The Toyota pickup came barreling onto the runway, one man behind the wheel, the other in the back. The one in the back was manning the fifty-caliber machine gun mounted there. He started firing before the truck even stopped, the heavy slugs tearing into the side of the warehouse.
The flight crew scattered, running behind the jet for cover. Caleb and Tamara pulled apart, gaping at the scene. Santiago leapt to his feet, knocking Jordynn down as he did so. He grabbed his rifle, which was leaning against his chair, and fired at the truck, but his shots went wild.
Nate saw the man in the back of the pickup start to turn the heavy weapon in their direction as the truck slid to a stop, turned sideways to them. Suddenly realizing how terribly exposed he was, he skidded to a stop and turned back to the warehouse, knowing there was no way he could get there in time.
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But Akila had made it up onto the roof of the warehouse and as the big fifty-cal swung inexorably toward Nate she dropped to one knee and fired a short, controlled burst. The man on the machine gun fell backwards out of the truck, his chest bloody.
The driver jumped out of the truck, holding a long, narrow weapon with a tapered projectile on the end. He crouched behind the truck, resting the RPG on the bed of the truck, pointing it at the warehouse. He shifted, reached up to take the safety off, and Akila fired again.
One of the bullets hit his shoulder, spinning him around just as his finger tightened on the trigger. The rocket screamed across the runway–
And struck the jet. There was an explosion and a burst of flame. The shockwave threw Nate and the others down.
When Nate struggled back to his feet the jet was burning fiercely. The driver of the truck, his shoulder bleeding, was dragging his wounded or dead comrade back into the trees. The others were getting to their feet. Caleb had blood on the side of his face. Jordynn was screaming, but the sound was strangely muffled.
Through it all, the music continued to play.
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