Plunging downward Chancho latched the magnetic-heel explosive to the coupling as gunfire echoed in the confined space between the two cars. The near miss ricocheted off the passenger car laden with Constitutional conscripts. Off balance and flailing for some part of the train that would keep him from being shot, Chancho grabbed the bottom of the passenger car platform.
A second bullet missed just right of his handhold as his boots bounced off the ties rushing past. Chancho glanced over his shoulder at the burning fuse. He would catch a bullet before it went off, but even if he didn’t, he was too close for comfort. “My friend! Let’s not be—” but before he could finish his sentence he heard two bodies colliding, followed by a grunt. Pulling himself up, he turned to see Ah Puch heaving the much larger Guzman off the landing.
“Do hurry.” Chancho leapt across the gap back onto the armored car just as the door to the passenger car slid open. “I’m afraid he had a short fuse.”
Ah Puch’s eyes flashed as he took in both the imminent explosion and the rifles leveled from the back door of the passenger car.
Hooking his friend around the waist as he rushed past, Chancho slung Ah Puch before diving head first through the opened door of the armored car. Simultaneously his heel charge and the powder of multiple rifles flared behind them.
The two friends smashed into a pile of crates as the armored car lurched free from the rest of the train. Seconds later bullets commenced bouncing about the cramped quarters until Chancho shoved the door closed with his foot. Swallowed once again by darkness, both men remembered the belly of the whale lurking several hundred meters down track. Chancho rose to his knees, suddenly aware of a miscalculation in his plans. “How much do you think those geological survey boxes could weigh?”
“What? Who cares? And how should I know. We don’t have time to—”
“The weight! It matters. Momentum equals mass times velocity. I estimated close enough on the speed of the train, but the car could be considerably heavier than I anticipated!”
“We won’t stop in time!” Bullets continued to bounce off the front of the armored car, but from a greater distance as the gap between them and the rest of the train expanded.
Ah Puch stood and helped Chancho to his feet. “One thing at a time. First we have to hit the switch.”
With impeccable timing, Emilio’s voice called from the blackness. “We’re getting close. Jorge! Give us some light.” The back door to the armored car slid open and Emilio found Ah Puch and Chancho tangled in some webbing. “We need to get to the front of the car and hit the switch.” He revealed a heavy metal pipe taken from the livestock car.
“Good man.” Chancho reached for the pipe.
“No.” Ah Puch stopped him. “We’re still in range of their fire. We’ll have to hit it from the back.”
“Okay. But it’ll be harder.” Emilio shrugged.
“Not much.” Chancho untangled himself and flicked his spurs back into their resting position. “I don’t know, my friend. I think we’ve still got work to do on these magnet spurs.”
“Fine, fine. You can replace them with jet packs. Just get moving.”
“Really? That would be great!”
“Okay, Okay, my friend. Keep your magnet boots on.”