Dave Wolfrick walked back up the manor road a small frown on his face, although he was completely unaware of anything that had happened the previous day. He had been out scouting for any signs of Mia, but he had so far found none. ‘No matter.’ He thought their would-be time later on in the week, his wound was also a lot better now that he had been out in the fresh air.
However, his illusions of any future plans were shattered when he comes round the bend in the road and sees his home. Part of the exterior wall had been reduced to rubble and the front of the large house wasn’t in a better condition. Dave stops for a moment looking at the destruction before him, before running at full tilt back towards the manor.
Inside Dave’s room Alan looks at Dmitri and Codsworth, suddenly realising what Dmitri’s plan was, and was determined for it not to go ahead.
“No.” Alan said simply, wondering what on earth was possessing Dmitri to nominate his wayward and notoriously accident prone son, for this suicidal mission. “Absolutely out of the question.” Alan finished, hoping that he was making himself clear.
“The kid is a natural scout; he knows the land and is able to keep his head down.” Dmitri said, the last part not entirely true but the kid was learning that skill, albeit slowly. Although that didn’t change the fact that Dave had a natural gift for scouting.
“Except for the time when he was almost kidnapped.” Alan said finding the lie in Dmitri’s grand statement, he looked over at Codsworth for support, before Dave walks through the door and looks shocked to see Alan, Dmitri and Codsworth in his room.
“What happened? I leave the house for one day and it all goes to shit.” Dave said smiling, but he stopped, this last statement had come off a lot less jokey than he indented, judging by the looks on all of the three adults faces.
“We were attacked lad.” Codsworth said simply.
“By who? Is everyone okay?” Dave said. This had gone suddenly from a minor inconvenience that he had not been a part of. To something a lot more serious.
“By Lord Boris.” Dmitri said. “And to your second point, No. Twelve are dead, Vernon was badly wounded, and Jack lost his eye.” Dmitri finished.
“Lost his… What?” Dave asked looking shocked.
“Lost his right eye to be specific.” Codsworth said flatly, he could hardly believe it himself, and still wondered how the prisoner had managed to hide his weapon from him and the security team, when they searched him after the battle. Dave walks over to his bed and sits up in in. he doesn’t speak, he just mentally tried to accept what had happened whilst he was gone.
“What do you guys want?” Dave asked finally after a few moments of silence.
“To offer you a job kid. Should you want it.” Dmitri said looking down at Dave with interest, he was counting on the lad accepting as he didn’t know anyone who knew the land better.
“I’m listening.” Dave said, he kept his tone as neutral as humanly possible, although his heart was going double time.
“The job is to keep a watch over the lands surrounding the manor.” Dmitri said.
“Why… Why me?” Dave asked.
“Because you know the land better than anyone, you’ve spent weeks at a time away out there exploring every inch of the land.” Dmitri said. Dave paused for a moment.
“Sure, I’ll do it. But I’m going to need some more professional gear.” Dave said, not knowing whether he was pushing his luck with this final point, but Dmitri smirks at him.
“Already way ahead of you their kid.” Dmitri said, and leaves the room, followed by Dave. Leaving Alan and Codsworth alone.
“Do you agree with this?” Alan asked.
“Honestly I don’t know. The kid seems talented enough at keeping his head down. But I don’t know him well enough to be that much of a judge on his other abilities.” Codsworth said looking out of the room.
The cave floor was still wet with the blood of the prisoners that Dmitri had been questioning when he walked in, along with Dave who looked around at the pool of blood with heightened nerves, thinking back to his last encounter with Patrick. As he began to remember, Dmitri turned around to him.
“Are you alright laddie?” Dmitri asked as he turned around to face the eleven-year-old. For his part, Dave paused for a moment, before nodding. Despite the amount of blood on the ground, both of them were quite alone in the cave. Seeing that his companion had at least stated that he was okay, Dmitri nods in return and walks over to a cabinet and brings out a metal case, before placing in on the table and opens it up. A piece of black armour was brought out and laid on the table.
“What the hell?” Dave said looking down at the black suit.
“Here we are.” Dmitri said. “Barter scout armour. Chroum weave, light but will give you some protection, gel in the gloves and boots mean you should have no problems getting up vertical surfaces without ropes. As well as a tactical radio channel that connects directly here. And these.” Dmitri took out a pair of googles and laid them onto of the piece of armour. “Night vision, as well as infra-red senses. You’ll be able to see anything coming at you.” Dmitri finished, it had taken a lot of convincing to get the armour made, but eventually Alan had folded on the matter and agreed for the piece of armour to be created.
