Darien caught up with Hobbes during his lunch. Hobbes was running a group of girls through some basic karate moves with varying degrees of success. Darien waited until he had a chance to come over.
"What's up, Fawkes?" Hobbes asked, keeping one eye on the girls.
"The results from the tests came in and Alyx was right. The toothpaste was drugged. They took the blood samples from Callie and Frances back with them." Darien said quietly.
"Great. What do we do, tell all the kids not to brush their teeth tonight? We still have no fricking idea who is doing this." Hobbes complained. "Astor, get that right up," he barked at one of the girls.
"I'll try and catch up with Callie and see about doing some snooping later. Now that we have a place to start." Darien looked out over the group and frowned.
"The kid might have to start doing that mind-reading trick of hers." Hobbes wasn't smiling either. "I don't want any more kids hurt."
"Tell me about it. Who do you think they were after last night? Callie, or Frances again?" Darien asked his partner.
"Does it matter? They didn't succeed this time. Maybe they'll screw up again and we'll catch them." Hobbes muttered thinking. "Who's got keys to all the rooms?"
"I don't know," Darien answered. "But since I'm done for the day, I'll go find out."
"Go easy on the gland there," Hobbes admonished him.
"No worries. As a friend of Callie's dad, I had some of her special allergy medication delivered." Darien said this with a straight face. "Thought we might need it."
"Fawkes, sometimes you almost impress me." He looked back at the girls. "Astor how many times do I have to tell you about yer right." He walked off towards the cause of his dismay.
Darien wasn't sure who he felt more sorry for -- the girls or Hobbes, who had to deal with the giggling horde of female teenagers. Darien noticed that at least half of the girls were currently staring dreamily at him from across the gym, so he decided now would be a good time for a strategic retreat. Time to go try his charm on some of the office staff to get the info he wanted.
He stuck his head into the back office and saw Ginny sitting behind her computer, chewing absentmindedly on a pencil. She was pretty in her own quiet way and he was aware that she, like most of the female population here, tended to turn into jell-o when he walked into a room. He was planning on using that to his advantage now.
"Hey Ginny." He sat on the edge of her desk and smiled down at her. It had the desired effect.
She looked up at him and her look went from consternation to a brilliant smile. "Hi, Mr. Fawkes. What can I do for you?"
"You mean besides just being yourself?" He watched as she blushed. "Apparently some of my info is in the system wrong and was wondering if you'd let me borrow a computer to fix it." He did those innocent eyes that most fell for, but made Alyx burst out laughing most times these days.
"Sure," she mumbled, unable to meet his eyes. She got up and waved him over to one of the other computers. She keyed in her password information and accessed the necessary files. "Just key in your name and code number and then you can call up the information you need."
He sat down in the chair. "Thanks Ginny. And call me Darien, remember?"
She blushed again. "Yes Mr. ... Darien. Let me know if you need any help." She moved back over to her desk and, after glancing shyly over at him a couple of times, returned to her work.
Darien looked at the screen where it was asking for his name and personal code. After glancing over at Ginny to make sure she was doing her work and not eyeing him, he keyed in a back door access code Alyx had taught him that should work for this system. One of these days he'd have to ask her where she'd learned to do this stuff. The computer thought for a moment and then gave him complete access. He began a search and came up with a list of ten names which, after a quick search for pen and paper, he wrote down. Then he had another thought and ran a second search, which gave him three names all of whom were on the first list.
He backed out to the main screen and keyed in an other code that canceled the effects of the first. He got to his feet and stuffed the paper in his pocket.
"Everything okay, Darien?" Ginny asked him.
"It is now, thanks to you. Had some numbers reversed is all. Explains why I teach Lit. and not Trig." He gave her one of those shy smiles and she dipped her head.
"See you at dinner?" She sounded so hopeful.
"Got kitchen duty, sorry." He shrugged.
"Oh, shame. Well, see you around." She turned back to her screen, only slightly disappointed.
"Thanks again," he said as he walked out the door. He liked the fact that he could still pull out the charm and get what he wanted. Heck, a few more well placed sentences and he could have had Ginny, probably right on her desk. He could have, but he also liked the fact that he didn't really want to. He'd rather try and charm Alyx into a similar position, which tended to be a challenge. Alyx usually didn't fall for his charm, at least not unless she wanted to. She definitely kept him on his toes.
Speaking of Alyx, he wondered how she was doing.
