Chapter 5: Raid and Kill

Dominique parked the pink microbus in the rear lot of the abandoned museum.

"You still got that infrared camera, Reg?" Edison asked, referring to the one he'd used in the attempt to bring Paddy Ashton's killers to justice.

Reg dug the camera out of a pile of equipment he kept in the back of the microbus and waved it at Edison. "Right here." he said. "We'll also need this," he added, producing a crowbar. "Little gift from an old friend I ran into a few days ago."

"Breughal or Mahler?" Edison asked, raising an eyebrow.

"Both," Reg laughed. "Though Breughal was the one who kindly donated this baby. Wasn't too keen on parting with it, mind you."

Reg and Edison stepped out of the Big Time microbus with the camera and crowbar.

From the back the museum looked like an old warehouse. There were three loading doors, all locked. Five trucks were parked in back in various places. Two were missing all six of their tires. One looked like it had been converted into living space for a short time, but was currently empty.

Edison wondered if the occupant had moved on permanently or if they would return.

Shelby pulled up on her motor-trike.

"What do we have for infiltration equipment?" she asked as she and the others converged.

Reg showed her the camera and crowbar.

"It'll do," she decided. "We'll have plenty of artillery once we're in. Okay, Reg you're the strongest of the three of us. Can you break the padlock off one of those doors with that crowbar? Don't open the door yet. It might be alarmed."

"Sure thing, love," Reg grinned. He took the crowbar over to the middle door. After three tries, the old and rusted lock finally broke away.

"Okay, now," Shelby said. "Raise the door just a foot. We should be able to roll under it. Edison and I will go in. Reg, you'll have to stay here and stand guard."

Reg gave her the thumbs up and slowly raised the door until it was up about a foot.

It was a tight squeeze, but Edison and Shelby managed to get through.

They stood up in the dim light.

"We need to find the right exhibit hall," Edison said.

"There'll be visitors' maps in the lobby," Shelby told him as she headed down toward the store room door.

They passed weapons of every kind as they walked through the store room. Edison picked up one and looked at it appreciatively.

"It's just a gatling," Shelby shrugged. "Leave it."

"If people knew this stuff was here," Edison breathed as he followed her, not wanting to think of the outcome.

They reached the lobby. The racks held various pamphlets, but it was too dark to make them out.

It was too risky to switch on a light, so Edison switched on the infrared camera and turned it to it's night time reading mode.

After scanning several pamphlets that offered lectures on the Peloponnesian War, Crimean War, and the evolution of weapons, Edison finally found the Russian exhibit pamphlet.

Turning opening it, he found what he was looking for.

"It's in the south wing of the museum," he said.

With a curt nod, Shelby headed in that direction, Edison quickly following her.

The cannisters were behind a set of velvet ropes. They were positioned in a tableau of a battle scene. Figures of Russian troops were posed in eternal preparation for some long forgotten raid.

Two of them were holding cannisters.

Shelby unhooked one of the ropes and set it down.

Lights came on and alarms began to flare.

"Shit!" Shelby swore. "They alarmed the rope. I wasn't expecting that. We've got to hurry!"

She removed the cannisters from the plastic soldiers' hands, giving one to Edison while she kept the other. She also grabbed a third cannister, this one looking much different, and began to run.

Edison followed her.

In the storage room, they were met by a phalanx of eight metrocops.

Without warning, Shelby threw down the third cannister she'd picked up. The room began to fill up with smoke. With her now free hand, she grabbed Edison and led him toward the door.

Once they were outside, they saw Reg cradling his hand and standing by one metrocop who was lying on the floor, alive but unconscious.

"He'll be alright," Reg told them as they raced back to the microbus.

"I'll follow you on the motor-trike," Shelby told them. "I'm not leaving Screamer."

A terrifying silence had filled the room that Bryce was in. Even the terrorists had gone silent. From time to time he felt a gun against some part of his body, head, spine, limb. Then the cylinder was pulled away and he heard the footsteps as the gunman went to torment one of the other hostages.

There was a burst of gunfire and pain exploded in Bryce's right shoulder. The bullets stopped hitting him, but the sound of gunfire continued until he heard another boy scream and fall abruptly silent.

Another kill.

Bryce thought he'd recognized the boy's voice. Was it Demetrius Jackson, he wondered. The boy had been in the top five in their class. They had worked on several projects together.

Another burst of gunfire told him that they had also killed a girl just as they'd promised.

He prayed it wasn't Jenny.

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