Whisper - Chapter 34
Insert standard disclaimer here: The one that reminds everyone that this is a work of fiction. No one is real and any resemblance to someone who is real is purely coincidence, honest. This is also a Fan Fiction set in the Whateley Story Universe. No Canon characters were permanently harmed in the making of this story. I hope. :)
Note: Again, sorry for the extreme delay in this chapter. Work/Life balance is making it hard to string the hours together for the "writing zone". Thanks for my beta readers for their feedback and patience. And last but not least, djkauf for correcting my many mistakes.
** Chapter 34 **
>Unknown molecular compound...neutralized.
That notification is the first thing that I notice as my awareness returns. Of course, I keep my eyes closed. I am not that stupid. I’ve seen plenty of spy movies where the spy pretends to be unconscious and the bad guy monologues all his evil plans. I decide to ignore the fact that most of the time, the bad guy knows that they are awake.
I begin to catalogue everything that I can with my eyes closed. I am in a moving vehicle of some kind and I can feel the seat belt locked over my lap and right shoulder. Safety first. How thoughtful.
Okay, how long was I out for?
Oh, well, that’s not as long as I was expecting. I thought for sure that I was a goner there. So far, no one has realized that I am really awake and I am betting that they are expecting me to be out for longer than 30 seconds. Hopefully, that means that they won’t look too closely at me for at least another few minutes.
I decide to drop into my VR living room, but I switch it out for a command center with multiple big displays against the wall and a cool captain’s chair with buttons in the arm rest. Okay, so maybe it is more of a star ship’s bridge than a command center, but I didn’t want to be that geeky.
Instead of a uniform, I opt for my Selene kick-ass outfit complete with my weapons. I feel a brief flash of revulsion for them when I recall my “fun” VR simulation from last night. I don’t really want to think about those things, but I feel reassured by their virtual presence. The weapons with my costume also help put me in the proper frame of mind. I’m a pirate starship captain. Arrr Matey!
I sit down on my command chair and push a button in the arm rest. It does not matter which button I push, but I just like pushing the button. That activates my radar map thing. I nifty holographic display of my current surroundings rapidly coalesces in the middle of the bridge. It slowly rotates around and I find that I can manipulate it just by thinking about what I want it to do.
That is just so cool! How am I doing that? With that thought, I ‘see’ the many different radio frequencies that are present in the modern world and I ‘see’ the sound waves as they combine, rebound and deflect off of everyone and everything in the van. That effect lasts for just a fraction of a second before my super vision returns to normal and I stop seeing the ‘cause’ of the effect.
I discover that there are four people in the van with me. A male driver and a female passenger are in the front seats while two additional male shaped objects are in the backseat with my body. They have me propped up between them. Josie, the female passenger is still wearing her badge, but I am pretty sure that it is fake.
Hmmm, those ID’s might not be fake. CIA? Holy shit! It’s weird that they don’t have their jobs listed, but maybe the CIA is a bit more secretive than DARPA or the DOD?
Philip is the driver, while John and Doug are the two in the back with me. Oh, Doug is allergic to codeine? I wish I had a few of those to pop down his throat right now. Philip has a cell phone in his pants pocket and all of them have the same radio that I spotted on Josie. Using my passive sensors, I continue to gather and refine the data. The holographic display becomes more and more detailed and I am not happy when I discover that John and Doug have shoulder holsters containing a pistol of some kind. Doug has an additional hold-out weapon strapped to his ankle.
Doug’s ghostly head turns towards Josie. “Hey Michelle, I’m a little nervous about making a snatch from the Air Force. Aren’t we all working on the same team?”
Michelle? I thought that her name was Josie. Oh yeah, fake ID. I focus my attention on her, but I don’t see any additional identification on her. There is a small purse on the floor in front of her. I focus my attention on her purse and discover that she has both a MMID and a CAC-ID card in there. She also has a cell phone, but it is turned off. Damn it.
For some reason, I am unable to read her MMID card. Maybe my standard government ID package didn’t include those. It sure would be nice to know what her powers are, but based on what I saw or thought I saw before she knocked me out; I am going to guess that she can make people see things.
“Don’t over analyze things Laskow. It’s not our job to think and thinking too much can get you shit canned, or worse.” Michelle says. She just used Doug’s last name to reply to his question. More evidence that their CIA IDs are real and Josie’s DOD ID is fake.
