Season of Change Book 4
The information about Project Genesis he swore he'd destroyed, was handed to Lt. Stacey Callender by General Cosgrove. But a problem is uncovered: the information contains details about another human genetic experimentation facility. Callender is ordered by Cosgrove into the jungles of South America to destroy the laboratory complex. However, what neither of them understand is that the originator of so much suffering is about to finally reveal their identity. And the target: the last McCafferty. obooko.
"This is stupid." Eleven-year-old Mackie McCafferty muttered as he crouched next to his Dad, John, outside the cellblock. He glanced over his shoulder, but only saw the dim jungle. Broad, glossy leaves glittered under the perimeter"s arc lights. "It"s too late to do anything."
"Shush, Mackie. Night, especially this late, is the perfect time." His father"s harsh voice whispered.
Mackie looked up at his father, but his dad stared across the compound with narrow- eyed intensity.
"We can"t allow this to continue, Mack. We can"t let them torture people anymore, and it"s up to us to stop them. We have to give your sisters and your mom time to get away."
"How"re we gonna do that? The buildings are made of stone! Can"t we just go?" Mackie whined.
"It"s not the buildings that matter, it"s the evil pricks in them."
Mackie shook his head. "We"re gonna get caught." He said and looked around again. He had a bad feeling in his belly. "And then we"re gonna get locked up and then we"re gonna die, and then..."
A heavy hand landed on his shoulder, hauled him upright. He stared into his father"s blue eyes.
"Now listen to me, Mack. This isn"t just about you and me. We"re all special here, you know that. But holding us here, against our will? We have a right to live free, and by God that"s what we"re going to do. I will not stand by and let these people experiment or torture anyone else." Mackie winced as fingers dug into his flesh with every emphasis. "The strong stand up and protect the weak; you remember that."
John"s fingers relaxed and his tone gentled. "It"s up to the McCafferty boys to see it done. This ends here. And if we don"t, if we fail, they will hunt us down, hunt your
sisters down, hunt your mother down, drag them back and do worse than they"ve already done."
Mackie shuddered. He still heard the screams of his sisters - and others - as the doctors... he shook off the thoughts. Remembering made his eyes sting with helplessness and a need to hurt someone flared through his blood. And what they did to him...
He slowly nodded. His Dad was right. Mackie straightened his spine, drew in a deep breath. "What can I do?"
John patted his shoulder. "That"s my little man."
Warmth spread through Mackie at his father"s words and he grinned. "We gonna create mayhem?"
"Dude, it"s gonna be righteous. Now, I"m going to the armoury. You are my Recon.
Do you remember what Recon do?" "Yeah. I get to be the secret lookout."
John"s teeth flashed white with approval.
Silence descended as his father blended with the shadows. Mackie held on to John"s hand and felt a tingle reach from his fingers to his toes and the top of his head. He looked at his free hand but it was enveloped in darkness. As long as he touched his father, he"d be a shadow, too.
Mackie wished he had his father"s talent, then he could hide from the bastard guards.
Mackie had been here so long - since he was a little kid - he knew the guards by name, knew how they worked and the night guards weren"t as observant, or attentive, as they should have been.
Now, they were going to pay for that inattentiveness, and the McCafferty boys were here to collect.
The only captive of the compound to ever cause a ruckus was his Dad and Mackie knew he did it to test the security. He also knew his Dad was supposed to be in lockup, but his Mom got him out; got them all out - with a little help from Winter.
Now, in the darkness, the compound seemed smaller, more enclosed, as if only in daylight, when the guard doubled, when the medical and clerical staff were here, did it intimidate.
The jungle surrounded them; the creak of insects sounded overly loud in his ears, the air felt heavier, warmer and damp with rain, as if a hand tried to press him into the ground, into submission.
Mackie rubbed the sweat from his face, felt his hand shake and his insides tremble, but he swallowed his fear, like a thick, gooey ball of the rice he hated. This was for his Mom and his sisters. He could not, would not, fail them. On a quiet breath, he focused on his father"s shadow.
The armoury was a small block of thick, green-stained bricks isolated from the rest of the compound. Mackie let go of his father"s hand, turned his back, dropped down into a crouch and listened.
He heard a subtle scrape, then a click and grinned. A locked steel gate proved no barrier to his Dad.
Noises reached out to him from the sinister jungle: hidden animals roamed the night and foraged in the undergrowth; insects buzzed and whined; the light, damp breeze clicked leaves and branches against each other.
Inside the wire, nothing moved. Mackie focused his attention on each shadow, on the spotlights that highlighted nearly every building. Winter had taken care of some of the light bulbs, not many, but just enough for guards to think they"d failed naturally.
The guards had proven themselves too lazy to replace them at night during a trial run his father went on two weeks ago.
Now he thought about it, Winter would have been better at this, but his Dad refused to let a little girl help him. "This is my job, Jennifer, mine and Mackie"s. Men protect the family." He said to his Mom. "You have to get the girls to safety. I"m counting on you. We"ll be with you as soon as we can."
Then his parents sucked some face, his Mom got a little weepy and they all had one last huddle.
Now they were gone and Mackie"s chest tightened. He missed them.