A/N - Something about learning last minute, literally as I clocked out, of a mandatory 7am meeting on my only day off made me feel like writing violence...


Chapter 5

Clones

Emerging from the snowcat, Lori's eyes burned in the arctic weather. When she stopped blinking long enough for her eyes to focus, what she saw made her jaw drop. She wanted to press pause on the whole insane show just to take it all in. Hell, she felt like pressing rewind, play, rewind, play, and then doing it again. Or stop and eject. That would be nice too. She'd had enough crazy in the past few hours to last her the rest of her life. The guys were still fighting Sgt. Ocampo. Actually, the guys were being toyed with by the woman. Obviously, they did not stand a snowball's chance in hell against the newly improved woman. Ocampo smiled and laughed cruelly as she literally picked up an angry Luther and threw him into Leon. The men went down in a tangle of limbs.

Becky's frightened squeal reminded Lori of her self-imposed mission to protect the girl who had dropped to her knees beside the prone form of Alice. The blonde bitch was slowly advancing on the two, carrying a wicked looking staff. It was at least the length of the woman's body, barbed on both ends with a single vicious spike, surrounded by a ring of small, sharp blades. Wondering where the hell the woman had pulled that from, Lorraine readied herself to leap thinking she could maybe wrestle the woman down.

Alice moved first, her eyes fluttering open and fixing on Becky. "Becky!" She got back on her feet quickly, eyes darting to look at the predatory Jill and back to the girl. "Get back in the vehicle."

"But, Mommy..."

Lori slipped on the frosty metal, smacking her face on the frame and flopping gracelessly to the snow-covered ice beside Alice. "Oww." She sat up in time to catch Becky when Alice shoved the kid at her.

Before Jill could get any closer, Alice jumped at her. Almost lazily, Jill swung her staff and caught Alice in the shoulder, ripping through the thin material of her top and into the fragile flesh beneath. Blood flew and dripped, staining the pure snow. Flinching and clenching her teeth, Alice slapped a hand to the injury. It didn't appear very deep, though Alice hissed through her teeth. "Dammit, Jill."

The spider between those flushed breasts glowed a vengeful red, and Jill's eyes might have lit up too. "Creepy." Lori sing-songed under her breath.

"Her eyes scare me." Becky nodded.

"Wait, you saw them glow too?"

"Yes."

Lori cursed and eyed the blonde that was kicking Alice's ass. Badly. THUMP. WHACK. Each sound of Jill's fist or staff landing blows to Alice sent fresh tremors down Lori's spine. It was obvious to Lori that Alice didn't stand any more of a chance against Jill than the guys did against Ocampo.

The kid tapped Lori's shoulder. "Do you think she's being controlled by aliens or something?"

She would have laughed if it was not such an awful possibility. "I think you might be on to something, kid."

Alice flew back at them, propelled by a kick from Jill and crumpled on the ice. Smiling, Jill began to advance on the three of them. Thinking quickly, Lori clambered up the snowcat's side and wrenched the fire extinguisher from its place on the door. Right as Jill was about the slam her spear into Alice, Lori squeezed the trigger of the extinguisher, sending a plume of white chemical dust into the woman. Coughing, she staggered sideways, trying to avoid the nasty cloud. When the canister was empty, Lori successfully jumped down to the ice and slammed the cylinder into the woman's chest.

With a satisfying crunch and grunt, Jill stumbled backwards, dropping her staff, and falling to her knees. A hairline fracture appeared on the spider thing. Lori dove for the spear, rolled, and swung it, aiming for and hitting the spider again. This time, a solid crack appeared in it. Lori didn't have time to celebrate her success because she was knocked away like a pesky gnat. Angry as a disturbed hornets nest, Jill yanked her spear from Lori and made to impale the tree hugger. Screaming like a schoolgirl, Leon came soaring across the ice, thrown by one Sgt. Ocampo. His bulk impacted Jill, and they both went down. Snow flew everywhere.

Fuming, Jill shoved Leon off of her and got to her feet. "Ocampo, what are you doing?"

The dark woman stalked toward her superior, angrily gesturing at Lori. "Who the hell is this chick, wearing my face? And who the fuck is this Alice that claims to know me? Woman makes my insides twist up like pretzels and gives me creepy vibes! I want answers, Valentine."

Glowing brighter than ever, the spider thing looked ready to jump off Jill's chest and attack Ocampo. It didn't. Jill did frown though, a very angry, very irritated frown. "The only problem with using clones is the genetic memory. Eventually, something triggers memories from the original. If the Ocampo model was not such an excellent soldier, the DNA would have been incinerated a long time ago."

"I'm a clone?!" Ocampo looked less than pleased with the answers she was getting. Lori couldn't blame her. The idea that she was a copy of someone else, a secondhand human, didn't exactly make her feel warm and fuzzy on the inside.

"And now your usefulness has come to an end." Jill's eyes definitely were glowing, same as the mechanical spider. The bug sparked slightly, and Jill swayed on her feet. She righted herself when the sparks stopped. There was no doubt in Lori's mind now that the spider was the cause. "I should not have given you the serum. It will make terminating you a lengthy affair."

