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Chapter 18

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Chapter XVIII

Visions of the Five

 

As the car pulled up in the driveway, Vernon could see what looked like all the Bot’s they had standing outside the house on guard mode. Thinking to himself whether this had something to do with Charlie starting a revolution he quickly got out and walked through the double doors and into the manor. Waiting for them was Jack. The lad and his brother had agreed to alter their searches in order to allow them enough time to fully rest up before heading out once again. Jack was about to go out, until he noticed the news about the revolution at his family companies’ headquarters.

“When are you going out kid?” Vernon said closing the door behind him.

“Soon as Dave is back.” Jack said absentmindedly, watching the TV, they had stripped most of the car batteries from their vast collection of vehicles. He scratched his head, the thing had been aching like mad for the past few hours, but it wasn’t yet at the point that he needed to go and lie down. He returned to the TV, where he saw people fortifying Wolfrick Co, ready for the siege that was certain to begin soon.

“I can keep watch lad. I’ll call you when your brother returns.” Vernon said, he could see how weary the fifteen-year-old looked.

“Thanks.” Jack said, before returning back upstairs. What with waiting for Dave to return and keeping Martin from doing any rash, was enough to make anyone exhausted. As he walked up the stairs to his room. Vernon turned to Charlie.

“I need you to try and recall Dmitri and his Bot’s.” Vernon said. this was now vital, what with Charlie having started a revolution back at Wolfrick Co. they would now need everyone home to defend the manor.

“Sure.” Charlie said and walked off to the communications post. As she did so, she saw Vernon shake his head wearily as he walked over to where Jack had been standing. Once she arrived at the small room, she flicked on the communicator and waited, hoping that someone would pick up at the other end. Ten minutes went by and nothing happened, Charlie was about to give up when the hologram appeared of Codsworth, who if anything looked worse than she felt.

“What’s wrong?” Codsworth said.

“Good to see you too commander.” Charlie replied. “Is Dmitri there. We need him to return home.” Charlie asked, there was a pause, Codsworth scratched the back of his head nervously. “What’s happened?” Charlie finished, guessing correctly that something had gone wrong.

“Dmitri isn’t with us anymore. He left the convoy a week ago, heading for the Rocksburg.” Codsworth said, slightly sheepishly.

“What.” Charlie said, this was bad news alright. She had privately been counting on Dmitri returning when she made her big speech in the entrance of Wolfrick Co.

“Alright. What have you done?” Codsworth asked, readying himself for the worst. But what came out next was beyond even his wildest imaginings.

“I sought of started a revolt. At Wolfrick Co.” Charlie said, looking down at her feet, like a child having just been caught in some wrongdoing. Codsworth raised his eyebrows, not sure whether or not to believe what he was hearing.

“I see.” Codsworth said.

“Do you know when he’ll be back?” Charlie asked.

“He said he would meet us in Haverminster. But that was all.” Codsworth said. “For now, at least. It looks like you’re on your own.” The commander finished before disconnecting the link, and the machine turned itself off. Charlie stood still for a moment, before sighing. What had she expected that Dmitri and Codsworth would drop everything they were doing and come home. She walked off back towards the medical lab where she found Jack waiting for her.

 

The teen was standing looking nervously at her, as if he wanted to say something, but couldn’t find the words.

“What is it kid?” Charlie asked, wanting to get whatever he wanted out of the way quickly so she could continue her work. “I think I’m about to have another vision. And you said that you wanted to monitor it.” Jack said looking at the ground as he spoke. As nervous as she had been speaking to Codsworth.

“Sure.” Charlie said. outwards she was still tired, but inside was a completely different story, for almost a year now she had been waiting to see exactly what these visions were, but there had been no such luck. “Lie down on the table lad. Oh, and take your shirt off” Charlie said, and he did so. whilst he did as she spoke it did make him slightly nervous to do so. In contrary to Charlie jubilation, Jack was anything but excited. He had half hoped that the visions would’ve have disappeared after the last one. But no, they had returned after almost six months to invade his head again.

As he lay down on the table, Charlie put a serious of monitors all over his body. He was about to object when Charlie began to explain what she was doing.

“These might be able to tell us how your brain was still active when you fell into your coma last year.” Charlie said as she finished, by placing one over his heart. She took a step back towards the monitor which was showing everything was normal. “Begin. I guess.” Charlie finished, and Jack closed his eye, entering his vision.

As he did so the machine next to Charlie started to go haywire. The numbers everywhere began to read random amounts before one after another going to zero: Zero beats per minute, respiration zero, oxygen saturation zero, blood pressure zero, temperature zero. As the machine began to beep like mad, Vernon walked into the room, having heard the alarm go off.

“What’s happening?” Vernon said, looking first at the beeping machine, then over to Jack lying on the table apparently, according to all medical data, dead.

“It’s alright Vernon. He’s in a vision. That’s all.” Charlie said, hoping to the gods that that was the case. “The lad is now at least. On his own.” Charlie finished.

