The Happy Family Chapter 7
A Weiss Kreuz Fanfiction +
Author's Notes: People have to send me little nuggets of praise to keep me going on this story. Now thanks to the latest reviewer, the engine is now revved and ready to write. Now, you dispassionate consumer dogs, here is the new chapter:D
I just realized… I started this fic in 2001? 2002? This signifies several things, the first being that I write real damn slow, the second being that this piece of work chronicles the development of my sense of humour, which appears to me to be degenerating daily. Sobs. Ah well, at least it doesn't sound like the forced labour of a squirrel on drugs. Anymore, that is.
I've gotten a review, from a dear consistent someone, that I keep having a few hiccups of narrative here and there, e.g.
How did Schwarz find out that the house was bugged?
Why was the FBI after Jason?
And who just is this Jason fella anyway?
Why hasn't the villains of Rosenkreuz made a debut yet?
And why hasn't there been any humour about Schwarz running about the Crawford family home?
Where is Schuldich and his skimpy leather lingerie? Or the lack of it?
Is Weiss going to be around?
(OMG… the questions, the questions! But I shall strive my utmost to dignify my little ditty on FFnet. (Aha! But I didn't say 'strive my utmost' what. Heh.))
So I decided to make the first part of this chapter a series of short scenes which could be inserted duly into the storyline, instead of editing past chapters where readers will have to go all the way back to check. It saves me whole lot of time and darn if I ain't the lazy person I thought I was. Muak lots of love. Maniac.
(P.s. to the reviewers who think that I'm a guy, I'm not. I'm a dudette. :D)
Qn: How did Schwarz find out that the house was bugged?
Qn: And where is and his skimpy leather lingerie? Or the lack of it?
(On the first night of arrival in the Crawford family home…)
Matthias Crawford threw down his earphones in frustration. His sister merely looked at him. They were in the Surveillance room, a secret room in the house totally secure form the outside world, from which they observed their family members. New family members. Not that there was anything wrong with them… just that they had their father's bloody nosy genes.
Matthias threw his hands up in the air in defeat as he complained to his sister, "That Neil kid keeps his J-rock music on the loudest volume! He must be deaf by now! I can't hear a damn thing!" On his monitor, Nagi sat peacefully in front of his computer screen, his head incidentally blocking whatever he was working on.
On her screen, however, was Farfello working out at the exercise equipment in the Game Room, silent as he lifted weights. Kriesten could not deny that Farfello was a handsome man, with his white-blond hair and pale, refined looks. His gallant and dashing attitude that made a deep impression with their mother.
Small wonder, sighed Kriesten mentally, he is gorgeous after all. This Fabien wasn't like any other men that she met, namely men who pursued her like a pack of ravening dogs, and who thought she had an IQ of fantastic proportions— in the negative range. Her expressionless face gave away nothing of her thoughts.
And that bandage, OOooh that bandage, it makes me want to nurse him back to health. The said bandage remained wrapped around one eye, giving the man a helpless sort of look. Although we all know that Farfello does not equate helpless, missing one eye or not. Farfello had unwittingly worn one of the few things in male human history that would attract women; namely bandages which signified Here I am, I'm a poor wounded male, would you give me a home? And nurse me back to health? Most women would give the thought of being duped a few microseconds before maternal instinct overrode all common sense, resulting in the damn lucky male being clutched to one female bosom. (This is a secret, so don't go spreading it around…) Matthias did not notice the smallest of dreamy looks that crossed his sister's face.
The room, their father claimed, was equipped with the lastest in spy gadgetry and fortified with the strongest of security locks never ever seen outside secret government facilities—
The secret door to the room hissed open, (hidden behind the washing machines which was always on to hide the noise. Hence the immense amount of laundry.) and their mother popped in, carrying a bowl of chips. "Here dearies, I brought you some snacks to keep you while you're playing."
Matthias groaned, "Mum! We're not playing!"
"You're peeking on other people's business, Matt," said Janice Crawford disapprovingly, "It's still playing whether or not your father told you to do it."
"They're doing work, my dear," said David Crawford as he stepped in after his wife, closing the pressure door securely behind him. "It's important."
"I still don't see what is so important about this sneaking around and spying on people. They're not dangerous criminals. I won't stand for Brad being treated like that, I won't !"
As David Crawford tried to placate his other half, Matthias turned to another monitor, interested. He called his parents over, cutting them short before his mother could give any ultimatums.
"Hey… Brad and Schully are up to something…"
Schuldich posed seductively at the doorway of the bathroom, a thick white bathrobe wrapped around his/her figure. He crooned, "Braaaaady, it's time for your punishment!"
