Story: Fears and Favors (chapter 7)
Authors: A Markov
Back to chapter list
Title: Blast from the Past
[Author's notes: James Bond is the brainchild of Ian Fleming and might be the property of Sony Pictures, MGM, EON, Universal Pictures or possibly some guy named Kevin McClory. Apparently no one knows for sure, but he certainly isn’t mine.]
Shego stopped outside the door to her flat and tried to figure out what felt wrong. She still hadn’t decided if she was going to pull off Wade’s finger nails or cut his Achilles’ tendons when she saw him next. His impromptu activation of the beta unit had alerted the guards to her presence at the museum and one of them had landed a glancing blow to the back of her head with a baton before she could knock him out. It hurt like hell and she wanted to share that pain with the person she believed was responsible. Right now, there was something wrong with her flat and the pain was making it difficult for her to concentrate on what it was.
She went through a quick meditation routine and cleared her mind. Concentrating on her surroundings, she focused on each thing individually for a second and sorted them into right or wrong feelings. There was no music. The couple, who rented the flat next door to her, always had the stereo playing. Day, night, home or away, there was music coming from their flat at all times, but now, the hallway was silent. Shego pulled out her pick set and went to their door but her picks were not required, it was slightly ajar. Slowly she opened it and slipped inside. In the living room she found the bodies of the young couple who lived there. A quick glance around showed evidence of a struggle but something else caught her eye.
Burn marks. Hand shaped burn marks on the furniture and walls. She was being set up. The pale woman headed for the door but hesitated when she heard voices in the hallway. It was another neighbor, speaking to the police about a disturbance. Shego left by way of the balcony. She hopped over the railing and controlled her fall by catching the rail at each floor on the way down. When she reached the street she walked away casually, heading for the bolt hole where she had stashed the painting. As she walked down the street, she pulled out the beta unit and looked at Wade’s message. "Do not return to your apartment, someone is trying to frame you for murder." Thanks for the warning. She thought wryly.
“Hold it right there!” She was almost to the corner when the unwelcome sound of Dr. Director’s voice stopped Shego in her tracks.
Someone sat down and looked across the table from him. Without looking up special agent Thomas said “Hello Betty.”
“Hi Jim.” She replied with insincere cordiality. “We have a rather thorny problem over at GJ, and I was wondering if you would be so kind as to swing by and help us out.”
“You couldn’t call?”
“Oh, agent Thomas, you are quite funny.”
Her forced joviality was starting to get on his nerves but he didn’t allow any of his rancor to show in his expression. He looked at the four agents she had brought with her. “Did you think I was going to resist?” he asked placidly.
“Well, you never know when an old man’s heart is going to give out.” She said, allowing the malice she was feeling to come out for the first time since she had sat down. She placed her hand on his arm and the auto injector she was palming stabbed him. He sagged in his chair but the agents smoothly stepped in to catch him before he fell. Two of them walked him out of the restaurant while the others gathered up his notes and personal items.
Dr. Director flashed her badge at the manager as he walked over to them and he held the door open for them as they left.
Wade watched the debates in the House and the Senate with growing dread. The leaders of his country were going to declare martial law. The worst thing about it was that no one was protesting. There was no voice of reason speaking up to prevent the subjugation of the free people of the United States. The leaders of the nation were debating away the people’s freedom and instead of facing an armed revolt, they were being hailed as heroes. The computer guru knew he only had a few days left. First, he checked on his mom, she was doing just fine in New Zealand.
Wade checked over his list of assets and concluded he would be able to get a dozen people out of the country. More if they went only as far as Mexico or Canada but judging from the news feeds out of those countries, they wouldn’t be much safer than the US soon. Mexico was a better choice because it was easier to get in and out of. Canada was a dead end. He could get a dozen people off the continent and maybe twenty more out of the country. By this time next week, congress would be handing over control of the country to the military and from there he figured it was a short step to Global Justice running the whole show. The sooner he started moving, the more people he could get out.
