The Commission - 10
Chapter 10: Molly finds her suspects
Albuquerque, December 3 2 AM local time
Grim and Gavin watched the news as they sat on their beds, drinking scotch and relaxing after a very long and eventful evening.
“Well, you have to admit, they certainly did use the opportunity well.” Grim remarked with a chuckle as he blew a smoke ring from his cigar.
“Ok, I am proud of them, but what the hell are they doing here?” Gavin remarked testily.
“I suspect our glorious leader is
responsible for that. It would be just like him you know.”
“Yes, I am sure Hans is behind it. He probably did it just to piss me off, the bastard.” Gavin replied.
Grim smiled. Well, he was proud of them, and he knew Gavin was too.
“Well, you better make sure they are out of LA, you know what’s coming.”
Gavin nodded and stood up. Filling up a bowl with water, he began to concentrate. Since he didn’t know how to reach them with standard means (for this world anyway), it was time to scry for them, and then send them a message.
Morro Bay December 7 3 AM
Molly looked out of the window of the Blackhawk as it and a companion helicopter flew through the night over the Pacific, a few miles offshore from the coast. She was ready.
A call just before takeoff and completed arrangements and now state troopers and local police and sheriffs had quietly surrounded the house that was her target. They hadn’t used any lights, and their cars were in position now to block off the streets leading to the isolated house on the hill she and her agents were getting ready to move on.
“Make damn sure you don’t use lethal force, we have to talk to these people.” She ordered over her mike.
Like the rest of her agents, she was in fatigues and body armor now, with a helmet, face mask, and shotgun loaded with stun bags. A quick landing, her men would rappel down ropes onto the grounds, then they would storm the house and take everyone while they were still trying to figure out what was happening.
Morro Bay 3:14 AM
Sarah woke up with a start. She could feel Wes talking to her.
“Well sweetheart, you have been a busy girl.” his voice remarked.
“Where are you?” She replied groggily.
“In New Mexico, and where are you?”
“Morro Bay, I found a house to use. I sent the family that lived here with Hans.”
“Ok.” There was a long pause, and Sarah stood up, and through the bowl and the scrying spell, Gavin smiled as he saw her gloriously naked body.
Noticing at last the scrying spell, Sarah smiled mischievously, and took a moment to stretch, knowing that Wes would be drinking it in.
She smiled when she heard him mutter, “Show off.”
“When do we get together?” Sarah asked as she picked up a night shirt to put on.
“Soon. We need to finish up here, and then Grim and I have finished our mission.” She nodded and he continued “what about you?”
“We want to stay longer. There is so much to do.” she said, all serious now.
“Did Hans fill you in about what is going to happen here?”
“He did, but he has a plan, and well, so do we. Will you help us when you are done?”
Just then, Sarah heard the sound of helicopters. She ignored it although it seemed odd for so late at night.
“Things will be starting soon. Any minute now from what he said.” Sarah remarked. Just then, her alarm clock went off. “Well, I need to get everybody up it looks like. Can you keep the spell going for a few minutes?”
“Sure sweetheart, I want to talk
to all of you anyway.”
Blackhawk 1, Morro Bay, 3:17
Molly looked out of the door as the helicopters swept over the coast just south the little town of Morro Bay. Roaring over the State Park a few miles south, they woke a few campers as they dropped down to a few dozen feet for the final approach to the target.
Hiding her nervousness, she nodded at the Hostage Rescue Team commander, a grizzled old FBI man who had been in the Team for a couple of decades. He nodded in reply, and spoke orders into his mike, getting his team ready for the assault.
“Answers, I want answers.” she thought to herself. Her tight mouth and glittering eyes showed her intensity.
The House 3:18 AM
The sound of the helicopters was getting louder now, and Sarah looked out a window for a quick peek before going down the hall to wake up the other women.
She saw the lights of two helicopters, and oddly, they were heading right towards her.
“Hmm, could somebody have figured something out?” she wondered. “Better get everybody ready.”
Dashing down the hall, she opened doors and turned on lights.
“Wake up, something is happening. Get your silks on.” She ordered.
The other women woke up startled, and immediately Cheryl, Kim and Michelle grabbed their bags and began dressing. Cindy, a little more befuddled, and not trained like the others, was looking out the window in her pajamas.
“Sarah, those helicopters are slowing, and it looks like there are coming here.”
Sarah grimaced and thought to herself, “well shit, that figures.”
Dashing back to her room, she grabbed her silks and threw off her nightshirt.
“Wes, can you hear me?”
Disturbed by the flurry of activity, he answered quickly “what is going on, are those helicopters I hear?”
“Yes, looks like somebody is coming to visit. We will hold them off for a bit so we can gather up everything and then we will teleport out of here. Our emergency teleport site is the parking lot at the Rock.”
