Chapter 16: Free Birds
It was the day after New Year, Frank and Jennifer were supposed to head back but Frank made a little detour. They parked the car at an abandoned air strip and waited. Jennifer had no idea what Frank had in mind but she just held his hand and leaned on his shoulder.
“Frank I don’t understand why we are here. Is this supposed to be a romantic get away?” she asked and Frank laughed. “No, let’s just wait a little longer. I promise you it will be worth it” he told her. Jennifer could not wait and she started to get naughty, she embraced Frank and started kissing him and Frank tried to resist and kept laughing. “Jen, not here” he said and Jennifer stopped and teased him some more.
“Look they are here” Frank said as they saw several vehicles approaching. Jennifer fixed herself and got out of the car. Frank waived at the convoy and a few seconds later an old plane was heard approaching. Five vehicles stopped and Erick was the first one to get out of his car. Yehleen came out and helped John to his wheelchair. Jennifer was surprised to see them, on this day they were again reunited.
“Wow this is a surprise” Jennifer said as she hugged Yehleen. “We got a call from Erick and he told us to come here” she replied. “No, I got a call from Frank and he told me to get you all here” Erick said as he shook hands with Frank. “Hey Frank, the car is amazing, you should see me drive now, oh boy just like in the video games we play” John said joyfully.
Several men approach them and Frank runs to meet them. “Erick, who are those men?” Jennifer asked and all of them looked as Frank hugged each one of them. “Don’t you recognize them? They are Frank’s troop mates during training. He called for them too” Erick said as in the background the old plane had already landed.
Frank introduced his troop mates to everyone as Erick started unloading the contents of the plane. “Okay everyone suit up!” he shouted as everyone looked at him. “Suit up for what?” Jennifer asked as she looked at Frank. “We are going to fly” he said and she became excited. “Ah, excuse me, crippled guy over here” John interrupted and they laughed. “Don’t worry you are coming with us” Frank told him and John shook his head violently. “No way, I am not going with you. I will just stay here with Yehleen” he said. “With me? I won’t miss this chance, you stay here by yourself” Yehleen told him. “No John you are coming with us, you are jumping with me” Erick said as he pulled the wheelchair. “Wait, no, Erick don’t do this!” John said as everyone laughed.
Minutes later they were all suited up; John was in the arms of Erick as he was still shaking his head. “I didn’t sign up for Brokeback Sky Diving!” he ranted and the troop was laughing at him. “Relax you have your own parachute. Your only problem is your landing since your crippled” Erick told him. “Don’t worry John, for you I won’t land on my feet, I will crash on my butt” Frank told him and he laughed. “Well okay, what are we waiting for then? Get me on that damn plane now!” John shouted as they all boarded the plane.
Ten minutes later they were already 12000 feet in the air. Frank’s troop buddies jumped out first followed by Yehleen. Erick and John jumped next and Frank and Jen were waiting for their cue at the door. “We are going to fly!” she yelled and Frank smiled at her. Seconds later they both jumped out at the same time.
With arms and legs spread wide open, Jennifer was flying. Seconds later she felt someone hold her hand and as she looked there was Frank beside her. Hand in hand they were together in free fall; they watched chutes open one after another as the first jumpers were almost on the ground.
This was different from her dream but it wasn’t important. They were flying together and she was happy. Frank started to move and seconds later they were face to face with each other. Jennifer smiled at him but Frank kissed her.
On the ground John was seated as he looked up and saw the two kissing. “Hey why didn’t we think of that Yehl?” he asked and Yehleen giggled. Everyone was watching them but Erick noticed something strange. “How come they aren’t falling like we did?” he asked and suddenly everyone noticed it too.
“They should have opened their chutes by now. That’s strange, it’s as if they aren’t moving or falling at all” John said. “Maybe there is an explanation for that, a phenomenon you know like air current and stuff” Yehleen commented and they just laughed. Whatever it was they didn’t question it any longer and they just watched the two as they stayed on air a little bit longer.
Jennifer touched down smoothly and as promised Frank came crashing on his butt to John delight. Everyone was looking at them so Jennifer began to notice. “Why are you all staring at us?” she asked and Yehleen was shaking her head.
“You know what, it seemed that you two were actually flying up there” John said. Frank stood up and looked at John. “Well maybe it’s the power of love” he joked and Jennifer pinched him. “You see I kissed her up there, and I felt my body feeling so light. Maybe you should have tried it with Erick” Frank added and laughter erupted. They all shared lunch at a nearby restaurant, after eating the troops had to head back to barracks. The five all rode John’s SUV as he wanted to showcase his driving skills. They left Erick and Jennifer’s vehicle to be picked up by agents later.
The following morning Erick woke up everyone and he was in a panic mode. “Wake up Frank is missing!” he shouted. Yehleen opened their door and rushed to Frank’s room. “Erick you’re right, his bed wasn’t slept in!” she yelled. John wheeled out of the room and started knocking on Jennifer’s door. Seconds later Jennifer opened the door half naked. John covered his eyes and Jennifer laughed, “What is it?” she asked. Erick rushed towards the door and he too covered his eyes and Yehleen started laughing.
“Look at them being gentlemen” Yehleen commented as she giggled. “What’s the fuzz all about?” Jennifer asked and Frank stood beside Jennifer covering her with a blanket. “Good morning” he said and everyone was surprised. “Ah, so that’s where you slept. Geez you should have told us” Erick said and they all laughed.
