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denylistianto > Eileen Reed - Ground Zero > Part 36
34.

Gaming Center, Schriever Air Force Base.

Joe configured for Lowell Guzman's terminal.

Colorado Springs.

Lucy Giometti pulled thick white socks over her feet. Her pregnancy pants were really horrible looking, but they were comfortable and they fit. She pulled on a white b.u.t.ton-up s.h.i.+rt-also a pregnancy s.h.i.+rt-and laced her running shoes tightly. Her heart was pounding and there was a slick feeling at the back of her throat. Part of her brain was telling her to stay in her safe little rabbit hutch of a room. That part of her brain was telling her that she was pregnant. Going into danger while pregnant was not right. She should be protecting herself. She should stay put.

The other part of her remembered the Tower of London, shattered and smoking. That part of her checked her gun. The shoulder holster fit under the baggy white s.h.i.+rt. Lucy slipped an extra clip into her hideous pregnancy pants, where it rested coldly against the swelling of her stomach.

"Here I go," she said to her reflection in the mirror, and blew out a trembling deep breath.

Lucy remembered her room key and headed for the door.

Highway 94, Colorado.

The highway was dark and empty. The cattle stood sleepily by the fences, washed momentarily by Eileen's headlights as she held the Jeep on the bare edge of control. One large stone, one clod of debris, could tear the steering wheel from her hands and send her hurtling into the ditch. The Jeep was not meant to be treated like a sports car. Eileen took the chance that there would be no stone, and kept her foot on the accelerator.

Turtkul, Uzbekistan.

Muallah was extremely unhappy with Ruadh. He was supposed to have targeted the missile and blasted it off within twelve hours, and look at him. He was still humming, still running his fingers on the console, still consulting manuals.

"Ruadh," Muallah said finally. "You must start the countdown to launch. We cannot wait any longer. Or you must admit that you cannot do it."

Ruadh looked over, and Muallah made sure he saw the look in his eyes. Admitting failure meant a very quick death at the hands of Ali.

"I-" Ruadh looked stubborn for a moment, then sighed. "I can begin for you. I would like more time, but-"

"Then begin!" Muallah shouted.

At that moment, there was a booming sound from far above. A shot.

"Attackers!" Rashad shouted, and left the Command Center at a dead run.

"Stay with me, Ali," Muallah commanded. "Ruadh, be quick. For your life, be quick."

Gaming Center, Schriever Air Force Base.

Joe watched Lowell's terminal, bored now and impatient. He wanted to go home and take a shower and think about Eileen, not stand here in the gloom and watch another Game. He was hungry. He wondered where they would go tonight. Joni's, perhaps? Would Joni see that they were lovers? Perhaps she would. This replay idea seemed so good a few hours before. Now it was boring. Maybe Joe would fix dinner for Eil

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