Viva la Holidays la Las Vegas

Operation Ho-Ho-Ho 3, Part 3

"They did WHAT to you, sir?" the taller of the two security guards sent to guard the McCallisters and the other families said incredulously into his cell phone, "I can't believe it. Well, now I can see why those guys want to rub him out. Yep, they're still here, sir; we've kept a real close eye on them. Just be careful, Mr. Burke; this could get dangerous if they've gone this far."

He hung up. "Those kids are practically an army," he said to his partner, "They broke up the robbery and hit them with everything but the kitchen sink."

"Thank God," Kate breathed a sigh of relief over hearing this. "He is alive and all right," she said to her husband, "And it looks like it was true what those men said about him smashing them up."

"I guess so," Peter nodded, still looking worried, "But I hope he can hold out long enough..."

There came another agonized moan from Mrs. Ostrowski, agony on her face. "Gentlemen, my wife's ready to blow with her baby; please show her some mercy and let her go to the hospital and have it!" Mr. Ostrowski desperately begged the guards.

"I'm sorry, but we have our orders. I'm not unsympathetic, but our loyalty's to Mr. Burke," the taller guard shook his head, "And those other two men through him. So I'm afraid it's about time we end this."

He pulled out a clip of ammunition and started to jam it into his rifle. "Wait, before you do that, if you have to do it," Kate spoke up, "I would like to have one last kiss-just so I know you're sincere that you don't want to do this."

"Kate...!" Peter gave her a strained look.

"I mean it, Peter. One last bit of love before we're mowed down. How about it, mister?" Kate gave the taller guard a pleading look.

"Well, OK, if you insist, Mrs. McCallister. I suppose one kiss couldn't hurt," the taller guard leaned towards her and gave her a strong kiss on the lips...

...which gave Kate the chance to drive both her knees hard into his balls. The guard shrieked in agony and doubled over. Kate stumbled to her feet, reared back, and swung the chair's legs into his face, sending him sprawling hard into the wall and down to the floor, groaning. "All right, way to go, Mom," Jeff was impressed.

"Thank you don't!" Kate charged forward and rammed her head into the shorter guard's chest before he could fire at her. He dropped his gun and staggered backwards, where he was promptly pancaked by both Rhodeses. sending him down to his knees. Kate gave him one final head butt that knocked him out cold to the floor. "Good work," she commended the Rhodeses.

"Thanks...I didn't need your help!" Mr. and Mrs. Rhodes shouted simultaneously at each other.

"Actually, it looked like you did," Kate dropped to her side and squirmed towards the taller guard; she had seen a knife in his pocket earlier, "So you see, you both want to save Ethan deep down. So why not work together instead of jabbering at each other over what you've done wrong?"

"Well...saving Ethan is why I'm here; I'd do anything for him," Mrs. Rhodes confessed.

"So would I; I've been worried about him from the start," Mr. Rhodes turned to his wife, a heavy expression on his face. "I think she's right, Janice. Truce till we find him?"

"Truce till we find him," she nodded, squirming around in her chair so she could shake hands with him.

"There, you see what I've been telling you two all this time?" Kate told them with a satisfied grin. She fumbled around in the guard's pocket for his knife, pulled it out, and quickly sawed through her bonds. "We've got to hurry," she rushed to her husband and freed him next, "There's no telling how long Kevin can hold out there at the hotel."

"I think it's about a ten minute drive from here to there, traffic permitting," Peter rushed over to free the Clarks, "Hopefully there will be something to drive, though."

"Looks like the car these two brought," Mrs. Tafton said from the window, staring out into the parking lot.

"It'll do for now. Leslie, call the cops once you have all the kids loose," Kate instructed her sister-in-law, releasing her next, "Make sure they stay safe; we're going in."

There was another wail from Mrs. Ostrowski. "You guys go on; I'll take Lisa to the hospital," Mr. Ostrowski told the other parents.

"No, I'm going too," Mrs. Ostrowski insisted, struggling to get to her feet.

"Lisa, you're in no condition to..."

"Mitch, I'm going," she said with great finality, "This baby can wait until I know Nate's perfectly safe."

"All right, come on then," Kate took her by the arm and gently led her towards the door, "We'll make you as comfortable as we can on the ride there. But hurry; we're running low on time."

"Everything set on the seventh floor?" Kevin asked through his walkie-talkie on the west stairwell.

"Looks like we got it set, Kevin," came Julian's voice, "How're you doing?"

"Just got to set something up here quick-can't believe we forgot to cover this part of the hotel," Kevin lamented, "I'll be over shortly."

