Lifting off from the plateau, I rose up higher and higher under the power of my own beating wings. Soon I was high above the Antarctic ice. My eyesight was so much sharper now that I could see a lot farther than I would have thought possible. As I flew high up in the cold frigid air, I saw I was over the northern Antarctic Peninsula and I could just make out the contours of Cape Horn, somewhere near 600 miles north. So I knew where to go.
Conserving my strength, I dropped down in altitude to a more acceptable flying level, but still I flew quite high in the cold frigid air above the Weddell Sea. It didn’t take long for me to reach the Scotia Sea. The winds became quite strong there as the weather worsened. Soon I was being buffeted around every way possible including up and down. I’ve never been prone to sea or air sickness, but this extreme rollercoaster almost was too much for me. I nearly lost my stomach contents a couple of times while focusing all my attention on keeping enough altitude and direction. As I reached the first islands, I was nearing exhaustion. I had dropped in altitude continuously till I was only a few feet above the water. I was getting close to a coastline when the rough water surface below me broke and a giant shark rose up to grab me.
My quick reaction barely allowed me to elude the bite, and apparently I cut the shark’s skin with one of my feathers. In eluding him, however I dipped a wing and fell straight into the frigid water. The shark tried to bite me again, but started twitching and then died. My toxin had done its work. But I wasn’t safe yet. My abnormal skin did protect me from most of the cold, but still, I was losing a lot of warmth quickly. I tried to rise up from the water, but because of the cold and with the difficulty of flying out of water I just couldn’t do it.
I swam awkwardly towards the shore, till I got the bright idea of using the auxiliary wings on my feet as flippers. Then my speed increased dramatically and I reached the shore moments later, and not a moment too soon too. I was shivering from the cold and needed something to warm up soon, or I could very well end up dead before I could even begin to get even for what had been done to me.
I looked around, seeing nothing to start a fire or to use for shelter and I screamed out my frustration. Of course there was no one around to hear me … or was there? I saw a small something on the water, and focusing my distance vision, it became clearer. I could see an islander’s canoe with one occupant heading towards my position, but I doubted that he could see me already. Then he halted his paddling and tried to fish something up from the water. ‘The shark I killed with my toxin,’ I realized.
I yelled at him, and he did hear me but still, waited to pull the dead fish partially out of the water and affix it to his boat. Then he started paddling again towards me. He tied his boat to the shore and approached me cautiously. I could just imagine his wonder at seeing a young woman dressed only in feathers and a teddy.
I shivered and though we couldn’t talk to each other, he understood that I was cold. He went back to his boat and took out a clay pot with some smoke rising from it. He also brought some wood chips and other wood and started a fire near me. Soon I warmed myself over the flames and began to feel a little better again.
The man in the meantime pulled the shark up the shore and towards the fire. Before he could cut into the shark I yelled, "No". He stopped and looked at me with his head tilted. I showed him my feathers and pointed specifically at the coating. Then I made a motion like cutting my throat. I think he got the message. He pointed at the shark and then at my feathers. I nodded. He looked disappointed. I motioned again and with great difficulty I managed to make him understand that he should avoid eating any meat that was discolored or near the cut I made.
I remembered something I overheard at the base I escaped from. A scientist said, "The toxin starts to break down almost immediately, but not fast enough to keep it from being extremely deadly."
Another scientist asked, "How fast?"
"It appears that it totally breaks down within the system in minutes, even after it has done its deadly work. But I wouldn't eat anything that is discolored around the wound, because in high dosages, some of the breakdown toxins are pretty nasty in their own right. At the very least, they could make you pretty sick."
The native man produced some meat for himself to eat and offered me some as well. I declined and with his knife I cut a piece of the shark for myself. I didn’t care if the flesh was still toxic or not. I was immune to any toxin anyway. I had overheard that at the base as well. I cooked my piece of meat over the fire and we silently enjoyed our meal, though I did accept the water that he offered me.
I felt so much better after the meal and the warmth from the fire I decided to sleep a little. When I woke up, the canoe, the man and the shark were gone, though he had cut out some good sized steaks for me. I was alone again with the dying fire. The man had left some branches and I put them on to keep the fire from dying out totally.
