands and knees.

Where had her chain—?

There, by the root snarl. She lunged for it, grabbed it with her chain hand and swung. Shit, her arc wobbled and glanced off the grey creature’s parrying claws uselessly. The move cost her precious seconds. A taloned hand wrapped around her throat, cutting off her air. Stamping on her wrist, the grey creature jerked her face close to its.

“You’re a menace,” It hissed, and squeezed harder.

Johnna would have liked to hiss something nasty back at it, but black spots were dancing on the edges of her vision while she grappled one-handed at the claws choking her. Blood made her fingers slick.

“Jo!” Jael shouted, his voice distant as if coming from the end of a long tunnel. She felt more than saw the grey creature swing at him with its free arm. No! She struggled to twist her leg under her to kick the grey creature. What would he do if it killed her? He didn’t fight. It would turn him into ribbons in seconds.

But all the determination in the world wasn’t going to stop her brain from shutting down at the lack of oxygen.

She gave her leg a last futile wrench. Felt it make contact, but the grip around her neck refused to let up.

A second deafening gunshot splattered the grey creature across Johnna and the trees.

Air hit her lungs, stinging. Her vision rushed back and she saw the grey creature slumped over, blood pouring from a bullet hole in it’s neck. Jael stood over her, his own blood dripping from four slashes cut across his face.

Coughing like her lungs hadn’t realized they could breathe again, Johnna scrambled to her feet. Chain knife in one hand, Jael in the other, she bolted.

reading this back, it definitely needs more editing, but later lol. Next round.


:joy: love that


Glad to hear it :joy:


Love :heart_eyes:


I decided to post the final battle because I am changing it slightly in revision (adding extra scenes, changing names, and one person who dies is going to live, and a few other minor things), even though the outcome stays the same. But I really love how this one turned out, so I wanted to share it lol.

Beware, however. For it is filled with spoilers and it’s long. :wink:


Nicolas took his stance; feet angled and grounded, shoulder width apart. The flame from his palm grew, and before Talura had the chance to move, he pushed his arm outward and forced the fire into her face. He sensed the heat in the pit of his chest and abdomen grow, igniting his muscles as they strengthened the flame, allowing him to control it. Allowing him to make it intense. Powerful.

She screamed and moved backward.

With the fire now at his command, he built a long wall of a fiery blaze and smoke, pushing it passed Talura, heading straight for the other Victorians who were now charging at them.

The war had finally begun.

As Nibulé stood at his side, she moved her hands and fingers in a rhythm he couldn’t quite understand but knew it had to be a rune of some kind. With her hands placed inches from her face, her thumb to her middle finger open and her other fingers relaxed beside them, she moved her right hand where it stopped on top of her left fingers, then reversed it where it was the same but on the other side. She repeated it twice, and when her hands came together in the middle for the last time she twisted her hands, so her fingers were angled differently. A ball of light formed in-between, and as it grew, so did the distance between her hands. Nicolas only caught this for mere moment until she aimed the light at the Victorians who weren’t far from them now.

The beam expanded all the way to where they ran. There was a small spot of their army exploding into the air, a shockwave developed, cutting across the entire field. It shook the ground like an earthquake, but Nicolas didn’t expect the dirt beneath those Victorians to open a crack that enlarged. It stretched enough that caught a few stragglers to dive into the depths of its opening. Nibulé held the beam there for a little while longer until it dissipated, letting the mouth of the hole to increase in size.

Nicolas couldn’t see how far the hole went, but it must’ve been the length from the ocean’s water to there as a serpent jumped out of the hole and snatched the first Victorian in its mouth, swallowing her completely.

Due to the massive size of the serpent, it increased the size of the crack as it climbed out, followed by multiple others. Its blue scales shimmered in the sunlight, though it changed colors to purple and green based on the reflection and your perception of where you stood. Their six, short legs moved at lightning speed as they spat high-powered water at rows of Victorians in front of them.


A grin rose on Nicolas’s lips.

His attention shifted as he realized the Victorians who hovered above the courtyard now had made their way across the field and began shoving their wisps of energy at his own army.

He concentrated on one of them in front of him who almost caught him by surprise if he didn’t snap out of his distractions fast enough. He thought of himself behind her, vanished for a second before he appeared where he thought of, and took out his sword from his sheath and lit it on fire, slicing her waist apart. He turned on his heel before he could watch the top half of her body fall to the ground and moved forward with Fara and Hiroko joining him at his side.

As the rest of his army stayed behind, they slowly walked their way to the doors of the castle. This didn’t become an easy feat as the Victorians were relentless, one after the other. They definitely were a lot stronger than Nicolas and his army, but a small flicker of belief flooded through his veins. At first, he wasn’t sure, but he wanted to be confident in their victory.

The smell of smoke, sweat, and gore wafted through his nostrils as they continued pushing through, and he tried to ignore the awful scent. But the one thing he couldn’t ignore were the screams, cries, and grunts behind and on the side of him as he kept moving.

These sounds were the ones that rose through his nightmares every night, every day, and they weren’t the ones he wanted to hear now. His memory sorted through the reasons why he didn’t want to hear it, landing on Prisylla’s name. Prisylla’s face. Prisylla’s smile. Prisylla’s tears. Prisylla’s lifeless body.

His grief grew into rage, his tired body ignored the signs of agony in his muscles as he charged at every Victorian in his way and set them on fire or sliced through their bodies. Hiroko had his back as she would hold the Victorians at bay for him to kill them or she would blind their eyesight long enough for Nicolas to take his aim. Fara had her own sword that Nicolas ignited in flames. It surprised him, however, how she didn’t ask Nibulé for a share of power, but he guessed they didn’t have enough time for the whole ceremony anyway.

