Chapter 14 – Freedom Squad Nanowrimo

Good news! I’m over 40,000 words. No real bad news other than I need to post a bunch of chapters. Here’s Chapter 14:

Chapter 14

Stacy King checked the GPS coordinates she had received from Rigel. She stood in a grove of trees in the Appleton Mall Park, and she seemed to be alone except for a flock of Canada geese who were trying to get to sleep. The sky was dark, and she didn’t see any sign of a flying superhero.

She was starting to get nervous. Superheroes usually didn’t like to be late.

The entire jailbreak played out in her head. She had been studying it since it took place, trying to make sense of everything.

The super-villain wing of the Megalopolis Penitentiary was not meant to be permanent, but rather a temporary solution until a more permanent holding facility was completed in Nevada. Still, state-of-the-air technology was used, including neutralizer bracers, Ultracite alloy bars, etc. Although it had been suggested that robots replace humans as guards, the technology wasn’t advanced enough to be even remotely affordable (not that Ultracite alloy was affordable) and of course, there were fears of cyberattacks.  The guards were well-trained and for the most part, competent.

Unfortunately, one of them had died in the wrong place, at the wrong time. She hoped the autopsy would come back sound. George Nelson, age 54, could be seen walking past a few cells one minute, before suddenly collapsing the next. It had been a massive heart attack. Basically, his heart had exploded. The autopsy had confirmed it.

He had died within sight of Death Queen’s cell. Security wasn’t meant to stop a necromancer with access to a dead body that had access to open her cell.

Once the door had opened, all hell had broken loose.

Unfortunately, George Nelson had been murdered. Some nasty drug had been found in his bloodstream, a toxic poison compound that no one had ever seen before. The lab boys said that they had never seen anything do such a number on the hearts of rats. The worst part was that it happened with precision, killing the rats at the exact same time per concentration.

Stacy suspected that whoever gave George Nelson that drug had measured it out with complete accuracy, making sure that he would die in front of Death Queen’s cell. Only someone with access to security protocols and with knowledge of the prison workings could have figured out where George Nelson would have been. He’d also have to be a genius.

A folded Ace of Spades playing card had been listed among George Nelson’s possessions. It had been found in his locker before he had changed clothes at the prison to enter the inmate areas.

The records had also indicated that a friendship had formed between Death Queen and Defiance in the weeks before the breakout. Apparently, the witch had taken a liking to Defiance. It didn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out that she would break him out first.

The Ace of Spades was after Bill again.

Stacy wasn’t going to let him win this time. Bill had been right the first time, and she hadn’t listened to him. She had told him that he was crazy.

A black motorcycle materialized beside Stacy. Nightstar gripped the handlebars. Rigel sat behind him.

“G’day, Agent King,” said Rigel, dismounting the bike. “Let’s talk about the Ace of Spades.”

“You shouldn’t say his name,” said Stacy.

“I disagree,” said Rigel, “I want to say his name. I want him to appear.”

Rigel spun completely around on the balls of her right foot. “Don’t see him,” she said. “Maybe I should be looking for a her, Agent King. What do you think?”

Stacy raised her hands. “I know what you’re thinking, but I’m not the Ace of Spades,” she said softly.

Rigel focused on Stacy’s thoughts. Telepathically, she asked, “Do you really want to know what I’m thinking? Just think the answer, don’t say it.”

A small voice inside Rigel’s head asked what if Stacy were the Ace of Spades, but Cori ignored it. She wasn’t that paranoid… yet. Still, she braced herself for a psychic attack.

“I do want to know what you are thinking,” thought Stacy.

“First, I need to know everything that you know about the Ace of Spades. If you are willing to open your mind to me, I can gather all of that. Second, I need to know if you were close to Defiance. If you were, I want to get a mental impression of him. It’ll help me locate him. Finally, I need some other team members. There has to be someone with powers that you’ve noticed who would make a good recruit, someone who isn’t on any of the mayor’s lists.”

Rigel paced, doing her best to look concerned in case anyone was watching.

“Okay,” thought Stacy. “I know that Defiance uncovered information about the Ace of Spades. He told me that he had discovered who the Ace was and that he had proof that the Ace existed. He borrowed a mind shield harness from the task force with my authorization. That’s all classified.”

Stacy blinked at Rigel and slowly lowered her hands, before continuing her thoughts. “Bill and I were closer than we should have been. It stayed professional, but I’m not sure how long that was going to continue. I want to save him. The Ace of Spades made him into a criminal.”

Rigel folded her arms. She thought back, “I agree. Ignore the body language. I’m trying to put on a show for the Ace if he’s watching.”

“As for people with hero potential, there aren’t many. I do have an altered physiology myself, so maybe I could help. If you need a recruit, there’s one name that stands out in my mind. There was a young man in Pennsylvania who we’ve had under observation. His name’s Matt Johnson, and he was a track athlete. Supposedly, he set a world record during the Penn Relays during practice which set off a few flags.”

“Steroids don’t’ give you superpowers. What did he set a world record in?”

“Land speed,” thought Stacy with a smile. “They blamed a low-flying jet for the sonic boom. However, our evidence is only anecdotal. We’ve never seen him move that fast. I’m not sure if my people could see him depending on how fast he goes. Good kid though according to the agents who’ve watched him. Our codename for him is Velocity.”

“A speedster? How would he compare to someone like Sprynt from Wildside?”

“I can’t say or rather, think for sure. We have no direct evidence, but did I mention land speed record? How about sand fused to glass on the track?”

“Anyone else?”

“Not that I can discuss. Okay, listen, Rigel, if you are going to scan my brain for Defiance and the Ace of Spades go ahead and do so. Anyone watching us standing here silently is going to know about your telepathy.”

Rigel agreed and quickly absorbed all of Stacy King’s thoughts about the Ace of Spades and more than a few of her impressions of Defiance. Cori felt herself blush from Stacy’s recollections. She also received the address of Matt Johnson.

“I think I know enough for now, Agent King,” said Rigel. “I’ll be in touch.”

With that, Rigel slipped on to the back of the Night Cycle. Nighstar revved the engine, and they vanished from view.

“How did it go?” asked Nightstar as they raced away.

“Far better than I expected. Before we go back home, can we make a detour to Pennsylvania?”

“Sure,” replied Nightstar as he turned the Night-Cycle onto pavement.

“How fast can we get there?”

“Fast,” said Nightstar.

Posted on November 25, 2013, in Freedom Squad, HeroNet Files, NaNoWriMo and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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