A LITTLE PIECE OF HOPE

DREARY LITTLE VILLAGE

St. Thomas Harbour, Novaya Zemlya, Russia.

It was dawn when i arrived. This was probably the first time ever i visited Russia. I had to admit, im impressed. I came here by a cruise ship, Aphrodite, and it was a long voyage from London to the Arctic Ocean. This little island looked fabulous from afar, but i didn come here for a vacation.

Our lead researcher from Pandora Corps branch in Russia, Professor Ivan Aivazowsky personally asked for my assistance. He said they
e at the edge of a breakthrough that would change the world forever. I didn know the details, but he told me this Projects name was, Project BS.

At first i made fun of it. Project Bull Shit, but when i read the paper, im ashamed of my self. I admired and acknowledged him as a great scientist. The result of this project would no doubt helped a lot of people. Thats why i decided to accept his invitation and wilfully assisted him to accomplish his project.

”Lennon! Chop, chop! Lets take a picture here. ”

”Oh come on, Sweetheart. This is toe curling. How many pictures do you wanna take? Weve probably had thousands on your bloody phone. ”

My lips curved when i heard a heavy british accent lurking into my ears. These two young couple surely having the day of their life. Just like them, i was outside on the deck for the view. The only difference was, im all alone.

The bus ride us to the hotel after the ship disembarked us in the port. What a coincidence i was on the same bus with the couple from the deck before. They sat right in front of my seat. I chuckled, i couldn wait to hear another toe curling chat or whatever silly things these drowning in love couple would do. Unfortunately, no. She got motion sick and her boyfriend or maybe her husband, i didn know for sure because they looked like teenagers, were busy taking care of her.

Hotel California.

It was all dark when we came at this hotel. This young man named Lennon made me super jealous. Hes really a caring person. The way he treated his girlfriend was admirable. As woman my self, i could say, thats all we want from a man. Unconditional love.

This was quite a tiresome day. I just got a message from my co-scientist in Massachusetts asked how was my day. What could i say? I had a beautiful voyage on a cruise ship and a comfy hotel room, it was great day, right? No. I ended up calling her.

”Ughhh, im sad. Look, i saw a young couple this afternoon and they
e so cute. I was all green eyed on them. ”

”Aww, listen sweety, im here. Have you call Josh? I heard he just broke up. ”

”Josh who? Linda, theres no way ill call that weird four eyes nerd. The last time i saw him, he talked to a beaker glass in our lab. ”

”Hahaha, yea, sounds like our typical Josh. Listen Hope, im just curious, why would Professor asked for your help even though everyone knows if Josh is the best scientist here? ”

Shes right. Josh was one of the best at Pandoras branch in Massachusetts. Why did professor asked for my help?

”Thats true, Linda. Why me? He even asked to bring Phalleo-4 with me. He didn tell me the reason why he need these ampules. Why is that? ”

”Hope, there is only one possible answer for your question. Brace yourself, this probably will shocking you so bad. ”

”O, o, okay, what is it? ”

”He, he, Ehh, he- ”

”He, what? ”

”-he fell in love with you and want to make you his third wife, ” she talked a mile a minute.

”Linda! ”

”Hahaha, Hope, as always you are easy to toying with. ”

”Hes an old relic, Linda. How could you. Id rather die than be his third wife. ”

”But he has a lot of money, Hun. On top of that, he has the power enough to get you into promotion. All you have to do just sleep with him. Hes old, Hope. Just beat his meat as hard as you can, itll be done in two minutes. ”

”Ewww, yuck, yuck, yuck. Linda, you
e disgusting. ”

All of a sudden my room went on a complete darkness. The heater turned off as well. The freezing air started to make my teeth chatter like a spooky scary skeleton. Thank God it wasn long. Couple minutes later the power went on. I couldn imagine how would the people survive this extreme cold weather if the city experienced a power outage like before.

