“I can’t believe they cleaned us out. Boy, is the boss gonna be mad about this.”
“Man, shut up! I don’t even want to think about that right now. Let’s just make sure we do what Burt told us to do. Check the place out and take care of any uninvited guests.”
The two guards continued their survey of the tunnels. They had been awakened twenty minutes ago by their supervisor. He told them about the break-in and ordered them to take care of it. Now, they roamed the empty tunnels, looking for anything or anybody that shouldn’t be there.
They didn’t really expect to find anything. So far, everywhere they had checked had been swept clean. All of the prisoners were gone. They wondered who was behind it all. Rumor had it that Simone’s kid, Tommy, had something to do with it, but they couldn’t believe that. Tommy had always been a weird kid. Quiet and kept to himself. The guards liked to have him around for kicks. Say things to shock him and send him running back to his mama. No way was he smart enough to be behind something as big as breaking in here. The place was a freaking fortress. No way a kid like Tommy could handle it.
“Man, are you tired of this s##t, yet? I’m ready to head back and call it a night, you know what I’m saying?”
“If we go back now, Burt’ll think we half-a$$ed it. Let’s just hang out for a while and then go back. Cool?”
“Yeah, it’s cool.”
The slowed their pace as they continued down the passageway. Their decision to waste time made them both feel better and they were quite content to walk around, shining their flashlight at the wall and making shapes in the shadows.
“Are you sure this is the right way?” Lucky asked. In his opinion, he and Nikolas should have been out of there by now. He felt like they had been walking in circles for the last fifteen minutes.
“Of course, I’m sure. Listen, if you don’t believe me, look at the map,” Nikolas suggested. He was positive they were going the correct way. He could sense Lucky’s skepticism as they continued walking, but on the same token, Lucky didn’t reach for the map. Maybe he trusted Nikolas after all.
They rounded the corner and were stopped by a blinding light. Crying out in pain, they ripped the goggles from their eyes and rubbed furiously.
“Well, well, well. What have we here?”
Both, Nikolas and Lucky stiffened at the sound of the
the unfamiliar voice. Simultaneously, they moved. One hand rested on their weapons as the other shielded their eyes from the glare of the light.
“Looks like we found our intruders. And I’ll be damned if they’re not a couple of little boys,” the other one chuckled.
Nikolas and Lucky groaned at the use of the word ‘boys’ again as their minds began to process the situation. With their eyes still smarting from the glare of the flashlight, they knew they were at somewhat of a disadvantage. When the light blinded them, they weren’t able to see what type of weapons the guards had. They didn’t even know how many guards there were. For all they knew, they could be surrounded.
“What do you think we should do with ‘em?”
“Beats me. What do you think should happen to little boys who go off butting their noses in grown-ups’ business?”
“My mama would give me a spanking whenever I went were I didn’t belong. She called it tough love.”
“You hear that boys, you want some tough love?”
As the two guards laughed at their joke, Lucky and Nikolas realized that there were only two of them. Forcing themselves to relax, their eyes began to adjust to the darkness and they were able to make out the two shapes which held the flashlights.
Lucky and Nikolas glanced at each other. In silent agreement, they decided to take their chances and take on the guards while they were distracted.
As Nikolas and Lucky flew into them, the guards didn’t know what hit them. The guards tried to defend themselves but they were no match for the two younger men. Quickly, Nikolas and Lucky incapacitated the guards and tied them up with the rest of their rope.
Lucky took their flashlights and broke them against the wall. He put his goggles back on and handed Nikolas his goggles which had fallen during the scuffle.
“Thanks,” Nikolas said as he put his goggles back on.
“No problem,” Lucky said. “Think we should just leave them here?”
“Sure. Why not? It’s not like they’re able to come after us,” Nikolas said with a laugh.
“That’s true,” Lucky said, joining in Nikolas’ laughter. “Not bad for a couple of boys.”
"No, you mean a couple of 'little boys.'"
Nikolas and Lucky laughed as they continued on their way down the passageway and were still laughing as they left the tunnels and the catacombs.
“We’re in the office. Send as many as you can down here…I don’t care!!! NOW!” Tracy yelled into the phone before she slammed it down.