In his peripheral vision, he caught sight of Stephani and River fighting side by side, using lightning to strike the hearts of whomever was in their way.

Donni used a sword that looked more like a hook with jagged edges on the inside. He, at least, let his psychic abilities help aid him as he cut his way through the crowd.

Annika and North did a similar thing as his adoptive family where they used their abilities to their advantage. He caught a moment where Annika stopped someone in their stride, manipulating their body so they couldn’t move, and North forced weapons into their body.

Niel built walls and weapons of fire, plunging them into his victims with Nibulé’s assistance.

Serena, on the other hand, sat on one of the Jugarians and grabbed water out of the hole, controlling it at will, from its liquid form to a solid. She’d shape the water into shards of ice, throwing it at anyone in her way.

The rest of the army fell into routine, doing similar things as his own soldiers but without powers of their own.

Victorians around them fell, dying . . . easier than he thought.

It didn’t seem right. When they tried killing Talura that one night, why had nothing worked? What was going on here?

As Nicolas, Fara, and Hiroko came up on the next Victorian to strike, he second guessed it. “Why are they dying?”

“What do you mean? It’s good they die! It counts toward our victories!” Hiroko yelled as an orange wisp of smoke rose above her arms and expanded to the Victorian in front of her, encircling her head. The Victorian gasped, stretching her arms out and tried to yank at the smoke which did nothing. She fell in a matter of seconds.

“I thought I was the only one noticing.” Fara looked at the limp body in a nonchalant way before meeting Nicolas’s gaze. “What do you suppose it means?”

“Well, remember the night we fought Talura?” He didn’t want to say the night Prisylla died, as that would, of course, make it easier to distinguish when, but he couldn’t bare the thought of saying her name now. Fara nodded. “Could they have the ability to turn their body into armor or something that allows them to take the hits without becoming a casualty?”

“It’s possible. But it’s also possible that there is something more to this. If they knew we were coming, then they could’ve had a plan.”

Hiroko’s arm morphed into a sharp object—sort of like a sword, but not quite—and plunged it into the next person she wanted to kill. “Enough talking, more killing!” Once the Victorian’s blood spilled and her body smacked itself on the ground, Hiroko turned to Fara and Nicolas. “We need to keep going,” she said between breaths. Her sharp-sword-looking-thing became a hand again.

Before Nicolas could say anything more, the ground shook once more. His eyes scanned where it could’ve come from, wondering if it could be Nibulé’s beam of light trick, but everyone froze. The Victorians, those on the earth and in midair, came to a halt; and his own army didn’t have the balance to kill.

Why did the ground shake, though?

Nicolas didn’t have time to process that question as he shifted his position, staring at the field in front of him, between them and the castle. Another hole formed, but not the type where Jugarians or other sea creatures sprung out of. This one developed into something else, where the things that lurked beyond it became more of a monstrosity than he wanted to believe.

Hands popped out from the cracks. Long, skinny fingers with black and sharpened nails gripped onto the dirt, the skin grey like a stormy cloud.

The arms came next, pulling whomever it was with enough muscular strength to haul themselves up.

A head overlooked the cliff. Short, dark hair blew in the breeze.

Pointed ears shown, making it even easier to classify them as something else, something not from this world or the next.

Black eyes stared at them with such hatred, such cravings for blood that when its body came out of the ground, they bared their sharp teeth in rage and hunger.

Dozens of them ascended the pits of the underworld or wherever they came from, all looking similar, all ready to pounce on their prey.

When the first one stood, tall and scrawny, they easily went after Nicolas as their first kill. Nicolas prepared himself as he threw a fireball at their face. Without even fazing, they strolled over to him like it didn’t matter. Like it didn’t hurt.

Fara and Hiroko had their own demons to fight, so Nicolas understood he was on his own for now.

As Nicolas ran for the door, trying to put space between him and the creature while also trying to think of something quick before needing to avoid whatever they had in stock for him, Elora and Borris finally showed, growling and cawing as they soared through the air. He stole a quick glance, his lips stretching across his cheeks as the team definitely needed extra help.

However, through his quick glance, it became obvious that the Victorians were a distraction. Every single one vanished, even those who had “fallen.” All except Talura. And she hovered above the scene, high up in the air, observing the creatures taking their place to defeat their enemies.

Fara was right. Victoria and her slaves had a plan all set in motion, and they were already two steps ahead whilst Nicolas and his soldiers were five steps behind.

This wasn’t how it was supposed to be.

This couldn’t have been the end.

The creature caught up to Nicolas, pinning him down. Even with all Nicolas’s power, he couldn’t get them off him. As he squirmed and writhed, it didn’t matter as the creature’s teeth chewed at his bicep.

Agony rushed through his whole body. The adrenaline wasn’t present anymore, only the pain of his flesh being ripped apart. Blood spewed out of his arm as it covered the creature’s entire mouth, along with muscle tissue and veins poking through.

It wasn’t long before Nicolas’s vision blurred together as he looked away from the monster to his own army, all fighting the same kinds of creatures. Many failing and falling to their strength.

River went down, now laying on the ground with her throat torn open.

Borris’s fire caught a group with Niel’s help, but with Niel on the earth, he fell victim to their strength and Borris didn’t have time to save him either.

In the far distance, he could even make out the silhouette of Asahi still going strong with his one arm, but it wasn’t long before a couple of the creatures worked together to bring him down.

They ran too fast. Their bodies, though not physically appearing as so, were too strong. Their abilities to annihilate were too much for Nicolas’s crew to bare.

As Nicolas’s eyelids grew heavier, his eyesight morphing images together with darkness, he took what he thought were his final breaths.

This couldn’t be the end.


Here are a few of the fight scenes in my novels, hosted on Smashwords.

