Part 107

One Hundred Seven

The whoosh off the lake brought Jenny fully into the moment.

The whoosh was soft, like a bag tied at one end holding in an air bubble that got caught under a rear tire.  But it caught her full attention far better than the erupting gunfire from the shore, six hundred feet out on the lake.

Jenny didn’t have time to figure out why their fire didn’t get her attention the way her own did.  The moment demanded her attention in the here and now, and knowing what James and Simon were about to do to Harker’s men ashore made her embrace that moment.

She corrected the course of the boat, going west along the shoreline to keep a little distance from the fire, until she got the support she needed from James and Simon.

The eight people on shore lit up by the flash of the grenade disappeared in the smoke the second round put them in.  Jenny angled the boat to come at them from slightly to the west, avoiding the grenades and rifle rounds from the other two boats behind her.  The thickening smoke made it hard to tell who on shore was still in the fight as she changed her heading to make landfall.

“All right,” she said to her complement, Georgie, Andy, and Tia, “the second we bump into the rocks, you jump out and run for them, got it?”

Georgie chambered a shotgun shell as Andy slung his rifle into position.  Jenny couldn’t tell if the brief look on Tia’s face was just from the way the light hit her, or an actual reaction to something Andy may have said; she reminded herself to ask Tia about it when the fight was over.

If they both made it out of this.  The shore was rockier than she’d expected, and if everyone in the boat had worn something other than the boots most folks in her trade needed to keep their feet dry, stay atop the deck with a good grip and kick the crap out of someone from time to time, this was going to be a pitiful assault.

Only now, coming into the moment, did she realize in full how half-assed a lot of this was, going for Harker with less planning than deciding what drink to have when she got to the bar.

The only thing keeping her from giving up was her anger at the man, and her faith in the element of surprise.

Which got a great boost, as the boat scraped with a screech a few feet out and Jenny’s complement leapt out firing without falling face first into the rocks.

So eager was she to give these three the best chance by getting them as far ashore as possible, that three seconds went by as the blades of the prop sheared and shattered on the rocks.  It took Jenny two more seconds of whine from the motor as the gearbox screeched to realize that this boat was not leaving Cleveland.

She scooped up all the gear on the keel line that she could carry and made her way ashore, trying not to trip on the rocks.  At least it was a gentle slope from the water to dry land, she comforted herself as she scuttled ashore, trying not to trip or get shot in the midst of the thick smoke laid down for cover.

Which parted slightly as rocks gave way to soil, and the hulking shape of Big Bobby stood before her…

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All content Copyright © 2013 James Ryan


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