Brad turned from the cupboard that he was packing his clothes into, an incredulous look on his face. He blanched at the sight of the telapath standing in the doorway. He managed to find words after a moment. "You have got to be kidding me." Schuldich stared at him levelly. "You… surely don't mean that."
The redhead smiled like a shark and sauntered forward, forcing him back the same distance till he bumped into the cupboard. "Oh yes I do, Braddykins…" She purredm " I remember full well all my threats, and I intend to carry out every single one of them."
Brad smile weakly, "Do that include the one of setting my brother-in-law on me with a collection of spoons?"
"How about the one where you threatened to dance around dressed like a milkmaid and yodeling till my brains fall out? I could work with that one."
The telepath merely grinned as she advanced further. The precog looked like a trapped animal. He darted off to the side, towards the bed, but Schuldich merely continued his inexorable progress. "Wait!" Brad held out his hands as though it could ward the other off, "This is…is unnatural!" When that didn't work, Brad steeled his features into a stern expression. He stood with his hands on hips, a scowl on his face, "I have not time for your games, Schu! We didn't come all the way here to do things like this! If you have any dissatisfactions about your role, I expect you to handle it like a responsible adult!"
But the telepath was not to be fooled so easily. Instead, her predatory smile grew even wider. As she stalked forward, she crooned, " I have …dissatisfactions…all right…" Brad realized belatedly that responsible was a descriptor that did not apply in the case of Schuldich, and that in this case, adult had only one meaning… which wasn't the opposite of 'adolescent'.
Brad didn't realize he was backing away till the back of his legs bumped painfully against the bedframe. He fell onto the bed, unbalanced, rolled off as quickly as he could, barely avoiding the lightning pounce of the redhead.
"Aww…come back, Braaaaad." Schuldich pouted, "Come back and take it like a man." Brad gulped at the double entrende.
He thought at the other man. Look, Schuldich, you should know by now that I'm not gay. None of this is going to work on me!
The redhead smirked as she spoke in a low amused tone, "I could work on you… Eh, Brad?" Her eyes didn't leave him as she rose and rounded the bed, blocking off his escape to the bedroom door. Brad gave a short but colourful curse.
Schuldich raised a finger in admonition, "Ah ah... Mind your language please…Mr. Crawford." She tut-tutted, moving closer…
"Oh my." Said Janice Crawford, speaking for the whole family.
"Look, Schu, you know I'm not giving in without a fight and the whole house would know before we even get started." We can't blow our cover!
Let me check then…The telepath pursed her lips as she scanned the house's occupants, Nagi has the music on loud, Farf is in the basement, your parents…She frowned, your parents are watching us now. Damn, but that's smart!
What the hell!
They're watching a video surveillance…of all of us. She laughed out loud, Your dad is one sneaky bastard! Who ever knew the Crawfords had a voyeuristic streak?
Brad covered his eyes with his hand. Why do things like this always happen to me?
Schu pushed him into the bathroom and shut the door quickly behind them. Your dad didn't install any cameras in here, only audio.
I can't believe that my dad bugged the house! Brad began to laugh, It's something I would have done! He caught Schuldich's cold look. If, he hastily continued, I wasn't living with Schwarz. Looking around the small space, he sat down on the toilet-seat cover, I don't think we gave anything away with our conversation just now.
You think so? Now we have to make out in the toilet.
I am not going to make out with a guy.
Aww, Brad, don't be so narrow-minded!
Especially not in the toilet.
Great, now I'm stuck here with a great icicle. And your parents expect us to snog on the floor.
Come on, Brad, the telepath sighed as she sat on the edge of the bathtub. Your parent are looking from above at you, who just hurried into a bathroom with your incredibly sexy, and not to mention horny, German supermodel wife and do you think they expect us to sit in here and have a heart-to-heart conversation? She snorted. Highly unlikely. They might think that you have trauma-related sterility.
You're one incredibly sick person, you know that? Brad sighed, So what do we do now?
Follow my lead. The German smirked as he smooched the back of his hand and moaned, "Oh Brad…"
Brad looked scandalized. I am NOT going to do that.
Oh don't be such a wallflower! Schuldich kissed his hand noisily. Come on! You can do it.
An unwilling smile crept onto his leader's face. Why do you always make me do things like this? He raised a hand to his mouth and gave it a chaste kiss. "Schu…"
Schuldich dissolved into helpless laughter. Brad did it again with more force and deliberately groaned louder.
Schuldich's laughter stopped as her face began to redden, she didn't quite expect… that sexy tone of voice. Damn sexy, Brad. Now we see if two can play at this game! She threw the towel from the rack onto the floor. She kissed her hand passionately and panted, "Oh…OoooOh Oh…. I need you, Brad….Ah!"
