Chapter 12:

The Exchange

The Garden Of Dreams

The NCPD had devised a plan to arrest the kidnappers. 
They had installed a drone in the trunk of Nathan's car which would immediately be activated by the code word "Secure". The drone could easily kill normal humans using the in-built guns, and could take down powerful cyborgs/androids using it's "bolt attack", that could give a shock of 50k volts from a distance of up to 10 meters. 

Nathan and Emily were briefed about the details. Nathan was instructed to say the word "Secure" after handing over the box to the kidnappers and securing Jake.   

It was two in the noon and the time had come for Nathan and Emily to leave. As much as the NCPD wanted to know what was inside the box, they couldn't open it, only Jake could.

The town of Xeron was about fifty minutes away from their location. Nathan and Emily left in Nathan's car with the drone installed in it. The drone was be offline and would only be activated when Nathan would say the word. Hence, there was no way the COUNCIL could find out about the drone. 

 They reached the meeting point at 2:55. Two minutes later, a car came and four men got out, all dressed in suits. The COUNCIL had sent three ordinary men for the exchange and only one of them was armed, and the other one was Jake. 

Nathan and Emily got out too. Nathan was carrying the box. 

One of the men asked, "Got what we asked for?"
"Yes, here..." Nathan replied while stretching his hand forward to hand over the box.
One of the men un-cuffed Jake and told him to unlock the box. Jake unlocked the box. and then handed it over to them.
Jake came to Nathan's side.
The men started walking back towards their car and Emily hugged Jake. 

The COUNCIL hadn't planned to leave them alive, they had planned a surprise attack but so had the NCPD. 

Nathan ran toward the car and said the word "Secure."
The drone activated instantly and came flying out of the trunk. 

The men weren't fighters, they were just some goons hired by the COUNCIL. They panicked and started running towards their car. The drone shot them all in their legs and they fell down along with the box. 

"Nathan, we have to get that box, we can't let them have it!" Jake said.
Nate ran to get the box and picked it up with his right hand. 

Suddenly a man appeared behind Nathan, out of nowhere. It was Artur, he was hiding their all along with his invisibility feature. 
"You had to involve the cops, didn't you." He said.
Nathan was running towards his car with the box in his right hand. Artur was right behind him but Nathan didn't know. 
"Nate, look out!" Jake shouted. 
He looked back but it was too late. Artur had drawn out a sword from his hand and chopped of Nathan's hand to get the box. 
Nathan screamed in pain, Jake ran towards him. 
Just when Artur was about to pick up the box, the drone attacked him with the bolt. 
Artur fell down, unable to move and say anything, he was damaged heavily by the bolt attack. 

Jake put pressure on Nathan's hand, to stop the bleeding. The drone immediately called for the back up units, which were already waiting outside the town, ready to go at any moment. 

The COUNCIL had taken some measures and had spread some units across the whole town, so the NCPD had to engage with them first. 

Nathan wouldn't survive if he didn't get help soon, his pain was unbearable and his hand was bleeding too much. He started losing his conscious, and was a about to faint. 

The NCPD sent three choppers as air support, out of which two were attacked by the COUNCIL's snipers and RPGs.
One of them successfully made it to Nathan's location. 

Six officers got out and quickly boarded with Jake, Emily and Nathan, along with the box. There was medic in the helicopter, he tried to control Nathan's bleeding. They rushed him to a hospital. 

Another chopper was sent to carry Artur. But the chopper was destroyed by the COUNCIL while going out of the town. Artur fell down and was picked up by the other COUNCIL members. All the members of the COUNCIL present there had to flee the scene because the NCPD kept on calling more and more units while the COUNCIL had limited units at the time. 

The NCPD was successful in securing Jake. The NCPD called all it's units back after the COUNCIL members had fled. 

Nate was admitted in the hospital and Jake was kept in observation. The fact that the COUNCIL would go as far as engaging the NCPD's units made them even more curious to know about the contents of the box. 
After one day, Captain Matthew Smith arrived at the hospital. He personally wanted to question Jake. 
"Mr. Jake Benjamin, I hope you're alright."
"I am, thanks for your concern."
"I'll just cut right to the chase. What's in that box?"
"I don't know. I've never opened it."
"Today will be the day then. Go ahead, open it."
The box was kept right beside Jake. He looked at it for a few seconds. This box was the reason behind all his suffering. He was scared of what might be inside, but at the same time he was very eager to see.
"Alright, I'll open it."
He took the box in his hand, scanned his fingerprint and entered the security code, and the box opened. 
There was a folder inside the box, and some papers inside the folder. Jake took them out. 
They were some kind of research papers, labeled "The true power of G.O.D". 
Jake took considerable time to read them, everything seemed so confusing to him. 
After reading the papers, he put them down, with a stunned look on his face.

"What is it? Why are you so shocked? What was written in those papers?" Captain Matthew asked Jake.
"Why don't you read them for yourself..." Jake said. 

Captain Matthew took the papers in his hand and started reading. He had quite the same reaction as Jake after finishing them.