To Fall for an Angel scenes:

Mercenary applicants testing.

Karen clasped her fingers under her chin and sighed as her eyes strayed down to the corner of the laptop’s screen. ‘Sunrise in a few hours. Zorik should have called again by now.’ Karen’s hand slipped back under her silk shirt and returned to her scar. ‘Perhaps this was too soon. Maybe he hasn’t healed.’

The intercom buzzed. ‘Karen, this is Jacob. Switch your TV sets to the Killing House. You may enjoy this.’

Karen picked up the remote and turned on the panel of monitors, changing to the desired channel. The screens displayed several camera angles inside an old two-storey house set at the back of her estate. Both floors consisted of a long central hallway with rooms on either side. The walls and ceilings were worn and riddled with bullet holes. Amos’ commandos were just visible in the shadows.

Karen stood up and walked towards the television. ‘There’s one missing.’

The front door of the Killing House creaked open and a small team slipped inside. The invaders advanced through the halls and rooms, scanning the darkness with their night vision goggles and the laser sights of their suppressed MP5s. The invaders made steady progress and defeated three of Amos’ commandos without a sound. Karen folded her arms as she watched them advance up the stairs. One of the steps bowed and the SEAL lost his balance, falling against the railing. The SEAL muttered a curse and waved the others on.

‘Don’t feel bad, mister SEAL,’ Karen whispered as she cycled through the cameras. ‘That step tricks everyone.’

The invaders opened the first door on the second level, waited, then rushed in. There was no resistance. The SEAL turned to signal the others onto the next room when the door across the hall opened. The invaders spun around, whipped up their guns and two of them fell to massed Uzi fire. The rest scattered around the room and returned fire. After a few seconds only an SAS trooper and the SEAL remained.

The SEAL peered around the doorway and approached the last door at the end of the hallway. The SAS trooper crept into the ambush room. His laser sight traced around five Bedouin commandos sprawled in a carpet of spent casings.

‘You two should consider yourselves lucky,’ Karen said. ‘The accuracy of your MP5s and your decision to hide behind your fallen friends is all that saved you.’

The SAS trooper left the room and signalled to the SEAL that there were two opponents unaccounted for. The SEAL nodded and signalled for the trooper to cover the hallway. The SEAL then paced towards the last door and opened it while standing to one side of the doorframe. The SAS trooper looked back down the hallway as the SEAL slipped into the room and his gaze fixed an old built-in wardrobe at the head of the steps.

Karen smiled as a hallway security camera zoomed in on the wardrobe. ‘I just thought of that, too. Well done.’

The SAS trooper raised his MP5 as the doors creaked open. A robed Bedouin bolted from the wardrobe with their suppressed carbine blazing and the trooper’s head snapped backwards.

The SEAL spun around as the trooper fell and kicked the door closed. A second later a torrent of bullets railed against the door and splintered a hardwood panel at head height. The SEAL raced across the room and leapt over a couch. The door burst open as he landed and a cloaked figure rushed into the room. The SEAL whipped up his MP5 and fired a long burst. Bullets tore into the cloak and a battered carbine fell out and clattered along the floor. The Bedouin girl sprinted through the cordite smoke, dove over the couch and tackled the SEAL to the ground. She punched away the SEAL’s weapon and lashed a dagger across his throat.

A shrill whistle sounded and the house lights blinked into life. Then the last Bedouin commando stepped into the room, and picked up the fallen carbine and the shredded cloak.

‘You should treat our guests with more respect, Yasmine,’ Amos said as he walked around the couch to lift her off the SEAL. ‘One day you may need their assistance.’

Yasmine’s features remained lifeless as she took her rifle and cloak then left the room.

Amos shook his head and offered the SEAL his hand. ‘Please forgive her. She is young and believes she has much to prove.’

The SEAL climbed to his feet, gripping his throat. ‘She was lucky. But…I guess I was lucky she used the blunt edge.’

Yasmine vs Street Gang (don't upset Yasmine).

Naida looped her arm around Uric’s as they walked down an empty street leading out of the village.

‘What was growing up with Ashley like?’ Naida asked as they turned into an alleyway. ‘I think it must have been interesting.’

Uric smiled. ‘Do you like her?’

‘I never felt comfortable around other girls,’ Naida replied. ‘But Ashley was different. Being with her was relaxing and pleasant.’

‘Ashley has that effect on people,’ Uric said. ‘They either love her or hate her. This made her a popular target for mean and ignorant people.’

‘Like Rau and his goons.’ Naida sighed. ‘Did Ashley have many friends?’

‘No, the schools we went to were bad for her,’ Uric replied. ‘She did not know much about what made her different. No one did. The kids tormented her and the teachers ignored her. I helped when I could. I studied a lot to assist with her homework, and I tried to find out more about others like her in the libraries. But I could not give Ashley everything.’

Naida squeezed Uric’s hand. ‘That may not be a problem anymore. Perhaps the Israeli giant will know how to look after Ashley, or you could teach him.’

‘I just hope she is safe,’ Uric said. ‘I miss her.’

‘I have a feeling the two of you will meet again,’ Naida said.

‘Perhaps we could arrange a family reunion in hell!’

Uric and Naida turned back towards the mouth of the alleyway and discovered three tall street kids with shaven scalps in mixed military clothes.

‘Oh-no,’ Naida gasped.

‘A Russian and a Jew,’ the leader snarled. ‘This should be fun.’

‘Don’t think about running,’ a voice called out from the other end of the ally. ‘You have nowhere to go.’

Uric spun around. ‘Five of them. We’re trapped.’

Naida looked up as a shadow fell over her. ‘What’s that?’

A cloaked figure dropped from the balconies above them and landed catlike in front of Naida, facing the leader. The new arrival stood up and shed her cloak, revealing her black battle suit and a suppressed automatic rifle strapped to her back.

