Charlotte flipped the fire selector from auto to semi, and swept side-to side, firing every few seconds. When the bolt clicked forward, she calmly ejected the magazine, pulled a full one from the back of her shiny black panties and slapped it into the rifle. She charged the handle and repeated the process, firing fairly indiscriminately into the house across the street from the barn. Empty magazines and shell casings covered the ground in front of her.
“Tay!” she shouted. “Push for the truck. Stay low!”
Taylor peered around the corner of the roll-up door, looking for the group of the council’s men. Those men had taken up residence in the house across from the barn where Nyko had been stabbed. She held her shotgun level out in front of her and ran low and quickly to the truck, ducking down by the front tire.
“Ash! Go!” Taylor called back, then stood up, just tall enough to peek her head above the truck. She fired slowly at the upstairs windows, her long, dirty blonde hair blowing in the slight breeze behind her. Glass shattered, sending shards flying into the room.
Ashley ran out of the barn carrying two yellow five gallon cans. She was still topless, wearing only a black thong with silver studs, and a huge pistol shoved through the waistband. She stopped with her back to the house and flipped the caps off.
When her scattergun was dry, Taylor pulled a small black pistol out of the waist band of her chaps and continued firing. “Charlie, two more!” she yelled back when her gun locked forward. She dropped the magazine, reached behind her and pulled one of teh two spares tucked into her bra strap. She slapped the new one in the handle, pulled the slide back and continued firing, pinning the men inside down.
Ashley came back into sight around the far side of the house, having dropped the yellow diesel containers. She had a pistol in one hand and a wad of old newspaper in the other that she must have picked up as she ran around the house.
“Lacy! You’re up!” called Charlotte. Lacy ran, carrying a wicked looking black compound bow. She vaulted into and then out the other side of the truck bed and kept running on the far side. Charlie saw Taylor replace her magazine again, and knew it was her last.
Charlie slid her rifle around her back. It was a gift from Brian, his National Guard M16. Then she took off running. She was wearing a black sequined bandeau top and black lycra shorts. She’d ditched the six inch platform heals long ago, and ran barefoot across the gravel into the back yard of the house.
She slid to a stop behind a garden shed and called, “Ash! Now!” Then pointed her rifle at the back door and waited.
Ashley pulled a lighter out of her garter and lit the wad of newspaper. She held it upside down until it was burning well, then tossed it at the corner of the house. The diesel fuel she’d sprayed all along the first floor and porches went up, engulfing the house in flames. As soon as the house was lit, Ash took Taylor’s place at the truck, and Taylor moved, running quickly to the front of the house. She stopped behind a huge sandstone boulder in the front yard, and ducked behind it as cover.
Taylor tied her long blonde hair up in a pony tail using a rubber band from her wrist as she watched the front door.
Back behind Charlie’s pickup, Ashley watched the second floor windows. She was breathing heavily from the stress and her run with the heavy fuel containers.
On the far side of the house, Lucy ducked behind two heavy steel trashcans and nocked an arrow. She drew it back. At the last second, the oblong cams flipped, greatly reducing the amount of force necessary to hold the bow. Her eyes darted from the living room window, to the kitchen window at the back of the house, to the single upstairs window.
Charlie waited, staring through the ACOG scope on top of her rifle. None of the girls had any idea how many people were inside, but knew reinforcements would be coming from New Vegas soon.
Two days before, the night started like any other. She’d been pouring a whiskey for a scavenger who’d brought her a truckload of bedding and towels. Taylor was sitting on his left, one hand in his lap, face pressed against his neck trying to convince him to go upstairs with her.
Ashley was dancing. She’d climbed the pole all the way up to the rafters, and was hanging from the pole, upside down by her legs. She ran her hands over her breasts in time with the music. She was two beats away from spiraling down the twenty foot brass pole when Ratton and ten men kicked the door in and opened fire. Ashley felt a bullet hit the pole below her. The scavenger’s head exploded, covering Taylor in gore. She dove off her stool pulling his corpse on top of her. Charlotte ducked down behind the bar.
