I snapped my gun up and off target. "Never mind, guys, they're friendly!"
My order was unnecessary. Around me I could hear sighs of relief. The other team skidded to a halt in front of us. I knew them by reputation; they had named themselves the Warriors and had elected a buddy of mine, T, to be captain. There was only one way they ran--forward, at their attackers. Usually, that strategy led to getting killed, but it was working for them.
T chuckled. "You guys don't make much noise--thought you were a mob of those buggers!"
I shrugged. "Sorry to disappoint. You guys find any cards?"
Their medic answered. "Nope, sorry. How about you?"
"I think they're all upstairs," R responded. "Did we really lose the entire Army group?"
"There's three of them still in operation," T mused for a moment. "I think they went downstairs, though, so probably not. That's where we're headed, to see if we can save anyone. If you're going upstairs, good luck to you. That place is a death trap!"
"We know," B grumbled.
T mock-saluted us and lead his group down the stairs. J shot our attacker one last time before we took up our marching order again and headed silently upstairs.
At least in the last room, we'd had the benefit of light filtering in from the corridor. Here, there was nothing except the beams from our flashlights. I swept mine back and forth in a constant search pattern, looking for trouble, but we made it up to the top floor with no problems. There were only three rooms up here, so we divided up into three teams, one light per team. A quick search, and we met back out in the hall jubilant.
"We got all three?" I whispered. "I don't believe this!"
"Total win!" B rejoiced.
I passed the cards to J. "Hold on to these, ok? We gotta get these back to base."
J hesitated. "I dunno. I'm not very fast. Maybe you should keep them, Midway."
I shrugged and stuffed them in my pocket. "Your call." I began heading down the stairs, calling back to the others, "Let's g--yaaaaah!"
Diving to the side, I narrowly avoided the swipe of the ex-ROTC member we had left downstairs. I heard several shots that assured me he had been taken care of, but I was still falling towards the path of the mob he had brought with him.
Desperate times, desperate measures. I dropped my gun, grabbed the railing, pulled myself upright, and jumped. My ankle twisted on the stairs below, and I heard a sharp crack. I fervently hoped that was one of my guns hitting the wall and not my leg. Running to the wall in the room with the five doors, I set my back against it and drew my sword.
Only one opponent followed me, and I'd taken care of him by the time the rest of my team joined me. I handed the cards over to J. "Take them. We need to move."
J looked at me. "Hurt yourself?"
I tried to look innocent. "Me? Never."
"Yeah, right," R muttered. "Nice jump there, by the way."
"Thanks." I chuckled. "Okay, back out the corridor. I'll be rear-guard this time."
B walked alongside of me as we moved out. "That seemed way too easy. I wonder why?"
I thought for a second. "Probably because everyone was downstairs fighting the Warriors."
B groaned. "If they took them down, we're screwed."
"Guess we'll find out..."
...to be continued...