Deidre called her father and explained what she had seen and asked him to contact the group that had been working with Charles Standing on the extractions. She had a few questions she needed to ask that weren’t covered in her notes. What had seemed to be clearly a case of sleep walking only a few days earlier was now back in question in Deidre’s mind. Where had the Jameson family gotten the items that Charles had taken? How was it tied to the bakery robberies and to the disappearance of the family? Were they really tied or was it just a coincidence.
Once Deidre had pointed out the items to John he had called in a couple members of his force, “I need you to go back out to the Jameson house and gather these items, bag them and tag them as evidence and then bring them back here for Captain Springwater. We believe they are evidence in another case.”
“So where are you going with this? Do you think your Charles Standing is tied to the Jameson family?”
“I don’t know. I’m not sure how to explain those items or what our connection is here, but I don’t think it’s just a coincidence that those items match our stolen items.”
Just then Deidre’s phone rang, “It’s Aric let’s see if this clears up anything.”
“I’ll go grab us a cup of coffee, let me know what you find out.”
Deidre spoke to her brother for a few minutes and was already off the phone and looking through her notes by the time Captain Taylor returned with the coffee. “Did you find what you expected?”
“No, I didn’t. I really thought we would find that the Jameson family was part of Gifted lineage. But there is nothing on either side of their family tree that ties them back to Gifted. Now I am not sure where to go next. The magic with the bear was pretty advanced spell work. We’re not even sure how it was done. I had thought maybe this was a family that was tied to us that had chosen to live among you. But now I have to wonder who they have gotten themselves tied to and why are they gone?
I’m going to try and match the items taken with the ones we found and make sure it’s not just a wild coincidence. I’m also going to meet with Charles Standing and our group and go over a few questions there. Since it looks like we now have a joint crime you are welcome to join me for the questioning.”
“I think I will pass. I don’t understand all of that,” John made a vague motioning with his hands, “so I’m afraid I would just get in the way, you can fill me in when you are finished.”
“I have a hard time understanding all of this,” and with that Deidre returned the gesture John had just made, “so I completely understand. If you could give me a call when those items get here I’ll have one of my people come by and collect them, I’m off to meet with Charles and the others to see if I’ve missed something there.”
Deidre and the rest of what she was now calling the Standing Task Force in her head were all in a conference room consulting their notes from all of the sessions with Charles.
“I want to bring you all up to speed on what has changed and why I wanted to meet with everyone again. There is a family that has gone missing. The Guard was called in to assist with a check on them because an alarm spell of sorts was set around the house. When we arrived we were able to disable the alarm and search the house. The family is not there, however we found an item that ties them to a series of robberies Captain John Taylor from their police force has been investigating. After looking through pictures that were taken in the house I spotted these,” with that Deidre laid out the photos of the items Charles had taken, “and I believe them to be the items that are missing from our robbery. This is a picture of the Jameson family, do any of them look familiar to you? Is there anything that you can remember now about the items you took?”
Charles leaned forward to look at the pictures more closely.
“No, sorry. I don’t recognize any of these people. And I really still feel like I’ve never seen these things. I know the dream happened but I can’t grasp the memory as clearly as Deborah can. I had read about the theories before but it’s hard for me to really understand why someone else can see my own memories better than I can.”
Deidre nodded, she completely understood the difficulty Charles was having. Dream memory was an odd thing. Most people do not remember their dreams, or if they do they only hold on to them for a few minutes. The memory isn’t solid like many others. Because Deborah, Greg and Joshua weren’t trying to remember something they were able to just watch the dream unfolding again and again in Charles’ mind. It would always be there, if you knew how to look for it, but over time even the most skilled dream reader would have a hard time finding it. The block had actually preserved the memory in more clarity than it would have been if left alone.
“What I am most interested in is who was he talking to? I have in my notes that Charles was talking to a friend in the dream who gave him a shopping list then he gave them the items. Who was this? I don’t have anything in my notes about who this was.”
Deborah consulted her more detailed notes on what they had witnessed, “That’s what I thought, you don’t have it written in your notes because we don’t know. It’s a dream not reality. Sometimes in dreams things are understood that would not be the case in day to day life. For instance this, he knows he was talking to a friend, he didn’t ever see the friend in his dream so we cannot see them either. As far as dropping off the items it’s like it’s a footnote, ‘and I dropped them off and came home’, we know he actually did drop them off because he didn’t have them at the house or in his car, but he didn’t actually see where he dropped them off in the dream.”
Dot nodded, “I had a dream the other night that I was vacationing in Hawaii and then all of a sudden I was hiking the Alps. There was no time between traveling from one place to another, dream reality is different, is that what we are getting at? Even though it happened, he really did go to the store and pick up those items and then give them to someone he didn’t do it in his dream in detail?”
Deidre interrupted, “But we know he did do something with those items, shouldn’t there be an actual memory of what he physically did? We know he went to the store and got the items and we know that he did not have the items the next day when he was arrested, shouldn’t there be some actual memory of what he did with them as we know he did do something with them?”
“I wish I had a better answer for you than I do, but if he didn’t see it in the dream I cannot see it in his memory.”
