1:01 Comfort Zone Terminated
“Mister Xavier, when are you going to reveal your newest cerium, Completion?” A reporter yells at me then jabs a microphone and recorder into my face. I barely hear him as I walk down the aisle to Jare Enterprises. Something about that particular reporter catches my interest and I turn to face him. He isn’t tall, well built or even intimidating for a reporter but a medium size man with soft eyes. There the kind of eyes that one could almost get lost in them. Ones full of curiosity and wonder that the latest humans are slowly losing that amazing part of them. The sounds of the commotion seize to exist as I face the young reporter.
Suddenly the sound of people yelling comes back to my ears. I adjust my translator so it can get an accurate reading on my speech. “Just Xavier will be fine and to answer your question….”
“Patrick,” He tells me excitedly. Though, something right when he says his name something is a little off about him with his short hair that spikes out in the front. Or those words that seem to want to dig into your being emphasized with his cheap black suite. No, I think to myself. Just a bit of paranoia, he is like the others so I push the idea out of my mind.
“Patrick,” I repeat the name like it will give me something about the man but nothing comes. Quickly I put my hand on his shoulder coping what most humans do when they pretend a total stranger is their friend. I put on a fake smile and tell him in my robotic voice, “I’ll give you an exclusive of the lucky hospital to get the first donation of Completion, just follow me and I’ll tell you the time and place.” I tell him using my translator which gives my voice an unemotional feel like I could not care less about Completion when really it has been my life’s work. Of course, the reporter is not looking in the distance at what an honor to be the one to report on this great accomplishment I am giving to mankind. He does not even skip a heart beat at how this could change the world for the better. Instead he stares at the translator on my face. The object that makes me stands out from every being on this planet. Most mutes just go about their lives using sign language best they can but I had come too far. So I improvise a bit of technology from my home Nysa with a bit of a billionaire play boy’s technology to create a lip translator. It’s like a microphone that reaches around my each to my mouth instead personifying my voice it translates best it can into the English or any language I please. Sadly people marvel at the translator more than what could change the world. A few cc’s of liquid in each vile that could cure the world.
“25759 SE Mango Street, the old Children’s Hospital off of I90. Be there by 6 sharp or it will turn public.” I threaten the reporter a bit. He quickly nods to me with his biggest story of his young career nearly in his grasp. An ego sparkles in his eye as we get closer to the elevator. A moment later he runs out of the building practically skipping with what I am guessing is joy.
I realize we are at the glass elevator that will take me to highest floor in the building. It’s one of the tallest in Washington with a light blue sheen that makes it blend in a bit with the sky on a sunny day. The elevators is on the very edge of the building facing the Puget Sound with the boats and beaches that turn into little toys for a child to play with as I rise. 30, 40, 50 and 60 still more floors to go to reach 101 my favorite number. Most often in the human language to display more than full effort as 100% which is impossible. No one can fill a glass more than its fill so no one can use more than a 100%. Still people use it which I admire greatly.
I am immediately snapped out of my day dream when the elevator stops at 99. No one is allowed to use this elevator so this is either a potential client or… The chief of police steps into the elevator with his medium size bulk when it comes men most would top me by a few inches. Usually they try to intimidate me using their bulk as the chief does. His eye brows high and grinning as he looks at me happily knowing I am not going to fight. I turn away toward the window with my hands behind my back looking at our reflection in the mirror. Mine a meager 5’7’’ with a clean shaven head with a cheap brown suite. Its eyes are looking down cast not to attract attention rubbing its IR watch nervously. And the chief in a decorative uniform with the badges covering him likes shields from the law. His white face could avoid any witness testifying against him with his hair slicked back with grease and his bristle brown mustache. One morning, long ago I hear his buddies’ police men say how he works his brown stringy hair to the perfect condition with the grease so it gives off a little shimmer. Though all I see is a dirty piece of law in a police man’s costume.
“I have this job down town. I need another 10 more to do the job with this major ‘drug’ heist. I’ll bring the men back afterwards an hour later perhaps.” He says in a southern accent and throws a bit of tobacco from a can into his mouth to chew.
I know he is lying since that part of Needle is the scum of the Earth that they could not care less about. They do not even care about civilians getting killed if someone tries to steal Completion. There must be a way to reason with this man. This drug must been seen what it can do to save lives. Maybe I can take a look into his thoughts for an incentive. NO, I made a promise and I am not going to break it. Not yet anyway. Begging is what the weak cannot do but the strong are forced to but I still hate it, So I turn to him and beg, “Please Chief,” I really am going to hate this. “the normal security guards are qualified enough. Just let them go back to their posts.” I try to sound nervous in the process it sounds like I am a mumbling buffoon of an idiot CEO.
