Sweat ran down Lisa Sanchez's beautiful face. Her skin was flushed. Her eyes were narrowed in concentration and effort as she strained. Her muscles were sharp as knives. Her striations in her throbbing biceps were like razor blades laid end to end. The veins and arteries were full of blood and pulsing with the rhythm of her heart. Her body vibrated under the tension, but she had more to give. She looked down at her arms and smiled. Her muscles were rock hard, but she had barely scratched the surface of what she could do. "Do you want me to try harder?", she asked with a slight bit of strain in her voice.
Ian looked at his computer read out before replying. "The field is holding pretty well right now. Are you experiencing any pain?"
"Other than burning in my muscles, no. It doesn't hurt."
Ian nodded. "Ok. You can try harder."
Lisa grinned and pulled harder, but her arms didn't move. Her muscles just got more dense and even more cut. It was like the skin was vacuum sealed to her hyper pumped muscles. The fibers of her biceps fired faster and faster, inhumanly fast as Lisa increased the pressure she was exerting, but still her arms didn't move at all. The oversized bracelets she was wearing saw to that. They were bulky and cumbersome, but as long as they stayed in contact with the energy field being created by a machine behind her, they kept her arms from moving in any direction. Lisa wasn't sure of the exact numbers, but with her muscles pumped like this, she was pretty sure that this machine was holding back tons and tons of force, because her body could produce that and more.
Ian glanced over at his friend, and at her impossible body. With every passing moment, more and more muscle flexed up. He knew it was dense and hard, but she was completely shredded too. He could point out every single muscle group on her arms and back and chest. "I think we might have a winner here", Ian said after he looked at the gauges and let Lisa pull hard for a solid minute.
Lisa was covered in sweat now, and her muscles were twice as hard and twice a shredded to the bone as they had been only a few minutes before. There was a slight humming coming from the machine, but other than that it was working flawlessly. "So you're going to give this machine your stamp of approval?", Lisa asked through clenched teeth. She'd been pulling hard for a while now, and even she got tired.
"Yep, I think the government finally has an economical and humane machine that can hold people with class 3 strength. If it can hold you, then I think it'll work just fine." Ian seemed very satisfied with himself. He and his partner at MIT had been working on this project for a while. "Let me start the shut down process."
"Wait just one second", Lisa said quickly and took a couple of deep breaths.
Lisa screwed up her face and started flexing hard. Ian watched her body go nova. Her muscles flexed so hard it made her earlier efforts look weak. Surging diamond hard cuts of jagged biceps and delts and lats flared into one throbbing mass of power fueled muscle. "So I can do.... THIS!" Lisa pulled her arms in towards her body. That wasn't supposed to happen. The machine tried to stop her, but before it could even compensate, she threw her arms up towards the ceiling. Sparks and pieces of steel shot out of the pedestal that she was standing on. The lights blinked in the lab, and there was a huge grinding sound as she pulled the twin emitters from the base even though they were made of construction grade steel.
"Oh Lisa! Damn!", Ian exclaimed and ran to get the fire extinguisher. Lisa covered her mouth and laughed while Ian fought the flames that she'd created. It didn't take long. "I can't believe you did that?", he sounded heart broken.
Lisa couldn't stop laughing even at his pain. "I couldn't let you shut your machine down before I broke it for you."
Ian looked at her and tossed her the now empty red canister. Before he could say anything, the phone rang. He put it on speaker. "Hey, Narahari what's up?"
"You know what I want!", the researcher in Boston yelled into the phone. He was nearly jumping with excitement. "Did it work?"
Ian sighed and Lisa tried to keep from laughing. Ian gave her a disapproving look. She snickered and pointed towards the shower. Ian turned to video phone. "She broke it", he said without preamble.
"What!!! How??? I thought I fixed the flux problem."
"You did. It was working fine. She didn't use quick random movements to break it this time."
"Then how!", the brilliant young researcher asked.
Ian could only shake his head. "She just moved her arms like she wasn't even bound by the fucking force field. She just overpowered it and broke the emitters like toys. And before you go off, yes I know those were completely redesigned emitters, and yes I already know how many megawatts of power we were using."
Narahari slapped his palm to his forehead. "I don't believe it."
"We're back to the drawing board. Don't feel bad. I'll send the data just as soon as I get it sorted and tagged."
