Saturday, January 24, 2015

1 : 29 : Study session?

“Easy cub.” Phoenix said as he lifted up the trapdoor.

The room was dark, a lit by the clash of gunfire on Smith’s hardlight shield. Dozens of armed gun men shot into the darkened hall completely unaware of its inhabitants. Six teenage demigods stood in the midst of the chaos.

“Is that…” Alfred said, gun still pointed as Phoenix came down.

“Special Agent Phoenix. Extraction team.” Phoenix said. He stood there, red glasses over his eyes hiding his emotions which were of joy at seeing one of his favorite agents.

“Of course.” Alfred said as he lowered his weapon. Still unsure. He was expecting Fire, a much older man. The man who trained him. Instead he got a young lad in a leather outfit.

“You are a special agent?” Basil asked. Gun still pointed at Phoenix.

“That won’t hurt me, I assure you.” Phoenix responded.

“Really?” Basil asked and raised the nozzle of the gun. “What if I aim for your face?”

“I am part of the Angels.” Phoenix said. He lit up his hands, bathing them in golden ember.

“Woah.” Everyone said.

“We are your extraction team.” Phoenix responded.

“I heard about you guys, saving the world and stuff.” Solomon said with a hint of wonder.

“We need to move.” Phoenix said. “Where’s the rest of your team?”

“Safe zones. I can show you the way.” Alfred said.

“We are just gonna leave?” Solomon asked in distraught.

“This is a rescue.” Phoenix responded.

“There are people out there in danger because of me. Please help them. You have super powers, use them.” Solomon begged.

Neutralize the gunmen.” Phoenix said mentally.

Already done chief.” Erik responded mentally. He and smith were hovering over a battlefield. Civilians laid on their bellies and hands on their heads whilst the bad guys were out cold.

“It is safe now everyone.” Erik said aloud. Slowly, faces stirred upwards. The boys rose slowly, amazed at the happenings that had just occurred. To be saved by such powerful beings from near death.

“Is anyone hurt?” Smith asked. Everyone was too stunned to respond.

“Head back to your beds.” Erik said. Everyone obeyed and went back inside.

Back at the bunker.

“Let’s head out.” Phoenix said. He ascended up the ladder and through the trapdoor. He was followed by Alfred, Solomon and Basil.

“My team.” Phoenix said. Three figures stood a bit back from the trapdoor, joined quickly by Erik and Smith.

“I am Special Agent Quake.” Erik said. They were given new code names to reveal to the public.

“Special Agent Spectrum.” Smith said.

“Special Agent Aviator.” Shawn said.

“Special Agent Shade.” Kaori said.

“Special Agent Wave.” Chloe said.

“Wow.” Solomon said.

“Are you here under orders from the US government?” Basil asked.

“Not really.” Quake responded with a smile.

“Oh…” Basil said.

“All will be explained in due time. We need a place to strategize.” Phoenix said.

“Got it. There’s a building in front of the entrance to this school. Ben is there, second floor.” Alfred said.

“I have a location.” Quake said. “Sending it to Kaori.

“Got it.” Shade said.

“We’d better leave, we are gathering a crowd.” Aviator said.

“Then we should go as well.” Basil said.

“The boy comes with us.” Phoenix said.

“Then I will come as well. Where he goes, I go.” Basil said.

“Shade.” Phoenix said. The entire group was shrouded in darkness and vanished in an instant. Poof. Astounding the entire room of young onlookers.

“Woah.” Ben said. Suddenly, the shadows had taken solid shape and formed nine figures.

“What just happened?” Solomon asked.

“Teleportation.” Shade responded.

“Neat trick.” Ben said.



Meanwhile, across the school in the classroom area.

“Sir. We lost contact with our team in the Senior boys’ dormitory.” A man said. His face was hooded but his accent was thick of the local region.

“How long ago?” The Specialist asked.

“Ten minutes.”

The Specialist went to the window, pulled out his binoculars and pointed in the direction of the Senior boys dorm. Sure enough, the men were down.

“Peculiar.” The Specialist said. “I want the other teams to hurry up. We are compromised.”

“What should we do?”

“Search for the target. I want what’s on his neck.”



Back to the team.

“So they’ve got teams in the girls’ dorm, junior boys’ dorm and teachers’ compound. There are some others scattered about but they are in pairs and on patrol.” Ben said. He was showing the camera feeds he had planted around the school.

“Any casualties?” Alfred asked.

