Accession: CATU Book 5 Ch. 09byJoeBarnosky©
Julie bursts into the bedroom startling Spencer awake. "It's me," she says when he brings a pistol out from beneath the pillow and into her face. "We need to go now," she says before he has a chance to begin asking questions.
Spencer throws the covers off and quickly slips into his pants. Julie already has her gun belt strapped to her waist and is sliding Kogarasu Maru into a duffle bag.
"What's going on?" Spencer finally asks once he is fully dressed. He checks the pistol and pulls back the slide already sensing the danger of the situation.
"MI6 is here in the building, coming for us," she answers calmly.
"What do they want?"
"How the hell should I know?" she asks looking at Spencer like he is crazy for thinking she has all the answers.
"Hey, I was just asking," he says waving his hands defensively in the air. "How long do we have?"
"Not long," she says peering out the door into the main room.
Spencer looks past her and doesn't see the laptop or any other evidence of their being here or proof of the place being a safe house.
"Alright," he says with a shrug. "What's the plan?"
Julie turns around and smiles. "We go through them and out the back."
Spencer is displeased and his face shows it. If Julie caught his displeasure she shows no sign of it other than to keep smiling. "If we keep racking up bodies, especially allies, it's going to come back on us."
"If you want you can use the window," she says sarcastically then continues. "Besides we only need to worry about that if we're caught and if we're caught we're dead."
Spencer opens his mouth to speak and is cut off when the door to the apartment blows inward. Smoke follows the shards of wood into the main room. Spencer can't see through the thick of the smoke, neither can Julie. It becomes quickly apparent to Spencer that Julie doesn't need to see. She knows where the door is and that is where she opens up fire at.
Shouts of the men entering the room are halted suddenly as Julie's bullets hit their mark. With Julie covering the front, Spencer has ample time to deal with the intruders as two swing in through the bedroom's windows. Their boots smash through sending shards of glass throughout the room.
Spencer has to bring his arm up over his face to avoid being cut. A few pieces of glass do cut his arm and elbow, but he simply ignores the pain. Right as both the MI6 soldier's feet touch the ground they have a bullet strike their heads. Their heads fly back as blood and brain matter spray out the backs of their heads and onto the curtains and floor.
"Come on!" Julie urges.
Spencer looks back to the two men and pushes away the guilt that flows into him. He doesn't care to kill the good guys, but from now until who knew when it was him or them. He turns and runs after Julie.
The two agents fight their way down the staircase while the MI6 agents are attempting a pincher move, closing in from beneath and above.
"Any other brilliant plans?" Spencer yells when he begins to see the hopelessness of their current situation.
"A few!" Julie returns the shout, matching his same angry tone.
They are pinned down between the first and second floor. Their only cover comes from the concrete of the stairs above them and the uncertainty from the MI6 agents of being shot. The more immediate problem remains with Spencer and Julie as the concrete is slowly being eaten away by the suppression fire of the MI6 agents.
"Then how about we try one of those plans of yours?"
Julie throws her head back so suddenly Spencer thinks for a brief second she has been shot. It isn't until the eruption of laughter does he know otherwise. "I took you for someone that enjoyed danger," she says through her laughter.
"I don't mind the danger," Spencer says. His face is screwed up, not really certain where she is going with it. "I dislike dying in a stairway full of people that seem to want to kill us."
Julie turns away from him and digs into the duffle bag she carried from the room and produces what looks like a glob of putty to Spencer. She splits the putty-like substance in half and then rolls both halves into little balls. When she is done she shows them to Spencer and says, "You may want to cover your ears."
Spencer does as suggests and she throws the first ball into the far wall. It splatters almost flat like paint. He has no idea what the stuff is made of, but he can't wait to see it in action. Julie waits a few seconds then throws the other. As soon as the ball leaves her hand, she covers both her ears.
It splatters just like the first and barely a second goes by before the chemicals mix and blows a human sized portion of the wall outward. The sound is deafening and even though Spencer has his ears covered it does little to shelter his ears from the sound blast.
