Gasp and scream!
14Please respect copyright.ＰＥＮＡＮＡceXTfNLrdA
Everest didn't seem to care less, and continued marching forth like he owned the place.
14Please respect copyright.ＰＥＮＡＮＡTBL14WHPx0
"Everest!" She exclaimed, a huge smile spreading across her face. She gazed behind him, and saw me. "Oh, Emerald!" She looked like a proud mother who just found out that her child got accepted into Cambridge.
14Please respect copyright.ＰＥＮＡＮＡ0yU8ySIV3d
What the hell?
14Please respect copyright.ＰＥＮＡＮＡ1fsZ9HNU80
Everest didn't stop until he got absolutely close to her, towering over her body like the Everest itself. "What are you doing here?" He demanded.
14Please respect copyright.ＰＥＮＡＮＡv1Bg3FdLuL
"I'm here for you two."
14Please respect copyright.ＰＥＮＡＮＡLvjGERzmNC
I couldn't exactly see Everest's face, but judging by the next expression Amanda wore, I could have imagined.
14Please respect copyright.ＰＥＮＡＮＡAPR3P1KCWT
"Oh, no, Everest. It's not what you think."
14Please respect copyright.ＰＥＮＡＮＡCrVeIYUVKo
I walked over to them, all interested.
14Please respect copyright.ＰＥＮＡＮＡGvUZcyRLVF
"It's not?" His stare pretty much penetrated through her soul.
14Please respect copyright.ＰＥＮＡＮＡnwufzjgkWc
"No, I'm the one who opened the door for you."
14Please respect copyright.ＰＥＮＡＮＡeyD9Nl8HhS
Her attention snapped to me. The smile returned to her face. "Emerald, you're okay."
14Please respect copyright.ＰＥＮＡＮＡ6Xn0XAzPlv
I had a wide variety of things I could have said to her. But, what the first thing that came out of my mouth was:
14Please respect copyright.ＰＥＮＡＮＡuJ2ZYBieWe
"You didn't open the door for me!"
14Please respect copyright.ＰＥＮＡＮＡraN5kArsiI
She blinked, looking taken aback by my random comment. "Oh, that! I'm sorry, I had to come down from the twenty-ninth floor to convince them to disable the system. Everest was at the door by then."
14Please respect copyright.ＰＥＮＡＮＡkoGIoEiYtD
"What were you doing on the twenty-ninth floor?" Everest inquired. Good question.
14Please respect copyright.ＰＥＮＡＮＡuYmwXl8gA4
"Um," she looked around. "How about we don't talk about this at the entrance? Here, come this way." She led us into a small room. The room was softly furnished with a pair of turquoise two seaters, and a silver, lonesome looking mini fridge positioned at a corner of the room. A blue orchard sat at the windowsill, watching the rain shower the city. Apart from that, everything else was white. From the walls to the small coffee table, in between the sofas.
14Please respect copyright.ＰＥＮＡＮＡv1fi6zTy2c
I took a seat on one of the sofas, shivering, as a result of my soaked clothes. Everest stayed standing, and waited for Amanda to begin speaking.
14Please respect copyright.ＰＥＮＡＮＡgmAX4ZBmX5
"Emerald, you're shivering!" She got up quickly. "I'll fetch you a towel and some new clothes."
14Please respect copyright.ＰＥＮＡＮＡ0s3nY0I6gi
"No!" I grabbed her wrist. "I'm fine. Explain. Why are you here?"
14Please respect copyright.ＰＥＮＡＮＡbMjq4q0YY2
"You're all wet, you'll catch a cold!"
14Please respect copyright.ＰＥＮＡＮＡafpLdtKOQI
"Amanda," it was Everest this time. "Start talking."
14Please respect copyright.ＰＥＮＡＮＡUQaXd8YVff
Understanding that the minute – or zero – patience he had was running thin, she spoke.
14Please respect copyright.ＰＥＮＡＮＡdq1xR6XS5W
"Okay, firstly, Emerald, I want you to know that I had no part in any of this."
