|"Philip, are you
ready yet? The jet leaves in an hour, with or without
us," Derek yelled up the main stairs.
appeared at the top of the stairs, "I'm here, Derek,
packin'. But I don' see why I'm th' one goin', Alex would
'a' made a
much better choice than me t' go t' Kansas City."
Philip walked down the
stairs slowly. In his arms were a battered travel
suitcase and a
"I picked you for my assistant, Philip, because
Alex and Nick are in
Sacramento on assignment, Rachel can't leave Kat alone
for a whole week,
and besides, we both need a vacation. This convention
gives us a chance
to unwind and relax."
"You?? THE Doctor Rayne?! Relax? Isn'a there a
universal law somewhere
statin' how ye canna relax?" Philip smirked in mock
"Well, it really isn't going to be much of a
vacation if we don't start
leaving." Derek replied, picking up his own bags.
Suddenly, Derek's mobile phone rang. Sighing, he
dropped his bags, and
dug into his inside coat pocket. He pulled out his
phone, and flipped it on. "Luna Foundation. This is
"Kat?! Is everything all right? Shouldn't you be
at school?" Derek
"I- I am. Well, sort of. I'm at a pay phone
across the street. It's
lunchtime recess. Just listen, okay? I have to talk fast.
Mom told me
about your trip to Kansas City this morning on the way to
school. I have
this bad, feeling that something's going to happen. Just
okay? I've gotta go now." click
"Kat?" Derek spoke into his phone. After the
dial tone clicked on, Derek
turned the phone off. "She's gone."
"Should we go t' her ? She wouldn' call unless
t'was an emergency."
"Yes, I know. Her school is on the way to the
airport, we'll stop by
just to make sure." Derek replied, while dialing the
airport from his
* * *
"This is highly irregular, Dr. Rayne. We usually
don't allow visitors to
meet with our pupils during school time without parental
first. However, since the Luna Foundation is a very
"Miss Pruitt, may we please see the child for
just one moment? As it is,
we're running late for a very important flight to Kansas
Luna Foundation business, you know." Derek used the
voice that he could muster.
The head principal frowned. "Yes, of course. Dr.
Rayne, Father, this
way, please? The dour lady led them down a side hallway.
fiasco of her leaving school grounds, Miss Corrigan has
been sent to the
'Solitude' for the remainder of the week. She is to be in
detention with extra homework. Her mother was notified,
of course, but,
unfortunately, was detained at work."
They stopped in front of a large, oak door with an
keyhole. The head principal took out a key and opened the
squealed horribly, and both Derek and Philip flinched at
the sound. They
walked inside to a small, claustrophobic room with bad
found Kat sitting in an old-fashioned desk that faced the
She was writing furiously in a notebook.
"Ahem," Miss Pruitt coughed. Kat continued
writing. The head principal
looked embarrassedly at Derek and Philip.
"Miss Corrigan, kindly refrain from being rude to
your guests. It is not
very often that we allow behaved girls receive visitors
hours, let alone trouble-makers."
The girl looked up suddenly, noticing the other people
in the room for
the first time. She stood up and turned toward the three.
Her eyes shone
when she saw Derek and Philip, but she merely stood
still. "Miss Pruitt,
Dr. Rayne, Fr. Philip," she acknowledged.
"Miss Corrigan, are you quite finished with your
homework?" The girl
nodded that she had. "Well, you may take a
break." Miss Pruitt pointed
at Derek and Philip. "Are these men friends of
"Yes, miss. My mother works with them from time
"Miss Pruitt, if we may?" Derek interrupted.
"We have that flight to
Her eyes narrowed. "Yes, of course. You may have
five minutes with the
girl, then Katherine must return to her studies. I have
business I must attend to, but I'll return to show you
the way out." The
thin older woman left the closet-like room, closing the
door behind her.
Derek went to the girl. "Kat, are you okay? Why
did you contact us like
She scrunched up into tiny ball. "I- I Saw
something today, during
lunch. I had to tell you about, it."
"What did you see?" Derek asked.
She started to pace the tiny room, "Do you know how
hard it is to conju-
conjugate Latin verbs with active and passive
"Kat, please." Philip leaned against the
wall. "Tell us what ye saw,
gettin' it out in th' open really helps. Nothin' bad is
goin' t' ye
us." Philip looked at the shivering girl. "Are
ye cold, Kat?" he asked.
When she nodded her head, Philip took off his clerical
coat and draped
over the girl's shoulders.
