Will parked his truck in front of the small house and noticed that his dad's car was already there. He grabbed the duffle bag in the passenger seat and, instead of going straight inside, he went around to the garage in the back. He hid the duffle bag in one of the cupboards before returning to the front and ringing the doorbell.
"Will, good to see you." James greeted Will with a pat on the shoulder.
"The place looks good." Will entered the house and examined the changes since the last time he had visited.
"Yeah, we just finished the flooring last week." James tapped the hardwood floor with his feet to emphasize his point. "Got rid of that ugly carpet."
"Have you thought about adding a fence outside?" Will asked.
"A fence is a bit...uninviting."
"I think that's the point."
"Maybe in the future, we've spent a lot on the house in the last couple of weeks. And there is a military base just down the road, so I doubt anyone would be stupid enough to try anything around here."
"True. Just something to think about."
"Something to think about." James nodded.
"Fatty Lee!" Little Casey called out from Papa Lee's arms as the two entered the kitchen.
"Your Uncle Will is not fat anymore, Casey." James reminded his daughter.
"Ah, you're here." Vivien greeted Will from in front of a pot of soup she was in the middle of brewing. "Are the two of you staying for dinner?"
"A little more seasoning." Papa Lee coached his daughter as she cooked.
"Is this enough?"
"A little more...no, aiya! Too much now."
"Aiya! Too much!" Casey parroted her grandfather.
"We're just dropping by." Will said and his sister glared at him, thinking that he was trying to avoid eating her soup. "Really! We're going to Uncle Jackie's place for dinner before everyone leaves for HK."
Will and Papa Lee stayed for a little while before they had to leave for their dinner.
"Bye, dad. I'll see you in 3 weeks." Vivien gave her father a hug. "Casey, say goodbye."
"Bye bye, grandpa. Bye bye Fatty Lee."
"The three of you, take care." Will gave everyone a hug. It would be the last time he would be seeing them for a while.
"Wow, Fatty Lee! You're getting more buff every time I see you." Edison opened the door for the Lee family and immediately began to touch Will's biceps.
"If only he spends as much time on his studies." Mama Lee muttered.
"Woof, woof!" An excited Siberian husky ran down the hall and began hopping around and sniffing at the new guests.
"Whoa, Broski. Settle down boy." Edison called out and the dog sat down, his tail still wagging energetically. "Good boy."
"Hey, Broski. How's it going, buddy." Will gave the dog a head rub, to which he responded by licking Will's hand. Will held Edison back as his parents went into the dining room. "I'll be sending some packages to you in HK."
"What are you sending?" Edison asked.
"Some important things, so take good care of them and don't lose or toss them out or anything. Store them in your room."
"One more thing." Will handed him a bag full of hand-sanitizers and face masks. "Make sure everyone stays clean during the trip. I heard this latest strain is very dangerous."
"Really? I don't remember hearing anything about it."
"Just make sure no one gets sick." Will said solemnly.
"Sure, man." Edison said, accepting the bag and placed it with all the luggage already arranged on the side.
After greeting Uncle Jackie, Aunt Shan, and Grandpa Wong, the entire family sat down for together for a hotpot dinner.
"Father, are you going to be okay staying here alone?" Mama Lee asked at one point. "How about you come stay at our place?"
"It's fine, I can take care of myself." Grandpa waved. "I'll be bored to death if I stay at your place anyways."
"He said the same thing when we invited him to go to Hong Kong with us." Aunt Shan said. "All of father's friends are here."
"He has to take care of Broski too." Edison added.
"Hmm?" The dog in questioned perked up from hearing his name mentioned and Edison fed him a strip of beef.
"William can check up on grandpa." Papa Lee said.
"You're still going to tai chi every morning?" Edison asked, slightly surprised Will had kept up with it the entire time.
"He hasn't been showing up lately." Grandpa mentioned as he scooped up some tofu.
"You've been leaving every morning though, what have you been doing?" Mama Lee asked.
"Gym." Will answered tersely as he focused on his food, his mom eyed him suspiciously.
After dinner was finished and everything cleaned up, Will borrowed the van and drove everyone to the airport.
Despite being unable to convince his family from leaving, Will felt as if a giant burden had been lifted off of him as they left through the gate. Will turned his eyes away from the gate and walked away with a look of determination on his face. The only thing he had to do now was face the upcoming storm.
July 11, 2027 - 4:40 AM
The alarm beeped once before shutting off instantly when a hand slammed into it as if on reflex. Will pulled himself out of bed, dressed up, and then drove over to the meeting point at a certain park.
"Oh, you came today?" His grandpa said in surprise when Will arrived.
"Thought I should show my face today."
After tai chi practice and exchanging a few words with everyone, Will took his grandpa home.
"Are you going anywhere today, Grandpa?" Will asked.
"I don't have any plans. Why?"
