Read The Infected 3: Cast Iron Online

Authors: P. S. Power

Tags: #Horror, #General Fiction

The Infected 3: Cast Iron (6 page)

BOOK: The Infected 3: Cast Iron
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She had three brothers and knew vacations as a time of covert violent actions and psychological torture. The idea of running over and chanting “I’m not touching you” at Brian while hovering her hand over his face was tempting, but she decided to leave that for later, in case things got uncomfortably boring.

Bridget watched Lauren move back into position slowly, trying to be careful not to damage the carpet as she moved. It was nice after all the whole plane was, done in cream and gold. Everything was expensive too. The girl was dressed in shorts and a t-shirt, one that had some kind of cartoon character on the front, red and yellow for her whole outfit and a pair of tiny sneakers without socks.

“Sorry. Slipped.” She lied so obviously it would have been less offensive for her to have said nothing.

Lauren held her tongue and gave no external indication of emotion at all. It was sad to watch the whole thing, since every single side of it was right in what they were doing, as far as Marcia could tell. Lauren had to try and protect the girl at the time and very few people on the planet could have taken Prime down if he really was raping his daughter. The evidence had been solid looking too. Video proof that only one or two people in the world could have put together without it being real. It just so happened one of them, a woman that used to be with the IPB, had. Trivia, the woman who knew everything.

Bridget for her part was mad because no one except Brian had believed she wasn’t sleeping with her dad, even though she’d told them she wasn’t. Then everyone had tried to kill her parents. So yeah, what the hell was the kid supposed to do now? If it had been Marcia she would have waited and set them up, taking them out one by one, making it looked like accidents.

Hopefully Bridget was a better person than she was.

Scott…

The accusations had clearly left him angry. It was something he took pains to hide and he hadn’t lashed out at anyone physically yet, but the man was all about his personal self-worth and pride. How he was keeping himself from taking out a few people himself she didn’t really know. He’d left for about a week, but Brian had talked him into coming back somehow. It was needed for their long term plan to take down Braid and her crew of super baddies that wanted to kill a few million people and start a war between the Infected and the norms. At least that was her guess. He might also just like the Chambers family and not want to see them be hurt.

Brian was a soft touch that way.

Scott shook his head and spoke calmly, almost as if he hadn’t noticed what had just happened at all.

“Bridgie, you promised to behave. This is supposed to be a fun trip, so don’t ruin it for anyone.”

The girl nodded and plunked down on the floor to the right side of the craft, after about a minute of shifting around and trying to balance the various bodies so the plane wouldn’t list to one side or the other, Peggy worked her way back toward them. Her face was long, giving her a reptilian look, though she had good hair, kept in a long golden braid and a muscular body.

Noticing the look Marcia gave her, the women motioned for the others to scoot a bit.

“Hard to hurt, so I probably don’t need a seat belt. Plus, you know, convicted murderer, so I don’t get all the same perks as everyone else. Right?” She didn’t seem abashed by the idea, though the words weren’t glib by any means. The woman genuinely felt bad for having killed the man she did. He’d deserved it, for running his mouth as far as Marcia was concerned, but the woman had bitten his throat out on national television. That didn’t play well for some reason.

They were probably going to hear about it in the news in the coming days, but that was part of the reason to have the woman along, as mean as it was to subject her to that kind of thing. It made a great smoke screen.

It meant that a few people had to move forward and sit in the extra staff seats, not the plush comfy ones, but everyone that needed one had a seat belt. She’d been worried about that. It was weird, but since she pretty much couldn’t be hurt, it meant her biggest fears had all changed over time. Marcia worried a lot more about the safety of others than she used to for instance.

Peggy settled smoothly, next to Bridget.

“So. Vacation. I think I vaguely remember that kind of thing.” The voice was smooth and warm, so Marcia smiled and rested her head against the bulkhead behind her.

“Yeah. Really nice beaches I hear. Looking forward to it.”

The chatter was polite after that, though Bridget kept staring at the back of Laurens head and included a few others in the mix, including Kerry from the cooking show, but not Denis, even though they sat side by side. Then, Denis hadn’t been involved in trying to kill anyone that day. Except Brian, and he’d forgiven him for it, even though it hadn’t been a first mode thing at all.

It occurred to her that their lives were a bit like some kind of soap opera. Now they just needed a few love quadrangles or the like and they’d be all set.

The flight was long and they didn’t have movies on board, but Tobin and Peggy sang, with Lauren doing back-up at times and oddly enough Charlot as well occasionally. They weren’t bad. Well, Tobin was incredible, and Peggy was better than most pro’s, but the other two were pretty good too. It worked well. Marcia felt a bit envious for a bit, since she couldn’t carry a tune in a bucket, not that it had ever really come up in her life. Singing hadn’t ever been even a pastime for her. She’d always had other things to work on. Most of them pretty deadly.

The problem with travel, at least for her, was a simple enough thing. People started to get on her nerves after a few hours. It took an act of will to not snap at people in close quarters, because, try as she might, it was almost impossible for her not to start noticing the lies and exaggerations that normal people used when chatting. It triggered her suspicion in a big way, which in turn meant her attention to what people did went way up. Incredibly so. It wasn’t anyone’s fault, but people in general hid things, and being too close for too long kind of meant she’d try to find out what those were.

Most of it was garbage. Just loads of things she didn’t even want to care about.

For instance, Prime was being very good with her, taking pains to be polite, even though they didn’t really get along. She thought he was a narcissist and not nearly as good at anything as he imagined himself to be, and he didn’t like the fact that she had no problem when it came to telling him all about it. That plus the fact that she’d sort of led the charge against him in claiming he was a child abuser and had once kicked his behind for letting other men sleep with his minor daughter. They were legitimate enough grievances on his part, things she could understand him not liking her over. Still, he was making a real effort not to be a self-centered jerk to her for some reason, and she just couldn’t bring herself to trust it.

