Travelling to the theatre impressed Anya. The police were still at every barrier so they had to be driven via Sherdan’s emergency tunnel. She’d been awed by the secret entrance set up and likened it to the bat cave.

She was also ecstatic over the tickets he’d acquired. They had the best box to themselves. Sherdan had never enjoyed spending money as much as this. It wasn’t entirely Anya’s reaction, some of the fun was taking time away from his work for a few hours and forgetting about it. He’d been busy almost every minute of every day ever since Hitchin had first told him the prophecy.

When the production finished Anya, turned to Sherdan with a very large grin on her face.

“Can we go get dinner?”

Not a single part of him could refuse. He nodded as she slipped her hand into his. When they had settled back into his car he asked the chauffeur to take them to Bath to the same sea food restaurant he often went to. When they arrived he ordered for her and treated her to lobster and champagne.

Over two hours later he requested the bill. He handed his card over to the waitress without thinking.

“Oh, Dr Harper? Dr Sherdan Harper? Aren’t you the one blocking off the land in Bristol?” the waitress exclaimed. Sherdan swore under his breath.

“Please keep your voice down, ma’am,” Anya asked, but it was too late. Other people had heard and were turning to look at him and his companion. He finished paying as fast as the waitress would allow, grabbed Anya’s arm and walked for the nearby car.

They had both just climbed inside when several police cars pulled up outside the restaurant. They watched as armed police poured out of the vehicles.

“That was close. I’m sorry.” Anya turned to Sherdan.

“It’s okay. I think we should go back now.”

She nodded her agreement as they were driven right past the police cars pulled up on one side of the road.

Sherdan didn’t feel easy until they were safely back in his house. It was already in the news online that he’d been seen with a woman in Bath. Thankfully there hadn’t been anything but a description of Anya. She’d be in a lot of danger if they had identified her.

They both agreed that, although it was a fun Sunday, they’d be better off not repeating it. Sherdan had Nathan keep an eye on the news to make sure nothing else was found out about Anya. Despite her objections he spent the rest of the evening working.

The next few days followed in a haze of work. Sherdan hardly saw Anya and completely forgot about Hitchin’s request for her to have more tests done. He also forgot about seeing the newest batch and figuring out their new talents. He had far too much work to do in preparation for the future.

Tuesday evening broke the monotony. The police had patrolled the perimeter for many days and in doing so had found a few particular spots where the emitters hadn’t quite closed off the area. They’d also figured out that it was only around the perimeter and of a set height.

Several helicopters flew over and air-dropped a raid squad right into the centre of the facility at the same time as two squads came in at both of the weak points they’d found.

Sherdan mobilised the entire security team in seconds. He’d expected something eventually and rushed over to the command bunker using his private tunnel. The entire area was advised to stay indoors and, within five minutes, only the security team and police were moving in the entire area.

With help from the many cameras, Graham soon had the police located and he fed the information to the guards. They split into four teams. Two headed towards each squad that had broken the perimeter and the other two teams came at the central raid squad from both sides.

By the time Sherdan was in the command room the first security group had informed the police to the south that they were trespassing. The police had all taken cover and pulled out their guns. The guards knew not to fire on the intruders unless absolutely necessary but they kept to cover and aimed their guns back anyway.

A few minutes later the guards reached the police on the north east edge of the site as well. The same thing happened. The guards informed the raid squad that they were trespassing and everyone took cover.

Sherdan authorised each guard team to sneak forward to gain the upper hand and disarm the police. This happened without any issues in the north east.

The guards snuck around until all the police had been cornered. The police soon put their guns down when they realised they were out manoeuvred and out manned. Sherdan sat down to wait. His men were well trained and the response to the inevitable police reactions had been a long time in planning.

He watched on the cameras as every gun, and all spare ammunition, was confiscated by his security. They then escorted the squad back the way they had come and placed another emitter to block the gap in the perimeter.

While this was happening the two teams in the middle, very near Sherdan’s house, were still trying to circle the largest police squad and the guards to the south were trying to disarm the police they’d backed into a corner.

There was one younger police officer to the south who, despite having three guns pointed at him, refused to stand down and put his own weapon on the floor. In his panic he fired.

The bullet left the gun as it normally would but it slowed dramatically once it reached three feet away from the man it was aimed at. It fell to the ground less than 6 inches from him. The officer shot a few more but the same thing happened.

After that the whole squad surrendered. If their bullets were useless they weren’t going to risk their lives any further, also as Sherdan expected. The squad was treated to the same routine as the first. Sherdan smiled; this was easy work so far.

Everyone in the command bunker then focused on the final squad and sent the two successful security teams to help the others. The police had moved in the direction of Sherdan’s house, in a very wary manner. Without the cameras the guards would have found them very difficult to track.

With everything running so smoothly, Sherdan felt no concern. He could sit back and watch needing only to add the odd few instructions in the ear of his commander.

