Robbie walked to the jet room, ready to go home, feeling like he had stolen his friend’s ice cream cone and eaten it. It was not pleasant. He stepped forward again. Suddenly the alarm rang. He knew that alarm. The intrusion alarm. Robbie knew that he should not have been but he was slightly excited. Never before had the intrusion alarm been sounded while he had been on the Tanaris 3. Robbie reminded himself that lives could be at stake and waited for an announcement.
“Attention all students,” he heard the voice of Director Davison say from some speaker. “I’m sorry, but your lives may be at stake. There are unknown aircrafts boarding the Tanaris 3. We need you to come to the plane-room. We need your help. We may all be in danger.”
Robbie did not hesitate and hurried down. He ran on all fours. He raced down railings as a cat does on a fence. He made people scared as he rushed by them as if in a frenzy. What? They were all chimerai there. Didn’t any of them do that in a hurry? Robbie had run on roofs when he was late for school a few months before.
“All students, come to the Assembly Hall,” he suddenly heard Director Davison say on the speaker.
Wow, thought Robbie, stopping, Director Davison changes his mind really quickly. Or I wonder if the ‘unknown aircraft thing’ was a glitch.
“The lowest deck is taken,” Davison continued. “I repeat, the lowest deck is taken by the Steinmenists.”
Before he just said ‘The lowest deck has been taken’, thought Robbie. How is he repeating himself by saying ‘the lowest deck is taken by the Steinmenists’? Steinmenists. They’re back? The Steinmenists were members of an evil cult living in the hidden Steinmen City beneath the streets of New York. It was created by Audwin, lab assistant of Nazi scientist Johann Steinmen, for safety from the US government. He had claimed that Steinmen was a god. The Nazi scientist’s ability to shape-shift into a tiger and the threat of death only supported the lie. But that summer, Steinmen had turned out to be a alive, frozen ice for over seventy years; Robbie’s acquaintance had turned out to be a Steinmenist, and the Steinmenists’ faith had been renewed (Most likely Steinmen had gone along with it). Sure, Robbie had learned a valuable lesson when he almost died in Greenland but he had almost died and not being overly danger-happy was part of that valuable lesson.
Robbie blinked, bringing himself back to reality. He should probably not have been getting distracted. He stood up and headed over to the Assembly Hall.
“Good afternoon, students, agents, and teachers,” said Director Davison in the Assembly Hall, after Robbie had arrived, “We have pulled back all those who remained from the lower level, but many lives have been lost. Among them Agent Bolger, Agent Bulger, and Agent Müller have perished as well as one student, Ishmael or Ish Hornblower, who, though a reindeer chimera, took no part in the riot an hour ago.”
Robbie’s did not know how to think. He knew who Agent Müller was; he had taken part in Robbie’s kidnapping when he was first brought to the GCA. But Ishmael; he was Robbie’s acquaintance or friend. And true, he did not know Ish’s last name, but how many students named Ish were there in the place? Now Ish was dead, before he had even learned his last name. The boy felt his eyes growing wet.
“We have decided to group you up into color-coded squadrons of six or seven students,” continued Davison. “Each led by at least one agent. We will be organizing them shortly.”
Robbie mentally readied himself as he knew only too well that a battle was coming, and he was pretty sure that a lot of people would be relying on him to save the day.
Next time: Pink!