Chapter 3: I Meet my Brother's Boss
"You have a sister?" the four-armed girl Breach questioned to Sheldon.
"You name's Sheldon?" Rex asked with a smirk on his face.
"Yes to both of them. HOW COULD YOU NOT REALIZE THAT YOU WERE FIGHTING SASHA, BEN?" Sheldon shouted to the wolf EVO.
"Wait, Ben Wolfe?" I said as I wiped my tears away. Ben had been Sheldon's best friend and we used to hang out in the past. He was a year older than my brother and we would all go on camping trips together and play baseball. He was loyal to a fault, which made a good teammate for b-ball.
"Sorry Sasha, I couldn't tell it was you. You've grown so much since you were ten and you grew your hair out. Plus, that cap hid our eyes." Biowulf/Ben looked and sounded apologetic, but it was hard to tell with that metal mask of his. But I knew that Ben or Biowulf, whatever he called himself, was a trusty worthy guy. At least the Ben I knew was.
"Still," I said furiously. I glared at Sheldon, who looked like he was really upset. "But wait, I was the target the whole time?"
"We only went after Rex since we thought he was going to recruit you with Providence." I clasped my baseball bat even harder. I'd join Providence when Hell would freeze over or when Nana was less nutty. I hoped either one wouldn't be for a long time.
Rex snorted at this remark. "A. I need to have permission from Providence before I can do that, B. I didn't ask her that, C. I didn't even know she was an EVO, and D. your name's Ben Wolfe? That's kind of lame Biowulf."
It was so fast, but in the next second Rex was dangling upside down from Biowulf's/Ben's claws and he growled manically. "Tell a soul and you die," he growled and dropped Rex to the ground.
"Geez," Rex said as he got up and dusted himself off, "Touchy."
"Well…We still completed our mission…We have to take you to Van Kliess…Sasha, I'm sorry," Biowulf said and he shoved me, gently, forward.
"Wait, WHAT?" Sheldon expressed as he caught Biowulf's shoulder. "I know she's an EVO and Van Kliess wanted her brought into Abysus, but she's still my sister. Ben please," he begged. "He probably didn't know she was my sister!" He sounded desperate.
"Wait," Rex said confused. "You're part of the Pack, but you don't want your sister to join? That's kind of confusing, Skalamander."
"…She's a humanoid EVO, kid. She could go to college, meet someone, and have a life! I don't want her to throw away her future. And if she got hurt in a fight…I…I don't think I could take it." Hmm…It sounded almost like what I had told Dad earlier that night. God…That was only a few hours ago and now all this happens…
"Funny," I said as I crossed my arms. "You come all the way out here and you go up against Providence, and yet WE HAVEN'T HEARD FROM YOU OTHER THAN A LETTER A MONTH? If that girl does portals," I said as I jerked my thumb at her, "why can't you just come and see us yourself."
"Like I said in my letter, there are a lot of projects around here…"
"That's a lame excuse. And do all those 'projects' consist of kidnapping people and EVOs? 'Cause if they do, Mom and Dad will kill you."
"Wait, you're not telling Mom and Dad, are you?"
"Yes," I said, even though I probably wouldn't.
Sheldon looked pained and said, "Sasha…Look, I just wanted you guys to have a better life…"
"And your idea is to join an EVO organization that's trying to take over the world?"
"NO! I left so you guys could enjoy your lives! I didn't fit in there, Sasha. I never could. But here, they don't care if you're EVO…We can be ourselves here. But you…I don't want you to meet Van Kliess."
"Then I want to meet this Van Kliess," I expressed. "Only to piss you off."
Sheldon growled at this and looked really pissed. I turned to Ben/Biowulf and said, "Which way to meet V.K. and can Rex just go? He was trying to protect me and all those kids."
"NO…" he said flatly. He pointed over into the distance. I squinted and caught sight of a mammoth, crumbling structure. It looked like an abandon castle.