Callie and Frances had met out at The Tree. Instead of climbing up into the main part of the tree, which was swarming with girls, they were sitting out in the foliage of one of the lower hanging branches. They usually got ignored for places to sit simply because they were so close to the ground, but they were the best place to hide. The branches were just as thick but there were a lot more leaves to hide one's location. So long as they talked quietly no one would know where they were.
"Hey Callie. How are you feeling?" Frances asked as she settled herself comfortably along one of the branches.
Callie was lying sprawled along another branch, one leg swinging free and her eyes closed with her hands behind her head. "Well my balance is back finally, but I still have a headache that no amount of aspirin can touch. How did your report go?"
The girl practically bounced the entire branch. "Wonderful. Mr. Fawkes even laughed. How'd you know I'd do comedy so well?"
"You never listen to yourself when you insult someone do you?" Callie said raising her head and opening her eyes to look at her. She then proceeded to repeat a conversation from several days before where Frankie had proceeded to put another, much older girl in her place with a few well placed phrases that had gone right over the very self-centered girl's head. By the time Callie was done, Frankie was blushing bright red.
"I didn't realize," she managed to say.
"Your tongue could be considered a dangerous weapon. You look so sweet and innocent, but get you riled and you can flay a person alive with ten words or less." Callie shrugged. "I just figured you'd do comedy just as well. Your flair for timing is exquisite."
"Thank you," Frankie responded quietly.
"No problem. Now, to business. Any ideas on potential suspects?" She suddenly sounded far more like Alyx than Callie. Frankie could tell the difference now.
"A couple. Not many have the access needed. I really don't think it's Headmistress Adams, for example." Frankie dug in her backpack and pulled out a list she made and handed it to Callie. "I don't know all of these people well. Like Miss Devers, Head of Housekeeping; I recognize her and say 'hi' when I see her, but she works mostly behind the scenes."
Sitting up, Callie looked over the list. "Good work. Which ones weren't here until this week?"
"I marked them with an asterisk. There are only four, but only two really have the skill to make that tisane. I think, anyway." Frankie scooted closer to Callie to point at the list.
"Mr. Ishandra, the head cook. Yes, I bet he does." Callie spoke mostly to herself.
"He's always making that mint tea for the girls who get stomachaches," Frances commented. "Heck, I've drunk it the mornings I've felt ill. I'd really hate for it to be him, he's such a sweetie."
"I know. I can't really see him doing something like this. He loves cooking too much." Callie also knew from looking at his records that he'd learned to cook when he was in prison. He had happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time and ended up being convicted of manslaughter. He spent his time working in the prison kitchen and when he'd gotten out he'd gone to cooking school to improve his skills. He'd been hired here two years ago and everyone in the administration thought he was wonderful, a definite asset to the school. The only hitch was that, most likely through coincidence only, the granddaughter of the judge who presided over his trial attended the school. She was one of the affected students, but the grandfather was not the one being blackmailed.
"He loves us girls too much," Frankie added. "Oh, not like that. Like we're all his daughters or something. He makes special meals for those with allergies. Special treats for those who've done well on a test. Stuff like that." It was obvious she'd been a recipient of some of those treats herself.
Callie nodded. "I understand. Who is this Mrs. Greenwood? I haven't had her for any classes."
"She's new this year. Teaches the Comparative Religions course, and I do mean religions. I had the course last year with Mr. Kirkland, but he retired after getting sick. She was his assistant for about six months the end of last year." Frankie paused, thinking. "I do know she made some additions to the herb garden, and I've heard she has a collection of plants and herbs in her room as well."
Callie shrugged. "That doesn't necessarily mean anything. The herb that I think is being used is a fairly innocent one. It's used as a homeopathic pain killer."
Frankie gave her an odd look.
"Let's just say I have experience in having to deal with pain. Used to grow it myself as a homemade painkiller." She paused, thinking. "The only reason I know it can be used as a potent sedative and hallucinogenic drug is because I had reason to use it as such recently."
Frankie shook her head. "It still amazes me that you are not who you look like, who I've come to know."
"Frankie, right now Callie is as much me as any other persona. My head is so screwed up that being Callie for the last three weeks has actually helped. Everything inside is the same, it's just the outside presentation that varies. Well, that and my temper, but being here has helped that quite a bit as well." That was Alyx talking to the girl. "My job requires me to be a lot of different things at different times. Some days it's easy to get lost and forget who I am."
