“I wish we would have gone to visit Mrs. Pettyjohn long before this,” Johnny Dylan said to Seth Williamson, and the other children who had been at the barn last night, as they slowly followed the adults back towards the town.
“Yeah, me too, but I am so angry at Bertha and her mother using us to help set up the trap for those other kids. I want to do something to help. I feel as useless as a chigger, just standing around like this, and doing nothing,” Seth replied.
“I agree, we should have told Mrs. Pettyjohn we wanted to help. There has to be something we can do to help straighten up this mess. I feel as if it was my fault this all happened,” Laura Johnson said, wiping the tears from her eyes and cheeks.
“If that is truly how you feel, then meet us behind the wall of the back gate,” Trevor said from behind them.
Everyone turned to see who had spoken, but there was only a fleeting blur, of a child-like form moving at a tremendous speed away from them, and not easily seen.
“Oh wow, did you see that?” Lester asked his friends.
“I think I did, but it looked like when you are looking above a gas heater during the winter and see the translucent heat waves rising,” Laura whispered in awe.
“Are we going to meet them in back of the school?” Billy Johnson asked the others.
“I am that’s for sure, however if anyone does not plan on helping, and just wants to cause more trouble, then I will advise you to go home. I promise to beat up anyone who comes just to spy on us for Bertha and her mother,” Seth said as he took turns looking at each one individually, and giving them his most evil stare.
“Lucy, we know that you hang around with Bertha a lot, so if she is your best friend, and you are planning on telling her about this meeting…, I suggest you go home now. I will not beat on girls, but I am not against putting snakes in your hair, or down your blouse, and making you miserable for the rest of your life. We have done enough harm to these kids, and I want to help, not hurt, them,” Seth told her.
“Just because Mrs. Norton and my mom are good friends, doesn’t make Bertha and I friends, Seth Williamson,” Stamping her foot on the ground in frustration Lucy Laurence continued, “and for your information, the only way to be best friends with Bertha is if you follow her around all day telling her how smart and beautiful she is. I tried to be nice to her, but I am not her best friend, especially after we found out what she, and her mother, did to those kids.”
“Then those who want to help come with me, and for those of you who do not want to help, go on back to town and keep your mouth shut about this meeting,” Seth said as he turned to walk down the garden path that led to the back wall of the school.
When Seth and his friends walked around the corner they were surprised to see the large group of children waiting for them. Trevor and Ngame were standing in front of at least twenty children, as far as Seth could figure.
“I hope they are not going to jump on us,” Daniel Johnson whispered
to his brother Billy, and Seth.
“I hope they don’t either, but I couldn’t blame them if they did. We were partly, if unknowingly, the reason for all this mess,” Billy answered back.
Seth nodded his head in agreement, and kept walking toward Trevor and Ngame. Walking straight to Trevor, Seth offered his hand in friendship to Trevor.
“First I want to say that we had no idea Bertha and her mother were setting your friends up to be abducted. We all feel bad about the whole thing and we want to know what we can do to help get them back. Secondly, we would like to prove ourselves worthy of being your friends. The only way we prove it is to do anything you ask us to do, within the law that is,” Seth said grinning.
Trevor looked at the offered hand, and then as Seth spoke, Trevor mentally asked Ngame if he was telling the truth. When Ngame told him that Seth was telling the truth, he reached out and shook his hand.
“We know what happened last night, and we also know you were reluctant to go to the barn. Ngame and I were there and we managed to get away before we were seen. My name is Trevor Argali and this is Ngame Akan,” Trevor said as he indicated Ngame with his head.
While Seth and Trevor introduced each of their friends, Whitley Tyne used his scanner ability to scan the children who there to see if there were any who were there for the sole purpose of telling Bertha and her mother what was said. When he was finished scanning he used his mind merge skill and told everyone that they were all willing to help, and were only angry with Bertha.
“What can we do to help?” Johnny Dylan asked Ngame.
Ngame looked at the tall handsome boy and felt her heart flutter. He was beautiful to her, with his creamy dark chocolate skin, large bulging muscles, and thick, and yes an extremely kiss-able mouth.
