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Inthrallis – Chapter 53

August 21, 2015

Say, has anyone seen his sweet gypsy rose?

Moller checked the pager again. They were twenty minutes late. Twenty-two to be exact, and no word from sup_dawg about their status.

Of course what they had to do was not simple. In fact, it was more than a little crazy.

He relaxed when he saw the dark box-shape top a hill four blocks away, but only momentarily. One kind of worry quickly replaced another, though now it was more about the execution and what Moller knew would be a very tight schedule.

As it made the crest, he saw that the top was painted over. He could still make out the characters, but only when the light hit it from a certain angle. Thankfully, it was one of the old-style trucks, though that would only minimize notice a little.

Moller paused for a moment to take in what his new partners had just done. They slowed and slid the passenger door open. He climbed in and switched with the driver, who went to the back of the truck.

“What about cellphones?” The man in the passenger was taking off his shirt, changing his clothes, but Moller assumed the question was meant for him. Moller glanced at his TakeItBack t-shirt laid out on the dashboard.

TakeItBack had been an anti-austerity movement that had taken off not only in the US but places around the globe as well. Made perfect sense that hackers would know people like that.

“Not to worry. All of them in the area…including any of yours…will be rerouted through this,” Moller tapped the StingRay box attached to the dash, right of center. He hoped it worked as described. Not only could the user listen in, but he could re-route cell signals to the device itself, essentially working as a middle man, deciding whether or not to allow the calls to be completed, routed where the user desired, or just given a busy or no signal notification.

sup_dawg had texted him a link to the user manual a few nights ago on the pager. Moller had read it and was amazed at what it could do. Things had really changed since the days of dropping microphones down through ceilings, the days of Hoover.

He had also read instructions on how to disable the GPS in the truck itself. Rather than wait to do it himself, he had instructed the others on how to do it so they could take care of it before anyone noticed the vehicle was missing.

“This is going to be really, really tight, schedule-wise.”

Because we’re way beyond borrowing tools from the cable guy. BPD was bound to notice a missing SWAT truck. And sooner rather than later.

“You need to get out of here. Now.”

The Guatemalans looked at Moller like he had three heads. The badge, Moller had no idea where they got it from, nor the words issuing from his mouth, seemed to have any discernible effect.

“They are coming. They’ll be here at any moment.”

“We need to check this out, Homes. Not ‘posed to happen.”

The location of the events moved each time. The hackers found the location for this round. Martin’s men had taken a man from some other place but kept the event in Boston. This time a condemned gym, a small one, that had yet to be turned into a branch of whatever bank was sprouting up all over the city this week. Probably not the best neighborhood for it anyway.

Now, he had to get the locals out of the way who were guarding the entrance. He thought it’d be easy. They were being stubborn.

In my day, you saw five oh, you ran. WTF?

“Cellphone not working? Jammed, right? Think they’d allow you to call anyone before a raid? Go, man, before they get here.”

“Look, I don’t know you. Okay? You out of A7?”

Moller was saved by the screeching tires on the truck. That got their attention.

“They’re here.”

Before Moller had finished the sentence, they were out the door. Now he just had to open the padlock.

Only one way in means only one way out.

Out of practice, it took Moller a little longer than he expected. He could feel the eyes on his back. Once it was undone, he unwrapped the chain holding the doors shut.

Moller turned and made eye contact with the ones in front. Full body armor, helmets, gas masks, and semi auto rifles, they looked like BPD alright. They nodded, and he pushed the doors open and waltzed through.

Just to the right was what at first looked like a DJ table. Moller had expected an audience, but there wasn’t one. He saw it now: Cameras arranged on stands all around the ring. This was an online event. Betting would be done through some dark web server as would the video feed.

This meant that Moller’s biggest fear, that there would be BPD in attendance, was unfounded. In all likelihood, betting for the fights were being bet upon by Wall Street execs, people like that. The outcome, the death of the homeless person, wasn’t in question; just which round. Moller confirmed this by looking at three widescreen TVs arranged around the ring displaying the round numbers and the odds. The guy behind the table looked kind of nerdy, kind of

“Alex, shut down the feed!”

