Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Chapter Thirty-Four - Captive

September 15th, 2022. 
Five days to the Solar Eclipse

The next day was relatively bright and sunny to some, but not to all. As people in the city were waking up, attention was being turned to the graveyard and the large dome that seemed to pop up out of nowhere surrounding it. As people approached it, the Vazir drones warded them back by threatening them, and shooting them if need be.

Unaware of this, Keera stood on the roof of her house, looking out to the ocean. She had a disturbingly angered look and a disposition to match, one that was shared by all when they found out that the "matriarch" of the family had been abducted by Jacob Thompson.

"Keeki. Come on in, please." Scarlett said as she stood there on the roof not far from her. "Please? You've been standing out here all night."

"No." Keera replied. "I'm thinking. I'll continue to be thinking until my mother is back here safe. Leave me be."

Scarlett didn't know what to say, so she didn't say anything. Keera's been upset since the night she saw that man, the one who was inadvertently responsible for her scarring, and the news of Annabelle's kidnapping only seemed to exacerbate her anger by a multiple of a thousand, to the point where she didn't want to talk to anyone at all at the moment. However as Scarlett walked back into the house, she did remark on one thing. "I'll be here if you need me, Keera. You know that. We all will."

Keera didn't reply and kept staring out at the ocean. A couple minutes later Tom walked up the stairs and over to her, looking out with her silently. The two remained there for what seemed like hours, looking off into the distant water, the girl worried about her mother and the man worried about the girl at the time. Suddenly Tom turned to her. "I know what you're thinking, that I messed up. I am thinking that too, Keera. But trust me, we will get her back. Annabelle will be returned to us. She always has a way of taking care of herself."

Keera turned to him and fell into his arms, sobbing. "I am so worried about her, Tom. I am so, so worried about her."

"I am too, Keera." Tom replied, patting her back. "We will get her back, we must."

Still crying, Keera stepped back and looked at him. "We have to soon, who knows what horrible things are happening to her right now. For all we know she could be getting tortured by those people."


 "I have awesome information for you Tobias. Tobias, aren't you listening?!" Annabelle smiled. Tobias Corvan was resting his wounds and sitting on a chair just outside her room window, watching something on the television. Annabelle overheard the fact that they didn't have the capacity to create sound-proof windows with the time they had, and whoever was sent to watch her could hear every word she said. Annabelle was having fun milking it for all it was worth.

"Are you trying to watch television? Why can't you? What's stopping you? Why can't you concentrate on your shows? What's this part about? Is it awesome? Is that person the bad guy? He looks like the bad guy. Are you going to listen to what my awesome information is? Hey Tobias! Hey Tobias! Hey Tobias! Hey Tobias! Hey Tobias! Hey Tobias! Hey Tobias! Hey Tobias! Hey Tobias!"

Annabelle chuckled and continued to say his name repeatedly. "Hey Tobias! Hey Tobias! Hey Tobias! Hey Tobias! Hey Tobias! Hey Tobias! Hey Tobias! Hey Tobias! Hey Tobias! Hey Tobias! Hey Tobias! Hey Tobias! Hey Tobias! Hey Tobias! Hey Tobias! Hey Tobias! Hey Tobias! Tobias! TOOOOBIIIIAAAAASSSS! TOBY! TOB-MAN. THE TOBESTER!"

"WHAT?!?!?!" Tobias stood up and angrily walked to the window. "What is so damned important?!?!"

"Well if you're going to get angry about it I'm not going to tell you."

Tobias angrily looked at her and went back to the chair to sit. Annabelle decided to stand where she was and continued to stare at him. Every time Tobias looked at her she diverted her eyes somewhere else, but when he looked back to the television she looked back to him.

She had read how psychologically damaging it was to constantly make someone feel as though they're being watched, and was utilizing this to her fullest advantage. Ever since Tobias was told to watch her so she doesn't try to escape, she had been using every single trick to her knowledge to cause him as much distress as possible, and he was beginning to look like he was going to crack.

After five minutes of staring, Annabelle finally made a noise that sounded like her throat clearing. Tobias ignored her and continued to watch the television, so she made an even louder noise of the same type. "Psst, hey. I'm trying to get your attention. I'm trying to tell you that when Tom gets into this building, you're going to feel pain. So much pain."

