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Reanimated: » Games » Project Angel » Issues » Issue 1: March of Mephisto

Issue 1: March of Mephisto

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101 Re: Issue 1: March of Mephisto on 12th January 2012, 15:32

Maeglin

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Dirk waited until the children were out of earshot and they were alone in the room.

And he waited a little longer: hurt, scared, confused, and not really sure what to say. After a moment, he found his voice, but, "Jenny--" was all that came out.

"Leave me alone," she snapped, and covered her face with her hands.

"Jenny, I--" This was preposterous! Everything she had said, it was crazy, it simply wasn't true! Scott hadn't been right to blow up like that, though Dirk didn't exactly blame him. But Dirk didn't blow up.

Instead he approached her, gingerly. She flinched back, so he stopped, and asked to continue before she shrugged and he sat down next to her. "Can I show you something?"

She shrugged again: probably as close to a "yes" as he was going to get.

Dirk shifted so he could draw out his wallet. It was a simple wallet, with a few places for cards and cash, but the bulk of it was devoted to pictures. Pictures of his children, individually; pictures of his children, all together; a few family portraits, one from before Annie was born and one after; pictures of Grandma with the kids; and, at the back, three for memory's sake. He flicked through these fairly quickly, showing her: "I like to keep pictures of the kids and--see, that's Annie when she was born, without any hair, my beautiful bald little girl, I thought it was kind of cute, and there...in that picture, that's my...wife, that's Joan, and, there's her mother, see.... Anyway, here's the important stuff."

Dirk showed her the first picture: he and Mark at the Grand Canyon. "After you...um, died, well, we only had each other. My parents found out about my powers and kicked me out. If it wasn't for Mark I wouldn't be here today, or certainly not as I am now." He smiled at the memory. "Mark's not smiling here because I had asked a stranger to take the picture and he was sure they were going to break the camera. I think I was...I don't know, maybe 15."

Dirk looked up at her. She wasn't liking this picture, for some reason, so he moved on.

"Okay, and this one's my favorite: do you remember when we went to the Circus together, that first summer after we met?" They were tiny in the picture. Dirk had braces on his teeth, and it was embarrassing how skinny he was then. Jenny's hair was in uneven pig-tails, and they had their arms around each other and were grinning. "My uncle took us. You remember, you said since we were both freaks we could join the circus together, and we thought that was the funniest thing ever. We decided you could be the bearded lady and I could walk the tightrope, remember?"

Jenny didn't say anything, but she looked at the picture closely, skeptically, as if trying to determine if it was a fake.

"And this one. I like this one a lot." It was a picture of Jennifer and Mark together. She was young, from before he had met her. They were at a park or something, and he was pushing her on a swing. He was smiling, softly, beautifully, actually, and she was laughing, her mouth open wide and her hair flying in the breeze of her motion. Her legs were kicked out in different directions. "I don't...know anything about this picture, only that, when I was 16, something happened--" something he needed to tell her "--and I decided I needed a copy of this picture."

Jennifer was looking at this picture like she had looked at the last one. Like she didn't remember it, yes, but also like she simply didn't believe it. She looked up and asked, "Copy?"

Dirk blushed brightly to be fixed so intensely with her gaze, but he nodded and scrambled to his feet. He'd seen the picture the instant he had walked in, and he recognized it even though it had fallen forward onto the desk. He associated this picture with Mark as much as he associated cigars with the man. It was the picture he kept on his desk, all the time, unless he was working in the garage for extended periods, at which time it found itself sitting on the hood of a car, within constant eyesight. It was little things like this by which Dirk knew, always, that Mark could pretend to be a grumpy stoic all he liked, but he was really a marshmallow inside.

He grabbed the photo off the desk and handed it to her. "Mark kept this...all the time. And when I got a copy I--well, I didn't tell Mark I had gotten one--but I kept it, because it had the two most important people in the world to me on it."

Still she didn't say anything. Which he expected.

So Dirk swallowed and continued. He set the pictures down and took her hand--gentle, but firm. "Jenny, I want you to know that I'm sorry."

Her eyes lighted devilishly with that. "Sorry for the way you treated me?"

"No," Dirk insisted. "I'm sorry for what happened to you. I think..." Dirk took a deep breath. Licked his lips. This was going to be hard to say.

"I think it's my fault you came back."

