I was extremely relieved to hear him say he would help me. If he hadn’t been willing, I don’t know what I would’ve been able to achieve. We tried to brainstorm some ideas about what our battle plan should be.
“I need you to find out everything you can possibly uncover about Jacob Everett. Properties, companies, known associates, criminal records, criminal records of known associates, anything at all that you can find.”
“How do you want me to acquire this information?”
“Do what you do best.”
“So you want me to hack in to say, the FBI.”
“If you can do it, then do it. We need everything we can get.”
“You realize this is extremely illegal?”
“I do, but Jacob is so much more dangerous. I’m willing to take the punishment if it means we stopped him.”
“What if we end up in jail before we can stop him.”
“What prison can hold me?”
“That’s fine for you, but what about me?”
“I would come get you. Come on.”
“No. I’m not hacking the FBI. I don’t even think I could.”
“I know. I know. Whatever you can find will be a huge help. I’m gonna spend my time watching him.”
“Cool. I’ll get started first thing in the morning.”
“Thank you Alex. I’m sorry again.”
“Yeah yeah yeah. Just don’t let it happen again.”
I smiled and said I would come by in a couple days and see if he’d found anything yet. I went home right afterwards and went to bed, but I didn’t sleep. I didn’t even feel tired. I just kept thinking about all that had happened in the last few hours. Yet again, my life was being turned upside down. I was lied to. All my new friends were being used. Aria had left me for him. The funny thing was that I was sure that she believed me in the end. Still she left me. What hold did he have on her? I loved her and she loved me, but her allegiance was to him. I was so angry.
I lay in bed until I couldn’t stand it any longer. I wasn’t going to fall asleep and there was a villain to take care of. I slid into the Shadowverse and went immediately to find Jacob. He was asleep. I can’t say that the idea never crossed my mind that I could just end it right then and there. It did and it was immediately dismissed. For many reasons. Namely, it was wrong, Jacob would surely be prepared for a backlash, and it was wrong.
So, I watched. I watched not only him, but also Dark and Pulse. I wasn’t sure if Dark knew anything, but I doubted that he could hold such a close position to Jacob and not know. Either way, if they made any moves, I would know about it. As long as they stayed in close proximity to each other. Otherwise, I would have to move to whatever portal platform covered the area they were in.
I watched all day. I fell asleep for a little bit, but for the most part I stayed vigilant. It was boring. I was hoping that they would run right to the next step in their plan, but Jacob was a patient man and he knew that I could be watching. Well, if he could be patient, I could as well.
It took Alex about a week to get back to me about his research on Jacob. He seemed less than enthusiastic.
“I have some information. It’s not that much, though.”
“What do you got?”
“I couldn’t really find anything on Jacob. I don’t know where he gets his money. Known associates. Nothing.”
“How is that possible?”
“Maybe Jacob is an alias?”
“Of course. I completely forgot. His whole appearance is an illusion. It would make sense that his name would be fake as well.”
“It would help if I knew his true face. Are you the only one?”
“I think so, save for Dark and Pulse.”
“Is there anything else?”
“Yes, I looked into his associates. Christopher Packer and James Grant. Are these the guys?”
He showed me a couple mugshots. I nodded to him that they were indeed Dark and Pulse.
“How did you find their last names?”
“Well, I thought about it. Where did Jacob find these men who are so willing to do anything for him. Including committing crimes, or even killing for him. You don’t necessarily find out you have powers and become a killer.”
“That makes sense. Still don’t see how you found them.”
“Well, I figured they might have a criminal record. That wasn’t enough info to narrow down the search though, so I factored in unexplained circumstances.”
“They have powers. There would have to be some kind of weird occurrence.”
“Of course. Nice job.”
“Just another day in the life of a genius.”
“Just tell me what you found.”
“Heh okay. So, both these guys served time together in Chicago. Mr. Packer was brought in on murder charges and Mr. Grant attempted robbery. It seems Mr. Packer had some kind of directed explosive device on him when the cops came to arrest him. Blew up a couple cops but he remained unharmed. Apparently, his victim looked much the same. He kept claiming it was an accident. They never found any evidence of the device.”
“He probably didn’t have control of his power, yet.”
“On the other side, Mr. Grant robbed a couple banks. He did it in the middle of the night and would’ve gotten away with it except for a security guard that got the drop on him. The funny thing is that the surveillance systems were always recording but at the times when he was in the building they went black with zero evidence of tampering. Also, I found the police report where the guard claimed that whenever he moved his flashlight to shine a light on the suspect, it would stop working.”
“So he can shut off the lights? I wonder if that’s the full extent of his powers.”
“You know what this means, though?”
“It means he could’ve shut off the lights in the base and I could’ve gone with them. They just didn’t know I could watch from the shadows.”
“They know now.”
“Yes. And they aren’t making any moves because of it.”
All this info was good, but it wasn’t enough to make any real progress. I got up and started pacing the room.
“What’s wrong?” Alex asked.
“I’m just wondering how they are free.”
“Good question. The only answer I could find was in a small article in a local newspaper from a town near the prison. Apparently, a source inside the prison could only say that two prisoners disappeared a couple years ago. No clues whatsoever on how it was done, when it was done or where they went.”
“So they meet in prison and they escape without a trace. Then they meet Jacob? Or did they meet Jacob in prison as well.”
“There were only two missing prisoners according to the article and I couldn’t find any other prisoners with unexplained phenomena related to their arrest or their crimes.”
“What if he wasn’t a prisoner? What if he was an employee?”