The Prophet of Starfall: Episode 5

Nathan stood next to Jericho and Elisabeth, watching as the police handcuffed the suspects.

“Wait a minute,” Jericho said turning to Nathan. “I get that after Elisabeth was supposed to have died, I was to come here, but how is it I even knew about the theft? I don’t have any sort of extrasensory abilities.”

“I’m not sure I should say anything,” Nathan said. “Not clear on what’s safe to say and what’s not.”

“That’s the past,” Elisabeth reminded him. “It’s okay to share now.”

Nathan nodded and explained, “While you were giving your statement to the police about Elisabeth’s death, a report of the stolen truck would come across the police radio. After you finished up with the police, you would have rushed off to save the day.”

As Jericho nodded his understanding, one of the police officers walked over and asked Jericho,

“So what exactly happened here?”

Before he could answer, the officer gestured toward Nathan and Elisabeth, asking,

“And who are these two?”

“Well this is. . .,” Jericho trailed off, realizing he knew her name and not her title.

Elisabeth was just about to answer when Nathan said,

“Scorpio.”

“You really have to stop that,” Elisabeth said glaring at Nathan.

“Sorry,” Nathan apologized.

The officer scribbled something on his pad then pointed to Nathan and asked, “This one?”

Jericho paused then with a grin said,

“This is the Prophet.”

The officer studied Nathan then commented,

“You don’t look like much of a fortune teller to me.”

Nathan hitched his head to one side and said,

“Your name is Fredrick Sofia Stafford. You are the first responder on all crimes related to Supers. That’s not because you have a rapport with them but because you’re being punished by your captain. At the last Christmas party, you had a little too much to drink and accidentally hit on his wife. You claim you’re not the marrying type, but the truth is, you’re in love with that girl at the coffee shop but haven’t worked up the courage to ask her out. You dream about your life with her every night while you drink beer and watch reruns of Golden Girls.”

The officer’s face went pale, and he quickly looked away toward one of the other officers.

“O’Connor, what are you doing?” he said as he hurried off.

Jericho and Elisabeth stifled a laugh.

“That will never get old,” Jericho chuckled, shaking his head.

“Excuse me,” Ethan said materializing before them.

Elisabeth jumped at his sudden appearance.

“Don’t do that!” she barked.

Jericho laughed again and said,

“I’ll deal with the cops.”

As he walked over to the patrol cars, Nathan turned to Ethan.

“So how messed up is the timeline?” he asked.

“As far as I can tell, not much. It seems that Ms. Elisabeth’s salvation sent a small ripple out with little to no effect on the timeline,” Ethan explained.

“Well that makes me feel real special,” Elisabeth grumbled.

“There is another reason I came here,” Ethan said pulling a small bag out of his coat pocket.

Releasing his cane, which floated in place, he reached into the bag and removed a Colt 45 revolver with a twice-thick barrel and a wooden stock. On the side of the gun were three number dials, each set at 0.

“Since you will be adventuring through our world, Nathan, I wanted to give you something to help you keep in mind that everything you do has consequences. This is The General. Originally designed for Italian Commander Paulus, this revolver keeps track of every bullet fired. Paulus boasted that every shot he fired hit its target, and he wanted a record of how many men he had killed. Hopefully, the increasing number count will make you think before you act.”

Ethan slipped the revolver into its holster and handed it over to Nathan. Then he pulled out a small wristband made from strips of black and brown leather adorned with a small purple flower. He held it out to Elisabeth and said,

“This is Lavinia, the sightless flower. It has a special enchantment. When the band is on your wrist, your wings will become invisible to the human eye.”

Elisabeth took the wristband as Ethan added,

“It won’t remove your wings. You can still feel them, and they can be used as always. They just can’t be seen. I thought this may help, if you wish to establish a private identity.”

Ethan put his hand on Nathan’s shoulder and said,

“I must go now. I have other matters to attend to. Before I go, though, I ask that you consider the consequences of every future action. Sometimes the best intentions bear the most rotten fruit.”

Ethan faded out suddenly, leaving Nathan and Elisabeth alone.

“Okay. Got that settled,” Jericho said walking up to them.

“Officer Stafford back there has agreed to let us pursue this investigation provided we don’t tell anyone what you said about him.”

Jericho and Elisabeth exchanged a smile then Jericho looked at Nathan and posed the question,

“Where to next?”

Nathan stopped examining The General and asked,

“What do you think?”

Jericho thought for a moment

“How about we go talk with Thymatec and find out why they were transporting a chemical weapon.”

“Biological weapon,” Nathan corrected.

“Seriously, Nathan, you sound like a jerk when you do that,” Elisabeth scolded.

“Sorry,” Nathan again apologized.

 

*          *          *

 

Thymatec Laboratories was a large white building surrounded by well-manicured grounds and a tree lined drive divided by security checks placed at intervals along the way toward the front entrance. Jericho pulled up to the first gate and spoke to the security guard.

“I’d like to speak with someone regarding the attempted theft of one of your delivery trucks.”

The guard reached for his phone and after a few moments of listening to the voice on the other end of the line, he hung up and turned to Jericho.

“Sorry. No one’s allowed on the premises at this time. We are aware of the attempted theft and thank you for your concern. A formal statement will be issued at a later date.”

“We’re the ones who stopped the theft. We just want a few minutes of your boss’s time,” Elisabeth added.

“Ms. Reynolds knows who you are and of your involvement. She conveys her gratitude and assures you that this matter will be dealt with internally.”

The security guard leaned forward and added with a whisper,

“I’m sorry, sir. I’m a huge fan of yours, but I’ve got to follow orders. I can’t allow you to go through. I’m really sorry.”

Jericho nodded and assured him, “I understand.”

“Well now what?” Elisabeth complained as Jericho turned to face her.

When Jericho turned around in the seat and glanced behind him, a look of confusion appeared on his face.

“Where’s Nathan?” he asked.

 

*          *          *

 

Charlene Reynolds, CEO of Thymatec, sat at her desk looking over the records of the Butterfly shipment.

“I don’t understand how they knew it was going to be there.”

Suddenly her phone rang. Frustrated, she grabbed the receiver and barked,

“What!”

As she listened to the caller, she turned her chair toward the bay window behind her and stared out over the lush grounds, a sight that always calmed her.

“Look. I don’t care who he is. I don’t want Jericho or any other costumed hero on these facilities until further notice. Is that clear!” she snapped.

When she turned the chair to slam the phone down in its cradle, her hand stopped in midair. Sitting in a chair opposite her desk was a stranger, a young man, his arms folded across a leather jacket with one black boot resting on his knee. He wasn’t there a second ago. Without taking her eyes off him, Charlene Reynolds hung up the phone and asked,

“Who are you?”

“Nathan Nichols. They call me the Prophet and I need your help.”

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