In Essence of Things- Chapter 20 (Nell)

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Romance  |  House: Booksie Classic
After Sakis and his close friends are arrested again, Nell plans with Jesse, Ryan, and others to break him out again.

Submitted: September 22, 2007

A A A | A A A

Submitted: September 22, 2007



I watched, streaked in tears and rain as I saw Sakis collapse on the ground.  I made another dive at him but was held back by the officer.  Jeff’s dad came over to me and knelt down, looking up at me.  “You’re the girl who was dating my son… aren’t you?”
I nodded.  He sighed.  “I must apologize for his behavior towards you recently… I understand he’s been a bit… pressuring.”

“He has…” I looked at Sakis.  “What are you going to do to him?”

Stevens rubbed his face, which was starting to swell from the hits.  “I am going to finish testing him… and his friends… for any mental deficiencies… and then go from there…”

“Please… let them go…”

He shook his head.  “I cannot do that my dear… it is my civil duty to make sure the streets are not being run by crazy people… and your new boyfriend and his friends are crazy in my eyes…”

“Just because they got into a fight with your son?  Just because they got out of your institution?” I snapped.  “That’s pathetic…”

Stevens shrugged.  “This is not about revenge… this is about humanity…”

“Oh… so you’re telling me you went to all this trouble to getting into the house, handcuffing everyone and hurting them just for humanity?  Sounds pretty inhumane to me…”

“They… assaulted me… I was merely returning the favor…”

“This isn’t a world where you trade eye for an eye!  There have to be trials... proper judgments!”

Stevens sighed.  “They will be given their trials after I test them… and even if they are found guilty I’m doing them a favor by making it possible for them to plead insanity… I can assure you my facility is much more accommodating than a jail cell.”

I shook my head, seeing he would not reason.  “What can be said to change your mind?  I’ll date Jeff again… if he’s a part of this and it will convince him to drop all of this…”

“You misunderstand… Jeff is not part of this... I am the law here, and they are still my patients… therefore my responsibility!  I will take care of them, my dear, trust me…”  He nodded to the officer.  “Take her home…”

I started forward but the officer, a young guy, grabbed me and held me back.  “Miss… if you’ll just come along-”

But, I refused to come along.  I struggled against his black gloved hands, screaming as the remaining guards picked up Sakis and the others and placed them in separate cars.  One by one, they left the premises.  Stevens himself went over to Ryan and began to explain everything to him, handing him a stack of papers.  Ryan nodded and went inside.  I was placed in my own car and the officer slid into the seat in front of me.  He sighed and looked back at me.  “Miss… if you’ll just calm down… I’ll have you home shortly…”

“Can’t I just… stay here?”

“No… this house is not safe… you need to be at your own home…”

“What makes you think you know what’s going on here?”

“I don’t… but Stevens told me to take you home, so that’s what I’m going to do!  Now, if you’ll just give me directions…”

“Just let me stay here!”

“I can’t!”  The officer sighed.  “God… first day on the job and I get the uncooperating ones…”

“Look… just let me out… I won’t cause trouble…”

Miss… if I did that I’d get probably fired…”

I rolled my eyes.  “Look at us!  We’re the only ones on this street!  Everyone else left!  Who’s to know?”

“It’s my moral duty to drop you off with a guardian…”

I shook my head and pressed my face to the window, watching the sky cry.  A car pulled up nearby and I saw Jesse get out.  I began to bang on the window and shout and the officer spun.  “Easy now!  God, easy…”

“I know that guy!  Let me out and I’ll go with him…”

“Fine… God… get out of my car!”  The officer undid the locks and I barreled out and ran towards Jesse, jumping into his arms.

“Hey… whoa…. What’s going on?  Where is everybody?  Why is that police car there?” he asked.  The officer got out of the car and looked at him, then me.  “You the caretaker of this girl?” he asked.

“I guess… for the moment…” Jesse sighed.

“Good enough for me!”  The officer nodded and jumped back in his car and drove.  I turned back to Jesse.  “Stevens… he came and took Sakis and everyone to his institution!”

“Huh?  What are you talking about?  What do you mean?”

I stared, realizing Jesse didn’t know about the hospital excursion.  “Sakis got in an accident and went to the hospital… met Jeff and his dad and his dad committed them… they escaped… tried to get Jeff’s dad in jail but it didn’t work so they came and took them all away… we have to help them!”

Jesse shook his head, marveling at the story.  “Never a dull moment in the life of Sakis indeed!”  He smiled.  “So… we execute a rescue?”

