Unforeseen Dives – 38a – Trigger

<< 37b – Confined

My back rapidly became a problem. I fought through the pain but the sparks traveling across my skin hindered my concentration. We needed every bit of insight I could provide if we were to all get out of here. Or at least occupy our attackers until help arrived. Assuming help was really coming.
Rebecca caught the fist aimed at Agent Jackson’s head. When its owner turned around, I broke his jaw with my feet. Jackson could manage from there.
We spun to face the remaining two SWAT impersonators. They hovered, probably waiting to pick something out of my thoughts. Rebecca’s shielding of my mind destabilized them. We attacked first and managed to bruise an arm and a tibia. We retracted before any of their punches landed. They couldn’t win against us and they knew it.
A yelp from Ryan drew my eyes. The telepath who tried to take advantage of my distraction received an uppercut from Becky. Ryan had gone down in tears but we couldn’t help until we got out of our own predicament. Maybe Jackson would be able to lend a hand to his partner.
Becky and I charged again, ensuring a part of our bodies remained connected throughout the exchange of punches, kicks and tentative holds. Our opponents were quickly losing stamina.
Then the game changed.
One attacker managed to grab Rebecca’s arm long enough to broadcast a series of horrors in her mind. It pierced through her mental barrier and overflowed her senses and mine. The pain ringing through my knees and back meant I hit the ground. Hands gripped me but I was too busy fighting the nausea to show any real resistance.
This was worst than the waves of deaths I faced when I stopped the Times Square bombing. This was visceral and cruel, not the detached result of destiny. The silent bullet dug its way deep into my core.
Sunlight forced me to close my eyes. I barely registered the sound of a van’s door sliding open but I did hear the shouts. With the last remnant of my will, I pulled against the arms holding me and dropped to the ground with all my weight. My mind suddenly cleared from the nefarious influence.
Bullets flew a few feet above my head. I heard my kidnapper’s body thump to the ground. Becky’s foot was next to my face. Her attacker used her as a shield. I couldn’t have that. I grabbed my partner’s ankle and cringed when the wave of horrors overtook me again. I forced myself in, hoping that, between the two of us, I could manage enough space for her to elbow her assailant and drop to the ground.
A bullet hit the guy in the forehead as soon as Becky freed herself.
The kidnappers van started in a cloud of smoke. A police car swiftly fell behind it for the pursuit. The SWAT team surrounded us and paramedics were hot on their heels.
“They have Ryan,” I muttered.
“Miss Parker,” a tall African-American bowed down to me. “Agent Francis.”
“They have Agent Ryan Reeves of the FBI.” I forced myself up which renewed the pain in my back. I winced but the suffering unexpectedly sparked an important question. “Is the driver of the chase car a telepath?”
“No. Why?”
“The whole crew that attacked us was.”
With a heartfelt grunt, the SWAT team leader ran to the nearby patrol car and grabbed the radio.
“Cancel the pursuit. I repeat. Cancel the pursuit now!”
“What?” Jackson emerged from the courthouse to hear Francis’s orders. “Get a chopper and satellite surveillance!”
“They’re telepaths.” I said, stepping in front of Jackson.
“They can’t outthink a roadblock.” He pushed by me but I grabbed his arm. He had to hear me out.
“The pursuer will be dead before we can task a satellite or a chopper. You know that.”
Non-readers never won a pursuit against telepaths, no matter how much technology or manpower they used. A satellite needed someone to give it coordinates. Roadblocks required a projected route. In both cases, a chase car had to provide reliable information.
Unfortunately, telepaths reacted faster than reflexes. With a little skill, a telepath driver could cause an accident no high-speed trained non-readers could avoid. Best case scenario, the chase car was lost within five minutes. Worst case scenario, a whole lot of people died. Either way, we didn’t catch the guy.
“I’m sorry.” I liked Ryan though we didn’t know each other very well. However, what frustrated me the most was that I basically told the police to allow my strongest lead to escape. I lost yet another innocent and a shot at stopping the war.
“Maybe not,” Rebecca commented on my thought. She pointed toward the door where two SWAT members transported the imposter Jackson downed earlier. The FBI agent stumped toward the prisoner.
“We’ll have to pull rank on him, though.” Rebecca said. She closed her eyes to communicate with HQ. I laid a hand on her shoulder to hop on the call. Daniel answered promptly. “We have a suspect in the FBI’s custody,” Rebecca announced.
“And we’re leaving him there.” Both my partner and my boss were surprised. This whole situation had triggered some weird assemblage of the puzzle pieces floating in my brain. “Right now, we don’t need this guy and taking him from Jackson custody’s would arise suspicions. He’s hurt and he needs something to keep him busy.”
As succinctly as possible, I mentally put together my reasoning; explosions, swiftness to leave people behind or eliminate them, readers and non-readers hired hands severed from the head, waves of horrific thoughts to disorient targets…
“Nadina Perez isn’t just a scorned woman looking for revenge.” I thought.
“She was our baddy’s trial run,” Rebecca echoed.

38b – Trigger >>

About Aheïla

Somewhere in Quebec City, Aheïla works as a Game Design Director by day and writes by night. Known for her blue hair, unyielding dynamism and tasty cooking (quails, anyone?), she’s convinced “prose is the new crack”. She satisfies her addiction daily on The Writeaholic’s Blog and weekly on Games' Bustles View all posts by Aheïla

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