Twinepathy (Part 43/44): Some Trouble

Hullo, everyone! Guess what, I remembered to post today! Will wonders never cease! It’s been a while since I last posted, so I figured I’d post an extra part as an apology. If you’re new, start at the beginning!

43

Blaze grimaces. “Ah, yes, we did leave kind of suddenly, didn’t we? I guess we should head back.”

Oh yes we should. We never told Denver we were leaving, and Mom and Dad didn’t know either… oh boy. This is a big mess.

I follow Blaze to the meeting room and that’s when I get smothered in a Brooklyn hug. “What happened? You scared me so much! What were you even thinking?” She’s definitely in mother hen mode now. Finally, she lets go of me and holds me still for an inspection. “You look all right.”

“We weren’t in too much danger.” Mostly. Just a little bit. “Volt was the one who was really in trouble.” I give her a meaningful look.

Brooklyn’s face stays blank for a second, and then realization dawns on her face. Her eyes widen. “Oh no! Is she okay?”

I shrug. “She’s with Data, resting.” I purposefully don’t give any details. No need to worry her until we get somewhere private and I can tell her the full story. “But we need to get home before they try to put us on some missing people list.”

Brooklyn’s eyes widen again. “Oh, I totally forgot!” She motions for Maddie to come, and now I notice that Finch and Keller are here.

Blaze nods and turns towards Finch and Keller. “If Data asks, tell her I’ll be back soon.” And with that, we teleport.

We don’t land in the bedroom, like I expected. Instead, we’re in a deserted alley. Blaze points toward a main street. “Head that way. You should know your way from there, and you’ll be home soon. Anything else before I go back?”

I desperately want to ask him about that beach we landed on, but I figure it’s best to wait on that. Might as well get out of the doghouse first. All three of us shake our heads, and Blaze disappears.

I look at Brooklyn and Maddie. “Well… might as well get this over with.”

Blaze was right – it doesn’t take us long to get home. When we step inside, I get the sinking feeling that we’re in even bigger trouble than I thought. We check the whole house from top to bottom, but no luck. No one’s here.

Brooklyn calls Mom, and I wince when I hear Mom through the speaker, even though it’s not on speaker phone. I think Brooklyn will do much better in this delicate situation than I could. We haven’t worked out a story yet, but Brooklyn says something about helping Ezra and not having a chance to call them.

I give her a look. That might be too close to the truth. She waves her hand dismissively. I guess it’s a good enough story. If anyone asks Ezra about it, we know she’ll vouch for us.

My thoughts flash to the guy who attacked Ezra, but I push the anger and curiosity away. This is one thing I can’t investigate on my own. After all, I have no way to get across the Atlantic without Blaze. My only option is to get over this little bump at home and hope Jen calls us in to help. Soon.

44

Mom, Dad, and Denver all converge on the house at the same time. Then it’s a mass of questions and confusion and hugs and lectures and… I don’t even know what. I’ve just got the phrases “I’m sorry,” and “We’re okay,” on repeat.

We get off lighter than I thought we would, with Mom and Dad reminding us to at least leave a note before leaving. Brooklyn gets lunch duty for a week and I wash the cars and rake the lawn, but I figure that’s a pretty easy sentence. We’ll just have to warn Blaze that he can’t just whisk us away.

Denver is a way different story. After Mom and Dad get busy, he corners Brooklyn and me while Maddie’s upstairs. “What’s going on? You two have been acting so weird lately. And it’s not just stress. Even I can tell that much.”

He doesn’t get demanding very often, since he’s usually pretty passive and easy-going. But he’s smart, and it won’t be easy to get around this. I glance over at Brooklyn. There’s no way we can tell him the truth…

Brooklyn sighs. “Denver… it’s kind of a secret. We can’t tell you.”

He crosses his arms. “How did I know you were going to say that? Is it something dangerous?”

“No,” I say before Brooklyn can say anything.