‘The children are under our protection,’ the new fighter said with a flat voice. ‘Leave now, or die.’

The leader smiled as his gang drew machine pistols from under their coats. ‘You’re a long way from home, Arab. You can join your friends in the afterlife.’

The Arab girl bowed her head and whispered, ‘You two, hide. Jason, kill the rear guard.’

Naida glanced back down the alley. The two street kids toppled to the ground as sharp cracks rippled out from the distant rooftops. Naida spun back to the first group then lunged at Uric, tackling him into a snow drift. A brief cry escaped her throat as bullets skimmed across her back. The pair rolled over to find the Arab girl sprinting towards the remaining gang members with her rifle held by her waist.

A street kid convulsed and slumped to the ground with dozens of holes in his chest. Another fell as a thrown dagger skewered his throat. Then the Arab girl dropped her rifle and crashed into the leader, punching and clawing him as they tumbled along the alley.

‘Wait!’ the gang leader screamed. ‘Stop–’

The Arab girl’s scything fist drove the leader’s head back into the snow and her jaw clamped around his windpipe. A scarlet mist sprayed from the leader’s clenched teeth as she forced her mouth closed. After a short pause the Arab girl sat back on her haunches and spat out a thick lump.

‘What is she?’ Naida breathed as the Arab girl retraced her steps, gathering her weapons.

‘I saw her in the restaurant,’ Uric said.

‘We have to go–Ah!’ Naida shuddered as she tried to stand. ‘It hurts.’

‘Don’t move,’ a familiar accent called out. ‘Let me check your wounds first.’

Uric looked up as a large shadow fell over them. ‘Jason!’

‘I haven’t run that hard in a long time.’ Jason collapsed next to Naida and passed his sniper rifle to Uric. ‘Hold this while I patch up your girl.’

Naida glared at Jason. ‘You again?’

Jason smiled and winked at her as he opened the Velcro pouches on his body armour.

‘Did we fail?’ the Arab girl asked as she joined them. ‘Are the children hurt?’

‘Uric’s girl has some burns on her back, nothing serious,’ Jason replied. ‘That was overkill, Yasmine. Why?’

‘You think he deserved a clean death?’ Yasmine asked.

‘No, but you bit through his throat.’ Jason paused. ‘Did you swallow anything?’

Naida looked up at Yasmine as the Arab girl shrugged and wiped her branded blood-soaked features with her cloak.

Jason groaned as he shook a small spray canister. ‘Never do something that stupid again.’

‘Excuse me,’ Uric whispered. ‘Who are you? Why are you after us?’

‘Ashley’s new companion is a close friend of our employer,’ Jason said. ‘We were sent here to rescue you and your sister.’

Naida winced as Jason sprayed her wounds with disinfectant. ‘Oh, that makes perfect sense. So what about me?’

Yasmine knelt down to Naida and retrieved an Uzi from her cloak. ‘Can you fight?’

Hind vs Lynx helicopter duel.

A small flock of birds searched the valleys below for a safe shelter as the late morning sun shined through the blankets of clouds above them. Then several birds squawked in alarm and the flock dove and scattered. A Hind gunship burst through the clouds, twisting through the air in a near-vertical dive.

‘Mayday! Mayday!’ the pilot screamed into his radio. ‘Missiles have locked onto us!’

Short bursts of machine gun fire rippled through the air as the Hind’s waist gunners tried to shoot down the four SAMs streaking after them.

‘Lieutenant, climb!’ the nose gunner called out as the rocky earth rushed towards them.

The Hind pitched and raced up the mountainside with broken lines of tracers curling away behind it as the gunners continued to fire. The mountainside vanished and the gunship thundered into the open sky.

‘Everyone, hang on!’ The pilot rolled the Hind onto its side and pushed the nose earthward again, aiming for the valley floor.

‘They’re still on us!’ a waist gunner screamed as the missiles arched through the sky and dove after them. ‘What the–?’

A coil of glowing shells rippled up from the shadows and the missiles exploded a few metres from their prey.

‘Marcus was right,’ a deep voice rumbled over the radio. ‘His pilots have considerable talent.’

A second Hind gunship rose up from the valley and joined the first as it climbed towards the clouds.

‘Thank you,’ the Hind’s pilot rasped. ‘You have great timing, Ivanov.’

‘You should thank Radnor,’ Ivanov said. ‘His skills continue to amaze me. I just don’t know why he chose me for his gunner.’

‘I needed a good shooter in the nose,’ Radnor said. ‘And you are one of the best in our group, Major.’

‘Aiming a high-speed cannon is a little different to aiming a rifle,’ Ivanov said as the gunships levelled out high above the mountain range. ‘Hind Two, my map tells me we are once again north of Romania’s border. Can you fly to Kiev?’

‘Uh, yes, I think so–’

A thick rain of shells and tracers sliced through the Hind’s rotors and shattered the armoured canopy.


Ivanov’s eyes darted skywards as Radnor threw their Hind into a sharp turn, banking away from a second wave of gunfire. A black and gold Lynx gunship dove passed the Hind and darted for the valley floor.

‘Go after him!’ Ivanov shouted.

The Lynx zoomed along the valley, kicking up thin clouds of dust and rocks in its wake. Ivanov’s Hind sped after their quarry several metres below the hill crests as they attempted to maintain a height advantage. Ivanov’s scowled as static crackled over his headset.

‘I see my competition has some skill,’ the Lynx pilot said. ‘A pleasant surprise.’

‘Why do I know that voice?’ Ivanov growled as he struggled to keep the nimble Lynx in his sights.

‘Is that the famous Ivanov Ramirez?’ the Lynx pilot asked as a burst of cannon fire whipped passed his tail.

