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Me, Myself & I
The Phoenix Intiative – Chapter 12
Written by papayoya1 :: [Friday, 11 October 2019 21:58] Last updated by :: [Saturday, 12 October 2019 17:01]
“Isn’t this the merriest family reunion you’ve ever seen?” Nicole mocked, getting the attention of everyone as she stepped into the large living room.
She was dressed only in an oversized silk gown that still struggled to cover her entire figure, not leaving too much to imagination. She was relaxed and clean, after a long shower and a new session of sex with the woman that was following her. Susan’s long red hair was pressed behind her ears, still wet. She had chosen a more comfortable attire with cotton shorts and a matching XXXL T-shirt. Her unnatural chest was still highlighted by the otherwise loose clothes.
Andrey Petrenko was the pure image of happiness as he filled his father in everything that had happened in his absence. The update was interrupted by the presence of the two towering women.
“Would you like to join us?” Taras asked.
Nicole winked at him and moved deeper into the large chamber, making sure she made every guard nervous with her presence. She then sat directly across the two Petrenko’s, gesturing Susan to follow. The heavy sofa groaned with their combined weight, but managed to hold them, a testament to its quality.
“Cognac?” Taras asked, toasting in the air with the thick glass he had been sipping from.
Susan shook her head with a frown, but Nicole just smiled as she said:
Taras Petrenko stood up and headed for the small bar, producing a new thick glass and pouring golden liquid from a matching bottle until the glass was half-full.
“Ice?” he asked.
“No. I’d rather have a full glass,” Nicole said.
Taras arched an eyebrow and filled the large glass to its limits, bringing it to the amazon an instant later.
Nicole sipped and said:
“This is good stuff.”
“Are you a connoisseur?” Taras asked.
“I wasn’t. But I have a hundred times more taste buds than you now. I can make out every taste. Looks like a blessing, but you cannot imagine just how bad crap tastes to me now. I have suddenly become expensive. At least when it comes to drinking,” Nicole said.
She then downed the entire glass in one go before she added:
“Not to mention that you would need a few boxes of the stuff to make me tipsy.”
Taras felt somewhat embarrassed when Nicole caught him looking straight at her very prominent cleavage, barely hidden by the skimpy silk gown.
“Oh, don’t get too many ideas,” she said in a mocking tone, making him blush slightly. “Oh, I don’t mind a peak, don’t worry. But don’t get too many ideas. It’s for your own good.”
The senior Petrenko got a bit more tense after Nicole casually toyed with him. He was not used to people talking to him so freely. Sensing that the time for small talk was over, he quickly switched gears.
“Andrey has been briefing me on your actions since you came to us,” Taras said.
“I hope that you will have found them to your satisfaction,” Nicole said. A quick look to Susan through the corner of her eye revealed that the redhead did not have any intention to participate in the conversation.
“I have been… extremely pleased by what I heard,” Petrenko finally said. “Your service to our family has been more than outstanding.”
“I am a grateful woman. Also, a woman true to my word,” Nicole said.
“And a woman with many talents,” Taras said.
“You know how to be charming, don’t you?”
The head of the Petrenko family ignored the pun and went on:
“I wonder if your friend and you have considered how to use them from now on. I would be more than happy if we could extend our partnership.”
The man was smart. Where Andrey had wrongly assumed that she was working for him, Taras had understood that the balance of power was a different one. Of course, the Petrenkos had exhausted their value to her. There was not much they could do for her or Susan now that they had already gone public in a big way. It was not yet the time to let them know, though.
“What do you have in mind?”
“We have a large organization, contacts. We can move things in the shadows,” he said.
“Yes, you do that extremely well,” Nicole acknowledged, making Taras smile. “I guess you would like us to do the heavy lifting?”
“When necessary,” Taras said.
“Decision making?” Nicole said.
“Shared, of course,” Taras replied, proving that he was way smarter than his old bouncer looks hinted.
“I’m humbled that you are willing to share so much power right away,” she said. “Of course, I understand why. The question, of course, is why would Susan and I be interested in doing the same?”
Taras tensed. He had understood the implied threat beyond the refusal.
“Don’t worry,” Nicole hurried, producing a false warm laugh. “I would not even know where to start when it comes to managing a criminal empire. I would probably end up sniffing half of the merchandise myself.”
Taras was very upset at Nicole’s attitude, even if he had to admit that her comment had also relieved him somehow. It fit her well. She went on.
“You guys already got way more than you bargained for,” she said. “Susan and I are not interested in petty criminal stuff in the long run. We are in a different league.”
Taras Petrenko had his teeth clenched as he said:
“Then, is this farewell?”
Nicole had to suppress a laugh. It would not have been fitting. The poor old guy had probably already been imagining a world of criminal supremacy, where Susan and she would mop the floor with his enemies, and now she was shattering all his illusions. She almost felt pity for him.
“Not necessarily,” Nicole replied. “We like it here. We would very much like to keep living in our chambers, keep having your men’s attention, keep drinking your excellent cognac. We’ll pay rent.”
“Does it look like I need money?” Petrenko replied, obviously having found this answer as a way to vent his anger. Nicole guessed he was not a man used to be talked at like that. Luckily for him, he was also smart enough to keep himself under control.
Nicole closed her hand around the thick and expensive glass she was still holding, breaking it with ease. She kept tightening her fist, compressing its contents, before opening her palm and showing the fine powder she had turned it into.
