Know Best (Part 2)
David J. Duncan
For notes, please see Part 1.
Note: This scenario takes place
about three and a half years into the future of the current Smallville series.
Kansas--Two hours before the discussion in the morgue]
away from the discussions occurring both to the east and west of him, Clark
Kent sat in the coffee shop located in the heart of downtown, sipping on a lukewarm
mocha, and waiting for his friends to show up.
In between all of the events related to their senior year, he and his
friends were busy with the editorial positions for "the Torch," the
high school paper. On this particular night, Chloe, his long time friend and the
editor in chief, had asked the editors to meet here. For his part, he hoped it would be a short meeting.
He still needed to get home and pack for his trip in the morning.
then, a voice cut into his reverie. "Hey,
Clark. Spacing out on us again?"
looked up just as Chloe Sullivan and his other friend, Pete Wilson, slid into
the booth seat across from him. "I'm
fine. Just thinking about the trip
are you psyched to get some time alone with Lana?" Pete pushed teasingly.
He knew that his friend had watched their fellow editor for a while before
they began dating almost two years before.
don't start," Chloe told him. She
knew Clark had enough on his mind without them saying anything more about the
subject. Besides, until they started
dating, the editor in chief had held out hope that Clark would be her boyfriend
instead of Lana's. But at least,
they were all friends. "So are you ready for your trip?"
laid out on my bed, waiting to be thrown into my duffel bag," Clark revealed.
"Dad's taking us to the airport early in the morning."
nice to know that we're both at the same point," Lana laughed, kissing
him on the cheek and plopping herself down next to him. "I don't feel like I'll ever be ready."
started, "Other than that, are you both ready? I mean this is an experience in the big city, and a major university.
I would feel lost in your shoes."
shrugged, "Normally, I would. I
mean visiting KU and Wisconsin seemed overwhelming. At least, Arizona has a personalized visit program."
professor will be picking us up at the airport and give us a snapshot of the
experience. You know, a few classes,
lunch in the Student Union, and we arranged to get into that conference as well,"
Clark added, taking another sip from his drink.
sounds so cool. Some benefits and
a chance to see how things really work," Chloe replied.
"And you touched on the reason for my asking you all down here."
other three teens glanced at each other.
What did she have in mind this time?
Their chief editor had innovative if not provocative ideas for the paper.
on, guys!" Chloe continued. "I
was just looking to start a student snapshot section.
You know about our on campus visits and such.
If you could make a few comments about your insights, that would be great
especially with that meeting."
glanced at Lana who nodded back at him.
"Okay," he agreed.
the leader beamed. She always loved
it when they came up with a new idea. "Well, it's getting late.
You'd best be getting home. Have
a great time."
sure we will," Clark agreed, looking at Lana, and smiling.
"It should be enlightening."
hours later, Clark roused himself from his slumber and dressed quickly.
He needed to get the chores done before they left for the airport.
Hustling to the barn, he checked the hay in the horses' stalls, made
sure the animals were fed, the cows were milked, and the equipment put away
neatly. At super speed, every task
except for the milking was accomplished in the blink of an eye. Since the livestock were accustomed to his routine, they largely
ignored their human caretaker's methods.
The milk, on the other hand, came out at a normal rate so as not to hurt
the cows. In 20 minutes time, he
had everything under control, and was carrying two full milk pails up the dirt
trail toward the house where a light was already shining in the kitchen.
the dwelling, the teenager noticed his mother already getting the coffee and
breakfast ready to go. Even if
her son weren't leaving this morning, Martha Kent would've been getting the
daily routine started at this point. "Hi,
Mom," he greeted.
Clark," she replied pleasantly, hugging him. "How're you this morning?"
bit anxious, but otherwise, okay," he grinned sheepishly, placing the milk
on the counter gently.
for milking them, Clark," she expressed.
"I'll have breakfast in a minute.
I made you and Lana a couple of sandwiches for the trip."
he smiled. "I wonder who this
Dr. Dubois is. The man that's going
to be meeting us."
while you were at your meeting last night, both he and his wife called here
and spoke to both your father and me.
He sounds like a wonderful man.
Apparently, there's a full slate for you two down in Arizona.
If he's like the rest of the professors down there, you should have a
good experience one way or the other," she related.
say," her husband agreed, entering the room. Jonathan Kent eyed his son warmly yet cautiously.
Ever since they had found him in the crater thirteen years earlier, the
Kents had tried to keep his abilities a secret.
Now, he was looking to go far away.
The big city was calling to him despite their best efforts to keep him
there. "At least, he knew
how to speak plain English. That's
a rarity among those ivory tower types.
Anyhow, the Duboises filled us in on your agenda.
Apparently, you're going to get a slice of life at the university. I like an honest approach," he remarked.
"By the way, the barn looks great, Son.
Why don't you get in the shower?
We need to be at the Langs' place by 4:30."
he agreed, rushing up the stairs and into the shower. Within fifteen minutes, he was cleaned up, changed, and had
his bag beside his chair. "All set."
before you get a proper breakfast inside of you," she chuckled. "Take
listen to her, Clark," his father noted humorously, needling his wife.
her part, she ignored them both as her work took precedence.
Yet, under her facade, she secretly enjoyed the baiting.
Work was made easier when a good measure of humor was mixed in.
ride to the airport went fairly quickly as all three parties kept to themselves,
wondering about the future. Despite
all of the good signs, a bit of tension hung in the air, hinting at something
ominous. Chalking it up to the
weird ways in the prairie community, each person decided to keep it to himself
reaching the facility, Jonathan parked the truck and helped his son with the
bags. Even this early in the morning,
there was a small line at the ticket counter.
However, within ten minutes, Clark and Lana had their boarding passes
in hand and their luggage checked.
you, Mr. Kent, for driving us here," Lana noted. "I really appreciate it."
welcome," he replied pleasantly.
"Good luck with your trip.
Sorry to ask, but..."
grinned warmly and agreed, "You two need a moment alone.
That's okay. I'll see you on the other side, Clark."
Walking through the security system, she gazed at the two men, talking
to each other intently. Not for the first time, she felt the pangs of loneliness for
her own deceased parents and that they weren't there for her.
Hopefully, by leaving this town after graduation, she could start to
build a new life for herself. And
if Clark would go too, all the better.
how are you feeling, Clark?" Jonathan asked.
still a bit nervous actually. I
really want to do the big city thing, but I'm not sure if I'm ready for it,"
the younger man indicated.
Mom and I would like you to stay, you know," the older man started.
"But, you're always looking beyond Smallville.
Sooner or later, you're going to want to leave.
Just know that whatever you decide to do, we're in back of you."
Dad. This'll be a fact-finding
expedition for all of us. I figure
Lana and I will go to class, get to know some people, research that story, and
think things through. That's what
this trip is for, right?" Clark asked.
Take care. Call us after
you get back from dinner tonight, okay?
And behave yourself around her," he requested, a smile forming on
know it," the younger man assured him.
"Well, I gotta meet Lana at the gate before our flight takes off.
Thank Mom again for packing lunch."
let her know. Good luck,"
Jonathan concluded, slapping his son on the shoulder.
Then, as the latter went through the checkpoint, he watched as his son
head off to the future. "Good
luck, Son," he thought as the latter disappeared around the corner, heading
toward his destiny.
walked through the front door of the El Gato Negro bar two hours before sunrise.
After his discussions with LaCroix and Dave, he decided to speak with
the former, if he was available. Looking
about the place, he marveled at how much it resembled the Raven in its decor
and the dancing of the mortals and immortals alike.
Running his hands along the chain link rail, he descended the staircase
and made his way to the bar. There,
he sat down while continuing to observe everything around him.
broke off a conversation with another patron and made her way over to her master.
"Nicolas, I'm flattered that you would honor us with a visit.
Is this business or pleasure?" she asked.
actually," he grinned. "I've
been meaning to come down here and take a look around.
You've done wonders with the place."
you," she acknowledged with a smile.
"It's been a labor of love, trust me. However, our kind needs a central place, no?"
Scanning him through their shared link, she sensed the vampire's growing
dominance. "Would you care
for a drink?"
usual," he accepted.
cow and wine coming up," she remarked dryly, signaling to the bartender.
"As for the business part, what would that pertain to?
If it's LaCroix, I would warn you, Nicolas, he is in a bad mood."
know. Apparently, he had a visitor
at KRAN tonight," the detective remarked, sipping on the cow cocktail.
gets bolder by the day," the immortal lady of the night sighed.
"That man needs to understand that he's only mortal."
what he's been through, Janette, I don't blame him. LaCroix did start this mess.
As for how he's handling it, his wife and I have both lectured him on
it, but...." he continued.
he's still sliding down that slippery slope?
From what I understand from my friends at the University, he's losing
control. Perhaps that fight is
taking its toll, hmm?" she inquired.
have to admit that you're right," he shrugged. "Still, I would like to try and get this resolved if I
could before it comes to war."
those words, he felt a familiar vibration followed by a sarcastic chuckling
approaching from his left. Turning,
he saw the old Roman standing beside him, an intense expression locked in his
evening, Nicholas. How nice of
you to join us even if it means watching you drink that swill," LaCroix
greeted. "I must say that
I was flattered when you called in. Was
work that quiet tonight?"
no it wasn't. We found a homicide
victim tonight on the south side. A
young woman with a remarkable DNA makeup," he reported.
the elder vampire asked. "Could
it be that a mutant hunter is in town?
Pity he or she got the wrong freak."
I understood your clue right, he was with you tonight," Nick stated.
Janette cut in with a warning tone.
he was there tonight. He gave me
some information concerning a breach in the security surrounding the duel.
Apparently, a mortal taped the whole thing.
How unfortunate, given the Enforcers' current status.
But your friend deliberately provoked me tonight, Nicholas. Nobody comes into my domain and insults me!
No one!" the Elder hissed.
"Advise him to learn some manners."
his mood tonight, you're lucky he didn't start something.
LaCroix, the man has defeated Divia, several Enforcers, and Dijon!
With all due respect, each of those parties either has hurt you or could
hurt you. Janette was right. He's slowly losing control, and it's your fault.
You started it when you confronted him in the classroom."
suppose he told you that he wants me dead?" the older vampire supposed.
"As if he could get close enough to do it.
