For those of you who haven’t read any of the Journey Of St. Laurent before: You are now reading an online serial pulp novel. If you didn’t start at the beginning, you may want to do so. Chapter 1:Â Down By The Bay. This serial is the sequel to my first novel, Oasis.
Thanks to Mark, Ryan, DarcKnyt and Cory for saying hi after last chapter, and to StephanieG for her typo alerts. Thanks to everybody for your continued support, comments, and typo alerts. And for telling all your friends about me.
Chapter 15 â€“ Jailbreakâ€¦ in.
I never really thought of myself as somebody who could commit wanton acts of vandalism and destruction. I had run the occasional red light, but for the most part, I kept on the law abiding side of the line.
That’s why I surprised myself when I pulled on the door to the jail and found it locked. I wasn’t so surprised that it was locked. By that time, I was already accustomed to things not going right.
What surprised me was that the first thing I thought after I found the door locked.
How am I going to break this glass?
I suppose I was pretty motivated, what with the aliens blasting neighborhoods and the nation about to collapse on itself. That’s my excuse, anyway.
I considered going back for the gun. No, if someone’s in there, it will definitely make things worse.
Then the ashtray caught my eye.
I put one hand on the top, pushed it a little, then put a hand underneath. As it ends up, those things are a lot heavier than they look, and they don’t look light.
I hefted it about waist high.
London must have figured out what I was going to do, because she yelled for me to stop.
It was too late. My mind was made up. I grunted the cement ashtray over my head and flung it downward against the glass door as hard as I could.
The glass crunched and caved inward, but didn’t completely fail. The ashcan fell to the ground and cracked into three large pieces. Sand and cigarette ashes flew everywhere.
Must be tempered glass.
I scooped up the biggest piece of rock and cement and beat it against the glass. It only took a couple more hits to shatter out a big chunk. It was enough to reach through and work the push bar.
I could hear London yelling something, but I couldn’t make it out. I was focused. Nothing was going to stop me from finding Samir.
It may seem that I was just a titch unbalanced at this point. Perhaps I was. But consider this: Samir was a terrorist. Not some racially profiled suspected terrorist. He was the real thing.
He had set free the deadly virus that had destroyed the city where I lived and worked. I had seen him only that once before, when he was escaping with a cooler full of virus samples. If the virus still existed anywhere, he knew where it was. If he managed another outbreak, this time somewhere less remote than Oasis, nobody in the country would really stand a chance.
The reception area of the jail was stark and institutional.
From down one hallway, I could hear voices yelling.
Must be the prisoners.
I didn’t even look around. I just followed the noise.
The hallway turned and emptied into a room. On one end there was a steel barred door through which was coming the yelling. In the center of the room was a small bench. On the wall to my right was was what looked like a bank teller window, next to which was a shelf that held an ink roller and a stack of fingerprint cards.
I went over to the door. “Hey, how do I get this door open?”
The shouting didn’t calm down. If anything it got more frenzied. The cement walls made it sound like there were a hundred guys back there. I only saw five or so pairs of arms poking through the bars of the individual holding cells. There was a great deal of motion and pointing. And of course more yelling. Through the din I finally picked out that the controls were in the booth behind the Plexiglas.
I couldn’t see any faces clearly, but I was pretty sure that I hadn’t yet seen Samir’s arm. I hoped he was still there.
I backtracked down the hallway and checked every door until I found the way that led to the control room.
The room had row of shelves on the far end where detainees’ things were kept. Directly under the window was the bank-like teller box through which papers and personal items could be passed before locking someone up. On the right hand wall was a couple of exterior windows and a row of dusty filing cabinets. To the left of the interior windows was a small computer desk. To the right was a shelf on which sat a bank of eight small TVs, and a console with several switches, dials, and buttons.
I grew a little uneasy as I entered the room. I couldn’t see anything amiss, but I had the distinct feeling something wasn’t right.
I crossed over to the TVs and controls. Each one was labeled- “cell 1 monitor 1”, “cell 1 monitor 2”, “cell 2 monitor 1”, and so on with two angles for every cell.
My heart leaped when I saw the lone figure sitting in cell number three. The picture was black and white and a little grainy, but there was no mistaking it. I had seen that man before. It was the terrorist I had seen back in Oasis. It was Samir.
The controls were simple. There was a little selector and a joystick for moving the cameras around. There was a skinny little microphone and a volume knob for broadcasting into the cell block. There was another volume knob for listening in to what the jailed men were saying. Each cell had a button that released its door, and there was another button that unlocked the door that led to the lobby.
I considered for a moment what to do next. The jail appeared to have been abandoned. Would the chaos outside calm down enough for the authorities to come take care of the men jailed here? Does anyone even remember that they’re here?
Or would they simply be left to starve in a jail cell?
Still, if I opened the doors, I’d be letting criminals on the street. What if one of them hit his wife and kids? What if one was a murderer? Do they keep that kind here while they’re awaiting trial?
And I still needed to get Samir alone.
The sound of a door being slammed open and clanging into the wall shattered my train of thought.
I spun toward the door.
“Just hold it right there.”
In the doorway was a woman. She had the body of someone who had spent the last thirty years at a mundane desk job. Her hair was cropped short, and gentle wrinkles lined her face and hands. And speaking of her hands, in her right hand was a gun.
My heart pounded. I raised my hands. Does she work here?
She didn’t seem comfortable holding the gun, but she wasn’t shaking, either. She narrowed her eyes and studied me from head to toe.
I tried to look past her to see if there was anybody else. “So, where do we go from here?”
She lowered the gun a little. “I’m here to get my boy.”
Chapter 16 is here! Keep Reading!