Chapter 47

Copyright© 2010 by Michael Wolfam

The Andrews family grew up working the salvage yard. Because of this experience, they were excellent metal fabricators and knew their way around cars. They were eager to put their skills to use, building a homemade assault vehicle that might stand a chance of freeing Liv's Grannie from Mitch's heavily armed group. After some discussion, Finn and his dad settled on a plan and they got to work.

The remaining windows in the Jeep were broken out by Derrick, while the rest put on protective clothing and welding masks. Plasma cutters flared to life and sparks flew as slabs of armor from wrecked military vehicles were cut to shape.

"Make sure you use the welder on the lowest setting. The armor's tempered, and high heat will weaken it," his dad instructed.

Finn's dad used a stick of chalk to outline the armored sections they needed to remove. Derrick and Danielle swarmed after him like ants armed with plasma cutters. After each section was cut from the donor vehicle, Liv helped Finn hold the hot metal against the side of the Jeep while he tacked them into place with a MIG welder. The hole where the windshield had been was covered with two slabs of armor set at a steep angle. Gashes were cut into the armor plates covering the windows and smaller pieces of metal were fabricated to slide over the new gun slits.

"So how are we gonna see? Those gun ports aren't big enough to really see out of," Liv said as she looked over the SUV. The question had been bugging her since they had started covering up the windows.

"You'll see," Derrrick replied smugly.

Jesse Silver grasped his MP-5 tightly with his gloved hand. Through his night vision goggles he could just barely make out the rusty warehouse and the light leaking through the cracks around the main door. He took a glance at the tracking device attached to his vest. This was definitely the place. Finding the homing device had taken longer than anticipated, but he had gotten his truck hopelessly stuck in a ditch during his search. Rather than risk Max's wrath by calling in for backup, he had continued the pursuit on foot.

The driving snow, combined with his winter camouflage, easily concealed his movements. As he got closer to the warehouse, the sound of the roaring wind became interspersed with the grating noise of metal being ground and cut. Carefully, he approached one of the cracks around the garage door, and peeked inside. For some reason, the people inside were stripping down the boss's Jeep Grand Cherokee.

Unconsciously, Jesse licked his lips as he surveyed the scene. The three women working on the SUV were absolutely gorgeous. One was older, but still a looker, even in her work coveralls. Jesse suddenly resented Max's orders not to attack. He was only allowed to observe and report. But the group appeared defenseless. It would be simple to quickly overpower the group. His lips twisted into an evil smile as he fantasized about making the men watch as he defiled their women. One of the girls was young, and looked like she still might be in high school. The perfect age is underage, he thought to himself as he slunk away from the crack. He would come back and check in on them every fifteen minutes, as ordered. For now, he needed to make his first report back to Max.

As Jesse turned, he came face to face with a pair of demonic yellow eyes perched on a stack of tires.

Liv was lifting a slab of armor, when she heard the hissing, the yelp of pain, and then the deafening sound of automatic machinegun fire. "Shit." She threw off the welding mask and raced over to the Starfire. She flung the passenger door open, reached into the back seat, then grabbed the AR-15 and the AK-47. She tossed the AR to Finn, and then raced toward a side door, the one to the right of the wall that was nearest to the sound of the shots. Wordlessly, Finn ran to the warehouse door that was opposite of Liv and burst outside. Ignoring the bitter cold, they formed a pincer and made their way toward the gunfire.

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