The Prophet of Starfall: Episode 7

As 4 21 came closer, Jericho relaxed while Nathan watched in fascination. Elisabeth tensed every muscle, as though ready for battle. When 4 21 stopped in front of them, he stood at attention, his hands clenched behind his back.

“Jericho,” he said, his brow furrowed, “who are these two and what are you doing here? This is my investigation.”

“I know it is,” Jericho said, “but we were following up on the recent theft of a truck that exited this facility.”

“You understand the mission, do you not? If the enemy gets wind of your presence, he may get spooked and mobilize his army,” 4 21 pointed out.

“There’s no problem here. We were just checking out who stole the truck not why,” Jericho explained.

At that, 4 21 seemed to relax a bit then shifted his gaze from Jericho to Nathan to Elisabeth.

“Why are you dressed for deep sea diving?” he asked her.

Elisabeth glanced down at her yellow and black body suit.

“It’s a neoprene body suit. It helps reduce wind resistance and increase speed, much like athletic gear in the Olympics,” Elisabeth explained. “It is form fitting, but I have the body for it.”

Elisabeth shifted her hips from one side to the other, proudly holding out her hands as she showed off her shape.

With no reaction, 4 21 turned his gaze to Nathan.

“And who are you?” he asked.

Before Nathan could introduce himself, Jericho answered.

“This is Nathan Nichols. He’s new in town. Everybody calls him The Prophet because he can see the future.”

4 21 slightly arched an eyebrow in disbelief and said,

“There has never been a proven case of Foresight. He’s a fraud like the rest.”

Jericho held his hands up and explained,

“No, no. Completely true. Plus, he can tell you all about a person just by looking at them. It’s creepy and awesome all at the same time.”

4 21 seemed unimpressed so Jericho added,

“Shall I prove it?”

When 4 21 did not respond, Jericho said,

“Okay, fine.”

Pointing his thumb toward Elisabeth, he looked at Nathan and said,

“Do her.”

“Excuse me?” Elisabeth said indignantly.

“Elisabeth Heather Hayes. You have recently been investigating the death of your mother. Believing Ian McAddams to be the one responsible, you have been following him and his men, studying their operation. You caught one of McAddams’ men talking to a Thymatec representative, and when you were spotted, the Thymatec rep sent men to kill you because he didn’t want it to get back to management that he was involved with McAddams. McAddams was aware of your presence but since he didn’t see you as a threat, his only response was to order his men to be careful around you. Better to avoid the appearance of evil than to explain the death of a super,” Nathan said.

“Doesn’t see me as a threat?” Elisabeth snapped.

She spread her wings and said, “I’ll show him who’s a threat!”

Just as she lifted into the air, Jericho grabbed her foot, keeping her from taking off.

“Let go!” she snapped.

“Not yet. We need to think this through clearly.”

As Jericho gently pulled a resistant Elisabeth to the pavement, 4 21 said,

“I do not know her, so how can I tell if what he has said is true? And if it is, you may have arranged this revelation earlier.”

“What about you?” Jericho asked 4 21.

“What about me?” 4 21 asked.

“Nathan,” Jericho said, “Tell us why he is named 4 21?”

“4 21 is a soldier from the planet Ru tez far outside our galaxy.  Ru Tez has ten moons, and every cycle, roughly eight months to us, three infants are offered up to the elders to be raised as soldiers and fight the ongoing war with the sister planet Ta Nios. Each child is given a name based on the moon where it was born and the number of its birthing cycle. You were taken from the fourth moon on the twenty-first birthing cycle, giving you the name 4 21. Hair length is a symbol of a soldier’s rank, so your three-foot-long hair puts you at the rank of sergeant. But time passed and your planet signed a peace treaty with a provision that called for the destruction and exile of all weapons by both planets. Because soldiers are considered weapons, you and your brethren were exiled from the planet of your birth and ordered not to return.”

Nathan stopped for a moment and waited.

“Shall he continue?” Jericho finally asked.

“Not necessary,” 4 21 said.

With a scowl at Jericho for pulling her back to earth, Elisabeth turned to 4 21 and asked,

“What brings you here?”

“He’s investigating Thymatec,” Nathan answered.

“I was talking to him,” Elisabeth scolded. Then looking back at 4 21, she asked “Why?”

4 21 gave no answer as he turned his gaze from Nathan to Jericho.

“Come on,” Jericho said, “we’re all on the same side here. Besides, if you don’t tell me, I’ll just ask Nate. He knows everything,” Jericho smiled. “He’s the Prophet.”

“What is it with you?” Elisabeth snapped at Jericho. “You’re practically a fan boy.”

“Sorry. I just think it’s cool.”

“I am hunting someone whom I believe is secretly running this facility for his own selfish gain,” 4 21 said.

“Who?” Jericho asked.

“I cannot say. I do not want to alert one of his spies,” 4 21 said.

“I understand. Look, I’m a little concerned about this chemical weapon as well. So why don’t we join forces? I’ll find out how McAddams is involved,”

“I’m going with you,” Elisabeth said.

“You are not leaving me alone with him,” 4 21 said, pointing to Nathan.

“Okay. Then he’ll go with me while Elisabeth stays here and helps you,” Jericho said.

“What?” Elisabeth complained.

“Please, Elisabeth,” Jericho pleaded. “It would be easier for me to look for Garrison if I didn’t have to worry about what you might do when I find him. Until we know what is really going on, we need to play it safe.” ”

With a grunt Elisabeth said,

“Fine.”

“Thank you,” Jericho said. “Does that work for everyone?”

“Works for me,” Nathan said as 4 21 nodded.

“See you later,” Jericho said as he and Nathan mounted their motorcycles.

As they drove away, Elisabeth crossed her arms and mumbled something 4 21 could not quite hear.

 

 

*          *          *

 

 

When they stopped at the first traffic light, Jericho looked at Nathan.

“Who does 4 21 think is behind this?”

“Sure you want to know?” Nathan asked.

Before he could answer, the light turned green and they pulled away.

As they flew down the highway, Nathan thought about Elisabeth. Before he saved her life, Jericho and 4 21 had worked together, connected by her death. Now they had an uneasy partnership, another small wrinkle because he saved her.  He feared there would be far more wrinkles in the time line he would have to smooth out before he could rest and maybe wake up from this crazy dream.

At the next red light, they pulled to a stop and Jericho learned over.

“Yea, I want to know. Go ahead and tell me.”

“Dr. Heinrich Ghislain,” Nathan said.

Nathan could almost feel Jericho’s heart sink. Dr. Heinrich Ghislain was a political terrorist who believed if there were enough destruction, people would rise up and tear down the corrupt government that failed to protect them. He wasn’t a man who sought leadership or glory, but if necessary, he was willing to die and kill millions for his cause. No price was too high.

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