Janice Woodcomb felt like she was drowning.
It didn't make sense. It wasn't like she was giving up. No, not at all. She'd never even think about giving up, not for the slightest bit.
Then why did she feel like that?
Suddenly she couldn't take it anymore. The constant tension and suspicion and lies, they seemed to choke her. She couldn't breath as her heart hammered inside her chest, threatening to lunge out at any moment. She felt exhausted for the first time in ten years. And she knew...
She knew that even if they survived this somehow, she wouldn't be able to go on. This constant pressure of fear was crushing her whole as cracks in her entire being were appearing and swallowing her.
...and she vowed to herself...
If there was anyway she got out of this mess, she was going to put a stop on this. She was going to end this, and she was going to find him...
Because she just couldn't give up without seeing him one last time...
When Marian Janseen next came in, she sensed a slight change in the atmosphere. She looked around, but nothing seemed to be out of place. Omega was still standing in a corner, his face set in stone as he stared at Woodcomb. Woodcomb herself was also just as she'd left her. Bound and helpless (she had to admit that she had a very weird kind of pleasure whenevr she thought that) and stoically calm.
And she knew what was bothering her.
It was that expression on her face.
Not that Woodcomb didn't look calm before, but for some reason, she seemed like she was in utter peace. Like she'd just taken a big decision and it'd lifted a huge weight off of her shoulders.
And as much as Marian hated Woodcomb, she hated that thought even more. And just then, she took a little decision of her own.
"All right Woodcomb," She stood in front of her with her hands on her hip. "I got your whole fiasco about how-that-kid-is-oh-so-powerful, now tell me, how does it work?"
She raised her brow. "How does what work?"
God, how she wanted to rearrange that face. Oh wait, she already did.
"How does her power work? Or rather, how does her brain work?" Woodcomb stared at her. She cursed in her mind, she wasn't sure she could take another round of 'I'm not telling you anything', crap. She started counting, if Woodcomb refused to talk again, she was seriously going to put that girl inside a maze. From there on, it would be run-baby-run.
But it seemed like fate was on her side after all.
Woodcomb stared at her calmly, then her eyes went to Omega, who was standing in a corner, and something shifted in her eyes.
Some kind of weird determination.
But it didn't really matter when she started to spill the beans.
"I'm not really sure about it either," She said, but Marian didn't protest. She knew from her own experiences how uncertain these filthy experiments could get. "But I do have a theory. Her...well, I guess her ability, it's a bit complicated. She can answer any of your questions, solve any puzzle or equation; but to do that, she needs to retrieve informations from others around her. She uses the knowledge of those around her. That way, she can pick up everything a person that's around her knows."
"In other words, she's using herself as a telepathic google."
Woodcomb smirked. "Nicely put. Maybe you aren't as shallow as I thought you to be."
"You really have a death wish, don't you?" Marian scoffed. "Well, don't worry, I'll give you exactly what you want. Now if you'd just spit the rest out."
"But, to do that, she needs to establish a mental connection. If she can do the first one, which is the toughest, she can do the rest easily. It's kinda like a closed door. You need to open it to let her use her abilities more freely."
"And how do we open it?"
Not for the first time, Janice Woodcomb seemed uncomfortable. "It's...she has a strong connection with one of her parents. And only he or she can establish the connection the first time. After that, she'll be able to do it with anyone. She'll be able to retrieve any kind of information from people around her."
"Which one is it then?" She demanded, already calculating her moves if there was a need to kidnap Max.
Her head snapped towards him.
Omega nodded impassively.
"Are you certain?"
She looked at Janice again, who was glaring at Omega. "Is it possible?"
Woodcomb answered, her voice strained. "There's a possibility."
"Well, then there's one thing solved. Now, how is he supposed to establish this Connection of yours?"
She sighed. Suddenly she looked exhausted, like she'd have fallen asleep right then and there if given the chance. "I don't know, try some cards maybe. She's good with card tricks."
And as they left her alone again to arrange everything, there was only one thought swimming in her head...
You better hurry up Max, I don't think I have much time left.
A teenage boy was standing in front of the beverage section, trying to decide between Dr. Pepper and Mountain Dew, as he was absolutely unaware of the five pair of eyes peeking at him from behind the cereal section.
Iggy couldn't believe this. Never had he thought he'd be spying on some innocent little kid in a super market. For some weird and stupid reason, he felt guilty. And from the looks of it, he wasn't the only one.
Max was still staring at the kid, her eyes troubled, as the others around her started to discuss plans.
"Max," Finally Angel whispered and put her arm on her shoulder. "I know you don't like this. But right now this is the only way."
Max didn't move her eyes from him. "Hmph."
"She's right." Fang stated. "We don't have the time to explain to him what we're doing. We need to move fast."
Max nodded. "All right." she looked at Angel. "Can you do this?"
"Yeah, he won't even feel anything."
And so, Angel started to probe inside the kid's head as he reached out for a bottle.
Looked like he was going with Dr. Peppers.
When the Director asked her how he was supposed to do it and she said try cards, he was genuinely confused.
Cards? How the heck was he supposed to do it with cards?
But as he stood in front of the locked door he couldn't help that weird feeling in his gut. The kind you had when you just knew something terrible was going to happen. And so he stood there, cursing himself for letting out that he might be the one, and waited for the Director's approval to go in. Which happened after a long painful minute of awkward scratching on his neck.
The kid was still sitting against the wall in a fetal position. Her face was hidden in her arms, but when she heard the footsteps, she looked up. Her eyes settled on his chest, and Omega thought he saw something in her eyes.
Hope, the irritating voice inside his head supplied.
"Is that you?" She whispered, and Omega knew exactly who she was talking about.
But he refused to answer.
"There's something I need you to do."
The girl sat up with her knees drawn up to her chest. "What?"
He sat down on the balls of his feet and handed her the cards. "I heard you're good with card tricks. Can you show me?"
She didn't answer. Instead she started to shuffle the cards, her small hands trying to balance them properly as they moved with grace and agility. And as he watched them move, he couldn't help but be amused. Like the others, he also wondered how was it she could do that even without seeing.
After a few moments, she stopped. The cards were all held out so he could see them fully.
"Pick a card?" She said.
Omega stared at them, trying to decide what to do.
"Okay, I did."
She folded them again, and after a while of shuffling, she pulled out a card and gave it to him. Omega gaped at it, unable to believe his own eyes.
"How did you know?"
She shrugged. "I just di.."
That was when the pain struck and his head was split inside out.
They stood there in front of the tall fence and watched the huge building that was being protected by it.
Before he knew it, a sigh came out of him.
"Well," Iggy said. "We're here."