Tucker spoke into the headset. "Sayyed. Report."
"I can't budge an inch. The truck is almost loaded."
"Two minutes," Dallas said.
Two minutes. Niema closed her eyes. Cold sweat trickled down her back. Please, she found herself praying. Please. She couldn't form any words other than that.
Two minutes could be a lifetime. Time itself could be strangely elastic, stretching until every second was ponderous, until the second hand on her watch seemed almost motionless.
"I'm in position."
The words almost broke her control. She bit her lip until the taste of blood filled her mouth.
"How does it look?"
"Sayyed's got his ass in a crack, all right. Hey, buddy, how many charges did you get set?"
One wasn't enough. Niema had listened to them, knew how many charges Dallas estimated it would take to completely destroy the facility.
"In position. Can't help you much."
"Start pulling back." Dallas's voice was even. "Sayyed, arm all the charges."
There was another silence, then Sayyed's, "Done."
"Get ready. Throw the pack under the truck, then run like hell. I'll lay down covering fire. I'm gonna give us five seconds to get outta here before I hit the button."
"Damn. Maybe you should make it six," Sayyed said.
"Ready." Dallas was still utterly calm. "Go!"
Copyright © 1999 by Linda Howington. Published by permission of the publisher, Pocket Books.
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No Man's Land
by Simon Tolkien
Inspired by the experiences of his grandfather, J. R. R. Tolkien, during World War I.
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