He switched off and started positioning a board along the stairs-but it was at that minute the nearest door swung open, and an angry-looking Sam stormed out. "Don't move, kid," he warned Kevin, who was too surprised to move. The transient's eyes shot down towards the board. "I see what you're thinking here," he told Kevin coldly, "You think I'm going to just charge stupidly right at you so you can jump on your end of the board and hit me where it really hurts, and I'm supposed to scream in pain and fall down the stairs. Well, Harry and Marv might be dumb enough to fall for that, but unfortunately for you, I'm not them."

He activated his switchblade and stepped around the board. Panic swept Kevin for a brief moment over being thwarted, which allowed Sam to grab him by the arm. "I've wanted to do this to a kid for a long time," he snickered, raising the switchblade high...

But ducked as an iron was thrown at him from the landing above. "No you don't!" Danielle shouted down at him. She threw one more iron at Sam, who released Kevin and jumped out of its way-but that left him standing in the proper place Kevin had intended for the trap to work. Kevin quickly stomped down on his end of the board as hard as he could. Just as Sam had predicted, the other end shot up and hit him where it REALLY hurt. And also as he'd predicted, Sam reacted by screaming at the top of his lungs in pain and falling head over heels down the stairs. "Thanks," Kevin flashed Danielle a grateful thumbs-up.

"I figured I owed you one," she called down.

"Much appreciated. Well, might as well get everything we can out of this," Kevin picked the board up and held it over the railing, seeing Sam lying in a heap below. "Firewood, bombs away!" he called out cheerfully before releasing the board. "Not again!" was Sam's only response seconds before it conked him in the head. Kevin raced up the stairs to the next landing. "Is this one set?" he asked Danielle.

"It took a while to get this one all lined up right with how complex it is, but it's ready," she told him, "Careful going in the door."

She squeezed through the crack in the door. Kevin took care to do so as well, and he could see why; a mop was holding up a shelf of paint cans on the other side, and it was clear that too hard a push would send them down. Behind him, he could hear furious voices coming up the stairs behind him. "...nailed me with a board, Fingers!" Sam was irate-and his voice was about four octaves higher than normal from the previous trap. "I see why Harry and Marv hate everything about him, and now I hate him too!"

"Just keep it calm, Sam, we can't stop them if...there he is!" Fingers had spotted Kevin, as he had planned. Kevin slipped through the door and gestured Danielle to safety behind the nearby vending machine. Moments later, Fingers kicked the door open-which knocked the mop down and sent no fewer than eight paint cans down hard on his head. With a dazed expression, Fingers toppled face-first to the floor. With a growl and an enraged expression, Sam leaped over him...

...and immediately slipped on the large patch of whipped cream that had been spread on the floor and fell onto his chest onto the Splat Zone's Assembly Line, which Kevin and his friends had taken care to coat with a heavy layer of slime. Sam hydroplaned down the line at close to twenty miles an hour, taking stomps and blows from the contraption's feet and hammers, before sliding off the other end and straight down the hotel's laundry chute, which the Assembly Line had been set up against. Kevin rushed to the hatch and opened it, then listened with a smile to Sam's scream as he plunged several stories down the chute. The moment it had faded from earshot, a loud splat rang out below. Kevin nodded in satisfaction; the pea soup mixture they'd dumped into the washing machine they'd positioned under the bottom of the chute had worked well. "OK, give him a going away present," he told Danielle. She approached the chute and dropped her final iron down it. It disappeared from sight in a flash, but far below, a loud bang and louder howl of pain rang out. "Good work," he high fived her, "OK, let's go see what else we can do."

"I'm tellin' ya, Marv, this is it, this is the last hurrah for him!" an enraged Harry stomped up the east stairwell, "When I get my hands on him this time, it ain't gonna be pretty at all!"

"So tell me why I have no confidence in you gentlemen to successfully stop him?" a skeptical Burke brought up the rear, "So far he's gotten the drop on you each and every time."

"His luck can't last forever, Chuckie. We're gonna get him good this time, and...THERE'S HIS FRIEND, HARRY!" Marv pointed at Nate's face in the seventh floor door's window, where he was sticking out his tongue at them. Muttering under his breath at the top of his lungs, Harry charged towards the door and grabbed the knob hard...

...and abruptly seized up and started vibrating hard, as if he was being electrocuted. "What, what is it, Harry!?" Marv confusedly asked his partner. Harry answered with a series of loud shrieks, smoke now pouring from his ears. Finally, he released the knob and fell writhing to the floor. Frowning, Marv grabbed the knob himself...and seconds later was screaming at the top of his lungs as electricity surged through his body as well, leaving his skeleton briefly visible. He too fell backwards, shaking wildly. "Idiots," Burke shook his head in disgust. "I hope you're smarter than that," he growled to Lenny, who was also in their group.

