Doesn't Know Best
David J. Duncan
The characters from "Forever Knight" belong to Sony Tri-Star.
The characters from "Xena Warrior Princess" belong to Renaissance
Studios and StudiosUSA. The characters
from "Mutant X" belong to Tribune and Marvel Studios.
The characters from "Smallville" belong to their copyright
holders. All other characters and
scenarios are of my creation and are fictious.
Please send comments to email@example.com. Thanks to Dani and Stacy for help with Mutant X details.
Thanks to Emily for the beta reading.
[Queen's Hut, Amazon Village 82 AD]
battle between David and Dijon was over.
With the way he won his victory, the prophecy of darkness seemed to be
diverted at least for the time being.
However, a familiar enemy brings trouble close to home, introducing us
to new allies and foes alike....
1 [Hampshire County Jail, Northampton]
the western outskirts of town, the county prison stood alone, separated by a
good few miles by wide-open spaces. The
building's granite walls held minor felons: gang members, thieves, dope dealers
among others. For some, it was
a permanent stop. For others, it
was a transitory point while awaiting trial and sentencing.
the storm raging outside through the bars of his cell, Stuart Dubois groused
angrily at his situation. How could
he be here? Didn't he want the
best for his kids? Just two weeks
ago, he had tried to drill some sense into his daughter, Cybelle, concerning
her obligations as a mother and wife.
Instead, she mouthed back to him and used her freakish abilities, but
he showed her. After he had beat
some sense into her, her brother showed up, using his abilities as well.
Somehow, he lifted the older man into the air, threw him against the
wall, and used some energy to deflect the bullets from his gun.
As a final indignity, their FBI friend had him arrested and tossed in
here to rot. "This is a fine
situation," he groused sarcastically.
"I wonder when I'll get out of here."
shut your hole over there!" his cellmate, a blond haired wino, complained.
his head in disgust, Dubois continued to stare out of the window into the darkness
of the night outside. Then, he
saw something unusual. A pair of
headlights approached the facility and drove right through the open gate.
"In two weeks, I've never seen that!" he pondered to himself.
Still wondering who the visitors were, he sat on his bunk and thought
half hour later, the door to the prison block swung open, allowing the guard,
a rather rude man by the name of McDermott, to proceed on his usual rounds.
Usually, he made four or five sweeps per night around the area, making
sure that the prisoners behaved themselves.
Tonight, however, he stopped in front of this cell and indicated, "Hey,
Dubois! Up and at 'em!"
the confused businessman wondered. "What
must have a fairy godmother or somethin'," the guard shrugged.
"Your bail was just posted. Some guys are waitin' for ya."
Opening the door, he allowed Dubois to follow him down the corridor and
out of the block. Then, after allowing
him to change into his regular clothes and regain his possessions, the former
prisoner was escorted to the booking area.
There, three men in fine brown suits, ties, and overcoats waited.
you Stuart Dubois?" the leader, a sandy haired man, probed almost robotically.
me," he concurred. "Are
you the ones who set bail? I owe
you my thanks."
thank us, Mr. Dubois," the second man, a red-haired, bulky fellow, indicated.
"Our boss is waiting to see you concerning a couple of unusual occurrences
if you catch my meaning. Sanderson?"
Without another word, he guided the surprised consultant through the glass doors
and into the waiting 4 X 4.
an African American, took off his sunglasses and stared into the officers' eyes.
The latter stiffened and fell into a trance.
When they awoke, they would have no idea where Dubois went or who he
even was. Having accomplished this
feat, he walked out casually, got into the vehicle with the others, and indicated,
"It's done. Let's go."
leader nodded and drove them away from the prison. Following Route 9, to Routes 91 and 90, they proceeded quickly
toward their goal over the New York state line. Two and a half hours later, they crossed that point and kept
heading west. Throughout this journey,
nobody had said a word.
me?" Dubois asked. "Might
I ask where you're taking me?"
Hair turned to face him, assuring, "Don't worry, Sir.
We'll be there in just a few minutes.
Have you heard of Geneomax?"
shook his head. There were lots
of companies, which he had never heard of.
Why was this one any different? Glancing out of the window, he noticed
that the sun was rising on the horizon and recognized the Adirondacks around
a great place, Sir. Our employer
really cares about society," the leader stated methodically.
"But, you'll be meeting him soon enough."
ahead, he saw a sprawling concrete facility taking up a slope just ahead.
It appeared to be a treatment plant or a research facility of some kind,
but, deep down, he knew that it held a deeper purpose.
As the vehicle entered the compound, he marveled at the structure's complexity. Whoever ran this place held a great deal of authority that
was for sure.
me," Sandy Hair directed. With
his guest right behind, the two men maneuvered their way through the complex
passageways comprising the operational facility, heading for the main office.
the main office, a lone man sat behind his desk, smoothing his bright white
hair, and adjusting the ascot he wore around his neck. Maison Eckhardt wasn't a man who liked to be kept waiting for
anything. Of late, his field operatives,
the Genetic Security Agency, or the "GSA", had failed to bring him
results. In this case, that meant
additional new mutants for study or utilization in the GSA.
However, his former associate, Adam, along with his band of mutant outlaws,
had made sport of his recent efforts, foiling him at every turn.
Mr. Dubois will have some worthwhile information," he thought, settling
into a comfortable position. One
should always project the right image, especially to a potential lackey. At
that moment, a buzz came from the intercom.
In response, he pressed an orange button on the side of his desk, allowing
the door to open.
visitors walked in. Dubois took
a look around, examining every facet of his host's base of operations before
focusing his attention on the man seated in front of him. In silent admiration, he nodded, sensing a kindred spirit in
the man before him.
Morning, Mr. Dubois," Eckhardt greeted.
"I'm Maison Eckhardt, the director of this facility.
I trust your trip was a pleasant one?"
was. Thanks to your men, Mr. Eckhardt,"
Dubois replied pleasantly. "And
thanks to you as well. You have
my appreciation, Sir."
administrator smiled warmly. At
least, the man had a sense of gratitude.
This might lead to something provided it could be properly molded.
"You're quite welcome, Mr. Dubois.
Now, I was wondering if you might share some information with me?"
the contractor responded. "That
depends upon what you want."
frowned. Perhaps, this man might
not be such an easy mark after all. Still,
he pushed, "I was wondering about a story I heard concerning the circumstances
leading to your...unfortunate incarceration.
From what I understand, your children beat on you."
guest tensed angrily. Would everyone
taunt him with this information? "Yes,
it's true. They ganged up on me."
they do anything unusual?" Eckhardt probed, straightening his glasses.