With his ears ringing he tries to stand as a hand reaches out to steady him. He looks over to see Julie keeping him balanced and she otherwise unhindered by the blast. It takes only a few moments before the ringing begins to fade. Julie waits patiently while he recovers.
"Quite a blast," she says excitedly. All Spencer can do is nod.
"What the hell is that shit made of?"
"Something new we have created. Hurts the ears but you get used to it," she explains.
"You didn't seem to be too much affected by it," he remarks.
"I have tested it out more than once," she answers nonchalantly then says, "Now come one before our attackers have time to recover."
Spencer follows Julie out the hole. The drop to the ground isn't as bad as Spencer had anticipated it would be. Julie seems to either have good luck or knows where the carport would be from the inside.
It was about a ten foot drop and both agents landed with a roll doing no harm. Julie scoops up the duffle bag and leaps off the side of the carport onto the roof a car below. A yell follows by the owner of the car with Julie responding with a Go fuck yourself.
Spencer follows the same route only he lands on the hood, his weight throwing a dent into it. The man inside yells even more obscenities and threats. Spencer ignores the man and keeps running trying to catch up with Julie.
It doesn't take long for the MI6 agents to figure out what happened to their quarry and the now irate man's yelling spurs them in the right direction.
Spencer and Julie get maybe two blocks before the MI6 agents come into view behind them. Police sirens begin echoing through the streets just moments after. Spencer has the notion that they need to get off the street or it won't be long before some form of law enforcement grabs them. Julie has the same thought as she slides to a stop by a black BMW. "Throw some suppression fire their way," she says looking in the MI6 agent's direction.
"What are you planning to do?" Spencer asks stupidly, already knowing the answer.
"We're stealing this car unless you have a better idea."
He pulls out his pistol wishing he'd had remembered to grab his M4 Carbine. As soon as he lets loose a few rounds the MI6 agents quickly takes cover behind cars and whatever else is nearby to provide cover.
Meanwhile, Julie has already busted out the driver side window and is currently under the dash pulling wires out. Within seconds the car begins to attempt to turn over and after a few tries it does successfully.
"Let's go!" Julie shouts throwing the door open for Spencer.
When the MI6 agents realize their quarry is about to escape, they open fire up at them. The bullets miss harmlessly as Julie hits the accelerator and speeds away from the scene.
Julie takes shortcuts and paths through streets and alleyways that Spencer is certain not even the majority of the people that live there know of. Eventually all those turns and shortcuts lose their pursuers.
"We need to ditch this and probably go the rest of the way on foot," Julie says after awhile.
Neither of them has spoken since getting into the car. Spencer let Julie concentrate on driving while Julie concentrated of driving. Spencer agrees with the assessment and they pull over between two cars on a heavily parked street.
They exit with Julie coming around to Spencer's side carrying the duffel bag. She replaces her guns and holster back into the bag as she reaches Spencer. "The True Energy's offices are only two blocks from here," she says. Then looking at her watch she continues. "It looks like we'll make it just in time."
She slips her arm into Spencer's and begins to walk. They walk at a brisk, moderate pace as to not draw excessive attention to themselves. Within a matter of minutes they have reached their destination.
The True Energy building is an impressive sight. It stands several stories tall and covered with glass. As with all True Group's buildings, vehicles and other equipment, it is all run by some form of renewable energy.
Spencer guesses the glass is not only to let in natural sunlight but also to collect solar energy where it is then converted to power all the building's needs.
The entire plaza is packed with people ranging from the ordinary citizen to reporters to protestors. The place is organized chaos and the perfect place for two people not wanting to be found to blend in.
Julie pulls his arm drawing him closer to the podium, but because of the amount of people here it makes it hard to get real close. It doesn't really matter how close they get, just as long as they can trail Lucius Magnus once the speech is over. What they do after that they would do as the time came.