"I Saw- candles."
"Is that all ye saw, darlin'?"
"No," the girl whispered. She started to
sob. "I Saw- I Saw candles,
and- and- and
"Calm down, Katherine. We're here." Derek
cradled the girl in his arms.
"There, there, little one. We won' let anythin'
bad happen t'ye." Philip
Instantly, she started to hyperventilate, "I've
gotta- I've gotta- I've
Derek pulled her away from himself, looking in her
eyes. "Katherine, I
order you to calm down immediately." She stopped
abruptly, and returned
"I saw big, thick candles, and children lying on
little beds. I saw
statues moving, except they looked almost alive, but not
quite. Then I
saw you, Derek. You were one of the people, and you were
knife. You wore a big cloak that covered your entire
body. You turned
towards me suddenly
That's when I noticed your
eyes. They were dull,
off-color somehow." Kat's chin started to tremble.
Derek sat on top of
the desk, pulling the terrified girl onto his lap. Kat
leaned her head
back onto Derek's chest, taking comfort in the elder
Derek could feel the little girl's heart pounding through
She continued telling them about her Vision. "You
turned back around and
started to walk toward the little boy named, named
Gabriel. The knife
glinted in the candlelight. It looked gold-like, but I'm
not sure. You
r-raised the knife above your head. I tried to scream to
you, Derek, I
really tried, but my mouth felt like it had a sock in it.
You started to
chant softly, I don't know what it was you said, but it
scared me again.
I looked down at the little boy again, but he didn't
notice me either.
He just lied there, not moving, not breathing. That's
when I noticed his
eyes. They looked like-like yours. He turned his head
slightly, and he
looked at me. I tried to run, but I couldn't- I couldn't
even turn my
head. All I could do was watch. The knife fell suddenly,
once more. It glinted again, blinding me. All of a
sudden, I could move.
I looked down at my lunch tray. My friends were laughing
at a, at a
The girl snuggled up against Derek's neck. "Oh,
Katherine." He hugged
her tightly. "I am so sorry that you had to go
Philip knelt beside the still sobbing girl. "It's
alright, Kat. Nothin'
bad is goin' t' happen. I promise ye this."
*BOOM* The oak door slammed against the wall,
startling all three. Miss
Pruitt marched into the tiny room. "What is going on
in here?!! I leave
this room for five minutes, and when I come back, I find
sobbing on your lap, Dr. Rayne!"
The sudden increase in light blinded all three for a
moment, but Derek
quickly composed himself again. "Miss Pruitt,"
he stood up, "this child
has been through a very traumatic experience, and has
probably been in a
state of shock since lunchtime. If you had been doing
your job, instead
of trying to score 'brownie-points' with the good father
this never would have happened. Instead, you condoned and
grounds in punished this brave little girl for no other
leaving school grounds! You should be ashamed of
yourself, and beg
forgiveness to this girl, her mother, and any other
person you have so
wrongly tortured in this fashion!! You are not fit to be
a custodian at
"And would you like to know why she did it? She
did it to find out if we
were all right. Katherine here has a unique gift that you
comprehension of understanding."
The elder woman's colorless face turned a beet-red.
"Are you quite done,
"No, I am not. Your are a spiteful, cruel woman.
I have seen much evil
in the world, much more than you could ever hope to
imagine in fact, but
you, you, madam, rank right there with the most vilest,
"Derek," Philip whispered, touching his
"What??" Derek growled.
"Philip pointed back to the open door. Derek
slowly spun around to see a
dozen girls wearing plaid jumpers and berets, The elder
giggling, and pointing at Philip, while the younger ones
crying at Derek's outburst. When they saw Miss Pruitt
glare at them,
they took off in different directions.
"Dr. Rayne," Miss Pruitt said icily. "I
have been headmistress at this
school for twenty-two years, and in that time I have
never been treated
so rudely and discourteously. I realize that I run a
here, but the girls who graduate here are the creme of
society. They are
taught discipline, etiquette, and the sciences. They are
taught how to
survive in today's world."
Derek's temper burst, "They are taught to be
dependent on other people,
mainly husbands. They are taught everything of
"Society" and nothing of
real life. You teach them be shallow and doll-like, and
that they are
nothing more than show horses put on display for everyone
to admire. My
Got!!! Get out or the damn 19th century!!! Women and
girls are much more
capable than you realize." Derek yelled at the top
of his lungs.