Granted, he already suspected that the man's children were mutants, but
he wanted to hear it for himself. "Don't
worry, we only want to help them."
the angry visitor admitted. "They
had some sort of freakish powers. My
daughter's disappeared, but my son's down in the Southwest.
If you can help him, I'd be grateful."
white haired man nodded reassuringly, "I think we can help him.
Don't worry about that, Mr. Dubois.
Meanwhile, why don't you go with Mr. Sanderson for some food and rest?
After a while, I'll let you know if any progress is made."
his visitor left the room, he entered the computerized database, searching for
items concerning the man's son. It
seemed that David Dubois, the man in question, was a respected medieval history
professor with a healthy vita. However,
both he and his wife, Angela, ended up in mysterious circumstances on a regular
basis. Scanning news wire services,
he was convinced that the academic was indeed a possible mutant.
worry, Mr. Dubois. I'll send my
best after him indeed," Eckhardt promised to the spot where his guest had
stood. With that, he rose and stared
out the observation window toward the activity below. Yes, a new day was starting and already, it was proving constructive.
X Sanctuary, Two Hours Earlier]
the concealed facility, everything was dark, and the five residents lay asleep,
resting for the new day's challenges.
For Mutant X, this meant protecting the abnormal offspring of Geneomax's
genetic experiments. During the
past week, the team had foiled two more attempts by Eckhardt to capture their
cohorts. Now, they were hoping
to lie low for a day and collect their thoughts.
in her bed, the team's empath, Emma diLauro, couldn't sleep.
For the past week, her mind had been filled with strange dreams linked
to a man she didn't know. She had felt his emotions rolling, his anger surging like a
gigantic tidal wave. Three nights
ago, there had been a fight of some sort with monsters resembling vampires.
During that conflict, she saw the man split in two as both light and
dark images of him fought the invaders.
Then, there was this dream. Once
again, the mysterious man and his dark twin fought a vampire.
Again, she felt the emotional bobbing, but this time, it was much more
severe. Something hard fell on
him. He was hurting...no wait...there
was an inner burning. Then, the
darkness consumed him and he turned on the other, reducing him to nothing in
a furious tantrum of pure spite and fury.
When the deed had been done, he screamed, releasing a burst of dark energy
in all directions.
she exclaimed fearfully, sitting up suddenly, her hands and forehead drenched
in sweat. Her eyes were bulged
the darkness next to her, a voice asked, "Emma? Are you all right?"
I'm sorry," the frightened telepath shuddered. "It happened again."
guy with the split personality again, huh?" Shalimar Fox inquired.
She also knew of these visions due to the fact that her roommate talked
in her sleep. A burst of anger rushed through the feral mutant as she allowed
her eyes to flash yellow. Nobody hurt her friends like this.
he has his mind on someone else, not me.
Obviously, he has some issues to deal with," Emma tried to defend
Shalimar muttered low. Just then,
a knocking came from the door. "Yeah?"
Emma?" Adam's voice called through the door.
"Is everything all right in there?"
feral cast her roommate a knowing glace.
Sooner or later, she needed to tell him about her visions.
"Are you going to tell him?" she asked.
nodded and replied, "Adam, you know those weird reports on Proxy Blue from
yesterday? I think I know something,
but I'd hate to disturb the guys this early."
worry," he chuckled in an effort to hide his unease.
"We've all been sitting on pins and needles lately.
The sooner we get Eckhardt's strategies unraveled, the sooner we can
relax for a while. See you two
in about 30 minutes."
he left, the two roommates rose from their beds and headed for the showers.
It was going to be another long day.
Kilmartin sat at the table in the midst of the Sanctuary's living area, muddling
over reasons why Adam would have rousted them so early.
The chat boards and email lines had been full of stories lately of weird
things happening in Europe and the Middle East, but the satellite hadn't picked
up any abnormal activity in the area.
"Strange," he wondered, stretching and running his fingers
through his dirty blonde colored hair.
"This guy must be really good at covering his tracks whoever he
that good if you ask me," another male voice countered from the floor above.
Brennan Mulray trudged his way down the stairs.
"If he's allowing himself to get noticed like this."
Looking at the coffee maker in the corner, he grinned, "You've got
the grounds set up, water in the thing, and it isn't going.
Let me guess, you want me to start it, right?"
is a team effort, right?" his friend grinned.
thin black haired man descended to ground level and shrugged, "You just
want me to do the dirty work. Oh
well, think fast!" Rotating
his hands around each other, first sparks and then, full-blown electrical current
flowed between them. After building
up a sufficient charge, he fired a bolt at his seated friend.
smiled and concentrated, turning himself intangible. The bolt phased through him, hitting the appliance, and starting
the coffee flow.
bad for early morning," Brennan yawned, joining the other at the table.
"Still, it would've been nice having the coffee ready for me and
computer geek sighed.
him a break," Shalimar advised with a saucy smile on her face for she enjoyed
the bantering almost as much as they did. Then, putting on her most serious look, she added, "This
is serious, guys."
Emma have another vision?" the electrical mutant probed, betraying a slight
bit of concern.
yeah. I'd say a full-blown nightmare,"
she affirmed. "She woke me
up with it."
about this, everyone," Emma apologized, walking into the room.
Behind her, a black haired man with similar colored clothes and a focused
expression followed her into the room.
this isn't your fault," Brennan assured her.
what's going on?" Jesse asked.
leader turned to the panel behind him.
Pushing a few buttons, he brought up a visual of some tests he had been
running. "I just ran a diagnostic
on Emma. She's okay so that alleved
my first thought. Then, I noticed
that the computer had picked up something on the Proxy Blue broadcast last night."
Pressing still other buttons, he commanded, "Replay file."
computer screen turned blue with a pink square in the middle.
Within the square, a CGI image of a woman came into focus with fair skin
and black hair with a streak of white running through it.
As usual, she had a hard frown on her face and recounted, "These
days keep getting weirder and weirder, I gotta tell you.
Yesterday, we had two items for the record books.
First, for no apparent reason, the whole waterfront area of Istanbul,
Turkey was cordoned off to visitors until just about three hours ago.
An eyewitness who snuck through the barrier recounted a battle taking
place between two men for most of the night.
At least, they seemed like men at first.
According to the witness, one changed into...get this...a vampire and
threw a huge chunk of masonry at the other guy, burying him in the rubble.
Somehow, the second guy survived and changed as well.
He became super enraged, somehow blasted the vampire with his hands repeatedly,
driving him into the cobblestones. Then,
in an act of barbarity, he staked the other over and over, leaving the sun to
finish the defeated vampire off."
empath glanced amazedly at the screen, "That's him!
