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"Emerson-sensei wants one of them alive," spoke a heavily-accented voice over Jessie Brook's earpiece. The woman nodded in silence as she watched a group of mutated humans attacking each other maliciously. Lifting the gun she held, Jessie screwed a silencer into the barrel.
"I know, Amano-san. Kate, ready the tranks."
A cheerful voice registered in Jessie's ear. "Already done, Jess. Should we wait until one or two are left?"
"Yeah," she said back, her eyes not leaving the scene down on the street-level of the mostly abandoned city. "Whoever manages to kill the others will probably wear itself down. We hit it then. Make it quick and precise, Kate. Even though there are six of us, we don't want this son-of-a-bitch rampaging all over our asses."
"Tch... Even with three, we're good enough." That came from Koji Nawajira and it drew a disgusted sound from yet another over the earpiece.
"Baka! You forget how we ended up here in the first place!" Sachiko Evan's voice was very nearly a snarl over the communications device.
Jessie had gotten used to the interchanges since the group had teamed together. Her own grasp of Japanese had improved by huge margins since the other three had joined with her dwindling team. Half the team tended to mix the languages together, which had been frustrating in the beginning.
She frowned, her eyes not leaving the area below her vantage point.
"Everyone got their guns silenced?" The question had come from Kate and, for the most part, it had been directed at the member of the team who'd not spoken up yet.
Mike's exasperated voice sounded over the comm. "For the love of Christ, yes. After the ass-chewing you gave me last time, I'm not going to make that mistake again." Michael Forester had a bad habit of going in, guns blazing, and drawing even more mutations to where they were battling. It often led to very messy and bloody situations.
Movement caught Jessie's attention and her head snapped to see what was going on. Her fingers moved up to the earpiece and her voice sounded out in a harsh whisper. "Hold positions! Incoming pack at the northwest gap!"
"Gomen nasai, Jessie-san. I missed them." The woman frowned even deeper. It was going to take that much longer to get the good doctor his living specimen. "I count eight, more than half are already wounded."
"Neh, that's good, yes? Less waiting or work for us."
"Yes, that's good, Koji," Jessie said back in answer, not bothering to address him the way she had been Amano. To her, Koji was little more than a pain-in-the-ass man-whore who happened to be half-decent with a gun. It was her way of showing that she had almost no respect for the other man.
Kate sighed into her end of the communications device. "This is boring. Next time, the doc should get his own mutant to cut open."
"Sure, Kate. Then we'll just politely shoot him later when he comes back infected."
"Less talk, more paying attention, Mike," Jessie said, effectively quieting the rest of the team. The mutations were attracted by sound and scent, the infection having blinded nearly all of them early during onset.
Koji was the closest member of the team to her position and he walked up once everyone else went silent. Between his fingers burned a cigarette, which he pulled from as he came to stand next to the leader of their group. "We've been out here for three hours, Jessie-san. It's going to take almost that long for them to kill each other again."
"Return to your position, Koji." Jessie hadn't even turned to look at the man as she spoke. He'd done this a few times before.
Jessie whirled around, the silenced gun rising to train on Koji's face, the barrel unwavering. "That was an order, Nawajira. If this is commonplace for you, then it's no wonder the rest of your last team died. I won't have you endangering us because of your laziness."
Her eyes narrowed behind the sighting. "If someone does get killed because of you, I'll shoot you myself." Jessie's gunhand lowered until it was directed at a position just under Koji's waist. "And I'll make sure to do it in such a way you won't forget anytime soon."
Koji took a long, drawn-out pull from his cigarette and looked down at the barrel of the firearm leveled at him. "Neh, Jessie-san, I do have need of those," he said, seemingly unperturbed at the gun targeting his groin.
The tension between them was shattered when Sachiko's voice seemed to explode over their earpieces. "K'so, Mike-san! What did you do?!"
"One of the bricks went loose when I moved my foot, why?"
Jessie whirled around, her threat and Koji's behavior forgotten in that pair of exchanges. Her eyes narrowed as she took in the rapidly changing scene. "Your position's about to be over-run, Mike."
