The elevator once again resumed its annoyingly slow, discomforting trip down into the foundation of the tower. Ray and Marcas had made good time on getting to the tower and now that they were inside, Ray just wanted to get to a place where he could breathe. It took all of Rays considerable will power not to beat out the walls of the lift so that he almost forgot Marcas was there until he spoke up.
Marcas spoke calmly. Despite the probably obvious distress in Ray. "So what is this Walker fellow like?" Ray chuckled slightly at that. How to describe Ray in one word.Impossible?
"Busy? I don't know, I don't think he has time for emotions sometimes. Well, you'll see." He said, slightly enigmatically.
"Ah right." Marcas tapped the elevator wall and shivered. "Did he build this place?"
"Yes,”and it was just like him, order, control and confusing as hell.“And I often get the feeling he built it just to annoy me," Rob knew full well that he hated technology. So he just had to bring him here where they’d spend most of their days in this place. Ray placed his hand around the amulet on his heart. Marcas noticed the movement.
"The amulet, does it power the entire building?" Marcas queried.
Ray thought for a moment, “"Not mine, it powers me. But if he gets it working one hundred percent, it could power New York. I can't believe he didn't even tell me." Ray shook his head, the words just pouring out of his mouth a little angrily.
Marcas looked at Ray's chest. He could sense the amulet. "Where did you get such power?"
"That's a long story and the elevators nearly there now, I'll tell you some other time." Right on cue the elevatordingedas the doors slid open.
Marcas sighed and ushered for Ray to walk out first.
Ray left the elevator, turned, and with an ironic smile, called out "Welcome to WISH."
Marcas stood beside Ray and took in everything he could see. It was all the usual for Ray, but he was curious at the effect it would have on Marcas. As his own eyes looked at the iron lattice balcony they were standing on, the central core processor that ran from floor to ceiling and the various computers and living amenities that lined the ground of the room, Marcas finally said "Very impressive Ray."
"This place was actually hand built by Walker and a friend themselves. I believe some parts of this are based on Alien technology too. Anyway, let's go meet the guy."
"Well what are we waiting for so?"
Ray glanced over railings, "Hey Rob," Rob grunted something as they circled the balcony and walked down the stairs to reach him. "This is Marcas. Marcus, Robert Walker himself."
Marcas let a smile creep across his face. "A pleasure Mr Walker. I assure you, I admire what you have done here". He shot a look at Ray and glanced at the amulet. "To the most extent anyway. "
Ray seemed to ignore whatever implications may have been in there and, well ignored everything, "Mhm." Was all Walker muttered as he continued tapping on the central computer.
Marcas turned and whispered to Ray. "Does he have an on button where he replies or will I have to get his attention?" Ray chuckled inwardly once more. He’d forgotten the effect that this side of Rob had on new people.
"He's probably onto something big--"
"--I am here y'know, just give me a second..." Rob growled. Marcas nodded and let his eyes wander around the room.
"So how are you going to catch them eh? Some sort pressure plating on the floor? Special infrared detectors?" Ray asked, as if he knew what he were talking about.
"Nope," Rob smacked a button and something appeared on the big screen, "A good old fashioned thermometer. The memory shows that the room our slinky little thief robbed dropped well below zero for just a few minutes. It froze Shift, the bodyguard and the mist created, hid the thief from the camera's view. Very clever, the question is how did they freeze and thaw out the place so quickly?"
That answer was obvious, "they have powers." Ray finished.
"How is that going to help us, especially tracking the thief?" Marcas asked, looking somewhat intrigued.
"Every small piece of information is invaluable. For example, you'd be surprised to know how many buildings contain thermometers, central heating that can detect temperature change and react accordingly. And luckily we live in a digital age." He smacked another button, and this time, millions of temperature recordings appeared. "We have one way of tracking our criminal already. There are thermometers in public buildings, private buildings, subways, sewers, parks even the streets. All of them are accessible if you have the technology." He turned to Ray and Marcas, a victorious smile on his face, “and gentlemen, we have the technology.”
“He likes to show off a little doesn’t he,” Marcas remarked. Ray smiled himself at that.
And it happened suddenly. Ray felt a pressure in his head, a familiar kind of pressure and yet completely unfamiliar.
"Would a telepathic help?" the words were sudden in his head. But right in front of them stood a woman, ghotly yet there. What was this? "I was there, I felt her thoughts, I could feel them again. I could tell you that you have the right person, lead you to her...."
The woman waved slightly, as if she were unsure if she could be seen by the men. Or at least by two of them. Rob seemed oblivious. She took a deep breath she spoke again. It was an odd feeling, the voice in his head, and the lips moving.
"I am The Dreamer. I do not yet know the full extent to which I dream, or even if any of this is real, but if it is, and what you say is true. I'd like to help."