“We thought you two were just the kiss kiss type, so you two are a couple now?” John asked and Frank grinned at him. “Go back to bed all of you, we still have some unfinished business to attend to” Frank said and Jennifer elbowed him. “I was just kidding okay?” Frank said and they all laughed.
Over breakfast Frank just came back from his daily jog and he joined them on the living room. “What are you all watching?” he asked as he handed Erick and John a box of donuts. “The news of course, we just wanted to see if everything was going smoothly after the vacation” Yehleen said.
Frank sat down beside Jennifer as he munched on one donut. “Hey look Frank its Sarah” Jennifer said and Frank pretended to be mesmerized by her beauty. “Oh Sarah when are you going to give me a one on one interview?” Frank joked and Yehleen giggled. Jennifer didn’t take the joke well so she punched Frank on the arm. “Hey, I was just kidding you” he told her and Jennifer hugged him and kissed him. “Don’t make me jealous” she said and everyone laughed.
“All heads of states shall be gathering an hour later for the inauguration of the Wanston Building. Rumors say that this will be the new United Nations Headquarters” Sarah Kelly said on the television.
Frank suddenly paused as memories came flashing back to his mind.
“Did you ever take time to look at the birds as they flock together…such a wonderful sight seeing them flying all together…did you ever spent time just watching them?”
“No you are all too materialistic for those things…you never spent time just watching the water flow down the river…the birds flying above in a single formation…and here comes the hunter who kills them all in one stone”
“The birds die…they didn’t see it coming…in one blink of an eye all the birds are dead”
“Frank! Hey Frank!” Jennifer said as she started shaking him. Frank came back to his senses and looked at Jennifer. “Why are you staring blankly at the television?” she asked. “Guys, we have a problem” he said and everyone looked at him.
“Remember that day you raided the terrorist cell hide out. One of them told me we were too late, and we could not stop them. He spoke in riddles but now I understand, Birds flying together, the heads of state. Such a wonderful sight seeing them fly together. A hunter kills them all in one stone. I thought he got the saying wrong, I thought it should be hitting the birds with one stone. But he was already giving me a hint. It’s going to happen at the Wanston Building today! They are going to blow up that building!” he said.
“But you told me you just went back for my bracelet” Jennifer said. “I have no time to explain, we have to get there. We have to warn them” Frank said. Erick shook his head and looked at Frank, “And what if you are wrong?” he asked and Frank looked at him. “What if I am right?” he countered.
“We can’t just say that, it will cause panic” Yehleen said. “Can we have the building checked? Frank asked and Erick shook his head. “I am sure they have already done that. Look this grand event was kept secret until today so they would not have known about it” Erick assured him.
Frank shook his head and stood up. “I say we go check the building” Jennifer suddenly said and Frank looked at her. “Okay but we can’t alarm them, if we are wrong we will surely look stupid” Erick said. “John and Yehleen you know what to do, we three shall go check it out” Erick said and John reacted. “Are you kidding me? I want to come, if we are correct we all become heroes” he said and they managed to laugh.
They agreed so they immediately suited up and headed for the Wanston Building.
Thirty minutes later they arrived and the building. Security was tight; John and Yehleen stayed in the van but monitored their every movement. Frank, Jennifer and Erick entered the building but they didn’t know where to look.
“Erick if you were a bad guy where would you place the bomb?” Frank asked and Erick looked at him. “Where they are supposed to gather where else” he said. Jennifer looked at her PDA and interrupted the two. “It says here that the main hall has been thoroughly checked and agents even slept there to make sure it was safe. Last check was an hour ago” she relayed and they all sighed.
“What place will you least search at times like this?” Frank asked and Erick shrugged his shoulders. “The one least visited probably like the basement or storage rooms” Jennifer said and they looked at each other. “Where does the water supply come from?” Frank asked as he remembered the terrorist mention something about water. “Well the pipes lead the water and the main pipes are located in the basement” Erick said and Frank ran towards the elevator. They all got in and were surprised to see Sarah Kelly and her cameraman inside.
“Frank Miller!” Sarah said and she tugged her camera man to start shooting. “Please not now Sarah” Frank said and Jennifer made sure Sarah was far from Frank. “Oh come on, just one interview” Sarah insisted. “I said not now!” Frank shouted as the elevator doors opened and they quickly got out. Sarah and her cameraman followed them; Frank followed the pipes and stood in front of a closed door.
“Erick I think this is it” he said and the three of them looked at each other.
“What’s inside?” Sarah asked and Jennifer looked at her. “Oh just a bomb” she said. Sarah felt the chill as her jaw dropped. Erick picked the lock and opened the door. He walked inside and there was nothing peculiar but still they searched.
Frank opened a metal box and saw two metal balls being pushed to meet each other by metal rods. He inserted his finger and prevented the balls from touching but he suddenly screamed in pain. Erick and Jennifer rushed to him and saw his predicament.
“Guys, I think this is it” he said. “Well get your hand off it quickly, we have to take this out” Jennifer said. Erick looked around and noticed that the metal box was cemented to the wall. “I think we can’t do that, it’s cemented to the wall” he said.
“Tell everyone to evacuate the building now, and Frank take you hand out now!” Jennifer shouted. Sarah ordered her cameraman to shoot what was happening, Erick started to panic and radio for help.
“Jen, I don’t think I can remove my hand. If I do we are all going to blow up”
Friday, January 9, 2009
Chapter 16: Free Birds