Yellow Wires, Part Two

This is Part Two of my short story, Yellow Wires. For Part One, click this link: https://www.hercampus.com/school/augustana/yellow-wires-short-story

This takes place three weeks after the events of Part One....

 

 

 

They tracked him through Graceville’s high school using the security cameras. Or, Lee did, at least. He was removed from this world, stationed in the Parallel’s tech room, watching the footage and feeding directions to Truman over an earpiece.

Laurin had recovered well from the stab wound the man had given her, and she was glad to be involved in the chase to catch him. That three-week long recovery had left her extremely bitter. She did not like it when the bad guy got the best of her.

Laurin and her fellow Parallel members, Truman and Kai, threaded their way through the main floor of the school, keeping their tense conversations quiet.

“What do you think he’s doing here?” Kai whispered.

“I don’t know. To be honest, I thought I had scared him off after that scuffle I had with him in the alley. Before he pulled the knife on me, that is,” Laurin said.

“He would have every right to be scared of you,” Kai joked. Laurin, while being easily one of the kindest people in the world, had quite an intimidating appearance. She was taller than most men, and very solidly built. And as nice as she was, when it came down to situations like these, where she had a job to do and the safety of others was at risk, she was all business.

Truman stopped in front of her, listening to Lee in his earpiece.

“Guys,” Truman said. He turned to Laurin and Kai. “He’s still downstairs. We need to go see what he’s been up to down there—” He stopped talking suddenly and once more bowed his head to listen to something Lee was saying.

“What is it?” Kai said, always the first to get a thrill at the prospect of some exciting criminal take-down. Laurin leaned forward, too, ready for instruction.

Truman, still listening carefully on the earpiece, turned and started heading to the stairwell that would connect them to the basement hallway where their target was waiting for them. Abruptly, he perked up and shouted without shouting: “He’s on the move!” His outburst made Laurin and Kai jump. Truman quickly hushed his voice. “We’ve got to corner him quick, before he knows we’re here.” He opened the door to the stairwell.

Laurin and Kai, hearts still beating hard from Truman’s unintentional jump-scare, were right behind him, all three ready for whatever they had to do next.

Kai took the lead, moving down the dark stairwell. They were only a few steps down when he halted abruptly. Truman knocked into him, a question on the tip of his tongue. Then they all heard a banging coming up the steps.

“Uh, oh,” Kai whispered. Reflexively, they all took a step back. Then another. The only visual aide they had was the eerie red glow of a nearby EXIT sign. And there was no time to strategize as a figure came into view beneath them.

It was Truman’s job as the designated leader of this little mission to direct the crew, who waited obediently for command. He huffed out a curse and made his decision. He ran down the stairs to meet their target. Luckily, they were prepared for a fight and all had weapons on them, knives hanging from their belts.

The man noticed them as soon as they made their move, and he quickly changed direction, flying back down the staircase the way he had come. Laurin noticed that he had a suspicious looking box in one arm. All her training forced her to assume the worst….“Truman!” she called out. “Is that a bomb!?”

There were a few seconds of silence, which Truman took to confirm what they were seeing. “Dammit,” he swore again. “Either that, or it’s a box that had one in it and he planted it somewhere.”

“But why!?” They moved after their target through the simple, dark maze of cinder block tunnels underneath the school.

No one answered Laurin’s question, but Kai shouted “There’s another exit. This guy knows where he’s going.”

They were gaining on him, but a few seconds from making a grab for the crook, the man ran up a short flight of emergency stairs and burst out of a dented metal door and into the night.

In his panic, he dropped the box, but kept running. Truman kicked the box. He picked it up and wrenched it open, foolishly hopeful….”It’s empty.” He tossed it onto the grass and looked at Kai. “Laurin and I are going to keep after him,” he explained in a rush, knowing that every second meant the man was slipping farther out of reach. Laurin didn’t need any more instruction than that. She nodded and took off in the right direction. “I want you to take this and talk to Lee to find out where that bomb is.” He handed Kai his earpiece, already backing away to rejoin the chase. “I know you can do it. Just be careful.”

“Okay,” Kai answered. He took a deep breath and stepped back inside, where it was mostly pitch black once again. He said to Lee—who happened to be Kai’s father— “I hope you caught some of that. Now. Tell me where to start looking.”

 

 

 

Part Three coming soon.