Later, with a coffee in her hand, Dru set in front of her computer, praying Crymzon was up and Asheyna had not yet gone to bed. Derek sat pensively on her bed, while in the other room the pirates argued about how to make breakfast with the meagre supplies. Once again, Dark had vanished, off to work this time. With a quick glance at Derek, Dru 'dialled' Ash and Crym. Ash was the first to answer.
“Hey girly, I've- Oh gods, what happened?” Dru asked, seeing the expression on Ash's face.
“I had to make a difficult call,” she said. When Dru didn't reply she continued. “To Spockeh.”
“What!” Dru yelled. Ash leant back from her computer, away from the speaker distortion. “Of all the people... What possessed you... How could you...”
Ash leant back in, cutting Dru of in her tirade, “Would you calm down? I don't like it any more than you, but it needed to be done. He and his crew could be useful.”
“Useful! How? All they do is run around and cause havoc. How is that useful?” His interested piqued by her yelling, Derek had come to stand behind Dru.
“Who is this guy you're talking about?” he asked.
“More to the point,” Ash said, “Dru, why do you have a strange man in your bedroom?”
“Ah.” Dru said, her anger fizzling out. “He's why I called you actually. Derek, this is Asheyna, one of my author friends. Ash this is Derek Bentley, a character I wrote to help Crym find out what villains had gone missing. Only he kinda screwed up my plan by coming out into the real.”
“So you specifically wrote a character to get us out of this mess?” Ash frowned at Dru through the screen. “Isn't that cheating?”
Dru scowled, “It worked, didn't it?” Ash raised her eyebrows and sighed.
“Good job,” she said sarcastically. “So, what are you going to do with him?”
“I have no idea. Have you had any success in sending any characters back?”
“Uh hu,” Ash said, shaking her head. “Maybe you could send him to Crym somehow?”
“Ladies,” Derek cut in, “fascinating as this is, I am in the room, remember?” Dru flushed, and Ash looked slightly guilty. He leant against the closet door, and began rolling another cigarette.
“If you want my help, you need to explain what's going on and what players are involved here."
Dru sat back.
"Alright. As the girl in red told you, villains are disappearing from their stories on this site," she said and brought up on the other screen a familiar yellow and green website. "We don't know who, why or how many, but we're concerned about their motives and plans for this world. There are some theories but nothing concrete."
"Who else is involved?"
"Ash, Crymzon, myself and now Spockeh," Dru said
"There might be other we don't know about," Ash put in
"And you want me to do what, exactly?" Derek asked, glancing up from the cigarette.
Dru glanced at Ash before answering.
"We want them found," she said.
"And put back where they belong," Ash finished. Derek finished his rolling and put the cigarette in a pocket.
"What you're asking is vague at best. Do you have a place for me to start?" he asked. Again the two girls looked at each other.
"Umm," said Ash.
"Not as such..." Dru said. Derek frowned at them and crossed his arms.
"Tell me about Spockeh."
"He's an irritating puppy," Ash said.
To Derek's raised eyebrow Dru said, "He pooped all over one of her stories and thought he'd done a good job."
"And his crew?"
"Immature terrorists who like fouling things up for everyone else," said Ash. Dru shot her a look before returning her attention to Derek.
"A stereotypical band; Hacker, demolitions, mechanic, voice of reason, leader. They mean well, but they are immature and just end up causing more problems than they fix."
"I'd say we start with them," Derek said.
"What?" Dru said
"They may be annoying but they're not villains" Ash said.
Derek shook his head. "That's not what I meant. Despite what you say about their maturity, this group sounds like it could be the most competent for what you need. A strong hand, they'll be fine." He pulled away from the door. "Where can I find them?"
Dru closed her gaping mouth and glanced at Ash, who also looked to have gone into shock.
"Umm, East Coast USA." Dru said.
"Anything more specific." Dru mutely shook her head, and shrugged. Derek glowered out the window.
"Hey maybe you could wish yourself there, eh?" Ash suggested.
Dru frowned at the screen. “You think that would work?” she asked.
“Worth a go isn't it?” Ash said, shrugging. Dru shrugged back.
Dru closed her eyes. I want authorship of Derek Bentley to pass to Spockeh, she though trying hard to picture Spockeh's avatar and the outcome she wanted. After 30 seconds feeling very silly she opened her eyes. Her shoulders sagged.
“Oh hell,” she muttered.