“CRT-42:”, crackled the commlink. Max unconsciously braced himself for the sudden maneuver that would follow once Dispatch transmitted GPS data to the ambulance’s rigger. “BMI signal near your location. Low level trauma. Client is unconscious. Threat level unknown.”
The vehicle slewed to the left and began accelerating up Patterson Road, siren, lights and AR transmitter blazing. His partner began checking the autodoc and medkits as the support team readied the assault rifles.
“CRT-42: Second BMI now active on-site. HTR-12 is enroute. Estimated arrival delta, plus one.”
Max nodded to the support team. If dispatch was activating a High Threat Response chopper, they were suspecting trouble, and CRT-42 was going to have to hold the fort for over a minute before they arrived. He checked his own sidearm and body armor as the rigger announced they would arrive in 30 seconds.
The scene was a mess, but nowhere as active as dispatch must have expected. There were two motorcycles lying across the front lawn of the suburban home, and three bodies nearby, but no active threats. The plate glass window in the front of the house looked to have been smashed from the inside, and the trails of blood on the grass and walkway suggested the fight came from inside.
The BMI signals were coming from two of the bodies on the lawn. Max and Rocky split up while the support team scanned for potential threats. He knelt beside the elven woman, hooking the medkit to the diagnostics port of her BMI. As most of the lights flashed green, Max studied the face, trying to figure out why she looked so familiar…
Vague memories of a downtown club were starting to form when the diagnostic alert distracted him. No life threatening injuries. Probably gel rounds. She’d have one hell of a headache in the morning, and those fine curves would be marred by some nasty bruising and swelling, but nothing required more than a quick visit to the emergency room.
He looked over at his partner working on the other client, getting a thumbs up. Minor injuries as well. He triggered the commlink to inform Dispatch. “This is CRT-42. Site is secure. Low threat. Clients are stable for transport. One freelance casualty.”
“Acknowledged, CRT-42. HRT-12 is redirected. CRT-16 and 7 are enroute. ETA 10 minutes.”
Max grabbed the medkit and moved to the second man lying on the grass. Even before he hooked up the ‘trodes, he could see that they weren’t going to need the third ambulance. Large caliber entry wounds through the designer suit and designer sunglasses didn’t leave much hope for the poor sucker. While the medkit ran through the diagnostic cycle and red lights began flicking on, he checked the body anyway. The closer look confirmed what the solid red display already told him. Five more wounds, armor piercing rounds from the look of it. Whoever he was, he’d taken a hell of a pounding before going down.
He was about to tell Dispatch to reroute the third ambulance when the sound of a racing motorcycle engine re-focused everyone’s attention. The support team’s rifles came up and Max grabbed his sidearm, starting to regret calling off the HRT unit. But, as the bike rounded a corner, he relaxed. No weapons visible and the vehicle was slowing down. The rider ditched the bike and scrambled up the lawn, ripping the helmet from her head and shouting “Sam!”
Max moved to intercept the teenage girl before the goons got too twitchy. “Whoa there, Miss. It’s OK. Everything is under control here.”
She threw the helmet to the side and didn’t even break stride, forcing Max to sidestep to get in front of her. The look of raw fear and panic made him keep out of arms reach while still trying to calm her down.
“This is my friend’s house! Where’s Sam?! Where’s Grace?!”
“Calm down. There are two folks hurt, but they’ll be fine once they get to the hospital.” He didn’t know what to say about the third as he moved to block her line of sight.
The young woman glanced at the two clients, and Max could tell she knew them. Despite his efforts, she spotted the dead body, and her face drained of color. Dodging past the paramedic, she sprinted across the lawn, ignoring the two assault rifles that tracked her progress. The look of anguish changed to relief and confusion when she got close enough to see the partly destroyed face. She stumbled to a stop and turned back to Max.
“Where are Sam and Grace?”
The question made Max glance toward the house, and instantly the brunette was racing toward the shattered window. The medic had already grabbed the medkit and was following when a choked cry told him that she had found one of her friends.
The blonde girl lay in a pool of blood, the left side of her face shattered. Like the other two, she looked like she’d been hit with gel rounds, but had been unlucky enough to take one of the projectiles to the ocular orbit. He knelt down and started working, hoping that despite what his experience told him, there was something he could do for her.
The young woman was shaking and sobbing, repeating the name “Grace” over and over.
The medkit display burned solid red.