Charlie Sparrow the twenty-six-year-old scientist walks up to the medical bay, where she was surprised to see Vernon, the sixty-three-year-old butler is sitting in a chair waiting for her. It was the first time she had seen him down here since he had requested help on a project for Jack. Which was currently waiting down in the garage.
“Ah, Vernon, what are you doing here?” Charlie said, she hadn’t expected the butler for another week, when his pain medication was set to arrive.
“Pain in the right shoulder.” Vernon said wincing as he tried to sit up. He hadn’t wanted to come down here, but the pain was starting to get worse and worse. Not that he would ever admit that to anyone but himself.
“Alright, let's see.” Charlie said, she had hoped that the pain wouldn’t have come back so quickly, but what with both Vernon and Jack’s injuries the previous year, she wasn’t surprised that they had almost ran out of the medication. Vernon lowers his shirt where there is a visible diagonal scar about two inches long just above his right lung, the place where he had been stabbed the previous year.
“Never been the same since that lunatic knifed me.” Vernon said grumbling more to himself than to Charlie. Two years ago, this would never have even bothered him, but he was starting to feel his age, and if truth were told, the attack on his home had been a huge shock to the old butler’s system.
“Well, the good news is it isn't infected. Odds are you were just carrying too much.” Charlie said, at which point Alan Wolfrick walked into the room, looking at the butler with sadness and decided that humour was the best answer for some reason.
“Tell me straight doc. Do we have to put him down?” Alan said smirking slightly.
“Not funny.” Charlie said, not taking the bait.
“I know. Vernon, take the next week off, you hear me. No work.” Alan said in all seriousness now. Wanting to make it an order, but Vernon was having none of it. He couldn’t help but admire the old man for this. Even if it was entirely reckless and unnecessary.
“Nonsense, I once fought for three days with a bullet lodged in my testicles.” Vernon said causing Charlie rolls her eyes before leaving the room, every time he told that story the time he had fought got longer and longer. Vernon continues. “So, a simple knife wound isn't going to stop me.” Vernon continued making to get up.
“Vernon.” Alan said trying to reason with the old man, but the butler cut across him.
“I almost gave my life defending this house, sir. So please don't tell me to stop.” Vernon said angrily looking at Alan who sighed.
“Just take it easy.” Alan said patting him on the shoulder as Vernon grabs his stick and walks out of the office and of towards the garage. He was already late as it was, but his shoulder had been hurting so much that he had barely been able to stand. Alan goes to follows, only to be stopped by Charlie who was standing at the doors to the medical lab.
“Please tell me you stopped him from working?” Charlie asked.
“He seems up to it.” Alan said bluntly which caused Charlie to lose her temper.
“He's a sixty-three-year-old man who less than a year ago survived a near fatal stabbing. By rights he shouldn't be moving around at all.” Charlie almost shouted, with the only effect being Alan rising to the bait.
“And what would you have me do, hmm. Tell him he can't do the things that he wants to do. I have known Vernon for as long as I can remember. I want what is best for him.” Alan said angrily before he limps away leaving Charlie alone. He shouldn’t have risen to the bait. But people were acting like he didn’t have Vernon’s best interests at heart, when he allowed him to carry on with his job.
Vernon was leaning against a pillar as Jack, his right eye still covered with a bandage, and his long hair covering the linin over to boot, walked into the large garage complex of the manor, which housed the almost fifty cars that the family owned, for various purposes. His green eye looking at the vehicles one by one.
"Are you going to tell me why we needed to come to the garage Vernon?" Jack asked looking at the butler who had been standing, but now turned around to face him.
"Happy birthday, Master Jack." Vernon said smiling and taking a small box out of his jacket pocket. "Didn't think I'd forget now did you." He finished passing the small box to Jack.
Jack opens the small box to reveal a key fob inside it, looking slightly confused the fifteen-year-old looked at Vernon. "What's this?" Jack asked genially curious.
"Well, it’s the reason I brought you down to the garage, Master Jack." Vernon said. Finally catching on Jack pressed one of the buttons on the key and the sound of engine revving up could be heard from the car next to them.
"Vernon. I... I don't know what to say." Jack said as he walked up to the car, A Prime Scorpian. Possibly one of the fastest cars on the market.
