As Ricardo and I scanned the street, May asked, “Uh… do you really need to have your guns out?”
“At this point,” I said, “it’s better safe than sorry. Besides, you’re the sophomore. Did you even know that the buildings here could do this?”
“Yes I did, actually,” May said. “If there’s some sort of attack or if there’s a containment failure, these shutters will deploy in strategic locations”
“Then do you have an idea why they’d do this?” Ricardo asked.
“On this large a scale?” May asked. “The only thing I can think of is some kind of invasion. Like, full-scale Marines, helicopters, bombers and battleships kind of invasion. But I don’t hear any gunfire so…”
Suddenly, there was a flash of light and a sharp crack from up the street. Four people in what looked to be Nazi uniforms suddenly appeared right in front of us. “MAY!” I yelled as I opened fire, “GET DOWN!”
Three of the four were hit pretty quickly, but the fourth managed to get a few rounds off before we got him. “What the hell was that?” Ricardo asked. “Were they Jumpers?”
“I don’t know,” May said, “I was lying on the ground like I was told to.” I looked behind me. May was getting to her feet. “But judging by the flash of light and the snapping sound, I’d say that they definitely weren’t Jumpers.”
“Agreed,” I said. “Let’s move before more come.”
“Where?” May asked. “There’s no place to go. All the buildings are going to be sealed.”
“That doesn’t mean that there aren’t places with more cover than this,” I said. “We take the back roads and head towards the Campus Security barracks. Follow me.”
I began to head to the alleyway by The Drunken Mercenary, dragging May with me. On my way, I could hear more cracks from these strange teleporters. If anything, they reminded me of the people who had ambushed Charlotte’s plane back in December, based on their weird tech and love of 1940’s clothing.
I got behind a dumpster and turned around to cover Ricardo and May. May was first to get in. Ricardo was up next when there was another crack. When my eyes cleared from the blinding light that had accompanied it, there were another four tangoes.
Before I could shout a warning, one of them double-tapped Ricardo with what looked like the child of a Mauser and an M1 Garand. Ricardo fell on his face, giving me a clear shot at his attackers.
My first shot hit one of the others, but I’m pretty sure I just winged him. Two more shots missed completely. Then, the other three began to suppress me.
Making sure to keep aiming, I pulled out my cPhone. I was going to unlock it when I noticed that there were no bars. Great, calling Campus Security was no longer an option.
“Who are these people?” I asked. “They’re teleporters who are obviously not Jumpers, armed with Nazi-inspired weaponry and uniforms made from materials I don’t recognize.” I heard one start yelling something. “Who also are speaking German.”
“Maybe they are Nazis.” May said. There was a sudden burst of gunfire, and I ducked back behind the dumpster. “They could have hid in some out of the way location, just biding their time.”
“And where were they hiding?” I asked as I took a few shots at one with an STGW trying to get a bead on me. “Another planet?”
“I don’t know,” May said, “but you said they’re using materials you’ve never seen before in their weapons. That makes being extraterrestrial in origin a distinct possibilGAH!” She had yelled because a bullet had just parted her hair. “Ok,” she said, “that was scary.”
“Shit,” I said, “we’re going to have to move.” I slid out my Beretta’s mag to check how many shots were left. There were only six shots, plus the one in the chamber. Add the spare magazine in my holster and my P229, and I had only thirty-five rounds of ammo. “Ok,” I said, “when I give the signal, you’re going to run.” From down the street, I heard people running down the street and yelling in German. “Get to the loading area behind the building. I’ll be there in a bit.” I fired a few more shots.
“Ok,” May said. “If you don’t make it…”
“Hide,” I said, “find a weapon and wait Campus Security to launch a counter-attack.” While I said this, I reloaded my Beretta, placing the mostly empty magazine in a pocket. I peeked out of cover. Ricardo was lying face up in a pool of his own blood, his pistol still gripped tightly. Wait, I thought, didn’t he fall face down?
As if reading my thoughts, Ricardo turned his head and smiled at me. “Alright, go!” I said. Instantly, Ricardo raised his pistol and began firing. I leaned out of cover and took aim at a soldier with an SMG taking aim at Ricardo and double-tapped him in the chest. “Run, May, run!”
From behind her, I heard her run off. I couldn’t turn around to verify she was out of danger, so instead I asked Ricardo, “You need any help, man?”
“Naw, esse,” he wheezed. “I’ll be ok. Get outta here.”
He was lying, of course. But there was nothing I could do. “Roger that, Ricardo,” I said, slowly backing up. “See you after we win, ok?”
I made the most of his sacrifice. Walking backwards, I made sure to pop anything wearing a helmet and green that came into my view. It took a while, but at the time I thought it was safer.
This supposition was immediately proven wrong when I rounded the corner. Behind Marine, weapons facing me, were eight people. Slightly out of arm’s reach were two of the people who were probably Nazis, armed with Stgws. Leaning against the far wall, dressed in blue university t-shirts were some students, both with M-4 clones of some kind. Standing a little in front of them were two more Nazis, one with an MP-40, the other with the semi-auto Mauser. Also, judging by the sound of a Kalashnikov being cocked, there was someone behind me as well.
However, it was the three people behind the closer of the two Nazi. One of them, of course, was Richard. Smiling smugly, he had a shotgun resting on his shoulder and his M1911 pointed straight in my face.
That wasn’t the worst part. Standing on May’s chest, a Browning Hi-Power pointed right at her face, was Kyle. Calmly, without a hint of emotion or anxiousness, he said, “I’d drop that gun if I were you, Killer.”
I dropped it. One of the Nazi guys (at this range I could see they were wearing the requisite armbands) said in a heavy German accent, “I understand why we need the scientist, but why him?”
Kyle shrugged. “He’s a good soldier, and I think I can get him on my side pretty quickly.” I noticed his word choice. My side, not our side.
“Kyle, you asshole,” May coughed. “I can’t believe I kept your secret for you! Nate knows all he needs to about you!”
“She’s right,” the Nazi guy said, “this is a waste of time. Besides, he doesn’t look Aryan enough.”
“He hasn’t heard Richard’s proposal yet,” Kyle said, still completely calm. “Let him talk, and after that, we’ll decide where to go from there.” My expectations dropped somewhat. If Kyle was relying on Richard to convince me, I’d probably say no out of principal.
“So Jew-boy,” Richard said, his grin growing bigger, “why’d you enroll at lovely Nowhere Island University?”