McLaren scratched his head, coughed, and began to explain as if he had given up.
A couple of days ago, we had a case of a man and a woman disappearing in a military ammunition depot. Their name is Sean and Laura. Both are members of the Alpha Team. This semen was found at the crime scene as if someone had poured several buckets of them all over the area.
Therefore, McLaren first thought that this is some kind of deliberate attempt to disrupt the investigation.
Furthermore, there have been a number of disappearances in the past few years, mainly in slums, and he suspects that this may be related to those cases.
“What about the camera? Is it caught any glimpse of the perpetrator?”
Abigail asked a simple question.
“Yeah, it was supposed to……but those stupid bastards turned off the surveillance cameras in the warehouse.”
“What? …… Why would they do that?””
Abigail was stunned.
“They said it was a glitch or equipment malfunction, but that was all bullshit. I think it’s a common practice of them to that to ‘distribute’ the supplies inside.”
Glancing to his side, McLaren looked at Benedict.
“No, November is not involved. This is an engineer’s paradise so they can get anything they want from this place. Because weapon development is life and blood of 88 so they are favored by Secretary-General…….and the according to the rumors…..”
Benedict scrunched his chin.
From the other side of the building, Secretary-General Yasmin and Senior Secretary Claudia walked in.
Yasmin’s grayish hair was neatly pulled back. she was walking with straight back making her look ageless. Her sparkling earrings also added to her appearance.
Yasmin stopped in front of Benedict.
“You look remarkably healthy as usual Benedict”
“Fufu …. Of course, Yasmine. I need to hang on, unless you let me die on your stomach.”
“With that much energy, it seems there’s nothing to worry about.”
Smiling, Yasmin looked at Abigail.
As I felt when I met her the other day, her eyes looks somewhat vacant, as if she is staring off into the distance.
After a brief greeting, Yasmin continues.
“Have you familiarized yourself with this place yet?”
“Yes, thank you for your kind hospitality.”
“Then I hope it won’t be long before your memory begins to return.”
Smiling, Yasmin chuckled.
Abigail felt a chill in her heart at the warm smile.
“We are counting on you Abigail. Here at 88, we are at the very front line of the alien war, we are also, in a sense, at the nexus of our civilization, where new capabilities are constantly emerging. If Ms.Abigail’s wisdom and knowledge are added to this 88…..we can finally end this war.”
Having said that, she walked to the back of the facility. Claudia gave them a small nod and followed her.
“That woman was one of the researchers who came here at the same time as me”
Benedict chimed in.
McLaren and Sheridan were surprised.
“I don’t know what she was doing before she came here, but she was a very young researcher at that time. She was a good woman, not as good as Abigail of course. Then Penrose, who was a young lieutenant colonel at the time, took a liking to her, and together they quickly rose through the ranks. There was some jealousy in the beginning but it was because that woman is a really brilliant researcher. Lieutenant General Penrose is not the kind of man who promotes someone who is incompetent. Even now, she often comes to visit the facility like this. Her specialty is biology and robotics. The heavy mechanized infantry (Ripley) is also developed by Yasmin.”
Abigail was caught off guard by the fact that the Secretary-General comes to the institute frequently for inspections. Normally, they would just receive a report and that would be the end of it. It was unusual for someone to go to the trouble of coming to see the facility in person.
Perhaps that is why this weapons laboratory is the heart of Fort 88.
“Biology, and Robotics……”
As Abigail watched Yasmin’s back, Sheridan walk in front of her, blocking her view and began to raise and wave his hands in the air, trying to get her attention.
“Abigail! Would you like to have a discussion with me this evening? Also, let’s discuss about weapons with old Benedict too! This dinner will be called the Snow 8-8 Conference, and will be remembered for generations as the dawn of a new era of weaponry fro-“
“Sorry, I have plans later today.”
“Oh, I see…….”
Sheridan’s shoulders slumped and were visibly disappointed. He looks like a child so she feels somewhat guilty.
“I have been called to the PR department after this”
“Call? Even though the headquarters should already finish this year’s work already……but they are so eager all of the sudden…….this stupid snow….. “
When Sheridan looks dejected and sullenly kicking the snow, Abigail follows up with a look of uncertainty.
“Let’s go out for something to eat after the new year. I know very little about this city, so it would be nice if you could suggest me someplace to eat.”
