The Trap Sprung
Dmitri’s chopper landed in the exact location that it had done the previous week, however unlike before, there was a lot more activity around the warehouse area. This however did not surprise Dmitri, he had guessed that a trap was more than likely being set, although he thought it was due to his last reconnoitre being spotted, rather than the betrayal of Patrick.
He exited the cockpit and turned to face the dozen BOT's he had brought with him for the mission ahead, they were his best ones, his latest designs, improved and perfected after the dozens of missions that he had been on, so much so, that they were barely recognisable from the robots that had accompanied him to Boris’s Castle, the very first mission he had received.
“BOT's one through six will accompany me into the warehouse. BOT's seven through ten will stand guard outside the warehouse and wait for our return, BOT's eleven and twelve you will defend the chopper. Understood.” Dmitri said and the BOT's saluted showing their understanding.
The eleven of them exited the transport, with the two-remaining behind, as they crested the hill, they were immediately set upon by two hooded figures, but both were quickly shot down well before they could reach either Dmitri or his companions. None of the attacking group took too much notice of the fallen, they were only focussed on the objective, the warehouse directly in front of them. This strategy was working until a gunshot from the roof took out BOT number eight. However, after a shot from BOT number nine, a hooded figure fell from the rooftop, twenty feet to the ground, landing on the concrete ground with a crack.
“Get this door open number three.” Dmitri said, and the BOT responded by activating its blow torch and began cutting through the metal locks on the door, one by one the locks fell off until two of the BOT's were able to pry the large doors open. Only to be met by a machine gun, which cut the two BOT's’ to ribbons and forcing Dmitri back a few paces.
“Right.” Dmitri said, more to himself as he returned to the door whilst the machine gun kept firing at the small opening. “How the fuck do we get past this then?” Dmitri asked to the heavens and for a moment seriously considered throwing in the towel and returning to the chopper and fleeing back to the manor. Until an idea came to him, he took out a smoke grenade and detonated it, before quickly throwing it through the doors, and after a few moments the gun stopped.
“It can’t see us.” Dmitri said before opening the doors hoping that whoever or whatever couldn’t be detecting the heat signatures coming from either himself or the BOT's, but no bullets rung out this time. As he ran towards a large wall of crates along with the BOT's he had assigned to come with him, the smoke cleared revealing nobody manning the gun.
“Let’s see how you like this.” Dmitri said, fully aware that he was effectively talking to himself, as he took out a grenade, a real one this time and lobed it towards the machine gun, after a few seconds it detonated blowing the first line of defence to bits. The crew then began to advance again, only this time more carefully. Dmitri was very conscious that he had already lost three of his group along with his element of surprise, so he decided to take a much more careful approach as he reached a set of steel doors that he knew instinctively lead to an elevator which would take them deep underground. As the doors opened, they revealed a large elevator compartment that could house them all inside, as they got in. A brief vision came across Dmitri eyesight.
He once again saw himself as a boy being dragged into the very same elevator by two hooded men.
It took a moment to snap out of it, in fact he didn’t fully come out of his deja vu moment until one of the BOT's addressed the rest of the group.
“Halfway to target area.” BOT number one said before turning to Dmitri. “Orders commander Jones.” The BOT said looking at the only living thing in the elevator. Dmitri thought for a moment.
“Someone’s going to have to sacrifice themselves, if the entrance is anything to go by, then my guess is that as soon as these doors are opened, we’re going to be under fire straight away.” Dmitri said as they passed by Level three and kept on descending down into the bowls of the earth. After a few more moments the lift suddenly stopped, and the doors opened.
There was nothing, no gunfire, no resistance. As they exited the elevator Dmitri checked his sides expecting to encounter some new obstacle, but their progress continued to be uninterrupted. As they advanced, they came to set of double doors, which were to Dmitri’s mounting sense of unease, unlocked and partially open.
“Here goes nothing.” Dmitri said and opened the doors, as the group walk, they discover the horrible sight that awaited them.
The room looked like a holding pen, with rows of cages on either side, however it was the sight on the ground that would haunt Dmitri for a long time. About fifty small corpses litter the ground in front of them. One of the BOT's knelt down and attempted to find a pulse but after a few moments got back up again.
“Dead, most likely within the past day.” BOT number four said in a solemn voice. Looking at Dmitri who observed the scene of destruction. He knelt down himself and closed the eyelids on a brown-haired boy who looked about the age of Nick.
“Get these bodies upstairs, we’ll bury them outside.” Dmitri said in a hollow voice. As he and the BOT's began to move the slain, a voice came over the intercom system.
“Well, well. Captain Jones has discovered our hideout.” The voice of Griefful said. and Dmitri felt like he knew that voice from somewhere, both in his past, but also more recently.
“Who are you?” Dmitri said looking around the room before spotting a security camera in the corner, looking directly at them.
