A searchlight swept the goods yard, but the wagons were parked so close that it had been easy to sneak through the shadows. Leein watched whilst the other two put their weight to the lever. The tie bolts had been tightened earlier that day, by a group of Southern soldier engineers. The rota meant they would be back in five days, before which time the bolts would work loose, the rail would shift and a random goods train would be derailed. It should look as much like an accident as possible, the Southerners were apt to take revenge for obvious sabotage.
Leein tapped the wood of the nearest carriage. The dull tapping could just be heard by the others. They stopped what they were doing and dodged to cover with only the slightest of metallic tings. He drew his mini auto, with its ungainly silencer overbalancing the barrel. The other two had knives, short fish gutters that were little good unless they got in really close.
Footsteps headed their way. Not a patrol, but someone else who had reason to be sneaking around in the middle of the night. There was talking, but in no language Leein understood. He stared through the slatted sides of the wagon, trying to make out details through the open door. A searchlight illuminated a row of wagons and three dark figures could be made out against the backdrop. One large male, a woman, and another, shorter, male.
Leein stepped back and lowered his gun. He would not use it unless absolutely necessary- bodies would raise suspicions somewhat- and his hand shook, but at this range he could not help but hit. The three strangers came into view. Leein shifted his aim toward the large male.
The woman spun, faster than Leein believed possible, grabbed the silencer in her left hand and crashed it against the wagon body. Leein found his hand jammed between the weapon and the wood of the wagon. She looked beyond him at the other two and raised her right arm stiffly to point it straight at them. She held no weapon, but something about her stance made them back off.
And then things got worse.
A searchlight on the nearest water tower strummed on. It swung around and illuminated the six of them. There were shouts and a brief burst of autogun fire hit the ground near them. The small male was staring straight at the light. He raised his right hand, holding up four fingers. The woman nodded. She released Leein, swung her right arm around and pointed it at the light. She widened her stance slightly.
There was a noise. Leein thought of arrows in flight, though with a fizzing sound underneath. The woman’s upper body rocked back, pushed by something striking her clenched fist. There was an explosion where the spotlight had been, a brief bright flash that illuminated the four guards on the water tower, then a rumble of water as it escaped from a huge rupture.
The larger man turned to Leein. “You guards?”
“Why here then?”
Leein pointed at the track. “Breaking?” asked the large man.
The little man nodded to the woman- who had released the gun, though Leein didn’t dare move it yet- and pointed at the piece of track the others had been working on. She pointed her arm at the track. There was the same arrow flight noise, and the woman jerked again, and something struck the rails so hard that they turned to liquid for several spans and buckled for even more of their length. The force splintered the sleepers and dug a hole several spans deep.
A guard ran between wagons. The woman raised her arm and he fell. There was no noise this time, and the woman hardly moved. “We leave here, now.” the large man said.
“Yes.” Leein waved to the other two and led the way back to the hole they had used to get through the fence.
There were more running guards, but they avoided them by hiding under wagons. By the time an organised search had begun, they were out of the yards and into the maze of sewers.
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