The Powers That Be, Part 28: Round two

-calm paper shuffling- Good evening, my dear readers.

Yes, we’re back. Thankfully for you my mom reads and is here to remind me of these things.

We’re in the climax-y area right here so if you’re not caught up get that way before continuing.

Linkskies below:

Part 1: The Winged Woman

Part 2: Junk mail & junk reputations

Part 3: Searching for tuxedos and answers

Part 4: Babysitting

Part 5: Studies indicate

Part 6: Exclusive benefits

Part 7: With a little help from my friends

Part 8: A piping hot mess

Part 9: Calling in the expert

Part 10: Evil council

Part 11: Old buddies & owed favors

Part 12: Set up

Part 13: Bring the house down

Part 14: Keeping home base

Part 15: Messages & determinations

Part 16: The public eye

Part 17: Actually getting somewhere

Part 18: A victory & a visitor

Part 19: Super un-heroes

Part 20: Out of line & out of luck

Part 21: Misfit, underqualified rescue team… assemble!

Part 22: Burgling the boss

Part 23: Deep freeze

Part 24: Unrepresented evidence

Part 25: The wrath & healthcare of Baden News

Part 26: How the tables have turned

Part 27: Fighting fire with fire

and the next part!


Part 28

Round two

 

[Dallas Knight]

 

“Still not picking up his phone . . .” Mr. News blew his breath out through his lips in a raspberry noise, dropping his phone back in the cupholder. “Dude, he could have at least dropped a hint about where he was going.”

 

The truck bumped a little as we went over a pothole and Liza muttered out a swear word, gripping her leg. The windshield wipers flicked back and forth, spraying rain off into the dark as we kept driving. Quiet Schoolhouse Rock music played from the speakers, singing something about bones.

 

“Well, at least he was doing a little better before he drove off,” Mr. News continued, adjusting his tie. “But what’s he even doing that was so important?”

 

We’d only figured out where he was going by heading back inside to find the tracker mechanism. Liza’s idea. She’d hacked into it to follow Wolfgang’s keychain tracker, even in her state, managing to do it pretty quickly. And now we had basically a little GPS leading us right to Wolfgang.

 

I’d gone off for a few minutes to try and see if I could disable the power switchboard while I was at it. But it was locked and we didn’t have the time just then. Liza needed to get to a hospital first.

 

The truck bumped again and she groaned, thumping her head back against the headrest.

 

Kaity and I exchanged a nervous look.

 

“We’ll be there in a jiffy,” News reassured, looking over at Liza. He glanced back at Kaity, “Hey, you still have that cup?”

 

Kaity held up the little paper cup of rum she’d been assigned to hold. “Right here.”

 

“Great. Give it to Liz.”

 

She obediently leaned forward in her seat to pass it up to Liza in the passenger seat.

 

Liza grunted out her thanks and took it, downing the small amount that was in the bottom of the cup.

 

I clasped my hands between my knees, biting my lip as we neared the city. Something in my gut told me that something had gone seriously wrong. That Wolfgang had found out something we didn’t and he’d run off for a reason . . .

 

And as we came around a bend in the road and into full view of the city, I had further proof of that.

 

Police lights flashing through the dark with red, white and blue. Car horns were honking and traffic going into the city was ground to almost a complete halt. It looked like . . . like the Twin Bombing traffic pileup.

 

My stomach twisted, a burst of adrenaline making my heart beat faster.

 

There was definitely something going on.

 

Mr. News pulled his foot off the gas in surprise, pulling up his sunglasses to look through the windshield better. The truck slowed and he stared at the tangle of traffic.

 

“What the hizzy . . .?” he muttered. He picked up the Liza’s phone to look at the little tracker screen. “Dang, it looks like he’d be . . . right in the middle of that whole mess.”

 

“And would he be a cause, or a side effect?” Liza asked through gritted teeth.

 

“Man, I don’t even know. You think he went all human-matchstick again?”

 

I pulled my seatbelt off of my shoulder and leaned forward so I could reach the radio. I switched the Schoolhouse rock off, skipping over to the radio. That big of a disaster had to be broadcast somehow.

