POLAR VORTEX: SS: FIFTEEN

Reads: 101  | Likes: 0  | Shelves: 0  | Comments: 0

More Details
Status: Finished  |  Genre: Action and Adventure  |  House: Booksie Classic
A mammoth whiteout named Thor provides cover for a column of terrorists crossing the frozen St. Lawrence River into Canada. A few young men spot the invaders and proceed to gather an unusual but gallant crew who try to find their quarry in the raging blizzard. Then there is the question of how to dispose of their enemies if they find them.

Submitted: January 26, 2017

A A A | A A A

Submitted: January 26, 2017

A A A

A A A


POLAR VORTEX

 A Short Story in Chapters

Nicholas Cochran

Chapter Fifteen

 

Before Andy and Danny reached the vague white outline of the shore, they made their estimations about the speed of the APCs. Wade and Finlay were unconsciously doing the same.

“You know, guys,” suggested Andy, “we could go back to the highway and race to Iroquois, and go find the others and warn them that they may be attacked from behind.”

The other boys remained silent. Andy eased off the throttle to a pace that kept the snowmobiles virtually invisible to any lookouts from the column. The glow from the banks of APC lights acted as a beacon for their pursuers.

“I don’t know, Andy,” said Wade, “I really don’t think we should lose contact with these guys. We know the cell towers will come up again if only to alert those guys to blow the dams and locks. As soon as they’re up, we can callJudge Lawson and warn them.”

“That could be too late,” said Danny, “maybe there’s a way we can get around them and then outrun them to Dad’s spot and help out.”

Fear was the heaviest ingredient of Danny’s words; the fear that he would not get there in time to help out his dad and brother; perhaps even too late to save their lives.

Finlay offered, “Well, let’s wait and see what path or track they take when they get to the river. I bet they stick pretty close to the shore for the thick ice. If they do, we could give them some slack, run out toward the middle of the river and blow down the river with Thor pretty much at our backs. Then we cut in before the locks and meet up with your dad, Danny.”

“I really like that plan,” enthused Wade, “that’s a keeper. Yeah. Go way out, hang a left and let Thor help us along. Its winds seem to be shifting even more to the west. Then we cut into the shore and meet up.”

“Yeah,” said Andy without enthusiasm, “there are a lot of ways this could screw up. We could lose our bearing in the storm in the middle of the river and missIroquois, miss the others.

"Oh, shit, I just had a great idea to try."

*  *  *

Billy Brimsek suggested that they should try to surround the column once it began to retreat. “We’d wait until they were done and leaving and we’d have them all together; in a column.”

Adele was skeptical. “Billy; that’s a great idea if we had some firepower but we don’t. It also gives me the willies when I think of letting them go ahead with setting the explosives not only on the dam, but here; over there; the locks, and even around Carman Road. I think it’s too risky. What do you think Bill?”

Bill and the Judge leaned even closer to the other members of their platoon.

“First thing,” began the Judge, “the storm seems to be getting worse. Whatever we can do I think we need to do it within the next half hour.”

Lt. Commander Bill tapped the Judge’s shoulder. “Look. There they are.”

As the intrepid unit wheeled to look, the surrounding blizzard grew into an endless yellowish glow.

“And they’re headed this way,” yelled Harold, “on their way to the locks.”

Harold Stanton instantly morphed into, Major Harold Stanton, while JudgeLawson became Brigadier Lawson.

Squadron Leader Adele Chambers could taste danger while she sized up the situation for her squadron. 

Captain RobertBrimsek, Billy, and Paul were ready for action.

“Jesus, men, this calls for a quick decision.” Major Stanton shouted.

Brigadier Lawson remarked, “You’re damn right, Harold. They should not be here this quickly. I think they may have done only a rush job on the Iroquois Dam.”

Bill noticed, “Well, the storm; the headwinds now that Thor is shifting more west; the storm may have them concerned about getting back to the other side of the river before anyone finds them—or even sees them.”

“The first thing to do,” shouted Bobby, “is to find a spot where we can see how much effort they’re putting into the locks. My thought is they’ll do a more thorough job there because it’s crucial to the shipping. We should be able to tell right away what their plans are. I bet they just skip the channels; here, and head for home.”

Adele drew all ears closer to her. “Well, mates, it’s time for some ingenuity. What about lobbing s few grenades at them once they’re all up tight to the locks. Our grenades would set off their explosives and kill all the bloody buggers in the process.”

The older men nodded while they fought to imagine how they could blow up all the terrorists without trashing the locks. Into the vacuum in the conversation, jumped Billy.

“I could sneak up behind their APCs and set some charges. I think they’ll have the carriers far enough away from the locks where blowing them up wouldn’t blow the locks. What do you think?”