Really, Nicholas. I owe
both him and his infernal sister, and I intend to pay them both back richly."
he doesn't kill you first," his former protÈgÈ countered.
gripped his glass so hard that he broke it, spilling the blood-merlot all over
the counter. "HE IS AN IRRITANT!
THAT IS ALL!" he roared, vamping out.
"I'll thank you to remember that!"
the uncomfortable glance from Janette, Nick picked up his glass and departed
from the bar area, leaving the other two vampires seething behind him.
Picking a table in the corner, he settled in to finish his drink before
Miles, that was some scene over there.
Had a little too much?" Javier Vachon gibed.
is my only one, Vachon," Nick sighed.
"What's on your mind?"
told me about Dubois. Man, that
is one crazy hombre," the conquistador remarked.
you felt hunted, you might respond the same way," the detective argued.
"He's having problems handling all of the stress lately.
The more he uses his darkness, the less control he has over the Other.
I worry about him and LaCroix. If LaCroix goes after him, I wonder if
he'll survive, considering that Dave, Xena, and Cybelle are all waiting in line
to kill him."
I can see your point, Amigo," the Iberian concurred. "With
everything else, we don't need a spark to set off the Community.
After that Enforcer mess, everyone's still a little edgy. By the way, Tracy also told me about that weird corpse you
got in tonight."
checking it out," Nick replied. "Meantime,
I want everyone to keep a lid on this one.
That situation's not helping Dave either.
Besides, who's to say that this suspect isn't looking to take a vampire
have to stay open to all possibilities," the detective commented, finishing
his glass and leaving a generous tip on the table.
"The sun's almost up. I'll
see you soon." With that,
he rushed out the front door toward the Caddy.
shook his head as he contemplated Nick's words. "Unbelievable," he muttered, heading out himself.
Seeing the first dim signs of pink in the east, he took off heading for
the apartment. The day would be
long enough to allow some thought on this issue and the ramifications to them
radio alarm went off early in the Dubois household on that morning.
Angie stirred first, getting up and walking out into the living room.
Her paper wasn't flowing properly, at least, in her estimation. So, she
scratched and marked up the draft, reading it for flow and content as she went.
Three times she rehearsed the piece, but it never sounded right to her.
an hour into this litany, Dave shuffled into the living room and silently watched
her. "She's always a perfectionist,"
he thought with admiration, entering the area.
He cleared his throat to get her attention.
she asked nervously. "Oh,
Dave! Good morning.
long enough to watch your last run through," he grinned, ambling over to
her side. "It's fine, Princess.
You're going to be great."
wish I could agree. My co-speakers
are experts in this field."
are you when it comes to cancer and cellular mutation," he argued.
"Have faith in yourself. Dr.
Fishburne never would have arranged this session if he didn't think you were
up to it."
listen to him, Angela," Xena's voice added as she appeared in the corner.
her," the medievalist requested.
Warrior Princess grinned, "I've watched you fretting over this speech for
the past three days. You're a terrific
healer. Have faith in yourself.
Remember, you're not alone up there.
I'll be with you every step of the way."
oncologist looked at her companions, thinking about their words.
Just as with the sun after a rainstorm, a smile slowly broke through
her gloomy features. "Thanks, guys. You're
the best," she told them, embracing first her husband and then, the image.
pleasure," he assured her, rubbing her shoulder. "I'll go look in on the twins if you'd get the coffee."
don't you get in the shower?" she urged.
"You need to get to the airport for 9:00 AM, don't you?"
you say so," he shrugged. "I'm
on my way." Turning, he walked into the bathroom and shut the door.
your chin up, Angela," the warrior urged.
"If you need me, I'll be close by." Fading away, she left her "roommate" feeling much
better than when she had appeared moments before.
hours later, Dave parked the Subaru in short-term parking and entered the airport
terminal. Finding a monitor screen,
he browsed through the listings. "American 7845.
Gate 15. They'll be on the
ground in 15 minutes." Making his way through security, he headed for the gate to
meet the kids.
15,000 feet above him, Clark and Lana were descending toward the Old Pueblo.
The flight from Smallville had been enlightening for them.
had admired the scenery far below them and the different vistas.
For her, the desert had a hidden beauty with the rock formations, wide-open
spaces, and a sunrise with a wide spectrum of colors.
Unlike the smothering small town atmosphere of Smallville, she felt free
as if she had room to breathe for the first time.
She could definitely see herself going to school out here.
his part, he felt something about the sensation of being miles off of the ground.
On top of his nerves over being out of Kansas for the first time since
the meteor shower, he felt as if another aspect of his abilities were coming
to the forefront. Over the past three years, one power after another had revealed
themselves to him. The familiar
feeling preceding a new aspect of those talents had begun to churn inside of
him. For some reason, he felt at
home high above the clouds. Staring
out the window, he wondered what it would be like to fly like a bird, to soar
like an eagle surveying everything around him.
Oh, sorry. I was just taking
in the sights," he excused himself.
giggled, "You're so insightful, always looking into things lying beneath
the surface. Anyhow, we're about
ready to land, so you'll need to buckle your seat belt."
he concurred sheepishly, securing the restraint. "I just have a lot on my mind is all."
huh," she cracked, raising a humorous eyebrow. That was so Clark-like.
Still, after dating her previous boyfriend, he was a refreshing change.
"You know, there's nothing wrong with admiring the scenery.
Wouldn't it be marvelous to be able to fly without the plane?
I would love to be able to soar above the clouds, feel the wind on my
face, watch the birds fly by, and look down on this scene without having to
peer through the glass. Wouldn't you?" she inquired.
know what you mean," he agreed. "It's
breathtaking, isn't it?"
the plane alighted on the runway and taxied to its destination on the far row
of gates. It wouldn't be long now.
minutes later, the two teens strolled into the terminal area.
Looking about, they tried to locate Dave, but there were so many people
around them. Finally, they saw
a man dressed in a navy, pinstriped suit with a large white sign.
think that's him," Clark indicated.
arrived at the gate about seven minutes ahead of schedule just to be on the
safe side. With all of the people
milling around the area, he wanted to be sure that the kids wouldn't miss him
somehow. On that note, he surveyed
the area around him. "I wish
this airport would learn how to space flights out," he groused.
Oftentimes, there would be no activity for an hour and then, five planes
would land on adjacent strips at the same time, making for a congested runway.
Still, he knew it was futile to ask an administrator to plan ahead.
on his blackberry tea, he stood across from the gate, waiting for the flight
to descend. At that moment, a rush
of people from another flight swept past him.
That, in itself, wasn't unusual.
However, midway through, the professor felt a familiar presence in the
crowd, and, for a brief second, he could have sworn he saw his father walk right
by him accompanied by a slender white haired man.
"What in the...?" he growled low.
But, by the time he took a second look, the men were gone and so was
the feeling. "Come on, Dave, lighten up," he advised himself.
"He's nowhere near here."
that moment, the PA announced, "Attention, everyone! Flight 7845 from Chicago has landed and will be at the gate
shortly. Thank you."
get a grip on yourself," he muttered, forcing his anger back down.
"They'll be here any minute."
A nervous gulp of tea later, the gate door opened, allowing the passengers
to enter the area. For five minutes, he watched the crowd, seeing if he could
spot his guests. Then, from the
jet way, his psychic senses locked onto a particular powerful aura.
"What the?" he wondered and focused on the source.
Whoever it was, the person was definitely coming closer.
Recalling his initial experience with Alyce, he sighed, "How come
I get the unusual ones? Just dumb
luck, I guess."
that moment, he spied two teenagers looking around for somebody.
"I'll bet that's them," he smiled and held up a sign with their
names on it. When the young man
waved back at him, he knew that his suspicions had been accurate.
"Here we go," the professor thought a bit nervously, walking
me, Professor Dubois?" the woman asked.
right," he grinned warmly. "Lana,
right? Hi, I'm David Dubois, a
history professor at the U of A."
to meet you," she accepted, shaking his hand. "And this is Clark Kent."
to meet you as well," Dave greeted, shaking her friend's hand.
As soon as they touched, however, the professor felt a surge of energy
from him. His was the aura he had
sensed earlier. Taking a step backward,
he rubbed his head to alleviate the slight headache between his eyes.
"Whoa!" he winced.
watched the medievalist warily. Perhaps,
it was his father's cautiousness about his powers, but somehow, he got the feeling
that this man had discovered whom he really was.
"But, through a single touch?" he thought.
looked at their host curiously. Granted,
Smallville had its share of weirdness, but, as with Clark, questions popped
up in her mind. "Why would
he react like that?" she mused.
managed to straighten up. "Great.
I need one of my episodes now.
Probably scared them six ways to Sunday," he chastised himself.
"Sorry about that, guys. Long
night, I guess. Well, let's say
we pick up your bags and then, head over to your hotel.
I figure you might want some time to freshen up before you hit campus."
sounds great," she agreed.
let's go," the professor concurred, guiding them toward baggage claim.
Still, the uneasiness about his father persisted.
The sooner he could get them to the hotel, the sooner he could talk to
Steve about this occurrence.
the terminal, Eckhardt observed the trio leave the area with concern.
Between the elder Dubois's legal status and the usual GSA concerns, he
insisted on taking a private flight. However,
due to the logistics of this airport, the group ended up pulling into a public
terminal. Obviously, this wasn't
his first choice, but they made due. Allowing
his agents to mix in with the rest of the milling crowd, he entered along with
Dubois, making their way for the exit.
Still, running into Dubois's son was an unexpected surprise.
"His senses are sharper than I thought," he assessed to himself,
making a note to prepare for great difficulty with the professor and his wife.
got by him unnoticed," Dubois assumed.
Mr. Dubois. He noticed you even
in the midst of this throng," Eckhardt corrected. "Not to worry, though.
Everything's under control. Now,
let's go. The session starts in
six hours, and I want to be ready."
other man nodded. Whatever he thought
of his routine, Eckhardt certainly had his act together.
400 miles to the east, the Double Helix streaked toward the Old Pueblo at Mach-1
speed. Inside, Mutant X contemplated
its next move as well as the GSA's.
scratched his head, "I know I've been keeping you in the dark since last
night, but I needed to work out some details."
are we going to approach Dubois directly?" Shalimar inquired, watching
the leader carefully.
I think that between the recent situation and his father's escape, the
man will be too edgy to confront. I
would like to keep an eye on him, however.
I want you all to stay close by the Medical Center, but not too close.
