Hey… So I realized that when trying to copy and paste this series from my word document I had made a big mistake. That I mixed up chapter 3 and 4 sections. To make it up I will be posting those chapters in their entirety with Chapter 3 today and Chapter 4 tomorrow. After that, the sections will continue as normal with chapter 5.
I apologize again. Now, enjoy the chapter in full!
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Class 3 – Anisian Assembly
The late winter-to-early spring night air turned cold and harsh. The hostages, made up of the baseball team, team coaches, and Jamie, all shook and shivered under the frozen blanket of night. They speculated on what was happening, giving different possibilities from reality shows to a movie. They would never get the answer they wanted. Eroapst walked from the baseball diamond over to the crowd on the pitcher’s mound. “This is not some escapist trash!” His high-pitched voice cracked an octave higher. He leaned down and grabbed a player by the collar and yanked the student to him. “Do you know who Dieous is?”
The student could not stop shaking. His eyes bugged out of his head to examine Eorapst. His breath was strong, but teeth looked like miniature knives sitting in his mouth. His amber eyes blinked to reveal multiple layers of protection. The student tried to get out a “no” but got stuck on the n sound.
“I see,” Eorapst said. “Then you are of no use to me.” He lifted the student off the ground.
A coach shot up. He was the batting coach, and English 2 teacher, Mr. Hoge. He had short salt and pepper hair and looked like he had not done cardio since college. “Stop!” he said.
Eorapst tilted his head to look past the student. “What was that? Did a lesser being try to command me?”
“Look, Mr…” Mr. Hoge said.
“Lt. Eorapst, these are just children, let them go, and leave them alone. I can help you,” Mr. Hoge said. He looked down at the other two coaches sitting on the grass and dirt. “We can help you. We are teachers. We know the students. Just let the kids go.”
Eorpast looked back at the student in his grasp. His eyes were out of his head and sweat coated his face. He was scared, helpless, and he knew it. It was a common look from prey about to be sacrificed for the stronger species. Eorapst tossed the student to a raptor soldier. “I reject your offer.” He turned to the soldier. “Take him back to the nest.”
The student was dragged off the field by the back of his collar. His screams and cries filled the air around the hostages. Snot made up most of his face when he vanished into the shroud of blackness outside of the stadium.
In the dugout Desmond tried to stand up, felt a wince of pain, and collapsed back to the ground, hand firmly holding his side. “We have to do something!”
“Calm down,” Kyane said. “We have to wait.”
“While our friends get killed! No, we go now,” Desmond said. He turned to his teammates. “Right?” One agreed. Harry didn’t move. Desmond and the other teammate, Anthony, both tried to stand up again. They walked to the edge of the dugout before collapsing. They could only stand by bracing on the dugout’s ledge.
“See how well that doing something worked out,” Kyane said.
“Yeah dude, I’m with Kyane here on this one,” Harry said. “We tried going all like Casey Jones on them and that didn’t go so well.”
Desmond arched his head back. “Well what is your plan then?” he asked.
“We wait,” she said. She took out her phone and passed it back and forth between her hands.
“Wait. You’ve had your phone the whole time!?” Desmond tried to yell.
Kayne jumped up and covered his mouth. “Shh, shh, shut up.” She uncovered his mouth. “Yes, I have my phone.”
“Well why didn’t you text me back!?” Kyane covered his mouth again.
It clicked in Kyane’s head. “Is that why you’ve been such a jerk to me?” Kyane asked. “Because I left you on read? Really?”
Desmond rolled his eyes. He pulled her handoff. “Yes,” he whispered. “It’s easy to text back and say that you’re okay, or fine, or whatever. It takes two whole seconds to do.”
“Well I had other stuff on my mind when you texted me,” she said.
“Still, two seconds!”
“Is this really what we are going to talk about right now?” Harry asked. “How some girl you are crushing on didn’t text you back? We kind of have bigger problems right now.”
“Thank you, Henry,” Kyane said.
“It’s Harry. Like the situation we’re in.” The dugout was silent. “Right.”
Anthony looked over and saw Kyane’s phone in her hand. “You have a phone? Call the police!”
She looked at him. “No,” she said. “We have to wait for the best moment, or this will go badly for everyone.”
“It already went badly!” Anthony lunged at her and grabbed her, pushing her back down to the used condom wrapper floor. The student swiped to the emergency mode and dialed 911.
“911 what is your emergency?” the dispatcher asked.
