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 HEROES Chapter 7

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PostSubject: Re: HEROES Chapter 7   Sun Jul 25, 2010 2:12 am


Devon accessed a picture of Doctor Jacobson. "He's older." he stated with surprise as if the man had suddenly aged thirty years over night, but he hadn't, it was just that he had aged much slower.

"I first met him at a lecture on DNA isolation in 1980. I was in my first year of internship and the doctor thing wasn't working out. I had hung up my mask the previous year to concentrate on my career but it just didn't feel right. One evening, when I had finally given up looking for answers and was ready to accept my path I wandered into Doctor Jacobson's lecture, completely by accident."


Devon leaned back and smiled as he remembered his entrance. "Jacobson had no tolerance for tardiness, and even less for those who were oblivious of their surroundings. I was guilty of the latter, and the man made an example of me. I took my lumps and not wanting to piss the man off anymore took a seat and waited for the man to finish. I thought maybe I'd catch a nap, but instead I found inspiration. Afterwards I spoke with him and he invited me out for a drink to speak with me more on his latest work. The man was well ahead of his time, probably one of the most brilliant minds of our time. After that, I returned to my studies and became a geneticist."

"Touching story." Commented Slate with little emotion. 'Must be nice to take a trip down memory lane', he thought. He couldn't remember anything past two years ago and he always became a little jealous when people reminisced. "So ya thinkin' that if this guy made the antidote he might know how ta make more?"

Devon nodded. "That and modify it as well, make it non-addictive. Y'know, that's the part that bugs me. Once people start taking this drug they'll quickly become dependent on it. Why bother?"

Slate shrugged his shoulders. "Beats me."

Devon continued to browse the information on Doctor Jacobson then he finally inquired why Slate had a cut on his lip and bruise on the side of his face. "What's with the...?" he gestured to his own face to symbolize the injuries.

"Don't ask." Slate responded with a slight hint of embarrassment in his tone.


Devon raised his eyebrow curiously, but respected Slate's request. It was obvious things went really bad at the clinic.

"So —" Slate began but abruptly stopped when Krystal returned.

"Doctor Reinhardt, said you did a great job, Devon." She relayed, "He wanted to thank you personally but he didn't have much time."

An uncomfortable silence then engulfed the room. Devon and Slate had much they needed to discuss, but Krystal was definitely out of the loop.

"So," Said Krystal, biting her lip nervously, "I guess I'll be going, then."

Devon stood up. "We'll walk ya home." He offered, after all it was the least they could do.

"Thanks, I would appreciate that."


As Devon and Krystal shut down the equipment, Slate strolled around the facility, peeking into the various labs. It was then, when he walked out into the reception room he caught sight of movement on the other side of the frosted glass door. As the electronic lock was breeched and the small warning light turned from red to green, Slate was already on the move. He ran round the corner before he was seen and found the two technicians.

"We gotta go." Slate told them.

"What is it?" Asked Devon as if he didn't already suspect.

"R.A.I.D."
Replied Slate.
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PostSubject: Re: HEROES Chapter 7   Sun Aug 01, 2010 1:57 am


R.A.I.D.!

Devon couldn't risk exposing himself. Not in his place of work. Anything out of the ordinary, anything at all would give R.A.I.D. an excuse to launch an investigation that would inevitably lead to the discover of his extracurricular activities. He had to be smart. He had to get the hell out before he was forced into a confrontation.

"We gotta keep our heads, Slate." Devon told him. He was trying to be diplomatic but still sounded accusatory and Slate knew why.

"I'm not going down, Doc." Retorted Slate.

"What the hell are you both talking about?" Intervened Krystal, "Let's just get out of here before they spot us and start asking 'twenty-questions'. Jeezus! Men!"

Krystal grabbed the sample and the research that had been transferred to a jump-drive. As per Doctor Reinhardt's request no trace of their analysis was to be left on the hard drives and the sample was to be incinerated. She had the drive, but there wasn't anytime to get rid of the evidence so she threw it in her purse.

As they made their way to the back door exit of the facility, Krystal noted how silently the two men moved. They were quiet, like ninja quiet. What the hell was up with them? R.A.I.D. had probably been alerted that a sample had been taken and were just running a routine check. No biggie. Right?

They were nearing the door when Devon took her arm and the other one whispered, "Shit!"

'Shit' was right. This was far more serious than, Krystal had anticipated. R.A.I.D. had gone Gestapo! She thought that analyzing a sample of the serum was like, 'don't make copy of the movie', prohibited, not 'you're getting thrown in a Federal prison', prohibited. Now, Krystal understood the implications of what she had done and why Devon and his pal were shitting bricks.

"Oh, crap! I think I'm going to throw up!" Exclaimed Krystal.

Immediately she began to think up excuses. She was too young to go to prison... to have a record! What would she say? She was so distracted by saving her own ass that she hadn't noticed where Devon was guiding her and before she knew it they were on the other side of the facility, by the cargo elevator.

Slate had found a make shift pry bar, and Krystal watched curiously as he jammed it between the doors and forced them open. She apprehensively looked down the dark shaft.

"You're kidding right?"

__________________________________________________


"We have activity in maintenance elevator shaft three." Announced a RAID enforcer into the communication device built into his helmet.

The dark clad officer moved deftly toward the elevator, his plasma weapon ready. He signaled to the other two men with him and they expertly followed his silent order to flank him and provide cover. As the digital readout flashed '1' and the elevator opened, the enforcer crouched down ready to lay a suppressing fire, but there was no one in the car.

__________________________________________________


As Krystal clung to the recessed service ladder in the elevator shaft she close her eyes and literally prayed. How in the hell did she end up in this situation? Maybe she should just call out to the officers, they might go easy on her. She could tell them that Devon and his partner threatened her. Yeah, they'd understand, then it would be like all this never happened. She readied herself, but paused and flashed her eyes upward to acknowledge the strange cold sensation boring into her skull. The other guy was above her on the ladder and when she looked up he was staring down at her. His eyes glistened in the dark like two funeral pyres. He seemed to know what she was considering to do, and his expression frightened her. It was cold and calculating and she felt that this man wouldn't hesitate to silence her to ensure his own survival. Slowly he shook his head twice and Krystal averted her eyes, looking down at Devon who was below her. He had followed his friend's lead from the start never once questioning his judgement. Never once had he considered turning himself into RAID and appealing to their judgement. What kind of person thinks like that? Krystal stopped herself from going any further then. She didn't want to know, as far as she was concerned, Devon was just avoiding all the red tape that went along with R.A.I.D. If they got out and disposed of the evidence they had nothing on them. Far better then getting caught up in a scandal.

__________________________________________________

The RAID agent slowly stalked into the elevator car and kept his eyes on the ceiling. Once he was inside, he relaxed, convinced that no one was going to attack him through the service hatch. Sure it was a routine check, but all RAID enforcers were trained to expect anything, to always attempt to anticipate what to others was often unforeseen.

"I'm taking the car up to the fifth." The enforcer announced.

He hit the button for the fifth, positioned himself in the corner to the car, took out his side arm and aimed it at the ceiling. The enforcer was not convinced that someone was not on the roof and the best way to test his theory was to head back up.

__________________________________________________

When the car started to move, Krystal panicked. She wasn't convinced that the alcove she was nestled in would protect her, but what other choice did she have. She burrowed in as tight as she could and held onto the iron rungs for dear life.

Smoothly and quietly the car ascended. Krystal was brought back to reality by a nudge from Slate's boot and opening her eyes she was surprised to see that the car was completely out of sight. Not to far below her a service light illuminated the bottom of the shaft. Devon was already standing on the earthen floor waiting for them. Slate nudged her again.

"Don't rush me!" She snapped back in a hushed protest.

Once they were all at the bottom of the shaft, Slate lead the way to another service door. Devon didn't ask how the crime-fighter knew all this, the guy just always seemed to have knowledge of these kind of things. Things that could save one's neck when the chips were down.

Slate opened the door and lead the way down a narrow corridor that took them into a small room filled with service panels with only one door. A grey coloured aluminum one, the kind people often associated with service doors.

The underground parking garage was empty. R.A.I.D. enforcers had made a quick sweep for vehicles and they didn't have the personal to set up any guards. A door with a sign that read 'Danger High Voltage and Authorized Personal Only' slowly opened and out popped Slate's head. He made a quick visual sweep, then swung the door open and casually walked out into the garage. Devon followed behind nervously looking about, he wasn't as convinced as his partner that there were no enforcers lurking about and Krystal even more so.

