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 Post subject: Always too late...
PostPosted: Fri Apr 25, 2008 12:19 am 
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Location: In your pantry. Good cookies by the way.
Ok, I guess I'll be brave and post this. This is for Disk's writing contest thing. I should have an update every week or two or so. Here goes.

Chapter 1
SLAM



Every morning, same guy, same door, same slam, same apartment, same time. To be precise, 6 A.M.



SLAM



Maybe that was him leaving. Peace at last…



SLAM



“Forgot my keys.”



SLAM



Grrr….



SLAM



“Forgot my suitcase.”



SLAM



Thump thump.



Argghh….it’s already 7 A.M., and I’m wide awake. Might as well start getting up.


That’s the way every day always starts. My name’s Terry (I said that cause everybody does it. And, not only that, but you might need to know it). Yeah, I live in an apartment. Yeah, I’m not exactly rich either. I live off of what I can. My job isn’t too bad; sitting in an office typing isn’t as bad as it could be, but there’s no adventure to that. I’ve always wanted something adventurous in my life, like skydiving or something. I gave up that dream when I learned the price.

I managed to get down the stairs a full 5 minutes earlier than usual. I’m doing well. Usually, I run 10 or 15 minutes late. The sidewalks are even more crowded today than usual. I hope this isn’t a Saturday or something. People seem to be jostling me even more than usual too.

SMACK

“Hey! Watch it!”

Some guy pushed me over completely. I didn’t even get to see who he was.

“Jerk,” I mumbled under my breath.

“What’s this?” There appeared to be a note on my shirt.

1267 N. Oak Street.

That was it. An address. Maybe I should check it out after work. Hey, maybe Josiah might be interested in that. I’m going to his house tonight anyways. He used to be some sort of treasure hunting freak back in college. I’m sure he’ll take this way too seriously…

I forgot about the note until I came to Josiah’s house.

“Hmm….I think this 1267 means that this thing you’re looking for is from 1267 A.D., and this N stands for north. So you have to walk north from Oak Street 1267 steps.”

“Or maybe it’s just an address.”

“Nah, that would be waaaay too simple. Hold on…I got it! It’s an address!”

“Riight…who woulda thought?”

“Hey, let’s go check this out now!”

“What, in the dark? Not a chance! It’s probably just some prank. I’ll stop by on my way to work tomorrow. It’s not like our lives depend on it or something.”

“Hey, wait until you go until after work; I’ll meet you at that address at 3 PM tomorrow.”

“Whatever. Don’t be late.”

“Hey, you’re looking at the person who’s never late!”

“Whatever.”

Guess what? He was late.

It was 3:40 PM the next day, and I was standing outside 1267 N. Oak Street. I tried his cell phone.

“Hey, what’s up Terry?”

“Hey…did you forget?”

“Forget about what?”

“The note…the house…”

“Oooh yeah. Heh heh, I was just playing a joke…heh heh…..”

“Yeah, get over here as fast as you can.”

“Ok, but I’m on the other side of the town…”

“Whatever, just hurry. I’m bored.

“Yeah fine, I’ll try not to be too late.”

As I suspected, he forgot.

Hey, what’s this note?

Another piece of paper in the door. I didn’t even notice it during the past 15 minutes I was waiting there.

10 steps south.

What’s with all these notes? And where’s Josiah anyways? Whatever. I’ll go on with out him.

1-2-3-4-5-hey…this is leading me towards the end of the dock. I hope it doesn’t lead me over the edge, because if it does, I’m not going in.

6-7-8-9-

“Hey Terry!”

“Oh, finally you arrived Josiah! I was just counting out steps to 10, as the note tol-”

SMASH

“Terry!”

CRASH

“Wait, crash? What is that?? Some sort of submarine?”

VROOM

“Whatever it is…it’s gone.”

Too late. Always too late.

________________________________________________________________

Hope you enjoyed it...I don't think the next chapters will be quite as fanciful...

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 Post subject: Re: Always too late...
PostPosted: Fri Apr 25, 2008 12:29 am 
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Formatting was a little bit messed up, it looked like you just hit the enter key every sentence or two. Plus things didn't exactly transition well:

STupendous7 wrote:
“Jerk,” I mumbled under my breath.

“What’s this?” There appeared to be a note on my shirt.


I was confuzzled here.

Also, I don't know what "fanciful" means, but if being less of it means the next chapters will suck, please don't be less fanciful.