He arranged his notebooks on his desk and went over his moves one more time. He estimated that from the time he logged on he would have eight hours before they located him and less than thirty minutes after that until armed troops arrived. He hoped that his ride could get here in that time. It all depended on where she was in the world. He took a deep breath, connected to his home system and went to work.
Bonnie opened the door and looked at Ron. She felt as nervous as she could ever remember feeling. She couldn’t find her voice, so she just motioned him inside. He hesitated for a moment and she thought he might just turn around and leave; but he did walk in, pointedly not making contact with her as he went by. The action infuriated her and she spun around to give him a piece of her mind but their last conversation flashed through her mind and she quickly controlled her impulse. I guess all those times I had to bite my tongue when my sisters were teasing me has paid off, she thought.
When Bonnie opened the door, Ron’s first thought was that she looked scared. He didn’t remember Bonnie ever looking scared before. She usually just looked mad, usually at him. Then she waved him inside like a servant boy and he almost walked away. If it hadn’t been for Kim telling him that Bonnie needed to talk to him, He would have been just fine letting her go her own way. He walked inside making sure he didn’t accidentally touch her and set off one of her tirades. The only reason I came here was because Kim wanted me to, he thought. He didn’t say it out loud because Kim had also told him to be nice, and he was pretty sure if he brought Kim up it would piss Bonnie off. He stopped in the living room and turned to face her.
“Can I get you something to drink? I’ve got…”
“I’m fine.” He said abruptly
“Do you want to sit…?”
“I’m fine.” He said again with the same tone and inflection.
Again, she found herself at a loss for words. He certainly wasn’t making this any easier. He was just standing there with his arms crossed; looking at her defiantly, as if the only reason he was here was because Kim had asked him to come. Oh, my god! She thought. The only reason he’s here is because she asked him! She felt her anger and frustration rising and she wondered why she was even bothering to explain herself to him when it was obvious that the only thing he cared about was Kim.
“Well?” he demanded. He had been standing in her living room for several minutes and she was just looking at him, like she expected him to apologize or something. He didn’t know why Kim thought this was important but he knew he wasn’t going to bow and scrape before the great goddess Bonnie. She might be pretty and surprisingly sweet one on one, but that didn’t make up for her public bitchiness or her constant slams on his best friend. When she didn’t respond he just shook his head and started to leave. “I knew this was a bad idea.” He muttered.
“Ron, stop.” Even to her own ears, she sounded arrogant and demanding. She saw his back stiffen and could tell he was getting ready to dress her down again. She quickly blurted out, “Why did you come here?”
“That’s a good question.” He said sarcastically.
Bonnie closed her eyes and forced her voice to be even and calm. “Honestly, Ron. Why did you come here?”
“Yes.” Her eyes were still closed.
He studied her for a moment. She was standing stiffly with her hands clenched at her sides. Her eyes were shut tightly and she looked like she was expecting him to hit her. “Because Kim asked me to.” He said cautiously.
He half expected her to explode in anger but she just flinched a little and asked, “Do you think she might have had a good reason?” Conceding that Kim had more influence on Ron than she did wasn’t nearly as painful as she thought it would be. After all, they had been friends since pre-K and had saved the world together who knew how many times. It made perfect sense that the boy would place Kim’s opinion high on his list. Still, Bonnie was surprised at how easy it was to concede something to the red head.
Ron was stunned. Why had KP told him to come here? She had said that Bonnie needed to tell him something important, but she didn’t say what it was. Kim telling him to go see Bonnie was confusing enough, for Bonnie to be saying that Kim might be right was even more confusing. His tired mind couldn’t take much of this sort of thing, best to just go with the flow and let his essential Ronness sort it all out. “So…” he said hesitatingly, “You have to tell me something…?”
“Yes.” She breathed a sigh of relief.
“So… I should sit down…?”
