Cayo Elina 54
“If they catch you, they will rape you and then kill you.” Gus told Lila, hating himself but knowing what he had to do. ‘She’s already dead, she was dead the moment I infected her.’
The frightened woman nodded and stayed ducked into a doorway for cover. “Here.” Gus said, pressing a grenade into her hands.
Lila shook her head and tried to push it back to him. “No…I can’t…they would shoot me!”
“If they find you, you can take them with you. They will shoot you anyway.” Gus said, forcing her to keep the weapon. “I’m going to try and draw them off.”
“Why?” Lila called after him.
Gus’s shoulders stiffened, he didn’t have to ask what she meant, ‘Why did I bring her towards the danger instead of away from it?’ Turning he gave squinted in her direction, debating on whether to lie, checking the future he saw that was the best way to live, so he said, “I have to cover the retreat of the others. It is better for one to die so many can live.”
“But you didn’t need to…”
Gus raised his off hand to his lips as two soldiers took cover in the alleyway ahead of them. The men hadn’t spared a glance down the alley and Gus only saw him with the aid of his gift. ‘I’m getting better at keeping it running just a few seconds ahead of where I actually am in time.’ Lowering his hand he reached into his belt for his knife and crept up on the two soldiers, one died without a sound or a struggle, the other turned to see why his companion was falling on top of him and received a slash across his throat that practically decapitated him.
Behind him, Gus heard Lila vomiting. The rumbling of the tank was becoming overwhelming and Gus couldn’t stay where he was. Crossing the alley he pulled open a side door, which he had seen would be open and made his way through the building towards the rumbling of the tank.
‘Any minute now…’Gus thought… The tank passed him and a scream erupted from the alley, a scream he heard quite clearly through the broken out window ahead of him. Concentrating Gus looked for his window as the scream drew the soldier’s attention to the alley; an explosion shook the building and the tank ground to a halt. Two more soldiers ran by. With a pull Gus removed the pin from the grenade and held the spoon in a death grip to prevent it from going off. He waited another half a tick and stepped out into the street, then ducked and dodged his way towards the back of the tank. There were no shouts of alarm as Gus reached his target; a large round hatch at the rear of the vehicle, with a leap he was up on top of it, pulling the massive round of metal with every muscle of his body. By bracing his feet against the hull of the tank he was able to pry the hatch open just enough to drop the grenade inside. It was the engine compartment, the surrounding infantry were supposed to keep people like him away from their beloved tank, but a normal man would stand no more chance of pulling that hatch open than of lifting the tank over his head.
‘But I’m not a normal man anymore am I?’ Gus thought. ‘Look at me, superman.’ He jumped down and darted back through the window frame as the grenade when off. The tank immediately stopped. Smoke billowed out of the air intake grills that ran parallel to the sides of the tank and an orange flame chased the oily wisps up into the air. The crew bailed out and ran for cover while an officer ordered them to hold their ground.
A few building down an almighty explosion tore through the surrounding buildings striking one of them directly on the roof. Bodies and debris rained down causing the Cuban officer to leave off harassing the tank crew and run for shelter himself.
Gus grinned and enjoyed the Cuban’s confusion. “Score one for our side.” He said softly looking up the street as the enemy retreated. The tank was burning furiously now and Gus knew there were going to be some explosions in a few minutes. Getting his bearings he plotted out the next course of action when a frown creased his face. ‘Son of a bitch. I’m right there.’ He thought, a quick glance confirmed it, even with his poor eyesight he couldn’t help but recognize the back of Max’s Café American just two blocks away.