The voice of Theresa ranged loud on Jessica’s left ear as she tried not to trip over the thick tree roots and vines, or made sure a low branch wouldn’t smack her square on the face just like the cold harsh wind did. T’s voice now took over, seeking to find the prior reason for her ears ringing. She could only thank that Theresa had taken over the leading as Jessica couldn’t find it in herself to think about logistics on where their running could lead them as she made sure there were no guns firing at them. But in a rare second, she let herself notice how Theresa ran at a faster pace than her. She blamed it on her short legs like usual, taking the time to admire Theresa’s long legs. It was the wrong time and place to space out, she knew that, but the fear of what was right behind them had her legs trembling just a bit and she couldn’t help herself from taking her possible last minutes on this earth to appreciate even the most random details.
“Jesus, Jessica! Come on!”
“I’m running as fast as I can, T!”
Maybe not as fast as she should, she was still processing how the hell they had managed to get themselves stuck in this forest running for their lives.
20 hours earlier, Portland, OR.
Jessica wasn’t a morning person. She just wasn’t. She hated how every morning the sunrays would get through her blinds and hit her cold cheeks and warm them up, announcing that any minute now her father or mother will wake up to head down the kitchen and get the coffee ready for anyone willing to savor the bitter taste of Colombian brew. The smell of the coffee carried up to her room as if it were meant to be her parents’ way of waking her up without having to endure the grunts and whines from her as she threw her covers aside, to then drag her feet on the cold wooden floor all the way to the bathroom making it clear she’d rather be unbothered and wrapped in her soft blankets and her warm bed. But that morning had been a different story.
“Get up, Jess. We have work to do!”
Jessica grunted at her best friend’s rude awakening. Not bothering to hide her annoyance, Jessica crudely replied with a few colorful words.
“Do Mason and Rose know you speak like that?” Theresa chuckled as she walked toward the window and opened the blinds letting the full blast of the morning sun into Jessica’s room.
“Dude!” Jessica buried herself deeper into her blankets, hoping that it would block out the light.
Theresa, having had enough, with all the strength she could muster, pulled the blankets off of Jessica without warning. The girl whined for a solid minute before she concluded that her friend had decided for no mercy that morning, and got up from her bed to head to the bathroom and get ready for the busy day ahead of them.
Theresa seeing that the short girl had given up on her childish antics, smirked.
“That’s a good girl.”
That was followed by Jessica’s left hand showing the rudest of gestures without a glance back.
“You’re late,” said the deep voice of Martin as he saw his trainees walk into the briefing room.
“Someone took forever to get up,” said Theresa as she took her spot next to Martin. Jessica only gave a small non-apologetic smile and took the empty spot on the other side of Martin.
Martin took a minute to get everyone in the room seated before speaking, making everyone shut up and look at him.
“We’ve been tracking Gonzales’ moves since the minute he arrived here in Portland, but he disappeared by the second hour of his arrival. Last night our team located him walking into an abandoned warehouse only a mile from Forest Park in downtown Portland. We don’t know why he’s here, who he’s working with, and how long he will stay; all we know is that someone always dies within 36 hours of his arrival anywhere he goes. We’ve managed to bug his phone as of this morning.”
Martin looked at Evelynn who took her cue to speak.
“Gonzales is meeting with his contact here in Portland tonight at the same warehouse from last night. For what, we don’t know but we are assuming someone important is Gonzales’ next target due to some cryptic messages that were sent.”
“T and Jessica will be there to bring Gonzales in and whoever his contact is. I want team B surrounding the area, make sure you are not seen. Back them up if needed,” Martin leaned forward as if to make his next words all the more important, “and make sure Gonzales and his contact make it out alive.”
Jessica glanced at Theresa, who had her brows furrowed as she took in everything for today’s mission. They’ve been working nonstop to catch this man, and Theresa wanted the man dead after learning what he did two weeks ago to a small town in Guatemala. Jessica knew she was going to be the voice of reason this time around.
Without another word from Martin, everyone in the room cleared out. Jessica and Theresa were the last ones out.
“We need to tell Nate.”
The next hours before they had to head down to the warehouse were spent talking with Nate and his partner, Frank, down at the police precinct about what Martin had told them at the meeting. Jessica let Theresa talk as she was the one who had wanted to tell Nate in case things got out of hand, but Jessica knew that Theresa knew M.W. could take care of anything in case things went down south. Theresa only told Nate what was going on because she hated lying to him, after all, he had taken care of her when she was at her lowest. Nate knew of M.W but he was only called in to help when Martin thought it was an absolute impossible case that he believed Nate could work as he was a police detective. After all, they were a private government organization that not most of the government officials knew.
