"Hey! Who's injured?" Doc Wagon driver asked.

Whipping up my shotgun, I reply, "You are." Pellets shattered the window and fill the front of the van with blood. Good thing I don't have to drive.

"Why the shotgun, man? Don't you think it's a bit excessive? I mean, a pistol would have been plenty to blow this guy's head off with, but no, you need a shotgun. You just have to redecorate the Doc Wagon van. Don't you realize that if we get caught in traffic people are going to wonder why there's blood all over the van?" Phaeton asked, pushing the body out of the seat and into the street. He pulled out a hankerchief and wiped the blood off the window.

Phaeton got his name because he's a rigger who, when applying for a government driving job, hit every cone and cardboard pedestrian. He also failed the driving, rigging, and drug tests, with 'the most astute drunkeness the DMV has seen in years', according to the instructor. To top it all off, he crashed one of the government vehicles into a stone wall and hopped out, saluting the instructor. Using a fake SIN that my decker friend, Jack in the Box, Phaeton told them he'd pay for the damages and gave them the adress of our old landlord to send the bill. Our old landlord, Ms. Bych, threw us out for punching a meter wide hole through her wall when a pair of orks came to reposses my new guns. I always hated that Bych.

So, to cut a long story short, Phaeton sobered up right after the driving course and started rigging with us again. The reason he left was 'cuz he was sick of all the messes I made, like our friend the Doc Wagon driver.

"Would you stop grinning like an idiot and get everybody in? We don't want the Star crashing down on our heads for shooting up a Doc Wagon," Phaeton hissed, throwing the bloodied hanky on the floor. I sighed and whistled down the street, hopping the other two members of our group heard us.

Mr. Green the combat mage and Sunshine, our trollish mercinary, stumbled down the street towards the van. Sunshine's entire left side was burnt like a bad soyburger, and Mr. Green's face was as sour as his name. He looked like he had been spun around in circles for a few hours straight. Jack was at home for the moment, probably looking through his Simsense collection for 'Sandy Does Everyone In Sight 3' chip. That scrawny boy had more appetite for sex than an underpaid pimp. But back to the story.

Sunshine fell halfway in, halfway out of the van, and it took me another minute to haul her huge ass into the van. Mr. Green colapsed on the stracher, moaning and clutching his head. I could now see he had slung his left arm in a sling made from his own fancy green-silk shirt. He also had blood on him in places, but that was probably from Sunshine bleeding on him. Nothing serious.

Sunshine, however, looked like someone had chewed her up, lit her on fire and spit her back into the streets. Hair, skin, clothing all burned, with bullet holes in her stomach, arms and legs. She appeared to be making up for all those years that she hadn't bled more than a papercut. After screaming out for a minute when I touched a burned area, she simply went limp in my arms and laid there, murmuring. I sighed and knew that some burn-cream wasn't going to help Sunshine.

"We ready? 'Cause I'm driving, with or without you guys!" Phaeton shouted, revving the engine. The van was off like a bat out of hell.

Checking back on my Critical Injurey patients, I saw that Sunshine was still bleeding, and Mr. Green was still a gibbering wreck. Whoopie.

Asking Mr. Green if he wanted a soy-kaf, and getting a "the bananas are still after my brain…but I won't let them have it, oh no…no, bananas! BANANAS! STAY OUT OF MY BRAIN! OUT OF MY BRAIN! OF MY BRAIN! MY BRAIN!" in response, I went over to Sunshine and peeled away her blood-soaked clothes.

After a few minutes of playing 'Mystery Bullet Holes and 3rd Degree Burn Victims 2000' with Sunshine, I found out she had been shot in six places and caught the side blast of a concusion grenade. The only major shot was the one in the stomach, and it was clear that if Sunshine didn't get medical attention soon she'd probably be dead. After getting punch in the face by her when I made a joke about 'selling her to Dr. Black, the body chopper who runs living people through his meat grinder just to hear them scream at fifty nuyen a pop', I got some ointment for myself and sat down in the front of the car with Phaeton. A wire led down from his temple to the dashboard.