The podium is empty when they begin traversing through the crowd and then lost from sight. Halfway through, half the crowd begins to cheer while the other half protests even louder. By the time they get back within view of the podium they are about twenty feet away and Lucius Magnus is standing before the crowd.
The demon in the form of a man is large and imposing. He carries an air of overconfidence and a group of bodyguards. The bodyguards themselves look like ordinary assistants but any one in an agency of law enforcement could pick out the little details that say differently.
Magnus raises a hand and as if commanding the crowd a hush comes over it. He lowers his hand to the podium and scans the crowd. His eyes shift around before finally settling ahead. "Good morning ladies and gentlemen," he says with a crisp tone. "As a chairman of True Group I thought it important to call together this meeting in the interest of recent events. We have fallen under attack by those not believing in our cause to save the planet. As far as the mysterious lights surrounding our facilities, it is something to still yet be determined. At this moment we do not know what they are about but are assuming it has something to do with the destruction of the solar plant in Siberia. The Russian government is working with us to investigate matters there which we hope will shed some light on recent events."
He pauses and the reporters start shouting questions trying to fight over the sudden roar of the crowd and protestors. He holds up his hand once again in an attempt to steady the crowd and announces he is not going to take any questions. The crowd doesn't care to listen and the noise level just rises.
Eventually, Magnus starts to shift away from the podium along with his guards. Julie brushes Spencer's arm. "Let's get ready to follow."
As soon as Spencer takes a step an explosion rips through the center of the crowd near the podium. The concussion of the blast tears through the crowd and slams into both Spencer and Julie and sends them backward with the rest of the crowd.
Spencer pushes himself up onto an elbow. For the second time today his ears are ringing. Immediately around him is fragments and rubble. He gets to his feet and a wave of dizziness threatens to take him over. He fights it back, steadying himself then looks around.
The place is in total chaos. There are a few people milling around disoriented. Many more are on the ground probably dead. Rubble and blood litter the ground. His ringing quickly fades and his immediate concern turns to the injured. As he starts toward the first person he sees, someone grabs him.
He spins around to look straight into Julie's eyes. It takes a brief moment for him to register who he is staring at. "Spencer it's me," she says. "We need to hurry and get out of here." Her words come through like passing through a fog. It takes an extra minute to realize what she is saying. Then he hears the sirens; police cars, ambulances, fire trucks and probably even MI6.
"What the fuck is going on?" he asks as he tries to shift through the fog in his mind.
"An explosion, but I don't know from whom," Julie answers.
Julie tugs his arm and he follows. The two agents run to the side of the True Energy building and into smoke billowing through the street. Julie intends to disappear in it in case someone spots them leaving the scene. Spencer follows Julie a couple of blocks past the building and down an alley.
"Whoa, whoa," he says stopping abruptly. "Wait just a damn minute."
"Spencer we don't have time to stop," Julie pleads.
"Magnus is back there," he nearly yells as he throws his hand back in the direction they had just come from.
"He went this way," Julie explains. "His entourage went the opposite way."
Spencer gives her a disbelieving look and she clarifies. "The only explanation is because he orchestrated the attack."
The explanation doesn't seem sound to Spencer's ears. He feels something amiss and that Julie is leaving something out. He is about to voice his thoughts when a bottle clatters at the mouth the alley. Both agents spin to look, drawing their guns. There isn't anyone or anything there, just passing cars. Then a shadow plays across the way before fleeting away.
They look questioning at each other for just a moment then Julie says, "You go after whoever that is, I'll trail Magnus."
"You sure you can handle it?" Spencer asks.
"I'm not going to attack him alone if that's what you mean."
Spencer gives her a smirk. She smiles in return and hands him a piece of paper then turns her back and runs down the alley. Without another word Spencer goes the opposite way.
Spencer reaches the end of the alley and looks around for someone trying to get lost in the crowd. With the attack of Magnus everyone's attention would be focused in that direction except for one.
