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Close Protection

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This story is No. 6 in the series "The Military Option". You may wish to read the series introduction and the preceeding stories first.

Summary: Maybe body guard duty will be quiet for Captain Summers...No, I didn't think so either.

Categories Author Rating Chapters Words Recs Reviews Hits Published Updated Complete
Multiple Crossings > GeneralbatzulgerFR181418,955211138,80323 Feb 123 Mar 12Yes

Prometheus Only Stole Fire

First up was finding the access panel for the liquid nitrogen system on this floor. It was locked but that really wasn't a problem. Sam attached the braided steel hose to the relief and test valve while I spooled the reel back to the now cleared elevator shaft wall, then Wes and I arranged the sprayer heads on to the mounting brackets. Sure they were just cheap shower heads, but they didn't need to last very long. Sam came back in and laid a fairly small breaching ribbon charge just inside where the mounting brackets were attached. All three of us left the room and Sam wearing heavy gloves turned on the nitrogen.

This week I had learned a lot of stuff including some interesting facts about concrete, like its made of cement, aggregate, and water and that the Romans used it to build aqueducts, and that depending how its made it can be resistant to all kinds of stuff...but not everything at once. The stuff they used around the freight elevators didn't have as much inherent strength so the had to use more of it than the version they used around the passenger elevators. Now why did they do that? Simple, the stuff around the freight elevators was a lot more resistant to cold temperatures which is why we were doing this to one of the passenger shafts. After a few minutes Sam turned off the flow and pressed the wired detonator. There was a loud pop and a clattering sound. Looking in the room we saw that the freezing had made the concrete almost as brittle as glass and the charge had turned it to gravel. We could see the rebar reinforcement and the back side of the steel plates that lined the shaft including the thermocouples that would trigger if they got too hot. After disarming those it just took a free swipes with the portable plasma cutter to clear the rebar and cut most of the fasteners holding the steel plate in place.

While Sam was cutting, Wes and I were packing up our unneeded gear and moving it back upstairs where we sealed it back into the crates. Looking at my watch I saw it was 0800. Sam patched into a phone line and dialed Erica's office. David answered.

"Shaft #1"

"Got it."

We could hear the passenger elevator starting to move as David and Hannah called it from the second floor. I cut a small hole in the plate and with Sam's bore scope I could see the flashing signal from below.

"They're on top," I said.

The drawback to using motion detectors in an elevator shaft is that every time the elevator moves they'll go off. Simple fix, just have them shut down when the elevator is moving. That meant that as soon as David and Hannah got on they forced the emergency hatch as soon as it started dropping to the first floor. They had just enough time to get themselves and their gear on top before the car stopped and the detectors turned back on. Now we had to wait.

Finally somebody up on 20 decided they wanted to get breakfast or have a smoke and the car was heading up the shaft. As it climbed Hannah and David were assembling a light metal frame with padded magnets on the corners and attached to two light cloth straps. Once it was assembled they would slide it over the side as it approached the first floor and swing it onto the steel wall of the shaft at basement level. As the car went up and slowed to stop at the first floor on the next round trip they could just step off the roof onto the second floor and exit.

About twenty minutes later I saw the exit flash. It was 0930. I went into the lab and hauled the case out and down the hall. Sam started rearming all the alarms. I strapped the case into its webbing and pulled on my swiss seat before helping Wes with his, Sam had one already built into his outfit. Then I laid out the ropes. Two for me, one for Sam and Wes.

Sam came in and made one last call to Erica's office, "We're ready, thirteen minutes....mark."

I clipped in and clipped the cases webbing to my harness while Sam clipped Wes's harness to his. Sam raised the detonator to the last charge to separate the steel plate. I lifted the three hundred pound case. Then the lights went out...just as planned.

David and Hannah had planted the charge on the main line for the building last night before they entered, but they didn't detonate it. That was done by Boyer right as he drove over the curb in a stolen dump truck and rammed the front doors. The impact set off every motion sensor in the building including the ones on battery power.

As the alarms were blaring Sam blew the panel, sending it falling down the shaft like a one ton guillotine blade. At the same moment the ridiculously large set of shaped charges on the frame David and Hannah had dropped into place went off. Cutting a huge hole through the plate and the concrete and exposing the sewer tunnels. The steel plate dropping from above demolished the elevator car and crushed it down into the maintenance pit clearing the path as i rushed forward and plunged straight down. The massive weight of the case was controllable with the two ropes but I made it to the bottom in record time. Hannah and David had already popped the elevator door and were down there next to me as Sam and Wes slid in from above.

Hannah grabbed one end of the case and I grabbed to other and we headed out into the sewers. When we came to the grate we had run into before, David's bolt cutters snipped right through it. After running another block underground we came out in a electrical vault and pushed the lid up to find ourselves in an alley.

Tom and Crooks in their stolen ambulance were waiting and soon we had the case aboard along with Wes, and were pulling on clean clothes

"Is the plane at the airport?" Wes was talking to Al.

Whatever Al said made Wes look happy.

"So where's it going?" Sam asked.

"Iceland. Dropping them into an active volcano as a sacrifice to Hephaestus should drain their power without killing anybody. The sooner we get them out of town the better."

I nodded, "Let me know how it works out."

"Of course, Buffy and thank you. Thank you all."

The ambulance pulled off and the four of us walked back to the hotel. By the fire door we saw a grinning Boyer watching the commotion. The dump truck was embedded a good eight feet into the building facade and black smoke was pouring from it.

"Is it on fire?" I asked.

Nah, Tom and I added a couple of smoke pots to hide my bailing. Worked pretty good too by the looks of it." Two more fire engines pulled up along with a growing swell of police cars.

Sam looked over, "Good thing the sidewalks are pretty clear on a Saturday morning. Breakfast?"

I nodded and we headed inside.

Al and Charlie were on the balcony sipping Bloody Marys and watching the chaos.

"Success?" Al asked.

"I think so, there should also be enough confusion and jurisdictional disputes to help cloud the issue of what actually happened," I replied.

"I'm still working on finding out who actually owns that place," Al continued, "As soon as I find out I'll let you know."

"Thanks Al."

"Get some breakfast, I ordered a buffet."

An hour later Tom and Crooks returned in civvies instead of the quicky patched EMT jackets Crooks had sewn.

"One Englishman delivered as promised."

"Thanks guys! Thanks all of you! I really appreciate the help. I couldn't have done it without any of you."

Hannah smiled, "It was my pleasure to do something like this with no one getting hurt." The others were nodding.

"Captain Summers, congratulations on a successful mission," Tom raised his glass, "And what's the reward for doing the impossible?"

All of us but Hannah and Charlie replied, "Being given a more impossible job!"

I drank down my orange juice and sighed. A worse task did lie ahead, now I had to explain to a General exactly what had happened here.

The End

You have reached the end of "Close Protection". This story is complete.

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