Helicopters are noisy, very very noisy. It is hard to think inside them, even wearing a headset. Whoever these Russians were they didn’t like to make the people who flew in these things comfortable.
I looked out the open door. Why had I volunteered to jump out of this noisy bird? Why did I climb into it in the first place?
“Ready?” Kat asked.
I found my hands were shaking, they looked strange all covered in black stretchy stuff. I made thumbs up. “Yes.” My voice betrayed the fear I tried to suppress.
She clipped my harness into a rope and tossed the coil out the open door into the night. “Go go go!”
I half jumped was half pushed out the door. I repelled down watching the helicopter get smaller. The rotor wash slapped me and I struggled to slow my decent so I wouldn’t get killed. My bare feet touched the roof and I disconnected from the rope. I waved and scrambled away finding refuge behind an air conditioning unit.
As the helicopter disappeared I felt as alone as I had in her caves. I shuddered pushing the bad memories away; I had a job to do. I had to break into the office of the Secretario de la Gente Monstruo.
The SGM was Mexico’s version of the Monster Control Bureau, more corrupt and not as well funded. They reportedly had a book with information on the gold Incan knife, but weren’t about to share it with MHI.
I dropped my magic night vision goggles down over my head and went to work.
A minute later I found the emergency generator, it was right were they said it would be. I torched the padlock and flipped the breakers. A few moments later I had the fuses out and tossed over the side of the building, landing in some decorative bushes.
I moved toward the roof access hatch and was about to grab the handle when it flung open. I dove behind an air conditioner and saw flashlights searching the roof.
Quick angry voices said things in Spanish. I didn’t understand anything other than ‘helicóptero.’
Had they seen the MHI chopper? Would they find me? I huddled down as low as I could when I heard booted footsteps clomping across the roof. I caught a glimpse of one of the men; they carried large AR boom sticks and wore bulky clothing covered in things to hurt people.
My tiny boom-pistols wouldn’t be much use against men like that, Milo told me to use them only as a last resort. I practiced a lot at the range, and was getting halfway good with them up to about twenty feet. Milo said most monsters would just get pissed off if I shot them with my P-3AT’s. But he said I couldn’t handle anything bigger than a .380 for now. I’d been eating a lot and exercising to build muscles but compared to the hunters I was still a scrawny little thing.
They spread out in teams, I wasn’t sure how many they were but they were angry. They said ‘helicóptero’ and the names Pedro and Juan, among some English curse words. They walked past where I was huddled. I didn’t dare move; humans see movement better than things that are still. After a few long minutes they disappeared back into the building.
My heart was pounding, I could hear it in my ears. My small size was why they chose me for this mission in the first place. It had saved my life allowing me to squeeze in tight spots. I strained my ears, they felt weird being covered in black greasy paint.
I didn’t hear anyone left on the roof. I would have heard their breathing.
I removed the grate covering an exhaust vent set it aside. I attached a climbing rope to the railing and set it in the vent, it was time to turn the lights off.
When we planned the mission they stressed something called “radio silence.” Once on the roof I’d be on my own with no contact with the Hunters. I scrambled to the edge of the roof and flashed my light three times at the van on the street below. Milo said the light was some kind of infurred, that humans can’t see.
A few seconds later the lights in the building went dark. It was time to move. I’d been training for months for this one night. Hopefully I’d actually remember what the hunters taught me.
I crawled in the vent and worked my way down the rope. It was dark but my magic goggles let me see in the dark. I memorized the layout of the vents, the SGM hadn’t worried about securing these tunnels, they were almost too small for me to fit in. No human could possibly wriggle their way down.
I could hear the men yelling, running around in the dark. They had to know something was wrong cuz their generator was down.
After a few twists and turns I found the cold air return, it was big enough I could escape out of the vents and enter the rooms. The screws came out using a fancy folding screwdriver. Managing to set the grate on top of a storage cabinet, I poked my head out and scanned the room. I made it to the right one. I was in some kind of phone closet; the room was full of wires running to racks of metal boxes.