“I don’t have total coverage over the school. However, the guard station was shot to shreds. There are some wounded in other parts of the school as well.” Ben responded.

“How many assailants?” Phoenix asked.

“Numbering about fifty, plus the men you guys took down. Which was sweet FYI.” Ben said.

“All this because of me.” Solomon said.

“It isn’t your fault Solomon.” Basil said.

“Yes it is. These people wanted me and they killed others to get to me. And I don’t know why they even want me.” Solomon said. His posture was that of defeat and shame.

“Listen.” Wave said. She placed her hand on Solomon’s shoulder. “Sometimes bad things happen. If you have enemies for being who you are, that is fine. Don’t hate yourself.”

“Have you contacted local authorities?” Basil asked.

“They will be awhile…” Ben said.

“Here’s the plan. Spectrum and I will take the teachers’ compound. Shade and Wave will take girls’ dorms. Quake and Aviator will handle junior boy’s dorm. Take out any combatants on your way to your zone.” Phoenix said.

“What about us?” Alfred asked.

“You and Ben watch out for Basil and Solomon. We will retrieve Charlotte as well.” Phoenix said. Alfred was perplexed. Could this really be Fire?

“Move out.” Phoenix said. The team parted ways to their various destinations.

Wave and Shade were sprinting down a pathway towards the girls’ dormitory.

“Boarding school, all of them look the same.” Wave said as she dashed down the pathway. Bullets erupted around the pair but they surged ahead, taking out the opponents without worry.

“It’s a full moon, pretty.” Wave said.

Shade was silent as always. Her movements blended perfectly in the night. Shadows casted by the rays of the full moon aided her ever deadly movements.

In no time, the ladies reached their mark and began their calculated deadly assault.

The girls’ dormitory was a four floored building, the tallest in the school. There was an empty space in the center of it all. There, all the girls and their matron were gathered. They were surrounded by nearly two dozen men at all floors, with their guns pointing downwards.

“You will all fetch handsomely in the Black market.” One man shouted. A veil shrouded his face. He held an AK-47 over his head. He stood at the center of crying girls.

“Your fathers will have to buy you all back.” He shouted. “If you resist, I will let men do what they really want and you really fear. No more purity.”

On the roof of the building, the pair of ladies watched anxiously.

“I hate guys like him.” Wave said. “He needs a castration.”

“I will take the guys on the other floors. You take care of the ones down.” Shade said. She pulled out her blade.

Shade was off, disappearing into the dark of night. She left Wave on top of the roof. Wave rose slowly, her blonde hair reflecting the moonlight.

Feel the moon.” A voice said within Wave.

Who’s there?” Wave said.

Feel the moon.” The voice responded. Wave closed her eyes. She felt the surrounding bodies of water all round her. She felt the moon’s gravity pushing and pulling the water. She tapped into the moon’s current, as she did so her eyes glowed blue for a moment and stopped but she was unaware. Using the moon’s current, she willed the water to gather above the hostages. Eyes opened, she smiled and jumped into the center of the building, then let the water fall down. She quickly altered the state of the water to that of jelly.

Wave landed on soft jelly. The jelly had enshrouded everyone, both hostages and their captors.

“Hello Loves. I am Special Agent Wave.” Wave said. “I am one of the Angels.”

The faces of the captors showed immediate dread in contrast to the kneeling women who were filled with smiles.

Wave melted the jelly surrounding the hostages whilst she turned the jelly surrounding the assailants to ice.

“You’ll be alright you lot. Head back to your rooms, we are still securing the school.” Wave said. The crowd dispersed.

“As for you lot. Not your lucky day. Ever seen a pretty girl mad?” Wave asked her prisoners.

“What do you want you white bitch!” A man shouted.

“Language please. I am a lady you brute.” Wave said. Shade manifested by her side.

“Done.” Shade said.

“One last thing.” Wave said. All at once, the prisoners cried out in pain.

“Can’t rape if you willy isn’t functional.” Wave said with a smile.



Meanwhile, back in the classroom area.

“Our other teams are all down sir. Most of my men are either dead or captured.” A man said.

“And my target isn’t with me. Why is that?” The Specialist asked.

Just then, a man rushed into the classroom. He was out of breath and sweating seriously. He started speaking in a rushed local dialect.

“It is very bed.” The other man said to the Specialist.

“What happened?” The Specialist asked.

“The Angels are here.” The other man responded.

The Specialist had not anticipated this. This was not supposed to happen.

“Get my weapon.” The Specialist said.