Sheridan brightened and shook Abigail’s outstretched hand.
“Well, how about Genko Ramen! It’s very popular these days, so–“
“No Genko ramen.”
“Eh, uh, okay, so….. another place….”
Sheridan was again dejected by Abigail’s immediate response.
McLaren called out to her from the side.
“If you can think of anything, please let me know. I have a feeling this case is related to the serial disappearances in the slums.”
“Yeah, over the past few years, there have been many cases of missing persons in the City, especially in the slums. I want to find the culprits no matter what it takes. I would very much appreciate your help.”
McLaren handed out his business card.
“If you need any other help, please call me anytime.”
“Yes, thank you. Inspector McLaren.”
Abigail left the institute early after discussed about weapons for a while.
She headed straight for the monorail station.
The Fort’s monorail operated in three dimensions and was directly connected to the building’s upper floors. However, the institute was disconnected from the monorail system in order to control the access in and out of the building, and the nearest station was located at the ground level, somewhat far away.
Although one could have simply taken a taxi back to their room, But it was necessary to use the monorail to get to the Public Relations Division’s office. In addition, there were no taxis running today. It must be because of the snow.
Abigail wandering through the white streets.
It was late in the evening, but the sky was already dark as midnight. The sidewalks had been covered with snow, but there were few pedestrians.
The weather forecast had predicted that the snowfall would be temporary, but it seemed that a cyclone had developed, and now they were beginning to warn of the possibility of a once-in-a-decade snowfall.
The train station was obscured by a white haze of the snow that had not stopped falling.
A couple of men blocked her way.
“Can you please move?”
But the men remain silent. Unwilling to make way.
Abigail glanced back over her shoulder and saw that the men were walking out from that direction as well. She is surrounded. Judging from their clothes and overall demeanor, these men must be gangsters.
“Who send you?”
There is no reason for the gang to target her.
“Be a good girl and follow us.”
“What if I say no?”
A strong-looking man stepped forward.
At that opportune moment, Abigail dropped to her knees and kicked the ground.
While passing another man, she struck him with an elbow strike on the man’s solar plexus.
The man bent over and crouched down. She slipped past him and ran.
Abigail’s swift and unhesitating movement delayed the men’s reaction.
“She’s over there! Call them!”
No doubt the road to the station and back to the institute is an ambush.
Running into the nearby building is rather pointless, as it would only block her escape route. Abigail made up her mind to run to the next station. It was not far away. It would take less than five minutes.
Abigail had to stop abruptly when she saw a man sprinting in front of her.
Her escape route had been compromised. They were more thoughtful than she had expected.
She rushed into a nearby alley.
“Ha, ha, ha–“
Under the dim lights, she runs out of breath.
The cold air pierced her throat, and her ears ached as if they would tear into a thousand pieces.
(If it’s AASPINT, why use the gang…..)
It was not even midnight. And it was in the middle of the city, out in the open.
It was too rash, This is not AASPINT way. And it was too clumsy for Penrose.
“There she is!”
Hearing a voice behind her, Abigail made a left turn down the alley.
When she faced the dead end, she put her hand against the wall and turned right, then left.
Obviously, Abigail didn’t have a gun. Being surrounded by so many people was indeed quite challenging.
She hesitated to call the police at first because she was cautious about AASPINT and Penrose, but if she was dealing with gangsters, it seemed safe to assume that the police could be safe, for the time being.
–After a short break in the alleyway, she saw a gap between the two blocks. ahead of it is the main street.
( I have to go out to the street and call the police.)
Abigail took out a terminal and leaped out of the alley. At that moment–.
Zarrrr! The plume of snow blocked her vision.
A thick arm reached out from behind a white haze.
They grab her wrists and her clothes.
When the clang sounded, Abigail had already been taken inside the car.
There was the sound of the engine roaring to life and the acceleration of the car.
When she lost her balance, the terminal in her hand was snatched away and left lying on the car floor.
A cheerful voice rose in the car.
She clicks her tongue and looks around.
Inside the spacious car – no.. it looked me like the inside of a container, with a lot of packages piled up inside. It must be a transport vehicle or something.
“Heh heh heh ……”
Three men with a leering, sneering smile on their faces surrounded her.
“Whoa, this is awesome…….”
The man holding Abigail to the floor said.
“I can see why someone would want to kidnap you, sweetie.”
