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Awakenings Chapter 8: Redemption, Page 7


Eric had been surfing the web at his computer in his office when he suddenly heard gunfire and explosions.  Stepping up to his office window, he just caught a glimpse of an explosion on one of the rooftops of one of the buildings overlooking the docks.  None of it made sense until he saw a stream of light, tracers, firing into an area of shipping containers, followed by an explosion on the ground near the building where the tracer fire came from.  He then noticed flashing lights as police vehicles and what appeared to be a dark colored truck pulled up to near the main gate past the trucks stopped at the gate.  He then picked up his cell phone and dialed the number for Robert.   “Just to let you know, we have the authorities arriving in force at the docks. All hell is breaking loose.”

The Oakland City Police officer quickly opened his car door and scrambled out in almost a half crawl to take cover behind a k-rail barricade near the entrance to the Fairchild Group dock.  Being a marine reservist having just returned from heated fighting in the Middle East, he was no stranger to battle.  What he wasn’t prepared for in Oakland was the sound of a mortar being fired followed by the sound of an incoming mortar round.  He reflexively lay as low as could, waiting for the impact.  The sound of the explosion was deafening when it hit.  He could feel debris raining over him.  Pausing for a moment, he carefully poked his head up to only see that his cruiser had been demolished.  Quickly keying his radio, “Captain, I think we may be just a bit outgunned.  The bad guys have mortars.”

DeMario, Joe, Elise, and Pauline made their way down the hall to a door leading to the outside.  The sounds of the raging battle were clearly visible outside.  DeMario paused for a moment.  “You all need to stay in here.  Find an interior room and hunker down.  I don’t want any of you getting hit by stray fire.  The rest just answered with a defiant look.

Pauline spoke up, “We’re all worried about Ed.  Who’ll watch your back?”

Giving in, DeMario just carefully opened the door and jumped out into a roll looking to each side to make sure it wasn’t a kind of trap.  He found that the door was unwatched.  Quickly he made his way to some stacked shipping containers and waved back for the others to follow him while he visually swept the area looking down the barrel of the AK47.

When the others got to DeMario, he asked Joe, “Where did Ed go?”

Joe was still having trouble focusing and was still sweating profusely, but pointed out to the direction of the shipping cranes. “Ed and one other guy with a gun went over to that small shed near that crane.”

As they prepared to head in that direction, they could smell the smoke from fires started by the raging dock battle getting whipped in their direction by the stiff breeze steadily blowing across the docks.  Smoke from the now brightly burning fires in the Oakland Hills obscured the early evening stars.  The burning fuel on the water by the container ship now just outside the harbor was clearly visible.  They all watched in amazement as they saw the helicopter hit the water.

Suddenly, bullet holes appeared high in the shipping container next to the group.  DeMario waved to them to take cover between two of the containers.  As he dove in to join them, he suddenly felt the wind get knocked out of him as a round hit him in the chest.  Wincing in pain he rolled into the cover provided between the containers and leaned his back against one in agony.  With Elise closely watching, DeMario reached down where he had been hit and found his shirt torn but his body armor intact.  At the worst he had a busted rib, confirmed by the pain he now felt with each deep breath.

Elise and the others moved further into the cover provided by the shipping containers while DeMario, ignoring his pain, crawled out with the AK47 at the ready.  Suddenly Elise noticed a shadow moving towards DeMario down the aisle between the shipping containers.  She realized that the shadow did not see the rest of the group because they were now between the ends of two containers.  Looking around, she found a stray 6-foot length of 2 by 4 lumber lying on the ground.  Quietly picking this up, she waited for the shadow to pass close by.  With all of her might, she swung the board hard into the back of the head of the man sneaking up on DeMario, and followed this with a roundhouse kick to the stomach and then a heel thrust into the middle of the chest, collapsing his solar plexus.  DeMario twisted around ready to fire a burst into the person but then saw Elise.  Reaching over, he verified that Elise had put this person out of action for the duration, possibly for good.

Jorge finally surfaced after floating out of the sinking helicopter.  He tried to tread water, but the agonizing pain in his right arm made him realize that would have trouble swimming.  He was just about ready to give in to drowning when he felt nudges on his right and left shoulders.  “Señor Jorge.  Are you ok?”  The pilot and copilot had worn their inflatable personal flotation devices and had swam over to him.

Choking and coughing on water, “My arm is busted.  I can’t swim.  Can you help me?”

The pilot answered, “Of course, but let me take a look at that arm.”  The copilot supported Jorge while the pilot took a look at Jorge’s arm, only just visible in the darkening light.  “It does not look too good.  I see the bone poking through the fabric of your shirt and through the skin.  We might need to put a tourniquet on you.”

Robert answered his phone call from Eric.  “Ok, you now have 5 minutes to get out of there.”  As soon as he had hung up, he dialed another number.  “Ok, get ready to blow your charges in 5 minutes.  I want everyone out of there before the charges blow!  The dock area will soon become scorched earth.”