Punch Drunk

Her nose hurt. Actually her whole face hurt, but she knew her nose was broken is she focused on that. She could feel the blood flowing, most of it following the path of her lips to either side of her mouth, but some the more intrepid blood choice to flow directly downwards.

She spat. The coppery taste stayed with her. She supposed it would. At least until the end.

The clock on the wall showed the incoming trajectory. Nothing she could do could change it from here.

The man with the shut off switch… She checked the monitor just to make sure that he hadn’t been faking.

Nope. Still splattered on a few of the rocky ledges below.

She spat again. It was becoming a habit. She knew that if you swallowed too much blood you could get nauseous. She doubted there was time, but why take the chance?

She didn’t mind that the guy was splattered. It was a fitting end for what he was attempting. Those micro-missiles would have set the war off again. Too small for normal detection methods, and aimed at the center of the disputed territory. Both sides would have blamed the other. And peace was so close.

But now they were coming here and not only was the guy who launched them splattered, but the little shut off switch he had been holding was equally shattered on the same rocks.

It had been a good plan, if plan was the correct word for a series of events she came up with after the original plan had gone to hell. She had gotten the missiles rerouted to where they came from. That had been a good laugh, especially when she locked the system for any future reroutes.

And she had been this close to sneaking away. The hang-glider would have worked if it hadn’t been for the mechanical eagle. Sometimes those are the breaks.

So here she was, in the guy’s Tower of Solitude, which was the stupidest name she could think of for a lair filled with henchmen. She should rename it in the short time they had left.

“Boom City,” she muttered, although the broken nose kept it from coming out that way.

It was an improvement. Some would argue it didn’t really capture a hidden base above the cloud line. But since there were no more vehicles or escape pods any one with an objection over context just had to wait 12 minutes and 42 seconds to get the joke.

At least it was quiet. Nothing like hearing an announcement for the arrival of ballistic missiles in 16 minutes with no means of escape to make the evil underlings clear out of the boss’ inner sanctum. Even they have better things to do with their last quarter-hour.

There was no way to stop those missiles after all.

She tilted her head to the left. A new idea.

This was the problem with getting repeatedly punched in the face. It slowed down the ol’ think-think.

She pulled up a terminal. The  missiles were coming here. Nothing she could do about that. But there was nothing written in stone that said their payloads needed to go off. And without the boom power, those micro missiles would do all the damage your average fastball could inflict on a concrete bunker.

She began to type. She kept one eye on the trajectory monitor. It slowed her down, but she didn’t want to be surprised. And if she got to the point where she knew it would be impossible, she was going to help herself to some scotch.

On the leader’s terminal a red light turned to blue. Armed turned to safety.

And the standard trajectory monitor that was being displayed throughout what had almost been renamed Boom City showed no change to alert.

So it was her with all the knowledge and a private army of henchman who were likely cowering under their beds.

She shook her head. Her nose still hurt.

Maybe she would have that shot of whisky. To dull the pain.

And then she would get to work.


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