We stopped at the door from the prison to the rest of the Sanctuary. "Um... So, do we teleport now? We have to keep fighting Mevolent, and I'm probably a wanted criminal, so I can't exactly waltz out of here..." I was still trying to wrap my head around everything that was happening, and trying not to think too deep into everything Niccolo had told me...
"Why not?" He questioned lightly, as if strolling through the Sanctuary would be the obvious course of action.
"I mean, you can't be seen- because you're never seen, and I can't be seen because I'm supposed to be locked up- you aren't seriously suggesting that we just walk out the door and hope no one sees us... Are you? Wouldn't teleporting be easier?"
"Well, it would be, except that it isn't."
"That's not helping."
"You can't what?"
"Why not?" I suddently became concerned. "Did something happen to you when you came back, or...?"
He sighed. "I never explained to you how my power works, did I?"
"Well, no... I just know that you have just about every discipline in the books... And some more that aren't. You know I've never questioned how."
"Well, I'm explaining it now. In reality, I only have one discipline of my own- I can steal true names. Each power I have was stolen from someone I killed."
"That's why you wanted to keep me alive when we met..." I said slowly, realizing. He had said he was helping me become stronger because of my blood manipulation, but he had never told me how he would use it. I never questioned- I knew he wouldn't answer me, anyway. "You were going to steal my blood manipulation and then kill me."
"Yes. Obviously, that plan has been signifigantly modified. But back to the whole point of me telling you this- after I steal a name, I can't use any of the others for..." He paused, thinking, "About 46 hours."
"What happens if you do?"
"The last time I tried it, I blacked out and woke up three days later."
"Oh, wow..." There was some sense of wonder shining through in my voice- for some reason I couldn't imagine him being so vulnerable for any length of time... Then again, before I killed him, I couldn't imagine him dead.
"So," He said confidently, "Here's the plan." He opened the door and strode out into the Sanctuary, pulling me by the arm, and announced loudly into the minds of everyone present, "I am kidnapping Aretha Tesla. As of now, the entire Sanctuary is my hostage- if anyone attempts to stop me from leaving or chase after me once I've gone, I will strip their soul from their body."
Three Cleavers came racing down the hallway, but almost immediately they fell to the ground, lifeless. A cruel half-smile flitted over Niccolo's face, and for a moment, I was almost frightened... And I started to wonder who he had killed to get this new discipline.
"What the heck are we doing?" I muttered under my breath. Everything about this was just so... Wrong.
"Taking the direct approach," He told me, darkness creeping back into his voice. "It's the only choice we've got." Now he sounded more like himself; I started to relax again. He really hadn't changed at all- he was just acting differently because I needed him too. And I didn't say anything, but silently, I was grateful. It was working.