The Cycle of Axer Carrick
Part II -- The Duplicity
The Revised Version
by Henry Wyckoff
Krycek was running through the screaming crowds at the Toronto airport, diving and slipping between people rather than acting like the football player who mows people out of the way -- that was being done by the four who chased him, and they weren't making much progress.
He didn't recognize half the people who were chasing him, but he didn't care too much at the moment. His adrenaline and blood were pumping too much for him to analyze much of the situation. The reptilian part of the brain that covers such parts of the brain as reflexes, cunning, et al. had surfaced. It was telling him to keep on running.
One thing that he *did* recognize in the back of his brain were the men in suits. Cancerman was cleaning up his own slates in a very bad way. He was afraid of them more than the others, because he knew what would be done with his body when they got a hold of it.
Nick and Powys were tirelessly mowing the frightened, milling people out of the way, while Mulder and Scully had this fascination with yelling, "Federal Agents!" at the top of their lungs.
* * *
Duncan, Richie, Sharpe, Axer, and Coleen were running as fast as they could -- they could have run faster, but the crowd was keeping them back. The best they could do was weave and smash their way through the crowds, and avoid the bullets that were still flying behind them.
Nobody was sacred. Old ladies, children, pregnant women, and buff body-builders were all knocked down or shoved aside without prejudice as they navigated through the crowd. They didn't even care who they might have hurt, even though they usually considered themselves to be moral people.
"Duncan," panted Axer, barely able to talk and run -- and make himself understood through all the noise.
"How do you know my name?" asked Duncan, better able to talk and run.
"Don't you waste my time,young man! You're a better sprinter than I am! If you reach Morgan before the rest of us, promise me you'll take his head! He's a monster!"
Duncan had only a moment to decide, but he asked. "Why?"
"We don't have time for this foolishness!"
Sharpe *did* know this Axer Carrick from that episode with Francois Frazier. He was also a military man through and through, lacking some of the chivalry and pacifism of his friend. If a man needed killing because he was a monster, then that was that. "You'd better do as he says, MacLeod."
"Good man, Sharpe!" wheezed Axer.
Sharpe didn't have the luxury of scratching his head. He'd puzzle about that later.
A few feet away, as the three debated as much as was feasible with all the screaming and crowding, Richie and Coleen were also weaving through the mob of people.
"What the hell is going on?" asked Richie -- or rather, yelled through the several bodies in the way.
"Beats me! I was going to ask you the same question!"
"Great..." muttered Richie. "How does Duncan have such a talent for getting me into these things?..."
"I forgot my manners" yelled Coleen through crowd. "I'm Coleen."
Richie was pretty shocked by her last statement. It was not only totally unexpected, but made the whole scene seem totally surreal. It was like having a Japanese tea ceremony in the middle of a raging war.
Richie slammed into an old man, who hit the floor as hard as he would if he'd fallen off a balcony. He didn't even notice. "I'm Richie."
"We ought to stop meeting like this!" she smiled.
Krycek was thinking the same thing as he was running out of breath. His guts were churning and his lungs felt like he were raking them with hot coals, but he kept himself running as fast as his legs would carry him.
* * *
LaCroix felt the rays of the sun touching the horizon. He had no idea how much time had passed -- a day, hour, or second -- but he knew that he had died and come back from the dead. In his hand was the wooden stake that he must have subconsciously pulled out.
In the past, he had been staked, but had always managed to pull it out in the nick of time. This time, he had actually died, and he was confused.
He slowly sat up, and saw the man who had thrust the stake into his heart. He must have been a hundred yards off, walking slowly in the opposite direction. LaCroix stood up with all his fury burning within him, but then he felt the sun's outer edge touch the horizon. An instant decision was made.
* * *
Nick was slowly getting closer and closer to Patrick Morgan, feeling the man's fear and heart beat like a beacon. The many times the man faded from view, it was that other sense which kept him in the right direction.
It served him well again when he seemingly vanished. Mulder and Scully milled around in surprise, as did the other unnamed man. Nick searched with his "other" sense and sprinted for a slightly-ajar door. The unnamed man followed him.
