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Pen Your Pride

Nikki coughed violently and opened her eyes. "What the fuck?" She groaned while trying to push herself up to no avail.

"You've been shot in the back stay still." Said Lester.

"You need to tell us what to do so we can get this boat started or we're screwed." Emma said.

"What?" Nikki asked clearly confused and in shock.

"The boat. How do we hot wire the boat?" Lester repeated.

Nikki tilted her head backward so she could see the controls albeit upside down. "First pry open that panel under the console." She directed.

Emma pulled one the knives strapped to Nikki's chest out then sat down where she could leverage it to pry the panel open. It popped open easily and she set it aside."Now what?"

"Pull those two wires carefully off their contacts on the left side then carefully touchthe exposed wires together repeatedly until the engine starts."

There were several wires snaking all over the place and Emma had no idea what she was looking at. She turned back to Nikki who appeared to be struggling just to keep her eyes open and she realized she probably wouldn't get anything more useful out of her in her current condition. She turned back to the wires and grabbed the thickest most prominent ones to rip free then began touching their ends together. They sparked a few times then the engine roared to life.

"Jackie, come on!" Lester yelled as he prepared to untie the ropes mooring the boat to the dock. A few seconds later she was aboard and he cast them off.

Emma found the throttle and punched it causing the boat to speed out over the water. She steered them down the river along the coast.

"Be careful not to go out too far. If we get too close to the Canadian border the Coast Guard will be all over our asses." Said Lester.

"We have more pressing matters than the Coast Guard. Look." Jackie said pointing up into the sky.

Just barely over the roar of the engine Emma could hear the helicopter before she even saw it. It would be on top of them any second. "Take the wheel." She commanded. "Slow us down and keep us steady."

Lester took the helm. "Are you nuts? If we slow down now they'll catch us."

"Trust me." Emma answered.She went to the back of the boat where she'd left her rifle and picked it up. She knelt down on the deck and directed the weapon toward the helicopter. She took several deep breaths and tried to steady herself amid the motion of the boat and fired. It missed and she cursed to herself. She tried a second time and failed once more.Meanwhile Jackie took Lester's G36 and began spraying the air with short controlled bursts. Emma quickly counted the number of shots fired from this magazine in her head and realized she only had two rounds left before she would have to reload which would take too long and would ensure they got caught. She fired again and missed. Out of frustration and anger she quickly pulled the trigger again with her eyes closed. When she opened them again she saw the helicopter spinning out of control. "Punch it!" She yelled to Lester.

"Good shot." Jackie said clapping a hand on Emma's back.

Emma dropped onto one of the seats and let the rifle fall to the deck with a loud thunk. Jackie took a seat next to her and they both relaxed a bit.

"I can't believe that worked." Emma said.

"Who knew it would be so easy to shoot a helicopter out of the sky?" Replied Jackie.

They sped out into the night and soon they were beyond Detroit and into the suburbs down river. Once he felt it safe he said, "Dump the guns and gear. Nikki's knives too."

They did as he told them and he too threw everything he was carrying overboard save a pair of grenades and a pistol. A little while later he pulled the boat up toa dock and stopped.

"You guys get her to the hospital. Tell them a mugger shot her."

"What about you?" Emma asked.

"I'm going to dispose of the boat." He answered while pulling out his phone and hitting the speed dial.

"Who could you possibly be calling right now?" Asked Jackie.

"I'm giving the police something else to worry about. The Duchess exploding should buy us some time." He helped them get Nikki off the boat then disappeared out over the water into the night.

"Where are we?" Emma asked looking around at what seemed to be some sort of park.

"I'm not sure." Said Jackie. "I'll go find a road and call 911. Stay with her until I get back."

Emma sat down next to Nikki who lie on her side and wishing for something more to do to help. Nikki had lost a lot of blood and her face had gone even paler than usual.She watched the girls chest slowly rise and fall confirming Nikki was, at least for now, still alive. She wrapped her hand around Nikki's and held it tight to comfort herself more than anything else.Some time later she heard a siren and could see the flashing lights not too far away. A minute later Jackie came running back to them followed by two EMT's carrying a stretcher. Emma and Jackie stood by while they loaded her up then followed them back to the ambulance They watched it drive away leaving them on the dimly lit street.

"What do we do now?" Asked Emma.

"I'll call us a cab." Jackie replied.

ɸ

Nikki woke up in a hospital bed with an IV in her arm and a slight, but bearable, pain in her shoulder. She looked around the room but saw only bad hotel art and a curtain separating her the bed next door. She felt a little zoned out like she had popped some oxy or something. Whatever they were pumping into her veins she liked it. She heard the door open then quietly shut again then a hand gripped the curtain sliding it open to reveal Emma.

"You're awake." Emma observed.

"How long waash I out and for that matter what in the fuck happened?" Nikki's words were somewhat slurred but in her altered state she couldn't tell."

"It's been almost a week.According to Lester you got caught in the crossfire between him and The Count. You had a bullet lodged in your shoulder.

"Thassh fantashtic." Nikki slurred.

"They've been pumping you full of pain killers and blood transfusions for days. We weren't sure how long it would take for you to wake up so we've been taking turns coming to visit."

"Thash niish."

"Now that you're awake they should be ready to release you in a day or two."

"What did I missh?"

"After you were shot Lester killed The Count then he and Jackie got you out of the house and onto the boat. With your help I was able to get it started and we escaped." Emma answered. "And I shot down a helicopter."

"Holy sshhit."

"And The Duchess exploded."

"Jezshush."

"Listen, I can't stay much longer. I have to get to work. When you're back on your feet get in touch with us. We have something we want to give you.

ɸ

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