“I find it hard to believe that you’re Lila Quartermaine’s child. Edward, yes, but definitely not Lila’s,” Simone said, watching Tracy. Her hands were completely free of the ropes, but she hid it by not moving around and drawing Tracy’s attention to it.
Tracy ignored her and moved to stand behind the desk. She rolled the chair out of the way and lifted the rug that was there.
Simone watched as Tracy became hidden behind the desk. Thinking this was the perfect opportunity to make her move, Simone glanced around the office for a weapon. The only thing she could reach fast enough was the flashlight which was in the center of the desk. Simone was about to reach for it when Tracy reached up and grabbed it from the desk and then disappeared again.
“Damn,” Simone muttered under her breath. She glanced around again but she couldn’t find anything that she could use before Tracy became aware of her movements. She had to be quick no matter what she did because she knew that Tracy still had the gun somewhere within her reach.
Tracy cackled with glee as her hand flew over the combination lock. She opened the safe door. Shining the light on the contents, she smiled and rubbed her hands together.
She took the small velvet bag from the safe. She opened it and pushed her hand inside. She sighed as she felt the cold, hard stones roll through her fingers. Her insurance was still intact, she thought to herself. As she stood, she placed the small bag in her pocket and placed the flashlight back into its position on the desk.
“Well, Simone, I hate to leave you all alone like this, but I really must be going. I've invited the guards to come keep you company an-" Tracy abruptly ended her tirade. "Did you hear that?"
"Hear what? I didn't hear anything. Maybe it's your paranoia flaring up again." The lie flowed effortlessly from Simone's lips. She felt the tension permeate her body as Tracy moved closer to the wall where the voices came from. She didn't want Tracy to know that her son was in the room next door. At least, not before Simone was prepared to handle her, if necessary.
"Shut up! I heard something."
Tracy stood still as she focused all of her attention to the sounds which were barely audible through the solid wall. There it was again. A voice. No. Several voices. Dammit!!
"Looks like your little bastard and his friends made it here after all. There will be yet another change in the plan," Tracy said as she pointed the gun at Simone.
Tommy ran out of the room and went into the passageway. He looked in the direction Simone's voice came from but he didn’t see a door or any kind of entrance to the other room. He heard Jason and Keesha move behind him and he said, "There's nothing there. There's no door or anything. We've got to get to her! You heard her! We have to hurry!"
"Tommy, calm down. We'll get to her. We'll find a way," Keesha said, reassuring him.
"Come with me," Jason said, going back into the room they just left. "I have an idea."
"Remember the grenades?" Jason asked, as pulled one out of his vest. "We can blow a hole through the wall."
"Yeah!" Tommy agreed, removing a grenade from his vest, too.
"Wait a minute. Won't this be dangerous? We don't even know where your mother is in the room-" Keesha began.
"Keesha, we don’t have time to do anything else. The door to the next room isn't out there. We have to do this," Jason said. "Sweetheart, would you wait for us over there by the door? This thing is gonna blow big and we'll have to get out of here before it does."
Keesha moved to wait for them in the doorway as Jason and Tommy prepared to set their plan in motion.
"Do you think one will be enough? These walls are pretty thick," Tommy said, his words coming out in a rush. He was excited at the prospect of seeing his mother again. Finally.
"I think two will be good enough. I'll set it up. Go take care of Keesha," Jason said, taking the second grenade from Tommy and turning back to the wall.
Tommy took the grenades from Jason and said, "I'll do it. She's my mom. If something goes wrong, I want to be with her. You go take care of Keesha."
"You remember what to do right?" Jason asked concerned, but also impressed by Tommy's code of honor.
"Yeah. Turn, listen for the click and run. I got it," Tommy said with a grim smile. He placed his hand on Jason's shoulder and squeezed. "Thanks. For everything."
"Thank you, too," Jason said, placing his hand on Tommy's shoulder to return the sign of affection. Then he left to join Keesha at the door. Taking her hand, he led her out of the room and as far away from the blast as possible.
"Please, God. Please."
Tommy turned the dial and listened for the click. He heard it.
"MAMA, GET DOWN!!"
Tommy ran out of the room as soon as the words left him.