“Thumper, down!” I shouted, just as I fired a round into his bionic foot, forcing him to his knees as he narrowly avoided a bullet to the head.
“What the fuck? Did you just shoot me, boss?”
“It was your foot or your head,” I retorted, returning my gaze to the tangos still in the building.
“You’re paying for my new foot,” he grumbled, hobbling over to join the rest of his team.
“Send me the bill,” I muttered, already focusing on the remaining tangos.
“Eli, how many more kids need evac?”
The Ditty Boppers had been tasked with slipping in through the basement window and freeing the kids inside. We didn’t have an exact number when we started this mission, so we couldn’t be certain we had all the manpower or transportation needed.
“Boss, we’ve got a problem,” his voice rang through comms. “We’ve got about twenty that require medevac ASAP.”
“Negative. There aren’t enough birds in the sky.” I switched targets, firing again as I laid out the next part of the plan. “Fox, you copy?”
“You got someone for me to kill, boss?” he said cheerily.
“Move to extraction point B. Kid gloves, Fox.”
“Boss,” he groaned.
“Dash, take control. Rae, make sure Fox doesn’t fuck this up.”
She sighed heavily as I heard her on the move. “When is that not my job?”
I grinned and moved to the next target. I couldn’t see Jack anymore, or the rest of his team. With any luck, they made it out of the building and were aiding in the rescue of the kids.
“Boss, we’ve got movement to the south headed your way.”
“How far out?”
“Two minutes. Coming in hot, boss.”
“Do you have the shot?”
“Negative. Too much tree cover.”
I shifted to my next target and took aim. “And you didn’t see them? Were you too busy vomiting?”
“I told you I don’t like flying,” he snapped. “I would move if I were you.”
“One more minute,” I said, scoping out my next target.
“Boss, you really need to—”
But I tuned him out and returned my attention to the remaining tangos still threatening to destroy our operation. One by one, I picked them off, missing one by just an inch and alerting him to my location. He quickly ducked and ran for cover, hiding just a few feet from the entrance to the basement. If he made it down there, my men might be injured, along with those kids. Men did stupid shit when they were cornered.
“Boss!” Scottie was yelling in my ear, but I ignored him and kept my focus.
“Come on, you fucker,” I whispered, eyeing the man in my scope. I needed him to move just a little to the right.
“Thirty seconds!” Scottie warned.
The man moved and I took the shot, sending the bullet right through his skull. I watched as his head snapped back and he crumpled to the ground. Removing Sally 2 from my stand, I shoved my rifle in my bag and tossed it over my shoulder, abandoning the stand to whoever came through here. Taking off through the trees, I hauled ass toward the extraction point, but quickly realized I was already too late.
The tangos on my ass were closing in quick, and heading to the extraction point would only put more lives in danger. I made a snap decision and bolted to the left, making sure to leave an obvious path in my wake. Making enough noise to raise the dead, I grinned when I heard them following.
“Lock, I’ve got tangos on my ass. I’m leading them away. It should buy you enough time to get out.”
“Negative, boss. We’ve got too many injured.”
“How much time do you need?”
“Boss, I don’t like where you’re going with this.”
As I ran through the trees, I knew it didn’t really matter if he liked it or not. I had boxed myself in, and there was no way I was getting out of this on my own. But I could lay down fire and draw their attention from what was going on at the warehouse.
“I’ll distract them. When you’re out, I’ll haul ass to the third extraction point.”
“You’ll never make it there,” he warned.
I grinned, even though he couldn’t see. “Watch me.”