As he caught up with her again, she was near a fire exit. She hit the bar and raced on to the metal gangway. Taschen flung a clay mask through the door, one he had had made for this occurrence.
It exploded in a spray of white powder and angry red flames.
Damn, thought Taschen, Incendiary bullets? She's got friends in high places! He activated the comm-link in his hunter's helmet and called his partner as he crouched for a roll onto the gantry.
"What is it, Geld?"
"That assassin has incendiary bullets!"
"That's a bad one to..."
A bullet exploded next to his helmet.
"You ain't * £$% jokin'! OK, just do the best you can, and get her to the roof."
Another bullet exploded into the wall beside him as he chased the assassin over the gantries. The hunter loosed a running shot that whizzed past her face and nicked her forehead. As the blood ran over her eye, she ran for her life.
As she reached the end of the gantry, she jumped, grabbed the ladder, and as she began to climb she loosed some automatic fire in James's direction.
The gantry erupted in flames.
The explosions made the gantry rock and the bannisters crack.
The gantry began to split, the floor cracked, Taschen jumped.
He grabbed on to the bannister and ran for the ladder, caught it and sprung up to the next level. She wasn't there.
He raced around the corner and almost fell off. She had greased the floor! He managed to grab the bannister and pull himself back up. As he raced around the next corner, he heard an ominous beep.
The C4 under the floor read three... two...
Taschen ran like he never had before.
As the C4 exploded, he grabbed the next ladder and narrowly avoided the licking flames and sharp shards of shrapnel.
The assassin was nowhere to be seen. He noticed, however, that the roof was only one floor up and climbed to reach the next floor.
The roof was at head height. He ran, sprung onto the bannister and jumped for the roof.
She was waiting for him. Her automatic fire ripped blazes from the floor as he ducked behind the elevator building. He heard her footsteps, and swung up onto the elevator roof. As he lay there, she came around the corner, and seeing he was not there, she said in a heavily-accented tone:
"You cannot hide forever, Mister Hunter."
She, however, did not notice the stun grenade on the floor and with the explosion of bright white light, Taschen rolled over to the other side of the elevator. As he ran around the corner, he tripped.
He looked back, her sleek silhouette towered over him, making Taschen realise that she was unaffected by the grenade.
As she stepped over and placed her foot over his groin, a helicopter's searchlight cracked on. She was bathed in a sickly yellow light. As she shot at the light, he kicked at her pelvis. A sickening crunch signified the end of her short flight. She moaned in pain as he flung himself up ninja-stylee and took a syringe from his belt. It had a blue band on the needle. He bent to inject her, and noticed the dark stain spreading from her head. He injected her and she ceased to struggle. He then took another syringe - this one marked with a red droplet - and injected the back of her head. He then dragged her limp body over to the now-landed helicopter, and flung her on the floor as he got in.
"Is she bleeding?" asked the helicopter copilot as he looked back into the cargo section.
"Not anymore." stated Taschen as he looked at her face in the dim light. She would have been beautiful, had her face not been contorted from the recent pain that the anaesthetic failed to cover.
All parties were silent as they flew through the night to headquarters.