Rikki slammed his fists on the desk with an angry yell.
"Why the hell would they take her?" he asked. "What the hell do they want!?"
"Rikki, please," Jack said. "We're doing everything we can."
"And it wasn't good enough," a weakened voice said. It was McCracken. She was scraped ant scratched and it looked like she had a broken leg. She stepped in and collapsed onto her hands and knees. She was breathing heavily. Jack was already looking for the first aid. Jack realized that he couldn't help much with the basic first aid, but he also knew that if he called an ambulance it would raise the need for questions. He had Coach Dmitri drive her to the hospital and he said he'd be there shortly afterward.
"I'll leave Araceli in charge," Jack told Hawking before he left. Hawking and Martinez made sure everyone was in their dorm rooms.
The next morning.
Rikki was sitting by himself, still angry with the kidnappers, whoever the hell they were, but obviously, they were working for Victor. Cassandra came and sat down by him. They said nothing until Aoi sat down across from them.
"Hey," Rikki muttered with indifference.
"I'm sorry," she said.
"There was nothing you could've done."
"You're wrong," she said almost guiltily. "I should've acted quicker. I could've saved her." Her eyes became wet with tears. "I'm sorry."
"Why so down?" Chyanne asked as she sat down with her breakfast. "Where's your girlfriend?" There was still just the faintest hint of rudeness in her voice.
"She was taken," Rikki said.
"Oh, dear," Aoi said. "We should probably move" she whispered to Cassandra who disdainfully nodded and followed her away.
"By who, some other guy?"
"No. She was taken... taken. Last night...during the power outage."
"She was kidnapped?" there was a tone of surprise in her voice now.
"Yes." Anger was building inside him. "And unless you know how to get her back, you might as well leave." His fists became clenched. There was a worried look in her eyes as she moved a table over. Lotus then sat down.
"I'm sorry she was taken," she said in her flowing British voice.
"Let me guess... did Aoi post it?"
"Yeah. I didn't want her to though. I think she also didn't want to either."
"I want to go after her, but I can't."
"Because they say she was taken by Victor." Lotus gave him a blank look. "He's this hunter person who kills people for their Gifts." Rikki told her the story behind Victor.
"He sounds awful."
"But what's he want Suzy for?" There was a group of guys who came over and gave Rikki their condolences. "If only there was some way to track them," he said after they left.
"Actually," Lotus said with a small smile, "I think I can help with that." They walked down to the gate. Lotus's eyes were laser focused on the ground. She bent down on one knee. She sniffed the air. "Does she have a perfume?"
"Yeah she does. It's nice, why?" She sniffed the air a couple more times.
"She was here on the ground," she said noticing the fine marks in the grass. She lay here a while with their hands and feet bound," Rikki's heart surged with fear. "Then she was picked up and," she moved along the grass. "And dropped here." She moved toward the gravel driveway. "She was picked up again and shoved into a vehicle," she said noticing the tire marks. "They went that way." She pointed in the direction that McCracken flew. She gave him a grave look. "She didn't put up a fight." Rikki became angry again.
"We go after her, no matter what the teachers say."
"I agree, but how will this plan work?"
"It may be my mission, but..." he trailed off and she came over to him.
"You can't do this alone. You can't save her, not without help."
"If everyone knows just how much we're in love, I can talk them into joining with us."
"If you can persuade the students," she said to him taking his hand and patting it, "I think you can persuade the teachers." Rikki blushed.
"I...uh, I don't know," he said looking away. She leaned on his shoulder.
"I know you can do it." She kissed him lightly on the cheek. "I believe in you."