Lake 33 Killing Relic
Chapter 12
West Lake landfill is burning

Draft #1, with all the inherent errors, faults and typos to be corrected or deleted in the future. This will change?


Chapter 12, Draft #1

West Lake Landfill

Four figures in black clothing, wearing hoodies, COVID masks, and backpacks, crept through the shadows to the fence at the St. Louis County West Lake landfill. 

"That rotten egg odor, I am going to puke," hissed one of the men, who pulled down his Covid mask and retched. 

"Quiet, damn it, puke silently," ordered the leader

"My nose is bleeding," said the one whose clothing strained under bulging muscles.

"Twenty-five years of smoldering fire under the landfill," said the leader, who wiped his eyes from the toxic leachate produced by the high temperatures of the underground fire.

"We will not be here long."

"How do the people live around here?" said another, wiping at his irritated eyes.

In the dark area of a broken security light, the four men used bolt cutters to cut a doorway in the fence. 

"Typical government efficiency; they still have not repaired the light we hit with the pellet gun three days ago."

"Probably arguing over who is responsible for fixing the light, EPA or the Department of Regulations."

"Quiet," hissed the leader. "We can talk later."

The four followed their iPhone maps on the pre-planned trek to the pumphouse.

"There's no escaping the nauseating smell from the fire," said one of the figures, ignoring the leader's orders.

"Not really a fire but a self-sustaining 300 degrees Fahrenheit reaction in the garbage, two hundred feet below the surface. We are breathing hydrogen sulfide, carbon monoxide, sulfur dioxide, and benzene."

"You dumbasses, shut up," said the leader; "We will be out of here in no time."

"Are we getting radiated?" hissed one in panic as they stopped to cut a second fence marked with rusted radiation signs.

"Not any more than a normal x-ray at the dentist," said the one with the bulging muscles.

As second in command, he was getting irritated with the geeks.

"If all goes right, they will have to evacuate Brigeton or all of St. Louis because of the radioactive fallout released in the smoke plume when the fire reaches the radioactive waste."

Even the leader could not contain his adrenaline flood of excitement. "No one will get permanently injured, and the world will be alerted to the dangers of Nuclear energy when the EPA evacuates an entire city. We are saving the planet from mankind's slow ecosystem destruction."

The GPS on their phones navigated the four to their destination, the pumping station where chilled water was injected deep underground inside the isolation barrier system designed to prevent the smoldering landfill fire from reaching the radioactive waste.

The muscled man groaned as the bolt cutters refused to cut the hardened steel padlock, and finally, with a loud snap, the bolt cutter sheared the lock.

"Follow the plan," hissed the leader, and the four split into two groups, each with a crude fertilizer bomb with inexpensive phones as timers.

The leader stepped into the pumphouse, shining his phone flashlight, noticing the security camera above the door.

"Perfect," he said, placing a placard in sight of the camera; the words read, "STOP NUCLEAR ENERGY."  He removed a mason jar of white powder from his backpack and set it next to the sign.  

They had paid a fortune for the jar, but the substance had made their Geiger counter scream most satisfyingly.

The perfect dirty bomb.

The other man set the crude bomb on the chilled water cooling tower and texted the other two. 

"Ready?"

The text reply buzzed in response, "Package is on the methane pipe."

"Excellent. Count down from five and set the timer.

"Wait!" ordered the leader, who pulled out a standard combination padlock and snapped it across the hasp of the pumphouse door.

"Now."

They count down from five and set the timers for five minutes.

"Let's go!"

They could already see security golf carts with flashing blue lights speeding in their direction.

The excitement and adrenaline rush was overwhelming as they slid through one fence and then the other, only to be stopped outside the fence by armed men.

All four stopped, stunned; the guards were there already.

"Okay, white boys, hand over your wallets." said one of the men. No, the speaker was not a man but a skinny youth.

"How do you know they are white? With all that shit on their faces." said an older person who carried a larger caliber pistol.

"Look at how they walk," said another holding a tech-nine.

"They are going to piss their pants like white boys. Hand over your wallets! What the fuck are you waiting on?"

Two of the four men dressed in black handed over their billfolds while the muscled man grabbed the tech-nine. The gun discharged, cutting a path through the inside of his bicep, just as two explosions shook the night, and one of the methane-collecting pipes illuminated the night with a giant blue flame.

Everyone ran away from the light, seeking the safety of darkness.

In the escape van, the leader of the four ignored the muscled man's moaning and focused on their heroic deed. "The landfill fire will breach the isolation barrier, spread to the uranium waste, and the dome will crack and break open, introducing oxygen to the heat. The entire landfill will flare up, and radioactive smoke will coat St. Louis, Chicago, and even Toronto and New York, depending on the prevailing winds."

The other three considered the possible evacuation of New York, Boston, or Atlanta, depending upon the winds. They had not anticipated the magnitude of the disaster they had created and the law enforcement efforts that would be coming down hard.


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