Disclaimer: If you recognize the characters, they aren't mine. Just playing in the sandbox so graciously provided by JMS and the Wachowskis.
Reminder: I'm also on Twitter as "avidbeader" if you're reading here as a guest and would still like a way to get story updates.
I apologize to the readers of my Harry Potter fic, "The Perils of Innocence" that this is not a new chapter to that story. Right now the brain ferrets have found something new and shiny to play with. I will continue to update both of these stories periodically, time and life and inspiration permitting.
The faint whirr of the computer fans was soothing, as was the clicking of Neets' nails on her keyboard as she monitored the weather in the North Sea. Riley's friend with the fishing boat had stocked up – allowing three days to get to the German coast, three days to return, and three days in case of issues. They had made a brief stop in Ireland where Nomi had arranged for Sven to pick up more medical supplies to keep Will unconscious and comfortable.
Now Wolfgang was ready to meet them at a riverfront estate north of Hamburg. The owner was a friend of his aunt and only too happy to provide a few days' respite for a grieving nephew. On his last day, Wolfgang would say goodbye to his host, pull his rented car with the roomy back seat down to the dock for one more look at the water, out of view of the house, and be ready to take Riley and Will to the private hospital where Felix continued to mend.
Nomi paced between the monitors, each keeping tabs on a different issue. Thank God for Neets, who could be a second pair of eyes, handle the basics, and keep them fed while she remained barricaded in the apartment. Nomi reminded herself to lay the next false trail for the BOLO, Japan or perhaps Singapore. That would give her mother plenty of fodder for her overactive, sordid imagination.
She paused at the monitor hooked into the security cameras at Will's precinct station. So far there had been no alarm raised for him yet – he was on suspension, after all, but the cop who was his partner seemed to be getting worried. He would glance across to Will's usual desk repeatedly, falling behind on his paperwork.
As she watched, an older man limped into view. The officer jumped to his feet and held out a hand in invitation. Nomi took control of the camera and tapped into the audio stream to listen in.
Michael Gorski sat down, stretching his bad leg. "Thanks, Diego. Walking in the summer seems to get harder every year. Maybe those climate-control fellas are onto something."
"Mr. Gorski, what brings you into the station?"
"I wanted to know when you last saw Will. I haven't heard from him in days, since Fourth of July, other than a text telling me he was taking some vacation time and going out of town. Usually he sends me a picture or two, but I haven't heard anything. And when I try to call, all I get is voicemail."
Diego frowned. "That's weird. Last time I saw Will was the day he got suspended—"
"Wait, wait. Suspended? Why the fuck did he get suspended?"
"Er…you'll have to ask the captain for the exact reason, but he was using his relationship to you to try and get more info about that terrorist he captured, Maliki."
"I don't believe it. Just wait until I get hold of that boot-licking—"
Nomi felt her blood turn to ice as two other figures entered the camera view. She felt Riley's sudden, questioning fear in return. "It's Whispers, he's at Will's station."
Gorski got to his feet. "All right, you little shit. What's the idea of suspending my son?"
Captain Sobczak looked at his companion and back. "Mr. Gorski, now isn't the time. This is Dr. Matheson, a noted neurosurgeon. He needs to talk to Officer Morales here as Will's partner. He may have information that explains his erratic behavior over the last several weeks and a procedure to help him."
Nomi began shaking her head. "No, no, NO!"
The floor swayed under her as she appeared on the boat. "Riley, quick! Give me Will's phone!"
Riley fished it out of Will's pocket and handed it over. Nomi used his thumb to wake it up and sighed in relief that there was a signal. Bringing up his contacts, she searched for Diego's number and pressed it.
Riley looked over Nomi's shoulder at the monitor, worried. Amanita froze, watching her partner carefully and ready to act if needed.
Diego pulled out his vibrating phone and read the name. "You gotta be kidding me…" He looked up at the man who had been on the scene of a suicide that Will shouldn't have known about. "Excuse me, but I need to take this."
Walking away from the men as Gorski began yelling at the other two, he answered. "Officer Strange, your timing is scary."
"It's not Will, it's Nomi Marks."
"It's Nomi, I know you know who I am. You can't tell that man anything about Will. All he's after is turning him into another Niles Bolger. Will can't talk to you himself yet, but I swear we're doing everything we can to keep him safe. You can't trust ANYONE on the federal side, this BPO has too many allies in the government."
"Oh my god, I don't believe this. Where are you? Where's Will?"
"I can't tell you yet, it's too risky." Nomi frowned, hearing a crescendo of shouts in the background, and turned to the monitor.
