Many years had passed before all the gang had recovered enough to talk about what had happened.
Three in total, although they had recovered physically they felt they would never recover mentally and they all bore some kind of scare, all carried some memory which would haunt them.
Chebby had the image of the lake of bodies and blood.
Jonny had the memory of that laugh, and he could see still the massacred bodies lying there, he still woke screaming in the middle of the night.
Harvey had only the one kidney and a bionic lung, he had no clear memories but his wounds where more than enough to make his life hell.
Laura and had lost two of her best friends, and Sarahlee had a scared face, which would drive any girl nuts.
Since that dark day none of the gang had spoke to each other, other than with the police. They hadn't even seen one another for almost 2 and a half years.
The 'dark gang' had never been caught and no more was heard from them.
The stranger walked down the path, slowly, obviously nervous. He gingerly held up his hand to knock it hung there in mid air the he brought it down, turned and made his way back down the path to the gate, just before he reached the gate he heard the door open.
"Can I help you" Chebby said to the stranger.
The figure turned slowly only showing half his face, as if he was hiding something.
"No, it doesn't matter" he said turning to leave
"Wait" Chebby, said just before he left "Do I know you"
"No not really" He Said going out the gate, before he started down the street he glanced back, showing his full face, he saw Chebby looking, then breaking into a run after him.
The stranger, surprised, turned to run away, but in his pursuit was Chebby gaining on him the stranger, obviously unfamiliar with the neighbourhood turned down a cull de sac, the only escape was down a snicket, the stranger took it and found himself in a open field. The stranger started to pull away from Chebby who in a desperate last attempt dived, his hands caught the feet of the fleeing stranger Chebby quickly got up and caught him as he was kneeling to get up, he pulled his hair, causing the stranger to show his face.
"Mark" Chebby, said spitefully, spitting in his face.
"Good to see you as well" Mark Said.
"You've got no right, no right at all to haunt us like this"
"Who said I was haunting you, helping more like"
"Helping! Helping! How can you say that?"
"Who do you think has been keeping you safe for the past 2 years?"
"Safe? Safe from what might I ask" Chebby Said his voice beginning to calm a bit, Mark realised he might be able to see reason.
"We can't talk about this here, can we go back to yours?" Mark asked looking around the houses around the field; his eyes fell upon some movement in one of the opposite houses.
"It's not safe here" he added, his eyes still fixed on the house, in particular the upstairs window, Chebby looked over and saw nothing there, then he saw a long black pipe, or what seemed to be a pipe come out the window.
"Run" Mark muttered under his breath; he then turned to face Chebby and said more loudly run once more his voice still remaining calm, almost too calm. Chebby seemed to be in a trance for a few seconds, then a bullet in-planted itself into a bin right next to Chebby. This seemed to work into getting him moving and the two ran with all their might down the streets back to Chebby's house. Behind them Mark locked the door and made sure no one else was following them, by looking through the window.
The gang, now consisting of only Chebby, Laura, Sarahlee, Jonny and Harvey. Where all sat in the front room of Cherbetji's house, waiting what was to transpire in an awkward silence.
Jonny sat in the darkest corner of the room; he seemed to be distant from the others, the incident had affected him more than any one else.
Sarahlee and Laura sat next to each other on the couch Harvey was in the kitchen talking in low voices, despite the fact that the room was stone silent they could not hear the murmurs clear enough to know what was going on.
Mark was sat in the easy seat in the corner toying with a fish paperweight that Cherbetji had on the table.
It was amazing; despite the serious goings on he remained remarkably cool.
When Chebby and Harvey came back into the room they could have cut the tension with a knife.
"Come on then, spill" Chebby said to Mark, everyone turned to face Mark, to see his response.
"Well, I suppose I had better start from the beginning"
"Well yeah" Chebby half snapped
"I know you all really hate me now, but please hear me out"
"It all started a few years ago, this family moved into 'Sunny Springs', they where a fairly strange family, keeping themselves to themselves, but there was something else about them. I can't really put it into words but there seemed to be this feeling about them, something dark. I know you all probably think I'm insane but there was something not right. So a few mates and me decided to go there one night and have a look around, the next thing I remembered was waking up the next morning feeling surprisingly comforted. I couldn't remember anything about what had happened the night before, yet I seemed sure everything was fine. Life pretty much went back to normal, except I had a bad case of amnesia, sometimes I lost whole weeks.
Until the a few days before incident 2 years ago I was still sure that everything was fine, but then it was as if I woke up from a long sleep, I could remember things that I had never thought I had done, places I had never been. Then I remembered that night, the night I had snuck into the old house.
It had been dark inside there and we decided to split up. After about 5 minutes, and no success in finding anything or anyone, I was about to give up when I heard Paul shouting. I turned from the room I was in and started to run down the landing to where the voice was coming from. I was hit on the back of the head hard with what I guess was metal, or something to that affect, anyway that's not important.
I regained consciousness a few hours later, I was strapped to a chair, Paul and Jason where next to me, out cold, I was still dazed at this point and all I could make out was a shadowy figure coming towards us.
He spoke to me, I can't remember exactly what he said but he said I had a strong mind and if I were lucky I wouldn't die like the other two. Then he produced this long syringe from a draw and took some blood from this creature in a tank, at first I thought it was a fish, but looking more closely it seemed to have arms and a bit bigger than even a large carp. I know I was still dazed so my mind could have been playing tricks on me, but whatever it was, I've never seen anything like it before.
When I woke it was still dark so I presume that I can't have been out for too long, but I felt great, I felt really good, better than I have done in ages, it was as though I had been refreshed, cleansed in some way.
For the next few weeks I visited the house several times, for more, I wasn't told to, but I felt I had too, something was calling me.
My memory is still vague but I remember visiting the house several times, when I went I always went to the same room where I would be instructed to sit down, an injection would follow and I would feel as though I had a job to do when I awoke. I would do it, as instructed; the next day I couldn't recall anything.
The thing's I was doing weren't anything special. At first I just had to collect packages or pass on a message, but then after a while I had to bring people there, to the house, I guess it was so they could do to them what they where doing to me, they seemed to be building an army. Then the place changed, I was instructed to take everyone to a shed in the countryside. I don't know why, I guess it was because there was more people than in the beginning.
