Take aim with the .45 and hope you can get them both before they can get you.

Viral Phages are many-angled nightmares, beasts of steel and carbon composite and strange, stuttering limbs.  But they have recognizable necks, and those are near as fragile as your own.

As you raise the gun, you toggle your recoil damper with a sharp thought toward your lower arms.  They freeze along their length, numbed by an anaesthetic slurry coursing through your vessels.  Your hands are now steadier than any sniper's tripod.
You sight the closer phage as it trundles past a crate of heritage plastics, murmuring as it goes.  The spindling neck sways in your vision, and above it spins a fat and childish steel head.  It's smiling.  It sees you, and you allow yourself to smile back.

The trigger depresses so nicely. 

No doubt there are sparks as the first bullet hits and cants the head, and no doubt it's pretty to see when the second bullet severs its spinework completely and sends the whole armature swooning, useless, to the concrete.  But as soon as the second bullet leaves you swing to the next phage, raising your gun to neck level.

Not quickly enough, though; the Phage twists, and a pain blooms in your shoulder.  There's a sort of barbed spike growing there now, and a wire from the spike to the Phage.  You can barely appreciate those facts before the current jumps across. 

The convulsing pain! The pain of your muscles grinding together, and the pain of your teeth almost striking sparks against one another as your jaws clamp to, and the more abstract pain from the feedback of your burning circuits and subsystems.  But thanks to the recoil damper, your arms are yet steady.  They're quite cold, and nicely insulated and somehow, somehow still capable of sending a bullet through the Phage's neck.

The Phage slumps, and the pain dies with it.  You're able to tear the barb from your shoulder, though barely; your numb fingers almost leave half it in your skin.  Why a taser, anyway?  Virals have no uses for non-lethal methods: they've no interest in intelligence or extortion, and it's unlikely that they'd turn to pacifism at this point in the game. 

Your curiosity - a valuable asset perhaps 20% of the time, a horrific danger the remaining 80 - prods you to examine the wrecked machines.  Your will to live - an asset at all times, and not least tonight - pushes you to get the hell out of here.

The End

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