Feeling ones heartbeat spike and stay there. Being able to feel blood flow pick up, feeling the warmth in your arms and legs. Feeling the cold of a huge shot of adrenaline and other chemicals as they hit your heart and spread. Watching and hearing as your perception both slows and speeds up. Feeling like you have minutes to decide what to do, and no patience to wait that long. Feeling like your body cannot keep up as you try to move. feeling your mouth go dry and your hearing suddenly grow more sensitive. Your pupils dilate, and the whole room is too bright. You can count your heartbeats with you ears, as they make the sounds around you pulse. As the first hit of adrenal response slows, you feel the whole room go cold.
One hand on a rubber and plastic grip, you use your left to spin open the safe and unlock the lockup case, as well as punch in the pins for the other locks, all by feel, leaving the lights off. Indecision. To many choices, only 2 hands. A sigh. A duffel bag will hold what the cases do not. The ammo cans go in first, filling the first duffel, as you throw some spare clothes in to pad them, a first aid kit, and your fatigues. Anther duffel holds camping gear, and the ready bag of no cook food, and some urban pattern burlap tarps. You blood still boils as you empty all of the lockups, and begin to load the pile of black bags and cases into the truck, covering it with a tarp and equipment. Shovels, a wheelbarrow, road cones, toolboxes, and a few road signs. with a pack of covers for the signs in multiple styles, and languages. Walking back inside, you grab a battered bag, add 2-3 old sets of coveralls, and zip into a set yourself, adding a hard hat and a set of worn work boots.
The room is locked, alarm set, and your message on your phone is set to 'gone to the mountains for a day or 2, be back later', with your phones you carry every day, and never leave home without, all left on the chargers.
You grab a still sealed tracphone and card from the desk and toss it into a zip lock, and grab a wallet and set of keys from another box, and walk out to the worn work truck, pulling slowly into traffic, the exhaust leaking a trail of smoke as you get on the gas. You are just one more well worn white work truck on the road, battered sides, worn tires, a mud encrusted license plate.
Keeping to the right, exhaust smoking off and on, you make your way onto I 95, turning north, beginning the trip. You look at yourself in the mirror, rage cooled from white hot to cold and dark as ice, and do not recognize the person in the mirror. black stubble frames his face, and a receding hairline leads to a short, utilitarian haircut. You thumb the battery into the cheap phone, plugging it in to charge. A few miles up, you pull over, and slide out of the truck at the pump, back bent, and limp slightly as you go in, pulling some loose bills out, along with a handful of dirt, from your rear pocket, paying for a tank of gas, and a 6 pack of beer, and throwing a handful of pep pills on top of the pile.
Back on the road, you keep running north, occasionally, seemingly at random, pulling off to check on a tire or the engine, and each time taking a back road for a while before resuming the trip up 95.
As night falls, you pull over at a cheap hotel that has a sign out front advertising a free breakfast. You get a room, and let the clerk see you walk into your room with the case of beer and your battered suitcase. You go out the window, sliding it shut behind you, and then drive over to a nearby mini storage location, and ask for the night manager. He hands you a folder, and gives you a nod as you drive off, never having asked you anything. You drive on into the night, leaving the surprised clerk at the hotel to discover an empty room with the keys left on the bed, the door unlocked.
Entering Maine, you head north , then turn into Baxter state park on an access road. You pull up to a utility shed, and unlock the door with a key, pulling from it cans of gas to top of the tank, and changing the plates on the vehicle over, at the same time dropping a new vin tag into place on the dash, and new stickers on the windows. A quick wipe with a cleaning wipe, and then a wash with another one, and the stubble and hair are now red. The wallet goes into a safe in the floor of the shed, and a well worn money clip and passport get tossed into the seat of the truck. You pull out a cot, setting the alarm for a fast nap. its 4 pm already,the day after your start, and you need a rest.