He spots her head bobbing in and out of the crowd of people walking toward the True Group building. Besides being the only person heading in the opposite direction, she is the only one to look directly at Spencer. He doesn't take it as a sign of coincidence especially since he doesn't believe in them.
No. She means for him to follow her. But to what end? he thinks. And there is something familiar about the woman. With the distance between them he can't be sure, but he has the feeling he has seen her before.
Without taking his eyes off her he begins to cross the street.
Julie has no trouble in keeping up with her quarry. There isn't a need to rush or fear of losing sight because there isn't anyone to give chase to. She has a meeting to attend and is thankful she was able to get Spencer away without having to work at it.
The attack on Magnus was unexpected and she truly didn't know if the demon survived or not, but the entire situation must have provoked a meeting with her. It was odd to receive a text message right after the explosion happened.
Things were beginning to spin in different directions than they were supposed to and Julie is beginning to not like it. She has her reasons to sign up and play her part but she likes control.
Julie is so wrapped up in her own thoughts that she nearly passes the telephone booth she is supposed to stop at. She stops abruptly then looks around cautiously to ensure no one sees her make such an idiot move.
Satisfied that no one takes interest in her she slips into the booth and waits. This particular booth is predetermined to use in case an emergency meeting was to take place. Her wait time is only thirty seconds then the phone rings.
Julie snatches it up on the first ring and places it to her ear. She doesn't say a word, instead stays silent and listens. The voice on the other end she recognizes. Like her, he wouldn't have someone extra that didn't need to be involved making his calls.
The one sided conversation takes place in less than thirty seconds. She hangs up the phone and exits the booth. The address she is to go to, she memorizes.
Spencer follows the woman through the streets over the course of several blocks and somehow she manages to stay the same distance from him. Because of that and the fact she never again looks back, he can't get a good look of her. Eventually she slips into the doorway of the Claridge's Hotel. Spencer watches her peer around the corner and smile before turning to the doorman. After a very brief conversation she hands him something and walks in.
Spencer speeds up turning his walk into a near run. When he reaches the door he nearly shoots through it until the doorman stops him.
"Are you perhaps Spencer?" he asks crisply with a gentlemanly mannerism.
Spencer stops and looks questionably at the man before answering. "And what can you do for me?"
"The young lady gave this to me to give to you sir," he answers with a slow drawl.
The doorman holds what looks to Spencer like a credit card in his hand. When he doesn't grab the card right away the doorman just waits patiently and wordlessly. Finally, Spencer sighs and grabs the card from the man's hand. As soon as the card leaves his hand, he turns away, leaving Spencer standing in the entrance alone.
Spencer flicks the card between his thumb and forefinger. It is a keycard to a room in the hotel. He stands there for another full minute before walking into the hotel. After receiving the room number from the front desk he takes the elevator to the fourth floor.
When the doors of the elevator open he already has his gun out but obscured from sight. The hallway is empty of both people and sound. Cautiously he steps down the hall keeping an eye over his shoulder as well as ahead. When he reaches the room he nearly knocks almost forgetting he has the key card.
He slips the card into the slot and a quiet click resounds a second later. The door parts slightly. Spencer pushes it slowly open with his toe and steps in with his gun up, pointed toward the center of the room.
The room is cast in a dim light. He can just make out the silhouette of someone sitting on the couch. The person's back is to him seeming to not have yet heard him enter. His eyes dart from side to side expecting an attack from around the corner or out of a doorway.
"Took you long enough."
An attack doesn't come but a voice does cut through the darkness. He jumps subtly. He expected an attack, not the voice of the silhouette. And the voice is familiar. And for once since this entire escapade he can put a name to the face.
"Katie Matthews," he says replacing his gun.
"Spencer Reeds," she replies back. "It's good to see you again." She turns around in the couch to face him. She wears a simple shirt and pair of pants. Her hair is let down to hang around her shoulders and her green eyes pierce his. Spencer stands staring back at the beautiful woman looking for the right words to use. "Have a seat," she says quietly. "I had to get you away from that woman because you need to know what is going on."