“What!? How did someone kidnap James?” I exclaimed, gaping.
“Makes things pretty simple with him unconscious. There hasn’t been any real danger against you, but they took James from inside the hospital and some people have been making crazy theories about your involvement. So just to be sure, I’d-”
I stopped time. Who the hell takes advantage of this kind of situation to kidnap someone!? With an angry exasperated swing of my arm time rewound. I walked the corridors, keeping an eye peeled for James in the swirling chaotic mass.
Finally I spotted him and let time resume its course. He’d just barely been brought to the hospital and they were wheeling him away to surgery with a piece of glass sticking from his side.
It wasn’t that big.
I followed inside and watched as the doctors worked on patching him up. They took out the glass and stitched a wound on the back of his neck.
It didn’t take a dozen hours.
But then, as they were finishing up, getting ready to unplug him from the anesthetics, it happened.
Two of them, with guns and sleeping gas. In a matter of seconds, James had gotten tossed over their shoulder and they’d made a sweet escape to their van.
I followed their van till time caught back up to the present. I memorized the license plate and the roads and then came back.
“-like for you to get some-”
“I know where they are.” I said as I listed out both roads and license plates.
Sebastien had a moment of hesitation, but he seemed to realize that I’d used astral to go see, and he took me by my word. He took out his phone and alerted the other cops.
I turned to Zac who’d gotten up without me noticing. “It’s at the edge of town, it’ll take a while for the cops to get there…” I said.
“Oh no, tell me you don’t want to try and stop it yourself. I’m not teleporting you over to get killed.” Zac stated.
“No, no, don’t be ridiculous, but I know people who could help.” I said extending my arm. Zac nodded and helped me teleport to the Dragons.
I mean if there was anyone at all…it’d be them right?
Well apparently I was wrong.
“It’s not that we don’t want to Nikolas, we just don’t have enough information right now.” Skyla shook her head.
“But I told you already! It’s just two guys with guns.”
“Yes guns, we aren’t armed if you hadn’t noticed. This is too risky.” She countered. They might not have guns, but they have people with powers. That was never a secret.
“Where’s Annie, she’d say yes.” I clenched my jaw.
“She’s not here and don’t go bothering her! She wouldn’t say yes either. Look Nikolas, we’re too uninformed, we have no idea who we’re dealing with. Did you catch any names at least?”
“They didn’t stop to chat no.” I forced out. This was going nowhere.
I sheathed my katana with a determined glare.
“Niko this isn’t a good idea. We’re even less prepared.” Zac tried to reason.
“Zac, this is James. He’s done so much for me lately. And he’s gone through an insane amount of shit – I can’t just let him get kidnapped without at least trying! He wouldn’t let that happen to me.”
“Yeah, but…” Zac gestured uselessly before admitting I was right. “Right. It’s better to try and fail than not have tried at all right? Or something along those lines.”
“Precisely.” I grinned, slapping his arm. “Do you want my other katana?” I would take it myself, but I doubt my wrist would be very efficient.
“Nah, don’t give me a weapon. I don’t get the feeling it’ll end well.”
“Ok suit yourself, I just need a taxi that’s all.” I smirked.
“Great to be needed.” He rolled his eyes with a small smile.
My smile took a more serious turn. “Zac if you don’t want to, I’m not forcing you-”
“Yeah, yeah, it’s fine let’s go already.”
“Ok they’ll be here in a bit, they’re further down the road.” I said. “We’re going to have to time this right-”
“You’re going to try teleporting inside?” Zac exclaimed.
“Yeah, James is inside.” I stated the obvious.
“I haven’t actually tried teleporting into a wall, but I’m pretty sure that’s a risky possibility.” Zac said.
“No it’s fine, look, I’ll stop time and get both of our astral selves inside the van before you teleport us in. Safe!” I said, turning on astral to get Zac’s astral self with us.
“Ok that’s great but once inside,” Zac said as I placed my hand on his shoulder and concentrated. “Still people with guns and all you’ve got is a sword.”
For some reason Zac’s astral self wasn’t coming out. Usually my body cast the spell and it – oh of course. My wand got broken in the explosion.
“It’s fine, we just need to get James awake so he can control them.” I replied.
“Is something wrong? Usually I’m passed out on the floor by now.” Zac noticed.
“I don’t have my wand. But it’s fine, I’ve got great aim!”
“Oh no no no-”
“Nah come on, I’ll stop time before hand so I can aim right and we’ll teleport in perfectly. I’m a genius it’ll be fine.”
“Not if you have to use genius as an argument.” Zac groaned.
“Worst case scenario we just go back in time and fix it.”
“You can do that with your power?”
“No, but that’d be neat huh?” I grinned at him. “Ok, here they come, you ready?”
“No…” Zac gulped, but got up and placed his hand on my shoulder anyway.
“On my mark…now!”