"It's going to hurt so bad. I mean, he already this that to you, and his cousin punched you in the face earlier, so yeah. He's gonna punch you so hard that it will make his cousin punching you feel like she caressed your cheek.""

"CORVAN!" Dr. Vu angrily walked into the room, looking right at his wounded henchman. "You idiot! We have news helicopters encircling the graveyard constantly! I just saw a news report saying the military will try to breach that shield!" Vu then grabbed his shirt and pushed him back into the window Annabelle was standing near. She laughed at this as well, and continued to watch silently.

"Thomas Jameson was going to kill me! I had to raise the shield! He was a monster, I tell you! A horrible monster!"

"Don't give me your exaggerations, Corvan!" Vu angrily said, "I told you three hundred times that the shield would go up the day before the eclipse! Now you have drawn far too much attention to us! The military's weapons will eventually breach that thing, and they'll come for us both!"

"Yeah what were you thinking?!" Annabelle said, matching Vu's tone of speech on an almost parody-level. "It's almost as if you're a complete idiot!"

Corvan angrily looked at her and then turned back to Vu. "Yeah, well you were busy and Jacob was nowhere to be found. Where is he anyway? I haven't seen him since last night."

"Jac-ob Thoom-pson." Annabelle said, sarcastically. She knew Jacob's real name was Jack Toomes, and wondered if these two knew it as well. "Mr. Benefactor. Mr. Awesome. Well he stepped out. Something about 'blah blah blah'... I wasn't listening to be honest. He should be back soon I guess. Maybe he's busy playing a game, like Parcheesi, Checkers, or Jacks."

"Or maybe he's at Corvan's home, raiding his fridge and going through his stuff. Though I'm pretty sure it's not a 'home' as much as it is a 'one bedroom studio apartment that smells like cats'. I mean, being an evil henchman can't possibly pay that much, right?"


"You know if this were a hotel you would be fired for talking to your guests like that." Annie said, "And the whole, you know, 'kidnapping your guests' thing. But competition is fierce these days I guess."

"Can we please activate the poison. Please please please?!" Corvan begged to Vu, who simply motioned him away.

"Get out of my sight." Vu said, disgusted at Corvan at the moment. When the henchman left, Vu walked up to the window to look at Annabelle. "I didn't want you to be kidnapped, but I'm afraid if I let you go I'll never get my chance to ask Tom what he knew about his father."

"So I'm bait. Lovely. Why do you want to know so damn much about Tom's parents? And why from him?! He was just a toddler when they died. What can he possibly tell you, that they did babytalk to him and changed his diaper? That's real worthwhile information, Doc."

"You don't understand!" Vu said, more upset than angry. "He told me he would help me! He told me I could find out the information I want to know! I trust him!"

"Who? Jack Toomes?"

Vu had a confused look on his face. Suddenly Jacob walked into the room, interrupting the conversation. He was looking angrily at Annabelle, who smiled with a sinister delight at seeing him. "Hey Jacob!" She said, "You know when this is all over, can you help me fix my car? My wheel's damaged and I need a jack."

Jacob snarled as he walked past. "When this is over you will be gone. As will Thomas Jameson and all your friends."

Annabelle, undeterred, smiled again. "Well, where are we going? You know I always wanted to go to London. Just to stand under a British flag. You know what the name of the U.K. flag is? It's called the Union Jack."

Jacob angrily growled under his breath as he turned towards Vu. Annabelle was clearly using his real name to stir him on, as he was very secretive about revealing his true identity to those in the base. He also wondered if Vu actually knew who he was, as he was about as intelligent as the green-skinned woman. When it came to the intelligence of Tobias Corvan, however, Jacob wasn't worried about him finding out on his own at all. "Doctor Vu, I see the shield is up now? A little early to establish it, the damn thing will attract the attention of everyone. I believe I am correct when I say that Corvan is the reason behind this?"

Vu spoke exasperated tone of voice, as if the world was falling onto his shoulders. "Yes. He tried to tell me that Tom Jameson was chasing him and was trying to kill him, so he established the entire base defense protocol to stop one man. Foolish person that man is."

