The Recruiting Matter Reprise – Millicent in Front of Smith’s House -conclusion


Millicent created the necessary diversion in the front and was almost shot by a drone. A tall man stepped out on the porch and started shooting at her. The tall man, John Smith announced his real reason for being on Earth. He is here to negotiate with her.  As the battle increases, positions shift until both sides withdrawal with their wounded.

Author’s note

This is the second of the combined entries for Millicent in the battle chapter. There are some time jumps with this entry and yesterday’s. As I was writing this chapter, I realized there was more I could write – I had not even got my characters off Earth; Smith was too good a villain to destroy;  and I had a better idea what Smith might be on Earth for. As for what is not included: Millicent’s arrival in the basement and the group’s retreat back to the ship.  Tuesday I will post the final chapter in its entirety.

For your enjoyment

Millicent – At the front of Smith’s House

Millicent poked her head above a sunken entryway one hundred feet away from Smith’s shattered stairway. Three red tinged drones bobbed evasively returning fire from two of Charles’ green tinted drones. What had happened to Charles’ other drones. The red tinged drones were protecting the long coated figure of John Smith at the top of the stairs who was holding a rifle. She fired a beam at Smith and a drone dropped in front to absorb it just as Charles had done for her. Camille had always been very good and just as loyal as Charles.  Smith fired the rifle in her direction and the pavement in front of her exploded. Smith shouted, “Morgaine! This is foolishness. You can’t possibly get past the front door or the back.”

Millicent grinned a little. Camille must have her hands full if she hadn’t informed Smith about the basement breach. And then she sobered thinking perhaps they hadn’t gotten through. Millicent shouted back, “Give me Eleanor. She’s mine.”

Smith laughed and fired another round at the pavement in front of Millicent’s cover. “You’re slipping, Morgaine. Possession? Ownership? That’s not like you.” And he tsked a bit, clucking his tongue and fired at the building above her.  Chunks of brick and mortar shot out over her.

Millicent pressed a button and said, “Charles, concentrate fire on the drone to Smith’s left.” She fired her beam pistol as well. The red tinged drone began to bob up and around glowing more and more as the three combined beams concentrated their energy. It glowed an iridescent blue getting brighter and brighter.  Then the drone shot towards Millicent’s position and exploded fifty feet away sending chunks of metal in all directions. Smith directed his fire at one of Charles’ drones who dodged and weaved avoid the high speed projectiles. The two red tinged drones concentrated their fire on the one green drone which also started to glow the iridescent blue.

Charles said into her ear suddenly, “The basement situation is changing. Eleanor has slipped free but there is a lot of fighting.”

Smith suddenly charged into the house. The two red drones headed off in the direction of Millicent’s warehouse.  Millicent shouted, “Charles, break off your drones and prepare for defense.”

Millicent watched Charles’ drones fly away. Camille’s were in hot pursuit. John Smith turned and headed directly into the house. Millicent worked her way toward the front door cautiously. She pressed a button and said, “Camille is following your drones.”

Charles responded quickly in short sentences, “I know that. Liam says they have Eleanor. Fighting is active. Miss Stanhope is determined.”

Millicent changed her cautious approach to a sprint and bounded up the stairs. Halfway up the stairs, the door exploded in splinters and knocked Millicent back to the pavement. She landed and fired her beam weapon blindly into the doorway. She could hear Smith shouting, “Forget the coon queen. Get Neville and Simone out. We’re leaving!” Another round from the rifle exploded the concrete stairway in front of Millicent.

Millicent stayed low at the base of the stairs as an occasional shot came out of the shattered doorway. She hadn’t kept track, but Smith had to run out of bolts sometime. She returned fire in short bursts to annoy Smith with the knowledge he hadn’t hit her. There was a loud muffled scream of a woman and then heard Smith curse, “Dammit, how hard can it be?” Millicent couldn’t see Smith and he now seemed to be gone. Millicent headed up the stairs quickly and sheltered behind the wall and glanced in.  She could see three maids, trembling and crying quietly at the top of stairs going to the upper floors.

