‘Captain,’ Mr Smith says, with a soothing elderly Texas accent. ‘They are coming for you.’ …
Jay doesn’t speak and walks to the window. He discreetly parts the closed curtain and peeks down to the street. He can’t see the front of the hotel, but across the street a crowd of onlookers grows. They are staring captivated at the entrance of the hotel and also up towards the roof of the hotel. He walks back towards the bag.
‘I know,’ Jay says into the phone, with a cultured English accent. ‘We agreed no calls.’
‘It’s a secure line. Captain, you need to give yourself up.’
Jay picks out a matte black M9 pistol with an extended magazine from the bag. He ejects the magazine to confirm it’s full; it is. He reinserts the magazine, chambers a round, fully cocks the hammer, and engages the safety – all in one smooth sequence. He tucks the gun in his waistband by his right.
‘No, I won’t be doing that,’ he calmly says.
‘You have to. You have no other choice. You killed one of theirs. The wrong one,’ he adds with evident exasperation, which is very unusual as Mr Smith never shows emotion – well, he’s just a voice, so he never voices his emotion. He pauses, as if silently scolding himself for his mistake, and continues. ‘He was an 18-year veteran. The wife also saw your face. Now they’ve sent the cavalry for you. Give yourself up, Captain, and we will take care of you. But attempting to shoot your way out of there will create a sizeable international incident that we cannot … we will not … contain. You know we …’
Jay glances at his slick digital wristwatch, which displays a countdown currently at “02:54:38”.
‘It’s still three hours to extraction. I’ll be there in good time.’
‘No. The extractor is a sitting duck. The city will be crawling with police.’
Jay resets the countdown to fifteen minutes.
‘I’ll be there in thirty minutes.’
He ends the call and switches off the phone. He tosses the phone into the bag and wears it across his body – the bag is left open on his left side. He swiftly advances to the door – like a glide, making no sound – and leans his back against the wall by the doorway. He opens the door.
An NYPD SWAT team of six officers, who rappelled off a helicopter onto the roof, quietly step through the stairway door – which is across the hall from the elevator – into the tenth floor hallway with their assault rifles raised and tactically advance towards Jay’s room. As they approach the open door, a grenade gently rolls out of the room into the hallway and the door instantly shuts behind it.
‘Grenade!’ two of the SWAT officers simultaneously declare, and they dive away from the grenade.
The grenade detonates, but instead of an explosion a visible electric charge bursts from the grenade both ways across the hallway. The SWAT officers are incapacitated by the charge and instantly collapse, unconscious, as the entire floor loses all electric power.
Jay opens his door and steps out of his room wearing night vision goggles, but as he turns to run towards the large window beside the stairway door he hears one of the officers having an epileptic seizure. Jay feels the ground underneath his feet shake as the large officer’s body shudders violently against the ground. He hesitates, but then he runs back into the bedroom and a moment later runs out with a pillow. He rushes to the convulsing officer, uses his feet to push the officer’s assault rifle away from the officer’s head, and then gently puts the pillow underneath the officer’s head.
Suddenly, he hears one of the two elevators across the hall, which is now powered by an emergency generator, arriving on the tenth floor. He glances across the hall to the window, then towards the elevators, and then down to his watch. It reads “13:22”. He pulls out a sturdy electroshock baton – black and the size of a relay baton with two metal electrodes at its end – from his bag. He runs, incredibly fast, towards the elevator door as it slowly opens.