TND Chapter 5: Drop It Like It's Hot

Hoagie couldn't take it. It was too much for him to handle.

"Haha, you're wearing a bra! Ahaha," he cackled hysterically from his seat on the ship.

Nigel looked down at the...harness he was wearing across his chest with a pained expression. He looked back up to Abigail, "Are you sure this is all you had? There wasn't anything in the back?" He pleaded to her.

Abigail shook her head negative. "On such short notice, Nigel, we could only grab what was already on board. This was one of the spares we keep around. It's an older model, but it'll get the job done just as well as ours does," she told him.

Nigel nudged his head to Kuki who was sitting across from him. "What about Kuki? She's not wearing a B.R.A. like I am."

That b-word sent Hoagie further into hysterics as he cried laughing in his seat.

Kuki gasped in an over-exaggerated manner and covered her chest, "Nigel! Are you saying I'm not wearing a bra?"

Nigel went red in the face. "Wait, no I'm-" he tried to deny.

Kuki leaned forward and mock-whispered. "How did you know?"

That made Abigail chuckle and Hoagie to fall further into hysterics.

"P-please stop. I can't take it. I'll explode!" Hoagie struggled out.

Hoagie lifted his goggles and wiped at the tears in his eyes.

"Oh my gosh. That," he finally says as the laughter begins to fade and points at Nigel's chest, "is hilarious."

Nigel scowled at the teasing. "Oh haha real funny you guys. Laugh at the guy in the bra."

Hoagie snorted at that. "Alright, bra, we'll stop," he snickered and had to take a calming breath. "Don't get your bra in a twist!"

From there Hoagie was lost to his own joke. Again.

Nigel scowled from underneath his sunglasses and crossed his arms petulantly.

"I don't know why you're laughin, Hoagie," Fanny spoke up from her seat next to Kuki. She smiled smugly, a cocky little smirk that showed off her canines, before saying, "I still got the pictures of you being stuck in one for a whole week."

Hoagie's laughter died a quick death and was replaced with panic.

"Oh, yea!" Abigail chimed in. "You had to wear it to school under your clothes and everything. It looked like you were actually wearing a bra!"

"Alright, let's not-" Hoagie began in an attempt to curtail the incoming avalanche.

"I remember that!" Kuki interrupted. She began to laugh. "It looked like he had bigger boobs than me!" She put her hands out over her chest in an attempt to show just how big that was.

That sent everyone off and they laughed while Hoagie groaned and sagged in his seat.

"Well, whatever," He said after the laughing began to die down. "Moving on to more relevant topics," he turned his head to address Fanny, "What's the plan? Cuz we didn't get much of a brief before we took off."

Fanny snorted one last time before a serious look overtook her features. Everyone decided now was the time to pay attention.

"Dim the lights, would ya, Ace?" Fanny asked out loud and Ace, who was piloting the aircraft responded affirmative and the lights in the cabin dimmed.

From the floor rose a podium with what looked like a projector. It lit up and began to project a blue image to the occupants. It was an overhead view building. Really squarish but long with a lot of space behind it. It looked like a pool or maybe a basketball court. Maybe both?

…wait.

Hoagie knew this building. He leaned in closer and suddenly it clicked and his eyes widened.

"This is the-," he began.

"The local Boys and Girls club," Fanny finished for him. "And also where we tracked Wally."

"Wait, tracked?" Nigel spoke up, confused. "You put a tracker on him?"

Fanny rolled her eyes. "No, not on him. It was inside the suit, hidden. It was a just-in-case just in case somethin like this were to happen," she said in defense. She unbuckled from her seat, "Keep the yoke steady, Ace, or so help me I'll have Conall eat your glasses," she threatened as she patted her dog on his hairy flank.

Said dog was secured right beside her in a seat of his own. His hind legs in one seat while his forelegs and head were laid across Fanny's lap. Around his midsection, he wore what looked like a bulletproof vest.

"Aye, aye señora," Ace replied back with a chuckle.

"Off," Fanny commanded her dog who rose up so she could get up. Fanny stepped over to the projector and began speaking.

"Come here to me and listen. We got wind that the K.N.D. were planning something big this semester, but we didn't know what. As a result, we prepared for the worst," she told them, frowning all the while.

"Fat load of good your 'preparing' did, Fanny," Kuki jabbed to everyone's silent shock.

Fanny clenched her jaw and didn't say a word, but she did shoot a glare at Kuki who rolled her eyes right back. Fanny huffed through her nose before pushing forward.

"Despite our best efforts," Fanny pushed on, wading through the stabbing remark, "they were still able to get the drop on us."

"How?" Abigail asked, slightly shocked.

Hoagie wondered the same thing and was just about to ask that same question. He was a part of that team that combed through that info they got, and nothing from it gave them any indication that the twerps were thinking of pulling off what they just did. The K.N.D. were planning something, just like Fanny said, but still. How did they even-

The answer slapped him right in the face.

"They weren't supposed to know we were having a pep-rally," he blurted out in realization.

That caught everyone's attention, and they all focused on him.

Fanny's green eyes zeroed in on him, and he tried not to sweat. Gosh, she was scarily intense, and he almost regretted blurting that out. Almost because he knew he was right.

"What do you mean they weren't supposed to know, Hoagie?" Abby asked from beside him with a raised eyebrow.

"Yes, please," Fanny interjected, still scarily intense to him, "crack on and tell the class what you've sniffed out?"

Everyone waited for his explanation, and Hoagie took a moment to get his thoughts together.

