Where Honor Lies – #4
By Bear Starfire McQuinn
C. 2021, McQuinn.
Chapter One, Cnt’d.
As oxygen filled his lungs, the sparkles began to fade from his vision and his thoughts cleared. He took several moments to consider the new advantages to his current predicament. All he needed now was to be able to use his weapon if necessary. It could mean the difference between living, or dying at the hands of the mob that seemed to be right on top of him.
By his mental estimate, he still had a good thirty minutes before the extrication team arrived. Until then, he had to wait. He wasn’t comfortable with the time. He was a man of quick, decisive action, after all. Inhaling deeply, Jonquil felt a sharpness in his side. Shifting ever so carefully, he moved just enough to remove the discomfort while at the same time freeing the business end of his smoker. Finally, camouflaged as much as he could be, there was nothing left to do but wait. Wait, and pray.
Hours later, Jonquil still waited beneath the refuse, anxious to get out of the hell he could hear happening around him. Any moment, he feared both detection or acquiring a stray bullet. For a moment, he started to consider how he was going to extricate himself from the area. He considered the possibility that the team was unable to get to him. The fear was sobering, and oddly exhilarating, too. Now, he needed a new plan.
‘Commander Montgomery?’ He heard a voice hiss above him. ‘Commander, are you here?’
Jonquil stirred slightly at the sound of his name.
‘Extract One, Sir.’ The trained eye found his despite his cover. ‘Ready to blow, Sir?’
Jonquil didn’t have to hear the words twice as he exploded out of the debris. ‘Definitely, Major. Let’s get out of here.’
‘Problem that, Sir.’ The Major confessed. ‘We had to fight our way in, looks the same heading out, Sir. We’re about two mile out. Close as we could get.’
‘Lead the way, Major. My wife’s making her famous pot roast for dinner, and I can already taste it.’ Jonquil smiled despite his disheveled appearance.
‘Stick to my six, Sir. I’ll get you home before the meat gets too dry to eat.’ The Major chuckled as he bumped elbows with the Commander.
As they neared the end of the alley, Jonquil saw the uncontrolled mayhem of the citizens finally taking back their freedom from tyranny. Jonquil gulped at the sight. Internally, he took it all in. Was this chaotic scene the result of his singular act? Or, was his act merely one of many flashpoints that set this conflagration into motion? He’d never stayed around long enough to see the consequences of his skill. It was sobering, he thought, as a heaviness settled into his bones.
‘Keep your head up and your wits about you, Sir. It looks like we may have to join the melee.’ Major Edwards grinned as he signaled his team to move forward. ‘Go. GO! GO!’
Jonquil followed and was nearly crushed by the force of the rabid crowd. His breath caught in his chest as he fought the need to cry out. Hands tried to grab hold of his smoker. He fought against them, knowing that if he lost his weapon, he would be lost as well.
‘Ye- ahh!’ He bellowed as he began to use his smoker as a bludgeoning tool. Again and again, his smoker slammed into heads, and bodies fell. Whether they were unconscious or dead, he didn’t care.
To his immediate right, Major Edwards deflected a steel pipe that barely missed crushing Jonquil’s skull. A know of fear gripped Jonquil’s heart as an image of his son playing war flashed through his mind. So innocent, so naiver. Jonquil knew, in that moment, that he had to get home, now matter what it took. Adrenaline surged through his veins, tingling in his limbs and burning through his brain. Survival instinct kicked into full gear as he unleashed his pent up hostility. He used his failing marriage to fuel his fight against any who opposed his progress. Together, Jonquil and Major Edwards drove forward against the crush of the crowd. At times, they defended each other. At others, they aggressively drove the angry mob aside.
‘This way, Sir.’ Major Edward’s confident voice urged him onward. ‘Almost home, now, Sir. Can you smell the pot roast, yet?’
‘Yes, I can.’ Jonquil chortled, following the Major’s gesture upwards.
‘Helio on the roof, Sir.’