Denver gives me a skeptical look. “You’re just saying that to make me feel better, and I don’t believe you one bit.” He pauses. “Is Ezra in on this secret?”

Brooklyn and I exchange glances. “Yes,” Brooklyn says reluctantly.

He stares at the wall, thinking. I really wish I was in his thoughts right now. “Tell Ezra before you do anything. Hopefully her common sense will beat out your…” He looks at us. “Just please, please be careful. And whenever you’re able to, tell me what’s going on.” I see the worry and fear in his eyes, and I get the feeling he’ll keep thinking about this.

Brooklyn places a hand on his arm. “We will. And don’t worry, there are responsible adults involved.”

I nod in agreement. Jen’s certainly responsible, and an adult, and I guess there are probably some other agents that qualify as that, too. Hopefully that’ll be good enough. Denver relaxes a little, thankfully. “That’s good. Just make sure you stay safe, okay?”

We both nod, and he heads past us upstairs, muttering something about stubborn sisters and stress. But despite his nonchalance, I can tell he’s really worried about us. Does he even suspect that Maddie’s involved, or the international scope of everything? I get the feeling that he’d worry even more if he knew the whole truth.

“We should get Data to talk to him,” Brooklyn says, facing me. Her voice is low, to avoid being overheard. “And maybe Mom and Dad, too.”

I just give her a tired look. “Do you think that she’d actually agree to that?”

She pauses, unsure. “Maybe. I don’t know. She’s a puzzle.”

I shrug. “We can ask. But I don’t think that she’s got very much spare time on her hands right now. I doubt she’d talk to them, anyway.”

The doorbell rings, but Mom calls to say that she’s got it. “We shouldn’t keep this from them,” Brooklyn says, her tone somber. “I want them to know.”

“Girls!” Mom calls. “Your friend Blaze is here!”

Twinepathy (Part 33): Acting Kind of Strange

Hullo, everyone! Oddly enough, I forgot about the post on Monday (I posted it on Tuesday, though!) but I remembered to post today! My brain must be very confused. Enjoy! If you’re new, start at the beginning.

Jen asks Keller a few more questions, and then tells her that she needs to go to IDIA headquarters. Keller reluctantly agrees to go, but Maddie and I leave. We’re probably going to be late to lunch, but at least we’ll have a good, truthful excuse – we lost track of time.

But my big worry right now is Brooklyn. What is she going to think when she finds out I did all of this investigation stuff without her?

Mom’s already got the food for lunch out, and Brooklyn, Denver, and Dad are already at the table. Mom turns when we come in. “What took you so long?” she asks.

“We lost track of time,” I say, doing my best to act normal.

“You and bookstores,” Brooklyn says, grinning.

I can’t help but smile back as Maddie and I take our seats at the table after I set our shopping bag in the living room. Maddie’s quiet, but isn’t she usually? I don’t know. I’m expecting her to act differently, so I’ll notice it more than the others. Right? I hope so.

We dig into Mom’s delicious homemade beef enchiladas. To be honest, the enchilada sauce is my absolute favorite part. That and the delicious melty cheese on top. It’s one of my absolute favorites – but then again, I say that about pretty much every meal she makes. I do my best to keep up a normal chatter during the meal, but it’s hard because my brain is buzzing with all the new information. We have so many answers now, but we still have so many questions. It’ll be just my luck if Brooklyn notices how distracted I am.

Brooklyn volunteers to help Mom with cleanup, so that leaves Denver, Dad, Maddie, and me to entertain ourselves. We go into the living room to show Denver our books while Dad heads to mow the lawn. Maddie and I show Denver our books, and I give my book to Denver for inspection. He doesn’t read as much as I do, but we have similar interests – mystery and thriller books. I tell him when I find a really good book, and if he likes the description, he’ll probably read it.

Denver flips through the book absent-mindedly and then hands it back to me. He leans forward, his eyes worried. “Are you okay? You’ve been acting kind of strange.”

