Charles sat cross-legged in the room Rabe had allocated him. Down the hall, he could hear the baby crying and the German siblings arguing. Downstairs, the television was blaring out at full volume. He could hear rats as well. He was waiting for Rabe's phone to ring, for her to say Jasmin wanted to talk to him. He was terrified. This was his last remaining friend. When he thought back to the whole bests thing, he realised there were groups. Moyen, Trac and Benjamin, Jasmin and Jalousie, Rasoir and Rene, Hiver, Poupee and Enrageant, and then Charles had always found his closest friend to be Pierre. He hadn't known Pierre had died until a month after, when he'd woken up in a hospital bed and found he was now visually impaired. He really hated his diminishing eyesight now. His good eye seemed to be getting worse as well. At this rate he would be completely blind by the end of the year. Also his eyes were itchy and beginning to water quite badly. This made him effectively blind and he cursed, trying to wipe his eyes dry. He wondered if they had cats in this house. He hated cats. He had a fur allergy. He heard a meow and realised there was a cat on the bed with him. With a curse, he swiped out at it and then he heard the door open.
"Are you crying?" Asked Scarlett with a slight laugh, coming forward to take the cat away.
"Keep the cat out of my room, I'm allergic."
"Oh, sorry...the Spanish guy you came with...he's nicked some of my clothes..."
"What makes you say that?"
"Well...he was wearing them when he came out of the shower...and I asked if they were mine and he said 'I'll give them back, but my own are filthy'."
Charles sniffed the shirt he was wearing and pulled a face. "So are mine..."
Scarlett frowned. "Maybe all the liberated prisoners should borrow my clothes...they're a bit big for the Spaniard and they'd be very big on you...and covered in cat hair since Fuzzball here is mine, but hey, it'd be something clean."
Charles thought about it. "I'm good like this. Unless you wash the cat hair off first."
"Yeah, no problem...are you okay?"
"I have a few...troubled thoughts..."
Scarlett stayed quiet, and after a few seconds moved away, taking Fuzzball with him. Charles sighed and waited for his vision to improve a bit, but it didn't. Once the watery eyes had stopped watering, he was still just as blind. He swore viciously and got up, kicking at something. Some detective he would make if he went blind.
Jasmin grunted as he was thrown into a familiar room with sawdust on the floor and hay piled in the corner. He was in jeans and a T-shirt and while it was boiling outside, it was freezing in this room. He hugged himself and huddled over, sitting against the hay bale and thinking about his next move. He couldn't think of anything and began to cry, much to his chagrin. He hoped there weren't any security cameras or anything, because the last thing he wanted was to make himself, or France, look weak in front of Mevolent's men. There was a small scuffling sound from inside the hay and he pulled himself away with a yelp. A face peaked out at him from the hay. Two faces. Three. The first was all burnt and damaged, the second was an incredibly familiar face.
"Elizabess." He mumbled. The Australian elder frowned as he failed to pronounce his name again. The third person was a woman who looked absolutely terrified. "What are you three doing?" Jasmin asked curiously.
Elizabeth Slyther disappeared inside the hay pile again and the woman sighed. "Hiding. It won't do much, but it's a comfort tool for the kids here."
Jasmin frowned. "Kids?"
"Abe and I have a couple of boys...I don't think he trusts Grand Mage Cherry with Australia, he's really stressed."
"You're one of the French Elders..." The burnt man stated quietly.
"Are you an Elder?"
"Norwegian Grand Mage. Axel Stridsoks."
"French Grand Mage, Jasmin Orage." Frowning, he stood and went to the wall, right where the door was, and started examining the walls fully. Axel frowned.
"What are you doing?"
"I used to be one of France's best detectives. If there's a way out of here, I can find it and I can make a plan."
The woman, whose name was Circe, arched an eyebrow and smiled. "You do that, then."
Santa and Elder Haos looked on as the Grand Mage broke down the basement door and stepped into a room loaded with all sorts of weapons and communicative technology. "Wow." Haos muttered.
Mihai smirked. "Welcome to Polina Skromneyy's arsenal. We have weapons, we have contact to any frequency we can hack, and we have friends across the globe to help us, and to whom we can distribute these weapons should the need arise. Lady and gentleman, we are going to war."
"And how do you plan to get inside Mevolent's Castle?" Ursa asked, narrowing his eyes suspiciously. Mortis gave a lazy shrug in response. "You can't just stroll on into that company. You need a plan."
"We need Miss Maleficent and her friend, Mr Twist." Jayden responded in a quiet, subdued tone.