I sighed and said, "Sorry to get you into this, Rex," as we shuffled forward.
"No biggie," Rex said, but he looked, (should I say it?), fearful and cautions. "If it's anything like last time, I think I can handle it."
"Last time you had that ninja agent, that monkey and that other kid. All you got now is her," Biowulf snorted as he jerked one of his claws at me. "And as I recall, Van Kliess caused your Nanites to shut down."
"It was reflexive," Rex expressed as he climbed over a huge ridge and gave me a hand.
"And what do you mean just her?" I said angrily, ignoring Rex's offer of help and leaped up to the ledge.
"Nothing," Biowulf muttered.
"Didn't I slice him, though?" Rex asked quickly, distracting us from having a major argument.
"Reincarnation through the soil of Abysus," Breach said softly. It was the second time I had heard her speak and she sounded shy about it.
"Sounds like a vampire," I remarked as I scrambled over a pile of rocks. I nimbly dodged a soft blow of Biowulf and said, "What? He can't leave his homeland, he reincarnates, and he drains someone's life source for his own well-being."
"Nice one," Rex said with a lopsided grin. He ducked a jab from the wolf EVO and a shard of crystal from my brother. "What's your deal anyway, Sasha? You don't seem like an EVO."
I shrugged and expressed, "I have something like a 'shark sense'. I have this active electric field that allows me to determine where an EVO is, what powers it has, and what kind of EVO a person will become. For instance, Sydney, that girl who nearly kissed you earlier when you hit that ball into Mr. Wilson's window, she'll turn into a winged EVO, but keep her sanity and be able to manipulate the winds. She'll be curable, but will also be able to blend in with society since her wings fold up behind her back. She'll go EVO in roughly three weeks. What?" I questioned to the stunned faces that stare at me with confusion and disbelief. Sheldon just rolled his eyes and said, "You're getting better at it Sash."
Rex blinked and said, "I can see why Van Kliess would want you to join the Pack…You'd be able to tell what kind of potential members would be ideal against Providence."
"I'll still be talking to Van Kliess about this," Sheldon said angrily. "You're not joining the Pack, sis."
"What about in your letter when you said the guy in charge in strict, but nice?" I said crossing my arms.
"…I still don't like it sis. And if you disagreed with him…Mom and Dad would kill me if I brought you back as a life sized garden statue." I glared at him and he shut up.
We walked in silence before Sheldon started to apologize again.
"Aw crap," Sheldon said miserably as we walked towards the decaying castle. "I'm so sorry Sasha; I didn't know Van Kliess was after you."
I snorted and refused to look his way. Rex and I were being escorted by Biowulf/ Ben Wolfe. Sheldon walked with us while the freaky girl Breach brought up the rear. Probably making sure we wouldn't bolt or something.
"Look," I said to him. "What's done is done, and I'm not going to run or something when Breach can just wave her arm and a portal will open up." I glanced over at Rex who was walking kind of slow and said, "So…You've met Van Kliess before?
"Long story, involving the Pack, some agents from Providence, and a well-aimed through from Bobo that pretty much saved my life. Van Kliess tried to drain my Nanites, and, as I recall, Bobo and Noah kicked your butts earlier then, too," he said with a smirk to the Pack.
Rex couldn't dodge the blow from Biowulf, which echoed very nicely, or the crystal from Sheldon that smacked his ankle, nearly causing him to fall over. He would have, too, if I hadn't grabbed his arm.
"Keep talking smack kid," Biowulf threatened, "…and we keep punchin'."
I sighed and said, "How is it that we're all acting like kindergarteners when, I think, we're all in our teens?"
Breach gave a shrug with all four arms. "Teens are rebellious and don't necessarily get along with each other. Take Circe and Skalamander, for instance. This morning alone, they had a scream-fest, resulting in them getting booted off the mission today…"
"A.k.a. my kidnapping," I said.