Millicent stared at one and said, “Get out. I won’t hurt you. Just leave. Now!” Whatever doubts they had were overcome with Millicent’s command tone. They ran down the stairs, out the broken door and out into the street. Millicent could hear whistles in the distance. The commotion was attracting the local constabulary.

Millicent worked her way into the house. Her feet crunched on broken glass and brick as she walked in the hallway. She looked right and saw a room with a large desk. She ducked into that room and looked at the desk. There was a copy of Smith’s full contract. She slipped it into her satchel. She checked the drawers. They held the usual assortment of stuff: ink wells, pen nibs, drying sand. In a bottom drawer was a notebook. Millicent’s eyes brightened. She didn’t look at it; she simply put it in her satchel. Another drawer held a standard pistol. She took that and put the beam weapon in her belt and armed herself with the pistol.

There was a commotion in the hall. She headed to the door and looked about. Neville Carter-Fraser burst up into the hallway from the basement. She didn’t hesitate. She fired the pistol and Neville grunted and fell to the floor. She could hear Smith’s voice snarl, “Get up you wimp and head to the back. We’re done here. Move Carter-Fraser”.  Neville groaned but crawled towards the back door and out of Millicent’s sight. Smith fired his beam weapon down the hall scorching the floral wall paper toward the office.  He shouted, “Morgaine, I tried negotiating. My sponsor said you wouldn’t, but I tried.”

Millicent pulled out her own beam weapon and fired towards the basement door. She shouted back in outrage, “Negotiate? Negotiate? You imprisoned, raped and tortured one of my recruits after you killed her brother.” She fired her weapon at the door again. “You call that negotiation? You shouldn’t even be here. But if you wanted to bloody well negotiate you should have announced yourself. But no! You just started poaching on my territory.” She fired again.

Smith shouted back, “I’m leaving Morgaine. We’re not done here. But I am leaving. Now we can keep trading shots until our weapons fail. But I’ve lost my patience. Stanhope needs help and a couple of your ruffians need tending to.  You let me out the back with Stanhope and Carter-Fraser and you get to pick up the pieces in the basement. What say?”

Millicent fired her weapon. “Not enough. Leave my planet.”

Smith fired back and said, “I’m only leaving this building, Morgaine. Decide fast. Miss Weiz was having trouble breathing. It seems Miss Stanhope got a luck shot in.”

Millicent heard a slurry, “not lucky”. Millicent’s heart started beating faster and she shouted, “Smith, what have you done to Rachael?”

Smith shouted back, “Not me. Miss Stanhope. I can’t say for sure. But ‘spine injury’ comes to mind. Still not negotiating?”

Millicent shot the beam at the roof in frustration.

Smith persisted, “Those are tricky even with our technology. God help her in this septic backwater. Mr. O’Malley’s quite distraught. That hanger on of yours took some acid to her face as well. Neville was useful for a change.”

Millicent closed her eyes. She opened them and stared at her hands as if they were strangers. She croaked out, “Smith, leave. Leave now before I change my mind. Jason McNeill is in the back. Leave him unharmed.”

Smith shouted back, “I knew you could be reasonable in a pinch, Morgaine. If that strapping young man isn’t already hurt, he won’t be harmed by me. But call that brute off now.”

Millicent pulled back from the hall and leaned back against the wall, “Charles, tell Jason to stand down. Tell him to let Smith and the others out and come in afterwards.”

Charles replied, “Relaying message”

Smith came out into the hallway. He was holding Winifred Stanhope up. She had red spots around her face and head. She was limping. But the worst were her arms. Both were bent at funny angles. But one was bandaged, bloody and shorter. She felt a small degree of satisfaction until she heard Liam shouting, “Millicent, we need help.”

 

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