Each of the correctional officers posted on high alert inside of the re-education facility understood that they were about to be embroiled in the fight of their lives. A crowd numbering in excess of five thousand city residents, many walking, just as many driving, was making its way down the Trans-Canada Highway directly for the former provincial jail. The handful of officers posted on the facility’s guard towers had frayed nerves as the crowd mobbed around the fence surrounding the sprawling complex.
Most were armed with a plethora of homemade weapons including crudely-built explosives though quite a few had firearms. The officer standing on the tower beside the outer entrance aimed his C8 carbine and fired at a group of demonstrators who had begun to climb the fence. He knew though that it would be folly to believe that he could hold them off forever.
From nowhere came an Apache attack helicopter. Its rotor blades sliced through the air like razor-sharp cutting knives. Many in the crowd began to panic and flee as the monstrous flying death machine flew overhead.
By now, Marty Smith had gotten the hang of flying the Apache. He fired the M230 chain gun, reducing the guard tower next to the entrance to a shell of metal and glass. The burgeoning crowd cheered voraciously when they saw that the chopper was on their side. Smith zipped around the east-facing perimeter of the prison. A correctional officer standing on the east tower shot at the incoming Apache with his carbine. A couple of the bullets reflected off of the chopper’s tough outer shell.
Smith hit a button that controlled the gunship’s missile pods. In seconds, a Hellfire missile flew out and slammed into the tower, blowing it to smithereens.
Jake had hit the ground running as soon as he landed on top of the roof. The ex-combat controller peered over the side of the building. By now, the mob was in the process of overwhelming the NAP and UN personnel on Seymour Street. Jake fled for cover at the sound of the penthouse door opening. Toombs rushed out onto the roof accompanied by two NAP troopers. He glared upon his slain colleagues with horror.
Inside the Canfield Building, Frank Carragher ushered Nicole and Arielle into his office. He then locked the door behind them. Carragher opened one of the drawers in his desk and produced a Browning 9mm, the one he’d been issued by the Department of Justice for personal protection.
“Can’t you see what’s happening?” Nicole had pleasure beaming in her eyes. “Jake has returned to seek revenge against you and your occupying hordes. You actually believed that I cared about you? I was just stringing you along the entire time.”
Furious from all of the activity taking place around him, Carragher pushed Nicole against a wall. She struggled as he held his considerably heftier frame against her small body. He put the Browning to her head.
“You continue to have delusions of grandeur about your knight in shining armor coming to save you! You’re mine. Bought and paid for. And you will marry me whether you want to or not.”
Arielle pushed at Carragher and tried to get him off of her mother.
“Leave my mother alone you big freak!”
Carragher pushed the little girl aside. He focused his attention back to Nicole, his eyes filled with rage.
“To ensure you don’t decide to flee, I’m confining you to this office. And on the off chance that your Romeo decides to waltz in here and rescue you, I’m going to have a bit of insurance, so to speak. Your brat stays with me.”
“You touch her I swear to God I’ll rip your head off!” Nicole was seething in fury.
Carragher laughed mockingly at her.
Jake hid behind a large ventilation system. He took deep, controlled breaths. His heart beat wildly as the two NAP troopers moved in his direction. His sweaty right hand gripped a Beretta pistol. At that moment, Jake leaped up from behind the ventilation box and shot the two of them. Toombs reacted by firing several shots in Jake’s direction. Jake ducked for cover as two rounds hit the ventilation box.
“Is that you hiding behind there, Scribner?” Toombs advanced forward, a .45 aimed directly at the ventilation box. “I knew all along that you’d come back for that mouthy wench of yours.”
Jake jumped up from behind his hiding place and fired a shot that narrowly missed his adversary. The senior NAP officer returned fire. It was hard to see in the darkness.
“You’re a little too late. Nicole belongs to somebody else. She wouldn’t want you anymore anyway.”
Jake couldn’t contain his anger any longer. He sprung on top of the ventilation system and kicked Toombs in the head. The NAP major went down. The .45 went flying.
“I’m going to make you sorry you ever heard of me,” Jake said with fire in his eyes.
Jake raised the Beretta. To his chagrin, it was empty. Smiling devilishly, Toombs quickly got to his feet. He unsheathed the combat knife hanging from his duty belt. Toombs charged at Jake, who missed the knife by inches. Toombs unleashed a relentless, vicious attack, stabbing and slashing at the rebel leader, who did his best to deflect and parry the thrusts.
“Hey Scribner, ever hear of the expression ‘death by a thousand cuts’ cause that’s exactly how you’re going to die.”
“Ever hear of the expression, ‘don’t bring a knife to a gunfight?’”
Toombs looked at him strangely. Jake suddenly dropped to the ground, rolled over and grabbed Toombs’ .45. Jake fired three shots; one in the chest, one in the stomach and to finish, one in the head.
Jake stood over Toombs’ dead body.
“You can’t say I didn’t warn you.”