Brad looked embarrassed for a moment. He grinned as he smooched his hand some more, "Not yet, honey," He breathed heavily, "I want you some more…"
Schuldich squeaked mentally, Brad! Naughty! Oh! The telepath could hear the American's laughter. She gave a loud groan, "I need you, now… inside, I want you inside me now…Ah…Ah… Ahhhhh!"
Brad turned a bright red. Schuldich! OMG…
The telepath blew a mental raspberry. She continued "Ah….ah….ah…harder, harder! Ohhhhh…you're ….so…ah……hard!"
That was very eloquent, Schu, thought Brad wryly, Shows your mastery at the language.
Oh, shush, this is incredibly funny. Come on, groan a bit for me… They're missing your turn in this.
"I love you and your treasures, honey." There was a moan and a sucking sound.
"….me… ah there!" There was feminine breathing.
"I can't hold it anymore…I'm ah …hah hah, coming…"
"Harder! Harder! Ah!...Ah!"
There was heavy breathing as they both clamped hands over their mouths to prevent the laughter from escaping. Schuldich accidentally let a giggle escape. Brad couldn't contain his laughter any longer at the sound.
They laughed and laughed and laughed.
The Crawfords listened to the earphones with raised eyebrows. Matthias' eyebrows were raised so high, they nearly disappeared into his hair. The monitors shone a flickering blue glow in the family in the surveillance room.
David Crawford coughed. "I …think that is enough entertainment for today."
They've stopped listening. Though Schuldich when their laughter finally subsided. I think we've taught them a lesson about spying on family members.
Brad wiped his eyes and grinned. That was the funniest thing I have ever done. He grinned.
Pity we lost the mood there, what a waste of good leather lingerie. Ah, well, there is always next time.
Brad raised an eyebrow. You're really wearing…that?
Sculdich made threatening motions as to undo his bathrobe. The American hastily stopped him. The redhead stuck out a tongue. Spoilsport. He got up to open the door.
Brad grabbed his hand, "Wait, Schu. I want to tell you something." There was an uncomfortable silence as the telepath waited. "I… just wanted to say thanks."
"For what?" The redhead looked puzzled.
"Thanks for doing all this for me. Dressing up and acting and coming all the way here. Thanks."
Schuldich slowly smiled, "Don't worry about it, O great almighty leader." The smile turned into a smirk, "Don't think that this will let you off from your punishment."
Brad escaped from the bathroom before Schuldich could do anything to him.
Qn: Why was the FBI after Jason?
Qn: And who just is this Jason fella anyway?
Qn: Why hasn't the villains of Rosenkreuz made a debut yet?
When Jason was seven, he lived in an orphanage. He like making catapults that shot rocks really far, which often broke the windows. He didn't like the punishments afterwards though. He got wiser and thus made catapults that shot even further, so that he would get a head start.
When Jason was eight, he was adopted by a loving couple from Tennessee, who owned a farm and collected guns. On their farm, Jason shot his first airgun and fell in love with it. The wildlife began staying away from the crops.
When Jason was nine, he would skip morning lessons to watch the metal smith at his forge, where he shaped bits of metal. Jason tried to do that at home, but the kitchen stove wasn't hot enough, or that frying pan refused to melt. His father let him use his workshop.
When Jason was eleven, he had a whole collection of gun books and learned to make composite guns from the Internet, guns that were not made of metal and could be sneaked through any security check. Jason thought that it was cool. The FBI tracked the site and thought Jason was dangerous. And also that Jason was about thirty years old with a mortal grudge against the President of the United States. The FBI can be so touchy about such things.
When he was thirteen, Jason realized that people would pay good money for some of his projects. He sold a few and got enough money for his father to fix the leaky roof and the termite infestations in the foundations. His parents were very happy. So was this rebel group somewhere in South America. The FBI agent tracking him was getting a bit nervous.
When he was fourteen, Jason quit school because he wasn't any good with biology and all that history and geography stuff. He was very good at making weapons though. He was way ahead of anyone in physics, chemistry and maths because it interested him and helped him make even better guns. And he didn't want to become a dentist anyway.
When he was fifteen, he was earning enough money from his projects to start a internet business which masqueraded as a site selling the most boring books possible, such as the Anecdotes of Famous Horticulturalists. (He thought it amazing that people still put in orders for them.) He moved out of his parent's house and started living in an apartment. He learned that he had to keep moving all the time because someone was always breaking in and stealing his projects. The FBI agents still couldn't find the thirty year old, disgruntled, genius gunsmith.
When he was sixteen, Jason was recognized as the best at his craft. Unfortunately, the FBI finally recognized the fact that Jason was only sixteen. The FBI agent following him was reprimanded by David Crawford himself, head of the FBI, and was commanded to seize the boy and his weapons. Rosenkruez's maritime base fell that year, and its top assassin team escaped its clutches and made it to America. Jason had the fortune and misfortune to be discovered by Schwarz, who foresaw his arrest, and who spirited him away before anyone could catch him.
