Shadow of Betrayal

Shadow of Betrayal by Brett Battles Page A

Book: Shadow of Betrayal by Brett Battles Read Free Book Online
Authors: Brett Battles
    “Move him back a few feet,” Quinn said.
    His apprentice nodded, then pulled Al out of Quinn’s swing zone.
    “What are you going to do with that?” Al asked.
    Quinn held on to the middle of the two-by-four with one hand, and wrapped the other hand around the end pointed away from the wall. He pulled it back high behind his head, then swung it forward. Like a battering ram, the two-by-four smashed into the soft spot of the wall.
    There was a loud crack as the plaster and the wooden slats beneath it shattered under the force of the blow.
    “Hey! Stop it,” Al said. “Mr. Monroe is going to be pissed.”
    “According to you, Mr. Monroe is already pissed,” Quinn said. He pulled the two-by-four back, raising it high again. “What’s behind the door?”
    “I don’t know! I swear!”
    Quinn drove the board into the wall again.
    “Ah, man,” Al said. “No one’s supposed to go in there.”
    “What’s inside, Al?”
    Al’s shoulders slumped. “You might as well finish it. I don’t know.”
    Instead of taking another large swing, Quinn began punching his ram into the wall, over and over, until there was a hole approximately two feet in diameter passing all the way into the room beyond. It was just big enough to stick his head through. He set the board on the ground, then held out his hand to Orlando. She gave him one of the flashlights.
    Letting the light lead the way, he leaned in.
    At first it didn’t look much different from the room Peter’s agent had nearly died in. The notable exception was the floor. Though it was lower than the level of floor in the hallway, it was only by a couple feet, not twenty.
    The wall across the room from the hole appeared to be made of concrete.
The exterior wall
, he guessed.
    The wall to his right was closest to his position, about five feet away. It appeared to be constructed of the same material as the wall he’d busted through: slats and plaster. Long ago, someone had painted a red stripe at waist level along the entire side, but it was faded now. Given a few more years, it might not even be noticeable.
    Stacked along the far side to the left were several cardboard boxes. Judging from the water stains on the sides and the way they sagged into each other, they appeared to have been there a long time.
    Nothing obvious caught his attention. Certainly nothing that would have warranted locking the door. Perhaps it was another red herring. Perhaps the whole building was nothing but something to throw Peter’s people off the track of whatever it was they were working on.
    Quinn moved the light all the way to the left so he could get a look at the door. He scanned up and down twice, then pulled back out of the hole and straightened up.
    “Anything?” Orlando asked.
    “The door’s wired,” he said. “There’s a block of something on the floor with some wires leading from it and running up the jamb.”
    “So what are they trying to hide?” she asked.
    “Good question. There’re some old boxes stacked against the wall, but that’s about it. And even those don’t look promising.”
    Quinn thought for a moment, then picked up the two-by-four again.
    “This mean we’re going in?” Orlando said.
    “I’m not going in there,” Al said, not hiding an ounce of his fear.
    “Watch him,” Quinn said to Nate, then looked at Al. “Don’t worry. You’re not going anywhere. I want you on the floor right now. Hands behind your back.”
    “So I don’t have to go in?” Al asked.
    “Don’t make me say it again.”
    Al dropped to the floor, leaned against the wall, and slipped his hands behind his back.
    Quinn used the two-by-four to punch at the wall again, this time widening the hole until it was large enough to crawl through. He exchanged the board for his flashlight, then he stepped backward through the hole and into the room. Given the difference in floor levels, the first step was a big one, but he managed it without falling.
    Once he was

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