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It's Not Over
“One more battle, Philomena!” Stacy asserted excitedly to her officer partner. “Yep,” Philomena tautly responded; she wasn’t one to get excited right before battle. She was tense, quiet, and ready to explode once their team hit the ground. One more battle and then she could go home to her family, who she hasn’t seen since she was twenty-one. She is now twenty-six. The New War began one year after she got out of the military academy and she was put into the top ranks for the war right when it began. Ever since she was born, Philomena has been some sort of prodigy. She started working with her dad on military engineering when she was seven and was the youngest female to ever finish military academy. All she could think of was her old house, her old friends, and her old life.
“Ready for drop-off?” the pilot questioned, but really that translated to, “You better be ready to go murder or die trying because you’ve got to get off.” “Ready!” everyone answered in unison. All the diving parachutes were on and the team was ready to jump out of the fighter plane going who knows how fast to reach the stratosphere at skin-peeling speeds and be jolted back up five feet once the parachutes were opened and slowly float down onto the battlefield. Luckily, none of them would be seen because the parachutes were invisible, along with the outfit that was required to wear with it. They jumped out of the plane and right when they landed, bombs went off. Everyone ducked for cover, but not quickly enough. Everybody was dead. The enemy troops, the Easterners, stealthily came into view and searched all of the soldiers. They hastily piled everyone into their trucks and quickly drove off. The Easterners suddenly parked with a jerking motion and opened the truck to dump out the dead bodies, but right when they opened the trunk a body lunged at the Easterners. She cut both of the men’s throats, right on the side where she knew they would die instantly. Philomena was alive.
She had to escape the dead men before anyone else arrived, so she climbed in the front seat and drove off on the same road as the Easterners were going. She drove on the same road through the night and finally found a motel in an abandoned part of the city of Tetrahatl in Russia. She got to the motel and asked the lady at the desk for a room. While the lady signed her in, Philomena asked why she didn’t leave the city too, she assumed everyone was evacuated because of the war. The lady responded that she would have no where to run to and no reason to leave; and with that, the lady gave Philomena her key and left the desk.
Once in her room, Philomena tried to process everything that had happened in the past forty-eight hours and everything she needed to do in order to get back home. It had been so long since she had smelled the fresh garden outside of her parents’ house, or her mom’s home cooking in the kitchen; she craved it all miserably. Philomena was just trying to focus on how to get in touch with the Allies when she drifted off into a restless slumber. All through the night, all she could think of was the bombing and how she was the only one who was able to duck behind the barrier and watch all of her partners and close friends get blown to pieces. Now all of her partners were dead on the side of the road where she’d left them. How could she have done that? How could she have just left her friends for ransom. Philomena woke up screaming and when she looked over at the clock it was 4:00AM. She couldn’t go back to sleep, even though she was so desperately exhausted, so she returned to trying to get news on the war. With the computer she took from the truck, she researched everything she could on new information concerning the war. Apparently the war had actually ended after the bombing that killed her troops. The Allies made a deal with the Easterners, who were quickly running out of ammo, and both sides surrendered. However, since the treaties were still being pulled together, no person could leave the country they were currently in, especially Philomena. After the bombing both sides searched for Philomena. Wanted papers were strewn all over the internet and on sheets of paper around the world. No one could find her, but she was desperately needed. The Easterners wanted to have her publicly executed as a final triumph and the Allies wanted to have her back as their war hero. Philomena would be stuck in Russia unless she escaped. She pulled up some maps of where she currently was and analyzed them so if she were to head south through Russia she could keep going until she reached the Balkans, where she could then purchase a boat or ask someone to drive her to Spain and from Spain home to England. Philomena was finally satisfied now that she knew she had a plan, so she got to work right away. She had to change her appearance, obviously, now that everyone knew what she looked like and her face was on every other block in Russia. She would dye her hair, get contacts, and dress as closely to what the other Russian women wore. Since she knew she couldn’t leave this motel looking like Philomena Lester, she asked the lady at the desk if it would be ever so possible if she could get her the supplies. Once given a job, it was as if the lady now had a purpose. Her face lit up and she didn’t even have to go out to the store for the supplies; she pulled out black hair dye, some extra clothes of hers that she said she never wears, and green contact lenses. The lady, who finally introduced herself, went by Alisa Alyson. When Alisa’s face lit up with the prospect of work to do, Philomena could see that she was in fact beautiful when given a purpose to live. She had color in her cheeks and her blue eyes sparkled.
Alisa offered to dye Philomena’s hair for her, so Philomena sat in a chair facing a mirror and Alisa got to work. In a couple hours Philomena looked like a completely different person. Her long, wavy brown hair was replaced with pixie cut, dead black hair. She now wore green contacts, too, and was dressed in the Russian norm of the twenty-third century. Philomena thanked Alisa over and over again, especially because Alisa didn’t ask any questions. She knew she had to leave right away so she packed up her small belongings and headed for the door. Right when she opened the door of the motel Philomena was attacked by Easterner police. Five men grabbed her, cuffed her, and shoved her in the back seat of a car. Philomena tried to look back at the motel to see where she could have gone wrong and her eyes bore into those of Alisa’s, standing satisfied at the door of her motel.