“I can’t come yet Sarah, I need
to get spells ready first. But I will as soon as I can.”
Blackhawk 1 3:21 AM
The helicopter hovered twenty feet over the backyard of the house. Ropes were pushed out of the doors, and almost immediately, 6 agents began sliding down them. Molly watched as they touched the ground with weapons drawn, and then charged toward the windows and doors.
“Set this thing down so I can get out” she ordered over her mike, and the helicopter pilot took the ship out of ground effect, and pushed the controls forward, moving the helicopter a few yards away from some power lines before setting it down on the road a hundred yards from the house.
Molly grabbed her shotgun, jumped out of the open door and ran toward the house, while the second Blackhawk was already hovering over the front of the house as its assault team slid down ropes to the ground.
The House 3:22 AM
Kim was racing down the stairs, wearing a form fitting black silk jump suit and her wand in hand just as the first team came through doors and windows with the sound of breaking glass.
She stopped on the stairs, and fired off a spell as an agent came through the glass doors from the patio and instantly the FBI agent was surrounded by an orange glow that faded almost as soon as it appeared. The agent fell soundlessly to the ground, dropping his shotgun with a loud clatter.
Kim saw that they were wearing what looked like night vision equipment, and she ducked just as the second agent, who had come through a window, spotted her and shouted for her to freeze.
Unsatisfied with her response, the agent fired a shotgun, and as Kim was diving for cover, she felt a massive blow to her stomach as the hard rubber stun round smashed into her spider silk and knocked her back.
“Fuck, that hurt damn it.” she cursed. She could already feel the bruise, but the magical garment from Shiron had absorbed most of the shock of the hit, and she wasn’t stunned. But she was very pissed off, and she pointed her wand and fired off another spell.
This time, as the agent was pumping another round into the chamber of the shotgun, a green glow enveloped the heavily armored and concealed individual, and before his shotgun could come up again, the he froze in place. Within a few seconds, the spell completed its work, and a basalt stone statue stood where the FBI agent had been a moment before.
Meanwhile, Michelle was looking out her window on the second floor as the first helicopter flew over the house, shaking the entire building. Opening her window, she saw the helicopter set down the hill, and the house again shook massively as the second helicopter flew over and hovered a few feet away from the house. The rotor blast threw dust and leaves through the window, making her cough, but as the ropes came out and the agents began to slide down, she realized she had a perfect target.
She waved her arms and chanted a command word, and a green light suddenly engulfed the helicopter. Instantly, the sound of its engines ended abruptly, and helicopter plummeted 30 feet to the ground. The aircraft hit, and with a sickening crunch followed by a loud crash, pieces of it shattered and wreckage was strewn about the yard.
Molly watched in horror as the helicopter hit, it reminded her of the time she had accidently (or purposefully) knocked her brothers model helicopter off his table onto the ground and watched it shatter when she was a mischievous little girl.
The 6 agents hit the ground just as the helicopter did. Mercifully, all were just outside of its direct path, but they were forced to fall to the ground and roll aside to avoid the wreckage.
At that point, Cheryl and Sarah came to the window, and both cast spells of their own. Within seconds, 4 of the agents, plus the crew and remaining passengers of the helicopter were limp on the ground.
Molly ran up the street in a full sprint. She saw the orange flashes that engulfed the some of the agents and the helicopter passenger compartment and saw some of the people in the area fall limply to the ground. She also saw figures in the window, but before she could get off a shot, the figures pulled away and moved deeper into the house toward the other figure on that floor. She could see with her thermal imaging gear that she had 4 agents still moving on the first floor, plus 5 people in the house. Only 2 were still up in the front yard, and both of them were now pulling out people from the wrecked helicopter.
She felt a cold fear as something suddenly registered in her mind. The thermal imaging goggles she was wearing showed that most of the fallen were no longer producing heat, but were instead rapidly cooling. Just like they were dead.
She reached the wreckage alongside the two remaining agents. “Are they dead?” she asked.
One of the agents was staring in shock now at the body he had just pulled out of the helicopter. The other, who managed to choke out an answer, was watching the windows, looking for a target.
“There aren’t any bodies there, just big plush dolls that look like our people!”
Molly noticed something else now. The helicopter wasn’t made of metal anymore. When she slammed against the side of it to take cover, it had made a noise just like something heavy hitting plastic. The plastic she remembered now from her brothers model kit. Touching the skin of the helicopter with her skin, her mind staggered as she realized that it was indeed the same plastic that she remembered.
Inside, on the stairs, Kim took a moment to cast a spell, careful to speak slowly and clearly as the pain of the bruise on her stomach started to distract her. Instantly, she faded from view as the magical invisibility took hold.
