Kai sunk to the ground, his knees hitting the floor with a hard thud.
"No! How could this happen?"
The gaping hole in the hotel wall let in a breeze and the sounds of the city life below. Sirens could be heard, coming closer to the violent scene that had just taken place.
"Kai." Mao's voice was soft, but firm. Kai lifted his head to look at her but Maos gaze was not on him but on Riku.
Riku's expression was pale and sullen. The realization of what had happened slowly sank in. She threw her hands across her mouth and let out a smothered outcry of pain. Her twin sister was gone. And she could feel the separation like a blade to her heart.
Instantly Kevin was by her side, but she turned away from him. Kai stood up and crossed the room to her in two strides. He pulled her into his arms, sharing a tight embrace while Riku's cries turned hysterical.
The main door to the hotel suite opened and David walked in, his tone urgent.
"Everybody needs to leave now. There's a crowd gathering below and the police will be here in a matter of seconds."
Hagi entered soon behind David. He moved carefully and slowly, his face and features not giving any hint to what he was truly thinking.
"You! You bastard!" Kai released Riku to charge at Hagi. "You were supposed to keep it away!"
David stepped between them. "Leave him alone Kai."
It was then Kai notices the dark splotches across Hagis torso and left leg. The blood was seeping down onto the carpet.
Riku also saw and was suddenly aware of how dry her mouth was. Her tongue absentmindedly slipped over her lower lip. She couldn't remove her eyes from the sight. Seeing the blood stirred something inside she'd never felt before.
"Hagi. You're hurt." Riku spoke. Her voice caused the others to turn and look at her. They noticed the way Rikus gaze was transfixed on Hagi. David stepped forward as if to grabs her but it was Kai that got in his way. Kai took hold of Rikus forearm, gripping hard enough to shake her out of her trance.
"Hagi, go in the other room." Kai commanded.
"This way." Mao indicated the bathroom.
Hagis gaze remained on Riku for a moment before he silently obeyed and disappeared into the bathroom.
"What was all that about?" Kevin asked. He felt a small hand slip into his and looked down into the big blue eyes of Lulu.
She put her finger to her lips and whispered, "I'll tell you later."
"I'm taking Riku out of here." Kai didn't release Rikus arm, pulling her behind him as he took up his gun with the other.
Riku ripped her arm from his grasp. "B-but Georgie…" Her eyes started to well as she looked around the room at the others at a loss for words or what to do.
Outside, the sirens blared while fire engines and police cars pulled up to the building. Already a large crowd gathered on the street.
"We can come up with an action plan later. For now, we need to go." David pointed at Kevin. "You're coming with me. Get your bag right now."
Kevin backed up and shook his head. "I'm going with Riku. She needs a friend and Kais gonna need another lookout."
David gave a frustrated grunt, but Kai spoke first.
"If you can keep up you can come."
"Me too me too!" Lulu bounced and waved and Kai gave a simple nod before approaching Riki again.
He could see that she was on the verge of hysterics. "Riku, it's going to be okay. I'm not going to let anything happen to you."
"But Georgie!" Riku whimpered
"We'll get her back. I promise." Kai again took her arm, his hand not as harsh as before. "Now let's leave. We'll all reconvene tomorrow. Right?" He looked at David and the others nodded.
As Kevin hoisted his backpack upon his shoulders he returned to Rikus side, again trying to hug her.
Rikus arms remained limp at her side, not returning the embrace. Slowly, she shook her head from side to side. "No it's not. Something bad is going to happen. Really bad. I can feel it."
The group was quick to split, going in separate directions in order to try and keep inconspicuous. Kai hurried the small group along the busy nightlife. Kevin hurried behind, Lulus little hand in his. After a an hour of keeping at her pace he picked her up into his arms and carried her on his hip.
A head of them Kai charged forward, his hand still on Rikus wrist.
"Dad. You're hurting me." Riku shouted over the city crowd, but he didn't appear to hear. She finally wrenched her arm away. "Stop it!" She rubbed at her red wrist.
Kevin quickly caught up. "We can't keep going like this all night Kai."
"I know." Kai watched Riku, feeling bad for hurting her. He looked up at the dark sky. It was a cloudy night, he wouldn't be able to see one of those monsters if he tried.
"We've got to get underground." Kevin suggested. "Maybe a basement?"
"Or…" Kai's gaze lowered to the city street and he pointed. "There."
"Yay! The subway!" Lulu chimed. She wiggled out of Kevins arms to take his hand again. "You're gonna love this! It goes so fast."
"Just a second Lu." Kevin smiled, already pretty attached to the little girl. He looked to Riku." Are you alright?
Riku hesitated before looking between them. "I'm actually pretty hungry."
Kai frowned and gulped. He knew that look on her face and he knew what it meant. He reached out his hand to her once more. "Let's go. We'll find something."
Riku pulled away from her father and found herself leaning into Kevin. "I can walk fine by myself dad."
After a moment Kai dropped his hand and nodded.
The small group entered into the busy underground metro. Even through it was nearing four in the morning it had several people hurrying on and off the trains. Kai paid for passage and the four quickly boarded the first one they could.
"Where are we going?" Kevin asked.
"We'll just ride this until we hear from someone." He took out his cellphone, pressing a few buttons." If we can get reception that is."
"I've got it." Kevin set down his bag and pulled out his laptop. "They're bound to have wifi here. Bingo! He grinned and showed Kai the screen. "I'll bet we can keep contact with the others like this. "
Riku rubbed at her stomach. It was growling regularly. Lulu heard it and frowned at her.
"Your tummy is hungry Riku." She said, walking up to her and putting her little white hands on Rikus. "Saya would have Hagi but who do you have?"