"…Whatever….And I know for a fact that Biowulf and I can't get along, AT ALL. He's mean and commanding…"
"While you're whining and always stealing stuff," Biowulf interjected. Breach glared at him. Geez…I guess these guys' hormones are in complete rebellion and just plain rudeness these days.
"I get the rebellion stuff," Rex said to break up their fight, "I go on road trips sometimes to blow off steam. And who can count the minor arguments? But really? I'm not like this."
"They are worse than my sister Violet," I whispered to him.
"How is Vi doing anyways?" Sheldon asked.
"You have TWO SISTER?" Breach said in shock.
"Maybe another, too," I added.
"MOM'S PREGNANT?" Sheldon sounded beyond shocked. "Are they…"
"No idea if it's an EVO or if it's a girl or boy, Mom and Dad want to be surprised. And no, we're not using your bedroom as the new kid's room."
He looked relieved slightly, then got peeved again. "Why is now the first time I'm hearing about this?"
"Look, you didn't right back for THREE MONTHS. THREE MONTHS! We didn't know if the drop-off point had changed or nor. Plus, Mom was only sure two months ago."
"Sorry, geez," he growled. I sighed and looked around. We were almost to the castle and there was a large circle of decay and tree roots surrounding it. The castle looked like it had been stacked and was covered in roots.
"…You live here," I said to Sheldon.
He shrugged and said, "It could be worse."
"How's that possible?" Rex murmured softly so only I could hear. I grinned when suddenly a sonic blast hit me. I screamed and threw my hands over my ears.
"MY BRAIN'S GOING TO EXPLODE!" I shouted hysterically. I vaguely saw Rex and Biowulf press their hands/paws to the ears while Breach covered her ears with BOTH sets of hands.
Sheldon had an irritated look on his face and he cried out, "CIRCE! Shut up! If this is your revenge on me about earlier, do you have to subject everyone to it? I don't care about the punk but…"
"Rex's here?" said an uncertain voice. Mercifully, the ringing, echoing sonic call had stopped and I lowered my arms sheepishly, Rex, Biowulf, and Breach following suit. A teenage girl with black hair dyed red at the ends and a red dress over grey tights and a shirt stepped from out of the trees. Her brown-red eyes flashed over to Rex, then gave me a glare. The girl seemed aggressive as I scanned her Nanites.
I eyebrows lifted slightly. This girl was hardcore. She was the one who had blasted us with the sonic scream. According to my Nanites, she could extend her mouth and issue sonic blasts that could force someone back, or even call an EVO forward. And I could tell she had something for Rex. Like a crush and, judging by the quick glance Rex gave her along with a quirky smile, the feeling was mutual.
Sheldon grunted and pushed me towards the screamer girl. "Circe, this is Sasha. Sasha, Circe."
I gave her a glare and said, "Tune down the frequency next time, please."
"Sorry," she said as she gave me a deluxe I-will-kill-you-when-you're-sleeping. "I saw you and I thought you were an intruder."
"What person would be insane enough to attack Abysus?"
"You'd be surprised," Circe murmured and turned to Rex. "What are you doing here?"
"Long story; involving a baseball game gone bad and protecting citizens," Rex expressed. Circe raised an eyebrow and looked at me suspiciously. Ah...She was jealous about the fact Rex had been protecting ME. Well, I wasn't interested in him at all.
I looked at Circe and shook my head as I tipped it towards Rex. In Girl, that means Not my type…He's all yours.
She raised an eyebrow and said flatly, "Whatever. What's the point of this girl here anyways?"
Sheldon looked miserable, grimaced, and said, "We need to talk to Van Kliess. NOW."
Circe glared at me and we all started to walk again. No one spoke, the tension was so thick. Rex calmly took something out of his pocket and tossed it to me. I caught it left-handed, which was pretty cool when you're a righty. It was a white baseball, with slightly uneven red stitching. It was the ball Rex had left to pick up. I nodded my thanks to him, shoved it into my pocket, and kept moving.
