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Mr. Rodriguez finished the last touches on Takeo’s bandaging, and the boy had begun to stir. He looked up and around, and began to flail, but Mr. Rodriguez, Mr. Smith, and Darryl held him down. They’d intentionally left him in contact with Zoey’s salt.
“Hold still Takeo, we’re going to help you.” Mr. Smith whispered to him.
Takeo stopped moving, and slowly sat up. “What do you mean?”
“I’ve taken care of Felix for a few hours, so that should give you enough time to at least get off site.” He turned to Darryl. “I called the governor, and explained the situation, and he’s sending in the national guard. You probably want to get going as soon as possible.”
“Very well. Thank you, Mr. Smith.” He nodded, then turned to the other man. “Mr. Rodriguez, you throw a mighty fast ball.”
Mr. Rodriguez started to respond, but was interrupted.
“Darryl, it appears I’ve failed.” Takeo sat up, and the three men immediately returned their attention to him.
“There is no honor in running this place. You have a chance to regain it, by rectifying your mistakes. I hope you won’t squander it.” He reached out his hand, and Takeo took it.
Jean stood in a vast desert in central Algeria. His suit was torn and burnt, and a large sandstone pyramid crumbled into the sand behind him, as he limped forwards. Every part of his body ached at the least. He shook his head and chuckled.
“I’m getting too old for this.”
He looked down into his palm, and examined a ring. The band was made of gold, and three green emeralds were arranged on the front of it. He didn’t dare slip it on. He pulled out a velvet ring box from his pocket, and carefully placed the ring inside, before returning the box to his pocket.
He pulled out his phone, and punched in a number.
“Hello, yes. Gregory? I need a helicopter sent to the following coordinates…”
Two men in suits sat at a round table with three chairs. The table had something on it, but it was covered by a cloth. One of the three chairs was empty, and two men occupied the others.
“The council will now convene.” The first man said. He had brown hair, pale skin, and was dressed in a smart grey suit.
“I see Mr. Smith has opted not to join us. Does this mean what I think it means, Mr. Weston?” The second man spoke now. He had short black hair, pale skin, and a black suit. His right hand was sleek and white, like plastic not skin. His hand rested on a folder, it read ‘Vertech: Confidential’ on the front.
“Yes, Mr. Vondrasek. Mr. Smith has broken off from us, and has concealed Takeo’s escape.”
“That shouldn’t matter too much. One loose end is hardly worth concern.”
“Still, it is troubling that he was able to get around us, and conceal something. He may end up turning to Jude, and the last thing we need is to be discovered.”
“Yes, of course. However, I believe it is unlikely that he will be able to explain away his involvement with us. This should spare us some time.”
“Yes, in other troubling news, it seems Paul has gained an unknown degree of fine control over his abilities while he was out of my sight.”
“That is certainly a threat. For the good of all of humanity, we need to remain undiscovered.”
“We must eliminate Mr. Smith…” Mr. Weston shook his head. “How is the question…”
“I believe I might have a way. It will take time, but it may be our best option.” Mr. Vondrasek stood to his feet. “I will draw up a plan at once. Is that all?”
“Yes…” Mr. Weston pulled up the cloth, and revealed a horned plate helmet, a folded piece of fabric, and a pair of binoculars. “We may have experienced a setback, but they are still unaware we are even in competition.”
A man sat back in an office chair, behind a desk in a classroom. It was dark in the room. He opened his eyes, and got up from his chair. He looked down at his watch, and sighed with relief. Picked up his bag, when something caught his eye. He saw a pair of circular glasses sitting on the center of his desk. This was peculiar, because not a moment ago, he had cleared his desk, and there were certainly no glasses.
Something in him compelled him to slip on the glasses. He stared in amazement around his room, and grinned widely. He put the glasses into his shirt pocket, picked up his bag, and exited the room.
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