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Aftermath_ Chapter Seventeen

Aftermath_ Chapter Seventeen

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Published by Toni Roman

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Published by: Toni Roman on Apr 14, 2011
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04/21/2014

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Aftermath: Chapter Seventeen
Cheyenne Mountain Air Force Base near Colorado Springs, Colorado
A T1000 kills an off-duty guard, dumps the body and then goes in on the guard's shift. Darren Beanfrom DARPA and Lance Strong from Homeland Security arrive early for the tour of NORAD. Asusual, there are several guards at the checkpoint. One guard takes it upon himself to escort the twoVIPs to a waiting room. The guard is alone with the two. A sharp pain as ice pick-sized spike stabsthrough eye into brain. They instantly slump to the floor.While the phony guard is hiding the bodies, there is a short loud hum of breakers tripping and ringingin ears. He wonders what it is but continues his clandestine activity unable to smell the rubbery odor ofhot electric cords or taste an acrid taste in his mouth from the fumes.Elsewhere, the others have arrived for the tour. Slight nausea, some blackout, and some feel anepileptic aura.“What was that?”“Got to be an EMP bomb.” said Richards.Someone is coming out of main tunnel emerging out of the smoke.A guard asks the man: “Any one injured?”“Yes.”He walks away calmly. In the confusion, the guards' primary duties are to lock down the entrance. AirForce rescue units can go in and injured can come out but otherwise sealed.Auldridge: “No tour today. Wish they'd let us help.”Ellison: “Captain Richards, that guard. Something about him.”Auldridge: (approaching guards) “What was that guard's name?”CO of guard detachment: “Smith. New guy. Wait. That can't be right. He's on TDY in Thule.”Auldridge: “Can you spare someone to follow him or interrogate him?”CO: “Not really, but it's a security matter now.”Being approached, Smith shoots them with his handgun, takes their automatic rifles and begins to killeveryone who gets in his way.All hell breaks loose in this high security area outside the base. Gun smoke. The smell of blood.Running. Yelling. Hitting the ground. Ducking for cover. Crouching. Jumping. Gunshot victimsfalling. There are many civilians present. Everything feels in slow motion. Richards crawling over tothe first man shot to check his pulse. None. Everything feels in fast motion.
 
Ellison improvisestourniquets for thosestill breathing. Heignores the grit on theground that is cuttinginto his knee.Ellison: “Assuming we survive this, how about having me temporarily re-activated in the Bureau? Ineed a gun and a badge.”Auldridge: (handing him a weapon) “Done.”“Smith” stops an ambulance, yanks open the door, tosses out the driver, and commandeers the vehicle.He speeds away down the access road until the men in the Hummer following him shoot out the tires.They are near a construction site. This time the MP's have heavier weapons. Smith gets a few nicks
 
but ignores them intent on finding new transportation. The construction crew has stopped because ofthe shoot-out and the man pretending to be Smith takes advantage of the slowdown of the biggestvehicle to run along side it, jump on the bottom step and climb up to the driver's seat.“Move over.”He takes the wheel of the scraper and speeds off the construction site towards town.“What are you doing?”“If I tell you, I have to kill you.”“You're one of those military moles in Cheyenne Mountain. Well you still can't do this. What are youdoing?”“If you must know, my mission is to fry their electronics and then distract them.”He grabs the man by the collar and throws him out -- under the wheels of a bus going the other way onthe road. He had warned the man not to ask.Richards was in the Hummer with the MP's. Their communications are fried and they need ordersbefore pursuing further into civilian areas. Captain Richards doesn't. He is FBI SWAT and sees agodsend.Bouncing up and down over terrain that seemed like corduroy. The shock absorbers on heavyequipment this large were never designed for it to drive off-road at high speed so the hijacker gets backon a road. Soon, “Smith” looks back and sees a garbage truck catching up to him. He begins to rollthe scraper over cars, SUV's, light pickup trucks, monster trucks and even runs several tractor-trailersoff the road. This is as close as this machine gets to feeling happy. It is in its element – violence.Richards is hard pressed to thread his way through the wreckage but somehow avoids hitting andkilling any survivors crawling out of crushed vehicles. He prays that the maniac he is following doesn'tget on the interstate during rush hour and increase the mayhem as it wreaks havoc.
Back at the tunnel entrance
.Auldridge: “We need a helicopter to pursue that thing.”Perry: “I have friends at Fort Carson but all communications are down.”Richards is leaning on his air horn but is temporarily blocked by a street of crushed cars left in thewake of the maniac rolling through the heart of downtown Colorado Springs. While stopped, hecatches his breath panting with mouth open as if he had been running and gulps more than dust anddiesel exhaust. The sour stench of week-old waste is so strong that it crosses from smell to taste. Hetries to spit out the taste he has inhaled and can't. He smells something that he hasn't smelled since helast did duty with a cadaver dog finding victims under flood and earthquake ruins. That street. Hetakes a detour and catches up with the scraper headed southeast this time toward Peterson Air ForceBase. Diesel engines snort as Richards clutches the stick shift. He looks up and guesses that thehelicopter approaching is after the same quarry. No way. This one is mine. He floors the acceleratorand slams the big garbage truck against the front of the scraper. Damn! What a time for the powersteering to fail. He wrestles the steering wheel as the scraper nudges back. Colorado Springs actually

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