“Alfie? Why are the lights off?” Hans tried to clear the cobwebs out of his sleep his brain.“Shhhh, keep your voice down and get up now.” Hans felt Alfie tugging at his arm with an urgency that was unusual for him.
Hans rolled out of bed and crouched down as he started to make out the shape of things from the dim light that snuck in underneath the door. What stood out the most was the fear that was evident all over Alfie’s face. He was not a man that scared easily.“No time to explain, but I need to get you and your friends out of here.” Alfie moved quickly towards the door and looked both ways before signalling for Hans to follow him. They communicated without talking, Alfie taking point and signalling for Hans to go to Duke’s room while he headed into Honora’s to retrieve her.
It didn’t take long before they were all making their way down the hallway and back into the alcove that was empty of sentries this time. Alfie led the way once again as zigzagged down the endless corridors. Hans was starting to feel like a rat in a maze when they finally reached a dead end with a door that said ‘No Exit’ in bold red letters.Alfie pulled out a small kit and started fiddling with the electronics until a small light on the device started to glow green. He pushed it open and motioned them through to the outside world. Hans knew enough to hold his breath, but he had neglected to warn Duke or Honora who began coughing as soon as they took a breath.
Alfie was right behind them and pulled some rebreathers out from behind a cement block where he had probably hid them earlier. He passed them out to everyone and put on his own. He motioned for them to follow him once again. They moved slower now, it was too easy to lose someone in thick smog that surrounded them.Even with the rebreathers they couldn’t last long in this environment so Hans knew that they wouldn’t be going far. Sure enough, Alfie stopped short at another door. He pressed a small button beside the door and waited. It didn’t take long until it opened and the muzzle of a gun poked out before a face peeked around the corner. As soon as the person recognized Alfie the door flung open fully and the gun muzzle pointed past him into the smog.
Hans, Duke and Honora followed Alfie inside and the door closed quickly behind them. They all waited for the ventilation system to take care of the smog that had followed them in before removing their rebreathers. Hans spoke up as soon as he got his rebreather off. “What the hell Alfie?”“I’m sorry, but I told Admiral Falun about what you told me. His reaction concerned me so I kept an eye on him and the first thing he did was contact Special Forces. He already knows about the aliens from what I can gather. Whatever you’ve stumbled upon is much bigger of a cover up than you think it is.” Alfie glanced at the person who had let them in, a young girl who was listening intently to the conversation. “We need to finish this discussion in private.”
Hans tried to get his thoughts in order as he followed Alfie through yet another maze of corridors. They ones looked a lot less cared for than what any Hans had seen before. He knew that there were places in this city that had been nearly abandoned, but he had never had the chance to visit one of these areas till now.Alfie led them to what looked like a common eating area and cleared the room of all other people fairly quickly. He motioned for Duke, Honora and Hans to take a seat at one of the tables. They sat in silence for a few moments, Alfie just sat there, pinching the bridge of his nose for a few minutes before he sighed and looked them all in the eye.
“I’m sorry this went so horribly wrong, but I think it might be time to figure out plan B. I don’t suppose any of you had a plan B?” Alfie looked at their downcast faces and frowned. “No plan B. Well there are a lot of other letters in the alphabet.”“What exactly happened Alfie?” Hans asked.
“He was planning to kill you all… I think. I’m not entirely sure actually, but I know now that you can’t trust him. I’m not sure anymore who we can trust outside of the bloc and even then I wouldn’t trust most of them with this kind of information.” Alfie suddenly slammed his fist on the table. “Dammit. This wasn’t supposed to happen like this. How could I have misjudged him so much?”Hans placed a hand on Alfie’s fist. “Some people are just better at putting on a false front, we’re just lucky you figured it out now instead of later. You saved our lives Alfonzo. We’re grateful.”
Alfie collapsed on to one of the benches and shook his head. “We need to come up with a plan of action. We can’t just go public, it wouldn’t work. They’d want to check their facts and the government will shut them up.”“Unless we don’t go to the media.” Duke said and everyone looked at him expectantly. “I know of some people that if I can get a hold of them can put me in contact with a certain sub-set of society that might be able to hijack the newsfeeds.”
“That would only give us this planet and not the rest of the United Worlds. We need to go big and let everyone know what is being hidden from them and why it’s being hidden. The why, I believe, would be critical and we don’t know why.” Alfie said.“To be honest, we need a lot more information than that to make this work. Sure we have proof that aliens exist – well that at least one alien exists, but what about this other race he talks about. Are they really as he says they are? Can we trust this alien? There are a lot of questions that are unanswered that have nothing to do with the government cover up.” Hans stared at the ceiling trying to gather his thoughts. “I believe him, but no one has had the same experience I’ve had.”
“So, where do we start?” Honora said. She was leaning against the wall a part from the group.“We start with finding people in the right places to get us the information we need. I have contacts all over the place in all levels of the government. I can put the word out for what we’re looking for. It might take time, but someone is bound to find something.” Alfie seemed to be brightening up. “Until then we’ll just have to lay low.”
“If it takes too long though then we may as well have done nothing.” Hans didn’t want to sound discouraging, but he knew better than the others what the Afoixox would do when they got here. He wasn’t willing to just wait around and let it happen.“Then what do you suggest?” Alfie fixed him with a hard stare, but Hans wasn’t going to back down.
“I don’t know, but sitting around and waiting for a chance that someone might stumble across something isn’t my idea of getting things done.” Hans kicked at one of the chairs sending it flying across the room. “I want to actually do something.”“Still aren’t happy with sitting on the sidelines are you? Always have to be the best and in charge. Well, look where that got you Hans; injured, mindwiped and working for Global Flight Tech on some stupid frontier planet.” Alfie stood up and leaned towards Hans. “Why won’t you just let me help you? We have some good people, some incredible people in this organization and we will find something quickly. So sit down, shut up and let me do what I do best.”
Hans shut up and sat down. No one spoke for a few moments and as they each tried to gather their thoughts. Alfie stepped away from the table. “Sorry Hans. I’m going to arrange for lodging for a few days and I’ll get a message out through the network.”“Remind me one day to ask what that was really all about. It may be none of my business, but I really don’t care because that was the first time I think I’ve ever seen you actually do what someone told you to do.” Duke said to Hans who just ignored him.