While I waited for the sun to come up I was thinking about myself. I hadn’t thought of it before, but I would probably need a new name. I mean, Orrin isn’t exactly a girl’s name. As I watched the first rays of the sun start to shoot across the sky, I thought of something my Latin teacher had once said. I remembered that the name Oriana meant ‘Golden’ or ‘Sunrise’ in Latin. It had a nice ring to it and was still quite close to my old name. So now I had a new name for myself. I would be Oriana Pratt from now on.
As the sun rose higher I felt confident enough to continue on my journey. I was rested, warmed up and had a goal in mind. My first stop would be an embassy. I was going to notify my Mom that I was still alive and coming to her. I packed the left over meat and a bottle of water in the sling bag that the man had left for me. I wished he was still around so I could thank him for all the things he did for me.
Thought the winds were still powerful, I managed easily to reach altitude and speed. The weather had cleared so I was able to make good speed now. Soon I was speeding my way towards Buenos Aires in Argentina. I had met the ambassador assigned to Argentina once, and knew some details about the building and the city. I flew quite fast, but still it took me almost two days to reach the city. Even though I had rested a couple of times and ate my remaining provisions, I was quite hungry and tired at that moment, so I rested on a hilltop for a moment to catch my breath and look for something to eat.
It was already getting dark and I still hadn’t seen anything that I could eat. I was starving now I guess the flying makes me hungry. Either that or I have a real quick metabolism. Well maybe it is both. Anyway, I was really hungry and I couldn’t go into the city to buy dinner. For one, I didn’t have any money on me. And I was illegal in the country. Just as I was about to take off into the air, I heard a sound. Just below me an old man was walking, pulling a cart with creaking wheels along a dirt road .
Quietly I jumped into the air and glided down to the road. As I flew down, I didn’t make any sound and landed quite silently in front of the man. He was startled and said something unintelligible. He quickly ran back down the road, leaving me with the cart. I debated for a moment, wondering if I should follow him, but then my eye fell on the contents of the cart. Food! There were fruits and some loaves of bread and other things on that cart. Now I’m not a thief, but necessity makes me break the rules. I took some of the bread, some cooked meat and some fruit before retreating back up the hill. There I ate all the food and waited till it got really dark.
I already managed to identify the embassy, and at night the lights were quite distinctive, so I would have no problem finding my way. As the nightlife of the city started, I glided silently above the streets mostly in darkness. Occasionally I was momentarily illuminated by the lights from the city, but as I’m mostly black, it wasn’t very noticeable. I was nearing the embassy building when my sharp eyes made out the computer room with the flickering lights of the servers. Though the room was mostly dark, there was some movement, indicating there was at least one person there. That diminished my chances of entering unnoticed. I didn’t know if that was even possible anyway.
So I just approached at high speed and crashed through the security window. ‘Damn, that security glass is tough. I almost didn’t get through.’ It cost me some lacerations, a busted wing and very sore arms and shoulders.
My rapid entry did surprise the occupants of the room. It turned out to be the Ambassador himself with a very young woman that most certainly wasn’t his wife, and they weren’t doing anything I would call embassy business. ‘So the ambassador is having an affair?’ Well I could use this to let him keep quiet about me, though the noise of my breaking in would soon attract the guards. I scrambled to my feet, and before the ambassador or the woman could react, I cut them off and slid a cabinet in front of the door, barricading it. The ambassador, I think his name was Gill Warlton, tried to act dignified, though with his pants down and his shirt almost off, he looked ridiculous.
He said, “What is the meaning of this? Who are you and what do you think you can steal here?”
I glared at him, “Keep your shirt on. And I do mean literally. Put your pants back on, too and then sit quietly in that corner, Mr. Warlton.” I pointed to the corner away from the computer console and the door.
Gill Warlton paled at the words. I had guessed his name right. He put his clothes back in order and went to the indicated corner with the woman, who had already put her dress on again. In the meantime I sat down at the computer console logging in with my old username and password. To my surprise, it still worked. They hadn’t even erased my login and password. As I logged in, someone tried to open to blocked door. Moments later a loud banging sounded, followed by a voice, “Whoever is in there, we’re coming in using force. So surrender now and you will not be harmed.”
