[AC] Bush43 Daily Week Eight

Jason Kenney jasonkenney at gmail.com
Mon Jul 24 06:12:55 PDT 2006

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

Let the final week of Bush43 Daily begin!

BUSH43 #55
By Jason Kenney


"What?" I asked, as I opened my eyes.

We were in the living room of a darkened apartment.  Weisz pulled his
hand off my shoulder and held a finger to his lips, turning to
Eldritch, so she got the point as well.

"Let's go," he said, nodding toward the door.

We followed him out, and he gently pulled the door shut behind him.

"Where are we?" asked Eldritch.

"Apartment building on Grace and 38th," said Weisz, as he confidently
strolled down the hall toward the stairs at the end, Eldritch and I
following.  "Stayed with a girl here a few months back."

I couldn't help but snicker, as I fished into my pocket and pulled out
my mask.  I noticed Eldritch shoot me a look out of the corner of my
eye but ignored it, as I put my mask on.

"You said we're about half a mile down?" I asked, as I stepped past
Weisz and into the stairwell, starting up the steps.

"I'll point it out once we're up top.  Just so you kids know: you've
got about an hour 'til sunrise."

"I shouldn't need an hour."

"Wait, aren't we all going?" asked Eldritch.

I threw open the door to the roof and stepped out, Weisz and Eldritch
close behind.

"Which way, Weisz?" I asked, as I turned to him.

"Straight down 38th, that way," he said, pointing.

"All right," I said with a nod.  "I'll be back within the hour."

"Wait," said Eldritch.  "I'm coming with you."

"Stay with Weisz," I said.  "He'll need you to cover him if folks
notice you."

"I'm here to help you, Jeffery."

"Take her with you, Jeffy," said Weisz, as he found a spot to sit down
near the edge, leaning against the wall along the roof's ledge.  "I'll
be fine."

I opened my mouth to protest and stopped.

"Fine," I said with another nod.  "Let's go."


"What's the plan?" Eldritch shouted to me, as we ran across the

We both leapt over a street in unison, hitting the opposite building
and keeping up our sprint.

"I'll need you to run interference," I yelled back.  "Distract them
from the outside, while I get in and find this shit."

"How are you going to carry it?"


"The bottles," she yelled.  "You're going to need to grab a bunch; how
are you going to transport them?"


Lots of tiny bottles.  How the hell was I going to move them?
Especially while running across rooftops?

"I hope they've got something," I yelled back, and we kept going.

The Lawrence and Sun Pharmaceutical building stood out ahead of us,
taller than the surrounding buildings yet looking more like an office
building than any sort of production facility.

We both stopped about a block and a half back and stared at the
building, as I tried to work out a plan of action.

"I need you to do your thing, Eldritch.  I'll go around back and give
you about a minute."

"Where do we meet afterwards?"

"Take fifteen minutes to mess with these guys and then make a break for
it.  Do whatever you have to to lose them and meet me back at Weisz in
thirty minutes, forty tops."

"Is fifteen minutes enough time for you?"

"It's enough time to keep some of them away from me.  If I'm not back
with you and Weisz in forty-five minutes, you guys leave without me."

"Out of the question."

"Eldritch, if I'm not back in forty-five minutes, just go."

"If you're not back in forty minutes, we're coming back for you."

She glared at me in a way that told me I was not going to win that

"An hour," I said.  "If I'm not back there an hour from now, you can
come looking, but give me an hour to make it back."

"Forty-five minutes, Jeffery," she said. "From now."

And, she ran and leapt across to another building, heading straight for
Lawrence and Sun.

"Forty-five minutes," I said aloud and started to take a roundabout
approach to the back of the building.

I didn't bother waiting the full fifteen minutes before running and
jumping hard to reach the top of the Lawrence and Sun building.

I wasn't about to put Eldritch's ass on the line by making her the
center of attention.

I kicked in the door to the stairwell and started down, going through
the first door I reached and running down the hall toward the

Fifteenth floor.  I needed to be on the fifth.

I reached the elevators and was quick with a punch to the center of the
doors, widening the gap just enough to fit my fingers in and pull them

Going down.

I leapt into the elevator shaft and plummeted down, tearing through the
top of the elevator and hitting the floor that just barely held.  The
light over the doors said I was on the fourth floor, so I jumped back
up through the hole I'd made and found the ladder on the side of the
shaft, climbing up a floor and prying the doors open on the fifth.

I looked both ways and noticed I was clear before stepping out and
approaching the door just across the way.  A keypad was right next to
the door, and I pulled out the piece of paper from Richmond.

Five digits.

And, they worked.

The door clicked, and I quickly let myself inside.

I stepped into a small room of a few computers with a glass wall to a
larger one filled with rows of shelves beyond.

Shit, how was I going to find this stuff?

I tried one of the computers and found it on, the screen asking for
just what I prayed it would.

Serial number.

This was too easy.

I punched in the first number on the list and hit enter.  Dean
Williams's picture popped up with his name and address next to it, a
brief profile underneath.

And at the bottom was a letter and number.


I looked up to the room of shelves beyond, each row marked at the top
with a big letter.


"D3," I said aloud, as I quickly looked for a pen and found one,
jotting the shelf location down next to Dean's number and moving onto
the next one.

Dean Williams, Roger Thompson, Simon Cooper, Frank Sign, all of them
popped up just the same with their locations.