"You ain't terminating no one, you crazy bitch." And Ocampo launched herself at Jill, neatly avoiding the other woman's weapon and slipping in close. Quickly, Ocampo disarmed the blonde, and the two hyped-up women began a vicious bare-handed battle. Bruises blossomed and faded, blood was spat from gasping mouths, and foaming white clouds gathered around their faces. Neither was getting anywhere. Both seemed equally matched.

"Shit," groaned Lori. She made her way to Becky's side, checked on the kid, then forced herself to look at Alice, unsure if the woman was alive or dead. Blood was smeared on the pale face and a line of it trailed from her stomach to the ice where it froze. A small puddle of frozen blood was starting to form. Lori reached out a shivering hand, saw her glove and pulled it off. She touched Alice's neck.

There was a faint pulse.

"Thank God." Lori gasped.

Becky looked up at her. "What?"

"I thought she was..." She trailed off. "Nevermind."

Their attention was demanded by the sound of a gunshot. A pistol had appeared in Jill's hand. She fired off three more shots, which Ocampo dodged, before the dark woman kicked it out of her hand. The weapon cartwheeled on the ice, then slid toward Lori and company. Lori ignored it and stared at the fighting women, particularly watching Ocampo. It was more than disconcerting to see the mirror image of herself in combat. Ocampo seemed to be losing steam, slowing down, but Jill was as energetic as when she started.

Becky must have noticed too, because she started yelling encouragements, cheering on Dark Lorraine. Lori added her own unique cheers, "The spider, smash it! Smash the fucking thing!"

The combatants became locked in a fierce wrestling match. They rolled on the ground, snarling and glaring at each other. Finally, after what seemed like forever, Ocampo ripped off the spider and threw it. Jill convulsed, then collapsed, circles of blood bulging around where the spider's legs had been attached. Ocampo sprawled back on the ice, panting from exhaustion. "I am so ready for a hot shower." She gasped between pants.

Lying on its back, the freaky little bug's legs squirmed until it righted itself. Like a shot, the spider raced back toward the recovering commando. Lori scampered to the forgotten pistol. She picked it up and looked at it stupidly, wondering if it had any rounds left. The spider was only a few yards away from Ocampo. If that thing attached itself to her...

Lori's thoughts stopped as her body started moving. She blinked, and the gun had discharged two bullets. The metal device cartwheeled away. Sitting in a snowbank, it sparked frantically, but got back up and zoomed toward Ocampo, who had just noticed the situation. Moving as slow as cold honey, she scooted back from it. There was no way the exhausted woman could dodge that thing now. Lori felt like a ghost in her own body, someone else was carefully lining up the next shot and squeezing the trigger. More electricity arced out of the broken spider, casting jagged little shadows on the ice. The legs twitched a few times, then lay still. Its red glow faded completely. Lori dropped the pistol.

"Holy shit." Lori looked at her hands, not quite believing she had shot the gun at such a distance, with complete accuracy, at a tiny ass moving target. "Was that me?"

"Sure as fuck wasn't me, Miss Gucci."

Lori jerked sideways to face the person behind the nasty remark. Dark Lorraine slowly pushed herself up from the ice and glared at her.

"You don't have to be so mean."

"Did you seriously just say that?" Ocampo raised an eyebrow.

Jealously, Lori pouted that the other woman could move her eyebrows independently. She had never been able to convince her own to be so athletic. Ocampo continued to glare at her, disdain written across her features. Her scorn was the final straw on Lori's strained patience. "How about if I tell you not to act like such a hateful bitch?" Lori growled.

The other woman actually smiled. "That's better."

Lori was too surprised to reply, and Ocampo started chuckling.

A stressed gasp distracted the twins. Jill's mouth had formed a fish-mouthed 'O', her body stretched taught as if using every muscle possible to draw in fresh air. The woman kept inhaling until she couldn't anymore. She did not exhale. Probably could not. Lori started to worry, glancing over to Alice, who remained asleep with her head now in Becky's lap. She figured that Alice would probably know how to help the blonde, because Lori sure as heck didn't.

Ocampo staggered the few feet to Jill, knelt down beside the frigid woman and slapped her.

Lori gaped at her. Had she really just bitch-slapped her? The poor woman couldn't breath and...

Jill exhaled. Inhaled. Exhaled. She rolled over, breath still ragged, but breathing. "Thanks." She muttered and turned to look at Alice. The woman might have said started to say something, however the drone of engines and bright lights stole everyone's attention.

"What's that?" Becky yelled into the noise.

From behind them, cradling red-dress-chick in his parka, Leon responded. "It's help."

Holding his head, Luther sat up and grinned so widely that Lori felt herself echoing it. Help sounded like a damn good idea. Unless it came at a price. That would kind of suck. She looked down at Alice's vulnerable figure and instantly knew that whatever it took to save Alice, she'd do it.