The almost invisible black chopper came up over the tree line and its rotating cannon sprayed the street below. Spetsnaz agents flew in every direction, fist-sized holes opening in their bodies. In a matter of seconds, the street was cleared.

The chopper landed and a figure jumped out, his suit dappling as he passed under streetlights, through pools of darkness. Another remained with the cannon, watching.

The one on the street cut down Stozer’s body. After a quick examination, he simply slid back the tiny cover plate on her chest and let the suit take care of her remains. Bruda and Kolchek went the same way. Checking Johnson, he gave a thumbs-up, and dragged him back to the chopper.

He sprinted over to Alex. The HAWC lay still, and a pool of blood surrounded his head like a dark, glistening halo. The figure laid two fingers lightly against his neck.

With his other hand, he pressed the stud in his ear. ‘It’s Hunter… I’ve got a weak pulse. Probably won’t make it, though — head shot.’

He waited. After a few moments, the instructions came back.

‘It’s Hammerson: he wants him — dead or alive.’


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