“Let go of me!”
one man grabbed Abigail’s blonde hair and gazed at her intensely.
Another man shouts forward.
“Keep running the underground ring road, because we’ll play with her for a while.”
Then there was a crack and the wall between the driver’s seat and the container opened.
The man in the passenger seat emerged from the back. He was wearing a balaclava.
“Don’t touch the package.”
“Come on, She’s going to be a toy anyway……. oooh!?”
A pistol reached out and the muzzle of the gun pushed up the nose of the gaunt looking man.
“No detour. Do not get your hands on the package, Remember that you’re just a substitute. “
“Damn …… okay, okay ……”
The men in the container are definitely gangsters.
The men in the driver’s seat, however, seemed different.
I could see a few of them, but their looks and the sound of their voices showed a calmness that is characteristic of well-trained personnel.
“……Well, that’s that. We’ll get another one. Hey, if it’s another one, we can buy it from you directly, no problem right?”
There was no reply from the driver’s side.
“Hey dude, just hurry up and tie her already. This bitch is so fucking strong. My arm is going numb.”
“Whoa, sorry, sorry.”
Abigail’s hands were tied behind her back and she was rolled on the floor. Her mouth was also covered with duct tape.
Throughout all of this, she remained calm and focused on what was going on in the driver’s seat.
“…… package received…….”
“…… minutes later……”
The men in the containers began rummaging through the packages on both sides.
Seeing that their eyes had turned away from her, Abigail used a small blade in her heel to cut a slit in the duct tape that bound her own hands.
This car is a shipping truck. The destination, by the looks of it, is probably Haven.
Before arriving at Haven, I had to somehow get to the terminal and send out a distress signal. Once they entered Haven, the signal could no longer reach the police.
With Abigail’s abilities, it would be manageable with the three people in the container. But the problem was the driver and the man in the passenger seat. They were calm and they had guns. No doubt they had been trained. These were clearly soldiers. Even if she could handle three gangsters, she would not be able to resist them at gunpoint.
–If I have to do this, I need to focus on the driver first.
Fortunately, it was snowing outside. If the driver loses control, the man in the passenger seat will surely take the wheel. As soon as he does that, snatch the gun from him. That’s the only way. It has to be quick enough that the men in the container can’t react.
Breathlessly, she made her escape plan piece by piece.
–It was a mistake to leave Niblo in the lab as a spy.
She clicked her tongue deep inside her chest in small regret.
Since arriving at 88, she had been a little caught off guard due to the lack of the aggressive tactics that she had been warned about.
Now she has to go through this alone.
Abigail stared determinedly at the small window leading to the driver’s seat.
The duct tape restraining her broke as she was about to make her move, but then, almost simultaneously, the heads of the man in the passenger seat and the driver exploded.
The red liquid that sprayed out soaked Abigail’s face.
Shortly after, the crushing *GAANG!!* echoed through the truck.
A violent impact shook the truck, and she feels like her body was floating.
Abigail’s vision spins around.
When the gravity returned to her again, pain shot through her entire body. Her back was slamming into the floor, the wall, and the ceiling. She curled her body up to guard her head and clenched her teeth.
Such chaos continued for a while, and finally, after one last crash, the interior finally fell silent.
Abigail who was looking into the driver’s seat at that time managed to stay alive.
However, the three men inside the container, who had not expected this at all, were crushed by the luggage in the wrecked container.
The direction they were looking at that moment was the only thing that made the difference between life and death.
–Someone had shot and killed the men in the driver’s seat, and the delivery truck had rolled over.
That was all Abigail could figure, and she peeled off the duct tape from her mouth and raised herself up.
The bruising pain that tormented her entire body made her face twist .
Struggling, she crawled out from the mess of the container.
On the way, blood trickled down on the back of her hand. It seemed like her head was bleeding.
Pushing her hand against the container wall, she gritted her teeth and stood up.
She picked up a terminal that had fallen nearby.
In an attempt to get out somehow, she looked toward the gate of the container.
Immediately, with a spark, the gate’s lock blew off.
The container slowly opened as Abigail braced herself.
Outside was a snowstorm and a figure riding on an off-road motorcycle.
The figure was wearing a fur coat and a full face mask.
The person was holding a large revolver, the muzzle pointing toward the interior of the vehicle.
The blood drained from Abigail’s entire body.