"Thanks Ian. I'll go over the data, but not tonight. I've got a date."
Ian gave a mock roar. "You go tiger. Don't do anything I wouldn't do."
Ian hung up and looked at the mess that Lisa had made of his lab. Ian was standing there looking at the heap of soot tarnished metal when Lisa came out of his shower still drying her long raven black hair. Her body had gone to its normal level of muscle. There was no way of looking at this wonderfully beautiful woman and knowing that she was probably the strongest person on the planet.
"If you're figuring out how to clean this thing up." She walked over and put her hand on his shoulder. "I'll help you. I did break it after all." Lisa looked up at Ian with her light brown eyes and easy smile.
He was her friend, but he was taken in by her natural beauty. She didn't have on an ounce of make-up, and it was times like this when Ian realized what a luck dog Lisa's fiancé was. Ian had known her for a decade, but he would swear that she was truly was a fine wine. She didn't age; she just got hotter. "Don't give me that look."
"That, 'I know I shouldn't have done it, but you can't stay mad at me' look."
Lisa laughed. "I don't get to use my strength much okay."
"You don't even know how strong you are."
The smile fell from her face and she turned to get the bands for her hair. "No, I still don't."
Ian went and rubbed Lisa's shoulders. Her muscles were still hard as solid stone even though most of her hyper vascular pump was over. "I'm not mad at all. Just disappointed it didn't work. You can't help how strong you are." Lisa turned and Ian gave her one of his boyish smiles. She turned to her gym bag and put her spandex suit back inside. Ian was about to say something when the phone rang again. He picked up the receiver and was surprised to hear the voice of the head of the Warrmer Institute, Dr. Zachariah Warrmer himself. The man wasn't quite reclusive, but close.
"Hello, Dr. Brooster. If you have the time would you please come to my office."
"Yes sir, at once."
"Oh, and Dr. Brooster, bring your friend. This concerns her too."
Ian went to the other room where Lisa was preparing to leave. She and Ian were supposed to get a bite to eat since she'd skipped lunch for this little experiment. "Hey, Lisa I just got a call from Dr. Warrmer. He wants me to come to his office."
She twisted her mouth. "I guess that means that you won't be able to go to the restaurant?"
"That's not it. He asked for you to come too. Said it concerned you." Lisa frowned. "Yeah, I didn't even know he knew you were here, but oh well. Are you coming?"
"What do you think? I don't want to get on Dr. Warrmer's bad side. He knows everybody worth knowing. Maybe he wants to do some advertising."
Ian and Lisa took the elevator to the top floor of the building and walked into the ante-room of Dr. Warrmer's office. The assistant informed them that Dr. Warrmer was waiting for them in another part of the structure. She lead them to an elevator that Ian hadn't even known was there. There were only two buttons inside the machine. It stopped on the top floor and a sub-basement that none of the regular staff knew was there. The door opened to a plain concrete hall. The assistant lead them around a couple of turns to a security checkpoint. She stopped there and motioned for Ian and Lisa to keep going. Two huge serious looking men stood at attention ready to repel anything that came their way. These guys weren't part of the regular security force that was evident. Ian turned and looked when he heard the assistant's heels clicking against the floor as she headed back to the secret elevator.
"This way", the big guard on the left said and motioned towards a door behind them. Both guards gave Lisa a long once over before they went back to their prepared stare. Lisa was used to it. Ian pulled open the door and held it for Lisa. They were both amazed when they went inside. The room looked like a movie.
There were at least four dozen people spread out in a command center style room. Huge screens hung on the wall in front of banks of chairs and smaller screens. There was a steady hum of work going on. Ian was amazed at seeing all of this, but disappointed that he'd worked at the Warrmer Institute for a long time, and he didn't even known that this place was here. How could they have kept all of this hidden? Ian turned when he heard his name called by the boss himself.
Doctor Warrmer was a short man further stooped by age. He had a smile on his aged face. He leaned on his cane for support as he extended his hand towards Ian. They shook. "Good to see you Dr. Brooster. I hope all of this doesn't startle you too much."
"What is this place."
"All in due time." Dr. Warrmer then turned to Lisa. He bowed as far as his situation would allow. "It is a pleasure to meet you in person , Miss Sanchez. And an honor."
