The attack on Smith’s house had three parts. The burrowing into the basement to rescue Eleanor directly, led by John and Michael. The attack at the front by Millicent. And the attack at the rear, led by Jason. Charles would support Millicent and Jason with attack drones to counter Camille’s drones. Jason was given some new weaponry to assist in attack the drones. Even so, once the battle began, he needed to move to the door to try and get in.
This excerpt is more coherent than my last one on Rachael. I made a mistake with the last one by combining too much. The fight at the back door really had two phases with a coda. First he fought against Findley Brown, then against Alfred Redman, and then was pummeled by John Smith. For the full chapter see, The Mission to Save Eleanor. One should be able to finish it in the half time.
Look for more on Tuesday
Jason – in back of Smith’s house
Jason had watched the exchange between Edward Wayland and Rachael. Wayland had recognized her, Jason was sure, but he hadn’t raised the alarm. Jason’s task was to disrupt the drones and cause a distraction to Smith and his group. He was ready to start. He had the goggles on at this point. He sighted on one marked red. He heard Liam send the signal to Charles. Jason pressed the button on his rifle – it was not a trigger. In that moment, the drone simply disintegrated. The other red marked drones flew faster but not in any apparent direction. Jason loaded another of the oddly shaped cartridges, and sighted again. It was harder to stay on a target this time. The drones moved faster. He pressed the button and a drone lost half its mass and dropped to the ground with a bang. The remaining drones increased their evasive maneuvers and swirled in a search pattern in his direction. The gun, if he could call it that, made no sound. The bullet arrived at nearly the instant he pressed the button. There was no real need to “lead” the target. He loaded another cartridge. Charles drones had not yet arrived. He aimed at another drone.
Someone appeared on the landing of the entry way. Millicent had said not to use this on people, but had said nothing about buildings. He picked a spot on the brick side rail of the stairs close to the man on the landing and pressed the button. A two foot hole appeared in the stairs wall.
“Blimey!” Jason exclaimed.
The dust settled and the man struggled to get himself up. He was brushing chunks of mortar and brick off as he tried to find cover in the doorway alcove. Jason was supposed to cause a ruckus and this seemed like a fine way to do it. He loaded another cartridge and fired it into the stairwell. More of the solid side wall disappeared in clouds of dust and rock shards. Charles’ green drones flew over the buildings and took aim at the red haloed drones with beams of light. He looked up and could see three red globes swirling with several green globes with flashes of light streaking in all directions. The flashes missed mostly but occasionally hit causing sparks to fly. There was no way he could make sure he didn’t hit one of Charles’ drones. It was time to move towards the house.
Liam had shouted that someone was in the chamber in his ear. The drones were ignoring him as Charles and Camille battled it out. Charles muttered in his ear, “I’ll keep Camille busy. Jason and Millicent do your worst.” Jason charged toward the broken and crumbling stairway. He seemed to be moving faster than he could ever remember. He got to the bottom of the stairs to see Findley Brown smiling at him with a pistol and a sword. Jason thought “Oh this is going to hurt.”
Findley Brown smiled and fired the pistol once. Something slammed into Jason’s chest and he fell backwards onto the pavement. Jason moved around as Findley fired again and a sledgehammer hit his leg. Then he heard Findley shout “Ow, Shit!” and he heard the gun clatter on the ground. Jason struggled up to his feet using his truncheon as a brace. Findley was holding his arm and a streak of red showed under his fingers. Jason muttered, “Thanks, Charles.”
The voice in his ear replied, “They are through in the basement but matters are tense there. Keep Mr. Brown engaged up here. “
Jason looked at Findley and shook himself to recover from the shots. His chest and leg both hurt badly.
Findley put his sword forward, “McNeill, just like always you never know when to stay down.”
Jason smiled thinly back, “Brown, you can’t understand why people might want to get up. We should all be so happy to have you walk on our backs. Your father is a decent man. How did he ever spawn you?”
Findley snarled, “You little piss ants complain to him and about him. He brought that factory to your little hovel of a town and made it something. But all you ever do is whine that about this and that. And me, does anybody do anything for me? No! You throw a mug of beer at me and I get thrown out of the bar. You bash my face and I am the one threatened by the coppers. “
Jason looked at the sky and said, “You’re delusional. You can’t see any of your mistakes. You can’t see any of your flaws. Your egomania knows no bounds. People like your father. Sure they complain to him. That’s because they trust him. No one likes you Findley. You’re arrogant, selfish, rude, outrageously entitled, and, frankly, Candace, Kimberly and Stephanie are smarter than you as is every person I met in the University. The only reason you got into the University had to be some ridiculous donation your father made to force the University to take you.”
Findley screamed inarticulately and charged Jason with his sword held high. Jason dodged right just as Findley brought the sabre down. Jason brought his truncheon up and tripped Findley as he rushed by and Findley fell on the ground in a pile. He jumped up and snarled, “You worthless, country bumpkin.” And he rushed Jason again. Jason dodged left and brought his stick up hard into Findley’s stomach.
Jason leaned over and hissed into Findley’s ear, “Candace fights better than you.” Findley grunted and slammed his elbow into Jason’s face who staggered back. Findley didn’t charge but instead came forward swinging his sword in cuts right and left. Jason stepped back with each slice holding his stick in front of him. With one swing going down from right to left, Jason trapped Findley’s sword with the stick to the ground, he came in close and head butted Findley who staggered back. He then used the butt end of the stick like a battering ram and slammed it into Findley’s solar plexus. Findley collapsed to his knees with his mouth moving like a fish but getting no air. Jason slammed the stick hard against the side of Findley’s head as he fell down.
Jason looked at Findley and felt his bruised ribs and limped a bit around the prone Findley Brown. Then he heard a long slow clapping from the top of the stairs. The man clapping said, “Well done, Mr. McNeill. Well Done. We’ve been telling poor Mr. Brown for ages his temper would be his undoing.” Jason looked over the stocky man at the top of the stairs. He was dressed like a butler in a grey waist coat. His hair was slicked down with pomade. He was wearing white polishing gloves. Polishing gloves? He had his own truncheon under his arm as he clapped.
Jason said, “You’re not Smith. Who the hell are you?”
The man took his stick in one hand and spread his hands in a slight mock bow and said, “Alfred Redman. Man servant to Winifred Stanhope. Current majordomo to John Smith.” He came back up and held the stick with an easy grip in both hands. “You’ll find me much harder to get past than Mr. Brown.”