He now lives in a roomy bunker below the flowerbeds of David Crawford's backyard, thankful that all the FBI nonsense is over and that he can finally make his guns in peace.
At least until the next adventure…
Qn: Why hasn't the villains of Rosenkreuz made a debut yet?
Qn: And why hasn't there been any humour about Schwarz running about the Crawford family home?
Qn: Is Weiss going to be around?
I shall save this scenario for later… since this file is getting rather top-heavy… Now, On to the story!
Chapter Seven: Little Girl Dreams
How dare you say my behavior is unacceptable?
So condescending, so unnecessary critical
I have a tendency of getting very physical
You better watch out cause if I do you need a miracle
When it is cold outside and you ain't got someone to love
You'll understand what I mean when I say we're never gonna give up
Like a little girl cries in the face of a monster that lives in her dreams
Is there anyone out there cause it's getting harder and harder to breathe
Is there anyone out there cause it's getting harder and harder to breathe
----------------------------------------Maroon5, Songs about Jane------
"You'll be staying here for the time being, till we find another place." Jason looked around at the roomy weapons cellar. Farfello had placed his collection neatly in racks along the walls. There was a pallet and a worktable in the corner, all that he would ever need.
"We'll send down you meals three times a day, and there's a small portable toilet over there. Hope that you'll like it here." Brad stood behind the teenager as he gaped at the place. The walls were made of highly compacted dirt, to the consistency of stone, courtesy of Nagi. It was literally a bomb shelter.
"Wow… You guys are really something."
Farfello looked at him as though it were an absurd thing to say.
"Of course we are."
It was the morning of the next day and the Crawfords were stirring from their sleep. Brad was already awake, staring at the little sunlit patch of ceiling above him, silently marveling at its rarity. I could get used to living with windows. Schwarz's old living quarters, or even his old ones back at Rosenkreuz, did not have windows. Instead they were mere fallibilities in a defense.
Spots of light danced as sunlight bounced off leaves. He thought to the night before. Yes, they had the genius gunsmith Jason in their grasp, yes they had weapons… But then what? What was Schwarz going to do? Keep running and fighting, forever? What could this motley crew do for the rest of their lives?
He knew right down that they were made for fighting and it was fighting that Schwarz will return to, it was their second nature.
Should we just give ourselves in? Join the government? Fight for them? What do we do?
Good morning, oh high and mighty leader, I hear there's a moral dilemma knocking on your door. The telepath's voice was drowsy as he flipped over and opened his surprisingly emerald eyes.
'Morning Schuldich. Brad felt unexpectedly placid about this intrusion into his thoughts. What are you doing up so early?
Well, you know, I have pay tribute to my hordes of admirers, do my hair, paint my nails, feed our pet Berserker…etcetera etcetera. I have a busy life. He yawned languidly, like a satisfied cat. Let it not be said that Schuldich does nothing useful with his time.
I was wondering, what do we do after all this.
After all what?
All this, everything.
I don't think that 'all this' will ever be over. Or at least, when it is, we'll all be dangling our feet off clouds with halos on our heads and singing at the top of our voices. I have a song prepared just for that. It's call the Song that Never Ends. Stop thinking about what going to happen next.
This from a person who thinks nothing of waltzing into a gay bar and snogging half the population.
Did not what?
Snog half the population.
Is there even a difference?
Schuldich shrugged. Maybe.
What do we do… Is there even a future for us?
Something will crop up, I'm sure. Now stop worrying.
Do you really believe that?
I know that. Something always crops up.
David Crawford sat on the bed in the master bedroom. He fingered his wallet and flipped it open. A picture of his family beamed out at him as he dug a finger behind the photograph.
He drew out a small faded picture of a brown-haired young boy with piercing eyes. Brad, ten years ago.
What have you seen with those eyes, my little boy? Only anguish and pain, o my father.
He had seen a certain guardedness in those red-brown eyes. A slight hesitancy in his voice. Maybe even ironic sadness playing across his smiling features.
David Crawford had seen it in many men with secrets to keep. But it was not a fearful secret he had to hide, was it? Merely a sorrowful one. Oh yes, his many years as a FBI agent served him well now...
Why couldn't it serve him then? Why couldn't he stop them then? He gripped the small square of paper so tightly till it crinkled. How now, the past had come back to haunt him. He couldn't decide which was worse; never having your child come back to you, or having him come back, his face smiling, his eyes hiding something.
What was he hiding?
"David." He turned. Janice stood at the doorway.
She shut the door behind her and sat down beside him, her head on his shoulder. "Oh David!" Janice's voice was thick with emotion.
