FIFTEEN

Brilliant scientist always make for interesting tales of adventure and intrigue. Here, fifteen of them, together with two geneticallly engineered children will attempt to survive within one very adventerous and intriguing story. Are you up for it?

 

LONDON ENGLAND

14th JUNE, 1600 HOURS

 

There were 15 of them in total. 

13 men. 

2 women. 

They were the greatest minds of the 21st century. And, all of them were under 30 years of age. To be brought together as they were, was something of a rarity. But, to be brought together as they had been was sheer stupidity.  

It was a time of war; a time when no country looked out for any but its own; a time when a man’s life meant little more than a drop of a rain, or a blade of grass. It was an unforgiving time, set in an even more unforgiving world. A world ruled by 5 of the most brilliantly cruel men this little planet had ever seen.  

And, it was these men, these amazing little men, who had ordered the kidnapping of 15 of the world’s leading scientists, and who now sat together in the grand executive boardroom of the Dorchester hotel in London. 

“The decision is unanimous then,” said No. 1, “We release the names of each of the 15, at thirteen hundred hours tomorrow.”  

The men smiled, all 5 of them.

 

* 

The nurse at the front desk couldn’t have known he was a kidnapper. 

When she’d asked “Can I help you?” he had replied quite politely that he was there to interview Ms. Jones.  

He was short and dark. With curly hair and bright, sky blue eyes. With a dark leather suitcase in his hand, and a worn, brown leather jacket he walked confidently through the labyrinth that was St. Mary’s Hospital. 

He had found Ms. Jones, sitting at a table in the cafeteria. He had sat next to her, and politely asked to interview her for the morning Gazette. She had smiled wearily and nodded her consent. 

They had made their way to an abandoned storage closet, and begun the interview. It was here much to Ms. Jones amazement that the man in the brown leather jacket had told her quite calmly that he was there to kidnap her. She had nodded, and followed him without protest. 

 

* 

Captain Keeley winced as she was thrown from the deck of the Crucible, by a rogue wave.  

Her crew was too busy holding on for dear life to notice their captain’s predicament, and so Keeley calmly treaded water, awaiting help. 

As it was she was the only one who saw the sleek, black helicopter as it made its way slowly towards the Crucible, and no matter how much she shouted, or screamed no-one turned around. They were all too worried about themselves. 

The helicopter landed on the deserted deck of the Crucible, there was no-one in sight. Three men emerged from the cockpit revolvers in hand, scanning the area. The last man to exit was a tall, thin Russian. He smiled thinly at the deserted deck, and nodded to the three men. 

They made their way forward, slowly at first, awaiting ambush or at least somekind of resistance, but were met with none. The crew themselves were all hanging off the edge of the boat; the opposite side to that which the helicopter had approached from. So, when a lone head popped over the side, the silence was broken by the sound of gunfire. And, so it was that three bullets penetrated the man’s skull, coating the deck in red filth. 

The Russian didn’t miss a beat and simply proceeded towards the aft deck, and down into the crew’s quarters’. Two of the three men rushed after him, the third was left to guard their only means of escape; the helicopter.   

The Russian continued on his path towards the laboratory of the research vessel that was the Crucible. It was here that he found Luke Santez, the renowned marine biologist. As he approached him, the Russian spoke something in Spanish, and Santez spun around. 

“I was expecting you,” he replied in English. The Russian nodded grimly, and let the two men who had followed him into the crew’s quarters, hurry forward. Santez offered little resistance and merely smiled as the helicopter took off and left the bloody deck of the Crucible behind.

 

* 

“10…9…8…7…6…5…4…3…2”- the take-off was abruptly cut short as two men dressed as guards threatened to blow the brains out of Michael Sykes, or should  I say Dr. Michael Sykes, a renowned geologist with a rather unnatural interest in toy rockets. 

Michael nodded calmly, but the look on his face showed both his terror and panic. The two “guards” smiled manically, and nudged him forward with the butt of their guns. 

“I wasn’t expecting you so soon…I-I,” Michael muttered, more to himself than the two idiots behind him. 

Neither of the two “guards” spoke, they merely shoved Michael into a black jeep, and hand-cuffed him to the seat.  

As, they drove away a young girl of 15 emerged from behind a tree. Her dark, unnaturally black eyes scanned the immediate area before she signaled to a clump of bushes across the drive. It was only then that a tuft of rather untidy red-hair emerged followed by a pair of 13-foot tawny, brown wings. 

The girl smiled, as she unfurled her own midnight black wings, and took off into the night. 

* 

They landed with a soft thump on the tip of the Empire State building, New York. Both wore grim expressions as they made their way through a series of undiscovered tunnels and byways in the very heart of the famous building. Both were silent as they neared a set of double doors. But, the red-head who had struggled to keep his mouth shut this long, burst out, “Alanna”-

 

She raised her hand, as if to tell him “Be quiet” before nodding in the direction of the set of doors.

“I don’t think I’ll ever understand you Lanna. Why can’t we just talk?” he whispered, “Like normal people.”

“In case you haven’t noticed,” she pointed in the direction of her wings, “We aren’t exactly (pause) normal.”

“I know, I know. It’s just”-

“Shhh,” she cut him off, as the sound of voices coming from the room became more audible- 

“I thought I told you- James third. Michael fifth. Why the sudden change in plans?” asked a rather low, gruff voice.

“Sir?” whispered the second voice.

“Sykes, you idiot. Why was he taken third and not fifth? And, why on God’s green earth are we whispering?”

“Sir?”

“Oh for god’s sake man. Answer me”-

“I-I” he stuttered, “See, Michael…well , the two we’ve taken so far. Jones and Santez seem to have known we were coming. We thought it’d mix up their plans a bit, you know?” he said, his voice growing in confidence, as he continued, “See, we think their up to something…sir,” he added quickly.

“He has a brain after all,” he said mockingly, “Well done Mr. Gregor. Well done.”

The End

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