Speaking of the devil, i was about to sleep when an e-mail notification popped up on my phone screen. The e-mail was sent by Professor Ivan. He said someone will pick me up tomorrow. He just wanted to make sure i brought the package and its secure. I didn understand what he need Phalleo-4 for? These ampules should be available on his own lab. Theres no way he didn have any of these. I understood if Phalleo-4 were made from one of the rarest chemical on earth, but what kind of lab experiment hes working on that needed this chemical element so bad?

A kicking ear sound exploded from the outside of the hotel. It woke me from pondering the purpose of this chemical. What happened? When i looked outside from the window, i was in awe. Its magnificent, one of the most spectacular view ive ever seen. The blissful colors of fireworks quenched my eyes with its beauty. I had no idea whats going on, but it seemed the city had some kind of event. I wanted to take part of it, but i realized im not here for a vacation. So i went to sleep instead.

Just like the e-mail last night, someone came to pick me up when i checked out the hotel. Its a woman and she brought her own car. She waited for me in the hotel lobby.

”Morning, Mrs. Hope. Let me help you with the luggage. ”

”Thank you. I like your Russian accent by the way. Do you working for Pandora? ”

”Yes. Im Professor Ivans assistant. Leonora. I hope you like this city. Alvedatov surely not as big and shiny as Las Vegas or New York. ”

”No, no, no. Its not true. I like this place. Any chance do you know whats going on last night? ”

”Oh, they were celebrating Alvedatovs anniversary. ”

We got in the car and she took us somewhere far away from the city. For some reason the car was getting faster when we entered an empty road in the middle of nowhere. Her face seemed unsettling. I looked at the mirror there were two vans followed us from behind. She stomped the brake really hard because the road in front of us blocked by trucks. There were armed people in mask aimed their gun at us. I couldn hold this anymore. I shrieked while holding my ears and eyes closed.

I didn understand any word they said because its in Russian. Leonora seemed trying to negotiate with them, but they dragged us both out of the car. I cried. This was beyond scarry. Would they kill us? Never ever in my life someone hold a gun on my head.

”They
e asking about Phalleo-4, Mrs. Hope. In this situation, its wise just give them what they want. ”

I couldn open my mouth. I was scared to death.

”Mrs. Hope! ”

”It, it, its inside my luggage. ”

They took a small safety box from my luggage. I knew whats the next thing they wanted from me. The password. A big man came to me and pulled my hair while holding the pistol under my chin. He whispered in my right ear, ”Password. ”

I stuttered gibberish out of fear.

”Password! ” he snapped.

In a mere second the trucks that blocked the road exploded. The armed masked soldiers falling one by one. Some of them shooting their gun at random position to response the attack. The big man left me and scurried to his van with Phalleo-4. I couldn move my feet. My knees trembled. The only thing i could do was lay my back on Leonoras car. Its the first time im in a middle of a gun fight. The gun sound and the people who screamed in agony after being shot depict a true terror on me at least psychologically. Leonora dragged me into the car and we left the bloodbath hurriedly.

”Mrs. Hope, are you okay? ”

My mouth just zipped off even though my lips were quivering. I wasn even a bit expecting this would be happen.

”Thank God the Apex Predator came in time. They saved us, Mrs. Hope. ”

Leonora called someone from his phone. She talked in Russian, but at the end she smiled at me.

”Don worry, theyll get your little box back real soon. Theyve identified the idiot who stole from us. No one can run or hide from Apex Predator. Mrs. Hope, ill take you to a place thatll maybe reassured you from this little incident. ”

Leonora seemed trying to consoled me. This was the longest monologue she had so far.

”Thank you, Leonora. I appreciate it. Moreover, we can meet Professor without the Phalleo-4. Anyway, where do we head to? ”

”You
e gonna like this place, Mrs. Hope. Its a happy little village, Vilavostok. ”

I tried to be optimistic, but i couldn stop wondering why did those people stole Phalleo 4? Its not a thing that can be used by an ordinary person like them Whats that for?

More importantly, who were those people? How did they know the exact name of the thing i brought with me? How?

Is there any impostor in Pandora Corp?

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