“Yeah, yeah, yeah, you’re probably right. How long is the brat supposed to be out for anyway?” Doug asks as he turns his head to look at me.
“The doc said the dose was good for at least six hours for a normal human, but since she has some low level regen power, he mixed in something called MCES-45 to suppress her powers. He expects her to be out for at least four hours.” Michelle says.
“Oh, that’s good. There is nothing worse than trying to deal with a hysterical teenage girl and it is even worse when they have super powers!” Doug says with relief.
“If you’re so worried about an unconscious teenage girl, maybe you should get off your ass and put the cuffs on her?” Michelle says snidely, challenging Doug’s ability to handle me.
Doug laughs. “Ha, ha, very funny. Not! I think that John and I can handle her and if not, then you can just make it look like we are doctors trying to help her, or something.”
Great, they expect me to be out for four hours and more evidence that she can somehow make people see things. I don’t think that her powers are magic based. I am not sure, but I kind of expect that if she was magical, I would have noticed that. She wasn’t able to override my map, so maybe she can only affect the standard senses. Sight for sure and probably hearing. Now that I think about it, touch too, because I never felt the difference when she lured me into the elevator. What about smell? Hard to say. I don’t know if my sense of smell is that keen.
How long has it been since I was knocked out?
Okay, so not that much time. I can’t be that far away from the research lab. I wish that I could see where I was on a map. I activate my C3 thing.
>No Networks in Range
However; I am able to get my current GPS location, speed and direction. Well, at least, I can lay down a breadcrumb trail. That way, I can find my way back if I have too. Now would be the best time to escape, but I don’t see how I can over-power the two dudes back here and get out of a van traveling at 65 MPH. The van begins to slow down. If they stop, maybe I will have a chance to escape.
I wonder if I can use the driver’s own cell phone to call for help. I can read all the numbers and text messages he has sent and received, but I cannot tell it to dial a number. Hmmm, I could really use a cell phone right about now.
Nicholas Reilly felt that the day had been fairly mentally exhausting and the previous day’s adventures were not helping. After a few conference calls with the Secretary of Defense, the President’s National Security Advisor and Mrs. Carson at Whateley, they had Brianna confirmed for a full JROTC scholarship with her classes starting on March 5th. Brianna had a full ride including a special uniform allowance and stipend to help with other school related expenses. He and Jennifer Peters were just finishing up with her daughter’s new identification paperwork.
“Bree! Oh my god!” Jennifer said with alarm as she jumped to her feet and started for the door.
“What happened?” Nicholas asked as he stood, ready for action.
“I don’t know!” Jennifer screamed as she struggled to open the door in her panic stricken state. The door opened and she stepped into the hallway, looking frantically back and forth of any sign of her daughter.
Nicholas followed Jennifer into the hallway. “Which way should we start?”
“I’m not sure...” Jennifer said as she closed her eyes and concentrated. “Umm, maybe back towards the lobby area?”
“Okay, let’s go.” Nicholas took the lead and strode alertly down the short hall that led to the lobby. “What did you feel?” He asked.
“I just felt like she was overcome with intense fear for a second. Not, I saw a spider fear, but more like the fear of a stranger.” Jennifer said as she walked anxiously behind Nicholas.
Nicholas stormed into the lobby area and quickly scanned it, hoping that it was just a false alarm, but feeling deep down that it was worse. Pursing his lips in frustration, he turned to the nervous looking receptionist. “Did you see where Whisper went?”
The receptionist looked over to an empty chair and she appeared startled to not see Whisper sitting there. Nicholas followed her gaze and noticed a magazine lying face down on the chair, as if to save the page. “She was just there, reading that magazine. I never noticed her leaving. Maybe she is in the bathroom?”
“Mrs. Peters, can you check the bathroom? Ma’am, can you call General Evans? If Whisper isn’t in there, we might have a problem.”
The alarm went out and everyone began searching the facility for Whisper. The alert level climbed to emergency levels when they discovered the guards manning the video security system unconscious, the security cameras turned off and the day’s data missing.
With that bit of data, the stress levels rose considerably. Nicholas forced himself to remain calm for Mrs. Peters. She was already worried and pacing nervously back and forth near the chair that her daughter was last spotted sitting in.