Her mouth opened, but no sound came out. He continued quickly:

"I was young, and stupid, and I wanted you back so badly, and I...there was a demon, only I didn't know she was a demon but I wished for you back, and--I think it went wrong, somehow, and that's why you don't remember anything right. Look, Jenny, did you ever consider your memories are false? You came back from the dead, Jenny, and not exactly in the best circumstances, so you might have a few screws loose, okay? If a demon brought you back, they wouldn't do it just to be nice, right? And think about Cannon--how somebody must be doing something to people with--controlling their minds, making them think things that aren't true. I'm not saying that's what happened to you but maybe it was. And I know it's all my fault so I'm asking you, begging you to forgive me. I'm glad you're back but if I knew how painful it was going to be for you I would never have wished you back and it's my fault. You can blame me but don't blame your dad. He did everything he could to protect you, Jenny, and when he couldn't do that he took care of me trying to atone for what he couldn't do for you. I knew I was just a substitute and I was okay with that. But now he has you back he's happier than I've ever seen him but you've broken his heart and I..."

Dirk realized he was crying.

"Sorry," he said, furiously wiping at his eyes. "Sorry, I didn't mean to. Um." He sniffed, wiping again at tears. There was a time when she would have teased him for this: teased him and then hugged him. Now he was afraid she would just mock him. "Someone altered your memories, I think. Somehow. I don't know. My mother-in-law, if you want to meet her, she might be able to find out... But I just want you to give us a chance. Give Mark a chance. He needs it." Dirk looked up at her, met her eyes, locked them with his, and didn't let them go.

"I think you need it."

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102 Re: Issue 1: March of Mephisto on 12th January 2012, 16:21

Jennifer turned away from him. This was very confusing.

“I remember the swing and the park. I was often there, but… never with Mark. No one ever pushed me on this swing.” Her voice was small and confused.

“Wait you said you wished me back? But you didn’t like me.”

This was very confusing she was so sure how her life had been before she died and now here she was sitting next to the boy who hated her guts and he said she was one of the most important people on the world. Her head hurt, her memories started to be blurry and it felt as if her memories were always in black and white and suddenly they turn into colored.

“I don’t understand what happening. When you wished me back why did you never come looking for me? I woke up trapped in a coffin; I was all alone and had no idea where to go.”

She was holding on to the two happy pictures of her, she wouldn’t admit it but there was this little bit of hope in her heart. Hope that he was right. There was just one problem, if it wasn’t true that her memories are false but right it would break her heart all over again. But what if it was true, that her memories are false she would have now disappointed Mark and maybe turned him into the man she thought he was.

“Why is Mark alone? Where is Amanda? And…” Jennifer looked at Dirk. “Why did I die?”

She didn’t expect answers from him.


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103 Re: Issue 1: March of Mephisto on 12th January 2012, 16:37

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Dirk couldn't look at her, and his face flushed red again. "Like I said, the wish went wrong. It's kind of a long story, but we didn't think it had worked. And demons lie, anyway. We didn't think you were back at all. Otherwise, Jenny, you have to believe me, otherwise nothing would have kept us from you."

Dirk took a deep breath, gathering his thoughts to tell her her history, as much as he knew about it anyway. "You died because of an accident. A car hit you when Mark was trying to get you away from the PHMA. I know he did the same thing for me, when they came after me, but I think he did it because it hurt too much that he hadn't been able to save you. He thought he could redeem himself by saving me, and I know he cared about me, but I know he always asked himself why he couldn't save you, too. I think Amanda left him after your death. You were the only thing keeping them together."

Dirk looked up to see how she was taking this, but he couldn't read her face. It was a face of long practice not showing anything. Ha, if only she knew how much like her father she really was.

"And yes, Jenny. I wished you back. Not just then, either, every penny in a fountain, every falling star, I wanted you back. I-I loved you." She looked up, sharply at that. "I--but I moved on, when I realized what trouble I could get into wishing that hard, how dangerous it was. I met Joan and--I think whoever is at the bottom of this took my wife away from me, just like they took you away. I have to get her back," he said, firmly, hoping that had come across correctly. He may have loved Jenny once, but Joan was his wife now.

"But this isn't about me. I don't want you to do anything you're not comfortable with, but maybe, if you have some memories buried deep, my mom, well, Joan's mom, she has...abilities that may help. If you'd like to meet her? But only if you want to. At your own pace. I think you should talk with Mark." He squeezed her hand, and then laughed a little. "You guys are ruining my wish. I was willing to die and apparently screw up the balance of the universe so you two could be together and now you both are too busy being stubborn and solitary. Like father, like daughter. You don't have to do this on your own, you know. I tried telling Mark that for years but he never listened."

