The force of the explosion, rocked the floor as it seismically slammed through the corridor, shaking fixtures and piping from the ceiling and almost knocking him to his knees as he struggled to keep moving before the guards could find and repay him for his attack on their missile. As chips of ceiling plaster settled, he heard sirens begin their electric wailing. The whole base would now know they are under attack.
– = Ξ = –
Wayne, leaned back into his chair and reread the paragraph. Good, good. I like it and think the fans are going to love, “seismically slammed”.
– = Ξ = –
In his mind, Darius replayed how the timed charge he had attached to the giant fuel tank, would have blown through the hull of the missile to and ignite the fuel. It would have lit the midnight sky, consumed the missile and the launch tower in huge plumb of blinding orange-white plasma.
If killed now, Darius Mace would be an unknown hero back home for saving a city of 1.3 million souls from a terrorist missile threat that only a few knew was imminent.
The shock wave passed and he resumed running. He still had to rescue Emma.
The lights flickered as normal power began to fail but emergency batteries cut in and the lights stabilized. He could see without pulling out his torch and the corridor was still passable. Perfect, he thought. Emma’s cell is about 85 seconds away.
He pulled his arm away from the wall as he stood and noticed a blood smear. Surprised, he lifted and rotated his wrist to check his arm and sure enough, something had cut right through his shirt and left him with a nasty gash and a spreading blood stain. I’ll live, he concluded and resumed his run, jumping over fallen file cabinets and sparking conduits while following his memorized map to Emma’s cell. He almost slipped at the first right turn turn then again while taking the second left to reach the holding cells. Ah, windows in each door — excellent — but why is one door partially open?
There was a scuffing sound from inside the cell as he quietly approached while pulling out his H&K USP 9mm pistol. He glanced inside and was relieved to see that this was indeed Emma’s cell and she had already neutralized a guard who, why was he here? likely was thinking of recreation and was interrupted by the explosion but then — what?
Holding his gun on the downed guard, he said, “Good evening, Lieutenant Parker. What did you do to this guy? It looks a lot like . . . “
“. . . A flying roundhouse kick to the neck? Absolutely. You know me too well Colonel but you can relax, Sir. I felt his neck snap. He bought my poor defenseless woman act last night, lowered his guard a few moments ago so I excused him from the gene pool.”
“Underestimating you really is bad for a man’s health.”
She ignored him and answered, “Give me a moment. He’s laying on a pistol I’ve taken a fancy to. — Ugh! Come on — move already. Got it! Let’s go.” She released the magazine to check the ammo on her new weapon, snapped it back into place and pulled the slide to chamber a round. “Don’t we have a sub to catch?”
– = Ξ = –
Wayne, paused to think. Some are going to be annoyed that I didn’t have her found with her clothes off again, but they can go back and reread chapter four if it’s that important to them..
– = Ξ = –
Emma, took the lead as they ran toward the exit. As soon as they entered the long main hallway, they heard a door slam in the distance from the direction Darius had just come. Then they heard Arabic yelling. They both knew that this part of their escape would likely be discovered and they would be chased as they tried to leave the building.
“Emma, hold on, I’ve got the hallway charge ready.” He pulled the small explosive from his belt, pealed off a paper backing to uncover the adhesive pad and slapped it against the wall beside a cabinet where it would be hard to see from their pursuers view. He pressed a first button to arm the charge with a default 20 second delay. A second press added 10 more seconds and his third press made it 40. Pressing and holding the button started the countdown.
“Go – go!” he said and they both continued their run down the long corridor. The yelling behind them got louder, and louder. Someone fired a shot which only dug into the wall someplace well behind them. Darius thought he could make out that the shooter being reprimanded for trying such a shot while running, but the voices got even louder and closer. “Emma, be ready. Any moment now.” BLAM!
The force of the charge, focused by the corridor walls almost deafened them and the shock wave pushed them forward. Emma kept her balance but Darius could not help but fall forward. He slid on the titled floor for several feet, but was instantly back up and running.
They no longer had any pursuers.
– = Ξ = –
Yea! Now that’s a fun scene! I can hear readers cheering.
