True Deception, Chapter 25

“What do we do?” Violet urgently asked me. We watched a man dressed in dark colors try to pry open one of the windows of the school. Abandoning the ruse of speaking like the adversaries we disguised ourselves as in case of a hot mic, Violet went on, “We don’t have any weapons, and my powers are almost completely drained, so how can we stop him?”

            “Maybe we don’t,” I answered her. “I mean, we could ‘accidentally’ turn off his camera and say we didn’t see him… Oh, but then Nathair will kick us out of this post and we won’t get a chance to look for the Arch Deity among the teachers on Monday!”

            Violet suggested, “We could call for back up. That’s what Sam and Amy would probably do if they were here in case the ‘dissidents’ showed up while they were dealing with this intruder.”

            I felt reluctant to go down that route. “Yeah, but it’s not like they would call the police and go complete the rest of their shift! If they don’t wanna deal with cops, then how would they handle thieves?” On some level, I think we both knew that Birsha’s Army wasn’t likely to go lightly on anyone that they might take prisoner, but neither of wanted to know any specifics on what happens during these apprehensions! I doubted any of the possibilities would have been pleasant to hear!

            “Well… We can scare him enough to make him leave on his own,” Violet proposed.

            “Worth a shot! Let’s go!” I exclaimed as the trespasser started to gain traction with his intentions. We bolted out of our seats and ran outside.

            As soon as we got close to his break-in spot, we held our palms out towards him, and I shouted, “Stop right there!”

            The man, who already had a leg on the sill, reluctantly slipped out and put his hands up in the air. “I’m cooperating! Don’t hurt me!”

            “Now what?” I whispered to Violet. I was counting on the culprit running off as soon as he heard Violet and me! I didn’t know what to do with someone who surrendered to us! Violet obviously didn’t have a clue either, and the man began to grow confused by our hesitation. Before we could speculate on a solution to this conundrum, the watch I had on indicated that a call was coming in! I glanced at its face and inwardly groaned when I saw that it was Nathair! I told Violet, “Let’s just ignore him ‘til we figure this out!”

            “If we don’t talk to him, he’ll think that something is wrong and send some Fallens this way! I’m sure if tell him that we got the situation handled, he’ll leave us alone after that.”

            I was skeptical of her theory coming to pass, but I heeded her word anyhow. Nathair’s image floated above us, and I made my voice hoarse again as I graciously greeted him, “How can we help you, sir?”

            Nathair brusquely responded, “I got notified that somebody opened a window at that school! Was it the dissidents? Did you get them?”

            “No, it was someone else…” I reluctantly turned the watch so that he could face the intruder. I wished that I could have lied and said everything was fine on our end, but I didn’t know how else we would explain the window opening like that. All I could do at this point was hope that he would trust us to handle the problem ourselves! “Amy and I were about to take care of this.”

            “Sam, is this your first day?” Nathair addressed me, and I tried not to smile at this allusion to the story we gave the janitor earlier! He wouldn’t have understood why I was grinning, and I’m not sure how I would have explained it to him, especially since it sounded like “Sam” was about to get lectured on his performance! “You can’t take him to the Punishment Site with those dissidents still on the loose! Keep him there for now, and I’ll send for back-up.”

            Praying that I still conveyed calm, I agreed to that order, “Yes, sir!” Privately, I was panicking! If we had to interact with other Fallens, then they would see that we weren’t Sam and Amy right away! And then we would join this intruder at this Punishment Site! I had no idea what that would have entailed, but clearly, they wouldn’t have put us through anything helpful or pleasant there!

            When Nathair hung up, Violet reassured me, “This won’t be so bad! All we gotta do is hand him off to whoever gets here, and then we can go back into the camera room! We may even be able to duck inside as soon as they arrive so we don’t gotta talk to anyone!”

            That thought hadn’t occurred to me until she mentioned it, and now that she had, I felt like I could take a deep breath and relax a little. I didn’t get the opportunity to do that for long though because the man who tried to break in gazed at us in confusion and probed, “What’s going on? Why did you talk differently with him? How come you seem so uneager to punish me?”

            Neither of us knew how to reply to that! Had this guy had run-ins with Birsha’s Army prior to today? I frowned as I wondered if he would say something to the Fallens who were set to join us here and blow our cover? Unfortunately, we didn’t have time to figure it out- a vehicle with a security logo parked in front of the school! Violet tried to dart back inside of the building, but she couldn’t reopen the door! “We never got the keys to this place!”

            I cringed at the prospect of having to deal with the four unfriendly-looking individuals who exited the vehicle, and I crossed my fingers that we wouldn’t have to fight them for our freedom and risk losing this possibility to unearth the person who had the power to save the world! I did my utmost to portray a convincing amount of poise and control as they approached us, and although I knocked on wood for the best, I feared the worst…

            It was hard to read their mood since their eyes were covered, but their lips formed fairly deep frowns, so I didn’t foresee anything positive coming from this encounter! The one at the head of the pack gruffly inquired, “What happened?”

            A wave of alleviation washed over me! If they didn’t have any details other than a location, then we were unlikely to get identified as imposters! Violet honestly reported to them, “We’re not really sure what to do right now!”

            “Sullivan was lying, Nathair didn’t give the new recruits any training!” One of the other Fallens shook his head. In my mind, I pondered whether or not that custodian’s name was Sullivan or if Nathair had been lackadaisical enough about his hiring practices that everyone started to take notice…

            “We have a special spot we take troublemakers,” another one of the Fallens informed us. I expected them to give a simple explanation on this subject and then take the trespasser away, and I already started planning out the details of the rest of our evening, but then that Fallen went on, “Memorize the route so you won’t need help next time! Come on, bring him to the-.”

