New Vindicators Academy of Europe #6: Patzer's Game
2008 October 13
Eight days had passed since the New Vindicators Academy of Europe awoke and found one of their own gone. Eight days had passed since Beatrice had given Jack the suitcase. Eight days had passed since Lex had found the letter affixed to his door.
Eight days had passed and still, there was no word from Vladislav Radikovich.
Monday greeted Jack. Classes had resumed the day after Vlad had disappeared. Ellen had not shown for half of her classes. With Isaac Newton's departure from the school, his daughter Anne had been withdrawn, leaving Ellen as the only girl left in her class. Without Vlad, she had no one now...
No one but Jack.
Further complicating things, Jack had the sinking suspicion that Kirstie was avoiding him. She smiled when they saw each other, but there was always an excuse--usually one uttered at the speed of light--for why she couldn't stay and chat. Was it because of Ellen? Did Kirstie see how clingy her countryman had become and backed off Jack out of some sort of presumption that they were now together? Or was her avoidance due to the usual suspect?
Monday greeted Jack and before the sun had risen, Ellen was knocking on his door. "Jack?" she asked softly. "Are you awake?"
It was while he was eating his breakfast that Missus Nelson--Tatjana's mother and Doctor Fischer's assistant--came to request Lex stop by the headmistress' office when he had a chance. When he arrived, the American woman cut right to the point: "I'm going to ask you to fulfill one of your duties as prefect: we have a new student enrolling today and I would like you to show him around.
"His name is Kasimir Flaegler. He'll be joining your class and... I was hoping you could help him acclimate with your peers. What do you say, Alexander?"
EMILY and JASON
Emily Adler, Eve Robbins and Jason Lamperogue stood before Mister McClanahan. "And that's dui tempo," he said. Last week, they had started to learn tempo schermistico--an important aspect of Italian fencing--from the man. They had started with stesso tempo--single time--and had now moved on to double time. "Very nice," he said. "You're all dismissed for today..."
Captain Nelson brought the plane down on snow-covered plain and looked back over the small crew that had come with him on this flight. Doctor Stephanie Yavorshak looked out of place wearing the Vindicators uniform, but it provided that minute degree of protection she might need if things turned violent. Diamond Dust and Warder had come with them: Warder had figured out what the therapist and Ursa had been up to and he had let it slip to Diamond Dust.
Their options were to bring them or risk them telling the faculty about their trip. "This is it," Captain Nelson said as he grudgingly climbed from his seat. "This is Moksha..." He looked to Ursa determinedly. "Are you ready to go find your dad?"
As Martin made his way to the headmistress' office, Missus Nelson smiled at him. It had only been a little more than a week since Doctor Yavorshak had arrived. She had made a diagnosis of Tatjana and was seeing his girlfriend more frequently than he was. Still, there had been a noticeable improvement in her mental health: granted, her sleep cycles were erratic and she missed a lot of class, but she was on the road to improvement.
It was ironic that she was on the rebound, considering what the revelation of the Curie family's origins had done to Martin...
When Martin was ushered into to see the headmistress, Doctor Fischer wasted no time in telling him why she had summoned him: "I have a mission for you," she said as she pushed a manila folder to him. Inside was nothing but a photograph of a young man, a map of Australian with a city--Torquay, Victoria--circled, and a criminal record.
Criminal Record wrote:Real Name: Unknown
Known Aliases: Larrikin
Height / Weight: 178 cm / 72.5 kg
Hair / Eyes: Blonde / Blue
It only went on to describe a few accounts of shoplifting and evading arrest. "This Larrikin is a boy your age, Martin. He's also a known Neo-Sapien. I've purposefully redacted any mention of the nature of his abilities from his record. Know this: he is not dangerous and has yet to harm anyone in the course of his criminal spree. Our purpose here is not to throw you to the wolves but--much like the fire exercise in the Wreck Room--to see how you react to surprise.
"You may assemble a team of three to perform under your direction in the field. You may use any sophomore and freshman as you see fit. Further, you will be allowed to request which Vindicator accompanies your group... in the unlikely event that your group needs to call on them for aid.
"Are their any questions?"
The Spaniard emerged from his room and made his way down the hall. As he neared, Mira's door opened and the Englishwoman stumbled out. She immediately blushed at the sight of him. "Good morning," she said with a dopey smile.