July 06, 2010


9. Elimination

REAP’s American Headquarters
The finest technologists hidden in America

“Chief Hadwind Jagar,” A white-lab-coat from the large hub-like station called out to the CEO of the REAP section in America’s central headquarters, “We’ve confirmed a bombing at the roundabout near 45° Northern and 75° Western. It seems to have only abolished a singular building deep inside Philadelphia, sir.”

“What?” A mustachioed man wearing a white-blue lab coat dashed to his own station. “Who the hell ordered an Air Strike?” His German tone began cursing the invisible bombers throughout Philadelphia. He brought the small sector upon the larger monitor in front of the entire hub, grabbing the rest of the white-coat’s attentions. “Search the area for any trace of military aviation.” He began stroking his gigantic, blue hair due, which was now standing on all ends. Jagar had a very noticeable scar which sat vertically underneath his left eye; the shape would always leave the impression of a cross-mark to those who had the opportunity to see it.

Mr. Blanc, the leading operator in this division, sat next to Jagar to reveal the information of the moving component exposed on his computer. “There seems to be an escaping ‘strategically-built’ bombing unit not 50 miles south from there.” The larger monitor brought up a small aircraft moving at 500 knots down the lower half of the screen. “He seems to be increasing acceleration. Should we contact the pilot?” Mr. Blanc looked off towards the wise chief who was basically jumping up and down at this point. Jagar took a couple of seconds before calming himself. He grinned.

“I see.” Jagar stopped his frantic and even chuckled a few. “No need Mr. Blanc. That aircraft… is unmanned!” He posed and struck his large smirk on top of the rising hub as if showing off his brilliance to the entire technologist division.

“Amazing sir, you’re right. The broadcast that was sent out showed no sign of human-maneuver, and the acceleration has increased to over 550 knots, and still rising. There’s no way there can be a pilot in there.” Another white-coat spoke of Jagar’s astounding observation. Others began applauding and Jagar’s face accepted the immediate praise.

“Yes, yes. I am great!” Laughter threw his total veneer off course, and he stroked his enormous hair due once more.

“Um, sir,” Mr. Blanc interrupted Jagar’s glee, “Didn’t you just use the heat-detection radar?” He pointed at Jagar’s monitor which demonstrated a blinking lock on the escaping grey airplane. “And shouldn’t we be trying to mask this UAV before others discover it due to the legitimacy of the circumstances?”

The entire division halted their applause and stared back up at their faking Chief Executive. Jagar had coughed off his merriment and brought his neck down to his leading operator. He cleared his throat. “Mr. Blanc, begin cloaking this urgent interference. See if you can do the same for that bombed quarter in Philadelphia as well. I don’t have time for this silly business.” He coughed again and sat down at his station looking fairly upset.

“Yes sir.” Mr. Blanc mockingly smiled up at his Chief Executive and forged another grin when looking back at his monitor. He adjusted his blue specs and grazed over his smaller-sized hair-piece. As he continued the observation he hit a lead that questioned the aircraft itself. “Chief, it seems as though the aircraft is of American-Air Force Personnel and is en route to a dock; it’s stationed near Central America, sir.” The larger monitor showed the unit coursing straight towards an ‘X’. The screen adjusted in size to show the entire course.

“The National Guard?” Jagar rose and began pacing back and forth. “What does the American Air Force have to do with this? Furthermore, why hasn’t our state’s division in Pennsylvania taken care of the cover up?”

“Sir, because the demolition was of ‘American’ personnel we cannot use our masking system against it, and the National Guard also seems to be in panic.” Internet reports began popping up one by one repeating apologies from the military and Court-martials against this sudden ruin. “Sir, the UAV has almost reached its destination but it refuses to decrease in speed, additionally it seems to be descending rather quickly.” Mr. Blanc’s face jumped back, he shot up and struck his words straight through Jagar’s head. “Sir, if we do not stop the unit soon it’s going to crash-land right into Central America’s docking coast and take hundreds of other carriers and aircrafts with it, but not only that, the explosion could be large enough to be noticed by more than just the residents.”

“In deed, we cannot let this remote-controlled-cruiser do as it freely wants anymore.” Jagar continued his pacing.

“What should we do sir?” Jagar walked up and down the hub and back over to Mr. Blanc. “Sir!”