He wrapped his arms around her as she buried her face into his chest. Her back heaved as she sobbed.
He whispered, "Hush, my dear, I know, I know."
Brad Crawford was standing in front of the mirror, brushing his teeth, when the vision caught him.
Vision time Again
There was a blast. The acrid stench of explosives mixed in the billowing smoke. His eyes watered. His future self thought: They've got us now.
Schuldich ran forward and screamed in desperation, "FARFELLO!"
He opened his eyes and blinked, silent as he gathered his thoughts. So there would be an attack on Schwarz. But when? Where? The smoke had obscured all indication of time and place… He had to warn the rest of the group.
He covered his eyes with his large hands.
They couldn't stay here any longer. Rosenkreuz would track them here.
He looked over to the bed where the telepath was still slumbering, having gone back to sleep.
The stronger mid-morning sunlight shone through the French windows, filling the room with a gentle heat. Brad padded over to the bed.
"Wake up Schu. It's already nine." He shook the redhead, who was bundled in blankets. "Wake up."
There was little effect. He could have been shaking a dead piece of log. He redoubled his efforts. "Schu, if you're not going to wake up, I'm going to let Neil have your share of the breakfast."
The figure remained silent. Brad was getting uneasy. There was something wrong. Flipping the covers, he peered at the curled up redhead. Schuldich was shuddering and sweating, his face once again contorted into an expression of intense fear. Brad laid the back of his hand on the telepath's forehead.
It was freezing cold.
Not again…Schuldich, tell me what is going on? Brad tried to project his thoughts as loudly as he could, in hope that the telepath would pick up. No effect. He tried rapping on his head to no avail.
The German arched his back suddenly, tangling further into the sheets. A hand clamped onto the precog's arm, clenched so tightly till his knuckles turned white. Brad winced at the nails digging into his flesh. He frantically tried to slap the telepath into wakefulness, his hand touched the cold cheek—
The fat man! The fat man!
His senses screamed in revulsion. No! Get away!
He was in a simple room, his footsteps taking him inexorably towards the bed. He tried to stop his feet, screaming in his dream-mind: "No! No! Stop!"
The fat man reclined half-naked on the bed, his enormous form swaddled in fat. His piggish, currant-like little eyes followed him, a genial smile bordering on a leer spread across his wide face.
"What a pretty little thing you are, little liebe. What's your name?" He did not reply.
The expression on his face turned ugly. "Are you dumb? Come here!" He patted the bedspread beside him.
He moved towards the bed, fear clenching in his heart, unable to control himself.
"Do you know what they do to naughty little ones like you, hmm?" The huge form leaned close, touching his arm. There was this disorientating sensation as the fat man's thoughts shot through his head.
Images of …men cavorting with children, ravishing their small limp forms! Vulgar hands crawling over all that innocent flesh!
Bile rose in his throat as he wanted to scream! Get away!
Thoughts of what adults do, why they 'care' for poor children! Lambs to the slaughter! Rich men, poor children! Gluttony and lust!
There was a scream of repulsion as his small dream-form tried to back away. He knew... he knew what they were going to do to him. He knew everything. The fat man's grip on his arm was too strong, too strong.
Tugging helplessly, he was drawn closer and closer—
Pain in Brad's arm screamed into his consciousness, dislodging him from that deeply disturbing… vision? Dream? There was long streaks of blood on his arm, the telepath's nails digging even deeper, clawing. He blinked, was that really a dream?
A wave of pity came over him. He tried to grab the trashing German's head with both hands, forcing his forehead to his. He projected as hard as he could.
SCHULDICH, WAKE UP! IT'S ONLY A DREAM! WAKE UP!
He repeated several more times as the struggling lessened. With a small sigh, the redhead relaxed his grip on Brad's arm, dropping limply to the covers.
Sleepy green eyes blinked open. Whazzat going on, hmm? Noting the presence of his leader, he blinked some more. Hmm, wotcha doing here, Braddy?
"It's time to wake up. Breakfast's ready."
Oh… Don't wanna…The telepath flipped over and went back to sleep.
Schuldich, tell me what is going on. Wake up, don't go back to sleep. Schuldich!
The telepath was already fast asleep.
Brad shut the door quietly behind him. He stared at the long bloody scratches on his arm and clenched his fist. Dammit Schuldich! What's going on!
Was it a dream of the past? Damn telepaths. Brad knew that it had to be something to do with memories. Telepaths… they could never forget the past. That was why the adult ones were so rare; most had been driven mad by tyrannical memories that tormented them day and night. Only those able to control their thoughts could save their sanity.
It was because of this powerful control over self that telepaths could control others. Tamers of their own chaotic mind, they found that others were more simple, more direct, much easier to manipulate.
