[AC] Bush43 Daily Week Six

Jason Kenney jasonkenney at gmail.com
Mon Jul 10 06:14:28 PDT 2006

Artifice Comics - http://www.artificecomics.com

Week Six begins!


BUSH43 #45
By Jason S. Kenney


At eight thirty, I moved to the other alley and started to keep watch.

Williams wasn't due until nine, but I wanted some time to myself, away
from Isiah.  Time to make a call.


"Hey, Cass," I said into my phone, as I leaned against one wall of the
alley, hanging my head, trying to sound happy.

"Hey, you," she said back.  "What's wrong?"



"We haven't been together for even a week," I said.  "I don't think you
can call me on that yet."

"Watch me."

I gave a weak laugh and shook my head.

"I'm just..."  I sighed.  "I'm getting Dean Williams tonight.  The guy
from Ferguson."

"You're what?"

"I know where he's going to be at nine, and I'm going for him.  I'm
watching the place right now, waiting," I said, looking up, across and
down the street to the front doors of Carriage Hill.  "I just...  I
wanted to talk to you before..."  I sighed again.  "Cassandra, tell me
not to kill this guy.  Tell me how horribly disappointed you would be
in me if I put my fist through his chest, shoved his head through a
wall, something. Just, please, tell me that I'm not allowed to kill
this guy."


"Because I don't want to kill him, Cass.  I don't want to do that, I
don't want to go down that path, but I don't think I can help it.  When
I get to him, when I get him in my hands, when I get him right where I
want him..."

"Then, how is my saying anything going to help?"

"Because maybe, in the heat of the moment, I'll think of what you say,
I'll hear you in my head, and remember that this isn't right and that I
shouldn't do this."

"Jeffery," she said. "You're not that person.  You cannot kill him and
not just because I'd be disappointed in you and not just because people
will think it's wrong but because you're better than that, Jeffery.
You're better than him, you're better than Millennium Man, you're
better than the Mayor, you're better than all of them.  Killing him is
what they'd do, not you.

"You won't kill him, Jeffery.  You can't."

"I'm just not so sure of that, Cass."

"Jeffery, deep down inside, you know you can't and won't kill him.  You
won't give into your anger.  You know that.  Trust yourself here."

"Yeah," I said softly, just realizing that I was crying.

Damn it.

"You should go," she said, and I looked to my watch.

Ten minutes to nine.

"Yeah," I said, looking to Carriage Hill.  "Thank you, Cass."

"Call me when you're done?"

"If it's a decent hour."

"Call me when you're done," she stated this time.


"Good luck," she said.


And, I hung up and waited.

Five 'til, and he was early.

"Isiah," I said into my walkie talkie.

"Guy in the green shirt and jeans, going up the steps?" he replied.

"That's the one."

"Got him."

I waited five minutes, then crossed the street, going into the alley
next to Carriage Hill and waiting.

I figured I had a bit of a wait ahead of me, him having just gone in.
At least thirty minutes.  But, I stayed on my feet, ready, waiting.


I reached into my pocket and pulled out my mask, putting it on and
keeping up my waiting, my heart racing, my breath faster than I wanted
it to be, so I focused on that, tried to slow it down, deep breaths.

I looked at my watch.  Fifteen minutes.

That's when the air exploded above me.

I looked up in time to see smoke, bricks and debris falling my way.  I
covered my head and ran for the end of the alley, getting onto the
sidewalk and avoiding most of the raining building wall that crashed
where I was.

"Jeffery!" I heard shouted from the walkie talkie.  "What the hell?"

"I think the sonofabitch just blew up his mother!" I shouted back in,
turning to look in Isiah's direction.  "Keep your eyes op..."

Then, my back exploded.

I flew into the street and was stopped when a passing car hit me in
mid-air, sending me skidding and tumbling across the pavement.

I was quick to my feet, ignoring the pain in my body, reminding it I
was invulnerable and strong, that this was nothing.

"Oh, come on, Carter!" shouted Dean Williams, as he walked out of the
cloud of dust and debris, a big grin on his face.  "Why the mask?  Why
hide it?  It's all but obvious to anyone who's paying attention."

"I like to live in oblivious innocence," I said.  "Blissfully unaware,
as it were."

"Suit yourself," he said.  "I'll be sure to leave your carcass with the
mask on--or, rather, what's left of it.  As it were."

He held both of his hands palm out in my direction, and I prayed like
hell Isiah was okay and doing his thing because I wanted nothing more
than for Dean Williams to be out cold right then and there.

I braced myself for the blast from his hands.

But, it never came.

"You magnificent bastard," I whispered in praise of Isiah, smiling wide
under my mask.

Williams's eyes widened and then his face crumpled, as he seemed to try
and strain a blast out of himself, his palms still pointed at me, his
fingers curling.

And then, he started to panic.

"What have you done to me?!" he shouted, starting to step back, as I
moved forward.

"Nothing yet," I said, and I ran at him.

He'd just turned around when I was on him, tackling him face first onto
the sidewalk.

