The Center: Face of the Enemy -
One month has passed since escaping the Syndicate and Becca is now in The Center. But everything is far from good. Even though she's escaped the Syndicate, she's not sure if she can trust the Center.
Author's Note: Here's ch. 8 and the end of the mission. Special thanks once again to Lilith for editing. Tomorrow should be the end of this story.
“Son of a bitch.”
Kit pulled herself to her feet, helping Cori up as she did so. I heard them behind me but I paid them little attention at the moment. I was still staring at the shadowy figure out the window. He was staring at me too. It had to be Declan but I couldn’t understand why he’d kill Phillips. He made it pretty clear that he was done with the Syndicate. It didn’t make any sense. Was he working directly for his father now? Or was there some other motive being this assassination.
My earpiece buzzed. I excitedly tapped my throat mike, thinking it was good news. “Tell me you’ve apprehended her, Samson”.
“Samson” said a familiar voice, the voice of slime. “You haven’t gotten a new boyfriend already, have you, Shrimp.”
The frequency was our emergency band. It was highly encrypted.
“How the hell did you find this frequency?” I snapped.
Outside the window, the black figure sat down on the edge of the building, setting his rifle aside.
“Barry isn’t the only one with mad skills.”
“What’s your deal in all this, why kill Phillips?”
At this Kit snapped to attention. She raised her pistol and approached the window cautiously. She looked at me, waiting for confirmation. She wanted to take a shot, but we both knew she couldn’t shoot that far with a pistol. I shook my head and she backed down.
“Call you pet soldier away from the window or she’ll be with Phillips real soon.”
I beckoned Kit away from the window. She nodded and backed off.
“She’s away, so tell me about Phillips?"
He laughed. “You know I can’t do that, Shrimp.”
“This isn’t a game, Declan.”
I wanted to piss him off and I knew calling him by his new name would do the trick.
“Of course it is. It’s our game” He sighed. “Phillips was a liability and not just to my father. He knew things, things that the Center shouldn’t know about. I couldn’t let you bring him to your new Masters.”
How the hell did he know all this stuff? I was pretty certain the government didn’t broadcast their procurement of super freaks. Which meant one of two things: Declan was just grasping for straws or that he had Intel on me. I was hoping for the former but I was pretty certain it was the latter. The implication was scary because it could mean one of two things as well. Either the Center was hacked, which seems highly unlikely now that we had Barry or the Center had a security leak. I knew from reading Xiang’s report that there were a few in Colorado but could there be one at Alpha site as well?
“The Center is no different than the Syndicate you know” he said “they just have government approval. They’re going to use you till they're done with you and then toss you into the gutter.”
“Why do you care?”
“Because we’re all slaves” he said with a laugh. “And I’m the great Liberator.”
Liberator, what the hell was he talking about?
The black figure stood, slinging his rifle on his shoulder. He looked at his wrist, probably checking his watch.
“Well my ride’s going to be here soon” he said “we’ll talk later, Shrimp, there’s so many things you and I need to discuss.”
Then the black figure disappeared. I followed him for a few feet until he vanished down the opposite side of the building and out of my range of sight. Anger swelled inside of me and I slammed my fist on Phillips’ desk. Fucking son of a bitch. How could he have been so smug after just killing someone? What the hell was that Liberator stuff about anyway? That guy pissed me off so much; I was definitely going to put a bullet in his smug little face.
I turned around and saw my team staring at me. Kit gave me a weak smile and Cori looked out the window. Neither one of them said anything. But they didn’t have too. I took a deep breath and told them that that was Declan. Kit nodded, clenching a fist. She and Samson were the only other people on my team who had read my report. Barry and Clara didn’t need too and Cori and Marcus didn’t have the clearance to do so. Cori didn’t seem to care though; she was still in a little bit of a funk, especially now considering what was left of Phillips was splattered all over us.
I tapped my throat mike. “Samson, do you copy?”