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104 Re: Issue 1: March of Mephisto on 12th January 2012, 17:00

She handed him the pictures back and got up, people say you can’t feel two feelings at once but Jennifer felt hurt and flattered to hear she was like Mark.

“I guess I shouldn’t have exploded right away. It is just so unfair he never… I think he never was that nice to me as he was to your kids. I mean I don’t know but…” She brushed her hair out of her face. “I’m sorry I’m babbling but I don’t know anymore what is true.” It was a weird satisfaction of feeling a headache and knowing this time they wouldn’t just get healed as always.

“Maybe I will talk to your mother -in-law later. You know when I saw you and Mark at the hospital all I wanted was turn around and leave right away, but when you saw me… you didn’t react as I always thought you would. You seemed happy. I am not saying that I truly believe you, but I have nothing better to do than stick around and find out you your story is true. And I have to say I got bored of being a stunt driver, I’m too good and the competition started to sabotage me that how I ended up in the hospital.”

Jennifer started to calm down slowly and nearly enjoy the company of Dirk. “By the way I can’t remember you ever being a crying baby.” She grinned for a moment before she looked worried at him.

“Do you think Mark is mad at me, that I yelled at him?” Maybe he was right and Mark did love her but she remembered too well how he was when he got angry.


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105 Re: Issue 1: March of Mephisto on 12th January 2012, 20:55

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Dirk chuckled. "As mad as Mark ever gets, which is really just that he's upset and trying not to show it." He looked at Jenny sidelong, trying to see what she meant by that. "He never raised a hand to me, if that's what you mean," he supplied, "and--I'd bet my life he'd never do that to you, either."

Dirk bit his lip with a thought.

"Mmmmaybe I should go check on him," Dirk sounded uncertain. "You want to come? You could also have ice cream with the kids..."

There was a soft knock at the door.

"Come in," he said.

It was Scott. "Sorry, Dad, um, don't mean to interrupt..."

"It's all right, son. What's up?"

"You know how you told me to look after Mr. Mark?"

Dirk stood up. "Yeah?"

"Um. He said he went to the bar. I tried to stop him but he wouldn't listen."

Dirk nodded. "Okay, son, change of plans. How do you feel about getting Miss Jenny some ice cream while I go track down Mark?"

Scott nodded, his face brightening with what sounded like a much easier--and much tastier--task.

"Yeah!" He took Jennifer's hand and led her into the kitchen.

"I'll bring him back," Dirk promised.

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106 Re: Issue 1: March of Mephisto on 12th January 2012, 22:34

Jennifer nodded and sat down at the kitchen table while Scott got her some ice cream. When she saw her refection in the water kettle she was surprised, she was smiling and actually couldn’t stop smiling.

“That’s your ice cream Miss Jenny.” Scott put a bowl of ice cream in front of her.

“Thanks, but don’t call me Miss Jenny. That sounds weird….” No one ever called her Jenny, Mark always called her Jennifer in a horrible mean voice and at school she was Freak. So what should the kids call her? “Maybe just say… Jenny or you know Jennifer or whatever.”

Annie looked a little bit scared at her, while Alex looked at her more curious. Jennifer sighed. “I guess your dad made you call me Miss Jenny.” She looked at Alex. “You were the one who used a fire extinguisher against me right? That was a first no one ever did this smart thinking.”

“Thanks.”

Jennifer tried not to think of what Dirk said. In her memory it was a daily basis that she got hit by Mark, but when he never hit Dirk… maybe because he was a boy… or maybe it wasn’t true?

“Miss Jenny are you alright?” Scott asked.

“Yes, yes I’m fine. Um guys… I’m sorry you saw that scene upstairs. I… I think one of the bad guys messed with my memory and now I don’t know anything about my past anymore and I was upset… Hey you wanna see something cool?”

Jennifer got up, turned off the lights and let tiny flames appear, they were smaller than the flame of a candle and flying around like fireflies around the kitchen. She let the flames form images of the kids which made them laugh and after a moment of hesitation she form Dirk for them. “Pretty cool huh?” Jennifer giggled it was the first time her powers were appreciated, and the smiles of the kids made her forget how scared she was of Dirk bringing Mark back.


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107 Re: Issue 1: March of Mephisto on 12th January 2012, 23:03

At least the bar wasn’t far away, just at the other end of the street. He was a regular here, and most of the other regulars tended to be other post-humans, or their mates. So far, PHMA hadn’t found out about the place.

