Helping

“Is there anything that I can do to help?” Cassandra asked. David was working on filling in the bullet holes in the living room wall.

“Sure, you can help by removing the bullets from the wall before I fill the hole in.” David handed Cassandra a small rod with a suction cup on one end. The other had a magnet on it.

“The suction cup is to help loosen the bullet, sometimes you can get them out with just that. If you can at least get the bullet loose then the magnet will help you gently pull it out of the wall. We are trying to do the least amount of damage to the surrounding wall.”

Cassandra nodded and started working on getting the bullet out of the wall.

Alex came into the living room carrying a couch.

Cassandra watched him carry the couch without help through the living room and down the stairs. She doubted it was something that she would get used to.

“The wall is not going to fix itself,” David said.

“Right,” Cassandra said. She went back to working on getting the bullet out.

“David, can I ask you about someone?”

“It depends on who it is.”

“I wanted to ask you about the boy’s mother,” Cassandra said.

“You can ask about that. The boy has never met his mother,” David said as he smoothed plaster over the hole he had just filled. “I am not even sure if he knows the concept of a mother.”

Cassandra knew different, the boy knew the concept. He had said ‘mommy’ to her.

“The boy has indicated that someone has left him. He could have trauma from that. It might be the reason that he chooses not to speak.”

David stopped working on the wall. His hands fell down to his sides. His head hung low. “I know who it is.”

Cassandra stopped working as well. She put a hand on David’s shoulder.

“She was so young, so full of life. She was only a little older than the boy is now. The boy and Darla were together at the time of the last attack. The boy would have not been too old at the time. She liked to go into his room and watch him.”

Cassandra rubbed his back.

“Her hair was similar in color to yours, Cassandra. It was blond, her eyes were about the color of emeralds.”

David took in a deep breath. “I found her in the boy’s room. She was gone and there was nothing I could do for her. I could not bring her back. She would have been thirteen now. I failed to protect her.”

“It is ok, sir,” Alex said. “The rest of us were there as well. I also failed to protect her.”

Hema came up the steps and said, “I did as well, being her older sister.”

The boy came up as well. He wiggled his way between Alex and Hema. He grabbed David’s leg and placed the side of his head on David’s thigh.

David looked down at the boy and rubbed his hair.

Alex and Hema each reached out to wrap their arms around David and the boy.

Cassandra looked at the group and thought that they should not be separated.

“Hema, do you have a wig that will help you look like me?” Cassandra asked.

Everyone looked up from the group to Cassandra.

“I do, what are you thinking?” Hema replied.

“I was thinking that we should not separate the group. If Hema can look like me, then we would have a set of doppelgangers. Hema, you could be with David and Alex could be with me. We could each get captured and they would not know what to do with us. Hema and Alex could protect the real one. It would also give us a chance that at least one group could make it to QJU to stop her. QT could probably tell just about anyone how to take QJU out.”

David pondered that for a moment.

Ales said, “I think we could work with that, sir. Even some variations of the plan are possible. It might give us a little bit of an advantage.”

“How are we going to work the signals? You and Cassandra both have tagged signals. It would be easy for the Agency to figure out who is real,” Hema commented.

“Well, I could rig signals for both of you. At least for a time, you both would be able to have the same signal as Cassandra and I. I could test out a time-delayed injection for Cassandra and I so that when we need or want to, we can turn all the signals off. It would make it harder for QJU to distinguish where we are in the building,” David said.

“How are we going to get items we might need to shut down QJU into the building?” Hema asked.

“Well, it is a little different and might be odd for the two of us,” Alex said. “We might be able to hide items in our skin. I did not see anything that might detect that we are not human.”

David nodded. “I think we need to still do some work on the details, but this does seem to be the makings of a plan.”

David looked down. The boy was tugging on David’s pants. “You can help get the plan ready, but you will not be able to come along to the Agency.”

The boy let go of David’s leg. He crossed his arms and pouted.

“I am sorry, but you are too little to come along,” David said.

“You are mean,” the boy said as he kicked David’s leg. The boy ran off down the steps. No one went after him; they were all too stunned.

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