Countdown, Part Twelve

Continued from Part Eleven

Snyder glanced over his shoulder. “Dread, what about Morgan?”

Dread bowed his head. “They got him.”

Nice act. You’re as sorry as you would be if I’d bought it. But there’s no time. “Sir, I recommend we put aside our differences for now and find a way out.”

“Private, I’ll accept that recommendation because I have no choice. Do you have a plan?”

“No, I have a lighter. If you can get a hand loose, you could set the ropes on fire. We could break them when they get hot enough.”

“I have a better idea. I can get both hands free, if you give me a few minutes, and we can skip the third degree burns.”

“Good plan, sir.”

Dread wiggled, loosening the ropes nano-meter by nanometer.

Kendell’s clanging in the air duct redounded.

Dread freed his hands and untied Snyder. “My uncle was an escape artist. He raised me. He was very successful. Left me a nice estate after I terminated him.”

Snyder grimaced. Dread would per-petrate the same evil his egg donor did to Grandma.

Dread folded his arms. “Now, wise guy, how are you going to get us out of here?”

“Watch.” Snyder removed his boot and opened the false compartment in the bottom with a small knife, a small glass cutter, a lock pick, and a small vile of acid.

“Where’d you get that boot?”

“Army Intelligence catalog.”

“There’s an Army Intelligence cata-log?”

“Yeah, mainly for field agents. This can come in pretty handy.”

Dread whistled. “I’d take it over a Swiss Army knife.”

Snyder put the glass cutter to the door and made a circular motion, cutting a wide hole in the glass. Snyder pushed the glass through the hole. It shattered on the floor.

“Smooth, private. Good thing the fruitcake didn’t take away our boots.”

Snyder and Dread skipped across the glass to where Rawlings had left Snyder’s backpack and their weapons.

Dread said, “Snyder, set the charge.”

“Sir, with all due respect, we need to get Sergeant Kendell out first.”

“No, we have to get out of here before Dr. Fruitcake learns of our escape and pumps this whole facility full of gas.”

“Sir, the Army Field manual says on page 375, ‘Leave no soldier behind.’”

“The law now is survival of the fittest, not survival of the fattest.”

A cry came from the air duct. “Stand clear! Fire in the whole in three . . .”

Snyder hit the floor. “Duck.”

Continued Next Thursday

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