He shot Morrison twice in the chest. Morrison didn't gape in surprise, stagger, slap a hand to his wounds, or open his eyes wide in amazement. He simply fell down.
"Christ, my ears are ringing," Corbeil said to the security agent. He didn't mention the sudden erection. "Wasn't much," he said. "Nothing like Iraq."
But his hand was trembling when he passed over the gun. The agent had seen it before, hunting on the ranch.
"Let's get the other shot done," the agent said.
"Yes." They got the .38 from a desk drawer, wrapped Morrison's dead hand around it, and fired it once into a stack of newspapers.
"So you better get going," Corbeil said. "I'll dump the newspapers."
"I'll be to Goodie's right. That's your left," the agent said.
"I know that," Corbeil said impatiently.
"Well, Jesus, don't forget it," the agent said.
"I won't forget it," Corbeil snapped.
"Sorry. But remember. Remember. I'll be to your left. And you gotta reload now, and take the used shell with you . . ."
"I'll remember it all, William. This is my life as much as it is yours."
"Okay." The agent's eyes drifted toward the crumbled form of Morrison. "What a schmuck."
"We had no choice; it was a million-to-one that he'd find that stuff," Corbeil said. He glanced at his watch: "You better move."
Larry Goodie hitched up his gun belt, sighed, and headed for the elevators. As he did, the alarm buzzed on the employees' door and he turned to see William Hart checking through with his key card.
"Asshole," Goodie said to himself. He continued toward the elevators, but slower now. Only one elevator ran at night, and Hart would probably want a ride to the top. As Hart came through, Goodie pushed the elevator button and found a smile for the security man.
"How's it going, Larry?" Hart asked.
"Slow night," Goodie said.
"That's how it's supposed to be, isn't it?" Hart asked.
"S'pose," Goodie said.
"When was the last time you had a fast night?"
Goodie knew he was being hazed and he didn't like it. The guys from TrendDirect were fine. The people with AmMath, the people from "Upstairs," were assholes. "Most of 'em are a little slow," he admitted. "Had some trouble with the card reader that one time, everybody coming and going . . ."
The elevator bell dinged at the tenth floor and they both got off. Goodie turned left, and Hart turned right, toward his office. Then Hart touched Goodie's sleeve and said, "Larry, was that lock like that?"
Goodie followed Hart's gaze: something wrong with the lock on Gerald R. Kind's office. He stepped closer, and looked. Somebody had used a pry-bar on the door. "No, I don't believe it was. I was up here an hour ago," Goodie said. He turned and looked down the hall. The lights in the security area were out. The security area was normally lit twenty-four hours a day.
"We better check," Hart said, dropping his voice.
Hart eased open the office door, and Goodie saw that another door, on the other side, stood open. "Quiet," Hart whispered. He led the way through the door, and out the other side, into a corridor that led to the secure area. The door at the end of the hall was open, and the secure area beyond it was dark.
"Look at that screen," Hart whispered, as they slipped down the hall. A computer screen had a peculiar glow to it, as if it had just been shut down. "I think there's somebody in there."
"I'll get the lights," Goodie whispered back. His heart was thumping; nothing like this had ever happened.
Reprinted from The Devil's Code by John Sandford by permission of G. P. Putnam's Sons, a member of Penguin Putnam Inc. Copyright (c) 2000 John Sandford. All rights reserved. This excerpt, or any parts thereof, may not be reproduced in any form without permission.
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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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