As the sun peaks over the hills to the east, Matt parks the large SUV brought by the Le gang in the desert just short of the vampire enclave's camera line of sight. JAX 1, who I think is Allen, confirms with Jen, who has stayed at the hotel room to monitor the cameras, that the SUV is unseen. Myself, MJ, Matt, JAX 1, 2, and 3 disembark and grab our gear. The other five, Le, Yuan, Sara, Lucas and Alejandro abandoned their vehicle an hour earlier and are moving unseen to the three less accessible trap doors which will be blown first. I gather from the amount of yelling Jen has engaged in over our radio that Sara and Lucas have not been as successful at sneaking as we might have hoped for. The enclave does not seem to have noticed anything yet, so we proceed with the plan.
MJ and I gather our things and begin moving into position at the south trap door on the edge of the solar field. We are the closest trap door, but as our path takes us through the solar panels we will wire several of them for explosion, the explosion will be timed with the blowing of the first three trap doors, hopefully crippling the vampire power infrastructural. We place the explosives at the base of several solar panels and embed the detonators, once we are clear we inform the rest of the group. Crouching in the blind spot behind the camera on our trap door MJ and I wait apprehensively, Sara and Lucas are the last team to arrive at their trap door, the other teams are: Yuan with Alejandro, Le alone, Matt with JAX 2, and JAX 1 with JAX 3.
After several tense minutes of us waiting, Sara voice crackles through on our hand held radios, "Okay we're in position."
"Good," Le responds, "Cameras out in three, two, one."
Silence greets us as the first three groups knock out the above ground cameras to their trap doors.
"Jen has deactivated the magnetic locks on the lids." Le returns, "Everybody ready to drop explosives and detonate?"
"Yes," Sara and Alejandro answer simultaneously.
"Good, three, two, one."
I count to three again and the explosives at the base of the solar panels blow a wave of heat brushes my face, and several rows of solar panels go down. The sound of the destruction is much less dramatic then I imagined, the panels themselves twist and fall, but in my mind they act like glass dominoes producing a beautiful cascade of shattering glass. In reality they just slump over onto each other. I glance over at MJ and notice he is repeatedly rubbing his sweaty palms on his jeans. He seems lost for a moment, but catches my eye, stops moving and twitches a smile at me.
"Jen says the power is largely out, but they seem to have a back up generator which lights the halls at least. She'll call the late teams individually with instructions. Fires are minimal, but we expect some casualties already. First three teams will drop in in three, two, one." Le instructs.
A few minutes pass. I maintain a calm demeanor and it takes me a few minutes to realize that MJ is becoming twitchier with every passing second.
My cell phone rings and I answer it, "Tell Matt and Xing to drop their explosives and enter." Jen says curtly, I relay the message through my radio. "Okay, you're the last team now. It looks like you will be coming in just above the main living quarters, I'm holding out to see if more vampires will enter into the hall. Trying to use the explosion to greatest effect. Your cameras still on and because they can't see you they think it's safe over there."
"Got it." I reply, MJ eyes me uncomfortably, and I pass the information to him. The right side of his mouth and eye take on an unusually facial twitch I have never observed before and he swallows mechanically.
"Okay, explosive and enter now." Jen bursts back.
I pull on ear muffs, identical to the ones already worn by MJ, remove my remaining larger explosive from my tool belt and add the detonator while MJ disconnects the camera. Flipping up the metal trap door I drop the bomb first and the lid second then hit the detonator as I avert my face. A tickle of flames rolls across my back and a muted fump noise is followed by a larger bang as the trap door smashes back open from the force of the blast. I lose my footing and end up on knees and elbows.
Straightening up, I remove my ear protection and start climbing down the ladder, MJ right above me followed by a slowly shrinking whole of sunlight. "Last team in, report." I say into my radio.
"Jen said the living quarters are over by you, we are moving towards you." A JAX responds.
"We have the blood center and are rigging it for explosion," Sara adds.
"I'm holding the computer center, but can't by pass the door." Le says.