“Yeah, ahh there is, there is a hostage situation I think, I don’t know. There are these monsters-” before he could finish Eorapst looked over. The student freaked out. “Oh my god he saw me, he saw me. I’m dead. They already killed one guy; they’re going to kill me too.”
“Please sir, calm down and tell me where you are?” the dispatcher asked.
Eroapst ran toward the student and made it before the student could say. He dug his claw into the student’s chest. “You’re a stupid species,” he said. Blood ran down the back of the student’s training jersey and dribbled onto the steps.
The phone clacked to the floor. The operation continued to ask if he was there, and what was going on. “We have turned on your GPS and will send police to your location. Please stay safe. I will be on the phone the whole time until the police arrive.” Eorapst picked up the phone and crushed it in his hand.
“Whose idea was this?” Eorapst asked. He looked at the three students in the dugout.
Kyane pointed to the skewered student. “It was all his,” she said.
Eorapst shook his head. He removed his hand from the student’s body. He crumpled to the ground. His claws were painted red. He stepped over the body and entered the dugout. His frame cast deep black shadows over the three. “How do I know that is true. This could all have been some ploy.” Kyane, Desmond, and Harry backed themselves into the corner.
Kyane looked at Anothony’s corpse on the ground. She felt her blood pouring on and highlighting the ground with Anthony. She was pale. She looked back at Harry and Desmond. They weren’t any better. She knew her parents were coming. They had to be. She could save them all once they did. She stepped up. “It wasn’t, okay?” Eorapst’s claws sharpened. Her time was limited. “Look, I’ll prove it. Let me tell them that I will collect their cell phones, so they can’t make any other calls for help.”
Eorapst was silent. Kyane stepped backward. Her eyes were not focused on his claws, or teeth, but his wriggling tail. It moved idly in a soothing back and forth motion. “Okay,” he said, breaking her concentration on the tail. She looked at him. “I will go along with your plan, female.”
“Good,” Kyane said. She stepped back up to the dinosaur. She looked back. Desmond gave her a look of concern and hope. She knew she just had to buy time until her parents arrived, then she could just change and take care of business. She was just unsure of when that would happen.
TCPD Officers Mark Quince and his partner Cainith Roy left Jermoe’s Pizza on South Street with a call about a possible hostage situation at Tower City High School, and to check it out. Cainith took the driver’s seat, started the car, then turned on the lights and sirens. Their rotating red and blue light illuminated the area around them. Mark got into the passenger’s side and called in that they were on their way to the school. Cainith took off to North Street. “Shouldn’t we call in SWAT?” Cainith asked.
“I’m sure it’s nothing,” Mark said.
Cainith swerved around a line of parked cars and into the oncoming traffic lane. “Hostage situation is nothing?” Cainith said.
“Just because this is a city doesn’t mean it’s Detroit,” Mark said. He grabbed the handle above the door. Cainith whipped the car back into the right lane and turned onto 23rd North Street.
“It’s a hostage situation!” Cainith said. “It’s got to be bad.”
“It’s at the high school,” Mark noted. “It could just be some crappy joke by the kids.” He laughed to himself. “We can take them in, lock’em up for a bit, tease them about the dangers before their parents pick them up to teach them the Boy Who Cried Wolf Lesson.”
“Where are the teachers then?”
“I don’t know?” Mark said. He checked his watch. “It’s late. These could just be students who are hanging around maybe. Further proof of my Bow Who Cried Wolf Lesson I’d say then.”
Cainith shook his head. He took his last turn onto East Street and up to the front of the High School. He reached for the walkie-talkie in the car. “Dispatch, this is Car 1827. We’ve arrived at the school. Will call for backup if needed.”
“10-4 1827,” the dispatcher said.
Both officers exited the car. The school was dark, and empty. The only lights were the police car’s headlights, along with the red and blue signal lights. They put a spotlight on the double door entrance to the building. “Should we get the shotgun?” Cainith asked.
Mark tilted his head from side to side in a mocking attempt to examine the empty school. “Why not!” he said, a bit too cheery. “Just keep the shells in your pocket. Don’t want a situation.” Cainith nodded his head. He unlocked the truck and took out the shotgun, then stuffed a few shells into his jacket pocket. Mark stood with one hand on his gun, and flashlight on the other. He was slouched over and relaxed. Mark nodded his head to the school. “Let’s go.”
