Voodoo Plague (Book 10): Anvil, page 1
V Plague Book Ten
Text Copyright © 2015 by Dirk Patton
Copyright © 2015 by Dirk Patton
All Rights Reserved
This book, or any portion thereof, may not be reproduced or used in any manner whatsoever without the express written permission of the copyright holder or publisher, except for the use of brief quotations in a critical book review.
Published by Voodoo Dog Publishing, LLC
2824 N Power Road
Mesa, AZ 85215
Printed in the United States of America
First Printing, 2015
This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, businesses, brands, places, events and incidents are either the products of the author’s imagination or used in a fictitious manner. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, or actual events is purely coincidental.
Table of Contents
Also by Dirk Patton
Also by Dirk Patton
Unleashed: V Plague Book 1
Crucifixion: V Plague Book 2
Rolling Thunder: V Plague Book 3
Red Hammer: V Plague Book 4
Transmission: V Plague Book 5
Days Of Perdition: V Plague Book 6
Indestructible: V Plague Book 7
Recovery: V Plague Book 8
Precipice: V Plague Book 9
Anvil: V Plague Book 10
Rules Of Engagement: A John Chase Short Story
Thank you for purchasing Anvil, Book 10 in the V Plague series. If you haven’t read the first nine books you need to stop reading now and pick them up, otherwise you will be utterly lost as this book is intended to continue the story in a serialized format. I intentionally did nothing to explain comments and events that reference books 1 through 9. Regardless, you have my heartfelt thanks for reading my work and I hope you’re enjoying the adventure as much as I am. As always, a good review on Amazon is greatly appreciated.
You can always correspond with me via email at firstname.lastname@example.org and find me on the internet at www.dirkpatton.com and follow me on Twitter @DirkPatton and if you’re on Facebook, please like my page at www.facebook.com/FearThePlague .
Thanks again for reading!
I look inside myself and see my heart is black
I see my red door I must have it painted black
Maybe then I'll fade away and not have to face the facts
It's not easy facing up when your whole world is black
No more will my green sea go turn a deeper blue
I could not foresee this thing happening to you
If I look hard enough into the setting sun
My love will laugh with me before the morning comes
The Rolling Stones – Paint It Black
I couldn’t move. I was in shock, staring at my wife. She screamed one more time before going still and watching me. I desperately searched the blood red eyes for any sign that even a small part of her was still in there. I didn’t find what I was looking for.
I glanced at Rachel and she was frozen in place, staring at Katie. Turning back, I was surprised to see that Katie had moved next to Martinez’ corpse and was nudging it with her shoulder. When she saw me watching, Katie stopped and stared at me. I stared back, tears running down my face. I couldn’t breathe.
“We have to go,” Irina grabbed my arm to get my attention before moving to Rachel.
“I can’t,” I mumbled, unable to take my eyes off the terrifying sight my wife had become.
“Bring her,” Rachel said as Irina removed the grenade strapped to her throat and began working on her cuffs. “Maybe there’s help in Seattle.”
My heart leapt with faint hope. Swallowing hard, I took a deep breath before stepping closer and doing something I’d never done before. I hit my wife. Hard. With my rifle’s stock, right on the temple. Her horrible eyes rolled up in her head and she slumped into unconsciousness.
I stood there looking at her, vision blurry from the tears in my eyes. Absently, I noted the metallic jingling sound as Irina freed Rachel’s hands. Finally turning away from Katie, I looked at Martinez. Another woman I realized I loved. Not romantically, but the kind of love you have for a kindred spirit who has become family. I started to reach for her, to hold her lifeless body in my arms, but Rachel wrapped me in an iron hard hug.
“There’s Russians all around us,” she said in my ear. “If we’re going to have a chance to save Katie you need to get your shit together. Now, goddamn it!”
I turned and met Rachel’s eyes as Irina snatched up the dead medic’s rifle and began removing spare magazines from his corpse.
“We have maybe thirty seconds before someone decides to come see what is happening,” Irina said, swapping mags so a full one was in the AKMS and it was ready to go. “How are we getting out of here?”
“You got four of them fuckers headin’ your way.”
I had forgotten about Titus, but his voice in the radio earpiece reminded me I still had a slight edge.
“What about the sniper on the far edge of the park?” I asked, stepping out of Rachel’s arms.
“Who are you talking to?” Rachel silently mouthed the question but I ignored her as I reached up to press the device deeper into my ear.
“They’re still there,” Titus said. “Don’t look like they noticed nothin’. Yet.”
My mind slowly began to spin back up to speed and I looked around the area.
“What direction are the ones approaching from?” I asked.
“From the west. Same direction you came in,” Titus answered immediately. “Just crossing that small parking lot.”
