|Gunslinger Girl: Marked
Author: sasahara17 PM
AU and OOC, Lauro is dead. Elsa de Sica is very much alive. But she won’t be for much longer if certain special interest groups have their way. When everybody is out to get you, what is a rouge cyborg to do? Sequel to 'Mistake'.Rated: Fiction T - English - Suspense/Drama - Chapters: 5 - Words: 33,037 - Reviews: 15 - Favs: 6 - Follows: 12 - Updated: 04-24-08 - Published: 11-08-07 - id: 3880162
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
liberate me ex infernis
The Italian mobster fell to the hail of gunfire as his German brother in law watched helpless, unable to alter the outcome of their last stand in his office. Carmie slumped to the floor missing a good portion of his head, the blood darkening the already red carpet of the mansion floor.
Andreas quickly kicked over the sturdy wooden table despite its immense weight and took cover behind it. Bullets were flying, grenades had gone off, and his custom built Thompson was running low on ammunition. And yeah, there was that hole in his side too.
"I got careless." Andres repeated as the bullets ripped at the upturned wooden table he was hiding behind with increased fervor. It was only proving a pitiful level of protection against the hollow point rounds. He knew it would cave in a matter of moments.
It had all gone pear shaped. The death squads were too well armed, too numerous, too organized. The Leone front had fallen though in a matter of hours, with the Death squads systematically culling their numbers with ruthless efficiency.
The difference in their abilities was immediately apparent in their tactics. While the Leone family had gone about this war like a bunch of street thugs, the Forelli's had taken to it like a military operation. Their surgical strike were swift precise and devastating. While the Leone family did have their ex-military types, like Andreas, the Forelli's had the best the industry had to offer.
And it showed.
It had only taken one evening to bring the once mighty Leone family to its knees. Andreas was impressed despite himself. The equipment, training and skill of the Forelli men far outstripped the pitiful makeshift militia the Leone's brought to bear.
Tybalt was dead; having been in his office when a well placed grenade had one off. Carmine was lying in a pool of blood at at the entrance of the room. Lord knows what happened to Alberio, but if that horrified scream was any indicator, he was dead too.
For all Andreas knew, he was the last of the Leone family still able to fight.
Not for long though, with the way things were going right now.
His only consolation was that he had taken at least fifty of those bastards down with him. His one regret was that he would never see his daughter gain, but Rosemary would keep her safe.
Even through his death was imminent Andreas could only think of the promise to his daughter he would never fulfill.
A loud shriek of gunfire erupted down the corridor. A surprised shout followed by a battle cry was heard. Andreas tightened his grip on his Thompson SMG. They were coming, and he could not stand against them in his state.
He loaded his last hundred round drum into the Thompson and flicked the fire selector from semiautomatic to full auto. He withdrew his Colt Single Action from under his jacket. This was it.
Andreas, exhaled and gave a bitter smile. Esther…
Andreas froze at the unmistakable voice of his daughter. Couldn't be…!
Ducking out from behind the table, Andreas couldn't believe his eyes when he saw his daughter standing in the doorway of the office. Although she was unharmed there were traces of splattered blood and dirt that now covered his daughter's clothes and face.
Andreas almost dropped his Thompson and Colt in shock.
Esther, tears in her eyes, ran up to her father and embraced him. The weight on his chest was enough to convince him that this was not some nightmare he was trapped in. His daughter was indeed here, before him. "Papa, you're okay! You're okay!"
Dear god… she was here. What was she doing here? Why wasn't she safe? Where is Rose? Andreas mind had ground to a stop.
"Papa! Grandfather, grandfather is…!" Esther cried. Andreas looked down at his daughter dumbly. She had seen… oh god…
"Is this your father?"
Andreas snapped his head up quickly, and held his daughter closer to his body protectively as new voice spoke from the open doorway. A young girl, hair hanging freely and an M16A4 hung over her shoulder walked backed through the doorway, gun ready.
"Elsa…" Esther whispered.
Her name was Elsa? "Who are you?" Andreas questioned, his grip tightening protectively around Esther while he slowly lowered his guns from his strange savior. Child or not, she was armed and dangerous. He knew it was her who had slain his attackers, there could have been no one else who would have done so. That already spoke volumes about her.
