Supernatural Science Fiction posted April 4, 2011 Chapters: 2 3 -4- 5... 

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Patrick helps the team with a rescue.

A chapter in the book Weapon

Early Thursday Morning

by SeLF

At 4:50 a.m., the grey light of dawn revealed a white, low ceiling of clouds, and the promise of sweltering heat as the day progressed. The surveillance van, bus, and pickup coasted silently down the sloping driveway. All three vehicles had been checked thoroughly, again, by Matt.

"Knowing they're primed reduces my stress," he told me with a relaxed smile.

He parked the bus so it faced up the driveway to the main road. The other two vehicles were left at the side of the house facing the driveway. They could not be seen from the huge barn.

Garth, in his first time out with us, revealed his jitters to Adam last night by triple checking every piece of equipment during their surveillance. His obsessive-compulsive perfectionism was achieved while softly, and unconsciously, humming Lalo Schifrin's iconic "Mission Impossible" theme. Repeatedly.

Now Adam, our adrenalin junkie, was humming it, while personally supervising our donning of safety vests, mini-coms, mini-cams, and light gloves.

"This is how I deal with nerves," he joked while checking my gear.

Henry, highly trained in covert ops, was our calm and focused team leader. He hadn't said a word since leaving the motel.

Confident in the team and my abilities, I had only slight anxiety. I carefully reached inside my hoodie for just the second time and felt the folded piece of paper in its inside pocket. I would give it to Patrick when we left. He would give it to the Mounties upon their arrival.

At 5:00 a.m., we were ready.

"We keep communications essential and brief," said Henry. "Let's go."

Garth stayed with the van and watched the main road while Henry and I led, with Matt and Adam close behind. The guards were there, after all, to keep people in, not out. In our revised strike plan, Henry would set up each one so I could neutralize him easily. I'd move on to scope out the next one, while Henry would be eyes and ears while Matt and Adam secured the unconscious guard with duct tape. Then we'd move on to the next.

The first one at the back of the building was easy. Because he looked away from us in the direction of the fence, I was able to approach him from behind, light up, and zap him. He never knew what hit him. One down, three to go.

Peering around the edge of the building, I saw this one butt a cigarette and glance at his watch. Almost time to wake up everyone inside. With amazing speed, Henry covered almost all the ground between us. Just as the guard turned his head, Henry grabbed him and whirled him around so I could zap him from behind. He let out a sharp, short groan and went limp. We freeze-framed for a moment in anticipation of an unfriendly tearing around the side of the building. When nothing happened, I checked his pulse. To my great relief, it was strong and regular. Two down.

Around the next corner. This one was a gift from the gods, which was good for us because he was a very big boy. Sound asleep while sitting in his chair, he was. His shotgun lay on the ground by his dangling right hand. I lit up again and three were down.

That left only the guard by the large, main doors. Our lucky streak was over. The guy paced back and forth agitatedly, like a big cat in a cage. He checked his watch, removed some keys from his belt, and approached the door. When he turned his back to unlock it, Henry sprinted and tackled him. In the ensuing struggle, Henry manoeuvred the guy so his back was to me. As he released him, Henry yelled, "Now!" Before the guard could react, I zapped him.

"We've got this one," Henry said into his mini-com. "'Tas is on her way to get Patrick. Hopefully, he was able to brief the people last night. But, if we go in without him, we might alarm people who already deal with fear 24/7. His presence will reassure them. Matt, you stay close to him so they will associate you with him. You have to build immediate trust to drive them to the safe house."

"Understood," Matt replied.

When I reached the door of the farmhouse, knocking was unnecessary. Patrick had watched for me from the front window.

While we hurried back to the barn, I explained. "The guards are immobilized. The padlock is unlocked, but we don't want to enter without you. Matt Worth, who will drive the bus, will go in with you. Please, do what you can to help him gain the confidence of the workers."

"I'll do my very best." He added, "I know we don't have much time."

At the barn doors, Henry made quick introductions. Patrick opened the doors and entered with Matt right behind him. Adam and I followed. Henry headed for the showers.