“Mr. Blanc, how many GBU’s or any other Ordnance Ammunition left on that UAV?” His finger rose, requesting not a single person to question his methods.

“We have tracked the UAV far enough to find not a single piece of ammunition left on there. The vehicle isn’t even loaded with any defensive API or any other types of shells, sir.”

“Excellent, than I think we’ll have this coast stationed down near Central America launch their own arsenal at the rogue aircraft.” Jagar smiled and sent his fingers down to the keyboard of the devilish scheme. “A base launching at their own aircraft, it’s brilliant! Ha-ha!”

“Sir, we only have 10 minutes before impact, if you don’t get in contact with them soon it wouldn’t make any difference.” Mr. Blanc’s fingers were everywhere at this point, touching screens left and right until his chief would tell him otherwise. “Sir, the UAV has just entered Mach 1.”

“Ha-ha. Of course it wouldn’t matter either way, my little white companion.” Jagar’s joke made Mr. Blanc sink lower in his chair. “The American’s SAM’s are far too weak at this point to stop something moving at Mach 1.” Jagar smiled again and had his proxy send a message to fire on the upcoming aircraft. His proxy took the visage of a top ranking militia officer.

“Sir, if you’re so set on them failing than why send the missiles at all?”

“Because, Mr. Blanc, all we need from them,” Jagar’s head shot up and he combed back his hair due, “Is the cover!” He did his famous grin again and began to elaborate. “Once we have America’s blind eye we’ll be able to send some of our own artillery against this scoundrel.” Jagar began his merriment once more and received even more applause than before. “Yes, yes. Thank you. You’re too kind. Although, I am that good. Ha-ha-ha!” He had his hands on his waist and was laughing out loud.

“Chief,” Mr. Blanc came out of nowhere again to ruin Jagar’s fun, “Shouldn’t we first tell the division near Costa Rica to prepare aviators and their own weaponry before we run out of time?” Mr. Blanc adjusted his glasses as everyone else turned around and continued working.

“Yes… umm… of course. Exactly what I was going to say, Mr. Blanc. Excellent work.” Jagar cleared out his throat and sat down again next to Mr. Blanc. “But actually, I heard that General Brine was down near Costa Rica this week. Maybe we can just leave this to him?”

“I’ll contact him immediately, sir.” After removing void information about other prints that was lying around Mr. Blanc’s table he pulled out his phone and began entering the General’s personal numbers. The conversation was short and orderly as Mr. Blanc backed his chair up to tell Jagar that the General says: “‘Nope’.”

“What!! That demon ‘Kempy’, what an old grouch. I used to play golf with that greedy bastard every single weekend, how could he not do me this one little favor!” Jagar began running up and down the staircases of the fine hub-stations. “I swear, if he ever asks me to clear his duties for him again I’ll tell him that he can just forg-…” The phone off of Jagar’s lab coat began to ring. “Oh. Hold on one moment you guys.”

All the technologists gave their chief the most scowling of looks, their heads facing opposite the larger monitor who revealed to the hub that there was only 5 minutes until impact.

“Ha-ha-ha. Well that was our friend General Brine, he just wanted to call back and let me know that he changed his mind and will be taking care of the incoming UAV. What a nice guy, huh? Why don’t we just forget all the bad-mouthing I gave him a few seconds ago, alright?” The entire hub all looked up again and gave Jagar the deepest and most awestruck of faces Jagar had ever seen. Jagar cleared his throat once more. “Mr. Blanc! Let General Brine know to wait until the cover from the American’s SAM’s to make his move.” Mr. Blanc dully turned his chair back to his station and gave the order.

Jagar sighed and sat back into his arm chair as he watched the rest of his plan on the larger monitor in front of him. A multitude of questions began arising in Jagar’s head. Why in the hell would someone send their own UAV to destroy itself along with the rest of its base? Possibly to cover up the even smaller lead found in Philadelphia? Still, this seems far too clever to be the fault of any Military personnel. This is definitely bigger than them. Is it the Haloes? Could they be up to something? No, it can’t be them. But still, what’s in Philadelphia?

