I apologize for the delay issuing this post. It’s not exactly easy to do while fleeing Nodian cavalry.
A Mission in G Major, Part 2
We skirted around a couple of fences, trying to keep low against the horizon, and came to a halt behind a large wooden barn. Robert motioned to me to stay where I was and began crawling around the corner.
“What do I do?” I hissed, just barely loud enough for him to hear.
He gave an inaudible sigh (he was quite good at that sort of thing) and wriggled back toward me.
“Stay here and stay out of sight. If I get into trouble, come for me.”
Well, that was reassuring. I watched him maneuver his way around the corner and out of sight. And there I was, all alone in the middle of enemy territory, armed only with a knife and a pistol I was unable to fire (because of all the attention it would draw, of course).
Eventually, the strain became too much. I began crawling through the dirty snow, following the dim outlines of Robert’s track. It led straight around the barn and under the door. There were no soldiers in sight, so I cracked the door open and tumbled in.
That may have been a bad idea without checking first. As it turned out, I rolled into a rather crowded barn. There were about a dozen soldiers, two of whom were officers, Robert and myself. And Robert was standing with his nose to the back wall, a gun at his back.
Maybe if I had been a little quieter, they wouldn’t have noticed me. But they did, and as I stood up I found myself face to face with half a dozen rifle muzzles. It was a rather disconcerting experience.
I was quickly searched, relieved of my weapons, and shoved up against the wall next to Robert. He smiled grimly.
“I see you came for me, Magnus.”
“Not exactly,” I replied, attempting to mimic his trademark nonchalance. “I was just getting bored back there, letting you have all the fun…”
He smiled again. “Don’t be so gloomy. I’ve found out at least one thing that should help us: none of these chaps speaks any blooming English whatsoever.”
“Well, isn’t that nice,” I replied softly. “What do you propose to do about it, teach them in exchange for our liberty?”
“Unfortunately, I do not seem to be able to speak any German, so not exactly,” he shot back. “But they don’t know what we’re talking about. And methinks I’ve hit on a plan.”
“Perhaps you wouldn’t mind… what’s the word I’m looking for… elucidating on your schemes?”
“Stop trying to copy my style, kid. It’s trademarked.”
“Fine! What’s your plan?”
“On my count,” was all he said. Three of his fingers lifted slightly.
One dropped back. Then another.
As his last finger lowered, he spun sideways, knocking the gun muzzle away from his back. A bullet shot through the wooden back wall. I managed to recover slightly more quickly than the other guard, knocking his gun aside and shoving him backwards over a wooden crate.
Robert dove behind a stack of feed bags, a rifle in one hand. He always moved with a strange sort of lanky gracefulness that looked like clumsy but turned out effective. As quickly as I could, I scooped up the other rifle and followed him. The rest of the guards, who had instinctively ducked under cover when the gunshots went off, seemed hesitant to do anything. Robert sighted on one.
“We still have to recover the maps,” he said. “They’re two houses down that way.”
He fired. A spray of wood splinters exploded from just over a soldier’s head. The man quickly ducked back down.
“Try and keep them pinned down,” Robert muttered, handing me his rifle as well as the one I had.
“No, wait! What are you going to do?”
He flashed his trademark grin. “I’m going to get ready to bust out of here.”
I had no clue what exactly that entailed, but I began taking shots at whichever soldiers tried to come out. I didn’t hit any–they were too cautious for that–but they weren’t getting any closer. Occasionally, one of them would return fire, forcing me down for a split second.
Robert appeared to be fiddling with some sort of small electronic device. There were several wires sticking out of whatever it was.
“That had better be a bomb,” I muttered.
“Even better,” he replied, not even looking up as a couple of bullets whizzed overhead.
Apparently, while I had glanced down, a couple of the soldiers had managed to advance to closer positions where they were able to shoot more effectively.
“Hurry up, Robert, they aren’t getting any farther away,” I chided.
“Done!” came a triumphant cry from behind me, followed by what sounded like–but surely not; how could it be–Wagner’s Ride of the Valkyries.