Wetwork Ch. 02bydjwillis1988©
Outside the mall Chris was sat in a squad car, while the SWAT captain was talking to the police chief. A detective was in the conversation and Chris saw the older man nod and walk away from the captain and the chief. He made his way to Chris and pulled out a set of keys and undid the cuffs.
"I'm Detective Sill I'm the one who'll be investigating this mess. Several witnesses said you were not the shooter, at least the shooter of the innocents. Your not under arrest but your still gunna have to come to the station and answer some questions." The man said. "Until then we're gunna keep your gun."
"Fine where's the other people I came here with a woman, her name's Sarah." The detective cut him off.
"She's at the mobile command post, she said she came here with you so we asked her some questions. Ill take you there before we head to the station." Chris nodded as Sill led him to the trailer with IMPD SWAT painted on the side.
When Sarah saw him she ran and almost tackled him to the ground.
"Thank god your alright," she stepped back and stared at his shirt. Chris hadn't realized it but his clothes were soaked in blood.
"Its not mine." was all Chris could get out before she started talking again.
"Why did you run off Chris this isn't your job anymore." Sarah was starting to cry and Chris felt bad for leaving her.
"I'm sorry I left you, but I couldn't let them keep shooting, they might have got to you if I didn't stop them." Chris pulled Sarah into him and held her as she shuddered into his chest.
Detective Sill walked away and gave them a minute, but made sure Chris knew he would have to make it quick with her. Chris just nodded.
"Look I'm gunna have to answer some questions with the cops, are you ok to go home?" Chris felt bad again for being so cold with her, but he was still running off adrenaline, and wasn't the same person she had been joking with over coffee not 15 minutes ago. Sarah looked up at him and nodded. "Ill call you when I'm done if you want."
"You better," she said as she gave his hand a squeeze. "Shit Chris it was good to see you again." She said trying to smile.
"Hey, it is what it is right?" He smiled at her and she managed to smile back. Chris didn't know why but he bent down and kissed her softly on the forehead, and he thought he could feel her smile through his lips.
"Call me." She said as she turned to walk away.
Chris walked over to Sill and waited for him to finish with the SWAT officers. Sill turned and motioned for him to follow him.
"Ill drive you to the station," he said. Chris got the feeling it wasn't really an option.
"Anyway you could swing me by my place for a shower, and a change of clothes. I'm covered in blood from six different people." Chris asked.
"Ya that shouldn't be a problem, you'll just have to make it quick, you're a popular guy Mr. Bradford. I've got calls from the FBI, CIA, and the NSA all saying they're gunna want to interview you. I figure we'll just knock it all out at once." Chris nodded appreciating Sills desire to take up as little of his time as possible.
The drive to Chris' apartment was a silent ride, neither man saying much to each other. When they arrived Chris invited Sill inside more to ease his qualms about letting him out of his sight, than a move of hospitality. Sill accepted. When Chris got out of the shower he turned on his TV in his room and saw what happened playing out on the news.
17 people dead 22 wounded, word of an armed civilian taking out the shooters, already being heralded a hero. Something was shown next that made Chris' stomach turn over. The same scene was being played out in other cities. The Minneapolis mall, Soldier stadium in Chicago, OSU, and a rally in Detroit. The press was dubbing it an attack on the heartland of America. The attack in the Indianapolis mall had been the smallest. In all the total of casualties reached 268 dead, and at least double wounded. It wasn't the costliest attack America had suffered in terms of numbers, but icons of America had been attacked. Shopping malls, a football game, a college, and a demonstration of the 1st amendment.
Chris heard a knock on the door as Sill asked if he was almost ready. Chris realized he was standing in front of his TV still naked, and hurried to put on his clothes. He threw his bloodied clothes in the trash, and threw his coat on over his shirt and opened the door. Sill got up from the kitchen table and followed Chris out the door, for an equally silent ride to the station.
There were five men sitting in the conference room at the Indianapolis Metro police station. Chris Bradford, Detective Sill, Agent Harris from the FBI, Agent Linder from the CIA, and Agent Franks from the NSA. Detective Sill hit a button on the tape recorder sitting in the middle of the table.
"I am detective Sill, with Agents Harris, Linder, and Franks. They represent the FBI, CIA, and NSA respectively. We are interviewing Mr. Chris Bradford, on the events of September 30 2011." Sill paused before asking the first question. "Mr. Bradford, in your words what happened today?"
Chris held up a cigarette, and Sill nodded approval. Chris lit up the cigarette and inhaled deeply and exhaled and started in.
"Today at about 1145 I heard what I knew to be small arms fire coming from down the hall. After telling the man working at the shop my friend and I were in to lock it down, I drew my personal weapon and proceeded to follow the sound of gunfire." Chris was drawing on his experience of being debriefed, and was making life as easy for the agents, and himself as possible. "I encountered a young woman and treated her, then followed the bodies until I ran across a lone gunman executing wounded. I shot him twice in the head, and took his weapon. I than backtracked to cut them off, and shot another man several times in the chest." Chris paused to ash his cigarette and took another long drag on it. " The three remaining men opened fire. I returned to suppress them, and ran to cover. I shot one through an advertisement stand. The other I shot in the chest and the head as he ran to cover. The last gunman had been shot in the leg from my initial suppressing burst and I ran to him and applied a quick tourniquet, than knocked him out with my pistol. I than placed my weapon on the ground and waited for the police to come in." Chris finished talking and exhaled the last of his smoke before putting the cigarette out. He looked at the agents sitting around the table taking notes and waited for their questions. Sill spoke first.