The head mistress became still. "I'll not have my
administrative skills questioned by in my school. Now get
out, and take
this little 'brat' with you. She has been expelled from
this school for
as long as I'm in charge. I do not want to see you or any
Foundation members on these premises or, God help me,
they will be
jailed for trespassing. You have five minutes to gather
and leave, before I call security and have you forcefully
"Miss Pruitt-" Derek began.
"Derek, let it go. We canna do anythin' about it,
an' ye'll only make
thin's worse," Philip stated, as he led the two out
the door. Suddenly,
Philip turned back to the head mistress. "Miss
Pruitt, we will comply t'
yer wishes, an' leave in ten minutes. However, I suggest
that ye review
yer teachin' methods. The next time ye this sort- a'-
thin' t' a girl,
ye might not be so lucky as to get someone as, forgivin'
Philip and the others strode out into the outer hall,
shutting the door
closed on the still fuming Miss Pruitt.
* * *
"What the HELL did you think you were doing,
Derek?" Rachel yelled at
the three in her office. "Did it even occur to you
to call me? You just
went off to Kat's school, demanded to see her, and then
principal of being too strict. This is too much! This is
MUCH!!! And you, Philip. You let him do this. Do you
realize how much I
put into getting Kat into that school? How many strings I
I asked? And for what? Kat, what did you think you were
doing, going off
school property like that. Do you know how many people
out there want to
hurt you? Even kill you???" Kat hid behind Philip,
too ashamed to look
up at her mother.
Derek looked at the raving psychiatrist calmly,
"Rachel, you're not
thinking clearly. Kat called us today, just as we were
about to leave
for Kansas City. She snuck off grounds because she a had
disturbing Vision... about me. She called to make sure
that we, I was
alright. However, she was very brief, and we were worried
about her, We
found at that school in a linen closet conjugating Latin
verbs. That was
her punishment: solitary confinement, like a common
criminal. She was in
shock from the Vision, and they did NOTHING!!!!"
"Derek, that's enough." Philip said
abruptly. "Rachel is not the one
t'blame. It's over, an' done with."
Kat peeked out from around Philip innocently.
"Don't be angry, mommy."
Rachel stared into her only daughter's pleading, blue
baby. I'm not angry with you, I'm just, frustrated at the
situation. You know what I mean, don't you?" Rachel
knelt on her knees,
waiting for her daughter's answer.
Kat looked at her mother, then at Derek and Philip.
Instantly, she was
in her mother's arms, hugging her with all her might.
Philip watched mother and child for a moment, then
broke the silence.
"Derek, we need t'be leavin' soon if we want t'make
our next flight."
The priest stated softly. "I've already had t'cancel
tickets, an' I don' think our credit card will let us buy
Derek checked his watch once, then looked back at the
right, Rachel. I am sorry I got Kat thrown out of that
maybe not that sorry" Derek laughed, as he saw the
look on Rachel's
face. "Well, I am sorry that we have to cut this
reunion so short, but
we do have that jet to catch."
"Yes, of course. I need to take Kat home anyway.
See you in a week."
Rachel smiled as she led the others out and locked up her
Derek and Philip pulled up to an ultra-modern,
They got out of their rented Nissan, courtesy of the Luna
and pulled out their luggage. They looked up at the
colored glass and dark marble building. It was dwarfed,
however, by the
rest of the Kansas City skyline.
They approached the revolving doors, which on the
right side had a
modest "Luna Foundation" brass plaque, and
stopped in front of the
doorman, who stood on the left. He carded both of them
for their Luna
Foundation photo ID cards, which also had their
fingerprints, bar code,
dental records, and personal history carried on a
doorman checked each ID twice, then scanned their thumbs
with a portable
scanner. They both passed. The doorman finally smiled at
them and let
them enter through the tinted, revolving doors.
The room they entered was a spacious lobby that
boasted walnut tables
with flower vases on them, and burgundy chairs and
couches. It gave both
men the feeling of being in a hotel lobby.
Out of nowhere, a forty-ish blonde-haired, short woman
them. She smiled brightly at both men, "Hello, Dr.
Rayne, Fr. Callahan,
and welcome to the Kansas City Legacy House. I'm
Daniel Cooper's assistant. I've been assigned to show you
around and get
you acquainted to the new precepts since you missed the
meeting. Here you need to sign in." Elizabeth handed
Derek a big,
leather-bound book with an 'L' on it. The two signed
their names, then
followed the assistant to the elevators. They got in, and
pushed the 14th floor button.
