Sunday, 18 March 2007

Chapter 27: "Come In, Alpha One"

Captain Stein felt the second van start to slow down. ‘What the hell are you doing?’ he shouted at the driver.

‘There’s another unit up ahead. It looks like they’ve put spike strips down.’

‘Shit!’ Stein exclaimed as he picked up his radio. ‘Come in, Alpha One.’

‘This is Alpha One. Come in.’

‘There’s going to be a change of extraction site. Proceed immediately to the Parkway-Freeway intersection.’

‘Understood. ETA three minutes.’

‘Okay everyone, get ready.’

Captain Stein closed the van doors behind him. All the soldiers in the van zipped up their Kevlar vests, pulled their masks over their faces and checked their weapons. Captain Stein radioed the other van.

‘The cops have put spike strips down. Get suited up and secure the doctor.’

‘Way ahead of you, Captain,’ was the reply, ‘Bring it on!’

‘Hold on to something, guys’, shouted the driver, ‘here it comes!’

All four tyres on each van exploded as they bumped over the spike strips. Captain Stein held on for dear life as they skidded to a halt, grinding the metal wheels along the tarmac. He looked out of the window to see the second van flip over onto its side.

No matter what happens, we must save the doctor. Everything depends on it.

Stein’s heart was pounding. He had been in worse danger before but no mission had ever been so critical. The Brotherhood had remained underground for centuries but now their fight was out in the open.

The back doors opened and police gunfire rained in, immediately cutting down one of the men. There were two tactical aid vans, each with at least three police sharpshooters who had their sights set firmly on them. Even that goddamn detective was still there, hiding behind his car taking pot shots at them.

Crouching in the van, Captain Stein pulled the pin out of a hand grenade and threw it blindly in the direction of the police vans. He heard a yell of ‘Get down!’ from outside the van followed by an explosion.

‘Everybody out!’ he shouted.

The soldiers ran out of the van to find the nearest cover. Another member of their squad was taken down by police gunfire. Only two men left from this van: the driver and me. Where is he?

Stein turned round and saw him still sitting in the van, trying to take on the police with a pistol. It was only a matter of time before all rifles were pointing in his direction. Police bullets ripped through the van door like it was tin foil and the driver’s head slumped over the smashed glass of the window.

Now he was the only one left from his van who could help the doctor. Captain Stein was crouched behind a parked car, popping his head up every now and then to assess the situation with bullets whistling past his head every time he did.

He heard a call of ‘Cover me!’ and knew what was going to happen. Bullets rattled through the car he was lying behind and he had no choice but to stay down. He knew the police were advancing on the other van. Now there was nothing he could do. All he could do was lie there and pray for a miracle.

His prayers were answered very quickly. A loud whirring noise overhead got louder and louder and a huge gust of wind threw dust, litter and expelled bullets into the air. It could mean only one thing: Alpha One, a member of The Brotherhood’s fleet of gunships, had arrived just in the nick of time.

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