Dropping to the floor I slunk over to the door. I could hear booted feet running in the hallway, and smell their sweat mixed with gun oil. After a few moments the booted feet were gone.
I reached up and slowly turned the door handle; I pulled it open a crack and peeked through. The hallway was empty. I moved the door just wide enough for me to slip out. I looked down the hallway, battery powered lights spilled dim yellow light in pools. The batteries must have been old, the lights were dim.
Sneaking down the hallway I avoided the light. I came to a T intersection and saw a sign that read.
I hung a right, so far so good, I hadn’t run into any guards or late night workers. It was just me and a dimly lit hallway. My leathery feet hardly made any sound as I moved toward my objective. At the end of the corridor was the ‘Archivo’ room, I was going to make it I was…
A side door opened a few feet in front of me, flashlight beams spilled out. I froze, they would see me! Off to my right was a doorway. I pressed up against the door trying to keep myself out of the hall.
Angry voices and flashlight beams approached, I heavily armed man appeared in the hallway he turned my direction, I closed my eyes half expecting to be shot. He looked my way how did he not see?
His companion yelled, “Marcos, vamos!”
They hurried by where I crouched, my heard beat a rabid thumping in my chest. I waited a couple of minutes until I was sure they were gone.
I slunk over to the archive room, the double doors were unlocked. The center of the room had a bunch of desks for reading; the walls were covered with shelves of dusty books, boxes and bins. It was a large room; it probably took up half the floor.
I was looking for a book labeled, Precolombiano Cuchillos de Sacraficio, I was told it was a government restricted book written by a Mexican hunter named Juan Pablo Sánchez Hernández back in the thirties. The SGM was said to have the only known copy.
After a few minutes stumbling around the aisles I found it in the “S” section. Unfortunately it had to be on the top shelf, about eight feet up. I sighed and began climbing the shelves.
I pulled on the heavy book to get it out and lost my footing. The books below spilled out of the shelf landing on the floor with a series of heavy thuds. I clung to the higher shelf and managed to pull the book out.
Unfortunately it weighed more than I thought and I fell with it on the pile of books adding to the noise. Great Chewie, you gonna end up dead. I thought as I lugged the book down the aisle.
The archive doors slammed open men were yelling.
I turned on my radio, to hell with radio silence. I whispered into the mic, “Big Bird, dis be Greenie, I have dem package. I needs emergency e-vacuum.”
As I spoke into the radio the lights came on blasting my retinas with searing green light. I flipped up the goggles and blinked, the men would be on me any moment.
“Greenie where are you? The power’s back on get outta’ there!” Kat yelled in my ear.
“Arch… archi… library, six floor!”
The men were moving through the aisles, my only hope was the bright light had also blinded them. They were yelling things in Spanish.
“Roger Greenie we’ll be there in two minutes.”
“Chewie no have two minutes!” I whisper yelled back.
I moved to the windows, they had been covered with a film to block the light out. I crouched down in the corner between two bookshelves. Hopefully these guys would be looking for a six foot tall intruder, not one around two and a half.
I huddled waiting for them to find me. Ever so faintly I could hear the rotors of the MHI helicopter; they would be here soon, but not soon enough.
A short time later bright lights shined in my face, the men yelled things rapidly in Spanish I raised my hands above my head. A few seconds later one of the men realized I didn’t speak Spanish.
“Hands on your head, step out of there.” He said with a thick accent.
I swallowed bile and did as he said.
“El tiene armas!” one of the other men said. Was he talking about my weapons?
The rotor noise was strong now; they had to be right outside the windows.
One of the men grabbed me, smashed my nose into the floor and slid a tie down over my wrist, he cinched it down painfully tight and was about to do the other one when the glass exploded, showering the men with shards.
“Chewie jump!” Kat yelled over the radio.
I scrambled, snatched the book tossed it and leapt out the hole. The book landed in the helicopter, I caught nothing but air.
“Hello tree.” I said half a second before a branch struck me in the head.