The Train: Episode 9

Just as James was lining up the sights of the rifle to take aim at Roth’s head, he heard a low growl from somewhere far back in the long dark room. Letting out his breath, he slowly leaned away from the spy hole and looked around. When he saw that the room was empty, he turned back and once again focused on Roth’s head. Deep within the shadowed recesses of the room came a loud click, almost like a gun hammer cocking back.

“That’s odd,” James said glancing around once again.

He shook his head and returned to his target.

“Got to focus. Can’t let Jason down,” he thought.

Just as he took aim, he heard the deep guttural growl again, closer now. When he snapped his head toward the sound, he saw a gray and white husky, one of its eyes closed tightly. Its teeth were bared, and the hair on the back of its neck stood up as the animal leaned forward, emitting a low growl.

“Great,” James said. “Jason must keep a guard dog back here.”

Although threatened by the dog’s warning behavior, James knew he couldn’t let a dog cause him to miss his chance to impress his big brother.

“One second, buddy. Let me just kill this guy, and I’ll leave. Promise,” James said as he turned back to Roth’s head.

“I wouldn’t do that if I were you, son,” a man’s low voice advised. James felt the cold press of a gun barrel at the back of his head.

“Who are you?” he asked.

Just before James felt something strike him across the back of the head and everything went black, he heard the man say in a thick western drawl,  “No one you need to worry about.”



*          *            *

As he stood between the bar and the tables, Michael took a quick look around the room. He counted thirty-two people, thirteen at the tables, two at the bar, five in the band, and twelve in the balcony.

Jason’s calm demeanor shifted for a moment then he said,

“Please, sit. I’m sure we can work things out.”

As the band finished its number and the bartenders poured drinks, the club looked like so many others—just a place for a good time. But Michael sensed that something was wrong. He glanced up at Nicole sitting at a table lazily sipping a drink while a guy tried to sweet talk her into taking him home.

“If working things out, as you say, means surrendering the police officer to me, then I agree. I’m sure we can too,” Michael said.

Jason’s plastic smile shattered and fell, revealing a contorted face of rage and hate.

“Fine,” he spat.

Suddenly everyone in the club turned toward Michael, each drawing a weapon.

As Michael’s mind switched into high gear, everything slowed and he remembered his father’s voice.

How to escape an ambush:

Step 1: Remain calm.

Michael slowed his breathing and focused his sights, clearing his mind.

Step 2: Identify the largest area of ambushers.

He concentrated on the people in front of him, the largest group. The tables seemed stable, and the chairs looked easy to lift.

Step 3: Charge your attackers.

Michael let his bag slide down his arm to the floor as he tightly gripped his cane.

“You don’t want to do this,” he warned Jason.

“Yes I do,” Jason answered with a cocky smile.

“Very well,” Michael said.

Step 4: Keep moving and stay close to your attackers. Never stand alone in the kill zone.

When Michael ran towards Jason’s table, he saw fear sweep across Jason’s face. He focused on the chair Jason had pushed toward him when he first arrived. Five steps in, Michael planted his left foot on the chair, pushed up, and fixed his right foot on the table. He leapt into the air, flipping over the front line of attackers, and landed with both feet on a nearby table. Bending his knees slightly, he pushed off again, leaping into the air like a gymnast on a padded floor, then leapt again, flipping over the second line of attackers.

As he landed on his feet, Michael spun around and faced the startled assailants. His left foot caught the underside of a chair, kicking it towards the second line, then with his right foot, he caught another chair and threw it at the first line.

When one of the armed men moved forward, his right arm fully extended, Michael spun and wrapped an arm around him. He knocked the gun out of his hand and pinned him in a headlock. Sweeping his leg around, Michel lifted the man and slammed him to the floor.

With two people taken down by chairs and another disarmed and unconscious, Michael looked over the crowd and planned his next move.

“Twenty-eight left,” he thought.

Scanning the room, Michael located the junction box and removed Priscilla from his holster pocket. When he cocked the hammer and took aim, people dove in every direction. As he pulled the trigger, the gun bucked and a slug tore through the air, hitting the junction box and shooting out a shower of sparks just before the room plunged into darkness.

Published in: on November 15, 2011 at 9:39 am  Leave a Comment  

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