Chapter 7

June 19, 2011 at 11:29 pm (The Job) (, , , , )

Parker raised her gun and fired. Three quick shots obliterated the spiders. It was a waste of ammo, but fucking satisfying. Before any more spiders could crawl in, the gorilla reached his giant hand through the hole and grasped the edge of the door. Parker moved to within two feet of the door and took careful aim. Pressing the button on the pen, the darts shot out the end and stabbed the gorilla’s hand.

The alpha male snatched his hand back with a small yelp of surprise. Parker pulled the pen top off and loaded another round of darts. Another spider roamed in under the door and Parker stomped on it with her boot. She grimaced at the crunch and squish sounds. Waiting for the gorilla to react to the darts, Parker hoped the person attempting to break down the door behind her would be successful.

A loud thud against the anteroom door drew her attention from the hole near the bottom. Peering through the window in the door, she watched as the male gorilla tried to shake off the effects of the spider venom. He looked drunk. Shaking his head back and forth, he launched himself against the door. Again and again, he slammed into it. The door started to give under the intense pressure.

Checking the vicinity for spiders, Parker crouched down at the hole in the door. She couldn’t see the gorilla from her angle, so she lay down on the floor and stuck her face up against the hole. Her arm extending through the hole, she aimed the pen up at the gorilla’s leg. Dispensing the darts, she quickly pulled her arm back and got up off the floor.

With a final thud, the gorilla cracked through the anteroom door. Parker stood as far back as she could get, her gun trained on the entrance to the lab. She waited for the gorilla to crash through. After a full minute of waiting, she cautiously approached the door. The hole in the bottom was blocked by the gorilla’s body. Staring through the window, she saw that the gorilla lay against the door, unmoving. The spider venom had finally taken its toll.

Slipping the empty pen into her pocket, Parker collected the supplies and stuffed them back into her pack. Grabbing the rope, she tossed the bundled end into the air, closer to Monique. Once it rounded the pipe, she attached it to the door handle once more.

Monique immediately began working her way off the pipe and down the rope. When she reached the bottom, Parker gave thought to slipping the rope off and leaving Len to wait for assistance, but the idea that those other gorillas or the spiders could get up there made her reconsider.

“Follow Monique’s example to get back down,” Parker instructed him. If he fell, she wouldn’t get worked up over it.

A tremendous crack behind her turned Parker’s attention to their rescuer. The axe blade had finally penetrated the locking mechanism of the door. Wedging it back and forth, the door popped ajar. Parker grabbed the handle and held the door closed while Len continued his climb down the rope.

At ten feet off the ground, Len’s grip gave out and he fell. With a cry, he landed hard. The snap of bone was clearly audible in the small room. With a shriek of pain, Len flopped onto his back. Removing the rope from the door handle, Parker wound the trailing rope back into the bundle. Stuffing it in her pack, she crossed the room and squatted down next to Len. His left foot had twisted sharply backward.

“I don’t have anything to splint your foot against. I’ll help you up and you can lean against me for support.” Parker reached for him, grasping him by the arms. Before he could protest, she hauled him to his feet. He instinctively kept his left foot off the ground and hopped a step on his right leg. Parker wrapped Len’s left arm around her shoulder and grasped him around his waist. He didn’t weigh much more than she did.

Moving toward the door, she followed Monique out into the hallway. Their savior was a woman in coveralls that didn’t fit. She had the axe slung over her shoulder. Her face was determined, but her eyes were haunted.

“Josie!” Monique cried upon seeing her. “What are you still doing here?”

“He killed Gary,” Josie whispered, tears pooling in her eyes. She took a steadying breath, refusing to let them fall.

“Who did?” Parker demanded.

“His name was Seth. He killed Gary and the other security personnel.”

“What did he do to you?” Monique asked.

Parker looked over her shoulder, into the anteroom. The male gorilla still leaned against the door. Getting antsy to be away from the lab, Parker steered Len down the hall, motioning the women ahead of them.

“He stripped my clothes off me and then he just stared at me. Every so often he would touch me. I kept expecting him to rape me, but he didn’t.”

Parker wondered if that was Seth’s plan; to get a woman so focused on the idea of rape that they tortured themselves over it, saving him the energy expenditure. Or maybe the guy was loco.

They hadn’t gone more than halfway down the hallway when Parker heard the crash of a door behind them. The alpha male gorilla came charging out of the lab into the hallway. Tossing Len to the floor, Parker whipped around and opened fire.

“Drag him out of here!” Parker yelled as the gorilla thundered down the hallway toward her. Standing her ground, blocking the gorilla’s view of the others, Parker focused her attention on making her shots count. One shot to the leg produced a large spurt of blood. The gorilla stumbled, but shook it off. With a roar, he charged. A shot to the face blew out the gorilla’s right eye. It wasn’t a straight on shot; the bullet didn’t enter the brain. The gorilla howled in rage, shaking his head back and forth. Partially blinded, he scanned the hallway until he found her again.

