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Chapter 21

It was like Megan was having an out-of-body experience when things began to happen around her. One minute, she was watching Sammy talk, and the next, she couldn’t even explain how she was supposed to feel about anything.

The last moment before Megan became a passenger in her own body was when she heard the bike crash into the one of Sammy's bodyguards just behind her and she turned to see the biker, still with his helmet on, take out the remaining three guards in quick succession.

By the time the biker pointed the gun towards where she was sitting and shot, she was completely logged out of her functions. She heard a scream as she looked to see Sammy fall backwards in his chair- it was actually her voice but she had no recollection of emitting the sound.

Like a machine on autopilot, Megan felt herself stand and the biker pointed the gun in her direction. “No interference allowed,” he said and put his hand to the trigger.

Do something, Megan! she screamed at herself when she realized what was about to happen. Duck, fight, scream, close your eyes, beg even. Just do anything, goddammit!

But still no response came from her body.

Just as the biker would pull the trigger, a whoosh suddenly passed between him and Megan and he froze mid-action. A second passed, then two; and then his trigger hand suddenly fell off. He spluttered blood to cover his visor on the inside as his neck lined with crimson out of nowhere, and he fell backwards; dead before he hit the floor.

Megan's faculty returned to a dripping sound beside her and she turned to see Kei standing with a bloodied katana in her hands.

“Kei!” she gasped. “What are you doing here?”

Thing is, when Megan and Ricardo had left Olympus for Havana, they had done so alone. The idea was that since the status of the contact they wanted to meet was already known and the meeting itself was a secret, there was no need to involve the kids.

Obviously, someone thought differently, Megan thought at the turn of events.

“The director thought it wise to have me as your backup so he ordered to me sneak onto the Chariot just before it took off,” Kei said, wiping the blood off her katana with a table cloth like it meant nothing to her. “You’re welcome, by the way.”

Megan thought it less likely that Dennis had made Kei come on the mission just to act as her backup, vital as that might have turned out to be. He probably did it to have her watch Ricardo, she thought, or he didn’t even order it at all and she tagged along just to bother me. It certainly was within the teenager's personality to do that.

Unfortunately, Megan didn’t get the chance to fully decide on which one of her theories was correct as out of nowhere, a shot suddenly rang and a bullet hit the pillar beside her. Another one followed immediately and it was only by sheer reflex that Kei was able to deflect the bullet away with her katana before it found home in her chest.

“We have company!” the teenager announced just as a Jeep wheeled up in front of the restaurant and two men got out of it with carbines firing to be joined in by a third man with a pistol who apparently was the one that had shot at Kei and Megan earlier from across the street.

The duo ducked behind a flipped table as bullets flew everywhere, joined soon by Ricardo who had tried to fire back at the assailants with a pistol Megan later knew he got from Sammy’s pocket but failed to hit anyone. “We can’t stay here,” he said to them.

“And what gave that away, Einstein?” Kei returned. “The bullets about to kill us?”

Megan knew that a bicker was about to occur and the last thing she needed was to hear it, but she had no idea how to stop it so she just let it be.

“What are you even doing hiding behind a cover, Kei?” Ricardo spared before ducking out to fire off-target again. “I mean, aren’t you supposed to be superfast or something? You took that guy out back there before he could flinch, take these ones out too.”

“I'm not the Flash,” she retorted. “If I go out there without a clear path, I’ll get shot, and then you'll be next.”

It actually looked like Ricardo was considering shooting Kei right there just out of spite but Megan suddenly saw someone cowering behind a wall inside the restaurant and beckoning for them to come and she tapped their shoulders.

“What?” They stopped to face her.

“Dani.” She pointed at where he was. “He can help us.”

Ricardo stood up to take a quick survey of the environment before shots forced him back behind cover. “We’re going need someone to draw the fire if we’re to make our move,” he said and his eyes fell on Kei, Megan's following immediately after.

"What?" She looked at them, confused; and then, her eyes widened in understanding. "Hell, no!"

"Kei, you're the only one fast enough to make it work," Megan reasoned but she shook her head vehemently.

"No means no, Meg," she reiterated and faced away, but then she seemed to think of it again and turned back with a groan. “God, if I die, I swear I'll make sure you guys die with me.”

“Just wait for my signal and you’ll be fine,” Ricardo said and winked, "mostly."

Some seconds later Kei nodded affirmative and Ricardo stepped out from behind the cover to fire at the restaurant's ceiling. The shot was followed by a crash of debris that had the assailants scrambling backwards and she used that opportunity to charge.

Kei unsheathed a dagger from her belt and threw it at one of the assailants; catching him right in the arm. She made to add another dagger throw but the other men opened fire and she had to deflect the bullets with her katana in a blur-run that ended behind a cover. She tried again but they shot and she had to go for another cover; and like that it went.

Now concentrated on Kei, the men forgot about Megan and Ricardo for a moment and he signalled her, “Time to go.”

He went first and she made to follow when Sammy suddenly grabbed her hand from where he laid. “Help me!” he groaned.

Megan looked to Ricardo whose return look was obvious that he was thinking of leaving the injured man behind, but something in her eyes stopped him and he sighed. “Let’s check where he’s hit,” he said finally.

Megan zipped down Sammy’s jacket and saw that he actually had a bulletproof vest on underneath which stopped the bullet from hitting his chest. Perhaps he hit his head when he fell to hurt him so bad, she guessed but helped him up anyway.

“Kei, we’re on the move!” Ricardo announced as they moved and the teenager zoomed in after them just as they entered into the restaurant proper.

Dani bolted the door and they ran to a backroom; locking the door and barricading with a desk just as they heard the restaurant's was broken in by the assailants.

“I don’t know how long we'll be able to keep them out,” Dani said when they heard footsteps closing in from the other side.

“Not long,” Kei returned. “You see, I saw a fourth of those men in the car while I was fighting them and he had enough C4 explosives with him to level a building.”

“Wait, what exactly are you saying?” Dani's expresson turned alarmed.

“What I’m saying,” she returned, “is that unless we find a way to get out of here in the next five minutes, we’re all going to get our asses blown to kingdom come.”

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