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Jade looked around the park. It had been three months since they had destroyed the Council's Icon, the source of their power, and she knew it was only a matter of time before they found the other. When they had gotten back to the Castle, she told Derek what she knew of the Icon. It was said to have been crafted in the early 1100's as a way for a group of religious zealots in Egypt to gain increased mental powers and retake Egypt in the name of the old gods. One Icon was crafted for the followers of Anubis, the other for the followers of Sekmet. The Icon Darrell destroyed, belonged to the followers of Sekmet. Alex turned up a Legacy record of the second Icon surfacing in the 1530's and no other mention was made of it since.
As Jade walked through the park, her mind wandered back to the recently recovered memories. Her childhood had been molded from the second she was born. Stolen from her rightful parents, she was raised by the council. She remembered their early games didn't just teach them to use their bodies, but their minds as well. Of all the 30 children she remembered in her first 18 years, she now knew all but 10 had died facing the Icon.
For the Icons power to work, you had to freely give to it your immortal soul. Those that refused, died. She was the only one to live through the refusal. She remembered the screams of those who died, and the bodies of all the people she ever cared about laying broken at her feet. Jade resolved to make the Council pay. Even though she realized those ruling it now were some of the very same children she was raised with. One of them was even her twin brother. Jade had seen his aura was twisted and evil. She had to try to save his soul, she owed it to him. If she couldn't........she didn't know what she would do.
Jade continued her walk, knowing that soon the battle would be joined. The Council vs The Legacy. Light against Dark. Jade hoped everyone would be ready.
* * *
The Council adjourned. Twelve members of the directing board stood around their new table. Soon it would be time, the second Icon had been found and was now nested in a new, safer location. Now it was time to begin again. But first, Derek Rayne and his friends would have to be destroyed.
"Shall we begin?" The head of the council sat in his appointed chair. The others sat in theirs.
"It will be easier to defeat them if we can isolate them from each other somehow. Maybe to undermine their friendship." A newer member spoke up.
"I believe I have an idea." A woman spoke up. The same one that had tortured Derek those months ago.
"Go ahead , sister." The chairman smiled.
"The priest is a weak link, as well as the girl. I propose we concentrate on breaking their link to the others." She looked around the table.
"And how do you propose we do that?" Another member asked.
"It has come to my attention that there is a member of the church we can exploit to help us destroy Father Callaghans reputation. It is know he doesn't like the Father very much, so he may not question the source of the information. I have a way to get this person certain videotapes that will facilitate this. He won't know anything other a 'concerned citizen' has dropped this in his hands . As for the girl, she still believes she can turn her brother away from us. As we know this is not true, we can use this to our advantage." She took her seat and awaited the response.
The room was silent as the tally was taken. It was unanimous. The Council was back in business.
* * *
Unaware that anything was being plotted against him, Philip Callaghan was once again enjoying himself. The fact that he couldn't remember the day spent in the Councils fortress, had long since ceased to bother him. Rachel had told him that the memory would return, or it wouldn't. Right now, that day didn't matter. The only thing that held his attention was that St. Bart's soccer team was one goal away from winning their league.
It had been a hard tournament. The teams had been evenly matched and only one great play stood between them and the victory. It was the third sudden death overtime, if they didn't get a goal in the next few minutes, it would go to a shoot out.
"Mark, cover your man!" Philip shouted. The defender had been concentrating on the ball, not the player he was to guard, and Philip had to remind him before the other team could take advantage of it.
Without warning, one of the others teams players, passed the ball in front of the net. Jacob, St.Bart's goalie, swooped in to pick it up. With lightning quickness, he spotted Julio open on the other side of the field. Before anyone could react, Jacob kicked it too him. Julio dribbled the ball and used his speed and agility to maneuver around his first defender. By this time the two teams were starting to react to the fast break. Julio only had to get by the goalie. The goalie, sensing that he was on the spot rushed Julio, cutting down his angle to the net. Just before the two collided, Julio lobbed the ball over the goalies head, the ball landed in the goal.
The crowd cheered, St.Bart's had defeated the League champs for the first time in 5 years. Phillips attention was not on the celebrating crowd and players, but on Julio, who hadn't gotten up yet. Slowly the goalie had picked himself up, but Julio hadn't moved. It had been a hard crash.
Suddenly, the referee blew the end game whistle. Philip rushed out to the fallen boy. Julio was lying on his back, staring up at the sky.
"Did it ........go in?" Julio sounded out of breath.
"It did indeed." Philip answered. "Where do ya hurt?"
"Just...got the wind....knocked out of me!" Julio sat up. Smiling Philip helped him to his feet and the celebration began.
Cardinal Aranna walked up to Philip after the revelers had gone home. He had enjoyed seeing the match, especially after the victorious team had invited the losing team to the small celebration at the church. Philip had taken the congratulations of the parents and parishioners with good grace, saying the boy's did all the hard work.
"Well, my son. You did a fine job with the team this year." He grinned at the slight blush the younger priest displayed.
"Thank you , yer Grace." Philip bent to clean up some trash lying on the floor. Cleaning up after the party had gone fast since most of the team members had helped before they left.
"I noticed we had a gang in attendance. I was worried there for a minute." The Cardinal was puzzled as to why an entire gang had come to watch the game and cheer St Bart's on.
"They sometimes come over and scrimmage against th' boys. It's helped tremendously t' have them" Philip hid a smile, remembering all the bruises the lads had suffered before they learned to be quicker.
"Well, I hope the peace continues." The Cardinal was always impressed with Philip's sometimes unorthodox solutions.
Before Philip could reply, Bishop Douglas entered the church in a rush. He was clutching a videotape in his hand and looked agitated. He saw Philip and his scowl deepened. He strode up to the two and rather rudely asked to see the Cardinal privately. Philip excused himself saying he needed to go over his sermon for tomorrows mass. Something was wrong, he could feel it. And it wasn't going to be good.
* * *
Back on Angel Island, Derek, Nick and Alex were putting the finishing touches on the reports for the London Ruling House. Sloan had come unglued when he found out about Derek's and Philip's kidnapping and treatment at the hands of the Council. The threat warnings had been put out and attempts to find the second Icon had failed. Sloan had every house searching for more information on the new threat. He had also given Derek a severe lecture for not informing him the second things happened.
"Well, thats the last info we have in the Icon. Three weeks ago it was found in Egypt and brought into the country, but from there it disappeared." Nick paced the table. He kept stretching his shoulder, he had slowly been building it back up to strength after his shooting.
