Hullo, everyone! I’m going to be honest here and tell you that this part was one of my favorites to write. Just because… well, it was fun. Still working on that special announcement for you guys – hopefully I’ll get that finished soon! 🙂 Check out part one if you’re new.
Everyone in the room goes still, except for Jen, The Finch, and Keller. Jen responsible? Causing amnesia somehow? That seems absolutely ridiculous, but… it’s possible, isn’t it?
“What?!” Blaze nearly shrieks. “That’s nuts!”
I hear a low growl from Anvil‘s direction and turn to see his eyes flashing and his fists clenched. I shrink back in my chair and quickly look over at The Finch. He’s leaning forward, contemplating Jen with an interested look.
Jen sighs. “If I could, I would let you go in my head and see that I had nothing to do with it. But I can’t.”
“You mean you won’t,” Keller says, lifting and eyebrow.
“No, I mean that I can’t,” Jen says firmly. “I told you no one’s ever been able to get in my head. I’ve tried to let people in, and it never works.” She motions to the door. “Com can’t even get in – he has to do a special signal thing.” She gives a lopsided smile that looks a little sad. “I’m not really a telepath, anyways.”
“And how do I know that’s the truth?” Keller retorts.
Jen’s computer starts rattling on her desk, and I see Brooklyn grab her earrings out of the corner of my eye. Everything metal on me – zippers, the little metal circle thingies on my shoes, my empty locket necklace – starts vibrating. Jen leaps to her feet. “Cade, you’re dismissed,” she says firmly.
Anvil‘s voice is thick with anger. “Data does. Not. Lie,” he growls, stepping towards Keller. She looks at him, eyes wide, and I think this must be the first time she’s truly been afraid of someone.
“Cade.” Jen’s voice sounds as dangerous as the look in her eye. “You. Are. Dismissed.”
Anvil‘s anger seeps out a little, and the metal in the room stops vibrating. He exhales slowly, then spins on his heel and disappears through the door. Jen relaxes and sits back down in her chair. “Back to it, then. Keller, I can’t prove—”
Keller holds up a hand. “Stop. You’re just going to completely ignore what just happened? He…”
“He did nothing,” Jen says calmly. “You made him angry, but nothing happened, and he didn’t threaten you.”
Keller stares at Jen, then rubs her forehead. “Right. Sure. Go on, then.”
“I can’t prove that I’m not involved,” Jen says quietly. “But we need you if we’re going to find out who is behind it, and as much as I’m sure you hate to admit it, you can’t do it on your own.” Jen leans forward and looks Keller in the eye. “You need us, Keller. Will you join?”
Keller looks from Jen to Maddie, then back to Jen. She sighs. “No, I won’t.” Jen straightens, and Keller continues. “Oh, I’ll help you find this jerk. But I’m not going to join this group. I don’t do well with rules or other people or their secrets.” She gives Jen a pointed look. “I’ll help, but I’m keeping my independence. Got it?”
How can she bargain like that with Jen? Jen’s frowning, but she has a look of quiet respect, too. “We have a deal.” She offers a hand to Keller, and they shake on it.
I clear my throat, and Jen turns to look at me. “I just have one question. Where’s Volt?”