"What?" Riku asked.
Kai's head turned from the screen and he scowled at Lulu. He kicked out his leg and nudged Lulu away from Riku with his foot. "Alright you. That's enough. Riku's not like Saya."
"Oh." Lulu yawned and hopped up onto her bench. A few moments later she was fast asleep.
Kevin and Kai quietly talked, looking at the computer screen and waiting for any news from another member of their group.
As dawn approached, Riku's heartache kept her from sleeping. To her it was literally like part of her was stretched far away to wherever Georgie was. It was uncomfortable and distressing. She kept seeing the look on her sisters face when she'd been snatched away over and over in her mind and could only hope wherever she was that she was safe and knew that her family was going to find her.
Late into the next day Kevin nudged Kai who woke with a start.
"It's alright." Kevin whispered and he pointed at the computer screen.
Kai quickly sat up and pulled it onto his lap to read the e-mail.
Nearby Lulu and Riku slept. Kevin waited for Kai to finish reading. He watched the girls, his eyes mostly on Rikus face. He was hurting inside, but he wouldn't let anyone see. He'd loved Georgie, not as much as her family, but she was still one of his best friends. It was the pain that Riku felt that hurt him the most. Ever since her rejection he'd accepted that he'd only ever be her friend, but it wasn't going to keep him from caring about her.
Soon after the train stopped and as several people got on Riku and Lulu woke.
"We're getting off at the next stop Riku." Kai said. He looked to Lulu. "You'll have to stay here until night."
"Okay." Lulu said with a frown. She was used to having to take care of herself at that point, but that didn't mean she didn't like being with people and feel part of the team.
"Don't be sad." Kevin said, "You can come find us."
Riku scowled and looked between them. She was starving and her sleep hadn't helped her in the least. "Why can't Lulu come."
Kai stood and stretched, "Because she can't."
His answer only caused Riku to scowl harder. "Why not?"
Lulu quickly spoke up. "It's okay Riku. I don't mind. I move pretty fast on my own. I'm just allergic to sunlight. That's all."
"Sunlight?" Riku asked as she looked to Kai for more answers. He turned her back to her.
Kevin sighed and started to pack up his laptop. He could tell that the way back to the others was very likely to be filled with tension.
"Let's get something to eat." He said, "And then head to wherever we're meeting my dad."
"We're heading back to the Smithsonian. " Kai spoke, his back to the three others.
Riku blinked, "So we're just going back to where we came from? How is that running away?"
"We're going back for something." Kai lead them out of the subway door, Kevin turning back to wave at Lulu as she continued on.
Riku wasn't going to let up on her questions. "Dad! What are you not telling me?"
"Look. I only know as much as you do Riku. We're going back there because that's where David said we were going to meet." He indicated an underground diner, "Lets grab some breakfast."
The thought of food caused Riku to her abandon her questions for the moment. As soon as she could she ate everything she could get her hands on. Across the table the two men just watched.
"Geeze Riku. Save some for everyone else in the world will ya?" Kevin chuckled.
Riku just stuck her tongue out at him and continued to shovel the food down. After she was finished she got up, "I'm going to the restroom."
Instantly both Kai and Kevin jumped to their feet.
"Letmegowithyou!" They both exclaimed.
Riku looked between them, "You're both crazy. I'll scream if one of those things jumps out of a stall okay. Seriously, I'm not a baby. I can go by myself. But thanks anyway." She turned around and flipped her hair over her shoulder out of habit.
Once she was gone Kevin took advantage of the opportunity.
"Okay, so that I understand, Riku and Georgie are actually creatures, chiroptons or something?"
"They're queens." Kai sighed and settled back into his seat. "Chiropteran queens."
Kevin chuckled and shook his head. "Never through of Riku as being the royal type. Maybe Georgie but not Riku."
"It's not like that Kevin." Kais eyes never left the door of the restroom. "They're powerful, more powerful that Riku can even comprehend. That's why someone would want them, and that's why I think Georgies alive. We just have to figure out where she is and who took her."
"That's easier said than done though. Whoever they are, they've got a Chiropteran monster-thing. We've just got Riku. I don't see her kicking ass like that other thing. I guess we've got Hagi but, obviously he's not gonna work forever. Beside, my dad said he doesn't ever stick around long anyway."
"He doesn't. Because he's not loyal to us. He only cares about one thing. Or one person that is." Kai picked at his breakfast. He'd hardly eaten a thing.
Kevin studied Kai for a long time before speaking. "It's Saya right? Your sister. She was a chiropteran too right?"
"That's right." Kai answered, throwing a bit of egg into his mouth, his eyes still on the door. He'd concealed his gun under his jacket, but his hand kept roaming to it, touching it to make sure it was still there.
"So who are their parents?"
Kai stopped chewing let out a long breath through his nose. He swallowed the food in his mouth and picked up his glass of orange juice."
"Kai?" Kevin studied him. He could tell Kai really didn't want to answer the question.
After a few gulps of the juice Kai set the glass down and removed his eyes from the bathroom door to look at Kevin.
"What I'm going to tell you Kevin you can never repeat to anyone. Not your parents, and especially not Riku and Georgie. I never want them to know where they came from. I'd rather they thing they came from me and Saya if they need an answer. But I never EVER want them to know the truth."
"You're freaking me out Mr Kai." Kevin said quietly, "You guys already told me that my best friends aren't human and that my parents were once part of some secret agent-like force. What more can you say that will shock me?"
"I'll tell you. But you have to promise me you won't repeat a word of it to Riku."
Kevin hesitated before nodding.
"Sure… okay yeah. I promise."