Chapter 109: Disappearance

Will stared at the ceiling.

It had been eight days. More than a few people had knocked on his door, but it wasn’t hard to convince them he wasn’t there. The only one with a spare key was Lux, and he should be out of the city for a few more days at least.

He hadn’t stayed shut in the whole time. He’d helped look for survivors in the wreckage, and he’d found more than his fair share of them. But after a few days, all the searches were done. After that he’d come home and spent the next day sleeping.

And then he’d just stayed in bed. He’d gotten up when he needed to, but he’d never had to leave the apartment. He pretended that he needed the time to think, but he’d spent most of the time avoiding anything he should be thinking about.

What he really wanted was a distraction, and it had come in last night.

Will was hiding and he knew it. But he was also waiting. His father was calling in the favor he owed, and that meant that some time in the next few hours, he’d be answering the knock at his door.  And then he’d be put on a plane that would fly in circles for a few hours to try and keep him from figuring out where he was going.

The last time he’d owed his father a favor, he’d had to take down an underground base that his father refused to confirm belonged to aliens, despite the fact that he’d met aliens multiple time before. The time before that he’d ended up at a party spying on some annoyingly rich people his father thought might be funding criminal organizations. Before that his father had taken him fishing.

That one had actually been the worst. Even halfway across the country, he could occasionally feel his father’s powers influencing him; tiny ideas and emotions would pop into his brain for no reason. When they got too close, his father’s powers became a constant buzzing in the back of his head. He could ignore it, just like most people did without even thinking about it, but it was a constant nuisance and he hadn’t been able to sleep for the entire three day trip.

Technically, he had only offered one day. But his father would use that day for all it was worth. And the day didn’t technically start until the mission did.  A one day debt could keep him gone for a week if it was spread out enough.

There was a knock at the door.

Will took his time getting out of bed. He grabbed his crumbled coat off the ground and shook it out. There was another knock, more insistent this time. Will grabbed a drink from his refrigerator and took a long sip before he opened the door.

A black suit stood on the other side. He held his tongue professionally, but there was extra effort going into his stoic face that made Will feel a little better.

“Time to go,” Will said.

The suit turned around and led Will down the hall and to a plain black sedan.

It was time to see how long his father would make the day last.

&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&

Rachel Chase waited outside of her brother’s hospital room. She’d spent as long as she could inside, but she couldn’t stand it any longer. He spent most of his time staring blankly at the TV, whether it was could barely even get him to eat, and he’d left half his meals unfinished.

She needed to move. She turned down the hall and went to Tina’s room. Visiting her had been one of the few things that let Rachel stay at her brother’s side without breaking down. But that wouldn’t last much longer. She’d be checking out in two days, and Rachel would lose the only distraction she had left.

Rachel paused outside the room. Voices floated through the cracked door.

“I know you haven’t been able to leave the hospital, but we’re asking everyone who’s had contact with him recently. No one has seen him in a week, and when they finally got into his apartment, it looked like he was preparing for a trip.”

She recognized the voice, but she couldn’t remember his name.

“No, he didn’t stop by. I haven’t seen him since before the attack.”

“I thought as much, but people are starting to worry. He hasn’t disappeared in quite some time, but when he does, something usually ends up happening.”

“I’ll let you know if I hear anything. Thanks for stopping by, Aidos.”

Rachel heard him walking towards the door, but didn’t move. He didn’t look at her when he passed by, he just turned the other direction and walked away.

Rachel waited a few seconds before she walked into the room.

Tina turned toward her with a smile, but it quickly fell away. “You haven’t gone home yet, have you?”

Rachel froze and, eventually, shook her head.

Tina sighed. “It’s been a week. Driving yourself crazy isn’t going to do him any good.”

“What am I supposed to do? I can’t leave him here.”

“Mitch isn’t going anywhere. When he comes out of this, do you think he’ll want to see you looking like that?”

Rachel shook her head.

“Good,” Tina laid back in bed. “If you go now you’ll avoid traffic. We can talk then.”

Rachel turned to walk out. But she paused.

“What was that guy in here before me talking about?”

Tina turned back. “He was my contact for the meetings. The Council has been sending people out asking if anyone’s seen Will. They’ll probably ask you too.”

“Will’s missing? Who could-“ Rachel paused. Tina didn’t know who Will used to be. She hadn’t heard the same stories, or at least didn’t know he had anything to do with them. It didn’t sound like anyone had taken him against his will, but if someone had managed to do it, and been able to do it without raising chaos, then that meant someone was planning something huge.

“I’m sure it’ll be fine,” Rachel said. “Will can take care of himself. They didn’t trust him with you guys for no reason.”

She wished she could be so sure.

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