“I guess… I have no idea how…”

“I am a martial artists and ninja in training… I could sneak in and get them out…”

“That won’t work… I really doubt they would let ANYONE see them… due to the fact they escaped before.  Security will be tight.  There’s nothing that we can do I think…”

Jesse sighed.  “So… what… we just wait then?  What about Ryan?  Why won’t he do anything?”

“He can’t… there’s nothing he can do… apparently.  He can’t get a hold of the parents or anything…”

“What kind of crazy world is this?  There has to be someone who can help!”

I sighed.  “I can call my friends… and maybe someone who’d be willing to help… but I don’t know what we could do…”

“Well… it’s better than nothing…” Jesse sighed.  He nodded towards Sakis’s house.  “Come on… let’s go inside!”  He took my arm and pulled me towards the front door, out of the rain, and pounded on the door.  Ryan answered.

“I thought the police sent you all away…?”
“Not all of us… let us in!” Jesse said.  Ryan did so and we both sat down on the couch, still soaking wet.  Ryan went to the bathroom and later emerged with two towels, which we accepted and wiped out faces before sitting down on them instead of soaking up the cushions.

“Will you all please explain to me what’s going on…. because between rain, coming home a ton of police, and Sakis- who looks really different- and others getting arrested… I was better off back at my friends’!” Ryan snapped.

“Ryan… Satyr started some trouble with a guy and things just winded up the way they are… the guy who arrested them holds a grudge, because they outsmarted him in the past…” I said.

“Sounds like it’s something pretty bad…”  Ryan rubbed his eyes, contemplating.  “So… what are our options?”

“We could break in again…” Jesse suggested.

“We can’t… Stevens will have them guarded more than ever and will probably only allow them to see family… or an attorney… or minister…”  My eyes brightened.  “Thompson… we could ask him for help…”

Ryan laughed.  “Don’t those two hate each other?”

“They did… but I think they’re OK now… I can also ask Nicki and my other friends… Stevens doesn’t know a thing about them… and Jesse… you said you were what… an assassin?”

Jesse blushed.  “I don’t like to brag… but I will say I have some skills in that department…”

I laughed.  “Well... I guess that works…”

Ryan shook his head.  “Why don’t we wait until my parents get home… and go from there?  This sounds ridiculous!  Do you all know what you’re saying?  Breaking into an institution like this is a video game?  I mean… nothing against video games… but life is NOT a video game…”

“We can’t wait that long… all waiting will do is give time for Stevens to get tons of dirt on Satyr, Sakis, Anna, and Amanda and when we actually do something… it won’t help!”

“Well… I’m not willing to go do something stupid and get committed myself… or worse die…  You two want to do something… you’re on your own!”

I shook my head.  “Ryan… this is your step brother… don’t you want to help!?”
“I do… but in a way that won’t get me killed!”

“You aren’t going to get killed…” Jesse rolled his eyes.  “Unless you walk in there with a gun… they can’t shoot you…”

I shook my head, suddenly realizing something.  “It’s Stevens facility… he thinks he’s God so he makes up all the rules… so therefore it’s likely he could very well kill anyone who interferes and play it off like nothing happened…”

Ryan sighed.  “See!  We can’t do what you’re suggesting-”

“Which is why we have to try and rescue and them play just as dirty!” I added.  “Stevens expects us to be afraid… plus he doesn’t know we have others who would be willing to help… I can call Nicki up right now as well as go see Thompson… and we can all do something…”

Ryan sighed.  “Look… I’d love to help… I just don’t know what good we could do…”

I nodded.  “I have a few plans in mind… but first let me call a few people…”  I took my cell phone and dialed Nicki’s number.  “Hey, Nell!  What’s up?  I take it you’re not mad at me anymore?  You know… Jeff came onto me this afternoon, but I turned him down… he was actually really bad in bed that night so I said-“

“Nicki… remember when I said for what you did to me I would require a favor in the future… now’s the time!”

“Oh yea… sure… what is it?”
“I need you to get a hold of Kelly and Krystn… we need all the people you can get…”

“What… are we planning a take over or something?”

“We are…”

I heard her pause.  “OK… I was just kidding…”

“Nicki… remember?  You said you would do anything… and what I’m asking isn’t too hard…”

She sighed.  “OK… where are you?”
“At Sakis’s place… look… if you can get everyone over there in the next hour I’ll explain everything that’s going on…”

“All right… what’s the address…?”

