|Athena Kassoff and Ian Fairchild in Cloak & Dagger.|
Cloak & Dagger
Episode 9: Infiltration
The air was stale and humid. The farther they traveled into the tunnel, the harder it became to breathe. The tunnel on the left took them around the perimeter of the house. Fergus was struggling more than Daniel Fouts and Faith Fairchild. His breath came quickly as he rapidly sipped the air. He leaned against Daniel. Fergus knew there was an exit. He just wasn't sure how long it would take to find it.
Daniel pondered the same thing. But Faith was as true as her name. She was going to find that door come hell or high water.
But none of them had to wait. The tunnel just came to an unexpected end. Daniel felt the wall moving his hand from top to bottom, but the door was flat.
"There's no door handle," Fouts said as his own breath was becoming more labored. "We need to get out of here as quickly as possible. The CO2 levels are rising."
"Security precaution." Fergus leaned against the side of the tunnel. "I'd forgotten about that little detail."
"Do you seem to know how to open this secret door? I'd like to do it before we loose all consciousness."
"I knew the tunnels were here, Mr. Fouts. I didn't exactly traipse around in them."
Faith rolled her eyes. Dealing with these two was like watching old reruns of Abbott & Costello from her father's secret DVD collection.
"Oh, stop babbling and move out of the way." Faith pushed the two men apart. They were no better than her brothers. They left all the heavy lifting to the females of the species.
She felt along the joist and framing. There were no hinges so the door either had a catch or it simply slid open. She tried to move the wall to one side or the other but it sidn't budge. She glanced around the last few feet of the tunnel looking for something that was out of place.
The light was fashioned under an elaborate hurricane lamp. That was indeed odd, she thought silently. The rest of the lights in the passageway had been small circular lights in the ceiling. She studied the hurricane lamp and found a key jutting out of the base.
If this lamp had been in a room, she would see the need for a key. It made the light turn off and on. This light had been turned on the moment they entered the tunnel. So, there would be no need for a key.
Faith reached up and turned the key. The far wall at the end of the tunnel slid opened. A whooshing of fresh air hit them like a much needed drink of water for a thirsty man.
The open door now revealed a darkened room. This had to be the library because the light in Chandelor's room had been on. The three if them filed out of the passageway and into the library. Fergus was the last to exit, as he did the door slid closed on its own.
"Must be some sort of pressure plate in the floor. Cool " Only Faith would find pressure plates cool.
"Let's just hope we can open it again when we need to leave." Fergus was the master of understatement.
"We'll worry about that when the time comes," Daniel said. "Right now I want you to take us to your staff. I want to hear from them what Liz Hunter has been up to since you've been gone."
"There's a hallway out this door that only the staff uses. Mr. Knight doesn't like seeing the help."
"Sounds like a real peach." Fouts let Fergus lead the way and Faith followed closely behind.
No one really knew Chandelor Knight. He was the elusive head of the Knights Foundation and the High Council. If someone could get to him, they could literally get to anyone in the whole organization. Fouts had yet to meet his employer. So, convincing him Liz Hunter was manipulating him wouldn't be easy.
"My head housekeeper, Agnes Edgington, sees and hears everything that goes on in the estate," Fergus said. "If you want answers, she might be a place to start."
Ian Fairchild wasn't the only one who thought he was Ethan. Even some of Ethan's enemies were convinced.
Athena Kassoff easily made it into the mine tunnels below the shack her father had his men guarding. She wasn't certain why she was doing something so stupid,but her father, Isidor, hadn't raised her to be someone who stood by and let the world lead her down the wrong path. If she was going to take the wrong path, she wanted to make the decision on her own.
Her blond hair was pulled back into a loose pony tail but strands came loose whipping into her face like invisible cobwebs on Halloween. The farther she went down the rabbit hole, the louder the voices became.
But these voices were weaker, different. When she came to the end of the tunnel, she knew why. Her father wasn't secretly drilling in the abandoned mine. He was holding prisoners. Many were unconscious or too weak to move. The ones who were awake called out a chorus of 'help me,' 'save me,' 'get me out of here.' Only two prisoners were halfway lucid and neither had noticed her approach.
"Who do you think is behind this?" Ian asked.
Franklin wasn't the one who answered. It was Athena.
"My father may have brought you here, but Julian Black is the one keeping you here. He has a mysterious plan I don't even want to contemplate."
Ian couldn't see the woman very well but there was definitely something familiar about her.
"Do I know you?" he asked. "Who is your father?"
A visible gasp came from Franklin's cell. "You're Octavia's sister?" The stress of speaking made him gag. He coughed and hacked until he had to lie down from exertion.
"If he finds you down here, he'll lock you up with the rest of us," Ian said.
"I have protection." Athena showed them her stun gun
"You think that's going to protect you from men with automatic weapons?'
"I can't believe my father would do this," Athena said.
"You're father's not working alone," Franklin told her. "Octavia brought the man in the next cell. You are in danger if you stay around them."
"How do I know i can trust you?" She held the stun gun tightly in her right hand.
While they conversed, two men dressed in cammo heard their muffled voices and came to investigate. They held guns in an active position. The men quietly came up behind Athena but they couldn't hide from the eyes of Franklin who had the best view of the long tunnel from his cell.
"Behind you!" Franklin shouted.
Athena turned but not in enough time. One guard slammed her against Ian's cell. She fumbled with her stun gun while Ian reached through the bars to assist her. As his arm came out, Athena shoved the stun gun toward the guard. Somehow she shocked both Ian and the guard in one fell motion. Ian fell backward landing awkwardly on his cot.
The guard who had received less of the voltage growled and threw Athena roughly toward the second guard.
"Your father is not going to be happy you've discovered his dirty little secrets," the guard retorted in a threatening voice.
"I can't believe my father is involved with a low life like you."
"He has to keep you in your rich lifestyle, doesn't he?"
"I make my own money." Athena elbowed the man in the ribs but the guard barely grunted. "LET ME GO!"
"Yeah, buddy. Let the girl go."
The guard looked with surprise over his shoulder. Ian had somehow escaped his cell and recovered from the stun blast. He wrenched the guard's hands off Athena and threw him across the room. His body hit the rough, rocky wall with a hollow thud and he crumpled to the floor unconscious.
"How did you do that?" Athena asked gasping for breath.
Ian stared at his hands as if he'd never seen them before. "I have no idea."