“I was not referring to that type of rent. Things get tough sometimes. It’s good to have friends when that happens.”
“So, you live here and give me a hand when you see fit?” he asked, not sounding too excited.
“Do I have an option?” Taras asked.
Nicole smiled and turned to look at Susan.
“See, I told you he was the smart one.”
Dr. Campos has officially considered Jennifer fully recovered five minutes before she had been called into General Morris’ office. The doctor was still amazed at how the effects of a beating like the one she had taken could be gone barely thirty-six hours later.
It was close to midnight by the time she reached the door. The two guards flanking it were new and looked somewhat uncomfortable as she stood at the door, even if they tried their best to hide it. Jennifer did not have to introduce herself to have the door open. Nathalie was already waiting inside.
General Morris was on the other side of the table, flanked by Colonel Beck. If he was uncomfortable, he did a hell of a job hiding it. This unconsciously made Jennifer more upset. The last forty-eight hours had been both rough and incredibly startling. Reaching her physical limits, which she had grown to believe did not exist anymore, had been stressful. The knowledge she had gained while doing it had been even more disturbing.
“We could have prevented the carnage down at Lamarr!” she barked, her first words after getting into the office.
“No, you could have not,” General Morris replied in a much colder tone, a tone that projected incredible authority.
Jennifer suddenly felt insecure. She did not know how to reply. The General went on:
“You were not recovered. And Simpson is stronger than you. We are investigating that, but we know it’s a fact. Baptiste was always the weakest of the four. You were outmatched. And we were not prepared. Sending you there along with a team would have meant putting more men on the line and risking your lives. We were fucked enough already without this happening,” he said.
“But they killed seventy-three people!” Jennifer protested.
“Would you have preferred that to be two-hundred?” the General asked.
Jennifer clenched her teeth. Deep inside, she knew the man was right. But what he was saying still fell wrong.
“Jennifer, listen,” Nathalie finally said. It took her out of her trance.
It was Colonel Beck who talked this time.
“You will have your chance for payback,” he said.
Jennifer was surprised
Jennifer’s eyes opened wide. Even in the dimly lit office, everyone noticed the mix of surprise and anticipation. Colonel Beck went on.
“We know where Nicole and Susan are staying.”
He moved to a touchscreen and activated a control. The scarred face of an old man took most of the screen.
“This is Taras Petrenko, one of the inmates that escaped from Lamarr earlier today thanks to Nicole’s and Susan’s efforts. He is also the head of the Petrenko family, one of the largest criminal organizations in the country, their headquarters conveniently located close to Santa Isabel. Nicole and Susan freed a hundred other people as a deception, but they were after him,” he said.
“How do you know?”
“The feds already caught a few of the fugitives. Their stories match. And they also match with Nicole’s actions so far. Everything she has done has worked for the benefit of the Petrenko organization,” Beck said.
“Nicole is working for a mobster?” Jennifer asked, astonished.
Colonel Beck cleared his throat, looking as cool as ever as he replied:
“At least, so far. Now we know that this is how she managed to avoid being found when she escaped. We don’t know what her plans are.”
“There’s no way she will be taking orders from a guy like that!” Jennifer said, pointing at the screen.
“I concur. Which is the reason we need to act now, before she moves on,” he said.
The Colonel then touched another control which showed what had to be satellite imagery of a very large estate. A map was conveniently located next to the picture to show that it was barely a few miles east of Santa Isabel. Two noticeably larger figures stood out from the group of men at the house’s entrance.
“This is from earlier today. We know they have not moved,” Beck said. He touched another control which showed a darkened version of the estate with reddish dots. Jennifer guessed it was a thermal scan of the area. The number of dots was amazing.
“Are this people?” she asked.
“Petrenko has a small private army,” Beck confirmed. He then zoomed into two of the dots. From an infra-red perspective, they did not look different from the others. “We believe Nicole and Susan are here.”
“What are we waiting for, then?” Jennifer asked, feeling adrenaline pumping through her veins. She was eager to have another round with Nicole.
“Not so fast, young lady,” the commanding voice of General Morris came back.
“You cannot stop me,” Jennifer replied, surprising even herself at the bluntness of the comment.
“As a matter of fact, I can,” the General said. It made her feel very uneasy. “I won’t though. If you want to go and have your ass kicked again, be my guest. So far, you have been more a liability than an asset.”
Jennifer felt both rage and embarrassment at the comment. The General smirked only slightly.
“If you want to help us get rid of Keilani and Simpson once and for all, you will listen to us though,” he said.
Jennifer’s teeth were clenched as she asked:
“So, what do you have in mind, then?”
“This is the first and probably the only time we will have the chance to catch Keilani by surprise, on our own terms. We need to make the most out of it. Roark’s team has managed to reduce the mechanism of the weapons we effectively used against Keilani yesterday. We have four platoons of men armed with them, five round each. Each of the rounds delivers lower intensity than the ones that were fired yesterday, but is self-contained and does not require an external power source. We are convinced that hitting them with enough of them is going to weaken the targets enough,” he said.
“So?” Jennifer asked, impatient.
“We will assault the Petrenko estate. SpecOps teams. You will go with them. It needs to feel like a rushed attempt, which should not be a problem for you, considering your attitude,” the General said.
Jennifer sneered at the comment but he just ignored her reaction.
Sooner or later, Keilani and Simpson will come out to meet you. This is when the special weapons platoons will come in. Your job is to distract them enough so that our men can get as many shots as possible without interference,” he said.