"No problem, Mr. Burke," cocking his semi-automatic, Lenny stepped over his partners and kicked the door open...

...which triggered the release mechanism of the small catapult up the hall, which in turn fired off a large bag of fertilizer from the resort's gardening shed that smashed hard into Lenny's face and sent him tumbling backwards into Burke. Both men toppled down the stairs. "Oh yeah!" a still excited Nate jumped for joy behind the door. "We are cooking with gas!" he high fived Julian, who was shutting down the electrical generator hooked up to the doorknob.

"You did good here?" Kevin came running up the hall with Danielle.

"Four bad guys out for the count," Julian pointed at the dazed villains before them.

"Well they'll be back up again soon, so let's..." Kevin abruptly leaped back as Harry took a lunge at him on the floor. "H-H-H-H-Hold st-st-st-st-still ya little r-r-r-r-r-rat!" he stammered in a rage, still suffering the effects of his electrocution, "G-G-G-Get up, M-M-M-Marv!" he kicked his partner to get him to his feet. "Fall back," Kevin instructed the others, leading them down the hall and into one of the rooms on the right. The burglars staggered comically down the hall, still vibrating from head to toe. "Ya c-c-c-can't get away fr-fr-from us, k-k-k-k-kid!" Harry shouted, "C-C-C-Come on outta there!"

"Why don't you come in and get us?" Kevin taunted him. Furious, Harry grabbed the doorknob and threw the door open...

Which pulled the pins on the pair of fire extinguishers set up facing the door, so that for the second time in twenty-four hours, the Wet Bandits got a blast of fire extinguisher fluid square in the face. Howling, they stumbled backwards blindly, toppling into a pair of wheelchairs they hadn't noticed before. The wheelchairs rolled backwards from the force of their impact, straight down the open elevator shaft behind them. Both burglars' screams as they fell all the way to the basement echoed loudly up the shaft, punctuated by a loud crash. "Ouch, they're going to feel that in the morning," Julian glanced down the shaft.

"I think they're feeling it now," Nate told him with a grin.

"Feel this, kids!" came Lenny's steamed voice from the other end of the hall, followed by a burst of lead from his semi-automatic. "Down the hall, down the hall!" Kevin instructed them, leading them around the corner. "Come back here, you!" Lenny continued firing after them, Burke hot on his heels. So worked up was the mob enforcer that he did not notice as he bumped hard into a crane camera set up right around the corner. The force of his impact, however, swung the arm around so that Burke, as he turned the corner, was smacked hard in the face by the camera at the end of the jib. Groaning, he staggered backwards, clutching his teeth. Lenny, meanwhile, continued onward, stopping in the middle of the now empty hall. "Come on out and face me like men!" he ordered the children, glancing around in every direction for them.

"We're in here; come and get us," Kevin called from another room to his left. Lenny thrust the door open-which pulled the wire attached to the baseball machine the children had brought up from the resort's batting cages, throwing its switch to on. In rapid succession, dozens of baseballs shot out of the machine and flew straight into Lenny's balls. Moaning in agony, Lenny doubled over, allowing one final baseball to nail him in the head, which sent him keeling over backwards to the floor. "You're out!" Nate gave the signal from the bed.

"Definitely," Kevin leaped over the prone Lenny, "OK, I'm going to find Ethan and Sarah and help them for a while. You guys go back to the elevator; I've got another idea for those guys..."

At the bottom of the elevator shaft, Marv was the first one back on his feet. "I'm gonna break that kid's neck!" he shouted out loud to no one in particular. "Let me give ya a hand there, Harry," he helped his partner up.

"Where is he!?" Harry looked around in a rage for Kevin.

"Up there, I think," Marv pointed up the shaft," We gotta get back up-ah, a rope, good," he noticed one hanging nearby, "I'll go first, Harry."

He grabbed the rope and pulled, but it started falling down instead. Puzzled, Marv looked up just in time to be walloped in the face by a large falling trunk. "Had to see that comin', ya dope!" Harry rolled his eyes at his partner's thickness, "Come on, we'll do it this way!"

He grabbed hold of the elevator door and pulled it open by sheer force. "Come on, up the stairs," he dragged the dazed Marv out of the elevator shaft...tripping over a tripwire in the process and tipping over a trough rigged over the door that dumped green Splat Zone slime over both of them. Harry screamed in rage. "How does he know every single thing we do!?" he bellowed at the top of his lungs, "Now it's total war, kid! Come on, Marv, let's get him!"