He noticed, and Brooklyn didn’t? Or is he talking about the past week? True, Brooklyn hasn’t had a chance to ask me, so maybe she did notice. I’ll find out soon, I guess. “I’m fine. I’m just a little stressed out with school. And Brooklyn having her headaches and stress isn’t exactly helping.” Definitely not a lie. Not the whole truth, but it’s definitely true.

Denver nods, looking satisfied with my answer. “Okay. Let me know if I can do anything to help.”

I smile at my wonderful big brother. “Don’t worry. I’ll let you know if anything’s really wrong.” As long as it doesn’t have anything to do with IDIA, I add mentally.

He grins. “Good.” He turns his attention to Maddie’s book, but I pause.

“Wait, weren’t you on a date with Ezra? Why’re you back already?”

Denver sighs. “She got an emergency call from work, so we had to reschedule.”

Now that worries me. Is this something related to IDIA, or is it her real job? Does this have something to do with our discoveries this morning? She wasn’t at the meeting or anything, and she must have got the call around that time. I manage to collect my thoughts. “Did she give any details?”

Denver frowns at me. “You’re starting to sound as suspicious as Brooklyn. No, she didn’t but it’s not any of my business, anyway.”

But if she’s discovering the truth about all of Maddie’s past, then it is my business. And if she’s in trouble… then it’s definitely my business.

Twinepathy (Part 27): You Have No IDIA

Hullo, everyone! I hope you had a great weekend, and a wonderful Valentine’s day! I hope you’re enjoying all of the post-Valentine’s sales… Enjoy the part, and check out part one if you’re new.

The drive home is gloomy and quiet. Denver must be thinking about our failure, while I’m just trying to figure this puzzle out. I’m smart, you know. I might not be able to match up with Jen’s brains, but I’m not an idiot. Right now, though, I feel like one. Why can’t I figure this out?

Mom and Dad are up when we get home, and Maddie’s helping them make breakfast. Denver gives them our story: we wanted to go for an early morning hike, which we actually do sometimes. They accept it without questions. Brooklyn’s still asleep, and I don’t blame her. We’ve had a rough week, her most of all. She deserves the rest. But that also means that I can’t go on the computer and check out this Keller person. Everyone else is too touchy about their computers to let me use them, especially since that one time I accidentally deleted Dad’s important twenty-one page paper. And that was five years ago. Yeah, my family holds grudges.

I help my mom with a few little things around the house and then turn my attention to Maddie. I think it’s high time she learned how to play Monopoly. I mean, she’s been here for about a week already, and we haven’t played with her yet! It’s basically a family tradition. So I convince Denver and Dad to join us, and we sit down in the living room, ready to play.

We play for about an hour, with me helping Maddie. She’s far, far ahead of all of us when the doorbell rings. Denver shoots up and races to the door like he’s on fire. What is he…

Ohhh. When he opens the door, I hear Ezra’s familiar voice. No wonder he was so eager to get to the door. He didn’t mention that they had any plans today.

Denver brings Ezra into the living room. “Let me just go get my stuff,” he says, moving towards the stairs.

Ezra nods and sits down, giving us a shy smile. She doesn’t know Dad very well, I know that much, and she always seems to have a little trouble talking to adults. Dad says hello and chats politely with her before excusing himself and leaving. I lean forward, moving my game piece to Go. “Hi, Ezra. Had any good IDIAs lately?”

Ezra gives me a confused look, but then it dawns on her, and she gives me a nervous look. She looks around and then leans in. “Does… does your family know?”

I know what she wanted to ask. Does Denver know? I shake my head. “No.”

Denver walks back in. “Okay, I think I’m ready. Albany, I think I heard Brooklyn moving around. You can probably go check on her.”

Finally. It’s almost lunch time. I don’t think she’s ever slept in this late. I nod. “Okay, I will. Have fun, you two. Make sure your phone’s charged.” I wink at Ezra.