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 Post subject: Re: Always too late...
PostPosted: Fri Apr 25, 2008 1:26 pm 
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Thanks for commenting :-D

Bugkiss wrote:
Formatting was a little bit messed up, it looked like you just hit the enter key every sentence or two.

Yeah, I wasn't quite sure about that. I tried making every sentence on the same line, but then it became really hard to tell who was speaking. The first couple of lines I allowed more space just to show that there was more time passing between the next lines and stuff. How would you recommend changing it?

Bugkiss wrote:
Also, I don't know what "fanciful" means, but if being less of it means the next chapters will suck, please don't be less fanciful.

Well, I just thought this chapter was a bit far fetched, but no, I don't think the next ones will suck too much.

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 Post subject: Re: Always too late...
PostPosted: Sat Apr 26, 2008 1:03 am 
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Legal double post.

Chapter 2

“Ah…ouch! How come falling such a short distance hurts so much? What is this thing?
SLAM
“It’s a submarine. You’re coming with us.”
VROOM
“Wha? Who are you? I warn you, don’t come close! I’m armed!” “With what, a ball-point pen?” “Yeah, that and this gun.”
BANG
“Sorry, I’ve got a bullet proof vest. I think you might have been better off with the pen.” “Aww…how cliché is that? I mean…a bullet-proof vest?” “Pretty cliché, I admit, but it works. Thanks for the gun.” “Who are you? Where are you taking me?” “Wouldn’t you like to know.” “Yeah, I would.” “Too bad, because I’m not telling you.” “Whatever.”
-------------------------------------------------------------
Josiah: “P-p-police! That’s it! I’ll call the police! Hello? Come to 1267 N. Oak Street right away! Some people just swam…er…drove away with my friend in some submarine thingy.” “Yeah, sure. I’ll send some guys over.” “Hurry will you?” “Yeah, yeah.”
15 minutes later…
“Ok, what’s this about some guys taking your friend in some submarine?” “They went off east, heading out towards the sea!” “Oh yeah, I think I see something. Then again, it could be the Loch Ness monster.” “In New York?” “It was a joke, son. Well, we’re too late to catch whatever it is. We’ll see if we can’t alert the Coast Guard or something.”
Too late. Always too late.
_________________________________________________________

This one's a bit shorter, but the next ones should be longer. Please comment.

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 Post subject: Re: Always too late...
PostPosted: Sat Apr 26, 2008 1:24 am 
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It's okay, but you misunderstood what Bug meant. Grammar rules for English normally want you to post a new line for every different character speaking, like:

"So..." said Character A.

"BOI WAZ U BE TALKIN' BOUT...BOI?" cracked Character B.

"Nuttin', nuttin' at all," replied Character A.


Bug meant you seemed to be putting a lot of space in your story without filling it with content, which sort of carries over to this second chapter. Try to fit in some more details to your chapters; flesh it out some.

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 Post subject: Re: Always too late...
PostPosted: Sat Apr 26, 2008 2:54 pm 
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Oooh...ok. That makes more sense. I'll try to implement what you're talking about into my next one. Thanks :)

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 Post subject: Re: Always too late...
PostPosted: Mon Apr 28, 2008 7:28 pm 
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Ok, here's chapter 3. Hope it's better... :-|

Chapter 3

The submarine finally arrived. As the guard opened the door, he said something to one of the guards.

“Here we are at the base. Hey, you guard, take this man up to the master.”

“Yes sir.”

“I demand to be released! I won’t be hauled around like this!” I shouted.

As they hauled me up the stairs and down the hallways, I attempted to get out of my escorts where I was. They only told me, “On a boat.” Real helpful.

The door they opened revealed a tall man sitting at a chair. Even before the guards said anything, I knew he was the boss around here.

“Here we are. Master, this is the man.”

“Thank you guards, you may leave.”

Why send all the guards away, I wondered. Maybe I can beat this guy up and escape. No…no chance of that. No windows anywhere. Only the door we came in. Then the man turned to me.

“Now tell me, where are the goods?”

“What goods?”

“Come now, C-79; I know you know where they are, so don’t play around.”

“I don’t know what you’re talking about!”

“I ask you again: “Where are the goods?”

“I still don’t know what you’re talking about! You must have the wrong guy!”

A man hurried into the room. He looked like some sort of pilot or something.

“Sir. Coast Guard.”

“Oh yes, very well. I’ll come in a second.” As he left, he turned around and said: “Now, C-79, you tell me: does this picture look like the wrong guy to you?”

“But…that’s me! How did you get a picture of me?”

