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 HEROES Chapter 3

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SinTara
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PostSubject: Re: HEROES Chapter 3   Sat Aug 15, 2009 2:08 pm

Morgan breathed a sigh of relief when she heard Tim's voice over the radio and she didn't miss the quick look that crossed Zoe's face when she heard her boyfriend's voice as well. What Morgan did notice is that Tim didn't ask about her. She was still new to this relationship thing, she wasn't even sure half the time anymore if they had a true relationship. They'd only known each other for a couple of weeks at most, but dammit, she had strong feelings for Tim and she couldn't deny that. He knew it and had said as much about her, but half the time she felt as if he saw her as a little sister instead of a girlfriend. And couldn't help but wonder at Yelena and Tim being together on their way to homebase.

Even her throbbing head couldn't keep the pictures and thoughts from running through her head. ~Yelena was probably beautiful, tall even, and sophisticated. She was more than likely sure of herself, bursting with self-confidence. Unlike herself.~ Morgan knew that she was being jealous and she hated that about herself. She just needed to calm down and remind herself that Tim hadn't actually laid 'claim' to her. She was becoming confused and she wondered if it was the concussion she knew she had causing most of it.

She looked in the back, looking over the man in the bed. She knew how to unhook the i.v.s, but the rest of the stuff, she had no clue and didn't want to mess with it for fear of hurting the young man.

Turning back around, she smiled at Zoe, "Sounds like your man is okay. That's good, Zoe, I'm glad for you." She leaned her head back up against the side window, watching as the deer and other critters that ran with the armored van at a safe distance.

Pulling up next to the farmhouse, she got out of the armored van on shaky legs, holding on to the van for leverage. She made her way around to the back to help Zoe and Shawn get the young man out and into the house. Her vision was really beginning to blur, but she kept going, not letting on that her head was hurting her something awful.

"C'mon, let's go ahead and get him out of here. The sooner we get him into the house, the sooner we can get him unhooked from all of this crap."

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PostSubject: Re: HEROES Chapter 3   Sat Aug 15, 2009 10:30 pm


Opening the doors, Zoe climbed in the back and squeezed in next to Shawn and the Shadow to squint at the IV they were pumping into the kid. The name wasn't one she could easily rattle off if asked, but she knew it when she saw it. A look of disgust narrowed her eyes as she read it and she quickly yanked the tubing off of it, letting it drip onto the floor of the van.

"They have him in a coma," she reported to the other two, "hopefully he'll wake up over the next few days. You," she said, pointing to Morgan, "get in the house. There's ice in the freezer. Go lay down. You," she said, nodding towards Shadow as she slipped her hands underneath Shawn's unconscious body, "help me get 'im inside."
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PostSubject: Re: HEROES Chapter 3   Sat Aug 15, 2009 11:07 pm

Morgan looked over at Zoe, knowing she needed to go lay down, but wanting to help Zoe and Shawn. She opted for helping.

"I'll get it in a little bit, Zoe." She climbed up into the van, located the first aid kit and proceeded to pull the i.v. catheder out of the man's arm, holding a four by four over the entrance as she pulled out the catheder. She took some medical tape, folded another piece of gauze and taped it over the small puncture hole. She then did the same with the one in his neck.

"There, now noone will trip over the trailing line." She climbed out of the van, smiling at Shadow as she headed for the house her steps unsteady.

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PostSubject: Re: HEROES Chapter 3   Sun Aug 16, 2009 4:56 pm

Tim pulled the Hummer out Wilson Point Road then left onto to State Route 31 behind a camoflauged Hummer to another check point at Eddy Road and Rote 31. The camoflauged Hummer stopped briefly then continued on east on Route 31. Tim pulled up slowly to the check point as an Master Sergeant held up his hand. Tim came to a stop rolling down his window and handing his identification wallet with his gold shield. "Thank you Sir." the Master Sergeant said as he examined the idetification. Cassius was sitting in the passengers seat with his head against the window pretending to be asleep. "Too much partin'." Tim said as the Master Sergeant looked into the back seat and saw Yelena covered by the blanket leaning against the rear passenger window. The Master Sargeant looked at Tim again then back at his identification.

"One moment if you please sir." The Master Sergeant said as he looked at his clipboard...(" Rutherford.....Rutherford ......Now where have I heard that name?) the master sargeant thought to himself as he ran he finger down a list of namrs on his clipboard. He was about to turn the page when a young corporal waked up and said to him "Master Sergeant Ruthledge, excuse me. The Lieutenant told me to tell you that Major Jackson will be here in about five ticks."


The Sergeant looked up from his clipboard and said gruffly "Very well corporal. " He then slowly handed Tim back his identification and said "On your way, Sir and thank you." He then waved Tim through the check point. As the Sergeant laid his clipboard on the hood in the hummer, a soft breeze from the lake blew a few pages up. There about four pages down was an artists rendition of Tim with the note " FBI ALERT - Wrangler aka: Cowboy - CAUTION believed armed and dangerous - detain for questioning."

Tim turned right on Eddy and drove south to Waterbury where he turned onto North Main Street to White Law from there they drove to Walker's Corner, then left on Pine Ridge east then south to State Road 13 under US 90. Through Canastota turning left on Oxbow Road then left again on to State Route 5 to Amsterdam where they turned northeast onto State Route 67. Heading to Troy, New York.

Tim keyed the microphone on the secure link to Zoe and said. "Mother Wolf....are all the cubs in the den safe and secure? ....... The foxes will be in the hen house soon." Tim then laid the microphone down on the console.

