Chapter 9 - Secrets

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PRESENT

***** "I'm tired of swimming, can we take a rest?" Karen whined as approached the beaches of Jagged Island.

"Sure, but we're going to have to scout the island," I replied as I stood up, my feet touching the sandy bottom. After a few minutes of procrastination and a small water fight, we were out of the water, still in our swimsuits, with the hot sun blazing down on us.

"Armor suit," I ordered casually as my swimsuit changed into an armor suit.

"Come!" Karen exclaimed, and a full suit of armor appeared around her.

She could easily summon her suit with just one word!? I shouted in my mind, surprised at her skills.

"I feel like my spot as number 1 is extremely vulnerable," I joked as she checked her weapons.

"I am ranked second overall," Karen reminded me.

"Geez, you're making having to work to actually keep this rank," I grumbled.

"Let's hope you actually start working," Karen said as she took out her primary weapon, a Type-51 Carbine, which is a semi-automatic rifle that fires radioactive projectiles.

"Sigh..." I whined as the two of us headed for the forest.

"See anything?" I asked my temporary partner.

"I'm picking up nothing on my radar," Karen informed me.

"Roger that, the forest is clear."

Just as we approached the edge of the forest, I suddenly halted.

"I see movement, and I mean a lot of movement," I growled. "Karen, go towards the right and get ready to flank them. The forest should overlap with the rocks, so get to high ground and spot them for me."

Karen nodded and hustled away quietly.

"I wished I had two M7 submachine guns with me right now......" I sighed. I activated my heat signature magic and looked through my battle rifle's scope.

"Luca, I can see about twenty bodies in the clearing," Karen whispered through the Comms.

"Roger that, are they Unknowns or humans?" I asked.

"Probably humans, I don't see any Unknown types."

"Who are they?"

"I don't know, they are wearing armored suits, but I don't recognize those. They seem to be setting up a transmitter of some sort."

"Flashbang them," I replied as I took out my BR-66.

"Roger that, on your count."

"Three, two, one... Throw now!" I ordered. I saw the flashbang land in the middle of the back and activated anti-flash on my eyes with magic. When it exploded, I dashed out of the bushes and fired my submachine gun. Karen also opened fire from above with her T-51. With those people still dazed from the flashbang, I made use of the fast-firing UMP's bullets, eliminating four of them with my first magazine. Karen's T-51, although slow firing, is very accurate. She was able to take down another five targets and tuck back into cover. When the remaining flashbang's effects faded out, Karen was back into cover behind the rocks and I was in some decent cover across from my original position.

"What the hell, who are you guys?" one of the soldiers asked.

"Same questions, who are you guys? Planting a transmitter in our territory," I shot back.

"You are the ones that are trespassing! We work for the Capital!" one of them exclaimed.

"What the hell? I don't see any permits sent from the Administration about people being here!"

"Hah, of course, you don't. We are out of your pay grade! We are scientists that work for the Capital's top Administration leaders!" another sneered.

"There's no way you can be out of my pay grade. I've got Level Black access," I growled.

"Level Black? There's no way a soldier can have access to that data unless he is a part of the Alpha..." the scientist trailed off.

"Well," I muttered as I got out of my cover. Before the soldiers could shoot me, they were taken out from behind by Karen.

"So, Mr. Scientists, got anything to say?" I asked while Karen jumped down to the clearing to join me. The remaining three people didn't quiver at all. Instead, they smiled and one of them said, "Isn't that great, Lucania the Great, the commander of the livestock..."

Before he could finish his sentence, another scientist shot him and muttered, "You're telling them too much."

"Did he just call us livestock?" Karen whispered into my ear. I nodded and raised my gun.

"There's no need to panic kids. We're scientists that work on testing out the new equipment and magic that we've researched," one of the scientists said with a smiley face. Before I could ask any more questions, a barrage of sniper bullets was fired, and the scientists fell dead.

"Shit, we've got company!" Karen growled. I turn to see a dozen or so Unknown scouts in the air, ready to fire upon us. As Karen provided cover fire for me, I rushed back into the forest to find some sort of cover.

"Karen, move back! I'll cover you!" I ordered. She then came running to my position, drawing the Unknown squadron to the ground and in my line of sight.

"Let's see what this bad-boy can do..." I muttered, aiming at the scouts as they tried to hit Karen. "Karen, flash them!"

"You shouldn't ask someone who's trying not to get shot at to stop and throw something!"

"Just toss it."

"Urgh."

Even as she complained, Karen still tossed a flashbang at the Unknowns. When the flashbang detonated, its flash blinded and disoriented the Unknowns, who temporarily lost their vision.

"Switch!" Karen squeaked as she dove for cover.

"Roger," I replied and swiftly emerged from my cover. With their vision and hearing impaired by the stun grenade, were easy targets to my three-round bursts from my BR-66. Within seconds and only expending one ammo magazine, I've seemed to have finished the Unknown scouts.

"Is it clear?" Karen asked.

"Seems so, can you go check?" I requested. She nodded and quickly headed towards the direction of the presumed-dead Unknowns. While she finished the job, I jogged towards where the scientists died. The bodies of the scientists were in horrendous shape, but I was still able to salvage their data-pads and papers in their bags and clothes.

"Let see what these things tell me," I muttered to myself as I looked through one of the data-pads. Immediately, the title sent shivers down through my spine.

"Luca, what are you reading?" Karen suddenly popped up behind me.

"Nothing much, the reports are just about the idea of setting up boundary defense," I lied.

"Let's report back!" Karen said as she headed back to the beach.

"I'm going to have to go do some researching......" I muttered as I followed Karen. At that time, I wouldn't know the chain of events that I would encounter after meeting those scientists.

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