“Good question. I’ll leave you to ponder that. Guards! Take him to the hold for a bit.”

SLAM

-------------------------------------------------------------

“Ok kid-”

“The name’s Josiah.”

“Yeah, whatever. Josiah, we’ve got the coordinates for an unidentified craft just east of here. The Coast Guard is sending out several boats. You wanna come?”

“Yeah, sure!”

“Ok, better hurry up, they’re leaving.”

The boat was just about to leave. Josiah ran up to it.

“Hey! Wait! Don’t leave!”

A guy in a uniform, looked like the captain, turned around.

“Oh, right. You’re the guy who’s supposed to come with us. Hurry up, get in.”

“Thanks.”

“Yeah, sure.”

VROOM

As they headed out, the captain turned to the men.

“Ok, here’s the deal men: We’re heading towards a boat just off shore. It’s not visible yet, but it should be shortly. We think they’re the drug smugglers we’ve been after. Apparently, this guy’s friend is also on board for some reason. You all know the drill.”

Once he was done, Josiah asked him something.

“Uh, excuse me sir.”

“Yeah? Josiah right?

“Yeah, uh, what if we’re too late?”

“Why would we be too late? They won’t know we’re coming.”

“Ok…”

20 minutes later…

Nothing. No boat. Just the ocean. The man steering the ship turned to the captain.

“We’re here captain, but no sign of them!”

“They’re not even on the radar?”

“Nope! Nothing.”

“Darn. How did they know?”

“I think they might have caught our radio transmissions, although they must have pretty powerful equipment to do that…”

“Ah. Well, I guess we’ll have to head back to base.”

Josiah was not happy with that. He didn’t want to be too late once again.

“Back to base? But they’re probably still out there somewhere! Why not look for them?”

“We don’t have hardly enough fuel to do that. Besides, they’ve probably vamoosed. It’s too late to get them now.”

Too late. Always too late.

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 Post subject: Re: Always too late...
PostPosted: Mon May 05, 2008 1:47 pm 
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I hope somebody's still reading this...

Chapter 4

Down in the hold, it was pretty dark. The door opened. It was that man again. The one they called “The Master.” He flipped on some lights. Too bad I hadn’t noticed those.

“Ok, now that you’ve had some time to think things over, let’s talk again.”

“I still don’t know what you’re talking about or how you got my picture.”

“Come now. We know all about you. We know you were trying to get to the police with the goods. And we know you still have those goods somewhere.”

“I don’t know what you’re talking about!”

“Don’t be coy. The game is over. We’ve got you here and you’re not going anywhere. The game ends here. And so will your life if you don’t tell us!”

I could tell he was getting angry. “You must have the wrong guy! I’m telling you, I don’t know what you’re talking about!”

The pilot came into the room at that moment, saving me from further interrogation.

“Sir, we’re all ready. We need to leave soon. They’ll be after us.”

“Very well. Call the guards; have them escort this man up.”

“Yes sir.”

Where were we going now? The guards didn’t leave me much time to speculate. They hauled me up to the top of the ship quickly.
-----------------------------------------------------------------
Josiah’s boat arrived back on land. The same police officer from before walked up to him.

“Hey Josiah, I heard you didn’t find anything. If you want to come, we’re sending out a helicopter to search.”

“A helicopter? Yeah, sure!”

“Ok. I’m heading over to the landing pad anyways, you can ride with me if you want.”

“Yeah, thanks. I’ve never ridden in a police car while on the right side of the law before.”

“Ok, here we go. The helicopter won’t be leaving for another half an hour or so, so we have plenty of time.”

The drive was spent mainly in silence, Josiah thinking about Terry, the police officer thinking of what he was going to do when he got off duty.

“Here we are at the helicopter pad. I’ve gotta run now; I’ve got a call over in a district northwest of here. Hope it works out.”

“Thanks officer.”

There was the helicopter. Josiah walked up to one of the guys preparing it for takeoff.

“Excuse me sir, but I’m supposed to be going with this helicopter. Do you know where the guy in charge is?”

“Over there.”

“Thanks.”
Josiah walked up to the man.

“Um, excuse me, but I was told I’m supposed to go with this helicopter to search for Terry. I’m his friend, Josiah.”

“Oh, you’re Josiah? Ok. We’ll be leaving shortly; we just need to gather the rest of the crew up.”

“Only 5 men? Won’t we need more if we’re going to be storming the ship?”

“We’re not storming anything. We’re just out looking. If we find the ship, they’ll send out a boat to the coordinates.”