The two officers approached the school quickly. Cainith took point and grabbed the handle. He pulled the door, but it didn’t budge. Cainith looked back and raised an eyebrow in confusion. Mark spun his index finger in circles around in the air. Cainith nodded. He lowered the shotgun and marched along the far side of the building up to the corner. Mark kept his flashlight on the dark windows. All the rooms were empty. The officers turned the corner and marched up the side of the building, clearing rooms along the way. Cainith hit a hard stop when he reached the rear of the school. Mark ran into Cainith’s back, then backed up a few paces.
“What’s up?” Mark asked. He peaked around his frozen partner. A reptilian creature with amber eyes, razor teeth, and long claws. Mark took a few more steps back and reached for his gun. “Ah sir, it is a little late for Halloween. Now put your hands in the air and get onto the ground.” He points the gun at the raptor. The raptor jerks forward. Cainith slumps over, and the raptor’s claws emerge from the police officers back covered in blood. Mark fires three shots at the creature. He quickly reached for the radio on his collar. “Car 1827 to dispatch, request backup, and a bus. Officer down. Repeat. Officer down.”
“10-4 car 1827 we will send the backup to your location,” the dispatcher said.
The raptor removed his claw from the officer. He fell to the grass in a puddle of blood. Mark stood firm and kept his gun trained on the raptor. “Freeze,” Mark said. The raptor stopped moving. “Turn around, put your hands in the air, and get on the ground!” Mark commanded. The raptor creature complied with the request. He turned around, put his arms up, and dropped to his knees. “Now place your hands behind your head!” The raptor did. Mark quickly stepped up to the raptor. He tried to ignore his downed partner as much as possible, and got to the perp. He removed his cuffs with one hand, and kept the gun trained with the other. “You move, I blow your head off,” he said. He clicked the cuff around the raptor’s right wrist, then yanked it to the ground. Mark then pressed his knee against the creature’s back to force him to the ground. “Drop!” Mark said sternly. The raptor dropped, then slowly slithered its tail around the officer’s legs then jerked him onto his back. The raptor felt Mark’s grip loosen from the cuff. The raptor leaped up and stepped over the downed officer and bared his teeth at him. “You may get me, but the whole force will come, and you won’t get far,” Mark said.
“I’d like to see them try,” the raptor said. He lurched down and bit into the officer’s neck.
His scream echoed to the baseball field. Kyane whipped her head around to try and see where it was coming from. She then felt a push on her back, then continued walking in front of Eorapst over to the other players and teachers. Eorapst turned to the sound and said, “Ahh, he must have taken care of the pesky visitors.”
“More will come,” Kyane said.
“They will not do much with you as our hostage,” Eorapst said. He pressed his clammy hand against her back and pushed her into the pile of people on the ground. “Now collect the phones from your people here, or you will all be killed.”
Kyane stood up in front of the team, and Jamie. “Guys, we can get out of this, just please give me your phones.” She looked at Jamie and leaned her head forward to try and get his attention. “So please take them out, turn them off, and hand them to me. Okay?” She looked back at Jamie, and shook her head, and made a small swiping motion with her finger. “Good, good,” she said. She began to walk through the crowd of students and the remaining coaches, collecting phones all along the way. Her body curdled at what was happening to the other coach and student as she did this.
Kyane moved past some of them and quickly to Jamie. She took his phone. It was unlocked like she wanted. She placed that phone in her pocket and dialed her parents’ number via text and sent them her current address with her right hand. With her left hand she picked the remaining phones and made them into an unsteady tower. Before she exited the group of people, she knocked her leg against one of the players. She leaned forward dropping the phones onto the ground. She tossed Jamie’s phone onto the grass during the confusion. She quickly leaned over and apologized for dropping all the phones, and then gave them to Eorapst.
Eorapst leaned down to her level and looked Kyane in the eyes. “Thank you,” he said to her. His voice began getting drowned out by the whirring and beating of helicopters approaching the scene. A spotlight then blasted down on the group of hostages. A projected voice confirmed they were the police. Cop cars, and news vans quickly began flooding onto the wet grass and surrounding the field. Eorapst looked to the sky. He balled his hand into a fist, and his jaw locked. He reeled his arm back and let his claws out. “I am going to kill you!” he said to Kyane.
“Wait, wait, wait, wait,” Kyane raised her hands up to protect herself. “We can still get out of this with whatever you want. Just calm down and be patient. Trust me, if you knew me you would not believe I just said that.”
Damon paced around his living room mumbling to himself. Hinotomi sat on the couch with the TV on trying to watch the news. The D13 armor case sat closed on the table. “Where is our girl?” Damon kept asking and trying to rationalize. “She has not answered her phone. In fact, it goes right to voicemail which means she is in danger, but where is she?”