( 7:00 AM - New York State Route 67 Norththwest of Troy, New York )


Last edited by Lac'Nal on Thu Aug 20, 2009 6:01 am; edited 6 times in total (Reason for editing : Spelling & Location correction)
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PostSubject: Re: HEROES Chapter 3   Sun Aug 16, 2009 6:21 pm


Toril Njordhagen was fortunate that it was only May 16th and many of the cabins around Oneida Lake had yet to be opened. He had left no signs of his entry and certain that Shinnigami would hold true to his word, Toril slept soundly, allowing himself to drift into a deep slumber where is mind fell into dream.

Stavanger, Norway the spring of 1960. Toril was fifteen years old and his parents had for the first time allowed him to accompany his uncle and cousins to go hiking in the high cliffs of Kjerag, now a prime location for base jumpers. The mountains can be dangerous, but the brother of Toril's father is an experienced mountaineer and so the boy is looking forward to fun filled camping trip and a chance to prove to his older cousins that he can keep up with them.


The scene flashes to the four climbers standing below a high peak debating the route they should follow. The older boys want to free climb to a higher ridge and save themselves an hour but the father refuses, telling them that their cousin could not possibly make the climb. Toril tries to convince is uncle but he will not hear of it. They go the round-about way while his cousins make the climb.

A few hours later they meet up with one of the older boys. He tells his father that his brother has gotten himself stuck and needs some help. The experienced shakes his head and has a laugh then tells Toril to wait for them while he fetches his dolt of a cousin off of the side of the mountain.

Alone, and left to his own devices Toril foolishly attempt a free climb of his own. A difficult path, but one that he is confident he can handle. He is strong, much stronger than a boy of his age, the density of his muscles five times that of a normal human but he lacks technique and soon finds himself trapped below a jutting piece of rock. The edge is beyond his grasp, but it is only a mere two foot leap, one that he is confident that he can easily make, but he has never attempted such a maneuver before. Toril chalks his hands and focuses, he does not look down he concentrates only on his target, flexes and jumps. For a moment he is suspended in the air, floating high above a certain death with life one hand grasp away. His right hand slips and utter terror rushes through him, but as his adrenaline kicks in he is able to lash out with his left and catch hold of the rock. He holds fast and suddenly confident pulls himself up with one arm in defiance, but the mountain it seems protests to his mockery and the greatest fear of any climber occurs. The rock breaks, the tip of the jagged hand hold snapping off and Toril is falling. As he plummets there is nothing he can do, nothing he can grab, he is going to die! The wind rushes past his hears, and stings his eyes, he braces himself for the bone crushing impact but suddenly all is still. He can feel the winds rushing past his face, but the sheer mountain side is no longer moving. Toril considers that he is dead and looks down to see that he is high above the ground floating in the air, as if he were weightless.


Toril stirred awake and stretched. A beam of light sifted through one of the boarded windows and let him know that the sun had already been up for a few hours. He wasn't sure how long he had slept, but it felt as if it was hardly long enough. He nodded off once more and dozed for another hour, before hunger drove him out of bed and in search of food.

Pickings were slim, but Toril managed to find a jar of preserved pickles, peanut butter, crackers and a box of Shreddies. 'Breakfast of champions or a pregnancy snack', he considered, still it was better than nothing. After eating, he found the valve to turn on the cabin's water and turned on the hot water tank. He cleaned up after himself, making sure everything was just as he had left it then had a nice hot shower. The warm water was rejuvenating and it felt good to be clean again. Fortunately he had kept his other clothes under his stolen army fatigues which he tossed into the trash. He never was one to build up a pungent body order, so despite the gallons of perspiration his clothes didn't smell that bad, still he wished the people who owned the cabin weren't so small other wise he would've traded them in.

When he was ready to leave, Toril turned off the water and melted into the air. He allowed himself to rise naturally upon the wind and found a good strong breeze to carry him across the lake so that he would not have to put out any effort to fly (It was the use of kinetic energy more so than manipulating his molecules that tired him). He could then just maintain his wind from and drift across the lake and beyond while surveying his surroundings. His vision in his airy form was not as clear or acute as regular human eyes, but he could make out enough from the shapes to tell that there were no military vehicles around anymore, it seemed that they had all cleared out. Hopefully that meant that the others had got away.

(10:00 am - Oneida Lake. May 16th, Saturday)


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PostSubject: Re: HEROES Chapter 3   Sun Aug 16, 2009 11:28 pm


Zoe was supporting Shawn's upper body with the help of Morgan and Shadow when she heard the message in the car and connected her mind to the radio again.

"Workin' on it," she said, "one's not doing great, but he will. We're getting him inside now." The stocky young man's dead weight weighed more than she had expected, but she still managed to carry him inside and up the stairs in the little cottage to the room that had been briefly his before this whole fiasco. Unfortunately, the young man's messenger bag was long gone, having been confiscated or sitting wherever he was before he was captured. This meant the label-maker, their only way to communicate with him, was also gone.

Laying Shawn on one of the small beds, Zoe pulled the blanket up over him and turned to Morgan, pointing a directing finger at her. "Go get some ice and lay down."
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PostSubject: Re: HEROES Chapter 3   Mon Aug 17, 2009 4:50 pm

Morgan couldn't stop a grin at Zoe's demand that she get the ice and go lay down.

"Okay, Zoe, I'm going." She went downstairs, leaning heavily on the banister and headed for the refrigerator. Grabbing a baggie, she put a few cubes into, sealing it shut before grabbing a meat tenderizer and smashing the cubes. Next she grabbed a towel and wrapped it around the baggie of ice. Heading back upstairs, she stopped long enough to let Zoe know which room she'd be in and if she needed her to get her. She entered the room across the hall from the unconcious man, shut the door and laid down, laying so that the bruised side of her head and face were up, the towel with the baggie of ice resting on it.

