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54 Marks Plans

 8:15 PM - City Mall Bacoor, West Wing, TechZone

Inside the store where the laptops were set, Mark sat on a chair with Abbygale on his lap. He gently blew on the soup inside the spoon he was holding in his right hand and fed it to Abbygale. In front of them, there were several steaming hot instant cup noodles and waffles along with several bottles of drinks.

It was fortunate that one of the stores inside the TechZone actually sell assortments of USB accessories and equipment. The water used for the cup noodles were heated using USB Thermos and the waffles were heated and cooked using a USB Insulation Bento Box what was currently plugged into a phone charger and was being used to heat other food stuffs at the moment.

Beside Mark, Mei was looking enviously at Abbygale while eating her own cup noodles.

On the counter, Ange and Paula were fiddling with the laptop. They were contacting the military while trying to get ahold with Ange's father.

James also passed by earlier informing Mark that the guy that he trashed already died. Mark was not surprised by it as it was the reason he left with Abbygale and Mei that time. Though the only visible injury was the broken arm, Mark detected the extent of pain the man felt before he fell unconscious. It was likely that the man's ribs were broken and tore into his organs. The man's head also hit the concrete wall too hard that it was probable for him to receive a severe head trauma that could lead to brain hemorrhage.

Removing the unnecessary thoughts in his mind, he picked up a slice of cheese waffle from the table and let Mei beside him take a bite. Mei's eyes gleamed with glee and hurriedly took a bite.

Mark was having a headache. Since Abbygale appeared earlier, Mei started feeling envious of her as the little girl was being carried by him. Most people might not have noticed but for Mark who was an Empath, he could detect the rapid changes in Mei's feelings towards him. All of it was because of Abbygale.

Mark turned his head and looked at the two college girls seriously typing something at the laptop.

***

8:21 PM - Central Business Park, Pasay City, Diosdado Macapagal Blvd.

A convoy consisting of three military hummers was rushing along the road. Inside the Humvee in the middle of the convoy, Gen. Miguel Perez sat on the back seat with a gleam of excitement and relief on his aged face.

He just received a call from the Rescue Department that his daughter contacted them. After he got the news, he immediately passed his orders to his aide to take command for a while before leaving.

The convoy stopped outside the former call center building. As the general walked out of the vehicle, another military jeep came and Teresa, his future daughter-in-law, walked out of it.

The two went in together and was received by the waiting personnel. The general started to inquire about the situation as they walk on the hallway.

"What's the news about my daughter?"

"Sir! You're daughter is still online and she said that they are currently out of danger. According to her, there was a request for rescue that came earlier about survivors at the Bacoor City Mall and she was included in that report."

The personnel replied.

"Wait, that report?"

Teresa interjected making the general and the personnel look at her.

"You know about it?"

The general asked.

"I was there when that request came in. Remember my friend Laura that I recommended to this department to volunteer? She was the one who received the request."

The general turned back to the personnel.

"Was there a rescue squad dispatched to them?"

"Not yet sir."

Gen. Miguel was surprised.

"What is the reason?"

"Sir, according to the previous report, they had 47 survivors with them, we needed to more squads to return to accommodate the rescue for all those people."

The General frowned but understood the situation. The three people hurried towards the Rescue Department office.

***

Back at the TechZone, Ange who was just typing on the laptop suddenly stood up and looked around making everyone in the store look at her.

"What's wrong?"

Mark who was feeding Abbygale asked.

"I need a phone. Dad just arrived and told me to find a phone with an active number."

Hearing what she said, Mark took out his newly acquired phone and gave it to Ange.

"Give me that back later. Is your father going to register the number to a private network?"

Ange nodded as she received the phone.

"Just check the number in the settings."

Ange fiddled with the phone while returning back to the chair in front of the laptop before she continued typing.

Soon, the phone rang which Ange immediately picked up.

"Dad!"

[Angeline! Thank goodness you're fine!]

"Well, yes. We almost died but we're safe now!"

