You’ve entered the world of The Realm Jumpers. The adventure with Riley and his trusty gang continues…
“Oh, you did not bring Hope.” Braeden shook his head. “Dang it, Riley.”
“Like anyone can tell her no.” I hoisted him up. He was as good as new. “And you’re welcome by the way.”
He raised his hand and patted his side. “Nice work, man. Why didn’t you tell us?”
“Was going to when Jeff got back.”
“He just found out last night at the game,” Hope said.
“Ahhh, you healed her arm!” Braeden grinned. “Okay, time to go. Both of you.”
“No chance.” I stood straight. “What are you doing here? I can help.”
“We can!” She backhanded me.
“Hope can’t be a part of this.”
“I so am! I saw what you did. You froze those guys.”
He stepped toward her. “Yeah.”
“And if you don’t let me stay, I’ll tell.”
He growled. “I can fix that.”
The guy on the ground groaned and rolled over. Braeden knelt beside him and grabbed his face. “You were just leaving. This isn’t a safe place for you to live. Find another. You didn’t see us here. You don’t remember anything from tonight.”
The guy’s face went blank, and he sagged a little.
“Come on,” Braeden said. “Get going.”
The bum stood and started wandering away from the house in a daze.
“You’ve got to be kidding me!” Hope yelled. Her shrill voice made me duck.
Braden did, too, then he pointed at her. “See. She’s gone.” He reached for her, but she dodged him.
“No way. You’re not touching me, freak.”
I pushed his arm down. “She knows about me. It’s cool.”
She stuck out her tongue. “Now. What’s up with the army duds?”
“Mom’s gonna kill me.” He ran his hands through his dark, buzz-cut hair. “Come on.”
We followed him into the house. “Looking for anything that might tell us more about you.”
“Wait. This is the house you found me at?” I looked around. “I thought it felt familiar.”
“You were taken from this dump?”
“It was fine before we hit it,” Braeden said. “Kinda leveled it, huh?”
We turned into another room. Looked to be a kitchen—what was left of it anyway.
“Just one floor, which doesn’t make sense. But I can’t find a way down.”
“What’s out back?” I looked through the windows.
“Fenced in yard. Shed. Dog house. From what I can tell. We snatched and grabbed you quick. Not safe to come back for a while after we debunk a lab.”
He nodded as he opened a closet door. “Pantry.”
“Let’s check out the shed,” I said, leading toward the door.
I pushed it open and stepped into a huge backyard. The moon spilled rows of sculptures lining the two side walls.
“So, telekinesis. Mind control?” I said to Braeden as we crept toward the shed.
“Yep. It’s a form of telepathy, I can’t read minds, but I can control them. As long as I’m touching them somehow.”
“So not. You try dating a chick with that power.”
“Can’t control it?” I asked.
“Working on that.” He grinned.
I crept to the shed door and cracked it open. Braeden flashed a light into the small space. Lawn mower, bike, and a tarp over something in the middle. Braeden glanced at me.
I yanked off the cloth to find a desk. It was small, wooden, and totally cleaned off. I opened all the drawers but there wasn’t anything in them.
“Check under the drawers,” Hope said.
“It’s in, like, every spy movie ever made.” She crossed her eyes at me. “Check beneath the drawer. And see if there’s a false panel or something.”
“This isn’t a movie, dork,” Braeden said.
“Wait a minute.” She crept around me and got onto her knees. She swiped the ground and knocked on it. “Jack pot.”
“Okay, maybe the little brat is coming in handy,” Braeden said.
We pushed the desk away and found a small square patch of wood beneath it. Braeden flashed the light on it. There was a hook in the corner. I tugged on it and the door shifted.
“Sweet. So it is like a movie!” Hope glared at Braeden.
“We really should come back with the team.” Braeden looked at me. “We don’t know what’s down there.”
“They’ll be pissed you came here without them,” I said.
“Way past that.”
“Then we might as well check it out,” Hope said. “Since we’re here and all ready in trouble.”
“If we find something, maybe they’ll be less mad?” I asked.
“All the power to this place is out.” Braeden flashed his light in every direction around us. “So, it should be okay. No cameras or anything.”
“That’s why you wear the mask?” I asked.
“Need the whole anonymity thing considering we come in and bust heads.”
