By this time they were into the lower-middle class neighborhoods in northern Tacoma. Their irregular course through the side streets took them past Panther Lake without incident, but as they crossed 208th Ave. activity again caught their attention.
"Help!!!" a girl screamed. She was in her late teens, dressed in a synthleather skirt and jacket. The jacket was being pulled away from her by one of the four teenaged boys in gang colors that were in the midst of dragging her into an alley.
Lance and Tommy glanced at each other for the briefest of moments and then they were both off, in full charge toward the girl.
Side-by-side they skidded to a stop in front of the gangers at the mouth of the alley. The gangers turned toward them, not at all startled by their sudden appearance. "Let the girl go" Lance said firmly.
"Sure" one of the gangers said and released his grip on the girl. She regained her footing, reached into her jacket and produced a pistol.
"Thanks for the rescue" she said, pointing the gun at Lance. Four more gangers appeared from behind dumpsters or out of doorways, all of them armed and pointing their weapons at Lance and Tommy. They were surrounded. "Now turn over those bikes, your credsticks and those jackets," the girl continued with a smirk.
"Lance through on my move" Lance subvocalized into the mic taped to his throat.
"NOW!" one of the gangers shouted impatiently, racking the shotgun in his hand. Lance hit the button extending his lance suddenly into the shoulder of the ganger closest to him and immediately accelerated his bike through the kid, kicking another in the chest as he passed.
It took Tommy a second to react, but he still moved before the gangers did. Extending his own lance, Tommy punched the gas and rocketed through the gangers. As he rode down the alley after Lance, he past two bloody bodies- presumably of the ganger's previous victims.
By the time they got to the end of the alley, they could feel bullets whizzing past them. As soon as they were around the corner Lance laid the bike down, sliding along the roadway and diving as he did for the cover of a nearby doorway. The Blitzen slid to a stop further up the road. His Ruger was in his hand by the time he slammed into the shop door.
Tommy shot past him, unable to react quickly enough to Lance's sudden movement. He slammed on his breaks and dove for cover half a block past Lance. "We're gonna take ‘em out before they nail somebody else," Lance subvocalized as the gangers burst out of the alley. There were still nine of them and immediately they pointed at the two bikes and started running toward them with weapons drawn.
Lance ignored the shouts of "You're dead meat!" and "Tried to run, eh? Now you're really gonna get it," as the gangers ran towards the bikes.
Lance waited until the gangers passed him, then raised his weapon and fired. The Ruger roared - one ganger dropped. Lance shifted his sites to the next and fired again. The second ganger dropped. They'd stopped running. Lance shifted his sights and fired again, dropping a third, then a fourth. Four down, five to go. Lance dropped the empty clip out of his Ruger and reached for his back-up clip.
The gangers were raising weapons at Lance when Tommy fired. His first shot staggered a ganger, and the second dart from his narco-pistol dropped the kid. The other gangers were diving out of the way.
One of the gangers went right for Lance, gun up and firing wildly. Lance ignored the chunks of ferrocrete shattering off the wall where the gangers bullets hit as he slammed the fresh clip into his Ruger and put two quick shots into the gangers chest.
The ganger dropped in a bloody heap. Lance took a second to look around- another ganger was laying on the ground with one of Tommy's narco-darts in his neck. The remaining two gangers were running madly back toward the alley. Lance pocketed his empty clip and stood. With his gun trained on the wounded gangers he advanced on them and evaluated their wounds visually. Butt, thigh, shoulder, the burst-fire Ruger had put three bullets into every target. The one he'd shot it the chest was probably dead, or soon would be. But the others would heal. It was unfortunate that he'd had to put one down- he hadn't wanted to- but he'd learned to live with killing. Perhaps the others would think twice before they pulled something like that again.
"D...don't kill me" the ganger grunted, writhing on the ground. Lance ignored him and kicked the kid's gun up the street toward where Tommy had emerged. Tommy holstered his narco-pistol and picked the weapon up.
One by one Lance kicked the ganger's weapons to Tommy.
In the far distance sirens were starting up. Lone Star was on the way.
Lance picked an Ares Predator out of the group . Tommy picked a Colt Manhunter up and pocketed it. They wiped their fingerprints off the rest of the weapons and flung them into the middle of the street, a block away from the wounded gangers, where Lone Star was sure to find them.
Lance and Tommy mounted their bikes and sped off, disappearing thought the alleys long before the Star's cruisers could weave their way to the scene.
Once they had put some distance between them and the responding police Lance pulled over. He unloaded the heavy pistol rounds from the Predator's magazine and then loaded them into the magazines for his Ruger. With both of his magazines fully loaded and a round chambered, Lance reholstered his Ruger. He pocketed the spare clip and pulled back onto the road, tossing the Predator into the first dumpster they passed.
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