I hope you are enjoying Renee & Frei’s assignment. As Abby was left in a situation in the previous scene so best I let you read how she’s doing in this week’s scene!
As always, please excuse any typos,
Act 3 Scene 9
Renee gripped her seatbelt as Frei sped them around the corner toward the industrial unit where Abby was inside.
“Black, you are not a locksmith. How do you think you are going to get to her safely?” Frei asked as she skidded to a stop. “We need to wait for my mother.”
“Urs, I’m a protection officer. Abby needs protecting and so do you.” Renee shoved open the door. “You stay at distance. I do not want you near that unit.” She paused enough to offer a brief smile. “Gem wants you in that unit and I’m not as good as Aeron at getting your hair wet.”
Frei’s icy blues glinted. “I do not want you getting hurt.”
“Thank you.” Renee checked her vest, her boots and equipment belt. A police uniform wasn’t really useful to clamber through traps. “You’ll be heckling me so I have a locksmith with me.”
Frei tapped her wheel. “Put this on.” She reached into her glove compartment and pulled out a locksmith-style mask. “It filters toxins and conceals your face.”
Renee took it and slid it on then raced across the concrete where a huddle of officers were standing and arguing about putting up a barrier.
“You can’t come through here,” one officer said to her and held up a hand. “You can set up a barrier over there.”
Renee slowed and yanked out her C.I.G created FBI badge. “I have an agent in there who needs assistance.”
The officer shook his head. “I need to call that through.”
Renee turned back towards Frei, strode a few paces then spun, sprinted and hurdled the barrier.
“Oi!” The officer tried to grab for her.
Renee dodged him and sprinted around to the side door Abby had used. She tapped her earpiece. “Jessie, can you access the cameras?”
“Someone cut them,” Jessie said in a harassed tone. “I had Mrs. Fleming on camera but the feed went.”
Renee’s gut lurched. “Make sure your mother doesn’t try and help.”
“Sending grandma to tie her to something,” Jessie mumbled then sighed then mumbled to herself again. “I want her to tie you up too but we need to rescue Mrs. Fleming.”
“She’s Mrs. Hewitt,” Renee said in a soft tone hoping it would calm Jessie. The corridor was narrow, dark, and stank of chemicals and waste.
“Guess he took her name, huh?” Jessie whispered as if hunching and gripping her desk.
“No, Abby didn’t change her name.” Renee took a breath as she rounded the corner. Blood splatters coated the floor where the boy had been hurt.
A breeze hit her.
A glaring light ahead flicked on dazzling her.
Renee dived to the side.
Crack. Crack. Crack.
Renee pulled her gun, not sure who was firing at her or from where.
A breeze hit her again. “Blondie forward.”
Renee launched to her feet and sprinted hard.
Crack. Ping. Crack.
Bullet hit the wall to her left.
“Black, why is someone firing?” Frei sounded ready to charge in.
“They think they can shoot.” Renee felt something zip by her arm. Her eyes were watering.
Must be a doorway.
Renee rolled forward.
“Black, why are you stepping on floor panels?” Frei grumbled, panic filling her voice.
“It’s hard to see,” Renee managed panting as she got to her feet. Her sight was a blank of static.
Renee ducked. Needed to listen. Scraping of mechanisms to her right—the doorway trap—she was on concrete by the way her feet didn’t echo when she moved.
To her right.
She pointed her pistol and fired. Zip.
Someone “oof’d” and a gun clattered and something hit her toe. Renee sank to her haunches and felt over the person’s face—Male maybe, adolescent, wide chin and scruffy hair. Smelled of alcohol. Gun was a cheap, heavy pistol. Had a lump on their arm—where slaves were implanted with a chip.
“Jessie, can you put me through to Abby?” Renee took calming breaths, her lungs were burning.
“Renee?” Abby whispered into the earpiece.
“Your teenagers aren’t in the mood to be rescued,” Renee said as calmly as she could. “They are working for Gem.”
“I got that by the fact they’re firing at me but it’s not the teenagers I followed in. They managed to climb out through the window but didn’t bother giving me a hand up.” Abby yelped as something pinged nearby. “I’m pinned down.”
Renee got to her feet and felt for the nearest wall. “Keep in cover.”
“I’d like to but I’m holding myself above a pressure plate and my arms aren’t as strong as yours.” Abby groaned then wheezed out a breath. “I’ve been working in an office for too long.”
“Your arms are beautiful like you, quit whining.” Renee felt with her foot and free hand as she shuffled down a corridor hoping it was the right way.
Renee sighed and threw herself into a roll again.
“Are you deliberately stepping on the plates?” Frei shot into her ear. “Or is the mask on backwards?”
“I’m having issues with my sight at the moment,” Renee shot back and pulled herself to her feet.
“Renee, what’s wrong with your sight?” Abby’s worried tone was laced with her effort to keep above the pressure plate.
