The Train: Episode 35

One Last Breath

 

 

 

Stretched out on his bed, Michael was just drifting back to sleep when he heard a knock at the door. It had been a couple of days since the last mission from the train, and Michael had spent most of that time resting. As he slowly rolled off the bed and stumbled toward the door, the knock sounded again.

“Coming,” he said, rubbing his eyes with the heel of his hand.

When he opened the door, he saw Elliot with faithful Samuel at his side.

“We’re pulling into the next stop,” Elliot said.

“I’ll get my stuff,” Michael answered.

When he turned away, Elliot reached out and caught his arm.

“Do me a favor,” Elliot drawled.

“Sure. What’s that?” Michael asked.

“Remember to jump and roll,” Elliot instructed then walked away with no explanation.

“What?” Michael asked in confusion but quickly grabbed his gear and hurried for the exit.

 

 

*          *            *

St. Louis, Missouri

November 20th 1994

Michael hopped down from the train into a cold fog draped morning. Exiting the station, he stepped into the middle of an alley. Nicole, Dr. Ricer and Lucy followed.

“Where are we?” Michael wondered aloud.

Ricer took a quick look around and said,

“St. Louis, Missouri. 1994.”

Michael’s eyes slowly searched the alley from one end to the other.

“So where’s the problem?” he asked.

“The problem?” Ricer responded.

“Yeah, Doc,” Michael said turning to face Ricer.

“There’s always some problem waiting for us when we step off the train. Elliot tell either of you anything about what we’re supposed to do here?”

“No. He said nothing to me. I don’t know our mission. Maybe we need to get out of this alley and find out,” Ricer suggested.

Just then a loud sound filled the air. It rose above the other noises in the street.

“What’s that?” Michael asked.

“What’s what?” Nicole responded.

“That sound,” Michael repeated.

They both listened as the sound grew louder. Suddenly Michael’s eyes widened and he shoved Nicole out of the way just as a blue 1970 Plymouth exploded from the fog and struck him. He rolled up onto the hood, hit the windshield, and flew over the top, crashing to the ground just as a police car in pursuit flew past narrowly missing him. Nicole scrambled to her feet and saw that Michael was lying in the middle of the alley.

Stunned to silence, she stood frozen in place until Ricer quickly dropped down to Michael’s bleeding, unconscious body to check his vitals.

“Stay with him, Nicole! I’ll find a phone and call an ambulance! Lucy, stay with Nicole!”

Nicole hurried over to Michael and checked his breathing. He was alive but unresponsive. He didn’t seem to have any broken bones, but a large bleeding gash on his head concerned her. Tearing off her thin jacket, she balled it up and pressed it against the wound to stop the bleeding.

 

 

*          *            *

 

 

Later in the hospital, Nicole sat in a chair beside Michael’s bed while Dr. Ricer spoke with the attending physician. After a few minutes, the physician left the room and Ricer came up to the bed.

“Seems Michael cracked a few ribs but other than that and the gash on his head, he’s okay. The doctor says he should pull through.”

“Why isn’t he waking up?” Nicole asked.

“Doctor’s not sure. He says the brain isn’t bruised. No traumatic injury,” Ricer replied.

Before Nicole could respond, the door suddenly opened and a man with hunched shoulders entered the room. His black hair peppered with gray, he brushed away a piece of lint from the lapel of his blue tweed business suit and stepped forward

“I’m Detective Ronald Brewer of the St. Louis Police Department. Alright if I ask you a couple of quick questions?” he asked.

“Who did you say you are?” Nicole asked, her eyes still on Michael.

“Detective Ronald Brewer,” he repeated, showing his id. “I need to ask some questions about what happened.”

“We told you what happened. What I want to know is what is going to be done about it?” Nicole snapped.

The detective hesitated then said,

“How ’bout I come back later? Got a few leads I need to follow. Don’t worry, ma’am. We’ll catch this guy!”

He politely nodded at Ricer and Lucy then left the room.

“He’s lying,” Ricer said. “He won’t do anything.”

With a scowl, Nicole whirled around and faced Ricer.

“What do you mean?” she demanded.

“The man driving that car was Tommy Carpenter, youngest of four brothers. Their father Russell Carpenter is slowly setting himself up in small time organized crime. Each of his sons has over twenty-five men working for him and at least one cop on the payroll. Detective Brewer there,” Ricer said motioning toward the hallway, “is in Russell Carpenter’s pocket. Since Michael was hit by Tommy Carpenter, we’ll see no justice with this.”

Nicole stared at Ricer as though she couldn’t take in what he had just said. Then she changed, seemed to grow calm, and asked,

“Would you please get me some coffee?”

“Sure,” Ricer said.

He stood and held out his hand for Lucy.

“Come on, sweetie,” he said. “Let’s go get something to drink.”

They left Nicole sitting beside Michael, staring at the wall in silence.

 

 

*          *            *

 

 

A few minutes later as Dr. Ricer and Lucy walked back to Michael’s room, Lucy asked,

“Will Mr. Montgomery be okay, Grandpa?”

“Of course, sweetie. Michael is a tough person. Don’t worry; he’ll be fine,” he assured her.

“What about that man who hit him with his car?” Lucy asked.

When they reached Michael’s room, Ricer saw the empty chair. Nicole was gone.

“Oh dear,” he said, shaking his head.

“Don’t worry, Grandpa. Ms. Nicole is going to have a talk with them,” Lucy said.

“That’s what I’m afraid of,” Ricer sighed.

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Published in: on April 18, 2014 at 3:24 pm  Leave a Comment  
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