He could overpower her, but with Esther this close?
"… a friend." Elsa replied. She hadn't so much as flinched even though he had his gun trained on her. Andreas knew something was wrong about this girl.
"She helped me Papa." Esther said. "She saved my… Uncle Carmine!" Esther exclaimed when she saw the body lying on the floor. The small girl tried to make a move towards it, but Andreas firmly held her close with his arm and made an effort to avert her gaze from the corpse of his brother in law. He would not let her see this.
"We can't stay here." Elsa announced, ejecting her magazine and loading a fresh one in. "There are too many hostiles. Do you know of a way out?"
The lack of emotion in her voice did little to curb his suspicions about his new comrade. "I do. The Garage has been taken but…"
As if sensing his discomfort and uncertainty, Elsa made a decision. "I'll lead. Follow closely and protect Esther."
Andreas drew some comfort in knowing that whatever reason this young gunslinger had taken a liking to his daughter. To what extent he did not know, but in a hell such as this one, Andreas would take all the help he could get.
"Shit!" Tony swore. "She's pinning us down."
Hearing bullets ricochet off the metal surface of the large van he was taking cover behind, Tony knew that this was not an ideal situation for them to be in. Their target was getting away, and even though Cecil had managed to get a shot in, it did not seem like she was slowing down.
What infuriated Tony the most was that that kid with the SMG he had shot had taken a .45ACP federal hydroshock bullet in the leg and wasn't even reacting. These government dolls really were all they were made out to be. Looks like all the precautions he'd taken weren't just him being overly cautious.
As if to make matters worse a black van pulled up behind them. It was one of the Americans!
"Oh hell." Cecil exclaimed.
Three men armed with M16A4s filed out of the van and started shooting forcing the two trackers to run for alternate cover, with Cecil retreating into the alley Elsa had fled to and Tony running back into the alley they had come from. This was bad. At this rate, the target would escape. Tony made a decision.
"Cecil, you're closer to the target! I'll find another way round!" Tony shouted across the road with his powerful voice
"You sure?" Cecil ducked out and brought down one of the armed men with a shot through the eye before gunfire from a Five seveN forced him back into his cover.
"Mission first! Get the girl!" Tony announced as he clapped a fresh magazine into his AMT Hardballer Long slide and sighted the postbox. If he could just hit the kid's master… The man popped out.
Jose Croche was grazed in the left forearm, and in a howl of pain dropped his weapon. "Missed" Tony muttered. Tony rolled back into the alleyway as a furious barrage blasted at the stone walls that lined its opening.
Looks like the little lady didn't take kindly to people who put bullets in her master.
He's drawn the attention of the SWA team. Considering M16M4 wielding guys were even further down the road, Henrietta's sudden attack left her wide open, and the suited men managed to blow off her ear. All that did was serve to further enrage the furious cyborg.
A quick glance to the opposite alley… Cecil was gone. The distraction was successful
Tony gave a rare smile has her drew his other AMT Hardballer Longslide and made down this alleyway. Small amounts of dust and smoke still drifted about from the earlier explosion. It would be the government dogs that would be busy now.
Elsa fanned the corridor with the rifle, eyes focused and heart pounding. She couldn't believe they had actually made it this far. Any previous notions Elsa had that this place was safe had flown out the window. This place was a war zone! Esther's mad dash through the mansion was so haphazard, Elsa was sure they would have been killed.
Yet here they were, Esther reunited with her well armed father and Elsa still checking around corners nervously. The 'enemy' still stalked the corridors, so the group progressed with stealth to avoid detection.
If it wasn't for the fact there seemed to be some unfortunate people who had decided to start a firefight in the courtyard and were making one very noisy a ruckus, Elsa was sure the entire might of those suited men could have taken more notice of three weary characters sneaking through the shadows.
"This way." The man announced softly. Pulling on a wall mounted candle holder, a section of the wall silently swung open to reveal a hidden stairwell that lead down. He led them down a dark stairwell into a small hidden chamber. "This is the second garage. We had one prepared in case the mansion was ever attacked." He explained. "Never thought we'd need it though."