Lisa held out her hand to shake his, but he took it tenderly and kissed it. "A man could look at you and forget that all other women exist."
Lisa's cheeks went slightly red for a moment. "That's very kind of you."
Dr. Warrmer laughed. Ian had never heard him laugh. He didn't even know the old man could laugh. He'd been around Lisa for ten seconds, and he was already laughing. "I won't insult you by saying something to the effect of, 'If I were only forty years younger...' You wouldn't have given me the time of day."
"Don't low rate yourself, Doctor. If you were half as charming then as you are now, I'm sure you had plenty of women interested."
He laughed again. That was twice in thirty seconds. "See therein lies the problem, Miss Sanchez. I've only gotten to be charming as the years have piled on. I was an awkward book worm in my youth." He smiled at her then turned to his left. "Well, let me explain why've asked you both down here."
He led them further into the secret lair. "What you're seeing here is part of a science project that we're doing for our government. It's rather hush hush, so they funded the digging of this secret location."
"When the road was under construction a couple of years ago!", Ian exclaimed as he oriented himself with what was above them.
"Very good. That was just a cover for building this place." They went further into the place. The first big room was only the tip of the iceberg. There were many more research rooms, and there were entire rooms dedicated to mainframe computers that crunched data 24 hours a day without fail.
"So what is this project for Uncle Sam?"
Dr. Warrmer motioned to a screen in one of the research rooms. "What do you see?"
To Lisa it looked like a bunch of random smears and numbers, but Ian answered, "That's DNA sequencing. From the look of it, you're going over that sample with a super fined toothed comb."
"Good eye. The people here are pouring over these DNA samples more than any DNA has been researched anywhere in the world."
"Because they're looking for a valuable secret."
"What could be worth all of this expense?", Ian asked.
Dr. Warrmer looked at Lisa then over to Ian. "A few years ago, the US government found out there are people in this world who aren't like you and me. They can do extraordinary things. These people are uniquely gifted and they walk amongst us, or in this case right next to us." He looked at Lisa again. Her face looked nearly panicked. Ian hadn't told anyone about her powers. He had sworn to her that no one would know.
"Relax, Miss Sanchez", Dr. Warrmer began with a grandfatherly smile on his face and patted her hand. "Ian didn't divulge your secret, and your secret is safe with me. The government doesn't know anything about your powers. And that's their problem. There is no way of knowing who is just a normal Joe Schmo and who can lift tons of dead weight into the air. They are keenly interested in knowing what makes people like you different. They are looking for the mutation or the 'Ah Ha' gene that makes Miss Sanchez and those like her different from the rest of us."
Ian rubbed his chin. This was a lot coming at him at once, but he'd often thought about this very subject. He saw that he wasn't the only one who had wondered. His mind started racing with possibilities, but Dr. Warrmer cut him off.
"It's all folly I'm afraid."
Ian looked on with surprise. "Excuse me, sir?"
"Yes, they are trying to find out what's different about Miss Sanchez's DNA, and the truth is that there is nothing different about her DNA. If I were to put her DNA next to the DNA of an ungifted woman there is not one gene or chemical that would be out of the ordinary. Your DNA is not part of this study Miss Sanchez, but if it were I could tell your family history back to the part of Africa where your earliest ancestors came from. I could tell you all sorts of things, but what I couldn't tell is that you have the ability to lift a rail car from the tracks."
Dr. Warrmer smiled and continued. "You see the powers have been coded into human DNA from the very beginning. They are as basic as growing a liver, or kidneys, or eyes, or a brain. They are intrinsic into the make up of human beings, but there is no single trait or chemical or anything that differentiates a gifted person from a non gifted one. We haven't found one, and we never will.
"Then why don't you tell the government so they'll stop looking", Lisa asked quickly.
"Yeah", Ian piggybacked. "Tell the government that this is just a big waste of money and time."
"The truth is more dangerous than this waste of time", a woman's voice answered. Lisa knew the owner of the voice, but Ian didn't. Hayfa Redwine was an American borne of Tunisian parents and still retained the exotic good looks that had driven all the young men crazy in her youth.
"The government's hopes are limitless. If the scientists here could unlock the secret of the powers then the government would be able to detect every gifted person. Every baby born would be checked. Every adult would be checked surreptitiously."