The reports continue, as MJ and I move down the hall into the dark, the emergency lights are quite dim and I expect the vampires cannot actually see anything. The walls are charred from the explosion and I begin to come upon charred bodies sound echos down the hall as the vampires shot and run trying to organize themselves somehow. The hand on the ninth or tenth chard corpse starts to move towards the wall as if to push itself up, I pull my bat from the tool belt and swing it in an arc from my shoulder to the floor as it makes a satisfying snap and whips burnt flesh and brain material down the hall towards were I can make out retreating vampires. I should have gotten a golf club, I think. Behind me I hear MJ wretch, but not vomit, I hope he keeps it together.
More corpses pile up, but no other burned ones move. The hallway smells like a thousand fold amplification of a bathroom after a girl catches her hair on fire with a curling iron and too much flammable product. I door looms out of the concrete wall on my right, I turn in and MJ follows, the ratata of gun fire echoing from around a bend further up the hall. Four creatures are moving within the room, the first lunges at me on first sight. My baseball bat swishes through the air ending in a heavy thunk as the left side of the things face collapses in on itself. The bone, long weakened from death gives way easily and blood sprays from the right side of its face. A second vampire turn corpse at the sight, without the will to hold onto its body and endure physical pain the thing simply returns to what it really is. Good, I think, that one is perfect for Butch.
MJ fires a single shot behind me as I turn to face the other two. Both women, they were likely younger than me when they died, but now have crags in their faces exaggerated by ash from the explosion.
"Please, NO!" The first one cries to me in Spanish. "I never wanted this, I didn't ask them too, it just happened." She blubbers.
"Release your body and you will die." I answer, advancing towards the women and gesturing towards the untouched corpse crumpled a few feet away from us.
The second woman buries her head in her hands, the first touches the body with her eyes, a long pause elapses as I step up a few paces from her, turn my body and tighten my grip on my bat. Her eyes pivot back to mine, "I don't want to die, please." She raises her hand out as if to touch me and the bat whips out and crashes into her rib cage. Her body leaves the ground sending her life away at the same time, I see the light flick off in her eyes which plead to me one moment and are the picture of death the next. The body flies and lands haphazardly strewn across the nearest bed.
The remaining woman drops to her knees head bowed, "Our father-" I hear distinctly as I land a final blow on her skull. I turn away and begin checking the room for others, there are none. MJ stays in the doorway, two of the JAX search the room a little further down the hall on the other side. I step past MJ into the hall.
"Empty," they report and I nod in affirmation. This is reported on the radio. Everything else in the bunker is still, the vampires returned to their corpse state. Le has broken into the control room with Sara and Lucas, and they recovered a good quantity of drugs by the sound of it and are in the process of moving the contraband.
"Help me with this body," I say to the JAXs and MJ motioning back into the room. MJ hesitates before turning and following me. We carry the body out under our trap door, with the JAXs trailing. The others do a second sweep of the bunker. Together the four of us make an assembly line and pass the body up out of the bunker onto the sandy soil. In the light, I see it used to be a male, likely a teenager, diffidently not full grown. The left side of his face and body is covered in burns from the explosion. The burns are different than normal burns, the flesh is peeled away in an angry red slash with darkened edges and lose flaps of white unattached epidermis, but no bubbling or blistering of the skin has occurred.
I flick my eyes from the body to my watch, the operation took eighty-two minutes from the arrival of our vehicle to now. I switch modes to bring up the paranormal detector; the needle has returned to black, the paranormal signal is eliminated. MJ motions feebly towards the body and we grab it under the armpits and half pull, half drag the body to the SUV.
The JAXs have opened the back hatch and pulled out a black tarp for us to use. We drop the body on the tarp and wrap it before lifting it back into the SUV. A JAX shoves a black garbage bag into my hands, I strip and through my clothes, tool belt, and baseball bat into the bag before another set of clothes is pushed into my hands and I redress. One of the JAXs jogs off with all four of our black trash bags returning to the trap door where a final explosive will be detonated once our group has left and Jen has resealed the lids.
A few more minutes of waiting and all the original members of our SUV have returned. We drive back to the road and MJ and I transfer the body into the trunk of our rental car. I hop in the driver seat as he returns with the Le gang and begin my twelve hour drive to return the body to Butch.