Chapter 5: Showdown
Broker's Lair, Empress Desert, 15km south west of Soleanna - November 3rd 2013, 10:50AM
Leaving behind the downed robot, the team of three enter a cold, dark room. The Broker's office. Jacob and Katherine had firearms at the ready, while Astrid drew her dagger. Suddenly, the lights down their end of the room turned on, revealing four pillars in front of them, set up in a square shape and supporting the building, along with a few display cases running in between the two on the left and right.
"I knew that one day you'd come, G.U.N," a voice boomed from towards the back of the room.
Squinting and trying to find The Broker, Lawson replied, "Show yourself, Broker."
"I don't take orders from you, Agent Lawson," the voice replied back.
Katherine turned her head and looked at him. "Do you know him, sir?"
"I do not, Private Treske."
"Okay... I'm freaked out," she replied, continuing to aim her weapon.
"The Broker has access to everything about us. He knows everything," Lawson advised.
"Indeed I do, Agent Lawson. It is strange. I thought you'd come alone. Especially, because of what happened last time you took your friends with yo-"
"They aren't my friends, jackass. They're allies. Nothing more," Lawson said, in a completely serious tone of voice.
"Hm. It's a shame that you joined G.U.N, Miss Treske. I would've thought you wouldn't have wanted to end up like your father. Paralyzed from the waist down. Unable to function like a normal person," The Broker stated in a dead-pan tone.
"Scare tactics aren't going to work, Broker," Katherine stated, smiling at his attempts.
"So it seems. And what about you, Miss Alessia? What is your purpose here? You and I have no quarrel," The Broker asked with genuine curiosity.
"She's doing this as a favour," Lawson answer for her.
"From what I've heard, it seems more like blackmail than a favour. A member of The Clan doesn't assist their enemies very often. Which reminds me, what happened to The Clan, my dear assassin?"
"They are dead," Astrid replied, scowling with anger in her eyes.
"Yes. Just like your uncle and dear sister, Amelia," The Broker said once more.
Astrid gripped her blade tightly in an attempt to control her rage. "Mention her name once more and I will gut you like the pig you are."
"You can try, assassin," The Broker said as the rest of the lights turned on. The bright lights showed his face. He was a rhino and incredibly tall. Huge muscles covered his body, which was dressed in a strange set of bulky looking armour. "Unfortunately, you won't get too far," The Broker continued, breaking a smile.
Katherine was gobsmacked. "Oh fuck..." she said as she lowered her gun in shock.
The rhino then stood up from his chair and picked up the metal desk in front of him. He lifted it above his head and yelled as he threw it at Astrid. As quickly as she could, the assassin leapt up on top of the table as it flew and used it to propel herself towards The Broker. As this happened, Lawson and Treske began laying down cover fire. Unfortunately, The Broker did not flinch and punched Astrid as she jumped towards him. A cracking sound could be heard as his fist connected with the side of her torso. The assassin flew off towards one of the pillars and yelped in pain.
"Astrid, you good?" Lawson asked as he pulled the trigger on his rifle.
The assassin attempted to stand up, but merely sat herself up against the pillar. "No. My left side is injured. It hurts."
"Fuck. Probably a broken rib or something."
"Your attacks are useless, Agent. Do you not recognise the armour before you?" The Broker asked, folding his arms.
After pausing for a moment and looking at his armour, he noticed that some components were very similar to his own. "Wait. That's Lionhead armour. How much G.U.N tech have you stolen, Broker?"
"Enough to allow me to crush you, Lawson," he replied, preparing to charge at the two remaining opponents.
Katherine fired three shots from her pistol at The Broker, while he stood there and took all three shots. As the bullets connected, she noticed a very small spark coming off of the armour.
"You're wasting your ammo," the giant stated.
"Don't be so sure of yourself," the recruit replied with a smirk.
"Hmph. You're nothing," he said to Katherine, before turning to Lawson, "You on the other hand, are a threat. You'll die first."
The Broker began to dash towards Lawson like a loose wrecking ball. Other than the option of running, Lawson had no plan, so he turned to Katherine.
"You have any ideas, rookie?" Lawson asked hastily.
"Yup. Run. Make him chase you," she replied.
"What?!" he asked rhetorically and with some shock, before running away from The Broker, who almost mowed him down. To the amazement of Astrid and Katherine, the agent ran quite fast for someone wearing as much gear as he was.
