A/N: Yes, I'm a bitch. I know this. But please, at least wait until I post the next chapter before hunting me down...?
The drive across the city was an anxious one. They rode for the most part in silence, with that silence only broken by Deakins as he frantically tried to reach someone who could call off the demolition.
“Why the hell would they schedule a demolition for Sunday evening?” Carolyn wondered, clinging for dear life to the door and the dashboard as Alex took a turn way too fast. “Who would want to work that, anyway?”
“Anyone who wants to rake in the overtime,” Alex said through gritted teeth.
“There is still a large percentage of people who don’t want that building demolished,” Deakins said, even as he dialled yet another number. “By scheduling demolition for a Sunday evening, they’ll probably have protesters there, but the risk of an injunction stopping it now is a lot slimmer than if they did it on a weekday. You know what legal process is like on a Sunday afternoon.”
“We’re never going to get there in time,” Carolyn said, her eyes flickering to her watch.
“The hell we won’t,” Alex snarled as she shifted the SUV into a higher gear and pushed forward even harder. “I know a few shortcuts. Just hang on.”
Mike stirred and groaned as he came slowly back to awareness, and to the discomforting sensation of concrete beneath his body.
“Ah, crap…” he muttered, but made no effort to try and sit up. He was fairly certain that he didn’t have the strength left to move, anyway.
The taste of blood in his mouth was strong now. With every minute that passed, his lungs filled with more blood, and pushed that blood into his windpipe, steadily cutting down on the amount of oxygen being fed through his body. It wouldn’t be long before the blood started to choke him, cutting off his air supply entirely and causing him to suffocate and drown at the same time.
He looked around at Bobby, but the big detective was asleep… or unconscious, Mike didn’t know which. From the looks of it, Mike guessed that Bobby had finally given in to the shock that had been threatening to overcome him for the last twenty-four hours, and if that was the case, then it was more likely that he had slipped into a coma.
Mike sighed inwardly and looked away again. Asleep or unconscious, what did it matter? All it meant in the end was that Bobby would not be awake when the explosives detonated, whenever that happened to be. He wouldn’t be awake to suffer that last flash of pain… that last moment of terrifying awareness as their world literally collapsed and caved in around them.
For Bobby, the pain was already over.
He coughed again, a wracking cough that sent shards of pain through his chest, and felt blood bubble up in his throat and overflow from his mouth, running over his chin and down his neck. No, he thought dimly as he found himself starting to struggle for each and every breath that he took. It wouldn’t be long now.
A loud beeping sound caught his attention, and he looked around dazedly, a small and irrational part of his mind telling him that maybe help was coming after all. But he heard no voices, or any other sounds. It was just the same penetrating silence as before, a silence that would have truly driven him mad without Bobby’s company.
He was about to dismiss the sound as a figment of his imagination when, with a brief buzz, the lights suddenly cut out.
Mike lay in the darkness, his heart pounding. Even in his exhausted mind, the cutting of power to the building meant only one thing. Ignoring the pain and nausea, Mike used what little strength he had left to push himself up onto his elbows, and look around in the darkness. After a long moment, he found what he was searching for.
Over by the support pillar, the explosives that Bobby had originally spotted now displayed a flashing red light that lit up the darkness like some kind of evil eye. Mike lay back down with a thud, feeling sick with anticipation and fear. The explosives had just been armed, and when that light switched to green… lights out.
His breath left him in a rush, but he barely heard the ugly gurgling sound that the rising blood in his throat made.
No, it wouldn’t be long now.
They were the equivalent of five city blocks away from the site, with approximately five minutes to detonation, when Alex turned a corner and found herself trapped behind a stalled line of traffic.
“Shit!” Alex exploded, slamming her hands against the steering wheel in frustration.
“Traffic’s been stopped for the demolition,” Deakins said tensely, leaning forward in his seat and peering at the seemingly endless line of traffic that stretched out before them. “There’s no way we’ll get through here… Barek, what are you doing?”
Carolyn flashed Deakins a grim smile as she climbed out of the SUV and quickly pulled off her heavy coat.
“I topped out my fitness class at the Academy, sir. If I can run a mile in around five minutes, then I can make four or five city blocks in the same amount of time.”
She took off on foot without waiting for Deakins to give any sort of approval. A moment later, Alex did the same, grabbing the keys of the SUV and taking off after Carolyn.
It took only a split second after that for Deakins to make up his mind and follow suit, abandoning the SUV in the stalled traffic.
Big Joey Baker, wannabe-Mob boss and sociopath, stood in the midst of the crowd of protesters who had gathered to watch the demolition. Unlike the protesters, though, he eagerly anticipated the sight of the building imploding. His only regret was that he couldn’t watch the faces of the two cops when they died.
It was a sacrifice he was willing to make, though. Just knowing that they were in there, trapped and helpless to save their own sorry asses, was enough to nearly tip him over the edge of excitement.
In all honesty, he hadn’t been entirely sure if he could pull it off. Leaving the cops in the cage for two full days had been risky. All it would have taken was for some nosey bastard kid to go snooping, and word would have gone around like wildfire. He was fairly sure that he’d done a good job of making it known the building was off-limits to everyone in his territory, though.
And now, here it was, nearly six o’clock on Sunday evening, and it was almost time for the lights to go out for the cops, permanently.
Big Joe grinned as he checked his watch. Almost show time.
Carolyn ran faster than she ever had before in her entire life. Later, she would put it down to luck and divine intervention – not necessarily in that order – that she wasn’t hit by a car or anything else as she ran without any hesitation through each intersection.
She dodged her way past some people, and shoved her way unceremoniously past others, determined not to allow herself to be slowed down in any way.
She reached the end of the final block, only to be brought up short by the sight before her. Crowding the streets and the pathways was a veritable sea of people, and there appeared to be no conceivable way through.
There was movement at her shoulder, and she glanced around as first Alex and then Deakins came to a halt on either side of her.
“Oh no…” Alex whispered, distraught. “How are we going to get through that?”
Squaring his jaw, Deakins pulled out his shield with one hand and his gun with the other.
He strode forward, shield and gun held high, and bellowing at the top of his voice.
“NYPD! Out of the way! Move!”
Exchanging grim looks, Alex and Carolyn withdrew their shields and followed their captain into the crowd.
Tony Shore had been in the demolition business for a long time – forty-three years, to be precise – and never in his time had he witnessed such a frenzy over any one building. He was used to crowds. A demolition requiring precision implosions always attracted an audience, but never one as negative as this was. Right then, he wanted nothing more than to just hit the first trigger, start the implosion sequence and get it over and done with.
He glanced around with growing irritation at the crowd, which seemed to be divided in very distinct ‘for’ and ‘against’ sectors. As soon as this was over, he wanted to get the hell out as fast as possible, to avoid being lynched by the ‘against’ mob.
“Aw, fuck, what now…?”
Shore looked around, puzzled, at the angry muttering from his assistant, Russ Webb.
“What is it, Russ?”
“Check it out, over there. Those are cops, I’ll bet a week’s pay on it. Probably come to stop the demolition.”
Shore looked and, sure enough, making their way through the crowd with badges held high, were three cops. The man leading the way appeared to be trying to get his attention, shaking his head and signalling a cutting motion across his throat, an obvious indication to cease all activity.
“What do you reckon?” Webb asked. “Another fucking injunction?”
“Probably. Shit, I’ve had enough of this. This’ll be the fourth aborted job.”
Webb’s expression hardened noticeably. “No, it won’t.”
And, as Shore watched, Webb reached across and tapped the first trigger, starting the deadly sequence of implosions.
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