Amanda Foxx hated it. She looked back at New York City as she travelled on a ferry to the Statue of Liberty. She was only twenty years old and had only known hardship and what was basically slavery. Amanda, as a child, had soaked up the stories her parents had whispered to her at night about life before May 13th, 2036. The freedom and happiness. After that date, things went downhill. New York, her hometown, took a severe turn for the worse. More and more people were homeless, people were starving, ill, and were not receiving any medical attention. The forced daily vaccines only made things worse because of all the toxins that were pumped into them.
All day, ferries would travel back and forth between New York and Liberty Island, bringing people to the island as the League had explicitly stated that everyday, people had to visit it as it had been turned into a museum where the League of Nations taught their revised history. Amanda worked as a janitor, cleaning some of the floors in the statue after the final visit of the day, which was at 6:30 p.m. After that, the teachers would gather for a conference to discuss what to teach or reinforce the next day. The conference would be called off at 10 p.m. Then Amanda and nineteen other janitors would come and take the half an hour long ride on the ferry to clean up. It would take five hours to clean the whole thing – starting at 11 p.m. and finishing at 4 a.m. And Amanda was getting tired of everything.
“No trace of Anne has been found, David,” Fergus, a member of the Stingrays, reported. Alexei, John, Fergus, Veronica, and Zipporah had been searching for Anne for a while, but could not find her. David, sitting down at his desk, sighed and ran a hand through his graying hair. He had not slept, eaten or rested since Eileen, Zipporah, Sarah and Josephine had returned and reported everything that had happened at the river. David, after sending the Stingrays out to search for her, had fasted and prayed non-stop for his beloved. Now, he felt worn out in body and spirit.
Don’t lose faith, a small voice whispered in his heart.
“Help me not to lose faith, YAH,” he whispered.
“Dave,” Veronica said tentatively. “You look like you’re about to have a heart attack. Why don’t you rest?”
“Sir, V’s right,” Fergus asserted. “You won’t be of any help to anyone in the state you are in.”
Rest, the voice instructed. David nodded and stood up. “I’ll get some rest.” He walked over to his and Anne’s bedroom. Opening the door, he paused and turned around. “Wake me if there’s anything urgent or you find anything, anything at all, to do with Anne,” he ordered the two. Alexei, Zipporah, and John were catching up on sleep.
Veronica looked at him and felt tears beginning to fill her eyes. She could see the worry there for Anne and the fear he had of losing her. “Promise,” she promised. She gave him a smile and he attempted to return the smile before retiring to bed.
Sitting in a parked car, the men inside it were facing away from the Statue of Liberty, awaiting their moment. They kept the lights off and deliberately had parked the car in the shadows to avoid being noticed. “Karl, how much longer?” asked one of the men, who was in the front passenger seat. His name was Channing Foxx. The driver, Karl Johnson, a black man, gripped the steering wheel in nervous excitement.
“It’s almost time,” Karl replied, mentally counting down. “Let’s hope nothing goes wrong.”
THE STATUE OF LIBERTY
Amanda disembarked from the ferry, wheeling her trolley full of cleaning supplies up the path to the entrance into the statue. She was the last in line, being behind all the other nineteen cleaners. Robots cleaned the lower areas while the humans cleaned the higher areas. Law Enforcers at the entrance scanned each person and then made them go through a biometric scanners to confirm their identity. After that, the trolleys were scanned for any explosives or unauthorised devices. While waiting in line, Amanda checked her watch. 10:30 p.m. Thirty minutes left. And it took a while to go through all twenty of the janitors. We may not make it in time, Foxx thought.
OUTSIDE THE COURT OF SCARLET
Ivanka kept her head down and avoided eye contact with anyone. Her heart was racing and she was scared. She was mingling in the crowd of Peak agents and the TV crew, hoping no-one would notice her. They were waiting outside of the Court of Scarlet, which was on the outskirts of the Peak. One of the super soldiers in the Light Force punched in a code in a keypad. The big metal door was electronically raised up and they walked through. Four super soldiers escorted them to the Chamber where the trials were held. Inside, they all sat down and some of the Light Force guarded the Chamber. Ivanka noted that all the members of what had previously been the Shamrock Council and the Court of Scarlet were inside the Chamber. Please don’t recognise me. She quickly slipped on dark sunglasses. She pulled out a bottle of water from a backpack she had brought along and took a swig to calm down. Killing an Emperor’s Eyes agent, disobeying orders and teleporting herself to the Peak without permission…yeah. Not her idea of fun.
Two Super Cyborgs marched down the aisles, prisoners scuttling away in their cells, frightened of the Cyborgs. They did not pay them any attention, just briskly marched down to Cell 33. One stepped forward and unlocked the door. They walked into the cell and found the prisoner fast asleep on the floor, looking surprisingly happy. They shook her until she woke up, then one of them slung Anne over his shoulder and they walked out.
