Sammi excused herself and left the teen alone to undergo scrutiny.
The panel was full of the usual five mysterious figures. The room was pitch black. A spotlight hungover Elle to keep her lit before the panel. Only the silhouettes could be seen of the panel members as they sat in a row on an elevated platform like judges in a court of law. A dim, white light loomed on the wall behind them to highlight the Spectrum symbol of an S inside a standing prism.
Elle assumed two of them were women based on the silhouettes of their hair-dos and small shoulders, but they could be tiny men with effeminate hairstyles. The Director was in the center, and for sure a man.
“Why do you want to go to the beach with your brother and your mother?” Mystery-Effeminate-Figure-1 on Elle’s far left asked with a rumbly, fuzzy, robotic, distorted voice.
“I miss spending time with my family, and I love the beach.” Elle answered.
“Forgive us, but this is an atypical response to failure for you.” Mystery-Effeminate-Figure-2 on Elle’s far right commented with a distorted robot voice too, in a slightly higher pitch frequency. Number 2 was for sure a woman in Elle’s mind.
“What can I say? I’m maturing emotionally. I realized this failure wasn’t my fault. You failed to prepare me for it in my training, so why should I feel obligated to make up for a mistake I’m not responsible for, right?” Elle responded.
“Still, we have reason for pause because in the past you begged for an opportunity to make up for your failures, whether your fault or not, and you want to go relax on a beach?” The Director questioned from the center, his distorted voice the deepest and crispiest of all of them.
Elle stayed silent.
The Mystery-Masculine-Figure-1 to Elle’s left and the Director’s right, asked, “What else did Prometheus II tell you?”
“That you sent me to kill my real mother. That Spectrum couldn’t be trusted. Typical, flip-an-agent-to-go-rogue-stuff, all of it should be in Sammi’s report.”
Mystery-Masculine-Figure-2 to Elle’s right and the Director’s left, added, “Prometheus II rarely talks to anyone. Normally, he eliminates threats and targets, but he spared you, did you say anything to him that made him apprehensive to kill you?”
That’s when it dawned on Elle, maybe they never wanted her to kill her own mother… Maybe they wanted her own father to kill her. There was a chance Milo would imprint and bond with a new caretaker, if his original one was killed in the line of duty. It was a theory and a big gamble, the scientist who concluded that was eliminated for being a little too mad scientist for Spectrum’s taste.
“He seemed intrigued that I was Prometheus III. Maybe he spared me to fight another day. I don’t know.” Elle shrugged her shoulders.
“I think you’re lying, Elle, and if you appreciate your life, and Sammi’s, you’ll tell us the truth.” The Director said with a twinge of frustration.
Milo’s plan was working perfectly.
“You’re right. I left the part out where he showed me a video where I was days old and the target was younger. She was explaining why she left me with her friend Sammi. I’ve known since I was 11 that Sammi isn’t my mother. I hacked into your files on me. I want to go to the beach so Prometheus II can rescue me… so my dad can take me back from you people and save Milo too. I will never become an assassin for you, and I won’t let Milo either. I guess you’ll have to kill me.”
From the shadows, a team of heavily armed guards, in full body army gear surrounded Elle. They pointed their assault rifles at her, armed with smart bullets which pretty much hit anything that moved that didn’t emit a safety sound frequency. In other words, the bullets would hit Elle no matter how fast she moved to dodge them. The bullets would miss the guards and the panel because they all wore watches that emitted the safety frequency. With bullets like that, why did they need agents like Elle and Milo, the tech wasn’t perfect. They literally hit anything that moved within a 100 mile radius, therefore, there were too many variables to use them outside of headquarters. The bullets did what they were designed to do: hold Elle and Milo prisoner.
“We all know there is no guarantee Milo will imprint on another caretaker. But, you are delusional if you think you will ever leave this place, and from now on, rest assured, you’re never going to the beach or anywhere else again. Take her to her new place of residency on level 12.” The Director commanded.
He stood up disappearing into the darkness and, one by one, the others followed suit. A loud noise of a door opening and closing was disruptive to the usual eerie silence in the room.
The guard across from Elle used the nose of his rifle to poke her in the shoulder as he demanded, “Turn around slowly, and head to the elevator.”
The moment Elle pivoted on her feet to follow directions, the security breach alarm blared.
“What did you do?” The same guard screamed at her.
Faintly, Elle could hear the frequency jammer at work, which meant when the guards opened fire, the bullets would be normal, and she could easily take on normal gun fire.
Her silence struck fear in all the guards.
Another shouted, “Answer him, or we’ll open fire.”
Elle stayed tight-lipped.
By now, 47 seconds had occurred since the alarm went off, and Milo specifically said to wait until 55 seconds to attack the arresting guards.
Elle counted in her head: 50, 51, 52, 53, 54, 55.
Rapidly, she bent down and swung her leg into a back kick, jabbing the rude guard’s jaw. Then, Elle dove to the ground and began to crawl away from the circle of guards as they opened fire. Seconds later, they all collapsed to the ground from bullets piercing their face shields and hitting them in the head.
The elevator doors to the inquiry room opened up and Milo stepped out. One backpack on his little body and another backpack in his arms, which he tossed to Elle. Quickly, she rung the pack around her shoulder.
“Can you locate the Director’s entrance?” Milo asked.
“Yeah, this way.” Elle said confidently.
*Edited by Kristen Wenneborg