 

And it was.

 

“-city’s own former Hero, Amazing Man, in a shocking change of heart, has been rampaging through the city, somehow having gotten his powers back as well. He has resisted the police, thrown multiple cars and injured civilians. The well-known Wolfgang Dankworth also recently made his appearance, confronting Amazing Man in a supposed attempt to stop him, using his own mysterious fire-powers to combat. They were last seen on Central Street together with the police before . . . uh . . . moving to somewhere else. We’re still waiting on the full report and will be back to you momentarily after these messages.”

 

Mr. Fernsby? That wasn’t supposed to happen until tomorrow. We were supposed to have stopped it. He wasn’t supposed to hurt anyone . . .

 

The truck rolled to a complete stop in the middle of the road, all of us just staring at the radio. Car horns honked as people weaved around us.

 

Mr. News pushed his fedora up on his head, his eyes wide. “Great day in the morning . . .” he muttered. A determined look slowly came over his face and he hit on the gas again.

 

Kaity ran her fingers through her short hair in a panic. “What do we do? They don’t even know where Wolfgang or Charles . . .”

 

“Yeah? Well, we do.” The truck sped up, going much faster towards the traffic than it should. Mr. News picked up Liza’s phone tracker. “And we’re gonna find ‘em.” He examined the phone for a few more seconds, taking note of how far apart our little blue dot and the silver wing representing Wolfgang were. Then, setting it back down, he took a sharp right turn.

 

Kaity was nearly thrown up against me as the car veered sideways. We skimmed by the bumpers of the other cars, starting off down a wider, emptier road.

 

The bulky truck clipped the bumpers of a couple of cars before steering around them. We were all jostled around like gamepieces in a box, thrown this way and that. I clung to the side of the door. Kaity squeaked. Liza yelled.

 

“N-News! News, my . . . my l-leg . . .” we hit a smoother patch and Liza doubled over, sounding almost like she was crying.

 

The dots on the phone were closer together.

 

“Oh shoot, I spaced on that . . .” Mr. News blew out his breath and looked back at me. “Dallas could you call an ambulance? That’ll probably be able to cut through the traffic enough to get to the hospital fast.”

 

I fumbled out my phone, almost falling over as we steered around a couple other cars. My fingers still hit the buttons of nine-one-one and I put the phone to my ear. “Where do I tell them to come to?”

 

“You see the dot there?” he pointed to the phone. “Give your best guesstimate. It’ll be close enough.”

 

I caught one of the street names as we sped past and almost ran into the signpost. I usually thought I’d be more helpful if I ever had to make an emergency call, but so much was going on around me. After I hung up, I worried if they would even be able to get to us with just what I’d told them to go off of.

 

Police sirens wailed closer from off down the street, their lights shooting off beams through the rain.

 

Mr. News spun the wheel sideways again, this time to the left, rattling us off through a narrow alley that barely fit the truck. Our little dot swung closer to Wolfgang’s, from what I could see. A few more sharp turns later, we pulled out of the alley maze we’d been navigating. Bad News pulled to a stop for a few seconds, pulling his sunglasses up to look at the screen again.

 

I took a breath, looking around out the rain-smeared windows to try and get my bearings. Off down the road to the right was a police barricade, blocking off the traffic we’d seen coming in. We were just off to the side of the traffic now. People were still yelling and honking their horns, but didn’t take much notice of the black truck now sticking out of the alley onto the sidewalk.

 

There was even a woman beyond the barricade, throwing her arms wide and gesturing as she talked with a policeman. A taller, lean man with his hands in his pockets stood next to her. The flashing lights and dark around us made it hard to see over there. I squinted, trying to determine if I’d seen those outlines before.

 

One officer was saying something through a megaphone and I could barely make out the words.

 

“The situation is under control. We’ll update you all as soon as we can.”

 

Mr. News looked at the phone for another second, then back up out the windshield. “Looks like he should be just right around here . . .” Liza groaned and he shifted his gaze over to her. “You holding up okay?”

 

She swallowed hard, squeezing her eyes shut and yanking at the zipper on Wolfgang’s leather jacket. “I’m going to be sick.” Her voice came in a hoarse whisper.

