Chapter 10

Back on ground, Wallace and Yvonne had their backs together at the moment while Rick had managed to find a weapon somewhere already.

“All right, all right,” Wallace spoke up after no longer hearing any sounds coming from the water. “We surrender.”

Samson smiled then. “Is it that simple?”

“You know those idiots can’t swim. You don’t hear anything anymore, do you?”

Samson was forced to tell his henchmen to pipe down. Indeed, there were no more sounds coming from the water after three sounds of splashes of the other three hitting the water.

“How would I know you’re not planning something up your sleeves?” Samson asked, looking at Wallace.

“It doesn’t matter,” Wallace answered. “You have us in your hands, would they dare to make a move?”

Samson nodded. “You’re right. I’ll have some fun with you guys first.” Then he turned to some of the men nearby. “Stay here and search for their bodies.”

Yvonne gasped then, turning to Wallace. They were no longer having their backs together and were actually standing in a straight line along with Rick facing Samson. So when Wallace saw Yvonne looking at him, he shook his head.

“I trust the kid,” Wallace whispered.

Then they were led away by Samson’s henchmen. They didn’t resist, and even cooperated the rest of the way. They were placed into different cars. Then blindfolded.

*****

Amber was the first one to break surface, not Angela or Nic. But it wasn’t because she was running out of breath. She quickly swam toward a small boat nearby and gestured for the others to follow. They hid behind a wooden structure that was probably some kind of storage shed before swimming to the other side, glad that it was still dark enough to hide. By the time they were out in the streets again, they were far away from the henchmen left behind by Samson.

“What are we going to do now?” Angela asked, looking worried.

“We have to find a place to recuperate first,” Amber said.

It was then that Angela directed her eyes to Amber’s hand. “Your hand.”

“I’m okay,” Amber reassured her. “The temporary bandage came off because of the water.

Angela reached forward to check on Amber’s hand.

“Come on, we don’t have time,” Amber urged, gesturing for both siblings to follow her.

“Where are we going?” Nic asked, tagging along behind them.

“I’m not sure. But maybe somewhere we could get some first aid kit. And a phone.”

Nic and Angela realized their phones were already ruined from the jump into the water. Yet they didn’t drag their feet either. They followed Amber and tried to follow her instructions as much as they could. When they finally found a temporary place that didn’t draw too much attention, Nic managed to borrow some first aid kit. They also managed to get a new change of clothes as well.

“I’m really sorry about earlier,” Angela said while she was tending to Amber’s wound.

Nic was changing inside one of the rooms. The girls had finished changing already hence Angela helping Amber with her wound at the moment.

“Why?” Amber asked.

Angela looked over at Amber, puzzled as to why she was still asking that question. Angela thought Amber was intelligent enough to understand why. “You know why. For attacking you on the way here.”

Amber smiled then. “Like I was any better. But that doesn’t mean I would apologize either. Because we’re from two different worlds. So it’s okay if we don’t agree on stuffs.”

Angela had finished tending to Amber’s wound. She was now placing some items back into the box. “Could I ask you something?”

“What?”

“Why are you so persistent in supporting Wallace and Yvonne when you know he’s already married?”

Amber smiled. “You will know one day.”

Angela rolled her eyes. She couldn’t help it. “Now you sound like a fortune cookie. Look, I know it’s not my place to judge since I did it in the past too. Whether I knew it or not, I still hurt Tammy’s feelings. But why is Yvonne willing to hang on like that after all these years? Even after Wallace lost his memories and ended up dating her all over again, it didn’t work out between them either, right? Why be so stubborn?”

“I’m guessing you were the one who broke up with him?”

Angela nodded, not ashamed to admit her actions.

Amber smiled. “Then you don’t understand.”

Angela wrinkled her face in confusion again.

Amber smiled again, but it wasn’t a taunting one. “Forget it. Let’s not talk about that anymore. We need to go call the agency.”

Angela got up along with Amber, her expression alarmed. “But I thought Wallace said…”

“I know a way that won’t get us caught, and besides, I know who to talk to.”

Nic came out of the room at that time, all changed.

“Hey,” He greeted them – as if it was just another day at home and he was greeting some guests who just came over for the upcoming tea party.

“Hey yourself,” Amber returned, her teasing smile on.

Then she walked out of the room, in search for a phone. Nic turned to Angela for an explanation. Angela shrugged and followed Amber as well. Nic had no choice but to follow them.