‘Edgar!’ Ivanov spat. ‘Why are you alive?’

‘Watch your temper, Major,’ Edgar replied as his Lynx twisted away from Ivanov’s rocket salvo, which detonated against the cliff face a few metres shy of the mark.

‘Strange choice for your last words,’ Ivanov snarled as the Lynx vanish down an intersection in the valley.

‘Let’s see what you can remember from our lessons,’ Edgar called out over the radio.

Ivanov’s Hind reared up and shuddered to a halt at the intersection.

‘Where is he?’ Radnor asked as they levelled out. ‘I can’t see any dust trails.’

‘Damn him,’ Ivanov growled. ‘Head westward. Keep the sun behind us.’

The Hind banked and lurched down the chosen valley.

‘Come out, you bastard,’ Ivanov hissed as his eyes scanned the horizon above them. Seconds passed then Ivanov’s gaze caught a brief glint to the left. ‘Radnor, climb!’

The Hind scurried out of the valley with the boulders beneath its shadow exploding under a torrent of cannon shells and rockets.

‘I see him now,’ Radnor shouted as he pulled the Hind into a sharp turn. ‘What kind of firing arch did he use? He’s more than three kilometres–’

The Hind flinched as two guided anti-tank missiles burst from their pods and snaked towards the distant Lynx.

‘Good idea, Major,’ Edgar’s voice called over the radio. ‘But it is out-dated.’

The Lynx flicked its nose from left to right as the pylon-mounted cannons and mini-guns flared into life. One of Ivanov’s missiles exploded in mid-air then the other shuddered and tumbled into the ground, disintegrating into a cloud of dust and flames.

‘My fuel is out,’ Edgar said. ‘Let’s continue this another time.’

A high-pitched mechanical growl filled the Hind’s canopy and Ivanov’s mouth dropped open. ‘Missile lock! Radnor, get us out of here.’

The Hind twisted around and accelerated towards the grasslands behind the mountains. Then the growl changed to a deafening siren. Ivanov glanced up at his side mirrors to see two heat-seeking missiles bolt from the Lynx and streak towards their retreating gunship. The Hind’s belly glanced off a large boulder as Radnor pushed its nose earthwards and aimed for the sparse forest below. Seconds later the two missiles shot over the cliff edge and curled down after their prey.

‘Deploy flares,’ Radnor called out.

Several clusters of flares blossomed from the Hind’s tail and shattered in brilliant star bursts. One missile spiralled after a falling cluster and slammed into the cliff face but the other missile remained on its target.

‘Major!’ Radnor screamed.

‘Climb!’ Ivanov shouted back as their remaining rockets and anti-tank missiles flew out from the Hind’s wings.

The Hind levelled out then bucked and stood up on its nose. The forest canopy split open as Ivanov’s rockets detonated together. The last heat-seeker streaked passed the writhing gunship and speared into the inferno.

‘Aw,’ Radnor groaned, ‘this is going to hurt.’

The Hind’s hull ploughed broadside through the treetops and began to list. The turbines screamed on emergency power as branches slapped against Ivanov’s armoured Perspex. Ivanov’s gaze darted skywards and his face fell. The rotor blades warped and bowed as they hauled the snow-caked Hind into the sky.

‘We’re clear,’ Radnor rasped as daylight returned to the cockpit. ‘Don’t do that again, Major.’

‘Just get us to Kiev,’ Ivanov replied. ‘This isn’t over yet.’


One Army, Many Tribes scenes:

Elli's ambush / rescue.

Thin clouds passed beneath the rising moon as three black-clad figures paced across the flat rooftops of an abandoned housing estate. The figures split up and rushed to the edge of the roof, aiming their scoped SIG 550 rifles at an apartment at the opposite end of the gravel courtyard.

One of the snipers retrieved his mobile phone from a Velcro pouch and dialled a short number. ‘Hey, Juno, has our old friend returned home?’

‘Not yet,’ a Spanish voice whispered in reply. ‘Maybe he left Madrid.’

‘No,’ the sniper whispered back. ‘His partner is in the hospital with their child. He won’t leave her.’

‘Wait,’ Juno breathed. ‘Someone’s calling his phone. It’s going to the answering machine. I’ll put the call through.’

‘Hi, everyone,’ a voice crackled over the answering machine’s speaker. ‘I see most of the gang’s best shooters are here. Nice to know you care about me. What will it take for us to leave peacefully? Call me on…oh…I’m sure you’ve traced this phone by now, Juno.’

‘Smug cockroach,’ Juno whispered as the answering machine switched off. ‘I’m sending his number over.’

The sniper ended his call and dialled the new number. ‘Hola, Elli. Why are you so upset with us?’

‘Rocco,’ Elli’s voice hissed in reply. ‘You set me up, left me to die, I want out.’

‘Aw,’ Rocco mocked. ‘I thought we were cool. Like brothers, yes? We’re family.’

‘Screw you!’ Elli shouted. ‘You’re a murder and a traitor.’

‘But you’re the one who shot Tony,’ Rocco said. ‘Look, this is pointless. Apologise to us. Come back to the gang. You can take Tony’s place.’

‘No way,’ Elli replied.

‘You’re emotional so I’ll forgive you,’ Rocco said as he scanned the apartment windows through his scope. ‘Remember, we have your pretty lady’s passport and bank accounts.’

‘If you go near her I will slay you all,’ Elli snapped. ‘Leave us alone.’

Rocco sighed and glanced down at his mobile as Elli hung up. ‘Why do they always choose death?’

‘Lexi reported a contact approaching from the north,’ the sniper beside Rocco whispered.

Rocco turned and aimed his rifle at the large silhouette weaving through the shadows of the parked cars lining the courtyard’s driveway. ‘I see you–’

Rocco’s phone vibrated in its pouch.