“Ok,” Jennifer said, still processing the plan. It felt simple enough.
“There is one more thing,” Beck said.
“What?” Jennifer asked.
“You have to kill them,” he said.
“What?” Jennifer came back, much more exalted.
“Our weapons will weaken them considerably. We do not think they will kill them. And we know just how fast you girls can recover. We cannot bet everything to being able to keep them sedated. When they are vulnerable, Nathalie and you need to snap their necks.
Nathalie looked down. Jennifer understood that she had been briefed already. Her blood froze as she understood what they were asking them to do. Aside from a few broken hearts, Jennifer had never hurt a fly. She hardly could imagine herself killing Nicole, and she did not think that she had ever hated anyone as much as her. But Susan? She knew what the girl had done, but in her mind she was still a shy scared thing.
“What if I don’t want to?” Jennifer asked.
“Then, you will not be coming with us,” the General replied with a coldness that indicated that he was more than willing to take his chances without them.
Susan looked in Nicole’s direction, stopping in the half-dead man that was trying to suck her oversized left breast with the wisp of strength that remained on him. Nicole had introduced him to her as Zhao. She had offered her to join the party, but Susan had not been in the mood.
The Polynesian seemed to get tired of having her left tit sucked and moved him away from it. The man’s face was swollen and purple, his eyes barely open. He still managed to look up at her, taking advantage of the brief break, and address her with a broken voice.
“Taras was going to do it himself. The man is already upset at me, so breaking you out would have been forcing the situation too much. And I don’t give a shit about you, honestly,” she said, matter of fact.
“Why you?” the man then whispered with a trickle of a voice.
“Finders keepers, I guess?” Nicole asked. “Anyway, wouldn’t you rather die sucking a tit than eaten by pigs? I’m not the best one to talk about that, but the man is brutal.”
“Bitch,” the man managed to spit out.
“Oh, this is going to cost you!” she said, feigning annoyance.
Susan was wondering how in the hell Nicole was going to make the man’s suffering any worse when her colleague proved her that it was all a matter of imagination. Using her right hand, she easily repositioned the battered man so that his right eye was right in front of her massive nipple. She pressed him in place and then brought her free hand to her naked pussy, fingering herself in a sensual movement. Susan was wondering what the hell she was doing, when she saw her free nipple swelling and realized about what was going on in the other one.
That the man, being in the state he was, let out an animal scream that echoed in the room. Susan’s keen hearing was enough to let her distinguish the sound of his eye globe popping.
“This is sick,” she said, addressing Nicole.
Nicole removed the remains of the man from her body and tossed them gently out of the bed. He had exhausted his life with that last scream. She moaned at the same time she shrugged towards Susan.
“Sorry, did I get too carried away?”
“Why?” Susan asked.
Nicole smiled evilly.
“Well… it turns me on!”
“I just cannot understand it,” Susan said, sounding disgusted.
“Well, in that case, don’t do it,” Nicole replied, this time a bit more sharply.
Susan kept her green gaze fixed on Nicole’s eyes for two long seconds. It finally managed to break Nicole’s spell and make her upset.
“Tell me, Susie, how many people did you kill today?” the Hawaiian asked, purposefully addressing her by the nickname she knew she hated.
Susan remained silent for a couple of seconds. Nicole had touched a sensitive button. Of course, she had known it. Until two days before, Susan had never hurt anyone. And now, her victims’ list approached the three figures. And still, she did not remember having ever felt so good, so liberated, as she had felt since she had made the decision to join the woman across the room. She was not the same as her, though. She finally understood why.
“I enjoy the strength. I enjoy being in charge. I enjoy the freedom it gives me. And I have accepted that I need to use my power to keep my privileges. But I’m not like you. You enjoy the violence. You enjoy the suffering.”
Nicole thought for a second and then smirked.
Susan asked the next question very carefully.
“Will it always be like this?”
Nicole frowned. Susan could see that she had genuinely upset her.
“Making your mind up already,” she asked, her tone highlighting the implied threat. Even if Susan knew she was now quite stronger than the Polynesian, she still gave her the creeps.
“Of course not,” Susan hurriedly replied. “It doesn’t mean that I need to like everything you do.”
“Of course. I don’t like your sheepish attitude either,” Nicole said. She then let out a short laugh as she added: “You are still the only person I’d care to fuck, though.”
Nicole seemed to notice about the awkwardness of the statement, considering how their discussion had started. She shrugged as she rolled her eyes and pointed to the bloody heap by her bed:
“You know what I mean.”
“Too well,” Susan replied.
Nicole stood up and crossed the room so that she stood next to Susan. Crouching, she grabbed her by the shoulders and brought her mouth next to her ear to whisper:
“Susan, I’m the only one that ever told you the truth. So, I’m not going to start lying about this one. But don’t get mistaken about me. I was first of my class in Harvard. I put together the plan that is about to finish one of the most megalomaniac organizations the US Government has ever put together. I put down an entire Chinese mafia on my own. I am not nuts.”
Nicole then stood up, raising her tone a little:
“The man I just killed used to manage a branch of the Hong Kong triads. He had more than a hundred men killed. Some of them brutally. The last thing you should feel for him is pity.”
“Not everyone you killed was him,” Susan said.
“Not everyone you killed was shooting at you either,” Nicole said.