"This place is very big for a Legacy House."
"Yeah, about a year ago, the original House was
destroyed in a freak
tornado and fire." Elizabeth explained.
"Instead of rebuilding, we
decided to buy this place. The original owners went
bankrupt, so we
bought it cheap. It serves our purposes. Anyway, this
building was one
of the deciding factors to hold the convention here.
We're all pretty
proud of it." She beamed. The elevator doors dinged
open, and the three
walked out into a well-lit hallway. They turned left, and
closed doors. They stopped in front of a door with a
"We converted most of the business offices into
bedrooms. They are
basically all the same, with only a few decorating
differences. May I
have your card, Dr. Rayne?" she asked. Derek handed
her his ID card, and
she swiped it through the lock. The door popped open.
"The locks have
been adapted to your cards. This Philip's suite, and Dr.
Rayne's is on
the other side. Well, this is where I leave you two.
Dinner is at 7 PM
in the main banquet hall. If you need anything, just call
me on the
phone." She started back to the elevators then
turned around suddenly.
"Also, Derek. Daniel wants to see you as soon as
possible." She walked
into the open elevator, while Derek and Philip entered
* * *
Derek entered his room, and dropped his bags hard. His
eyes rolled up in
annoyance as he took note of the decor. Blue and yellow.
Those were the
two colors that had dominated the room, and destroyed any
noticeable color. The pictures on the wall were prints of
"Sunflowers" and "A Starry Night".
The black poster bed had a plain blue
down comforter pulled down to reveal pale yellow sheets
exasperated Derek picked up his bags again, and threw
them on the bed,
watching them bounce up and off the bed comically.
Derek walked to the blue curtains and pulled them back.
He stared at the
tinted horizon for a few minutes, then entered the
He turned on the tub full-blast, letting the steam billow
up toward the
ceiling. After a minute, he turned back to the windows,
and watched the
miniature people and cars go about their business.
"They're so naive, aren't they?"
Derek spun around suddenly, and saw a tall, blonde
bearded man standing
in front of his door.
"They're so naive. Aren't they, Derek?" The
man repeated. "I mean, they
go about their business, day-in, day-out, without any
thought as to the
real reason of the Luna Foundation. They look up at the
the plaque, and then assume that all we do is waste money
musty old antiques that have no practical use outside of
taking up space
and gathering dust. Oh sure, a few might have a clue,
but, after a
while, whispers die and rumors disappear. So the people
forget about the
lies, the conspiracies and go back to their normal,
The man smiled ferally. "I really wish you hadn't
missed the orientation
meeting, Derek. It was- thought provoking."
Derek walked to the man, and gave him a brotherly hug.
I'm, sorry about that. There was an emergency that we had
to tend to
before we could leave.
Daniel smiled. "It's been too long."
"Yes, it has been too long, Daniel. I'm hoping we
can get caught up
since the- accident." Derek replied , walking
towards the bathroom.
Instantly, the bearded man raised his hand up, and blew
onto Derek. Derek's face contorted into a mask of pure
betrayal. "Wh- Why?" He whispered as his knees
buckled. Daniel caught
his one-time friend carefully, and laid him on the bed.
it's been too long. But don't worry. You're just going to
take a little
nap, and then you'll forgot all about our 'little
said, as Derek tried to sit up. "Don't fight it,
Derek. This particular
binding spell is one of the most powerful, and the beauty
of it is that
it is dormant until needed further-"
Derek's eyes closed halfway, then abruptly stopped. They
grew dimmer, a
dull, uncolor. His consciousness grew into a type of
tunnel vision, then
slowly faded away. The last thing Derek Rayne saw was
looking him in the eyes, a melancholy smile on his lips.
Philip walked out of his room, worried about his
missing precept. Derek
had told him to meet him at four, but it was now closing
in on five
fifteen. A little worried, Philip knocked quietly on
Derek's door. When
nothing happened, Philip began pounding on the door.
"Derek," he yelled, "Are ye well?"
Suddenly, the door opened a crack. Philip saw Derek's
profile for a
split second, then the door slammed in his face. Puzzled,
listened as a chain slid across its lock. The door swung
open again to
reveal Derek sitting in one of the chairs by the door.
Derek looked up
at Philip bleary-eyed.
Good God, Derek. Ye look like Hell." The priest
exclaimed as he took
note of Derek's pale skin and blood-shot eyes.