Then you came, I was sent to inspect your cabin, too see if you posed a threat, we don't get many tourists in 'Sunny Springs'. When I returned with my report and the fact Danny and Chebby had chased me, and nearly caught me, the shadows got irritated. They sent me away without my injection, which was really strange, because without that I felt weak, I knew I was there best 'drone' and I thought they would want to preserve me.
I was instructed to invite you all to a party and during the party separate you all and take you in for questioning, but as you know I never got to. All the 'drones' where killed. I was the only one saved, at first I thought there could have been a few more survivors and busied myself with finding them, but It was in vain. A few days later I was walking down a back street when I got my memories back, I felt really sick and I feel alone, it's like I'm alone in the world for the first time. That's why I've tracked you down.
You lot are the only survivors. And that's the end of my story, when I realised that there was no other survivors I tracked you lot down, it wasn't too hard.
Now here I am. Any questions."
There was silence, the gang where either trying to take it all in or deciding whether they should. It all sounded absurd, it sounded like something a teenager would dream up after watching too many Star Trek episodes or scary movies, or a combination of the two.
Chebby was the first to break the silence.
"Why should we believe you?" He asked
"No reason, but if you don't your lives are at risk, you saw for yourself what I'm up against" Mark said to Chebby
"Yeah" Chebby agreed "But even so it sounds rather far fetched"
Before Mark could answer Sarahlee cut in, "How can you even talk to him, never mind believe him?" She asked, clearly mad, why shouldn't she be Chebby thought.
"He's the one that caused them to die, the one who did it" Laura Said, also mad.
"I know you all hate me, but I'm not one of them anymore"
"How can you prove your not, how can you even prove they exist?" Harvey asked
"I can't, well probably not enough to satisfy you lot any way" Mark replied, remarkably coolly.
"In that case get out" Laura half shouted, but Chebby seemed to want to hear him out
"No" He Said to Mark "Prove it"
Mark slowly rolled back his sleeve; he stopped half way up revealing some injection marks. The gang looked at them.
"Yeah, so" Laura said, "What does this prove? You're a druggie, so what, GET OUT" She added madly
"No, you don't understand this is where they injected me"
"Have you got any more proof?" Harvey asked, "Any thing more certain?"
"Not really" Mark said "When I went back to the house every thing had gone, everything, but I still think you believe me Chebby, and you Harvey"
Chebby and Harvey looked at each other and remained silent.
Laura and Sarahlee stared at the both of them.
"What's he talking about?" Sarahlee Asked, her voice was shaking.
Harvey and Chebby again exchanged glances
"Someone has got to tell them" Harvey Said
"I've got it" Chebby
"What, What have you got to tell us" Sarahlee asked, beginning to get frightened
"Well, it was when we was at 'Sunny Springs'" Chebby began "Danny said he saw Peely going into this big barn in the middle of the country, we all thought he was joking but that night he woke me and Harvey up and we went to this barn. It was really dark inside but there was enough light to make out figures, we saw, well we thought we saw some people getting injections. Then we heard these sounds, they weren't English, in fact I can't even be sure they are human" Chebby paused too see everybody's reaction, they all seemed to be in stunned silence. "Now I don't know much more than that" Chebby continued "But what I do know I have told you and it seems to agree with what Mark's been saying, as much I hate to admit it"
Again stunned silence followed. Sarahlee was the first to break it "So you are trying to tell us that, that some people, either foreign, or, or alien are alienating our friends and killing them as well" it was obvious from the tone of her voice that she wasn't buying it. It was even more obvious from the glances she was throwing at Mark, what she thought of him. Laura was also in the same mood, however she seemed more open to persuasion.
"So, Mark" Laura Said "What exactly are you doing here or are you just here to bring up old memories and throw salt on our wounds"
"Yeah, I agree, I say you should get out of our lives forever!" Sarahlee added
"I can see how you two can be angry" Mark began
"Angry, Angry, you don't know the half of it, we all lost two of our best mates, due to you, and now you come here and say it wasn't you fault and that you was taken over by some-sort of magical injection, well no, no I'm sorry I not falling for it, either you leave or I will"
"Stay" Jonny said from the corner
"What?" Sarahlee asked, they had all nearly forgot him sat in the corner and were all quite used to him not speaking much anyway.
"Stay" he repeated "Both of you"
"What?" Sarahlee and Mark said at the same time.
"I said stay, you should both hear what I have to say"
They room went silent, they where all keen to hear what he had to say.
"That night that Danny snuck out with you two, I followed, luckily you didn't see me, I stayed longer than you, and from the sound of it I saw a lot more" he paused, everyone seemed to lean into him to hear him better for he was talking quietly. "What Mark is saying is true, I know for certain, they captured me" another pause. He seemed to be relieved in telling everyone what had happened and yet at the same time he seemed to be in some sort of pain. "They quizzed me for ages, hours seemed to run into days. They asked me about us all and what we where doing there, about Danny and Chebby in particular, then after what felt like a week, but must have been only an hour, they drugged me with this injection, I can only remember patches after that, but I guess it was some sort of truth drug. They where asking me all the same questions and probably getting the same answers, then the seemed to get very interested in the party we where going to and started asking me times and who was going etc."
Stunned silence followed, Mark was the first to break it "Well!" He said "It sounds to me like there are two rival parties at work here"
No-one said anything for a few minutes then Jonny spoke again.
"The only question is, who are the good guys?"
"More importantly is there any good guys?" Mark added
"And what where they interested in Danny and Chebby for, both sides" Laura asked
"I think I know" Mark Said, everyone turned to look at him "Well I suppose it's pretty obvious, when they where 'using' me the only noticeable affect, other than the needle marks, is the speed"
"I see" Chebby Said "Because both me and Danny chased you quite far, they thought we where working for the other side"
"I can't believe you lot!" Sarahlee burst "Your all quite willing to just go along with this, to believe it all"
"Well I am" Jonny Said "Me too" Chebby added "And me" Harvey piped up
"I could maybe understand you lot, you all think you saw something, Laura what about you?"
All eyes turned to Laura.
