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 Orders and Dreams (Both parts of Two)

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TerishD


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PostSubject: Orders and Dreams (Both parts of Two)   January 8th 2013, 4:49 pm

A Fight for Recognition
Story Twenty-Six: Part One
Orders and Dreams

Sir Soldier
Nothing on the television, so I was getting ready to visit a watering hole when my phone rang. It had been a quiet day, which I had used to make up my own mind about things. I really had no experience on the matter, but felt it was time to take a wife. I considered whether to play around campus, churches, or find a military wife. The latter was actually a bad decision, as there were rules about not fraternizing with the enlisted ranks and just the fact that those of us in the military had very little control over where we would be stationed. In any case, I felt a bar to be a bad place to find a lady, so went to the phone hoping for someone to suggest some other activity.

“Captain DeStran, General Bork here. Boom did well in recovering those radioactive samples. How much access do you have to him?”

Not wanting to promise anything, I kept my reply a little evasive. “He has never refused a call.”

“He seems to be a little hot-headed to me.”

“No. Definitely someone with his own mind, but you can work with him. Why the conversation?”

“He controlled the explosion in the house of Ballet Slipper’s brother. I am wondering just how big of an explosion he can work with.”

I now really did not want to promise anything, but I knew better than to hang up on the general. “I doubt he has tested it. As far as I know, he is not worried about any one bullet.”

“We are worried about an international terrorist group putting one of our interests in jeopardy. Someone like Boom might be able to reconcile the situation.”

“He cannot be active everywhere, and he has a day job around here.”

“Listen, Captain, how are you liking your job?

I knew that language, but also had been considering that very thought. “This was supposed to be my retirement station.”

“You’re not retiring, so how about us giving you a promotion and putting you back in the field?”

“No. I mean, General, that I am really taking to the idea of getting a girl and settling down. Retiring as a major will have its benefits, but I want it said that I want no demerits for spending time with the fairer sex.”

“So, you’re not picky where the girl is from?”

Honestly, I felt a military girl would be the best choice for me, so I let myself be led by the nose. “Not really, no.”

“Okay, Captain – Major, continue at your present station. Be feeling Boom out for us however.”

I had been a Major before, and lost the rank. I did not think that I deserved it, but I did not care, as I had no regrets about what I did. Honestly, if I felt the rank would put me back in a similar situation, I would turn it down. However, I felt it would work to my benefit this time.

I dialed a number, and when a man answered I asked a question, “What are you up to, Andy?”

“Nothing. Do you have something for me?”

“How about me buying you a couple of drinks?”

“Hell, yeah!”

Andy listened as I spoke to him about the phone call. It surprised me that he did not immediately respond. He usually would interrupt with exclamations, questions, or just odd trivia. When I finished, he actually spoke a reply that I probably should have expected.

“Whatever you are offering me, you need to also make it sweet for Abe. He and I have worked together for a while, and I want to say that we are a team. Even if he turns it down, I want him knowing that I did what I could for him.”

I knew Abe, so said, “He is rather stuck here in Knoxville.”

“And he is not from here. To me this is home. You get me out, and I will probably wind up back here. Abe however surely has somewhere else that he wants to be.”

Sounded like Andy was willing to talk business, so I moved things along. “Okay, that will be my reply. Now, just how powerful do you think you are?”

“My power is frikkin’ mental. Just how much do you want to piss me off?”

“I work for the frikkin’ U.S. government, and you are the first crazy person who I felt could actually speak to my bosses and make them understand.” I saw him smile, so I ordered us another round. “Listen, Andy, let us talk this thing out. They are offering me a promotion. I had myself stripped of my rank once before, and had already reconciled myself to retiring as a captain. If you know what I am fighting for, it will be wise for me to know what you are fighting for. Then, between the two of us, we know what the fight is when shit happens.”

“You ain’t no Southern boy, are you?”

“No – well, maybe. Missouri?”

“Yeah. Good enough. Okay. Let’s talk.”

