Chapter 11: An expected alliance; an unlikely friendship
(Location: Angel’s Mansion, Time: 1:00 p.m.)
“So let me get this straight,” said Farah, “this chick was getting attacked by the same men that got Crystal and you saved her. Now she bought you to her best friend’s place and they want you to do what exactly?”
“Well, we have men to protect Nicole, but clearly your friend Max is better at it. That’s why I was wondering, if he could be her bodyguard.” enquired Angel. Farah looked incredulous. Max and Nicole both remained silent and seated. A butler walked up slowly, with a tray assorted with various delicacies. Farah helped herself, before she returned to her shocked expression. She gave Max a look, but he remained passive. Angel looked from one to the other. She needed to be more convincing.
“Well while you are here, you can stay in my mansion. It’s got everything. All I ask is that Nicole is protected.”
“Why does she need protecting?” Max asked directly looking at Nicole. “Why were the men after her in the first place and why would you go to such lengths to make sure she is protected in the future, unless you know something else that you are not telling us?”
Angel looked at Nicole. Nicole nodded and rose from her seat. For a moment she looked very confident, but then she seemed to revert back to her shy-self. Angel sighed slightly at this, whilst Farah gave a look of satisfaction.
“Well since you saved my life, I guess I owe you the truth. I think I know why your friend was kidnapped.” At the mention of the word friend Farah smirked annoyingly. Angel shot her a warning look. Nicole continued regardless.
“Recently I came across some strange energy readings. They were of a scale so large that I am certain the enter globe is experiencing some sort of shift in energy patterns, atmospheric disturbance or something. Such a thing can only mean experimentation of dangerous things and obviously banned projects somewhere. I know so because I aspire to be a scientist. Now the fact that your friend Crystal was kidnapped probably means that they are using humans to experiment on. This is all a guess but it sort of makes sense.”
“And they came after you because they know you figured it out?” said Max. Nicole nodded.
“I accept your request then. Where is my room?” Max stood up as well. Farah looked flabbergasted. Angel looked on in triumph.
“Max, what do you think you are….”
“Spare me Farah. We have no other leads. This way we can save someone and find Crystal. Besides, I reckon those men will come back.” Max walked off behind the butler, who led the way. Farah looked on with contempt.
“Oh I know why you really want to stay, man slut” she muttered under her breath. “Well where is my room then?”
(Location: House number 9 in the residential district, Time: 4:30 p.m.)
“Alright now that we are here, can you at least tell me now? Why are we here?” whined Nicole, as she dragged herself to the doorstep of house number nine. Max turned and addressed her query.
“As I told you before, the world has a whole illegal system running underneath, full of people who fight criminals. In this house lives a woman who is part of the network as well. She is an information provider. Practically every settlement has useful people like her. Now stop asking me questions. I will answer anything later.”
The door opened to reveal a lady, old of age but stern of appearance.
“How may I help you young man?” she enquired ever so innocently.
“My balls rolled over here.” replied Max. Nicole bit her tongue, to stop herself from laughing.
“Well you better come in and get them then”. The old lady stood aside, to let them both in.
The inside of the house was littered with papers and used biscuit boxes. There were various snacks lying around, some half eaten, and the others chewed on. The house smelt odd. It had a clash of perfumes, one from lavender air freshener and the other from boiled honey mixed with eggs. The old lady led Max and Nicole past the horrendous living room to a table in the dining room. She sat them down before taking a seat opposite them.
Max spoke first. “Do you have what I asked you on the phone?”
“As it happens, yes I do. My name is Janice. You may address me in person from now on. The men you are tailing are still in the city. They are getting orders from within the city as well. If it was a signal from outside it would be obvious. Now I know this much. The men are nothing. They are just the playthings of someone greater. They get their orders from the air.”
“In other words someone in one of the airships is sending them commands.” stated Max.
“Yes. Go to house number ninety three. A man called Ben will open the door. Your password is ‘I heard my mother came by’. He will help you find the correct airship. He is good at intercepting the air lines. The two of you better leave now. If, as you say, this girl got attacked, then it is likely the men are tailing her. I don’t want them coming here.” Janice asserted.
“How much do want?” asked Max taking out his wallet.
“Oh I want nothing. Just get those men of the streets. They are too dangerous for my liking. If you get rid of them, consider that payment. But I suspect Ben will want some cash, so don’t go and spend it all.” Janice stood and led Nicole and Max out of her house. As they were leaving a fat cat rolled out from under the table and purred at Nicole. A fruit bar hung out of its mouth.
Nicole spoke as the door closed behind them.
“How fascinating. This entire time people like Janice have been in this city. This is great. If they team up with the police they can do anything.” beamed Nicole. Max grabbed Nicole and pulled her close.
“Now listen to me. I will say this only once. This network was born out of the fact that the world is unstable. The government are useless and the police don’t help. This network runs on its own. They will never merge. While we are together, you follow my rules. Got that?”