“Oh.”

“Ok, everybody get on board, strap in. We’re leaving in 2 minutes.”

The helicopter ride was spent mostly quiet, with the pilot constantly talking to the guys back on the ground. Then, the pilot got all excited.

“I think we’ve found it! It looks like the right boat; there aren’t any others. It’s heading east pretty fast. I’ll send coordinates.”

The radio crackled. “Alright, we’ve got the coordinates, sending out a boat now.”

Josiah was actually smiling. “We’ve got them now. We’re not too late.”

The captain was talking again. “Ok, since we have enough fuel, I think we’ll keep an eye on this ship until the Coast Guard comes.”

After waiting in silence for 15 minutes or so, the Coast Guard boat came into sight. The captain spoke up.

“There they are, finally. Ok, our job is done here. Heading back.”

They were back on land, at the helicopter pad. A man came running up to them.

“The Coast Guard got the boat; the only problem is, there’s nobody on board. No cargo, no men, nothing. They did find a helicopter pad on the boat. We think they left on a helicopter just before you guys found them. You were just a bit too late to catch them.”

Too late. Always too late.

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 Post subject: Re: Always too late...
PostPosted: Mon May 05, 2008 3:26 pm 
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I'm still reading it. The only advice I can give is add more detail. I'll let you decide what needs more detail, but in my opinion, pretty much all aspects could use a little more umph. :)

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 Post subject: Re: Always too late...
PostPosted: Sat May 10, 2008 5:53 pm 
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Thanks MooKoo :)

Chapter 5

On a dark street somewhere in Manhattan, a car pulled up to a screeching halt outside of a respectable house. A man opened the door and furtively looked around before running quickly up to the door and knocking.

“Who’s there?”

“Agent Ryals? I need to talk to you. It has to do with drug smuggling.”

“Even though I’m off duty? Can’t you talk to the police or something…”

“No. This can’t wait. I think I’m being hunted. I can’t tell the police; I need to talk to you now.”

“Even though I was just sitting down to dinner and a nice quiet evening?”

“Yeah, it’s extremely urgent! I need to talk to you.”

“Ok, fine. Come on in.”

The door opened and the man walked into the house. It wasn’t exactly a large house; fairly plain. The man could tell Agent Ryals was not married. The agent gave him a seat.

“Now, what’s this about drug smuggling?”

“I used to work for a group of drug smugglers. The typical gang: they have a base somewhere in Africa, an area where they ship the drugs off to New York, people in New York who distributed the drugs, and then people who got “weapons” onto the boat and shipped them back to the base in Africa. I got into it a couple of years ago; I worked on this side of the operation, putting the “weapons” into the boats. I always wondered what the “weapons” were, but nobody wanted to tell me. Finally, it leaked to me that the so-called “weapons” were parts for nuclear bombs that they were assembling. They needed one more shipment before they could finish the bombs and use them. I never figured out what they were going to use the bombs on, but I figured it couldn’t be good. And then they found that I knew what was happening.”

“Ok…wait a second. You were working for a ring of drug smugglers, and yet when you learn that they’re assembling an atomic bomb, you get worried and try to vamoose?”

“I wasn’t really working with them. You see, I’m part of the CIA, and I was working undercover trying to figure out what they were doing.”

“Then why don’t I know about this? Why don’t you talk with someone higher up?”

“Because they think that I’m a traitor. They think I turned on them and went to work for them. But it was just a bluff.”

“How do I know that? How do I know you’re not just trying to lead me into a trap?”

“The only reason I didn’t come earlier was because I was being followed too closely then. I’m not now. I don’t know why; that’s why I came. I need somebody to tell me what’s going on with them.”

“I don’t know anything about them. As far as I know, most of the people in the CIA have been bribed or something to keep away from them.”

“Then we need to figure out what’s happening. But to continue with my story: I managed to get the last shipment before it was shipped and hid it. Only problem is, I don’t want them to figure out where it is. You see, the last shipment I stole wasn’t very big. It was only one medium sized box. I got away with the box, but I figured out I was being followed, so I dumped the box in some guy’s apartment. The people chasing me didn’t figure out where it was; I made sure the guy in the apartment knew about it and would keep it safe. I had to blindly trust that he wasn’t one of the enemy. I did make sure he didn’t see my face, just in case.”

“Do you remember the address of the apartment?”

“Yes, I do. Only, as I told you before, I couldn’t risk leading the enemy to the place where I thought the goods were until recently, when they stopped.”