Ezra and Denver both give me odd looks, but Ezra’s has so much more meaning. The front door shuts behind them, and I burst out laughing. Maddie gives me that funny look little kids give grown-ups when they do something that makes absolutely no sense. “You’re weird.”

I laugh harder. “You have no IDIA.”

Twinepathy (Part 26): A Creeping Suspicion

Hullo, everyone! Ready for another Monday? It feels like I just posted a part… oh, wait, I did! I posted Part 25 on Saturday, so if you missed that, you should go read it, and if you’re new, you should start at the beginning. Enjoy!

Ms. Fabel’s jaw drops. “What…” But she collects herself quicker than anybody I’ve ever seen and gets a firm grip on my arm, glaring at me with a menacing expression. “You’re from that IDIA thing, aren’t you? That Data person already knows everything, so why did she send you?”

My first thought is Denver. But we’re standing in a position that prevents him from seeing my arm. I glance back frantically, but he’s still digging through the car. He must have left his phone at home if he can’t find it. Denver, please… Do I scream? Do I send a panic message to Brooklyn?

Her voice softens a little. “I don’t want to hurt you. I just want to know why you people are invading my life… my privacy. And my friend’s, too. We haven’t done anything wrong. We don’t deserve this.”

I open my mouth, then close it. I sigh. “My sister was knocked unconscious by two people fighting in her brain. One of which was you. But I’m sure you remember that.” I look her in the eye.

Ms. Fabel looks surprised. “Me?” She looks at me and realizes I’m serious. “I’m not a telepath,” she says firmly, and I get the creeping suspicion that she’s telling the truth.

I frown. “But…”

She sighs. “It wasn’t me. I’m not sure what happened, but I wasn’t a part of it. That Data girl knows everything. Why don’t you ask her?”

“Why can’t you tell me yourself?” I counter. The last thing I want to do is go to Jen and ask for information. That would ruin everything, and besides, I’d probably have to admit that I’d been investigating on my own. And I don’t want that to happen.

“I can’t,” she insists. “I’m sworn to secrecy, and it would be too dangerous. I’d never forgive myself if something happened…” She looks past me. “So is he really your brother?”

I turn and see Denver heading back towards us, no phone. I face her. “He is, and he also knows nothing about all of this. Please don’t say anything.” Denver’s within earshot now, and I can only pray she doesn’t say anything.

Denver holds up his empty hands. “No phone. Guess I must have left it at home in the rush to get out the door.” He gives me a pointed look. “I’m sorry we took up so much of your time.”

Ms. Fabel waves a hand in the air. “Don’t worry about it. I’ll let you know if I find any information. I hope you find the girl’s family.”

“Thank you,” I tell her, my eyes showing her there’s a double meaning to my words. I pull out a slip of paper and write my cell phone number down on it. “You can call me if you hear anything about it.”

“It was nice meeting you, Ms. Fabel,” Denver says, offering her his hand.

She shakes it. “Call me Genesis.” She tilts her head, listening. “It’s too quiet. I’d better go.”

I nod and Denver and I turn to leave. “Have a great day,” I call over my shoulder.

The door closes, and Denver and I head to the car. “That was unsuccessful,” he says, sighing.

I slide into the seat and look out the window. Maybe it was unsuccessful on the Maddie front – like I knew it would be – but it seems to be a little bit of progress on the Brooklyn front. Now I’ve just got to see who this Keller person is.

 

Twinepathy (Part 24): Meeting Ms. Fabel

Hullo, everyone! How are all of you doing this fine Monday morning? Happy for a new part? I am… 😉 New? Check out part one.

The week passes in impatient agony for me. Mom’s at home the rest of the week, so we don’t have to take Maddie to IDIA. School feels even longer and more boring than usual for me, but it’s even worse for Brooklyn, since she’s still got a raging headache. Every time I see her wince or rube her aching head, it’s all I can do not to punch something… or someone. I leave a stormy look on my face so people will leave me alone.