 

Kaity recoiled, looking away.

 

Mr. News reached under his seat, pulling out a bucket and handing it over to Liza. “Puke in that. I’m gonna get out for a sec and take a look around.” He pulled her brightly colored ponytail back over her shoulder for her, giving a reassuring pat. “He’s right around here. We’ll find him.”

 

Liza just doubled over, heaving into the bucket.

 

Bad News popped open his door and stepped out into the rain. Kaity immediately opened her door to follow.

 

I reached for her arm. “Kaity, are you sure . . .?”

 

“He needs help. Come on.” She hopped out of the car. I started to object, then slowly followed as she walked over towards Mr. News. More people could probably find them quicker.

 

And even if Mr. Fernsby was evil, he’d know me well enough to recognize, right?

 

The raindrops started to seep through the fabric of my hoodie and I shivered.

 

Oh God, please help them both be alright . . .

 

Mr. News put his sunglasses up on the brim of his hat and scanned the area, holding out the phone in front of him. “Should be . . . off to the left just a little bit, I think.” He started walking that way, Kaity and me on his heels.

 

Just as we started that way, something emerged from the side street a little ways down. Some sort of moving, staggering . . . thing.

 

Mr. News stopped and Kaity bumped into him. I blinked, narrowing my eyes to try and see what on earth it was.

 

The police lights flashed down the road for a second and I could see.

 

Two men, one holding up the other. And even in the split second of clear light, I recognized Mr. Fernsby’s blond hair and Wolfgang’s cowlick.

 

I sucked in my breath. “Sir!”

 

“There you are, bucko,” Mr. News shoved the phone tracker back into his pocket and broke into a jog. “Man, I didn’t have any clue about where you . . .”

 

“I’m sorry,” Mr. Fernsby’s voice cut him off. “I’m so, so, sorry . . . I didn’t mean for . . . I didn’t know what I was . . .” It broke as he tried to talk and he ducked his head.

 

Wolfgang’s uneven breathing caught painfully and he muttered out something as he pulled his head up. He lifted a hand partially in greeting. I could see that it was shaking badly.

 

The relief I’d felt just a second ago knotted back into worry. I sped my pace, grabbing onto Kaity’s hand as we followed Bad News’s long strides.

 

“What happened?” I called out. “Are you okay?”

 

Mr. News had already come to a stop before I finished my words. “Holy . . . guacamole,” he sputtered out, his voice booming off the buildings around us. “What even . . .?”

 

A light from over where the police were swung in our direction, lighting up the dark.

 

I came to a stop next to Bad News and stared. Kaity gasped, covering her mouth with both hands.

 

“It was me. I’m really . . . I’m really sorry.” Mr. Fernsby’s voice sounded broken and quiet. His expression was scrunched in a pained, guilty expression. “I didn’t know what I was doing and . . .”

 

“And I . . . got you back to . . . normal,” Wolfgang gasped out. “So shut up . . . about it already. You’re . . . fine.”

 

“Yes, but you’re not,” shot back Mr. Fernsby.

 

And he was definitely right about that. Wolfgang had blood all over his face, and it was still coming from his nose, which looked somewhat crooked now. The side of his face that had already been bruised looked even worse now and one eye was almost swollen shut. His bottom lip was split. His muscles were shaking. His breathing sounded painful and shallow. Mr. Fernsby had to stay underneath his arm just to keep him upright.

 

But he still kept his head up and his back as straight as he could, his chin tipped back like he was challenging any of us to even try and point out his multitude of injuries.

 

I swallowed hard, unable to tear my gaze away.

 

Mr. Fernsby . . . did all that? He hurt Wolfgang that badly?

 

The commotion behind us grew, coming closer as another light focused down our road. I barely noticed.

 

Mr. News let out a low whistle, pushing his hat back on his head. “Man . . . we need to get some of that blood off of you, kiddo. That shirt’s trashed for sure. Here, come on . . .” he reached out to Mr. Fernsby. “I’ll help him along back to the truck.”

