“Go! Go! Go!”
The SWAT team blew the door open. A dozen heavily armored and armed men burst into the room, assault guns and shotguns up. Smoke grenades crashed through the windows, filling the room with growing, curling clouds of haze. The black-clad enforcers of the law spread out methodically, looking like the shadows of death in the smog. The room seemed large, like an entrance way with doors lining the far side. There were no windows. The officers continued to fan out and check every area of the room, hoping to find the suspect. Suddenly, one of the men disappeared with a muffled yell. More men seemed to be pulled out of thin air, leaving the survivors on edge, seemingly no longer in control of the situation. The smoke was supposed to be used to their advantage, and now it was confusing and unsettling the people it was supposed to help. Finally, one saw the smoke curl rapidly from movement nearby. The man let loose three bursts of gunfire precisely in the area.
Four men rushed over, and others watched their back. A stranger stepped out of the smoke, gasmask in place, simultaneously firing a silenced handgun, getting perfect headshots for three of the men. By the time he aiming at the fourth, he was ready for it. He moved quickly to the right, and took a glancing bullet to the left bicep. The assailant threw his pistol at the wounded SWAT member, as it was apparently out of ammo. The cop ducked under the throw, but it gave the assailant just enough time to close the distance between them. The cop raised his shotgun. The stranger slashed his right forearm with a concealed knife that he took from up his right sleeve.
He dropped the shotgun, and the assailant took advantage of his mistake, punching him in the throat before he could yell. His hands instinctively went up to his throat, leaving his midriff exposed. The assailant stabbed into the man’s side, where there was no armor. His hands dropped from his throat. The stranger slid the knife out of the flesh, and flipped it into the air, and feinted with his now empty left hand fist. The cop blocked the punch, but didn’t see the stranger’s right hand catch the knife. He was holding it in a reversed grip, and he delivered a slash at the man’s throat that was too fast to block. The knife went clear through the jugular, the arching right arm still moving. The stranger kept spinning, sticking out his left leg that swept the cop’s legs out from under him. He laid there, sputtering and dying.
The whole fight took around five seconds.
In that time, the cops that had been watching the now-deceased cop’s backs had turned around. The stranger counted three men. He threw his knife at one and it hit him dead in the throat, and the blade sunk in up to the hilt. The other two men were ready, and one man popped off a shot aimed for the stranger’s leg. He twisted at the last second, and the bullet struck his back. He fell unconscious instantly, the used bullet casing clattering to the ground at the same time as his body.
ONE MONTH LATER
“We sent in twelve men, Mr. Septum. Twelve men. You single-handedly killed ten of those men with six bullets and a knife. You expect us to believe that you aren’t the ex-Special Forces thief that robbed Fort Knox?”
“That’s not my job. My job is to convince the jury that your SWAT team broke into the wrong house, and that I acted out of self-defense as a dozen armed men broke into my home. My job is not to make you believe me.”
“Typically that’s a lawyer’s job.”
“I don’t need a lawyer. The truth is obvious enough that I can convince them.”
“How can you make them ignore your background? You have been a troublemaker since birth, dropping out of high school despite your overwhelming intellect, mortally wounding three of your fellow BUD/S trainees in a fight, and then retiring from the SEALs at the minimum amount of service time, right after a considerable sum of money was stolen from the government. Do you intend to get out of this one the same way you did that one?”
“Yes. And thank you, I do find myself to be overwhelmingly intelligent.”
“I’ll get you for this one, Septum. Mark my words. I know you robbed that Fort.”
“You already did get me. I’m paralyzed, remember?”
“That doesn’t count.”
“Uh, I care to disagree.”
“I don’t care what you care about. Back to business, anyway. As much as it pains me to say it, I can offer you a deal to lessen your sente-”
“I didn’t even-”
“No. I don’t need your deal. We’re going to court.”
“That’ll happen either way. Listen, please, and don’t interrupt. If you tell us where the gold is, you won’t get the death sentence.”
“No. Even if I did know where it was, I wouldn’t tell you.”
“Fine. That was your last chance Septum. I’m getting a search warrant and we’re finding our gold in your house.”
“Good luck, pal. You won’t find anything.”
“We’ll see about that.”
TWO MONTHS LATER
A Mr. Dedrick R. Septum gently pushed open the broken door. He rolled himself inside, pulling on the rims of the wheelchair. He looked around, grimacing as he turned his neck. His spine still sent stinging pains whenever he moved it. The house was a mess. The walls had been torn apart by the investigators, looking for the gold. Every loose floorboard had been torn up and roughly put back, leaving the floor uneven and extremely creaky. Some floor boards had dark, irregular red stains, presumably from fallen SWAT officers. Every bit of furniture was out of place, and any drawer or hiding spot was exposed and ruffled through, as if fifty pounds of gold could be stored in a coffee table.
Septum wasn’t worried. Everything was to be repaired or replaced on the government’s dime. Septum had won his case, and not only escaped punishment but gained many benefits. It wasn’t easy, he was willing to admit it. The prosecutor had very compelling evidence, but ultimately failed to convince the jury over Septum’s winning personality and extensive knowledge of people and the law.
“Come on in, boys.”
Three casually dressed men walked in, each carrying rather empty duffle bags and ladders. They formed a triangle around Septum, and they placed their ladders there. They opened their bags, and pulled out ice picks, climbing up the ladders. Each started chipping away at the ceiling, and small chunks of plaster began to fall. Then a very large and heavy piece fell to the ground. Everyone stopped and looked. It wasn’t plaster that fell to the ground, it was a solid block of gold, glittering in the light filtering through the broken and cracked door.
“There’s a whole lot more of that in this ceiling. And you three are welcome to have a little if you tear this whole ceiling up.”
The three men looked at each other. Then they furiously went back to hacking at the plaster, and the shattered house was filled with the noise of gold hitting the floor.