Sage sat in his office. He looked deep in thought. His office was large with a desk in the center. The walls were lined with bookshelves and bookshelves of books. It was late in the afternoon and he was getting some last minute things done before he had to check on some of his Agents.
There was a knock at the door. Sage looked up and sighed.
“Come in,” he said.
A man dressed in a black suit came in, “Hello sir.”
“What do you want?” Sage asked without looking up from his work.
“We have a situation, Sir,” the guard said.
Sage looked up, “What situation?”
“If you would follow me, sir?” the man said.
Sage stood up and followed the man out.
“I’m bored!” Alister lay on the couch, “Can’t we do somethin’?”
Fang walked by with duster in hand. He ignored Alister and kept himself busy with the chores that the others seemed to always avoid like the plague. Shadow even seemed to be suspiciously missing when Fang went to ask him to clean the house. Alister just didn’t seem to care either way.
“I’m bored!” Alister complained again, “Is there anythin’ to eat?”
“Keep that up and you might not be able to lift your dead body off that couch,” Fang snapped.
Alister kept his mouth closed. When Fang turned his back he heard a faint “yeah, but at least it would put an end to my boredom” coming from Alister. He let the comment slide. There were more important thing to do than deal with Alister right now. Alister had his own category of problems. On top of that, Fang didn’t have much sleep the night before. There was something bugging him in the back of his mind. He tried the whole night to figure out what it was. Even Shadow stopped by when he saw the light under the door.
Fang glared at a few cobwebs in a high corner. As much as he was pleased that the spiders were getting rid of the other more unpleasant insects, he did wish that they would choose to make their homes in a less attractive corner. He crossed his arms. There was no stool high enough to get him up there. He turned to Alister.
“Alister,” Fang stated.
Alister looked over the couch back. He looked at Fang. His eyes looked guilty, he must have been muttering other things that Fang was wise to ignore.
“Make yourself useful and help me clean,” Fang said.
With a heavy sigh, Alister got up and walked over to where Fang stood. Fang handed him the duster and pointed to the spider webs. Slowly, Alister looked at the duster that up at the corner. He started to make the connection.
“How do I—” Alister started to ask.
“You’re creative,” Fang said as he patted Alister on the shoulder, “You can figure something out.”
“Why do we have to clean again?” Alister asked.
“Would you rather we live in a pig sty with rats crawling around?” Fang responded in a question.
Alister shrugged, “I’d be good target practice.”
“It wasn’t an opinion question Alister,” Fang stared at the younger man in front of him.
“I knew that! I was just sayin’!”
There was a knock at the door. Fang watched for a moment as Alister contemplated the situation he had to conquer. Then he went to the door.
“Who is it?” Fang asked before opening it.
“The man who pays you so you’d better open up before I cut your pay,” a voice said on the other side.
Fang opened the door, “Sage?”
The Tower director looked agitated, “No, it’s Bob. Who do you think it is?”
“It’s just that we don’t normally get many visits from you,” Fang said cautiously, his natural skepticism was in overdrive. He was expecting to overrun by Agents at any moment now.
“In fact,” Fang continued, “This is the first.”
“And I assure you, it will be the last,” Sage angrily crossed his arms, “Are you going to let me in or do you usually let your guests stand here on the front step?”
Fang stepped back and allowed Sage to walk in. Sage looked around briefly before sitting down in a chair. His back was to where Alister stood looking up at the high corner full of cobwebs. Fang sat across from him.
“Would you like something to drink?”
Sage waved his hand, “I don’t have time for that.”
“Well, then,” Fang said, “May I ask why you are here?”
Fang glanced in the back ground. Alister tried unsuccessfully to jump up to the spider webs. After a few tries, Alister stopped and sighed. He seemed to lighten up and walked off somewhere.
“I sent a few Agents to take keep an eye on Zeta at their last known headquarters.”
“You knew where they were?” Fang asked.
“Yes,” Sage stated, “But from what the Agents said I didn’t think of them as an immediate threat.”
Fang raised an eyebrow, “Crazy Other with the intentions of ruling the world didn’t ring any alarms?”
