At around 1300 hours Skipper and Marlene were having their lunch break together. As were several other students who were trying, in vain, to have a normal lunch.
Skipper had a distinct military upbringing. Despite never mentioning his past, most people managed to know he was not allowed to go to school anywhere in Denmark. They also knew he'd lost a pair of great friends while in Denmark that he referred to occasionally as Manfredi and Johnson. Typical of his military style those seemed to be his friends' last names and he had never spoken their first.
And a few choice students knew something about Skipper he himself did not know.
These students were his three best friends, or teammates as he'd call them. These boys went by nicknames he'd given them.
Carl Kowalski, a fifteen year old boy with an above average IQ had been adopted by Skipper as the one to go for, for ideas, or options as he called them. Carl was known to most simply by his last name and most students didn't know his first name at all.
Tom Richardson, the oldest of Skipper's friends had at age seventeen finally received his drivers license. Tom wasn't a great driver, he wasn't even a good driver, but he was an effective driver. He also had a talent for hiding various objects on and around his person. During the one police search he'd ever received more than twenty-five pounds of hidden objects had been found on his person. He had trouble speaking and communicating in general. Skipper seemed understand him and knew he didn't like his formal sounding name. He got everyone to refer to the troublesome boy as Rico. The two got along great and Skipper was the first to share a dorm with Rico without running out one day screaming, thus far anyway...
The final and youngest member of Skippers team was a thirteen year old boy from England. No one, but Skipper seemed to know the lads name. Skipper merely told everyone the boy's name was Private. Private was a sweet boy who had a talent for calming Skipper. For this reason, like Kowalski, Private was often defended by Skipper.
What these three students knew and had discussed, was the idea that Skipper had a crush on Marlene.
Marlene was as old, and in the same grade as Skipper. She shared a few classes with him. The two tended to be competitive, but neither had ever mentioned to anyone the possibility of liking each-other.
So with today's topic beginning to bore her Marlene decided challenging Skipper could be fun.
"Oh, puh-lese!" She exclaimed dramatically to the annoyance of a few other students. "You and your friends are not invincible!"
"We are so!" He objected slapping a hand down on the table and leaning foreword.
Marlene slapped her hand down and leaned in too. "Oh yeah?"
Rico gagged. He found mushy things to be disgusting.
"Well I bet," Marlene said now just inches from his face, "Your 'team' won't last an hour tonight the old school by Central station."
Skipper scoffed. "An hour? Puh-lese." He said mimicking the way she'd said please a moment ago. "We could stay from lights out to sunrise and still make it to class on time.
Finally to the relief of many students, the bell rang. The rest of the day was mildly uneventful. Julien, a boy obsessed with the idea of becoming the school's prom king had gotten Skipper to chase him around the school a few times. Private had finally managed to calm him down and stop him from doing anything that could get him in trouble.
When the day was finally over and curfew was called, Rico flopped face down on his bed. He was disappointed. Skipper usually organized something amazing and entertaining. But today had been exceedingly bland. Somehow that was more tiring for Rico than an active day could have been.
"Rico," His roommate called through the dark.
"Waut yew wan?" He grumbled.
"Get up Rico, we," Skipper paused dramatically, "Have a mission."
Rico sat up and fist pumped. "Whoo hoo!" He cried.
"Shhhshshhshh!" Skipper shushed. "Do you want to wake the entire school?"
Rico laughed embarrassedly. "Heh heh sawwy."
"Get your keys and a few supplies. I'm going to wake the others."
After knocking morse code for, "Get up. Kowalski I know you hear me. Kowalski, Kowalski. Private, Kowalski I know you boys can hear me." A few times Kowalski finally unlocked the door between our dorms.
"Yeah Skipper?" My first lieutenant asked softened by drowsiness.
"Kowalski!" I reprimanded in my harshest whisper. "You're supposed to knock back first so I know it's you!"
He raised an eyebrow at me and I glared back. Finally he sighed and shut the door, locked it, and knocked, "It's me."
"Me who?" Did he have to be so dense?