Mark almost choked when he heard what she said. He concluded that Ange was daughter who was good at making her parents worried!

"Dad, will you send us rescue?"

[We will, we are just waiting for the rescue squads to return and we will immediately dispatch them to your location. In the meantime, I'll relay your location to your eldest brother.]

"Brother? Raf? Why?"

[I sent him to search for you this morning. He should be nearby your location.]

Ange's eyes lit up.

"Good!"

[Angeline, how many people are with you now? Is the number different now?]

Ange looked at the people sitting in front of her and asked.

"How many are we here?"

Paula was about to reply when Mark answered Ange's question

"48, 43 adults and 5 children."

Ange immediately conveyed what Mark said on the phone. Paula on the other hand looked confused then looked at Mark with realization. Ange continued talking with her father on the phone telling what happened to her. Her father actually wanted to talk with Mark who saved her daughter but he declined as Mark was really not comfortable speaking with others through a phone.

Mark and the others already finished eating several minutes before Ange finished the call.

Abbygale was already sleeping as she sat on Mark's lap and leaned on his body curled like a cat. The little girl felt sleepy after her stomach was stuffed full.

After she finished the call with her father, Ange really looked happy. She also told Paula about her family who was already rescued. Paula really looked relived but for some reason, she was glancing at Mark every now and then.

Mark was getting irritated at her as she was glancing at him from time to time so he spoke.

"If you have something to ask, then ask."

Hearing his cue, Paula sat on the chair properly.

"It's about the number you told Ange earlier. It's short by one person."

She then looked straight at Mark's eyes.

"Why are you not coming with us?"

Ange and Mei's eyes grew wide at Paula's revelation. Mei immediately turned to her Gege and asked him followed by Ange.

"Gege, it's not true right?!"

"Yeah! Why not?!"

Mark sighed he stretched his hand towards Ange.

"Give me my phone."

Ange immediately returned his phone and he opened a social media app on it. He then browsed to some posts that he tagged and pinned and showed it the girls.

"I have to look for these people. You three knew that I had a bad relationship with my family right? During the heavy times, these people were there who stood as a pillar for me when I needed someone to stand beside me. They were like brothers and sisters to me. Though a few things happened and I neglected them. Right now, they needed help. I have a very large debt to them and this time was the first and might be the last time I can repay them."

The three girls grew silent.

"I had many friends before but these few people were the only true friends I had. I may not care if it was people I did not know but these guys were like family to me."

"Then, I'll go with you, Gege."

Mei spoke her intention but Mark shook his head.

"Why?"

Tears started to fall from Mei's eyes. Mark grabbed her shoulder and pulled her making her lean towards his shoulder. He then gently caressed her hair.

"Mei'er, it will be dangerous so I can't bring you with me. I don't even know if I will find a vehicle I can use. If I can't then I will be forced to go on foot. I know I can handle myself but I won't be able to protect you."

"Can't we just send them rescue after them? I can ask my Dad."

Ange suggested.

"Just how long will that take? Mutated zombies are already appearing and you haven't seen what I saw in the videos uploaded in the internet. The more time it takes, it gets more dangerous. And also, even if your father was a general, he will suffer repercussions for abusing his authority if you force him to do what you want."

Ange dismayed while Mark looked at Paula.

"Can I get the favor you owe me?"

"What is it?"

"I want you and Angeline to take care of Mei'er and Abbygale after you guys arrive at the evacuation center."

Paula was reluctant to agree. It was not because she did not want to take care of Mei and Abbygale but she felt that it was better if Mark was the one to take care of the two. She sighed as she saw the resolution in Mark's eyes. During the short interaction with him since he saved her and Ange, she started to understand this scary guy's personality.

He was indifferent to people he did not know and was ruthless to his enemies and people who offended him. However, he was kind, caring and overprotective to people he liked, had interest and had close relations with. The way he treated Ange, Mei and Abbygale was the best example. Especially Mei, he might not had noticed it but he was treating her like a treasure.

"Alright, I agree."