“And… I… should… have something to drink…?”
“Yes.” I can do this, she thought. “I’ve got…”
Ron sat in awe at the string of invectives that came from Bonnie’s mouth. He wasn’t sure what half of the English words meant and he certainly hadn’t known that Bonnie was able to curse in so many languages. He was alert enough that when she paused to take a deep breath, he activated the record function on his Kimmunicator and continued to listen in bewildered admiration. Bonnie was just getting warmed up.
Kim left the hospital feeling pretty good. The latest tests had shown a result that the doctors believed they could use to help her fellow surviving victims recover. Apparently she had been exposed to a peculiar type of radiation that might be the key to the success of her operation. Everyone was very excited about the possibilities and a test on the other girls was going to commence tomorrow. She started to call Ron and share the good news with him when she saw someone she recognized standing next to her motorcycle.
“Lisa..?” She asked. “Lisa Chairman?”
Even if Kim had not fought with a Betty Director clone two days ago, she would have noticed the physical resemblance, but the voice would have been a dead give away. The red head stopped about fifteen feet away from the brunette and glanced around warily.
“Where have you been for the last three years?” Kim asked casually, sliding her backpack down to the ground. “We’ve been worried.” She tried to keep her voice calm and level.
“Oh, here and there.” Hearing Dr. Director’s voice come from a young woman her own age was creeping Kim out. The brown haired woman was standing still but her eyes were intense on Kim, missing nothing.
“I don’t suppose you know who ‘Lady Tremaine’ is, do you?” Kim composed herself in a cautious posture, ready to attack or defend without hesitation.
“I’m afraid not, Kim.” Her voice was casual but her body language matched Kim’s
“How about ‘Electra King’?”
Lisa looked puzzled, “The Bond girl?”
“Bond girl… like James Bond?”
“Yeah, Electra King was a kidnap victim that ended up working with the bad guys in ‘The World Is Not Enough.’”
The light went on in Kim’s brain. “What about you, Lisa? Are you working with the bad guys?”
The brunette chuckled genuinely. “You never grew up, did you? Bad guys? Good guys? There’s no such thing as good or bad, Kim. There is only power and weakness.” She began an oblique advance toward Kim.
“What about your mom? Where does she fit in to all of this?” Kim asked as she circled to her left.
“My mom?” Lisa looked puzzled again.
“Yeah, your mom.” Kim said accusingly, “I should have known you were Dr. Director’s daughter from the beginning.”
“My mom…?” Lisa burst out laughing. “You think she’s…” She broke off when she noticed a large group of people coming into the parking lot. Shift change had started and crowds of nurses and doctors were entering the parking structure. The brown haired woman scowled. She relaxed her stance and said, “We’ll meet again soon, Kim.” Then turned on her heel and disappeared into the throng.
“Go, Ron…” Kim couldn’t believe her eyes. “Wade…? Where have you...?”
“No time for questions or answers.” Wade said abruptly. “You have to be at Pier Nineteen in thirty minutes.” Kim looked at him for a moment. There was usually a certain amount of playfulness in Wade’s face, but today he had on what Ron referred to as a “Serious face” and so instead of asking the thousands of questions that came to mind, she just nodded and ran to her bike. The warf was far enough away that making it there in thirty minutes was going to be tough.
Wade looked at his screen in alarm. He had estimated eight hours for them to locate him but only three had passed and they were already getting close. He was going to have to leave within the next hour or he might not be able to leave at all. He checked Sadie’s location; she was still two hours out. If he left now, they would take twice as long to find this location because there wouldn’t be any activity and he could get quite a distance on foot in the next two hours. On the other hand, there were still several people who he wanted to get out of the country and if he left now they would be stranded. He would give it another half hour here, and then arrange to meet Sadie somewhere else. Maybe he could stick it out for forty five minutes and still get away. He typed furiously.
[End notes: Next Time:
Back to chapter list