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Je Te Plumerai
Alouette stepped off the stuffy plane as he checked into the country. He yawned and stretched, cramped from the fifteen-hour flight from Russia. The eighteen year old ruffled his naturally messy hair then tied it back in a sloppy ponytail. He pushed up the thin, rimless glasses and grabbed his only luggage, a black leather bag.
Looking around, Alouette managed to find a customer service provider,
“Excuse me,” he spoke in a soft, polite manner. The middle-aged woman gave a bright smile when she saw him.
“Can you tell me where the payphones are? My cell phone ran out of battery.” Alouette gave a shy smile.
The woman fell for his quiet charm but managed to stutter out the directions to the payphones. He thanked her in that same mild tone and walked off.
He took a small detour as he turned and went into the washroom. Alouette locked the door as soon as he confirmed that there was no one else inside. The male set the bag on the counter and rummaged though the contents, he pulled out a small earpiece in the shape of an earring, he carefully put it on just below his normal earring. His forest green eyes met with his reflection in the mirror and tried to clean himself up a bit.
His hair was messy after he pulled it out of the ponytail but he was too lazy to find a hairbrush in his bag. Instead, he ran a hand through the locks to at least make himself look somewhat presentable. He was always annoyed with the color of his hair, it was a strange beige-blond that darkened into a tarnished gold at the ends and though he never dyed his hair, his hair was streaked with brown. And though his hair went past his shoulder on the right, it barely went past his chin on the left. It wasen’t the best way to blend in but doesn’t stand out too much.
He was always a bit strange, Alouette figured that it was the deep green shade of his eyes or the color of his hair but one of his “colleagues” said that it was that mysterious aura that was always around him when he was working. Alouette pulled out a small keychain from his pocket and after fiddling with the ring; he managed to attach it to his bag. It was a flight feather from some sort of bird, a lark or robin perhaps, but he never bothered to ask his boss.
With a last glance to the mirror, he left the washroom. The teen reviewed his leader’s orders silently.
“Listen well, Alouette. When you get off the plane, do what you have to do then call me. Further instructions will be given to you.”
He stalked to the phones and set down his luggage. He shoved in a handful of coins and dialed the number, writing it down would be too risky so he made sure that he had the number engraved into his thoughts before getting on the plane. With the receiver to his ears, he waited. The phone rang once, twice and on the third ring, someone picked up.
“Hey mom!” Alouette greeted energetically, “I just got off the plane,” he continued in the same cheerful tone. He carefully hid his emotions and listened to his next orders. The one-sided conversation continued for the next five minutes then Alouette said his goodbyes and hung up, his orders still lingering in his mind.
“Lokie will switch bags with you,”
“Watch out!” someone behind him yelped. Alouette whipped around, only to see a luggage cart rolling towards him at top speed. The teen just managed to avoid the hazard in time, however the strap of his bag caught a wheel of the trolley, slowing it down, but also making it tip over and scatter the luggage in several directions.
The winded bellboy appeared moments later, “I’m so sorry! Are you okay?” the mousy teen immediately apologized, looking on the verge of tears. “P-please don’t tell my boss!” he stuttered out. Alouette snapped out of shock then reassured him that he was fine and promised that the incident would be kept secret.
People were starting to stare as the passed by, though none made a move to help collect the scattered bags. Alouette sighed and looked at the mess, “Here, I’ll help you put these back.” He motioned towards the bags and suitcases. The bellboy looked surprised, his uniform askew and chocolate hair messy from chasing the runaway cart. His honey eyes showed gratitude and relief, but Alouette wasen’t fooled at the innocent appearance. He had already seen through the lies, he caught the look of shrewd look in the timid boy’s eyes the moment he saw him.
It took them over ten minutes to collect all the scattered luggage. When they were finished, the bellboy dusted off his uniform and smoothed down his spiky hair. He then handed Alouette’s leather bag, of what it should have been if the feather keychain wasn’t missing. Alouette accepted the bag and patted the pile of luggage as if to check that everything was stable. His eyes skimmed over the suitcases and spotted his bag near the bottom of the cart, the feather sticking out under several other bags.
“Have a good day… Alouette” the timid bellboy chirped and turned around with the trolley. The bellboy tipped the rim of his uniform cap lower, the shadow hiding hid amber eyes. Alouette smiled warmly and remembered an age-old phrase, “A wolf in sheep’s clothing, indeed.” He didn’t need to see the bellboy’s face to know that he was smirking.
On the fifth floor, a small group of ominous men gazed at the interaction with between Alouette and the attendant. The target was held firmly in the blond’s hands, the black leather bag. After scrutinizing the conversation to see if they were discussing top-secret information, they finally noticed that Alouette had tossed the bag in the lost-and-found. “The bellboy took it!” the leader roared in anger, the whole group scrambled down the stairs in chase of the airport employee.
“By then, they should have noticed.”