The man in my vision!"
at least, we know something now," Jesse commented, plugging his laptop
into the dataport next to him. Running
his fingers over the keyboard, he enlarged the image of the battle scene from
the screen. Simultaneously, he
assessed the mutant database and patched the image into it. 30 seconds of data crunching later, it came up empty.
the regular news board," Adam suggested.
doing so, the computer genius saw a string of files scroll across the screen.
"Whoa!" he jumped back.
that's a bigger rap sheet than mine!" Brennan exclaimed.
oldest of the group, scratched his chin, watching the files run across the screen.
"I actually looked at most of these accounts last night.
Most of these stories pertain to defending himself although he has a
really bad tendency to attract trouble.
The later stories are fuzzy. There's
something about the man that I can't put my finger on.
But, we cannot let anyone with that combination of ability and rage fall
into Eckhardt's hands. Speaking
of which, Jesse, can you start the recording again?"
density mutant nodded and let Proxy continue her speal.
image continued, "If things weren't strange enough, it seems that justice
isn't getting any better either. Last
night, a proven child abuser, Stuart Dubois, disappeared from the Northampton
County Jail. While the guards weren't
able to remember anything, the security cameras caught three men in suits, overcoats,
and shades escorting the prisoner out of the facility.
If anyone knows anything, please feel free to call the information hotline.
Keep your eyes and ears open. Thanks."
With that, the recording ended.
Emma muttered. "Terrific."
Adam, where is this David Dubois guy exactly?" Shalimar inquired.
to the computer, he lives in Tucson, AZ where he teaches medieval history and
also has served as a librarian at the university down there," he replied.
Jesse asked. "Isn't that where
the cellular mutation conference is going on next week? You think you might be able to speak with him at that point?"
thought crossed my mind," Adam indicated.
"His wife, Angela, is going to be one of my co-panelists. Unfortunately,
she's going to be following Eckhardt and me at that session.
I want us all to be close by the campus in case the GSA tries to grab
her. Meantime, let's get ready
to head down there. I want to do some more training today."
others groaned good-naturedly. Those
sessions could be harrowing, but, given the forces conspiring against them,
necessary for their survival.
3 [Tucson Two days later]
sky over the Sonoran desert was just starting to light up with the first rays
of dawn. Inside of the Dubois household, everyone was starting to stir for another
day's living. Since their return
from England, Dave and Angie had been relaxed.
He had finally wrestled the 300 lb. gorilla off of his back when he defeated
Bertrand du Dijon, the head of the vampire Enforcers, in Istanbul.
"Hopefully, we can get back to normal now. I've had enough of monsters
and angels for quite a while," he muttered.
he felt a pillow whack him in the head, followed by his wife's giggling, "And
what about me, tough guy? Had enough
of this angel, hmm?"
he chuckled, kissing her ear, "C'mere!" He playfully wrestled her down to the mattress.
"I love you, Dr. Dubois, he stating, kissing her again.
I you," she beamed. "So,
how are you going to try and kill yourself this week?"
thought we'd take some time off from that kind of stuff," he shrugged.
really?" she cracked. "My
husband's going to play it safe? This
I have to see!"
I'm still beat from the fight with Dijon," he complained, pointing to his
have some time yet before we really have to get up," she smiled.
"I could take a look at it...."
grinned and kissed her a third time. This
was the best they had felt in a long, long time.
drive across town to the U of A went really quickly. After dropping Angie off at the UMC, Dave parked by the Main
Library and, accompanied by Eve and Francesca, headed for that facility.
are you going to say to Caitlin?" Eve asked.
don't know. I'm going to let her
do the talking," he shrugged. "She
understands why we went there and what we had to attend to.
we've got classes to teach," his cousin stated. "If you need to talk later, Dave, we're here."
the Religion professor indicated. "Please
stop by after your classes if you'd like."
he expressed and walked into the library.
Walking by the circulation desk and up the stairs, the professor proceeded
past his part-time colleagues down to the Dean's office.
He walked into the lobby where Mary-Sue McAllister waved to him.
the secretary asked. "How
are you doing?"
okay. The trip was something else,
but hey, it's time to get back to the grind," he shrugged good-naturedly.
Caitlin's waiting to see you if you'd like to talk with her," she
good," he agreed.
buzzed the intercom. Immediately,
the inner door opened and Caitlin walked out.
"David, I was glad to hear you're back. How are you doing?"
survived," he shrugged.
pile of ash scattered across the Middle East," he noted.
From his bag, he produced a finely polished pewter urn.
"Here are some of them right here." Seeing her nervousness,
he apologized, "Sorry, Caitlin, I didn't come here to brag.
I just wanted to prove he's gone.
He's gone...." His
eyes began to water.
dean hugged her associate and soothed, "It's okay.
The demon had tried to kill you for fifteen years.
You just need to move on. Continue
being a great father, professor, librarian, and man.
We're all so proud of you, but...."
squinted at her in confusion, "But what?"
flourish at the end of the battle grabbed some attention.
I thought you had indicated that the face-off would be kept away from
the cameras," she told him.
gaped, "According to what I heard, it was supposed to be.
snuck through the cordon and gave an account that's been all over the newsnets
for the past two days. Fortunately,
Lydia's been explaining to me and to some other high powered folks around here
what she saw," she reported.
winced and grumbled, "Some security.
If the remaining Enforcers weren't on edge already, now they'll really
be pushing things. I put that little
show on for them to let them know what would happen if they came after me or
anyone else that I cared about. I'll
need to check with Lydia. By the
way, where's the manuscript?"
the safe where I promised it would be," she smiled.
"David, I wish that you could have a normal life, but these things
keep popping up."
if the folks from the Orientation Office would call me about helping out with
the student tours, I might be able to do something to get my mind off of this
mess?" he interjected.
nodded. Fifteen years earlier,
he had been an award winning peer advisor for the freshman tour center on campus.
Maybe, he was right, and perhaps, the items in the folder might be just
what the doctor ordered. "Actually, I did get a call from them about you this morning.
What would you think about showing a couple of student journalists/potential
recruits around for a couple of days?
They're from Kansas and get this; their assignment deals with the medical
conference coming up in three days. However,
they're both into History and the Humanities.
When Dean Armas asked me who I felt we should give them to, I recommended
you. He agreed.
if they wouldn't mind hearing a couple of my lectures not to mention one apiece
from Eve and Francesca. I figure
we can get them into the classroom mix, give them a sample of what to expect,
and then, take them out for a good meal," he proposed.
was what you originally suggested. The
administration loves the small town atmosphere in the big time university angle.
Then, it's settled. They're
coming in on Thursday morning. Would
you mind picking them up at the airport?" she confirmed.