She lay there, thinking about the second message from Tim. He and the others would be here soon and she figured he'd have his hands full getting everyone situated. She felt as if she should be downstairs whipping up something for everyone to eat, but she couldn't bring herself to leave the soft bed now that she was in it. She hadn't realized just how exhausted she was let along the throbbing going through her brain. She opened her eyes long enough to look at the closed door, for some reason still feeling like an outsider here. She sighed before closing her eyes, thinking about Tim, his ranch, and that rocking chair on the front porch. She wondered if it was still open. Even though he'd done nothing to warrant her thinking that it wouldn't be, he hadn't exactly done anything to make her feel that it was still open either.

She rubbed her eyes, telling herself that she was being stupid and insecure, something she was working on not being anymore. She closed her eyes again, drifting off into a fitful sleep.

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PostSubject: Re: HEROES Chapter 3   Mon Aug 17, 2009 10:00 pm

Morgan woke up less than an hour later, restless and achy. She got up out of the bed and walked over to the window to look out and see if the hummer was anywhere in sight. ~Of course it won't be where anyone can see it, dippy. Tim would hide it and booby trap it~, she thought to herself.

She walked over to the small dresser with the mirror and looked at her face. Right at the hairline at her temple was a knot and a bruise that started there and spread down about an inch into her cheekbone. Her head didn't hurt as bad now, but her vision was still a little off as was her balance.

She thought, then about the young man they had brought into the cottage and remembered something her Aunt Jackie and Uncle Sam had always told her after she'd gone to live with them.

"When someone needs help, do the best you can to give them the help they need, be they animal or human."

She walked out of the room and entered the bedroom across the hall to check on him. He didn't look very old, maybe in his late teens or early twenties. He was still out of it as well. She walked over to the bed and checked his breathing, seeing that it was normal she turned to walk out and go back to her room.

Sitting back down on the bed, Cassie popped into her thoughts and her free spirit. Cassie and her long black hair, slanted dark brown eyes, and high cheek bones. She'd been eager for life and full of laughter, always bringing a smile to people's faces and even at her young age, she would defend Morgan if anyone had anything to say about Morgan's eyes.

Her thoughts then strayed to her father and how different her and Cassie's lives had been. Cassie had been raised with love and understanding. Morgan, even when her mother had been alive, had been scorned by her father. Her mother, Tashina Swift Eagle, had been quick to smile to her, her hands had been loving and gentle when encouraging her to use her abilities, teaching her, even though she wasn't a meta-human, she knew what her sister could do and was able to help Morgan learn. She'd died trying to bring her brother into the world and everything had changed. Her father had never had much to do with her to begin with, but after her mother's death, it was worse. He was quick to punish, quick to accuse, he hated her eyes and what she could do. He'd made sure that she'd known that. For ten years it had been like that. Somehow, she'd still made straight A's in school, always on the honor roll. But, she was miserable. She'd had no friends, wasn't allowed any, the only friends she'd had were the animals when her father wasn't looking.


Then, everything changed again and she went to the reservation to live with her aunt and uncle and Cassie. For two years she'd been happy. It had taken them a few months to get her to come out of her shell, but once she did, Uncle Sam had said that she'd blossomed. She was a quick student, Aunt Jackie picking up where her mother had left off. Cassie helping when she could, giving Morgan the boost of confidence she'd needed.

Aunt Jackie could do what Cassie and Morgan could do, only better at longer distances. Much longer. She was a strong telepath with animals. She was amazing.

Morgan smiled at the thought of happier days, before she'd gotten Cassie killed. She didn't want to think about the time in between her mother's death and before she went to live with her aunt and uncle. Little Cassie had been her best friend, their age difference meaning nothing to the two of them. Her aunt and uncle had loved her for those two years as if she'd been theirs.

Laying back down, her head beginning to hurt again, she began to think about Tim again and what he was doing. Was he okay? Would he make it back to them okay? He was in his way, he'd said, but he wasn't here yet. Would he come to her when he got back or would he just assume she was okay and not bother? Would Zoe even tell him she'd been hurt? She didn't blame Zoe if she didn't as Zoe would be excited over seeing her boyfriend back safe and sound.

Morgan wondered again if she should go downstairs and fix something to eat for everyone, but she again decided not to. She was still dizzy and off balance and wasn't quite sure she wanted to tackle going down the stairs just yet. She lay there, thinking about the good times of the past, refusing to think about Frank and that he was tracking her. Not yet anyway. She would think about him later, right now, she just wanted some peace.

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PostSubject: Re: HEROES Chapter 3   Tue Aug 18, 2009 1:57 pm


Back in the basement, Zoe sat behind a undulating stream of smoke and a pile of electronics on the table. The boxes she had rummaged through were strewn about the dusky floor, sitting open, some with wires and various computer parts hanging over the sides. Cigarette dangling from her mouth, she twisted a screwdriver into the back of a plastic panel before she turned it over and looked it over. It was about the size of an adding machine, the tiny keys from an old laptop laid across the front and a small strip of a screen above them. It was the part below that she was focusing on however, running her fingers across a grate of tiny metallic holes.

Glancing up at the screen, she furrowed her brow in concentration as she absently took the cigarette from her mouth and blew a fresh plume of smoke into the air. As she stared at the table on the screen in front of her, her eyes shifted from a dull brown to a bright crimson. For a moment, she stared unblinking until she finally slowly turned back down to the device in front of her. Her eyes still red, she gazed down at the machine making the black strip above the keyboard flash with digital 1s and 0s flying by in white text so fast that they were mere streaks of light.

For several minutes she sat there, stock still, cigarette dangling out of her mouth as it steadily disintegrating into a cylinder of ash. When the screen went blank again, Zoe put the cigarette out in the ashtray and typed on the small keyboard: T-E-S-T. As she hit the keys, tiny ball bearings rose up creating little metallic bumps on the grate beneath the keyboard. Hitting another key, they dropped again clearing the grate. Satisfied, she rummaged through the things on the table until she found the old purse she’d gotten from some thrift store. Detaching the black canvas strap, she detached it from the purse and fasted to two little hoops screwed to the bottom of the device she made.

