Concealed Weapons

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Science Fiction  |  House: Booksie Classic


Ceena is a normal High school girl. She is making her way through freshman year. So far it's been the usual. Until one day she runs into a new guy, claiming that he needs her help to prevent a
corrupt company from spreading their weapons to the public. After that, her spring break becomes very peculiar, and dangerous.

Submitted: June 03, 2018

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Submitted: June 03, 2018

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Concealed Weapons


 

I hate having to walk home after spending two extra hours in school, and then almost get shot and killed on my way home. I mean I didn’t want to fail my Physics test, resulting with me having to stay after the bell to retake it. There was only two other kids in the classroom besides me. One finished early and the other was still taking it when I left. I didn’t rush it, at least, I’m mostly positive I hadn’t. Not like I would want to get outside anyway. It was seriously freezing! The sky was completely clouded, the air cold, making my nerves agitated. Do you know how annoying it is to play racquetball in this kind of weather? Everytime I hit the ball my palm would scream in pain. The other kids I was with would brush it off like it’s not nothing.

“ Ceena you’re just making it a bigger deal than it actually is!” My friend Knox would tell me. He’s not particularly good at sports, but he did have more endurance than I did. The whole game he went not complaining while basically had a seizure every time I was supposed to hit the ball. I remember after class I had caught him on the stairs to the quad.

“ Hey. How the heck do you not get affected by this weather? You’re literally wearing short pants and a T-shirt right now.” Knox looked down, then back up at me.

“ Uh, I dunno. I just don’t feel it I guess. I feel a bit cold. But not too much.” He said plainly. Every other kid around us was covered in long clothing but him. Including me. I made sure to wear my black jacket, and warm blue pants. But not Knox, he was fine!
“ I’ll never understand how you do it.” I had said.

“ Heh, I don’t either honestly. Maybe it’s a difference of genetics? What doesn’t bother me will bother you?” Knox guessed.

“ What. Are you saying girls get colder than boys?”

“ No. I’m simply speculating.”

“ Oh sure!” At that point we had to split and go to our classes.

 

Did I rant again? Oops, I do that. It’s just I would rather not be blasted by coldness as my reward for completing a retake test. But here I went anyway! I walked down the stairs and across the quad. Most of the other kids were gone at this point, unless they were apart of some sort of after school activity. Which I wasn’t. I was happier staying home after hours to draw and play games. That was more fun. I passed the math building, climbing down the side of the dirt hill that lead to the school on one side. It was a nifty short cut. Few cars drove by. I guessed they were mainly kids leaving school late like me, or adults returning from a long day at work. I put my hands in my pockets and looked up as I moved along the sidewalk. A flock of birds flew over head, a few more joining them from the nearby trees. People came in and out of the daycare that was oddly close to my high school. I had heard of a toddler who’d proclaimed the F- word to everyone there. Must’ve been awkward for the parents.

 

I reached the four way cross street section. There were still a good amount of cars waiting to make a turn or keep going. I still had a bit to go before I reached my house. It was located in the neighborhood about a block or so away. I shivered. Even with my jacket on, I was still turning into a popsicle. I remembered the new credit card I had gotten only a week ago. I hadn’t used it yet. There was a small shopping center down the street to the left of me. Maybe there was a place that sold hot drinks? I decided to check it out, my cold body getting the best of me. I walked across the street to the left instead of heading upward. On the other side of the street, a kid was leaning against the street pole. She was darker skinned, with purple hair running down her back. Her yellow eyes focused on her phone. She was wearing a red jacket and dark red pants.

“ Hey Tisha. What’s up?” I asked as I came up next to her. She peered up from her phone.

“ Oh hi Ceena. Not much. Just waiting for this dang light to turn! I swear it takes forever everytime!” She raised her hand in exasperation.

“ Heh, yeah I know what you mean. It takes awhile for me also. Did you have to retake that Physics test?” I asked.

“ No. Man I lucked out on that one! Narrowly got by with a B-.”

“ Really? Nice! I had to do it again.”

“ What grade didja get the first time?”

“ No. I don’t wanna say.”

“ Yes you do tell me!”

“ Agh. Fine. I got… a sixty nine percent.” I said sheepishly. Tisha shrugged.

“ Eh, that’s whatever. All you can hope for now is getting a better score on the retake right? I wouldn’t worry about it.” I sighed in relief.

“ Thanks. Yeah, I think I did better this time. Are you going home?”

“ Yup. You?”

“ I am. But I think I’ll get something hot to eat first.”

“ Huh. From where?” I pointed to the shopping area down the sidewalk.

“ Oh. Alright.”

“ Do you wanna come?” I offered.

“ Naw. I’m gonna show these guys that a girl can handle the cold!”

“ But not by risking your health!”

“ What risk? I ain’t risking anything! You should do it with me! We are strong enough!”

“ Yeah, but no. Just because I’m female shouldn’t mean I have to prove myself.”

“ Alright, suit yourself. I’ll talk to you later!” Tisha waved as the light turned white. I waved back and continued down the sidewalk to the center.

 

I wasn’t surprised that Tisha wanted to be so challenging. Ever since realizing that girls have certain prejudices against them, she was constantly trying to prove herself. I could respect that. It was one of the reasons I was good friends with her.

Though sometimes I just get nervous that she might end up hurting herself. One time she tried to run more laps than the other boys in P.E. and over did herself and was sick for the next few days. I myself don’t go to such extremes. Like I said, why should I have to? Seems to me like simply doing my work and going about my days was good enough. If anything more of the girls were braver than the boys. They were the ones doing the most amount of school shows and performances. Though there are some good acting boys too. I had seen many groups of girls mess with boys, talking fake romance. Ugh, romance. Something I know nothing about and will not get into it. Despite Tisha’s many words of how to pursue such a thing, I don’t bother. And neither does she. Sure, she talks about it a lot, but she never actually does anything. Who would either of us go for anyway? There’s no one who she or I am interested in. Not saying the other boys are bad, no. But nothing I would be into in that way. What even is that way? I have no clue. Maybe I don’t want to. Plenty of ‘couples’ kissing each other around the school during the day. Kissing, as in in front of everyone trying to get to their classes. Why exactly? I won’t be one to judge. But I’ll abstain from that for awhile.

 

I reached the shopping center. There was a store for sports, pets, quick groceries, medicine and hospital needs, and a StarBucks. Cause you have to have one of those everywhere you go! I honestly wonder what it was like a few decades ago when this restaurant didn’t exist. Regardless they did have some good hot beverages. I went there for my warming needs. I took a shortcut around the back of the buildings. These were in line with some older buildings that had been shut down for sometime. They were sand colored, the grey doors ripped. Apparently they were old factories or something before. But now they don’t do anything. I don’t know if I was allowed to be here. But I did it anyway. But quietly, so you know, no one found me. Luckily there was no one there. Just some graffiti on the walls. JACOB WUZ HERE. WHAT THE (insert cuss word) IS A LILAC????? And, DEEZ NUTZ ARE TOO GOOD FOR YOU. Were some of the lovely things printed there. Why didn’t the government take action? Maybe because no one even cared about these buildings, so there was no offense to vandalising it. Either way, I entered StarBucks.

 

Inside was much better than outside. The air modifier warmed me as I stepped in. I sighed with relief. There was a line at the register, which made sense. Some other school kids and adults sat in seats, drinking coffee and eating treats. (that rhymed!) I got in line and peered at the menu. After about two minutes of choosing what I wanted, I settled on a hot chocolate. Simple and good. I got to the cash register. I ordered my choice and payed for it. It felt good to do so by myself. No one else to help or do it for me. I clutched my new drink and went back outside. I sipped some.

“ Ahh! I knew this would do it! Now I can head home!” I said to myself. I began to take the shortcut back to the sidewalk.

 

Now, I hadn’t expected to see something new, but I did anyway. A man was crouched down next to the corner of an abandoned building. He had a pack and was rummaging through it. He was dark skinned, with sleek orange hair, and black eyes. He had on a pair of red overalls, blue jeans and blue sunglasses, though it wasn’t sunny. He spotted me, and I froze.

“ Hey you kid! Could you help me out for a second?” He beckoned for me to come over. I wasn’t sure whether to be scared or not. He seemed nice enough. But what was he doing around here? I dared to help him out. I came over to him.

“ Ok. What do you need?” I asked. The man got up, and pointed at the door.

“ I need to get this door open. But I also don’t wanna cause a big ruckus.” He sized me up. “ Hmm. Didn’t see ya clearly at first. What are you fifteen?”

“ Yeah.”

“ Ok. Hmm, blue eyes, green hair, lighter skin too. Hmm.”

“ Can I ask what you’re thinking about?” I didn’t know why a stranger was considering my looks.

“ Huh? Oh. No bad reason. I’m just thinking… ah forget it. Can you get open the door?” The man asked again.

“ I guess I could try.” I walked over to the steel door. It was sealed shut. Nothing I could do would open it. I looked at the door handle. It had a slot for keys to be put in to unlock it. I couldn’t use a key. But maybe…

“ Well? Can you?” Asked the man. He had slung his pack over his back and crossed his arms facing me.

“ Hold on I got this.” I opened the top front zipper of my backpack. Inside were the keys to my house. The actual key I wasn’t using. Instead there was a little piece of copper wire that I had forgotten to take off. I slipped it into the hole and twisted it around.

“ You sure that’ll work?” The man asked.

“ I dunno. If Assassin’s Creed has taught me anything. It’s that little pieces of this kind of stuff works when opening locked things.”

“ Are you really gonna let a video game’s logic guide you in real life?”

“ No. I mean, I don’t know. Let’s just see.” I fiddled with the wire. I heard a click. The door opened a little bit. I pulled the wire out. “ There!” I said.

“ Ah you actually did it, good.”

“ What did you need from in there? Isn’t this place closed down?”

“ Yeah. Uh…” The man scratched his head, as if considering something. Then he sighed. “ Forgive me for this.”

“ Wha-” Before I could finish, he grabbed me around the waist with both arms.

 

We both hurtled through the doorway. I screamed as he slammed on the ground. He shut the door and covered my mouth. He set down his pack, kneeling down.

“ Shut it now! If you’ll let me explain!” He told me sternly. I was so scared I listened. I closed my mouth, shaking. He slowly removed his hand. He pointed at my backpack. “ Give me it.”

“ Wh-”

“ Don’t ask. Just do it.” I gave it to him. He pulled out my phone and put it in his pocket. Then he set it against the side of a shelf. He sighed.

“ Ah what am I thinking? Doing this to a little girl. Imma get screw up for this…” I didn’t move or say anything. Many thoughts were running through my head. Was I getting kidnapped? Raped? Why had I come here? What if my parents find out? The man sat down next to me.

“ Look. I know you must be scared out of your mind. Let me explain.” He sighed again. “ I’m here on a secret mission of sorts. You said these buildings were abandoned? I wouldn’t be surprised. Perfect kind of place for Plasamic to hide their crap.”

“ P-Plasamic?” I asked.

“ Yeah. I’ll explain more later. We don’t have much time. Basically I need to destroy the contents of this factory. They’re hiding weapons in here…if they get released to the public…” He looked serious.

 

Now I really didn’t know what to think. Who was he talking about? What contents?

“ I know you have questions. Like I said I will explain. But later. I’m sorry for having to do this to you. I look like a damn pedophile don’t I? Ah god!” He put a hand to his face. “ Just please. I shouldn’t have dragged you here. But now that you are, can you please cooperate and help me?” He did look honestly troubled.

“ Well. If I am stuck here, then sure. What are we doing?” I asked.

“ Ok. Look around.” I did so. There were some shelves extending to the ceiling. They each had multiple rows of boxes. They were labelled as ‘ Dangerous. Keep away from innocent eyes.’ What?

“ What are they for?” I asked the man.

“ Those are filled with weapons.”

“ Weapons?”

“ Yes. This company. They have been secretly making very powerful weapons illegally. The government tried stop ‘em but now they do it undercover. That is why I must-” Another door opened. In came four men and a woman. They each had on purple suits. The woman had a silver suit on.

“ Check around. There are supposed intruders here. Find them quickly!” The woman ordered. They took out rifles. Silver and blue glowing rifles. They started to look around. The color of their outfits was the same as on the boxes. I quickly ducked back down behind the shelf.

“ Who are they?” I asked quietly.

“ They are part of Plasamic. Dangerous people! Now, you need to listen to me carefully!” The man reached in his bag and pulled out two pistols. They looked similar to the weapons the other men had. I gasped.

“ What is...what-”

“ Shh! I know! But like I said work with me! I’ll explain quickly. If you fire just by tapping the trigger, then you will fire a small shot. It will affect them like as if you were punching them. If you hold down the trigger, then you will blow a hole in them. So use whatever mode you like. Just knock them out!” He held it out to me.  

 

I took the pistol with shaking hands. I fiddled with it. I placed my fingers in the trigger hold and wrapped around the handle. I didn’t know what to feel. I was holding a real gun.

“ What- you want me to-” I couldn’t even speak.

“ Please.” The man grabbed my arm. “ You have to help me.” He took hold of his own gun. He looked over the edge of the shelf and fired at a company man. The man was hit in the chest by a blue ball. He fell with his intestines showing. The woman saw this and located the man.

“ Well. It’s you isn’t it? Good to see you Emund. Why are you here? The one who is the intruder are you? Very well. Now we’ll have to kill you after exiling you. Men, fire at him.” She pointed. Emund ducked back down as blue shots fired over head. They hit the wall, leaving burn marks.

“ Damn it. Ok kid. Three left. I don’t know if we can get her.”

“ Does she know you?” I asked.

“ Yes. But again, later. Now.” He looked around. “ We need a plan. Before they reach us. Think of something.” He told me. He crawled to the side of the shelf and continued to fire at the enemies. I was so scared my pants were wet. As embarrassing as that was, I focused on thinking of what to do so I didn’t die.

 

I looked up. Along the sides of the shelves, were little hinges. Perhaps used for carrying the boxes up and down. If I remembered right from my dad’s work, shipping and managing, those could hold a person of up to a certain weight. The doctors always told me I was too skinny. I took hold of a handle and switched it on. It latched on to my jacket. I was carried up into the air.

“ Kid! What are you doing?” Emund said from down below. I was brought up to the top of the shelf. I saw that all the shelves were connected at the top. I moved along the top of the ceiling by pushing in the direction I wanted to go. I managed to get above the men. They were firing at the far end of the factory. I didn’t know what I was doing. So I dropped down.

 

I landed on top of one man. He collapsed under me. I did what I knew from movies. I used the hilt of the gun and struck the back of the man’s head. This hurt my hand a lot. Luckily the man stopped moving. The other two looked at me in surprise.

“ What? Why is there a girl here?” Said the woman. In the confusion Emund shot down another man. I raised my pistol. I shot at the other man, completely missing. It’s not as easy as it is in the games. Thankfully Emund took him down also. He ran to my side. I got up. We faced the woman. Now, up close, I could see her clearly. Her pitch black hair, her hard, grey marble eyes, lightish skin. She scared me with her seriousness.

“ What?” She took a step back. “ Emund, I never thought you would go this far. Using a little girl for your needs. But we have plenty more storage! This won’t mean a thing!”

“ Ha! You’re just frustrated because I beat you again Acunia!” Emund said proudly.

“ Agh! That meant nothing to us then, and it means nothing now! We will carry out our plans to cover land! You can’t stop us!” Acunia left through the door.

 

I stood there, motionless. I was still processing what had just happened. Emund let out a heavy sigh and put a hand on my shoulder.

“ Kid. You ok?”

“ I-I don’t know. What just happened exactly? You know each other and, covering land?”

“ Ok. I guess I should explain now. Ok. So the Plasamic Incorporated made these weapons using some of the strongest metals on Earth. They made the bullets out of Illium. You know the asteroid that hit just a few weeks ago? The rumors of a new metal being found inside of it aren’t false.” This surprised me. I had heard of it on the news and at school. But like most kids, I didn’t believe it.

“ Really? Is that what it’s made from?” I asked, looking down at the pistol in hand.

“ Yup.  They also use plasma taken from other metals. The weapons have configurations inside of them that fuses the metal and the plasma to make a deadly laser shot. The metal melts in the plasma and it becomes the shot.” Emund explained.

“ That sounds like it’s from a video game or something.”

“ Well, where do you think those ideas come from? Doesn’t make it any better.” He’s right. Things in games are cool. But if even a quarter of them was let loose in real life, there would be mass trouble.

“ Oh, that’s true. So then why do they sell these things?” I asked.

“ For money, and power. They think they can get more control over businesses and take over more of the world that way. People will follow them. That plus the fact that they can use powerful weaponry would mean they could control almost the whole world.” Emund twirled his pistol.  

“ Jesus. I didn’t know about this.” I sighed. “ How come this had to happen to me after school?”

“ Kid, I dunno. Bad luck I guess. But look. We shouldn’t stay here. Now that you know about all of this, you need to help me. Anyone who has knowledge about Plasamic are in trouble of being assassinated. If you came with me, we could work to stop them. I know where the other manufacturing stations are. Please?” He looked serious and sad, pleading for help from a high school girl.

 

Considering I was probably in trouble now that I had gotten into this whole thing, and I would be in danger if I just left, I figured I had to help. Maybe I would be in risk of dying. But at least I wouldn’t be an open target if I decided to help him.

“ This is probably a bad decision. But sure. What are we doing now then?” I asked him. Emund seemed to relax in relief.

“ I can show you more about these weapons and my plan at my house. But we need to get rid of this building.” He reached into his bag and produced a medium sized dark green brick. It had a control panel for setting a timer.

“ Is that a bomb?” I exclaimed.

“ Yes it is. We aren’t terrorists if we are using this for the right thing. But the police won’t think so. Meaning as soon as I set this we have to leave quickly!” Emund set the bomb next to the shelf and set it for five minutes. It started to tick down.

“ Never thought I would be around someone who had just set off a bomb.” I said blankly.

“ Never thought I would be the one doing it around a girl. Now here.” He took out my phone and dialed in his phone number and house address.

“ Can you come to my house tomorrow morning?” He asked, handing me my phone back.

“ No I have school.” I said. “ Shouldn’t we be leaving?”

“ Yeah. Ok… how about 6:00pm?”

“ Uh.” My parents were gonna be home earlier tomorrow. “ Yeah that’s fine.” It was friday tomorrow so I had time to go to a stranger’s house. Emund pulled on his pack.

“ Alright. This has been… interesting kid. Oh, I never got your name.”

“ It’s Ceena.”

“ Last?”

“ Minshel?”

“ Ceena Minshel?”

“ Yup.”

“ Ok got it. I’m Emund. Talk later.” He took my gun from me and ran out the door. I bolted over, grabbed my backpack, and followed out the exit.

