The Agora Files – Part II – Online Edition – Chapter Eleven

With Bruno’s decision to keep quiet about what we might find at Camp Pewakee, the rest of the trip crawls.  I can’t help thinking about what lies ahead.  The odds are stacked against us, there’s no doubt about that.  Between the SPs, the rebellion, and The Agora, and whoever else might show up with an agenda here, we’ve got a lot to do in order to make any sort of stand, especially if we even want to be noticed.

And it still doesn’t deal with how we have no clue what’s going on here.  I think the SPs have a fairly clear motive.  They want to keep their control of the country.  No real question there.  But the rebels?  Obviously they’re looking toward upsetting the current system, but to what end?  And by what means?  And then The Agora.  Who the heck knows what they’re really up to?  Miss Nile made it clear they wanted to keep things the way they are, but she also made it seem like they’re up to a whole lot more than smuggling things across the nation.  Kidnapping, for one thing.  That leaves us with no one to trust and no one to side with, as well as a whole–

I jump up in my seat as the realization hits me.

“I’ve got it!” I shout.

“What?” Eve asks groggily.  I hadn’t even noticed she had fallen asleep.

“Alright, so, we’re going up against pretty much everyone here.  Like, all of the most powerful groups in the country, right?”

“Yeah,” Bruno answers, looking over his shoulder.

“And what do all of these groups have in common?”

“Nothing, Cyrus.”  Eve closes her eyes and sinks back into her chair.  “They’re all completely opposed to each other.”

“Wrong,” I state with a giant grin.  “They all want us.  And they all expect us to be in Boston in five days.”

“So,” Bruno frowns.

“Think about it.  All of these groups will have their eyes on Boston.  Every single one of them.  The Agora wants us to be there so they can figure out what the rebels are up to.  The rebels want us to be there so we can distract the SPs.  The SPs want us to be there so they can lock us up.  All of these groups have a lot riding on us being there.”

“Okay,” Eve says, her eyes still not open, “so are you suggesting we don’t go?  I thought we already shot down that idea because of Maya and Billy.”

“No, I’m suggesting we do go.”

“Now I’m officially confused.”  Bruno climbs over the chair to join us.  “This had better be good and fast.  We’ve only got a few minutes until I need to land.”

“Alright, hear me out,” I begin.  “Obviously the most important piece of the puzzle for us right now is The Agora.  They’ve got The Geek and your daughter and we need to get them free.”

“Get to the point, kid.”

“You said they’re supposed to be trustworthy, or at least trustworthy enough to trust when they give you their word.”

“Right”  Bruno nods slowly.

“So, they’ll be in Boston.”

“You’ve already said that.”

“No, Billy and Maya.  They’ll both be in Boston when we get there.”

“Why do you think that?” Eve asks.

“Because if we’re going to get out of this whole thing alive, we’re going to have to go immediately into hiding.  And the only way I’m going to feel confident The Geek is safe is if he’s standing next to me out of harm’s way.”

“Sure,” Bruno replies, “but that doesn’t mean they’ll be in Boston until we complete the gig.  The Agora can always use their teleporter to bring them in from anywhere.  They could be in China for all we’ll know.”

“Either way, if they can get them to Boston, we can use that for leverage.”

“Okay, let’s assume you’re right,” Eve agrees.  “Why does it even matter?”

“Bruno, you said the camp used to be an old smuggler’s hang out.  That means there’s more than one smuggler, right?  Couldn’t we bring in a bunch of your old group to serve as backup?  They seem to have the whole espionage thing figured out.  Maybe they could find the people looking for us before we finish the job.”

“Have you ever done any form of tactical strategy before?” Bruno asks.

“No,” Eve answers.  “Billy’s the tactician of the two.  Cyrus is just a soldier.”

“Hey.”  I scowl.  “I’m more than just a soldier.  I came up with plenty of plans on our way to Boston the first time.”

“Yeah, and look how that turned out,” Eve says.

“Shut up.”  I frown.

“That’s not to say your idea isn’t without merit, kid.”  Bruno climbs back into the captain’s chair.  “But it’s a rather simple look at a complex issue.  You see, none of those people who are waiting for us to arrive in Boston have to be there.  The Agora and the SPs will definitely be using the satellites to keep their eyes on us, although I’m sure the SPs will have a nice physical presence as well.  The rebellion, well, even if they are in Boston waiting for us, we would never know how many people they have around, which could be said for any of these groups.  Don’t forget the sheer size of the city.  It would be impossible for us to search every corner and—”

“Okay,” I cut him off.

“Considering what it sounds like Alvin is using the whole thing for, they might not have anyone there at all,” Eve adds.  “They only want to make sure there’s a diversion.  They would only need a TV to make sure everyone’s still paying attention to–”

“Sheesh, I get it already.  You don’t have to shoot the idea after it’s already dead.”

“Not shooting it down entirely, kid.  Like I said, there’s some merit.  People will be watching us.  A whole heckuva lot of people.  There is a good possibility the entire world will be watching us as we make our way into the city.”

“You’re not making me feel any easier about this,” I whine.

“If there’s one thing a bunch of outlaws with a message need more than anything, it’s a captive audience,” Bruno explains.  “Considering there are a whole bunch of people who will be invested in what we’re doing, perhaps we can bring them out of the woodwork.  We don’t need to find them if we find the right reason to have them come out to us.”

“That sounds dangerous.”  Eve furrows her eyebrows.

“Sweetheart,” Bruno begins, “I don’t think there’s much about the next few days which won’t be dangerous.”

“But still,” she argues, “don’t you think it’s even worse if we want to try to get everyone out in the open?  Sounds like tempting fate to me.”

“Perhaps.”  I smile, “but the question is, who is it more dangerous for?”

“I don’t follow,” Eve replies.

“Simple.  Look.  All of these groups have some issue with each other, or, at least the rebels and the SPs.  The Agora wants to remain hidden no matter what, but still kind of stands in the way of these other two groups getting what they want.  So, if we can get them all out in the open, in the same area, facing off against each other, maybe we can get them to fight each other and completely forget about us.”

“I’m still not sure how that solves the whole issue with them having Billy and Maya,” Eve battles.

“It doesn’t,” Bruno admits.  “Not directly anyways.  But it will buy us time.  If we can get everyone together at once and fighting, they’ll be more focused on each other than us.  And all we’re supposed to do is make it to the drop off point for them to free Billy and Maya.  Maybe, just maybe, we can do what they want, while getting what we want.  And there’s still the important fact that everyone will be watching.”

“Oh crap,” Eve says, covering her mouth as she begins to understand.  “Everyone will be watching.”

“Okay, that part I don’t get,” I admit.

“It’s so simple, Cyrus,” Eve answers.  “We get the whole thing out on live television.  We put everything out in the open, the horrible things the government is doing, the horrible things the rebels have planned, and even how it’s all run by The Agora.  Everything will be on TV for everyone to see.  The world will be watching and will have to take action.”

“Oh,” I simply reply.  “So, then, I have a good plan, right?”

“The modified version of your plan, at least.”  Bruno grins.

“Perfect.  So, when do we get started?”

“As soon as we land,” Bruno answers.

“When’s that?” I ask.

“Right about now,” he replies.

“Oh,” I reply again.  “That’s good timing then.”

“From here on out, timing is everything.”

Go to Chapter Twelve

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