The Prophet of Starfall: Episode 10

4 21 and Elisabeth moved through the stark white halls of Thymatec Laboratories at a casual pace trying to blend in. When someone approached, 4 21 found a reason to look away.

“On second thought,” Elisabeth said, “maybe this wasn’t such a good idea. Eventually someone is going to notice those glowing eyes of yours.”

“It has been my experience that most humans do not make direct eye contact. They seem to struggle with fear of interaction or guilt over a past sin. As long as I keep my face turned away or just close my eyes, no one will notice.”

“Maybe I should unzip my suit a little and put an extra swish in my hips,” Elisabeth joked. “This place is probably loaded with nerds who have never seen a woman other than on a computer screen.”

“No. You must not unzip the suit. Only when they have reached decontamination would legitimate technicians unzip the suit,” 4 21 protested.

“I was joking, you dimp,” Elisabeth said.

4 21 cocked his head and gave Elisabeth a questioning look.

Up ahead a thin little man came around the corner carrying a clipboard. When he saw Elisabeth and 4 21, he stopped walking, checked a paper on the clipboard then hurried toward them.

“Bogey at 1 o’clock,” Elisabeth warned.

Before 4 21 could respond, the man had reached them. His eyes were sunk deep into their sockets, and his pallid skin said he hadn’t seen the sun in quite a while.

“You’re not supposed to be in this hallway,” he said in a harsh nasal voice as he tapped the sheet on his clipboard. “Only authorized personnel are allowed in these halls. Identify yourself, please.”

Elisabeth’s first instinct was to knock the little man unconscious, but she remembered that 4 21 wanted discretion. A quick look at 4 21 and she saw that he was looking down and forming a ball with his fist.

Quickly she unsnapped her mask and removed it, letting her golden hair swing free. Almost at once, the man seemed to come alive as his eyes lit up like a cat staring at a Christmas tree.

“I am so sorry,” Elisabeth said with a coquettish smile and breathy voice. “I’ve been in this hot suit all day, and all I want to do is get to the lockers so I can shower, go home and rest.”

She tried her best to mimic the girls in high school who had always tricked guys into carrying their gear or doing their work.

“I’m afraid I’ve got myself all turned around. Where are the showers so I can wash off and change?” Elisabeth asked as she slid her hands over her hips.

The bumbling security guard fiddled with his tie, dropped his clipboard then kicked it as he scrambled to pick it up.

“I’d ask this guy,” Elisabeth said, pointing to 4 21 with her limp hand, “but his hay fever’s acting up,” she added with a hint of disgust in her voice.

“Uh sure,” the security guard said.

Turning to point the way, he said,

“Go down that hall and turn right. Follow the signs and you can’t miss it.”

“Thanks, love,” she purred, grabbing 4 21’s arm.

As they turned the corner, leaving the dumbfounded guard behind, 4 21 looked at Elisabeth and said,

“You are fortunate that worked.”

“I know. Right?” Elisabeth said with a smile. As 4 21 picked up the pace, she shook her head and softly laughed,

“Men can be really stupid sometimes.”

When she followed 4 21 into a room, she saw the floor covered with dead bodies. Seven she counted. Six looked as though they had been shot once, but the seventh had two bullet holes.

“This is a problem,” 4 21 said.

“I’ll say,” Elisabeth replied.

“Dr. Heinrich Ghislain knows something is wrong, and he is cleaning up. We must find where the virus was made before it is too late,” 4 21 urged.

“How has no one else seen this?” Elisabeth asked.

“It must have just happened,” 4 21 replied.

“Hey!” a voice behind them yelled.

Elisabeth turned to face another security guard.

As he approached, he stopped short when he saw the dead bodies and 4 21’s glowing green eyes.

“Who are you?” he demanded reaching for his sidearm.

“Sorry,” Elisabeth said as she quickly stepped toward him.

Suddenly the guard flew across the room and slammed into a wall, sliding to the floor unconscious.

“How did you do that without using your hands?” 4 21 asked.

“My wings. Remember?” Elisabeth said. “They’re invisible but I can still use them. Plus they have hooks on top that let me grab and throw things. . .or people.”

“We must move the sentry to safety. Should Ghislain’s clones return, they will kill him,” 4 21 said.

As 4 21 lifted the guard’s body, Elisabeth spotted something on the floor near where he had landed.

“Are those his teeth?” she asked recoiling.

Looking back as 4 21 stashed the guard behind a screen, she said,

“Sorry, man.”

* * *

When Nathan was led upstairs, Kyran McAddams took a position to his right while Jericho stood to his left. The three men faced Ian McAddams seated at a table, his unfinished meal before him.

“Who are you?” Ian McAddams demanded.

“He didn’t tell you?” Nathan asked, motioning toward Jericho.

“I want a name! Now!” Ian snapped.

“Well,” Nathan began, “I married at an early age to a lovely young Irish girl. Father would have been proud. Then I started a club with a plan to use my skills and take over more and more of the city. And when my first child, a boy, was born with powers, I knew that was my chance.”

Ian grabbed a fork from the table and hurled it at Nathan, but Nathan easily sidestepped it.

“Stop telling me about my life! I want to know who you are and why you know so much about me,” Ian spat.

“I’m Nathan Nichols.”

“The Prophet,” Jericho added.

“I just know things,” Nathan said.

“You just know things?” Ian asked skeptically.

“Yes,” Nathan replied. “Like for example, the guy who brings your food is lifting silverware. But you’re going to decide not to kill him even though he also works nights for Pinstripe, your biggest competitor. “

Ian turned and glared at the terrified waiter who dropped a decanter of wine and turned to run. But before he could escape, McAddams’ men grabbed him.

“What’d I tell you,” Nathan said.

Kyran McAddams took a few steps to the left then turned to face Nathan.

“I’ve had enough of this,” Ian barked.

Looking over at Jericho, Nathan quickly warned, “Brace yourself.”

Just then Kyran McAddams sent a torrent of energy exploding from his hands. Nathan stepped back letting the energy pass him and strike Jericho. The force threw Jericho across the restaurant, through the wall and outside to the street.

Nathan knew Jericho would not be harmed by the blast. He could take far more powerful hits than that one. Drawing closer to Ian, Nathan slammed his knuckles down on the table, and leaned close to Ian’s head until they were almost eyeball to eyeball.

“Braden Cole is dead,” Nathan said.

Ian McAddams’ eyes grew wide.

“You know who killed him, and you know what he wants. Now we can talk like men or we can play games until he unleashes the virus. And you know what will happen when he does,” Nathan said.

Ian McAddams stiffened and sat up straighter, trying to hide his fear.

“You’re right to be afraid.”


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