They were an odd sight at Heathrow Airport. It was Thursday, a school day, and so the only commuters were business men and honeymooners. Nathan tried to put on a confident smile when Jen looked at him but it didn’t make him feel better. He had been reluctant to come with them at first but had eventually agreed. As they walked confidently to the check-in desk they got a few suspicious stares from staff and other passengers, but they had their story all planned out, their back-up plan was just as faultless.
“Hello there, how may I help you?” You could see the enquiry already developing in his mind, but his questions wouldn’t be answered unless he asked them in the hope that they would never even have to lie.
“Yes, three tickets for the soonest flight out of here to Berlin.” Jen knew that her choice of words was wrong, it gave in to the impression that they were trying to run away from home or something.” The man couldn’t hold it in any longer.
“So, aren’t you three kids supposed to be in school?”
“We’ve been given permission from our head teacher to go to our four-day conference; hopefully this one will be more worth it than the last two.” The others nodded their heads in agreement.
“We’re going to the international gaming conference in Berlin, primarily to discuss the release of Mario Kart Universe.”
“Really? My son loves that game!” Joe immediately grabbed at the opportunity.
“Well, how about we make a preposition. If you can get us first-class tickets for the nearest flight to Berlin then we will guarantee you a pre-ordered copy of the game for free. You might like to give us your e-mail or something.”
“Yes yes of course. Wow, thank you!” He quickly scribbled his e-mail address on a post-it note and dialled up the flight manager. Joe chuckled to himself, sucker.
“Hi, Greg. I wonder if there are any first-class tickets left for the 8:39 flight to Berlin? You do, that’s great, cheers Greg, see ya.” The man asked for the passports and Jen took them out of her bag after a bit of rummaging.
“Well, it was a pleasure doing business with you.” Nathan said, he was beginning to step up and his ability to influence emotions was a real asset in time like this. Jen however wasn’t doing favours for their cover at all.
“Oh sugar!” Nathan and Joe looked at her in alarm.
“Is everything all right miss?” She lied of course, expertly.
“Yes, but I’ve forgotten my camera, what a shame.” She frowned. Well done Jen, well done.
“That’s okay; you can always buy another in Duty Free.” He smiled at them all. Jen handed the money, took the tickets and passports and they were off. There was no cue or trouble at security checks but the whole time Jen was beginning to look more and more worried.
“Jen what happened back there?”
“Think Joe, we’ve been so stupid! It’s a school day for goodness sake? Our parents will be looking for us and if they’ve contacted the Police they’ll be monitoring everything that we use, including passports. They might not be here yet, but I’m worried that they’ll stop us before the plane takes off, and then there’s the Vorei that will be looking for us as well…”
“Huh? Why the Vorei?”
“Oh no. I didn’t tell you did I? When I travelled back to the day when we stole the video diary, I noticed that we’d forgotten the lid to my memory stick. It has my name on it! If the Vorei have searched the house, which they probably did, they might figure out that Simon’s involved us in his plans.”
“That’s bad” Joe realised. They walked over to the monitor that showed them the departure times.
“Shit! Sit down now!” Jen hissed as she dragged the boys onto some nearby seats.
“What? What is it?!” Nathan asked, instantly worried.
“If you look to your left you’ll see policemen standing near the departure gates and if you look to the right you’ll see men in white suits and shades inspecting everyone that comes through the security checks, probably the Vorei.”
“You know Jen it would help sometimes if you told us thingswhenyou find out about them.”
“Ahh, no worries. This is where being a screw-up hooligan comes in handy.” Nathan now sounded cocky, but reluctant, he knew that it would be a bad idea to re-enforce his mean appearance that he had showed off for years. He was surprised when Joe didn’t use the chance to make a sarcastic remark.
“So, what’s the plan you’ve got in mind?”
“I have a notebook, my cigarettes are at home, and I have a lighter. Smoke plus fire alarm equals everybody out of the building.”
“But that includes us as well.” Joe protested.
“We would just hide in the toilets until everyone had gone then we rush to the plane and I convince someone to fly us to Berlin, simple.”
“Well, not really, but it’s the best we’ve got.” The three walked to the toilets, trying to walk close to other passengers so that it looked like they were with parents. Once Jen had split into the ladies toilets and they were all inside a cubicle, Nathan got out the lighter and notebook from his rucksack. The paper caught fire fairly quickly and Nathan tried to wave the smoke closer to the fire alarm. Soon enough he heard what the three of them wanted to hear, the sound of their escape. And it was deafening.
The fire alarm blazed, everyone screaming or shouting in panic, within seconds everyone was out of the toilet block but they couldn’t come out yet, they had to make sure everyone was out.
“Ladies and Gentleman. This is a fire emergency; please may you make your way to the designated fire exits as quickly as possible in an orderly fashion.” After 5 minutes the screaming had died down. Joe pulled out his walkie talkie from his satchel and contacted Jen.
“Jen is everyone out of there?”
“Yeah. We should go now.” They rushed out of the cubicles and met outside in the centre of the building. They ran towards the departure gates and the Vorei started to run after them, they had quickly realised that the fire was only in the toilets and that it couldn’t spread anywhere else. They were upon them like wolves. Within seconds the three of them were pinned to the floor by three large-looking Vorei that had stayed behind.
“Tell me who you are! Tell me!” One of them shouted, with vigorous force.
“Jen. My name is Jen please leave me alone I’m just a normal girl please don’t hurt me please please please!
“Ahh. So this is the infamous Jen. Why are you going to Germany?”
“We’re going on a conference I didn’t do anything wrong please don’t hurt me!” The leader punched her hard in the face. She now had blood trickling down from her cheek.
“Hey! Why the hell did you punch her! She didn’t do anything wrong.”
“Well if you tell me the real reason for why you are travelling to Berlin then I might let you go.”
“That’s bullshit!” Nathan cried, “and by the way if you see my dad tell him to go to hell!” Bang! Bang! Bang! Three consecutive shots, each in the back of the Voreis’ heads. The men collapsed on them but were rolled off fairly quickly. They stood up.
“My name is Henry Von Schreinick. I will be your pilot for today.” Silence, then
“Hi Mr. Wellick.”