There was nothing. I tapped it again and still got nothing.
Kit tried too. When she got the same thing, she sighed. “You don’t think Little Miss Night Scare got to them, do you ma’am?”
“I don’t think Marcus would allow that.”
At least I hoped he wouldn’t.
We left Phillips office in a hurry. I know it was kind of horrible to leave him there but there was really nothing we could do for him. Kit did say a little prayer and I closed his eyes. I pulled my schematic out as we ran. At the other end of the hall there was another staircase leading down. It should take us right near the server room. As we ran, Kit in-between Cori and me, we passed an elevator and it was a shame the damn power was out because it would have made things so much easier.
“She’s scared” said Cori as we got closer to the stairs. "I got a reading off her in the office. She was there only a few hours ago. She’s convinced that Phillips tried to betray her and that’s why she’s lashing out. She wants out of this and doesn’t care who stand in her way.”
“Will she go quietly?”
Cori shook her head. “I only get glimpses of people’s emotions and only when they touch the item. I can’t say how she’s feeling now but a few hours ago she probably would have fought to the death to keep herself from being caught again.”
“So we may have to put her down?”
Cori nodded. I didn’t like the sound of that. I wanted to help this girl. I knew exactly how she felt, being a prisoner in a place like this. I knew her circumstance was a little different but we were both victims of the Syndicate. Killing her was the last resort. I made that very clear to both of them and they agreed, Kit a bit reluctantly at first. I made her swear not to take a shot at the girl and Kit finally relented. Melanie was scared and if possible I was going to try to help her see past all that.
We skidded to a halt a few feet from the stairwell. Kit and I cursed at the same time. Cori whimpered. There were at least a dozen zombies standing between us and the door. Some of them were Black Suits and the rest were wearing white lab coats. Clearly Melanie was using resources she had to create these illusions. Kit shrugged out of our arms and raised her gun. She shot the nearest zombie in the head, it wavered and disappeared. But just as quickly, another popped into existence. She cursed, lowering her gun as she did so.
“Is there any other way?” she asked.
I looked at my sheet and sighed.
“I’m going to distract these fuckers” she said, slipping off her vest and tossing it down the hallway. “As soon as they start following me, I want you two to make it for the stairs.”
“I can’t let you do that Kit.”
“I wasn’t asking for permission, ma’am.”
I sighed. I slung the shotgun off my shoulder and passed it to her. She nodded and fired a round off into the ceiling. It had the desired effect. She started screaming at the top of her lungs, hobbling down the hall. The zombies took the bait. I watched as she valiantly hobbled away. The zombies slowly followed, leaving the stairway door unguarded. I could hear her blasting off a shot every few seconds until she ran out of rounds. I hope she knows what she’s doing.
Cori and I ran for the stairs.
When we got to the bottom of the stairs, I paused before opening the door. Without Kit as backup, I was going to need Cori. I hesitated for a second but pulled the P. Gun from its holster and handed to her. She opened her mouth to protest but I cut her off.
“I need your help in there” I said, squeezing her hand.
She nodded. “But I don’t know how to fire this thing?”
“Its point and shoot, just like a camera. But point it at the bad guys; I don’t want to get stuck in the ass with one of those things.”
We were still trying to develop an antidote for the poison. They figured it was somewhere contained in Dixon’s blood but they were still in the earlier stages of developing one. Kris had been real weary about us taking the darts along in the first place. But I assured her we’d be careful with them. In truth, I was kind of scared of them myself. I didn’t like the idea of carrying a gun loaded with lethal poison so close to my person. Mrs. Fine had other worries about them. We only had a few guns and even fewer darts. There were ten to a clip and she wanted to make sure we didn’t waste them.
“Can you tell me anything by touching the door?” I asked, pointing to the stairwell door in front of us.
Cori stepped forward and gently touched the door with the tips of her fingers. Her body tensed up again, her eyes went white and she started rambling off again. She did it for a few seconds and then pulled away, panting as she did so. Her power was very taxing, I could hear and see the strain it put on her body.