*  *  * 

“Okay, Andy,” yelled Wade into the G9, “what’s the great idea?”

Finlay and Danny waited in the thundering storm to hear a plan for everyone’s salvation.

“I think I can connect our G 9 into the Judge’s group. We can warn them and make a plan to get these guys.”

Finlay broke a frigid smile, “Great idea Andy. Do it,”

“Yeah, “urged Danny, “man, just do itRight now.”

“Okay,” Andy replied as he slowed his machine to a speed where he could both drive and fiddle with all the G9 equipment to attempt a patch to the Carman Road unit. 

Several seconds passed in silence. After a minute, Andy grinned. “There.”

He flipped switches and called, “Hello, Judge Lawson? You there?”

All four young men nodded their freezing heads in frustrated anticipation. Andy called again. "Hi Judge, Andy here. You there? Can you hear me?”

There was no answer.

“I’m just positive about this, guys; that it’s patched. I know it is. Something’s wrong here.”

Finlay asked, “Do you think the bad guys have found them? 

“I doubt it, Finlay; but maybe they’re blocking the signal, although I swear . .”

A voice speaking Arabic whistled into the ears of the four young men.

Both drivers slowed their machines to a halt. The line remained open while the Arabic speaker waited for an answer. The speaker repeated his question in Arabic. After only a moment, the clear sound of a disconnect reached the four young men.

Andy spoke first. “Jesus H. guys; that was one of them. How the blazes did they get into our network? I wonder if they're patched into the Judge’s G9 as well.”

Wade made a decision. “Let’s get right up behind these guys right now, fire out a few hundred yards and burn it down toward Iroquois. You can keep trying Andy, but we have to go now. The other column should be almost through at the dam and on its way to the locks. We need to meet up with the Judge and get a plan.”

Danny was too frightened to add or subtract anything from the conversations. He managed only a feeble “yes” to Wade’s command.

Andy had known Wade since Wade’s birth. Colin arrived six months later. The two boys grew up together with their houses, parents, and foods being virtually interchangeable over their growing years. 

Andy watched Wade Stanwell mature into the brightest almost-twelve-year-old around town. Andy would state on occasion—out of Wade’s hearing, of course—that Wade was ten times smarter than most of Andy’s teenage friends. 

Something about Wade gave Colin, as well as Andy, a feeling of confidence, of reassurance. 

Andy experienced those same emotions in this moment.

“Right you are, Wade, here we go.” Andy’s machine almost did a skiley, alarming Danny and almost scaring Wade and Finlay. Wade pressed his steed with every horse available. 

In  moments, Andy and Wade were catching and then passing the mammoth golden glow of the second column.  As soon as the glow diminished to a point of light, Andy swept the snowmobile in a fast left turn and felt the blast of Thor’s shifting winds almost lift his machine off the snow while the speedometer rapidly ran through the red and hit metal. 

Danny was sure they were going well over a hundred and twenty miles an hour—minimum.

When Wade reached the left turn point, Andy’s machine had disappeared, whisked away on the roar of Thor. However, Wade’s machine was lighter, and with Thor at his back Wade was beside Andy and his bug-eyed passenger within seconds. 

Andy and Wade smiled across the snow separating their machines. Their smiles were founded on confidence, respect, and determination.

*  *  *

Billy’s suggestion was met with only the screeching wails of the Polar Vortex. Everyone was thinking about various aspects of Billy’s plan. Some aspects appealed to all of them.

Nevertheless, other aspects were causing deep concern as well as downright naked fear for the boy’s life, should any one of a number of factors go wrong. Not to put too fine a point on it, but once Billy was sighted, he would be shot.

Some of the Judge’s platoon could get by that loss if Billy could take down the entire column with him as well as prevent all the destruction.

However, a couple of them returned to the first concern and could not willingly send a boy out to commit suicide even if he could manage to save all the dams, locks, and guts of the eastern end of the Seaway.

 “No, Billy,” shouted the Judge, “I don’t think we have enough grenades to be sure of blowing all the charges in the locks.

"And if one of those guys survived our blasts, they would send the signal to blow the Moses, Long Sault, and Iroquois.

"But most importantly, they would kill you. Your courage and your creativity are unsurpassable, Billy, but no, son. Thank you.”

 

 End of Chapter Fifteen

 

 


© Copyright 2017 Nicholas Cochran. All rights reserved.

Add Your Comments:

More Action and Adventure Short Stories

Booksie 2017-2018 Short Story Contest

Booksie Popular Content

Other Content by Nicholas Cochran

FLYING DEAD

Short Story / Horror

FAT CHANCE

Short Story / Literary Fiction

TINY TROUBLES

Short Story / Literary Fiction

Popular Tags