"I guess Sloan will have to accept the fact that it was lost. Who was on it?" Derek looked up from the personal report he was writing.
"It was last seen by a member of the new Cairo house, they are still figuring out how it was smuggled out of the country." Alex pulled up the data.
"Then we can expect the Council to have it?" Derek dreaded the answer.
"It's a good bet" Nick's voice was tinged in anger. He did not want those people to get their hands on the Icon. It would be serious bad news.
Derek sighed. Sloan was not going to like this. He didn't particularly like the idea of The Council rising into power again. The last time had nearly cost them everything.
"Let's keep an eye on all children known to have talent, they may try to rebuild their numbers. Alex , call Rachel and have her bring Kat and herself here for safety." The Precept turned to Nick. "Let's make sure they cannot breach security again. Tighten up on everything. If a mouse comes to Angel Island I want to know."
"You got it." With that Nick went off.
Derek hoped he was wrong. He hoped his latest visions of the Legacy burning down to ash, was not the premonition he feared. But he knew a fight was on it's way to them. And the enemy would be the Council.
* * *
Philip was about to retire what Luke Quinlan came looking for him. Philip became alarmed at the startled look on his friends face.
"What is it Luke?" Philip dreaded the answer for reasons he could not explain.
"The whole Diocese council is here. Bishop Douglas called them. Philip, I think the Bishop has flipped. You are being accused of misconduct. He's calling to have you removed from the order!" Luke's face was white.
"Wha'?" Philip was puzzled. What could he have done to warrant this.
"They are convening tonight, here at the church. Philip, this is really scaring me." Luke admitted quietly.
"When does the Diocese want me to appear before them?" Philip was amazed at how calm his voice was.
"Immediately!" Luke glanced in the direction of the chambers. "Get a shower and I'll see you there."
Philip was filled with dread. What was going on! What could he have done that was so wrong that he was called before his peers like this? Hurriedly Philip took his shower and dressed in his formal uniform. In minutes he stood before the Diocese committee.
"Father Callaghan, we have convened this council in emergency session because we have received evidence of gross misconduct. We all have seen this videotape, now we will play it for you. I hope you have an answer, for your continued involvement in the priesthood is in question." The head of the Diocese Committee handed a tape to Father Quinlan, who reluctantly put it in the VCR.
Seconds later a horrified and shocked Philip watched a man savagely beat another, almost to death, before the tape cut out. The figure was himself!
Unaware of the problems Philip was facing, Alex and Nick were going over the accounts of the missing babies, looking for the parents Jade was denied. It was only last week Jade had admitted that the man she had captured was her twin brother. Alex had been searching all the lD records, looking for missing twins. She came up with 22 different sets of parents who "lost" their children under mysterious circumstances. It was turning out to be another long fruitless search. Now, a week later, Alex and Nick had narrowed it down to three sets of parents. It was time for Jade to choose the next step.
Meanwhile Derek was going through all his fathers old journals, looking for any clues to the origins of the Council. He was having no luck. Jade had come home earlier in the evening from visiting friends in the city. She was now with Alex and Nick looking through computer records of prospective parents. Derek hoped that Jade would find what she was looking for. He knew she wanted to know where she came from and who she had been ripped away from. He couldn't blame her. Derek turned another page, he scanned over more accounts that he vaguely remembered from his childhood. In a bitter moment Derek wondered if he ever mattered to his father as much as the Legacy did. The phone ringing interrupted these dark thoughts.
"Luna Foundation, Derek Rayne speaking." He answered offhandedly.
"Dr.Rayne? This is Cardinal Robert Aranna. " There was strain in his voice.
"Yes, Cardinal. Is there something I can help you with?" Derek was puzzled. Why was he calling here?
"Dr.Rayne, something has happened down here at the church. I........." The Cardinal broke off hesitantly.
"Is there something wrong with Philip?" Derek began to get a bad feeling.
"Not physically, but I think you should come down here. He is very upset and I think it would be best if he spent some time away from the church" The Cardinal sounded more than a little upset himself.
"I thought Philip had duties this weekend, I don't think he will want to leave." Derek couldn't imagine Philip leaving the church while on duty.
"Father Philip Callaghan was suspended from his duties this evening. I don't know why I think this, but somehow I think you can help." The Cardinal was in full blown rage now, a fact Derek did not miss.
"What happened, Philip would never do anything to warrant that!" Derek was shocked.
"I will tell you more when you get here. Will you come and get him?" Cardinal Aranna paused for the reply.
"Of course, I'll be there right away!" Derek's shock turned to anger. This was not right!
"Thank you. We will be waiting." The phone hung up.
Derek rather distractedly walked out of his study and right into Alex.
"Derek , what's wrong" She immediately noticed the shock and anger on his face.
"Something has happened to Philip at the church. I'm going there to pick him up." Derek grabbed his coat and headed for the door.
"Derek!" Alex was puzzled. "What happened?"
"I don't really know, I'll find out when I get there. Alex, I think this is the beginning." Derek walked to the door, which Duncan opened.
"The beginning of what?" Nick interrupted from the stairs.
"Round 2." With that Derek was gone.
* * *
The Council eagerly awaited the report of their success or failure. The video tape had been delivered to Bishop Douglas, who promptly took it to his superiors. The last their informant told them was that the Diocese committee had convened in an emergency session, Father Philip Callaghan was the topic.
It would not be long now before the second move would be in place. But little did the council know, their plan would work beyond their wildest dreams.
* * *
Derek pulled into the church's main parking lot to find Cardinal Aranna waiting for him outside. Derek parked the car, opened the door and was on the church steps before he could even think of what he was doing. The Cardinal's face was so sad,he knew it was bad.
"What happened?" Derek wasted no time in pleasantries.
"A video tape of Philip in a brutal fight found it's way to Bishop Douglas. He showed it to the committee and they suspended him from all duties until the matter is cleared up. One way or another." The Cardinal's voice was hard.
"Didn't Philip defend himself" Derek was puzzled.
"Father Callaghan maintains he has no recollection of what's on the tape. He was just as shocked as the rest of us were." They walked into the offices. Philip sat in the same chair as he had when facing the Diocese committee. He hadn't moved. His face was a blank mask of shock. And there was a lost look in his eyes that left Derek cold.