The small garage was filled with cupboards containing weapons and other amenities such as first aid kits and occupied a single vehicle, a two seat Ferrari, presumably bulletproofed. Andreas grabbed the keys to the vehicle off a rack and unlocked the car doors.
"We need to get outside of the city limits." Elsa stated.
"I'll get the keys, get in." He replied. He obviously seemed torn between getting his daughter to safety and helping out his besieged comrades who were now facing certain death, but Elsa knew his daughter's welfare would win out. The battle was all but lost anyway.
"Daddy, Elsa…" Esther said fearfully. "Are we going to be okay?"
Both Elsa and Andreas exchanged guarded glances. Neither of them truly had the bigger picture. Elsa didn't know what those suited men were after, but she knew the SWA were probably not too far behind her. Andreas was skeptical about his new ally, especially given her age and proficiency with weapons. He hand a suspicion… but his daughter seemed to trust her.
"Don't worry sweetie, everything is going to be just fine. We won't let the bad men get to you." Andreas said assuredly to his young daughter. "Now get in the car alright?"
Esther nodded, and gave a quick glance to Elsa, who like Andreas gave the young girl a comforting smile. Feeling less fearful, the young girl ran to the passenger side door of the vehicle and jumped in.
"I'll have to drive, Esther will have to sit on your lap." Andreas explained.
"I won't be able to use weapons that way." Elsa observed.
Andreas opened the car trunk and began loading it with 'supplies' from around the garage. "You won't need to. I'll make sure of that."
The irony was that the SWA were much closer to her than she had anticipated.
"Triela you idiot!" Triela cursed herself. "Jump over the fence my foot. Nobody will notice us. I can jump that height easy-peasy. We'll get in and out no problem. Ha! Look at this then! I'm such an idiot!"
As it turned out, the unfortunate soul who had decided to start a gunfight in the courtyard was Triela cyborg extraordinaire. Hillshire had used his GPS to track down Elsa's signal to an imposing looking mansion that seemed to have gunfire coming from behind the large stone wall that lined the preemies. The task of going behind that opaque barrier without having a clue what was behind it was incredibly daunting.
Hillshire was on the verge on not deciding to wait when Triela, infuriated with her handler's indecision, took the initiative. It turned out to be an impulsive move.
Having jumped over the mansion wall into full view of six heavily armed suited gangsters, she suddenly felt like a deer caught in headlights. They noticed her trusty trench gun slung over her shoulder, they opened up mercilessly, and fight began in earnest.
Hillshire and Claes had wisely stayed over his side of the fence on Triela's urging. As much as he was concerned for her, even the German man knew when he was seriously in over his head.
"'Run away' he said. 'Find some way around' he said. Easy for him to say." Triela grumbled as she ran for her life, bullets impacting the foliage and stone around her. "Can't even return fire!"
As much as she wanted to plug those six people who first spotted her and ruined a perfectly good entrance, their friends were pouring out from the mansion's main door in droves.
She was running all over the courtyard like some panicked chicken. How humiliating. Taking cover behind a stone stature, one that she figured must have been pretty expensive because it was made of marble, Triela spied an open door in that lead into the mansion, possibly a service entrance. Perfect.
Bullets tore at the marble statue, ripping large chunks of stone out of it.
Triela made her move.
Moving faster than what should be humanly possible; she darted out from behind cover and sprinted for that exit. Hillshire hadn't said anything about continuing pursuit on her own…
Stumbling into the portal as shouts and gunfire erupted behind her; Triela didn't stop and continued running through the room and into the darkened corridors. Ha! She'd beaten the odds again! Now all she had to do was find and neutralize Elsa, and she'd call it a da-
Out of nowhere, someone seized her by her arm and threw her across the corridor. Triela reacted quickly. She twisted in the air and landed in a crouch. Someone stood in front of her.
She recognized her latest adversary instantly.
It occurred to her he was probably the one who used the side entrance and carelessly left the door open for her. Suddenly it dawned upon her she now had a knife lodged in the side of her left shoulder.
