A hail of bullets can only last so long. When the untrained guns inside the warehouse finally fired their weapons dry. The return fire came as they reloaded.
But as the return fire soon transformed just into a regular shootout. My time to enter the picture finally came. I slid the long barrel of my rifle onto one of the folds of the car. I took aim at the windows. The thugs were mostly bind firing. So, when I saw their hands, I pictured how the body would bend. Then take aim through the wall roughly where the head would be. Take aim. Deep breath in. Breath out. Fire.
This was no standard of the mill rifle. Smolinski had equipped me with rounds that not only packed a serious punch but could also puncture. The bullet would slice right through the thick steel plate of the warehouse. Then give the person it hit two heads instead of one.
With each shot I fired, I saw the hand drop from the window and the surrounding guns becoming more frantic. I was hitting my targets. With another clack of my rifle, I slotted in another round. Yusuke had left me to assume command of this wing of the squad. But to be entirely honest. I hadn’t even realized. With each shot, the panic inside the warehouse increased.
It reached a boiling point when I sank a tenth consecutive hand. The window was shattered on the highest floor of the building. From the darkroom stuck out a piece of black steel. A machinegun.
The stutter of the gun jolted have of the police officer behind their respective covers. Those that weren’t as quick to react were hollowed out by the downpour of bullets that it spewed. I loaded my final clip into the rifle. I had hoped there would be severely less of them. But it seems that either the group was far larger than I ever anticipated, or they didn’t send any extra guards to central command. Either way, it didn’t bother me much. I’d win no matter how many I had to face.
“Reinhard. Do something about that machinegun,” shouted Yusuke who made his way back to me. I only gave him a nod. The machine gun had to be fed by quite the ammunition stockpile to continue this rate of fire. But he had to stop eventually. Otherwise, he’ll overcook the gun. I knew he was on the top floor. Shooting from the fourth from the right window. It’s pitch black up there, so I won’t be able to see him.
“No problem,” I said to myself and raised my gun and took aim with my back still against the car. I visualized exactly how I would move and when the fire finally stop. I spun.
I spun around and onto my feet. My sights immediately found the gun and aimed into the black nothingness behind the gun. I was running out of time. The gun fed from the left so my right. Meaning it was right-handed. My sights moved up along the barrel to where the head would be. A little bit down and fire. The machinegun slid out from the window and plummeted down onto the roof of the side installment.
With that, the police could freely again return fire, while I continued my headhunting. When the noise of dry fire came from the rifle. I knew I had exhausted my ammunition and wasted no time to toss it to the side.
“Yusuke, cover fire on three,” I informed him and unclipped the sub from my coat.
“Understood,” he nodded and got a small group of his men under his direct command. I watched the hands still shooting blindly. There was far fewer of them, and I had to take this chance to move in before they shifted men over from the other side.
Loaded and ready to engage. I showed three fingers and slid over Yusuke’s car. As expected, Yusuke and his group began battering the side of the warehouse.
I dashed in between the cars of the parking lot just to the right. When I took cover behind one of the cars, the cover fire from Yusuke stopped. The gunfight returned to normal again. Between the cars and in the shadows did I sneak. Like a fox moving in closer to the chicken coop.
As I came closer, I knew the door would be locked and barricaded most likely. Thus, I needed another point of entry. I looked to see if the nearest end of the warehouse was still as depleted. Thankfully they hadn’t replaced the victims of my sharpshooting. Perhaps there weren’t that many of them as I thought.
Without giving it any more thought I rushed to a few barrels and effortlessly leapt on them. Then as my lungs filled with air. I dove through one of the shattered windows.
I crashed hard on the inside but had no time to waste. As I struck the floor, I rolled over and back on my feet. Gun raised and only the nearest thug realizing what had just befallen them. I opened fire.
Cloth and blood sprayed out like confetti. I made sure to work my way forwards as I shredded those that blind fired at me earlier. All the glass vials and lab equipment laid shattered. Stray bullets had destroyed everything.
As I reached the end of the line and my magazine. The last three shrieking thugs dropped their guns and tried to make a run for it. With glass and pools of blood below my feet. The pale streaks from the spotlights slicing through the darkness and across my body. I pulled out it. The harrowing explosions and fire-spitting shots it fired, echoed through the warehouse.