"Well.." She started, she never got to finish it off because at that moment a brick sailed through the window. Shattered glass flew everywhere and completely covered Chebby's back, because he was sat right next to the window. Amidst all the shock of what had happened, Mark was the only one to keep his wits about him, he ran over to the window. Hoping to see the owner of the brick, however he only caught a glimpse of the back of the fleeing figure, he thought about pursuing the fleeting figure , but only for a split second, he decided that he, or indeed she could have friends around the corner and a confrontation this early would be pointless.
Mark turned from the window. Chebby was in the kitchen with Laura, they where seeing to his back, Harvey was walking up to the window to join him. Jonny as always was in the corner, he appeared to have not moved at all. Sarahlee stood silent in the centre of the room.
"Did you see who did it?" He asked
"No, well only from the back" Mark replied.
Sarahlee knelt to pick up the brick, she picked it up and inspected it, on the underside the was a piece of paper attached. She peeled it off and read the front.
"Mark, this is for you" She said handing him the piece of paper "It was attached to the brick" She stated.
Mark read it allowed "Mark, So you have tracked down your old friends, not like it will help you, still, hurry the game is afoot, the game is open to all willing, the more the bloodier I always say"
"What game is he talking about?" Harvey asked
"More importantly who's he?" Sarahlee asked
"Both very good questions" Mark Said "And I don't know the answer to either"
"Well the football kicked off 30 minutes ago, but I don't think he means that" Chebby quipped from the kitchen.
"Well where do you suppose we start" Sarahlee asked
The gang was now all assembled in Harvey's van, it was parked at an old industrial estate. After the brick through the window the gang collected a few things, and by suggestion of Mark they took Harvey's van and found a deserted place. Sarahlee and Laura, who where still unsure about all of it seemed to quickly go along with it all after what had happened, and where now the two who had most suggestions, about where to go and who he was etc.
"I have no idea" Mark said, and everyone else seemed to be in the same position. Then Jonny put his hand up and said "I have a really bad idea". All eyes turned to him.
"What?" Chebby asked
"Well in most things you start at the beginning, and that's probably what we should do now" he stated.
"Yeah but what's the" Sarahlee started "Oh.. you mean 'Sunny Springs' don't you"
"Yep, that's where all this started, for Mark, and us, so there may be something there" Jonny said
After much discussion it was finally decided that that's what they would do…start at the beginning.
The trip seemed very long, much longer than the last time they had made it, but then that was long ago, what seemed like a lifetime, an eternity. And so much had had happened the meantime.
After a while they rumbled up to Chebby's uncles cabin, it hadn't changed much since they had last been there, except it had got a bit dirtier. Harvey stopped the van outside the drive and asked "Are we going down"
Mark replied "Well I've already checked it out, but I might have missed some things that you could find, you never know"
Harvey drove down to the front of the house, they all stayed in the van for a while looking at the place. Not only did it bring back bad memories, but it seemed daunting itself, just the building, as though it was occupied by some dark force.
Chebby was the first to get out of the van, he stood in front of the house, looking in to the windows, he wasn't expecting to see anything but he just felt compelled to check, he didn't see anything.
He opened the door for the others to get out, he had been sat up front with Harvey, who was going to stay in the van, while everyone looked around. He was staying there to make a get away if anything happened, the others could just jump in the back and he could speed away, this was unlikely, the place looked deserted, Chebby thought that he just couldn't bring himself to go in.
The others got out the van one by one, eventually they where all out and gazing at the old place.
"Well I say we start at the back, in our 'shed', after all we barely went in the house" Chebby said.
"Agreed" Said Mark
They all went round to the back, everything seemed to be as they left it, a few strips of police tape where hung about, torn hanging from trees and posts. After a search they found no signs of anyone being there other than themselves and the police, after about 1 hour of searching they returned to the van and to Harvey. They proceed onto the town.
They found it deserted, completely, all the roads where empty and the shops had all been boarded up.
"Wow" Chebby said "What happened here?"
"After all the killing, the tourists, for some reason, didn't want to come here, gradually all the people living here left, and it became a ghost town"
Harvey stopped the van outside the house that Mark told him to and they all got out again this time with the exception of Jonny, he said he wanted to stay in the car also.
"So this is it" Chebby Said as he stared at the large house in front of them.
"Yep, this is the place" Mark replied
"Where should we start?" Laura asked
"Well, I say we split into groups" Mark stated, no one else replied with any better ideas, so he continued "Me and Sarahlee will take the upstairs, and Chebby you and Laura take the downstairs" no-one else objected to this idea so they all proceed into the house.
The house was surprisingly light inside, not at all like what they had expected, even Mark seemed surprised at that. Chebby took it as a good sign, that all dark things had gone from the house.
They stopped in the hallway, Mark pointed to the stairs, he never spoke, none of them did, they all felt as though they should it was as though they had walked into a church or something. Chebby's mind wandered to a dark place, thinking about all the dark things that could have happened there, all the sacrifices to satanic Gods. Stop It. He told himself, nothing has happened here, and it's not about to start happening now. He started up the stairs, Laura following, the stairs creaked loudly with each footstep, if anyone was here, they would have by now already been alerted to their presence, and have had plenty of time to get ready for them. Chebby entered the first door they found Laura followed, noting. They began to systematically check all the doors.
After an extensive look downstairs, and finding nothing Mark and Sarahlee went upstairs to join Chebby and Laura. They found them in, what seemed to be the master bedroom, but had been converted.
There was no furniture their, save three rickety chairs in the middle of the room. On the left wall there was a mirror with what seemed to be a shelf underneath, but what, after further examination, proved to be a hole, Mark suggested that that was how the people sent him the instructions or maps etc.
Chebby had a hunch, he went into the next room and he found that he could see everyone through the mirror. He went back to the room, sharing his discovery with everyone. Mark decided that he wanted to check out this room, Laura went with him.
Searching the room they found nothing, then as they where leaving, Laura caught a glimpse of something shiny on the floor. She bent down to examine it closer. There was a gap between the skirting board and the floorboards, in the gap there was a sharp point poking out. Slowly she grasped the end of the object, and gingerly pulled it, it came out on the second harder tug. It was revealed to be a syringe, with some substance in, she put it in her pocket and decided to tell everyone when they where in the van.
