Rebel Heart (Chapter Three, page 2 of 9)

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Dan activated one of the buttons on his command headpiece that sent his rally orders out to the soldiers in the building.

"Brady," Larry said. "Intel guy."

"I'm ready," Brady said, trotting up the stairs to the main floor. He strode towards the entrance behind several others exiting the building.

"Major, this is Lieutenant George."

"George, I have a small black box about the size of your hand with nothing but a keypad in it. It's marked with biohazard signs and a serial."

"Read me the serial, and I'll see who I can get on the net to tell me what it is."

Brady complied and closed the connection. He placed the box in his cargo pocket and joined the two teams in the chilly predawn morning. He turned to address Dan, when the sagging building behind them exploded into flames and light. Heat rolled over him as he was flung towards the weed-infested parking lot.

He hit the ground with a grunt, one ear ringing and his face stinging from pelting, hot debris. Surprise was replaced by anger and concern as he vaulted to his feet, intent on ensuring his men were safe.

"Dan!" he shouted.

Groans and curses rose from the grassy area around the blazing facility. Heat pulsed off the building in waves, aided by a soft, cold breeze. Brady hit the rally emitter on his command headpiece. He paced as men rose from the ground and trotted to him, counting as they came. To his relief, he counted all five of his team members. Dan cursed as he trotted from an area to the side of the building.

"Medic!" Brady called.


"Check everyone. Every man here needs to check his gear for tears or other issues!"

"Brade, we've got one down," Dan called, motioning to a soldier carried between two others.

The medic rushed forward. In the near distance, beyond the other dilapidated buildings on the abandoned street, came the sound of small arms laser fire. Flares went up to the east and south. Brady looked from the injured man to the streaks of red in the sky, which were answered by two more streaks to the north. He bristled and checked his weapons. Adrenaline and battle lust reared once again.

Ambush. He met Dan's gaze and saw the same sense of dread on his counterpart's face. The dark-haired man frowned at the unspoken exchange.

"Rendezvous threat camp," Brady said. "Medic, get him ready to go!"

Dan rallied his team and broke towards the east, where the first flares had appeared. Brady turned to his team of five, which were gathered around the downed man.

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