With that thought, he decided that he needed to give the President another call. He was really burning up a lot of favors with him, but this situation called for a very high level of involvement. With the proper sized lever, he hoped that they could resolve the latest Whisper emergency without making too much of a mess out of things. With a sigh, he pulled out his phone and entered the President’s personal number.
It rang two times before The President answered it. “Nick, please tell me that the MCO or H1! aren’t attacking Langley.” He said with a note of amusement mixed with serious concern in his voice.
“Sorry, Mr. President, sir. I wish it was that easy.” Nicholas said as a brief smile flashed across his face as he decided how to handle the situation. The President was a very busy man and Nick felt nothing but gratitude that he wasn’t screening his calls now. Everyone in the lobby area suddenly stopped what they were doing and Nick decided that the conference room might be the best place to assemble the troops.
“It appears that someone just ‘borrowed’ Whisper from us.” Nick said, trying to be diplomatic as he walked into the conference room with General Evans and Mrs. Peters close behind.
“Go on, what happened?” The President asked.
Nick looked over at General Evans in case he had any corrections or updates to provide during his briefing. “Sir, at approximately 1523 hours, Mrs. Peters detected via her empathetic powers that her daughter was in distress. A thorough search of the facility failed to turn up Whisper and no one saw her leave. We did discover that the team monitoring the security cameras had been rendered unconscious and all of the day’s security camera footage destroyed. We are attempting to recover the footage, but we are not optimistic about that. The destruction was limited, but it also was very thorough. Whoever did it, knew exactly what they were doing.”
The President sighed. “Nick, you certainly have your hands full there and by the way, your handling of last night’s incident was excellent. Unfortunately, I am currently meeting with the Director of Homeland Security, the Director of the CIA, the Director of the FBI along with the Secretary of Defense, but I think that I can temporarily excuse the VP and the Director of the FBI from that meeting to work with you.”
“Thanks sir, that would be great and sorry.” Nicholas sighed heavily. “I guess that I should have listened to my daughter and taken Whisper directly to Whateley.”
The President chuckled. “Don’t worry Nick. I will make sure that the VP and Fred knows just how serious this is to me.”
After the President hung up his phone, General Evans nodded to Nick and immediately ordered an Air Force Combat Search and Rescue team to stand ready for operations. The team could be in the air and on its way to any location within a 200 mile radius of the base in less than two minutes.
Mrs. Peters looked absolutely distraught as Mrs. Townsend comforted her, but she put on a brave smile for Nick. The fact that so many people were hunting for her daughter had to help. They all anxiously waited for the Vice President’s call. It took him only four minutes to call the main line in the conference room. The tension in the room rose dramatically at the sound of the Vice President’s voice.
<15:43 CIA Headquarters >
Director Falk leaned back in his chair with a satisfied smile on his face. Everything was going according to plan. The extraction team had called in with the mission successful codeword and they were en route to their rendezvous point. He checked his watch. The team should be arriving there any minute now, but it would probably take Dr. Zappata, or Frank as he preferred to be called, an hour or two to get the subject tested and to be sure of the results. He almost hoped that Frank wouldn’t find any cyberpathic powers on the target, but if he didn’t, then this was a lot of risk for nothing. In spite of his bluster, he did feel a small twinge of worry for authorizing a covert operation on a CONUS Military Installation.
But, the country absolutely, positively could not afford to have another Circuit Breaker on the loose. That mutant’s powers had just been too dangerous and no one else seemed to understand the danger like he did. He felt nothing but relief when he heard that the dangerous freak had been killed. The short time that he had to work with her on the Palm AI case had hit every danger button he had. He just knew that she was more dangerous to the country than that Palm AI and was very glad that he had authorized the suicide bomb implantation before she had been taken into custody by ARC.
He was surprised when his lieutenant, Summers, burst into his office, completely unannounced. “Boss, something is going down. The Director just called from the White House and he is asking about our target, by her codename.”
“Hmmm. Maybe DARPA does know how dangerous their little toy can be.” Director Falk leaned back in his chair and steepled his hands as he considered the news. He already knew what to do with the news, but he waited until Summers began to look nervous before he snapped back upright.
“As it stands right now, no one in the Agency can tie our operation back to us, right?” Falk asked.
