Alex looked over the map of the mine, spread across the hood of jeep. She was not happy, from the look of the seven or so maps of this place, there were multiple exits and entrances. There was almost no tactical advantage for her and her team, that all seemed to rest with the bad guys at the moment. The only thing they had going for them was training and an element of surprise.
According to all the records and information Sicily was able to obtain, most, if not all, of Gregory's people were untrained and not too bright. The hardcore militia weren't interested in his way of doing things and stayed away. A point for Alex, which didn't seem to make her fell any better.
When it came down to it…Alex just didn't like small spaces.
"Alright, from the look of things here…" Alex gestured toward a large open space on the map. "…is where they'll be holed up. It's deep enough to give them a sense of safety but it's at a crossroads of tunnels. Meaning a lot of escape routes."
As Alex trailed off, her eyes scrutinizing the map, Sicily came to a stop just behind her. She was covered in dirt and breathing heavily, but still wearing her trademark smile.
"Sir, I found them."
"Right where we figured." Sicily pointed to the map. "They've got roughly ten men in there, including Gregory and his little brother. Doesn't look like Matt has shown his face yet. The Mayor and his daughter are here."
Sicily snatched a pen from the hood and marked an X near one of the connecting tunnels. She then marked a second X near another tunnel.
"The son is here."
Alex looked at the connecting tunnels, the Xs for the hostages, and the points were Sicily had indicated the manpower. Already a plan was forming.
"Alright, here's the plan. Leon, I want you near the mouth of the main tunnel with Sicily as cover fire. She knows all the good spots to hide, find a good location and set up. Claire, Nikita, Jill, I want you three to grab for the Mayor and the daughter. Ark, Carlos, and Billy, each of you will take a separate entrance to each of the main three tunnel, that way we'll have the exits covered. I'll take the third tunnel by the boy."
"Aren't you going to want a bit of help?" Jill looked over the map. "I don't feel very comfortable having you go in there alone."
"According to the Chief, that tunnel is very narrow, it was apparently used for mainly storage before they widened it to keep mining. That means there is barely going to be enough room for the kid and his rescuer, let alone any backup. Given my training, I'm the best choice to actually go it alone. Besides, Billy will be at the main shaft opening."
"Still." Jill shrugged, shivering in the kool wind.
Alex glanced up, letting her glasses slip down so she could make eye contact with Jill. Jill nodded, understanding that there was no way Alex was going to send anyone but herself. Slowly Alex pushed her glasses up with her index finger.
"We have five minutes, then we move."
Several minutes later…
Alex slowed to a stop several steps from the end of the tunnel. She was breathing heavly and sweat trickled into her face. She didn't like enclosed space, simple but true. The smell of dirt and dampness made her nervous. She brushed at it absently at the sweat on her forward, shaking her head to clear her thoughts. Now was no the time to fall apart.
Voices echoed toward her as she crept closer. Inching her way toward the opening, she spotted the mayor tied to a chair near the far tunnel opening, his daughter was sitting next to him. Her face was smudged with dirt and you could see where she'd been crying. Alex couldn't see the boy from here, but judging from the voices he was close to her. Carefully, she reached up and touched the mike at her throat.
"Kerr, in position, over." She whispered. She had to be careful to remember everyone's alias, including her own, the chief was listening. "Give me a check on positions."
"Marks team in position."
"February team in position."
"Bryant in position."
"Rydell in position."
"Martinez in position."
Alex ticked off the names in her head as the teams called in. Marks Team was Leon and his sister. February was Jill, Claire, and Nikita. Bryant was Ark, Rydell was Billy, and Martinez was Carlos. Everybody was in position, they were just waiting for her signal.
"Sicily, give me confirmation on the boy."
"Confirmed, two feet to the right of the tunnel entrance."
"Copy, on my mark…3…2…1…" Alex took a deep breath and flipped the safety off her MP-5 "…MOVE!"
Gunfire echoed in the cave and Alex hit the tunnel entrance. She slid to her right, ducking a swing from one of the captors. She brought her left had around and caught him in the back of the knee, as he went down, she clocked him in the side of the head with the butt of her MP-5.
She glanced up as two men ran toward her, guns drawn. As she swung the gun up, two loud craaacks flared behind her. The men slowed and toppeled over. She didn't bother to glance at Leon, he was doing his job.
She slid up next to the boy, no more than sixteen, and yanked a combat knife out of her boot. She sliced through the ropes easily and yanked him out of the chair by the back of his tee-shirt.
"Come on kid, time to go."
She pushed him toward the tunnel, firing behind her at several men ducked behind some crates. She glanced to the left and saw Jill's team had already grabbed the mayor and his daughter and were starting to retreat down the tunnel. Alex and her own rescue were just inside the tunnel when Sicily screamed over the radio loud enough to make Alex's ears bleed.
Alex pushed the kid ahead of her, trying to run in the narrow tunnel. The ceailing was too low, which meant that neither one of them could manage more than a fast hunched walk. They weren't even halfway out when the explosion rocked the tunnel.
Alex heard the rocks coming down, before she say them falling. The ground shook, spilling them both to the floor.
"CRAWL DAMN IT!"
Alex pushed the boy forward, as rocks crashed down around them. Her heart was pounding so fast, it felt like it was going to come right out of her chest. All she could think about was getting out of here and not being buried alive.
Suddenly something slammed into the base of her neck. Her hands slipped out from under her and she hit the ground with a thud. Stars flashed in front of her eyes, as the ground began to shake…then darkness…
A/N: I am sooooo sorry this took this long. You wouldn't think it would be that hard to collapse a tunnel but I just got stuck!
~ WC ~