Speaking of bad things, something very bad was happening at the fortress in the mountains. The Man with the German accent had had his own men round up everyone in the fortress and forced them to be in the courtyard. Like the Man with the German Accent, his men were all in the first Circle and were some of the most dangerous guards. They had achieved getting to the first Circle by being ruthless and dangerous. They had done whatever it had taken to reach the first Circle. They had lied, cheated, stolen, killed and even betrayed others to get to the first Circle. Like their master, they were feared.
The Man with the German Accent was on a platform glaring at all of the Black Hands in the courtyard. His men had done an excellent job in rounding them all up and keeping them afraid. “You know why you’re all here!” He shouted. “Four days ago, the Chosen One was indeed in this fortress!” There was quite a stir amongst the Black Hands that were gathered in the courtyard. They all knew about the Chosen One and the prophecy. However quite a few of them did not know that she had been there amongst them. Most of the ones that did had been friends with Cliff.
The Man with the German Accent snapped his fingers. His men all took out their machine guns and pointed them at the Black Hands. “I only know that she was down here because a lawyer who had been called to Ohio to help several of your brothers avoid prison reported it to me!” It was clear that the Man with the German Accent was starting to get angry by this point. “Now what I want to know is who amongst you brought the girl down here to begin with! By doing this, you have jeopardize his plans!” Nearly all of the Black Hands begin looking at each other in fear. They knew that the Man with the German Accent was referring to their master. “I have found one of the guilty members of this party up in Ohio!” At these words, two of the Man with the German Accent’s men came up on the platform. They were dragging Officer Daniel by the arms.
Officer Daniel looked terrible. His police uniform had been torn apart in several spots. He was missing his badge. He had several scratches on his face. One of the scratches was over his left eye so it was useless to him. The two men dropped Officer Daniel to the ground. The Man with the German Accent lowered the head of his cane to Officer Daniel’s head. “Let this man serve as a warning to the rest of you! No one jeopardizes his plans ever!” At these words, a blast of energy shot out of the cane and hit Officer Daniel in the back of the head. Officer Daniel’s head was thrusted down and hit the stone platform. There was a sickening crack. Blood started to pool under Officer Daniel’s head.
The Man with the German Accent looked at all of the Black Hands. He could tell that the ones who weren’t his men were scared and terrified. He smiled. He knew that the best way to keep them loyal was to make them fear him. “Now you have until sunset tonight to hand over the two responsible for bringing the chosen one here! If you do not hand them over, I will have my men execute you all!” He raised his cane. His men all picked out targets.
The Black Hands began to panic. Just as the Man with the German Accent expected, they quickly forced two people forward. When a group of people were scared, they would do anything it took to survive. He smiled. It was Eliza and Cliff. “You two.” He said, pointing the head of his cane towards them. It glowed a bright green. Eliza and Cliff both kneeled before him.
“We’re sorry Sir.” Eliza said. “We didn’t know that it was his plan that we had challenged and risked ruining by bringing her here. Please spare us and we’ll tell you who it was that told us to do this!”
The Man with the German Accent pulled his cane back. The glowing green stopped. “Please tell me who it was that ordered you two to bring the girl here.” He told them.
Eliza and Cliff looked at each other and nodded. “It was Bastet.” Eliza said.
“She was jealous of you getting to be the right hand and wanted to ruin your moment by killing the Chosen One.” Cliff explained. They both looked down and waited to hear what the Man with the German Accent would say.
The Man with the German Accent thought about it. He should have realized that the treacherous cat would try to undermine him. She had always been jealous of him being in one of the highest spots within the first Circle. He would just have to deal with her himself. He turned to his men. “Kill the two traitors.” He ordered. Cliff and Eliza looked up at him.
“We told you who it was that ordered it!” Eliza shouted. “We had a deal!”
The Man with the German Accent merely smiled as his men surrounded the two. “No. You simply thought we did because you told me who ordered you to bring the girl here.” He turned to his men. “Kill them both.” He ordered.
Everyone watched the men shoot Cliff and Eliza. The two fell to the ground dead. The Man with the German Accent looked at the others. “Let their deaths serve as a warning to the rest of you. Any of you who dare to betray him or me will die!” He let that sink before he turned to his men. “Now we must be off to Cleveland.” He told them. “We have unfinished business with a treacherous cat.”
In her hospital room, Emily was eating when her family came in. “Emily!” Rachel cried excitedly. She ran to her big sister and leaned over the bed before hugging her sister.
Emily smiled and held her. “It’s so good to see you too Rachel.” She said.
Delaney and Elizabeth both hugged her as well. “We thought we would never see you again.” Delaney said. Emily looked at her cousins. They both looked relieved to see her. It made her wonder what had happened during the last four days that she had been missing.
Emily then looked at her dad. “Daddy!” She cried.
Mr. Tual hugged her gently but close to him. “Thank goodness you’re not missing anymore.” He said.
Emily frowned and looked at him. “How did I end up missing?” She asked. She looked at her cousins and her little sister. “The last thing I remember was the four of us at the library. The power went out and those men showed up. Then the next thing I know, I’m waking up in here.”