 

“Y-yes, here you . . . here you go.” He moved over closer. “I’m so sorry about . . .”

 

“Listen, that was . . . wasn’t your . . . fault, Fernsby,” Wolfgang snapped back, his voice still rough and raspy. He pulled his arm off from around Mr. Fernsby’s shoulders and faced him to try and meet his eyes better. “I’ll be fine, you just . . .”

 

“You’ll be fine if you come over here with me, man. Come on,” Mr. News reached down and looped an arm over Wolfgang’s middle, pulling him towards himself.

 

Mr. Fernsby’s eyes widened and he put his hands up. “Baden, there’s a broken rib . . .”

 

Wolfgang jolted as though he’d been shot, a loud curse choking up out of his throat as he gripped at his chest. “Holy smoke, News! Don’t . . .” He didn’t finish his sentence before collapsing against Bad News like a marionette with the strings cut.

 

Mr. News barely caught onto him before he completely crumpled to the ground. “Whoa there . . .”

 

Letting out a shaky sigh, Mr. Fernsby raked his hands up through his hair. “And that would be the second time in the last five minutes.”

 

I stared. “He . . .? Oh my goodness . . .”

 

Bad News’s eyebrows went up and he whistled again. “Dude, gotta be more careful with those broken ribs.” He pulled Wolfgang back upright and scooped him into his arms a bit gentler than usual.

 

“I need some medical supplies to properly help him, but really . . .”

 

“Ey, I got some in my truck.” Mr. News nodded.

 

Footsteps pounded closer behind us.

 

“Charles?” called out a familiar voice.

 

We all turned to see Mrs. Fernsby running down the sidewalk towards our group. A few police officers followed a ways behind, weaving in between the packed together cars. In between them, running right behind Angela was . . .

 

Is that Franklin?

 

Mr. Fernsby stood there, frozen.

 

Mr. News waved as he started walking towards the truck, one of Wolfgang’s bloodstained arms dangling down against his suit coat. “Hey Angie. Yep, that’s him right there. Not evil anymore either.”

 

Mrs. Fernsby made a sound something between a gasp and a sob as she sped her pace, running past us and going straight to hug Mr. Fernsby. She buried her face against his neck and sobbed.

 

How much had she seen of him being evil? Well, she’d been right by the police barricade . . . I swallowed. Did Jilly and Beckett and Leif watch too?

 

Their conversation moved into just tear-choked apologies and murmurings.

 

Mr. News kept walking towards the truck for another few seconds and I started to follow, but the two of us came to a stop as well as soon as we saw Franklin.

 

Bad News’s eyes narrowed and my heart pounded faster. The last I’d seen of Franklin, he’d mind controlled me into leaving a suicide note . . . to destroying my own research and walking right into a prison cell . . .

 

Kaity coming up next to me. Franklin looked between all of us, raising his hand in an awkward wave.

 

“Who’s that?” whispered Kaity.

 

Franklin heard her and butted in before I could answer.

 

“I’ll tell you what I’m not is working for Silverwing anymore.” He held up his hands and looked over to me. His face was mournful as his floppy hair dripped rain into his eyes. “Sorry about that whole thing earlier, kid. I was under orders. I really would have never . . .” he trailed off as he looked over to Bad News. “Same goes for you, News.” His voice held less conviction.

 

Bad News snorted. “You’re full of it, Frank.” He brushed past, heading back for the truck.

 

Wolfgang sucked in a ragged breath, his eyes flying open again. “ Don’t. . . do that.” He frowned and blinked a couple of times, trying to reorient himself. His face contorted again and he let out a groan.

 

“Good to see you awake again,” Bad News patted his arm and kept striding towards the truck.

 

Wolfgang tried to move, sputtering that he’d been fine without being carried and trying to sit up. There was the distant echo of what I hoped were ambulance sirens in the distance.

 

I started to follow again when Franklin grabbed my arm. The touch of his hand on my arm shot adrenaline through my veins and I yanked away as quickly as I could before the mind control could take effect.

 

Franklin put up his hands again in a position of surrender. “Hey, hey. Not trying to take over your mind. I’m past that now. Just want to talk.”