“Just less able to see,” Renee shuffled along the corridor again feeling along the wall.
“You cannot deal with the situation blind,” Frei snapped and something ripped. “I’ll put a mask on. I’m not letting Renee get hurt.”
“Stosur, please dart her,” Renee muttered hoping she could hear.
“I got a better idea,” Aunt Bess said with a stern tone. “You might be a locksmith, Icy but I got bigger arms.”
Renee smiled feeling tears bubble up. She sounded so much like Aeron sometimes.
Renee rolled again.
“Abby, can you shuffle to the side or place more pressure on your legs?” Renee said, climbing to her feet, ignoring the stinging in her lungs, knees and hands.
“Not without getting shot at,” Abby wheezed back at her.
Renee’s foot caught on something hard, she stumbled forward and crunched onto the floor.
She scrambled over the object and rolled sideways into the wall.
She felt over the object then sighed. “I guess I’m not the only person who found the traps.”
Abby wheezed back at her in response.
Renee stilled herself. “Could really do with you, dimwit,” she mumbled to herself. “Although you’re clumsy… and I’d tie you up with Urs.”
Her St. Christopher’s warmed and a feeling of calm rippled through her. She smiled and felt her way along almost feeling Aeron guiding her.
“You can’t tie me up, Blondie,” Nan said with a gentle tone. “An’ who you calling a dimwit?”
Renee chuckled. “Shorty.”
Nan tutted, her hand not really present but the warmth of it radiated through Renee’s wrist. “You ain’t in the position to call folks dimwits when you stumbling around like you found the liquor.”
“I need to find Abby. She’s not a push-up kind of girl.” Renee could hear the panic in her own voice. She’d gotten Abby into some situations when they were together but she’d had more confidence that she could get Abby out of them. She didn’t feel confident now, not since Aeron had been taken away by the marshals.
“I don’t think you’re in a condition to climb this ladder and follow it across the room down to her,” Nan said in one of her usual “I’m not helping” tones.
Renee smiled but her hands were shaking. She could feel them shaking. “Thanks, Nan.”
“Don’t you go doubtin’ yourself, Blondie. Shorty would tell you that she got confidence in you.” Nan’s warmth faded and Renee let out a sigh.
“When I find her then she can heckle,” Renee felt for the ladder and hoisted herself up, trying to ignore whatever was scuttling out of the way.
“Renee, why are you talking to yourself?” Abby asked, her voice full of strain. The teenage girl wasn’t a great shot by the sound of it but was still too close. “And who is Nan?”
“I like talking to myself,” Renee fired back feeling her confidence build… only a little… but it was there. “I get more sense that way.”
“Do you?” Abby grunted then wheezed. “Because I never got sense out of you.”
“That’s because you were too busy heckling me,” Renee said and gripped onto the ladder to crawl on top of it, glad she couldn’t see how far down the floor was. “Or enjoying my humor.”
“You think you’re funny, I don’t.” But Abby was still holding her push-up so getting her angry was working.
Renee’s foot slipped and she hit her chin on the rusted metal. “You laughed.”
“I didn’t laugh.” Abby was good at getting into argument mode. “You laughed, I got on with the housework.”
“You tried to do the housework.” Renee shook off the pain in her chin and scrambled forward.
Renee stopped pulled her dart gun and aimed it below her. Zip. Zip. Zip.
The teenage girl yelped then groaned and something clumped.
“I thought only the people you’ve lived with wanted to shoot at you this much,” Renee muttered and scrambled along the ladder faster, pistol still in hand.
“Again you’re not funny.” Abby’s voice sounded shaky. “But I do have a few colleagues who’d enjoy firing at me.”
Renee fired in the direction the sound was coming from.
Zip. Zip. Clang. Clang.
Crack. Crack. Ping. Ping.
Renee grunted as the bullets whizzed by her. Not close. They couldn’t see her. She reached out but the ladder stopped and she fell forward and snagged her hand when catching herself. “Ow.”
“Are you alright?” Abby was huffing out breaths and shuddering through her voice.
“I cut my hand, I’m good.” She felt her way down the ladder then her foot touched someone shaky. She reached out and grabbed Abby around the middle with one hand and hauled her onto the ladder with her. “Hi.”
Abby wheezed out her relief and hugged her. “I’m glad you didn’t get shot.”
Renee smiled then shifted for Abby to climb in front of her. “We need to follow the same route back.”
“Why?” Abby asked, climbing slowly. She was shaky and wheezing.
“I set off most of those traps already.” Renee tried her best humorous tone and chuckled.
“That’s not funny.” Abby was muttering but she seemed relieved too, enough that she laughed a weak laugh.
“So you say,” Renee tried to steel herself but her breath was catching, her hands were stinging and her eyes weren’t clearing up. She felt her St. Christopher warm again and focused on helping Abby. Confidence. She just needed confidence.