"He hasn't moved." The Cardinal confirmed. "He's been like that since they handed down their verdict. I have made sure no one would disturb him until you came."
"Thank you " Derek walked into the room. this was not going to be easy for him.
"Philip?" he said softly. No response. He repeated it a little louder. "Philip!"
"What are you doin' here?" Philip eyes didn't change.
"Cardinal Aranna called me." Derek came to Philip's side. "I am here to take you back to the Luna Foundation for awhile, if you want."
"It's not like I can stay here!" The bitterness in Philip's voice made Derek wince. Philip was taking this very badly. But Derek expected no less.
"Do you need anything from your room?" The precepts voice was full of sympathy.
Philip just shook his head and stood up. He woodenly followed Derek out to his car and climbed in. Not one word was said all the way back to the Legacy. Philip never noticed the sad eyes of Cardinal Aranna, Sister Margaret, and Father Quinlan following him out the church door.
* * *
Darrell was about to go to sleep when a knock on his door halted that idea. Opening the door he was surprised to see his Second, Izzy, hovering on the other side.
"Come on in Izzy. What's up?" Darrell pulled the door aside and let his friend in.
"Something's going on down at the Church, I was walking by it a few minutes age when I saw Father C walking out with one of the dudes from the Luna Foundation." Izzy looked distracted.
"Who? Nick?" Darrell asked frowning.
"Nah, the older dude." Izzy corrected.
"Derek?" Now Darrell was curious. He had been half wanting to go to Father C's mass tomorrow anyway, maybe he would use this as an excuse."I'll go to the church tomorrow morning and see what's up."
"Cool, better you than me, bro!" With that Izzy left.
Darrell was disturbed, Father C was one of the only people who treated him with any dignity. Father Luke was alright , but since the fight with the Council, Darrell felt an attachment to Father C. He wouldn't let this go until he found out what was wrong.
* * *
When Derek got Philip back to the Legacy house, he knew this was going to be hard. They all knew what he had done when Alex was attacked, but Philip in his confused state of mind, at the time, never did retain those memories. Until now, Derek had been glad.
He had phoned the house to see if Rachel had gotten there with Kat safely, Alex said they were there. Philip had come out of his state long enough to ask what was wrong. When Derek told him of his suspicions that the Council was back. Philip shook his head and muttered something about bad timing.
Derek entered the house behind a cautious Philip. The others were waiting for them in the study.
"Philip, are you alight.?" Alex looked at her friend worridly.
"Not really, but I'll live " Philip didn't really want this meeting, but he somehow knew he might get answers.
"I have a feeling that tape is from when you were in that warehouse the Council used as their headquarters." Nick broke in before anyone else. No use sugarcoating it, Philip didn't look like he was in the mood.
"I thought that might be it, but I don't really know how that will help me?" Philip sighed and sank into a chair.
"Tell us exactly what it was you saw on the tape , maybe that will help." Rachel broke in. She had been afraid of this.
Philip relayed the short scene to them, he almost couldn't make himself say the words. The scene was so horrible to him. When he was done he looked at his hands, afraid the others would condemn him for his actions like the church had. He missed the guilty looks of those around him.
"Philip, listen to me." Derek began. It was time for the truth, no matter what, Philip had to know. "That wasn't all."
Philip looked up at him in shock. More!
Derek steeled himself and moved on. "What you can't remember is what they did to you. The played with your mind, psychically ripping it to shreds. You were disoriented and confused by the time we could find or help you. Alex found you and tried to use her sight to repair some of the damage."
"I was attacked by three men, Philip" Alex looked her friend in the eyes. "You were still mostly out of it , but when they tried to rip my shirt off, you pulled them off of me."
"If that is what the tape is from, why didn't it show that.?" Philip jumped in.
"I don't know, but it bears finding out." Derek glanced around the table and saw determination on every ones face except Philip, who still looked a little lost.
"Tell me exactly what I did." Philip was staring at Alex.
"Well...You grabbed the first guy and threw him into a wall. The second you decked with a right cross to the jaw, the third one was who the tape was about." Alex paused. "It wasn't a pretty fight, by the time the others got there he had pretty much knocked you out with a chair."
Something suddenly occurred to Philip. The others. They all knew!!! Philip was in shock. The knew, and didn't say a single word! He began to feel a little betrayed. Then, unbidden a memory returned. They were leading him out of the room, he remembered saying "Who did this then" then he remembered them smiling. They had smiled at the fact he had beaten somebody up.
"Philip?" It was Rachel. "Are you alight?"
"I remember a little more." he looked accusingly at them. "You all knew what I had done, even if I didn't. I didn't realize what you were smiling about when we left the room until now."
Derek's heart sank. this was not going right. Instead of helping, they were making thins much worse!
"Philip we...." Derek got no further.
"ENOUGH" Philip shouted, at the end of his rope. Philip ran his hands through his hair, trying to keep his emotions under control. He need to get out of here and think. He ignored every ones guilty expressions and stood up. Without another word he left the house.
Derek started to go after him. Rachel grabbed his arm and stopped him.
"He needs to work this out before he can see any of us again. I think we were wrong not to tell him what he did, but what's done is done. Now we have to let him go or lose him forever!" Rachel was sadder than she could imagine. Good intentions had backfired, and once again Philip was paying the price.
The house was silent.
* * *
The informant was extatic! The priest was even more out of sorts with the others than they had ever hoped. This was too good to pass up. Calling the Council, the agent decided it might be time for the priest to disappear!
Philip sat on the docks, running over the nights revelations in his head. He just couldn't believe that they all had kept this from him, and now he could be thrown out of his order and he still had no answers. What was he going to do now? He couldn't go back to the church, it would be to painful for him, and he couldn't stay here. Damn them!
"Philip?" A voice behind him interrupted his musings.
Philip whirled around in anger, he calmed somewhat when he realized it was Rachel.
"I don't want to talk about this right now Rachel!" He warned her.
"I know,I just came out here to give you an option." Her voice was uncharacteristically soft. She held out a set of keys to him." If you want, these are the keys to my house. Kat and I will be here, and......"
Philip sighed and took them. "Thank you Rachel."
She gave him a small smile and turned beck to the house.
Philip looked at the keys in his hand and sighed, his heart easing just a little. Well, at least I have a place to go! he thought as he boarded the ferry for the mainland, leaving the Legacy behind him. He didn't notice two shadows following him.
