The last hours of Washington

Alissa jumped out of the platform, into the void. She had grown really comfortable with her powers in the last few months, and would now take any chance she had to use them. She felt the wind against her body, as she dropped at high speed from the Cloud Palace. Robert followed her swiftly, but he used an energy shield to reduce his speed of descent.

Alissa slowed down in the last few hundred metres, and landed softly on the top of a building. Robert jumped out of his energy shield, just behind her. He adjusted his coat and looked around.

“So, should we go look for the president?” he asked.

“No, we know where he’ll be” Alissa responded. “Also, I guess that killing the president in front of the cameras should have a greater effect than just murdering him while he’s having lunch” she explained, looking at her phone to check the time.

“In that case, we have a lot of free time until 18:30” Robert pointed out. “Should we do some tourism? I’ve never been to this city, and considering the destruction that we are probably going to cause, it’s unlikely I’ll see it the way it is now”.

“Sure, why not. We could grab something to eat, and then check some sites. But you’ll have to do something about your hair, because it’s a shining beacon right now” she pointed at the top of his head.

He looked up, almost as if he could see his hair through his skull. “Oh, of course. Let me adjust that…” He closed his eyes, and in a few seconds, his hair transitioned to a light brown tone.

“So you’re not blonde, then?” Alissa observed.

“No, I’m not. That’s just my energy seeping into my hair” Robert explained.

“Not an aesthetic choice, then?”

“No, not at all. It can be inconvenient at times, because it makes me an easy target”.

“I’m sure speleology must be great with you” she laughed.

It took him a couple of seconds to realize what she meant. “Come on!” he complained a bit, but then laughed with her. “My girlfriend used to say the same kinds of things”.

Alissa noticed the change in his expression. She wished she had Jane with her to know what was going through his brain. “Are you OK?”

Robert took a few seconds to get back to normal. “Yes, yes… It’s just… I still hope we can get her back”.

Alissa understood. Those unaffected by the Enlightenment, like herself, had lost many loved ones. Alissa’s sister had turned against her, and her friends reported her to the authorities (who had also been brainwashed). It had happened gradually, yet it would seem that nobody had been spared. Robert’s girlfriend had probably been another victim to the Enlightenment.

“Yes, I hope so, too” she said, putting her hand on his shoulder. “That’s why we need to do our best today”.

Robert’s hair lit up once more, just for a few seconds, and then he controlled it again. They headed towards the rooftop access, as that was the only way down the building tht would not call anyone’s attention. Alissa manipulated the lock of the door, which seemed quite complex for what she was used to.

“That’s quite the lock these people have in here!” she commented. “What is this building, anyway?” she continued, as she flung the door open and punched the security guard that had been waiting for them hard in the face. The man fell unconscious due to the pressure of her strike.

“Have you killed him?” Robert asked.

“I haven’t. But I don’t know if we should”. She thought about it for a few seconds. “I mean, what if he alarms everyone and the president’s press conference gets cancelled?”

“Wouldn’t that be perceived as weakness? Maybe this can be a source of even more stress to the network” Robert suggested. “Like, the security will be high, and we will still kill the president”.

“True” she agreed. Then, looking back at the conscious man on the floor, she said. “Seems like it’s been your lucky day. Please go alarm as many people as you can”.

“Anyway, this seems to be some sort of security house of the capital. Maybe we should not fight our way out of here” Robert proposed.

“Let’s not”.

They looked around the building, and found an alleyway that led to the main street. They carefully went down, and walked to the main road. From there, they headed towards the main tourist attractions. Those would be the last few hours of Washington.

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