A few minutes later, she emerged from the basement and set the device beside Shawn’s bed where he still lay still. As she turned to leave, she suddenly stopped and looked back over at him, her brow furrowed. The young man lay completely still, breathing steadily, but he was. . . different. Zoe distinctly remembered laying him down on his back, but now he appeared to have shifted. He was turned just slightly on his side, his head lulled to the other side of the pillow.

He had moved. So it had started. While he had clearly slipped back into a coma, Shawn was finally starting to wake up.
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PostSubject: Re: HEROES Chapter 3   Tue Aug 18, 2009 4:46 pm

Morgan couldn't lay there any longer. She needed to be either downstairs doing something or outside. She chose outside. Grabbing the towel wrapped baggie, she headed downstairs to the kitchen, slowly going down the stairs.

Once in the kitchen, she filled the baggie up again with ice, wrapped the towel around it and headed outside. She automatically headed for the trees where she sat down, leaning up against one of the big trunks. She knew that she couldn't call any of the animals right now, not with her head still aching and her vision blurry, it would just make the pain ten times worse. So, she sat and being what she was, the animals still came to her.

Anyone looking would see her sitting on the ground, leaning up against a tree with a huge raccoon in her lap, a couple of deer with their noses down to be stroked, a hawk in the limb above her and over to the side, and a yellow finch sitting on her shoulder.

She layed her head back against the tree, closed her eyes, and finally rested peacefully, while the raccon licked at the wound on her temple, soothing it. Once he was done, he settled down in her lap and napped himself.

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PostSubject: Re: HEROES Chapter 3   Wed Aug 19, 2009 4:07 am



Toril sat in the back of semi-truck bound for Albany. Since the Riggs Act was passed all flying meta's were treated as hostile 'air craft' and since at some point he would have to materialize and risk being seen he thought it best to just hitchhike and stay out of sight. While Vacily had once more attempt to coerce him into betraying the 'resistant fighters' he had learned that they were suspected to have a hidden base around Albany, possibly Troy. Toril figured he'd head that way and try and leave them an obscure hint of his location in case they needed to contact him. He didn't know if Yelena and Cassius had made it out alright and if they were in trouble he just wanted to let their friends know that he wasn't involved, he had enough on his plate already, what with both Surge and Shinnigami gunning for him.

The truck rolled into Troy around 11:30 am and Toril made his way through the suburb and found a local Print Shop, called 'Clones', located on Jacob street, just north of Samaritan Hospital. He requested of the young copy boy to quickly type up a poster and make fifty copies on blue coloured paper. Then, he paid the kid with some money he had unfortunately had to lift from some guy at a gas station who looked like he wouldn't miss the fifty bucks.

The poster read:


FREE GYMNASTIC LESSONS

Call LUDMILLA

555-1976


(Printed by Clones Print Shop)


The number was bogus but, he hoped that anyone who knew Yelena well enough would make the association between her real name and the year that she won the gold.

Before he left, the shop Toril asked the kid if he would do him a favour, and the nice young man was more than pleased to help. "If anyone comes asking about these posters, I want you to give them this card. Okay?" Requested Toril.



The young man agreed and took the card, then Toril left. He wandered south down 15th Street, placing the posters where people passing by would notice. He ended his trail at Prospect Park, then faded into the wind and began to make his south, back to New York.

Toril arrived at back at the North Bergen, Super 8 Motel around four in the afternoon. He always paid for a week's stay in advance to accommodate for just these situations and had only taken some cash with him when he had gone to Our Lady of Mercy Hospital, where everything had begun. His wallet and keys were still in the hotel, so he went into the lobby and told the clerk that he had lost his key and he gotten locked out. Fortunately, the clerk that had checked him was there. "Ah, Mr. Deckard. I remember you. No problem, have a key ready for you in two shakes."

Toril thanked the clerk and made his way back to his motel room. He took some time to have a hot shower, eat and relax for a while before he packed his gear into his rental car and checked out. Toril made sure he destroyed the company credit card for the Aspen Centre, which was place of work for his alias Roy Deckard then drove east. He changed over, rental vehicles in Indiana, then a couple of days later arrived in Chicago, Illinois.



Toril hadn't been to Chicago, for years, but he could find his way to Ukrainian Village blind folded. It was where he had met his wife and as the familiar places came into view, he could feel the emptiness in the pit of his stomach starting to churn. It had been eight years since Tatyana's death and once again seeing the place that she called home, stirred up old memories that he had kept on the shelf for too long. He drove around the old neighbourhood for a while, then stopped by Superior Park. It looked just the same, everything coloured a golden orange by the setting sun and Toril could remember he and Tatyana sitting under the big oak, eating ice cream from the corner store. It was the place where he realized that she was the woman he wanted to spend the rest of his life with and it was also where he revealed to her that he was a meta-human.

It is 1991 and Toril is still working for Beacon. He is between assignments and has decided to visit his old friend Gabriel Czarnecki whom he used to battle crime with back in the good old days, before they killed Battalion and he himself was almost killed by the very police he was trying to help.

Gabriel had officially retired as a super-hero and had settled down in the area called Ukrainian Village in Chicago. He was a legend in that city, and Toril had on more than one occasion assisted the 'Bronze Devil' as he was known, to take down his arch-enemy, the Plague Knight. He and his lackeys literally 'plagued' the city at one time but now that the super-villains were all locked away or dead, Gabriel thought it best to count his blessings and retire while the public still admired him.

