Nathan was resting his head against the window of Chaya's truck, and was about to drift off into sleep. In his daze, he identified the music playing: classical music, coming from the local public access station. Chaya was softly singing along, making her voice harmonize with the orchestra in a delightfully wonderful melody. Nathan thought that he could listen to her voice forever, and began to close his eyes. However, before he did, something caught his eye.

"Uh, Chaya, aren't we going north, to Richmond?" Nathan asked in confusion.

"Yeah, why do you ask?" she responded.

"I just saw a 'Welcome to North Carolina' sign," he said plainly.

The teenage girl's face went pale as she realized her error: instead of going north on Highway 235, she had gone south. Doing the mental calculations, she realized that they were almost about three hours from intended destination. Chaya slammed on the brakes, bringing the car to an abrupt stop.

The two students first looked terrified, but they began to laugh as they realized the absurdity of their situation. Their laughs began to get louder, as tears began to form in both of their eyes. They looked at each other, and Chaya was the first to speak.

"So, what do we do now?" she asked.

Nathan looked at her with mock-surprisement. "I thought you always had a plan ready, Chaya!"

"Well, I never expected that I would take go the wrong way!" she said in a joking tone. "It's all because I we went on 235 instead of 95. That just threw me off. You know what, let's just call Mr. Salazar. He can tell us what to do."

"All right, I'll use my phone." Nathan pulled his cellphone out of his pocket, and turned it on. It quickly beeped and vibrated, telling him that someone had sent a text message to the phone.

"Hey, I've got an SMS message from Mr. Salazar. I'll read it," he said, and began repeating the message, beginning firmly, but his voice wavering by the time the message ended.

"Nathan, Chaya: You must trust me. You two are in danger. Terrorists are attempting to kidnap you. You must take 234 to Norfolk and go to The Tower Mall. Go to the Sears gift wrap counter, and a man will approach you, asking if you are lost. He will then ask about the temperature of the store. He is a CIA agent, and you must do exactly as he says. I do not have much time, and will probably be dead by the time you get this message. 2-7-86-39-16-13-30-18."

Neither of the two spoke for about half a minute after he finished reading the message. Chaya's eyes looked glazed over, as if she was looking out into nothingness.

"Oh my God," she said softly. "Are you sure that it's from him?"

"Well, you can spoof SMS addresses, it's not that hard. But what are those numbers at the end?"

"I... I don't know. They seem like a... Wait! Give me a piece of paper!" she exclaimed in her way of shouting, which meant that Nathan, who was sitting right next to her, had a hard time hearing her. But, he did, and she began scribbling down figures.

"Read me those numbers again," she asked hurredly.

"Okay, uh, two, seven, eighty-six, thirty-nine, sixteen, thirteen, thirty, eighteen. Do you have any idea what they are?"

"I need your periodic table, from your chem notebook."

"Periodic table, Chaya, what the hell do you need that for?"

She didn't respond, and he gave her the table anyways, without pressing for an explanation.

"Remember that one time when he was telling us that there were ways of using the periodic table besides chemistry? And we tried to spell words with the symbols?"

"Yeah, what about it?"

"Look! Two is 'He', seven is 'N', eighty-six is 'Rn', thirty-nine is 'Y'," she began.

"Henrny? Oh, Henry! Mr. Salazar's first name!" he realized.

"And, Salznar makes up the last part of the message. Henrny Salznar is the closest the chemical symbols can match Henry Salazar. This message was from him."

Chaya looked happy that she had cracked the code, but her smile quickly turned to a frown as she realized what confirming the authenticity of the message meant. She looked over at Nathan, who was reading over the communication again and again.

"So, what do we do now?" she asked.

"Chaya! We have to drive, now! If these guys are after us, for whatever reason, we don't want them to find us!"


"Who the hell are you, and where the hell are you taking us?" Terrance boldly asked the driver of the car the question the rest of the students had burning in their minds.

"Neil Jennings, I work for the NSA. Your escort, Henry Salazar, was a member of a terrorist organization that was planning on kidnapping you and the two other members of your party: Chaya Morino and Nathan Young." The man floored the van, going around ninety-five miles per hour towards Richmond International Airport.

"We don't really know where they are at all," Julianne responded.

"All right," Neil said, effectively communicating that further conversation was unnecessary. For the next five minutes, the only the sounds of tire screetching and horn honking could be heard.

"Hold on, we're breaking through a fence," he warned the students.

"What fence?" Leena asked, right before the car shook with the impact of the barracade.

"The fence to the runway of Richmond International. Okay, get ready to hop out."

"We're going on a plane?" the redhead continued to ask.

"Yeah, the NSA believes that it's best if we get you as far away from Richmond as possible. We're going on a private jet."

Without warning, Neil slammed on the parking brake, while continuing to floor the accelarator. The car began to spin in circles, while still going forward. He gripped the steering wheel tight, trying to turn the car so that the back doors of the van were right next to the staircase leading up to the jet.

"Okay, everyone out the back hatch, now!" he screamed, and the teenagers followed his orders unquestionably. First out was Terrance, who helped Leena and Julianne, and the three ran up the stairway to the body of the jet. Jennings wasn't far behind, and closed the door to the jet as soon as he got inside.

"Go, go, go!" he screamed to the pilot, who was firing up the engines. The plane began to roll forward as it made its' way to the runway. The four passengers sat down, Neil next to Terrance, Leena beside him, and Julianne beside her.

