Author: Sanareth PM
A boy and his A.I.Rated: Fiction K+ - English - Hurt/Comfort/Humor - Chapters: 3 - Words: 25,033 - Reviews: 3 - Updated: 08-19-10 - Published: 08-18-10 - id: 2839778
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
Act 3 Hey, Hello, Goodbye.
"Where the Hell are those two!" Marissa kicked the wall angrily "They just went off and left us?"
Celia shook her head "You don't know that..."
"Then What? Some ninja scaled their way up here and dragged them out of bed? They just decided to pop off to lunch in the middle of the night, Via helicopter?"
Celia sat on a chair by the dinner table, "Alright, they ditched us. Either they didn't want us getting in the way Or they thought it was for our own good.... D'you think we could ask AnnI?"
"Maybe..." Marissa was thoughtful. She walked over to the television and rapped on it with one knuckle.
"AnnI, are you there?"
One of AnnI's subroutines attracted the main body's attention via an action not unlike a child's tug on a dangling shirt.
"I assume that you're calling about the conspicuous lack of Ben and Zak?"
"Where are they?"Celia asked, standing up.
"I have a message from Ben, which I am to present to you upon asking that exact question."
"Well, what is it."
"The message from Ben?" Marissa asked exasperated.
"-Which I am to present to you upon asking that exact question"
After about a second Celia Twigged and smacked her forehead.
"Did they leave any other message's and would you please give us their contact details.
The image on screen changed from AnnI's digital self, switching to a video clip of Ben looking out of the screen, with Zak leaning over his shoulder.
" If you are receiving this message, then we probably don't need to inform you-"
"-That we've absconded during the night." Zak finished what Ben started.
"Too bloody right you don't" Marissa was displeased to say the least.
"Language now." Ben cautioned
"Did he just reply to you? Is this a live call?" Celia was somewhat miffed
"No, I merely guessed what you would say." Ben was smug.
"Well Moving on, there were a couple of reasons for us running away on our own.
Firstly; Many very unkind men wish to have a word with me after AnnI shut down their organisations-"
"-You can guess that word won't be thanks."
"Secondly; Ben has had other people work very hard for much money in the interest of keeping his location anonymous. I don't want to undo his good work by making it a base of operations. Lastly, both of you should remain safe. Safety is not condusive with a close proximity to our persons."
The image on screen winked off.
"Shan" Marissa cussed "They're probably eating caviar in a roof-top restaurant somewhere."
Act3 part 2: Somewhere
"This is all your fault." Ben concluded finally, breaking the silence.
"Well we were just moving along when you said 'Hey Let's make a surprise interview slash appearance at GNN!' And I was all 'Won't someone object to that?' And then you were all 'AnnI'll keep us informed if they try.' Thus your assurance led to us being ambushed by the unexpected banditos in balaclavas and bodyarmour who proceded to Bash us bag us and bring us to a unknown basement with no possiblility of breakout."
"Wouldn't it be fairer to blame the men with the plethora of fully automatic weaponary?"
"Never argue with superior firepower. You are the nearest outlet on which I may inflict my frustrations."
"Oh, do carry on then."
"Indeed I shall. This is all your fault."
"Anything more to that statement?"
"No, Ask me later. I'll come up with a suitable topic for berating you in the meantime."
"The time to be mean?"
They went silent. Presently, they began to talk again.
Above the be-sacked and bound prisoners cameras and microphones transmitted true closed circut footage to television screen's which were watched by an increasingly despondant gaoler and a rather stuffy army major.
"Are they alway's like this?"
"They don't seem to mind Anything! They've been tied up in that room for more than five hours without light or food or water and yet they aren't even slightly panicked!"
"They're children, Children complain all the time. They'll break. They think someone's coming for them, I'll go down there in ten minutes and tell them that their parents are here to take them home and bring them up to interrogation. It'll soften them up for questioning."
The major Bristled, everything about him seemed determine to puff out in stark contrast to the slumping prison official.
"They aren't going to, Just listen to the tapes, Hours and hours of reasoned conversation and speculation; It's debilitating, It's dull and dreary. You'd think they were sitting in a bloody country club the way they're going on!" He slumped forward and let his head bounce on the desk.
The major's impressive Moustache quivered imperiously at the laxity of his colleges discipline.
He left the room and walked down to where the cell was guarded by men with blank expressionless faces. They had seen a lot of bad things in the name of making money and they weren't about to get hung up over a few more.