He smirks a bit at me, “Xavier.” He pats me on the back with his dirty hands, “My boy, my men are the best around and nobody. And I mean, nobody will get hands on Petition.”
“Completion,” I correct him angrily under my breath.
He gives me an angry look and I shut up as he gives me a harder slap. I fly into the side of the elevator head first. “I knew that,” he says confidently as he pulls me up to a standing position. “Just don’t worry about nothing my boy. Everything will go fine without a single shot.” He chuckles a little bit knowing that I understand how empty of a promise it is as he pushes me out of the elevator. My entire office is focus on my as I fall to the floor with a bloody nose. I get up slowly to face him in the center of the room. He points at me and says in a threatening tone, “we’ll be watchin’.”
The elevator door closes silently as it opened. I spit the nocuous blood from my mouth onto the floor then walk into my office.
Err… I clench my fist until I lose feeling in it. Quietly I shut the door of my sound proof room. “AH!” I scream and nearly break my watch revealing my true form of a cloaked figure. Why is doing good so HARD! I yell to myself then I kick one of my chairs into the wall which I enforced with titanium for this occasion. There is not even a scratch on the wall except the paint that angers me ever more. I throw the only other thing that could not be destroyed in the room, my hologram watch. It flies across the room into the glass without causing the smallest scratch. I begin passing across the room, it’s almost like they want to die out as a race, I think to myself. Then I go to pick up my watch which also has not a ding, scratch or crack on it as if it was the first time I set on this piece of magic.
I start calming down as I sit down in my large arm chair with the watch. Its one of the only items I brought from Nysa. The only thing reminds me of where a came from so long ago. With its towering stone peaks where my people built their palaces that reached into the sky. An engineering marvel they were not but their beauty was unprecedented for eternity. Then in the south there was Rolling Meadows filled with wild flowers of the rainbow that could cure all illnesses. Beings came throughout the universe to take samples of our plants that sometimes we so selfishly guarded. Now, they must only be dust in the wind with all the fire that rained that terrible day I had to leave my people. I was respected by all for who I was as Shadowbane. Nobody questioned my loyalty or trustworthiness as a person of the people guarding our planet and many others. That terrible day when the Garath a civilization that numbered in the billions attacked our small planet has haunted my nightmares for ages. My people did not stand a chance with only past good doings to protect them. Only I, Shadowbane could hold off the fleet long enough for the next generation to escape as eggs, my race’s daughter and a trusted friend. I battled the entire fleet not allowing a ship to go past me but slowly and surely my strength waned making me sloppy. I was forced to retreat to the point where I could only stop the mother ship. It had the capability to annihilate the entire planet and that too I failed. I allowed the destruction of my home that could have been stopped with one swift movement but I was not strong enough. Eventually, I retreated into the last portal leading to Earth to join the few 2 survivors.
The first time I visited I found out quickly how the US government was proud of their secrets. From the start of my adventures Earth became my permanent home I had become part of conspiracies surrounding the killing of emperors, prime ministers, kings, presidents, governors, singers, resistance leaders and organized killings. Sometimes I think of how I could have better led this country into a golden age but that is no purpose of mine and never has been.
I continue to pull my fingers over my watch looking at four buttons. It’s deep blue with white lines like roots crawling all over it. The object that I was instructed to wear so I could blend in to any species. Then eventually bring them back to better days. I look at myself now, helping barely anyone with the gang swarming my company. Soon Completion will be sold on the black market and reversed into a weapon of mass destruction.
A knock rings throughout my office, “Come in.” I holler to the door and I continue to turn over my watch. A women walks into the room. I can smell her perfume from and her clicking heels from across the room. “Carol, how nice it is to see you, again.” I guess in my robotic voice in as nice language as I can conjure up.
“Cut the pleasantries, Xavier. Just tell me what I want so I can leave the geek show,” she retorts angrily. I look up from my work to see a woman in high heels, a blue dress with brown hair and blue eyes. A perfect face most of the world would say but all I can see is manipulation from head to toe.
Always cutting to the chase, I think to myself. “You know, if I tap into the nerves in the upper legs for a disabled pacient then connect it to their brain they could regain control of their legs. Just imagine how many….”
She quickly runs over and grabs my neck. Her deep blue eyes bore into mine with a gun in one hand and my neck in the other. “Where is Completion going to be? TELL ME or I’ll give you another hole to breathe through.”
“The new hospital,” my translator barely reads me in such a low tone, “one 58th , 6:30.” I chuckle a little bit at my quick thinking of leading her and the entire news rooms to the wrong place.
She doesn’t release me for a few seconds, “Think I’m funny Xavier!” She yells as me then tosses me against my desk. I crumple to the floor trying to catch my breath for a few seconds. “Am I funny now?” I just glare at her, “I didn’t think so.” She stomps out of the room into the hall with her high heels close behind.
