Red rivulets pool and trickle through my pants leg. Stupid. You always clear the room. Always. I attempt to stand. She notices and crawls over, staying low.
“Hey,” she whispers, gently guiding me back down. She sees my wound. “Jesus. We gotta stop the bleeding.” She rummages around the room, searches cabinets and drawers long forgotten. I watch as she diligently wraps my thigh in a nondescript cloth. I don’t have the heart to tell her that it’s too late.
She returns to the window. “We could have avoided this if you had cleared the room.”
I laugh, breathing labored. “Yeah, well.” I watch the flickering light of distant fires dance across her face.
“How many do you think there were?”
“I don’t know.”
She turns, the scar above her left eye cast in a sunset glow. “Do you think they know we’re here?”
“Shit.” Her face is etched with an expression far too grim for someone so young.
I pat the gun at my right side. “Don’t worry. The fires should keep them busy for a while. “
A crash echoes from downstairs. We exchange looks.
“Don’t worry,” I repeat. “It’s fine.”
“How do you know?”
“I just do.” I don’t, the same way I didn’t know about the ambush. But if these are our last moments, I refuse to spend them afraid.
“Well, just in case.” She jerks back her left arm. In three, four clicks, it’s transformed into a gleaming killing machine. A mod I wish I had right about now. “I should have brought more firepower.”
“It’s plenty. Don’t-“
Footsteps sound on the stairwell. “You ready?”
I cock my detached gun. “As ever.”
“Glad you joined the Resistance yet?”
“Always,” I whisper, catching sight of a uniformed soldier before slipping into darkness.