WARNING: This series contains violence and graphic language. It may not be suitable for readers under the age of 16.
One of the officers slowly got out of the car and headed into the store. The other remained in the vehicle. That's when Valentine patted Noah's shoulder and motioned for them to move. When he turned to look at the commander, Noah almost forgot that he was working with one of the leaders of the Agency. Valentine was wearing a cheap, nondescript coat. The lump at the side of the man's coat was obviously concealing a gun, and in general, the normally sleek commander looked like a hoodlum. The difference gave Noah pause, but hearing the car door close as Valentine headed for the APD vehicle snapped him out of it. He quickly got out and followed.
The commander walked to the APD patrol unit and came to a pause outside of the driver's side window. With a few knuckles, he rapped on the window until the officer slowly rolled it down, revealing a deep scowl beneath a large, bushy mustache.
"What do you want?"
Noah came to a halt on the other side of the vehicle, watching through the large glass window of the gas station's store to make sure the other officer was still inside. When Valentine looked at him, he nodded, confirming that the other officer was still inside and not paying any attention to what was happening outside of the store.
Both men kept their hoods up and their faces tucked away from the prying eyes of the station's security cameras as Valentine leaned against the window frame of the car.
"I think you dropped something, officer," he said.
The officer's scowl deepened.
"I said, I saw something fall out of your car," Valentine repeated. He then held up a dirty looking rag for the officer to see. "Thought you might want it back."
The officer didn't get to finish before the commander quickly thrust the cloth against the officer's face, covering the man's mouth and nose as he did so. The chloroform acted quickly, but not before the officer managed to bluntly scratched and pull at Valentine's exposed wrist. The arm reaching for his weapon went limp before he could manage to pull it out and aim. The officer passed out and his large bulky frame relaxed back into the seat, head lulling forward.
The commander then reached inside and unlocked the car through the open window. Noah climbed in the moment he heard the locks disengage while Valentine opened his own door and roughly pulled the unconscious man out of the car.
"Get a move on, Commander," Noah said as he watched the officer inside the store look their way. Dropping the drinks he had been holding, said officer bolted for the front doors, all the while drawing his sidearm.
"Good thing the car was already on," Valentine said as he threw the car into reverse. "This one has one of those DNA ignition starters."
And with that, he turned on the sirens and peeled out of the parking space. The tires squealed loudly as they raced out of the station. The officer managed to squeeze out a few shots before the car was out of range, the bullets denting the side of the car where they connected, but made no serious damage.
The sharp turn Valentine took to get out of the gas station nearly made Noah nauseous, and the second turn definitely did. The sirens screamed from atop the car as the commander did his best to make the theft of an APD vehicle a spectacle. The more attention they drew to the joy drive, the more likely they ended up where they needed to be immediately.
But knowing why the commander was driving like a lunatic didn't make the ride any easier to bare. Noah clutched onto whatever he could, trying to brace himself as best he could while the car turn another screaming turn through an intersection. Cars honked at them angrily as they weaved through traffic.
"Uh, sir? You might want to slow down," Noah suggested as the car groaned its way through another heart pounding maneuver.
The fact that Valentine actually looked away from the road at the speeds he was driving really made the younger man want to punch him. Noah seriously considered it, but given the fact that punching the man would require letting go of the safety handle and would probably result in inevitable death, the younger man decided not to. The relief that flooded Noah when Valentine finally looked back to the road was nearly palpable.
"I thought the point was for us to get caught," he said, "You should at least slow down long enough for them to pursue."
"All APD vehicles have GPS chips in them, Noah. You didn't seriously think they wouldn't take measures to protect their property, did you? They'll find a way to cut us off."
Noah couldn't help but imagine the worst case scenario of what "cutting them off" would look like---a head long collision into a road block at break neck speeds. He shuddered but tried to force himself to remember the trust he normally had invested in his commander.
That was when an APD SUV swerved onto the road behind them, sirens blazing and wailing.
"Pull over your vehicle or we'll shut down it down manually!"
Noah jumped. The voice had come through the radio and communication system in their vehicle.
"The APD connected with the main frame of our car," Valentine said as the car began to slow despite the pressure he exerted against the pedal. Noah heard it the moment the APD forced the car to activate the locks system, effectively locking them inside. "Well, it was fun while it lasted."
The younger agent just let out a breathy, stress filled laugh, grateful that the joy ride was coming to an end before Valentine had a chance to crash them into something unintentionally.
Another SUV cut a corner and came to a halt right in front of them as their engine finally died and the car stopped. Officers piled out of the SUVs and surrounded their car, guns up and at the ready.
"Exit the vehicle nice and slow with both hands up," one of the officers said.
The locks disengaged at that moment, and both men slowly got out of the car, mindful of the guns being pointed at them. Officers flanked the men on either side, grabbed their outstretched arms and yanked them behind their backs, all the while forcing them up against the side of the car. Through the windows, Noah could see Valentine's face smooshed against the glass. Despite the commander's glare, he could see the amusement in the other man's eyes.
He obviously didn't get outside enough.
The officers yanked them both up to their feet after the cold metal cuffs were locked in place. A hand on their shoulders and guns all still aimed at them, the officers marched the two Agents to the SUVs and forced them inside. Once inside, two officers climbed into the front seats and another tapped on the window once the driver was in. The driver rolled down the window.
"Take them to the Penitentiary for booking, our unit has no cell space right now. Call in once everything's been settled, alright Williams?"
