Laith's office is thick with tension.
Laith is leaning back in his chair as Will explains the events of yesterday.
Varian is standing behind me barely listening like me, he looks preoccupied.
Lin stands beside Laith a hand placed on his shoulder, presumably to stop him erupting in anger.
Layla sits on floor her hand grasping mine for support.
Once Will gets onto the part about Peter I grasp Layla's hand even more tightly.
Laith's eyes are trained on me as he observes my behaviour.
'Thankyou for your version of events Will. Erza are you injured from your run in with the entity?'
'No Im okay' Are the only words I can muster.
'Im glad. The fighters assigned to that area have been reprimanded and taken off duty to go through training.'
Oh shit. Thats a serious punishment. I mean they deserve it but christ.
Will reads my mind and comments 'Listen their job is to be there for that, not let a flighter handle it. Dont concern yourself.'
I hate it when he does that. Will smiles already knowing my thoughts.
'However more importantly you made the paper Erza.' Laith passes a paper to Will who passes it back.
The title reads Purple streak of hope in bold black letters and a picture of a blurry purple streak with a black mass behind it plasters the front page.
Oh for christ sake. I pass the paper to Varian who raises his eyebrows in surprise. He reads a sentence from the article. 'The actions of a powered woman saves a four year old boy called Anatol Kraker. The boy describes the purple streak saving him from the black mass just moments before its pincher lurched for him. From then on the woman proceeded to run him to a family on Tower bridge who reunited the boy with his family. The family comment their surprise on the purple streak being in shape of a big cat and that it then went onto direct the black mass over the railing. Perhaps powered people are not all a threat? Even so the prime minister has yet to comment on the events at the Tower of London.'Varian finishes.
I slide down my seat in humiliation. Brilliant.
Varian hands the paper back to Laith. Silence descends the room, as we wait for Laith's verdict.
Laith grins and stands.
'This publicity is exactly what we need for our people Erza. Dont be embarrassed, I am extremely proud of what you accomplished yesterday. However the fact that Collings dragged your friend Peter all the way to the scene to observe if it was you. Thats concerning. He wants you as he wants me, he likes to try break people he finds strong. Hence why he betrayed me as kids. '
I lower my head my worst fears now granted.
'I had a bad feeling that was the case Laith. What now though? He knows I joined you.' My tone sounds as panicked as I feel.
Laith places his hands on the desk looking at everyone of us before continuing.
'Collings is deceptive and strategic. He has surveillance everywhere. The police. Even the hospitals. So he knew you were there Erza. He even suspected you were in the area just to taunt you both. Peter and You. He has every intricate detail about you guys and he will use them. Be careful.'
My throat tightens and my tongue dries. Collings hurt Peter to try get a reaction out of me. But why?
'But why me?' I probe.
'You escaped therefore you are uncontrollable. A threat. You could inspire others. He doesnt like that. Hence why he wants me too.'
I rest my head on the back of the chair;exhuasted.
'But if they want E and you, how are you going to save the others dad?' Layla asks; her voice shakey with fear.
'If me and Erza lead the charge they will be more interested in us allowing the others to help the captives.'
'But who says it will be that easy Laith?' Will asks.
'We have surveillance on the institution. We also have others who were held there so know the layout.'
Varian steps forward with something to say.
'How are we going to ensure every captive is saved Laith?' His emerald eyes are stern.
Laith sighs clearly drained with all the questioning.
Laith steps from behind the desk, his gold eyes unwavering.
'Honestly we dont. We get as many people as we can out with what resources we have.Thats all we can do.'
Varian doesnt respond and looks even more uneasy. I cant say I blame him.
'I will be the driver of one of the get away trucks since I dont fight well. So any injured I will ensure a safe return. Those with physical powers like flying or transformation may have to make their own way back so captives have room.'
Despite the fact it makes sense, the bluntness catches me off guard.
'I get it. But we cant just go in there with our powers those men have guns and weapons. What do we have?'
'We have our own weapons. Guns. Knives. Even vests. I stole some from police ages back.' Will casually adds, causing me and Layla to double take.
I hate guns. Nasty things but in this case its better to be prepared.
'That concludes the meeting today. Everyone can leave except you Erza.'
Apprehension fills me as I remain put.
Once the room is emptied out Laith sits on his desk and itches the scar on his leg, the one from me.
'Erza about Peter are you alright?' Laith rests his hand on my shoulder.
I shake my head unwilling to voice my pain.
'I promise we will get them here safely. I promise you I will hurt Collings myself.'
I chucke at that. 'Get in line.'
Laith laughs loudly, although it quickly mellows.
'Erza from this point on. I want you on missions as much as possible. To prepare you as a flighter and fighter. I also want you back in training at 5am. We need to work on the new form we discussed.'
'Which one would that be?'
Laith smiles eagerly.
'Bloody hell. I have only ever transformed into solo animals like a Tiger but the wolf why?'
'On this mission Erza we will need a signal only we know about. What better than the howl of the Purple Streak herself?'
Eagerness. The feeling fills me and causes me to jump knocking the chair clean to the floor.
'When do we start.'
Laith walks to the door and opens it.
He meets my eyes as his eyes flash electric blue.