“The others came through here about twenty minutes ago. I’m not sure where they were before that but they were in quite a rush. Martin Stetson was through here too about twenty four hours ago. I’m not sure here he went though. He seemed agitated and very tired. He may or may not have had back up with him. There’s a lot of other people who touched the door so it’s hard to get a reading as to how many went through.”
“How about Melanie?”
She shook her head. “I’m not sure. I think I felt her but it could have been anyone.”
I nodded then pushed the door open. I stepped out into the hall first, keeping Reta up and ready. The hall was deserted but I knew how quickly that could change. Cori stayed close behind me, doing her best to keep the P Gun pointed away from me. She looked real nervous holding the gun, her hands were sweaty and her fingers trembled a little bit. Giving her the gun was a bad idea but without Kit I really needed the back up. It was times like this that I wish Kris had authorized a Kinetic to tag along with me. But according to her, Kinetics were loud and a bit flashy. They drew too much attention and we were trying to be stealthy.
The first pair of Black Suits came around the corner. They were running as fast as they could. I grabbed Cori and pulled her back into the stairwell. Grabbing her startled her and she fired a shot as the two men ran past. The dart hit one of them in the leg and he yelped while the other took off running. The darted man stopped and frantically looked behind him as he pulled the dart free. I turned and saw his pursuer: It was a huge grizzly bear. The man started to convulse as the poison took effect. The bear pounced on him, slamming him to the ground. He would have screamed if his lungs weren’t currently filling up with fluid. Instead he opened his mouth and spewed greenish foam.
The bear tore into him. I’m not sure what killed him first but it didn’t take long for him to die. When the bear was finished, it turned and caught sight of us. I raised my gun, ready to fire but the bear didn’t move. Instead it slowly faded away. What the hell was that? Why didn’t it attack us, it had ample time to do so. Was it possible that only your fear could harm you?
‘C’mon” I said as I pulled Cori back out into the hall.
We moved quickly and quietly down the hall. I led her in the direction the men were coming from because it was clearly the right way to go. When we got to the end of the hall and turned the corner, there was a massacre before us. There was blood splattered everywhere and several bodies. Most of them were Black Suits but there were a few in lab coats as well. Cori clutched my arm, turning her head into my chest so as not to look. I led her slowly down the hall, stepping over bodies and trying not to slip in all the blood. Whatever happened here it confirmed one of my theories: that the illusions could definitely kill you.
We came to an open room and I heard movement inside. I snapped around the doorframe and saw a middle aged man in a blue uniform hunched in the corner. He was still breathing but he was clearly down for the count. He was clutching a stomach wound, blood seeping over his fingers. He looked up at me as Cori and I slipped into the room. He had glassy look to his eyes, a tranquilizer gun lying next to him. He didn’t make any motion toward it. He was dead, we both knew it. Instead he fumbled on a pair of night vision goggles and sighed.
“You’re Howe aren’t you?” I nodded. He coughed up some blood. “I recognized you from your file. You’re the girl who took out Section Four.”
I nodded again. “You’re Martin Stetson?”
He nodded then laughed. “What’s left of him anyway?”
“What happened here?” I asked “where’s Melanie?”
He laughed. “I assembled as many people as I could and tried to take her. But she knew we were coming, told us she could smell our fear” He coughed up more blood. “She tore us too pieces. A few of my men ran but most died. I barely escaped the carnage. I dragged myself in here but I wasn’t able to go any further.”
“Did anyone else pass this way?”
He nodded. “A small team did but they didn’t notice me. They went down the hall I think, toward the Server room.”
So Team B did get there. I’m not sure if I was glad or happy to hear that.
“I tried to tell them to stay away from there but they didn’t hear me. She went that way you know. She took my key card, I think she’s trying to escape” He coughed some more. “I guess I should have listened to the Doc.”
I turned to Cori. “Do you have any more gauze?”