"How do I know it's really you?"
"Skipper it's him." A knew pair of knuckles tapped lightly.
I swear I taught these boys proper protocol! "Who's this!?"
"It's Private, sir."
"How can I be sure?" I tapped. "Tell me something only Private would know."
"I love Lunacorns! Princess Luna is my favorite!"
"Sigh!" Why is he so quick to admit that? I hit the wall with my head a few times in aggravation.
"What's that code for Skipper?" Private asked.
"Private I think he hit his head on the wall."
"Oh. Why would he do that?"
"Alright!" I tapped quickly. "Just get over here, NancyCats!"
As soon as my lieutenant and private first class walked through I delivered a slap to the back of each of their heads.
"Ow what was that fo-"
"Shhh!" I urged.
"But it hurt." Private whined as I lead them to the open window.
Rolling my eyes I maneuvered down the drainage pipe. I reached the end and flipped down onto my feet. I looked up to see Private and Kowalski staring me down like I'm a madman or something. I waved them down and tentatively Kowalski gulped and took a step onto the ledge and scooted slowly towards the pipe.
Private followed suit and then they began to argue about who would go down first.
Rico's probably off pacing somewhere in the parking lot. If I leave him be too long he'll cause his own brand of mayhem and I'll be responsible for cleaning it up.
"Um Skippah?" Private called.
I looked to my left, my right. He was nowhere to be seen. "Private?"
"Up here, sir."
Somehow, the moment I'm distracted Private manages to get himself caught, by the drawers no less on the ledge by the drainage pipe.
"Private!" I hiss. "Enough fooling around!"
Panicked Private falls straight down and lands in a garbage bin making a huge ruckus.
"Shhh!" I urge. "I don't think they heard you, IN NEW JERSEY!"
So after I helped him up I heard Kowalski yell, and looked up just in time to see him land on us.
When we finally made it to Rico's car, a formerly pink and flowery convertible, he was practically vibrating in the drivers seat.
"C'mon! C'mon!" Rico urged us revving the engine.
"Keep it street legal Rico." Kowalski cautioned. "You don't want another police search do you?"
I smiled at that and after we'd all buckled in I turned to Rico, "Hit it."
Upon my split second directions we made it to the 'haunted' school in no time.
The four peeled off of the leather seats they'd sunken into from the pure inertia of Rico's reckless driving.
"W-why are we here, again?" Private asked Looking up at the looming building.
"Well, Marlene dared us didn't she?"
"All night long." Kowalski said emotionlessly.
The four boys stood in front of the abandoned school hesitating before its decrepit look.
"Ghosts do not exists! It is against all science." Kowalski said summoning confidence.
"Yeargh!" Rico said nodding vigorously
"Well, that's good to know, you nancycats are really manning up."
"Skippah, should we REALLY go in there, it's dark and dusty and broken..."
"Well, he IS right..." Kowalski said examining the crumbling concrete steps and rusted green doors.
"Nonsense!" Skipper told them marching forward. "We're an unstoppable force." He then turned and slammed facefirst into the door.
"Skipper I believe the door is locked." Kowalski said objectively.
Getting up I rubbed my nose. "I know, Kowalski. And what," I asked sarcastically, "might our options be?"
"Well we could-."
Private cut in. "Take it as a sign that we should not be here and go home!" Private said and turned to flee. He ran right into Rico and fell down.
"Nuh-uh!" Rico said and pointed up at an open window on the second floor.
That got me smiling. "Top marks Rico!"
"As I was trying to say!" Kowalski said. "We could just pick the lock."
I looked between each of my men. As a leader I have to consider all opinions. So whose idea is best?
What does Skipper decide?
Does he let them leave like Private wants?
Climb to the second story like Rico suggested?
Or pick the lock like Kowalski suggested?
A/N: Alright, this is credited to Miss 8annie81 who wrote the Intro and the this chapter. After the votes are in, I'll write the next chapter and so on so forth. :-) Enjoy and don't forget to vote! (Voting is on my profile.)