Toril had a great visit with his old friend and met his wife, Juliana or 'Julie' as everyone called her, for the first time. A young spit fire of a girl that the old dog had somehow managed to snare, but he had to admit, that for someone over a hundred years old the guy looked great; well as great as someone with horns coming out of his head could look. The reality was that Gabriel aged very slow, much slower than Toril and to go along with his longevity he didn't mature as quickly either, in fact at his present age at the time he was probably only about twenty-five years of age in mind. Although he retained his the knowledge of his experiences, his emotional maturity still dictated his behaviour which was reckless at the best of times, but more often than not he miraculously got the job done without causing any innocent bystanders serious injury.

At the time Toril was 37 years of age, but still looked more like a twenty year old which left him little choice but to play the part of a youth in his mid twenties. In a world rampant with mutations unusual longevity would only brand him as a meta-human so he used to playing the role of a younger man. Just to finish his Phd in genetics, he had to move across Canada and reinvent himself in order to alleviate suspicions, which had worked out since it allowed him to move along the Bronze Devil as he steadily moved eastward, fighting crime. Toril, however, never mentioned his doctrate, it was far easier just say that he was a research assistant, which is the story that Julie had told her best friend, Tatyana Kovalenko whom she had invited to join them for dinner.



She is the most beautiful woman that Toril has ever met and spoke with. When they first meet, he successfully pronounces three words which are 'his name', 'where he is from' and 'how much he likes pork'. Unfortunately, the meat they are having is chicken and Toril is utterly embarrassed, so much so that he is uncharacteristically silent for most of the meal and Tatyana assumes that the tall handsome man might be a little stuck up. Gabriel is oblivious of his friends predicament, but fortunately Julie has some sense of what's going on and with a not so subtle kick to his shin she gets his attention. She's a body builder, and a strong woman so driving her spiked heel into the Bronze Devil's shin definitely gets his attention and after a very obvious glare, he does his best to engage Toril in conversation which eventually works, after which he and Tatyana can hardly stop talking. He realizes she is only 21 years of age, and even though he ages slowly like Gabriel, he could not dismiss that his mind had still advanced while she still had so much of her youth to discover. Toril bid her good night and then tried to force her smile out of his head.

The next morning, Toril accompanied Gabriel and Julie for a stroll around the neighbourhood. He would always recall it as being one of the strangest experiences in his life, taking a domestic walk down a residential street with the Bronze Devil while he was just Toril Njordhagen and not the super-hero, Wraith. Julie was able to understand what he was experiencing, since she knew that he was the Wraith and had fought by her husband's side for many years. It also seemed, that she didn't seem to think that he and her friend were an inadequate pair, when they surprisingly bumped into, Tatyana in Superior Park. After that day, she and Toril were rarely apart and it was at that exact same place where their relationship had begun a month ago that he told her what and who he was.


A soccer ball hit the side of Toril's car, snapping him back into the present and a young boy ran through his memories and nervously apologized. He just smiled and waved an okay, then put his car and gear and proceeded to his destination.

DEVIL'S GRIN COMEDY CLUB


It was just after supper time and the tables for the all night comedy club were still vacant. They usually didn't fill up until seven 'o' clock, so the host and owner was on stage practicing a few of opening lines. He started off with some classic family humour to get personal with the audience, then he transitioned with a segue that was directed at himself. Standing their, his skin shimmering in the spot light, the Bronze Devil was quite the sight to behold, after all, how many people saw a devil doing stand up comedy? He wasn't a fool, Gabriel knew that more people came to see him on stage first and listen to his dialog second, but he didn't really care, just so long as they came.



"So I often get people thinking that I'm a Satanist. Go figure?" Gabriel began, "And people are surprised to find that I'm Catholic. 'Catholic?' they say, 'When's the last time you went to church?' and I tells them, 'I don't go to church. I do the Lord's work on Saturday', and this always confuses them. 'Yeah', I say, 'Every Saturday, a Jehovah comes around and every time I answer the door, they try and exorcise me! Just one look at me and they convert!'

"Get some new material!" Shouted a heckler.

Gabriel shaded his eyes against the spot light and tried to make out the guy with the death wish as the big man came closer, his eyes widened with surprise. "Holy shit! As I live and breath! Studio!" He shouted and 6'9", 350 pound man moved spryly, leaping off the stage and embracing his old friend with a bear hug. "Damn, it's good to see you!"

"Good to see you too." Wheezed Toril as his exuberant friend's powerful arms lifted him off of the ground and exerted a crushing force. He had almost forgotten his nickname. When he and the Bronze Devil had first met, he thought that he looked more like he was ready for a photo shoot rather than fighting crime, so he called him Studio ever since then.

Gabriel put, Toril down and playfully squeezed his face in his big hand. "Seen some action, there Studio?", he pointed out as he noticed a few scrapes and bruises.

"A little." Answered Toril

"Well com'on, let's have a seat." Offered Gabriel and he lead Toril up a few stairs to a landing where there were private booths. He approached one that had a sign on it that read, 'Reserved for the Owners' and the two big men sat down.

"Kinda lost track of you, haven't seen you since the...", Gabriel bit back the word so as not to bring up any bad memories.

"Funeral." But Toril completed the sentence for him. "Yeah, sorry Bronze, after Tatyana... died... I just had to leave for a while and work things out."

Gabriel nodded. He had kept himself apprised of the Seattle news after 2002 when Toril's wife had been killed. Every so often he would see the brutal murder of gang members and their mutilated bodies left strewn across a monument, but it all stopped in 2004 after the passing of the Riggs Act. Toril then went on to explain that he had been doing a little bit of work for Beacon, then described the recent events in his life that involved the 'freedom fighters' in New York State. While he told the story, a waitress came over and Gabriel requested some drinks. He swallowed down a few pints while listening to Toril's story and when he was done the Bronze Devil was silent for a few moments while he processed all the information. "Man!" he finally said, "Surge really has flipped his f*&%#ing wig! The systems not perfect, but look at me. I got my club. What the hell do you think of it? You're lucky, 'cause I just renovated a few months ago."

