Chapter 4: Arrival

Chapter 4: Arrival

A Chapter by Patrick Masters

Swoosh Swoosh Swoosh. Floor after floor went by as the elevator carried us underground. We were taken deep below the surface. Finally, at level one hundred we slowed to a stop and the doors opened revealing a massive base of operations. A forest of buildings could be seen for a few miles in each direction.

"Alright this way, we need to check in and notify high command we have arrived. Follow me." Alice commanded as she led us towards the central command center.

Walking along I looked in all directions at the changes that had been made since I left all those years ago. Buildings that had barely started construction were now finished. Empty streets were now dotted with agents. While I continued to absorb the changes we came to a large silver building. Sun rays bounced off and hit my eyes as I tried to read the writing but I already knew where we were.

"We're here," Alice stated

"What should we do now?" asked Sofia

"At the moment I'm afraid I don't have anything. Feel free to explore the area a bit but be back within an hour. From there I will direct you to a new meeting place. If anything comes up take these so I can communicate with you."

Alice held out her hand to reveal earpieces, which we grabbed and implanted. Looking at each other for a minute we moved our separate ways with me taking a seat in a hard black leather chair in the lobby of the building. Abby alone stayed with me. She looked out the windows with an expression of pure amazement at the facilities.

"It certainly is somethin, ain't it?" I told her. Snapping out of her gaze she looked at me and responded.

"Oh, certainly sir. You really used to work here?"

"That I did. Although this place looks a lot different from when I was here."

"Really?" she said in a curious tone.

"Yeah, a lot of those buildings out there were under construction around the time I left. Some weren’t even that far along; it has been awhile."

"Huh ok. So is this place pretty new?"

"I guess you could say that. We've used this area for awhile but what's inside changes."

"I guess I can get that. Do you mind if I look around for a bit?"

"Not at all, in fact, I encourage it. Just make sure to be back at the time Alice said. She might have something for you to do as well."

"Got it, sir, I guess I'll see you later."

"Make sure not to get lost. And don't go anywhere yer not supposed to." I said while raising my voice with each word to make sure she could hear me as she moved towards the exit.

"Goooot it," she yelled back as the doors closed behind her.

Settling back into the chair I noticed a number of people staring in my direction.

"Carry on, don't mind me." I told them all with a wave.

Sitting back and breathing a sigh I looked up at the ceiling that lay hundreds of feet from my gaze. The building had an interesting design to it. I guess this was what they called "modern architecture". It sure looked fancy. I guess the budget had gotten a bump in recent years. Feeling an urge I stood up and moved outside. Making my way out the door and to the side I leaned my back up against the building for support I reached into my pocket and pulled out a little box. Opening the box and pushing one of the little sticks out I grabbed the stick with my lips and pulled it out. Then grabbing the cold piece of metal in my pocket I opened it up and lit a tiny flame. Bringing the flame up to the end of the stick I lit it. Inhaling then exhaling a puff of gray smoke left my mouth. Gripping the middle of the cigarette with my two fingers I removed it from my mouth, slowly blowing another small cloud of smoke. Making my way through the cigarette I reached into my pocket to acquire another before a coughing fit interrupted me. As I pulled out the box for the second time, the voice of Alice appeared behind me.

"You know those are bad for your health." She said with the voice of a know-it-all.

"You know I don't care." I responded with an abrasive tone.

"You should." She said as though she almost cared

"You mean to tell me you guys can regenerate peoples limbs, but you still can't heal cancer?"

Alice simply looked at me with an expression of displeasure. Looking at my watch I noticed it had only been twenty minutes.

"I thought you said this would take an hour."

"It didn't. Is there a problem?"

"No. No problem. Just forget I said anything."

"Alright, I will. I've already called everyone back. They should be back soon, they can't have gotten too far."

"Did you also get Abby clearance to access the databases?"

"I'm a woman of my word. Here it is. Obviously, there are some restrictions, but she should get pretty far on this."

"Thank you."

"So what are your plans for that girl? Do you simply plan to educate her?"

"My plans on that end don't concern you."

"I happen to disagree. "

"You are free to do so."

Seeing Abby in the distance we put this conversation on hiatus.

"Well looks like we should have said see you sooner Mr. Blackwell. That didn't take too long. So, what have you got for me, Ms. Townsend."

"Per Benjamin's request I acquired this access card for you. It will allow you to use our libraries and databases while you are here. Bear in mind that since you are not officially part of our organization, there will still be some restricted sections."

"I understand thank you. Do you have anything, in particular, you want me to search for Mr. Blackwell."

"For now just get acquainted with the system. I'll give you some direction when I'm free again."

"Ok will do sir," she said to us as she made her way towards archives.

"So are the other guys heading here or..."

"They've been told to head towards the meeting room. We have some extra business to take care of. The board wants to see you."

"I don't want to see those schmucks."

"It doesn't matter. You have to. You've been gone for nine years. You said you needed info on Lucian. This is what you're gonna have to do to get it. Plus your going to have to justify giving Abby access to our database. I may have gotten her that card for now, but they can revoke it and get her out in ten minutes if they want to.”

