AC: Bush43 Week Five
jasonkenney at gmail.com
Mon Jul 3 05:55:40 PDT 2006
Artifice Comics - http://www.artificecomics.com
Happy day between the weekend and the holiday, everyone. If you're
looking for stuff to do, check out Artifice Comics for the newest issue
of the one and only "A Man Called Mongrel" by Derrick Ferguson. GREAT
And let month two begin!
By Jason S. Kenney
"Long time no see," said Isiah Rowe, as he walked across the lobby of
the office building where he worked.
"So, I've been a little busy," I said with a shrug, as we shook hands.
"Yeah, I saw the news."
We walked out of the building and started down the sidewalk.
"Yeah, so I haven't really been able to come by all that much," I said.
"I should probably start looking into my own place anyway."
"No rush, man," Isiah said.
"Well, with the job and all, I should probably do it sooner rather than
"Like I said, no rush" Isiah said with a smile, as he opened the door
to the first bar we came across.
I stepped into the bar, Isiah following.
"I'll get the drinks," I said. "Find a good, secluded booth or
"The usual, then."
"You want anything to eat?"
He shook his head, as we split up, him heading for the same empty
corner booth I'd been eyeing since we stepped in, me heading towards
the bar. I ordered a couple beers on tap and started a tab, not that I
intended to run it up.
"All right," I said, as I reached the booth and set Isiah's beer in
front of him, getting a nod of thanks, as I sat. "Let's get right to
"Straight to the point, eh?"
"I've got a date at six, so..."
"Get to it, then," Isiah said, taking a swig of his drink.
I looked around real quick and leaned forward, lowered my voice.
"I may need your help on something," I said.
"What kind of something?"
"A kind of something I would never get you involved in otherwise but
where I may be in need of someone with your talents."
Isiah Rowe's talent was to read the impulses in someone's head. And to
be able to manipulate them.
"Sometime in the next three days, I'm supposed to receive a phone call,
telling me where I can find someone, and, to be honest, I have no idea
how to deal with him without you."
"Who is it?"
"The guy that blew up Ferguson Place."
Isiah took another gulp of his beer, and I did the same, letting that
sit and sink in for a moment.
"So, why exactly do you need me?" asked Isiah.
"There aren't very many ways to take down someone like this guy,
someone that can blow up and all that."
"So, you want me to turn him off?"
"Just his powers."
"Why not knock him out?"
"Because I want him awake."
"Jeffery," said Isiah, as he shook his head, leaning onto the table as
he now looked around. "This isn't an exact science here. I mean, I
don't know if I can just go in and shut off part of what's going on in
"But, you can knock people out without wiping out their brain."
"I find whatever impulse is saying 'stay awake' and turn that off. Or
something like that. I don't know," he said, leaning back. "I can't
really explain it, but it just doesn't work like you want it to."
"But, if he were about to blow up, could you stop him from doing it?"
"At that moment, yes."
"And, could you shut down that area or those receptors or whatever, so
they don't work or register anymore, so he can't use them to use his
"Jeffery, I don't know if the mind really works..."
"Could you do that?"
"Yeah, I could do it, but it might not do much."
"Then, let's test it."
"Turn off my left hand," I said, holding my hand up, wiggling my
"Jeffery, I don't think..."
"It'll wear off after a while, right? You're not killing my hand, just
telling it to go limp or whatever. If my mind thinks my arm is limp,
it should go limp, right?"
"But, I'm not making your hand think its limp, Jeffery. I'm tweaking
its ability to tell your hand to move."
"And, that should stop my hand from moving, right?"
"Unless your mind uses other receptors instead, fixes itself and all."
"I don't think the mind works that way."
"Turn off my left hand, Isiah. If it stays dead..."
"We're not talking about turning off a hand, damn it," said Isiah
angrily but in a whisper. "We're talking about trying to make a man
not blow up a building. If I fuck that up, Jeffery, if I do it wrong
and he still goes off..."
He stopped, left that hanging for a bit, as we stared at each other.
"Why do you want him awake anyway?"
"I want him to know he's busted. I want him to know the cops have him.
I want him to know what it's like to not have his powers."
"I want to break him, Isiah."
Isiah shook his head and took another drink of his beer.
"He killed a hundred and twenty people, Isiah. Killed them. To make a
point to me."
"Not you," said Isiah, as he set his beer down.
"Yes, to me. I was there, damn it, in Ferguson. That's why he was
there; that's why he blew up."
"Simon Cooper's apartment was in Ferguson," I said, getting a confused
look from Isiah. "Staticy. His apartment was there. After the attack
on the Hilton, that's where I went looking for him."
"Staticy did the Hilton attack?"
"Him and others, yes."
"So, I went to his place, only he wasn't there, and this other guy was,
Dean Williams. He was there because they knew I'd go there, because
they wanted to do this in front of me, to me. Me, Isiah. I'm why this
"So, you want revenge."
"I want him broken."
"Is that what happened with that Roger Thompson guy?"
I leaned back and glared at Isiah. For a second, I thought that was a
low blow, but then I thought about it and realized he was just stating
"I'm not going to do it," said Isiah, shaking his head and holding his
hands up. "Not like you want. If you want me to knock him out, I'll
do it. But, I'm not going to risk him going off and killing any number
of people, including myself, just so you can get a little revenge.
"Capturing him should be revenge enough, Jeffery. Getting him off the
streets and making people safe should be revenge enough."
"Damn it, Isiah," I said, crossing my arms and looking away from him,
at my beer, through it.
"I can't do this without you, man," I said.
"Then, do it my way. Do it the right way."
I thought about it a few minutes and realized he was right. Or, at the
very least, held all the cards.