Coldly, I whispered to the Ambassador, “Tell them that you are here as my hostage, and that I want to speak to a negotiator.”
When he didn’t respond, but only looked at me disdainfully, I pulled a loose feather out of my good wing and threw it into the wall next to his head. That got his attention real quick, especially when I added, “Do be careful, that feather knife is poisonous.”
Ambassador Warlton quickly and loudly exclaimed, “Hold your attack. This is the Ambassador, Gill Warlton with Miss Swanson in here. We are being held hostage by an unknown woman with wings. She’s threatening to kill us with poisoned knives if you try to enter. She wants to talk to a negotiator.”
I nodded to him. “That’s good enough. Now keep quiet again, and let me do what I came here to do.”
As I started typing my message, he responded, “And what is it that you came here to do, Miss … eh?”
I didn’t answer him directly, first I finished the message, which I sent using the internal diplomatic secured transmission protocols. The message read, “I’m still alive, and I’m coming home.” I had addressed to Mom, and it would be sent with my personal username as the sender. I fully intended it to be sarcastic, as I believed that Mom had signed my death warrant.
Only then did I look at the Ambassador, “It’s none of your business what I did, Mr. Warlton. You can call me Oriana by the way. Now if you tell anyone that I sat down at this computer terminal, I’ll give all the juicy details of you and Miss Swanson here to the press.”
Gill Warlton screwed his eyes, “Who are you that you know my name? Have we met before? You seem so familiar in a sense.”
I thought by myself, ‘Should I tell him the truth? Can I trust him? He was a nice and good man when I talked to him last year. But then again, he didn’t tell anyone that he was going to have an affair.’ “We have met before, but that was before I got MORFS. I look quite different now. I’m not going to tell you who I was. Maybe I’ll do that later, if we ever meet again.”
With that I gave a kick to the computer console causing it to spark and die in a rain of sparks. That should make tracking what I did more difficult. My wing seemed to have healed quite nicely while I was on the computer, so I flexed it a bit to see if I was already back to flying status. My muscles and tendons were still sore, but I would be able to fly again. And just in time as well. The guards were back, banging on the door, “We’ve got the negotiator that you asked for here.”
Another voice said, “Hello, I’m John Nimbitt. Would you please identify yourself, or tell me what you want to be called? I’d like to know who I’m talking to.”
I didn’t answer, but started towards the open hole that used to be a window to get the hell out of here. But as I moved towards it, I passed Gill and Miss Swanson. She had put on her shoes again. They were a nice pair of high heeled open sandals. All black and tied with strings. A thought came up, ‘I do need some high heels for my feet. My tendons will hurt more if I go longer without any.’ I motioned to Miss Swanson. “Take your shoes off, please.”
She looked at me with surprise and wonder. “What ever for?”
“Take them off,! NOW!” I made it clear that it wasn’t a request anymore.
She did as I asked and gave them to me. I tried one on for size and it surprisingly fit me quite well, almost like if it was made for me. I quickly tied it on and put on the other one in a hurry. But by the time I finished doing that, the guards and the negotiator beginning to sound impatient, as I hadn’t talked to them. They started banging on the door again as if they were trying to break it down. I took the few steps to the hole and jumped out the window, falling for a little while before spreading my wings, and soon I was soaring upwards above the city.
President Iris Janice Pratt was busy in her office. She still felt awfully sad that she lost her second son to the new affliction called MORFS, and that she hadn’t been home while it happened. She cursed the day that the virus had been released on the world, and herself for taking on the job as President. She missed her sons so much. At Orrin’s funeral she had made a speech about the horrors of the infliction called MORFS. It was televised nationally and even foreign stations ran it. Both the ‘Pures’ and the pro MORFS lobby took it as a sign that the President would support them. But all Iris wanted was an end to suffering from the infliction. She hadn't even had a chance to see Orrin again. Ellis had their son put into a closed casket, because of the disfigurements, just like those of her first born son, Scott.
