Everything went as planned. Trent entered the first of the three porta potties and Devin entered the last. As soon as Kevin told him to go he made a run for the trees. There he was quickly embraced by his aunt and an older woman with green eyes.
“This is your grandmother Devin,” his aunt said gleefully.
“GO!!!” Kevin shouted in his head. “You can get to know each other later. Trent is knocking on the porta potty. He’ll know you are missing soon.”
“Dad says we have to go,” Devin whispered nervously.
“Yes,” replied Annie. “He just told me. Let’s go.”
The women took Devin to a trail that was not as well used as the one he had been following with the group.
“Hurry. Trent knows you’re gone and he is talking to someone on his cell phone. He’ll have people looking for you.”
“Where are we going?” Devin asked.
“These trails will lead us to a car we have waiting. It’s a mile from here but we’ll make it,” his aunt answered.
“We need to stop so he can change his clothes. Trent will have alerted the police and they will be looking for a child with PIGC clothes,” Annie said wisely. She pulled out a pair of cut off boy’s jeans and a yellow, orange and red Hawaiian shirt and gave them to Devin. He quickly changed his clothes and Annie put his old clothes in her bag.
“Let’s move.” Anastasia urged.
Devin was thrilled. Not only was he having an adventure but he was with family that had his green eyes. He could feel something about them that he never felt around anyone else before. He couldn’t understand what he felt. He felt more alive. He felt right as though he was where he belonged. He felt a connection with them and he knew he had felt that same connection with his father when he had been a baby.
“Where is my father?” he asked Anastasia as they hurried along a fork in the trail.
“You’ll see me soon,” Kevin answered in his head.
The trio traveled quickly along the little-used trail. It was very hot but Devin had been whipped into shape by the vigorous physical training given at PIGC and the healthy food. Before long they had reached the car. Devin was told to sit in the back with Annie while Anastasia drove.
When they reached a main road a police vehicle pulled up behind them. It followed them for about a mile then turned off onto another street.
“He called in the plate,” Annie said in a matter of fact bored tone.
Devin looked at his grandmother. Her hair was dark brown with slight gray streaks. He could not find a wrinkle on her dark black skin. Her eyes were green but even though they were two different hues, they weren’t exactly the same color as the rest of his family.
“Why do we have green eyes?” he asked her as he continued to peer at her eyes.
“My eyes were not always green. They used to be a lovely dark brown,” Annie replied returning his gaze. She smiled at him. “It was a chemical that Pearce Institute force upon me that changed my eyes and made my children’s eyes the way they are. You got your eyes from your daddy.”
Devin was quiet for a moment as he digested this information. So the Pearce Institute was more than a school.
Annie watched Devin as he pondered what she had told him. He looked so much like her Kevin when he was that age except Devin was a bit larger and more muscular than her son had been. She wondered how many generations the serum would travel through.
“You don’t look old enough to be a grandmother.”
“My children keep me young.”
Another police vehicle pulled up behind them. As Devin watched Annie closed her eyes and seemed to be in deep concentration. She seemed to focus on him then he felt her focus leave the car.
“He’s going to turn on his lights,” she said seconds before the officer flashed his lights.
Anastasia pulled the car over and watched the rearview mirror as the officer pulled his cruiser behind them. He sat in his vehicle only long enough to call into headquarters.
Devin scooted closer to his grandmother as the officer approached the car. She put her arm around him.
Anastasia rolled the window down.
“Hello, officer. Is there something wrong?”
The officer looked at her and peered into to back seat.
“There is an Amber Alert for a boy that went missing from the park trails,” the officer muttered as he looked at Devin. “I am pulling over every car that has a child in it.” He did not take his eyes off of Devin. “How are you doing son?”
“I’m fine sir,” Devin answered.
“Officer?” Annie spoke as she smiled at the man. He looked at her and she locked eyes with him. “You will let us go. You will not remember us. Have a pleasant evening.”
The officer walked back to his cruiser. He watched in a daze as the car pulled away.
Devin was amazed. Did he come from a family of superheroes? How did his grandmother do that?
He looked at her in awe. She just smiled at him.
“We have trouble!” Anastasia warned. “Kevin says there is a roadblock about a mile ahead.”
