Monthly Archives: January 2014
Two weeks had passed since Defiance had been turned over to federal authorities. In light of private hearings which had reviewed Freedom Squad’s testimony, the testimony of Carlos Ruiz who had been believed to be Psionicist, the evidence supplied by Agent King and most importantly, a surprise confession from the Ace of Spades, Defiance was being granted a pardon.
However, explaining the existence of the Ace of Spades to the public was considered highly dangerous. Defiance’s role was also going to be difficult to explain. For now, he was forbidden to use his costume and a new identity was being constructed for him. He had also been assigned to work with Agent King.
Stacy King assumed that Defiance was the reason she had blindfolded and taken to a top secret government facility. She wasn’t sure which division of the government wanted to talk to her, but the whole thing had a very CIA feel to it. She passed through what must a have been her twelfth security door and entered a room with smooth black walls. Her escort pulled the door shut behind her.
Light came down from the ceiling panels. There was no smell to the room either, not even the antiseptic of cleaning fluid.
A black table stood in the middle of the room with a single chair pulled up to it. Stacy sat down to face a wall.
She wondered how many people were behind the wall. She felt a touch of dread. What if the Ace of Spades had somehow fooled them all?
“Agent King, in your opinion, has Defiance been completely freed from the Ace of Spades’ influence?” asked an unseen voice.
“Yes,” she answered.
“How did this occur?”
“Rigel, also known as Corinne Dandridge, used her telepathic abilities to remove the Ace’s control.”
There was a pause.
“Could Rigel establish the same level of control in others?”
“I’m uncertain. Based on my assessments of her, she is more of a telekinetic and less of a telepath than the Ace of Spades. Additionally, it wouldn’t fit her psychological profile. She’s the daughter of the hero Orion.”
There was a longer pause.
“Has she made telepathic contact with you in the past, Agent King?”
“Yes. I allowed her to see into my mind so that she could have as much information on the Ace of Spades as possible.”
“Did you also provide her information on Matt Johnson, now known as Velocity?”
“Yes. That was well within my authority.”
“In your opinion, if Rigel and Freedom Squad turned rogue, what checks would we have to control them?”
“I believe that the Ultra Task Force, coupled with the Megalopolis Police’s Renegade program would be able to apprehend Freedom Squad. If our abilities proved insufficient, we would call in other hero teams, such as New Citadel or the Wardens. Arguably, we could request the services of the United Nations’ hero, Defensor. In an extreme situation, Wildside, Inc. has clearance to operate as a government contractor. However, I wish to reiterate that I believe it is unlikely in the extreme that Freedom Squad would go rogue.”
A long pause followed.
“Thank you, Agent King. You are dismissed.”
Stacy King stood up and quietly left the room. As her escorts rejoined her, she told herself that the questions were well within reason. Once she had a new identity for Defiance, the Ultra Task Force should be ready to handle almost anything.
After she had departed, one of the men hidden behind the one-way glass wall spoke, “So, what did you think of her answers regarding Rigel and Freedom Squad?”
“I didn’t like them. The President should have let us seize that alien, Starlight, in the first place, and I certainly don’t like the thought of anyone with the power to alter minds running around. Especially not in charge of a superhero team. I don’t care who her Dad was or what he did.”
“So, have we decided how to solution this?”
“If what we are doing gets out…”
“Sometimes sacrifices are necessary for the greater good.”
“Do we have a test subject?”
“And what are the chances that something can go wrong?”
“Go wrong? Almost zero percent. Remember, the prototypes for this were invented by the CIA. But as a precaution, we need to make sure that this Rigel character never gets close to one of our operatives.”
“Unless she has to be eliminated.”
TO BE CONTINUED
I apologize for being away. The holidays hit and things went a little crazy, but unfortunately, I came down with the flu on New Year’s Eve. I decided to follow it up with a nasty cold/sinus infection and cough that got into my lungs. Fortunately, I’m doing much better now thanks to some antibiotics and a nifty red inhaler. It’s bad when you suddenly realize how much easier it is to think after a few days of meds.
So, several people have emailed me about posting the epilogue for Freedom Squad Defiance. I should have that done later today/tomorrow. I was working like crazy on HeroNet Files in December, and I need to finish up that project so it can get published. I’m still doing lots of Mummy:The Curse stuff as well. Finally, I should know one way or another about Charming being published by January 31. The good news is that it hasn’t been rejected. The bad news is that I don’t have a signed contract.
Here’s hoping that 2014 is being good to everyone!
All the best,
Harry (now where’s that cough medicine…)