Before the sentence was even finished, she and Koji were moving as one down towards the street. The noise upon their descent was enough to get the attention of the mutants who had been advancing on the other man. Reaching under her coat, Jessie pulled out her other sidearm, though this one was unmodified by a silencer. She pointed the weapon in the air and squeezed the trigger, letting off a loud sound into the area and fully directing the creatures' attentions on themselves.
For his part, Koji maintained his quiet, drawing his gun in one hand and a single-edged blade from over his shoulder. His booted feet crunched gravelly rubble as he made a straight dash towards the closest of the group, lowering the sword horizontally so that it bit deep through the midsection as he passed by the first mutant in his path. Another locked onto the sounds of his boots and growled, bringing the man around, and the gun in Koji's hand gave its muffled bark as a fresh crimson blossom appeared out of nowhere between the beast's eyes.
Jessie whirled around behind him, her shin sweeping low in a graceful arc as she plowed it against a pair of oncoming legs. When the mutant came crashing down, her gunhand trained and fire erupted from the barrel, causing an explosion of scarlet mist. She didn't even startle when a hand clamped on her bicep and she was hauled off to the side by Koji.
The momentum his move gave Jessie allowed her following kick to fully topple the largest of the creatures and then her voice growled into the comm at her cheek. "This one, Kate!"
"On it!" came the follow-up response as Jessie's silvered eyes shifted around. One of the mid-mutation humans leapt into the air in order to bear down on her brutally. Before it could finish its attack, however, a thundercrack resounded in the distance and it was tossed to the side thanks to Amano's marksmanship.
"Nice one, Amano," Mike said as he dropped from his perch to slam another beast face-down into the asphalt. The heavy gun in his hand sounded off once, obliterating the creature's head.
"Arigato," the Japanese youth said over the earpiece. The somewhat distant sound of his voice told the rest of them that he was lining up his next target. Another thundercrack told the rest of them that he'd made his decision as to who.
Ducking slightly, Jessie allowed Koji to roll over her back in his attempt to deal with a trio of mutants coming up on her left. His blade sang out twice, the muffled bark of his gun trailing after, and then she was able to concentrate on an almost fully mutated foursome bearing at the two of them head-on. Her grim smile would have told them they didn't frighten her had they been capable of cognizant thought.
The pack had been thinned down enough that she didn't care if she made noise or not and Jessie pulled up her second pistol in a flash. Her first shot blew out a knee, dropping the leader of the oncoming mutants, and causing the one behind it to fall over it. Jessie planted a boot on the back of that one's head, the muscles in her legs bunching, and launched herself into the air over their heads, her lithe body twirling in an elegant spin. Her guns fired in rapid succession, until all four creatures lay dead at Koji's feet.
When she landed again, Koji snapped his blade to the side, throwing off infected blood before sheathing it again. "What a mess," he grumbled as he looked around at the carnage.
"Did you get the alpha, Kate?"
"Sure did, Jess. Bag 'im up and let's go home."
Sachiko moved up to the pair, a long gash ripped through the sleeve of her leather coat and a sour look on her face. "One of them snuck up on me. Guess I was too loud." Her uninjured arm shouldered a heavy rifle as she came to a stop close to Jessie.
Koji made a soft tsking noise and circled around the younger woman to get a look at the injury. "That's a bad one." His hand moved to his comm as his eyes turned up to where Amano's hidden position was. "Amano-san, bring your kit down here."
Moments later, the teen was landing like a cat on his feet nearby after having dropped from his thirty plus feet up position, causing Mike to whirl around in surprise. "Shit! Don't fucking DO that!" Amano's reflexes were fast enough that his hand flashed out, stopping the barrel of the larger man's gun from moving towards his face.
"Mike-san, I have to agree with Emerson-sensei... Decaf."
"Ha, ha... Very funny, you little turd."
Jessie tuned out the banter around her and ejected the empty magazines from her guns, reloading both as her mind wandered. They couldn't stick around in this spot too long after that bloodbath. If there were any more mutants in the area, they were most definitely on their way. But, Sachiko's wound had to be tended to. Even if they did get away, so long as she continued bleeding out, the beasts would have no trouble tracking on the group.
"Patch her fast, Amano-san," Jessie said lowly, her silvered eyes scanning around the six of them.