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Friday, 27 March 2009

The Rising - Chapter 116: Loud And Clear

Becky ran up the stairs to a small area on the first floor of the mall that was cordoned off for a selection of coffee and cake stands. She thought the plants, potted trees and statues dotted around the empty tables and chairs would offer adequate cover, at least for the duration of the hopefully short meeting. A single door marked ‘Employees Only’ stood in the corner. Becky tried the handle. It was locked.

As quietly as she could, she dragged a table and chair over to the largest statue and sat down, establishing line of sight to the south entrance and the fountain just inside the doors. In under thirty seconds she had unzipped the holdall, placed all the pieces of her rifle on the table and pieced it together. She surveyed her surroundings.

No one here.

With the rifle no doubt visible to anyone who made their way up the motionless escalator, she would have no choice but to silence them. She knew the rifle would be no good for close combat but she felt confident that one of the many weapons held in her combat suit would do the trick.

Jane, are you there?’ she said into the tiny microphone on her collar.

Yes, I’m here. Can you hear me?’

Loud and clear. Where are you?’

We’re just making our way down the mall towards the south entrance now.’

Good. Try to stay between the doors and the fountain. That’s where I’ve got the best shot.’


Jane peered through the high-powered scope mounted on her rifle and saw Jane walk past the fountain with Doctor Owen. ‘Where are the other two?’

They won’t be expecting Dave and Tom so they decided to try and blend in with the crowd of shoppers and hang around as lookouts.’

Good idea.’

Jane and Doctor Owen placed their bags and cases on the floor then perched on the edge of the fountain. Becky was focused solely on the job at hand.

Guard these people with your life. You need their help. You haven’t got a hope of stopping the Rising on your own.

The silence was broken by the click of a door unlocking. She looked up from the rifle and saw the handle of the door in the corner move. Sunrise was only minutes away. The vampires would be here any second. She didn’t have time for a fight.

Neutralise the threat.

She got to her feet and took three steps forward and one to the left, moving her out of the immediate field of vision of whoever was behind the door. Without looking down, her right hand went to a pocket on her jacket and drew a small throwing knife.

The door opened.

As soon as the man behind the door showed himself, Becky threw the knife as hard as she could. Silently, it flew through the air and embedded itself deeply in his temple. He was dead before he hit the ground.

Becky looked down at the fountain. They’re still safe. I’ve got a few seconds. She ran over to the door and couldn’t believe what she saw.

Becky, they’re here,’ Jane said.

Becky stood over the dead body of a man in camouflage gear. He had an automatic rifle in his hands.

Becky, are you there?’ Jane asked again.

Yes, I’m here.’

Becky?’ asked another voice, one she hadn’t expected to hear.

Will, is that you?’ Becky asked, aware that Jane would be listening to this conversation.

Yes. I haven’t got long. I’m sorry I haven’t been in touch sooner but I haven’t been able to get away. I don’t know what will happen to me if they find me but I have to tell you.’


Get out of the mall. Get the fuck out of there right now.’

Becky stared at the body at her feet. A small trickle of blood ran down his lifeless face. ‘No shit.’

They know where you are. You, Agent Simpson and the doctor. They know everything. Oh shit.’

What?’ Jane asked with desperation in her voice. There was no answer from Will but she heard another voice in her ear, a voice she didn’t recognise.

Agent Clarkson. My name is Captain Sayers. Put your hands on your head and walk through the door.’

Before she could challenge the order, a gloved hand reached round the door and opened it fully. Behind the door stood two soldiers in camouflage suits. The red spots from the infrared sights on their rifles painted targets on her body.

Becky put her hands on her head. ‘Jane, if you can hear me, get out of here now. This is a setup.’

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