“My name is Lord Griefful. And I hear you’ve been making enquiries about us, Captain Jones.” Lord Griefful said. Dmitri continued to look around the room and saw the doors begin to close.
“No!” Dmitri yelled running towards them, but he was too late, they closed right in front of his face and he could hear the sound of the locks turning inside the doors. He turned back to face the camera. “Murderer!” Dmitri shouted.
“If you are referring to the property on the ground, their deaths were your doing, Captain Jones.” Lord Griefful said.
“Property?” Dmitri said in horror. “They were kids, they were living human beings.” Dmitri finished looking up at the camera.
“They were nothing more than cattle, designed to continue our organisation, just like you were.” Lord Griefful said, and Dmitri could almost imagine the person behind the camera smiling down at them. As Dmitri continued to look around the room, several gun turrets rose up from the ground and took aim at the party. “I’m afraid this is the end, Captain. It saddens me but if only you had seen the light.” Griefful finished before there was a click and all was silent for a few seconds and then the guns opened fire.
Charlie was already in the air and halfway towards the ultimate destination, when she realised something was off, she turned around but saw nothing, as she returned to the controls she looked back at the hold once again, this time certain that she had heard something. She flicked a switch, putting the chopper on auto pilot and entered the hold.
“Show yourself.” Charlie said into the darkness, readying her gun despite the fact that they were still in the air. Thinking that someone had snuck into the cave as they had done the year previously, she knew that this was a ridicules idea as they had fully secured the weak spots in the perimeter. But that scenario was a lot less farfetched than what actually happened, as Jack stepped out and Charlie swore under her breath. “What are you doing here kid?” Charlie asked at the teen with more curiosity than anger in her voice, for now at least depending on how Jack answered the question.
“Wanna help, I overheard that Dmitri could be in trouble.” Jack responded, despite the fact that he had intended to keep his visits to the cave as secret as possible, he thought that the truth would serve him better now than a lie. Charlie threw up her hands in exasperation, wondering how many times these kids would sneak out.
“Fine. But I swear to the gods that you and your brother need to be electronically tagged for your own safety.” Charlie said returning to the cockpit, that was true, as most of the problems that had occurred over the passed few weeks, would have been solved if they had a clear idea of where the two eldest Wolfrick brothers were. At this remark, Jack only shrugged and follows Charlie into the cockpit of the plane, and only hoping not to throw up on his first mission.
As they land at the point where their intelligence said Dmitri’s crew were, Charlie turns to Jack and hands the boy a rifle. He takes it looking uncertainly at her, he had never held a gun before in his life and this wasn’t something that was made to fit his size, this was a full-size riffle that pretty much dwarfed him.
“Really?” Jack asked, he had come on this mission for the chance to do something, he just hadn’t expected to be called on so early. But it wasn’t the first time that he had held a weapon as he remembered a time when his uncle Gerrard had taken him and Dave hunting in the lands just beyond the manor. And even though he had missed the target and earned the laughter of Dave, at least he had had practice unlike any of his younger brothers.
“You wanted to help didn’t you.” Charlie said looking at him. “Aim for centre mass, then point and shoot, it’s that simple.” She finishes before opening the doors and heading out into the cold night air to a scene of utter chaos.
A BOT approached the two as they walked up towards the warehouse, looming in the distance, its black outline making it difficult to make out from the night sky.
“What’s happened here?” Charlie said looking around, several black robed figures lay dead on the ground, more than the three that Dmitri and his crew had killed on their assault. Along with the metal ruins of four BOT’s.
“We were ambushed after Commander Jones entered the enemy stronghold.” BOT number nine said, he was the only one left out of the six that Dmitri had ordered to remain outside. The rest were scattered across the ground between their present location and the large warehouse directly in front of them.
“Right, hold here. Me and the kid will go inside.” Charlie said and Jack looked up at her at this, looking at the destruction he was already having second thoughts about his choice to come on the mission. Charlie turns to him and gestures forward and begins to advance, after a few seconds in which Jack does a lot of heavy breathing, he follows.
Inside the elevator shaft Jack looks up to see Charlie loading her own gun, they hadn’t met any resistance so far, but he thought that their good luck on that front was soon about to end.
“Do you think he’s still alive?” Jack asked, he knew that it was a stupid question, but it was better than this silence that they found themselves in.
“Yeah.” Charlie answered. “Trust me on this kiddo, he’s not dead yet.” She finished as the doors open and both of them could hear the gunfire that was coming from the room ahead.
Charlie rushed forward followed by Jack, arriving at a control panel in the wall, Charlie opened it up, before quickly realising that there was nothing she could do.
“Fuck. It’s locked.” Charlie said slamming the doors, Jack however looked at the control panel and smiled to himself as he ripped the casing off the walls and began to hot wire the control panel. After a few moments the doors begin to open up. And Jack turns around and smiles at the astonished Charlie.