“Excuse me, what did you say?” Ngame asked, blushing at the thoughts that had gone through her mind, knowing full well that the inaudible laughter coming from behind her was from her friends who had heard her thoughts.
“I asked what we could do to help you get your friends back. My name is Johnny, Johnny Dylan, and this is my little sister Marcy,” he said pulling his sister around from behind him.
“You’re so pretty,” Marcy said shyly.
“Thank you Marcy. You are very pretty also,” Ngame said smiling at the younger child.
“Trevor, why don’t we take everyone down the hill to that big bunch of trees, so that we can sit on the low limbs and talk? We have a lot to figure out and very little time to do it in,” Ngame said as she led the way to the trees.
Once they were seated on the low limbs and grass Trevor said, “What do you think about turning things back around on Bertha and her mother?”
“You mean kidnap Bertha? How do we do that?” Seth asked.
“And how would we ever make anyone believe it? No one would want Bertha,” Laura said laughing.
“Not kidnap, well not really, but this is what we had in mind…
Mirra paced the room trying to think of what she could do about the problem of the lab report on the children. She knew the part about the children being normal was a good thing; however the small part that said that they were super normal had the potential of being disastrous.
“What if I head back to the lab and delete the part about the children being super human. I can delete it from the computer, and print a copy that says they are only healthy human children? The only way General Anderson will find out anything different is if they redo the tests, and that will be impossible if the children are not here,” Sara Williams asked Mirra.
“Can you do it safely, and are you the only lab-tech that has seen the results of the test?” Mirra stopped pacing and asked her.
“No problem Mirra. All the day lab-techs were gone when the results came in, so there was no one else to see it. The only other person I told was Bradley, and we came straight here to tell you,” Sara stated.
“Then do it, at least it might buy us some time. I can always say I want to run more extensive tests on the children tomorrow, if we cannot figure a way to get them out of here tonight.”
“Good as done,” Sara said as she as quickly left the room.
“I was doing some reconnoitering tonight, before I stopped in to see Sara, and I may have found a way to get the children out of here,” PFC Bradley Barrett said in a low, and comforting, baritone voice.
Mirra thought, and not for the first time today that his voice was so comforting he should have been a medical doctor or a psychiatrist. “Do you really think we can get them out of here safely?”
“I can’t be one hundred percent positive, because there are always unknown factors, but I believe it can be done. The only part I have not worked out is how to leave the grounds. Is there anyone you can call that would be willing to help us leave the area once we are off the base?”
“I believe there is someone I can call, PFC Barrett, someone who would defiantly be willing to help. Just figure out what time we will be
leaving and let me know. I will make the arrangements for our help from there,”
Mirra said smiling.
“Great, I need to do one more walk through, just to be sure, and then I will be back and tell you when we should leave. I will also need to get some wire cutters and shut down the electricity to the fence,” Bradley said as he walked out the door.
“I think it is time to make another telepathic call,” Sherri Norman said eagerly.
“I believe you are right. You try to contact Trevor, and I will try to reach Ngame. One of them may be too busy to talk, but between the two of them, we should be able to let them know what is going on,” Mirra told her. For the first time that day Mirra felt a small kernel of hope rising in her heart.
After reaching Ngame and informing her that they would need help to get the children out of the area once they left the base, Mirra gave the test results to Sherri to take outside to the smoking area to burn. “I suppose it is a good thing that I smoke, at least I have a lighter and it is not unusual for me to be seen on the cameras going out to smoke,” Sherri said, as she took the papers and hid them under her blouse.
Being a non-smoker, Mirra had to agree with her on that point, “I never knew they had cameras out there.”
“They don’t have cameras out in the smoking area, just on the door as you leave or enter,” Sherri informed her, then left the room.
Mirra heard a knock on her office door and called out permission to enter.
“Here is the lab test on the children. I think you will find that these children are nothing but normal kids,” Sara said with a wide smile on her face.
“Great! Are you sure there is no way for anyone to figure out that part of the test results are missing?”
“Nothing is missing, only changed a wee bit, and one of the day lab-techs must have misplaced the blood samples and x-rays, because I cannot find them anywhere. Oh yes, Sherri said to tell you she would be right back if you need her for anything else. You see I also smoke, and I love those dirty old sand filled ashtrays the government has out there. I can’t believe how deep they are,” Sara said smiling.
