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Wednesday, 29 October 2008

The Rising - Chapter 52: Out Of Hiding

Traffic was heavy on the Expressway and the rain continued to pour in torrents. Becky Clarkson put some distance between her and the doctor by dodging in and out of the slow-moving cars, ignoring the honking horns that were becoming all too familiar.

After taking the exit ten miles down the road, she turned the corners that led to a plain, uninspiring industrial estate. The roads were relatively quiet, with the last of the commuters arriving late to their office jobs. Becky slowed down and stopped her bike in the car park of the building that sat opposite the storage facility. She stared at the building for a moment. There were no vehicles parked in any of the spaces at the front, but she hadn’t expected The Brotherhood to leave military jeeps sitting outside.

Looking around to ensure she was out of sight of any security cameras, Becky unzipped a long pocket on her right thigh. She took her pistol out of her pocket, checked it was loaded and the safety catch was on, screwed the silencer into the barrel and tucked it into the back of her leathers.

She then turned her bike round and zoomed across the road, splashing through puddles and stopping just in front of the main door. Her heart was pumping fast as she dismounted and walked up to the door. She took off her gloves and dropped them on the ground under the shelter of the awning above the door so the rain wouldn’t soak them through before she returned. If she returned.

‘Who is it?’ was the reply almost as soon as she hit the intercom button.

‘I’ve got a delivery,’ she said, lifting her visor just enough for her voice to be audible.

‘What have you got?’

‘I don’t know what it is. Look man, I just get paid to deliver this crap. Do you want to sign for it or not?’

There was a brief silence, followed by ‘Okay. Wait there.’

For an insufferable amount of time nothing happened but as soon as the lock buzzed and the door opened slightly, Agent Clarkson was unstoppable.

In one swift move she booted the door open, smacking the man behind who answered her call right on the nose. His hands instinctively went for his bleeding nose when he should have reached for his gun, but he didn’t get the chance. Becky drew her gun and shot a hole directly between his eyes. There was no immediate noise from inside so she knew he was on his own.

Stepping inside, Becky pointed her gun left and right but the only route was up the stairs ahead of her. Removing her helmet to improve her vision, she spotted a security pass around the dead man’s neck and tore it free. With no time to lose, she ran up the stairs and spotted a security camera at the top. She shot it with pinpoint accuracy, shattering it and debris rained to the ground but she knew her face must have been recorded.

Got to move quickly.

The door buzzed as she swiped the security pass and she took a step inside, holding her pistol behind the open door. Two men in camouflage combat gear stood in the reception area, their pistols clipped in their holsters.

‘Hey, who are you? Where’s Bill?’

Without replying, Becky revealed her gun and shot the man furthest away from her in the throat. Blood sprayed over the white wall next to him and he fell to the ground, clutching his neck and gurgling blood in his throat with his final breath. Before the man closest to her could react, she grabbed his right arm with her left and twisted it behind his back. She pushed the gun hard into his neck.

‘What the hell are you doing? You won’t get away with this.’

‘Where do you keep the tapes?’

There was no reply. Becky cocked the hammer on her pistol.

‘None of that counting to five bullshit. Tell me now or you’re dead.’

‘Okay,’ he relented, ‘There’s a safe in the main office.’

‘Where’s the key to the safe?’

‘Behind the desk.’

There was a loud bang of a door being flung open around the corner followed by two sets of heavy footsteps. In a flash, Becky released her grip and pushed the man forward, then took a step back and went down on one knee, obscuring her from the view of two more men in combat gear who appeared round the corner. Before they could react, she fired a shot into the back of the man she had interrogated.

As he sunk to his knees, she used the cover of his body to fire a shot over either shoulder. Both bullets hit their targets, one hitting a soldier in the eye and the second tearing through the other soldier’s ear. The man with one ear gripped his head and didn’t have time to return fire at Becky before she finished him off with a bullet to the forehead.

Anticipating the appearance of more soldiers, Becky got to her feet and took deep breaths to regulate her heartbeat, but there were no more obstacles in her way. There was no one else for her to kill. She took a second to take in everything that had happened and tucked her pistol back into her leathers, pleased with the fact that none of her shots had missed their targets.

She searched behind the desk and found the long safe key hanging on a hook. She checked her watch. Almost four minutes had passed since her arrival.

They’ll be here any second. Better get my calling card ready for them.

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