The Greatest Risk

Lady Chief was first to recover and we heard her shouting into her Dictapad over the ringing in all our ears, including hers. “No, it’s not just an exploded bomb, it’s a home invasion with bodies already here. We need MORE than one police car, EMT’s and transport, and the Bomb Squad! The number here is…”

I quickly took cover behind the new monitor block. Being steel it gave me the best bullet pass through protection in the house. Angela stayed prone behind the couch, with both guns drawn and four loaded extra magazines from our gun practice beside them. It is very difficult to kill someone in the prone position because most of the vital areas are covered by the floor.

Essentially Angela was hiding behind, and not taking cover from, the couch, which would in no way inhibit bullet pass through. I couldn’t see Lady Chief but I could see Emily through the kitchen door sprawled sitting with her Glock in both hands. As I watched, she remembered to pull the slide back to put a bullet in the empty chamber. For now we weren’t having her carry chambered as we all were.

The Truth Team must have been hidden far enough away that they needed to trot to the house. Just as I yelled at Emily to get her chest on the floor, the first attempt to breach the door started. Kicking backward did absolutely nothing so next they tried prying, and were easily repulsed by the 4×4 inch door bar and steel straps held with lag bolts.

There were four Truth Team members, which none of us could see at the time, a killer wearing a bullet resistant vest with plates back and front, but with no armor on the sides; two thugs dressed the same way, one with the breaching shotgun the other with a handgun; and a bomber, not in a vest. He would, at last resort, blow the door open with C4 plastic explosive, and for the moment he was doing the prying. Then we heard the bang of the breaching shotgun. Twice.

If the door hadn’t been reinforced, that would simply blow the flimsy knob lock off as well as slam the door open on the hinges. There was a long few moments, while the team dealt with the fact that the door simply wouldn’t breach. Then the killer and the shotgun thug jumped off the porch and into the barberry bushes, leaving the bomber to plant his charge and the other thug to cover the bomber’s back. Immediately there came a lot of bad language from both the killer and the shotgun thug. It crossed my mind then that I had only eight rounds so I had to hold back for genuine shots. Somewhere in the distance four separate sirens approached.

The thug got himself disentangled first and jumped in the window. I shot once and Angela shot three times, all four bullets hitting the vest. The thug’s body turned toward the kitchen door and my heart froze. Emily was standing like she did at the range and pulled the trigger but missed the thug. The first shotgun blast hit her smack in the chest and face and she fell back from the doorway. Ralph was clumping up the steps trying to get to fourth step from the top to go down and shoot from the door threshold. He didn’t make it. The second shotgun blast sent him tumbling back down the steps. In my mind I counted four shotgun rounds expended.

The thug then systematically turned toward the couch where Angela with both hands around one gun was firing around the couch ineffectively at the thug’s protected “center of mass”. As the thug turned, the unprotected side of his torso between the vest plates stared me in the face. I fired twice and hit him both times as the shotgun fired it’s fifth round. He had aimed too high and only blew a hole through the center of the vertically standing couch seat. Then I heard Angela yell from what were two pellets of Number 1 buckshot tearing into her butt as she lay flat.

My shots appeared to do nothing whatever to the shotgun thug. As he swung toward me, I took the greatest risk of my entire life and didn’t move back to cover. I was gambling that he had at most only five shots in his automatic shotgun. I squeezed my gun firmly with both hands and put the sight on the inside of his right thigh, hoping to cut the femoral artery. As his gun simply clicked, I fired three shots into his thigh and the femoral artery exploded. The thug hit the ground like a felled tree and blood started pouring copiously out of him.

Throughout all this the killer had been struggling with the barberry bushes. In the process he managed to drop his gun, a silenced .22, on the other side of the bushes from him. He tore through the thorns to recover it and tore back to get to the window. He appeared just as the thug went down. His face and hands were a bloody, slippery mess from thorn cuts and the first thing he saw was me. I tried to jerk myself back behind cover, but I saw the gun jump, heard the pop and felt an excruciating flame from front to back in my right cheek. I continued my dive into cover and heard four more .22 rounds hit the steel.

Then there was a fusillade of 9mm rounds (the sound of the caliber is quite distinct) to my right and there was Angela poking head and hands, surrounded by cushion stuffing, through the shotgun hole in the couch. She must have got a new magazine into the first of her guns because she was holding both guns, each with one hand and simply letting loose all 16 rounds one after the other in rhythm to give me covering fire. Bullets hit the vest. The killer fired back, but the 9 mils hitting his vest over and over were like well thrown body punches of a good boxer, destroying his aim, and his .22 slugs hit only couch.

Then I heard 3 much louder shots and saw one hit the killer just above the vest at the collar bone. I turned further right and there was Elizabeth, standing naked as a jay bird, holding her five shot snubby in both hands, waiting for another clean shot at the killer’s head. Between his slippery hands, the punching and noise of Angela’s guns, his sheer surprise at Elizabeth’s nakedness, and the pain of his broken collarbone, the one shot that popped as he turned toward her missed, then his gun snapped open and empty. He bent to dig in his left pocket for another magazine, the near side of his head came right across my gun sights, and I fired twice. The opposite side of his head exploded and he dropped like a stone, to lie unmoving in his own blood and brains.

I felt the horrid wrench in my heart as I dove toward Emily in the kitchen doorway. But there was no hope. Several pellets had torn through her heart area, three through her neck, and her face was left a horrid caricature by the five pellets that smashed through it. I fell to my knees and just started bawling. All of a sudden a huge pair of arms were around me saying nothing, but holding me like a crying baby. It was Angela, and to this day I don’t know how she fought through the searing pain in her buttocks to get to me more than fifteen feet away.

There was a moment of quiet. The sirens had stopped and two patrol cars were along the curb. Then the second thug made the last mistake of his life. He started shooting as a sargeant’s car was pulling in. The four cops from the first two cars made an even bigger racket than Angela as they emptied their service pistols and round after round tore through the unprotected bomber, the front door, and then embedded in the opposite wall. Above these finally came POP-POP-POP! POP-POP-POP! POP-POP-POP! the three round bursts of a fully automatic small-caliber assault rifle. The gun was loaded with “barrier busting” rounds: nine armor piercing bullets that shredded the thug in his vest, smashed large wood chips from the door, passed through two more interior house walls, and finally came to rest in the outside wall in the rear. Then all was silent.

By this time Lady Chief and Elizabeth were also there comforting me after the bullets had slid past us all. The EMT’s arrived with two squad trucks. Elizabeth got up, unbarred, and opened the shredded door, which was still shedding wood fragments while being moved. The EMT’s got a real show and the size of their eyes showed they appreciated it. Elizabeth said crisply, “These two here are wounded and there are four more dead.” in exactly the same tone, the raspy Whoremistress one, she would have used if she hadn’t been standing stark naked.

I looked down and there was blood totally splattered over the right side of my clothes. I turned to Angela, who had laid back face down and exhausted. The two rips in the seat of her yoga pants were centered in fabric which was completely saturated in blood. After temporarily staunching Angela’s bleeding by stuffing what looked like tampons into the bullet holes, they brought in two gurneys. Angela went out face down on one and I face up on the other. Just as we were rolling down the grass and detouring around the blown up car, both the coroner’s office transport truck and the Bomb Squad were arriving.

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