Chapter 11 - Agent Barbara Ray
When Matthew and I reached the meeting spot, there was already another car there. Next to it, a blonde woman was surveying the building with her binoculars.
We got out of the car, and the woman approached us.
It was Agent Barbara Ray, one of the TPA's top agents. Matthew and I had worked with her on a few cases before.
"Hello, Agent Ray." Matthew extended his hand.
"Agent Lam," Agent Ray shook Matthew's hand, then she turned to shake mine, "Agent Lawson."
I nodded at her as a greeting.
Agent Ray continued, "From what I've been able to gather, they only have one guard in the backdoor, so it'll be easiest to go through there."
"Okay," I said.
"Alright, let's set our guns to stun for now, so that we can sneak in silently," said Matthew.
I nodded, took off the safety on my gun, and switched the gun to stun mode.
The others did the same.
Quietly, we got into position.
I was closest to the guard at the backdoor, so I waited until his back was turned. As soon as his back was turned, I quickly rushed up and placed the end of my gun on his back and pulled the trigger. An electric arc sparked between the two electrodes on the end of the barrel, just below the opening, and shocked the guard.
The guard fell down, and Agent Ray caught him just before he hit the floor. She gently placed him down and quickly handcuffed him to a nearby railing.
I walked up the steps and opened the door, it had probably been left unlocked by the guard so that he could quickly get back inside if he needed to.
Quietly, the three of us snuck into the building.
We made our way to the vault, silently stunning the guards on the way.
Unfortunately, we came up against a narrow corridor with two guards stationed in front of the opening that led to the vault. They weren't moving at all, just standing still and silently scanning the corridor, ready to attack any intruders.
With the two guards too far for us to stun them without being notice, we changed our guns to normal mode, which meant that it would fire regular bullets now.
I jumped into the corridor and fired three shots at the guard closest to us, bringing him down.
The other guard turned and started lifting his rifle up when he was hit by two bullets from Matthew's gun, one in the head and one in the chest.
Wasting no time, we ran to the vault with our guns ready.
What greeted us was quite a scene.
A man with white hair, but a sturdy build, was holding a blonde woman in a neck hold and pointing a gun at her head. There were two other guards who were aiming their guns at us. A bespectacled woman in a lab coat was tapping away on some device that was connected to the vault's security lock.
The most concerning part of the scene was when I noticed the device on the bespectacled woman's wrist. It was a time travel device.
Which led to me realizing that the blonde woman in the white-haired man's neck hold looked like Agent Ray.
"Is that..." I started to ask Agent Ray, "a younger you?"
Agent Ray could only nod, her hands were shaking.
"Welcome, welcome!" the white-haired man said, "I am Cronus, the leader of the Titans of Time."
"Wh-what do you want?" Agent Ray stammered.
"We want this cache of timetanium, Agent Ray."
"How do you know who I am?!" Agent Ray yelled.
Cronus gestured his head to the bespectacled woman behind him, "It's thanks to Metis here."
Metis smirked in response.
"You see," Cronus continued, "she was able to create a time travel device, and with the little bit of timetanium that we had managed to buy off the black market, we saw that this robbery would get thwarted by you three. So we decided to grab this Agent Ray here as a hostage. If I remember, this one's from just before you joined the TPA."
"Just shoot him!" the Agent Ray in Cronus' arm yelled.
"Why are you doing this?!" I asked.
"Well, we ran out of timetanium with those last two trips. So we're here to get more." Cronus' voice quieted into a sternly, serious tone, "You see, we're going to change the world."
"What for?" Matthew asked, "What's so wrong with the world that you have to change the timeline?"
"Nothing," Cronus smirked, "I just want to rule it, with Metis here at my side."
"Y-you're mad!" our Agent Ray cried.
"Just a little more, dear," Metis said, mocking us as worked her way into the vault.
"Stop them!" yelled the Agent Ray from the past.
Matthew and I gave our Agent Ray a quick glance - she was shaking.
Suddenly, the Agent Ray in Cronus' arms stomped on Cronus' foot and elbowed him in the stomach.
Cronus yelped in pain and pushed the past Agent Ray to the ground. "You b-"
The rest of his curse was muffled by the sound of his gun firing a bullet into past Agent Ray's head.
"No!" Agent Ray yelled and fired a shot at one of the guards, who fell down, dead.
Matthew took out the other guard before he could fire a shot.
Cronus began to turn his gun towards us.
"You lift that gun towards us and I will shoot you!" I yelled at Cronus.
Cronus stopped moving.
"Drop the gun!" Matthew yelled.
Cronus gently placed the gun on the ground and lifted his hands up in the air. Metis quickly abandoned her work and did the same.
To my right, Agent Ray started to speak. In quivering voice, she said, "Agent Lawson, ... I- I-"
I looked over and saw that Agent Ray was becoming translucent.
All eyes in the room were now looking at Agent Ray.
"He- Help!" Agent Ray yelled.
And then, she disappeared.
Taking advantage of our shock, Metis threw something at us. Then, Cronus and Metis quickly closed their eyes, knelt down, and covered their ears.
It was a flashbang.
The flashbang exploded, blinding my eyes and deafening my ears. The force of the blast pushed me away and knocked me on to the ground.
"Agh!" I heard Matthew yell through the noise.
It would be several minutes later until the effects faded enough for me to stand up and view my surroundings. Matthew was leaning against the wall, blinking and rubbing his eyes.
Cronus and Metis, however, were gone.
Suddenly, we heard gunshots from outside.
We ran out and saw police officers sprawled out on the ground, many of them were bleeding.
"What happened?!" I yelled over the sirens at one of the officers.
"Two perps came out and we had them surrounded. But then we were charged at from behind by another group. They came at us with assault rifles!" the officer yelled back at me, "Then two vans came and picked them all up."
"The two perps got away?"
The officer ran off to help the others.
"Damn it! They killed Agent Ray and got away with it!" I said to Matthew.
Matthew gave me a puzzled look, "Who?"
I stared at Matthew, "The other agent that was with us!"
"James, it was just the two of us."
Slowly, I realized that Matthew didn't remember who Agent Ray was.
But I was able to remember her. It was just as Dr. Potter had described. A paradox had happened and it was having random side effects.
Agent Ray had died in the line of duty, and I was the only one who could remember.