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For Your Toys Only (Episode 17)

Episode Seventeen
Escape from the Bad Guys
Directed by Martin Campbell

“Okay.” Jack said opening the door and sticking his head out a little to look down both ways. “I don’t see anyone yet, but that doesn’t mean there isn’t anyone. Just stay behind me.”

“You know you’ve been shot?” Santa asked.

“Yeah.” Jack nodded. “That happened earlier on your sleigh, which you shouldn’t just take because a lot of the presents have been loaded up with explosives.”

“My god!” Santa exploded.

“I’m glad he belongs to someone.” Jack muttered. “Just hang back and let me get in the way of the bullets.”

He walked out of the door, keeping himself near the wall on his left, both hand on the gun in his hand to steady his shots. He would only have eight chances and he would have to make each one of them count. He kept against the wall and tried to make his walk as low and smooth as he could, aiming the gun down the hall. The first one came around the corner and fired a machine gun at them. Jack fired one round and caught the shooter in the head. The man fell back and he picked up the pace to get to him.

“Behind us.” Santa’s voice came and he saw two of them coming towards them.

Jack fired a shot and one of them reacted but didn’t fall down. He fired twice more and the first one fell, the second started to shoot. That was half his ammo gone already. He fired once and the second shooter went down. There were foot steps and he swung the pistol around again to catch one with a single shot and then have to fire twice at the next one and miss with both of them. He ran towards the corner and leaned up against the right side of the wall, when a guard came around the corner he swung his gun clutched fist and cloths lined the poor bastard. The guard’s feet left the ground as the man fell and landed flat on his back. Jack brought the butt of the pistol down on his face and caused and explosion of blood from the man’s nose. Jack grabbed at the sub machine gun the man had and handed it back to Santa.

“You know how to use that?” Jack asked.

“I think so.” Santa said as Jack reach for another of the guards and grabbed a similar gun from him.

“Just stay back and let me do all the work.” Jack said as a door opened and five of them came down the hall at them.

Jack raised the machine gun and fired six short bursts from the gun, all five of them guards went down and Jack ran forward, stripping the men of their guns and clips as quickly as he could. Another wave was already coming down the hall and instead of trying to conserve ammo he simply picked a submachine gun up in each hand and ran towards them. He jumped down behind the desk where the two guards were still tied up but Jim and Jason were not in evidence.

Jack stood up and aimed the guns down the corridor, waiting for more guards to come charging down it. No one came though, which crushed his spirit for a moment. He then saw why when a door at the side did swing open. He turned and fired, but the figure at the door simply side stepped and let Jack waste his ammo.

“Mister Collier.” The voice caused Jack’s blood to freeze in his veins as he heard it. “Would you mind not shooting me?”

“Mister Frost?” Jack asked, his voice not even bothering to attempt to mask his disbelief.

“Yes.” Frost said stepping out. “The cavalry is here dear boy.”

“What the hell are you doing here?” Jack set the two machine guns down on the desk and walked around it.

“Liberty called.” Frost said as he walked towards Jack. “Mister Claus.”

“Frost.” Santa said nodding.

“Who all is here?” Collier asked as the two of them came almost close enough to shake hands.

“I’m not sure who everyone is actually.” Frost said looking over his shoulder for a moment. “Some of them are from my organization, some are from that agency place, some are from the army I think.”

“Why would you come yourself?”

“I’m looking after my interests.” Frost said.

“Oh.” Jack nodded as if this were perfectly reasonable and looked down at the floor between them, nodding as if he agreed.

Some people think you need to watch a person’s eyes to see when they might attack, but Jack didn’t agree with this. In his view it was just as easy to watch their hands of even their knees like he was doing now. When the knees shifted a little, he knew to be on guard, when he saw something move in Frost’s over coat pocket, he knew that trouble had started.

“Where are your guns?” Frost asked.

“Lost the Walther back there.” Jack said turning his head and giving Frost an opportunity. He pointed his hand out, making it clear that his guard was down.

A door swung open and Collier turned to see Bauer enter the hall, a pistol in his hand. He could hear Frost moving, and if he were asked he would have told people he was very disappointed. The knife flicking open was far too loud, he should have opened it in the hall and just held it open in his pocket. The step of his wingtip on the concrete might as well have been him throwing bells to the floor. Jack turned and crouched as the blade came for him. He could see the matte painted blade at the end of Frost’s hand, the curved blade one of those hawk beak things that barely work in a tactical situation. The rounded tip of the blade struck the side of his coat but didn’t penetrate because you have to come in with a sweep instead of a stab. Frost twisted his wrist to cut, but Jack’s hand was already on the wrist and twisting the knife away from him.