She tried to focus on the bill lying n the desk in front of her, but her thoughts kept wandering back to her children and their fate. Suddenly her attention was drawn to a beeping sound indicating a message on the secure network connecting her office to the embassies. Sighing she went over to the work station. Iris logged on to the station and a message appeared. It read “I’m still alive, and I’m coming home.” Iris was stunned. She remembered the time that she had given Orrin a login and a password for the network.
'Is this a prank? Who would try such a sick joke?’ She checked the name of the sender. It was from Orrin, there was no doubt about that. She had given him the username herself. Iris began to feel angry and wanted some answers. She pressed the intercom button on her headset COM gear. “Patch me through to my husband, immediately!”
Her secretary’s voice came back directly, “Yes, Madam President.”
Moments later Ellis’s voice sounded in her ear. “Yes dear, what is it?”
Iris barely contained the anger in her voice, “Get into my office now, Ellis! And I do mean now!”
Ellis wasn’t happy with the tone of his wife’s voice, but she was the president. So he went over to her office. “Yes Honey, what is it you want?”
“You told me that our son Orrin died of MORFS, and that he was so disfigured that he had to be buried in a closed casket?”
Ellis screwed his eyes, ‘Was there a breach of security on the base? I haven’t heard from Dr. Balmond or any of the scientists on the secret Antarctic base for a few weeks.’ “Yes, my dear. He started changing rapidly, and his whole physiology went haywire. I have pictures if you don’t believe me.”
Iris cut him off with a steel undertone, “Save it, Ellis. Pictures can be faked. How do you explain this message I just received on the diplomatic network?” She showed him the message on the computer screen.
Ellis felt his insides had turned to ice water, though he didn’t show anything to his wife.
“Someone must be playing a sick joke on you, Iris. I will look into this myself.”
“No Ellis, I want the Secret Service to do it. You stay away from this investigation. Because this message seems authentic, and if it is,” Iris glared at her husband, “than you’ve been lying to me.”
Ellis looked innocently at his wife. “But I haven’t been …” A very cross glare from Iris cut him off. Inside he was fuming, though, ‘Did those idiots let Orrin get lose? Or does one of the scientists think he can extort money from me?’
He went out of his wife’s office quietly and slowly, but once outside, changed to a quick stride just short of a run towards a certain elevator. He immediately went down to the secret room with the matter transportation portal, and told the technician to make a connection to the portal in Antarctica. However the connection couldn’t be made. Ellis cursed before ordering the technician to make a connection to another remote site in Colorado.
As Ellis stepped out of the black field inside the oval ring, he saw a familiar face. “Dr. Balmond, how nice to see you.”
Dr. Balmond screwed his eyes. He hadn’t expected to see Chief of Staff Pratt at this facility. He began to suspect that something had gone wrong with the destruction of the Antarctic base. “Yes, Mr. Pratt?”
“You told me that my son had survived his transformation, but was so dangerous that he had to be killed. You didn’t say anything about destroying the Antarctic base. But I guess you had to do that in order to kill Orrin. So how do you explain that my wife just got a message from him saying that he’s alive and coming home.”
Dr. Balmond paled, “When we evacuated the base, we set the self-destruct charges. Nobody could have made it out of there alive, especially naked in the middle of an ice field.”
Ellis walked up to the doctor and grabbed him at his coat, “Tell me everything that happened, and don’t leave anything out this time.”
Dr. Balmond had a mixed look of fear and anger on his face. “Your son is, in fact, dead. You now have a daughter with wings.”
Ellis’s eyes widened. He hadn’t expected that.
The doctor continued while pulling a paper out of a folder. “Here, this is a picture of her when we were doing tests.”
Ellis looked at the picture, seeing a strikingly beautiful nude girl that he was being told used to be his son. “What kind of tests did you perform?”
“Well, early on, we found that her wings are laced with a deadly toxin. We tried to kill her in different ways. But other than grenades nothing seemed to do enough damage. Bullets either ricocheted or made a hole that healed at an accelerated rate.”
Ellis let go of the doctor’s coat, “If she heals that fast, how could you not anticipate that she might survive the destruction of the base?”
