“Is she going to be okay?”
Amanda had voiced the very question running through everyone’s heads.
“Hard to say.” The doctor maneuvered his wheelchair so he was by Lisa’s bed. “While she appears fine except for the burn marks where she had been hit, there could be nerve damage and possible brain damage.”
They winced. Nerve damage and brain damage were no joke. The doctor in front of them was proof of that. Daniel didn’t go into any details about Tylar’s, the doctor’s, history except to say his spine had been grievously injured and he chose to become a local doctor. What he had been doing before remained unsaid. Not that they couldn’t guess. A few of them had some ideas about the doctor considering the fact he knew Daniel to begin with, but chose to keep it to themselves. It wasn’t any of their business.
“Will she wake up?”
“Unfortunately, I can’t tell you. I don’t exactly have the equipment or experience to handle something like this. I would say she should go to the hospital” - they tensed - “but I figured that it wasn’t an option. I can get some people who could help.”
“They won’t talk would they?” asked Pain.
“There is something called patient confidentiality. Besides, she has a soft spot for kids.”
With that, he went into another room to make the call. No one dared say anything. All they could do was stare at Lisa’s still form. She hadn’t moved a single inch since she had taken the blow meant for Phrynosoma. It was unnerving to see how lifeless she was. Even when she had given up trying to tone down Phrynosoma and the kids’ antics or simply too exhausted to deal with them, she would still give some sign of life. It usually involved tears and mumbling about why it had to be her, but they were signs of life.
“I don’t like seeing mom hurt,” said Amanda.
Nancy placed a comforting hand on her shoulder. “Don’t worry. I haven’t known her long, but I can tell she’s a strong one. She’ll be up before you know it.”
The sound of a phone immediately put them on edge. Patricia, Carl, Daniel, and Nancy pulled out their cellphones as Phrynosoma, Pain, and Amanda watched. The later didn’t possess one so it couldn’t possibly be them. It wasn’t like they could afford to get one. They didn’t have jobs and Lisa was struggling as is to keep things running so none of them had asked her for one. Besides, it wasn’t like they knew how to use one or would use it. A quick look revealed it was Nancy’s phone which she answered while putting it on speaker.
“Where are you?” The loud shout made them wince.
“Brother, what’s up?”
“Don’t take that tone with me. I heard the mall being hit, but you’re not here.”
“Well, obviously. I’m not going to stay in a dangerous place.”
“Phrynosoma and the kids disappeared the moment they heard. Are they with you right now?”
“And if they are?”
“Then I would have to arrest them.”
Phrynosoma cut in before Nancy could say anything. “I will not allow it.”
“...You put me on speaker. Who else is with you?”
He sighed. “Stay where you are. I’ll come to you after you give me the address.”
“You’re not going to seriously give it to him are you?” asked Carl.
“Well, it’s a bit late to hide anything from him.”
No one said anything. After she sent the address, the phone disconnected. Now it was just a waiting game. The doctor eventually returned to let them know that his contact would get there as soon as she could. She was currently busy with some other patients who she couldn’t ignore. When prodded for more information, he only said that it was best he didn’t say anything further until she showed up. Nancy informed him of her brother’s impending arrival which made him groan.
“Please don’t tell me your brother is Officer Thompson.”
“You know my brother?”
“Let’s just say I have some dealings with him.”
Daniel immediately asked, “Are we talking bad or strange?”
“It’s more like groan and sigh.”
Patricia whispered to Carl, “What on earth are they talking about?”
“Don’t look at me. I don’t speak their language.”
“You’re a guy aren’t you?”
“What’s that supposed to mean?”
Amanda turned to Phrynosoma and without bothering to whisper, said, “Is mommy really going to be safe with them?”
“My saliva wouldn’t be enough to heal something like this and I have no idea what kind of effect my blood would have on her if I gave her some.”
“So we’re stuck with them,” said Pain as he pointed at them.
“I think introductions are in order,” said Nancy. “We don’t know much about each other and our only connection is Lisa. Who wants to go first?”
Silence. Everyone could only stare at the woman as if she had grown another head. It wasn’t exactly the right moment to talk about themselves. In fact, the doctor immediately wheeled himself out of the room the moment she had spoken. Apparently, he didn’t want to get himself involved in their nonsense or perhaps it was because of his relationship with her brother. Either way he was gone. Carl looked like he wanted to do the same, but Patricia made sure he couldn’t run away. If she was going to be stuck doing this, he would too.
“Since no one is saying anything, I’ll go first. As you know, my older brother is an officer of the law and told me all about Lisa. You’re next.”
Phrynosoma stared at the finger pointed at him while Pain bluntly said, “You basically said nothing.”
“That’s not true.”
“Nancy, you’re not a teenager.” Carl stared at her blankly. “Please be reasonable.”
“I’m just trying to break the mood. Everyone’s all high-strung about what happened so I figured we could do something to keep our mind off of things.”
No one said anything for a moment before Daniel jumped in. “Well, it’s not like we know much about the kid except what you told us. Today’s the first time we met her. What I would like to know is why she is hanging around with a bunch of killers.”
“Daniel, don’t say that. They were not thinking right after seeing Lisa getting hurt,” said Carl.
“I don’t buy it. It’s the eyes.” Daniel directed the next part at Phrynosoma. “You have the eyes of someone who has taken many lives.”
“You have also claimed lives.”
The rest of the bystanders backed off uneasily. There was a suffocating, unseen tension forming between them and they could only watch, hoping they wouldn’t start anything with Lisa so close by. Fortunately, a knock cut through the atmosphere like a knife. Staring in the direction of the door, no one made a move to open it. After a few moments, they heard a curse before the sounds of a wheelchair made its way to the door. The sound of the door opening and closing greeted their ears. Mr. Thompson stepped into the room with Tylar behind him.
