She's not Afraid

Charlie Evergreen isn't your average 19 year old. She was taken when she was thirteen, kidnapped by some of her closest friends. She was taken to a secret compound, far in the merciless regions of the Mojave Desert.
That's when the truth came out. That almost 500 children are taken every year, mostly from poorer homes. The agency Charlie was at, had missions to retrieve those kids, to step in when the police failed.
So she joins. When she turns 19, she gets a mission. To kidnap Niall Horan, world-famous boy band star, and recruit him. How hard can it be?

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27. Chapter 27

Charlie

We walked single file down the tunnel. Irregularly, the tunnel sloped and twisted. At one point, we were basically crawling.

Eventually, the tunnel mouthed out and the main plaza appeared. The place looked just as it had two months ago. It's nice to know that some things will never change.

"Woah." I heard Louis breath.  "Okay guys, we have to take you to the Spire. You have to see an official, they'll explain it all." I said.

"An official?" Niall asked. I smile softly "You'll see!" "This place is amazing!" Liam said, incredulous.

"Its basic engineering, to be honest. There are rafters and a sheet of steel keeping the dirt from crushing us. It was difficult to get equipment down here, but eventually, we managed to construct a main area, ringed with a ton of tunnels and maintenance shafts." Megan said.

We looked at her strangely as she shrugged "What!? I do my homework!" "Let's go to the Spire." I motion to the building.

We lead them there, pushing through the glass doors with them in tow. The interior of the Spire was like any office building in corporate America. Pukey tan walls, dull gray carpeting, and a lonely looking secretary.

I waved at her was we took the stairs. The Spire was actually rather small. Only about five floors, with about three offices per floor. I don't know why so many expenses were blown on the main building.

We reached the third floor, and located an official's office. It wasn't Rob, in case you were wondering. It was Carter, another amazing friend of mine. She was eloquent , was friendly to everyone, neat and tidy, and was perceptive in many ways. So of course she climbed to her position easily.

I don't bother knocking, and simply walked in "Hi!" Carter stood up, her chocolate hair swinging "Oh my gosh!"

I gave her  a hug "I missed you!" She replied "I missed you too!" I pull away "I have my recruits here. They, um, need some more detail.."

She smiled sympathetically "Oh, okay. Let me get my coat, and we'll head down to the conference room for, erm, a little chat."

I nod as she slides on her black jacket, and fastens the gold pin on her lapel, the uniform of a senior agent.

We walk hurriedly out of the door, to find everyone idling in the hall. "I think you should all follow me." Carter said gently.

We follow her through the halls, before she leads us to an exit. After we leave the Spire, we walk for a couple minutes, before Carter opens a door.

She walked in first, flicking on the lights. "Welcome." She said dryly. It looked like an interrogation room for a criminal. The walls and floor were bare, and a metal table with matching chairs sat in the middle.

"Girls, I think you'd better wait up there." Carter points above our heads. As I walk deeper in the room, I see that there's a small viewing alcove overlooking this room.

Sara found the small door, with carpeted steps spiraling upwards. The dais was empty, except for a faded, peeling, bench.

Silently, we sit and let the informing process begin. Oddly, we could hear everything going on, probably because slats were drilled into the area below the windows. Sound traveled easily.

"So, I be you're a bit confused. Screw it, I bet you're really confused." Carter laughed airily. Silence.

She clears her throat "Uhm. Well, I better start from the beginning.. do you all remember seeing those 'Missing Child' posters, or hearing about them on the news?"

No one speaks. Carter continues "Well, in the U.S, the missing child rate had increased drastically in the past fifteen years. Our founder decided to dig deeper into these crimes, whenever the police gave up."

"Where is this going? I've been abducted, and I just want to go home." Niall snapped crossly. "We're getting there." Carter says.

"Okay, so that's what this entire thing is. You're in a place called Optimum, our headquarters. We basically rescue children that are taken from their homes." Carter said.

