Mick stepped over the guards and began to press his palms on various points of the cave wall. A section yielded to his touch resulting in a panel of rock revolving to one side. Metres within a dark alcove, awaited another set of steel doors with an encoded panel beside them. Above the number pad, a slitted screen read locked.
“I’ve got this,” said Glen.
His atomic fleas swarmed from his beard and streamed into the code box panelling. Beeps varying in pitch followed, then the screen read unlocked.
“We’re in,” said Glen.
The doors slid open with a click.
“Bomb!” Glen shouted.
Nick had already taken the initiative, shoving everyone back. The explosion reverberated throughout the tunnels as Nick arched his back with a scream. He fell face forward, shuddering a moment, then relaxed. Blood began to flow and pool around him.
Ears still ringing, Mick staggered forward two steps and leant over. He checked for vital signs and attempted to stem Nick’s open wounds with his hands. Only then did he notice he had lost most of the use of his right arm and suffered superficial burns over the limb.
The others too, had similar wounds; none of them life threatening.
“Work together! Do something for him!” Mick cried.
Pat extended his arm, streaming ink, fast becoming tightly wrapped bandages over the wounds. Ryan knelt beside their fallen brother and placed his hand on Nick’s back. He prayed briefly, then sang. Moments later, the blood ceased to flow. Nick began to stir. Ryan removed his hand, revealing exposed flesh within the bomb blasted laceration. It had healed without blemish.
Nick got to his feet and studied the others with a puzzled expression.
“What happened to you?” he asked.
“We were all in a bomb blast,” said Glen. “We almost lost you.”
“Me and Jordan aren’t so bad,” said Pat. “We’ll move ahead; give the rest of you a chance to heal.”
Mick sighed. “There’s no point. Shotgun’s crew know we’re here. Seeing as they didn’t press their attack. I’d say they’re gone.”
Ryan went to place his healing hands on Mick.
“Do the others first. I’m the leader. It’s my job to see you all survive, so it’ll be me that falls first, or else I’ve failed us. Unless life threatening, I want you to always heal yourself first.”
“But you’re the worse off.”
“What did I tell you?”
Ryan held his stare for a moment, then relented with a nod, placing his hands on Pat in prayer.
Mick moved through the doors with Nick, Jordan and Glen closely behind. They entered a large lounge area and a glass partition, walling off a gym and separate open space; possibly meant for training. Eerily quiet in the abandoned interior, the only movement seen existed in the changing of scenes on the video monitors. All the exterior ones exhibited soldiers waiting in place to attack at Mick’s prompting.
“They must’ve left via an emergency exit,” he said.
“We’ve lost them then. Crims like these always have at least a dozen safe houses.”
“Check the computers for locations.”
“They would have wiped all the data.”
“Check them anyway. We might have surprised them before they had a chance to do it.”