Targets: Part 5

When the message ended, I clicked back to the communicator’s main menu to find that Daniel and Haley’s calls had made it to the League communicator too, and that they’d left messages.

Deciding that I’d have to look into why there would be a lag between the League phones and League communicators, I was about to listen to Daniel’s message when the communicator started to ping again.

It identified the caller as Lucas Hardwick.

That had to be good news — well, unless it meant that they’d killed Lucas and were calling to let us know.

I answered, setting the communicator to distort my voice.

“This is the Rocket.”

“The Rocket? Thank god. I’m in bad shape. Not like when I got shot, but do you have someplace I can go? Someplace out of sight?”

He was breathing heavily.

“Uh… Yeah. The League office. It’s downtown?”

“Right. Not far from the hospital.”

“I can be there in half an hour. I just got up.”

“Sleeping in? God, that’s crazy. I’ll be waiting.”

He hung up, and maybe at that point I should have been springing into action, throwing on the stealth suit, and running out the door.

I intended to, but instead I sat on the bed holding the jacket, and staring at the communicator, thinking how much it sucked that I wasn’t even going to get a moment to relax after three days of putting the new suits together.

After maybe five minutes of that, I asked myself who I was going to call back first–Daniel, Haley, Chris, or Lt. Van Kley?

Haley answered the question by calling me again.

“Hey–” I began, speaking into my League phone.

I didn’t get to finish the sentence.

“Nick, have you seen the TV?”

“No. I just got up.”

“It’s after ten.”

“I know. I’ve been working on the suits for days, and I’ve barely had a chance to sleep.”

She started whispering.

“Sydney’s here, Nick. Prime’s people broke into the hotel room where they were hiding, and kidnapped her mom. Sydney escaped.”

“What happened to Sean?”

“I don’t know. She doesn’t know either. He wasn’t in the room when they came. I think Prime’s people attacked everyone in Justice Fist.”

“Van Kley said the same thing.”

“Are the police going after them? Nick, they’ll be slaughtered.”

“I didn’t talk to her. She left the League a voice mail. I haven’t called her back yet. They want us to handle it.”

“Oh. We were already.”

“Yeah. I’m just not sure how. But anyway, I got a call from Lucas. I’m meeting him at the office downtown.”

“Lucas is alive?”

“Shouldn’t he be?”

“They trashed his house, and took his parents. I saw it on the news. They killed the guards from Protection Force, and no one knows what happened to him or his sisters.”

“Wow. So that’s why he sounded tired. Do you want to come with me?”

“I can’t leave Sydney. She’s lying on my bed and crying.”

“Maybe we need to bring her along too… But how do we do it without letting her know that you’re… you?”

“I don’t know… It would be so much simpler if I could tell her.”

“She’d never keep it from Sean.”

“Look, I know. I just wish I could. Maybe Jaclyn or someone could come here and pick her up?”

“That might work.”

11 thoughts on “Targets: Part 5”

  1. Hey everybody… Sorry this is relatively short, but the project only got to QA today (and we’re still working on parts of it).

    I’ve been working more hours this week than I want to think. Once we start getting things back from QA, I’ll only be working on them during working hours (as opposed to the hours I’ve been doing).

    And then I’ll take a couple days off. That’ll be nice. Maybe I’ll get to start on a site redesign I’ve been imagining.

  2. Project? QA? Sorry, haven’t been keeping up.

    Short, but good, though. And I can appreciate what it takes to get a piece of something out to maintain momentum… If you’re cramped for time, it’s even more impressive that you managed something, than if you were just writing when it was comfortable. Kudos!

    1. I had a post apologizing for Monday’s lack of update. It described a project at work that expanded to fill all available hours.

      The worst of it is over now, but I’ve taken down the post because I don’t want to clutter up the story with “The Collected Excuses of Jim.” After a certain date, they don’t make for interesting reading.

  3. Jim, there was so much happening in that post that I didn’t even notice it was short and even though you say it’s short, I’m still having a hard time feeling it.

    On behalf of QA, I would like to point out that I think the word before “springing” (in the sentence below) should be “been”

    “He hung up, and maybe at that point I should have be springing into action, throwing on the stealth suit, and running out the door.”

    1. Thanks for noticing. It’s fixed.

      As for the length, it’s typically 700-1000 works, sometimes over 1000. This time it was around 550. You’re right though in that a lot can happen in that number of words. A lot of the posts in the earlier chapters (“Lightning Strikes Twice” through to a lot of “In The Public Eye”) were in the 500-700 range.

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