Collisions
Author: Othello Gooden Jr.

Chapter 1
Casino Assault

“Mr. Williams!” A man in a flagrant gold and blue shirt greeted an older gentleman playing poker at a table with a few others.  Mr. Williams was with two other women who were watching him play.  On both sides of him underneath the table were bags full of money.

 

Williams just waved at him in saying hello, keeping his eye on his hand and his money under the table.  As for the other guy, he walked up the stairs and into an office with another man.  The other man was in a chair facing a huge picture of the Zyran Casino behind the desk.

 

“Close the door and sit down.”  He ordered lightly.

“What’s this about, Mr. Hanz?” the man asked after shutting the door behind him.

 

“You already know.” Hanz answered, slightly upset.  “That Z.I. has shut down almost all of my casinos.”

 

“And what of Madam Naira?” the other guy asked.

 

“Jones,” Hanz sighs, “Naira doesn’t have the guts to come into the heart of Sector C like Z.I. has.  Since they’re start, establishments such as these don’t last long.  In the news, Naira says she’s going to come in and shut us down. In actuality, I believe the Head Honcho is working against her.”

 

“Casinos bring in the money.”  Jones figured.

 

“There are some things Zyra won’t allow Naira to do.”  Hanz explained, nodding at Jones’ deduction.

 

“What about that—”

 

“Retired.”  Hanz interrupted.  “Z.I. is under new leadership now.  Queen Saul’s reign isn’t officially over until we shut them down first!”

 

“Gotcha.”  Jones agreed with a nod.  “My men are already guarding places where Z.I. might strike—mainly, the generator areas.”

 

“It’s going to take more than well placed men to take down their leader.”  Hanz warned.

“They know martial arts.”  Jones explained.  “But… Giordano was so nice to sell us some of his technology just in case things get tough.”

 

“Yet Z.I. may have similar.”  Hanz said, cautious.

 

“There’s always around 12 of them, including the leader.”  Jones informed.  “But we come in at least a dozen more!”

 

“Then it’s settled then!”  Hanz smiled at him in his reply.  “I trust that this Casino will stay afloat with your skilled men in the job.  Strength in numbers as the old addict goes.”

“Yes, sir!” Jones agreed with another nod.

 

“Dismissed.”  Hanz concluded with a nod at him.

 

At once, Jones left the office and turned the corner to the stairs.  He walked down a few flights and came across a hallway outlined with pipes.  A few men greeted him as they saw him come down the hall.

 

“Boss wants us make sure no one gets in.”  Jones told them.

“And what of Z.I.?” one guy with black shades asked.

 

“He trusts that our skill and weaponry will deal them a death blow.”  Jones answered, turning to the guy.

 

Suddenly, four more men join them.

 

“I want 4 at each corner guarding the generators!”  Jones ordered.  All of them nod in agreement.

 

 

“Okay, here’s the plan,” Aaron started as his Z.I. associates huddled near a door after entering the casino through the sewers.   He drops his duffle bag on the sewer floor and unzips the bag. It was full of explosives. “Place the explosives on the gas lines and inside the generate room.  When everyone is out, I will press the detonator.  The chain reaction will destroy everything.”

 

“And what of the guards?” one of them asks.

 

“They shouldn’t be much of a problem.”  Alda answered with a grin.  “We got holograms.”

 

“Unless they have EMPs.” Aaron thought aloud while zipping his duffle bag up.

“Casinos are cheap when it comes to security measures.”  Alda laughs.  “They’re too poor to invest in those!”

 

“I hope you’re right!” Aaron added hopefully, turning to her as he slowly opened the door.

 

One by one Alda and the others entered the tunnels before Aaron.  He stayed behind because this type of door didn’t open from the inside.  The only way out was back through this door or through the elevators.

 

“Shades—on!” Alda commanded in a whispery voice after entering the dimly lit area.  She put on a pair of blue tinted shades and viewed her comrades through them.

 

For a few moments, everything was seen through human eyes until Alda pressed a small button on the side of her shades.  The others before her suddenly showed up as white figures. Inanimate objects were outlines. She could see the guards several feet away.

 

“Everyone ready?” Alda asked.  She received nods from everyone.

 

As a few of them began planting explosives along the walls, two men followed Alda around the corner to the first generator room.  Four guards were standing around.

 

This should get em.” Alda thought as she took out a watch and pressed a button on its side.

