The Sarkasky 14 Stealth helicopter, piloted by Frank J. Lapidus, hugged the desert floor, as it rapidly approached the western perimeter of the Apollo Candy Company headquarters.

“Hold on, boys!” Frank called out, “get ready for some whirley bird shock and rock!”

Charlie Hume, Pavlov Florensky, and Liam Pace, held on tightly, as the copter just cleared the first two Pylons. They had now crossed the point of no return.

Following a parabolic flight pattern, Frank quickly dropped like a rock, just before touching down on the black monolithic building’s roof, as gently as a dragonfly on a blade of grass.

Liam felt like he was going to loose his cookies!

Frank kept the copter’s rotors at full RPM, as he reached for a knapsack he kept by his feet. He took out a two-way radio and a flare gun.

“Once you’ve completed your sortie,” Frank told Pavlov, “call out your pick up point! If we loose communications, use the flare gun!”

“Da!” Pavlov replied, taking both items, “where are you going to be?”

“I’ll be distracting any security that tries to get funky with me!” Frank smiled.

“Let’s roll!” Charlie called out, as he jumped out of the copter onto the roof, with Liam and Pavlov following.

As they got their bearings, Charlie glanced back to see the copter lift off, then drop down below the building just out of sight.

“Where to now?” Liam asked.

Charlie noticed a couple of exits off to the side.

“Lets start here!” he stated, as he tried the door.


“You knew it wasn’t going to be that easy, didn’t you?” Pavlov grinned, “I suggest we drop down through those air vents over there. Once inside the ducts, we can figure out our next move!”

“You’re right once again, Comrade,” Charlie replied, “like we have a choice!”

They approached the largest vent and, one by one, hopped in and dropped down.

After a twenty foot slide, they hit bottom with a hard thud!

Adjusting to the dim light, they saw they were now at an intersecting point consisting of three other ducts, each of which seemed to go on forever.

“Well, that was fun…not!!” Liam replied, “so where are we?”

“In an air vent!” Pavlov smiled.

“Thanks, Captain Obvious!” Liam mumbled, “but which duct should we use?!”

“We could split up and try all three!” Pavlov suggested.

Suddenly, Charlie heard some faint voices coming from somewhere further down one of the ducts.

“This way!” Charlie said, as he took out his SIG 9MM and switched off the safety.

Pavlov did the same with his tactical shotgun.

“Why this particular duct?” Liam asked.

“I heard something,” Charlie replied, “like someone talking!”

“Well then, by all means, please lead the way!” Liam sarcastically replied.

They cautiously moved further down the duct way. The talking grew louder.

Charlie wasn’t certain but he swore he recognized one of the voices.

“Listen!” Charlie whispered to the others, “what do you hear?”

“Seems a couple of “some ones” are having an intense conversation about some thing!” Pavlov replied.

“One of those “some ones” sound familiar?” Charlie said.

“Bloody hell, yeah!!” Liam excitedly replied, “that sounds like Megan!!”

Next: Chap. Forty-One “The Cage”

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