"They have strong ties to the inside." Mortis agreed. "Miss Maleficent supports the cause of the Faceless Ones, but Mr Twist is on our side no doubt. Plus, have you ever heard of a man from Germany by the name of Drakon Geistesblitz?" Both men returned blank looks. "Connections to Hiro Phantasmagoria, Richard Sloth and Franz Ransom. Used to know two men named Carmichael Hauter and Benedict Electrolytic, who were very high up in Mevolent's ranks. Drakon is employed as a Sense Warden there and he knows a lot. He was originally working as a spy for the German Sanctuary, but made a point of destroying all files of him there and making fakes so he wouldn't get in trouble when Mevolent took over. He's been anonymously supplying German-speaking countries' Sanctuaries with information. If we can make contact with him, we have our way in, and Ursa, Jayden, you said something about knowing a German man named Absurdity?"
Ursa nodded, but Jayden was still drawing a blank.
"That man has links to Hiro and Richard, or so you told me, Ursa, and I believe to Drakon as well. We talk to any of those three, and we've got something...talking to Hiro and Richard does involve returning to the Sanctuary, though, which I don't want to do."
Awesome's friends were round. Box was hiding in his room and the vampire himself looked very anxious and uncomfortable. Austin frowned, suspicious. His eyes took in all his friends present and he listed off all the ones he would never see again in his head. Had anyone told Aleron that Lilia was dead? He would probably take it pretty hard. The Necromancer's face was impassive, so Austin couldn't tell if he knew or not. Awesome finally stood, refusing to meet the eyes of the girls but quite happy to meet those of the boys. "Ladies and gentlemen, thank you for coming and not complaining about the short notice or the fact I should, by all rights, be either dead or in prison right now, thanks to Lilia and Cadence, not that I'm complaining as both were very lovely girls...Cadence is still alive though."
Aleron gave a shocked and dismayed squeak and Austin pulled a face. That had been so tactful.
"Anyway, I have something to run by each of you, but for each of you it's different, and since you're now upset, I'll take you away first, Al. Each of your parts in this mission is to remain a secret at all costs." He left them with that warning and led the Necromancer away.
There was a man in the medical bay, standing over the small form of baby Antonia-Lily. If she was taken now, it would be a while before anyone realised she was gone. Oh, what leverage this would be.
In the afterlife, Garnet cursed, somewhat aware the infant had been taken. God, he hated the idea of little ones being in trouble. Plus he had no clue how to get into contact with Mildred from here. He had asked around, but nobody knew how, until he found two men talking and strolled up to them, smiling. One was tall, pale and incredibly skinny, the other was shorter, fatter and paler. "Excuse me-"
The taller one waved a skeletal hand. "Don't bother me." He stated calmly in a Scottish accent. "I'm busy belittling."
"I want to know how to contact a Mildred Firestone. She can hear the dead."
Both men suddenly turned a cold glare on him. He felt a little uncomfortable.
"And why would you need a clairaudient, child?"
"I'm over a hundred years old, I'm hardly a child."
"I asked you a question."
"I have information to help the cause against Mevolent and save countless lives, including those on the Irish council." This got a third man interested, and Garnet began to squirm under all the attention.
"Mildred might not help you." The shorter man spat, "Mildred has a history of only helping herself, only caring for things that benefit her."
"This will benefit her though! How well do you two know her?"
"Not very." The tall man admitted. "Well enough to have her killed if I so wished. I have merely used her to contact an ex student of mine."
Garnet smirked. "Ursa Borealis?"
"You thought you recognised me when you saw me, but my accent threw you. I spend a lot of time observing people, I pick things up quickly." He turned to the shorter man. "You know Millie?"
"All too well."
Garnet frowned. "Are you related to her? You have, like, way too many similarities..."
"We're nothing alike!"
Garnet smirked and turned to the third man. "And you used to serve on the Irish council. Do you know about Mildred Firestone?"
"Never heard of her."
"Right." He turned back to the tall man and smiled. "I need to talk to her."
The man thought for a couple of seconds. "I can help you."
((Aaaaaand my ability to access the collab will become sporadic as I'm going on this thing called The Challenge, where there's this guy I like. It's residential for the first two weeks, so I won't have my computer and I'll be doing all this sporty stuff and possibly camping, which I hate. Also have some Garnet and Fred and other dead people in the afterlife and stuff. FRED, I MISSED YOU, I'M SORRY I KILLED YOU! Also Circe, who was never supposed to be in this collab, uh, ever, but I didn't want Jasmin to be alone and had already said there were three others before I'd given the slightest thought to who those three might be...))