Escape

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A New Hope

Chapter 10

A NEW HOPE


The team helped to apply pressure on Ornelas' wound as they helped him towards Peregrine. Rissa had recovered enough strength and volunteered to assist Ornelas. As she placed his hand over her shoulder, they both let out a sweet smile at each other. Jayce and Artemus, walking ahead of them, chuckled to each other at the sign of Ornelas and Rissa's budding romance.

Peregrine was now in sight, still in its original position. Far to its left were the gates of the military base, the building they were once again relieved to be freed of. As soon as they were in the vicinity of the plane, Peregrine detected Viper members through microchips they were wearing and the cargo door opened automatically.

They stepped on to the plane, and for the first time in almost a day, they felt security and warmth. Rissa helped Ornelas to rest as she rushed to search for medical supplies. Artemus started up the plane's autopilot and started to configure the destination.

"So, Sir, where are we heading?" he asked.

"Frankly, I have no idea. Why don't you just get it up in the air first? Then Jayce, you can try opening up that portable drive." Ornelas said, with Rissa applying medication on his wounds.


Peregrine took off and entered into stealth mode. Jayce then started up the built-in computer as he inserted the flash drive. However before he could open it up, the screen lighted up and what seemed like a live footage started showing. What they saw was General Ekstrom's face.

"Well, well, well. Jayce and Artemus. I knew there was something unique about the two of you." Ekstrom said while grinning menacingly.

"Sir! What's this mission all about? Did you trap us in there on purpose?!" Ornelas shouted from his seat.

"Oh? Ornelas? You're alive! Never expected so many of you to make it. Well let me clarify what I believe you've all already been suspecting. Yes, I sent you all in there to die. I knew the door locks would self-destruct, I knew the base were filled with Beasts that could easily kill the whole lot of you." Ekstrom said slowly and calmly.

"Even if you guys had managed to find the ELF base in it, the only path through are filled with highly difficult puzzles only aimed at hinting the passcodes for those who knew them. I am really impressed by your intelligence and capabilities." he continued.


Viper was appalled at this point from what the General had admitted to. It was their biggest suspicion but the confession from Ekstrom was the one that killed whatever hope they had left.

"I wonder if you guys can be allowed to join us... such excellent material..." Ekstrom mumbled to himself. The team was left dumbfounded before he continued.

"Ah never mind. Pretty sure it's okay," Ekstrom continued his mumbling before speaking to the team now dramatically, "I am so sorry! Your team is such excellent material but there just isn't enough room on this planet for everybody. I'm afraid Viper will have to be terminated. I hope I won't have to receive news you survived... again."

"I'm afraid I'll disappoint you." Jayce replied curtly. The General smirked and the screen went off. At the same time, the whole of Peregrine powered down and it started to fall from the air. Objects on the plane started to fall all over and the team was losing balance and falling together with the plane.

Jayce quickly rushed toward the spare parachutes and tossed one to each member as they all strapped it on. Artemus opened up the cargo door as they all leapt off in sync, despite not having Ornelas' countdown.


They opened up their parachutes in the air as Jayce turned to check on Ornelas and Rissa. They carefully glided down and finally landed after half a minute. They watched on as Peregrine fell uncontrollably and crashed in an explosion within vision. An unexplainable sorrow overcame them as they lost their only place of safety and security.

At the same time, they were struck with utter disbelief of their current predicament. They were betrayed by their own Government and sentenced to death. They had just escaped the fate decided for them twice. The Government would stop at nothing to ensure they were eliminated. Viper stood in silence for minutes before Jayce broke it.

"Where do we go now, Sir?"

"Honestly, I think you can stop calling me Sir. Pretty sure we aren't soldiers anymore," Ornelas forced out a chuckle and continued, "I guess we just make way towards the nearest civilization we can find."

Ornelas had recovered enough to walk on himself as the team paced on slowly towards the north. Jayce had previously briefly memorized the map around the base and had remembered there were housings far to the north of it.