Back to the others.

The other teams had accomplished their missions as well. Phoenix and Spectrum had taken down nearly two dozen men in the teachers’ dorm. Quake and Aviator had saved the junior boys from their captors. All was progressing as well.

“Ben. What’s going on?” Charlotte asked into her smartwatch. She was in her hideout, safe and sound. She had heard celebrations occurring, which confused her.

“The Angels are here and they are kicking butt.” Ben said. He activated the hologram, showing Charlotte inside a bunker.

“Good. How did that happen?” Charlotte asked.

“Not a clue. They were supposed to retrieve you.” Ben said.

“I will come out of hiding then.” Charlotte said.

“See you soon.” Ben said and ended the call.

“So, is it over?” Solomon asked.

“From what I am seeing, yes.” Ben responded.

“But?” Alfred asked.

“Cell phone signals are still not back up. These guys have a hub somewhere. I am running a trace to determine where the cell phone blocker is located.” Ben said. “Got it, it’s over at the Classrooms block.”

“What?” Alfred asked.

“Whatever is blocking the cell phone signal, it’s at the classroom area.” Ben said.

“Tell the Angels. I will go across the hall and check out the place with my binoculars.” Alfred said.

“Aight.” Ben said.

“Finally. This can all be over and you will be with your father, safe and sound.” Basil said to Solomon.

“I just want to go home.” Solomon said.

Just then, Alfred ran back into the room. “Two men are heading our way. They look pissed.” He said.

“I will tell the Angels.” Ben said.

“Basil, stay with the boy. I will head the insurgents off down stairs.” Alfred said. He cocked his gun and left the room.



Meanwhile, in the classroom.

“The Angels are here and I am unprepared.” The Specialist said into his headset. A little chatter. “Understood.” The Specialist responded.

He aimed his rifle at the building across. It was where Solomon was hiding.

“My mission is terminated, and so are you.” The Specialist said.

Through his scope, he saw a unique heat signature. The unique heat signature was the necklace hung around Solomon’s necklace. The target was behind three walls. Not a problem.

The Specialist took aim, and fired his laser cannon four times in rapid succession. He touched his ear and said “Go for evac.” He was swiftly teleported at supersonic speeds to a waiting craft.



“NO!” Basil shouted. He dropped his gun and ran to Solomon. Solomon was bleeding out through the hole at the center of his chest. Blood gushed like a fountain out of the place where his necklace hung. The necklace had stopped the blast from passing all the way through his body.

“What bloody happened?” Ben said.

“Get help.” Basil said as he cuddled the body of Solomon.

“It hurts so much.” Solomon said in a whisper.

“Don’t die. You can still be saved. Just hang on.” Basil said.

“To all channels. We have a situation. Solomon is down. Solomon is down.” Ben said into his smartwatch.



Listen to hope-


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Wednesday, January 14, 2015

1 : 28 : Class clash?

24 hours earlier…



“We have a lead.” The underling said. She was another nameless worker drone under the direct employ of Shadow, weapon master of Skull Reich. The crew of SR-MC Colossus,

“Show me.” Shadow responded. He sat on a technological throne, in the midst of hundreds of hovering holograms. The largest one took up space right in front of Shadow. It was a map with very specific co-ordinates marked as a red “X”.

“Intelligence Officer confirms with a 95% confidence.” Andrew, the first mate said.

“I want a 100%.” Shadow said. He stared at the map in glee. “What’s in that area?”

“A boarding school for the country’s rich Sir.”

“The Obsidian crystal is under that school?”

“No. The key is on a target.”

“It will be a matter of getting the key and back-tracing the signal…” Shadow said. He placed his hand on his freshly shaven chin. “What are our local assets?”

“Major Henry Edgar and his forces. They could tunnel in and grab the target.”

“Who's the target?”

“A young boy by the name of Solomon Godwin. He wears the key around his neck.”

“Intriguing. We can’t risk this being tracked to us. The Angels have been disrupting our operations worldwide, can’t have them on our trail on this particular matter. What are our other options?”

“Well Sir, there is a local terrorist group we have been funding. Perhaps…”

“I see. Give them a call. Tell them I want the boy and in return, they will get new toys.”

“At once Sir.”

“Send the Specialist to them.”

“Yes Sir.”

