Thursday, December 9, 2010

Intruder Pt. 2

Wiley adeptly moved his fingers over the keyboard pressing particular buttons together to pull up different boxes each with different numbers changing quickly as a small light on his computer continued to flash.

"Someone's in the inner tunnel system. They tripped one of my sensors."

I stood behind him as I watched, unsure of what exactly he was seeing. He had tried to explain the sensors to me before, but I had a hard time understanding them and the readings they put out. "Could it be an accident?"

Wiley looked dubious as he tapped at his computer. "They're moving with intent-- going forward quickly, but from the looks of it not recklessly. They're exploring." He turned his chair to look back at me. "Were you followed?"

"No, I made sure. We took all the safety precautions-- did everything you told us to do."

Wiley bit his lip as he turned back to his computer, checking that tunnels were sealed off while keeping an eye on the sensors. I had no idea what his plans were for intruders. He seemed to bank on the idea that the tunnels made most people uncomfortable and afraid. Most of the tunnel openings were hidden or blocked off, a few had off the grid people almost living out of them. But those people were harmless and wouldn't dream of going deeper into the tunnels for the fear of the unknown. These intruders were further than just the entrance, they were far enough in to trip Wiley's warning sensors, yet still far enough away that I could see Wiley wasn't worried.

"So we don't know if it's anything yet, right? You can seal off the tunnel and they'll probably just go away when they think it's closed."

Nervously we waited, Wiley with his eyes on the sensors and me with my eyes on Wiley. When he quickly muttered what almost sounded like a proper curse under his breath, and the flashing continued I could guess it wasn't good though I had no idea what it meant. "Wiley?"

"They got through somehow. They're still coming."

Henri's deep voice sternly broke into the space between us. "Who is?"

Wiley and I turned to face Henri standing in the door way, his younger sister standing behind him with sharp eyes ready as if she were taking in the details and trying to come up with plans of her own.

Clearing his throat, Wiley turned back to his computer as he forced his voice out calmly. "I don't know yet. Intruders in the inner tunnels."

Henri stepped fully into the room and crossed his arms in disapproval. "And what the hell are you doing about it?"

Both Wiley and I looked up at him. From the corner of my eye, I could see Anna also looking up at him, her brows pulled down and her mouth partially open as if she were barely holding back her own thoughts.

"Nothing, they're exploring. It's not the first time this has happened. They'll give up. There's no way they'll figure out a way to us through the tunnels."

Henri rolled his eyes with a gruff sigh. "Cheryl, give me one of the coms. Wiley, direct me to them."

Wiley spun his chair around as I stood staring at Henri. Anna had closed her mouth, but she didn't move either. "What're you going to do?" Her voice was soft and careful, almost weary at the prospect of his confronting anyone.

Henri looked at her briefly before looking at me and holding out one large hand expectantly.

"You're going to face them?" Wiley almost sputtered. "That's not the best move in this case. Then they'll know we're here."

"They already know we're here." Henri's look was stern. He'd never made either one of us feel like children, but faced with that reproachful look from him, I could see the both of us shrinking back. "We need to find out why they're here."

I hesitated to hand over the communication device clipped to my belt. Neither Wiley's look of disapproval nor Anna's look of shocked concern were enough to hold him back, but I was. He couldn't go into the tunnel without directions, and he wouldn't forcibly take the device from me.

"You shouldn't go." Anna's look hardened into determination. "They could be armed."

Henri didn't look away from me. "I'm not concerned with that."

Anna fell silent. I could see it in her face when she realized that he wasn't just a regular human anymore. Her light brown eyes fell on me as if she were silently asking me not to give in though I had no idea if she was afraid for Henri or for the people Henri would find. Through the two years I had known him, I had never seen Henri in action and I had no idea what he would or could do.

Henri didn't move. His hand was absolutely steady, his mouth tightly pressed into a line as if he knew there was only one option and knew I would see it too. My hand slid down to the device on my belt and pressed in the release. It slid off easily and in one smooth motion I had handed it over to Henri, ignoring what I could see of Wiley's look from the corner of my eyes. Once Henri had the device, he commanded Wiley to direct him before turning for the tunnel entrance.

Anna gave an angry glance to me and Wiley before hopping in front of her brother and forcing him to stop. It seemed to surprise her when he did pause as much as it surprised him that she had stepped in front of him. She looked up at him as her glare softened and whatever words she had thought she would say completely left her. If she was going to scold him or forbid him from going, she didn't bother to try. "Just-- be careful, all right?" Her words came out haltingly as if they were not the words she had originally intended to say at all.

Henri put a hand on the top of her head as she moved out of the way and he continued past her into the tunnels.

Intruder- Conclusion -->


Most likely to be concluded next week. I think.


  1. Hmm...Henri seems very sure that the intruder knows they are there. I wonder if that's due to something about his power? We still don't know what he can do, exactly!

    What a tense moment. I can see how it would be difficult to know what to do, but Henri is very much a take-charge kinda guy. It had to be pretty scary for Anna to hear her brother claim that he wasn't scared of facing down someone armed when he appeared to be unarmed himself.

