Chapter THIRTY FOUR
Your clutch an extremely agonising dislocated shoulder as you lay on your back, on the cold concrete, sucking in deep breaths, slowing your racing heart rate back to steady before you turn into your side and push up to a kneel, untangling yourself from the chains..
You scan the factory floor again.. Waiting to see if the commotion has drawn any guards, but for some reason, it hasn't..
"Jeeeeesusss.. Fuck.." You groan, hissing between your teeth and rising to your feet..
Your right arm dangles limply from the socket and every movement sends a new shooting pain from your shoulder down to your wrist.. You move towards one of a large steel machine that are scattered throughout the factory, bracing yourself against the smooth side panel with your good arm..
Now, for part two of your stupid escape plan..
Taking another deep breath, centering and preparing yourself, you whisper a countdown under your breath.. "Okay.. One.. Two.." On three, you slam your shoulder into the solid panel..
There is an audible clunk as the limb returns to its correct place, and you feel like you can breathe again..
You shrug your tender shoulder, testing its new limitations.. It's not great.. But it will do..
You make your way to Charles' body..he hasn't moved since being dumped from the chains.. You know he is dead.. But you have to check anyway.. You have to be sure.. Just as you kneel down beside him, slipping your fingers over his silent pulse point you let out a sob.. "Charlie.. I'm so sorry.." Your heart only has a second to ache, before a loud crash clatters as the doors on either side of the factory are kicked open..
"Ellerie, Get down!" Your head swivels in West's direction just in time to see him raising his pistol before he begins firing on the guards who have now begun pouring in through double doors on the opposite side of the factory..
He ducks and weaves between the machinery, you recognise the familiar faces of various Bravo Team members as they follow Archer West into the fray..
You crawl on your hands and knees towards Alpha team's entry point as the bullets rain.. Ricochets rattle the room and a thunderous hailstorm of sparks and booms reverberate around as the firefight takes wages..
By the time West makes it to your position, you are half deafened and disoriented by it all, your shoulder screams painfully, your zapped muscles running low on adrenaline.. You slide in beside Archer, looking toward the door..
You can now see Jackson, his black pistol drawn, crouched behind a bench near the door.. From his position he is covering West's back, but he spares a second to glance in your direction.. An intense look of determination in his eye..
"Take it... Get to the door.." He nods to the pistol at Archer's hip, you move to your feet, staying crouched beside him, reaching you and pulling the gun from his holster before rising and launching into a sprint, full speed towards Jackson..
When you reach his side you feel relieved and almost completely drained.. Panting, you duck behind the bench with him.. "They left me here on purpose, Jax.. Something is wrong.."
He nods, before speaking into his com-device.. "Copy Alpha two.. Moving now.." He fires off two more rounds before ducking back down and turning to look at you.. His eyes scanning your injuries.. "We gotta go.. Now.." He takes your arm and pulls you with him swiftly towards the door.. You push through to the empty alley and begin to run, following Jackson's lead, you have no idea which direction is which at this point.. When you spy a sudden shadow shifting around a corner up ahead you stop dead in your tracks, tugging Jackson to a halt.. "No, Jax wait.." He sees it, the gunmen step out from being the bricks right as the plea passes your lips.. "Shit.." Ford spins around in front of you, wrapping his huge arms around you, enveloping your tiny frame completely, covering you with his body, right as the shots ring out..
BANG - BANG - BANG
You feel Ford's body jerk all three times, as all three bullets hit their mark.. He groans, low and pained as he sags against you, dropping to his knees, taking you with him.. Within a split second, sniper fire whizzes by, the two gunmen at the far end of the alley drop, each with a hole directly between their eyes..
A double-tap only Patrick O'connor could make..
Ford slumps to his side, rolling to his back.. Blood pools beneath him and he coughs, a red spray splatters his shirt as the crimson liquid seeps from his lips.. "Baby?.." He rasps weakly, lifting a hand, reaching towards you, before his eyes flutter closed and his hand falls away..
"No, no.. Jackson.. I'm here, baby.. Stay with me.." You look around in a panicky state.. Almost immediately your eyes go to the tattered, thin white painters plastic that hangs from the rusted scaffolding along the side of the building..
You remember something..
Something Lacey had told you she read about in one of her bizarre medical journals.. The story of a patient that survived a punctured lung, when his friend cleverly used a piece of cellophane wrap from a sandwich to seal the wound..
A ridiculous, miraculous story..
And ridiculously relevant right now..
Jumping to your feet you run over, tearing off a large square-shaped piece of the flexi material..
West and Paxton come barreling up the alley, their eyes immediately going to Ford's bloody mass on the asphalt in the alley.. "Ford? Fuck!" They crouch beside him as you run back over to join them, plastic in hand..
"What are you doing?" West barks but you ignore your commanding agents questions, instead giving the orders.. "Roll him on his side, cut off his shirt.. Now!" West doesn't hesitate, together they act quickly, following your instructions.. With Ford's bloody back exposed, you press the plastic sheet over the bullet holes..
The sticky surface of his skin clings to the plastic, next you take his now cut up shirt.. "Sit him up.." They comply.. You wrap the shirt around Jackson's torso, tying and knotting it tightly at the front.. "Now pick him up, and get him in the car, hurry!"