"Mr. Bradford, why were you at the mall today and why were you armed?"
"I was meeting with an old friend of mine, and I always carry a weapon with me." Chris answered wondering if all the questions were going to be this easy. Agent Harris asked the next question.
"How did you know the sounds were automatic gunfire?"
"I spent over 10 years in the military." Chris said, Harris immediately asked another question.
"What did you do in the military?"
"I cant really disclose that information." Chris said knowing this would piss them off.
"And why not?" Linder asked.
"Because of the nature of my work, I can say that I was a Lieutenant with the 82nd airborne in Afghanistan. After that my record and my memory goes fuzzy." Chris let a smirk across his face as he finished.
"Before you shot the first gunman did you identify yourself or give him a chance to surrender?" Franks asked this question.
"No. There were still other men shooting Aks at civilians so I just put him down so I could move on to the other threats." Chris leaned back in his chair wondering if this was somehow going to be an incriminating interview.
"How did you know to back track to the other shooters." Sill asked.
"I looked at the map of the mall and saw it was basically a circle and they had either gone around the bend or left the mall, since I could still hear shooting I knew they hadn't left the mall." Chris answered.
"So all this shooting going on and you look at a map?" Harris asked annoyed that Chris had shut him down on his previous questions.
"My fuzzy past includes fuzzy training which taught me to keep emotionally detached from situations like this." Chris said hoping to have further annoyed Harris.
"Do you think the presence of your friend Miss Klein affected your judgment? Harris asked pressing harder.
"Well since I don't work for any agency or the military anymore my judgment shouldn't be a factor, did I want to protect her? Yes I did, but I could have done that by leaving the mall with her, instead I did your job for you and took out some terrorists on American soil." Chris saw that the NSA man, Franks, paid attention to that last bit.
"How do you know they were terrorists?" Franks asked.
"Well the last man had his mask off and he was middle eastern, young, clean shaved, and when I approached him he was praying silently. That's something they do right before they die from their jihad." Chris said.
"And why did you let the last man live?" Linder asked.
"What? And take all the fun from you guys. I know yall got him locked away right now with clamps hooked up to his nipples, or pouring a bucket of water over his toweled face." Chris said smiling.
"Is that something you did in your fuzzy past?" Harris asked.
"Boy wouldn't you like to know?" Chris asked. "Look are we done here or would you like to ask more about what I used to do?" Chris asked not trying to hide his annoyance.
"That should be all for now." Sill said as he turned off the tape recorder.
Chris got up and opened the door. When he stepped out of the police station there was a crowd of reporters flashing their cameras in his face.
"How does it feel to be a hero?" asked one.
"Do you work for the government?" asked another.
"Did you really kill all five of them by yourself?" asked a third.
The last question made Chris pause, he had only killed four of them. He smiled as he realized the police were saying all five were dead so the agencies could interrogate the fifth in their own way. As he realized his car was several miles away a black Buick pulled up. In the drivers seat was Agent Franks from the NSA. He waved Chris over and flashed Chris his own gun. Chris bolted for the door and shut it behind him drowning out all the reporters. Agent Franks handed Chris his Sig back and started driving towards the parking garage.
"The other agencies might not have a high enough clearance to know what you used to do, but we certainly do. When we heard about some fucking stooge taking out a Syrian hit team, by himself, shooting guys with machine like precision we had to look you up." Franks pulled out his military jacket. "Some of the info is still redacted so you must have done some crazy shit, but we know you were a Delta operator."
"So what?" Chris asked. "Other than fucking with Agent Harris back there what's it matter what I used to do."
"Well it doesn't, but we just wanted to show what kind of information we can get at the NSA." Franks paused. "Look I'm sure you've seen the news and know this happened all over the mid west. We don't know what's going on, and if we can dig this up on you, than these guys should be no problem." Franks said
"But they are." Chris said waiting for the hook.
"Yup. What are you doing job wise Chris?" Franks asked.
"Trying not to kill people." Chris said with a laugh.
"Well your doing a shitty job at it." Franks handed him a card as he pulled up to Chris' car. "In case you want to finish what you started today give us a call. We'd love to hear from you." Chris got out of Franks' car and slid into his own car, and opened the center console. He grabbed a box of ammo and reloaded the two rounds he had fired and the one the cops had dropped when they cleared his weapon. He holstered the gun and drove back to his apartment.
On his way back to his place he called Sarah, but she didn't answer. She was probably asleep, he remembered his first firefight back in Afghanistan. When he got back to his base and his adrenaline fell off he slept for hours, and he had expected to get shot at. She would probably be out until the next morning. Come to think of it he was feeling pretty tired. He looked at his watch and saw it was only seven at night. It had been a while since he had last been shot at. Over a year now, and his body wasn't used to the adrenaline rush. When he got home he walked to his room, turned on the news, and kicked off his shoes. He was asleep within a few minutes.