That thought sent a chill up Lisa's spine.
"Eventually, they would hope to learn how to remove powers from undesirable people or how to give powers to people who they want to have them. It would be a nightmare scenario. Imagine armies of gifted people doing battle with the innocent and helpless stuck in the middle."
"But you said it couldn't be done."
"Doesn't mean they won't try. And if Dr. Warrmer doesn't do what they want then they'll find someone else to do the research. Zachariah is a good and honest man who's spent his life studying gifted people. For an ungifted man, he knows more about powers than anyone else. We can trust him, but perhaps the next scientist they pick will be a madman."
"So you think that if Dr. Warrmer tells them the truth then they will keep trying?"
"Of course they will. Look at it from their perspective. Taking cynicism aside, they are tasked with protecting the public welfare and yet they can't detect us. We just walk around with everyone else. They can't know that Lisa could knock down a bridge with her bare hands if she wanted to. There is no counter for that. There is nothing to counteract a criminal that's gifted. For now they have set up a group called Special Projects that employs gifted people and normal people too. Of course there are people completely against the Special Programs Unit, and would rather hunt down gifted people and lock them up as threats to the country.
"We do have a couple of things going our way. First and foremost, they can't find us, and number two there is a little road block called the Constitution of the United States and the Bill of Rights. There are at least a few people who have actually read those documents."
Ian was trying to take all of this in. "What does all of this have to do with me?"
Hayfa looked at Dr. Warrmer who said, "I want to bring you in on something related to this."
"I'm sorry sir, but I don't want to be part of a project that's a wild goose chase from the start."
Warrmer grinned. "No, you'll be working on a real project, a very very important one that uses your talents as a chemist and as a medical doctor."
"What is it?"
"There is a complex recipe that was lost on purpose. It has to remain the utmost secret. This information is more sought after than a hydrogen bomb, because its more powerful.
"More powerful than an H-bomb?", Lisa exclaimed.
"Oh yes my dear. Especially to you."
"You mean this stuff hurts gifted people?"
"Oh no on the contrary. It is for gifted people."
"Wait wait. You said I'm supposed to come up with a long lost recipe. How long has it been lost?"
"Since the Napoleonic Era."
Ian chuckled. "That long ago? How dangerous can it be?"
Hayfa Redwine stepped closer to him and spoke slowly. "In early 1939 there was a rumor that a scientist from Radom named Mazowiecki had rediscovered the lost recipe. A few months later both Hitler and Stalin invaded Poland. In history there is always the official excepted reason for events, and then there is the truth." There was no irony or humor on Hayfa's face. "I could give you more examples, but this isn't a history lesson. Just know that we are dealing with the most serious and powerful stuff on this planet. Civilizations have risen and fallen because of the knowledge, never mind the stuff it makes."
"If it's so powerful then why was this Recipe lost?"
"Because Napoleon nearly got his hands on it twice. It was finally burned by an Orthodox priest on September 14, 1812, along with most of Moscow."
"So you want me to recreate some evil thing that dictators crave?"
"It's not evil", Hayfa exclaimed quickly. "It can be used for good, and for eons it was. I believe that this is the generation that is going to remake it, and we better be the ones who do it. We are in a race of sorts."
"A race against who? I don't understand."
"You remember the break in a few months ago?", Dr. Warrmer asked.
"Of course I do."
"Well, a bunch of formulas were stolen. One of them contained part of the Great Recipe. If that part is out in the open, then it can be a good start for someone trying to rediscover the rest of it."
Ian frowned. "Wait a minute! If this stuff is so important then why did you order Moira to let the thief go. She told me that you told her not to pursue the woman who came and stole it."
"Yes, because I knew that the information was well hidden. The people who stole it may not even know what they have, but we can no longer take the chance. We need you to work on this. Will you do it?"
"I suppose you have copies of the information that was stolen."
"We have something much better than that my boy. Show him, Hayfa."
The woman reached into a bag and pulled out a box carved in very intricate geometric patterns. Everyone leaned in as the woman lifted the lid. Inside this box was another box. She carefully removed the box and held it still while she put the larger one down. Then very very carefully she opened this inner box.
"OH MY GOD!", Lisa yelled in pain. She instantly covered her eyes and turned her back to Hayfa, crouching away as she did so. Her body was shaking when Ian reached out to her.
