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“Doctor!” A student rushes in, holding a smoking walkie-talkie, and supporting a friend, limping on a bleeding leg. Islet jumps to his feet again, setting the injured student on the ground, elevating the leg, and shining a small flashlight across it.
“What happened?” I ask them.
“It’s G,” he says, never taking his eyes from Islet’s treatment. “We overheard the baggers, they formed up around him, somewhere near their comm room, and called in a chopper.” I scan the ground and snatch up a weapon.
“That’s where they had all the phones, right?” Grace says. “The one outgoing line.”
“Trashed.” The student groans. “By the time we got in it was just broken glass and charcoal.”
“If G escapes, we’re all as good as dead,” I tell the room. “And he has a lot to answer for.” They all look up. “So who’s coming with me to bring him in?” Some stand. Others raise their hands. “Grace.” I tap her on the shoulder. “Take two minutes to organize them, make sure they’re all healthy and armed.”
“Got it,” she nods. “He’s going to get what’s coming to him.”
“Islet.” I drag him aside. “We need to talk.”
“Uh, okay,” he nods. “What is it?” I listen to the murmur of voices and the clatter of equipment.
“I saw the medical staff.” He nods, making a show of listening. “Radiation suits.” His eyes roll down to his feet.
“You saw the bomb?” he asks.
“I saw enough to guess,” I say. “We all did.”
“I didn’t want to,” he gasps. “We were forced, we installed it at gunpoint, I hate-”
“I don’t care how you feel about it,” I say and shove him against the wall, “I need to know how big it is, what kind of detonator it has, and if it can be disarmed.”
“Well,” he gulps, “it’s tactical grade, I remember they said that, just enough to-”
“Get rid of the evidence,” I say.
“That was the idea.” He nods. “Even if we take the academy, they might-”
“They won’t,” I tell him. “G wouldn’t trust anyone else with the detonator, so we won’t give him the chance to get far enough away. Don’t get the wrong idea, Islet, I need to know if it can be moved.”
“Moved?” He flinches again. “You want to use it?”
He studied Creative Writing, and graduated from the Open University.
As a freelance writer Alexander enjoys storytelling just as much as editing and analysis, but often takes time off to enjoy wind surfing, do the sickest of motorcycle flips, wrestle with deadly animals and lie about his hobbies.
In 2008 he moved to the USA and now lives in New Hampshire’s beautiful White Mountains with his family and two dogs, Gwynne and Gimli.
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