Just a little longer. She’s alive, you saw her not five minutes ago. The sight of her being tied to a stretcher and hauled up to the deck wasn’t something he was going to forget any time soon.
He turned toward the two DEFEND soldiers he’d borrowed for this rescue operation and nodded his head. “Let the other two boats know that Ekstrom is on his way, and that I’m going to attack soon. Double-check that they’re in the safe zone I designated. I’m not taking any chances.”
The woman named Santos nodded, and took out her satellite phone. While she focused on sending the message, Marco turned toward the other person, a man named Jimenez. “Give me two of the inflatable life preservers, and then put on your own.”
Jimenez opened the back seat and handed him two of the instant inflatable preservers. “Are you sure Santos and I need one? We grew up along the sea, and have been swimming since we could walk.”
“This boat isn’t meant to survive a major storm, and I’m not about to put your lives in danger.” Marco motioned to the low wall of water that surrounded them. “This is child’s play compared to what’s coming next.”
Jimenez looked skeptical. But Marco had worked with Santos a few times before, and, thankfully, she spoke up. “Usually Marco is more charming with his explanations. Just do what he says, because the sooner we get his lady friend back, the sooner he’ll stop growling at us.”
He resisted a growl. “Are you done notifying the others yet?”
Santos took her free hand, made an exaggerated show of raising her hand, pressed a button on the phone, and said, “Done.”
Marco sighed. He was starting to understand why his old boss Jaxton had sighed and rolled his eyes so often—Santos was irritating him on purpose, much like he had done with Jax. “Take a jacket, stow the phone and the guns in the waterproof, inflatable bag, and wait for the signal.”
Once both Jimenez and Santos nodded, he put both of his hands to the west and concentrated on the elemental energy in the air. He was going to need massive amounts of it to pull this off, and he’d only used this much elemental magic once, during his training years ago.
While there was always a possibility he’d burn out, Cam’s life was at stake, and he’d do anything to save her.
Petra handed Millie her fake UK ID card. She glanced down at it, and frowned. “Do I really look like a Donna?”
“Does it matter? Now, hurry up or we’ll miss the check-in for the ferry.”
Millie tucked the card into the pocket of her jeans. Once they’d gotten off Lofoten Island, Petra had surprised her with a full suitcase of clothes, toiletries, and now an ID card. Good thing, because they were taking the overnight ferry from Norway to Denmark.
They made the rest of the way to the check-in station in silence.
She hoped that once they were inside their private cabin, Petra would start talking. While she was grateful to be free, there had to be loads that Petra wasn’t telling her, and that made her uncomfortable.
Ten minutes before the check-in station closed, she handed over her fake ID card and waited. She knew that having one made in less than a day would cost a small fortune, which told her that this person they were going to help meant a great deal to Petra.
After clearing the check-in process, they found their cabin. It was small, with two sets of bunks attached to the wall and a small toilet en suite off to the side. There was barely enough room for her to lay down on the floor, but at least it was an inside cabin and they didn’t have to worry about someone peeking into a window. While she was pretty sure they were in the clear, there was always a risk that Larsen or someone he knew could’ve followed them.
Tossing her stuff on the bottom right bunk, Millie crossed her arms over her chest and leaned against the top bunk. “Right. We made it, so now it’s time to talk.”
Petra tossed her stuff on the top left bunk and laid down on the bottom one. “There are limits to what I’ll tell you, but go ahead, ask me some questions.”
“First, where is this research facility we’re supposed to break into
Millie kept her face expressionless despite her curiosity. She knew the locations of most of the AMT compounds, but she knew very little about the special standalone research facilities. “Do I need to ask specific, in detail questions? Or can you just tell me the general gist of this place, its purpose, and anything else I might find relevant.”
Petra looked up at her. “And here I thought you knew everything.”
“Just tell me already, Brandt. We have seventeen hours on this bloody ferry, and I, for one, would like to get some sleep before our little adventure.”
Petra stared up at the bunk above her. “My friend has spent the last year working in a high-rise research facility run by the AMT Oversight Committee. He’s been trying to find a way to eradicate elemental magic.”
Millie’s eldest brother, Garrett, had spent the last five years imprisoned inside the AMT. Her other brother, Jaxton, had only rescued him recently, alongside Kiarra Melini. Garrett and Kiarra still bore the scars of the torture and experimentation the AMT researchers had conducted on them. She had yet to see her oldest brother, but according to Jax, Garrett couldn’t stand to be touched or he’d start thrashing to the point of hurting himself and others. Pain squeezed her heart at thinking of how Garrett, the brother that had always coaxed away her tears as a child, might not ever recover.
She clenched a fist and narrowed her eyes. Since Petra probably didn’t know about her brother’s escape, she focused on Kiarra’s mental and physical scars. “So you want me to help the bastards that treated my friend as a guinea pig?”