Written in 365 Parts: 36: Terminal Payload

It is the little details that always seem to stay in the mind the longest. The crunch of a boot on the hewn stone floor as it ground small loose particles of sand and grit together, there was a slightly greasy feel. The slight wisps of smoke, grey blue from heated metal, that obscured the light rods attached to the tunnel walls that gave the area a warm haze. The still sparkling iridescence of the prismatic particles that were disrupting light beam communication and weaponry as they slowly floated to the floor.

There were small pieces of trash on fire at the side of the husk that was an armoured assault vehicle, bits of clothing and waste packaging, the detritus of life. You could see the remains of nitrox capsules and joint butts, so the alleyway was a favourite for stoners who liked to huff as much as they puffed.

A glint of reflection in the face-mask of one of the security guards. The less mouthy one. They were turning their head to look at their friend, body tilting down and a sense of surprise in their posture even though they lay on the ground.

The other guard was moving fast. Their body jerking upright in a sudden burst to reveal a third arm, no doubt an implant rather than grown on. It was well hidden when they had gotten out of the car, tucked across their stomach the scans had completely missed it.

As the security guard raised their body upright onto their knees in a smooth movement, Drick was already dropping down. Then as the security guard flipped themselves over to allow that extra limb to draw a bead with a weapon they had secreted, Drick who was now launching upwards with all their might.

As Drick flipped backwards to try and clear the roof of their own executive vehicle and gain some coverage they saw the weapon and realised their mistake. It was a disposable ejector. The security guard depressed a trigger with the tube pointed vaguely in Drick’s direction. This type of weaponry needed little aiming, it was a crowd control device. It fired thousands of tiny slivers of polymer usually coated with some form of toxin.

The ejector was a favourite of riot control and security guards as the drug it delivered could be anything from a mild sleeping agent to a paralysis inducing compound. Drick would lay safe money on this one containing a deadly poison.

Drick spun in mid-air as they came over to the other side of the vehicle while scrunching up their entire body to make as small a target as possible. The less surface area presented to the cloud of incoming projectiles the fewer that would penetrate and cause harm. It was likely a futile gesture. If Drick was using a last ditch weapon it would contain only a terminal response. Each one of the darts would likely be capable of killing, it would be foolish not for them all to carry a lethal dose.

As Drick dropped from across the top of the vehicle to the other side the darts hit Drick’s body. Most of the polymer shards of death impacted against hidden Kevlar and ceremetal plating in Drick’s jumpsuit but enough of them hit flesh to burrow in and deliver their payload.

The effect was instantaneous and Drick barely had time to land before the crippling pain and a wave of blackness overcame them.

Drick’s last sight as the powerful neurotoxins raced through the bloodstream carrying instant annihilation was the spray of flesh and bone as Boomer used the large calibre projectile round on the guards outstretched arm.

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