Chapter 16:

A Gun to Kill For (Sam versus Little Red Riding Hood and Big Bad Wolf)


Sam picked her least favourite news networks, Big News and Jackal News, and aimed her hatchets at their helicopters. The former’s slashers had cut her fingers off; the latter had told her that she was a Satanist for playing Dungeons and Drakes.Bookmark here

Jack’s voice entered her head. Stop thinking about Dungeons and Drakes and get your act together! Bookmark here

Hey! thought Sam. Quit reading my mind!Bookmark here

You’re the one who started this, Ken Benobi!Bookmark here

Sam sighed and shook her head. Telepathy was a son of a gun.Bookmark here

Don’t pout! thought Jack. Listen, are you ready yet?Bookmark here

Sam bit her lip. It was possible that she and Jack were about to kill a group of innocent reporters, camera operators, and helicopter pilots who didn’t know what they’d gotten themselves caught up in, like Coco. However, it was far more likely that they were about to exterminate a pack of flying vermin, like Mr Milk…or Marilyn, for that matter. Bookmark here

You take that back! thought Jack. That’s my girlfriend you’re talking about!Bookmark here

Sam smiled. She was way too intoxicated to make a good decision right now. I’m ready!Bookmark here

Good! Jack waved the Blue Nasties and the Lonely Hearts into the hatch on the roof of the cabin. All clear! Now!Bookmark here

Sam and Jack powered their hatchets and fire axe with wind and flame and threw them at the news network helicopters. Sam cut through the rotor blades of the Big News and Jackal News helicopters; Jack nailed the cockpit of the Great News helicopter. Bookmark here

Jack then jumped into the cabin hatch.Bookmark here

The three helicopters spun in the air and collided with the others around them, which in turn collided with the helicopters around them. All went down in flame. The helicopters exploded on the heads of the Patriots and the Weekend Warriors. A mushroom cloud burned Sam’s skin, stung her eyes, and filled her nose and mouth with smoke. She coughed and spat.Bookmark here

The Blue Nasties and the Lonely Hearts ran out of the cabin straight towards the ledge where Sam, Little Red Riding Hood, and Big Bad Wolf were waiting for them. Bookmark here

Jack’s plan to bomb the Patriots and the Weekend Warriors using the news network helicopters while hunkering down in the cabin did have a certain mad genius to it, Sam had to admit. Maybe he wasn’t so dumb after all. That or the Blue Nasties’ Friday night Dungeons and Drakes campaigns had rubbed off on him to the point where he could actually lead a party now. Bookmark here

Jack’s voice entered her head. I said stop thinking about Dungeons and Drakes!Bookmark here

A dozen Patriots sprang out of the inferno around the Blue Nasties and the Lonely Hearts with machetes raised above their heads. This was bad! Zone or no Zone, the Patriots were all B-list slashers and soldiers at that! Jack wasn’t even armed! Bookmark here

Blades flashed. Bookmark here

The Patriots fell to the ground dead. Bookmark here

Sam didn’t even see how Jack took the machetes. Bookmark here

She wiped her forehead. ‘Phew!’ Bookmark here

Perhaps Jack was competent enough to lead the raid on the Red Dragon next Fri—Bookmark here

Damn it, Sam! I—Bookmark here

A pair of Weekend Warriors burst out of the smoke and ran up the hill towards Sam, Little Red Riding Hood, and Big Bad Wolf.Bookmark here

The one wearing an old computer monitor as a helmet spun computer fans around his fingers. ‘Tremble in terror, troublemakers! For I, Tetsuo the Iron Man, have come to deliver justice to the villain known as Sam Jacinto—who shot me in the ass!’Bookmark here

The one wearing a gold Buddha mask shook his prayer beads. ‘Put aside your petty grievance, Tetsuo! For I, Zen the Holy Man, have arrived to offer the wicked soul Sam Jacinto eternal enlightenment’—he tightened his prayer beads like a garrot—’through death! She shot me in the ass!’Bookmark here

Little Red Riding Hood shouldered her flechette shotgun and turned Tetsuo the Iron Man into mincemeat. Big Bad Wolf’s clawed Zen the Holy Man into chicken chunks. Bookmark here

Sam tittered, giggled, and finally doubled over laughing. ‘Why did they announce themselves like Rainbow Rangers?!’ She wiped her tears away. ‘Oh boy, have I become desensitised to violence.’Bookmark here

The Blue Nasties and the Lonely Hearts finally made it up the hill.Bookmark here

Little Red Riding Hood suddenly threw a metal net around them. Bookmark here

Before Sam could do anything, Big Bad Wolf had her in a bear hug from behind, restricting her movement. Though she was a lot tougher than Big Bad Wolf thanks to her Zone, he was a lot stronger. She couldn’t reach her chainsaw sword! The danger of the situation sobered her up instantly.Bookmark here

‘This is the end for all of you!’ said Big Bad Wolf. ‘The Lumberjack killed my best friend Golden Bear! Mezu assassinated Little Red Riding Hood’s whole family! We teamed up just so we could take you out!’ Bookmark here

So that’s what Little Red Riding Hood’s deal is! thought Sam. She’s a slasher hunter like me!Bookmark here

‘You guys may know how to use the Zone,’ said Big Bad Wolf, ‘but that isn’t going to stop a flechette shotgun!’Bookmark here

Wait! That gun can kill Zone users?!Bookmark here

‘Do it, Little Red Riding Hood! Kill theeem!’Bookmark here

Sam felt conflicted. On the hand, Little Red Riding hood was a stranger who was about to kill her friends. On the other hand, she was a slasher hunter like her who was about to kill some slashers.Bookmark here

Little Red Riding Hood raised her flechette shotgun at the Blue Nasties and the Lonely Hearts.Bookmark here

Images of Sam’s squadmates getting stabbed by hooded men flashed through her mind.Bookmark here

With a burst of wind, Sam broke free of Big Bad Wolf’s grip. He clawed at her back, but she salsa twirled away, cut his outstretched arm off with her chainsaw sword, and kicked him back. She ran towards Little Red Riding Hood, who turned and fired.Bookmark here

The flechettes knocked Sam back, but that was it.Bookmark here

Mezu cut himself out of the metal net—and cut Little Red Riding Hood’s head off.Bookmark here

Big Bad Wolf howled. ‘Nooo! Little Red Riding Hoood! I’ll kill you all for this! I’ll kill you aaall!’ He turned and ran.Bookmark here

So that was it. Little Red Riding Hood and Big Bad Wolf had severely underestimated the Zone. This wasn’t surprising, since to a non-Zone user, the Zone was invisible. Sam probably just looked like she was cutting things she shouldn’t have been able to cut and taking damage she shouldn’t have been able to take. They probably thought the Zone was something like hysterical strength. Their mistake had cost them dearly.Bookmark here

The other Blue Nasties and Lonely Hearts cut their way out of the metal net.Bookmark here

‘Come on!’ said Sam as she waved them over. ‘Big Bad Wolf is the only one who knows the way out of the forest!’Bookmark here

The Blue Nasties and the Lonely Hearts ran after Big Bad Wolf. Before Sam went with them, though, she ran over to Little Red Riding Hood’s head and took the faceless white mask off. Bookmark here

A pretty blonde, around her age.Bookmark here

Was that the right thing to do?Bookmark here

‘Move it!’ said Jack.Bookmark here

Sam ran after her friends. Bookmark here

You can resume reading from this paragraph.