FBI Agent Randal studied the footage of Sawyer shooting up the courthouse, closely. He shook his head in frustration and lit a cigarette.
“No freakin’ way that’s a person in a suit.” He said under his breath.
He was so busy with the video that he didn’t see the woman who walked into his office.
“Agent Randal.” She said.
“Agent Shepherd, I don’t care what your boss said, I’m not dropping this case.” Said Agent Randal
“I know. That’s why I brought you this.” Said Agent Shepherd as she dropped a file on his desk.
“What’s this?” he asked
“Look at the photo of the man and the dog in the airport.” Said Agent Shepherd “Look familiar?”
“Heck yeah it does!” he said. “When was this taken and where did they go?”
“Six days ago.” Said Agent Shepherd. “And they went to Ukraine.”
Agent Randal slammed the picture on his desk. “They got away, then! That’s out of our jurisdiction by a long shot”
“True. Except for the recent kidnappings over there.” Said Agent Shepherd.
“It still falls under the local police.” Said Agent Randal.
“Except that one of the people who was kidnapped has dual citizenship.” Said Agent Shepherd.
“He’s an American?” said Agent Randal
“Sergei Petrov. His mother lives in Chicago, but his father lives in Ukraine. He spends half the year in Chicago and half the year in Ukraine with his father.” Said Agent Shepherd. “In the name of diplomacy, the Bureau is sending an agent over there to look into it. I volunteered you.”
“If it wasn’t against protocol, I’d kiss you.” Said Agent Randal
“Like that’s ever stopped you before.” Said Agent Shepherd, flirtatiously.
* * * * *
“How the heck can this be?” said Sawyer with both paws on his head. “How is Doctor Apocalypse alive?”
“I blew his frigging jaw off!” said Ryan as he punched the air in frustration.
Sawyer just sat there, dumbfounded, still with his paws on his head while Ryan kicked over a nearby chair and cussed.
“And who is Apocalypse?” asked Mikhail.
Ryan relaxed a bit and explained his encounters with the mad scientist. Mikhail’s eyes widened upon hearing how many times Doctor Apocalypse survived certain death.
“He had a son with him.” Said Mikhail
Sawyer’s ears perked up.
“You mean he had your son?” asked Ryan
“No. He had a son, also. He was young; about your age. The doctor’s face is a twisted mess, but the way he treated the boy, I knew he was special to him.” Said Mikhail.
“Just another target.” Said Ryan. “This changes nothing.”
Ryan and Sawyer finished assembling their gear. They were going to leave first thing in the morning, but they decided that striking in the middle of the night would be the best approach. After studying maps of the area, Ryan and Sawyer agreed to search the abandoned apartment building in the center of Pripyat, a small town outside of Chernobyl. Mikhail drove them there.
Along the way, Ryan thought about what he wanted to do when this was all over. He and Annie had put off starting a family because of school, but Annie was done with grad school now. He wasn’t very old, but he wasn’t getting any younger. When they got back home, Ryan knew he would work on convincing Annie that it was time to start a family. In order to ensure that family’s safety, however, he and Sawyer would have to make sure that General Evil, Doctor Apocalypse and his son were killed. The law had had their chance at containing them and they failed. He just had to make sure Sawyer understood. The truck came to a stop and Ryan and Sawyer got out and gathered their gear from the back.
“I will wait here.” Said Mikhail. “Good luck to both of you.”
Ryan and Sawyer quickly made their way into the town and headed towards the apartment building where they believed they would find Annie.
* * * * *
Doctor Apocalypse watched Annie work from behind a reverse mirror. After Annie had tried to escape, he had ordered an additional guard to watch from behind this mirror. He had relieved the current guard so that he could watch her and possibly learn how to make the bacteria on his own. The door behind him opened as he took notes and he dismissed the guard without looking.
“I’m not a guard, father.” He said.
“My mistake.” Said Doctor Apocalypse. “Have you come to learn more about the weapon?”
“No. I would like to meet her, though.” He said
Doctor Apocalypse was no ladies man, but he understood that his son, now 28 years old, was frustrated with his inability to find a woman who would love him. He was a genius, good looking and wealthy, thanks to his father, but he lacked common sense when dealing other people.
“Her husband was killed?” he asked
“We believe so. If not, he’ll be dead soon.” Said Doctor Apocalypse.
“Then let me have her. She’s far too intelligent and sophisticated to waste on another knuckle-dragging fool like Ryan Easton.” He said.
“I won’t stop you from trying, but she probably won’t be interested in the son of the man who killed her husband.” Said Doctor Apocalypse.
His son stood to his feet and left the room. He knew his father was right. Surely Annie wouldn’t want to have anything to do with him. Still, it didn’t matter. He had a trick up his sleeve, or rather, in his coat pocket. He reached into his coat pocket and pulled out a necklace. It had been given to him by General Evil who told him that this particular necklace could persuade anyone to do anything.