And yet… there were reports from the field teams in Rosenkreuz about telepaths breaking under the strain of missions, driven into the fearful, gibbering state that was so common in mental patients of sanitarium. It was not surprising to find mind talents cloistered in such places.
Brad felt a slight relief, once again, that they were far from their former masters. Rosenkreuz would have disposed of such talents. Harvested their eggs or sperm and then dispose of them.
Oh Schu, why do you always bring chaos to my order…? How was he going to manage a dysfunctional telepath while on the run from an omnipresent organization? The attack was coming, he knew that, but will Schwarz be able to meet it standing?
Kriesten opened her door, surprised to see her adopted brother standing outside his own room. Brad's frown dropped from his face as he looked up. His pale sister raised an eyebrow in question.
"Just having trouble waking Schully up."
She eyed the scratches on his arm. "Not a morning person, I see." She shut her own door and continued down the corridor. "Pulling the sheets out had always worked on Matthias."
Brad gave her retreating figure a quick smile. "I'll keep that in mind."
Schuldich opened his eyes once he heard the door close. He cursed himself, How could I be so careless? And punched his pillow.
Kriesten was sat down at the breakfast table. Her father and brother were already up, sipping coffee and perusing the morning papers.
Farfello gave her a wide smile. "Good morning Mademoiselle Kriesten. You look lovely today."
"Good morning, Fabien."
Farfello passed her the coffeepot. His golden eye strayed to her face. There was no doubt that she was beautiful, with her artic eyes and white blond hair. Her aristocratic features gave her a sharp aloofness that crushed the admiring gazes of admirers underfoot. Oh, but what drew him, so enticingly so, was the keen, deadly intelligence in her eyes. The switchblade mind that could so easily expose his cover, destroy the peace of Schwarz… As her gaze passed over him, he looked away.
Who would think that she was an FBI agent?
She had been coming home late the last few days, her work taking its toil on her features. The faintest of dark lines lined her eyelids.
There was silence at the table, interspaced with the rustling of the papers. Kriesten buttered her toast.
Farfello wondered. How strange it was to not have someone look at you in fear or apprehension. When they met, he had noted that she had none in her eyes. Instead, he felt an ice-cold certainty that she was someone to …to steer clear from.
Farfello knew no fear. But that didn't mean that he was stupid. In actual fact, the mad, ravening act that he put up was more for amusement than to instill fear into poor enemies. He loved to imagine the look on people's faces when they saw a a madman wielding knives and screaming war cries bearing down on them. He gave a snort.
"Ah yes, Fabien, do you want go to church today?" The Irishman's eye froze on Kriesten's face.
"I know you're atheist, but, why not come along. For the experience."
Matthias looked up from his papers. "Yeah, that's a pretty good idea. Just join the Saturday morning service."
The old Farf would have giggled and foamed at the mouth, but heigh-ho whatddya know, he was Fabien now…His eyes stared at Kriesten searchingly. Was this some kind of mad joke? Not to mention the possibility of …carnage and violence and… the Farf's eyes glazed over in a wistful sort of way. He did miss it all.
He was about to reply when there was a muffled yelp from above and a heavy thump on the ceiling. Farfie looked up in surprise.
Kriesten did not smile as she took a bite of her toast. "Nice to see that someone around here listens to my advice."
She continued, "I usually go to service on Saturday because I work Sundays. I teach bible classes for the younger kids. You should go."
She looked at him, humoured. "You can meet most of our neighbours there. They're all interested in our new relatives. Oh yes, there's a Mr. Kurosaki who just moved in, three houses down. He wants to meet people who speak his language. He goes to church to help out every Saturday. It a place for socializing."
She looked at her watch and exclaimed. "We're going to be late!" Without waiting for a reply, she hauled the Irishman from his seat. Farfello let himself be dragged along.
The Frenchman Fabien grinned.
An image of Brad, standing like a matador, sheets billowing.
Then an image of Schuldich, on the floor, murder on his mind.
Nagi nodded. "So we have to move."
"We're packing and moving today. The attack will come very soon. We'll move Jason once night falls." Brad stood behind his chair.
"A pity. I was just getting used to this place."
A rumpled Schuldich pushed open the door. I'm going down for breakfast.
Schuldich, we're moving today. Pack your things in two hours.
The telepath turned to look at him, incredulous. But we just got here!
Rosenkreuz is going to attack any moment. An angry scowl appeared on the redhead's face.
I can't take this without my breakfast. He stumped down the staircase.
"Rent an apartment downtown, preferably close to any influential person. That'll keep them from planting anything explosive. "
Nagi scanned the net and began pressing buttons on his cell phone.
A telepathic voice rang in Brad's and Nagi's heads. Houston, we have a major major problem.