There came another loud growl from around the corner. Sam staggered into sight, covered in pea soup. "Ya get caught in an exorcism, Sammy?" Marv asked him with raised eyebrows.

"Don't start, Marv!" Sam thrust his switchblade at him, "I'm not in the mood at all! When I get my hands on your little friend, he's going to wish he was never born!"

"Good, good, channel the positive energy, Sammy," Harry patted him on the shoulder, "He's still up on the seventh floor; let's go."

He charged up the stairs with his colleagues in tow. On the third floor landing, they came across a dazed Fingers. "He hit me with paint cans, Harry," the safecracker groaned in pain.

"Welcome to the club, Fingers," Harry muttered, "OK, where'd you last see him?"

"I'm up here; come and get me," Kevin's voice rang out from several floor above. Roaring, Harry fired a shot upwards that missed, then barreled full tilt upwards. Indeed, he was so caught up in his rage that he failed to notice the small electric grills set up on the eighth floor landing, plugged into nearby outlets. And unfortunately for Harry, his shoes and socks were still stuck to the other staircase down by the first floor. "OOOOOOOOOOOWWWWW!" he screeched once he'd stepped on the grills, hopping around in agony. Behind him, Marv also stepped on the grills. Howling, the taller burglar stumbled backwards and toppled halfway over the railing, but managed to grab hold of another rope hanging down the stairwell gap. This rope tipped over a mixer rigged overhead, dumping an avalanche of cement over an unsuspecting Fingers at the moment he reached the landing. "AAAAAARRRGGGHH!" the safecracker groaned, stumbling against the wall.

"Good way to cement a friendship, huh?" Kevin merrily called down to him. Growling, Fingers started up the stairs towards him, but started slowing down with each step; the cement was hardening quickly. Finally, as he reached the final set of steps towards where Kevin was standing, he came to a full stop, completely frozen in place by the cement. "Good thinking, Ethan," Kevin commended the class brain, standing next to him with Sarah, "This way we do take one of them out of the picture."

"Just so he can still breathe in all that," Ethan was frowning at the cemented Fingers.

"Yep, he can, look," Sarah pointed at Fingers, whose chest was going in and out.

"Ya don't do that to my partner and get away with it, kid!" Harry bellowed from below, followed by another shot ringing out. "It's set up?" Kevin had to ask, racing upwards with the others.

"See, right here," Ethan pointed to the Marty Moose statue on rollers situated atop the next landing.

"OK, let's have them meet Marty face to face," Kevin joined them behind the moose. The three of them pushed it down the stairs. There were cries of the crooks below, followed by a crash, and then Marty's jovial voice announcing, "Sorry folks, we're closed for a while to fix some broken rides here at the resort. Sooooooooooorrrrrryyyyyyy."

"Good work," Kevin commended them. He activated his radio. "OK, start converging on the east stairs," he instructed the other children, "Time to lead them towards the top floor."

"Come on, come on, come on!" Peter shouted in frustration at the guards' car, which was feebly coming to a stop in the middle of the road, smoke billowing from under the hood. "Figures they'd get one that was practically dead!" he muttered, slapping the steering wheel in frustration. With one last gasp, the car died completely. A cacophony of car horns behind them rang out like a symphony. "We can't help it!" Kate screamed out the window at them. She climbed out of the car and started kicking the tires in frustration. "Why can we not get anywhere near to them!?" she screamed as loud as she could.

"I think I can see the resort now," Mrs. Clark pointed to the Walley World hotel, just visible in the distance, "We're not that far off..."

"But we don't have time, Corinne!" Kate screamed at her, "By the time we get there now, they'll...!"

There came a blaring of more horns. A motorcade with police escort was trying to go around the traffic jam. "Stop, stop, we need help!" Kate ran up to it, waving her arms wildly. The leading police cruisers went right by her, but the limousine in the middle of the motorcade came to a stop next to her. The rear window rolled down. "Can I help you folks?" none other than Roy Walley himself stuck his head out the window.

"Mr. Walley, thank God, just the person we needed," Kate breathed a sigh of relief, "We need a ride to your hotel; it's being robbed, and our children are in there, trying to stop it," she gestured at the other parents, "And if you know a good doctor, please get one; we have a pregnant woman too," she pointed to Mrs. Ostrowski, hopping up and down in the middle of the road.