Fred the barkeep looked up as Mark entered.

“You look like hell Mark, what happened?” The look Mark gave him was clear, ask no question. Mark yanked out his wallet and pulled out all the cash it contained, nearly four hundred dollars. He thrust it on the counter.

“Gimmie a large whisky, and keep it toped up until that pile runs out.”

He was barely started his fourth glass when he heard a voice behind him, Dirks.

“Mark?”

“Great, here comes the righteous brigade,” Mark sourly replied.

"What are you doing here, Mark?" Dirk sounded like he was using that ‘I’m disappointed’ tone all parents become masters at.

"What does it look like? Trying to leave this crap world behind."

Dirk pulled up to the bar and ordered a coke. "You know you can't even get drunk, what are you doing?"

"I can, it just takes a while."

There was a pause, then;

"You should talk to Jennifer."

"Perhaps I should, her grave is across town. I don't know who that harpy is, but she isn't my daughter." Dirk spluttered his drink and turned with shock to face Mark.

"Mark, she may have come back with altered memories, but that's not her fault. She's still your daughter. If you want to blame someone, blame me for wishing her back and messing everything up, but don't blame her for being scared and confused and reacting just like her father would in the same situation."

"Be careful kid, asking to take the blame for something like this. But I... I can't talk to her. Jesus Christ Dirk, I finally get over that I killed my own daughter, and then when she suddenly reappears she hates me. Fake memories or not that’s not something I can deal with."

"You didn't kill her, Mark! It was an accident! And she doesn't hate you, she's confused. She was already beginning to admit that to me. At the very least she doesn't want to hate you, but with you holed up in here marinating yourself it's hard for anyone to feel otherwise."

Mark gave a drawn out sigh. "You're probably right Kid. I should. But i can't face her know. Go on, go act as heroes for a while. When you get back I might be ready." Dirk sighed as well, frustrated.

"I need someone to watch the kids." He added after a poignant pause: "Someone sober."

"I’ll keep an eye on them while you’re out. Heroing is a young person's game anyway, you don't need me slowing you down."

"Okay, come back with me. I at least would like your expertise on how we should go about getting to the bottom of all this corruption. Jenny's with the kids, you don't have to talk to her now if you don't want to."

"You don't need my expertise. You don't have any evidence, so you need to find some. I doesn’t need expertise to see that."


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108 Re: Issue 1: March of Mephisto on 13th January 2012, 00:40

Jennifer was lying on her back Dirk’s three children next to her in the dark kitchen on the floor. She let the little flames dance and form images; trees, birds, flowers, them. Annie was giggling when the flames were swirling around her. Jennifer was concentrating that the fire was cold. And in this fun, Jennifer dared to ask.

“Hey you said your dad told you about me, right? What did he say about me?”

Jennifer was curious to find out the truth. Even though she heard in her mind the voice that always followed her since she came back from the dead, but for the first time she was not listening to it. For the first time she was listening to her heart and that told her to find out the truth and who was better to ask than children.


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109 Re: Issue 1: March of Mephisto on 13th January 2012, 01:54

"Jenny never yells, Jenny never yells!" Annie bellowed, somewhat accusingly for being only two, at Jennifer.

"Okay, Annie, stop yelling," Scott said to the darkness, and Annie quieted, shifting to get comfortable in the crook of his elbow. Dad never showed off his powers like this to them, for fun. It was only when the situation was bad that Scott saw his father's red energy beams. Which was kind of lame, because those situations were so rare. "You tell the story, Al, you're better at it," Scott said after a minute.

"Which one?" Alex liked lying next to Jenny. She was warm.

"The one where she saves Dad."

"Ugh, I hewd dis one!" Annie sighed dramatically.

"But Miss Jenny hasn't," Scott reminded her. "You can do sound effects, okay, Ann?"

"Otay!" she giggled happily.

"One day, Dad and Miss Jenny--"

"Just 'Jennifer' is fine--"

"Miss Jennifer were hiking in the mountains with their school, on a field trip. When Miss Jenny says 'Hey, let's go run away!' because there were some mean kids in school. Dad didn't want her to go alone, so he goes with her, and they find a cliff with a nice view. Then out of nowhere a big old mountain lion--"

"RAWREEE!" shouted Annie, not forgetting her job.

"Thanks, Annie. My tympanic membrane thanks you," Alex said sarcastically before continuing. "And it almost eats them alive! Dad puts up his force-field to protect them, and Jenny blasts the cat to smithereens!"

