Using today to continue Day 58 (part 10). Prompt: I can’t believe I didn’t see that coming.
Johns works on a plan to secure they equipment we’ll need for infiltrating an Armitech research facility while I sift through all the data my suit collected, looking for the camera I destroyed. It had to be connected via satellite to the research lab, and I should be able to trace that feed and find our target. Just a matter of finding the right feed.
We spend the better part of the next day preparing, Johns disappearing for a few hours and coming back with a car full of equipment. My dad raises his eyebrows, a silent question we don’t answer. Safer if he doesn’t know. Instead, I busy him with making us all dinner, trying for some semblance of normalcy as Johns and I check weapons and go over the plan. I managed to find the research facility that camera was communicating with. If we act quickly, she might still be there.
I’m adding bells and whistles to our combat suits when my dad calls us to dinner. Johns and I exchange a quick look before heading toward the small kitchen, both pensive about the mission tonight.
“Here we are,” my dad says, setting down a platter of what looks to be roasted chicken.
“Dad, this smells great.”
“It’s nothing fancy. The spice selection here is… limited, but I did what I could.”
He dishes us each a medley of greens, coated in some sort of sauce that smells phenomenal. I forgot how great of a cook he is.
“Thank you, Mr. Harwall. I can’t remember the last time I had a home-cooked meal like this.”
My dad nods, eyes shifting from Johns to me.
“So what’s the plan for tonight?”
I exchange a glance with Johns.
“We’re going to get mom. Let’s leave it at that, Dad.”
“I’ll need more details than that if we’re going to succeed.”
“I’m coming with you two.”
There’s a moment of silence. I chew slowly, looking for the right words to tell him what a stupid idea that is, that this mission could quite possibly kill us and there is no way in hell I’m letting him anywhere near it.
“Dad… it’s best if you stay here. I don’t want you in harm’s way.”
“Liz is right, Mr. Harwall. The smaller the infiltrating party the more likely we won’t get detected.”
“I will wait in the car, but I do expect to be there with you.”
“Dad, I’m not risking you getting captured again. You’re safe here.”
“Damnit, Liz!” He puts his silverware down gently, folding his hands and composing himself before continuing. “I can’t just sit here doing nothing while you’re out there risking your life. I’m coming with you or you’re going to have to shackle me to this chair.”
I look at Johns and he raises his eyebrows. Up to me, I suppose.
“You’ll stay in the car?”
“Of course. I’m not cut out for combat, but I do know how to drive.”
I sigh. “Fine.”
We finish the meal in silence, a tension to the room that leaves us all on edge. I clean my plate and head toward the gear without saying a word. Johns catches my wrist as I’m rounding the corner.
“Johns, not right now. I’ve got a whole new suit to prep and locks to set so he can’t get out of the car and get himself killed. Did you put him up to this?”
He looks at me for a moment, brow furrowing. “You know I wouldn’t. I’m as surprised as you are, but it makes sense. It’s his wife, Liz.”
“I know, Johns, I just… I wish he would stay where it’s safe.”
“Me, too, Liz. I’ll do what I can to keep him safe. You know that.”
“Should I lock you in the car too?”
He laughs, walking toward the gear with me. “I’d prefer if you didn’t. You need someone at your back. I don’t want to have to patch you up again.”
An hour later we’re all packed in the car, heading toward the Armitech research facility, a foreboding silence permeating each of us. We’re coming now, Mom, I think, it all ends tonight.