When she came out of the room they where all assembled on the landing, she walked over to them and together they all walked out of the house.
They all got back into the van. Harvey and Jonny turned around and looked at them. No-one spoke.
Harvey asked "Well?" after a while and no-one had said anything.
"Well" Chebby began "There's nothing to tell, as empty as our 'shed'"
"Not quite" Laura Said
"Oh, yeah there was a mirror" Chebby Said
"And this" Said Laura producing the syringe from her pocket.
Mark quickly took it off her and asked "Why didn't you show me this straight away?"
"Well, you had left the room so I thought that I'd wait until we got back to the van, then everyone could see" she had other motives as well but she didn't share them. She was worried what Mark might do when she gave him it. Although she felt much safer now that everyone was there, she still felt jittery, especially since he was holding it.
Chebby must have also had this feeling for he took it off him quickly and started to examine it.
Mark must have noticed Laura's and Chebby's concerns, he said "You don't have to be worried, I won't do anything daft."
No-one said anything to that, but everyone seemed to be releived.
"So what do we do now then?" Sarahlee asked
"Well what can we do?" Harvey asked
"I know" said Chebby
All eyes turned to Chebby.
"What?" asked Mark
"Well, it may not do much good, but I think I might be able to analyse the stuff in there" he said pointing to the syringe.
"And just how are you going to do that?" asked Laura
"Well, my Aunt works at a lab, and I think I may be able to analyse it, after all I did do A Level Chemistry, and I started a part time job there" Chebby replied
"Well, I don't hear any other ideas" Mark said, who obviously thought that this was a good idea.
They drove for a while until they came to where Chebby had instructed them. It was a large building, and looked like a cross between a Hospital and a University. They all stepped out of the van and proceeded into the building. They walked into a large room with only three ways out, the way they came in and two corridors behind the cresent shaped desk, both leading further into the building. Although the room was large and spacious, Mark seemed to feel trapped. The white walls seemed to be endlessly high, they couldn't see where they met the ceiling, and yet could almost touch the ceiling. As they walked in Chebby told them all to stay near the way they came in. He walked up the desk and started to talk to the chubby security guide behind the desk. After a while Mark could see that Chebby was trying to get in, with no success. Mark walked up to the desk.
"Any problems?" he asked.
"Well, yeah, although he knows me that and I work here, and he's a good friend with my Aunt, he won't let me in!" said Chebby, obviously frustrated..
"I'm sorry Adam, but I can't let you in without your pass-card, and without knowing what you are doing." Said the chubby man.
"Oh, why didn't you say" Mark said "Look here's my ID" Mark put his hand in his pocket, and pulled out a rectangular card. He held his hand out to the man (Fred-by the look of his badge). As the man went to take the card off Mark, Mark through the card up in the air, the man looked up and went to get the card, by instinct. As the man was off guard Mark landed a devastating right hook on Fred's chin, rendering him un-concious. Chebby stood there gob smacked. Laura was the first of the gang to arrive, she just stared at Mark.
"What did you just do!?" she asked, not really looking for an answer.
"Well he obviously wasn't going to let us al in so, well, I think what we're doing here is more important than for a fat man behind a desk to stop us"
"I agree" said Chebby "But he probably would have accepted a bribe"
"Oh yeah and we've got loads of money haven't we!" replied Mark
"Erm I don't really mean to rush you, but we haven't really got time to try and justify this, they are security cameras here you know" Jonny pointed out.
"He's right" said Chebby, "Quick this way" he added leading them down the left corridor.
"What if we run into someone?" asked Harvey
"Well that's unlikely, but if we do then let me do the talking" was the quick reply from Chebby
He led them to a small empty room, there where a few machines there and Chebby walked over to the largest. He took the syringe out of his pocket, and squirted some of the liquid onto the small dish, he placed the dish into the machine and pressed a few buttons.
"This should only take a few minutes" he said as he stepped away from the machine "It will run an analysis on the liquid, then it will print out the findings." Chebby explained.
No sooner had he got the words out of his mouth, they all heard a conversation going on outside the room.
"What, floor are they on?"
"No idea, Phil just said that they came down here, they could be any where"
"Then we had better start looking"
"OK, you take this floor and the odd numbered floors after this, I've got the even"
The voices stopped, they heard footsteps, Chebby glanced out of the door. He saw one man go down to the end of the corridor, opposite to where they where the other came towards them. He was checking the rooms as he was going. He was entering the rooms, looking around, and then proceeding to the next.
"There's no escape" Sarahlee said, "This is it we'll be caught and we won't be able to continue"
"Don't be so daft" Jonny said
All eyes turned to him.
"Well don't you see, he's got to go in the rooms to examine them"
"Good plan" Chebby said "I say we go two at a time, don't worry there's enough rooms between us" Chebby had obviously caught on.
"Right I nomanate you two to go first Cheb and Jonny" Laura said
"OK" replied Jonny who looked to Chebby for support.
"This is all great and everything" Sarahlee said "but what the hell are you all talking about"
"Just follow our lead" Chebby said to her "There's no time to explain"
Waiting until the guard had gone into a room, Jonny and Chebby walked stealthily down the corridor and went in the room previous to what the guard had checked.
Seeing this Sarahlee realised what they where doing and decided to go next with Laura, after a few pain staking minutes the gang where all re-assembled in a another room almost identical to the one they had just been in, except the machines where different.
"Oh no" exclaimed Chebby
"What?" asked Sarahlee
"I just realised that we left the machine on, they are probably going to see it"
"Don't worry" said Mark pulling a piece of paper from his pocket. Chebby took it and recognised it as being a print out from the machine.
"Won't they still see the machine on?" asked Laura
"Yeah" started Chebby "No" cut in Mark
"What?" asked Sarahlee starting to get confused
"I pulled out the main plug" explained Mark, everyone looked at him "Well, how was I to know how to turn it off properly"
"Anyway" said Chebby "We should probably try to think of a way of getting out of here"
"Agreed" said Harvey "Any suggestions any one"
Laura noticed a window at the end of the room, she walked over to it to examine it, see if it would be any good for a means of escape. That was when she saw him.
"Erm I don't really want to worry any one" Laura said "But that security guard has just put a clamp on the van" She was stood next to the window and had been looking out.
