In a sticky situation, Scott was desperate to get through to Gerard. However, five people pointing guns at him didn’t feel like the right time or place to be negotiating. Nevertheless, he had no choice in that moment.
“You don’t have to do this, there’s a better way” Scott pleaded. He knew he’d tried this tactic countless times with Gerard, but Scott wasn’t about to stoop to his level in pursuit of what he wanted. He always had his morals and dignity.
“Letting you live is not better, Scott, your disease will continue to spread. Three people bitten already, how many more innocent people will become infected by the end of your life?” Gerard ignored his point and continued pushing his agenda.
“All three were out of necessity. Liam and Hayden would’ve died otherwise” Scott justified.
“And yet, Nolan remains the odd one out” Gerard argued.
“Nolan learnt how to control himself. He’s a better person now, he’s learnt restraint” Scott pointed out.
“And yet, none of you could stop the siren from escaping” Gerard continued.
“What do you need from us?” Lydia queried, jumping in, “There has got to be a way other than killing us.”
“We could help you” Scott added, “If we pool our resources, we could capture Jodie before any more lives are lost.” Scott could tell Gerard was considering it. The fact he didn’t decline immediately was optimistic. Stiles, however, watched on in horror, as Scott may as well have just made a deal with the devil.
Checking the rear-view mirror, Mason was concerned. There was no sign of Frankie’s car behind his own. He was closely following Daan’s car, unsure of exactly where they were heading, while Corey sat in the passenger seat. Frankie was supposed to be following too, and considering the road was as quiet as any class became when Ms. Martin entered the room, it wouldn’t have been hard to spot his headlights.
“Where is Frankie?” Mason wondered aloud, hoping Corey would soothe his worries like he usually does.
“He must have got held up” Corey presumed. This was not the convincing and reassuring reply Mason was hoping for.
“You don’t think something bad has happened, right?” Mason shared his concerns.
“Lawrie called him over didn’t he?” Corey recalled, “He’s probably just making an excuse to get away from him. He’ll be along soon.” Interrupting their chat, the cheerful ringtone of Mason’s phone sounded. It was the last tune he wanted to hear in that moment, when he felt anything but joyful.
“Oh, can you get that? It’s probably Liam, he said he’d call” Mason asked of Corey. Glancing at the screen, Corey was surprised at the actual caller.
“It’s Lawrie” Corey corrected. Shocked, Mason now felt sick, worrying that his fears were justified after all. Answering the call, Corey was now speaking to Lawrie.
“Woah, slow down, what’s happened?” Corey was remaining calm. Mason only heard his half of the conversation. – Corey obviously hadn’t thought of using loudspeaker.
“Don’t worry, we’ll find him. I’ll text you our address, meet us there as soon as you can” Corey reassured, finishing the call. He glanced at Mason and reluctantly nodded.
“I knew it” Mason hated that his fears were confirmed. Frankie had vanished, and they had to find him. Quickly.
Cornered, Malia was ready to fight. Sure enough, her opponents had weapons, but it wouldn’t be the first time she’d survived a gunshot, and it certainly wouldn’t be the last. However, there was an element of doubt in her mind. She blamed Scott for this. When she lived as a coyote, she didn’t think twice before defending herself. Scott had taught her a different way. She hated to admit it, but it was a better way, too. She looked around her. Isaac, Maddie and Peter looked to be wondering the same. Could they fight their way out? Malia was confident she could win. Besides, if she was going to die, she would die fighting. She gave the order, a gentle nod to the rest of the group, before she unleashed the coyote she’d learnt to control so well. She bared her teeth, ready to pounce on the man in front. Peter joined his daughter in battle, while Isaac and Maddie looked to the group behind. Instantly, the gunman in front took aim at Peter and fired. Dodging the bullet like an expert, Peter ignored any idea of restraint and launched himself at the gunman, holding his arms securing in a position where the gun wouldn’t fire at the others. However, the gunman’s strength was fighting back. Shots were being fired into the air as he tried helplessly to break free. Neither of them were winning this battle, as neither of them were able to break free and fight. All of a sudden, the gunman was whacked over the head from behind, as Nolan swung a lacrosse bat at him. He flopped onto the floor, unconscious. Joined by Liam, Brett and Liah too, the group were now outnumbering their attackers.
