Chapter sixteen part1
The surge of the car, shoot me forwards, waking me up. Whatever influences or drugs I was under began to slowly waste away, but that groggy, lingering feeling was hard to dispel. Another bump of the vehicle forced me to grip onto my senses and surroundings.
My eyes opened, Zee and Adrian sat in front, both passed out and unresponsive. Clearly under the same influence as I was. Two soldiers sat in between them. Events that previously occurred flashed through and it seemed like we were in a lot of trouble.
Without a second thought, I lunged for the nearest solider but balance wasn’t really on my side and before I could even make my way to him, arms wrapped around my waist, dragging me back to my seat.
“Calm down, Alexis. You need to calm down.” Following the voice my eyes locked with Isaiah. He looked tired but not more injured than he previously was. Did he not put up a fight? Had he given up already? “The drugs will make you feel delirious and impulsive, just take a minute to adjust yourself.”
He seemed at ease, like there was nothing to worry about, he was so calm that I began thinking that there was nothing to be afraid of, only time will tell if I was wrong or right.
But one thing’s for sure, the drug’s side effect were unnerving and it was putting my once rational emotions into haywire. Taking deep, stable breaths, effectively trying to reduce my nerves and it worked.
“I’m sorry, I told them it wasn’t a good idea to drug you.” He shot our assailant next to him a dirty glare.
Still, maybe he was under the effects, because none of what he was saying made sense. “What do you mean you told them.” I glanced down to my freely moving hands and realised that neither one of use was handcuffed, zip-tied or anything. “Why aren’t we handcuffed? Why aren’t we dead?” That last question seemed to burn into my mind more than the rest of them.
“Alexis, these aren’t the people coming after you. They’re the requested escort team. They’re with the Nations. You’re safe.” Everything he said seemed to match up and make sense but there was a feeling that this wasn’t the end of it.
“They’re part of the escort team.” Pointing to all the men in black, Isaiah nodded. “Then why were you fighting them, back in the woods, at Francis compound? You punched one of them.”
“I simply didn’t know who they were, none of them thought it was appropriate to tell me. Lousy part on them, if I had more time my gun would have been pulled. I’m just glad it didn’t accumulate to that or someone would have been seriously hurt. And I’m just relieved that you’re safe.”
Not one of them spoke, not one of them moved a muscle. All emotionless, stoic, impassive. The masks that formerly covered their features were removed. They all looked more or less the same; brown hair, dark eyes, pale complexion. But there was one that stood out from the rest, the agent opposite Isaiah; golden skin and hazel eyes. And those same eyes were piercing into mine. He proceeded to open his mouth before shutting it quickly, like he was gathering on whether or not to speak to me, especially with Isaiah around.
“What’s your name?” Directing my question to him, his eyes searching mine he cleared his throat.
“Ovie Ikechuku, ma’am.”
I shook my head. “No ma’am stuff, I’m the same age as you.” And that was the truth, whilst the others looked to be in their mid thirties, he couldn’t have been more than a couple years older than me. “Why did you drug me and my friends if we’re your allies.”
“It wasn’t my plan. But the others agreed it was common procedure.” My eyes skimmed over the rest of them, still unemotional.
“Even for your own agents?”
He nodded. “Even for them.”
The windows on the van were so tinted it was as if they were blacked out. No one could see out but that meant no one could see it. There was an even darker divider separating us from the front. “Do you know who those are coming after us, coming after me.”
“Yes, Miss Reign they call themselves the OA. They’re against everything we strive to protect in the world. They fight against world peace and the revival of our planet. The Nations think that’s why there’s a target on your head, to stop you from doing exactly that.”
“Did the Nations know about this, about them?”
“I’m restricted to the level of information I can obtain, but yes, they’ve been watching closely keeping tabs on them for a while. It was unknown to us that they acquire your information and what you’re valuable for.”
“That’s due to the traitor, that my information’s been leaked, are you aware of that? Are the Nations aware of that?”
“Certainly. Mr Patriot filled everything in for us. We’ll be conducting an thorough investigation and you have my word, whoever was behind it will be dealt with, greatly.”
“Your agent Elijah, he sacrificed himself for us, for me. So did Veronica and Jordon. Will they be getting the proper funeral they deserve? Can you promise me that?”
“Of course Miss Reign, despite them knowing what they’d have to risk, we value all our agents and all their sacrifices.” For someone young, his speaking was so articulated and so proper, it almost sounded rehearsed.
