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As Mr. Smith had promised, the jet was waiting for them, and they took off to California. They all had enough time for a little bit of sleep on the flight, and then they moved to the helicopter. They flew for a while, over a vast sea of green, and eventually landed on top of something grey, which Paul assumed was the prison. Everything had gone according to plan thus far.
“This is it, Jude.” Mr. Smith nodded. “There’s something strange going on, though. The prison looks wrecked, there are no guards up here, and I saw people pouring out. Be careful in there.
“Noted. Alright, everyone.” Jude addressed the team. “Let’s move out.”
There was a series of seatbelts unbuckling and footsteps on metal, and eventually everyone that was getting off was out of the helicopter. Paul felt someone tap his shoulder and lean into him.
“I’m warning you. One hair out of place.” Arte growled.
“As you wish.” Paul nodded. Arte was definitely a force to be reckoned with.
After a few moments, the footsteps grew distant. He listened closely, and, over the sounds of the forest, he could hear some shouting off in the distance. It seemed like Vanessa’s plan was going off well.
“Why’d you even bring us if you were just going to make us sit around and do nothing?” Zoey sighed. Paul had figured she would respond like that, but he couldn’t risk tipping off the team.
“Well, we haven’t done nothing. You ever ridden in a helicopter before?” Paul waited a moment for a response, before continuing. “Regardless, I was actually lying about waiting in the helicopter. I brought along a special arrangement of people, and without you this goes catastrophically, and the world will eventually end.” Paul enjoyed the stunned silence for a while. “Now, I trust I have your attention? Mr. Smith, I will describe somewhere I want you to take us, and we’ll need to move on the double. I’ll explain my plan on the way.”
Vanessa was about to round a corner, but heard footsteps. She held out her arm to stop everyone behind her and swore. She had been hoping they wouldn’t run into any prisoners, but she supposed it was inevitable.
“Don’t fire, but ready your weapons.” Vanessa whispered. She made a disc large enough to cover the hallway, and quickly swung it out to block anyone from coming near. She then jumped out and saw who was approaching. Her heart fluttered as she saw the white robe she knew all too well.
“Jude!” She exclaimed, before turning back to the group. “I know these guys, don’t shoot.”
They nodded, and she dropped the barrier.
“Vanessa?” Jude stopped short and gawked at them.
She took off her helmet, and ran towards Jude, giving him a hug. Her team slowly advanced behind her. She then turned to the people he was with. There was Anastasia and Deven, but he also brought a girl she didn’t recognize. She was about to introduce herself, when she noticed Ashley stepping forwards.
“Arte…?” She muttered, before taking off her helmet. She looked in shock, as the girl who Jude was with stepped forwards too.
“Ash!” Arte ran forwards and wrapped her arms around her. They were both sobbing hysterically. “I’m so sorry it took me so long!”
“I thought I’d never see you again!” Ashley bawled.
Arte held her a little bit away from her and locked eyes. “I’ll never let you leave me again.” They shared a kiss, and Vanessa turned back to Jude.
“How did you find us?” She asked.
“Well…” He rubbed his neck, “It’s kind of a long story. We’ve got you though, so let’s get out of here. It looks like the prisoners are all gone.”
Darryl came up to them. “You can go. I intend to face Takeo, the boy in charge of this place, and bring him out alive.”
“Is that fire powers guy?” Jude asked.
“Oh, you know of him? Yes.” Darryl nodded. “He’s waiting for us in the yard. He’s just a boy, and I believe he is redeemable. I recommend you leave.” He looked to all of them. “That includes you, Ashley and Vanessa.”
“No way, Darryl. These guys will be a great help.” She nodded to Jude. “Unless you don’t want to, which is okay.”
“Wherever you’re fighting, we’ll back you up.” Jude nodded. “What’s your plan?”
“We all have tranquilizing rounds.” He gestured towards the guards. “Some of us will occupy his attention, and the rest will try to hit him with a tranq. We could overdose him if we hit him twice, though, so we have to be sure.”
“Sounds solid.” Jude nodded. “Arte, Vanessa, and I can keep him busy, while you guys try to ping him. Is there cover in the yard?”
“Not much, but judging by the explosions I’ve been hearing, there may be some more cover now.” Darryl replied.
“Alright, in case there isn’t any, Anastasia, I want you to keep making cover for them. If there is, focus on keeping it that way.” Jude looked to Anastasia, who nodded. “Deven, I want you to hide, but be ready to jump in if I tell you to, okay?”
“Alright.” He nodded.
“Alright, where’s the yard?” Jude asked Darryl.
“It’s a little ways away. Follow me.” Darryl took off, and everyone followed.
Vanessa made her way over to Anastasia, as they ran. “So, you’re back, is Paul with you?”
“He’s back in the helicopter. Are you alright? You’re not hurt or anything?”
“I more or less kept my head down while I was here. At least until the end, I had some close calls, but I made it out okay.” She thought for a moment. “Thanks for asking.”
“I’ll have to tell you about all of the wild stuff I found while I was away.”
“Definitely.” Vanessa was running a little too fast to keep up conversation now. “Good talk.” She made her way back to the front of the pack.
They stopped outside of two larger steel doors with small gridded windows.
“This is it.” Darryl nodded. “Everyone ready?”
He was met with nods all around, and moved towards the doors.
(Art credit: WordPress Free Photo Library)
Happy Christmas! This is the next to last part of Trials!!!! Thanks so much for sticking with me!!!!
Punctuation overdose aside, if you’re curious about what’s coming next, check out this post for more info.
Remember, love one another, Black Lives Matter, and trans people are valid.