“Because we used enough explosives that no one, not even such a seemingly indestructible being could survive. And not only that, she also wouldn’t have clothing to protect her against the cold, and the supplies would also be destroyed. She would be starving and would freeze outside.”
“Well obviously, you’re wrong! She did manage to get away in one piece, because she sent a message to my wife. Now the president is out for my hide, and won’t even allow me to handle this.”
Dr. Balmond was quite speechless for a moment. When he did speak, he said, “I do know to what things she’s vulnerable. No poison or toxin can harm her, but she’s vulnerable to high explosives. Also Electricity, Microwave and Sonics can damage her enough to incapacitate her. I suggest that next time we have a silent guardian on standby, along with some RPG’s, or something like that.”
Ellis filed the information away as possibly useful, but had his concerns. “And where do you think we can find her? I saw the message myself. She was at the Embassy in Buenos Aires. So she not only escaped Antarctica, but also made it to South America. Who knows where she is now. She could already be in Brazil by now.”
Dr. Balmond couldn’t answer that, so he kept quiet. Ellis continued, “Well you’ve done enough damage. You should’ve informed me earlier of what happened. Now I’ve got to do some damage control.”
He turned away, lost in thought, and waited until the connection to the White House could be established. ‘She’s obviously furious, and out for revenge. She’ll come to the White House. I’ll have the Marines standby, with a silent guardian and several RPG’s. No, make that Javelin missile launchers, she might be able to dodge standard flying grenades. At least the Javelins lock onto a heat signature and have a better chance of hitting her. Now, what to call this operation? I shouldn’t give any clues to Orrin. Wait, I got it. She’s black, has wings and is dangerous. I’ll call it operation Raven.’
I was a bit hungry again, so I headed back to the hill where I had rested before. The cart was still there abandoned on the road, but my sharp eyes saw a few men were hiding in the bushes, like they were planning an ambush for whoever had assaulted the man. Well I hadn’t really assaulted him,` right? He just got frightened at seeing me. For a moment I had a thought to leave the cart and men alone. But then again, I could see there still was some food left. And I couldn’t buy food at the moment, so I still had to steal it. ‘Darn, I should’ve gotten some money from the Ambassador to pay these men. They’re poor, and he’s rich.’
As I landed near the cart I had forgotten about the high heels of my new shoes. I immediately toppled over to land on my face in the sand. Just as I fell, a shot rang out and most of the hail of shotgun pellets went flying over me. Still, some hit my wings, but didn’t do any damage. I was enraged. They had just shot at me, without any warning.
I stood up, a bit wobbly on the high heels. ‘I really have to get used to walking in these.’ I glared at the bushes that hid the men lying in ambush, my hands on my hips. “Come out now,” I said in a commanding tone.
They didn’t understand a word I said, of course as I don’t speak Spanish. But they did show themselves. The man that I had seen earlier pulling the cart, looked at me in fear, while his partner stood defiantly, but shaking, with a shotgun in his hands.
Slowly I walked towards them. Well, I couldn’t walk fast anyway. I was still very uncomfortable wearing heels, and worse, the sandy road wasn’t good for walking on heels. The man with the gun pointed it at me again. I laughed at him. “Don’t even try to shoot me again, mister.”
Maybe he did understand English, as he lowered his gun a bit. Then he brought it back up and pulled the trigger. In a reflex, I put my wings around in front of me to protect myself . The pellets bounced off my hardened feathers harmlessly and I walked on towards the men. The man with the gun pulled the trigger again and again. But he had forgotten to reload it. When I came close enough, I pulled the useless gun from his hands and threw it to the side. I sneered, “Idiot? What do you think would happen?”
The men were frozen in fear and just stood there looking at me. Well there was more than fear on face of the man who had the shot me just moments ago. Now he was looking at me with lust. I wasn’t at all in the mood for that at the time, if ever. I glowered at him, and pointed at my feathers. Dipping deep into my very limit knowledge of foreign languages I growled, “Tóxico.”
