Sa sobrang gulat ko ay napatapak ako sa pedals at binilisan ko ang takbo ng sasakyan. Spider was weird but seeing him up close, with his upside-down head, was the scariest thing I've ever faced.

'Keep the speed up,' Cliff said and I nodded, but Spider banged the windscreen, shattering the glass into fragments. I swerved the wheel to throw him out of balance but he held on. Cliff suddenly leaned to punch the window, breaking it completely, and hopped forward to kick Spider on the face.
'Nel,' tawag niya kaya mabilis akong napatingin sa kanya. 'Now's the time to show your skills.'
A grin formed on my face. 'Make sure you won't fall.'

I stepped on the gas, while Spider and Cliff were both literally in front of me, blocking the view. Without caring about them, I drifted to the left and both of them were almost thrown away.

"Fucking Reds! I knew it!" he shouted while hanging on the side mirror.
"Good thing, you're the one who noticed us," Cliff teased and Spider took the bait. He lunged at Cliff who was standing at the edge of the hood. Spider tackled him and they both collapsed but Cliff was faster to get up. He pushed Spider inside and he crashed on the passenger seat. Cliff immediately punched him in the face, not giving him a chance to counterattack, then he pulled his gun from the holster and shot Spider in the shoulder. After a few seconds, he passed out.
"Man, thank goodness Jett left his tranquilizer gun," Cliff huffed as he leaned on the frame, but I immediately yelled when I saw what was in front.
"Duck!" I stepped on the pedal while Cliff crouched, and the car began to spin rapidly. I heard Cliff shouting my name but I focused on maneuvering the vehicle. Turning the steering wheel a couple of times, I finally managed to stop it. Smoke began to rise from the wheels because of friction and Cliff glared at me when he got down from the hood.
"Don't drive again," sabi niya sa akin habang humihinga nang malalim at kumunot naman ang noo ko.
"Why?! Didn't you see those difficult turns and stops?"
"I've seen enough. I even saw Hell from here."

Inirapan ko na lang siya at matapos no'n ay tinanggal namin ang disguise namin. Napatingin naman kami kay Spider na ngayon ay walang malay na nakaupo sa tabi ko. It seemed like he didn't notify any Blacks regarding our identities and acted on his own. Luckily, he was an idiot.

"So . . . this might not be in our plan but this is for the better," sabi ni Cliff habang nakatingin kay Spider. "We're going to transport him to Nigel."
"Yeah, I think that's the only thing we can do right now. We can't leave him here while knowing our identities."

Cliff rummaged through his pocket and I saw his minimized car. He pressed auge and the car grew in its original size.

"I'll drive," sabi niya at hindi na niya ako binigyan ng chance para magsalita. He carried Spider to his car, tied up and gagged in the back seat, while I occupied the passenger seat.

Nagsimula naman siyang mag-drive at patingin-tingin lang kami sa likod, in case may mangyaring hindi inaasahan. Though, knowing Jett's gadgets, the tranquilizer may be good for a few more hours.

After an hour and a half, we finally reached Nigel's base. Cliff alerted them by tapping the only black cobblestone twenty meters away from the base, and minutes later, Nigel showed himself.

"We need a hand here," sabi ni Cliff sabay turo sa backseat at natulala naman si Nigel sa nakita niya.
"Who's . . . that?"
"Oh, and I thought you'll immediately know this guy," I said since he was the one who gave us information about the Blacks.
"I only know them by their nicknames, not their faces."
"Then, meet Spider, a dritte."

Pagkasabi ko no'n ay napanganga siya at nagpabalik-balik ang tingin niya sa aming tatlo. We already expected that since this was not part of the plan but we didn't have any other choice.

"A dritte? What the heck is he doing here with you?"
"We'll tell the details later, but first, help us out."


"Now, explain yourselves," Nigel ordered as he faced as in the basement. Kiyoko was with Spider and she put the head gear on him, hoping that something of use could be seen.
"We actually got valuable information and data," panimula ni Cliff, "and we're about to return but then this guy tailed us and saw through our disguise."
"So we had to silence him," I added.
"And now he's here."

Nigel glanced at Spider, lying on the table with the gear on his head, and he looked at us. He sat down without saying anything. I was about to talk but the large monitor in front of us hummed and a second later, Naia showed up. When she saw us, Cliff and I instinctively stood up.

"Oh, so you're back. Where's Jett?" tanong niya at nagkatinginan kami ni Cliff.
"He's still scouting," sabi ko naman. "He'll return later."
"And? How's your mission? Wait, send me a detailed report later. The Director is calling me," sabi naman niya and this time, ako ang nagtanong.
"Dad? Why? What's happening?" It was rare for Dad to call someone from Class S, well except for me when it comes to personal matters. He would always prefer his Executives rather than the agents so I think something was happening in the headquarters.
"Later!" sigaw ni Naia at tuluyan na siyang nawala sa screen.

