The story below is part of a short story collection written by Pauly Hart
You can purchase the entire book HERE
He rolled as the bullets whisked by his ear. So close. So very close this time. Ducking behind a crate, he heard them spatter the other side of the box like popcorn. Pop! Pop! Pop! He had only seen two bad guys, but maybe there were more. He whipped his head out and then ducked back. In less than a second, he had his bearings. Zing! More bullets. They weren't kidding. There were three of them. One on the right, one hidden behind a crate on the left, and a new guy had walked into view, between the trucks. Shotgun? Naaaaah. Too messy and loud. The Uzi ought to do the trick just fine.
He took a deep breath and jumped out, falling and rolling as he went. Facing them, he fired. Brrrrrrrt! The Uzi burped out and caught the one on the right first. He rolled again, blocking the view of the man between the trucks with the one on the left and the crate he was behind. The dude had ducked down when Max had fired and now cautiously popped his head back out. Brrrrrrrt! He no longer had a head.
Whezz! A bullet flew right by him. The man between the trucks had come around and stood there like an idiot. Legs spread apart, shoulders squared, one eye closed... Like a fool at the target range. Max almost felt sorry and he let another burst go from the Uzi to finish him off.
They had all three been three firing .45's and he wondered if they had any ammunition left. They usually never did, but he could still check. Never know when extra ammunition will come in handy. As he was going over the bodies he thought about yesterday. He caught one in the leg and it had hurt like a thousand bees. It was kind of amazing the blood flow and the damage that had already been repaired by those high-tech implants. And the medical rations he had applied didn’t hurt the situation either. Heck, he wasn't even sore.
Dark Max Steele surveyed the damage on the battlefield behind him. Six snipers, a tank, a machine gunner’s nest and a bunch of bozos like the three he had just taken out here. Done. Piece of cake. All he had left was that pesky robot and this area would be safe for the rest of the troops. He checked his inventory for the only way to take out the robot.
Proximity Mines: Two.
Dark Max grimaced. He had been hoping for a miracle as he always did. He had used up all his grenades on that tank, he had dropped the RPG after he had used it on the machine gunners. There was no way that his only two remaining mines were going to do the trick on that robot. "Holy Hurricanes!" he said to the air, "Now isn't that just like the Special Corps! All talk and no walk! Heck!"
He was talking out loud again. He hated talking out loud. He knew that he sounded like a fool, but nothing he had tried had ever worked. The old doc had told him not to worry about it, but it was embarrassing all the same. It was a good thing none of his buddies ever went with him to the battlefield, he would have died of shame. The Doom Robot lurked around the corner... any second now and he would activate his mines and run like hell...
And then it happened. The feeling came over him as suddenly as the slam of a door. Time stood still in his mind.
Dark Max couldn't move. He hated this. Every now and again it would happen. In the middle of a fight, sometimes even mid conversation... Time would actually stand still and he would be suspended in this weird reality where nothing made sense. It never made any sense to him. When he was outside, you could still hear the birds. When he was in the cellars and under buildings, you could always still hear the dripping of water through the pipes... But things just never moved.
Except that once. It had been a specifically long and bumpy mission. Bad guy after bad guy had bit the bullet. One by one, he had crept quietly along the coastal citadel and dispatched the minions of evil. At least that's how he saw all the bad guys: Minions of evil.
He remembered exactly when it was and where it was when it had happened to him first. He was on his first mission in former Bophuthatswana, the blooming little country of South Africa terrorized by the tyrant Eugene Terre'Blanche and his brand of Neo Nazi hatred. He was glad that dude was gone.
Heck. He knew when it was coming up, when the mission would be over... He always knew. Sometimes you could just sense things. There werea couple of guys that were pretty tough, but he knew the real challenge lay around the corner. The Doom Robot. What the heck-fire kind of a name was that anyway? And when would he be able to move again?
Jeff put the large slice of pepperoni down next to the Mountain Dew. It was almost one in the morning but he didn't care. He didn't work tomorrow and the robot was the last boss anyway. He took a bite, a sip and pressed start.