On Saturday morning, I wake up around six, knowing that Denver will take ages to get up and get ready to go, but impatient nonetheless. I quietly go to the bathroom and shower. First dibs is always nice. It only takes me a couple of minutes to get ready, but when I get out, everyone’s still in bed. It is Saturday, after all.

So I have a choice. Do I wait patiently, or do I wake Denver up?

I’ve never been patient, that’s for sure.

“Albany, go away!” Denver mumbles, flipping over and burying his face in his pillow.

I stand over him with my hands on my hips. “Do I need to get some ice water?” I threaten in a fake sweet voice.

He sits up slowly, a grumpy look on his face. “I’m older than you and Brooklyn, but you’re always bossing me around,” he grumbles. He does a zombie walk to the bathroom. I take pity on him and go down to the kitchen to pull together an easy, unruinable breakfast – also known as cereal.

Denver comes downstairs fifteen minutes later, hair wet and tousled from his shower. He goes over to the coffee machine to make his coffee, which I didn’t dare to attempt. He sits down at the table, looks at me, and then pours himself a bowl of granola. “We could’ve waited until this afternoon, so I could sleep in. It’s not like we’re on a deadline,” he grumbles.

Oh, if only you knew. “I just can’t wait,” I insist. “If this works out… if it’s really her family, then she’ll be so happy.”

Denver nods reluctantly in agreement. “Well, I hope you’re right. I’d hate to waste a trip up there for nothing.”

If he knew what was really going on, we wouldn’t be going at all. But I simply nod and hurry to get the dishes cleaned up and put away as he pours his coffee into a mug for the drive. Before I know it, we’re on the road in Denver’s old fixer-upper car and headed towards White Bluff. I put one of Denver’s favorite CDs into the CD player to get him into a good mood. I’d prefer silence and random jokes about the passing billboards and scenery, but I know how he likes music. I just hope he doesn’t start singing.

A little over forty-five minutes later, we pull up in front of the address. The house looks good, well-cared for, with some really nice flowerbeds out front. I’d guess they’re the work of someone who loves flowers but wants to keep it easy to care for. Denver nods. “Looks like a nice place.” He turns off the car and reaches for the door handle.

I pause. “You’re coming?”

He gives me a look like I said that I made filet mignon and chicken cordon bleu without burning it. “Of course I am. They’re strangers, after all.”

That I hadn’t planned on. I manage a grin. “That’s true.” Internally, I’m screaming, What am I going to do???

We get out and head to the front door. My brain zooms through options. Is it possible I could get Denver to leave me alone with Genesis Fabel? That doesn’t seem likely. And what are we going to do if IDIA has already got to her – which, in all likelihood, they have – and she’s not even here? All the worrying is going to make me sick. Denver rings the doorbell, and we wait.

Denver’s about to ring the doorbell again when the door swings open. A lady with long, raven-black hair stands in the doorway, an adorable chubby toddler on her hip. She looks us over with a glint of suspicion in her eye. “Hello,” she says, her voice a bit chilly. “What can I do for you?”

I step forward before Denver can say anything. “Are you Genesis Fabel?” I ask.

Her eyes narrow slightly. “Why do you ask?”

Why is she so jumpy, if she’s not the right person? Jen must have come and talked to her. “I’m Albany, and this is my older brother, Denver,” I explain. I do my best to look friendly and cheerful. Think like Brooklyn. “We wanted to talk to you about a friend of ours.”

She reaches for the door handle. “I’m sorry, I can’t talk right now. I’ve got a lot going on.” She begins to shut the door.

What to do? She can’t do this! I panic, and I shove my foot between the door and the door frame. “No,” I tell her firmly, narrowing my eyes. “We need to talk to you, now. And you can’t get rid of us.”