"And we're just supposed to believe that!? So if you're against kidnapping, why were we taken? That's kidnapping right there!" Liam pointed out.

"Are you with the government? Then you're basically breaking your own rules." Louis sassed. Carter rolls her eyes "No we aren't with the U.S government. This is completely separate. And you're here for a reason."

"Which is?" Zayn asked. Carter took a deep breath "We obviously need people to take care of theses cases. The quota is 500 kids rescued a year, It would've been more, but s-sometimes we can't get there in time." Carter said, looking down.

"You were brought here to be given a choice. You can join, or leave. We have options for you. It's been roughly eleven hours since you've been, erm, taken. We have a serum you can ingest to erase the memory of the past twenty-four hours. You can wake up at home, in bed, having no idea about anything that happened."

"How does the serum work?" Liam asked. "The serum suppresses the hippocampus, which is a part of the brain in the cerebral cortex. A small amount can lead to short term memory loss. The amount given to you is perfectly tailored to lead to loss of memory from the past 24 hours." Carter says.

The room succumbed to silence. I guess it is a lot to take in. After a while, Carter cleared her throat "I know that you all want to choose the serum option rather then the stay-and-fight-like-a-man option. That isn't something to be ashamed of. It's a lot to take in, I know. I-I bet you want to speak to the girls..  they can clear up any other questions," Carter threw a look at us while we furiously shook our heads.

She smiled "Come on down." I mentally groan. We walk downstairs silently, but my foot caught (on literally nothing) and I stumbled the last few steps down. Smooth.

I kept my eyes fixed on the floor, it was better then seeing Niall's face. Scratch that, it'll be hard to see all of their faces.

"So. Uhm, any questions.." Sydney volunteered. "What just happened?" Louis muttered. "Wait, so you're all.... secret agents?" Zayn asked.

Sara nods "Yup. Well, we work for the good, and we get to become someone of importance. Being an agent is great."

"The look on the kid's face when you untie or free them from their captors, it's simply amazing." Chloe chimed in.

I could tell that they were trying to bathe the situation in the rosiest light possible. They were skating over the sticky patches, the harder parts of our lives.

"It's your decision.", I say," We won't bribe you, or make you do anything you're not comfortable with. It's okay if you say no, no hard feelings."

"W-Will we see you again?" Harry asked. Megan, Sara, Chloe, and I exchange looks. "I'm afraid not." Megan said placidly.

"If these past hours are erased, that basically takes a huge part of who we are away. I can't -I won't- hide my life from you all. We can't be in contact any further as normal people, because that's all a lie." Chloe said slowly.

"We have stuff to do here, missions to finish. Then we have college to fulfill. Our time here is coming to a close sometime in the next few years anyway. At the moment, our lives are secret. It's not fair to you to date a person who technically does not exist." Sara said.

"I'm sorry." I finish "Then again, it's completely your choice." The boys exchange looks as I shift uneasily. "You all need a minute?" Sydney asked.

"Wait, what about our careers? We can't just disappear from the face of the Earth! The fans will go nuts, and there'll be a massive manhunt for us. They'll uncover this whole thing!" Niall blurted.

I knew this was coming. "I don't know how to say this, but Ni, your career as a boy band member is nearly over. Your fans are nearly grown. The paparazzi is starting to stalk you less and less. Look at the facts. If you came out and simply broke up.... it would be devastating to the fans, but they'll move on eventually." I said gently.

"I think the fandom has grown up a little, and simply accepted that they need to move on." Chloe chimed in.

"I doubt that all these young adults still need to hear that they're beautiful. I think they've probably already found someone to tell them that forever." Sydney pointed out.

"I think that you're right." Zayn said quietly. "It'll be better then staging our deaths or something." Sara said helpfully.

"But wait, this is if you want to join. It's a choice, not an obligation." I say haltingly. They exchange looks "We're staying."

 

 

 

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