He motioned to open the door and the one on the left unslid the bolt. The high ups were taking no chances with these two; The lock was a multi-mechanism combination. Nine number's in any combination using one more of the eight independant wheel's in sequence. There were an astronomical amount of combinations; And an unsuccessful attempt to open it would sound alarm bells ringing in the surveillance room.
The man on the left entered four numbers, the man on the right entered in the next four, each being careful not to observe the other half of the sequence. The major spun the fifth wheel to forty and with some ceremony; grasped the handle and pulled the door open. The titanium slab swung away as though it was sitting on air, letting light spill into the room where the two boy's sat back to back and bound. Each one was wearing a hessian sack and neither visibly reacted to the door opening.
"Call it nine-c eighty eight-D seventeen-a four-e sixtythree F ninety eight H thirty two C eleven A and forty two E" The taller one rattled out the words.
"I make it Sixty six F." The shorter boy spoke, causing the taller one to pause.
"Dang, so it was."
"What are you talking about?" The Major just had to ask.
"The combination to our door. Very nice peice of work."
"Nonsense, the last number was wrong for one." The major felt unnerved, for although it was off, it was close, uncannily close
"Hmmm, I suppose it could be, but it would still work. Someone cut corners on the mechanism."
"Piffle, this is prescision craftsmanship."
" Possibly but have you tested it?"
"Then perhaps you should in the intrest of making sure you got your money's worth."
"Fine, but I garantee you it will not work."
The major closed the door, zeroed the wheel and spun the alternate combination, muttering.
He checked with the prisoner's to see if he'd got it right and tried the handle. It resisted for a moment and then opened as smoothly as before. The majors jaw dropped. Almost eighteen inches of titanium and a impossible lock had just been made semi-redundant.
"Don't feel bad, it wasn't easy to tell that they'd replated the mechanism from an office padlock for the door."
"How did you ..."
"Guess? I saw the door's configuration when nulled, and then extrapolated as to the combination from the position and number of number's along the wheel each stop was made."
"That's not possible, the lock's muffled and noone's hearing is good enough to distinguish identical sounds made in close proximity, from several feet away, while wearing a sack."
"Was rather challenging. However do you have a better explination?" The tall one answered dismissively.
The major opened his mouth to find that he didn't. He dropped the subject and resolved to have a stern word with the locksmith about the job he was doing. It would not be 'good'.
Neither us were really concerned when we got hussled and it was hussled not jostled or led, into a room where the harsh light shone in pinpricks through the loose material of the sacking. Hand to hand combat is not my strongest point, I prefer diplomacy rather than directly dealing my blows and I doubt Zak is much better. The thought occurred to me, however, that even if i should loose my ropes and begin my double oh sevenesque escape; I'd soon be up to my ear's in men manhandling machine-gun's. In the meantime I tapped in morse to Zak, informing him of my chosen line of argument for the interview.
Presently, about seven minutes and twenty second's later the boots of the man who'd so kindly told us the combination to our door* walked in. Presumably the rest of him was there as well.
*Zak had merely iterated the factory default sequence for hart-wells and smith, the contractors who handle government prisons (Which also told us where we were); As a rule of thumb nine times out of ten such combinations remain unchanged for expensive locks. Although I profess that without that frame of reference I was still able to hear and calculate very nearly the exact code with an acceptable margin of error.
My suspicions were confirmed when he spoke up "I am pleased to announce that you may leave this facility... When you have rendered certain services in the name of your country."
Zak considered this because it was evidently addressing him; Eventually tapping out his decision to take the offensive and fortify the moral high ground.
"Whose name is that then?"
"The name of the US of A the greatest bastion of lib-" He didn't finish his patriotic shpeil
"The same nation that locks people up without bail nor trial?"
"This is for your protection, a unique case; you can help us and we do not want you falling into enemy hand's."
"I wonder why you made a base for little old me then. Surely that would have been difficult to do in such a short time. Who else is here?"
"That is not your concern."
"Really. Are the locks electronic or mechanical."
"Not your concern."
"I think it will be when AnnI cut's the power."
"We have our own power, Your creations electronic influence will not extend to here. There is nothing in this base that she can locate. The base itself is hidden and the details of it's construction a hardcopy secret. There is no Digital evidence for the existence of this place."
Ben spoke up. "I daresay that's a blow."
"You're telling me. How will your companies handle your unexpected absence?"
"I'm sure AnnI can handle it."
"Why aren't you concerned, You're going to be here until you tell us how we may control your A.I! There's no way in hell you'll get out before then."
