STRATAGEM CHAPTER 31
STRATAGEM by Joshua Graham
Chapter 31 | UNDISCLOSED LOCATION
“ARE YOU SURE?” Derek said, staring down to the clearing at the foot of the hill, a void between the surrounding trees in the middle of nowhere. Mom’s claim of an entrance to the safe house down there seemed completely ridiculous. A cool breeze rushed through the branches and the moon took shelter behind the clouds. It served only to obscure that space more.
“I need to check.” Gun ready and pointed, Mom made her way down the hill again. “Find some cover nearby and stay out of sight until I come back.”
“Wait, what?” Derek followed with Paige and Hulk in tow. “You’re not serious?”
Too focused to notice, Mom continued down the path until she stopped at a tree, reached behind it, and made something click. That’s when she noticed them standing behind her. She glanced over to the open panel in the tree trunk. “Good. Doesn’t look like anyone’s actually gotten through.”
“No clue, Mom.”
The ground opened up next to her feet like a miniature nuclear silo. It was the cold breeze blowing into his face that alerted him to his jaw hanging open. “Are you kidding me? This is something out of a sci-fi movie.”
“Says the fiction writer,” Mom said, climbing down the ladder inside the hatch.
“You see? Now that doesn’t make any—”
“Come on, Paige,” she said, gesturing with her hands to come down the ladder with her. “Derek, carry Hulk as you come down next.”
“Carry Hulk?” He looked down to see the chonky beast staring down the entrance, tail whipping about. “How am I supposed to do that?”
“Under your arm, like a football.” Her face vanished.