Wendy shook off the dizziness as well as she could, pushing off the wall and heading towards the sound of the door. The blow to the head only added to the darkness of the hanger as she struggled to follow the rest of the unit, feeling her way along the wall.
She heard the door shut as Captain Talassy followed the other two members through, aiming her way through the darkness, feeling for any crates or supplies stacked in her way. Her fingers found the cold, round metal of a stack of culvert pipes. They made it easy to feel her way along.
She froze as she rounded the end of the stack and heard a sharp intake of breath, a small voice choking back sobs. Even in her dazed state, Wendy knew the sound. Barclay had hidden the girl in the pipes and then led them on a merry chase as a distraction. Feeling her way around the corner, she heard the scared breathing increase.
More shots rang from outside, and she turned towards them, stumbling through the darkness, the glowing green light of the exit sign finally registering as her hands found the bar on the door and she pushed it open, almost falling onto the blacktop.
Barclay lay curled up on the runway some two-hundred yards away, clutching his left leg. The other two members of the team and the man in black were standing over him. Wendy felt a strong hand grip her upper arm and help her upright as Captain Talassy looked down at her. He was holding his nose with his other hand, trying to stop the flow from Barclay's strike. His nose was turned at an odd angle and Wendy knew it was broken and would probably have to be set.
Once she was steady, he let go and motioned to the right side of her face. Lifting one hand, she felt the skin raw, with a few small, sticky patches. She'd caught a good scrape from the wall when Barclay had struck her, and she could feel her face swelling around the left eye where his punch had connected. Still, she stood up straight and followed her superior over to their downed traitor where the man in black was starting to fume.
"FUCKING BASTARD! THIS WAS AS SIMPLE AS IT GETS AND YOU WORTHLESS SHITS HAD TO FUCK IT ALL UP!"
The night outside the hanger was bright, even with the sliver moon and only the lights of the craft on the runway as illumination. The man in black continued to swear as one of the small grey beings hovered up to them.
It used its hands in wide gestures, as if trying to explain something, but it never made a sound and its thin slit of a mouth never moved. Still, the man in black seemed to calm down and nodded his head in response. Wendy stayed behind Talassy, and was instantly glad to have him between them with the man turned around again, his rage seemingly abated and a wretched smile on his face. He pointed at Barclay and the Grey seemed to nod slowly. It waved back toward a few others that were standing a few more yards away, and they nodded as well.
One of them held up a small device, pushing buttons. A new beam of light burst into life from the side of the craft, illuminating Barclay as the man in black pushed the rest of the group out of the way. Then the wounded soldier was lifted from the ground and pulled up to the ship.
The man in black held up his clipboard again, drawing a pen from a pocket and making a note. The smile never left his lips. Then the Greys walked back to the ship and disappeared up the ramp.
In a flash, the craft was gone, along with all the people that had been delivered in the semi, and the wounded soldier. The man in black turned to address the group with an exasperated huff.
"Well, I had to make a quick substitution, but they got their full order in time." As he talked, the lights on the runway began to light up again, as well as the lights on the hangers around them. He smirked and looked over at Wendy. "I must admit, when I saw the little girl on the roster, I thought the woman would be the one to crack. I was surprised, Ms. Hallowell. I will recommend we call upon you again."
Wendy felt her skin crawl, the dirty weight that had oppressed her in the office room returning on her shoulders as he felt his eyes roam over her from behind his glasses.
"The girl will be found in the morning, and probably returned to her parents after they can't figure out how she made it onto the base. I'm sure she'll never try to run away again. Anyway, thank you for your service tonight. You are dismissed." He continued to smirk as he turned and strode away into the hanger where the semi was still parked.
Wendy stood at attention until Talassy and the others turned and headed back towards their barracks, and then she followed closely in their footsteps.
She silently prayed they would never call on her for one of these assignments again.
I hope everyone enjoyed that. Feel free to leave comments below or to email me with any thoughts you had, if you liked/hated it, or anything else really. Next week we return you to our regularly scheduled blog posts. Thanks.