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.


9. Chapter 33: Bodyguards (Part 1): Second Family

The businesses district thrived with activity for the afternoon. Blaring horns from cars, buses and bikes echoed several blocks down main streets, resembling some awful orchestra Allison couldn't escape as she half jogged across a busy intersection, ignoring rude citizens that carelessly bumped into her upon getting to the opposite side of the road themselves.

Adjacent to her Browward College department building sat two fenced off gravel lots, one for public parking; the other belonged to a construction firm. Behind the tarp covered gates, workers shouted to one another over jackhammers that pummeled the earth. She had grown accustomed to the sounds. At first the loud noises bothered her; the suburbs were much more peaceful. However after living downtown for a full year already, it became the norm. She recalled visiting her old friends back at home for winter break a few months earlier and finding the stillness of the sticks to be rather uncomfortable and mundane. She was definitely turning into a city-girl. Camera hanging around her neck by a strap, she took another long drag on her cigarette.

Several feet behind her, Bone and his accomplice, the bearded ebony thugs dressed in all black and leather were slowly gaining ground her. She was minutes within their grasp—until they noticed her destination. The two men put an abrupt stop in their tracks after crossing the road themselves, glancing around them hesitantly, scowling and cursing.
A small group of photography majors surrounded the moving truck ahead of her, chatting amidst themselves. The vehicle was partly parked atop the crowded sidewalk next to the entrance of her school so as not to obstruct the flow of traffic. Allison immediately spotted her classmate Aracely amongst the students. Tan, slightly chubby and bespectacled. Dark hair fell to her back; the ends dyed a bright orange color. She sported a jean jacket and underneath that, a monochrome dress fell to her knees. The two had been friends since meeting on orientation day. Both in the photo field.

"Those things'll kill you one day," Aracely frowned, staring at Allison's cig while she approached her.

"What're you, my freaking granny?" Allison rolled her eyes in irritation.

She knew Aracely hated smoke, but she figured that whenever her friend decided to put up the cash and actually buy a pack for her, then and only then could she tell her what to do with her smokes.

At those words though, Aracely glared intently at her, until Allison muttered an obscenity and sighed, taking one last puff before flicking her precious baby onto the littered street beside her.

"Happy now?" She gritted through clenched teeth, flipping the hood of her hoodie over her head during a cool breeze.

"You'll thank me when you live to be one hundred!"

"I say we still snatch her Bone," His partner mumbled to him, stepping in front of his associate and faced him, in order to avoid suspicious looks. They stood at the curb of the crosswalk.

He reached for his pistol inside his coat while citizens bolted back and forth past them, continuing.

"And if any one of them lil' bastards so much as twitch, I put three hollow-tips in they—"

"Boss said no witnesses, fool." Bone growled and interrupted him, stopping his colleague from pulling out his firearm, using his free arm.

The bald male's other huge fist was stuffed within his own coat to hide his exposed and extremely tough marrow. The skin around his hand completely gone. Most of it was no more than a cheap cover anyway, simple synthetics provided by the genius scientists in the Red Syndicate. He had lost about thirty percent of it years ago when he discovered his talents as an Abnormal. 'Bone' wasn't just a nickname. It was his armor and his weapon. The stuff grew over his muscles, veins and organs like a shell. His skeletal structure was strong enough to deflect impact from a speeding train, not to mention smash a steel beam flat.

He went on, returning his focus to Allison, who had her back facing them. "That means we don't make a scene, Roscoe. For now, we watch."

"What do you mean they're removing the lab?!" Allison hollered, hearing the news from her friend, cutting off the rest of Aracely's explanation in the process.

"What about the students who have homework and midterm projects? Students like you and me!!"

"I know," Aracely nodded sharing her frustration. "They said—"

"And the tutors!" Allison clenched her fists. "Does removing the lab mean that they're fired?"

Since her undergrad employment opportunity last summer, she had grown close with most of the staff on the seventh floor. They were more than just people who helped her with assignments and various questions. She saw them as role models or teachers, mentors even. They were the family she never had. She didn't exactly have a loving relationship with her real mother, that woman was never home due to her job; never there for Allison when she honestly needed her. Well she found perfect parents here at school. Aunts, uncles, the whole nine! People who listened to her personal issues... Gave a little guidance...

When Aracely looked down at her shoes, unable to answer her friend's last question, Allison started to storm furiously toward the revolving doors of the building, rushing past a few university security officers. She absolutely had to see Lynn and Darryl, head managers of the Digital Photo Lab. Perhaps they had answers. She didn't want to believe the family she recently came to love was already breaking apart!

"Ally..." Her round classmate mumbled mournfully before hurrying after her. "Wait up!"

"What's going on now?" Roscoe asked, as his back was turned to the mass of students next to the entrance.

Bone narrowed his eyes and snarled upon noticing the college guards appear, trying to dispel the crowds of young people. No doubt he and his partner could easily take them, but... Orders were orders. He'd have to wait a few hours more before he could cave her skull in... That suited him fine. Before the day was over, she would be dead. He knew that much.

"Wanna-be cops just showed up." Bone began. "Let's get back to the truck. We'll watch this place from there."

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