Curious Allure (FTMIX excerpt)

Arnold arrived with Flex in tow only to find the office empty. It looked as though some things were picked up from the last time Arnold had seen the destruction left by Ned Delahunt or Stev Aungrin who ever had combed the office for the device.

“Any ideas Flex?”

You are going to have to stop talking to me like that, people will talk. Flex warned him.

“How else am I supposed to tell you what I am thinking?”

Just think, like I am doing with you  right now.

Alright then, I’m going to call the professor and hope we got our time mixed up although I’m sure we agreed to meet here at 2 pm.

Arnold called the professor’s cell and left a message. He checked with the secretary but she hadn’t seen the professor. She did report that Stev had been in his office earlier.

Alex headed to the English Department looking for Stev. He saw him in the hallway and  Flex gave a warning of caution.

“Stev, I’m looking for the professor, have you seen him?”

Stev looked very calm but when he went to open his door with the keys he was obviously nervous.

“Thanks for your help at the hospital, man.”

When the reaction was one of confusion, Arnold knew that this was the true Stev Angrin. They went inside his office. There was professor Roberts bruised and bloodied but sitting up and holding a compress to his head.

“Professor, what happened.” Stev asked concerned.

“Arnold, I’m glad you found me. They came back to my office that Delahunt character and one other guy I hadn’t seen before.

Ask him if he heard any names. Flex suggested.

Arnold asked but the professor couldn’t recall.

“Where they looking for the instrument?” Arnold inquired.

“No, they knew it wasn’t here they were looking for me, Delahunt thought I was someone else, he was calling me Dermot, and started pounding on me for getting in the way.

Arnold heard Flex’s instructions.

“Stev where were you when the minion did the particle swap with you?”

“What do you mean? I didn’t go anywhere.”

“So you remember nothing from Thursday, all day?”

“It was definitely him at the hospital,” the professor swore.

“We’ve got to get you checked out professor, that is a nasty cut on your head.”

“Stev, why did you come back to your office?”

“Oh, to bring the professor to the … ” he pulled out a piece of paper with an address on it — “Oh yes, the Oaks Hotel.”

“Your friends won’t mind if we stop at the Medical Center first?

“Oh, no Stev replied.”

“Better yet, you stay here we’ll take care of the rest.”

The Emergency room was crowded and while they waited they discussed what was going on with Stev.

“Stev must be a pawn being used by Delahunt under hypnosis and not the same deal you and I have going on. They needed someone close to you to keep an eye on you. Not everyone can swap particles with their former selves.”

“Will he be alright?” the professor asked just as he was wheeled away for a CAT scan of his head.

Arnold recognized Ned Delahunt as he entered the ER. He signaled Flex. Now what?

Go over and introduce yourself.

You have got to be kidding.

I need to know if that is Delahunt or Repo.

Arnold walked over and nudged Ned. Before he knew it he was fighting in the parking lot, Arnold’s size and physical strength made it easy for Flex to do some serious damage and analysis of this person who was at the forefront of all their problems.

The professor was admitted for overnight observation, probably because he was a staff member and they took a personal interest in his case. He was sitting in the private room when Arnold found him.

“They have put security outside your door and I had the opportunity to get back at Delahunt for all the trouble he caused Ernestine.”

“You saw him?”

“Yes, I think he was here to see you, but he won’t be seeing anyone for some time now. I am glad for the security, what’s the prognosis?”

“Slight concussion, huge headache.”

“Flex is with me.”

“Oh, hi Flex.”

“He says hello.”

“Okay so what was on Delahunt’s mind?”

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