Chapter Ten: Encore

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Leo found himself happy to avoid being in the danger zone. Riku, however, was not Leo. He made several mental notes, as well as a few physical notes on the metal tables to order a supply of parachutes and modify the safety protocols which stopped the jet from getting close to their targets. All he could do was sit and watch the events unfold on the advanced camera with Leo, giving very unneeded commentary. Riku took note that Leo was the kind of guy who got bored easily and often created his own entertainment.

Riku was just glad that he could at least shut out some of Leo’s commentary with immense focus and a few feet of distance.

An explosion coming from below alerted the two that Cole was coming back. Riku was slightly amazed that he didn’t see him on the cameras. While he couldn’t tell for sure, Riku thought that Cole was somehow getting faster. On the cameras, he did see Vlad and Lara stepping next to Lucia and the three levitating into the air and flying towards the jet.

“Enjoy the show?” Kira’s voice said from behind the two, causing Leo to jump, hitting himself on the table.

“You guys did well,” Riku said while Leo held himself in pain.

“How do you do that...” Leo got out before turning around to face her. After seeing her older form, Leo couldn’t help look at her differently. That and the riot armor brought together a certain look which Leo found that he likes. He would say that, however, since he still feared her puppets. When he saw her now, in her younger form, he didn’t feel like flirting with her anymore. He did see that she kept the riot armor and the rocket launcher.

“Did you steal all that?” Riku asked, clearly noticing it too.

“It was a gift from the strike teams for doing their jobs for them,” she responded. Her and her puppets took their spots at her table. As she sat down, Cole appeared at on the boarding ramp and entered the jet.

“Nice of you guys to stay out of my way,” He said as he entered.

“We didn’t have a choice.” Riku responded. “No parachutes.”

“We did have a protocol which doesn’t let the jet get close to a hostile target, though” Leo added.

“Oh, don’t explain it to me. I really don’t care,” Cole said, strolling to his spot.

Leo and Riku exchanged glances.

“Didn’t you break that arm?” Riku asked.

“I fixed it,” Cole responded.

The room was silent for a second, until Lucia arrived with Lara and Vlad.
“So that’s what it’s like to fly,” the Romanian said as he stepped into the jet.

“I’m never going to get used to that,” Lara said, shivering as she entered, followed by Lucia, trying to suppress a laugh. The boarding ramp shut and the jet once again took flight.

“Well, now that everyone’s here,” Leo said, standing up. “We have another mission.”
Riku stared at him for a second.

“How did you get our mission without me noticing?”

Leo smiled to himself.

“You’re not the only one that can be stealthy. So anyone remember the eighth member of this group, the dude from Belgium?”

The room was silent for a second.

“The one we thought Vlad here killed?”

“You thought I murdered a Belgian all the way from my castle in Romania?” Vlad asked from his spot.

“Our superiors thought that. So no one remembers that we were supposed to be an eight man group?”

The room remained silent.

“Attention span of kittens,” he said to himself.

“The point is that our handlers found the real killer. Another infected. Apparently, our Belgian friend met another infected. The two had a disagreement and it seems that this guy was stronger. Now, we have know where this guy is. He’s in Antwerp, Belgium. That’s where we’re headed now.”

“No time to stop for a drink, I guess,” Vlad sighed.

“So what do we know about this guy?” Cole asked, a look of anticipation in his eyes.

“Well, we know that he has wings, which he uses to fly around.” Leo answered. “After he killed our Belgian friend, he went into hiding for a few days, before he reappeared and started robbing stores.”
“And the police can’t get him,” Lara asked, her voice seeming smaller than usual, which was almost impressive.

“They’ve tried. Police records show that his wings are fast and strong enough to block bullets. Apparently, the wings are pretty sharp as well. He’s killed three cops with them.”

“So,” Riku cut in, “all we need to do is clip his wings and give him to the police.”

“We could do that, though our superiors would prefer him dead. Although, since he could most likely get the death penalty for his crimes, either works.”

“So we can kill him,” Cole asked.

“So we can capture him,” Riku asked.

While the two weren't looking at each other, Leo could almost see the annoyance they had with one another.

“Yes, we can,” Leo replied. With that, Cole was satisfied and lied back.
“Anything else, Leo?” Lucia asked.
“Nope, that’s it. We’re not to far from Bulgaria, so we’ll be there within the hour. Carry on, everyone,”

He returned to his spot by Vlad and Riku. He sighed and addressed Riku.

“Maybe he’ll pass out and you can get your way,” Leo said. Riku looked out the window. He sighed.

“With any luck,” he responded. He lied back and his chair and closed his eyes, immediately falling asleep. At the table across from them, Lara and Lucia were talking silently together. Kira and her puppets sat at the table next to it. Nearby, Cole was lying down, unmoving in his seat, asleep as well.

“Maybe he’ll stay asleep and we won’t get a fried freak,” Vlad responded, half laughing. Leo chuckled.

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