|When Evil Lingers
Author: blackwolf412 PM
Okay, I admit, I thought we were done with the crazy. I thought Life was gonna be peaceful and normal and, y'know, not crazy. But then Life had a violent pregnant-lady mood-swing and screwed up its chances of ever gaining my trust. Thanks, Life. Thanks a lot. You're a jerk.Rated: Fiction T - English - Humor/Adventure - Chapters: 15 - Words: 58,696 - Reviews: 58 - Favs: 10 - Follows: 9 - Updated: 07-05-12 - Published: 06-05-12 - id: 8187526
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
i saw a dude with beard-dreads today.
they were dreadlocks. in his beard.
it was awesome.
disclaimer: don't own maximum ride.
5. tracking and stalking are two very different things
A few seconds after Total left, Con left his computer and went to shut the door. It'd been annoying enough just letting the dog stay on his bed, and he wasn't about to let it happen again. At least not now. He was too busy.
He was trying to find someone.
Sitting back down, he tried to find his place on the webpage he'd pulled up. He'd been up all night tracking and hacking into Itex's old files, but the only thing that had really been useful was this page, here, which was pretty much just a Wikipedia entry. Basic facts, short biography, and half of it probably not even true.
But it was all he had, so he took a shot.
Westerfield, Marein Alexandra. M.D., Ph.D. Specializing in marine biology and genetic engineering. Head researcher and scientist concerning Hybrid Group 3, Human/Fish Recombinations.
Well, duh, he knew that. That was the point. If anyone could tell them what was up with the whole red eyes thing, it'd be Marein. She'd created the kids, after all. She knew everything there was to know about them.
Born in Toronto, Ontario, Canada, June 8 1968.
Yeah, yeah, all the good things came from Canada. Whoop-de-freaking-do.
Moved to Boston, Massachusetts, United States in 1985 at age of 17. Graduated Stanford, class of 1990. Recruited by Itex Corporation in 1990, stationed in Salt Lake City, Utah. Gave birth to first son, a.k.a. Project Poseidon, on December 10 1991.
That was new information. Who knew Sy was only a few months younger than him? In a random moment of distraction, Con clicked on the blue text of "Project Poseidon," and a new tab opened. And then he spent a couple minutes totally reading up on all of the stuff Itex had on Sy. Because. . .like. Well. Just because. When else would he have this opportunity to gain informational ammunition?
Project Poseidon. Full legal name: Dylan Elliot Westerfield. Birth date: December 10 1991. Genetic makeup: 96.2% human, 3.8% fish.
Pfft. Elliot. What kind of name was that?
Naturally agile. Tested to reach high speeds for short periods of time, shows more endurance at lower speeds. Top speed recorded, on foot: 71 mph. Top speed recorded, in water: 63 mph.
Speedy little bugger. But then again, that had always been obvious.
Strength: average. Mental capabilities: elevated. Morals: developed. Criminal training: shows proficiency in lock-picking, safe-cracking, and entrance/exit routines.
Yeah, yeah, he knew all that. Where was the fun stuff, the weird quirks documented mostly out of interest than actual importance? Most experiments had them - random notes taken by a number of different observers, revealing anything from habits to fears to personal problems. Con remembered that his had even marked the incident with the horse back in '98.
He shuddered. Stupid nightmares.
Where was he? Oh, there. At the bottom.
Problems with heights. . .shows little interest in interacting with others. . .unable to digest seafood (poss. led to bulim). . .shows reluctance, even fear, when left in care of male doctors. . .
Con snorted. Of course Sy had issues with other dudes. He'd been the only boy in a group of mostly girls, and he'd never had a dad around. But even so, what a wuss. The rest of them hadn't even had a mother around, and they'd all turned out fine. For the most part.
He glanced at the clock and did a double-take: it was four-thirty in the morning. Immediately he felt weird. He'd basically spent half an hour stalking what was virtually Sy's Facebook page.
Not. Normal. Fuck friendship, this was just weird.
Hurriedly he closed the page and went back to Marein's file.
Scrolling past the basic info, Con focused on Marein's known places of living. Toronto, Boston, Palo Alto, Salt Lake. Salt Lake was a bust, she'd be too easily recognized. Palo Alto. . .probably not. Who wants to go back to school? Besides, it wasn't close, but close enough for her to have stopped by. She was most likely too far away to bother checking out the house she'd had built. That would mean Boston and Toronto were his best bets. He could hack Stanford's old files of her, get her previous address. And from there, he could track her back to Ontario.
It took about thirty minutes to bust through the Stanford mainframe, and from there it was basically a Google search. Type in a name, get a result. He found the address in Boston - her emergency contact, that of an old uncle (oh hey, that's where Elliot had come from) - and through him Con found the tie to the family in Ontario. He found the address, and a number.
There's no place like home, right?
Sometimes, even the smartest of people - such as those who could build the perfect house for hiding a bunch of mutant hybrid teenagers - could be really, really dumb. It's the college effect. You leave home to live your life and do whatever the hell you want, but at some point you want to go back. Because it's comfortable there.