 

Had I known that I would’ve been forced into a building, where I was gonna be given a gun, attacked by men and woman from an illegal organization trying to gain power, I wouldn’t ever come near here. But, like Emund had mentioned, it happened. What is in the past is in the past. I can’t change it. So, even if it seems dangerous, I still have to deal with it and make the right decisions. So I guess my decision is to help this man stop this company. Because if they manage to ship out these weapons it would only spell trouble. Regardless of all that, I was really freakin’ scared. Should I tell my parents? Maybe, but Emund acted like it was bad if others knew about it. I realized that I should probably get home and away from a building that’s about to blow up behind me. I jogged back to my house. Along the way I could hear the explosion go off. It was louder than anything I had ever heard before. I turned to see an orange mushroom cloud rise up in the distance. Cars swerved and drove away, and people screamed and panicked. Why would Emund just set off a bomb like that? Did he have no consideration for others? I would have to ask him later. I managed to get home without anyone stopping me.

 

When I got home it was about 5:30pm already. Had it been two hours? I wasn’t sure if that was long or not. I came in through the front door. My family’s cat Gina came up and looked at me with her dark brown eyes and bright yellow fur.

“ Hello Gina. Sorry I didn’t come home sooner. Here. lemme get ya something to eat.” I set my stuff down and went into the kitchen. I grabbed her bowl and a box of kitten food. I filled it up halfway and added some cheese. As she ate I did my homework. Just some Math and English, not too bad. By the time I was done, it was 6:00pm. Was I really going to arrive at Emund’s house tomorrow? I checked the house address on my phone. I could call or text and make up an excuse so I didn’t have to go. How would I even get there? My parents definitely wouldn’t take me. I didn’t know where the address was. I put my hands to my head on the kitchen counter.

“ What the hell have I gotten myself into? I don’t know if I should go. But I’m afraid of what’ll happen if I don’t.” I said aloud. Gina finished her food and walked over to the backyard door, wanting to be let out. “ Ok, come on.” I let her outside. The sky was darker now. My phone went off. It was time to let Gina out to walk. I had just done that. It was convenient. Whenever she needed to be walked, we just let her roam by herself. Sure, at first we had to go with her. But like a lot of cats, they do what they want. Gina always comes back however. Makes my job easier. Though one time she did get into a fight with a dog, and my dad had to settle it with the neighbor. I guess stuff like that is bound to happen.

 

I watched the cat walk around the yard, deciding where to jump out.

“ Gina. What do you think I should do?” I asked her. She simply stared back at me. If you aren’t talking food or scratches then I don’t care. She was probably thinking. How nice it must be, to be a cat. To not have the worries of a human. Like choosing whether or not to fight an evil company. I went back inside, closing the door but leaving the window open slightly to let her back in. She gets pissed when me or my parents forget. That poor window gets so cut up. I went to my room. My room was a decent size. A bed, a shelf, a night stand, small couch, a larger shelf, and a small desk. At the desk, was my computer and a pad of paper and a set of colored pencils, regular pencils and pens. I flipped through the thirteen drawings I had done since getting this pad. I like to draw things from media, like games and movies etc. I flipped past sketches of Sans, Undyne, Chara, Sonic, Carol Tea, Zero, Mega Man, Spider Man, Iron Man, etc. At first I hated my drawings. The proportions were off. But I practiced, using Art class in school and sheer determination to keep trying. Now I think I’m better. The characters look normal. I’m starting to do more full pieces. With backgrounds as well as characters in them. So far it’s a work in progress.

 

I began to sketch out a city with Iron Man and Sash Lilac in it. Just a random thought that came to me. By the time I had done the outline of Lilac I heard the garage door open. A moment later my dad came in. He was wearing his black and white suit.

“ Hey sweetheart how was your day?” He hugged me and kissed the top of my head.

“ It was ok.” I muttered.

“ Did you hear about that explosion that happened near your school? Some bomb went off or something. They don’t know who did it yet.” My dad adjusted the shutters on my windows.

“ N-no?” I lied. “ What happened?”

“ Like I said. They haven’t got much info on it. They might release more later on or tomorrow. You weren’t hurt?”

“ No. I had gotten home before that happened I guess.”

“ Alright good. I don’t want anything bad happening to you. You know that right?” He ruffled my hair.

“ Yeah dad, I know.” I said back.

“ Good.” He left the room. Now I was even more conflicted. What if I was hurt and my parents were to find out? How would they feel? Should I not go then? But I have to, people are in danger if I don’t. Ugh, why did it rest on me? I had a hard time sleeping that night.

 

I had a weird dream. I was in, China. Large colorful buildings rose around me. Emund stood in front of me. He was looking at a building bigger than any other. It consisted of three towers connected at the bottom.

“ Well. It’s up there. In there is their main leader. Once she falls, we’ll be done.” He said. I tried to speak to him, but he didn’t hear me. The dream changed. I was standing at a home, it was bright yellow and small. Where was this? I had never seen this neighborhood before. I woke up in the morning. I got up and did my usual routine for school. Staying in bed five minutes after the alarm has already gone off. Putting on my clothes very slowly. Brushing my teeth. Eating a hot pocket. Checking my backpack for school supplies, only to check it again right before my dad drives me to school. So, about the usual beginning. Except I couldn’t stopping of Emund and Plasamic. Did anyone at school hear about the news? They probably would have, considering the explosion was only a few blocks away. If anyone asked about it, what would I say? Was I about to lie again? I didn’t want to think about that, so I just moved on to my classes.

 

The four periods before lunch were the normal. P.E. was all about the exciting, blood pumping activity of walking around a track for an hour. Literally. I talked to Knox the whole time about time travel and what it would be like to transfer different dimensions. Made the class more bearable. Second was art class. I only really liked it, besides the fact that I draw at home, because it allowed me to go through a process of building something cool. Like a nice valley or a uniquely designed character. It was fun to create something of your own, and see it go through various stages of development. The history part is ok. Then there’s math and physics. Ugh. WHY did I have to get two of the worst classes in succession? I mean sure there are processes to it which is interesting. But only sometimes. Most of the time it’s all about doing the exact same thing over and over and then getting it wrong and having to do it all over again! ‘Such a fun thing to do.’ But at least I have lunch afterwards so I can rest my annoyance in food. Because we all need that at some point. Today I had brought a tuna sandwich, chocolate bar and Mtn. Dew. It was tasty! I sat at my normal spot. A table under a roof, where me and Tisha always sit. Usually it is just the two of us, which I personally prefer. Tisha has no problem talking to a whole group of sixteen kids. I can do that, but I like just sitting with her and having her full attention the whole time.

 

About ten minutes after lunch began, Tisha sat down next to me.

“ Hey Ceena, what’s up?” She asked me.

“ Hi Tisha. Not much. You?”
“ Mmm. Same. But I was killing it in Spanish! I got so many of them vocab words right! The other boys were getting so mad cause they couldn’t get it!”
“ Pfft, really? Wow.”

“ I know right.” Tisha certainly liked Spanish, and acting in general. I wasn’t as into it. “ How’s been theater?”

“ Oh it’s been alright. Just memorizing scripts and movements for the next play.”

“ I see, cool! I’ll come watch it.”
“ You should!” The school plays weren’t bad. I enjoyed them. Though the seats are a little too small and it’s always packed with family members. For a bit we sat and didn’t say much. Then Tisha asked what I had feared.

“ Hey so. Were you involved in that explosion yesterday?” I jolted a little.

“ W-what do you mean?” I swallowed my chocolate bar hard. Tisha looked at me, raising an eyebrow.

“ You did go to the area where it was at right?”

“ Yeah I did.”
“ Soooo. Did it have to do with you?”

“ U-uh…” Why was I afraid to tell her? Sure, Tisha could be seen as the type who judges and doesn’t care. But I know from experience I can trust her. She’s the only one who I’ve been able to talk to besides my parents. “ Alright. But don’t tell anyone ok?” Tisha held out her hand.  

“ I will not tell anyone. You have my solemn oath on that.” I smirked and shook her hand.

“ Ok good. You sure? It involves me killing people.”

“ Oh what seriously? Damn. Ok, you know I am here for you. Tell me. Also how did ya kill?” I explained to her what had occurred at the abandoned factory. Her expression was serious the whole time. “ Jesus man. And you’re ok from that?”
“ I guess so. I’m just worried about Plasamic. From what I saw and heard… they are trying to take over, company wise. Gain land and control with their weapons or something.”

“ Sounds like a stupid thing to do. What about this Emund dude?”

“ Not too sure about him yet. But I’ll have a chance to learn more today.”

“ Today? How?” I hadn’t told her the part about Emund inviting me to his house afterwards.

“ Yup. Um. He kinda took my phone from me and pleaded with me to join him in his mission thing before giving it back. I don’t know whether or not to go.”

 

Tisha put her head on her hands, thinking.

“ Well. If it is as dangerous as you say then I dunno. And you said something about assassinations? That isn’t good.”

“ Yeah. But what do I do? Should I go? It could be risky.” I asked nervously. Tisha drummed her fingers on the table. Other kids walked by, unaware of the situation.

“ I mean. If you’re so worried about it. Then I could go with you.”

“ Wait what??”
“ Yeah! This sounds cool! I always wanted to use guns!”

“ That isn’t true. Is it?”

“ No. But that isn’t the point. I wanna see this. Can I come?” Tisha seemed honest about this. I didn’t want her to get hurt but I also needed help. I wasn’t exactly confident about doing it alone. I mean besides Emund, but I had to figure out more if I could trust him.

“ Well… sure. If you stay quiet and safe.”

“ I am good at that.”

“ Like when you performed at the school event and scraped your knee?” I said sarcastically.

“ Girl you know I did that with the full intent on making it to the far lane!” Tisha exclaimed, lightly hitting my shoulder. I rubbed it and laughed.

“ Yeah yeah, of course!” I looked her straight in the eyes. “ But seriously. This is dangerous. We could die from this!”

“ Girl come on. If you are going, I’m coming with you, ok? I already said this sounds interesting. Also, it is the weekend after school gets out. So we got two days to do this! Besides, you know how bad businesses are at making business decisions.” I smiled and shook my head. If there was one good thing about Tisha, it was that she could put me in a good mood.

“ Alright fine. Since you keep insisting.” I finally agreed.

 

Tisha popped a chicken nugget in her mouth.

“ Thank you. Then, when are we going?”
“ Uh… I dunno. When should we?”

“ Ya wanna ditch class?”

“ What no! We can’t do that!”
“ Ugh, why do you care so much? My fun classes already ended!”

“ So? That’s not a good enough reason! We’re trying to do this without getting in trouble.” I explained. Tisha sighed heavily. The bell rang.

“ Well, if ya say so. Man, I got english next! What a bore!”
“ Bore? At least you read in that class. I have that last.”

“ Lucky you. You’re into that stuff. Not me!”

“ Are you gonna keep complaining? Or just do it?”

“ Oh Imma complain. But yeah let’s go.” Tisha and me packed up our things and headed off for class. She went towards the english bungaloos and me spanish. It felt better, knowing that I was gonna have my one good friend with me. Sure, I had other kids I talk to. Like Knox. But he was just a school friend, only talking during the down times. Otherwise I didn’t have any close friends. The last one I had before Tisha was back in elementary school. I remember him still.

 

Since I was a shy kid and mostly kept to myself, no one sat with me during the recesses and lunches. This never really bothered me, since I wasn’t that social to begin with. Then, in fourth grade, me and him were put in the same class. We sat together and it was the first time I felt a connection to someone who wasn’t a family member. Spaik decided to help me when I was having issues on my work. I didn’t ask, he simply offered it to me. He had seen me struggling and took it upon himself to aid me. Then, it continued outside the classroom. We found each other on the playground. Spaik always invited me to play tetherball or soccer. He took things very seriously. Which helped me since that meant I could talk to him about my growing fears, and he’d listen.

“ Spaik, what’ll happen in fifth grade? Apparently we’re getting three classes now?” I had asked worriedly. Me and him were at a bench eating our early snacks.

“ I guess so. Three teachers? Ew.” He said.

“ Doesn’t that make things complicated?”
“ Yeah it does! Three times the amount of homework! Such terror!” He exclaimed.

“ NO!” I said loudly.

“ But, it’s fine. We got this. All it means is we have to divide up our day for each set of homework.”

“ Not more homework!”
“ Yes more! But again. If you just make a schedule. Do one thing at a time, only worrying about that one thing at that moment and nothing else and then moving on, it shouldn’t be bad. Get it?”

“ I think so. Perhaps it won’t be as bad.”

“ No.” Spaik was the one person who talked to me back then. He talked deeply about things but he could also be loud and bubbly at times.  We separated because of family issues. In middle school I met Tisha. Her, plus me being more able to talk to people, allowed for those years up till now to be much better. I didn’t think too much about Spaik nowadays. But sometimes he came up in my mind. I entered la clase de español.

 

The rest of school was overall, normal. Spanish we did a packet over more verbs, which took me the whole period. Then english we did another few pages of the Odyssey, which I finished before everyone else. You know, class favoritism. Put I knew the day wouldn’t really begin until the periods were over. I was sitting in english. Staring at the clock on the wall. School’s about to end. Do I want it to end? I guess so. But then we need to go to that guy’s house. Ugh. I don’t know if I wanna do this. But Tisha offered to come so I won’t let her down, she did seem excited. I guess I’ll see what happens. I thought to myself. Once the bell rang, I walked over to the front of the school, where me and Tisha normally meet to walk home if she’s available for it. Which normally happens about two to threes times a week? Maybe more or less depending on hers or mine parent’s situations. As I waited, I checked my homework. One English, and one math. When I would actually be doing it is another question. I stood there, kids walking by. Either on their phones, talking to friends or simply by themselves. After about five minutes, Tisha walked up to me.

“ Heya! You ready?” She asked.

“ I guess.” I answered softly. Tisha put a hand to her hip.

“ You should really stop worrying. This won’t be that bad. We got each other right?”

“ Well, yeah. But still.”

“ Still nothing. Can we get something to eat first?”

“ You wanna eat? We’re supposed to go to the guy’s house!”

“ I ain’t about to use futuristic weapons until I’m full! You want rubios?” I sighed.

“ Sure.”

“ Ok. Who’s paying?”

“ I can.”

“ K thanks.” I let out a laugh. We left the school, heading to the nearby rubios restaurant.

 

I wish I hadn’t brought a jacket today. It was hotter than yesterday. The sun burned bright in the sky. Clouds barely visible. Allowing for all the rays to hit me. Good thing was, I had a short sleeve short on under this jacket. I took it off and stuffed it in my backpack. If there is one thing I don’t understand, it’s that my pack gets so full so quickly. Like when I have just my basic school books and what not in there, it’s fine. I can carry it easily. But as soon as I put something else in, like a lunch bag or my jacket, boom! Instantly turns into the weight of a boulder. I don’t get it. At least I was feeling better with my blue T-shirt and orange soft pants. Who said anything about matching? Tisha wasn’t much better. With her purple shirt and black pants. Did she choose the shirt color to match her hair? Possibly. But knowing her, it was a coincidence. She didn’t wear things with much thought normally. Which was fine, considering I was the same. We walked down the street, going past the area where the factory was. We were going to another shopping center across from it. As we pasted, I saw what remained of the factory. There wasn’t much. Just some of the base. Black, charred and smoking. There was at least five police cars around it, yellow tape put up to keep out others. Officers inspected it, and made calls on their phones. I moved a little faster, hoping they wouldn’t see me. If I was gonna get caught doing this, I didn’t want it be now. Thankfully, we made it to rubios.

 

We entered the building, looking at the menu as we got in line.

“ So. What do you want?” I asked my friend.

“ Hmm. Imma go for them chicken tacos. Love those things. You?”

“ Uh. I think the chicken burrito.”

“ Are you copying me in burrito form?”

“ Maybe.”

“ You sneaky.”

“ Well I mean. I have to get in on some of that chicken too don’t I?”

“ Yeah but if you take mine Imma have to get out my Valkyrie and smash you!” I laughed at her reference.

“ Oh is this Destiny now?”

“ Yup. Now pay for the food please.” It was our turn at the register. I payed for our stuff, with two fountain drink included. Speaking of the fountain drinks. I always have a hard time deciding what kind of drink I want. I inspected the selections.

“ Hmmm. Orange soda, lemon soda, root beer soda. Why are there so many kinds of soda?” I wondered.

“ Are you really going to question it?” Tisha started taking some of all of them. “ Just take all.”

“ Is that allowed?”

“ I dunno. But either way, I’m doing it.” She filled up her cup. I didn’t argue. I simply filled mine with orange soda. We chose a seat in the back outside.

“ What did you do in English?” Tisha asked me.

“ Read Odyssey.”

“ That book is so boring!”
“ You say that about every book you read!”

“ So? Couldn’t the schools find a way to make reading more fun?”

“ How?”

“ Maybe by… adding a virtual reality feature to it so it’s more interesting! And an addition of free games to play.”

“ I am pretty sure it don’t work that.”

“ Well yeah, but it should.”

“ Who knows. Maybe in the future.”

“ Perhaps.” Our food came. I chowed down on my burrito. It was pretty good! Once we finished our food we left rubios.

“ So you said you knew where this address was?” I asked.

“ Lemme see it again.” I showed her my phone. She thought for a second.

“ Yeah… I think so. Come on.” She headed towards the neighborhood located on the upper hill. “ You know I forgot to bring my bike. Would’ve made this a lot quicker.” Tisha said on the way up.

“ Oh yeah. It would’ve been.” I said. Tisha had recently gotten into riding around on her bike. I had bought one a long time ago. I had pumped it up so we could ride together. It was fun, to race through forests and streets.

“ But then you couldn’t follow me. Since you didn’t bring it. Unless we both brought ours.” She exclaimed.

“ Well yeah. Is it far from here?”

“ Not really.”

 

It took about ten minutes for us to get there. I had many moments of thought to myself. This is taking awhile. Maybe it’s too long. I could turn back now and it would be fine. Oh wait, probably not. I still would feel guilty then. Ugh. But there is so long to go! Whatever, I’ll keep going. You know how when you are doing something, and then you end up making it worse for yourself? But in reality it wasn’t that bad? That was this walk for me. It was hot outside, like every time I walk home. And I couldn’t stop my thoughts from bringing up the worst possibilities. I wish sometimes I didn’t have a brain. The two of us finally made it to the address, according to Tisha. It was bright yellow and small. One floor with a backyard sticking out.

“ Guess it’s it.” Tisha began to move to the door. I stayed.

“ You sure about this?” I said nervously.

“ Girl I swear. The moment you stop worrying is the moment world hunger is resolved. Come on!” She grabbed my wrist and pulled me up to the front door. “ Go on knock. This isn’t a date or anything.”

“ Tisha, he’s like thirty.”

“ I know. So what I’m saying is, it’ll be fine. Do it.”

“ OK ok.” I knocked. I tried to calm my breathing. Telling myself things to keep me from being too scared. I’m not too sure if it worked or not. The door opened. Emund stood in the doorway.