Annabelle chuckled "Hey, Tom's tough. They say he can survive explosions. He once fell off a three-story house and walked away without a scratch. He surprises me constantly, like some odd Jack-in-the-box."

Jacob shot an angry look at Annabelle. "What's the status on the prisoner. Has she caused much of a problem?"

"I prefer the term 'Damsel in distress' myself." Annie chimed in. "But you can call me anything: Prisoner, damsel, captive, dreamer, artist, dancer, hero, singer, lady who decorates with a streamer and hits her enemies with a stinger. I am a Jack of All Trades when it comes to things like that."  

"Aside from the fact that she never shuts up, no. It seems Corvan has reached his limit with her. I'll watch her myself for the time being, then I'll have Vazir monitor her." While Jacob stood there, continuing to look at Annabelle, Vu took the opportunity while he was distracted to tap on his shoulder. "If that is all, you can leave now, Mr. Thompson."

Jacob started to leave without saying a word. As he did so, Annie made an innocent waving gesture at him, and when he turned around she did another gesture that was not so innocent. Vu turned to her. "When I find out the information I want from Tom Jameson, I'll let you go. The both of you. I never wanted this."

Annabelle glared angrily at him. "Well maybe you should have thought about that before you bombed the city of Sunset Valley with meteors. If you never did that, I wouldn't be in this mess and neither would you! Everything in my life changed because of what YOU did. EVERYTHING!"

"You still don't understand. I never bombed the town!"


"Annabelle's gone, she was kidnapped." Tom said to the family who was meeting in the living room. "We have to save her, and stop these villains from using the lamp. We have less than a week to do both. And if you don't mind, I'd like to save Annabelle within the next hour or so."

"We can't, they have the whole area around the place cordoned off." Deacon said. "You heard what the news reporter said, no one can get near that graveyard without those robot things attacking them."

"They couldn't attack people if they were off." Scarlett chimed in, "John, can you muster up some kind of EMP device to shut them down, we can go in, rescue Annabelle, and prevent those guys from using the lamp?"

"I could." John replied. "But who knows if it would work. Those robots, from what Deacon, Isobelle, and Tom here have told me, they seem pretty tough. Who knows what kind of protection they have, from EMP or other weapons. Now if we could capture one, and I could perform experiments on it, that would reveal some information about the things.

"Information such as their weaknesses." Isobelle said. "If we can find out what makes them tick, we can find out what can make them stop ticking." She then made a fist. "And after getting hit with their lasers, I would love to make them stop ticking, if I can."

Keera, who was standing off in the corner, looked to the group. "Well this is all well and good but mom is the one who usually comes up with the plans, and she's gone, who's gonna come up with the plan this time?"

"Well, we do have Annabelle." Kelly said, "Well, an Annabelle. Not exactly the same but pretty damn close."

Everyone in the room simultaneously turned their heads towards someone standing in the room not far from them, as if knowing exactly what the girl in blue meant all at the same time. Mirabelle looked over at them and gauged their reaction to her words. Technically Kelly was right: Mirabelle had all the memories and personality of their lost family member, but since her "creation", Mira hadn't really used her strategy skills, letting Annabelle do all the work. Since Annabelle wasn't there, it was up to her to get the ideas moving.

"Let's get to work then. We have a lot to do between now and next week."


"Damn that Vu!" Jacob said to himself as he stood in a building not far from town. "He's such a moron! Him and that Tobias Corvan!.I hate them! When I get that lamp he and everyone else will be bowing down to me or will be turned to dust, but the way things are going I won't even get a chance to get a hold of the thing! Tobias activating that shield is getting the attention of everyone across the region, and it would only be a matter of time before-"

Suddenly, something caught Jacob's attention. He turned towards a device and looked down towards it, his eyes showing a hint of absolute delight as he concocted a ruthless plan...


"What do you mean you didn't bomb the town?!" Annabelle demanded. "You told the police officers you did, you basically bragged about it! Was that some kind of lie? Or are you lying now?"

"I didn't lie. I just... well I did lie, back then. But I swear on my family I didn't bomb the town. I just took the blame for someone else! He bombed the town, he left the evidence behind in that park intentionally, and he told me to take the fall or he'd kill them! I swear to you, I was just a pawn!"