Marcas looked at Ray. "Am I the only one seeing an ephemeral creature here?”
Ray answered, though continued looking at the woman "Oh thank God I'm not the only one going insane."
Rob frowned at Ray and Marcas. "What are you guys talking about?"
The woman looked at the Rob confused. "I do not think he can hear or see me." She cocked her head to the left, seemingly studying this man, an intense concentration on her face before speaking again. "He's a brick wall," she smiled with slight curiosity, "or maybe a lead lined bunker." she blinked. "I'm sorry, I was talking to myself wasn't I?"
Marcas blinked in shock. "You just spoke.. Ray, did you hear her? She just spoke! My god that is phenomenal!" Marcas stepped right in front of her. "I am Marcas Neodróin, who and where are you?" But Ray wasn’t feeling quite as excited. Doubt started to creep in as he listened to the two converse.
A half smiled appeared on her face. She seemed at ease by his emotions and spoke freely. "My name," she looked settled on what she were about to say, "Is Ester Rose." She smiled more fully as she realized what she was saying, "And I am mentally here and physically in California." Perhaps she was just catching Marcus's excitement, but she too seemed quite excited. "You are in New York, are you not?" More and more the worry and paranoia crept into Ray. She knew the location of the hideout surely. Who was she really?
"Yes we are. We are in New York and you are in.... Don't move." Marcas stalked around her looking for some indication that she wasn't real, a monitor, a wire, a plug, but nothing appeared visible. "You really are in California aren't you?"
Physically yes. I am in a deep meditation." She laughed a slightly. "And you are a scientist."
Ray had reached the end of his patience.
"Wait a second. I've had training with this. You're a mental projection, give me one good reason why I shouldn't block you out of my mind--"
"What?" Rob who had been staring at the two of them as if they were crazy suddenly understood. He glared at both Ray and Marcus with a deep anger, "the two of you, you're breaching my security. And you, wherever you are, I suggest you leave... now." Rob tapped furiously away and on another screen, Esters figure appeared amongst the three of them, "Don't think I do not have the means to keep your mind trapped here forever," he threatened.
"I swear I mean no harm," Ester stepped back, sudden tears chocking her voice, her fear almost palpable. "I was only looking for my children, I just cannot manage to project past here." Ester continued to step back, slowly reverting into Spanish as she faded from view. "Please, I only want to help. I felt her... the criminal that took your goods, I felt her..." Ester found herself against a wall and realised Rob was showing he could really trap her. Ray suddenly felt sorry for her. "Por favor, me ayudan. Siempre, me ayudan...." Slowly she sank to the the floor. "Mis hijos." Ester looked at the man who had threatened, wide eyed, tears rolling down her cheeks. How could she even hope to plead with the one who couldn't see her...
Marcas stepped forward offering his hand. "No one will hurt you here Ma'am. You have my word." He shot a look at Rob whose intensely annoyed stare never faultered. "Now why don't you try telling us why you're here?"
Ray could feel the sincerity in her voice from the intrusion into his mind, "she's telling the truth Rob, she wants to help."
The anger in Robs face remained, but he must have cancelled the trap. His fierce gaze moved over again to Marcus, "to save your world," was all he said.
Ester felt a little freer and the good will of the two men who could see her gave her a little confiende, but the scowl upon the one man; it was a little frigtening. For a moment she closed her eyes and breathed deep trying to restore her calm; trying to decide how much to say.
Finally she stood and looked at the group. Though she wasn't certain if he could see or hear her, she faced Rob.
"My original reason for travelling the world this way is because I am looking for my children, whom I left years ago when first I discovered..." she hesitated, faltering for the word, "...my abilities." Ester took another deep breath before continuing. "I travelled here before, or at least I felt his presence," she gestured to Ray then proceeded to tell them of what she'd seen and felt during the time of the theft. "I didn't know if it was real, and so I tried again this evening. But again I have found myself here," Ester looked apologetically at Ray, "in his presence again and unable to travel across the Atlantic where my true destination lies." Looking back to Rob she continued. "I truly did not mean to overhear your conversation, but as I said I’ve felt the criminal's mind, I can help identify her." She sighed. "If you want my help. If you do not, then I will try not to return."
Marcas looked at Ray. "She is talking about Snake Eyes... How sure are you that you can identify the thief?"
"From what I have experienced," Ester told them, " each person’s thought pattern is as identifiable as their finger print."
"Then we’ll get the thief. So then what's our next step?" Ray looked to the group who seemed rather silent.
"We keep tabs on this girl, both mentally and technologically and you two," Walker nodded towards Ray and Marcus, "when we get a lock, go in for the kill... so to speak," he coughed lightly, "sound good?"