“We don’t think so, but we think he killed at least eight people. There are five up there on the steps and three more just inside.”
“Any idea where he is in there?”
“We’re pretty sure he’s around that inside corner on the north side of the building.”
“Three people told us he was on the north side. None of the eyewitnesses said he was on the south side.”
“Who cares?” Nash said impatiently. “It doesn’t matter. I’m going in there.”
Rapp placed a hand on his shoulder and said, “Let’s talk about this.”
Nash knocked his hand away and made a fist. “Get the hell away from me.”
Rapp backed up and put his hands up, palms out. “Don’t you even want to try?”
“No. If I go in there, he lets her go.”
“Or he blows her head off right in front of you.”
“Shut up, Mitch. I’ve spent too many years doing things your way. Not tonight. That’s my daughter in there. I’m calling the shots.”
Wicker’s welcome voice came over Rapp’s earpiece, “Got him. Range 310 yards. No wind. Give me twenty seconds.”
Rapp was thinking of Wicker when he looked at Coleman and said, “Fine . . . but if we’re going to do this your way, you’re gonna call Maggie first. You tell her you love her, you tell those boys you love them, and then you go in there and make the exchange.”
The words got to Nash. He slowly started to nod in recognition that it was the right thing to do. He pulled out his phone, stared blankly at it for a moment, and then started to walk away from the group while he dialed the number.
Rapp followed him and when Nash put the phone to his ear, Rapp pulled an epipen from his pocket, flicked off the protective cap, and jabbed Nash in the back of the neck. Rapp held the pen in place for a second and then dropped it and reached for Nash’s phone. Reavers stepped in and caught Nash as he collapsed to the pavement.
Art Harris pulled up next to Rapp with a worried look on his face and asked, “What in the hell are we going to do now?”
“That depends on how much time we have, Art.” To Reavers he said, “Leave him. Let’s go.” Rapp broke into a sprint for his vehicle. “Slick, give me updates. If you hear me say Bingo, you take the shot.”
When they got to the car Rapp told Reavers to grab his shit out of the backseat. Rapp popped the trunk and stripped off his suit coat. He slid on his bulletproof vest and Velcroed the sides before putting on his tactical vest. He grabbed his M-4 rifle from its hard case and snatched up a thick silencer. Reavers trotted behind him with an identical rifle and vest.
When they got back to the command post, Harris was waiting for them with his arms across his chest. “Just what in the Lord’s name do you cowboys think you’re doing?”
“Don’t start, Art. Get out of my way.”
“I can’t do that. This is an FBI op. You guys can’t operate around here. Look at all the media.”
Rapp stopped and took note of all the cameras. “Good point.” Turning to Reavers, Rapp asked, “You got a balaclava?” referring to the black ski masks they sometimes wore on operations. Reavers produced
one from his tactical vest at about the same time Rapp did. They put them on but left them up on their foreheads like watch caps.
“Oh, shit,” Harris said with genuine concern. “You guys can’t do this. Just wait for HRT.”
The phone Rapp took from Nash started ringing. Rapp looked down at the smiling photo of Shannon. He glanced at Harris and said, “No time.” Rapp pressed the answer button and held the phone to his ear. “Hello.”
There was a long pause and then, “Who is this?”
“I’m one of Mike’s friends.”
“Where is he?” Karim asked angrily.