"I'm afraid not. If I told you and signed over the implied rights, I still wouldn't be allowed to leave while you discredited me and claimed the tech for yourself. You said yourself I'm too valuable; Someone might do what you're doing. However I will leave once AnnI win's the election and government policy changes."
The military officer suddenly found his mouth go dry, it was a prospect he had not considered. The artificial being could operate on it's own, so if it gained the presidency before they could control it. He gulped.
Quite suddenly, the light's flickered. "What the hell?" He keyed an intercom "Report."
"Breach, level one. The door blew in; Remote trigger. Noone hurt. No fire coming in from outside. Is it a diversion, sir?" The officer chewed his moustache. Another voice cut in "I'll take over. This is captain Caleb, callsign Domitrius; There are four veteran teams here under my authority. All prison officials should wait for my men to relieve them; Team Echo will pick up the package and ready it for rapid departure."
The major was indignant he keyed it again and drew breath for a right royal thundering. "I would advise against that." Zak was quiet. "You see, we both have figured it, but you still seem to be in the dark. You're disposable. You've been setup as a fall guy, If the public finds out about this; you're a high enough rank that it will be assumed to be your idea. If you actually get the info from us you are stupid and loyal enough to tell it to those higher up the ladder. In any case you are a ladder climber and your rank makes you feel of adequate clearance for this task, which you are not. I have no doubt that those teams are there to repel foreign incursions as well as getting rid of anyone who might have heard what I said or knew of my presence in this complex.
He Turned beetroot "... They wouldn't, Bollucks." Despite his denial, the facts seemed to fit together. He keyed level one "Corporal Bradley respond."
"He's been relieved. This is beta unit. What is your position?"
"Where is Bradley?"
"I have taken his post. Where and who are you?"
"There was no corporal Bradley, the man whom you've supposedly relieved was named Angleovski. There was a nametag on his breast pocket. You would have seen it you murdering liar."
"Whoever you are it's best you come quietly" In the background someone called, muffled through a gas mask "Got it, interrogation level Room E!". The intercom cut off.
"Untie us. We would like to assist your escape." I said it in the ensuring silence.
The major was smart enough to see that we had the brains he'd need to live through the incursion.
He undid the bonds and sacks. "I won't waste time pleading. If you are going to help me, please do it, for if what you say is true I have been played for a fool."
zak nodded at me. We flipped the solid iron table together, facing it towards the door upside down. It almost touched the door and the opposite wall. Together we broke off the table legs in quick succession and placed most of them in the space. The legs went slightly less than the width of the table. Both of us lead the major out of the room before setting the final piece in place.
Advancing down the corridor at a silent walk, we reached the end and pressed the larger man flat against the wall just round the corner. Boots came trooping in on the left side while we were just out of sight on the right. They tried E Door. "Locked."
Alerik Grey set the explosive 'Knock Knock' a lock blower made to concuss whatever lay beyond the door. The ten man team split, three facing the door, three on the left and right and one man preparing to barge in.
The explosion blew out the lock and sent an overpressure wave through the enclosed room beyond. One black suited man gave the door an almighty kick. It clanged and moved the barest of millimetres. Another couple of kicks and nothing. A fibre was snaked through the hole left by the lock. The room was dark.
In exasperation, both the hinges were shot off. Two men shoulder charged into the door, which offered no resistance, and fell into the room beyond. Empty. Holding the door shut were the legs and surface of the table on the floor. All that was left in the room were two hemp sacks. The lightbulb was gone.
Quite suddenly alarms sounded and light's flashed red. Steel doors segregated parts of the facility. Lock-down.
Zak very carefully played out the wires from the box he'd taken from the janitors closet. Now when someone stepped just beyond the door, they would be pressed together, turning on the light-bulb's carbon filament and igniting the bug-bomb aerosol he had just set in the middle of the floor. The third level had three ante rooms and a number of cells for political prisoners. They'd obtained shot gun shell's, pistol rounds and the contents of a janitors closet.
The major had called the control Center, still owned by his men and sent out the alert. There were nineteen base officials. Most had died on level one. Seven were still left and all were pissed. The spec ops teams sweeping level's two and level five looking for the base personnel and the package respectively, along with the team on level four; Were temporarily trapped.
In the mean time, the base personal were beginning to consolidate while the two boys laid traps.