Shadow cozied into his throne. After lavishing at the West African coast for the better part of four months, his plans were falling into place at long last. Soon, the Obsidian Crystal will be in his hands and the end game of Skull Reich will be insured. And his own plans as well…



***



18 hours earlier…



“Solomon Eziwa Godwin, behave yourself.” Chinoso Godwin said to his son. The pair were seated in a large hall with dozens of other parents and their own children. It was the first Sunday of December, visitation day for the families. Parents brought yummy home cooked meals to their waiting children. They would go on to discuss the affairs of classes and home life.

Chinoso Godwin was a wealthy man by inheritance. He inherited an oil field from his father. He studied abroad, graduated top of his class and went into the family business. He was a humble business man with a surprising sense of discipline. Discipline which he tried to instil in his only son after losing his wife to cancer.

“I am 16 years old Daddy. I can handle myself.” Solomon Godwin responded.

“Mr. Basil’s services are temporary, you know that.”

“I don’t need a babysitter.”

“He is your guardian.”

“He keeps checking on all my friends. He is always close-by.”

“He is doing his job. I won’t continue this conversation anymore.”

“Hey Solomon!” Charlotte said as she hugged Solomon from the back.

“Oh. Who’s your friend?” Chinoso asked, with a curious smile on his face.

“So sorry. My name is Charlotte. I am new to the school. Solomon has been a really good friend.” Charlotte said, letting go of Solomon and extending her hand to Chinoso for a handshake.

“That’s quite alright. I am Mr. Godwin, Solomon’s father.” Chinoso said, accepting the handshake. “Won’t you have a seat?”

“I would love to but my brothers… here they come.” Charlotte said.

“Hey sis, way to leave us hanging.” Alfred said as he approached the table.

“Yeah sis.” Ben said, walking alongside Alfred.

“Sorry. I was saying hello to Solomon and Solomon’s father, Mr. Godwin.” Charlotte said, gesturing to Chinoso.

“Hello Sir. Your son is simply excellent.” Ben said.

“That’s quite alright. Solomon, I must go, business calls. I will see you home in two weeks. Study hard.” Chinoso said.

“Yes Daddy.” Solomon said.

“And good bye to you three. Thank you for watching over my son.” Chinoso said.

“He is fun to hang with.” Alfred said.

Chinoso left.

“He is a nice guy.” Charlotte said.

“Sometimes.” Solomon said.

“Look at all this food, let’s sneak it in.” Ben said.



***



Ten minutes earlier…



“Hang tight.” Phoenix said. An emergency message had been sent from TSC squad-ABC and that was his response.

“Tanai, tell the team to prepare to mobilize. Make General Beggingson aware of the situation.” Phoenix said.

“Already done.” Tanai said. She was a floating hologram.

Two minutes later.

Chief. We are ready.” Erik said mentally.

Lock onto the alien necklace and give the coordinates to Kaori. I’m on my way.” Phoenix responded mentally.

Five minutes later.

Portal activated.” Kaori said.

Remember, this is a rescue mission.” Phoenix said as the team stepped into the void.



A voice breaks the silence-


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Sunday, January 4, 2015

1 : 27 : School is in?

“Governor Sara Pauline, thank you for spending time with us tonight at Fox news. One last question, there have been rumors that you are planning to run for President. Care to comment?” The female reporter asked.
The weather was quite chilly and it had nothing to do with it being December, it was always cold in Juneau, the capital of Alaska. The room was warm, heated by a majestic fireplace with stockings hung on it. Christmas decorations were placed all around the room. A huge tree took up room in a corner. The house smelt of hot chocolate and freshly baked cookies. The room was occupied by a film crew whose attention was on solely on a woman in the spotlight. Governor Sara Pauline, late 40s and married with 5 kids. She had the remarkable ability of managing family life with a fast track career in politics. Brunette with a frameless pair of glasses donned her face, her body was wrapped in a red expensive dining dress.
“That question will be answered at tonight’s rally.” Sara Pauline responded.
“So yes…” The reporter asked.
Sara Pauline smiled then rose up and walked to the balcony, astounding the room.
“Follow me.” She said as she pushed open the doors.
Outside was chilly indeed. Fresh snow had fallen but yet there was a crowd standing in the garden of Alaska Governor’s Mansion. Hundreds of people had shown up for a rally of which there were unsure the end result. Several reporters lined up on the frosted grass with their cameras focused on the balcony in waiting.
A loud eruption of cheers burst from the crowd. Our pouring euphoric joy seemed to fill the area with the presence of Governor Sara Pauline.
“The answer is yes.” Sara Pauline said to the reporter waiting behind her before facing the
crowd.
“You heard it on Fox News first folks, Governor Sara Pauline is running for president! This is Jenny Lee from behind the scenes here at the Alaska Governor’s Mansion. We go over to our main corresponder, Bill Foster, who is on the lawn of the mansion. Over to you Bill…” The reporter said.
Sara Pauline had her arms out stretched. She waved at the crowd in triumphant joy. She stepped onto the podium.
“Thank you all for coming. Your support warms me up. Now folks, I am here to announce my Presidential Candidacy.” Sara Pauline said to the crowd who roared even more defiantly.
“So much tragedy has befallen our great nation in such a short time, it is time for new hands to take the reins and steer our beloved country through the chaos of change. Thank you America”


