TWENTY MINUTES LATER the four people had gathered at the designated place. Xavier was bored, drumming his fingers against the table he sat at while Damien rested in the wheelchair. He was all the way on the other side of the Estate when Olivia called them, and he didn’t feel like hobbling down the hall with his crutches.
Aden was sitting in a wooden chair beside Damien with a deck of cards. He was shuffling them with both his hands before dealing himself his third hand in solitaire. Tyler Marklin intently watched the game, suggesting what Aden should do when the Captain got stumped. The two managed to win the game twice in a row, which was surprising seeing as Aden didn’t like to be told what to do.
“Well if it isn’t Cheric.” Xavier replied with an aloof expression. She pushed past the doors with energy and a bottle of root beer. The box she held in her other hand caused Damien to straighten in his seat. “What’s the box for? Giving us a reward for our hard work?” Xav grinned while Olivia ignored him.
Walking over to the table Aden, Damien, and Tyler were at; she dropped the box in front of them. Xavier ambled over to peer over the other’s shoulders to the box before Olivia tapped on it. When she finally had their attention, she pointed to the door where a young girl was standing with a lab coat on. Her hair was pulled into two pigtails and an innocent smile was plastered on her face.
“Who is she?” She asked the men waiting for the recognition to set in.
The inventor watched as all four changed their expression. Xavier immediately ran over to her, “Yo Lottie! I thought you were taken in by Olivia’s older brother, did you come to visit? Ah, who cares! Why didn’t you visit us sooner?”
Tyler ran after to give her a welcoming hug back, but he stopped short noticing the slight difference everyone else was starting to see. Xavier had reached out to pat her head but also realized she was a couple inches shorter than what he remembered. “You’re shorter than I remember.” She also wasn’t metallic the last they saw her too.
“Lionsheart?” Damien finally replied before turning back to Olivia while Aden turned a deadly glare to the inventor.
“Is this some sick joke or something? Is this what you were doing the past couple weeks, trying to see if we’d react to a knock-off version of some servant?” He got up from the table forgetting the cards and box in front of them.
“Take another step out of here and you’ll lose your chance of getting the Relic Stones.” Everyone perked at this sudden revelation.
Damien was staring at the box before looking at Cheric. “You’re giving us those stones?”
Aden shot a confused look to his older brother before looking at the box.
She nodded before pulling out from her pants pocket the wrinkled parchment. “I should have realized it was her, but I didn’t think she’d change her surname. Had I known any better, I would have realized she would have used her middle name.” She turned back to where Xavier, Tyler, and Charie were standing. “Charie and I have prepared a duplicate set of these stones. Fakes with no power in them, just based upon looks alone. I want you to have the real ones. Use them as you see fit, but be wary. Once you use them, it will be a permanent fixture in your life.”
Aden sensed there was more to this than what was being said. “What is it that you’re trying to do Cheric?” And Olivia turned to him with a bright smile.
“I want to ensure that she is safe and sound, and in order to do that we need to get rid of some rats in the premises.” Xavier and Tyler both quirked their heads.
“I’m confused as hell but I’ll go with it for now; how are you going to do that?” Xavier pondered before looking at the girl behind them. She was holding a box that looked similarly to the one on the table.
“Easy, we have Charie disguise herself as Charlotte Rothschild and reveal to The State that her Uncle gave her the stones. When she does so the rats will inform Zaine that Charlotte is alive and that she has the stones here at my Estate. That is the moment we strike them.”
“That may lead more of those pirates to attack here Lady Olivia,” Tyler replied, “And with The Division’s crew still injured the way they are, we can’t support the attack. We’d be inviting a slaughter.”
Olivia shook her head. “I’m not suggesting we put the plan into action now. We do it once blondie is fully capable of walking without crutches. In the meantime I will be working upon my other project that will aid us in the search for the Relic Stones.”
Xavier scratched his temple before pointing at the box on the table. “Aren’t those the Stones you mentioned though? How many more could there be?”
Damien shook his head before explaining what the stones were and how they were being created in large quantities. Tyler gapped at the end of the explanation while Aden sat down feeling numb. He was staring at the box in silence, lost in his thoughts.
Xavier slammed down a fist into the wooden table causing it to splinter. “Does The State know of this?”
“For all we know The State could be the ones manufacturing the stones. We’re in a grave situation, and while we still do not have all of the information, I will tell you this.” Olivia shoved the letter into her pants pocket. “I’m creating a device at this moment that will be able to detect these stones, all I’m asking you guys to look out for Charie here.”
She pointed over her shoulder to the robot remaining stationary. She had tilted her head in confusion from the way her Master was pointing at her.
“We’re supposed to be her bodyguards or something?” Xavier asked while Damien wheeled his chair uncomfortably around the table. He wanted to get a closer look at the girl before making a final decision.
“Yes. I want her to be with someone at all times. We will hide her face. I’ll also make the necessary changes to her appearance so she looks seventeen years old, not fourteen. It’s time we took matters into our own hands.”
Damien placed a hand on his chin. “That’s all good and all, but that Lionsheart-look-a-like isn’t Charlotte Rothschild. The Admirals will know who she is just because she was the Fleet Admiral’s niece.”
Olivia merely stared at the gentleman in the wheelchair but Aden, having snapped out of his reverie, caught the look and frowned. He knew that Charie-Lottie Lionsheart-girl was lying through her teeth.
“Son of a bitch. I should have known.”
“My sentiments exactly, Summerfeld.”
The other three in the party connected two and two together just as Aden explained to his brothers. “Charlotte Lionsheart Rothschild. Put it together.”
Xavier slid down onto the seat in front of Aden raking his beanie off his head. “Shit. She’s the Fleet Admiral’s niece? I made her swab the deck.”
Damien dropped his head into his hand. “That’s all you’re worried about?”
Tyler walked around the robot admiring the detail that was put into before sighing. “What do we need to do?” Olivia turned to her secretary before unlocking the box. She looked at the stones then back at the four of them.
“There are three stones here; if you’re compatible with it you can have it. Are you prepared for the long haul of trouble?” Xavier grumbled into his hands. Tyler nodded, looking grim. Damien turned to Aden who stared irritably at the stones.
“What choice do we have Cheric,” Xavier muttered before removing his hands. “I know I won’t sitting back and watching while those pirates do as they please.”