14Please respect copyright.ＰＥＮＡＮＡUgck1pNLdD
"Bullshit," I accused.
14Please respect copyright.ＰＥＮＡＮＡt8uE5HM4D1
"Emerald!" Amanda was always had a zero tolerance when it came to the fine gesture of swearing. I couldn't even count as high as the amount of times she had rebuked me for my vivid choice of words.
14Please respect copyright.ＰＥＮＡＮＡjRslojrmbw
"You were his secretary for years, Amanda! You're the manager of the company, an now you're telling me that you had no part in this?"
14Please respect copyright.ＰＥＮＡＮＡj6NvqOUez8
"Director was a very secretive man, Emerald," she spoke gently, despite my outburst. That's Amanda for you. Always calm and collected. "I understand where you're coming from, but you have to believe me. I would never harm you. Did you even see me there in that termination unit?"
14Please respect copyright.ＰＥＮＡＮＡS3gmIm4uqH
She was right. I didn't see her there. I stared down relaxing a bit. "No," I glanced up at her. "Where were you?"
14Please respect copyright.ＰＥＮＡＮＡwJyZ4Xiwju
"I wasn't at the Front. Director told me to go home right after you left at the launch evening. I figured everyone was going home. But then I got a signal. Someone had breached into Director's office. The security cameras at the Front are connected to my home, as it is with Director's house, right? And I saw, well, all hell break lose at the Front.
14Please respect copyright.ＰＥＮＡＮＡ3CAQ81E2ge
"Emerald, they meant to kill you!" She looked as shocked as a child watching the death of Mufasa in Lion King.
14Please respect copyright.ＰＥＮＡＮＡa8irv0Nzvd
Wow, she really had no clue.
14Please respect copyright.ＰＥＮＡＮＡh2XQ12Njy7
She then gazed at Everest, with the same pride she wore when we came in. "But, you didn't kill her."
14Please respect copyright.ＰＥＮＡＮＡOCKosSq7VG
Yes, well done, Everest. Let's all give him a round of applause, folks.
14Please respect copyright.ＰＥＮＡＮＡm5PFwkGjUb
"Anyway, by the time I got back to the Front, you were gone. Director knew it got to a point where there was no turning back, so he told me. He told me everything. Of course, I already knew about Everest. I've been with him since he was a toddler."
14Please respect copyright.ＰＥＮＡＮＡxbdu2fwQz5
I raised an eyebrow. That was when it came back to me. The detail that it was Everest's mother who got caught up in the explosion, not mine.
14Please respect copyright.ＰＥＮＡＮＡXnHIMaAciv
Amanda continued. "So, discovering what they were about to do to you and the reality behind 202, was just as shocking for me as it was for you."
14Please respect copyright.ＰＥＮＡＮＡTEBIk820sX
"Amanda?" I dared to ask even though he was in the room. "Who is Everest's mother?"
14Please respect copyright.ＰＥＮＡＮＡbZ8ptbF01e
She opened her mouth.
14Please respect copyright.ＰＥＮＡＮＡ5YBMGnWhAe
"Amanda." The warning growl that erupted from Everest, froze her in place.
14Please respect copyright.ＰＥＮＡＮＡNtTobdwedZ
"What?" I inquired.
14Please respect copyright.ＰＥＮＡＮＡbpYkPsvusw
"Nothing. It's not, um–" Amanda cleared her throat. "It's not important."
14Please respect copyright.ＰＥＮＡＮＡIxvkkcHgti
Yes it was.
14Please respect copyright.ＰＥＮＡＮＡvgLpFXCccQ
I was about to prompt her to answer when Everest spoke, and I warily dropped the topic.
14Please respect copyright.ＰＥＮＡＮＡbng9H5CdA4
"In the future, Amanda," he said in a frostbitten voice. "Don't make a habit of answering questions that don't concern you."