The precept rested his head on his hands tiredly.
"I feel like it. It's
funny, as soon as I saw the bed, I just laid down on it
and closed my
eyes," he replied.
Philip felt the side of Derek's face. "Well, ye
don' feel hot, Maybe ye
should just skip dinner an' just sleep."
"No, we've already missed too much as it
is." Derek stood up. "Just give
me five minutes to get ready."
The priest nodded slowly, then left the room. Derek
turned around and
headed for his still-packed luggage. He pulled out a
grey suit, and put it on.
Afterwards, he went into the bathroom, and started to
brush his teeth
with a complimentary toothbrush. In the mirror, he
half-filled tub. Pondering its fullness, he let the water
he remember the time, and forgot all about it. He went
back to getting
ready, and ten minutes later, left with Philip to the
* * *
"Dear Friends and Family of the Legacy, welcome
to the first dinner of
the ten-year convention. We hope you have a good time,
tonight's dinner. After dinner, we are going to have a
in the ballroom and garden. Relax, get to know the new
remember people, hazing went out with the Seventies like
bell-bottoms. You are respected Legacy precepts and
assistants. Now you
all had that speech during the initiation, so let's get
on with the
finer things of life. And, no Nicholas, I do not mean
pleasure." The crowd laughed, as a curly blonde,
30ish man looked
innocently back at Daniel Cooper. "As I was saying,
we had a hard time
deciding to choose what to do for dinner of the first
night, so we
decided to go regional. Kansas-City strip, Iowa corn
whole-wheat rolls, Idaho green-beans and potatoes,
Florida citrus fruit
salad, and, for desert, your choice of apple pie a la
mode or Baked
Alaska." Huge carts rolled to the different tables,
as Cooper gave his
speech. The food was quickly passed out, the drinks were
poured, and the
noise level quickly rose.
Philip found himself in heated debate over whether
women should be
allowed in the priest-hood with Fr. Luke Alexi, Precept
of the Concord
House, while Derek was discussing the good and bad
aspects of being
psychic with Dr. Lewong Ying and Dr. Irene Astor.
convention's host walked up to Derek and Philip.
"Hello Derek, Fr. Philip, Fr. Alexi. Would you
mind if I borrowed Derek
for a moment? We have some catching up to do, and I'm
afraid we might
not get another moment." Cooper smiled at everyone.
"Go right ahead, Daniel." Philip replied.
"This is yer party, after
"I don't know, Daniel. Irene and Lewong and I
were in the middle of a
conversation." Derek felt a little uncomfortable
talking to his old
"Go, Derek. Lewong and I were just about to start
embarrassing stories anyways. Go, talk to your friend, if
Irene said, as her eyes' shone mischievously. "We'll
get your stories later."
"Really, Daniel, Don't you think that it could
wait until after I'm done
eating?" Derek's heart began to pound. Daniel only
closed his eyes, and
began to breathe slowly.
Philip instantly noticed an imperceptible change in
Derek. What, he
didn't know, but it almost scared him. Derek only smiled
"Fine, Daniel, I'll come." He threw his
napkin on his plate, and stood
up. "Now, if the rest of you will excuse me..."
Philip watched the two
go out of the room. After a minute, he decided to talk
* * *
"Well, Derek. How are you?" Daniel asked,
walking into an indoor garden.
He looked at the different flowers that adorned the
ground and walls.
"I've, been better. I think I may be coming down
with something." Derek
looked up at the glass ceiling, and watched the oh-so few
could be seen in Kansas City at night.
"Daniel," Derek turned to his
friend. "I don't see why it was so necessary to drag
me away from dinner-"
Cooper interrupted him. "You know, Derek, every
new generation of the
Legacy is so unprepared. They all believe that their
generation is going
o be the 'one generation' without a fallen House. Then
when does fall,
everyone is hurt and wonders why and how it happened. Do
that in 3000 years not one generation has gone by without
at least one
fallen House. It's completely true, Derek- if you don't
believe me, go
check it yourself."
Derek stared at his friend, wondering what was going
on. "I believe you,
Daniel. But what does this have to do with taking me here
"Everything!!" Cooper shouted. "Don't
you see? If one House falls,
others will be there to destroy it. It's the same if two
or three infect
each other. It's a lot harder, but in the end, the good
win. However, if a whole region were to fall, or a whole
nation, it just
makes that much easier for Evil to win. The fallen nation
themselves off, discreetly infect neighboring nations,
Evil has won.
