Chapter 2Mature

               I stood at the backdoor of the warehouse, hidden in the darkness. Vlad approached me from around the corner.

                “The power is out,” he said, putting away his wire cutters.

                “Won’t do us much good,” I said. “They can see in the dark.”

                “True, but the alarm is also disabled, which might give us the upper hand.”

                “Good enough,” I said, gripping my shotgun. We donned our night vision goggles, got into position, and I kicked the door open.  Taking the first guard by surprise, I fired a slug into his chest, sending him backwards, leaving an ashen imprint on the wall.  Two more guards came rushing in, and Vlad fired rounds into their chests.

                Hearing heavy footsteps from down the hall, we got into cover behind a few crates. An intense firefight ensued, ending when Vlad drew his machete, rolled out of cover, stood up and decapitated a vampire as it rushed towards my position.

                “Let’s see… two, four, six… thirteen piles of ash,” said Vlad.

                “Good,” I said. “Now let’s get to the basement before someone reports hearing gunfire.”

                After reloading his AK-47, Vlad followed me to the end of a hallway and down a flight of stairs. Cautiously, we continued forward, guns raised. Vlad peeked around a corner, and was met by gunfire.

                “He must’ve been waiting for us,” he said. “Cover me.” I leaned out from behind the wall and fired towards the end of the hall. Vlad rushed out, taking cover behind a crate. After I broke fire, he stood, just in time to fire a few shots into the guard. The vampire fell dead.

                Vlad motioned to me, and we continued down the hall, coming to several locked doors. One by one we kicked them open, finding nothing save the occasional vampire. Finally, behind the last door we kicked open, we emerged into a freezer, decorated with slabs of meat on hooks, and at the back of the room, Nico and Cheng, their hands bound, sitting in chairs back to back. Vlad and I took off our goggles and raised flashlights.

                “HA!” said Nico. “I told you they’d be here!”

                “Hey, I never doubted them,” said Cheng.

                “Sure you didn’t,” I said. Reaching for my knife, I cut the rope binding their hands. Cheng eagerly stood up, rubbing his wrists.

                “Can’t tell you how glad I am to be out of that,” he said.

                “Please don’t,” said Vlad as he reached for his vodka flask and took a large gulp. Cheng adopted a promotional tone.

                “Thank you, that was How to Be a Stereotypical Russian, starring Vlad Dukov!” he said.

                “Go fuck yourself,” said Vlad as he took another gulp.

                “You heard it here first folks, an exclusive leaked line from Vlad’s next movie: How to Be a Jackass!”

                “It’s a shame they didn’t cut out your tongue.”

                “Alright ladies, that’s enough,” said Nico.

                “Hey, you guys need me!” said Cheng. “What four-man team would be complete without a smartass?”

                “Perish the thought,” I said. “Now let’s get the hell out of here.”

                “I second that,” said Nico.

                We grabbed Nico and Cheng’s equipment out of a locker in the next room, then promptly left the warehouse as we heard sirens in the distance.

The End

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