Sunday, May 26, 2019

Protocol 33

Place: fifth place in Creative Writing

“Victor, turn off the radio.”

The room went silent as she walked into the kitchen. It was nearly time for the kids to be home.

“Victor, unlock the door.”

She heard the locks click on the front door, as she went to the pantry. She found some noodles and sauce and brought them over to the oven.

“Victor, I have a couple things I need you to do.”

“Yes Janice, what first?”

“Victor, turn on the camera at the front door.”

“What next Janice?”

“Victor, preheat the oven to 350 degrees.”

“Anything else Janice?”

“Yes.” She said as she placed the last ingredients in the box. “Prepare spaghetti for dinner.”

“What time will dinner be served?”

“Five thirty.”

“Janice, would you like me to make the Texas toast as well?”

“Victor, yes, sorry.” She replied as she put the toast in the now empty box.

“No need to apologize Janice.”

Outside the twins and her daughter were coming up to the door. It was beautiful outside, and a Friday, so they were giggling and joking.

“Welcome home kids.”

“Thank you, Victor.” They said in unison.

“Victor, what’s for dinner?” David asked, he was one of the twins.


“Mmm, I love your spaghetti Victor.” Ava said.

“Thank you.”

The kids poured through the door. “Hi Mom!”

“You ask her.” Ava said to Drew.

“Why do I always have to ask her?” he whispered.

“Just ask her.” said David.

“Fine,” Drew said, rolling his eyes. “Mom, can we go play in the game room?”

“How’s your grades?” she replied

“Mine are good.” David was the first to answer.

“Me too,” Said Ava

Drew was quiet. Mom noticed. “Drew?”

“Mine are OK.”

“Victor, what are the kids grades?”

“Ava, grade 4, has a c plus average. David, grade 2, has a c average. Drew, grade 2, has a b average.”

“Victor, allow Drew into the game room, and Drew only.”

“Of course Janice. Good work Drew.”

Drew’s face lit up and he trotted down the hall and went into the game room.

“You two need to head off and study. Victor, get the library ready and prepare the studies they need the most.”

“Library is ready.”

“Mooom, it’s Friday.” David moaned.

“Yeah,” Ava agreed.

“Should have thought about that before, now off you go.” she said shewing them with her hands. “Victor, have them out here in time for dinner.”

“As you wish Janice.”

A few hours later a black SUV pulls up the driveway. The garage door opens and it pulls in. The man gets out, clearly exhausted and heads for the door.

“Victor, close the garage door.”

“Yes Lincoln.”

“Daddy!” Ava yelled when her dad walked in. She ran up and hugged his leg as he put his brief case on the counter.

“Hi Ava, did you have a good day?”

“Uh hu. We played outside today.”

“Really, seems my letters finally paid off.”

“Victor, beer me.”

“Yes Lincoln.”

The counter opened up and a cold mug of beer came out. It slid the beer off to the side and the counter closed again.

“Bad day?” Janice asked.

“Rough day.” He said as he sat at the table. “You remember the cyber terrorist we hunted for over a year?”

“Yes. I remember you guys got him the other day.”

“We did, his transfer to Leavenworth was for today. He never showed up.”

“What do you mean he never showed up?”

“The transport never made it. I spent most of the day searching for him. No body, no trace of him.”

“Isn’t this the guy that was leaching money from the department of defense?”

“And Iran, North Korea, France, just to name a few.” he sipped his beer. “He also has a small army, one that is also out there looking for him.”

“May we be excused?” Ava asked.

“Of course dear.”

The kids ran off.

“Victor, watch the kids.”

“Yes Janice.”

“So what does this mean?” she asked. “Do you think they will be coming for you, for us?”

“The bureau doesn’t think so. Just the same, they are sending a detail later to keep tabs on us.”

She picked up the plates and took them to the counter. “I’ll sleep better after they get here. Did they say when?”

He picked up the last of the dishes and headed to the counter. “Before dark is all I got. Most are helping with the search.”

“Victor, please do the dishes.”

The dishes started to move towards the sink. They dropped, one by one into the running water, then into the dishwasher.

“Victor, lock down the house.”

“House locked down Janice.”

“Victor, this is Lincoln.”

“Yes Lincoln.”

“Victor, engage all security protocols.”

“All security protocols to be engaged, except 32 and 33.”

“Victor, I said all.”

“Per my directives, 32 and 33 must be activated by name. They are experimental. Protocol 32 will allow me to…”

“Victor, I said all. Activate 32 and 33.”

“Of course, Lincoln.”

