The first thing he did was call Foss. "Foss, where is she?" he desperately asked.
"Who?" responded Foss, a bit clueless.
"Amanda. Where is she? I went inside to get her bag and when I came out she was gone."
Foss sighed heavily, "We'll find her don't worry."
For the second time in his life, Kyle could not think properly. He was responsible. Amanda was missing because of him.
"We have to find her Foss," he choked out, "I can't loose her."
"I'll be there in five minutes."
Mere seconds later Kyle's phone vibrated, the caller had no ID.
"Yes," he answered flatly.
"The girl is unharmed. You have sixty minutes to find her."
As the line went dead the lights above Kyle's head erupted into sparks and exploded as his system went into overdrive. His head swam and heart raced as the lights around him continued to explode. The entire block went dark.
He had just given her another detail about himself and her only reaction was to tell him that she was in love with him. Now she was missing. Was being in love with him going to be dangerous? Would her feelings for him change once she knew the whole truth?
Kyle did his best to push these thoughts to the back of his mind. He needed to find her and he would need a clear head.
Foss pulled into the pitch-black parking lot of the school. As Kyle got into the truck, he spotted his best friend. "Declan?" he asked in surprise.
"I thought you might need a change of clothes," said Foss blankly.
"What happened to the lights?" asked Declan.
"They called," said Kyle, who looked like he was ready to explode, just as the lights had. "We have fifty-five minutes and thirty seconds to find her. It is Latnok. It has to be."
Foss and Declan eyed Kyle knowingly. It was indeed Latnok, they were not going to sit back and wait for Kyle to be ready, as Baylin had asked. They wanted him now and were willing to go to any extremes to get him to cooperate.
As they drove, random lights continued to explode as Kyle's head swam.
"Kyle, buddy," urged Declan. "You've got to keep it together. You can't afford to lose it now."
Kyle felt like he was going to vomit. His life was over. He wanted them to put him back into the pod and leave him alone. All he had ever wanted was to be ordinary, to have a life like everyone else. Now the one person that mattered most was missing, and it was all because of him.
They arrived at the warehouse where Foss still had some of his equipment set up. Declan tossed a backpack at Kyle. "You get changed while Foss and I drag some stuff out. You don't want to screw your tux up."
Kyle looked down. He had not realized that he still had it on. He looked down at the bag that he still carried in his hand. It was Amanda's. Holographic memories swam back to the moment he first saw her in her prom dress. She was beautiful. He remembered dancing closely with her, stealing kisses in a dark corner while everyone else was in the gymnasium. Having her place her toes on his shoes so they would not get wet and her look of surprise and amazement when he lifted them up. The way she giggled as they slow danced, hovering a foot above he floor.
Suddenly the lights around the building began to spark and blink at random, a radio turned on in the background.
Foss looked worriedly at Declan.
"He's a mess," said Declan.
Foss looked back to Kyle, "Well he better pull it together soon, or we won't find her."
Declan approached Kyle, who was still standing there staring blankly at Amanda's bag.
"Kyle, Kyle. Kyle! Buddy, you need to snap out of it. The only way we are going to find her is if you stay straight."
Kyle looked up startled. "She told me she loved me and now she's gone," he said quietly.
Declan sighed," Well if want to hear it again, and maybe experience some of its benefits, you better get changed and get over here. The clock is ticking."