That did get the message across. Both of them looked fearfully at me, and when I turned to go towards the cart, left in such a hurry that they kind of hindered each other getting away. It was comical, seeing them run away, falling over each other along the way. But I also felt sad. I definitely was a bad girl now. They were just honest peasants trying to make a buck, and here I come, the hard to kill bird girl, stealing their food. Well I couldn’t dwell to long over it, as I was hungry again. I ate some more of the food I found in the cart, but not nearly all of it. I did store some in the sling bag before I took off again and flew towards the north.
The landscape below me changed from high plains to mountains as I crossed into Brazil and after a quick stop in a small village, where some locals gave me some food and water, I found myself flying over jungle.
Once in a while I noticed movement below me in the jungle. To be noticed from that height, I realized those animals must be big. It wasn't until I came to a clearing near the river that saw what it was. The first big animal that saw was a big lizard walking on its hind legs. I had heard of them. They were called Verosaurs. Like most people I had thought that they were made up by some adventurers and that they didn't really exist. But now I could see that they were real, and they didn't look or sound very friendly. The one that I saw was attacking a small village on the bank of the river, but was in a battle with two of the natives. They were clearly Morfs survivors, as one young man was directing water from the nearby river at the beast. The other young man, who looked like a big cat hybrid was erecting walls of mud, sand and anything else he could find, in the path of the beast.
As I neared the site of the battle, I released some feathers and threw them at the beast, but they just bounced harmlessly off the beast’s thick scales. Then I noticed that the men seemed to direct the beast towards a part of the ground that looked different. I realized that the men were trying to lure the beast into some kind of hole that had been dug. But the reptile seemed way too clever to be trapped like that. It continued to evade the trap, running around it and avoiding falling into the hole. Then my eyes saw something very disturbing. Another of those Verosaurs was creeping through the thick jungle behind the earth elemental. It was so sneaky that neither of the men had noticed it. I could only se it because of my birds eye view. One of the young men was in imminent danger of being killed and eaten. I swooped down towards him and saw him looking up at me in fear. He probably thought that I was another predator coming to get my part of the feast.
But I flew in past him, driving him away from the beast, just before the big lizard could get a bite out of him. I, on the other hand wasn't so lucky. The beast got hold of my wing and took a bite out of it, causing me to crash hard into the ground, just a few feet from the reptile that already had taken a bite out of my wing. ‘Darn, now I’ve got another wing destroyed. It’ll heal again, but only if I live to give it a chance for that. That big lizard looks mighty hungry.’ The lizard or dinosaur, whatever it was, in question spat out a few of the feathers and locked its cold, staring gaze on me. I’m sure it was debating whether to eat me first or to try its luck with the man. He was down on the ground but ready to get up, while I was down, in pain, and not likely to get up anytime soon.
It had made its choice as it turned its gaze to the young man, who got up in a hurry to try to defend himself against this second threat. But as the beast started its move, it convulsed and dropped dead to the ground.
For a moment I was confused, but then I remembered, ‘My feathers! When that the beast bit my wing it took some feathers inside its mouth. And the inside of the mouth isn’t covered in tough scales, so my toxic feathers had cut and killed it’. I cheered, taking the young man by surprise. He looked at me and then at the lizard. I motioned to him to come closer. I took a feather from my undamaged wing and showed him the poison. Then, with the same motions as I had used with the man with the boat, I managed to convey to him that it was laced with poison. He quickly got the idea, as they probably use poison with their arrows.
With this new weapon at hand they quickly killed the other Verosaur as well and came towards me with concerned looks. Maybe they thought I was dying after being this severely wounded. Well, I have to agree, I truly was a mess, with half a wing bitten away and scrapes and scratches everywhere from the hard landing.
With difficulty I got to my feet and was out of balance trying to keep upright. They started jabbering to me in their language, but I had no idea what they were saying. I guess they were trying to thank me or something. Or maybe they were threatening me, telling me to leave. They didn’t look at me threateningly, however so I decided the first guess was right. In fact, now that the adrenaline of fight was wearing off, I realized that like the guy with the shotgun, they were kinda looking at me with lust in their eyes. ‘Well, I guess am a good looking girl now aren’t I?’
