Kestrel McMann had faced the Scorpion before. While a Ranger officer, Kestrel had bearded the terrorist in his lair in the deserts of Sudan. The Scorpion had escaped by uploading his mind to a computer network, leaving behind his corpse as a hollow trophy. McMann moved on to Homeland Security, working for a corrupt government, firm in his convictions that the people needed protection no matter who ruled.
The Scorpion is back. Cloning people who occupy high level positions and moving the bodies, under the control of his mind, to important targets, the Scorpion is striking back at the Great Satan. Targets of opportunity are hit, people are killed, and the nation once again trembles before the name of the Scorpion. It is up to Kestrel to once again stop the super terrorist, before he springs his final strike, and knocks Western Civilization back into the Stone Age.
McMann took aim on the shadowy form that moved slowly down the dark hallway. The size of a medium dog, he knew it was as deadly as the largest guard dog. Its razor sharp claws and lightning reflexes made the midcat the most popular thing in home protection. Its loyalty was already legendary. But the agent knew that he could hit this one before it got within leaping distance of him.
The hiss to his right startled him as he was about to loose his first shot. He tried to get off an aimed shot at the first cat while acquiring the second. Too many things at once, and he missed the cat in the hallway, his round flying past to strike the wall at the end of the hall. A spark flashed as the round released its stored electricity uselessly into the plastic wall.
Forty pounds of furious feline sprung at him from the couch to his right while the cat in the hall broke into a sprint toward him. Pack hunters was the thought that went through his mind as he fired a quick round at the cat in the hall and turned to deal with the nearest feline. Instinctual partners in the attack. Part of the lion their engineered DNA gave to them.
The cat was as fast as a cat could possibly be. The cyborg ex-ranger was designed to be faster. Not fast enough to bring the pistol to bear. But fast enough to strike the creature on the side with all of the power of linked hands on the weapon. Raging growls of attack turned to howls of surprise and pain as the cat flew into the far wall, striking with a thud before sliding down to the floor.
The other cat came in low, gliding through the air with outstretched claws. McMann tensed for a second, activating all of the micro motors melded into his thigh and calf muscles. A quick leap and he was in the air, legs coming high into his chest as he brought his head down to avoid striking the ceiling. He let out a grunt of pain as he failed in his last objective, his skull ringing as it hit the low ceiling of the cheap apartment. The cat growled in frustration as it sailed beneath him, claws grazing his shoes.
McMann landed balanced on both feet, his vision and hearing clear and ready. But his mind was slightly dazed. He shook his head to clear the cobwebs as the first cat landed on his back, claws slicing through his shirt and skin and digging into the large muscles underneath.
Kestrel McMann cried in pain as his back muscles shredded, then went into overdrive, his own animal instincts taking over. His hand reached over his shoulder, aiming for the neck scruff of the cat. Instead the cat’s teeth sank into the fleshy part of his hand. Grunting in pain, the ex-Ranger wrapped his fingers around the lower jaw of the cat and ripped it from his back. The cat’s claws ripped flesh and muscle for an instant, and then it was free.
McMann saw the other cat coming toward him in peripheral vision, at a run and aiming for his groin. With a powerful swing and a release the cat in his grip was turned into a fast flying projectile, slamming into its pride mate. There was a sickening crack as skull hit skull, and both cats dropped into a heap. The one he threw struggled back to its feet in a daze. The other cat would never struggle again, lying limp on the floor with a broken neck.