I gave it to her, and then hung up.  Jesse was pacing back and forth.  “Hmmm… I say we cut the lights somehow… so I can scale the walls in my ninja suit and get to whatever controls everything so I can let Sakis and everyone out…”

“You have a ninja suit?” I asked.

He shrugged.  “Never leave home without it… I’m like Superman…”

I laughed.  “I suppose so…”  I turned back to Ryan.  “Look, are you good with computers?”

“Well… I want to engineering so I know something about them, yes.”

“OK… then you can help Jesse reach the… command center thing…”  I turned back to Jesse.  “How do you know so much about these things?”

He shrugged again.  “One too many first person shooter games will do that to a person… besides there has to be an operations room to monitor patients and stuff… if we alter that then nothing can be done to track us.”

“Well… that’s all nice… but how do we get in?” Ryan asked.

“Sneak in?  Do what we did the last time… slip some people in as patients?” I suggested.

“If we did that, it would have to be people that no one knew… and they can’t be conspicuously looking for Sakis or anyone… because that will blow the cover…” Jesse nodded.  “You said you had a few friends that could help… right?”

“They’re on their way over…” I said.

“Good.”  He rested back against the couch.  “If things play out right… this is going to be a hell of an adventure or the dumbest thing we’ve ever done…”

“I’ll go with adventurous…” I said cheerfully.

“I’ll go with dumb…” Ryan sighed.  “Even if the prospect is exciting…”  He glanced at Jesse.  “So… if everyone agrees… what’s the plan…?”

“Well I’d have to go to the place itself and check things out… at least what I can… I think I’ll do that now… be back in a few hours… what was the place…?”

“Kaiser State mental…”

“OK… got it.  Be back soon…”  He grabbed his jacket, keys, and disappeared out the door.  Ryan and I watched him go and Ryan sighed.  “He’s not coming back…”

“Oh ye of little faith…”

“Oh me of no faith…” Ryan corrected.  I laughed.  “You are truly your brother’s brother… even if you’re not related by blood…”

“Am I?  Sometimes it feels like we’re on opposite ends of the rope constantly…”

“Musically… you mean?”

“For the most part… but every time we’re together we always argue or fight… I know there’s sibling rivalry… but Sakis always seems to take things to the next level!”

“Sakis is known to do that…” I sighed.  “Do you even know what happened with Anna?”

Ryan frowned.  “No… and I don’t think I want to…”

“Well you’re one of the lucky few that don’t…” I nodded.  There was another knock at the door and I rose to see Nicki and the others through the peephole.  I let them in and they trodded inside, soaked.  “God… it’s pouring out there!  This had better be good, Nell…” she snapped at me.  I laughed.

“You have a debt to pay… so you’re going to pay it…”

“So why are we here?” Kelly and Krystn asked.

“I need you two in this as well…!” I snapped.  We’re doing a rescue…”

“What kind of rescue…?” Kelly asked.



“That guy…. That you met at the mall for five minutes…”

“Oh… the guy with the spike on his chin?”

“Yes… him… there’s been a spot of trouble and we need to help him…”

“Sounds like fun,” Krystn said.

“We have to break into a mental institution and get them out… again… or somehow prove their innocence…”

Krystn frowned.  “OK… never mind… that doesn’t sound fun anymore.”

I sighed.  “Look… I won’t ask you to do much… Jesse won’t ask you to do much… I’m sure that he, myself, and Ryan will do the hard stuff… you three will just have to create a distraction…”

“What kind of distraction…?”

I frowned.  “I’m still working on that…”

“We could do it like how it was done in One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s nest…” Ryan said.  “You know… when McMurphy invites those whores into the facility to bribe the guards… I have a feeling we could do the same thing… except using them…!”

Both Kelly and Krystn looked shocked.  “We are not sleeping with any guards!  Fuck that idea!”

But, I saw Nicki rub her chin.  “I’m up for it…” she grinned.  “I hear guards usually have a big-”

“Look… you wouldn’t have to do anything with them… just distract them… you know… so Jesse or anyone can knock them over the head with something…” Ryan shrugged.

I nodded.  “Sounds like part of a plan… we’ll talk to Jesse when he gets back…”  All of a sudden the house phone rang, and we all jumped.  Ryan went over and answered it.  “Hello?”
“Guys… it’s Jesse… I’m at the facility… looked around… apparently this is going to be easier than I thought.  There is a control room for everything… cameras and what not.  If we get to that room we shut down everything… perhaps causing panic and riot so the guards can’t get in… and amongst that panic Sakis and Satyr escape…”

Ryan looked clueless as he handed the phone to me.  “Jesse… it’s Nell… do you think you can get in there?”

