“The heightened alert status of our domestic military bases is just a part of preparedness drills in preparation for the upcoming budget allocation assessments, not because of any perceived threat to domestic soil.”
“What about allegations that the heightened alert was a result of the assault on the dream walker Lisbeth Sahte, that was discovered less than an hour before the alert was issued?”
“Despite what might happen in movies we do not bring our full military might to bear because of a single teenager, dream walker or not.”
“What about allegations that the base commanders were not informed about these drills in advance and initially thought that the country was under attack?”
“Of course they were not informed, the base commanders were a part of the assessment. Telling them in advance would have made much of the information we are gathering useless.”
“How much longer will the military be on high alert, and will this affect national security?”
“Just a couple more days to allow for more drills and information gathering. Also yes these drill will affect national security. With every domestic military base on high alert the country is far more secure than it was, and the changes implemented after analysis of the drill results will allow for even more improvements in our military.”
Sinclair tuned the radio off, they weren’t saying anything he didn’t know about the official story already. Ironically General Langston hadn’t been all that opposed to the idea of putting everyone on alert but had instead jumped on the idea. Apparently he had been saying for some time that response times were far too low and decided to do something about it. Lisbeth’s situation was the opportunity he had been waiting for. If it worked out the way the General planed the military would be getting a very generous budget increase. Sinclair wondered if Lisbeth had known that before sending her message.
The car Sinclair was driving was a tank so to speak. It was an immortal agency standard civilian style car. The heavily tinted windows that could not be rolled down could survive heavy weapons fire, the body was so reinforced that it could survive a rocket launcher. Best of all it drove like a dream, whoever had designed the thing knew what he was doing. Even if Sinclair could object to the immortal agency involving themselves he wouldn’t just to drive this car. The best part of the car was of course the fact that Lisbeth was in it, alive and in one piece.
Lisbeth had neglected to buckle her seatbelt and instead chose to curl herself up and tuck herself under Nerissa’s arm. Lisbeth seemed determined to make their relationship function, despite Nerissa’s fears. Unfortunately things were just going to get worse for them, at least for a little while. If Lisbeth’s warning played out she would not be left in peace, and if it didn’t she would have some very difficult questions to answer. Until then all she had to worry about was the press. The police had initially been interested in talking to Nerissa the twins and Lisbeth, but his own objections coupled with the immortal agency taking over the Chuck case put an end to all of that.
They were arriving at Mind hall, it was predictably surrounded with reporters. The college could keep them out of the residence halls but the college itself was public property. Sinclair didn’t have the authority to just kick the press out, the immortal agency did. However they were trying to keep their involvement to a minimum and avoid the press attention. Looking at all of the eager reporter Sinclair really didn’t want to drop Lisbeth off here. She had adamantly refused protective custody. They did have grounds to hold her, but no one was willing to hold a justifiably pissed off dream walker. He still wanted to try one last time.
“Lisbeth, you don’t have to stay here. We can put you somewhere safe.”
“There is no where safe Sinclair, you know that.”
She was right too as much as he hated to admit it. Lisbeth’s warning coupled with the sheer brutality of the attacks on both her and Chuck left very few possible suspects. Not that Lisbeth was saying who it was; probably a good thing. She had been punished for talking, if she did so again she would likely be punished again. Since she was still alive in all likelihood she would remain that way, not that precautions wouldn’t be taken. The immortal agency had already assigned a plain clothes team to follow her. They had arrived and the press was moving in, one last try.
“Are you sure you want to stay here tonight?”
“Not yet Nerissa.”
Nerissa had been going for the door handle but stopped at Sinclair’s words. Their police escort was taking care of the press as best they could. This involved giant sheets on sticks to create a corridor with a physical barrier to prevent the press from even taking pictures of anyone getting in or out of the car or entering Mind hall. It was a good touch, usually reserved for people worried about snipers. The press was less than happy about it, but fuck them, they were just after a picture of a traumatized girl. Not that Lisbeth looked very traumatized anymore, she had pulled herself together well.
“Your room hasn’t been cleaned yet Lisbeth.”
“I’ll stay with Nerissa tonight.”
“Take care of her Nerissa.”
Lisbeth didn’t object to them talking about protecting her, without her asking for her input on the matter; mostly for Nerissa’s sake. Not that it mattered much, the only things that worried Lisbeth were well out of Nerissa’s weight class, and she could have the twins deal with those if necessary. Until then Nerissa could coddle her as much as she wished, it certainly was a pleasant change of pace. With the barrier up it was time to get out before the press started climbing on each others shoulders.
Shane and a now awake Shelby were waiting for Nerissa and Lisbeth once they arrived inside. Shane was doing his best not to look completely stressed out, he was doing an ok job at it. Shelby on the other hand was looking genuinely OK, and well rested. Shane really did have a good excuse it was still the first saturday of the academic year, he had expected to have to deal with a bunch of kids trying to protest their first citations for being caught with alcohol/drugs. Instead he had spent the day fending off the press, talking to cops and assuring parents that their children were safe. As far as he could tell the only set of parents he hadn’t had to deal with were Lisbeth’s. Shane started things off.
“Lisbeth, how are you feeling?”
“I had a priest friend fix me up, so I am all good.”
Shane twitched at that, one did not simply have a priest fix them up. To get healed by an Arlethian high priest copious amounts of ‘donations’ or a large amount of political clout were needed. Lisbeth really shouldn’t have been able to pull that off as far a he knew. Nerissa who hadn’t yet thought about the implications of Lisbeth’s healing was suddenly made aware and gave her own start. Shelby appeared unsurprised and Lisbeth pretended to not notice their reactions. Lisbeth didn’t particularly feel like explaining that she was gaming buddies with her priest and decided to just let them assume that it was some kind of shady connection. It was an easier explanation that reduced questions.
“Look the police have finished with your room, but it hasn’t been… well, cleaned yet.”
“It’s ok, I’ve made other arrangements.”
Lisbeth gave Nerissa a quick hug to give a quick explanation as to what she meant by arrangements
“OK, also since the press have been staking out the building we decided to use some of the activities budget to order enough pizza for everyone. Probably best if you don’t leave the building unless really necessary.”
Leaving the building as it turned out wasn’t much of an Issue even with classes. Jake and Emily assured her that since she was the only one in the dream walker ethics and law classes they could just cover the material at night. Meaning Lisbeth didn’t have any classes to attend on Mondays. Since Thursdays and Fridays were reserved for power specific classes that Lisbeth didn’t need she only had to attend class on Tuesdays and Wednesdays. Nerissa threw a pillow at Lisbeth when she found out since her schedule was much more intensive.