Part 43 – Knight’s Castle.

Adelaide rifled through the drawers in the spare bedroom with increasing frustration. Nothing but t-shirts, jeans and underwear. No guns, no knives, nothing. Even a sword would have been nice, if a little weird. She kicked the side of the drawer in frustration.

She’d refused Lee, obviously. The idea of Julian prying around her brain… it creeped her out. She didn’t want him in there at all, creeping around her brain. Lee had pleaded, he’d protested. Julian was being let out by the police, apparently. Not enough evidence. Like that made it any better…

It wasn’t that Adelaide didn’t like Julian. He’d seemed weird, sure, but she was pretty sure that Lee was right about him and that he would do no harm. Still, it was bad enough to know Lee was reading your thoughts. The idea of a more powerful psychic, who could truly burrow into the depths of her subconscious, getting fully into her mind worried her. She didn’t like the idea of what he’d find, her darkest secrets all wrapped up in one place.

So, she’d resigned herself to remembering, straining her brain as hard as she could to regain that forgotten fragment. She was close, so close. It wasn’t something she’d seen, she was sure of that much now. It was something someone had said to her, long ago. Why couldn’t she remember?

It was no use searching if she didn’t know where she should be looking, so she’d decided to go on a different mission instead. So now here she was, hunting through the Knight’s things, or Sarah’s things, whatever. Her next best bet at success was taking out the competition, so if she could find some evidence that the Knight was committing the murders she’d be able to take out her opponent before the competition had even begun.

“What are you looking for?” A bored voice asked from behind her. She looked up, terrified, to see the Knight leaning in the doorway, arms crossed. A smile played across her face.

“Nothing,” Adelaide stood up and tried her most convincing grin.

“Oh at least try to make a convincing excuse,” the Knight stepped into the room and wrapped her arm around Adelaide’s shoulder, ignoring her flinch, “sister, you know you’re welcome in my new room whenever you like, you won’t find anything… unusual in here. Heaven forbid!”

“I know you have a gun,” Adelaide said quietly, “you can’t hide it forever. Anyway I’m not your sister.”

“Oh but that’s the thing,” the Knight appeared unfazed by Adelaide’s accusation, “you are. The Director really is a genius isn’t she? So many threads, and they all join together with us trapped at the centre. I’m sure she’s got backup plans to her backup plans, you know.”

Adelaide looked up at her. There was no hostility in the Knight’s eyes as she looked back.

“Why did you kill those super-humans?” She asked, her voice unusually high-pitched.

The Knight laughed. She had a strange laugh, as though she saw the joke, but didn’t want to overcommit.

“I don’t know why everyone calls them that,” she said after a while. She’d lowered her voice, and held Adelaide closer, almost whispering into her ear, “there’s nothing super about them. They’ve been the scourge of this world for as long as they’ve existed.”

“How can you say that?” Adelaide raised her voice, “How can you call them that? I have friends who are super-humans!”

The look in the Knight’s eyes when the words left her mouth made Adelaide break off. An inky dread settled in her stomach. She shouldn’t have said that. The look in the Knight’s eyes had been one of hunger.

“Oh think about it,” she hissed, “sure, some of them like us to think they’re ‘respectable’ but they’re ticking time bombs, waiting to go off. Power corrupts, that’s its nature. Look at the world, look at society. We’re riven by crime, and you know the reason? It’s them, and it’s always been them. They’re humans like the rest of us, but they have power, power we’ll never know. It’s in their nature to misuse it, to abuse it. It’s in my nature to stop them. Don’t you see? I’m cleaning up this world.”

There was a pause. Adelaide looked at the Knight, trying to find some shred of reason in her eyes. She turned away in disgust, pulling her arm away from the Knight’s grip. She heard her barking laugh.

“The only thing you need to clean up is this room,” she said after a while.

“Well then if you’ll excuse me I’d better set to,” the Knight said. Adelaide nodded, turned and walked to the door as quickly as she could. She was about to shut it when the Knight’s voice stopped her. She looked over.

“Oh sister,” the Knight said, “I almost forgot. Good luck finding those notes. May the best hunter win.”

Adelaide said nothing, shutting the door with a sharp crack. Her walk became a run as she headed away from the Knight’s room and went downstairs and outside as fast as she could. Her hand searched desperately in her pocket for her phone. When she pulled it out she fumbled it and nearly dropped it, and her heart skipped a beat as she just managed to keep her hold. Opening it she went to her contacts and made the call, waiting with blood pounding in her head for Lee to hurry up and pick up the flipping phone.

There was a click and his voice burst from the phone, unusually worried and on edge.

“Adelaide,” he said, “is this about Francis? Have you found him?”

“What?” Adelaide frowned, “No. Is he missing?”

“I haven’t seen him since yesterday evening,” Lee said, “his parents are freaking out. At first I wasn’t so worried, but then… I don’t know.”

“Well no,” Adelaide replied, “I’m sorry. But forget that for a moment, I need your help.”

“Really?” Lee sounded sceptical, “Because I need to find Francis.”

“You can hunt for Francis later and I’ll help,” Adelaide said, “I was wrong, I do want to see Julian.”

“Now that’s what I’m talking about,” said Lee.

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