Leyla studied him for a few minutes before she realized she had met a match, in this one. "Please, sit down," she sighed, rubbing her forehead. Cold aggression wasn't going to get her anywhere, here. She would change tactics. "How did you get in?" If he wasn't going to tell her about himself, she wanted to know how he had found out so much about her. It was in both of their interests, if they were going to work together, to fix that security breach.
It annoyed her that the gap in her protections even existed.
Elijah sat, resting one arm on his thigh while the other hung off the back of the chair. His eyes continued to roam around, observing the area. He'd already seen it enough times to know what everything was, where things were located. "There's an entrance. I used it." Which entrance, he would not say.
Leaning forward in the chair, he met her eyes. "Let me be honest with you. There's no doubt in my mind that you're a very capable girl. I trust in your leadership, and I trust in your combat skills." He sat up straight. "And there are more pressing matters to deal with than this interrogation bullshit. Tomorrow the dogs will arrive, and we need to be prepared."
Those military dogs were ruthless, and they could tear down a rebel group with no problem. But Eli wasn't about to let that happen.
"Right. Great." Leyla stood up. She wouldn't question how he knew they were coming, she would just prepare. "Your men should be through medical by now." Unless there was something wrong with them, they would be settled in and ready for action. "I assume they're willing to follow orders from a girl?" If they weren't, they would have issues, because Leyla wasn't about to let her authority be questioned.
Reaching up, she tapped her earpiece, murmuring this new information in a cool tone of voice, telling her leads to wait for her instructions. "Now-" She tapped the piece again, turning her attention back to Elijah and raising her eyebrows. He seemed to know everything, and there was no harm in listening to him. "What is your suggested plan?" Calmly, she stood, moving to a chest behind her and pulling out a drawer, tossing him an earpiece. Their base was huge, she wanted to be able to communicate with everyone there easily, particularly the men and women closest to her.
"My men have been given strict orders to follow your lead. They know that if they don't wish to comply, they can take a bullet to the temple." Elijah took out a small pocket knife and cleaned his fingernails, which were caked with sand from his trip back to Leyla's hideout. "I have no use for ignorant dogs." He nodded. If his men didn't want to listen, they'd be feed for the vultures.
He caught the earpiece and swiftly put it on his left ear. He continued messing with his knife as he glanced up at Leyla. "Usually leaders have plans. And, as I recall...about five seconds ago you became the hand that feeds me." He wasn't the leader. He had no plan.
He had no plan, but Leyla was sure that later, she would hear all about the flaws in her own. Briefly, she raised her eyebrows at him, and then nodded briefly. Very good. At least he wasn't going to fight for top position with her.
"Isaac." She'd turned on the earpiece again. "Are those three back yet? ..Good. Shut it down. Yes. All of it, nobody out, nobody in, understood? I want the top two levels sprayed down, and I want the outer perimeter sprayed for at least a quarter mile. No scents. No tracks. Nothing." She waited, briefly, drumming her fingers on top of the chest.
"I meant now, Isaac. And once that's done, call for our friends to come and mess things up." She was careful to maintain a good relationship with the homeless men and women around their hideout. They would make sure that the scents around the place would confuse any tracking dog, and that no government soldier would find anything strange.
"We've a larger workforce, now, so I want fully armed guards at every door and air vent, as well as the freaking drains. Understood? Good. Lower the sound proofing behind the doors as well. We're going invisible for the next forty-eight hours."
If she knew where Elijah had gotten in, she would put a guard there too- as it was, she wasn't sure staying here was the best idea, with a hole in security, but there was nowhere safer.
Elijah nodded, standing after he put away his pocket knife. His work here was done for the day, and he believed it was about time he rested. Without waiting for permission from Leyla, he turned and left to head back up to the floor where all his men were going to be sleeping. He'd stay with them, just one of the grunts. Keeping a low profile like this had been his plan, and he was that Leyla had grown into a competent leader. It made his job easier.
He noticed Isaac on his way back, and gave him a good hard stare before turning away. He'd remember that face, and if it gave him any grief he wouldn't hesitate to act on it.
Isaac was eying Elijah just as closely- all he did was follow Leyla's instructions, but there was something about that particular newcomer that rubbed him the wrong way. Something about the way the man looked at him, perhaps.
