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Chapter 19

Posted by PURPLEYHAN STORIES on Sunday, March 26, 2017

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I felt lightheaded and disoriented when I woke up. My head was throbbing and I felt the bump on its back after that damn Black hit me from behind. Bumangon naman ako at narealize kong nasa loob ako ng isang storage room. Sinubukan kong tawagan sina Cliff pero walang nakukuhang signal ang devices ko.

Inalala ko naman kung ano ang napag-usapan namin bago ako mawalan ng malay. According to Naia and Cliff, the information about the bombs were disguised as the reference number.

1130040040 . . . it means 11:30 AM, 04:00:40.

I drew a circle, representing the park, and the location of the bombs. When I checked the time, there’s only fifteen minutes left before they go off.

Inobserbahan ko naman ang kwarto at mukhang isa lang ang exit. There are no windows or ventilation shafts that can be used to escape. I tried my communication devices again but to no avail. No choice then.

I was about to attach an explosive on the door but I suddenly heard footsteps approaching the room. Agad akong nagtago sa hiding place na naisip ko kanina habang iniinspect ang room. Sakto namang bumukas ang pinto.

“Aren’t you underestimating that Red, Jade?”

“You guys are just overestimating them. Besides their eyes, what do they have? Right, Re—!”

“And now, she’s missing.”

After hearing that, I recalled the Blacks that I have encountered and Jade sounded familiar. I think it might be one of those Blacks in the chatroom that Cliff had managed to slip into. Then the guy she was talking to might also be one of them.

“Playing games with me now, Red?” Jade asked and I readied myself for an attack. “I know that you’re still here.”

“We got a mischievous one this time, huh?” sabi naman ng lalaki.

Rinig ko naman mula rito ang paglalakad nila at kinalma ko ang sarili ko. I checked the time. Only ten minutes left. I really need to get out of here.

I heard one of them was approaching my hiding place and stopped in front of it. The person chuckled and that made my skin tingle.

“I found you,” he teased but before he could open the box, I pierced it with my dagger and he yelled when it reached his leg. The box tumbled and I got out of it. Without wasting any second, I shot his other leg and pulled my dagger out of it, filling the room with his howl.

However, Jade had me cornered. Her axe was already swinging toward me when I saw her and I was in awkward position to dodge it.

‘Don’t move.’

Upon hearing that familiar voice, something has cut through the room and it gashed Jade’s abdomen, making her drop her axe. The starknife ended up stuck on the wall and Cliff entered the room, just to find me soaked in blood and sweat.

“Seven minutes,” sabi niya at agad akong tumayo.

He retrieved his weapon and we were about to leave the room but Jade clung onto my ankle and before I could even react, she pulled me and pointed a gun on my hip but I was faster. Without looking at her, I thrust my dagger behind my back and felt the splash of blood on my shirt and skin.

“Jade!” sigaw ng lalaki at bago niya pa muling makuha ang baril niya ay sinipa ko ‘yon palayo. Pagtayo ko ay agad akong sumunod kay Cliff palabas pero bago ko isara ang pinto ay tumingin ako sa kanila.

“You asked what do we have besides our eyes?” I asked and smirked at them. “We don’t rely at them too much because we’re trained to use this,” sabi ko habang nakaturo sa sentido. “Which clearly, you don’t.”

“Nel, let’s go!” Cliff dragged me away from them and I shifted my focus to our current problem.

“Shit. Only six minutes!”

Tumakbo na kami palabas ng hall kahit na ang daming nagtitinginan sa amin. Well, maybe because one, we were carrying weapons; two, my clothes and skin were soaked in blood; and three, we were still wearing our disguise and they might think wrong about these people.

“Nel? Cliff, did you get her?” rinig ko sa earpiece ko.

“Yes, she’s fine. We’re now running to the park.”

“Sorry for the delay,” I said.

Pagkalabas namin ay hinatak ko si Cliff papunta sa parking lot at nakita ko ang isang lalaki na nagpapark ng motor niya. Hindi na ako nagdalawang-isip pa at inagaw ko mula sa kanya ang susi at nang nakita niya ang sarili niyang mukha sa akin ay napaatras siya at hindi na nakagalaw. Sumakay agad ako at si Cliff naman ay nakatayo lang sa gilid ko.

“Hop on,” sabi ko at kinailangan ko pa siyang hilahin dahil ‘di siya gumagalaw. “We need to get there fast or we won’t be able to disable those bombs.”

“And I might get killed before we could even—!”

I didn’t listen to his comment and stepped on the pedal.

It has been a long time since I last drove a motorcycle because those three did not allow me to, though I don’t know why. Cliff clutched my right shoulder and maybe his other hand was on his mouth because I heard some barfing sound from him.

We reached the park in less than a minute and I got off the motorcycle. Cliff collapsed on the pavement so I had to pull him up.

“C’mon, Cliff! There’s only three minutes left!”

Hindi na kami nag-aksaya pa ng oras at tumakbo ako papunta sa left side. Jett was already at the northernmost direction while Cliff and I were tasked to defuse the bombs on each side. Halos madapa na ako sa pagtakbo at napansin kong wala na ring katao-tao rito. Jett must have informed them about the possible explosion.

“Jett? Are you there?” tanong ko habang tumatakbo.

“Bombs are located in the plant box. Our bomb disposal unit was already deployed there,” sabi naman ni Jett at pagdating ko ro’n ay may isang lalaking naka-bomb suit.

