• Peng left Kris’s house and took the shortcut by passing through the warehouse where they received food because it was already dark. She saw two big black vans parked very close to the warehouse with about six hefty guys in black suits. She quickly hid in a small bush nearby and watched what they were up to. They brought out all of the food they had in their vans and took them into the warehouse. Thereafter, one of them came back to carry a big gas cylinder out of the first van.
    “Aren’t these the same guys who give out food to us? What are they doing here?” Peng thought to herself.
    “I better go find out. Something tells me they’re up to no good.”
    Since the warehouse is a very big one, Peng found it easy to sneak in to see and hear them clearly.
    The guys opened the bags of raw food they brought in and poured everything on the floor. They sprayed all the food with the gas and repackaged them for tomorrow’s distribution.
    “What are these guys doing? What’s that gas?” Peng thought to herself again.
    Just as she was about to leave, a conversation ensued between the men.
    “For how long are we going to do this?” One of the guys asked.
    “Yeah, the gas should be working by now. I think we should find out if it’s working already. The gas is supposed to make anyone who eats these foods lose their self-will gradually and we’ve been doing this long enough for the effects to start showing.” Another responded.
    They agreed to go to the town the next day to check the effect of their poisoning by gauging people’s reactions and behaviors. Upon hearing this, Peng ran as fast as she could back home. She couldn’t wait to tell the others that they were in trouble.
    “Guys! Guys! Guys!” Peng shouted as she panted heavily.
    “Relax you. What’s the problem?” Kuri asked.
    “She probably ran her mouth somewhere and is being chased.” Wani said nonchalantly.
    “Peng, what’s wrong? Why did you run in like that.” Mischievous Wani asked.
    “You guys would not believe what I saw and heard on my way back home. You know the foods we’ve been eating all these whiles; they’re poisoned…. or something like that.” Peng explained all she heard and saw that evening without leaving a detail out.
    “That explains why all of you have been behaving abnormally and the entire town as well. “Farren said.
    “What do you mean, Farren?” Wani asked.
    “Well, I’ve been noticing strange behaviors in the three of you lately; sometimes you act like a shadow of yourselves – like a zombie, and other times you’re back to your usual self. If what Peng said is true, then I think whatever they’re doing to you is a gradual process and, soon, you will lose yourselves completely.”
    Kuri was puzzled.
    “And how come you’re not exhibiting these symptoms?”
    Farren shrugged.
    “I don’t know, because I’m a ghost?”
    Wani was hysteric.
    “I knew something was up, but you guys were quick to dismiss me.”
    “Shut up, Wani. Want me to remind you of the times you’ve praised this Duke guy as a savior?” Peng retorted.
    “Look, now’s not the time to pick a fight with yourselves, ok. There’s a more important task at hand. We have to find out why this Duke is doing all of this and what he or she wants. Have you been to town recently? It’s like people are gradually becoming dummies without any suspicion. We have to do something about this, guys, and fast.” Kuri spoke with urgency.
    “I think I have a plan.” Farren said.

  • Immediately, all eyes and ears turned to Farren with rapt attention.
    “Let’s hear it.” Farren replied.
    “If these guys bring the food to the warehouse before adding the gas to it, it means that the food itself is not bad, right? And these guys definitely bring these foods from a location, and they must eat from the food themselves. If we could find out where they bring these foods from, we could probably switch them with the infected ones secretly.”
    “If we do that, then the one behind all these will definitely show since things won’t go the way he planned anymore.” Kuri added.

  • “That’s right. He’d be curious and furious at the same time.” Wani chipped in.

    “You guys are missing something here. How do we locate where they bring these foods from without being noticed? These guys are dangerous and probably heavily loaded with arms and we’re just… us. You know what I mean, don’t you?” Peng added. 
    “Why don’t you leave that to me, little Peng.” Farren said with a mischievous smile on her face.
    Over the next 72 hours, Farren, Wani, Kuri, and Peng put in efforts in order to bring a quick end to what was happening. They found out that the guys in black always came the night before the day they would give out food and spray the food with white gas. After doing this, Farren traced them back to their location and reported it to the others.
    “Guys, I found out where they bring food from. It’s somewhere very close to the border of the city. They have quite a lot of foodstuffs to go around the city. Now, we need a vehicle that’s big enough to pack as many as we need for the mission.”
    “I got us covered Farren. Kris’s family owns a truck. I could just ask him for a favor secretly.” Peng said.
    “That’s great, Peng. Kuri, you’re good to drive, right?”
    “Yeah, I drive trucks all the time to deliver goods at work. I got us covered on the driving part.”
    “What about me? What do I do?” Wani asked.
    “I’ll scare the security out of your way while the three of you will pack as many foodstuffs as possible.” Faren said.
    “Wait! Those guys must be keeping records of their foodstuffs. They’ll definitely know something’s wrong when they find out the number has reduced.” Peng added.
    “Yeah, that’s true.” Wani said as she thought about what Peng said.
    “That’s why we’re going to replace the sacks with the poisoned ones.” Farren further explained.
    “Whoa! Farren, I must say you’re a genius!” Wani remarked.
    “We move tomorrow, guys. Be ready.” Farren instructed.
    Farren and the others got ready and headed towards the warehouse where food was usually being distributed to the people. They hid and waited until the guards brought in a new stock which was then poisoned. After spraying the foodstuff, they loaded it in the warehouse and left, leaving behind one guard to watch over the warehouse. After they left, Farren scared the guard, causing him to abandon the warehouse. The other girls came out of hiding; they had just enough time to do what they wanted to do. They packed all the poisoned foods into the truck and headed towards Duke’s main facility at the border. Farren was able to trip the power circuit to cause a blackout, giving the girls cover to steal the food and replace them with the poisoned ones. They then went back to the warehouse in town to drop off the healthy foodstuff gotten from Duke’s facility; the guard who ran away upon sighting a ghost came back to the warehouse the next morning and didn’t suspect a thing since the foods were still in the warehouse and none was stolen – or so he thought. Thus, Duke’s men unwittingly distributed the healthy food to the people while they consumed the poisoned food.
    The girls kept up this act to ensure that the town folk kept getting healthy food while Duke’s men kept feeding on the poisoned foods. Eventually, Duke’s men began to exhibit strange signs, which was reported to Duke.