 

He was now wearing a white tank top, and grey shorts. He had blue goggles on.

“ Ah it’s you kid. Is this your friend?” He asked, jabbing a thumb at my companion.

“ Y-yeah.” I gestured to Tisha. She waved.

“ Hello! Emund right? Ceena told me about your little skirmish at the factory near our school. I wanted to check what’s goin’ on!”

“ Tisha!” I exclaimed.

“ What? Isn’t that what’s going on?” She responded back.

“ I mean I guess but-”

“ Look. You shouldn’t of told anyone.” Emund said. He inhaled and looked at Tisha. “ But. Now that ya did… you two know each other well?”

“ Yup! This girl is great!” She put her arm around me. I might’ve blushed a bit.

“ Mhm.” I muttered. Emund crossed his arms.

“ Right. Well ya seem like it. Tisha was it? Can you keep a secret?”

“ Sure! What kinda secret?” She asked.
“ What did the kid tell you?”
“ Uh. About the company and the factory. And she doesn’t trust you.” Tisha told him. I felt like shrinking into the nearby bushes. Emund raised an eyebrow.

“ Not trust? I guess that makes sense. I wouldn’t seem very friendly would I?” He sighed and dropped his arms. “ But listen kids. I am not a bad guy. I know at your age you hear all about how not to trust strangers.”

“ Mhm.” Said Tisha.

“ But again. I need your help! I’m in this alone. I managed to escape them and not get hunted down. But they are out there, getting stronger. Whenever Plasamic finds a person who knows their plans but aren’t working for them… bad. So I asked you to come here so I can finally stop them.” He looked worried and guilty again, like he had back at the factory.

“ And so you need two kids to help you?” Tisha asked, putting a hand to her hip. Emund sighed.

“ Yes. I’ve already thought about this. If ya don’t wanna get hurt, then you need to come inside.”

“ And you’re sure this isn’t a rape?”

“ Unless rape consists of training with highly dangerous and high tech weaponry to stop a company.” I snickered at this. Tisha dropped her arm.

“ Alright. Show us what’cha got.” Emund let us into his house.

 

It was even smaller on the inside. Going down the corridor: On the left was the kitchen, white tiled. On the right was a single bathroom. Past that, a living room. A medium size TV screen laid on a brown shelf. A red couch laid on a green and red rug. A door behind the rug seemed to lead to a bedroom, and next to that was what I guessed was the garage door. Large sliding glass doors led to the backyard, which was the biggest part of the whole place. A wide stretch of grass, set up like a shooting range. With targets, and firing stations. A little covered patio with a table and four seats around it laid down some guns.

“ How the heck do you live like this?” Tisha asked. She inspected the living room television. “ This is way too small!” Emund came over to her.

“ Small? I don’t need anything larger than that! Unlike you kids I can appreciate simple things without much internet usage.”

“ Whadda mean? I can appreciate simple things!”

“ Like what?” Emund asked. Tisha pointed at the shelf below the screen.

“ This is a nice brown for example. It looks glossy. Do you clean it often?”
“ I do. I like things clean. And that isn’t what I was talking about.”

“ Well you know what that’s whatever!” She gestured to the backyard. “ Is that the reason we are here?” Emund looked where she was pointing.

“ Pretty much. Before that, are ya kids hungry?”

“ No. I just ate.” I said.

“ Yeah, together. We ate together. Why do you keep calling us kids?” Tisha asked.

“ Because you are kids.” Emund opened the door to the back. The warm air sweeped into the building. “ Also uh, just leave your stuff by the front. You can keep y’all’s shoes if you want.” He walked out and waited for us. Tisha put her bag down by the door. She faced me.

“ Why are you just standing here? This’ll be cool!”

“ I guess so. Isn’t this illegal and dangerous?” I said.

“ We aren’t doing this again.” She pulled me into the backyard. I just sorta slipped off my pack.

 

When we got there, Emund was setting up three of the five stations. He waved us over to one.

“ Alright girls look.” He picked up the weapon. It was a pistol, like the one I’d used at the factory. “ We’ll start simple. This is a basic firearm from Plasamic. Think of it as a pistol like you’ve seen. Just hold the handle with two hands, and aim and fire.” He did just that. He shot at the target across the way, blasting a hole clean through the wood. It smoked blue.

“ Jesus!” Tisha exclaimed. “ And you just go around, blasting up your stuff?” Emund set down the pistol and smiled.

“ Yup. But I got plenty of these target things. About three hundred in the garage. Which I can get to from my room.”

“ Why in your room?” I asked.

“ I dunno. Just the way house is I guess. Now then, who wants to try?” He offered it to us. I just stared at it. Tisha grabbed it out of his hand.

“ Me! I’ll go first since she’s too scared.”

“ I am not scared!” I protested.

“ Oh sure you aren’t. Don’t worry. I’ve got this!” She aimed the gun at the target. Her right eye closed, her face concentrated. She fired, the bullet hitting the rim of the target. “ What? Come on!” She complained. I laughed.

“ Seems like you have to try harder, Crucible Queen.”

“ Hey! Dontchu start making fun of my Destiny skills! You try it.” She put it in my hands. I took it. I remembered when I had shot and missed at the factory. I guess now was the time to practice. I raised it up, focusing on the red and white target. I fired, completely missing. The bullet hit the fence. Thankfully it was made of metal so it didn’t dent too much.

“ Alright. You two need to keep at it.” Emund advised. “ Get a grip on using the basics first.”

“ Well when can we use the bigger stuff?” Tisha pointed to the larger rifles sitting on the other stations. “ Those look cool.”

“ Once you actually learn how to use this first. Or else there is no way you’ll be able to use those.” Emund brought over another pistol. He gave it to Tisha. “ Get going.”

“ Wait what are you gonna do?” I asked him.

“ Watch you.” He laid down on one of the seats, hands behind his head.

“ No tips?”

“ Just treat it like a normal pistol. It’s not hard, just get used to the aiming.” And he watched us. “ And before you ask. Those things are gonna do more damage to the targets with a low charge than it would to a human because of the way the plasma is made.”

“ Are there different kinds?” Tisha asked.

“ Yeah. The ones I have/stole, are ones that aren’t gonna kill on low charge but will with a high charge for skin and flesh.”

“ And that works how exactly?”

“ Stuff with the intensity of the plasma fused with the metal, don’t worry about it. Just go, practice.”

 

Me and Tisha spent a good hour practicing. I know since I checked on my phone. The first few times I didn’t get how I was supposed to hit the middle. Tisha got it faster than me. She messed up the target after her fifth try. So Emund had to replace it. Lucky her. I keep going unto my sixteenth time of missing completely before I started to hit it. Finally however, we managed to fluidly shoot up the target. Once we did, Emund clapped.

“ Ok! Good! Now, you ready for bigger guns?”

“ Heck yes! Which ones?” Tisha asked eagerly.

“ These.” Emund walked over to the station farthest to the left. Where two rifles sat. They were the about the size of a normal army assault rifle. “ So with this. You’re gonna want to hold it by the handle and the leather here, in the front. Also don’t worry about running out of bullets. Like you saw with the pistols, infinite ammo.” My friend took hold of one, weighing it.

“ Not bad. It’s heavier. Good thing I’m strong.” I held my weapon. It took me a second to get used to the added weight of it.

“ Are these automatic?” I asked our trainer.

“ Yeah. The other ones aren’t.”

“ Can we handle full auto?”

“ Probably. Just keep in mind to pull the gun down when you do fire. It tends to jump.” Tisha aimed.

“ Alright. Shouldn’t be too bad.” Then she fired. The gun’s barrel flung upwards, spraying bullets into the sky. She yelped and dropped it. “ Nevermind! God dang dude.” I faced Emund.

“ Will that alert other people?”

“ Naw. They don’t make much sound. Ya noticed?” Now that I thought about it, I did. These energy guns didn’t make the big bang that most military guns do. That helps I guess. I aimed my rifle, ready to hold it downwards. I fired off, pulling the barrel down as it shot upward. I managed to hit the target a few times.

“ Hey. I did something.” I said.

“ Mhm. Keep going.” Emund sat back down.

“ Thanks for being here with us.” Tisha exclaimed, and retried. This went down similar to the last time. We spent over an hour trying to consistently get shots to connect. Tisha got it after about ten times and me after twelve. I was getting better! By the time we were done the sky was turning darker. I realized I should’ve texted my parents.

 

“ Can you guys give me a minute?” I went back inside the house and texted.

“ HI mom, dad. I shouldve told u i was at my friends house today. Sorry for not saying anything sooner.” I sent them. Thankfully they let me stay the night, since it was friday. I felt bad lying to them, I mean I was with a friend. But still. I turned around just as Emund came in.

“ Hey so what time do you kids go to sleep normally?” He asked. I raised an eyebrow.

“ Sleep? Why?”

“ Well.” He checked his phone. “ It is currently 9:30pm. And I need your help with another factory tonight.” This surprised me.

“ Wait you want us to go with you to another location where they are manufacturing weapons this same night?”

“ Yup. Reason being: If it’s night time, then there won’t be as much resistance above ground. And maybe even underground. Who knows.” I shook my head in shock.

“ Hold up! Underground? Where the heck are we going?”

“ It’s a construction site. I told you Plasamic likes to do things while under cover. They won’t just open a building like this out in the street where the government can easily find them. I know where it is. Now we just gotta blow it to hell.”

More bombs?”

“ Yup. I know it’s extreme but I have to make sure their stuff is ruined permanently.”
“ And what about the explosion you caused near my school? That could have killed innocents walking by!” I said, a little loud.

“ Hey, calm down. Again, it was at a time when not that many people were around. And like I have been saying to you, this is serious! I cannot let them have this stuff. If a couple of randoms are hurt, then so be it. I don’t want this. But Plasamic can’t keep going either. I ain’t a goddamn maniac alright? So please. Calm down. When do ya kids sleep?” He sighed and looked at me. I was still unsatisfied with the way he dealt with the factory near my school, but I let it slide.

“ I normally sleep at around ten.”

“ Oh bull manure. I’ve been to your house over night. You do not go to bed at that time!” Tisha came inside, holding a rifle still. “ And plus, you’ve even admitted staying up later.”

“ Thanks, but I wasn’t lying.” I said sarcastically.

“ Well, y’all oughta go now. Since we are leaving in three hours for the construction site.” Emund told us.

Construction site??!” Tisha exclaimed. Emund told her what he had just told me. She looked intrigued.

 

“ Alright. So we bust into this site at night and do what exactly?”
“ The exact room was built into the ground. I surveyed the area before. There is a big drilled hole that they built it into. If we sneak down it and get into the room we can set off another bomb and get rid of it.”

“ What is with you and blowing stuff up?” Tisha asked. Emund shrugged.

“ It’s not like I enjoy doing it. I just feel like it is a sure way of putting each factory out of commission. So that, you know, nothing is retrieved from it.”

 

“ And you are serious about us sleeping over here with you?” Tisha asked.

“ Yes! I hope you can trust me enough to stay here for a few hours and then continue to help me!”
“ Ooooh. I dunno. Trusting is a hard thing to do.”

“ Agh. Please? I’ve gone through the trouble of showing you girls how these damn weapons work. Can’t you at least show me you know how to use them in a real fight?”

“ Hmm. A real fight. Like a shooter game?”
“ Yes! Sure, like that.” I realized what he was doing. Tapping into Tisha’s love for FPS games. And using that to persuade her into trying out a real gun fight.

“ Tisha.” I put in. “ This isn’t a game. You need to understand that.”

“ I get that. But these guns are seriously pretty cool. And I wanna try them out. When exactly?”

“ I already said in three hours.” Emund repeated. “ I’m suggesting you two get some rest. Unless you want to be tired on our trip there.”

“ How far is it from here?” I asked.

“ Oh. Let’s see.” Emund pulled out his phone, checking Google maps. “ Not too far. A few miles. It’ll be easy though. Since it’s late at night there should little to no one on the roads.” At this point, I was conflicted. On one hand, this was really stupid. There was a good chance something could happen to us while we slept in this man’s house. On the other, I would feel guilty if I didn’t do anything to stop Plasamic. I mean I did come all the way over here, so I must be into this thing now. I sighed.

“ Alright. I guess we can do it. What do you think Tisha?” My friend smiled.

“ Yeah! Sounds fun. What kinda guns do we get to use?” Emund put his arms to his hips.

“ Heh! I’ll figure that out. You two just head into the guest room."

“ There’s a guest room?” I asked. I hadn’t seen one earlier. Emund pointed to a door adjacent to his bedroom door.

“ That one. I don’t ever use it, since I live alone. There’s only one bed. So either y’all sleep together or on the floor or somethin’.” Tisha walked over and opened the door. Inside were plain white walls, and a gray rugged floor. A single bed, a night stand, and a window were inside.

“ Ok, I can sleep on the floor.” Tisha decided.

“ Wait. You don’t have to.” I told her. She waved away my offer.

“ Naw it’s all good. You seem more stressed about this. So I’ll let you have it. Is that fine?”

“ Uh… sure. Thanks.”

“ Uh huh. You got a sleeping bag E-dude?” She asked.

“ Hey don’t say that to me! I’m the elder here. And yeah I have one. Hold on.” He went into his garage, and came back out about two minutes later. He was holding a wrapped up, dark blue sleeping bag. “ Here.” He tossed it to her. Tisha caught it.

“ I dunno about the elder. But thanks.” She went into the guest room, spreading out her bag and plopping down on it. “ Hmm, not bad. Ceena, come on in! There’s no pedophiles in here.”

“ Oh really? Not funny.” I said, laughing. I laid down on the bed, under the sheets. It was fairly comfy. I had the window right next to me.

“ Those blue sheets work for you?” Emund asked.

“ Yeah, sure.” I replied. They were enough for what it was.

“ Ok good. Well, goodnight, I guess. Well, more like see you in a little bit. You get it.” Emund closed the door.

 

I think Tisha said something to me. But I didn’t catch it, because I fell asleep almost immediately. I was more tired than I thought I guess. This time I had another odd dream. I was standing in some brown, boarded building. I could see leaves out a window. There were some crates scattered around, and a computer to my left. In front of me was a boy, about my age. He was looking at me in shock.

“ Why are you here?” He asked me. At first I was confused. What was happening? I studied the face of the boy, trying to give it a name. Then it hit me.

“ S-Spaik!?” I asked. I didn’t know what to think. This was just a dream, so maybe it was a flashback. But we never had come to a place like this before, and it wouldn’t explain why he was so surprised. I tried talking some more, but the dream ended. I woke up feeling kinda awkward.

 

That is, besides my dream, it was still late at night when I woke. Which I am not used to at all. I looked out my window. The sky was still pitch black. I checked my phone. It was 12:50am. Jesus, I wasn’t sure my parents would be ok with me staying up this late. But then again, my parents wouldn’t be very happy with anything I’m doing right now.  I leaned over and looked at Tisha. She was still dead asleep on her bag. How had I woken up so fast? Then I heard it. A faint alarm set off in the living room, by Emund probably. The noise was shut off, and the door opened.

“ Alright kids, get up. We don’t wanna waste time doin’ this.” He glanced down at my friend. “ Is she gonna move?”

“ Most likely not. I got this.” I climbed down from my bed and tickled her neck. From my experience with sleeping with her, it seemed to work a good amount of the time. This time it did. Tisha jolted awake.

“ Hey! Stop! What’s going on?”

“ It is time for us to leave.” Emund threw two small packs down next to us. “ Take these. They each contain a pistol, a communicator and a bag of chips.” I looked through my bag.
“ Are these for the mission?” I asked.

“ Yes it is. What else would it be for? Now Ceena, I’ve been thinking, and there’s something you need to know.”
“ W-what is it?”

“ You seem to be hesitant to pull the trigger. While I can appreciate the worry, it can also be a weakness. You need to know when it’s ok to just fire at the enemy.” I flinched.
“ I-I know. But I don’t like shooting people!”
“ I get it! I really do! But like I’ve been saying. You won’t get in trouble for this. Not if you stick with me you won’t. I don’t like it either, understand? I’m just telling you that you need to do this in order to save everyone! Because, like it or not, a few person’s death over thousands is better than the other way around. So please, just try not to give into the hesitation, please?” I could hear the pleading in his voice again. I set my bag down.

“ O-ok. I’ll try.” I muttered. Tisha sat up.

“ I sleep for only three hours and I wake up to drama like this? No. Girl it’ll be fine I’m telling you! We are in this together!” She gave me a reassuring smile. I was glad she was here, I would’ve had a harder time without her.

 

I got up, slinging the bag around my back.
“ Ok, fine. Let’s go.” Emund nodded.

“ Well now. Seems you two do work for each other. Alright.” Tisha got up and retrieved her bag.

“ Hey, we aren’t romantic or anything. But yeah, we do!”

“ Mhm. Right. Then come on, let’s get in my car.” Emund began for the garage. I saw he had a pack as well.

“ I didn’t know this nerd could even drive.” Tisha said, and left the room. I followed suit into the garage.

 

Our trainer’s car wasn’t anything special. It was a simple yellow car, with two front and back row seats. It looked kinda classical. He got into the driver’s seat.
“ Let’s go. I know it ain’t anything special.” Me and Tisha filed into the back. The garage door opened and we drove out onto the street. As we went, I saw a family pass by. A mom, dad and a kid. I didn’t know what they were doing out so late. The little boy had on one of those red and yellow propeller hats. The parents were discussing something, but I couldn’t hear what it was. We drove for about ten minutes. The stars above us gleamed, the cold air cutting my skin when I reached out of the car. As usual, the weather was against me. Why did I have to be wearing a T-shirt at the wrong time, again? Anyway, we made it to the construction zone.

 

It was fairly large. A piece of land sectioned off by green wire fencing. Inside was a field of brown dirt. Bulldozers, mats, drills, movers, pushers, and other equipment laid scattered around. In the middle of it was a big circular hole made by one of the machines.

“ Ok. So back to the plan. Y’all see that hole? We sneak down there, and get into the factory. Got it?” Emund asked.

“ Wait how do we even get down there?” Tisha replied.

“ I’ve been here before. They have a ramp that goes down it. For inspection purposes or something. Regardless, that’s what we are using.” He got out of the car. We did the same. It was really cold this late at night. I wish I had my jacket when I was about to perform illegal actions. Emund walked over to the front gate, which was naturally locked.

“ Ok. Do y’all wanna climb over?”

“ I can!” Tisha exclaimed.
“ I can’t.” I said melancholy. Emund raised an eyebrow.

“ Oh? You can’t huh? I got an idea.” He did something I wasn’t expecting at all. He went over to me, picked me up by the waist, and tossed me over the fence. I broke the silence of the night with my screaming as I flew over and tumbled into the dirt. Luckily the dirt was soft, so it didn’t hurt that much.

