A/N: Hello everyone! Sorry it's taken me so long to update everything, but life decided to intervene again. But I'm back now and I hope you like it and no, I haven't forgotten any of my fics. I'm still working on them. By the way, I changed the formatting for the story because I'm lazy and this way is easier. Anyway, on with the fic!
Chapter 12: Complications of the Kidnapped Kind… Again…
Crawford watched as the boy from his vision bounced up and down on his trampoline. Just as in the vision, he was loudly singing the theme to Veggie Tales. "Could the child get anymore annoying?" Schuldig asked from where he knelt next to his superior.
"It doesn't matter. What matters is that the child is an incredible psychic."
"So why haven't we grabbed him yet?"
"Siberian." Just then, Ken came out of the shop. They watched quietly as he walked over towards the bouncing blonde.
"Raenef, you need to come in for lunch."
"Don't want to."
The soccer player sighted. "If I give you more bubbles will you go inside?"
"Bubbles?" Raenef asked. He stopped bouncing and made his way over to the brunette. "Anything for more bubbles!"
Schuldig glanced over to Crawford raising an eyebrow. 'Bit of a simpleton, don't you think?' Crawford didn't respond. He merely kept his eyes glued to the teen.
Ken reached into his pocket and brought out a small bottle of bubbles. Rae grasped the bottle eagerly. Quickly he unscrewed the cap and yanked it open to reveal the tiny white bubble wand. When he blew, the delicate spheres exploded into the air, filling it with their soapy shine. For a moment the blue-eyed blonde watched them float towards the ground. "Crystallize!" The dozen or so soap bubbles began to glow brightly. Rae giggled as they landed gently on the ground around him. The glow faded to reveal the gemstones where the bubbles should have been.
"So that's it." Schuldig smirked. "It explains why our esteemed employer wants this child." Crawford again remained silently watching.
"Are you ready to come in yet?" Ken asked.
"I can't come in." Came the cheerful reply.
"And why not?" The brunette asked with a sigh of long suffering.
"They're coming for me." Rae answered shrugging.
"Those nice young men in the clean white coats."
"They're coming to take me to the funny farm where life is beautiful all the time!" Rae answered in a high pitched singsong voice.
"Rae!" Ken exclaimed, rolling his eyes. "Cut it out! It's time to go in for lunch."
"Go ahead. I'm waiting." Rae said again.
"I told you. They're coming to take me away."
"Do I need to tell Aya that you won't come in?" the assassin threatened.
Raenef studied the man for several seconds, the barest trace of haughtiness outlined in his stance. "He doesn't need to be told. He'll know soon enough. Now the nice young men in the clean white coats are waiting very patiently, but they won't come out while you're here. Can you please go back inside now?"
Ken sighed and threw his hands up in defeat. "I give up. You don't want to eat, fine I won't make you. I'll just let you starve." Then he turned and went back in the flower shop.
Raenef stood looking after him. Then he let out a wistful breath and turned to the fence behind which Schuldig and Crawford were hiding. "You can come out now." He said cheerfully. "Ken's gone."
Crawford frowned, but signaled for Schuldig to show himself. "How did you know we were here?" The telepath asked the blonde.
"It's easy." Raenef giggled. "White stands out against brick."
"So you saw Oracle's suit?" he asked, thinking of the snowy Italian suit their leader always wore.
Raenef giggled. "Well you're wearing white too." Schuldig looked down and was startled to find that his formerly green jacket was now a pristine white.
While he stood looking in shock, Rae clambered off the trampoline. "Well?" He asked.
Mastermind looked down at the perplexing child. "Well what?"
The young blonde rolled his eyes. "Well aren't you going to take me away?"
Schuldig blinked. "Um, yes."
"Then let's go!" Raenef grabbed Schuldig's hand and began to pull him back to the fence where Crawford was waiting. The German followed obediently, a dumbfounded expression painting his face. "Oh wait!" Rae gasped suddenly.
"What is it? Did you want to say good-bye?"
"No that would cause problems. Imagine Eclipse's face it I walked in and said 'I'm leaving now! Bye!' He'd flip. No, I just need the books."
"What?" Schuldig asked staring at the young boy in front of him. The boy didn't look at him, but instead screwed up his face in a look of intense concentration. 'Crawford…I think there's something odd about this boy.' He said telepathically. Crawford glared over the fence, his glasses glinting in the afternoon sunlight. Suddenly both of them gasped. Raenef sighed in relief as a large volume appeared hovering before the child. Then, just as suddenly, a small photo album appeared beside it. The two assassins stared. Then, without warning, both books fell with a giant 'thud' causing them both to jump.
"Oops." Raenef said, smiling sheepishly. Looking shyly over at Crawford, he bent down and began flipping through the pages of the larger book.
"What are you doing?" Schuldig asked carefully.
"Looking for something." Rae replied distractedly.
"Looking for what?"
"Found it!" Rae crowed triumphantly.
"Found what?" The German asked his irritation evident in his voice.
Rae ignored him in favor of talking to himself. "You were right! It is page 4,9631!"
"I told you Tomato Boy." He sneered at himself.
"That's not very nice."
"Do I look like I care?"