"Fasten your seat belts, guys," Neil warned, as the plane began to shot down the runway, gaining more and more speed until it finally lifted off the ground. All three of the teenagers could be seen giving an audible sigh, and sunk back into their respective chairs.

Neil, however, was still tense. "We're not out of the woods yet," he said, to the displeasure of everyone else in the jet.


Four guards, clothed in the midnight grey of Flynn Pharmacuicals security team, burst into the fourth floor server room. One of the guards swiped his ID card, and the door promptly unlocked. He knocked open the door, and two of the men in the front aimed their submachine guns in the room, scanning for hostiles. The man in front, apparently the leader, raised his hand and signaled for the team to move in and secure the room. They rushed into the empty room, scanning the area for any kind of movement. They found none.

"Area is secure," the leader reported. A horde of men rushed into the room, checking equipment and computers. The men with guns kept their stance, waiting for their unseen enemy to appear.

"So, where is the hostile that was reported?" a man in a dark suit, apparently the chief of security, asked impatiently.

"He has yet to be identified. He may have escaped, though," the team leader pronounced.

"Well, go find him!" he yelled, and the armed men left the room hurredly.

After about fourty minutes of checking equipment to see if the intruder had compromised the system, the chief of security asked, "Where exactly was the report called in from?"

"I, uh, don't know sir," a technician responded.

"Well, can you find out?" he asked hurredly.

"We could attempt to triangulate the signal, and find out where..."

"Do it!" the man in the suit interrupted. The technician ran to a terminal and began furiously typing into the keyboard.

"Sir! It was radioed in from basement sublevel three!"

The chief cursed loudly, and yelled into his radio for all armed personnel to report to the storage closet in sublevel three.


Chaya continued to drive along highway 95, neither her or Nathan saying a word. She was going seventy-eight miles per hour, which was eight above the posted limit; the fastest she thought she could go without getting pulled over. The noisy engine of the old truck could be heard, being pushed harder than a twenty-five year old engine should be. The girl checked her tactometer, and saw that her engine was cycling at over fourty-five hundred revolutions per second, which would have been cause for alarm, except for the fact that she had more important things on her mind.

In fact, both of the teenagers were shifting through possible explanations over the message their Chemistry teacher had sent them. Were these terrorists trying to take them hostage? Were they going to be held for some kind of randsom? Were they just going to be slaughtered as a supposed gift from the terrorists god?

Nathan's eyes were closed, as he was contemplating his fate. He was worried, and for the first time in his life, he truly felt like he might die at any second. However, he opened his eyes and looked at Chaya, studying her for a moment. Her usually pale face was sweaty and a reddish hue, and her crystal blue eyes were studying the empty highway with a hawk's precision. The expression on her face was of something that Nathan couldn't read, but he realized that all of Chaya's expressions were like that, and only after knowing her for more than ten years had he been able to even detect, much less decode her outward body language.

But he had never seen her like this; her face was tightened and static, not loosly evasive like all of her expressions were derived from. It almost worried Nathan, until he realized that she too was worried and unsure about their next course of action.

"Are, uh, you worried too?" he asked, breaking the silence that had plagued the two for over half an hour.

Chaya eased her face a bit after she heard Nathan admit that he was a bit afraid. It made her feel comfortable to know that he was feeling the same as she was. The dark-haired girl also felt glad that he was in the car with her, instead of some other egotistical stuck up jerk. What she didn't want right now was someone who would say that they weren't afraid; that they weren't worried or scared or even anxious. Some girls, probably Charlotte, would want someone to lie to them to make them feel safer, but not Chaya. She thought that she wouldn't even want someone who even wasn't actually afraid. That would make her feel even more uncomfortable.

"Uh, Chaya, you okay?" he asked sympathetically, after she didn't respond to his question.

"Oh, sorry, just lost in thought. But yeah, I'm not okay," she started, her voice raising in intensity towards the last sentence. "I mean, I just found out that sworn enemies of the United States who have just killed my chemistry teacher are trying to find me, and I don't even know why!"

"Yeah, I know what you mean. Why do you think that they could want us? What possible value do a couple of high school kids have to an international terrorist organization?" he asked, keeping his tone under control, even though he wanted to scream the questions out into the cold winter air.

"I… I just don't know," she admitted after a brief pause. "I just don't know."


"I need all security teams to S-Level three, containment area, now! And activate complete lockdown, no one enters or leaves the building alive!" Mitchell screamed into his radio. This had been a diversion, and the hostiles were probably going to steal the suitcase nukes that they had hidden in the storage closet.

Whose idea was it anyway to put them in a storage closet and keep the fake ones in the five million dollar safe? he thought. The chief of security rushed down the flight of cold, concrete stairs and burst through the door to the third basement. Running down the hallway, he swiped his ID card in the scanner next to the door, and waited impatiently for the door to unlock.

Hearing the audible click of the lock, he opened the door, and immeadiately saw a man sized hole that the hostiles had made into the adjoining office. He silently cursed the cheap construction while looking for the suitcase. When he saw it, he breathed a sigh of relief, which was quickly turned to a gasp as he opened up the portable nuclear weapon. The digital display flashed 3:32, and was deceasing with every passing second.

"This is Mitchell, I need the bomb squad to my 20,"

"Where you at, bossman?" came a response from his radio.

"S-level three, the storage closet. The hostiles activated the suitcase, we've got three minutes and sixteen seconds!"