She started to open one of her vest pockets, but Stetson shook his head.
“I’m done, we both know that.”
He reached with weak fingers and grabbed the tranq gun off the floor; he held it out to me. I took it but I wasn’t sure how good it was going to do.
“There’s enough CCs in that dart in there to take out down a thoroughbred.”
I nodded. “Do you want me to put you out of your misery?” I asked, raising Reta and pointing for his head.
He shook his head. “Every man is responsible for their actions and I want to suffer for mine.”
I motioned to Cori, telling her it was time to go. I turned around and out the door. I wasn’t supposed to see her fire the dart at Stetson but I did. I couldn’t help but smile a little bit because it meant she wasn’t an animal like me. Which is also the reason I knew that this was probably going to be her last field missions. Cori wasn’t cut out to be a soldier.
We moved down the hall, turned around the corner and came face to face with my greatest fear: my Foster father Dave Campbell, the man who single handily made a year of my life a living hell. He was standing there, a beer bottle in one hand and a baseball bat in the other.
I froze in fear, dropping Reta with a clang onto the floor. It can’t be Dave, he’s in jail. But there he was, in all his evil glory. He got arrested after beating the hell out of his wife. But that was after a year of him beating me around senseless, one time to the point of almost dying. His favorite weapon was the bat; he broke my arm and three ribs once when he got drunk. When the police showed up thanks to a Good Samaritan neighbor, Dave and his wife, Marcy, said I fell down the stairs. I was too afraid to say anything so I just nodded and agreed.
“Well look who has finally turned into the fag I thought he was” Dave’s voice echoed down the hall, tearing into me.
I started to cry and dropped to my knees.
Cori stepped in front of me, a stern look of determination on her face. She fired two darts, the last two in her gun. They passed right through Dave, hitting the wall behind him. Dave grunted and swung his bat. It hit Cori in the shoulder, throwing her against the wall violently. She screamed out in pain then slumped to the floor. I snapped out of my stupor and screamed for her. She wasn’t moving but she was still alive. I could hear her breathing.
“Neither one of you little bitches can hurt me” he said as he walked forward and stepped over Cori.
He grabbed me by my hair and dragged me to my feet. I was completely helpless, I couldn’t even fight back. I tried but it was useless. He threw away his bat and took off his belt, all in one single motion. He looped the belt around my neck and started to strangle me. That’s what he tried to do to Marcy when she finally had enough of him. He had been wailing on me like usual and she finally came to my defense. But he turned from me to her after that. He started to strangle her with his belt and would have killed her too if not for someone calling the police. The police officer was at the door and saw it through the window. He kicked the door in and tackled Dave. They gave him twenty years because he tried to kill us. I was out of that place two days later.
But there was no police officer to help me now.
I felt the leather synch tight around my neck and I couldn’t breathe. The world started to go black around the edges. I struggled to pull the belt away but he was pulling too tight and my fingers couldn’t get underneath it. I wasn’t going to give up, I couldn’t give up. I had to save my friends and I had to stop Melanie. I closed my eyes and when I opened them, the whole hallway was black. But it wasn’t the black form my slowly slipping into death. It was the black from my shadow sense. It was back and it couldn’t have picked a better time.
I saw the blue form of Cori lying on the floor. I saw the unmoving form of several bodies, now a grayish color. I saw through the wall, to the several blue forms in the room behind it. There were several green forms in there too, probably the servers. But the rest were my team, they were alive but they were fighting for their lives. The one in the front must have been Marcus; he was holding his hand up in front of him, trying to fight off her power I think. There was a short girl in front of him, dressed in a paper gown. That must have been Melanie. Barry, Samson and Clara were on the ground, wreathing in pain.
