Running it out, Mammonites. Three chapters left, I think, so I’ll be wrapping up the rough draft this week for sure. Already got some ideas of what I need to fix, but I’m pretty happy with what I’ve got. So here’s Chapter 41. If you need to catch up, you can download everything right here. As always, thanks for reading along. And for those faithful readers who’ve been along for the whole ride, let me know what worked and what didn’t. Your insights will be a big help as I start the second draft.
The passenger side of the Crown Vic was closer to the stairs, so Bernstein was ten feet ahead of Lynch as Lynch came around the front of the car and the girl in the yellow running bra came burst out of the stairwell. Blood ran down her left arm and was smeared on the left side of her torso.
“Chicago Police,” Bernstein said, “It’s alright.”
The girl swung up a thin automatic with her right hand and shot Bernstein in the chest. Just a little puff-bark noise. Silencer. Al Din, Lynch thought.
Bernstein went down, rolling on cement saying “fuck fuck fuck.” Al Din was swinging the gun down for a shot at Bernstein’s head when Lynch snatched his Glock off his hip and fired from behind the front end of the car, snap shot, too high, a little right, just trying to keep al Din away from Bernstein. Al Din spun and fired in one motion, the slug tearing a little furrow in the hood of the Crown Vic maybe six inches to Lynch’s right. Bastard was fast.
Lynch fired again, but al Din never stopped. He continued his spin into a tuck roll toward the line of cars along the wall next to the stair well, Lynch’s shot going over al Din and punching through the rear window of a Honda Minivan, al Din yelling out something in a language Lynch didn’t know as he went down on his left side and rolled on it, leaving a smear of blood on the floor of the garage, Lynch snapping off one more shot as al Din scrambled between the side of the Honda and the wall, Lynch hearing another loud grunts, seeing a little blood splatter on the wall. He’d hit al Din’s leg as he went back behind the van, tore off a chunk of it at least.
Al Din was hit at least twice, couldn’t come out from behind the minivan without Lynch blowing his shit away. Bernstein was rolling back toward Lynch, toward the Crown Vic. Lynch started making his way around the car. Plan was grab Bernstein, get him around the other side, then call for back up and wait the fucker out.
Then Lynch heard al Din’s gun bark again, saw a spark as a round skipped off the floor right next to Bernstein’s head. Goddamnit, the bastard was firing under the car, trying to hit Bernstein, probably trying to force Lynch out from behind the car.
Bernstein had dropped his gun when he’d been hit. It was down past his feet, a couple feet from the passenger side tire of the Crown Vic, between Lynch and the minivan al Din was pinned behind. Lynch had an idea. Wasn’t sure it was a good idea, but waiting wasn’t going to make it any better. Al Din fired again, another round skipping off the concrete, this one bouncing up into Bernstein’s thigh.
“MOTHERFUCKER!” Bernstein shouted.
Lynch came around the side of the Crown Vic lighting up the minivan, counting down his shots. The Glock had seventeen rounds. He’d fired three. He started with the glass on the van, figured raining all that down on al Din would keep his head down. Punched some shots through the back window, angled out through the side glass, the bullet meter running in his head, 14, 13, 12, 11 . . .
Al Din ran down the stairs to the garage. Foucalt had hit his left arm, just below the shoulder. Through and through, the blood coming out steadily, but none of the arcing that would mean Foucalt had hit the brachial artery. The pain was bad, though, the arm pretty much useless, might have hit the bone, al Din trying to hold it in tight to his side. He held the automatic down along his right leg. Get to the bottom of the stairs, turn right, maybe ten yards to his car, get out of the garage, over to his second vehicle. He had what he’d need to bandage the wound, temporarily anyway. Get some space, get some time.
As he entered the garage, he saw a small, dark-haired man in a suit between him and the car, and another larger man coming around a dark sedan to the first man’s right.
“Chicago Police,” the first man said. “It’s alright.”
Al Din swung the automatic up and shot him in the chest, the man going down, rolling, cursing. He was going for the kill shot when the other man fired from behind the front of the sedan, the bullet punching into the wall just to al Din’s left. Al Din spun, fired once, his round ripping into the hood of the sedan. The other man was behind cover and al Din was in the open. He had to move, continued his spin, went down on his left side, rolling back to the wall, scrambling to get behind the red minivan parked there, another shot, a searing pain in his left calf. His left side was alive with pain now, the blood flowing more freely, more blood coming from his left calf. He moved the leg a little, still functional, but he was racing shock now. He couldn’t stay here. He needed to draw the other man out, put him down.
He looked under the van. He had an angle at the first man, who was trying to roll back toward the sedan. He sighted carefully, skipped a round off the floor near the man’s head, then aimed for his legs and bounced a slug into a thigh. He didn’t want man on the ground dead. He wanted him screaming, wanted the other man to lose his head, behave irrationally.
The second man came out from behind the sedan. Al Din could just see his feet. The second man started firing rapidly, the glass from the van raining down on al Din, then the rounds starting to rip into the sheet metal. One must have come in from the opening where the rear window had been at a downward angle and torn through the side door, because al Din was nicked on the cheek by a metal fragment. The man also started skipping some rounds off the cement under the van. Al Din would just have to wait, hope for the best.
. . . 8, 7, 6, 5, 4 . . . Lynch kept firing. Once the glass was out, he held the gun higher, tried to angle some rounds down through the back window, hoping to get lucky, punch something out into al Din. He also skipped a few under the van, figured at least he throw some fragments into the bastard, but mostly just trying to keep al Din’s head down, make him think Lynch was firing wild.
Bernstein’s Glock was just next to his left foot now. Lynch reached down, picked it up with his left hand while he skipped another round under the minivan. 3. He switched Bernstein’s Glock to his right hand, his own weapon to his left. He fired the last two rounds from his own weapon into the van left-handed, stood to brace himself, Bernstein’s full weapon in his right hand and aimed steadily at the opening between the minivan and the wall, then thumbed the clip release on his weapon with his left hand.
The empty clip from his Glock clattered to the floor.
Al Din turned himself toward the back of the van, his feet braced, ready to spring. He wasn’t sure what weapon the policeman had, a 9mm probably, twelve shots maybe, fourteen shots, even seventeen shots. But if he kept firing wildly, eventually he would empty his clip. That would be al Din’s only chance.
The pace of the firing slacked for a moment, a couple rounds skipping under the van, al Din thinking maybe he felt a fragment bite into his hip, then two more shots and the sound of a clip falling to the cement. Now.
Al Din came out low, gun extended, but Lynch was firing as soon as he caught even a glimpse. He was only five feet away. One of his first rounds hit al Din in the forearm, ripping the gun out of al Din’s hand. Lynch moved to his right, could see al Din on the ground between the van and the wall, prone, grunting as he tried to reach over with his damaged left arm for his weapon. Lynch aimed for the head and upper back, firing until the Glock was empty. Son of a bitch couldn’t be dead enough as far as Lynch was concerned. When the slide locked back, al Din’s head was a pulped mess and he had five or six rounds stitched from his neck to his shoulder blades, right along the line of his spine. Lynch thumbed the clip release, tore his spare from the pouch on his hip, slammed it in place, then turned to check on Bernstein.