Chapter 25 - Commissioner Rayne
The trio landed outside of LAX, where they were greeted by multiple police officers. All three were glancing outside. Feron had a worried glance on his face.
“Is it illegal that we’re here at our own hangar instead of the boarding places,” Feron asked. Dante remained silent and motioned that Feron do the same. The plane door opened and the three stepped out. Dante led the other two out the door where a man in a black overcoat with blue accents inside the coat were waiting to greet them.
The man and Dante stared at each other. Dante held out his hand. A smile appeared across the man’s face. He chuckled a bit, extending his hand at the same time. The two shook hands. Feron was confused.
“It’s good to see you again, friend,” the man said, as he shook Dante's hand with purpose.
“You as well,” Dante responded, as the shaking slowed. “I assume that you received the briefing files?”
The man nodded. “I certainly received them. Seems like we’ll be a little busy maintaining this Utopian peace a little while longer, huh?”
“Definitely seems that way,” Dante responded as they started making their way toward the SUVs issued for them.
“Here, we’ll go through the full briefing back at HQ,” the man said as they all got in, and drove off with sirens blaring.
“These numbers are amazing,” Yusei exclaimed, while looking over the tablet and the pod. “If we are successfully going to bring him back, it’s got to be within the next few days!”
“I agree with that,” Dr. Panila said, optimistically. “I’ll post men here so they can keep tabs on him ‘round the clock.”
Yusei gave the order to go through with it. He sat down at his desk and stared at the pod with glinting eyes.
“We’ll bring him back yet.”
In the briefing room, Dante was leaning against a wall near the door, that gave him ample view of the windows to the streets. Feron, along with Niko, had been instructed to sit down at the table near the front of the room, and nearer toward the empty whiteboard.
The briefing room gave a slight scent of tobacco and nicotine, since some of the LAPF, assumedly, were smokers. If this was a normal briefing, the room would probably be filled with a smoky hue, but since it was just Dante, Feron, and Niko in the room, the air was clear. As the clicking of the clock hands got louder, the door opened and the earlier man stepped through. He stood in front of the table that Niko and Feron were sitting at, and began.
“My name is Rayne. I’m the commissioner of the Los Angeles Protection Force. We have a special division at the top of the force; working in conjunction with the Pangea Group. They’re known as the ‘Exterminators.' You two will be provisional members of this division for the time being. You will report to Dante and Dante only, unless told otherwise. Dante will, in turn, report directly to me. You all have free reign to complete missions that have been set forth by me. However, the only thing I ask is that you avoid destroying the entire county of LA; if you can help it of course. Any questions?”
“Sir, I’ve got a question,” Feron spoke up, raising his hand. After being given the floor, Feron continued. “Are there any others in this division of ours?”
“There are, but they aren’t as special as you guys. These guys have military training, or are also graduates of Pangea Academy. Some may have both. However, they don't have the abilities of dragons in order to help them in combat. Now, you may meet them at some point, but I won’t pull them out of the field just because of that reason.”
“Well, I wasn’t asking to meet them, you prick,” Feron mumbled under his breath, averting his eyes. This caused him to incur the wrath of Rayne.
“What was that,” he asked as he intensified his gaze. He clenched his fist tightly making Feron immediately feel like he was being drowned in an ocean. Feron's ability to breath got tougher as he felt his lungs seemingly fill with water. He tried to remain cool, however, he felt his breath almost leave him completely without taking in new air. Suddenly, he felt all the air return to him and his breathing returned to normal. Dante let out a slight chuckle as Rayne softened his gaze. Niko remained silent, but there was a small instant of worry in her eyes from the cold exchange.
“In any case,” Rayne continued, as Feron dropped his gaze completely. “You guys will be out during the night taking care of the Failed. We’ve got day trackers who will make sure to figure out where some are, then they’ll hand the info off to the night crew."
"What're the Failed, sir," Dante asked, full well knowing the answer, since he was a veteran member of the Exterminators.
"Good question," Rayne said, turning his gaze toward Dante. He turned back to the two, with Feron's gaze looking stronger than a moment before. "The Failed are humans that had their U-Gene activated, through any of the following methods: Inhalation, Nuclear, or Gene Therapy.
More likely than not, there were no survivors of these tests as the procedures were dangerous and untested. The scientists weren't able to test of rats because their biological makeup is vastly different and - most importantly - incompatible with the dragon genome. This caused them to just start experimentation on humans that showed even a little bit of the U-Gene compatible with foreign DNA. However, like I said before, there were rarely survivors. But of the survivors, the powers of the dragons and other foreign races had changed them; transformed them. They possess power, sure. But they no longer have the dominant humanity that they began with. However, when you encounter them, they will try to speak non-sense into your ears. Watch out; their powers are untested, and their numbers are unknowable since there have been more popping up every week."
Hearing the warning at the end, Feron couldn't help but feel a little excited. These dragon-like creatures would serve as a great test for his powers. But there was also the unbridled nervousness that came along with that. Him, Niko and Dante could've ended up as one of the Failed if anything had gone wrong with their procedures. Perhaps, they could still transform into the Failed if their powers ran out of control.
The Commissioner left the floor open to some more questions. After some discussion, everyone was dismissed. Rayne and Dante, the only ones left in the room, had talked a little bit about strategy until Rayne's stomach growled like a lion, ready to hunt its prey. Rayne took a couple strides toward the door.
“Let’s go get something to eat,” Rayne said to Dante, as the latter scratched his head in ponder. After a moment of silence he responded.
“Eh, what the hell,” Dante replied as they headed out for an In N’ Out.
Later in the night, Feron could feel the air whipping around his hair as he was felt like he was flying. He landed softly on a rooftop. Niko and Dante landed behind him.
“Hey, don’t go running off on your own. You don’t know what these things look like,” Dante warned.
“Sorry,” Feron said, apologetically, as Dante and Niko landed behind him. “It’s just that with these powers, I can do most anything I want to. Even parkour is easy now.”
“Okay, well surprisingly we landed right where we needed to be. Lucky lucky.”
They were at an abandoned parking garage, in the dead of night.
“Okay, here is how this is going to go. I’m going to go in by myself at the top of the garage. Niko, Feron, you two are going in starting at the ground level. The reason for this is because that when you guys confront the Failed, they’ll be running for the hills. Meaning, up. I can take care of them since I have more experience. There should only be one and they should be a male. Any questions? No? Good. See you on the other side.”
Feron and Niko descended while Dante ascended.
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