 

Jack found himself once again standing by the eastern coast, looking out at the horizon, as he felt, more than heard Xyla walking next to him.

“Why am I back here?” Jack said looking up at the god with trepidation, although he thought that he knew the answer already.

“They have all left Jack Wolfrick.” Xyla said. Jack sighed, he had guessed as much, but that still didn’t answer why he had been brought here, surely a much simpler means of communications could have gotten that message across. “The five are now all in your land and your people must be ready.” The god finished.

“You said before that you would help, when the time came.” Jack said wanting to hold this woman to her promise.

“I will young one.” Xyla said, but Jack had a sneaking suspicion that there was a ‘but’ coming. And sure enough. “But not just yet.” Xyla finished.

“You promised to help us.” Jack said, starting to get angry, for all the good it would do. But screw it. “You promised when the time came that you would HELP!” Jack shouted. As he spoke, Xyla looked down at him, not angry. But almost amused, that this little person was trying to threaten her.

“Do not try that boy. Threatening me will get you nowhere.” Xyla said, smiling at the absurdity of that fact. But clearly seeing how the lad’s anger, she decided to soften her tone. “I said I will help, but the time is not quite right.” Xyla said.

“The time… Is not quite right.” Jack repeated. “Well, when the fuck is it going to be. When everyone is dead.” He finished.

“No. But I understand your anger. So, I will give you something in return.” Xyla said taking Jack by the shoulder and turned him around so that he was facing away from The Unknown Lands, and back towards the imperial heartlands.

“Give me what?” Jack asked, sounding confused.

“Your brother. He’s been let go.” Xyla said coolly.

“Nick. Where is he?” Jack asked, getting excited, for almost a fortnight, they had been searching for Nick and had found not so much as a hair of his younger brother.

“Where the attack happened.” Xyla replied returning the pair of them to the manor grounds, which in this reality or whatever the hell it was, was devoid of the damned mist. Which led Jack to his next question.

“Who sent the mist and what is it. Because it shorted out our communications for almost a week.” Jack asked.

“You know who sent the clouds. Jack Wolfrick.” Xyla replied. “And it isn’t ordinary mist. Although I think you’ve figured that out already.” The god continued.

“What is it then?” Jack asked.

“Sozol. It takes the from of what you call. Mist. With the addition that it saps the strength and decision-making ability of the target.” Xyla spoke. Jack stood there slightly dumfounded; he had never heard of it before. And was almost certain that it was made up. But this was no longer the time for doubt.

“Where are they now.” Jack asked. “The… The Raven’s. I mean.” He finished. Xyla looked at him slightly confused but decided that right then and there to just tell the fifteen-year-old the truth.

“One is out east, corrupting the eastern dwellers. Two are down south persuading the southern people to join their master’s cause. The fourth is out in the west.” Xyla said.

“And the fifth?” Jack asked egging her on.

“The fifth is with Lord Boris. But not for long.” Xyla said.

“What do you mean. Not for long.” Jack asked, the lord in the south had been an almost unstoppable force in the region. It seemed impossible that he would disappear or defect any time soon.

“Lord Boris’ days are numbered young one. His days are numbered.” Xyla finished before vanishing from view. Jack looked around but realised that he was alone once more.

 

Back in the medical lab, Jack sat up sharply on the medical table, to find Vernon and Charlie looking at him like he’d just died. His brow was sweating as he took of the senses that littered his face, arms and torso, before putting his shirt back on. As he remembered what Xyla had told him about Nick.

“I know where Nicky is?” Jack said to the dumfounded looks on both their faces. “What?” Jack asked finishing on his shirt and looking at the pair in confusion.

“Jack, you were dead.” Charlie said, it had been almost an hour that the boy had been under without a heartbeat, with it only remerging when he woke up just now.

“What?” Jack said, totally confused now.

“When you went under. All of your vitals; your heart rate, your blood pressure, your temperature, all of it went down to zero.” Charlie said, looking at the boy like he was a ghost.

“But I’m not dead.” Jack said, putting on his shoes. He had more important things to do right now. Especially now that he finally had a location of where Nick was.

“That I can see lad.” Vernon said walking up to him and putting his hand on the teen’s shoulder. “But I saw the monitor Jack. And Charlie was telling the truth. Your vital signs were all zero. Now go out and get your brother, since you seem to know where he is.” The old butler finished smiling. And Jack left the room in hurry, thinking about what had just been said to him, as he did so Vernon turned to Charlie.

“He should be dead. An hour without so much as a heartbeat.” Charlie said sitting down, trying to fathom what had just accrued, what had just happened should not be possible although common medical facts might as well be thrown out of the window, with everything that had happened with that kid.

“Are you sure that the equipment was set up right?” Vernon said trying to fathom what had just happened himself.

“I’m sure.” Charlie replied.

“Well get it ready again. If the kid is right about master Nick. We might be needing it soon.” Vernon said and Charlie nodded in response as the old butler took his leave. Leaving her to try and understand what had just happened.

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