Alternate Universe Strange Days
This story is the second follow-up to Kat Morgan's 'Strange Days' and was written with her blessing.
Follows JD-locks and the Three Bear-istas.
Chris sank to his knees behind a stack of pallets and scanned the area around the warehouse door. He spotted Buck and Nathan, approaching from the other side of the building and signaled them to 'hold up'. Vin patted him on the shoulder and inclined his head toward the far side of the parking lot where Josiah and Ezra were just getting out of the surveillance van. Chris clicked his mic to indicate that they were good to go.
In the van, JD stared at the monitor. He had hacked into the surveillance system to the warehouse and it was his responsibility to 'hide' the others, to keep them from being seen in the security office. Taking a deep breath, he concentrated on the monitor, 'willing' the team to be invisible. It was a lot harder for him to use his ability consciously, since he had been doing it by instinct before.
"JD, report," Chris growled. It was hot and the sun was beating down on them, causing objects in the distance to shimmer like a mirage.
"Almost there," JD replied past clenched teeth.
"Don't fight it. Let it happen," Josiah offered gently, his tone both comforting and encouraging.
"That's unbelievable!" Nathan exclaimed breathlessly, staring at the hand-held device in his palm. "His alpha waves are almost off the charts!" The small screen showed an outline of a human head and it was, at the moment, lit up like an explosion in a paint factory. "He's using parts of his brain that most humans never-"
Finally, the last member of the team, any why was Ezra always the hardest, disappeared from the monitor.
"You have a go," JD announced with a calm that he was only maintaining by sheer stubbornness.
Chris waived his arm in the air, signaling that they were to begin their incursion. Buck got to the entrance first, padding silently up the metal steps and kneeling at the door. He flipped his baseball cap around so that the bill was in the back and removed the lock pick from the pocket of his flak jacket. The lock surrendered almost immediately and he turned the knob, just until the door cleared the jamb. Nathan rapped him smartly on his right shoulder, indicating that he would go left when they got inside.
It was eerily dark in the warehouse, compared to the brilliance outside, and they had to pause to let their eyes adjust. Chris and Vin slipped through the doorway and split right and left, putting Larabee with Buck. Nathan sank to his knees, his large, capable hand shielding the light from the scanner. Chris shot an enquiring look his way and the medic nodded, JD was still doing his thing in the van.
By the time Josiah and Ezra stepped in and closed the door behind them, the rest of the team was moving forward, carefully scouring the rows of shelves and stacks of crates just ahead. Vin tapped Nathan's arm and gestured that he was going to move toward the west corner, where the overhead lights were on. Jackson nodded and slipped the scanner back into his pocket before moving to follow Tanner.
In the distance, one of the large overhead doors clanked and groaned to life as it climbed the tracks, letting in a man on a forklift, moving a stack of crates. Buck and Chris ducked down to avoid being seen. Chris' eyes narrowed as he spotted Ezra, his green, glowing eyes a dead giveaway that he was 'influencing' someone the team leader couldn't yet see.
Josiah held his breath as the Savnahan worked to prevent the warehouse worker from spotting them. The young man was carrying a clipboard and muttering about the way the others 'organized' things. It was obvious that the crate he was looking for was in the aisle where he and Ezra were crouching. After a minute or so, the man shook his head and reversed course, heading back toward the small office they could see on the south wall.
It was getting warm in the surveillance van and JD swiped the back of his hand across his forehead. He dared not take his eyes off of the monitor; for fear that he would allow one of the others to be spotted by the security office. Chris told him that the people in the warehouse were in possession of a piece of tech that had come through the rift. Their job was to retrieve it and get out undetected. Without looking away, he groped along the floor for the tall Styrofoam cup filled with Code Red. He gulped down several swallows of the icy-cold pop and belched loudly.
Vin's shoulders shook with silent mirth at the sound that came across his earwig. Behind him, Nathan's teeth showed where he was biting his lower lip to keep from laughing out loud. Several aisles over, Buck was also shaking with laughter. Chris only shook his head and made a mental note to bar the kid from having carbonated beverages when they were working. Josiah's breathless laugh was solely because of the appalled expression on Ezra's face.
Several minutes later, Vin shifted aside a blanket of packing material to reveal a baseball-sized cube. He quickly dropped the item into the neutralizing pouch and clicked his mic to let the others know that he had retrieved the 'object'. Reversing direction, he followed Nathan as they hurried back the way they had come.
The sound of the sliding door opening startled JD and he almost fell off of his stool. Chris and Vin opened the front doors and slid into the front seats. Josiah and Ezra climbed in and moved to the bench that ran along the driver's side of the cargo area. Nathan and Buck dropped on the low-slung seat that replaced the center row seat that had been removed before they acquired the van. Chris started the engine and shifted into gear, making a tight U-turn on the parking lot and heading for the exit.
"Well, did you get it?" JD asked, his eyes bright with excitement.
"Yeah, kid, we got it," Vin replied, tossing the 'object' into JD's lap.
Confusion drew JD's brows together as he picked up the cube and studied it intently. It looked, as far as he could tell, like an ordinary Rubix cube. "I don't get it. Is this actually alien tech?" he asked as he continued to study it from all sides.
"No, it isn't," Chris answered. Looking into the rear-view mirror, he caught the young man's eyes, "This was a test to see how well you functioned in a real-life situation."
"A test?" JD echoed. "It was a test?!?"
Buck reached out and ruffled JD's hair, "And you passed it with flying colors, kid!"
JD's posture slumped as the hand holding the cube dropped into his lap. Seeing how disappointed their newest member was, Vin caught Chris' eye and nodded toward the dash. Larabee rolled his eyes and nodded in resignation. Tanner's finger reached out and flipped a switch as they turned onto the main street and the speakers on top of the van began to issue cheerful music. It had come with the van and they kept it as part of their cover.
Heads turned, tires squealed and horns honked as the ice cream truck sped down the street, weaving in and out of traffic. Chris was determined to get back to base as quickly as possible.
"Can we stop at Baskin-Robbins on the way?" JD called out, grinning mischievously. Feeling the van accelerate, he chirped, "Dairy Queen?"
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