Again I try to get up from the floor but I just collapse again. A little to much action for the last hour perhaps and a second later my secretary runs into the room. “Its fine Mr. Garner. I am just a bit winded.” I tell the boy of 21 with massive glasses and kind eyes you see only to often in the slums.
Garner shook his head doubtfully, ”You’ve broken a few ribs. We need to get you to the hospital.”
“No, check again.” I let out a quick grunt then heal my ribs as fast as I can before he can check.
“How is that possible?” He touches my ribs one last time and stands. “Sorry.” He quickly says like he has hurt me.
“What?” I say a little confused.
He looks at me like I’m crazy, “I just poked you with a pen in you leg and you didn’t even flinch.” Garner squeezes my leg higher up til I slap his hand away when I feel it.
Why will he not tell me! I yell in my head angrily, “What is it!” I yell in a not persuading robotic voice.
“I don’t know,” he simply mutters to himself as he dials 911.
“What is it Garner?” He still doesn’t answer me with my robotic voice. Nobody ever changes their mind when they hear it, “George!”
At first he is a little startled walking out of the room then turns back. He is so reluctant to tell me, I know it by his passing across the room back and forth. “I…I…” he leaves the room as the paramedics try to pick me up.
“I can walk myself,” I snap at them who give confused glances to Garner. I try to move my legs. Then I try to force them to work. Angrily I punch my leg as hard as I can to feel nothing. I look toward my hand to see a clear liquid on it that I wipe off with a piece of cloth then throw it into a plastic bag that I shove into my pocket.
One of the paramedics walks up to me a little nervously asking, “May I?” I nod back to him. He squeezes my leg then shakes his head toward the other medic. Another two bring a stretcher then carry me into the ambulance.
As they scramble me into the elevator I cannot help but to think who could possibly do this. Nobody knows who I truly am. In fact most people want to take advantage of my experience. Not to hurt me. There must be someone behind this with a plan for the future I am not going to like.
Then the paramedics distract me for a moment, “Please stop shaking, sir.” He says strictly grabbing my leg. I try to stop but it just keeps on wobbling as if someone else is vibrating it. I look at him confused as my vision starts to go fuzzy. He starts to yell into my ear once we get into the ambulance but I just keep nodding. I want to close my eyes, to let go but something is keeping me up. For long minutes I shake vigorously trying to expel the poison from my body when it finally seizes.
As the ride progresses in this little metal box my body becomes warmer and warmer to the point of all the energy that I use for healing. The paramedics start to sweat and slowly the substance my skin is secreting is melting my watch. Eventually my body is become so hot that the blankets catch on fire. “STOP THE CAR!” One of the paramedics yells in terror to the driver.
They toss the gurdery out the back with me still in it onto the road. In the process they scream as they hands burn from touching the melting metal. Luckily a bridge is only a few feet away so I jumped off the side into the black water of the sun set. My skin still burns from all the release of heat creating millions of bubbles boiling the water around me. A few of the local inhabitants float up dead from the sudden heat exposure in the year of October. Eventually my skin starts to cool down with the energy leaks closing up. Ah. I think to myself as my temperature goes back to normal. No, stupid, I forgot about the paramedics. I think to myself since I could have simply whipped their minds of the experience but now they’re going to tell everyone. They could blow my entire cover. I should have been more vigilant.
Nothing I can do now but hope they do not yap about a burning person on the evening news. Nobody will believe their story but who would have done this? I guess that mystery will remained unsolved for a little longer.
After I come to my mental conclusion I swim through the cold water to the edge of the shore. In so many parts of the shore there are massive fences that forced me to swim down river a bit. Finally, I find an opening to climb up onto the shore. Freezing from exposure I crawl a few hundred feet back to the bridge. Through the dry cold soil that clanged to my suite. By the time I reached the top of the bridge it was 5:30 pm at night as far as my watch can tell.
A van had pulled up from the other side of the bridge where I had jumped off. Most likely they were alien enthusiasts wearing bright colored t-shirts and green/black painted van. I quickly crawl toward the road with only my arms and holding up my thumb. A family pulls up next to me and the father of the family helps me into the back of the truck. Just before the car pulls out of sight a black low riding car pulls up where I crawled out of the Puget Sound’s cold water. He looks at the dark water stains I left to look me straight into the eye. His black suite and black slicked back hair made him look like an FBI agent. Though it’s the eyes that gave him away with their defiant side and stubbornness that I hope never to see again as the family drives me to the hospital.
“Where have you been Mister Xavier?” George says running into the hospital room with his clip board. His eyes are darting like the word is going to end in an explosion any minute. Which it would not but you get the point. “There’s only 15 minutes before the function starts.”
“Change of plans, we are going to the old hospital on the East side of Needle,” I try to stand but I collapse onto the floor in a heap. Garner luckily catches me then helps me back onto the bed.
