Rickie's face felt stiff with salt spray as he finally reached the speeding Bayliner. So far, the mercenary behind the wheel hadn't noticed the pursuit, but it was only a short amount of time before they became aware of his pursuit.
Suddenly, the big boat began to slow down, and Rickie quickly cut his own engine. The mercenary swiftly looked behind her and met Rickie's eyes; something had alerted her to his presence. She slewed the boat around and Rickie was buffeted by the wash. Thinking quickly, he made the decision and accelerated towards the bow of the other vessel.
Rickie felt the impact to his shoulder as he jumped and rolled onto the bowsprit. He quickly got his feet under him and crouched with his gun in his hand. He did not see anyone through the windshield; the impact of his jetsprint had knocked the mercenary away from the wheel.
The throttle was still open and the boat charged on as the woman came to her feet. Narrowing her eyes, she pulled out a semi-automatic pistol and began firing as Rickie, who could do little more than flatten himself to the deck.
The gunfire paused as the magazine emptied, and Rickie used the opportunity to squeeze off his own weapon. She dodged to the port side, and he leaped through the walkway into the aft deck, only to stop short. Her reloaded gun was pointed unerringly at his head; the woman had changed magazines in a split second, as fast as any member of PASKAU.
For a suspended moment, they stared at each other: blue-gray and sky blue eyes sparking the air between them.
"That perempuan is going to cost you your life," Shuk growled.
"If so, she's worth it," Rickie replied.
A sneer greeted this statement, and he readied himself for a final desperate charge.
Suddenly, there was a thump and the boat slewed wildly to the side; a dark gray cigarette boat had smashed into the side of the Bayliner. The woman lost her footing and went down, her weapon flying out of her hand and sliding to the rear of the vessel. Rickie risked a look at the other boat and caught a brief glance at Ani behind the wheel, but by then the white-haired mercenary had risen from the slippery deck, a long knife in her hand.
Rickie froze; there was no way he could bring his gun to bear before she reached him. He dropped the weapon to the deck behind him. Her eyes involuntarily followed it, and he lunged for her knife hand.
They grappled; he elbowed her face, causing a fountain of blood out of her nose.
Cursing, she swept his legs out from under him, and he landed on his previously injured side. He felt the sutures tear but had little time to think about it before she was above him and swinging the knife down.
He rolled away, striking her leg and causing her to land on her knees close to the cabin door. She smiled a nasty smile, and then dove for the cabin door.
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Without thinking, he bellied down towards his gun, grabbed it and fired a single shot at the retreating back. The woman paused as a red rose of blood bloomed bright against her white hair and she fell into the cabin.
There was no time for Rickie to react before he heard a yell off the starboard side of the Bayliner. He looked up to see a woman dressed in jeans, standing on the other boat, a fully-automatic Colt M4A1 carbine pointed at him.
He had only a moment to squeeze off a few rounds towards the other boat before she opened fire.