"Rudi! Rudi!?" Arno yelled at his partner who just went down, it was a hailstorm of bullets and at first Arno thought he couldn't hear him due to the gunfire.
He ducked at the 'zing' of a ricochet then a figure came around the first pickup where Rudi lied, Arno lifted his Glock and fired twice, the man wit the balaclava and AK-47 went down with a grunt.
Arno peeked over the hood of his vehicle and caught a glimpse of another through the window, he fell down on his side and fired at his feet underneath the vehicle, the robber wailed falling and Arno gave him another to the head, the third a same, shot in the feet, fall, shot in the head.
Arno had no idea how many there was, but he could make out that the three he took down had AK's, f**k knows how many Rudi took out before he went down.
"Rudi!" He tried again, but the man lied dead still.
"Fok man where is that backup!?" Arno yelled over his two way.
"Were coming Sauce! Stand fast!" He got a reply.
Movement! Arno lifted and fired at the one coming around the back but he fired as well, the man went down but a burn was left in his shoulder, he didn't bother looking, the adrenaline overwhelmed him.
Another peek over the hood and no movement, he ran haunched to the front pickup to inspect Rudi, but the red dot above his right eye and line of blood confirmed it.
The heat, adrenaline, the action! Arno wasn't the fittest of fuckers around so being overwhelmed he threw up as he headed to the front of the closest pickup.
Almost slipping in his own puke he peeked over the pickup again, there was another! Hiding behind a pot plant, that one saw him as well, they both aimed but Arno saw the rifle and dove for cover instead.
The AK roared away taring at the pickup he hid behind, in his mind he tried counting the shots but it's rate of fire was just to fast, but one thing that made him think was that the fucker kept it running full auto, not stopping, and soon enough 'Click'
Arno was up, he came out of cover and opened up, emptying the Glock as fast as he could, taring through the fiberglass pot plant and hitting the robber in the process.
The man went down with a bellow, it wasn't a kill shot, but after that trade of gunfire Arno worried there might be more and now they knew where he was, so he ran and quickly leapt into the back of the pickup.
Now there was silence, only the one he last shot moaned somewhere, Arno didn't dare move accept to quickly reload his pistol.
The silence was broken by the sounds of tyres screaming in the distance, he knew it was Butelezi and his partner Nzimandi, no one wanted to work with Butelezi because he was driving those Hilux pickups with balls of steel, not once fearing it might topple over, only Nzimandi agreed to ride with him.
The tyre squeals came into the parking lot of the shopping center, Arno heard the screech as they stopped, then the doors slam, Butelezi and Nzimandi probably went in on foot now.
"Tomato sauce!" Arno heard Butelezi yell.
"In the back of the bakkie!"
Arno heard the quick steps of haunched men then he saw the African man peek into the back of the pickup.
"Fok Sauce! You're shot!"
Arno now looked at his arm, there was red everywhere, coating the pickup cab by now, the sleeve of his jumpsuit blood red instead of it's navy blue.
"Fok I just realised!" He yelled.
"Bliksem Sauce check yourself!"
Arno quickly left the Glock with his right hand and touched the sleeve. The AK round went right through, taking a piece of the nylon into his flesh, he took it out then dug with his finger in the hole, there he felt his humerus bone.
"It went right through! But only nicked the bone!"
"How the fok do you know it nicked the bone!?"
"I stuck my finger in the hole man!"
Arno heard Nzimandi gag.
"You crazy fucker!"
"Is it clear?" Arno asked.
"Looks that way, what could you figure in terms of a getaway car?" Butelezi asked.
"There was two, one was a silver Beemer, but it took off, the other is that white Audi over there, I think the driver jumped out and joined the fight" Arno said peeking over the cab to scan the parking lot.
"It seems they're all gone" Butelezi said.
"Or dead" Nzimandi added.
"Control come for Tac1" Butelezi called over his two way.
"We need an ambulance as well, officer down, and one wounded"
Arno dropped his head and let go of the pistol, now that the heat was over the shock finally took him and he passed out.
When he opened his eyes again there was no noise accept the peeps of the heartbeat monitor. He looked around, an ICU ward, alone in the room.
Arno brought his arm over and touched the wound, it was all already stitched up so he sighed and dropped back.
The doors opened and his CEO walked in, along with Butelezi.
"Ah, Tomato sauce is finally awake?" Brits said slapping his leg.
'Tomato sauce' Arno thought, if you had to take his surname 'De Sousa' and say sous instead of Sousa, that means sauce in Afrikaans, and they called him tomato sauce because this isn't the fist time Arno had bled for Brits' company.
"Boss, you brought me my performance bonus?" Arno asked still dazed form the morphine he was on.
"You know, I might actually have to raise your fokkin performance bonus, and give you danger pay! How many times have you been in a shootout now?"
Arno counted in his head "Uh, this was five"
"You're a bullet magnet Sauce, maybe you should look for another job?" Brits said chuckling.
"Are you firing me?"
"No, just saying, it sounds like a healthy decision"
Arno sighed, he was twenty five now, and already he's faced death five times, that's once for every five years of his life as a security officer.
"I got a call from someone looking for men like you" Brits continued.
"Men like me?"
"No wife, no children, not afraid of s**t, can handle a weapon"
"Ok? For what?"
"Didn't say, they offered a hefty salary, and a retirement fund"
"Also didn't say..."
"Well, guess it's worth a try, I mean, I can only get lucky in gunfights that much"
Brits nodded and slapped his leg "I think you made a wise choice boet, I don't want your dead body on my hands, Rudi was the second man I lost in my twenty years of running this company, so those people said they will come see you here tomorrow"
Arno nodded and waved at them as they left.