Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Chapter 27 - Micah

            That night the moon didn’t shine. I snuck out behind Senator Castle’s old office where an almost brand new, black Toyota Tundra sat unused. I didn’t want to take any of the rebel’s vehicles so the truck was my best option. However, I had no idea where the keys were so I would have to pick the lock and hotwire it. I’d done it a few times. It would only take less than a minute; unless the wires were well shielded, in which case I’d have to access them by popping the hood.  
            I approached the truck and picked the lock in no time. I removed the steering wheel cowling and got to work. The wires were pretty well protected. I reached down to pop the hood. I stopped at the sound of crunching gravel. I peeked around the door and saw Zoe walking slowly towards the truck.
My mind raced through a million scenarios. I put my hand on my gun and prepared for the worst.
“You know it’s a lot easier to start if you use the keys.”
I laughed nervously, “uh... yeah... I was just... um...”
“I thought you could use these.” Zoe tossed me the keys and stopped a couple feet from the truck.
“Oh...thanks.” I didn’t know what to say. I still didn’t want to trust her.
“I’m sorry about the other day. I didn’t want to lead you on. Seth thought it would be the best way to sell my cover to my dad. I guess it didn’t really work. I should have known about the kidnapping sooner. I’m not a very good spy.” Zoe smiled. It seemed more genuine than a few days ago.
“Don’t worry about it. You helped save my life anyway. It’s better late than never, right?” I smiled back. “Listen I gotta run. Thanks again for the keys.” I jumped back in the truck and fired up the engine. The tires spun lightly on the gravel as I hit the accelerator. The rebel camp was quiet.
I stopped at the only checkpoint outside the rebel base and rolled down my window. One of the two security guards approached the truck. I flipped on the dome light, and he immediately recognized me.
“Micah, we didn’t expect to see you tonight.” The guard smiled and looked like he wanted to ask for my autograph.
I grinned. “Can I get through here?”
“Oh yes, of course, sorry.” The guard waved to his partner and signaled for me to pass.
“Thanks, keep up the good work.” I rolled up the window and continued down the two lane highway.
The 388 mile trip to Phoenix would normally take 7 hours. I didn’t have that much time. Speeding wouldn’t be a problem in Utah, but the beefed up security in Arizona was always a problem. I slipped on the night vision goggles I’d managed to take with me. The new technology allowed me to keep my depth perception in-tact. Older night vision goggles made depth perception extremely difficult so driving with the old ones on would have been out of the question.  I switched off my headlights and jammed on the accelerator.
At 130 mph the trip would take just under 3 hours. With no headlights on, the Seazan who happened to catch me on their radar gun would have no time to react. That meant clear sailing all the way to Phoenix. It also meant there’d probably be a large welcoming party and a road block or two outside the city.
The trip through Utah passed as uneventful as it can, traveling at 130 mph. I reached Kanab, UT and the Arizona border in less than 20 minutes. A patrol car sat waiting a few miles past the border but showed no signs of seeing me. The Seazan was either sleeping or he’d already radioed ahead to another patrolman. I’d hoped for the first but had to expect the second.
Two hours later I finally passed the “24 miles to Phoenix” sign. I hadn’t seen any patrol cars since the one sitting at the Arizona-Utah border. I ditched my night vision goggles and turned on my headlights. The street lights and bright signs would make them useless anyway. I dropped my speed to 100 mph and kept my eyes peeled for more guards. I started to grow tired. It had been over 36 hours since I’d slept. My body screamed for me to shut it down. The high speeds kept me from dozing off.
With only 15 minutes remaining until I reached the north city gate, I went over the plan in my head to get to the prison. Ram the north entrance with the truck at full speed. Shoot all four guards. Steel a motorcycle. Race to the national prison. Shoot my way in. Find cell keys; find Olivia. I tried to convince myself that the plan was simple, but I had to be smart enough to recognize all the variables that could go wrong. I had to hope I remained conscious after crashing into the gate at 90+ mph. I had to hope I could shoot all four guards before they could radio for help. I needed a miracle to get into the national prison. I counted on Isoli’s arrogance and assumed he’d keep Olivia in my old cell. There was a good chance he’d locked her down somewhere else. Then I still had to get back out of the prison and hide until the rebels attacked in 24 hours. So far I’d been lucky.
I held my breath, seconds from impact. Sirens already rang from the entrance. My knees stayed bent, my right foot jammed on the accelerator. I tucked my chin into my chest. My hands held the seat belt tight. The truck slammed into the iron gate. The seat belt locked into place. The airbag pounded into my forehead. I hugged the safety restraint. All my internal organs lurched forward, pressing against their boundaries. Dust filled the air. The gate skidded in front of the smashed truck. I locked up the breaks. My head rang; a sharp pain dug at my ribs. I tried the driver’s door but it didn’t budge. I turned sideways and kicked it a few times before it finally swung open.