 

I still kept my distance, keeping a wary eye on him as Kaity came to my side.

 

Bad News and Wolfgang were out of earshot by now, getting a little medical station set up in the backseat of the truck.

 

The police had reached Mr. and Mrs. Fernsby and were talking with them, also out of earshot.

 

Kaity took my hand protectively, glaring at Franklin.

 

Franklin spread his hands. “Listen, I said I was sorry, okay? I’m not in with Silverwing anymore and I just . . . I need your help.” He let out his breath, running his fingers up through his wet, black hair. “You lost your evidence, right? All that research? Well, I can make it up to you. Two times over, easy. I’m the one that helped Maxine start Silverwing. And I just need to get in to talk to Mr. Ecks. Present all the stuff I have on them to the SPI and we’ll have the organization sunk within a week. I just need an agent or two to represent me.” He gestured to Kaity and me. “Both of you, maybe? Two agents are better than one and you’re a packaged deal, it looks like. Can you give me a hand?”

 

I’d barely had a day to process my months of research having been destroyed. And now, right here was Franklin offering to give me more than I could have asked for.

 

I just stood there. He couldn’t be serious. He’d just been one of the most enthusiastic members of Silverwing, why would he just turn on them like that?

 

Still, the idea was so tantalizing . . .

 

Could it be a trap? What would he be trying to do? Why didn’t he mind control me when he had the chance?

 

My thoughts were interrupted by a commotion of honking and sirens as the traffic shifted to try and let the ambulance through. On the other side of the sidewalk, Mr. and Mrs. Fernsby hurried by, accompanied by a policeman as they went over to Bad News’s truck.

 

The police megaphone blared back to life, giving the announcement that the crisis was averted, Amazing Man was no longer evil and they’d be removing the barricade.

 

Wolfgang and Liza were still hurt. I didn’t even know where Maxine was . . .

 

There was so much going on and whirling my mind it almost made me dizzy.

 

Kaity nudged my arm and I jumped. Franklin still stood in front of us, with his eyebrows raised in a question.

 

I opened my mouth and closed it again, twisting my hands together. “I . . . maybe. Just hold on a second, please . . .” I at least needed to see if everyone else was alright so I could have a clearer mind. Silverwing was lower on the priority list than my friends.

 

I moved sideways, edging past Franklin to hurry towards the truck.

 

The ambulance was getting parked a little ways away. Wolfgang was still sitting in the back seat and Mr. News mostly blocked my view of him. Mr. and Mrs. Fernsby stood off to the side.

 

I came up next to them, peeking around.

 

Bad News had cleaned the blood off of Wolfgang’s face and had given him a rag to hold to his nose. He was leaned back against the seat tiredly and had some sort of icepack held against his middle. It was now painfully obvious how pale and bruised his face was, but less blood was always good.

 

“Now I thiiiiink that’s pretty much what I can do for ya.” Mr. News stepped back and propped his hands on his hips, looking back. “And the ambulance is here. I’m gonna help Liza into that before we go on to you.”

 

“I don’t need . . . an ambulance,” muttered Wolfgang around the bloody rag he was holding to his face. “There’re things . . . we need to . . . do, still.” He was making a valiant effort to get the words out normally, but kept stopping in the middle of his sentences to wince or suck in a short breath.

 

“Charles can help you out a bit more for professional doctor stuff,” Bad News continued like he hadn’t heard him. He snapped his fingers. “And I think I’ve got some painkillers if you want those.”

 

For his reluctance to having medical attention, Wolfgang was very adamant in his “yes please” for painkillers.

 

Mr. News nodded back and moved on to take care of Liza and escort her to a waiting gurney

 

Mr. Fernsby stepped closer to Wolfgang, still looking remorseful and hesitant about approaching. He didn’t meet his eyes as he looked him over, checking on the other, minor injuries.

 

Angela came up to Mr. Fernsby’s side again and put a hand on his shoulder. She took a breath and looked over at Wolfgang, her eyes misting over with tears. “Wolfgang, I just want to . . . I want to thank you for not hurting Charles. You could have easily . . . you know . . .”

