Buildings Most Unstable
Author's note: This is a revision of my original book, Buildings Most Unstable.
StruggleI looked at my watch. It was 4:45. We were right on-time. The inspector and I both drove separate cars, and a number of his men rode along; we were all headed for the Baker Street Hotel.
We parked a short distance away, in different places, all made for our positions; but the policemen were stalled. I could see them down the street from where I was at time. There was a “disturbance of the peace” that, by law, I knew they were bound to deal with. Burrow would have just had some of his men do it, but then we would have been short-handed. This is ridiculous! I thought, and I knew Burrow was thinking the same thing. We made eye contact, and he shrugged helplessly, regretfully.
Pressing on, I was able to make it to my station- the building’s power room- on time. I hid behind the door, and waited what seemed a long two and a half minutes. My pulse began to quicken. Was the man coming? Would he be scared off by the presence of Burrow and his men? Would he plant the bomb in a different room this time?... Was my theory correct? Was this even the right building?
But finally, the door opened and someone entered, stopping in the center of the smallish room. It was exactly 5:00 pm.
The man was dressed like any other person, in jeans and a T-shirt, with a bag strung over his shoulder. I figured him to be in his early to late forties, though he appeared to still be pretty well in shape. He glanced about the room- thankfully away from me.
I rose up quietly behind him, and was about to- NO! Bits of glass lay on the floor now under my foot. I jumped back and away from the blade whizzing through the air; it just missed my gut. The weapon’s owner stepped back and threw the knife aside before reaching for something else under his coat; I lounged at him and grabbed his wrist, twisting it around behind him and in the act shoved him against the wall. I looked at the 1911 pistol in the man’s hand for a brief moment, before receiving a jab to the side. I involuntarily bent to my left, sending off my balance. The man spun around and brought down his right fist, to strike me with the handle of the gun, but I blocked it and through him to the ground.
And so continued our struggle. The position of having the upper hand was exchanged several times between us. One would slam the other against the wall; one would knock the other to the floor; one would kick the other’s leg out from under him. Back and forth.
At one point, when I was not in this position- that of having the upper hand- my opponent had me held up against the wall in such a way that I could barely move. He held me there for several moments, withstanding my attempts to break free. I knew he was trying to get into my mind and knock down any hope of ever getting the upper hand again.
But in those moments, my mind went to all the people this man had murdered with those horrible bombs. All those souls, those faces I had never seen. Those lives people had been living that this man had ended. Also I thought of all the people he would kill if he went unstopped.
A fire was kindled in my heart. It grew to a raging fire that burned deep. Righteous anger filled me, and in a sudden burst of adrenaline I pushed against the wall and ran backwards, slamming the man into the opposite wall. I threw off his hold on me, and spun around and slugged him hard in the gut, then knocked him to the floor with another blow, now to his jaw. I lifted him up and threw him back against the wall. My onslaught grew so furious and to such a speed that the man could hardly think, much less defend himself.
Eventually, when I thought the man was wearing down, I let off. We both stood there for several moments, breathing hard. But I let down my guard.
The man brought his doubled fists up hard under my chin. My head was sent back, flinging blood. I fell to the floor, half blacking out. My mind spun from one random thought to another in my near-unconsciousness.
But when I came round a little, I realized that the man was taking the bomb out of the bag. I forced myself to rally enough to pull the pistol out from my waist holster, and roll over onto my stomach. The man froze, eyeing the weapon that was pointed at him. His eyes went to his own gun, which lay on the floor behind me. He looked at his knife a little closer, but that thought was quickly overthrown.
At first he just stared at my handgun warily. But soon, caution was overcome by the hatred that ran rampant in his heart, and he shifted his gaze to glare coldly at me. He slowly continued to raise the bomb above his head, watching me, as if in a dare.
“You wouldn’t kill a man, would you?” he sneered.
I breathed somewhat heavily, but replied,
“If he was about blow up a fourth building filled with people, I might.”
For a moment he glared at me even more coldly; then, he stripped the cover off the sticky underside of the bomb. Looking back at me, he stuck the bomb on the ceiling.
“Don’t,” I warned.
“You don’t have the heart.” And he reach up and pushed the ACTIVATE button.