Chapter 4 – Emily Stone
Emily’s strength dwindled from her arms as her legs weakened. Her ears buzzed with a strange hypnotic sensation. Shock and disbelief took hold of her. After realizing she held her breath, Emily immediately let out a burst of air.
She stared at the crates and the word explosives unable to move.
“Em?” Rick interrupted over her headset. “Emily, can you read me?”
“Yes,” she said slowly. Gaining her composure, she reported, “Negative on the girls.”
“What’s going on?” he persisted.
She hesitated for a full minute before answering.
“The building is filled with crates and heavy-duty black cases.”
Emily moved around the area to confirm that indeed the entire inventory was what it appeared – and it was.
There was a pause on Rick’s end.
“Rick, there are military weapons and explosives,” she managed to say.
“Get out now. Back track to the west side of the property and I’ll meet you there.”
“I can’t do that.”
“Get out now Em. This is not our area of expertise. I’ll forward everything to the FBI and let them handle it.”
“No,” she insisted. “I have to make sure that the girls are not being kept here. They are running out of time.”
Emily gained control of her emotions and documented the inventory with her cell phone with both photos and a quick video. She decided to treat the investigation like any other and move forward. Sending the photographs to Rick’s cell phone, she prepared to move to the next building.
“Dammit Em,” Rick’s voice responded.
Emily ignored his concern and focused on the next search. She eased back to the entrance, squeezed through the door, and carefully replaced the lock to appear engaged.
Whispering, Emily said, “I’m moving to the next building.”
Rick was silent on the other end.
Emily stopped and listened. She heard only birds chirping in the trees, but no voices or footsteps.
Daring to move, she kept her body close to the backside of the buildings and inched forward.
The next structure had two windows on the backside. Emily moved in that direction hoping to catch a glimpse inside. She approached the windows, which were large enough to see the interior.
Standing up straight and straining her neck, Emily peered inside. More large tarps covered items around the interior. It did not appear like the same formation as the weapons shed. The farthest corners were dark. She could not ascertain if something moved or not.
Emily took a step backward and refocused her eyes. She looked inside again.
Something moved in the corner.
Without wasting any more time, Emily hurried to the door with two sliding deadbolts. She slowly flipped up the bolting mechanisms and slid both locks aside.
As she opened the large door, a screeching alarm sounded.
Emily silently reprimanded herself for not checking for signs of alarms or infrared devices.
“I’m heading north…” was all that Emily could say before heavy static filled her ears. The connection with Rick was lost.
Shouts from the pursuing men advanced in her direction.
With no other choice, Emily ran into the wooded area heading north on the property.
Several rounds of gunfire expelled into the air like warning shots.
The alarm continued to blast.
Loud voices kept increasing in volume competing with the blaring alarm, and the men continued to close the gap between the buildings and Emily.
Emily stopped to catch her breath, trying to calm her pounding heart rate. The escape route was up hill zigzagging around overgrown trees.
Emily continued to climb to safety. Her leg muscles burned with overexertion and increasing fatigue.
The alarm abruptly stopped, leaving a strange silence for only a moment.
Gunshots rang out. Bullets whizzed in Emily’s direction cutting through vegetation and tree branches. The firepower was no match for her Glock.
Emily knew that she wouldn’t make it to the top of the hill without being struck by at least one bullet.
Emily dropped down and took temporary cover. She sat with her back against a large rock formation shielding her from immediate attack.
With her weapon drawn, she waited for her fate.
NEW Follow-Along Thriller!
FBI AGENT NICK BRACCO AND INDEPENDENT CRIME FIGHTER EMILY STONE ARE CHASING A KILLER.
MONDAYS ARE NICK BRACCO’S CHAPTER, THURSDAYS ARE EMILY STONE
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