“So, we could just drop the target, call in an anonymous tip with her location and we would be in the clear?”
“Probably?” Summers asked a bit hesitantly, unsure of where his boss was going with this line of questioning.
“That’s an appealing option, but we still need to know if the target is a danger to National Security. Okay, continue with the operation as planned, but notify me if something changes. I will keep my eyes and ears open too; maybe make a few inquiries.”
<15:51 Somewhere in Norfolk, VA >
We got off the stop-and-go highway 13 minutes ago and have been traveling down side streets. We have been traveling pretty much straight south the entire time and we haven’t made very many turns. We have had a ton of stoplights and stop signs though. As kidnappers go, these guys have not been very talkative and while I know I shouldn’t be, but I am actually starting to feel a little bored.
“Is this it?” Philip asks as the van slows to 15 miles per hour.
“Yep, turn right here.” Michelle says.
We make a slow turn and come to a stop. Philip rolls down his window and nods to someone outside of the van before the van begins to slowly roll forward again. It sounds like we just entered a gravel parking lot. We must be at our destination and this is my chance to escape.
>Initiating Combat Stimulant...
>Combat Stimulant Production Canceled...
I do not want that. Not after what happened last time and the way I freaked out my mom while using that stuff. I will just have to do this on my own and without any medically induced no-fear serum thing. I can do this. I think.
Doug is on my left, against the window, while John is on my right, blocking my access to the side sliding door. The world goes into full color mode as I open my eyes. Since I am only switching from passive to an active mode, I know exactly where to target my first strike. I catch Doug completely by surprise as my left elbow slams into the side of his head.
I don’t use all my strength. I don’t want to kill the dude, just slow him down for the few seconds I will need to make it out the side door. John begins to reflexively react to my motion by trying to grab me. I don’t give him time to try and block me as I reverse direction by rolling back to the right and slam my right elbow into the side of John’s head. My plan is to use my momentum to rotate around him and open the door while they are both a little stunned from my shock and awe campaign, but I forget one tiny little detail.
I forget to unbuckle my seat beat. I am jerked to a halt and that forces me to scramble to release myself. Doug and John are troopers. Gotta hand it to them because they still try to grab me even while they struggle to regain their senses. I did rattle their cages pretty good.
I get the belt unbuckled just in time for Philip to try and help his buddies by slamming on the brakes. That tosses me forward and into the center console, between the two front seats. Fortunately, we were only going 10 to 15 miles per hour, so I didn’t get thrown into the front windshield.
Philip has his pistol out now and he tries to bring it to bear on me. He is right handed and I am on his right, so he is operating under a bit of a handicap. Also, I am not sure what he plans on doing with it inside the van, but he does try. Instead of letting him try to foolishly get a shot off, I grab his hand and twist. I hear and feel his wrist crack as I lean toward him and take his weapon as it falls from his broken hand.
>Searching IFSFCS Weapons DB for match...
>Caliber: .40 S&W
>Fire Modes: Semi-automatic
>Maximum Effective Range: 50m
>Weapon 1 Searching for IFSFCS Smart Link...
>Weapon 1 IFSFCS Smart Link Not Found
>Weapon 1 Warning...Weapon 1 not zeroed.
Beyond a startled gasp, Michelle has yet to react, but Doug and John manage to bump into each other as they both try to reach forward to restrain me. I abandon my open-the-side-door plan and follow the path of least resistance with a forward dive past Philip and out the driver’s side window.
I seem to have all the time in the world to try and figure out how I am going to land this dive of mine. My system even helps by plotting me a cool trajectory overlay that shows me exactly where, unless I do something about it, I am going to land face first in the dirt. My right hand is holding Philip’s pistol, so I decide to try a gymnastics inspired tuck and roll by using my left hand to sort of guide my fall as I tuck my right shoulder.
It works, but only because of my speeded up reactions and extra strength. I am pretty sure that I would have broken my wrist if I had tried this little stunt prior to my change. I barely slow down as I smoothly roll onto my feet and discover that I am heading right for a cliff.
I hit the brakes and windmill my arms to try and keep myself from falling. I teeter over the edge for a second before I recover and take a step back. I have a pretty good look of the rocky surf 100 plus feet below me. Why in the heck were they driving so close to the edge of a cliff and when did we go up high enough to find a cliff? I turn around and Philip is cradling his hand as he steps out of the Van, while John and Doug are scrambling out of the opposite side door. I don’t see Michelle anywhere.