The ring itself was empty, but four of Martin’s security were standing about. One was making a phone call, or trying to. The one who had just shouted was making his way to Moller. There was no sign of Martin or his human punching bag.

Must be in the basement.

There were three tall windows in the back of the building, but unless one had a ladder or could jump fifteen feet into the air, they weren’t a good way out.

“Alex put your hands on your head. Now! Do not touch that board!”

Moller used his best cop voice. People were often confusing him with the police anyway, so now he got one of those rare opportunities to make that work for him. Alex complied.

Finally. A crook who gets it.

Moller walked over and checked the video feeds. The “SWAT team” was clear enough to have been seen. That was all they needed.

“Okay, Alex, you can shut it down now.”

Alex complied. The Martin man was still walking towards them.

“Now cut the power.”

A shot rang out and the security man crumbled. Then there was a short stunned silence while everyone absorbed what had happened. Martin’s other three men dove for cover. Alex tried running for the door but another of Miguel’s, probably Iraq war veteran Arturo, stopped him with another shot. Moller could already smell Alex’s urine as he stepped over him, though he was unsure if pissing himself was before or after the shot that left him bleeding out quickly.

Two of the security men went down quickly in a hail of gunfire. The third threw his piece down and tried to surrender.

Thump! Thump!

Arturo again.

That was when the first explosion happened. Moller could feel the blast from the front of the room. The tall windows shattered and the building shook. Moller felt more than heard something from the ceiling fall. The noise had left a constant ringing in his ears and nothing else.

“Martin has grenades!”

He couldn’t hear himself shout and doubted the others could either. He couldn’t see, there was so much smoke and dust and something else in the air, floating down slowly. Probably, the body armor had saved some of them.

Moller carefully made his way toward the opening to the basement, hugging the far right wall, hoping to make it all the way around without being seen or in the blast radius of Martin’s next explosion.

He heard some cursing in Spanish. That was a good sign, he wasn’t the only survivor.

That was when he saw the small, metal device roll up and bump into his foot. Almost instinctively, he kicked it like a poisonous snake. It went high and disappeared somewhere in the smoke, back the way he had come. The blast came a few seconds later.

Moller kept moving toward the door, which he guessed was only a few feet away now. He saw movement in the smoke, a swirling, and then a dark figure pass through.

Hello, Martin.

Before Moller could get close enough, he heard a grunt and someone fall down. He rushed forward, attempting to find Martin in the smoke. The air stung his nose and eyes.

As he got closer, he could see that Martin also had a gas mask on. Martin was swinging a club or something like a club wildly. As Moller closed in, he felt something sharp nick his cheek.

Martin noticed it as well and turned just as Moller grabbed the mask and pulled. Almost comically, Moller watched Martin’s sweaty, wild, and messy head glare at him out of the smoke for a split second and then get knocked to an extreme angle to Moller’s right. The man wielding the baton behind Martin took a stance to strike again. Two more of Miguel’s drifted in from the smoke.

Martin tried to right himself, but stumbled. Another blow from one of Miguel’s men and Martin was on the ground.

Each strike made Martin’s body jerk. When their arms got tired, they started stomping. Moller felt disgusted and exhilarated at the same time.

Once Moller was convinced Martin was dead, he started to make his way to the door. He felt a punch to the face and a stabbing sensation in his leg. Someone grabbed something out of his jacket and ran back into the smoke.

F— it. Stick to the plan.

Moller exited the building and rubbed his leg. He lit two smokes and threw one into the van. As had been planned, the gasoline caught it on fire quickly. He tossed the BPD badge in with it and made his way quickly without running to the corner.

Then he walked casually, leaving the chaos behind. He walked three blocks in one direction and then another before stopping to see if his leg was bleeding. It wasn’t, but the pager was missing.

Damn it.

He watched a fire truck and ambulance pass, wondering what his next step should be. He limped a little as he walked further from the scene of several crimes.

Getting out of town would seem a good idea. Then a hospital.

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From → Inthrallis, Novels

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