Background  Check     Once  in  the  conference  room,  everyone  grew  silent.

 Finally,  Gabriel  spoke:  “Well,  I   guess  the  best  way  to  go  about  this  is  to  vote.”     “Vote?”  Fin  repeated,  sounding  disgusted.  “This  is  a  human  being  we’re  talking   about,  here!”     “Fin,  stop  being  ridiculous,”  Gabriel  snapped.  “You  know  as  well  as  I  do  that  we’re   taking  a  huge  risk  taking  this  kid  in  without  even  knowing  if  he’s  telling  the  truth.”     “You  know  what  would  be  really  cool  right  now?”  Connor  said  with  a  dreamy  smile.   “A  lie  detector.  Oh  wait!”  He  turned  to  Fin.  “We  have  one.”     “What?”  Fin  frowned.  “I  can’t  detect  lies...”     “But  you  can  get  inside  people’s  heads  and  check  things  out,  right?”  Jasper  said.  “So   just…  pop  inside  Logan’s  head!  He  doesn’t  even  have  to  know!”     “Absolutely  not!”  Fin  protested.  He  slammed  his  fists  on  the  oak  table.  “That’s  a  huge   invasion  of  privacy!”     “You  just  told  him  he  had  to  share  a  bed  with  you,”  Opal  pointed  out.     “This  is  different.  This  is  about  trust!”  Fin  looked  around  at  them  with  an  air  of   importance.  “If  we  can’t  trust  strangers,  then  who  can  we  trust?”     “Oh  jeez.  Here  we  go,”  Dare  said  leaning  back  in  her  chair.     “Maybe  Logan  is  bad!  Maybe  he  does  work  for  some  super  secret  company  out  to  get   us!  But  what  kind  of  people  would  we  be  to  just  toss  him  back  out  onto  the  streets?   Because  if  there’s  even  a  little  chance  that  he’s  telling  the  truth,  and  we  don’t  take   him  in,  then  we’re  just  as  bad  as  The  Business!  We  might  as  well  start  rounding  our   friends  up  and  shipping  them  to  Taiwan  to  be  experimented  on  and  then  killed!”     “You  know,”  Connor  said  after  Fin  sat  down.  “Fin  is  sort  of  right.  Besides…  we  can’t   really  let  him  go  now  that  he  knows  this  is  The  Company.”     “Let’s  use  that  super  computer  in  the  boss’s  office  to  check  up  on  his  background,”   Jasper  suggested.       Gabriel  looked  beat.  “Fine,”  he  said.  “He  can  stay.”     Fin  leaped  up,  fist  in  the  air  and  a  triumphant  grin  on  his  face.      

“But  I’m  making  it  a  point  not  to  tell  him  anything  secret  until  the  boss  comes  back   from…  wherever  she  is.  Fin?”     “I  got  it.  Nothing  secret,”  he  replied  solemnly.     “I  mean  that,”  Gabriel  added.  “One  word  and  you’re  transferred  straight  back  to  live   with  your  mom.”     “Thanks,  Gabriel!”  Fin  went  to  him,  hugged  him  around  the  middle,  and  ran  out  of   the  room.     “I  guess  I’ll  go  down  to  the  boss’s  office  and  see  if  I  can  find  anything  on  Logan,”   Gabriel  said.     “I’ll  join,”  Dare  volunteered  a  little  too  eagerly.     The  boss’s  office  was  a  small  room  with  a  big  computer  desk  pushed  up  against  the   wall  with  three  computers  on  top.  “I  just  have  to  tap  into  the  database,”  Gabriel  said.   He  put  his  hand  on  the  side  of  the  screen  and  the  monitor  started  rapidly  changing   screens.  Finally,  it  stopped  on  a  huge  list  of  names.  “This  is  everyone  we  know  about   with  powers,”  he  explained.       “We  don’t  know  his  last  name,”  Dare  realized.  She  took  out  her  cell  phone  and  dialed   Fin’s  number.       He  picked  up  after  the  first  ring.  “Hey  Dare!  Having  a  good  time  down  there?  Just   remember  to  use  protection!”     Dare  blanched  and  held  the  receiver  closer  to  her  ear.  She  looked  at  Gabriel  to  see  if   he  heard  anything,  but  he  was  scrolling  through  the  list  of  names.  “Very  funny,”  she   said.  “But  I  just  called  to  ask  if  you  knew  Logan’s  last  name.”     “Um.  Hold  on.”  There  was  a  short  pause.  “He  says  it’s  Harrison.”     “All  right.  Thanks.”     “Hey  Dare?”     “What?”     “Good  luck.”     Dare  clicked  her  phone  off  hurriedly.  “It’s  Harrison,”  she  reported.     Gabriel  typed  the  name  into  the  search  engine  and  a  couple  names  showed  up.   “Look,  he’s  in  here!”  he  said  excitedly.    

  Dare  sat  down  next  to  Gabriel  and  read  the  screen.  “Logan  Cameron  Harrison.  From   Martinsburg,  West  Virginia.  Is  that  all  they  have  for  him?”     Gabriel  clicked  a  few  things,  but  nothing  changed.  “Let  me  try  using  my  powers.  It   could  be  that  someone  moved  it.”  He  put  his  hand  on  the  side  of  the  computer  again,   but  still  nothing.  “That’s  weird,”  he  said.  “Everything  was  either  completely  erased   or  they  just  didn’t  know  anything  more  than  this.  I  wonder  why.”     “I  think  I  might  know  why,”  Dare  said.  “Can  you  tell  when  this  entry  was  added?”     Gabriel  opened  a  window  and  read  a  little.  “Six  years  ago.”     “Right.  So  he  wouldn’t  have  been  old  enough  to  know  what  his  powers  were  yet.  And   yet  they  knew  he  was  going  to  have  powers  which  means  his  mom  or  dad  must  have   powers.”     “There’s  probably  a  billion  Harrisons  in  here,”  Gabriel  noted.  “But  as  long  as  they   lived  in  Martinsburg…”  He  started  typing  again.  “Look  at  this.  Only  ten  names.  How   else  can  we  narrow  it  down?”     “Well,  he’s  not  white.”       “Okay.  Three  names.  Any  one  of  these  sound  familiar?  Toby  Harrison,  Geoffrey   Harrison,  Taneisha  Harrison.”     “Taneisha…  Taneisha…”  Dare  racked  her  brain.  That  name  sounded  so  familiar.  “I’ve   got  it!”  she  exclaimed  suddenly.  “Taneisha  was  friends  with  my  mom!  They  went  to   middle  school  together,  but  they  went  to  different  high  schools.”     “That’s  a  bit  of  a  coincidence,”  Gabriel  said,  sounding  worried.     “What?”     “I  don’t  know.  I’m  just  being  paranoid.  But  what  are  the  chances  that  all  of  your   parents  knew  each  other  and  now  all  of  their  kids  are  back  together?”     “Never  mistake  coincidence  for  fate,”  Dare  said  seriously.       Gabriel  rolled  his  eyes.  “Right.  Well,  let’s  go  upstairs  and  tell  the  others.”  With  the   touch  of  his  finger,  the  computer  shut  off.  

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