Harvey rushed to the window "Damn" he said, if the window hadn't been too small he would probably be crawling out of it right now.
"Well what are we going to do now?" Laura asked
No-one answered for a while, then Chebby came up with his idea, he took Mark to a corner and told him first, if it was going to work he would have to have his backing and co-operation. After he got Marks approval, he told the rest of the gang.
"OK you lot, I can see only one way out of this situation" he started "that is to get me caught, the way I see it is that we need the keys to the clamp, yes"
"Yeah" cut in Laura, "but couldn't pick the lock or something"
"Well I suppose we could, but there are cameras in the car park, so when we got outside we wouldn't have much time to pick it before they got to us, anyway as I was saying. The plan is for me to get caught, I'll say that I am going to take them to where you are all hiding, but I actually go to a room where Mark will be waiting. As we go in we'll take them by surprise and get the key. Then we'll run to get you all who will be safe somewhere else, probably here. Then we leg it to the van and to safety. Questions comments?"
"Well yeah, what if the one with the key isn't there, and how will you know who he is, only I saw him." Laura pointed out.
"Good thinking" said Mark "What did he look like"
"I've got a better idea, I coming" Laura
"Are you sure you want to" Chebby asked
"Why wouldn't I be?"
"Well you're a and we're, well you know."
"Yeah I know" said Laura, who was quite angry "We'll discuss this after you've seen me in action, I did do martial arts for a year you know"
"Well in that case we might need you" Chebby said as to not anger her more.
"Are we all agreed then" Mark asked, as no-one answered he took it as a yes, "Come on then" he said to Chebby and Laura.
Just as they where leaving, Chebby turned around and said "Wait here till we get back, if we're longer then 15 minutes you had better think about escaping by yourselves"
Without waiting for an objection he ran off down the corridor.
"Right Mark you and Laura get hid in this room, and I'll go and get caught!"
"Be careful you" Laura said
"Of course I will, aren't I always"
Off he went down the corridor, it didn't take him long to come face to face with four guards.
"There's one" one shouted
The others followed his lead and ran in pursuit of Chebby, from the way they where all running at Chebby it was clear that they wasn't going to take him peacefully.
"Crap" he said as he spun round and ran in the direction he had came from.
He ran down the corridor, he rushed around the corner, only to come face to face with two more guards, they where also running straight for him. 'No way am I gonna get caught by them' he thought. The ones infront of him where already past the ambushed room, they where just approaching the stairs. 'That's it' he thought 'the stairs'. With a blistering pace he shot forward for the set of stairs, he got to them a split second before the guards and he rushed up them. Now onto the first floor, he made for the end set of stairs, careful not to let himself get to far ahead he ran down these as well. When he got to the bottom, he was about three doors away from the ambushed room. His eyes set on that he made for it, not as fast as he could, so as to not lose the guards. He thought it ironic, if he had wanted to get away from them he wouldn't have been able to, and now he was stood there waiting for them to catch up. As he saw them reach the bottom of the stairs he entered the room. In front of him stood Laura and Mark. Laura was stood in a defensive stance, ready for anything. She had removed her jacket and jumper and was stood with only a vest thing on and obviously her jeans. Mark was stood next to her, he had also removed his top and was now stood there naked from the waist up, also ready for combat.
"I do not want to know what you have been up to" Chebby said, he moved to the side of the door ready for it to be bust open.
"Funny" said Mark "How many"
"Five" was the fast reply
After a few seconds the door came bursting open. The first thing that Chebby saw come through the door was the tip of a gun, he kicked it, it skidded across the floor. Next emerged the body, one swift kick from Laura to his head sent him flying to one side "Next" Mark said. Needing no further prompting a second figure came through the door. This one was prepared, although he had no gun, he didn't need one. He punched Mark in the head which sent him flying back.
His three mates followed him through the door. These where also prepared, only one had a gun. Chebby went for him, whilst the other two went for Laura.
Chebby managed to knock the gun from the man, now they where even, well not quite, after all this was Chebby. A fast blow to the mid-section winded the man. Then two quick successive blows to the face sent the man down. Chebby turned to see how the others where doing, Mark who was at the back of the room seemed to be having fun with the man, dodging his every swipe then landing him with a right hook or a quick jab to the face.
Laura on the other hand wasn't having as much fun. She was being attacked by both men, although she was managing to block any blow thrown at her, she wasn't getting any attacks in herself. Chebby took one of the men from behind. He grabbed his shoulders and spun him around, as he saw his face he landed a left jab there, and the thumped the man in the side with a right handed punch. The man amazingly took all this and responded with a knee to Chebby's mid-section. Chebby lurched forward and met the knee with his face. Chebby soon found the floor greeting him with a face full of concrete. Chebby waited a few seconds to recover then rolled off to one side. Looking up he saw the man ready to kick him, rolling again he managed to get out of the way of his assailants foot. He quickly jumped up, he kicked the man in his torso, and followed up with a few blows to the head. Not waiting for a response Chebby continued with a few more blows to the body and one to the head. After about 30 seconds of relentless blows the man collapsed. Chebby turned to see Mark throw the last punch on the man before he collapsed, he turned to see Laura. She was sat on top of a desk, clapping her hands. "Well done you two, very good, although a bit slow" she said.
"I am sorry" Chebby said, Laura frowned "I take it all back, you are a good fighter, you sure could poke someone's eyes out with those thing's" Chebby joked.
Mark got straight to the point "Do you see him?" he asked
Laura jangled a pair of keys in front of her "I don't waste much time"
"Let's go then, quickly" Mark said.
They exited the room and made for the room that they had left the others in, they found them all there.
"Get it" Harvey asked
"Yep" replied Laura, producing the key
"Lets go then" Harvey said
They all ran from the room and following Chebby's lead they found their way out of the building. The van was where they had left it. Laura got straight to it and started to take off the clamp. The others all got in, no sooner had Laura got the clamp off, then three security guards came piling out of the building. They all ran toward the van.
Harvey revved the engine and as soon as Laura had stepped in he sped off. He went straight out of the car park and turned right on the first crossroad, this brought them to a long narrow road which was boarded with a few houses. After a few minutes they came to an old rundown house. Harvey slowed down and turned into the driveway.