“Ok, then why don’t we go check that out in the morning.”

“Ok. Here’s the address. I’ll meet you there at 10 AM tomorrow.”

“Alright. I’ll be there.”
-----------------------------------------------------------
The helicopter ride was a long one. To me (Terry) it seemed to go on forever. Nobody ever talked. Either some of the other people tried to sleep, or they just stared out the window. Nobody really paid any attention to me. All I could see out the window was the ocean, stretching on for what seemed like forever. It was already late when we left; it soon grew even darker. Soon, we were flying in the night. Then, there seemed to be land ahead. The pilot spoke.

“Sir, we’re about an hour away from the base.”

“Very well. Notify the base that we’re close.”

“Yes sir.”

Something went wrong then. Something very wrong.

“Sir, something’s wrong, we’re loosing altitude…”

“Pull up then you idiot! You’re supposed to be some amazing pilot!”

The helicopter started descending rapidly. The blades on top slowed down and stopped. The ground rushed up at Terry.

“Engines are coming back on line…but it’s still too late.”

WHAM.
--------------------------------------------------------------
It was getting late. It seemed like nothing would go right that day for Josiah. He was sitting with the rest of the crew from the helicopter, lying in some make-shift beds. A man came into the room.

“Excuse me, but I have some information for you all. We think we might have found the helicopter they got away in. Don’t get too hopeful though,” he said as Josiah started from his seat. “We’re not sure if it’s really them. A ship in the Atlantic spotted them not long ago. They were flying south east. From their direction, it looks like they might be heading for somewhere on the African coast. We’re sending another helicopter after them. I think they’re leaving in a couple of minutes, so if you want to go, hurry over to the runway.”

As the man left, Josiah began to get a little bit hopeful again. Maybe they could find them after all. He caught the helicopter before it left, hopped on, and strapped in for the flight.

“Welcome on board. Your name’s Josiah, right?”

“Yeah, thanks. Do you have any more information about where exactly the helicopter is going?”

“Not really. We’ve got them on our radar right now. I’ll show you after we take off. We’re over here, and then the helicopter is over here, not far from the African shore now.”

“Hey, did something happen? The dot just disappeared or something. It didn’t crash did it?”

“It might have. That’s the only reasonable explanation…unless it landed, but it couldn’t have landed so near the ocean; the pilot would be an idiot for doing that.”

“So it’s probably crashed, and probably everybody on board is dead.”

“Well, we can’t be sure. Can’t really tell from this radar what happened. We’ll just have to keep flying and hope we’re not too late.”

Too late. Always too late.

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 Post subject: Re: Always too late...
PostPosted: Sat May 17, 2008 7:14 pm 
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Chapter 6
It was 10 AM. The Inspector and the other man he had met the evening before were at an apartment.

“Is this the building? Which room is it?”

“Yeah, this is the building. I’m pretty sure the room is the one up on the top right, but I can’t be sure. We’ll have to see if anyone’s there.”

Knock knock. Knock knock. Wham wham.

“Nobody there. Either that or he sleeps really soundly.”

“That’s kind of strange. Maybe he’s at work or something. Let’s try some of the neighbors, see if they know anything.”

They knocked on all of the doors in the apartment. None of them had seen the man living in that room since the day before, when he had left for work.

“So much for that idea. What do we do know? I hope he hasn’t been found out and captured by them.”

“Yeah…me too. Hang on, my phone’s ringing.”

The agent answered his cell phone.

“Hello? Yeah. No, I’m not coming in until later on. I’ve got some other things to do. What? When? Ok. Get some guys to prepare my helicopter, would you? Thanks.” He closed his cell phone. “Bad news. I think we were too late. That was a friend of mine up at headquarters. A guy was caught by some drug smugglers. The Coast Guard is after them. I think he’s the guy we want.”

“Oh no. The drug smugglers escaped to Africa, right?”

“Yeah. My helicopter is being prepared. I’m flying over there. I assume you want to come.”

“Yeah, sure I’ll come. Are you the one flying?”

“Yeah, I thought knowing how to fly a helicopter might come in useful sometime.”

“Yeah, sure does. Let’s go.”

They hopped into the agent’s car and drove off to the helicopter pad. The helicopter was ready for them when they got there.

“Is it all ready? Thanks guys.” The agent turned to the man he met the night before. “Ready? Let’s go.”

They hopped into the helicopter and took off.

