Up There so High

What do you get when you have a space fanatic, a runaway princess and a bunch of miscreants? Well, you get the three E's; Explosions, Expletives and Enemies.
You may not laugh along with this story but you may sing (because the main space man is very much fond of that).

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42. The Breaking and Entering Offense

 

~The Breaking and Entering Offense~

~Everett~

 

Their plan was quite simple in theory but slightly more complicated in practice. They were going through Zeldor’s sewage system, strapping weapons to their person while walking through sludge and water.

The sewer was a cylinder of concrete separated into sections by a series of grates and gates that Fitz manoeuvred through. A film of dirt separated the surface of the water from the depth of it, coming up to just below Everett’s knees. They pushed onwards, shuffling through dirt that Everett didn’t want to think about. A scurry indicated movement and a torch was moved in that direction, catching the long tail of a rat like creature before it dipped into a crevice in the wall to hide from the light. Everett sighed and placed his grimace back on his face. This was not enjoyable at all. 

He could have been doing much better things than this. But at the end of this would be Skylar, and that made the filth all worth it.

In their time trudging through the sewers Reese and Fitz were teaching him about Zeldian weapons. Currently attached to his person was a mechanical switch blade, something that switched blades and length and sharpness all with a flick of Everett’s wrist. It was a work of art, a line of moving gears and exposed parts. Also in his arsenal was a twin pair of knuckle dusters that protruded claw like appendages and transformed into protective metal gloves.

Everett had a feeling that the gloves had another purpose but Fitz hadn’t alluded him as to what that was. Fitz had called the weapons Switch and Claw respectfully.

Fitz had several guns strapped into holsters; twin double barrel pistols around his waist, a rifle strapped across his back and enough ammo to pack a punch.

Reese held blades in her hair that masqueraded as decorative hair pins and an arm full of beads. Everett had questioned these beads before Reese threw one and they exploded on impact, spreading a cloud of gas when it landed.

They made a deadly trio. Even despite the fact that Everett was calling them Switch, Gunner and Beads in his head.

“So should we have a name?” Everett asked to separate the quiet splashes of watery filth as they passed a grate.

“What do you mean?” Reese asked, her thrown up hair not wavering in its construction as she turned her head.

“We should have a team name right?”

“That’s what is going through your brain right now?” Fitz asked, checking the ammo that he had strapped to his waist.

Everett shrugged. They had to have a name didn’t they? That would be easier to say rather than ‘the team’, especially since they didn’t seem to have a permanent leader.

“Well when an alien, an indestructible man and a seer walk into a bar, you get the formation of Galaxy Cluster-fuck,” Fitz joked, quirking his lips as he mocked cocked his gun and aimed it at Everett’s head.

“Ha, ha, very funny naming the Human as the Alien,” Everett answered and ignored the jab that he technically was the alien since he was from outer space according to the Zeldian perspective, “but we are not calling the team Galaxy Cluster-fuck.”

A beat passed and the squelch of filth registered underfoot. Everett was lucky that he was wearing boots laced tightly enough that they were impervious to just about anything. All Zeldian fashion seemed to follow that trend, with Everett’s flannel pants being tucked strongly into boots and the long sleeved tunic hugging his body but padded underneath for warmth. Even Reese’s corseted shirt seemed to suit the purpose for armour, despite it looking slightly lacy around the seams. Everett knew that the fashion would fit the label of Steampunk in modern day Earth but actually wearing it seemed significant to him.

“Well we are saving Zeld and technically the universe from The Miracle so therefore we should be The Saviours?” Everett proposed and got no response, “The Defenders? The Nova Liberators? The Wardens? The Sentinels? Cerberus?”

“What the hell is Cerberus?” Reese asked not even looking at Everett.

“Three headed dog that guards the mythological Underworld,” he intoned and Reese hummed, answering that they had something similar in their religion and Everett shelved away that information for later.

Maybe he shouldn’t have been trusted to come up with a name for them, after all he had a reputation for the worst band names and quiz team names in history back on Earth.

They plunged on and it seemed never-ending until they were at a circular shoot leading to a familiar gold lined wall. Everett knew where this led, to the rubbish shoots of the sub-level kitchens. The Palace had two kitchens in the Aeon spire, the one they were going to and the one on the first floor of the Palace.

They crept up the shoot, which was lined with foot and splashes of drinks the further they crawled up it. It was on an incline, steeper at the top, and the trio relied on their armour to hoist themselves up the concrete walls. Everett’s gloves helped with that, and he was proud of himself for only needing two tries to use the gloves without the claws. Reese and Fitz used metal bars that served as grappling hooks to the walls. At the top they paused and Fitz fixed a pair of binoculars over his eyes, checking for heat signatures beyond the final door they had before the kitchens.

“No one in the kitchen but there’s two people by the doors, I can’t tell if they’re Goons or not.” Fitz whispered into the close proximity of the shoot.

“We can handle them,” Reese muttered and was the first one through the shoot, climbing through so that her bracelets didn’t rattle against the side. Everett was next with Fitz bringing up the rear, taking out one of his pistols from the holsters attached to his flannel pants. Fitz also wore a leather waistcoat over his long sleeved tunic and Everett had to argue that these were the finer things in life, not the typical fashion that was adopted on Earth either.

Reese exited with grace and looked around the room, her near knee length boots silent against the tiled floor. The three of them crept across the kitchen with Reese leading the group and approached the two swinging doors at the front. They could see two brief silhouettes through the doors, guns strapped to their backs and the trio knew that the guards were Goons.