The one think I didn’t see was Dave. I didn’t see him because he wasn’t real. There was no one holding me and there was no one strangling me. Dave’s not real, I mentally told myself. He’s in your head, he’s an illusion. That gave me strength, enough to reach underneath the belt and pull it away from my neck. I heard Dave’s voice in my ear but I didn’t listen to it. Because it wasn’t real. I snapped my head back, slamming him in his chest. As soon as I did so I jumped to my feet and my shadow sense faded. The world was back to normal and the illusion was back. He stumbled a bit, holding his chest where my head had hit it.
“You fucking little bitch” he gasped, reaching for the bat.
I ran forward and kicked him in the face. He stumbled again and I slammed my knee into his chin. I punched him in the throat, elbowed him in the ear and kicked him in the balls. It was more than enough to put him on his back. He was groaning, blood splattered all over his face, his nose broken. He looked up at me and groaned some more. His fingers grasped around the bat handle. I slammed my heel on them, he screamed in pain.
“I’m not afraid of you anymore” I said it and meant it.
Dave smirked and faded away into nothingness.
Cori moaned and I was instantly at her side, helping her to her feet. She looked pretty battered and when I touched her shoulder by accident she screamed in pain. I could tell it was broken, that bat swing was pretty hard.
“How are you doing?”
“Was he your father?”
I shook my head, crying. “He was a foster parent. He used to be beat the hell out of me.”
“Well then I won’t offend you when I say he was a real dick.”
We both laughed, Cori winced in pain as she did so. Then I gave her a one sided hug, trying to avoid her shoulder as much as possible. I whispered my thanks into her ear, telling her she was the bravest person I’ve ever known.
We both took a few moments to collect ourselves. We had a good cry then hugged for a bit more. After pulling away, I picked up Reta and stuck her in her holster. Can’t forget you, baby. Then after wiping my tears, we both turned toward the door and took deep breaths. Here goes nothing. I pushed open the door, ready for anything now.
“You” said the green haired girl standing before Marcus. “How in the hell are you still alive?”
“Your little tricks don’t work on me anymore,” I said as Cori and I stepped into the room, I raised the tranq gun, looking for a clean shot.
“That won’t work on me either” laughed Melanie. “Stetson tried it already.”
She pulled the collar of her gown back a little, showing a red mark on her neck where she was clearly shot with a dart.
I was surprised how small she was. She was just like Mattie but she looked more child-like. If I were to see Melanie on the street I would have mistaken her for a six year old not a girl of sixteen. She still had that chubby child look to her and if she had any breasts they were so small they were nonexistent. Her gown was like an oversized dress on her. She had it rolled up several times at her sleeves and it completely consumed her legs. She looked nothing at all like a bad ass Dominator but instead like a little girl playing dress up in her Mommy’s clothes.
This can’t be Melanie.
She seemed to notice me staring. She glared at me. “Your friend over there had a problem with my size too. He thought he’d make a few jokes” she laughed, her voice even sounded like that of a little girl. “See who’s laughing now.”
I looked at my friends for the first time.
Marcus was on his knees, grinding his teeth in pain. He was all but worn out. I could hear his suffering. But he was still giving it his all. His arm was still held out, his palm open and facing her. He told me he had shielded the others from her earlier and now apparently it looked as if he was trying to do it again.
I looked from him to the rest of Team B. Samson appeared to be in the worst shape. It looked as someone had run him over. He was lying on his back, his head on Clara’s lap. There was blood all over his face and his clothes were kind of scuffed up. Clara was trying her best to stem off his pain but it didn’t look like it was working. Samson kept groaning; Clara was stroking his forehead. Barry was next to her, pointing his gun at Melanie. But he was having problems holding it up; it looked like his arm was broken. I wanted to rush to his side and comfort him but that could wait.
Samson raised his head and saw me. “Hey Sarge, long time no see.”
His voice was groggy and it sounded like he was drunk. There was an empty metal flask beside him so the drunken thing was a big possibility. I’m guessing Clara gave it to him for the pain.
“Is he going to be ok, Clara?”
She sighed. “I think so but he’s in a lot of pain.”