Angie'll need the quiet time to prep for her talk.
Meantime, I'll pick up..." he started.
Kent and Lana Lang," she completed his thought, handing him the files.
great," he agreed. "Do
you need me to do anything?"
but we've already taken care of it. They'll
be here at 9:00 on Thursday morning, okay?" Caitlin concluded.
he replied pleasantly. "Well,
I've got a class coming up in an hour, so I have to run. Thanks again, Caitlin. I
she noted, returning to her work.
walked out of the door, left the library, and headed for the Social Sciences
Building and his class.
night, before Dave went home, he walked out of his office, and headed toward
the plaque located just behind the Douglass Building. Once there, he dusted off the metal sheet bearing the name
of his mentor and the former's wife, and placed a flower in front of it.
he stated. "It's me, David.
As I'm sure you know, I took care of business in Istanbul.
Dijon will never trouble anybody ever again, but I still feel empty. I miss you two and your guidance. Hopefully, I can be there for other students the way you were
speech," Lydia complemented as she approached him.
he replied pleasantly. "For
that and for helping out with the administration around here."
and I are still putting together the facts behind what we saw," the Middle
Eastern scholar told him. "I
knew about your powers and your other personality.
I've seen you unleash him before in class, but never like that."
because I'm sick of being hunted, Lydia," he commented.
"I sent them a message. Besides,
he killed another important person too in Pauline.
Her murder needed to be accounted for as well."
you say so," she sighed in confusion.
"Sometime, you'll need to tell me the whole story, okay?
Don't worry; your secret's still safe.
The administration figures some crackpot put you in the middle of that
battle. Well, I need to be getting
on to Mass. I'll see you soon,
he nodded, waving as she left, leaving him to inspect the memorial and head
toward the car across campus.
town at KRAN, LaCroix strolled into the booth and performed a sound check.
With his duties as an Elder occupying his time, the Roman had neglected
his audience over the past ten days. However,
everything was solved, and he could return to his affairs at least for the present. Flipping a switch, he started into his monologue.
Evening, Gentle Listeners. It is
I, the Nightcrawler, who has returned from a dark sojourn to you all.
I trust you were all very observant in my absence.
I know I was, and I missed you all, but when duty calls, one must listen.
My children needed me to settle a dispute of sorts, and so, I did,"
unpleasant snort came from outside of the booth.
mortal ears wouldn't have been able to pick up on it, the Elder caught it quite
well. Turning, he saw David Dubois
standing there, staring intensely at him.
Scowling in disgust, he continued, "In fact, it's such a pleasant
night outside, why don't you all go outside for a few minutes?
I'll be right back. I promise." Muting the microphone, he removed his earphones, and stood
to his full height. Opening the
door, he asked, "And what do you want?"
me, it wasn't the displeasure of your company," the professor declared,
folding his arms across his chest. "We
have a problem."
statement got LaCroix's attention. "A
problem you say? And what pray
tell is that?" he baited.
chuckled darkly, "Didn't my little object lesson register on you at all?"
Leaning closely to the vampire's face, he glared right into the other's
eyes, and snarled, "You're an annoyance.
And with your latest little screw up, you might've endangered us all."
screw up?" the DJ asked.
I thought the duel was supposed to be kept secret, LaCroix," the visitor
why has it been all over the Internet chatboards for the past two days then?
With images and everything?" Dave pushed, dropping a zip disc on
the console in front of his adversary.
"Go ahead. Look at it."
shook his head derisively. The
mortal was pushing his luck badly. Nobody
marched into his domain with such impunity.
Still, he knew that the medievalist would never show up like this unless
he had a good reason. Installing
the disc and opening the files, the Proxy Blue playback appeared on his computer
screen. For five minutes, the CGI
image babbled about the mysterious battle and displayed grainy images of the
Yet, here it is."
is," Dave sighed. "So,
what do we do about it? They know
about it at the U of A. You've
put the Community at risk."
if you care," the DJ scoffed, drinking from the bloodwine.
do. I care about Janette, Nick,
Alyce, Vachon, and the other immortals under your watch. Now, answer my question, Old Man," the professor insisted.
a moment, the vampire's eyes went yellow and his fangs descended.
"Don't you dare address me in that manner!
I don't care who you are, Dubois!"
mortal laughed and produced a bright orange colored ball, "You should care.
As if I would come in here unprepared.
As for your tirade, I give it 1 1/2 stars.
Now, answer the question!"
will have to consult with my colleagues," the DJ commented.
"Now, will you get out of my booth?"
not?" Dave shrugged. "Have
a good show spreading whatever crap you got up your sleeve tonight."
With that, he left the studio and drove away.
a long minute, LaCroix shook with rage.
Nobody talks to him like that!
No one. "There will
come a time, Dubois," he vowed. Taking
another draught from the glass, he watched the program again.
While the professor was annoying, he did reveal the security breach.
Accordingly, Constantine would receive a stern lecture at the next opportunity
concerning this issue.
as the program ran on, the vampire DJ noted something else, which his impertinent
visitor didn't see. Somehow, his
father had escaped prison. "Interesting,"
the master vampire chuckled. "This
could have a great deal of potential.
A great deal indeed."
pulled the Caddy into a parking spot behind the precinct building.
It had been over a week since his last shift.
Accordingly, he knew Ramirez would have several cases waiting for him
as soon as he got to his desk. "Might
as well go face the music," he sighed and walked into the bullpen.
soon as he had cleared the doors, Chris Novak cleared her throat and greeted,
"Good evening, Detective."
he replied pleasantly. "What
can I do for you?"
she smiled. "I was just saying
hello. The captain will want to
talk with you later, but, as far as I know, everything's okay.
Detectives Brown and Schanke held the fort while you were gone."
grinned in relief and kept heading for his desk. Sure enough, a few folders were waiting for him there.
Also glancing at him expectantly, Tracy twiddled a pencil in the air.
"Tracy, how's everything?" he asked.
she noted. "We solved about
three cases while you were traveling.
Other than that, life was pretty much the same as always. Has everything been resolved?"
took care of business," he revealed in a low voice.
"But he ticked off LaCroix in the process."
winced. "That's not healthy."
me about it," he concurred, shaking his head.
Vachon and Janette kept everything in order here," she commented.
"Nothing stirred due to LaCroix's directive."
can imagine," he agreed. From
long experience, he knew that defying the Elder meant a painful death.
At some point, he would remind his academic friend of that.
that moment, Ramirez stuck his head out of the office, bellowing, "Brown!
