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Chapter 23

Although she wasn’t comfortable with the idea, she finally agreed to go to school. As Mr. Sanders had said, no one recognized her, but she still had to answer to the class roll calls, something neither of them had thought of. Of course, she also had to turn in all of the assignments that hadn’t been turned in over the past few weeks, which further identified her.

What was really different was that several kids came to introduce themselves to her, not realizing she was the one that answered the calls for Priscilla Pimlott. As soon as she told them her name, they all did the proverbial double take, then backed away. Nothing had really changed, except her appearance.

In her sixth hour class, the intercom popped, as it always did when it was about to come on, and the incorporeal voice intoned, “Please send Priscilla Pimlott to the front office.” Then there was the pop when it turned off.

Without waiting for the teacher to tell her, Lilly packed her stuff up and headed to the office. She considered just walking out, but decided to see what would happen. She still had one of the tranquilizer guns with her, amazed no one had seen it, and thankful there hadn’t been one of the random searches.

“I was called to the office,” she said, without prompting, as she walked in.

“Who are you?” the secretary asked.

“I’m Priscilla Pimlott. You summoned me,” she said.

The secretary looked at her for a moment, then shook her head and said, “Go on in. Mrs. Stiles is waiting for you.”

“Thank you,” Lilly replied.

“I’m here,” she said, once she was in the principal’s office.

“And who are you?” Mrs. Stiles asked, an annoyed look passing on her face. Lilly smiled. The disguise really was good, better than she’d thought.

“I’m Priscilla Pimlott,” she replied. Mrs. Stiles was flabbergasted.

“Lilly?” she asked, once she finally recovered.

“Yep,” Lilly replied.

“You’ It’s beautiful,” she said.

“Thank you,” Lilly said. “What did you call me for?” Lilly asked, wanting to get past that conversation.

“The police are on their way to get you,” she began, and Lilly jumped up, heading for the door. There was an SRO standing outside, ready to grab her if she tried to run. Closing the door, and locking it, she turned to face Mrs. Stiles.

“Why are you doing this to me? Why won’t you just let me go to school? That’s all I wanted,” Lilly yelled at Mrs. Stiles.

“Because the authorities are trying to protect you,” she said.

“Bullshit!” Lilly screamed. “They want to lock me up and and do experiments on me,” Lilly continued yelling.

Not seeing any other option, she ran for the window, and jumped. Unlike the movies, the impact hurt, and that was before she hit the ground. The ground hurt even more. When she landed, which definitely wasn’t graceful, she had cuts all over her, as well as pieces of wood and glass covering her. There was the brief thought that the movies were so full of shit.

“Lilly,” Mrs. Stiles called.

“Go to hell!” Lilly screamed, and attempted to run. She’d sprained her ankle on landing, though, so her run was more of a waddle.

Lilly knew her luck had run out, as four police cars sped up, slamming to a stop, the officers jumping out, guns drawn. Why they needed to draw guns on her was another oddity, if they were truly trying to protect her.

She was desperate, and in her desperation, she called out to the birds. It only took a matter of seconds, and there was a swirling vortex of feathers enshrining her. Kids were peering out the window at the incredible sight only moments later. The cops had no clue what to do. They couldn’t shoot, for fear of hitting her, and there were too many birds for them to get anywhere near her.

Lilly slowly limped toward the woods, leaving a trail of blood as she went. Her head was beginning to hurt, and she was getting very tired, very fast. She suspected she was losing too much blood, aside from overusing her ‘super’ power.

Once she was a fair distance into the trees, she dropped to her knees. Her last thought, which was transmitted to the world, just before passing out was, ‘protect me’. Blackness came.

“Elyse, we just got an energy spike unlike anything I’ve ever seen before. The readings jumped to the top of the graph, and we’re not even near the event location,” Steve said.

“Take us there,” she told him.

It took them ten minutes, thanks to there being very little traffic at that time of day. They drove into the Lakeside High School parking lot, where four police cars were pulled up, in a disorderly array. The cops were all standing near the entrance to a small wooded area.

“Elyse, look,” Steve said, pointing at the trees.

Looking up from the monitor, which had gone blank, even of the normal blob, she saw what he was pointing at. The trees almost appeared black from the number of birds flying randomly around. They seemed to be forming a wall. Then she noticed other, land based animals on the ground. There were deer, dogs and other things, adding a ground element to the wall.

“My God!” she exclaimed.

“What?” Steve asked.

“Elyse, look at the monitor,” Steve urged her, holding the device out to her. Looking at the readout screen, there was a large, very bright, red area on the grid. Unlike the blur they typically had, this was very clearly defined...and it was huge. They had no doubt that Priscilla Pimlott was at the center of it.

“Sir, you need to see this,” Elyse said, before Dr. Pascoe could even answer completely.

“What?” he asked, a little impatient.

“We’re at Lakeside High School. You need to see this, sir,” she said, and hung up the phone, her attention completely on the monitor.

Less than half an hour later, Dr. Pascoe and a team of scientists were analyzing the data the monitor was giving them.

“Doctor, these readings are too high,” one of the other scientists said.

“What do you mean, they’re too high?” he asked, working on the computer.

“The monitor wasn’t designed to sense waves this high. It’s only getting the top of what it’s built for, but the source is higher,” he said.

Turning from the computer, he started analyzing the data. His face became one of complete shock. “This isn’t possible!” he exclaimed.

“Elyse, what are you doing? We’re supposed to be figuring out why the sensors are picking up birds, and stuff,” Steve asked, as she was pouring over records from Priscilla’s past, along with recent incidents reported by the CIA operatives, or goons, as Priscilla referred to them.

As she read different reports, a picture began emerging. Priscilla, who apparently had been called Lilly at some point in her life, had lost her mom to drugs when she was in fifth grade. There’d been a couple of arrests for petty theft after that, Elyse suspecting it was probably because she was stealing to survive.

Although, she was supposed to be helping to capture the girl, she liked her. The girl had spunk, and she’d shown an incredible ability to elude them. It was also obvious the girl had lived a hard life. That was something Elyse could relate to, and probably contributed to her ability to continue avoiding them.

“What’re you looking for?” Jake asked.

“I’m not sure, but there’s something here we’re missing,” she replied, “and I could be wrong, but I think it’s connected to her past.”

“Dr. Pascoe is expecting results. We need to get her in the lab as soon as possible,” Steve said.

“I know, but I think this is important,” she said.

“What evidence are you basing this off of?” Steve asked.

“It’s a hunch. Nothing more. Remember, science is based on observation, and those eggheads in the lab don’t seem to be observing much,” she admitted.

“We’re going to get in trouble, and I can’t afford to lose this job,” Jake said.

“I’ll take the heat for it. I was put in charge of this effort, anyway,” she told him, setting his mind at ease, a little.

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