Eckhardt has no doubt prepared something with you all in mind,"
the older man noted.
what I could tell," Jesse added.
"He's going to be in class at that point on the main campus."
that moment, Emma rubbed her temples again.
For the entire trip, she had felt momentary flashes of pain.
Now, as Dave felt his father's presence and came into contact with Clark,
the telepath received yet another signal.
"Speaking of our professor," she winced.
"Adam, his father is here!"
the leader asked. "Are you
picked up on his father's essence," she told them.
"And then, he touched something or someone with a big charge.
probed, "How does the fact that his old man is here change things, Adam?"
cut in. "There's a history
between them, Brennan. From what
I've been able to pick up, his father abused him.
That's why he's so unstable."
given how he's on edge to start with, I was hoping to avoid something like this,"
Adam stated, shaking his head. "Emma,
will you be able to maintain contact while I'm with the panel?"
she nodded. "In any event,
I can't tune him out."
teammates gathered around her, trying to be supportive.
Given how much she cared about others, Dubois's pain must have been Hell
for her to bear. All they could
do was to help her and stay alert for any surprises from Eckhardt or the GSA.
had performed her rounds with great care, making sure that her patients were
comfortable. By noon, she had all
of her reports completed and stacked on a corner of her desk.
everything's done," she thought.
"Now, I can focus on the paper." Just then, a knock came from the door. "Yes?"
Dubois?" Belinda McDermott asked.
bit antsy, but otherwise, I'm okay," the oncologist admitted.
"The patients are set for now."
your presentation?" the other doctor asked.
coming along all right," Angie noted.
"The charts are in the database, and the paper's right here."
She picked up a bound document, admitting, "It does feel good to
be getting back into this again."
the expert in this area, Doctor," her colleague assured her.
"I can't wait to see your presentation this afternoon."
for the vote of confidence," Angie expressed, a shy smile making its way
across her face. "It makes
it easier, trust me."
all pulling for you," Natalie added, sticking her head in the door.
Angie accepted. "A lot of
work done, but this is my ticket back into my research area."
step at a time, Angie," the
coroner advised. "You're going
to do great, Kiddo."
everything on your end, Dr. LeBeau?" Belinda asked.
cases are always interesting," the pathologist remarked.
"Never a dull night down there."
of which, I have some rounds to attend to.
Good to see you, Dr. LeBeau. Dr.
Dubois, as soon as I finish everything, I'm heading downstairs.
See you there," the younger doctor concluded, walking out of the
around the hallway to make sure that nobody else was coming, Natalie closed
the door, insuring their privacy. Holding
up a file folder, she announced, "Here are the DNA results."
Angie inquired, her curiosity piqued.
"And what do we know?"
oversaw the whole procedure. According
to this report, we were right. The
Fallone woman wasn't your run of the mill homicide. She had an enhanced cellular structure. Angie, how many others are out there like her?"
than you think," the oncologist confirmed. "Such as me, my family and many of my in-laws."
Natalie realized. "So what
do we do about this? Steve doesn't
want to bring in the big guns, but I don't see any choice. To commit a murder, leave clues, and yet, have nothing pop
up in the investigation, we're dealing with a major league cover up."
say so," Angie replied. "Did
he find out anything about that car that helped my father-in-law to escape?"
still looking," her visitor shrugged.
"He'll let us know. But,
for this afternoon at least, he'll be here along with Schank, Tracy, and me.
After you're done, I think we're going to question both Zero and Eckhardt
there a connection?" Angie probed.
as far we know, but since they seem to be two experts in the field of cellular
genetics, they might be able to provide some insight," Natalie revealed.
"Well, I gotta run and get some lunch.
Want to come with me? My
oncologist grinned. A break was
just what she needed. "You're
on. Let's go.
Remember, I need to be there by 2:00 PM."
worry. You're in good hands on
that one," Natalie assured her as they headed for the door.
Dave escorted Clark and Lana to the Arizona Inn and made sure they were checked
into their rooms.
meet you down here in 25 minutes," he indicated.
she agreed, walking into the elevator alongside with her boyfriend.
the doors had closed, the professor crossed the lobby, moving toward a particular
corner table where Steve was waiting for him.
up, Dubie? I thought you were on
babysitting duty," he joked.
it up, fuzzbrain," the medievalist growled. "We've got problems."
agent recognized the darkness brewing across his friend's face.
"Uh oh, this has got something to do with your father, doesn't it?
We're still looking for him, Dave."
you thought about looking here?" the professor suggested.
He's up in New England," Steve stated.
hotshot agent you are. He was in
the crowd at the airport this morning just before my guests arrived.
I saw him and felt his presence," Dave reported.
you sure?" Steve asked. "How
could he have gotten through our security net?"
he flew here on a private plane or has some powerful friends," Dave shrugged.
"Anyway, I only felt him for a second, but it was him.
Trust me, when the Child goes nuts like that, I know. I still have the headache from it."
his friend sighed. "If it
was a private plane, that would explain it.
So, where do you think he'll be?"
don't know," the professor replied honestly. "But Angie's presentation would be a good bet to smoke
me out. Also, keep an eye on the
apartment just in case."
get right on it," the agent agreed, standing up. "I'll phone it in.
Just make sure you get over to the session before your wife speaks, huh?"
be there as soon as I can. This
was just a case of bad timing," Dave
concluded. "Go on.
Eve and Francesca will be here any minute as will the two recruits."
Good luck with them. They
seem to be wary of you already," he gibed good-naturedly. Smiling, he held
the door open for the two aforementioned professors before ducking through it
was that about?" Francesca wondered.
"He was in a hurry."
think he has a lead on my father. He's
been spotted," Dave indicated.
Eve asked. "Where?"
Actually, he walked right by me in the airport this morning.
He was with another man who I can't identify at this point. Anyhow, given his attitude toward this area, he's up to no
good, I'm sure of it," he explained.
former Messenger soothed, "It's going to be okay, David.
Our friends with the police department will be at Angela's talk in case
of any trouble. Also, you told
why he rushed out of here," he noted.
the Italian Literature professor declared.
"Then, it's being taken care of.
On another note, are our guests here yet?"
upstairs, freshening up, I guess," he replied.
what's your impression of them?" Eve asked.
seem like great kids," he smiled.
Looking around to make sure that nobody was eavesdropping, he leaned
close to the two women and whispered, "There's something strange about
the young man, however."
they chorused, trying to stay composed.
great, now you're finding something weird behind every rock and tree,"
Francesca jabbed. "I think
the mess with Dijon has pushed you over the edge."
know what I felt!" he hissed low.
"Francesca, remember what I told you about my first meeting with
Alyce in the airport?"
What about it?" she asked.
happened again. I sensed something
about him. Not that he's going
to be a hazard or anything, but there's something special about him," he
what do you want to do about him?"
the Religion professor pushed concernedly.
yet. As I said before, he seems
like a nice guy. A few powers don't
make or break a person," he responded.
I'm sure," Francesca grinned at her cousin. "If they did, we'd all be up the creek without a paddle
as you Americans like to say."
feeling the aura coming closer again, he said, "They're coming down the
companions looked at each other skeptically before staring at him.
"How do you know that?"
me," he chuckled, albeit rather anxiously. Twenty seconds later, the doors opened, allowing their guests
to reenter the lobby. "I told
you," he stated.
the visitors had reached them, he inquired, "Everything okay up there?"
Lana remarked. "Thank you."
seems great," Clark added.
good," the medievalist agreed and motioned toward Eve and Francesca.
"Clark Kent and Lana Lang, these are Dr. Eve Messenger from the
Religious Studies Department and Dr. Francesca Alvaro from the Foreign Languages
Eve greeted, smiling and shaking their hands.
was your trip?" Francesca asked.
was great," Clark indicated. "The
views were breathtaking."
after we crossed into New Mexico from Oklahoma," Lana added.
desert is beautiful," Dave concurred.
"I was hooked when I took a trip just like yours almost 15 years
ago. Trust me, it never gets old."
the way, pardon me for asking this, Sir, but are you feeling better?" the
younger man probed.
better. Thanks," the professor
replied. "Sometimes, if I
don't get enough sleep the night before, I have those dizzy spells."
two female faculty members gave each other a look, managing to keep their mouths
shut on that note since he was trying not to scare these kids off.
to your itinerary," the history professor started, looking at the document
in front of him, "you have a class with Dr. Alvaro at noon and Dr. Messenger's
class at 1:30. In between, we'll
grab some lunch at the Union."
then, we'll be heading over to the lecture?" Clark asked.
correct," Eve agreed. "Was
there anything you needed before we leave?"
set," Lana indicated.
the Literature professor indicated. "First
stop, my Renaissance literature class.
that, the group walked out of the lobby, walked down Third Street, crossed Campbell,
and headed for the Modern Languages Building where the visitors' first college
experience awaited them.
hours later, Eckhardt paced the stage where he and his co-panelists would be
speaking. Although the auditorium
was fairly spacious, he observed that a few strategically placed agents could
cover the exits and the crowd. After
all, one could never be too prepared in case of trouble, especially given that
Adam's band of outlaws would more than likely be close by.
He had asked Dubois to wait behind stage just in case anyone here should
Sanderson approached him, asking, "Mr. Eckhardt, when do you want the other
half of our engagement mobilized?"
at his watch, the administrator smiled, "Patience, Mr. Sanderson.
Give it about another 45 minutes.
Then, go to the Social Sciences Building on the main campus to accomplish
your mission. Is the equipment
agent held up what appeared to be an animal injector gun.
"It's ready, Sir. We
won't fail you."
that you don't," Eckhardt remarked dryly.
"A word of caution. Remember
that this particular anomaly should be treated with the utmost care due to his
the other man agreed and left the scene.
the white-haired man smiled.
from where I'm standing," a familiar voice countered.
director turned to see his one time geneticist and present adversary standing
behind him. "Adam.
I see you came early. Are
you getting a feel for the hall as well?"
actually, I wanted to keep an eye on you.
You're playing with fire this time, Maison," Adam warned.
"Leave the Duboises alone."
I can't do that. Those two freaks
need to be contained for the greater social good and at any cost," Eckhardt
noted. "The wheels are already
turning, and this time, you can't stop them."
all I have to do is keep an eye on the good doctor during our session.