With orders fed to them from the eyes in the command room the twenty strong team of guards soon formed a closed perimeter around the eight policemen, although the police were still unaware of any pursuit. The officers crept along the street towards the target house, using the cars and corners of the houses as cover.

Right behind the police came the security, following the example of how to sneak set before them, but doing it that little bit better. In front of both parties, more guards snuck closer; not as fast as the following guards but equally as confident. Their faces were grim but their movements sure.

For the first time Sherdan interjected. He ordered a few security guards to enter his house through the back garden and ensure the police didn’t get near Anya, nor see her there. He didn’t want anything to happen to her.

Sherdan briefly wondered if inviting the mayor into his home had been a bad idea but he put the thought from his head. Dwelling on past choices did no good. He would deal with whatever consequences as they arose.

He watched as the police came within a few hundred metres of his front lawn. The security guards following were another three hundred metres behind that and closing. The guards in front were now slower and they concentrated on staying out of sight and closing the gaps between them in their approach to the target house.

Everyone in the command bunker agreed that the best place to flank the squad was his front lawn as the police came up to the building itself. The home was set back from the road and the houses either side, so the guards could be out of sight for longer and appear from more directions at once.

“Anya, are you anywhere near a radio?” Sherdan asked into the nearby microphone. He was contemplating asking again, or sending a guard to find her, when the same frequency crackled into life.

“Sherdan, is that you?”

“Anya, you’re in danger.”

“What kind of danger?”

“There are men with firearms advancing on the house. I have extra security in the front of the building but there may be wild fire.”

“I’m in your study currently.”

“Move towards the front of the house but turn left instead of right and walk to the end of the hallway.”

“But it’s a dead end.”

“No it’s not.” Sherdan got up from his seat in the command room and went through to his rest room so he wasn’t overheard.

“Where do I go now Sherdan?” she asked, when there was a delay in instructions.

“You have a mirror in front of you?”

“At the end of the corridor?”

“Yes, that’s the one. On the the back, left hand side of the frame, there is a button, push it.”

“Okay, found it. What does that light mean?

“It’s an eye scanner, look into it. I added your retinal pattern a week ago.”

“Already done. Do I just follow this wherever it leads?”

“Yes, and please hurry.” Sherdan opened his end of the tunnel and took the steps down two at a time. He rushed along until he could see her up ahead. She had done as she was told and jogged along. She looked pale and was out of breath. He took her hand and walked back towards the compound with her.

“What’s happened?” she asked in between gasps for air.

“There is a raid squad. They have guns and have already shot at one of my guards.”

“What are they after?”


“Thank you for letting me know.”

“I know you could have disappeared had they reached you but I didn’t want to risk you getting hurt.”

She squeezed his hand and smiled. She still didn’t look happy. He’d worried her and it would take her a while to recover.

Even though she was already tired he marched her along to the compound, requesting an update as he did.

“They’ve not engaged yet,” the radio informed him. He didn’t let go of her until they were in his safe room at the command centre.

“Stay here please. This might not be pretty and you’ll be safe here.” She nodded and sat down in the nearby chair, still clutching the walkie-talkie in one hand.

Sherdan flicked his attention to the camera screens on the far wall as soon as he was back in the command room. The front man in the police squad was only a few feet away from the garden and the guards were all still undetected. No one spoke as everyone watched the monitors.

When the first officer reached the front door all the guards behind rushed forwards, their hand-guns aimed at the police squad. The security guards around the sides of the house followed quickly but the police panicked. Before the security inside could show themselves and completely surround the police they fired their weapons.

“Keep calm men,” Graham called into the microphone. They managed to keep their heads and didn’t return the fire. Instead they walked slowly towards the officers.

When their ammo had run out the police all stopped. Their mouths hung open and their gun hands dropped to their sides. No one was harmed.

The security kept advancing, telling the police to surrender and allow themselves to be escorted off the premises. The other two teams of guards soon joined them to assist.

At first, the police seemed happy to cooperate. All but two had their hands tied and were being moved off when one of the final two officers elbowed the nearest guard and followed it with a punch to the face. The police officer didn’t achieve anything else as he was tackled to the ground by another three guards. They were all marched off the enclosed site.

Sherdan didn’t leave the command room or inform the residents that everything was dealt with while the men were still on his land. He waited until they’d been shoved past a road barrier and the emitter blocking the path was reactivated. As with the other two squads, all their weaponry and ammo had been kept.

“That should send a good message. Well done security. You performed perfectly.” Sherdan handed the microphone back to the security commander and told him to finish everything off. He went back to Anya in the adjacent room.

She stood up as he entered, her face full of concern.

“It’s okay. One of our security may have a broken nose but considering that an hour ago twenty police were here with loaded guns I think it went very well.”

“Will they try again?”

“Possibly. Keep this radio with you in case and come here straight away if it does.” She nodded. They went back to the house the same way they’d both come. “Oh and please don’t mention this tunnel to anyone. Very few people know it exists, not even Hitchin does. Only you or I can use it.”

“My lips are sealed.”