Author’s note â€“ For those of you who have never 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. In fact, if you are new to the site, you probably want to start with the first novel, Oasis. If you want to know just as soon as I’ve posted something new, you can watch the RSS feed or follow me on Twitter.
Okay, here’s the new theme! I have a couple of things to add still: a small about me section on the front page that links to the about me and contact pages, and a search widget. I’ll get to it sometime over the weekend. Right now I’ve got to get to a pregnancy check up with my wife. Let me know if you find anything broken or if you have any suggestions with the theme.
54: Sneak Attack
I breathed as slowly through my nose as I could manage. I have to get my heart rate down. Get control of these shaking hands.
The alien group chatted away in their weird language as they approached my hiding place. There was no way they were trying to sneak up on me.
Probably gloating about how they caught the last of the intruders. I tightened my grip on the cutter.
The voices passed my doorway.
I leaned forward just enough to see a sliver of the opening. Sure enough, I saw a part of a black jumpsuit walking away. I stepped forward to widen the visible angle.
Three aliens plodded along the corridor. Only the one of them was armed.
I was pretty sure that there had been four when Rhett and London were captured, but I couldn’t quite remember if there had been one more when they had been wrestling London into her holding room.
Sticking my head out the door far enough to see how any aliens guarded the prisoners seemed like a bad idea. Still, there was just no way to make a good plan without knowing what I was up against.
I counted to one hundred to give the trio time to get into the intersecting hallway and out of sight.
I hugged the alien bunk beds and shuffled to the other side of the door, half expecting the whole time to hear an alien voice scream an alarm or be stopped by a shimmering death-ray blast.
Outside, the noise level didn’t change. If there were two guards, they weren’t talking to each other. I hope.
I leaned back into the light and caught a view of the holding room, but still no sign of any guard.
Maybe that means there’s a chance to peek out the doorway, after all.
I sprawled onto the floor, crawled to the doorway, and edged the top half of my head into the corridor.
Over the top of one of the lanterns I could see one alien guard staring from across the hallway at the metal door. The box of MREs and the captured weapons sat near its feet.
My heart gave a little jump. Certainly I could take just one of them, right? Assuming there’s not another one close by. I retreated and stood back up.
But how could I get him? He was still a ways down there. I couldn’t take careful aim with the pistol unless I came all the way into the hall. Even lying down, there’s no way I’d remain hidden long enough to make that shot. If I just came out blazing, I’d alert the main pack of aliens that gathered just beyond the corner ahead. Plus, I’d run out of ammo pretty quick and I didn’t exactly have someone to back me up while I reloaded.
There wasn’t a lot of time to think it over, either. How long did it take to get from the food depot to here? Five, ten minutes? Somewhere along my journey, I had screwed up my internal clock. I supposed the exact time didn’t matter much. All I needed to know was the trio would be back soon, and I didn’t have much time to get London away from Rhett.
What about the shotgun ammo? I raised an eyebrow at the thought.
From the guard’s point of view, one of the lanterns sat on the floor five or six feet past my doorway. The alien lanterns were spherical with a flatish surface on the bottom and a handle on the top, kind of like those plastic jack-o-lanterns that kids carry around on Halloween, only smaller.
I still clutched my left arm to my side, so I nested the cutter in it. Then I dug a shotgun shell out of my cargo pocket.
My heart raced and doubts nibbled at the edge of my plan.
No time for second guessing. I squatted, held my arm horizontal to the floor, and tossed the shell.
I must have hit the lantern pretty square, because it toppled over and rolled toward the center of the corridor. It didn’t make any noise over the the top of the echoed talking voices. Fortunately, sound was not the only way to distract a guard.
The light coming through the door of my room danced as the lantern came to a stop several feet from where it had rested.
I stood up and got the cutter back at the ready. This it it. Make it count.
Before I knew it, I caught a glimpse of the alien as it swept past my door.
I held my breath and stepped into the hall.