“ What the hell was that for???!” I yelled over the fence.

“ SORRY! I had to do something quick! We don’t wanna waste time.” Emund said back. I could hear Tisha laughing so hard. The two of them climbed over no problem and landed back down. Tisha jogged over and helped me up.

“ Mi amiga. Are you good?” She asked. I wiped dirt off of my clothing.

“ Mhm. Emund seriously. WHY?” I asked.  
“ Again. We need to do this before anyone sees us. If the public gets involved then that’s not good. Can you forgive me.”
“ Sure. Whatever. Where are we going?”

“ That way.” He pointed. The hole wasn’t too far away. We began to move toward it.

 

Unfortunately, there were two guards standing in front of the ramp. They each had on black plated armor, and holding rifles. The three of us moved behind a dormant machine.

“ Get out your pistols kids. Now we get serious.” Emund ordered us. Tisha excitedly dug out her weapon.

“ Got it! Is it like the ones we had at your house?”

“ Yes!” He took out a rifle for himself. I got out my pistol.

“ Hey! How come you get a bigger gun?” Tisha asked, disappointed.

“ Because I can use one! Now quiet down! We need to think of a way to get those guards out of the way.” We hid there for a good few seconds.

“ I got something.” Tisha said.

“ What?” I asked.

“ Ok so, you see those large movers over there? I’ll shoot over there, to get their attention. Once they move there, we shoot ‘em!”

“ Eh I dunno.” Emund said.

“ I’m gonna try it.” Tisha aimed her gun, and fired. It hit the front of the mover.

 

The two men looked at it in alarm.

“ What was that?”

“ Must be intruders!” They rushed over to the mover. I just stared at them. Emund sniped the first guard’s head, He hit the dirt. The other located us.

“ Hey YOU! STOP!” He shouted, and aimed his rifle. Before he could shoot, he was hit in the gut by Tisha’s pistol. He fell over. I looked at the bodies. Before I could reach any kind of negative conclusion, Emund pulled me up right.

“ You ok? Get to the hole quickly! Start going down, I’m gonna cover up the bodies.” He jogged over to the guards. Tisha and I ran over to the hole’s edge. It was a lot bigger up close. A spiraling ramp let downwards. At the bottom was a pool of water, and a tunnel. We descended down. Our feet made deep, hollowed stepping sounds as we walked. Once we got to the bottom, we stepped into the tunnel. It led for a few meters to a metal door. Emund joined with us.

“ Alright. That door should be it.”

“ Why haven’t the workers noticed this?” I asked.

“ Most likely from legal contracts and what not. Disguising themselves as a different company. Who knows what they make others think.” He began for the door. We followed. As we approached it I had to try and make myself stop shaking. I had survived these guys once, I could do it again. Even though I might die. Hopefully not. Or Tisha.

“ As soon as I open the door, run to the nearest hiding spot. I’ll cover y’all. Got that?” Emund asked us. We both nodded. He flung the door open.

 

Instantly me and my friend bolted. I saw a conveyor belt. I dove behind it, Tisha following suit. I heard gunshots, and men shouting. Emund ducked under next to us.

“ They know we’re here. Get ready!” He exclaimed. Bullets flew over us, hitting the wall.

“ Aw yeah! This will be fun!” Tisha leaned over the conveyor, firing off her pistol. She quickly dropped back down as a bullet almost hit her. “ Ok, that’s hard to hit.”

“ I told you it wasn’t like a game!” I said.

“ I know that! We need a strategy. You have one?”

“ That’d be nice.” Emund said. He shot, I heard someone grunt and hit the floor. I panicked, but I thought. I looked around. The belts had large crates on them. They would be large enough to fit me and Tisha. The control mechanism was situated right next to Emund. An idea formed inside of me.

“ Emund! Hey!” I yelled over the gunfire. He turned to me. “ Me and Tisha are gonna hide inside those creates! Use the lever to move the crates over to them! They won’t expect that!” He looked at me like I was crazy.

“ How is that supposed to work?” He asked.

“ If they see boxes moving, that won’t be interesting to them, since they are usually doing that I’m guessing.” Tisha put in. “ So we can get the surprise attack! We can get in these crates right here so they won’t see us.” Emund looked nervous about this.

“ I guess we don’t have a choice. Go get in. I’ll move ya. You’ll probably get hit.” With those encouraging words, we climbed in. I put the top over my crate. Jeez was it cramped. My arms and legs ached within seconds of me being in there. I pressed against other parts and gadgets that Plasamic owned. I even saw a few guns.

 

The conveyor belt began to move. I felt my crate rumbled as gunshots blazed past. There were multiple occasions where I thought I was gonna get accidentally hit and killed. Thankfully I wasn’t. I felt the box come to a stop. I didn’t know what we were supposed to do now. We didn’t assign any signal. That was until I heard Tisha jump out of her box.

“ HEY GUYS WHAT UP!?” I heard shuffling and gun fire. The thought that my friend could be shot at that moment was what made me burst out also. It was a scary scene. Two men were on Tisha. Advancing on her, guns raised, two were firing at Emund still, and one was facing me. He aimed to shoot. Arms wobbly I raised my pistol and fired. It hit the guy’s knee. He let out a yell and grabbed his leg. Emund shot his head and he fell over. The other two saw me. I shot one guy’s crotch. He screamed like a woman and gripped his comrades arm. While they were trying to untangle each other, I jumped down off of the conveyor belt. Emund sniped one guard, and I placed my pistol against the other’s chest, blasting a hole in it. They both fell. Tisha was having issues. She was cornered. One guard grabbed her. The other aimed to finish her. I yelled. I bashed the right guard in the back with my pistol. He staggered, dropping Tisha. He turned around, and slapped me, hard. I fell to the ground, my head spinning. Tisha shot the guy’s head and he hit the floor. The final tried to shoot her, but she ducked out of the way. Emund sniped him in the back. He collapsed against the belt.

 

Emund ran over to me.

“ KID! Are you ok? You’re fine. Come on, get up.” He slowly sat me up. I took a minute to get over the pain in my head as Emund set up his bomb against the crates. “ There we go. You two did a great job. I mean wow. You really hit them! Ceena, that was some hit you gave to that guy’s back.”

“ Are you being sarcastic?” Tisha asked.

“ NO! Really. I’m glad you came. Certainly makes my job easier.” He set the bomb to detonate in five minutes. “ We need to leave now.” I stood up, angry.
“ No. I’m leaving you! I am not going to be apart of this anymore!” I said. They both looked at me.

“ What? Kid?” Emund said, confused.

“ No really! Me and Tisha could’ve died doing this! Tisha was close to dying! I can’t handle this! I won’t risk me and my friend’s life for your stupid cause! I shouldn’t have done this in the first place! It is way too dangerous! If you wanna keep going then be my guest. But I won’t be with you!” I was practically yelling.

“ Ceena.” Tisha said softly. “ This isn’t right. You don’t need to be upset about this! I’m fine! We all are! I get why you’d be mad. But please, it’s not how you think it is! I’m ok!” She tried to give me a reassuring smile. I still wouldn’t take it.

“ No Tisha. How can you act like this? It’s something that can KILL YOU! Are you just too dumb to understand that?” I wasn’t speaking logically anymore, just out of anger. “ Maybe you are.” Tisha looked offended.

“ Hey! Don’t be a jerk just because you’re too worried all the damn time! We were perfectly fine until you randomly jumped at us like this!” She retorted.

“ Yeah? I’m just looking after us! Go with him then, and get yourself killed. I’m leaving.” I turned to head back out the way we had entered. I threw my bag on the ground. “ And keep your trash.”
“ Ceena! Be reasonable!” Emund yelled. I stormed out of the construction site.

 

I used my phone to find my way back home. I rung the doorbell, and my dad sleepily opened it.

“ Ceena? My god why are you here at this time of night?” He asked.

“ Sorry dad. Things got kinda crazy at my friend’s house. Too much partying, so I came home.” I lied.

“ You kids have way too much fun sometimes. Come in, and get to sleep!” I did try to sleep. Even though I was in my comfy bed, I couldn’t. I just kept thinking about the factory. Was I wrong? Was I acting too aggressively? Should I have stayed with them and continued onward? No. I couldn’t have. I was too scared, to be honest. Seeing my really good friend come so close to harm, and even death… it was too much. Had she stayed? Stayed with that man? The man who dragged me and her into this whole thing? Or, rather I dragged her into this. It’s my fault Tisha is in this now, and why she wants to do this. Something she could very well die from. But, if I stayed away, would I be hunted? Would Plasamic find me, and murder me? Would the two of them succeed without me? Sure they could, they didn’t need me. I could move on with my life and they finish this. I decided as I went to sleep.

 

The next day was saturday. I thought about being able to move on, maybe. Perhaps focus on something else to ease my mind. My mom always tells me to go outside, and walk around, draw or sleep. The thing about sleeping was, I didn’t think that would help at the moment. Considering my last two dreams weren’t exactly too swell. So I decided to go for a stroll around my neighborhood. I don’t do it often, simply because I like being inside more. But it was a nice day out. The sky was blue, only a few clouds scattered here and there. The temperature not boiling hot or freezing cold. Which allowed me to wear a comfortable blue short sleeve shirt and dark blue long pants. Sometimes, matching can be annoying. Since my hair is always green, and I’m not into dying it or wearing hats. Hats make my hair itch for some reason and I never liked how my hair sticks out the back. I won’t squish it up on the top of my head simply because I need to look better. Not if it makes me uncomfortable.

 

I left my house, heading over to the nature trail just across from it. It’s convenient to have a mini forest like path so close, it gives Gina a more interesting place to go. At least from what I’ve seen. I can count multiple times were I’ve found her wandering the ground. Scavenging for...whatever she is looking for. Normally Gina finds nothing. Though one time she returned with a water bottle, containing a tiny broken watch inside of it. Who leaves their watch inside of a water bottle? Anyway, my parents just threw it away. This time when I climbed down the slope to the path, Gina was there. Like I’ve said, she kinda comes and goes when she wants. Is that dangerous? It might be, but normally she’s fine. Since our cat is so good, we reward her. She is always back in time for dinner anyways and it’s less work on me, so who’s complaining? Not me.

 

Gina saw me and scuttled over, stepping on leaves and sticks scattered throughout the dirt. She rubbed against my leg and purred softly. I smiled, and stroked her back. I appreciated how affectionate she was. Always wanting to be scratched, and never being aggressive. That is unless it’s been a bad day, or you’re trying to attack her. Gina has some crazy fighting moves. Once, our neighbor, Johnathan’s dog tried to fight her. The dog ended up with new cuts and she was perfectly fine. Thankfully our little yellow cat ain’t like that all the time.

 

I continued past Gina and went down the nature trail. It was nice. The trees, the bushes, dead logs and plants on the ground. Some ants running in formation along the trunk of a tree. A spider forming its web between an old sewage pipe. A lizard dodging to get away from me as I stepped closer. I could see why some people use this as a daily exercise, to remove the stress of life from their shoulders, if only for a little while. A little is better than none. I came to a split in the path. Go up and you’re taken to another street. Keep going forward and there was more of the path, before it ended onto another street. I checked my pockets. My phone and credit card were in there. I realized it was about lunch time. Why not get something to eat? There’s a shopping center just past the street to my upper left. I decided on it.

 

The center itself is pretty good. There’s a shopping mall, StarBucks ( again ), and some other nice things like a dry cleaning, and a karate training class, and other food restaurants. It was lucky to have all of it so fairly close to my house. I scanned the buildings, deciding what I would want to eat. I settled on Z Pizza. It wasn’t the best pizza, but it would do. I headed over into the building. Inside was pretty small. Only a single hallway extending to the back of the building. Five tables to your right, and the counter and kitchen to your left. A TV monitor up above played a sports game. I remember that my dad, and this one kid in my science class, Robert, would always get so pissed when the game was spoiled for them. For my dad I wouldn’t hear the end of it while I did my homework. He’d come home after his day at work all upset.

“ I swear if I get spoiled one more time.” He’d bust into the house complaining. “ I’m not looking at another television screen today!” Then he would go right and watch the game himself. It was worse with Robert however. This kid would come storming into physics class, completely triggered about his spoiler. I don’t really care about sports myself, but he definitely does. More than my dad perhaps. When all the kids in the class were beginning to settle in for another period of torture, Robert walks in.

“ GUYS! I just got ruined! Ruined! That football game? Arizona Cardinals won. Can you believe that?” Then before anyone answered him, he’d continue ranting. “ No, actually don’t answer that. I don’t need an answer. I just need some bleach to clean my dirty mind, because I can’t unsee that SPOILER!” The teacher would force him to shut up and sit down. Fortunately he wouldn’t rant at all during the rest of the period, which I appreciated.

 

I waited in the small line at the counter. There were three people ahead of me. The kid in front of me I recognized. It was Knox. I tapped him on the shoulder.

“ Hey! How are you?” I asked him. He turned to face me. His black hair squished under a light green cap, kinda like my hair. His purple eyes, worried but thoughtful. His light skin covered by a black jacket. He smiled.

“ Oh hey Ceena! I’m fine. You?” He replied.

“ Mmm, ok I guess. How was that english essay for you? Did you pass?”

“ Yup! I got that integrated thesis on point!” He said, we both laughed.

“ Nice! Yeah, I got an A on it.”

“ You always get As on these essays.”

“ I guess.”
“ You do! Anyway, isn’t it interesting that George Orwell chose to talk about humanity using animals?”

“ Yeah it is. But maybe that way it’s more effective. You know, like having a hidden meaning behind what’s going on.”

“ Right right. It is definitely cool how words and stories and can be used to portray almost anything. Emotions, feelings, thoughts, ideas. All those plus more.”

“ Yeah true. People will certainly listen to a piece of art when it can do that kind of thing. You know it’s funny. Nowadays, not as much people read books. They play games or watch movies or something.”

“ Mhm, do you read a lot?” He asked me. I thought about it.

“ No. I mean I do read, sometimes, if I feel like it. But normally I draw, or grow my plants in backyard or that kinda stuff.”

“ Oh right, yeah that’s cool. I do read a lot. I suck ass at writing, but reading is fun for me. I mean you know how much I read in school.” I chuckled. I’ve seen Knox read a good amount at school, during lunch or in classes. Maybe it was where he got some of his conversational ideas from.

“ True. But, what can a game teach you? Isn’t it just for fun?” I asked Knox. We moved up the line. Someone up front was arguing about getting a larger pizza.

 

“ What game…? I have no clue honestly. Maybe ask Tisha, she would know. With the amount of games she talks about I would be surprised if she didn’t know.”
“ Oh, yeah.” That brought up what happened yesterday again. I tried to not show my killed mood. We got to the front of the line. Knox offered to buy me a pizza, but I rejected him. I would be fine getting it myself. He got a small box of olive pizza, and I just got two slices of cheese. Once that was done, we said our goodbyes. He had to go meet a friend at the lake. I sat down at one of the outside tables in front of the restaurant. The pizza itself was pretty good. Good tasting cheese, and the sauce wasn’t overflowing or anything. Z Pizza seems to be flat a lot, which is interesting, but it’s nothing that won’t stop me from eating it. While I was eating however, my phone buzzed. I thought it could be my parents, asking how I was doing. It wasn’t, instead it was exactly what I feared it would be. It was Tisha.

“ Heyo! What up girl?” She asked.

“ Eh, not much. Still trying to figure out yesterday. How are you?” I texted back.

“ I’m… I dunno. Me and that dude Emund were going to head on over to the final factory, but I wouldn’t go.”

“ Why? I thought you wanted to stay with him.”
“ I do. But I wont go without you. I was there because you were there. I wont go without you! Its not as much fun then.”

“ Tisha! You have to, people could be in danger if you dont!””

“ Youre telling me that? YOU shouldve stayed with us if that was how you felt!” I felt like I had been hit.

“ W-well. Im still not sure ok? I dont want to get hurt, and you shouldnt either!”
“ Ok, what is it? Do you want this to happen or not? One second you talk about me doing it to save people, and the next you dont want me to go since its dangerous. What is it?”
“ I dont know!.... Look, Im sorry. I just dont want us to get hurt or worse!”

“ I get that, and I appreciate your worry. Its one of the good things about you! But, I feel like you should come back, we can finish this together! I can protect both of us if you are scared we will die. You know we wont get hurt that way!” I laughed. Tisha could still do that to me even in a time like this.

“ Heheh. Ill think about it. Can we talk about something else?”

“ Sure! What up?”
“ Hmm. Do you know if a video game can have an artistic value to it? Like something for people to connect to, and learn from?”

“ WHAT? DID YOU REALLY JUST ASK THAT?”
“ Woah, why are you screaming?”
“ Girl, you seriously need to be educated in the ways of gaming arts. I can do that!”

“ Over the phone?”
“ Yeah! Why not?” She asked. I realized that this was pretty typical for current day standards. Seems like a lot of people, teens especially, use their phones for a lot things. Like talking, which wasn’t used a few decades ago. Weird how culture changes so fast.

“ Ok. Tell me.”
“ Alright. Prepare.” There was a pause as Tisha created a long message. I readied to read it. “ So. Artistic value? Ok. Have you heard of the game Undertale? I know by 2018 its kinda obsolete to most people, which is stupid. Its an amazing game. You know of that game right? I think you played it. Anyway, that game has a lot of messages. Mainly about morale. The game is built off of a system of sparing or killing the monsters, remember? Through this you can either befriend them, getting the good ending, where everyone goes free from the underground and its all happy and stuff. Or the bad ending, where you slaughter their entire race, resulting with a bad time from a certain lazy skeleton, oh yeah, and the erasing of the entire planet! This system teaches you about choosing whats right. Doing things to make people happy, and making positive choices. To not do something just because you are curious about it. Because it might get you in trouble. Its a message taught through fun and interesting characters, and music. The gameplay is, ok, but the monsters you meet is where the game really shines. This showed people about morale, and thats why it was so highly acclaimed. Does that make sense?”

“ Yeah it does. Thanks.”
“ No biggie. Hey, I gotta go, my grandma needs my help baking cookies. Bye!”
“ Cookies? Lucky! Alright see ya!” I closed the text.

 

That conversation was, interesting. I was more focused on the first part rather than the rant about Undertale. Though it was helpful, if I’ll remember any of it. Should I go back? When? During school? I can’t do that. Can I? If it would help everyone survive from an overflow of illegal weapons and a company who just wants to rule over them all. But is it worth it to risk dying? I wasn’t sure. I walked back home, taking the same route I used to get to the Pizza place.

 

The rest of the day wasn’t too interesting. I just drew some figures of guns, and of Emund and the Plasamic employees. I couldn’t get them out of my head. Be reasonable. That was what Emund had told me. I thought I was being reasonable. Maybe, I wasn’t. Bailing out on them like that, when I was needed apparently. Tisha wouldn’t go with him if I wasn’t there? That was ridiculous. They could handle it. Even if Emund had failed by himself, and Tisha was known to get in trouble if I didn’t keep her in check… agh! It sounds like I should be going back doesn’t it? I dunno anymore. I’ll just wait until monday and see what happens. Perhaps it’ll be normal, and I can forget this.