Slate just shook his head. "Standard R.A.I.D. op." he said, "Seven enforcers. Three on point, three covering the exist, and a tech on surveillance. They wouldn't waste a man to cover an empty garage."

Devon felt better after Slate's explanation. The guy definitely knew R.A.I.D. inside and out. He'd been fighting against them for years and he had no idea that they often sent in a seven man team for special operations. It got him thinking. Slate couldn't remember anything from two years ago, but then he could recall specific details of R.A.I.D. Details that were definitely drawn from experiences that went back beyond his memory black-out. He wanted to question him about it, but not in front of Krystal. She'd seen and heard too much already, but nothing so far that couldn't be explained away.

As they made their way up to the second sub level of the garage there were now more cars. The third sub-level were reserved for the employees of the Science Centre and the two above for those who worked for St. Joseph hospital. The emergency was still open and doctors who were yet unaffected or had received the antidote were doing their best to keep up the demands with a skeleton crew. For a moment, Devon, thought that he could lend a hand, but realistically he could do more by locating and questioning, Doctor Jacobson.

Away from the hospital they were out of danger, at least so they thought. The three of them had headed down Wellington avenue, to see Krystal to her apartment and that's when, Slate picked up on something strange.

Stopping well out of visual range, Slate gestured the van parked just down the street from Krystal's building. Even before she had pointed out which building was hers, Slate had a bad feeling about the vehicle, and now he was sure.

"Dammit. Looks like R.A.I.D's set the dogs on ya." Said Slate, "They're probably watching everyone in your lab that hasn't been accounted for."

"This is freakin' unbelievable." Gasped Krystal. She then rummaged in her purse and took out the sample and the jump-drive, "Let's destroy this shit, before they catch us."

"Wait." Said Devon as he reached out his hand, "I'll take it. Don't worry, it's better off with me." He'd need it when he finally tracked down Doctor Jacobson.

"You sure."

"Positive."

Krystal has happy to relinquish the responsibility.

"You have family in the city?" Asked Devon.

"My parents just live over by Welles Park."

"Good. Slate, think you can get your car?"

Slate just smiled.

__________________________________________________

When the luxury sedan pulled up beside them, Krystal immediately thought one thing. The tough attitude, the banged up face, the flashy car. It all pointed to the mafia, or some kind of organized crime syndicate. What the hell was Devon doing with this guy? Maybe he wasn't such a stiff after all. Crap! What the hell was she thinking! This was serious.

"Nice car." She sheepishly commented.


Slate didn't say anything, just glanced over at Devon and gave his head a slight shake. The former Beacon agent knew the look. It hardly had to spell out his disdain for his need to have a normal life. Devon knew how risky it was, like right now. Krystal was now a liability. A wild card that could come back... would come back, to bite them both on the ass.

After they dropped Krystal off at her parents, Devon was expecting Slate to lay into him but the man was dead quiet. There were a number of things he could have said, perhaps too many, which was why he opted to just keep his mouth shut. Either way, Devon got the point.

Devon directed, Slate to a bank. "I'll just be a moment." he told Slate.

He headed into the vestibule and found the interior doors locked. On the other side a security rose from his chair and spoke to him from behind the glass. "By appointment only.", he said.

It made sense. With the plague effecting the city, the banks were only taking customers by appointment. "Look, I need to access my deposit box."

The guard nodded. "Please slip your I.D. under the door, sir."

Devon complied.

The guard scrutinized the card as if he would know whether or not it was false, which Devon doubted, then opened the door. "Can't be too careful." he said as he handed the I.D. back.

In the back area of the bank, Devon opened his box and procured from it his emergency package. A duffle bag containing cash, false identification, and an extra costume. Right now, he was only interested in the costume, but he took some extra cash just in case.

"Got what ya needed?" Asked Slate as Devon got back in the car.

Devon nodded.

"So what's the plan?" Inquired Slate.

"Guess I'm flying 'Wraith Airways' to Texas."
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PostSubject: Re: HEROES Chapter 7   Tue Aug 03, 2010 1:24 am


The sun was setting on the first day of the plague that brought the city of Chicago and nation to it's knees. The streets were quiet. One would never suspect the riots and turmoil that had occurred earlier, but now that the majority of the populace had received their dose of the antidote all was as right as rain. At least until they required more. Unfortunately, no one yet suspected how highly addictive the antidote was. Come morning, those who were more susceptible to addictive behaviors would get the craving, but most others would require a second hit to get them hooked, which was why UMBRA was generously providing a second shipment of the antidote for a steal of a deal.

________________________________________________________________________


Slate downloaded the contents of the jump-drive onto his network; an array of several computers locked tight in an anti-static storage container in the middle bay of his garage. The mechanical crime-fighter had set up an area in his workshop, slash computer lab where, Devon could work if necessary, he even already had some of the equipment he needed. He also set up a room for him in the loft, above the office that served as his bedroom since there was no telling how long R.A.I.D. would surveil his apartment.

Slate also made sure to apprise the Green Street base of what they had learned and where Wraith was going. He let them know after the fact, since Wraith had already taken off (literally) that afternoon. All travel in out of Chicago was prohibited, at least until the C.D.C. ended the quarantine, but they still weren't convinced that the plague was not some kind of virus. No one yet had discovered that it was a signal, a fact the Slate found a little disconcerting. They should have at least been able to figure that out already. Just another piece of the puzzle that didn't fit.


Wraith made it to Lubbock, Texas in just under three hours. He could move quickly when he had to, but he was no jet and maintaining high speeds took a lot out of him. He also hit some bad weather which slowed him up some. Landing within walking distance to a car rental place, Wraith changed and got himself a black Ford Escape using one of his false I.D. from his days at Beacon.

"Hope you have a nice stay, Mr. Moore." Said the attendant.

"I'm sure I will." Replied Devon as hopped into the SUV and drove off to find a hotel.

Devon was blasted. Long flights always fatigued him. Once he flew longer than a couple of hours he was wiped out, he could have gone much longer but the fact remained that once he hit the two hour mark it was all the same. Bleary eyed, he pulled into one the first hotels he came across, and it just happened to be a five star, which was fine, since he just happened to have a Visa of a man who didn't exist, but his bank account did.

The Embassy Suites looked to be a comfortable stay, of course, in his present state, Devon would have been just as happy at road side motel. A soft bed and a cup of coffee in the morning was all he really needed, but he figured he'd take advantage of his false identity and mix a little pleasure with business while he could.
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PostSubject: Re: HEROES Chapter 7   Thu Aug 05, 2010 9:53 am

Dust rose along the gravel and dirt road that transvered the Texas plain, leading to a small ranch house that served a line shack. The unmistakable sound of a Harley Davidson motorcycle became louder as Tim, dust covered and tired, approached the house on the northwest corner of his ranch.

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PostSubject: Re: HEROES Chapter 7   Thu Aug 05, 2010 1:14 pm


Devon... uh, Steven Moore that is, rose from his hotel room bed with a big stretch. He had slept like a log. Hard to believe he could sleep so well considering what was happening in Chicago, but 'out of sight, out of mind', he figured, the Canadian way. He swung his legs to the floor and headed over to the coffee-maker. Devon had a bit of a skip in step as he anticipated his meeting Doctor. Jacobson. The man should be pretty easy to track down and he was looking forward to a cerebral battle as opposed to the usual physical confrontations he was used to, but of course he wouldn't be showing up as Wraith.

While in the shower, upon further thought of the matter, Devon considered what would happen if Jacobson actually recognized him. Would that be possible? Thirty years later recalling a brief encounter with a budding geneticist? Not a chance, hell, their meeting probably of no significance to the man.

Just as he was stepping out of the shower, Devon could hear his PDA go off. Wrapping a towel around his surprising small waist line, the big man strolled out the bathroom and picked it up off the bedside table.

"Hey, Slate. How are things going down there?"

"The city's going to release round two of the serum tomorrow. They just made the announcement this morning." Replied Sigma, "You find Jacobson yet?"

Devon was starting to feel like a field operative again and he didn't like it much. "I'm on it." he answered with a slight curt tone to his voice.

"Well these bozo's running things out here couldn't find their dicks in the dark with two hands and a flash light. This might seem like a grand statement, but I believe it's up to us."

Devon suddenly felt very small. He had always believed that they were just lending a hand; helping to speed things up, but now it seemed that for some reason they were the only ones able to see the light at the end of the tunnel.

"Shit. No pressure, eh?" Replied Devon.