*****

It took about an hour before they arrived at the site. Though blindfolded, but Wallace was still able to hear all the sounds coming from various places. His other strange abilities were starting to come back. And he didn’t linger to ponder about its strangeness either. He used those abilities to his full advantage. He’d even done something Samson and his henchmen would never guess. All just because of how they were still gloating over the fact that they had him, Yvonne, and Rick captured already.  Now, all he had to do was wait.

“Come in, come in,” Samson said – as if he was just greeting some guests who just came over for a visit, not hinting that they were in for a round of tortures. “I have a lot to catch up with you three.”

“Sure, you do,” Rick muttered, his sarcasm reminded Wallace of Nic.

“Ah…charming as always,” Samson commented, his smile projected he was best buddies with Rick once upon a time.

Rick took a quick scan of the spacious, hi-tech room before speaking up again – his voice loud and clear this time. “Nice sty you got here though.”

“Know your place!” The henchman holding captive of Rick bellowed and even hit him over the head with his hand.

Rick, of course, was unmoved. If that blow had hurt, he didn’t let on.

“Now, now,” Samson interfered. “He’s an old friend. Show your manners.”

“Yes, sir,” That henchman responded.

“Let go of them,” Samson continued, gesturing toward Wallace and Yvonne.

The spacious room was indeed quite hi-tech, not to mention it almost looked like some high security prison. Samson was indeed very proud of this place to even allowed Wallace, Yvonne, and Rick some freedom to move around the room as the henchmen dispersed around the room.

Samson was still smiling. “So, what will it be for you all? Tea or coffee?”

“Where is Tammy?” Wallace asked, getting straight to the point.

“Ah…” Samson dragged out, pointing at Wallace. “I knew I like you, always getting straight to the point. And always so impatient.” He paused and turned to one of the henchmen. “Go tell those people to bring her out here. She should be glad to have some visitors after being cooped up in that luxurious room.”

Wallace, Yvonne, and Rick ignored Samson’s side taunting. They just focused on keeping patient and waited for Tammy. Samson continued to act like their best friend and tried to taunt them. Yet only Rick kept the conversation at bay while the other two just ignored him completely.

“You know what I love the most about you Huos?” Samson asked awhile more later.  “It’s that you two are still together. This will make the upcoming game even more interesting.”

Samson had looked straight at Wallace and Yvonne. Wallace, who had tried to maintain a passive attitude toward Samson, knowing too well of Samson’s taunting tactics from their past encounters, couldn’t keep that cool anymore. He was showing traces of surprise. So even Samson knew about them? Though Wallace still didn’t understand how he remembered someone like Samson yet didn’t remember some other details regarding his personal life, but he was trying hard not to force some memories through at this point. As long as he remembered he was supposed to save Tammy, that was the most important at the moment. But now? He felt like it was too strange he had shared about his extramarital affairs with Samson in the past? Or were they posing as a couple in the past and that was how Samson knew? And Samson was just using that to taunt and rattle Wallace at this point? Was that some twisted joke to get Wallace to react? Or…but didn’t Samson already have some inside information about them? Especially how he had known Wallace by his real identities instead of the fake one he used for that particular mission years ago.

“That has nothing to do with you,” Rick returned, not missing a beat of the banter.

“Tsk..tsk…tsk…” Samson drawled out. “It’s funny how you three maintained the relationship for so long.”

“Are you going to bring Tammy out or not? Because we’re going to fall asleep soon with your lame jokes.”

Wallace was forced into another surprise. He didn’t realize Rick had that much patience, after how many rounds of attacks he tried to drive toward Samson during their wait. Wallace guessed it might be like fifteen minutes already yet Samson was still full of energy. Was this part of the taunting technique? And Wallace had initially thought Rick had already fell prey of Samson’s trick because of his hot-headedness. Yet based on what Rick just said, Wallace knew Rick didn’t lose it. Rick was playing along with Samson’s taunting game. Rick was testing the waters. And possibly stalling.

Samson was still able to keep his high spirits despite Rick’s words. He looked toward another henchman. “Go check what’s taking them so long.”

The other person rattled out the usual mechanical ‘yes sir’ before leaving.

“It’ll be soon,” Samson informed them – though they had all heard.

Another five minutes passed before several men escorted Tammy out. They heard footsteps and then Tammy.

“Wallace!” Tammy called out.

“Don’t panic, I’m here now,” Wallace returned, looking at Tammy.

“My, my, always the charmer, aren’t you?” Samson taunted again.

Samson indeed was too glad to see a new plot development. Because after the previous command of telling them to check on Tammy again, he hadn’t said anything else.