“The guy at the headquarters said he would give me the coordinates of where the Coast Guard group is. It’ll be another three or four hours before we get there.” They both settled down.
---------------------------------------------------
Terry’s helicopter crashed. The pilot just managed to get it over land before going down. Thankfully, there weren’t any trees in the immediate vicinity. It wasn’t exactly a bad crash. More of an unexpected and bumpy landing.

“Everybody alright? Nobody hurt? Good. We need to get a move on. It’s not too far to walk to the base. You two, hand out the guns. Move!”

“Yes sir.”

It took us a while, but we finally got going. All of them had guns now; even the master had a pistol. As we walked through the trees that seemed to get thicker and thicker as we went along, the sun started to rise. Even though it was still probably night in New York, it was almost daybreak in Africa. It was fairly quiet in the jungle, only the occasional monkey or bird. Then, I thought I heard something behind us. It sounded a bit like a helicopter. Just as my hopes rose, the sound died out.

After walking along for another ten or fifteen minutes, the Master turned around.

“I think that helicopter was after us. We’ll have company pretty soon. You two, stay here. Hold off whoever is following us for a while. Then pull back to the base. The rest of you, let’s move on to the base.”

“Yes sir.”
-----------------------------------------------
The helicopter was nearing land. The sun had just risen; the captain spoke.

“This is where the helicopter disappeared. Hey, what’s that down there? Looks like a helicopter. I’m landing.”

The helicopter on the ground didn’t look too badly wrecked when Josiah and the crew landed and looked at it. It also looked abandoned.

“Looks like they had a crash after all. Looks like they also got everything out of the helicopter they could get out. I think they headed this way. Everybody grab guns out of the helicopter. We’re gonna follow that path.”

They moved fairly quickly through the forest, only stopping occasionally to make sure they were on the right path.

“We’re not too late this time,” Josiah thought to himself.

Bang. Bang.

“Everybody get down! Where is it coming from?”

Bang. Bang.

“I think it’s coming from those trees over there!”

“Return fire! Don’t shoot to kill! We want them alive if possible. You two, try and outflank them, but stay down.”

The fight went on for a bit, with both sides shooting whenever they saw something. When the two men saw they were being outflanked, they quickly retreated, firing all the time.

“Come on, let’s move up. Don’t let them get away,” the captain yelled as the men broke their slow retreat and ran for it.

The crew followed the two men at a run. The men led them on through the jungle for several minutes before they finally came into an open area. There, out in the middle of the open area, was a building. It had barbed wire all around it. There were several men out front with machine guns. The two men ran in behind the fence. None of the crew dared to go out into the range of the guns. They were too late.

Too late. Always too late.

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 Post subject: Re: Always too late...
PostPosted: Tue May 27, 2008 10:30 pm 
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Chapter 7
The helicopter flew on as the sun rose up higher in the sky. The agent gently shook the man next to him.

“Hey, wake up. We’re almost to the African shore line.”

“Huh? Oh, right.” As he stretched, he looked down. “Hey, it looks like there’s two helicopters on the ground down there.”

“Where? Oh! I’ll see if I can’t land there.”

He slowly brought the helicopter down onto the sand, the blades throwing sand all around them.

“Looks like both of these helicopters are abandoned. I’m guessing that one over there is the Coast Guard one.” The agent pointed to a helicopter with “COAST GUARD” on its side in big red letters.

“Yeah, I think you’re right there.” After inspecting the helicopters, he turned to the agent. “Doesn’t look like they left anything. Wait, I think they did leave some footprints, heading off into the woods.”

“Great, let’s hurry.”

They took off at a slow jog into the woods, following the path that the Coast Guard had taken when they were following the smugglers. After jogging for an hour, they picked up their pace as they heard gunshots ahead. They both stopped as they came to the edge of a large clearing. In the middle was a smallish building with a gate around it and men with machine guns standing guard around it.

The agent turned to the man. “Looks like the drug smugglers made it to their hideout.”

“This isn’t the hideout that they usually use. The other one is a lot bigger than this one.”

“Then is this where they have the atomic bombs that they’re working on or something?”

“I don’t think they would be stupid enough to bring the Coast guard right up to the things they want to keep hidden. But, then again, maybe not. Who knows?”

Suddenly, as they were talking, a man in a coast guard uniform jumped out at them. “Get your hands up! What are you two doing here?”

“Don’t worry, we’re on your side. I’m Agent Rheims, and this is a man who has some information about these drug smugglers. Will you take us to your base?”

“Hmm…ok. Follow me.”

