He could see the shield reaching across the room from Rasputin to the far wall, protecting the Governor and Chief.
He took two steps to the other side, and raised his voice. "Police! Nobody better lift any weapons. Colonel Lehr, after that death threat, you had better warn your people to make no threatening moves. There is not a single cause for you to initiate violence."
The Colonel snorted. "I see we're going to have to completely replace the police force." He glared after the fast retreating Governor and Chief of Police. "We'll drag him out of his hole later, and start with you, if you interfere again, Gargarin."
Lehr switched his gaze back to the Imperials. "So . . . are you going to come quietly, Rasputin?"
"Hell no. Get off my World, Lehr, and take every one of your special rape robots with you."
Robot. Worst insult you can give a Cyborg . . . and most of the soldier Cyborgs deserve it.
Mr. Var eased behind Vlad and past. Barely a breath, "I'll take the one on this side, if you can keep the next guy distracted."
Uniformed soldiers, no armor . . . probably shields.
Vlad opened his mouth to agree, but the colonel spoke first.
Three shots spanged off Rasputin's shield before Vlad got his first shot off. Assuming a shield, he shot off center and the force of the bullet twisted the officer and staggered him . . . a flick of movement out of the corner of his eye, Barf throwing something that struck the nearest officer in the neck and dropped him in a flood of red.
Flashes of light bounced off Lehr's shield.
Vlad switched his attention to the Cyborg soldiers with three more shots, staggering him.
Barf ran foreward and scooped up the fallen man's carbine and fired three shots, probing Lehr's shield, and finding it solid.
Outside the front doors, a shriek of brakes, thuds of impact. Gunfire. Shattering glass.
Colonel Lehr just stood there, and even with the gunfire, Vlad could hear the troops coming from the corridor on the right. Barf trotted out and looked, "Whole bunch of armored Cyborgs incoming!" He turned and retreated, stooping to pull his knife out of the officer's throat in passing.
More running footsteps from the left. The Governor and Chief Naoumov, the soldiers behind them closing fast. Vlad aimed at legs and the first two men down tripped other. An empty click. He dropped his mag, slapped his reserve in.
And Rasputin's voice. "Time to leave!"
Vlad backed away, shot the soldier getting too close to the Governor, then turned to take a look out the front entrance. All the glass was gone, gritting underfoot, a police squad car was sidways, tight up against the steps, Forty-one with shotgun. Watching a confused melee of Stuttgart Cyborg soldiers and Fast Response Teams.
There was a shield across the far side of the squad car . . . From Forty-one?
Vlad galloped down the stairs, itch between he shoulderblades . . . He turned and raised his gun, a soldier on the roof twenty feet up . . . Not much showing . . . He aimed at the hand. A scream. The soldier fell back, the gun dropped . . . Vlad grabbed to cushion its fall, holstered his pistol and aimed the rifle up at the roof as Rasputin, Mateev, and Barf joined them.
Barf veering to the far side to shoot a trio of soldiers charging in . . .
Vlad spotted a soldier on his side and started shooting. His fourth shot found a chink in the body armor and he curled up screaming.
Beyond him more soldiers rounded the far end of the building. "Lehr's out of the building." Vlad fired off three shots with no effect. Cussed when an soldier trotted up to him with a red box.
Rasputin hissed and stepped up beside him. "Kill switch!" The air temperature dropped and Vlad backed hastily away from the glowing man.
Who sagged suddenly, the glow gone. "Couldn't reach him. Dammit Igor, where are you when I need you?"
Across the plaza, Lehr flipped up a cover and jabbed.
Vlad turned to eye the fight . . . where nothing much had changed.
"Hot Damn." Rasputin staggered over to lean on the squad car. "It didn't work!"
Vlad jerked back into motion. Popped the trunk of the car and brought out the heavy weaponry. Handed one the Rasputin and the other to Forty-one.
Pulled out the air cannon and contemplated the array. "Tear gas, smoke, or flashs?"
A gleeful Barf pointed, "Can you hit those AGC's up there? I know they won't do much damage, but there they are, sitting, waiting for orders, with their top hatches open . . ."
"Not that accurate, but if you want to try . . ."
He took it with a grin. "Let's try a flash. Not that I suppose it could set off the ammo inside . . . Eight second fuse? Awesome."
He started glowing with power. Primed the chamber took the genade and dropped it down the muzzle, counting as he aimed. Pulled the trigger at three.
Set the gun down and held his hands out in a cone,. and stared at the tank, air cooling around him . . . "Six, seven . . . and in she goes."
There might have been a flash of light out the hatch before the AGC leaped into the air, the top shell spinning off while the rest went sideway in pieces that took out the infantry all around it.
After the final thump of falling debris, Rasputin raised his voice. "Lehr! You may send in medical assistance for your people as soon as you and any soldiers who are still on their feet depart. Do not import any replacements."
The colonel relpied with a rude gesture, but the soldiers were retreating, taking their wounded, leaving their dead.
The Fast Response teams had drawn back and now made a line between the soldiers and the squad car.
Vlad stepped over to Forty-one. "Relax, now, I'll keep a shield up." The old Cyborg nodded, and leaned on the car for a moment. Fumbled with the door and collapsed on the seat.
Vlad opened the back door and waved an invitation to the governor. The Chief just stayed sitting on the steps,
Director Rasputin's Executive secretary stood up shakily, and nodded at Barf. "Sir? Can we keep him? He seems like a really useful secretary."
Rasputin snorted. "Mr. Var, I think a more detailed introduction is in order. Who the hell are you?"
Barf straightened and brushed at his sleeve. "I am Mr. Varfolomey House Vinogradov, owner Lord Axel Ivan Vinogradov. Who trained me from a rather young age."
Mister meaning servant, and House meaning a bastard fathered by and born to a servant owned by that lord.
"That explains a lot. Do you actually have an Exec plate and how old are you?"
"I do sir." He brushed at his hair to show it. "I received it seven months ago, shortly before I turned eighteen."
Rasputin looked over at the debris of the AGC. "Well, that explains rather a lot. And would you happen to know where Lord Axel is at the moment?"
And Barf damned well raised his nose and drawled in a high class accent. "My Lord is on a business trip to Stuttgart. He should return in three more days."
"I see. And knowing him, he has planned for difficulties in returning."
"I'm certain of that, sir."