Frankie looked at her in silence for several minutes. "What happened? If you can tell me that is?" She was smart enough to realize that whoever, whatever Callie really was that she couldn't be allowed to know. Not yet anyway.
"Oof. Ask a simple one next time." Callie thought for a moment. "I guess the closest comparison would be someone with multiple personalities, except that they were all me. I was split based more on emotion and attitude." Callie took a deep breath. "One moment I'd be fine, the next angry or arrogant. I had no real control over how I would act. I'd react more than anything."
Frances was nodding. "You're still like that a little."
Callie sighed. "I know. I'm still recovering, but I was needed. And you have no idea how easy it is to just let myself go. What a fight it is to stay the me I want to be." Her voice dropped to a near whisper. "Thank god Darien finally showed."
"Mr. Fawkes? I mean, it's kinda obvious that you two are..." She trailed off in embarrassment.
"I am older than I look." Callie said with a smile, hoping to ease the girl's mind.
"I got that. It explains a lot. But what's so special about him? He's just a guy." Frankie was truly curious about why one guy could mean so much.
Alyx shook her knowing there was very little chance that she could explain that Darien was not 'just a guy'. No to her, anyway. "Early on in our relationship -- heck we were barely friends at the time --something odd happened to us. He and I became permanently connected, in here." She tapped the side of her head. Crap, this was just going to confuse the girl. "It's not something I was expecting, and he doesn't know about it, but it's there."
"You're joking, right? Stuff like that doesn't really happen." Frances was shaking her head in dismay, wondering if Callie was playing a trick or just off her rocker. "Like love at first sight. It's just a myth."
"For some it is." Callie agreed. "But some people have gifts that let them see, do, and be just a bit more. As you should well know."
Frankie swallowed hard. "I... I don't know what you're talking about."
Alyx, not Callie, reached out and laid a hand on her arm. *Are you sure about that?*
Frances twitched but didn't pull away. "I can't do that."
Alyx chuckled. "I know."
"You won't tell anyone will you?" She truly sounded frightened.
"Are you? Going to tell? About me, that is," Alyx asked, lifting her hand away.
"No way. It's not like anyone would believe me anyhow." Frankie managed a smile. "It is kinda nice to know that I'm not the only freak out there."
"Frankie, my dear, you have no idea. No idea at all." Alyx lay back down on the branch. "Now, in your expert opinion, who is our troublemaker?"
"Fawkes, I thought you were getting the kid?" Hobbes complained to his unaccompanied partner.
"I know Hobbes. They weren't in their room. They must have discovered something and gone to check into it." He shrugged. "Do you want to look for them or start checking out this list?"
"The kid won't let the kid get hurt." He paused and shook his head. "You know what I mean. We'll probably run into her later."
"Yeah. Let's start with the cook." Darien said heading to the kitchen.
"Why?" Hobbes asked following.
"'Cause I don't think he's doing it," Darien answered. "Might as well eliminate those we can."
"Good enough, partner."
"Frankie, is there a computer with both mainframe and outside connections that isn't in the office?" Callie asked while she lay on the bed with her legs against the wall and her head hanging off upside down.
"Ummm. Yeah, actually. It's back in the library over on the teacher's side. I discovered it had mainframe access by accident. Why?" Frankie was suddenly very curious.
"I need to do a little background check is all." Callie explained, rolling off the bed onto her hands and knees. Reaching under her bed she pulled out a duffel bag she had stuffed under there.
"What you got there?" Frankie moved to look over Callie's shoulder.
"My working clothes." Callie plopped the bag on her bed and began to pull out all black clothing.
Frankie's eyes widened. "What are you, a cat burglar?"
Callie laughed. "Only on occasion. Black is better for sneaking around." She looked Frankie up and down. "Here. Throw these on. They should stretch enough to fit you."
Frankie caught the clothes Callie tossed to her. "You're letting me come along?"
"You were going to follow me anyway. I'd rather I knew where you were in case of trouble." she answered.
Frankie nodded and began to change.
When Alyx finished dressing she looked over at Frankie and whistled. "Kid, you should wear black more often." Realizing what she'd just said, Alyx blinked and sighed. "Great now I'm channeling Bobby Hobbes."
Frankie examined herself critically in the mirror and was actually impressed with the way she looked. The tight fitting black slacks and zippered high-necked top actually brought out what little color she had and set off her pale blue eyes quite nicely against her black hair. "I think you might be right."