***


“Did you read? Sara Pauline is running for President.” Charlotte said. A white, ginger teen from France.
It was nightfall in Trinity International School (TIS), the boarding school for children of the well off in Nigeria. Student count in the hundreds, all varying in ages. It was here that TSC squad ABC had been assigned.
The trio Alfred, Ben and Charlotte were in a partially empty classroom. A light bulb hung above, illuminating dozens of desks occupied by about half a dozen students including the team of TSC agents. The windows were open, pouring in breeze and mosquitos. This was the study time, time for students to get most of the homework done.
“This interests me why?” Alfred asked. A white all American teen. He had just finished homework. For the last two weeks he had done more homework and writing than his entire high school life, granted he completed high school in one year.
“I am Republican.” Charlotte said. She was rounding up her homework.
“You aren’t American.” Ben said. A black teen from Britain. He always finished his homework before the others.
“Pointless.” Charlotte said. The lights went off, power outage. A very frequent reminder that this was a developing country.
“About time. I doubt the generators will be turned on till past nine.” Alfred said. He rose from his desk, picked up his books.
“Are you guys done?” Solomon asked. He was almost done with his homework. Solomon was the target of squad ABC’s mission. Around his neck hung a necklace. A very special, very alien necklace. One that the team were assigned to recon. It was one of two objects the team were assigned to. The second was out in the rural area, in the middle of an oilfield own by Solomon’s father. The team had scoped the device and filed a report to Phoenix.
The report contained brief details about the device in the oil field. A field that shouldn’t exist by the laws of geography. The report had more details of the necklace around Solomon’s neck. A gift from his mom before she died, a family heirloom passed down generation by generation.
The team had spent a week snooping before going undercover and befriending their target, Solomon Godwin.
“Call it a night. Everyone else is leaving.” Ben said. He switched on his flash light.
“I would love a nightcap.” Charlotte said. She locked her books in her locker and proceeded to hug Solomon, part of her cover.
“If the teachers see us hugging, they’ll punish us.” Solomon said.
“I am still not used to the Nigerian culture.” Charlotte said with a smile as she parted ways.
They left the classroom, filed down the stairs with the dozens of others and walked the road back to the dorms. Five minutes of walking through the night, they arrived at the huge glamorous dining hall. Several lines of students were grabbing at the snacks and matching off to their dorms. Charlotte left to join the girls, she waved good night to the boys.
“Your sister is weird.” Solomon said to Alfred.
“I tell her that all the time.” Alfred said. Their cover was that they were all siblings.
“And then you lot fight like two year olds.” Ben said. He had his snacks and was leading the gang back to the dorms.
A pair of senior boys stood guard at the gates, their jobs were to make sure other students didn’t go into the dorms with snacks. However, Alfred, Ben and Solomon were the exception to that rule because they were all classmates. They walked past the checkpoint and into the dorms. There was a common room and three different halls each with over 30 beds.
The trio all shared a hall, Hall C, which was straight ahead.
“I am heading to bed, what about you guys?” Solomon said.
“Soon. Just need to do some laundry.” Alfred said. It was code for a meeting.
“It is still amazing that you, no offense, white folks can do laundry without a machine.” Solomon said.
“We white people will surprise you.” Ben said. He understood the code. The team were a handful of international students at the boarding school, so naturally they endured a fair amount of jokes. It was bad in their first week but the team soon demonstrated dominance and now had a monopoly over school life.
“Night then.” Solomon said.
“Aren’t you gonna do the night prayers?” Alfred asked. It was a relatively catholic school after all.
“You know the answer to that.” Solomon shouted as he walked off.
Alfred and Ben wandered off on their own. They found themselves behind one of the Halls. It was a space between the hall and the high wall, their meeting place for the last two weeks on the job.
“Any luck getting readings off his necklace?” Alfred asked.