 

Suddenly, a calico cat comes up to the guards and meows.

 

“Scat—cat!” one of the guards yelled, kicking at the cat who kept looking up at them with more meowing.

 

“I think it likes you!” one of his associates laughed.

 

“Well, I don’t like it!” the guy growled.  He kicks the cat away but it comes back at him.

“That’s it!” the guy yelled as he pulled out his gun, pointing it at the cat.  “I’mma bout to make the old saying come true!”

 

“Interesting,” the cat spoke, using Alda’s voice, followed by an evil laugh. “Cuz I was thinking the same thing about you!”

 

As the cat finished talking, its figure had morphed into Alda’s.

 

“I—It’s her!” the guy yelled with a stutter.  The others with him opened fire on the figure, however, the bullets phased through the image, and rupturing the steam pipe behind it.

 

The other guards perked their ears up to the gunfire and started moving toward it.

 

“Stay at your posts unless they call for help!” Jones yelled in their ears through a Bluetooth headset broadcasting on all channels.  Each guard had one in their ears. Hearing aid sized gadgets. They heard Jones barking orders loud and clear.

 

“Got it!” one of his men acknowledged.  Those who moved from their positions moved back to where they were before as the gunfire continued.

 

“Hold your fire!” the guy who first fired at Alda’s image yelled.

 

Steam bombarded them in the face after they stopped. The men moved away from the pipes, shielding themselves from hot gas. The area was now filled with a thick cloud of steam. Everything was quiet except for the sound of steam gushing from the ruptured pipes.

 

“Nice smokescreen.” Alda commended with much sarcasm.

 

“Turn those pipes off!” one of the guards near Alda and the others ordered. He was yelling in his headset, directed at someone inside one of the generator rooms.

 

She nodded to Vince with a detonator in his hand.  Upon her nodding, he took out an explosive from his bag and through it toward the guards.  Right when the steam stopped oozing out of the pipes, the four guards watched as an explosive flew at them.

 

“TAKE COVER!” one of them yelled. All of them scattered at the sight of the explosive but it was too late.  After Vince pressed the detonation button, the area was vacated with a fiery blaze.  The only traces of the guards were melted guns and Bluetooth headsets on the ground.

 

“Knight-2,” another guard from another post called into his Bluetooth headset after hearing the explosion, “Are you in the clear?”

 

He repeated his call louder after he heard nothing on the other end.

 

“Two of you stay here,” the guy commanded, “we’re gonna check it out.”

“But boss said—”

 

“They may need help anyway!” the guy interrupted as he and another guard ran around the corner.

 

They found the generator door open.  Around them was an area scorched by fire.  That’s when one of them saw the melted guns and headsets on the ground.

 

“Z.I. is in south generator room!  We—” His words were cut short after Vince shot him in the back.

 

“Vos Tardus.”  Alda cackled from around the corner.

 

The gunshot alarmed the other guards.  Guards from each of the three generator rooms started moving towards Vince’s direction.  The other two Z.I. members in hiding were waiting for them to show up. Aaron and another Z.I. operative cut them off before the guards could reach their destination.

 

“Send… Reinforcements!” one of the guards yelled, retreating around the corner to his comrades after being shot multiple times by Aaron. The guard then died from his multiple gunshot wounds.

 

The fallen guard’s last words became “the word” that set out the alarm. A dozen of Jones’ guards in the area above the elevator room started pouring into the stairwell. Six of them were near one of the elevators. They were the first to answer the SOS, pouring out of the elevator about a minute after the alarm was set out.  Around the corner was a Z.I. member waiting for them.  He peeped around the corner with his eye on an explosive. It was on the ground next to the elevator.  As the door opened, the guy clenched his fist around his remote detonator. The bomb went off as the LED light on the detonator flashed red.

 

“They got the elevator!” one of the guards yelled at hearing the explosion.

 

“Then cut em off at the sewers!”  Jones yelled on his end.  “That’s their only way out.”

“What about—”

“Use that too!”  Jones interrupted.  The line went dead after that.

 

Alda gasped at hearing those words in the headset of a dead guard.

 

“Aaron, they know about the sewers!”  Alda yelled in the comlink tied to her watch.

“Are the explosives in place?”  Aaron asked, slightly alarmed.

 

“There in place!” one of them answered through their comlink, running out of the generator room towards Alda.  Before he got there, two guards shot him from behind.  He fell to the ground, dropping his comlink into the murky sewer water.