‘Should I drop him?’ Lexi asked over the phone.

‘Not yet,’ Rocco whispered in reply. ‘We want to know where Elli’s hiding. Just wait.’

‘He’s gone inside the building,’ the sniper breathed. ‘I can’t see him.’

Rocco sneered and rubbed his short-cropped black hair. ‘I hate uninvited guests. If he gets to Elli’s floor, take him out. Otherwise stay low and chill.’

‘I don’t like this,’ Lexi whispered. ‘It’s way too–’

A deep muffled roar crackled through the night sky, shaking plaster and dust off the rooftops.

‘Sweet Mary!’ the sniper hissed. ‘The contact just shot Lexi through the walls. He’s ripped up–’

A single sharp crack split the air and the sniper slumped backwards onto the clay tiles. Rocco pressed himself flat against the roof and scanned the opposite building. A snarl flashed across Rocco’s tanned features as his finger yanked back on the trigger. The wrinkled glass panes of a third floor apartment flew apart under a storm of automatic fire. Then a second shot rang out from the ground floor. The remaining sniper bent forwards and tumbled off the roof, falling to the sun-baked gravel five storeys below.

‘Bloody cockroach,’ Rocco hissed as he changed magazines. ‘You always were our best shooter. But this is not over.’

‘I think it is,’ a foreign voice replied from behind him.

Rocco twisted around and found a tall olive-skinned woman in a tailored blue suit examining a SIG rifle in her hands.

The woman brushed aside her long dark hair and continued, ‘This is quite a powerful weapon, and well crafted. Typical of the Europeans.’

‘How did you…?’ Rocco shook his head. ‘Who are you?’

‘I’m just a simple civilian.’ The moonlight glinted in the woman’s blue-green eyes as she turned to Rocco and smiled. ‘I am beginning to doubt your talents if I of all people can trap you.’

‘Enough!’ Rocco whipped up his rifle.

‘Do you want to die tonight?’ the woman asked. ‘Look behind you.’

Rocco turned and froze.

‘My large companion with the heavy machine gun is called Wolff,’ the woman said. ‘I am Karen. Your remaining partner in crime is about to meet Zorik.’

Rocco glanced back at the apartments as the muffled roar returned. Countless jets of stone shards erupted from the outer walls of Elli’s apartment. A bloodied and torn figure stumbled backwards onto the small landing as a hail of shells tore through him. The gunfire stopped and the figure collapsed over the railing, tumbling to the ground.

‘That’s another barrel Zorik will have to replace,’ Wolff remarked. ‘The big guy is a little trigger happy.’

‘As always, he’s excessive as he is effective,’ Karen said as she stepped up to Rocco’s side. ‘Your phone, please.’

Rocco stood up and spat on Karen’s shirt. ‘You won’t get–’

A steel tube slammed against Rocco’s skull with a rotten crack.

‘You should play baseball, Wolff,’ Karen said as Rocco crumpled onto the tiles, his vision fading to black. ‘Although I doubt any team will let you use a machine gun for a bat.’

Tara's debut dogfight.

Two pairs of Syrian MiG-29s rose up through the morning haze and turned southwards, flying parallel to the Lebanese coastline just visible on the horizon.

‘Enemy contact,’ the formation leader’s wingman announced over the radio. ‘Four targets. Combat helicopters. Israeli radar beacons. Six kilometres south-west. Five-thousand metres altitude.’

‘Only four?’ the formation leader sneered. ‘Let’s wait back here. Nail the Zionists when they close to three kilometres.’

‘Understood,’ the wingman replied. ‘We can use the high cloud for cover and attack from the sun.’

The MiGs banked towards the mainland and began to climb.

‘Just who are these fools?’ the leader of the second pair asked. ‘Flying gunships with no–’

A short line of glowing shells whipped through the formation leader’s wingman. The stricken MiG folded up and vanish in a brilliant fireball. Then a black and red fighter roared passed the MiGs and looped up into a thick column of clouds.

‘Radar report!’ the formation leader shouted as his MiGs raced after the new fighter. ‘I can’t see the enemy.’

The last wingman surged ahead of the formation. ‘I have no contacts either. The enemy is a stealth–’

A short rain of shells crashed into the wingman’s MiG and tore off the starboard wing.

‘Yellow Two!’ the formation leader called out as the enemy fighter bolted out of the clouds between the remaining MiGs.

‘He’s fast,’ the second leader rasped as the enemy vanished behind them. ‘I’m climbing. We need clean air to spot him.’

The two MiGs pulled up into the cloudbank with their afterburners screaming. The formation leader squinted against the glaring sun as his MiG shot into the open sky. Then he glanced to his left and gasped, ‘Yellow One, the enemy is behind you!’

The second MiG leader snapped into a half-roll and dove for the clouds below. The red and black fighter curled after him and sent a short burst of cannon fire into the MiG’s exhaust cones.

‘Bastard!’ the formation leader snarled as he raced after the enemy. He switched on his IR gunsight and closed in on the weaving fighter. The gun sight flashed green as his MiG found a shooting position. ‘I have you!’

Glowing shells streamed out of the MiG’s cannon, arching towards the enemy. Then the new fighter back-flipped into the sky above and somersaulted over the MiG. The formation leader’s face turned pale as he watched the enemy fighter level out behind him.

Johnson whistled as a flash of light pricked the distant skyline and a thin trail of black smoke fell to the sea below. ‘That was impressive flying.’

Markus laughed over the radio. ‘She’s lucky those stealth pods worked otherwise we could have been in trouble.’

‘And what makes you think we avoided trouble?’ Ivanov’s voice growled in reply. ‘The Syrians won’t be happy about their lost MiGs.’

