“Protests and people coming out are all well and good, but we need to free the ones that are already in custody,” said Andrew one night. Sure, things were looking bleak for the agency now. Its agents were stopped at every step of the way by people, both non-humans and humans.
There was a new worldwide movement that sought to have non-humans recognized as a separate humanoid species and given rights of their own. Despite the pandemic, people were in the streets and protesting.
But, Andrew knew that the world leaders would just pay lip service and go back to their old ways as soon as the dust settled. So, there was no other way than to hit a lab. The nearest one was the one from which Andrew had escaped. However, Erin had scried for more and found one in Dark Island near New York.
“Surely, you don’t want to go in there? Andy, that is suicide,” Andrew shook his head.
“A little preparation would be in order, but I can open all doors from here. I have no idea what will happen then, but…” Erin’s brows furrowed.
“No idea? What happened back in the lab you were in, Andy? Did you have no idea what will happen when the screaming began? The non-humans in custody are murderers!” Snapped, Erin and Andrew took a step back.
“I never killed a human in my life,” Andrew didn’t say anyone because he had killed three people. “And they still experimented on me!”
“Andy,” began Erin, but Andrew glared at him.
“Don’t Andy me, Erin! Had it been you on the operational table, you would have wanted revenge, too. And I wouldn’t be playing a waiting game now. I would be murdering every agent I can get my hands on,” which is precisely what had happened to Francesco.
His partner, Adeline, had been with him for twenty years. She was a wraith and he a necromancer. They got along just fine. Then, the agency had exorcised her and Francesco had laid a curse on the town that housed the base as retribution.
Andrew knew that, if the experiments had been done to Francesco, he would have bowed his head and bore it. Just as Andrew had been ready to, before he had been awake to endure everything.
But they had laid a hand on a friend and that, Andrew knew, was unforgivable. How many non-humans were there still in the labs, being sliced and diced and fed acid? He couldn’t stand by and watch talk shows all day. They were doing nothing.
“If they find out you are behind this, you will be declared a terrorist and hunted down. And, Andy, you can’t die. Which serves their demented purposes even better,” Erin looked pleadingly at Andrew, who looked back with a scowl.
“The world thinks I am dead because of Dorothy’s words. And, they have gotten people to report on non-humans they have been searching for. But, my photo was not among them. Besides, I can change how we look easily enough. We won’t get caught,” Andrew went to hold Erin, then, he rested his forehead against Erin’s.
“Think,” continued Andrew, not letting Erin try to speak to him. “That there could be children involved. Think on the fact that they could be taking a saw to the stomach now as some glasses wearing psychopath is asking them if it hurts them. Do you really want to wait for the protesters to get them out of this situation?”
Erin looked in Andrew’s eyes. He could still see their bright blue color. There were no tears in them, and Erin lamented on the fact that Andrew was burying his pain behind his anger.
“Do as you will,” said Erin, moving his head, so he could kiss Andrew’s forehead. “But, if we get caught, know that I tried to warn you.”
Andrew grinned and went to his briefcase. He pulled out a thousand dollars and then went and pulled on his coat.
“You should stay here, just in case,” said Andrew as Erin moved to follow. “I won’t take long.”
“Stay safe,” Erin more pleaded than said, and Andrew exited their hotel room. New Iberia was a cozy town and their bed and breakfast was on the main street. He passed by a couple of shops and headed to the farmer’s market.
There, he bought a rooster in a cage, some apples, red and yellow, and some basil from a herbal vendor. He placed a concealing spell on all items. People would still see that he was carrying them, but they wouldn’t make any note of it.
He made his way back to the hotel slowly, to not attract attention, and, when he got back in the room, made a beeline for the bathroom. He, with much regret, cut off the head of the rooster and let its blood fall on the apples and the basil.
Then, he ate the fruits and the herbs. He found himself in the underground base, in ethereal form. To the agency, it would appear as if there was a ghost caught on the cameras. Which served Andrew just fine, seeing as he was wearing his real face.
Andrew waved at the nearest camera, and it moved to follow him. He had not written this particular spell down. As far as the agency would know, he had died and came back to haunt them.
Nearing the closest cell, he stared at the non-human inside. When he had suggested that there could be children involved, he had hoped that he was wrong. But there, lying on the floor, was a little girl in rags looking at him with wide, fearful, eyes.
“Stay back,” she begged as she moved away from him.
“I am here to rescue you,” said Andrew gently. “I am quite dead. I won’t hurt you.”
Andrew melted four of the silver bars and the little girl made it out of the cell.
“Do you know where the others are being held?” Asked Andrew, looking around. The rest of the cells were empty. But, maybe, there was another holding area.
“They are having tests ran to them. In the labs,” fury coursed through Andrew’s veins. Not even all the media backlash had stopped the experiments. So, it was time he put the fear of God into those wretches.