SQUAD#11

22 year-old Allison Sharper is a hard working young woman. At least she considers herself to be one. When three teenagers-two boys and one girl-show up to her home one cold night, claiming to be her new bodyguards because thugs have marked her for dead, she laughs it off and slams the door in their faces. Why would someone want an average Jane like her dead? Overnight Allison’s world is flipped upside down as she finds their dire warning to be true and to her horror, she can’t even attend her classes without dangerous groups of men and women showing up on campus. She is forced to cooperate with the trio of misfits. Each of them possesses an extraordinary talent that can fend off the assassin gangs. Who are these teens? They work for a secret division of the government which manages a program. In this operation, there are hundreds of humans like them, all gifted with ‘special’ skills. They are called "SQUADS." There are ten so far, including themselves. They are SQUAD#11, Her only hope.

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6. Chapter 11 (Part 1): The Danger-Eleven Minutes

Earnest West bolted up the smooth granite steps as fast as he could, hopping up them two at a time. The gray, winding stairwell seemed to go on forever as he huffed and gasped for air making his way up another flight, tripping over his own feet clumsily before picking himself up and continuing, sweat soaked his pale face, even forming damp malformed spots on the chest of his crisp—well it was, about seven-and-a-half-minutes ago—ivory button up, which was mostly concealed by a dark blazer; part of a suit. Only his footsteps echoed throughout the windowless place. This was bad. Really bad. So bad, that he couldn’t wait for the stupid elevators in the hallway of the fifth floor where his office was. In his short weeks interning at the Abnormal Investigations Unit, a sector of the government that looks into irregular incidents caused by citizens or criminals of the state who are considered to not fit the normal. It was called the A.I.U. for short. There was nothing about him that was rather out of the ordinary; however, during his third year in college, he recalled being approached in the parking lot of his university by two ladies in trench coats one snowy afternoon. He was simply heading to his car!

“You have potential, kid.” One of them, an older pretty obsidian woman said sporting long hair tied into a ponytail.

She handed Earnest a gray card, then joined her partner in walking off without another word. What did that mean? What kind of potential? A year had passed since then. He always kept the card for some crazy reason and later on down the line he came across a paper on the bulletin board within the hall of his dorm, advertising an internship to the organization. He signed up, but hasn’t seen that beautiful chick since that cold gloomy day. He honestly wasn’t into older women like that, but man if he saw her again…

Exactly eleven minutes ago, he was sitting in his office, a cramped little cubicle, doing paper work, when his co-worker came across a broadcasted internet message, strung up on every underground website known to man; created by a not-so-normal-criminal syndicate that they were inspecting. The dirty bunch of jerks was sending message they wanted every abnormal gang, thief, murderer and bruiser to see. Every ‘odd’ assassin and mercenary. They wanted someone dead. Badly. He didn’t know why. Then a picture of a pallid female wearing extremely short auburn hair, along with piercings in her nose and lips popped up on his screen. She was no older than himself. Her name appeared under the digital photo. Allison Sharper. Wanted for four million. A lump formed in his throat. Didn’t his boss, whose last name was also “Sharper” have a daughter named Allison? He almost wet himself.

Fast forward three more minutes, he stood in the colorful area in front of tall steel doors pressing the button on a metal panel beside one of them, his palms moist as he gripped the tiny plastic USB in one hand, squeezing it to the point to where the hard yet cheap material let loose a dull miniscule squeak. He tapped his foot anxiously as crowds of random people passed him by, an odd amount even waiting with him. He chewed on the skin of his lip inside his mouth while the pair of carts made their way down to him from over thirty five floors; he forgot that around lunch time they would be extremely busy. This was urgent. He had to get the device in his hand up to the twelfth floor immediately. The information it contained could save Allison’s life. His stomach plunged. But what if he was wrong? After all he’d never seen Miss Sharper’s daughter in his life. There are tons of Sharpers in the world. But the coincidence was just too freaky. He was acting on a hunch, but at this point it was better safe than sorry. Not to mention if the threat was real, his entire department would be in severe trouble for ignoring the hit. In his pockets, he felt his phone vibrate upon receiving a text.

Match confirmed. It’s the boss’s daughter!  Oh sweet baby savior, thank heaven for background checks.

Her life was in danger, damn it! Literally! That poor girl could die if he didn’t deliver this to his boss within a timely fashion. Upon rounding another flight, he hurried by the exit, which led to another department or two, catching a glimpse of the floor he was on. Only Eight? Earnest groaned loudly, and leaned against the wall next to the closed door, waving a hand through his curly jelled hair, wheezing for more oxygen. His legs were beginning to burn. Although he was skinny as a twig, God was he out of shape. If that gorgeous blonde Megan, another intern in his division saw the mess that he was now, she’d surely hit the floor in laughter. Any date with her was out of the question…

He glanced at the sturdy door once more, then turned to face the set of stairs on the opposite side of him, the fluorescent lights above his head flickered. He considered the option to try the elevators again. He looked down at USB still in his hand, frowning. No, no, no. He had to go on. Only four more floors, he could do it… For Allison! To get ahead of his peers! So Megan would finally notice him! With a surprising burst of speed, he grabbed the cold rail and dashed up the steps. He wondered if she would let him touch her boobs…

Finally entering into the spacious corridor of the twelfth floor, he made a mad sprint to the dual glass doors ahead of him, welcoming a large room with various pots of plants, joining a few chairs in corners of the place. A receptionist desk sat in the center; an obese red-head sporting rectangular frames was busy munching on a cookie, staring at the screen of a monitor hidden from view. He figured she probably was doing random crap like playing games on some social media site or watching viral videos. Everything but her freaking job… He stumbled past the entrance and collapsed on the flat surface of her desk, exhausted, but not before extending the small device until it was inches from her face. She blinked at it puzzled, pastry crumbs littered around her mouth. She arched an eyebrow, tilting her head, parting her lips to say something witty but Earnest spoke first.

“T-they—they put,” He panted raising his head, his blue eyes locking onto her own. “A… A hit out on Miss Sharper’s daughter…”

The secretary blinked again, only this time she completely dropped her half-eaten cookie.

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