Chapter 19: Momentous Victory
The tunnel led out to a ditch of sorts.
The need to go on my knees, and kiss the ground overwhelmed me as I smiled wildly at the sight of the sun.
Fear apparently felt the same way: his normally stiff posture was relaxed, and completely at ease with our newly found safety.
"We made it." I exhaled a sigh of relief.
"We sure did." Fear replied.
As I closed my eyes, I subconsciously spread my arms out, and welcomed the much wanted warmth.
After a nice stretch, I placed my arms back at my side, and opened my eyes.
Movement in the corner of my vision caught my attention, and I turned to the source.
It came from the Assassin who placed his hand over his lower face.
"Looking to see if you've got a zit?" I teased as I gave him a sly look.
Fear raised an eyebrow, but otherwise did not appear annoyed by my comment. "No, I've just got a rip in my mask. No point of wearing one that shows skin."
The Assassin swiftly took off his sleek mask to reveal an attractive face that was surprisingly void of scars.
He caught me staring, and smirked at me.
He titled his head in a way that made blond strands of his hair fall over his eyes. "Like what you see, Agent Moore?" He asked teasingly.
I snorted. "More like I'm surprised that you have such a feminine face. Let me guess, you kept it clean by going to the spa regularly?"
The Assassin glared at me, and I couldn't help but laugh.
Not long afterwards, he chuckled as well.
For a moment, we both allowed ourselves to enjoy the light atmosphere. As Seeker agents, we both knew just what was at stake and the high cost if we failed. With such a heavy burden on our shoulders, it was quite rare for Seeker agents to find any humor in the present world.
Unfortunately, even the smallest of good things must come to an end as the Assassin and I had to remain focused on our task at hand.
"We better find the others," Fear said.
I nodded in agreement and was about to step onto the small terrain when a random inquiry popped into my head. "Hey Fear, who's John?" I asked curiously.
The Assassin merely blinked at me and opened his mouth to speak, but was cut off by the sound of static coming through our ear pieces. "..oss … you ther…?" Those were the only syllables that came from the overpowering static.
"Barely, there's too much static. Repeat?" I replied as I covered my ears in an attempt to better hear the message.
"What's your …sition?"
I let out a loud breath in annoyance. "Change the channel; there's too much interference in this one."
I switched the dial on my ear piece. "Can you repeat please?" I said again.
"Can you hear me now boss?" Came Gizmo's voice.
"Yes!" I exclaimed.
"About bloody time," Gizmo murmured, though the static-free ear piece allowed me to hear his comment.
I stifled a chuckle. "What's your position? Is anyone else with you?" I asked.
"Just climb up the hill and you should see the van parked on the bridge over it. Everyone managed to find me."
It felt like a huge weight had risen from my shoulders.
"Alright." I said. "Fear and I will meet you in a few minutes. See you then." I cut the line and faced the Assassin. "Time to go on an adventure." I said sarcastically.
The Assassin quickly placed a new mask over his face, and placed his dual blades back into his belt. "Lead the way, boss." Fear mocked.
I rolled my eyes, and proceeded to climb up the steep hill.
It was a pain in the ass climbing up the small hill; it consisted of me either tripping forward due to a hole in the ground, or slipping on the wet grass.
Finally, Fear and I reached the top.
I literally jumped onto the pavement.
Fear looked at me like I was a sugar crazed child. Seriously, Assassins could have sure used training in the humor department.
Surely enough, the van was parked on the road ahead as Gizmo waved at us through the window.
I allowed a grin to come across my face, and I sped walk towards the van.
The back door slid open, and indeed the others were there shouting at me in relief.
"You finally made it!" Predator shouted as he waved his hands wildly.
"I'm so glad you two are ok!" Elvira said, and laughed in relief.
My concern for her wounds lessened as I saw a tight bandage covering the scratch.
"Glad to see you're not dead," Olsen commented as he smiled at us gently.
I laughed briefly before I answered them. "Oh come on, guys. You should know by now that I can't be killed." I raised my arms in a godlike way, and bowed slightly.
Fear snorted, but the way his eyes beamed gave away his amusement.
The agents stepped out of the van, and walked towards us.
Predator clapped Fear on the shoulder, and grinned at him. Elvira came towards me, and hugged me, while Olsen stood aside watching all of us shyly.
I grinned at the blond agent.
Elvira let go of me, and gave me a soft smile when she suddenly noticed the object in question in Fear's arms. "Isn't that mine?" She asked sharply.
I stifled a chuckle as Fear's eyes widened.
Just earlier he was so confident that Elvira would understand.
Said person gave Fear a look that would have made even the toughest of Warrior's be wary of her wrath.
Luckily for the Assassin, a very special person made his appearance, and interrupted the showdown.
Elvira looked away from Fear, and stepped back.
I watched the Guardian as he came towards me.
His hood was bent down all the way to his nose which blocked his eyes from me.
I was a bit nervous as I didn't know what to expect.
Delta stepped towards me, and enveloped me in a tight embrace.
I gasped as in complete shock.
The other agents seemed just as surprised as I was, though they were more discreet about it, and actually gave us space.
Slowly, I allowed myself to lean my head against his shoulder.
In that brief moment, I pretended that we were simply a regular couple who were enjoying each other's presence.
… A couple? No, that was not possible. Not with the war going on.
Unwillingly, I forced myself to let my weight off of Delta's inviting warmth.
He looked at me, confusion and hurt were evident in his eyes.
I smiled at him gently to assure him that I was not repulsed by the hug.
Relieved, he let go of me, and I politely took a step back.
I just remembered that we were not alone when I quickly looked around me in embarrassment.
Olsen was smiling softly, Elvira winked at me, Predator gave me the thumbs up while Fear crossed his arms in his signature pose, and smirked at us both.
I could feel the blush creep on my face as the air felt way too warm.
Delta seemed embarrassed as well, although he was more professional about it. He merely coughed as he looked at the ground in mock interest.
"So, what's our plan now, boss?" Fear asked, and enjoyed the way that I tensed up and glared at him.
I mentally pictured myself lighting his mask on fire, but quickly shoved that thought out. "We better leave the area: those Phantom agents went back to the lab. Predator, did you blow it up yet?"
"Not yet," he stated.
He then took out the detonator from earlier and pressed the button.
A light rumble passed below our feet.
Predator then threw the detonator to the ground and stepped on it, promptly destroying it. "Hopefully that blast killed those bastards." He said.
A hum of agreement passed through my group.
"Chances are it didn't," a voice spoke from inside the van.
I peered over Predator's shoulders to glare at our prisoner strapped inside. "Maybe not, but at least we took out that damned lab," I said.
The woman ignored me.
I sharply turned my head away. "We'll go back to the apartment, and give Pete our reports. He'll definitely want to know what was going on here."
Everyone nodded in agreement. The horrors of what we witnessed at the lab would not be forgotten by any of us.
All at once, we made our way back to the van, and secured ourselves in our respected seats. Delta sat beside me.
I looked away quickly to hide my blush, and only turned to face the front when I deemed it safe.
As Fear drove us through the busy streets of Rome, I couldn't help but feel victorious in some ways.
We blew up that damned laboratory, taking away one of the Phantoms' resources. We also captured a Phantom agent andfound some Intel. Those were huge bonuses for me.
Also, it seemed like Delta may have felt the same way for me.
If my belief wasn't enough, then surely the fact that he took my hand and squeezed it gently must have been solid proof.
I turned my head to face him, and saw him looking at me. His grey eyes were incredibly bright.
I gave him a small smile, and lightly squeezed back.
Despite all the difficulties that we would have to face, I knew that my team and I would make it.