Today we continue with part five of book 4. Hope you enjoy!
Analia and Iurasia stood in the lobby of the Crowne Plaza and caught their breath. Several people had filled the lobby in an attempt to flee the chaos outside, and the interior of the hall resembled pictures they had seen of people huddled in the Astrodome during Hurricane Katrina. Families gathered in fear, men yelled and shoved each other and the hotel security guards kept their eyes on four doors that fed the lobby waiting for the next barrage.
Since the news of the city’s bankruptcy had spread through New York, the hotel had been the target of several attempted lootings and also one of the only harbors of safety for those seeking refuge. The hotel staff and the security guards had banded together to stave off the never ending onslaught. While they had managed to fend off scores of individual looters the worried looks on their faces had Analia and Iurasia worried.
The hotel had a relatively narrow front entrance but what made it difficult to defend was the fact that the two adjoining stores had direct access the sprawling lobby. The four guards had positioned themselves at each of the four doors to the hall and had managed to keep the people in the hotel safe from the looting hoards that had been ransacking the stores and trying to gain entry to the hotel. Accompanying each guard was a small assortment of hotel staff and brave New Yorkers armed with whatever they could find. Each group reminded the two Champions of a lynch mob like the one that went to capture Frankenstein’ s monster armed with knives and pans and broom handles, the only thing missing were the pitchforks.
Analia and Iurasia approached the security mob at the front door and spoke to the guard.
“Hi, we are here to help. You have done a beautiful thing here, you should be proud, but you look worried. What can we do to help?” said Iurasia trying to catch the guard’s gaze as his eyes fluttered back and forth between her and the front door.
“My men and I are running out of bullets” the guard responded “we always carry an extra clip, but we have already expended the majority of our ammo. Had I known all hell was going to break lose today I would have made sure that my team came prepared… or stayed at home. What we’re going to do, four bullets from, you know when we are out? Pots and pans are great but this is New York, and guns are plentiful. I fear we won’t be able to hold out much longer and will have to make a run for it.”
Analia quickly got on her com and called Mr. Smith. “Mr. Smith, this is Analia we have a bit of a situation here, and I need some help.” After explaining the situation, Mr. Smith informed her that he had contacted the rest of the Champions and they were headed to the hotel and to hold on. “Iurasia, you run point on communications and strategy for the next twenty minutes and keep me updated. I have to get someone.”
Iurasia agreed and took control. She gave each Champion a particular task and told them to radio in when they were in position.
The first team to make it to the lobby was Travour and Jonni. After fighting their way through the adjoining chocolate store, they made it to the lobby door and met the barrel of a Glock nine being held by a terrified security guard. CLICK. Then two more, CLICK, CLICK.
Travour took the man’s gun. “Are you out of bullets bud? Here use this one. The former owner won’t be needing it anymore.”
Jonni pulled the gun out of his pocket and handed it to the guard. “I have no concept on how to use this, it’s all yours. We will stay with you and help hold the door.” The guard quickly checked the clip and breathed a sigh of relief, “You two sure are funny looking angels, but hey I will take what I can get!”
“We’re in” Jonni radioed into Iurasia.
“We are joining the party as well over here at the clothing store entrance” Shailan’s voice came over the com “we have brought along another gun, two baseball bats and a switchblade that we liberated from a pair of dolts on the subway. This guard is re-ammoed. Braj and I gave the bats to a couple AA baseball players who happened to be helping over here, seemed like a good idea. The switch blade we gave to a middle-aged housekeeper. Don’t know if she knows how to use it but she sure looks like she wants to. We are good here for a bit.”
Analia almost laughed. She had been tasked with keeping the people in the lobby calm, and the humor was a welcome intrusion from the constant fear and confusion.
Reisha and Briiana were next to call in. “Back door is secure, and the guard has three bullets left in case he needs them. What’s the plan?”
Mr. Smith’s voice took over.
“Good job everyone. Now that everyone is in position, we are going to drive the looters directly to you.”
“Umm. Great idea boss” Brajiit muttered under his breath.
“It’s a box canyon. As it stands everyone wants into that hotel, and there is no end to some people that you have to defend against. Dylan and I are going to seal off the entry points into the stores creating a finite amount of people to contend with. They shouldn’t be able to get back out the windows they broke to get in, so they have to come through you. I have faith in you Champions.”
Almost all at the same time the Champions responded, “Wait. What? Dylan is here? WHY? What are you doing? How are you going to seal off the store windows, they are massive?”
“Get prepared to have everyone running towards you. It is your responsibility to ensure they don’t make it into the lobby. Okay, Dylan do your thing.” Mr. Smith said matter of factly.
Dylan peered down at the street from the helicopter.
“Remember, this serves two purposes. Seal the windows and empty the road for the HERC. You can do this Dylan; the Champions need you as much as you need them. We are going to save a heck of a lot of people today.” Mr. Smith smiled down at him.
First one, then two, then six rows of cars stacked five cars high until the windows had been completely covered.
“Sort of like a colossal game of Tetris,, ” he said smiling at Mr. Smith as he finished.
“Splendid Dylan and the street is clear. Want to watch everyone get rescued?” Mr. Smith responded.
As the Black Hawk attack helicopter stood guard from above a modified Hercules aircraft with amped up Harrier hover jet technology floated down vertically onto Broadway, its cargo doors aligned with the main entrance of the Crown Plaza.
“Load everyone still breathing Simon and take them to our private airstrip. La Guardia is under lock down. From there make sure everyone inside gets home safely. Champions when you are done smacking bad guys around meet me on the roof. You have done good work today, and it’s time to go home.” Mr. Smith instructed.
As the last of the citizens were loaded onto the HERC and the Champions had clambered into the chopper Mr. Smith thought to himself as he headed back to Plum Island. “They say this is the city that never sleeps. Tonight they are right.”
(To be continued…)
That’s it for now! The next story will be published soon. We will keep posting stories every week leading up to the anticipated Project-X announcement.
If you’re interested in reading the individual background life summaries or viewing updated artwork of our Champions and Villains, then please follow the links here: Champions and Villains. The main story that ties all the characters together in Project-X will be updated at the following link as stories are published: Story-line.
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DISCLAIMER: THIS IS A WORK OF FICTION. NAMES, CHARACTERS, BUSINESSES, PLACES, EVENTS, AND INCIDENTS ARE EITHER THE PRODUCTS OF THE AUTHOR’S IMAGINATION OR USED IN A FICTITIOUS MANNER. ANY RESEMBLANCE TO ACTUAL PERSONS, LIVING OR DEAD, OR ACTUAL EVENTS IS PURELY COINCIDENTAL.