Camp Wacko: The Drones of Summer (5 page)

BOOK: Camp Wacko: The Drones of Summer
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Without warning, the limo came to an abrupt halt.

“This is our stop,” said Dustin.

He got out of the limo and held out his hand to help me. Ignoring the irritatingly courteous gesture, I stepped out all by myself. He sure wasn’t making this easy. I wanted to be mad at him for putting me in this position again, for not living up to his promise. He was supposed to be done with his recruiting duties and I, well, I just shouldn’t be here.

When I saw where we were, my heart felt like it had leaped into my throat, choking me. What I expected to be a mansion turned out to be an airport. It was completely deserted. Unlike any airport I had ever seen, there was only one plane on the entire airfield. It was too small to be a commercial plane. It was a real-life private jet! I had never seen one up close before. As we came closer I noticed that the Wackerson Academy logo had been written on the side: a W and A interlocked. They were in big blue block letters, shining against the bright white of the jet.

A man in dark sunglasses and a black suit stood stiffly at the end of the gleaming flight of stairs leading up to the aircraft. Without a word he began to march up the steps, obviously expecting us to follow. Of course I didn’t have any say in the matter. I had no choice but to get on that plane, without knowing where we were going.

Inside, the jet looked a little bigger than it had on the outside. There were six seats in total. Built-in tables were stationed in front of every seat. In the back of the jet, I spotted a small but fancy kitchen and bathroom.

Following the suited guy’s orders, I sat down in one of the plush seats by a window. Dustin took a seat next to me. I glowered at him, eyes in slits. He got the message and moved to the seat behind. This wasn’t that much better, since he so kindly decided to put his knees up against the back of my seat.

There were compartments to put luggage in, but I kept my bag close to me. A flight attendant came up to me with a cart of food. Thanking the woman, I chose an apple and a bagel. The pilot’s voice echoed through the prompter. We would be leaving in a few minutes. Next came the terrifying sound of the plane lifting off. I gripped the armrests with all my might. Breathing in and out at an abnormal rate, I squeezed my eyes shut. My stomach performed gymnastics as I felt us move off the ground.

“Where are we going?” I hissed to Dustin once the noise had died down.

He leaned forward, relieving my back. “Oh, so you’re talking to me now?”

I rolled my eyes. “Yeah, I am. I have the right to know where we’re going.”

He complied. “You’re right. We’re going to California.”

I sharply sucked in my breath. California? Dustin explained that his dad had schools and camps all over the country. He wanted to make sure that I would be far away from my hometown so that I wouldn’t be able to get away so easily.

I had to admit, Dustin’s father was slick. Now there was no easy way to escape. Even if I did manage to find a way to flee, I would be very far away from any familiar places or people. Everything would be strange and new. What was I going to do now? The man had me cornered.

Taking a deep breath to calm myself down, I closed my eyes. I had to rely on the tracking device in my arm. At least the FBI would know where I was. I couldn’t forget the listening device either. As soon as I found the opportunity, I would try to contact Agent Cooper.

Dustin got up from his seat and sat down next to me again. This time I didn’t even look at him. I just stared out the window, watching the hazy clouds, trying not to panic. I was so nervous I felt like I had supercharged butterflies in my stomach.

Out of the corner of my eye, I noticed Dustin with his hand poised over my shoulder as if he intended to comfort me. Thinking better of it, he drew his hand back, using it to pick up a fork instead.

“You should eat,” he commented, looking down at his plate of scrambled eggs, bacon, and hash browns.

Despite his advice, he didn’t make a move to eat anything.

He just pushed it around with his fork, making abstract shapes with his food. There was something bothering him too. Come to think of it, he had been very quiet during that car ride as well.

Cameron. The minute the name crossed my mind, I knew it was the reason.

“You know, we never talked about it,” I muttered.

Dustin’s eyes went up to glance at me, then quickly focused on his plate again. “About what?”

“What happened to Cameron.” I watched as his fork quivered slightly, pausing for a second before continuing to turn his breakfast into artwork.

“There’s nothing to talk about.” However, his voice cracked in the middle of his sentence, betraying him.

“Dustin.” I placed a hand on his, stopping it from moving. “You know you can’t blame yourself, right?”

Still, he did not directly look into my eyes. Instead, he appeared to focus on the window behind me. “I know.”

We both knew he was lying, but neither of us said anything. Just stared at our untouched food.

“You really should eat something,” he said after a while.

I snorted. “I will when you do.”

Dustin chuckled. “OK, fine.”

Making sure he had my undivided attention, he began to eat, chewing with extra gusto.

Rolling my eyes, I glanced down at the untouched food on my own table. Right now I was anything but hungry. My appetite had been lost the minute we had pushed off of the ground, but he was right. I had absolutely no idea what would be waiting for me in California. I needed the strength. So I took a bite of the bagel. To my surprise, I was ravenous. In a matter of minutes, my plate was empty.

Dustin laughed. “Whoa. I don’t think I’ve ever seen anyone eat that fast before.”

“You should see my dad,” I muttered, getting homesick already.

He laughed again. I gave him a playful shove before turning my attention back to the window. As we went higher into the sky, cities and highways now seemed so small, they were merely simple shapes and lines. I was no longer able to distinguish cars or trucks or individual buildings, but people down there were going about the beginning of their day, oblivious to the kidnapping taking place right above their heads.

“How long is this supposed to take?” I asked, lightly pressing my fingertips against the glass.

“We should be there in about four and a half hours. This jet is super fast,” he answered sleepily.

I turned my attention toward him. He had the seat reclining all the way back as a makeshift bed. His arms were crossed, eyes closed. On his left wrist was one of those expensive Gucci watches.