As for her husband, I trust you know that there's more to him than his
powers. Your cost might jeopardize
his whole career and his stability. Nothing
is worth that."
your misguided view," Eckhardt shrugged.
"Just stay out of my way."
know I can't do that," Adam stated stubbornly. "And Mutant X is here to back me up."
Noticing the lights starting to come on, he continued, "I think
this discussion should be postponed due to our host's appearance, wouldn't you
other man grimly concurred, but this debate wasn't over.
The plan was already in motion.
Soon, the dominoes would start to fall.
and Angie walked back into the complex contentedly. The Lebanese food had been a wonderful treat, as had the opportunity
for the two friends to catch up on things.
her part, Angie enjoyed watching her friend practically glow over her developing
relationship with Steve. It was
great to hear about what the couple was doing and the planned getaway to San
Carlos sounded wonderful. The agent
had been so quiet and, in the 12 years that she had known him, had always been
a loner. Now, he was enjoying himself
and being good to the coroner at the same time.
liked her friend's enthusiasm as well.
Grappling with her husband's moods, the kids, co-existing with Xena,
and the nonstop crises had kept her from her oncological research.
From the draft she had read two days earlier, the ME knew that Angie
was on to some other major breakthroughs.
"Now, if only things stay stable for a while," she mused.
"Certainly, Dave and Angie have been through enough already."
that moment, Dr. Fishburne approached them, asking, "How was lunch?"
Sir," Angie replied pleasantly.
he smiled. "Are you ready
ready as I'll ever be," she sighed nervously. "I can't believe there's only an hour to go."
be fine," the coroner reassured her.
Your research is top-notch. I
can't see why you'd have any problems," her boss agreed.
"By the way, your husband is waiting for you in your office with
a young lady."
the oncologist wondered. "If
you'll excuse me, I need to see what Dave wants. Natalie, thank you, I really appreciated the treat."
see you in the auditorium," the pathologist stated.
rode the elevator up to her department and walked down the hall.
There, Lori Applegate confirmed what their boss had told her before.
Reaching the office, she peeked in.
Angie. Sorry to intrude like this,"
problem," the doctor assured him as they embraced.
"A surprise visit from you is always a nice thing.
And, I take it that this young lady is one of our guests."
he concurred. "This is Lana
Lang from Smallville, Kansas. Lana,
this is Dr. Angela Dubois, the best oncological researcher in these parts and
a great doctor."
a pleasure, Dr. Dubois," the younger woman expressed, shaking hands with
you like something to drink?" Angie asked. "I must apologize if I wasn't expecting you yet.
I thought you'd still be in class."
wanted to spend some time with you for the story I'm working on," Lana
replied. "No disrespect meant,
Professor Dubois, but I was hoping to spend some time with your wife if that's
fine. You have Dr. Messenger's
class first thing in the morning and then, my World Civ. Course in the afternoon.
Believe me, I appreciate initiative," he assured his guest.
"Well, if you don't mind, I need to be getting back to campus.
I'll be back in about 45 minutes as soon as Winnie's settled."
reserving a seat for you and Mr. Kent," his wife informed him warmly.
"A girl needs her cheering section, you know."
beamed at her for a minute before departing.
Lana, how's your trip been so far?" Angie asked, fixing herself a cup of
been wonderful so far. Your husband's
been great, making sure that everything's taken care of.
He seems to really know how to show people around this place," Lana
doctor chuckled, "That comes from being a peer advisor himself.
He also loves this place. Although
we're both from the Northeast, we feel that this is home.
Are you sure you won't have something?"
Pepsi would be great if you don't mind," the recruit accepted.
walked down the hall to the soda machine and produced the requested item.
Within a minute, she had returned to the room.
Giving it to the other woman, she responded, "My pleasure.
By the way, what does your family do, Lana?"
a sip from the bottle, the teen sighed, "My aunt and I have a farm.
She works in town too."
I was raised on a farm," her hostess informed her.
"My parents live in Wabash, NY, an hour or so northeast of Albany."
smiled warmly. She knew that Professor
Dubois was doing his best and that his hospitality was winning them over.
Yet, somehow, the fact that his wife was a former farm girl who had gone
on to bigger and better things reassured her.
She and Clark were in the right place.
"And, if you don't mind me asking, what brought you both out here?"
my husband had come out here in the early eighties to get away from his family
and for the climate. I admit I
did the same thing. We didn't actually
meet until eight years later down in Texas.
We were out here on a vacation trip when Dr. Fishburne offered me a job.
Caitlin Sommers, the library dean, gave him his position.
Dave...Professor Dubois...proposed to me in front of a group of people
at the Foreign Languages Building. Right
in the auditorium where Dr. Alvaro was lecturing to her class this morning. So, we accepted the jobs, moved out here, and started a family,"
she recalled happily. "Actually,
I need to thank you as well."
helping me get ready for my talk," the researcher continued.
"I have to admit that I'm nervous."
But you've published quite a bit.
I did a search on you in MEDLINE before I left Kansas," Lana doubted.
may be a doctor, but I'm also human. We
all get nervous sometimes, Lana," Angie assured her, allowing a warm twinkle
to shine in her eyes. "Would
you like to go to the auditorium? I have to get down there."
Thank you," the teenager concurred, picking up her soda and walking
with her toward the elevator.
Dave walked into his office and grabbed a little stack of notes on his desk.
"Can't let the kids off without their research assignment,"
he mentioned. Usually, he would
be in a better mood, but the humor just wasn't there.
Something was eating at his gut.
For some reason, he sensed something weird once again.
Reaching behind his desk, he inspected his shafts and tested the bow.
"Just in case," he muttered.
knock came from the door. "David?"
Lydia Coltrane asked.
he inquired. "What's going
think that's my question. You have
class in 10 minutes, and your wife's speaking across campus.
What're you doing checking your weapons?"
do have a threat," he replied. "My
father's in town, and he's brought some friends.
I saw them in the airport this morning."
father?" she gasped, recalling the scene from the day after his wedding.
the Hell am I supposed to know?" he snapped. Picking up two smoke grenades, he put them in his pants pocket.
"Just in case." Seeing
her fearful expression, he pushed, "What's the problem?"
can't take weapons into a classroom," she argued.
defensive weapons. They don't hurt
anyone, rather they provide a smoke screen," he noted. "Relax, nobody will know unless it becomes necessary."
Picking up his satchel, he added, "As soon as I introduce Winnie,
I'm on the way over to the med complex."
I'll see you there," his former professor agreed, walking out of the room.
locked the door, pocketing the key and feeling the items in his pockets.
"I've really must come up with something less conspicuous,"
he lectured himself. Walking around the corner, he found the room and entered
it to see his students sitting there, not so patiently waiting for him.
To his right, he saw Eve and Clark standing there.
walked in a moment later and set down her materials. "Dr. Dubois," she greeted. "Thanks for letting me talk to them."
you for covering me," he stated.
problem," she smiled. "It's
time, you know."
he agreed, making his way over to the podium.
"Hi, gang. Today, we
have a guest speaker from the library.
Winnie Henderson's come over from the library to give you some pointers
for your research assignment...."
collective groan arose from the gathering, eliciting grins from Eve and Dave.
I was saying, your research assignment which you'll have to work on over the
next week. Any questions before
I turn you over to Professor Henderson?" he continued, fighting the feeling
that moment, the door opened again, allowing five men in raincoats and dark
sunglasses to enter the room. Flanking
all parts of the room, they stood, watching everyone motionlessly.
got a question," Sanderson cracked.
"How about you surrender, and we'll keep this quiet?"
glanced around the room, surveying the situation, recalling the weapons just
around the corner and out of his grasp.
at the UMC's auditorium, the crowd was starting to filter in, anticipating what
promised to be an informative session.
For many of them, the new ideas would be enlightening especially given
the differing stances over cellular mutations in medical studies.
the parameter of the room, GSA agents took their positions, awaiting their superior's
the side of the stage, Natalie, Steve, and Schanke observed this activity uneasily.
They wished that Ramirez hadn't changed his mind about providing uniforms
to keep an eye on things.
it, Dave," Steve muttered. "What's
going on this time?"
detective glanced at him, probing, "You think something's up?"
on it," the agent replied, keeping a wary eye on the area.
sighed. Despite the crowd's anticipation,
the air was becoming charged with nervous energy.
Looking at her watch, she saw that it was only 2:20.
"Still six hours to go until sunset," she muttered, wishing
that Nick and Tracy were there.
paced behind stage, nervously rehearsing her piece and checking the connectivity
of her presentation. After seating
Lana in the front row, she inspected the web pages and saw that everything looked
great. The paper was in order.
Why should everything be so nerve wracking?
on my home turf. Why does everything
seem so wrong?" she wondered.
it's because we've got a serious debate coming up," Adam interjected.
Zero, right?" she supposed.
right," he indicated, offering his hand.
"Please to meet you, Dr. Dubois."
shook it, remarking, "This isn't supposed to be a debate over the place
of mutants in society, Doctor."
co-speaker is prepared to make it such," he commented.
"With so much on the line for both of us, Angela, we need to be
ready to defend any mutants against sociopaths like Maison Eckhardt."
within her head, Xena warned, "Careful, Angela. Somehow, this man knows something."]
does that have to do with me?" she insisted, studying his face.
husband has special abilities. He
and your children need protection," he explained.
me, he's quite capable of taking care of himself," she countered.
"If anyone's foolish enough to make him angry, well let's say they
better have a good life insurance policy.
And, if you're threatening our daughters, Dr. Zero, either one of us
can account for ourselves rather well.
There is one way to tell if you're speaking the truth.
Hold still." With
her mental powers, she surveyed his thoughts and found that he was telling the
smiled. "You're a mutant too."
nodded, "And I'm sorry for doubting you.
I'm...." She winced
and looked about the room.
wrong?" he asked.
my husband. He's been surrounded
by goons...in raincoats," she revealed.
"We have a telepathic link.
agents," he declared. "I
knew Eckhardt was up to something. Fortunately,
I've positioned help around the corner."
they'll come too late, Adam," Eckhardt cut in. Three agents flanked him.
"I'm stepping things up. Let's
me?" she doubted. "Go
going with us," her father-in-law directed, grabbing her from behind and
producing an oversized gun. Before
she could react, he placed against the back of her neck, and pulled the trigger,
shooting something sharp into that spot.
pulled away from him, feeling a small plastic piece there.
However, more importantly, she couldn't sense Dave anymore.
