The Train: Episode 10

Moments before the lights went out, Nicole was finishing her drink at one of the tables while she listened to an old man’s stale pickup lines and the swing style of the band. She took a deep breath, trying to relax, and rested a hand on the bag where she kept her pistol.

“I’m going to need better weapons if I’m expected to be any real help on these missions, or whatever they call them,” Nicole thought to herself.

Downstairs Michael glanced up at her, as though to remind her to focus. She watched him for a moment then suddenly realized that the old flirt had gone quiet. When she looked over at him, she saw that he was standing close to the edge of the balcony, his gun pointed at Michael.

“I don’t have enough ammo to take out this many people,” Nicole thought, her mind racing. “We need to escape.”

She saw Michael’s bag slide down his arm to the floor.

He looked agitated and seemed to be arguing with Jason Vargas.

Suddenly Michael charged Jason’s table. Nicole quickly pulled her weapon from her bag, still silenced from her last job, and raised it. One small pop from the gun, and the man who had been sitting across the table from her fell to one side.

“Twelve bullets left,” she thought.

Four people saw what she had done, and they turned and took aim at her. She knew that in precisely three seconds, she would be fired on. Eight feet to her right was an ornate statue that might protect her from the first volley of shots. Trusting her instinct, honed by years of training and experience, she walked towards the statue. All of a sudden her left arm, holding her pistol, raised itself involuntarily and fired one shot. The bullet sliced through the air, hitting the nearest gunman and sending him sprawling backward. His falling body pushed the table behind him into someone, knocking them over, and his weapon, still clutched in his left hand, fired off a shot, hitting a heavyset man who was holding his gun at Nicole. He snapped violently to his right, firing accidentally and shooting the last person who had been aiming at her. Nicole stepped behind the statue, but no shots came.

Still uncertain of what had just happened, she risked a glance from behind the statue and saw that three of the four gunmen were now either dead or injured while the fourth lay unconscious on the floor.

Of the twelve people who had been in the balcony, seven were left. They began to bark orders at each another. Nicole still had eleven bullets in her pistol. She closed her eyes and tried to remain calm.

“You can’t make decisions when you’re nervous,” she reminded herself.

Suddenly, the seven fired upon the statue, forgetting about Michael downstairs and focusing on her. Finding her calm center, she leaned out to see where everyone was positioned.

They were scattered in no discernable pattern. While she tried to decide her next move, her arm, again involuntarily, raised itself and fired a shot at one of the men. The bullet tore through his torso and exited his back with enough momentum to carry it to the wall, where it ricocheted off a metal light fixture and struck a second gunman in the back. Two more went down, dropping Nicole’s opposition from seven to five.

“What in the world?” she asked herself, examining her left hand as though it might hold the answer.

Above the background noise, Nicole heard a dog’s bark. She glanced in the direction of the sound and saw that on the opposite end of the balcony from her stood Elliot’s one-eyed husky. With his tail wagging, he steadily watched her.

In that instant, she felt a calm wash over her. She didn’t know why or how, but the train was helping her and Michael. She took a deep breath and stepped out from behind the statue, raising her pistol as the lights went out.

The room was dipped in darkness. A street lamp outside offered little light. Nicole, going with her body’s movement like a leaf with the river’s current, sidestepped suddenly as a bullet zipped past her head. She raised her left arm and fired off a single shot. Over the confusion, she heard from the balcony a grunt, followed by two more gunshots. She knew that now there were only two people left in the balcony.

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Published in: on December 7, 2011 at 11:54 am  Leave a Comment  

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