 

Who was I kidding. It didn’t happen like that. Why would it? First off, sunday was boring. I just basically did my usual. Drew some images of the underground from Undertale, and Chemical Plant from Sonic. I do watch games on Youtube often. I also tended to my plants in my backyard. They were coming along quite nicely. I had some sunflowers, lilacs, and astrantia flowers. I loved how calming they were. No such guns or danger here. Just nature doing its thing. My mom had asked me if I was ok, and I just said yeah. She didn’t need to know. Did she? Maybe. But I would handle this myself. Then monday started. I was driven to school by my dad. I could almost tell myself it would be ok. Then I got out of the car and saw Emund standing on the sidewalk. He was tossing up and down the keys to his car. I pulled out my backpack, said bye to my dad, and approached him.

“ What are you doing here?” I asked. He faced me, he was wearing black shaded glasses.

“ Kid. Look. Let’s forget what happened before. But you need to come with me. Now.”

“ I have school!” He sighed.

“ I know. I’m sorry. But we have to. The last facility is moving tomorrow. That means they should be packed up and ready to go. It will be easier to attack now while they aren’t as armed. If we lose them, I won’t know where they are. That’s bad. We have to go now. Tisha is already in the car. Please.” Other kids passed, rushing to school.

“ I-I…” I faltered. “ I just don’t wanna get hurt. And plus my school work.”
“ You will not get hurt! Look kid. You have my promise. You will not get hurt! I haven’t let that happen so far, and I ain’t going to let that happen anytime soon. As for your work. Uh, just do it later.”

“ It’s not that simple!”
“ Well! I had to miss a decent amount of assignments when I was in school. I mean that due to me sleeping through most of the day…” He coughed and straightened himself. “ Anyway. Are ya coming?” He had the same pleading look in his eyes. I hated being so nice sometimes.

“ Whatever. Sure, let’s get this over with.” I grumbled.

“ Great! Follow me! The car is down the street back that way.”

 

I followed him to the car. Tisha was in the backseat, playing Fortnite on her phone.

“ DAMN IT! I swear this version of the game is freaking messed up man! How did he kill me after I sniped him? I had good stuff!” She sighed and let me in. I scooted in next to her. “ Heya Ceena, you feelin’ better about this?”
“ Mmm, I guess. I’ll feel guilty if I don’t so…”
“ Yeah. I get it. Thanks for coming. It’s something special to do something you don’t want to do for other people. But you do it since it’s important.”

“ Yeah, let’s just do this.”

“ You kids ready? Do y’all have lunches?” Emund asked, igniting the car’s engine.

“ Yeah I do! I got me a sweet peanut butter and jelly sandwich!” Tisha said happily. I nodded, smiling.

“ I have a soup of noodles and chips to eat.”

“ Ok good. I already ate, but y’all can eat here in the car if you want to. It’ll be awhile drive. This forest is a few miles away.”
“ Welp. Good thing I got my phone.” Tisha said, stuffing her sandwich in her mouth. The car drove into the street, and we headed for the third factory.

 

Was I supposed to be doing this? No. I was supposed to be in school. But I wasn’t. Apparently this was the right thing or something. I at least hoped so. It was a little nerve wrecking eating in the car. Emund kept making big turns, and my soup sloshed around. Thankfully it never actually spilled out of my cup. I gazed out the window. People in their cars, driving around. Worrying about their own individual issues. Could any of them be a part of Plasamic? Did they know? Who knows. I didn’t. It was weird. We were doing something to save these people, and yet they had no idea of it. At all. If I told anyone, they would think I was crazy. It depends on how you look at it. It could be good or bad, if people don’t know about what you do, or if they do. It could empower you, or break you. I wasn’t sure which I preferred for this instance.

 

After about an hour of driving, we made it to the forest. I gasped when I got out of the car. I hadn’t ever seen a forest so large before. It was dense. Trees extended to the sky, bushes clumped all over the ground. Leaves, sticks, and garbage littered the dirt.
“ Oh wow. How are we supposed to find it?” I asked.

“ I remember this place from long ago.” Tisha got out of the car. “ I almost got lost.” Emund came around, carrying a pack.

“ I know where it is.” He pulled out his phone. On it was some kind of tracking device. “ It’s not too far from our current position. Let’s move.”

“ Alright. Lead the way captain.” Tisha said. Emund and her moved into the forest. I stared at the other cars for a second. Let’s see if I’ll die from this one. I told myself. I ran to catch up with my friends.

 

For the first few minutes of walking, not much happened. We just walked through the forest. I tried to enjoy the nice scenery, it was good. Until I spotted our target. It was up in the trees. A series of wooden rooms, connect by boardwalks. The thick leaves covered it quite nicely. You wouldn’t know it was here unless you were trying to look for it. Unfortunately we were.

“ OK. So.” Emund pulled out two pistols from his pack and handed it to Tisha and I. Tisha twirled it around in her left hand.

“ Ay! We get to shoot people again? Awesome!” She said with enthusiasm.

“ Uh, I’m not sure you should be thinking of this as awesome Tisha.” I muttered.

“ Girl for real? I’m just trying to have some fun with this! You should try it. Might make this less troublesome.”

“ Mmm, I dunno. Less troublesome or more so?”
“ I dunno! Why do you need to make a big deal out of it? Just let’s do this!” She did seem excited about this. I’ll admit it made me smile. I probably wouldn’t be here still if it weren’t for her. I looked at my pistol.

“ Is this the same one we had before?” I asked.

“ Yup.” Emund grabbed his rifle, now a silenced sniper, and put on his backpack. “ Not like it makes much difference, but you know, still. At least it’s something y’all can use fairly well.”

“ Hey! I was killing it with that machine gun!” Tisha protested.

“ Yeah, when you were fighting a piece of wood.”

“ Shut up! I could still do it.” I laughed and shook my head at their bickering.

“ Either way. How do we approach the factory?” I asked Emund. He looked up.

“ There’s a ladder leading up to the first room. They wouldn’t have the weapons in there. More likely it is in one of the three rooms to the right of it.”

“ Three? I only see one other.”

“ That’s because it’s hidden by the tree leaves. They thought about this one.”

“ Oh, right.”

“ But it’s good thing y’all got me to locate it for ya.”

“ Oh really?”
“ Yes really. Are y’all ready?”

“ I am!” Tisha told us. I stared at the facility nervously. Emund put a hand on my shoulder.

“ Look kid. I wasn’t lying about what I said earlier. I will protect you. I will. It’s not that bad. You know how retarded these guards can be. Plus, they probably don’t have highly skilled people up there. It’s moving day. They’ll have some dopes there just for packaging and transportation. It’ll be easy!” He reassured me.

“ Well… alright, sure.” I said.

“ Great. Now follow me kids.”

 

We climbed up the ladder. Emund up top, then me and then Tisha. I kept thinking we would get sniped or something as we ascended. We didn’t. Once we were almost to the top, Emund stopped abruptly. I almost smacked into his foot.

“ Here. Just in case they do have people watching this front entrance, we should sneak around on our bellies.”

“ Excuse me?” I asked. Emund poked his head up, looking over. “ Yeah, in front of us is a window. There might be guys looking this way. To avoid them we should crawl under the window so we don’t get seen. Alright?” I thought about the amount of splinters my body would get.

“ Sure. If we have to.”

“ Crawling? I’m good at that. Let’s do it!” Tisha said below me. Emund climbed up and we followed suit. It was kinda awkward, worming along the ground. I kept going over little nails in the floorboards, which hurt a bit. We all stood up against the other side of the building, which didn’t have any windows. In front of us extending a small bridge to the next room. To our left, a walkway curved around the building.

“ Ok good. I think, to make this quicker, we should split up.” Emund said.

“ What? Split up? How is that gonna work?” And I thought you said you were gonna protect me. Is what I was thinking.

“ It’ll just make this faster. You can come with me Ceena, if you’re still scared. Tisha, can you go by yourself?” Emund asked. My friend nodded.

“ Yeah that’s fine! This’ll be like the gorgon’s labyrinth back in good old VoG in Destiny 1. Sure!”

“ It’s not a game…” I warned, again. She waved away my concern.

“ Ah, I know! I’ll be fine! I’m just looking for the weapons right?”

“ Uh huh.” Emund said. “ And if you find it, then text me in the group chat. Tell us your location, and we’ll come as fast we can. Got it?”

“ Yup! Don’t worry Ceena, I can do this!” Even though she said that, I was still worried.

“ O-ok, just be careful please.” I pleaded.

“ I know I know. I’m going now.” Tisha crept down the bridge to the other room. I tried to calm down, watching my friend walk off to her potential death.

 

“ Ceena. You ready? Let’s check this building right here. Just so we don’t miss anything. Ok?” I sighed and turned to face him.

“ Yeah. Are we gonna blow up this place also?”
“ Mhm, unfortunately.”

“ But, the forest.”
“ I know. Again Ceena, don’t lecture me about what I’m doing. I’ve thought it over. Whether or not there is a different way doesn’t matter now. We are doing this a way I know will work. If there are other smaller damages, then so be it. Please, don’t make it harder than it already is for me.” This surprised me a little bit.

“ Alright. Sorry.”

“ Naw it’s fine. Let’s move.” He began to crawl around the corner of the room. I followed. The back had no windows. But it did have a door.

“ Stay here. I’m gonna check the other side.” Emund moved around, and I stayed put. After about a minute, he came back. “ Ok. There’s a window on the other side, I check to see if there was anyone inside. There is. Three employees. They’re standing around boxes, talking to someone on a big computer screen.”
“ The weapons?” I asked.

“ Nope. Not here. We should met up with Tisha to see about the other buildings.”
“ How do you know?”
“ The boxes are labeled with the kind of contents that are inside. These don’t have any of the stuff we are looking for. Just other supplies.”
“ Oh. Alright.” I said. Emund went back around the corner. I was about to do so myself, when the door opened. I froze, as a guard stepped out. He was wearing a purple suit, with white highlights. He had black hair, red eyes, and dark skin. He seemed about my age. I recognized him. He spotted me and stumbled backwards.

“ C-Ceena?! What are you doing- you can’t be here!” He exclaimed. I stood up, facing my old friend Spaik.

 

“ Hello… Spaik.” I said. I tried to keep for a straight face. Even though on the inside my emotions were exploding. Shock, joy, betrayal.

“ W-what are you doing here? I wouldn’t ever have expected this!” He said.

“ I am here. To stop all this!” I gesture around to the building. “ Why are you here? Why are you with them?” Spaik didn’t seem to know what to say.

“ Ceena. I’m sorry. This must seem so terrible to you. Come, let me show you something.” He gestured and walked into the room. I walked in with him, not really thinking about what I was doing. The two other saw me, but didn’t do anything thanks to Spaik telling them to chill. He opened one of the boxes. Inside were blueprints for more weapons, and how to use them and where to ship them to. “ Ceena, you see this stuff? This is what will progress our future. This will allow humanity to protect themselves. We can use this technology more than just weapons. Weapons were but a test. A test to see if we could harness the energy of an alien metal. It seems we could. Now we are experimenting with other things. Things such as medical devices, to keep people living longer, and ways of increasing technology everywhere. To make the computers, TVs, game devices, all of it, better and more accessible to anyone. This is how we proceed Ceena! That was why I joined. I know it looks bad, but it can help us!” I closed my eyes.

“ I don’t believe this. You seriously expect me to think that’s true? I know it isn’t.”
“ What do you mean?” I faced him, anger forming in me.

“ Come on Spaik! You’re a smart boy! You should realize what the hell this, this company is doing! Sure, they may say they have the ability to do all this good crap. But the ability to, and actually doing it are two very different things! I’ve seen how they are! Those two other facilities that went boom? That was me!” The three men gasped. The other two raised their guns, I did not care. “ Yeah! I’ve also seen on the news what they do. Do you watch the news? The crimes that have been committed? They say they don’t know the people behind it were. Bull manure. It is Plasamic! Who else? Weapons being used to murder anyone who won’t join them in their quest to claim more land? They won’t use this stuff for good! Even if they do, it would only be for those who they force to join! They aren’t trustworthy! This guy, Emund. He actually escaped from Plasamic somehow. I’m with him. He’s been trying to stop you guys for awhile! He knows of the dangers you cause, and I realize that too! I don’t wanna do this, but I have to!” I grabbed Spaik’s hand. “ Please. You have to believe me! Help me stop them! You don’t have to be apart of them! Please!” I felt my eyes tear up. I couldn’t accept the fact that my long lost friend would reunite with me in this way.

 

Spaik removed his hand from mine.

“ I can’t. I’ve heard that speech too many times. My parents disowned me when they found out. I don’t care about that and I don’t care about being with you any longer!” I saw him begin to cry also. “ I-I never wanted you to find out. I couldn’t bear the thought of encountering you again. I’m sorry.”

“ You coward!” I yelled. “ Didn’t want me to find out? Why would you do something if you don’t want people finding out?” I could very well say that about myself. My subconscious said to me. Spaik raised his gun to my head.

“ Look. I already said I ain’ going to change. I know what I’m doing. Stop it Ceena. Leave, or I’m gonna have to shoot you.” I didn’t know what to do. My heart was beating like a car engine. I knew I would have to kill him if I wanted to leave here and finish the mission. But I didn’t want to, no where close to that. The big computer screen behind us turned on. On it was a woman. She had pink hair, dark orange eyes, and dark skin. She noticed me.

“ What is this? Who is that girl?” One of the guards turned toward her.

“ Ma’am! This is a friend of Spaik’s!”
“ I don’t care who she is. Is she a new recruit?”

“ No.” Spaik said.” No, she isn’t.”
“ Well then get rid of her! We can’t have innocents who hold information!” The guards turned to face Spaik.

“ You heard the leader. End her now!” Spaik’s hand trembled. His eyes said he would do anything but this. I eyed him, trying to stay confident. Even though inside I had none. Not just because of the fact that the Plasamic leader was looking right at me, but also because I was about to get shot by my once best friend.

A shout was heard from outside. Emund came rushing in.

“ Kid! Sorry, I was caught up with Tisha. The bombs are set and-” He froze as soon as he saw everyone else. The leader smiled.

“ Well well well. If it isn’t our good old traitor Emund. How have you been? Still trying to pathetically destroy us?” She taunted.

“ Luniet.” Emund growled. “ I actually have been quite successful at shutting down your disgusting operation! I took down two facilities! And I’m going to get to you also!” He seemed to scan the background behind Luniet. “ I know where you are. That’s chinese markings on your computer right? Smooth.” The woman growled.

“ You won’t get to me! Men, make yourselves useful and kill them!” The screen shut off. The other two guards shot at Emund. He hit the floor, shooting one of them in the knee. He hopped around on one foot. He was sniped in the head. The other hit Emund’s shoulder. He cried out in pain and clutched his wound, dropping the gun. Spaik was frozen next to me. But I wasn’t. I leaped out and grabbed the rifle. I pointed it at the other guard.

“ Haha! You probably don’t even know how to use that thing little girl!” He laughed. I smiled.

“ Oh really?” I sniped his head off. I turned to Spaik. “ Do you wanna be next?” He put up his hands.

“ Ceena! Think about this! We can make things better for everyone! Don’t do this!” He pleaded with me.

“ No. You should’ve thought about this when you decided on joining these vile people. This is not a good future. It’ll be a dystopia! And you would be the one to start that. Why would you want that? I am sorry, but I won’t let innocents get hurt by your actions Spaik!” Tears really were streaming down my face at this point. I tried to pull the trigger, I really did. But I couldn’t. I didn’t have the willpower to shoot my friend. Emund got up, his shoulder red and dripping.

“ Kid. We need to leave. We have less than two minutes to run!”

“ WHAT?” I screamed.

“  I was trying to tell you that! We need to go now!” I didn’t move. Spaik and I looked at each other. The memories of elementary school flashed through my mind once more. I felt like my feet were glued to the ground. Not letting me remove the memories from the past. Emund grabbed me, and hauled me upward. He carried me out the door and to the ladder.

 

I was acting like a total baby. I was screaming, kicking and punch my friend. I kept blabbing. I didn’t even know what I was talking about. All I knew was I wasn’t about to leave Spaik behind. Emund slapped me across the face.

“ Kid shut up! Gosh I didn’t know you were a damn toddler! Listen! We have to leave now. We cannot stay here. As soon as Tisha gets here we climb down and go.” He grabbed me. “ Do you understand me?” This was the most serious I had ever heard him. It scared me.

“ Y-yes. I understand.” I said. Tisha came rushing over.

“ Move now!” She climbed down the ladder, and we followed. Once we hit the bottom we bolted back the way we had come. I glanced back, and stopped dead in my tracks. Spaik was at the railing, looking down at me. He had a look of sorrow, and guilt on his face. The rooms behind him exploded, taking him with it. His face was consumed by the red and orange fireball. The entire structure collapsed. Pieces of debris flew everywhere. The nearby trees caught fire. Tisha pulled me along.

“ No time for watching, we need to go!” We ran back to the car. Emund turned on the engine and we drove off. I stared at the forest as we got further and further away. My mind was a blank slate. All I could see was Spaik’s eyes. The look that said he was indescribably sorry. Before he was consumed, and truly gone forever.

 

 

Emund parked on us on a hillside a few miles away. It overlooked the highway. To our left a valley stretched to the horizon. It was beginning to turn night time. Tisha and I lay on the grass, gazing at the sky. Emund bandaged his wound. Once he finished he sat down next to me.

“ Kid. You alright?”

“ Probably not.”
“ Right. Is it that boy?” I took a shaky breath.

“ Is it even worth complaining about? He was my friend. My great friend back before I had Tisha. I had no idea he would be here.”

“ Damn. Ceena. I know anything I say won’t take away the pain. But just know, this is for the better of everyone. And I am certain you would’ve changed him if you had the chance.”
“ I wouldn’t have. He was set on his ways. Just like I am. Is this right?” Tisha sat up.

“ Don’t go asking stupid questions. Of course it is! He was just brainwashed or something probably. I dunno. But we are doing the good thing right now!” She assured me.

“ Yeah. Ya can’t let their philosophy stop you from your mission.” Emund agreed.

“ I know. I know. But, it’s just hard. Why do I have to see him like that? WHY?” I complained.

“ I get it. I really do kid. I’ve seen lots of people be taken in by Plasamic. They’re never the same after that. But all I do is just move on. If ya can’t help them then you might as well keep going. Keep working for something better.” Emund told me.

“ Mmm. I guess so.” I just continued to stare at the sunset. Maybe I could get over this. Or maybe it would haunt me.