"Robbery? Let me see here," frowning, Walley picked up the phone in his limo and dialed a number. The frown slowly got deeper. "There doesn't seem to be anyone on duty at the security desk," he mused softly, "You might be on to something, miss. Hop on in," he opened the limo's door, "The rest of you, get in the vans," he waved the other parents into other vehicles in his motorcade.

"Thank you, you're a lifesaver, Mr. Walley," Peter commended him, jumping into the limo with his wife and the Ostrowskis, "And by the way, it's an honor to meet you face to face; we always take our kids to see your films when they come out."

"Good to know you're devoted fans. That's why I'm here in Las Vegas tonight, for Jorinde and Joringal's premiere. But how did you know something's going on?" Walley asked them.

"It's a long story," Kate took a deep breath, "It all started two nights ago. Our kids were going on a field trip..."

"What took you so long?" Kevin asked the rest of his friends as they came through the eighth floor door.

"Last minute traps to set up to buy us time to get here," Nate huffed.

"OK, this is the home stretch then," Kevin activated his walkie-talkie again. "OK Martin, we're just about done; call the cops now," he instructed him, "Sidney, start heading up towards the roof, but use the west stairs," he told the bellboy.

"Better move, here comes the cavalry," Julian glanced through the door's window, seeing several enemies charging towards it.

"Then let's get in position for the beginning of the end," Kevin led them up the stairs. Below them, Harry finally crawled out from underneath the Marty Moose statue. "That's it, you little...!" he growled furiously, "Get up, Marv, Sammy," he hauled them up, "We gotta get him now!"

The eighth floor door burst open. "Did they put you guys through the wringer too?" Sam asked the arriving Lenny.

"What do you think!?" Lenny snapped, covered with tar and feathers, as was Burke and a number of the guards behind him. Others were missing part of their clothing, "These kids are evil!" the mob enforcer continued ranting, "I can't believe this job had to be wrecked this bad!"

"Maybe we should just give up, Mr. Burke," a tarred and feathered Les spoke up from the back of the group of guards, "Maybe we can pin the robbery on them and quit while we're ahead..."

"NO!" Burke shouted in his face, "I'm not giving up when I've come this far to get Roy Walley Entertainment! We're stopping them, getting the evidence they got of us, and proceeding as planned from there. I guess you didn't see where they went!?" he grilled the Wet Bandits.

"We're up here on the top floor," Kevin called down at that minute, "Better come and get us before we call the cops."

Snarling, several guards started charging up the stairs. "Wait a minute, wait a minute!" Harry raced up and caught up with them at the last landing before the final stairs to the top floor, "We know how this kid's mind works. He's got stuff set up here to get us!"

"Oh really!?" Stone was unconvinced.

"Watch and learn, big boy. Let's get him!" Harry shouted out loud and stomped hard in place. Moments later a paint can swung down. Harry ducked under it. "Ow, he took out some more teeth, Marv!" he howled in fake agony. He pointed to his partner. "Don't worry, Harry, I'll rip him apart for ya!" Marv shouted, stomping in turn. He ducked a second paint can. "YEEEEOOOOWWW! Right between the eyes!" he screamed, fighting to keep from laughing. He started up the stairs, but Harry caught him by the arm. "Well, we was just foolin' there; now let's get him!" he yelled. He and Marv stomped in place again, then ducked the pipe that swung down next. "OK, now he's outta ammo," he told his allies, "Tear 'em limb from limb!"

Kevin took a deep breath at the sound of mass footsteps coming towards where he and the other children were standing at the topmost landing. "Everything set for after they fall?" he asked Ethan quickly.

"Sarah and I put it in place, and we made sure the blow would knock them down the gap into the right place," Ethan told him.

"Let's hope we get them all at once. Now!" Kevin joined the others in shoving a large steel beam salvaged from the construction site atop the currently finished hotel off the top railing. It swung down rapidly towards where the crooks were climbing. "Uh oh!" Marv just managed to get out before he and the other men in front of the line were walloped hard in the face by the beam. The force of the blow knocked them backwards off their feet, and, just as Ethan had hoped, bowled everyone else behind them over. All the men were sent toppling over the railing and fell screaming at the top of their lungs down the gap between the stairs, crashing through several ropes tied across the gap along the way. One by one, they hit the floor hard at the bottom of the stairs, rolled over, looked up-and screamed again as gallons of paint that had been poured into containers rigged under the topmost landing splashed down on them...then screamed once more as a ton of bricks that had also been rigged up came crashing down hard on them.

"YES!" Kevin pumped his fist yet again. He high fived each of the children in turn. "All right, let's go to the roof," he told them, pushing open the door to the top floor, "With luck, the cops'll be here soon to wrap this up."

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