“No. It is definitely not terrestrial.” Ben said.
“How long do you think we will seat on his case?”
“Another week I reckon. Or whenever Fire says otherwise. I can’t believe he is still alive.”
“Neither can I. He must be in some deep operation to fake his death so convincingly… did you hear that?” Alfred said. He had heard a pattern.
“Hold on.” Ben said. He looked at his smartwatch. “Oh no. Our silent alarms have been triggered.”
“What?”
“Yeah. Have a look.” Ben activated the hologram, displaying a live feed of camera. It showed dozens of armed masked men leaping the walls and making their way to the dorms.
“Call Charlotte, radio extraction and send an emergency report to Fire. I will head over to Solomon.” Alfred said.
Gunfire disrupted the night air. Chaos followed. Alfred and Ben quickly retrieved their weapons from the box they had buried it in, right beneath their feet.
"Meet me in the safe zone in five minutes." Alfred said. He sprinted off.
A figure was climbing down the wall right in front of Alfred. Alfred took cover behind a bush, allowing the figure to descend. Two more followed the same path. All three were men dressed in long white gowns with their faces hidden behind a cloth. They spoke in a local dialect, one of the hundreds Alfred was unprepared for. But he understood a name. Solomon Godwin. They were looking for Solomon after all.
Alfred waited for the three men to clear the area, they began shooting into the air as soon as they were in the open. Alfred ran in the direction of Solomon's dorm at top speed.
As he entered, he saw a figure looming over Solomon's bed. Alfred docked behind a bed and spied the figure. Was he too late?
"Wake up Solomon. We've to move." The figure said. A familiar man's voice.
"Basil. Is that you?" Alfred whispered. The figure looked up.
"Who's there?"
"I have a weapon pointed at you, I'll lower it if I trust your answer. Why do you want the boy?"
"His father hired me to protect him."
Alfred liked that answer. "Then wake him. We need to move now. Those men are looking for him."
"How did you get that weapon?" Basil asked.
"Classified." Alfred said.
"What's going on?" Solomon said. He was finally awake.
"Danger. Get up. Move." Alfred said.
"Come on. I have an exit." Basil said. He picked Solomon up.
At that moment, two armed men wandered into the room.
"Don't move." They shouted. Without hesitation Alfred fired his handgun, taking both men in an instant.
"Let's go." Alfred said.
"That was my exit." Basil said.
"I have mine." Alfred said.
"My god. You shot them. Who are you Alfred?" Solomon asked clearly baffled.
"The one to get you out alive. Grab your necklace." Alfred responded.
Gun fire erupted through the windows. Everyone lay flat on the ground.
Alfred's wrist vibrated, he answered the call.
"Tell me you are not still in the hall." Ben said.
"I need an exit." Alfred said over the gunfire.
"Locker 26t. Should be safe till extraction." Ben said.
"And when will that be." Alfred asked.
"One hour." Ben said.
"That's time we don't have." Alfred said. He had led the entourage to the designated locker. He opened rapidly and unlocked the trap door.
Basil had not returned fire in fear that he might shoot a student.
The trio quickly went through the trapdoor, falling into an underground bunker.
"That's it, who are you guys?" Basil asked.
"Classified." Alfred answered.
"You are just a kid." Basil said.
"What's going on?" Solomon asked.
"Those men are looking for you." Alfred answered.
"Why?" Solomon asked.
"I don't know." Alfred replied.
"Come in Alfred. Do you read?" Charlotte asked.
"Loud and clear. Did you make it to safety?" Alfred asked into his smartwatch.
"Affirmative. Did you get Solomon to cover?"
"Solomon and his guardian."
"Guardian?" Ben asked. "Activate your hologram."
"Aye." Alfred did.
"Charlotte. Ben. Who are you people?" Solomon asked.
"Your ticket out of here." Ben said.
"I've tried calling but cell phone signals are down." Basil said.
"Not down, blocked." Ben said.
"Did you contact you know who?" Alfred asked.
"I did. He said to hang tight." Ben responded.
"And now we wait." Charlotte said.
At that exact moment, the trapdoor above Alfred started rattling. Both Alfred and Basil pointed their guns at the ceiling, prepared to shoot.
"We are compromised." Alfred whispered.
Sweat dripped from both men's brows as they aimed at the trapdoor, fingers on the trigger. Slowly, it was lifted open...

Drip drip, the moon shines and water falls -
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