Schuldich, we just topped up the larder with banana nut crunch cereal. Don't tell me you ate all that already? Nagi sighed. Why do you have fetishes on disgusting and disgustingly hard to find foods?
I wasn't going to say that. Snapped the telepath, mental tone surly. I really and truly think that we are in a crisis, right now! I'm talking real, serious and deep deep shit!
Let me guess, you ran out of hair conditioner. Added Brad dryly.
NO! There was a pause. I will say this as slowly and clearly as I can so that you two idiots get the message. No interruptions.
We. Seem. To. Have. Run. Out. Of. Farfello.
What's new—WHAT! Farfello?
My initial sentiment exactly. Our resident Berserker has scooted, missing in action, left the building, ka-poof! And it gets worse.
He took all the knives?
Of course not.
He took quite a few spoons.
There was a thoughtful pause. Well, that isn't so bad.
Your incredibly insightful sister is trying to convert him and has spirited him off to church.
I'm glad you put the point rather succinctly.
Brad dashed out of the room, but not before shouting to Nagi, "You stay here and get our things ready to go! I will go get him!"
"Aye aye captain!"
Need any help there, o great leader?
I'll predict any trouble before it happens, go scout for a new hideout for us, somewhere in the downtown area.
Oh goody, a shopping trip!
Brad dashed noisily down the stairs. "Mom! I need to borrow the car!"
"No can do, dearie, your father took it to work already." The matron replied as she sipped her tea. "Call a cab if you need to go anywhere."
Brad, I already commandeered one. It's on the way here right now.
"What's the rush? Is something wrong?"
"Which church did Kreisten take Far- Fabien to?"
"It's called Marymouth Methodist… On the south side. Kreisten teaches the street kids there. What's going on?"
"Uh, Fabien forgot his inhaler and he's asthmatic."
The bright morning light beamed joyously down on David Crawford's office windows. Or, at least they tried to beam, their cheery effect staunchly warded off by the tinted office windows. The FBI headquarters was far from the city, perched like an impenetrable citadel, slate grey walls resolute. There was a silence, interspersed by the arrhythmic creaking of a leather chair.
There was a sigh.
David Crawford stared puzzled at the new report on his table. It was the report on the latest strike against weapons dealers in Washington. It failed, one of the mysteries it held. It wasn't even a gigantic mystery. Strikes failed on a regular basis, according to the workings of Murphy's Law.
But he was in a conundrum about another teensy, little detail. Details were the harbingers of … things. He frowned and read through it one more time:
Time of Commencement: 2100 h
Time of Completion: 2130 h
His eyes flickered down the page, past details of the operation. His eyes stopped at the line, "… the strike team searched the premises and it was empty…"
"…exited five minutes after entry…"
"…burning cassettes were found in the security room…"
"…no weapons stock discovered…"
He frowned. So if the troops exited five minutes after entry, the entire operation would have taken only five minutes. So where did the twenty-five minutes go? He read further:
"…Sgt. Jack Donaldson discovered a bullet in his helmet but does not recall…"
"…no shots were discharged…"
The helmets of the strike team were made of bulletproof metal. In order for a shot to be embedded in one of the helmets required use of a very powerful gun. So who shot the sergeant?
Who shot the sheriff?
A time lapse and a lapse of memory… How can there be a time lapse and a missing memory when there were evidences of a shot fired in that time? Unless the troops were keeping something from him… Someone couldn't just make that memory magically disappear, could they? No one could have brainwashed the entire strike team in twenty minutes.
He put the report down and scowled at his table, deep in thought.
Then he realized what he was looking at. He languidly picked up another manila folder and flipped through the pages. It was that crazy report again, the one about some top assassin team with mental powers immigrating to America. He paused. Mental powers?
He chuckled as he read, there was that amusing line; "…telekinetic, telepathic and precognitive…" A small siren sounded at the back of his mind as something clicked.
Memory loss… Telepathy… Weapons supplier… Assassins?
His immediately dismissed it as a ridiculous jump to an illogical conclusion. Telepaths and what-nots did not exist! They were merely charlatans and con artists hungering for some media attention!
And who wrote that stupid report anyway?
He took note of the name and informed his secretary that the agent was due for a personal appointment. With him.
His secretary sighed and wished the poor soul much, much luck.
Twenty minutes later there came a knock on the door and a nervous young man hurried into the room. David could have run a hand across his features and looked to the ceiling for solace. He could have known that the specimen standing in front of his desk belonged to a different species altogether.
The young man wore huge owl glasses, making his eyes look enormous. Instead of the clean-cut, no nonsense agent look, he was dressed rather shabbily in jeans and a collared white shirt. Just like some UFO fanatic who holes himself in the attic, reading too many books.