Schuldig watch in fascination at the two-way-one-person conversation. But it didn't end there. "Why are you being so mean today?" Raenef asked the air.
His stance changed slightly and he rolled his eyes before answering his own question. "I don't know. Maybe it's because you're annoying. Or maybe it's because that fool hit us. Or perhaps it could be caused by watching the ridiculous and horrid show every day for a week now."
"What's going on?" Schuldig demanded, interrupting Raenef's strange conversation.
"Silence mortal!" The blonde growled angrily.
Then his demeanor changed to the sweet child that had been playing on the trampoline. "I'm sorry, but he's a bit grumpy right now. It'd probably be a good idea to just stay quiet for now." He said gently. Then he went right back to talking to himself. "If I let you cast the spell will you calm down?"
Schuldig watched as the youth glared at the two books in concentration. "Mik no sal vak. Mik chen sal vak. Cor tanad fan mindo kolash tovak!"
Both Schuldig and Crawford watched with raised eyebrows as the two books began to glow, their forms shifting and melting as though giant hands were reshaping them. When they stopped glowing, the larger book had transformed into a small black puppy, it's golden eyes shining brilliantly up at it's small blonde master. The second book had become a great blue and gold macaw that was self consciously preening it's feathers.
"Done!" Rae crowed again.
"Like you did anything." The angry Raenef grumbled. But then he fell silent as if he were no longer there.
"Okay!" Raenef said cheerfully, once more grabbing Schuldig's hand. Then he led the two assassins and his two animals away from the Koneko.
Crawford steered the car onto the freeway, calmly dodging the swiftly moving traffic. He sighed in exasperation as the large bird in the back seat joined it's owner in a very loud rendition of Barbara Manatee. The redheaded telepath studied the precog's face, then he turned and looked at the person occupying the back seat. "Raenef could you please keep your, er, book quiet?" He asked.
"Sure!" Rae agreed quickly.
Suddenly Crawford swerved to the shoulder of the road. The sudden blaring of horns and squealing of breaks startled a gasp out of the blonde teen, but true to his word, both animals remained silent. Slamming on the breaks and jamming the car into park, the Oracle of Schwartz slumped forward, lost in his vision.
The large lab was black as pitch. In the midst of the dark a shadow gripped the throat of it's helpless victim. "Ish bak tome kalan mirak?" It hissed.
"What do you want?" It's victim gasped.
"Where is my master?"
"What are you talking about?"
The shadow tightened it's grip. "The Lord Raenef! I know you know! Where is he?"
The dying man grasped futilely at his captor's phantom grip, trying to loosen the chokehold. "P-please!" he begged.
"You were warned! You have taken my master and have yet to return him!" The shadow paused. "I will let you live," it hissed coldly, "that you may bare witness. Take a message to those you serve. I am coming for my lord. Any who attempt to bar my path shall meet their end. If your people wish to live they will heed this warning and return my master to me unscathed." The man then began to scream in pain as a burning light seared the image of a strange ruin into his forehead, branding him as one might brand cattle. For a moment the light illuminated the shadow revealing a pale man's face cold and hard with rage, his violet eyes hard as stone. Then the light was gone and so was the threatening shadow. Slowly the fluorescent overhead lights flickered back on revealing a Kritiker lab drenched in blood. Body parts were strewn carelessly about the floor. A single man quivered in fear amidst the carnage, the sole survivor of the bloodshed the shadow had unleashed.
Crawford gasped as the vision ended. His knuckles were white from clutching the steering wheel.
"Well?" Schuldig asked, his eyes borrowing into the other man. "What did you see?"
Crawford looked down trying to catch his breath. "Eclipse is very angry." Both men turned to look at the back seat. The small blonde looked back with a serious expression.
"What did you say?" Crawford hissed, his eye glaring at the boy in the back seat.
The boy glared right back. "Eclipse is very angry."
"Who is Eclipse?" The Oracle asked intensely, watching the blonde behind him.
Raenef studied both of them before answering carefully. "Eclipse has served my family since my father retained his services. Before the House of Raenef he served the House of Krayon." He smirked slightly. "Lord Krayon would still like to reemploy him, if we would ever give him the chance. But as for Eclipse, he is searching for me."
"So, he's your servant?" Schuldig asked.
"No, my minion."
"Is he the one killing the Kritiker agents?"
Raenef didn't answer. Instead he began stroking the breast feathers of the blue and gold macaw perched on his forearm. The bird chirped curiously at him. "Book, We require your services." The bird cocked it's head in what could almost be a bow. "Go to Our former hosts and tell them We are safe. If Eclipse shows up there bring him to Us at once."
"Care to explain?" Crawford asked as the bright bird flew off through the open back seat window.
"Not really." Rae answered.
"Just who are you?"
The blonde smiled smugly. "Not someone to be trifled with."
Crawford snarled his irritation and jammed the car into drive. Then he stomped on the gas pedal and took off."
A/N: Well, that's all folks. I hope to have the nest chapter up soon. I'm sorry it took so long to get this one up, but I promise I haven't forgotten this story. As always reviews are more than welcome! Thanx for reading and I hope you enjoyed it!