Proven part III
The silence was a thick presence in the air, one that was suffocating me. Nic broke it.
"Where have wewe been?" he asked.
"Around," I said, "I've been trying to keep low since Cadmus."
"Did wewe get the Weapon?" Alek asked eagerly, "Do wewe have it with wewe know?" He looked at my backpack as if he actually expected I was lugging it around. I thought over my words carefully before answering.
"The Weapon is in a secure location," I said. Not a lie, just not the full truth.
"A secure location?" Jasper repeated. I nodded, then noticed the flashing screen of the laptop out of the corner of my eye.
"What were wewe doing?" I said, striding over to the computer. Alek sat in the chair and I leaned on the back of it.
A document was pulled up on one half of the screen. As Alek typed, zaidi popped up while others disappeared.The other half of the screen was divided again. The lower and upper halves both showed a hallway; the same one only from different angles. The view changed again and again, inaonyesha corridors, lab rooms, and offices. I recognized them.
"Just cleaning up the mess wewe made," Jasper alisema from behind me. I whirled around about to contradict him, but he held up a hand in defense.
"I know it's not your fault that the operation went soth," he said. "But we still have to get rid of the evidence. We're erasing the security footage and deleting reports."
I nodded before turning back to the screens. "Almost done," Alek reported.
"Why did wewe need to be here to do that?" I asked.
"After wewe disappeared," Jasper said, "we called wewe and searched the footage. All we could find were a few glimpses of wewe getting in, getting out, and then the whole building erupting in chaos." "That's my girl," Nic cut in, "ghosting and disapearing."
"When wewe didn't answer our calls," Jasper continued, "we figured wewe had been caught. But we decided to wait here until in case wewe had some how escaped."
I nodded. Since my bedroom had techniquely been our current HQ, they all had access to the apartment. I couldn't help but compare Mt. Justice and my small room. Seeing that I wasn't needed, I went out into the hall. The others didn't notice as they argued over how far back to erase the footage.
I stopped in the jikoni and grabbed a glass of machungwa, chungwa juice, then went to the window.
The scene had only changed slightly. zaidi people were out; restaurants began to open. I watched as a group of school kids ran down the street. Their uniforms matched my own.
"What's up, Aryess?" I didn't turn as Nic came up behind me.
"Nothing," I said.
"Is that why wewe changed the subject?" I tried to ignore him, instead watching Gotham City come to life.
"Where have wewe been, kiddo?" I turned to remind him that he was only a mwaka and a half older than me, but forgot my snide maoni when I realized how close we were. For a moment I was trapped in the 20,000 leages that made up his deep blue eyes.
"I better get to school," I said. I walked back to the hallway and stopped outside my brother's door. I took a breath and touched the Angel charm around my neck before going in.
Daemian's room was simpler than mine. A kitanda bordered one wall, a nightstand inayofuata to it, a dresser, and a desk. It lacked the bright color scheme of mine, and it was much zaidi scholarly. I ran my fingers over the mahogany of the desk, leaving a trail through the dust.
Even before Daemian's disappearance, he hadn't been nyumbani much, and even then he almost never sat at his desk. He often came nyumbani late, especially over the last year. I hadn't known anything about the Weapon, though from the evidence I had found his office at Cadmus, that was what he had been spending so many hours working on.
I rubbed the mist from my eyes, trying to keep the thought that I would never see my brother again from my mind. To distract myself, I crouched inayofuata to the kitanda and brushed my hand under the kitanda until my fingers struck something hard. Grappling for the edge, I slid out a small jewelry box.
An elegant ubunifu of intertwining flowers was etched into the oak wood, highlighted kwa dhahabu paint. The sides of it were charred slightly. I ran a land over the familiar lines, stopping at the brass padlock. This is what I had come for.
"I'll give wewe a ride," Alek said, leaning in the doorway. I took the case off the mto on the kitanda and wrapped the box in it. Then I stuffed it in my backpack.
"I can walk," I said, zipping my pack. As I got up to leave, Alek moved to block the opening. "Are wewe going to make me beat wewe up again?" I asked. I sighed when he didn't budge. "You don't even have a license."
Alek pulled out his wallet and handed me a card. Plain as siku was his full name, his height, and his photo. The birthday on the license stated that he was almost 17.
"Impressive," I said, handing him back his I.D. "But it doesn't change my mind."
"You're so stubborn," he said, moving aside, but his eyes were full of longing and hope. I sighed. He would never force me to go, which only made it worse. He was Nic's opposite.
"Ok," I said, trying to sound defeated, "let's go before I'm late. Where'd wewe park the car?"
The michevious gleam in Alek's eye made me swali my decision.