STATUE OF LIBERTY
Amanda sighed in relief as she walked inside the statue. They had all made it through the checkpoint in time. She discreetly checked her watch. Seven minutes.
CHARLES’ HOUSE, THE PEAK
Charles straightened his bow tie. Then he stood back and surveyed his outfit and wig. Stern, but still handsome, he thought, smiling smugly to himself. His phone rang and he answered it, putting it on speaker. “Yes?” Coughing on the other end was the answer. “Hannah?”
“Y-yes. It’s me,” she confirmed, taking deep breaths to steady herself. “It’s getting worse. The doctor says I only have a very short-” she began coughing again. It was worse than before. Charles heard her gulping down what was probably water. “Short time left,” Hannah Henderson finished.
“Twenty hours. At most.”
Not even a day. “Will you be able to make it to the Court, Hannah?” Charles enquired.
“Yes. I’ll be there,” Hannah confirmed.
“Do you remember what you need to do?” Charles enquired.
“Impeccably,” Hannah assured him. “But, what I called you about was that I need a ride there.”
“I’ll come and pick you up.”
STATUE OF LIBERTY
Merv Mustyan quickly unlocked a locker hidden in the wall which was out of camera range. He handed out the light sabers and silenced guns to everyone. Five minutes. “Let’s go,” he said and two of them ran out in camera view and shot all the cameras. They waved the rest of the group forward. Merv did not go immediately to the stairs, but instead, pulled out his phone and, scrambling the signal, called the Law Enforcers on the top level. “This is General Hutchi,” he said when someone answered. “I am coming to the top for an inspection. I am coming up in the elevator and I expect you guys to be at the doors to greet me.” The Law Enforcer assured him they would be there and Merv ended the call.
Merv then went over to the elevator, leaned in and hit the button marked ‘7th’. He then quickly ran up the stairs after the others.
Karl counted down to four minutes and forty seconds. He then turned on the engine and slammed his foot on the accelerator. “Channing,” Karl ordered, driving along the route they had planned. “Set the explosives in the back to explode at precisely 11:00 p.m.” Channing grabbed a remote from the centre console and punched in the detonation time.
“Done,” Channing reported.
“Everybody, get your weapons ready!” Karl ordered.
THE STATUE OF LIBERTY
Amanda and Merv arrived at the top of the stairs. The Law Enforcers had their backs to them, facing the elevator as they waited for their General Hutchi to arrive. The elevator then arrived, opening with a ding! “Huh?” all the Law Enforcers said as soon as they saw the elevator was empty. Merv and Amanda shot the Enforcers in the heart and then everybody ran into the top floor. Some had stayed on lower levels to plant charges.
“Spread out and plant the bombs,” Merv ordered. I hope this will get everybody’s attention, he thought. And that people will start to stand up for freedom. Once everybody was gone, he and Amanda ran to the other end of the top level where they climbed up the arm to the Torch. It was closed off to the public because of German bombings on July 30th, 1916, but the League of Nations allowed the staff to go inside after renovating it again. The torch was the radio room. They burst in and found it empty. “Of course!” Merv commented as he went around planting explosives. “It’s empty because of the ‘machines-should-do-everything’ policy the League has been testing lately.”
Amanda sat down at one of the computers. “How much time do I have?”
“Three minutes and thirty-seven seconds,” Merv answered. Amanda nodded and began hacking into the robot janitors down below.
The robots on the ground floor and on the second and third level were cleaning the inside to make it spotless for the first tour ‘class’ at 6:00 a.m. the next morning. Suddenly, they all stopped as new commands came into their ‘brains’.
DETONATE IN TWO MINUTES.
The robots instantaneously stopped and stayed exactly where they were. They had been built with installed explosives so they could be destroyed at a moments notice to prevent them from falling into enemy hands. The timer began counting down. 120 seconds. 119 seconds.
The Law Enforcers base was in his sights. Directly ahead. And, nothing in the way. “Channing, Bobby, Harold, are you all ready?” Karl asked.
“Born ready,” they chorused.
Karl then switched the car into auto driver mode and grabbed his weapon. “Jump!” he cried. They opened the doors and jumped out. As soon as they had landed and rolled, they fired at the Law Enforcers on guard duty, killing them all. In the process, Harold shot the searchlight that was on, plunging them in darkness. Karl heard the car smash into the building, then stop, like he had programmed it to. He began counting down. Ten. Nine. Eight. Seven. Six. Five. Four. Three. Two. One…
BOOM!!!!! They were thrown back by the huge explosion. Suddenly, night became like day when the second explosion came, completely obliterating the Statue of Liberty.
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