“Oh, come on!” Susan replied after her partner’s casual reference to the way she had dealt with the boys that had raped him almost two years ago.
“Ok, this was uncalled for,” Nicole admitted with a raised palm.
“This is the part where I will not lie, Susan. I’ve observed you these last couple of days. You’ve got remarkably adapted to being at large and it’s obvious you enjoy your power. More than I ever thought. But, as you say, I enjoy it in a different way. And I do not have any intention to stop doing it. Who knows, you may end up seeing the light. If you don’t, I have at least see enough to know that you will do the right thing when it needs to be done. I can live with that.”
Susan looked at her. Nicole finished:
“So, the question is: can you live with my kinks?”
Susan remained silent for five seconds. She could feel the tension building. She then smiled, breaking the stress.
“Sure. Do you think I could get my own bedroom, though?” she then asked, pointing at the disfigured reminders of the Chinese mobster.
Nicole let out a wholehearted laughter, interrupting it in the middle as she lifted an extended hand, calling for silence. They both heard two silenced gunshots in the distance.
“It’s time,” Nicole whispered.
They had almost reached the perimeter when the leader of the assault team raised a hand, making them stop. Jennifer could already see the silhouette of the estate in the distance. She felt the anticipation at what was going to happen. For starters, it was her first real mission, the sort of stuff they had trained for at Fort Exeter and that they had never had the chance to get involved in, once the General had decided that they were more useful in humanitarian roles.
But, more than that, it was the perspective of meeting with Nicole and Susan again. Her head was a mess about that. On one hand, Jennifer knew that finding Nicole and neutralizing her was their only chance at getting out of the situation the damned Hawaiian had got them into. If they ever aspired to get some appreciation from the public, even if not the admiration they had initially caused, it had to pass through ridding the world of the real monster of the story. She tried to set her mind on this, but it was impossible not to keep it constantly spinning around what she would need to do after they finally met them. She could not see herself killing Nicole, no matter how despicable she really was. But in hot blood she might even find the resolve to do as commanded. But Susan? Weirdo or not, the redhead had been almost like the little sister you have to take care about for almost a year!
“Watson, take point,” the small Lieutenant commanded. She had barely got used to the military jargon, but she knew that she had been asked to step to the front. It was the logical thing to do. There were twenty men with her, and she felt responsible for their lives.
“We can take care of this on our own,” Jennifer offered to the small man. Nathalie and she were dressed in their usual mission attire. The men were all in black SpecOps gear. “You don’t need to put your men in danger.”
The man sounded as sharp as he looked.
“You cannot cover the entire perimeter,” he simply said to dismiss her proposal.
“What about those two guards, then?” Jennifer offered.
The two men she was pointing at dropped to the ground a second later, hit by snipers she could not even see.
“Stick to the plan, please,” the lieutenant said. “We need you to cause a distraction. My men will take care of everything.”
“Ok, that we can do,” Jennifer replied, shrugging, even if she had further ideas.
The plan was simple enough. Beck had insisted that there would be no way to catch Nicole and Susan by surprise once they started the attack, so they were not going to try to do it. The hearing from their ex-comrades was just too keen. They would hear the first gunshot. They would notice any helicopter rotor or car engine approaching. And sneaking their way into the estate with as many guards as the Petrenkos had was wishful thinking.
So, once Lieutenant Kohler’s men dropped the first guard, it would be an all-out assault, trying to clear as much of the area as possible before Nicole and Susan joined the fight. Jennifer and Nathalie would be warned as soon as anyone got sight of the two Amazons. Once they were, their only mission was to get there as quickly as they could and stall them until the special weapons teams could converge on them.
So, with the need for cover gone, Jennifer and Nathalie simply rushed out of the forest and into the open area in front of the house. Floodlights converged on them soon after. Jennifer could feel the surprise. The shooting started a few seconds later.
Jennifer shrugged to Nicole as bullets bounced off her impregnable body. This might be the first time they faced fire in a real-life scenario, but they had gone through this in training countless times. It felt strangely better, in any case.
“It really makes you wonder about the entire not killing them resolve,” she said, shrugging.
“Jennifer!” Nathalie let out a bit too forcefully.
“Sorry. Bad joke,” she responded with a candid smile.
“Leap?” Nathalie queried.
“Sure,” Jennifer replied.
Both women jumped from their positions, their amazing bodies soaring across the hundred yards that separated them from the main gate with ease. The guards were shocked when the two super-women landed barely a couple of feet in front of them. Jennifer smiled at them, posing with some mischief. When the first bullet ricocheted from her head, she grunted and reached out, grabbing a throat in each hand. Nathalie observed as Jen lifted the two men that had been standing guard in front of the main gate, their feet moving wildly, now a couple of feet off the ground. They kicked her with their combat boots. She did not even flinch.
For Jennifer, this was the first time she was actually holding someone against his will like this outside of training. She could feel their utter worthlessness, their puniness against her. She could barely notice their weight, even less their efforts to break free. She had to look to realize that one of the guards she had in her grasp had been unsuccessfully trying to pry the fingers around his throat open.
She had known she was strong. As a matter of fact, she had accomplished many feats of strength that were orders of magnitude harder than what she was doing now. And somehow, the fact that these were men, knowing that they were supposed to be kickass thugs, made it feel more remarkable.
After a few pointless efforts, the two guards finally looked at her in the eye. They were having trouble breathing. Jennifer was exercising just the right amount of pressure to block their windpipes without crushing their throat and spine.
