Stoner's already crippled left leg, causing the huge agent to crash to the floor with a hiss of suppressed pain and rage.

Maas was still smiling, his eyes gleaming with the sensory rush, as Dwight Stoner started to pull himself back up, his eyes fixed on the face of the man he fully intended to take apart with his powerful bare hands, if he could ever get close enough.

The second. 22 projectile shattered Stoner's right kneecap, and he crashed to the floor again. The sole sound in the entire chamber was that of Dwight Stoner as he forced himself up onto his hands and knees, only ten feet away now, as he started forward again.

Gerd Maas was lost in the adrenaline rush, and he never noticed the red dot that appeared on his right shoulder as he brought the. 22 target pistol up again to carefully place the third shot… but he certainly felt the impact of the single 5.56mm bullet that tore through his shoulder and caused the target pistol to clatter to the floor.

Reacting with catlike instincts, Maas reached for his belt knife with his left hand. The red dot traveled to his left shoulder, which the second 5.56mm bullet hit, tearing through bone and muscle and sending the knife clattering to the floor, where it lay next to the pistol.

Then Gerd Maas looked up as Henry Lightstone stepped out of the shadows, a stainless-steel Rolex on his wrist and Kimiko Osan's laser-aimed Colt Commando in his bruised and bloody hands.

'You know, Maas,' Lightstone said as he walked slowly toward the still-standing ICER leader, 'that guy on the floor who was coming after you told me about a game once. It was called bunnies and guppies. Big playing field, shitpot full of rules, no referee.'

Then Lightstone smiled pleasantly. 'You know what else he said?'

Gerd Maas blinked his pale eyes, but didn't say anything.

''Last man standing wins.''

'You can't-' Maas started to say, and then the red dot swung down and two 5.56mm bullets tore through the knees of the ICER counterterrorist, sending him sprawling to the floor within a few inches of Dwight Stoner. The ex-Oakland-Raider-tackle-turned-wildlife-agent looked at the shining red dot that was now focused between Gerd Maas's glassy eyes and smiled.

'Henry, don't do it,' the voice of A1 Grynard said behind Henry Lightstone's back, but the red dot never wavered.

'I'm not going to kill him,' Lightstone said after a moment. 'I'm going to arrest the bastard.'

'But I told you… you can't arrest me,' the counterterrorist leader rasped. 'You can't prove-'

'I can't prove that you killed Paul McNulty or Carl Scoby. And I can't prove that you blew up a bunch of environmentalists, or cut the throat of a little bear cub, or shot an airplane out from under a guy who can't hardly fly to begin with,' Lightstone nodded.

'But what I can prove,' the coldly smiling agent said huskily as he shifted the red dot of the laser sight to a thin strip where the skin had been gouged out from Maas' rhino-hide boot, 'is that you killed a mama Kodiak on a National Wildlife Refuge, and that you killed her illegally, which is going to get you ten years in a federal penitentiary.

'And while you're serving those ten years,' Henry Lightstone added as FBI agents moved in to assist Dwight Stoner and take the crippled ICER assault group leader into custody, 'if I can ever prove that you so much as plucked a tail feather from a goddamned duck, then I'm going to charge you with that, too.'

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