Ben finished his task. Anyone who came through these doors or searched these rooms now would get a few nasty surprises. Zak unscrewed the light on the ceiling from the majors shoulder, he smashed the blub and then carefully wired the socket before replacing it. The bulb was a decoy. With all the other traps on this floor they'd be careful not to flick the switch, however the socket would still be live and giving the first person who tried to open the wedged door one hell of a shock.
The original attacking force entered through the enlarged vent. It might be impossible to rig a route into a secure facility while it was holding someone important; But while under construction it's fair game. Governments tend to skim through security briefing's on loyal blue collar personal, especially ones who have good credentials and a low estimate. The estimate to this particular facility was low because it was jointly subsidized by two party's, each independent of the other. The people sliding down the man sized shaft (The bug's in it were actually wired up to a different shaft, it appeared empty electronically.) were armed unmistakably. They carried assault rifles, each up-linked with video telemetry to it's user's helmet. FAMAS 4's. Technically the FAMAS 3 is the next generation of assault rifles for the French military. The FAMAS 4 is not an official weapon; It's use of the Australian patented 'Metal storm' electronic firing mechanism with an improved iteration of the long abandoned gyrojet rounds In addition to! A number of other minor improvements, created a weapon which was a partial breach of copyright, ruinously expensive and for all intents and purposes; the fastest firing most accurate and lightest medium to close assault weapon in the world.
These FAMAS 4's were using a little extra though. They each had what looked like the front half of a Tommy gun underneath their barrels. These were under barrel shotguns, automatic. Able to turn a door to matchsticks in seconds, they were needed for the corridors of the base. Although recoiless and incredibly accurate, the gyrojet concept has a flaw. It fires on a flat trajectory, accelerating towards the target as it's own thrusters propel it forward. Unlike other guns where maximum penetration is not far beyond the barrel, the gyrojet will wound rather than kill at point blank. Although one school of thought argues that the initial penetration followed by the continued burn or explosion of it's thrusters would do more damage than a conventional round, someone was taking no chances.
The eight men reached a cross section, there was a empty room below them. The conveniently placed securing bolts were unscrewed. Five men dropped catlike into the room from the sub ceiling. They were wearing recon gear, Heads up display's, Gas mask's the whole caboodle. Which is why none noticed the odour of the now settling aerosol. One man stepped up, flat against the door. Under the carpet next to the door, two wires met, sparking in greeting. The lightbulb attached to the bottom of the table in the anterooms centre came to life. The filament heated, one man looked beneath the table. The room ignited.
It didn't do much damage; each man had his own air and their faces were covered. It did make a nicely audible 'Bang'. It took less than a minute for them all to recover. They kicked open the door and came out into the corridor. The rest of level three stretched away; Cells, anterooms, closets and featureless utility doors.
the five split up. One to each of the three other anterooms, two to check the cells; they walked on grape-pip soles. All their gear was tightened, nothing clinked or clanked. They could have been walking wearing nothing but socks and made more noise.
The two heading to the cell end of the level, looked in the first cell. There was a sheet secured to the inside. It was white. Thermal readings showed the room blue, empty. You can never be too careful. One pointed at the broken light bulb and the switch and shoot his head. The other nodded. Don't turn it on. It was already on. One motioned to check the room it was obviously important. The other affirmed it. They didn't use their silent radio, they didn't want their presence so obvious just quite yet. One pulled the door. It stuck after a centimeter. He grasped the wall side iron of the bars and then grabbed the door, prepared to pull it open.
By grabbing the door and the fixed bars of the cell, he unwittingly completed a circuit. The jolt sent him reeling up against the opposite wall. His partner looked at the door and then at the light. He flicked the switch and pulled the door open with a comic bow. His partner gave him the finger. With the door open the sheet fell down. Written on the opposite wall in large letters was a statement: "If your reading this, then I'm sorry about the state of the room."
The unfortunate man pushed himself up angrily.
Meanwhile; The first man had used a fibre camera to convince himself that the room held no people waiting to shoot intruders. He entered, their target was a child, every corner must be checked. It was of vital importance. He turned the knob and came in crouching. He let go as he moved. Bad idea. The door swung open the moment he released his hold; the knob was attached to a counterweight. The door hit the wall and exploded outwards at waist height. A shotgun shell had been taped to the door and a drawing pin to the wall. Together when the door was no longer held in place by the lock or if it was forced, they'd act as a firing mechanism. The advanced composite armour wasn't quite good enough; a pellet went through the side of his neck and two more in his left leg. He went down.
Even as that shot was fired, the other two men had opened their doors.