The cat, now free to begin her plan, placed her pistol back into it's holster and took a taser out from a pocket on her vest and aimed at The Broker.
Okay... If I miss, we're screwed... I can do this..., she thought to herself as she tracked her target, "Lawson, run at me!"
"Are you crazy?! You'll get crushed!" her officer yelled back.
"Just do it!" she replied, rolling her shoulders back.
After letting out an obscenity, Lawson swung around a pillar and bolted towards Katherine. Lawson ran straight past her and gave a clear shot at The Broker, who still blindly chased the wolf.
I can make the shot... But it needs to be on the undersuit... Shit... she thought to herself. Suddenly, she began to run at the hulking mass before her. Everyone was confused, including The Broker himself.
"Stupid child! I will crush you!" he yelled as he went to punch her.
The rookie saw The Broker raising his arm and quickly slid beneath his legs. Now behind him, she had a clear shot at the neck piece of his undersuit. Making a quick decision, she pulled the trigger on the taser. The barbed pins flew and dug straight into his flesh. As the electricity passed through his body, The Broker seized up and slowly fell to his knees. Lawson ran over to Katherine as she held out the taser to him.
"Hold this," she said.
Lawson took it off of her and continued to stun The Broker. Now that he was still, Katherine had time to hack into The Broker's suit's software and disable the shielding. His armour flashed an electric blue colour. As she hacked his armour however, The Broker lifted his arm behind his neck and ripped out the barbs. Lawson quickly took noticed and dropped the taser, whipping out his pistol as a replacement. He fired three times, startling Katherine and getting the rhino once in the torso, once in the leg and once in his hand. Lawson walked over to The Broker as he struggled to stand up.
"You can't do this to me, Lawson," the rhino stated, catching his breath, "I have power."
Lawson stared at him and pointed the barrel of his gun at his head. "No. You don't." The wolf pulled the trigger. The Broker was dead. Katherine stood up, shocked.
"Wha-... What the HELL?!" the cat yelled.
Lawson stood there and holstered his pistol. "Watch your tone, soldier," he said.
Katherine furiously walked towards her superior and yelled in his face, "There was no reason to fucking kill him!"
"He was a threat, Treske."
"A threat?! He was tased and shot! He couldn't do anything!"
"Treske, I know you're angry, but there's no reason t-"
"Angry? I'm fucking furious!" Katherine yelled, stepping back a bit, "Now I know why you work alone. It's not because you scared you might get someone killed. It's because you're a ruthless, cold-hearted asshole who wants the quickest way to save the day."
Katherine left Jacob standing there, with a blank expression on his face. After a few seconds, Katherine walked over to Astrid and helped her up. Lawson walked straight past them and said, "Come on. Mission's done. I'll call for evac," still retaining the blank expression.
Katherine sighed as she lifted Astrid's arm over her shoulders. Astrid saw the fury in her eyes and attempted to make her feel somewhat better.
"I agree with you, Katherine," she began, "That man was a criminal, but he did not deserve death."
"Thanks, Astrid. At least some of us understand what ethics are," the cat replied, briefly breaking a smile, "Let's go. You need to get fixed up."
The two of them then followed Lawson who waited impatiently in the elevator. The entered with him. All the way up, the three of them said nothing to each other. When they arrived at the top, they noticed that the guard they so meticulously knocked unconscious earlier was waking up. Lawson kicked him in the head with force, knocking him out again. Katherine still looked displeased. As they left the Broker's Lair, they saw sand flying everywhere and mechanical corpses scattered among the ruins. Three helicopters were landing. As the first landed, one of the crew waved the trio over.
"Agent Lawson, Agent Treske! Over here," the young man shouted over the immense noise the vehicles were making.
Lawson jumped onto the helicopter while Katherine and the helicopter crew member helped Astrid on. Katherine then climbed aboard and the chopper took off. The crewman slid the helicopter doors shut, muffling the sound of the vehicles slightly.
"The squads from those two other choppers are there to secure the base, just as you ordered, sir," the crewman stated.
Lawson replied with a very simple, "Good".
The wolf was very quiet after what Katherine had told him. He knew she was right. There was no reason for him to die, but he killed him anyway and regretted it. But, to him, the mission was complete and everything was fine. Katherine on the other hand was still furious with Agent Lawson. To think the she looked up to a cold-blooded killer was unbelievable to her. However, as they rode the helicopter home, she thought about what Lawson would say and how that final act of her's would affect her career.