"It looks great!" Toril commented, although the idea of the Bronze Devil doing stand up comedy was new to him and would take some getting used to.

A muscular woman in her late 30's with straight blonde hair came around the corner and when she saw, Toril, screamed a few excited words in Ukrainian and came running over. "Toril! Just look at you! Still so handsome, and young." She enthusiastically remarked as she studied his face.

Toril stood and gave the woman a big hug. "It's so good to see you, Julie. You look fit!" He told her, commenting on her ripped arms. "You're still competing?"

The brawny Ukrainian woman answered, Toril with a hard, playful slap to his chest. "Hey! I still have few years in me, yet!" She said with a loud laugh.

Toril felt a little bad, he hadn't meant his comment to be taken in such a fashion. When he had first met Julie she was 21, now she was forty and he and Gabriel still looked as if they were in their early thirties. She was as fit as ever though and just as energetic. "I'll fix up a room for you." She told him then walked over and gave Gabriel a kiss on the cheek for good luck with his show. Then left before, Toril had the chance to decline the offer.

"Guess your staying." Said Gabriel with a big grin.

"I appreciate it." Toril thanked him.

"Hey! None of that! You're family." Gabriel told him, pointing his finger while bringing up a shot of vodka to his lips. "You stay as long as you need. You hear me? And if this sushi, chef, Shina-oragami, comes around, I'll give him the hammer." he growled, shaking his fist in the air. He shot back his drink and slammed the glass on the table. "Order anything you want, I gotta get ready." Gabriel stood up and slapped Toril on the shoulder, "It really is good to see you, Studio. We'll catch up later, okay? Enjoy the show."

Toril watched the giant man navigate through the sea of tables and disappear back stage. It felt good to be in the company of his old mentor, the super-hero that he had fought alongside in the late seventies. He hadn't come to the Bronze Devil for protection, but if there was anyone he knew that give Shinnigami a run for his money it was Gabriel. His tough hide and saved Toril's neck as well as his own several times over, and it might even turn the blades of the master assassin. He, however, did not want to get his old friend involved with his fight, after one night he'd move on and keep heading homeward, back to B.C., but until then he'd enjoy a few more drinks and some good comedy.

(7:00 pm, Monday, May 18th - The Devils Grin Comedy Club, 1801, Erie Street West, Chicago)


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PostSubject: Re: HEROES Chapter 3   Thu Aug 20, 2009 9:11 am

Tim continued to drove east on NY67 into the small town of West Milton, New York as Cassius slept in the passengers seat and Yelena, rest somewhat uneasily in the back seat. He headed south on County Rte-49/W Milton Rd toward Barnes Trailer Park, continued on Paisley Rd and turned left at Amsterdam Rd/NY-67/Rte-67 then continued to follow NY-67. THe turned right at Church Ave/NY-50/NY-67 then made a slight left at State Route 67 and continued on NY-67. At the traffic circle, he took the 2nd exit onto Dunning St/NY-67/State Route 67 and merged onto I-87 S via the ramp to Albany.

Tim then took exit 7-6 to merge onto NY-7 E toward Troy/Cohoes and continued on I-787 E
taking a slight right at Hoosick St turned right at S Lake Ave then left at Brunswick Rd/NY-2 and out into the country side. After a few miles, Tim turned onto the deserted looking drive that lead to the farm house, pulling around back and up to the back porch. Tim turned off the enigne, looked into the back seat and smiled.
(Saturday 10:30 am - May 16th, 2010 - Northeast of Troy, New York)


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PostSubject: Re: HEROES Chapter 3   Thu Aug 20, 2009 10:27 am



Yelena awakened to a rather rough ride and blinked a few times only to look through blurry eyes as blaring sunshine filtered into the back seat of the hummer. When she went to move she immediately felt the pain in her shoulder and uttered a string of curses in her native language that needed no interpretations on just exactly how she felt.

The pain helped clear her foggy mind and everything came flooding back to her in a rush. Quickly looking around, certain she had somehow been captured, she was more than relieved to see Tim’s face looking over the seat, grinning at her.

“Well…welcome back Mother Hen. Damn good ta see ya awake. Mind that shoulder now. I did what I could for ya, but ya don’t need ta go tearing it open either. Know what I mean?”

Yelena slowly let her eyes slide down to her shoulder and she saw two things. The first was that she was still in her true form and the second was that instead of a gaping bullet hole that went straight through her shoulder, there was now a cauterized wound and some charred skin. Closing her eyes, Yelena concentrated and the illusion she used for her normal look shimmered into place. Looking up at Tim she gave him a small smile.



” Spasiba (thank you) Tim. I owe you.”

Cassius had already awakened and was out of the hummer opening the back door for Yelena to get out. As the sunlight poured into the hummer even ore, the shape shifter squinted to look up and see Cassius’ bruised but smiling face looking down at her. Holding out his hand, he bowed deeply.

”Right this way, mademoiselle dudette.”

Yelena couldn’t help but smile more and place the hand of her good arm in his and use his help to get out of the hummer. Once outside she wobbled a little but quickly regained control of herself and nodded at Cassius’ concerned look.

”Is alright. Just had to catch balance…”

The young man looked her over from head to toe then nodded.

”I have to say, dudette, I like this look best of all on you. Not that you don’t look good the other way, but blue just ain’t yer color.”

It was the first time Yelena was not uncomfortable talking about her true form and she actually chuckled only to wince a little after the fact.

”Da…I like this one better too.”

Looking at Tim and Cassius, she nodded towards the house.

”Let’s go….’

Cassius was all for that. Tim could see the young man’s eagerness to see Zoe and he took over at Yelena’s side to help her get up the porch and into the house, draping his arm around the small of her back and helping her keep her balance.