14Please respect copyright.ＰＥＮＡＮＡKiCfCWrkdV
I stared at him bewildered, but he kept his artic eyes trained on Amanda, completely ignoring my existence.
14Please respect copyright.ＰＥＮＡＮＡDJco8RmK3y
Amanda nodded. She bloody nodded! She didn't tell him off for using that tone with her! She nodded! She practically was practically saying 'yes sir'!
14Please respect copyright.ＰＥＮＡＮＡBfWRpEW1Rx
Now I really want to know.
14Please respect copyright.ＰＥＮＡＮＡ5BPIQsEiNS
She cleared her throat once again, acting like nothing happened. "So as I was saying, after spilling his malicious intensions and following your escape, Director spoke of the danger you are had supposedly landed yourselves in, in the hands of Reynolds and Co. But I knew he was full of it. One good thing that did come out, however, was the information that Gemma Reynolds has the cure for 202, and that's why I came here. Because I figured if you'd go anywhere it would be here."
14Please respect copyright.ＰＥＮＡＮＡdqBpPJhcul
"That means the Director must have figured we'd come here too." Everest replied. "So who are you here for, Amanda? Him or us?"
14Please respect copyright.ＰＥＮＡＮＡL5AHWZlT0c
He put into words, the same doubts that circulated around my own head. Was Amanda playing a double game? Or was she really just here for our sake like she claimed she was?
14Please respect copyright.ＰＥＮＡＮＡq6OgOFJtXw
"Heavens, no! I lost all respect from that man, the moment he told me when really wanted to do to you, Emerald."
14Please respect copyright.ＰＥＮＡＮＡlbXWBNGT0a
Had it been anyone else who said that, I wouldn't have believed a syllable of it. But Amanda raised me, which was the only reason why I let her continue.
14Please respect copyright.ＰＥＮＡＮＡeLfPscON5P
"The Front is in shambles. Director thinks I'm here to bring you back once you get here. He expects me to give him the signal to bring in the Front's men. But I won't; the only reason I came here was to get you both inside, because as you saw, letting you guys in would have been the last thing these people were willing to do."
14Please respect copyright.ＰＥＮＡＮＡ0wVOMKuvds
"How did you get in?" I asked. This should be good.
14Please respect copyright.ＰＥＮＡＮＡ2zE0wfOc9O
"Money can buy a lot."
14Please respect copyright.ＰＥＮＡＮＡnozCd2P1PU
I frowned. She was missing a part out. "How much?" I quizzed.
14Please respect copyright.ＰＥＮＡＮＡQQrMFex9KK
Her mouth formed a nervous smile. "Does it matter?"
14Please respect copyright.ＰＥＮＡＮＡBNkfNQvC3F
"Depends." I shrugged. "How much?"
14Please respect copyright.ＰＥＮＡＮＡqq303g2ShS
"Fine. Twenty grand. Is that enough detail for you?"
14Please respect copyright.ＰＥＮＡＮＡN8IfVntsxd
"No." I replied. "Why would a multi-billionaire company risk allowing an enemy in, for money that could have been made back in a matter of minutes?" I narrowed my eyes. "You're not telling us everything."
14Please respect copyright.ＰＥＮＡＮＡd80xoOoUqs
"Alright! I had to tell them what happened at the Front. I had to tell them the truth about 202. I mean they already, knew, but I had to confirm it. It was the only thing that I could have done for them to let me in."
14Please respect copyright.ＰＥＮＡＮＡzRSCRWSTPa
"Amanda!" I exclaimed.
14Please respect copyright.ＰＥＮＡＮＡMDjuSeSlGp
"I had to! You wouldn't be in this building now if I didn't! The cure would have been as far from your reach as the nearest star is to our solar system!"
14Please respect copyright.ＰＥＮＡＮＡzTyzrWoQQO
"You need to work on your similes." I remarked.
14Please respect copyright.ＰＥＮＡＮＡipFb2x7UrX
"So where is the cure?" Everest asked, getting right down to business.
14Please respect copyright.ＰＥＮＡＮＡ5dAoIsCAOj
On point. I like that.