I need to move. I am not sure which way to go, but I guess that I should run out the gate that we just rolled through. I look to my right and all I see is a long dirt road that leads to nowhere. I look to my left and in the van’s direction of travel and all I see is a small guard rail that might stop a car from rolling off the cliff.
Where in the heck did the gate go?
I guess that I will just have to take out Philip and go from there, but when I look back to Philip; he’s not there anymore and there is only the van standing there. I don’t have anyone to aim my gun at and I only raise it halfway into a firing position before I stop.
Shit! It’s Michelle. I should have know, she is making me see things again.
I switch back to my passive sensors and pay attention to what my HUD is telling me. There he is! His cell phone and the radio in his ear give him away. I can’t see him with my eyes, but the combination of the ghostly passive vision plus my HUD gives me an almost as good as seeing it version of what is really happening.
Philip is two meters away from me and slightly off to my left side. He is watching where I currently have his old gun pointing and trying to stay out of its line of fire. Doug is calmly walking around the front of the van while John is coming around the back of the van to cut me off. Michelle is still sitting in the front passenger seat and concentrating her attention on me. I can see their mouths moving and sound waves coming out, but I can’t hear them.
She must be doing something to change how my conscious mind is interpreting my five senses, but my systems bypass that and read the data on their own. I can’t waste my time trying to bypass the sound thing to hear what they are saying. It probably wouldn’t matter.
Philip takes a step closer to me. I don’t want to kill him, but I do need to change his mind. Unlike my simulation, I can’t tell exactly where my gun aimed at. Instead of a precise targeting point, I have a targeting circle that is about six inches in diameter. I quickly line up the circle the center of his upper thigh and squeeze the trigger.
I hit his thigh, far to the outside and mostly just a nick, but it is enough to cause him to stumble. On the plus side, my targeting circle is cut in half and it appears that my aim is getting better. He lurches forward to try and grab me. I side-step away from his awkward grab and push him off to the left. John jumps backwards to gain some cover behind the rear of the van while Doug ducks down in front of the van.
Based on their reactions, I think that they now know that I am able to see them. Well, either that or they just react to the shot being fired by me. Unlike the H1! dudes, these guys probably know what they are doing and unless I do something, they will work together to take me down pretty fast.
I decide that two can play at the illusion game. I cast my mirror image spell and I split myself into three separate images giving them four of me to shoot. I need to kill Michelle, but these are supposed to be the good guys. Maybe if I fire a shot in her direction, not to hit or kill her, but to hopefully distract her. Philip helpfully left the driver’s side door open and that gives me a direct line on Michelle. I place my targeting circle a few inches to the side of her head. I want to hit the window instead of her because I do not want to blow anyone's brains out ever again. The passenger side window shatters from the impact of my bullet and the targeting circle becomes a targeting point.
>Weapon 1 zeroed!
My mirror images duplicate my shot, but they each do it slightly differently. Mirror Image One jumps backwards and fires. Mirror Image Two jumps forward and fires. Mirror Image Three jumps to the left and fires. Sadly, that puts Mirror Image Three directly in the line of fire for Doug and he shoots it, causing it to fade away. On the plus side, reality snaps back into existence as Michelle screams and jumps out of her door.
Time to run!
With reality restored, I easily spot the gate to my right, north of my current location. I turn and run for the open gate. Mirror Image Two duplicates my action, but since Image Two was closer to the van, it hugs the side of the van. Image One somehow decides to run the opposite direction and completely away from the van. That exposes Image One to both Doug and John’s line of fire, but John is a bit distracted by me and Image Two running toward him with our guns aimed right at him. He has his gun raised to fire, but he can’t tell which one to fire at. Me or Image Two and that hesitation gives me the time I need to fire at him. I pray that the ‘Weapon 1 zeroed’ notification, plus the fact that my targeting circle is now a pin point will allow me to hit exactly what I am aiming at.
Boo Ra! I hit John’s shoulder, exactly where I was aiming and that causes him to drop his gun, clutch his shoulder and fall backwards. He also yells a few bad words, but I won’t repeat them.