 

“Let’s move!”  Alda ordered.  She made her way back to Aaron, dodging some guards along the way, slipping past the dozen men coming out of the stairwell.

 

Suddenly, Alda took a wrong turn and came upon a dead end.  She turned to find four of those men blocking her exit.  She kept calm, slowly moving her hands behind her back.  Alda had her hand over a dial on her watch.

 

“Keep your hands where we can see them!”  One of them ordered.

“That’s if you can find me!” Alda started with a smirk as she quickly turned the dial.

 

Her figure immediately disappeared after turning the mechanism hard left.  The guards opened fire but missed as Alda ducked, dodged, and rolled back behind them into the open.

 

Meanwhile, the few Z.I. members coming out of the north generator room with Vince were gunned down.  Vince managed to escape one guard by running ahead of him and back out from where they came.

 

“There’s too many.”  Alda said nervously as she came out of cloak, meeting Vince halfway.

 

“They’re cut off now!” Aaron heard a guard’s echoed yell behind him in the sewers.  “We got reinforcements all over the place!”

 

“You better get over here, now!”  Aaron warned through his comlink.  “They’re in the sewers.”

 

“I’m trying, but there’s more every—”

 

“They got another elevator somewhere down there that we don’t know about!”  Aaron interrupted Alda as he pointed at the tunnel’s schematics in his phone.

 

He switched to a GPS widget on his phone and saw 8 figures running toward the exit.  From his view, Aaron saw nothing.  Behind him through the GPS there were ten people quickly approaching their location.

 

“Hurry!”  Aaron yelled at Alda and Vince impatiently in his communicator again.

 

“Alda, Vince, we found the other elevator!” one their Z.I. associates called through their communicator as four more guards seemingly came out of nowhere.  Those guards then gunned down the last few Z.I. in the tunnels with Alda and Vince.

 

One of them, who knew his death was sure, lured a group of guards near him back into one of the generator rooms. Before they shot him, he detonated the explosive. The explosion set off a chain reaction that destroyed everything in it.

 

The explosion rocked every inch of the casino.  However, the depth in which it occurred only made a small tremor.  Everyone upstairs resumed playing his or her games, not paying any more attention to what was going on.  Then the lights cut off.  People started panicking, scrambling to find the nearest exit.

 

“Hey!” Vince yelled angrily as he got a message on his phone.  It promptly notified him that one of the main explosives in the generator room.  “Who detonated the charge early?”

 

“It wasn’t us!” Alda yelled as she and Vince turned the corner toward the sewers.

“Come on, Come on!” Aaron rushed as the explosives started going off. One by one, the generator rooms were being destroyed as the line of explosives leading to them were exploding. A fireball trailed behind the Alda and Vince, getting closer and closer.

 

Alda and Vince reached the door right before the blaze caught up to them.  The two stopped to catch their breath before hearing more shouts behind the shut door.  They were screams from guards and left behind Z.I. members being incinerated by the blaze.

 

“There’s an alternate route.”  Aaron explained, showing them the map of the sewers on his phone.

 

“What about the explosives?”  Vince asked.  He then looked down at the few bags of explosives left from the mission.

 

“Take what you need and leave the rest!”  Alda ordered as she started down the path.

“Alright!”  Vince said with a nod, stuffing his coat’s pocket’s with the small explosives.

 

As they ran toward the exit, Aaron left a trail of explosives behind.

 

“Well lookie here!” one of the guards yelled as they saw the trail.  “They’ve got a leaking bag!”

 

“We found the mother lode over here!” another guy yelled as they sifted through the black bags full of explosives.  A detonator sat on top of one.  “The rest of you go after them—we’ll take these to the boss!”

 

Seconds later, Aaron, Vince, and Alda exited the sewers.  They were in an abandoned warehouse after coming out of a manhole leading into a portion of Sector C’s sewers.

 

“Hit it, now!”  Vince rushed as he looked down the 20 foot hole after Alda moved the sewer top back over the manhole.  There was a ladder stretching downward on the left side of it. After getting a nod from Alda, Aaron punched in the detonation sequence. She quickly backed away from the manhole.

 

Down below, the guards by the bags gasped in fear as the LED display on all the explosives changed from green to red.  In an instant, the explosions set the sewer floor ablaze, incinerating everything.  The local police and fire department came just as Alda, Aaron, and Vince disappeared into the night.

 

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