“Wow. What a trail. We can all thank our brilliant Chief Executive for the indestructible plan, right?” Jagar rose, speaking highly of himself again. “How about some more love for your chief, huh? Just for the heck of it? Ha-ha-ha-ha!” Everyone sank lower in their stations and tried their hardest to ignore him. “No? Not a single clap? Come on you guys!” Mr. Blanc, on the other hand, tried his hardest to hide the snickers on his face. “Mr. Blanc… You… You killed the atmosphere. Clean this mess up!” With those words, Mr. Blanc was rolling all over the floor in tears, causing the rest of the hub to join in on the fun. Jagar clinched his fist in irritation. “Damn… you…Mr. Blanc…”

Lincoln High, Philadelphia
1:28 pm; Lou & co.

“Shhhh. Keep hidden.” Lou ducked back into the large bushes covering the gang from the rest of the blackened debris around the fairly large region that used to label ‘Abraham Lincoln High School’. “I see someone coming. Back up.” Lou whispered as loud as he could to his two conscious friends.

The explosion hung around the area like a gigantic fog looking for its own head. It lasted a good half hour or so before the authorities finally made their way to the scene. Police guards and detectives all over the prospect were chatting up witnesses and calling up their superiors for information on the vessel that caused this fracas. The stench left by the entire mess had most of the town in disarray, all of their children and their husbands/wives were dead. From one single strike of the earth the townspeople’s breed was purged into death. The bodies brought from the wreckage were charred and hardly recognizable. They were found in shards, some of them had missing arms and some had missing torsos, but they were wanted as evidence to anyone who’d take the time.

“How’s Lez doing?” The silent Ash questioned the still and soundless Lesley, lying unconscious in the hands of Stanley Miles.

“She’s just fainted; she’ll be fine when she wakes up.” Stan eyed her back-and-forth leaving no access for sprains or other injuries to befoul her sleeping body. He looked up. “What about you? What’s with your wrist?”

“It’s nothing. I just twisted it from the fall. I’ll patch it up when I get back.” Ash consoled his broken hand, feeling almost nothing from the dead weight.

“Guys, there they are! The blue guys and their huge weapons. The ‘Reapers’!” Lou stared straight through the tall bushes that were covering all around the back way of the school. The four of them had dashed into the forest before anyone could spot them. It was Stan’s plan to see just who’d show up after the amazing bomb testing that had almost killed them. “You were right, so these guys are still after us.” Lou kept his voice low and his head did the same, it was extremely hard to see anyone across this district of calamity.

“That’s hard to say for sure Lou. I’ve seen their methods once before involving the most precise snipers ever witnessed. Bombing an entire public school and hoping to hit a couple of highschoolers, it’s just too eccentric even for these guys.” Stan thought for the longest while why they hadn’t just scoped them out in the beginning like they did to that other man at the police station. “Is it possible they don’t know who we are? I mean, they’ve seen our faces clearly enough, I even told that guy our names. What more do they need?” Did they destroy the entire building on the belief that we let loose some information on them? How reckless can these guys be? They could’ve done their research before blowing up a monumental institution as large as a public school. It has to be something else, although the earlier theory explains why they’re here at this very moment.

Ash’s face curled up with the utmost confusion that ever puzzled him before.

“What’s wrong Ash? Another injury?”

“Why isn’t it fixing itself?” Ash couldn’t take his eyes off of the broken school. “Huh?! Why aren’t you fixing yourself?!” He pointed at the non-responsive mess of a school.

“Fix…the school?” Stan rested Lesley on a nearby log. “Ash, you mean like that time the streets began fixing themselves?” He ducked down to match both Ash and Lou. “Maybe there’re too many people around. You think that’s it?” Stan’s questions were piling up but nothing was to be answered. I can’t believe how much stranger this town’s become. The danger is stacking up even more as well.

“What I wanna know is why those ‘reapers’ can walk around the joint freely and not get nailed for having such dangerous weapons slung over their shoulders.” Lou saw 3 of them walking across the fields of their once proud school heaving back the huge guns in front of almost everyone in town. “They’re not even looking at them, look.” Lou pointed up at the townsfolk who were all just glaring at the smoking building. “It’s like they don’t even exist right before their eyes.”

“That is strange. I wonder if they can see them or not. But then again, why can we see them then?” Stan brought up this strange hypothesis of them being ghosts or anything of the sort. “In any case, it’s best if we stay hidden for a while. If they really are after us than you can be sure that they’ll go after anyone we know. So we’ll have to keep silent too. As far as they know, we’re dead. We can’t be seen walking around the neighborhood like it’s nothing anymore, we have to go somewhere far.”