I leaned in closer to take a look. Seven o’clock exactly. Mom would be getting the kids ready for their last day of school. I wondered if Agent Cooper had already told her that I was leaving the state. If he had been telling the truth about using those high-tech computers to track me, he had probably figured out I was on some kind of aircraft. Whatever suspicions he had would be confirmed once I talked to him.

Trapped on a jet flying thousands of feet from the ground, there was no turning back. All I could do was grit my teeth and sit back as I flew farther and farther away from life as I knew it.

Strange Encounter

TURNS OUT DUSTIN had been right. We landed in California a little over four hours later. As we had earlier, we moved from one vehicle to the next quickly, deplaning and immediately getting into a limo. These windows were tinted inside and out as well, so I couldn’t even see where we were going. Dustin fidgeted with the dials until the whole limo shook with the sound of mindless pop music; he wanted to wake everyone up, I guess.

The ride turned torturous when Dustin insisted on obnoxiously singing along to every song at the top of his lungs. By the time we eventually made it to what I hoped was our final destination, I was practically on my knees begging for it to end. Since the driver had slid the screen down between us as soon as the singing started, I knew he wanted the same thing.

When we finally came to a stop, I threw open the door and gasped. Laid out in front of us was the most beautiful campus I had ever seen. My eyes swept over everything: the rolling hills, the charming glass-and-marble buildings, the tennis and basketball courts and multiple swimming pools. Heck, there was even a golf course.

I tore my eyes away to follow Dustin and our chauffeur to the main building, an old Victorian house about three stories high. Vines encircled the windows. They looked so perfectly placed and elegant that I wondered if they had been glued there as decoration.

The reception area appeared more like a hotel lobby than a school office building. The walls were a creamy pastel. A fireplace faced the entrance. Big vases of flowers stood in every corner, filling the room with a sweet scent. Right across from a plush couch stood a large marble desk. A young woman was stationed behind it, seemingly bored out of her mind. She studied her dark red nails. Once she noticed us, she immediately straightened up.

“Good morning, Dustin. How you doing, Henry?” she greeted. Then she laid her eyes on me. “This must be Lily. I’ve heard a lot about you.”

From the corner of my eye, I could see Dustin blush a little. “Casey, can I have the key and pass, please?”

With a wink, she handed them over. Dustin thanked her and then swiftly hurried away toward the staircase. Henry the chauffeur stayed with Casey. I lingered to marvel at everything that caught my eye, but Dustin soon turned back to tell me to hurry up. He ascended the winding stairs while I followed like a good little captive. They went up and up without stopping. Dustin remained unscathed, but I, on the other hand…let’s just say I was happy once the Stairs of Doom finally ended.

Dustin did not slow his pace one bit as he made his way to the door at the end of the hallway. He put the key in the keyhole and slowly turned the knob.

The door swung open to a fairly attractive room. Set against the opposite wall was a king-size canopy bed. A vase of pink and white roses had been placed on the nightstand beside it. The walls were a calming lavender. Over to the left was a bathroom and to the right was a rather large closet with three doors.

I stepped inside. The soft rug felt squishy under my Converse sneakers.

Dustin loudly cleared his throat. “This will be your room until the school year’s over. Father thought it best that you don’t attend the classes, since school ends in a few days. After that, you’ll be free to roam the campus, but not without me or Casey.”

Was it me, or did this little speech sound rehearsed? He turned to leave. Then paused. “Oh, and if you need anything, just press that button.”He pointed to a small red button on the headboard of the bed.

“Wait, so I can’t even leave this room?”

He shrugged. “Sure. Just not the building. If you get bored, I guess you can go talk to Casey.”

Again he turned to leave, but I had one more question.

“Where are you going?”

He stared at me like I was stupid. “I’m going to class.”

With that, he quickly left before I could open my mouth again, closing the door behind him.

The school pass had been left on my bed. It gave me access to just about anything on campus. I simply wasn’t allowed to use it until the school term ended. Perched on the edge of the bed, I let out a huge sigh. It was a cozy room, but I certainly didn’t want to stay cooped up in there for days on end.

However, this would give me time to get in contact with Agent Cooper. My eyes scoured the ceiling and walls. Now that I really thought about it, Dustin’s father could have planted hidden cameras in my room to watch my every move. This guy was no joke.

I hurried into the bathroom, praying that he at least had some set of boundaries. Using the mirror as a guide, I pressed the button on the side of my glasses frames. A light blinked off and on, followed by a soft whirring sound. As I watched, a small compartment hidden within the frames slid open with a click. A short, thin wire snaked its way out of the compartment, the small microphone attached to the end hovering a few inches from my lips.

“H-hello?” I spoke timidly, not sure what to expect. “Miss Mason.” I jumped, glancing around me to make sure I was the only one there. The voice had been so crisp, so clear. It was as if the agent was in the room with me. Of course, he wasn’t. The voice had come from the glasses frames.

“Agent Cooper? Can you hear me?” I asked, speaking a little louder this time.

There was a soft crackling sound. The lenses of my new glasses flickered and crackled like static on a TV screen. Through it, an image began to form. I squinted. The FBI agent himself appeared right before my eyes. I gasped, trying to comprehend just what I was seeing. Technology was more advanced than I had realized.

He smirked. “Yes, Miss Mason. Loud and clear. Now, if I’m correct, you are currently alone in a bathroom?”

I blinked. “Yes, they have me in a room in the administration building. It’s just until school ends, though. After that…well, I guess that’s when the fun starts.”

He nodded, his eyes focused on something I couldn’t see. “They’ve taken you to a remote area of central California.”

I sighed. “Yeah, I know. When can you get me out of here?”

BOOK: Camp Wacko: The Drones of Summer
3.8Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub

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