"Are you okay?", Ian asked Lisa then turned angrily to Hayfa. "What did you do!"
"I'm so sorry Lisa", she began. "I should have remembered. Give me your hand." She reached out and took Lisa's hand softly. Lisa felt the energy of the linking enter her body. The warm power filled every part of her. "You can turn around and look now."
"What happened?", Ian demanded.
"I forgot to warn Lisa. This is another way to tell a gifted person. No gifted person can look at this directly unless they've been exposed to it for quite a while. For Lisa, looking at this was like looking at the sun through a telescope, but don't worry. It didn't hurt your actual eyes, that was just the manifestation. It was your gift that was reacting to it." Lisa squinted through a lingering halo of light at the contents of Hayfa's box.
Ian wasn't overly impressed. To him, Dr. Warrmer, and any other none gifted person the contents just looked like a square piece of golden yellow bread like stuff. It could have corn bread for all Ian knew. "Is this what the Recipe makes?" Hayfa nodded. "I thought you said that the Recipe's been lost for 200 years, but you have some."
Hayfa grinned and glanced at Dr. Warrmer before she spoke. "I did. This is the last of this substance left on Earth, and it's been in my family a long long time."
"Hmm, let me see." Hayfa counted the generations based on the female side of her family. "I think for about 850 years. They got this piece between the First and the Second Crusade."
"What. This piece of bread stuff is 850 years old?"
"It doesn't rot. It doesn't decay. It doesn't burn, and it can't be destroyed."
"Then what can you with to it?", Lisa asked.
Hayfa turned to her with all sorts of things running across her face. There was so much she wanted to tell Lisa, but she couldn't.
"You are going to reverse engineer this, Ian", Warrmer began. "You're going to need samples from gifted people. Which is why I brought you down here. You'll have all you need. We don't have a time table, but just know that the sooner you can finish, the better."
Hayfa handed the box over to Ian. "This is the last pure sample on Earth."
Ian's hands shook a bit when he took the box from Hayfa's hands. He closed it as soon as he got it. He didn't want to drop it. "I'll take good care of it, and I'll only use as much as I need to analyze it."
"Don't worry about that", Hayfa began. "When you recreate the Recipe, we'll just make some more."
Ian got to work right away. None of his other projects were anywhere near as important as this one. Ian set up all sorts of tests for the stuff that he'd been given. It was as remarkable as Hayfa had said it was. Ian had put a couple of grams into a furnace to see if it burned. He gave up when he'd gotten to special furnace hotter than fresh magma. The substance wasn't even scorched. He tried to dissolve it in water, then in acid, but none of it worked. Once he stopped trying to destroy it, he started analyzing it. He'd made pretty good progress, but after a couple of weeks, his mind began to wander.
He'd scheduled some time with his fiancée, Moira Kelly. She lived in Atlanta while Ian lived and worked in Chicago. There was some distance, but that just made the heart grow fonder, or something like that. Lisa came and picked him up at his apartment to drop him off at the airport.
"So have you made any progress on the stuff?"
"Yeah, I have. It's coming along, but I don't want to talk about work right now. I'm heading to your home town for some R&R."
"Atlanta's not my hometown", Lisa replied as she pulled onto the Kennedy Expressway.
"It's not? Well I've known you for a long time and you've never told me where you're from. Are you from space?"
Lisa laughed. "No, I'm from Earth, the United States to be exact, but I won't get more specific than that."
Ian rubbed his chin. "You don't really have an accent, but you could have scrubbed yours like I've tried to scrub mine a little. You could be from the South since you like Southern cuisine, but that could be family legacy..."
"Why don't you just ask my Mom when you get down there. She's always eager to talk about it", Lisa said with a smile.
"I just might do that."
Lisa decided to change the subject. "So what are you and Moira going to do when you get there?"
The doctor arched an eyebrow. "I can think of a few things we might get into."
