Clint stopped suddenly, backtracked, and took a different turn.
“Clint,” Molly warned.
“I know where you’re going.”
“I’m sure you do. Great minds think alike.”
“You want to alert the whole Island to our presence?”
“I can be stealthy.”
“Like a hippo—”
“Okay, that’s enough of that. We’ll need firepower to get out of here alive. The armory’s the best place to firepower. It’s only a auxiliary armory. How many guards could there be?” Suddenly, gun shots rang out down the hall. “Get down!” Clint yelled, covering Molly with his body.
“You had to ask….” Molly muttered. “You’re suffocating me.”
“Give me the rifle.” Clint scanned the hallway. The hallway ended in a T about thirty feet from them. Whoever had shot at them had taken cover.
Clint let off a short burst as he stood, crouching low. “What’s on the walkie?”
Molly listened. “They’re talking fast. There’s action somewhere.”
“It’s going to be here in a minute. Here, keep firing in short bursts. I’m going to rush them.”
“Are you nuts?” she hissed, but he broke into a sprint. Bullets from Molly’s firing whizzed past his shoulder. He caught the emerging figure at the first moment and launched himself toward the far wall, landing hard and disoriented as the spray of bullets rattled air. Molly answered, tucked away in the frame of a doorway now. Clint stumbled to his feet, legs almost too fast. He hoped Molly had the sense to let off before he ran straight through her line of fire. He barreled ahead, the fire ending just as he reached their path. The other gunner started to round the corner; Clint slammed a fist into his face, splaying him on the ground.
Come now, come quick, Clint thought, trying to direct the words to Molly.
Three other suited men—the Doctor’s—waited tensed in the hallway. They hardly spared a second for shock before pulling their triggers. He released three flare shells in succession. They were barely warmer than a splash of hot water, but the soldiers’ instinctive reactions to get out of the way gave him another second. He kicked of the near wall, engaged his thrusters full blast, and flew through the air toward the closest soldier. The tumbled together, and Clint held him down low.
Bullets filled the corridor as Molly opened fire. She hit one, who fell to his knees. The other ducked into a doorway and began to fall back as soon as the barrage ended.
Clint subdued the soldiers beneath him, keeping low as Molly opened up again. The injured man fell dead.
“That’s it,” Molly gasped, discarding the gun. “No more bullets.” She was breathing heavily. She knelt down beside him, wiping the sweat from her face. “There’s not really time to worry about dying, is there?”
Clint indicated the suited man he had taken out slugged. “Take his gun, and search him for other weapons.” Molly nodded and obeyed.
Clint did the same to the man beneath his knee. He found a small, oddly shaped pistol with a pointed projectile inserted in the barrel. A spike of joy illuminated his being. New weapon. He didn’t have any idea what it did. Even better.
“Do you like this?” Molly asked.
“Being a maniac?”
Clint shrugged. “You get used to it. When I say go, we start down the hallway, full speed, firing as we go.”
“You’re the one who assigned me to jump on a nuclear missile.”
“That was different.”
“Because you weren’t on the nuke with me?” He grinned. “No worries. Quick lesson: Live like you’re invincible. You’re not, but you’re more likely to survive if you don’t hold back. That’s why they fear me, Molly. Because I don’t flinch when we play chicken. Ready?”
“What do you think?”
He took her hand, squeezed it. “If you were anyone else, I’d tell you to hide and wait until the action died down. But I trust you.” He stood. “Ready?”
“Stop asking me that. Just go.”
He bolted forward, releasing a primal shout that filled him with a sort of visceral triumph. Molly added her own voice, higher, wilder, slightly unhinged. Clint heightened his thermal sensors, piercing through the metal walls, warned Molly and turned as he passed open doorways filled with waiting men.
The hall ended with a final turn, that ended at the door to the armory. Stay hidden, he commanded, heating a flare shell. He dove low around the corner, firing his pilfered rifle with one hand and firing the unidentified weapon with the other.
Six men hunkered behind makeshift defenses, the locked armory door behind them. Their fire blazed over his head as he came around the corner. The ducked behind their barriers of metal crates and tables.
The strange projectile collided with one of the crates burst into a web of fine filaments that landed like a net over the men. Then a jolt of electricity pulsed through the many fibers. The men dropped limply to the ground.
“Come on, Molly!” Clint launched the flare shell at the armory door. It blasted a small hole though the locking mechanism. He took his micron blade and finished cutting through the lock, heaved the heavy door open, and closed it as soon as Molly was in.
“I saw them coming,” Molly said, catching her breath.
“I figured as much. We’ll be ready for them.”
“Perhaps,” came a new voice. “But are you ready for me?”