Jason returned to Dr. Mutor’s classroom shortly afterwards to verify his choice of topic with his teacher.
‘An interesting choice. Not a popular one… although I suspect that’s why you selected him, is that right Jason?’
Jason nodded. He liked Dr. Mutor.
‘The Grecian wars will be a good place to focus on, and the whole feud with his brother Stefano is a very juicy topic. But be careful to get your facts right when writing about the Battle of Bordeaux, it’s a pet subject of mine.’ He smiled, and Jason forced himself to do the same.
‘I’m sure I can trust you to avoid bias.’
‘Have a good day now Jason.’
At exactly 8: 30, the students filed out back to their dormitories as usual, but as the lights in the main hall flickered out, one of the guards noticed a student crouching beneath the table, so well concealed that he had almost missed him. Moving towards the table, he was sent suddenly flying through the air by an outstretched foot. He did not have time to pick himself up before he was seized upon by the young sorcerers, who had been hidden behind the serving counter.
‘All too easy.’
Maurice, the Head of Security at the Facility, was standing watch at the doors to the living quarters when a guard in a hazard suit approached him, leading three students by the shoulder.
‘I’m taking these three to see Nurse Ellis, they have complained about feeling…unwell. I think there may be a virus going around.’
Maurice raised one eyebrow and snorted.
‘They’re probably pretending…’
He was cut short as one of the children vomited on his shoes. Maurice sighed, raised his other eyebrow and, making a gesture with the baton from his belt, cleared the mess away.
‘One at a time then, you know the regulations.’
The guard led the sick child past him, whilst the remaining youths stared silently at the floor.
After turning the corner and heading swiftly down a series of corridors, the guard and his young charge reached one of the four main outer doors of the facility. There were two guards standing outside the door. The guard motioned for the student to hide behind the corner, before disappearing outside.
‘Maurice sent me to relieve you; he needs to talk to one of you about a rumoured breakout.’
The guards looked suspiciously at him. Unlike most of the security forces stationed in and around the Facility, they did not wear hazard suits, and were clad in simple black uniforms. They had been hired for their size and their lack of expense rather than their brains, and it clearly showed.
‘Why only one of us?’
‘Because he needs to ask some questions about an event that happened earlier, and I’m the only guard on reserve. If he sent for both of you, there’d only be me to guard this place and that’s against protocol.’
There was a long pause, and the hooded guard asked, very slowly and deliberately:
‘Do you un-der-stan-d me?’
The security personnel nodded dumbly at him.
‘Good. Off you go then.’
The guards nodded dumbly, and one of them made his way back into the building.
‘Glad we can be alone.’
After dealing with the guard with a well timed strike to the back of the head, and checking to see that Bianca had managed to intercept his companion, Jason removed his hood and breathed a sigh of relief.
‘Hey, we’re not out yet.’
‘Still, good job dealing with him.’
She smirked at him and raised a playful eyebrow.
‘You managed to do it, just because I’m a girl doesn’t mean I can’t knock someone unconscious.’
They both took a deep breath, before stepping outside the building and quietly making their way up the nearby hill. The slope was steeper here than at the front entrance of the Facility, but it was also less well defended.
‘Almost there. Can you believe it? We’re actually…’ An owl hooted nearby, startling the two escapees. It was only then that they saw Maurice Kendall, with the said bird on his shoulder, flanked by three guards. Next to him stood Paul Spencer, smirking triumphantly.
‘You kids didn’t really think I believed you did you?’
There was no chance of escape. Moving surprisingly fast for a man of his bulk, Maurice whipped a baton from his tyrian purple duffel coat and aimed it at his young targets. They fell to the ground, as though struck by some invisible force. Maurice slowly approached them, the ground crunching beneath his boots as he pointed the baton at Jason’s face.
‘So, whose idea was this? Yours or your lady friend’s?’
Jason hesitated, until Maurice directed his weapon at Bianca.
‘Mine sir. She was just an accomplice.’
‘He’s lying Mr. Kendall; he’s covering for her…’ Spencer began.
‘Shut up. If I want your opinion, I’ll ask for it.’ Kendall silenced him with a glare, before turning back to Jason.
‘It was all my idea.’ Jason repeated.
‘Are you sure? Because if I find out you were lying…’
‘Why would I sacrifice myself for nothing?’
Maurice considered this, and lowered his baton.
‘I think you need to spend some time with the Director.’