 

“Barbequed him,” Wolfgang finished with a wince.

 

She swallowed, a few more tears spilling out. “Or the police could have shot him. And he’s just standing here unharmed because of you and . . . thank you.” A smile broke through the tears. Before any of us could stop her, she leaned over and gave Wolfgang a hug.

 

“W-wait, Angel-auuugh . . .” Wolfgang let out an almost inhuman sounding groan, his face losing even more color as his head lolled sideways. His eyes went wide.

 

Angela let go, alarmed. “Wolfgang?”

 

Mr. Fernsby pulled her back quickly, sitting Wolfgang up straighter and grabbing the bottle of water Mr. News had left sitting by Wolfgang’s feet. “Hey, hey, stay with me. Here, drink.” He took off the lid and tipped it back just a little to Wolfgang’s lips.

 

Wolfgang sucked in a few gasping breaths and blinked hard. “Yeah, I’m . . . I’m okay. I’m good now.” His words still lacked the sufficient air, but were surprisingly strong. He managed an odd version of a smile as he looked over at Mrs. Fernsby. “You’re welcome.”

 

He held the icepack against his ribs and straightened in his seat, his expression getting more serious as he looked out and saw the policemen.

 

Bad News returned to the car, without Liza and with painkillers. He tossed the bottle in his hand a couple times. “Right. Here ya go . . .” he popped the lid and gave Wolfgang a few. “And they should have the other stretcher ready in just a minute.”

 

Wolfgang swallowed the pills, but his mouth turned down in a frown. He shook his head and pushed partly off the seat. “News, I can’t . . . go to the hospital yet.”

 

Mr. Fernsby’s eyebrows went up and he opened his mouth a second before speaking like he wasn’t sure if Wolfgang was telling a joke. He shook his head incredulously. “Wolfgang, you . . . I’m sorry, you really do need to go to the hospital. Really, you did it. Stopped Silverwing and got . . .”

 

“No, I didn’t actually,” Wolfgang cut in. “I stopped you, yeah. But this . . . is happening all over the country. Everyone . . . everyone who had the same serum as you. They were all . . . on the same frequency. When you turned evil, so did they. And they don’t have anyone to stop them from getting shot by police or thrown in jail. As long as that switch is on, they’re not even in control of their own minds.”

 

His words still came out halting in places and short of air, but he still kept talking like nothing was wrong.

 

Mr. Fernsby opened his mouth and closed it again. “That’s . . . ridiculous. All at once? I’m sure they just . . . planned on doing it different days. There should still be time . . .”

 

Wolfgang shook his head. “All at once. Dallas and Kaity saw the video too, they can tell you.” He gestured to us with a still shaking hand.

 

The Fernsbys and Mr. News looked back at Kaity and me.

 

We exchanged a look. I swallowed and nodded. “That actually . . . was what they said in the video.”

 

Franklin joined the group, shoving his hair back out of his eyes again as he came up behind us. “Maxine was going to set ‘em all off at once, yep. Just getting it all done together, I guess.”

 

At Maxine’s name, Wolfgang’s expression darkened further, a hint of . . . something that almost looked scared appearing as well. He looked over at Angela, taking the rag down from his nose. “Hey, that . . . that woman who looked just like you and was running away. Did they catch her?”

 

Mrs. Fernsby stared for a second. “N-no, they didn’t. I was just so worked up I didn’t think . . . I . . . goodness . . .”

 

“That was Maxine,” Wolfgang muttered. “Trying to look like you.” He narrowed his eyes, not particularly looking at anything for a second before he snapped his gaze back over to her. “When did you last check on the kids?”

 

“I didn’t want them to see . . . see what was going on. I haven’t . . .”

 

“Go check on them. Go to the car now.” Wolfgang winced with the effort of raising his voice.

 

Kaity was nervously fidgeting next to me like crazy. She followed after Angela as they both darted around the cars, getting to the Fernsby car. It was parked off to the side as the rest of the traffic had begun moving around it.

 

The kids?

 

Why would Maxine want the kids? They’re probably fine. They should still be alright.

 

Still, I twisted my hands nervously as we waited for them to get back.