“Just take care of him.”
Barry looked over at me and smiled weakly. “You ok?”
He probably saw the red marks on my neck where Dave tried to strangle me. “I’ve been worse.”
Melanie clearly got annoyed. “Hello people, I’m standing here.”
I turned to her and saw she was pouting. She even had the behavior of a little girl. I looked at my friends and couldn’t think of anything other than a real big temper tantrum. She was like a child, a very dangerous one maybe but still a child. I almost half expected her to stomp her foot and start crying any minute now.
“You want to talk,” I said as calmly as possible. “So let’s talk.”
She smiled, showing all her teeth. She looked so much like a little girl but I couldn’t help but think it was some kind of act. Clearly she wasn’t a little girl that was impossible. But maybe she had been so sheltered that she never truly grew up. It was possible she was still a little girl in her head. I took that into account as I stared at her, waiting for her to make the next move.
“You’re from the Syndicate?”
I shook my head. “Not anymore. They were keeping me prisoner just like you but me and my friends escaped from them about two months ago.”
Melanie pointed at Samson. “He’s not from the Syndicate.”
“You’re pretty observant.” I said smiling. “They’re from the Center. It’s a government organization for people like us. All of us in this room, except for Corporal Samson, are Emergents like you.”
“Have you come to take me away?”
“Only if you want to come with us.”
She seemed to mull that over for a while. It was strange to see this little green haired girl, making a pouty face, with a finger tapping against her chin. Clearly she was a lot smarter than she appeared. I used her hesitation to look at Marcus again. He was still trying to get through to her but he was getting tired fast. I could see the sweat trickling down his face and his heart was beating real fast. Clearly she was quite the powerful little thing. I read Marcus’ file, he was a Level Three Telepath with Mind reading and shielding capabilities. He was also pretty adept at getting into people’s minds and shutting them down from the inside. Whoever Melanie was, she clearly had more mental control than Marcus could penetrate.
It scared the hell out of me because this wasn’t Marcus’ first run in with a Dominator; in fact it was his third. The first two times he was able to get into their heads and shut them down. The kids at the Center started to call him the “Dominator Buster”. That’s why Kris assigned him to me because she was certain the Syndicate would come at us with at least one Dominator.
Finally Melanie was done thinking about my question. She answered in her sweet little girl voice: “Are you the good guys?”
It was a good question, one that I myself was having trouble with only a few short days ago. But I think I made up my mind on that so I answered honestly. “They’re not the bad ones.”
I wondered if it would trip her up. A clever smile crossed her face, so apparently it hadn’t.
When she spoke again, her entire voice had changed. Gone was the little girl, the voice that spoke was that of a young woman: “Don’t be fooled by the innocent little girl act, I’m not an idiot and I don’t wish to treated as such. I asked an honest question and I expected an honest answer.”
I nodded. “They appear to be the good guys.”
“You have your doubts?”
She smiled that clever smile of hers again and nodded. “What assurances can you give me if I were to come with you and join this Center of yours?”
“It’s a safe environment. The people there really seem like they want to help us. It’s like a big high school so that’s not a plus but it’s full of kids our age. Everyone is in pretty much the same boat too. We’re all a little bit scared, we’ve all had similar experiences but we’re taking life one step at a time.”
“What about the Syndicate?”
“Mostly eradicated.” She nodded her head and I continued. “My friends and I took out Section Four. Another group took out Section Three and as it stands, it doesn’t look like Section One is in function anymore.”
A voice suddenly popped into my head: “Keep her talking, I’ve almost got her.” It was Marcus. I was hoping I was enough of a distraction to lower her defenses and was glad he caught on to it. It was a little creepy that he was in my head but I’d deal with that later.
“What about Carson?”
“He’s disappeared but the government has frozen all his assets and all his bank accounts. They’ve grounded all his planes and have every single one of his properties under heavy surveillance. If he so much as sneezes we’ll slap him in cuffs.”