The Avengers: We Have A Tiger – Part Eleven

At the request of the amazing erinkenobi2893, I’ve decided to post this Avengers fan fiction I wrote a while back. It’s quite long (twenty-eight pages) so it’s going to be split into quite a few parts. I hope that you will all enjoy it!

*DISCLAIMER: This story is based off of the end of The Avengers. There are illusions to spoilers for said movie, so read with caution, but most are not major. Thor: The Dark World, Iron Man 3, and Captain America: The Winter Soldier, are not taken into account, and have not been watched by the author. That said, enjoy.

Part One

Part Two

Part Three

Part Four

Part Five

Part Six

Part Seven

Part Eight

Part Nine

Part Ten

Banner groaned as he woke up. His head ached horribly, and he couldn’t remember what had happened. He saw a pair of pants lying next to him and figure out that he’d Hulked out, but other than that, he couldn’t remember anything. He yanked on the pants and sat up, his head throbbing as he did so. He was in a huge cage. Hulk-size, he thought. His back throbbed, and by turning his head, he could just barely see the claw marks. The memories came flooding back. The tiger. The warehouse.

He turned around and felt the room shift out of focus. Whoever knocked him out certainly hit him hard enough. The room came into focus, and for a second he thought he was going to pass out at the sight. Natasha, Clint, and Steve were all tied to metal chairs that were somehow hanging on the wall close to him. He could see a huge knot on Clint’s forehead, Steve had a nasty looking cut on his cheek, and Natasha’s arm was twisted back at a horrible angle. They all looked like they’d been through a war, but Stark, whose chair was standing in the middle of the warehouse, looked like he was enjoying himself, even though he looked just as bad. Loki was standing in front of him, pacing back and forth.

“Oh, leave him alone, Stark, come on,” Steve called out. His voice was hoarse and tired.

Loki tossed a dagger in Steve’s direction, which sliced deeply into Steve’s arm and clattered to the floor. Banner felt anger burn hot inside of him as he saw an expression of pain flash across Steve’s face. But the cage was solid, and Hulking out wouldn’t do him any good.

Loki turned back to Stark. “You insulting, sarcastic…” his voice trailed off as he traced his larger knife along Stark’s neck. Loki stabbed a third dagger through Stark’s shoulder, pinning it to the chair. Stark clenched his teeth together, sweat on his forehead. “Oh, look,” Loki said, casting a glance in Banner’s direction. “The monster awakes. Do not worry, Banner. You are next. You may find I am not quite as puny as you think.”

Banner winced at the reference. At that moment, a man burst into the room, followed by none other than Aila. “I thought you said there’d be horrible violence,” she said to Loki teasingly.

Loki frowned at her. “Leave, Aila. Now.”

“Sir,” the man who had entered the room with Aila said awkwardly. “I, well, uh…” he sighed. “Thor’s here.”

Loki’s face darkened. “Aila, leave.” He turned to the man. “Where is Thor?”

“He’s heading this way. He landed on a nearby building, and we think he’s coming this way,” the man replied.

“I’ll meet him out front or around back, whichever way he comes,” Loki said, smirking. “My brother. He never learns, does he?”

“No, he doesn’t,” Aila agreed.

Loki glared at her. “I said—”

“Loki, just shut up and get moving, will you? I’ll be… quite a big help,” Aila said, a sly smile on her lips.

Loki sighed. “Whatever you wish, my dear.”

Insanity – Part Two

The continuation and completion of the insane story. Part One. Let me know what you think of this… entertaining story. 😀

Douglas arrived at Door C at about the same time as two other agents, both tough-looking older agents. They nodded at Douglas, and he nodded back, feeling awkward. What was Halloway thinking, sending him, a twenty-eight-year-old agent fresh out of training, out to rescue his brother with two older agents who looked like they’d never felt an emotion in their life? He sighed and followed the other agents outside where a black sedan was waiting for them.