“Any weapons?” Dave asked looking at the suit in awe, this was an expensive piece of kit and not something he had ever expected to get. Before this, he had been effectively in civilian clothes, he had had protection during the raid on Bori’s fortress, but nothing like this.
“No. Apart from the knife I gave you.” Dmitri said as Dave put the palm of his hand on the small blade. That had been his one concession to Alan, as he had personally wanted to arm the kid as well as to protect him, but Alan had put his foot down stating that under no circumstances was Dave to be given a weapon. And after what had happened to Jack, Dmitri couldn’t say that he entirely blamed Alan for his caution in regards to Dave’s new assignment. “Which is why you also have this feature.” Dmitri continued as he returns to the issue at hand, and presses a button on the glove of the armour and the suit disappears in front of their eyes. “Camo tech.” Dmitri said looking at Dave’s shocked face as the suit reappears. “It will make you invisible for about a minute or so. Should allow you to get out of any tight situation.” Dmitri finished.
“Cool.” Dave said picking up the suit which was a lot less heavy that he thought it would have been. “But why are you giving it to me?” Dave asked looking up at Dmitri, as sure he knew the land, and also knew that Dmitri was one of the first people to realise that he had been sneaking out at night. But all the same, he was still a kid, and this was a lot of money for an eleven-year-old to be wearing on his back. At this comment however, Dmitri’s face grows dark in response.
“Because we let our guard down, we didn’t have scouts out and as a result Vernon almost died, your brother lost his eye, and twelve others are dead. Because we were careless.” Dmitri slammed his fist down on the table causing it to shake violently for a minute and Dave feared that the metal case would fall of and break. But it didn’t and his attention returned to Dmitri as he was continuing. “I mean to make sure that nothing like that, ever happens again.” Dmitri finishes as Charlie walks through the doors to the cave at that moment and breaks up the conversation.
“David.” Charlie said, Dave turns around hiding his new armour behind him. Charlie smiles slightly at the boys attempt to hide whatever Dmitri had given him, but continues. “You need to go up to the medical lab. Your brother is awake.” Charlie finished.
As Dmitri, Dave and Charlie walk into the medical lab to find Jack lying awake in his bed, propped up and looking around at the crowded room in confession. Around him were Alan and Vernon, who was clutching a cane for support, along with Codsworth, Nick and Martin who were all already there when the three of them arrived. Despite the fact that Jack was wearing a bandage around his head that mercifully covered up the now empty eye socket, it still looked weird. At which point, before anyone else can do or say anything, Dmitri walks up to Jack, looking at the brutally scarred youth with interest.
“Well look here. Another Wolfrick with a body part missing.” Dmitri said before turning to Alan with a smile on his face, as he tries to elevate the currently dour mood. “Is this some kind of weird ass tradition in your family. Eh Wolfrick. Loosing body parts.” Dmitri finishes, his smile fading as he realises by the looks on everyone else’s faces that it wasn’t the best time for humour. Jack initially takes no notice of the comment, and instead he moves his hand up to his bandage touching it gently before he looks around at the assembled group. He knew already about the loss of vision, but he had assumed that his eye was still there, but the examination revealed only a bandage in its place. He looked around the room again but couldn’t see the one person that he was looking for.
“What. What happened to me?” Jack said looking around at the group and wondering who the three strangers were, as he recognised only a few of the people who were by his bedside, despite this though, there was someone that he couldn’t see. “Where’s mum?” Jack asked. At this comment, Alan looks down at the ground breathing heavily, whilst the rest of the group look at each other with uneasy glances. Jack continues more forcefully this time. “Is mum here? What happened?” Jack said a little more forceful this time as he looked around at the assembled group, wondering why everyone was looking at each other with strange looks on their faces. His gaze falls on Charlie. “Who are you?” Jack asked looking directly at Charlie.
“I’m Charlie Sparrow. You were shot, and I’ve been working to… To make you better.” Charlie answered looking slightly nervous. She had heard of people suffering memory loss after a serve head injury, and Jack’s was about as serve as it could be, but to see it in action was dangerously creepy. The way his one remaining eye glanced blankly at hers with no form of recognition in them was scary. She wondered to herself whether it was her fault for his memory loss, she had no idea if time was a factor on these types of things and if she had gotten to work sooner then he would have retained his memories.
