Children of Darkness: Chapter 11

Do you need to get caught up? Read Chapter 1 here

 

Solomon groaned as he came awake. Erik’s goon had given him a thorough beating. He tasted the copper tang of his blood. He turned his head and spat, it didn’t help much. The door snapped open again and Solomon hoped Erik brought a smaller thug this time. 

Erik came over to stand beside Solomon. Behind him stood a large man in a plain black suit. Solomon closed his eyes. He’d seen enough men in black suits to last a lifetime.

“I thought you’d like to meet your new keeper.” Solomon opened his eyes and saw Erik leering down at him. “This is Agent Smith of Earth Force. He’s quite anxious to speak with you.”

A desperate idea popped into Solomon’s head. “I already told you everything I know. Why don’t you just pass it along?”

Agent Smith glared at Erik. “You didn’t mention the two of you spoke.”

“We didn’t, he’s lying.” Erik looked around the room for an escape.

“Come on, Erik,” Solomon said. He loved watching the skinny prick squirm. “You couldn’t get enough earlier. You said you could blackmail them for millions. You’d make a fortune with this information, remember?”

“You’re going to have to come back to base with me, Mr. Kane,” Smith said. “We shouldn’t have any trouble clearing this.”

“I’m not going anywhere with you.” Erik grabbed the front of Solomon’s shirt, his watery blue eyes bugging out of his head. “Tell him the truth, you son of a bitch. Tell him I don’t know anything.”

Solomon smiled.

“Sir, I’m going to have to insist you come with me.” The agent reached for the stun pistol holstered under his jacket. “My orders are to detain anyone with knowledge of the matter under investigation.”

“Well that leaves me out.” Erik dove through the door just ahead of the blue stun pulse.

Agent Smith looked down at Solomon. “Stay here.”

Solomon made a helpless gesture with his bound hands. “I’m not going anywhere.”

* * *

The elevator came to a smooth stop and the door slid open. They didn’t have any trouble getting on in the kitchen, the staff was so busy running around he doubted anyone even noticed them. Now he and Iaka stepped out into a storage room filled with every kind of fresh or canned food he could imagine and some he’d never even dreamed of. Dozens and dozens of shelves filled the room. They worked their way toward the back where the outline of a door was visible.

The door opened as they approached. A startled guard spun around just in time to catch a side kick from Iaka in the jaw. He went down hard and groaned. She relieved him of his stun baton then thumped him on the head with it. He stopped moving.

She held up the baton. “I feel better with this.”

“Didn’t look like you needed it. Grab an arm.”

They dragged the unconscious guard into the storeroom out of sight. The way clear they left the storeroom and started down a gray hall lined with doors. Lights flicked overhead filling the hall with dancing shadows. He’d have thought a fancy place like this would have better lighting.

“What now?” Iaka asked.

“He could be anywhere. I guess we check each room just like we did upstairs.”

They took up now-familiar positions with Iaka by the door button and Marcus ready to go in. He nodded and she hit the button. The door shot up and he dove in, gauntlet ready. He found a room filled with hanging sides of meat. He backed out of the room. “This might take a while.”

The next six rooms held more foodstuffs. As Iaka got ready to open the seventh door she said, “This sucks.”

Marcus didn’t argue but there was no other way to find Solomon so he nodded for her to open the door. She did and he dove in. This time they found an unoccupied office. Sitting on the metal desk he found a stainless steel attaché with the Earth Force shield engraved on the side.

He popped the locks and discovered eight neat rows of five-hundred-credit coins. He blinked. His eyes must be playing tricks. He looked away then looked back. Nope, the credits didn’t vanish. He grinned and closed the case. He picked it up and headed toward the door. Iaka stared at him, brow furrowed.

“What?”

“You’re stealing.”

“Yes, is that a problem?”

She chewed her lip a moment. “We shouldn’t steal unless it’s an emergency.”