"KABOOM!!" Annie appeared to be enjoying herself far too much, her stuffed bunny divebombing along with her sound effects.

"And then Dad gets worried, because he can't turn it off. He tells Jenny to get away, and he can let her out, but it just keeps glowing brighter and brighter--"

"KABOOM!" Annie supplied.

"Not yet, Anna," Alex said, annoyed at being interrupted, before he went on.

"So he starts panicking, and that only makes the energy harder to control, and pretty soon it's gonna box him in for good, and maybe E-X-P-L-O-D--"

"KAB--" Annie began again, but Scott clapped a hand over her mouth.

"Ow, no biting, Annie, dammit!"

"I'm telling Daaaaaaaad!"

"That she bit me?"

"No, you said the 'D' word!" Alex taunted.

"Come on, guys," Jenny said, "how does it end?"

"Well, Miss Jenny--you, that is--she can't get to him because of the force field. Dad's real scared, and she knows she needs to get him to focus, so she wants to burn him a little--"

"MEANIE!" Annie exclaimed, pointing a finger at Jennifer meant more to get a reaction than to actually accuse.

"Not bad, Annie, just enough to wake him up," Scott explained.

"If I could finish sometime this century?" the self-righteous five year old queried, before continuing. "But she can't get fire through the force field, either! So! She bends over and touches the ground," Alex was acting out this part, "and she super-heats the ground. Plants are sizzling, trees are going brown, until finally--"

Silence.

"Annie!"

Annie gasped. "Oh!" she said, remembering her cue, "'Yeeeeeeeeeowzers! Dat smawts!'"

"--Dad says, and the force field disappears. Dad's shoes melted, so they had a good excuse why they had been left behind. And that's why he says you never use your powers without a friend there to save you. The End."

Alex bowed.

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110 Re: Issue 1: March of Mephisto on 13th January 2012, 02:24

Jennifer let a couple of flames fly quickly in a circle around Alex head. She looked curious at Alex, and wondered if Dirk would have told them true stories so that he would look better. When suddenly her heed felt as if it was exploding.

“Ow.” All flames disappeared and let the four sit in darkness.

The same boys as always were throwing stones at her. Calling her names… 'Hey Dirk, let's go run away!'… The lion… the ground was melting… laughter.

Distant shouting pulled her back into reality.

“Miss Jenny! Miss Jenny are you alright?” She thought it was Alex shouting at her. This was weird, she remembered the lion different. But where did this memory come from?

“Yes, yes I’m fine. Ouch my head. Sorry it is a little dark, let me take care of this.” This time just four fireballs appeared. Jennifer managed to smile weak. “So I saved your dad that is a great story. Alex you are an awesome storyteller but I have to say your sound effects were pretty good too Annie.”

She grinned and got up from the floor. “What do you think about more ice cream?”


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111 Re: Issue 1: March of Mephisto on 13th January 2012, 02:55

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Richard looked up from the stack files as Dirk and Mark entered the room.

"Find anything?"

"Yeah...I think Hunter Corporation deserves a visit, and--"

"Joan!" Dirk cried out, snatching at a file on the desk. It was a picture of Joan, all right, but with dark hair, disguised. The photo was marked a month ago. "Oh my gosh she--she's alive!" Dirk wasn't sure whether that made him feel better or worse, given what she'd done, but...

But it seemed people were doing a lot of stuff they simply couldn't help, lately.

"What's this?" he demanded of no one, becoming increasingly agitated, shuffling through the papers. Futura Industries. And there's more of these...personnel files!" Dirk tried to read through Joan's file, but his hands were shaking and the notes made no sense. "Mark!" He was fourteen again, but less in terms of innocence and more in terms of feeling helpless, confused, and overwhelmed. "Mark, what's going on?!"

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112 Re: Issue 1: March of Mephisto on 13th January 2012, 18:08

“Okay guys you stay here, okay? I gonna go back upstairs and see what the grownups are planning.”

Jennifer had found a couple of pens, and paper for them to draw on not that the boys were very happy to draw.
Slowly Jenny went back upstairs. A part of her hoped that Dirk hadn’t found Mark. She stopped at the closed door and heard Dirk ask sounding a little desperate. "Mark, what's going on?!” Mark didn’t answer and her hope increased that he wasn’t there. Careful she opened the door. Mark was sitting on a chair at the desk with his back to her. He seemed older than she had seen him not an hour ago, but that didn’t change a thing. He still scared her and the more she dared to believe that Dirk was right and her memory was false the more she stopped hating Mark. Her hate turned into fear, how do you act around people that know you but you can’t remember them? She was scared that she made him really angry by yelling at him, better she wouldn’t say anything to him.

