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Smith saw a bright flash of light. She was suddenly tackled to the floor and felt someone covering her with their body. Smith saw a metal cylinder roll into the middle of the room and stay there. She broke into a cold sweat as she recognized the device.
It wasn’t a grenade or a bomb. Something far worse.
“Keep still!” she hissed to everybody. She stared at the device, willing everybody to keep still. If it detected any movement…
She did not know it had fired. There was no sign except for the scream of pain. She didn’t dare move her eyes to look – even eye movement would set it off. She heard the person hit the floor, wriggling in pain as the person’s body fought against the poison. She nearly moved her eyes to see who was hit, but she just managed to keep her eyes still. She now heard the puff of air as more and more arrows were launched and hit the person. Smith felt her heart ache as she thought of the agents she had met tonight. She may have just met them, but she wished none of them had moved. She heard the eleventh puff of air and then click. Click.
She breathed a sigh of relief. It only had eleven shots. She pushed the person off her and looked down. It was Washington. She turned and looked around. “Who’s not dead?”
Four voices chorused that they were alive. It was the other four. Then who…? Smith and the others all looked around. Then her eyes settled in the doorway where there was a body in black lying in a pool of blood with eleven arrows in the persons body. Smith went over to the corpse – careful not the step in the blood – and took a look at the body. The person had a helmet on and was wearing a black body suit. There was no sign of who the person was or what organisation belonged to. But she already knew. She stood up and looked over at the device and shiver ran up her spine. She knew what organisation the dead person had belonged to. It was just a case of unfortunate timing and forgetfulness that the person had came charging in to soon. Or maybe the person was told to, not knowing about the device. To send a message to me.
Smith then realised that she had been standing there for several seconds. They had just lost precious time. “We need to go,” she ordered and stepped over the body and out into the hallway. Already she heard the sound of people entering the hotel. The place would be surrounded and they would shut off all exits. They couldn’t go onto the roof. She already heard the thump…thump…thump… of a helicopter outside.
“How do we get out?” Cooper asked.
Then Smith had an idea. There was a very low chance they would be able to slip out that way, but it was the only way out with a chance at survival.
He ran up the stairs, gun sweeping the whole area as he went. He kept feeling the men’s eyes on him. He knew that they were wondering why he was on this mission. After all, the Alpha never went on a mission. Never put himself in the line of fire. It had been the tradition for generations. This time, though, he threw all care to the wind. There was a very pressing reason he had chosen to abandon protocol as this was something that he had to tend to personally. He entered the hallway first and drew up in surprise at the dead bodies lying around. The Nazis…
Idiots never listen.
He stepped over the bodies and did not even glance at the body of one of his men in the doorway to the theatre. The man had served his purpose. He looked around the room. It was empty – just as he had thought. He saw the device still in the centre of the room, no longer active. He turned to the two men behind him, sweeping the room. “Find them.”
Cooper held her breath as she heard the faint echo of footsteps above them. She looked around the tight fit. Smith had led them to a laundry chute and had them slide down it one at a time. They had landed in a small, cramped space at the bottom with a washing machine and dryer, which made it even more cramped. Someone’s elbow was pressing into her nose. Cooper kept her eyes riveted on the chute, wishing that they would not be discovered.
The footsteps faded away. “I’m going to try and find a way out of here,” she heard Smith whisper. “Keep still and keep quiet.”
Yeah. Good luck with that.
Cooper heard a grunt and a groan as Smith and some of the men tried to shift position. The elbow pressed harder into her nose. She was very tempted to snap at the person who was pressing into her nose when she heard the sound of something opening and some moon light streamed into the building. Then a shadow blocked out the light.
“Put your hands up!”
The shadow fell away and they all squeezed out. As Cooper climbed out, she saw the body of one of the men lying there with two bullet holes in his chest. She scooped up his gun, making sure it still had plenty of bullets in it, then slung it across her shoulder. “Go to other rendezvous point,” Smith whispered as she lowered her gun with the silencer. “I’ll meet you there. There is something I need to do first.”
Not having time for questions, they all slipped away into the shadows, over the train tracks and away into the night.
Smith crouched in the shadows by the door and watched the others leave. Once she could no longer see them, Smith looked around and made sure that no-one was around or coming, then set to work. It was time to send a message of her own.
The Alpha stood there with his eyes closed. What would I do if I was her? Where would I go? He pictured himself in her shoes in the situation. She would try to make sure they all stayed still. She would be able to guess from the device who was involved. At least the message had worked. She would then assess their situation, keeping in mind how they would operate. What would she do then? Standing there, imagining things from her perspective, he suddenly knew. Motioning for two of his men to follow him, he made his way outside, trying to find the entrance to the laundry. The police would be there soon. But they would be gone before they arrived. The Alpha already had a few of his men in pretend police cars posted around the place with sirens wailing and lights on to make it look it was already being investigated. He knew that any evidence that they were there would be wiped away – except for any evidence against the five agents.
He found the entrance to the laundry when he found the body of one of his men. He did not know the man’s identity, but that was irrelevant. What was relevant was the message that was written in blood on the door. Dread twisted in his gut as he read the message. The message wasn’t signed, but he knew who had written it.
He walked away, dreading the report that he had to give. He knew what his superior would say – or more likely do – to him because of her. They had been warned. Her message was clear.
Yes, the line in read is a paraphrase of John McClain’s line in “Die Hard”. I don’t own that line, the awesome brains behind the “Die Hard” script do. I’m not trying to steal your work, “Die Hard” creators, I simply love that line, and it really fits. I am not trying to steal credit or anything.
In case anyone is wondering, I will explain more on that device at the start of this chapter in the next chapter.
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