 

And in just a few more seconds, they did.

 

Mrs. Fernsby, Kaity, Jilly, and Beckett.

 

No Leif.

 

Wolfgang cursed, shooting bolt upright in his seat and holding the icepack tight to his middle. He moved as if to get out of the truck. “Where’s Leif? Jilly, where is he? Where’d he go?”

 

Jilly hid against her mom’s leg, giving Mr. Fernsby a scared look before looking back at Wolfgang. “He . . . he went with mom? Mom came by the car and wanted Leif to come with her for something . . . that he’d be back in a bit . . .”

 

I could see the blood drain from almost everyone’s faces there. And felt it go from mine.

 

It felt like someone had punched me in the stomach.

 

No. No, no, she’d taken Leif . . .

 

Wolfgang called Maxine a dirty name under his breath, raking one hand up through his hair. “She took him . . . she’s gonna . . .” The raw, plain fear showed on his face for a second before he pushed it back down, setting his bruised jaw.

 

Mr. Fernsby saw the look on his face and held up his hands. “Wolfgang, this isn’t your problem right now. We can . . .”

 

“It’s my brother, Fernsby,” Wolfgang hissed out, clenching his free hand into a fist. “I’d say that’s just about the definition of ‘my problem’.”

 

News tipped his head thoughtfully, scratching his neck. “He does have a point.”

 

“Baden, don’t encourage him. Wolfgang, you need to rest . . .”

 

“I did,” Wolfgang shot back.

 

Mr. Fernsby held the bridge of his nose. “You passed out. Was that three times?”

 

“Then I rested three times.”

 

Wolfgang, you’re in no shape to . . .”

 

“Oh yeah?” Wolfgang’s fisted hand burst into flame and I jumped slightly.

 

I could see behind the truck that they had the second gurney ready and were waiting. Bad News edged around the truck, going to say something to them before starting back towards the driver’s seat of his truck.

 

Wolfgang leaned closer, holding up a flaming finger close to Mr. Fernsby’s face. His voice shook and broke as he forced out his words. “Silverwing took the rest of my family last time. I am not letting them take Leif. And I’m making sure of it myself this time.”

 

Franklin raised his hand. “Think confronting Maxine might be better done by just . . . taking them down through the SPI? I got a team set up for that . . .”

 

“That might work,” I agreed hesitantly.

 

“That’s too **** slow,” Wolfgang growled. He stepped out of the car, supporting one arm against the side while still trying to look like he could seriously stand on his own. He got up into the passenger seat, clenching his jaw tight through the whole process.

 

Mr. Fernsby moved to help him, but Wolf just held up a flaming hand again to halt his progress. He carefully sat back in his seat and didn’t say another word before slamming the door shut.

 

Mr. Fernsby just stared for a second, moving his mouth soundlessly.

 

One of the medics came around the back of the truck, a confused look on his face. “I thought there was supposed to be a man . . . who really needed medical attention here?”

 

“Y-yes, there is, but he . . .”

 

The reply was cut off as the truck’s engine roared to life.

 

Wolfgang!” Angela yelled out in alarm.

 

But in barely a second, Bad News had sharply turned them in to the road and was roaring off down the highway out of town.

 

Mr. Fernsby let out his breath spreading his hands. “He left.”

 

Kaity furrowed her brow in worry was she watched the red taillights of the car disappear. “Maybe the ambulance should just follow after . . .”

 

“Eh, he’s a tough nut. He’ll be fine.” Franklin waved a hand dismissively, then clapped a hand on each of my and Kaity’s shoulders. “What do you say we take the other route of attack? Through law and order?”

 

Well. Wolfgang would need all the help he could get, so . . .

 

Kaity and I exchanged a look.

 

I swallowed and nodded.


Mmhmm, this next chapter is gonna be really long and hard, I can tell you that right now.

See you guys Sunday as we approacheth the end,

~writefury

14 thoughts on “The Powers That Be, Part 28: Round two

  1. why. are my children. being tormented like this? I’m getting traumatized along with them. please. please, just … keep them safe. *goes into a corner and dissolves into a puddle*

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