Slate was silent. It was a major accomplishment to get the guy to laugh or act Human for that matter. A puzzling trait, one that Devon was slowly getting to the bottom of but he really didn't have time for a full analysis of his friend right now.

"You watch your back, Doc. I gotta feelin' this thing is even bigger than we suspect."

Devon furrowed his brow. "What are you getting at?"

"Just ask yourself, why aren't the brainiacs on to the signal already? Why haven't they tracked down the marker that lead you to Jacobson? You're a smart guy, Doc, but went it comes to this shit, they're smarter. You know as well as me they got teams of analysts working on this. Their resources are unlimited. They only miss things when someone want's them to be missed. Comprendé?"

Devon nodded and gave a long, slow gasp. "Got ya."

Slate hung up but his 'conspiracy theory' lingered in Devon's mind. Damn, if the man's paranoia wasn't infectious! He had a point though and suddenly he was all the more thankful that he had traveled to Texas by his own power and was staying under a false name conjured by Sigma. The guy actually had some mad computer skills, and could hack into just about any database. He could even access the, R.A.I.D. network. Time was issue though, he was no Killswitch, but he could be counted on to whip up an alias on short notice.

Devon threw back on his only change of clothes. He was only able to carry a few things in his back pack, and so he decided that after breakfast he'd go do a little shopping. There was no sense in rushing to get to Jacobson, after all the man wasn't going anywhere. He needed to buy some luggage, clothes and personal items if only to maintain his cover. Just in case.

Didn't the brochure say there was a Buddy Holly museum?
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PostSubject: Re: HEROES Chapter 7   Thu Aug 05, 2010 5:49 pm


Agent Mitchell woke up later in the morning but earlier than usual. He usually ran surveillance runs at night and so slept a little more into the day to compensate. Last night, however, he went to bed a little earlier than usual and didn't even take the time to throw any clothes before he was sitting at his computer station. He had ran over to the coffee maker, grabbed a cup and jumped into his chair with high hopes. Today was going to be the day that something happened he told himself, but as he ran through the satellite imagery his hopes were slowly but surely dashed away.

"Crap!" Groaned the agent who was beginning to think now, more than ever that he was just on one long wild goose chase, but then something caught his eye. "What's this?"

Kaleb, brought up the satellite photos of Arnette's main road and he spied something out of the ordinary. A motorcycle had passed through earlier that morning. Kind of off the beaten path for a lone rider, and everyone around that area was born with the keys to a pick-up truck in their pudgy little fingers.

"Uncle Sosa." Whispered Mitchell with eagerness in his eyes.

A rough looking biker type riding into town definitely fit the profile of the elusive, Wrangler, a.k.a. Cowboy, but Kaleb wasn't holding his breath. It could just as well be some range rider on a sight seeing tour. The fact that he didn't appear in any other pictures, either meant he was just passing through or he headed toward the Timbles, and he was betting on the latter. Still, it offered some inspiration to the day.

After a quick shower, Kaleb threw on a suit. Another day in the field, but instead of rolling around in it he planned on stopping by the Timble place and talking to his old pal, Henry. It was nice, for a change, to look the part, the suit felt good, but before he set out he decided to have some breakfast and review the satellite imagery of those lands suspected to be owned by the infamous Cowboy.

By the time he got into the restaurant the place was packed. Kaleb wondered if he'd even get a table.

"Excuse, me." Kaleb addressed the hostess, "What's going on?"

The woman immediately knew that agent Mitchell, whom she'd already heard of from many of the other female (and some male) staff members, was referring to the excess amount of people that morning.

"Convention." She explained, "But, don't you worry. I gots ya a table right over here, agent Mitchell."

She knew him. This seemed promising. "Well thanks...", he checked her name tag "... Ginger. That's mighty kind of you."

"Mighty kind?", Kaleb repeated back to himself in his mind. Damn! If Texas was starting to rub off on him. Ginger, though, that name sounded promising.

"It's no problem. Be seein' ya."

"Yes I will." Said Kaleb under his breath with a sly smile.

Kaleb made himself comfortable and started going through his maps. He specifically surveyed the land next to the Timble's, which, Henkel was pretty sure was the property of the Wrangler. It was extensive, but they had broken down every inch of it and there wasn't a building or oversized boulder that they weren't aware of. Even now the very house that Tim was residing at, had been documented and investigated but according to the latest land survey it had no utilities and so it warranted only the occasional check. The terrain was rugged and so for Kaleb those checks were even more infrequent.

"Excuse me agent."

Kaleb recognized the voice of Ginger, the hostess and looked up with a warm smile, but she wasn't alone. Immediately his jaw dropped as he looked up at a tall, blonde haired man with shoulders like a line-backer. He must have been six foot six, and at least two forty, the muscles bulging out from beneath his pale blue coloured dress shirt.

Kaleb had to clear his throat. "Y - Yes, Ginger."

"Sorry to bother you, but we're all full up and this nice gentleman... well, I just figured since y'all were alone you might not mind if he share your table."

Awkward. Not only for Kaleb, but for the stranger as well, but Ginger was just so cute and perky that both men where charmed into her world of sunshine and lollipops.

"Sure." Said Kaleb as he cleared his maps of the other side of the table, "No problem. Please join me."

The stranger sat down, smiling awkwardly as the hostess who had to of at one time been a cheerleader returned to the door.

"Sorry about the intrusion." The stranger apologized as he extended his right hand, "She's hard to say 'no' to. I'm, Steve."

Kaleb shook his hand. "Kaleb."

"Kaleb." Steve repeated, "Didn't she you refer to you as an agent?"

"Oh, ya. FBI Agent Kaleb Mitchell. I just didn't want to be formal. So, uh, what do you do, Steve?"

"Pharmaceutical rep, from San Diego."

"Oh? What brings ya down here?" Inquired the agent as he sipped his coffee, then noting the man's reaction immediately apologized for being so nosy, "Sorry about that. Can't help it. Comes with the job."

"No, no, its alright." Said Steve, "I'm just down here for business and maybe a little pleasure, you know how it goes."

Kaleb glanced over, Steve's cannon ball of a shoulder, at Ginger. "Indeed I do."

Devon's eyes then fell to the table and quickly glanced over the topographical print outs. "You on a case?"

"Yeah."

"Oh, sorry, man I didn't mean to pry. You probably can't talk about it."

"Don't worry about it." Said Kaleb, smiling at the big man's assumption, "Have you heard of the Wrangler?"

Steve leaned in. "That guy that did all that damage in New York?"

Kaleb nodded.

"You think he's here?"

The agent nodded again. "Just keep it hush-hush, hey."

"Sure. No problem." Promised the law abiding sales rep.

"Which of you guys ordered the 'All You Can Eat'?" Asked the approaching server, looking first to the larger of the two men.

"That'd it be me." Answered Kaleb with a wave.

"I'm steak and eggs." Said Steve.

What were the odds? Devon couldn't believe his luck, or perhaps fate had just seen fit to land him at a table with the very F.B.I. agent tracking down, Tim Rutherford. Shit! He suddenly had a revelation that made a piece of steak stick in his throat, but he managed to choke it down. Henkel was investigating Rutherford, which meant that this was the Texas liaison he mentioned. Crap! If Henkel ever showed up here he was royally screwed! Things had just taken a turn for the worst in the world of Devon Gale.

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PostSubject: Re: HEROES Chapter 7   Fri Aug 06, 2010 2:54 am




The morning light sifted through the forest and shone through the windowed walls of the conference room. It reflected off of the highly polished surface of the rich golden brown coloured wood of the large table casting a warm soft glow on the ceiling and walls. Only two men sat at the large, long oval table. Two men, whose current accomplishments set them apart from the other twenty who might have shared it with them.


"How is the production of the serum coming along?" Inquired the Australian accented man at the head of the table, a man all would recognize as Apex Fusion, otherwise known as the head of UMBRA.

"In two more days you will have a enough to supply the entire population of Chicago for a month." Informed Michael Eden, the head of the Eden Foundation, and RAID operative.

"Good." Praised Apex, "Have there been any problems since we last spoke. Does anyone suspect you?"

Michael shook his head. "They don't have a clue. I've seen to it that not one sample has left our possession, and prevented anyone yet from discovering the signal."

"Excellent work, Doctor Eden. You know when you first approached me with your idea, I believed that not in a hundred years could something this grand be organized, and now look at us. We are kings!"