She nodded and then asked the question I was hoping we could avoid: “What about my Daddy?”
Her voice slipped back into the little girl’s and she was smiling sweetly at me.
Son of a bitch. How do you tell a sheltered, potentially volatile little girl that her father was gunned down in your custody? I opened my mouth to speak but someone beat me to it.
“He’s dead you little bitch.”
It was Kit and she couldn’t have had the worst timing. I was happy to see she was alive as she hobbled into the room, using the shotgun as a crutch. She didn’t have her camo top on anymore and we all saw the red tank top she wore underneath. Her body was lean and muscular but in a gymnast way not a body builder’s. She was covered from head to toe in sweat and smelled quite awful.
Melanie didn’t take the news very well. Her nostrils flared and all her anger she directed right at the Specialist. The giant neon lion appeared in the room, between the two of them, ten feet from Kit. I don’t know what I was expecting to happen but when Kit laughed I knew she had something up her sleeve. She laughed even louder and the lion illusion started to waver, then it disappeared.
“That’s not possible.” Melanie whined, clearly no one had beaten one of her illusions before. She stomped her foot and pouted. “You’re a big cheating cheatie.”
It was all Marcus needed. Melanie was stomping and carrying on, no longer paying attention to the exhausted telepath. I’m not sure when she figured out what was going on but as soon as she did, she snapped around and glared at Marcus. She tried to summon up something else but whatever it was it didn’t fully form. There was a shimmer for a second but then it disappeared.
Melanie let out a little girlish scream, and then dropped to the floor unconscious. When her body hit the ground, it seemed to fade away and in its place was a girl, about sixteen years old, in a gown that fit her just fine.
“What the hell just happened?” asked Kit as she hobbled over and nudged Melanie’s sleeping form with her foot.
I walked over slowly. “Clearly the little girl was an illusion.”
“A really powerful one,” said Marcus as he barely got to his feet, panting like crazy. He stumbled and Barry ran forward and caught him.
“She was using the little girl, I think she was a little insecure and the little girl helped her hide that. But it was taking a lot of her to do so. I almost had her before but things changed. I think it was you guys, a lot of her illusions started to fail. I don’t think she was counting on you guys being able to defeat them. After that she put all her concentration into hold her personal illusion and fighting off my mental attack. You were the lynch pin, Becca, as soon as you started to talk to her I felt her losing power.
He wiped his sweating brow; Barry was holding him up as best as possible.
“I was able to break her defenses after that. It took a few seconds but I convinced her body to sleep. Her little temper tantrum was all I needed to take her out for good.”
I nodded. “Not a moment too soon. I was about to resort to unnecessary means.”
I didn’t have to elaborate as to what they were.
“What do we do with her?” asked Clara, speaking up for the first time.
I looked at Barry. “Have you done what needed to be done in here?”
He shook his head. “The Servers were toast when we got here. They knew we were coming, everything was gone and busted up.”
“So this mission was a total bust.” Kit groaned then threw the empty shotgun across the room.
“Not necessarily,” I said and smiled. “We got some answers, Cori got a look of readings and we’ve got a little information magnet right at our feet.”
Everyone looked down and saw Melanie. No one said anything for a long time, except Samson but he was in a drunken stupor.
“So we’re taking her then?” asked Barry, giving me this odd look.
I nodded. “Kit are you ok to carry her?”
She nodded. She bent down, groaning a bit because of her leg but she scooped the waif of a girl into her arms. I walked over to Clara and together we got Samson on his feet, supported between the both of us. I made the call to the Cougar and Manx. Both of them told us they were worried we’d gotten killed. They heard a lot of screaming earlier. Then some of the Black Suits took off. I told them that we were all right and told them to ready themselves for departure.
“Are we done here, Sarge?” asked Kit, hefting the sleeping Melanie in her arms.
I nodded. “Mission accomplished, let’s get the hell out of here.”
Photo Credit: MeetMeByTheLake2Nite
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