 

Emund did some calculations on his phone.

“ Nice! I got it!” He exclaimed.

“ What? Did you get a new highscore or something?” Tisha asked.

“ Not exactly. Ceena, you remember the markings on Luniet’s computer?”
“ Mhm.”
“ That was chinese. So my theory was correct. The main development building was moved. It was located in France before, and now it’s China. Those markings wouldn’t be like that if that wasn’t so.”
“ So, what? Are we traveling there then?” Tisha asked.
“ Seems like it. But there’s something about the base.”
“ What?”
“ It’s invisible.”
“ What?” Tisha and I asked at the same time.

“ Yup. They have a special paint coating that makes it unseeable to the naked human eye. But not to worry. I’ve marked a smaller building in China. It’s main use is for storage and that sort of thing. Point is, we can find glasses in there that the employees use to see the construct.”
“ Oh. So we sneak in there, and get inside the main place. There, we, blow it up?” Tisa asked.

“ Yeah. Three spots of interest. We would probably need to split again. To get all three.”

“ Jesus we use a lot of bombs in this.” I put in.

“ Mhm. You should be used to it by now.”

“ Well. Can we go home? I’m tired.” Tisha said, yawning.

“ Yeah.” I agreed.

“ Right, ok. I need time to get the tickets to our flight anyways. When do y’all have time to get to China?”
“ Never?” I said.

“ Spring break! That’s next week!” Tisha said.

“ Oh.” I muttered.

“ Ok that’s good. I’ll be seeing you girls on friday then. Try and have a normal week huh?” He got up and into the driver’s seat of his car. “ Come on, let’s get ya back home before y’all fall asleep on me.”

The next week of school, was weird. Not because of the school itself, but of me. It just wasn’t the same when I had the knowledge of Plasamic, and what happened at the factories. It was tuesday, so I only had four days until I would be back into the whole thing again. I had told my parents that I would be on a school field trip to China. They actually bought it.

“ I know you would never lie to us Ceena. So we trust you. Have fun!” My dad had told me. That made me feel worse. I could at least drown out my worrying with school work. I had the pleasure of staying after school again so I could do the work I missed yesterday. I had to do some english, math and spanish. Eh. The classes themselves were fine. I managed to do the work fairly well, and it gave me something else to think about. I could draw lots of things from my mind in art class. I tended to my flowers a lot more than I normally did. Seeing them grow, increasing in length, coloration, and strength. How they form around each other, making a mini community. It was very soothing for me. At lunchtime, Tisha and I still talked. We didn’t talk about the mission, or Emund, or anything. Unless you include Tisha wondering what Emund would look like if he were dressed like Batman, or fighting in the intergalactic wars of Destiny and Advanced Warfare. If you wanna know the truth, I actually used these discussion as fuel for my art. I would try to draw Emund as these characters, just for fun. Most of the time they came out, eh. Tisha said they were good, but I dunno. I always feel like I haven’t done as well as I could have on certain drawings. Sometimes I make one that hits it well for me. Usually I just say, ‘ that’s good enough,’ and move on. Because I don’t wanna be too egotistical about myself, and and I don’t wanna be too self depreciative. I’d show the pictures of Emund to my art teacher. She would actually compliment me on them.

“ Oh wow Ceena! That is good! Where did you get the inspiration for this?” Ms. Higgling would ask me.

“ Uh, well… you see.” I’d get stuck on what to say. Since no one could know about what I was doing. In case they take it to the police, or worse. My parents. “ I just, came up with it! Yeah, he’s an original character.”

“ Wonderful! It’s good to come up with your own stuff! Shows signs of true artistic ability!”
“ Yeah. But fanfics, and fan art are still ok right? I mean if you want to get better?”
“ Sure it is! Making something based off of what you are a fan of is never a negative thing! It’s only bad if you are trying to sell it off as your own creation. That’s never a good sign. It can get you into a lot of copyright trouble! But just for fun? That is A ok!”

“ Right, thanks.” I could appreciate how vivacious my art teacher can be. Anytime she would lecture us about a certain time period, she would go off. Like she would practically be acting out the scenes she was describing. Motions and all. One time a student asked her if she was gonna audition for a play. She simply said art is her profession, not acting. Personally, I feel like she would work for it but either way.

 

Besides that, there’s this girl in my spanish class, Lilly. She’s the kind of girl that the guys think are just adorable. Why? Because she’s tiny. Lilly is like, five foot three or something I swear. She has golden hair, sea blue eyes, and light skin. She also has this very squeaky voice that most high schoolers don’t have. Good thing is, she’s smart, Lilly won’t be taken away by just any guy who tries to hit on her. Since she is so tiny, she can easily dodge out of the way. Good thing also, since there is at least five guys who go after her daily. Now, don’t think this is sexual harassment or anything. Because to Lilly, it’s a game. I can count a good amount of times I’ve seen her dash out of spanish class, giggling like a mad woman as the boys try to make a move on her. I don’t really see the fun in avoiding people who are trying to make you their girlfriend, but if it makes her happy, then who am I to complain? I went into spanish class, on thursday. It was one of the block period days, when the class are one hundred and eight minutes long. It can be, either really quick, or really dang long depending on what the class activities are like. Today, we were doing some mostly chill stuff. Some warm up sentences, then a video, then a talking activity, then a packet. The thing I like about spanish class on block periods is that we always get a ten minute break in the middle of the class. During this time, our teacher, Mr. Thasum, allows the students to eat, go outside, and use our phone and basically do what we want. I like it, even though I don’t get into it like some kids do. Every time we have this break, there’s this group of kids, boys, and two girls usually, that play cards. I’m not too sure on what they play specifically. But they play man. They get huddled around a specific set of desks in the back, and get it on. They yell, scream, and take and lose bets. At first Mr, Thasum didn’t let them do it. But after the group of kids insisted on doing it every break, he eventually let them. I think now he likes it. He leans on his chair, and watches them. Smiling when someone inevitably rage quits, claiming they’ll never play again. The day after they go right back to what they are doing. Me? I don’t play with them. I’m not good at cards, never have been. It kinda bores me honestly. Instead, I either draw, or play on my phone.

 

I got this app recently. By recently I mean I got it before the whole thing with Plasamic. It basically allows me to simulate the growth of any plant I want. I choose the plant or plants I want, then set up the type of habitat it will grow in. Choosing when and how to give it water, food, sunlight, etc. You might think it’s really boring. But I, I like it! It lets me do what I enjoy at home, but on the go, anywhere I am. Of course, it’s only a simulation. It’s certainly not like producing my own plants in real life. That’s something I feel like not enough people understand, at least from what I’ve seen. The difference between making something in real life, and online. For example, plant growing. Sure, it may seem easier, to just do it virtually. Where you don’t need to worry about things like having enough money to buy supplies, or accidentally stepping on your flowers, or someone else crushing them. Or forgetting to take care of them, and having them die on you. All of which have happened to me. I swear when my dad told me he had stepped on my lilacs when he was blowing the yard, I had to remind myself that I loved him. Anyway, that may seem like the best way to do it, right? With none of the worries, and all of the benefits? Well, just like how Spaik got brainwashed by Plasamic, it ain’t all it seems to be. Now I’m not saying it’s bad to enjoy something that is done virtually, of course not. If you like it, and you aren’t hurting someone in the process, then it’s fine! But what I’m trying to say is, perhaps you would get a better experience from doing it in real life. It’s hard to explain, but there is a difference between seeing something grow and get stronger online, on a screen, and seeing it for yourself. Seeing it happen in reality, right in front of your very eyes. Where you can touch it, smell it, feel it. You can have a real effect on it. There is just some real euphoria that comes with it, that you just can’t get in a simulation.

 

That’s why I don’t let this app get too into me. I won’t let it take over my life. Though I’m sure if I let it, it would. But I won’t. Because I know I have real flowers, that depend on me and need my help, sitting right in my backyard. Even then, I only give them some of my time. Because what else needs me? My family, my friends, my schoolwork, my artwork. And now, Emund needs me, apparently. I walked into this, and now I have to finish it. Do I sound selfish? I hope not. I’m just trying to say how things are for me. It’s not selfish if it’s true, right? Maybe that’s just on earth. What about other planets? Do those, so far off into space, that have other life forms think like that? That is what me and Lilly talked about, today in spanish, during the break. She sat next to me, so it was easy for her to turn to me and start talking about space again.

“ Hi Ceena! Are you understand these o-ue conjugations?” She asked me.

“ Yeah, I think so.” I replied.

“ Me neither. So got a question. You know how civilization is right now right? How we have all these rules and expectations we set for ourselves?”
“ Yeah?”
“ Do you think aliens have those same rules? Do they mock each other the same way we do?”
“ I dunno. Maybe.”
“ I mean. It all comes from our brains right? The way we think, and the expectations we create come from that. So would they have that also?”

“ Who knows. I mean, I find it unlikely that we humans are the only ones in the whole universe to have this kind of thinking capacity. Why would we be the only ones?”

“ Yeah, it does seem unlikely. That’s why, when I grow up more, I wanna be a space astronaut, and explore far away planets! Who knows what I would find!” Lilly said excitedly.

“ Heh, yeah. Good luck with that.” I told her. I meant it. If she wanted to accomplish something like that, then so be it. I wasn’t sure how likely it was, but hey, people can pursue their dreams right?
“ Hey Lilly! If you’re thinking about growing up, then ya should first think about increasing your height you midget!” A kid across the room said.

“ OOOHH BURN!” Yelled another boy.

“ Hey! Lucas, Miles! Don’t talk like that! Apologize!” Mr. Thasum said to the two boys. They both shrugged, still smiling.

“ Alright. Sorry about that. Really sorry.” Miles said sarcastically, he was the one to cast the joke.

“ Sure, whatever.” Lilly didn’t even turn her head. “ They don’t bother me. I’ve learned to not let it bother me anymore.” She told me. I knew that. It was a good thing she either enjoyed it or blew it off. I’m not sure I would be able to do that.

 

The rest of the week, was alright. Just more assignments, and stress, and work. The usual school stuff. It was friday, and I was at lunch. Two more periods until the school day was over. I had said goodbye to my parents. It would be spring break. Tisha and I sat there, at our table. Not talking, just eating. We both knew what would be happening when school got out. All the kids would be heading home, ready to enjoy their sweet vacation. A week with no school. At least for them. The two of us would be flying to China with Emund. To a normal kid that would sound awesome. They don’t know what we are really doing there. Maybe we could try and have fun with it. We would be seeing new things. I had never been to China, and neither had Tisha. Would it be possible, to enjoy it? Knowing that we could very well die there? And we were only there because we had lied to our parents? I wasn’t sure, and I didn’t want to think about it. It didn’t help that I got some nasty work in my last two classes. Because why would school help me? Later on, the final bell rang at the end of class. I met up with Tisha at the school entrance. I got deja vu. We had been here before. Meeting up to go to Emund to fight Plasamic. Except this time, I had no idea of where to go. All he had told us was to find him after school. He never answered my texts, nor Tisha’s.

“ Um. What, do we do?” I asked my friend. She was eating a chocolate bar.

“ Well.” She popped the rest in her mouth. “ I say we text him. Cause otherwise I have no idea.” I took that suggestion. I sent him a message. ‘ me and tisha are at the school entrance, where are you?’ It took about five minutes for him to respond. ‘ Im here I think. Go out outside and look for my car. Im parked near the theater looking building.’ “ I think I know where he is.” I told Tisha. We both went out to the front parking lot.  

 

I looked around. It’s always annoying trying to look for someone when school has just gotten out. Since there’s dozens of kids trying also to get home. Tons of cars, buses and mobs of children everywhere. And since the parking lot was fairly small, it was a cluster. Thankfully, Emund’s car stuck out. His yellow car was indeed parked in front of the school theater. We got in the back.

“ How did you find this place?” I asked our driver. He glanced back at us. He now had a white T-shirt, and black long pants. Still wearing those black shades.

“ Tisha showed me where it was remember?”

“ Oh… right. Sorry I’m just stressed right now.”
“ About what?”
“ You know what.”
“ Ah. Yeah I get it. Look kids. It’ll be fine. In my opinion, we totally got this. Those last three facilities we took care of no problem! So these last two shouldn’t be an issue!”
“ But the main base! Isn’t that, gonna be like, more guarded?”
“ Probably. But it’ll be fine. We just have to be careful about our movement. Set the bombs, and get out. The thing that is working on our side, is the size of the base. As you would expect, it’s a lot bigger than the factories. Meaning we have more room to wiggle around. Room they can’t see us in.”
“ Yeah! We can really get in there, and do some damage!” Tisha agreed. I sighed.
“ Ok, that may be true, but do we really have to split up?” I asked worriedly.

“ Look, we will just get to that once we are actually in there. First we have to get to the plane, fly there, get a hotel room, then get some glasses from the storage building.” Emund told us.

“ You know where it is?”
“ I think so. Now, can I focus on driving please?”

“ Oh. Yeah.” I sat in silence as we were driven to the airport.

 

I had only ever flown in a plane once before. When me and my family took a trip to New York. It was a cool experience. I got to see the tall buildings, and central park. The Statue of Liberty was… alright. Maybe it was my spoiled frame of mind thanks to drawing and such. But I thought it wasn’t up to the high praise people give it. I mean sure, back in the day it was a cool accomplishment. Maybe I’m just comparing it to the structures that came after it. Which might not be too fair. I dunno. Emund parked his car in the lot next to the airport. A plane zoomed over head, causing the ground to rumble. When I got out I realized something.

“ We don’t have any bags! We aren’t bringing anything with us!” Emund hauled three packs out of his trunk. They were massive.

“ Ah don’t worry about it. I got stuff for us. This is a business trip. So lots of accessories aren’t needed.”

“ A business trip?” Tisha laughed. “ More like, go and get yourself killed trip.”

“ Tisha, that’s not funny!” I said laughing.

“ We won’t get killed. Now move, our flight is taking off soon.” He handed us our very large and heavy bags. I nearly died carrying it to the front desk. They checked our stuff, and Emund’s plane ticket. We went through the tiring process of having our stuff scanned, and our clothes. We got something to eat at one of the small built in restaurants they have. I got a hot dog. Tisha ordered a cheeseburger, and Emund a set of meat fries. It wasn’t bad. For airport food. Finally, we got on our airliner. We put our stuff in the upper cargo hold, and sat down. I had the pleasure of taking the window seat. Tisha was next to me, and Emund was in the aisle seat. I offered for him to take the window, but he rejected.

“ Naw kid. You should. Might take away some of your stress.” He had told me.

 

I always felt like riding in a plane was like riding in a car. I got bored. Good thing was I had my backpack with me. So I could take out my art supplies, and draw. Once I got tired of that, I looked out the window. I was glad I did. If there is one thing that an airplane has that a car doesn’t, it’s the view! Seriously. I saw entire valleys, towns, cities, and deserts and forests and oceans. It’s a good thing that planes nowadays have infinite fuel. Thanks to a recharge method some scientist came up with. That meant I could stay up in the sky without having to extend the flight with going grounded. That also meant Plasamic could shoot me down at anytime, since it would be easier now to track a vehicle that just stays airborne the whole time.

“ Emund, is this safe?” I asked, suddenly afraid.

“ Ah, sure. Why, are ya worried about Plasamic? Naw, it’ll be fine. If they shoot us, then they risk being in trouble with the government. Well, they could find a way of it with a cover up like they normally do. But I don’t think they would want to risk it, with the damage we’ve done to them.”
“ Oh, alright.” I tried to relax. But the thought never really went away. It just kinda dissipated a little bit, while still leaving some for my subconscious to chew on. What a horrible thing to chew on. I’ll admit, through the combination of looking out at the amazing views, drawing, watching youtube, and listening to Tisha complain about Fortnite, I could calm myself down. It wasn’t a bad flight. We weren’t shot down, and we made it to China. And, dang. I didn’t know what I was in for. It kinda looked like New York, with hundreds of humongous buildings. We had arrived there at night time. And the city seemed to glow. All the buildings emitted different colors. From green, to purple, to blue, red etc.

“ Holy crud that looks awesome!” Tisha exclaimed. We flew over the landscape, getting ready to land in another airport. “ Everything is so pretty and colorful!”
“ Heh, yup. It would be easy to hide here, so I can see why Plasamic moved here.”
“ What were they doing in France?” I wondered.

“ Not anything specifically. They did start in America. But they moved away because they feared people would become too suspicious of them. Then, once that fear grew in France, they came here.”
“ And they’ve been alright here so far?”
“ I guess so. I had no clue where they were till I saw those markings. I mean I had some guesses, but China was low on the guess list.”
“ Well either way this is so cool!” Tisha said happily. “ I say this makes this worth it.”
“ Hopefully.” I muttered.

 

After we left the airport, it was kinda a blur. I remember we got into another car that Emund rented, and we were driven to a hotel. It took awhile for us to get into our room since Emund had to deal with language barrier. But we made it. And I was tired. I could only sleep so much on the plane. As soon as we got in, I dropped my stuff, dragged myself into the nearest bedroom, and fell asleep. This time I didn’t dream about Emund or Plasamic or anything. I got something kind of random. I had a vision of a boy, sitting at a dinner table, typing on a computer. The table was brown, with a plant in the middle. The boy seemed to be around my age. He was wearing a black T-shirt, and blue pants, light skin. He seemed focused on whatever he was typing. I could only get one glance at the screen before the dream ended. It said ‘ Concealed Weapons.’ I had absolutely no idea of what the heck was going on. I woke up very confused.

 

When I went into the living room, I expected my companions to be arming themselves for battle. But nope. Emund was in the kitchen, cooking breakfast. Tisha sat on the couch, watching a chinese Twitch livestream of Destiny 2. Apart of me calmed down when I saw this. I walked in. Emund glanced up and noticed me.

“ Ah hey Ceena. Didja sleep well?” He asked me. I shrugged helplessly.
“ I guess. Had a dumb dream though. I guess I’m still worried.”
“ Well don’t be. Here. Maybe some eggs will brighten up your mood.” He set out a plate of freshly scrambled eggs and bacon on the kitchen counter. Tisha took a different plate for herself.

“ Dang. Since when did you cook?”

“ I’ve practiced here and there. Lemme know what you think.” I tried a piece of egg. It wasn’t bad. Actually it was pretty good.

“ Huh, this is not bad. Nice!” I complimented.

“ Really? Thanks.” Emund plopped some down on his plate. He tasted it. “ I’ve done better.” I giggled a little. You know, maybe it wouldn’t be so bad. Having these two with me. I guess I wouldn’t take anyone else except them on this mission.

“ Hey Emund. Do you… think we are doing ok? Like do you think we are doing fine in terms of helping you?” I asked.