"What are you getting at, Daniel?" Derek's
chest started to constrict,
and he started to wheeze slightly.
"What I am getting at, Derek." Cooper said
softly. " Is that all the
precepts and all their assistants of an entire
'continent' are in the
same building, at the same time. If evil were to attack
right now, there
would be a good chance it could win, a Hell of a
chance." The younger
man took out a black silk pouch out of his pocket.
"That is why I want
to ask you, of your own violition, to join me. We now
have a better
chance than ever. Join me, Derek, of your own free will.
Not many people
have the chance to choose their own destiny. I'm giving
you yours on a
The precept suddenly grew tired of the game he and
Daniel was playing.
"Join you in what?"
"That is no concern, Derek. I am asking you. Join
me as my brother, my
confidant, my partner in equalness in all things."
"You were best man at my wedding. You were
Gabriel's god-father, and you
stood by my side at the funeral."
"Partner of what?"
"Power, Derek, real power. Sloan is a fool. He
has no concept of what is
possible. I do."
"What kind of power?"
Daniel smiled broadly. "Ah, Derek. Always
straight to point. I think you
know what I'm getting at, but you'd rather hear it from
you? Evil, Derek, evil. I'm asking you to join me in
taking over this
continent. It would be more easy than you realize. Join
me, I need you.
You were closer to me than a brother once."
Derek's face fell. "Daniel, I-can't. I don't know
why you did this, but
I will try everything in my power to help you."
The bearded man shook his head. "I'm truly sorry
it's got to be like
this. I'm truly sorry." He discreetly took some dust
out of the pouch,
and threw it in Derek's face. Derek started to run for
help, but after
two steps he fell down, unconscious. Daniel picked up his
friend for the
second time that day, and carried him to his room. He
door, gently laid him on his bed, and left.
After dinner, Philip went in search of Sloan. He'd
checked the first two
floors without luck, but ran into Daniel instead. Worried
he ran up to the Kansas City precept, and stopped him in
the hall. "Mr.
Cooper, have ye seen Derek around?"
Daniel stopped walking, and turned to see Philip
running to him. "Ah,
Father Callahan. It's good to see you again. I'm sorry, I
meant to tell
you that Derek told me to tell you that he was not
feeling well, and was
going to straight to bed."
Philip sighed, "Oh, well thank ye for tellin' me.
I've got t'go find a
friend now. Maybe we can get t' together later."
"Maybe, Father, maybe." Daniel smiled.
"By the way, who exactly are you
looking for? I might know were they are; I am the precept
of this House
after all." The bearded man smiled.
"I'm lookin' for Fr. Alexi. We were goin' t'
finish our discussion about
th' pope's new catechism." Philip lied, praying that
God would forgive
him for using the Pope in such a matter.
"Well, the last I heard, he was on the fourth
floor, enjoying our
brand-new library. Now I must go now. I am sorry, but I
important meeting I must attend." Daniel said,
walking to the elevators.
Philip nodded back, then surveyed the hallway after
Daniel had left. He
stopped a lady in the hall, and asked for Sloan's
answered that he was on the tenth floor. He thanked her,
then headed for
the elevators himself.
Philip, how are you?" Sloan stood out of his
chair, and shook hands with
the priest. Sloan looked at the man once, and quickly
Philip had something on his mind. "Father Philip,
Philip looked down, then back at Sloan. "I'm not
sure, all I know is
that there's something goin' on, an' I don' know what it
Sloan cocked an eyebrow. "How so?"
"I'd rather go some place more private." The
priest lowered his voice.
"No disrespect to everyone else here, but right now,
besides Derek I
trust ye the most." Philip stated, lowering his
"Well, if you can't trust me, who can you
trust?" Sloan laughed, then
became serious again. "Fine, I'll come with
you." Sloan stood up, walked
with Philip to the elevators, and rode it up to the 14th
They got out, and entered the priest's room. The sea
green, sky blue
décor made Sloan slightly nauseous, but he ignored it.
Philip. What's on your mind?"
Philip sat on the couch while Sloan pulled up a chair.
"Well ye see sir,
it's like this. Ye remember Kat?" Sloan nodded as
"Well, she has the Sight ye see. An' right before
Derek an' I left San
Francisco, she had a very disturbin' Vision. She claimed
she saw Derek
perform a blood ritual. After we calmed her down, we came
"However, after we got here, Derek started
complainin' of exhaustion.