When she tried to reestablish the connection, she doubled over in pain. "What is this?"
to keep freaks like you in line," the elder Dubois cracked derisively,
grabbing her again.
it," Adam told him. "It's
true. You're what they say you
are. Now, I know why your son is
the way he is."
contractor grinned wickedly. "You're
breaking my heart. Mr. Eckhardt,
can you get them away from me?"
pleasure," the director agreed, motioning to the other two.
agents secured them and pushed their prisoners toward the side door of the auditorium.
that moment, Lana stuck her head in back of the curtain, and saw what was going
on. "What are you doing?"
When the third agent had grabbed her, she exclaimed, "Let me go!"
my Dear," Eckhardt disagreed. "I'm
afraid I can't do that. Mr. Dubois,
he agreed, handing the other the gun.
"Thank you for allowing me to do that."
welcome," Eckhardt replied evenly.
As long as the man didn't overstep himself, the director would be glad
to let Dubois entertain himself. Looking
about, he started toward the exit himself.
glanced around the room for the twentieth time, still feeling tense about things.
Then, he noticed that Lana wasn't in her seat.
A moment later, he saw Angie, Adam, and the teenager being pushed out
the door. "Damn it!"
he hissed, pulling out his pistol. "Schanke!
Angie doing? The talk's supposed
to start in five minutes!" Natalie wondered.
going on?" Dr. Fishburne demanded.
"Agent Petersen, where are they going?"
don't know, but I'd say we've got trouble," Steve guessed.
"Natalie, stay down!"
careful," she advised.
on it," he told her, running for the situation followed closely by Schanke.
"Dave, where are you?"
campus, Winnie glanced at the intruders surrounding her, the professors, and
the students. Why was it that every
time David was involved with something, danger soon reared its head?
She still remembered the witch's attacks.
Now, a seemingly good opportunity turned into an ugly situation as well.
for his part, had remained silent for a long minute, surveying the situation.
Now, he demanded, "What are you getting at?
And who are you to ask me that?"
the enforcers of genetic purity," Sanderson spat. "Take him!"
professor hesitated for an instant, considering the consequences of exposing
himself in front of these kids but, given all of the scenarios, he had to do
it. Due to her vows of pacifism,
Eve wouldn't strike back nor could Winnie.
Rushing forward, he waded into the GSA agents. Allowing their bodies to cover him, he started ripping
off blasts, scattering them in all directions.
agents stood up slowly and advanced again.
that he had cleared the way for the door, he told Winnie, "Get them out
of here! Go!"
nodded and guided the students out of there.
Glancing back, she called, "Dr. Messenger!"
Amazon Princess hated to leave, but she had to find Francesca.
Something awful was happening, and reinforcements were needed badly.
"I'll be back," she promised, following the group.
up in the battle, the medievalist ignored her.
Then, he felt Angie's pain as the governor sent a shockwave through her
and then, him. "Arrgh!"
he hissed. Then, just before the
link went dead, he saw something horrible through her eyes.
father had shot her.
that bastard!" he bellowed, feeling the darkness beginning to surge upward.
Now that they were alone, he began to openly use his powers, picking
the men off one by one. Looking
at the stunned men, he roared, "What's my father doing with my wife?" He began to summon another pulse.
his own powers, Sanderson managed to sneak up behind Dave.
With great quickness, he knocked the professor down from behind and slammed
a governor into his neck. "Got
the weird sensation from the plastic device, the medievalist trembled a bit.
"Get off of me!" he yelled, smacking the agent in the jaw.
Rising to his feet, he advanced on his attacker.
"What the Hell did you do?"
to keep you in line," the head attacker crowed, producing a remote control
and pressing a button on it.
pain blazed through Dave's head, rocking his equilibrium.
He staggered and fell to his knees under the blazing agony.
"Keep...me in...line?" he stammered.
another agent laughed. "Your
father's waiting for you."
father," he spat through another wave of pain, clutching his gut through
the ordeal. His mind was on the
verge of shutting down.
the Child screamed. "Enough
bullshit! Let's show'em how we
like pain. Let me out!"]
Dave slurred, collapsing to the floor.
But, as he did so, he released the floodgates, unleashing his dark counterpart.
is too easy," the third agent smirked, unaware of what was going on inside
of their quarry's head. "Now,
he's babbling. Let's take him back
three of the agents grabbed him, the Child snickered wickedly.
Then, his left eye opened and he let out a low growl.
"Ah said, let go!" he ordered, emitting another burst and knocking
out his attackers. "Now, where's
the Little Woman? Tell me!"
he roared, staring savagely into Sanderson's eyes.
other man's psychic powers deduced what Eckhardt had been getting at.
After his attempts to "dissuade" the other via his abilities
had failed, the telepath turned up the setting on the remote.
increased setting drove the Child into a frenzy. Snarling, he backhanded the telepath across the room, stunning
Wo...man," he muttered, trying to form the words. "Wea...pons."
Bursting from the room, he ran around the corner.
Even in his rage, he sensed the right office and guessing at the key,
opened the door on the third attempt.
Within a second, he had his gear and the bow, and was on his way back
down the hallway.
walked out of the departmental office, wondering about the noise when she heard
the banshee-like scream. "Oh
no," she gasped before seeing him come down the hall, face all contorted
in rage, snarling like a mad dog, and saliva dripping from the corners of his
he growled, bursting by her, through the glass door and northward.
While he didn't understand a great deal, somehow the Child knew that
he needed to get to the Medical Center to settle matters and that's what he
would do. Upon reaching Speedway
and seeing the cars whizzing up and down the busy street, he bellowed his displeasure
and, riding the wave of pain from the governor, used his powers to levitate
over the street, not caring about the consequences of his act. A fresh wave of agony hit him, almost dropping him halfway
across, but he managed to reach the other curb. After a minute, he resumed his advance, contemplating what
he would do to his father when he finally got a hold of him.
and Winnie guided the group out of the building, urging them toward the Main
Library. "Go!" she ordered.
"We'll meet you there!"
then, Clark's enhanced hearing picked up a peculiar noise.
"Dr. Messenger, what's that?"
told him, "Never mind! We
need to keep moving!"
Eve grasped his arm firmly, asking, "What did you hear?"
scream almost like that of a wild animal," he noted.
the upstairs window, she heard it as well.
The change had happened again.
"Come on!" she directed, guiding him away from the group.
Heading toward the side entrance, they saw Dave fully armed and focused,
running northward. She noted the familiar expression on his face.
Somehow, those men had caused this turn of events.
Lydia called, hurrying toward them.
where's he going?" Eve inquired.
don't know," she shrugged. "I
heard the ruckus down the hall. Then,
I saw him come out of his office, snarling and growling, struggling with his
speech. He didn't even stop.
were attacked," the Religion professor recounted.
"Dave got us out of the room.
The other students went with Winnie Henderson over to the library.
Why don't you go over there with them?
Meantime, Clark and I have other business."
Grasping his hand, she pulled him back toward the mall area.
are we going?" he asked.
to the Foreign Languages Building. Come
on," she advised.
if he didn't understand why, the young man hurried, or at least, appeared to
hurry, after her.
sat in her office, examining a manuscript.
The class had been a good one.
She enjoyed interacting with her students as well as their visitors.
"They seem like bright kids," she smiled.
Xena's voice called.
Xena?" she asked, looking about.
front of her desk, the Warrior Princess's image appeared with a grim expression
chiseled across her face. "We
have a situation. Angela and your
guest have been kidnapped. I need
to speak to Gabrielle if that's okay."
didn't she just change into you?" the professor asked, getting out of her
didn't have the chance," the Thracian warrior stated.
"David's father hit her with something strange.
I'm still with her, but she can't use her own powers."
Francesca exclaimed. Grasping the
full implications of the situation, she concentrated and, in a flash, Gabrielle
stood in her place, whirling her staff.
are they?" the Bard Queen inquired.
the healing place," the Warrior told her.
"Come on!" They
looked about and, seeing that the hallway was empty, bolted out of there.
As they reached the bottom of the stairs, they saw Eve and Clark running
the bard called.
We've got trouble!" her heiress advised.
frowned. What was this, another
of Ares' plots? "No time to
bat that one around now," she told herself.
eyes went wide when he saw the blonde newcomer. Even in Smallville, the news of her exploits with Xena was
big time news and legend. "You're
Gabrielle, aren't you?"
time now," she deadpanned. "Now, let's go. Your girlfriend and my friend are in trouble up there."
Turning, she started toward Speedway herself followed closely by Eve.
sighed. To use his own powers down
here would risk exposure, but with Lana's life on the line, he had no choice.
In a flash, he was gone, running at supersonic speed toward the Medical
in his loft, Nick sat up from his slumber.
His face was drenched with blood droplets, his breathing was rapid, and
his head rang like the bells of Notre Dame.
"Dave? What's going
on now?" Then, he remembered
that today was Angie's speech. "Something
must've happened." Picking
up the phone, he dialed his partner's cell phone number.
pick it up!" he snarled, feeling that something was dreadfully wrong.
here. Who's this?" the detective
it's Nick. What's going on?"
Man-o-man, am I glad it's you! Listen,
Buddy, I know it's still daylight, but we're pinned down here at the UMC.
Steve and Natalie are here too.
If you can help, we'd appreciate it."
he heard Natalie add, "Nick! They've
grabbed Angie, a young girl, and one of the panelists.
They're men in raincoats and dark glasses.
Some of them have us stuck here."
vampire detective looked about the room.
His clock read 3:15PM, and the sunlight taunted him by streaming in through
the crack in his blinds across the room. But, he needed to get to his friends. Somehow, he had to find a way.
that moment, mist appeared in the corner of the room, allowing Deirdre to enter
the scene. She rubbed her head
and looked panicked as well. "Detective
Miles," she greeted. "Pardon
the intrusion, but we have a problem!"
grinned. Somebody had heard his
thoughts and delivered. "Nat,
give me a few minutes. I'll be
right there!" Disconnecting,
he turned to the young priestess and asked, "Deirdre, what is it?"
and Papa are in trouble. We need
to get over there," she told him.
"Unfortunately, we don't have time for you to change."
Waving her hands, she cast a spell, clothing Nick in his work attire.
"There!" she smiled.
he directed, running down the stairs.
If he was going to fight, he needed blood first.