“Don’t worry, I am not going to kill you,” she whispered gently. “I can’t promise it’s not going to hurt, though.”
Deprived of air, the two men finally became unconscious. Jennifer simply opened her hands, dropping them a couple of feet to the ground, where they landed with soft thuds.
“Effective,” Nathalie said approvingly.
“I thought on flicking them unconscious but wasn’t sure I would not end up killing them instead,” Jennifer replied shrugging.
“This worked out fine,” Nathalie suggested.
“It still takes too damn long. If we want to clear the grounds before Kohler’s men get in, we will need to move faster.”
“True,” Nathalie acknowledged.
“See you on the other side?” Jennifer asked.
Nathalie looked back at her, her hesitation noticeable to her superhuman eyes despite the darkness.
“Morris was very specific about not splitting up,” Nathalie said, not for the first time.
“Morris is an asshole,” Jennifer replied. “He does not care if his men end up killing everyone inside in order to get in. He does not care if they die, either. We do. And we can do something about it.”
“Just give me a shout if Nicole shows up,” she said.
Jennifer smiled as she saw her friend sprint to her top speed. She turned to face the gate. Her next role in the mission would be the simplest one yet: get the heavy door open.
Jennifer did not know how long it would take Nicole or, god forbid, Susan to show up. The taste she had had at Petrenko’s army so far had already told her that this would be the closest thing to a walk in the park until they did.
Nathalie sprinted around the fence that surrounded the estate, quickly heading for the backdoor, certain that she would reach it before the second squad of Kohler’s men would get there. She met the first two patrolling guards soon enough. They freaked out as soon as she stopped her sprint, which had been easily carrying her faster than a race car, and became a reality in front of them. Their surprise did not fade away, but this did not prevent them from reaching for their ready automatic rifles and shower her with bullets.
Always the kindest of the four Phoenix girls, Nat simply stayed in place, letting the slugs ricochet from her skin as he looked down at the attacking guards as if they were naughty children refusing to behave. She let them empty their clips on her. Then, she resumed her advance, this time walking calmly.
One of the guards had managed to reload by the time she reached them. He was starting to raise the weapon to aim at her chest when she stopped the attempt by casually grabbing the barrel with a swift movement of her right hand. She pushed her fingers together, crushing the pipe with ease and making the chamber explode when the man pulled the trigger. He fell backwards as a result of the explosion, somewhat burnt but not too hurt. The second guard did not know what to do, so Nathalie reached down and pulled his gun away from him. She was holding both weapons like toys as she scolded the men:
“It is not nice to shoot people, you know?”
The two men looked at her in awe. Nathalie smiled back at them. She knew they were criminals, probably some of the worst scum one could find in the state. But still, she felt no hatred at them. When the one that was still on his feet tried to turn and flee, she stopped it simply by placing her left hand on his shoulder with care. Nat then crouched further down and grabbed a fistful of the other man’s shirt, raising him back to his feet with her.
“Will you do as I tell you?” she asked.
Both men nodded frantically.
“Good, stand back to back,” she commanded.
They complied, making it very easy for her to rip a section of the fence and tie it around their bodies.
“Someone will find you, eventually. For your own good, I hope the fireworks will have finished by then.”
Nat stood up, ready to continue. She then thought on something and crouched back to face the men:
“If I ever see you holding a gun again, I will shove it up your asses, do you understand?”
They opened their eyes wide in fear. Nathalie had to fight hard to suppress a chuckle. She would have never thought she would hear herself uttering these words. The men’s reaction indicated that they had not understood her private joke at all. Maybe she could end up rehabilitating a few men with this mission too.
Ripping the front gate had been piece of cake. Jennifer realized that things were going to get a bit tougher when she took her first step inside the main courtyard and was showered with fire coming from each and every angle. Unconcerned as she was about her own safety, she took the time to find the positions of the different group of men attacking her. She could find them hiding behind all sorts of vehicles, in the windows of an auxiliary building and in an improvised trench. She was surprised to find out that she was not only being shot with automatic rifles. They also had a machine gun nest!
A quick look over her shoulder showed Jennifer that Kohler’s men were closing the distance with the estate fast. She knew they would not listen if she just asked them to stop, so she decided that it was better to simply focus on removing as many of the threats as possible before they got there. The first choice was, obviously, the machine gun. Her attackers suddenly lost sight of her as Jennifer leaped again. Her aim was as great as in practice when she broke through the roof where the machine gun operators had holed up, landing three feet behind them.
Jennifer could not believe it was so easy! Her accuracy cold not have been better and feeling the roof cave like wet paper was amazing. The goons did not have even time to turn before she took the last step towards them and grabbed the heavy weapon with one hand, ripping it off its support and holding it over her head as the two incredibly spooked shooters looked at her. She avoided all theatrics and simply snapped the machine gun in half, tossing the two pieces to either side and crouching to grab each man by the back of his head.
The scenario was just too beckoning not to try it, so Jennifer used the utmost care to bring both heads together. She smiled, incredibly satisfied, when both men dropped to the ground, unconscious but alive.
“I am getting better at this!” she said cheerfully.
Kohler’s men were already getting through the main gate, taking cover to avoid the fire of Petrenko’s thugs. Jennifer realized that she needed to move quickly, so she just sprinted through the wall, reaching the next position in no time. The men did not even have the time to turn before she grabbed the back of their shirts and lifted them from cover. Without too long to think, she just tossed them to her back, taking care not to be too forceful. They landed some twenty yards behind, rolling on themselves and moaning in pain as they tried to stand up. She had not been so effective as in the other two cases, but Jennifer did not think these two men would join back the fight anytime soon.
