Ryan looked up from the Bible he was looking over with Kari and shook his head. “This doesn’t make sense to me. I think that I’m a pretty good guy, that I do more good than I do bad, but that’s not enough to make it into heaven? That doesn’t seem fair. It seems like this God of yours is saying, ‘follow me or suffer eternally for it.’”
Kari smiled at Ryan. “It’s not as complicated as it sounds. All you have to do is one bad thing in order for you to be classified as a sinner, or unclean. And God can’t have anything to do with sin, because He is holy. Jesus came, lived a perfect life, and died in our place so that we could be made clean again and have a relationship with God, if only we believe in Him and confess Him as our Lord.”
Ryan frowned. “Just because I did one bad thing, no matter how bad it is, I have to give up fun and live according to some old rules made up by a dead guy? And why does saying ‘I believe in you’ suddenly make me holy or whatever again? It seems way too easy if you ask me, and irresponsible. I can blame the bad stuff I’ve done on someone else to be made clean again? I don’t know about all of this.”
Kari rubbed her temples for a little bit and sighed. “Let me try explaining this a little differently. Romans 6:23 says, ‘For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.’ That is saying that the reward for sinning is that death now own us. Jesus gave death the one thing it really wanted and traded his life, a perfect and sinless life, for our freedom from death. There is a bit of a catch however…”
A smirk crossed Ryan’s face and he pointed at Becky as he interrupted her. “I knew it, I knew the whole thing sounded fishy. What’s this catch?”
Kari giggled, “The catch is that we get to choose. Death made part of the bargain that he would open our cage to let us out, but we had to choose to walk out on our own. It seems like an easy choice, but death has made our cage so comfortable, with all the pleasures in this life that seem attractive and nice, and the added stigma that the rules of God are just there to make our lives more difficult and take our fun away, but it’s not true. None of it is. The reason why the Bible speaks against these pleasures is that most of the time they are harmful to us, and God wants what’s best for us. And it’s not always, ‘you can’t do this!” a lot of the time it’s more like, don’t do this so much, or wait for a certain time to do this. Does that make more sense?”
Ryan slowly nodded his head. “I think so, at least it’s clearer than what I read before. If you want to convert me you may have to do these examples of yours with the whole Bible.”
Kari smiled at Ryan. “You just want an excuse to spend more time with me.” Ryan returned her smile and shrugged. Kari laughed. “I think I could put up with your company for a couple more sessions like this, especially if you are learning something.”
Ryan opened his mouth to reply but jumped when a loud crack sounded behind him. Ryan turned and groaned when he saw Becky rushing over to his side and a pile of textbooks that she had been carrying on the floor. “Ryan, I’ve missed you so much! Will you come and have some supper with me? Maybe we can talk about what went wrong and what I would have to do for you to go out with me again? I’ll do anything, I promise!”
Ryan looked around at all the people in the library that were staring at him and said awkwardly, “I already told you that we were finished. You need to move on and find someone else.”
Tears formed in Becky’s eyes. “Please Ryry, give me another chance?
Ryan shook his head, “Becky, you’re making a scene. Just pick up your books and keep doing whatever it is you came here to do.”
Becky looked past Ryan and saw Kari sitting at the table with him. Her face twisted up into a hateful glare. “It’s all your fault! You stole Ryan from me, you tramp!”
Kari’s eyes opened wide in panic and she said, “Me? I had nothing to do with this, Ryan and I aren’t even dating!”
Ryan growled, “That’s right, Kari and I are just friends! Our relationship was moving too fast. We’re done and you need to leave.”
Becky shrieked and dived over the table at Kari, but Ryan pulled her away before she was able to reach her. Becky tried to wiggle out of Ryan’s grip and continued to reach for Kari. A circle of cheering and laughing people formed around their table, some calling out encouragement to Becky and others shouting for Kari to stand up for herself. Two men wearing the security uniforms of the University of Leforn broke through the ring and grabbed onto Becky. “This is a library, miss. This kind of behavior is completely unacceptable!”
They started to drag Becky out of the library, and Becky fought to break free of them every step of the way. She shrieked, “I’ll get you; I’ll get you, Kari! I’m going to make Ryan mine again and you’ll pay for trying to steal him from me.”
Ryan watched Becky get dragged from the library, and once he was certain he was gone he turned back to see Kari sticking her books and notebooks into her backpack. Alarm filled Ryan’s face and said, “It’s okay, she’s gone now. We can go back to you explaining Christianity and stuff to me.”
Kari shook her head and zipped her backpack shut. “I don’t think so, Ryan. I’m happy that you are interested, and would love to do more of these sessions with you, but after what just happened, I think I need to be alone for a little while. I’ll see you tomorrow at my Bible study if you are still interested.”
Desperation filled Ryan’s face. “Of course I want to go with you tomorrow. Maybe we could go back to your dorm and study more for it, away from all these other distractions.”
Kari smiled weakly at Ryan. “I don’t think so. Good night.” Kari pulled the straps of her backpack over her shoulder and hurried out of the library.