Last but not least.

I took a deep breath, as I typed in my number, hit enter, and looked at
my watch.

I was pushing ten minutes.

Too long.

No picture popped up, the only name appearing being "Bush43" and the
rest of the data blank.  The brief profile simply said "CLASSIFIED".

"Shit," I said aloud, as I wrote the shelf location down.

Someone somewhere knew something that they weren't willing to tell.

"Shit," I said again, as I went for the door to the room beyond.

I moved quick, starting at one end and moving along.

Simon was on B, and I found three boxes above a tag with his name and
serial code.  I took one off the shelf and opened it up to find it
packed with fifteen bottles.


I grabbed all three boxes and moved along.  I found Dean's next with
three boxes as well, and then it dawned on me that I was going to have
to transport these things.

I went back to the computer room and checked my watch.

Past fifteen minutes in.  Tack on the ten to get around back, and I was
taking way too freakin' long.

I needed a box.  Something.

Nothing was in the room.

But, there was a round trashcan a couple feet tall.

I stuck Simon's boxes in the thing and picked it up, going back into
the room and grabbing Dean's boxes and moving along.  Frank's were
next, and he only had two boxes, but they'd have to do.  Roger had a
few, and they went right into the trashcan.

I saved the best for last.

I found the shelves that supposedly held the cocktail for me and looked
for my name.  Or, rather, my alter ego.

There it was: the tag on the shelf; name and serial code.

And one box above it.

Only one?

I grabbed it and hesitated, about to throw it into the trashcan and
then thinking twice.

Why would I want this crap?

I threw the box on the ground, the bottles breaking in the box, a
couple hopping out as the box fell apart on impact.  I stomped on the
mess for good measure and was about to crush the last bottle when I
hesitated again.

Why would I want any of this?


I bent over and grabbed the last bottle, tossing it in the trashcan and
setting the bin down, tying the bag shut before picking it up again and
heading out.

I stepped into the hallway without looking, stupid me.

"FREEZE!" I heard shouted, and I looked up quick to see a couple of
security guys standing with guns ready.

I leapt into the still open elevator shaft, ignoring the crack of
bullets flying past where I had been.

I hit the elevator roof and jumped into the box itself, hitting the
button for the lobby and hoping I hadn't damaged the whole thing too
much.  The muzak on the overhead was reassuring in that respect, the
elevator actually moving solidifying my confidence in the contraption.

I looked to my watch and cursed again.

Thirty minutes since I'd left Eldritch.

The elevator doors opened to the lobby full of cops and the baton
brigade, guns out, all ready and waiting for me.

"Evening, ladies and gents," I said, as I tightened my grip on the
trashcan under my arm and stepped off the elevator.

"That'll be far enough, Bush," shouted one of the lead officers, a
smile spreading across his face.

"Gosh, I guess you guys got me," I said with a smile of my own, not
that any of them could see it.

"Set the, uh, trashcan down," said the man. "And put your hands in the

"How about I hold onto the, uh, trashcan, and you guys just let me

The man moved one hand from the butt of his gun and to his ear,
listening to something, and his smile grew just a bit wider, more

"Is someone telling you a naughty joke?" I asked.  "You really should
share with the rest of us."

"Back out," he said, gesturing to the other officers around him, and
they all started to edge back, a few leaving through the doors to the
building, but everyone still kept their guns on me.

"You're free to go, Bush," said the man, lowering his gun, still

I noticed some commotion on the street, officers moving back from the
building, vehicles pulling back, the street just out the doors
practically clearing out.

"Are you guys making room for the red carpet?" I asked and got no

A clear path was laid out for me leading straight out the front door
and to the street beyond.

This was a trap.

But for what?  I'm invulnerable and strong as hell.

"You," I said, pointing at the man who had done all the talking.  "You
go first.  And you, Twitchy," I said, pointing to a very nervous
officer that stood next to the talker. "Put your gun down and come

The talker held his hand up to halt any potential movement from

"You are free to go, Bush," he said, his smile gone, his glare very
frightening were I twelve.

"Yeah, I trust you guys to no end.  Gimmie Twitchy and lead the way."

"I thought you were a hero?"

"You must be thinking of the Bush outta Pacific City."

"You're not the same one?"

"You wanna try me?"

Mister Talkative held his gun up and fired, his shot getting me square
in the chest.

"Shit!" I said, my free hand tugging the front of my shirt and
untucking it, the flattened slug clattering to the ground.

"Two Bushes in two cities who are both invulnerable?"

"What can I say? I liked the other guy's style."

"Go," he said, nodding at the door.

"Lead the way," I said, nodding at the same door.

He shrugged and turned, heading for the door.  I followed, giving him a
couple yards lead, as I looked around, watched the other folks who just
stood with their guns out and waited.

The talker stepped out of the building and onto the sidewalk, waiving
to the other officers to stand down, but they stayed where they were,
waiting for me, waiting for something, all back and away from the
street right in front of the building but still very close.

I stepped out and onto the sidewalk, as talker made it to the street.

"Hold up," I yelled to him and he stopped.  "Stay right there."

Something wasn't right.

I started to cross the sidewalk but froze when I heard it, a stomp in
the street, and the pavement cracked just beyond the talker.

But, nothing was there.

Nothing I could see.

"Oh, shit."

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