Mulder and Scully noticed Nick and Powys for the first time since that 'encounter' a-ways back, and tried to follow, but a few of the rent-a-cops decided now was the perfect time to intervene.
"Stop!" yelled one, pointing a puny revolver at Mulder and Scully, who had their own guns out.
"Federal Agents!" yelled Mulder, but another security guard misinterpreted the action and fired at Mulder -- obviously missing and slamming Scully in the shoulder.
"Scully!" yelled Mulder in an uncharacteristic voice as he knelt down to where his partner lay on the ground.
At that precise instant, chaos ruled again. As Mulder knelt, five bullets fired by those men in suits and sunglasses missed him -- the odds were as vast as the chance of running across a busy freeway without being hit. The odds of this happening while the shooters had a three-second open-window through the crowd were even higher. The bullets all slammed into the rent-a-cops in the chest, knocking them into the wall.
"I'm OK., Mulder," said Scully with a grimace, pointing to her chest. "I've got a vest on." She didn't tell him that her left shoulder was probably broken and that she was about to pass out from the pain. "Come on!"
The others caught up with them by now, and Mulder yelled, "They went through there!" They all ran through the door, which was the entrance to a downward stairwell and a service corridor.
"You get him," commanded Axer to the rest when they all got through. "I'll keep those suits off our backs!"
"Go!" echoed Sharpe, staying behind as well and pulling out a Glock.
Mulder didn't even pause during the exchange; the rest got moving and tried to catch up with him.
Sharpe nodded at Axer, "I thought you might need some help, old man."
"Old man?" he shook his head. "I'll show you old when I mop your head up and down the halls!"
A few moments passed, then Axer realized something. "They should be here by now."
"They might know a short cut!"
"Let's split up. I'll stay here -- you catch up with them and keep any others off their backs!"
Sharpe sprinted down the hall pretty fast for a man his size. Axer smiled softly, proud at himself for deceiving Sharpe so subtly. When h'd said that the men should be here around now -- he meant it. The bullets began to slam through the door. He was ready for them.
* * *
Krycek raced down the corridor, his lungs beyond burning now -- they were ripping. His throat was about to cave in on itself. The pain was so intense that he nearly ran into the iron railing that kept him from flinging himself to his death fifty feet below. He looked around for a way down, but found none.
"I'm trapped!" he thought. Glancing behind him, he saw three forms barreling down the corridor after him. After a moment's pause, he jumped.
Nick, Powys, and Mulder reached the railing at about the same time, and had different reactions. Mulder went to a dead stop, Powys jumped over the edge and landed on an oil slick -- slipping and breaking his legs and back rather badly, and Nick flew over the edge.
Nick was so used to hiding his nature that he reflexively 'appeared' to fall as a mortal might, using his flying ability to keep his form from slamming down with any lack of grace. He landed on his feet and sprinted after Krycek, showing a bit of the vampire influence in his speed.
The floor below was rather large and empty at the moment. There were signs of mechanical work here, but whatever this place was used for, it wasn't being used at the moment.
It was too dark to see any way out, and Krycek began to suspect that he had backed himself into a corner. Without knowing why, he spun around with his sword drawn, and saw the Toronto cop charging in fast.
Nick tried to draw his gun, but realized that he must have dropped it on the way, so relied on his other skills, which evened up the odds somewhat.
In the past, Nick could win any fair fight by using a vampire-enhanced speed that made his movements seem like a blur.
He lunged in, grabbing for Krycek, and found two feet of steel in his chest. The man slid along the outside of his arms, so that Nick's hands grabbed at air.
Krycek, fueled by adrenaline, withdrew the sword and hacked at Nick, giving him some pretty severe wounds. It was like being splashed with cold water -- the vampire had been so used to guns that he'd forgotten the serious damage a sword could do to a vampire. Nick didn't bleed, but his muscles were sliced to shreds, which effectively prevented movement -- for a moment, at least.
