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Old 02-27-2017, 06:55 PM   #42
Icelander's Avatar
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: Iceland*
Default You Look Good in My Shirt

Col. Burr and Townsend arrive in the guards' dining hall winded from carrying the unconscious form of Vicente Berrocal up the stairs. In the meantime, O'Toole and Taylor recon the upper floor of the barracks and ascertain that no other guards are there. Taylor observes O'Toole silently for a while and when they're sure there are no threats on the floor, holsters his sidearm with a grin. He starts putting on one of the dual-threat vests that the two guards in the dining hall had, over his white sleeveless undershirt, looking like the whitest rapper in the world.

Taylor: "You handle your weapon like you ain't fired one since qualification, but you move nice. Sure do know electronics and can pick locks too. You don't look death-squad for cutie enough to be CIA and there's no way you're military. Lemme guess, surveillance tech with HSI?"
O'Toole: "Wrong."
Taylor: "Naw. Maybe I got the alphabet soup agency wrong, but I'll bet anything that's what you do for a livin'."
O'Toole: "Not anymore."
Taylor: "Nope. Sure seems like being one o' the Men in Black ain't all it's cracked up to be. How does a nice Bahston ballplayer get into that racket?"
O'Toole: "Just lucky, I guess."

O'Toole and Taylor have moved past the kitchen to examine the security door to the armoury. O'Toole discovers that opening it will send a signal somewhere, probably to a status indicator light in a security control room. He immediately starts work at disabling the signal, asking Taylor to find him some tools. Col. Burr follows Taylor into the kitchen.

Burr: "No offence, Taylor, but I'm going to need your gun."
Taylor: "None taken, Colonel, but you ain't geting it. This here is life 'n' death. We can't afford to lock horns like a couple o' bucks in rut. We oughta be fixin' to make the best use of everyone. I was a teams Weapons Sergeant. You honestly gonna say that you're a better shot or got more small unit experience? I'm sure you were a great infantry officer, but you've been showing up for work in a suit or starched dress uniform for how long now?"
Burr: "And I suppose you got a lot of range time at the Castle?"
Taylor: "I been doin' combat deployments every year until 2011. You have many firefights as a field grade officer?"

Col. Burr looks like he's genuinely considering disarming Taylor by force, but then he visibly forces himself to relax. Maybe he realises how suicidal it would be to fight amongst ourselves while being hunted by the entire guard force or maybe something about the friendly grin Taylor is giving him causes him to reconsider.

Burr: "Do you give your word that you'll turn it over as soon as the emergency is over?"
Taylor [no trace of irony]: "My word of honour, sir."

Burr and Taylor bring a selection of tools from the kitchen to O'Toole, who has already started fiddling at wires with a Leatherman multi-tool. Dr. Anderson comes back from the bathroom looking much relieved and Townsend from the vending machines with some bottled water. Cherry Bell slipped into the kitchen once Burr and Taylor returned from there. She comes back holding a large kitchen knife.

Taylor [calmly]: "We done talked about this, Lynnie. For self-defence, baton beats knife. A man fixin' to bleed out from a stabbed belly can still hurt you, but a baton can hold 'em off if used right."
Bell [sighs dramatically]: "I can't make a sandwich with a baton, Chase."
Taylor: "You never could make a sandwich nohow, darlin'."
Bell [sticks out her tongue, wags her finger]: "Thin ice, buster."

Taylor throws a captured guard radio to Col. Burr. Very politely, Taylor asks him if he can find out where the jamming is coming from. Then he goes into the kitchen, holding the dual-threat vest he took from the other guard in the dining hall. He asks Bell to put it on. She twirls around, pats the oversized shirt she's wearing over her hospital blues into some semblence of straightness and with a saucy grin tells Taylor to show her how to strap on the vest. Obligingly, he goes to put the vest on her, as she leans backward into him with a teasing little wriggle. Taylor tells her what to do in the case of a firefight, making her promise to stay in cover. Then Taylor seems to forget where he is for a while.

Taylor [gruffly]: "You're sure looking good in my shirt, Sherilyn."
[Taylor lets go, colours]
Taylor: "I'm sorry, Lynnie. I never shoulda said that. All you've been through... I didn't mean to be acting jus' like, you know."
Sherilyn: "It's okay, Chasie-dear. I like that you like me."
Taylor: "It ain't okay. You ain't no toy or trophy. I'm not like them. You know that, don't you?"
Sherilyn: "I know you'll protect me, Chasie. No matter what."
Taylor: "I sure will, Lynnie. Because you deserve another chance at life, Lord willin'. Not because I think it entitles me to anything."

