Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Chapter 7 - Micah

Chapter 7 - Micah

I waited three days to see if she followed me. Nothing. For the first two days I assured myself that she’d come. I told myself that she had to know the difficulty of breaking into Isoli’s residence. But she didn’t come. So the last day I spent making plans to break in.

The sun finally started to set. I picked up my pack and stared out into street. I barely made the sidewalk when I heard the grind of gravel on pavement. I turned quickly to see a man dart behind a garbage can and into another alley. I quickened my pace.
I only traveled four blocks when another dark figure came around the corner in front of me. Crap. I’d left my pistol in my back pack. I didn’t expect any resistance in the slums. I turned to run but a familiar voice stopped me.
“Micah, you can’t to tonight. They’ve moved to the east wing already. Security is too tight. Give me three more days, and we can put a team together. We have a better chance of extracting her we take a team.”
Relief swept across me as I realized who spoke, “We can’t talk here Tanner, it’s not safe. Someone is tailing me. Hurry. To that alley!”
I started towards the alley but Tanner stopped me.
“He’s one of ours. He was just there to alert me if you left.”
“I’m supposed to protect you.”
“Says who? I don’t need protection.” I started towards the Capitol. Annoyed at the lack of trust, and confused at why I was being protected. Tanner stopped me again.
“Listen, I didn’t think you’d wait so I brought this. It’s the floor plan of the East Wing. It looks like Eve’s room is on the North side, but you’ll need to go in this entrance on the South.” He pointed to what looked like a utility entrance that faced the back alley.
“What kind of security are we looking at. How many guards?”
“Too many fight with a gun. You can’t take your weapons. We need to work with deception. The night guard switches at 11:30 PM every night. 15 minutes later the night janitor enters through the south utility door. When he comes you’ll need to take his security badge. Don’t worry about switching clothes. Your coveralls are similar enough that no one should notice. Once you’re in, you’re on your own. Good luck. Oh, and if anyone asks, I tried to stop you.”
We shook hands, and Tanner slipped back around the corner. I stared at the floor plan. It would take at least five minutes to go from the south entrance to Eve’s bedroom on the north side. My new disguise as the janitor should get me there unnoticed but getting out would be difficult. I left the escape unplanned, trusting that Eve would know the quickest way out.
I reached the Capitol in less than 30 minutes and concealed myself on the south end. 11:00 PM. I sat and waited, trying to control my breathing. After three years my chance to take back my sister had come. At 11:30 the guard switched just as expected. I waited the last 15 minutes for the unsuspecting janitor to show up. At last his car pulled into the almost empty lot behind the alley. The man crawled out of his beat up, 2-door car. I regretted what I was about to do. He was one of my kind. He walked right passed my spot in the bush. I didn’t hesitate. I jumped up and in one motion slammed the butt of my pistol into back of the his neck. He immediately crumpled to the ground. I caught his arms beneath the arm-pits and quietly drug him back into the bush. I gagged him and tied him up to make sure he didn’t awake and alert the security guards. I reached into his front pocket and pulled out his security badge. Jacob Wheeler, janitor. I made sure he was well hidden and then continued on his path to the south entrance.
I reached the entrance in about a minute. I checked to my left and right and could see the silhouettes of the new security guards. I slid the security badge down the magnetic strip next to the door. The red light briefly changed green and the latch released the door. The room was pitch black, but I already knew where I was headed. The 30 minutes waiting in the bush was more than enough time for me to memorize my path to Eve’s bedroom.
I made my way to the north side of the building without any incident. Eve’s bedroom was on the west side of the wing. I quietly slid down the east hallway closest to the new President’s bedroom. A sliver of light crept out from beneath his doorway. I held my breath and crept closer to Eve’s room. Too quickly I heard a click and Isoli’s door was opening. It was still dark in the hallway, The President wouldn’t recognize the back of my head. Jacob Wheeler’s hair was dark like mine. I continued down the hall hoping Isoli would say nothing.
I paused. Not knowing whether I should run or stay put. I slowly turned around, hoping the dimly lit hallway would hide my identity. “Yes, Mr. President?”
He reached for the light switched and turned it on. Light flooded the hallway. “I need you to--” He stopped. Terror swept across his face. Of course he recognized me. It didn’t matter that I was 3 years older than my last government photo. At least 5 most wanted lists showed my simulated picture in the number two slot next to my name and the nickname “Robin Hood.”
I tried to pull my pistol out from the inside of my coveralls before I remembered I didn’t have it. I took a step toward Isoli, needing to silence  the smaller man before he could sound an alarm. Too late. He was already around the corner and into his bedroom. I bolted toward Eve’s room. Ten steps from her door, the siren went off. Red lights flashed at every corner. I slammed open Eve’s door and flipped on the light. She was already awake from the sirens but still not fully alert.
“Darion? What’s going on?”
“Eve, it’s me. Micah, keep quiet.”
“Micah! Oh, Micah, what are you doing? You should’ve come in the day. I could’ve met you. I wanted to see you so bad!” Eve grabbed my arms and pulled my in for a hug. She sobbed uncontrolled on my shoulder.
“I didn’t come to see you. I came to save you. I’m getting you out of here. We can be a family again. Do you know another way out? They’ll be here any second.”
The sobbing stopped, and Eve pulled away from me. “Save me? From what?”