Michael just smiled and leaned back in his chair, bathing in the warm sunlight. He and Apex had brought a city to its knees and next they would strike to the west.

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PostSubject: Re: HEROES Chapter 7   Sat Aug 07, 2010 1:19 am


It didn't surprise Devon much, that the agent still had half a plate of food left as he finished off his breakfast. Kaleb had ordered a heaping plate of food and the guy was having little trouble with it. Devon figured he could probably give Slate some competition at an all you can eat buffet.

"Refill?" Asked Devon as he waved over a server.

Mitchell who had just shoveled another fork full into his mouth, nodded and moved his empty cup to a place more accessible to the server.

As Devon added a couple of creams to his coffee and gave it a quick stir he was feeling a little better about his situation. Honestly, what were the odds of Henkel making a special trip down to Texas while Chicago was in crisis? Pretty slim, he imagined. He was planning on being here that long anyway. All he had to was find Jacobson, learn from him how to modify the antidote and possibly how more about the signal. Easy.

Agent Mitchell continued to study his maps while he ate. He still had no idea where that biker was headed or ended up, but his money was on the Timble's ranch house. That would be his first stop this morning and he was looking forward to it. Mrs. Timble sure wasn't hard on the eyes and the agent rather enjoyed bantering with Henry in lieu of rolling around in the dirt.

"So you work out?" Asked Kaleb, his eyes still trained on one of his satellite photos.

Devon nearly laughed as he answered, "Yes." Of course he worked out, though not as much as a normal Human would require to maintain such a physique. Still, he felt like saying, 'What d'ya think? Com'on, look at me?', but he realized the man was just trying to make conversation and so he obliged him.

"Ex-athlete. Used to play hockey." Explained Devon.

Kaleb looked up at the man. "Ex? You look like you're in your prime. Did you get injured or something?"

"Or something." Replied Devon, "I don't like to talk about it."

"Oh." Said Kaleb, "Sorry about that."

"Don't be. It was a long time ago. I'm older than I look." Said Devon. Much, much older.

Devon pulled out his PDA and checked the time. The conversation was starting to degrade and it was time to go, before he slipped up yet. "Well I got run." he said as he took out his wallet to leave some money.

Kaleb shook his head. "I got it."

"No, I couldn't possibly..."

"Hey, government expense account. Don't worry about it."

"Thanks." Said Devon, "Maybe I'll see you around."

"Never can tell. It was nice meeting you Steve."

"Likewise."

________________________________________________________

Nice guy, Devon thought as he left the restaurant. He sure hoped he didn't end up tangling with Tim. Cowboy would most likely make short work of the guy. As the thought of Rutherford entered his mind, Wraith go to thinking that maybe he should touch base with the guy... give him a heads up on what's going down.

He waited in the gift shop on the other side of the hotel mall, across from the restaurant and when he saw the agent stroll out, tailed him. As soon as he could, Devon became the wind. He stood out in the crowd far too much to effectively follow someone normally.

Agent Kaleb, made his way down to the parking garage and hopped into his large, black SUV and as pulled away, Wraith hitched a ride in the vehicles draft. All he had to do was stay in his non-coporeal form and sit in the vacuum of the SUV as it sped out of Lubbock.

The agent drove for about fifteen minutes on the highway heading west out of the city, then headed down a gravel road for near twenty minutes or so until he slowed down and turned down a private drive. The SUV approached a beautiful ranch house backed by a picturesque landscape and parked in front of it.

Agent Kaleb stepped out of the vehicle and gazed toward the front veranda. He watched the curvy form of Mrs. Timble in her tight jeans as she reached and watered the hanging baskets of flowers that were hung along the front of the porch.


"Good morning, Mrs. Timble." Greeted Agent Mitchell as he took off his sunglasses and placed them in his breast pocket,"Is Henry around? I was wondering if I might have a word with him if that would be alright."

Wraith floated invisibly above Mitchell's vehicle, listening to the conversation as it unfolded. Were he solid he would be smiling at the agent's choice of words. Of course it would 'be alright', he was a federal agent for Christ's sake, people just didn't say no to them. He then surveyed the property, seeing it through his strange vision that saw the world amidst visible air currents.

'Who in the hell, were the Timbles?" Wondered Wraith, "Was, Rutherford here?"
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PostSubject: Re: HEROES Chapter 7   Sat Aug 07, 2010 11:54 pm


Arnett wasn't much of a town, more like an intersection in the middle of no where. A sparse speck surrounded by some of the most beautiful country in Texas. Back in the seventies most of its population was either absorbed by Levelland or they moved away, most of them to Lubbock. Those that stayed did so because they had deep roots in the land or just plain loved the scenery.

The ranchers and rural folk in the area still needed a pit stop in the area and so Arnett continued to survive, but a little over fifteen years ago, two men had vision and they saw it through. Sheriff Roy Greer of Levelland and Stubby Bigham, got together and poured their life savings into the old Jack Rabbit Gas Station in hopes of renewing the town. At first it seemed that their dreams were going to get swept but then things began to pick up and the gas bar slowly but surely began to thrive. Eventually they added on a restaurant and bar. At night its neon can be seen for miles and is a welcome sight for those out driving the dark grid roads, even the Levelland locals frequent the place. Unfortunately, the town never made the comeback they had hoped for, but the Jack Rabbit put Arnett back on the map and gave it something else to be known for other than it's grand scenery.


Sherrif Roy Greer, sat at his usual table by the window. Just about every morning he stopped by the Jack Rabbit on his patrol to read the paper and enjoy a cup of coffee.

"How's Timble?" Greer asked the shorter bald man of about the same age who was returning to the table.

"Just as ornery as ever. Damn it's a good thing that wife of his can cook." Said Stubby, slapping his leg and letting out a wheezing, hoarse laugh as he sat down.

Greer had seen the flashy black SUV drive by when Sherry was pouring his second cup and made sure that Stubby gave their old friend a head's up. They had seen the vehicle before and knew who was driving it.


Stubby signaled Sherry for a refill and cupped his roughened hands around the warm cup after it was full. "Thank ya, sugar." he said with a warm smile, took a sip and right out of the blue added, "Tim's a good man."

Greer folded down his newspaper and gave his friend a concerned look. "I know. Shoot. You know better than that."

Ever since the F.B.I. had shown up, Roy and Stubby had been wondering when the cowboy might stop by. They really didn't know much about him, but a few years back when they were having trouble with a local bike gang they watched him single handedly tear three of them apart right in front of the Jack Rabbit. It was a frightening sight. Stubby had never seen a man fight like that, and Roy had covered for the man. Hell, they all did. So when the Feds started snooping around town, their first thoughts were of Rutherford.

Agent Mitchell had already questioned them a week ago. He made mention of a felon they were tracking, a man they called the Wrangler. Sure sounded like Tim, but according to everyone in Arnett, they'd never seen anyone fitting that description. Roy feigned some concern for his community then sent the agent on his way. Everyone in the small community had been less than helpful to the federal officers.

______________________________________________________________


Time was ticking for Wraith. He could hold his wind form for quite a while, but he was still fatigued from his flight the previous night and needed to materialize. There was an old barn a ways from the house, near to the creek that cut across the property. It looked remote enough and so he drifted into it.

He was careful to check every nook and cranny and when he was satisfied that he was alone drifted back up to the hay loft and materialized. Leaning back against a bale of hay he became aware of a beam of light cutting through the loft. The outer loft doors were slightly ajar and so he slowly crept toward them and peeked out. Devon had a good view of the front of the ranch house and could see agent Mitchell, unfortunately he couldn't hear a word he was saying.
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PostSubject: Re: HEROES Chapter 7   Sun Aug 08, 2010 8:55 am

"A good morning to you Agent Mitchell." Kathryn Trimble replied as she placed a small watering can down on the veranda railing. "What a lovely surprise to see you this morning." She added with just a taste of sarcasim in her voice. "Please come in and have some coffee, while I have Conswela fetch Mr. Trimble for you. I don't believe you will need a warrant for coffee, will you?" She then stepped to the screen door of the house and held it open for him.
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PostSubject: Re: HEROES Chapter 7   Sun Aug 08, 2010 1:04 pm


Agent Mitchell stepped through the screen door and into the enclosed veranda. Since his last visit, they had put on the screen panels which apparently were removable. A refreshing, mild breeze swirled in and morning sunlight poured in through the open skylights. It was a nice set up. The Timbles were good people, and the agent knew it, but he did suspect that Henry was hiding something. People always got the idea that federal agents were the enemy. That they spent all their time plotting against Joe Public, like they didn't have better things to do.