‘That’s someone else’s problem,’ Markus said. ‘Besides who else knows what happened up here?’

Polanski sighed. ‘The Israelis, perhaps?’

‘Hi, everyone!’ a child-like voice called out over the Hinds’ radio as a black and red tiger striped Su-27 joined the group. ‘Did you miss me?’

‘Well done, Tara,’ Johnson greeted her. ‘I like your fighting style. You’re a great pilot.’

Tara giggled as her Sukhoi began a series of gentle S turns. ‘Thank you. If you want to show your appreciation for protecting your friends, you could buy me dinner tonight.’

Johnson laughed. ‘Would that be before or after the big hug and kiss you promised me?’

Tara giggled again. ‘You have cute humour. How about the kiss after dinner and the hug after breakfast?’

‘Oh, for the love of God!’ Ivanov barked. ‘Stop it! We’re in deep in case you’ve forgotten.’

‘You’re wrong!’ Tara snapped. ‘There’s no one on my radar, and I can see the coast of Israel. We’re safe.’

‘Um, look behind you,’ Polanski said.

Johnson twisted around in his gunner’s seat and his face fell as six Israeli F-16s formed up behind Tara’s Su-27.

‘Attention, Russian strike group,’ an F-16 pilot called over the radio. ‘You are to descend to two-thousand metres and follow me to the Ramat David airbase.’

‘Didn’t the Mossad tell you fly boys about us?’ Johnson asked. ‘We’re your friends. We’re on your side. We’re flying to the airbase outside Be’er Sheva.’

The F-16 pilot growled. ‘We have orders to engage if you do not cooperate. Follow me to Ramat David. Now!’

‘Okay, calm down,’ Ivanov replied. ‘We’re going to–’

‘Sukhoi to American toy,’ Tara interrupted them. ‘How did you sneak up on us?’

‘Tara, we’re inside Israeli airspace now,’ Ivanov answered her as they began to descend. ‘Who knows what hardware their military have aimed at us? And don’t answer that.’

Johnson sighed. ‘I apologise, Tara. Our dinner may have to wait for another time.’

Tara laughed. ‘Or we just skip dinner if we’re home late.’

Ivanov groaned. ‘Hind One to Israeli fighters. Please shoot me.’

Karen's rescue.

Naida looped her arm around Mica’s as they stepped off the Egged coach on the southbound road out of Be’er Sheva. Mica glanced up at the glaring afternoon sun as the coach departed then she plucked Naida’s Prada sunglasses from the Ginger’s hands. Naida poked out her tongue at her reflection in Mica’s new glasses as she retrieved a second pair from her army shirt’s breast pocket.

‘You should have told me about the other glasses,’ Mica whispered as they walked alongside the road. ‘They would have been more fun to steal.’

‘That’s what you get for not asking,’ Naida replied as she squeezed their arms together. ‘Now, do you promise to behave yourself? No flirting with Ashley’s friends.’

‘What if they flirt with me?’ Mica asked with a thin smile. ‘Why should I argue if a cute fighter thinks I’m hot?’

Naida growled. ‘Is one cute fighter not enough for you?’

Mica shrugged. ‘They’re not much fun if I can’t explore their beautiful figure.’

Naida sighed as she guided them onto a wide gravel path. ‘You’re not going to let that go, are you?’

‘No,’ Mica replied. ‘I was hoping you would realise not trusting me to see your wounds is as silly and pointless not trusting me to behave around your friends. Don’t worry. I’m not going to embarrass you around Ashley.’

‘I’m taking an incredible risk inviting you into Karen’s home,’ Naida said. ‘Be very careful with what you do and say in there…and no acting like a little lost kitten either.’

Mica giggled as they approached metal gate and high white-stone walls of Karen’s estate. ‘Luke said you were the only person who made me purr like that. We both agreed you’re more than just another sexy soldier.’

Naida’s face fell as they stopped by the gate. ‘Oh…’

Mica smiled. ‘Are you going to let me in, or are we going to stare the steel-plate into submission?’

‘Uh, yeah,’ Naida shook her head and typed a code into the gate console.

‘This place sure does look big,’ Mica said as they walked down the drive way. ‘No one has come out to greet us. Is that good or bad?’

Naida paused and her gaze darted around the villa. ‘There are no signs of life anywhere. Perhaps we have this place to ourselves.’

‘I’m still waiting,’ Mica called out from the front door.

‘Wow, you are a good sprinter.’ Naida jogged up to her companion and unlocked the door. ‘I have to enter one more code inside and then we should be safe from any hostile attention.’

Mica whistled as she stepped into the villa behind Naida. ‘I was right. This place is–’

Naida turned her attention away from the security keypad to see Mica frozen in place with her mouth gaping open. ‘What’s up?’

‘Get out!’ Mica hissed. ‘Run, now!’

Naida frowned. ‘What?’

‘Can’t you smell it?’ Mica grabbed Naida’s arm and wrenched her out the door. ‘The building is filled with gas!’

‘No!’ Naida cried out as Mica pushed her down the driveway. ‘My friends could be inside. We have to help them.’

Mica retrieved two handkerchiefs from her waist pockets. ‘We’re not leaving, but we have to be careful. The gas isn’t lethal and it doesn’t catch fire. It’s military stun gas. Quite nasty.’

Naida’s face whitened as Mica thrust a handkerchief into her hands. ‘Someone is attacking Karen’s home?’

Mica tied her handkerchief around her mouth and drew a Browning pistol from her thigh pocket. ‘I’ll soon find out. Stay close.’

Karen pried open a swollen bile-crusted eyelid and peered around her darkened office. A tall figure in black combat fatigues stood hunched over Karen’s desk, reading through several files on the laptop, and a second figure stood by the windows pressing small clay-like blocks against the shutters.