“You know Sara; I just may take up smoking. It seems that you ladies have all the fun in the smoking area.”
“We did today, that’s for sure. Have you told the children what we plan to do yet?”
“No Sara, not yet, I don’t want to get their hopes up and then find out we cannot get them out. I decided to wait until PFC Barrett says it’s a go, and it is time to leave.”
Mirra had just finished speaking when her office door flew open and PFC Barrett with Sherri behind him hurried into the room. Both were looking shocked and nervous.
“What’s wrong?” Mirra asked, but was afraid of the answer she would receive.
“General Anderson just drove up, and is parking his car at this moment. I have to get back to my post before he comes in, but I wanted to warn you,” Bradley said, then left as quickly as he had entered the room.
“I’m going back to the lab Mirra. Will you send someone to let me know when he leaves?”
“Yes of course I will let you know,” Mirra told her.
Grabbing the children’s charts, Mirra and Sherri went to sit behind the camera console and starting charting down their observations of the children.
“Have they said anything yet doctor?” General Anderson asked as he grabbed up Andrew’s chart and began to read.
“No sir, they are too scared to talk, as of yet that is,” Mirra told him, with what sounded to her own ears as a false sugary sweetness in her voice.
Mirra started to sweat as Anderson sat down at the computer
next to her, and started scanning the children’s activity from earlier in the
evening. After a few moments he typed in a long string of numbers, and then
shut down the computer.
“Perhaps they need some convincing. I have requested that we receive the services of Hedrick Lieberman tomorrow, and have just been informed he will be here at ten in the morning. I expect you to have all the testing you need done by that time, as the brats will not be in any shape to test afterwards. The only thing for you to do after Hedrick leaves is an autopsy,” General Anderson said matter-of-factly.
“You’re going to kill them? You can’t do that General, there has to be some rules that apply to these children. What about the Geneva Convention rules of war, wouldn’t they apply?” Mirra asked.
“Those rules were made in nineteen-hundred and forty-nine, and they applied to war and soldiers only. Not snotty nose aliens,” Andrews told her tersely.
Mirra’s stomach, and mind, was in a tumult of feelings, the main one being nausea.
“The rules state that we are to treat them humanely, and say that they ‘shall be protected, especially against all acts of violence. Without any adverse distinction based on race,’ of course I paraphrased only the parts which should defiantly apply to these children, but they are in your custody and you are a General in the U. S. Army,”
“Do not tell me who I am or what I should or should not do, doctor. Or you may find you have bitten off more than you care to chew, do you understand, Doctor Arababe?” General Anderson bellowed at her.
“Pretending to be submissive, Mirra said yes sir and bowed her head. She decided it was the best way to hide her true feelings from the general. Mirra knew that if he had seen the vehement anger in her eyes, he would probably lock her up, and she would be unable to help the children. Before he could say anything else to her his cell phone rang.
“Abigail, I am busy at the moment, and if this is not a matter of life or death, then I will need to call you back later,” Jim Anderson said in a kind tone of voice.
Mirra wondered how this sorry excuse for a human being could change from cruelty to kindly in the bat of an eye, when she heard him yell.
“Bertha is missing? Are you sure she has been kidnapped and not just off visiting with her friends?”After listening to Abigail for a few moments, he said, “I’m on my way there right now. Abigail, now just stay calm… Yes I will bring soldiers with me and I will put a stop to this tonight. Mrs. Pettyjohn does not know who she is messing with, but she will learn real soon, even if I have to blow her school out of existence,” Jim Andrews said then ended the call.
“I will be back in the morning to see these brats finished for once and all. Just in case I am not here before Hedrick Lieberman gets her, tell him I said to wait till I get here to start on the children, I want to watch him ‘question’ them,” Anderson said with an evil sneer on his face.
General Anderson hurriedly headed towered the main doors, placing calls on his phone as he walked. He was ordering the soldiers under him back to work.
Mirra sat down hard on the computer chair and breathed a sigh of relief. “Step one, accomplished,” she said to Sherri. Now it is time for step two.