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Old 03-06-2017, 10:21 PM   #84
Icelander's Avatar
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: Iceland*
Default What's That in the Shadows?

Taylor carefully scans out the windows before sliding the ajar front door open enough to crawl out. Once there, he spends about half a minute slowly evaluating the terrain, noting potential hiding places. On top of the main asylum building, Taylor spots a glint of metal. A few seconds confirm for him that someone is lying there, looking toward the barracks, and that he's got a rifle.

There are several men exiting the main building. The distance is around 250 yards and they are talking in low voices, so Taylor can't hear every word, but notes the words 'Warden', 'barracks' and 'traitors'. They start moving toward him, in what appears to be a fairly loose and sloppy patrol formation. All of them are carrying M16A2 rifles with optics and mounted flashlights and wearing full tactical gear.

Only years of training and painful experience enables Taylor to lie still as a burst of thundering fire splits the night. It's heavy machine gun fire, from the lower observation tower, firing a line of tracers out to sea. Following the first burst are two others before the gun falls silent. The guards on the lawn freeze. In a few seconds, someone shouts at them from inside the building. "We found them in G Wing!" After what looks like a short argument, three of the SRT guards split off to run toward the G Wing. The other three run toward the barracks.

Taylor crawls back in, rising fast once he's in cover, running inside the dining hall and motions the other two toward him while scrounging duct tape and cord from a closet.

Taylor: "We ain't going nowhere, we's havin' some company instead. Doc, couldya find a fuze box for the lobby? Stay by it and cut the lights once you hear any noise?"
Dr. Anderson: "I could. Should I?"
Taylor: "Yeah, doc, I reckon you oughta. If'n you can find cover, stay behind it."
Dr. Anderson: "If you say so."
Taylor: "Sherilyn... couldya do something for me?"
Bell: "Don't you dream I'll..."
Taylor: "I weren't gonna ask you to stay behind. You recall yer basic training? I sure could use somebody I c'n trust by my side in the lobby."
Bell: "Really?"
Taylor: "If you reckon you can use your hoodoo so them guards ain't see nor hear us."
Bell: "I can maybe reach a few..."
Taylor: "Just need the first one, really. I'd love more, but I figure one will do. Start at the front and move backwards. Don't go hog wild, jes' try for simple. Sure you up for it?"
Bell: "I'll be fine. You won't let nothing bad happen to me, right, sweetie?"
Taylor: "Naw, Lynnie, I cain't do that. Thing is, I really need your help. I might could kill them guards, but I cain't mind trick them so we take them without a racket. You can. I'ma asking you to have my back, Lynnie. Will you?"

Sherilyn looks at Taylor with a surprised and pleased expression and nods enthusiastically. Taylor hands her the assault rifle and takes out his baton instead. They rush to the lobby and Taylor peeks out a window to calculate how long they have until the SRT guards reach the barracks. Sucking in a breath, Taylor climbs on top of the door in a nimble motion and starts to rig the cord he brought to make handholds and legholds in a shadowed part of the ceiling.

Bell grasps what he's doing and hands him duct tape before climbing up and assuming a ridiculous position where she's hanging perpendicular to the ceiling supported only with one arm and one leg. Taylor pulls himself up over the door, assuming a less acrobatic position where he's ready to drop down once someone enters.

After less than a minute, the barrel of an assault rifle peaks through the half-open door. A guard dressed in full tactical gear enters, followed by two others. Taylor looks at Sherilyn Bell, who is staring intently at the last guard to enter. As far as Taylor can tell, she focused on each guard only a heartbeat or two, but she gives him a thumb up using her rifle hand without looking away from the last guard.

The barracks lobby is dimly lit with a series of LED fixtures in the ceiling. The brighter fluourescent lights are turned off and Taylor has positioned himself and Bell to maximise the concealing effects of shadows between the lights, but the lighting is still good enough so that anyone looking up would probably see them immediately. Reflected light shining silver from his eyes, Taylor is yet again amazed at how even trained men will ignore the possibility of a threat just because it comes from an unusual angle. Nobody ever looks up when clearing a room unless it's been drilled into him by harsh teachers or harsh experience.