* * *
The Council was glowing in triumph. Their plan had exceeded their expectations, Father Callaghan had completely cut himself off from his friends at the Luna Foundation, all they had to do was follow him to see where he would go. Then they could take him at any time.
As for the girl, now was the time to lure her away from them. One by one they would peel Rayne's friends away from him, then it would be his turn. And this time they would not be denied their victory!
* * *
When Rachel returned to the house, she was mugged by the anxious members of the Legacy.
"Is he alright?" Alex was the first to speak.
"Did he talk to you?" Nick was next, right over the top of Alex's question.
"Hold on people" Rachel held up her hands in defense. "He didn't talk to me, He isn't ready. I doubt he will for awhile. I simply gave him the keys to my house. I figured we all would rest a little easier knowing where he went."
"An excellent idea, Rachel" Derek said moving towards his private study. "When Philip is ready, we will discuss this further,"
"What?" Nick said angrily. "You mean we are going to do nothing!"
"What can we do,Nick." Derek stopped at the top of the stairs. "Until Philip works this out in his head, there is nothing we can do for him. Tomorrow we will continue to work on our 'Council' problem, but I think we won't get anything more done tonight."
Nick stared at his precepts retreating back. He was furious with himself for not saying anything to his friend sooner. He just figured Philip would eventually find out on his own. Guilt began to gnaw at his conscience, then an idea struck him. The tape the Bishop had, was that all that was on it, or was the rest there too?
Alex saw a new expression cross Nick's face, he was planning something. Half dreading what he would do Alex decided not to interfere. Nick would never deliberately do anything to hurt their quiet friend, so she left him to his plotting. Going up to the hologram, she slipped inside to do some work, there was no way she could sleep now!
Jade had been awakened from a light sleep by Philip's outburst. Casting her mind out, she found Phillips first. Instantly she knew what had happened. Sadness overtook her. Philip was like a real father to her, there was no way she was going to let him be destroyed like this. In the back of her mind, she realized that she knew the Council was behind the sending of the videotape to the church.
Jade cast her mind out farther, looking for one of their agents, where they manipulated things there was always someone right there to report success or failure to them. Then she spotted him, shadowing Philip. She had to warn him! Getting out of bed, she hurriedly dressed and sneaked past the others and out the door. At a discrete distance she followed the agent. Jade vowed never to let them hurt her friends again!
* * *
Darrell was startled awake at another knock at his door. It was now 3:00 am and someone was going to die for this early intrusion.
"Darrell! Wake up! This is really important!" Izzy shouted through the door.
"Hang on, I'm coming." Darrell groaned, he really hated mornings like these. He got up and opened the door. Izzy practically ran him down in excitement.
"Our guy at the docks spotted Father C leaving the ferry an hour ago!" Izzy rushed on. "Bear said he looked REALLY upset and hailed a Taxi. He didn't go back to the church!"
"That's odd?" Darrell was starting to get concerned. "Where did he go?"
"To his friend, the lady shrinks house. You know , the one with the cute little girl?" Izzy liked showing off how much information he knew.
Darrell nodded. Ever since Jade had told him the Council would be back, he made his boys keep a sharp look out for anything resembling their mode of operations. He had even gone so far as to call a gang leaders meeting ,under truce, and inform them as well. Nobody liked baby stealers, and when Darrell told them they had tried to injure a priest, it was quickly agreed to all co-operate on this.
"There's more." Izzy looked scared. "He was followed "
Darrell swore. It was beginning. "Did you see who it was?"
"Well...." Izzy fidgeted uncomfortably
"Spit it out Izzy! I'm not in the mood!" Darrell growled. Izzy paled.
"There were two. One were pretty sure is Council, the other was following him. It was Jade!" Izzy mentally ducked. He knew Darrell really liked the girl, but would never admit it.
"What does she think she is doing!" Darrell shouted. "Alright, Izzy, get everybody up. Send a group to make contact with her quietly. I will go to the church as planned to get information. Put the word out. It's coming down."
"Right!" Izzy sped out the door.
"Damn it! What the hell is going on here!" Darrell pulled on his clothes and waited for his crew to arrive.
* * *
Jade had followed the Council agent and Philip to Rachel Corrigan's house. Settling down to watch, she found her mind rolling back to her days on the street. It was still hard for her to believe she had survived over a year like she had. She owed Father Callaghan everything. A soft rustling behind her announced the arrival of someone. She blended into the bushes. Shortly she saw a member of Darrells gang look around.
"What do you want?" she whispered from cover.
The boy jumped a little, but creditably stayed silent.
"Darrell sent us to keep watch on you. The others are near." He found a hole and settled into it.
"Alright, I suppose if anything really happens, more of us IS better. Now be quiet and keep a look out." Jade whispered. She looked at her watch, It was now 6:30, almost dawn. If anything was going to happen , now would be the time!
She was not disappointed, as if on cue a Black van approached the house and stopped outside. Three other men joined the watcher and they went inside the house.
Jade turned to the gang member who was already on his feet. "Get the others and hurry!" She said and then she ran towards the house.
She heard the sharp bird call that the boy gave off and was impressed when seven more boys came out of the morning mist. She motioned for the boys to ambush anyone coming out the doors of the house. With a grin , one disabled the car. They had just gotten set in their positions, when the Council thugs carried Philip out. Jade smelled chloroform and realized they had drugged him. She gave the signal.
Like a well oiled machine, the gang members doubled up on three of the men and Jade and one of the boys took out the man carrying Philip. in a matter of minutes, it was over. Jade hadn't wanted anyone to be killed, she had told the boy's it would be better to have them go back to their 'masters' and report failer, than kill them.
Jade looked at the unconscious priest. Now what? The boys pulled up in their cars.
"Come with us. We can hide you until it's safe!" One said opening his door.
Jade felt a familiar mind touch hers. Her brother was near! She had to get Philip out of here!
"Take him," She told the boy who had picked Philip up. "There's something I need to do."
"Darrell won't like this!" the boy said.
"If I don't do this, He will like the results even less! Now get Father Callaghan to safety!" Jade stared the boy down.
He nodded and walked to the car. In seconds they were gone,leaving her alone.
"Hello again, Sister" Came a voice from behind her.
* * *
Darrell walked up to the church at 7:45, the morning mass started at eight. He immediately noticed the anxious and agitated people who had gathered. Usually the mornings were full of cheer and smiles, something had gone terribly wrong. Darrell spotted Julio, the elation of the win in yesterdays game was gone from his face and he wore an angry expression. Darrell hailed him over.
