Rubicon

There wasn’t much left to do, but wait. I placed explosives under small mounds of snow, near every exit of the station and the storehouse, and at the point where I had seen the helicopters before yesterday’s skirmish.

At a safe distance from the fireworks, I dug a small trench and ran the wires from the explosives under the snow to a plunger. There I waited. And at 18:57:09 the men, the helicopters, the pack of huskies—everything—popped back into existence. I took a long breath, then stood up and fired a shot from my rifle into the air. Instantly, the men who were outside started screaming, the dogs started barking, the doors to the station flew open, and more men rushed out, brandishing pistols and assault rifles, Dr. Alfieri among them.  Shots rang out as I dropped into the trench. Tufts of snow exploded around me and lead buzzed overhead. I grabbed the plunger, the box shaking in my hands, yanked the handle upward, and was about to lean into it when I suddenly stopped….

The rift was a trick. A little inter-dimensional slight of hand. I don’t know how I got stuck in it, but killing everyone certainly wasn’t going to get me out. Even if I did, more helicopters would come with more people who had more weapons, and I would fight them, and those who came after them until eventually they bested me.

There was another way out.

I disarmed the plunger, clenched my teeth, and leaped out of the trench. I leveled the barrel in the direction of the oncoming horde, and within seconds they gunned me down.