Rachel was about to say something when several adults came in. Emily looked at them. They weren’t wearing the medical uniforms that normal hospital people wore and they looked more serious in their suits and ties. One of them went up to her and took something out of his pocket. It was an F.B.I. badge. “I’m Agent Simmons.” He told her. “You’re Emily Tual?”
Emily nodded. “Did you guys come here because I was missing?” She didn’t realize that her disappearance would bring the F.B.I. to Ohio.
Agent Simmons nodded. “We were called shortly after the police started their investigation. We’ve been looking for you for the last five days and were about to issue a nationwide alert for you when your dad called us because he had gotten a call from this place about you being here.”
Emily looked at her dad. “Five days?” She asked. “But the nurse said I was only here for four days.” So it must have been a day before she had been taken to the hospital for her injuries.
Agent Simmons looked at Emily’s bandages. Emily tried to pull her sleeves down to cover them but her sleeves were too short. “Looks like whoever kidnapped you did a number on you.” Agent Simmons said. He pulled a chair up to the side of Emily’s bed and sat down. “The best way for us to find the kidnappers and arrest them so that they don’t hurt anyone else is for you to tell us what you can remember about them.”
Emily shook her head “I’m sorry but I can’t.” She said. “I don’t have the memories of what happened after my cousins, sister and I saw the men.”
Agent Simmons sighed. “We already have quite a bit of information about them from the police who had arrested several of them and from your cousins and sister.” He told her. “But we know that they had a leader and unless the former librarian was a motorcyclist, there were two leaders.” Emily thought about what he was saying. So the elderly lady had been with whoever had kidnapped her. She really wished she could remember what had happened after meeting the men but she couldn’t.
Agent Simmons looked at everyone in the room. “Please leave us.” He ordered. She might not be able to focus on what she’s forgotten because of how many people are in here.” He looked at his agents. “Escort her family out of here and into the waiting area.” He ordered.
Emily looked at her family fearfully. She didn’t want to be separated from them again, especially if she had been gone for five days but with the look that Agent Simmons was giving his men, it looked like she would be separated from them for a bit longer. As soon as they were gone, Agent Simmons looked at Emily. “I know you rather block out those memories because they were really painful but I need you to try to focus and remember what had happened.” He told her.
Emily looked at him. “I’m sorry but I can’t help you.” She said. “I can’t even remember how I ended up here.” She said. “Please believe me.”
Agent Simmons stared at her for a minute. “Did you know that the librarian was dangerous?” He asked.
Emily shook her head. “I’ve seen her there for years.” She answered. “She didn’t seem like she was capable of kidnapping or doing this.” She gestured to her arms for the last bit. “I don’t even know why she would want to do this to me.” None of them made sense to her. Why would anyone want to kidnap her? She wasn’t big or important. “What made you think that she kidnapped me?” She asked Agent Simmons.
Agent Simmons opened Emily’s file up and gave Emily a picture. Emily looked at it. It was a picture of a house.
She looked back at Agent Simmons. “I don’t understand.” She said. “What does this house have to do with my disappearance?”
Agent Simmons pointed at the picture. “According to the library records, The librarian went missing right after you did. We searched her past and found no files on her so we figured that she was most likely with whoever abducted you.”
Emily looked back at the house. “She lived there?” She asked.
Agent Simmons nodded. “I had agents sweeping that house for a couple of days before we were convinced that we had searched every inch of her home.” He told Emily.
James didn’t like how Agent Simmons was carrying this interview out with Emily. It was almost like he was trying to figure out how much Emily knew about the Circles and the Black Hands. James wasn’t sure why but he wanted to stand by Emily to face the F.B.I. agent but he knew that the minute he turned visible, Agent Simmons would kick him out.
Emily leaned back in her bed and hugged her book tightly. Agent Simmons looked at the book. “What book is that?” He asked.
Emily looked down at her book. “It was a gift from my mommy.” She told the agent. “I’d rather not be separated from it.” She hugged it even tighter. Agent Simmons was about to say something about the book but it was he had forgotten whatever it was he was going to say.
James sighed with relief. He had still maintained his invisibility spell and managed to make Agent Simmons forget his questions about the book. He looked at Emily. She looked scared of Agent Simmons. James was happy that he was there for Emily even if she couldn’t see him.. She might be the chosen one but she was still a child who needed help so she wouldn’t be alone.
Agent Simmons shook his head. “That’s all the questions I have for now.” He told Emily. “If I need any more answers from you, I’ll be sure to visit you.” He stood up and went to the door. “If you do remember what had happened, call me. Your father has my phone number. You could help us keep other kids away from those kidnappers if you did.” He then left her room. As soon as he did, Delaney, Elizabeth and Rachel came running back in.
In the parking lot, Agent Simmons got behind the driver’s wheel of his rental car. He took his phone out and dialed a number. After a few seconds, someone answered. “It’s Simmons.” Agent Simmons said. “She doesn’t remember anything about her stay at the fortress.” He waited a minute before he continued. “I understand.” He said. “Of course Sir.” He then hung up and started his car up. On the center of his steering wheel was a black hand.
Agent Simmons looked at the hospital doors. “This isn’t over yet Chosen One.” He said. “You will fall to us one way or another.” He then drove away, leading his fellow agents away.