“Of course I can… I’m a ninja!  But, we would need someone to meet Sakis and Satyr and the others ahead of time… to guide them out because everyone will be going insane in there…”

“So… who can do that though?”

“You said you knew a minister… someone to make prayer for faith… I’m pretty sure he could get in and talk to them… in the meantime I would get inside the control area and disable everything… with Ryan’s help… and as for the rest well you can join Thompson ‘cause I know you want to see Sakis… and the other three girls can be drivers… or something… we need a forger… someone who can make up release papers, period.  No violence to anyone though… that’s what got us in trouble the last time!  But, if no one is hurt… at least by us or Sakis or Satyr or the others… then we’re OK!”

“Sounds like a plan… I’ll go online and see if I can type up some release papers then…. shall I?” I replied into the phone.

“Yea… and can you all come down here in two hours or so… I’ll grab all I need from my place… but in two hours on the spot meet me in the parking lot across from the institution so we can get everything done fast!”

“All right… see you in two hours.”

I heard him click the phone off and we went to work.




“So… explain to me again… what it is that has to be done…?” Kelly frowned as Nicki drove the five of us over to meet with Jesse.

“It’s simple… Ryan and Jesse will sneak inside through the ducts to reach the main room to shut everything down.  The rest of us are going to dress like priests, and go find Sakis and the others.  Religion should be denied in this hospital... so they should let us inside to do the rounds… even if they send guards with us… it should be fine anyway.  The point I guess it just to find them… Jesse and Ryan will do the rest.” Nicki said.

“So… what DO we do though?”

“YOU… and Krystn… are going to dress like nuns, like me and Nell… and go find Anna and Amanda…”

“We don’t even know them!”

I sighed, and handed then pictures.  “Study them well… hell maybe we’ll even get pointed to a direct cell for them…”

Kelly nodded.  Thompson, who was sitting next to me, shook his head.  “When you guys said this was going to be a rescue of faith… I wasn’t taking it literally….”

I turned to him.  “We need you… a certified priest… to get us in there past security and everything so we can find Sakis, Satyr, and the others.”

“What makes you think that they’ll let us in even?  From how you describe this… the guy doesn’t want anyone coming near those four… so what thinks he’ll let me in… with you guys?”

“Because we’ll be in disguise… and no one knows you there… and plus you are a priest… you can’t be touched…”

Thompson laughed.  “I’m a man of God… but I’m not invincible…”

“Well we’re going to find that out… aren’t we?”

He sighed.  “I guess so…”

Nicki pulled up into the black of night in front of the looming facility, and stopped right outside where Jesse had asked us to wait.  We all stepped outside and I gave his phone a ring.  “Hey… we’re here…”

“Hey… OK… can you see me?”

“No… where are you…?”

“Right behind you…”

I spun and looked among the trees but couldn’t see anything.  “I’m still not seeing you…”

“Look up?”

“Still nothing…”

A sigh.  “Hold on…”

I looked around, and then felt someone tap me on the shoulder from behind.  I spun to see Jesse’s eyes peering behind a black mask and robe.  “Told you I was one hell of a ninja…”

I jumped back.  “God!  How did you do that?”

He shrugged.  “Gymnastics and martial arts go a long way…”

“So I see…”

He nodded to Ryan.  “Are you ready… you dressed in black like I asked… good.  Just follow me and we’ll be fine…”

“I’m ready enough… but you better protect me if things go to hell!”

“I promise I will…” Jesse turned to everyone else.  “Nell… I want you and the others to use this Bluetooth earpiece to let me know when you’ve located everyone… I’ll tell you where to meet from there… and remember to keep the volume really low… I can’t get a hold of you on these, only you can contact me… and it’s all wired to my frequency, no one else.”

“What are you going to do?” I asked.

“When I get Ryan to the control room, I’m going to find the doctor’s office and get them released with the papers that were forged…”

“How do you know where everything is?”

“I studied one of the maps on the wall… should be easy enough to understand and get an idea where everything is.  The place has ducts that require cleaning, and people in those ducts are going to need to know where to go… therefore… there will be maps to let us know where things are…”

“Smart…”  I nodded and then slipped into the long robe and headdress piece to look like a nun.  It felt oddly comfortable.