"It's unbelievable. This can't possibly be real." he said to Jake.
"I was thinking the same thing. But if it isn't real then why would those guys go so far for getting their hands on this?" he replied. 
Captain Matthew couldn't say anything. 
"Who were those guys Captain? Why did they have to go to such extreme lengths?" Jake wanted to know about the COUNCIL.
"I can't tell you, it's very classified. I'd be putting you in danger if I told you."
"Don't you think I deserve to know, after everything they've done to me...."
"Trust me when I say this, you're better off without knowing. And what would you do after knowing about them anyways?"
"I won't do anything, but please, I want to know. I have the right to know everything about the bastards who ruined my life. I need to understand the full scenario. Please, tell me."
Captain Matthew had no choice but to tell Jake. He told Jake everything he knew about the COUNCIL. 
Jake was surprised, he had no idea he was dealing with such criminals. 
"Thank you for telling me Captain. I now understand everything."
"Maybe I made a stupid decision telling you, maybe I didn't, but I felt like I had to. What will you do now?"
"I don't know..."
"Just don't do anything stupid."
"Well, I can't guarantee that."
"Whatever, I should leave now. Those papers might lead us to the COUNCIL, and tracking them is our priority right now, we must catch the person responsible for those murders."
"I see...You can take the papers with you Captain, I don't need them. But you have to assure me that you won't let them fall into the wrong hands..."
"I assure you, you can trust the NCPD."
"Thank you Captain, and thanks to every other NCPD officer, thank you for everything."
"Don't mention it, it was our duty."

The Captain left. 
Jake had some injuries here and there but they had almost healed by now. He got up from his bed, took a bath and dressed himself. He went to see Nathan.
Nathan's condition wasn't that bad, but he had lost a lot of blood, hence he was very weak. 
Jake went to his room, he was lying on the bed with his eyes wide open.

"Hey, how are you hanging in there?" Jake asked.
"Just fine." Nathan replied. 
"Did the NCPD tell your family about this?"
"Yes, they did. Aunt Linda and Uncle John visited a while ago. It was very hard explaining everything to them. I'm sure the NCPD gave them all the details."
"I see. How are you feeling?"
"Well, I'm not in pain. They dosed me with some pretty heavy medicines. I don't even know how I'm awake right now."
"Umm....I meant...How are you feeling about that day, the day you lost Tessa?"
"Oh...I'm not sure, I have mixed feelings. I'm sad, but not enough to cry. I'm angry, very angry, just enough to fight the bastard responsible with the only hand I have left. If don't do something about this feeling, I don't think my life will ever be the same. I don't care if I die too, I just need someone, someone I can blame for everything, someone I can kill, and won't feel an ounce of regret after that. I have to find that person, I don't know what I'm gonna do if I don't."
"Are you willing to fight?"
"Yes, more than anything else." 
"Then we shall."
"What do you mean?"
"I mean that I'll fight with you. We're in this together. Those guys ruined everything, you think I'm just gonna let them get away with that."
"I have no clue about who they are and what they do? How are we gonna fight them?"
"I know enough about them to take them on."
"What about my hand?"
"Don't you worry about that. I got that covered."

Nathan got discharged from the hospital 3 days later. He didn't go to his home. Jake took him somewhere. They went to the underground floor of his company's building.
"Why are we here?" Nathan asked Jake.
"You'll know soon enough." he replied.

They walked towards a table. Some things were kept on that table, with a cloth covered on them. Jake removed the cloth, there were several boxes kept under it.
Jake opened one of the boxes, a prosthetic arm was kept inside it.
"This is for you." Jake said to Nathan.
The prosthetic looked very expensive. It was fully controlled by the brain's nervous signals, it had some excellent weapons installed in it, and it had unbelievable strength. 
"Whoa! This looks...amazing!"
"It's all yours."
"I don't know how to thank you."
"You don't have to thank me..."
"What does the other boxes contain?"
"Why don't you see for yourself..."
Nathan opened the boxes one by one. There were weapons inside all of them, some were very advanced while some were simple pistols and guns. 
"Shit, where'd you get these from?"
"I bought some of them off the market, and I built some of them, right in this room, with the help of some others."
"I see...they aren't authorized, are they?" 
"No, they're illegal. Would that stop you from fighting?"
"No, I'm ready to fight. I don't care about the means."
"But Jake, who exactly are we fighting? I don't know shit about them..."
"I'll tell you, I'll tell you everything."

Jake told Nathan all the things about the COUNCIL which Captain Matthew had told him, but he didn't tell him one thing. 

Nate was shocked.

"I never knew we were facing such a big enemy." He said. 

"Well, now you do."

"You think we'll be able to take them on? By ourselves? Just the two of us?"

"I don't know. We'll try our best though, we'll do everything we can."

"Yes, we will."

"You ready to get your new arm installed?"

"Yeah, more than ready."

Jake called a group of doctors and they installed Nate's new arm. 

"How does it feel?"

"It feels odd. I'll get a hang of it soon."

"You want to test it out?"


They went to another floor, where Jake had set up some targets and some walls, where they could do everything, from practicing their aim to developing their fighting skills.  
They went up to a wall, which seemed very thick and strong, and stopped there.

"Punch this wall with your new hand." Jake said to Nate.
"Your heard me. Don't hold back even a bit."
"Are you sure?"
"Yeah, go ahead." 
Nathan readied himself, he stretched his arm for a punch and put all his strength behind it.
BAM!! He punched the wall, and the wall fell apart, crumbling into pieces.

"Unbelievable!" He exclaimed. 
"This isn't even 50% of the hand's strength."
"That's amazing" Nathan was excited, he had never felt this powerful before. 
"I can see that you're excited. You like the hand?"
"Yes, it's pretty impressive."

They spent the whole night testing out the features of the hand and some of the weapons. They were preparing themselves to take the COUNCIL head on. 

It was almost morning and they hadn't slept all night.
"So, where do we start? How do we take them down?" Nate asked Jake.
"We'll start by looking for the man that attacked the wedding."
"How are we gonna find him?"
"I know just how to find him...." Jake said with a smirk on his face, he had a solid plan.

TO BE CONTINUED IN "Fighting Back"