Mulder, in the meanwhile, had been frozen with fear of heights, but spied something in the faint light: a chain hanging from the ceiling along one of the walls. It didn't matter to him that he would have to jump about ten feet horizontally just to reach it -- it was the fifty feet down he was afraid of.
Just as the others arrived, Mulder took a leap from the rail -- scaring Scully half to death -- and fell in the darkness. He hit the wall and reflexively grabbed the chain. He was so full of relief that he caught it, he didn't notice that while he didn't slide down the chain, he was still moving down.
A giant aluminum door opened to the east, flooding the room with the faint touch of dawn. As Krycek was going to deliver the fatal blow, he backed off. Nick's skin began to smoke and fry, and he screamed in pain as his fangs shot out and his eyes changed color.
"What the hell - " Krycek was young enough for surprises to make him freeze.
Nick was still sliced up pretty badly, but he found the strength to get out of there so fast that he seemed to vanish.
Krycek thought it was over, until he saw Mulder approach him with his gun drawn. "It's the end of the road, Krycek. Put your hands in the air."
"I don't have time for this." He attacked Mulder with his sword, but was brought to his knees by three shots to the stomach. Krycek smiled and stood back up.
"Wearing a vest too, are you?" Mulder shot him in the legs now. No such thing as leg protection, reasoned Mulder.
Krycek screamed as his thighs were blasted by the bullets, but somehow he found the strength to keep moving towards Mulder, who was now a man's length away.
Mulder fired the last of his clip into Krycek at random. He seemed like some zombie, flopping this way and that, as the bullets hit him, and he refused to go down. As he saw the holes appear and the blood flow out like fountains, he knew that Krycek wasn't wearing a vest.
//I'm here...// thought Mulder. //Where IS everyone??//
What he didn't know was that his adrenaline rush had warped his own sense of time. Only thirty seconds had passed since he had reached the railing, and ten seconds had passed since he started firing at Krycek.
By now, Duncan had come to the scene. He had jumped from the railing, and had only popped his ankle, which had taken only a few moments to reset.
Duncan's katana appeared as suddenly as he did, preventing Krycek's sword from cutting a smiley face into Mulder's gut. Krycek appeared to be stunned by this sudden development, but didn't slow down a fraction as he kept Duncan's sword moving in the direction it was already going, and thrust his own sword a little forward.
Duncan knelt down when his thigh got slashed to the bone. His face contorted in pain as he pulled a trick of his own and shoved his katana through Krycek's foot.
Krycek howled in pain, dropping his sword and falling to the ground -- which only made the situation worse, since the katana had remained vertical and unmoved, while the speared foot continued to be cut.
Krycek fainted from the pain.
* * *
Axer liked doors. Doors were good. Doors forced enemies to come through no more than three at a time. The only thing better than a door was a three foot tall door -- they made the enemy crawl their way in for an instant decapitation.
As it was, the door served nicely. There must have been about fifteen of the suited men in all, and they seemed pretty surprised that as they barged through with their Glocks, Magnums, and Uzis, their bodies were being taken apart by a maniac
As they lay sprawled on the stairs with their throats ripped out, their guts spilled, or their heads cut off, death came slowly them. They were truly a captive audience, unable to move and resigned to watch the face of this wild man whose face was in utter bliss.
The slaughter ended, and the cries of shock and disbelief were still deafening from the other side of the door.
Then came the sounds of rent-a-cops. It was time to leave.
* * *
"Axer!" called Sharpe as the man reached the balcony railing. "Come on!"
Axer went the easy way down, using the same chain that Mulder had. He stood, taking a quick scan of the place. Nick was gone, Powys and Duncan were limping, and Krycek had been put in cuffs by Mulder. Scully looked a bit shell-shocked. The two young ones were wild-eyed, looking at Krycek and Duncan.
Limos drove up pretty fast, screeching to a halt. Axer tensed, as did Duncan, but Sharpe snapped, "Come on! They're mine!"
It didn't take a second call. Everyone piled or got piled into the two limos, and they were off.
"Where to?" asked Duncan.
"The Raven!" snapped Axer. "It's the only safe place for now!"
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