By the time we had reached the castle, I had come up at least ten plans of escape for both Rex and myself, but have put down each and every one of them. Why? That girl, Breach, would probably just open a portal, Biowulf would snatch us, or Circe would go all supersonic on us and we'd get our butts wuphed. I seriously doubt the fact that Sheldon would attack me, but Rex was another thing.
I was still stewing over plans when I felt him. An EVO who had the power to control the earth. Van Kliess, ruler of Abysus. I glanced around to see where we were. We were in the castle.
"Welcome to Abysus, Sasha. And Rex! What a surprise to see you again," he said crisply. He was a tall man with black hair streaked white, a golden mechanical arm, and a black lab coat and pants. He seemed genially surprised to see Rex and kind to me, but I could see the hunger for Nanites his body needed to survive.
Carefully I looked at his extend hand, the mechanical one, and said, "Better not be trying to get my Nanites."
Van Kliess chuckled and lowered his arm. "Nothing ever gets by you, does it Sasha?"
Sheldon quickly expressed, "Van Kliess…This is EVO is my youngest sister…"
"Oh yes, I know about that."
"But sir, I don't think she would be such a great asset here. She's too young, a little irresponsible…"
"Really bro?" I questioned looking mad. "I know I tried to run away when I was seven, but come on, I WAS SEVEN. And what other proof is left?"
Sheldon glared at me, but before he could retort, Circe, thank you, had to ask, "You have a sister?"
"And his name's Sheldon," Rex offered helpfully with a slight smirk. It looked sort of fake, though, like he was trying to be himself in a bad situation.
Circe almost smiled at this, but then I twisted to avoid a portal. I stepped right, then gave a leap left. I was ducking another shot when I realized that Breach was putting on a show…And I was the trick monkey. I froze and punched into one of the portals angrily. Breach let out a slight whimper over the fact I had hit her in the gut.
Van Kliess' face was very pleased, like he had wanted to test the extent of my powers. "Bravo that was very impressive. Few people can predict Breach's portals."
I glared at Breach for a fraction of a sentence. Then I said, "I'm not exactly pleased about the fact that I was putting on a show. Had I known, I'm sure I would have charged admission." Rex cracked a slight grin.
Van Kliess let out a chuckle. "Very witty. But let's get down to business then. You're an EVO of expectable skill and power, Sasha. Your talents are exponential. I believe that you would be a great asset to the Pack. Would you care to join?"
"No offense, but I did get kidnapped by the Pack," I said. I shoved my hand into my pocket and felt the baseball and something else. I stiffened my body. Oh God no… See, Vi has this talent with machines and likes to build stuff, but it doesn't always work out well. She also loses them and they often end up in strange locations, like my dad's briefcase or Mom's casserole or, like right now, in my jacket pocket. The little box-like thing I felt in my pocket was heavy and had a slight nick where it would activate when pressed. I tried to estimate quickly what I had in my pocket. Vi was obsessed with creating one thing in particular, but it was impossible to know how this machine would work. I forced my electric field over it and would have smiled in a better situation.
What I had in my pocket was gold. The device that would help Rex and me escape.
"I understand your issue with your…sudden arrival here," Van Kliess said, interrupting my thoughts. "But the Pack has great power, and you'd be able to see your brother more often."
"Tempting," I muttered as I pressed the little nick in my pocket. A soft wiz and a crackle issued and then a humming noise started. "But I prefer my freedom."
Then I turned and threw my baseball at Breach. She looked bemused and flicked her hand slightly. But nothing happened. No portals. Her eyes widened and the ball caused her to fall over and knock Circe and Biowulf down.
I grabbed Rex's hand and screamed, "RUN!" and we ran faster than Van Kliess could stop us.
"What the…? What's going on?" Rex said as we rushed out of the castle and into the thick forest. "How did that happen? What just happened in there?"
"Just keep running!" I shouted at him and so we ran, as the pulsing of the little machine in my pocket became louder and it's affects became even better.