Welcome to X-Ray 6 - A Flash Fiction story.
Johnston dived behind a barrel as the gigantic bullets of the heavy stubber smashed the metal of the wall behind him. Johnston held his autogun low, in his right hand, and peered through the murky gloom of the underhive to try and identify where the awesome weapon was.
Above him, two more gangsters hurried across a walkway, desperate to cross while the stubber was concentrating on Johnston. Their long trench coats billowed behind them. On the other side of the walkway was a low wall, thick enough to absorb the punishment the heavy weapon could give out. But it was too far - the Orlock heavy down the narrow street saw them, and turned his weapon onto them; his finger still holding down the trigger of the monstrous gun. A line of sparks and dust traced straight from Johnston's barrel to the walkway. Some of the rounds ricocheted from the reinforced bridge to flatten themselves into the roof. The stubber was soon tearing into the two men. One was hit in the leg and fell, his pistol dropping to the ground by Johnston. The other took two rounds to the chest, and was propelled backwards, flipping over the handrail to follow the gangerís gun. There was an audible, sickening crack as his head impacted on the concrete floor. The first Delaque dragged himself behind the wall as the Orlock pumped more rounds towards him, the bullets hissing past and destroying the rail behind the injured man.
Risking another glance, Johnston could see the flash of the stubber. It was in a window on the first floor of a habitat block at the end of the street. He heard voices across the alley from him, in the building with the injured gangster on the walkway. The man, clutching his leg, shook his head at Johnston and drew a small pistol from his belt. They were enemies in the building, more damn Orlocks. Johnston had no idea who these fools thought they were, but the rest of his gang was too far behind him to help. Time to show the gang leader why Johnston deserved some better treatment Ė a bigger share in the gangís profits perhaps. He winked at his fellow Delaque, and checked his autogunís magazine. Twelve rounds left. Thatís all he had, all he could afford.
He leant out from the barrel, saw the muzzle of the heavy stubber swing towards him and snatched three shots towards the window. Two of them, he saw, blew dust from the concrete wall, but a third went through the gap. The stubber stopped firing. Johnston didnít know what effect heíd had, whether the Orlock bastard was dead, wounded, or just cowering behind the wall. Not that it mattered Ė Johnston wasnít going to wait and find out.
He leapt out of cover, grabbed his wounded comradeís fallen pistol and dived into the building opposite. In the darkness he saw two shapes, and squeezed the trigger to send a burst of lead towards them. One fell, the other fled. Smiling, Johnston went to loot the dead manís pockets.
Life was good.
© Jason A Herbert 2012.