Miles! Get down to 36th
and Campbell. We just received
a tip! Schanke and Dr. LeBeau are
both en route."
one, the partners stood and rushed out to the Caddy. Punching the accelerator, Nick drove them toward the scene.
minutes later, Natalie squatted on the pavement next to the homicide victim.
From what she could tell, the woman, an African-American in her early
twenties, was stabbed from behind. In
addition, she noticed a fresh scar on the back of her neck along the spinal
cord. Something had been there,
but had been ripped out in a hurry. Scribbling
notes to herself for the autopsy, the ME took in every detail.
seems pretty open and shut, Natalie," Schanke indicated, looking about
the dark alleyway. Despite the
fact that the area was bathed in siren lights and surrounded with their colleagues,
the souvlaki-loving detective felt nervous for some reason.
Something wasn't right here. "What
is that along the neck?"
scar of some kind, Schank," she replied.
"I won't know anything until I can get her back to the lab."
She noticed the Caddy's arrival, stating, "Here are your partners
now. Maybe, you guys can find something to help me.
If you need me, I'll be at the lab."
studied her face carefully. While
he knew that she and Nick were having problems, he didn't know things were so
bad that she wanted to get away from him.
Despite her earlier protests, he decided to talk with his immortal partner
at the first opportunity. "Sure,"
nodded, hurrying past the two newly arrived detectives, and silently getting
into her car. Driving away, she
wanted to put as much distance between her and Nick as possible. Despite her
successful relationship with Steve Petersen, being around the vampire detective
was proving harder than she initially thought.
at the scene, Tracy quizzed the others, "What was that about?"
like to know as well," Schanke chimed in.
don't know. She and I are sorting
out some details," he shrugged.
'Sorting out some details'?" the blonde detective probed. "C'mon,
Nick. From the way Natalie just
reacted, I'd say she's giving Humpty Dumpty a run for his money right now."
former Crusader gritted his teeth and turned to his two colleagues.
"We're working things out, okay?
Leave it alone! Let's focus on the case.
Is there anything in the alley of interest?"
mortal partners relented, sensing that he was getting too testy at the moment.
started, "We're still doing a sweep of the area. Forensics has nada so far."
nodded, focusing on his surroundings.
Scanning the alley with his enhanced senses, he spied something at the
area's far end. "Be right
back." Rushing to the spot,
he stooped over a storm grate. After
looking about to insure that nobody was watching, he pried it loose and looked
below. There, he found a bloody
blade, a torn, bloody leather glove, and a half of a black plastic disk resembling
a small hockey puck. "Best
bag this stuff for later," he decided.
After securing the materials, he rejoined the others.
anything?" Tracy probed.
he indicated, holding up the bagged materials.
"Hopefully, Nat can get a match on this knife and the glove.
The plastic thing was with it.
I bagged it just in case."
Pardner," Schanke chuckled. "Remember
what you stuck me with during the Weiss case?
It might be a piece of a kid's toy."
keep that in mind," Nick replied flatly, a frown noticeably cutting off
any further discussion. "I
didn't find anything else down there, so let's get this evidence back to the
associates nodded, following him back out of the alley toward the Caddy and
Schanke's parked stationwagon.
it looked like another slashing, this case bothered Nick for some reason.
Given everything else, which had happened lately, he knew better than
to ignore his instincts. "So much for a quiet shift back," he sighed as he
and Tracy pulled away from the scene.
pulled the Subaru into the space beside Angie's Taurus and shut the engine down.
In his mind, he puzzled over why everything needed to be so difficult.
Reaching into his satchel, he took out his duplicate copy of the zip
disc he had left with LaCroix. "Why
can't people mind their own business?" he groused, getting out of the car
and walking up to his front door.
as he got there, Eve opened it and greeted, "Hi, David.
Francesca's just putting dinner on the table.
know," he replied with a bit of guilt, hoping that his side trip hadn't
kept everyone waiting for too long. After
entering the apartment, he hung up his coat, and made his way to the kitchen
where his wife and cousin were watching him.
Karen and Lauren stared at him with big eyes.
They all knew that he had something else on his mind.
Princess," he greeted, kissing his wife on the cheek.
"How'd your day go?"
she responded matter of factly. "Dr.
F. was still concerned about the trip.
By the way, Dave, we've got a problem I'd like to talk to you about."
the disc out of his pocket, he waved it about, stating, "I already know.
Caitlin made this copy of the Internet broadcast.
Some show called Proxy Blue picked up on my tete a tete with Dijon."
thought the area was closed off," Francesca pushed, setting the ziti on
did I," Eve wondered. "What
somebody cracked LaCroix's security net, took pictures with a digital camera,
and spliced the footage into a movie format," he theorized, removing the
diced cucumber and bell pepper mixture from the refrigerator, and adding olive
oil, wine vinegar, and spices. "Anyhow,
the folks at the U of A know about it."
where have you been? I was worried
someone was harassing you," Angie expressed.
on the quality of the security," he shrugged, sitting down and pouring
himself a glass of soda. "He
didn't even know about it. Twit."
women all looked at each other in total amazement. Finally, his wife threw him a stern glare, lecturing, "You
mean you went down to that radio station and deliberately provoked LaCroix?"
returned her glance with one of his own.
"I needed to get to the bottom of it. Besides, he was the one who was spitting at me like an angry
Siamese cat. I just pointed out
what his fledgling did wrong. He
needed to know about it."
did he challenge you?" the Amazon princess asked.
although he did make his customary threats to my health and welfare," the
medievalist deadpanned, sipping on his drink.
"We can talk more about this later if you want," he added,
throwing the twins a glance. "Besides,
there was some good news out of today."
Francesca asked. "What is it?"
when I put in for the Faculty mentoring program?" he asked.
Oh, Dave! Did they pick
you?" Angie exclaimed happily. She
knew he'd been waiting for this opportunity since they started in their current
huh. Apparently, there are a couple
of kids coming here from Kansas for a double purpose trip.
They're here on assignment for their school newspaper to cover your conference,
Angie. However, they've applied
here for next Fall and they want to sit in on a few classes in the Humanities.
I figured that they can sample one from each of us, if that's okay with
Francesca and Eve," he explained. Turning to the other ladies, he asked,
"What do you think?"
don't have a problem with it," Francesca agreed.
do I," Eve indicated. "When
is this going to happen?"
or Friday morning," Dave explained, spooning out salad to everyone.
"According to Caitlin, the kids are set to arrive about 9:00 on
Thursday morning. I'm going to
pick them up and usher them up to the U of A.
Once there, I'll see what they want to do.
What time is your session at?"