He shakes his head sadly, “You are in no condition to even be dragged to the function.”
“I have no choice.” I look deep into Georges eyes to see understanding where there was never any so I look out the window opposite to him on my left. “If my pain stops hundreds of people from suffering then so be it.” I tell him, a group of nurses pushes an automatic wheel chair, the one with the joy stick controls. I push it back to the nurse who looks at me a bit confused. “My present to you, do you have one that is a little more…. primitive?” The nurse nods then rushes back into the hall. The wheel chair is a few thousand dollars that is about twice the salary of the average nurse in Needle.
“Mister Xavier! The police have removed all the guards. We must cancel it or Completion with be stolen.” He pleads to me.
“To add another day to their suffering. I would rather be tortured for life than allow that to happen.” I tell him then a older style wheel chair is pushed into the room by one of the men nurses. He helps me into it then I start pushing it down the white halls before he can stop me.
“Listen to reason.” Garner pleads to me; I shake my head nearly causing my translator to fall onto the floor. I start to push the chair to go faster. The only way for Garner to keep up is to run which he is not very good at. Eventually, we reach the elevator and I stop pushing. “The mob is going to be there with Raymond and No. 3 leading the charge. If they start a shoot out everything you have worked for will be gone in a matter of minutes.”
“Yes,” I let out a long sigh. He is so surprised and confused he does not join me in the elevator. The doors close leaving him on one side and me on the other. In a way I am glad he is not coming with me. There too are going to be one of the mobsters waiting for me. The elevator starts to go down to the lobby. It is almost like the world is trying to make it impossible to make the right decision. So many shades of gray in this world I am having more trouble deciding which is right and wrong. If I bring Completion over to the old hospital, I think to myself as I reach the lobby and the doors open. I begin pushing myself out to my black low riding car. It will kill many, I close the door. Not from the injection, the conflict of the bosses. If they put it onto the black market many will kill each other for its properties. Some could live forever with many injections. On the other hand if I just wait around in this car of mine, in the late night more will die from diseases. No, I cannot let that happen. I push the key into the lock and start the car. Sometimes sacrifices must be made, I tell myself but it doesn’t make me feel any better.
In a matter of minutes I reach the old hospital. It is run down to the point of collapsing under its own wait. Multiple times I have tried to get the company to loan some money to improve the facility. Every time they refused to take the money. For a moment I wait in the car knowing the chaos to come is just waiting. In the corner, just waiting for me to enter, to take the bait and I pull out my wheel chair from the passenger’s seat. I toss it onto the ground outside of the car then slide in.
The chief of surgery notices me rolling my way over to the hospital with my non working legs. He runs toward me in his long white coat still wearing a mask over his mouth. “What the hell happened to you?” He says once he has pushed me all the way into the building.
“A story for another day,” I say to him sadly.
Everyone around is watching the TV in the old hospital with paint peeling on its walls. Windows filled with cracks from the long years of abuse. The police are there but are too late with the mobsters already in the hospital. I let out a sigh of relief that some of them were tricked.
The chief of surgery kicks my wheel chair flipping me onto the floor. He runs over and grabs my shirt to hoist me a few inches from the ground. “Why did you lie to them? You’ve put hundreds of people lives at stake for your stupid cure that isn’t needed.” Breathing hard he drops me to the ground. I crawl back into my chair following him to his office.
“It was either endangering hundreds or millions. I couldn’t let that happen, you must understand those were my only options.” I counter act his opinion try to explain in an unconvincing robotic voice.
He leads me into his office then closes the door. “Your only options!” Chief of surgery yells at me, “Here’s one, do nothing! Then nobody would be endangered in the first place. AND! My patients wouldn’t be at risk.” His dark face seems to get a bit lighter as anger boils up in him.
Then his eyes start to calm down turning back to normal. He walks over to his desk gripping each side with his trembling hands. “Sorry it’s just nerve racking to know my patients could be next.”
“I understand, if we give all your patients Completion then there will not be no incentive for them to come here. You could evacuate the hospital and I will do my best to convince them to….” I tell him trailing off, I cannot tell him what I could do. That would just add more panic to the situation. “leave and I will give you as much time as I can.”
His face lights up a bit with the thought of avoiding the current situation, “That would mean a lot to me, to us. But they could ruin you entire company, the Chief would charge you with anything they can put on you.” I grab his shoulder and squeeze it.
I smile at him, something I have not done in long years doing this job, “stick to the plan and you will be able to move back in tomorrow with minimum damage.” He returns the smile running out of the room.
In a matter of a half an hour the nurses have injected everyone with Completion. Even the people going to save surgery can walk out without a scratch. The families waiting long months for their loved ones to leave this dreadful place are jumping on the way to their cars with glee. Nobody knows the storm to come and that’s the way I hope to keep it as I watch through the office window. Once I see the last nurse leave the hospital I move into the elevator.