Peter
I knew from the ID that this would be bad, but I also knew not to avoid the call. “Sergeant Abrams.”

“Yes, Sergeant, what if I told you to bring Possession under your wing.”

“I would say, ‘No, Sir.’ Sorry, Sir, but she is committed to protecting her part of the city and raising children. Still not pregnant, and that bothers her.”

“What if you told her it was for the good of her country.”

I really did not want to hear it, so tried to change the conversation. “Listen, I can tell you what she will do. You let us know why and how her husband got targeted that time. That troubles her – big time. She can clean the rats’ nests here, and then her government can go fight its battles elsewhere.”

“What if I made that an order?”

“Yeah, and what if I reminded you of my time of service? You might out-rank me, but I have my years in. All those years, and you have nothing on me. Nothing. Go to Hell.”

Another voice broke into the line and said, “Sergeant Abrams, you are correct. So, what can we do for you?”

“Nothing that I have actually told Ages, so there ain’t no way that I am telling you. Listen, Annette is a good woman. I’ve been working with her, and she is a very good woman. She loves her husband. Check her file. Hell, check her husband’s file. Neither should be where they are at, but they are on the straight-and-narrow and towing the line. They are both good people. She and her husband are the people I am working to protect, which means that I am going to protect them. You leave both of them alone. Not that I have to tell you that, as recent history should tell you to leave her and her part of town alone.”

“It really would help to have her on our side.”

“No, it won’t. Primarily because she has her own reasons for doing what she does. She will frustrate you, not listen to you, and probably work against you. To cope she and Donald might go back to doing the drugs that reduced their lives to crap once before. You don’t need any of that.”

The phone went silent. I knew better than to think that something had happened to the line. I thus waited in silence for certain people to make up their minds about things.

“Sergeant Abrams?”

I could not help but smile in gaining the impression that others had to agree with what they were told. “Yes.”

“What if you were ordered out of Knoxville?”

“I’m not really needed here. Where am I to go?”

“As a fellow superhero, you will be assigned to work with Major DeStran.”

I only knew the man as having the rank of captain. They had never promoted me. The usual excuse was that Ages was not American. I always claimed that they did not want to pay me more. I found myself wondering how Sir Soldier managed to gain the promotion even as I gave my response.

“He’s a Marine.”

“Any problem with that?”

“Not if I get a promotion as well.”

I had used that line before. As stated, it usually gained me a lecture about them not wanting to put too much influence with someone who did not profess complete loyalty to the United States of America. This time however I heard the line I kept wanting to hear.

“Understood. You are more than deserving. Be waiting to hear from Major DeStran.”

I put down the phone actually pleased with how things had gone. However, I wanted to press my luck. Instead of making any inquiries or simply, I decided it was time to make a plea to the other personality that inhabited my body. Hoping to stay pleased with my future, I sat down and wrote a letter.

Sherita
I believe that Larry had his wife bring us the beers simply to state that we were not going to do anything else. The company that bought my technology sold the rights to the military. I did not care, as being a stockholder I wanted there to be a profit. I also liked the check that came with one of my appearances. Larry mentioned that he would duplicate my performance fee part of my contract, so I felt that he drank the alcoholic beverage to let everyone know that he considered himself having earned his money.

We did shout out advice, but the words came between swigs of beer and laughter. The military had a number of volunteers attempting to work with our raw technology. I saw all sorts of crashes as people went sliding into others, the walls, or the benches. Those attempting to fly with Larry’s wings were having no better luck. We both rolled out of seats while cackling as one man fell off a wing to hit the one attempting to control a slide, then they both took out the officer in charge of the training.

The one in the Minnow uniform took out his mouthpiece, then said, “We have to change the commands.”

Larry stood with a beer in his hand to loudly reply, “Go ahead. Just remember that you have what I used. That is Eagle that you are working with – one of my big boys. I generally rode the girls – rode them just fine.”

The officer rising from the floor worked the kinks out of his body while saying, “That machine you were riding probably has more time in the air than you.”

