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Chapter 8: Ignition

February 4 at 11:00 AM

Magical Forest - Photo by H.G.

Photo by H.G. (Public Domain Pictures)

We were about a hundred yards from the blast when reinforcements arrived. There were about a dozen soldiers in all, but not Hangman's. You'd never find that many in one place. They were Las Manos Rojas--The Bloodied Hands. Here, in the blender with us.
No doubt they hadn't spotted their fallen comrades or there would have been many more.


They mulled over the pieces, trying to put Humpty Dumpty back together again, and it didn't take long before they discovered that the Americans were here.

Mucho gusto.

I handed Regina the binoculars. I only had one mine left and I wasn't about to use it on these assholes. Besides, I might need it for Hangman himself.

Inevitably he would respond, that much was certain. Hangman never let a sin go unpunished. He was a methodical planner, always thinking several steps ahead. Every action had a tactical countermeasure and there was always a surprise. It was his calling card, his religion. And if we ducked out of here too quickly, we'd stumble across it.

"Let's get out of here," I whispered.

As we backed out of the underbrush, something shot high above the canopy. It was a silver shell. Twisting. Turning. Igniting.

"Run," I screamed.

The soldiers spotted us, guns blazing. We danced through a hail of bullets, moving far too quickly. Made too many mistakes. An umbrella of lights unfolded overhead. I dove behind a large rock and held Regina close as the jungle disintegrated around us.

And all was quiet.

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