"They weren't supposed to know about the pep rally" he repeated to them. "Look, we know," he said and made a gesture towards everyone around, "cuz it's our school. Shoot, most of the regular student body didn't know about it until the today-the day of. But, how did they know we were having one?" Hoagie asked them.

A shocked silence covered the teens.

"But how?" Abigail spoke up. "Every teen that comes into the school gets vetted for any type of brainwashing. You can't be saying we got a traitor amongst us?" Abigail asked her boyfriend.

Fanny shook her head quickly and cut off the thread before anyone could capitalize off it. "He's not saying nothin of the sort. It could've been that somebody was overheard a few days before or they have bugs in the compound. It could be a traitor or who knows what. That's not our job to figure. We got people lookin into that as we speak. Our job is to grab Wally and get him outta there before they're able to get anything out of him."

"And because he's our friend," Kuki added.

"And because he's our friend," Fanny agreed with a slight nod. "Wally has had our backs and pulled our butts outta the fire more times than we can count, and more times than I care to admit. It's time we return the favor," she said to them. "We are going to be dropping in our DropKicks. Hoagie and Abigail have your weapons with you already. Kuki, we found your weapon of choice where you left it, and it's next to you. You, Nigel, are stuck with what we had on board," she said as she pointed from Kuki to himself.

Besides himself were what looked like a pair of identical hand-gun type weapons. They almost looked like the real thing to Nigel, but the shape was all of. It was a bulbous looking L shape. Obviously, it didn't shoot bullets but something else. He wondered what to be honest. He reached for them and picked them up from where they were on the wall next to him. It was heavy and filled with the unknown ammunition. He dare not do anything beyond look at it because he didn't want to risk accidently screwing it up. "In your severely unprepared hands, Nigel, is the classic Spicy Mustard Repeater or SMR for short," Fanny informed him. "Inside is, if you haven't guessed it, spicy mustard that has been guaranteed to itch, irritate, and slightly burn any skin it comes in contact with. Filled with a family size thing of mustard, you have enough ammo to miss a lot, which I don't doubt you'll do, and keep it pushing. Luckily enough, you have two of them," she smirked a small, mocking smirk at him. Nigel felt a small flare up of anger at her smirk, but pushed it down. She thought he'd miss a lot? Oh, he'd show her. He weighed the weapon in hands, tested its grip, and nodded. It seemed simple enough just like the guns he shot with his dad when they'd go down to the range. Did Fanny know he actually knew how to shoot? No, but that's what was going to make it even sweeter when he didn't miss as much as she thought he was gonna.

Fanny opened her mouth to say more but was interrupted as Ace interjected franitcally.

"Approaching the landing zone, Hunter-Commander! Enemy Anti-aircraft gum cannons are firing! I'm going to have to ask you to take a seat!" he yelled back to them.

The light in the cabin turned back on but it was red and Hoagie felt his stomach clench.

"Already?! How did they detect us?!" Fanny yelled out as she hurried to her seat. She patted her lap and her dog clambered up into it. With practiced ease, she strapped herself and her pup in before leaning back into her seat.

"Performing evasive maneuvers!" Ace hollered.

"Strap in! It's about to get brutal out there! We have an even tighter window to drop since they somehow detected us! We got people on the ground that'll be our distraction to get inside, get Wally and get outta there!" Fanny told them. "We're going to be dropped in behind the building while the main forces attack the front. One way or another, we're doing this! Everyone prepare your DropKicks and check your comms! It's showtime!"

She pressed a red button beside her face and a glass door slid up from the floor and closed over her and her seat.

Everyone followed her lead and pressed the buttons next to them and prepared. Nigel, the most inexperienced one of them all, gulped nervously.

"What are we doing?!" He yelled from behind the protective glass.

"Dropping in!" Hoagie yelled back. Honestly, was Nigel not listening?

Nigel's face scrunched up in confusion before it opened up in realization.

"Literally?! How?!"

"Literally! And it's in the name! To drop, kick down on the handle thingy under your seat! Don't worry! You're in a 10x reinforced steel drop pod. You'll be fine!"

"If you two eejits don't use your effing comms!" Hoagie winced as Fanny's voice burst through his earpiece.

Before Nigel or Hoagie or anyone could say more, Ace' voice cut them off.

"Eagle 3 and 4 have been hit! I repeat, Eagle 3 and 4 have been gummed! Damnit! This is Eagle Commander! All carries drop your cargo now! All fighters, grab the attention of those guns so our people don't get hit! Let's show these " Ace commanded. Suddenly his voice appeared in their earpieces. "Fanny, we're approaching our drop point, but if you want to pick up, you're going to need to take out those guns!"

"I know! Just get us to the drop point!" Fanny snapped back.

If Ace was offended he made no indication. With a level of professionalism, or he was just used to her, he replied back, "We're dropping in hot! Approaching drop point in 5,"

Abigail glanced at her boyfriend one more time before smirking cockily at him and blew him a kiss and a middle finger all in one. He still caught it.

"4,"

Fanny rolled her eyes at the entire exchange while she laid a hand on Conall's flank to keep him calm and steady.

"3,"

Kuki closed her eyes and took a deep breath, her fingers and feet tapping in anticipation.

"2,"

Hoagie took the imaginary kiss and middle finger his girlfriend blew in his hand and placed it over his heart, and blew her one right back. She still caught it and did the same.

"1,"

Nigel clenched his teeth and gulped. He gripped tight on the straps of his chair and tried to pull himself together.

"DROP!"

As one, the teenagers kicked at the button beneath their chairs and were shakily dropped out of their aircraft in reinforced pods and into the sky, the sudden force of gravity slamming them back against their seats.

There was no turning back now.