“You can take care of that can’t you grandma?” Devin said with confidence. Annie smiled at her grandson, thrilled to be called grandma. She put her arm around him and snuggled him close to her.
As they approached the roadblock Anastasia slowed down and rolled down the window. Two armed officers approached the car. Both were wearing earphones and reflective sunglasses.
“Please step out of the car,” one of them said. “Everyone out please.”
The trio got out of the car. Devin could hear music. It seemed to be coming from the officers.
Annie smiled at the officers. “You will let us go.” The officers ignored her,
Devin looked at the cars blocking the road. There were several policemen and women standing by their vehicles. Devin saw one man who was not wearing a uniform raise a gun at them. He recognized the man from the trail. Everything seemed to go into slow motion as he watched the man point the gun at his grandmother and fire. Annie’s eyes opened wide in shock as she was struck. Devin grabbed her hand as she fell to the ground. Then he heard the gun go off again and watched as his aunt stumbled then fall as well.
“NOOO!” he screamed as the officers each grabbed one of his arms and dragged him away from his fallen family. “NOOO! Grandma!”
The officers put him in the back of a cruiser. Devin watched out the window and saw the police surround his grandmother and aunt. He began to bang on the window until he felt a hand gently touch his shoulder. He turned around and saw Trent Gaydos.
“You are safe now Devin. I won’t let anyone hurt you,” he said softly.
Kevin watched as his family was captured. He tuned in back and forth from his sister’s and mother’s body and to his son. Trent had taken Devin to a boat and they were headed away from Kona. His mother and sister had been loaded into the backs of two ambulances and strapped into stretchers. Kevin knew they were not dead. He could clearly see that they were shot with darts not bullets. He needed to see where they were taken them but he needed to watch and comfort his son as well.
It was growing dark as he watched over his son. The boat was not going back to PIGC. Devin was in shock and scared. He was alone in a cabin on the boat. Kevin tried to ease his fears but he feared the boy was close to hysteria.
“Devin, I’ll be right back. I need to check on your grandmother.”
“Don’t go, dad. Please!” Devin cried silently
“I’ll be just a minute I promise.”
“I have to see where they are Devin. I need you to be brave okay?”
“Okay, dad. I’ll be brave.”
Kevin tuned into his mother and saw that she was still unconscious. She had been taken out of the stretcher and place in what looked like a seat in a plane. Several rows up sat an unconscious Anastasia.
They were safe for now. Kevin knew Trent would not harm them because he needed them. Besides, Trent was no murderer.
Kevin looked back at his son and saw him jump over the side of the boat into the water.
“Devin!” He watched helplessly as his son dog-paddled in the waves.
“Help me, daddy!”
“Devin,” he cried. “Hang on son.” He watched his son go under and struggle to get above the water. “Hang on son! Oh God, help him. Don’t give up Devin. I love you son! I love you!”
As Devin sank under the water he could hear his father in his head. The voice encouraged him as he struggled to rise. Then he remembered Mr. Jones. “If you get separated blow on the whistle and I’ll make sure to find you okay?”
Devin was determined to get above the water and blow the whistle. He knew it made no sense to think his grandfather could rescue him but he truly believed if he blew the whistle somehow it would happen.
He broke the surface of the water and managed to get the whistle from under his shirt. He put the whistle in his mouth and weakly blew into it. The whistle gurgled with water. Devin knew he was lost. He should have thought out his decision to jump out of the boat. He had never swum with waves so high and water so deep. Why did he think he could swim away? Now he would never see his family again. He thought of his mother and Sheila. He remembered his mother’s voice and the sound of Sheila’s beads. He imagined his mother telling him to tie his shoes and don’t forget to put on a life jacket. He felt the water enclose him.
An instant before he lost consciousness he saw his father looking at him.
“I see you Dad.”
Utter helplessness filled Kevin’s heart as he watched his son’s body sink beneath the waves until his heart could stand no more. He closed his mind to his child and wept as he had only done as a little boy. His mother and sister were once again in the hands of Pearce Institute and his son’s lifeless little body floated in the ocean because of them. Kevin’s tear ceased as he was enveloped in a hatred he had never experienced before.
TO BE CONTINUED
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