The young woman froze, her muscles tensed and blonde hair moving slightly with the evening breeze. Her fingers dug into the shoulder of the statue, the marble crumbling around the end of her fingers, not that she noticed.
“Now put your hands on the chair,” the man behind her said in a thick American accent. When she didn’t comply immediately he barked, “Do it!”
She complied. Her hands on the back of the bench, and she leaned forward slightly to reach it. She didn’t want to argue with him – he sounded tough – but she didn’t like the vulnerable position it left her in either.
It took him a second to make his way over to her. He frisked the sides of her top and skirt. His movements were quick and professional. He didn’t let his hands linger, before stepping back.
“What are you doing here?” he asked.
“I think I live here,” she told him. It didn’t come out very well though – not as confidently as she would have liked it to. It sounded lame even to her ears.
“You think,” he mocked.
“I just woke up... sorry,” she apologized, though didn’t know why other than being polite. She was the one who was having problems remembering... well, anything, really.
“Okay, turn around,” he told her.
She does as she’s told and looks him over quickly. He’s a police officer in a smart dark blue uniform. Based on his youthful appearance and fresh face she would peg him to be about mid-twenties. Not at all what she was expecting from his voice.
“You’re a little young for a policeman, aren’t you?” She smirked, saying what she thought before realizing it might not be the biggest compliment in the world. If he was a police officer it might be best not to antagonise him – she wiped the smirk off her face.
“I get that a lot,” he complained, holstering his gun. “Who else is in the house?”
“No one. I didn’t look everywhere though,” she informed him. She didn’t tell him that she didn’t need to. Somehow she knew there wasn’t anyone else there; she could feel it and she knew it, though couldn’t start to explain it.
He started to walk back towards the house. “Come on. I got a call to check this place out.”
Looking at his badge curiously, and the city name of Raccoon, the she asked him a question “Where’s that?”
“What?” he asked back.
“That town?” she asked him back, pointing to his badge, or more accurately the name on the badge.
“You’re joking, right?” He can tell from her expression that she’s not jerking him about. “It’s just over the ridge.”
He pointed in a direction vaguely over the garden. The girl was still none the wiser, but nodded her head pretending to understand. He seemed to pick up on that fact she was more just smiling sweetly than actually understanding.
“You really don’t know anything, do you?” he said, with a shake of his head.
By now they had made it back to the house and walked up the stone steps back toward the entrance door. It had started to get dark, and the external lights had blinked on while she had been out in the maze.
“What were you doing in the garden?” she asked.
“Thought I saw someone,” he said before he quickly carried on, “How can you live here. Place looks like it’s haunted.”
He is a bit spooked by the way she cocks her head to one side. It looked a little like she had sensed something he had not. Maybe it was haunted. Eventually, she said “Wait!”
“What?” he asked.
“Do you hear that?” she asked. He looked at her like she’s insane. “Did you call for backup?”
“No, why would you...” but by now he has heard what she had. It’s a Darkwing helicopter on a stealth run. It disappeared over the roof of the county house, and out of their view.
From the expression on his face the girl guessed he wasn’t expecting backup.
“We need to leave!” the cop needlessly said, and they both turned and went back into the main lobby just in time for the doors to be blown off their hinges.
The cop hit the floor instinctively, and before either could react a dozen or so commandos dressed completely in black swarmed into the lobby. The girl is better placed where she is standing to see the troops relieve the cop of his gun and badge in mere seconds. They don’t seem interested in touching her. Not yet, anyway.
One of the men who stormed the house came over and loomed over the petite blonde. He’s a huge black man with commanding presence.
“Report!” He said with a deep voice. From the way he looked at her and spoke she got the impression he thought he knew her. If he did she certainly didn’t know him – or remember knowing him, anyway.
“What?” the girl said, her confusion written all over her face. She adjusted a strande of her blonde hair behind her ear.
“I want your report, soldier,” he repeated, sounding a bit annoyed at her lack of understanding of his instruction.
“I don’t know what you’re on about?!” she told him.
“Sir,” a slightly taller but not so broad man said from where he had been working at a laptop computer. A 3D representation of the house was presented on the screen. “The house’s primary defences have been activated. She’s probably still suffering the side effects.”
“Very well,” he agreed. She was getting the impression that this black guy was in charge of them. They certainly all seemed to take their lead from him. “What about the cop?”
The man with the laptop looked at his badge, and on keying in something to his laptop shook his head. “I’m not getting verification.”
The leader looked at the cop in a non-friendly kind of way, his eyebrows furrowing, “Who the hell are you?”
“I’m a cop... a local cop,” he stammered, clearly anxious. The girl wondered if he was more anxious than he should be.