Philomena had to get out of this car, though even if she did get out, there were two other cars trailing her as back up. She figured if she knocked the two guys out up front she could climb up to the driver’s seat and somehow lose the other cars. She carefully reached into her back pocket with one of her cuffed hands and grabbed hold to a little hairpin. She stuck the pin into the lock of the cuffs and started to jimmy her way out of the bonds. After a few minutes they finally clicked open. She then used those cuffs to choke one of the guys and when the other one tried to help fend me off she stabbed him in the eye with hairpin. Both of the men were either dead or passed out and the car was starting to swerve. Philomena climbed into the front seat and grabbed the wheel to sort out the car. She was tiny enough so that she was able to just sit on the dead man in the driver’s seat and it was not too cramped. She turned the GPS on in the car and found out that she was heading toward Moscow, but to head to the Balkans she would have to turn back onto the freeway and head southeast, but first she had to lose the two other guys. She took a hard left, but both the guys stayed on her like hawks. If she wasn’t careful, they would start shooting her to get her to stop. She took another hard left, sped up, and aligned herself so that she was right in between her two followers. The street was coming to a dead end and she had to do something quickly. She suddenly stopped her car so that the other drivers didn’t have enough time to react and so they kept driving and smashed into the wall while Philomena shifted gears, spun the car around, and headed off in the opposite direction. She was free. She got back onto the freeway and started heading east; then she would switch onto the highway and go south and she would be in the Balkans by the next morning. Running off adrenaline, Philomena drove the whole day and night, stopping only once at a run down power station where she plugged in the car to charge and purchased some food in the food mart. By early morning a day later Philomena was in the Balkans and asking for a boat. One sailor said he’d be willing to take her since he would be heading to Spain the next day anyway. As Philomena made arrangements to meet him at 4:00PM later that day, she overheard a couple of men discussing something in hushed voices. She kept making out words like nuclear bomb, the Allies, beat them, once and for all, and Easterners’ government and Philomena knew something was up. After talking with the sailor, she stayed around the peer to stay in close proximity with the men. They started to walk toward a car so Philomena followed them and she kept following them in her own car. They ended up driving up to what looked like an abandoned building but when she followed them inside, making sure to not be so close so that they wouldn’t see her, there were computers and tech machinery everywhere. It was like an undercover government lair. Suddenly, however, Philomena was blinded with the memories of the bombings in the last battle and how she so desperately wanted to get home. She was fine when she was in the mode and adrenaline was pulsing through her veins, but once she started thinking of the consequences and how tired she was of war, she knew she had to get out. She started hearing footsteps and snapped out of her panic. There was a closet to her right so she quickly hid inside as the person walked passed, but when she saw who it was, he did not look like either of the men she was following. Philomena slowly took out her temp-gun, which would temporarily paralyze the victim, and creaked the door open. She precisely aimed the gun at the man’s neck and fired. There was a dull thunk as his bulky body hit the ground and Philomena quickly dragged his body into the closet. On him, there was a badge, but interestingly enough, it was an Allies’, not an Easterners’, badge. He was on her side! She kept searching his other pockets and found another badge, but this one was for the Easterners. He was also dressed in Easterners’ clothing as he was wearing the red and black tie scarf and a black hat. The paralysis was starting to wear off, however so with her gun to his temple, Philomena waited for him to stir. The man groggily started to move again and when he saw the gun he quickly tried to roll and grab his own gun, but Philomena was too quick. She grabbed the gun from his pocket and harshly whispered to him that if he were to move he would be shot in less than a second. The man went silent. “What’s your name?” Philomena questioned; “Matthew Harding.”
“Who do you work for?” Philomena asked. “Why should I tell you?”
Philomena responded saying, “Because I found both an Easterners’ and Allies’ badge on you and neither of them say the name Matthew Harding.” The man was silent for a few moments;
“Who are you?” he asked cautiously. “I’m Philomena Lester.” His eyes went huge,
“You’re the war hero! Everyone thought you were dead!” he excitedly exclaimed as quietly as he could. “So you work for the Allies, I’m guessing?” Philomena responded, disregarding the war hero comment. She did not want to be known as a prodigy for mass murder. That is not who she wanted to be.
“Yes. My name is Matthew Raid. It’s on my Allies badge. I usually go by Matty, though.”
“If you’re working for the Allies, why are you in this building. These men are obviously looking to restart the war and bomb us.”
“Ahh, Philomena the war never ended. That’s just what the public thinks, and technically, treaties have been signed and agreed upon, but there are Easterner terrorists who are working with the government to create a new and improved nuclear bomb. That is why I am in this building. I’m working to steal their evidence and bring it back to the British Parliament so that they’d have a reason to destroy the Easterners once and for all.” Philomena was silent as she took in all the new information. The war never ended. It’s not over.
