Blackbird, Chapter Two - Like We Always Do
Posted August 4th, 2019 by katchyboo
Like We Always Do
Player One hit play on the video again. The masked woman continued.
‘If you’re wondering when we’re releasing Blackbird, I’m sorry to disappoint you, because she’s not getting out anytime soon.’ The woman paused to chuckle. ‘Unless we send her, of course.’
Player One felt sick. Blackbird would never join the Spider Web. Not unless…
‘What are you going to do to her?’ she shouted at the screen, knowing very well the woman couldn’t hear her. Of course, she was very surprised when her question was answered.
‘What do you think, Player One?’ the woman said. She laughed at Player One’s gaping expression. ‘Yes, I can hear you. This isn’t a video, this is a conversation!’ she giggled.
‘You are so funny,’ Player One deadpanned. The woman pouted.
‘Really, I would have thought you were less… childish.’
‘I am only fifteen.’
‘Well, let’s get back to your earlier question. What are we going to do to her?’ The woman put her finger to her chin in mock thoughtfulness. ‘Oh, I’ve got it! We’ll torture her into joining!’ she grinned.
‘What?!’ said Player One, aghast. ‘Torture?’
‘Oh, yes, torture.’ the woman said matter-of-factly. ‘Not as sophisticated as brainwashing, but just as effective and ever so much fun.’
‘A monster? No one has ever called me that before. I’m glad you think of me so highly.’ Player One stared at her.
‘That’s a compliment?’ The woman ignored her.
‘Anyway, I must go now. Things to do, minions to shout at, fourteen-year-olds to torture.’ She smiled at Player One cruelly. ‘Escape plans to foil.’ The screen went black.
‘No. No no no no no NO!’ Player One was freaking out. Blackbird was in danger, and whoever her friend was, he was in danger too.
‘Everything OK up there, Savannah?’ called a voice from downstairs.
‘Uh, yeah, Mom,’ Player One called downstairs. ‘Just lost a video game.’
‘Kids these days…’ said her mother, shaking her head. Player One’s mother knew nothing about her work with Blackbird, and she liked to keep it that way. Player One turned her attention back to the problem at hand. What was she going to do? The hours passed by quick as a flash. She was lost in thought all day.
‘Savannah, dear, are you alright? You’ve been staring into space all day.’ Her mother snapped her out of it.
‘I’m fine, Mom. Just tired.’
‘Well, it’s bedtime, so get your sleep tonight.’
‘Okay, Mom.’ She thought one thing over and over as she drifted into an uneasy sleep.
Why did this happen to us?
Player One sat up groggily, her eyes adjusting to the light. There was something she was thinking about- oh, right. The doorbell rang. Who could it be this early? She reluctantly got out of bed and headed downstairs. She opened the door. There was no one there. She looked around. The street was empty apart from two kids about her age, a girl and a boy. The girl looked up at her and smiled, as if they were old friends. But she’d never seen this girl in her life. The girl was holding something. A toy gun? Player One thought. No- wait… That’s a grappling hook! She spun round to the doorbell.
There was a grappling hook attached to it.
‘B- Blackbird?!’ she spluttered.
‘Yup,’ the girl said.
‘I- I thought…’ Player One eyed the other person. ‘Who’s this?’
‘Shock. He’s a friend.’
‘Hi,’ Shock said nervously.
Then Player One started freaking out. ‘How the hell did you get here?!’
‘It’s a long and complicated story and there were shackles and Shock pretending to be evil and a boat but we don’t have time right now, because a woman who I assume is your mother is approaching the door…’
‘Savannah dear, who is it?’
‘Uh, just some of my friends,’
‘Oh, lovely, who are they?’
‘Uh… Quick, guys, what are your names?’ Player One whispered.
‘Alessia and this is Luca,’ Blackbird said quickly. Player One looked at her inquisitively and mouthed ‘Luca?’. Blackbird rolled her eyes and whispered, ‘It's an Italian boy’s name? We're Italian?’
‘Alessia and Luca, I met them a while ago. They’re staying for a few days.’ She winked at the friends. Blackbird gave her the thumbs up. ‘Come on guys. Let’s go up to my room.’Savannah’s mother watched the kids go up the stairs. They hadn’t said the kids would be so young. She wanted to believe she had the wrong ones, that these kids really were just some of her daughter’s friends, but they matched the description so well that these just had to be the ones. She turned on the camera and microphones in her daughter’s room.
Oh well, she thought. An assignment is an assignment.
‘So,’ Blackbird said. ‘This is how we got here!’
Shock drove the boat along, feeling glad that they had gotten this far, at least, without being chased.
‘Shock, we have a tail.’ said Blackbird.
‘What?’ he said.
