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Monday, 29 December 2008

The Rising - Chapter 78: Contact

Time passed to the end of the day without incident. The rain had stopped but the clouds were gathering, looking almost too heavy to remain in the sky above the city.

Bad weather sapped the few attractive qualities away from the city. The green belt was quickly being gnawed away by retail developers and an over-active manufacturing industry sixty years earlier had resulted in massive factories dotted all over the landscape, which were now abandoned and falling apart. The smashed or boarded up windows were a deterrent to everyone, with the exception of the homeless community that had grown in size year on year for a long time.

It’s good to be back, Becky thought as she surveyed her surroundings before putting her helmet back on. The building behind her used to be a small office block but now it doubled as another inconspicuous storage facility that housed the kind of things The Brotherhood didn’t want anyone else to know they had.

The only difference between this building and the site she had visited earlier in the day was that this one was empty. There was no one there at all. Only one thing was worthy of note in the whole building: a thick metal safe that had been left open. The building had been abandoned in a hurry. The soldiers who had been guarding the safe obviously received orders to get out but Becky wanted to know why they would go to the trouble of leaving the safe open for her. Surely they knew she was coming?

It had been the same story at a lab just a few blocks away. Doors open, no one home. Becky had taken what she had been sent for and walked out the front door as easily as she walked in.

Too easy.

Easy or not, Becky had what she needed. She just managed to squeeze the folder she had just liberated into her backpack, which she threw over her shoulders. Now they had until sunrise to get their heads together and work out what the hell was going on.

What are we going to do when we meet up with Doctor Forrest?

How do we know we can trust him?

Can we do anything to stop the Rising or are we just wasting our time?

Becky was about to start her bike when the speaker in her helmet crackled.

Agent Clarkson, are you there?’ asked the familiar voice.

She didn’t say a word.

Agent Clarkson, it’s Will. There’s no one listening in. Can you hear me?’

Becky wanted to respond, if only to share a conversation with someone she had thought she would never speak to again in her life. Even if someone was monitoring the channel she was on, they couldn’t track her position and it was safe to assume they knew she had come out of hiding

What the hell.

Hello Will.’

Agent Clarkson,’ Will whispered, ‘It’s so good to hear your voice. I thought you were dead for sure.’

As good as, Will. It’s good to hear your voice. I hope you’re okay. What’s going on?’

I don’t know for sure. I’ve only been moved back upstairs for the day. They want me to bring you in but luckily they all got bored listening in and left me to try all the channels by myself. I’ve got to be quick.’

Okay, what have you got?’

The Brotherhood have been ordered to abandon their positions all over the city.’

They must be coordinating an operation. Can you find out what?’

My access is severely restricted but I’ll see what I can find out. I’ve got to go.’

Thanks Will.’

It’s good to have you back, Agent Clarkson.’

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