“This is an emergency. We’re broke.” He slipped past her and trotted back to the elevator. He left the case beside the doors so he could grab it on their way out and retraced his steps. Iaka still scowled at him as they continued down the hall. He didn’t care, no way he could leave that much money lying around.

They checked three more rooms and found a king’s ransom in cleaning supplies. The next door down stood open. They looked at each other and Marcus shrugged. He ducked in same as usual and found Solomon manacled to a steel table.

“Hey, pal. You all right?”

“Fine. Best room in the house.” Solomon smiled. “You want to get me out of here before those two lunatics get back?”

Marcus walked around the table and found a button. He hit it and the four manacles popped open. From the looks of him someone had beaten the hell out of Solomon. His lip had split and his left eye was swollen halfway shut.

Solomon sat up and rubbed his wrists. “Thanks. Now let’s get the out of here.”

“Solomon,” Iaka said. “I’m so sorry I got you into this.”

“Later.” Marcus ushered the pair ahead of him out the door.

They had taken a few steps out when a voice said, “Halt. You’re all under arrest.”

They turned and saw a huge man in Earth Force black, an unconscious man slung over his shoulder like one of the sides of meat they’d seen earlier. 

“Like hell!” Marcus said. “Scatter.”

Iaka ducked into the storage room across he hall. Solomon ran down the hall toward the elevator and Marcus jumped back into the prison. He tried to anyway. He didn’t move fast enough and his left leg went numb where the agent’s stun blast grazed him.

“Damn it!” He stuck his arm out and fired a blast down the hall. He peeked out and saw the agent crouched down behind the unconscious man. Marcus fired another shot but the body absorbed it with barely a twitch.

“Iaka. Head for the elevator, I’ll cover you.”

“Here I go!”

Marcus pumped two more blasts into the unconscious shield as Iaka ran down the hall. Once she made it out of the hall he ducked back into the room. Not a moment too soon as a flash from the agent’s weapon lit up the doorway.

He looked at his gauntlet. Only had a quarter charge left.

Not good. Two shots, tops.

He fiddled with the modules settings, switching from a focused blast to a diffused spray. It wouldn’t knock the agent out but it might daze him long enough for Marcus to reach the others.

Maybe.

He glanced out and jerked his head back as the agent fired another blast at the door.

Guess he’s still out there.

Marcus stuck his hand out and fired without aiming.

He ducked out of the room and half ran, half staggered down the hall.

At doorway when his still-numb leg gave out and he sprawled on the floor.

He rolled to his back and spotted the agent shaking off the effects of his diffused shot.

A quick command switched his weapon back to focused and fired.

Nothing.

He was out of juice.

The agent shook his head one last time and aimed at Marcus.

Marcus watched as if in slow motion the agent pressed the firing stud on his blaster. It spat a few sparks.

They were both out of juice.

The agent threw his weapon away and got up and cracked his knuckles. It seemed he planned to stun Marcus the old-fashioned way.

Marcus crab-walked back toward the elevator as fast as his numb leg allowed. The agent charged him at a dead run.

He’d never make reach the elevator in time.

Marcus looked around for a weapon, a loose can of peaches, anything. He reached back and something hit his hand.

He risked a glance back and saw the stun baton. Iaka had slid it to him.

Thank you, gorgeous.

He flipped the activation switch and swung just as the agent reached him. The baton caught him right between the eyes.

A light flashed as the baton discharged and Marcus found himself wearing a two-hundred-plus-pound man as a blanket.

“A little help here, guys?”

Iaka and Solomon ran over and shoved the unconscious agent off him. He groaned as the weight slid off. “Thanks.”

Marcus tried to massage some feeling back into his leg. Solomon helped him to his feet and together they shuffled over to the elevator. Marcus grabbed the attaché as they passed.

“What’s that?” Solomon asked.

“A surprise.” Marcus grinned. “You’ll love it.”

 

I hope you enjoyed Chapter 11. Click here to read Chapter 12 

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