Lycralad was in the kitchen, making a cup of tea.

The Cloud walked in and sat at the table, waiting for him to finish. “Do you want a cuppa?” Lycralad asked, with his usual chirpy tone.

“No, not right now,” Cloud answered, somewhat down, “Thanks, though!”

“Is something wrong?” Lycralad asked, sitting at the table. He placed his cup down in front of him.

“I’m OK,” Cloud replied, “It’s just the changes around here are getting to me. We don’t seem to be the same team as we were.”

“Well, there’s only half of us left, for starters!” Lycralad replied, “And Raymond Reide certainly doesn’t make the place feel welcoming any more. It used to be like a second home here – now none of us can’t wait to get out!”

“Tell me about that!” The Cloud smiled. “Still, we have to do what we do best, whatever the circumstances!” The monitor alarm on the console just by the door sounded, and the red light above it lit up. The Cloud dashed up to read the display. “A member is in trouble. The details are coming through now… Mid and District Bank.”

“Who needs help?” Lycralad asked, standing beside the Cloud to look at the display.

“It doesn’t say – Member ID’s off. It has to be one of us, though – only we have access to this system. Sia Klath installed it especially when she joined. Funny there’s no ID though, the system’s geared to respond to our bio cells. There’s only you and me here right now, Alex. Fancy a trip to the bank?”

“I thought you’d never ask!” Lycralad winked. “Let’s get out of this place!”

They both tapped the console, which stopped the alarm and turned off the light. They swiftly left the kitchen and ran down the hallway to the front door. As they got there, it opened, and Raymond Reide walked in. He ignored the Cloud and looked at Lycralad. “Going somewhere, my boy?”

“We have an urgent situation, Mr Reide.” The Cloud answered. “Lycralad and I are attending. It is a Priority One alarm and we must attend.” Without anything further being said, the two heroes left the headquarters, leaving Raymond Reide smirking in the hallway behind them.

***

It took a few moments for them to reach the police cordon around the bank in the High Street. Lycralad tapped the policeman on his left shoulder and quickly bobbed over to his right. The policeman turned, and looked at the Cloud, who smiled as he rolled his eyes and nodded towards Lycralad. The policeman looked in the other direction.

“Constable Jones!” Lycralad smiled, “Long time no see!”

“Lycralad!” The policeman patted Lycra on his right arm. “I wondered if any of the EFB was going to turn up. We’re keeping people away as something odd is happening in the bank.”

“Can you tell us what? Or anything? We received an alert from an EFB member who is in trouble in there.”

“There are no superheroes there, Lycralad. Just some weird robot things and a monster dressed as a woman.”

“A monster dressed as a woman?” The Cloud screwed his face.

“That’s what the bank manager has reported. Nearly all of the staff and customers have fled the bank, but there are a few who were injured who can’t get through the door. The monster is in the foyer somewhere, lurking in an alcove, apparently.”

“Can we go through? The robot things?” Lycralad remembered this situation had more than one part.

“They seem to be incapacitated.” The constable replied. “Decapitated, in fact.”

“Gross!” Lycralad patted Constable Jones’ arm. “Keep everyone else away, Cloud and I will go in and see to the injured and the monster.”

***

The power had been shut down in the bank. Company protocol whenever a robbery is in progress. The digital clock on the wall showed it was 10:45. Lycralad spotted the group of injured people in the corner and dashed over to help them, as the Cloud searched through the various nooks and crannies of the bank looking for the monster. He saw movement behind an automated telling machine, and went over to look closer.

“Cloud…” came a familiar voice from behind the machine.

“Who’s there?” Cloud asked, as the woman leant forward, her face distorted out of all proportion.

“It’s me, Cloud. Angela. Angela Chance.”

“Angela? From reception? What’s happened to you?”

“They haven’t done it” Angela said, pointing over to one of the bulky robots. “I’ve somehow managed to get myself stuck.”

“You aren’t making sense, Angela. Stuck? How?”

“I’m Angel Change. My powers have somehow failed, trapping me mid-transformation. I had to hide to stop others seeing me like this. Can you get me to Natalie and she will be able to get this sorted out.”

“Natalie Byte? The other receptionist? What can she do?”

“Just get me to her. Don’t let Lycralad see me like this.”

“But he can help. He can create a cloak out of your coat to cover you, and we can get you passed all of the people outside, and the police, without being spotted. We can take you outside with the other injured and then get you back to the headquarters.”

“OK. Just do it quickly!”

The Cloud ran over to Lycralad, and explained the other person, the ‘monster’, was another injured customer, loud enough for the others to hear. Lycralad dashed over to the door, and waved for the policeman he was speaking to earlier to come over to him. He advised the ‘monster’ was a false alarm, and the only people left in the building were the injured few. They could all hobble out, so Lycralad got them to the policeman who escorted them to a couple of waiting ambulances.

“There’s one more but we need to get her back to our Medical Centre urgently.” Lycralad shouted after the policeman, who turned back around and acknowledged him. Lycralad then walked back inside the bank and used his powers to expand and alter the fibres of Angela’s coat, changing it into a large hooded cloak with the appearance of a grey blanket that covered her features.

Standing either side of Angela, Lycralad and the Cloud made it appear that they were both struggling a little to walk with her. As he walked through the door, the Cloud nodded to a policewoman who had just arrived on the scene. “The place is empty now,” he said, “so you can go in and have a look around if you like!” As he looked away from her, a bright blue light flickered slightly in the corner of his eye.

Unfortunate Circumstances concludes next week.

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