Patrick quickly turned on the lights and approached the three people who could speak English. He brought them to us and briefly told them what was happening. Their faces registered a mixture of caution, relief, and hope. He introduced them to us, first names only. Two were women, one middle-aged and one young, Mareshi and Zuleka, respectively, and one older man, Ujjal.

"Matt here will drive all of you to a safe place near 500 Hundred Mile House. While you are there, efforts will be made to secure your documents. Tell the others to grab their things, use the toilets, and be ready to leave before Struthers and Bosworth arrive. Matt and I will help move their belongings."

After speaking, Patrick took a good look around for the last time at the people he had tried to protect.

The mere mention of the names Struthers and Bosworth had a galvanizing effect on the translators who quickly roused those who were not already fully awake. Those who were, regarded the proceedings with a mixture of confusion, fear, and traces of hope. There was much excited talking in three different languages. Fortunately, the translators were able to quell the volume as they quickly and calmly explained what was about to happen.

Matt courteously bowed to each of the women and shook hands with the three older men, including Ujjal, as we were introduced. I, as the lone female of the team, did my best, with Zuleka's assistance, to assure the women we meant them no harm. Soon, I could hear many voices softly saying our names and glancing at us shyly while they prepared to leave.

Their sleeping area consisted of air mattresses, each with a small pillow and a blanket. At the head of each mattress was a bag or backpack for their personal items. Extra clothing was kept in black garbage bags. The place was swept and organized.

Their cooking and eating area was at the far wall. There were benches for sitting while they ate, and a table held the old pots and pans used for cooking. Shelves along the wall contained the mismatched dishes, mugs, and tin cans of assorted cutlery. An old, large, and noisy Fridgedaire was in the corner, next to an equally old Hotpoint stove.

Zuleka told me it was Patrick and Faye who had scrounged for these meagre creature comforts for them. The workers strove to keep these two areas of the large barn as clean and tidy as possible. It was, after all, where they lived.

While we assisted the workers, Henry and Adam took down the cameras in the showers and retrieved the tapes. Henry stuffed them temporarily into Adam's backpack.

Within twenty minutes, we had most of the people on the bus. Only two older women were left, and Patrick and I assisted them. Mareshi and Zuleka tried to keep the passengers calm and fairly quiet. Matt and Ujjal guided those still on the path to the bus and helped them load their few belongings into the baggage compartments.

Henry and Adam carried the unconscious bodies of the guards to the foot of the verandah stairs.

While Patrick and the translators did a head count, I made a final sweep of the barn to make sure we had everyone. Matt saw my thumbs up sign from the bus and had the motor running by the time I got there. The team, including Garth, waved enthusiastically as the bus pulled onto the main road to begin its journey north. We got the people out before the arrival of Bosworth and Struthers. I heaved a sigh of relief. I could see it in the faces of Garth and Adam, but not in Patrick's and Henry's. They both appreciated the two burly challenges we still faced.

"They should be here any minute. Move the van and the pickup to the other side of the house. They'll see the guards lying here and stop to investigate," Patrick said anxiously.

Garth and Henry moved the vehicles before joining Adam and me behind Patrick's Chevy pickup. Actually, Henry reclined in the back of the truck and Adam hid his commanding height behind a large, dense lilac bush. Patrick, back inside the house, sat at the kitchen table with a cup of coffee as he did early every morning before work.

I dashed out to check the guards and gave each another jolt to keep them oblivious for a little longer.

It was now 5:45 a.m.

Henry had stood up to stretch when I heard the Mazda's engine.

"Gentlemen, they're here."

Bosworth was driving. He came down the driveway way too fast, and made a sloppy left hand turn to park, if you could call it that, several feet away from the Chevy pickup. They were both wearing expensive suits again. I couldn't help but think how horribly uncomfortable they would be in the sticky heat of the day.

Struthers exited the passenger side and stopped in mid-stride as he reached the rear of the Mazda. He could see the four night guards all bundled up in duct tape at the bottom of the verandah steps.

"What the...?"