“I said school,” Hinotomi added.
“She doesn’t want to be at school when she’s supposed to be, let alone when she doesn’t have to. She has to be downtown somewhere.”
“Downtown is a big somewhere,” Hinotomi said.
“I realize that, but it’s true. She only goes to school and, here. That is it. And she hates both places, so she is probably downtown where she ran into a dinosaur creature and it took her away somewhere.”
“Damon, just please sit down,” Hinotomi said. She patted the open space next to her. “You are creating a burn in the carpet from your moving. Sit down so we can talk this out.”
“Okay, okay, okay,” Damon said. He threw his arms up and took the seat next to HInotomi. He placed his head on his wife’s shoulder. “I just want our little girl to be safe. She needs us.”
Hinotomi rubbed her husband’s hair. “I know. We will find her. It’s just a matter of-” her phone buzzed again. She looked at it and saw it was a number she didn’t know. She unlocked the phone. The only part of the message was an address to the practice field. “She’s at the school,” she sighed.
Damon jumped out of the couch. “I knew it!” he pointed to his wife. “I called it!”
“Not the time. Why is she there? What are the dinosaurs doing there?” Hinotomi asked.
Damon pointed at the TV. An anchor sat at a news desk with papers in front of him. “We have breaking news. We go live to Tower City High School where news correspondent Jackie Thomas is on the scene.”
The video cut to a woman with black hair and bundled in warm clothes holding a microphone with the police and spotlight from the helicopter behind her. “Thank you, Dan,” she said. “We are on the scene at Tower City High School where a group of people in dinosaur costumes have taken the baseball team hostage.” A bird’s eye view image of Eorpast standing in front of Kyane with his claw raised flashed onto the screen. “It is unclear what they want at this time, but we will keep you updated with any changes as they come.”
It cut back to Dan in the studio. “Thank you, Jackie. We too will keep everyone watching up to date with the latest information as this story develops.”
Damon and Hinotomi were both in the van and driving off before Dan finished his last sentence. The D13 briefcase was gone from the counter and was with Hinotomi in the back of the van while Damon gunned it downtown. Damon looked back at Hinotomi in his rear-view mirror. She was at a metal desk hooking up a laptop and typing away on it. The desk and chair were screwed down to the metal interior, with an internet jetpack hooked up. The van was normally used for off-site testing. Along the wall were folded up desks, cameras, and a mini-fridge for refreshments. “Everything good back there?” Damon asked. He turned onto the bridge.
“Yep,” Hinotomi replied. She pulled up the news website and pulled up the same video they just saw. Using the video of Jackie, she traced the signal to the news van that was on scene and hacked into the audio and video feed. She then took the feed and sent it to Jerry’s computer as an embedded email file. “Now we just have to figure out how to tell Kyane we are here when we arrive.”
“She’ll know. She’s a smart girl even when she doesn’t want to be.”
Armed police advanced on the spotlighted section of the baseball field. Blue and red lights blew up the field. Eorapst held his claw away from Kyane’s face. No one had moved since the police arrived. Kyane kept her hands raised in a defensive motion. “You are still in control here,” she said to Eorapst. “The police don’t want to harm us, so we’re like leverage to you.” Kyane hastily examined her surroundings. She had the same thought her mother did. How was she going to know when her parents arrived, and how she would know where they are? She saw the concession stand outside the police’s cone of vision. She had her plan of how to get out of here. “Killing me would only make it way harder for you.”
Eorapst clicked his tongue and lowered his hand. “You have my attention human.” He looked around at the swarm of armed insects around him. He wanted to just kill them all, but even he knew hundreds of bees can take down the largest of prey. “What should we do first?” He asked.
Kyane looked at Desmond and Harry player still in the dugout. “Bring those two over here first. If you don’t the police could get ballsy and try to rescue them.” Eorapst pointed at the students. A raptor ran over and walked them over to the group.
“You don’t need to grab us,” Harry said. He rustled his shoulders free from the raptor’s grasp.
Desmond looked at Kyane, hoping she knew what she was doing. Desmond took a seat next to Jamie on the cold pitcher’s mound. Jamie was losing it. His fingers continued to spin, interlock, and fidget. He was panting heavily, and balls of sweat rolled down his face. “I really hope this chick knows what she is doing,” Desmond said, verbalizing his thoughts to someone.
“Yeah. I do too,” Harry added. “But I see what you see in her.”
“You were the one who said not to bring it up,” Desmond said.
