Published by: eXtasy Books
Author : Valerie J. Long
Word Count :38399
Publication Date :2021-03-26
Series : Lioness Tracks#3
Heat Level :
- Product Code: 978-1-4874-2644-6
Her body is a deadly weapon—she’s a Mamba.
I heard the chafing and then clacking noise of a pistol slide, reached the door, spotted an athletic man with bald spot and thin beard in a pale suit aiming at another man on a chair. He turned back to me with eyes widened in surprise. He merely had to pull the trigger and our mission would have failed.
My name is Monique Arnaud. I am a Mamba. My teammates and I were biochemically enhanced and trained by the Cartel as professional assassins. Now we’re working for the Dragon empress as secret agents instead. Our mission is to extract the Cartel’s instruments—Dragon technology experts—from their captivity.
The world-wide crime cartel is shattered, but still numerous graduates of the old Dragon technology university are in the hands of merciless criminals. To free them and win them as supporters for Johanna’s defense efforts is the perfect challenge for her special unit, the Mambas. But such a mission bears high risk and doesn’t always run smoothly. What kind of sacrifices must the fighters make to reach their goals?
The approximately two-meter-high quarry wall meant no obstacle to me, although the dense moss growth had soaked up the morning dew and thus had become very slippery. The old trees on this side of the estate blocked every sight of the mansion—and vice versa. So I could simply jump up to the capstone and down the inner side again.
I looked to the right. Elodie had just let herself drop from a strong branch and showed me a circle of thumb and index finger—all okay. I returned the signal and glanced around once more.
If Sabine hadn’t missed something, there were no electronic security measures in the park, no motion sensors, tripwires, or infrared light barriers—all the nice things Jo liked to talk about. Nevertheless, I checked again myself. Tess had instructed us at least a dozen times that we wouldn’t become a disgrace to Jo—needlessly, as we all agreed on that. No noise, no shoot-out, silently in and out. Velvet-like, so to speak. The guards shouldn’t even notice our visit.
I sneaked on and peered around the next tree. From here, I could observe the largest part of the terrace running all around the mansion’s upper floor. Only few spots remained obstructed from my view by large bushes. Once Elodie had reached her position, she’d fill that gap.
I counted two guards on this side of the house, both armed with short-barreled machine pistols. That matched Sabine’s reconnaissance mission results—two guards on the terrace at each of the mansion’s four sides, and two again at the main entrance on the ground level. The two on our side didn’t appear very alert—not as if they’d seriously expect uninvited visitors.
Tess had said that probably nobody expected a second retrieval wave. Back then, when we had freed the reluctant and destructive instruments, we had faced substantial resistance after the first simple pickups. Presumably, back then they had been alarmed here, too. But that lay two years in the past.
A bird’s chirp sounded from the right—Elodie had reached her position.
Just at this moment, the guard to the left raised a hand to his ear, and the other looked up and peered in Elodie’s direction. Next, shots sounded from the left side—from the main entrance, where Tess and Sabine would approach.
I heard not only the rattling of several machine pistols, but also the hiss of plasma rounds. Sabine hadn’t mentioned that!
Our secondary goal of a quiet mission had therefore failed, and put our primary target in imminent lethal danger—if the guard staff was still following their order of instantly killing the instrument in case of a liberation attempt.
I signaled a Three to Elodie. Opponent’s strength unknown, fight inevitable—strike firmly, eliminate identified targets as reliably as possible.
She answered with three raised fingers—acknowledgement.
Upon dashing forward I checked for options to reach the upper terrace through the greens. Through under that bush, jump up the gray brick wall, grab the ledge, and swing over the stone railing—okay.
The guard noticed me as soon as I came out under the trees and swung his machine pistol around. Too late!
He had three seconds overall while I had to cover the hundred meters to the house and up to his place, and on the last third of my way, the bushes obstructed his sight. Too short to stop a fast determined Mamba.
He just had time for a surprised shout but didn’t manage to fire his gun—with the drive that carried me over the balustrade, my kick met his chin hard enough to make his cervical spine give in. Before I landed, he was already dead.
Elodie’s opponent shared this fate.
A quick glance constituted our agreement. Plan Three—enter the building, search for primary target.
The trellised door almost in front of me stood open. I jumped through and rolled away to come to a halt ready for a jump.
No guard in this room, so I hurried to the door, opened it a bit and listened. Aside from the outside shots’ echo I heard quickly tapping steps. More guards? If so, they were on their way to the entrance as reinforcements, or to their host as executioners.
I sensed Elodie behind me and quickly pulled the door open.
Three more armed men were just running down the large open stairs to our right—led by a blond giant with a bulky plasma rifle, followed by a bald-headed man with large-caliber pistol and a dark-curly-haired youngster with machine pistol. Without hesitation, I jumped over the balcony railing between the leading two men.
First I had to batter bald-head’s guns aside and make the giant lose his balance with a kick. Oops—the kick caused less effect than hoped for, and the giant only stumbled a few steps down, just enough extra distance to get his gun barrel up. I couldn’t take care of that, though, because bald-head was about to throw himself upon me with a loud roar—well, I ducked down deep, slipped through under his arms, then pushed myself up and catapulted him behind me, right into the giant.
Before I tended to those two again, I saw Elodie crush the youngster’s windpipe with little remorse. Three. No opponents at our backs, no witnesses.