The Pattern

Darrell was very pleased with the children's interactions. He just kept feeling better and better about his choices. He had felt his heart race when Hannah told the others he was listening to everything they said. She had blown his cover, he knew it, but the others didn't quite believe her. In time they'd learn to put more stock in the things she said. How the boys had studied how to take over the helicopter was brilliant. He was tempted to have the pilot jump out so he could see what they would do- it had been one of the old tests, but after one of the girls had followed the pilot without a parachute ruining an entire group that test had been dismantled.

He could easily imagine the boys taking over though. Mazen's would take co-pilot unwillingly, and Copenhagen would surely take the lead. Darrell sighed softly and the sound was lost in the noise of the propellers above.

He felt the helicopter begin to descend and the children were immediately interested in what was below them. It appeared- he knew to be a copse of trees completely ordinary wilderness. That was the beauty of the Illusion. Soon the seven occupants of the helicopter would be stepping into the most secure facility in the world. He felt a smile tug at his lips.

Copenhagen gasped when they broke through the trees and didn't hear the scratch and bump of branches. It was a normal reaction- A good reaction in fact. Darrell looked at Mazen, his eyes were already taking in the facilities trying to grasp as much as he could as fast as he could. There were a few vehicles on the premises and Mazen was interested in those. So, of course was Copenhagen, but Mazen had adjusted to the change more quickly.

Hannah wasn't looking around, she was looking at Darrell, her eyes were boring into his and he wondered how much of his soul she could see. He stared back at her letting her see in. She broke the gaze first like a dog losing a power struggle. Darrell knew he wouldn't intimidate her long once she found her rhythm. She would be a force to be reckoned with.

Rozamond's eyes were closed, and he would have bet she was thinking of deserts. She still had to go, and as soon as they touched the ground he would let someone show her to the ladies facilities. It had been good for her to have a physical distraction from the emotional loss of her maid.

Willow seemed disappointed that the trees weren't real, he didn't care about the high tech shield they had passed through, and wasn't concerned about what would happen next. Darrell wondered if Willow was on some kind of hippy sedative and what he would be like when it wore off. The thought gave him pause, but Willow had been as active and intelligent in his interactions as the others. If he was on a drug then he had Darrell fooled.

Their arrival was met with little fanfare. The only person on the platform in fact was his secretary Mrs. Hammers, a butch old dame with a bulldog face and a heart harder than his own. She wouldn't care about the children's feelings. She would show them to their rooms, and leave them. Tears didn't move her, death didn't move her, danger didn't stir her. She was the ultimate stoic. He was tempted to call her a robot if he didn't think she'd give him her icy eyes. Saving the world was business and she was all professional.