As soon as Cassius opened the door, he yelled out at the top of his lungs in his best Dezi Arnez voice.

”LUCY! I’M HOME!”

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PostSubject: Re: HEROES Chapter 3   Thu Aug 20, 2009 2:10 pm

Morgan had dozed off up against the tree with the raccoon on her lap when she woke up to the sound of the hummer pulling in. She sat there, watching as Tim got out, her heartbeat speeding up at seeing him alive and well, smile splitting her face. Then she saw the beautiful blond get out and her smile fell. She was stunning. Looking down at herself then back up at the blond that was walking into the house, she didn't know what to do. The young man must be Cassuis and she knew that Zoe would be thrilled to see him. These were Tim's friends, she was the outsider.

She sat back down, not wanting to intrude on the reunion. The raccoon was still there, looking up at her. She saw Tim move the hummer to the pole barn again, knowing that he was booby trapping the building. Still, she stayed where she was, unsure.

She'd been working on her insecurity and her fears and within a matter of seconds at seeing the blond, her insecurities came back full force. She was the type that looked like she should be with Tim, not her.

Morgan sat back down, leaning back up against the tree, the raccoon curling up on her lap again. "I'm a fool, little one. You know that? A fool. In a few days time I fall for a man that I'm not even sure.....well, after seeing that woman, why would he still want this little mouse."

Her head was better than it was earlier, and she tried calling to the deer who had walked off, but it caused her head to start pounding. So, she wasn't quite ready yet to use her ability. They would come to her as she just naturally drew animals to her, but she couldn't quite control them or use their eyes yet. Not without causing herself significant pain.

While she sat there, she began to think of Frank and how she was going to handle this. Tim would have his hands full with his friends, so he probably wouldn't notice that she was gone when she had her plan figured out. She had to stop Frank, especially now that Tim had all of his friends together. They could get hurt and she wasn't going to have that. So she sat there and she planned.

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PostSubject: Re: HEROES Chapter 3   Thu Aug 20, 2009 3:05 pm

Frank pulled over to the side of the road when he was the sign. All he saw were the words, TROY. He punched the steering wheel, knowing that he couldn't very well enter the town, not after what had happened before.

"Dammit!!" He could feel her, knew she was close, but he couldn't get to her. He was sure that the town cops would be looing for him, still and they would call the damn FBI agents if they saw him. He would have to wait it out.

Turning around, he headed for an off the road motel and got a room. Heading to a truck stop down the road, he picked himself up something to eat, went back to the motel room and waited.

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PostSubject: Re: HEROES Chapter 3   Thu Aug 20, 2009 8:32 pm

Morgan stood up. She was being childish and she knew it. She had missed Tim, was glad he was here safe and sound, and needed to see him. The blond woman was probably Yelena and Tim had told her that they we only friends, more like brother and sister. Jealousy didn't sit well with her, so it was time to just stop it.

She began to walk towards the house after having shooed the raccoon back into the woods. She looked around for Tim as she walked, not seeing him anywhere.

Entering through the back door, she headed inside, seeing Cassius standing there. She didn't see the blond. She smiled at Cassius, "Hi, I'm Morgan, Tim's friend. You must be Cassius. I assume the blond woman I saw is Yelena. Where is Tim?"

She saw the bruises on his face and walked towards him, "Do you want some ice for you face? I already have a cloth wrapped baggie that I used for myself today if you'd like me to put some ice in it for you." She headed for the sink first, emptying the water from the baggie, before heading to the freezer and grabbing some ice.

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PostSubject: Re: HEROES Chapter 3   Fri Aug 21, 2009 7:25 am




Tim, followed Cassius inside, he looked around briefly for Morgan. Not seeing her he lifted Yelena up in his arms and carried her upstairs to a vacant bedroom. There he sat her down on a large brass poster bed, placing some pillows behind her back. "Ya sit yurself har an' rest, I'll get the Hummer hid away and see ifin' I kin russel ya up some food. I reckon ya need ta stay right still fur a couple a days till that thar shoulder has a chance ta mend. Ifin' ya need sumtin' ya just give a hollar." Tim then walked out of the room, down the stairs and out to the Hummer.

He climbed in and moved it to the barn, parked it, walked out of the barn and booby traped the door. Tim then walked slowly back to the house. Fatigue was finally starting to creep up on him as he wearily climbed up on the porch and inside. Once inside he walked into the living room, turned on the big sceen plasma TV to the Fox Headline News Channel and sat down on the couch, placing his booted feet on the coffee table. Within minutes his eyes closed and Tim fell asleep, his hand still resting on the remote.


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PostSubject: Re: HEROES Chapter 3   Fri Aug 21, 2009 10:46 am


“LUCY! I’M HOME!” The sound reached Zoe’s ears and seemed to penetrate directly to her heart. Immediately, she looked up from the monitor, her eyes widened. She was nearly numb to the other sounds around her, to the other sets of footsteps that followed the door being pushed shut. As she got up, she moved slowly across the room, the air around her thick, her body numb as though she had fallen into a dream. Her heart pounded as she pushed open the trap door, unsure if her mind was playing tricks on her if it was finally real.

Emerging from the hidden basement, Zoe slipped into the narrow foyer and stared with stiff, brown eyes at the bruised but beaming face a few feet in front of her. The tall, lanky form was weighed down with fatigue and pain, his normally shaggy hair matted to his head and tangled into an even bigger mess of a mop. As her eyes fell on him, her solid expression was ever so subtly cracked, but Dominic’s piercing stare clearly saw straight through it.


Cassius grinned at the young girl as she immediately began offering first aid before he could even get a word in. His eyes quickly drifted however when he saw the figure emerge a few feet behind Morgan. Even through his blurred vision and beaten face, his features seemed to soften as he laid eyes on her. Glancing back and Morgan for a second, he placed a hand on her shoulder affectionately.