Alyx checked the area for patrolling adults and found the way clear. "Lead the way, Frankie. I want this over with tonight if at all possible."
"Yes, boss." Frankie said giving a mock salute.
A few minutes later they were at the computer and Alyx switched it on. "Frankie I need you to watch my back. What I'm going to do requires a lot of concentration. Disturbing me would be bad." Frankie frowned. "If something happens but it isn't an emergency, touch my right shoulder. Touch my left if it's an emergency. Do not disturb me otherwise." She waited for Frankie to respond.
"Got it, but what are you going to do?" she asked.
"Use a shortcut." Alyx answered turning back to the computer. Settling herself she reached out with her mind and dove into the computer system. She began with Frankie's guess for the blackmailer and accessed personnel records and from there bank records, credit records, police records. It was the police reports that caught her attention. The name was different, of course, but the face was familiar, as was that of her accomplice. Alyx then accessed the information on her and found the connections she wanted. Compiling the data into one rather large file, she sent it off to Eberts, who would know exactly what to do with it.
Pulling herself out of the system, she realized she'd been in a good fifteen minutes longer than she had planned. Frankie was staring at her.
"Y... your..." She swallowed. "Your eyes were glowing." The poor girl was shaking.
"Ah, crap. Sorry about that." Alyx sat down on the floor. "Would Misty have any reason to know Ginny Harcort in the office?"
Frankie got a hold of herself, and nodded. "Misty was real good with computers and helped out on her days off. Why?"
Alyx sighed. "Ginny handles all the supply ordering and she's known Mrs. Greenwood for years."
"Miss Ginny? But she's so sweet." Frankie sounded shocked. Which was as it should have been. But then her look changed. "It's right though. That's why I wasn't so sure about Mrs. Greenwood. There were two of them."
Alyx nodded. "I've sent the proof I could find off to my boss. Now I need to find Darien and Bobby and tell them." Alyx got to her feet. "Go back to the room Frankie. I'll come see you later."
"No," Frankie argued. "You can use my help."
Alyx shook her head. "This is where it gets really dangerous. Ginny most likely killed Misty because of what she found in the computer system. I don't want you hurt."
"Alyx." Frankie used her real name for the first time. "You told me to trust my talent. I'm saying I can help."
Alyx tipped her head to the side looking at the girl then nodded. "You do what I say, when I say. No arguments. And save any questions until later."
Not wanting to give Alyx a reason to change her mind, she only nodded.
"C'mon. We'll head to Greenwood first." Alyx led the way to the stairs and they headed up.
"Fawkes are you sure you want to do this?" Hobbes whispered to the man he couldn't see beside him.
"She's the only one left. Do you want to wait another night?" Darien snapped back.
"All right. Let's hope she's not asleep." Hobbes lifted his hand to knock when the door was flung open and Mrs. Greenwood stepped out the door swinging a metal baseball bat.
Hobbes jumped back with an "Oh, shit."
She swung anyway, but instead of Hobbes she connected with Darien's ribs. This surprised her far more than it did him. He'd seen Alyx jump in the way enough times, he just hadn't realized how much it would hurt. The woman had a full head of steam on.
It took her a moment to recover, but she did and pulled the bat back for a second swing. "I told her you were cops." She swung again, still aiming for Hobbes who was pushed back against the banister. This time she got Darien's arm as he put it out to protect himself. The snap of the bone breaking could be heard down the hall.
"Son of a bitch," Alyx shouted as she got to the top of the stairs. Halfway down she watched as Darien appeared from thin air and fell to the floor holding his arm. His pain echoed back through to her, making her own arm ache in sympathy.
Mrs. Greenwood lifted the bat to swing at him again as Bobby moved to protect his partner. Alyx settled the matter by yanking the bat from the woman's hand and into her own, then shoving the woman backwards, back into the wall, knocking her unconscious.
Frankie swallowed hard and closed her eyes on what she had just seen. 'Later.' she told herself. 'I'll ask later.'
Alyx slowly walked over to where Darien was, trying to keep her anger in check. Frankie followed a few steps behind.
Once Darien had assured Hobbes he was well enough, Hobbes turned to Mrs. Greenwood to see if she was even alive. She was. Was even coming to already. He pulled out his cuffs and handcuffed the woman before she woke completely.