‘Ah, Miss Rich-Bitch is awake,’ a muffled Spanish accent smirked from the desk. ‘Your security system is impressive. We needed a long time to hack the perimeter defences. A shame the ventilation and air conditioning were not so well protected.’

‘The dead-bolts for your door and the steel armour for your windows are also a nice touch,’ the second Spaniard added. ‘But a little C-4 here, and some more over there, and we’re off home again.’

Karen groaned as her other throbbing eyelid opened. ‘You’re with Rocco. Why do this? You can’t escape.’

The first Spaniard stepped over Karen’s crumpled form and knelt down next to the dried contents of her stomach. ‘The knock-out gas is quite savage, huh? Your wind pipe and tear ducts took a beating. Perhaps that’s why my friend decided the rest of your body should catch up.’

Karen gasped and cringed as she rolled onto her side. ‘You broke my ribs…Take off your mask…I want to see your face before you die.’

The Spaniard laughed and adjusted his gas mask. ‘Are only your ribs broken? I guess my friend was too tired from smashing up your little tart of a bodyguard.’

‘The gas didn’t affect her as long as we hoped,’ the second Spaniard said as he joined them. ‘Not that it mattered. She stopped flinching after a few minutes.’

Karen glared at the Spaniards. ‘You killed Polanski?’

‘I’m not dead yet,’ a hoarse voice wheezed from behind Karen. ‘But before I’m finished you will beg me to kill you.’

Karen tilted her aching neck and peered at the distant corner of her office windows. A crumpled figure groaned and shuddered as she pulled herself onto her knees.

‘You should have stayed down and stayed quiet,’ the first Spaniard said. ‘Perhaps you would have lived.’

Polanski gazed up and snarled as the second Spaniard stood over her.

‘Try to understand, little tart,’ the second Spaniard said as he pressed a small pistol against Polanski’s forehead. ‘This is just business. Don’t hate–’

A thunderclap erupted from the hallway. Karen peered down passed her leather shoes at her office door. Jets of timber and titanium splinters flew out from the hinges as several explosions rippled through the villa. Then the window shutters rocketed up into their housing and the office door burst open. Karen clenched her eyes shut against the brilliant afternoon sun, then clamped her hands against her ears as a machine gun’s roar filled the room. A stream of bullets crackled through the air above Karen accompanied by a heavy thud and the shattering of glass panes. Moments later the gunfire stopped. The ringing in Karen’s ears faded then she twitched as soft hand caressed her vomit-stained cheek.

‘Are you okay? Please wake up.’

Karen shuddered and gazed up into a pair of wandering opaque-blue eyes. ‘Ashley…Thank you…I–’

‘Wait!’ a Spanish voice cried out. ‘I can help you.’

Karen frowned and peered towards the vacant windows. An Israeli soldier with long dark hair stood by an empty window frame with both arms stretched out in front of her. The soldier’s left hand gripped the collar of the second Spaniard’s body armour, and her right hand pressed a black pistol under his chin.

‘This is just business,’ the Israeli soldier sneered through her handkerchief. ‘Don’t hate me.’

Two muffled gunshots, sounding as one, echoed through the office and the Spaniard fell to the gravel driveway below.

Naida appeared behind the Israeli soldier and guided her pistol arm down to her side. ‘Always two bullets, Mica?’

Mica pulled off her handkerchief. ‘Never one.’

Karen glanced up as a giant shadow loomed over her. ‘Zorik?’

‘A moment, please,’ Zorik replied as he placed his smouldering machine gun on the floor beside Karen. ‘I have some cleaning to do.’

Karen’s gaze followed Zorik as he approached the bloodied remains of the first Spaniard, bent down and grabbed the collar of their adversary’s bullet-riddled body armour with both hands. Zorik then dragged the Spaniard to another empty window frame and hurled him over the edge.

‘Much better,’ Ashley said as Zorik wiped his hands on his jeans.

Zorik glanced back at Karen and Ashley, gave them a brief smile and then turned to the two soldiers standing beside their wounded comrade.

‘Naida, does your friend know first aid?’ Zorik asked.

‘I’m a combat medic,’ Mica replied.

‘Good, look after Polanski,’ Zorik said. ‘Naida, show Mica where the medical kits are.’

Karen watched Naida pull Mica out of the office by the scruff of her collar then she turned to see Zorik approaching Polanski.

‘What’s the damage?’ Zorik asked.

Polanski’s discoloured features shivered as she tried to smile. ‘Nothing wrong with me a crate of Ice Wine and a week in Italy wouldn’t fix.’

‘Consider it done,’ Zorik said as he knelt beside her. ‘We have called for a medical team to pick up our wounded. You and Karen are going to stay at Hatzerim, with half the IAF watching over you. Well, until this mess with Rocco is resolved.’

‘I’m not leaving,’ Polanski rasped. ‘I want to finish the battle.’

Karen groaned as Ashley helped her sit up. ‘That’s not an option. You look worse than I feel, and Ivanov said you stay with me. So you are out of the fight.’

‘But I can’t run. I never…’ Polanski gripped her mouth then shuddered and wretched as a thick scarlet fluid seeped between her fingers. Polanski’s hands dropped onto her lap and she gazed up at Zorik. ‘Am I going to die?’

Zorik wiped the trails of congealing blood from Polanski’s nose and mouth. He then cradled her swollen cheek with his right hand while the other stroked her stained hair.

‘The Airforce doctors will be here soon,’ Ashley said with a soft level voice. ‘You are not going to die. I cannot allow that.’

‘You were right, Polanski,’ Karen said as the Russian slumped against Zorik’s chest. ‘Soon our enemies will be begging us for death.’


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