Ian squeezed his eyes shut as Moira's thighs tightened around his middle. His hands ran down her thighs like the sweat that ran down their bodies. The contours of Moira's muscles felt like living granite beneath his fingers. The fibers tighten and bunched as she moved closer to climax, forcing Ian's fingers apart. Ian's hips moved and pumped in time with Moira as they worked each other to the point of no return. Ian put his head forward and took Moira's right nipple in his mouth and sucked like a baby calf. Moira rode him harder. Ian's hands moved from her rock like thighs to her bullet proof abs. He tore his mouth away from her nipple and buried it in her midsection. Moira took the back of his head and pushed his face against her abs. She flexed her abs so hard that Ian could feel them pushing against him like a grater. "Ahh!", he moaned and started thrusting harder. He gritted his teeth to hold on a little longer. Moira wasn't there yet.
She was getting close. She took her hand from his head and put it against the bed. Ian felt all of Moira's glorious muscles tighten. Her skin flushed and her strawberry blonde hair thrashed from side to side as Ian worked harder. Then like a mountain climber after a long trek, Moira came to her goal. Her body froze and every single muscle in her spectacular body tightened and flexed. Her breath caught in her throat; her body began to quiver. Ian marveled at the sight and feel of it all. It put him over the top too. He groaned and came, then collapsed on Moira's bosom.
She leaned over, kissed him and rolled onto her back. They held hands while they lay there. Ian looked over at his fiancée's tight muscular body next to him. She was so wonderful. Ian had never been a man who had given much thought to settling down, but Moira was more than enough woman for him. After a couple of minutes, she turned to him. "We shouldn't stay apart from each other so long."
"No we shouldn't, but it's your fault. You moved down here to Atlanta. Then you try to make up for it by allowing me to visit just long enough to screw my brains out."
Moira laughed. "Is that what this is? For the record you can stay here as long as you want."
Ian wagged his finger. "Oh you don't get to put this off on me."
Moira smiled and her crystal clear blue eyes twinkled. She patted him on the chest and rolled out of bed. Ian sat up and looked at all of Moira's six foot tall power packed body walk away. In that last few months Moira had added a few pounds of muscle to her already sculpted body. He watched Moira's naked ass flex with each step. Ian knew that he'd found his own slice of paradise.
He let his head fall to the bed when she walked into the bathroom, but he perked up again when he heard the water start running. He closed his eyes and imagined Moira's hard body all lathered up with soap. He pushed himself up and started for the bathroom. Ian pushed the door open. Moira had her eyes closed, but she smiled when she felt Ian's body slide into the shower behind her. He put his arms around her and pressed his chest against her back. Moira pressed against him, paying close to his crotch. "Looks like someone's still ready to play", she teased. Moira rubbed her ass against Ian until he was rock hard. She stood up on her toes, and Ian sank down to his knees. Moira trembled as Ian worked his tongue. Moira was powerful and strong, but Ian loved moments like this when she was completely under his control.
After the fun in the shower and the bed, Ian went to the living room to watch Monday Night Football. Moira was in the kitchen finishing dinner. She loved cooking after sex. That was fine with him because he was starving. It was a bonus that Moira knew how to cook. Ian was a pretty good cook himself so when they did actually get married at least they'd never go hungry. That made him think about when they would finally get married. They should set a firm wedding date, but there were family problems. Moira was from a big Irish family based in Missouri, while Ian was from a big Irish family based in Boston. Moira's mother had already decided that the wedding would take place in the Old Cathedral in St. Louis while at the same time Ian's mother had already spoken to their old parish priest about performing the wedding in South Boston.
Both Moira and Ian knew that at some point they'd have to take control, but Moira had a hard time saying no to her family. She'd disappeared for a decade and had put them through hell. The idea of telling them no made her stomach tie up in knots. Ian more than understood, but these heavy choices would wait until another day. He got up from the easy chair and went to the kitchen. The game was turning into a laugher anyway.
At the table there was quite a bit of
conversation, but Ian
could tell that Moira was keeping something unsaid. He didn't pry. She
would share if and when she was ready. It was probably work related
because that was the only subject that she avoided. Ian could handle
work secrets. He had a few of those himself. His mind went instantly to
the special project that he was working on. He wished that he could
tell Moira about it. She was as good at this stuff as he was, but it
was safer if he didn't. As sought after as this Recipe was, it was
better if she had no involvement at all. Ian had no way of knowing that
it was already much too late. Moira was neck deep in it. He stayed in
Atlanta for an all too brief time before it was back to Chicago. He
counted the days until he'd get back with Moira, but for now he had to
concentrate on his project.