Con had picked up a phone and dialed the house's phone number without even really thinking it through. Only after it had rung twice did his brain catch up with his actions.
. . .Wait, shit. What am I doing? Con held the phone away from his ear and stared blankly at the computer screen. So, what? Did he just say hi before politely explaining their situation and end by hoping she could help? Or did he just jump right in with a bribe, or a threat? Or should he just treat it like a simple business matter, and-
Screw it. "Dr. Marein Westerfield?"
Con smirked. "Please tell me I'm right in assuming that you have absolutely no life or purpose considering that Itex has completely reformed and abandoned you like the piece of trash you actually kind-of are."
(Totally nailed it.)
(Like a boss.)
There was a stunned silence from the other end, but after a moment, Dr. Westerfield asked in a falsely pleasant tone, "I'm sorry, who is this?"
"It's Constantine," he replied. "And I need you to be in Santa Barbara as soon as possible."
Again, silence. Con waited, idly fingering a quarter he'd just found on his desk. He hadn't dealt a lot with Marein, but he guessed he could play her well enough to get her out here. Even without the mind-torture ability, Con was pretty good at talking to people. When he felt like it.
"Well, let's see," Marein finally said. "I'm totally across the country, have no means of getting there, and even if I did I would not cater to the every whim of someone who called me a piece of trash."
Her voice had started out all motherly and kind, but towards the end it spiraled off into venomous contempt. But, Con noted, despite all of that scathing sarcasm she was still on the line. So mention of Itex did get him a foot in the door. Just as he'd thought.
"It's about your son," he said dully. "And the other members of your super special little protégé group."
Marein laughed humorlessly. "Those little bastards have already stolen everything they can from me," she snapped. "They can just drop dead for all I care."
What an inspirational human being. Frowning, Con replied, "Look, I know it's inconvenient, Your Highness, but aren't you even a little bit curious as to how they've been? I mean, I know you surgically removed all maternal instinct the second you decided to turn Sy into an experiment, but let's be reasonable. You're a scientist. These kids are your life's work. Don't you want to see how they've turned out?"
"Why are you calling?" she asked after a pause.
And casual insults win again. Say what you want about shameless flattery, but people are far more likely to listen and remember the terrible things you say about them rather than the good things. It's a sad truth, but a truth nonetheless.
"Because we have a problem," Con said, "and as far as we're aware you're the only one who managed to weasel your way out of Itex's normal firing procedure."
There. Give her a sense of importance. Make her feel like they needed her.
(Of course, they actually did need her, but she didn't need to know that now.)
"Oh?" Marein's original haughty, sneering tone came back. "And what problem are you experiencing, Constantine?"
"It's your son, not me," Con snapped. "He's having issues with the whole personality shift that's apparently a genetic defect of his group. You know, the red eye thing. You interested in coming out here to take a look?"
"And where might there be?" she drawled.
"Oh, you know." Con smirked again. "Just a cozy little shack out in Santa Barbara somewhere. We really lucked out, you know, it was free, it had plenty of space, even had a pool. Two, actually. It's quite nice, I, I rather like it."
Marein gasped in disbelief. "You little runts are in my house?"
"Your house?" Con asked, faking surprise. "Ohhh, that's right. Yeah, they did mention you were the one who'd had it built. Weird, that you didn't come to take it from us. Guess it's just your undeniably good character shining out again. Letting us all live in peace like this, it's really kind of you."
"I should hang up on you!" Marein burst out.
Yes, you should, Con agreed mentally. But he knew that she wouldn't - if she had intended upon hanging up at all, she would have done it at the start of the conversation. The one fatal flaw of all the scientists was their curiosity: if you can catch it right away, then you're pretty much set. To be honest, Con had thought he'd have to go into detail about Sy's condition to get her to come out, but apparently just the lure of all the kids who had managed to survive was enough.
"But it all works out, doesn't it," he said to Marein, "because now you know exactly where we are. And, since I know where you are, I can arrange for a flight to San Francisco. . ." He paused to Google flights from Ontario to San Francisco. ". . .tomorrow morning via Air Canada. Plane leaves at eight, you'll arrive at one, and I'll have a cab pick you up. The calling card will read 'Miss I-Don't-Have-Another-Option'. What d'you think?"
He winced as she rather violently hung up the phone. But, satisfied with his work, he set down the phone and didn't call again. He booked the flight and then contacted the car service - reluctantly, he resisted the sarcastic calling card and instead told them to wait for Dr. Westerfield.
It was only then, after everything had been said and done, that Con shut his computer and went to bed. It was five-thirty in the morning - he'd been up all night, which probably meant he'd be sleeping all day. But it was worth it if it meant getting things back to normal.
Well, as normal as they could be.
i know Con assumed that Sy's middle name was "Elliot" due to the fact that it was Marein's uncle's name, but that's not really why. he was actually middle-named after Elliot Stabler in hopes that the toughness and badassery of the name would transfer over.