‘Someone’s chasing us. It’s not the Spiders though, there would be SOMETHING spidery on the boat, I guess.` The moonlight gave an eerie glow to the boat, and it made Blackbird feel much more creeped out by these mystery tailers than she really should have been.
‘Well, who is it?’
‘I would have told you if I knew!’
‘Calm down! We’ll be at the Golden Gate Bridge soon, I’ll lose them then.’
Blackbird looked back at the other boat. There were two people there. One of them said something to the other and got into the cockpit. The boat sped up and started to close in on them.
‘They’re getting closer…’
‘Well, hold them off! Are you an international superthief or not?!’
Blackbird looked at her gadgets. Damn it, all the really good ones were confisticated when she’d been captured… Well, she would just have to make do. A grappling hook… no, she didn’t want to have a physical fight… A donut-making machine?! No! Why did she even have that?! A laser? What would she do with that? There! A distraction bomb! Perfect. She’d need to time it right. Well, here goes nothing, she thought. Three, two, one, fire! She aimed. It landed perfectly on the other boat. The two people on it turned around just as it blew up.
‘That’ll keep them busy, at least for a while. Definitely enough to lose them.’
‘Great job!’ Shock said as he sped up the boat. ‘The Gate’s just ahead.’
Blackbird fiddled with her gadget’s settings. She looked up for half a second and right back down. Wait, she thought, the other boat was moving! She looked up again. That was no trick of the eyes, the other boat was catching up. Man, she thought, these guys are fast!
‘Shock, they’re on our tail again!’ she said.
‘Oh man, really?!’ Shock sped up again, sweating as he pulled the controls frantically. ‘We really need to lose these guys!’
If we can, thought Blackbird. These guys look like they know what they’re doing.
‘Blackbird, I need a smoke bomb now!’
She fumbled in her gadget-bag. No, no, no! She’d used her last one to distract the other boat earlier.
‘I don’t have any!’
‘Damn it! What should I do?’
‘Just turn it! I’ll do something!’
She looked through her gadget bag again. A distraction, a distraction… Oh! The donut machine! She set the donut-making machine to “continuous” and threw it at the boat. The people on the other boat were evidently surprised and stopped driving. Shock turned the boat out of sight.
‘Phew,’ they said simultaneously.
But there was something Blackbird and Shock didn’t know.
On the other boat, they were about to continue chasing the kids. A walkie-talkie beeped.
‘Stop the boat,’ one of them ordered. ‘Yes, Headmistress?’
‘Stop chasing them.’ said the person on the other end.
‘No buts. They’re going to the house of our best agent right now. We have them already.’
‘Wow, OK,’ Player One said. ‘I wonder who they were?’
‘So do I,’ said Blackbird. ‘But as we have no way of finding out right now, let’s focus on other-’ Blackbird looked up to see a camera focusing in on her face. ‘Guys, someone is filming us!’
‘Yeah.’ Blackbird high-kicked the camera. ‘But problem solved.’ Player One looked closer at the camera and gasped. ‘Player One? What’s wrong?’
‘I think my mom made this!’
Savannah’s mother looked at the monitor, rubbing her eyes. They’d found the camera! And one of them literally just knocked it out. They hadn’t told her the kids would be this good. They hadn’t told her a lot of things. Like the fact that her own daughter was friends with them. They had told her they thought the kids were members of a dangerous, unknown organization. But from what she had heard, the reality was the exact opposite. They were fighting against this organization. The Spiders, they called them. Was it possible that these kids actually knew more than she did? It seemed absurd. But it was possible. Headmistress wasn’t going to be pleased, but it was her job to tell them everything she knew. She pressed the button on the walkie-talkie.
They scoured the room for more cameras, but there were none.
‘Well, now we should be safe.’ Blackbird said.
‘Right. I’ll go check on Mom. You two stay here.’ Player One said as she closed the door. ‘Stay safe, okay?’ They nodded. She closed the door.
‘Um.’ There was an awkward silence.
‘Heh. Remember when Aurora roundhouse-kicked the teacher?’ Blackbird said.
‘Hah, yeah,’ said Shock.
Another awkward silence.
‘So, um… what’s Aurora doing now?’
‘Oh. Right. Okay, this is hard.’ Shock took a deep breath. ‘Ever since… you know, Aurora’s been called Shark.’
‘Yeah. She’s done a bunch of heists. She doesn’t remember who I am, and she orders me around like I’m just some minion.’
‘Oh god, that sounds hard.’
Shock nodded half-heartedly.
‘It is. Her latest caper was planting something in some kid’s computer. I don’t really know, it was top-secret.’
‘We have to get her back.’
‘Yeah, but how?’
‘I don’t know. But we’ll figure it out, won’t we?’ There was a hint of desperation in Blackbird’s voice. ‘Like we always do.’
‘Yeah.’ he said, with a slightly sad smile. ‘Like we always do.’
See more stories by katchyboo