The Train: Episode 14

Michael gaped at the grenade in his hand for only a fraction of a second before looking up at the stunned soldiers and throwing the grenade back at them.

“Hot potato,” he yelled.

Dr. Ricer said, “Michael, they’re Russian.”

The soldiers dove out of the way as the grenade exploded. Michael dropped his bag and pulled out the king. After loading it with buckshot, he took aim on the door.

The soldiers began yelling in Russian, and Michael answered,

“Fine. We can do this the hard way.”

Nicole, dressed as a field nurse, stepped forward and pulled Priscilla from the holster Michael wore loosely on his hip. She raised the revolver and pulled back on the hammer waiting.

“No!” Ricer shouted, stepping in front of Michael and Nicole.

“Move, Doc,” Michael said. “These soldiers are going to kill us, if we let them.”

“We can’t hurt them,” Ricer insisted.

“What?” Michael asked.

“Why not?” Nicole added.

“Get us out of here, and I’ll explain when we’re safe,” Ricer promised.

Leaving Nicole to watch the soldiers, Michael looked back at the spot where they had entered from the train and saw an open door leading to an empty closet. Searching the room for an exit, he suddenly spied a boarded up window.

“There,” he said pointing.

Michael turned to the people, still bound together in the corner, and spoke words of comfort and instruction.

He saw that they did not understand.

Dr. Ricer stepped forward and said, “German, Michael.”

In German, Michael repeated what he had said and their faces seemed to relax.

An elderly woman in the group, her skin pale and wrinkled, responded to what Michael had said.

Then she stood and motioned for the others to follow her.

“Get them to the window and open it while I distract the soldiers,” Michael told Ricer.

He turned back to his bag and pulled out two tear gas grenades.

Just before he pulled the pins, Michael again spoke to the soldiers.

As he tossed the grenades toward the Russians, he yelled to Ricer,

“Go now!”

Tugging at the board that barred the window, Ricer yelled,

“It won’t budge!”

Michael emptied both unused shells from the king into his bag and pulled out two slugs.

“Move aside!” he warned, loading the king.

Ricer pushed the people out of the way as Michael raised the king. He pulled the trigger, blowing a hole in the board the size of a softball.

Then he hurried over to the window and pushed it open.

“Go!” he shouted.

Nicole helped the German survivors out while Ricer grabbed Lucy.

Outside, Michael scanned the area. They were in an industrial section full of factories and buildings. He chose one abandoned factory and motioned for everyone to follow him.

When they reached the factory door, it was locked with a heavy chain. Nicole quickly picked the lock and pulled away the chain.

The wooden doors opened and Michael motioned for everyone to wait. He stepped inside the building and looked around.

“No one’s here. Come on,” he said.

Once they were all inside, Michael pulled the doors closed and paused to catch a breath.

Although Dr. Ricer tried to soothe them, the German people were clearly terrified.

Ricer said, “Michael, tell them not to be afraid. Tell them we’re going to get them to safety.”

When Michael spoke to the people, they calmed down a bit.

Michael headed for the door and said, “Wait here while I go back and deal with those Russian soldiers.”

“You can’t kill them,” Ricer snapped.

“Fine. Then I’ll just knock them out, to buy us time,” Michael replied.

“You can’t hurt them at all,” Ricer insisted.

Frustrated, Michael let out a grunt.

“All right, Doc. Tell me why I can’t hurt them at all.”

“We’re in the German town of Dresden, Michael, and it’s April 15, 1945,” Ricer explained. “In less than two weeks, Adolph Hitler will marry Eva Braun in a small civil ceremony in a map room within the Führerbunker. Then he will dictate his last will and testament just before he and his new bride commit suicide. Soviet troops will be moving in  within blocks of the Reich Chancellery.”

Michael let out a deep breath and said, “I’m sorry to interrupt this history lesson, Doc, but how does this explain why I can’t deal with the Russians and move on. I’m guessing the train dropped us off here to protect these German civilians. So I’m confused. How exactly am I supposed to do that?”

“Violence is not always the solution. If you kill those soldiers or even leave them unconscious, it will start a wave of distrust that could fracture the allied forces and allow the Germans to regroup. The result could lead to the dissolving of the allies and ultimately give the Nazi’s a window to strike and win the war,” Ricer explained.

“So I’ll make it look like an accident. The Russians won’t even know it’s me.” Michael said.

“The Russians must leave this town within forty-eight hours or all is lost,” Ricer said.

Michael lowered his head, rubbing the back of his neck in aggravation.

“Why?” Nicole asked.

“Since October of last year, the allied forces have been bombing this town,” Ricer said. “There is only one section left, the industrial section. In less than forty-eight hours, the United States Army Air Forces will bomb the industrial section. If Russian soldiers are found dead by American bombs, it could change everything.”

Michael looked out the window and saw smoke on the horizon.

“So we have to get these people out without hurting those soldiers.”

“And we have to hurry,” Nicole added.

“Why?” Lucy asked.

“Because when those bombs drop, this building we’re hiding in will be hit,” Michael said.

“I’m sorry,” Ricer said.

“Well, if it was easy, it wouldn’t be any fun,” Michael smirked as he adjusted his helmet.

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Published in: on April 7, 2012 at 9:57 pm  Leave a Comment  

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