Seventeen knew no other existence but the Institute and its training program. Trained as an assassin since she was a toddler, she must now face the ultimate test—locate the traitors, Two and Four, and exterminate them.
For years, Seventeen has longed to escape the Institute, but a one-way ticket to Brevona was not her idea of freedom. To make matters worse, her targets were two of their own—Two, a young woman she considered family, and Four, a trainee from the male division. Sometimes you had to take what you could get, and a life outside the Institute was worth it, no matter the cost.
She had no idea what time it would be on this planet. It looked like early morning by the orange-pink color of the sky or maybe late afternoon. Recalling the pictures of the planet on her tablet, the sky was usually a grayish color. Of course, it could have been a rainy day when the images were recorded.
Okay, Seventeen, here you go. After placing the phaser in the holster, she activated the wings by punching the buttons on the small module around her wrist, spread her wings and soared up. Without the tracker functioning like it should, how could she spot Two and Four if they were traveling through the dense forests? And which direction should she go in? She hovered and used her enhanced vision to zoom in on the forest below her. She thought she saw movement among the trees, so she descended and landed in a clear spot far enough away from the area so as not to be seen.
She folded her wings into their containers, and using trees as shelter, she crept from one to the other toward the place where she’d seen movement. Branches crackled behind her. She spun to face who or what was following her and jumped back. What the hell is that? I don’t remember seeing such an animal when I read up on Brevona.
Yanking her phaser from its holster, she aimed it, but the beast was too fast, and she hit a tree trunk instead of turning the creature into dust. Okay, I’ve just become dinner for a giant gorilla. Its humongous hand reached toward her. How am I going to get away from it? I can’t activate my wings. I’ll get stuck in the branches above. Damn, I’m much smaller and fast. She jumped back, away from the reaching claws, and ran. The ground beneath her trembled under the weight of the animal as it followed her.
It was hot on her heels. She could almost feel its breath on her neck. Suddenly she broke free of the forest to face a raging river. The current looked strong, but she had little choice. She waded into the water. Thankful for her enhanced strength as she managed to keep her footing, even though she felt the current pulling at her body. When she was well away from the riverbank, she dared to look behind her. The gorilla giant stood on the bank with several others.
“I see you’ve called your tribe,” she muttered. Activating her wings, she spread them and lifted off. The gorillas jumped up and down making strange sounds as she flew in the opposite direction.