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 Not What We Want - (Every Part of Three)

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TerishD


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PostSubject: Not What We Want - (Every Part of Three)   October 20th 2012, 1:51 pm

A Fight for Recognition
Story Twenty: Part One
Not What We Want

A Night of Honesty
Donald does not get home until late. It is good in that we both like to sleep in. When he comes home I have a good meal waiting for him, and I listen to his grumbling about work with my smile increasing as his words change to things he notices about me and the apartment. By the time I join Donald in the bed, he is ready for some late night activity that allows both of us to sleep soundly.

One night however during the meal, Donald said, “Joey – Montgomery, you know him – he lives across the road and down.” I told him that I did adding the fact that he was homosexual to prove that I identified him. “Yeah, well, he was home the other day. Said that he saw a black man visit you.”

“Oh, Peter – Peter Abrams, he’s a sergeant in the Army.”

“Sergeant in the Army? Why would a black sergeant in the Army be coming to visit?”

“Because he helps me buy things. You have noticed some of the things in the apartment. Well, Peter helps me know where to go.”

The stare from Donald told me nothing about what was going on in his mind. He however had mentioned some of the things he found in the apartment to be rather expensive. The table that we now ate on was real cherry. I had several leaves in storage for when our little family started growing. Our bed was also cherry with new box springs and mattress. Curtains, rugs, and even clothes displayed good color from being new. He should have thus accepted what I said, but I really had no way of knowing.

“Is he gay?”

I sighed upon hearing that question, but quickly spoke to answer. “No, but he’s stuck. He’s in a situation where he cannot really date. He thus likes spending time with me.”

“Cannot really date?”

Really feeling that I was settling an issue, I reminded Donald of a fact. “Military.”

Donald’s features twisted to make me worried that he did not believe me as he asked, “Did he tell you what he was about?”

I was not going to completely lie to my husband, so I directed the conversation toward the truth. “The superheroes.”

“Oh, yeah – well that ‘s all out in the open now isn’t it?”

“No.” My voice strengthened as I let my husband know some facts. “There is still Boom and the ghost lady.”

“The ghost lady?”

That question surprised me, as I really thought my husband knew. “The one that protects those living around here.”

“This Peter thinks she’s real?”

“This Peter knows she’s real.”

“He’s seen her?”

“Yes, he’s seen her.”

I felt that Donald would bring the conversation to a certain revelation. I really did not know how I would handle it, but I sat at the table committed to being honest. I should have known however that Donald had never lost track of the original reason we started this conversation.

“So, this Peter comes and visits to talk about this ghost lady?”

“Well, he seldom comes in. Usually he just tells me something.”

I sensed a tone of accusation as my husband said, “I thought he went shopping with you.”

“No, Donald. He just lets me know where to go.”

“Let’s you know where to go?” I could tell that my husband was becoming confused, but also that what he heard so far had not caused him to feel things were wrong with me. “How did the two of you meet?”


“Through a friend – Mr. Ages. I was just walking about town looking on my own, and this old Asian guy introduced himself. He helped me out, then started sending Peter with these messages.”

“This old Asian guy, he’s in the Army too?”

“I don’t know, but he works with Peter. Mr. Ages is smart though, so I guess that he is a consultant.”

Donald looked about the apartment, then asked, “And what you are doing is not illegal?”

“No, it’s not illegal.”

He moved over to kiss me, then said, “Well, at least I know that we are not using, so no mandatory sentences. We should be able to have the judge go lenient on us.”

I stood to give my husband a more tactile sign of affection as I said, “What I am doing is not illegal, Donald.”

“Listen, Annette, you make certain. We don’t have much, but we are on the right path – the right path. Do you hear me?”

“Yes, Donald.”

“We lost too much. I however am out there every day working for you. I come home and see you working for me. Don’t do anything to have us lose it all again.”

“No, Donald. We are going to have a good life, I promise. But…” I waited for his eyes to lock with mine before I said, “I want children.”

He turned his eyes from me to look about the apartment. “From what I see, that is about the only thing we lack. You are doing well spending our money, but there is no way to shop for a child. We get what we get. Wait until my next raise. My next raise, and we stop spending money on protection and start saving for our child.”