Taylor finishes fastening the straps on the vest and awkwardly steps away from Cherry Bell, face bright red. He leaves to go watch how O'Toole is doing. After some time, O'Toole says he's got the security wiring on the door disabled and asks Taylor if he ought to open it with a key from Reyes' keychain. Taylor nods and takes up position by his side and covers him while he opens the door.

There are no threats, but otherwise, the inside of the armoury is a huge disappointment. There are uniforms, vests and duty belts hanging there, with plenty of extra Mace, boots and various correctional paraphernalia, but the firearms were clearly kept behind bars and O'Toole didn't have any key for the lock on those bars. We can see empty gun racks, though, with plenty of empty boxes that seem to have held weapons and ammunition. There is still plenty of M885 5.56x45mm NATO, but no spare M16 magazines that we can spot. Taylor grimaces when he spots empty old US Army supply boxes that held linked 7.62x51mm ammo, some commercial match .50 BMG and an empty box of old black-tipped ammo for an M2HB. He grimaces even more when he sees three empty carrying cases for big rifles, some empty .338 Lapua Magnum ammo boxes and a case that used to hold M67 hand grenades.

O'Toole claims that he'll get this lock open too. He's not boasting, either, and we finally get access to the inner sanctum of the armoury. We troop in like greedy monkeys and in the course of our frenzied search, turn up an M16A2 that someone forgot and two more assault rifles in parts on a machinist's table. Taylor grabs the intact M16A2. With a great show of courtesy, he then takes off his M9 pistol and hands it to Col. Burr, who was just behind him and failed to grab the rifle first. Burr gives him a glare, but doesn't say anything.

Cherry Bell glides into the armoury, holding a plate of sandwiches. She gives one to each of us. Taylor smiles, thanks her and then bites into his sandwich, trying his best to appear enthusiastic about it. Cheese and jam. Not bad, for one of Sherilyn's sandwiches. Taylor notices that Dr. Anderson got bologna, ham, gobs of mayo and lots of cheese and is eating it with every sign of enjoyment. Which means that Sherilyn must really like him and that Dr. Anderson is either a very good actor or used to such terrible bachelor food that his tastebuds have atrophied. No one else seems very happy with their sandwich and O'Toole spits out what looks like peanut butter, mustard and candyfloss.

Ms. Bell gives an enthusiastic whoop of joy as she discovers a lone M67 grenade on the bottom of the case. Taylor places his hand over hers and asks her if he can carry the grenade. At her nod, he gently takes it away from her and puts it on his web gear. Taylor goes to takes a look at the M16A2s lying on the machinist's table. Unfortunately, they aren't disassembled for cleaning. Neither gun is even remotely functional.

Taylor can see that one of the rifles needs a trigger job and some work on the action and the other has a barrel worn to the point that it wouldn't stabilise mil-spec ammo, as well as a busted front sight. But since these aren't his guns and he doesn't have to account to anyone for numbered parts, he can scavange the least worn parts of each to make one functioning rifle. While he's working he tells everyone to suit up, vest, duty belt and anything useful they find.

Next to the armoury is a small office. There's no computer and the phones are all dead. There is an intercom there, though. Dr. Anderson and O'Toole start fiddling with it, try to see if they can get it to work without indicating to anyone where we are speaking from. Being able to open up a dialogue without attracting the SRT guards seems like a good idea. Unfortunately, they are unable to find any way to do that with the tools they have.

Taylor finishes up with the rifle and goes to check if any guards are heading to the barracks. He rigs some tripwires to set off the fire alarms if anyone opens a door that leads to their floor. When he gets back upstairs, Col. Burr has taken the repaired M16A2 and is loading the magazine with cartridges.

Taylor: "Probably wise. You oughta give your sidearm to somebody else, though."
Burr: "Neither Townsend nor Dr. Anderson wants it."
Taylor: "Ms. Bell was a soldier, sir. Not combat arms, but she went through Basic. And it's her life on the line here, as much as ours."
Burr: "Over my dead body does your crazy little girlfriend get a gun."
Taylor [icily]: "She ain't my girlfriend, Colonel. She's a lady been done wrong. An' I'll thank you to be polite or I might could recall that it was Army officers in nice suits like yours what done some of the wrong."
Burr: "I meant no disrespect to a lady, Taylor. Ms. Bell still doesn't get a gun."
Taylor: "Suit yourself, Colonel. By the time she really needs one, there's always your dead body."
Za uspiekh nashevo beznadiozhnovo diela!

Last edited by Icelander; 03-06-2017 at 11:37 PM.
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