"What's going on?" Darrell asked casually.
"We got here this morning to find the Bishop was giving Mass today, we asked if Father C was alright. He told us he had been suspended from duties, something about misconduct. Mom says it's real serious." Julio was angrier that Darrell ever remembered seeing him.
"Did any of the others say anything?" Darrell motioned towards the church.
"Father Luke got real upset and walked back inside without a word. It's so bullshit! Father C would never do anything bad!" Julio exploded.
"No, he wouldn't!" Darrell needed to talk with Father C and soon. His own anger rising, he failed to notice Julio looking at him expectantly.
Julio grabbed his arm. "You know where he is, don't you?"
Darrell nodded, "You know I won't let anything happen to him"
"Tell him from me, I don't believe a word of this!" Julio let him go and walked back to his family.
Darrell strolled back to his car. He had a strange feeling this was only the beginning!
Jade turned to face her brother. He looked a little leaner than she had last seen him.
"Hello Brian." She said quietly.
"So. You remember my name now." He smirked unpleasantly. "It will make my job that much easier."
"What job?" Jade backed up a step.
"Oh, you know." His smile was full of malice. "The Council wants you back, dear sister! I'm to bring you!"
"Why do you stay with them? There is so much more for you out here! Please, brother, come with me. I will help you." Jade pleaded.
Brian paused, looking at her intently. "I think you really believe that." Was all he said.
"Of course I do. You and I can be together out here. We can be free of anyone controlling us, isn't that better?" Jade held out her hands to him.
He seemed on the verge of something when his gray eyes hardened and turned black. He grabbed her arms tightly, causing her to wince. His face twister into such an expression of hate she cried out in shock.
"It's too late, little sister. I like what I do. Now, your right about one thing, we will be together. Just not in the way you think. The second Icon is so much more powerful, the Council doesn't even know yet. When you join with it we will be able to overthrow the council and rule!" He was almost hissing at her.
Jade realized he was mad. The new Icon had stole his sanity. She had to get away and warn Derek!
"There is no getting away from me, Kara. Your precious Derek cannot help you now!" He laughed at her amazement. He had heard her every thought.
"My name is not Kara anymore! I am Jade!" She shouted defiantly.
He just laughed unpleasantly and started dragging her to his car. He clamped one hand over her mouth when she tried to scream for help. In a last ditch effort, she tried to link her mind to Dereks, he blocked her attempt and gave her a telepathic whammy. Her world went dark.
* * *
Derek woke up suddenly. He thought he had felt something touch his mind. Someone was panicked and searching for him. It wasn't a vision, but Derek couldn't shake the feeling something was very wrong. He had not slept much. Phillips leaving that night weighed heavily on his conscience. He agreed with Rachel that Philip needed to sort this out for himself, but he hated the look of despair he had seen in his eyes as he walked out of the house.
Getting up he realized it was already 8:15. Time to get up anyway. He showered and dressed automatically, his thoughts far away. He descended the stairs to the breakfast room and found Alex and Nick already talking with Rachel over coffee. None of them looked like they had gotten any sleep.
"Good morning" The precept greeted them with a small smile.
"Morning Derek." Alex yawned.
"From how you look, I see you slept about as well as we did. " Rachel said taking a sip of her coffee.
"Yes, well.......' Derek started to tell them of his dreams, when the phone interrupted him.
"Luna Foundation" Duncan smoothly answered. He listened for awhile then frowned a little. "Yes she is here, will you hold on a minute please? Thank you."
He turned to the anxiously waiting group. "It is for you Dr. Corrigan. It's your neighbor."
Puzzled Rachel reached for the phone. "This is Rachel?" She wondered what was wrong. Probably Mrs. Jenkins saw Philip go into her house and thought he was a burglar.
Nick saw Rachels face turn from puzzlement to shock. He began to get worried when Rachel interrupted the babble from the other side.
"Don't worry about it. I will be right there. No, you can tell the police I am on my way. Bye" Rachel turned breathlessly to the waiting trio. "That was my neighbor, Mrs. Jenkins. The police are at my house, apparently someone broke in and there was some damage to the property!"
"Philip?" Derek asked.
"She said the house was empty." Rachel's voice was filled with concern.
"Let's go" Nick leapt to his feet and headed towards the dock. Concern for his friend foremost in his mind.
"Alex..." Derek was about to ask her to stay when the look on her face stopped him. She simply raised an eyebrow and followed Nick out the door. Sighing Derek joined them on the docks. Nick fired up the launch and they boarded the boat and were on their way.
* * *
Darrell headed to the abandoned house that was the meeting place for his boys, he intended for Izzy to call everyone in, but when he turned the corner, he saw that they were already there. Something was up. He entered the house, passing the sentries with a nod.
"Darrell" Izzy called him from the top of the stairs. "You had better come up here."
"What is it, Izzy?" Darrell asked on the was up.
Izzy just motioned him into the main room upstairs, the old master bedroom. Darrell walked into the room, puzzled at his seconds behavior. What he saw on the lone mattress in the corner made him stop dead in his tracks.
Father C lay on the mattress. He could see no blood on the priest, but he wasn't moving. Quickly crossing over to him, Darrell checked for a pulse. Thankfully it was strong and steady.
"What happened?" He looked up at the boy who had the job of following him the night before.
"He got to the house, went to bed and all seemed quiet. This girl shows up, I think her name is Jade, and she tells us to stand by, something was coming down." The boy paused. Darrell nodded encouragingly. "Well, sure enough these four dudes show up and take him. They try to leave but we get him back. Jeff said to bring him here."
"Where's Jade?" Darrell had a bad feeling wash over him. There was no way that if she saw Father C in trouble, she would not be by his side.
"That's the funny thing, she told us to take him and leave. Said you wouldn't like the consequences if we didn't" The boy shrugged.
"Anyone watching her?" Darrell looked around.
"Corey stayed behind. But he hasn't reported in yet" Izzy broke in.
Just then Philip groaned and started to wake up. He opened his eyes and seeing unfamiliar people, he shoved himself back.
"Easy Father C, " Darrell moved into his view. "You safe."
"Wha'?" He shook his head as if to clear it. Still fuzzy from the drug.
"Your in a house at the edge of the suburb. If you want I can call Derek and let him know your here?" Darrell was surprised ant the vehement shake of Phillips head and the words that followed.