The room went silent and the only thing we could hear was the buzzing sound from the small screen next to Spider and Kiyoko.

"Anyway, we're going to extract everything from this guy and we'll report them back to you," sabi ni Kiyoko habang mino-monitor si Spider.
"What's your plan now?" Nigel asked and Cliff and I exchanged looks.
"I discovered something happening in the Underground world so we might take a look at that," sabi ni Cliff at kinuha niya ang laptop niya.
"Speaking of that, I also found something disturbing in the Underground. Look," he said as something flashed on the screen. "A lot of representatives from other countries are here in the Philippines even though there's no current situation wherein they're needed."

Displayed on the screen were photos of people, obviously hiding from cameras and people, but their races could be seen quite clearly.

"That might be connected with what I have discovered," Cliff chimed in.
"What do you mean?"
"Here," he said and in another monitor, he projected the chatroom where he fished out the information.
"I see . . ." Nigel nodded as he read the code and I think Kiyoko also understood it because her expression suddenly changed. Was I the only one who couldn't decode that? God, I'm really bad at codes.
"Nox has been providing weapons for countries who want to enter a war and that's the only reason I can think of on why those people are here," sabay turo niya sa isang monitor.
"That means there will be negotiations involved."
"And that will happen here in the Philippines, the largest base of Nox Organization."

Natahimik kami pagkatapos no'n dahil hindi naming akalaing gano'n na kalaki ang impluwensiya ng Nox. That explained why the CIA (not us but the intelligence service) and the FBI were also tracking them.

Bigla ko namang naalala ang pag-uusap namin nina Dim at Ink.

"Hey," sabay tingin nilang lahat sa akin. "The drittes are trying to kill someone two days from now and I think he's also connected to this."
"Who?" tanong ni Nigel.
"Hortem, though I don't know the details about it since the information about that mission can only be viewed on the Death Index."

Cliff was cut off by the sudden static sound from Kiyoko's monitor. We all turned to her and the headgear displayed Spider's memories. Nothing but darkness could be seen but judging by the sound, it seemed like he was walking, but after a while, the sound vanished.

"What do you want?" I jumped out of shock when I heard his voice.
"Where are you going?" Someone was there? Wait, that voice was familiar. It was Dim!
"Somewhere," sagot ni Spider at nagpatuloy siya sa paglalakad pero pagkatapos ng ilang hakbang ay huminto siya. "Hey . . ." tawag niya pero walang sumagot. "I didn't eat something today."

Their conversation was followed by silence. Suddenly, I heard Dim laughing.

"So that's why you burned that note," biglang sabi ni Dim at kinabahan na ako. "It wasn't you all along."
"Tss." Naglakad ulit palayo si Spider at natulala na lang ako matapos kong marinig 'yon. Shit. They knew!

Pinindot ko kaagad ang hikaw ko at naghintay sa linya ni Jett.

"What's happening?" Cliff asked after he saw me being rattled.
"They knew! They knew that the Spider a while ago wasn't the real one—" I suddenly froze when I realized something. "Kiyoko!" Napalingon ako kay Spider. "He might have a tracker! Damn it, we need to find that!"

The three of them, suddenly alarmed, ran to Spider and started searching him while I tried to contact Jett. After a few seconds, he finally answered.

"Jett! They might be—"
"Too late. They're already moving and I'm following them."
"They're heading to Nigel's base."

Natahimik ako. For a moment, my mind went blank and I didn't know what to do. Because of my carelessness, we might be cornered. Then I realized that Spider did that because he knew we would bring him to our hideout.

I was about to lose my cool when all of a sudden, a memory flashed in my mind. I remembered what Dad said when I lost a duel before.

"When a person is cornered, he tends to become rigid and careless, allowing the enemy to target him or her easily. Remember, when you think you are being cornered, pay attention to your surroundings. Move. Think fast. Don't let the enemy trap you further, instead, show or trick them that you are luring them or that you can push them back."

I let out a sigh to calm myself. "Thanks, Dad," I mumbled.
"Found it," sabi naman ni Cliff kaya napatingin ako sa kanya.
"Cliff," sabay lakad ko papunta sa kanila. I grabbed the tracker and put it on one of his tuxedo's button. "Plan Crustacean."

Natahimik siya saglit pero agad din siyang kumilos. Napatingin naman ako kay Nigel at mukhang 'yon din ang iniisip niya. Of course, he knew Plan Crustacean since that was one of the basic strategies in a battle.

Lumabas kami at sumakay sa kotse niya. Agad ko namang tinawagan si Jett.

"Plan Crustacean," I ordered.
"Oh. Like the old times?"
"Yeah. Like the old times."

We would be attacking them from both sides. A pincer movement, just like how any crustaceans devour their enemies.