I took a moment to warn Rachel and Irina about the sniper and told them to stay close to the helicopter so he didn’t have a shot at them. Pulling out the remote trigger I changed it to the final setting, lifted the protective cover and pressed the button.
All around the perimeter of the park, the small C-4 charges I’d planted on the underside of every manhole cover detonated. The noise was furious as the plastic explosive blasted dozens of cast iron plates free of their resting places and into the air.
“Whooooeeeee!” Titus shouted over the radio. “That got them fucker’s attention! You probably just killed about thirty of ‘em. The ones in the parking lot are headin’ the other way. But you still got a whole lot of ‘em running all around like you kicked an ant h
“What about the sniper?” I asked.
No matter how many of the Russian soldiers on the perimeter went down, I wasn’t going anywhere until he was out of commission. He was definitely the first priority.
“He’s still there and looks all pissed off. Sit tight and be ready to run when I tell you. Got something up my sleeve.”
“Titus, what the hell are you doing?” I shouted into the radio, but he didn’t answer me.
“Goddamn it!” I said, dropping my pack and digging out the six Claymore mines I’d brought with me.
Quickly, I set them up to form a small, defensive perimeter around where we were sheltering. Stringing the wires back to a trigger, I pressed it into Irina’s hand.
“Only fire when I tell you,” I said, looking into her eyes as I kept my hands wrapped around her’s.
She nodded and squatted down with her back against the hull of the Hind.
“Titus,” I called into the radio. I needed to know what was about to come my way.
“Hold your fuckin’ horses,” he panted back, obviously running as he spoke.
“What the hell are you doing?”
I pointed in the direction I wanted Rachel to watch for anyone trying to flank us. I was scanning in the opposite quadrant. She took the AKMS from Irina and brought it up to her shoulder.
“Tryin’ to save your narrow ass,” he panted back. “Got my deer rifle and headin’ for the bell tower in a church. Should get me higher than this fucker. Now shut the hell up and let me be for a bit.”
Grumbling, I reversed the direction of my scan, pausing when I saw five soldiers walking towards the helo. One of them appeared to have a leg injury as he was being helped by two others while the remaining two guarded them. They looked jumpy as hell, rifles in constant motion as they kept checking all around.
They were probably bringing their comrade to the medic and hadn’t seen me. I wanted to shoot, but hesitated because they were in full view of the sniper’s position. If they suddenly started dropping it would alert him to the fact that something wasn’t right. He might not be able to shoot me, but he could sure as hell make a call on the radio and send a whole bunch of his buddies running to ruin my night.
The five soldiers were about a hundred yards away when Rachel called out that she had three more approaching from her side. Fuck me, this was going to get ugly in a hurry.
“Titus, whatever you’re doing, you’d better do it quick,” I said.
“Shhhh,” was all he said, then there was the loud crack of a rifle from the far side of the park. A moment later there was a second, then a third shot.
“You’re good, son. Get the fuck out of there,” he said, satisfaction clear in his voice.
“Sniper’s down?” I asked in surprise.
“Yep, and his buddy, too. Get going. If you can make the tunnels, I’ll see you in the shelter.”
What the fuck? How had he just pulled that off? But then I learned a long time ago not to count out an old dog just because he was old.
“Rachel, hold your fire,” I said as I pulled the trigger on the Russian walking point.
He crumpled to the ground, dead, and I quickly shifted aim and dropped the second man. That left the two helping their wounded friend and they had reacted when the first one fell. One of them threw himself to the side, prone on the wet grass, looking for where the shot had come from. The second one pulled the injured man down with him, a second later both of them bringing their rifles up.
The turf in the park was billiard table flat and there was no cover. Sure, going prone had reduced their profile and presented me with much smaller targets, but they were inside eighty yards by now. I shot one of them, his head snapping back before it flopped onto the ground. That was the shot that let the other two zero in on me and open up with their unsuppressed rifles.
Bullets pinged off the armored hide of the helicopter I was pressed tightly against. Rolling to the side, I scrambled behind the cover provided by the Hind’s landing gear. Popping up, I braced my rifle on a tire and drilled a round into one of them. His rifle went quiet. The last remaining guy decided it was time to retreat, leaping to his feet and running a zig-zag pattern away from me.
“Got a lot more coming. Fast!” Rachel shouted.
She started firing the AKMS. I knew they must be close for her to have decided it was more important to start shooting than it was to obey my instruction to hold her fire. Trusting her decision, I took a couple of seconds to track my guy before pulling the trigger. My aim was true and his corpse tumbled to the wet grass.
A quick scan showed more coming, responding to the gunfire, and it sounded like Rachel had more than she could handle. To her credit, she was firing single shots. But she was also firing as fast as she could pull the trigger.
There was heavy return fire and I suddenly realized that Katie was still out in the open, hanging unconscious from the winch cable. One stray round was all it would take to permanently eliminate any chance she might have, no matter how fantastical it might be.
