"Quiet! Quiet, everyone!" Firebrand ordered.
Members of the Collective were chattering loudly. They couldn't believe it. No one had ever dissapeared without a trace before. It was taboo. It was unheard of.
"She's gone!" gasped a black figure who looked like a sillouetted old man.
"Impossible!" declared a white figure in a European soldier uniform and a smiling theatre mask. He had a slight French air to his voice.
"This has never happened before!" a teen in a white mask with blacked out eyes and lips shook his head.
"Not even Noah resisted this much!" a figure in a hoodie with his face shadow and his eyes seeming as if they were glowing red remarked.
"Sich niederlassen! Settle down!" a black figure in a hoodie and a skull. He had a thick German accent, and he had a hard time pronouncing his w's and his r's sounded like he was rolling something hot in his mouth before spitting it out.
Everyone slowly became quiet.
"All right," Sentinel stepped forward. "Our would-be new Member, and my sister, Raychel Corbeau, has disappeared."
"We ran through her room shortly after she disappeared, and under her bed we found this," Cursor held up a handful of long black hair, presumably Raychel's. It had to have been cut off about an inch off the shoulders.
"I also looked through her wardrobe," Mr. Scars added. "Her own clothes weren't touched, but the clothes that belonged to her late parents that were left in there and her backpack, were gone."
"Her hunting knife was also missing, so we can conclude that she used the knife to cut her hair and used the clothes to mask her identity," Firebrand said. "She's probably using the knife for protection and the backpack to carry her things."
"Ja," the skull-masked figure nodded. "But it shall be no prroblem. I can brring her back myself.
"Oh, no you DON'T, Deadhead!" Sentinel snapped. "I don't trust you with my little sister! You're too rough!"
"Nien!" Deadhead snapped back. "If she is anything like Noah, she vill need the disipline!"
"If it wasn't for Mr. Scars she wouldn't have ran away!" Sentinel sneered.
"And how the hell is this my fault?!" Mr. Scars shouted.
"You blew our cover!" Sentinel roared.
"Well, you were the one who started yelling! And you hit her!" Mr. Scars bellowed.
"All right! Let's go!" Sentinel charged at Mr. Scars, ready to give him a swift punch in the gut. Mr. Scars charged as well, his foot aiming for Sentinel's shin.
Suddenly two tentacles emerged from the side and coiled around Sentinel's and Mr. Scars waists. They pulled them away from eachother to different sides of the clearing. They cried out in surprise as they were dragged away from eachother.
"There will be none of this uncivil rough-housing in MY forest, thank you very much!" a voice snapped. It was gentlemanly, but it was also twisted and constorted.
"M-master!" Sentinel gasped, and bowed his head. "Please forgive me. I-I don't know what came over me."
"Very well, you are forgiven," the voice stepped out of the shadows and the tentacled receded from their waists and back into his back. He wore a dark black business suit with long, fluttering coattails, black shoes shined to perfection, and a black tie. Above the collar of his suit was a pale white-skinned head. There was no face at all.
"Master," the other members of the Collective bowed their heads in respect. "We did not know you would be back so quickly."
"I am here to offer my assistance to the Sentinel's dillemma. I realize your sister has gone?"
"Yes, sir. There were a few problems, and I forgot to supress her memories," Sentinel lowered his head. "And then I was arguing with Mr. Scars, and she intervened. I... I didn't know what I was doing, and I hit her! It's my fault she's gone! I'm so sorry!" He put a hand to his forehead in worry and exasperation.
"Easy, now," the Keeper put a hand affectionately on Sentinel's shoulder. "It's all right, you will find her. I am going to give you the ability to bend time to see where Raychel went, and the ability to teleport long distances. I am also giving you the ability to read Raychel's thoughts. You'll be able to find her easilly after that. I am sending Firebrand, Cursor, Deadhead, and Mr. Scars with you for support."
"Thank you... Master..." Sentinel shuddered. "I won't dissapoint you."
"I know you won't. For a Rook, you have the potential of a Bishop."
"Okay, let's see now," Sentinel said back in Raychel's room later that night. "Here it goes."
He concentrated hard, and the room began to change. The moon outside went back from it's rising point and the sun came following after. Raychel's alarm clock went backwards, too, the blue numbers turning back rapidlly. Sentinel stopped at about 10:40, about when Raychel started running up to her room.
Raychel slammed the door shut. She sobbed openly then, sad and angry and hurt and scared. Sentinel felt a twinge of guilt hit his heart. She never cried like this unless she was really hurt. He felt really bad about lying to her and hitting her.
Raye looked at herself in the mirror. Her eyes were still bloodshot. Her cheek was red and blotchy. Her right hand was covered in thick white gauze. She turned away from her reflection. She didn't seem to want to look at herself. She looked on her warrobe, at her hunting knife.
You know what you must do.
A voice Sentinel had never heard before echoed through her head as Sentinel peeked into Raychel's mind.
Raychel took the knife and cut the gauze off her hand. She kicked it away and looked in the mirror, determined.
She brushed her hair to the side and took hold of it. She took a deep breath and raised the knife to her hair.
"Do it... Do it..." Raychel's own voice and the unknown voice echoed through her head.
"Don't do it... Don't do it..." Sentinel mouthed his half-hearted plea, even though he knew she couldn't hear him.
With a small cry, she brought the knife forward, and it sliced effortlessly through her hair. It dropped softly to floor, and Raychel kicked it under the bed.
Sentinel watched, heartbroken, as she took a box from her wardrobe. This box held their late mother's and father's clothes. She took a pair of her mom's jeans and one of her tank-tops and one of her dad's shirts. She took a pair of roomy white sneakers and a medium grey hoodie that were bought by her mom for when she was older, and a pair of her mom's ankle-socks.
As she dressed, Sentinel turned away. He didn't want to be rude, even though she technically wasn't there. He turned back when he heard Raychel's voice once more.
"Where should I go?" she asked, her backpack slung over her shoulder, no doubt filled with more of their parent's clothes.
The train station. There is an empty boxcar on one of the trains. You shall know it when you see it, as it will be a bright orange compared to the rest of the boxcar's dull brown. Go now, for no doubt your brother will be up to perhaps try to forget what happened. You will be in terrible danger.
Raychel looked in the mirror. She had put her mother's tanktop and jeans on first. Then she had put on her father's shirts over her hoodie. Then she had put on the socks and shoes. She looked almost like a tomboy in the oversized clothes.
"Okay," she nodded, walking over to her bedstand. She quickly grabbed her black cap and sunglasses and put them on. "Goodbye, Kevin. And good riddance."
Raychel walked over to the window and opened it. She was about to climb out, but she looked over her shoulder one last time.
"What will happen to Kevin if I leave? What about Eddie? And Johnny-cake? And Aunt Mary?" the thoughts whizzed through her head. She shook it to clear them out. "No. If I stay, I might see that man again. And Kevin won't help me a bit! Well, I say to hell with it!"
Raychel quickly climbed out the window and slid down the drainpipe. As soon as she hit the ground, she took off running. The clothes were big, but not too big. She didn't get hot, they weren't heavy, and they didn't slow her down.
The time went back to the present. The clock read 11:45. The moon was shining brightly.
The others walked in. They saw the petrified look on the Sentinel's face.
"What is it?" Firebrand asked.
"Is something wrong?" Cursor urged.
"Have you found out vhere she's going?" Deadhead quiered.
"What's happened to her?" Mr. Scars asked.
"... Los Angelos, California," Kevin said slowly.