Joshua stepped in, “It’s as if when you are dreaming your body is overwriting what is happening with it’s own version. You have no memory of laying in bed all night, you would have no record in your mind of how many times you turned over or moved your arms, you are moving but not with a purpose. Your mind is keeping you preoccupied so you rest and get the sleep you need to function. Even though he was up and walking and doing things, and probably looked to be awake the entire time as most sleep walkers do, he wouldn’t be seeing what was in front of him. The dream would have been directing him.”
“How much more is left to uncover? I know you thought the dream was shifting, Deborah, but do you think there might be more of this one in there? Something else to give us a clue as to who Charles was talking to?”
“I would think two more sessions, do you all agree?” Greg consulted the group.
“Is there anyway to do one now? I know we weren’t scheduled until tomorrow but could we push it up?”
Greg shook his head, “I don’t think so. I really don’t. I know you are anxious to find what you can but I know I am not fully recovered from the last session and I cannot believe anyone else is either?”
Deborah and Joshua both shook their heads, “It would be difficult to even form the link at this point.” Deborah stated.
Joshua said, “Even if we weren’t so tired I don’t think it would be good for Charles.” He turned to Charles at that point and spoke to him, “You’ve been incredible through this whole process, I know we often seem to be speaking of you as if you weren’t here or were nothing more than a lab rat, and I apologize for that. After reviewing all of our notes from the past sessions I have to say your mind, the strength you have had in keeping yourself whole while the three of us have invaded your space over and over has been impressive. Thank you for allowing us to continue doing this.”
Charles gave a small smile, “Thank you. I just want to find out what happened. But I am sorry, Deidre, I have to agree with the others, I can’t today. The last extraction was difficult. Not the process so much as what it revealed. And now you seem to be indicating that possibly it wasn’t just me again, that there was someone else directing me, at least that’s what I am taking from this conversation.”
Deidre nodded, “You’re right. I have to think the friend in your dream is who ever is with the Jameson family right now. I think they used you to get items for one of the children and possibly used others to get items for the rest of the family. I have no idea how long they have been with the family or where they have taken them now. You are our only lead right now, and it looks like it’s not much of a lead after all.”
Charles shook his head, “I am sorry. I wish I could be more help, I really do, but I just, I can’t not today.”
Dot reached out and took his hand, “No need to apologize. You have been a lot of help. Going in now when everyone is so exhausted would probably only muck things up anyway.”
Deidre nodded toward her aunt and Charles, “I apologize for sounding so pushy, Charles, I’m just anxious to move forward. If it cannot be until tomorrow then tomorrow is fine. Thank you, everyone, for meeting today. If you think of anything that you think might be helpful please contact me. I will see you all tomorrow afternoon.”
After receiving the items from the Jameson house one of the members of the Guard was able to match the price tags left on the books with the inventory list from the store and verify that there were indeed the stolen items from the Charles Standing case.
Deidre spread out the pictures from the Jameson house along with her notes on a table and paced back and forth in front of them. Somehow this was all tied together. She could feel it. The friend in the dream had to be the person responsible for the animated Teddy Bear. They had to be Gifted. Most likely Spell-Caster. Were they a follower of Stan that they hadn’t caught? Why would they be living with a family of Others? And why would they move them? Did they know that they were about to be discovered and so uprooted the family? Why not just move on and leave them behind, maybe wipe their memories? Too many questions.
She took the inventoried items out and placed them on the table as well. A girl’s outfit, a few books and a couple of toys. This was their only tie between Charles Standing and the Jamesons, what was she missing?
There was a knock on the conference room door and a member of the Guard showed Captain Taylor in as she was leaving she turned and looked back at the table, “It’s the Sally Sunny line.”
“What? What’s Sally Sunny?”
“Sally Sunny? It’s a children’s television show. My daughter watches it every day. And of course there is a Sally Sunny clothing line, and book line, and toy line. If you see her play with something on TV you know you can run right out and buy it. My daughter wants everything. She even wanted a whole Sally Sunny birthday party. Which of course you can do. Theme plates and napkins and cakes.”
“And these things are all Sally Sunny?”
“Yes, see on the tag for the shirt? The smiling sun? That’s the brand logo. It’s on everything. My daughter would be over the moon to get this many Sally Sunny things at one time. I mean, not stolen though.”
“No, I’d imagine not. Is there a Sally Sunny catalog? Or are they just advertised on the show?”
“Oh, they are everywhere, you can get them at almost every retail store. The big department store downtown has a rotating display in their front window. It seems like every time we walk by there is a new Sally Sunny item on display. It’s great for business, lousy if you are trying to convince your daughter that they don’t need every single piece of merchandise on display. I cannot even imagine what the Christmas window will look like. And I’m sorry, I’m rambling. Did you have any other questions for me Captain?”
“No but I do have an assignment for you. I’d like you to find out what was on display the two weeks before and the week of the Charles Standing robbery and then get back to me.”
After the Guard left John let out a laugh, “I’ve never met a chatty Warrior before.”
Deidre smiled at her friend, “We can all be chatty when we want to be. But she’s a Spell-Caster not a Warrior. Not all members of the Guard are Warriors. We need support people too. Spell-Casters like to solve mysteries, for some that means they come here. We also have Prophets and a good number of Healers. You are just used to working with our tactical teams. Which are all Warrior.”
“I’m not sure I’ll ever get used to your system.”
“I feel the same way about yours. Now, Sally Sunny, what do you think? Is this something?”
“It’s something, just not sure what yet.”