03-20-2012, 02:49 PM
The few remaining residents of Ubeck Street were once again awakened by the sounds of police sirens and the flashing of red and blue warning lights. They peeped out of their windows to see the BDU squad truck once again in their neighborhood, flanked by LVMPD cruisers up and down the side street.
Captain Harding, in full Kevlar jacket, marched up to the subdued Bomber and ripped open his sweatshirt to reveal a row of cardboard paper towel spindles wired together and sealed with duct tape, each topped off with nitroglycerin caps and bound overall with more duct tape around his torso.
Harding turned to two of his men. "Cut him loose and get the 'can'!" he barked.
The BDU officers snapped into action, pulling out the reinforced barrel to store the explosives from the van. They set the "can'' down on the sidewalk and relieved Lettrille of holding Emory in custody, pinioning their prisoner's arms behind his back as Harding took out his box cutter and began the delicate operation of cutting away the duct tape around Emory's body without triggering the explosives.
Meanwhile, Carey went over to where Lettrille was standing. It would be hard to explain her presence to him; she couldn't even fall back on her preplanned alibi of going to Raul's house for the book. With the Bomber in custody once again, she guessed it didn't matter anymore. She wanted to go back to the hotel. In fact, she wanted to go back home to Southfield and put Las Vegas and everything that went with it behind her.
"Nice job," Lettrille complimented her drily.
"Thanks," Carey replied in the same manner.
The explosives were carefully peeled away and set gently in the "can". Emory was hauled to the police van and shoved in unceremoniously, the door slamming shut in his face.
"You know how he got out in the first place?" Carey asked Lettrille.
"Well, from what I heard, he hid in a dumpster and rode out in the garbage truck when they came by the jail for pickup," he explained. "He was out before they could stop them."
"I see," Carey nodded. She sighed, nerving herself for the worst. "You know, I have a little confession to make."
Lettrille listened with his usual professional interest as Carey told him about her eavesdropping at the MindFreak office, hearing about Dimitra's kidnapping, and her sudden urge to return to the scene of the crime; her abrupt "encounter" with the fleeing Emory, and what he had told her during their struggle, and how he had five pounds of explosives strapped to his body.
"Five pounds, you say?" Lettrille pondered this fact.
Alarmed, he trotted over to Captain Harding. " Cap!" he shouted. "Our witness says he had five pounds of explosives on him. You got it all?"
Harding thought about it. "Five pounds? Didn't feel like it. Either he was exaggerating or--"
The answer came just down the block as the police van exploded with a jarring force, shattering windows in nearby houses. The shock wave was so strong it knocked down whoever and whatever was standing in the street, and setting off car alarms for blocks around.
Harding and Lettrille picked themselves up from the ground. They stared helplessly at the burning wreckage before them. A uniformed police officer on the scene who still had some sense left radioed Dispatch for the fire department. Other officers pulled out their police issued fire extinguishers and battled the blaze, while the BDU officers, better protected from the flames by their Kevlar suits, struggled to pull out the driver of the police van.
"Son of a (bleep) blew himself up!" Lettrille said incredulously.
"We should have searched him better," Harding added as he and Lettrille watched the smoldering ruins of the police van with the Vegas Bomber inside go up in smoke.
For Brent diOrio, it was as if he had died and gone to Heaven. Never in his wildest dreams did he ever imagine himself behind the wheel of a Lamborghini! And here he was, the humble auto-parts stockclerk who barely made twenty-three grand a year, driving the ultimate sports car that cost about five times that much. And it was Criss Angel's car, to boot. Brent knew that Criss had a warehouse of high-end cars and motorcycles, a whole collection of European imports and American muscle cars. He had some on display at the Luxor; Brent had seen them himself.
But to see a Lambo was one thing--to drive one was the experience of a lifetime. Brent savored every turn of the wheel, every brake at a stop sign, every caress of the upholstery underneath him. He was tempted to take the "scenic" route to the Luxor, but Criss had related his mother's kidnapping ordeal and her sprained ankle, and told him to get them both of them home quickly.
Dimitra? Kidnapped? Brent could only imagine the reaction of the Loyal Community when that was made public. All screaming hell would break loose; they'd probably break into the jail and lynch the (bleeper). Brent didn't want to be in Emory's shoes for anything, not for anything.
The lights on the Vegas Strip flashed and flickered as it had always done for decades. Criss' vision returned in the neon glow. He could see the giant black pyramid with its bright white apex, the very one over which he had soared so triumphantly just two years ago. "We're home, Ma," Criss told his mother, resting comfortably in the back seat, a small thermal ice pack from the first aid kit Criss kept stored in the glove compartment of the Lambo on her swollen ankle. "It won't be long now."
Dimitra nodded wearily. She wanted to sleep. It had been the most horrifying night of her life. The entire ordeal of being abducted, held hostage, threatened with death or worse, then rescued and making a hasty escape--it had drained all the life out of her. None of Christopher's demonstrations had caused her so much fear and anxiety than this. At seventy-three, it was a wonder she did not die from the shock alone.
Brent tooled up the drive of the hotel's main entrance. He could not help but marvel at the reconstruction after the Bomber's initial attack; it was as if it hadn't even been hit. He stopped at the parking valet's kiosk and got out. The valets on duty that night were a bit bewildered, almost suspicious, of seeing a complete stranger get out of Criss Angel's Lambo. Only when Criss himself step out of the passenger side was the mystery solved.
Criss summoned one of the valets. "I need your help getting my mother out of the car," he said. "She sprained her ankle."
"I can order a wheelchair from the pharmacy," the valet offered.
Criss was grateful for the helpful suggestion and took him up on it. The valet got on the kiosk phone and called the hotel pharmacy. Brent and Criss gingerly extracted Dimitra out of the car. The poor woman went limp in her son's arms, forcing Criss to carry her into the lobby.
The pharmacy wheelchair sped to the entrance, powered by a fleetfooted hotel employee all too eager to please. Criss thanked him, graciously brushed off any more offers from the employee to be of any more service, and wheeled Dimitra to the elevators to be whisked away to his suite where he knew his family was anxiously waiting for them.