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Old 02-28-2017, 06:01 PM   #46
Icelander
 
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Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: Iceland*
Default What We've Got Here is a Failure to Communicate

Taylor collected sheets, rags and spare clothing in a large pile in the kitchen, around the microwave. Then he found a plastic pitcher and filled it with candy wrappers and other trash. He then covered the pitcher in a fleece blanket and placed it in the microwave rolled in a sheet. Taylor caps off his crafts project by placing the volatile mixture Dr. Anderson gave him near the microwave and pouring cold frying oil over the pile of cloth.

Thinking for a while, Taylor next ties string around the safety lever of the M67 grenade and takes out the pin before positioning the grenade under a lot of greasy cloth. That way, he figures it ought to throw burning debris all over the kitchen when the blaze has caught enough for it to reach the string.

Taylor turns on the microwave and pours the rest of the frying oil around in the kitchen before he leaves it. He doesn't head west for the stairway down to the cellar, though, he heads for the small office with the intercom that is north of the dining hall, next to the armoury. Placing the rifle on the table, Taylor presses the intercom button.

Taylor: "Warden Tyrrell, I was hopin' we could chat for a spell. You got us all wrong, ya see. We ain't here for any kind of inspection and we're not the folk paid to care if anything doesn't add up in here. If'n nobody gets hurt, we can work things out. I think you know there's people who sent us who might could smooth over a few mistakes if we can end this without killin'."
Warden Tyrrell [furious]: "You're a lying, hillbilly bastard! Give my Queen back to me or I'll kill you all. She's mine!"
Taylor: "What we've got here, Warden, is a failure to communicate.* I ain't done stole Ms. Bell. I cain't. She ain't livestock nor any other kind of possession. You don't own her. Onliest one own her is Sherilyn herself. Sherilyn can go where ever she wants. Seems to me that she might wanna go where there's men got more manners. That possessive macho bullcrap is jes' too cliche for an aging fella obsessed with a young lady he know darn well is too good for him."
Warden Tyrrell: "You're dead, redneck scum."
Taylor: "Is that so? Then why doncha jest goosestep along down here and show all your little jackbooted goslings what a great man you are. Hand-to-hand, you and me, Warden. You can fight for the noble cause of keeping women as possessions and I'll do it for the pleasure of whoopin' yer fascist butt. Ain't nobody else need to be involved. I'll even let you bring along a knife. Reckon' you an old coot. You'll need all the help you can find."

Satisfied that he has done enough to draw most every available guard to the barracks and thus away from the Warden's office, Taylor stands up to leave. At that moment, the fire alarm starts blaring and the sprinklers all come on. Taylor can hear surprised shouts and running feet in the lobby of the barracks as the guards react to his tripwire. Figuring that the layout of the building means that trying to reach the cellar would expose him to view, Taylor checks the chamber of his rifle and waits. From the sound of running feet, there are four to five guards. If they search the south side of the building first, closer to the main compound, they ought to be still there when the bomb goes off. In the confusion, Taylor figures he ought to be able to escape, hopefully without killing any of them.

Unfortunately, even with the sprinklers on, there is a pretty foul stench of melting plastic coming from the kitchen. Taylor can hear three men running the length of the dining hall, headed for the kitchen. One of them enters the kitchen and Taylor hears him kicking around in the pile of cloth. Raising his eyes to the heavens, Taylor sighs and raises his voice: "Manhanock guards, watch out! There's a fire bomb fixin' to blow up this here kitchen. I don't wanna kill any of y'all. Git out of there, now!"

Judging from the panicked shouts and scrambling as several men run backwards from the kitchen, not one of the guards found this statement hard to believe. Taylor can hear now that there are five men, four of whom are more or less just shouting in confusion and one of whom, addressed as Randall, is cussing the rest out. Further away, however, Taylor hears a series of rapid shots echoing underground. With all the echoes, he isn't actually certain of the direction, but as he is sure that there are several rifles fired in three round bursts and at least one pistol fired wildly, he is certain enough that these are guards in the tunnels firing at the others.

Taylor glances at the intercom, but in light of their warm and friendly rapport, he instantly rules out any possibility of being able to reason with the Warden over it. And even if he killed the five guards in a matter of seconds, it would take him longer to reach the spot in the tunnels than any firefight at knife-fighting distances was likely to last. That leaves one thing he can do.