I added, “ren, Donald. Child-ren.”

“Don’t have twins.”

I could only smile at that while saying, “We get what we get.”


Military Careers
I had barely put on my underwear when there was a banging on the door. Had it rather often after people started identifying me with the superheroes, but most now let me have my privacy. Still, I recognized that knock as not being a civilian. There is just something about the way a military man commands attention. I thus pulled on my pants then went to the door.

A black man in civilian clothes asked, “Captain Robert DeStran?”

He might not have been in uniform, but I heard the way he spoke. If he was dressed in a suit, I would have considered him to be police or FBI. Still, he did not appear to be someone wanting my picture or autograph, so I let him in.

“Sir, I…” His voice lost its commanding tone, and I sensed confusion as he said, “I hope that you can help me.”

“What do you need?”

“Sir, I am Sergeant Peter Abrams, active Army. Been active since ‘Nam, and we both know how long ago that was.”

I played the name in my mind, as it rang a bell. I went to my phone and checked my list of names. He was on it, and to assure that I had the right man I mentioned something that I had written down.

“You work with a Wisdom of the Ages.”

His face lifted as if glad to have crossed a hurdle. “Yes, and he left me a message. Problem is, I did not know how to deal with it. I thus came to you.”

“Why me?”

“Because it deals with a superhero.”

I still did not know what this was about, but since a couple of superheroes had become friends of mine, I did display concern as I asked, “Which one?”

“The one you should not know about – completely. You might have reports, and she did interact with the Minnow once. Ages and I refer to her as Possession.”

I stopped buttoning my shirt to say, “I was given a hands-off command concerning her, and you for that matter.”

“Well, I am giving you the hands-on authorization, at least for the present. Really, Captain, I could use your help.”

Realizing that I had not put on my vest, I asked, “What’s the actual problem?”

“She will kill, especially in this situation. It involves her husband, and that lady is highly protective of him and their community. That is the reason you have been given a hands-off. She is local. Everyone in her part of town has stories of the ghost lady, and the police know that crime has virtually disappeared in that part of town. The problem is however that she also goes after the money. The crime syndicate does not much care about a loss of business, as that changes all the time. Same with people. Losing money however gets their attention. They have thus been looking for this ghost lady, and things have erupted because they think they have found her.”

Something sounded wrong in what I was told, so I asked to have my problem resolved. “Then why come to me? Wouldn’t my arrival support their belief?”

“I believe not. It is a type of reverse psychology. Possession really has not worked with the other superheroes. Thus, if the other known superheroes show up, those involved might turn their attention away from what they are doing. Also, I am hoping that seeing you guys show up will keep her from taking any serious action.” While my mind sorted through what he said, Peter added, “If there was something wrong with my thoughts, Ages would take over. I thus trust in my plans.”

“Okay, Sergeant, you have my help. There are still things I need to hear however. Since I just woke up, I’m hungry. Fill me in while I eat, then we can get to work on this matter.”

_________________
Fantasy puts more requirements on the writer than any other fiction, because the world must be made as real before anything else can be real.
Adult Christian fiction quite different than all the usual lame stuff in that market.  "Dilemma of Dreams" now in hard back.


Last edited by TerishD on October 30th 2012, 6:05 pm; edited 1 time in total
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PostSubject: Part Two   October 25th 2012, 3:11 pm

A Fight for Recognition
Story Twenty: Part Two
Not What We Want

I listened to what Peter had to say. He seemed rather worried, because he did not have all the facts. I actually believed him, because the facts that he lacked were the pieces of the puzzle that someone concerned for the situation would not have sought. Honestly, having someone supply certain details bothers me. The fact that Peter only knew specifics in the important areas had me listen to him without my food going down improperly.

Finally, I dialed a number, and after only a couple of rings heard, “What’s up, Sir Soldier?”

Sounded like he was using a speaker phone, so I laid my phone on the table and set it to speaker so Peter could hear. “I know that Cindy is gone, so are you at the Physics lab?”

“Are you kidding? There are company men sleeping out on the hill waiting for me or Professor Nathan to show up there. We are both out here at the hanger. Some have found us, but this is private property.”

“This is during the day, but with you being all known there is no reason to keep to the night skies.”

