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|Sean blinked his eyes rapidly, as blood stained tears ran down his cheeks. “Make me an offer I can’t refuse.”||
Sean backed away from the ticket booth and pulled back the cash from the clerk’s hand. He grabbed a napkin from the concession stand and wiped the blood from the ticket counter.
“Let me call the manager, maybe he can get some help for you,” the ticket clerk said.
“No,” Sean said. Then he thought for a moment. He looked behind him at the line and saw that some of the people behind him were becoming agitated. He looked back to the ticket clerk and swallowed hard. He felt like he might throw up again. “Call the manager,” he said.
The clerk picked up a phone from behind the counter and pressed a few buttons. In a moment he spoke into the receiver. “Yeah, Steve, could you come down to the booth. I have a customer that may need some medical help.” The clerk listened to the response of the manager then spoke again. “No, It’s not an emergency. You just need to get here. All right?”
The clerk hung up the phone and spoke again to Sean. “He’ll be here in a second. Could you wait over there?” He pointed to a bench along the wall.
“No problem,” Sean replied, stepping out of the line. He moved over to the bench and collapsed onto the floor. The man who was standing behind Sean ran over and knelt down beside him. Looking into Sean’s red puffy eyes, the man realized he needed immediate medical attention. He turned back to the ticket clerk and shouted, “Call an ambulance!”
By this time, the theater manager had made it to the lobby and saw the man kneeling down beside Sean. Standing over his shoulder, the manager saw the dire straits of the man laid out on the floor and saw puked up blood soaking into the carpet. “Oh crap!” he said running over to the ticket booth. He stepped behind the counter and grabbed the telephone, quickly dialing 911.
A moment later, the 911 operator came on the line. “Please state your emergency,” she said flatly.
“We need an ambulance, there is a man bleeding to death on my floor!”
The 911 operator had the address up on her screen. “Is this Cinema 3, at Lake Park Mall?” she asked.
“Yes, I am the manager!”
“Can you describe your emergency?”
The manager looked over and saw a crowd forming around the dying man. He could no longer see him to describe him to the operator. “He’s bleeding. He looks really sick and he’s lying on the floor.”
“We have an ambulance on the way,” she said in a monotone.
“Can you send police too?”
“We have a patrol car in route. Please hold the line until the police arrive.”
“All right,” he replied and sitting the phone on the counter. “Watch the phone,” he said to the ticket clerk and ran back over to the crowd. He parted the spectators and yelled for everyone to backup.
“He’s got a bomb!” someone yelled and the crowd backed off immediately.
Someone had moved his jacket back and exposed the pipe bomb taped to his chest. Sean was sick, but still awake and able to think and move. His plan was working. He wanted to attract a large crowd, a crowd larger than he would have if he just walked into the theater and detonated the bomb.
“Nobody move a muscle, I have all the exits covered!” Sean bluffed to the terrified crowd.
Deputy McGinnes pulled up to the curb and turned off his siren. He could see a crowd forming outside the entrance of the theater and jumped out of the patrol car. “Coming through!” he yelled, pushing his way between the people. As he made it inside the theater lobby, he could see the faces of the horrified crowd reflecting the blue and red lights from the patrol car. Standing behind the counter, now looking like death warmed over was Sean, holding his pistol to the manager’s head.
McGinnes pulled his Glock 9mm from his holster and aimed it at Sean. It was terribly uncomfortable for the deputy among all the spectators who watched his every move. “Put down the gun,” the deputy said calmly.
“I’m not putting down the gun,” Sean replied. His nose drained blood that dripped onto his shirt. The Ebola was turning his insides into jelly.
“We can end this peaceful son.”
“I don’t want to end this peaceful,” Sean replied.
McGinnes figured he had a real wacko here intending to commit suicide. “What can we do to get you to put down that gun?” the deputy asked.
Sean blinked his eyes rapidly, as blood stained tears ran down his cheeks. “Make me an offer I can’t refuse.”
“Just tell me what you want son. I don’t want anyone getting hurt.”
“I’m sure you don’t.” Sean replied. “Where’s the ambulance?” he asked.
“There in route right now. If you wait a few minutes we can get you to the hospital and get you taken care of.”
Sean blinked again and wiped the blood from his nose with his sleeve. “I want you to call the television station.”
Deputy McGinnes was taken by surprise by this request. “I can’t authorize that.”
Sean pushed the barrel of his pistol closer to the manager’s head and moved out so the deputy could see the bomb taped to his chest. Then he moved back and put the manager between him and the deputy. “I have something I need to say to the people.”
“Just tell me son, I’ll relay the message.”
“If you call me son one more time, I will put a hole in this man’s head,” Sean said, thrusting the gun into the manager’s ear.
Sean cocked his head towards the large glass window and saw the news van pull up to the curb. A smile crossed his sick face. “We’ll just wait till they get in here,” he said. “Then we’ll see who gets to go.”
A few minutes later, the news crew broke through the crowd and stood behind the deputy with cameras recording.
“Is this live?” Sean yelled.
“No, this is tape!” the reporter shouted back.
“I want this live! Do you understand!”
“Calm down!” McGinnes yelled back.
Sean took a deep breath and composed his thoughts. He was becoming weaker and it was harder for him to concentrate. “Toss your gun on the floor,” Sean said.
The deputy had no intentions of giving up his firearm.