Taylor: "I'm a-fixin' to come out, hands up. Do I leave the rifle in here or do I carry it by the barrel?"
[pause]
Guard Randall: "Uh, leave the rifle."

Taylor walks out of the office with his hands on his head. As he passes the open kitchen, inside the kill radius of the grenade, his skin crawls, but a surreptious glance reveals that while there is black smoke from the microwave, there are no open flames yet. Inside the dining hall there are three guards with M16A2 rifles and two men dressed as orderlies holding M9 pistols. All of them are aiming at Taylor. The orderlies hold the pistols clumsily and look more likely to shoot Taylor by accident than on purpose. The three guards seem nervous too, but their guns are steady and it doesn't take a sharpshooter to hit at less than twenty five feet.

Taylor: "One of all y'all get on the intercom right now and tell the Warden your friends are shooting at Sherilyn Bell down in the tunnels. Now! What do ya think he'll do if she gets hurt because you didn't tell him quick enough?"

After a short pause, Randall motions Taylor to the side with his rifle, to a bench next to a wall. As soon as Taylor cleans the route, Randall rushes past the kitchen and into the office beyond. Taylor can hear him shouting into the intercom as steps back to stand by the bench.

Randall: "Red ball, red ball! Sir, it's Randall in the barracks! You better tell that freak to shut it down right away and call the boys in the tunnels. Ms. Bell... uh, the Queen, sir, she's down there! They're shooting at her!"

In just a couple of seconds, Taylor can hear the radio on his shoulder squawking as a panicked Warden Tyrrell shouts through it that all guards cease fire immediately. Then he addresses men named Arden and Vane by name, ordering them to avoid any shooting until they are certain that the Queen is not in the line of fire. The Warden tells them to secure her at all costs, safe and sound. If they can't get her away from the traitors, they should wait for reinforcements rather than risk hurting her. Taylor sighs in relief as he hears the shooting die down suddenly. Several guards somewhere else try to ask for clarifications at the same time, but as soon as Arden has acknowledged, all noise from the handheld stops, cutting off a guard named Mondale mid-question.

Taylor: "I been a-wonderin' wotcha boys fixin' to do next. Y'all know the Coast Guard is coming? Yeah, y'all sure do know, awright. They musta been calling nonstop on every channel, phone and satellite link. See, here's the thing, boys. So far, I ain't seen you do anything illegal. Maybe y'all jest been lied to, maybe y'all confused. Tell the truth, I ain't too sure myself what's been a-going on. But I'm from Homeland Security. Banks and O'Toole are federal agents. If'n you got guns on any of us when them Coast Guard boys get here, I ain't gonna be able to keep them from shooting y'all. Looky here, boys, I got ID in my wallet. D'ya mind?"

Neither of the two guards remaining in the dining hall have moved closer to Taylor, both maintaining shooting stances just out of 21' from Taylor. One of them has his finger on the trigger and reflexively tightens it as Taylor starts to reach for his wallet. Taylor raises his hand again, placatingly, abandoning the attempt to get his wallet. Taylor can see that Randall has stepped out of the office and is watching him from the hallway in front of the kitchen. Randall orders the other two to secure the prisoner and then follow him down to the tunnels. Before Randall can move to the stairway, Taylor stops him.

Taylor: "Please don't go down there, Randall. There's armed cops down there. You think it's y'all in charge, 'cause y'all got guns. It ain't like that. I reckon' y'all got enough tactical training to know what it's like down there in the dark. Confused, narrow, blinding, scary. There's gonna be shots flying every which way an' you ain't gonna control who gets hit. If'n y'all go yonder, people are going to die. An' even if y'all don't die, killing cops means you never live free again, neither. Prison or a place like this, for what's left of your lives."
Randall: "You shut your hole! Secure him, Summers and Lamb. Remember what's at stake here."
Taylor: "Tactical teams are gonna kill everybody still holding guns. Y'all know there's no way out if you gonna fight. Let's just all calm down. Y'all can start by not shooting me and we'll talk things out."

*Nothing? Not even a disgusted grunt of recognition from the Warden? Guess some people just aren't fans of the classics.
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Last edited by Icelander; 03-02-2017 at 04:55 PM.
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