Before I can stop him the Chief sneaks into the elevator. “The last of the cerium is on the 2nd and 3rd floors; you’re not going to be able to move fast enough to get rid of both of them. I’ll go to the 3rd floor since I know exactly where it is and you can got to the second. You’ll have a better chance to get out.” He taps his feet nervously as the elevator moves to the 3rd floor. “Anyway you saved many of my patients; this is my way to repay you.”
I smash my hand against my face, or at least I think that is what humans do. I grab his shoulders then press the 4 button. “One way to repay me Chief,” I tell him calmly, “is to keep yourself alive for you kids. I am not worth more than you.” He tries to say but when I push him out of the elevator on the 4th floor. The elevator doors close and I see a little tear go down his cheek.
A moment later the doors open. I pull out my slightly modified tranquilizer gun the size of my thumb when I hear sirens. They already know I am here. Moving as fast as I can I push on the wheels to the main office on this floor. The white walls seem to get a little longer at each push to the point it feels like I am never going to get over there. Finally, after a few frantic seconds I reach the office to find Carol, the women I saw on the office dead on the floor. A man stands above her body holding a black glock in one hand with a vial of Completion in the other. Ready, aim and fire right into his hand and a millisecond later he turns to me. 5 seconds till the tranquilizer gets through his system. 1, he aim his gun toward me. 2, I start to push the wheel chair across the 15 feet expanse between us. 3, he pulls back on his gun. 4, the black masked man pulls down his ski mask. 5, BANG!
A gun goes off outside right as it hits it target, bump someone falls. I take a quick look out the window to see one of the police men on the ground. The Chief is holding one of his comrades and sees me with my tranquilizer. I took back into the room to find Carol’s killer on the ground asleep. When I look back the police have gone into the building with a few men in black suites in the lead.
I hear voices down the hall from one of the larger conference rooms. Quietly, I push my wheel chair to the door next door when the voices get louder. “AH! I CAN’T!” I hear the Chief of Surgery scream, no, no, no, I think to myself. This cannot be happening he on the other floor. A quick look at the elevator is enough for me to see two dead police men with blood coming out of their noses. Raymond, he is here already? That is impossible unless he got a tip from the truck drivers. That must be how.
BANG! Another sound comes from the Chief not nearly as loud as the first, a mere whimper in comparison. “Where is the CERIUM!?” One of Raymond’s men yells.
A question I could answer at what cost? If they know what I can do then they will destroy the company I have worked so hard to create. No, I just will not use my powers instead shoot them with the tranquilizer.
BANG! “Where is IT!” “I don’t know,” he starts to let out his last breaths.
One step, one word and a few movements could end his agony.
“Last chance Doctor, where is IT!” He waits for a few moments for a response. I hear a thump. “On the count of 3 or you’ll be saying hi to the bright light. 1.”
1, 2, 3 and I force the chair into the room. Ready, aim, fire and I take out his friend with a shot. He stands for a few seconds and luckily the shock sets in letter those seconds past by quickly. Raymond in his white suite and pale gray skin holds out his arms smiling at his unconscious partner. “There’s the great inventor to save the day. Sad, that there won’t be anyone to save you.” He watches me for a second trying to get into my mind for any helpful information. I let him in as he scavenges through all the memories that will have no use to him. The ones that most people would expect to be in the mind of mine. Once he finishes I pretend to be exhausted. He asks chuckling as he makes his way around the desk toward me.“ How were the police? I hope they got up the elevator to save your friend.” He takes a quick look toward the elevator to see them dead. “What a shame. Maybe I should tell my rat to send more up here for fun. More the merrier my dead mother always said.”
“Leave them out of this,” I say tell him angrily with my robotic voice. This again in this situation does not help in the smallest sense but the only thing I can think of is how much he looks like a rat from the sewers.
Raymond looks at me as if he actually pities, “Rat man? That no way to treat your new employer.” He repeated just what I thought. I reach through the barriers of my mind to see a little crack. He tries to get back through but I push him away. “Naughty scientist,” he glares at me sweating like a pig. The room starts to feel like a prison as he says those words. “Don’t you know not to play with fire or you’ll get burned?” He crashes into my mind so fast he knocks my soul out of my body. Quickly I jump back into my body before he locks my mind somewhere. I try to reach out but I cannot reach him unless I am touching him.
I glare at him angrily, “Undo it immediately; you have night right.” The Rat man just smiles as I struggle to get out of his mental noose. There is no way I can see now to stop it except by knocking him out physically. Maybe he will lose concentration enough for me to escape. I point my tranquilizer at him once again. TINK! TINK! TINK! The little gun goes as three shots go into his chest enough to knock him out him moment it hits him.