As he moved towards them, Adam appeared from behind the bush. I will always be amazed at the speed with which this tall, muscular man can move. Struthers, not as tall, but more bulky in build, didn't have enough time to avoid his tackle. Adam jumped to his feet, and when Struthers charged at him, he executed a beautiful martial arts move, using the thug's own momentum and mass to drop him heavily onto his back. He knocked the wind out of him. Peripherally, I saw Garth move to help Adam.

Meanwhile, as Bosworth moved towards the trio, his gun drawn, Henry leaped out of the back of the pickup. Bosworth was a street fighter, and a big guy, but he didn't have the reflexes, speed, and training Henry did. I quickly made my way to Adam and Garth who had Struthers prone on the ground. Just as I lit up to zing him, he turned his head and saw me for an instant. When I zapped him, his expression changed from stark incredulity to blank unconsciousness.

While Garth finished duct-taping him, Adam and I checked on the match between Bosworth and Henry. Henry had a cut lip, but otherwise he looked okay. Bosworth was breathing heavily and sweating profusely in his expensive suit. His face was deep red with rage and exertion. I thought he might have a stroke. He took a powerful swing at Henry, who grabbed his arm and did a picture-perfect hip throw to the ground. I swear, the earth shook when Bosworth landed. Henry twisted his right arm up behind his back and I approached him from behind to give him a half-zap. It was enough. Because of the colour in his face, I feared killing him with the usual strength. His eyes were still partially open, and he was breathing heavily, but he was breathing. I loosened his tie and shirt buttons around his neck. His carotid pulse was racing. I looked up to see Patrick on the verandah.

"Call 911 and tell them we need an ambulance as well as the Mounties. This guy might be at risk for a stroke or heart attack."

Patrick used the cell phone Henry had given to him to make the call. Afterwards, I gave him the folded piece of paper.

"Give them this when they get here. You can read it. It's got the contact info for the anti-trafficking group we belong to as well as the one at the coast. It also has our boss's office phone number. You already have our contact numbers in your cell. Call us so we can arrange for you to get to the Citadel. We'll be gone when they get here, won't we guys?" I hollered.

"Yeah, we're just taking care of the last details," said Henry as he affixed the "Play Me" notes to the videotapes already secured with duct tape to the chests of Struthers and Bosworth.

Garth and Adam appeared from the other side of the house in our vehicles. Adam left the motor running in the pickup and joined Garth in the van. They proceeded up the driveway and turned onto the road.

Henry and I shook hands with Patrick.

"We've got to go. We'll look into securing the personal documents." said Henry. "We'll get you to your wife and daughter, soon. Your help made this operation so much easier. Thank you."

I meandered over to the parking area and the Mazda while the two men talked. I looked at both the car and the ground around it. No trees and foliage, shrubs, or dry grass were nearby. The steel grey car was beautiful due to its sleek, aerodynamic lines. Engineered for speed. Elegant. Classy. Way too classy for the uber robo-twins. Neither Patrick nor Henry could see me where I stood. I lit up with a whoosh and threw a lightning ball. There was an explosive kaboom as the vehicle went up in flames.

"Patrick," I yelled over the sound of the fire, "call 911 again to tell them you need a fire truck"

Henry was waiting for me. As I buckled up, I heard Patrick on the verandah steps talking to the emergency dispatcher.

"It's the damndest thing. I didn't see it but, boy, I sure heard the noise. Scared the bejabers out of me. You know, the radio said to expect thunder and lightning today. Jeeze! Maybe it was struck by lightning!"


Traffic on the highway was steady but not crazy. We could see the van several cars ahead of us. It was good to be just one of many because a string of emergency response vehicles went racing past us in the oncoming lane with wailing sirens and flashing lights.

Henry glanced a few times in the rearview mirror as they receded. He had been silent since we left the farm.

"You're angry with me for destroying the car."

"What I am is annoyed, and confused, because it's not like you to be so impulsive." He sighed and added, "I would be happier if you hadn't done it, but I do understand your motive."

"There's something else bothering you. Please tell me."

"Both those guys carried guns."

"Yes, I saw Bosworth with his."

"I taped them to their bodies, along with the other incriminating evidence."

He glanced briefly at me and added, "They both carried Rugers which use twenty-two calibre bullets. That's the same calibre that killed young Jane Doe and Denis Grandcoeur."

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