"Coffee'd be great." Thanked Kaleb, smiling politely at her 'warrant' remark, but the truth was he always had to tread lightly.

"Be right back." Said the woman, smiling warmly, and she disappeared into the house for a moment.

Agent Mitchell stood there for a moment, listening through the screen door of the house. He thought he heard the voice of a man, but couldn't be sure so he glanced in, but saw nothing. He sighed then, walked over to the table and sat down. Too many this part of the job would be considered frustrating but Kaleb liked it. He enjoyed matching wits with people. Maneuvering them, waiting for them to slip up. He supposed maybe that DID make him out to be the bad guy. To him it was just good detective work.

Mrs. Timble returned shortly with a tray, upon which was a decanter of coffee, some cups and a tray of muffins.

"I baked this morning." She declared, "You have to give us a hand gettin' rid of some of these things."

"I'm sure I could take a couple off of your hands. Thank you." Said Kaleb amiably but it was pretty apparent that he anxious to speak with Henry. Not that he couldn't grill his wife, it's just that Mitchell was kind of old school. He didn't like to have to pick on a man's wife if he had a choice.

"Henry's out riding the fence line." She announced while pouring the coffee, anticipating the agent's question. "I just spoke to him on the phone. He's at the north section right now. Unfortunately, he'll be about an hour. I swears I can't keep track of that man."

"You get coverage out here?"

"Satellite." Explained Mrs. Timble nonchalantly.

Mitchell nodded. Satellite? He just got a satellite phone a few months ago.

Kaleb was disappointed and he guessed it showed because, Mrs. Timble gave him an alternative. "If you like I could saddle up a pony for ya, and you could go out and meet him."

If the agent was leery of the idea about jumping on a horse and riding out into the middle of nowhere he didn't show it. Agent Mitchell had a good poker face, but truth be told he wasn't exactly a green horn when it came to riding. "Sounds good." he said, calling her bluff. If in fact it was one. He really couldn't tell.

They headed over to the stable which was a ten minute walk from the house along the creek. It was a beautiful walk, Kaleb commented on the beauty of the landscape several times. At one point he even pointed off in some direction and idly asked whose section of land that was. Mrs. Timble didn't comment.

The stable stood on a low ridge above the creek, beside an old bridge that must have been a hundred years old. It had ten stalls, only one of which was occupied at the moment by an aged grey gelding.

"I'll set you up with ol' Willard, here." Said Mrs. Timble as she walked over and hauled a saddle off of a stand. She was a lot stronger than she looked, and the by the way she expertly strapped the saddle on her experience showed.

"You really seem to know what you're doing there." Commented Kaleb.

"I was county champ two years in a row, back when I was younger and fitter." She mentioned.

'County champ of what?' Wondered Mitchell, and she still looked pretty young and fit to him.

Mrs. Timble smiled when she saw the question in the city slickers eyes. "Barrel racing." she told him.

Agent Mitchell nodded. From what he'd seen of those competitions the rider had to be in top form.

"Well, here ya go." She said, leading the old grey horse out of his stall. "Old Willard here will get ya there. Just ride north out past the slough and Henry'll find ya."

Agent Mitchell took the reins, stepped into the stirrup and threw a leg over. He handled the horse with the confidence of one who had ridden before, coxing the horse backward a few steps.

"You've ridden before." Stated the former barrel rider with surprise.

"Yeah, the F.B.I. has a 'Musical Ride' every year." Joked agent Mitchell, whose inference was to the R.C.M.P. in Canada. He then gently spurred the horse on and headed north.

Agent Mitchell handled the horse well, better than he expected he would, but it wasn't a skill that one lost easily. Years ago, he dated a woman whose passion was Equestrian and so to spend more time with her he took up riding, unfortunately he just didn't measure up to his four legged competitors. Didn't say much about him. He enjoyed the ride though. Mitchell hadn't ridden for years and it felt good to be back in the saddle, he never realized how much he had missed it until that moment and he was a little disappointed when he spotted a rider in the distance. Kaleb had already been riding for over a quarter of an hour but he wanted to just keep on going, unfortunately he had work to do.

"Henry!" Called out agent Mitchell when he was within shouting distance, waving his hand up in greeting as he rode over to the cowboy.

The crusty cowboy turned his horse about and leaned over his horn without saying a word.

"Whoa!" Said Kaleb aloud as he brought his horse to a halt. "You sure do have some pretty country out here, Mr. Timble." Complimented Kaleb in an attempt to put the man at ease, not that he could tell when the man was relaxed as opposed to his usual demeanor.

The cowboy still said nothing, so Kaleb cut to the chase.

"Mr. Timble, I was wondering if you had any recent visitors from out of state? Asked the agent. He chose to say out of state mainly to test the man.

The morning sun was climbing higher into the sky and Kaleb was starting to feel the heat. He had already loosened up his collar but now had to remove his jacket, revealing the shoulder holster and firearm strapped under his left arm.


______________________________________________________________


"Crap!" Thought Wraith. Where in the hell was Mitchell going? He lost of sight of him quickly, spying through the narrow opening.

The big man fell back against his bed of bales, folding his arms across his chest. He was feeling better already. Good enough to take and dematerialize again if had to, and it seemed that he would. Wraith could only assume that Tim was hiding out somewhere in the house. Why else would the agent be here otherwise?

Dematerializing and flying out of the barn, Wraith could see Mitchell and the woman walking along the creek toward what looked like a stable. A good time to check out the house.

In a matter of moments, Wraith blew in through the screen door and into the kitchen. He entered a little to fast, and for a brief moment his non-coporeal from momentarily took an eerie ghost-like glow and some papers left on the counter top scattered to the floor. That wouldn't do.

Devon waited for moment to see if the sound of falling papers might attract anyone else who was in the in the house. He gave it few minutes then satisfied that no one was lurking about materialized. He scooped up the papers, which were just some old recipes and financial correspondence, and placed them back on the counter. He remained in his physical form and crept through the large kitchen, toward one of the open doorways connecting to a hall that turned left and right.

'Now where would Cowboy be?' Wondered Wraith. 'Probably trying to sneak up on him and waylay him', he mused, which was why he was extra cautious, keeping his back to a wall at all times it was possible, his arms outstretched, his senses alert. The basement (if there was one) was his first choice for a hiding place, but first he had to navigate through the main level.
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PostSubject: Re: HEROES Chapter 7   Sun Aug 08, 2010 3:21 pm

Henery Trimble saw the the firearm in Agent Mitchell's shoulder holster, turned his head and spat the juice of tabacco onto the ground "I see ya come healed, there Ag'nt Mitchell. A Glock 9mm if my sight ain't failin' me. I perfur' an ole hoglage m'self." He said as he slipped the tail of his jacket back to reveral a Colt 44 Magnum on his hip. "Ya can never tale when ya might come upon some mangey varmit ar ratt'l snake out har'. Ur who a tham thare illeagal's from south a' the border tryin' ta russel a few cows ur make a drug connection. Ya know what I mean."
He spat again and then added .... "Nope ain't had no visaturs lately. But did here frum an ole' boy use ta work fur ma paw 'fore paw died. Called him Uncle Sossa as a kid, said he might wander by, but ain't seen him yet. Course he's old and right forgetful. Sometimes he shows up an' sometimes he don't." Henerey looked coldly at Agent Mitchell "Uncle Sosa in some kind a trouble?" Henerey spat again. the faint sound of a baby rattle being shook about three times, and with lightning speed came the sound of Henerey's 44 magnum could be heard. Dust rose from beside a flat sandstone about six yards from Agent Mitchell's horse. When it settled the body of a headless rattle snake could be seen. "Yep never can tale when yur gonna kick up a rattle snake our chur." Henerey said as he holstered the revolver.
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PostSubject: Re: HEROES Chapter 7   Sun Aug 08, 2010 8:42 pm


Yelena had fallen into a nice routine and life the short time she had been at the ranch. Tim was right. This was a nice place for her to be. It reminded her of the goat farm she had back in Slovakia, only hotter and drier. She and Kate had fixed up the little ranch house nicely and made it real homey looking.

New curtains. New bed quilts. New throw pillows. And scrubbing until their fingers were about to bleed. It was during one of those bonding moments Yelena’s disguise faltered from fatigue and her normal appearance bled through her disguise. The flash of blue skin and gold eyes made Kate step back and become wary for a moment and because Yelena was so fatigued she could only bring forth the blonde haired look the others knew her so well by.