The man led them through the woods to where a group of official looking people stood talking.

“Sir, I found these two men. They say they have some information about the drug people.”

“Ah. And what are your names?”

“I’m Agent Rheims. And this…is someone…what is your name?”

“I’d better not tell you. It’s for the best. So, what’s happening here?”

“Well, those drug smugglers took a guy captive. They’re holding him in that base over there. Problem is, we don’t have enough men to take it. In fact, we’re going to have to leave pretty soon. Coast Guard isn’t supposed to be here. This isn’t American soil nor is it neutral, so the government of whatever country this is will probably kick us out soon.”

“So how much time do we have?” the agent asked.

“Oh…I’d say about two or three more hours before we’re noticed and kicked out.”

“Ah. Ok. So what’s the plan?”

“We really don’t have one…just hope for a miracle.”

The man who came with the agent turned to them. “Who is that guy over there?”

“His name’s Josiah. He’s the friend of the guy who was captured.”

“He looks exactly like the guy I gave the goods to. In fact, I’m sure it is. I thought the smugglers had taken him.” He walked over to Josiah. “Excuse me, but aren’t you the guy I gave the goods to?”

“Terry? Wait…no, you’re not Terry. Different voice. Wait…the goods? I never got a look at the person who gave me them. But your voice sounds the same.”

“I thought the smugglers had gotten you. Where did you put the goods?”

“I don’t have the goods anymore. No, the smugglers didn’t get them,” he said as the man started. “I don’t know where the goods are. The only person who does, although unwittingly, is the man they have, Terry.”

“What?”

“You see, you gave me the goods, and told me to keep it hidden and not let anybody but yourself (or somebody else I trusted) take them. But then, I saw some guys hanging around my apartment. There started to be more and more of them. Finally, I decided that I wasn’t safe with the goods anymore, so I sneaked off to Terry’s apartment. I gave him the box telling him to hide it. I told him it was some sort of present I wanted kept secret or something. He hid it away, and I left quickly. The guys who were trying to get me figured I had sneaked out, but couldn’t find where I hid the box. And now, I think they’ve mistaken him for you and captured him.”

“So they mistakenly took the wrong person, and yet unwittingly they took the right person?”

“Yeah, I think so.”

“Great.”
----------------------------------------------
The man called the Master was sitting in chair in a dark room, looking into space. The door opened and a man came into the room. “You wanted to see me sir?”

“Yes. I need your advice. You see, I’m starting to have some doubts about whether or not we actually have the right guy.”

“Funny you should say that sir, because one of our scouts reported that he saw a man who looks exactly like the man we have, except he was with the Coast Guard. I think we do have the wrong guy.”

“But how do we know for sure? For all I know, the guy out there could be this guy’s twin, but we still might have the right guy.”

“Yeah, I know. The one thing that should decide it, however, is that the guy out there has a scar on his arm. Just a small one. C-79 had one too; the guy we have doesn’t have that scar.”

“Ah. Well, that decides it then. Get a white cloth, would you?”
--------------------------------------------------
The Coast Guard were gathered together discussing their next course of action when a man stood up from the smuggler’s base with a white flag.

“You all! We have a proposition. We know we have the wrong person. But we know that you all have the right one. Here’s our proposition: We get C-79, you all get the man we have right now.”

The agent turned to the man they called C-79. “Looks like they figured out they have the wrong guy too.”

“Yeah, except they don’t know that they do have the right person.” The man called C-79 ran into the clearing. “Here I am. Take me. But give us the man you have.”

“Good choice. We’ll send out the man, you come in.”

The transfer was completed without a hitch. The man called C-79 was led through the base, down a lot of stairs, and into a dark room below the ground. There, the Master sat in a chair, waiting.

“Well, you’re the real C-79. Nice to have you back. Now, let’s get this started. Where are the goods?”

“Good question. I sure don’t know.”

“What? You should know!”

“I don’t know. But I do know who does know. And that person just left this base in a transfer for me.”

“What? He knew all along? And he didn’t say anything?”

“He unwittingly is the only person who actually knows where the goods are. And you just let that man walk out of your base.”

“How do I know you aren’t just bluffing?”

“Because it’s true. You can torture me all you want, and I won’t tell you because I don’t know.”

“Ahh…well, here’s something for you to think about. If you don’t give me the goods, I will blow this whole area up in an atomic bomb.”

“I know you’re bluffing. You don’t have an atomic bomb.”