"No! I don' want him interferin' with this." Philip turned away from him and looked out the window.
Darrell could only wonder at what could have happened between the two friends to cause this rift. Philip turned back to him, calmer now.
"I need some time t' think, Darrell. I Can't involve them right now." He looked serious.
"O.k. Padre. you can stay here for as long as you want and nobody will say a word" As puzzled as he was, he knew he couldn't pry. It wasn't his business.
"Do you need anything?" Darrell finally asked, he motioned the others to leave. They obeyed silently and soon the two men were alone.
"No" Philip sighed. "I just need t' do some thinking'"
"Right, If you do need anything, just ask any one of the boys. You'll get it." Darrell paused. "I saw Julio at the church this morning."
Philip closed his eyes and shook his head.
"He want's you to know,nobody believes what is being said. They believe in you" With that he closed the door behind him.
* * *
When Nick pulled up to Rachel's house there were still three police cars in her drive and around the curb. Rachel pulled up right after parked her car in the driveway. Derek had figured they might have to split up for a search and the two cars were brought. A police sergant noticed them and came over.
"I'm Sgt. Miller, is one of you Dr. Corrigan?" He asked politely.
"I am " Rachel walked with him into the house, the others following. What greeted them on the inside shocked them. The house was completely torn apart. "Oh my g...."
"Dr. Corrigan, the neighbor said a young men came into the house shortly after 9:45 p.m. last night. Did you give permission for anyone to be here?" He took out his note pad.
"Yes a friend of mine Father Philip Callaghan, I gave him my keys so he could stay here." She looked about in shock. From what she saw, it looked like Philip had decided to sleep on the couch.
"Since he's not here, I'm assuming something happened to him. I'm going to put out an APB on him immediately. Do you have a picture of him, or can you describe him for me." Sgt. Miller saw the concern on their faces and when he had heard the "father" in front of the name, he decided to act fast and beg forgiveness from his superiors later.
Derek gave the description to the officer while the others broke off to look around. Nick barely controlled his anger at himself. How could he have let this happen to his friend. Damn it! He should have known something like this might happen.
"Don't blame yourself, Nick." Alex came to join him.
"I should have stopped him from leaving." Nick whispered.
"You know it never would have happened. Philip need some time alone. What's important now is that we find who has him and get him back!" Alex sighed and picked up a broken crucifix from the floor.
Nick took the two pieces from her. He recognized it as Phillips. It was the one he got from his brother when Philip was ordained. He never took it off. Nick clutched it in his hand,vowing that if anyone hurt Philip he would make them pay!
Alex saw the savage expression Nick wore and sighed. When she had touched the cross, she had gotten familiar impressions from it. She knew who had taken him. they had faced these people before. She wondered what Derek was sensing.
After receiving the description from Derek the policemen went to find clues outside, leaving the four alone in the house. Derek walked over to Alex.
"They think someone came in to rob the house and Philip struggled with them. They also feel they got away and he followed them." Derek peered at her anxiously. "Alex, whats wrong?"
"I found Phillips crucifix on the floor. It was broken in half." She she sighed and shook herself. "Have you sensed anything?"
Derek nodded. "Yes, vague impressions of familiarity. You?"
"The same. Derek, do you think the Council was behind this?" Alex voiced her fears. She saw Rachel look up in surprise.
"You don't think....." Rachel broke off
"I do" Derek frowned, there was something he was missing, but he couldn't figure out what. "Alex stay here with Rachel and see if anything is missing, or if you get impressions from anything. Nick, I need you to phone the house and talk to Jade. She always could sense the council's presence."
"What are you going to do?" Nick asked, taking out his cell phone.
"I'm going to check outside." Derek turned and walked out into the sunshine. As he walked around the house, he felt himself drawn to a spot in the shadows. He felt a familiar graying of he senses as his sight kicked in. Images of men in nondescript clothing carrying someone out of the house. A fight in the driveway. People being carried off. The Jade appeared and Derek watched in horror as a figure shrouded in black vanished with her.
He returned to himself with a gasp. the Council had not taken Philip , they had taken Jade. But how was that possible? She was back on the island. Derek practically ran back to the house, almost colliding with Nick.
"Derek,she gone!" Nick blurted out .
Jade was frightened, Brian must have thrown he in his car and brought her to the Council's new headquarters. As she began to wake up she could only guess at where she was. By now Derek and the other Legacy members would know she was gone, Darrell too. She hoped Philip was o.k. He had had such a bad time lately, he deserved better. The Council would pay for tearing his life apart!
No sooner had she sat up to look around, than the door opened. Twelve men and women dressed in navy blue or gray entered the room. She recognized them. The Council itself. The leaders of the whole damned mess.
"Finally come out of your hole?" Jade hissed at them.
"Kara, you are a member of this Council. Behave accordingly!" The Chairman spoke, his tone ominous.
"My name isn't Kara! It's Jade, don't call me that name anymore!" Jade didn't like where this seemed to be going.
"You are ours! You always have been and you always will be!" The chairman advanced on her.
Jade screamed as his mind invaded hers,<<Derek! Help me!>> she sent before she let her mind find a dark place to hide.
* * *
Derek had been talking to Rachel, when he suddenly grabbed his head and cried out. His knees buckled and before either Nick or Alex could reach him to help Rachel, he collapsed.
Nick quickly lifted him off of Rachel, gently he turned the precept on his back. Nick watched anxiously as Rachel checked him over. Then as suddenly as he had collapsed, his eyes snapped open.
"Jade!" he whispered.
"Take it easy Derek" Rachel cautioned him as he tried to sit up.
"I'm alright, Jade sent to me. She's in grave danger. We have to find her." Ignoring them, and his pounding head, he got to his feet.
"What did you see?" Alex was concerned, if what she had felt of the cry was as minute as she thought, the full power of the send was enormous.
"I saw her surrounded by the Council. They have her." Concern made his voice harsh. "We MUST find her!"
"Great, now we're missing Philip AND Jade!" Nick wanted to get his hands on the Council so bad, he could taste it!
"Easy Nick, We don't know where Philip is, they may not have him!" Rachel tried to be hopeful.
"Then who does!" Nick shouted , his temper getting the better of him. "Who else would want him so bad? Huh?"
Rachel recoiled at the fury on his face. She sensed that his imagined betrayal of Philip was figuring heavily in his bad temper, she tied to calm him down.