I hear Doug’s gun fire, but I don’t have the time to see what he might be aiming at. He doesn’t hit me and that is what is important. Me and Image Two run as fast as possible in the direction of the open gate. There is a uniformed security guard crouched down next to a small shack with his gun drawn and pointed safely into the air. He does not look happy and the sight of me and my image running in his direction makes him less happy.
He aims his weapon at me and I direct Image Two to cross my path. We run into each other, merge and I change my direction of travel slightly away from unhappy security guard while my image runs directly at the unhappy security guard. That makes him even less happy.
“Halt or I’ll shoot!” He screams, aiming his gun at Image Two.
While I keep running, Image Two skids to a halt and throws its hands up in surrender.
Good job Image Two!
The security guards gaze flickers in my direction, but he stays on Image Two. I guess that he is happy that he stopped one of my twin Images and doesn’t want to risk it. The old, “a bird in the hand is worth two in the bush” thing.
“Drop it!” The security guard yells.
Image Two fades away as Doug shoots at it and Security Guard dude crumples to the ground as one of Doug’s shots hits him dead in the chest.
I feel something punch me in my back followed by a burning, cramping sensation in my side.
>Enemy hit detected!
>Right Latissimus dorsi 7% damaged...
>Right Kidney 70% damaged...
>Small Intestine 15% damaged...
>Combat effectiveness reduced to 91%.
>Estimated time to full combat effectiveness: 4.31 minutes
Getting shot doesn’t hurt as much as I expect it to hurt. I didn’t feel a thing the last time I got shot, but I was also using the Combat Stims.
I look back and see Michelle with a gun in her hand, crouched down and in a shooting stance. Crap, I forgot about her and I think that I should have activated my blur spell too. I could shoot back at her, but I do not want to get into a shootout with these guys. I need to get away from them. I cast another Mirror Image spell and wish that it was night outside so that I could try hiding in shadows or something.
Doug fires at one of my mirror images, but misses it. There is a single story white building across the street that if I could reach it, I could use it to block their line of sight on me. I decide to run northeast and to the far right corner of the building, while my other three images split up and head in completely different directions. Image One runs due north, towards the left side of the building. Image Two follows the street and runs west, while Image Three does the opposite and runs east on the street.
I make it to the corner of the building without getting shot again and now I discover another problem. People and lots of them are exiting the building and heading for their cars. I am surprised that they all look so casual. Didn’t they hear the gunfire from across the street? A few of the guys look at me curiously, but without alarm. I risk a glance behind me and I see Doug running back to the van screaming something. I can’t make it out what he is yelling, but he looks pissed.
With all these people here, I decide that now is a good time to try and go invisible. It’s only 1603 hours and while the sun is starting to go down, it is still very bright outside. Much too bright for sneaking and all it would take is for the CIA dudes to flash a badge and ask one of these folks which I went and they would be right after me. I am a little concerned though. I have never cast that spell before and it is a few levels above Whisper’s level, I mean my level, but I need it now. I concentrate on the invisible spell’s icon and the pattern it makes. I feel the magic inside of me and in the air around me as I reach for the magic and try to pull it in. The spell takes a lot more power than I expect.
“Hey, young lady. Are you okay?” A concerned looking older woman asks as she diverts her path to head in my direction.
I almost lose control, but I manage to pull it off. Well, I think I do because I feel the magic activate and the woman stops with a confused expression as she looks around like she lost something. Yeah, me. She lost me.
“Hey, John, did you see a girl over there?” She yells to a man not far from her.
“I dunno Mary. I thought I heard some shooting, but hard to tell from inside.” He says with a quick glance in my direction.
He’s looking right through me. Sweet! This invisibility spell rocks! I quickly walk my way through the small parking lot and hit the street that runs mostly north towards a bigger street.
I see the van turn onto the same street and slowly make its way past me. Doug is at the wheel with Michelle once again in the passenger seat. They are both looking every which way in an effort to spot me, but Michelle has Phil’s phone and is talking into it.
“Yes, Control. We are in pursuit now.”
Michelle pauses for a second and I wonder if the van will roll out of my range before I hear her reply.
That is totally not what I want to hear right now. “Abort mission”, “Return to base” or something else would be real nice right about now because then I could just run back and ask the nice lady for some help.
