Countdown, Part Fourteen

Continued from Part Thirteen

Snyder tapped his chin. A slight frame like Rawlings could get through the maze of knives. Where’s Beanpole when you need him?

Snyder removed his boot and pulled the acid from the false bottom. “I got an idea.” Snyder put the acid in his Colt’s barrel. He aimed for the ceiling. God, please, this has to work. He fired. The bullet ripped through the roof.

Snyder put his boot back on. “Wait a minute.” He stared at his watch for what felt like an hour. “Sarge, give me a boost.”

Kendell boosted Snyder up.

At Snyder’s impact, the weakened ceiling panel gave way. Sunlight peaked through the opening. Snyder pulled him-self onto the roof.

Kendell said, “Snyder, set the charge. I’ll throw a grappling hook up.”

Snyder walked as if making giant steps in a game of Mother May I. Kendell made it onto the roof as he approached within ten feet of the Communications room. Snyder said, “Watch your step.”

Kendell smirked. “Thanks, I’d fall to my death without your helpful advice.”

Snyder took five more giant steps. “Sarge, I’m over the communications room.”

“Plant your charges and get back.”

Snyder set the charges to thirty seconds, took six steps back, and ducked.

The charge went off. Snyder and Kendell ran to the hole. Snyder jumped through the hole, gun drawn, and landed on his feet. 

Rawlings was typing on a work-station like there was no tomorrow.

Snyder fired his Colt in the air.

Rawlings stopped typing.

Snyder smiled. “Aw, I thought you were in a hurry to eliminate your carbon footprint? I forgot, a bullet to the brain isn’t your preferred method. Yours in-volves classical music as you drift off to Nirvana. A painful death you leave for your brainwashed minions or the average man on the street. Get your hands up and back away from the console.”

Kendell rappelled in and glared at Snyder. “The standard procedure is to rappel down, not jump like you’re the Human Fly.”

Snyder said, “It caught her off guard.”

“Yeah, she wasn’t expecting some-thing so dangerous and foolhardy.”

“Sarge, with all due respect, are you my mother?”

Kendell winced like he’d slapped her. “No, but maybe I could have been.”

Huh? Mama Borden was in her six-ties, and his egg donor would be in her forties, if she hadn’t ODed yet.

Sergeant Kendell trained her riffle on Rawlings. “All right, sister, on the ground, face down, now.”

Rawlings obeyed. Kendell searched her and removed a couple items. “Snyder, take the computer. Copy important files over. Anything that relates to the crime, but doesn’t have any recipes or formulas for her virus.”

“Shouldn’t we radio Dread?”

Kendell ripped the radio off Snyder’s belt and jumped on it. She ripped her own off and did the same. “Sorry, our radios were damaged when we went through the roof. As the NCO, I had to make the best judgments I could.” Her gaze narrowed at Snyder, her gun drawn. “Do we understand one another?”

What’s going on here? “Yes, Sarge.”

Continued Next Thursday

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