"Look Nick, I know this is difficult, but I refuse to believe there is no hope ." Rachel said it as much to reassure herself as Nick.
"Rachel's right" Derek dropped in, "When Jade contacted me,I sensed nothing of her thinking Philip was in danger as well. Just her."
"I can't just sit here." Nick started pacing. A thought suddenly occurred to him. "I bet Darrell would know something, he keeps pretty good tabs on everybody."
"Good idea, Nick you go find him, the others and I will start a search. From what I got from the send, I have a few ideas where they could be found." Derek looked at Nick. "Be very careful Nick. They aren't being as friendly as last time."
Nick shuddered to think of last time as being 'friendly'. His shoulder still gave him a twinge every once and awhile. Running out of the emergency room like he had was probably not the best idea, but he knew it was the only choice he had at the time.
"Alright, I'm out of here. Keep me posted." Nick pulled out his keys and made for the door.
"Nick?" Dereks voice stopped him.
"Yeah?" He turned around at the door.
"Don't do anything foolish. Alright?" He cautioned.
"Who me?" Nick gave an impish grin and left.
"Why do I not believe him?" Mused Rachel.
"Because he wouldn't be Nick if we did" Alex answered.
"Let's go back to the Legacy, I have some ideas we can try." Derek saw their nods of assent and they left. He couldn't keep a small smile from reaching his face as the two left the room.
* * *
Nick pulled up to an abandoned house that Darrell had told him to come to if he needed to find him. Nick noticed most of the members of the gang were hanging around, unusual for this time of day. Before he could cross the sidewalk, Darrell himself came out of the house. Nick watched the average looking blond haired, blue eyed white boy walk towards him. There was an assurance in his step that most people his age didn't achieve for many years.
"Hi Nick." Darrell greeted him unsmiling. "I knew you'd show up before long"
"You know" Was all Nick said.
"About Father C's suspension, yes. About Jade...." he paused anger flashing in his eyes. "Yeah , I know that too."
Nick noted the omission. "You know where Philip is , don't you?"
Slowly Darrell nodded. "Nick, he doesn't want to talk to anyone. I promised I wouldn't say where he is, but he is alright. That I can say."
Nick was relieved, Philip was o.k. The guilt he felt about his part in the whole thing surfaced. "Do you know the details of what happened?"
"Yeah, word has it that a videotape was sent to Bishop Douglas containing a scene of Father C beating the hell out of someone." Darrell paused. "Is it from..."
"Yeah, we never told him. We thought it was something he should figure out for himself." Nick's guilt washed to the surface.
Darrell noticed Nick was blaming himself. "You know there was more to that whole thing than the Bishop showed, don't you?"
Nicks head snapped up. He was right.
"The rest of the tape would clear him, wouldn't it?" Darrell pondered.
"Yeah, it would. I wonder if our good friend the Bishop only received a copy of what he showed or edited it for the viewing impact." Nick would bet twenty bucks the latter was correct.
"I got feelers out looking for Jade" Darrell changed topic, "As soon as I know anything, I'll call you."
"Thanks, man." Nick shook hands with the gang leader, his thoughts far away.
As Nick left, Darrell was seized by a premonition.
"Terry!" He called. The mentioned boy ran forward from the porch of the house. "I have a bad feeling, follow him. Let me know the second anything looks suspicious. the rest of you, keep ready. It's not over yet."
Philip had seen Nick's car come up the road. Darrell had kept his promise and not let him in. Philip felt slightly guilty for that, but at least he they would know he was alright. Too many emotions clouded the priests judgment, and until they could be resolved, he couldn't devote any time to repairing his relationship with Nick.
Darrell came into the room.
"I did as you asked" he said quietly, his tone soft.
"I'm sorry t' make ya do tha'." Philip faced him.
"Don't be, you need space right now, I can understand that. So does Nick. He'll be back when his patience runs out!" Darrell smiled.
Philip grinned too. How well he knew his friend. Philip turned back to the window and his thoughts.
* * *
Nick parked a block away from his destination. The Bishops house was across town from St.Barts and Nick would have plenty of time. He intended to go in and find the tape that the Bishop had received and take it back to the Legacy for analysis. Creeping around the corner, Nick noticed that the back door to the house could be gotten into easily and un observed.
Quickly and quietly, Nick picked the lock and entered the small two bedroom house. It was so sparsely furnished, that Nick had no trouble finding the tape. What puzzled him was that there were two of them. Taking them both, he hurriedly left the house and headed back to his car.
He was about to open the door when a prickling of his senses mad him turn. A fist hit his jaw and sent him flying. picking himself up he realized without a doubt the Council had found him.
A small figure in a dark corner pulled out a cell phone and dialed a number. He gave his location and the gist of what was going on. The figure hung up the phone and waited.
Darrell hung up the phone and ran up the stairs. He threw the door open to Philip's room and leaned in. Startled the priest whirled around.
"Nick just got attacked. Coming?" Darrell started out the door before Philip could answer, before he could reach the street, the priest had joined him, concern written all over his face.
"Wha' happened?" He asked climbing into the gang leaders car.
"He went after the Bishop's videotape, the Council goons were there. Fortunately we're only a few minutes away. Darrell noticed Philip cross himself and say a prayer as the car sped away from the curb.
Philip was in shock. No matter what,Nick was his friend. The feelings of betrayal paled in comparison to the value of his friends life. Philip finally realized they had not told him out of concern for his wellbeing not because they thought it was some joke.
"Give me yer phone." Philip asked. Darrell handed it over without qualm. Philip hastily dialed Derek's cell number and was relieved when the precept answered promptly. "Derek, it's Philip"
"Philip!" The precepts voice was so loud he had to hold the phone away from his ear." My God! Where are you? What happened?"
"Derek listen, I'm alright. I'm with Darrell. Nick just got jumped by the council, one of his boys called us. I'm on my way there now with them." Philip hope that Derek would hold his questions until later.
"Where? We were at Rachels, we'll meet you." Derek sounded relieved and anxious at the same time.
Darrell told Philip where, and Philip relayed the information to Derek.
"We are ten minutes from there,." The precept paused. "..and Philip?"
"Yes" he answered.
"I'm glad your alright, we were worried." Derek hung up. Philip sighed and then marshaled his thoughts as they neared the address.
* * *
Nick dropped another one of the goons with a karate kick to the face. It had been minutes since the attack had started and he was getting tired. For every one guy he dropped another took his place. Somewhere in his mind Nick knew they were toying with him. At all costs he had to protect the videotape!