The alien didn’t notice or at least it didn’t respond to my entrance. Instead, it bent over and reached for the shotgun shell that lay close to the wall.
I took one big step, jumped, and clicked on the cutter mid-air.
Hearing the sizzle of the cutter, the alien spun to look over its shoulder.
I grabbed at the alien’s shoulder with my left hand. Fire shot through the muscles and wounds in my side.
Our bodies collided. The alien opened its mouth to scream.
I turned my head and plunged the cutter into the back of the alien’s neck.
A spray of blood shot out.
The alien’s body went totally limp as the two of us crashed to the floor.
I clicked off the cutter and rolled to my right.
The alien’s body convulsed just once.
I and looked back down the corridor. Alone.
The smell of burned flesh mixed with the sticky sweet aroma of alien blood.
The alien was dead, but its heart continued to pump blood from the gaping hole in the back and side of its neck.
Quick and quiet. Finally something went right.
I sat up, took a deep breath, and fought down the urge to vomit.
The noise echoing down the hall continued.
No signs of alert.
I dragged my body up to standing. Fresh blood trickled down my side. I couldn’t readily tell if it was my own or if it belonged to the big-skulled guard. I pushed it from my mind. There’s work to be done. I can’t leave it here in the hall.
I tried at first to drag the alien corpse using only my right hand, but I just couldn’t do it. The thought of dragging it using two hands didn’t appeal to me. After all, I’m not a huge fan of pain. I crammed the cutter back in one of my cargo pockets and lifted and grunted until I had wrapped an arm around each of the green corpse’s legs.
The muscles around my wounds complained and burned all the more.
I dragged the body into the bunk room. A thick trail of blood marked a clear path. It’s not like any arriving aliens couldn’t tell what had happened. I’m not sure why exactly I felt compelled to hide the corpse. It didn’t matter. Two minutes later the job was done.
I took one look up and back down the hall. Still empty. Keep moving.
I ran down the hall to the big metal door. The latch was an awkward, clunky affair that was similar to the ones found on shipping containers. I worked one release, twisted a bar out, then pressed it up. Metal posts made a harsh grating noise, but retracted from the floor and ceiling.
Behind me I heard a shout.
My heart froze, but the rest of me spun about.
In the semi-darkness of the room directly across the hall sat an alien at a plastic card table eating an MRE.
We stared wide-eyed at each other. Neither one of us acted for a good ten seconds.
All at once, an urgency to action flooded my veins. I bent and fumbled through my pocket. Where is that thing?
The alien bolted upright, knocking its cheap, plastic chair to the ground.
My hand found the cutter handle and I tore it from my pocket. Or more accurately, I tore my pocket wide open while pulling out the cutter. Shotgun shells scattered onto the floor.
The alien’s huge eyes widened with recognition of my weapon then turned to something in the corner of the room, out of my line of sight.
I sprinted for the doorway.
The alien grabbed at a corner of the table with its left hand.
No time. No time. I snapped on the cutter.
Twisting and grunting, the alien heaved the table toward the doorway.
I burst through the door and brought up a knee that took the force of the tabletop and redirected it to my left. A spark of pain lanced up my leg.
The alien scrambled in the darkness.
I couldn’t see what it was reaching for. It didn’t matter. I wasn’t about to wait to find out.
I made a wild dash for the alien.
The alien whipped about.
I swung the cutter. It bit into alien flesh.
Something hard slammed into my left shoulder and flung me against the wall.
I dropped to one knee and looked up.
The alien clutched a long rifle like a club with one hand. Its other hand covered the deep gash I had ripped in its torso.
I sprang up, reaching out with my left hand, hoping to deflect any follow up swing.
The alien stumbled clumsily backward and screeched in pain.
I drove the cutter into the hideous oversized green forehead.
The alien crumpled like a bathrobe into a pile on the floor.
Angry shouts filled the hallway outside.
So much for my silent jailbreak.
The unmistakeable roar of a shotgun thundered.
Keep reading! Chapter 55 is here.