And in a moment, he was upon her.
They had caught the Americans off guard.
The garage door, a seemingly inconspicuous wall in the side of the mansion, flipped open. Andreas immediately floored the pedal, and the sleek vehicle sped out into the courtyard like a formula one.
"Hang on!" Andreas shouted as the vehicle barreled out into the driveway, swerving around the surprised gunmen and racing out through the main gate of the estate. Elsa kept her head low, holding onto Ester tightly with her arms as the vehicle hurtled down the roads at a daredevil pace.
Thumps reverberated on the vehicles frame as some of the gunmen gathered enough sense to return fire, however the bulletproof vehicle easily shrugged off the hits, and the reinforced glass of the rear window holding up even against the high powered rifle rounds.
They raced through the small Sicilian roads until the mansion was far behind them…
"What was that?" Elsa exclaimed arching her head to see what had hit them
"Probably a sharpshooter that hit some part of the car." Andreas said as the car rounded a corner. "I'm taking us out of this town."
Claes and Hillshire had managed to find their way into the mansion, the first thing they did was try to link up with Triela. It had only taken them moments to realize that the hotheaded girl had resumed chase on her own without any backup.
Which seemed rather pointless now that the GPS showed Elsa was moving out of town at roughly two hundred kilometers an hour.
"I'm upping her conditioning after this, I swear…" Hillshire grumbled as the two SWA agents rushed through the hallways to meet up with their comrade before she tried anything stupid. "That girl is too rebellious for her own good!"
Any complaints Hillshire might have had came to an abrupt stop when the rounded the corner only to see Pinocchio, the man that they had been warned about, hefting the bloodied and unconscious form of their friend onto his shoulder like a corpse with some difficulty.
Hillshire's mouth ran dry.
"What the hell… how heavy is this girl anyway?" Pino muttered before he realized he wasn't alone.
It was a sight that chilled both Hillshire and Claes to the bone. There were at least a dozen knives of various sizes embedded in various places on Triela's person, and she was bleeding very badly.
Hillshire froze like a statue, the shock of seeing his partner in such a state helpless. Claes on the other hand reacted.
She charged in, sending a right hook at the Padania assassin. Pinocchio had little choice to drop the cyborg, who hit the floor with a distinctive 'thump', and skillfully dodged the assault. The young assassin calculated his odds. He'd already sprained his wrist incapacitating the first one, and now he was taking on another girl with backup.
"Julius! I could use some help down here!" Pino yelled as he sidestepped a kick that would have fractured several of his ribs. This girl wasn't much better than the other one, but this time he had a sprained wrist and only two knives left.
Unfortunately for Pinocchio, he would later learn that Julius had just run into a mafia death squad, and would be preoccupied for another five minutes.
Pino had just sidestepped another of Claes punches when a bullet grazed his shoulder. Hillshire had gotten over his shock and now had his gun trained on Pinocchio.
Seeing little alternative, Pinocchio threw his last knife at Hillshire. The German had to drop the floor to escape injury allowing Pinocchio to sweep Claes legs out from under her and hastily make a getaway. He needn't have feared pursuit, there were other things on the two newcomers minds at the moment.
No sooner had Pinocchio had fled the scene, Hillshire had immediately gone over to Triela's side. "Triela! Triela it's me Hillshire! Speak to me! Speak to me, Damnit!" Triela, blood seeping out from the side of her mouth, did not reply. Hillshire's worst nightmare had come to pass.
"We need to get her out of here." Claes said. "Triela needs immediate medical attention and your gunfire has compromised our position." Hillshire nodded and hoisted his mutilated partner's body onto his back.
Retracing their steps out of the mansion, Claes clicked her tongue. Elsa would have to wait.
As the Ferrari blazed out and away from the fierce battle behind it, a man watched it speed into the distance. Cecil lowered his handgun. The tracer round he'd fired onto the car had hit it dead on.
It was a fluke. He was halfway to the mansion when Julius called into to say the target had escaped in a Ferrari of all things and was making a bid for freedom that they could not stop. As luck had it, her escape path ran right by him.