Ian was in the underground laboratory working on his super secret project when he had a breakthrough. He'd just figured out a crucial step in the process and he literally jumped around the room. This stuff was so deceptively simple that it blew his mind. He had much more work to do, but this was huge. He wanted to badly to call Moira to share this with her. She of all people would appreciate something like this. Instead he called Lisa.
"Who's the man?", he challenged as soon as she answered her phone.
Lisa was just getting home. She sat down on her couch with a grin on her face. "I guess you're gonna tell me that you're the man."
"You've figured it out then?"
"Not all the way, but I'm well on my way. You're gonna see a Nobel Prize on my mantle yet", he boasted.
Lisa kicked off her stylish shoes and sat back. "There are two problems with that Ian. First, you don't have a mantle in your apartment. You don't even have a fireplace. Secondly, when you do get your Nobel Prize for Chemistry, its going to have your name on it and Moira's."
Ian sat on a stool. "You might be onto something there Miss Sanchez. I wish she was working with me on this project. Sometimes I think something like this needs a woman's point of view."
Lisa was about to say something, but his phone beeped. "Hold on Lisa, I got another call."
He pushed the button and heard Moira's voice. It felt like all the blood was draining from his body as she spoke. She told him how she'd been abducted, tortured, and how she'd gotten herself free, but she was on the way to hospital. Ian had never felt so helpless in all his life. Right now he only had one thought on his mind. He had to get to Atlanta. He flipped back over to Lisa.
"Man, you're lucky I'm such a good friend. Anyone else would have hung up by now", Lisa said quickly.
"Lisa, I need your help", Ian's stricken voice came over the phone.
Lisa sat forward on her couch. "Ian, what's wrong?"
He explained what had happened with Moira. Lisa didn't know what to make of it. "Could you call that guy you know at the airport who can get the super short notice tickets?"
"Of course. I'll call him now. I'm on my way to pick you up." Lisa slipped on her shoes, put on her coat, and snatched up her keys. At the same time, Ian was preparing to go down to Atlanta. He had to protect his fiancee. He didn't know that Moira already had someone looking after her.
Moira sighed and looked out the window at the hospital. She knew that there were guards at her door, but she wondered if they could stop the threats that might come through it. She doubted it, and yet she knew that she was in no condition to fight anyone off. Her body hurt in ways that she didn't think possible. Her blood pressure spiked and her mouth went instantly dry when the door to her private room opened. She knew it was too soon for Ian to be in town, but she relaxed when she saw Morgen Stern come in. His face showed his urgent concern. He came over to her quickly. "Dr. Kelly, I am so very sorry", he began and took her hand gently. "I came as soon as I got wind of what had happened. If I had known how dangerous that information was I would not have brought it to you the way I did."
"It's not your fault, but thank you for coming."
"It's the least I could do." Morgen looked Moira in the eye and patted her hand. "Who did this to you?"
"Some guy named Spencer was the ring leader. I don't know if that's his first name or his last."
Morgen had a faraway look for a moment before he turned back to her with a smile. "It doesn't matter. You don't have to worry about a thing, and drop this research please. Like I said, I'm sorry I ever brought it to you and caused you such injury." He let go of her hand, and started for the door.
"You're leaving so soon? Where are you going?" Moira felt safer with him around.
Morgen's face grinned but his eyes didn't. "I'm going to have a talk with a chap named Spencer. I take care of my own, Dr. Kelly. Don't hesitate to call me if you need anything." He opened the door and walked out. It wasn't hard for Morgen to find out that Spencer was being treated in the same hospital as Moira. He was behind heavy guard, but that didn't matter. After a quick suggestion, the chief of security turned off the cameras and Morgen walked into Spencer's heavily guarded room.
"Hmph. You must be another fuckin Fed", Spencer began with contempt. He'd been shot in the thigh and the torso, but he was supposed to make a full recovery. People had come in to interview him, but he hadn't told them anything.
Morgen came over and pulled up a chair. Spencer looked at Morgen closely and the defiant grin faded a bit. Morgen wasn't there for games. "I'm not a Federal Agent", Morgen clarified. "I'm not going to interrogate you. You're simply going to tell me who you work for, and you're going to tell me why you abducted and tortured Moira Kelly."