“Shot? I was… What?” Jack said his breathing increasing rapidly. “Oh… Oh gods.” He finished starting to hyperventilate, at the pure thought of what had happened to him.
“Jack.” Alan said his voice croaking slightly, but before he said anything else, he hugs his eldest son before continuing. “It’s okay… Everything is going to be okay… That’s all that matters.” Alan finished before walking out of the room as Codsworth walks up.
“You did good kid.” Codsworth said. Jack looks up slightly confused about who this strange man was before answering.
“Thanks.” Jack said, he wasn’t entirely sure who this man was, but he appreciated the compliment all the same. At this Charlie walks forward.
“I’m going to have to ask you all to leave. I’ve got… I’ve got a few more tests I’ve got to run.” Charlie said and the group around Jack’s bed disperse, all except for Vernon, who returned to the chair that was next to his own bed and watched as Charlie walked up to the bedside and sat down on the vacant chair as she began with her tests.
An hour later, Charlie retreated from Jack’s bed and examined the readings that she had managed to get from the kid’s recent examination. For his part Jack was asleep on his bed, as unresponsive as he had been before.
“What news doc?” Vernon asked gingerly getting back to his feet, unlike Jack he was incapable of sleep, even though he had been just as wounded by the attack on the manor.
“Well firstly old man I’m not a doctor.” Charlie said as she looked up from her notes. “Secondly, the results are good. Apart from the fact that he’s lost his eye, his vitals are stable, he’s just dehydrated, but that is easily rectifiable. Other than that, he’s good.” Charlie concluded. In truth, there were a few more tests still to run, but she needed Jack to be awake to perform them, and Charlie didn’t have the stomach to wake the lad after his ordeal.
“He looks so peaceful.” Vernon said staring down at the sleeping form in front of him. “And I’m not that old yet.” Vernon finished, parodying Charlie’s earlier response to his incorrect statement.
“Vernon I need help. Like I said I’m no doctor. And there was something on these reports that does troubled me.” Charlie said, smiling at the butler’s response to her previous statement, but that didn’t change the fact that a scan of Jack’s brain had revealed a heightened activity, and she had no idea what was causing it.
“What is it?” Vernon asked, sounding truly concerned for the first time.
“His brain, it’s activity is going through the roof. I don’t know why, and I don’t know what’s causing it.” Charlie replied, deciding on the truth for the butler, he after all deserved it more than anyone outside of Jack’s immediate family. “I don’t have the tech here to get to the heart of the problem here. But it is out there, and luckily the old man’s company owns one of the few machines that I need.” Charlie finished with a smile, completely unaware of how the next few hours would completely remove that sense of triumph.
“Alright. But Mr Wolfrick will hear of this though. Mark my words on that, you human piece of scum.” Vernon said with nothing short of loathing in his voice as he slammed the phone down. He had been on the line with the big wigs at Wolfrick Co. and what he had heard had absolutely disgusted him right to his core.
“What is it?” Charlie asked, having only overheard the responses that Vernon had given. She had decided that it was best if either Vernon or Alan make the call rather than herself, she was all but a stranger to those people, and Charlie had hoped that a familiar person making the request would have all but assuredly given them the vital piece of equipment. But Vernon’s look of anger and despair put pay to those thoughts.
“They say that whilst they sympathies, they will not give us the equipment. They say that it is not ready. Like hell, it’s been ready for months, but they will not help.” Vernon said, spitting with rage now.
Charlie placed a hand on the butler’s shoulder, trying to calm him down, the last thing she needed was Vernon’s rage causing his recently healed injury to worsen.
“But it’s their boss’ son that needs it.” Charlie said, also angry, but managing to keep it under control. “I heard those big wigs were cold bastards, but even that.” Charlie trailed off and Vernon laughed just as coldly.
“They have always been a cold bunch. Self serving and arrogant. They’ve still refused to take responsibility for Geoffrey. But this might be enough to convince Master Wolfrick to get shot of them.” Vernon said with the same anger boiling through his veins, but carefully masking his sense of triumph at finally getting these people red handed.
“Well I hope your going to be the one to tell old Alan that his own company won’t help his son.” Charlie said, not quite sure what the old man was going on about regarding the inner politics of Alan’s company. “All I’m concerned about is getting that machine. I know of another one, but it will cost a fortune to get it here.” Charlie finished, remembering something that an old college had told her when they were building the scanning machine, about how they weren’t the only ones attempting it.