Sirens could be heard outside, the situation had become bad for Stephen. The phone behind the counter rang.
“You. Old lady. Get up and answer that phone.”
Donna slowly obeyed his order. She picked up the receiver, and meekly spoke into it, “Yes?” She held the phone out to Stephen, “They want to speak to you, Sir.”
“Shit!” He waved the gun around nervously, his hands began to shake. He went to her and grabbed the handset. “Listen, I am within my rights. I have Eve Hart in here and she is very much alive. I repeat, I’m looking at our traitor.” As he spoke, his confidence grew. He knew he would be hailed a hero by bringing her in. “What? Oh, my name is Stephen, Stephen Johnson.”
“Mr. Johnson, why don’t you let the people go and then we’ll help you with this situation. There’s no reason to hold the others.”
Stephen thought quickly. This was his chance to make something of himself. “I want cameras in here. I want the country to see for themselves.”
“We can do that. And then you’ll let the people leave?”
The response elated Stephen, “Yes, of course. I just want this documented. Eve Hart is in here. She needs to be punished for her errors. I don’t want any more cover-ups.”
“Give us a few minutes and we’ll get a crew in there right away. Can you do that for us, Mr. Johnson?”
“Hurry.” Stephen hung up.
He looked at the bodies lying on the floor, this didn’t look good for a hero. “Everyone, get up and stand against that wall.” He waved the gun, denoting where he wanted them. “No one is going to get hurt. I just want Eve.” He looked at Ron, “I forgive you, Man. She’s evil and has a hold on you. I will set you free from her. I’m doing this for you and our country.”
Claire took Eve’s hand and gripped tightly. She motioned with a nod to hang on. The customers slowly moved to where Stephen wanted them.
The front door opened, “Don’t shoot! I work for the network.”
Stephen let the man in, he waved for him to aim his equipment at Eve. “There’s the traitor. She looks different than before, but look at that face. There’s no mistaking who she is. She’s committed treason, she’s the reason why our country is at war.” He looked at the cameraman. “Are you getting this?” He walked closer to Eve so he could be in the camera’s view.
Stephen nudged the gun under her chin, “How does it feel to have all those lives gone because of you, huh? Answer me!”
He saw Claire clutching her hand. “What’s this? Who the hell are you?”
“Stephen, my name is Senator Claire Winslow. I believe you have made a grave mistake about Eve. Please put down your gun so we can have a decent conversation.”
“What? Are you crazy, Lady?” And then to Eve. “What is this place? Where have you taken me?”
Ron took a few steps toward the gunman. “Stephen, we’ve been through a lot these past few days. Don’t you think it’s time for us all to stop fighting? Come on, Son. Put the gun down, this isn’t the way. Enough hate, we can stop this war. We’ll go fetch your wife and baby. Life can go back to normal for you again.”
“We need to take her in, Ron. You know that. Damn you, I thought you were my friend. What’s going on here?” He spun his body around, flinging the gun in desperation. “None of this makes any sense, why are you all looking at me like that?”
Stephen was distraught, agitated.
He looked at Claire again. “Senator?” He grunted at her. “Release the grip you have on Eve at once.”
Claire held her eye contact with him without budging.
“Didn’t you hear me? Let go of her!”
She didn’t move.
Stephen raised the gun and pointed it at her. “I gave you an order, now do it!”
She didn’t move.
Stephen pulled on the lever, the shot echoed within the concrete walls.
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