EXT-Day-low rocky ridge
Helton and Harbin are lying just below the crest of a ridge of rocks, peering over the top toward the mine. The sun is not quite overhead. Their cloths are covered with dust, so they blend into the rocks well. In the near distance, against the far wall of a small valley is the prison / mining operation. It is located about where three steep-walled valleys converge. There is a scattering of rock piles here and there, and a flat landing spot to one side with two medium-large sized fliers, one medium-small, and two small two-person quad-rotors. There is no wall or fence, just a some industrial-style buildings built against the rock face, a few out-buildings, and a couple of conveyor belts coming out leading to large gravel piles.
Harbin: No fence. That’ll make it easier.
Helton: Don’t need one. Where would they run?
Harbin grunts concurrence as they look the place over.
Helton: So, we’ll need keys, likely from that building there, then go for the biggest flier. Wait for dusk and sneak in over there on the right in the dark.
Helton looks at him with cocked head, questioningly.
Harbin: In another hour or so, the rocks will be the same temperature as us, and we will hardly show up on thermal scanners. They won’t expect someone coming from that side, and they’d not expect someone to try to escape during the heat of the day, so they are not likely to see us in full daylight – sun overhead means little shadow, too.
Helton: (skeptically / sarcastically) Just walk up? I thought I was in charge.
Harbin: Of getting us here. Winning fights is what I do.
Helton: I hope you are right.
Harbin: (grinning like a cat eying a mouse) Me, too, Helton. Me too.
They both carefully start backing down the ridge.
EXT -DAY- next to a gravel pile near the mine, sun directly overhead
Helton: Time. Let’s do this.
Harbin nods, hefts a softball-sized rock and tosses it in the air, catches it, flexes his shoulders, and nods, a set look on his face.
They walk smoothly and boldly across the open area for one of the outbuildings closest to them. Their dusty cloths blend into the everything-dust-colored buildings and background. They approach a door facing them, open it, and stride right in.
INT – day – well-lit storage building
Helton closes the door silently behind them. They look around. There is no-one obviously there. There are stacks of crates and barrels and shelving with boxes and bins on them, and they cannot see very far. To one side is a desk and a small walled cubicle with a closed door. Harbin hold up his hand to motion silence, and they listen intently. Nothing. Harbin motions for Helton to go left while he goes right. They move silently along their respective walls, and see nothing. They circle around and meet back together by the door. There is a desk with a couple of screens (on one, a paused movie, on another, 4 CCTV images of outside the building and surrounding area, on the 3rd a bunch of text in various windows), and a thing that looks like a hand-held bar-code scanner, as well as some generic office gear and a large pair of scissors. They look at each other and are about to speak to say it looked clear, when they hear a flushing sound from the side cubicle. Harbin grabs the scissors from the desk, wielding them like a knife. The two of them spring to either side of the door, waiting to hit or grab whoever comes out.
Cut to close-up of the door.
It opens, showing a dirty bathroom, with Slaver1, one of the pug-uglies that dropped them off the ramp in the desert, looking down and slightly sideways at his left hand and scratching himself with the other. He notices out of the corner of his left eye Helton, and reacts in a flash to reach for a comm unit on his belt. Harbin holds the scissors to Slaver1’s neck and he freezes. Harbin whacks him carefully with the rock and drops him, then crouches down and takes the comm from his belt.
Harbin: Well, well, well…
Helton: Looks like his Karma wheel is spinning faster than most, eh?
Harbin eyes the comm, examining its settings. He nods in satisfaction and bends to feels the pulse of Slaver1 for a moment.
Harbin: Thick skull. Get a drink, I’ll watch him.
Harbin starts to go through Slaver1’s pockets and dropping the contents on the floor. Helton goes into the bathroom, turns on the faucet, rinses his hands, then cups them to drink deeply, then splash water on his face, standing up with a sigh of relief. Helton turns around to see a small pile of assorted pocket stuff and Harbin dragging Slaver1 out of site of the door with one hand, scissors in the other. Helton goes over and helps drag the last bit.
Harbin: Watch the door and cameras (nodding to the desk)
Harbin looks around, and grabs a spool of cord from a shelf while Helton walks back to stand between the desk and door.
Harbin walks over to the cubicle and pauses at the door.
Helton: Nope. All quiet.
Harbin nods and goes inside the bathroom and closes the door.
Your going to have to start writing faster. I cant take the not-knowing!
Then speculate 🙂 See any holes in the plan?
word of the day: cliffhanger
And thinks for reading – glad you are enjoying it, even if the suspense is killing you 🙂
Also, if you know anyone that doesn’t read big books because of a short attention spa… oh, SHINY…. I mean time constraints, forward them the link so they can get their daily dab of “literature.” or at least story-telling.
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“spool of chord” s/b cord.
I’m enjoying the story, and also wish for more/more frequent/longer updates.
Well, he was tying him across a circle, you see, and…. or not. Dang homonyms 🙂 My inner math teacher was trying to break out, I guess. Thanks for the proof-reading.
I’m posting daily, and it’s actually a fair bit of work to make sure that the mistakes are minimal, stuff from various sections syncs up properly with related things in other sections, etc. Sometimes I catch mistakes that I wonder how I made, like a guy dropping and empty magazine and inserting a full one five times in 30 seconds…. There are also a couple of parts where I’ve got a pretty good idea what the big picture looks like, but haven’t decided which of the two dozen ways the details could play out work best, because they are at critical inflection points in the story. I don’t want to get people hooked on a huge chunk every day, then nothing for a week while I work that part’s details out.
Glad you are enjoying it, and feel free to recommend it to your friends 🙂
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