Wesley was just inside the door and raised an eyebrow as Lucy and Sullivan walked in. He saw the quick drop of Sully’s arm and resisted a wink as his gaze met Lucy’s.

He welcomed the duo before taking a seat at the table. They followed suit, along with Grace. Piper and Enzo shuffled papers, murmuring on the opposite side of the room. Noticing a silence fall, they got started.

“First step is infiltration.” Piper passed out a sheet of paper to the four around the table. “We will head in today, hopefully getting far enough to find out more about the chemical’s whereabouts.”

“I thought we knew where it was?” Lucy held the paper with both hands. She hadn’t read the entirety of her book, but she knew something was in there.

Enzo reached over the table, dropping a few other papers in the middle. Maps. “We do. You, well, future you told us.”

Lucy stared at a copy of the faded drawing. It outlined the WDS’ entire hideout. It was a simple system of tunnels and the one that leads to the chemical is basically a straight shot from her store.

“What we don’t know is how it is armed. When the hideout is discovered in the future, it’s only remains.” Wesley leaned back in his chair, tossing his paper back to the table. “We can only assume it’ll be pretty highly guarded.”

“As well as having technology we won’t know how to stop.” Piper sat down in the empty chair, leaving Enzo standing behind her. “That is why you will turn back once it starts to get deadly.”

The group nodded, but Lucy only furrowed her eyebrows together. “Shouldn’t we be prepared for just one fight? And during the night?”

“They expect us during the night.” Sullivan looked at her, leaning his elbows on the table. “Plus, the tunnels give us cover from civilians. They won’t even know what’s happening.”

“There will be ten women and men waiting outside for you in a half an hour. Get some food and get dressed. The tranquilizer guns are on the side of the house. Carry it in a bag or under a jacket, please.” Piper dragged her gaze to Wesley. “We don’t need another call to the police.”

Wesley laughed and stood up, saluting. “Got it, boss!”

“We’ve already eaten. We’ll get the gear ready.” Grace got up and pulled Wesley outside.

Piper turned to Sullivan. “Enzo and I are staying back to prepare for the final act. You are in charge,” her gaze shifted to Lucy and back, “so protect them.”

Sullivan gave one slow nod as the two shared silent words. Lucy figured they were about her and let her eyes wander, landing on Enzo. He gave her a knowing smile. She couldn’t stop the chills shooting down her spine.

The scrape of chairs brought Lucy’s attention back to the table. She was the only one sitting.

Piper smiled at her. “Good luck and be careful.” She walked out of the room without any other encouraging words.

Lucy needed more encouraging words.

“Do you need something to eat?” Sullivan was up and headed towards the small kitchen.

She stood up and followed. “Honestly? I think I’d puke it up.”

He grabbed a water bottle from the fridge. “Drink this at least.”

They sat in the kitchen in another long silence, but this time Lucy didn’t feel as awkward—that is, until she got outside.

“Wow, we don’t look suspicious or anything.” Lucy eyed the group of men and women all dressed in dark colors with bulky jackets and placid expressions.

“You’re right, newbie.” Grace grinned as she walked over to Wes. “But we’ve got that covered.” Wesley threw his arm around her shoulder and the two sauntered away with banter that could be heard for miles.

Everyone paired up and Lucy felt a heavy arm slide over her own shoulders. “Of course.” She rolled her eyes as Sullivan pulled her close.

The group drifted apart and let Lucy lead the way to her shop.

Inside was exactly how they had left it, plus a few layers of dust. While they waited for the others, Sullivan pulled the blinds. Lucy stared out the window watching.

Within twenty minutes, everyone had trickled in.

“All right.” Wes’ scowl flipped into a grin as he walked through the door. He slipped his gun out of his jacket. “Let’s get this thing going.”

Sullivan tugged on Lucy’s arm. Apparently, they were going first.

The group hovered in the far corner. The lights were off and with the blinds drawn, Lucy could barely tell where the door was.

Sullivan went down first and after hearing only subtle murmurs throughout the tunnel, he motioned the rest to follow.

Lucy looked down the stairs and then gestured Wes to go. He bumped her hip on the way down. She would have let most of the group go before her, too, but Grace gave her a look that rivaled her mother’s and down she went.

They stayed close to the walls, though Lucy could almost touch both sides at once, so it didn’t do much for stealth.

The only sound to hit their ears was the light tap of their boots. A shiver shot down Lucy’s back.

When they reached the second trap door, Sullivan turned to the group.

“This is it. These stairs lead directly into their headquarters.” He adjusted the gun hanging across his body. “It’s silent down there, so we should have a few minutes before they know.”

“Or they already know and are ready to kill us.” Lucy raised her eyebrows.

Sullivan met her gaze, but didn’t comment. “Let’s go.”

This trap door led to shiny gray steps that matched the walls—a stark contrast from the tunnel they were leaving.

As the group filled the short hallway, Sullivan stopped at the end and pointed to the right. “Half of you follow me.” He nodded at Wes. “Half of you go with Wes.”

Lucy, already standing towards the left, walked side by side with Wes. Grace went with Sullivan.

The hallway turned a corner almost immediately after it split. The two groups could no longer see or hear each other.

Lucy held tight to her gun, though she didn’t hold as tight to her confidence. She could shoot it, but that didn’t mean it would help.

Wes’ arm sprung out at the end of the hallway. He turned with a finger on his lips.

Voices were around the corner.

He motioned the man behind Lucy up. She was grateful for that.

They peered around the corner, both lining up a shot, and the voices stopped.

The guys fist bumped, but a clatter behind them ruined the moment.

The first shot went off and hit the light above them. Blue light surrounded them.

Lucy stayed close to the ground, trying to help. She had no idea if she was hitting anyone or anything.

A body thumped to the ground beside her and the blue disappeared.

Wes stood slowly and spoke with breathy words. “We got ‘em,” he grinned, “but we’ve got to get these guys back.”

His motion to the floor hit Lucy hard in the chest as she saw three people down in blood. She spun around into the next hallway with her hand over her mouth. Blood was not her strong point. She took a deep breath and looked up.

“Oh god,” Lucy stumbled back over her own feet. Two men with sly grins lifted their guns. “Abort.” She started running back.

Wes saw her first and his goofy grin from their previous win faded. “Shit!”

“Abort! Abort!” Lucy yelled. She looped her arm under someone’s armpit and pulled with Wes on the other side. They stumbled back to the stairs, blue lights sparking over their heads.

She dared to look back before they dove onto the closed staircase. “They aren’t following.” She let the injured man rest on the bottom steps.

Wes shrugged. “Weird future rules. Let’s not take it for granted.” He helped the man stand and they worked their way up the steps where the other group was already waiting.

Lucy peered around the corner one last time and was met with a different man, but one she’s seen before—tall, dark, and evil. She sprinted up the stairs.

This was a freaking struggle to get out, you guys. To be honest, I wrote the second half at work in my phone notes… worked out, though!

Thanks for being patient! The story is almost over, but I have no idea how many chapters I will split it into—could be three, could be seven!



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