I heard was rustling in the foliage to the side and saw some motion. I turned towards it, almost falling down due to my imbalance. I was worried that it might be yet another Verosaur ready to attack. But I quickly determined that it was just native people that were coming towards us, probably the families and friends of my new found friends, the elemental natives.
I was quickly surrounded by the women of the village. I tried to keep them away from me, and I think they didn’t get what I wanted to say. The water Elemental boy started jabbering in their language and then both elementals shielded me from the young men, who were ogling me as soon as they caught sight of me. The pair handled me with care, being careful to let nobody touch me.. The girls took me to a hut to lie down and to be treated for my wounds. I objected, trying to tell them that I would heal perfectly fast, but they still insisted on cleaning my wounds. Later that night we had a big feast with meat from the two dead reptiles. The natives knew just what meat to avoid that would be contaminated with toxins. I ate quite a lot of the meat, which was surprisingly good the way they cooked it.
Two secret service agents, special agent Loresh and special agent Bailo were sent to the embassy in Buenos Aires, where they interviewed the Ambassador, Gill Warlton.
Loresh asked, “Ambassador, you stated in your report that a young woman with wings crashed through a window with security glass into the computer room. At that time you were there with a secretary…” He looked on his eCom, “Miss Swanson.”
Warlton pursed his lips. “That is right. The girl, she said her name was Oriana by the way, crashed through the window. It appeared that she sustained some injuries doing that, but healed extremely fast from them.”
“So what were you doing in the computer room with Miss Swanson? She’s not authorized for the room.” Bailo asked, with an infuriating smile.
Ambassador Warlton thought, ‘They already know what I did with Barbara.’ “I was showing her around, without revealing secret information.”
Loresh snorted, “So this girl Oriana crashed in and threw a cabinet in front of the door and told you to go to a corner of the room?”
When Warlton just nodded, Loresh continued, “Then what did she do?”
Gill answered, “I don’t know. I couldn’t see that from my viewpoint.”
Bailo interrupted, “We already know that she sent a message through the diplomatic network to the president. Do you know why she did that, and if she was doing it for someone else?”
Warlton frowned, “What do you mean, someone else?”
“Did she read the login and password from a paper, or did she seem to have it memorized? Maybe just have had to think about it?”
The ambassador thought back for a moment, “Not that I could see. She typed it in confidently and without any hesitation. It was like she knew how to operate the computer and the coding.”
The agents frowned. That didn’t sound as if the girl had been acting by directions from Orrin Pratt or as if she was some terrorist. It almost seemed like she was Orrin. But her physique wasn’t anything like the President’s son. They did know that Orrin had gone through MORFS. Was it possible that he morfed into a winged girl, instead of dying? But if she was Orrin, then why didn’t she ask the embassy for transportation home. And why was she here in the first place? It didn’t make sense at all.
“Then what did the girl do?”
Gill determinately said, “She took Miss Swanson shoes for herself as she wasn’t wearing any. Then she dove out the window to fly away.”
“You didn’t happen to see where she went, did you?”
Gill shook his head, “No, I was still shocked from the attack. And I wanted to be very careful. The girl said that her feather was poisonous. “
Loresh asked with interest, “Did you have it analyzed? What kind of toxin was it?”
“Yes it was sent to analysis. But somewhere between when she threw it at me and before the analysis could be done, the stuff hardened and became harmless. The components of the toxin broke apart, so we couldn’t identify the toxin.”
Bailo looked up with a frown, “Maybe it wasn’t poisonous. Maybe she just said it to frighten you into cooperation. How long a period was there between the throw and the analysis?”
Gill thought for a moment, “I’m not sure, but I think more than an hour. It wasn’t easy finding a lab that could handle it that late in the day”
The secret service men made their reports into their E-Coms and concluded their interview. They were not sure what to report to the President. On one hand, her son could still be alive, maybe changed into a girl with wings. On the other hand it still could be a plot to create havoc and mayhem. She could try to get close to the President, claiming to be her former son, to try to kill her. If it was true that her feathers were poisonous, then she would have the means to kill the President. They decided to just report what happened without making a judgment, and let the President decide herself what measures should be taken against this girl.
End of Part 2
To be continued...
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