“What do you want with me?”
The large man sitting across from her held her gaze and clasped his hands together, as he replied, “We need your help, Chosen One.”
Nina felt a chill run down her spine. She didn’t trust him, or anyone who worked for him for that matter. Why should she? She didn’t even know who he was, or even where they were. Heck, she didn’t even know what day it was!
One afternoon, she had been going for a small walk around her neighborhood, like she did every day before dinner in the summer. That was when she had been surrounded by men and women in suits who came almost out of nowhere as far as she could remember, and a strange needle was stabbed into her arm. Next thing she knew, she was in some strange cell, surrounded by cold metal walls and constantly being watched by the cameras that were placed in every room and every hallway.
And now she was being forced to talk to this strange man in this empty, tiny gray room, who somehow knew she was the Chosen One.
“How did you know that? Who are you? Where am I?”
He got up from his chair and walked over to where she was, reminding her of how Victor would sometimes act when interrogating her back at Anubis House. But this was not Victor, and this was not Anubis House. Those two simple facts made her more terrified than ever.
The man put his hands down on the table with force, nearly knocking over the single glass of water she had been given. Leaning over, he said, with his face uncomfortably close to hers, “One question at a time, Chosen One. I do not have patience for stupid girls thinking they can interrogate me in my own building.”
“But I wasn’t trying to-”
“Silence.” He got up again and walked over to the wall. Pulling a remote out of his pocket, he hit a button, and the wall moved away to reveal a series of screens hiding behind it. He pressed another button, and the screens turned on, revealing images of things she had seen her entire life. Her house when she was growing up in California. Her new house in Pennsylvania. Her elementary school, her middle school, and her old summer camp, and... Anubis House. That one especially made her tense. All she could think was if her friends...if Fabian...was okay. “As you can see, we have been watching you your whole life. The minute word got out that the newest Chosen One had been born, well, we simply couldn’t resist.”
Nina swallowed hard, and he continued speaking.
“We know everything about you, Chosen One. You’ve had a rather interesting life, haven’t you?” The man turned to her, and she tried not to shrink away at his cold stare. “Didn’t you?”
“You could say that.” She was determined not to appear frightened by him; Nina sat up straighter, looked him in the eye, and did her best to speak clearly and calmly. It was hard not to give into the void of terror that was growing in her stomach.
He laughed a little. “Did this answer your first question?”
She didn’t answer.
“Well, did it?”
“I guess it did.”
“Excellent.” The man smiled and turned the screens off. As she saw the image of Anubis House disappear, she felt a strange feeling of despair in her stomach. “Now, moving on. Was that your only question you had for me, Chosen One?”
His fake smile and his sudden forgetfulness got her angry. “You didn’t answer the other two! Who are you?! Where am I?!” Nina stood up and shouted at him this time, which she really shouldn’t have done.
The man shook his head and pressed another button. The iron door behind her opened up and two people walked in, with another needle. Seeing them, she began to panic instinctively. As they grabbed her arm, she tried her hardest to resist.
But her efforts were futile. As they shoved the needle into her arm and injected more of the strange liquid into her bloodstream, the man looked at her and gave her a smile.
“Very sorry, Chosen One. But the answers you wanted are classified.”
Nina was dragged from the room, while the unknown drug took it’s control. She stopped struggling, and by the time she was halfway through the hallway, she was unconscious again.
Eddie was up early that day, raiding his kitchen for breakfast. The Anubis students had graduated only a week earlier, and many of his friends were already gone. He himself had moved into his father’s house, as awkward as the two of them still were around each other, because it was the cheaper alternative to returning back to America for the summer. Without Trudy around to make his meals, he had to start fending for himself, which wasn’t too big a deal considering it gave him freedom to make his special pancakes every morning and feast.
He had a big day planned. First he’d go for a little aimless drive in the shiny new car his dad had bought him as a graduation gift. Then it was off to the movies with Patricia followed by a dinner at the only place they could find that was fancy enough to be considered a date place, but not fancy enough to prompt Patricia to invite her twin sister to the dinner instead. Finally, he’d stay up late and play his new video games. It seemed like a great way to spend his time, now that he was out of Anubis House and his Osirian days were officially over.