I heard laughter before Larry replied, “You want me in uniform?”

“You might want the protection that suit give you.”

“Well, I am in my spacesuit at the moment. Colonel Bennie brought in some NASA guys to check me out. They want me to go through some tests. Leave for Germany in a couple of weeks, but might be out of town before then.”

“Seriously, Larry, I could use you. Whatever happens, buy you guys beer while I fill you in after the facts.”

I heard some general comments, which prepared me for what Larry said next. “It will be almost an hour before I can get there. If you need someone quicker, call Boom.”

“Yeah, but this sounds like we need a level head.”

“Well, you cannot call Break Neck, as she says she isn’t going to do anything to earn that name anymore.”

I told Larry to rush, then dialed the very number he told me not to dial, and spoke quickly when she answered. “Sherita, this is Captain DeStran. It would really help me to have you drive around a company perimeter. Could be cops, so talk to them, be obvious about looking through the fence, stuff like that. I just want you seen until Minnow can get here.”

She replied, “I don’t know if you can afford me now, Sir Soldier.”

“Listen, I am calling friendship money. If not my own, Larry’s. He told me not to call you, but to call Boom. I called you.” She did not say anything in return, so I kept talking. “Larry said that you were not wanting to be called Break Neck anymore. Listen, what I am asking is not anything that should risk that pretty neck of yours. I however do want your pretty self to be seen.”

“Considering that is about all that everyone wants, might as well. Give me the particulars.”


Can Only Watch
I was working with Greg Morshicht on putting together the designs for displays during the news segment when Abe Lagamire walked into the room and said, “Come on, Andy. Need you.”

Did not say anything to Greg, but left my chair to run and get my camera while asking, “What’s up, Abe?”

“Alcoa just made a call for police support. My nose for news says that something important is happening.”

Abe had no nose for news, but was just like me in feeling bored out of his skull when sitting around the station. If given half a chance, we would be driving around looking for things to report upon. He and I would agree that most of the stuff we returned with was fluff with no news value, but we were happier doing things like that than sitting on our asses. Since the station preferred local filler over the syndicated stuff they would have to pay for, they usually let Abe and me do our thing. Today they needed Abe for some ‘mission statement’ meeting, and told me to help Greg, so we had both been bored earning our paycheck while waiting for the opportunity to go do stuff that actually paid for our services.

Getting into the van, I tried to find some information about what was happening. The problem however was that there was no one there to tell us what was happening. It was our job to get the information, then let others know what was happening.

All I could do was check things with my camera while Abe drove us to the plant site. Nothing really to do there either, as it had been charging at the station and I had thought to grab a couple of extra memory cards as I left. I was thus simply staring out the window when I saw something gaining on us.

“Hell! Abe, that’s Ballet Slipper!”

He check his mirrors before replying, “Yes, but it is her green outfit, and that does not look like her bike.”

“Green outfit means that she is not out doing publicity. She is up to something.” Her motorcycle zipped past us. “Sounds like her bike.”

“Definitely upgraded her wheels. This is something more than a police problem. Have that camera ready, Andy.”

The camera was ready. I had already checked on that. What I felt was not ready was me. My fellow superheroes were going into action without me, and that did not please me at all. I again thought of the comic book world of Clark Kent as presenting a completely false image of the news industry. Being a reporter, Lois would not only scoop Clark every time, but Superman would be stuck doing the reporting while the bad guys had their fun. I did not even have my uniform in the van, so I was not ready at all.

We slowed down seeing Ballet Slipper come to a stop at a police car. As he considered whether or not to get an interview, Abe pointed out something else. I used the zoom on my camera to verify that indeed it was Sir Soldier with some regular police and company security personnel at a company gate. Really curious, we decided to go ahead and speak to Ballet Slipper.

The lady saw us coming, and roared off on her motorbike. Hearing that I had captured her exit on camera, Abe felt that it gave us the lead to justify speaking to the police officer. I watched however expecting Ballet Slipper to rush on down to where Sir Soldier was at, but she stopped her motorbike at the next police car.

All the police told us was that some internal situation was occurring in the company with the workers. While they were called in to be available, the union was attempting to take precedence in handling the strife. As far as the police were concerned, they wished the union leadership the best and hoped that nothing would happen that would affect the stock prices.