“There better be an explanation for this.”
No one wanted to say anything. It was bad enough that Nancy had tried that stunt. There was no way they were going to say anything incriminating to a police officer. Well, that’s what they had intended to do. What actually happened was a mess of shouting and finger pointing with no one being quite sure what they were doing. Mr. Thompson made liberal use of his powers to keep them under control though it was still chaotic. While this was happening, Tylar inched his way to check on Lisa who was kept blissfully unaware of the chaos surrounding her.
“I pity you.”
Tylar didn’t get a response, but it wasn’t like he was expecting one. He couldn’t imagine having to deal with one of them, in his case Daniel, much less eight crazies. Honestly, how did someone like her get caught up in this mess? She looked like a regular human so he doubted it was because of her biology. Did she have a power to attract people towards her or perhaps she had been cursed with bad luck? Either way, it appeared that she was stuck in a very unfortunate situation. He was very glad to not be in her shoes.
Meanwhile, Mr. Thompson finally managed to get the rowdy bunch to stop interrupting him. “Okay, now that we’re done with our tantrum, I want an explanation. Nancy, explain.”
Unperturbed at being singled out, she immediately started from when they left the apartment. She mentioned what they had discussed on the way there though she made sure not to mention the part where they were discussing boys. They didn’t need to hear about Lisa’s love life or lack thereof especially when one of the guys mentioned was right there. It wouldn’t be right to talk about such things with Lisa not awake to consent. Besides, it would only annoy her brother. She knew he would zero in on Phrynosoma if he thought there was anything fishy going on between them.
Then she went over what happened to the mall. Her brother’s eyes narrowed as she mentioned how they ended up getting split up when the terrorist attacked. They had somehow lost her in the crowd and had no idea what to do. Carl had suggested they go look for her, but Patricia was quick to point out it would impossible to pick her out from the crowd. Nancy had agreed saying that the only thing they could do was to get to the exit and hoped she made it out okay. Daniel, on the other hand, stated his intentions to go after the culprits. This was ignored of course.
They hadn’t gotten very far when they felt another explosion. With horror, they had watched numerous people fall to their death, but they couldn’t stop to watch. It was clear it wasn’t safe to stay on the upper floors and they hurried towards the ground floor. They stopped to help as many people as they could escape. When they still didn’t find her, they became uneasy. Had she been among those that fell? If so, it was possible she was dead or dying. Feeling responsible for her, Nancy had declared she would go look for her while they continued to evacuate people.
Her idea was shut down. Even with her telekinesis, they didn’t want her to go off on her own. If she was going, they were coming along with her. Patricia said she would use her magic to make sure they knew where to go just as Daniel said that the civilians could use their brains for once. His comment was ignored in favor of going off to look for her. That was when they found Phrynosoma being cornered. Pain and Amanda had also showed up. Nancy skimmed over the fight except to say that Lisa had been seriously injured and they had to flee.
When Mr. Thompson asked her to clarify, she simply said, “Well, the police wanted to arrest us.”
He paused to stare at her. Taking off his cap, he pinched the bridge of his nose with a sigh.
“Nancy, when the police tell you to turn yourself in, you do it. You have absolutely nothing to hide if that’s all that happened.”
Patricia and Carl were quick to agree with her story. The idea of being arrested didn’t appeal to them one bit. When it was Daniel’s turn, he expressed annoyance at having to repeat the exact same story the other three had posed. He still did it anyway. With them out of the way, it was only the three troublemakers left. One moment they were setting up Nancy’s apartment the next the trio vanished on him. He didn’t even know they could move so fast. In fact, if he didn’t know any better, he would have thought that they had teleported.
Phrynosoma explained that someone had sent them there. He didn’t clarify. When pressured, he admitted that it was one of the tenants. It wasn’t hard for Nancy and Mr. Thompson to figure out who it was. The only tenant they knew for sure who had a power that could teleport or at least take people to another location was Kali. He had apparently shown up to apologize for last time. It was around the time when the news of the mall being hit showed up on the television. Carl stated his confusion on how news got out so quickly when it was explained that there had been a big event planned nearby.
Upon hearing that Lisa was at the mall, he used his powers to send them to go help her. Mr. Thompson hadn’t seen any signs of him so Kali mustn’t have stayed long. Where he could have gone was a mystery, but considering none of them could answer, they decided to continue on with the story. The moment they had arrived they had split up. They couldn’t know where exactly in the building she was. Phrynosoma had managed to get to her first and rescued from falling to her death. Unfortunately, they had encountered the terrorists and he had been stuck trying to protect her.
That was when the others showed up to help and the rest of the story was the same as the others. Mr. Thompson went to Lisa’s side to see how she was. He could see she was breathing just fine, but she didn’t react whatsoever. Tylar had done well to take care of her, but what she needed was a real doctor. Sure Tylar had gotten the degree and everything, but he didn’t have all the essential equipment. She needed people who could give her proper treatment. Then he wanted to hear her side of the story and find out who she really was.
The whole situation was fishy to him. While they didn’t go into too much detail involving the fight, he had seen and heard the reports. He had been there to find them. It was clear the group Lisa associated herself with was dangerous. At the time, he had assumed the kids just needed help. After seeing the crime scene, he wondered if perhaps they were not as innocent as they seemed. There was also Phrynosoma and Kali. It seemed all too convenient for Kali to show up as they found out she was in trouble. What were the chances of that?
Then there was his sister’s own group of friends. He had put it off because he had believed she wouldn’t let herself be caught up in any criminal activity. Well, she proved him wrong. So he was done letting things slide. Mr. Thompson wasn’t going to wait any longer to see if he could gather any more information. He wanted to know and he wanted to know now.