Things are getting pretty tricky. The situation is escalating rapidly. It’s up to Deacon and Fiddlestix to contain it before someone gets killed.
Around 2:00 in the morning the perimeter alarm sounded. Search lights lit the compound, tacking back and forth slowly. There was a large armored vehicle at the gate.
“I’m not about to let that in,” Karl told them. “I want a team all over it like flies on shit.”
Dirk and his team tested the vehicle with everything they owned.
“Either the bugger’s not rigged or it’s so cleverly concealed we can’t see it,” Dirk told them after their search was complete.
“Leave it outside,” Karl told them. “It’s not an accident that it’s here.”
A feeling of disquietude was creeping up Fiddlestix’ spine making her shiver. “We’ve got to get it out of here!”
“What’s wrong?” Deacon was worried, he’d never seen her so afraid.
“It’s evil, Deacon! We have to get it out of here!”
“Should I tell Tully to blow it up?”
“NO! We have to take it away.”
They chained the Hummer to the rear of the car and towed it away from the compound. Loki took the car to the abandoned quarters of the Château Noir and ran like hell back to the Harlich compound. Hearing an ominous sound behind him, he turned and saw the woods alight with a sick blue glow.
Putting on a turn of speed, he ran as quickly as he could back to the Harlich compound. Thankful for two cyber legs, he leaped over the fence without waiting for them to open it. The light was visible above the trees.
Loki’s eyes were wide with horror. “What is that thing?”
“Sweet Jesus,” Tully gasped. “Where the bloody hell would he get one of them?”
“It’s a sanitizer!” Tully whispered, horror stricken.
“A what?” Loki was scared and that made him angry.
“It’s a bloody bomb, in’t it? That kills every living thing in its radius and then dissipates. Course the building’s left, a’ight? But the people are gone in a flash.” He snapped his fingers under Loki’s nose.
“We’re awfully goddam lucky you played that hunch, Hannah,” Karl said quietly.
“What do you think Varin will do now that he thinks we’re dead?” Blacksmith put into words what they were all thinking.
“I think he’ll be giving Preston a call in the morning,” Deacon said calmly. “Telling him that the owner’s reconsidered and taken him up on his latest offer.”
The call from Donnan Varin came around 9:30. Deacon did his best acting job ever, sounding pleased that Don had given him such good news. Fiddlestix could see the tightness at the corners of his mouth.
“That was by far the most difficult conversation I’ve ever had in my life,” he admitted sadly.
“It’ll be okay, Deacon. We’ll win this,” Fiddlestix assured him.
Fiddlestix and Deacon went upstairs dressing quickly and met the others on the boat. An aura of disquietude fell over them as they headed up the coast to Donnan Varin’s house. Varin didn’t come to the dock this time, but had sent a small contingent to greet them.
Varin met them at the door, inviting them in with an insincere smile. “Preston! Good of you to come by! Please, come in.”
“So, Don, did your deal go through as planned?”
“Couldn’t be better,” Varin told him with a grin. “The fellow who owns the land turned very cooperative when I upped the ante.” His smile didn’t reach his eyes.
Scarlet Varin gazed at the computer screen, watching Don. “He knows something,” she said flatly.
“You think Deacon’s cover is blown?” Fiddlestix was starting to worry.
“I think it’s very possible.”