“I know it jus-”
“She is playing a waiting game,” Jamie said. His twirling fingers got faster. “I uhh… I uh… I told her about Dieous.”
“What!?” Desmond yelled.
“Ahh, what’s Dieous?” Harry asked.
Two raptors looked at him. He looked away quickly, and whispered again, “What?” Desmond asked again.
“Guys, really, what is Dieous?” Harry nudged Desmond. “Dude…”
Desmond’s gaze was fixed on Jamie.
“I just, I felt like I had to. To, you know, complete the story or whatever. Anyway, she knows so she is probably stalling until he arrives to save us from these guys. It is the only possible thing.”
“Who is Dieous!?” Harry basically screamed.
“He’s a superhero.”
“Sure,” Harry slumped over. “Of course, we have a superhero of all things.”
Desmond shook his head. “Still we don’t know if he’ll show up. We have to do this alone is possible.” He pointed to Kyane standing in front of Eorapst. “She is just trying to save us by buying time for the police.” He turned back to Jamie. “Trust me, man. I want Dieous to come save us. That would be really dope. But we don’t know what he is doing. He is one dude, right? He could be stopping a robbery or walking an old lady across the street right now, other stuff. We have to do this ourselves but letting the police do it.” He pointed to himself. “And look at me when I say that we should trust the police. You know this situation’s got problems.”
Jamie was silent. He lowered his eyes and kicked the ground.
Harry put an arm over Jamie. “Yeah dude. Superheroes are all cool and stuff, but, like, we gotta be realistic here.” He looked around. “There are no superheroes here.”
Jamie nodded. “Okay Desmond,” he said.
Eorapst moved next to Kyane and looked at the crowd of officers. “What is their next moves human?”
Kyane looked around at them. “This is a hostage situation. Now, I’ve watched too much Law and Order SVU, so they probably have snipers on the school’s roof by now and will be getting a negotiator to come talk you down and ask what you want. To do that you will need a cell phone for them to call you.” She picked up Jamie’s phone, then looked up at the human-like reptile. “Do you know what you want?”
“I want Dieous!” he screeched. “He has embarrassed us as a species and shall perish before my might.” He balled his hand together again.
“Okay…” Kyane said. “That seems… doable.” Alarm bells went off in her brain. If he was the boss of the raptor guys then he could be really strong, and she won’t know how to fight that off. She looked at the group of students. She had to either way. She handed him the cell phone. Eorapst took it. “Hold this up, and they will give you a number to call.”
“I do not know how to call,” Eorapst said.
“I’ll do that, don’t worry,” Kyane said. “Just,” she held her hand up, “do this.”
Eorapst held the phone high into the air and waved it around to make sure the police could see he had it. A police officer over a megaphone gave him a number to call so they could talk out what he wanted. Eorapst handed it back to Kyane. She opened the phone, went to the messages and sent the word: “concession” to the same number she sent the address. She watched as the word autocorrected to confession. Eorapst looked over. “Are you having trouble, human?”
“No, no, no,” she said. “I am just not used to this kind of phone is all.” She quickly exited the message app, and went to type the number in. She hoped her parents would get it. “I have an iPhone, this is a Samsung, or Android phone or something. You know what you don’t care, just here.” She hit the dial button and handed it back to Eorapst. “You can tap this button,” she pointed to the speakerphone button, “to make you not have to hold it to where your… ears… are.” She examined the reptilian head and was unable to find his ears. Eorapst did.
“Hello, who are we talking to?” the negotiator asked.
“I am Lt. Eorapst of your mother world! I am here to find your hero, Dieous and slay in front of you all, so you humans know your place.” Eorapst looked at Kyane. She gave a thumbs up.
“Okay,” the negotiator said. He had a slight southern drawl to his voice. “We will look for this Deious you want. In the meantime, how are the hostages? The children and coaches?”
“I have already taken one of your older humans who has refused to give in to our demands already! If you do not either, they will all go with him!”
Kyane frantically waved her arms side-to-side. “No, no, no, no,” she said. “You don’t want to say that. It will make them want to talk with you less, meaning you won’t get to fight your Dieous person.”
“Okay,” Eorapst said.
Inside, Kyane was sweating, and wondering how long she could hold out.
Damon pivoted the van around the corner of 11th East Street, a few blocks away from the high school. Hinotomi braced her body for the jerk. She placed her hands in front of the laptop to stop it sliding off the table. “‘Confession’?” Damon asked.