            I interrupted him, “Wait!” I uttered that a little too hastily, and they gave me a peculiar look for doing that. I attempted to smooth things over by disclosing, “We’re expecting some really dangerous dissidents to break into the school. We can’t leave it vacant!”

            The smallest out that bunch volunteered, “I can watch over the school while you guys are out.”

            “Oh, well, I was thinking we could stay here since we were already…” It really disappointed me that we weren’t given permission to remain at this station, and while it sounded as though we would have been able to return, somehow I pictured it as not being so easy for us to come back once we went away!

            “Aw, I know you wanna be the ones to catch some high-level offenders, but if you don’t know how to punish dissidents properly, what are you gonna do if you do catch them?” the head of the pack sympathized with me, and I pretended to get comforted by this gesture, but in reality, I didn’t believe anything good would come of us leaving a scene that might have ties to the Arch Deity! The head of the pack continued, “Plus, if you truly want those dissidents caught, it’s better if you have a more seasoned soldier on the job! Some of these traitors can be really slick, so it takes some sharp ears and a keen eyesight to outsmart these bastards!”

            Violet carried an air of seriousness when she spoke, but I sensed an aura of amusement as she remarked, “Nothing gets past you all, huh?”

            The head of the pack proudly reacted to her statement, “Are you kidding? We’re masters at our craft! We could sniff out a dissident in a second if they dared to go near us!” It took all of my willpower to not bust out laughing at the irony of his claim! I could tell that Violet had to resist snickering too, but luckily, we were able to hold it in since the head of the pack decided to introduce everyone in this moment, “I’m Leonard, and this is Kora, Alastor, and Jinn. Welcome to the team!”

            “I’m Sa…” I nearly gave him Sam and Amy’s monikers, but they seemed more discerning than Nathair, so that would have been a disaster! I had to wrack my brain to come up with something else immediately! “… I mean, she’s Sabrina! I’m Harvey!” I tittered to convey the level of edginess that someone who was on their first day might possess, but I actually hoped that none of them would get the reference to the television show from the nineteen-nineties I used! My mother used to watch that series when she was younger, so Sabrina was the first “sa” that came to me! I crossed my fingers this information didn’t come across as too contrived!

            “Nice to meet you!” Leonard chimed. “Okay, go have a seat in the car! Alastor and Jinn will load the intruder in for you two.”

            I meant to relay some gratitude to Leonard, but as we headed to his vehicle, a lump rose up in my throat! I still had a strong aversion to abandoning this locale, but because we had begun to step away, it occurred to me that, in order to maintain this façade, we would have to participate in some of the incredibly dark activities that Birsha’s Army engaged in! It was not something I wanted to learn about these adversaries, and now I had no choice but to do that! The premise sickened me completely, but there was nothing we could do to back out at this stage of the operation! I resented this notion so much that I couldn’t even enjoy squeezing next to Violet! It took all of my strength not to vomit as we soared towards our destination!

            We spent enough time driving that my anxiety sort of got tabled and replaced with impatience! I did not look forward to performing any kind of misdeed with these Fallens, but after such an expansive stretch, I just wanted to get it done and over with! If we could have gotten it out of the way quickly, Violet and I would have gone back to doing more practical things already and we would have had this burden off of our shoulder sooner, but the persistence of this apprehension was agonizing! If I had any inkling that we were embarking on a faraway journey, I probably would have tried harder to stay at Monico Elementary! After staying silent for close to half an hour, I finally had the audacity to pose to them, “Where are we going?”

            “I might you’d never ask!” Leonard chuckled. “We’re heading to a secluded beach near New Avernus Bay.”

            “Pay attention! We’re getting near our exit, and once we get off of the freeway, you need to see what streets we take,” Jinn directed us. Violet’s focus seemed wrapt on the roads we took, and I didn’t totally understand why at first, but as we slowed our speed, it felt tempting to hop out and make our way back towards Anwynston. That’s when it hit me- we had to concentrate in case we had to find our own way back to town!

            We travelled down a few dirt pathways and at last, we parked under some leafy trees near the water! The cool moisture that the ocean emitted felt amazingly refreshing, and the moonlit sea glistened like a jewel in front of us! This resembled a vacation resort more than a Punishment Site to me, and it perplexed me as to why the Fallens took us here until we ventured further onto the sand… Violet and I tried not to appear appalled as we stared at it, which felt strange to me! To anyone other than these demented creeps, seeing a shallow grave was a terrifying spectacle! I couldn’t decipher how many of them were there due to the natural darkness that the nighttime brought, but it revolted me to know that multiple people got buried in these quarters!

            Alastor and Jinn set the woozy intruder onto the ground, and Alastor offered to Violet and me, “Would you guys like to do the honors?”

            “What honors?” I was pretty sure I knew what he meant, but my thoughts didn’t want to process what he intended for us to do!

            “We’re not taking any more chances with dissidents who cross our lines,” Jinn enlightened us. “He has to go!”

            Violet protested, “This is a pretty drastic measure to take for someone who committed such a low-level offense! He tried to break into the school, and now he’s gotta die for it?”

            Alastor coldly asserted, “He may have been entering for reasons detrimental to the cause! We can’t risk anymore dissidents leaking our secrets! He has to go! If you’re too scared to do it, then stay out of our way!”

            They raised their arms in order to strike him with a spell, and I simply couldn’t allow them to do this! Whatever motive this man had to sneak into Monico Elementary, he didn’t deserve this fate! Before they could execute their deadly jinxes, I stepped forward and…

2 thoughts on “True Deception, Chapter 25

  1. Jackjones says:

    Loving your blog posts, your amazingly talented writer

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