“I don’t understand what you’re talking about, Mr. Ramirez,” said a concerned Johnny.
The Principal studied the boy before changing his expression once again to a more cheery one. “I apologize, Mr. Jones. I am only playing you. You kids and your games—it’s hard to keep up you know!”
Ramirez got up from his chair and paced around his office a bit. Johnny caught sight of Red outside in the tree waving at him. Of course, he couldn’t understand the various strange gestures he was making, but he gathered it regarded something important.
The Principal’s words drowned out to the sound of a voice in Johnny’s head. Oi, lad, can you hear me?
Ah, you’re a quick one, good. That bloke is a member of the Agency, rather a top one in these parts. In fact, that whole school is a training ground for handlers and other members. It’s just made to look like a school. Of course, some regular kids attend that have no clue, such as yourself before you awoken to the truth. You need to tread carefully.
Johnny’s mind began to race, piecing together his memories more, thoughts, images from his dream. Where did Ramirez fit? What was his exact spot in the hierarchy of the Agency?
“Mr. Jones? Are you alright?” asked the Principal, staring inquisitively.
“Huh? Yes, sorry. I am just fatigued from lack of sleep, I suppose,” replied Johnny.
Ramirez clasped his hands together, “Hmm, well, why don’t you go and resume your tasks and then take your leave today. You can return tomorrow to finalize your indefinite return to class. If there is anything you need, do not hesitate to ask,” he said with a bright obnoxious smile.
The two shook hands, and Johnny left the office. Still, he couldn’t quite shake the feeling that maybe Ramirez knew more than he was willing to part with. Perhaps it was a test? To see if he was aware, or if there was some coding, programming, something hidden within that would’ve been triggered to make him bend to their rules instead. Whatever the case was, he had a few stops to make before solidifying his vengeance for Jerry.
Red and Chico paced around outside, eager to have Johnny leave the school so they could begin their training program.
“Do you think he’s been found out?” asked Chico.
“Nah, Ramirez might suspect, but he could also just be playin’ the lad. We’ll have to be on our guard,” replied Red.
Chico sat and scratched behind his ear. “So he’s got the telepathy thing down, eh?”
“Yep. He’s a quick one,” said Red.
“He was the second one made, so he should be free of all their bugs,” said Chico as he bit at his leg.
“Don’t you tire of bein’ a beast, man?” Red asked.
“All the time but you have to get used to it, ese. You gotta evolve, you know? Keep up with the times. Even if it’s a drag.” said Chico as he scooted on the ground a little bit.
“Do…do you have worms?” asked Red.
“No, just have an itch on my asshole,” replied Chico.
“The things I could say…but I won’t,” sighed Red.
“The important thing is, is he’s started to tap into his powers, he’s picking up things quick, and we have Rottie on our side,” said Chico, as he finished scooting on the ground, followed up with a sigh of relief.
“That doesn’t do us much considerin’ we had a breach right under our noses, mate. That one has to the other lab jockey. There’s not many that could pull that off.” said Red.
Chico laid down on the ground at the base of the tree where Red perched in. “Maybe, but the thing is that if it was the first one, he’s bound to follow orders by the Agency. He can’t exactly break protocol and kill Johnny off.”
Other kids wandered the schoolyard, the two silenced themselves to just observing. The few spotted the animals and just looked at them intensively before wandering off.
“I can never get used to people just staring at me. I wonder if they see me for who I am or what I was. Either way, their eyes, like a doll’s eyes.” said Chico.
“Aye,” Red sighed.
The squirrel looked up to the bright blue sky. I hope we aren’t wrong about you, lad. We’ve got a lot ridin’ on you.