Tuesday, September 21, 2010


Randolph squirms in his restraints, hoping that whoever tied him did not tie him as securely as they should have. Much to his chagrin, his hands and feet are quite secure in their zip-ties. He curses under his breath, before remembering a small plastic dagger strapped to the outside of his left ankle. Now, to get to the knife without causing too much disturbance, he thinks. Slowly, he tries to move his left hand from in front of his leg to the side, and after almost dislocating his shoulder, manages to get the hand to where he needs it to be. He slips his grip around the hilt of the blade and withdraws it from its sheath, and reverses the positioning so it is pointed directly at his wrist and ankle. Okay, here goes nothing, he thinks, before forcing his left shoulder out of joint and the blade up to slit the zip-tie neatly in two. Randolph stays as motionless as possible for a few moments to make sure his movements were not detected, despite the immense pain that radiated from his upper arm and shoulder. After nearly a moment, he slowly moves his right arm to brace his body as he slams his left shoulder back into joint against the belly of the chopper. The loud thud emanating from his bone on metal causes the guards assigned to watch him to turn around and see Randolph moving onto his hands and knees, trying to stop the tingling in his left arm. The guards are in shock at this development, and the one closest to Randolph moves to try to subdue him. Before he can do this, Randolph is on his feet and hurls the knife at the guard.
Being only five feet away, the guard is unable to move in time and the knife finds its mark in his throat. In shock, the guard drops his weapon and grabs his throat as the blood pours out around the wound. As the guard collapses to the floor of the chopper, Randolph quickly covers the ground between them and grabs the gun, and quickly sprays several bullets at the other advancing guards. One of the bullets misses its intended target and strikes the pilot instead in the back of the neck, killing him instantly. The pilot slumps forward on the throttle and the chopper lunges forward, throwing all the people in the back towards the cockpit.

Chapter Next: "We all fall down"

Having nothing to grip on to to keep him from being propelled forward, Randolph is thrown towards the front of the chopper along with the rest of his captors. He gasps in horror as three of them crash through the front glass and are sucked upward into the rotor by its updraft, their bodies ripped into a million pieces. After what seems like an eternity, Randolph hits the half door separating the back of the chopper from the pilot with his left hip, and his vision immediately fills with stars. Quickly he shakes his head to clear it of the pain and throws his right hand out wildly. He breathes a quick sigh of relief when it grabs the door handle and his momentum toward the front is arrested for a moment.
Randolph looks out the shattered cockpit window and sees the ground hurtling up to meet the chopper and he gropes at the bottom of the pilot's seat for one of the two spare parachutes. He finds it after several tense moments of fumbling for the chute, all the while his eyes not leaving the ground rushing upwards towards him. He quickly places a foot on the front of the cockpit and pulls the chute over his injured left shoulder, causing a second round of stars to fill his vision. He then uses his grasp on the door handle to propel him towards the side cockpit window, praying that his velocity would be enough to break the glass and carry him outside of the wounded vehicle. His feet slam into the glass and shatters it outward, and the sudden vacuum sucks him out of the chopper, wrenching his right shoulder out of socket as he is unable to release the door handle in time to avoid the injury.
Randolph grabs his shoulder with his left hand, and is shocked by another hand grabbing his. He looks over his right shoulder and sees Deebler McCleary staring back at him. Deebler's left eye is dangling from his head by its orbital nerve, and a rivulet of blood is flowing from the socket. "Randolph Prescott, I demand that you stand down immediately," Deebler calls out, but all that Randolph hears over the rushing wind as he plummets downward is "Rand cott, I de you down."
Randolph nods as he is headed downward rapidly, and pulls the ripcord and grabs Deebler's forearm with his left hand to make sure that Deebler does not continue the descent sans parachute. The upward force of the parachute opening wrenches the right shoulder back into place and Randolph cries out in pain.
Fifteen long minutes later, the pair are on the ground, and Deebler grabs Randolph's right hand with his left and slaps a handcuff on it. "Randolph Prescott, you are under arrest for twenty-eight counts of first degree murder, as well as treason against your country and conspiracy to detonate a weapon of mass destruction."
Randolph looks at Deebler in disbelief. "How can you say that? I just saved your life! If I was a heartless killer, I would have let you die. But instead, I saved your life, because I think you can help me find the man who did do this. But there is no way that I can do that in a jail cell. You can call and check on my credentials with the Bureau if you want. I am willing to wait," he says, putting his left hand on his hip and tapping his foot impatiently.
Deebler ponders the "offer" for a moment before swearing under his breath and uncuffing Randolph. "You had better not make me regret this, Prescott."
"Trust me, Deebler, you won't. I am sorry for the loss of your men, and I am sure that I can convince the Bureau to make sure that their relatives are taken care of, but right now we are both on the same side --- trying to find the person who is ultimately responsible for the destruction of Los Angeles. That was why you were sent here, right? To arrest me, thinking I was the culprit?" Deebler nods, and Randolph continues. "That's what I thought. Our top priority right now is to get your eye looked at, and then we can work together to find my girlfriend and by doing so, more than likely find the person behind the bomb. Sound like a plan?"
Deebler again nods before stating matter-of-factly, "But, know this, I have knocked you out once, and even with one good eye, I am still twice as fast as you are with two, you step out of line, and I will not hesitate to put you back in cuffs." Randolph smiles smugly and extends his hand and Deebler looks at it for a moment with a blank look on his face before asking, "What?"
"I need your phone."
"For what?"
"To figure out where we are and to call for pickup and evac, of course, I mean for real, brother. How long have you been in your line of work?"
"Three years, but I have never been apart from my company and never been more than two minutes from a chopper during that time. What about you?"
"Been out of the Marines for two years, and out of the Academy for six months. This was supposed to be my girlfriend and my first real getaway weekend, and instead I get this." Randolph looks back at his empty hand. "But us talking is not helping us get you to a hospital. Phone." Deebler pulls his phone out of his vest and places it in Randolph's hand. Randolph flips it open and pulls up the GPS app to triangulate their position. Quickly, he dials the number for the Sacramento office of the Bureau and asks to speak to the officer in charge and explains the situation to him. Several minutes later he hangs up the phone and looks at Deebler with a concerned look on his face.

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Until we meet again, remember that two wrongs don't make a right, but three rights make a left.