“But then I shouldn’t be too surprise that you always have it with the ladies,” Samson continued. “Especially right in front of your wife.”

Wallace ignored Samson’s attempt to create a rip between the team. He knew he shouldn’t lose his cool. Even if Tammy was being restrained by several men at this point. He had to turn the situation around and get out of here – with everyone safe. They were so badly outnumbered, but it wasn’t impossible. He had a hunch.

“You know what your problem is, Samson?” Wallace asked and even took several steps toward Samson.

“Wallace,” Yvonne whispered, attempting to follow him.

Wallace raised one hand up to stop her and made sure to keep her behind him. Samson, of course, had seen the subtle exchange between Wallace and Yvonne. His amused smile seemed to magnify to its fullness.

“What’s my problem then?” Samson asked, eyeing Wallace and Yvonne with that same smile.

“Overconfidence,” Wallace replied.

Samson’s laughter filled the room then. “Overconfidence?”

“Your biggest mistake was letting us come here.”

Samson scoffed, more amused than ever. “So having you come here was my biggest mistake? Should I remind you how secluded this place is?”

“How secluded is it then?” Rick asked, following Wallace’s lead with the taunting. “This pigsty could only last for so long.”

As if to back Rick up, they could hear some smashing sounds from somewhere. Some more ruckus and they were faced with a group of men dressed in green armored uniforms. The smashing sounds were from the gadget they used to break the roof glasses, allowing them access to the place.

“You’re surrounded, Samson,” One of the men in green armored uniform said. “If you don’t come with us willingly, we won’t hesitate to use force.”

“Told you,” Rick said, his victory smile shining.

“Go!” Wallace yelled out.

Rick didn’t need a second reminder. He leapt toward the steps where several men were holding Tammy hostage. Wallace and Yvonne were the ones responsible for detaining Samson. As for the green armored, uniformed men, they were taking care of Samson’s henchmen. In fact, more backups were coming from the other doors. They must had divided forces and tried to break this place inside out.

“How did you do it?” Samson bellowed as he tried to get past Wallace and Yvonne.

“I told you already,” Wallace returned. “Overconfidence is your enemy.”

“I’ll kill you first!”

After that threat, they were all engaged in a fight. Wallace and Yvonne took turns. They didn’t need to use all their energy. They just needed to delay some more before more backups were coming to restrain Samson.

“I should’ve off your wife when I had the chance!” Samson yelled out, still playing the taunting game to divert their attention elsewhere.

“You dare to touch her, I’ll kill you,” Wallace threatened, not caring if he sounded like a madman.

Samson was against the wall now but he wasn’t showing traces of fear. He looked at Yvonne with that same amused smile. “Touching, isn’t it?”

Wallace knew he was using that to trigger Yvonne’s jealousy toward Tammy. That would be a fatal catalyst. He knew he shouldn’t let Samson talk anymore. He dived forward and tried to attack again. Soon, Yvonne was next to him. Wallace felt it was strange how Samson was so easily detained. But he didn’t care to stop and ask that question. Out of habit, he reached by his belt to get a pair of handcuffs.

“Here,” Yvonne said seconds later.

Yvonne had taken over the handcuffing task and even shoved Samson toward the direction of the main exit.

“I must admit though,” Samson spoke up again.

It was like Samson didn’t even realize he was already on the losing side. Or did he have other backups?

“You can shut up now,” Yvonne said.

“Can’t I compliment you for the last time?” Samson continued in that same cheery tone. “Anyway, as I was saying. I’m actually quite happy for the reunion this time with you Huos.”

Wallace didn’t want to listen to Samson’s nonsense anymore. Instead, he looked around to see the situation very much contained now. By this time, he could see there were even more men in green armored uniforms. He couldn’t even count the total number, but he was glad they weren’t so useless like he had thought previously. Then he scanned the room again, trying to locate Rick and Tammy. He could see that Rick was still having a protective hand around her. Rick finally caught Wallace’s eyes and made his way toward Wallace.

“You all right?” Wallace asked upon seeing Tammy.

She had some scratches on both arms, at least of what he’d managed to spot so far.

“I’m fine,” Tammy said, attempting to smile.

“Let’s get out of here,” Rick told them.

At that time, one of the uniformed men came toward them. He had taken Samson off Yvonne’s hands.

“We’ll talk later when this is under control,” He said, looking at Rick.

Rick nodded before turning to Wallace. “Let’s go.”

Wallace could see Tammy sending him a look as Yvonne made her way over to them. Wallace didn’t say anything; he just wrapped a hand around Tammy and guided her out of there.

