"Power low. Thirteen percent remaining."
The thief cursed.
Apparently the climb up the castle's royal tower had been more taxing than expected. It was no surprise, but it was exasperating. Five hundred feet above the ground, she clung to a balcony railing with both hands, one of flesh and one of sleek metal. Pulling her eyes level with the floor of the balcony, she peered through the tower's glass door.
The guards were still there. Once again, not surprising.
They were on the other side of the doors, which would undoubtedly set off an alarm if she tried to get in. Even if she could get in silently, the two guards would make it nearly impossible to remain unseen.
"Twelve percent remaining."
"Curse this metal body..." the thief muttered. Why did climbing have to rely so much on arms? Normally, the battery powering her arm and legs would last for hours. However, after scaling a skyscraper and hanging into a railing for over half an hour, the electronic appendage was tired of supporting her weight.
And the guards were still there.
The plan was going to have to change.
With a sigh, the thief hauled herself up and over the railing, throwing stealth and caution to the wind, crossing ths balcony in a single leap to bash through the glass pane shoulder-first.
Time seemed to slow.
First, the alarm bells began, blaring throughout the hallway. Second, a flash of pain from where the metal shoulder connected to the her torso. Third, the guards whirled at the noise, guns ready.
The thief slid into the room, rolling into a crouch, flicking her knife open and lunging for the guard on her right. Down on the lower levels, the guards were androids, programmed for a multitude of situations, but ill-equipped for improvisation. Here, where the royal family slept, the guards were human, better at making split-second decisions, but twice as easy to kill. The thief rammed her knife through the gap between his helmet and his neck guard, feeling all four inches of the blade sink in. His strangled scream could barely be heard beneath the screaming alarms as he fell back against the wall, gun forgotten as his hands involuntarily flew to where the blood gushed from his neck.
The thief caught the energy gun midway through its fall, sweeping it to her right to aim at the second guard, but was instantly met with a flash of white as the guard fired his own weapon. The blast hit the thief's gun, blowing it out of her hands with a dull sizzling noise. The thief dived at his legs, pulling his feet out from under him, bringing them both to the ground. Flipping over, she sent a vicious kick at the guard's head as he attempted to rise. Her mechanical leg snapped his head to one side, most likely killing him.
Now was the part where she ran. In the ten seconds that had just elapsed, the whole palace had been alerted of her presence, and more guards would be flooding toward her current location. In a few moments the royal family would be awake, king and queen rushing to protect their children
She only had a few moments, but if she remembered the palace layout correctly, she wouldn't need much more than that to get to the king's chambers.
In and out. Victory and revenge were thirty feet away.
"Eight percent remaining."
This body was going to get her killed.
She was already leaping to her feet, grabbing the fallen guard's gun and sprinting down the corridor to the double metal doors at the end. Taking aim, she fired a blast at the lock, but nothing happened. Two more desperate shots, then a satisfying buzz as the locking mechanism melted in on itself.
She kicked the door in, gun pointed straight in front of her as she burst into the bedroom. The lights flashed on, illuminating the startled royals in their bed. The king's hand thrust to his bedside table, doubtless where a gun lay.
The thief didn't give the action much thought. She wasn't here for him, and she wasn't overly worried about a gun in the hands of a groggy, startled man.
At the foot of the bed was a cradle.
The thief lunged toward it, hearing two shots pierce the air just above her head. With both hands, she hauled the sleeping infant out of it's bed, holding it close to her chest as she stood, backing away from the bed, toward the door she had just entered.
The queen screamed, grabbing her husband's arm just as he fired again. The blast went wide, hitting the wall behind the intruder. The king leapt out of bed, ripping his arm from his wife's grip, aiming at the thief once again.
"No, please. Please, not my baby!" The queen screamed. "Noah, the baby! Don't shoot the baby!"
The king shouted something the thief couldn't understand, but the rage on his face was clear enough.
If she turned her back to him, he might risk a shot, but there could be guards approaching from behind any second.
She held the child higher, bringing her knife closer, threatening the worst.The infant was wailing now. The queen screamed again, stumbling out of bed, falling to her knees, hands reaching desperately, pleading.
The thief took two more steps back, throwing a glance at the hall behind her. Still empty, for the moment.
The king pointed the gun lower, but still hesitated. The war of expressions on his face was truly amusing. The fear, the hatred, the confusion, all framed by those messy brown curls.
He couldn't risk hurting his child, the thief knew it. She loved it.
"Five percent remaining."
Slowly, she slid the child into the pouch wrapped loosly around her chest, keeping her motions clear and intentional. Making sure that the child was secure, the thief whirled around, slinging the child behind her as she turned. The king would not shoot as long as his child was in the line of fire. With the pouch behind her, she ran.
The king gave chase, but it was too late.
At the far end of the hall, guards burst from the elevator and stairs, guns held ready.
The king screamed. "DON'T SHOOT!!"
The guards hesitated.
The thief felt her feet hit the ground three more times, casually passing over one of the guards she had killed. Metal screamed on metal as she slid to a stop, changed directions, and leapt out of the broken glass door, covering the balcony in two steps.
"Two percent remaining."
Then she jumped.
Author Notes: I stayed up too late writing this. I'm usually pretty terrible at writing action scenes, so this probably isn't very good either, but I dunno, I'll have to see in the morning, when I can think more clearly.
Reviews are much appreciated!