Alyx dropped the bat and knelt down next to Darien. Carefully she lay her hand on his arm and began to check it.
"Should I get Nurse Cratchett?" Frankie asked.
"No, kid." Hobbes said dragging the semi-conscious Greenwood to her feet. "What are you doing here anyway?"
"It was bring her or have her follow." Alyx snapped turning slightly to look at him. "Did you want me to tie her to her bed?"
It was obvious by her tone that she was just barely holding on to herself.
"Easy," Darien soothed, his voice echoing his pain.
"Well, it's not a bad break anyway." Alyx commented after her initial examination.
Darien managed a strained laugh. "Right. All this pain is just for the fun of it."
"Wuss." Alyx teased with a touch of humor in her voice. "It's a clean break and it didn't tear the muscle too badly." She met his eyes. "I can dull the pain if you like. We still have work to do."
"What's left, besides finding the drug itself?" Hobbes asked from inside the room where he was securing Greenwood.
Frankie answered. "Miss Ginny was part of it. She killed Misty."
The guys looked at Alyx for confirmation. "Yup. They've run a similar con before. I sent the proof I found off to Eberts just a little while ago. We arrived just in time for you two to get beat up by teach in there."
"Do it, then," Darien ordered. "I need to be functional."
"Try to relax," Alyx said to him. She pressed her forehead lightly on his and followed the path the pain was running along to the specific receptors that were being triggered and essentially numbed them.
Darien sighed as the pain eased. "Thanks."
"It will only last a little while, and if you whack the arm again you'll just re-trigger the pain." Alyx reminded, sitting back on her heels. "You should have limited use of the arm." She had another thought then and quicksilvered the palm of her hand only. She laid it over the break causing Darien to hiss at the sensation of cold. "Keep the swelling down. Just call me ice pack woman."
Hobbes even laughed at that one. Frankie looked a bit bewildered, but she remembered her promise to hold off on the questions. Alyx helped Darien to his feet her hand still over his arm for now.
"It's numb already, Alyx." Darien whined.
"Wuss." Hobbes muttered this time. "Where's Ginny's room?"
"Upstairs." Alyx said. She got this faraway look. "She knows we're coming. She's moving. She's heading down via the back staircase." She came back to herself. "Ginny is in a bad mood."
"Let's move then." Hobbes said. "You gonna make it, Fawkes?"
"I'll show you wuss, Bobby-boy." Darien grumbled as they headed for the staircase.
Alyx and Frankie both started laughing.
"Is it always like this?" Frankie whispered to Alyx.
Alyx shook her head. "Usually they argue more."
Both guys stopped and looked at them. "You know, sending her here may have been a bad idea," Darien commented to Bobby.
"Yeah, letting her get in touch with her inner teenager may not have been the smartest thing the Official has ever done," Bobby responded.
Alyx looked at Frankie, and as one they said, "Poor boys. They'll never understand."
"Fawkes, I think we're in trouble," Hobbes said as he continued down the stairs.
"Bobby, they're female. Of course we're in trouble," Darien replied with a smile, following his partner.
"Wow, they can learn," Frankie said with a snicker.
They caught up with Ginny out in the garden. Alyx was right, she was not in a good mood. In fact she had a gun and as soon as they appeared she fired at them. Alyx managed to deflect the bullet into one of the classroom windows. Alyx then grabbed the gun with her mind and tried to pull it out of the woman's hand, but she was stubborn and held on even to the point of being lifted into the air.
Hobbes ran up and tackled her, causing Alyx to release the gun and allowing them to fall to the ground. Darien quicksilvered and went after her as well, figuring he might get the gun away while she struggled with Hobbes. The idea was sound, until a wild kick from Ginny as she struggled with Hobbes caught Darien on his arm.
The quicksilver fell away and he went dead pale as the pain came surging back.
"Shit!" Alyx swore as the pain hit her, too.
Hobbes found himself on his knees with a gun pointed at his face.
"So, Darien, I take it you only wanted me for my computer skills." She snarled at him. "Those back door codes are traceable if you know how."
Darien looked at Alyx who shrugged.
She gestured at Hobbes with the gun. "On your feet, shorty."
Hobbes complied slowly. "Why does everyone call me shorty?" He complained.
Alyx looked from Hobbes to Darien then she sidled closer to Frankie.