“I’m sure they have a medical team outside,” Wallace said to Tammy in a soft, soothing tone.

Wallace had a lot of questions he wanted to ask Tammy. But he knew that will have to wait, so he didn’t want to alarm her at this point when they were still within enemy zone. Rick was about to say something to Yvonne but Yvonne gestured for him to go.

“Hey, you guys, missed us?” Amber’s voice asked them as they stepped out of the building.

Wallace released his grip on Tammy and walked over to where Amber, Angela, and Nic stood waiting for him. It seemed like Angela wasn’t in such bad attitude anymore. Nic wasn’t so anxious either.

“You did it, Kid,” Wallace complimented Amber, sending her a proud smile.

“If it wasn’t for you, we wouldn’t have found you guys anyway,” Amber returned, though she seemed proud of herself but she didn’t forget to include Wallace either.

“What are you two talking about?” Tammy asked, walking up to them.

“I called the agency up using another contact identity to get into contact with Roy,” Amber explained. “It was the only way to not draw attention onto ourselves. The mole probably didn’t know we were onto him yet so I had to use another code name to get in so he or she would think that it was related to another case. Because that person’s only watching anything related to you guys, right?”

“But that still doesn’t explain how you know we’re here.”

Wallace smiled then.

“It’s a miracle that you still don’t get how Wallace operates, Tammy,” Rick jabbed, putting on his taunting smile.

“Rick, not here,” Yvonne interfered, giving him a warning glare. “Tammy still needs to recover after what happened.”

“That’s right,” Angela jumped in, suddenly playing the role of peacemaker. “Let’s get out of here.”

“I’ll be with you guys in a bit,” The same uniformed man who had taken Samson away earlier said to them. “You’re taking the van with me.”

Wallace looked after him a bit, still pondering about matters. “Who is he?”

Rick gave Wallace a strange look. “Roy, our main contact from ages ago. I thought you remember. You had no problem remembering Samson.”

Wallace felt off-guard again. “Oh. Things are coming back. But I know as long as I remember the most important things, it’s good, right?”

Wallace didn’t want to sound so defensive, but he wasn’t used to being so off his game. Even when he was working with Nic, he didn’t let Nic have the upper hand no matter what.

“Okay then,” Rick said. “Good that the more important things are coming back to you now.”

Roy came back at that time and gestured for them to follow him. “Rick, in front with me, the rest of you, I don’t care.”

“Charming, isn’t he?” Rick joked, following Roy. He gave Wallace a light punch on the shoulder, it was like they were best buddies or something. He turned to Amber then since she was walking next to him. “How you doing, Kid?”

Amber sent him a smile. “Never better.”

Rick smiled. “It’s funny how you remind me of Wallace so much. You got guts.”

Amber seemed offended by that comment. “I’m not that clueless about some things.”

Rick seemed to know what Amber meant. “Aw, come on, Kid. Give the guy a break, he’s still trying to remember.”

Angela and Nic were sending Wallace looks now that they were no longer in any sort of danger. Wallace didn’t know what to say except to guide Tammy along. Yvonne was actually walking in front with Rick and Amber so she didn’t see the Chang siblings giving Wallace doubtful glares.

When they got to the van, Rick hopped into the passenger seat with Roy like Roy had told them earlier. Wallace helped Tammy up into the middle row and stayed by her side. Yvonne turned to give Amber a look, gesturing toward the remaining spot of the row.

“We’re lost sisters now,” Amber said, shaking her head slightly and hooked one hand through Angela’s. “Sorry.”

Angela was surprised of Amber’s comment but she followed Nic into the third row without trying to decipher Amber anymore. Seeing Amber following Angela after there was some space, Yvonne had no choice but to sit next to Wallace.

“All right, first things first,” Roy said after he started the van. “Welcome back, Mr. Huo.”

“Should I be happy?” Wallace returned, not being able to help it. He had the right to be mad at them after all. All these years of tossing his life around so randomly and they still dared to act friendly? He didn’t care if Roy had worked with him in the past. Roy didn’t seem to be all that sorry about what the agency had done to him either.

Roy let out a laugh before pulling out of the area. “All right, fair enough. I know you’re angry with the agency. I don’t know what happened that year, but I wasn’t told as to why you disappeared until recently. But I’m still glad I get to witness you in action again. The GPS move is old but clever.”

“What GPS move?” Tammy asked, confused.

“Wallace turned on his GPS during the ride and then turned it off later so it wouldn’t draw attention.”

