Rose finds herself in college & her daddy too.
Around me, the men saw a wall of ten riot police coming from the front, backed up by a small group of normal policewomen. Riot cops had knee-to-shoulder length transparent shields and stun batons. This was the kind of thing they had trained for. They were not afraid.
The men also discovered they had seven pistols - things got worse. A few got some shots off before they were stunned into unconsciousness. Others couldn't even figure out how to work the safety. The police wall pushed forward, they were recovering the bodies of their fallen co-workers then they finally got to me.
The policewoman saw me on all fours over a semi-coherent Passey and swung her stun baton. I raised my arm to defend myself and a sharp shock burnt through my arm, but didn't knock me out. At that moment, the riot squad became a victim of its own success. Having pushed so far forward, the presented an avenue of egress for the panicking men on their side of the arena.
The human wave shattered the police cohesion. It became a desperate fight - everyone for themselves. The riot cops went down under the surge of bodies. For a second, the area around me cleared up. I saw Passey's partner. She looked to be in a bad way, but I didn't know her. I knew Passey. I was still ordering my jumbled thoughts when the bomb went off.
It had been suspended over the arena floor, disguised as sound equipment. The blast wave was focused down into the audience. The concussion knocked people down, but that was the only direct effect. The designers of the bomb weren't looking to create casualties on the floor, oh no. They were looking to spread chaos, confusion and fear.
They did that admirably. That thin blue line holding those 20,000 men at bay? They were still trying to figure out what the explosion was when the men surged forward once more. They yelled at the men to stop. Their hands went to their tasers. Most likely, the men facing the cops tried to stop, but with hundreds of men behind them urgently trying to get away from the explosion, it was a hopeless gesture.
Police escalation was simple: command, taser, physical takedown, and pistol. Most of the policewomen never got to the takedown phase. A few went straight for the pistol phase. Shots began ringing out. Police communications were overwhelmed with calls for orders, or help. At the main exit's long series of doors it got even worse.
A police lieutenant was trying to bring order out of the chaos. She could make out what was being said by a subordinate in another part of the arena.
"Shots fired? I repeat, shots fired?" she requested over her link. That's not what a man a few meters away heard.
"Oh my God! They are going to shoot us just like China!" he screamed. He wasn't rational, but a bomb had gone off, another one might go off and the cops weren't letting him leave. The rational thought should have been 'I'm too valuable to be slaughtered,' but he was gripped by fear. "They are going to kill us all!" he continued.
The closest police officer tased him. That was normal procedure; the man was starting a panic. Unfortunately, there was already a panic, the man was claiming the cops were trying to kill him, and the cops had just prove him right. He wasn't dead, or even unconscious, but the men didn't know that. They attacked.
Men tend to be taller, heavier and have superior reach. The policewomen had training, weapons, body armor and morale - they were policewomen facing men after all. The deciding factor was weight of numbers, quite literally. The men rolled forward like a wave. The front men were tasered, but couldn't fall down in the press of bodies.
There was no way the women could hold back five, six, or even seven men pushing against each one of them. Realizing the women at the first exits were being pummeled to death, the supporting police went straight for their guns. Had the men had some sort of organization, the hail of bullets might have stopped them. The men were a stampede.
Men fell and were trampled into mush.