"Alright, how much furthur do we have to go until we can make it to our good friend the Doctor of Doctors?" I asked, checking my watch.

"Another four minutes. It should be null sheen as long as the Star doesn't find us," Phaeton's eyes were pointed forward, unblinking and glazed over. It always freaked me out when he hit rigger mode.

"Alright, well just…what the hell was that?" Mr. Green had screamed once, followed by a sickening balloon popping noise. When I went back to check on him, I found Mr. Green at a loss.

From what I could tell from the hysterical, blood covered Sunshine was that Mr. Green seemed to have a sudden loss of headache, followed by a sudden loss of head. Fragments of his skull and little bits of brain clung to the cabinets and gray walls of the van as well as Sunshine, who, as of Mr. Green unfortunante sudden brain operation, has not stopped screaming.

To add to my sudden appearance of problems without solution, the wail of Lone Star sirens crept up from behind us. Phaeton shouted as a stammed of gunfire blew holes in the van.

"Fucking do something about it, man! Kill the mother fuckers!" Phaeton shouted, swerving into another lane. The wail of sirens followed.

Thinking of how to solve one of my problems, I lifted Mr. Green's headless body up, light as a feather now that his brain wasn't there. I unlatched the back door of the vanand let it open wide.

Mr. Green went sailing through the air as I threw his body against the Lone Star patrol car.

Though their windshield was now freshly splattered with blood, I could clearly see cops screaming inside, trying to get Mr. Green to stop bleeding on their car. They served violently and crashed into a sidewalk café, blowing up on impact. I got the camera in my cybereye to take shots frame by frame as the car exploded and hurtled innocent coffee-mongers into the street, screaming and on fire. I just wished I had brought popcorn.

And all too soon the moment was lost as another car pulled up behind us, spraying the inside of the van with bullets. I took a shot in my arm and a nick in my leg, dropping backwards to the floor.

My shotgun was up in an instant, angrily blowing off rounds as I shouted "Die, mother fuckers!" at them. All the pellets seemed to do was scratch up their windshield really bad. I shot my foot out, caught the van's door handle, and brought it back sharply, shutting the door. Standing up, I rotated my bleeding shouler, dropped my shotgun and pulled out my twin Ingram Smartguns.

"What the hell are you about to do?" Phaetons screamed hysterically, as he touched the fresh bullet skim along his head.

"I'm going out for a while," I said simply. Then I turned around and kicked open the van doors.

The cops looked really surprised as I lept from the back of the van and onto the hood of their car. One was bringing up his Uzi to blast me off the car like a bug.

I'll bet they've never run into a bug with machine guns before.

Flicking both guns into fully-automatic fire, I emptied both of the clips into the Lone Star car. The men inside shout out but stopped after I riddled them with bullets. Like a shower of cold lead.

Seeing as how I'd creativly redecorated the inside of their car with blood, I took a picture with my eye and laughed. The ceiling was dripping with blood. The seats were covered in blood. The once white uniforms of the Lone Star were now soaked red with blood. The the car hit a lamppost and I went sailing off the hood of the car and onto the curb.

It hurt when I landed, especially since I landed on my injured arm. As I stood up, I could see the pointed flames of gunfire erupt from the patrol cars and hit the van. As soon as they did I saw Phaeton's body slam out the side of the van, hanging half in and half out. The van jerked to the left and hit the two Lone Star cars, bursting into flame instantly. The ball of fire was enormous.

Brushing myself off, someone said something from behind me. Lost in the glory of the explosion, I asked him again.

"Hey man, what the hell happened to these cops?" the biker asked, sitting atop his Harley Scorpion.

My grin turned to acid. "Same thing that's going to happen to you." My hand shot out from my arm and slammed into the kid's face, a fresh gout of blood covering my arm. Hope he didn't have AIDS. Still twitching, I let his body drop to the pavement and hopped on his bike, motor still running.

Another day, another bloodbath.

©1998, - used with permission