Yes, Wallace’s secret move was old but indeed effective. While they were on the way to Samson’s hideout, Wallace had turned on his phone. By the time they stopped, he turned it off again so Samson’s henchmen wouldn’t notice if they were to track it on their system somehow. And the reason why Wallace didn’t need to activate the GPS feature when he turned on his phone was because he turned off his phone after he told Nic of the meeting location by the harbor earlier, not turning off GPS like the others yet kept the phone on. It was his habit, but it proved effective in such situation when he was blindfolded on the way here. Samson’s biggest mistake was not tying them all up during the drive. When Amber called Roy, it was still within the time of the drive so they were able to track Wallace until his phone was turned off again. They just had to prepare before coming in. Rick and Yvonne didn’t know of Wallace’s plan, but being agents for so long, they knew how to stall and try to find another way to improvise their escape plan. And because of that, the rescue team came in time.

“Oh,” Tammy uttered after Roy was done filing in some details for them.

“Oh?” Roy asked back. “For a girl so brave on so many occasions, you sure disappointed me major time. I wouldn’t be surprised if Wallace had slipped earlier and was not in sync with the rest of team. But you? I was kind of disappointed seeing you all scratched up earlier.”

“There’s no point in attacking her,” Wallace interfered, feeling angry this stranger was attacking Tammy. He sent a glance Rick’s way, wondering why Rick was tolerating this behavior.

“Roy, stop it,” Yvonne said in the same warning tone she used on Rick earlier.

Roy took one hand off the steering wheel and saluted. “Yes, ma’am.” He had on a sincere smile then. “I’m so glad you guys are back together.”

“Of course we’re an unbeatable team,” Rick bragged, not caring if he was arrogant.

Roy nodded. “Can’t argue with that.”

“What I don’t get with this whole thing is, why is Samson so easily captured?” Wallace asked. “Okay, I don’t remember everything about him. But isn’t it too insulting to be involved with some case having to do with him in the past?”

Roy smiled again. “Can’t blame you. He’s a slime weasel. He doesn’t rely on his own strength to win, but he always hides in the back of others to manipulate. The last case we were on, he wasn’t the target. But we found out too late he was actually the mastermind. He fled. I don’t know how he managed it but now management’s going to have a grand time finding that mole.”

“Then you wouldn’t know he’s not here with the rest of us, trying to blend in with this mission?”

“He only focus on you guys, remember?” Amber pointed out. “He probably doesn’t know.”

“Then that means you guys could still seal away this information and set up a meeting between that person and Samson. Use his lab to send out a signal or whatever.”

“Not bad,” Roy said. “I’m just so glad you’re back. It hadn’t been the same without you.”

“I don’t want to be a part of this anymore. I can’t act like you and that agency, acting like nothing happened back then. I only want to bring my wife out of this place as soon as possible.”

Roy glimpsed into the rearview mirror. He had looked at Yvonne. Wallace had caught that since he was sitting in between the girls after all. He felt like everyone seemed to know about him and Yvonne yet didn’t do anything like scold at him, unlike what Angela had protested against since the other night. Did Tammy know? She didn’t seem to catch onto Roy’s stare so probably not? Or was that his wishful thinking?

“What if she doesn’t want to leave?” Roy asked, bringing Wallace back to reality.

“She just helped you with the latest mission, I don’t think after all these years, it’s nothing. At least allow her to leave. If not, I can do some major damage, unless you want to take me out too.”

Roy’s expression turned serious then. “Destructive and protective of your wife like always all right. But let me tell you something, I don’t think all the horror stories you heard about us are true. And if she wants to leave, she can leave anytime. I admit that was a really dumb move that the agency made back then. But come on now, Tammy did make that decision for you at that time when Yvonne and Rick weren’t around. So…face it.”

Wallace’s anger suddenly turned into surprised. He turned to look at Tammy, not believing it. But he had to. He remembered seeing Tammy there during the hypnosis. That was also when Wallace couldn’t say anymore to Roy – or try to blame the agency. As much as they had a hand in this, it was Tammy’s choice. Then he remembered what Yvonne told him. She had stopped several times. Was that why she had been vague on the details while still giving him the gist of the story? If what Roy was saying was true, Tammy was the sole reason for his being hypnotized all these years. Because Roy just said Yvonne and Rick weren’t there. But then…how could he blame Tammy completely? She must not want to see him all locked up. Yet if she knew and understood him, then why did she make that decision for him instead of waiting for him to be conscious enough to make his own decision? It was getting confusing all over again.

© Friday, June 28th, 2013

Posted: Thursday, July 11, 2013

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