“That’s not what she means,” Hinotomi explained. “It is probably a concession. The hostage situation was at the practice field.”
“Is there even a concession stand?” Damon asked. He saw two police cars at 6th East Street setting up the perimeter. “Hold on,” he said. He turned the left up 6th North Street. “We’ll have to go around.”
“Yes, there is a concession stand! All high schools have them,” Hinotomi said. “We really need to get Kyane to go to a game.” She tapped away on her laptop. She brought up the map view of the high school, zoomed down on where the light blue concession stand was, and sent it to her husband. “Here is the image.”
Damon’s phone dinged. He looked at the console of the van. “I got it,” he confirmed. He turned onto 24th East Street. “We’ll have to go around.” Damon drove past the high school down to 30th East Street. He checked the image his wife sent him. There was a path for trucks to load and unload for the concession stand. He could take the turn there. He turned around and drove back up East Street, going just at or a mile or two above the speed limit. He couldn’t be too suspicious. He looked back at his wife from the rear-view mirror again. “How is the situation?”
“Not great,” Hinotomi said. “But Kyane is holding her own. She is like the spokesperson for this dinosaur monster.”
“What does the dino-guy want?” He stopped at a red light.
“Well that’s the problem. He wants to fight Dieous.”
“We’ll give him that.” The light changed, and he drove up. He saw the police barricade, and turned at the road before it, and slipped through a small alleyway. He turned the van’s headlight and running lights off.
“That’s not the problem,” Hinotomi said. “The whole world can know about Dieous now, and the dinosaur men.”
“We’ll figure that out. We just have to help our daughter first,” Damon said. He reached the dirt road the snack trucks drove on.
“Yes, I know,” Hinotomi said. Damon drove up the road. It was a strange scene to see a small practice field covered in lights, and police. It was a sight no one would have ever expected to see in their whole life. An image too strange for words in some cases. “Be careful. We don’t want to be spotted.”
“Don’t worry,” Damon said. He saw the blue and white shack. He flashed his high beams just once, then pulled away to the field just behind it. They bounced repeatedly down the gravel and grass road. “The police are totally focused on the situation over there.”
“That’s not how… I just hope you’re right.” Hinotomi shook her head. “I’ll start working on stopping the news from going nationwide, or further.”
Damon parked the van. “Good.” He leaned on the van’s steering wheel. “I hope Kyane saw us.”
Kyane saw the quick flash of high beam headlights out of the corner of her eye. This was the time to make her move. She tapped Eorapst on the shoulder. “Hey, ahh Lt. Mr. Eorapst? What do you want me to… nevermind, I ahh? I kind of have to go to the bathroom.”
“What?” Eoraspt asked.
“Bathroom? Where humans go to relieve them-“
“I know what a human bathroom is, girl.”
“Good,” Kyane said. “Can I go?” Eorapst was silent. Kyane looked back at the students, coaches, and raptor soldiers, then back at Eorapst. “Look, I’m the only woman here. And, I don’t know what you know about humans, but women are considered physically weaker than men. I mean you can send one of your soldiers with me to watch me, but I’m probably not strong enough to do anything.”
Eorapst kept his cold, unblinking look at her. He then turned to one of his soldiers. He pointed to him, then to Kyane. “Take her to the bathroom,” he said like it was the first time he said that word before.
The raptor soldier nodded. He walked over to Kyane. Kyane turned to Eorapst. “Look, don’t do anything crazy while I’m gone. We can get out of this easily.” The raptor soldier put his hand on her shoulder.
They walked to the concession stand. When they exited the practice field Kyane began making small talk with the soldier. “So, what’s it like working for him?” Kyane nodded her head to Eorapst. The soldier remained silent “He seems a little jumpy. Impulsive maybe.” They turned the corner to where the women’s bathroom was. Kyane stopped and turned around. “Look, you can talk to me. I won’t say a word.” She zipped her lips.
“He is new at his job,” the raptor almost said with glee.
“You know what, that shows,” Kyane said. He patted the soldier on the arm. “Just stand guard here in front of the door.” She pulled the soldier right in front of the door handle. “You wouldn’t want me getting away, and I’ll be back out in a minute.”
