Case File 002: Part 4

by CM Towns

   “The training facility is the main focus right now. That’s what I have most the worker drones on. The transporter, I’m having to devise a system to hook to the James household and I think I have it nailed,” Tesla explained as he sat in the Work Room with blueprint designs laid out. The work room was a nice sized building area with work tables, machine equipment, storage containers with gears, tools, circuit boards-everything you could use to build advanced machines. Sally, Antoine and Elijah surrounded Tesla as he showed off another design. Tesla’s hair was uncombed, he had a smoke in an ashtray beside him, and had his reading glasses on his shirt.
   Elijah was deeply fascinated with Tesla. The self made millionaire was the mastermind of Innovative Arts and had become integral in the shaping the future of technology. Elijah learned that Tesla came from a working class Chinese family and adopted the name as a tribute to one of the great minds of any era. His design work, ideas, and the gadgets he provided helped the team immensely. The new laptop and smartphones (business and personal) were the fastest and most advanced he had ever seen. Elijah knew this for certain because he was rich and having pricey electronics was a guilty pleasure of the upper class.
   “This is?” Antoine asked on one design.
   “The second Flier you have is a small cargo transport so I’m thinking you can put a van sized tank inside-use to move on ground. This is a later project of course, but I had to whip it up before I forgot,” he said.
   “Weapons?” asked Antoine.
   “Magnetic pulse cannons. About as non-lethal as you can get for a Flier. But it would be best to include a pair of cannons or missile launchers,” he answered.
   “Do you ever sleep?” Elijah asked amazed looking at one design, studying the liner notes written in traditional Chinese.
   “I take small naps through out the day,” Tesla answered.

   “Have you had a chance to look at any of the hardware we found at the recent Teiwaz depot?” asked Sally.
   “I did a quick look. Just high performance computer hardware. Several steps below starbox technology but would make it hard to trace illegal activity so high in demand with hackers. There was other devices for tracking and spying. In this paranoid climate we could off load them but I would keep some here just in case,” he said.
   “Can you sell it? Or work it into any of our resources?” Antoine asked.
   “Like I said-there is a demand,” Tesla answered with a smile.
   “Things are moving incredibly fast,” observed Elijah.
   “I know, isn’t it exciting?” asked Tesla.
   “Any word on the fabric?” inquired Sally.
   “That was good stuff. I have people looking into improving the quality. You would have burnt through it eventually but with some refinement we can make the fabric far stronger,” he answered.
   “Thank you,” Sally said.
   “I know what you are really here for,” Tesla said to Elijah. Tesla shook his head and Elijah knew it was either bad news or no news. “Nothing on the mutation front. My colleagues are still checking over the process this Master-Doctor whipped up. Do have news on retrieval of a few of the others. Military is keeping them housed until further notice.”
   Elijah nodded. “Thank you for looking into it.”
   “Just trying to help anyway I can. Bastards like him make us all look bad,” Tesla said.
   “We’ll leave you to your work,” Antoine said and Tesla nodded. The three exited the room and into the hall where they heard a small explosion behind them.
   “Where did you meet Tesla?” Elijah said.
   “An attempted car jacking. This is back right before he hit on some big ray guns and sold the designs for millions. Came in handy when the aliens showed up,” Jackson explained.
   “You and your old partner?” asked Sally.
   “Yeah, me and Kid Marvel.”
   “So he helped craft your weapons and transport within the city all while launching his own industrial empire?” Elijah asked.
   “There were a couple other people who helped.”
   “This is all just another day at the office for you two. Don’t you ever stop and think how strange it is to be on the cusp of the future. Or blink in the face of magic?” Elijah asked of them.
   “I blink at how slow your computers and tablets are. Or the archaic restrooms of your world,” Sally stated.
   Elijah laughed. “Apologies kitten.”
   The three arrived at the elevator and got inside. “So Monday night I’ll take the group out.”
   “You nervous?” asked Antoine.
   “No. Just feeling more responsibilities on my shoulders. Resident cook when Sally is not here and being the one to communicate back and forth. I guess I am the big brother,” he said.
   “Fourth in command if no one is here to take field operations,” Sally said.
   “I feel special.”
   “Sarcasm?” asked Sally.
   “Not sure,” he smiled before the doors to the Living Floor opened. The three exited and stood right in the hallway.
   “I do feel rather trapped in here. Steel walls, no windows, big and empty. Though I imagine I would feel trapped outside, seeing as I don’t have my sunny disposition anymore. Having things to occupy my time would be good. For all of us I imagine. Well-Reed and Araminta seem content but I know Frank would like to get out more,” Elijah said.
   “I know it sucks. Jessie’s been talking about putting in a game room. Maybe we can get a couple courts down in the garage seeing as there is extra room. Stuff to keep busy with. Maybe we can figure out how to have a safe house on an isolated beach somewhere. But right now we got a lot of things on our plate. We need to set up the our main safe houses, get Kate a partner to help with information gathering. In time this place will have enough to keep you distracted,” Antoine said.
   Elijah nodded. “Guess a lot of reading and movies for now. Luckily I do like books and enjoy old films.”
   “You can always take TUSKEGEE-1 out to visit your family. They have said we could visit you summer home,” Jackson mention. Snapped his finger and add, “Maybe put a teleporter there.”
   “That is a good idea,” Sally agreed.
   “Yeah. I’ll talk to them about it but I imagine upgrading a beach house resort with teleporter would be on the bottom of priorities list,” Elijah said.
   “Probably but we can still go down there for a visit,” Antoine said.
   “That would be nice,” said Elijah before he excused himself. He started down the hall toward the Theater Room with many thoughts weighing on him. He wanted to check in with his family and talk with his father. Give him the update and discuss things back home and here at the base. Elijah also thought about the search operation he was heading up for Monday night. It should be simple but with his new life things could easily get complicated. Elijah was also curious about all the details they went over in the meeting that the morning. Being a superhero was a burden and he admired his teammates who had been doing it for years now.
   Elijah stopped part way from the theater and took a different route getting whiff of Jessie’s scent. His sense of smell was a blessing and curse. The blessing was knowing when his light crush was around. He wandered into one of the empty living rooms and he saw Jessie, Frank, Reed and Araminta with their furniture purchases.
   “YO! Beastly, get your ass over here and help us fix things up,” said Jessie.
   Elijah smiled, “Sure thing, Canary.”