We ended the interview, thanked the police, then with the camera off Abe asked them about the arrival of the superheroes. The cops simply said that the superheroes were people too, and since they were local probably had stock in the company as well. Both Abe and I again thanked the policemen, but moved off to the van thinking that something else was up.

It surprised us both to hear a motorcycle approaching, and Abe told me to turn my camera back on as Ballet Slipper rode up. As Abe checked his appearance in the van mirror, the lady did the same using a mirror on her bike. With both nodding to me that they were ready, I started recording with my camera.

“This is Abe Lagamire with KNOX news. We are outside the Alcoa plant presently with Ballet Slipper.” He turned to the lady to say, “I got word of something happening in the plant, and there does seem to be activity down there. Can you tell me anything about it?”

“No, Abe. I was called in by a friend – Sir Soldier if you must know. He said that he knew I was no longer active as a superhero, but that he wanted me to be seen. Honestly, that is what others want from me as well, so I am out here being seen. Now that I have checked with police, I felt that I could come and be seen with you.”

That sounded like the end of the interview to me, but Abe had a nose for news. “No longer active?”

“Nope. You will get word, but my technology is being bought. Honestly, they bought my stuff as well. This is an unofficial uniform I once worked on while thinking of changing my look. That is a new bike. Once the deal is made, I should be able to wear and use my stuff, but I will also need to promote a company. Right now I am here just being a friend.”

“Can you tell me who is buying you out?”

She patted one of his cheeks while saying, “I said that you will get word, Abe. It won’t be long, so you can wait.”

Again Abe did not end the interview, but tried to ferret out more information. “You said that Sir Soldier called you. Why didn’t he call the Minnow?”

“He did. The Minnow was involved in something, so said that it would be some time before he could make it. Sir Soldier thus called me. When the Minnow shows up, I’m going home.”

I wanted to have Abe ask something, and surprisingly he did without me having to try and get him to read my lips. “How about Boom?”

“Sir Soldier said that he wanted a level head. Considering what I see going below, I have to say that Boom probably would not be a help.”

The black bitch smiled as she said that, but if I did not have a job to do I would have given her a piece of my mind. I had saved her ass, so felt that I deserved some respect. Women would hold grudges however, even if undeserved. I was displaying my ability to keep a level head by having her smiling face stay in focus.

Abe did help relieve some of my internal pressure by asking, “You and Boom have worked together.”

“And he does seem to be getting better. He however is not as cooperative to work with as is the Minnow. While Boom was good in the recent eruption of gang violence, this is a company plant site with what appears to be a union dispute between workers, and a more tactful approach is necessary.”

Before her or Abe could say anything more, we turned as a shiny baby-blue mustang rushed down the road. Not knowing if the scene was news worthy, I moved to keep Ballet Slipper and Abe in my sight as I walked around to also get the car in the lens. The vehicle skidded to a stop with the driver side door opening along with a strange voice suddenly yelling over the police radio.

“Stop her! She is dangerous! STOP HER!”

I did not see anyone, but tried to focus where Abe was pointing while saying, “A new development has suddenly happened. What appears to be a new mustang has rushed to the scene with what appears to be a female ghost moving to the plant. She has just gone through the fence.” Abe saw me signaling that I was not seeing anything, so spoke to explain. “She appeared to be a white lady, but more I could not make out due to a lacy gauze over her face and clothes. She however just moved through the fence as if it was not even there. Her insubstantial nature has me unable to see more due to distance and the fence. Someone over the police radio however spoke as if he knew her and that she was dangerous. Could this be another superhero that we do not know about?”

Abe stopped talking, and Ballet Slipper rushed to her motorbike when a shot rang out. I turned my camera to focus on the situation in the plant site. While there was surely tension in whatever was happening between the workers, the police had kept a distance because it had stayed without any clear violation of criminal or civil law. Everyone however went into action knowing that the situation had just escalated.

