“Not only no, but Hell No!” US Marshal Nicolas Craven looked at my authorization.
“You don’t have a choice Marshal. That piece of paper gives us custody of Marvin Loman. We are his best chance of survival now. How many more people have to die before you see that?” Cat tried to stare the man down.
Nick snorted. “Really? That’s all you’ve got? Look you kids don’t have anything on us here. We’ve been battling the Mob and hiding witnesses for almost a century. We can do our jobs without any of your mumbo jumbo, thank you very much. It you look at your authorization you will see it’s a the discretion of the lead officer. That would be me and I say no.”
I stepped forward. “Officer… Uh?”
“Craven. Nick Craven.” The Marshal sat with his arms folded across his chest looking a little menacing.
“Officer Craven. Magical attack is something we can defend against. It’s our specialty. This may be a secure building but a talented Adept can overcome most obstacles as if they don’t exist. I can and will protect the witness to the best of my ability. What will you do if they come for him without us to defend him?”
Craven sat up straighter and smiled at me. “We’ll arrest them. This is the most secure facility in the United States. We have quadruple layers of protection as well as bank vault doors and military grade weapons. I think we can combat anything that dares to try and enter without authorization.” Just as he finished red lights began to flash.
“What the hell?” Craven grabbed his phone.
“We have a breach in sector four. I repeat we have a breach in sector four.” Cat and I both looked up as loudspeaker messages began to be broadcast.
“Craven? Where is sector four?” I looked the man in the eye as he tried to contact his staff.
“Why isn’t this thing working! It’s the parking garage above us. Don’t worry about it. The walls and roof up there are ten feet thick with steel reinforced bars sunk into the concrete. Nothing on Earth can just punch through it.”
Glancing upward I could almost believe him. Saying that the directions to this place were vague is an understatement. We were instructed to park the RVs at the end of the block in an abandoned motel parking lot. Two Government vehicles that made our old stinkmobile look like a new car picked us up.
“Where are we going?” I asked the man driving. He didn’t answer me and only glanced at us in the rear view mirror.
“Friendly folk.” I mostly said it to myself but Cat heard it. My earbud pinged me telling me that Anastasia heard it too. One of the downsides to having shifters and vampires on your team. Their superhuman hearing.
“It’s called paranoia Agatha. They have good reason to act this way. This should be pretty interesting. Even I haven’t been here before.” Bill voice murmured in my ear. The earbuds were new. Something that Ana and Chuck cooked up. Using a distance communication spell that I found in one of my Great grandmother’s books the tech was able to reach an immensely far distance. We had decided to not tell the WITSEC folks about them. It wasn’t like they could steal them. Only I could make them work.
The side windows of the cars were painted over but we could see out the front. The business district gave way to what appeared to be an industrial area. A rusty fence surrounded what appeared to be an old warehouse complex. Our car pulled up to a dilapidated guard shack.
A man dressed in mall cop togs but armed with a top of the line AR-17 walked out. He spoke to our driver as another mall cop scanned the car, running a mirror around the edge. Finally the gate opened and we slowly drove in. Our car headed toward the central building. Several freight doors lined the shipping dock area with one at ground level. That is the one that opened.
“Pretty cool. It looks just like an old warehouse.” Chuck pointed at the loading area and doors.
“That’s the point. Everyone always looks for a hotel or some sort of resort. We want to protect out subjects. Putting them in something like that is like painting a target on them.” The driver glanced in our direction as we pulled into the warehouse and drove downward.
“So you can talk.” I looked pointedly at the rear-view mirror.
“Of course. You’re FBI. Fancier that what we’re use to but still, FBI. We aren’t fans of the Bureau here.” The car drove down at least two levels parking in the underground garage.
As we climbed out and looked around us the driver spoke again. “This was a casino and hotel in the 1940s. It went belly up when the second round of prohibition swept the country post-war. We acquired it in the 1960s. Everything is underground now. Even the area residents don’t remember the Casino. For us it’s perfect. The elevator is over here.” The Marshal pointed us to a pair of doors.
A loud boom startled me and brought my thoughts back to the present.
“They are breaking through from above regardless. Is the floor of the garage the same thickness as the roof and walls?” Bill looked upward.
“No. Only half the thickness. How? We would have noticed the digging equipment in plenty of time to stop them!” Craven grabbed his phone again and began yelling at his people.
“Agatha we need to get this Loman character and get moving! They’re doing this by magic, yes?” Cat pulled my arm.
“Yes. It’s the only way left.” I spun around and confronted Craven.
“Where is the witness? This is an attack and we need to get him out of here!”
“No! My people can handle it. If you want to help stop them from digging into the base.” Several loud booms punctuated by a loud screech of metal echoed through the base.
“Too late. Do you have cameras up there.” I pointed up.
“Follow me.” Craven pulled a revolver out of his desk drawer and holstered it.
Several uniformed Marshals ran past us armed with automatic weapons. Craven led us to an armored door that could have once been attached to a bank. “This is the secured wing.”
He placed his hand on the scanner. There was a clanking sound as the door slowly opened enough to allow us to enter. Craven scanned his hand again to close the apparently heavy door.
“We keep high value subjects and our surveillance team in here.” We went through a high security door into what looked like a normal office building. A few armed guards stood about. All of them were staring up at the ceiling.
“In here.” He opened the door to hell.
A wide bank of flat screen monitors covered three walls. Technicians ran back and forth. Many people just stared in shock at the screens while others shouted into phones or radios. Craven took control immediately. “Freeze! Get control people!” He shouted at the top of his lungs shocking most of those in room out of their panic.
I looked up at the screens and could totally understand their panic. Like sticking a hot poker in cardboard is what I would say the door to the garage looked like. It was now a charred, blackened hole. The US Marshal’s had put up a desperate fight but their opponents were too much. Bodies of the dead lay scattered on several of the lower level floors. Near the elevator doors was a large figure in a black cloak. Balls of fire appeared in his hands as he tossed them repeatedly at the floor.
“Do you have an exterior shot?” I pointed at the screens.
“Yes.” Craven reached over one of the techs and hit a switch. The screens on the left side came to life showing all three buildings. The gatehouse looked as if a bomb hit it but several black cars surrounded the main warehouse. Old school looking mobsters with sub machine guns stood alongside each vehicle.
Looking away from the screens I looked toward the lead Marshal. “Is there another way out of here?”
“Several. But Loman is our responsibility!”
“You have a responsibility to the other people in here too. Tell me I’m wrong that you have other witnesses here.” We all looked up as the room shook.
“All available units! We have a breach in Sector three.” The technicians were even more frantic.
Craven sat down and waved his hand as he spoke. “Fine.Yes. Yes. There are several dozen witnesses here. Damn you! And damn the FBI!”