Exterminators Infected (The Exterminators Book 1), страница 1
When Dreams Become Reality
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Chapter One – Files
Carl rubbed his hands together and placed them on the files named “Case 224”. He felt a knot begin to twist in his stomach as if he was about to get some bad news from his doctor. His eyes darted from side to side waiting for someone. He gritted his teeth together getting weary of waiting for the woman he had an appointment with.
Carl looked around this empty, small house he was so used to. It was built over fifteen years ago. It was chipped all around; the walls looked old and moldy. Even the chairs, the newest things in the place, creaked already. It had an ugly brownish paint over the original black color. The house still had the new paint smell even though it was done over three years ago. For a joke every month one of his friends would buy an air freshener with the paint smell to annoy Carl. Carl then would slash the tires of whoever did that. Well into his thirties, Carl would never let someone get the upper hand on him. Even in a prank.
The sun’s ray glared through the open windows. However, not a single gust of wind came through. The room stayed quiet and humid. It had been a few years since Carl had gotten back to his work and he began to miss it. The room he could live without, the work he couldn't. He bit his lip and began tapping his foot getting annoyed. He checked his watch, 5:45 it read. “Where the hell is she?” he muttered under his breath. As he spoke he heard the door creak open.
Carl’s head rose as he studied his old friend’s face. She had a stern look on her, almost as if she was mad that he was early. He smiled at her and rose from his chair. “Ross, it’s always nice to see you,” he said respectfully.
She went over to him, keeping her blank face on. Once close enough she smiled and hugged him tightly. “You big ass, don’t ever leave like that again,” she said with her voice cracking. For a second he thought he heard her let out a small cry but she stepped back, wiped her face, and stood looking at him. “Well you haven’t changed much. Then again you never looked that good in the first place,” she said with a wink.
“Yeah, you don't look too bad yourself now days,” he replied, grinning back at her. As they sat down Carl felt as if the weight of the world was finally lifted off his shoulders. “Sorry about the leave but I needed some time. Now that I’m back I’d really like to help though.” She nodded for him to continue. “So I read over the files you gave me. Out of the thirty I picked these four.” He passed the four folders out of the pile to Ross.
She picked up the first one and studied the name on the top. It spelled out Nick Rambo.
“I'd really love to just stay in one place for more than four months,” Nick thought as he pushed a few strands of his jet black hair out of his eyes. He shifted the box from the back of the truck onto the ground and took a breather. He looked up to the orange sky, wondering if this was the final resting stop; his mind drifting back to his last home.
It wasn’t as if New York was far from Washington but it was a pain to move every few months. Nick had finally met some great friends in Washington and had begun to really settle in. Then by the fourth month his dad was able to move his operation to New York, with a nice pay raise. Nick just wanted the chance to settle down in one place.
“Come on…what can you possibly be looking at?” his father screamed from the car and Nick quickly looked back down at his father. “Well?” his father asked impatiently. His father was a strict man, but that didn’t mean he didn’t care about his only son. He wasn’t the best father in the world by a long shot but he provided for his son the best he could while being a single parent. He stayed healthy and fit to ensure Nick would have his father around for a long time. Nick's father also tried his best to juggle his construction business, watching the occasional football or baseball games with Nick and also keeping his Washington construction division up to par. It was a hectic life but one he got used to very quickly.
“Sorry pops,” said Nick as he quickly picked up the box from the street and began walking over to the new house. They had just moved to Brooklyn, since his Dad’s company reopened like they said they would back in 2009 and his dad was welcomed back. Though he had just barely gotten use to Washington, Nick figured he could adapt to the change here rather quickly. The city-like mentality seems to be similar in every place from California to Florida, Washington and now New York. Nick grew up knowing that he would probably only be around a few months. No reason to ever get too attached to people.
After several minutes of moving the boxes inside the house, both men sat on the porch. His dad patted him on the back and gave him a smile. “I’m proud of you son. You’re strong like your father.” His father gave a little muscle motion with his arm. “You even got your fathers good looks.” Nick let out a small laugh and his father laughed with him. “I know you hate to move, but we have to. I hate leaving and going to a whole new place too but if we want money we have to make sacrifices,” his father said looking up and closing his eyes. “You know your mother was just like you.”
Nick groaned and looked away.
“She'd just sit and pout all day. Like it was the worst thing in the world. I don't love moving either but it's like a fresh start. No one knows you here. No one has a pre-judgmental attitude towards you. So it can be a lot of fun.” He nudged his son. “Come on now, your mom wouldn't want to see you like this.” He smiled at Nick, nudging him again.
Nick didn’t like hearing about his mother so he quickly jumped up to his feet. “Listen, it's late. I’m a bit tired from driving. I’m going to go lie down,” Nick said and before his father could respond, he ran into the house. His father shook his head and looked back towards the sky, wondering what to do.
