Trials: Part Thirty Nine

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Jude floated above the roof of their house. A few hours ago, DSR agents began to form a perimeter around their house, about a hundred yards away. The neighbors for the most part had evacuated, having seen armed men forming up around a house. The agents hadn’t made any move yet, so right now Jude was just keeping watch.

He couldn’t believe that Mr. Rodriguez wasn’t angry with him. He definitely wasn’t happy with the situation, but Jude would’ve been furious with the idiot who led his daughter into such a dangerous position.

Jude noticed a black SUV approaching the perimeter. He wondered if this was Paul or more reinforcements. He looked down at his phone, and saw it was about 7 PM. Paul should definitely be getting here soon. Mr. Smith had confirmed picking him up a little bit ago, so they should arrive soon.

The car stopped at the edge of the perimeter, and one of the agents stood by the window for a few minutes, before waving them forwards. The car eventually stopped in their driveway, and Jude flew down to meet it. The windows were tinted, so he couldn’t quite see who was inside.

The door flew open, and Jude stepped back. Anastasia ran forwards, and wrapped her arms around him.

“Jude! I’m so glad you’re okay! I got worried when I saw the police or something. What’s going on?” She asked.

“I’ll explain everything inside.” Jude nodded.

A few seconds later, Paul stepped out of the car with the help of Mr. Smith. Jude nodded to Mr. Smith, as he stepped around to the trunk, and stepped forwards to give Paul a hug.

“Glad to see you buddy.” Jude clapped Paul’s back. “I take it they didn’t cure your vision?”

Paul shook his head. “No. No time to worry about that, though. We need to get on this.”

Mr. Smith returned from the trunk with a few suitcases, and handed some off to Jude. “Sorry, I didn’t bring any of my staff, because I’m not quite sure who I could trust anymore. Aside from Jean who is indisposed, and Gregory, who is at the house on standby.”

“No worries, probably best to keep this too as few people as possible.” Jude nodded, and took the bags. “Let’s go inside. I’m worried about the agents moving in while I’m not looking, so let’s make introductions quick.”

“No need.” Mr. Smith shook his head. “I told Daniels to give me a couple of hours to work things out. I finance them, so I imagine I have at least one hour.”

Jude nodded again, and led the group inside. Arte, Deven, Zoey, and Mr. Rodriguez were all sitting in the living room chatting, but got up when Jude entered.

“Alright, everyone, this is Paul, Anastasia, and Mr. Smith.” Jude gestured at each person in turn. “And this is Arte, Zoey, and Mr. Rodriguez.”

“I see you’ve made new friends.” Anastasia remarked, after going around and shaking everyone’s hand.

“Yeah, it’s a long story. Not really relevant how I know everyone, I don’t think.” Jude waited a moment for everyone to quiet down, then addressed the group. “Alright, here’s what we know. Vanessa was supposed to go to a hotel in San Francisco, but she never actually arrived, and the driver has been delivering false status updates to Mr. Smith.” He turned to Paul. “We need you to figure out where she is, can you do that?”

“I don’t know where she is. I’m not going to find that out using my power.” Paul shook his head. A wave of despair washed over the room, but Paul continued. “However, I do have some other information. They are being held in a prison in a forest. In the prison, the prisoners all have powers, and some of the guards do. The leader is a teenager who can produce fire.”

Jude was slack jawed for a moment at the sheer volume of information Paul had just dumped on them, before coming back to his senses. “What do you mean ‘they’? Just the other prisoners?”

“No, I mean Arte’s girlfriend and Vanessa.” Paul replied flatly.

“Girlfriend?” Jude replied, but was met with no answer.

Arte jumped up, and stepped forwards. “Wait, Ashley’s in a prison? Is she okay?”

Jude put the pieces together. Ashley was Arte’s girlfriend. “They’re both there?”

“One question at a time. Bodily yes, she is fine. She’ll definitely need intense therapy once she gets back. And yes, they’re both there. The odds of that being a coincidence are low. There is one-”

Arte stepped closer to Paul. Jude was unsure about the look in her eye. “How long have you known about this?”

“I’m not sure of the flow of time where I was, but I assume you’re worried about if it was before the phone call. Yes, it was before I first spoke to you.”

“Did you know Daniels was going to find out about Zoey?” She was right in front of him now.