Kyane entered the bathroom. It was a small three-stall room with two sinks, an air dryer, towel dispenser, and garbage can. She checked each stall, no window she could crawl out of. She let out an exaggerated sigh. She leaned against the sink and took in a handful of deep breaths. She turned the water on and ran her fingers under it. She waited a minute for it to warm up, then splashed some onto her face. “You can do this.” She looked herself in the eyes. She backed away from the sink and began pacing around. “Just take out the raptor soldier. No big deal. Just ignore the fact he took out two armed policemen not even an hour ago. It’s easy. I just need the element of surprise. It’s fine.” She looked over at the towel dispenser. She pulled out two towels. Wetted them and held them against her shoulder. “YOWW!!” She screamed. She quickly pushed the door open and slammed the metal bar into the raptor back. He winced and leaned forward. “OMG, I’m so sorry. I need your help, can you come in here.”
The raptor creature rubbed his injured back. He looked at the small girl, and into the empty bathroom. He nodded and entered. Kyane thanked him and closed the door behind him. She quickly kicked the raptor injured spot. He screamed and leaned over. Kyane ran and leaped onto his back and drove his skull into the sink. She bashed it twice against the porcelain. She looked up to see his tail wriggling to her. The tail then jerked forward. She rolled to the side, off her back. She grabbed the garbage can and tossed it at the raptor’s feet. He fell onto his back. Kyane crawled on top of him. She pulled her arm back and punched him in the face as hard as she could, putting as much follow-through in as possible. She repeated it with her left arm, then again with her right until the raptor couldn’t get up. She placed her finger on his jugular. He still had a pulse, just knocked out. She stood up, wiped herself off and went out the door. She checked her corners, then bolted to the van in the field in the back.
Kyane saw the dark van in the open field as heaven. Ironic in every way really. She ran faster than she ever had. Her dad came out of the car and greeted her with the warmest bear hug she had ever received. “Thank God you’re okay,” he said. Kyane couldn’t even say anything in response. She took in his familiar scent, and body heat.
Hinotomi came out the back and joined the hug. “Oh, baby,” she squealed. She squeezed both of them tightly. Kyane felt a comical amount of air leave her body. “I’m never letting you go, ever.”
“Can you let me go?” Damon asked.
Hinotomi released them. “Are you okay?” she asked. She rubbed her daughter’s shoulders and saw the orbs of sweat rolling off her skin.
“I’m fine mom,” Kyane said. “I just kicked a raptor’s butt to get over here.” She pointed to the concession stand. She turned back to her parents and gave them another warm hug. “I’m sorry, but I need to use Dieous. I need to save them.”
“We know,” Damon said. He walked to the back of the van and pulled out the heavy suitcase. He dragged it over to Kyane and opened it to reveal the three pieces of armor.
“Are you sure about this?” Hinotomi asked. “We can go home, call the military and let them do this.”
Kyane’s eyes never moved from the belt. She shook her head. “I have to do this. Eorapst wants me.”
“He could kill you,” Damon said. His voice cracked to a million pieces.
“You said you built this thing to fight them. You have to trust in it, and me right now.” A gunshot echoed from the school. Both Damon and Hinotomi looked. Kyane grabbed the armor. She slipped the watches on and looped the belt around her waistband. Her parents looked back at their daughter and saw her line up the three faces.
The faces of the watches and belt began emitting a blue grid onto Kyane’s body. She felt the vibration spread with it. The clumps of black metal b-lined to the spaces on the grid. The pieces expanded to fix the grid space. Each piece smacked against her body, then snapped together like a puzzle. It was overall painless except for two pieces smacking her butt, and the breastplate mashing onto her chest. A tickle carried up her neck as metal extended from the back, and chest plate, covering her neck. The final pieces of metal snapped together with blue glass in the middle forming a helmet with a visor. The helmet snapped onto her skin. The outfit was complete. The text appeared on the heads-up display. The text read: D13OUS. A vaguely British voice rang in her head “Hello. I am the Digital 13 Operational Unit System, also known as Dieous.” The D13OUS moved vertically and typed out the full words the voice said. “How may I assist you, Kyane?”
“Hey Die,” Kyane said. “Run a search for the hostage situation here in Tower City.” A handful of pages and videos about the hostage situation at the baseball field popped up on the HUD. “Good. Can you look up what just happened? There were shots fired just now, and I need to know what I’m getting into.”
“No problem,” D13 said. “It’s good to have you back.”
“Same,” Kyane said.
Dieous ran through a video feed from the police, news, and school cameras to figure out what happened. The police negotiator stood behind the open door of a police car. An officer walked up to him. “Sir, we have run a search for every way to spell ‘Dieous,’ ‘Deisous,’ ‘Dyeous,’ ‘Deeous,’ and ‘Dieeous.’ Nothing has come up, sir. We have no idea what this guy is talking about.”