“From what?” I stared at her, incredulous. “From the monster that took you three years ago and made you his slave.”
Eve’s expression tightened. “I’m not a slave, Micah. I’m the head housekeeper for the new president. Even you should be impressed I got far above what Headmistress Mason expected. I don’t need you to save me.”
I shook my head, still surprised at her attitude. “You deserve more than to be the servant of some elite slob. You’re talented, Eve. You can actually help people if you come with me.”
She leaned away. “I can help people here, too.” She closed her eyes and then reached out for my hand. “Micah, trust me. I can take care of us if you let me. I’ll find you a good job. I can convince Mr. Isoli you’re not dangerous. You’ll do it for me, won’t you? So we can be together again.” Emotion clouded her face, and she choked on her next words. “I can’t lose you again, Micah.”
I backed away, already scanning the room for a way out. I’d drag her away if I had to. “I’ve chosen my side, Eve. Isoli isn’t who you think he is. He’s a two faced schmoozer. You’re blinded.”
The door burst open before I could find an escape and two guards crashed in with their paralyzer guns aimed at my shoulder. Isoli followed close behind.
Eve jumped out in front of me. “Wait! Don’t hurt him! He’s not dangerous! He’ll do what you say. Just give him a chance!”
I paused. If Eve could indeed convince Isoli like she said that would at least give me a chance to escape.
The gunmen hesitated waiting for the President’s orders, their paralyzers still trained on their target.
“Take him out.”
A familiar explosion followed. My body crumpled to the floor, just like Jacob’s. The guards rushed towards me. Once again I couldn’t move. Again I couldn’t save her. But no one can save someone who doesn’t think they need to be saved.
Eve resumed her sobbing. “Please, Mr. President. Give him a chance, please. I can help him. He’ll be good, I promise. I’ll convince him to fight on your side.”
“He’s a rat, Eve. He’s not like you. The sooner you understand that the better.” The President left the room and slammed the door behind him, Eve’s cries seeping out behind him.
A pretty face hovered over my head shouting instructions. A needle jabbed into my shoulder. My vision blurred. Then just black.


  1. Oh, no! She's accepted her position, while Micah has not. I wouldn't either. I guess since she's lived in luxury for the past three years Eve has forgotten how dirty the streets could be, but how could she forget how she thought her brother had been killed just so that vice president could have her as a housekeeper? I'm beginning not to like Eve. Right now she's not a sympathetic character.

  2. Though I see Debra's point, I feel compassion for Eve. She does remember the poverty, and the filth. She has had no reason to dislike or disbelieve the VP, now close to being president. She hates what he did to her brother, but she has had nothing but kindness from the Isoli household, and is quite attracted to the son. She has no given reason to want to leave. I'm rooting that she and her brother will come to terms, but she has a woman's need to nurture, while Micah has the man's need to protect. Excellent portrayal.