Reaching the fridge, he grabbed one of the green bottles there and guzzled
half of it down. "Now, I'm ready," he told her, putting it back.
she smiled. "Let's go."
Willing up her portal, she allowed the former Crusader to step through.
What is it?" Alyce's voice called from the top of the stairs.
have trouble," the priestess told her.
"Wait until sunset and then, get yourself over to campus.
I'll be in touch." With
that, she stepped through the doorway, closing it behind her.
her part, the curator rushed back to her room and started laying her clothes
out. Although she still had about
four hours, she wanted to be ready.
the Mutant X team was coming down the stairs inside of the medical center.
It had taken some doing, but they had landed their ship on the roof.
Despite Adam's request, the silence from his comlink told them that trouble
halfway down, Emma winced, "Argh!
Guys, he's changed! The
Shalimar asked. "What about
been attacked by the GSA. I see
him, chained around the neck, but he's fighting it."
put a governor on him," Jesse interpreted. "What do you mean fighting it?"
he's using his powers," she told him.
"The pain is feeding his darkness.
We need to help him!" Focusing below, she forced herself to "feel"
what was going on below. "The
GSA's struck down there too."
looked down the winding cone of stairs.
The entrance to the auditorium was right beneath them.
"I'm going," he declared, turning intangible and phasing through
me in too!" the feral added, leaping into the abyss.
Landing every six floors, she made it in three stops.
on!" Emma urged, grabbing Brennan and hurrying down the remaining steps.
Whatever was going on would require immediate assistance.
he had reached the bottom floor, Jesse glanced about. The doors were locked, but that was no trouble for him.
Phasing again, he stepped into the auditorium and saw his worst nightmare.
The audience was huddled in the middle of the room.
Off to the side, four people with guns were training them on the GSA
agents across the area from them.
we've got a hostage situation here!" he reported into the comlink.
Then, turning himself rockhard, he advanced on the agents, looking for
in!" she replied, kicking the doors in.
As her eyes turned yellow, signifying the dominance of her other nature,
she started toward the agents as well.
rest of the GSA men rushed into the area, bringing their total to twenty.
Bagging these mutants would bring a high prize from Eckhardt. Surrounding
their new quarry, they moved in.
Brennan yelled, rushing in, his hands already churning up a blast.
Unleashing it, he took out four at once.
him, the empath was about to join him, but felt something coming closer.
Looking toward the locked outer doors, she realized the darkness was
there. Moving away from the doors,
she saw them explode inward in a powerful blast of energy.
Glancing up, she heard the growling and snarling coming from the smoke.
A moment later, a man came into focus that she knew was David Dubois.
he snarled, moving past her, into the room.
shook in spite of herself. Despite
the grown up appearance, the presence seemed to be a child motivated by pure
anger and hate, but what could've been so bad as to do that to him?
Whatever it was, she needed to be with her friends at that point.
Rushing into the room, she readied herself for the battle to come.
Child stormed into the area, looking around.
While he didn't understand what was going on, he knew that Angie was
gone, and that would upset Big Brother all the more. Seeing the guys in the overcoats ticked him off further if
that was possible given the crap that the irritating plastic thing was giving
him. Willing up another blast,
he ignored the massive wave of pain from the device, and fired at the attackers,
taking out five of them. "Wh...Where
is she??" he bellowed. Firing
another blast, he leveled four others, continuing, "Tell me!!!"
hesitated for a second and asked Brennan, "I thought Emma said he had a
governor on him? How can he use
would I know?" the electrical mutant spat, jolting three more goons.
"After this is over, you can ask him!"
other silently moved on with his task, pummeling his adversaries with rockhard
that moment, the fog opened at the side, allowing Nick and Deirdre to enter.
The fully vamped out immortal didn't hesitate, taking his share of the
the side of the room, Clark entered at super speed so as not to allow himself
to be seen. Whizzing past the agents,
he smacked and punched his way through them.
and Eve had finally reached the area as well.
For her part, the Bard waded right in, battling the remaining agents.
the firepower of the reinforcements, the GSA had no chance.
Within minutes, they were beaten soundly.
the Child snarled. By now, the
pain in his head was bordering on debilitating even for him. "She ain't here!"
Fishburne asked, approaching him tentatively.
While he had heard about the man's condition, he had never seen it manifested.
'way!" he growled menacingly, trying to grab onto the governor and rip
it out of his neck. "Sonnuva...!"
offered, "Hey, Chief. Cool
it. Everything's all right.
You need some help with that?"
the Other snapped. "Keep 'way!"
Grabbing the spot at the back of his neck, he sent one more pulse right into
the device. While he shorted it
out, the backlash pushed his pain over the limit. Falling to his knees, he collapsed.
I could've done that," the electrical mutant said.
"Is he all right?"
rushed over to the fallen man's side and performed a field exam.
"Pulse rate is weak, breathing is shallow.
We need to get him upstairs."
then, the sirens could be heard in the distance. The police were arriving late as usual.
second thought," Shalimar commented.
"We should get him out of here, but we'll never make it back to
that to me," Deirdre indicated, summoning a wide blanketing mist in the
way her aunt had shown her. Enveloping
the Mutant X members, Dave, Eve, and Gabrielle, she turned to Nick and Clark,
Nick agreed, rushing ahead. As
he vanished into the mist, he told Schanke and Natalie, "Let Ramirez know
I'll be reporting in."
got it," the souvlaki-loving detective agreed.
jumped into the portal just as it faded away, leaving the others to pick up
the mists had parted, the group stood on the roof beside the large aircraft.
For safety's sake, Nick had stayed behind so as not to expose himself
to the sun. Once they were on board, the priestess stated, "Can you
close off the ship's windows?"
Brennan baited. "Is he a vampire
Detective Miles is a vampire," Eve revealed, a frown painted across her
face at his wisecrack.
pressed a switch on the console, dropping covers over the windows.
"How's that?" she asked.
Deirdre complemented, opening the portal again. "It's safe, Detective."
he secure?" Jesse asked, firing up the engines.
set!" Emma advised. "Go!"
off!" he told them, raising the ship from the structure, and flying away
from the scene. "Stealth cloak,"
he stated to the screen.
that moment, the Double Helix turned invisible even as it streaked away toward
at the medical center, Tracy ran into the auditorium just before ten uniforms.
she yelled, fearing the worst. Seeing
the devastation around her, she experienced an incredible sensation of deja
vu. "Can't they stay out of
trouble?" she groused, surveying the scene.
Tracy," Schanke retorted, waving her over.
quickly, the blonde detective made her way over to where he was standing along
with Steve, Natalie, and Michael Fishburne.
"What happened?" she asked.
"I could guess, but I want to hear it for myself."
panel was set and ready to go," Fishburne stated.
"I had Angela going first followed by Adam Zero and Maison Eckhardt.
Everything seemed to be okay. Then,
I heard some arguing behind the curtain. The next thing I knew, Eckhardt was shoving them out the door
along with that young guest of David and Angela's."
fighting got pretty heated," Natalie added. "First, these mysterious people burst in.
Then, Dave showed up."
forgot about Detective Miles," the hospital administrator cut in.
"He was here too. I
don't know how he fought as he did, but he held his own against at least fifteen
of those criminals."
glanced skeptically at Fishburne. How
could Nick have gotten down there in broad daylight? "Cybelle," she thought, recognizing that the priestess
could have popped in and out, shielding her partner from the sun in the process.
"Anything you want to add, Agent Petersen?"
yet," Steve declined. "But,
I want to have some time with these SOBs myself." Just then, his cell phone went off. "Petersen," he replied.
Petersen? This is Caitlin Sommers
at the library. What's going on?"
decided to strike at the conference," he explained.
of my librarians not to mention Lydia Coltrane is standing here, shaking in
their shoes over an incident at the Social Sciences Building," she told
for a second, he recalled that Dave was already under a full head of steam when
he burst into the room. "Dean
Sommers, as soon as I know more, I'll let you know. Right now, we're getting ready to take the attackers downtown
for questioning. As soon as I get
some more backup here, we'll move out.
Talk to you soon," he concluded, hanging up.
Steve, the other uniforms were already there," Tracy reported.
"Unfortunately, the room is a wipe and the perps got away."
at Natalie, the agent shook his head disparagingly. It was going to be one of those days all right.
"Just another day in Dave's neighborhood," he grumbled.
With Farrell's lecture and the paperwork, this was going to be a really
frowned as he read the field report from the Tucson raid.
While some of the agents including the ones on the main campus had managed
to escape, the police had detained twenty other operatives for questioning.
In addition, the audience had seen him pushing Adam, Dr. Dubois, and
the young woman out the door. It
had been quite a two-ring circus between the main campus and the medical center.
"One wonders what I train these people for," he complained
to himself. A buzz came from the
entered the area nervously, "Mr. Eckhardt, I'm sorry to disturb you, Sir."
I wanted to ask you about the escaped Dubois mutant.
Why didn't you do what I instructed?" the administrator asked, his
hand fingering the remote control in his coat pocket.
did, Sir. Just as with any other
new mutant, we surrounded him. I
implanted the governor myself," the operative reported. "But then, something strange happened."
I read about it in your report. Mr.
Sanderson, what do you think happened?"
your pardon?" Sanderson inquired.
Dubois, what happened? The governor
should have inflicted pain when he tried to use his powers," the director
supposed, getting up from his seat, and glancing through the window behind him
to the stasis chamber far below.
just it, Mr. Eckhardt. It did that,
but something else happened," the telepath recounted.
"Somehow, the pain tripped a switch inside of his head.
The more I turned up the volume on the governor, the stronger he became.
I also tried to use my abilities, but when I looked into his psyche,
it was like glancing into the eyes of a pit bull.
As much as the pain was bothering him, Dubois was feeding off of it as
cursed himself. How often had he
told his agents to do their homework, and he was now guilty of the same error
in judgment. "Yes.
We all make mistakes, Mr. Sanderson.
That's quite an interesting enigma, isn't it?
How the darkness surfaces within him, I mean."
because he has multiple personalities, Sir."
the superior replied coldly, his fingers rubbing his chin.
This issue would take some more thought.
"In the meantime, how are our guests?"
two women are secure in their area. Adam
has been kept away from the computers as per your instructions," the agent
Eckhardt smiled slightly. "Just
make sure that Stuart Dubois doesn't go near his daughter-in-law unless I say
the subordinate agreed.
good," the administrator nodded.