"You remember Donny, right?
"Ah, Little Donny. Your neighbour? I remember."
"Yes, he'll be picking you up later around 4." Will said. "So make sure you're at home."
"We're taking you someplace. It's a surprise."
"You kids and your surprises. Sure, sure." Grandpa waved.
After dropping his grandpa off, Will drove over to the compound. Donny's hatchback was already there when he arrived and Will found him recording everything on his camera.
"What are you doing?" Will asked.
"Inventory check and a video for my collection." Donny replied. "Don't worry, I'll only upload the videos to YouHub after everything is over. You wanna be in it? I guarantee we'll both go viral. Hehe, viral." He giggled at his own joke.
"I'm good." Will said grabbing a clipboard and doing his own last minute checks. After making sure they were fully stocked and everything was in working condition, Will and Donny prepared to leave. "Radio check."
"Roger dodger, I hear you." Donny spoke into his own radio.
Will put the two-way radio away into a duffle bag and pulled out a satellite phone, dialing up a number.
Beep! Donny's own satellite beeped and he answered it. "Look buddy, for the last time, I'm not buying anything."
"Alright, it's clear on my end." Will said, putting the satellite phone back into the duffle bag.
The two got into Donny's car and drove to a nearby car rental agency. Will rented an SUV and met up with Donny in the parking lot.
"Breakfast burrito?" Donny asked, holding up a paper bag. "Probably the last time for a while."
After finishing their breakfast together, they transferred some things into the trunk of the SUV.
"You ready?" Will asked once they were done.
Donny took a deep breath before he answered. "Yeah."
"Alright then. Good luck, brother."
"You too, bro." The two shared a hug before separating and entering their respective vehicles.
Noticing that the tank wasn't completely filled up, Will drove to a nearby gas station to top off.
"Hey! Is that you, Willy?" A voice came from the side as Will was filling up his gas.
Will turned to see a young man in working clothes he didn't recognize. "I'm sorry, do I know you?"
"Yea right, keep playing." The young man scoffed. "Where's your butt buddy, Donny? I heard the two of you losers dropped out of school. What are you two doing now anyw-"
Click. The gas pump clicked to indicate it was full. Will placed it back and went inside to pay off the bill, completely ignoring the young man. His mind was currently on the task ahead of him and had no time to deal with anything unimportant.
On his way back to the car, the young man gave Will a weak shoulder bump. He hadn't expected so much resistance from Will. "You think you're hot shit cause you work out a little?"
Even when Will entered the car and closed the door, he could still hear muffled trash talking coming from the other party. Will drove away as the young man was gesticulating.
A minute later, his radio clicked and Donny voice came from the other end. <Yo, I heard you ran into Kevin Mitchel.>
"Was that his name?"
<He's chirping about you on Chitter. Talking about how you were being a bitch.>
"You should focus on what we need to do."
<It's cool man, reading this stuff helps me relax. Especially, when I think about how he doesn't even know. It's kinda hilarious...and kinda sad...> There was a pause before Donny radioed in again. <Do you think we played the best move?>
"I don't know. I know there are plenty of people out there smarter than me, who could have done better or come up with a better plan or even use other people better, but I think I did my best...we did our best."
<I hope so...>
"I'll be going out of range soon and I'll be shutting down my phone once I cross the border, so contact me on the sat phone if you need to."
<What are you going to do down there anyway?>
"I need to pick up a some stuff and visit an old friend."
<Oooo la la, is it a girl?>
"See you in a couple hours, I'm signing off now. Over and out."
Will shut off the radio and continued driving. He soon reached Queen Elizabeth Way and followed the highway southwest before it eventually wound east as he drove around Lake Ontario towards the border.
July 11, 2027 - 2:51 PM
After crossing the border, Will drove all the way to New York City, only stopping for gas. The entire drive took him 8 hours.
Will drove into an empty underground parking lot and waited until 3 PM before another car drove in and pulled up next to his car. The driver pulled down his window. "Who recommended you?"
"Jay." Will answered.
"You got the money?"
Will took out $800—ready from his pocket, and passed it over to the man, who then retrieved a yellow package from under his seat and handed it to Will. The man gave a curt nod then left the parking lot.
Will also immediately left the scene and found another parking lot, where he changed out of his clothes and into a delivery man uniform he had prepared ahead of time. He then opened up the package he received from the man and took out the Glock, loading it up with ammunition before tucking it inside his uniform.
With that done, he took out the police scanner from the trunk and set it up in the car before driving off. Will arrived at his destination soon after and parked around the block. Before getting out of his car, Will put on a matching hat to go with his uniform and a face mask. He grabbed a large box from his trunk and moved towards a certain house down the street.
"Who is it?" A woman's muffled voice called out from inside.
The door opened to reveal a beautiful brunette woman with long flowing hair.
"I wasn't expecting a package today."