.unwelcome party. | .sam.

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Sam had expected Preston to tell them to wait in the room while he and the others attended to the danger. This was protocol back home, some kind of warped host/guest etiquette, or a passive way of telling someone they were actually a prisoner.

This was not home.

"Come with me." Preston had his strange gun again in the blink of an eye, and barged into a room filled with arms and ammunition. "You got guns where you're from?"

Dean had already picked up a pistol, something a little different from some of the odd, dubious pieces Sam had noticed holstered on the townspeople. "Yeah, we got 'em."

"Ten millimeter, good choice," said Preston.

Sam spotted a shotgun. "We need range or stopping power?"

"Not sure."

Sam grabbed the same make of pistol as Dean, and the shotgun he'd spotted. They loaded the empty weapons and hurried after Preston, who had a cautious jog and was receiving a shouted update from Hancock.

"Did he just say 'super mutants'?" Dean had to shout to compete with the piercing siren, which sat close to the door they'd exited.

"Did he?"

"This way!" Preston had less of a cautious jog and more of an urgency in his pace, and he, Hancock, and the brothers sprinted through the town, leaping over crumbling curbs and thick, untended weeds. "The ramparts. Take cover and don't shoot wildly."

Sam and his brother nodded.

Hancock slammed the button to the stairwell door with the heel of his fist, and the four ran upstairs to join guards, one of whom had already been grazed by a bullet.

The sturdy ramparts had several places to take cover. Sam and Dean chose a spot as a turret hummed to life overhead. Between the sirens, shouting, and chugging miniguns, verbal communication would have to wait.

Sam leaned to get a visual through the open, paneless window.

Hulking masses of wan green and yellow emerged through the eastern cluster of trees. The super mutants tromped slowly toward them, confidently shielded by their massive, ironically named miniguns.

Sam ducked behind cover as another one of those guns sputtered to life. He met Dean's eyes, which were full of the same reserved terror Sam felt, then looked to Preston and Hancock, who remained calm in spite of what approached.

The roof shook from an explosion, and shadows of falling debris crossed the wall. The chugging above them ceased, though the siren continued to wail.

"D'you hear that?" shouted Hancock, and Preston stilled to listen.

...blip-blip-blip-blip...

Another minigun started up.

"Don't tell me-" Preston risked a look, then quickly ducked down.

"Something's beeping," Sam told him.

Hancock rushed to the next open view, the one with the fewest bullet holes in the opposing wall.

"Suicider!" he shouted.

Preston lifted his gun and directed it out his window. "All eyes on the lookout for a Suicider! Take him down before he reaches the outer perimeter!"

"What's the outer perimeter?" Sam hadn't seen anything indicating an area like this when they'd entered.

"It's-" Preston took a shot. "Too much to explain now. Hit him before he makes it past the marked tree!"

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