The doors locked, the bullet proof blinds closed, steel gates went over the glass doors, and iron bars went across the garage door. A monitor slid out of the ceiling next to the television, showing views outside the house.

“Victor, what is that noise?”

“Protocol 32 Lincoln, drones patrolling the property.”

Time went by, there was tension in the air. The kids didn’t notice, the routine was the same. Bath, brush your teeth, say your prayers, and off to bed.

The two settled in on the couch, in front of the TV. With one eye on it and the other on the cameras.

“Black unmarked van has parked in front of the home.” Victor announced.

Lincoln got up and looked at the monitor. “Victor, can we get a plate?”

The monitor changed to a camera on a drone. The view zoomed in on the plate, then the view changed again to a screen showing who the van was registered to. Plate showed registered to the federal government. More specifically to his office.

Lincoln looked at his wife, they exchanged nervous looks. “Cavalry is here.” he said before sitting back down next to his wife. “Victor dim the lights.”

The lights did not dim.


“Victor is not here.” came back a robotic voice.

“Shit, who is this?”

“You know who this is. I have to hand it to you, you almost got me. Now it is my turn to get you.”

Lincoln got up and headed to the bedroom, he came back out with a gun.

“Ah, that’s cute, a little gun. What are you going to do with that? I have control of your entire house. The lights, the heat, and the doors.” With the last word the locks popped open, and the front door burst open. Lincoln shot the first two in, only to be knocked out by someone behind him.

“Wakey wakey,” Came a voice he had heard in the interrogation room. “Welcome back Link, I have to say, you have a wonderful home. Nice looking family too.”

“Where are they!”

“In the basement, where we are going.”

“Don’t hurt them!”

“It’s not them I want Link, it’s you.” he nodded toward the basement door. A couple of the men grabbed Lincoln and shoved him down the steps. He heard the muffled screams of his family as he hit the floor.

“You see Link, I’m not going to hurt them, just scar them, with the memory of your slow agonizing death.”

The same two men grabbed Lincoln and tied him to a chair. “Let’s start with one of your favorites.” He threw a towel over Lincoln’s face and started pouring water over his mouth and nose. Lincoln was gasping for his breath and coughing up water. “That was exhilarating, I can see why you like that one. Let’s do that again.” He was handed another pitcher and pored it onto Lincolns face. After the third time, he began to get bored.

“Let’s try something new. I was inspired by this at the vets office.” He wrapped a piece of rigid plastic around his neck, forming a cone that went around his head. “So we are going to make this interesting.” He said while the two men finished water proofing the cone around his neck. While they tightened the ropes on his wrists, he grabbed a drill and proceeded to make a hole at just below his nose. “First time for everything.” They had found a hose and hooked it up to the laundry sink. After hanging it from the floor joists it was turned on, low for now. The cone started to fill up, soon the water covered his mouth. At the current water pressure, the hole was just big enough to keep it from covering his nose. Lincoln began to panic. “Hold him, don’t let him fall over.” He reached over and increased the water flow, just a little.

“Protocol 33 activated.” The lights went out and the water was cut off.

“How the hell did that thing come back up? I took it out with a virus.”

Sounds of gunfire came from outside, where he had left a dozen men. Then an explosion that rocked the house. The noise that came next was unbearable, it sounded like a swarm of bees. The family was quiet, their muffled cries grew silent, and their eyes widened in fear. No one knew what was going on.

The basement door could be heard being thrown open. An unusual sound of metal banging onto the wood steps was next, as whatever it was headed down the steps.

At the base of the steps, put together in human form, were all the drones. Red lights shining into the darkness.

“What the hell are you!?”

“I am Victor.”

Muffled cries for help came from the family, Lincoln couldn’t see what was going on, but he also could’t believe what he heard.

The three men opened fire and parts started to fall off of Victor. When they had emptied their magazines, there was a pile of shattered metal and broken plastic. They walked back over to Lincoln and reloaded their guns. “I’m not having fun anymore, and when I’m not having fun..”

“I was not done here. Protocol 33 can not be interrupted.”

Victor stood there, like nothing ever happened. The humming had returned as the blades were now spinning. The men drew their guns and one pointed it at Lincoln. “Leave, or he dies.”

“That is not written into the protocol.” Blades flew from Victors body and sliced threw the men. The blades then went and sliced through the ropes on Lincolns wrist. As he removed the cone from around his head, sirens could be heard. He rushed over to his family, untapped their mouths and began to untie them.

“Protocol 33 executed, shutting down.” As the police breached the front door, Victor’s body fell back to the broken metal and shattered plastic.

Posted by edloud on 05/26 at 11:00 PM | Permalink
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