“No, sir,” the man at the laptop re-iterated.
The leader of the troop took out his gun and pointed it at the cop. The reaction was almost immediate.
“I just transferred! I’m a rookie... first day. They probably don’t even have me on file yet!” he panicked.
The black leader turned to his subordinate. “Well?”
“It is possible. The locals are inefficient,” he agreed.
The girl looked at them. How dumb were they – no one sent a cop out on their first day on their own. Still, it wasn’t her place to say, and come to think of it, how did she know that the cops didn’t send out officers on their first day on their own.
The troop leader lowered his gun, and the cop looked understandably relieved. However, that was short lived. When the leader ordered that they “Print him”, he started to struggle against the two commandos holding him in place.
“You can’t do this... this is an invasion of my civil liberties... I’m a united states...” the cop rambled on.
“You’re a cop, so shut the fuck up,” the commander barked at him, effectively silencing him for now.
With all the interest in the cop, the girl was no longer the centre of attention for the command leader. She was certain she heard the leader mutter ‘civil liberties’ to himself.
A low whistle was accompanied by, “What a babe!”, drew her attention.
“What?!” she said. She whipped her head around in the direction of who made the comment. He was a slightly shorter guy with a stubbly unshaven face. He was muscular without being bulky. She hoped she knew him, other than the crude comment about her.
“Go easy on sleeping beauty here. She’s lost her memory.” A tough looking woman said.
“No woman forgets me,” he said bragging. The girl attempted to not roll her eyes.
“Sure... once they’ve seen how tiny you are, how could they?” the darker skinned woman said mocking him.
“Fuck you,” he replied, sounding hurt.
“Already did. Think I slept through it.” She smirked. The girl had to admit, that was probably going too far.
“Who are you people?” the blonde asked before they actually started to kill each other.
“J.D. Nelson at your service,” he said slapping his hand to his chest, “and this fine figure of a woman is Rain. Say hello Rain.”
“My parents were hippies. My revenge was to enlist,” she told the blonde, and indicating to the man using the laptop said “That there is Kaplan, he’s the brains of the outfit.”
“And who’s he?” Buffy said, indicating with her eyes to the leader of the group.
“We call him One. On account of him being the one in charge,” J.D. told her like he thought it was really funny.
“You people are military?” the girl queried of Rain.
“Not quite!” Rain laughed.
“Then who are you,” she asked back.
“You lose your eyesight as well as your memory gorgeous?” J.D. asked her. He was cute, in a sleazoid kind of way.
The girl looked at their badges. They read SANITATION.
“We clean up other people’s shit,” Rain told her.
And, as if on cue, Kaplan – the proclaimed brains of the operation – and still working at his laptop, announced, “I got him!”
The screen of his laptop read out a lot of stats and details about the apparent rookie cop. “Jesus,” Kaplan said, “this guy's got red flags everywhere. Quantico, ViCap, he's on all the data banks. Matthew Frost, a.k.a. Matthew Pryce, Matthew Wayne, Matt Zabrowaki.”
“Who the fuck are you cowboy?” One almost growled at the pretend cop. ‘Matthew’ didn’t respond.
“This guy's a real activist, Wanted for multiple counts of Eco terrorism.” Kaplan continued, “He's sabotaged seal culls, oil refineries, whale hunts, animal testing labs, chemical weapons plants, nuclear facilities.... the list goes on.”
One looked pissed off at that bit of information. He got up closer and personal with Matt, right in his face, “You got something to do with what’s going on here?”
“I don’t know what you’re talking about,” Matt defended.
“Sure you don’t” the unit commander said, sounding entirely unconvinced.
“You’d better cuff him,” Kaplan told J.D. and Rain who did as instructed with a bit more force than strictly needed. The girl got the impression that no one liked an activist in this not-the-military unit.
“Should I secure him here?” J.D. asked.
“No,” One considered, “he may not be alone. We take him with us. Prep for entry to The Hive.”
She watched as this ‘One’ character radioed through to his helicopter and told them that he would be out of radio contact for a while. Looking down she could see that Matt’s wrists had already started to bruise from where he had been cuffed.
Kaplan was busy groping around the floor. Eventually, he found what he was looking for: a small hatch under which was a data port. He fiddled around for a few moments connecting his laptop to it using a cable.
“Nice friends you have,” Matt said, looking up at the amnesiac girl.
She didn’t smile back down, and didn’t like the way the way looking up given her short skirt. Suddenly, she had the urge to kick him in the jaw. She could see in her mind his head knocked back, and blood drooling down his mouth. She thought to herself, where the hell did that come from?
With a whoosh, a circular section of the floor began to stagger down in a spiral stair. It was an entrance.