Nate promised Theresa that he would be there if he were needed, and that was enough for Theresa to decide that it was time to head downtown and get Gonzales into M.W’s headquarters.
It’d taken them about twenty minutes to get set up near the warehouse, everyone else was ready as well. They only needed Gonzales and his contact to show up. Jessica noted how everything seemed too quiet, even if it was well past 11 PM. Gonzales was taking his time to show up, and so was his contact. She pressed the small button on her intercom/watch,
“Leader, did you make sure there was no one in the building?”
“There were no trackable heat waves. It’s clear.”
She furrowed her brows. Theresa was now looking at Jessica with the same deep frown. Something was off.
“Run it again. Something doesn’t add up here.”
The longest 10 minutes of their lives went by as they waited for the scanner to finish reading the area.
Theresa got up from her spot and without a second thought, she ran toward the backdoor of the building they had marked as the way into the building.
“T! Wait!” Jessica got up as she spoke into her watch, “stay in position, T and I are going in.”
Theresa had her gun out as she crossed from the dense forest to the worn-down building. She opened the old door, its old hinges breaking the tense air around them as they noisily creaked. Something in the pit of Jessica’s stomach had made her look back as if there was something she was missing. She rarely got nervous on the job, and today wasn’t the day to start feeling like they were stepping into a danger zone.
Theresa led the way into the main floor of the old building, its dusty atmosphere giving the place a creepy ambiance the more they walked into the building. It was eerie how quiet yet loud it was. Jessica swore she could hear the silence as she looked around, it was mocking her, almost telling her that there was something amongst the deep nothingness ahead and around them. Jessica shook herself from her thoughts as she entered where Gonzales was supposed to meet his client.
Theresa's voice wrote goosebumps to Jessica as she broke the suffocating silence.
“Call Martin,” said Theresa as she lowered her gun and knelt down in front of something Jessica had failed to see. She walked behind Theresa to see Gonzales himself on the ground, blood around him—the knife wound on his throat being the main source, or maybe it was the one from the bullet wound in his forehead. But the most captivating thing wasn’t his wounds or the fact that the man they were looking for was dead, no, it was the sign that one of his cold lifeless hands barely held. Jessica didn’t waste another second and called HQ.
Theresa couldn't remove her eyes from the damn thing that was mocking her in bloody letters, Gotcha.
“Are we too late?” Jessica’s voice trembled as she heard the gunshots in the background as Martin answered the call at the second ring.
“Yes. It was Baudelaire. Don’t come back to HQ.”
Before she could say anything else the line got cut off just as the sound of gunshots going off outside had her and Theresa running out of the building at a fast pace.
“Leader, what’s going on?!”
The gunshots got louder and louder as they ran toward the way they had come in, and the team leader was taking forever to reply. Jessica cussed as they made it out just in time to see one of their own eat some bullets from Baudelaire’s men.
Jessica and Theresa ran into the woods and tried to make way toward where the gunshots ranged louder, making even the leaves on the low branches shake as if they feared for their lives. They didn’t get far into the devil’s trap before a bullet missed Theresa by an inch, digging with a murderous speed into one of the thick tree trunks that now hid them from the next round of bullets directed at them.
“What did Martin say?! What the fu-” two bullets missed her for another lucky inch as she turned back from firing her own gun in hopes of killing at least one of those aiming their guns at them.
“It was Baudelaire all along! He must have been the contact,” Jessica managed to shoot one of the men right between his eyes, “this was a trap! He knew we would want to get Gonzales for questioning. I can only guess he found out we had Gonzales’ phone bugged and got us out of HQ to wipe out M.W. from Portland!”
The gunshots now seemed to be adding on numbers and it hit them that they might be the only two agents still standing.
“Crap! I’m running out of ammo—” Theresa turned to take out two of the unknown amount of people seeking their deaths “—we need to get the hell out of here!”
“Where can we go?!” Jessica managed to take out three more before she ran out of ammo. Her heart sank as she looked at Theresa, who was cussing as she shoot her last magazine. “We can’t risk getting anyone else involved, for all we know we might be the last two M.W agents. Martin is dead for all I know!”
Theresa panted as the adrenaline and fear in her body took over and with determination in her eyes that Jessica knew so well, she got up, looked around for an escape, and shouted with all the courage she could muster,
About the author
Brand new adult. College graduate as of 2021. Pretty average girl. You'll read my thoughts through my lame writing. I just need a place to rant and stuff. Want to publish a novel someday or a book.