The FBI agents could be heard inside now. Two were in the den, another in the garage, and a fourth was in the back bedroom the girls used for storage. Moving cautiously to the living room, Kim checked the first agent she had taken care off, and removing his goggles, decided that the rag doll transformation would last long enough for her purposes.
Neither agent, one a stone statue, the other a cloth plush doll, noticed anything at all.
Outside, Molly overcame her shock and called on her mike for a report from the Hostage Rescue team leader.
“What the hell is going on Bob?”
“Shit, I don’t know. The second helicopter just fell out of the sky, just like the first one, and I have a bunch of hurt people over here.” Bob replied. “I am calling for help from the locals, we need some ambulances.”
“Call Los Angeles, we have big problems. Has the first team reported in yet?” Molly asked anxiously.
“Four of them have reported, and they are clearing the first floor. But two of the others aren’t reporting in, and I can’t see them on thermal imaging.” He paused for a moment, before finally asked the question she had wondered all along. “Molly, what have we run into here?” He asked, a trace of anxiety reflecting in his voice.
Molly wondered about that herself. And she was beginning to feel real fear. Even the unflappable and practically legendary Special Agent Bob Marlene was shook up by this, and she wasn’t sure if she was more afraid of by that or the inexplicable something that was knocking down helicopters left and right after turning them into full scale model kits.
“I don’t know, but we have to get them. Who ever they are.”
Inside the house, Kim watched as two agents moved cautiously down the hallway from the den. It was quiet now, the booms of the lightning and the roar of the helicopters now silent. She watched as the two agents moved to the foot of the stairs, and turned towards her. They didn’t see her, she could tell, and she smiled as she let go another spell.
A green flash lit up the hall, and both agents collapsed. But one fired his shotgun by reflex, and another stun round smashed into Kim’s leg before she could dodge out of the way.
She cursed, and collapsed, the painful impact causing her eyes to water and she dropped her wand in surprise. Kim realized that she had made a mistake. She should have cast the more difficult cloaking spell, but instead had cast invisibility. Now the act of attacking had cancelled her spell just as two more agents came into view. One from the kitchen, and the other, closer, from the hall from the rear of the house.
They could see her, and she cast another spell at the closer just as both fired.
A stun round caught her right in the chest, the painful impact knocking her back. Another, an instant later, which had been aimed at her chest, now caught her in the forehead as she fell back, a glancing blow. She didn’t feel that one though, as it instantly knocked her unconscious.
She fell down the stairs, landing in a heap at the base. Around her, two more FBI agents lay on the ground limply, while another stood poised in an action pose, immortalized in stone.
Agent Susie Clawson ran over to check the wounded. The suspect was out cold, although it looked like she had a broken arm, and she was bleeding a bit from her scalp and mouth. She was alive though. Susie wondered why the other agent, Jim, was just standing there aiming his gun . She stood up and tried to shake him.
And realized, just before she started to scream, that it wasn’t Jim at all, but a stone statue that looked a lot like him. She reached over and touched the other two agents, and realized what they were now. And then everything became insanely clear. They WERE her fellow agents. Or at least, had been.
She collapsed to the floor, screaming, her eyes staring at Jim, a horrified expression of grief and terror on her face.
Michelle, Sarah and Cheryl crept down the stairs, invisible and wearing goggles. They heard the shots, then a woman’s scream.
Sarah whispered to the others, “we go ahead with it then. We go for the whole group of them, and collect them all. Hans will appreciate getting an entire group of commandos or whatever they are.”
“We don’t have a lot of time Sarah, things are going to start happening soon you know.” Cheryl whispered in reply.
“We’d better hurry then.” Sarah replied.
Susie was still screaming when she felt a pair of hands reach over and before she could react, embrace her. Forgetting her training, forgetting even the fact she was in a fight, she was suddenly just a little girl who needed comfort against the scary unknown. Cheryl embraced her, whispering soothing words and the screaming stopped, to be replaced with sobs.
“It's ok, they aren’t hurt, they are just… sleeping. Just like you will be, soon.” Cheryl whispered kindly as she twisted a ring and activated a spell.
Susie, still in the throes of shock and grief suddenly felt herself feeling calmer. She felt herself becoming drowsy, and she realized that she couldn’t move anymore. Susie felt strong soft hands rearrange her limbs into a more relaxed position, and she looked up at the ceiling, feeling herself sink deeper and deeper into a warm fuzzy feeling that felt wonderful. Soon, she couldn’t even blink anymore, and she felt a strange stiffness, and an even stranger sense of floating. And then she was deep into dream and knew no more.
Cheryl stroked the now marble cheek of the pretty young FBI agent and smiled. Then she went over and helped her friend Kim, who was now groaning and trying to sit up.