“Stand down” Liah commanded, hoping her former loyalty to Gerard would work in her favour.
“You’re a traitor” one of the gunmen responded.
“I only warned you for your own benefit. Get ‘em boys” Liah gave the order, as Nolan, Liam and Brett joined the other four in defending themselves. Maddie revelled in snapping a gun in two, flinging its owner across the dingy tunnel, while Isaac bashed another man’s head against the wall, knocking him out stone cold. Now only one attacker remained. As the pack stared him in the eye, he showed his true courage. Dropping his weapon, the man sprinted back in the direction he came. Malia smiled. She was delighted that she trusted her instincts to fight.
“Now we find Scott” she decided.
Frankie watched Jodie from across the room. He had never met her before, but he knew she was dangerous. She was ultimately behind the death of Becky, his classmate. He’d even fancied her for a while when she first arrived. The fact that she’d been killed so cruelly made him sick to his stomach, and he was especially concerned he’d be joining Becky, wherever she was, before long.
“What do you want from me?” Frankie questioned.
“Who says I want anything?” Jodie snapped back.
“You’ve killed before, you’d have killed me too by now if I didn’t have a purpose” Frankie reasoned.
“Intelligent” Jodie observed.
“I’m a journalist, it’s my job to notice the details” Frankie informed.
“To answer your question, you and I may be similar beings but we’re not the same” Jodie explained.
“You can say that again” Frankie was mortified at the implication that he and Jodie were in the least bit similar.
“Your powers could help me” Jodie continued.
“To do what? What’s the aim here?” Frankie was baffled by her power trip and was desperate for more answers.
“I suppose there’s no harm in telling you, it’s not like you’ll live to tell the tale. I want to be the alpha. The leader of a pack so strong that Nogitsunes and Dread Doctors have been scared off for good” Jodie justified, “I just need rid of Gerard, and rid of Scott McCall.”
Uncomfortable, Stiles was struggling to understand Scott’s motivations. Unbelievably, Gerard had agreed to work with Scott to locate Jodie, but the entire situation felt like a recipe for a disaster, sprinkled with an extra dose of chaos. As the sheriff station was being cleaned, they had to set up base elsewhere. Stiles’ dad had picked up a number of case files that may prove relevant, and they relocated to Scott’s house. As they unloaded the cars, Stiles nabbed a quiet chat with Scott and Lydia.
“Is it only me who thinks this is a catastrophically bad idea? This is Gerard, need I remind you” Stiles vented.
“We’ve had worse ideas” Lydia noted, “And they didn’t go too badly.”
“We have literally made a deal with our own equivalent of the devil, I think this takes the biscuit” Stiles reiterated.
“It’s only short term, if anything, it buys us time. Don’t worry, I won’t let my guard down for a second” Scott reassured. While Stiles trusted his best ate over anyone, he couldn’t help his doubts.
Arriving at their destination, Mason took the chance to admire his surroundings. Around them was nothing but forest, the trees only making way for a narrow lane leading up to the newly developed block of flats. Surrounded by a metal fence, the modern flats were not open yet, but Mason recognised the location.
“This used to be the Hale house” Mason identified.
“Who?” Cody queried. He hadn’t met any of the Hale family, and Mason himself was far from an expert but his inquisitive nature had led to Scott telling him details.
“Malia’s dad Peter is one. Long story” Corey added.
“It used to be derelict, Scott said Derek still lived there after it had been burnt down” Mason recalled.
“We used to hide out here when it was abandoned. Our secret place” Daan reminisced, “We had our own theories of how it burnt down.”
“It was hunters. Gerard’s daughter Kate” Mason informed, “She burned it down with the Hales inside.”
“She sounds like a right headcase” Daan noted, “Come on then, let’s get inside.” As the group made their way to the gate to suss their way in, Mason’s annoyingly chirpy ringtone sounded once again. This time, it actually was Liam.
“Hey dude, what’s up?” Mason casually answered the call.
“Wherever you are, stay inside. Tell the others too, it’s not safe, there are hunters everywhere” Liam immediately relayed, skipping any pleasantries.
“I know, Frankie got attacked at school and now he’s been taken” Mason informed.
