There was no turning back now.

More chapters from ToxiCity

A VG Serial: Toxicity

Episode 94

Stone led Carrie Nelson and three officers to the front. Two men carried a battering ram. Stone ordered them to put on their masks. It would be hard to talk through them so they should watch for hand signals. He waited while they slipped them on.

The door to the lobby was locked. Not having a pick handy, he took a couple of steps back, swung his foot forward, and kicked. The glass shattered. He reached in, turned the latch, and stepped through. The others followed.

He pulled out his radio and pushed the send button. “Brewster. That’s a go. Over.”

He heard static in response.


More static.

“Shit.” Stone shook the radio in frustration. “What the hell—?”

Nelson cut in. “Could be the repeater. One of the receiver sites may be down.”

In Glenbrook police radios used a system in which a series of sites captured electronic signals, fed them into a central location, and sent back the strongest one. If one of the sites was down, however, static, cross talk, even dead air might result.

Stone turned the radio over. “So, where’s the simplex switch?” Radios usually had an alternate system for these kinds of situations.

“These radios don’t have one.”

“How am I supposed to talk to Brewster?”

“I’ll go.”

“No. “Stone pointed to another officer. “Send him.”

But Nelson had already backed out the door. She said she’d call back over the radio once she gave Brewster the go-ahead. Stone would wait for her call.

He waited, each second feeling like an hour. He punched the call button of the elevator, heard the gears grind as it lumbered to the lobby. He checked his watch. Two minutes passed.

“Where the fuck is Nelson? She should have called by now.” He shifted his weight. The elevator arrived. Carrie Nelson didn’t. He tried the radio again.

“Brewster? Come in. Over.”

No response.

Stone faced the lobby door.

“Brewster, if you can hear me, get up there. Now.”

Still nothing. Thirty seconds passed. They had to move.


Episodes in the novel will be published on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday.

Please click the following title,ToxiCity, to read more about Libby Fischer Hellman’s books on Amazon.

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