Spring turned into summer, and as school ended for the younger members of the VI4C Septi began to spend less and less time at the hidesout, trying to stay away from the bored teenagers. She was taking classes over the summer, and studying was nearly impossible in the hideout.
Even though Septi was hardly home, she began to notice that Kin and Kane were both beginning to show hints of their powers- when Kane was upset the air in the room would start to swirl around him, and anytime Kin was near plants they’d bend in her direction, like they sensed her presence. Gin, however, seemed oblivious to these developements in his siblings, and Septi felt it was her place to warn him.
Septi had just finished sorting a load of sheets when he came into the family room. She took hold of one of the baskets sitting on the coffee table and turned, pretending that she hadn’t seen him.
“Hi, Septi,” he said, standing in the doorway.
“Oh, good,” Septi said, pausing. “Can you ge that other basket?”
“Sure,” he said, grabbing it. “Where’s it go?”
“Linen closet on the ladies floor,” Septi said.
“Alright,” he said, following her up the stairs. “So what have you been up to? You’re not spending much time here anymore.”
“School,” Septi said. “I only have a few more weeks in this semester, then I’m done with it all until fall.”
“That’s good. Summer is always my favorite time of the year,” Gin said.
“Mine too,” Septi pushed her door open and stepped in, setting the basket on her bed before heading out into the hall, following Gin. “So how are your training courses coming?”
“So so,” he said, setting the basket down and opening the door to the linen closet. “Val says that I’ve improved a lot. The other day I even tied with your best score.”
“I can put those away,” Septi said, kneelinbg beside him and pulling a stack of sheets out of the basket. “Can you maintain that time, though?”
“I was planning on maintaining a time better than yours,” he said, smiling at her as she started putting things away. Septi threw a towel at him, slightly frustrated by the suggestion. He laughed as he caught it, and she smiled, unable to stay mad.
“Don’t count your chickens before they hatch,” she said, pushing some more sheets onto the shelf.
“Well, you know that it’s only natural for the guy to be stronger,” he said, refolding the towel and handing it to her.
“And it’s also natural for me to be extremely competative and jealous of my possition as number one,” Septi said, straightening up and picking up the now empty basket.
“So, do you have any plans for the VI4C this summer?” Gin asked, following her to the door of her room where she began to put away her clothes.
“Not really,” Septi said. “Right now we have one goal, and that’s to stay out of CAMM’s sights.” Gin sighed slightly and Septi glanced up.
“They have so much power over us,” he said and Septi nodded.
“Yeah, but there’s not much we can do about that,” Septi said.
“If we got rid of the leaders, then surely they wouldn’t be able to go on,” Gin said.
“As if,” Septi said. “If we did that, they’d find some way to make the fear of mutants stronger, and things would be worse.” Gin sighed and Septi slammed a drawer shut.
“Yeah, yeah, yeah,” Gin said, sounding bored. “I still don’t like it.”
“You’re not supposed to like it,” Septi said grimly. “You just shouldn’t bite off the hand that feeds you.”
“Those monsters don’t feed me,” Gin snapped, stalking off. Septi shut another drawer, then stacked the two empty baskets and left the room, following Gin.
“Look, you can’t get in a huff about it,” Septi snapped, stopping in front of his room, where he was sitting with his feet on the desk.
“Just go away,” he snapped. “I don’t need a babysitter every time I’m mad. Or don’t you trust me?” Septi stared at him angrily for a moment, then turned and stalked off. She heard a loud bang from Gin’s room, but didn’t turn back. “So you’re going to run away?” Septi flinched at the accusatory tone and turned on her heal to face him.
“Don’t talk to me,” Septi snapped. “Since you seem to think that you already know the truth, and are so irrational-”
“Irrational? You’re calling me irrational?” Gin said, laughing. “That’s rich, coming from you.” Septi dropped the basket, crossing the floor and slapping hin, livid.
“That’s why I walk away,” she hissed, picking up the baskets and stalking off.
Pausing at the top of the stairs, Septi glanced out the window. A bit of movement caught her eye, and she adjusted her vision. A person dressed in black was crouching in a bush, and was holding something. Septi pressed her face against the window, trying to make out what it was.
“A gun,” she breathed, suddenly panicky. Her eyes darted around the yard, searching out more gunmen. Five more were possitioned around the front of the house and she was sure that there would be more along the sides and the back of the house.
Turning and running back up the step, Septi raced to her room, where she grabbed her weapons and dropped the baskets. Quickly she made her way down the back stairs and hurried to Ferinequell’s office. Barging in she found him sitting at his desk, writing.