"Jack!" Annabelle grew cold and infuriated. "That man is pure evil! He is capable of things like that!"

"Jack? No! It was Mor-?"

"Dr. Vu! Come quick!" Tobias ran into the room interrupting his words. "Jacob Thompson's on the television, the internet, everything! He's threatening Starlight Shores with YOUR weapon!"

"WHAT?! What is that fool doing?!" Dr. Vu turned around quickly, forgetting what he was about to tell Annabelle, and walked outside. Before he left, however, he turned back to his captive. "Miss Kethrin, I am sorry, but I must leave. Think of me as a monster if you will, I do not hold it against you." With that, the two walked into the main room and watched Jacob's broadcast that was being aired across the entire region. When they left, Annabelle looked around for any type of way to escape the room and get back home.

At the same time everyone in the Kethrin house heard Thompson's voice and immediately looked over to the television, where they saw him standing there with an evil grin on his face.

"This is an open message to the people of Starlight Shores, California. I am Jacob Thompson, you do not know me, but I know you. I've watched you from all possible angles, every possible vantage point. I've been at the lowest point of life, and I've been on the highest levels, and to me, you have all failed in my expectations."

"I am sending this message to you people for one particular reason: This city, and all of it's buildings, it's empty lots, and it's wonderful sign on the hill, everything is mine now. And as such, I am declaring you to leave my new home alone."

"There can't be too many people who can't recall what happened to Sunset Valley, California on March 5th, 2013. It was a world-wide news story. For those who do not know, the town was damaged by a meteor shower, killing fifty seven tourists, townsmen and women, and those lost in their ways."

"If the graveyard in Starlight Shores, California is approached by anyone, if the graveyard is attacked by the military or any other governing force, I will unleash ten times the amount of destruction that was set upon Sunset Valley. And if you don't believe me..."

Suddenly a familiar whirring sound came flying across the sky, heading towards the town of Starlight Shores. The meteor fell for miles before finally hitting a park on the opposite end of town. The entire town went into panic after this, as though they were finally coming to realize that he was capable of doing what he could.

"Remember, no one comes near the graveyard."

The screen went black, and the same a happened across the entire town. Tom walked over to the window and looked out, where he saw a pillar of smoke rising from the park to the west. Mirabelle walked outside to look around. After this, John turned to the family and said "We have to do something. We know what Jacob wants, and I feel we are the only ones who can stop him."

"How?" Scarlett said, "You heard what he said, if anyone goes near the graveyard he'll destroy this town."

"Jacob seems like the kind of person who would destroy the town anyway." Kelly said, "From what Tom said about him and from what he said there on the television. And we're the only ones who know that, the rest of the town will genuinely believe he won't destroy the place unless someone approaches the graveyard, and that means the military will be closing off the area, letting not one person in."

"From the panicking outside, I don't think we have to worry about that." Mirabelle replied as she walked back in the house. "People are packing up and leaving, even the military. They either are taking Jacob's threats seriously or they don't want to take him seriously."

"Should we evacuate as well?" Cassie asked. "I mean, do we?"

"No." Tom said, "Kelly and John were right: We're the only ones who know what Jacob is capable of and we're the only ones who know what he wants. And if he gets what he wants, then who the hell knows what he will do with it?"

"Then it's simple. We fight back." Scarlett said. "I've been eager to knock some heads together. Or robots. Doesn't matter to me. As long as my best friend is captured by them I will do what it takes to wipe them all completely out!"

"Whoa hold on." Keera said, "That guy has a weapon that can summon meteors! What can we use to stop him?!" she pulled her blue and black wand out of her back pocket and waved it around. "I mean, all we have are these magic wand things that I don't think even work-"

Seconds later the wand emitted an energy beam which enveloped Keera in a rainbow colored light. She looked at herself, and at the shocked faces of everyone else, as she stood there. She didn't feel any different than normal, and realized that spell she accidentally cast must have been a charm of some sort.

"Well, they work." Mirabelle said, "pretty well I must say. Since I've seen magic and have used it in the past against Nightmare, I guess it's up to me to teach everyone how to use these things. Shouldn't be too hard, right?"