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Chapter Twenty-Three: Natalia

I turned my head toward the voice. "What the hell are you doing?"

During the scare, I accidentally dropped every barrier I created to hide my Molecular power. It expanded past its prison until it was impossible to hide any longer. I spun fully around to find Todd standing at the back door of the house with his jaw dropped. "Todd, it's not what it looks like."

Todd stood there for a moment, contemplating his next move. I watched his mind as he played different scenarios in his head in order to see if he could make it back to the party before I caught him; he decided he could. "Don't do it," I stated. Todd took off at a run.

"I got him," I yelled to Jesse. I ran after Todd as I shut down his motor cortex. "Go on. I'll meet up with you." Jesse stepped through the portal with Anthony.

I walked calmly into the house. Todd was lying on his stomach with his arms under him and his legs awkwardly outstretched behind him. I bent down to check for his pulse in case he injured himself during the fall; it was strong.

I opened a portal on the floor directly below Todd. He fell into the portal and straight into the Rebel base. I looked around to check if anyone saw me before I took a step into the portal.

Across the back of the Rebels' warehouse, I levitated Todd to an abandoned building among the large deserted section. Apparently this area hadn't been used since the war when the Rebels' numbers were larger. Now, it was a constant reminder of the failure of those before us.

Jesse was already in the abandoned building with Anthony when I arrived with an unconscious Todd. I stepped inside and locked the building down behind me. Nobody was getting in or out without my explicit permission.

I walked Todd into the interrogation room. I threw his unconscious body onto the chair beside Anthony. "What did you do to him?" Anthony asked.

I turned Todd's motor cortex back on, knowing it would take a second to be back up and running. "Nothing yet." I tied Todd up and headed to the other room where Jesse was standing. I locked the door behind me so Todd and Anthony couldn't get out.

Jesse was looking into the interrogation room through the one way mirror. Todd was waking up slowly, not surprising. "Do you think they know where my parents are?" I asked.

Jesse shrugged. "It's worth a shot. At the very least, we can use them to blackmail their parents into telling us something useful."

"This is all your fault," accused Anthony in the other room. It seemed Todd was fully awake.

Todd turned his head to look at Anthony. "Me? How can this possibly be my fault?"

Anthony was straining against the ropes he could easily escape from if he wanted. I hadn't put any extra protection on them to guard the ropes form Molecular abilities. Anthony was still restrained because Anthony wasn't thinking like a Telepath. He was an embarrassment to our kind.

"You fell for a rogue Telepath," yelled Anthony.

Todd looked up at the mirror and right at me as if he knew I was standing right here. Maybe he'd been the real danger all along. "I never fell for her." He didn't believe what was coming out of his mouth and it was obvious.

Jesse shook his head. "The Molecular is pathetic to say the least. The Storm Telepath seems like he'll be more of a challenge to crack, but not by much. It's clear they haven't had any TWA training, making our job easier." Jesse morphed his tuxedo into a classic Jesse look; quarter length black shirt and matching black jeans.

I nodded. "They don't start until the spring. Todd's parents don't believe he has the potential to be a great TWA officer like his brother, so they kept him among the humans until the last possible moment. Anthony's parents don't want their precious son among the soldiers. They still remember the cruelty Moleculars faced at the hands of the human and Rebel armies."

I changed my dress to a cobalt t-shirt and a pair of comfortable running shots. Jesse was smiling at me when I turned my attention to him. "What?"

Jesse placed his hand on the door knob leading to Todd and Anthony's room. "You really know the people you're with." There was a weird twinkle in his eye. I could tell he was still hiding something from me and he was desperate to keep it that way. I respected his privacy, but I was itching to find out what he was hiding. "Have you dug any dirt up on me?"

I walked over to the door blatantly ignoring the fact he was genuinely worried. "If I had, the fact the Rebels are still around wouldn't have shocked me." Jesse opened the door and I left behind any hope of not being a soldier in this war.

Todd and Anthony shut up once we walked in. "I'm going to make this easy for the two of you because you aren't TWA officers." Jesse walked to the back of the room and out of Todd and Anthony's direct line of sight. "You tell me what I want to know and I won't hurt you."

Anthony smirked. "What do you find so amusing?" I asked him.