“You and the Kurators. This is what you do,” I said, repeating to him what he’d said to me when he’d broken me out. “What was done for you.”
“Exactly.” He winked.
“Who were these people that worked here?” Hope asked.
“Evil mad scientists,” he said. “And they were working on our boy here.”
Hope looked at me with wide eyes. “So, you lied about coming from up north?”
“Yep,” Braeden answered for me. “Don’t be pissed at him, though, we made him. Everyone has to get a new life after we find them. And this one right here is something special. So, unless you want me to melt your brain, keep your trap shut.”
“Braeden!” I smacked his shoulder.
“What is it with her? Jeez?” Braeden pulled the wooden square up and flashed his light down. “Ladder.” He lay on his stomach and looked into the darkness, flashing his light. “Empty. Couple of things at the far end. Looks clear.”
He hopped up and climbed down the ladder. Hope and I followed.
“Got an extra one of those lights in your pockets?” I asked him.
He pulled out a tiny mag light and clicked it on. “Have fun.”
“Got any candy in one of those pockets? I’m hungry,” Hope said.
Braeden shook his head then trotted off to what looked like a desk in the far part of the room. The space was huge. And empty. There was a red bulls eye in the middle of the floor in the main empty space.
Target for what, though?
The walls were cement, and so was the ceiling. My light spilled over a door off to the right. Hope hustled over and peeked in. “Bathroom.”
Behind us there was a little sink and a set of cupboards lining a wall, so I checked them out. Empty. Other than a tiny refrigerator beneath the sink it was cleaned out, too.
“What the heck kinds place is this? Bomb shelter or something?”
“Might be.” I’d read about those. This did appear similar.
“Got something.” Braeden’s voice echoed.
He’d opened the bottom drawer of a second desk in the corner and revealed a safe.
“Any idea how to open it?”
“Back at the house we can.” Braeden opened the middle desk drawer. “Now we have to figure out how we’re getting it home.
The black safe wasn’t more than two cubic feet, but more than likely very heavy. “We could call Janet.”
“And let them know we’ve come here. Alone?”
“You mean we weren’t going to tell them at all?” I asked.
“No use ticking them off until we find something worth telling them about.”
“A safe is worth telling.”
“Unless it’s empty like everything else here.” He glanced around. “The Council Triad isn’t gonna officially let us come here for weeks, maybe months, after a hit as big as we’ve done.”
“The Council Triad?” I asked.
“They govern us Kurators. And like I said. They suck. They’re slow like bread. Archaic and will be royally pissed if they find out what we’ve done. So, we might as well see what’s in here first so we have a peace offering to give them when they find out what we’ve done.”
“Great,” I whispered. “These guys are in charge? They can hurt us if we do something wrong?”
The room got super quiet. Braeden and Hope stared at me.
“Riley, man,” Braeden said. “You aren’t going to get zapped if you do something wrong. You’re not a lab rat anymore. Okay?”
Sometimes I still felt like one. Still felt like something big was going to happen if I did one thing wrong. Or someone might take my new friends away.
“I vote for running to Janet and hope she’s as cool about this as I think she’ll be,” Hope said. “Dude. She’s awesome. She’ll totally get this.”
“She might. But Jeff’s the one we have to get on board.”
“Let’s vote.” Hope raised her hand. “All in favor of telling Janet and getting her to help us open this, raise your hand.”
“You’re a dork,” Braeden said. “We’re not voting. You’re not part of this.”
“Oh, why, cuz I’m just a normal human? Not some super hero with wicked cool powers.” Her shoulders sagged. “I want a power!”
“Let’s just get out of here. This place is making me nervous. We’ll get this thing home and then we’ll figure it out.” I hoisted the safe into my arms. “It’s not that heavy we’ll figure out a way to prop it on a bike and—”
“You did not just pick that up like it was a bag of cotton candy.” Braeden’s eyes about bugged out of his sockets.
I looked at Hope, and hers were the same way.
“What?” I said, holding the safe.
“I couldn’t budge that thing,” Braeden said, pushing my shoulder. “Are you kidding me right now?”
“Holy crap.” Hope stepped away.
Braeden snickered. “Guess you have another power!”
Join us Monday for Chapter 12 of Watcher of the Realms. Be sure to subscribe to the site to not miss a single chapter of Riley’s adventures.
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See you soon….