Gor is a man of his own mind. Looking at him right now I wonder what he would say. He is an emotionless man, imbued by his military background. More specifically, his Special Forces experience. He has an inexplicable sense of duty, just like Leo, to the mission, and accomplishes it with stupefying dedication.
Ask me and I would say that Command likes them more than she tries not to show. She trusts them with Tatyana and me, not for our safety but to bring us down when we show signs of going rogue, or to terminate us if, and when, it’s necessary.
The Squad has many killers, all trained by Leo and Gor. Not to kill ourselves, but enemies of the state, and the government, unless one of us goes rogue. I wonder what will happen when the master killer goes rogue. Command will not let him be out there, freelancing.
“Gor,” I say. “Are you not going to say something?”
Gor stares right ahead, his eyes fixed on the light traffic from JKIA. I am horrified by his silence, and alarmed to explosion by the disbelief on realizing that Gor is in it too. They have been planning for this, and they want me to go with them.
“What the hell DO YOU think you are doing,” I say to the two of them. “Command will get you, Command always gets you.”
They say nothing. I understand their silence as the hand they are extending for me to join them. I take a deep sigh suddenly realizing what I am being offered and grasping the consequences of it.
If Gor and Leo are offering me this, I need to take it. It’s my chance to be free.
“Leo, Gor,” I say. “You know you will be hunted for the rest of your lives. The Squad will dedicate all its resources to tracking you. Hell, Command herself will not rest until you are caught, and punished.”
I await a response, but none comes from them. The less you talk the better, Command hears everything. Instead, it comes from the left side of my brain, something that has never happened. An electronic voice that only me hears. “Commence Exodus Protocol.”
I have two chips in my brain?
I look at the screen on the Evoque’s dashboard. It suddenly goes blank. I seem to be the only one who notices it.
“Command, this is Leo. Going dark. Protocol commencing,” Leo says.
“Why are you going dark, Leo,” I shout. “It’s not like you were on a mission and you have to…”
Realization hits me like a tornado. Leo had just told Command that I had become hostile and he needed to take me out. Why is he lying to Command?
It then occurs to me: they want me to take the blame. Dr Kong briefed Command daily that if there was anyone to go rogue it was me: I was uncooperative during check-ups, sometimes I had to be threatened with lowering of my CD4 Count to go on a mission, and I plotted my escape most of the time.
“Angel, you are either with us, or them,” Gor says. “Or should I call you Maggie? When is the last time you were called Maggie?”
Commencing Exodus Protocol in forty seconds, the voice in my head says. Exodus Protocol is for agents who are in hostile territory, with a target. It gives the Squad drones time to acquire the target and the agent to pull out within the shortest time possible.
My heart begins to pound so hard I think Leo and Gor can hear it. But I realize that Exodus Protocol has been communicated only to me. The Squad wanted me to get out of a moving car so the drones can take Leo and Gor out. The Squad is going to kill them! But before I do anything, I am reminded. Exodus Protocol commencing in five seconds, four, three, two…
Then it happens. From nowhere. The bang deafens me for an instance. The car rolls once, twice, thrice. It comes to a stop in a ditch. I hear screams from a distance, and sirens.
“Exodus Protocol was for us,” I hear Leo whisper to me from somewhere. “Not you.”
“Live to die another day, Angel…” Gor says, and then I descent into abysmal darkness.