At first Spencer started to laugh, but before Morgen had finished speaking, Spencer was telling Morgen everything. He had no way of knowing that Morgen was gifted and could make people do whatever he wanted them to. Morgen stood up as soon as Spencer finished speaking. He now knew all about Spencer's operation, including who he was working for. Morgen straightened his suit coat and glared at Spencer with barely restrained hatred. "There is one more thing I need you to do."
"What?", Spencer asked. He had fought against Morgen's influence on his brain the entire time, but Morgen had forced him to spill his guts.
Morgen opened his gloved hand and dropped a scalpel on the bed. "I need you to take that and cut your goddamned throat." Spencer tried with all he had to command his hand not to pick up the blade, but he couldn't. Morgen stood over him as Spencer's stricken face twisted in agony. "Nobody messes with my people", Morgen added as Spencer sliced his own throat deeply. Blood ran crimson all over the bright white bed. Morgen sighed and left the room. No one even looked at him as he walked out of the hospital.
In Florida, Martin DeBraya was a wreck. As soon as he'd gotten the news of Spencer's failure, arrest, and death, he'd nearly gone into a panic. He'd sent all the women away and wandered the halls of his Palm Beach home with a bottle of Cognac and a worried look. He and Spencer had known each other for more than twenty years. Spencer had done everything that the DeBraya family had ever asked him to do. That included spending two years of his life in prison taking the rap for a crime that he didn't commit. Spencer never blinked at anything, and now he was dead. He'd killed himself to keep the Feds from finding out who he worked for. He'd made the ultimate sacrifice for the family.
As bad a that was, that wasn't Martin's only problem. By now his father probably knew what had happened, and Alphonse DeBraya was not a man who took bad news well. As a child Martin had been fearful to even bring home bad grades. This was much more important than a C on a report card.
There was a knock at the door. Martin grabbed his .38 Special and checked the cylinder to make sure it was loaded before he went to the door. His father stood outside. Their emotions were mirror images. "I know", the old man said simply and walked into the house. They both sat down in silence. Martin poured his father a drink while they both pondered their situation.
"What do we do now, Pop?", Martin asked.
Alphonse exhaled around the Cognac and crossed his legs. "We need a man who can fix this. Spencer was good, but we need someone more connected. We need a man who always gets what he wants.
"And I want someone to avenge Spencer. He served this family well, and killed himself to keep us safe", Martin added.
Alphonse nodded and raised his glass to Spencer. "To a good and loyal friend. He'll be missed." They took a drink from their glasses. "We have to bring in a man who's not associated with us."
"You want to bring in an outsider?", Martin asked.
"We should. We need to bring in a man who has no knowledge of any of this. We need a clean slate."
"Do you have someone in mind?"
Alphonse nodded. "Yes son I do. He's connected high and low. He's the best. I've already called him. He was near Florida and told me that he'll be here very soon. I've never met him in person, but I'm looking forward to it. This man can get us the Great Recipe."
A couple of hours later there was a knock. Martin went to answer it. It was the man that they'd been waiting for. He wore a very nice tailored suit with handmade shoes that oozed class. The man looked around Martin's winter home and nodded approvingly. Martin poured his guest a drink and led him to the room where Alphonse was waiting. The man sat down on a sofa and took a sip of the excellent Cognac before he looked at the father and son. "Hello gentlemen. My name is Morgen Stern, and how can I assist you?"
|Power and Fury: The Early Days pt.1||The Femme Soldiers Attack||The Terror Gallery pt.2||Power
and Fury: Full Circle pt.2
|Power and Fury: The Early Days pt. 2||The Strength Serum||The Femme Soldier: Strength Conquers All||Power
and Fury: Killer
on the Road
|Power and Fury: Just Warming Up||Power and Fury: Power Problems||The Femme Rampage||Power
and Fury: Down on the Farm
|Power and Fury: Itching for a Fight||The Femme Revolution||Power and Fury: Pushed to the Edge||Power
and Fury: Steel Embrace
|Power and Fury: The Heist||The Femme Revolution Pt. 2||Power
and Fury: Sara's Bad Day
|The Femme Soldiers||The Terror Gallery pt. 1||Power
and Fury: Full Circle
There are plenty of others where this story came
from. Please check out the bookshelf for all the past chapters of
Power and Fury and my other series.
comments and critisisms welcome: firstname.lastname@example.org