Nanowrimo – FS Vigilance Chapter 7

So, I’m burning through words here on the last couple of days in hopes of still completing Nanowrimo. Currently, I’m just over 44,000 and still writing. If I get a chance, I’m still hoping to write a few regular blog posts. On to Freedom Squad…

Chapter 7

Erica Sampson sat in a small hotel room in the Superior City suburb of Appleton. It was a medium quality room in a medium quality hotel. Her cover was that she was in town visiting her mother. Her mother’s home was a safe house filled with normal looking people who would protect her and smuggle her back to Washington, DC at a moment’s notice.

Of course, they didn’t know anything.

Erica stared at her smartphone. She needed to make one call and then report to Director Lieber. She hated this assignment, which impressed her, since it was going well.

She understood the importance. One of her mentors had told her that the difference between an upstanding citizen and a criminal was only a few seconds and opportunity. Anyone could lose their temper or fly into a rage. If they had a weapon and a target, someone could get hurt. The problem with metahumans was that they always had weapons, and not just pistols, but powers capable of causing widespread collateral damage.

She thought about Freedom Squad. Only Rigel was classified as a level 3 metahuman. According to the files on her, Rigel’s father, Orion, was at one time considered the most powerful telepath on earth. The Director had emphasized that Orion was off limits to this operation no matter what. That was fine by Erica. She was having enough guilt issues dealing with Freedom Squad without going after retired former heroes who had saved the world.

Rigel was the problem. All indications were that she had the potential to match or even exceed her father’s abilities. She could be a level 5 in a few years.

She might even be a level 5 now, who just hasn’t pushed herself far enough. And what if Rigel finds out what I’ve done to her team?

Erica shook that terrifying thought away, not that she would blame Rigel. If someone had attacked one of her teams of agents the way that Project: Vigilance was going after Freedom Squad, Erica would have made sure they paid dearly.

She hoped that she really was immune to telepathy.

Additionally, she was becoming concerned with Starlight. The faceless hero was supposed to be an actual alien. If he was an alien from a civilization with faster than light travel, who could really know what he might be capable of. He was listed as a level 2, primarily due to his ignorance of human culture.

She sighed.

So far, the mission had been fairly successful. Rigel, Nightstar and Ion had been defeated by Gauntlet using the technology she had provided. The amount of his heist seemed a reasonable expense for his black ops service. The public had started to turn on Rigel, and the team was certainly demoralized. As long as Freedom Squad didn’t find out that all the ‘victims’ of the battlesuit kidnapping were former government agents, things would go well. Everyone had assured her that the people selected would understand what happened after they had their debriefing. She would have preferred to inform them in advance and receive their consent, but Rigel had telepathy. She could find things out.

Erica bit her lip. No one had intended for any members of Freedom Squad to die.

She tried Shadowdancer’s contact number again. The woman hadn’t answered since the incident at the Diamond Exchange.

This time she picked up.

“Hi, this is Shadowdancer.” The voice was exceptionally cheery.

Erica responded with righteous anger. “You aren’t going to find anything at the drop site. You were supposed to knock out Protector and take his shield. Those were the orders that our boss, the Ace of Spades, gave. According to my information, you decided to kill a different hero. Now, he’s going to find you and burn out your little mind. Can you give me even the barest explanation or reason that I should plead for your life while I’m pleading for mine?”

“You are a terrible actress. You really need to work on your ‘agent of the Ace of Spades’ role. We both know that the Ace is locked away. Who are you with? The government? Some secret serpentine or mythological monster-style multinational terrorist group? Something a tad more mundane?”

Erica said calmly and coldly. “You’re a dead woman.”

“No, dear, I’m the woman who killed Snowfall, and my only regret is that I’m not the woman who killed Protector. However, I plan to fix that. Whatever you are doing to trash Freedom Squad, well, I like it. I also know a few other people who are interested in taking advantage of the situation. When we are all done, let’s both go and ask the Ace of Spades which one of us he likes best. Ciao.”

The call dropped.

She dialed Director Lieber.

“Hello, Agent Sampson. Very impressive so far.”

“We have a problem, sir. The Shadowdancer asset went rogue. She disobeyed the orders that were supposed to have come from the Ace of Spades. It’s probable that she killed Snowfall.”

“Any official word from Freedom Squad?”

“No, sir. We don’t know his status.”

“If he passed, Rigel will inform the Mayor. There will be an announcement.”

“Sir, Shadowdancer indicated that there are supervillains who plan to take advantage of our actions. More of these heroes could be hurt, and furthermore, we may be endangering the citizens that they protect.”

“Agent Sampson, countless lives will be saved with the information we gain from this operation. We are determining how to use conventional means to eliminate superpowered threats.”

“Sir, have we considered the possibility that we may drive this team to go rogue? I’m also concerned that the membership of this team may be more powerful than the initial analysis indicated.”

“Agent, all of those possibilities have been considered. There are a number of reasons that this particular team was chosen – reasons that I can’t disclose. If you are successful and Freedom Squad disbands, I assure that there will be heroes ready to take their place. Are you comfortable with continuing?”

“Yes, sir.”

“Very good. Proceed with the next phase.”

“I will, but my understanding is that contacting a team of supervillains will take a few days.”

“Understood. Continue with the updates, Agent Sampson. Goodbye.”

He hung up.

She sat on the bed. This one didn’t feel right, but lots of operations didn’t feel right. The outcome was what mattered. If the Guardsmen decided to take the law in their own hands, who would be around to stop them?

She glanced at the files on her bed, and her eyes lingered on the photos of Freedom Squad.

Posted on November 28, 2014, in Freedom Squad, NaNoWriMo and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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