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Hi, I'm horror and science fiction author Steve Kozeniewski (pronounced: "causin' ooze key.") Welcome to my blog! You can also find me on Facebook, Twitter, Goodreads, and Amazon. You can e-mail me here, join my mailing list here, or request an e-autograph here. Free on this site you can listen to me recite one of my own short works, "The Thing Under the Bed."

Thursday, October 1, 2009

The Last War: Chapter 64, Part 4

A burst of fire exploded on Marianne Totschläger's left side. She turned her head slightly. Four Claw men were pursuing her. It was most infortuitous to be pursued by motorcycles with mounted weapons. It meant you couldn't fire back unless you turned to face them head on.

Turning back to the front she pressed down on the gas and wondered briefly where the Claws had gotten the motorcycles from. All intelligence had shown that the Claw didn't have any motorcycles handy. They must have stolen them from downed Motorradkorps members.

She leaned hard to implement a turn into a small copse of trees. She reached up and grabbed a branch with one of her gloved hands. It snapped off instantly due to the speed she was traveling at. She held it across her handlebars so she wouldn't have to let go of them.

Turning to and fro she began executing complicated twists and maneuvers which in most cases were for nothing but parades. She did a full 360 around one tree. That was what caught one of the bikers. He caromed into the tree while attempting to follow her and was flung out of his seat to his death.

"Toll!" she exclaimed.

Fear struck her as she realized she had run out of woods. She ducked her head down somewhat as she came out of the woods at full throttle, so that she would avoid any crossfire. She flicked on her radio. Her plan was to ask the infantry for help with the bikers on her tail. The groundpounders were much closer than any of her own people.

"This is Hauptmann Totschläger to Major Wüden," she said.

She received no answer. She repeated it, but still got nothing. The major must have been killed.

"Scheisse," she muttered, then to her radio, "Hauptmann Totschläger to Brigadegeneral Lensback? Herr General?"

A voice came on through the static. She recognized it as an infantry captain, though his name escaped her.

"Captain, the major and the general have both been killed. You're in command of the fighting force now."

That was what happened to her for fighting with a skeleton crew of officers. There was a great responsibility now on her shoulders, and she could very well get herself killed soon.

More shells ripped through the air. She looked back to see that the three Claws were gaining on her. She hefted the stick she had grabbed, judging it's weight. Then she flung it backwards as hard as she could towards the Claws. It struck the foremost one right in the neck. He ran into it at a devastating speed.

The man let out a loud gurgle of either loss of breath or death, and then sagged in his seat. His vehicle upturned and screeched to a halt. Another Claw man, who was directly behind him, ran over the tumbled machine and man. That Claw tried to swerve out of the way of the motorcycle, and so hit it full force on his side. He too flipped over, and landed in a mangled pile of flesh and metal with his comrade. The last biker, who looked like the toughest, easily dodged the mess that had once been his fellows and continued the pursuit of Marianne Totschläger.

She began to curve to her right. She made a full U-turn and was now facing the last Claw man. The skinhead had a crazed look in his eyes, and was firing his gun at her like a madman. They were now zooming toward each other at top speed. If Marianne had waited another few seconds there would have been a head-on collision, but she chose that moment to open fire.

With deadly accuracy the bullets streaked towards the last Claw man. He fell backwards, mortally wounded across his whole body by bullet holes. Somehow he was managing to keep his balance and his foot on the gas pedal as he struggled to right himself. It was a vain attempt. A moment later he glanced the side of the Lincoln Memorial building, and the fuel tank on his motorcycle exploded into a fireball. The memorial was scorched, but otherwise unharmed.

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