It felt like he had an agenda, like there was political lobbying going on, rather than him just trying to smooth over the wrinkles of a bad situation. His voice was smooth and pleasant when he turned to speak to her directly, about halfway through the long flight.

“Quartz… is something going on? I mean…” The large, muscular and incredibly good looking golden colored man in a suit way too nice for floor sitting nearly whispered the words to her. It was so furtive that Bridget instantly perked up and moved closer too.

“I couldn’t help but notice that this trip came up out of the blue. I’d suggested we go originally, since conferences are a good place to make industry contacts, but no one else seemed to see the value. Then yesterday evening we get a phone call saying it’s on? I’m not trying to be suspicious, but that isn’t the way things normally get done at the IPB. The regular format involves weeks or months of planning unless there’s an emergency involved.” He waved his large hands a little, as if trying to grab something out of the air that he couldn’t put into words, but that was pretty clear to him.

It wasn’t like him to bother with insight into anything that didn’t have to do with himself. On that topic he was warped and skewed, but perceptive as to changes. He really couldn’t help it after all, it was a part of him as much as his bullet proof skin. His questioning her triggered her own first mode, which made her want to clam up, since he really didn’t need to know about the actual mission at all, not yet. Still, he had to be given something… didn’t he? Otherwise it would make him a lot more wary, which would be harder to deal with later.

Bridget changed Marcia’s mind about what to say before she could even formulate a reply, her head ducking close, mouth pressed nearly to ear. Not that half the people on the plane couldn’t hear them anyway, one way or the other.

“Is it Braid?” The words came out serious and dry, though too high pitched for her to lend a lot of weight to at first.

For about three seconds. Then her stomach dropped and she had to fight against sitting up straight and barking out a denial that would have the girl asking even more questions. She wasn’t supposed to know about that issue at all. The fact that they were in a secret war with the original first team of the IPB, from back before they were even called that was known to only a few people and the hyper-impulsive blabber mouthed teenage girl wasn’t one of them. At least she wasn’t supposed to be.

Her grandmother was though, along with the elder Chambers boyfriend, who was the Director of the whole mess. They were in on it because their enemies were their old teammates. When Braid, who’d led the team back in the day, nearly forty years before, set up the old version of Team two to die, Rachel Chambers and Kevin Moore had gone against her and the others. Even though Braid was the Director’s wife. They were still married even, though they hadn’t seen each other in decades as far as Marcia knew.

So the leak was probably from one of them. That or Hobbs, who was from a different reality, which seemed to be the same one Braid herself was from. He was tough and friendly at the same time, but also had close contact with the girl, almost daily, since he was working with her on impulse control techniques.

Marcia needed to find the leak, and make sure it didn’t keep spewing out information. Fast. She also needed to make certain Bridget wasn’t going to be a problem. Since that didn’t seem possible she winced, working about fifteen steps down the line inside her head, to where she had to kill the girl to keep her quiet. That wince got the girls attention and Prime’s too. He reached out and took the girls small shoulder gently and whispered a single word, looking right as his daughter.

“What?”

Marcia was about to slap a hand over the girl’s mouth to shut her up, even though it was about as obvious as possible, but the plane was probably bugged and they didn’t want the whole world knowing about the problem yet, since that wouldn’t help and could help start the war their enemies wanted anyway.

Surprisingly the girl just sat back and shook her head, a playful smile on her face.

“Nothing, it’s… just the code name for…” She looked at Brian in the distance and leaned in toward both the others, her short read hair brushing Marcia’s short and slightly curly brown mop.

“Brian’s birthday party. It’s sort of a surprise. I know there was a plan for it back in September, but, since he didn’t get a party last time being in the hospital and we don’t know what will happen next time, well, we should do something, don’t you think?” The girl blinked, lying and fighting her own natural desire to spit out the truth.

 Marcia could see it clearly for what it was, but the girls dad just nodded, looked and Proxy as he sat next to Karen, reading a magazine and holding hands.

“I see. I can help with that. We’re friends after all and I think a party for him is a great idea. I can get with Denis and Mark on that? Warren too. Actually… Yes, Warren should be the one. He may not have any powers, but the man is a genius with food and organization. Plus Brian sort of keeps tabs on Mark, being on the same team and all that. Unless he’s already in on it?” The furtive looks were getting some attention from the others, especially Brian, who was staring already.

Marcia smiled, a fake thing, because she didn’t buy for a second that Bridget really thought this was about a party for Brian at all, but nodded at her and Scott anyway. It really wasn’t a bad idea, given that this whole thing was supposed to be about getting him a vacation too. Why not a party? It would help cloud the real mission and the more involved it was, the less the others would suspect she was up to something. Possibly at least.

“Would you please Scott? We need to be careful though, since Brian will pick up on it if we aren’t careful. He’s getting nearly as cautious as I am.” She looked at Bridget and shook her head. They still had to talk about what she knew and that couldn’t wait, not for long. After the plane flight though, since grilling the girl right there would cause a scene and nothing let secrets out faster than screaming about them in public.

“Bridget, perhaps we can talk about some ideas for that, later?” Saying too much never helped in cases like this. If the girl was sent to spy, or being controlled by someone else for information gathering purposes she might not actually know anything more than a few key words to ask about.

If she had more information…

Well, that would be a real problem. Impulse wasn’t called that because of her ability to shoot beams of energy. She didn’t even know she could yet, though it was coming. No, the girl was a natural security risk. That she hadn’t blurted out more already was close to amazing. Marcia tried to stay ready for damage control, but the girl just patted her arm lightly and nodded.

BOOK: The Infected 3: Cast Iron
6.25Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
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