Anger overrode his pain. With a growl low in his throat, the alpha male leaped at her. Parker ducked out of the way, keeping to his blind side. Firing a quick double tap to his abdomen, she scooted around behind him. Before he could recover, she slipped her knife from its sheath and leaped onto the gorilla’s back. Grabbing a fistful of fir at the back of his head, she sliced her knife across his throat. Pulling her hand back to expose the wound, she watched as the blood burst forth.

Dying, the gorilla reached around behind and grabbed onto her boot. His strength rapidly waning, he tried to pull her in front, but Parker kept a death grip on his fir. Slipping in his own blood, the gorilla fell. Parker pushed away from his back, but he retained his grip on her boot. Falling to the ground, she kicked her free leg at the hand wrapped around her boot. When the gorilla’s grip loosened, she scrambled backward, through the pool of blood. A gun in one hand and a knife in the other, Parker waited to see if the gorilla would attack again.

His head turned and Parker could see the intelligence underneath the anger. With one eye ruined, he stared at her with the other. She watched until the light went out of the eye. Slowly, without taking her eyes off him, she stood. Her breathing was still a little haggard. Adrenaline was making her twitchy. Giving him a wide berth, Parker strode down the hallway, toward the others.

A noise from behind her made her whip around, both the knife and the gun up and ready. One of the smaller female gorillas stood at the door to the anteroom, staring down the hallway at the alpha male. She let out a keening wail when she saw the downed alpha male. Parker picked up the pace, heading for the stairwell. The others had already manoeuvred Len through the doorway and begun their descent to the lower levels.

Josie’s keycard had allowed her entrance to the floor, but not the lab. The stairwell door was intact. Josie came back up the stairs and ran her card through the reader once more, to lock the doors. Parker hustled down the stairs and stepped in front of Len.

“You’re an asshole,” Parker announced. “You don’t deserve any special care.” Bending down, she shoved her shoulder against his waist and hauled him across her shoulders in a fireman’s carry. Running down another three flights of stairs to the main level bounced him around, but Len wisely kept his mouth shut. At the bottom, she set him on his feet, taking enough care not to jar his ankle. Propping him against the wall, she waited for him to regain his balance and then she let go.

“Forget you know I exist,” she said to Len, though she intended the comment for all of them. “I don’t want to have to look you up again.” She left the threat hanging and began walking down the hall toward the rear exit.

“Wait!” Josie called out. She ran down the hall after Parker when she realized the woman wasn’t going to stop. “You have to tell me what you’re going to do about Seth!” she insisted.

“If I run across him, I’ll kill him. Otherwise, I’ll leave him be,” Parker announced.

“That’s not good enough,” Josie whispered.

Parker stared down at the woman. Her eyes were haunted. Parker didn’t think that was entirely due to watching her fiancé die right in front of her.

“What is good enough?” Parker asked.

“He must die. He can’t be allowed to hurt anyone else.”

Parker barely suppressed the urge to roll her eyes. What dream world did Josie Rider live in? Seth was a hired killer. He would hurt other people. That was a given.

“Seth is the one who triggered the lockdown.”

That statement brought Parker up short. The lockdown had damn near gotten her killed. Why would the agency call for an action that would get her killed? Had they changed their minds about the hit? If they had, why wouldn’t they just call her off the job?

The only reason Parker could see for them taking her out instead of calling her off would be if she’d learned something they didn’t want her to know. She’d have to analyze everything that had been done thus far and determine if she had such knowledge. In the meantime, she had to get the hell away from the lab.

“Look, I can’t promise you anything, but I’ll do my best to see to it that Seth doesn’t hurt anyone else.” She had no idea how she would make that happen, but Parker hated the haunted look in Josie’s eyes. “Look for a message from Kelly Blatt.”

Parker turned and strode down the hallway and out the back exit. Circling around the grounds, she made her way to the employee parking lot at the southeast side of the building. The guards were still on duty, with two units of two patrolling the grounds. One unit had just cleared the parking lot and was heading toward the west side of the building. Parker snuck out from the side of the building and jogged over to the fence at the far end of the parking lot. Built of brick and ten feet high, Parker worked her way down to the corner. Attaching a small claw to the end of her rope, she tossed it over the top of the fence and slowly reeled it back in. When it caught on the edge, she tested the strength before beginning her climb. When she reached the top ledge, Parker gripped the edge and swung her legs over. Releasing her rope claw, she dangled down the other side and dropped the few extra feet to the ground.

Turning, keeping her back to the wall, she studied the road in both directions. The alarm from inside the building didn’t reach outside. The neighbourhood was quiet. The other businesses in the area either didn’t keep late hours, or they used a skeleton crew after dark. Wagner’s lab was the only business on the block that was fully lit up. Picking her direction, Parker stepped away from the fence. Avoiding the glare of the streetlights, she moved steadily eastward. She would wait until she was a few blocks away before she hunted up a taxi.

“Ok, I’m back,” Petrillo announced, his voice booming in her ear. “What do you need?”

Parker took a second to swallow her thundering heart before answering. “I need a bloody drink.”

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1 Comment

  1. farwind said,

    it gets better and better!!!

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