A phalanx of North American Police troopers served as a human barricade against the wild mob that was moving straight for the Jim Canfield Building. Two NAP Mine Resistant Armored Patrol vehicles (MRAPs) were parked in front of the district headquarters. Two troopers sat in the turrets of the armored fighting vehicles behind .50 calibre machineguns.
For Major Toombs, the ride from the airport to downtown Kamloops had been a nerve-jangling one. As the APC he rode in made its way down a street adjacent to Seymour, it was pelted by rocks and petrol bombs. Toombs felt unnerved at the sheer number of rioters. Each and every one of them was thirsty for the blood of anybody wearing a uniform. For the first time in his life, he actually felt scared.
A gunner sitting in the heavily-armored turret of the APC fired a few warning shots which echoed noisily in the early evening air. The gunner swivelled around just as two rioters rushed toward the APC. They were armed with wine bottles filled with flammable liquid and with flaming rags stuck in their necks. The gunner unleashed a barrage of .50 calibre cartridges into the rioters, turning them into flying chunks of flesh.
The APC drove further down the street. The driver pulled into the fortified parking lot behind the Canfield building. Hundreds of rioters were drawn to the chain-link fence that protected the parking lot. Several of them attempted to climb the fence but were repelled by the razor-sharp concertina wire atop it.
The back of the APC flew open. Toombs got out very quickly, as did the gunner, the driver and two other NAP officers.
Half a dozen NAP troopers stood guard inside the foyer of the Canfield Building. Toombs got inside the elevator and went up to the eighth floor. Carragher was in his office eating a late dinner with Nicole and Arielle.
“Major.” Carragher rose. “If our troops cannot keep back those unruly hordes, I will order you to use lethal force.”
“Sir, my Apache crews are on standby. It’s unfortunate that the British Army helicopter crews had to be sent down to the border. We could really use them tonight.”
“We work with that we have,” Carragher stated. “Anyway, Major, I would really like to spend some quality time with my future wife and stepdaughter. I know that you will go above and beyond your scope of duty to keep us all safe.”
Toombs half-saluted his boss.
“You don’t have to worry about that, Sir. You’re in good hands.”
The nerves of the staff at the re-education centre were frayed as a massive mob moved toward the facility. Paynter ordered each of the one hundred and twelve officers in the facility to don full riot gear. The secured armory was opened up. Officers armed themselves with shotguns, .45 APC handguns and C8 carbines. Officers posted inside of the five guard towers that ringed the perimeter of the prison were ordered to shoot any demonstrators that got within ten meters of the fence. The entire facility was placed in lockdown. This was much to the chagrin of the inmates.
Sarah Jane, Bridgette and twenty fellow female prisoners inside of their unit held their ground defiantly as Paynter and ten officers entered. They were wearing bulletproof vests, helmets with visors and carried shields and batons.
“You are all to return to your cells immediately,” Paynter said.
There were shouts of ‘no’ and ‘fuck you bitch’ as the inmates began shouting and yelling at the officers. It didn’t bother Paynter one bit. The inmates, including Bridgette and Sarah Jane, got right in the faces of their warders.
Paynter nodded at her officers, who violently herded the boisterous inmates back into their cells. They got hit and kicked hard in the shins in the process. As Bridgette and Sarah Jane were being forced back into their cell, Bridgette looked at Stanford, who was sitting in the pod. He appeared upset, as though he wasn’t comfortable being there.
Once all of the prisoners were back in their cells, Paynter and the officers left the unit. Paynter knocked on the door of the pod. Stanford opened it.
“Officer Stanford, you’re in charge of watching over each of the cellblocks. There could be potentially thousands of hooligans making their way to the facility tonight. I expect we’ll be getting assistance from the NAP and possibly the UN. We’ll need helicopters to disperse the crowds. But in the meantime, we’re in total lockdown. Nothing gets in or out. Understand?”
“I understand perfectly, Captain.”