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Chapter 22

“We’re all going to die. That’s the big idea, is it?” Sammy asked with a look around the room some minutes after Kei's announcement. He still looked a bit groggy but was certainly feeling better if he had the strength to ask the question; at least that was how Megan viewed it.

“Well, is it?” he asked again.

Dani looked to Ricardo, and he to Megan; and she just looked at the ceiling with a sigh. It didn't take powers to know that they were all at a loss to what to do.

No one bothered to consider Kei though as the last time Dani tried to strike up a conversation with her- he had only wanted to know if she wanted a bottle of water- she had shot him a glare so stern that if looks could kill, he would have been buried; and even then, she still had a mean look about her that had the others cutting her a wide berth.

Well, back to the problem at hand, Megan tried to put her mind to what to do.

But just as she was about to put in the effort to think up an idea, a question suddenly popped up at her: how had the men known to attack them in Cuba?

Thing is, to the best of Megan's knowledge, their meeting with Sammy was a secret. Ricardo had made the call to him from a secure phone as prescribed by any earlier agreement between them, then he told Dennis and her of the arrangement after it was done, then Dennis cleared them to come to Havana.

None of those events had included any of them talking to anyone outside of the necessary sphere; and unless Sammy himself had talked to someone who then proceeded to attempt an assassination on him, there was no obvious other way the information on the meeting could have been intercepted.

And then there’s what that guy said to me, Megan thought again. “No interference allowed,” she recalled it vividly.

But interference to what? she wondered. What the group, whoever they were, were planning to do with Item 13?

Just then, Megan heard footsteps beside her and snapped out of her thoughts to see Ricardo walking up. “We need to get out of here, Megan,” he said. “Time’s running out.”

“I know,” she returned, groaning at the lopsided way the situation was making her feel; and the man in front of her too, if she was being honest. “If only there’s some way to get a look on the guys outside,” she said, “perhaps then we’ll be able to come up with a tangible plan.”

“Get a look on them!” Ricardo suddenly had a brightened look on his face as he turned to face Dani. “Hey, do you have a CCTV camera outside in the restaurant?” he asked.

“Yes, but it’s not connected with the computer in here to view the live feed.”

“No worries,” he assured. “As long as the computer can be connected to the internet, I can make a connection.”

The computer Dani pointed Ricardo to looked like it belonged in the early century of the digital age, but the latter looked ready to make it work and with a few keystrokes, the homepage to what Megan realised was Os Buscadores's server on the dark web popped up on the screen.

"Here we go." Ricardo keyed in a sequence of commands and the live feed of the men in the restaurant appeared.

“They’re setting the charges,” Megan realised. “They look ready to blow this place up.” Her eyes met Ricardo's and his return look filled her heart with dread.

Oh my God, we're going to die, it began to dawn on her for real. We're really going to die.

Just then, a scream came from the corner and all eyes turned to Kei hobbling after kicking against the wall.

Wait a second, an idea suddenly popped into Megan's head. “Kei,” she called, walking up to the teenager even with the mean glare on her face. “We need your help.”

“Well, you got an idea on how I’m not going to end up dying in here with you guys?”

“As a matter of fact, I do,” she returned, “but I need to be sure your head's in the game and you can trust me enough to take out those bad guys on my command.”

The statement seemed to interest Kei and she went to take a look at the feed on the computer.

“Well, if I’m being honest, Meg, I don’t trust you one bit,” she said after the survey, “but yes, I can take out the guys given the appropriate opportunity.”

“Good enough.” Megan brought out her phone alongside a thumb drive a little larger than the size of a fingernail. She plugged the drive into her phone and the screen went black.

“Confirm your identity,” an AI voice suddenly came from the device.

“Megan Months,” she replied and put her thumb on the screen.

A green line passed over the surface of the phone to scan her thumb and immediately, the screen lit up. “Welcome, Megan Months,” said the AI. “You have the Lead Assistance Program at your service.”

“Wait a second, how in the world did the director arm you with the Lead Assistance Program and he didn’t do me?” Kei quirked an eyebrow.

“You mean besides the fact that I'm the lead on this mission and you’re not?” she returned and although Kei looked like she had a comeback ready, she suddenly stopped with the words on her lips- to Megan's utmost surprise, truth be told- and just shrugged and walked away.

“Tell me what this great plan of yours is already,” she said as she went back to the computer to take a look at the feed again.

“It’s simple really,” Megan said. “I create a distraction and you take them out. Think you can handle that?”

“Easy peasy, lemon squeezy.” She smirked.

Megan took the phone. “LAP, on my mark, release a short, high-pitched frequency burst on my location excluding my exact point.”

“Location identified, point calculated, burst read.”

She looked to Kei who nodded, and then down at her phone. “Go!”

Immediately, Megan gave the command, the men in the restaurant suddenly screamed out in pain, clutching their ears as they fell to the floor.

Kei unsheathed her katana and putting it in front of her, she whispered what sounded like a prayer in Japanese and zoomed out of the room; lifting the barricade desk and opening the door before the others even had a chance to orient themselves to it.

“Hey!” one of the men outside shouted, followed by two gunshots, then the sound of what seemed like blade cutting through flesh in four quick successions; and then everything went eerily silent.

“All clear!” Kei called out.

Coming out of the backroom, the others came to the sight of the assailants lying face down with their throats slit open; none of them seemly able to take on the teenager before she got to them.

“Wow!” Dani breathed out. “You're one badass little girl.”

“Badass little woman,” Kei corrected with a self-satisfied smirk on her face.

“Well, unless we all want to become badass little people in jail, we have to leave right now,” Ricardo announced when they began to hear sirens blast from afar. Apparently, someone had called the cops, which was only logical considering all the gunshots that had rung out in the average of an hour of the encounter with the would-be assassins.

Quickly, they rushed to Sammy’s jeep; Ricardo in the driver’s seat, Megan beside him, and Kei and Sammy took the backseats.

However, when they turned to see Dani, he just stood at the entrance of the restaurant, waving them away.

“Dani, you can’t be here when the cops arrive,” Ricardo said.

“I have to,” he returned, “it’s my restaurant. Besides, someone has to stay behind to give the authorities a suitable, non-damaging or superpowered-” he winked at Kei “-explanation.”

The group looked at one another, contemplating. “Alright,” Ricardo said after a while, “and don’t worry about the feed, I already took care of it.”

“Take care, Dani,” Sammy said.

“You too, Mr. Sammy,” he returned.

“I told you, it’s just Sammy.” He groaned.

“Nah, “Mr. Sammy” sounds fancier.”

The two men laughed and waved as the Jeep pulled out of the parking spot and drove off just as the police cars arrived.

“Do you think Dani’s going to be alright?” Kei asked as they went.

“I think so.” Megan looked at the rearview mirror to see the Cuban man talking to one of the cops. “I hope so.”

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