Chapter Twenty Nine
For Stephen and Tim, staking out a spot on the brushy slope was like old times, both good and bad. Both knew army times, which seemed like years ago until this moment. Their dark clothes worked well for, helping them to blend into the darker brush. Both had sections of rope, a stiff knife, blackened face and hands, and an intense desire to do this job right.
Tim motioned to Stephen in whisper. “This looks right, just like Ted described. We’ll set up on either side of this long depression running from the road toward church. See, it’s partially filled with brush, so it’ll be the obvious choice for them to sneak up the hill unseen.” How did Ted see all this?
Stephen nodded in agreement. “Good thing it’s not too dark. We’ll be able to watch the slope down to the command trailer.
Tim motioned his agreement and melted into the brush. Nothin’ to do now but wait and hope that Ted is right.
Ted and Gordy waited patiently down by the road well hidden in the brush but with a clear enough view down the road in both directions. Nothing moved across the bridge. National guard troops had the city side sealed tight.
Sure enough, just after 2:00 a.m., a shadowy figure carrying a backpack quietly moved over the road and up the ditch just past the waiting Ted and Gordy. Ted put his hand on Gordy’ shoulder and shook his head no. Whoever this is, is headed up the ravine right toward Tim and Stephen.
Three more dark shadowy figures with backpacks moved up the slope separately, without view of the others. Ted and Gordy waited for a long pause but no one else came through. This is what they were waiting for. Both of them moved across the road in the direction the four figures came from. Gordy guessed correctly. Just up the road to the north, a dark van sat off the road.
The quick flare of a match and glow of a cigarette through an open window revealed one person.
Ted and Gordy positioned themselves close to the van and waited.
Another quick flare of a match. A quick look. It was a very nervous Mitch.
Quickly now, Ted threw open the door and grabbed the startled Mitch. Gordy grabbed on too in quick reflex of a throwing motion. Mitch was so surprised that he was rolled over and tied with a heavy knee in his back with hardly a return motion from him.
Then Ted was in the van ready for a fight. “No one here.” A quick look revealed two backpacks similar to the backpacks they’d seen on each of the other opponents. “We’ve missed someone.”
Ted and Gordy didn’t have long to wait.
Down the roadside another dark figure appeared carrying an object in his hand, heading for the van. With a short scuffle, he was down and tied. Ted picked up the object not knowing what to expect.
Gordy looked up. “T.P?”
“Yup, T.P., what else? I’m going to have a closer look into these backpacks.” Fumbling around in the van, he looked inside with a gasp. “Whoa Gordy, this is serious!”
Halfway up the slope leading to the church buildings, Tim and Stephen methodically caught each suspect. They were spaced too far apart to either notice what happened to the previous person or to be able to lend a hand. Each one in turn was surprised, thrown to the ground, tied and gagged. The quick removal of the backpacks and a quick search led to a pile of four backpacks, two short knives, and cell phones. It also became apparent that two of the suspects were female.
Tim and Stephen only had to wait. On signal they were joined on the hillside by Ron and Rita from their backup positions nearer the church. “Did you see what’s in those backpacks? What’s going on here? Haven’t seen this much explosives since my army days. Ted sure was spot on.”
Ted and Gordy forced Mitch and his help into the back of the van. Seeing that the keys were still in the ignition, Gordy drove the group down to the state patrol trailer. Ted shook his head at how events played out like his vision. This is going to be an interesting meeting. Hope the officers are up to what we’re about to dump on them.
Ted waved a trooper over as he opened the van back door. Pulling out the two furious adversaries, bound and gagged, Gordy pointed and coldly told the officer. “Here you go. Terrorist members one and two. Stand by for four more. You may want to be very careful of the two backpacks. Both are filled with enough explosives to level a building!”
The two officers at the trailer saw the two men and examined the backpacks. Things got real serious right now. Calls went out. Officers were on the move. The words terrorists and explosives went up the chain of command rapidly. The two officers were suspicious of Ted and Gordy initially. ID checks were run, van plates checked. Another sheriff recognized Ted and Gordy from their previous meeting. “You’ve got a lot of explaining to do.”
Ted nodded his agreement and signaled up the slope to the guys. “You haven’t seen the half of it yet.”
The team on the hill pushed their charges down the slope along with the backpacks and accessories. They made quite a scene as they approached the previous group at the trailer.
The appearance of this second group with their backpacks of explosives cast a graver aspect on the officers. They immediately recognized the ‘what if’ of the situation. The official mood changed with the words terrorist and bombs. Security at the crossroads and bridge increased within the hour. Dawn would find a heavily armed camp.
One female terrorist explained her part. “Our orders were to place a bomb in each building and your trailer. Then, when our group was away, each backpack would blow in succession.” She looked with defiance at the officer, wild glaze in her eyes. “The last backpack was for you. When you reacted to the blasts, I was to blow you and your reaction out of the way.”
Ted couldn’t believe it. Just like my vision, right down to this confusion. But something else…, we’re not done here.
The others were in awe too. None had put the pieces together like Ted and Rita. Gordy caught on first and spoke up for the group. “Ted. You were spot on with that vision thing of yours. Now I can see how the Lord put this together to protect these people from something far worse.
Rita pulled away from the group in shock. What if Ted and I hadn’t had our ‘visit’? What ’bout Ted? What about the rest of our visions…, and the angels. What ’bout those innocent kids?
It was too much. All this plus the events of the day were overwhelming. She slumped down by the trailer wheel and cried great sobs of relief.
Ted knelt beside her, hand on her shoulder. This is tough. None of us is in much better shape.