He rushed another and was faintly amused to see this one give ground, using that to his advantage, he drilled him in the stomach with his right fist and knocked him in the jaw with his left. The man hit the ground with a thud. Without warning, something hit him in the back of the head. Falling, his vision going, Nick realized the first man was a decoy, the real threat was the one who just hit him. Cursing all the way, Nick fought off the darkness to no avail. Still cursing, it claimed him.
* * *
Darrell's car screeched into the street just in time to see Nick fall. Darrell cursed and gunned the motor and then liberally applied the breaks. Before the car was completely stopped the gang members exited the car and rushed forward.
As the battle raged around him Philip ran to his friend. Not knowing what he would find,Philip feared the worst when he saw Nick lying in the street, unmoving. One of the thugs was looking through his jacket. As Philip hurtled towards the attack, he realized they were after the tape too. Before he could reach Nick, the tape was found. Philip leapt and tackled the man. The tapes went flying. Before Philip could get up, Darrell arrived and pulled the man away, freeing Philip to look after Nick.
The priest got to his knees and checked for a pulse, to his relief it was there. he quickly found the growing lump on Nicks head and hoped Derek would get there soon with Rachel. Looking up, he saw the fight was almost over. Darrell and his boys had routed the goons and were giving chase. Turning his attention back Nick, he whispered softly to him.
"Come on Nick, Wake up." Philip realized nothing really mattered next to the health and well being of his friends. Including the ones at the church. Accusations or not, he would not fail them.
"What hit me." Came a pain filled voice from next to him.
"I would guess ya got yerself in a little trouble" Philip was relieved. His friend was awake.
"Philip?" Nick sounded fuzzy. "What are...."
"Shhh. Quiet now. Darrell was keepin' tabs on ya. His boys called, and here I am." Philip looked around, the street was deserted except for Darrells car.
"My head is pounding" Nick tried to sit up.
Philip supported him with an arm around his shoulders. Then helped him stand. He led Nick to his car and slid him into the passenger seat.
"Sit there before ya fall down" Philip admonished him as Nick protested he could stand.
A car roared into the street. Philip was relieved to see Derek behind the wheel of Rachels car. it stopped next to Nick's mustang and the passengers leapt out.
"What happened?" Derek came over to the two men, his relief evident on his face.
Less restrained, Alex ran up and hugged Philip before he could reply.
"You had us so worried!" She looked him over. "Are you alright?"
"I'm fine, Alex. Really." He tried to reassure her.
"Do you remember anything about your aborted kidnapping?" Derek asked.
"Not much," Philip paused, thinking. "I remember, just before I passed out from the chloroform, someone saying that they were going back t' someplace called "The Citadel"
"One more piece to the puzzle" Nick commented from his car. Rachel was looking at the bump on his head.
"Well Nick, I can only say 'thank God you have a hard head'. It doesn't look like you have a concussion." Rachel shook her head wonderingly.
Alex gave a short laugh and was about to say more when a lone gunman came at them from behind Nicks car. Nick and Philip saw him first, being the only ones looking in the right direction.
"Look out!" Philip shouted, pulling Alex and Derek down.
Reacting immediately, Nick pulled Rachel down and drew his gun as four shots sounded. Glass shattered from the car windows that were shot out by the flying bullets. It rained down on the Legacy members. Nick spied for legs from under his car, cursing because his beloved Mustang was taking fire.
Before anything more could happen, two shots rang out from the opposite side of the street, Nick trained his gun on the sound immediately and was somewhat surprised to spot Darrell holding a gun.
"You can get up now." He walked towards them, "I got him"
Derek helped Alex up as Philip shook glass off of himself, Rachel and Nick were already up and Nick was surveying the damage to his car.
Philip followed the line of fire and saw that one of the targets had been the tapes, walking over he picked them up. The cases were shattered. Philip walked back to the others to show them.
"It's not a total loss." Nick took the cases from Philip. "I got some software that can clean this up no problem, as long as the tape itself isn't damaged"
Philip turned away from the technical discussion, something stirred the edge of his awareness, something about the Icon.
"Well, at least the tapes can be salvaged, but how about your windows?" Alex commented to Nick. Nick looked at his car with growing anger.
The adrenalin rush that Philip had felt was clarifying his thoughts. Things half forgotten in his mind surged to the fore. He remembered something important about the icon, but the significance of it was just beyond his reach. He concentrated on those long forgotten memories, hoping to come up with the answer he was seeking.
"Damn them!" Nick muttered and then glanced apologetically at Philip. The priest was so lost in thought that he hadn't even heard the minor blasphemy. Nick became concerned when his friend failed to answer.
"Philip whats wrong?" Derek noticed his preoccupation too.
"Somethin's been gnawing at me this whole time and I think I finally got a handle on it." Philip almost sounded like he was in a trance, his voice was so bland.
"What is it?" Alex abandoned her conversation with Rachel, concerned.
"When we first encountered the Council, they had th' first Icon, which Darrell destroyed. He had no mental abilities so it couldn't hurt him t' touch it. Sekmet, the god for whom the icon was crafted was said to be the god who could see it' minds. The icon gave you the power of the mind in return for your soul." He looked at the others to see if they were with him. Derek nodded and Philip continued.
"This second icon I remembering reading about years ago. Anubis was responsible for getting souls of the dead t' their place in th' afterlife. Different gods for different purposes. What does this new icon do?" Philip saw the uncomprehending looks of the others.
"If the first icon gave something to people, like enhanced mental powers. What would Anubis' icon give power over?" Philip saw understanding come to Derek's eyes.
"It gives the power over life and death?" The implications shocked him to his core.
"We have to destroy this Icon, and soon, before they really learn how t' use it!" Philip was more afraid for Jade now than ever before.
* * *
Jade hid in her mind for what seemed like an eternity. She found that if she concentrated enough, she could feel their frustration at not reaching her. Almost as soon as they thought it, she picked up their change in tactic. They couldn't destroy her because they needed her for something. They were going to take someone she cared about and use them to force her to her will!
She had to stop them! Hoping beyond hope,she tried to call to Derek again. She had to warn him they were in terrible danger! the new icon was different than the last and definitely more sinister, she wanted no part of it. She realized the Council members had not bonded with this new icon, they had already lost their souls to the other. They needed new blood to further their desires. They were going after children again!