Yelena was certain the woman was going to run out f the house screaming for her life but instead she took the time to hear Yelean’s story and in the end realized the Russian was merely looking for something she had lost many, many years ago. Rather or not Yelena would find it in Texas on a ranch owned by her friend and in a house with no electricity remained to be seen. But Yelena was relieved her ruse was over and she could once more be her true self.

So it was no surprise when the shape shifter heard the sound of a rumbling engine getting closer and seeing a dust cloud appear on the horizon she became very suspicious. She could have hidden in the secret room under the floor but Yelena was tired of hiding. And if some nomadic rider had ventured out here looking to loot the place, he was in for one hell of a surprise.

Hiding in the back room, she knew the setting sun was going to be her friend as the shadows began to grow darker in the house. As the bike rolled up and was turned off, it didn’t take long for her to hear the sound of booted feet on the wooden, plank floor of the home.

The person was walking very slowly, being very cautious. Who ever this was they had experience sneaking around places and looking for would be trouble. The opportunity finally arose when the dark shadowed figure of a man stepped into the room Yelena was waiting in. With the open rafter design of the ranch house, she had crouched on the exposed beam and when Tim walked into the room, she pounced on him like a spider on a fly.

They ended up on the floor of the bedroom and while Yelena had taken him by surprise, Tim wasn’t without his own moves. They rolled and tumbled several times and it wasn’t until Yelena had Tim pinned and was getting ready to punch his face that she felt the cold, hard, metal barrel of a gun resting on the underside of her chin.

”Ya got any last requests ‘fore I send ya t’meet yer maker?”

Immediately Yelena recognized the voice and her hold on the man loosened and she blinked as she looked down at him.

”Tim?”

As the Texan and the Russian realized who the other was, they helped each other up and greeted each other properly with hugs neither wanted to let go of. As Yelena fixed them both something for dinner, she explained everything that happened since she left Chicago and made her way to Texas. She told him how nice the Timbles were and she couldn't thank him enough for letting her use the line ranch house.

Tim relayed everything that happened after she left and how he made his way out to Texas avoiding all the more porular roads which is what took him so long to get there. After they ate, he thanked her for the meal, helped her clean up the dishes then retired to the spare bedroom after he stashed his bike.

After Tim settled down for the night, Yelena still couldn't believe her friend was there with her. They had their differences over the years but, no matter what, they knew they could always count on each other to be there whent he going got tough. With one more check on the place, Yelena settled in for the night as well in the main bedroom.

When she woke up the next morning, Tim was still sleeping so she took the opportunity to gather up nough water to heat so he could have a much needed bath. Once she got the water gathered, she started fixing some breakfast. No doubt Henry would be by soon and both he and Tim will be hungry and need to catch up.

____________________________________________________________________________________
Experience is a hard teacher because she gives the test first, the lesson afterwards.
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PostSubject: Re: HEROES Chapter 7   Mon Aug 09, 2010 2:21 am


Soon as the man drew his Colt, Mitchell's pistol flashed out of his holster with surprising speed. The agent had one foot out the stirrup and Timble in his sights at near the same time the rattler's head was shot clean off.

"Yep never can tell when yur gunna kick up a rattle snake ou 'chere."
The man said in his usual dead pan manner.

Even as Henery holstered his gun, agent Mitchell kept his side arm aimed at him, his expression as calm and cool as the cowboy. He was thankful that Willard had nerves of steel as well, but he reckoned that the old horse was probably used to getting his hooves next to shot off, or maybe he just knew that Timble hardly ever missed what he was shootin' at. Either way his mount had remained steady for he was thankful, but was even more appreciative of the fact that, Henery was just cleaning up the environment of some vermin.

Mitchell slipped his Glock back into his shoulder holster. It when in smoothly, as the agent had made some of his own modifications that assured that he could draw his weapon quicker than normal. The few times he had to draw his weapon, it was his speedy draw that had prevented an exchange of gunfire. He was quick, but could he make a shot like that? Mitchell had his doubts, but then he was trained to hit much larger targets, and he rarely missed those.

Nothing was said of the misunderstanding. Kaleb wasn't about to get into a pissing contest with Timble, he was interested in Sosa. He didn't buy the wayfaring Uncle story for a second. It was just too convenient. As always Henery was hiding something and this time, the agent was going to get to the bottom of it.

"This is a good horse." Commented Mitchell, patting the side of the grey's neck as he reached into the jacket draped over the horn of his saddle.

He procured a few pictures and a sheet of paper which he passed to Timble. The aerial photos were of a man on motorcycle in varying sizes, but in none of them could the man's face be seen nor could one even tell specifically what make of bike the man was riding. On the sheet of paper was a list of five models that the motorcycle could be, and Tim's bike was on the list.

"This picture was taken early this morning. Our system systematically photographs random quadrants of a specified area and we were just luck enough to get this. Now, maybe its a drifter, or maybe its Uncle Salsa... or Sossa, what ever it is you want to call him, but I'm bettin' this is the Wrangler."

Agent Mitchell searched the cowboy's face for any sign of anxiousness, but it was as impassive as the landscape around them. Still, he knew he had something.

"My supervisor is convinced that this fugitive owns the property adjacent to yours and if he's around you have to turn him in, Henery. Protecting this man is only going to get you in hot water, and you're gonna end up dragging your wife down with you. Now I'm through, trying to be diplomatic here. Tell me if you recognize that man in the picture, and the make and model of the bike."

___________________________________________________________


Wraith made is way down the hallway of the Timble's. Each door he passed he took a quick peek into, but saw nothing of interest. He was at the end of the hallway, and about to check one of two remaining doors when the knob to his right turned. A small, round woman of Mexican descent, carrying a basket of folded laundry emerged. She paused for a moment as she suddenly felt chilled, and could feet the sensation of a cool breeze on her skin, which made her very nervous. The woman, who Wraith assumed was the housekeeper, looked all around with frightened eyes, then made her way quickly down the hallway form where Wraith had come from.

Figuring that the housekeeper had just exited the laundry room, Wraith who had been hovering around in his wind form, passed under the doorway and found the stairway to the basement. It went down into a large cellar actually. Although there was enough room to create a finished basement, it remained a grey, unfinished collection of rooms.

"Tim?" Softly called Wraith as he materialized and began to search around. "Hey, Cowboy. It's Wraith. You down here?"

Above him, Devon could hear the sounds of the house keeper's foot steps, then they were accompanied by another set of feet, whom he assumed was the woman of the house returning. He still had time and so, Wraith continued to search the downstairs for any sign of the Cowboy.
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PostSubject: Re: HEROES Chapter 7   Mon Aug 09, 2010 3:09 pm

Tim stepped out of the spare bedroom, barefoot, wearing a t-shirt and jeans and his shoulder holster with the twin S&W M&P Forty caliber pistols. He was unshaven and leaned against the doorframe. "Dam sumpin' shore does smell good. I ain't had a home cooked meal in quite a spell." he said. The sound of a single shot was heard in the distance. "I knowed the sound of that ole hoglegg anywhere. Henery must'a shot some vermit. Ya can bet yur gandma's false teeth that vermit ain't movin no more. Henerey don't shoot oft'n but he usely hits what he shoots at." Tim crossed the room, over to the counter and poured himself a cup of coffee. "Recon I need ta get 'lectricity in har. If ya ar gonna stick 'round a spell." he paused, took a drink and added "Yelana, I sure would like ya ta stay, the place suits ya."
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PostSubject: Re: HEROES Chapter 7   Mon Aug 09, 2010 3:24 pm

Henery took the photographs, gave them a cusory look, then handed them back to Agent Mitchell. "Nope can't say I can make out who that a be ar what kinda motorcickle either. I'd think with all the governmunts fancy gizmos ya could make out a fly on a donkey's ass." Henery said as he spat again "Well now son, let me tell ya. Thar is only three things I gotta do in this har life. Love and protect Kathryn, lay down an die someday and stink once I'm dead. ....... An folk 'round har don't take kindly ta sum city slicker governmut man tellin' us what we gotta do." Henery gave the agent a hard look then said "I reckan ya best be gettin' ol' Willard har back to the ranch and be on yur way. I got fence ta mend. ........... Ifin' you boys'd be taking care of all those drug smugglers an illegals comin' into this har county instead of harrassing peaceable lawabidin' United States citizens. Thangs be a whole lot better off." With that said Henery gentely nuged his horse and road off to the east along the fence line.
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PostSubject: Re: HEROES Chapter 7   Mon Aug 09, 2010 4:13 pm


Agent Mitchell tucked the photos back into his jacket and watched the hardened cowboy ride off.