My aim was, of course, perfect. We teleported right inside the van, with the two helmet guys reeling in surprise. I didn’t waste any time – I swung my katana as hard as I could as the two men lifted their guns. So hard, it hit the stand and the tip hit the wall of the van.
I was being teleported away when I heard the sound of a trigger being pulled, but when Zac and I found ourselves on the side of the road again, neither of us has a bullet wound.
“Sorry Niko, but they were going to shoot at us!”
“No, no, it’s perfect Zac! We would’ve gotten shot if you hadn’t teleported us out. And either way I managed to cut the IV.” I said with a triumphant grin.
“You know, the one that was keeping James down with drugs. Now all we need to do is wait for the drugs to wear off. I doubt they have a spare IV tube lying around.” I said.
“How long does that take?”
“I don’t know – if it’s the same general anesthetics they used for the surgery like maybe 5-10min at least?”
“So this is going to take a while?”
I shrugged. “Nearest town is an hour away, he’s bound to wake up by then. I want to be there when it happens though.”
“Watching The James in action. That’d be something.” Zac agreed.
“How many times can you teleport?” I asked, thinking that we could follow the van.
“Eh I haven’t tested, but not that many. I’m already feeling a little tired.” Zac admitted.
“Hmm, oh it’s ok then. We can just teleport on top of the van then. That way, that’s only one teleport and we get a free ride.” I proposed.
Zac opened his mouth to object, but then he shrugged. “Sure, why not?”
“Shit!” I let out as Zac dangled from my fractured wrist. Thankfully Zac used his other hand to put his weight on my arm instead.
I didn’t even have time to think about pulling him up when the van’s door swung open. I went to swing at it with my katana as one of the men came out – gun already pointed.
There was no hesitation, he fired the gun instantly at Zac as we teleported again.
This time we weren’t fast enough.
Zac instantly collapsed unconscious the moment we…rematerialized or whatever. Thankfully the guy hadn’t loaded his gun with actual bullets, but tranquilizers instead.
I quickly took the dart off of Zac, but I had little doubt the sleep-inducing drug had already gone through his system.
I watched the van drive away with a grimace. This wasn’t going to work. They would probably notice the IV had gotten cut – if they hadn’t already I hadn’t been all that subtle. All they needed to do was shoot James with these till they got there.
I looked at the dart a little closer, searching for something that could identify it. I did find something, a small logo on the back. I couldn’t recognize it, but there was a possibility the Dragons or Sebastien could, so I pocketed it.
I slumped on the grass. “Sorry Zac –if you get a headache out of this.”
I didn’t have my wand, and I didn’t have my phone either. My wand wasn’t the only thing that had broken in the explosion. I didn’t have any way of contacting – I still have astral! And one person who could hear me.
“Ashlynn? If you can hear me, I could use some help…” I said into astral, but I got no replies.
Right, she was probably asleep. Guess you can’t hear anything when you’re sleeping.
I laid down on the grass with a sigh. I’ll just wait till Zac wakes up then. It was relaxing out here, with the warm sun and the small breeze.
Well…I mean, if everyone’s taking a nap, I might as well join in. It’s that or dragging Zac down to the road to the nearest building with a phone anyway.
No one’s POV
The woman waited patiently on the elevator as it descended her down the deep basement levels of the Hans Laboratory. People who had access to these levels engaged in the most thrilling experiments the company had to offer – or like her, they were mere errand people.
She reached the lab she and peeked in.
“Yes yes come on in.” A scientist called from the other side of the room. “Wear one of the helmets if you do. It’s safer this way.”
She did as she was told, tucking her hair under the helmet.
“Well they give the illusion of safety. It will hardly protect against our newest addition.”
“You mean James Whitelight don’t you.” The lady asked with curiosity. The man was on his way now. It was big news for the lower levels.
“He is on another level altogether.” The woman agreed. “But these helmets are important in the lab to protect against these two.”
The lady hesitantly gave the two vampire prisoners a glance.
“We managed to make the helmets thanks to Velor Gold – well what was left of him. These two helped perfect them. Unfortunately it’s nowhere near enough to defend against James Whitelight so that we can learn how to engineer his power. But I heard the artifacts team found something interesting at the bomb site…”
“Yes, that’s why I’m here.” The lady said, retrieving a package from her pocket. Inside a plastic bag was a small bead. One of the guests at Edmund Pallen’s funeral was an ex-sniper named Evan. Velor Gold had given him a bead to protect against James and eventually kill him. The man had kept it inside himself ever since, but the bomb had vaporized all obstacles to retrieving the bead.
The Hans had simply allowed themselves to scavenge.
“Perfect! Once I reverse engineer this, we’ll be able to create a cage capable of containing him.” She grinned already leaving to work.
“Yes I know wonderful.” The lady said a little sarcastically. She didn’t quite catch why really this was so interesting. James Whitelight hadn’t done anything to this company. But this project was still above her paygrade.
“Leave the helmet on your way out.”