Mo couldn’t say she was completely surprised by Ray’s entrance, but she was damned impressed by the way his leaping widow-maker of a punch, followed immediately by a triple kick so fast his foot looked like a blur, knocked Rikert a good two meters away from Jessyn and Kaara.
She was a little surprised by the appearance of two GEIS agents in Ray’s wake, but when the tall blonde swung literally into action, striking one of Rikert’s gray-uniformed goons with a burst from her stun baton before spinning and delivering a side kick to the gut of a second, Mo realized they’d joined Team Ray.
The other GIES agent appeared to be unarmed, but Mo had to give him points for originality when he stopped in front of the hulking Libra security guard, grinned, and offered up a bag of sweets. “Care for a gummy tardigrade?” he asked.
Either the offer, or the grin, was enough to stall Rikert’s man long enough for the GIES agent to deliver a truly wicked knee to the nethers.
Mo sent the shorter agent an appreciative thumb’s up while Ray continued to pound Rikert so hard she was sure she heard the crack of a rib breaking under Judy Garland’s soaring ode to the other side of the rainbow.
She had zero trouble hearing Rikert’s curse on the heels of that crack.
And hey, wasn’t that Rikert’s pulser sliding across the deck?
“Yay,” she said, snatching up the skidding weapon.
And because she wasn’t a monster, she adjusted the pulser’s settings to something less lethal before shooting the last of the gray-suited security guards, who was raising his baton to strike the shorter GEIS agent.
As the man fell twitching to the deck, the blonde agent delivered a finishing roundhouse kick to her second target, and her partner elbowed his groaning victim in the temple, putting him out of his misery.
“Nice work, Agent… Bader,” Mo read the woman’s name tag.
“Now what do we do?” Kaara asked.
“Now we get the ADs to safety,” Mo said, wrapping an arm around her injured friend.
She glanced over to see her brother continuing his rain of fury by delivering a series of rabbit punches so fast that Rikert couldn’t mount a defense.
“You good?” she asked Jessyn, who appeared to be fixated on Rikert.
“I lost it,” Jessyn said with a shuddering breath, even as Rikert appeared to rally from Ray’s brutal attack.
“Lost what?” Mo asked, still a little uncertain what, exactly, Jessyn had done to set Rikert off in the first place. But even as she asked, she saw Ray ease back, no doubt intent on delivering the coup de grâce, only to have Rikert pop up like a jack-in-the-box and slam into Ray with bone-jarring force, flinging him into the path of a quietly retreating Claude, who Mo—and everyone else it seemed—had completely forgotten.
The auctioneer’s pained gurgle morphed into a high-pitched shriek when Ray, mid-flight, grabbed him by the shoulder and, with a pivot, spun Claude around and into Rikert’s path—where Rikert put a fist into Claude’s face and threw him to one side before continuing to flee in the direction of the auction house.
He didn’t even pause at the sound of Claude’s neck cracking as his head struck the wall.
“Shit,” Mo and Ray said at the same time, and she met his gaze as he found hers, and a lifetime of memories spanned that one glance.
Mo, Ray and Soljah breaking into the orphanage records room. All three hunkered down watching the latest James Bond vid.
Mo, taking her brothers to dinner before they shipped out.
Mo, visiting Ray in custody, after he attacked Rikert, a superior officer, and the man who had murdered seventy-nine of the marines under Ray’s command.
Were their brother Soljah here, Mo had no doubt he would encourage Ray to stay on mission.
Get the ADs and get out.
But Soljah wasn’t here, and unlike Soljah, Mo also knew that justice seldom followed the rules.
“I have to finish this,” Ray said.
“I know,” she replied. “Just, make sure it really is finished this time.”
Ray’s head dipped once, and then he was racing down the hall after Rikert.
Mo watched him take off, then looked at Jessyn, who was staring at Claude’s corpse.
“He was no innocent,” Mo told her.
“But he was a living sapient,” Jessyn said, turning her gaze to the retreating Ray.
“You want to go with him,” Mo said.
Jessyn huffed out a breath. “I do. But I can't interfere. He–“
"Needs to end Rikert on his own and blah blah blah.” Mo waved that aside. “I know that. But we know Rikert's not the only threat in this joint. He’ll need back-up.”
“I’ll go with you,” Bader offered, joining them. Her pale skin was flushed with what Mo took to be anger.
Jessyn studied Bader, and while Mo was good at reading people, she was relieved when Jessyn, who could read, recite, and then write a full book report—with annotations—on people, gave a short nod. "Very well." And then she and Bader turned and took off running in the same direction Ray and Rikert had gone.
"Okay, team.” Mo turned to her remaining troops, which consisted of Kaara and the other agent, who’s name tag read Otto. “Now it’s our turn, and for those who need a recap, our job is to break the falsely imprisoned ADs out of their cells and get them safely to the extraction point.”
“So, we get to be heroes?” Otto asked.
“Pretty much,” Mo said.
“I like the sound of that,” he, flipping the stun baton he’d acquired from one of the gray-suits, and immediately dropping it to the deck.
“This is going well,” Kaara observed as the agent chased after the skittering baton.
“He’s at the start of his journey,” Mo replied, wrapping her arm around the Eiolan and, with as much speed as they could manage, led the way towards the AD holding cells.