"Anyone following?" he asked
"No" replied Mark who was sat the back of the van, keeping a lookout.
"Well lets get out then" Harvey said
They all got out of the van and proceed into the house. They all went in to the house, it was as run down on the inside then it was on the outside. There seemed to be just two rooms, a small kitchen and a larger living room. They all went into the larger living room. In there, there was hardly anything to sit on, never mind that there was hardly anything at all.
They all managed to find some sort of a makeshift seat. Ranging from old boxes, to 1 chair (this Harvey got) to just sitting on the floor.
"What is this place" Laura asked
"This is my old house" Harvey said "My parents and my older brother lived here, but when my mum started work and I was born, we moved on to a bigger house, my dad never had the heart to sell this place and it's been here ever since, empty"
"Right" Chebby said "I didn't realise you had an older brother"
"He's much older, he's in the army as well, that's why I joined actually"
"Anyway" Sarahlee cut in "enough of Harvey's life story, what does it consist of"
"Lets see shall we" said Chebby producing a piece of crumpled paper out of his pocket, "Well lets see" he said scanning through the list, " this all seems like pretty normal stuff" he said "Wow, hold on a minute, I've never heard of this before, opioumdryoxyphin"
"Pardon" said Laura
"God knows what it is, I know pretty much everything, not being big headed or anything, but I don't even recognise part of this"
"Well the machine did" Mark pointed out
"I know" said Chebby "That's what doesn't make sense"
"What make is it" Harvey asked
"Er a PX-22" Chebby replied "but that doesn't make any difference"
"Yes it does" Harvey replied "That's the same model that the Army use, there pretty new, I was over seeing a new shipment the other week" Harvey explained. "There set to recognise any new substance, even the experimental ones, being used by the Armed forces"
"So this substance is being made by the Army, there behind it" Mark half asked half stated
"Either that or the enemy got to them" Harvey asked
"Harvey" Chebby said "Do you know where this stuff is being made?"
"Well no, not for certain, although I have a pretty good idea, I'm guessing that it's where I delivered the machines"
"Where's that?" Mark asked
"Erm…A ware house, 'bout ten miles from here" he told them "if you want I can ring a friend, too check it out, see if he knows anything" he suggested.
"No" Chebby replied quickly "We can't trust any one but us, he may be one, that will just alert them all"
"So what do we do, rush in, guns a blazing, much in the style of John Wayne" Laura joked.
"No, high casualty risk" laughed Chebby
Every one stared at them.
"Oh come on" Chebby said "Buffy, you know the one where willows evil"
"Anyway" said Mark "What should we do"
"Well I need to make a call" Jonny said, the first time he had spoken for a while
"There's a box down the street" Harvey said quickly
Jonny walked out the back door, the one they had come in, and walked off down the street. Without saying any more.
"Wonder what that's about" Sarahlee said
"Well we have more important matters to attend to" Harvey pointed out.
"So what are we doing then?" Laura asked
"Well, we'll probably need weapons" Chebby pointed out "Harvey, that's up to you"
"We'll also need some sort of plan for when we get there" Mark pointed out
"I've got some plans of the warehouse" Harvey said "I can go to get them and pick up some weapons on the way" he suggested
"Where is all this" Mark asked
"Well the plans are at my house, as for the weapons, I've got 4 guns and a double barrel shot gun at my house, and I might be able to use my ID to get some more out from the TA unit"
"Well there's six of us, but I can use my wit's and my knife" said Chebby "So there's no need to trouble the TA's, besides that could be dangerous, they might be looking for you"
"Right, well I'll get going then" Harvey said
"Yeah, all right then" Chebby said "Good luck"
"As if I'll need it, can I get anything else"
"Yeah my knife, it's hung on my bedroom wall, and get some pizza, I'm starving"
When Harvey had left Mark spoke up.
"Guys there's something I need to talk to you about, it's about Harvey and Jonny"
No sooner had he got the words out his mouth, Jonny walked back in. Mark stopped it there and he made no further attempt to tell the gang what was on his mind.
"What's happening?" Jonny asked
"Harvey has gone to get weapons and a plan of this warehouse, and some pizza"
"Right" said Jonny thoughtfully.
They all sat there, not talking much, just recovering from the day's events. Trying to take it all in. They all sat on there own, waiting for Harvey to get back with the food.
When he eventually did get back it was all ready pitch black outside, in fact it was quite dark out when he set off.
"Pizza man" they heard him shout from the front door. Chebby went to answer it. He came in with two pizza boxes and a cardboard tube. He set the tube down next to the door and brought the pizza to the centre of the room. He opened the boxes and the smell filled the room in seconds. To most people it would just be a pizza smell, but to the six twenty something's in the room, it was bliss.
After all of their hungers where satisfied, they got to the planning. It wasn't a very complex plan, with it being a warehouse there was only one way to get in, so therefore only one way to get out. The windows where high up, and too thin for them to through. So the plan was to send Mark and Chebby in first, followed by Laura and Sarahlee, with Harvey and Jonny bringing up the rear, they where to take out the machines, and some of the people. This, they hoped would affect there supply of the drug, therefore limiting the numbers of the enemy, if it was possible they where going to try and kidnap one of the people. They hoped to drain this person of information.
At least that was the plan.
After hours of planning they all went to sleep, heaven knows they needed it.
Chebby was the first to wake up, or at least he thought he was. When he woke up the room was still fairly dark. He didn't see anyone, although he heard, who he thought was Jonny and Harvey, although he was still half asleep. He couldn't make out what they where saying, just murmer's, he rolled over and started to sit up. As he did so the voices ceased. At first he thought he had just imagined the voices, then he heard another voice.
"Good morning Chebby", it was Harvey, "Glad you could join us"
"What time is it?" he asked
"Just gone half six"
"We should get going at about eight"
"Yeah, I suppose, do you think we should wake the others?" he asked
"Nah, let them be, but we should wake them at about seven I reckon"
"I'm going for a run" Chebby said, who was now at the window.
"Wait for me" Laura said who had just joined the conversation.