"Come with me."
Sanderson, Eckhardt stepped from his office, heading down the hall to check
on his imprisoned adversary.
sat on his bunk, surveying the situation.
Just as he had expected, the GSA had searched him, confiscating anything
of potential use for damage or escape.
In addition, his cell had no dataport access or computers of any kind.
That was hardly surprising. Fortunately,
he had managed to slip his comlink ring into Angela's pocket, avoiding that
item being taken from him as well.
have to think of a way to contact them," he thought in frustration.
the door opened, allowing Eckhardt to enter the area. "Adam, I trust you're holding up all right?" he asked.
Although he didn't care one way or the other, it was the polite thing
wouldn't care about the slop they're feeding me, Maison.
What do you want?" the imprisoned man sighed sarcastically. "And
what have you done with Dr. Dubois and the girl?"
fine for now. As for your second
question, no, I don't care. Well
then, let's cut to the chase, shall we?
I know how you operate. Somewhere,
there's a base with all of your files.
I want to know where that place is.
You're going to tell me," the captor demanded.
grinned defiantly, "I think you're believing that stuff you put into the
GSA handbooks about your invincibility and such. If you really think I'm going to tell you, then you're full
shook his head. While he expected
this reaction, he really didn't want to get into a big show of getting the information.
"Mr. Sanderson, do come in, will you?" After the agent had
entered the room, he continued, "He's a telepath.
Quite a powerful one too. If
you don't tell me, I'll have him rip the information from your mind."
shook his head and braced himself for the assault.
approached the prisoner, locking eyes with the other man, and started his probe.
Angie glanced around the quarters where she and Lana had been placed.
Despite the fact that the cots were surprisingly comfortable, she had
been in this situation enough times to know that even a glided cage was still
a cage. To make matters worse,
the thing on her neck was itching like mad.
Bad enough that the darn thing kept her from contacting Dave, but did
it have to do that too? Glancing up at the ever-watchful security camera, she groused
that Xena couldn't get involved. "This
stupid thing wouldn't stop her, but if I change, I'll expose us," she mused
if on cue, the warrior's voice spoke in her head, "Angela, are you all
fine," the oncologist thought, scratching at her neck.]
I wanted you to know that David escaped with the others.
Eve and I got Gabrielle involved.
We also received assistance from some unexpected reinforcements not to
mention your guest," Xena reported.]
You mean the young man?"]
huh," the warrior continued. "Apparently,
he's more than he seems. From what I could tell, he ran off at a rate which would've
made Hermes jealous and was pushing those goons across the room with a great
deal of force. Since I wasn't involved
with you, I kept an eye on things."]
thanks for that," Angie expressed.
worked on right now. Apparently,
that thing in your neck causes pain when you try to use your powers.
Well, they put one on him too.
According to Eve, the damn thing caused him to change, pushing him further
than ever. After taking out his
attackers, he made it over to your healing place where he stormed in and kicked
tail before he collapsed himself under the strain. Deirdre got him and the others
out of there before the authorities showed up.
Don't worry, Angela. From
what I could tell, these other allies were scanning him with something.
He seemed to be in good hands.
I'm heading back there so if you don't hear from me, I haven't deserted
you," Xena stated.]
know that," she replied, shuddering slightly. "I'm worried about Dave is all. Please let me know if there's any change."]
got it," the other concluded, admiring her "roommate's" inner
strength. "Keep an eye on your cellmate there.
Her friend's really concerned about her."]
With that, she went silent.
me, Dr. Dubois?" Lana cut in, tapping her on the shoulder.
"Are you all right?"
never better," Angie smiled, trying not to let her nerves show.
wish I felt that way," the younger woman sighed, pacing the area.
"I thought I was going to be looking at schools, not stuck in a
room as if I was late for dinner or something.
Aunt Nell's going to be really worried about us not to mention Clark's
embraced her companion, reassuring her, "It's going to be all right, Lana.
We'll get out of here. You'll see."
the teen commented, managing a smile.
"I really appreciate how you're holding yourself together.
Aren't you concerned about your husband?"
terrified actually and frustrated that I can't get us out of here," the
doctor revealed. "Judging
from how we've been treated, they were going to hurt him. And with my father-in-law
involved, it would be worse, trust me."
Seeing Lana's confused expression, she continued, "I know what you're
thinking. Believe me, there's a
bitter history between my husband and his father, leaving scars on Professor
Dubois. Sometimes, he has his blackouts,
and we have to deal with them."
was acting strangely this morning at the airport. When he touched Clark, he jumped. We were wondering about that.
I mean, he seems so nice otherwise, but that was too weird," Lana
I'm willing to bet that he had just run into his father in the terminal, so
he was a bit shaken up. Maybe,
Clark had some static electricity on him from the carpet?" Angie proposed,
trying to fabricate an excuse as she went.
suppose," Lana replied, still not satisfied. There was something unusual about the history professor hidden
beneath the surface. If there were
an opportunity later, she would like to find out more about him.
stood over her counter, eyeing hair samples and fingerprints through the microscope.
Thankfully, the sample Nick and Tracy brought back from the murder scene
had been clean enough to use as evidence.
Now, she was hoping that Schanke would bring some good news in terms
of the goons from the Medical Center.
entered the area with a concerned look on his face. As with many of his recent cases, he was too close to this
one. Yet, with his friends as deeply
involved as they were, he wanted to make sure that all the i's were dotted and
the t's crossed. "Anything?"
she probed, still studying the samples.
something else, you know that? I
wish the forensics folks at the Bureau were half as dedicated as you are,"
ME laughed at the comment, "If I didn't know better, Agent Petersen, I'd
say you were trying to flatter me."
if I were?" he asked.
say keep it up. It's working,"
she smiled. Noting his concern,
she added, "What's up?"
your captain's ready to spit nails again.
Besides, I'm concerned about Dave and Angie's disappearance.
At least, Farrell's complemented me on how we handled the situation,"
he mentioned. "Schanke's working
on getting the prints run through Interpol and the Bureau's database."
that moment, a knocking came from the door.
Spying the detective in question, she cracked, "Speak of the Devil.
What'cha got, Schank?"
got a match on those fingerprints. You
know that guy, Brown, who was in with the goons we grabbed at the UMC?
The fingerprints on your victim match up with his," the newcomer
reported, holding up a small dish with a blood sample.
"I take it that this is enough to type?"
should be," Steve agreed, watching her place the sample under the microscope
and looking at it. Then, producing
an eyedropper with a blue liquid in it, she released some of the solution into
the sample before reexamining it.
say we have ourselves a match, gang," she indicated.
That'll get Ramirez off of our backs for the moment," the souvlaki-loving
detective stated. "C'mon, Steve. Our
main perp's going to be waiting for us up in the Interview Room along with Tracy.
behind you," he agreed. After
casting the coroner a caring look, he disappeared up the stairs, heading for
sat patiently in Interview Room 2 across the table from Brown, studying the
prisoner. The man seemed clean
cut, well built, and intelligent. "Too bad he's such a sociopath,"
she thought to herself.
smiled across the table from her. He
knew that the GSA would send the best lawyer they could find to get him out
of here. All he had to do was to
stall these imbeciles until his counsel arrived. "Trying to get a handle
on me, Detective?" he baited.
my job, Mr. Brown," she responded coolly.
yourself a favor and stay out of my affairs.
They might prove a bit too much for you," he retorted.
smugness of his remark ticked her off, but she kept her composure. "C'mon,
guys," she thought, wishing that Schanke and Petersen would arrive.
A minute later, they walked through the door and took their seats much
to her relief.
Brown, we've got some questions for you concerning what happened on campus as
well as a homicide from three days ago," Schanke started.
"Where were you three nights ago?"
in Upstate New York with my boss in a meeting.
He'll collaborate it," the GSA agent replied confidently.
would you say if we could prove differently?" Steve added, producing a
manila envelope. "These are
the copies of your plane itineraries from Buffalo to here from the past week.
Says here that you checked in and traveled both ways."
I was in a teleconference. Lots
of people do that these days," the prisoner scoffed.
also found your fingerprints on a murder victim named Alicia Fallone.
Under her fingernails, we found a skin sample which we used to test for
blood type," Tracy added.
the way, where's your coat, Mr. Brown?
All of your peers seem to have one except for you.
What happened to it?" Schanke interjected, locking eyes with the
don't have it right now. Your point?"
Brown retorted, a bit of irritation seeping into his voice.
reached under the table and placed a bag stuffed with what appeared to be an
overcoat in it. "Could this
be it?" she inquired.
be? Where did you get it?
Surely, you didn't just go through my things without a warrant?"
the operative frowned.
We found this in the alley where Ms. Fallone was murdered.
In addition, there was a puncture mark in the back of her neck, and we
found this item as well," she continued, placing the broken governor and
a picture of the victim's neck with the mark on it.
do you know the coat's mine?" the prisoner wondered.
"Any wino in Tucson could have one."
coat like this one?" Steve chuckled.
"Come on. This is a
$150.00 London Fog special. The
forensic tests showed that the wearer of this coat has the same blood type as
you. Perspiration and hair are
wonderful indicators, Mr. Brown. Besides,
at the UMC, I got a look at the back of David Dubois's neck. One of your associates implanted a device similar to
this one in the same spot as on Fallone.
What do you have to say about that?"
that it's too bad that he escaped my associates. Freaks like that don't deserve to live," the prisoner
hissed. "We know you're friends
with him, Petersen. Tell me, what's
it like sheltering a monstrosity such as your so-called friend?"
FBI agent gripped the sides of the table and bit his lip. As much as wanted to deck the obnoxious SOB across the table
from him, Farrell had warned him to keep his composure. For the past year, the Bureau had been investigating the activities
of the so-called Genetic Security Agency without the knowledge of many field
agents. In fact, Steve had only
become aware of it due to his involvement in this particular case.
Still, he managed to say, "He's a hundred times the man you are,
Mr. Brown. You have no idea what
he's been through. I've been his friend for two decades and over that time, I've
seen him eat people like you for lunch."
two detectives exhaled in relief.
of Professor Dubois's experiences, have you any idea where Stuart Dubois is?"
Dubois. He's a fugitive who recently
escaped from prison with the aid of your pals," Schanke commented.
"C'mon, Mr. Brown, the hospital complex's cameras caught him entering
and several witnesses saw him leaving the auditorium.