You should have plenty of time," his wife indicated, ladelling up
pasta. "And, of course, please
let them know that they're welcome to come here afterwards."
he agreed, biting into a forkful of pasta himself. "Mmm, magnifique!"
you," his cousin smiled warmly. "It's
nice to know I'm appreciated. My students looked as if they were ready to doze off in my lecture
I don't seem to have that problem. I
must have great students," Eve wondered.
perhaps, it has something to do with you being the former Messenger of Eli,"
he teased. "Powers of conversion
and persuasion provide music to soothe the savage beasts."
take that as a complement," the former Messenger retorted, sipping on her
lemonade. "You might have
something there, David. Then again,
I've seen you with your students. You
have a mixed bag, don't you?"
I'm going to take the kids to my upper division class.
The World Civ. kids are just too crass and rude to make a good impression,"
the medievalist noted. "Speaking
of the latter, I'm sending them over to the library to work on their papers
during Thursday's session. Winnie
offered to help them out with research questions.
Since Caitlin's after her to get more reference practice, I figure this
is as good a time as any."
good," Francesca agreed. "And
you know you have our instructional classes next week, right?"
he agreed, biting into his ziti.
the way, who are these kids?" Angie asked.
names are Clark Kent and Lana Lang. According
to the file, they seem like really bright students and are very interested in
the university," he said.
sure," his wife nodded. "I'll
be sure to let Dr. F. know to keep a couple of seats open for you as well as
for Clark and Lana."
Princess. You know I would never
miss one of your papers," he smiled.
know," she beamed. "And
I'll appreciate the moral support. With
all of our recent travels, I haven't been keeping up as much as I should on
my own research. Hopefully, I can
do as well as Drs. Eckhardt and Zero."
sure you will," Eve assured her.
"Worrying about it won't get you anywhere."
you have us to cheer you on. What's
the worst that can happen?" he inquired.
then, a knock came from the door. Dave got up to answer it and sensed Steve
Petersen on the other side. "Come
in, Steve." Concentrating, he used his powers to open the door.
Dubie," the FBI agent sighed, walking slowly into the apartment, and hanging
up his coat.
what's wrong?" Angie asked, noticing their friend's somber expression.
don't want to ruin your dinner. It
can wait for an hour," the visitor indicated.
folded his arms across his chest and studied the other man.
He knew when something was eating the agent.
"C'mon, Steve. Spill
agent looked at his hosts anxiously, requesting, "Please stay calm, everyone.
I got some bad news when I got into work this morning.
Dave, your father escaped from jail.
They don't know where he is."
history professor glared at the other man, "What?
I thought that they were going to put him away!
What the heck happened?"
someone paid his bail. Anyhow,
as soon as he got out, he hopped in a car and nobody has seen him since.
The plates were from New York State," he revealed.
I trust you ran a check on the plate number?" Dave inquired.
did, but came up empty. Apparently,
it was a government car, but the specific agency wasn't listed."
would they want with your father?" Eve wondered.
of any anti-mutant groups within Congress?" the medievalist replied.
the sentiment growing in that body, quite a few actually.
There's a rumor concerning a top-secret research facility dealing with
that issue. I'm still checking
on it," Steve reported. Just
then, his phone rang, "Petersen here."
it's Natalie. We have an unusual
case here. How soon can you get
to the precinct?" the ME requested.
at Dave and Angie's right now. Is
20 minutes okay?" he answered.
don't you bring them? This will
concern them as well," she noted.
were just sitting down to dinner, Natalie.
I'd hate to disturb them," he doubted. Noticing Angie signaling
for the phone, he handed it to her.
Noticing Angie signaling
for the phone, he handed it to her.
Natalie. This is Angie.
What's up?" the oncologist inquired.
was just telling Steve that we brought in an unusual body from a murder scene
tonight. Trust me, you and Dave
will want to see this. Besides,
I'll need your help in cross checking something from it," the coroner indicated.
be right there," she sighed. "Let
us get a plate of ziti down and we'll leave in about 5 minutes."
his part, her husband had already wolfed down his dinner. Given everything else, which had happened lately, this situation
Natalie agreed. "See you then.
I'll let Chris Novak know."
the phone back to Steve, she packaged a plate to eat on the way.
"Dave, would you mind driving?" she asked.
at all," he agreed. "Let's
go. Eve, we'll be back ASAP."
she concurred. "I'll get them
put to bed."
giving the twins a kiss apiece, the two parents climbed into the Subaru and
sped westward followed closely be Steve in his own car.
do you suppose is going on?" she inquired, between mouthfuls of lukewarm
suppose we'll find out soon enough," he indicated, albeit more securely
than he felt at the moment.
Nick and Tracy were on their way back from the homicide scene.
The drive had been a silent one as both partners were sorting through
their own thoughts.
break the silence, he put the radio on, allowing LaCroix's voice to permeate
yes, Gentle Listeners," the Elder began.
"Since it's a school night, tonight's lesson is not to trust sensitive
matters to anyone other than yourself. On two occasions, I have done so. Both times, the task was bungled badly. I have talked with you all about the miserable child's tantrum
years ago. Recently, I had charged
another with securing privacy for a rather sensitive affair. Unfortunately, one person made it through my preparations.
Whoever you are, you should have minded your own business.
After the rather unpleasant visit I received earlier tonight, I discovered
the situation. Did you ever trust
someone with a task very important to you only to see it mishandled?
The lines are open...."
turned to Nick and asked, "What's he talking about?"
thought about his former master's words for a minute before answering, "He's
obviously referring to Dave. The
tantrum was the first battle with the Enforcers.
The 'sensitive matter' concerns the duel.
Someone must have gotten through Constantine's cordon and recorded the
let me guess, the visitor was Dave as well?" she theorized.
from his tone, I'd say so," he replied.
a rather gutsy move, even for him," she shivered.
given LaCroix's attitude toward him right now," he acknowledged.
"They declared mutual war on each other.
Give Dave's outlook, I don't think he really cares if LaCroix threatens
she winced. "If those two
go at it, I suppose that means Xena gets involved too?"
with Cybelle," he informed her. "We
need to keep them from confronting each other."
what exactly happened in Istanbul? I
have to admit your intruder shot some interesting footage, but it wasn't clear,"
she told him.
into an empty lot, he hit the brakes, screeching the Caddy to a halt.
"What footage? Tracy,
what's going on?"
don't know?" she queried. Then,
judging by the shock on his face, she continued, "No, I guess not. Well,
since the day after the grudge match, there's been a video piece circulating
throughout the chat rooms on the Internet."
he hissed, his eyes turning yellow. "If
that's true, the whole Community's at risk!" Dialing the car phone,
he looked for answers.