Ryan watched her walk out of the library and shook his head. “Yeah, good night.” Ryan wished that he had never started dating Becky. On the plus side, maybe she’d take a swing at one of the guards and get banned from the campus. Ryan grabbed his notebook and headed back to his dorm.
Lori made her way across campus while masking herself from the senses of everyone around her. The trench coat she had put on over her pants suit fluttered in the breeze and she hurried toward the science building. This Jordan kid had better be in his lab like she kept hearing from everyone, and she had better get there first.
Lori entered the science building and made her way toward room 125, the room loaned out to Jordan for a lab on campus. She walked past students without them ever being aware that she was there and stopped outside of the room. She unmasked herself and made her way into the lab.
Jordan was facing away from her and typing on his computer, so Lori cleared her throat. Jordan started to turn around and chuckled. “Things not go as well with Kari as you hoped?” Jordan’s eyes went wide when he saw Lori standing behind him and not whoever it was that he was expecting. “I’m sorry about that, what can I do for you?”
Lori pulled a fake badge out of her jacket pocket and flashed it at Jordan. “I’m special agent Tami Wickers with the Zimmdaran government. I’m going to need you to come with me, we fear that someone wants to kidnap you.”
Jordan laughed nervously. “Kidnap me? Why would anyone want to do that?”
“One of the people we have been monitoring has made it known that he wants to kidnap you to try and use you to figure out the Super Morpher’s secret identity. It’s my job to get you someplace safe before they have an opportunity to do that.”
Jordan shook his head. “Why would they think that I know anything about the Super Morpher? This doesn’t make any sense.”
Lori shrugged. “Someone connected you with the Super Morpher because it is rumored that the suit that he wears is made out of the same indestructible fabric that you recently developed a formula for. I don’t have time to argue with you, they could be here at any time.”
Jordan nodded his head. “Alright, just let me turn off my computer and let my roommate know where I’m going.” Jordan picked up his phone and Lori took it away from him.
“No one can know where I’m taking you, especially not anyone close to you. They might come after him when they can’t find you. If he doesn’t know where you are, he can’t tell them.” Lori dropped Jordan’s phone onto the ground and stomped on it.
Jordan’s eyes nearly bulged out of his head. “Hey, why did you do that to my phone?”
Lori sighed. “We can’t risk anyone using the gps in your phone to track you. Don’t worry, the government will replace your phone once this is all over. We need to go now!” Lori pushed a protesting Jordan toward the door and followed him out.
Lori and Jordan walked into an old warehouse that sat next to the river that looked like it hadn’t been used in a very long time. There were holes in the roof and the walls, and the entire building leaned slightly to the right. The lights sparked when Lori flipped on the light switch and small animals and insects scattered at the sound of their footsteps. Lori nodded her head. “We should be safe here, so go ahead and make yourself comfortable. I need to check in with my boss to see if they’ve managed to track down those kidnappers yet.”
Jordan moved off to explore the warehouse and Lori pulled out her phone. She masked her sound from Jordan’s senses and called the Spider. An angry voice answered. “This had better be important, Wraith! I am not in any sort of mood to be trifled with. Do you have a name for me?”
A smile crossed Lori’s face. “I have something better than just a name for you. I have a certain Mr. Jordan Godard that I believe you were after.”
Lori heard heavy breathing from over the phone for several moments before the Spider replied, “You were the one that snatched him from his lab? My men went looking for him and were only able to recover a smashed cellphone. Bring him to me immediately.”
“I don’t think so. Seems to me that if you had him, you wouldn’t need me to figure out the Super Morpher’s identity any more, which would mean if you want him, you’re going to have to pay.”
Lori could hear the Spider grinding his teeth on the other side of the phone. “Very well, tell me where to find the boy and I will give you the forty thousand that we agreed upon earlier.”
Lori shook her head. “The forty thousand was for the Super Morpher’s identity. If you want Jordan, it’s going to cost you fifty thousand.”
The Spider chuckled. “You are an astute bargainer, Miss Bole. Very well, fifty thousand dollars. Now where are you?”
Lori smiled. “I’m at warehouse 14 near the river. And Spider, you may want to talk to Saul about not discussing sensitive matters like this in front of others in the future. As you just learned, it can cost you.”
“I will take that into consideration. My men are on their way to pick him up now.”
Half an hour later the door to the warehouse burst open and four men in black suits with guns walked in. Jordan jumped and looked at the men suspiciously. “What’s going on? I thought you said we’d be safe here!”
Lori smiled as one of the men walked up to her and handed her a brief case. “Oh, we were perfectly safe here. Until I sold your location to those men that wanted to kidnap you. No hard feelings, this is just business you understand.”
Jordan glared at Lori as the men in suits led him out of the warehouse and Lori threw her head back and laughed. This turned out to be far more profitable than she had expected.
Thank you for checking out my story, if you liked this and want to see more of it, come back on Wednesday when I will publish part two, and check out the other stories I’m working on writing, here: Tales of the Imagination, check out my facebook page to connect with me and give me some feedback: Facebook, and follow me on Twitter here: @EJBorchardt. Please like, comment, and tell your friends if you like what you’ve read, and don’t forget to check out my new book, The Kids on the Case! You can find it here: The Kids on the Case: Our First Case