Bauer fired a single round at them, which was answered by Santa unloading the entire magazine of his machine gun in Bauer’s direction. Bauer, unhit and unhurt, ran down the hall to get away. Jack grabbed the back of Frost’s head and swung it down as he brought up his knee. After the smash of Frost’s nose, he twisted the arm harder and brought Frost’s face down into the concrete.

“Watch him!” Jack called to Santa as he ran past the desk.

Jack grabbed one of the two Heckler & Koch mp5s as he went. He had to catch up with Bauer, because there was a promise he just had to keep.

Santa walked over to the desk and picked up the second machine gun that Jack had left. He strolled over to Frost, the gun aimed at the other man the entire time. He had never really liked Frost, he was too cold and too ruthless. This was something of a golden opportunity really.

“You’ve been very naughty Jack.” Santa said.

“I’ll get you.” Frost said, slowly managing to pull an old Luger parabellum from his coat.

“No, I don’t think so.” Santa kicked his hand, sending the gun skittering across the floor. “I think coal would be insufficient this year.”

Jack ran down the hall and heard a short burst of machine gun fire. He stopped for a moment and looked behind him, wondering who won that fight. He turned around and found that Bauer could move a lot more quietly than Frost could. He didn’t even hear Bauer coming until the fist struck him in the face and he heard something snap in his face. Another hand swung up and knocked the gun out of his hand.

Jack was then tackled to the ground and felt something very much like a Glock nineteen smack across the left side of his face. When he opened his eyes he found that actually it was actually a Smith and Wesson forty that was pressing against his already sore left cheek. It took a moment for Collier to realize that Bauer was speaking to him, or at least growling an approximate version of language.

“You’re gonna go to the room mother fucker.” Bauer growled. “Gonna make you scream. We won’t even ask you anything.”

Collier had always liked Laguiole knives. If for no other reason than the company that made the one he particularly liked had an interesting habit. The way the one he had in his pocket was made, the knife would hold against the bolster when it was half open. This meant that if he was careful he could have an open knife, which was something like a punch dagger, in his hand without anyone having to hear the snap of his knife opening. He also had long ago acquired the skill of being able to pinch a folding knife between his fingers and open it one handed without help of a pin. While Bauer was screaming about how he was going to put Collier in the chair, Collier calmly reached into his pocket and drew out the knife.

He didn’t say anything, tried not to shift too much, just let Bauer scream his head off about how he was going to make Collier eat a towel or some such gibberish. When he was ready, his left hand grabbed Bauer’s wrist and his right hand stabbed for Bauer’s throat. The gun went off near Collier’s head, sending pieces of concrete into the back of his head which he had turned away. He pressed on the knife to make it open and lock into position and then slashed it across Bauer’s neck as hard as he could. The blood spray was copious as the warm fluid left Bauer’s body. Collier threw him off of him and grabbed the pistol, firing two rounds into Bauer’s chest to make sure.

He tossed the pistol to one side and walked out into the bracing cold, only to see a battle going on. Dozens of North Pole denizens were attacking with the help of Agency members and part of the army. The Nazi/Redwater troops were being forced back into the prison, but that was no solace as Santa was coming out of there with guns blazing. There was blood on the snow, there were guns firing, a helicopter was laying on its side in flames. Jack looked around the battle I the falling snow and shook his head.

This had nothing to do with anything even partly connected to the Vague Early Winter Possibly Religious Festival of his youth. He shivered as the blood on his started to freeze in the cold. He watched as the battle raged around them and then at the bloody pocket knife in his hand. He pulled his shirt up, untucking the end to find a part that wasn’t covered in blood and wiped it off. He closed it and stuck it back in his pocket as the battle raged on around him. It was all so meaningless though, and he couldn’t even begin to feel connected to these people now.

The battle more or less ended a few minutes later, while Jack wandered over to the flaming helicopter in an attempt to warm himself up a little. He ran his fingers through his snow covered hair, which is how he discovered his hat was gone, and tried to warm himself by the fire. He felt himself slipping away from the action which was now just ending. He would deny it later, but he passed out and collapsed on the snow covered ground.


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