14Please respect copyright.ＰＥＮＡＮＡZndxXEuluk
"See, that's the thing," Amanda said. "Only Gemma knows."
14Please respect copyright.ＰＥＮＡＮＡaMKQYMn5HP
"Okay, so let's march into the brat's office and demand the cure from her," I recommended.
14Please respect copyright.ＰＥＮＡＮＡ3M2DaK6NkV
Amanda intertwined her fingers together. "It's— uh, not as easy that."
14Please respect copyright.ＰＥＮＡＮＡ6kjkShYmDt
"Fine, we'll torture the cure out of her,"
14Please respect copyright.ＰＥＮＡＮＡGNgrEee1kV
"What? No!" She paused. "You can't get the cure, right now, because... she's not here."
14Please respect copyright.ＰＥＮＡＮＡQnIT1TD8HY
"Not here?" I asked, finding it difficult to conceal my rage.
14Please respect copyright.ＰＥＮＡＮＡ3Njn7bE6xh
"Then where is she?" Everest demanded.
14Please respect copyright.ＰＥＮＡＮＡAe4QGI4UKp
"She's in... Los Angeles."
14Please respect copyright.ＰＥＮＡＮＡQBMyuNs8W9
My mouth dropped open.
14Please respect copyright.ＰＥＮＡＮＡ6ZXpm5A0c8
Amanda kept her eyes trained on her intertwined fingers. "She flew back, after the launch evening."
14Please respect copyright.ＰＥＮＡＮＡiMmmC25HXQ
"Th-w—" I stuttered, speaking in barely audible human, let alone english, itself.
14Please respect copyright.ＰＥＮＡＮＡ6NrSmWGO4C
"Then," Everest spoke, with his signature frostiness. "Why did you bother coming here?"
14Please respect copyright.ＰＥＮＡＮＡYbCWBZ1cZd
"I told you. For you guys."
14Please respect copyright.ＰＥＮＡＮＡkhZHECKKjH
I loudly slumped into the sofa. "You know what, Amanda, I'm getting tired of your half-half sentences. Do I look like a detective? Huh? Is that what I look like? No, I'm a girl who's about to die because your boss made me into a fake cure that is about to become the reason for my death. Oh, and if that's not enough, the so called cure that's about to launch the world into a dark abyss of chaos. So the least you can do, is say what needs to be said, without one of us having to ask a question in between every three words that you speak, for the basic luxury of clarification!"
14Please respect copyright.ＰＥＮＡＮＡBpu2iRZYG3
"Uh..." she looked stunned for a moment. "Okay, you're right, I guess," she said, straight the creaseless fabric of her shirt. "I knew you guys would come here, looking for Gemma, but the only way you would have gotten into this building was if there was someone already in the building who wanted you here. But..."
14Please respect copyright.ＰＥＮＡＮＡBEfdAQcC2c
"But she's in America," Everest finished.
14Please respect copyright.ＰＥＮＡＮＡPmuP39rOUK
14Please respect copyright.ＰＥＮＡＮＡvva0ysRxqx
"So, the cure is in fact as from us as the nearest star outside our solar system?" I asked.
14Please respect copyright.ＰＥＮＡＮＡB2bQfMGsoI
"Unfortunately," she replied.
14Please respect copyright.ＰＥＮＡＮＡFe5939jvXd
Everest and I glanced at each other.
14Please respect copyright.ＰＥＮＡＮＡgsIqthSkOj
"Uh-uh, put those looks away," Amanda interrupted. "You two are not going into the States! That is the first place Director is sure to look, so that is the last place you will set foot in."
14Please respect copyright.ＰＥＮＡＮＡRpl3gBQW4e
"So, what? You just expect us to sit here, and wait for the cure to fall onto our laps?"
14Please respect copyright.ＰＥＮＡＮＡFJsKTwUc2S
"No. We'll find another way."