She smiled when she had an idea. Leaping from her current position to the middle of the front courtyard, Jennifer placed her hands on her hips and raised her voice, making sure that everyone in the estate would hear her words.
“You cannot do anything against me. You know it. There is no point in fighting. The best yu can hope to get is to have the crap beaten out of you by a girl. Drop your guns and come forward and I will personally guarantee your safety!”
A rocket exploded against her exposed stomach a second after, engulfing her in a massive explosion. To Jennifer it barely registered as some pressure and a pretty bearable amount of heat. Other than the almost negligible physical consequences, the impact had the effect of pissing her off quite a bit more than she was.
“Ok, I will take that as a no!” she yelled back, searching for and quickly finding the shooter in the second story of the auxiliary building. She was about to do something about it when a second rocket shot past her, hitting the main gate. She was about to mock them for their lack of accuracy when she realized that this was not the case and turned to see Kohler’s men retreating, one of them limping his way back to the cover of the gate. Jennifer did not think that anyone had been killed, but there were at least a couple of injuries.
No one even noticed the flexing of her calves before she shot towards the attackers, breaking through the wall and landing with grace in the first floor of the building. The first she simply shoved to the side, pushing him over ten yards away, his flight abruptly stopped by a wall. He was still breathing as he collapsed in a heap in the floor, but Jennifer knew that he was more than unconscious.
The second man did not know how to react. The Amazon reached for him and grabbed his arm, lifting him from the floor like a hot air balloon.
“You will never again shoot one of this,” she said.
The man shook his head. Jennifer then tightened her grip, her fingers easily crushing bone and muscle into a pulp. She dropped him, unconcerned about his anguished screams. Looking through the window, she saw Kohler’s men engaged in heavy fire with the defenders. There was no doubt that the SpecOps team was way more skilled than Petrenko’s thugs. From her vantage point of view, Jennifer could not see any fallen attacker. And she counted at least four dead grunts. They were about to be overrun. Jennifer leaped towards the last position that was holding.
The men were as shocked about her sudden appearance as everyone else had. They tried to take aim at Jennifer, but she solved it with a casual backhand at the barrels that made the four of them drop their guns, including a few broken fingers in the process.
“You should thank me. I’m way nicer than the men coming behind me.”
Jennifer did not give them the time to react as she grabbed two of the men and tossed them towards Kohler’s assaulters. The other two soon joined.
“Prisoners,” she bellowed.
She got eye contact with Kohler, who did not seem pleased with the outcome. And yet, the man motioned to four of his own men, who promptly advanced to restrain the groaning men she had tossed them.
The courtyard was officially clear. It was time to get into the main building. So far, it was piece of cake. Where the hell were Nicole and Susan?
“You should not be here,” the Sergeant that was leading the second squad told Nathalie as she stopped next to him.
His men had had to stop on their tracks. Petrenko’s “army” had parked a pick-up with a rear-mounted machine gun in front of the back door, making it almost suicide for anyone to get close. A sniper had already taken care of the machine gun operator, but the vehicle still blocked their way. With shooters on the walls, anything which was not a swift approach would end up with several victims.
“Yeah. But it’s good news that I am, is it not?”
The sergeant seemed to think about it. His expression became more pragmatical as he asked:
“Can you take it out of the way?”
“Easily,” Nathalie shrugged. “I just stopped by to ask you not to lead your men through the gate once I open it. Give me five minutes to clear the yard too.”
“Why?” the sergeant asked.
“Because you are not bulletproof. And I am,” Nathalie replied.
“This is not the plan,” the sergeant complained.
“You should use every advantage to protect your men’s lives. I am your advantage. Use me,” Nathalie said with determination.
The sergeant hesitated. Then he said:
Nathalie jogged the hundred yards towards the gate with ease, stopping by the truck merely a few seconds later. Bullets rained on her from everywhere, but she simply ignored them, knowing that they had no hopes of hurting her. The knowledge also made her look at her attackers like clueless idiots rather than criminals trying their best to kill her.
Nat simply crouched, bullets now bouncing off her back, as she reached for the underside of the truck and widened her hands, taking a good hold of the frame in two spots that were separate enough for her to keep the balance. She now had an improvised shield, so her body stopped receiving inconsequential hits for a while, the impacts riddling the truck with holes. It did not make any difference, but it still was a welcomed change.
Nathalie stood back up, easily lifting the truck over her head like an inflatable. She was certain that it was empty, so she did not find anything wrong in showing off a little. Maybe this would show the defenders inside that it was worthless to try and fight her. Turning towards a stretch of woods she knew was empty, the superwoman flexed her arms and then tossed the truck as hard as she could. It flew spectacularly for hundreds of yards, landing in a clearing in the forest. The impact could be easily heard despite the distance.
The shooting stopped for a couple of seconds. She guessed that her little show had really had an effect. Then, it resumed. As usual, Nat ignored it and simply reached for the gate, kicking it out of the way and making it into the courtyard. She had to make the most out of her five minutes!
The Amazon cornered a group of three shooters against a wall, advancing towards them as slugs ricocheted of her skin. One of them unholstered his side arm and aimed it at her chest almost point blank.