Apparently, he had caused enough racket to wake his father up.
“Edison, what is going on down here? You’re making a huge mess of the place!”
“Sorry, dad.” Eddie said, smirking and rooting through the fridge for the whipped cream to add to his pancake stack, if he didn’t feel like just downing it right from the can itself as he had done on many occasions. “I’ll get to it after I eat.”
“You better. I have an important person coming to the house today, and I do not need him to be turned off by this...destruction of our kitchen!”
He rolled his eyes. “It’s more your kitchen, right, dad?”
Mr. Sweet frowned and watched him. “Edison, do not tell me you are still angry over my...er, enthusiasm at resurrecting Frobisher-Smythe?”
“What would give you that idea?” Eddie shrugged his question off, though the answer was an unfortunate yes. When he had wandered into his dad’s room to see a picture of Robert Frobisher-Smythe -Mr. Sweet tried hard to convince his son it was just part of a collection of history related images he kept around the house, not that it did any good- it had opened up old wounds that didn’t seem to be healing any time soon. “Anyways, who’s the guest?”
“Just a person who wishes to take Victor’s place at the House, that’s all. A former student of ours, I believe.”
“Oh.” He felt odd about the idea of anyone besides Victor being the caretaker of Anubis, but it wouldn’t affect him any. “Alright.”
Eddie ate his pancakes in his room and got ready for what he was hoping would be a pretty good day.
The guest arrived before he had a chance to leave. A young looking man in a clean suit, nothing too exciting. He didn’t pay much attention to them...until he noticed their briefcase had an Eye of Horus symbol on the lock. Hmm, interesting.
Eddie took a photo and sent it to Fabian’s phone, with the message, “I guess it’s flashback friday over here haha.” He figured his nerdy friend would be interested in this, even though nobody else would be. Well, besides Nina, but nobody had managed to get in contact with her since the school year had started. She even stopped sending emails to him, which stopped their Paragon and Osirian conversation dead in it’s tracks. He just assumed her gran had become so sick she was all Nina wanted to focus on, and didn’t press any further. But every once in a while, he got worried for her, and longed for her to contact him.
It wasn’t long before his former roommate called him back about this. He parked his car and the conversation began.
“I just tried to research where that briefcase came from, but there’s nothing on the internet about it.” Fabian told him, right after he answered his phone. “Is that even possible?”
Laughing to himself, he answered,
“It’s just a briefcase dude, let it go. I just thought it’d be funny. There are no more mysteries man, get over it!”
“Who is this person with the briefcase anyways?”
“Some random guy who wants to take Victor’s old place at Anubis.” Eddie caught himself staring out the window in boredom as he replied to his friend, and tried to shake it off. These things just didn’t interest him any more. He didn’t want another mystery...not yet, anyways. Not so soon after the last one.
He could hear Fabian nearly choking on something over the phone.
“Dude, are you okay?” Eddie asked, getting worried. “It’s just a coincidence. Calm down.”
“I don’t know about this. I think we should check it out.”
With a facepalm, he said, “Come on, man! Give it a rest. If there’s anything going on, we might as well just let the newbies figure it out. We’re off the job.”
Fabian didn’t seem close to wanting to give up. “You’re going on a date with Patricia today, right? Ask her what she thinks.”
“The Yacker probably wouldn’t care, as long as this man doesn’t want to date me or something.” Eddie joked, but then he got serious, when he heard silence on the other side of the line. “Look, if it’ll make you feel better, I’ll do it. But if she doesn’t think something is going on, we drop it, okay?”
“Alright.” His friend sounded exhausted. “Bye…”
“Bye, dude.” Eddie hung up the phone and sighed. Despite his jokes, he knew there was a big chance Patricia, and her conspiracy-happy mindset, might very well decide there would be a problem. He decided to face the facts- by tonight, he may very well be dealing with one final mystery.
Here we go again...