Sunday, July 28, 2013

Sunday Serial~ The Kuehl Kids Part 19

The Professor was at his wits' end.

The plan had gone perfectly.  Electra, Ally, and Tyler had been captured.  He and the others had been captured.

Except for one major mishap: Quake, and his family, had been tied up as well.

The Professor rubbed his eyes wearily as Jasper Jalling, crowing with victory, led all the captives (including the various family members of Invisa, Fier, Swifte, and Walter) through a long, dark, musty tunnel.

"I knew you were too weak to resist for long," Jasper Jalling said.  "Plotting an ambush?"  He chortled with laughter.  "You're too funny," he added.

Electra, stealing a glance out of the corner of her eye, saw that Walter was pale, but strong.

Walter, she thought.  Please.

Jalling led them to a huge underground courtyard.  The courtyard was beautiful, made of some type of clear rock that seemed to be diamond.  Multitudes of people were bustling about.

Electra checked a gasp.  

"Attention, everyone!" Jalling yelled, catching everyone in the courtyard's attention.  "We have triumphed!"

Almost as if they had practiced, everyone thrust their fist into the air and cheered.

Jasper stood up on a platform of diamond, grinning from ear to ear.  Electra thought she had never seen him as ugly as he was when he smiled.

A sharp jab of mental pain forced into her stomach when she realized that she was looking at Almira's brother.  She looked at Almira.

There was no trace of emotion on Almira's face, and the Professor looked absolutely blank.  Well of course, Electra reasoned.  They were looking at a traitor.

"You know what to do," Jasper Jalling said with a nasty smile.  

As if on cue, the people in the courtyard grabbed each individual and started hauling them off in separate directions.  Electra fought a sinking pit in her stomach when she was roughly manhandled in the darkest, farthest corner of the courtyard.

A brilliantly blond woman, with a pale face and a nasty grin, was her abductor.  "I'm sorry," she said, when Electra let out a grunt of pain at the woman's twisting motions.  "Were you expecting a palace?"

Electra rolled her eyes and bit her lip.  

"Hasn't that doddery old feller told you that rolling your eyes isn't good for your vision?" the blond woman smiled.  "Disrespectful to your betters, as well.  Supper is served in half an hour," she threw over her shoulder as she locked Electra's cell.

Electra shivered and looked around her cell.  It was dismal and damp, rather like living in a metal box.  There was a metal slab hitched to the wall that she supposed was her bunk, and a metal sink.  There was no mirror.

But if all went according to the Professor's plan, she wouldn't need to stay in the place for long.  

With a whooshing feeling, she realized that Quake had been captured with the rest of them.  "Oh, no!" she said aloud.

If Quake and Walter were united with Jasper, what could happen?

She sat on her metal slab, waiting for the signal.  

*     *     *

Walter strolled across the courtyard moodily.  

The past few days had not been pleasant for him.  Whenever Jasper had seen him in the hallways or during meals, he had cackled, rubbed his hands together, and drawn Walter in for long lectures on evil.  Walter had not been pleased.  He had wanted to find out more about his relations to Jasper, not about the great heists of 1932.  

Worse were his relations to his other so-called teammates.  Swifte had taken to grinning at him disarmingly.  Fier had grudgingly admitted him into his circle of "friends," and Invisa merely watched him with eyes that Walter could not shake off the back of his head.  There were no friendly moments, such as that long-ago meeting in Ally and Electra's bedroom, simply meals and meetings.  Jasper had outlined half a dozen plans in recapturing Quake, all of which made Walter shift around in his seat and run to the restroom.  The details were unpleasant, grisly, violent, and truly evil.  Walter was beginning to wish that he'd never left the Professor's side.

He missed Tyler's humor, Ally's cheeriness, and, with a pang, Electra's courage.  And he was beginning to realize that he was worth something to them.  Had not Electra fallen in a faint?  Ally had cried, "Walter, no!"  Tyler had stood still as death.  

But what bothered him was the fact that the Professor and Almira had not pursued him.  They had simply watched.  Almost as if they'd known he was going to go to Jalling.  But Walter knew they would welcome him back--at least, he thought so.  And he was beginning to formulate a plan that would win him back.  It was made especially easy since the failed ambush--Walter was beginning to suspect that it was not necessarily a true ambush--and the fact that Jasper Jalling had a clear, one-way plan to deal with prisoners, especially prisoners like these.

Without meaning to, he wandered over to Electra's courtyard.  Electra's cell was guarded by a see-in-can't-see-out type of glass.  The people on the outside could see in, but Electra couldn't see out.  To her, it was just a door.

Walter could see Electra lying on the slab, waiting.  Then he did an unthinkable thing.  He knocked.

"Who is it?" Walter could hear the fear in Electra's voice.  

"Walter," he said quietly.

"Oh."  Electra's tone was a mixture of sadness, fear, and something else Walter couldn't place.  Then she said, "Are you happy now?"

"What do you mean?" Walter asked.

"Are you happy where you're at?" Electra sounded defiant.  

Walter sighed, closed his eyes, and leaned against the door.  "Of course not."

"Good."  Electra's voice was hard, brittle.  "Because you shouldn't have."

"I just wanted to find out more about him!  I mean, he's my dad!" Walter said.

"Haven't you learned anything about lying tactics, especially with bad guys?" Electra asked. "Jalling was lying.  Actually, he was telling the truth."

Walter was confused.

"He's your birth dad, Walter.  The Professor told us.  See, if you'd just stayed with us I'm sure you'd know all the answers by now.  But he threw you in an orphanage and Almira and Charles adopted you."  Electra paused.  "By the way?  Almira and Jasper are siblings."

"What?!" Walter squawked.  

"Yes," Electra said.  "Imagine how hard it would be.  The Professor has an evil son, and Almira has a villainous brother."  They were silent for a moment. 

"You and Quake are the most powerful superheroes.  You control water, and Quake controls land.  Under Jalling's influence, Quake and you would have become dominant supervillains."  Electra paused.  "I think Jasper's about to get kicked now."

Just then, a blaring alarm sounded.  And before Walter knew it, Electra was out of the cell and racing toward the courtyard.

The Kuehl Kids Serial Finale is Part 21...We're Almost There!

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