Whisky stood, his hands bound by a zip cord and two guns pointing at his head from opposite sides. The two agents, Zimmers and Becker, were sporting the weapons. Zimmers was close enough to disarm but Becker was out of reach. Chips stood to the left of them with his arms crossed and smiling. It was a trademark of his confidence and one of the reasons he had been beaten twice by the police officer Stevie. The time it would take to uncross his arms would be sufficient to land one blow but again the third agent had Whisky checked.
Three things, however, were set to swing the advantage. Phil, who had been discarded in the corner of the room, still appeared to be unconscious. But Whisky noticed the middle finger of his left hand had been raised slightly. He had not fallen like this. It was most likely a sign and one that Chips had missed.
The second advantage was that Walter had arrived in the room. This was Sam Tank’s plan and it was a shame Stevie could not rescue Walter, but the reckless nature of Dr Blues had shown up all too clearly on the surveillance monitors. Stevie had struggled to his feet the moment Walter and Lucy left the laboratory and he was now rounding the corner of the corridor and heading for the stairs.
The third advantage was beyond Whisky’s scope of knowledge. It seemed less likely by the minute, but he could only hope.
Sam remained confident. “Tell me Walter how do you feel?”
Walter did not respond. He did not look like the Walter Wallace Whisky had come to know; the man who had inspired Whisky to break orders.
“That’s what I thought,” Sam smiled. He looked back at the monitors. “Lucy when I give you a task I prefer you complete it. You could have either brought the officer here or finished him off down there, but to leave him just so that he could suffer one more chance at death is just cruel.”
Lucy looked bewildered. She smiled and frowned almost simultaneously as she stared at the screen. Stevie had walked to the emergency staircase and out of camera shot. “I- I’m sorry Sammy, I- I- I’ve never killed someone and...” She took a flask out from her pocket and sipped on the pale blue liquid that came from Walter’s machine.
“Do you see how you are saving the world, Walter?” Sam jeered. “Becker, take care of the policeman. Zimmers, stand back a little before he disarms you.”
Becker nodded and ran out the room. Zimmers inched back, tensing his grip on the pistol. The whole room watched as the agent moved down the corridor to the staircase entry.
“Sammy we should go. You promised if I bring Walter that we could go. The building is collapsing.”
Sam turned towards Lucy, “We’re not going anywhere. You really don’t get it, do you?”
Shots were heard from down the corridor and the door shut on the screen monitors. Tank had missed it but the timing of the event did correlate with an expected kill from Becker. Zimmers shifted uneasily. He had noticed. Whisky looked him in the eyes and saw his nerve breaking.
“I hope you get it, Walter. I think you do.” Tank was not himself. Whisky had never seen him show all his cards before. He must assume it was all over. That he had succeeded. Whisky knew better. He looked at Zimmers again and winked, then he braced himself.
The fourth explosion was the biggest yet, possibly because it was the closest. The floor shook and everybody in the room lost their balance bar Whisky.
Zimmers had left his trigger finger too tight and a shot fired hitting Whisky’s left shoulder. Before he had a chance to fire a second Whisky already had dispossessed him of his weapon. He had a choice of killing Zimmers and losing position or wounding Chips but remaining 2 on 1. His decision had been made before the blast and Zimmers dropped cold as the bullet ricocheted inside his skull.
He spun to shoot at Chips but the gun was swatted away, his grip not as effective due to the binding zip cord. He kicked at Chips who blocked effectively. Whisky knew he could not sustain the disadvantage so he raised his arms and wrapped Chips up in a bear hug. Chips headbutted but Whisky absorbed it and took his opponent down with a judo throw. The two went down together and became separated. Whisky placed his boot between his wrists and pulled towards him while kicking upwards. The zip cord snapped but Chips was already up and kicked Whisky in the guts as he tried to roll. He kicked him again and sent him across the room. Whisky was breathless and his shoulder screeched in pain but he grit his teeth and formed a fist. As Chips came in for another kick Whisky punched his shin bone with all his might.
The jolting pain shot through his whole arm. The bones in his hand had shattered but Chips fell to the floor, his right leg bent cruelly where the blow was struck. Without missing a beat Chips was had pinned Whisky down with his good leg and was choking him with deadly force. Whisky tensed his neck muscles and tried to push Chips away but his hand and shoulder left him too weak. He could hold his breath for anywhere between 3 and 4 minutes but the grip was too strong and each time he struggled Chips drove his knee further into his sternum.
Chips was grunting with pain and glory. He had always wanted to best Whisky and he finally had done it. Whisky’s vision began to blur and his ears were filled with a muffled buzz. He would not let go; he could never give up. But he could no longer hold on.