Ignoring Dirk’s desperate tone she said cheerful, maybe the most cheerful the men had heard her so far.

“Dirk your kids are great. I can’t believe you told them that I saved you from a mountain lion. Not that I can really remember that but it sure sounds like an adventure. What do the papers from the hospital say? Anything else we need to know?”

For the first time Jenny used the term we, as in we a team. Yes Mark scared the crap out of her, yes it was more than weird to have false memories but all in all her curiosity made her stay. And she always was living the dangerous live so now the danger wasn’t a street race or a stunt show. This time the danger was her past.


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113 Re: Issue 1: March of Mephisto on 14th January 2012, 20:21

When they got back to the garage Mark crashed into a chair. Normally he had to remind himself that he was, despite his appearance, actually seventy four. Now he felt every single one of those year. And more.

He heard Dirk’s cry. Slowly, very slowly, he roused himself and shuffled towards the table. Behind him he could hear Jennifer speaking. With a great deal of effort he forced himself to respond, but didn’t turn around.

“There might be something more here. I’m just not sure…”

He looked at the files; there was something about them, some faces that seemed familiar. It took a long time for it to click.

He slowly side out one drawer after another, until he found the file he was looking for. Normally he would have reached the correct drawer first time. Thumbing through the file he took out a number of newspaper clippings, and placed one on top of each file. Each clipping was dated about a month ago, except for the one regarding Joan, which was older. But each reported a supposedly Inhibited super going wild. And the pictures matched the people in the files.

“So Furtura is hiring the people whose Inhibitor chips originally malfunctioned? Why the hell would they do that?”

He looked up and, without meaning to, looked straight towards Jenifer.

“Jenny. I… We…” He couldn’t do it. “We’ll talk later ok.”


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114 Re: Issue 1: March of Mephisto on 15th January 2012, 00:49

The moment Mark looked at her she expected the worst, she half expected him to suddenly jump up and beat her black and blue, but she didn’t expect this. And she actually had no idea what to say to it, all she did was nod.

“So we have a couple of things to take care of. We have to get more information about Hunter Corp since they are making the chips. Why and how Futura Industries hires supers. Maybe PHMA has a mole and someone in that organisation is behind the mind control? I’m willing to break into Hunter Corp or Futura Industries, but um… I’m not going anywhere near PHMA’s headquarters. I don’t mix very well with the ocean.”

She brushed her hair out of her face.

“What if I try to get into Futura Industries? Maybe they believe me that I have an inhibitor chip that turns me evil or I say I just decided to be a bad guy and wanna work for them.”

Jennifer tried to hide that she was not the best to make plans what to do, she was better in spontaneous burning stuff.


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115 Re: Issue 1: March of Mephisto on 16th January 2012, 03:54

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Dirk nodded, reining his emotions under control.

"Okay, I'm going to check out Futura. Anyone who would like to come is welcome to."

Dirk immediately moved to his bag and drew out his tac vest and belt. He removed his badge and left his wallet behind. Going in with his NYPD gear was probably bad enough--he didn't want to get the Force roped into this any more than he wanted someone IDing him and coming after his kids at school.

"It's almost nightfall, so we'll head in a back entrance. We will subdue, not kill, all contacts. We want in, get information, and get out."

He put a large leather coat over everything for further protection, and changed from tennis shoes to boots. Dirk stood and looked around the room.

"Who's with me?"

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116 Re: Issue 1: March of Mephisto on 16th January 2012, 21:10

Mark sank back in the chair.

“You go ahead Kid, I’ll keep an eye on yours.”

It was true, someone needed to keep an eye on Dirk’s kids. And in his current state, it might as well be him.

“By the way, Futura’s headquarters is airborne. An ugly flying box in the sky. You might need to think of a clever way to get up there. But at least it means the back entrances are less likely to be guarded.”

Mark actually wondered how he would have dealt with that problem. In the old days most supers could either fly, mimic flying, or have someone carry them. Or steal a plane, ha, that had been fun. But that wouldn’t help them here, surely they’d come up with something. But there was one more thing he could do to help out.

“In case you need them, I’ve got some explosives and other tricks that could be useful. They’re in the cupboard next to the fridge, just behind the breakfast cereal.”