* * * * *
Annie checked her watch. It was nearly 10pm and the guards still hadn’t brought her anything to eat. She was about to give up and go to sleep hungry when her cell door opened.
“It’s about time.” Said Annie
Someone she had not met before walked in and put her plate on the small table inside her cell. A guard hurried in and put another chair up to the table while a second guard quickly placed a second plate on the table.
“Thank you, guards. That will be all.” The stranger said, faking a smile as they left Annie’s cell.
“Who are you?” asked Annie
“My name is Clark. You’ve met my father. He goes by Doctor Apocalypse. I just call him ‘dad.’” Clark laughed.
Annie didn’t return the chuckle.
“Your father is a monster and I hope Ryan kills him.” She said.
Clark wanted to snap at her and declare that Ryan was dead, but he kept his cool.
“Did it hurt when you fell?” he asked
“When? I didn’t fall.” Said Annie
“When you fell from Heaven.” Said Clark with a wink.
Annie rolled her eyes and said nothing back.
“Why Ryan? Why would you, an intelligent woman with so much potential in the field of medicine, choose to be with such a brain-dead, ignorant, hockey fan?” asked Clark in despair.
“He’s not ignorant. He just doesn’t care about science.” Said Annie
“How could anyone not care about science?” asked Clark “That’s why he’s a fool!”
“He’s not a fool. He’s just…” Annie struggled to find the right word. “He’s bad.”
“Bad?” asked Clark.
“He doesn’t take crap from anyone. He sticks up for me. He’s just bad.” Said Annie. “And that’s hot. That and he has a great beard.”
Clark rubbed his chin. He had not been able to grow a beard his entire life. But maybe he could be ‘bad’.
“Guard!” yelled Clark.
A guard ran in and stood, waiting for orders.
“Insult her!” Clark demanded.
The guard looked at him, then at Annie.
“Insult her?” said the guard.
“Do it!” said Clark.
“You… stupid woman?” said the guard to Annie.
“She isn’t stupid!” said Clark as he slapped the guard. “Now get out!”
Annie just shook her head.
“I have restored your honor.” Said Clark.
“You’re a freak.” Said Annie.
Clark was enraged. This was not the first time he had been called a freak and it never got any easier.
“I tried to be nice to you and you returned my kindness with hate.” Said Clark. “I believe you are an intelligent woman, but you clearly don’t know what’s best for you.” Clark took the necklace from his coat pocket. “Guard!” The guard rushed back in, confused. “Hold her down!” Annie struggled to free herself from the guard, but she was too weak. Clark put the necklace on Annie, and then sat back, grinning.
“I don’t want to be your woman!” cried Annie. “Get this… off of… me…” Annie’s voice trailed off as the guard relaxed his grip. Her thoughts were clouding over. She still wanted to resist him, but she no longer had control over her own will.
“Leave us, guard.” Said Clark. “You’re disturbing our date.”
Clark picked up a small bag and took out a revealing dress.
“Put this on, my love. I’ll show you the time of your life.”
* * * * *
Ryan and Sawyer made it to the abandoned apartment building. Sawyer picked up the sniper rifle and peered through the night vision scope.
“Bingo.” Said Sawyer. “I see guards and a few robots around the perimeter.”
“How many?” asked Ryan
“I see three guards patrolling inside and a dozen robots outside. They’re spread out though. If we could just take out one, we could slip past the others.” Said Sawyer.
Ryan thought for a minute, and then remembered the taser. He checked the area through the sniper rifle’s scope and found a ditch that went right past one of the robots.
“Sawyer.” Said Ryan.
“Yeah?” said Sawyer.
“When we get in there, I need to know that you’ll do what you have to do to stop these guys for good.” Said Ryan. “We can’t let them surrender this time. They’ll escape again and go after us.”
“I’m not a murderer.” Said Sawyer.
“No, you’re not. They are. And they’ll kill us and everyone we care about if we let them go.” Said Ryan “And if that happens because you ‘tried to do the right thing.’, I’ll never forgive you.”
Sawyer thought about it for a moment, then nodded in agreement.
“We have a picture of Mikhail’s son, Sergei. Just don’t shoot him. Everyone else is fair game.” Said Ryan “Okay?”
“Okay.” Said Sawyer
“Let’s go.” Said Ryan
They crawled all the way up to the robot guard and stopped. The robots were scanning the area for heat signatures, but they couldn’t see Ryan and Sawyer as they crawled along the ditch. Ryan took out the taser and fired it at the robot. The robot sparked for a moment, then died before it could react.
* * * * *
General Evil sipped from a glass of scotch as he studied a map of the United States. He quickly turned his attention to a display with a flashing red light, informing him that one of his robots had been disabled.
“Doctor.” Said General Evil into a radio. “They’re here.”
General Evil grinned as he entered commands into his robot control program. Ryan and Sawyer had never seen anything like the terror he was about to unleash on them and there would be no escape.