Shit. C'mon, Jett. Answer the damn device!

Ilang ulit na akong tumatawag pero wala pa ring sumasagot sa linya niya. Kung tama nga ang sinabi ng Blacks kanina, he might be the one who was detected by their system.

'Do you think he's being cornered right now?' I asked as Cliff walked beside me.
'Maybe. Don't worry, he can still fight at short distance.'
'I know, but still, if he's discovered, it'll be detrimental to our mission. At times like this, we need her assistance.'

I immediately tapped my left earring and after a few seconds, I heard her voice.

"What happened?" tanong agad ni Naia.
"I think Jett is in trouble, though I am not yet sure. Can you send his coordinates?"
"Roger," sagot naman niya. "Oh, right. I have a news for you."
"There's a disturbance in the underground community these past few days and somehow, I think it's related to the Nox. Anyway, I'll tell you about it later."

Naia ended the call and Cliff and I hurriedly passed through the crowd of Blacks blocking the path but Cliff suddenly grabbed my arm. I was about to ask what the heck was he doing when a group of Blacks went to a different path. We followed them and ended up in a huge lobby connected to a balcony at the third floor. It seemed like this side of the building only belonged to the Blacks since all the people present here were them. From here, we could clearly see the team of Numbers running into a nearby building.

'Isn't that where Jett is?' tanong ko kaagad at nakita kong worried na rin ang expression ni Cliff.
'Let's go.'

We were about to exit the building through the balcony but a guy suddenly blocked the way. Napahinto kami at tumingin naman ang ilang Blacks na nasa paligid dahil sa ginawa niya.

"And where do you think are you going?" tanong niya at may lumapit sa kanyang isang babae.
"That job is for Chamber 4 members only. Don't interfere."

Their vibes were different from the normal viertes and when I heard Chamber 4, I realized they were the topmost viertes here. Then, that means . . .

'Looks like my hypothesis is correct,' biglang sabi ni Cliff. 'The first to third ranks are given to the three drittes.'
'That means Chamber 1 is the room were our meeting happened.'
'If these two are 4 and 5, then that means they're the top viertes here. We shouldn't make any hasty decisions.'
'Okay. I just hope that Jett is fine.'

Nakatayo lang kami roon at naghihintay ng update tungkol sa nangyari sa building na 'yon. I was about to contact Jett again when a couple of Blacks started running back to the Chambers.

"Hey, we can watch what's happening in the Chamber!" sigaw ng isa at nagkatinginan naman kami ni Cliff.

Agad kaming tumakbo pabalik at nang nakarating kami sa Chamber 21 ay tama nga ang sinabi nila. There was a live footage of what was happening outside from different angles. It seemed like they installed a lot of cameras in the vicinity.

Umupo kami sa harap ng monitor at buti na lang ay wala nang tao rito ngayon kundi kaming dalawa lang.

The guy at the rooftop was still not aware of the Blacks who were trying to surround him. He had his back at the camera so I couldn't see his face, but his built and the guns on his waist were similar to Jett. I tried dialing him again but to no avail. Napatigil naman ako sa paggalaw nang bigla kong nakita ang ilang Blacks na umaaligid na sa kanya. Tatawagan ko na sana ulit siya nang nakita kong humawak siya sa tenga niya.

"Nel? Why?" Napatayo ako nang narinig ko ang boses niya.
"Jett! Get out of there!"
"Why? What's happening—!"

Several Blacks appeared on the rooftop and they had him surrounded. They pointed their guns and blades at his direction but he was not moving.

"Shit! Just shoot them and go somewhere else!"
"Ah. So that was the situation," he said in a calm voice and I almost cursed at him.

Sakto namang gumalaw ang lalaki at napanganga ako sa nakita ko. The Blacks easily captured him and seized his guns. I was confused for a moment but I finally understood what happened.

"So they are really watching the vicinity with their surveillance cameras, huh?" Jett said and I heard his footsteps from the device.

That guy on the feed wasn't him. He had me worried for nothing!

"Where are you now?" sabi naman ni Cliff habang nakatingin pa rin sa monitor.
"Three buildings away from where they are."
"When did you change your position?"
"Three hours ago," sagot niya. "I noticed him roaming in the topmost floor and I thought he was also on the lookout," he said. "However, his movements and actions were those of an amateur that's why I decided to move in case something happens. And I think I made the right call."
"Yeah. Stay there for the mean time and we'll contact you soon."

Nakahinga naman ako nang maayos pagkatapos no'n. This mission was much more tedious than the previous ones because we didn't have any information about our enemies. We had infiltrated Nox but we were still on the surface. We needed to delve further into their core.