“Do you think I am kidding?” Sean asked. “This is no time to play hero. Why don’t you just toss down your gun and get the hell out of here.”
“I can’t do that and you know it.”
Sean raised his left arm, and with his thumb on the trigger, showed the deputy the detonation device for the bomb on his chest. “If you shoot me, and I let go of this trigger, everyone in this room will be dead.” Sean really knew that everyone for miles around would be dead within two weeks. It wasn’t the explosion itself that would do the damage.
Seeing the trigger device, McGinnes had to think twice. There was only one of him and a lobby full of bystanders. He needed to make the right decision, or be forever known as the deputy that screwed up this job.
The deputy needed to calm the situation down. It was against his better judgment, but he decided it would be best to leave the scene and try to evacuate the building from the outside. But then he changed his mind when his backup arrived. From where he stood in the lobby, he could see two other patrol cars pull up outside the theater. Now he had to think fast. “I’m going to step out of the building,” McGinnes said. “I am going to get you help.”
“Yeah, why don’t you,” Sean said. “And don’t hurry back.”
The television crew had the bright lights turned on and the camera’s rolling. The reporter stepped before the camera and began to speak.
Then Sean spoke out, “Are you live yet?”
The reporter turned around and looked to Sean. For the first time she was scared. “Yes we are now live,” she replied.
“What’s your name?” Sean asked.
“Mary Carpenter,” she replied. “Channel Six News.”
“Well, hello Mary Carpenter, Channel Six News, welcome to your last day.”
The reporter felt a rush of panic as she realized he might detonate the bomb right now. She thought he would at least grant her an interview before he did anything like that.
Sean could see the fear in her eyes. “Come over here Mary,” Sean said. “And bring your camera crew. I will not do anything until we are finished.”
Mary was still unsettled by Sean but felt she had no real choice. She approached, followed closely by her cameraman. The light mounted on his camera reflected brightly off the chrome of the vending machines. “May I get a word with you?” she asked politely.
Sean had to smile as he listened to her tiptoe around him. He knew she was afraid of him. “Go ahead,” Sean replied. “I have plenty to say.”
Mary placed a wireless microphone on the counter beside Sean and backed away. She motioned for him to clip it to his collar. Sean picked up the microphone and did as she suggested. “Can you tell us what you are trying to accomplish here?” she asked. She didn’t even think of asking him his name. She was far too nervous to cover the basics. “What cause are you supporting?”
Sean had to smile. He was wondering how the public would react to this. They had no idea what his true intentions were and that they would soon be infected with a deadly disease that had no known cure. “I am supporting no cause. I am only hear to complete my mission.”
“Mission?” Mary asked. “What mission is that?”
Sean didn’t think he should tell her the truth. He only wanted the publicity so he could gather a larger crowd outside the theater. There were probably one hundred and fifty people in the lobby now and he wanted an additional two hundred people outside before he was too weak to hold the trigger.
“My mission to rule the world.” Sean replied. It was all he could come up with. He thought he would play the part of a mad man, play this situation for all it’s worth.
“You think by blowing up this theater that you will rule the Earth?” Mary asked. She moved in closer.
“Don’t you?” Sean replied.
Mary was confused and felt put on the spot by his question. “What are you demands?” she asked. Just then she realized she didn’t know his name. “Can I get your name?” she asked.
“My name is not important Mary. What is important is that I spread my message to all the people of this world before I go.”
“Before you go?” she asked. All of a sudden she realized what he meant by that. She scrambled for something to ask to keep his attention. “If you won’t give us your name, could you tell us where you are from?”
“I am from another world,” he replied.
“What is this world called?”
“Earth,” he replied.
Now she was really confused. “But this is Earth. You are on Earth right now.”
Sean looked around and pressed the barrel of his gun deeper into the manager’s ear. “Are you sure?” he asked. He knew the answer but was in need of buying more time. The crowd outside was not as large as he had hoped for. He looked into the camera and spoke aloud to the home viewers, “I want all of you to come down here and join in my celebration!”
Suddenly, out of nowhere, a bearded man stepped forth from the crowd. Sean recognized him immediately as the old man who’d guarded the gate in the yellow world.
“Noah Black,” Sean shouted. “Out of your element aren’t you?”
Noah stepped forward and faced Sean. They stood three feet apart, eyes locked, like in an old west shoot-out.
“You can’t do this,” Noah said dryly.
“It’s my destiny old man.”
“Your destiny is my destiny then, I must make things right.”
Noah turned 180 degrees to the television reporter and said, “Call the CDC, there’s an Ebola outbreak here.”
Without warning, without even turning his head, Noah suddenly leaped forward surprising Sean who was about to put a bullet in the back of his head. Noah wrapped his arms around Sean’s chest and arms, pinning them to his sides. Sean’s knees buckled and the two men crashed to the ground, Sean flat on his back, Noah chest to chest on top. A second later, the bomb exploded with a muffled boom barely audible to the nearby crowd.
In a mad panic caused more by Noah’s statement than the muffled explosion, the people turned, making a mad dash for the exits. They came to a sudden halt as they came face to face with a line of police officers who had been monitoring the live broadcast from the street. The entire mall was quarantined. It would be months before this community would be the same.
|Alignment chapter 15||Morning Star chapter 16|
|Morning Star chapter 3||Morning Star chapter 23|
|Alignment chapter 6|