The drive out to the mountain where Mac was hiding out was a long one. Douglas’s ride was probably the most uncomfortable of all of them. The driver had piles of papers and his laptop in the passenger seat, so the three agents had to squeeze in the backseat, and Douglas was sandwiched in between the two burly agents. He couldn’t even move his arms. Very uncomfortable.

After forty-five minutes in their squished positions, they finally reached the mountain. They were nearing the cabin when the driver pulled off of the road into the trees. “The cabin’s just a short ways up the road and down a trail on the right. You’ll see it,” the driver told them, consulting his GPS. He nodded at them and they scooted out of the car.

Douglas waited for the other two agents to lead the way, but they just stood there, looking at him. He looked from one to the other, confused.

They quickly caught on to his confusion. “You’re the leader, Agent Jackson,” one of them explained.

“Me?” Douglas asked, astonished.

The other agent nodded. “Yeah. We’re just here as back up, to make sure Mac comes with us,” he told Douglas. “You get the kid, we get the ‘napper.” The agent guffawed.

Douglas gulped and led the way down the road. They quickly found the trail the driver had mentioned and headed down it. The going was rough, since the trail was overgrown and not clearly marked. Luckily, it was short, and they soon reached the clearing. The three agents ducked behind the trees to study it.

An ancient-looking cabin stood in the middle of the clearing, almost built into the side of the mountain. It looked almost as old as the mountain itself, but surprisingly it still stood solidly. The door hung slightly ajar, and both of the windows were open.

“Do you think he could have known we were coming and escaped?” one of the agents asked.

Douglas shrugged. “I don’t know. There’s only one way to find out.”

The agents looked surprised. “You’re going in?” one asked.

Douglas nodded, keeping his eye on the cabin. “You stay here and cover me. Watch the door and both the windows.”

“And if Mac’s in there?” one of the agents asked.

Douglas smiled grimly. “Then I’ll just have to take a chance and try to reason with him,” he said. Suddenly, an idea popped into his head, and he bent down and picked up a stick. “I can throw this out one of the windows or the door if I need help.”

The other two agents nodded their approval, and Douglas began to head towards the cabin. He moved cautiously, and it was a matter of minutes before he crept silently onto the porch. His hands clenched his pistol, ready at a moment’s notice. He reached the door, nudged it open with his foot, and slipped into the cabin, pistol ready.

The cabin was only one room, and it was sparsely furnished. There was a fairly nice kitchen in one corner, complete with a dining table and a pair of chairs. The other half of the cabin held a cot and two chairs. Tied to one of these chairs was Harold.

Douglas nearly shouted with excitement, but contained his joy and rushed over to his brother. By this time, his brother had noticed him, and a spark of hope was in his eyes. Douglas untied his brother’s gag and pulled out his own pocketknife to cut the ropes tying Harold to the chair. As soon as his brother was free and his wrists and ankles loosed, Douglas enveloped his brother in a tight bear hug.

“You have no idea what it’s like to be kidnapped by a nutball,” Harold murmured as he rubbed his raw wrists after their embrace.

Douglas laughed. “You’re right, I don’t know, and I’m glad.” Shouting outside interrupted their reunion and caused them both to listen.

“That sounds like Mac,” Harold said. The brothers rushed to the door.

The other two agents each had the arm of the man from the picture Agent Halloway had sent Douglas. The man was fighting the agents furiously, kicking and howling like a spoiled child throwing a temper tantrum. The two agents had him secured, but he continued to struggle and make as much noise as possible.

Douglas led Harold out of the cabin. Mac’s eyes grew fiery with rage and he struggled even harder.

“Agent Jackson, do I have your permission to knock him out so he’ll come with us quietly?” one of the agents asked Douglas impatiently.

Harold laughed. “All you need is food, and he’ll follow you like a puppy.”