Ngayon ko lang naramdaman ang pagod at nag-collapse ako sa couch. Spying this organization was harder than I thought. Maybe that was the reason why Mom and her team . . .

'Rest,' Cliff said, dissolving that thought for a moment. 'You need it,' he added and I immediately felt my eyelids getting heavier. Without any complaints, I headed to the to the corner and drifted to sleep.


"Where are you going, Mom?"
With her sweet smile, she said, "I'm going to get what's ours."
"Ours? From whom?"
"The bad guys."
"Good luck, then!"
"Penelope, be good and ace your exams, okay?"
"Yup! I'll be as good as you when you come back!"

Bigla naman akong nagising dahil may naramdaman ako sa paligid. Pagtingin ko ay may ilan na ring Blacks ang natutulog dito sa gilid. I looked at my watch and it was already 5 AM. Wow. I think this was the longest sleep I had since we arrived here in the Philippines.

'Awake already?' I searched for Cliff and I saw him in front of the monitor.
'Yeah.' Tumayo ako at pumunta sa pwesto niya. I moved carefully since we were the only ones who were awake, which was pretty easy because of the nature of our work. 'Any updates?'
'They are making their moves.' Umupo ako sa tabi niya at doon ko lang na-realize na ginagamit niya ang sarili niyang laptop.
'Hey. What are you doing? What if someone sees you?' I asked.
'Don't worry. I already changed the angle of the cctv's in this room.'

I looked at his laptop and saw a chatroom with a lot of numbers that didn't make any sense to me.

'What's that?'
'I'm keeping an eye on the deals in the black market right now and I think something big is about to happen.'
'And? Did you get in?'
'Who's your identity?'

Tinignan ko ang chatroom at lahat ay may kanya-kanyang alias kaya naman hindi ko alam kung may Blacks ba roon. I asked Cliff for the translation of their conversation since I couldn't understand the code they were using.

Hyacinth: 4361014362
East: 7481217381436241012101912173120121733262810193638213
Jack: 9132217163627401217332016232323132310133637301912173
Snake: 9142630191435353017482717153930193638213
Hyacinth: 626392
East: 3121616201225321235274

'They are talking about weapon supply and I asked who's providing them. That Hyacinth said it's Nox.'

After hearing that, I already had a hunch about the conversation and the whole point of it. I'd been involved in such missions before and situations like this could get really messy.

'Weapons for war?' I asked.
'Yes. I think these people are somewhat representatives of their country or organization and some of them are buying tons of weapons from underground suppliers like Nox.'
'Then, some of these people are going to instigate a war in their respective countries, am I right?'
'It seems like that. Countries that are currently in some kind of civil wars or at war with other nation might be involved.'
'Wow. I can't believe that Nox has this kind of power.'

They might be elusive but their presence in the underground community was big enough for them to be involved in military and political affairs. I never thought of Philippines as a military country so how come the Nox have the access to weapons?

'Do you think some Blacks are in the military force?' tanong ko kay Cliff dahil 'yon ang isang pwedeng dahilan.
'Most probably, yes. In any case, we need more information about the deals.'
'I think it's time to organize the data.'

Tumango naman siya at maingat kaming nagligpit. We decided to go back to Nigel's base to report all the information we gathered and to plan our next movement. Without making any sound, we left the room and calmly marched towards the main building.

Some Blacks were already leaving because of their own missions so we followed them until we got out of the building. I glanced at the building where Jett was and after a second, he called.

"Are you guys finished?" tanong niya at patuloy naman kaming naglakad palayo sa vicinity ng base.
"Not yet but we need the Keepers' help," sabi ko naman.
"Okay. I'll stay here for a few more hours."
"We'll be back," sabi naman ni Cliff.

We walked further away from the base until we couldn't see any cameras anymore. I took out my minimized car and we boarded it. Pag-upo ko sa driver's seat ay nakatingin siya sa akin habang sumasakay sa tabi ko.

"What?" tanong ko.
"Drive carefully, Nel. The roads here aren't that wide."

I didn't really get why they were scared of my driving skill. I mean, I was the best among the three of us but they didn't let me drive that much.

"Yeah, yeah," I said in a mocking tone as I started the engine.

Mabagal naman akong nag-drive habang si Cliff ay binuksan ulit ang laptop niya. I was looking at it when I suddenly felt a chill. Cliff glanced at me, confirming if I felt that, too.

"Did you feel—!" I was startled when I heard a loud thud above me. Something had dropped on the top of my car.
"Step on it!" Cliff yelled and I was confused for a second but I froze when I saw something on my peripheral vision.
"Found you."

An upside-down head had appeared on my window.

It was Spider.