“I want in.” “What?” Matty responded. “Matty, you need my help. You can’t expose them on your own and you need me.” Matty thought about this and finally agreed. “Okay. We should probably get out of this building for now then and organize a strategy. We need to hack into their network and steal their data. With all the computers in here, we need to find the mother drive. I’ve been watching them for about six months now and I believe their most important computer is the one at the back of the room. It has all of their blueprints and government documents to go through with their plan. I think that’s our jackpot, Philomena.”
“Perfect. I know you just suggested we leave the building, but what if we wait until they leave and then just get the data. Then this could all be over.”
“Yes, I think this is our best shot.” Philomena responded determinedly.
The two waited in the closet for what seemed like hours, but the two men finally left the building and the outside door was shut. It was time for them to make their move. They slowly opened the closet, had their guns at the ready, and checked for other people in the building. The coast was clear. The two made their way to the back of the room where an average sized computer was laid in front of them. They turned on the computer and Matty was able to bypass the security passwords by plugging in an add on device that made the computer go directly to the desktop. Matty started downloading the whole hard drive onto the new add on, which turned out to be another portable hard drive. “Step away from the computer!” A voice shouted behind them. Philomena and Matty slowly turned with their hands raised. The two men had come back into the building and neither Philomena nor Matty had heard them. The men reached for their guns, but Philomena reached quicker. She picked her gun up from the table and shot both of them, but she only hit their arm and leg. Gunfires started firing from everyone. Philomena ducked to the ground and rolled across to under a table. As she was crouching up to get a good angle to shoot, there was a cry of pain out from Matty’s direction. He had been shot. Philomena had to stay focused. This would all be over soon. She could not be blinded by her flashbacks. She quickly took aim of her targets and shot both of them in the heart before rushing over to see if Matty was all right. He was gasping for breath when she got to him and there was blood coming out of his mouth and intestines. He had lost too much blood to be saved. He would be dead in minutes time and all Philomena could do was hold him and make sure he would not die alone. Five minutes hadn’t passed before Matty took his last breath. He didn’t even have enough strength to say any last words, just strangled sounds and short, painful breaths. Philomena stood up, wiped the blood from her hands, and grabbed the hard drive. All of the information had been downloaded onto the device. Now all she had to do was get in contact with the Allies and hand over the evidence. Then she could go home. Philomena ran out of the building, found the car she had stolen, and drove off as quickly as she could. she had to get out of this country. The only person she could trust here was dead and now she had no where else to go. She found a hotel and got a room. Then she made a phone call to the number Matty had told her to call to get in contact with headquarters when they were waiting in the closet. It had barely rung once when someone picked up. Philomena explained herself and the man on the other end of the line promised to have someone come pick her up by tomorrow. She was to wait on the roof of the hotel she was staying at and a helicopter would pick her up. She wanted to ask how it would be possible for the Allies to get a helicopter over to Easterner territories, but she assumed it was because of the invisible technology, which also made it so motion detectors couldn’t sense its presence either. Philomena stayed up all night staring at the hard drive and glancing at the clock. It was almost her time to leave. She showered, put back on her spoiled clothing, and decided to go to the roof before anyone asked her what she was up to. Philomena got to the roof and an hour later a rope appeared in the sky and it seemed it was connected to thin air. The Allies had arrived. Philomena grabbed onto the rope and was pulled up into the helicopter. She was welcomed warmly and was told it would be a quick trip back to Britain. She fell asleep the next minute in the seat next to the pilot. It seemed like just a couple minutes had passed when the pilot woke her up and helped her out of the helicopter. The were greeted by the chief of war himself, and asked to follow him inside. Philomena handed over the hard drive and he made arrangements for her to go safely home, after Philomena persistently refused to join the special forces or intelligence quarters. Philomena was a war hero prodigy, but she wanted to be an everyday Joe. She was driven back to her family’s house, who’d she hadn’t seen in six years. She was nervous, excited, and tired. She walked up the porch to the front door where she hesitated before knocking. She could already smell warm muffins being made in the kitchen. Oh, how she had missed that smell. She heard shuffling behind the door and a lock being turned. A middle-aged women opened the door and her face went from relaxed mother to surprised and crying mother as she embraced Philomena in the biggest hug she could manage. Philomena’s dad had heard crying and came to see what had happened, and he began to cry too. He called the rest of the family over and everyone embraced their unseen sister and daughter of six years.
Two weeks had passed by and Philomena had not been able to sleep. She was uncomfortable. She didn’t fit into the everyday routine of life. Why had she wanted to come home so badly? She missed her family with all her heart, but why was she now more depressed than ever? Had war changed her so much that she couldn’t live without it? She kept trying to imagine having her adrenaline rush as she and all her troops landed on the battlefield. She needed to feel that again. She craved it. There’s a reason she’s not an everyday Joe but a war hero prodigy.
“Hello Philomena, we were wondering when you’d decide to join us again.”