The Birds Of Prey Book One: Rise

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Chapter 11: Baneford's Plan

"What the hell are we doing just sitting here? Don't we have some Vultures and Hawks to go kill?" snapped Mili.

Oliver raised his hand in an attempt to calm her down.

"We're preparing to head back to Ontario; it's where we've made our home," he explained.
"So is someone going to introduce me to all of you?" asked Iris.

She lead against a wall with her arms folded. Fabiana let out a sigh before rising to her feet.

"I'm Fabiana Marquez." she said.
" in Yolanda Marquez's daughter?" asked Tia.

Celina looked at her with disbelief until Iris raised her hand.

"Your mother was a good friend of my family...and she was the one who built my family's home," she explained.

Carl stepped forward.

"Carl Hill." he said.
"You certainly look like a psychopath...carrying a katana around like we're in Feudal Japan or something," she said.

He laughed softly and shrugged.

"A man has to be prepared for the worst," he replied.

Mili then stood up, but chose not to face the redheaded Eagle, instead looking away.

"Mili Lee," she said.
"And you're the only Vulture here aren't you?" asked Iris.

The Vulture looked at her in confusion until she tapped her head.

"I can tell because you've been struggling to remain calm ever since I stepped in this place," she explained.

Carl quickly responded by handing her a small pouch, filled with more of the drug that suppresses her sense of smell. She quickly consumed it before sitting back down.

"I'm Nathaniel Jaggernaut, you can call me Nate," said Nate.

She smiled at him.

"Nice to meet you," she said.

Doan then rose to her feet.

"Doan Len-Sing," she said.
"Oh! You're a Len-Sing? I worked at one of your father's restaurants a few years ago," she said.

Doan smiled and sat back down. Oliver then clapped once and smiled.

"I'm glad that we've all gotten acquainted with each other...but now there are more important matters to discuss," he said.

He removed a small device from his jacket and placed it on the table before pressing a button. The device then displayed a large hologram of the Earth. A red dot was hovering between Europe and Canada.

"It looks like Kit and the Rosario sisters have been delayed; they were approaching at a steady speed a while ago but something must've happened for them to have slowed down this much...I imagine that they were ambushed by The Purity," he said.
"How do you know?" asked Nate.

Oliver reached into his jacket and pulled out a small device that resembled a coin.

"I slipped one of these into the bag that Kit took with him to Europe so I could be sure of where he is at all times...and right now it doesn't look like that they'll get here until tomorrow morning unless they fly," he explained.
"Where are they now?"

Oliver did a hand gesture in the middle of the hologram, causing a keyboard to appear which he then began to type on.

"I hacked into one of SkyTech's satellites so I can get an idea of where he is," he said.

He continued to type at great speed until the hologram zoomed in and a new screen appeared in color. Oliver's eyes widened.

"Oh no...they're on board the S.S. Romani," he said.

He continued to type.

"Hacking the security cameras," he said.
"What's wrong? What's the S.S. Romani?" asked Alex.
"...One of the mobile headquarters of The Purity," replied Oliver.

The screen then began to cycle through the various cameras.

"Because the Rosario family frequents that ship on their cruise trips, a lot of the staff will keep their identities a secret but if any of the higher ups are on won't take them long to realize that Amelia is there," he explained.
"Rosario...aren't they one of the most wealthy families in all of Europe?" asked Fabiana.

Oliver nodded.

"The family was very close to Kit's; Alyssa Matthews and Milan Rosario were close friends," he continued.
"Lucky bastard," chuckled Carl.

Everyone turned to him in confusion.

"Amelia Rosario is one of the most well-known Hawks in all of Europe; she's mastered a great deal of skills and is the heiress to one of the largest fortunes on the planet...she's all over magazines and televised news," he explained.

He then looked away.

"Her sister Angela is a very well known doctor, one of the youngest in the field. She's also well known because she assists in most of the medical research that Hawks conduct...without her, I don't think a lot of the medical facilities anywhere else in the world would be as advanced as they are now..."

He then cleared his throat and laughed nervously.

"That...and both of them are incredibly hot," he said in a fake cough.

Oliver chuckled loudly but stopped abruptly.

"They' a room," he said.

Everyone looked at the screen to see that both the Rosario sisters were sleeping while Kit was watching over them.

"That guy is Arthur Matthews's son?" gasped Carl.
"The one and only," replied Oliver.

Doan smiled.

"He's really cute," she said.
"Now's not the time to be gawking at people..." said Iris as she rolled her eyes.

Oliver let out a deep sigh.