The soldier replied, “Sorry, Sir, but it also was specially designed for a specific pilot. I am just suggesting that some adjustments be made for those of us now attempting to use the technology.”

“And do you have any recommendation that will assure a result of one-hundred percent in your performance.”

“Well, uh, no, Sir.”

“Then just keep practicing, or quit.”

The soldier turned in our direction to ask, “How long did it take you?”

Larry answered, “You have to understand that I was just some high school kid. I thought it was cool. It was not a job, but something fun to do. I thus kept at it without complaining. I will however tell you what I told your superiors, and which they rejected. I told them to let you guys go up high. Mistakes do not seem so bad when you catch yourself way up before splatting on the ground. The machines are designed to come to you, but I also learned how to get them to perform so having them ready for me if I thought I might have trouble.”

The officer said, “That suggestion was not rejected by their superiors, but by a consensus of the volunteers and their peers.”

“Let me also say then that I also said that if anyone was afraid of heights they would not manage doing what I did.”

The soldier spewed out, “Damn!” He then turned to the officer. “Sir, permission to take the technology outside.”

“Spend time assuring your ability to work the controls. If you can give me any confidence in your command of the technology, which you have noted was designed by Mr. Kert for his own personal use, then I will be willing to consider your request.”

Larry freely supplied the suggestion, “Get a girl in here, then have one of the wings fly you to the rafters. From that position, toy with the controls watching how they react.”

The one that was using my technology came over to where we were sitting to politely ask, “Miss Clausen, what would you recommend for me?”

“I perfected my technology in the shed where I developed it. I would sit on a stool and work my feet repeatedly through certain exercises while doing the application to my shoes. I would also do it just going about my day. My family thought that I was in love as it appeared that I was dancing a lot.”

“So, it took you some time.”

Larry replied, “Yes, but we both had the luxury of learning the techniques along with the technology. You are being tossed upon a fully finished product.”

The officer in charge declared, “Which was understood when the volunteers signed up.”

I said, “Neither Larry nor I were simply doing a job, and neither of us limited ourselves to just a few hours each day. Some days were like that, as we both had lives, but we practiced as much as we could.”

The soldier said, “So, it took time.”

“It also took commitment. If you are not willing to go high with Larry’s technology, or perfect maneuvers with mine, you might as well call yourself unworthy right now.”

_________________
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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 Two   January 13th 2013, 12:32 pm

A Fight for Recognition
Story Twenty-Six: Part Two
Orders and Dreams

Attempting an Understanding
Abe wanted us to come to his house, and Sir Soldier agreed. I knew Abe’s small family. His wife was actually a nice lady, but was just too damn Yankee for us to get along. She did not watch football, or any sport for that matter. She would play classical music and show videos of dance to her child. She thought guns were evil. I usually accepted Abe hanging out with me, as I felt he wanted to simply be around someone normal. Considering some of the things we might discuss, I thought Abe’s wife would be a problem, but I agreed to go to his house understanding we would need his wife to sign off on our plans.

Instead of beer, we were served tea, but the tarts were home-made and really good. The classical music was on in the child’s room, and I felt sorry for the lad with it being so loud I could hear it. I really did not feel the setting proper for speaking about being superheroes and kicking the butts of bad guys, but I knew better than to complain. I just grabbed another tart and kept silent.

“Listen, there is a situation,” Major DeStran said, “and you will be given private access. All reports need to be authorized before being released, and some things you might be ordered to never speak about. Those words however should let you know that you will not be denied access to our activities.”

Abe’s wife, Nancy, said, “The people have a right to know.”

“Our job, your military’s job, is to protect the people – not to supply them with information. It is your husband’s job to let the people know what its military is doing – not blather national secrets.”

Abe quickly spoke before his wife could. “Yes, Major DeStran, I understand. I just want to know if this is a permanent assignment.”

“Right now there is a situation developing that my superiors felt could use the services of certain technologies and abilities. You might end up believing, and reporting, that it was simply a show of power by our nation. That is my private opinion. Still, glad to see our government spending money on the regular people and not just corporate interests.”