"Poor little Frances. Guess your Daddy got tired of paying to keep you safe." Ginny sneered then she looked at Alyx. "And you, Callie, you had to go and have a reaction. Ruined all our fun." She placed the gun to the side of Hobbes head and her other hand on his shoulder and began to back away with him. "Though I have to wonder what you're doing out here with the cops..."
Alyx looked at Darien, who was slightly green from the pain. He caught her look and nodded. Slowly, he moved into a crouch.
Alyx moved behind Frankie and set and hand on her shoulder. "When I tell you, fall to the ground and stay there," she whispered.
*As much as I can be,* he replied, his mind voice red with pain.
Alyx counted. *One... Two... Three... Now, Frankie.* She quicksilvered herself and Frankie, who dove to the ground just as planned.
Darien quicksilvered, too, and ran for Ginny, hitting her with his shoulder and knocking her away from Hobbes. As soon as he was far enough away, Alyx went for her and wrestled with her until the gun had been tossed aside and she was on her stomach her arms pulled up behind her back.
Ginny began screaming then, and within minutes the entire school was awake.
The worst was over.
It was late the next morning before Alyx had a chance to relax. Cops and Federal agents were crawling all over the place to tie up the last few loose ends. When the Official and Eberts finally showed up she told them point blank that she was off duty for the next 24 hours and went to join a half-drugged Darien in the infirmary. It was his left forearm that had been broken and he was in a temporary cast until Claire could get a good look at him. Alyx had been the one to do the temporary set to the bone and that had helped with a good bit of the discomfort he'd been feeling, she'd also given him another pain block so that he could get through the preliminaries. Eventually, though, pain and lack of sleep caught up with him and they'd taken him to the infirmary.
Without waking him, Alyx checked his monitor and found six segments red. She got her 'allergy medication' from the nurse and prepared a shot. If Nurse Cratchett wondered why the girl was giving her medication to Mr. Fawkes, she didn't say anything aloud. Somehow she knew she wouldn't understand the answer.
When she was done, Alyx pulled up a chair and sat down next to Darien. Within minutes, she allowed herself to drift off into sleep. The first sleep in a long while that wasn't plagued by dreams that weren't hers.
When Frankie wandered in a little after lunchtime -- she'd been ordered to get some sleep after talking to the police -- she found Darien awake with Alyx tipped over against him. He looked up as she drew near and smiled at her.
"Guess she was tired, huh?" Frankie sat on the next bed over.
"Just a little. She has trouble sleeping most of the time," Darien answered quietly.
"Which is why you shouldn't wake her," Alyx mumbled, snuggling closer to Darien.
"You're going to be leaving soon. Some guys in black suits were packing up your stuff." Frankie sounded a touch sad.
"Yeah, we are." Darien agreed.
Alyx dug into a pocket of her jacket and pulled out a card that she handed to Frankie. "If you want to talk, or in a few years are interested in a job, call me. I can't promise to be immediately available, but I promise I will get in touch as soon as I can."
Frankie turned the card over. It had a couple different numbers and e-mail addresses on it. "I understand. You guys have a bit more to worry about than how to pass trig."
Alyx snorted. "Like you need to worry about that." She sat up. "Are you going to ask?"
Frankie shook her head. "You know, I don't think I need to." She got to her feet. "Good luck, you two, and thanks."
They watched her walk from the room. "Hey, a job offer?" Darien asked Alyx.
Alyx shrugged. "The Official seems to like collecting us freaks. Thought he might be interested in her once she was old enough."
Darien thought about it for a moment. "What exactly is it that she does?"
"Hmmm." Alyx searched for an answer he would understand. "You know how some people claim to be a 'good judge of character'?"
"Yeah." Darien said not sure where she was going with this.
"Well she can judge people. Reads them without realizing it." Alyx chuckled. "I must have driven her talent crazy with conflicting information."
"So she just knows." he commented quietly.
"About other people yes. She still has a blind spot for herself." Alyx looked up at him. "I think she'll have a bit more confidence now. Give her a few years and she'll be formidable."
Hobbes walked in then. "Okay you two. Boss says you've had enough time to rest, back to work."
Alyx got to her feet and helped Darien up. "What does it take to get a day off around here?" he grumbled to the world in general.
"Let's see, I'm working with my mind half scrambled and you have bruised ribs and a broken arm." Alyx looked up at him. "Do you really want to know?"
That pretty much said it all.
"I think that somehow, we learn who we really are and then live with that decision."