“ What? What kind of question is that? Of course I think you’re doing fine! Like I’ve mentioned. Y’all girls really have helped me with taking down this freak company. It would not have been possible without you two! If anything, I’m the one who should be embarrassed. I wasn’t sure at first if you two would be right to help me. I thought maybe it was gonna get me into trouble. But now I know better. It has helped me. So I know we got this!” He said, eating his bacon.

“ Well that’s nice, since it has been pretty fun! Right Ceena?” Tisha said from the couch.

“ I guess it has. It’s been different, that’s for sure.” I admitted. “ When are we going?” I asked.

“ Tomorrow. Today I thought we could just explore China.” Emund said.

“ But would Plasamic find us?”
“ Did you really think they can locate us in this mob? The streets are always crowded. The only danger we have is losing each other in the mess. So let’s stick together eh?”
“ Hehe, yeah. Ok.” I said. I guess the storage building could wait.

 

After we finished eating breakfast.  We put on our clothes and headed down the hotel and onto the street. I still couldn’t get over how massive the whole city felt. All the people, cars, and structures. It all felt large. We wandered the streets. Tisha and I basically gaped at everything. Even if it wasn’t that interesting, we still were amazed by it, simply because it was new. We got some sushi from a restaurant. I won’t go over how annoying it was while Emund tried to order something. Thankfully we did get our food. I had never eaten chinese food in China. But now I understand the meaning of the term ‘the real thing’. Because actual China food is great. Different than when people in America copy the style. Not bad obviously, but it is something else for sure. After we wolfed down that, we headed over to a Nintendo store. The reason we even went there in the first place was so Tisha would stop asking. She said she wasn’t begging us, but she was, trust me.

 

I’ll admit, it was cool. Seeing hundreds of merchandise from Mario, Pokemon, Zelda, and other series. Though I’m not into that stuff personally, Tisha was in heaven.

“ This is incredible!” She exclaimed. Running around, checking out as much stuff as she possibly could. “ This plush was only ever sold once in California! And this game wasn’t even sold in the U.S.!” Emund and I just looked at each other and laughed. It was nice, seeing her have such a good time. We didn’t buy anything. Because Emund had transferred a limited amount of money before we got here.

“ I don’t wanna waste it on stuff we don’t need.” He told us.

“ Hey! This is not wasting! It’s collecting!” Tisha argued.

“ Collecting? Y’all can do that later. Come on.” He left the store, and the conversation.

“ Hmph. I don’t like it when he parents us.” My friend pouted.

“ Maybe we can get it later on. Just right now, let’s go ok?” I asked her. She nodded.

“ Sure, I guess.” We left. The last thing we did on that day, was take a tour around the ‘ancient,’ parts of China. The old places, like the wall and the big towers. It kinda bored me. But I did make a mental note to use these as drawing inspirations later on. Emund seemed impressed. He made us follow him around the entire place. Inspecting the buildings.

“ Damn. The craftsmanship on these constructs are insane. They really made wonders with their limited technology.” He said to us. “ Makes you think we could be doing a lot more right now. With our increased building potential.” Tisha sighed heavily.

“ Only thing it makes me think is how much I wanna be blasting people in Fortnite. Can we go now?”

“ Hold on. One more place I wanna see here.”

“ UUUUGH!” I feel like she was overreacting. Regardless I was in the same boat as her. Literally. Emund wanted to check out old chinese boats for some reason. We took a ride on it around the water. There were some other people there too, tourists like us. Are we tourists? I guess. Tisha laid down and tried to look dead. I simply watched the fish in the water, thinking of art ideas.

 

By nightfall we went back to the hotel room. Emund had bought some chicken for us to eat. We all watched Twitch with Tisha on the couch. After that, I went to sleep. No dream at all. Probably because I was anxious. That morning, it was a different scene. Emund was preparing for the mission. He had a new pack. He was putting in three rifles, and some grenades.

“ Woah, grenades? What are those for?” I asked.

“ They’re just small ones. In case we get in trouble. They’ll set off a smaller explosion. But enough to knock them out.”

“ Oh.” I walked over. Some more bacon was set out. I started eating. It’s hard to eat when you’re nervous. Tisha sat next to me and started on her plate.

“ When I woke up, Emund told me some awesome news.” She said.

“ What news?”
“ Those rifles? You notice how he isn’t packing any pistols? Only rifles?”
“ Yeah?”
“ Guess what that means!” I thought for a moment.

“ Oh dear.”
“ Oh yes! Think about it! It’ll be so much more fun now! We can really hit those Plasamic losers!” Tisha pumped her fists.

“ I’m not exactly sure that’s the point of this.” I said.

“ Ah leave her.” Emund finished packing his bag and stood up, stretching. “ If it allows her to have fun with this, then so be it. As long as you girls stay careful,  I could care less.”
“ Yup! He gets it!” Tisha said. I shrugged.

“ Alright. When are we leaving.”

“ I was gonna say after y’all finished eating. If that’s ok?” Emund asked.

“Yeah, that’s fine. Tisha?”
“ Yeah, sure.” She agreed.
“ Alright cool. Also, when you’re there, just turn off your phone.” Emund told us.

“ Wait why?” I asked.

“ Well think about it. If we are in close proximity to the main base, then we shouldn’t let them track us. They’ll probably be trying to do that.”
“ Weren’t we in proximity this whole time?”
“ Well kind of.” Emund finished his plate of bacon. “ But we weren’t close enough to the base itself to be of any issue, I guess. The storage unit is fairly close to it. So, I got a plan.” He folded his hands and faced my friend and I. “ I know this might sound like a lot, but. Things would be quicker, if we got the glasses from the storage unit, and then headed directly to the main base. Another reason I wanted to bring the rifles. Y’all look ready to use them, and we are gonna go into a place where we need them.”
“ Is it that bad?”
“ If we go in guns blazing. Which we won’t.” He said, to Tisha’s disappointment. “ But we are gonna sneak in. If we get busted then it’s safe to have them. Are you kids ok with that plan?”

 

I fiddled with my orange juice filled glass.

“ Well… if it’s the only way. Then sure. We have all day right?”
“ Uh huh. Plus, if we get in, set the bombs, and get out it won’t be so bad. Just whatever ya do, don’t encounter the leader, Luniet.”
“ Isn’t that obvious?” Tisha asked.

“ Yes.” Emund said. “ But. She can’t be shot. She always this annoying set of armor. It prevents her from being killed normally. Which I guess is the point but still.”
“ Oh jeez. Ok I’ll stay away.” I promised. Tisha nodded.

“ I’m ready to leave.”
“ So am I.”

“ Alright. Let’s get to my car.” Emund got up, and so did we.

With that, we got on our clothes, and headed down to the hotel’s parking lot. Emund warned us the drive would be a while again. What this meant was, I would be drawing in the car on my phone, and then attempting to rest for the whole drive. And by resting, I mean, listen Tisha rage about Fortnite. And then inevitably yell in delight when she won a game.

“ Can you keep it down?” Emund asked her. “ It’s hard to focus on driving when you’re constantly screaming in my ear.”

“ Man, I am going off right now. These chinese folk don’t got nothing on me!” She sniped someone in the game. “ BOOM!” She dabbed.

“ Tisha, I think you’re getting too lit.” I said.

“ And you’re telling me too lit is a bad thing?”

“ Hmm, I guess not.”
“ Well you need to rearrange your guesses. Because I got this on lock down!” Once she got into something, especially if it was a game, there was a small chance of stopping her. I hoped that would help us in our mission. We pretty much continued like that till we reached the storage facility. On the outside, it seemed like another abandoned building. Dark blue, faded paint with a white tiled roof. It was the most depressing looking place I’d ever seen.

“ That’s where they keep stuff to be shipped off?” I asked.

“ Yup.” Emund grabbed his pack. “ Remember. Plasamic doesn’t want anyone to know about this. It’s best if they keep it looking like nothing.” He got out of the car. Me and Tisha followed suit. Once out of the car, Emund gave us our rifles. Tisha nearly dropped from shock.

“ Oooohoho! This will be so cool!” She exclaimed. She felt the weapon, aiming it around. I looked to see if anyone was close by to see us with guns. The surrounding area was desolate.

“ Where is everyone?” I asked.

“ Not too many people live here. Again, this is the type of area Plasamic would want to stay in, as to not get caught.”Emund readied his rifle, putting grenades around his belt.

“ Don’t we get some nades?” Tisha asked. Emund scoffed.

“ No. Y’all think I trust little kids with grenades?”
“ You trust us with guns.”
“ Yes but still. I got ‘em. Now let’s move. Before some random does see us.” We walked over to the storage’s front door.

“ Is there anyone in there?” I wondered.

“ Not sure. I know how to check.” Emund knocked on the door. We all hid around the corner. But no one answered. “ Ok, so I guess not.” He went over, and shot the lock with his rifle, opening the door. We crept inside.

 

Inside was a familiar sight. Multiple shelves lined with an assortment of tools, papers, weapons, dismantled weapons, and other devices. Some desk laid around.

“ Good, no one. Quickly check anywhere you can.” Emund told us.

“ How do we know what kind of glasses to look for?” Tisha asked.

“ If it looks kinda like goggles. They would be the only ones in here to look like that.”
“ And you know that why?”
“ I used to work for these people remember?”
“ Oh right. Fine.” Tisha looked through the shelves. Emund checked the back of the storage room. I filed through the desk drawers. For the first few minutes, we found nothing. I was beginning to get tired, and then I found it. A pair of odd looking goggles. They were black, with white rims. The actual glass was red tinted. When I put them on, new boxes suddenly appeared around the room. They weren’t there before.

“ Woah!” I said.

“ What?” Emund asked.
“ I found the goggles! I can see boxes.”
“ Huh. So that’s what I’ve been tripping over this whole time.” Tisha said, and kicked a box over in front of her. “ I totally knew that was there.” I let out a chuckle.

“ I’ll see if there is more.” I did find more. There were tons of them inside that drawer. Lucky drawer apparently. I distributed it to my companions.

“ Dang, they do make invisible things visible!” Tisha exclaimed. “ Can we use these to find BigFoot?”

“ You could try. I ain’t sure how much success you would have.” Emund told her. He tried on his pair. “ Yeah these should do. We’ll have to see if we can… see the main base.”

“ Alright.” I said. “ You know it’s funny. I thought there would be people guarding this place. But it’s abandoned.”

“ Yup.” Tisha said. “ That was until they showed up.” She pointed to the front door. We shouldn’t have left it open. Six guards were standing in the doorway.

“ Hey you shouldn’t be here!” The front one said. “ Get them!” They rushed in.

 

Leave it up to Tisha to be the first to engage. Immediately she fired. One guard was shot and killed. Another was just wounded. The others still came at us. The three of us split up. We each hid behind a shelf as gunfire filled the room, breaking the silence. Emund tossed two grenades, shaking the room. One guard shot at me through the holes in the shelf. I ducked down, dodging the bullet. I came back up, shooting but missing on purpose. The guard lurched to the side, giving me time to take off his head. Another came up between me and Tisha. He elbowed me, causing me to sprawl backwards. Tisha shot him in the stomach. He yelled, aiming at her. I shot him in the back and he dropped. Tisha rushed over to me.

“ Ceena! Get up, there’s still three more.” She pulled me up. I saw Emund. He was fighting with one guard. He punched him in the face, the guard counter attacked with a hit to the stomach. Emund was forced back onto a desk. He used this to his advantage, pushing up with his hands, double kicking the guard. The poor fellow went flying back into some boxes. Tisha shot him down. The second to last guard saw us from across the room. He aimed at me. I lunged behind a shelf just as a bullet flew past, scrapping Tisha’s face. She yelped and clutched her scratch. Emund tossed another grenade, blowing him to the side. He didn’t get up. The final came up out of nowhere and began to choke Emund. I got a little closer. I aimed, and picked off his head. The three of us met up at the front door. Bodies laid around. Emund put a bandaid to Tisha’s wound.

“ I forgot I left these in my pants. Guess it’s useful now. Ceena, you ok?” He asked.

“ Yeah. What about them?” I asked, gesturing to the fallen.
“ Leave ‘em. I’m blowing this place. Not now, but when we are done with the main base.” He dropped a bomb. “ No one’s coming in here anyway. Let’s continue on.”

 

With our shiny new goggles in hand, we got back in the car. Emund drove us off.

“ Hey Tisha, are you ok?” I asked.

“ What? This cut? Ah don’t worry about it! Imma be fine!” She put a hand to her cheek.

“ Ok, if you’re sure.” I looked out the window. One thing still bothered me. “ So, how are you taking this? As in, mentally?”
“ What?” Tisha asked. I heard Emund groan in the driver seat.

“ I mean as in, you know. We’ve been killing people on this, mission. So…” I hoped she knew what I was trying to ask.

“ Uh, oh!” Tisha righted herself on the seat. “ Well. I guess I’m fine. I mean you know I’ve never been truly disgusted with murder, unlike a lot of kids in our classes.” I thought of all the times she’d told me about some classmate who nearly had a heart attack when they found out someone had died. I knew those kids well too.

“ Yeah. So it doesn’t bother you?”
“ Not really. I mean they do deserve it right?”
“ I dunno, maybe they’ve been confused, or forced.”
“ I mean, yeah that’s true. But still, things happen, and we just gotta move on right? If we are doing this to help everyone else?”
“ Exactly.” Emund put in from the front. “ It sucks, I know. But we just need to keep trudging forward, we are almost to the end.” I looked down at the gun in my arms.

“ Okay… I guess. Wait, how come we can’t just call the police?”
“ If you did that then it would give Plasamic a chance to get away. When the forces were to arrive, there would be a big scuffle between them, us and the enemy. During that certain members could escape, and that wouldn’t fix the issue.”

“ Yeah, you don’t need to rely on the police for everything.” Tisha added. I shrugged. I figured since we were doing pretty well on our so far, we wouldn’t be in need of more help. Assuming I didn’t die before I could find out if I would be right on that or not.

 

It was getting darker by the time we found the main base. We didn’t exactly take a long time to get there, more like things got dark fast in China. It really wasn’t helping the overall atmosphere. We pulled up to an empty parking lot near an old toy store, that seemed to be abandoned. Several of the surrounding buildings were also torn up and lifeless. Across the lot, was a structure that definitely didn’t fit in. It was a good thing no one noticed this place, because otherwise it would be easy to spot. It was an altered version of the one I had seen in my dreams. Three towers shooting from a rectangular base. All painted in shiny chrome, with no windows, and several garage doors.

“ Is it just that easy to walk up to the front door and say hello?” Tisha asked.

“ Naw. They act like this because they want others to think that no one is here. If the randoms think nothing is going on, then they won’t have an interest in checking the place out.” Emund explained.

“ Then what happens if we go up to the front door?” I asked.

“ Nothing. We can’t get in, that’s bullet proof metal, and they won’t answer. I’ll show y’all.” Emund started for the door. My friend and I followed carefully. If I was afraid of getting shot out of the blue before, I certainly was now. All along the deserted field that surrounded the main base I thought giant turrets would spawn up from the ground and shoot us.

“ What are the towers for?” I wondered.

“ If I remember. They’re just there either for sheltering supplies, or making weapons and other small things. The real goal is the bottom room of each tower. That’s where we can blow it and cause the whole thing to collapse in on itself.”

“ Sounds fun. Is the leader here?” Tisha asked.
“ Most likely. We shouldn’t have to worry about her as long as we do the job quickly.”
“ But what is the plan?”
“ Hold on.” Emund reached the front door. I watched in horror as he casually knocked on it. Whistling. “ Hello! Is there anyone in here? I’m from the local sandwich shop and am here to drop off an order of cucumber sandwiches? Anyone?” After a minute nothing happened. Tisha laughed.
“ If that doesn’t get their attention then nothing will.”
“ Exactly the point.” Emund came back to us. “ They won’t open unless you knock in a very specific sequence that only the members know.”
“ Wouldn’t you know it?”
“ I do. But I ain’t about to go in through that way. We should find a different way in.”
“ Oh, right.” I looked around, trying to figure out a way in that wasn’t obvious.

 

If we couldn’t use the front door, then the walls would be the next place to look. The wall we were facing had nothing interesting about it. I walked around to the other side, on the right.

“ Imma see something. Be right back.” That side had some pipes protruding out of the wall and into the ground. In between the two large grey pipes, was a closed vent. It was currently turned off. I ran back to my friends. “ Guys! I found out how to get in!”
“ Really? How?” Emund asked.

“ Ok so.” I told them about my findings. “ Can we get open that vent?” Emund thought for a moment.

“ Hmm. I guess we could shoot it. Assuming we aren’t heard, we could climb in through there. Then drop down once we get inside.”
“ But isn’t that… gross in a vent?” Tisha asked. I turned to her.

“ Really? How would that be gross?”
“ I dunno. Have you ever climbed into a ventilation system?”
“ No, you got me. But still. It’s our only chance right now.”

“ AH fine, I’ll try it. But if my clothes get messed up you are paying for new ones.”

“ You can just wash them when you get home.”
“ Sometimes things can’t be washed out.”
“ Ok, well let’s just see what happens ok? I don’t wanna stay out here.” I admitted.

“ Why? It’s safer out here than in there.” Emund said. “ Let’s move.” With that happy statement, we moved over to the vent gate.

 

Emund took off the gate, and we climbed in. Emund, me and then Tisha. Honestly, it wasn’t as bad as you would think. The interior of it was only covered in dust, even though it smelled like pee.

“ Did someone take a leak? Yeesh that stinks.” Tisha commented.

“ I didn’t. Emund?” I said.

“ Girls, stop. I’m sorry but at this point we need to be serious. This is the final moments of this mission. So just be serious about this for a few more hours.”
“ Hours? That’s a long time to be in a invisible building.” Tisha said.

“ Deal with it.” We crawled for a little longer. Until our group leader stopped.

“ Alright stop.” We were halted over another vent gate. This one lead into a hallway in the building. I could see a door. It was labelled: ‘ tower 3 entrance.’ Two guards were standing in front of it. “ Y’all see that door? That’s spot number one for us. We get in there, and set the bomb.”

“ Then find the other two and repeat, right?” Tisha asked.

“ Correct. Now, the only problem, is that we need to get those guards to move…” I looked once again. I didn’t see anything that would help us.

“ Emund.”
“ Yeah?”
“ Well first off, can they hear us?”
“ No. These vents are made out of a certain metal that absorbs sound waves. I don’t think they want to hear the air blowing through 24/7.”
“ Good. Also, what’s inside of the room exactly?”
“ Uh, gosh why are you asking me so many questions? It’s hard to remember the specifics of this place. I think, just the staircase leading upwards.”

“ Are there any rooms where I could get a new gun?”
“ One of the uppers rooms is bound to have plenty. What’s up?” I told them my idea. Emund scoffed.

“ I mean… it sounds terrible. But we don’t have much other choice. And my knees are killing me.”