“What? By who?” Liam was taken aback.
“I think I can make a pretty good guess” Mason replied. He didn’t know for definite who had taken Frankie, but Jodie was the only viable candidate.
“Where are you? We’ll meet you there” Liam queried.
Sorting carefully through all the case files he’d amassed over the years, Stilinski was looking for anything that might be a clue as to where Jodie had gone. Sure enough, they could split up and look for her, but their resources would then be limited, and this way, they’d be able to work together to fight her.
“What’s her surname?” Stilinski questioned.
“Richardson” Lydia answered.
“I wish it were less common a name” Stilinski responded, opening the case of files beginning with ‘r’. He handed half of the chunky pile to Parrish and kept half to himself.
“I’ve said for years that we needed a better filing system” Parrish remarked, much to Stilinski’s disapproval.
At the opposite end of Scott’s living room, he and Francisco were talking quietly. While Scott couldn’t stand the sight of the guy that had poisoned Maddie, he wanted to understand him better.
“How did Gerard find you?” Scott questioned, keen to know more about his story.
“He met me outside college before the holidays, asked if I’d give him a hand. He showed me pictures of werewolves” Francisco recalled, “He wanted me to join the fight. I was repulsed, I knew I had to. He showed me a werewolf he’d captured too.”
“You were okay with that?” Scott responded.
“It was dangerous. How many lives have been lost as a result of these creatures?” Francisco tried to justify himself.
“So, you thought you’d poison one of my best friends?” Scott let out his rage.
“It was Jodie’s idea. Now I know why. Still, she’s one of you” Francisco felt no remorse.
“You realise not all of us have asked for this, right? I didn’t want to become a werewolf, but I’ve made the best of it, same for Maddie” Scott passionately explained.
“I’m sorry” Francisco replied, “But I stand by my view.” Scott sighed. At least he had made an effort to convince Francisco that he was being narrow-minded. On the bright side, the fact Francisco hadn’t killed him already gave Scott hope.
Arriving with a screech, a trio of cars all arrived at the new block of flats simultaneously. In one car was Liam, Nolan, Brett and Liah; the second had Malia, Isaac, Maddie and Peter; and the final one simply had Lawrie. Mason stood between a gap in the metal gate, signalling the way in.
“Did anyone see you?” Mason interrogated Liam.
“No, the roads are totally empty” Liam responded with confidence. All of them rushed inside the building as Corey led them up the staircase to one of the empty flats on the second floor.
“Why are we going so far up?” Maddie complained on the way.
“It’s a less obvious hiding place than the lobby downstairs” Corey justified.
“I swear to god; these shoes couldn’t be less comfortable” Maddie went on.
“Oh, give it a rest, we’ve got bigger problems” Malia snapped. Despite them getting past their differences, she and Maddie were vastly different people so occasionally they had their gripes.
“Time and place” Isaac nudged them both. The pack assembled in a barely furnished room, with no chairs or tables in sight before anyone could move in. Mason and Corey were the last ones to arrive, closing the door.
“What the hell is going on?” Lawrie asked them as they arrived. In all of the craziness, they had forgotten he wasn’t in-the-know.
“You’ll find out” Mason opted not to explain from scratch. It would’ve been a lot to take in, and too much time would be needed.
Frankie had no idea how long he’d been changed up. He kept drifting in and out of sleep, and his phone had been taken off him so he had no measure of time. What’s more was that Jodie was getting startlingly close to finishing whatever it was she was doing. She came over and clipped a couple of metal discs to his bare chest, and another two to herself. They were connected by a couple of thin wires that were a couple of metres long each – long enough to stretch across the room. She looked him in the eye and smiled victoriously.
“Thanks, I guess” she smugly said, before pulling a switch on the control panel adjacent. Immediately, electricity surrounded Frankie, the water conducting it and making the flow stronger than usual. Frankie’s eyes glowed a sea blue, much like Jodie’s, as the electricity flowed from him to her. Just as Jodie had planned.
“Hey guys, look what I got here” Stiles announced. Scott and Lydia, perched either side of Stiles on Scott’s couch, peered over his shoulder. Stiles read from the sheet in his hand, found within the files that Stilinski had amassed over the years, “Jodie’s parents died in suspicious circumstances last year.”
