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John stopped talking mid-sentence, raised his M-16 to his shoulder, and began firing. He moved so suddenly that no one had time to react. His partners all thought he had seen an enemy at first. This hesitation rapidly vanished, but it was more than enough time for him to complete his deceitful goal. He sprayed everyone with an overwhelming wave of bullets. His rifle swept across the room in overlapping arcs. By the time his victims realized what was happening, it was too late. Blood spurted out of countless wounds in torrents, splattering the carpet and walls.
Lowering his smoking gun and ejecting his spent clip, John replaced it with a fresh one. He examined the bodies, checking every pulse to make sure no one was alive. Movement flashed in his periphery while he was kneeling down with his fingers on a man’s neck. He spun around and pointed his gun there, but was too slow. A bullet flew into his forehead. His body dropped to floor, crumpling in a messy heap. Blood, brain matter and skull shards shot out of the crater in the back of his head as he fell.
Michael lowered his arm that was extended toward John. He rolled from his side onto his back. His body refused to let him prop himself up on his forearm. Any movement made undulating waves of agony rush through him. Lying flat, he looked down to assess his injuries. There was a bullet hole in his right trapezius muscle above his collarbone, and another on the left side of his stomach above his hip. Both wounds sharply stung and burned. He fought against the increasing debilitating pain. It threatened to overwhelm him in spite of his unwavering willpower. He poked his fingers through the holes in his shirt to inspect the sticky red spots. Just grazing the perforated skin’s edges intensified his torment so much that he lost the battle he was waging against unconsciousness. He blacked out, his arms falling against his body as warm blood seeped from his injuries.