“Still want to tag me.” Jack said and walked through the door leaving Charlie speechless for a moment however she quickly gained control of herself and followed Jack through the doors that fortunately did not automatically close behind them.
Inside the room both Jack and Charlie could see Dmitri crouched behind a steel box as gunfire ripped through the air on all sides, both notices four gun turrets spewing bullets in every direction but their own.
“How’s your aim kid?” Charlie asked, as she took out a grenade, judging the distance and forming a plan in her mind as she spoke. She didn’t know how well it would work, but it was the best idea that she had at that moment, and the next moment might be too late at any rate.
“What?” Jack said, taken aback by the question as he took one peep over the parapet and quickly ducking the gunfire that was coming their way.
“Do you think you can get one of the turrets?” Charlie asked, wondering why the kid who was quick enough to know his way around electronics didn’t follow what she was saying when it came to physical action. If this plan worked, then it would more than likely break the crossfire area and allow Dmitri to break out from his current position. Jack looked into the room once more, trying not to alert the auto turrets to his presence, mentally judging the chances of him being able to hit one of the turrets.
“Sure.” Jack said, he had never been bad at physical action, he just simply preferred being on a computer than doing any physical. And as Charlie tossed a grenade over to him, he looked at it in slight surprise wondering if it was as simple to work as he guessed.
“Aim for the one closest to us, it should give Dmitri a way out.” Charlie said, she guessed that the guns were automated to cover a specific area of the room and would not change their specific target area even if one of the guns went down. Jack took aim and chucked the grenade into the room, hitting the designated turret in the centre, a few seconds pass of nothing but continual gunfire, as Charlie pushes Jack behind the wall and hoped that it would offer sufficient cover. Then an explosion rocks the room, and several bits of dust erupts from the ceiling. After the smoke clears, they see the mangled remains of the turret. Not only that but the other guns had also fallen silent. Charlie looks into the room to see Dmitri getting up of the ground.
“What in the gods name was that?” Dmitri said walking up to the pair through the rubble that the explosion had created. As he did so, Jack checked his eyebrows thinking that the force of the blast might have singed them off. But finding both still there, he went to investigate the remainder of the room that was still intact.
“New tech from the company.” Charlie said walking up to the turret and examining it, it was completely and thoroughly trashed, with shards of metal littered the ground around along with the cell casings, Charlie couldn’t decide which there was more of. However, there was little time to dwell on this fact as a weak noise came from the end of the room.
“What the hell?” Jack voice came over from the opposite end of the room sounding more like a squeak than anything else. And as Dmitri and Charlie rushed over the former captain quickly realised what the teen had come across, and understood immediately why his voice had gone all funny as a result.
“Gruesome, isn’t it. They were like that when we arrived.” Dmitri said looking at the pile of corpses. “You alright kid?” Dmitri said looking at Jack who had gone very green at the sight. Jack only nodded and Dmitri guested that if the lad had opened his mouth then he would have thrown up instead of spoken.
The trio had only remained inside the warehouse long enough to decide that they would stay here to bury the dead, and once outside the warehouse, after Dmitri had finally finished filling in the last grave, it had been a tough job to get all the bodies out of the warehouse and an even tougher to dig the graves, but there had been no question about doing it.
The only problem was that he had been alone in doing the physical labor, as Charlie had gone back to the plane, claiming that there was some tech business to solve, and a few paces away Jack sat on the small rise not speaking just observing the burial take place. As Charlie exited the plane sat down next to him, he looked up at her and spoke for the first time in over three hours.
“Why?” Jack asked choking slightly, that was all he had to say on the matter, and he now greatly regretted even coming on this mission. He had thought it would have been a good time, a chance to get one up on his brother’s and prove to his father and Vernon that he was ready for the responsibility, but now he wished that he had just stayed in the cave, and wanted nothing to do with these missions ever again.
“To get inside Dmitri’s head no doubt.” Charlie said, she too had been horrified at the sight that had greeted them when the dust had cleared, and she suspected that she would be plagued by nightmares for the rest of her life from the sight.
As Dmitri finished and walked over towards them, he dumped the shovel and walked past them, muttering to himself, followed by BOT number nine, the only survivor of the ambush and all the other BOT’s in general.
“Come on.” Charlie said getting up and looking down at Jack, who got weakly up onto his feet but kept his eyes on the newly constructed graveyard in front of the warehouse and wondering how such an organisation of the likes would be allowed to run, and how much damage they had dealt it this night. Deciding that they had done significant damage, due to the size of the facility here, he was at least comforted by that fact and made to turn away. But he quickly turned back around when he spotted something in the nearby undergrowth.
“There’s something over there.” Jack said pointing at the collection of greenery and Charlie turned around to see what looked like a pair of eyes staring at them from the clump of bushes.