“I knew I recognised the name. She went to foster care. Tragic” Stilinski’s memory was jogged.
“Not so tragic with hindsight” Stiles corrected, “It says they drowned, but their bodies were found in the family living room.”
“I told you she was dangerous. Now do you see why killing a beast like a siren may be our only option?” Gerard nagged. Scott wanted to argue with him, but he couldn’t find a good enough reason. He wasn’t wrong – perhaps it was the only way of stopping Jodie. Before he had the chance to reply, he heard his phone vibrating. Saved by the buzz. He saw the message preview on his lock screen. A short but sweet message from Isaac – “Frankie gone, meet at Derek’s old house.”
“Frankie’s been taken” Scott announced to the group.
“It’s her, it must be” Francisco deduced.
“Where would she take him?” Lydia queried, “I mean, she wouldn’t logically take him to her house. She must have a hideout where she’s kept herself under the radar.” She picked up the sheet of paper Stiles was holding.
“That’s it! Her dad worked as a mechanic. The garage has been abandoned since” Lydia announced.
“So, what are we waiting for?” Gerard stood up.
“No” Scott interrupted, “We can’t go in all guns blazing, she’ll be expecting that. We have to be smart about this. I’ve got an idea.”
Ten minutes later, Scott, Stiles and Lydia arrived at the side where Derek’s house used to be. Thankfully, they’d been able to shake off Gerard – his presence would only cause tension and slow down the discussion Scott was hoping to have with the others.
“This place still gives me the creeps” Stiles commented.
“It scrubs up well though” Scott noted, admiring the modern design of the flats.
“Come on, second floor” Lydia assertively led the way. It didn’t require a mathematician of her ability to know that they didn’t have time to waste. Pacing their way up the stairs, the group followed Isaac’s directions. Lydia knocked five times on the door, as instructed, to signal to the rest of the pack that it was them and not an intruder. Isaac unlocked the door, giving them access.
“Wow, you’re all here” Scott noticed the room filled with the rest of the pack. It had slipped his mind just how many people were on his side. No matter what other factors came into this, they had the numbers on their side.
“No time for pleasantries, we need a plan of action” Liam decided.
“Alright, so what have we got? Everything we know about Jodie” Stiles sprang into action.
“She’s water, right? How can we fight water?” Maddie thought aloud.
“Boil it” Malia suggested.
“We can’t boil her, that’s inhumane” Lydia rebuked.
“So?” Malia responded, still open to the idea. Isaac raised an eyebrow at her, as if to question her sanity.
“We could do the opposite – freeze her. She could be kept alive, but she wouldn’t be harmful to anyone” Mason wondered.
“How could we do that? It’s nowhere near cold enough here” Scott queried.
“Eichen House” Lydia gravely mentioned. Scott felt his heart sink. Everything bad seemed to come from Eichen House. He was not optimistic, but it did seem like the best suggestion.
“Alright” he regretfully sighed, “Let’s do it.”
Struggling with the pain of the electricity, although withstanding it way more than any normal human could, Frankie felt himself being drained. The life was being sucked out of him, and there was nothing he could do. Although, having said that, he remembered what Scott stood for. What he’d have done in that situation. Frankie knew that Scott would fight back. So, any strength he had needed to be put against Jodie. If he was going down, he’d be going down fighting. Staring directly at Jodie, Frankie raised his arms up. Using every once of energy that he could summon, he focused on water. He didn’t think about anything else, in the hope that this would be his way out. He called it to him, summoned it, imagined it dropping over Jodie’s computer at the far end of the room. Computers and water were not a good mix, hopefully it would at least stop the pain he was experiencing. Immediately, a sole drop fell from in between the cracks in the ceiling. Whatever he was doing was working, and that was all the motivation he needed to keep going. The drops became more frequent as water trickled along the ceiling from the numerous cracks in the old, abandoned building. Drip, drip, drip, all over the computer. It began to spark and malfunction as the electricity flow stopped, much to Frankie’s relief. Catching Jodie off guard, Frankie used the rest of his strength to break free of the chains, and instantly he made a run for it, ensuring he picked up his mobile phone on the way out.
“No!” Jodie yelled furiously as she composed herself, noticing Frankie had escaped.