Author : Duncan Shields, Staff Writer

My nervous system registered a strong palm-print between my shoulder blades just before I was shoved hard towards the ground. I landed face-first amongst a scatter of hot shell casings and a reek of spent gunpowder.

I heard bullets whine and snap into the thin wall where I had been standing. The hall was littered with the bodies of fellow officers.

It wasn’t going well. This was a small apartment building in a slum. The most these kids should have had was bottles and bricks and maybe some home-made pop guns.

High caliber slugs stitched their way up the floor towards my wrist. I yanked my fist over to my chest but not quite in time. A few of my fingers flipped up into the air, suddenly free of my hand. One of them had my wedding ring on it.

I made a mewling sound like a kitten. Maybe two seconds had passed since I had been pushed down.

I looked up to see who had saved my life.

Straining the regulation uniform was the scarred, thick frame of a 40-year-old bodybuilder. Her face was warped with rage as she emptied a gun that would have looked more at home on the front of a tank.

She stood like a warrior from a completely different and much better movie.

I realized that her body had scars that matched the lines of her muscles at the same time as I saw her take six bullets in the chest and two in her face.

Her head barely snapped back as a shower of sparks from her forehead lit up the hallway. Her body actually slid back on her heels a couple of inches from the stuttering impact of the torso hits.

With an animal roar, she fired back. The gun whirred down to a series of clicks after a few deafening sweeps of the hallway.

Cries of the wounded echoed back to me from down the hall. Profanities of rioters who had taken decent cover came back as well. The clicks of weapons being reloaded. A preparation for more battle.

She tossed aside the weapon. It landed like an engine block beside her.

She threw her head back and yelled at the ceiling. I saw little blue lights warm up in the crevasses of the inset muscle plugs. With a body wide spasm, they strobed a blinding pulse out that sent the whole building into darkness.

The biologically generated EMP caused the militants down at the other end to shout and then whisper amongst themselves.

There was a change in the air pressure next to me and then the sound of bare feet on dusty ground padding softly down the hall. It sounded like the feet of a ballerina or a young child. So fast and so quiet.

That’s when the screaming began down the hall. It sounded like a slaughterhouse. In amongst the gunfire, I could hear the sounds of metal on bone and see occasional flashes of blue taser fire.

This riot was over.

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