Heart of the Team

Chapter 12


Helen and her men led the ARC team through the carnival and into the woods just beyond the gates. Not too far into them, another one of Helen's men stood to the side of an open anomaly. All of them stopped and stood there, waiting for Helen to give the orders.

"How did you know that this anomaly would open up right here, right now?" Becker asked Helen when she turned around to face them. "My cell phone just rang. I'm assuming it's the ARC calling to inform me of a new anomaly opening and your man has been standing here waiting for us to show up."

"That's my little secret," Helen answered. "Now, if you are ready to get your lives back to normal, I suggest that we get going."

Danny, Abby, and Becker cautiously followed Helen and the men through the anomaly. As they stepped out and onto the other side, they felt how damp and cold the dark, strange new world was. What the ARC team didn't see was that as soon as they were out of site of the anomaly, it closed behind them. The man who guarded the site outside of the carnival, one again remained routed to guard the site on this side.

As they walked, Danny looked out of the corner of eyes, noticed Becker reach down to his side where normally his gun would be resting, and then said with a grin, "Feeling a bit naked without your favorite gun, are you, Mate?"

Becker looked back at Danny with a glare and replied, "I don't like walking somewhere unknown without any kind of protection. Forgive me if I do not trust Helen or her thugs to protect us."

"Believe me, I don't trust them either, but they want the artifact," Danny responded. "Nothing will happen to us."

"I still would feel better with my gun," Becker said.

Abby spoke up saying, "So would I. I could have used it to bash Helen's brains in."

Danny and Becker laughed as Danny replied, "Maybe one day when this whole mess is over, you'll still get that chance. Right now, we need to focus on getting the algae for Connor. He's going to be all right, Abby. I promise."

"We are here," Helen said when she and her men came to a stop at one of the bodies of water. Abby, would you like to collect the sample? I have the test tube right here. I take it that you will feel more comfortable holding onto yourself. Am I right?"

"That's right," Abby responded as she grabbed the test tube from Helen's hand.

Helen replied, "All you have to do is get a sample of the algae that is down at the bottom. Then, I will help you mix the algae in with the rest of the antidote that I created. I assure you, it will work."

Abby looked at Helen menacingly and answered, "We'll see about that. It had better save Connor because if it doesn't, I will kill you and neither Danny, nor Becker will be able to stop me. Do I make myself perfectly clear?"

"Perfectly," Helen answered.

Danny watched Helen's face for her reaction to Abby's threat and noticed that she wasn't afraid in the slightest, but despite the grin she wore on her face, Danny could see the slightest hint of anger. He knew that the threat made her angry and the grin was only in place to hide it. The psychotic woman had no problem with making threats, but she became angry when the threats were made against her.

"So, what now?" Abby asked. "We have the sample, now do we return through the anomaly and bring this to the ARC to Connor, or did you want to do something else first?"

"No, we will go to the ARC and you will make sure that I am not apprehended or threatened in any way, or your boss will die," Helen said. "Once Connor is given the antidote and I am given the artifact, only then will Lester be released. Do I make myself perfectly clear?"

Danny responded, "Perfectly."

Meanwhile…

Lester sat on the ground inside the house of mirrors, while Helen's man sat down on a chair, eating pizza and watching television, while waiting to hear from Helen. Lester glared at the man, who paid absolutely no attention to him. He was angry that he was forced to sit on the filthy floor that has now ruined his very expensive suit.

Lester spoke up as he asked, "Are you going to offer me any pizza, or are you just going to continue to ignore me? Not that I particularly like pizza, but since I have been here for a while and God knows how much longer I will be here, any food would do."

Helen's man turned to look at Lester, picked up a slice of pizza from the box, and through it down on the floor at Lester's feet. Then, he turned away and continued to watch the television.

Lester looked at the slice of pizza by his feet, looked back up at the man, and replied, "Well, that wasn't very civilized. A simple no would have sufficed."

The man had gone back to ignoring him, so Lester readjusted his position on the floor and continued to sit in silence until whatever was going to happen, happened. He couldn't help but go back to thinking about the amount of money it would take to replace his suit.

Suddenly, there was a noise that came from inside where the mirrors were. The man slowly lowered his pizza and stood up from the chair. He headed toward the door, quickly glanced back at Lester, who was now sitting up to prepare himself for an attack should one happen, and then turned back to the door to open it.

However, as he did so, the door came crashing open as soldiers from the ARC came rushing into the room. They quickly overpowered Helen's man without any trouble. Then, one of the soldiers walked over and held out his hand for Lester to take a hold of.

"How on earth did you find me?" Lester asked as he stood.

"A little tracking device that Connor had placed inside one of the soles of your shoes, some time ago," the soldier replied. "Miss Maitland said that it would probably come in handy tonight should something happen. We turned on the tracker and well, apparently she was right."

Lester lifted up both feet to look at the soles of his shoes and then responded, "I am going to have to have a talk with that boy about messing with my things. Let's get out of here and back to the ARC. We must see what we can do to locate the others."

"Yes Sir!" the soldier answered.

Lester and the soldiers left the house of mirrors and went back to the ARC as Lester had ordered. After they got back, Lester walked over to the hospital wing to see how Connor was holding up. When he arrived, he found Sarah standing outside the room, watching Connor from the window.

"Thank goodness your back!" Sarah said. "Where are the others?"

"I haven't the slightest idea," Lester answered. "Helen wanted me to come along so that she could hold me hostage, while she took the others through an anomaly that would lead them to the algae she used for her poison. How is Connor?"

Sarah looked over at Lester and sadly replied, "He isn't doing well. I tried to talk with him when he came to, but he's lost, he's scared, and very depressed. He won't speak to me or to the doctors. They had better get back here soon. I don't think his memories will last another hour."

Lester turned to look at Connor through the glass window and responded, "They'll be back, somehow. By the way, did you know about the tracking device that Connor had put inside my shoes?"

"No, I didn't," Sarah answered. "But I suppose that it's a good thing he did it. Becker's men never would have found you if he hadn't."

"Yes, I suppose it was a good idea," Becker said. "Except, now I have to go out and buy not only a new suit, but a new pair of shoes as well. I will be sure to thank him when he is feeling better."

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