Chapter 53

"Here take those and put them on," Jason said, indicating the black coveralls Benny held. As Benny went to each man, Jason continued. "The coveralls are a little bit heavier because they are bullet proof. Walk around in them and get used to the extra weight."

The men pulled on the coveralls and began to walk around in them, adjusting themselves to the added weight.

"Reynaldo, the lights please," Jason said.

Reynaldo turned off the lights and the room became completely black. Everyone was stunned by the sudden darkness and no one could see anything, including each other. After a few seconds of total darkness, Reynaldo turned the lights back on.

"As you just witnessed, the suits are unrecognizable in the dark. Johnny, would you please." As Johnny began to hand the men night goggles, Jason continued. "These goggles aid in night vision. Reynaldo, again please."

The room was again covered in complete darkness. The men put the goggles on and discovered that each of them had a fluorescent cast around them. The suits unrecognizable in the dark were visible with the night goggles.

Jason allowed the men a few moments to get used to the goggles and what they looked like with the aid of them. Satisfied that they had enough time, Jason said, "Reynaldo, the lights please."

"Tommy has told us that the guards dress in black coveralls so we should all blend in perfectly. Be aware that you should keep your goggles with you at all times. This is the only way to know who's on our side. Earlier today, Vinnie and Marco found the generator which is used for the tunnels. When we move in, we're disabling the generator. If you don't have your goggles, you'll be lost. Rick, the vests please."

Rick began to hand out the black vests to each men. The vests weighed a few pounds and were well equipped with a multitude of weapons.

"The vests are multi-functional. They will provide extra bullet protection, as well as, be our means for communication and storage of extra weapons. The gun belt you see on the table will hold our main source of weaponry. The vest will cover what we will need if something should happen to your gun belt. Familiarize yourselves with your vest," Jason instructed.

Tommy, Lucky and Nikolas were relieved at how thorough Jason was. They opened their vests and found knives, duct tape, and rope. Continuing to search through their vests, their eyes locked on each other when they discovered the hard, little round balls. Jason, who had the ability to watch everyone at once, noticed their reaction.

"Good. You found them. Those are grenades. Are any of you familiar with how to work them?" Jason asked, directing his question to the three youngest members of the group.

"I've seen movies," Lucky began. "You pull the pin out and you throw it and run. Simple."

"Simple? Do you see a pin on any of them?" Jason asked.

Lucky picked up the grenade and looked for the pin. When he couldn't find one, he looked at Jason.

Jason nodded. "There is no pin. I want all of you to listen closely to me. These grenades are sensitive and will kill you if you donít know what you're doing. These are not like the old ones. You can't change your mind after you engage it. So make sure you are damn sure you need to use it."

"How do we engage it?" Nikolas asked thoughtfully. He had been inspecting the device and he thought he understood how it worked. He decided to continue to see if his idea was correct. "If we turn it here, does that engage it?"

Jason smiled, "That is correct. After you turn it, you will hear a click. Once you hear the click, that means you'll have ten seconds to clear it. It packs a powerful punch so make sure you can get out of there."

Lucky glared at Nikolas who smiled back at him. Tommy saw the interchange and gave both of them a hard look. They felt his eyes on them and they immediately remembered their promise to work together. They nodded at Tommy to show that they fully intended to live up to their word.

"Finally, the gun belt. Benny, again please. Reynaldo, Johnny assist him. As you can see, these are high powered machines. Lonnie, I know that in Center City, your men are more than familiar with these," Jason said, directing his statement at the second in command of the Center City operation who had been more than willing to show the 'family' support by providing Jason with assistance. Lonnie nodded in response.

"My men are familiar with everything you have here. We have performed operations similar to this and we are more than prepared for tonight's activities," Lonnie replied. He spoke softly which was in contrast to how he looked. He was close to 6'5. He weighed over 200 pounds and he was solid muscle. Like Jason, he was a young commander, but his ruthlessness more than made up for his youthfulness. His men feared and respected him as did Jason's.

Jason nodded and continued, "Justus and I went over the proper usage of everything we have here. Justus, are you comfortable with them, correct?"

"Oh, yes," Justus said. A few hours ago, he didn't know a single thing about how to shoot a gun, but with Jason's careful instructions, he knew how to load, clean and assemble all the weapons which were on the table. He was ready.

"Do either of you three know anything about what you have before you?" Jason asked, once again directing his attention to the three teenagers. He was a little surprised when all three of them nodded.

"The guards would show me how to use them. They never let me hold it or fire it, but I watched them. I know what to do," Tommy said quietly.

"Show me."

Tommy stood up and removed the .357 magnum from his belt. He took it apart and put it back together in less than sixty seconds. He loaded it, unloaded it and load it again. He removed the safety and held it up to eye level with his left hand, ready to aim.

Everyone was impressed by his ability. Before, Tommy sensed that the older men weren't too keen by his and his two friends involvement. Now, he felt a change of heart in their attitude as they looked at him. He refused to be self-conscious. He shrugged, re-engaged the safety, put the gun back into this gun belt and sat.

"Very good," Jason said. "Okay, you two. Are either of you as good as he is?"

The two half-brothers nodded in unison. Together in almost perfect timing, they demonstrated their prowess with semi-automatic weapons. When they were done, they looked at each other in surprise. They had done the exact same thing, simultaneously. Both found a small degree of respect for each other. In acceptance, they nodded at each other.

"Looks like we're ready," Jason said.

Chapter 54

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