"Damn!" He cursed under his breath.

The horse grunted as if responding to the man's discontent.

"You bustin' my balls too Willard?" Joked the man, but he knew what was probably bothering the horse. Squinting up at the sun, Mitchell pursed his lips and exhaled. "Damn, but this state is hot. Why in the hell did I ever transfer out here?"

Kaleb coxed Willard around and they headed back toward the stable. There was only one thing to do now and that was comb the area again, a task he wasn't much looking forward to, especially if ol' Henery mistook him for a coyote again. Unfortunately he had to keep on surveilling the Timbles and now that he was a one man show he could only cover a fraction of the ground that a team could.

On his way back, the agent hugged the fence line as opposed to cutting across country as he did before. He figured it would take a little longer but the going was easier and Willard seemed more accustomed to the perimeter trail. After a while he was alerted to the sound of a vehicle approaching from behind him, and turning he could see an old blue pick-up truck on the other side of the fence making it's way along an overgrown road. Mitchell figured the two men in the cab were locals who felt like driving across country for some reason. Who was he to question what entertained these people? The slowly pulled past him, following a low ridge line parallel to the barbed wire fence and when they roughly across from him, Mitchell raised his hand and gave them a friendly wave. Naturally they were little curious as to why a man in a suit was out riding, but when they saw his shoulder holster, their interest unmistakably turned to panic. Mitchell would know that look anywhere and instinct kicked in. He spurred Willard on into a gallop looking for a way around the fence, unfortunately the old grey wasn't much in the mood for a high speed pursuit and fought to turn off, back toward the stable. The pick-up truck eventually turned away and all the agent could do was stop and watch the trucks dust cloud and the sound of its engine eventually fade away.

Henery had made mention of drug smugglers and at the time he figured the man was just be overly dramatic, but agent Mitchell was pretty sure those guys weren't hauling hay or out for a joy ride. Damn he was getting tired of just missing the mark, all he had to do was get close enough to see the license plate. That is, if the truck even had one.

The old horse shuddered beneath him and Mitchell patted him gently on the neck. "Hey, Willard. Don't worry, we're headin' back now." he said in a consoling voice.
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PostSubject: Re: HEROES Chapter 7   Mon Aug 09, 2010 4:29 pm

Suddenly the sound of three shots boomed, the three stands of fence just behind Agent mitchel twanged and sprang back. Henery spun Winchester 30-30 saddle gun it's cocking lever in one hand as he galloped up behind Agent Mitchell "Well son ya gonna just sit thar ur ya gonna go afta them coyotes! Bastards bushwaked two of my hands!" Henery yelled as he rode north out across the prarrie in pursuit of the old blue pick up truck.
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PostSubject: Re: HEROES Chapter 7   Mon Aug 09, 2010 6:50 pm


Yelena gave Tim a crooked smile as she tended to the food she was cooking. Glancing over at him she chuckled softly.

”Henry is very good shot, yes. I almost feel sorry for what ever got in his way. Almost. And what you smell is breakfast. I figured you need good meal after riding long time. Not to mention I know you and I know you not stop to eat well. Is why you look so skinny right now.”

She motioned with her hand that was holding the spatula to the bathroom down the hall.

”I took liberty of getting bath ready for you. I figured you would like to wash road dust off you and look m ore like human than some wild animal. Although you looking like wild animal not a bad thing. But I fear Henry will think you try to hurt me and put a bullet in your ass. Yes?”

She couldn’t help but chuckle as she saw the look on his face. Her look grew somber then.

”There is government agent watching Henry and Kate. An FBI man named Kaleb Mitchell. He keeps asking about Wrangler and Cowboy so I’m sure he is looking for you. I not see him around here but I have idea he has this house and Timbles ranch under surveillance. When I go to town, I use disguise so no one see me like this….or in true form. Except Kate. I not able to keep disguise up one night and she saw everything. I thought she would run away screaming but instead, she let me say what I need to say. She and I have become very good friends.”

Her eyes met his then.

”I not have many friends, Tim. You are only one I still have from old group. And I love to stay here as long as you let me. I gladly work your ranch with you to pay for your kindness. I not have any place left to go and I like it here. Reminds me of farm I had in Slovakia. Only hotter….and drier. “

Three more shots rang out in the distance and Yelena’s eyes snapped in the direction she heard the shots. Looking back at Tim there was concern in her gaze.

“That Henry’s Winchester. And from sounds of it he is further down line. Only time he uses Winchester is when trouble comes knocking.”

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PostSubject: Re: HEROES Chapter 7   Mon Aug 09, 2010 7:12 pm

"Govermunt Agent pokin 'round, damn trouble just seems ta folla me like a stray pup" Tim said then added ........"Ya don't owe me anything Yelena, but a helpin' hand 'ill be a welcomed thang. Ya just consider this har yur new home. Things settle down a bit we'll get ya U.S. citizenship, I stgill got a few friends in tha State Department. They'll fix ya right up." Tim said just as the ree shots rang out. "Yep that thar sur enough is Henery's Winchester. Reckon I best get presentable an we need ta eat. Tha sound of them thar shots are a piece off, but if trouble comes knockin we best be ready. Thar's weapons and ammunition in the storm cellar, out back. We'll get em tagether after we eat." Tim then walk off to take a quick bath and shave. Shortly he walked out of the bath wearing a clean pair of faded blue jeans and a black T-shirt, drying his hair with a towel.
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PostSubject: Re: HEROES Chapter 7   Mon Aug 09, 2010 7:30 pm


The breakfast Yelena had prepared was ready when Tim came back from getting his bath. Yelena looked up at him when he walked in toweling his hair dry and smiled.

”Ah. Now THAT looks better. Come. Before food gets cold.”

As she sat and ate the breakfast with him she relayed she had found the guns and ammo when she went snooping around one day. Figuring he would want her to get acclimated with the area, she checked out every nook and cranny she could find, including the old cave that was a short spell (as she had learned to refer to it as) from the house.

”I took liberty of placing some weapons and ammo in house, just to be on safe side. Each room has both but not in plain view. I’ll show you after we get dishes cleaned up.”

She toyed with her fork as she thought of what she wanted to say then finally she set her fork down and asked outright.

”I know you have friend at State Department, but how can you convince them to give me citizenship? I am wanted fugitive in Russia. They not stop until they find me and get me back there. But I not go back this time, Tim. I not allow them to do things to me again. I want to stay here. Raise goats. Or cows. Or what ever people in Texas raise. I know you not let anything happen if you can but…”

She shook her head knowing she had gone off on what Henry affectionately referred to as a ‘tangent ‘. Finally she picked up her fork and took another bite of food. What ever Tim could do she would be more than appreciative but she wasn’t going to get her hopes up too much.

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PostSubject: Re: HEROES Chapter 7   Tue Aug 10, 2010 1:19 am


It was a surreal moment. As the Timble rode by, Winchester in hand and shooting from saddle, it was like Kaleb had just stepped back in time. He was completely dumbfounded until, Henery yelled in earnest that the men in truck had just murdered two of his ranch hands and he drove his horse forward. Old Willard suddenly took off like a spry colt and Mitchell followed the fence line looking for a way through. Even if his horse were younger, there was no way the agent would even consider trying to jump it, but then he saw a way through. Up ahead was the creek that meandered past the Timbles ranch house. It expanded at the perimeter of their property and the fence stopped at the bank, it was the only way and Michell drove Willard for it. The old grey barreled through water, kicking up a spray that soaked the agents silk shirt right through, but Kaleb could care less about his attire at that moment.

Up ahead, Kaleb caught sight of Timble in pursuit of the blue pick-up, but it l had found some smoother ground and was pulling way. Henery was determined though, or rather, stubborn. He spurred his horse on, raising rifle to shoulder at a full gallop. Now, Mitchell wasn't an expert on horses by any stretch, but the one thing he knew was how difficult it was to hit what you're aiming for from a vehicle, and it was ten times as hard on a moving horse. As good a shot, as Henery was picking a tire off at a full run over uneven ground was next to impossible.

Agent Mitchell pulled his phone out from the jacket draped over the saddle and called into his field office.

"This is Agent Mitchell, badge number, eight, niner, seven, four, two, three, niner, start tracking my signal now. I am in pursuit of a late model, blue pick-up truck, tail-gate rust coloured, outside of Arnett. Two men, Caucasian possibly Latino descent. Code 245. I repeat, code 245."