The helmeted driver just nodded before rolling up the window and driving away. That's when a man walked up to the officer that had just spoken.
"Sir, did you say my name?"
"…Williams? I thought you were…"
Both men just stared off in the direction the SUV left in.
"I guess someone else decided to take over the drive, Williams," the officer said uncertainly, "I wouldn't worry about it."
"Unit 36 reporting in from the southern Ports District," the officer in the passenger's seat said, "We have two individuals in custody that stole an APD vehicle, over."
"This is Penitentiary patrol, we'll be ready for you when you get here, over."
The officer then turned off the radio before pulling off their helmet.
"Helmet plastered hair seems to be a common look for you, Vienna," Noah said as she turned around in her seat to look at the two 'criminals'. "It suits you."
"Don't make me pistol whip you," she said, "Seeing as we're in the south end of the Ports District, the drive to the Penitentiary on the other side of the island is going to be a long one. Do you want me to remove your hand cuffs in the mean time, commander?"
"No, it's best that we make this as believable as possible---arm cramps and all---but thank you for suggesting it," Valentine said.
Noah sagged and attempted to wiggle into a more comfortable sitting position. The feeling of having his wrists pinned beneath him was not pleasant. Noah thought he might have seen Vienna smiling at his obvious discomfort, but when he looked back to confirm his suspicions, her face was neutral once more.
"Of course," she said as she pocketed the cuff keys.
"We'll take you as far as the exchange point at the Penitentiary lobby, but then you'll be on your own until you can meet us again at the rendezvous point," Markus said. The helmet he hadn't bothered to take off yet made his voice sound slightly mechanical.
"We'll be fine, Markus," the commander said. "We'll be there. Is this vehicle stocked with a first aid kit?"
"Yes," Vienna said.
"Good. There's no way to know what sort of condition we'll find Miss Eddleson in. It's better to be prepared for the possible need to provide medical attention, just in case."
"Of course. Now, from what Z was able to hack into, this is no documented presence of Sloan Eddleson ever committing a crime or being entered into the Penitentiary database. He does have some security feed of her inside of the building wearing the typical jail uniforms. She's in there, somewhere," she said.
"We'll find her," Commander Valentine said.
Walking behind his chained up commander was surreal for Noah in more ways than one. The Valentine he knew was normally hidden beneath his sleek suits and black gloves. He was controlled and calm---nothing like the man that stood before him now. The suits Noah was used to seeing the commanding officer wearing hid a lot.
With the suit gone, a whole new side to his commander was apparent. He was built, for starters, and all of those muscles were covered in ink. The tattoos spanned from the man's wrists and spiraled all the way up to disappear beneath the standard, jail issued uniform.
The very way the man walked had changed. Even though, like Noah, his wrists were cuffed behind his back, he walked like the guards beside him were no threat at all. It was as though he stood straighter now, taller than Noah remembered him being. Confident.
They had already left Vienna and Markus behind, before they were shoved into separate examination rooms, their DNA was taken and they were given their uniforms. Their old clothes were put into boxes and they were pushed back into the hallway, which is where they were now. Two men being pushed forward by two guards.
Pushed forward to the elevator on the far side of the hall. Noah reminded himself that this Penitentiary held no bars for him. He tried to remind himself that Vienna and Markus were waiting at the rendezvous point for him to take him home. That he was here to save someone. That he wasn't in there alone, either.
He tried to remind himself of all those things as he was ushered into the small, creaky looking elevator. Suddenly the lights were too dim and the walls were too small as four grown men squeezed into the tight box. His skin crawled and his instincts---all of his training---everything screamed at him to run.
And all of those instincts only screamed louder as he watched the sleek elevators doors close before him, locking him in. The elevator descended, and with it, a horrible feeling rose within him.
Without alerting the other guards, Valentine managed to gently bump his shoulder against Noah's. The gesture helped to calm him, but it was hard to ignore his training.
The doors opened again to reveal a large floor, divided into what might have looked like the layout for office cubicles, except instead of cubicles, there were box-like cells. And instead of bars, water fell in sheets to make deadly walls to cage the cellmates in. There was enough space in each cell to ensure that the inmate had enough room to live without worrying about hitting one of the walls. The water did not splatter or splash into or out of the cell because it did not hit the immediate floor. Instead, it fell through a thin slot which ran a foot deeper in the floor and filtered the natural water back throughout the building.
With a wall of water spanning from floor to ceiling, none of the inmates seemed interested in escape.
The guards walked Valentine and Noah further and further into the prison, past cells where criminals watched them pass curiously. They stopped just outside of a square of space that had no water running. The guards motioned for the two men to step inside.
"Are you two clear of the black gutters," the guard asked as he pointed to the square around them.
"Good," another guard said and then touched his fingertips to his headset, "Start up cell 87D."
With a small groan, the pipes running on the ceiling shuttered and a sheet of water began to fall in a box around their cell.
"We'll be back as soon as your genetics and paperwork goes through. Then you can have your phone calls," one officer said. Through the water, Noah watched as the two, water blurred guards walked back down the hall from whence they came.
When the two guards finally took the elevator back up, Noah looked to his commanding officer.
Want to be Notified of ARC Updates?
Follow the story on Facebook!
Just Click Here & press "LIKE"!
[ ] [ ] First Chapter [ ] [ ] Previous Chapter [ ] [ ] Next Chapter [ ] [ ]
"ARC" © Kaitlyn Whitehead, 2011
"ARC" © Kaitlyn Whitehead, 2011