"They must've been forced onto the Romani...and if they try to fly away, they'll have a cruise ship's worth of Purity members on their tail," he said.
"So what do we do?" asked Nate.

Oliver shook his head and sat down.

"Right's entirely up to them to get back because going to that ship is complete suicide," he explained.
"Who's to say that we can't take them?" snapped Iris.

Alex put a hand on his sister's shoulder and shook his head.

"What if Miles is on board that vessel..."

Iris immediately closed her mouth and looked down at the ground.

"Damn it...he's right," she growled.

She clenched her fists tightly.

"All we can do is get back to Ontario and hope that they can make it...we'll head back in the morning," said Oliver.

"They're both still sound asleep...guess they haven't gotten much sleep as of late,"

I looked outside and saw some of the guests walking by down the hall. I turned back to both of the sisters.

"They both have to be hungry...I guess there's no harm in getting some food for them while they're asleep... so long as I don't draw attention to myself,"

I silently opened the door and took one look back at them, particularly Amelia. I smiled.

"Something tells me that she hasn't gotten to sleep of her own accord in a long time...let's hope that we can get off this vessel before anything ugly happens,"

I made my way towards the dining room and saw the tables full of all kinds of food. I laughed to myself.

"Guess there's no harm in having something myself too,"

"So did you hear about that girl?"
"Who...the Eagle?"

I approached one of the tables and began to pile food onto it while listening closely to the two men sitting in one corner of the room.

"Cassandra Matthews,"
"What about her?"
"I thought for sure Baneford was going to kill her today but he let her live yet again...I'm guessing he's still trying to assimilate her gifts,"

I took a deep breath in a desperate attempt at keeping my anger under control; revealing myself now would definitely result in my death.

"She's the last one that's alive right? Arthur and Alyssa both died in the invasion?"
"No; only Arthur died, Alyssa was indoctrinated into The Purity by Baneford himself,"

My eyes widened.

"Baneford's gift allows him to bend anyone who he assimilates to his will; that's why he can't kill anyone by assimilation and it's also the reason why he has so many underlings,"

I cursed under my breath.

"Where are they right now?"
"Germany in Baneford's personal mansion...heard something big is coming in the R&D Department of SkyTech over there,"
"The bio-foam project?"
" looks like Baneford finally figured out a way to create a hybrid and he's probably going to have us all hunt down any stragglers,"
"I thought we killed every last one of those vermin,"
"Baneford thinks that there's still a few of them and my guess is that he wants to assimilate them before making them his first test subjects,"

I finished filling both plates of food and began to make my way out of the room.

"Mom and Cassie...are still alive?!"

I let out a heavy breath.

"I'll be there as soon as I can...I'm not going to fail the two of you ever again,"

"Hey buddy,"

I snapped from my thoughts and noticed a man looking at me.

"Got a light?"

I nodded and removed a lighter from my pocket before igniting his cigarette.

"Thanks a lot man," he said.
"No problem," I replied.

I tried to leave but he stepped in front of me.

"Are you in such a hurry? I was hoping you'd have a moment," he said.
"What is it?" I replied.

He looked left and right for a moment before clearing his throat.

"You know what Baneford's planning right?"

I mentally cursed; the man had mistaken me for a member of The Purity.

"Yeah...some research development in Germany right?" I replied.
"That's all you were told?" he asked.
"It's all I can remember...should I know more?" I asked.

The man nodded.

"It looks like Baneford has assimilated his hundredth gift so he's looking to become the first omnipotent hybrid of Eagle, Hawk and Vulture," he explained.

My eyes widened for a brief moment but I cleared my throat to mask my surprise.

"Isn't that impossible? I mean...they don't seemed to have figured out a way to create a hybrid of two strains of the gene...let alone three," I said.
"I don't know man...but I'm beginning to like the idea of being a part of this thing less and less," he said.
"Why's that?" I asked.
"Baneford's ruthless and paranoid; he keeps talking about some kind of Eagle in the world that could end his entire cause if he had enough support...which is ridiculous considering how powerful he is," he replied.

I nodded slowly.

"Three plates of food? Who're the other two for?" he asked.
"I'm very hungry," I replied.

He chuckled and nodded.

"Well have a good night; don't forget about the plan for Canada," he said.
"What's happening there? I wasn't informed," I explained.
"Oh...there's apparently been some kind of sighting of one of the hybrid experiments there so Baneford's sending us out to hunt him down," he explained.

I nodded and turned away.

"I'll keep that in mind...have a good night,"
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