The first was the team leader; He was the greatest soldier their military had to offer. He'd applied for every sort of testing when he was an up and coming captain. Each time, risky procedures payed off , and each time the scientists made their enhancements more carefully. Had he been allowed to participate in the Olympics, both by his government and the officials who tested for illegal substances; He would have smashed world records in more than a quarter of events and won medals in most of the rest. His bones were reinforced with ceramics, his heart had been transplanted from a genetically compatible animal constructed specially for him; A modified horse, his muscles had been subjected to nanotech implants, using his unique combat EEG helmet he could release agents that prevented lactic acid build up at will, his vital organs and nerve clusters had been arranged so that blows debilitating to a normal person would have little to no effect. He turned the knob and felt the door begin to fall forward. He checked the fall and listened as the hinge screws clattered to the floor. There was no one breathing inside. He turned the door over, holding it easily in his hands. A shotgun shell had been taped to the back and a string to the coat-hook. The door was rigged to fall back when leaned on and blow you to hell. Someone was clever.
The Shot from the other room sounded.
The second man turned away from his door after he heard the shot. The team leader was t his side in an instant. The door did nothing. He motioned for his subordinate to check on the first shot and opened his door. Carefully. The ante room was like the others. Cupboard, jug of water and coffee on sideboard, two couches, coffee table and bookcase; For conversion rather than coercion.
Movement. In the cupboard. The men from the cell were at his side now. One made to open it. He was stopped. The team leader pointed to an almost invisible wire which snaked down to the bottom of the couch. The team leader looked under the couch. The wire went inside the paper bottom stretched over the frame. The room was small, space being at a premium when considering subterranean designs. One man had to move round the room to the side board for the leader to look underneath the couch. The team leader switched through spectrums of vision while looking at the couches underside. Nothing came up. He carefully cut open the paper. The wire lead nowhere. Decoy. His lips mouthed profanities.
The man standing by the sideboard shifted slightly and the string he'd been standing on for the last thirty seconds was released. Behind him the coffee pot fell over, splashing his lower body. In front of him the tinny sound of an egg timer sang out and the couch caught fire in a burst of blue flame. The liquid on him ignited. The team leader straightened up, saw and never finished his warning. The man had grabbed the water jug and in front of the eyes of his horrified team leader, poured it on the flame. Water looks about the same as nearly pure ethanol, which is coincidentally a common disinfectant and cleaning agent. This trick had relied on gas-masks removing the chance of smelling out the chemicals used in the setup. The room was on fire, as was one of his men. Another was possibly shot. On top of the book case a red cylinder sat invitingly. A fire extinguisher. The leader thought fast. Another man, having encountered the other traps might leave the extinguisher alone. Yet it was far too convenient, like the other traps it made you set them off. They made you feel clever, over confident, you noticed details and then found the real snare had been round your ankle the whole time. He pushed the burning man to the bookcase and handed him the extinguisher, before taking the intact team member and diving for cover.
If the flames continued, he was dead. If the extinguisher was a trap he was dead. Only way.
On fire and panicking, the man desperately tore at the extinguisher. The contents emerging from the hoseless nozzle smothered his side. He could feel the cool through his suit. There was a clang. The extinguisher, upside down and under his chin suddenly, deliberately lost it's nozzle. The pressurized chemical foam sprayed out, propelling it upwards; The canister hurtled towards his face, smashing into his skull. He fell over dead, as the canister ricocheted round the room and came to a spinning halt on the coffee table. The team leader shook his head. If he'd tried to put out the fire, then no doubt he'd have been the one holding the extinguisher. He could imagine the bone cracking force it might have exerted on his abdomen or crotch. Ruthless, clever and totally improvised. Not a military trick. Mercs, or something else. He gripped his gun a little tighter.
The man inspecting the commando with a gunshot wound shook his head. Not dead, but incapacitated. Which was just as bad. The moment a team member's heart stopped for more than two minutes, they ignited. No evidence. However Leaving him here gave a chance of stopping that, albeit a slim one... No, He'd already lost one member. He needed every gun he could muster. The rooms were clear, this would be their base and fallback point. They would patch up their wounded and leave him to hold the vent. Then they would cut the power and advance through the rest of the detention area. Detention area. Prisoners. Dangerous ones.
Not military traps. Not merc's. Some of the prisoners must be out. The thought chilled him. He needed the boy. It was imperative for not only the sake of the mission, but their escape.
He was right about the traps though, but for the wrong reasons.