A few moments later I try to reach out from my mind but its still there. Nothing I can do to get it off. I try as hard as I can until my mind nearly rips itself apart at the effort. I am going to be stuck like this forever in my own body because of him.
Then I remember why I really came in here, for Chief. He is already unconscious luckily so while I heal him he won’t remember a thing. Pop, pop, pop the bullets come out of his chest as I heal him. And a few seconds later he coughs a few times then opens his eyes. Before he can remember what happened I wipe his memory clean of the experience. He cannot know what has happened to him. It would be too dangerous for him to live with people like Raymond bothering him. It was the right thing, I tell myself but I know it is not.
‘RAYMOND! We finished the job at the hospital.’ ‘Don’t give us the silent treatment now.’ ‘Maybe he isn’t there.’ The voices talk coming from Raymond’s pocket. I quickly grab Raymond’s arm to take control of his words. They cannot know that Raymond is out until the Doctor escapes. “I am fine, just finish up the work.” I force Raymond’s voice to say. ‘Are you okay?’ ‘Maybe he’s just on a high.’ “Yes,” I try to answer, “They feel so good with all the colors.” Stupid, I tell myself but I have absolutely no idea except from criminals telling me what it is like.
At that moment I lose control, they hear my voice instead of his and hang up. No, have to get him out of there. Then I think of it. Everyone is watching including all the new reporters down stairs so there is no way someone would not see him going down the elevator. They could mistake him for a rat maybe. The one who betrayed the company, not unless he is not a threat. “Gl…”
“Do not call me that.” I tell the Doctor he is a little shocked. At that moment I know how he is getting out of here alive, “I am deeply sorry.” He looks at me funny as if someone was going to jump out from behind him. “Sleep my friend.” He collapses to the floor in the elevator.
I press the button then take one second look out to make sure no one could follow us when a man hits me with a crow bar. Flying across the room the elevator slowly closes making my chances near impossible that I will escape. No matter, he is only one. I shoot him in the chest with a tranquilizer. 10 seconds past by and he is nearly onto me. “How?” I let my mind wonder at how he could possibly not have fallen.
“It’s quite simple actually.” A voice says down the hall. I sit up from the floor to see Raymond walking. No, my eyes must be playing tricks on me. The tranquilizer knocks people out at least for a few hours if they are big enough. That should have kept him down for 6 hours at least for his size. “So confused aren’t you G----- Xavier.” He says sympathetically.
“I have never told anyone that.” He must be inside my head. I touch my face to feel no translator. “Get out of my HEAD!” I yell at him forcing the edges of this illusion to pieces until I could see what is really happening. The scene fades of the hospital with Raymond instead one of a broken down house replaces it. Blood covers the walls more than the paint that is supposed to make it welcoming. The walls are sealed so tight that not even a whisper of a scream could be heard.
I look down at myself to be on an operating table. The ones the cadavers sit on as the coroner opens up the body to see what is inside. An IV tube is in both of my arms pumping the liquid that prevents my legs from moving. Raymond suddenly appears at my side as he looks at an arrangement of knives, cringes and electrical devices of torture I assume. One he picks up marveling at the most with a massive blue orb at the top the size of a large finger nail. “My favorite toy. Did you know that if you find someone who has healing abilities, cut them open then put this in their heart they don’t heal. Instead, as long as the device is held steady the wounds won’t heal. They could have a variety of torture and not heal. Possibly I could kill you unlike the many who tried to destroy you.”
I laugh at the suggestion that I could die. That is a happy thought in my book to no longer have a care in the world, a paradise in my opinion. “If you have seen all my memories you would understand how hard I have tried to end my life. I would really appreciate it if you did, sadly, this might be another illusion.” I say letting out a sigh like it was a shame. “if only I could be sure I was being torture, you know in dreams you cannot feel pain.” I begin looking at the torture tools egging him on to show me if this was an illusion or not. Most would not care in the slightest but men as psychotic as him would nearly think of it as a dishonor. Though I am betting my life that this is the illusion if not he might let his anger out on other in the busy streets outside.
“You aren’t as stupid as my sources have made you out to be oh well.” He lets out a smile as the scene changes to somewhere inside a truck or very small room of some sort. I look toward my arm to see no IV going inside it instead a little needle with water in it. Raymond takes a step close enough for me to grab his arm. I am still weak from the fall to the point of not being strong enough to even knock down half of his barriers to his mind. There is no way I can penetrate his mind.
I let out a long breath. Raymond sees my weakness then advances. He pulls out a small TV screen the size of a soft ball then flips a few switches turning it on. A new station comes on with a little static but I can see it pretty clearly enough to recognize the station. The subtitle is ‘Lost Cure’. 2 men are sitting down in comfy chairs overlooking the Puget Sound. One man is in a purple suite with neon colored flower made for clowns to spray water on unsuspecting children is probably No. 2. “I love what you’ve done to the place Al.” He says in a joking tone. Everyone in the audience laughs since the stage has never been changed.