“What’s your ranking, Ovie? The way you talk, it’s better than most fully grown men.” He cracked what I could tell was a shadow of a smile.
“Next in line to the Chief. I worked my way up. It was tough but worth it.” Mirroring exactly what Isaiah did and what he had to endured. Yet, I found myself wondering if putting your life on the line repeatedly and having no way out was seriously the dream that so many of them painted it to be. Their brainwashing must have been deep rooted and hard to break out from. It was more of a pity than anything else, that a certain group of people could be so fixated on an idea that it consumes them whole until they can’t eat, breathe, think, sleep without that same idea plaguing their mind. And my Isaiah was part of that group.
“Where’s the chief now?”
“Up front. He entrusted me to keep things in order back here.”
“Well, you’re doing a good job.”
“Thank you, Miss Reign.”
Again I waved him off, “Just Alexis will be fine.”
“Okay. Thank you, Alexis.”
Zee stirred in her sleep. And again. And again before her eyes snapped open, her eyes trained on me and I could tell she was quickly assessing the situation. Before I could speak her and try to calm her down, her hand flew to her ankles beneath her dress I’m guessing hunting for her gun. Coming to terms that it wasn’t there and they’d probably taken it. She pounced for the agents throat nearest her. Holding him in a powerful choke hold, to the point he was gagging and gasping for air.
Instead of all the other operatives could confront her, I whipped a hand up halting them midway in their tracks. I began kneeling beside Zee, prying off her hands gently. “Zee, it’s all right. You’re okay. It’s the Nations, you’re with the Nations escort teams.”
Increasingly her eyes widened more. “Sons of bitches drugged me Alexis. They knocked out Adrian too.”
“I know. I know what they did, it happened to me and Isaiah also. But it’s all part of common procedure, from what I’ve been told. You might be angry now Zee but I’m certain you don’t want to kill a man that’s your ally.” I gestured to the agent currently privy to her will, her eyes followed mine before snapping out of her stupor, nodding and releasing him.
“Are you sure we’re safe?”
“Adrian’s going to be out for a while. They knocked him out, cold-”
“With all due respect ma’am.” Ovie started and with the murderous look Zee had on her face, I could tell that either way and whatever he said wasn’t going to end well. “Mr Hunter was being exceptionally difficult.”
“Difficult? He was trying to protect me after you ambushed us. He has every right to be difficult!” Soothing her and trying to rationalise with her at this very moment would be near to impossible. “It was because of you that my only love is now dead. Why didn’t you send help sooner? If you did, none of that would have happened and scattered parts of him wouldn’t be rotting somewhere. It was clear who she was blaming for Jordon’s dead and it wasn’t me. “Goodness forbid that you’d actually bring extensive backup to the most important girl in the world. Goodness forbid!”
Seeing Zee rattled up like this, showed me that right now she was improving but not fully ready to move onwards.
“Well, Nations train our agents to be precise and on point. A high calibre operative like yourself should know. It’s none of our doing for your lack of skills and use of them that was trained into you.”
This riled her up even more. She began standing up despite the vans tall height she still visibly had to crane her neck. “You want to tell me it’s my fault that our technicians didn’t notice that leek, you mean to tell me that their incompetence is my doing that lead to me lover being dead.”
He shrugged, completely void of any pathos. “We didn’t tell you to make things personal by falling in love with someone. You see Miss Alexander that was completely your doing, then maybe you wouldn’t have taken his death so hard. So that cannot be faulted on us.”
Something flashed in her eyes that I’ve never seen before. Red, hot anger. She dived for his throat but I stopped her before she could make her much deserved attempt. Forcing her to look at me, I grabbed both of her shoulders. “Look at me Zee, don’t let him get under your skin. You’re better than that.”
Glancing back, I noticed Isaiah was watching, taking in everything, his eyes hazy and tired but doing well in absorbing what was unravelling in front of him. “Ovie.” I began tearing my gaze to Isaiah and focusing it back on him, he looked moderately bothered by what was happening and that angered me even more. “A little sympathy even now and then goes a long way-”
The vehicle heaved to a stop, the tires skidding and squealing from the abrupt pressure. The van door opened then closed, footsteps encompassed around the perimeter before stopping in front of the back exit of the van.
By the time I could deduct what was happening, the doors flung open, revealing a man in black and white checker uniform. His face held no smile, no expression just as un- emotive as the rest of them. Instantly his eyes fixed to me. “Whatever is going on here, please refrain from it doing so. We have arrived.”