The Agora Files – Part III – Online Edition – Chapter Two

White Rabbit by Jefferson Airplane.  This song sounds like a death march.

What is up with this stupid random selection on here?  If I weren’t so in need of some sort of noise, I’d throw this stupid music player into the woods.  But if I don’t have the noise from these headphones blaring away in my head, I’ll be stuck thinking about the dumb decision I made.

And that would be incredibly dangerous.

I’m already exhausted and have only been running for ten minutes.  This isn’t a good sign.  I’ve obviously overextended myself and there’s no chance I can continue much longer.

And I still don’t have a plan.

Just running.

Always running.

Chasing rabbits.

“Cyrus, Eve!” Charlie yells from the cockpit of the helicopter.  I pull on the headset to hear him better and he adjusts his shouting to a more reasonable level.  “Bet you didn’t think you’d ever see little old me again, did ya’?”

“Charlie!” Eve shouts back.  I hand her a headset and she puts it on.  “They got you out of Eau Claire?”

“I jumped ship from there the second everything went boom-boom.  When Alvin said he could use my skills again, I knew I had to get on board.  Especially when he said I’d be picking up the two of you.  Who’s your friend?”

“That’s my brother,” I answer, feeling confused by everything.  Just a few minutes ago I was sure we were public enemy number one.  Now we’re heroes? “You can just call him The Geek.”

“That don’t sound too nice,” Charlie frowns.

“I prefer it,” The Geek answers.

“We can chat when we’re back on the ground,” Alvin replies.  “For now, we’ve got an urgent delivery to make.”

Alvin gestures behind us.  Miss Nile is seated on the third-row bench in the back of the helicopter, wearing handcuffs which are chained to another set of cuffs which are wrapped around her ankles.  She’s also got a large piece of duct tape stretched across her mouth.  Although I’m obviously aware of how incapable she is of causing me any harm, I still jump in terror at the sight of her.

“Do not worry,” Maxine says, climbing in next to Miss Nile and putting on her headset.  “She is ‘armless.”

Grant climbs in next to Maxine and we have a full helicopter, Charlie and Alvin in the front, Eve, The Geek and me in the center row, and the rest in the back.  If it weren’t for Charlie driving this thing, I would be sure this was a huge mistake. I’m surrounded by a who’s who of people who, at least as of a few days ago, wanted me dead.

“Hope everyone’s ready to go.”  Charlie grins.  “Because we’re off!”

The helicopter lifts off the ground and we’re airborne in a few seconds.  Sitting between Eve and The Geek, I glance back and forth at the two of them, trying to get an idea of whether or not I should be as nervous as I am.

Not about the heights.  I’m not going to pretend I’m cool with them, but they are the least of my worries right now.  No, it’s because none of this feels right.  Not a single piece of it.  How can I possibly ignore how Grant, Maxine, Alvin, and Miss Nile were all quite vocal about their feelings toward me the last time I saw each of them?  Or if not vocal, at least showed me how they felt through their actions.  Now they’re ready to celebrate our success?

No, something definitely smells fishy.

A look to both Eve and The Geek tells me I might be alone in my fears.  They both appear comfortable as they close their eyes and rest their heads against the headrests.

I take a deep breath, remind myself that the person who caused this whole mess is currently sitting behind me bound and gagged, and force myself to believe that maybe, just possibly, for the first time in two weeks, I’m genuinely safe.

I close my eyes, lean my head back, and force sleep to wash over me.

Go to Chapter Three

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