“I’m here.”

“Oh, nice to see you again, Nel, though I can’t really see you right now,” the guy said with his back facing me and I immediately realized who he is.

“Blake!” I called and I sat beside him.

“Stay away. This might have a reaction,” he warned so I stepped backward.

He was carefully extracting some of the contents of the bomb and beside him was a steaming acid bath, I think. I was actually surprised to see him here because Dad passed our mission to them before we went here. That means his team is also here and might be assisting both Jett and Cliff.

“Careful, baby. Don’t you dare explode on me,” he said and plunged the content in the acid bath. It sizzled and splashed some of the liquid, causing him to back away.

Even though, I’ve already expected it, I was still amazed by his skill. Among the bomb experts in the CIA, he’s one of the best and that made him a team leader. Dale, one of Dad’s executive, even praised him and took his team under his care.

“The bomb has been deactivated,” I reported and both Cliff and Jett said the same thing.

My legs gave up on me and I sat on the pavement after Blake disabled the bomb. I was a mess and my body has finally felt the exhaustion.

“What’s with all the blood?” tanong ni Blake habang nakatingin sa akin.

“Why are you here?” I asked in return.

“Sir Dale brought us here,” he said and I almost jumped on my feet.

“Dale is here? Why? Wait, is it because of Dad?”

“Yes. He told us that the President ordered him and Von to follow him here, though I don’t know what’s happening.”

Bigla naman akong kinabahan. This might be because of the brewing tension between the Senshins and Shinigamis. Since Dad aims to have an alliance with both the Huntres and Senshins, he needs to aid them in the war.

Buti na lang at nabawasan ng isa ang iniisip ko. Now that the plan to destroy this park for the governor’s business empire and Nox’s watchtower was thwarted, I can focus my mind to the upcoming war.

“Are you just gonna lay down there?” tanong ni Blake kaya sinamaan ko siya ng tingin. After that, we both went to the center of the park to meet our comrades.


***


“This place is getting crowded,” Naia mentioned as Blake’s team sat on the floor.

“Whoa. You mean . . . the Nigel of Team Magnus?”

Blake’s eyes twinkled upon seeing Nigel in person. My mother’s team has always been infamous because of their disappearance so Blake’s reaction was expected.

“Nel,” Naia called and I flinched. Her tone was cold and I wasn’t ready for this. “What happened to those zweites?”

“They’re critically injured. I don’t think they can move with those wounds,” sabi ko naman at bakas pa sa suot ko ang dugo nilang dalawa.

“Did you get any information about them?”

“No. I was too focused on escaping.”

“Did you get their names?”

“Jade. I only got the woman’s name,” sabay tingin ko kay Cliff. “I think Cliff encountered her in one of the chatrooms he sneaked into.

“Yeah. The name’s familiar. If I remember correctly, she has two other companions that time.”

“Coal and Raven,” Jett added while wiping his guns.

“Anyway, for now, I’ll monitor the city’s movement, expecially after the Governor’s disappearance,” sabi naman ni Nigel kaya natahimik kaming lahat.

We have foiled the Nox’s plan but I don’t think it would stop them from doing it again. The park’s location is ideal to them so they might prepare another way of seizing it.

Bigla namang nag-beep ang relo ni Blake kaya napatingin kami sa kanya. He pushed the button on its side an a hologram appeared on top of it.

“Good day, agents.”

Dale’s face came into view and beside him was Von, another Executive.

“The President passed an order to you,” he said and looked at Von.

Von’s dark hair and complexion highlighted his crimson eyes. He’s been known as the Dread of Italy because he obliterated one of the major mafia organization there all by himself. He taught us the way to handle guns during our Academy days and I can still remember how scared I was when I couldn’t shoot the target. He’s one of the “terror” instructors on my list but unlike me, Jett and Cliff like him the most.

“Rubeus,” Von said.

“Yes, Sir!” Blake’s team answered in chorus.

“You’re going to check the Latens forest for possible explosives.”

“Latens?” Hinari asked, the Vice Captain of Team Rubeus.

“The forest surrounding Tantei High,” sagot naman ni Von.

“Roger, Sir.”

“Optimus,” sabay tingin niya sa akin kaya kinabahan ako.

“Yes, Sir.”

“Go to Area 008.”

I was taken aback by what he just said. Did he really said Area 008?

“Area 008?” Cliff asked. “You mean, the CIA zone?”

“Yes. I’ll send you the map later.”

Hindi pa rin ako makapaniwala sa narinig ko, maging ang mga kasama ko rito. Each country has a detached and hidden zone made by CIA to monitor the activities of the government and the people. However, just like the underground trading places, these zones are highly confidential that only the President and Executives know their locations.

“What are we going to do there?” I asked and Von’s expression turned grim.

“You might want to come with them, Nigel,” sabi naman niya at mukhang hindi siya nagulat nang nakita niya si Nigel. He must have heard about Nigel from Dad. “The agents caught a zuert few hours ago and three Class A lost their lives. I want you to observe him and report to us your findings.”

“If that’s the case, then it must be him . . .” seryosong sabi ni Nigel kaya lalo akong naguluhan.

“Him?”

“His team’s specialist, Ansel Choi,” Von announced and suddenly,it became hard to breathe.

After hearing that, only one word was drifting in my mind.

Mom.



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