I am lifted to my feet and escorted roughly into a building. They place me in a stark room next to Eve. The two men who brought us here sit on the other side of the short table.
“The United States government is demanding we release you two into their hands. Do you understand what sort of a situation that puts us in?”
“Yeah?” Eve asks shortly. She looks pissed. She looks how I feel. We get out of one battle and find ourselves in the midst of another one. It’s getting annoying, to say the least.
“Our relationship with your government is already tenuous,” the other man says. “Our refusal to hand you over to them could result in a declaration of war.”
“Okay, fine, then hand us over,” I say. “It doesn’t matter to us which country gets to kill us.”
“Mr. Rhodes, I don’t think you understand. We have no interest in executing either of you.”
“So, what then? Prison for life?”
“As you can imagine, the news of your exploits has traveled the globe. We are actually quite excited to have you two on our side of the border.”
“Great, we’re famous in Canada, Eve. You guys want our signatures or something?” I hear blood dripping from my side onto the floor.
“I don’t think you understand. We want to help you.”
“Help us?” Eve asks, surprised.
“Our country has been working for decades to help citizens of your country find sanctuary in situations much less dire than your own. Perhaps you’re aware of the draft dodgers of the 1960s who now call our country home?”
“Thanks for the history lesson,” I bite. “If you’re not going to put us in jail, can we go now? We’re on a bit of a tight schedule here.”
“I think we should hear them out,” Eve disagrees.
“Fine. What do you want from us?”
“You are familiar with our Niagara Falls, correct?”
“Yours? I’m pretty sure they belong to the States, pal.”
“Well, that is not entirely true,” the man corrects with a smile. “The Falls are composed of a number of waterfalls, the Horseshoe Falls—“
“First history, now geography? Can you just get to the point already?”
“Certainly. You see, the Falls have been operating as a cover for the transportation of expatriates for several years now. We believe they can also serve the two of you in the same manner.”
“I have a hard time believing the SPs aren’t thinking the same thing. They’ll have eyes on that entire border.”
“I have to agree with Cyrus on this one. What makes you think they won’t have the border covered?”
“Right,” I reply. “So, unless you’re planning on having us go over the falls in a barrel or something, I don’t think you’ve really got anything that can help us out.”
“In the 1950s, our government began creating a series of tunnels under our city of Niagara Falls. They are utilized to produce hydroelectric energy.”
“Okay,” I say, “still not sure what that has to do with us.”
“A few years back we developed a plan. We released a statement stating we would be dramatically increasing the size of these tunnels. A new tunnel, to reach the length of 6.4 miles was commissioned. What the release didn’t mention was how these tunnels would cross the border.”
“Still not following,” I say.
“Jeez, you really are dense, Cyrus. So, you built an underground tunnel into the U.S.?” Eve asks. “How did you manage to do that without them being aware?”
“Due to the location of several geographical elements in the area, it was necessary to create the tunnels well below the surface of the earth.”
“How far below?” Eve asks, now sitting forward in her seat.
“How much is that in American?” I ask, still not able to get rid of the scowl on my face.
“Around 460 feet below the ground.”
“That’s deep,” I say, impressed.
“Deep enough,” the man on the left smiles. “Granted, there were some seismologists who made noise about readings they were–”
“The seismo-who?” I ask.
“Don’t worry about it, Cyrus,” Eve smiles. “So, you can get us back stateside?”
“That we can. You’ll reenter the nation far enough on the other side where your law enforcement officials won’t even think to look.”
“That’s brilliant!” Eve exclaims.
“Yeah, I guess that’s pretty sweet. So, what do we owe you in return?”
“At this point, nothing, Mr. Rhodes. However, should your mission be a success, we would appreciate you telling the leaders of your rebellion about our assistance and perhaps we can establish a better relationship between our two countries once again.”
“Okay, fine, whatever. So, how far to Niagara?”
“Approximately 200 miles. We have a helicopter waiting on the roof to deliver you.”
“Sweet, another helicopter ride,” I say, standing up. “So, let’s get going.”
“Well, there are some rather small matters we should discuss first.”
“I knew there was a catch.”
“It’s not exactly a catch.”
“Alright, what?” Eve asks.
“First, your footwear.” In all the excitement, I had completely forgotten I was without shoes. The man pulls two boxes from under the table. “We received a message from someone going by the name of The Geek. He said these might be to your liking.” He opens one of the boxes and inside I see a brand new pair of red Chuck Taylors, complete with the insignia of The Flash on the side.
“Whoa, sweet!” I yell as I pull the shoes out of the box. “Where’d you get these?”
“Are they to your liking?”
“Most definitely.” I slip them on my feet immediately. They are a perfect fit. All of the snotty things The Geek’s been saying on this journey melt away. I just want to find him and give him a giant hug. Eve opens her box and finds a matching pair of shoes. Looking at the pair currently on her feet, these were long overdue.
“So, what’s the other thing?” I ask, still cautious about this being too good to be true.
“Ah, well, from the looks of the puddle by your feet, Mr. Rhodes, you’ve sustained quite the injury. We should get you patched up before you head on your way. We thought you might also enjoy the opportunity to get fresh clothing and perhaps clean yourselves up a bit.”
“Now that sounds like something I can get behind,” Eve beams.
“We should move quickly. I’ll show you to the locker rooms.”
Eve and I are separated as she is allowed the opportunity to shower while I am directed to a bench in a nearby room where a man awaits to look at my injury. He speedily re-stiches my wound and gives me a salve which he says should numb the pain. I’m then directed to the boy’s locker room.
The hot water feels great against my skin. I’ve never stopped to have a shower during a run. It feels sacrilegious somehow.
The pain in my legs washes away with all the dirt and sweat that is now staining the shower stall’s floors. As I exit the shower I see a fresh pile of clothes sitting in the place where I had placed my old ones. A new red sweatshirt sits on top. I smile as I cautiously dress myself, careful to not re-open the freshly repaired wound, and swiftly exit the locker room to look for Eve.
Instead, I find a man waiting for me. He rushes me upstairs to the top of the building where I find Eve standing just inside the exterior door. She looks at me with wide eyes. I follow her gaze to see a large group of vehicles just on the other side of the border. There are hundreds of lights flashing. Our companion opens the door and I hear a man yelling over a megaphone.
“Release the fugitives Cyrus Rhodes and Eve Gardner to us or face the consequences!”
There he goes again about those consequences.
We are taken up an external flight of stairs to where the chopper is waiting for us. We shake hands with the men who had not managed to introduce themselves and are taken into the air.
Go to Chapter Twenty-Eight