"Alright fine. Lead the way. I'm not as familiar with this place as I used to be."

Alice led me as we were swallowed by a labyrinth of grey, steel hallways. On and on the maze went until we came upon a plain, unassuming elevator at the end of what at first seemed a dead end. Alice swiped a key card, opening a panel to lay bare a host of scanners and computers. First her eyes then her face, tongue, and hand were scanned. Lastly she pricked her finger and submitted a sample of blood. The computer indicated she was cleared but the doors still did not open as she turned around, hand indicating me to follow suit. Stepping forward I opened my eye wide as the scanner jolted to within an inch of my face and stopped. It took a few seconds for the light to cover the whole surface of my eyes but it finished without issue. Immediately a slightly larger scanner identified my face from a longer distance and I stuck out my tongue to finish with my head. The scanners retracted and a surface popped out from the panel with the shape of a hand. Placing my hand on top and stretching out my fingers to cover the surface, a green light indicated my approval by the machine. Finally another panel show itself. At the center was a hole slightly larger than my thumb with a several needles that pricked my finger and drew my blood, which of course was also approved. At that moment three separate reinforced doors opened allowing us to enter the elevator. Immediately upon our entrance the doors closed behind us and the elevator sped down.

“This is all just procedural crap I need to do, right? I’m not lookin to get blindsided.” I told Alice

“If there was anything to be concerned about I would have told you already. I already told you we need you for the fight to come. No one is going to hit you with any curveballs.”  

“Ok, good to know I’m appreciated!” I said with a semi sarcastic tone

“Just don’t let it get to your head. There are going to be limits to what they will tolerate. Just don’t say anything too extreme and we can get on with things” she shut down the conversation.

Coming to the end the elevator decelerated and opened, unveiling large room. There was an area at the center for personnel who were called down. Surrounding this place was a crescent shaped dais that stood a couple meters up from where Alice and I stood. Seated at the dais were two men. One, I recognized. An older man by the name of Michael Bryant. He had been on the upper echelon for over two decades. He was a straight shooter, short and to the point, my kinda guy. The other was a face I did not recognize. He was clearly younger. He appeared to be shorter in stature than Bryant. His light brown hair nearly touched his shoulders and not a lick of facial hair could be found. The three seats on the dais were empty but behind them were three large monitors, each with the silhouette of a person displayed on screen. Bryant began our meeting by acknowledging my return

“Benjamin Blackwell, it’s been too long. We thank you for returning to us. As I’m sure you have been briefed, the International Bureau for the Containment of Supernatural Being needs you now more than ever.” he said with an almost positive tone

“Thank you for your courtesy sir, I’m not so sure I deserve it though. This is happening because I failed. I promise you all I will finish the mission this time.” I told them with a contritious voice

“Well I certainly hope that you can prove up to the task Agent Blackwell. While I can see you are confident I must admit a degree of skepticism.” said the younger man in an accent that seemed Eastern European, though not one I could pin down.. Believing to know the direction he was steering the conversation I tried to confirm my suspicion.

“Might I ask what has you skeptical Mr…”

“Constantin, Edward Constantin. I was added to this dais just over a year ago. What has me skeptical, to be blunt, is whether you still possess the strength necessary to defeat Lucian. When you fought Lucian thirty years ago you were a young man in the prime of life. Now, not so much.” He stated boldly. Gritting my teeth in anger I attempted to respond calmly.

“Your worries aren’t unreasonable, but they are misplaced. I may not have been working with you, but I’ve kept up the good fight. This blade is still sharp.” I replied

“I suppose we will have to wait and see either way. However I should thank you for also bringing up your actions while in “retirement”. You are aware that engaging in this sort of vigilantism does have consequences.”

“Consequences we have decided to waive due to him agreeing to help us Mr. Constantin. While we appreciate your attention to detail, these circumstances are certainly extraordinary.” Bryant said, shutting Constantin down.

“Yes, of course, agreed” said the people on monitors in quick succession.

“It would seem I am the minority in the room. I will concede for now.” said Constantin

“Well, now that we have settled that we must get to the task we are assigning. Make sure we have made things official and on record. Agent Benjamin Blackwell we, the executive council of the International Bureau for the Containment of Supernatural Beings, charge you with the task of hunting down the target, Lucian Magus, and terminating him with extreme prejudice. You will carry out this mission in conjunction with agents: Sophia Richter, Yuichi Arima, and Malik Kateb. Alice Townsend will act as overseer for this mission. Do you accept this Mission Agent Blackwell.” Mr. Bryant told we in a solemn tone

“Yes Sir!”






© 2018 Patrick Masters



Author's Note

Patrick Masters
Sorry for the long hiatus. Decided to wait to finish this first part of the story before posting. Here's chapter 4. 5-8 will all be posted by Sunday.

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Added on November 1, 2017
Last Updated on January 19, 2018


Author

Patrick Masters
Patrick Masters

Cleveland, OH



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A Story by Patrick Masters