Make it easy on yourself and tell us."
Brown," Steve declared. "The
FBI's already obtained a warrant to go through the GSA's databanks.
We'll find what we're looking for whether you help us or not.
Look, do you want to add kidnapping to your laundry list?"
Petersen, you'd like that, wouldn't you?" Brown chortled.
"However, I'm not saying anything else until my lawyer gets here."
Steve shrugged. "Of course,
that means our friends here are going to have to book and hold you."
charges are Murder 1, three counts of kidnapping, endangerment of minors, disturbing
the peace, aggravated assault, aiding, abetting, and harboring a fugitive, and
I'm sure there are others we can think of," Schanke informed him.
Turning to the uniform standing by the door, he added, "Get him
outta here! Book him and put him
in Holding with the rest of his buddies."
the officer had taken Brown from the room, Steve sat down in the corner, muttering,
"I can't believe I let him get to me like that!"
worry about it," she advised. "You
held your cool other than that comment about Dave eating people for lunch remark."
wasn't a threat, Steve. You were
stating a fact," Schanke jumped in.
guys," he smiled. "I'm
going back to my office to check on some other leads and to brief my boss.
Give my regards to Ramirez, will you?"
Donning his coat, the agent departed, heading for the parking lot.
the phone buzzed next to them. "Yes?"
it's Sergeant Novak. Were you and
Detective Brown expecting any visitors?" the desk sergeant asked.
Hang on," he told her and walked out into the bullpen.
Standing at his desk were Alyce and Vachon both looking more than a bit
concerned. Motioning them back
to the Interview Room, he waited for them to cross the bullpen.
After they walked in, he closed the door to insure their privacy.
what are you doing here?" Tracy wondered.
asked him to come," the curator sighed.
"When Nick didn't show up at sunset and nobody on campus had seen
him since the incident at the UMC, I didn't know who to talk to. I called the
El Gato Negro and Janette directed me to Vachon. Is he all right?"
Alyce, but you know as much as we do," Schanke declared.
"Nick disappeared along with Dave, the kid he was guiding around
campus, Gabrielle, Eve, and those weird people in the dark leather."
mutants, si?" Vachon assumed. "The
Community's been hearing reports of this type of activity a lot lately.
With the duel being leaked, I'm not surprised that the University was
attacked, but to go after El Hombre Loco in broad daylight and while he's teaching? Ay caramba! Anyhow,
according to LaCroix, the Elders are monitoring this activity as well.
They were too distracted by the Dijon mess to deal effectively with it."
if he would do anything to prevent them from striking at Dave?" Alyce inquired.
"The two of them threatened each other prior to the fight in Istanbul."
the tension has carried over to here if last night's events were any indication,"
Tracy added. "No, I think
he would let this Genetic Security Agency do his dirty work for him."
the Iberian immortal agreed. "But,
he doesn't want the exposure which this activity brings.
Even though the attack struck at Dubois, the old Roman was unhappy about
it. It's a turf issue to him."
what's he going to do now?" Tracy asked him.
and see what develops," the former Conquistador shrugged.
"You've got the creeps here, and the others have slithered away
at least for now. As with Alyce,
he's concerned about Miles although not to the same degree as she is."
Janette has told me to be patient. I
wish I could help," the fledgling sighed.
"I should've known when Deirdre appeared, it was serious."
I thought Cybelle was the one there," Tracy interjected.
it was Deirdre Dubois. She teleported
herself and Nick from the loft. Well,
I have to go. Caitlin Sommers has
asked to meet with me tonight. Wish
me luck," the vampiress continued.
are you going to tell her?" Schanke inquired.
isn't a lot I can tell her frankly," Alyce stated.
"But maybe, she can give me some information.
See you all later."
suerte con ella," Vachon told her.
I know it," his fellow immortal replied outside of the door.
"Try having her as the head of the search committee for a job you're
interviewing for." With that,
she left the precinct. Once outside,
she walked into the alley, looked around to make sure she was alone, glanced
up into the sky, and took off for campus, still engrossed in the questions,
which affected them all.
18 [Mutant X Sanctuary]
making one stop, the Double Helix had crossed the country in only a few hours,
reaching the eastern complex in due order.
According to Adam's protocol, while the mutants guided the ship, the
other passengers sat in the thick mists generated by Deirdre.
While they didn't like it, they understood the need for secrecy.
after what had seemed like an eternity, Emma entered the fog and told them,
"We're here. You can look
priestess nodded and allowed the cover mists to burn off, revealing the elaborate
complex with supercomputers and the best technology yet an artistic style combined
with elements of serenity. "It
seems as close to Paradise as one can get in this secular world."
you," the empath noted. "Now, let's get David into the lab.
I hope Adam's machines can fix him." With Nick's assistance, Gabrielle
and Brennan carried the unconscious professor to the specified chamber, setting
him on a table under what appeared to be an x-ray machine.
Across the room, a computer console waited for input under a series of
screens, which already brought up data on the patient from an impromptu scan.
beams of light poured down from the device above the table, brushing across
Dave's unconscious form as if they were twin feather dusters.
After the first pass, a comprehensive diagnostic image appeared on the
screen with some interesting readings.
been a lot of damage to his nervous system from the governor," Emma related.
"Fortunately, David managed to short it out before he collapsed."
Picking up a rod like device, she inserted it into the hole in the black
plastic's center, and pushed, forcing it to pop out of his neck.
bit her lip watching this operation. She
would have rather seen her father in the House of Healing on Althanor still
their new allies seemed to know their attackers and the latter's methods.
Reaching into her pouch, she produced some leaves and flowers in addition
to a bowl and pestle. Just as her
aunt had shown her, the priestess ground them into a paste.
that?" Shalimar asked, turning her nose up at the odor.
herbs to help Papa calm down. My
aunt guarantees it," the young woman explained and moved toward him.
at that moment, Dave's eyes snapped open and he looked around nervously.
am ah?" the Child growled. "Where's
she?" Springing off of the table, he advanced on the two female mutants.
"You're with them, ain't ya?"
stay back," Shalimar advised. "I'll
really wouldn't advise it," Nick disagreed.
injured. What can he do?"
Dark One snickered, "Oh, ya'll be surprised. Here, Kitty, Kitty, Kitty." The wicked grin formed on
his face in a show of defiance. Despite
the pain he was still feeling, there was no way he was going to let her get
the better of him.
eyes turning feral, she leapt at him, taking a powerful swipe, but missing wide.
turn," he chuckled and swinging wide himself. "Hold still!"
laughed and clubbed him across the lower back.
She swung again at his shoulder to disable her enraged opponent.
caught her hand and threw her right against the wall. "Had enough yet?
Where's Little Woman? Tell
me or ah'll kill ya!" he spat.
enough!" Deirdre challenged, stepping between them.
"Look, I've got some of those herbs you like.
If you take them, then we can help you and Papa.
doesn't get off that easy!" Shalimar hissed, advancing.
vampire detective intercepted her, urging, "Stay back.
He'll beat you and kill himself in the process.
Trust us, this is the only way."
struggled a bit in his grasp, but relaxed once she had a minute to cool off.
a collective sigh of relief around the room, Deirdre approached her "uncle"
again and offered the paste to him.
not the creeps?" he asked.
they're on our side," she insisted nervously, giving him the bowl.
"Now please eat up."
he relented and consumed the bowl's contents unwillingly, knowing that the stuff
would put him to sleep. Walking
back over to the table, he glared at all of them defensively, insisting, "You'd
better be findin' her!"
working on it," Nick informed him.
the Child agreed, suddenly feeling very relaxed. Instead of being in the strange place, he was back in Faerie
Land with serenading music and a soft light reflecting off of the water.
Within seconds, he was fast asleep.
grasped her head in both hands, mentioning, "I just barely got through
his mental shielding, but I did use the image of somewhere called the 'Faerie
Land' in his mind. He thinks he's
priestess chanted briefly and then, stated, "Hopefully, the illusion will
remain for a few hours at least. Please
resume what you were doing."
the telepath agreed, restarting the scan.
The machine's beam swept across him once then again and again and again.
Finally, six swipes later, she commanded, "End scan." Looking
at the monitor, she read the indicators.
what do they say?" Eve probed, getting off of her knees where she'd been
praying to Eli for a miracle.
damage from the governor's been reversed, but we can't do anything for his overall
condition unfortunately, due to its physiological nature," Emma replied.
"Come on, let's allow him to rest.
We'll get everyone something to eat."
out of the room, she led them to the dining area.
hour later, Clark paced in the area under the staircase, trying not to slip
with his powers. Although the pasta
was tasty, he didn't have his appetite and only picked at the dish for three
reasons. He was sure that his parents
were really concerned about him. Plus,
his insides were churning when he thought about Lana.
Finally, his prayers were with Professor Dubois who was lying in the
lab facility. Over the past few
hours, their entire trip had been turned upside down.
"I wish I could use my abilities," he wished.
Eve asked, coming down the stairs. "Are
you all right?"
been better," he replied moodily.
"Any change with Professor Dubois?"
improving," the former Messenger reported. "Our hosts feel he'll be all right."
good at least," he remarked. "I
hope Lana's all right and Dr. Dubois is as well."
Dubois is a strong person. I would
trust her to look after Lana. Besides,
from what I hear, your girlfriend is quite resilient herself," she assured
him. "Our faith will carry
us through this situation."
I ask you a question?" he requested.
After receiving a nod from her, he posed, "Have you had the ability
to do something, but you've had to hold back for the sake of appearances?"
beamed at him. For some reason,
she could see what Dave was talking about with Clark. The young man, despite his concerns, had maintained his composure
and continued to hope for the best. Still,
she wondered about his meaning. Did
he have some abilities? "Eli,
provide this young man with your guidance," she thought.
Then, she stated, "Yes, I've been in that situation many times in
my life. When the time is right, you'll know it. Just continue to have faith.
he nodded. While he knew that she
was a Religious studies professor, somehow he got the feeling that she really
knew more about theology than an academic level would indicate.
However, he decided to keep silent for now and accept her advice.
"There was one other thing."
parents, right?" she smiled. "Yes,
I'm sure they're concerned about you.
Come; let's see if we can find a phone for you to call them.
he agreed, managing a smile. Despite
the situation, he was thinking that perhaps he had found a group of teachers
he could relate to.
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