"Okay," I said with a sigh. "Okay, we'll do it your way. But, you
need to be available at the drop of a hat."
"You call, and I come running?"
"Whether you're at work, three in the morning, I call--I need you right
away. I don't know what kind of window I'm going to get, so we'd have
to work fast."
"Are the police aware of this?"
"Not yet. And, they certainly won't be aware of your involvement."
"Not like this," I said with a smirk.
"Okay," said Isiah with a nod. "You call. I'm there."
"Good," I said, lifting my glass in a small toast which he returned,
both of us knocking our drinks back.
"So, who's feeding you this information?" asked Isiah. "Or, am I not
allowed to know?"
"It's probably best you don't know," I said.
"Will the police know?"
I didn't answer Isiah, knocking my drink back again, as I stared
through the table.
"Jeffery," Isiah said, getting my attention. "Are you being safe with
"Yes," I said, nodding.
"You're not putting your ass on the line here, are you?"
"I'm always putting my ass on the line," I said.
"But with this..."
"I've got it under control, Isiah," I said.
"Okay," he said with a nod. "Just be careful."
"I'm trying to be as careful as possible. I hate turning to you on
this, I don't want to put you at risk, so I'm going to be as careful as
"And you? Are you watching out for yourself?"
"As well as I normally do," I said with a smirk.
That didn't seem to satisfy Isiah very well, but I didn't expect it to.
"So, are things going well with this Cassandra girl?" he asked, as he
grabbed his beer.
"So far so good," I said. "Though it's only been--what--four, five
"And, you haven't been at the apartment for more than an hour in those
four, five days."
"Well, yeah, but I've only been at her place two nights."
"Either I'm not sleeping or, in the case of Saturday night,
Isiah's eyebrows raised, as he drank.
"Against my will," I said.
"Oh, really?" His tone suggested something illicit.
"Not like that. It was... They kinda forced me to sleep."
"Yeah, forced me, and I still don't appreciate it." I finished off my
"I doubt it was for any bad reason," said Isiah, finishing off his
drink, while I glared at him. "What? Jeffery, if it was Eldritch, I'm
sure she was just trying to look out for you."
"How would you know?"
"You've spoken of her before, Jeffery. I kinda get the impression that
she's on your side here."
"She wasn't Sunday morning."
"I could have saved people, Isiah," I said harshly. "I could have been
there and pulled people out. But, they wouldn't let me, goddamn it."
We sat in silence for a few moments before Isiah shook his head a
"You want another one?" he asked, gesturing to my glass.
"Yeah," I said. "I want a lot more than one."
I arrived at Cassandra's twenty minutes late and with three beers on
the stomach, which was fine; I could handle more, but I probably
smelled of it, and that wasn't very attractive. I hoped the flowers in
my left hand would make up for it.
I rang her doorbell, and she answered the door shortly thereafter, her
hair pulled back, wearing a very attractive black dress that did
everything it could to flatter her.
"Why, look who it is," she said.
"I'm sorry I'm late," I said. "I'd have been sooner if I hadn't
stopped for these."
I held the flowers out to her, and she smirked.
"Smooth," she said, as she took them.
"That's me," I said, and I leaned in and gave her a kiss.
"Jeffery Carter," she said, leaning back and giving me a stern look.
"Have you been drinking?"
"I met up with Isiah after work."
"You're a busy man," Cass said, turning to walk into her apartment and
leaving me to follow. She held the flowers to her face and breathed in
deep. "They're lovely, Jeffery," she said.
"I figure roses were too easy," I said.
"Lilies are perfect," she said, as she went into the kitchen. I just
kept following. "So, where have you made reservations?" she asked, as
she crouched down and opened the cabinet under her sink.
She looked to me wide eyed.
"You forgot to make reservations?" The half-smile told me she wasn't
upset with me. Thankfully.
"I guess I did," I said, as she stood up with a vase and kicked the
cabinet door closed. "I guess we'll just have to see how much weight
my name carries."
"Mister Carter," she said, as she started to fill the vase with water.
"Are you abusing your power?"
"Taking advantage of the perks," I said, as I stepped behind her and
wrapped my arms around her waist.
I hugged her close, leaned my head down and kissed her neck. She moved
her head to the side and hummed.
"How long do I have you tonight, Mister Carter?" she asked.
"I should probably leave before eleven, Miss Trellis."
"Mmmm. We could do a lot of damage in five hours."
"Four and a half," I corrected.
"So, do you have any place in mind to take advantage of these perks of
yours?" she said, as she turned off the water, and I let her go to
finish with the flowers.
"Have you ever been to Brown and Schmidt's?"
"Over by the old post office?" she asked. "No, though I've heard it's
"Me too. So, I was thinking we'd try that out."
"A lot of big people go there, Jeffery," she said, as she fiddled with
the lilies, made the whole arrangement look pretty. She turned to me
and leaned on the counter. "You sure you want to be so public?"
"Why not?" I said with a shrug. "They saw us together Saturday."
"Well, with everything that happened..."
"I can't go into hiding, Cass. And, I can't mope about. If I go out
and about this city, act like everything's okay, that everything's
safe, maybe the people will pick up on that. Right?"
"Just making sure."
"Besides, I want to look every one of those bastards in the eyes and
thank them for all their help Saturday night," I said.
"Now do you see why I don't like them?" Cass asked, as she stepped to
me, put her hands on my stomach, slid them around to my sides, my back,
up my back, pulling herself close, oh my.
"I can't blame them too much," I said. "It was probably best they
didn't try anything. Someone could have gotten seriously hurt."
"Someone other than you?"
"Always the hero," she said, and we kissed.
"So," I said when we broke apart. "You hungry?"
"I'm starving," she said.
"That too." Her smirk couldn't have been more mischievous.
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