The major looked round the stairwell listlessly. "Are you sure this will work?" Both boy's nodded. "The breakers out for everything but the light and the alarms; By all accounts this stairwell should be secure, however as people will soon realise we are not in lockdown. We've just taken the placard from the janitors closets and secured them each levels doors for this access-way. Any intruders won't be completely sure of the layout and thus it will significantly impede their efforts."
Behind the major, the prison wardens they'd picked up exchanged glances.
Zak continued "- We are going to your lowest level. It makes sense that the water tank for this facility is there. It will be connected to the surface. Because you want an almost immediate top up, the pipe will be very large. I suspect that you'd use a firefighting water-bomber, loaded with fresh water-"
"-rather than water going down, we go up."
One of the people tagging along decided to inquire. "Exactly how do you know all that?"
Zak half turned his head as he jogged "Elementary and a cursory examination of the base records and schematic's. Don't you just love-" they paused"Janitorial supplies." Both boy's grinned.
Despite being in danger, this was the most fun either of them had had in ages. Best of all, no one would be allowed to shoot them, capture yes, not kill.
"However." Ben began, as they reached level five. "This will require a little guesswork regarding where the pipe for the reserve water tank to the rest of the base actually Is."
Both boy's took out knives and began to check walls for vibrations. Across from them the huge pressure door for inspecting leaks in the tank dominated the otherwise featureless concrete. "Found it." It was Zak. Holding his knife between his teeth for extra bone conductivity he'd felt something rather than endless empty silence. They began to trace the pipe to where it went out of the door. Level five held ten commandoes. The warders had switched the signs wherever they had escaped into this corridor, as instructed by shortwave radio, a backup in case a breakout made the intercom insecure. Since there was no-one who should have been using it, they figured no one would listen to the airwaves.
Zak peeked under the door cautiously and listened. Ben began to unpack the supplies held by the warders and the major. Zak assisted him as the minutes ticked by. Both boy's improvised speedily, hands blurring and entwining as they worked. They sat back breathing deeply upon completion. For their efforts, they now had a improvised shaped charge. Carefully one of the warders took it and slipped through the door. It was heavy. The commandoes were at the boy's personal cell at the other end of the corridor, Attempting to force entry with miniature oxygen lances. The door was standing firm. Laying down the charge and arming it where he'd been told, the warder moved back and turned round. The French commando who'd been sneaking up on him abandoned his knife and unslung his rifle. Realising the long odds of survival, the wader jerked his head to further up the corridor. The Frenchman twigged that this man was not on the side of the people breaking into the cell, and therefore would not make a sound until he did; Also, if he fired now, there was the chance surprise might not be enough to kill all ten enemies. The warder moved with the Frenchman and ducked into the wide official stairwell where two more men waited. He whispered that the cell at the end was a VIP cell, he also hinted that there were more men in the facility and that he knew where. The Frenchman nodded and motioned to his colleges. They came round the corner and went prone. They fired, Gyrojet rounds make no sound, no crack or stutter. Those who've fired one of the old world war two originals have said it felt like using a toy.
These were much alike to those early ones only more-so and with far more gadgetry.
The results however, are all too real, the bullets went in a steady stream, fired electronically by guns capable of over ten thousand rounds per minute. In this case they'd limited them to only twelve hundred. All ten men jerked and fell like rag dolls. All three cycled their FAMAS 4's barrels, inserting a fresh tube of bullets; again a unique quirk of metal storm; no clip required, the barrel contained the bullets.
The time between emerging from cover and moving back to the stair was approximately seven seconds. They returned, intent on erasing the stool pigeon that had let them get the jump on the ten. The stairs were empty. Behind them the shaped charge's timer ticked to zero. Concrete dust mixed with water and shrapnel fountain out from the wide hole, accompanied with a medium large bang which shook the lowest levels of the facility.
Water poured out of the wide hole, flooding the floor and slowly filling up the corridors on level five. The three men reached the door, broke out plastic aerosol spray-cans. Each one began spraying in the holes left by the oxygen lances of the US forces. The water was by their waists when they opened up the cell to find, nothing. No boy. Therefore the boy, if he was still in the base would be in the hands of someone else. The American commando team had been trying to force their way into the cell, they didn't have him then.
That left two options, the boy was on his own or the boy was still held by the original base personal. They broke radio silence.
On the upper levels the American operators stopped trying to contact level five when a foreign signal was bounced from inside the base.
They were not pleased.