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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36. Chapter 36

I woke up with a killer headache and an already familiar knot of despair in the pit of my belly. I moaned in agony, sitting up.

I was in a basement, perhaps the same one that Rob directed us to. It was basically a holding cell, with dirt splattered gray walls and a bare fire crackling in the corner. I looked to my right to see a limp body. Niall.

"Charlie?" Niall stirred. I stand, relieved to find myself unshackled and to hear Niall alive. "Hey." I say softly. He sits up, putting a hand to his head "Where are we?"

"I don't even know, Niall." I say slowly. "Do you think Rob led us in a trap?" Niall said suddenly, face lighting with unnatural fury.

"No, I don't think so. He wouldn't do that. He's an agent of Optimum, not an enemy." I soothe, rubbing his shoulder.

"No! Charlie, please don't act naïve. That's the last thing we need." Niall yelled. I wince "Calm down! Let's find a way out of this hell first."

"Okay." Niall grumbled. "Good." I said quietly. "But this is not over." He adds as I roll my eyes. "Shh." Niall says quickly.

I furrow my eyebrows, ears straining for the slightest noise. Then I caught the sound of boots thumping on a floor.

"They're coming down the stairs." I hiss. Niall pats his pockets "They took all our weapons." My mind reeled for a solution, but came up short.

The door opened to reveal a man in a casual polo and jeans outfit. It took me a moment to place the clean shaven features, the piercing eyes.

"Rob?" I gasped, somehow linking this man to the scruffy one I saw hours earlier. It was positive, this was a considerably cleaner Rob.

"Hi Charlie." He said, voice smoother then glass, colder the ice. "What the hell are you doing here?" Niall spat venomously.

Rob studied us carefully, unwavering. His entire demeanor seemed deadlier then a cobra's, and about as cunning as one as well.

"You're both fools." He said finally, a patronizing smirk curving his lips. "You have two seconds to explain before I throttle you with my bare hands." Niall growled.

Deftly, Rob snatched a small gun from his pocket. He smirked again, pointing it at Niall. He loaded a bullet in with a small, lethal click.

"Not a smart move, Horan." Rob chuckled. "What is going on?" I yell. Rob seems completely unfazed by my outburst, as if it was expected. The utter confusion, the pain from being knocked out, the grief for Optimum, it was all too much to bear.

"I don't think you can handle the truth." Rob said easily, as if this was his idea of a game. A sick, twisted game.

"Yes. We can handle the truth." Niall spoke, voice clipped and curt. He was starting to sound like me. I didn't know if I took pride in that or not

"Might as well start from the beginning. When Optimum was first created, by my dear late brother Phil-" I interrupt him "Wait, the Phil?"

Niall gives me a curious look as Rob nods "Nice to know you remember the stories.". "What stories?" Niall asked, impatient.

"They used to tell us that there was an official higher then Rob, and that if you were bad, Phil would come and dispatch you to a death mission, and you wouldn't come back. It was a childhood tale, something meant to reprimand the children growing up in Optimum. Like 'Billy, eat your carrots or I'll call Phil!'. I didn't grow up hearing it, but Sara told me." I say quickly.

"Yes, anyway, Phil was always boasting about founding a secret society, a whole world beneath our own. Optimum was originally meant to be just that, a society. It had different rules then those of the government, better rules at the time. So Phil gathered up family and friends, and shipped us down." Rob said.

I was silent. That idea of Optimum was absurd, wickedly preposterous. "So it was a sanctuary of some sorts? A new world controlled by your brother?" Niall questioned.

Rob nodded "Yes, that's perfect. Of course, I found the place suffocating, too much order. I hated it."

He pauses, his cold eyes surveying us. For the first time, I question Rob's sanity. He seemed like a crackpot, or was acting like one at the very least.

"So, I decided to build a new organization. I called it Calamity. It was much better then the horrid place founded by Phil. But I wanted more." Rob's eyes started to get a more vile sheen, one of a criminal.

"This sounds like a monologue of a bad guy in a cheesy action movie." Niall says bluntly. I stifle a laugh.

Niall looks at me, with an even look of surprise and happiness. "You're actually starting to sound like me." I say proudly.

"Oh shut up." He rolls his eyes. Rob clears his throat sharply "One more interruption, and I start shooting."

That made us freeze. "Okay, carry on." Niall said, cooperating. "So, as I was saying,", Rob continued irritably," I built Calamity. I decided that Calamity would forever oppose Optimum. I would see Optimum burn. That was my goal."

"But I had to be careful, and patient. I rounded up a handful of criminals. We began. It was a small start, only four kidnapped kids. But it was enough. I sent one to Optimum. Her name was Desiree. We tried to make her as mentally unstable as possible, to scare Phil. She told him a bit about our cult, just enough to tempt Phil."

"It worked. Aghast at what the poor child had been through, he trained a few people and sent them to the three children's rescue. It all snowballed from there, until Phil officially made Optimum the agency it is today." Rob finished, tossing me a scary leer.

"So, what are you going to do to us? What was the whole point of this? How did you infiltrate Optimum anyway?" I seethe, beyond angry. Small flecks of red dotted my vision, and I clenched my fists.

"Oh darling, you'll see soon enough what you're fate pans out to be. And by wouldn't dear Phil invite his younger brother to live with him at Optimum? Why wouldn't he grant his sibling power? You see, being naïve is a fatal flaw. Don't trust anyone. Although, I doubt that after this whole ordeal, you won't be able to meet anyone, much less trust them." Rob said. He tossed one more insane grin before trotting out.

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