The negotiator nodded his head. “Look at him. He’s dressed for Halloween or some convention. He must have had some break with reality.” The negotiator picked up the phone. “Hello, Lt. Eorapst, sir.”
“Speak human!” Eorapst commanded.
“We have looked for your guy, but he doesn’t exist. Is there anything else we can do for you in the meantime as we try to find this guy you’re talking about?”
“You fool!” Eorapst yelled. “You are covering up for him. He is scared to face me. I will force his hand!” Eorapst moved toward the crowd of students and grabbed Harry by the collar and dragged him in front of everyone. Everyone was screaming for him to stop. Eorapst ignored their cries. He raised his claws to Harry’s neck. “Have Dieous arrive now, or this human will get it.”
The negotiator turned to one of the officers. “Are the snipers in place?”
“Take him out,” the negotiator said.
On the roof, a police sniper lined up his shot and fired at Eorapst. The bullet flew behind him and impacted on the grass. The sniper fired again and missed. Dieous ran a scan of Eorapst and played a video of the dinosaur moving slightly out of the way of each shot. “Fine, I will kill this human,” Eorapst said. He pulled his claw backward.
“Stop,” said a voice in the crowd of students. Desmond stood up. Kyane watched Jamie attempt to pull him down. “I’m Dieous, man. It’s just some football, and hockey gear I have at home I turned into a suit to fight crime. Don’t take it out on these guys.” Desmond turned his head to Jamie and said something inaudible.
“We have to save them!” Kyane said.
“I agree,” D13 replied.
The real-time video minimized itself to the corner of the HUD. “We need to make an entrance.” Kyane traced out the scene of cop cars and indicated the hood of the lead car near the negotiator.
“I like it,” D13 said. “Let me map a trajectory.” A map of the school pops up on the HUD. A dotted line from where they are moves up the path Kyane ran, over the school, then right down onto the cop car. A gauge on the side measured the energy needed to make the flashy entrance. “Got it, Kyane?”
Kyane examined the plans. “Got it.” In the corner image she saw two raptors tear Desmond away from the crowd of hostages, and up to Eorapst. Two more raptors walk Harry back to his spot in the hostage pile. Kyane clenched her fist.
A flashing red box appeared on the HUD, followed by a group of beeps. “Warning, Kyane. Your brain is releasing increased levels of adrenaline, noradrenaline, and stress hormones.” D13 ran the symptoms through his database. “You are angry.”
“Very.” Her parents tried to approach her. She looked at them over her armored shoulder. “I’ll be fine,” Dieous said. She turned back. “Let’s go.” The engines along Dieous’s calves ignited with light blue flames and a hum. She got into a sprinter’s start. The engines hummed louder; more blue flames shot out. The grass closest to her feet burned to ash.
Damon and Hinotomi looked at each other. They both knew they had something else they could be doing while their daughter saved the hostages. The jumped into the back of the van. Damon opened a second laptop.
In the corner video of Dieous’s HUD, Eorapst grabbed Desmond by his neck and tossed him to the ground. He tumbled over the home plate. Desmond got to his knees. Eorapst marched over to him. The police, news correspondents, and hostages looked on in fear. “Get up, Dieous!” Eorapst commanded. “Give me a fight!” He lifted his foot and kicked it into Desmond’s chest, and back onto the dirt. Desmond grabbed the lieutenant’s foot. “Are you just an ant when you don’t have your suit? Fight me!” He pressed down on Desmond’s chest. Desmond coughed out the air in his lungs. Desmond grabbed the dinosaur’s foot and rolled to his side. Eorapst, unable to lift his foot up, followed Desmond’s arc, and fell to the ground. Eorapst crushing grip released.
Desmond scooted away. He took heavy breaths. Eorapst stood up almost instantly. His tail whipped out and wrapped around Desmond’s neck. He lifted Desmond into the air. “Just like every other human. You’re weak without your weapons!” He flicked his tail, and smacked Desmond into the fencing behind home plate. He bore his claws, ready to kill. “This, humans. This is what will happen to anyone who dares defy us, and your place in the all too precious food chain.”
“NOW!” Kyane yelled.
Dieous took off from her sprinter’s position. She blasted down the field, into the air, onto the school’s roof, pivot, and leap onto the cop car. The roof of the car exploded. Her impact left a large dent, and windshield glass shattered. The negotiator jumped backward. “I heard you wanted to talk with me,” Dieous said.
Eorapst flicked Desmond to the ground, then smiled with his claw-like teeth.