"How long have you been up?" Harvey asked
"Just now, your voices woke me up"
"So you like to run then?" Laura asked Chebby
"Well yeah, I never used to, but you know it takes your mind off things, gives you something to do"
"Yeah, my thinking exactly"
They where all ready half way round the block, and running at a fairly brisk pace. The sun was all ready getting high in the sky. It was a lovely peaceful day, with barley anyone in sight.
"So, how have you been, we haven't really spoken much, since, well you know" Chebby asked
"Yeah, I been fine, well as fine as anyone could be anyway"
"Yeah, it's been hard on everyone"
"That's an understatement, have you seen the state of Jonny"
"Yeah" sighed Chebby "It's hard for him, he and Danny where good mates"
"Well so where you"
"Well, yeah I suppose but we weren't that close, we didn't connect like the way he did with Danny"
"It's like losing a limb" Laura said in an understanding voice.
"Was you close to Emma?" Chebby asked
"Well, not like Danny and Jonny, I only knew her far a few years, but I don't know, there was just something about her, I loved her"
"I think everyone loved Emma" Chebby pointed out.
"True" Laura replied "Especially Danny"
A sombre silence followed, as the house came into there vision range, they ran in silence. When they got back to the house everyone was up and all set to go.
"I was beginning to think that you wasn't coming back" Harvey said as they entered the house.
"Would we desert you at a time like this?" Chebby said
"You had better not!" Mark said "It's gonna be hard enough as it is"
"Are we all ready to go then?" Laura asked
"Looks like it" Harvey answered
They all left the house pretty much as they found it. Aside from the rubbish in the bin and the lingering smell of pizza you would hardly notice that the house had been used for years, never mind last night.
They all got into the back of the van, Harvey handed out the weapons, they all had a gun, apart from Chebby who had his trusty knife. It was more of a sword actually, but he always referred to it as a knife. Harvey showed them all how to use the guns, and then they where ready to go. Harvey crawled into the front of the van and looked back.
"Good luck everyone" he said
Harvey started up the van.
"Do we all know what we're doing then?" Mark asked
"Yes" was the general reply from everyone.
They where parked outside a large warehouse. The one Harvey had talked about.
They all got of the van and walked over to the door, they all stood before it, in silence.
"Are we ready" Chebby asked
There were only two replies', one from Laura and one from Mark, both positive.
Harvey steeped forward and unlocked the padlocked door. With a big tug from Chebby and Mark it was slid back. Mark was the first to step in, closely followed by Chebby.
They stepped into pitch blackness. Looking up at the windows they knew why, the windows had been blacked out. Suddenly realising it was a trap, they all turned to run out. Only to bump into Sarahlee and Laura, who had obviously been pushed, by the way they where coming toward them.
Chebby's mind was sent racing, if they had been pushed from behind then, it must have been from, no, no it can't have been.
"You fools, you fell for it" they all heard, it was Jonny's voice.
"No, No it can't be" Laura said almost to herself but everyone else heard.
"What's going on" Chebby shouted toward the door, where he could see two figures.
"Allow me to explain" Jonny started "You see, you know I haven't been myself recently, well that's because I'm not the Jonny you know"
"What do you mean?" Chebby asked
"I wish I had time to explain, I really do, but your all going to die soon, so it would be pointless"
As he was getting the words out of his mouth, they all saw black figures creep out of the shadows, coming towards them.
They heard Harvey chuckle to himself as he went out of the door. The gang all spun around to see the figures and pressed there triggers.
Now Sarahlee didn't know much about guns but she was sure that bullets where supposed to come out of the end. But none did. Harvey had took all the bullets out of the guns.
"Crap" Mark said
"Leg it" Chebby shouted as he turned to face the closing doors, he started to run.
When he got outside the van was speeding off down the highway.
"Head for the trees" he shouted as he started to run for what looked like a wood, about 500 metres over a large field. He only stopped when he got to the safety of the woods, turning around he saw Mark coming up toward him, and behind Mark…Nothing, wait this can't be right he thought. But sure enough there was only Mark there. He started to run back toward the warehouse. Only to be stopped by Mark.
"What are you doing" he gasped
"I've got to go back for the others, we've got to go back for the others"
"What are you nuts?" Mark asked "Going back there would be suicide"
"But what about Laura?, what about Sarahlee?"
"There gone Chebby, gone"
"No, no there not"
"Yes they are, listen to m, going back there would get us killed, OK yes we need to get them back, but we can't go back"
"You can't go back, but I can" Chebby shouted, he was really getting angry now
Mark punched him.
"Look, they where supposed to get us there right"
"Yeah?" Chebby said puzzled, but starting to see reason
"Well now we've escaped, they'll be after us, right"
"Yeah I see, so we need to sit this one out right"
"You see we've brought the fight to us, they'll have their minions out looking for us, leaving there main hideout unprotected"
"And the last thing they'll expect is for us to go straight to them" Chebby finished for him.
"Right" agreed Mark
"Just one problem"
"What's that?" Mark asked
"Where is their hideout"
"Good question" Mark said "I suppose we'll just have to ask them"
It was about 2 hours since they had been trapped at the warehouse. For the first hour they had stealthily made their way back to Harvey's old house, and this is where they had been for the past hour. Together they had planned to sit tight until someone found them, then whoever came, they would be ready. They would take them by surprise and find out where their base camp was, failing this they would be captured and then they would get to the camp.
They hadn't spoken much after planning this. Chebby still couldn't believe that it was Harvey and Jonny that had betrayed them. He figured that they must have been under the enemy's control, but how had they got them, for ho long had they been, well not been them. And another thing, what had Jonny meant by I'm not the Jonny you know, had it been just the fact he was one of them, or had it been something else.
"So, when do you think they took them?" Mark asked, Chebby didn't really want to think about this, but he couldn't help it.
"Dunno, they probably got Harvey in 'Sunny Springs' when he was outside in the van, as for Jonny, they probably got him at the same time, well a little later anyway, but when he was in the van with Harvey"
"Hmm, that's what I thought" Mark replied thoughtfully "At first" he added after a slight pause.
"What do you mean at first?" Chebby asked
"Well, think about it, we know that Jonny was captured, right"
"Well he could have still been evil when he was telling us what happened"
"Yeah but if he was then why would he tell us everything"
"We don't know if he did, there could have been more"
"Yeah, or less" Chebby said, reversing what Mark said
"Well if he was evil he could have been lying"
"If you ask me" Chebby said "There are too many possibilities"
"Yeah, I" but Mark was cut short there, four men dressed in dark clothing and masks suddenly burst into the room.
