Part 21 of The Agents of the Vault is here! After the initial firefight, Jane regroups and plots her next move.
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Agents of the Vault
By Grant Baciocco
Brenner had made his move towards the buildings when the shooting had begun. He had seen Morgan, who was behind the hotel building, fall dead when the shooting had started and rushed to help Jane whom he found taking shelter behind the general store. Jane was horseless, having been thrown in the confusion of the gunfight with Grisom. Brenner rode up, dismounted and crossed to her.
“You okay?” Brenner asked.
“Fine.” Jane replied. “I got a shot into Grisom though.”
“Is he dead?”
“I wouldn’t bet money on it.” Jane replied.
“They got Morgan, he’s dead at the back of the hotel.” Brenner said.
Jane didn’t reply, her eyes focused on the hotel.
After a minute of silence, Brenner spoke, “Where are they now?”
“Holed up in the hotel.”
“What’s the plan?”
Jane was silent for a minute. “We need to flush them out. Let’s burn the hotel.”
“But isn’t the trunk in there? And the prairie fire?”
“Yes. Grissom won’t let either burn. He’ll get them both out of the hotel. We’ll just hope to snag the prairie fire as it tries to escape the building. But I’m tired of waiting, this ends now.” Jane began rooting in her bag for a box of matches. “I hope we’ll get both, but at this point I’ll settle for just the trunk and Grisom dead. We have the other prairie fire, perhaps we can use it to lure the other one out.”
Jane grabbed one of the dried out tumbleweeds that had collected against the side of the general store and struck a match. A small flame ignited and she pressed the matchstick against the tumbleweed which caught quickly and began to burn. “Cover me,” she told Brenner and began to move from behind the hotel to the street. Brenner followed closely behind. He peered around the corner of the store and aimed his revolver up at the windows on the second floor of the hotel. There was no movement.
Jane sprinted across the street, leaping over Leland’s dead body. The tumbleweed in her hands almost completely engulfed in flames. She tossed the burning bush in through the front door of the hotel and ran back across the street to where Brenner was watching for any movement.
“You think the building will catch?” Brenner asked when she had returned.
“That building is drier than the tumbleweed. It’ll catch.” She unholstered her pistols and cocked them both. “Cross back around to the other side of the general store so you have a view of the front and far side of the hotel. Just in case they come leaping out the window.”
Brenner nodded and moved out behind the building. Jane watched the door with her eyes squinted. Soon enough, thick, black smoke began to roll out the door an up into the sky.
©2015 Grant Baciocco/Saturday Morning Media – www.SaturdayMorningMedia.com