– = Ξ = –
Minutes later they rounded a final dog-leg set of turns and arrived at the exit but quickly dodged into a nearby cabinet shadow when they heard a small group of guards coming. They sat silent and unseen as the guards ran in the direction of the cells.
Darius thought, Must be their duty to check on the prisoners. They’re going to find quite a mess.
“Emma, just outside and to the left is a small shed with a shadowed blind spot. We’ll be able to see our ride from there.” They quietly opened the door and slid out. Emma closed the door holding the handle open to secure it without a sound while Darius scanned the road with his pistol. Emma tapped his back when the door was secure. He silently raised a hand to signal it was time to move to the shadow beside the shack.
Sure enough, there was one of their abandoned military-grade Hummers, parked kitty corner from their hiding place – right where Darius had left it an hour ago.
– = Ξ = –
No one is going to like being reminded of all the equipment we left for our enemy to just pick up and use, but it’s a political reality we should never forget.
– = Ξ = –
Together they stepped into the shadow between the shed and the building. At the end, Darius paused to verify that the street was still clear. Silent and exposed, they kept their backs to the shed as they stepped to the nearest corner of a four-way intersection with their pistols up and scanning. “Clear” she whispered over her shoulder barely loud enough to be heard. Darius did not reply so she tapped his back.
Turning his attention to their ride, Darius noticed a guard stepping out from a shadow near their Hummer. His back was turned to them as he looked over the vehicle. He knows it’s out of place — must be a patrol guard who walks this way on his rounds and after the explosion is looking for anything out of place. He knows it was not here earlier.
“Let’s finish this,” he whispered back to Emma. “Cover me as I take this guy out.” He picked up a rock, crept across the street fully exposed and silently approached the man from behind. With the sirens still wailing and about 10 feet separating them, he threw the rock high and into the shadow behind the hummer to draw the man’s attention. It worked and Derek easily stepped close behind him and slit his throat. He also kicked his rifle away as the man dropped to his knees and clutched his neck.
Darius waved for Emma to join him as he covered each of the streets with broad sweeps. As she took the drivers seat and started the Hummer, Darius took the passenger side and adjusted the rear-view mirror so he could watch behind them as they drove off for the coast. “Keep your ears open Emma. That last explosion left mine ringing. I can barely hear anything now. “
They made it to the beach unchallenged and parked near his hidden Zodiac boat. The sirens were still whining as they pushed off the shore. Emma started the nearly silent electric motor and turned the boat for open water. Derek climbed into the bow to balance their weight then glanced at his watch. Eleven and a half minutes from explosion to to boat launch — not bad. He turned to look down the shoreline to see what used to be the missile tower still engulfed in rocket fuel flames.
After motoring nearly silently for 10 minutes, through a low coastal mist they could just make out the sub’s tower.
Darius met her at the bottom of the sub’s tower ladder, patted her shoulder and said, “Very nicely done lieutenant. The captain promised to have a warm dinner waiting for us. Let’s see how good his word is.”
“Thanks but I haven’t seen a clean bathroom in a week. I’m going to take over a shower to clean up first but that’s all the head start you’re going to get. You should keep the plaster dust and dried blood look for a while though. It helps sustain your hero image.”
Darius snorted and smirked.
Emma continued, “These two heroes maybe damned dirty and hungry but at least one of us isn’t going to stink up the place. I’ll catch you in the mess hall Colonel after I de-ree.” She tried to straighten her soiled and torn shirt and push her matted hair back away from her eyes and sarcastically added, “I also need some fresh clothes, and just a few minutes to perm my hair and apply some makeup — Sir.”
Darius shook his head, smiled and thought, heroes — indeed.
– = Ξ = –
Wayne pressed SAVE and closed his laptop. He pushed from the desk and expertly spun his wheelchair towards the bathroom. His bladder and bowels were full after the long afternoon focus on his story. Losing both legs and most of the muscle in his right arm three years ago in Afghanistan had left him with a complicated process of transferring from his chair to the toilet but he landed just in time to safely let everything go. Whew, he thought — still enjoying the adrenaline rush of his closing chapter, Damn but I miss being that unknown Navy Seal.
Thanks to the Naval Open Source INTellignence organization for the free use of the photo used in this story.