“Ahhh…but you don’t know that. I do have two atomic bombs. They were finished as prototypes for the others. But they work just fine. If you don’t tell me where the goods are, I’ll blow a random big city in the US into atoms. Then we can blackmail the government into getting what we want with the second bomb.”

“Riiight…”

“Yeah. So know it’s up to you. Which one of us is bluffing?”

The Master got up and walked out of the room, closing the door behind him.
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 Post subject: Re: Always too late...
PostPosted: Mon Jun 02, 2008 11:16 pm 
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Location: In your pantry. Good cookies by the way.
Chapter 8

As Terry came walking up to the Coast Guard’s base, he saw all of the Coast Guard packing up and preparing to leave. Terry barely noticed the warm greeting Josiah gave him.

Terry turned to him. “Where are they all going? That guy, the one who looks just like me, is still in there.”

The captain of the Coast Guard turned to him. “There’s nothing we can do about him. We’ve been ordered out immediately. We’re packing up now. You all had better come with us too. Once they see us moving, they’ll see you as a prime target.”

Agent Rheims spoke up. “Give us a minute captain. We need to confer about something.”

“Alright, but hurry up. We’re going now.” Turning to his men, he said: “Move out men, back to the helicopter.”

As the Coast Guard men walked away, Agent Rheims turned to Terry. “We have to go. There’s nothing we can do now. That man is in there, and we can’t get him out.”

Terry sighed. “I just wish I could do something.”

“The best thing you can do is go before those drug smugglers capture you again.”

“Alright, let’s go.”

They walked quickly away from the clearing and towards their helicopters.
---------------------------------------
As the Master was walking through the halls, his main assistant walked up to him. “You do know that if he’s not bluffing, then the Coast Guard will probably vamoose?”

“Yeah, I know. Tell me when they do.”

“That’s just it; all of the Coast Guard has just moved away. There’s still three men out there. The one we used to have is with them.”

“Then what are you waiting for? Send a group of men after them. Try and get them alive before they can get to their helicopter.”

“Yes sir.”

The assistant turned and ran up the stairs.
-----------------------------------------
Terry, Josiah, and the Agent had gone about half of the way in silence before the Agent stopped. “Did you hear that?” They all stopped and listened. A twig snapped.

“There they are!” a voice yelled from behind them.

“Great, here come the drug smugglers. Run!”

Bullets started to whistle around them as they ran. The agent yelled over his shoulder as he ran: “Use the trees for cover, try to stay low!”

“The beach is just ahead. We’ll be in the open!” Terry shouted.

“Well, then hurry up!” Agent Rheims yelled as he picked up his speed. They reached the beach before the drug smugglers did. The agent quickly jumped into the helicopter and got it started as the other ran up breathless. As they took off, the smugglers fired their guns at the bottom of the helicopter. It sounded bad, but did no damage.

As soon as they got going, Terry asked a question. “What do we do now?”

“What do you mean?” the Agent replied. “We fly back to New York, get the goods that those drug smugglers desperately want, and take them to the police.”

“But won’t they be coming after us for revenge? You know, sending assassins and stuff after us?”

“Why would they do that?” the Agent replied. “You’re safe. They won’t try anything. At least I hope not.”

They flew the rest of the way in silence. When they arrived in New York, they quickly drove to Terry’s apartment, where they pried up some floor boards. They pulled out a medium sized box. They quickly drove it to the police station, where they dropped it off for the experts to examine it. As the Agent was driving Terry home, the Agent looked in his rear view mirror.

“Hmm, is that a car following us? Wait, it just drove off. It seems like I keep seeing that car.”

“Probably just a coincidence.”

“Yeah, probably so.”

They drove the rest of the way in silence. The Agent and Terry parted ways at Terry’s apartment. It seemed like Terry’s life was normal again.
--------------------------------------
The assistant walked back into the master’s study. The master was sitting contemplatively in his chair.

“Sir, I have some bad news. They escaped in their helicopter. We didn’t even wound any of them.”

“I see.” The master stood up from his chair. “Order the bomb dropped on Washington D.C. Maybe then they’ll listen.”

“Yes sir.” The assistant turned and ran up the stairs. The master walked slowly out of his room and down several flights of stairs before entering the room where C-79 was. He shut the door, and turned around.

“The game’s over. Nobody’s bluffing now.”
---------------------------------------
It was a normal day in New York. The sun was shining, people were busily walking around, minding their own business. A plane flew overhead. Just…a plane…
________________________________________________________________________

It's over! :rolleyes:

Comments are appreciated.

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