Viper walked on for what seemed like forever before they noticed a figure walking towards them. As the figure closed in, they started to identify more and more features. It was a person. A female. A fair skinned. Japanese. She was an extremely fair skinned young Japanese lady with brown irises and platinum blonde curly hair. She wore a traditional kimono and was armed with a sheathed katana. Her eyes were round and pearly as she stared on curiously at Viper.

"Who are you? I saw the plane crashing. Are you okay?" she spoke with a moderate Japanese accent, but was still understandable. The team stared at each other for moments before she continued.

"Why are you people here? Are you people soldiers?" she asked as she noticed the equipment they carried.

"We were," Jayce spoke solemnly, "Who are you?"

"My name is Kyocho Yagami. I am the daughter of a Lord in the nearby settlement. Can I help you?" she asked politely.

"Yes please, that would be nice." Ornelas smiled.


The team followed Kyocho as she led them to a village to the north called Raion where the housings were still in the style of the olden Japan. Residents wore kimonos and housings were made of wood with a pointed roof. People walking by greeted her as 'Lady Yagami' and bowed respectfully to her before continuing with their daily duties.

As they settled into the royal house, Kyocho ordered for proper bath, clothing, and medical treatment for the team which they accepted with gratitude. Being more seriously wounded, Ornelas and Rissa underwent a longer traditional Japanese medical treatment as Kyocho invited Jayce and Artemus to sit with her for tea after changing into a set of thin sweater and denim jeans.

"My name is Jayce Calzoni. This is Artemus Wyght." Jayce introduced.

"Oh but you can just call me Arty." Artemus added on.

Kyocho looked at the both of them curiously before replying.

"Ah you must be British, yes?" she said to Artemus before turning to Jayce, "Calzoni? Are you Italian?"


"Oh my grandfather was. But my parents moved to England and I'm true blue British." Jayce explained as Artemus nodded.

The three chatted on as Ornelas and Rissa joined them, now with their wounds fully treated. They had missed the cleanliness, welfare and the warmth of a house.

"You speak fluent English for a Japanese, Lady. How's that?" Ornelas asked.

"Oh! My father, Lord Yagami, he's wealthy and powerful. He often has dealings with foreigners and so it's important for our family to be bilingual." Kyocho explained.

"Everything here is pretty peaceful. Aren't you all even a bit affected by The Fever?" Jayce questioned. Kyocho explained that effects from The Fever had not come into the vicinity of this settlement, and was believed to be due to magical protection by their ancestors. Instead, the residents believe that it was safer in this village than out in the city.

Both her and her father knew their peace would not last and have been trying to convince the residents of Raion but to no avail.


After an hour of chatting, Kyocho started to ask about their state despite being part of the prestigious British Military. Viper looked at each other before nodding to agree to trust her. Jayce then started to explain what they had went through and uncovered.

Kyocho was horrified by the deeds of the British Government and was even more appalled by the fact that the Japanese Government was in on the Covert Alliance.

"My father must be warned! I have to tell him!" Kyocho panicked before Jayce held on to her forearm to stop her.

"No, Kyocho. We don't know who we can trust. I don't mean to doubt your father, but he could be in on it too for all we know." Jayce persuaded. Kyocho was reluctant but decided to heed his advice. Viper decided to discuss their plan from now onwards before Kyocho interrupted.

"Do you all have any proof? Something we can use to probably expose them?" she asked.

"We did. We had a portable drive on their plans but it went down with our plane." Ornelas explained solemnly.


"You mean this one?" Jayce smirked, while holding up the drive he managed to salvage before they escaped the plane.

Inside that drive was not just information and files; it was the key to starting a battle against the Covert Alliance. With their fresh ally, their hopes have been reignited but their future remains unknown and treacherous.

After escaping the dangers of the military base, they had not found themselves free; instead they found themselves set on a path they could not turn away from. A path to which either leads to their elimination or a freedom perceived to be impossible.

Their newfound friend and the portable drive was the start of this path they had to take. It was their only weapon. It was their new hope.


TO BE CONTINUED


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