Alouette heard the outraged cry and gave a quiet chuckle, the hood of his gray jacket masking his features as he shoved an empty luggage cart towards the group of shady men. The group’s numbers had increased due to one of them reporting the situation over a walkie-talkie. The trolley cut the gang’s route and caused the first line of grunts to back-pedal in surprise and slam into the ones behind them and created a domino effect. The unexpected actions creating chaos and confusion in the once orderly group.
“Do not let them catch up to Lokie! Or else everything we have done up to now will go to waste.”
Lokie simply kept walking with the trolley and cut through a large crowd. He smirked as he heard his stalkers’ alarmed yells. With their concentration broken, he grabbed Alouette’s bag and made a run for the nearby exit. He gave a small nod of thanks to the blond as he passed Alouette and escaped outside. Only then did he slow his pace into a brisk walk, the leather bag clenched against his chest as if it was a lifeline. He would bomb the whole mission if he lost the piece of luggage.
“Then go to locker 999 near the payphone you used,”
Alouette tugged the hood of his jacket lower and left the scene as soon as he saw Lokie escape the thugs. He turned around and melted into the crowd, making sure the grunts didn’t see him. His green eyes were cunning and he suddenly recalled the tune of a childhood song.
“Alouette, gentil Alouette. Alouette, je te plumerai…”
“Lokie will pass your bag to Sol.”
Lokie found him; he hid the sly look in his eyes, though Sol would already know who he was. He might as well play the part until the end. The bellboy stepped meekly towards the black-haired man leaning against a silver motorcycle. A halo of cigarette smoke wreathed around him. “S-sir, you’re not allowed to smoke here…” Lokie spoke with a stutter, though he was trying to hold back his smile.
The man looked up, his blue eyes dulled to an overcast gray by the pair of shades he had on. Though he was frighteningly tall, his eyes were gentle as he nodded in understanding and snubbed out the flame and tossed it in a nearby trashcan. He grabbed the black helmet from the bike’s handle and put it on while Lokie mentally calculated how long it would take the grunts to catch up to Sol.
The honey-eyed bellboy shoved the bag to the biker hastily, momentarily forgetting his shy act.
“You go on first, I’ll throw them off your trail for a while” Sol gave Lokie a thankful look.
“How long do I have?” The biker’s voice was serene.
“Seven minutes tops, I’ll see if I can find Alouette to stall them a bit longer.”
Sol nodded and started up the engine of the bike, he was about to leave but then paused as if remembering something important. The biker pulled out a small communicator and tossed it to the bellboy, who caught it with practiced ease.
“Communicator.” Was his only explanation before he swerved around fast enough to leave skid marks on the asphalt and exited the airport parking lot.
Lokie did as he was told and clipped the small piece of technology to his ear, “Sol, can you hear me?” he tested the communicator.
‘Yeah,” the tall male replied after a bit of static. “I’m on the freeway now,” he added after a moment of silence.
“Locker 999 will not have a key, you will have to pick the lock,”
Alouette confidentially bent down and pulled out a bobby pin from the inner pocket of his jacket. He raked his eyes across the crowd of people to see if anyone was watching him, the thugs shouldn’t have seen him yet. He slowly slid in the pin and started fiddling with the lock.
He paused to pull out the pin and adjust it a bit when he heard the conversation between Sol and Lokie.
“Oh? Already got the bag to Sol?” he asked in a teasing tone while still tinkering with the lock. It’s been a while since he picked this kind of lock.
“Don’t you think you’re underestimating me, Alouette?” Lokie shot back, though there was no bite in his words. Sol stayed quiet, much to Alouette’s amusement.
“Be careful Sol,” Alouette warned. “Lokie and I are pretty safe because those grunts won’t draw a gun on us in the airport, too many security guards. But you’re on the freeway, if they are following you, there isn’t anything holding them back.”
Lokie made a noise of annoyance on being ignored but agreed with Alouette’s warning.
“I’ll be fine, just keep them distracted for me.” Sol’s voice was calm over the sound of his bike’s engine.
Alouette then sighed in relief as the locker door popped open.
“Inside will be a decoy, use it wisely.”
The blond open the bag and grinned in triumph before diving into the sea of people trying to get to their flight on time.
“Lokie, meet me at Gate 12!” A million schemes and tricks formed in Alouette’s mind, he slowly whittled down the ideas until the best plan was all that was left.
“Got it…” the bellboy drawled, still a bit miffed at Alouette, but there was no time to hold grudges.
Gate 12 was finally in sight as Alouette grabbed a nearby luggage cart and tossed the fake target in the basket. His conscience reminded him that he couldn’t be seen with Lokie, making Alouette dart off to the side and out of view.
“Where are you?” Lokie’s irritated voice could be heard clearly through the communicator.
Alouette sighed, “Just take the cart on the left, it’s near the food court”
“Found it,” Lokie glanced around to try to at least find the shadow of the blond.
“Wheel the decoy around until they see you, then try to lead them around the airport for a while.”
Lokie did as he was ordered and hurried off to bait the grunts.