1 hour later you pop awake, and down a few pills, washing them down with a energy drink and then eating a cold meal, tossing the wrappers and the beer into the trash at the shed. You head for the border, knowing in advance that you will be just one more tired Canadian, returning home for his supper. The guard's here see 'this' truck every day, week in and week out, and do not look twice at the worn man in work clothes driving it.
That night, you pull into a garage, moving your bags over to a panel van, and pulling on the uniform for the Telecom company that was left on the front seat for you. You pull out a clipboard, scanning the stack of work orders, and customer complaints, and see the address, with dozens of work areas clustered around it. You pull out, seeing the police observers as you pull up to the first site.
Its late, you keep quiet as you set out your cones, and put on your climbing gear before you climb up the first pole. As the police approach, you keep on climbing, only stopping when one motions you to do so. You show them your work orders, and its accompanying authorization to do this work on overtime to minimize business downtime. They ask to check your van, and you let them, showing them the piles of new switchgear, and roll after roll of wire.
As they walk away, you take a drink from your water bottle, grab a bag, and walk back to the pole, tying a rope to the bag and the rolls of wire to pull them up once you have climbed. Once you are up, you open the access box, and cut on a work light, making you just a dark outline against the light spilling from the box as you work. You put on headphones, turning up the gain on the sound amps, and slide the camera into place on top of the box. You cannot be on this pole all night, but you can watch all night, and you will. You spend several hours hard at 'work', and finally lower your bag and the now empty box of parts and half used roll of wire. You move on to the next site, working your way down the block, hard at work, hitting both the poles and the individual ground level boxes.
After 5 hours hard at 'work', its break time, as you pull a battered thermos and a sandwich from your van. You walk over to the officers, and ask if they would like to share your coffee, then wander back to your van to take your break.
Hours later, you are still on watch, occasionally taking a break form your busy working to check the wireless monitors in your bag, and to check the magazine of the suppressed 9mm as it lies in your tool bag. Finishing with another pole, you roll a large bundle of wire from the next panel over to the van, jacking them into the test terminals on the corner, and close the back, time to stay busy and out of sight. Once inside, the uniform is shrugged to the side, and the black and grey web gear goes on, paint soon shrouding the face where it shows through the mask. Weapons are picked and strapped on, with the Calico on a fast sling, night scope in place, and the breaching shotgun strapped to your chest. You check the cameras one last time, and trigger a command on the laptop in the van. Instantly emergency dispatchers phones ring as police get dozens of panicked calls, reporting hearing automatic gunfire and screams downtown near one of the local bars. You watch as all but 1 of the police vehicles pull away, and shrug one a dark coat over your gear. You exit the van, keeping out of line of sight, and approach the rear of the building, forcing the door with a quick swipe of the bar in your hand. You approach the target room, seeing no light under the door, and stop and listen, then scan through the door with the thermal monocular.
Hearing footsteps, you step back out of sight, and watch the dark stranger approach the door you just left. You seem him look both ways, then ram his shoulder into he door, breaking the lock form its jamb. As he charges into the room, you step forward, bringing up the taser and as soon as you step into the door you trigger it into his back. You smile as you see the knife in his hand, knowing the man you have just found is not here to enforce the law, and is prey now. You grin at his struggle against the continuous shocks, and his screams of pain, as you step forward, slapping the auto injector against his leg, waiting a few seconds for him to quiet, then pulling a tightly folded duffel from your cargo pocket, you begin to prep him for transport.
Dragging him down the back steps to the van, you wonder if anyone will ever realize you were there. Once he is rolled into the toolbox, and locked in, securely tied, you shrug back into your work uniform, and wander out to unhook the wires, and drive down the street , parking next to the remaining police car, going back to work on the next pole. As the sun rises, you slowly pack up, and drive away, throwing a wave to the officer as you do so.
As you reach the garage, you leave the van as you found it, transferring the full box to your truck, and all of your gear back to its spots, knowing that in a few days the batteries will run out on the cameras you placed, and they will be untraceable. you pull out a map, and look for a nice out of the way spot to deal with your cargo before you make the trip back south. Cannot take ones time, as one simply cannot miss the 4th of July back home.
To be Continued......