_________________
Fantasy puts more requirements on the writer than any other fiction, because the world must be made as real before anything else can be real.
Adult Christian fiction quite different than all the usual lame stuff in that market.  "Dilemma of Dreams" now in hard back.
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PostSubject: Part Three   October 30th 2012, 6:08 pm

A Fight for Recognition
Story Twenty: Part Three
Not What We Want

Abe’s phone rang with me understanding from what he said that it was our boss wanting to know that we had the story. Abe assured him that we had good footage, and were getting good shots, but at the moment we did not know what the story was. We had a good reputation for bringing in a story, so Abe ended the call smiling although informing me that we still had work to do.

I really wanted to go into action as Boom, although as I kept the distant events within the plant in focus I wondered exactly what I could do. It was true that guns were now out with a couple of people down. I did not know that weapons were allowed on the plant site, even by the security forces. As police came through the gates with their weapons at the ready, the workers held their places. With the lens at maximum magnification, I could tell that most of those present were scared of what was occurring around them although held their places worried that they would be shot if they ran. While my power was strong enough to stop bullets, I was just one man and could not use my power everywhere.

Abe gave a description of what he was seeing as I continued to record. I knew that he did not consider his words as usable, but tried to speak verbal notes to help him decide on what to say for the final report. Clark Kent would have already removed his regular clothes, but that was the world of comic books where people did not notice obvious details at important moments. If I took off to become Boom, Abe would be very aware of my leaving the scene.

He went quiet as a gun was handed to another person with a gun. The one with two guns then fired upon the others with guns. They fired back. As the dust settled with the police moving in, the quiet was shattered by the roar of the mustang before it took off.

Abe was talking Pulitzer after we finished editing our report. I did not consider the presentation that worthy of national notice. There was also the fact that a number of important questions were not answered. The mustang had been found with a missing salesman heavily sedated on the back seat. He could not say why he got the keys and drove off the lot. Only those killed within Alcoa were recognized members of organized crime. They had been put to work as part of their rehabilitation, but it seemed had continued to work with the mob. As to what caused the problem, nobody was certain. The men just spoke of talking about their wives when a Donald Calotta was grabbed and a gun put to his face. While Abe put together a fine report with my pictures, I did not believe it would earn us a Pulitzer.

Official Debriefing
I was glad to see Larry show up. He had mentioned how long it took him to get in and out of uniform, so I was wondering if he would make it. He came to the table, shook my hand and that of Wisdom of the Ages, then settled while telling the waitress what he wanted to eat and drink.

When he assumed things were relatively private, he said, “They looked like A-10s. They did not move like them however. Had more speed than my stuff, but I did manage to get good pictures.”

The old Asian man said, “They are special planes to run cover for the larger drug operations. They were brought in from Mexico.”

“They fled south, so were probably headed back to Mexico. Honestly did not break any laws however. Crap happened before they could do anything about it.”

I said, “I would say before you could do anything either, but I have nothing to brag about either. Ballet Slipper did her thing, and I did thank her. Looked right pretty on camera.”

Larry asked the question that I knew he would. “You didn’t know what was happening, did you? This man told you.”

Ages said, “I sent my associate to tell Sir Soldier. Since I cannot see the future, I really could not provide any definite information. Military tends to work with military however, so Peter was considered the better contact. Everyone came as requested, but none of us could have foreseen what happened.”

Larry asked, “But it is good, right? Only those who should have died – died.”

“In that light, yes. Also, any definite association with the lack of crime in a certain section of our city and a certain couple did not come to light. That also brings satisfaction. While I have heard many wish for my ability to know the past, I often regret that I am not better at seeing the future.”

“Well, even though I have signed no contracts, I have a lot of people willing to toss money at me. Certain grants I had active gained increased funding. While I cannot see the future either, it tends to be looking rosier as everyone is working to assure that any problems get worked out before I really risk my life.”

I said, “My military superiors are telling me that they have an agreement with you.”

“Yes, well, I was never anti-military – just pro-public access. They have agreed that my technology will not be black box, and I have agreed to do my research under their guidance. They thus get the jump, at a definite cost. We are working out particulars, but, yes, there is an assumed agreement between us that I have no reason to renege upon.”

“Good to hear it. Honestly glad to have you on our side.”