I don’t see John, but I do detect his CAC ID card. I guess that he is in the back seat. His shoulder has got to be killing him. I know that they are trying to kill me now, but I hope they take him to a hospital soon. Phil is also in there, but all I see is the back of his head. He is looking out the opposite side window for me.
Have I mentioned how cool this invisibility spell is?
Director Falk felt happy, mostly. As he expected, the Director’s inquiries within the Agency about Whisper were returning zero results. His department’s internal security procedures were rock solid. Sometimes the paranoia and compartmentalization culture of the CIA worked in your favor. He felt a minor bit of guilt for deceiving his boss, but better safe than sorry. National Security and the safety of his agents were more important than one young teenage girl.
“Sir, we have a problem.” Summers said as he once again, barged into his office unannounced. He had his hands free headset on his head and he looked a bit stressed.
“What?” Director Falk calmly said.
“The target escaped. Plus, we have two wounded. Whyte and Hoffman. Whyte took a round in his shoulder while Hoffman has a broken wrist and a minor leg wound. We also have some collateral damage with a private security guard taking a hit. Looks critical, but Michelle thinks she got a solid hit on the target just before they lost sight of her.” Summers said.
“Hmmm, can they pursue?” Director Falk asked after a moment of deliberation. He wanted to swear, but losing his cool in front of Summers would not be setting the right example.
“They might be able to, but Whyte definitely needs some medical attention. Should we scrub the op?” Summers asked.
Director Falk’s eyes narrowed with irritation.
“I mean, The Director is sniffing around. We could walk away from this and no one would know.” Summers hastily explained.
“No. Tell them to find her and terminate her. My sources tell me that the President is involved in this and we can’t risk the exposure. Both of our careers would be dead, maybe literally, if this op gets traced back to us.” Director Falk said.
I watch as the Doug makes a left turn onto Brambleton Ave. That tells me that I need to go in the opposite direction and head east; right over a short bridge. I guess that the bridge is why Doug turned left instead of right. If I wasn’t invisible, I would have been super easy to spot. I just begin to cross the bridge when I feel the spell beginning to fray. If this was GEO, my spell icon would be blinking red right now.
Oh crap! That is all I need. I’ve only had the spell running for 4 minutes. It should last longer. I risk a glance behind me and the van is still in range of me. They are driving very slowly as they try to spot me in the small park on the north side of the road. If my spell fades right now I will be totally exposed.
I still have Philip’s weapon in my hand and I am pretty sure that since I lack a place to hide it on me; I will stick out like a sore thumb. Nothing like seeing someone with a bloody shirt running around with a gun in their hand to draw attention to yourself and there is no way that am willing to even try sticking it down my pants like the idiots on TV do. I’m not an expert or anything, but there is nothing dumber than trying to look all gangster with a loaded gun stuck in your pants. Fortunately, there is a handy bit of water right below me. I lean over the side and casually drop the gun into the water below. I hear a nice little splash when it hits the water and sinks out of view. The water looks pretty deep here, so I doubt anyone will find it soon.
I look around to see if anyone noticed the gun appearing from nowhere and landing in the water. It doesn’t appear like anyone noticed, but I do spot a guy out for a jog and that gives me an idea for a disguise. As my invisibility spell begins to totally unravel, I try to call up my self illusion spell icon but that makes me lose control of the invisibility spell even faster. The spell drops and now I am totally exposed. My side still hurts from the wound and my shirt feels sticky, but I ignore the pain. It should be healed by now. What is my status?
>Right Latissimus dorsi 1% damaged...
>Right Kidney 20% damaged...
>Small Intestine 4% damaged...
>Entry Site Trauma...Repaired.
>Combat effectiveness 98%.
>Repairs in progress...
>Estimated time to full combat effectiveness: 1.15 minutes
The van’s tires squeal as the brakes lock up. Either they just tried to not hit a squirrel or they spotted me. I’m going to go with the former. I run and by run, I mean run. Really, really fast. Way faster than I ever managed to run in school. I hit the end of the bridge as the van completes a noisy and highly illegal U-turn. More than a few other drivers honk their horns in anger.
My side really starts to hurt too. I could really use that STIM thing right about now, but I refuse to be a wuss about it. Besides, I’m almost 100% healed. I distract myself from the pain by worrying more about how to dodge my CIA friends and escape. There is a NOAA building and a four story brick apartment building. I debate running into the NOAA building. They work for the government, maybe they will have a network connection or even easier, a phone I can use to call Mr. Reilly.