"One hundred and twenty people, Dean!" I shouted, as I slammed his face
into the concrete.

I got to my feet and picked him up by the back of his collar, wrapping
my hand around his throat and lifting him off the ground.

"And, now your mother and however many others in there on top of it?"

"So, what are you going to do about it?" he croaked, smiling as best he
could, his left eye nearly swollen shut, his nose shattered, blood
flowing out.

I threw him to the side and into the sidewalk hard.  He landed on his
side and bounced, rolled, and came to rest of his back.

And, he was laughing.

"Come on and kill me then," he shouted, starting to get to his feet,
his right arm he landed on falling limp, his left arm having to do all
the work.  "You know you wanna."

He was on his feet, staggering, smiling, bleeding, waiting.

"I'll just do it again," he said, spat out a glob of blood and teeth on
my shirt.  "And again.  Ferguson was just the beginning."

I came around with a right hook into his jaw.  I grabbed his shirt to
keep him upright, punched him again, and he laughed.

"Come on, hero," he slurred, glaring at me with his one good eye, as
bloodshot as it was.  "You know you have to do it."

I punched him again and let go of his shirt, sending him on his back
again, the back of his head hitting the sidewalk hard, and he stopped

"When we first met, Dean, I let you off easy with just a kick in the
nuts," I said, as I approached him, writhing on the ground.

I stomped heel first into his scrotum and twisted.  His mouth gasped in
a silent scream, his body clenching around my leg, gripping at it,
trying to pull me off.

"Consider that finishing the job," I growled through clenched teeth.

And, I kicked myself free of his grip, leaving him balled up on the

I turned and looked across the street, Isiah standing there, watching
me, and I gave him a thumbs up.  He nodded back, turned, and started
walking down the street, away from the scene, away from all of this,
and I hoped away from ever having to deal with this ever again.

I was probably hoping for too much there.

Fast approaching sirens got my attention, a chorus of assorted response
vehicles, the first showing up: one of Pacific City's finest.  The two
cops leapt from the vehicle as soon as it stopped, looking at the
building, the people pouring out, then to me, standing over the still
writhing Dean Williams.

"What happened?" asked the lead cop, his gun out and ready.

"Arrest this man," I said, pointing to Dean Williams.  "He did this and
Ferguson.  Call for more rescue crews."

I started running to the entrance to Carriage Hill, started running to
try and get in there and save people.

Isiah was right.  We should have gotten him before he went in.

No time for that now, though.

I had a job to do.


I walked into Isiah's apartment at one in the morning and paused, as I
noticed him sitting on the couch, staring at the television, a beer in
his hands.

"Hey," he said without looking to me.

"You were right, Isiah," I said, as I closed the door, shaking my head.
 "We should have gotten him before he went in."

"You didn't know, Jeffery," he said, taking a swig off his drink, still
staring at the television.

It wasn't even on.

"I should have known," I said, looking down at my feet, taking a couple
deep breaths, then shaking my head again.  I started walking toward the
kitchen.  "Fuck, three more people dead because of me."

"Five, actually," corrected Isiah, and I stopped in the entrance to the
kitchen.  "They pulled out two more about five minutes ago.  That's
when I turned it off."

I noticed the empty bottles on the coffee table in front of him.

"Are you okay, Isiah?"

"I could have stopped him ahead of time myself, Jeffery," he said.  "I
could have told you to go to hell and knocked his ass out on the steps
of Carriage Hill.  Hell, I was in his head as soon as he went in, I
stayed with him, and I felt it, the explosion; I knew something was
happening, but I didn't know what until it was too late."

"You didn't know, Isiah," I said.

"And, neither did you," he tossed back, turning his head to look at me
over his shoulder.  "So, if you're taking the blame on this, so am I.
But, if you're willing to acknowledge that you didn't know, that there
was nothing you could do about it, that you just truly believed that
his intentions were good, and that there is nothing wrong with that,
maybe I can think the same of myself."

I looked away from him and thought for a moment.


"Maybe you're right," I said, still not looking at him, turning to go
into the kitchen.  "Do you want another one?"

"I've had plenty," he said, and I heard him groan, as he got to his
feet.  "I've got to be up for work in the morning."

I stepped back into the entranceway for the kitchen and leaned against
the frame, as he walked around the couch.

"I'm sorry, Isiah," I said.  He stopped and looked at me, waiting for
me to continue.  I looked away from him, to my bottle, found it easier
to talk to it.  "I'm sorry I got you involved in this.  I shouldn't
have dragged you in."

"I could have told you no, Jeffery."

"I knew you wouldn't," I said, looking him back in the eye.  "I should
have just left you out of it."

Isiah nodded and looked away, down the hall, probably through the other
end of it and into the distance.

"I'm sorry, too," he said.

"You've got nothing to be sorry for."

"When I took out his powers but left him awake," he said, looking to me
with a weak grin. "I hoped like hell you'd kill him."

I didn't have anything to say to that.

He looked away from me, down the hall again, and we both stood there in
silence for a few moments before he sighed heavily and started down the

"Good night, Jeffery."

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