“What do you mean she’s not there? You’ve been following the damned tracker, haven’t you?”
I can’t believe the simpletons I have working for me. No wonder they weren’t able to catch these idiotic kids.
“Yes, sir,” Lieutenant Beaumont answers with his stupid mouth. I think it’s Beaumont. Honestly, I can’t tell any of these militaristic dummies apart. They all sound like they’re from the middle of nowhere Georgia where the peaches have more intelligence than the people. “But the thing is, she’s not here. We’re in Tijuana, Mexico, precisely where that dot tells us she’s supposed to be, and there’s not a single person to be seen.”
“Have you checked everywhere? Inside the buildings? On the rooftops, perhaps?” Seriously, is it my duty to think of everything?
“Well, we’re working on that right now, sir, but I honestly don’t see any signs that—”
“Burn the place down. If they’re there, they’ll show up as soon as the fires start.”
I throw the radio’s mouthpiece at the wall and pound my fists on the table. If those ignorant soldiers call me one more time to tell me how they haven’t found anything, I swear I’ll wipe them all from the planet as soon as I get the Viripotens Machina back within my hands. I can’t believe I am so close to finally achieving my goals, only to have a handful of children keep me from them.
Perhaps I should call her. Or bring her in. It’s possible Daniella would have alternative methods by which to access her, I mean our, systems. If it weren’t for how terrifying it is to think of how easily she could turn against me once again, especially considering how much closer I am—
A phone rings. I haven’t heard a phone ring in years. Why would the Rhodes even have an old telephone inside their home? Unless it was for the nanny? I suppose those Agora types like to keep track of those they have planted within their houses.
The phone continues to ring.
Why in the world would anyone be calling this house at this point in time? I’ve set the country ablaze. Don’t they have anything better to do than to be calling each other?
However, I suppose it is possible whoever is on the other end of the line might perhaps have some information I could utilize in order to locate the missing children and finally be rid of them. After, of course, I retrieve the backup from the younger one.
I pick up the phone, but don’t say anything.
“Mr. Alexander,” a female’s voice says. “It’s time for you to give up.”
“Who is this and how do you know my name?” I ask, not certain whether I should be concerned or not.
“My name is Violet. That’s all you need to know. Well, that, and that you have lost. As we speak, there are hordes of United Nations soldiers headed in your direction.”
“Yes?” I ask, feeling amused by the threat. “And if this were true, why would you be calling to tell me? Or are you attempting to help me?”
“Oh, no, I promise I’m not here to help you.”
“Then why would you warn me so I have time to escape?”
“It’s simple, Mr. Alexander. Because I don’t intend to allow those United Nations suckers to put you in prison, at least not their prison.”
“Don’t worry. You won’t be for long. I just needed to distract you for a minute while I set up.”
“And why, may I ask, is that?”
A loud crashing sounds from somewhere within the house, followed by a large wrecking ball swinging by a mere five feet away from me. A huge hole has opened up, cutting the building in twain. I step forward and look up to the sky, attempting to discern what just happened, when a figure falls from the sky and lands directly in front of me. She attaches something to my belt, wraps her arms around me, and we are lifted into the air, flying out of the house.
Go to Epilogue: Miss Nile