Mitchell could barely see the pickup any more, just a dust cloud in the distance. Old Willard was starting to heave and the agent knew enough about horses not to push him and began to ease up. It looked like the perpetrators had found a dirt road and were able to pick up enough speed to leave Henery's horse in the dust but he maintained the chase. All, Mitchell could do was slowly run out, Willard and let him cool down before stopping. Hopefully, Henery would come back. Mitchell was confident that he could find these guys again but he needed some more information on them, he also needed to see the bodies of Timble's ranch hands before he could launch a full investigation.

_________________________________________________________



It had become plainly obvious to Wraith that Cowboy was not holding up at the Timbles. Maybe there was a hidden room, but Rutherford just didn't seem the type a guy to hide out in a hole, more likely he'd be filling that hole with some bodies. No, Wraith was sure he was around, but just not here. What to do?

Wraith weighed his options and it all came down to the fact that he needed back up. Doctor Jacobson seemed a pretty benign target, but he had a feeling he had a bigger part in all of this than he suspected. Better to be safe than sorry, was the motto that Wraith tried to follow and so he decided to back track back to town.

Dematerializing, Wraith quickly ascended into the sky and glided over the Timble's spread to get his bearings and that's when he spied the pursuit off in the distance. At first he thought it was just some country bumpkins out joy riding, but as he got closer it became very apparent that the situation was far more serious. A man, like some cowboy out of a Western novel was riding after a blue pick up truck and shooting from the saddle at it. It was an impressive sight. Then he saw agent Mitchell on horseback! The man urged his horse through a creek and followed the cowboy. It was apparent that the guy in the truck was up to no good, and if Mitchell was helping the cowboy, then he probably had a real good reason for shooting at the driver. Wraith wasn't wearing a costume, though, and one of his golden rules was to never reveal his face. Protecting his identity was of the upmost importance, but from his vantage point the distance between the truck and the lone rider was increasing. If he didn't intervene they'd get away.

As Wraith invisibly sped through the air he noticed that agent Mitchell was slowing down, in fact it looked like he was giving up the chase. Now was his chance. As the truck disappeared behind a ridge, from Mitchell's sight, Wraith materialized and with the speed of a hurricane blew toward the truck.

As Henery continued after the truck he suddenly heard a loud roar of wind rush past him. Wraith's wake stirred up a gale force wind that kicked up a small dust storm behind Timble when he flew past, and all the Cowboy could catch was a glimpse of some unidentifiable thing flying over head.

As Wraith quickly closed in on the truck he had to come up with a way to stop it without causing serious injury to the two passengers he could make out. There was only one way he could accomplish that. Wraith concentrated on increasing the size of his wake. It only took a few moments to build up, then he increased his speed and swooped over the truck stirring up so much dust that the driver was forced to slow down or end up in the ditch. Wraith then turned, pulling his wake back, creating an even denser cloud, so that the truck had to come to a dead stop.

All, Henery could see as he came up over the ridge was small localized dust storm where he reckoned the truck ought to be, as if a tornado came out of no where and struck the road. It was the damnedest sight, one that he might have avoided had he not caught a sight of a blue fender within the cloud.

The cowboy was still about a five minute ride away, when Wraith flew into the cloud, reached into the passenger side window of the truck and pulled the man right out and up into the air. The driver screamed out of fear as he saw his partner snatched by something large. Something like a gargoyle! Yes, that was it! A gargoyle, the man was sure that's what it was.

The driver pulled out a gun and began to point at anything that moved. Of course with all the swirling dust about and the man's imagination working over time he began to randomly shoot at every man-like swirl of cloud that appeared before him. Henery could hear the shots as he got closer, then he heard a loud smash.

As the driver was shooting out the windows of the truck, his unconscious friend fell from the sky and landed with a loud thud on the hood on the vehicle. It was enough to complete unnerve the driver. He screamed, opened the door and ran for his life, believing that his friend was dead. Wraith pursued the man, sprinting after him on foot, but the dust was clearing and the murderer started running straight toward Henery.

"Bastard!" Screamed the gunman as he saw the rider heading toward him.

As Wraith sprinted out of the dissipating dust cloud, all he could see ahead of him was the driver of the truck raising his gun toward the rider. He pushed himself as hard as he could, but there was no way he could make it in time to grab the man. His meta-human instincts then kicked in and began to conjure a burst of wind to blast him aside, but all the gunman had to do was squeeze the trigger. There wasn't enough time for Wraith to act!


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PostSubject: Re: HEROES Chapter 7   Tue Aug 10, 2010 8:05 am

As the dust cleared, Henery saw a man pointing a gun at him. Henery placed the reins in his teeth, the butt of his Winchester to his shoulder and pulled the trigger. The man runnig towards him seemed to run into a wall, then fell to his knees, grabbing his chest before falling over. Henery galloped past the dieing man towards the truck. Seeing the other drug smuggler on the hood, Henery dismounted and lifted his head by the hair with his gloved hand. He drug him off of the hood of the truck onto the ground. Walked over, took the rope off his saddle and hog tied the man hands and feet. "Now ya'all wait right cher an' I'll be back fur ya, in a spell." Henery said . He then raised the hood of the truck and smashed the distributer with the butt of his Winnchester. He walked around to the back of the pickup and raised an old tarp. Under the tarp were about twenty-five square plastic bags, taped shut with duct tape. Henery took out his knife and cut open one of the bags. Inside was a block of white powder. Henery turned and mounted his horse and rode back towards the man he had shot.
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PostSubject: Re: HEROES Chapter 7   Tue Aug 10, 2010 10:50 am


Wraith watched in horror as the bullet ripped through the gunman. Slowly he dropped to his knees, muttered something and fell over, his body convulsing until it finally lay still. Wraith had seen people shot before but he had never gotten used to it, but even before the man was dead the rider was already dealing with other one lying on the hood of the truck. The cowboy moved with purpose, as if time was a factor and perhaps it was, Devon considered. Where was that FBI agent? Was he still slowly on route?

Seeing the way the man could handle a gun, Wraith had remained fixed on the spot, making no sudden movements, just letting the man do his work. He was about to enquire what the men had done (aside from trying to shoot him) when the cowboy pulled back the tarp covering a load of drugs. Watching, the man cut open a bag, Wraith figured it was cocaine.

Wraith suddenly had a frightening thought. What is this guy wasn't on the level? What if this cowboy was just eliminating the competition? He started to sweat, but tried to remain calm. A meta-human had to remain calm to use their specialized abilities to their best effectiveness and if he had to phase out, it would have to be done quickly.

From around the cowboy's mount, Wraith caught a glimpse of the FBI agent coming over the ridge. He couldn't see him past the horse but he eventually would.

"Excuse me... sir." Mentioned Wraith, "I'd like to explain how I happened by, but I'd rather not be around when that FBI agent gets here. Are there any more of these guys around?" He asked looking down at the body.

Devon kept his hands at his side, slightly raised, so as not to spook the man. He was wearing a pair of grey pants, polished black shoes and a pale blue dress shirt. A far cry from the typical attire of a crime fighter type. As the wind compressed his shirt to the man's tall form though it revealed the typical physique one associated with a meta-human vigilante.

The ridge was a ways off. Mitchell was still probably about ten minutes away at his current pace, but Devon knew that if he saw him there would be a lot of questions without answers. It was more than likely that he could just slip into the wind but it posed an unnecessary risk and he also thought it was best to give this man the benefit of the doubt. For his own peace of mind as well, Devon wanted to know if what went down was fine with the man, and vica versa in his own case.
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PostSubject: Re: HEROES Chapter 7   Tue Aug 10, 2010 11:09 am

Henery glanced over his shoulder, but did not see Agent Mitchell, although he was sure he was on the way. Looking at the stranger, Henery considered him for a moment. Henery prided himself as being a could judge of people, he said .... "Well, now pardner ya don't look like ya ar with these varmits. I reckon ya just as soon not get yur ass mixed up in this. So my advice is ta high tail it out a har. ...... I don't know how ya got har and don't give a shit. Thars liable to be a whole parcial of trouble comin' so ya go on an get. ...... Do me favor get a call ta Sherrif Roy Greer in Arnett, tell him Henery Trimble got himself 'couple of drug runners out chur. ... Now go on git!" Henery looked hard at the stranger and added "Ifin' I find out these two ar friends a yurs, there ain't a hole deep 'nough ta hide ya."
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