“All right… listen to me… all of you… I’ll do that talking… I’ve done missionary work before so this should be easy enough…” Thompson said to the rest of us.  “As Nell said… we go inside and locate Sakis and the others… there are five levels…. one for each of us… they should be somewhere on one of these levels…”

“We got it….” I nodded.  “We won’t say a word…”

“Not a word…” Thompson repeated.  He patted my shoulder.  “I know what I’m doing… God’s on our side…”  He straightened up.  “Now… let’s go in there…”  He began marching in a very slow fashion, stepping through the sliding glass doors and walking up the receptionist; cloaked, we followed.  The receptionist looked at us, smiling.  “And what brings you to Kaiser, father?”

“I merely wish to speak to the inmates, about God.  Surely, perhaps He can bring peace to their minds…”

The woman nodded.  “Yes… we usually do have religious sweeps around the facility… is there anyone you wish to see in particular…?”

“No… not really…”

“Perhaps a Sakis Mayem?” I interrupted.  Thompson glared at me.  The receptionist hit a few buttons on her computer.  “Hmmm… unfortunately under orders of doctor Stevens… Sakis is not to be seen by anyone… unless with Stevens’s approval and under guarded care… shall I contact him for you?”

“No no… that’s all right… just… wondering…” I sighed.  The woman nodded.

“Is there anyone else you would want to see specifically….?”

“Uh… what about seeing Anna Fayde, Amanda Heller, or Satyr Graven?”

More typing.  “Hmm… they too are confined to solitude, without visitors… must be some dangerous people…”

“I wouldn’t know… but they are members of my church…” I said.  “I was hoping to give them some comforting words of our Lord…”

“Well… like I said…” the woman nodded, “I’d be willing to page Stevens can have him come talk to you all personally…”

Thompson shook his head.  “Listen… I think we’re fine here… it’s all right… we’ll just make sure to skip the block numbers then... if we could have them please…?”

“Of course… rooms 333, 756, 855, and 666 are the off limit rooms…”

“Thanks…” Thompson nodded and sighed.  “Well… I’m sure I can figure out which is which… Nell… do you still have that Bluetooth…?”

I nodded and tapped my ear.  “Jesse…?”

I heard a crack of static.  “Yea… we’re making our way through the vents… ouch… jeez!  Easy there Ryan!”

“Rooms 333, 756, 855, and 666 are what we are after… what’s you’re plan?”

“We’ll alert you when we’re ready to unleash Hell… but you have to let us know when you’re in or near the doors so they can be unlocked and such… and therefore you can go in and rescue…”

“OK… I understand… we’ll each utter the phrase ‘you are my rock, my redeemer’ three times, to let you know.” I nodded and tapped my ear again to shut the frequency off.  Thompson smiled at me and turned back to the receptionist.  “Well… I suppose we shall make our rounds then…?”

“Of course… if you’ll step over here, and go through the security run through…”

We all frowned.  “Security run through?”

“Why yes of course!  Just a metal detection is all… no strip searches… just can’t have you bringing in any knives or guns… or anything that might be usable by any of the patients here…”

“What about phones… such as Bluetooth earpieces?” Thompson asked, referring to his.

“Those are fine… just put them in the basket along with any other metal items you may have when you step through…”

I sighed, brushing my face, as we made our way towards the tall, foreboding gateways.  We each took off our Bluetooth earpieces and put them in the bins.  The guards let us step through, one by one, and saw we were clean.  One of them picked up the Bluetooth pieces and chuckled.  “Keep in contact with God at all times?”

Thompson shrugged.  “Even God sometimes needs to make use of the technology.  Now if you’ll excuse us…”  We collected our items and walked on, Thompson quickly telling us a few important Bible passages for us to recite as we made our separate ways.  I decided I would take the 333 room; the rest didn’t have a preference.  I made sure that everyone knew how to page way into the Bluetooth frequency so we could all let each other know what was going on.

I made my way through the labyrinth of halls, every so often pausing to speak to a mental inmate, while nearby guards stared.  Half of them just ignored me, which was fine.  Some of the guards, however, were kind enough to accompany me to ensure my protection.  Working my way finally to the third floor, I continued sharing passing words with inmates before reaching a door guarded by one man.  The other two following me nodded.  “Miss… you’re going to have to skip this one for your sermon… it’s off limits…?”

“Why can’t this one be seen?”

“Stevens’s orders… no one is allowed to see them without supervision…”

“Well… aren’t you guys supervision enough?”

One of the guards nodded.“She is right… I suppose we could let her in… but keep a close eye on the patient!”

