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Twenty-six minutes had passed when I heard it. 

The rapid but distinct chatter of a burst of machine gun fire. The screams that followed were of horror, and I fell into action without even considering what needed to be done. My gaze dropped to my hands as I telekinetically picked the locks of the cuffs, and in a matter of seconds I was free from the metal restraints and getting to my feet. 

I didn't even make it around the table before the door burst open, and a man with a machine gun rushed into the room, weapon pointed at me. He didn't make it very far past the threshold; I jerked one hand upwards in a fist, and the gun tore itself out of his hands and slammed into the ceiling before dropping to the floor across the room. The man looked at me with fear in his eyes, likely heightened by my nearly maniacal smile. 

It didn't stop him from rushing me though. When he did, he swung wide. I stopped him mid-swing and  did a rapid jab to his stomach, and as he doubled over I brought my knee up into his face. Before he began to topple completely, I calmly made use of my knowledge of pressure points -- specifically the 'Vulcan pinch.' He promptly passed out and hit the floor with a thud

I moved to step over his body into the hall, and immediately made eye contact with Rebel. "воин," I said with a half-smile. No sooner had I spoken than did things begin to go awry. 

As more shots were fired throughout the building -- both from the Kinetic and the police --there was a dull yelp.

I turned just in time to see Slick catching Outlaw by her arms. Outlaw had been shot, and I could already see the blood seeping through her t-shirt. I could vaguely hear Slick mumbling in rapid-fire Spanish at Outlaw, and even as I felt Rebel's hand grasping my shoulder, I saw red.  

And I didn't have to look to know Rebel was reacting similarly.

Wrath broiled beneath the surface of my skin. My vision went fuzzy around the edges, and the telekinetic energy that burst from me sent spindling cracks through the walls. The Kinetic agents that had been firing at the police officers went down like sacks of potatoes, leaving Detective McCann and his men standing there, staring at me in shock. 

I didn't acknowledge them, not even when McCann opened his mouth to address me. No, instead I turned toward my partner, and watched as Rebel dispatched half a dozen men with only a few hits. He turned back to me and hefted a very large machine gun up with one hand, his green eyes darkened, his jaw clenched. "I'll get Outlaw," he informed me in Russian, his voice a growl. 

Rebel moved past me toward Slick and Outlaw, and the moment he passed me, a small squad of the Kinetic rounded the corner. All I did was lift a hand, and the four of them went crashing into the wall, yelps and shouts of pain exploding from them as they crashed to the floor in a heap. My hand remained outstretched, and one of their semi-automatic rifles came flying through the air into my hand. 

"Slick!" I heard Rebel bark when I turned back around. The machine gun was slung over his shoulder, and he was carrying Outlaw bridal style. "Risk will handle it. Come on." 

Slick hesitated, looking between myself and my partner. I made steady eye contact with her for a moment. "Go," I agreed, nodding sternly. Almost as though to punctuate my command, one of the Kinetic staggered to his feet between us -- and I felled him with one well-aimed shot. 

She forced a smile my way before turning and jogging after my partner, leaving me with McCann . . . and whoever McCann's buddy was.

They both stared at me with expressions akin to if I had three heads. I hefted the rifle over my shoulder and looked between them with only slightly less rage than I had felt just a moment before. "So McCann," I said, my voice void of emotion, "do you believe my ghost organization story yet?"

McCann's friend gaped at me before looking over at him. "She still looks like a murderer."

"She can hear you," I said dryly, "and really doesn't care what she looks like." My gaze turned back to McCann, and I arched a brow challengingly. "Well?"

"Yes," McCann said without hesitation. "Yes, I do believe you. Where . . . how--"

"I don't have time to answer your questions," I said, striding down the hall in their direction. I kept the gun on my shoulder, pausing only for a moment before the two of them. "If you want to protect your country," I said, "and your Prime Minister in specific, I suggest you start organizing yourselves and heading toward that international meeting that's scheduled for today." That was all I said before I moved right on past them, not bothering to wait around for a response.

Before I turned down the next hallway, I heard McCann's partner. "I don't think you're crazy any more. Just, in case you were wondering." 

In another situation I may have smiled. But one of my friends had just been shot, and now I was out for blood. 

Rebel was in the middle of hot-wiring a police car when I stepped out of the police station. I could see the bottoms of Outlaw's shoes sticking out of the back of the car, and Slick was pacing in circles near Rebel, her phone to her ear. 

I overheard her finishing the conversation as I walked up. "--skip the meeting at Big Ben," Slick said. "Head straight for the UN meeting. Yeah, pass it on to the others." She paused then and looked over at me. "Yeah, I'll tell them." Then she hung up and slipped the phone back into her pocket, turning her full attention to me. "Legion wanted me to let you and Rebel know that Snag showed up on our radar. Desmond is trying to relay our plan to her." 

"And you told them that the Kinetic is picking up the pace?" I asked, pausing beside Rebel and glancing down at what he was doing.

"I did," Slick agreed, before looking over at her own partner. "I need to get the bullet out and stitch her up." 

The car engine roared to life then, and both Slick and I looked at Rebel in time to see him flashing a slightly demented smile our way. "Then we'll stop at a convenience store on the way," he said, situating himself in the driver's seat and extending his machine gun toward me. "You're in the passenger's seat. If we get followed--"

"Yeah, I know, Reb," I said, resisting the urge to roll my eyes and taking his gun. I shoved his door shut, stopping just long enough to look over at Slick. "She'll be fine," I promised her. 

"Of course she will," Slick said confidently. "She's too crazy to die this young," she said with a dry laugh before heading around the opposite side of the car to climb into the back with her partner. 

When I climbed into the passenger's seat I situated both Rebel and I's guns in between my legs, before turning toward him. "If someone does follow us," I said in low Russian, "I will not be handling the situation with guns."

Rebel just grinned, the gesture seeming a little maniacal in the moment. "Kind of figured as much." 

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