Dialing the car phone,
he looked for answers.
is the Nightcrawler. Speak, Child,"
LaCroix replied, a smile growing on his lips after realizing whom it was on
the other end.
yes. I was wondering to what you
were referring just now," Nick inquired.
aren't free, my Boy. You should
know that," the DJ toyed with him, clearly enjoying the moment.
"But, since this concerns all of my children, I'll tell you.
Ask the Child if he'll spare you a copy.
Now, I have to get back to my other listeners.
Please feel free to stop by later if you wish."
hung up as well, shaking his head in silent confusion.
to Nick, Earth to Nick. Excuse
me, there's static on the line," his partner interjected.
still looking for an answer to my question about Dave Dubois."
managed to fight Dijon for the most part.
His dark side emerged after the rubble fell on him," he recounted.
she shuddered. "And just as
with Divia, Dijon was blasted into oblivion.
Remind me not to tick him off to badly."
he nodded, pulling out of the lot and resuming their drive to the precinct.
He needed answers, and that was the place to find them.
gazed into the microscope once more. While
the woman on her examination table looked normal, her blood was doing something
unusual. Despite the fact that
a DNA analysis still needed to be done, her work with Nick's condition had prepped
her to recognize other irregularities.
that moment, a knock came from the door and Doug White, a patrolman, stuck his
head into the room. "Excuse
me, Dr. LeBeau? Agent Petersen
and the Duboises are here to see you."
Doug," she accepted. "Come in, guys, and close the door."
walked over to her side and kissed her cheek.
"Hey, what's up?"
something odd about this case," the coroner asserted.
"Angie, take a look at the sample, would you?"
she agreed and did so. Looking
up from the microscope, she asked, "I know it's been a few years since
med school, but since when do humans have a chromosomes doing that?"
don't usually," the ME indicated.
"Unless they're like you and Dave."
woman had special powers?" Dave asked.
can't say one way or the other," Natalie continued.
"Only that she was extra special.
I'm waiting for Nick and Tracy to get back here with some evidence from
the scene. Between that and the
skin samples I took from underneath her fingernails, I'm hoping for a match."
glanced at the other two women anxiously.
"What's it now, open season on people like us?
It never seems to end," he muttered.
can say that again," his wife concurred grimly. "I hope we can get to the bottom of this before any more
nodded knowingly. "Any chance
of getting the FBI involved?"
don't think you want them to get into this.
At least not yet," the agent disagreed. "Let's try to do this on our own first."
let's hope the evidence which Nick, Tracy, and Schanke are bringing with them
fingers the murderer," the professor added.
can say that again," Nick added, walking into the room.
"Did you find anything, Nat?"
I managed to get some skin under the fingernails," the coroner indicated.
"Hopefully, I can get some blood from that stuff you brought back."
it's from the murderer, the victim, or both," Tracy stated, dropping the
bag on the table next to the corpse. "I
don't want another uprising like that racial debate."
of an uprising," the vampire added.
"What were you doing, Dave?
Confronting LaCroix earlier tonight?"
we go again," Dave muttered, shaking his head. "I've already received this lecture tonight, Nick."
I'm going to give it to you again," the detective continued.
"What were you doing? You
know LaCroix wants to kill you. So
you go into the radio station and interrupt his show?
Just to bait him?"
maybe...just maybe, if your little brother didn't screw up his job, the trip
wouldn't have been necessary. Because
of that, more than a few people whom I didn't want to know about me now do.
Besides, I'm not afraid of that sleaze," the professor snapped.
should be more respectful of him," Natalie added, typing away on the computer
Dave hissed. "I know who and
what he is! But that doesn't mean
I have to cower before him!"
give up," Angie shrugged.
Chief," Steve advised. "This
isn't your father you're dealing with."
know that!" the professor roared, his darkness starting to percolate toward
the surface. "But, LaCroix's
been after my ass since that night in the lecture hall!
Almost fifteen years, Steve! Fifteen
damn years of living with this shadow over my head!
You weren't there when we met up again at the Raven."
He hesitated for a second, shivering fiercely, and getting nervous glances
from those around him. "I
want him dead. He was the one who
sicced Dijon and the Enforcers on the Samuelsohns and ultimately, on me!
I'm sick of his bullshit! No
former classmate grabbed his arm, warning,
"You're mortal, you know.
know a few stakes which might disagree with that point," the medievalist
disagreed. "Besides, I think
others might have issues with him as well."
would tell you to be strategic," his wife argued.
"A frontal assault isn't always the best way."
may have other problems right now," Natalie broke in while looking into
did you find?" Schanke asked, walking into the room.
just typed the blood on the coat. They're
both O negative," the ME reported.
"The chromosome count matches as well from what I can tell.
Guys, I think what Dave said is true.
It's open season on you. All
stood where they were, shaking their heads sadly. When one fought the good fight, he or she was a target constantly.
Dealing with that realization took some time, but, if one was to survive,
then the knowledge needed to be accepted.
For that, everyone noted that Dave was right in his directness.
However, everyone also knew that Angie was right in that some strategy
was needed as well. Finding the
compromise was crucial for the future.
reclined in his chair, studying his notes.
When he received the invitation to speak on cellular anomalies at the
cellular conference in Arizona, the prospect was less than tempting at first.
Then, upon hearing that Adam would be speaking as well, he changed his
mind. It would be so entertaining to have the opportunity to sway
public opinion by implanting the seeds of doubt in the audience's minds.
Yes, to see his former geneticist's hopes crushed would be a great triumph
buzz came from the door. Opening
it, he discovered two field agents, a man and a woman, whom he had sent after
a new mutant named Alicia Fallone. "Yes?
I see you have returned," he stated.
man stepped forward. "Yes,
Mr. Eckhardt. We..didn't get the
struggled and attracted attention," his female colleague continued.
"As we went to put the governor on her, it broke off.
We tried to subdue her, Sir, but we leaned on her a bit hard.
administrator frowned. The woman's
abilities would have made her a valuable GSA agent. "Did you bring her back for study at least?"
His eyes were burning into the two subordinates' consciousness.
The police were right on top of us.
We barely got out of there," the man stated.
see," their boss shrugged, picking up two remote controls and depressing
a button on each one.
the two agents were rolling on the floor, writhing in pain.
For two minutes, Eckhardt allowed this dance to continue.
He abhorred failure like this, especially when such errors left his organization
open to public exposure. After
he was satisfied, he switched the controls off again, allowing the agents to
recover. Subdermal governors had
ready to depart tomorrow. You're
accompanying me back to Arizona along with Mr. Brown," Eckhardt warned.
"And I will not tolerate any more excuses."