The main guard nodded and then turned to the door, turned a pass-code card and slid it in the slot next to the door, making it beep and then pop open.  Two of the three guards motioned for me to stay, then went inside.  I heard a struggle ensure and then the patient, aggravated snarl of Amanda.  I sighed; I had been hoping it would have been Sakis.  “Easy there sweetheart… priest wants to see you…!” one of the guards hissed at her as he pulled her towards me.

“I’ll give you a priest… right in Hell where you and your sadistic doctors belong…”  She turned away from the two guards to me.  “The Hell do you want, nun?  Unless you’re here to get me off then get the fuck out of here!”

I was surprised she didn’t recognize me, but then again I was quite well covered up.  I nodded and began reciting a prayer that Thompson had required of me, but then hit my Bluetooth beneath my hood at the particular rock phrase to let Jesse know what was going on.  I wasn’t sure if he heard me or not… but I wasn’t about to ask for fear of having my cover being blown.  Amanda shook her head.  “Spare me the lecture… I’m Satanic as Hell and if I wasn’t being held back I would turn that cross across your breast upside down along with you!”

I shook my head, trying to figure out a way to let her know what was going on.  “You are lost and damned… even when living your life behind beads in an afterburner…”

Her eyes flashed and she frowned.  “Huh… what do you…?”  She gasped.  “Oh my God… you came…!”

I nodded.  “I have come to save you… in the name of the Lord…” I added quickly.

“I don’t care in the name of whatever made you come here, you’re here!  Everything’s OK!”

Both guards looked at each other.  “We have to apologize, miss, this one is a bit… loony…”

“Loony to get out of here and kill Stevens… that asshole!  I just hope I get to him before Sakis or Satyr does!”

“Are they well… in need of saving too?” I asked, pushing for information while trying to keep up appearances.

“Oh you have no idea… those two are God knows where in this facility… and probably getting the brunt of interrogation… Stevens spent the whole hour asking me about my connections with Sakis or Satyr and what bad things they did… I just told him to pound my cunt… he already did it once, I’m surprised he didn’t do it again!”

I winced.  “Please… ease down on the language in the presence of the Lord…”

“Oh I don’t fucking need to do anything… you know just as well as I do you’re no holier than…” she paused, as if finally realizing what I was up to.  “Oh…”

Both guards frowned and began to draw their batons.  I shook my head; damn the jig was up.  I hit my Bluetooth.  “Jesse… I need you to act NOW!”

“The others haven’t called in yet…”

“NOW!” I shouted.

“All right… here goes Hell…”

A moment later, a crackle of power shot through the building, and the lights flickered and then went out.  I couldn’t see a thing, but I dove at the nearest thing to me and felt a male grunt; I must have hit a guard.  I moved my hands blindly, searching for the baton, and upon finding it, began swinging wildly, hitting whatever.  I heard grunts near me and figured Amanda was doing the same.  After a few more hits the figure I was hitting stopped thrashing, and I felt a soaking wetness.  It didn’t take much to realize what it was.  I groped in the darkness and felt Amanda’s arm.  “Hey…”

“Hey… what’s going on?  Who’s here?”

“Everyone… we’re trying to get you out… but I think I just screwed it all up…”

“How so…?”

“I had everyone cut the power ahead of time… Jesse said that Sakis and the others haven’t been found… but we know the room numbers at least…”

“Well then let’s go find them!” Amanda said, as she bent over the body she was beating, feeling around in the dark by the moonlight.  She finally found what she was looking for: a key ring and flashlight.  She turned it on and grabbed my arm.  “Come on…”

I hit my ear again.  “Jesse… you there?”

“I am… making my way through towards Stevens’s office… what happened back there?”

“Cover was blown… had to make you do it…”

“Had to make RYAN do it is what you did… he should be making his way though back out… we left a bit of a breadcrumb trail for us…”

“All right… well… we’re going to try to find Sakis…”

“How are things…?”

“We can’t tell!  Seems like this ward level is empty at the moment…”

“Do the doors work?”

I moved to a nearby handle and pulled, it slid open.  “Yea… the doors are disabled too… everything is apparently disabled… maybe even the phones…”

“Except ours…”

“Except ours…” I agreed.  “We meet outside?”

“I’ll contact you when I get the papers done…”

I heard Jesse click off and nodded to Amanda.  “Well… let’s go… hopefully things will get a bit more peaceful…”

Amanda laughed as she hoisted the flashlight.  “Honey… with us… it’s never peaceful…”

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