Forty

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Lester sat in the back of The Duchess waiting with Jackie for the signal to move in from Nikki."You should know, I rigged The Duchess to explode with a mere phone call." Said Lester.

"You did what? How did you even learn to do that?" She asked.

"I found a twelve year old on YouTube to teach me." Lester said. "You'd be surprised how easy it was."

Jackie opened her mouth to speak but she was cut off by the first gun shot which they immediately recognized as Emma's M82. He scrambled to pull out his rifle and together they charged the house. By the time they reached the Dolemite statue they heard a riot of gunshots and saw Nikki fling the front doors opened to let them in.

"You go in, I'll go around back to support Emma." He ordered before splitting off from Jackie to follow Emma's path along the side of the house. He made his way around and heard Emma firing repeatedly at her assailants from her hiding spot. By his count she would need to reload any second. He waited until he heard her last shot then pun around the corner opening fire on the men at ground level below before they could advance on Emma. When he did he saw a man come crashing through the upper balcony and do a swan dive into the patio below. He gunned down the nearest man but the others either retreated into the house or took cover behind one of the man stone pillars and benches in the courtyard. Caught as they were in a crossfire between Emma and him,however, precious little real state offered a safe place to hide from both of them. He popped back around the corner of the house for cover and the men split their fire between him and Emma. He heard Emma's rifle once more and a man behind a pillar splattered all over the back of the house. Amid all the gunfire he could make out the much more rapid beats of the MAC-11's carried by Jackie. He kept pouring on the fire, nailing one guy in the knee toppling him over and affording Lester an easy kill shot.

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Jackie stormed through the front door weapons ready to go. She walked to the right side of the stairway and into a large living room with three large couches and a comically large TV hanging on the wall. She took a left out of this room where she found Nikki lying on the floor at the mercy of a bloodied man raising a handgun to the girls face. Without hesitation she unleashed both barrels on the man completely shredding him.

"Thanks." Nikki said at the same time pushing herself back up to her feet.

Just then another man entered from the balcony and took aim at Jackie. She narrowly avoided his first shot and watched Nikki plunge her daggers into his chest before withdrawing them and slamming them into his temples. Before he could fire a second shot he collapsed lifelessly to the floor. This left two men on the balcony still firing on Emma which Jackie made short work of, plugging them full of holes from behind. She stepped out onto the balcony where she could see the whole of the elaborately decorated courtyard below She could only see one man from her vantage point and Emma took him out before she could raise a machine pistol in his direction. Seeing no one else below she went back into the house aiming to root out anyone still inside.

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Emma squeezed the trigger and took out the last man she had a clear line of sight on. She poked her head up but it didn't improve her visibility. She paused for a moment to look for a better position but nothing obvious stuck out. She would need to stand up and expose herself to get a good vantage point. She took a deep breath, shouldered the massive rifle, and made a run for a nearby marble bench. While she ran she could feel the bullets whizzing by around her. Close, far too close for comfort, but she made it unharmed. She hefted her rifle and poked her head up over the bench only to have a bullet impact the stone right next to her face showering her with fragments and marble dust and causing her to duck back down in panic.

Fuck that was close.

She could hear the others firing still and hand no idea how many men were still firing on them. She rose back over the top of the bench and scanned the area but couldn't see anyone aside from Lester who just entered the lower level and the bodies scattered all over the place."I guess I'll just hold here and wait for them to come out." She said to the unsettlingly still air. Somewhere in the distance she could hear sirens.

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Nikki checked the carnage looking for the man she saw on the way up the stairs. None of the dead men at her and Jackie's feet were the right one. She left Jackie out on the balcony and searched for a way downstairs. It didn't take her long to find the staircase but before she went down she tucked away her daggers and pulled out some throwing knives. Below she could hear gunfire. Slowly she took each step and held her hands ready to fling blades the moment she saw anyone. When she hit the bottom she found a man firing on Emma. In a split second three blades were lodging deep in his back. A quick check of the bodies did not reveal her quarry. She quickly retrieved her knives, wiping the blood off on the man's shirt, then headed back up the stairs.

She went back to the foyer then climbed the stairs to the second floor. She stalked the hall straining her ears to hear any trace of movement that might give away someone hiding. Each door she passed she carefully opened to peer inside. She was looking through her third door when she heard a creaking noise behind her. She spun around and flicked a knife at the opening door leaving it sticking out with a thud and she saw the man she sought. Their eyes locked and his went wide. She couldn't tell if he recognized her or just feared the crazy white girl festooned with knives glaring back at him. He tried to close the door to escape her but she booted it open with such force it sent him stumbling backward and he fell into the polished marble bath tub. She pursued him with a knife in each hand then jammed them into his thighs just about the knees then twisted them for good measure. She reached into her boot and withdrew one of her long daggers.

"Was an hour of violating me worth it?" She asked.

Confusion replaced pain the bled into recognition before melting into terror. He tried to speak but he couldn't get the words out of his throat. His are flailed around a she tried to escape into the wall and pulling down the shower curtain around him in the process. She lingered over him for a minute savoring it with a wicked sneer on her face. Finally she plunged the knife into his chest two, three, four times. She pulled the knife out, spit up, and spat in his blood gurgling face. She stepped backward out of the room with a satisfying sense of finality and turned toward the stairs. Lester cam into view with his rifle pointed in her direction and a look of terror dominating his face. She heard a click behind her then a gun shot and she fell to the floor.

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