They'd probably dump the vehicle sooner or later, but that tracking device should give them a good head start.
Flipping open his cell phone, Cecil had a short conversation with Tony to inform them that their prey had slipped through their fingers for now. The other gunman was put off by this revelation but accepted it. After that Cecil called Julius.
"Julius, she's gotten away. I've tagged her getaway car with a tracer. Let's pull out, no point staying when it could get us killed." Cecil announced.
"Understood, I've just met up with Pino. And we'll meet you back at our designated spot."
"Anything happen on your end?" Cecil asked has he began a slow but cautious withdrawal.
"Pino got into a fight with one of the dolls, beat the tar out of her and almost captured her too."
"Just as he was about to make a capture, her buddies swooped in." Julius chuckled. "It was a big upset on his part. Sprained his wrist too. He was hollering for me the entire time to come to his res- ow, Pino! Just joking!"
"Pity, we could have finished the mission." Cecil observed. "We'll rendezvous with Tony and immediately begin pursuit."
"R-Rodger that. Hey I'm sorry Pino, I was tied up at the ti-" Cecil slammed the phone back shut as Julius went back to his earlier conversation.
Their tracker had only a small window of opportunity. Their prey had a head start on them and when she switched vehicles…
Well, they were getting closer. And that was what counted.
Elsa looked out the window at the passing scenery. After they had cleared the settlement limits, Andreas had hit the open road and hadn't stopped since. Esther had fallen asleep on her lap, the young girl's head resting against her shoulder even as the cyborgs arms held onto her protectively.
The sun had since rose over the horizon, and with the town and her pursuers behind her Elsa could finally breathe a sigh of relief. For now at least, she was safe.
"We'll need to ditch this car soon." Andreas said softly from the drivers seat.
"I know." Elsa responded calmly.
"I know a place where we can swap vehicles. If all goes well, we shouldn't take more than ten minutes."
Andreas carefully watched the young girl out of the corner of his eyes. "We're going to have a long talk once we're in the clear, you and I."
Elsa closed her eyes in deep thought. Perhaps she was out of immediate danger, but with the new day a while different set of problems had resulted. She had little doubt that the Social Welfare Agency was not finished with her, and perhaps they would never be.
As the scenic Italian countryside flashed past the window of the vehicle, one thing was certain; once again, peace alluded the troubled girl.
The first thing Triela realized was that her entire body felt like shit. Second she could hear the sound of the rotor blades of a helicopter. Then she realized she was on a stretcher on the said helicopter, Hillshire hovering over her worriedly. Her half lidded eyes noted there was genuine fear in his eyes. There was a breathing mask on her face, and she had been tired down to the stretcher as well.
She tried to speak, but she found she couldn't utter a word, the most she could manage was soft gasps and moans. She wanted to touch him, tell him not to come so closer to her, but she was unable to do so as she was tied down.
Then it all came back to her.
The mansion. The fight. Her defeat at the hands of Pinocchio.
She was beaten. By a normal human being.
Triela mentally screamed out in anguish at the realization she had been completely bested by that man. However, all she could manage was a low moan.
"Don't worry, we're almost back home. Just hang in there Triela, you're going to be all right." Hillshire said reassuringly, grasping her bandaged hand reassuringly.
If it wasn't for the fact she was so angry and frustrated at it all, Triela would have thought his attention to have been flattering. Triela wondered how she was currently under Hillshire's protection instead of being shoved in a car boot by that assassin, and taken to god knows where.
She had been completely utterly defeated. It wasn't just her body that was ruined, but her pride and self respect as well. Triela had finally met her better, and had barely escaped with her life.
As her mental state descended into self loathing, one thing stayed apparent in her mind.
She remembered his face. She remembered his name.
Forever etched into her memory.
Triela's hands tightened around Hillshire's.
In life, there are some things you just can't avoid.
Still dealing with my exit permit... trying to pick it up today... so I'm still rather busy. Oh well. Anyway, Chapter 5.
As a side note, you readers may want to check out GSG Echoes. I've put alot of work into that one, and there is something big I'm planning to pull at around chapter twenty or so (for both stories).
Okay, unltil next time!