End Times

An Explosive Finish

The Gadget

gadget_04.jpg

Old Enemies

The advantage of having future technology is that when you’re wearing an impersonator mesh that interferes with the neural centers of those around you and gently urges them to ignore your presence, they’ll never see you coming.

But some old enemies are a wee bit more observant.

Dressed in their Nazi and futuristic mercenary finest, the agents approached their quarry. Murdoch’s hand ached on the grenade he was going to plant on Heinrich as they passed. This was the last time these villains would mess with history.

“So precious,” the robotic deadpan voice of Chen said as the floating brain’s robotic tentacle pet one of the set pieces of Saddam Hussein’s hidden nuclear weapons cache. The brain hovered in delight, bobbing gently beside the dangerous weapons. “Soon I will have the first nuclear weapon ever created, and my collection will be complete.”

“Vee are zo happy to help,” said Helga, reaching out to gently pet Chen’s metal casing. “Your collection iz zo magnificent. I vish ve could stay longer.”

The levitating brain snapped around defensively, and ran a metal tentacle pushed her blonde hair out of her face, and traced along her jaw like one sizing up a horse.

“My dear. If you did, we would have to do something about that nose. Its just… not acceptable.”

Heinrich sniffed at her sister’s advances on their employer, and looked to the side. His eyes met with Model-3417’s, and though the android appeared human, he recognized that lack of humanity behind them. The others with 3417 were not his men.

“Schnell!”

Heinrich whipped out his Luger and shot 3417 in the head. The bullet ricocheted off of the android’s metal cranium, then off of a force field protected a display housing a Patriot missile. Everyone took cover.

Murdoch cursed below the din of gunfire, as Nazi soldiers laid down cover fire.

“Ten steps!” he sneered to Mattix. “Ten steps and I would have ended them!”

“Come out ’ere, little girls!” Heinrich was egging them on, laughing. Then a bullet struck him in the face. He wasn’t laughing anymore.

The smoking Luger was held by Doctor Hirsch, surprising everyone.

Chen flew past everyone, shouting for his guards as Murdoch and 3417 peppered the brain with bullets and high-voltage blasts from 3417’s Noisy Cricket.

Mattix took advantage of the distraction with his chainsaw, running out in the middle of the fire fight with no qualms about chainsawing a woman like the psycho in every horror film he’d ever seen. Helga back-stepped, but she wasn’t quick enough to avoid the grisly weapon. Blood splattered and sizzled on the force fields protecting the weapons, and she crumpled against the glass window behind her.

The soldier towered above her, ready to finish her off when a bullet ripped through her back. He’d been shot twice, and never realized it. In a stupor, he stared at his blood running down the spiderweb cracks snapping across the window.

In a blinding flash, both Heinrich and Helga disappeared, clocking out before the agents could finish them off.

Doctor Hirsch ducked before Chen nearly decapitated him, flying so low overhead.

“Got him!” the good doctor shouted to his teammates. He was prepared for this possibility, and rested his RPG on his shoulder. Hirsch fired, and blew the ceiling out, high above the entrance of the museum, burying Chen in the rubble.

Murdoch dodged gunfire as he slid to safety behind the display where Mattix was slumped over in his own pool of blood. As he applied pressure, he fired around the corner at once of the Nazis, a killing shot, but the occult charm on the soldier kept the jerk alive.

Mattix fired around the corner, dropping the goon and blowing half of the another’s face off. Horrifically, the second rose to his feet again and took another shot at them.

“These freaks aren’t going down easy,” he said, hating occult Nazis more and more.

3417 took a shot with the Noisy Cricket. The force of the miniature beam weapon sent the undead soldier hurtling through the glass window behind him, and several hundred feet into the courtyard below.

Oh how they enjoyed the screams.

A little too much at times.

Each of them shot the last remaining Nazi goon, but despite grievous injuries the mook wouldn’t go down. Murdoch heard shouts behind them. At the far end of the museum, Chen’s bodyguards were unearthing the metal carapace of their cerebral master, and were ready to charge in.

“Shit. Guys we have company.”

Doctor Hirsch spotted a blinking red light on the display case they were all crouched behind. He scanned the other cases. All of the cases had blinking red lights and the longer this gunfight dragged out, the faster the red lights blinked.

“Ha! Got him!” Mattix shouted, disappointed again when this Nazi, barely fleshy anymore, rose again.

“We have bigger trouble,” said the Doctor. “These nukes are going off, and we’re going to be vaporized along with Dubai. Chen must have had a dead man switch in his life support system.”

Murdoch interrupted, “We stopped Chen. He’ll never steal another nuke, and the Gadget is safe. That primitive time vacuum is going to explode any minute now. I say window.”

He shouted at 3417 to clear the way.

The android ran at the last Nazi, with automatic weapons fire spraying at them from behind. The soldier shot at the android wildly as it tackled him, crashing through the window. One by one the others followed, diving out of the skyscraper at the heels of their robotic comrade.

As they plummeted to their deaths, each one of them clocked out, returning to headquarters. The undead Nazi soldier held 3417 by the throat as the android pummeled him on the way down.

At the last critical second, bent on the android’s destruction, the soldier held the Luger in 3417’s face, only to have it slapped away. He pulled the trigger and 3417 had disappeared. The skyscraper disappeared in a brilliant flash of light on his impact in the fountain below. A fraction of a second later, the soldier, and Dubai, was reduced to super-heated radioactive ash.

Epilogue

Paradox is a harsh mistress. Headquarters was less than thrilled about Dubai being leveled, though the agents did manage to stop Chen. With the time rift open, connecting the museum to the early Holocene era, another team was sent to close the rift after the team stepped through, while our heroes were chastised for their brutal methods, and told to disarm the nukes after they witness themselves dive through the window.

A bureaucrat in the Citadel, buried in a mountain of paperwork generated by this incident, secretly hoped that they would botch it and get spotted by themselves as they hid in the museum, and get absorbed into the timeline, disappearing forever.

But then again. That would just create more paperwork.

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