Chapter 59: I Can Work With That

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They laid Jasper out across the dining table, his head lolling to one side.

Ryn hugged her arms to her stomach, in attempt to still the nausea threatening to overwhelm. Her eyes wouldn't stop darting to the incomplete scorpion tattooed onto the side of his neck; a signature of their enemy, a reminder of how close they'd nearly been to losing one of their own...

'What the Hell happened to Glowstick?!' Darcy cried, staring ludicrously at their unconscious teammate, as he emerged from the watchroom to greet them.

'Long story,' Jackson huffed, pulling one of the chairs out so he could fall back into it, clearly exhausted.

'Well, make it short.'

'Jasper got Blanked by the Scorpion,' Elizabeth supplied.

'Blanked? As in... those zombified citizens running around after Scorpy?'

'Yep.'

'How did that happen?!'

'I'll tell you everything, later. But right now, we've got to try and get those blasted mind-controlling devices out of his head.'

'So, how are we going to do this?' Toni asked, pacing back and forth behind the table.

'Elliot, you said you could deactivate the chips?' Colt looked to the boy.

He nodded, slowly, seemingly hesitant.

'I'll give it a try...'

Ryn held her breath as she watched him place his fingers against Jasper's temple, where she noticed a thin red scar, signifying the placement of the chip. His hand shook, slightly, for several moments, and then he drew back again, shaking his head.

'I... I haven't had much practice with generating EMPs,' he stuttered, more nervous than she's ever seen him. 'I don't... I don't think...'

'Hey,' Quentin said, gently placing her hand on his shoulder. 'Hey, don't doubt yourself, Elliot.'

'No, you don't understand... there's a very narrow spectrum, here. If I send out a pulse that's either too strong or too weak, it could-'

'Elliot,' she interrupted his stumbling, again. 'Elliot, listen to me. You're the only one here who can pull this off. We all have faith in you, alright? So have a little faith in yourself. You've got this.'

He was silent for several moments, slowly drawing in a deep breath, before letting it all out, again, in a single sigh.

With a terse nod, he stepped back towards the table, repositioning his fingers up against the side of the man's head.

Everyone was silent as he closed his eyes, expression set with concentration.

Ryn didn't see anything happen, but when Elliot jolted, withdrawing his hand as his eyes flickered back open, she didn't miss the relief crowding his features.

'One down,' he whispered, and several of the others cheered with similar relief.

Cautiously, he tilted Jasper's head, so that he could reach his other temple, and repeated the process, seemingly more confident, now, that he had succeeded the first time. Ryn was quite sure that Quentin's earlier encouragement had given him the necessary spark of determination.

A minute later, he breathed out another sigh, resting his head on the table.

'Did it... work?' Kiley asked, tentatively.

'Yeah,' Elliot replied, his voice muffled by the wood. 'Thankfully.'

'Ey! We knew you could do it, mate!' Darcy clapped him supportively on the back, before turning to face the rest of them with one eyebrow raised. 'Now does someone mind telling me what in the name of my favourite brand of canned soup went on out there, today?'

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