Target Acquired

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The Attack

Nikki and Adrian watched as the van slowed to a halt and the headlights were turned off. The door on the side of the vehicle slid open and two children, one boy and one girl, hesitantly got out. Four Agents followed them, careful to keep themselves between the children and the van. Adrian’s face grew darker as he saw this. The Agents were using the children as a shield. It was typical Institution procedure, he knew, but it was despicable all the same.

The four Agents waited for their colleagues in the front of the van to get out and scope out the area. Nikki and Adrian pressed themselves closer to the crate, away from the prying eyes. They couldn’t afford to be discovered yet.

The two Agents checked around some of the crates closer to the helicopter but no further. It seemed that they didn’t know that there were rogue Agents who could traverse the distance from the edge of the platform to where they stood. After all, no one ever betrayed the Institution.

Satisfied, the two Agents motioned the others forward. The children whimpered as they were forcefully pulled toward the helicopter, trying to shrink away in fear. Nikki gripped her gun a little tighter as she focused on the emotionless Agents. Four from the back of the van. Two from the front. Three who had been preparing the helicopter. Nine Agents in all. She grinned fiercely at Adrian. It would be a challenge, but she was ready for it, excited for it.

Adrian merely rolled his eyes at her eagerness and looked back at the platform. The small group was almost even with their position while the three Agents who had been preparing the helicopter got in to finish getting the transport ready. He nodded at Nikki and the two exploded into action.

Two Agents were dead before they hit the ground, having been taken by surprise by the sudden attack. Two more were injured before the Agents managed to drag the children to the front of the group. Nikki and Adrian paused in their assault to take stock of the situation. They didn’t want to hurt the children so they couldn’t take attack head on. Also, one of the injured Agents was still able to fight despite the bullet wound in his arm. That meant there were six Agents left.

The three remaining Agents still holding the children hostage backed toward the helicopter that was beginning to show signs of movement. Nikki and Adrian followed slowly, matching them step for step.

Nikki holstered her gun and pulled out her knives. At close quarters like this, and with the children in the way, guns were only good for distraction. A distraction that Adrian would provide when the time was right.

Their moment came when a shout from inside the helicopter about something wrong with the rotor and the fuel line caused the Agents to lose focus for the split second that it took to process the information. That fraction of a second was all Nikki and Adrian needed.

Adrian started shooting bullet after bullet around the three Agents, making them duck further behind the children. By doing so, they took their attention off of Nikki who had leapt forward as soon as she had seen the change in the enemy Agents’ eyes. She slid across the slippery platform right between the two children and slashed at one of the Agents as she got up. The man fell, dead. Nikki roughly pushed the boy toward Adrian who pulled the terrified kid behind him.

One of the remaining two Agents held the screaming girl by her hair and held a gun to her head. The threat was clear. Make a move and we kill her. Unfortunately for them, Nikki and Adrian knew all the tricks Institution Agents used. The threat was just a bluff, a way to gain time and an advantage.

Before they could move, however, one of the Agents from inside the helicopter jumped down from the slight ledge. Together, he and the Agent not holding the girl ran at Nikki and Adrian, their own knives out and ready. Nikki stepped forward and engaged both of them, turning the battle to the side so that the two Agents could not get to Adrian as he jumped forward at the Agent and the girl.

The Agent blinked slowly as Adrian approached, not reacting to the blades headed his way. At the last second, he threw the girl to the side and shot Adrian at point blank range. Adrian simply swayed to the side and took the bullet in his shoulder, not hesitating in his stride as he plunged his knife into the Agent.

Adrian pulled the girl behind him as he backed away from the helicopter where the two pilots were pulling their own weapons out. He whispered directions in her ear and waited until she nodded tearfully up at him before letting her go. She ran to where the young boy was shivering in the cold rain and took his hand. They raced off the platform and into the woods where Adrian had told her some men were waiting for them.

Adrian smiled as he focused his attention back to the two Agents who were trying to get past him. The children were safe. He and Nikki could fight at their full potential without worrying about hitting one of them. He felt a twinge in his shoulder and winced. Perhaps not quite at his full potential it seemed.

Nikki fought for her life as her battle with the two Agents led her to where Adrian was struggling against the other two remaining Agents. The two stood back to back against the combined skill of the four remaining Agents. After so many years of fighting against and with each other, their movements were in perfect sync as they ducked, turned, and slashed in perfect rhythm.

But the Agents they were fighting were skilled. Their own movements left no room for Nikki and Adrian to counterattack. Plus, Nikki could feel Adrian begin to slow down, his injury hindering him. They didn’t have long before they were overwhelmed.

Nikki thought through all the times she and Adrian had trained together at the Institution. More often than not she had insisted on one-on-one battles, but occasionally 48 had convinced her to run a simulation where they fought a mob of people. None of simulations’ skills came close to that of an Agents’, but the amount of attackers forced the two Agents to be creative and come up with solutions to gain space or an escape route. One such time came to mind.

“48! Simulation 172!”

Nikki knew that Adrian would know what she was referring to. The Institution had trained them to remember everything, especially their training. Nikki threw one of her knives at the Agent in front of her, blocking an attack with her other as she did so. She drew one of her guns from its holster and ducked to avoid another blow.

“Ready!”

She waited three seconds then jumped backwards. Adrian crouched low to the ground, and when he felt Nikki’s feet hit his back, he thrust upward, propelling Nikki into the air.

As Nikki lifted off Adrian’s back, she dropped her other knife and pulled out her second gun. She was only able to get three shots off before gravity pulled her back down to the ground, but it was enough. Three Agents lay dead at her feet. From there, it was easy for Adrian to finish off the last Agent. He stepped back holding his shoulder and surveyed the platform. There was no one left. They had won.

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