After firing for several seconds, the gunfire stopped. Ratton stepped up onto a table so everyone could see him. “This is my bar now. Give yourselves up, and I’ll think about keeping you on. To the patrons of the bar, I apologize for this change in management effecting your evenings.
Ashley climbed a few more feet, and unseen, crossed the rafters to the DJ booth, where she kept a .45. She slipped her clear plastic platform heels off and hung them from a girder, then dropped twelve feet into the raised booth. She stopped the music and picked the mic up.
In the middle of Ratton’s speech, Ashley flipped input over to MIC1. Feedback squealed in the speakers. She adjusted a few knobs, then tapped the mic. Thump, thump, thump. Ratton’s face went red as all the heads turned towards the stage.
Ashley flipped the booth light on so everyone could see her behind the glass. “Now it’s a motherfuckin’ party!” she yelled, holding the mic away from her mouth. She shook her chest behind the glass and spoke quietly into the mic. “Two nights with me to whoever shoots that fucker.” Her voice was low and sexy. “And I bet Taylor would join us.”
Nyko was well liked around New Vegas, and especially so by his regular patrons. Instantly, every man in the place moved in unison. They stood, drew their pistols and opened fire. Forty guns aimed at Ratton shredded his body. His men returned fire, a mix of weapons, from the deep glass-rattling boom of double-aught buckshot to the pops of twenty twos, the entire place erupted in violence. The quickest among them dove for cover. The slower slumped to the ground, dead.
Seconds later a truck crashed through the wall, running over several of Ratton’s men. The truck backed out, and more men in New Vegas uniforms poured through the hole.
“Fuck this,” Charlie said, stuffing a rag from the bar into a bottle of her homemade hooch. She shook it twice and lit the rag on fire.
“Nyko’s going to kill me,” she said as she lobbed it over her head towards the hole the truck had made. The bottle smashed and spewed burning liquor all over the men who were coming through the hole. She wasted no time, tossing six more bottles over her head. “Tay! Get them out of here!”
She grabbed the shotgun from under the bar and stood up, firing shell after shell into the crowd of burning men. “Go now!” Ashley, Taylor, Lacy, and several of the patrons ran through the door to the residence.
Charlotte was the last through the door. The bar was an addition, built after Nyko took over from scrap and gathered materials. The warehouse itself was designed to keep thieves out and afforded them much more protection. Charlie locked the door behind her and threw the two-by-four bar across it before racing through the residence section into the warehouse itself. She locked that door and barred it as well.
“Ash and Tay, load the Navigator. Heavy guns and ammunition first.” Charlie was in full on crisis management mode. “You three,” she said, pointing to the few patrons who survived the run through the door. “Gather up food from that corner. There are bags in the cabinet.”
“What about me?” asked Lacy, who looked petrified.
“Honey, I need you to take a deep breath. Have you ever fired a gun?”
“Not really. I mean, a couple times, but not for years.” She looked around the warehouse before spotting Andy’s compound bow on the wall. “I used to be really into archery though, I think I can shoot that bow.”
“Grab it then, and get in the truck.” Across the warehouse, Charlie saw Taylor slide something into the trailer hitch receiver on her back bumper.
“Which truck?” Lacy asked.
“The yellow one!”
Lucy did as she was told, and within just a few minutes, the seven of them were loaded into the pickup and Taylor’s SUV. “Follow me,” Charlie called over to Taylor, who was driving a black Lincoln Navigator. “When we get out of here, stay close, we’re headed to the barn.”
The first time Ratton threatened to shut them down, right after Nyko left, Charlotte and Taylor spent three days hauling all of the valuable commodities out of the warehouse. They loaded everything up, drove it twenty miles down to the train barn and unloaded it there.
