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Chapter 15

The shadow’s a man, Megan realized just before the glass shattered and she dropped to the ground shielding her face on reflex; Ricardo dropping beside her to shield her body with his.

The astrodome came to an abrupt stop, like everyone and everything in it- even the music stopped- was so stunned by the new entrant that they didn't know how to react.

The man, dressed in a full combat gear, landed in the centre of the floor with a rope that had apparently helped him drop from a chopper that Megan noticed then was hovering stealthily overahead. He took the room and its occupants in with a quick look-about; and then out of nowhere, he brought out a pistol and pointed it at Ricardo.

“Get down!” Megan pushed him just as the trigger was pulled and she fell on top; a whizz behind her ear signalling just how close she had been to getting shot herself.

Ricardo hit his head on the floor, dazed. “What the hell!” he gasped; the only thing he was say before the man squeezed off another shot and he rolled to the side to shield Megan just as the floor beside him exploded in glass.

Fortunately, the astrodome was made of reinforced glass so although the bullet put a dent in it at such close range, it didn't mean a cause for alarm.

However, the same couldn’t be said for the party attendees who, the moment the first shot rang, erupted into chaos; and by the time the second was added, a full-on stampede had ensued in the astrodome.

The guards reacted; or tried to really, as no sooner had they pulled out their gun to put down the intruder that six more men just like him dropped into the building on ropes and opened fire on them.

My God, they're going to kill everyone, Megan realised, her fears soon confirmed when the assailants opened fire on the crowd too.

She ducked just as a glass shattered over her head, a party attendee going down on the second shot. “Hostiles detected on location,” the AI in her comm device came online on its own. “Distress beacon has been sent and team communication restored."

“Meg, I heard gunshots. What the hell is going on up there?” Kei’s voice came through.

"No time to talk," she returned. “Jay, kill the lights. Kei, check the area for other assailants in the vicinity. Adolf, please come deal with these men before they kill us all.”

“On it,” the kids replied together and almost immediately, Megan felt an electric tingle pass through her hands on the floor and saw a faint red wave sweep through the glass from bottom to the top; killing the lights in the building when it hit them.

“Time to go,” she dragged Ricardo and they made to escape from the assailant in front of them under the cover of the the darkness.

However, no sooner had they stood that Megan suddenly saw green light coming on around the faces of the assailants. Night vision goggles, she realised just before the first man who had tried to kill them twice then spotted them again and pulled the trigger.

His shot was wayward though and it hit a person to Ricardo's side; said person falling over with a scream.

Ricardo pulled Megan to the ground and they fought their way through the people to the far side of the room away from the action.

Perhaps killing the light wasn't the best plan I could have come up with for an escape, she thought as she looked back at the crowd. They were in more of a frenzy now that the light was gone; and it didn't help at all that the assailants were still gunning them down without remorse.

Just then, Megan saw one of the assailants pick her and Ricardo out again, but just as he made to shoot, a section of the glass wall crashed inside over her head and she looked up to see a silhouette with large wings fly in. Adolf, she realized with a sigh of relief. Thank God.

Adolf made for the man with the gun and slammed into him so hard that he flew back and crashed into the wall, staying down after the fall.

The other six assailants turned and opened fire on him, but he quickly reacted and curled one of his wings in front of himself to deflect the bullets off in wild angles as he charged headfirst into their midst to whip them all flying backwards with his other wing.

Megan looked away from the fight to the two elevators to the ground and saw them filled with people who were practically climbing over themselves to get in. That way's a no-go, she knew immediately and turned to face to Ricardo. “Where’s the third way down?” she asked.

He looked stunned by the question. “Sorry but I'm sure you already know by now that the two elevators are the only-”

“Don’t you dare be coy with me at a time like this, Rick,” she cut in, very stern. “I know for a fact that a man like you will never just have two public ways out of his house." She held his suit so that he would take a proper look at her when she asked again. "Where the hell is the third way down?”

Ricardo stared for a long while at Megan, seeming to have forgotten about the chaos around him as the look in his eyes went from perplexity, to scrutiny; and finally, he smirked.

“Alright, Miss Months,” he gave her an impressed look, “it's over here.”

Ricardo led Megan to a secluded corner of the house where the glass appeared about four inches thicker than the rest of the walls. He placed his hand on the glass and it came alive, almost like the whole wall was some large touchscreen device.

“Activate escape protocol, emergency level one,” he commanded and the panel scanned his hand before writing Ricardo Disanto identified, access granted; and the glass wall curved backwards to accommodate a metal platform that emerged out of a thin slit in the glass.

"Going down?" Ricardo stepped onto it and held out his hand to Megan.

She stopped for a second, looking at him. This isn't your mission, Megan, she reminded herself. You're here for intel on Item 13, not Ricardo Disanto.

However, it didn't take powers to know that the mission statement had changed. The information she would have found was in a house now filled with assailants ready to end at a moment's glance, and Ricardo was her only way out of it.

There's only one logical way forward, Megan thought as she took the extended hand and stepped onto the platform too. "Definitely going down."

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