“ Same with me!” Tisha complained. “ I want out! I’m fine with anything.”
“ Then I can do that?” I asked.
“ I’m just not sure you can get another weapon, without getting caught.”
“ I’ll go by myself. We can split up, make this go by faster. It worked last time.” I offered.

“ Eh, you sure? You aren’t scared of being here by yourself?” Emund asked. Fact is, I was plenty scared of being here. But I realized that succumbing to my fears wasn’t gonna help anyone here, except Plasamic. And they couldn’t win, not now.

“ Y-yeah. Just hand me a bomb, and we can text each other how to set it up or something.”
“ Pfft, texting in the middle of enemy territory.”  Tisha snickered.

“ Hey! It’s the only thing I can think of!” I turned a little red.

“ Naw it’s cool. Emund?” He hesitated for a second.

“ You know what, what the hell. I think we can. Once we get in that room together, I’ll send you all the info you need. Ceena, once you have reached the other staircase, and the bomb set up, text me. Me and Tisha will come to you. Got it?”

“ Yes!”

“ Then let us begin operation shut down.”

 

I slowly pulled my rifle out in front of me. Which wasn’t easy since it was a confined space with other people in it. I held it with one hand, and aiming through the gaps in the vent gate, sniped the left guard’s head off.

“ What the-?! Who’s there?” The other one screamed. I lowered my rifle all the way through the gap, ( the gun was skinny ok?) and I threw it down the hall. It hit the marble floor with a clunk. “ Oh for the love of…” The guard ran over to inspect it. The three of us quickly dropped down. Emund shot the guards head, and using his door unlocking skills, we entered the third stairwell. Immediately Emund pulled out a bomb and placed it behind the stairs, setting it for remote control. He came back over to me.

“ Ceena. You still sure you want to separate to get your gun from upstairs, and get the other spot by yourself?” He asked again, he really did seem worried about my well being. I managed a weak smile.

“ Yeah. Are you two going together?”
“ Actually. I’m coming with you.” Tisha said.

“ Wait but I thought we agreed-”
“ I know, but I was just in pain up there and wanted to get out fast. But now, I say we still split, but leave this dude by himself. It’s about time we get to do this double style!”
“ You aren’t gonna do anything else are you?”
“ Nope.” Tisha stood by my side, and held out her palm to Emund. “ Bomb please.” He looked at us and laughed.

“ You two are insane. Fine. I’ll get the second one myself, and you two get the first. But again, text me Ceena so I can still help you.”
“ I know.” I said. He gave my friend a bomb. Never thought I would be saying that.

“ Well, good luck, I guess. Text me.” Emund crept out the door. Tisha turned to the staircase.

“ Alright, then let’s get you a new rifle.” She said to me, and we walked up the stairwell.

 

As we went, the steps creaked, making more noise than I would’ve hoped for. It went up for what seemed like miles. I imagined how it would all come crashing once we set off the bombs. Would we be jailed for what we were doing? Would the government see this as an act of treason? Or violence? Would they recognize the threat that we were trying to stop? I tried not to let these fears consume me. A door appeared on our right, labeled as ‘ gun storage 6.’

“ 6? How many do you need?” Tisha asked. “ Eh, let’s check it out anyway.” She opened the door and stepped in. I nervously entered. The room was thankfully empty. Only shelves of different weapons laid about. Each set was masked with a glass case. In order to open them, a card needed to be entered in the slots below them. Cards, I assumed, that only certified members got. Too bad we weren’t one of them. Tisha scanned the rows, no different than she would be looking for the best kind of bread at VONS.

“ Hmm. How about this one?” She pointed to a close range machine gun.

“ I would rather have something I can actually control.” I said.

“ Right ok.” She continued. The time she spent looking for a fancy new firearm, I spent staring at the door. I kept thinking someone would come in and shoot us. But no one did, so far. I thought of Emund. Was he ok in getting to the second spire? I considered texting him. Than thought against it. He probably wouldn’t like it if I wasted time asking him questions.

“ Ceena! This one?” Tisha called from across the room. I walked over. She had picked out a smaller rifle. It had a skinny barrel, and a fat middle. Its description read: Scout 567. Fires singular bullets per trigger pull. Recommended for longer ranges. Fire rate is 4/10.

“ Yeah, that works. It’s like the snipers, but with less range and more fire rate.” I decided. Tisha nodded.

“ Alright. Stand back.”

“ What are you gonna do?”

“ Get it for you.”
“ Don’t tell me you’re going to do what I think you are going to do.”

“ I probably am.”

“ Oh joy.” I watched as Tisha aimed her sniper at the glass. She shot, shattering it. The alarm in the room went off. A red alarm blared on the ceiling. I quickly grabbed the scout rifle.

 

My friend and I hid as two enemies entered the room. One of them was a basic guard. He looked around, his expression angry and hard. The other, I recognized. I suppressed a sob as Acunia stood in the doorway. The same woman that was at the very first factory where I met Emund. She had the same fierce look. Her black hair fell down her back, her marble eyes surveying the room. She wore a dark purple and golden uniform. Over her left breast was a patch. The number 1 in red. She held an odd looking pistol in her hand. It had an elongated barrel.

“ Check around, I have a suspicion as to who it could be.” She told her comrade. The guard saluted his first in command.

“ Yes ma’am!” He held his rifle fast, and began to check the aisles. I looked to Tisha desperately. She simply smiled.

“ I gotta a plan.” She whispered, barely loud enough for me to hear. “ Stay right here, and don’t move. I’m going up there.” She gestured to the top of the shelf. I wanted to ask how and why. But she was already on the move. She disappeared behind the aisle. The guard came around the corner and saw me.

“ Hey! Come over here now!” He shouted. Well, this is how I die. I thought. I did what my friend asked, and stayed put. The guard advanced on me. “ Are you deaf? Get over here!” He got to about six feet in front of me. “ This is no time to mess around little girl. Come here!” He made to grab me. I lunged out of the way as I heard a gunshot. I turned on the ground to see the guard’s body slump to the floor, a blood wound in the side of his head. I looked above me. Tisha waved down.

“ Hi! Nice shot wasn’t it?” She called down. I didn’t know how to answer. Why are you talking to me when the first in command is still in the room?! Might’ve been one of the things I said. Instead, I got up and picked up my rifle.

 

I crept to the side of the aisle shelf, and peeked around. Acunia was standing near the wall. She turned to the side and locked eyes with me immediately. I whipped back around the corner. My heart raced as Acunia walked toward us.

“ It is you, isn’t it?” She turned the aisle. She laughed. “ It is you! I had a feeling you would come here. Little kids think they can do so much.” Acunia faced Tisha, who was too afraid to fire. “ Those video games. They brainwash you. Make you think you can do anything you want. Make you believe you can, save the world, help anyone. That you can, run at the speed of sound, explore the universe, fight aliens, build anything you want, reset time and fix your mistakes, bring the dead to heaven. And so on. What bullshit.” Acunia made a quick move with her gun. She shot Tisha in the shoulder faster than I could keep track of. Tisha screamed, falling to the floor with a thud. I tried to run over to her, but Acunia kicked me back, slamming me into the shelf. The weapons rattled. Tisha laid against the other side, clutching her bleeding wound. I held my stomach, moaning in pain. The first in command smiled. “ How pathetic. You don’t understand real pain, a real fight. You know, I was born into a life without games. My parents told me that games were for the weak. If I wanted to be strong, then I would have to train in reality. Feel what it was really like to shoot a gun, to hurt someone, and get hurt even more yourself. That is how I came to be in such high command. Luniet didn’t want someone who was mentally unusable, who didn’t understand the concept of perseverance and strength. Not watched, but earned. You girls don’t have such capabilities. Emund was an idiot for thinking he could destroy us.” I didn’t know what to do. We were done for. How could I defeat Acunia, when she could end us at any moment? Tisha wouldn’t be of any help in the state she was in.

 

Acunia walked over to my friend. She raised Tisha’s face to hers. “ How sad, that you’ll die instead of joining us. We could’ve used someone like you. Ah well.” Tisha gave me a glance. Her eyes, full of fear and pain. But, also hope, and belief. She was telling me something, and I knew what it was. It was time I started to fix things on my own. I didn’t need Emund and Tisha to do everything on this mission. I looked to my surroundings, for a way of victory. At the edge of the room, was a weird looking device. The schematics said that it was a machine made to hold weapons, so that they could be worked on. It was able to constrain hundreds of force. It looked large enough to hold someone’s arm. I stood up, my stomach screaming in protest.

“ Hey, Acunia.” I said. She turned, tossing Tisha’s gun to the side.

“ Hm? What are you going to do? Don’t think you can win in a gun battle. I have the most amount of training, the most-”
“ I’m not trying to do that. I know I can’t beat you with these things.” I threw my rifle to the side. “ So instead, I ask to do this the old fashioned way.” I put my fists up. Acunia looked in disbelief. She chuckled.

“ That’s different. You wanna fist fight?” She dropped her pistol. “ Interesting. I won’t decline, show me what you got little girl.”

I charged her. Acunia grabbed my head and flung to the side. I rolled along the ground. I ran at her again. She uppercutted me in the chin, then punched me in the stomach. I reeled back, coughing up blood.

“ You really want to do this? You can’t win.” She taunted me. I spat out more blood, trying to stay upright. Acunia was in line with the machine. I ran ahead again. At the last second I ducked down, missing Acunia’s fists. I slammed into her chest, pushing her backward. I lost my footing. We both tumbled back. Acunia kicked me away. I rolled into the wall, hitting my head hard. I got up, the world spinning, the colors drained, and dizzy. But Acunia was stuck. Her right arm was caught in the device. Close around her upper bicep. She tugged and cursed. She couldn’t move.

“ This doesn’t mean anything! Once I get free you’re done for!” She cried. I limped over to my scout rifle. I groggily aimed it at her. Her face drained of color as she realized what was about to happen.

“ Maybe you don’t see it.” I said, barely audible. “ But video games do give us something. They give us experience, allow us to learn things you wouldn’t be able to otherwise. Like how to use your surroundings to your advantage. Not just games, but media in general. Maybe one day, you’ll be able to see that.” I shot her in the stomach. Acunia’s body fell limp. Not moving.

 

I stumbled over to Tisha, and fell into her lap. The next few moments were blurry. I saw Tisha get up, and reach into her backpack. We had those? It was hard to remember properly. Apparently we had some medical supplies in there. I don’t know when those came to be, but we had them. Tisha dabbed my face, cleaning off the blood. She bandaged my face, arms and legs. She put some cloth around her own shoulder. Than together we laid down against the shelf, and I lost consciousness. When I came to, Tisha was sleeping. How did she manage that in a place like this? I shook her gently to wake her. Her eyes opened.

“ H-huh? Oh, Ceena. What’s up?” She rubbed her eyes and sat up.

“ We need to finish the mission. The first tower. Bomb.” I told her. Tisha got up and stretched.

“ Oh yeah.” She saw Acunia’s body, still in the machine. “ Nice job by the way. That was some fight.” I stood next to her.
“ If you count getting beat up the whole time as good. Let’s get out of here.” We got our things and left the room.

 

At least I had a weapon now. We descended the staircase. The bomb was still set at the bottom. I checked my phone. I had some texts from Emund.

“ Ceena. You ok? I heard the alarm go off. You alright? I set the second bomb. Now you two need to get the first. I can’t stay here. Imma head outside. Sorry, but I can’t risk getting caught waiting for you two plus they know I’m here. Barely got the second bomb set up. Lemme know you’re fine and are going for your bomb.” I texted back.

“ I’m ok, and Tisha. We had a scuffle in the weapon cache. But we are fine. Heading to the first tower now.” We exited the room and into the main hallways.

 

Tisha had told me how much she wanted to act out Metal Gear Solid in real life. Now she really could do that. We sneaked around the halls, dashing into closets and other rooms when guards came near. It was the most nerve wracking and stressful thing I had ever done. Well, besides everything else about this mission that is. There was one time where we had been caught. Tisha wanted to check out the food center. The people inside saw us. They threw down their processed meats and pulled out pistols. We bolted down the hallways, only getting seen by more men. I tried to fire where I could. I wasn’t even sure if I had hit anyone. I did however, hit a pipe along the wall. It spewed out gas, covering up the hall. The guards collided with each, screaming and scrambling. Tisha and I slipped out and continued on our way.

 

We made it to the final staircase, number one. Tisha set the bomb as I waited. Once that was done, we left for the entrance so we could leave. We were going to make it, but we got surrounded. Guards had appeared from seemingly nowhere. To my left, right and front. They aimed their weapons and told us to comply with them.

“ We aren’t complying with anything. Ceena, you go back. I got this.” Tisha told me.

“ Go back?” I asked. “ Where?”
“ Find another exit. There’s bound to be more.”
“ What are you gonna do?” She smirked, and pulled out a grenade behind her back. Emund’s grenade. I smiled.

“ You sneaky-”
“ Don’t ruin it! Just go!”
“ Hey! Quit talking and move!” One of the guard’s yelled.
“ Ok. I surrender.” Tisha put her hands up. I ran away as the blast went off. I dashed down the hallways, hoping that my friend didn’t just commit suicide.

 

I turned and ran into a door. I wasn’t sure where I was going, I just wanted out. The place I got to instead, was the construction zone. There were multiple benches, and pits set up in which to make weapons. Not just guns, but other things. Like armor pieces, medicine pills, and housing materials. This was what Spaik was talking about. The other uses of the alien metal. Standing on the other end of the room, was a women. She was working on something by herself. She turned to face me. Her pink hair, orange eyes, and dark skin was familiar to me. Luniet crossed her arms.

“ Oh. Ceena. Can I ask a question?” This surprised me.

“ W-what?” I answered.

“ Why you think this is the right thing to do. You’re in school right? So why did you feel the need to go through all this trouble, when you could’ve just stayed to your normal life? Do you really believe what one guy tells you? Emund lies. We are a company of improvement. We are experimenting, to help humanity. It matters not that some people have to die. If we can create brand new technology, with the alien metal, than a new age is upon us. This is what Plasamic works towards. That is what I lead it towards. So tell me, Ceena, why do you want to prevent that?” I stood, shaking.

“ I-I…” I didn’t know what to respond with. I thought of everything. Of Emund, the factories, newsreels, Tisha, Spaik, human history. “ I am doing this, because…” I gave a nervous breath. “ I am doing this for the right cause.”
“ Cause? This is not the right cause!” Luniet yelled. I flinched.
“ To you it may not be. But to me, and my friends, and every other innocent bystander out there it is. You may think that what you’re doing is right. That it will help all of civilization.  Here’s an idea. It won’t. Doing something for the better of everyone does not mean you go out and ruin it along the way. If you destroy more than you create, than how much have you really created? Nothing. If humanity is dead in the making of something new, than who is left to revel in it? No one. There are multiple solutions to any problem. This way, the way Plasamic aims to handle it, is not one of them. You cannot go around, murdering, forcing people to do what you want, claiming land so you can enslave others. Just in the name of false retribution. This is why I am here. To put an end to this. You may think I’m just some random teenage girl, and I am. But I won’t let others be hurt by this stupid company’s dreams. I have a dream, finishing you!”

 

Luniet stared at me, amazed. Her mouth hung open.

“ How, dare you say that to me!” She held out her hand. A small device laid in her palm. “ If you won’t follow us, than you must die!” She pressed a button on it. Suddenly she was enveloped in a white light. When it died down, she was wearing armor. Black and red plated armor covered her body. Her face a mask. A hollow socket faced me. She had no weapon. But she wouldn’t need one. I barely had to time to aim my rifle as she shot toward me with blinding speed. She smacked me across the face, sending me careening into a pillar. I groaned and stood up, back to the same dizzy feeling as before. I looked around, four pillars held up the room. Luniet charged me again. She pummeled in the stomach, picking me up by the neck. She nearly strangled me. I kicked her helmet, which did nothing. She threw me hard to the floor. I felt my ribs crack, my brain bounce around in my head. I loosely took hold of my gun, as my other hand was crushed under Luniet’s boot. I screamed as my fingers cracked, splitting apart. Tears filled my eyes as pain surged through me. My body told me to give up, that it was over. I was too weak to even move. Luniet was standing over me, raising her foot to finish me.

“ This is what you get when you mess with Plasamic!” Luniet drove her foot down to squash my face.

 

In that moment, I remember something. Something I had seen Tisha do in Destiny 2’s PvP. She was about to get killed by an attacking player. She shot to the side of him, missing on purpose. The guy got confused, and was open to be killed by her. I figured to try out that technique, since I couldn’t think of anything else. Just as Luniet’s foot was to connect with me, I shot to the side, hitting a pillar behind her. It cracked and grumbled. Luniet turned to see the column fall to the side, smashing into the one next to it. That by itself did nothing. But it did leave her stunned for a second. I shot the other pillar behind me. Same thing happened. It collided into the one left of it. Except this time, that one didn’t fall into the wall, it fell on top of Luniet. If her armor could protect against bullets, than it was nothing compared to hard stone. She vanished underneath the column, as it hit the floor next to me, spreading dust everywhere.

 

I lay there, dazed, for what seemed like years. My body ached with so much pain I could hardly feel anything. The pillar sat next to me, blood leaking from under it. I heard my phone go off. Who was texting me? Where was I? I could barely even think. One thought did surface. I NEED TO GET OUT OF HERE NOW. My subconscious told me. I managed to get up somehow. I left my gun and my bag on the ground, only taking my phone with me. I slowly made my way out of the room, falling back to the ground more times than I could count. I eased open the door. The hallways were empty. No one was there, allowing me to make my way down them. I reached the main entrance. A dozen or so bodies laid about. Hit by an explosion. I walked past them, and opened the door. The fresh morning air hit me. There were two people outside, talking to each other about something. They both saw me, and rushed over. I lost my footing and tumbled down the front steps. But I was caught. Two faces loomed over me.

“ Ceena! You made it! We were beginning to worry!” Tisha said happily.

“ Gosh kid. Ya gave me a goddamn anxiety attack. You look terrible. We should get you two to a hospital.” Emund said. They hauled me back to the car. I laid in the back, with Tisha as Emund drove us away. I saw the main base of Plasamic.

“ Hey Emund. What about the trash?” Tisha asked.

“ Yup. I got it Tisha, don’t worry. The trash,” Emund pressed a button on a small device. “ Is getting taken out.” The main base erupted in a huge flurry of flames. The area shook and dust and debris flew in every direction as the building exploded. I was still returning back to my normal consciousness, but I knew what that meant. I smiled, laughed in fact. Tisha put a hand on my shoulder.

“ Yup. We did it. They’re done for. Everything they were working for was in there, and we toasted it.”

“ Exactly.” Emund said from the front. “ Plasamic is finally finished. Who knew what the three of us could do?” A hospital rose in the distance. I lay back in my chair. I closed my eyes. We had done it. Plasamic could no longer do their work, and no one would be hurt any longer. These, Concealed Weapons were finally thrown out, forever.

 

 


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