Carl sat there quietly as Ross read the file on Nick. After a few minutes she looked up to Carl almost confused. “The boy moves every few months. Is it wise to bring him into the organization if he does so?” she asked.
“Point taken, but I know for a fact this company’s work will be here for a minimal of five years. Meaning, even if he moves after that, the boy would be able to make his own living here.” Carl seemed to have satisfied her as she nodded and placed the file to the side.
“You know I’m just here to check over these files. In the end it’s ultimately up to you,” she told him. Carl nodded as she began to pick up the next file.
“It's true it may be up to me. However, I'd like to hear some advice from my best friend. I mean you are still the one I trust the most with my ideas,” he replied smiling. She opened the next file up. The name on it was Marshall Roman.
“Stop being an idiot and pass the ball!” Marshall screamed out. He was running over to his little brother who kept on laughing while holding the green ball. His brother ran down the alley, laughing the whole way. Marshall followed him until his hat got caught in a clothing line and flipped off. His brown hair came down and some of it covered his eyes. He growled as he snatched up his hat, fixed his hair, and placed it back on his head. “Need to get a haircut,” he muttered under his breath as he slowly walked down the alley towards his brother.
Marshall finally reached his brother, who was still laughing, and pulled him close. He grabbed the ball and pushed his brother into the side of the building. Marshall’s brother went to push him back but Marshall moved out of the way and his brother almost tripped. “Come on! It was my ball first,” yelled Matt but Marshall just kept walking now, slapping the ball in the air. Matt was six years younger than his brother. He had just turned eleven and got the ball as a gift for his birthday. Marshall loved to steal his gifts just to annoy him.
After slowly walking to his house he entered and threw the ball on the counter. He walked into his bedroom and slammed his door. Closing his eyes he let himself fall onto his bed backwards. He hadn’t been feeling well lately and knew tomorrow wasn’t going to help. Moaning as he rolled over and grabbed his T.V. remote he switched it on.
Despite feeling sick he was kind of happy school was starting in two days. It’s not that he was nerd or geek but he just wanted to go back and be with his friends. Most had jobs while others were on vacation. He spent his whole summer with his younger brother playing video games or sports. He heard a knock on the door and screamed, “Yeah!?” Then his mother entered. She was well into her thirties but she looked like she was in her 20’s with her beautiful blue eyes and brownish hair.
“Honey, dinner is ready,” she said and he turned over to look at her. “Come on, you don’t even eat with us anymore.”
“Sorry I’m not in the mood. I still don’t feel well.” His mother was about to protest but he spoke first. “Just leave, okay!?” She left quickly. He groaned and put his head back the way it was to watch his T.V. program. It’s not that he didn’t like sitting at the table with his family but he felt tired. Boredom was taking over and he couldn’t wait much longer to get back to school.
“Seems like this one is a very anxious one. From what they can bring up he tries to impress a lot of people with his big mouth. I'm sure he'll get along with the rest of the kids.” Ross looked to Carl who nodded.
“It’s true the boy has a way of showing everyone he's boss but isn’t that what we need? An ambitious kid who doesn’t mind sticking up for himself every once in a while?” he said with a small grin. She shook her head with a smile and began to pick up the next file.
“You have a knack for picking up the tough ones don't you?” She looked down at the next file. It read, Fred Parrish.
“Yeah, you could go to hell too!” yelled Fred through the headset he wore. He clicked the buttons in quick sequences attacking whoever was against him in the game. He groaned, yelled, cursed, and slammed his fist into the couch when he was mad. “Get it! Get it! Go now!” he roared into the Mic.
“Yeah, that’s what I’m talking about!” he shouted as the results of his game came up. “I'm just too good for this game! All right guys, I got to go, later,” he said and took off his headset. His phone rang so he picked it up. “Yes, I know…eight? Yeah that's fine. I’ll be there,” he said then hung up the phone. He zipped up his black hoodie. He wore as much black as possible. In school kids teased him and such, calling him a Goth. Although the Goth group in his school wasn't large he still tried to fit in. He felt like a loner, so he stuck to dressing like one. Somehow, even without the approval of everyone, he felt proud to stand out.
He went into the kitchen and grabbed a soda then went back to watch some T.V. After a few moments of watching another reality show, he grabbed his phone, dialing in his friend’s number.
“Hello, is John there?”
“Yes, hold please.”
After a few seconds of Fred picking his nose his friend came on.
“Yo, John! Whatcha doing today?”
“Going to work later, why?”
“I don’t know; thought we could chill, guess not.”
“Nah man sorry, maybe tomorrow. Plus school starts Monday so we could chill after.”
“Just got to remind me of school huh?’
