Sunday, January 04, 2009

Secret Identity #1.2

Andy began watching Cal Nolan at five in the morning. Andy was armed with a digital camera and a photo of Alexandria Crispin. At seven o'clock he called into work and followed Cal from his mansion in Eudora to his massive penthouse in Downtown Centropolis and then to Spyre Tower where Cal actually approached Andy.

"I know what you are doing, Mr. Warren. I know what everyone is doing in this city," Nolan growled.

"Isn't that illegal?" Andy smiled.

"Whatever you are looking for, you won't find it. And if by chance you do, we will cover it up and no one will ever believe you or Mr. Renauld," Nolan said, his face just an inch or so from Andy's.

"Is that a threat, Mr. Mayor?" Andy asked loudly, causing people on the sidewalk to turn their heads. "A public official like yourself shouldn't make threats out in the open. It looks bad and ruins reelections."

"You know nothing of the politics in this city, Mr. Warren. Now if you'll excuse me, I have a city to control."

Cal walked off and left Andy standing on the sidewalk. Andy looked around and saw that everyone was moving around him. He sighed deeply, "Wish I would've had a tape recorder or something during all that."

Kyle left the coffee shop and headed back to his apartment. He was sipping the coffee and reading the headlines of the Centropolis Telegraph and not paying attention to anything going on around him when he notices the sound of an explosion and screaming. Kyle glanced around him and then looked up and saw a plane, on fire, carreening out of the sky. Pieces of the jet falling to the Earth. Kyle didn't know what to do so just stood there.

He dropped the coffee and fell to his knees to shield himself from the falling debris, certain his demise was near. A shadow covered him, then a blue light. He opened his eyes and saw a woman, radiating electricity, slowly lowering the plane debris to the ground. Kyle started breathing again and stood up.

"You saved us."

"Yeah. No biggie," the electric-woman said. "If you don't mind, I have a plane to catch."

"Okay, but come back when you're done!" Kyle shouted after her as she bolted into the sky toward the crippled airplane.

Mike Nolan sat in the apartment he lived in and that his father paid for. He had just come from his third interview with a newspaper and it hadn't went well. While all three newspaper loved his writing and journalism technique, all of admitted they weren't seriously thinking of hiring him. There came a knock on the door and Mike got up to answer it and saw Kyle standing in the hallway with a bright blue electric woman.

"Hi there. Want an exclusive interview with the new hero of Centropolis?" Kyle smiled as he went into Mike's apartment. The woman followed.

"Well, that'd be great but what newspaper would I submit it to? Neither of them would touch my stuff," Mike sighed.

"What? You're the greatest writer I've ever read. Why wouldn't they hire you?" Kyle asked.

"I don't know. They said that wasn't even being seriously considered, the interview was just a formality."

"You can still do an interview and maybe that will get your foot more inside the door," Kyle suggested.

"An interview is going to be kind of difficult," the woman said. "I know nearly nothing about myself. I only know what my powers are. I don't even know my name."

"I've named her Kismet," Kyle smiled.

"So, Kismet, you know nothing? Is it amnesia--memory loss, or do you think it's something like a mind wipe or something?" Mike asked, grabbing a tape recorder and hitting 'record'.

"I don't know. I almost want to say memory loss because there are aspects of my life I seem to remember but I can't place myself there," Kismet said. "There's just a void."

"Well...maybe I can at least get some pictures. A preliminary article and then I can use filler like theories or something to flesh it out. Why did none of those papers consider me?" Mike asked.

"I have to go," Kismet said, seeming distant. She walked toward the window but Kyle stopped her.

"Where are you going?" Kyle asked.

"There's trouble down in the Ottawa District. I have to go," Kismet shot out of the window and flew across the sky leaving a blue streak of electricity behind her.

She arrived in front of a warehouse in the Ottawa District that was already surrounded by police cars and ATF units. She crackled down to the ground, startling the officers and stepped up to the person she thought was in charge.

"What's going on?" Kismet asked.

"We finally have the members of the Lucado Gang inside the warehouse. We have the place surrounded but they have enough guns, bombs and supplies in there to arm the German military," the policeman said. "This could be one massive standoff."

"I can help," Kismet said. "What's the best way to get these guys?"

"To just wait. We've done this before. We don't need some superpowered freak helping us do our job," the officer said. "We've done fine without you for years and we'll do fine afterwards."

"Please," Kismet said, softly, "let me help."

The officer stared at Kismet and then sighed. "If you have any ideas, let me know. We're open to suggestions."

Kismet flew up into the air and toward the warehouse. She saw a big, burly man in dreadlocks standing at a window armed to the teeth with munitions. He had a cigar in his mouth and was wearing dark sunglasses so it was impossible to see his eyes. She flew around the warehouse a couple of times to find a way in but only find a small exhaust pip in the roof, all other access were boarded or bricked up.