“Haven’t you ever heard of knocking?” he asked, glancing up. Septi leaned against the desk, her hands on either side of his papers.
“CAMM agents are surrounding the house,” she said, feeling nervous. “I counted at least five, all armed, in front of the house. I don’t know how they know about us, but somehow they do.” Ferinequell capped his pen and stood up.
“Tell the others, and I’ll get the weaponry,” he said. “We’ll set a watch as soon as everyone knows.”
“Alright,” Septi said, turning and running through the hideout, finding Val and Ryan plaing air hockey in the rec room, Kin, Kane, Mes and Raram watching a movie in the living room, and Gin sitting in the kitchen. When everyone was gathered in the living room and Ferinequell hadarrived with the weapons and a count on the number of agents around the house, Septi began to explain what was happening.
“So, when do you think they’ll attack?” Val asked, surprised. Septi glanced around the room again, guaging the reactions.
“I don’t know.”
“Are we really going to wait until they attack us?” Gin asked, angry. “They’re on our land, aren’t they?”
“Yes,” Ferinequell said, sorting out the weapons. “We’re going to wait.”
“What’s the point in that?” Kin asked. “I mean, we have the upper hand, don’t we?”
“There are nineteen armed CAMM agents surrounding the house,” Septi said. “There are nine of us at this point. I don’t think we have enough people.”
“Well, don’t we have the access to the old sewers in the basement?” Raram asked, leaning back in her seat. “We could get out of the hideout and ambush half of them before openly attacking the rest.” Septi shot a surprised glance at Raram, then looked over at Ferinequell, Val and Ryan.
“It would be do able,” Val said slowly. “If we took out the agents positioned around the back of the building and the sides simulataniously, then we’d only have to worry about five people. However…” Val paused, glancing at Kin and Kane, and Septi knew what was going through her head.
“Ferinequell, are you sure that there are only nineteen agents?” Septi asked, trying to think of a way to keep the younger Sahas safe, and still not subtract from her fighting force.
“There are only nineteen on our property,” he answered. “I didn’t check beyond the borders.” Septi nodded. ‘So there could be more agents outside, waiting and acting as backup.’ She bit her lip, and began pacing.
“Ferinequell, could you please check outside our land?” she asked. He nodded, and left the room. “Kin, Kane, I need you to gather the important documents from the top shelf in the library, and the top drawer of my office desk, and put them in the fire safe on my bookcase- also in the office. Mes, could you go through the weapons with Val and make sure that they’re sharp enough, and the guns loaded?”
“Sure,” Mes said as Kin and Kane left the room. Septi placed the floor, trying to think of some way to keep Kin and Kane out of trouble. Turning, she noticed that the rest of the VI4C was watching her.
“What?” she asked. “Don’t you have anything you want, or need, to do?” Val glanced up from her work.
“Get ready for a fight, people,” she ordered, her hands moving deftly as she sharpened a blade. Septi glanced at Val and smiled gratefully. Val shrugged and looked down at the blade. “That’s obviously what you’re thinking sbout,” she added, without looking at Septi.
“All the same, thanks,” Septi said, still pacing.
“Why are you so nervous?” Mes asked.
“I’m not nervous,” Septi said thinking hard. ‘They won’t like it if I make them hide. Maybe if I gave them a job, then they wouldn’t fight me. But what job could I give them?’
“Then why are you so tense?” Mes prodded.
“I am not tense,” Septi snarled, distracted from her train of thought.
“You are,” Mes said. Septi ground her teeth, knowing that she could say or do at this point would manage to convince Mes.
“I’m trying to figure something out,” Septi said, pausing her pacing. “And you’re not helping me to do so.”
“Well, sorry,” Mes said huffily. Septi shrugged then left the room, only to immediately run into Gin.
“What are you planning on doing with my siblings?” he asked, grabbing her upper arms tightly, both to steady her and to keep her from walking away.
“I don’t know,” Septi said, surprised. “I’ve been trying to figure that out.”
“I don’t want them in the fight,” Gin said, seriously.
“Oh, good, that makes two of us,” Septi said, wondering how she could convince him to loosen his grip. He stared at her for a moment, then let go.
“Thanks, and sorry,” he said, stepping away.
“No problem,” Septi said, rubbing her arms where he’d grabbed her. “Do you have any suggestions for what they can do? I have a feeling that they won’t listen if I try to lock them up somewhere safe.”