“So… we’re going to say nothing and just let our parents think we’re dead?” Ash mused at the thought. Like that’ll have my old man worrying. It’d be another excuse for him to call up those insurance guys again.

“We’re still going to need a place to stay, Stan. We can’t just sleep out here for the rest of our lives you know.” Lou wondered how long this ‘dead’ thing would be. He didn’t want to be on the run from these guys for the rest of his life, he wanted to go to college and build his career as a professional athlete. “We’re… we’re not gonna run forever…. Are we?”

“We’ll figure something out Lou. For now, I think it’s just like you said. We need a place to go. And since Lez’s passed out I think I should be the one to mention her cousin.” Stan looked down at the unconscious Lesley. “Lez has been living at her cousin’s place ever since her parents moved to France. Her cousin has work over in New York so she’s never around anymore. I think its safe enough to stay there for now. Plus, Lez was never involved with any of this in the first place I don’t think she’s wanted by these reaper-guys.”

“So it’s decided then. We stay there until we can get some answers and figure out a way to dodge these freaks.” Lou grabbed the two of them by the shoulder. “I don’t know how to say this to you guys, but I think you deserve this much.” He closed his eyes. “I’m sorry.” Ash and Stan both gave him a rather goofy look. “I’m sorry I started this mess. If I hadn’t gotten lost than you guys wouldn’t have tried to find me. I’m sorry Ash got sent to the hospital. I’m sorry that our freaking school got blown to bits. And now, I’m sorry they’re after us.” He looked down and arched his head down to his chest.

Lou felt the hands of his two comrades resting on his shoulders now. Then, altogether he felt a throbbing across his stomach. The two friends, on the receiving end of an apology, had both sank their fists straight into Lou's gut. Each of them looked quite conceited about it. Lou’s head fell lower as his knees bent over.

“You better be sorry, you bastard.” Ash spoke first. “Do you realize how much money I had under my bed? And now that I’m dead my dad’s gonna find that $64 bucks and use it on some cheap hooker.” His face quickly changed into a disgruntled 11-year-old boy.

“My collection of DVD’s almost reached 100 you know. I just needed 3 more. Now that I’m dead I can’t stare at the amazing compilation I worked so hard to get.” Stan’s face had also changed into a grieving little puppy-dog.

It took Lou a couple of seconds to catch his breathe before carving out another apology. “Yea… I know… I’m sorry guys… I…”

“But you know…!” Lou’s apology was interrupted mid-sentence. “Living like a ghost might not be too bad either.” The two of them tousled his hair and gave him a lame smile. "It's no use wallowing in the past."

“You idiots.” Lou smiled back and prepared for his rebuttal. “If you guys were alright with it than you could’ve just said so!” He aimed for both of them as he leaped and punched. Ash and Stan began swinging back at the overexcited 18-year-old, making sure to keep extra quite as to not get caught from the lurking reapers. “Alright!” Lou stopped the play fight. “So we’re gonna somehow sneak off to Lez’s place and then we’re gonna meet up at the spot those two ‘creepers’ told me about to get some damn answers.”

“That’s right. So for now, we can’t just walk around without disguising our faces.”

“Yup. But I swear if we have to live like this for the rest of our lives than when I die I’m going to find God and kick that bastard’s ass!” Ash began laughing at the ridiculous joke Lou had just screamed out.

“Ha-ha-ha! Kick God’s ass. Are you stupid or something?” Lou gave Ash a jab to the cheek and the two of them began fighting it out even more.


REAP’s American Headquarters
Weston Valor

“Private Vanderwood, have you located the infiltrators?” Weston Valor; speaking into his Walkie-Talkie shaped device.

“No sir, not under all the rubble and debris. They must’ve been blown up with the rest of the building sir.” The response also came from Weston’s device.

“Double-check it and then triple-check it! Once you’re absolutely sure they’ve been eliminated than you and the rest of the squad can return to the base in Pennsylvania.” Weston’s smirk grew larger as he sat in his comfortable lounge-chair drinking the most expensive of wines. “What a great week it’s been. Not only have I eliminated the three high school brats, but I’ve managed to kill off that oaf - Samuel Kings and his accomplice. My rise to the top should be eminent.”


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