“Please,” Nathalie said, somewhat upset that they refused to accept the obvious. She reached out with one finger, blocking the nozzle as he pulled the trigger, making the gun explode in his hand.
“Ooops,” she said. She had not been expecting such an effect. The man dropped to the ground, holding his hand. Nathalie crouched next to him and grabbed the hurt limb, bringing to her inquisitive eyes despite his best efforts to pull back. “Yeah, it does not look good. You may save the hand, but you should really get to a hospital as soon as this is over. I’m sorry about that, I did not think it would explode like this.”
She then stood up and looked at the other two men.
“Drop your weapons, will you?”
They complied immediately.
She reached out with both hands, placing them over their mouths and noses.
“Sweet dreams,” she said as she imitated Jennifer. They passed out after a minute. Nathalie turned and looked for the next group. She did not have time to waste.
Three minutes later, she was standing back at the gate. She had still twenty spare seconds when she called out to the men:
“You can come in now. It’s clear!”
General Arthur Morris was observing the tactical display in the command helicopter, hovering some ten thousand feet over the estate. Colonel Beck was directing the operation in the station right next to him.
It felt weird to address him through the microphone, considering that he could reached out and touch him with his hand, but the noise of the rotors of the modified Chinook helicopter was deafening.
“They are in,” he observed. The assault team had already dealt with more than half of Petrenko’s men. He had to reluctantly admit that the girls’ help had been considerable.
Beck looked nervous
“Where are Keilani and Simpson?” Morris asked.
“That is the problem,” Beck replied. “We have no clue.”
“What the hell is going on?” Taras bellowed as the men got him out of bed in a hurry.
“We are under attack. It’s the feds, we think,” the man said.
“Stall them,” Taras replied as he followed his personal bodyguard down a long corridor. Andrey joined them a bit later, followed by two men. It had been wishful thinking to assume that no one would know where to find him after he broke out. He had never thought they would put together such a show. Andrey and he needed to get through one of the backdoors and vanish for some time. He needed his men to keep the feds busy while they did that.
“The men are trying… but they brought… they brought two of the Phoenix women. The other two,” his bodyguard said.
Taras felt a chill run down his spine. They had sent the other two Amazons after him? He realized what this meant. He was not so important. Not on his own. They knew he was working with Nicole and Susan. And they were not holding back. He felt his chest tighten when he realized that Nicole’s help and his breaking out of prison had come with a very high price: he was now in the crossfire of a fight between the two superwomen that had helped him and the organization they had escaped from.
Of course, there was only one alternative now. They had to win this one. And then, they would need to lie low for a while.
“Where are Nicole and Susan?” he asked.
“They are gone,” Andrey said.
Taras turned to look at his son. He had never seen him so unsettled.
“They are not around, dad! They are fucking gone!”
Jennifer was beginning to become wary of not having even felt the presence of Nicole and Susan. The assault had been going on for long enough already. Even if they were trying to avoid Nat and her, Nicole would have certainly found a way to kill a few of Kohler’s men, would she not? Her hair stood on end as she started to suspect that they might have prepared something, some kind of ambush.
So, she was extra careful as she advanced down the luxurious corridors of the enormous house. After all, there was not much more to do than keep going. Eventually, they would find them.
“Behind me,” Jennifer said as the squad of men followed her along another long corridor. The men complied, forming a line behind her massive figure as she advanced with care, arriving to a widening where a staircase started. Someone was hiding at the top of it. Someone that started shooting as soon as she showed up.
Jennifer was not concerned at all at being shot at. She was concerned about the safety of the men behind her.
“Stand back. I will take care of him,” she said.
All the response she got was a muffled shot. A body rolled down the stairs. Jennifer frowned.
“I could have disabled him!” she protested, looking at the sniper, still in position.
Kohler replied back at her:
“We do not have time.”
“You guys should listen to me more,” Jennifer protested.
“And you should start following orders. Move!” he commanded, in a tone that Jennifer was not use to hear since her transformation.
She frowned and pondered for a second about the exchange. She then exhaled, not trying to hide the fact that she was upset. She followed Kohler’s instructions, though.
It was surprising how little resistance they met inside the house, compared to what they had faced outside. Jennifer only had to disable another man, rushing to do so before Kohler could order someone in his team to drop him.
She motioned the men to stop and be silent as they reached a large double door. The conversation inside was easy enough to follow.
“Where are Nicole and Susan?” an old but powerful voice asked.
“They are gone,” a younger and more nervous one replied.
“What?” the old voice came back, sounding surprised.
“They are not around, dad! They are fucking gone!”
Jennifer did not wait for instructions before kicking the door open and rushing into the room. Three guns immediately aimed at her. A door on the side burst open a second later, Nathalie breaking through it. The three guards hesitated where to aim their weapons. They were obviously protecting the two men behind them, two men she recognized from the pictures she had seen back at Fort Exeter.
Jennifer took advantage of the moment of confusion to address them:
“You know better than to shoot at us. Drop your fucking guns!”
They didn’t. A second later, the three men dropped dead on the floor as Kohler’s SpecOps team rushed into the room. Now without any protection, the two Petrenkos stepped back until a heavy oaken table prevented them from going further.
“Where are Nicole Keilani and Susan Simpson?” Lieutenant Kohler asked, sounding as authoritative as ever, keeping his rifle trained on the older man.
“They left,” the old man shrugged. Jennifer could see the frustration in his deep blue eyes.