Scrambling along the side of the Hind, I moved to where Rachel was firing steadily and peeked around her head. Nearly twenty Russians were charging, firing as they ran, and they were no more than forty yards away.
“Irina, fire!” I shouted.
A moment later all of the Claymores detonated with enough force to rattle my teeth. Mud and grass was thrown into the air, the water on the surface of the ground atomized and turned into a fine mist by the force of the explosion. It hung there, obscuring my view, but the incoming fire stopped.
Grabbing Irina’s wrist, I pulled her along as I dashed to Katie. I didn’t need to tell her what I wanted. As I wrapped my wife up and took her weight off the cuffs, Irina quickly unlocked them with a key she’d taken off the medic’s body. Scooping Katie into my arms, I shouted for Rachel to follow me.
I ran with Katie’s body cradled against my chest, bouncing with each step I took. Irina and Rachel were right behind me and slightly to either side. Rachel was still firing the Russian rifle. Irina grabbed mine where it hung from its sling and released it so she could join the fight.
Within ten yards we ran out of the concealing mist that had been created by the detonation of the Claymores, and even though it was night the remaining Russians spotted us and opened up. Rachel had abandoned single shots in favor of short bursts and I could also hear my rifle being fired in the same manner. I angled for the corner of the building I’d been behind when I’d shot the Russian Major, rounding the bend and running directly into two soldiers who were charging towards us.
I stumbled from the impact, somehow managing to maintain my footing as both of them were sent sprawling. One of them fired as he landed on his back, but the bullet went wide. Rachel put a round through his head and pushed me. I kept running.
Directly ahead was the small parking lot, and though I couldn’t see the manhole I had a pretty good idea of its general location. There were two bodies near the center of the asphalt area and I headed for them, glad to hear both rifles still firing behind me. I nearly tripped over the cast iron cover, not seeing it in the dark and rain, lying on the pavement where it had been blasted by the charge of C-4.
Boots skidding on the ground, I came to a stop at the open hole and looked down. There was the sound of water rushing through the tunnel beneath my feet and I cursed, somehow having forgotten the torrent that had nearly washed me away earlier. If we went down there we’d be swept up and carried who knows where, but my hesitation was resolved when a bullet blasted a chunk out of the asphalt at my feet.
“Down the hole,” I shouted at the two women. “Storm tunnels and they’re full of water, but we don’t have a choice.”
I put Katie down and yanked the rifle sling over my head. Extending it to it’s full length, I put a loop around Katie’s wrist and snugged it tight before attaching the other end to my belt. Irina and Rachel were keeping up a steady rate of fire, but I didn’t have time to look and
Reaching up, I grabbed Irina and took my rifle back, pushing her towards the hole. She balked at the edge. I lifted her off the ground and dropped her through, a short squeal cutting off when she went into the water.
“Get in the hole!” I yelled at Rachel, dropping to a knee and targeting several soldiers who were heading our way.
Without a word, Rachel stepped to the opening. She sat and swung her legs into the void, then with the rifle tucked tight to her chest scooted her ass forward and dropped out of sight. I fired a long burst at the approaching Russians, dropped the rifle and shoved Katie’s unconscious body through the opening. Her weight hit the end of the sling and nearly pinned me across the manhole, but I was able to swing my legs around and drop through with her.
The water I plunged into was cold, taking my breath away as I went under. I was immediately in the pull of the current and was turned upside down and slammed into the wall as the sling attached to my belt jerked hard. Fighting the force of the flood and the weight of Katie’s body, I flailed for the surface. After what felt like hours, my face broke into the air and I was able to take a partial breath before being dragged beneath again.
I was worried about Katie, afraid she would drown or be slammed into a wall. It took every ounce of energy and concentration I possessed to even manage an occasional breath. The rest of the time I was completely submerged, tumbling in the current and completely disoriented.
This went on for a long time as I was carried along in the pitch dark of the tunnel system. I was battered at intersections with other tunnels, getting spun about like a top when the flows merged, then the main current would take over again and pull me under. I had no sense of time or direction, my entire world compressed into a battle for air.
Breaking the surface for a rare breath, I had a second to hear what sounded like the roar of a massive waterfall. Before I could confirm the sound, I was savagely tugged back under by the sling that secured Katie to my body. Fear for her coursed through me, worry that she was unconscious and couldn’t fight to get a breath. There was absolutely nothing I could do to help her. I was barely keeping myself alive.
DIRK PATTON SERIES:
Other author's books:
- Precipice: V Plague Book 9Days Of Perdition: Voodoo Plague Book 6V Plague (Book 13): ExodusRecovery: V Plague Book 8Voodoo Plague (Book 10): AnvilCrucifixion - 02Fractured: V Plague Book 1536: A Novel
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