    I can't wait to see what is going on here!

  2. You're right, we don't know what his power is exactly.

    Yeah, leave it to Henri to know what to do. Or at least think he knows what to do. I see this as a key difference between Wiley and Henri.

    And I'm sure Anna does have some thoughts on the matter. I haven't examined them yet though.

    Thanks Rachel. This part spread out farther than I meant it to.

  3. I don't know why Wiley is so hell bent on believing the intruder doesn't know they're in there. He said it himself - going forward quickly, but not recklessly. He even asked Cheryl if she was followed. If he threw up a seal and they moved past it, that sounds like they're pretty determined.

    Is it just that he doesn't want Henri going after the, unsure what Henri would do to them? Me, personally, I'd rather have Henri cut them off before they made it any further.

    Intriguing that Henri doesn't care if they're armed - does he think he's bulletproof or does he just think he's fast enough to avoid them? Or is his power a mental one, kind of like Alex; maybe even able to convince people to do things without them realising they've been influenced? That would explain a lot.

    Man, I could speculate on that one for hours.

    I hope this made sense, I've only just woken up.

  4. Wiley is a cautious man. I imagine he means they'll have confirmation that they're down there whereas if they leave the people alone, they'll probably get bored and assume they aren't there.

    Crap, that's probably all stuff he should have said, lol. But it's hard to talk back to Henri, and Henri standing up and taking control in that way shocked all three of them, including Cheryl and Wiley.

    But you do bring up a valid point that I am pretty sure would be a valid concern for Wiley. Wiley's involved, yes, but he's not hurting anyone really. He's just there living underground. But send Henri out and things change a bit.

    Haha, I'll let you continue speculating. There have been some clues as to his power already, but I'm not saying anything other than that at this time.

    lol, you made sense to me!

  5. Anna seemed quite surprised at Henri taking charge the way he did. He's always seemed like a natural leader to me. It makes me wonder if he was that way when he was with his family, or if it's something he developed, maybe because he had to. Or maybe Anna's surprise was really more sisterly concern. Because by the end, she sort of seemed resigned to the fact that Henri was going to do what he wanted to do anyway, despite her objections.

    I guess we know that this turns out okay, at least for Henri and Cheryl (and Wiley, right? Because you showed how he looks now in his profile. Unless I'm making that up, lol) but I'm still curious to see what happens. These intruders do seem very determined, as illyandra put it. I wonder what (or who) they want.

  6. Wiley kind of comes across as more afraid of Henri than he is of whoever is in the tunnels; maybe not physically afraid, but afraid of his disapproval. After all, Henri asked what was Wiley doing to stop them, as if Wiley had the capability but wasn't using it.

    Henri definitely seems to know what he's doing and what he can do safely. No longer human is right. I'm not sure what Anna is doing other than just worrying about her brother. Cheryl's reaction, however, did not surprise me at all. She was attracted to Henri in the first place because he was a powerful, commanding man. They have some kind of peer relationship but he's the one in charge and that seems to suit her.

    Completely fascinating!!

  7. Carla, interesting observation. Maybe Anna's surprise is more of a reflection on her than on Henri. She was rather young when he "left," so it's possible she doesn't even remember him that well. Perhaps she's just come to grips that she doesn't know him now and she probably hardly knew him then.

    Haha, yeah, true. This isn't deathly endangering. More of a curiosity.

    SB, oh, that's true. Wiley is so young here, I can see him wanting Henri's approval even if he wouldn't admit it.

    Also, lol! I'm not sure what Anna's doing either to be honest. Whatever is happening with her is all internal, so I will have to hope I can pry her thoughts out of her.

    Interesting take on Cheryl and Henri's relationship (as in working relationship here). Despite Chryl's attempt? need? to be equal, she's not really. It's something so natural for the two of them that I didn't even notice or think about it.

  8. I quite like Henri, from a story telling point of view. There's a certain mystery about him, makes him a very intriguing character to read about.

    Great chapter :)

  9. Henri has stones, I will give him that. He just oozes rugged authority.
    He's not concerned if they are armed? It never dawned on me that Henri might have some powers. "Not a regular human anymore" Wow.

    Again, his tender gesture to his sister just makes

  10. poida, thanks! That's definitely good to hear. He's a complicated man. There's always a bit more to him.

    Drew, haha, thanks. You know how I feel about men and family. It is sexy. Though in Henri's case, his sister is just special.

    Henri's powers are never mentioned. Like Cheryl says, she doesn't even know what he can do! He definitely keeps it a closely guarded secret. (Which is something he taught Jimmy.)

  11. And Henri takes charge - mmmm, sexy! ;) Yes, ditto what Drew said, lol!

    I just love seeing Henri around his sister. It's a whole new dimension to him. It softens him, in a way. And I almost see the same thing when he's around Paula sometimes, but not so pronounced.

  12. Laura, true. He is a little softer around Paula, though she doesn't see it. She has no idea, lol.