Nancy exclaimed, “Oh, I fully agree!”

“Listen, Abe, I am just asking Andy to go and check the situation out. What we find, and how long it will involve us, we probably won’t be able to decide until things are dealt with. This is thus a limited term contract, although it might be renewed.”

Before Abe could respond, the doorbell rang. Nancy told us men to stay seated, then moved to find out who had arrived. It surprised us to see Wisdom of the Ages, although I thought it funny when Mrs. Universal Harmony responded coldly to the Asian man.

“Ah, yes?”

“Wisdom of the Ages, Mrs. Nancy Lagamire. I am here to speak with your husband the other men present.”

It took us men to speak in favor of the Asian man for Nancy to allow the man into her house. She politely stepped aside while asking him what he wanted to drink. Ages told her that tea would be fine, but he did not move to sit.

“Let me say that I am willing to join this little endeavor. I am comfortable in China, know the…”

I had to blurt out, “China? We’re going to China?”

Major DeStran looked to the Asian guy, then admitted, “I did not even know that much.”

"Let me say that I had cause to look into this matter. Upon learning that it would involve the Orient, specifically China, I considered it in everyone’s best interest for me to go.”

“Uh, listen – EVERYONE. From the moment Ages said, ‘China,’ what was said in this room became classified.” Once we all agreed, including Nancy, Major DeStran then asked, “What more do you know, Ages?”

“They share a border with Russia. While we have movies of espionage with Russia, China has had an aggressive policy with that country as well. When the Soviet Union collapsed, we all know that nuclear material, including bombs, suddenly went up for sale. While we in the west have contained such traffic, we had no method of policing China. China has its own problems, and due to distance it has not been in its best interests to treat America as unfriendly. Other groups however have come to see this country as very close, and want to make a move. We are to stop them.”

I felt that Major DeStran spoke for all of us when he said, “We are not spies, Ages.”

“We are versatile, however. Also, with my addition, we can stay a jump ahead – or at least only moments behind – the group we feel are becoming a threat.”

Abe stood to direct the Asian man to a seat, and once comfortable with some tea and a tart, Major DeStran politely said, “I have to ask you about Possession.”

“She is not available. Peter has made that very clear to the military, which I learned when I spoke to them myself. I had to concur.”

“Well, I have to…”

“Excuse me, but – Boom, you need to protect the house.”

Honestly, I thought it cool that I was the one called into action. There was really no choice. While Ages could be said to also have an actual superpower, it was not really offensive. Major DeStran might have combat experience, but really out of his league when it came to heroics. Thus, I stood with a smile on face to actually go into action.

It is strange how my powers work. I believe it is a form of telekinesis, although I cannot move things in any controlled manner. Anyway, being mental, I can sense things that others cannot. When I stood, I thus sensed how my powers needed to work.

Everyone else stood as the sound of gunfire drowned out the classical music coming from the room of Abe’s infant son. Machine guns can possibly take me out, as I cannot think of everything, but luckily the bad guys only had two guys fire the weapons and they localized their area of spraying their bullets. I smiled while thinking that we were up against professionals, which actually worked in our favor as they knew how to concentrate their shots. The gunfire ceased without the windows shattering or any sound of the façade of the house being harmed.

I was panting, so Major DeStran asked if I could protect him as someone loudly spoke in front of the house. “We know of your plans to oppose us, Superheroes! Unless you want your families harmed, you need to return to your normal lives.”

As Sir Soldier went to the door, I said, “I can protect you against normal fire. I do have my limits however.”

“Believe it or not, I am wearing a vest. If it helps you, just protect my head.”

Seeing me nod, he moved to the door. I did as well, but only to take a position on one side. There were limits to my power, one of which was range. I thus only moved to assure that I would be close enough to my superhero companion to help him.

“I hate to let you guys know, but you have just made yourself into criminals. That means that we will learn your names, your locations, and put you out of action. When I said, ‘we,’ however, I did not mean us. There are local authorities who will get the distinction of being the heroes.”

“Yes, well, we won’t go down easily.”