Well not really exhaustion, but ye know Derek. So far, I
know of two
instances of Derek's problem."
Sloan, suddenly interested, replied for Philip to go
"Well, th' first time was after we had first
gotten here. He said he was
alone in his room when, for no apparent reason, he just
became tired. He
slept for several hours, an' I don' think he would'a
woken up until I
knocked on his door. Th' second time was right after
Daniel Cooper took
him away during dinner. I didn' even know where he was,
until I met
Daniel in the hallway just now. He told me that Derek had
t' bed after their conversation, but I don' think Derek
would just leave
me like that without tellin' me where he was goin'."
worried over his friend.
"Well, I'm sure it's nothing, Father
Philip." Sloan reassured the
priest. "However, we can go check him right now, if
"How?" Philip asked, knitting his eyebrows
Sloan smiled secretly. "I have my ways. Follow
me." Sloan stood up, and
opened the door. He walked across the hall, and knocked
on the door. No
answer. Sloan merely shrugged, while checking the hallway
When he was convinced that no one was watching them, he
took out a blank
Legacy ID card out of his inside coat pocket. He checked
once more, then inserted it into Derek's electronic lock,
typing in a
number afterwards. The red light flickered once, then
Philip smiled slightly at the covert operation he
found himself in.
"I'll bet Pounds for Pesos that Nick would kill for
"If you tell * anyone * about it-" Sloan
"Relax, I'm here t' help Derek. Anyway, I'm a
priest, in th' Legacy.
What's one more secret?" Philip stated as the door
The priest and head precept entered the dark room,
finding it unusually
cold and forbidding. They quickly walked over to Derek's
bed, and found
him on stomach. Sloan shook him once, then turned him on
"Dear Merciful God in Heaven!" Philip
gasped, as he and Sloan looked at
their unconscious friend. Derek just laid there,
unmoving. His eyes were
open, but they were unfocused and had a dull, glassy look
Sloan waved his hand in front of his friend's eyes. No
Frantic, Philip grabbed Derek's wrist in order to find a
Finding one, he quietly breathed a sigh of relief.
"He's still alive."
"That's good. Now we have to take certain
precautions. You can't tell
anyone about this. If it leaks out that we know about
Derek, it could
mean certain doom. I'll contact my House, and they'll
send a couple
people to Kansas City. Discreetly, of course." Sloan
ordered to the
"Fine, I'll contact my house as well."
"I'd advise against it. They might make things
worse." Sloan replied.
"The less people know, the better off we are."
Philip interrupted. "I'm goin' t'call Angel
Island, Sloan. They have a
right t' know about Derek. If he were t' fall, we'd be
there t' help him
come back, all of us."
"Philip Callahan, don't make me order you-"
"Then don't. I'll take th' consequences of
contactin' them. Don' do this
t' me." The priest pleaded.
"You know you cannot put the Legacy in jeopardy
over just one man."
Sloan replied angrily. "Even Derek knows this."
"Well, I'm not Derek. Who knows how many people
have been affected like
Derek. Half th' continent? Three-fourths th' continent?
Ye need ma
friends' help, ye know ye do."
Sloan smiled suddenly, surprising Philip who expected
a longer debate.
"You've been hanging around Nick too long. Alright,
call them, but keep
them out of sight. I don't even want to smell them. My
members are still
"Fine, now what should we do about Derek?"
Philip asked, finally
remembering his sleeping commander.
"We should wake him. Whatever this spell is, it
probably affects them
best during sleep." The older man stated, as he
started to roughly shake
his friend. "Derek, wake up NOW!"
The sleeping man's eyes finally closed completely,
then flew open again.
"William!! What are you doing here? What am I doing
here?" Derek tried
to sit up, but slipped back onto his back.
"Easy now. Ye've been under some sort of
spell." Philip explained,
helping his Precept up slowly.
Sloan glared at Philip discreetly, "What's the
last thing you remember?"
Derek thought for a moment, "I don't remember. I-
I was talking with
Daniel. The next thing I know, you two are waking me up.
contacted Angel Island yet?" Derek asked.
"I was just about t'." Philip explained.
"Wait a minute, I've found
something on Derek's jacket." Philip lifted the
coat's lapels back,
exposing shiny dust motes. One sort of jumped up at
Philip, and absorbed
into the priest's skin. Philip's eyes rolled up, as he
almost fell onto
Sloan quickly grabbed Philip and set him in a nearby
now." He turned back to Derek, taking out a small
plastic bag and pair
of tweezers from his coat.
