Misapplied Powers


“211, may I get your name and location please?” Darcy asked, fingers poised over her keyboard. It was nearing the end of her shift and she dearly hoped this one would be straightforward.

“My name is Kylie Jones and I did not consent to this!” the teen girl on the other end of the line stated. “I don't know where we are—” Darcy waved for Sara, John’s alternative, to come over “—it's some big ranch in the middle of fucking nowhere.”

Sara’s hand on her shoulder felt cool, as was her mind slipping down the connection Darcy had made by talking to Kylie.

“These two guys came into my house in Pocatello and my shitty parents told them to take me! We're all forced into this room with this creepy ass motherfucker—” Darcy had a couple of the standing kidnap specialist teams on the line, waiting to see if Sara found them closer to the Midwest or West center. “—everyday while he starts smelling funny and talking to us about how we’re all going to hell if we don't get right with the Lord and love the right gender. I'm fucking straight! Not that my parents believe me. Assholes.”

Darcy pulled three more teams into the chat mix and sent a flash of hurry-up down the line to Sara. She was a good kid, just didn't have John’s decade on the job.

“We're working on your location, Kylie, just hang in there. Are you somewhere safe? Are you allowed on the phone?”

“No, I snuck out of my room during dinner. I don't get any today for quote mouthing off unquote.”

A brief flash of communication between Sara and Darcy, then “Okay, Kylie, listen, our telepath can build a connection so you and I can keep talking if you'll let her—”

“Sure, fine do it.”

::Kylie?::

::I'm here. This is weird.::

Darcy was sure it was. The first time in mental space, the disconnect between how fast you could talk and how slow movement in physical space was always disconcerting.

::I want you to hang up the phone and sneak back into your room now, okay? Sara and I are pinpointing your location, and then we're going to send some help. Can you tell me how many kids are there?::

::Nine right now; Jason ran away yesterday and most of security is off looking for him. It's how I could sneak into the office.::

Sara final had them, somewhere is the middle of Montana. Not on a reservation, thank gods, no one needed to piss off one of the tribal councils by invading their territory. Darcy wasn’t sure what would have been worse, this place set up on a reservation with or without the tribe's permission.

::Good, okay, how about that security, how many are usually at the ranch and how about tonight?::

::I'm not sure, they rotate I think. There's parts of the ranch we’re not allowed to go to, they could be there. But usually there's like three or four just security guys in the house and they're not here. It’s just the creepy guy and his creepy wife and two women who make the food.::

::Any of them powered?::

::Just creepy dude with his weird smell I think.::

Darcy flinched at the small gasp Kylie made was an ear-splitting scream over their connection.

::Kylie!::

::Sorry, startled; just walked into these guys teleporting in front of me.::

Darcy pumped a little more power down the line and managed to hang onto it as Kylie suddenly changed locations.

::Kylie, where are you now?::

::There's a SWAT van and an ambulance in front of me. The lady who grabbed me just disappeared again.::

::Okay, good, you're at a command center for this. I want you to go to the ambulance, okay? Tell them you want an Epstein-Savi test and then I’m going to have to get off the line. You're safe now, these folks can help you.::

::What's an Epstein-Savi?::

::It's a test for activated and latent mental Powers. I think it's why you noticed the smell.::

::Oh… That's kinda cool. Am I gonna have to go back to my parents’? ‘Cause I'll run away before I let them do that to me again.::

::Tell the EMTs that and they'll have to talk to Child Protective Services.::

::Okay. If I pass this Epstein-Savi thing, can I work at a call center like you?::

::You can work here with or without Powers love. We'd be happy to have someone as level-headed as you. Good luck kid.::

::Thanks Darcy.::

Darcy cut the connection with a smile. The Epstein-Savi was definitely going to come up positive — kid had picked up her name without Darcy ever mentioning it.