Returning to Atlantis

“What happened to Marston?” Bill clutched the cushions around his chest as the old Land Rover rattled over the cobblestones.

“Gone ‘ome. Can’t ‘ave crowds of people on this project.”

“Crowds? He’s one man. One man who saved my life.”

“I save your life more times than you know. Best you remember who calls the tune round here.” John was less than pleased Bill had failed to keep his camp secure. If he’s lost Meira, he reasoned, a couple of weeks with the Republican Guard wasn’t punishment enough. If she’s dead, he’ll shoot him himself.

 

They’d covered two hundred kilometres of what was, to John, a surprisingly good road when they came up on small convoy of two trucks, and two Humvees. John dropped back. “Now who do we reckon them to be?”

“Same guys who took me for a ride.” Bill’s mind was clicking over the options. “We don’t want them there before us.”

“We don’t want them there at all. Where’s the next town?”

“About ten klicks. Not much more than a village though.”

“Enough to slow ‘em – give us a bit of cover?”

Bill agreed. “RPG’s?”

“No.” John was emphatic. “We’ll shoot them.”

Bill looked over – his mind busy. “Oh, you want the stuff in the trucks?”

“Likely it’s my stuff.”

They watched the convoy slow, then pull off the road. They waited. Men descended from the trucks first, then from the Humvees. John lowered his binoculars, “Give ‘em six minutes to relax – let their guards down.”

“Then what?” Bill was uncomfortable. He couldn’t move very fast with so many ribs barely healed and there were a lot of guards – maybe ten or more – and the people in the village.

“Then you drive in, let me out where I tell you. When I shoot you shoot. Don’t give ‘em time to think.” John stepped out, went to the back of the Land Rover where he loaded and checked two assault rifles. He returned to the passenger side.

Bill moved over, checked his rifle. “Grenades might be handy.”

“Under my seat. Start moving.” John was scanning the area with binoculars. “Not too fast ‘till we come close.” When they were fifty metres from the rear Humvee John said, “Take that right.” As they turned the guards could be seen in a café not more than twenty metres on. “Go now. Smash in there hard.”

Bill tucked a cushion between his chest and the wheel then put his foot flat to the floor. They punched through the entrance way, taking two guards as they went, smashed over tables and chairs and into the counter where the coffee machine screamed steam and crockery flew. John had his door opened and was out spraying bullets as he went. Bill stayed put, waiting to see what unfolded. After a few seconds Bill stepped down and looked about. There was no one standing. Out in the street nothing moved. He moved back to the Land Rover but a quick glance clearly showed that it would not be going anywhere soon. He collected his cushion and the grenades and went in search of the Commander. Two burst of fire gave him a clue but he couldn’t run. He found John pulling a body from the cab of the front truck. There were two more bodies lying in the road. “If we can hook the Humvees to the trucks we can take it all to the camp,” he said as he dumped the body beside the road. “You get our stuff from the Rover – I’ll see what we have here.”

Bill walked back to the remains of the café. Even with his chest hurting like hell he had to admire the cool, clinical, discipline of man in his sixties who just killed ten, trained, troops and moved on to the logistic task without a pause for breath. No wonder the man has so much power. He was power.

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