The Train: Episode 48

After a few minutes of watching the elevator, Nicole decided to give her eyes a rest. She was exhausted from a very long week. Aware of the movement around her, she decided that whatever it was could wait. She didn’t care. When she felt a soft tap on her shoulder, she dismissed it with,

“Not now.”

“Nicole, you need to see this,” Dr. Ricer pleaded.

“Can’t it wait?” she asked.

“I do not believe so,” Ricer said.

Something in his voice caused a chill to run up her spine, the same chill she had felt when she knew her cover was blown. Slowly she opened her eyes and raised her head. People were emptying out of the waiting room, some running and tripping over each other.

“Something’s wrong,” Ricer said.

Nicole turned her eyes toward the hallway leading to the elevator doors. That’s when she saw him. Tommy Carpenter. He came toward the waiting room with three men and a woman following behind. They looked like something that had crawled out of hillbilly hell. Each one carried a gun and a sickening smile like something was twisted inside. The hallway to Michael’s room was connected to the waiting room and the elevator hallway at the same place. Nicole knew if she tried darting past Carpenter, these people would stop her. She would have to wait for just the right moment.

“That’s Robert Carpenter, Russell Carpenter’s older brother, and his kids Jake, Greg and Bobbi,” Ricer told Nicole.

“Is that her, lad?” Carpenter asked Tommy.

Tommy nodded but said, “I don’t see the other one.”

“Where’s your mate, lassie?” Carpenter asked.

“Je vais te tuer avant que je dis!” Nicole spat.

Carpenter laughed, “I like this one. I might keep her for myself.”

Just then Greg spied Lucy hiding behind Ricer.

“Can I keep the little one?” he asked.

Carpenter looked at Lucy and thought a moment before answering,

“If you promise not to hurt her. She might be a nice add to the family.”

Greg responded with a scowl.

“Wel-l-l,” Carpenter said. “Don’t hurt her too much.”

Greg leered at Lucy and ran his tongue over his teeth.

At that, Nicole leapt to her feet but stopped when Ricer grabbed her hand.

“What can we do for you?” Ricer asked the group.

“We’ve come for blondie there,” Carpenter said, “and what’s left of the guy Tommy here hit with his car.”

“I’m afraid they are not mine to give, but I’m certain we can reach some sort of understanding,” Ricer said. “You are Robert Carpenter, correct?”

Carpenter studied Ricer’s face then asked, “Do I know you?”

“No sir, you do not,” Ricer answered.

Then struggling to calm himself, Ricer stuttered,

“N-n-now I know you’re not u-u-used to negotiation, but I am c-c-certain we can reach an u-u-understanding if we can just sit d-d-down and talk calmly.”

“He’s cute,” Bobbi said, twirling a lock of her hair. “Can I have him, Daddy?”

“Girl, you would break that poor man,” Carpenter laughed.

Bobbi grinned but kept her eyes on Ricer.

“The only thing I’ll give you is the chance to run,” Nicole said.

“Oh I really like you,” Carpenter said. “Jake, when I’m done with her, you can have what’s left. She might make you a good wife.”

When Nicole twisted out of Ricer’s grip and took a step forward, the Carpenter’s raised

their guns in unison.

“Je vais vous brûler vif!” Nicole snapped.

“Now, now, now. No need for that kind of language,” Michael said, suddenly stepping up in the hallway just outside the waiting room. Dressed in a suit, he held a 357 Magnum in his left hand.

In response, the Carpenter’s turned their guns toward Michael.

“Mr. Michael!” Lucy shouted from behind Ricer.

“That’s the other guy,” Tommy Carpenter said.

“You look pretty good for someone who was struck by a car,” Carpenter noted.

“I bounce back well,” Michael quipped.

“Well, lad, go ahead and toss me your weapon. You’re out gunned and out manned. No reason it has to go down like this,” Carpenter said.

Michael looked over at Nicole and said,

“Soit prêt.”

“What’d you say?” Greg barked.

“Just told her to relax,” Michael lied. “Your father’s right. There’s no need for this to get violent.”

“Toss me that gun,” Carpenter ordered.

“Are you certain we can’t just sit down and talk this out?” Michael asked.

“The gun!” Carpenter insisted, raising his voice.

Michael sighed, “All right. Take it.”

Well versed in Michael’s technique, Nicole slowly reached over and grabbed Ricer’s arm as Michael threw the 357 through the air, and from the hallway Elliot tossed Michael’s shotgun ‘the King’ into Michael’s open right hand.

The 357 struck Carpenter in the face, causing him to flinch, just as Michael caught the shotgun.

Carpenter’s eyes grew wide in shock as he saw the barrel of the shotgun leveled at him.

“Surprise!” Michael said just before a resounding explosion filled the air and riot rounds slammed into Carpenter’s chest.

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