Letting himself drop down, Taylor swings his baton in the air. As he lands beside the rearmost guard, Taylor rakes his right foot down the side of the SRT member's knee. Taylor's baton hits the right arm of the guard in front of him, loosening his grasp on his assault rifle. Turning his landing into a move forward, Taylor punches his baton into the small of the guard's back, hard enough to bruise his kidneys and knock the baton out of Taylor's hand. In the same motion, Taylor grabs the guard's assault rifle in both hands and his left leg sweeps low to strike the knee of the third guard, the one in front, collapsing his leg under him and causing him to emit a surprised roar of pain.

All three guards start falling. Before they reach the ground, Taylor has hammered the stock of his captured rifle into the jaw of the one closest to the door and kicked the middle guard in the face while stepping past him, aiming his rifle at the guard in front, who is falling forward, as his left leg will no longer support him. The strikes to the face cause the guards to flop like boneless fish on landing, completely out of it. Hearing the last guard's cry of pain, Dr. Anderson flips the fuze for the lobby off and the dimly lit area becomes as dark as the night outside.

Taylor: "Lynnie, drop your hoodoo so he can hear me."
Sherilyn [disappointed]: "But I... awww."
Taylor: "Keep your hands where I can see 'em, sir. Ain't nobody else need to be hurtin'."
[pause, guard holds up his hands in a prone position]
Guard Hayden Avery: "Where the hell did you come from? Just tell me, before you kill me... How did you do that?"
Taylor: "I had good training..."
[looks up at Sherilyn Bell, giving her a radiant, boyish smile of pleasure]
Taylor: "...not to mention great help."

Sherilyn Bell probably can't see the smile in the dark lobby, but it's audible in Taylor's voice. She gives an answering smile and blows a fluttering finger kiss back, which requires her to stabilise herself in the air using just her legs to grip the cords for a moment. This does not seem to cause her any major discomfort.

Taylor: "Doc, couldya flip the fuze again? And maybe come in here?"

As the dim LED lights turn back on, Sherilyn Bell dismounts from the ceiling, landing in a showy gymnastic pose. Taylor kicks away the rifle from the prone Avery and bends down next to him, scanning him for weapons and securing him. Taking some disposable restraints from Avery's duty belt, Taylor uses them to handcuff the SRT guard behind his back. Taking care to keep Avery in his line of sight and slipping his rifle sling on, Taylor starts to repeats the process with the unconscious guards, also checking their vital signs.

Taylor: "Sherilyn, you done great."
Sherilyn [bows]: "Thank you, sweetie-pie. You weren't entirely uncool yourself."
Taylor: "We's upgrading our costume. Now we gonna be SRT guards. Be careful not to hurt them when taking their gear."
Dr. Anderson: "Do I need to carry a rifle?"
Taylor: "Seems kinda useful to me, considerin' the circumstances. An' I guess it would look sorta funny to anybody watching from a distance, full tactical gear an' no weapon."
Dr. Anderson: "If it is necessary for our disguise, I suppose I can carry the rifle. But I warn you that in the event we are attacked, I doubt that I could be of much use with it."
Taylor: "Jes' carry enough spare magazines and stay in cover if'n there's shooting. Sherilyn and me a-gonna handle security."

Working together, Anderson, Bell and Taylor drag-carry the three guards into the dining hall, where Dr. Anderson takes a look at them. Dr. Anderson is pleasantly surprised to find no obviously broken bones. Avery's knee seems relatively undamaged, his fall being caused by the pain of a jarred nerve. There will be inflammation for a few days and he should try to stay off it for a day or two, but should recover fully.

Anderson checks the other two guards, according to their name tags called Mondale and Hart. Mondale will have a swollen knee for a week or two and his jaw will probably feel sore for at least that long, but there is no evidence of serious injury. Hart's forearm is starting to swell up and he might have shooting pains in his kidneys when he wakes up, but the blow to his lower back doesn't seem to have been hard enough for there to be any major risk of organ damage. The kick that knocked him out actually did remarkable little in terms of bruising, having hit fairly precisely in a spot on the chin that transmitted sudden motion to the brain, which led to unconsciousness through briefly disconnecting synapses in the brain.

Of course, both Mondale and Hart probably have concussions, but while concussions are never to be taken lightly, it is a fact that boxers and many other athletes often suffer multiple concussions over their careers and usually manage to wake up disoriented with splitting headaches, not with life-threathening cranial bleeding. The odds are on the side of Mondale and Hart surviving with nothing more than an unpleasant period of pain and nausea, especially as both seem fairly fit young men.

Last edited by Icelander; 03-09-2017 at 04:16 AM.
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