“Let me finish,” Sage sighed, “Well anyway, after the incident at Chicago I had my Agents look deeper into what they were doing. Recently, I instructed a raid on their headquarters. I was just informed that the Agents found nothing.”
Fang sat quietly. Alister came back into the room. The sound of wood scraping against wood broke the silence. Sage glared over at the red head. Alister continued pushing a large desk over to the corner. This took several minutes of off and on scraping. When he finally reached the corner he smiled an apologetic smile and waved at Sage.
“Which one are you?” Sage asked.
“Name’s Alister,” Alister smiled.
“Oh, so you’re the one,” Sage nodded, “Tell me, you really don’t have an imaginary friend named Shifter, do you?”
Alister’s face went plaster white. He looked to Fang for guidance.
“Not really an imaginary friend exactly,” Fang answered, “more like a voice in his head.”
Sage looked at him, “Really?”
“Yes,” Fang nodded, “He’s always muttering about something when I’m around. Talking to this Shifter that we don’t see.”
Alister narrowed his eyes. This was payback about earlier. Little did he know that Fang only really listened to one of his mutterings and not all but he assumed that Fang was getting back at him.
“The company you keep, Fang,” Sage shook his head, “I wonder about your sanity.”
“Let me worry about my sanity,” Fang said, “Why exactly are you here?”
“Right,” Sage paused, “As the Agents were looking through the building, they found evidence of a device. They searched everywhere but didn’t find where it could be.”
Alister walked away and came back with a chair and a small stool. He placed both on top of the desk. Fang started to get a queasy feeling in his stomach. Alister placed them in a way so that the opened end of the chair and the seat of the stool were even with each other. After that, he walked away again.
“And?” Fang asked.
“I had our engineers look at some blueprints they found and analyze them. It’s a unique device that turns normal humans into Others.”
“He said he’d do something like that,” Fang muttered.
Alister came in again, this time with a small filing cabinet. Assuming it was empty, Fang watched Alister place the box onto the chair. Alister stepped back analyzing what he had done. He then moved the stool and chair over a bit before walking away once more.
“Yes,” Sage sounded like he was swallowing something bitter, “You see we can’t have that happen. And quite frankly you…are one of the best teams…out there.”
“Did it hurt to say that?” Fang asked.
Sage glared at him, “Don’t push it.”
Alister came in again with five large pots. He placed one on the desk behind the chair face down. He placed another one on top of that face up. He continued doing that until the five pots were placed. They were collectively higher that the back of the chair. Alister stepped back and stared at his creation. Then with duster in between his teeth, he started to climb Alister’s Tower.
“We need you to go after Zero and stop him before he uses that weapon,” Sage seemed to gag on something.
“That hurt too, didn’t it,” Fang stated.
Alister stepped onto the stool and climbed up onto the box on the chair. He had to steady himself because of unsure footing but then continued upward.
“I assure you,” Sage went on, “It will be worth your time.”
“Well, I guess we’ll have to,” Fang said, “The fate of the world depends on us.”
Sage smiled, “You don’t really care about that, do you?”
Fang shrugged, “Have you seen the news lately? They hate us Others so frankly I could care less. But personally, I would hate being ruled over by someone like Zero. And a kind of like this island. It’s sort of growing on me.”
Alister stepped onto the pots. He reached up and cleaned the corner.
“We’ll need you by tomorrow to discuss some things,” Sage stood up.
“Beats sitting around here doing nothing,” Fang stood as well, “Right Alister?”
“Yep,” he said as he reached for the last cobweb.
Just then Arisa came screaming down the stairs with Blue close behind her. She ran through furniture, not noticing that Mt. Alister was on the verge of collapse already as it was. Arisa accidentally bumped into the magnificent sculpture causing the bot to bump into the chair, making the chair bump into the pots, and sending the pots, plus Alister, crashing to the floor.
“Ow…” Alister moaned as he laid sprawled in broken pottery.
Sage glanced at him, “Will he be alright for tomorrow?”
“He should be fine,” Fang answered.
“Oops,” Arisa said as the unbalanced chair started to topple over in Alister’s direction.