“While I am more than glad to help, I will be moving around. All sorts of tests at a number of space and military facilities. There will then be time in Germany. After that, I plan to go to the moon. At times however I am thinking that I will have to sneak out. All the regulations are annoying, because they were put in place due to a different technology than mine.”

I let the guy speak about his technology for a time. I actually was interested, and having visited him on occasions I knew how much he had devoted his life to his scientific developments. One thing that I had to agree with him about was that he found a lady that did not demand him to lose his focus on what he considered important. Cindy did have him spend time with her, but she was intelligent enough to know that his love for her was secondary. Just to keep myself updated on events and to retain good relations with the young man, I let him speak.

Ages was the one that finally interrupted Larry, but that was to thank us for our help before he left. We both told the man that we wished we could have done more. Speaking of hopefully helping more next time, Ages left.

Larry asked, “So, Sir Soldier, just how many superheroes are present in town?”

“As far as I know, just the six: you, me, Ballet Slipper, Boom, Ages, and Possession.”

“You staying, as it seems me and Break Neck aren’t.”

“Both of you are local, so I expect to see the both of you over time.”

He looked at me, then said, “So, you’re staying.”

“It would not do me any good to leave at the moment.”

“Well, at the amount of money I should be receiving, I can buy Cindy and me a real house. If you need a place to stay…”

The offer was nice, but I cut him off letting him know that I did not feel that tempted. “I am not interested in being that close to the campus.”

“If you have the alcohol, you can get the ladies. As horrible as the place is, it does have more status than a hotel.”

I could not help but go silent before finally admitting the truth. “Yes, well, honestly, that is a good sales pitch.”

“No sale. The offer is free. Look, no pressure. I am like Wisdom in not being able to see the future. However, when Cindy and I start making plans be ready to let me know what your intents are.”

“Listen, you are on my speed dial, and I better be on yours.”

Home Again
I did not have to act anxious when Donald got home, because I was. While I knew he was safe, I still was worried about his treatment with the police. I thus raced to the door when he stepped in truly displaying my anxiety at his ordeal.

Hoping to put his mind at ease, I said, “I saw the report on the news.”

“I don’t know what happened, Annette. Wayne Grovers however got all demanding about what I said about you.” He let me help him to his easy chair, then asked, “Annette, Peter, that military man, is he really handing you notes to good deals on things.”

Not wanting to lie to my husband, I said, “I never said that he was giving me information on good deals, Donald.”

“No. You said that he was simply telling you where to go. Are you working with the cops?”

“No, Donald. Peter is not with the cops.”

He went quiet for at time. I however saw his head nod up and down a number of times. Finally, he spoke to let me know that he was putting information together.

“Crime syndicates are more than police matters. What do you do?”

“Don’t make me tell you, Donald. It is best if you don’t know. Peter also does not ask questions. He lets me know things, and I will tell him things. The money, well, he doesn’t care about the money. I do however. I want a good life for us, Donald – a good, safe life. That is all I am doing, Donald. I am assuring us a good, safe life.”

“What if I told you to stop?”

I hugged and kissed him before saying, “Telling me won’t do any good. You get me pregnant, and I will stop. I want a good, safe life for our children. If I get pregnant, I will stop.”

“Can you stop? I mean, we both…”

I slapped his face, then began crying as I declared, “I am doing this for you and our children! Right now it is just you. Nothing else is on my mind except you. You get me pregnant and I have to think about someone other than you. As long as it is just you, I can’t stop. Get me pregnant, and I have to think about someone else – and I will stop.”

“Okay, Annette. I love you and trust you. Let’s eat, then we can work on children.”

I cried while thanking him. I could tell that Donald wanted to ask things, but somehow also accepted that he really did not want to know. We had gained that mentality during our past when we knew things were bad. When we were both doing drugs and Donald was hanging out with gamblers, we had gone quiet toward each other not wanting to face our own demons, so definitely turned away from whatever was destroying each other. Somehow we survived that, then I pulled Donald away from gambling. We were now on a good life, and I cried letting Donald know that I would do everything I could to protect what we had.

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Fantasy puts more requirements on the writer than any other fiction, because the world must be made as real before anything else can be real.
Adult Christian fiction quite different than all the usual lame stuff in that market.  "Dilemma of Dreams" now in hard back.
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