Anthony thrashed against his ropes one more time. "I knew you were too gorgeous to be a human."

I walked over to Anthony. "You know when I first met you, I thought you were this powerful Molecular I needed to fear." I crouched down so he had to look down in order to see me. "I guess I was wrong," I said, looking up into his eyes. I patted his knee before standing back up.

Todd scooted his chair closer to me and slightly diagonal. It looked like he was trying to put Jesse and me in his line of sight. "What kind of Telepath are you?"

I leaned against the one way mirror. "You would've already figured that out if you were true TWA trainees."

Anthony scooted his chair forward. "Maybe she's not really a Telepath."

"Let's get back to why you guys are here," said Jesse. He was showing them he was in control here, not them or me. "I want information about the location of Natalia's parents."

Anthony directed his attention at Jesse's reflection. "We don't have that kind of information and you know it. You nabbed us instead of TWA officers because we're easier targets. You were too scared to take on a fully trained TWA officer."

Jesse jerked Anthony's chair back, causing his neck to whip forward violently. "I nabbed you because both of you are children of high ranking and important TWA officers."

Anthony cracked his neck. "My parents will come looking for me."

Jesse lowered himself so he could whisper into Anthony's ear. "Only if they think you're gone, but they haven't been home, have they?" He kicked Anthony's chair forward.

Todd looked defiantly at me. In his mind, I was the one in control here. "Can't we talk about this like civil people?"

Jesse leaned back against the wall. "If you're willing to tell the truth."

Todd nodded at me. "I'll only tell her."

Jesse pushed off the wall. "You've got five minutes," he said to me. He exited the room, but his presence never really left.

Todd's gray eyes were cloudy without signs of tears. "We don't have the information you need."

I crossed my arms. "Sure."

Todd looked at Anthony for verification. "We aren't allowed anywhere near prisoner logs or our parents' offices. We're of no use to you."

I sat down on the floor. I couldn't risk passing out on my feet. I still hadn't fully recovered from my encounter with the TWA. It took more out of me than I liked to admit and with the constant training and work at the infirmary, recovery was slower than I would've liked. But I couldn't let those people suffer when I could help them. They'd already suffered enough.

“That’s a real shame, boys.”

Anthony smirked once more. "What are you going to do to us now? Silently shoot us dirty looks with those brilliant green eyes?"

I closed my eyes and leaned my head against the cool concrete wall. I sent out my trusty feelers to Todd and Anthony. They had mild defenses around their minds, defenses you put up when you were around half-telepaths or curious humans as a precaution. I easily found a way through and began a preliminary search of their minds.

Anthony was terrified to death. He was ready to pee his pants at a moment's notice and it didn't seem to be the first time. His parents were gone on a secret mission they hadn't bothered to tell him about, at all. He knew they would be gone a month or two based on the decrease in the number of staff around the house. I snooped a little more to find out his parents were assigned to recon missions only and would be nowhere near my parents at this stage.

Todd was pretty calm for being a hostage with no formal TWA training. He was intrigued by my presence and even more curious about what I was doing at the moment. He still wasn't convinced I was a full Telepath because I hid myself well from him and everyone at Anthony's parties. His parents were both high ranking officers at...Efland Containment Center. They seemed to be more on edge since his date with me and their behavior escalated after my disappearance. His parents were keeping longer hours at work and when they got home, they only slept.

I opened my eyes. "Thank you." I stood up and walked out of the room.

Jesse was casually leaning against the wall when I walked in. "Find anything useful?"

I shrugged. "My parents may be at Efland Containment Center, but I couldn't get any concrete information on their whereabouts. Anthony's parents won't be helpful. They don't work with prisoners."

Jesse sighed. "I was afraid of that."

I looked back into the interrogation room. Todd was sitting there with his eyebrows furrowed as he tried to figure out what information he let slip. Anthony, on the other hand, was on the verge of hyperventilating. He already peed his pants.

"Anthony was right. An actual officer would've been a better choice."

Jesse pushed himself off the wall. "Such a shame."

A portal opened beneath Anthony's chair, causing him to fall right through. Todd looked over at the black hole before staring straight at the mirror.

Suddenly, I felt drained of energy. It felt like I was being suffocated even as my lungs worked perfectly fine. "I need to lie down." I took one step before blacking out.

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