Chapter 1.5:

The Meeting of the New Team

Down another seemingly endless maze of identical corridors and hallways and then to the bottom of a magnificent stair well. Without another word, the paper man in the lab coat stopped at the bottom of the stairs, pointed upwards and started to walk away. With some apprehension, the group travelled up the stairs like a pack of animals under attack –  on edge. Lasting an eternity, the steps kept ascending and ascending, until it seemed they would get into space by climbing this very staircase. Eventually, the ascension stopped and the floor levelled out, leading them onto the rooftop of the Forward and Critical Investigation Looking Into The Earth’s Youth Centre of development. Before them were three pilots and three helicopters.

The closest and largest of the pilots stepped forward and spoke. “You need to put the bags over your head as before when you were on the way here and we’ll see about taking you to Nasa for them to preach their Rekindling Interest in Space Privatization Programme, eh?” he joked.

“How amusing,” murmured Ophelia, smiling snidely at the bulky man. “This is really necessary? What would happen if one of us knew where we were and how to get here?”

“We’d have to shoot you.” Answered one of the pilots behind the first.

“Well then. I think it would be unfair if I didn’t say this.” Ophelia paused for effect and revelled in her next words. “Pandora can read minds you know. She could be doing it right now. The worst thing is, you would never even know. You wouldn’t have a single, smidgen of a clue.”

Pandora laughed emptily. “Of course you would.” Ophelia’s whole body jerked wildly and she dropped to the floor, naturally curling up into the foetal position. “See? You felt that. Now stop being such a bad guy and shut up, or I will revoke your rights as a regular person and let everyone know you are more than incapable of handling this Rekindling Interest in Space Privatization Programme at all. I’m guessing you wouldn’t like for that to happen, so I’d like you to keep your mouth shut and be nice for five minutes in front of other people. We both know in any pure battling conflict in which we are relying on simply what we know in terms of fighting skills and our powers, I will come out on top every single time. No matter the circumstances, if it’s one on one, we both know I will win. Stop being such a small child and grow up Ophelia. Please, you’re embarrassing.” Her voice was calm through the small speech, even more so than before on the last sentence.

Alastair spoke up. “Maybe you should have just put the bag over your head…” A small ripple of laughter travelled through the group, the joyous sound releasing the tension between the different people – including the pilots.

The group split into several smaller groups, each sat in the helicopters and put the bags over their heads. You would have thought they would have some high tech equivalent, but they found that the bags were a lot more reliable, cheaper and considerably easier than faffing around with god knows how many designs, trying to find one that was concealing, breathable and practical. There were far too many technical glitches for there the project to be worthwhile in the end.

Soon enough,  the noise of the helicopter blades whirring round and round masked any noise any of the people could have made unaided. Nothing was said as they took off and flew away from the Forward and Critical Investigation Looking Into The Earth’s Youth Centre and towards Nasa’s headquarters.

The End

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