Sir," the two chorused and departed from the room, rubbing the back of
their necks where the small plastic devices rested.
sighed impatiently. Good help was
so hard to find these days. At
least, his guest was being cooperative and providing a great deal of information
concerning the Dubois mutants. "A
man who would betray his firstborn. Amazing,"
he remarked curiously. "Still,
one doesn't need to look a gift horse in the mouth."
that moment, the door buzzed again. "Yes?" he asked.
Eckhardt, it's Stuart Dubois. I
know you're busy, but might I have a minute?" Dubois requested.
Mr. Dubois," the host agreed, opening the door. "I was going to send for you in any event.
I have news. We're taking a trip to Arizona tomorrow.
I trust that you're ready."
am," he grinned enthusiastically.
Seeing his son get what was coming to him would make everything worth
I wonder if you realize the implications of betraying family," Eckhardt
started. "Awful business."
consultant glared at the white haired man in front of him.
"What? Are you chickening
administrator straightened himself and retorted plainly, "I would thank
you not to address me in that way! I'll
go after your son and daughter-in-law as I said I would!"
backpedaled quickly, "Of course.
Well, we all want these freaks off of the streets, but still, we must
keep our passions in check, Mr. Dubois.
Letting them get out of hand could have...great consequences," Eckhardt
warned cryptically yet allowing his meaning to shine through.
guest nodded, "I'll be ready first thing tomorrow.
will be fine. Good evening, Mr.
Dubois," the host concluded, turning away from him to study the anomalies
in stasis on the level below his office. On the matter of his guest, he decided
to have Mr. Sanderson keep an especially close eye on him.
"It never hurts to be too careful."
left the office quickly, scurrying for his room. There was a quiet menace to Eckhardt, which he understood,
but didn't want to get in the way of.
A great menace indeed.
scanned the news files of every databank he could find.
During the monthly check on all new mutants, one woman, Alicia Fallone,
hadn't appeared. According to the
Underground, she had never returned from an errand on the previous evening.
As always, his mind considered the worst option, the GSA had kidnapped
have to check on her after the conference is over," he decided, mumbling
called, "Adam! Take a look
leader hurried over to the other's side.
"What did you find out?" he asked.
computer genius sighed, "She's been found by the local authorities in Tucson,
Adam. According to the police record,
she was beaten badly and had a scar on the back of her neck."
doubt caused by a subdermal governor," the older man concluded after scanning
the report database. It was too
soon for the coroner's official report, but hopefully, that could be taken care
of as well. Although he wanted
to give mutants a legal and safe living environment, sometimes that meant a
little bit of subterfuge every now and again.
"Something else to worry about down there."
want us to hang with you tomorrow afternoon?" the density mutant inquired.
me think about that. I'll brief
all of you during the trip. Since
Eckhardt's going to be on the panel with me and Angela Dubois, you can bet the
area'll be crawling with GSA agents," Adam noted.
handle Eckhardt. We can take care
of a few guys in the bad raincoats," Shalimar slurred, coming up the stairs
with two steaming mugs of coffee. "I
figured you could use these."
Shalimar," Adam accepted, sipping from his cup. "Since we don't know exactly what we're getting into here,
I would advise caution."
smell a trap?" she probed.
Eckhardt, one can never be too sure. As
I just told Jesse, I'm leaving our options open at this point.
Let Brennan and Emma know that I'll be briefing you once we're in the
Double Helix. I'm not sure if we
should try and contact David Dubois at the same time. Given his psychological
history and abilities, he should be approached with caution.
I want to avoid causing a scene at all costs.
I'll be keeping an eye on his wife in case the GSA tries to grab her,"
the leader related.
of Eckhardt and the GSA, how's the speech coming?" she asked.
exhaled deeply and continued, "With everything else going on, I've managed
to put together a few pieces here and there.
This is one of the most important informational opportunities for the
outside world to understand cellular anomalies. I can't let Eckhardt cause panic among those researchers."
feral mutant nodded knowingly. The
more vital something was to mutantkind as a whole, the more Adam fretted over
it. "You'll kick his tail,
Adam. We have faith in you."
don't know how much I appreciate that sentiment, Shalimar.
Thank you. On that note, I think we should get some rest.
Let the computers collect more data, Jesse.
We'll analyze it on the way down.
Good night," he concluded, heading toward the living quarters.
two mutants glanced at each other, wondering about what the team would be getting
into on this trip. Neither liked
surprises, and this expedition seemed chock full of them.
sat in her room, focusing on her surroundings, and allowing her mind to drift
a bit. She had felt more psychic
tremors coming from the Southwest. Concentrating
on the negativity, an image formed in her mind of David Dubois once again.
He was in a room with four...no six others, and they were arguing about
something. As he was speaking,
the empath noted that his image was blurring, a sign that the negativity was
surfacing again. "How are
we supposed to talk with him if he's that volatile?" she wondered aloud.
caution, I'm afraid," Adam's voice replied through the crack in the door.
"May I come in?"
I was just following up on some bad vibes I felt earlier tonight.
I can't believe how much pain that man is in," she commented.
"It's literally bleeding off of him."
looking at his profile, I can understand it," he noted.
"Did you find anything else?"
she requested, refocusing on the spot, but this time, between the speakers.
"Yes, there's a body on the table.
It's Alicia Fallone, Adam! What
disappeared earlier tonight. The
police found her a few hours ago. I
had Jesse tap into their database. According
to the initial report, she was beaten and left for dead," he reported.
"She...had a scar in the back of her neck, and the detectives found
a shred of a raincoat and a piece of the subdermal governor."
telepath closed her eyes and shook her head sadly. In the past six months since finding out who she was, Alicia
had been a great help and a soothing presence in the adjustment to life as a
new mutant. A tear creased her
sorry," he soothed. "I
know you two corresponded often. If
it's any consolation, it's hard for me as well."
studied his face, noting his grim facade.
He felt as though all of the mutant progeny of Geneomax were his children,
and, just as with any parent, he was grieving as well.
"Thank you, Adam. I
appreciate it. Let's just stop the GSA from causing any more damage down there,"
he agreed. "And I've got a
big task for you as well. I'll
fill you in on the flight down there."
nodded, "Sounds good. Well,
if you'll excuse me, we've got an early start tomorrow. Good night."
smiled. She had certainly developed
in her own inner strength since her arrival.
"I'll see you then. Good
night." With that, he left
Now that she was alone, Emma allowed the tears to flow for her friend. She would have to let out her sadness before the morning, so that she would be able to focus. Everyone would be counting on her. For some reason, she felt uneasy as if some other issue were waiting for them down there. "Calm down, Emma," she told herself. "You're an empath not a prophetess." Lying down on her bed, she created a bubble of tranquility for herself and slowly drifted off to sleep within it.
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