"Six-hundred bhp, turbo charged engine." Vernon said walking to stand next to the awe-struck Jack. "Oh and of course." Vernon said, taking out a gun and fired a half dozen bullets into the side of the car. "Completely bullet proof, as is the rest of it." Vernon said looking around at the rest of the vehicles. "Best to be prepared am I right?" Vernon finished. Jack doesn't say anything admiring the car for a few more seconds before turning round and hugging Vernon. Before an element of doubt came into his mind.
“How am I supposed to drive with one eye?” Jack asked. Pulling back from the embrace.
“That was a tricky situation. I will admit. But.” Vernon said as he opens the door to The Scorpian. Jack looks inside it to see a mirror attached to the passenger seat, his own seat was also angled slightly to the side as well. “That mirror will allow you to see out of the front windscreen.” Vernon said looking at the mirror. “Plus, we fitted senses all over the body, which will alert you to anything alongside you.” Vernon finished. It had been tricky but both he and Charlie had managed to finish it in time. “Do you know how to drive?” Vernon asked.
“No.” Jack said a little too quickly.
“Really. So those tire tracks that had ripped up the garden a few months ago. Weren’t caused by you then?” Vernon asked raising his eyebrows. He knew that he was being lied to on this, as he did on most matters, he had always been able to tell whether people were being truthful to him. “Well, I guess you’re right. Given the state of the garden you don’t know.” He finished leaning on his cane. Before changing the subject to avoid the lad being embarrassed any further.
“Have you had anymore visions?” Vernon asked. A dark cloud descended over the room when he spoke.
“No.” Jack said shaking his head and the old butler knew that that was the truth at least. “Is that bad?” Jack asked, looking at the Vernon for advice.
“No. No it is isn’t.” Vernon said, trying to convince himself more than the kid. Whilst Jack was gulping down pain-meds as often as he had been doing when the visions came. The butler wasn’t sure if knowing or not knowing was worse. “How much do you remember now anyway?” He asked.
“More. But still not all. I still don’t remember the raid, or much of what happened in the south.” Jack said rubbing his head.
“I see.” Vernon said putting his hand on Jack’s shoulder. “They’ll return though. In time.” He finished before opening the door to the car. “Now kid. Just try not to reck the front lawn this time.” He finished smiling.
Back in the manor. Vernon walks up to Alan who was standing by the window. He looked as weary and worn out as Vernon felt. It wasn’t unexpected. Alan had always objected to Jack’s gift, but Vernon had managed to wear him down, stating that both Alan and Gerrard had been behind the wheel at a younger age than Jack was now.
“It is done.” Vernon said, leaning heavily on his cane.
“I know. I saw him leave the grounds. I can’t say that I’m still happy about this Vernon.” Alan said looking at the butler.
“He’s on private roads. There is little to no chance that he will encounter anyone else.” Vernon said.
“Has he been having anymore visions lately?” Alan asked.
“No.” Vernon replied. Still unsure whether this was a good or bad thing.
“At least that’s something. Give us time to find a new place to hide the pain-meds.” Alan said chortling slightly. They had gone through at least five boxes of the medications since Jack had discovered them. Which was at least something, mostly because he didn’t want his son getting addicted to them, to the point where they would have no effect and he would be forced to turn to harder stuff. But partly because he was seemingly needing more and more of late. “Any word from Dmitri.” Alan asked.
“No sir, not since he crossed the border.” Vernon said sitting down, his legs were starting to ache as badly as his chest. “But he has been on the move almost constantly since then sir, he most likely hasn’t had time to get in touch.” He finished, trying to convince himself as well as Alan of this fact.
“You’re probably right.” Alan said sitting down also. As he did so the light next to him went out. It was such a subtle change that Alan didn’t realise it until Vernon left three minutes later and the skies had begun to darken. He made to flick the light on again, but nothing happened. ‘Probably a power cut.’ Alan thought looking around the room. A highly localised power cut. He got up and seeing the lights from the garage indicating that his eldest had returned from his drive.
It wasn’t until the following morning that he would find out how wrong his power cut theory was. But until then he was content to tell himself that it was that simple.