Part 13

by CM Towns

   Elijah was blowing off some steam the best way he could given his current circumstance. It had been a busy and frustrating few days. Constant exercise and training plus helping Antoine, Sally and the Professor with the investigation. He was not in there as much as them but he contributed the best he could. Sally, and obviously the Professor, were well read but Elijah had a knack for mysteries. Normally. This was different and even though he could pick up on small details in files or through witness statements he could not glean a significant lead.
   The anger he was wrestling with did not come from the investigation so much as from a breaking news bulletin. Agents of Homeland Security found a Teiwaz base a little too late. Seven kidnapped teenagers all executed. It stuck Elijah in the heart. He listened and waited for word on the experiments but nothing in the news report about further experimentation. Elijah did not know how to feel about that, but he knew how to feel about the Teiwaz. The ones who died in the firefight deserved to burn in hell, and the ones who were arrested deserved the gas chamber. Elijah felt sickened by his feelings-he was against capital punishment as a rule but the Teiwaz were making him rethink that stance. They were heartless murders and liars. Scum posing as a superior movement. Elijah wanted to hurt them.
   Elijah stared at that footage and thought about his family. Father, mother, brother, sister. He thought of his friends Marcus and Neil who suffered the abduction with him but were now unaccounted for. The anger, pain, sorrow swelled up and he had to step out.

   He was now out in the dark of night, among the lush greenery that surround the Sekowsky mountain. He had Reed and Wolf with him. Not by choice really but Reed said Wolf should spend some time outside and felt the need to accompany the pet. Elijah grabbed the boy a miners helmet, as small as he could find, with a working light on top.
   So there they were, out in the darkness. Elijah tossing large sticks at an excited Wolf. Reed watching, sharing in the fun. The distraction was amusing but Elijah had his mind still on the report, the investigation, and even thinking about his young partner. Reed seemed to have adapted quickest to the life. Not that Elijah, Frank or even Araminta really had too much troubles accepting the situation but Reed was different. He accepted the base as home without caring about how strange it was. He accepted the mission because the fight came to him. He accepted the others without asking too many questions. Reed was curious for simple details but never a full life story. Reed gave less a care than any of the others over his own wealth-much more interested in Elijah’s gaming set up back home.
   Elijah looked up when he heard swooping noise in the air. Reina landed down by them with bags in her hands.
   “Hey,” she said.
   Elijah smiled and Reed asked, “Where’d you go?”
   “Heard Beastly was feeling down and decided to solve that,” Reina replied. She reached into a bag and pulled a bottle of Courvoisier Cognac and Elijah laughed.
   “Cognac is an after dinner drink,” Elijah said.
   “We ate dinner a few hours ago,” she replied.
   “Plus it should be chilled. I’d have been happy with a bottle of Jack Daniels like last time,” he said.
   “You’re a wealthy man-you should drink like it.”
   “Are you two going to make out? Because if you are I’m going back inside,” Reed said.
   Reina walked over toward him. “When I heard you were out with Beastly I decided to drop by a 7-11 and get these,” she said handing him a pack of Oreos and a Cherry Coke. Reed thanked her and he found the nearest tree and sat down and started unwrapping the cookies.
   “Yes, I see you Wolf,” Reina Titán pulled out a pack of beef jerky, opened it and tossed a few. Reina used her powers to adjust her costume into a long sleeve shirt and tight fitting pants.
   “Thank you,” Elijah said moving over to Jessie. Her eyes watched his movements closely. He gave her a kiss on the top of her head.
   “Your welcome.”
   Elijah walked over to where Reed was seated and opened the bottle. He discovered early in his transformation that the best way to get buzzed was with hard liquors. He took a swig and offered it to Jessie who showed off a liter of Coke. Jessie got Reed to stand up, she moved behind him and pulled him down into front of her.
   “You’re mothering him,” Elijah said.
   “Reed likes the attention, don’t you?” she asked.
   “Whatever,” he replied between bites and sips of soda.
   “Wolf run off?” Jessie asked.
   “He’s not too far. I can whistle and he’ll come back,” Elijah said.
   “He’s smart,” Jessie said.
   “He took a liking to us for feeding him. Plus he’s young and without a pack.”
   “He has a pack now,” Jessie said.
   “We should get more pets. Like a dog. One of the ones with a sad face,” Reed said.
   Jessie laughed and Elijah said, “I don’t have any pets back home because my mother has allergies. Well… my brother does have a lizard.”
   “I have a few cats. Kirino and Sayako,” Jessie told them.
   “I don’t like cats,” Reed said pulling his handheld video game.
   “You say that now but once you have a tiny kitten crawling all over you you’ll fall in love,” Jessie responded.
   “If I want to have a cat I want a panther,” Reed said.
   “A little too big really. Nothing bigger than our red wolf,” Jessie replied.
   “Is this how it is when you’re on the job? Trying to relax while the world outside goes to hell?” Elijah asked.
   “To be fair, we don’t have such a pretty view from Dangerous Duo HQ,” Jessie answered.
   Elijah took another gulp of his drink, wiped his mouth and said, “It is a wonder view.”
   “I want to say I understand your anger but-you’re in a situation that’s rare. I mean, my people are getting picked up too but… You know…” Jessie said.
   “I do know. It’s very frustrating,” responded Elijah.
   “It is. Extremely so. On the bright side we don’t have to worry about getting warrants and filing real paper work but I suspect Antoine will make us at least summarize what we did on the missions,” Jessie said.
   “Antoine is very organized about his job.”
   “So is Sally.”
   “Match made in heaven,” Elijah raised his drink and Jessie hers.
   “So is like-all you guys hooking up? Because if you are please don’t be kissing all around me and all the time,” said Reed. Jessie mussed up his hair and he snapped his hand back at hers.
   “Tell me Jessie-you have seen some of the movies made about you. What’s your favorite?” Elijah asked.
   “I can’t say. I honestly try to avoid them all,” Jessie answered.
   “I like the one with that blond girl who was in that one James Bond film,” Reed mentioned.
   “Why?” inquired Jessie.
   “Because she slapped Mizer good,” Reed answered.
   “The one from France is pretty good. All Hail de la Raine. The actress was impressive,” Elijah said.
   “My best friends favorite is the first animé that Japan made,” Jessie said.
   “Same friend who designed my outfit?” questioned Elijah.
   “Same one,” Jessie answered before another drink.
   There was silence, the only sounds were those around them and Reeds video game. Wolf crept back and laid beside Elijah.
   Jessie broke the silence when she said, “Call your parents.”
   “I’m not ready to do that.”
   “You need to let them know you’re okay. You need someone who knows you to listen to your problems,” Jessie said.
   “I need to do that. Just not yet. After we end this. After I get answers. Maybe,” Elijah replied.