"'Always prepared'. That's your motto, right
William?" Derek laughed
"Not quite. It's actually 'Never let Derek Rayne
out of my sight'." All
three laughed at the joke as Sloan finished picking up
"There now. I'll have this analyzed right away. By
morning, we'll know
exactly what it is. Derek, my House is coming, and the
good father here
has persuaded me to send for yours. Now I want the both
of you- Philip
wake up!- to get some sleep. I need you both rested,
because we have a
busy day tomorrow. Don't say anything to anybody, as we
don't have a way
to discern the fallen people from the unfallen. You two
will be my
contacts, so I'm counting on you. Come, Philip, I'll take
you to your
room. He helped the already dozing priest to his feet,
and escorted him
to his room.
After settling Philip in his room, Sloan went
downstairs, knowing full
well that he wasn't going to get any sleep that night.
"Hello Nick. How was your trip?" Sloan's
face appeared on the head
monitor in the San Francisco's Legacy House's Control
Nick grimaced as he thought of his last mission. "It
was fake. A couple
boys thought it would be a real kick to scare little old
ladies out of
Sloan nodded in agreement, then clicked back into head
"Nick, we have a problem here. You are to assemble
your team and come to
Kansas City immediately . Your tickets are already to be
however you are to stay away from everybody except m y
"What's the matter?" Nick asked, a little
worried over both of his
"I'm not at liberty to discuss it right at the
moment. Also tell Rachel
to bring Katherine along. Once you arrive, my people will
entire situation." Sloan ordered.
"I have my reasons, just bring her."
"Fine, we'll be there." Nick said, cutting
the connection. The ex-SEAL
thought for a moment, then called everyone.
Sloan had just left a coded message for his House at a
telephone at KCI, when he decided to go back and check up
on Derek and
Philip. They were both very good operatives, and he was
He discreetly entered back into the House, and headed
to the elevators.
One dinged open a split second after he had stepped in
front of it.
Warily, he waited for the other one to appear. It dinged
open, and he
boarded it quickly. He clicked the 14th floor button, and
waited as the
door closed. The elevator quietly rose while Sloan's body
action. The music, Sloan noted, was a symphony version of
"Champagne Supernova". He grimaced as the
violin's swelled in order to
take the place of Liam's voice. 'Bloody Hell,' he
thought, 'Liam, how
could you let them turn your gift into * elevator music
While thinking, Sloan leaned back against the wall,
closing his tired
eyes. His mind began to wander form one subject to
another. First, as to
why he joined the Legacy, then to why he took the
position of Head
Precept, then finally as to how the Chipmunks became so
popular in the
Eighties. As to how he got to that particular avenue, he
had no idea.
He opened his eyes, and realized that somewhere along
his thoughts he
had managed to slide onto the carpet. The doors dinged
open, the sound
booming in his ears, then closed. Sloan looked up to see
both Philip and
Derek standing in front of him, stiff and statuesque.
They pressed the
basement button, and stood there waiting, completely
Sloan forced himself up onto his feet, and waved his
hands before the
two. Nothing. No recognition, no pupil dilation or
The door dinged open, and Sloan shadowed the two out
into a huge room
with a cement floor and stone walls. It was completely
barren except for
cots and floor-length candelabras.
Sloan somehow registered this as the room from Kat's
vision, but found
the fact peaceful, almost relief. He lumbered jerkily
toward the nearest
cot and pulled the sheet off. He gasped when he saw a
5-year old boy
staring up at him. Sloan suddenly felt trapped and spun
Daniel Cooper in front of him, wearing a black robe.
The man smiled evilly. "So good of you to join us,
William. If you
would've taken the first elevator, it would've brought
here. However, since you brought me Derek and Philip here
with you, I
can forgive you."
Suddenly, Sloan's knees buckled, and he toppled over.
"Daniel, wha t
are ya do'n" Sloan's words slurred together
uncontrollably. His vision
tunneled as Daniel's face loomed in front of him.
"What am I doing here?" The man laughed.
"Isn't it painfully obvious?
Well, I suppose I could forgive you since you are
drugged. Now why don't
you be a good boy and lay on one of these cots for
me." Cooper opened
his black pouch and threw the dust onto Sloan.
"N-never" Sloan cracked hoarsely.
After Sloan had completely lost consciousness, Derek
and Philip carried
their leader to an empty cot, and covered him completely
with a blanket.
on the next page...