Back in the casino, Snyder retrieved another drink for Stefan and returned to Cutler. Stefan was on some losing streak.
Stefan cursed. “Are you certain this blasted machine isn’t rigged?”
“Our machines are honest.” The owner reached his hand into his pocket.
Stefan hit 3 lemons.
He took a drink. “Now that I’m on a winning streak: let the good times roll.”
He won two of the next three pulls.
Honest my foot. Snyder glanced at the secret service’s monitors. Right on schedule, on Camera 5, a man with a dynamite vest came on the screen.
A secret service agent gasped. “Oh my Herald, he’s got a bomb!” The secret service agent grabbed Stefan. “We’re outta here.”
Stefan cursed. “I’m about to get even!”
“You’re about to be dead.”
Stefan ran out along with the Secret Service detail. They shoved him in a limo and drove off. The Hotel emptied out.
Two buses pulled up outside and were filled by escaping guests and staff, including Verducci. They boarded the buses in time for more people to run out. The three hundred “students” had to stand aside. Snyder sighed in disgust. If the bomb went off, the pleasure slaves were insured.
A cattle carrier semi-truck pulled up out front as the third and fourth buses arrived. The slaves were loaded on the semi. Snyder watched their march: four-year-olds first, sixteen year olds last. They were all but mooing as they went up into the truck, heads down.
The third and fourth buses left and so did the cattle carrier. The Las Vegas PD pulled up in four squad cars.
Cutler said, “Private, I can handle this from here. You better get back to base.”
Snyder nodded. He walked behind the bathroom stall where the army van sat. He changed out of his dress uniform into his work uniform. He got in the driver’s seat and pulled out from behind the men’s room and drove off after the human carrier.
Half a mile down the road, Snyder hit a stop light. Shijo and McGraw jumped in.
McGraw said, “I’m driving.”
Snyder moved over. “Fine by me.”
McGraw drove down the road. “Phase one, complete. It looked absolutely beautiful from where I sat, kid. Your old man couldn’t have done better.”
“Given that the old man in my life is a pacifist, I’ll agree, but thanks anyway.”
“Stubborn, too.” McGraw glanced back. “Shijo, are you ready?”
“Don’t insult my professionalism. Keep an eye on the road.”
“Don’t insult me, either. I’ve been doing this since before the kid was in Pampers.” McGraw grabbed the CB mic. “Attention, all police vehicles in the Vicinity of I-515, Military Emergency, Code Zebra 78.”
A voice over the CB responded. “Nevada State Police. Acknowledged.”
McGraw hunched down. “All right, I just got me a license to speed.”
He hit the freeway at 190 KPH with a green emergency light flashing. They were on top of the human carrier in five minutes.
McGraw slowed to 112 KPH as they came alongside the carrier. Shijo climbed out the sunroof and jumped onto the semi-truck. He shimmied towards the driver’s door.
McGraw passed the carrier and turned off the emergency light. “Come on, kid. Let’s meet up at the Rendezvous.”
Snyder raised an eyebrow. “How do you know Shijo will get the driver?”
“If he doesn’t, we’d have a heck of a time stopping that thing ourselves. When you have a plan, you gotta have faith in your team.“
Five minutes later, Snyder and McGraw stood outside a twenty story vertical farm, just off the Interstate. The carrier drove up and parked behind their van. Snyder pulled the latex glove on his right hand tighter.
Shijo jumped down from the carrier’s cab. “As Cutler requested, the driver is alive, but won’t be up and about for a long while.”
McGraw nodded. “Let’s get the back opened up.”
Snyder and McGraw put on ski masks and opened the carrier door.
A stream of bullets greeted them.
McGraw threw Snyder down. Snyder’s head slammed into a supernova that burst inside his skull. Beats a noose.
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