14Please respect copyright.ＰＥＮＡＮＡqil9IOqB8f
"Another way," I scoffed. "You know they're releasing 202 in a matter of weeks, right?"
14Please respect copyright.ＰＥＮＡＮＡUZFg3VRTRW
"Yes, but you'll be throwing yourself in danger, going there."
14Please respect copyright.ＰＥＮＡＮＡ8xFBhz7cM9
"What do you want us to do here then?" I exclaimed.
14Please respect copyright.ＰＥＮＡＮＡ4dspmadNMm
"You are going to wait. You are going to wait until we come up with a different plan to get you that cure."
14Please respect copyright.ＰＥＮＡＮＡ2GmHXpCPju
"Who's we?" Everest questioned.
14Please respect copyright.ＰＥＮＡＮＡLr1r2j0avN
"That's a little harder to explain."
14Please respect copyright.ＰＥＮＡＮＡkA0MZnXdaJ
Everest crossed his arms, all business like, and I mirrored.
14Please respect copyright.ＰＥＮＡＮＡzcqWUnlxcF
"At Reynolds corporation in the US, I know a few individuals who previously worked for the Front, you know before the Reynolds' attack."
14Please respect copyright.ＰＥＮＡＮＡ1X62o9lpjR
"Yeah," I picked my nails. "Nothing screams loyalty like a bunch of people who turned to the rival company that wiped out their own."
14Please respect copyright.ＰＥＮＡＮＡdErdqrAoFL
"Don't look at it like that, Emerald. They really had no choice with their former workplace blown to pieces. When you've got mouths to feed, and someone as high up at Robert Reynolds offers you to work for them, what could you expect them to do?
14Please respect copyright.ＰＥＮＡＮＡ7fXxbSVxp7
14Please respect copyright.ＰＥＮＡＮＡcq4ittsOTL
"And these people will be useful to us, how?"
14Please respect copyright.ＰＥＮＡＮＡG6q7jQzUfe
"They will help us get the cure, in a way that doesn't involve the pair of you traveling to the US in order to confront Gemma."
14Please respect copyright.ＰＥＮＡＮＡFmuDUFvPcV
"We're not kids! We'll be safe!" I rebutted.
14Please respect copyright.ＰＥＮＡＮＡXpm1IPvaEo
"I wasn't talking about you. I was talking about Gemma's safety. The way you address her, Em, it's a little scary."
14Please respect copyright.ＰＥＮＡＮＡWkvmsOd1Js
I smirked, and she smiled back. Her words were accurate there, though. There had been countless instances when Amanda had told me off for referring to Gemma in a very non-classy way, or for making very sociopathic plans about what I had in store for her, had I ever come face to face with the little imbecile.
14Please respect copyright.ＰＥＮＡＮＡgoPK2KqyAD
"As for now, I think it would be best for you to meet the manager of this building, and his team, who are probably analysing your every muscle coordination through CCTV," she said, glancing to look at the small black camera which was staring back at us from above.
14Please respect copyright.ＰＥＮＡＮＡtx2PzKE4Vi
She got up. "This way— oh for goodness sake! You're still shivering!" She went through the door in the corner, which turned out to be a bathroom, returning with a pearl white towel, and wrapped it around me. "I don't get it, Everest seems to be fine," she muttered.
14Please respect copyright.ＰＥＮＡＮＡtRCYd4Nq6w
"That's because he's all of Antarctica condensed into a lone body," I replied, drying my hair.
14Please respect copyright.ＰＥＮＡＮＡTmVI7Xsxw2
"I have missed you."
Authors Note:copyright protection10ＰＥＮＡＮＡJRH0PRcpPr
Hurray! I discovered how to bold and underline my fonts. If you're still reading, please, please leave a feedback, it doesn't have to be long. It takes me very long to create these chapters (about a week), so I really appreciate it if you could leave a comment :)copyright protection10ＰＥＮＡＮＡoa8sbGKBib
-Ruth copyright protection10ＰＥＮＡＮＡ0U70Xznav6ns126.96.36.199da2