My beat up body rolled out of the truck and onto the pavement. I landed on my feet and held myself up on the truck. My hand instinctively pulled the gun out of its holster. I waited for the guards to exit the brick control room. Three guards sprinted out the door. They fell in order to the sound of three fluid gun shots. I waited again. The fourth guard stuck his head out the door and tried see who killed the other guards. A mistake. One shot pierced his head just above the left ear. The last guard slumped to the floor. I half jogged half limped, cautiously to the door to make sure there were no guards left.
I peered around the entrance. All clear. I turned my head, searching for one of the Seazan’s motorcycles. I whipped it back around as the radio crackled to life.
“Bell Road Gate, this is dispatch. Are you there?”
A pause. The operator repeated the message.
I improvised, grabbed the intercom and spoke. “This is the Bell Road Gate. We have a security breach.”
Another pause. “Go ahead. What do you have?”
“Three guards are down. The suspect is headed west along the north border. It looked like Robin Hood. I think he’s headed for the rebel compound on the west side. Send all units.”
“Roger that. Units are on the way.”
I set down the radio and left the building. I found the motorcycle keys hanging on the wall and took a bike from the west side of the building. I fired up the engine and headed southeast on a back road, towards the national prison. Sirens rang a few blocks away and the 6 or 7 patrol cars passed a couple blocks from where I drove.
I reached the national prison and ditched the motorcycle a block from the entrance. I snuck around to the back side of the prison where Darion led me out just a few days ago. I got down on my knees next to bush and started digging.  I only dug two feet before I found the plastic. Got it. I took the plastic security card and slid it into the slot. A green light flashed. I pulled out the card and opened the door.
I found the stairs and headed down to the bottom floor. The hall was dark but I didn’t have any problems finding my old cell. The cells down on that floor stayed mostly empty; reserved for only the worst enemies to the President.
I turned the final corner to my cell. A single guard sat in front, meaning they kept someone inside. My heart skipped a beat. Maybe I could pull this off after all. I screwed the silencer onto the end of my pistol and took aim. I pulled the trigger and the guard slid off his chair and onto the cold cement. Someone inside the cell gasped. I sprinted to the guard and removed his security key. Olivia ran to the metal bars.
“Micah! How did you get in here? Security is everywhere! They’re all looking for you!”
I slid the security card and opened the metal bars. I ran inside and took Olivia in my arms. “I don’t know. I think I got lucky,” I spoke into her ear. Her hair smelled dirty, her cloths were damp. I hugged her tighter. “I’m so sorry. I shouldn’t have told you to go back to Phoenix.”
“It’s okay.” Olivia’s soft voice consoled me. “You couldn’t have known.” Olivia took her head off my shoulder and stared at me. Before I could close my eyes she kissed me. A long one. I relaxed and kissed back. It felt good. I felt relieved. Not just because I had her, but now I knew she was mine. She pulled back and smiled. “You’re here now. That’s all that matters.” This time I closed my eyes, and I kissed her. Another long one. I concentrated on her smooth lips. I hoped it wouldn’t stop. I tried to imagine that we didn’t still have to escape from the prison.
A cold, steely voice interrupted our paradise.
“I was starting to think you wouldn’t come for her.”
I froze. I didn’t want to around. I squeezed my eyes shut. Maybe when I opened them I’d realize the voice wasn’t real.
“This was much easier than trying to take you in by force. Who knew you would just walk right into your cell. That just shows you what love will do to you. It clouts your judgment. I can’t believe you didn’t get suspicious when there was virtually no resistance. Did you really think I would let you just waltz into Phoenix and leave with your girlfriend?”
I finally turned around and faced my tormentor. Isoli smirked back at me. I pulled Olivia behind me, instinctively trying to shield her from the evil.  I just glared at him. I had nothing to say. I’d been duped. Somewhere inside myself I smiled. Because I knew if I had another chance, I’d do it again exactly the same. Just for that one moment.
Isoli spoke again. “Take the girl away. Leave the boy here.”
Two guards stood at the President’s side. They moved into the cell at his command. I kept Olivia behind me and charged at the first guard. I caught him off guard and knocked him to the floor. His gun slid across the floor and clanged against the metal security bars. A hot bullet sunk into my side followed in close succession by electric jolts across my body.
“NO!” I cried out. My muscles froze. I stared at Olivia as she raced towards the free gun. Too late. Both guards pounced. They restrained her and sucked the cuffs down around her wrists. She turned her head to look at me. She bit her lower lip as she tried to force her way back into the cell. I fought to stay conscious. I didn’t want her to go away. The guards pushed her out the door and into the dark hallway. Isoli’s smirk broke into a full blown smile.
“Don’t worry Micah. She’ll go down like a true hero. The people love a good execution. “
The prison door slammed shut. Every nerve in my body burned with pain. I closed my eyes. In the darkness, alone, I still smiled; I still hoped.

1 comment:

  1. Oh, Micah! Very exciting, and very foolish. I knew something would happen when he didn't grab the girl and run. Hanging around is never good.