Alouette let out a small breath of relief as he saw Lokie leave with the cart. “Sol, how far away are you from the exit?” He concentrated on the biker now that he had peace of mind.
“Around fifteen minutes,” was Sol’s reply. He hesitated before asking, “How long can you distract them?”
“With the decoy we should have another five minutes,” Alouette mentally gauged. Suddenly, both Alouette and Sol heard yelling over their communicator and a curse.
“They found me,” Lokie’s voice was slightly nervous. Alouette smirked; everything was going according to plan, but he faltered when he heard the bellboy yelp before the sound of a solid blow and a thud.
“Lokie!” Alouette hissed, thoughts raced through his head; did they get Lokie? He shouldn’t be caught yet!
“I’m fine, I’m fine…” the slightly breathless voice of the other assured them. “One of them grabbed me by the collar, so I kinda… knocked him out.” He mumbled. “Alouette, there’s too many people to be pushing the cart, I can’t move fast enough!”
Said person laughed in relief before improvising, “Then just take the bag and run!”
The sound of footfalls was heard over the earpiece, “They’re still following me!” the chocolate-haired bellboy whispered after several minutes of running.
Alouette decided that it was time to go into phase two of the plan. “There should be a blue jacket in the bag, wear it and take off your uniform cap.”
Lokie scoffed, “If my black uniform couldn’t throw them off, them what makes you think a blue jacket will?” but did it anyways. Alouette probably had a trick up his sleeve.
“Those idiots will be looking for the color black, it’s funny how a change in clothes can make you inconspicuous.” The blond explained and mentally worked out a back up plan for Lokie.
An uttered curse was transmitted through the communicator along with the sound of squealing tires. This time it was Sol who swore.
“They must have split up! They’re following me!” Sol’s voice was accompanied with a chorus of car horns.
Alouette froze for a moment; this was an angle he never thought about. He took several calming breaths and assessed the situation.
“Lokie, just leave the bag! Meet me at the North Entrance!” he snapped and sprinted off to meet the honey-eyed male.
“Got it,” Though Lokie was mischievous, he knew better than to challenge the blond when he was like this. He left the bag on a seat and dashed off.
“Sol, how far away are you from the switch point?” Alouette was still a bit shaken but far calmer than before.
“They block the highway exit! I was just about to enter the city!” Sol’s voice was panicked.
Another shout of surprise was heard, “The grunts found me.” Lokie snarled under his breath, just loud enough to hear.
Alouette was beginning to lose his composure, “Sol! Take the next exit! Lokie! Just knock them out!”
“But our cover will be blown if I-” Lokie was cut off,
“Lead them outside!” Alouette sounded exasperated. He mentally reviewed the map of the city in his mind.
“Sol take the Exit 13, then go left. It’ll take you to the city,” He slowly worked out the scheme again.
“Sol will pass the bag to Çon, who will be on a skateboard.”
“Then should I stick with the original plan?” a new voice joined the conversation. Alouette referred to his mental map again.
“Just keep going straight after you get on Elle Avenue,” Alouette ordered, everyone listening could tell that he had no patience for mistakes anymore.
“Took you long enough, Çon.” Lokie muttered, the sound of the enemies getting knocked out in the background almost drowned out the comment.
Alouette ignored Lokie’s comment and rechecked Çon’s route, “You two should be passing each other in a couple minutes”
Sol readied the bag and hoped that his chasers won’t notice the trade. After what seemed like eternity, the tall man finally saw Çon’s trademark black hoodie and red scarf.
“I see Çon,” Sol reported.
“I see you too,” was Çon’s sarcastic remark, but Alouette could sense a hint of restlessness in his tone.
Everyone tensed, this was the climax of their mission. If they messed up, it was the end of everything.
He calmly sped up until he closed in on the younger male. Before the group behind him could even register what happened, the bag was safely in Çon’s arms. The boy continued down the road, the gang still chasing after Sol.
Çon hurried up to increase the distance between him and the grunts, “I got the bag,” he announced cheerfully and gave a small smile when he heard everyone exhale in relief.
“Now you’re almost home free. Get the target to the rendez-vous point and your job is done, Alouette.”
“Çon, just turn right at the first intersection and you’ll be back on your old route.” Lokie instructed, looking at a map on his phone. He had found Alouette after he had taken care of the thugs and settled down beside the blond.
“How long will it take you to get there? Five minutes?” Alouette’s tone was quiet as he peered over the chocolate-haired male to get a glance at the map. After all that stress, he would rather look at a real map instead of the crude one in his mind.
“I’m on a skateboard, not a car, Alouette.” Çon sounded indignant.
Sol snickered as he heard the angered yells as the grunts noticed that he no longer had the target anymore. Some of them did a u-turn to follow the youngest member but they all knew that it was too late. Çon was almost at the rendez-vous point.
When the grunts finally arrived at the place, the boy was already gone. All that was left of the bag was the feather keychain that lay on the ground.