The entire base was a flurry of movement, now, men and women rushing to fill bottles and jugs with water, to charge flashlights and communications devices, to follow Leyla's orders. Going invisible meant no running water and no more electricity than was absolutely essential for things like backup on the computers and power to the medical ward. They didn't want to be any more noticeable than they had to be.
While everyone prepared for shut down, Elijah headed to the exit. There were warning lights going on, to alert to everyone that they would be locked in soon, not to be let in. Elijah, however, ignored all that and headed out. He slipped through the doors that were beginning to slide shut, and walked out into the night air. While everyone else would have to ration their energy and resources, he would go about his own business.
He trusted Leyla to take care of everything in his absence.
She was the Sparrow, after all. Swift and cunning. She better live up to that.
Leyla didn't care what he did, as long as he didn't lead any government types to her doorstep. If he opted to be somewhere else, that was fine. Quickly and efficiently, everything slid into place, and Leyla headed to the floor that housed all of their computer equipment, studying the surveillance screens briefly before she turned to Isaac. "I want to know if there's even one man out there at any point that seems even vaguely suspicious."
Elijah sat in an abandoned home, lounging in an old wooden chair, feet propped up on the table. He had tools laid out on the table in front of him, and he was currently tinkering with the earpiece Leyla had given him. He always had spare parts and interesting devices on his person that he picked up along the way, and he thought of reworking this newest piece of technology. He changed it so that he could always pick up on Leyla's feed, even when she tuned out. It would be a one way thing, but he likd to keep tabs on her. This was his test of trust.
He whistled as he worked, not fearing an ambush or a mugging. He was a quick draw, and had lived too long to be afraid anymore. Even with his young body and face, which was not covered by the hood anymore, he was as fearless as ever.
Leyla was working with her team, making sure that everything was shut down. She checked every door personally, running her hands along the edges, checking for bits of air coming in- everything was airtight. The vents were open, so there wouldn't be a suffocating feeling, but every vent was guarded, as she'd instructed. "Alright," she said finally, stretching sore muscles. "Good. If anyone gets in, I swear to god, the one who let them in is dead."
The next morning, Eli woke up to the sound of marching feet and gunfire. He was still in that abandoned home he'd worked in the night before, and he was covered from head to toe in his cloak, which was actually a special piece of equipment. A camouflage skin, so to speak. It blended in nicely with the floor and wall he was pressed to. He groaned as he sat up, body sore beyond belief. He was getting too old for this s**t.
Once he got to his feet, he kept the hood off his face and snuck up to the roof of the home to look down upon the mayhem. He tapped his earpiece to hear what was going on at Leyla's end.
"I don't care if they're starting the bloody apocalypse out there," Leyla was snapping at some unfortunate soul. "We're staying here, and we're staying quiet. Or do you think it would be better to stream out and be shot down like rats coming out of a hole?" The response she got must have been satisfactory, because she just snorted, talking down another hallway.
"We've enough fresh water?" She was checking with medical on the other end of her earpiece.
"For forty eight hours, yes, ma'am," a professional voice responded. "Barring any extreme circumstances, of course, and allowing only rationed water per day."
"Good enough." Leyla's voice was steady. "By then we should be clear to at least turn the lights back on and pump fresh water again."
"You may want to rethink that." Eli's gravelly voice sounded in Leyla's ear. He spoke as quietly as he could, though he didn't really fear being seen. His cloak was wrapped around him enough to shield his body, and the roof provided shade to keep him in shadow as he watched what went on. "They're doing a clean sweep. Looks like an extermination." He had his own weapons at the ready, just in case. Each one had a silencer over it. He was an expert sniper, after all. That was his specialty.
"All the buildings are being leveled." Elijah turned away and began to run. He'd seen a few small bombs roll over to the side of the home, and he needed to get away from this hell hole quick.
Leyla raised an eyebrow. It sounded like Eli was in some trouble, but then, who hadn't seen that coming? He had chosen to leave. "We'll wait the forty eight hours, and then get more water," she repeated calmly. "We're underground. They can level all that they want to up there. Be careful." The ground was vibrating around them, but she knew they would be fine as long as they stayed in the bomb-shelter levels at the very base of the garage. She had prepared for this sort of situation.
The problem was that she hadn't prepared for this many men- her force had been much, much smaller then.