An idea struck Douglas. “Wait,” he said, digging in his pocket. He pulled out the plastic bag that he’d put the bacon in that morning. It was a little smashed, but it still looked pretty appetizing. Mac’s eyes lit up greedily when he saw it, and he stopped struggling, focused only on the bacon.

“I’ll give it to you if you come with us quietly,” Douglas promised.

Mac nodded hungrily and followed the two agents docilely, even with his hands cuffed. Harold walked next to Douglas, who slipped the bacon back in his pocket.

“You’ve started carrying bacon with you in your pocket?” Harold asked teasingly.

Douglas grinned. “It was supposed to be a snack in case I didn’t get lunch.”

Harold smiled. “Well, I guess I’m lucky that I’ve got a big brother in the FBI, huh?”

Douglas laughed, putting his arm over his brother’s shoulders. “You sure are, Harold. You sure are.”

Insanity – Part One

Let me just warn you, the title fits. ‘Nough said. Love to hear your opinions! 😀

Douglas Jackson popped the last bite of his homemade bacon-and-egg biscuit in his mouth and stood up, tossing his napkin in the trash. He stretched and glanced at his open laptop on the counter. A message popped up on the screen. He frowned, noticing it was from Craig Halloway, the agent above him in rank. He clicked on the message.

“We need you. Get to headquarters ASAP. Urgent. –Agent Halloway.”

Douglas sighed. So much for his day off. Ah, the life of an FBI agent¸ he thought. He stuffed some leftover bacon in a sandwich bag for a snack in case he didn’t have a chance to eat lunch. He slipped the bag into his pocket and headed out the door.

~~~

Douglas hurried down the hall to Agent Halloway’s office. He knocked on the door.

“Who is it?” a gruff voice called from inside.

Douglas smiled a little. “Agent Jackson, sir.”

“Come in.”

Douglas slipped into the small office. Agent Halloway motioned him towards a chair. Douglas couldn’t help but notice the worry lines creasing the agent’s face. He quickly became concerned.

“What’s wrong?” he asked immediately after sitting down.

Agent Halloway sighed. “We’ve gotten a report of a kidnapping.”

“And…” Douglas prompted.

“It’s your brother,” Agent Halloway told him.

Douglas’ jaw dropped. “Harold?” he asked incredulously.

Agent Halloway nodded. “We have all the information about the case: the car’s license plate, the kidnapper, and even where they are.” He paused. “Apparently the kidnapper, named Mac, is literally insane, and has an obsession with red hair.”

Douglas nearly laughed. “Really?”

Agent Halloway nodded. “He’s got food obsessions, too. We have it on our records that he robbed a restaurant to get some of their food, and he’s broken into a cupcake shop.” Douglas snorted. Agent Halloway gave him a half smile. “He is armed, and most likely won’t hesitate to use his weapons.” Agent Halloway looked intently at Douglas. “Are you willing to try and get your brother and the kidnapper without hurting anyone?”

Douglas nodded determinedly. “Yes, sir.”

Agent Halloway motioned him over to stand next to him at the desk. Douglas looked over Agent Halloway’s shoulder and studied the map that his superior had pulled up on the computer.

“I’ll e-mail this to you so you can look at it on your phone,” Agent Halloway told Douglas, who nodded in reply.

Agent Halloway clicked on another window. A picture of a man with gray hair popped up. “This is Mac, the kidnapper,” Agent Halloway said. “He looks a lot older than he is; he’s really about forty.” Agent Halloway e-mailed the information to Douglas’s phone and turned to him. “I’ll send a couple of agents with you, so you can get your brother and they can handle Mac.” He looked Douglas in the eye. “Think you can handle this?”

Douglas nodded firmly. “Yes, sir.”

Halloway half-smiled, approving of Douglas’s confidence. “All right. I’ll get some agents and a car to meet you at Door C.”

Douglas nodded and turned to leave, but was stopped by Halloway clearing his throat. “Good luck, Douglas,” the agent said, smiling supportively.

Douglas smiled. “Thanks, Craig.”