When she woke the next morning she was in her own bed. She lay there staring at the plain white ceiling as the events of the previous day came to back her. She still couldn’t make sense of what had happened and who had carried her her to bed? Mum was probably too small.
That last question at least got an answer when there was a quiet rap on the bedroom door before her father came in with a breakfast tray.
“Morning, Sweetpea,” he said. “You were fast asleep on the sofa when I got in about 3am, so I put you to bed.” He put the tray on the bedside table and smiled at her. “I thought you deserved breakfast in bed after what you went through yesterday.”
Sienna was about to say she wasn’t hungry when her stomach rumbled and she realised that she was. “Thanks, dad,” she said as she sat up and pulled it towards her.
“Anne rang,” he said. Sienna straightened up quickly and looked at him. Anne was Lucy’s mother.
“Oh! Is Lucy okay? She seemed to be getting better last night.” Sienna asked.
“She’s fine,” he reassured her quickly. “She’s off oxygen and feels much better but the Doctors are going to keep her in hospital for observation for another couple of days because they still don’t know what happened. Anne wants to thank you for getting Lucy to the hospital. She’d probably be dead if you hadn’t.”
“Thank goodness,” she said. “Have things settled down in the town?”
“A bit, though the town centre is a wreck and will likely be a mess for weeks if not months.” He sat of the edge of her bed. “And they still can’t explain the gas or the shootings. I think they’d assume the gas was some sort of volatile from the meteor but all the witnesses and the mobile phone camera footage indicate it came from the ground.”
“It did.” Sienna nodded as started eating her breakfast. “And it was magenta too which is even more weird. Whoever heard of a magenta gas?”
“The colour is odd,” her father agreed. He reached over and ruffled her hair. “But I’m more worried by the fact that there is a murderer loose in the area. The police are certain it’s safe to go out but still I’d be happier if they had someone in custody.”
“Yeah,” Sienna agreed though she remained silent on the fact that she thought she might be a special target for the killer. It would just worry her parents if they believed her and more likely they wouldn’t when she explained why.
“Oh, Wendy called as well,” he said. “She’s okay as well and says that she’s coming over later.” He rose to his feet. “Anyway we need some milk so I’m going to the shop and hoping there hasn’t been a run on them.” He gave her a hug. “I’ll see you later, sweetpea.”
Wendy arrived late morning and had a slightly harried look on her face when Sienna’s mother let her in. It was a look Sienna knew all too well.
“Are your mum and Keith arguing again?” Sienna asked as she sat back down at her computer and continued scanning through hashtags about Castleham to see what people were saying. Keith was Wendy’s stepfather and something of a bully in Sienna’s opinion.
Wendy sighed and nodded. “For a certain value of argue where you mean him screaming at mum until she gives in. It got really bad this time.” She looked down before grinning viciously. “Martin physically kicked him out of the house this time. I think that really shocked the bastard – that his own son would side against him.”
“Go, Martin!” Sienna said.
“Yeah,” Wendy said then sobered. “But I’m worried it will make things worse because you know she’s not ready to admit there’s a problem yet. So she’ll probably let him back in. Martin says he’s going to talk to her.”
“Yeah. Mum’s still fixated on the fact he’s a genius. I really don’t understand how someone so intelligent can be so mean and stupid when it comes to women. But we should get down to business.” Wendy peered over her shoulder at Twitter. “Anyone said anything useful?”
“Not really,” Sienna said. “Lots of wild theories all of which seem unlikely but any of which could be true given that there aren't actually any likely theories.” She lowered her voice to make sure her parents wouldn’t hear. “So where’s this place you think I can practice?”
Wendy gave a half-grin. “Mine and Martin’s secret base.”
“You have a secret base?” Sienna said. “Why don't you just rent a warehouse like most robot fighting geeks?”
“Well, you know how Keith is about me being involved in ‘Martin’s hobby’. It’s not suitable for a girl.” She scowled at the wall. “Like Martin could build a robot – he’s a programmer not an engineer. I’m only allowed to study science because Keith thinks I want to be a nurse. Is he in for a shock. He’s obviously forgot I don’t need his money to go to university – I have dad’s trust fund – which Keith and mum can’t touch – for that. But anyway, it’s out of the way so you can practice safely.”
“It’s also trespassing by the sounds of it,” Sienna said mildly.
Wendy waved that concern away lightly. “Nope. It's technically mine. It was one of Dad’s that he bough to redevelop into student flats. That fell through due to planning issues but it’s still on the portfolio. If the company sells it or actually moves to redevelop it we’ll move but it’s derelict for now and no one else goes there.” She paused then added. “But I had to tell Martin what was happening since it’s his base as well.”
“That’s okay,” Sienna said. “Martin is cool.”
“He is,” Wendy said. “But I don’t think he believed me about you.”
“Can you blame him?” Sienna asked.
Wendy snorted. “No, not really. He’s coming to see for himself. Shall we go?”
“I’m not sure mum and dad will let me out today and I don’t blame them, not with a mass shooter still on the loose in town.”
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