“Glad you like it No. 2 but we need to get to the new.” A man in a white suite and black tie says with flown back black hair and a bright smile to match it. His voice sounded like one of those announcers at circuses you hear before the opening act. “G. E. Xavier the scientist who created the new drug called Completion has been absent for the last two days. Its secretary George Garner has assured us that he is in good health though we know better. John rolls the tap.”
I look over to Raymond who just keeps smirking as the tape starts to roll. Its from one of the cameras overlooking the hospital’s halls. First there is a bit of fast forwarding until the part where I go over to the door. There is a slightly altered tap that hides Raymond’s voice but most of it is accurate. Then it looks as Raymond pulls out an AK then I collapse to the ground with my head nearly lopped off.
A moment later the tap is stopped with the audience gasping in fright. “Don’t worry.” No. 2 says calmly then crosses his legs one over the other putting on a sad face. “We will mourn the loss of a great one in our medical history though what is going to happen to the company, Jare Enterprises, Al?”
It’s obvious they are reading off of their papers though no one knew what is going to happen next. “In the will of Xavier’s it says clear to give it to the most in need of the company which the court decided is you, No. 2.” Al smiles with all white teeth. I try to yell at the screen but Raymond has taken my translator so I settle for yelling with my mind.
“No needs to get your mind in a twist, Xavier. We just ruined you entire company.” Raymond chuckles at me then pulls out the tape from the TV.
That cannot be a recording, I think to myself. No, I could not possible be gone a week. I was only in there for a few hours at most. I rack my brain to find another explanation to find one but I could not.
“Poor Xavier. Everyone believes your dead. Even if you are able to escape from here you won’t make it to the court hearing.” He teases me and I arch my back up to brake the binds but they are still to strong.
REALSE ME! I yell at him grabbing his arm till he knocks the TV to the ground. Still I cannot knock him out.
He falls to the ground then whips his bloody nose on his arm. “You will never get out of here as long as you live Xavier. And I’ll be here every torturous second of it!” He yells at me then punches me in the face, the chest and my leg.
Immediately he breaks through my mind trying to find what is dear but from the sheer magnitude cannot dig much deeper than a few years. That is it; I can overwhelm him by mass of the memories. He starts to pull the strings out of the very fabric of my mind then I release it. Every single memory I have ever had to the point he loses all his memories he has ever had in his entire existence. So when I get up from the operating table there is a hallow man who only remembers one thing. “Glaedr Xavier?”
As I pull up to a massive mansion I let out a little sigh as I finally wiggle my pinky toe. Everything is back in order accept one thing. Raymond, there is no way with the memories he could live in society even though he will not be able to reach those memories. The skills he has learned, the people he has met, and the connection he has created could destroy Needle in an instant if he wanted to. A possibility I am never going to allow exist and if it’s necessary in the future. I pull up to through the front gate to see a grand grassy plain with fountains everywhere centered on a white mansion. On the side it has some fancy name for an asylum that I do not care to recite.
The structure is from some lost era long ago that no one remembers. Stretching out my legs from the black van I step out onto the street. For a second I wobble on my feet as I get used to the feeling of standing. “Let’s go, ah….” I try to call Raymond out but I need to give him a fake name. Quickly I look around the entire car to see a little watch on my wrist..
His pale body in a white sweat shirt and gray sweat pants made him look a lot more muscular then he really is. “I don’t remember being called a name like that G---”
I cut him off before anyone can hear us, “That is not my name.” He just nods back and I relax as I push him in a wheel chair into the mansion. On the inside the mansion looks like a horror show with white on white on white. I could imagine people going blind just looking at the walls.
Pushing the thought out of my head I push Raymond to the front desk. Its nearly a foot taller than me with a pot bellied women at the top. Which grant it is not saying much. “What do you want?” The large woman says to me in a raspy voice.
“I wish to have a individual by the name of ah… to be emitted into this fine hospital.” I try to sound as normal in speech as possible but like any time I make conversation the darn translator distracts everyone.
She looks down at me with a hideous glare at my little microphone like object going around my ear. “Mister Xavier,” she says making my name sound like the most dreaded thing she has ever heard, “would you like me to put this gesture under your name or the companies.”
Everyone has to stick so much to the rules, I paid extra over the phone for nobody to talk. “Under my initials will be fine.”
“And what are those?” She raises an eye brow at me impatiently.
“GX,” I reply quickly and Raymond looks at me methodically memorizing my every move.