“Yeah well, you know.”
They both laughed and his friend continued to talk.
“Well, I got to go and get ready for work. I’ll call you when I get home.” “All right, later.”
He snapped his phone shut and threw himself on his bed looking right at the empty white ceiling. He hated school and now in less than three days he would be going back to it. He turned back to the T.V. and began watching more reality shows with the hope of forgetting his own reality. After a while he fell asleep, dreaming of ways to win in his video games.
There sat the last boy in the files, named Peter. He sat at his computer, typing away at the keyboard. Skinny he was, weighing barely 120 pounds. He had bushy brown hair and dark black eyes. He was in most of the science fairs, winning ninety percent of the time. He was, as they call it at school, a part of the “Geek squad” or “Nerdy Losers”, either one was just as bad. He always found it funny though. Seeing as he hung out with no one at school.
He didn’t care much about it though; as long as he passed he knew he had a better life coming than the ones who couldn't even conjure up a C grade average. He always strives to be the best. He quickly rubbed his hair and began typing on the keyboard even quicker. After a short while, he stopped and got up from his desk trudging into the kitchen to grab a soda.
Once back in his room he sat back down and began to read a new book he got from his mother. He was a quiet kid, no friends, yet that's the way he wanted it, but never had a girlfriend of any sort. He stayed at home most of the time. He was content spending his time on the computer or watching T.V. or even working on his projects. He wore regular clothes; normal blue tee-shirt and normal jeans for which kids also made fun of him.
He heard a sound on his computer and quickly closed his book. Looking directly at his twenty-two inch screen, he smiled and began to type fast as he could, writing all sorts of messages. Then he jumped as his door slammed open and a little girl walked in, his sister, Karin.
“Hey, Mom said dinners in a few minutes,” she said with no emotion whatsoever then she slammed the door closed. He frowned and shook his head in disapproval.
“I gotta get a lock,” he muttered to himself as he turned back to his computer typing away. After a few minutes of typing he left his room and sat down next to his mother, father, and little sister.
A few minutes into eating some of his macaroni, his mother began to speak. “Well, you two are going back to school on Monday, right?” Both nodded and she smiled. “Good! Peter, you will take your sister to school, right?” She asked nicely. It was more like a command though.
“What, why?” He asked surprised. He didn't really care though. It was just another thing to do.
“Cause your mother said so!” His father roared. Already slightly buzzed from the drink he was having.
“Fine,” Peter said without another fight. He didn't want to start anything with his father tonight. Most nights he kept to himself while his father became drunk and yelled at his mother. He felt no sympathy for her. He actually felt nothing for either one. He detached himself from the world around him. He just wanted to get by and nothing more.
“Is that them?” the woman sitting down asked. She was looking at the four boys and their profiles. “What makes you say they can do the job?” she inquired looking up, no hope in her brown eyes.
“I see them as different. Obviously reading about them you can agree to that. They each have their own weaknesses; however, together they may make one of the strongest units out there. They can cover each other’s weakness and use their strengths together. I believe that those four will do the jobs we give them,” said Carl. “Please Ross. I need this chance. I can fix the mistakes I did last time.”
Ross raised her hand. “Stop. I don't need you going back to that again. You said you cleared your head. You said you were ready to handle a new unit. I can't have you bringing up past mistakes if you plan on handling these four boys’ lives.” She stopped for a moment. “Carl, are you sure you're ready?” she asked, sadness ringing in her voice.
“Yeah. I'm ready. I won't let you down. I won't let these
Ross stood up. She watched Carl, his face filled with conviction. “Don't let me down. I know you can do this. I believe in you. I give you permission to bring them in. Just...” she stopped and looked out the window. The sun was almost completely gone. The darkness began to fill the room. “Please keep a close eye on them. They are now your responsibility.” She smiled at him. “All right, enough business talk I gotta get back down there. Good luck friend, train those kids to their fullest potential.
She walked to the closet, opened it, and walked inside. A bright light came from the closet and Carl listened as the sounds of the tubes began to go off. Just a few moments later the light disappeared and Carl was left alone in the dark room. He placed his hands on the files. “This is it. My chance to make things right.” He smiled at the names. The Exterminators were finally chosen.
Chapter 2 – The Letter
“All right Nick I'm off. Got to keep an eye on the new guys at the apartment. Knowing them they'll build a bathroom in the living room,” Nick's father joked. He was searching for his car keys again. Nick rolled his eyes as he picked up the newspaper revealing the keys. “Hey Nick, you've seen my keys?”
“Heads up,” Nick called out and threw the keys towards his father. His father caught them with ease. His old baseball training came in handy. He nodded for thanks as he quickly took out his wallet and threw a twenty on the table. “Food for later.” He ran out the door before Nick could even respond.