“Much appreciated, dudette,” he said, “totally awesome to meet you but I gotta take a rain check on the ice. Uno momento, ya know?” Slipping past Morgan, he took a few steps towards Zoe until he stood about an inch away from her, his tall, thin form seeming to tower over her as he looked down into her eyes. “Hey baby,” he said, his tone soft and rasped. For a moment, Zoe didn’t move, staring back at him with an unreadable expression.

“You’re alive,” she said, her voice barely above a whisper.

“Totally.”

“You look like shit.”

Cassius nodded, “totally feel like I got wiped out by a truckload of it,” he replied. “Probably smell like it too,” he added after a second thought.

“Go get ice,” Zoe said after another moment of staring up at him. She only barely got the sentence out, however, when Cassius grabbed her by the arms and yanked her forward, pulling her lips onto his and kissing her fervently, his hands slipping away from her arms and stroking her back. At first, she stiffened, not expecting the sudden movement and very aware of the audience they had. After a second, however, she relaxed, seemingly melting into him as she pressed against him, embracing him tightly.
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PostSubject: Re: HEROES Chapter 3   Fri Aug 21, 2009 11:21 am



Yelena didn’t like anyone doing thing for her, like walking. But when Tim scooped her up and carried her up the stairs, she was more than grateful. Once again she thanked him and swallowed her pride. The fatigue she saw on his face wasn’t unnoticed and before he left her alone in the cozy room, she called to him. When he turned around, she offered him a soft smile.

”Rest, Cowboy. While handsome, da, you look like shit.”

Tim merely grinned and tipped his hat before leaving her alone. Once he was gone, Yelena’s smile faded. She was once more safe, away form people who wanted to hurt her and her friends. But that didn’t stop the feelings she had.

A man who she thought was her friend turned out to be nothing more than a master manipulator and lying bastard. He wanted to use Zoe for her ability no matter what it would do to the young woman. While Yelena knew Zoe’s abilities were incredible, it didn’t warrant forfeiting her life for the purpose he wanted to use it for.

So what if he could erase any trace of the things he wanted to eliminate? That didn’t fix the real problem. It would only be a matter of time before more files and more laws were enacted to discriminate against the meta’s. The only way to fix the problem was to educate the world but that was difficult to do when men like Vacily did what they did.

He was as much a part of the problem as anyone was. While he would never see it that way, Yelena knew if he didn’t open his eyes to the truth, and soon, he would end up living a lonely, empty life. Something she suspected he already was. Which was a shame. He was a handsome man any woman would be glad to share her life with. Even Yelena herself had inklings of such thoughts back when she first met him all those years ago. But now, looking back, she realized he had played her like a fine tuned musical instrument. Saying and doing the right things to gain her trust knowing full well he had no plans on doing anything to help her.

But wait. He DID help her. He told Yelena he was the one that had left the clothes and cargo truck for her to find and had ensured the truck wouldn’t be inspected before it left the facility. Was there really something more to him or was that just another part of his grand scheme of things? Knowing Vacily now like she does, it was all part of his grand scheme.

Making a rather unladylike noise, Yelena resigned herself to the fact if there was any decency in Vacily ever, it was definitely gone now. He was too consumed with what he perceived to be the truth to see reality for what it really was.

Pushing thoughts of Vacily from her mind, Yelena let her mind drift her friends. Old and new alike. She was back with Tim and she knew, that while he may go about things in ways she didn’t approve, she could trust him with her life, no matter what. Even after all the disagreements they had, he was there when she needed him the most.

Cassius and she had both shared a great deal during all of this and she had a new found respect for him. While he wasn’t meta, he certainly championed on their side and for that, Yelena admired him. Now that he was back with Zoe, she was certain neither of them would be seen for a couple of days.

But the one place, or person, Yelena’s mind stayed on the most was the tall, blond Norwegian, Toril. Where was he? Was he OK? Did he need their help? Last time she saw him it was in the deserted cabin near Lake Oneida. She prayed no harm had befallen the man. He risked his life to save theirs and for that, she would be eternally grateful. But there was something else about the man that struck a fine chord within her. He shared the same regard for life she did, for the most part. While she admits she may have done things during their escape that wasn’t exactly right with that philosophy, she also knew that they were all marked for death and had to do what they had to do in order to insure they lived. Would he forgive her? Would she even see him again?

As Yelena laid there thinking about the handsome, blond man, her mind drifted to the conversation they had about her gymnast career. He’d followed her career from start to finish and other than Tim, he was the only one that now knew she was Ludmilla Tourischeva. She’d never met anyone that knew her from her gymnast days or had followed it so closely and for some reason, she found comfort in that.

It was with those thoughts she drifted back to sleep once more as fatigue overtook her exhausted body and mind. Rest was paramount right now and her body was going to make sure it got it.

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PostSubject: Re: HEROES Chapter 3   Fri Aug 21, 2009 2:27 pm

Morgan blushed seeing Zoe and Cassius in such a passionate embrace. She quietly slipped out of the kitchen and headed for the living room, where she saw Tim asleep on the couch. Her heart all but stopped, seeing him up close and uninjured. His hand rested on the remote and his hat was tipped at an odd angle as he slept.

Walking silently over to him, she gently lifted his cowboy hat off of his head and set it on the edge of the coffee table. Now feeling bold where before she was unsure and jealous, she sat down next to him, laying her head on his shoulder, whispering in a voice breaking with unshed tears, "I was so worried about you, Tim." She then slid down, laying her head on his lap, tears running over her nose and dripping onto his jeans. The bruised side of her head was visible and would be the first thing he sees upon waking to her head on his lap.

She feels his hand stroke her soft hair and smiles.

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