"On yer feet" one of them shouted
Without hesitation they both jumped onto their feet.
"Now, get your hands on your head and turn around" he barked, they followed his instructions.
"I've got the ones on the left" Chebby whispered
"Now!" Mark shouted
They both spun around, and pounced on the men.
Chebby put his hand up his back and pulled his knife out. This didn't do much good though, before he had got a good grip on it, it was kicked from his hand and sent skidding across the floor.
Mark on the other hand had a pretty good start to the fight. He had practically knocked one man out with his first punch, the other man on the other hand posed more of a threat. He was as big as Mark, but amazingly fast, compared to Mark even.
Chebby was getting it pretty bad, he couldn't take down even one of these guy's, so he had it twice as bad as Mark.
It was a slugging match between Mark and the other guy, but eventually, thanks to the blokes speed he won. Done with Mark who was now laying on the floor, battered and bruised, the fast guy went to help his mates. They had all ready knocked Chebby out and where now bundling him in the back of the black van that stood in the driveway.
"Do you want me to bring the defect" he asked
"Yeah, you might as well, it might earn us brownie points with the boss" was reply.
The guy walked into the house, and a few minutes later he came out, with no Mark.
"Where is he" asked the guy who had been putting Chebby into the back.
"He escaped out back" was the reply
"Didn't you chase him?"
"No, he was all ready well gone"
"You fool" said the first guy
"Leave him, we was only told to get him anyway" he said pointing to the back of the van.
The gang of dark strangers got into the of the van.
They had been travelling for about 1 hour when they finally came to their destination.
It was a large building that looked like it could have been a school in a former life, but now it was just a shadow of a building.
They all got out and went to the back of the van, they got Chebby out and carried him to the front door. The one who had been driving went to the door and knocked three times. A pair of eyes appeared in a slit in the door, and asked
"It's us, we've got the kid"
"Good, the boss is waiting for you, bring him in and take him round back with the girls" the door man told them
They took him through the door. As they passed the doorman, he asked "He's not dead is he?!"
"No, at least I don't think so, we only beat him up a bit" was the reply.
"Where's the other one?"
"Escaped, George here let him escape out the back door"
"Ooh, I wouldn't want to be you now George"
They took Chebby around to the back of the large building, they seemed to walk around the rooms and not go through one. Eventually they came to the room that the girls where in. They dumped them Chebby into the centre of the room. Laura ran up to him and looked him over to make sure he was still alive, and that his injuries where not serious ones.
"Orr How sweet" one of the masked men said
"Don't they make a nice couple" added the other one
"Yeah, a couple of dead people come tomorrow" the first one said laughing. Actually it was more of a guffaw, but Laura decided that his joke was not in the slightest bit funny, considering it was all about her death and all, and it was even less appropriate to be thinking of words to describe it.
They went off chuckling. Outside the room they heard the masked men's conversation.
"So we had better go and tell the Boss straight away"
"Yeah, tell you what I'll stay here and watch over them"
"You had better, you don't want the Boss be within throttling distance of you when he hears what you did George"
The Laura heard two set's of footsteps go off down the corridor.
A few minutes later, Chebby was slowly coming around. They heard the key rattle in the door. Sarahlee and Laura both jumped up and ran toward the door. It opened slowly and a masked head poked through. Laura grabbed onto the head and pulled it through, getting a good kick on the bum as she pulled the man through. In the process of pulling the man through she pulled the mask off in the process.
The man sat in the middle of the room.
"Is he alright?" he asked. It was Mark
"So you're the infamous George, I thought I recognised your voice" Laura said
"But you told us your name was Mark, you traitor"
"No, don't you understand" Laura started to explain "He just dressed up as George to come in here and rescue us all..that is right isn't it?" Laura asked
"Yeah, of course it is, but this is no time to discuss my heroics, we need to get out of here"
"Agreed" Laura replied "Any suggestions"
"What you expect me to come up with all the plans, it took me all my thinking, and amazing good luck to get in here"
"Well on our way in here we never went through any rooms, I noticed it because it was strange, so all we need to do is keep to the corridors and we'll find our way out" Sarahlee suggested
"Yeah, either we'll find our way out or we'll run into someone" Mark pointed out
"Well they won't take a blind bit of notice if George is with us" Sarahlee said
This was a surprisingly good plan considering it was coming from Sarahlee who, on the most part had trouble following plans, never mind making them.
"Let's go then" Mark said about to don his mask.
Just before he did however two guards came in, at least they thought they where guards, however they wore skin tight black PVC and had a little silver insignia on their breast.
Like the others they wore masks and one of them was a woman.
"You lot follow me now" said the man, his voice was gruff, it sounded like he drank gravel for breakfast.
Without much protest they all followed the two new guards. Laura thought that they must be a higher rank than the ones who had brought them in, then she started to wonder about Mark, he was carrying Chebby at the moment. However he didn't have his mask on, she wondered why the guards didn't recognise him as not being a real guard, then she wondered if she would recognise everyone at her work, she decided not. But then again she decided that this was hardly work.
They took them a different way to what they came, Laura assumed that they where going to meet the 'Boss', to meet their destiny.
But instead they led them outside, parked in the small, what seemed to be s parking lot was a small blue van. The colour surprised them all.
"In the back" the girl said
They all climbed into the back of the van, it sped away almost as soon as they got in.
Laura leaned over to talk to Mark, who was sat with Chebby, who was leaning against the door.
"Who are they, what do they want?" she asked
"I have no idea" he whispered back
"Where are we?" Chebby groaned
"Good question!" Sarahlee said
"Don't worry all your questions will be answered soon.
The male guard said from the front, his voice had lost its gruffness and it sounded strangely familiar.
All eyes turned to the front for al motion had stopped in the van.
The two figures looked at each other and removed their mask's
"Hi Danny, Hi Emma" Chebby said, just before he fainted, again.
The others where too gob-smacked to say anything. Because before them stood, or actually sat Danny and Emma, alive!
And so ends book 2.
I suppose I had better start on the third!