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117 Re: Issue 1: March of Mephisto on 17th January 2012, 11:29

“Airborne huh? Cool that sounds like Castle in the Air, a book I read when I was little…” She suddenly stopped not knowing if she had really read this book. “Anyway how do we get up in that air? I assume none of you can fly or has a plane or something? Also I might need some more suitable clothes; I don’t think burnt nurse scrubs are right to break into the headquarters’ of the bad guys.”

Jenny looked down at herself, the mint green scrubs where burnt at many places leaving holes and burnt black spots, and started giggling.

“Do you know that I can fly when I set my body on fire, well okay almost. I’m still figuring out how it works. ”

A not to her talking Mark was just what she wanted, that way she didn’t have to worry that he would hurt her. Not that she would let him.


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118 Re: Issue 1: March of Mephisto on 20th January 2012, 21:04

Richard looked on with a wry smile at the family drama playing out around him for the last couple of hour, I'd best stay out of their way until they've simmered down enough to look at the information he'd got from the files and talking to renegade.

Renegade hadn't been too helpful, well that's not true for a "bad" guy he'd been more than eager to fill in any blanks he could it had just turned out that he couldn't fill in too many himself and he actually seemed just as interested in finding out what those blanks were as we are.

Anyway, now that we've decided where we're going we need to sort out the how of getting in there, I don't think a herd of wild horses could drag Dirk off course from this Joan girl now he's on her trail. There must be history there but I'll be damned if I'm the one to ask about it, we all have our histories private or public and I'm the last one as should pry.

"As much as I'd love to see your flaming torch routine, Jenny, I think another way would be better unless you can burn black as well. Otherwise you'd be like a flare to anyone walking the decks or looking out a window, not I'm sure that you wouldn't make a very pretty flare." Richard said with a warm smile to the girl.

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119 Re: Issue 1: March of Mephisto on 20th January 2012, 21:34

Jennifer looked at Richard. A part of wanted to tell him he has no right of calling her Jenny that actually no one had the right to call her Jenny. It was the name she would have hoped her parents would have called her. She sigh this was a very confusing day.

“Okay no torch playing unless I have to.” She smiled back at Richard. “So how do we really fly up in the air?”


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120 Re: Issue 1: March of Mephisto on 20th January 2012, 21:54

"Okay, I was hesitant to suggest it but given we don't have an X-jet just lying around here..." He paused for a second in case Mark decided to correct him, "There is one possibility but I know it's not going to go down well, we let Renegade help us, he can give us a lift up to the Futura complex and there will certainly be parachutes on board in order to get back down again. and before you start, yes I think we can trust him... in this at least he's definitely just as eager to find out what the hell is going on as we are and if we're bringing answers to the table he will want to play his part, after that I don't know. And I'm trained to jump out of perfectly good airplanes so anyone who doesn't know how to use a parachute can tandem with me if need be."

Richard waited to see just what kind of a reaction this suggestion would get from the others of the group.

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121 Re: Issue 1: March of Mephisto on 20th January 2012, 22:08

“Let Renegade lift us in the air? That sounds so crazy that I actually like the idea.” Jennifer grinned. “I guess it doesn’t help that I once jumped out of helicopter with my bike, which crashed and I had to pay for it since it wasn’t my really my bike. Anyway what I’m trying to say is I’m not worried how I get down, I heal anyway. So let’s go and use the bad guy to get us in the air.”

Jennifer could look at Mark, for some reason it worried her what he would think of her.


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122 Re: Issue 1: March of Mephisto on 22nd January 2012, 18:52

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Dirk licked his lips and stared at the ground for a long moment, so caught up in what was going on that he was even going to let it go that Mark kept explosives by the breakfast cereal--for now. It was certainly a sound plan, logically, although the possibility of Renegade betraying them was ever-present in his mind.

But Dirk was willing to risk a lot for this to work.

Finally, he nodded. "Okay, that's the plan, then. Renegade will be my responsibility. We get in, get information, and get out, without any huge altercation if we can help it. Everyone clear? I want us to keep a low profile. If these people are trained to handle Supers, they'll be prepared to fight fire with fire, and I don't want anyone dying today. Let's gear up and get gone."

Dirk would speak to Mark last, but first he had something more important to do.

"Hey, guys," Dirk said as he walked back into the kitchen.

"Dabby, Dabby, Dabby, Awex ated aww my I-cweam!"

"Did not, Dad, it melted because she wasn't eating it and now she won't believe me."