“You know them well,” Gin said, chuckling as he rubbed his hairless chin thoughtfully. “Think they could ready replacement weapons?”
“That might work,” Septi said, an idea beginning to form. “In fact, it should work very well.”
“Just a warning, Kin will be extremely upset,” Gin said, walking into the living room. “And I think Ferinequell’s looking for you in your office.”
“Thanks,” Septi said, going her way. An air of tension had settled over they entire hide-out, and Septi battled the urge to get swept up in it.
‘Worrying won’t help anything,’ she thought, pausing to peek out the gap in the curtains, watching as one of the gunmen shifted, scratching his ear. The she moved on, all of her earlier emotions lapsing into anger and indignation.
‘How dare they do this to us,’ she thought, making her way back to her office. ‘We never did anything to them, we never did anything that should have drawn their attention to us. Why do they think that just because we have powers we’ll cause trouble? Sure, some have, but most of us haven’t! This is so unfair!’
Stepping into her office, Septi saw Ferinequell pacing the floor anxiously. He glanced up, and instantly her anger melted back into worry.
“How many?” she asked, grabbing onto the door frame. “And where?”
“My informants tell me that there are four vans, filled with eight agents each. Two of these vans are on the street, a mile and a half each direction, and the other two are in the ally, placed so they’re parallel to the ones on the street,” Ferinequell rubbed his eyes tiredly. “That’s a total of fifty-one agents. I don’t know if the ones in the vans are armed or not. I can only assume that they are.” Septi cursed quietly.
“So it looks likethey do know something, and do plan on attacking,” she whispered, paling.
“Yes,” Ferinequell said.
“Alright, this changes everything,” Septi said. “The old sewer entrance comes out in the backyard, right? And it’s oiled to the point where it won’t make noise?”
“Right,” Ferinequell said.
“Alright,” Septi said. “We’ll get rid of those nineteen gunmen surrounding the house, then we’ll take on the vans, one at a time.”
“Excellant,” he said, making his way to the door. “So we’re to all meet in the living room again?”
“Correct,” Septi said, smiling viciously. “As soon as possible. Would you mind passing the message along? I’ll be down shortly.”
“Alright,” he said, leaving the room. Septi sighed and sat down on the corner of hwe desk, thinking. ‘There are nine of us, six who have adequet training and experience with fighting, but eight able to fight, and nineteen of them. If we only take on as many as five at a time, then we should be able to have two people covering our backs at all times.’
Septi stood up and made her way back down to the living room, where everyone was waiting. Kane watched her, looking slightly slightly dissapointed, but also interested, while Kin looked sulky, refusing to look at Septi.
“What’s going on? Ferinequell wouldn’t tell us anything,” Val said, looking slightly annoyed.
“I told you, it’s Septi’s job to tell you the details. Even I don’t know everything Septi has planned.”
“Alright,” Septi said. “Here’s the plan. Kin, Kane, you’re going to keep everyone supplied with weapons. We’re going to send out five of us to rid of those gun men. We’ll start on the back, and then work our way around to the front. Raram, Mes, you two will protect us. Keep the fight hidden from the rest of the CAMMies.”
“Will do,” Raram said.
“Now, the thing you don’t know is that there are four vans, each a mile and a half away. We’re going to get rid of them, one van after the other. Each van has eight agents in it, and I assume they are all well armed. Now, I’d also guess that they’re all in contact somehow. Val, I need you to mess up their communications with eachother.”
“Magnetics are my specialty,” Val said, smiling slightly at Septi. Septi nodded, then glanced around.
“Ferinequell, do you have a map of the grounds?” Septi asked, knowing that he’d probabloy marked where all of the CAMMies were positioned, and then stuffed in in his pocket. Sure enough, he pulled out a piece of folded paper and unfolded it, laying it on the coffee table. “We’re going to take out these five here. Val, you take this one, then Gin, Ferinequell and Ryan. I’ll take this guy here. Mes, you’ll take that side, not letting Val be seen or shot. Raram, you’ll be protecting Raram and I.”
“Alright, so when will all of this happen?” Gin asked.
“Is everyoner ready and armed?” Septi asked. They all nodded, and Septi turned to Kin and Kane. “You two will wait in the sewer entrance with our replacement weapons. If we need them, one of us will come back for them.”
“Okay,” Kin said.
“Then let’s go,” Septi said, strapping on her belt and leading the way to the basement. “Show time,” she whispered as she dropped through the hole into the sewer.