Diego whirled around as the shouts got louder, just in time to see Michael Gorski throw a perfect haymaker and lay out Matheson, who crashed to the floor, out cold. "Damn…"
Nomi and Riley both squealed. Nomi babbled frantically into the phone, "Is he unconscious? Fully unconscious?"
"I think so."
"Riley, get Kala. See if she has what she needs to bring Will around. Diego, if you can do anything to guarantee that that man remains completely out, it will help. Will can't be awake if he is."
Kala began digging through the stash of medical supplies. "It won't be quite as good as before. I'll have to combine these two with the adrenaline. He'll be groggy."
Riley nodded. "I understand."
Sven looked over with concern as Riley began drawing several liquids into a syringe out of three different vials. "Er, Riley? Do you know what those are?"
She smiled at him. "No, but I have help from someone who does." She placed the needle in Will's bicep as directed by Kala and pressed the plunger.
Will rolled his head and slurred, "No, don't…"
"It's all right, Will! Whispers is unconscious right now, it's safe!"
Nomi added, "Your father knocked him out with one punch!"
Riley took the phone from Nomi, thumbed the speaker on the phone, and held it near Will's face. "Here, it's your partner, tell him you're all right. It's safe. Talk to Diego."
Diego took a few more steps back from Gorski arguing with the captain as the voice on the phone changed. "Here, it's your partner, tell him you're all right. It's safe. Talk to Diego."
"Hold on, that's the hot chick with the accent! What the ever-loving fuck is happening?"
"Missed you too, buddy."
"Will!" Diego fought to keep his voice to a whisper. "What is going on?"
Will fought through the fuzziness in his brain, trying to condense the vital information. "Long story short, I can't come back until that guy my dad decked is either in a permanent coma or dead. He goes around trying to find people like me and Nomi and neutralize us. Then he can use us. That's what happened to Bolger – they operated on his brain and turned him into a human suit, ready for special occasions."
Diego ran a hand over his head, trying to massage some reality back into the situation. "Dude, how did you know your dad hit him?"
"One last thing. No, two. Tell my dad I love him and I'll try to get in touch somehow when I can. Two, make sure you take that doctor's fingerprints and cross-check with the Sara Patrell case. Sara Patrell. He's the one who took her and then tried his operation on her."
"Holy…no, come on man, you can't leave it like this!"
"Morales, what is the problem? Who's on the phone?"
Diego cut off the call and shoved his phone in his pocket. "Sorry, sir, personal situation." He strode forward and looked down at Matheson. "Sir, I have circumstantial evidence that places this man at the scene of a potential crime that happened several weeks ago. We need to book him, run fingerprints, see if his name's really Dr. Matheson."
Gorski beamed. "Told you! There's no way my boy is a danger to others and it'll be a cold day in hell before I let this dickwad examine my son without a second, third and fourth opinion!"
Sobczak looked between the two of them and the man on the floor, blood gathering at the corner of his mouth from the blow. "What's this evidence?"
"Photos on the phone of a kid that was playing lookout for a gang. I can get the photos today."
"Yes, sir. And, sir?"
"Run the prints through cold cases. It's just a hunch from something Will said, but we might hit pay dirt."
Will fell back and Riley cradled him. "There, you did fine."
Kala leaned forward, checking his pulse. "I recommend that we start switching between a couple of drugs to keep him under when we get to the facility. He could build up an immunity if we're not careful."
Riley nodded and Nomi patted her hand. "Whispers is still out, but he'll probably wake up any second."
Will nodded. "We'll make it. If Diego can connect Whispers to Sara Patrell, it'll cause him a lot of grief."
Nomi stood from her crouch, dusting her hands on her jeans. "I'll make sure the cross-check on his prints gets run and brought to their attention if the captain doesn't follow through. Now, you're still about a day away from—a day away. Sorry. No saying where we're headed."
"Right, good strategy." Will rolled to his left slightly, curling more closely to Riley.
Wolfgang broke off the lap he had been swimming and stood in the shallow end, slicking his hair back. He turned to Nomi, standing at the side of the pool.
"Everything going okay here?"
"Well enough. The police are investigating the incident at my uncle's as a rival group attacking over the missing diamonds. The fact that they managed to find some in the wreckage of Steiner's car is helping that case."
Kala relaxed her tense shoulders and sank back in the pillows on her bed. She kept her eyes on Wolfgang's face as he lay next to her, refusing to find out if he was naked this time. "That is good."
"Nomi! Friedman's starting to wake up!"
She whirled at Aminita's voice. "Damn."
"Okay, Riley. Time to kiss him good night again."
Riley nodded at Nomi and blinked back tears as she took a fresh syringe. "Rest, Will. We've got you." She pressed her lips to his and he brought one hand up to caress her face.
"Love you." She inserted the needle and administered the sedative once more.
Author'sNote: Thank you for reading!