She floated above the small pipe, unsure of where it went, compressed herself into just a beam of light and entered the pipe, coming out into a massive furnace. When she returned to her normal form, the furnace exploded, rocking the warehouse. A few gang members rushed to the explosion and saw Kismet standing unharmed in the blackened room.

"How the hell did she get in here?" one member shouted.

"Doesn't matter," said another, "waste her!"

They opened fire on Kismet who just stood there. As the bullets flew closer to her, they slowed--caught in her electromagnetic field--and she threw them back at the gang with a movement of her hand.

Kismet started walking toward the gang who backed away from her. She walked to the room where the dreadlocked man stood still in the window looking at both the police outside and the doorway where Kismet came in.

"Who the hell are you?" he growled.

"I don't really know," she replied sweetly. "Friends call me Kismet."

"Well, I'm gonna call you 'dead!'" he brought two massive guns and began firing. Kismet enclosed herself with a protective bubble that the bullets just bounced off of. She stepped closer to the man who dropped his guns and clenched his fists. "I'm kind of leery about fighting a woman but I can see now that you are no ordinary woman!" the dreadlocked man struck Kismet with his fist, which was charged by a gauntlet on his hand. Kismet flew across the room and into a wall but quickly rose to her feet.

"And here I thought this would be easy," she smiled. She flew, literally like a flash, head-first into the man who just hit her and while he staggered, he did not fall. "So who do I have the honor of fighting? You know my name but I don't know yours."

"People call me 'War'," the man said, punching Kismet in the stomach.

"That's a nice name. Suits you well," she cooed as she made her electricity crackle onto War, causing him to scream and leave small burn marks on his body. "Where'd you get these things?" she asked as she grabbed his hands and increased the electricity in hers, causing War's hands to start burning and blistering.

"Aagh!" War screamed and he turned up the power on his gauntlets. "They were a gift from someone who likes helping small, local businesses."

"I don't really believe that," she increased her power and the gauntlets began to malfunction and crack. "Give up?"

"Never!" War stammered. The gauntlets stopped working and Kismet's powers enveloped War causing him to start panicking. He began screaming then fell to his knees.

Below, the police officers were wondering what was going on in the warehouse when War suddenly dropped to the ground. Kismet was still in the sky, smiling. "They are all yours," she giggled and flew away.

Jess arrived at the huge steam tunnel where Alexis was already waiting, holding a camera and a small backpack hooked on her shoulder. "Thank you for coming," Alexis said. "I'm not sure if I would've had the guts to go in by myself."

"I don't even know why I'm doing this," Jess said. "I'm not a reporter or anything like that. I'm a teacher."

"Well, I really appreciate it. I owe you one," Alexis said.

The girls were able to squeeze through the grate leading into the tunnel. It was immensely warm in the tunnel as they were used throughout the city to warm the buildings. They walked around in complete silence for what seemed like an hour. They took several dead end turns and kept having to retrace where they had come from. They came to a huge opening where five tunnels separated.

"Which way should we go?" Jess asked as she looked at all the tunnels.

"I don't know. I don't want to choose the wrong tunnel and get lost or have to keep backtracking or something," Alexis said. "There's something down this way."

Alexis went down one of the tunnels and saw a small tunnel off to the side that was stained with blood with bodies torn apart and strewn around the ground. "I think we found the Ripper's killing ground," Jess whispered.

"It smells awful in here," Alexis said as she began taking pictures of the lair and the bodies.

"There's two dozen dead bodies in here, of course it's going to smell."

"These pictures are going to make me famous," Alexis said. Suddenly a shadow engulfed them and a low guttural growling rumbled behind the girls. They slowly turned and saw the huge figure of the Ripper standing the tunnel entrance.

Andy snapped one last picture of Cal Nolan and Alexandria Crispin having sex and flew back to Barney's place. Cal got off of Alexandria and looked out of the window, eying every corner of the block he could see. Alexandra began putting her clothes back on.

"Is something wrong, Cal?" she asked.

"No," Cal said. "Everything is fine. Now."

Cal walked over to Alexandria and began stroking her cheek with his fingers. She giggled. "What are you doing?"

"This," he began and then wrapped his hands around her neck and began squeezing. She gasped for air and tried to speak but could only cough. Her face turned red then a faint blue. Cal then moved his hands in a quick motion and snapped her neck. She collapsed to the floor and Cal picked up his cell phone and dialed. The phone rang a couple of times and someone answered, "Yes, this is Nolan. It's time to clean the room and don't forget the pictures."

Nolan hung up the phone, looked down at Alexandria's dead body and smiled then turned to look out of the window.

Next Week
Andy and Barney learn about what happened to Alexandria. Kismet begins battling the Ripper but what happened to the girls? Cal unleashes an experiment on the city and Jess is kidnapped.