Remind me again why we have such people in our organization? Oh yes, because they are walking analytical machines with no social capability whatsoever.
David Crawford forced a smile onto his face. "Agent Campbell."
"Yes sir?" The poor boy couldn't even throw a proper salute.
"I have here a report, done by you, on a group of assassins with mental abilities entering America."
"Why is there a report on, on this, on my table? Are you saying that people with special mental abilities exist?"
The boy grinned, "Oh yes, absolutely sir!" There was a sharp silence as David digested this answer. He spoke carefully.
"And I suppose we have an entire section of the FBI dedicated to them?"
"And a research facility using disgraceful amounts of government money?"
The agent winced. "Yes, sir."
"Why wasn't I informed?"
"It was on a need-to-know basis, sir."
"You people need to tell me such things. I'm supposed to know everything there is about this agency!"
"It is top secret, sir"
"And I am a man who knows every single damn top secret this country has to offer!" The agent winced again but did not say anything. He waited for his superior to calm down.
David placed his hands on the table. "So, you say that these people exist? What proof do we have? What can you show me, to make me believe that such people exist?"
"Well, sir, I could show you the facility."
"I don't have time for that. Can you show me one person with any of these claimed capabilities?"
Campbell looked surprised. "I can show you, sir."
"I am a pyrokinetic, sir."
The agent patiently explained. "A person who can set things on fire."
"With your mind?"
"Yes sir. Do you have any scrap paper sir?" David rummaged in his dustbin and placed a crushed ball of paper in the cigarette tray."
"Shoot." Campbell stood away from the table and glared at the ball of paper as if it were his sworn enemy. Nothing happened.
He scowled even harder. David could see the strain in his face, but doubted that anything else than an embarrassing moment would result.
With a shout of Dammit! Burn already! The ball of paper suddenly glowed a furious red and vaporized in a small puff of ash.
David's jaw dropped in shock.
The agent mopped his brow. It had taken a lot of effort.
"I'm sorry sir, I'm not a particularly gifted pyrokinetic."
David closed his mouth. He sat back in his chair, stunned. "Amazing…" He looked at Campbell. "Do you know the implications of this? We…we could have these people in our forces! They'll bring every criminal and terrorist empire to its knees!"
"But there would be an abuse of power to use such people against others, sir, it would make people aware of such talents, which would result in destructive discrimination of the talent!" Campbell argued.
"Politics would revolve around the number of talents each country has, just like nuclear warheads. These people would be absolutely untraceable if they were used as spies and soldiers. Sir."
"So you're saying, if an organization controls an army of such talents, they would have a good shot at world domination?"
"They would be able to control any politician in the world today, sir. They wouldn't need an army."
David Crawford was silent. This was the biggest secret that the US government could keep. No wonder he hadn't known about it.
"So the reason this report is given top priority and is on my desk right now, is that there is an organization with an army like that.
"And part of that army is now in America?"
"Not any part of the army, sir, the most powerful part of the army that the organization Rosenkreuz has gathered."
David Crawford ran a hand over his eyes. "Do you know if there is a link between the Rosenkreuz talents and the recent failed strike against this weapons dealer?"
"We suspect that the assassin group might be gathering arms to strike against the government."
Oh gods. As if we need another conspiracy on our hands…
"Take me on a tour of this … research facility."
"As you say, sir."
As agent Campbell walked out of his superior's office, the secretary looked surprised.
"You're still alive?"
Schuldich checked on Jason as she headed out of the house, pausing on the lawn, where the pseudo-bomb shelter lay. Hey kid, you still alive in there?
He saw the gunsmith jerk violently in his mind's eye. "Mastermind?"
Call me Schully, my dear.
Jason, unused to telepathic conversations, spoke aloud in his underground safe room as the redhead listened to his mind. "Oh er. How's things going?"
A bit of trouble. We'll be moving soon.
"Again? But we just got here."
My sentiments exactly. But that's the way things are. He gave a telepathic shrug. We'll get you out of there in no time. Did Nagi bring you breakfast like I told him to?
"He gave me a freaking heart attack when the breakfast tray floated in like that!"
He has his faults, but he is still such a keee-ute little boy, aren't you Nagikins?
Nagi's amused reply was heard in their minds, Don't push your luck, 'Schully-chan.'
You're just jealous that I got the cuter name, aren't you?
Thank god I didn't. Hello Jason, how was breakfast?
The gunsmith gave an unseen smile. "Yeah, it was great, thanks."
You're welcome anytime.
Well, then, since everything is hot and toasty, he clasped his hands together warmly, let's get down to business. Gunmaker gunmaker make me a gun.
"Gee, Schully, you're such a great poet."
Oh shut up, give me a damn gun before I serenade you.