Three rounds later and it was only me in a room of corpses. Ejecting my subs magazine, I turned to the back door. Luckily it seemed they hadn’t barricaded it, only locked. While loading in another magazine I opened the door and stepped outside.
“Quickly, move up!” I shouted and watched as the scrambling dark blue uniforms made their way to me.
“Good job,” was all Yusuke had to say as he rushed past me. The second he passed I was his shadow. Where he stepped, I followed.
“I’ll take care of the upper floors, you finish business down here,” I said and refilled the magazine of my handgun. Instead of replying. Yusuke nodded and signaled his men to gather. I fared up the stairs and wondered how many there still was on the crosswalks of the main building and higher floors.
This warehouse had three levels. But the top floor was nothing more than two walkways up in the rafters. So, most of the enemies would be on the second-floor walkways. As my mind raced on how I would approach the main room. The light from the window fell on over the steps as I clambered my way up to them. Then just as I was about to kick open the door and rip them to shreds. I stopped. Yusuke.
I had to wait for him to be the first to enter the main room. That way he would be the distraction I needed to catch them off guard. But how long would I need to wait for him? The echo of gunshots on the other side of the door made my heart race even more. I had to take my mind of the fight somehow, otherwise, I would be consumed by the bloodlust.
I pressed my forehead against the cold window and sucked my lungs full of air. All the while listening for the slightest hint of the door opening. With my breathing slowing down, I calmed myself. Then opened my eyes to see what I needed to see.
The main room was filled with West Cartel members as they returned fire from the front and back of the warehouse. All the while they left the sides to the upper floors and two add-ons. But when they realized that the left side had grown quiet. A group of reinforcements were dispatched, but as they approached the double doors. They were kicked open and Yusuke’s group opened fire. Every head that wasn’t busy fighting off the police turned in shock.
Time slowed down. The entire second floor’s members raised their guns. Took aim. But before they could fire. The rapid-fire of a large caliber machinegun let loose from behind them.
I felt the large gun kick against me as I made my way across the walkways. Bathed in shells and gun smoke. I unleashed a torrent of bullets from the machinegun that earlier dropped onto the roof. The stairs had put me an arm’s length of it earlier. And I thought it would be wasted being left there.
As blood and bodies rained down from the walkways of the second floor. Yusuke and his group took full advantage of the absolute chaos that followed and tore into them.
As more and more blood splattered onto me, I lost myself in the moment. Same as I did at the café when those Ash heads came for us. I was consumed yet again. But this time when I snapped back in control. I stood on a heap of corpses. Drenched in blood and exhausted. As I panted, I could see my breath puff out in front of me.
“Reinhard, I said that’s enough!” shouted Yusuke from behind cover. I heard a continuous ticking noise and looked to my right. My hand was holding the trigger instil.
“Reinhard. Are you back, can you hear me?” he shouted again. I dropped the gun with a clang and felt my feet give underneath me. I dropped firmly on the bodies beneath me. I had never felt exhaustion like this before.
Apparently, I completely lost it. Yusuke said I fought as a man possessed. He said he completely understood why I was called the Devil of the west. Because no other man could have done that. Bullets tore through my coat but miraculously it never once touched my body. I moved more like a creature than a man. Crawling, rolling, and leaping all about. Using my weapons at my disposal until they were empty. Then resulting in picking up whatever I could find.
“It was really something I hope I never have to see again. It was easily the most frightening thing I had ever witnessed,” said Yusuke as he finished his report to me.
“Sorry. I get like that sometimes,” was all I could reply. The paramedics that arrived on site were kind enough to give me some washcloths. I wiped as much blood off me as I could. But it always seemed like there was more.
“Well, I’m just glad you snapped out of it before you turned on us. You know you shouted something right before you came to,” he said. His eyes held real fear for me. In fact, all those around me gave me a wide berth.
“What?” I asked. Afraid of the answer as I used up the last of the clean washcloths.
“One-hundred-and-seven. Does that mean anything to you?” he asked. When I heard what he said. My body went cold. I had long ago gone numb from killing. Blood spraying over me and mutilated bodies were things I could handle. But when he said that to me. It was the first time in a long time that I had to come to terms with what I had done.
“Oh,” I stammered and sat down on the turned over barrel.
“What is it?” he continued to ask and went down on his haunches to look me in the eyes.
“That how many people I killed tonight.”
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