“Yeah, but-”

Arte clocked Paul in the face, before being pulled back by Jude. Paul slowly rubbed his face where she had hit him. The whole room stood in stunned silence.

“Well, alright then.” He nodded. He looked blankly forwards for a while, before continuing. “Anyways-”

Jude put himself between Arte, who was still fuming. He couldn’t believe Paul right now. “Wait a second. Don’t just ‘anyways’ us, why didn’t you mention that?”

“Well, because it doesn’t really matter. She was the best suited to handle the problem. Frankly it’s on you for not coming up with a better plan if that was your goal.”

“Who the hell is Daniels?” Anastasia stepped into the mix, as Mr. Rodriguez and Zoey stayed back.

Jude groaned. This was devolving into a mess. They weren’t going to get anything done at this rate. “Alright, that’s enough. We’re all tired and tense.” He turned back to Anastasia. “After you had left, and Vanessa went on her trip, Mr. Smith basically fired me, and Daniels more or less put me on comfy house arrest.”

“Listen, I’m sorry, Jude. It’s-” Mr. Smith started, but Jude cut him off.

“I’m not mad, I’m just laying out what happened.” He turned back to Anastasia. “Daniels and I are basically at a standoff right now, and he’s threatened Zoey. So we have like four different situations all going on at once, and we can’t afford to be fighting right now.”

“Now, if I may continue…” Paul waited a moment for objections and carried on. “I do not know where Vanessa and Ashley are, but Mr. Smith does.”

Mr. Smith went wide eyed and began to step back from the group.

“He was hoping that I could figure out her location on my own, to absolve him of association with this.” Paul paused for a moment.

“Is this true?” Arte turned to him with a somehow more enraged look.

Mr. Smith started to answer, but Paul cut him off. “However, I brought Mr. Smith along for a reason. He will be more than happy to personally take us to the site where they are being held. As a matter of fact, Gregory is actually on standby in the private jet, waiting for us to arrive. Isn’t that true, Mr. Smith?”

“Yes. It’s at a site in Northern California. We can fly near it, but we’ll need a helicopter to get us the rest of the way.” He hung his head.

“Now, all that is left is to get there, but I believe Jude already knows what he needs to do for that to happen.” Paul smirked, and gestured towards Jude.

“Fine. Everyone with powers, except for Zoey, get ready to go.”

“Actually, she and her father will both need to go with us. They can wait in the helicopter if you like, though.”

Arte turned to Paul again, and Anastasia stepped between them.

“First, when this is over, you and I are going to have a long talk. Second, if I find out you’re putting Zoey in danger again, I will not hesitate to end you.” She glared around Anastasia.

“These conditions are fine. I would not have insisted they go if it weren’t absolutely necessary.” Paul nodded, “Now go Jude, we’re on a tight clock!”

Jude nodded and went over to Arte and Deven. He easily ripped off both of their ankle monitors, and took off out the door. He soared over to the biggest collection of vans, and threw down the two ankle monitors, before ripping off his own. This had gone on long enough. If Daniels wanted to stop him, he’d have to force him to.

Daniels jumped out of one of the vans and stormed over to him. “Just what the hell do you think you’re doing?”

“Our arrangement is over.” Jude spoke calmly, but stern. “Some of my friends are in danger, and we are going to go get them. If you let us go, and don’t tamper with any of our, I will be more than happy to come to a more agreeable arrangement with you. Are these terms acceptable?”

Daniels took a step back and looked down for a few seconds, before looking back to Jude with a look of resignation. “Yes. My men will leave the scene now. The house and all of your things will be waiting for you when you get back. Please call me, and we’ll set up another meeting.” He paused for a moment. “Good luck.”

Jude nodded, and took off back towards the house. Everyone was already piled into Mr. Smith’s SUV, with Deven in the front seat. He climbed into the last open seat, and found himself next to Arte.

“Alright, let’s go.”

His head was throbbing. He would definitely need a nap after dealing with all of that.

 


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(Art credit: WordPress Free Photo Library)

Hello everyone! Again, an announcement about season 3 and a potential hiatus (don’t know if I need one yet, wouldn’t be more than a month), is to come. I’m well on track to finish season 3 in time, unlike I was with season 2 if any of you were around for that. I assure you I have learned my lesson from last time.

Remember, love one another, Black Lives Matter, and trans people are valid. 

 

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