“I still need a the name of your,” She glares at Raymond recognizing him as a threat, “friend. It’s for official reasons, a man of your stature would understand.” I laugh a bit to myself knowing that statement does not remotely apply to me since it’s entirely false.
Looking around the room I see nothing that can help me. No little clue that could give me an idea for a good cover name without a word or picture on any of the walls. “Mister Xavier,” she says in an annoying tone, “did you lose something?”
“Just one moment,” I scratch my chin muttering as I see it. A boy reading a harry Potter book on a bench a few feet away from me. On his shirt read ‘Go Slythrin! Boo 4 Eyes!’ Slivon, it just pops into my head, “Slivon miss,” and in my head I can hear Raymond, now Slivon screaming liar at me as one of their staff takes him away.
A half an hour later I arrive back at my office. Everything is in pristine shape as I left from the recycled paper desk to the naked walls with a light blue paint. Until I allow my hand to slide over the book shelf. One book is out of place that is supposed to be a few books to the left. Someone must have been here in my absence not long before I came here.
I am about to take a close look for prints when someone barges into the room. He is a short man by the name of No. 1 with two body guards that could practically give birth to him. A man of 4’ 5’’ needs a few more bodies to make up for his lack of height.
At first he jumps back like a frightened rabbit causing him to fall onto the floor and drops his cigar. His practically bald head turns red as he gets up to wiggle his brown mustache at me with his blue eyes. “You’re supposed to be dead!” He says in a hint of a southern accent. “Raymond said, I knew I could never trust the scoundrel!” He says to his guards who look as if they have seen a ghost.
“I am deeply sorry to disappoint you gentlemen but I was in need of a vacation for a few days.” I say in a robotic voice smiling as I press an alarm under my desk. At this point his men are moving toward me with a crow bars.
No. 1 goes to the window while I continue to examine my papers on my desk. I find my USB containing Completion’s genetic code and I pull the necklace over my head. Then I tuck it into my suite. He chuckles as he looks out the window. “The police don’t scare me. I’ve got’em all around my finger. Might as well jump or the next few minutes will be a living hell for wasting our time. Is that right G---” He smirks until he is suddenly interrupted.
Three shots are fired from the ceiling in his mid sentence. The first goes into his head, the next two into his body guards’ heads. They immediately crash to the ground with little holes in their temples dead. I feel No. 1’s pulse to find it so weak I can barley feel it till a moment later it’s gone. If heal him now I will blow my identity, I cannot risk that this far into the process of saving billions of lives. He is just going to have to live with the consequences. Quickly, I feel into my pocket for a small tranquilizer gun but I decide not to pull it out. Instead I whisper into the dead man’s ear, “Never, call me by that name.”
“I bet he will be when he arrives in hell,” a man’s voice says from behind me. I do not turn around since I can see him through the reflection in my watch. He is dressed in a slight purple outfit though dark enough to look black. Most likely he is well built with advanced training that must have taken years to perfect by his crouching stance on the secretary’s desk.
“I do not believe in such topics as the unsupported. So… I do not get the pleasure of knowing you by name, I assume?” The young hero nods softly as he jumps off the desk to reveal him being slightly taller than I.
Slowly I try to turn around but he touches my shoulder, “Confidential, you can understand what’s at stake. Too bad this is all going to be the mobs’ around 12 in the afternoon.” He sighs a bit then I think he sees my expression. “They are selling Jare Enterprises to the joking one, No. 2, for a few thousand dollars. Since your will was never drafted they just grabbed it as soon as you were reported dead. The police said they found your body but there is no G. Xavier’s body in the morgue. It was all a set up from the start...”
For a moment I snap out of being mesmerized by a modern day human hero being in my presence and remember the situation. “Why are you here?” I say while staring at the lightened streets. In a few moments the other buildings shadows will stop obscuring the sun revealing who this man really is.
“To even the score.” He says simply while looking at his exists. “How much longer?” He asks noticing me counting the seconds passing.
“60 seconds at most,” I reply with my robotic voice and before he steps out of the room I turn around. “Just tell me, will I ever know?” I could dive into his thoughts at such a short range easily but I respect his privacy.
“No, but I’ll tell you who I am.” He says in a confident voice with pride as he aims his gun toward something outside as he jumps onto the window sill. The light of morning is only a few inches away from his feet as he waits a few more seconds to boast.
“And who is that?” I question him, “A highly trained spy….” We both know their dead but he would not answer my question without a little comparing to a common hero.
He arks his back as the light is only a centimeter away, “Someone who watches over the helpless and aids in the strong.” He says then jumps off the window then smashing into the floor below. I run toward the window to see which one he went into but not a trace left. “A Dark Arrow,” I mutter to myself until I feel something. I go back to my office to see security tapes of him. I am extremely temped to see the mystery hero but some secrets need to stay secrets. I delete all records of him coming and I do not see the man under the mask.