"Fire at will!" Tara shouted as she rolled into a crouch and brought the magnetic accelerator up to her shoulder with some difficulty.
The Helios Anti-Tank Gauss Rifle was the most effective man-portable tank killer ever devised. The interlocking and extremely powerful magnetic fields of its xeno Helios-isotope rings accelerated a finger-sized ferrous core projectile at 22,000 feet per second. If used properly it could punch through the front armor of an M1A2 Abrams tank, slash through the crew compartment, armored magazine, and exit through the rear armor. To someone observing this it would look as if the tank was made out of paper and crushed suddenly from the front by an invisible finger. Then there would probably be a lot of exploding.
The down side of the Helios was that it took a little over two seconds for the less-advanced and heavy terrestrial battery pack to build up a sufficient charge in the weapon's dynamo. This charge would then pulse over the Helios-isotope rings and activate their magnetic fields, but the delay made it a relatively ineffective weapon to use abruptly. This was, unfortunately, precisely what Tara was trying to do.
The women accompanying her opened up with their assault rifles, peppering Bob Barker and his immense penis with dozens of rounds. The mimetic hunter realized, as the first bullet struck it, that it was under a hostile attack. It ignored the ineffective rifle fire and turned its attention towards Tara.
She was crouched several meters away, leveling the long tube of the Helios at the mimetic hunter. She depressed the firing stud and the dynamo inside the weapon began to hum with a growing electric charge. Bob Barker scrambled towards her, his penis swaying pendulously between his legs, his right side rippling with the incoming fire that was passing harmlessly through his body. Just as the dynamo within the Helios built to a high-frequency whine the mimetic hunter slapped the barrel casually aside.
The recoilless weapon discharged, sending its deadly shot through the left hip of Specialist Theresa Manheim of the Legacy Team. Many decidedly bad things happened to her in the space of 1/10000th of a second. The impact of the projectile compacted her left side and propelled 90% of her shattered bone mass out of the right side of her at a high velocity. Her organs liquefied and sprayed from the numerous wounds. Her skin tore in through her rapidly evacuating body like a napkin wrapped around a thrown baseball. It shredded and flayed and burst out in all directions. Most of her traveled for several hundred meters before stopping; her boots, feet, and part of her left leg remained where she had stood.
Tara had more important things to worry about than the giblets of Theresa Manheim coating her body. She let the Helios fall from her grip rather than distract herself by attempting to recover it and blocked a flurry of gunshot-quick blows from the mimetic hunter. The assassin had flattened its hands into a karate style but instead of administering chops it was trying to drive the tips of its fingers straight forward like knives. Tara learned the reason for this soon enough. She deflected one of the strikes awkwardly and the blow continued up her arm to make contact with the inside of her bicep. Agony shot through the flesh there as the tips of Bob Barker's fingers actually did stab into her skin. Only a quarter inch or less, but it was intensely painfully and nearly caused her to leave herself open for follow-up blows.
Desperate for breathing room, Tara dropped lower from her crouch and extended her leg in a quick sweep. Barker jumped back and over the attack, his penis swinging up and slapping against his chest. Tara took the free moment to leap backwards, curling through the air and landing on her feet well outside of arm's reach. Barker prepared to leap after her but was halted by an assault from several of the black-armored women in Tara's welcoming party. One attempted a leaping kick that Barker simply side-stepped, allowing her to sail past him. As she did he delivered a dozen or more blows to her torso. Had the woman not been wearing her armor the attack would have certainly killed her, as it was each blow landed with the force of a .357 and by the time her body had sailed out of reach she had several cracked ribs.
Two other women struck at Barker simultaneously, one wielding a gleaming katana and the other holding a pair of military combat knives. Their attack was coordinated but desperate. As the katana arced through the air the other woman ducked in low and stabbed at Barker's chest with both blades. With calculated ruthlessness the mimetic hunter allowed the first and most telegraphed blade strike past his defenses. The woman buried the combat knife in her right hand in Barker's chest up to the hilt, several inches actually protruding from his back. With his left hand Barker reached in past the other knife and grabbed the woman's lower arm, holding it in position. With his right hand he slapped the blade of the katana away from him, guiding its strike so that as it fell it encountered the knife wielder's left wrist.
With a wet squelch similar to slicing a tomato the woman's hand was severed. She screamed and released her hold on the knife buried in Barker's chest. As she staggered back gripping the stump and spraying a red mist of blood Barker kicked her square in the chest and sent her skidding across the ground. The other woman began to spin and up-swing the katana but Barker was faster, yanking the combat knife from his chest and stabbing it perfectly between the chin-strap and collar of the woman's armor. She gurgled and fell to her knees, her hands clutching weakly at the hilt of the knife.
He had a yellow inflatable tube around his waist, the kind with a comical duck head. There was a tiny fish in one of his hands, and a trident in the other. In the background a squirrel wearing shades was water skiing.
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