“What did he say, sir?” Martinez asked Crawford when he pulled off the headset and passed it to Scott. They were inside the Bradley and he’d just had a conversation with Dr. Kanger over the FSOC system.
“He says that there is always a possibility of someone being immune,” Crawford answered, leaning back and rubbing his eyes. “If he was trying to develop a vaccine then an immune subject would be invaluable. But, he doesn’t really need him to engineer the Terminator virus.”
“So what do we do with him? Set him free and let him fend for himself?” Scott asked.
“No, we’re going to take him to Seattle. The Doctor says there’s a very remote chance that with an immune subject he might be able to develop a cure.” Crawford said.
Martinez and Irina stared back at him, mute with shock at the news that a cure just might be possible.
“Don’t get your hopes up,” the Colonel said. “The Doctor didn’t sound optimistic.”
Irina and Martinez exchanged looks, neither of them able to speak at the thought of reversing the effects of the virus.
“I’m going to go get him,” Crawford finally said. “Be ready to move when I get back. The Major already has a big head start on us and will be moving at least three times faster than we can.”
Irina rattled off something in Russian to Igor. The big Spetsnaz soldier nodded, picked up his rifle and followed Crawford into the jail. The Colonel looked at him and smiled. They stopped briefly in the police station to pick up some restraints before heading through the door to the detention area.
“Are you going to let me out of here?” Walker asked when they walked up and looked in his cell.
“Yes,” Crawford said. “And you’re coming with us to Seattle to see a Doctor.”
He stepped forward and inserted a large key in the cell door’s lock. Access was normally controlled electronically but there was a mechanical back up in the event of a power failure or malfunction of the circuit.
“I don’t need no fucking Doctor,” Walker protested, taking a step away from the door as the Colonel slid it open.
“This isn’t an option,” Crawford leveled his gaze at the man. “We need to know why you aren’t infected and the only Doctor left that can do that is in Seattle. Either that, or I’ll close this door and leave you here.”
Johnnie Ray Walker was not a brave man. Violent when he was armed and comfortable he had the advantage, but at heart he was a coward. The thought of being left in the cell to die emboldened him and he suddenly charged directly at the Colonel.
Crawford had seen the intent in his eyes and was prepared. As Walker lunged, he lifted his arm and smashed an elbow into his face. Johnnie Ray came to a stop as if he’d hit a brick wall, falling to his ass on the filthy floor of the cell. Blood poured from his broken nose across the lower half of his face.
Igor stepped forward and grabbed an arm, yanking Walker through the open door where he ended up face down. Roughly pulling an arm back, Igor slapped a handcuff on the wrist then pulled the other back and locked the second shackle in place. With the prisoner secured he lifted him to his feet and gave him a big shove in the middle of his back, sending him stumbling towards the stairs.
“You can’t do this! I know my fucking rights!” Walker turned and screamed at them from a few feet away. The Colonel sighed and moved past Igor to loom over the smaller man who shrank away from his gaze.
“You’re right, Mr. Walker,” he said in a low, dangerous voice. “I’m violating many of the rights guaranteed to you by the constitution. And I’m probably going to violate several more before this is all said and done. So, ask yourself. If he doesn’t give a shit about any of my rights, what else is he willing and prepared to do to me? Now, I don’t have time to be fucking around with you so shut your mouth and cooperate and there’s a chance you’ll come out of this alive and a free man.”
Johnnie Ray looked at the Colonel and swallowed audibly. The man frightened him, and the big soldier with him had the coldest eyes he’d ever seen. Of all the things he was, first and foremost he was a survivor and knew when to go along to get along. He nodded and kept his mouth shut. He was out of the cell. An opportunity to escape from his captors would present itself if he was just patient.
Crawford and Igor escorted Walker out of the building and into the sunshine. Scott, Martinez and Irina were loading all of the ammunition and small arms that John and Katie hadn’t taken from the armory. When Johnnie Ray saw the two women he broke out into a big grin.
“Why didn’t you tell me there were two hot pieces of ass like that? I wouldn’t have argued about coming along. Been a long time since I seen a woman.” He turned to look at Igor, the smile vanishing off his face when he saw the expression on the big Russian. Looking back to the front he came to a stop less than a foot from Martinez.
“You’d like a little Latina ass? Am I right?” She smiled prettily.
“Chiquita, I’d tear that ass up and leave you begging for more,” he looked her up and down as he licked his lips.
Martinez smiled back as her right hand flashed. She tapped Walker’s crotch with the back edge of a razor sharp knife hard enough to make him flinch. Holding the blade against him she leaned in until her face was nearly touching his.
“Understand one thing, puto. You are not to look at me or that other woman. At all. You will only speak to us if one of us speaks to you first. You don’t need your cock and balls for the Doctor. Fuck with either of us and you’ll be as smooth between your legs as I am. Got it?”
Her tone never changed and the smile never left her face as she spoke. She punctuated the last two words with a hard tap of the blade directly to his balls. His eyes were large with fear and he was unable to speak.
“Do I need to ask you again if you understand?” Martinez tapped him even harder.
“I – I – I – I understand,” he gasped.
Martinez flashed him a bright smile before sheathing the knife and walking away to help finish loading the Bradley. Crawford looked over at Igor who hadn’t understood what Martinez had said but clearly had gotten the gist of her warning to their prisoner. He was grinning from ear to ear and at a nod from the Colonel shoved Walker towards the Bradley.
“What was that all about?” Irina asked as Igor got their passenger situated and strapped into a seat.
“Just letting a pig know that I’ll be happy to start removing offensive body parts if he is disrespectful to either of us.” Martinez answered.
“Good,” Irina said, staring into her eyes. “I’ve personally never thought much of that body part.”
Martinez looked back at her in surprise then climbed the rear ramp into the Bradley. As Irina brushed past, rubbing more of her body against her than was necessary, she smiled and watched the pretty Russian woman settle into the driver’s seat.
“Sir, would you like the vehicle commander’s station?” Scott asked Crawford as everyone moved into the vehicle and began finding a place to sit.
“Negative, Tech Sergeant. You’ve been doing great so far, might as well stick with the horse that got us this far.”
“Horse?” Igor asked, looking around with a confused expression. Even after Irina translated for him he still looked like he didn’t understand.
“Captain, why don’t you take the gunner’s station? My Russian’s pretty rusty but I think I remember enough to start teaching our big friend some English while we’re driving.” Crawford said as the rear ramp lifted into the closed position with a whine of hydraulics.