No, I don’t want to be trapped inside the building and now that they want to kill me, that is all I need. I need to keep running, but not where the van can follow. I spot a narrow pedestrian alley blocked by a black iron gate with a keypad lock. I reach the gate and burn myself when I attempt to rattle it to see if it is locked.
Crap! It’s a wrought iron fence.
The keypad is all shiny and not iron. I touch it and its simple electronic heart opens itself for me. The lock clicks open and I use my foot to pull open the gate. I expect to hear the van’s tires squeal as they brake to a stop, but instead, the van accelerates and heads right for me. Are they trying to ram me or something?
I slip through and pull the gate shut, burn my hand some more on the iron and run. I make it five meters down the alley when the van slams into the gate behind me. Yep, they are definitely trying to kill me now, but if I can slip them now they won’t have a way to follow me. Their van probably isn’t going to be going anywhere now.
The end of the alley is coming up. It looks like it opens into a pool area for the apartments. I look over my shoulder and the van hasn’t stopped. The front grill and window are completely shattered, but Doug is keeping the accelerator pinned as the van scraps itself on the side of the building. Michelle looks totally petrified and is screaming at Doug. I want to watch. It’s not every day that you get to watch something that could be a scene in an action movie. It would be great, if I wasn’t the person they were trying to run over.
I run past a swimming pool and jump over a six foot privacy fence. The van is gaining on me, but my jump allows me to clear the side and I am delighted by the sight of a pair of steel vehicle stopping posts blocking the gate from the street. The van crashes through the gate and comes to an abrupt and noisy halt when it hits the posts. I don’t think Phil and John in the back are going to be doing so well, but Doug and Michelle are not too happy either. Doug ends up getting partially thrown out of the front of the van. Michelle does better. She has her seatbelt on. No airbags to help either of them. They were probably the only thing that saved Doug when he rammed into the fence.
I feel the urge to stay and help them, but that urge disappears when I spot Phil attempting to aim a gun at me from the back seat. His aim is all over the place, but I decide to not take any chances. There are also curious residents attempting to find out what just happened to their building.
“Oh my god! Someone! Call the police!” I yell to distract everyone from me.
>Law Enforcement vehicle detected...
>ETA 45 seconds.
Yep, it is definitely time to run, but someone running away from the scene of an accident draws attention. I do not want to do that, but I also want to get out of the area as fast as possible. I could try my invisibility spell again, but that didn’t last long enough. I need a disguise.
As I jog away from the crash, I concentrate on a self-illusion. I need to look like someone who should be running versus a wanted criminal. Instead of a girl with a bloodstained shirt and jeans, I imagine myself as a 20 something woman, maybe 5’ 11” with blond hair and a ponytail who is wearing a stylish sports bra top thing with the mandatory black skin tight running suit with white and pink sneakers. With that image firmly in place, I call up my spell and pour my magic into the icon. I feel the magical pressure ripple across my body and it only takes a quick glance down to confirm that I now look exactly how I imagined myself looking. I look hot and initially, that sight pleases me, but why didn’t I try to look like a dude? Oh well, I just hope that everyone is too distracted by the accident to notice my appearance change.
I make it two blocks away without anyone yelling at me and I don’t catch anyone looking at me funny. With my leisurely jogging pace, I make it halfway down the next block before the first police car comes into view. I do notice a few second and third glances by the guys, but no one is pointing at me and screaming, “There she goes!”, so I think that I am okay. As an added bonus, my side doesn’t hurt anymore and I am at 100% combat effectiveness.
While I am jogging in place at the corner, two ambulances, three fire trucks and five squad cars scream past me with sirens and lights blazing. I need to get off this street. I head south for one block then east again and half a mile later, I find a mall. Now, there would be a perfect place to find a phone and call Mr. Reilly to have him come pick me up.
I know that my last trip to the mall didn’t end so well, but what could go wrong? Okay, okay, dumb question, I know. I only have the CIA trying to kill me and now, I might have the cops after me too, but I’m sure that Mr. Reilly can clear this up pretty fast. I just need to keep my head down and not attract attention. Easy, right?
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