“Where?” Kohler asked.
“The hell if I know,” Petrenko replied, leaning on the table and folding his arms. “Are you going to arrest me?”
“I am going to kill you if you do not cooperate,” Kohler said.
“Go ahead then,” Petrenko replied, calling his bluff.
Gone? Jennifer could not believe it. It was not like Nicole to avoid a fight. She was certain that she was hiding somewhere, waiting for them, ready with some nasty surprise when they least expected it. Suddenly, Jennifer felt fear. Not so much for her as for the men that had rushed the house with her. She could hold her own with Nicole, even if their last encounter had ended badly, but Kohler’s men would not last a minute.
There was no way the mobsters would not know where Nicole and Susan were. For all she knew, they were playing along with them. And the last thing they seemed to be willing to do was to cooperate.
Jennifer had to do something. Then it hit her. This men had been living with Nicole for over a month. To them, she was the reference when it came to super-women. She turned towards Nathalie and winked. A second later, she was advancing towards the mobsters, placing herself in the line of fire and upsetting Kohler significantly. She did not care. Instead, she simply reached out for the younger Petrenko and grabbed him by the throat, lifting him with considerably less care than she had applied with his thugs.
“These guys are full of shit, Lieutenant. Let me take care of them,” she said, sounding the most threatening she could. She did not have a lot of expertise in the matter, but her physical condition certainly helped.
Jennifer had to suppress a chuckle when Nathalie followed her lead.
“Toss me the old one, will you, Jen?” she asked, never having sounded so unfriendly.
Jennifer grabbed a fistful of Petrenko’s shirt and then shoved him with more care than anyone would have thought towards Nathalie, tossing him over twenty feet and making him land at his comrade’s feet. Nathalie casually grabbed him with one hand around his skull and lifted him, giving him a taste of her strength.
“I think I am going to rip him in half,” Jennifer said casually. The young Petrenko’s eyes filled with the most intense fear she had ever seen in anyone. His look told her that he thought she was perfectly capable to execute on her threat. Jennifer then remembered that he had ample experience in dealing with Nicole and felt appalled when she thought on what her former colleague may have done while living here.
“You will not,” the older man said calmly.
Jennifer realized that he was calling her bluff too. She had to make her mind, and she had to make it quick. The fear at what Nicole could do if they did not find her made the decision for her. She reached for the hand of the man she was holding and engulfed it in her much larger one. And then, in a swift movement, Jennifer tightened her fist, crushing every single bone in the man’s hand into powder. There was no question he would never use it again. Jennifer had never come close to hurting anyone so badly. She knew the man she had harmed was as despicable as it got, but still, the could not help but feeling guilty. She could not show it, though. Not if she wanted her action to have a meaning.
So, Jennifer dropped the younger mobster to the floor as the man screamed in agony, sitting on his knees as he watched the blood dripping from his stump. Dad Petrenko looked as shocked as Nathalie, Kohler and everyone else in the roof.
“Next, I will rip an arm off its socket. The other arm,” Jennifer said.
The older Petrenko seemed to believe her wholeheartedly now.
“I swear you, they left,” he said, sounding almost pleading, very differently than the sheer arrogance of his first answers.
“There is no way Nicole fled from a fight. Start talking!” she said as she rested one hand on his son’s shoulder while she started pulling the arm with the other. She took it slow. The last thing she wanted was to make true on her threat.
“We do not know where they went. I can show you the feed of the security cameras, though,” he said as his son kept shrieking.
Jennifer closed her fingers around the man’s shoulder blade, splitting it like a twig. He screamed in agony as she let go.
“This is just a taste,” she said, surprising herself that she could sound so bitchy. “You better hope that the images show something, because otherwise the arm goes.”
Jennifer could hear the radio cracking behind her. The SpecOps men then suddenly started acting nervous. What the hell was wrong with them? They could kill anyone they pleased and she could not hurt someone a little?
“We found Keilani and Simpson,” Kohler promptly informed.
“Where?” Jennifer asked, taken by surprise.
“We need to leave. Now!”
Nicole took a deep breath as they reached the top of the hill, letting the pure forest air fill her lungs. They had sprinted the sixty miles in a bit less than fifteen minutes, the redhead having to slow down to let her follow. They had not even broken a sweat.
Susan stood by her side as they observed the scene. The light of the half-moon was more than enough to let both women see the spot nine miles away, in the clearing of the forest occupied by the base they had learned was being referred to as “The Hole”.
It did not take them long to notice that the most remarkable thing about the place was that it seemed to be operating in absolute routine.
“They are not expecting us,” Susan said.
“That was the idea,” Nicole said.
“Had you been planning to hang the Petrenkos out to dry since the beginning?” Susan asked.
Nicole smiled before she replied:
“Not since day one. When I escaped Fort Exeter, I was too concerned about finding a safe place to stay to think about anything else. But as soon as Andrey started sobbing about getting his father out of prison, I realized that they could serve a purpose.”
“They helped you,” Susan said.
Nicole let out a soft laugh.
“They offered me a place to stay. I, on the other hand, brought down an entire Chinese organization that would have finished them otherwise and freed the head of the family from prison. I do not think they have any reason to complain. If they are smart, they will surrender to the girls as soon as they realize that we are not there. Worst thing that can happen to them is that they are locked for some more time.”
“So, what now?” Susan asked.
“Now, it’s time finish what we started,” Nicole said.