There was a small gap in between the door and Reese slipped off one of her beads and pushed it through. With a sound of a rolling marble and a puff of air as the gas escaped from the casing, the Goons pitched sounds of question and then slumped. After a moment of stillness, Fitz pulled open the door to gaze at the two unconscious bodies, pulling their guns from them, destroying one with a snap and strapping the other one to his back.

When he caught Everett looking he shrugged, “It will be good to fight fire with their own fire.”

They moved on, the floor being dominated by the kitchens and the lift. There was no one manning the lift but they felt like discretion was a priority of the mission and goggles were put on. Fitz said that these were enchanted by a witch with an invisibility glamour. According to him he paid a pretty penny (or rather a pretty jewel bar) for a set of six of them back in the day. Everett had just been curious that the Aglaia displayed such a good weapon’s cache.

They searched the remaining sub-level floors, of which there were five, knocking the Goons out that were in their way. They left some in order to give the sense of normality and they never killed a single one. In Reese’s words you couldn’t be certain whether they were going along with the Miracle or being manipulated by it. Everyone deserved some sort of a second chance.

Everett felt like they were wasting time but he knew that they weren’t. They needed to sweep the different floors to make sure that The Miracle or Skylar weren’t there and it was better to be careful than to be quick and miss something.

They did the same with the Throne Room, where only a congregation of Goons gathered. That left only one location or many locations. If Skylar’s information had been incorrect then they could be looking for her like a needle in a haystack.

Approaching the central lift was a daunting one, especially since Reese had to uncover her eyes for the retinal scanner attached to the side. It scanned her purple eyes with a beep opening the doors to reveal a Goon and three maids. Damn. Reese smiled, trying to signal with her eyes that they should be careful with how they positioned their bodies.

This was why Reese was dressed fancily so that if she was caught she would be received as a normal Zeldian and not one on her way to battle The Miracle. Everett crammed himself closest to the wall, placing his hands over the Switchblade to prevent it from clanging against the gold metal of the lift. Fitz would be in the same boat, clinging his guns together so that they didn’t make a sound or knock into any other body.

The Goon was near the back, his hands positioned on his rifle in a warning. The three maids were in the middle, with Reese gathered on the side.

Reese’s eyes were drawn to the panel at the front displaying the floor numbers, and number four was highlighted. Reese deliberately pressed five and Everett could see that she was trying to appear relaxed.

“How is you day Miss?” One of the maid’s asked her, turning discreetly so that she wasn’t facing the front.

“I am well thank you for asking, and you?”

The Goon asked her a question before the maid could even open her mouth.

“What is your business here Miss?”

“I have news on Skylar Kingsley, I was asked to wait on floor five for someone to collect me to see if The Miracle would hold an audience with me. I’m sure The Miracle is a busy ruler,” Reese smirked at the end trying to appear realistic and friendly.

The Goon nodded and the lift pinged as the floor was reached. The doors opened and the Goon filed out, the maids following him. The maid that had spoken to Reese matched Reese’s stare for a just a moment with a dip of her head before exiting, and through the shutting doors they could see the Goon lift his lips to his radio.

The doors shut. They all breathed a sigh of relief and Reese pressed floor number six, fastening the goggles back around her face.

“We have to be careful,” Fitz was murmuring, “The Goon knows something we don’t.”

Reese was sure to be nodding in the space next to him, “The maid suspected but she didn’t say anything, perhaps she was grateful for what she thinks we are doing.”

They all whispered their assent into the closeness.

“Well done on handling that Reese,” Everett muttered, knowing that the words would carry to the girl and even though a word of thanks was not given back to him he knew that Reese received it well.

“Weapons ready fellas,” Fitz said as the lift rattled upwards, stopped at floor five, and continued upwards to the floor they wanted.

They knew that this floor would be the heavily guarded since The Miracle was most likely here. They had to remain conspicuous, getting to the Pantheon Room without alerting anyone that they were there at all.

The lift pinged open and there were four guards stationed there, two on each side. Reese rolled a bead towards one side and Fitz positioned the barrel of a gun an inch away from the skin of the Goons on the other side. One gun was built with sedatives, pellets that were small and made so that all they would feel was a sting.

They went down.

They progressed down the corridor, two guards stationed on each side of the hallway that were alerted by their partners slumping down near the lift. This was when they had to start fighting, aiming to injure in order to survive and achieve their goal.

The Goons would hesitate at nothing, if reaching for their rifles being a second nature to them by now was anything to go by. The team had to do the same and be just as ruthless. They may have been invisible but some hits could still hit.

Everett heard the sound of pins unravelling from hair and a blade was flying through the air, not under the same glamour that they were, splintering apart and hitting with a raised hand. The hand was going for a rifle and the squawk of pain alerted everyone else to the presence of an enemy.

The fight was on.

Fitz switched his gun, the sound of sliding in and out of a holster registered, and a bullet clicking into a chamber and firing out.

The gun was perfect according to Fitz, a laminated chamber with changing gears exposed, small, discreet and deadly. Quiet due to the silencer suppressing everything but the whir of shifting metal. The metal was cold with a small hole drilled in the head of the gun so that the shock of air would hit the target with as much force as the bullet itself. It was capable of reloading itself and that made it perfect.

A Goon went down with a bullet in his arm.

Time slowed.

Beads rolled across the floor, smoke pouring out before the Goons could squash them under their boots. The pins were blades thrown through the air, separating into pieces and shards before coming together and curving through the air again to bounce off another surface before they could meet their target.

Everett wouldn’t say that he stood in the middle of a hallway and gawked but it was a close thing.

 

~

 

 

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