Jasfoup executed a Cappa Ferra scansa, drawing his right arm up against the outside of Andrews' elbow while his left hand swept along the soldier's arm and relieved him of the pistol. He held it to the young soldier's head. "And I didn't tell you to give me your gun but you did anyway." His gaze flickered up to the other two soldiers. "Lower your weapons, please."
They did nothing of the sort. Jasfoup hesitated. It was against policy to actually cause the death of a mortal unless they were malingering past their due death so he was reluctant to actually shoot anyone. Was this stalemate? Young Andrews was certainly sweating. He tried another tactic.
"Take your helmet off."
"You heard me."
"But there's –"
"A potential virus."
"What sort of virus?"
"Dunno. They don't tell us that sort of thing. Ebola, maybe. A flesh-eating disease? We're just clean-up."
"I see." Jasfoup turned him around so he formed a shield between Jasfoup and the two other soldiers, the pistol still pointed at his head. "Do I look as if I have it?"
"No, but the symptoms may not have developed yet or you might be a carrier."
"Good point. Take your helmet off ." Jasfoup flicked off the safety catch. Andrews looked at his friends and one of them nodded. He reached up to undo the clasps.
Now, either the nod was to tell Andrews I had actually released the safety catch or else it was to tell him they'd rush forward the moment Jasfoup's sight was obscured by the bulky helmet. The demon was taking no chances either way. The moment the attention of all three soldiers was focussed on the helmet he opened a portal and was gone, leaving nothing but a slightly blackened circle of grass behind.
Andrews braced for impact as the two soldiers rushed forward. The usual response in such situations was to allow himself to be carried into the terrorist like a battering ram, forcing them off balance and thus more easily disarmed and disabled. What he didn't expect was to be bowled over for the second time in five minutes, this time with two armed soldiers on top of him. It knocked the wind out of him.
"You! You three morons! What are you doing rolling on the ground? This is supposed to be an operation in progress not a school playground. And why have you taken off your helmet, Andrews?"
"Sorry Sarge." Andrews rolled over onto his hands and knees and rose. There was a bloke here. He threatened us with a hair full of bacteria and stole my sidearm."
"Have you been drinking Andrews? You're on a charge. There's your gun there." He pointed to the ground next to them. "Though you'll have to file a report about the damage to His Majesty's property."
Andrews picked up the pistol. It was laid over a circle burned into the grass but the barrel, which had faced into the circle, had been sheared off as if by a guillotine, and was nowhere to be seen.