Wednesday, June 24, 2009


"When I tell you to put your hands up!" Three yelled over the roar of the dirt bike.

"Are you nuts!" Nine shouted back.

"You're the one in a gunfight wearing a skirt!" Three snapped back. "Just do it!" That got her a poke in the ribs, but she couldn't really feel it through the light body armor. "Fine! When a tree branch knocks your head off or the bad guys get you in the-- Okay, get ready!"

"You're serious!" But she tightened her thighs around her sister's waist anyway.

"Ready...ready...ready... NOW!"

Nine lifted her hands. Almost immediately something hard smacked her fingers. She curled them automatically, dragging whatever it was out of the low-hanging tree branches. She took a quick glance at the insignia on the back before jamming it on her head: a stylized number 3.

An engine sounded along the rutted dirt path. Then shots. Three glanced over her shoulder. They were too far away to land anything, but that jeep was going to gain over their two-person heavy dirt bike.

"Wearing a shoulder holster," she shouted.

Nine stopped her systematic pat down and reached unerringly for the guns. With one arm wrapped around her sister's waist, she twisted on the dirt bike and fired back. "They're gaining."

"Figured they would."

The shots stopped for a moment. And then started again, aim closer. Bark spat in their faces. Three flinched in spite of the face mask she was wearing. She began weaving across the road. Nine twisted around to fire the other gun.

"Drive straight! Can't shoot."

"My driving is keeping us alive!"

"Says who?!"

"Ha! Says me. There's extra clips in my pockets."

Nine reached for one just as Three saw what she was looking for. "Never mind that! Hold on. We're turning."

"Right?" Nine must have seen it, too. She knew the forested area just as well as her sister.


Both sisters put their left foot down as Three spun the bike in a tight one-eighty. Nine slipped both guns into her Three's pockets and tucked in close. Three revved the engine then went spitting down the road. The jeep never stopped or slowed. Neither did they.

Three kept a careful eye on the jeep, their distance, and the road. In her head she was counting. The guns were hot inside her pockets. She didn't like them so close to the ammo, but there was no helping it. Nine must have been counting too because she suddenly tightened her grip around Three.

Three jerked the bike sharply to the left, off the tiny service road. What they were on was little more than a dirt path. It was barely wide enough for them, and way too small for the jeep behind them. Three kept going full throttle--until Nine jabbed her with one of the guns.

Taking the hint for what it was, Three slowed the bike until they could walk it down the dirt road. Nine pulled off her helmet. "You have got to dying in that thing."

Three peeled off her face mask. "Just a little." She began stripping out of the single-piece body armor. Her hair and clothes were plastered to her body. What the heck were you doing having a gun fight in a pink floral sundress?"

"It fit the mission parameters this morning."

"Yeah, tell it to dad when we get home."

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