After that visit, she knew it was only a matter of time, before he came back with reinforcements. Without the manpower to defend the bar she knew it would be lost until Nyko returned.
Charlie hit the garage door opener. The rollup door started to churn, screeching its way up the track. Charlotte’s pickup was a canary yellow Silverado with a heavy brush guard on the front and a roll bar in the bed. The previous Christmas, Jonas installed a secondary battery to drive the front wench and the lights on the brush guard and roll bar. Brian found her a lift kit and Andy had given her the huge tires. Everyone had a good laugh when Brian suggested he stencil “Pussy Wagon” across the tailgate.
Anytime someone new came aboard, Nyko made sure they had a well-stocked vehicle that was theirs. It was part of helping everyone feel secure.
Taylor’s navigator was one she and Nyko scavenged from a personal security firm by the airport. She wanted something big and tough, and it delivered. The entire truck was armored. The glass was bullet proof. The suspension was completely replaced, and the tires were the run-flat tires you could drive with zero air pressure.
The second the door was high enough to get out, Charlie hit the gas. Three men bounced off the grille. The second Taylor’s truck was clear, she lowered the garage door. Someone may have gotten in, and they could certainly force their way in. But there was no need to make it easy.
Two Las Vegas police cars flipped their lights on and came after them. Ashley laughed out loud from the passenger seat. “The fucking lights? Really?”
“I can’t believe they’re chasing us in cars.”
One of the black-and-whites pulled up behind Taylor and rammed her, trying to spin her out of control, thinking they were up against a regular SUV. The steel plate quarter panel on her truck shredded the front panel of the police car, ripping it almost completely off. Steam billowed out of the engine, as the driver swerved back behind Taylor.
“Hang on!” Taylor called to her passengers, then stood on the brakes. Just before they left, Taylor slid a three foot box-metal spike into the receiver of her back bumper. When the police car rear-ended her, the giant hunk of metal impaled the motor, puncturing the radiator, destroying the plastic fan, and shredding the serpentine belt before finally spearing the pulley on the front of the cam-shaft. The pistons in the motor locked from the spear. The police car spun out of control and crashed into a boulder decorating the front yard of a random house.
The second police car stayed well behind Taylor. He followed them to the barn, where they holed up, securing the building from attack. Within the hour, truckloads of the New Vegas council’s finest surrounded the barn.
After several hours, the council’s men recognized this was going to be a long term siege. The girls slept in shifts. That first night, Stephen Franklin died from a gunshot wound he picked up back in the bar. The next morning, Lacy proudly showed off her new shirt, a bikini top she’d made by ripping and tying together greasy blue shop rags.
“Do you want me to make you one, Ashley?”
“Nah. I don’t have enough titty to need the support, and those rags look fucking gross.”
The second of the bar’s patrons, Ray Dunkle, tried to sneak out at noon on the first full day in the barn. He was hanging from the bathroom window with his feet just inches above the ground when one of the council’s men splattered his brains all over the outside wall.
Bill Goodson was the last. He was shot in the head by a sniper when he passed in front of one of the high windows. If he’d been three inches shorter, he would have been fine, but at six-feet six, his head was visible to the sniper on the roof of the house across the street.
That had been the final straw for Charlie. She came up with a plan to burn them out of their house. Now, less than an hour later, she was staring through her rifle scope at the back door while diesel fueled flames engulfed the entire structure.
One by one the men streamed out the back door, stumbling and burning. And screaming. So much screaming. Two of them actually made it to the “drop” phase of stop, drop, and roll before Charlotte silenced them forever. She was glad they chose the back door, she didn’t want anyone else to carry the guilt of killing thirty seven men.
When it was all over, the burning house collapsed in on itself. Charlotte, Taylor, Ashley, and Lacy walked back to the barn.
“Tomorrow we take our bar back,” she said, climbing up onto the shelf that served as her bunk. “If there’s anything left to reclaim.”