I felt the need to protect Sir Soldier as gunfire again erupted. Since I had moved up, I could advance my range. The bullets thus did not make it to Sir Soldier. I then felt the release of two projectiles as the sound of close explosions were heard. My power only worked one way, as far as I knew, although I had no reason to stop my fellow superhero from doing what he thought best.

“You also will not go away, easily,” Major DeStran said. “Don’t think I am paying for those tires.”

Shouts sounded as the distant wail of police sirens could be heard. The next loud sounds were of car doors being slammed, then yells as a car began moving although unsteadily. I however only turned to look when I heard Major DeStran issue an order to me.

“Boom, move with me.”

“I’m not in costume,” I replied.

Abe spoke from inside the house, “Go get your camera, and no one will know.”

Sounded like a wonderful plan to me. It did not work exactly like that, but enough to provide an appropriate story. What Major DeStran wanted to do was get a picture of the license plate of the vehicle attempting to move away with two flat tires. I thus went with him as he used his cell phone to get the picture, then with the bad guys out of range – although identified by the police – I got my camera.

Understanding that it was safe, Abe came out and did a report for our network. Major DeStran stood with him and became our front man speaking of the event as only being the tip of a problem that was calling him to be elsewhere. Abe did present his invitation to join Sir Soldier, but said nothing about me going with him.

No sooner than did we finish the report, the phones started ringing. Major DeStran, Abe – both his and his wife’s cell along with their home phone, and Ages. All were military giving a forty-eight hour notice of leaving and how to prepare. When the phones were hung up, we simply told each other that we would meet again soon.

I took the news van back to the station. When I parked it in its space, the station manager came out to meet me. I did not consider it unusual, as he would usually be at the station as everyone prepared for the late edition broadcast. I thus casually went from the van to meet him.

He shook my hand while saying, “I would not call either of you top newsmen, but I never had a problem getting either of you to go out and dig up something. That means I do feel that both of you have potential to hit it big. Listen, Andy, I will tell Abe, but you do what you can to remind him to keep putting our call sign in his broadcasts.”

I asked, “Will I be using one of your cameras?”

“Yes. I was told to release the two of you with what you need to do an off-site report.”

“If we are using a KNOX camera, I will make certain that he puts KNOX in our reports.”

“That’s my boy. Go home, then come in tomorrow and get what you need.”

I did go home with a feeling that things were going my way. It still did not feel like the way things happened in a comic book. Upon reaching my apartment, I thus made a call to see just how things would go.

A female voice that I recognized answered, “It’s early here, Andy, but Larry is right here.”

When he said something, I asked my question. “Larry, the military has not given us any suck-ass name for our group?”

“They might refer to us by some suck-ass name, but, no, there is no official name to our group. With Sherita and I claiming to be retired, there really is no group. I guess that there will be however. Do you want to suggest a non-suck-ass name?”

As much as the thought bothered me, I felt bad not having a reply ready. “No, at least not know. I just want it said that I would like for some slightly cool name to our group that does not include league or society.”

“How about squad? We will technically be a squad.”

“Yeah, squad is okay, but it would be better if we can leave that out as well.”

Larry covered the phone, but I still heard him tell Cindy about what we were discussing. She cheerfully said that she would help. His half-hearted agreement matched my own opinion, and I liked what he said when he removed his hand from over the receiver to his phone.

“I will probably give your suggestion to Sherita. She would do a better job with coming up with something cool.”

Feeling satisfied, I asked what I hoped was a basic question. “Who is the evil villain?”

“Word has it they are called the Chinstoppohs. Chin, as in China, and stoppohs as in ‘those who stop.’ Definitely an uncool name.”

“Yes, we can beat anyone with a name as bad as that.”

He laughed, then said, “Well, I cannot say more. Look forward to having you over here.”

I felt good while setting down the phone. I was not just a superhero, but actually part of a super-team. This was the life I wanted when I realized that I had a real power. Hoping to see myself represented in a comic book, I prepared for my future.

_________________
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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