Elle – 9

The plan was for Milo to duplicate his tracking signal and Mara would take the duplicate, separating herself from Elle and Milo. She would sacrifice herself in exchange for their freedom to meet up with Uncle Tucker. Elle didn’t like that plan, but her need to stay with Milo was stronger than the need to stay with her mother. Milo was family, and Mara was somewhat a stranger.

Before they could duplicate Milo’s tracking signature, the rest of Sammi’s team found Elle and her newly formed family. Three burly men, dressed in black suits, barged into the lodging cabin. Elle bobbed and weaved, ducked and dodged every kick, punch, and hurdle the three men threw toward her. By one punch each, she knocked them out cold. The men were no contest for her.

“You really are like your father, maybe a little more impressive, but don’t tell him I said that,”  Mara said as she searched the men to confiscate anything useful: phones, watches, guns, and money cards.

She gave the tech to Milo.

“I have an idea!” Milo exclaimed. “I can make several clones of my tracking signal and we can place them on different moving targets. If we keep a slow, normal travel pace, it will take them forever to figure out the true signal.” 

He kept going on and on about all the things he could do to make it virtually impossible to find him for quite a long time.

“Okay… how much time do you need to implement that?” Mara asked.

“Mmm… a few minutes with the laptop Zave gave me.” He said.

The trio cautiously left the stranger’s lodging cabin to return to their own, Mara in the front, Milo in the middle, and Elle in the back. 

There was no indication the team was bigger than the four they faced and defeated. 

By the next train stop, Milo had finished cloning his signature and sending it to every passengers’ cell phone, however, they agreed to wait to make the signatures live til the very end of the train trip. Mara figured Spectrum wouldn’t send in any more small teams to apprehend them, since they proved to be the greater match in the small quarters of the train cabins.

The train slowed, and over the intercom it was announced they arrived in Burbank, California. Mara looked at Elle and Milo, who was sitting in Elle’s lap, and said, “There will be a team when we get off this train, that is why we will all split up and meet at the rendezvous spot we discussed. No matter what, after twenty minutes, go to the address where Uncle Tucker is waiting for us. Got it?” Mara asked.

In unison, Milo and Elle said, “Got it.”

Quickly, Milo used the laptop to activate his cloned tracking signals in unison. They waited until most people had unboarded. It was agreed that Mara would exit first. As she stood up, Elle tossed Milo into the seat beside her in order to embrace her mother, not wanting to part ways with her. They all knew if Mara was caught they would just finish what they tried to do days ago by killing her.

That was when Elle suggested a different strategy. “They’re probably expecting us to part ways or to stick together. You should go with Milo and I should go alone. They wouldn’t anticipate that. Milo can protect you if you get caught.”

“Arielle, I don’t–,” 

Milo interjected before Mara could complete her thought.

“I like that plan better. I don’t want anything to happen to Mara either.” 

Hanging her head, she said, “Fine,” but as she raised it she beamed a smile of hope. 

“I’m sure that’s a much better plan.”

Mara and Milo stepped off the train, and Elle watched them hurry down the terminal from her window at her seat. She feared to death she’d never see either of them again, yet a confidence in her was certain in about an hour, all three of them would be venturing to see Uncle Ben Tucker.

*Edited by Aly Fry

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