The Train: Episode 7

When Michael left the two men, he had met up with Nicole and come up with a plan to handle Vargas. Michael knew if you wanted to bring down a man like Vargas, you had to hit him in the wallet.  His weapons of choice? Priscilla and the King of course. For Nicole he had something special in mind—the potato gun. Although the potato gun would not be invented for another nine years, Michael, in his weapon training, had learned about it from his father and remembered the materials he would need. After a visit to a local hardware store and the corner grocer, Michael began building the weapon. Once Dr. Ricer and Lucy were tucked safely away, he and Nicole headed for Jason Vargas’ warehouse, following the terrified Roland’s directions.

Vargas’ warehouse was large, well guarded, and surrounded by brick walls with two entrances providing access to the warehouse. As Michael stood on the sidewalk watching the building, he noticed that the street was lined with empty cars. Good. No point in an innocent getting pulled into this. He went over the plan one more time. Nicole should be in place by now. He held his breath, checked his watch and started counting.

“Like steps in a dance,” Michael told himself, settling his nerves. Pricilla rested in a shoulder holster, loaded with plastic bullets. Michael had plenty more tucked away in his pocket. Crossing the street, he tested the weight of the King, loaded with rock salt rounds.

Up ahead, he saw that the gate was locked tight. Michael threw the strap of the king over his right shoulder and focused on the lock as he closed his eyes. Everything came back to him just as clear as the day his father taught him:

Step 1: Get a pick and tension wrench.

Step 2: Place the tension wrench into the lower portion of the keyhole.

Step 3: Determine which way the cylinder must be turned to open the lock

Step 4: Insert the pick into the upper part of the keyhole and feel the pins.

Step 5: Push the stubborn pin up until it “sets.”

Step 6: Continue applying torque and repeat the last two steps for each of the remaining pins.

Step 7: Use the tension wrench to turn the cylinder and open the lock.

Michael reached into his pocket and removed his lock pick set.  Opening his eyes, he walked over to the gate and went to work on the lock. Click, it gave way. He had taken longer to remember the steps than he had to remove the lock.

He slid the gate open and turning toward the roof of the building across the street said,


On cue, from across the street, Nicole braced the homemade potato gun. She carefully took aim             on the window, pulled the pin from a tear gas grenade, dropped it into the barrel and fired. There was a loud pop followed by a burst of gas as the grenade spiraled through the air, crashing into the window.

Michael nodded approval and turned back to the warehouse, continuing to count.

Tucking the lock pick set back into his pocket, Michael removed the King from his shoulder. More pops went off as Nicole continued to fill the warehouse with gas. Men poured out of the building, choking and stumbling into the fresh air. Michael held out the King and said,

“All right, boys and girls, if you would kindly toss your weapons and lie flat on the ground.”

While they slowly dropped to the pavement, one man reached for his pistol through tear-filled eyes. Michael quickly sidestepped and raised the King, pulling the trigger. The weapon belted out rock salt, punching the man in the chest and throwing him backwards.

“Okie dokie,” Michael said as the unconscious man dropped to the ground. “Any other disagreements?”

The men remained still and silent.

“Thank you,” Michael said. “Now get up and run through the open gate. Oh and don’t forget to tell Mr. Vargas that Roth says hello.”

The men hesitated then fled through the gate.

“Wow that worked?” Michael said, a smile pulling up one corner of his mouth.

He glanced up at the rooftop and motioned to Nicole.

She put away the gun and disappeared from the ledge.


*          *             *

Jason Vargas straightened up as the limo pulled up outside the warehouse.

“How did they empty out my warehouse?” Vargas demanded.

He rolled down the window and stared in confusion at the warehouse. Just as he stepped out from the car, the warehouse suddenly exploded. He fell backwards covering his face. When the heat and fire died down, Vargas struggled to stand as he held on to the side of the car.

Carefully brushing himself off, he looked around. He noticed a man across the street watching him with an irritatingly smug smile. The man suddenly saluted him and walked away.

Turning back to what was left of his warehouse, Vargas growled through clinched teeth and balled his hands into fists.

Published in: on September 11, 2011 at 2:30 pm  Leave a Comment  

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