Dirk picked his youngest up in his arms, who looked very much as if she was wearing most of the disappearing ice cream. "Well, it's almost dinnertime, anyway, so what do you say we have some ice cream after pizza?"

"Pizza!" The children shouted happily.

"Okay, I'll call it in before I go. Scott, can you keep track of the money?"

"Sure, Dad." Scott said. Then, "Where are you going?"

Dirk sat Anna down on the counter so he could look at all three of his children. "Daddy's going to go help his new friends," he said, truthfully. "Mr. Mark's going to stay behind with you guys, okay, so do your old man a favor and watch him for me, huh?"

Scott and Alex giggled, pleased at the idea of getting to babysit a grown-up. But Anna Marie was staring at him with a probing look that Dirk didn't get often from his youngest.

"Yow gunna wook fow Mommy, Dabby?"

Dirk was taken aback, as were the boys. There was complete silence in the room.

"I'm..." Dirk tried, blinking rapidly. The children looked at him expectantly, wanting to know answers to questions they knew he didn't want them to ask. He sighed, and brought his arms around the trio.

"Now listen here. I want you kids to know something. I am always looking for Mommy, understand? Every time I go out on my beat, and every time I go out to try to help people, I am always looking for your mother. And I will never stop. Okay? Don't forget that."

The kids' faces were all smiles, which didn't help Dirk trying not to cry himself. Annie seemed to think he was silly:

"I knowed dat, Dabby," she said, matter-of-factly, and planted a chocolately kiss on his cheek.

Dirk sniffed, nodded, and pulled back. "Okay. You guys set? Scott, I want Annie in bed by 9, and you boys know what shows you're not allowed to watch on TV, right? We'll be home late, and it may even be a few days, but you'll have Mr. Mark here, okay?"

"Be careful, Dad," Scott said.

"You got it, son. You look after your brother and sister for me, okay?"

"You got it, Dad."

Dirk left the room, leaving the children to their ice cream. Everyone was now downstairs in the garage where, in a side-room, was a full armory. Mark hovered near the door, and if Dirk didn't know any better, he might have said the man looked nervous about going into the same room where Jennifer was.

"You still got any of those X-ray sunglasses?" Dirk said, alerting Mark to his presence.

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123 Re: Issue 1: March of Mephisto on 23rd January 2012, 21:21


Jenny looked at a couple of things in the armory, but she never used any of this. She didn't need any protection since she would heal anyway and guns just made it difficult to aim her fireballs were much more precise. And everything wasn't fully fire proofed was useless as soon she was fully activated her powers.

It was weird to feel Mark watch her but not come in the room.

Could it be that he is scared of me?"

All she did was wait for Dirk to say they would be heading out. She wasn't even sure why she played a hero right now, since when did she care so much for other people they never cared for her. But for some weird reason she had to help them. She couldn't walk away.


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124 Re: Issue 1: March of Mephisto on 23rd January 2012, 21:59

Richard smiled as he watched the wheels tuning in Dirks head, watching him convince himself of the need to do it this way. It was always interesting to watch people convince themselves they were doing something for wholly moral and logical reasons rather than the fear and desire that really guided their actions, well most of the time anyway.
As Dirk passed him heading toward the kitchen again Richard flicked the keys to Renegades handcuffs across the space between them, "If he's your burden to bear you'll be wanting these." Dirk nodded to him in a preoccupied way as he caught the keys out of the air and kept on going into the kitchen.

Richard turned back to Jennifer and Mark, she seemed to be an odd mixture of nervous and excited by what was happening. Mark on the other hand seemed to look more like he was going to be ill. "You keep your explosives next to the cereal? doesn't that give them an interesting flavour? Anyway shouldn't we head downstairs and get some of that gear sorted out Jenny? Errm actually Mark do you have some spare clothes I think I might be just a bit conspicuous in my torn lab coat, maybe some fatigues?" With this Richard gestures down at the torn and dusty clothes of Dr Elliot.

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125 Re: Issue 1: March of Mephisto on 23rd January 2012, 22:39

“But you fit perfectly to my burnt nurse scrubs.” Jenny laughed.

“Yeah gear, I can help you carry but I’m not sure I know what we will need.”

Jenny looked at Richard wondering why he was actually there. Over the shock of seeing Dirk and Mark again she forgot how the introduction with him went. She looked once in a while at Mark, expecting him to go crazy and kick her out.

“What do we have to take along anyway? Aren’t our powers enough?”


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