“You ok?” Cheryl asked as she helped a rather battered Kim to her feet.
“My head hurts, my stomach hurts and my leg hurts and a think I want to puke.” Kim replied testily.
“Probably a concussion. I will fix you up, just sit still.”
As Cheryl worked on Kim, Sarah and Michelle watched for activity in the front. Meanwhile, Cindy collected all of the figurines upstairs and packed up what they needed.
For Molly it was her worst nightmare. Bob was reporting that he couldn’t raise anyone in the house, and she saw that only five people were showing up through the thermal goggles.
“We are pulling back, Bob. We need help here.” She finally called. She was shaken to her core, but the two agents with her where in about as bad a shape. Maybe she really was dealing with aliens after all.
Nothing else explained what had happened in the last few minutes.
Sarah watched the three agents run back toward the street below. “Ok Michelle, are you ready?”
Michelle nodded, and they quickly hashed out a plan.
Albuquerque, 330 AM California time
Gavin and Grim watched the girls deal with the attack and Grim smiled.
“They are doing great. I told you not to worry.” Grim chuckled.
“Ok, so you are right.” Gavin nodded.
Gavin made a few hand motions and muttered a command work, changing the focus of his spell. Now Cindy was clearly in view, and he spoke to her.
“Cindy, give me a cell phone number, I have to end this spell soon.” Gavin ordered.
He saw her smile, and then she read off the number. Grim was already dialing on his phone.
“Ok sweetheart, we will be there at dawn. Tell Sarah to get moving though. Time is about up.”
Cindy nodded, her face now serious.
Morro Bay 3:35 AM
Molly and Bob talked in quiet voices around the wreckage of the second helicopter. A few feet away, their last remaining agents watched the house, along with sheriff’s deputies, police officers and state troopers. A pair of ambulances was nearby, and paramedics where already getting the two helicopter pilots and the crew chief ready to transport on backboards, while another paramedic was helping another agent, now heavily sedated, onto a stretcher, with the help of a police officer.
“So what do we tell the Director about this?” Bob asked, still trying to fight off shock.
“As little as possible at the moment, just tell him that both helicopters crashed, and we have a bunch of casualties and the suspects are still in the house and took out several agents inside.” Molly replied, her voice tight and her emotions just barely in check. “I think the space aliens part can wait, don’t you?”
Bob nodded wordlessly.
Cheryl and Sarah crept up behind the group. It had been an easy matter to teleport behind them, still under the cloaking spell, and sneak up on them using their special gear from Shiron. In seconds, they were up on the ambulances, and in unison, they leveled their wands and released spells.
A bright flash of blue light went off, and Molly just registered it out of the corner of her eye. Turning, she shouted a warning, and she pulled up her shotgun.
A few yards away, Michelle, sneaking up using her gear and magic, had reached a position near the police cars and watched as the first element of the attack went off. Sure enough, the bright light, and the sudden exclamations of surprise and warning, caused all of the officers and agents to turn toward the action.
She leveled her wand and cast her spell.
Molly and Bob both took cover as the world around them erupted into chaos. Molly watched helplessly as she crouched behind a police cruiser as in groups or individually, the local police and her agents dropped limply to the ground. She couldn’t find anyone to shoot at, and then finally, Bob too fell soundlessly after being engulfed in a weird blue light.
She reached over and touched him, and her hand pulled away quickly when she realized she was touching his arm, and it was made of cloth.
In less than a couple of minutes, she was alone. A dozen police and sheriffs, another dozen state troopers, and the five remaining FBI agents, as well as the six paramedics, were all down. Looking decidedly like plush dolls.
Standing, she cursed at her invisible assailants, and then a bright orange light engulfed her, and she too fell limply to the ground. A life-sized plush doll like so many of the people she had led here.
For several minutes, it was completely quiet. Only a few insects chirped, and an occasional increasingly frantic voice on the radio pleaded for a response. Every so often, a bright golden light would engulf a a plush doll, and then it would disappear. Soon, all that was left was the parked police cruisers and ambulances, and the wreckage of the helicopter.
After a few more minutes, the three witches appeared. They all looked haggard and exhausted, and were almost staggering.
“Well, looks like we won.” Michelle announced, her voice tight with fatigue.
“Yeah, we won.” Cheryl replied, “now what?”
They both looked at Sarah, who shrugged tiredly, and looked around. After a moment, she looked at her watch, before turning to the west. Michelle and Cheryl turned to the west as well, waiting for something.
After a minute, a bright streak of light moved across the sky. Moments later, there were more and the dark sky began to light up from the wake of the first of the asteroids moving toward their targets.
“Looks like our time here is about up,” Sarah said dully as she gazed at the sky. Michelle and Cheryl nodded, too moved to speak.