Guardian Angels Chapter One

Author: W. K. Hayes

Guardian Angels: Chapter One

 

             “John, I know you want to believe that the human race would embrace us with our…um…unique abilities but you know as well as I do, they would freak out and try to destroy us”, Kiera argued.

            John stood there beside his raven-haired partner and thought about what she was saying. He knew it was true and yet he felt so restrained from truly saving the human race if they weren’t bound to by having to work from the shadows.

            “I know Kiera but I still think that it is annoying having to play hide-and-go protect, all the time”, John replied out frustration. He knew she was right…he just hated the idea of it. John brought their flying vehicle down onto the landing strip with a single shake of the contraption as he brooded over having failed to come up with anything more intelligent to say in reply to her comment.

            “John, you are a hero…maybe you can’t fly around wearing a red cape with a family symbol on your chest but you’ll always be the hero”, Kiera told him with a certain gentleness.

            John didn’t reply as he drove the vehicle into the assigned parking area which closely resembles an underground parking lot. As they started to get out, both of their bracelets started flashing a fluorescent green; it was the indication that Watcher needed to see them right away.

            A few moments later, John and Kiera found themselves standing before Watcher out on the training grounds surrounded by high castle walls covered in overgrowth.

            “Night Raven, Invincer…I’m glad you both were nearby when I summoned you”, he told them both, referring to them by their code names.

            John, AKA Invincer, looked at his mentor and a quick flash of how hard it was to get used to talking to a humanoid black blob ran through his mind. “What’s wrong…another cat got stuck in a tree”?

            “Invincer, I know how much you love waving your, hero-complex around…but, can it. We have a real problem”, Watcher replied.

            “What’s wrong”, Night Raven asked as she tried to keep John from going on one of his, ‘we’re better than this’, kicks.

            “This morning, several portals began opening up all over the earth”, Watcher replied.

            “They could just be random occurrences”, John suggested.

            “We thought so too”, Watcher replied. “However, the council has determined that there is a pattern to how, when and where they are appearing and unlike us, these visitors don’t care who sees them obviously when one appeared right in the middle of a baseball game”.

            “Sounds like they’re searching for something”, Night Raven added thoughtfully.

            “We believe so too, Night Raven. The witnesses at the game said that three people appeared from the portal. Processor, one of our boy geniuses has been able to calculate that there must be at least a hundred of these people searching for this unknown something”.

            “So where do we start”, John asked eagerly.

            “That’s just it, John”, Watcher replied. Normally when he actually called Invincer by his name…it wasn’t followed by anything good. “You two are our best operatives. The council feels that until we know what’s going on we cannot take the chance on losing both of you so the two of you are being reassigned to new teams”.

            “I’d rather go alone then to have to drag around a new partner”, John argued.

            “This is out of our hands, Invincer and you’re not getting a new partner…you’re getting a team”, Watcher replied.

            Even Kiera didn’t like the sounds of that. “Define team”, she demanded.

            Before Watcher could reply, a group of six young adults walked up to them with easily recognized, ‘eager-beaver’, looks. As always, they wore the flat-black leather outfits of the academy where all Supers are trained.

            “Plasma, Fulcon and Rewind will be joining up with Invincer. Paragon, Ranger and Tally will be with Night Raven”, Watcher said as he laid out their assignments. “Tally has been able to determine where the next portals will be opening…Tally, I’ll let you explain from there but go easy”.

            “Sure thing, sir”, the bright-eyed, red headed boy replied. “Obviously, this alien race is searching for something by the pattern of riffs. Unfortunately, the council doesn’t have a clue but I do have a theory. I believe they’re looking for something that was brought to the earth long before the existence of mankind and that’s why we’re not really finding anything in earth’s history. Lucky for us, the earth has the floating tectonic plates meaning that if what they’re seeking still exists it could only exist at the source of Panacea”.

            “Kids giving me a headache”, John replied.

            Tally just smiled and continued, “According to the appearances of the portal, they’ve mostly appeared in remote areas of ancient civilization but until we know what it is that they’re looking for, we won’t know where to look ourselves”.

            Watcher interrupted him. “We don’t have a lot of time, Tally, so I’ll get to the point, “I’m sending you guys to the next two locations that the portals are most likely to appear. I need you to infiltrate their portals and discover where they’re coming from and why they’re here”.

            “And, don’t forget the part about discovering a way to get back home”, Tally interjected.

            “Do, what”, Kiera questioned. “Why can’t we just use our on portals to get back”?

            “Without knowing where the portals will take us, we can’t calculate how to return using them”, Tally replied.

            “Whoa…a calculation you can’t hit”, Plasma replied as he pushed his dark hair back out of his eyes.

            “One-millionth of a number off and we could land at the center of the sun…granted, that probably wouldn’t hurt you any since you’re made of the stuff but the rest of us wouldn’t survive”, Tally replied.

            “I guess that would be bad”, Plasma replied thoughtfully and added, “Well, for you guys, anyway”.

            “So, where are we off to on this baby-sitting job”, Invincer asked.

            “We can handle ourselves”, the blond-haired Rewind retorted.

            “I wasn’t talking about you guys”, John replied. “Although, I have my concerns there as well”, he quickly added.  

            Watcher cleared his throat to shut them up and answered, “Invincer, take your team and head to the jungle in Brazil. Tally can give you the exact coordinates. Night Raven, your team is headed to Israel…there’s a lot of archaeological work taking place there lately and there’s also been a few sightings there as well at some of those digs…move out”.

            John and Kiera walked away only to realize their teammates were still standing still. Finally, John stopped long enough to look back at them and say, “I’m not dragging you with me…come on”! Then, he whispered down to Night Raven, “Now I know where the phrase, ‘Hell on earth’, came from”.

            “Let’s just make the best of it and try to keep these kids alive”, she replied with look of worry on her face.

            “Just stay focused, Kiera…don’t let them slow you down”, he told her with a smile.

            “At least this is the kind of excitement you were hoping for”, she replied sarcastically.

            “Yea…except I wasn’t expecting my red cape to come with a diaper bag attached”, he replied with a grimaced look on his face.

            “This could turn out to be nothing, ya know”, she suggested.

            “Maybe, but if it is something big…well, be careful okay”.

            “You too”, she replied. Maybe she just felt the conversation was getting to dark, but she chipper up and told him, “Bet I’ll solve this mystery first”!

            “Oh, you think so, huh”, he replied with a grin.

            “Yep…wanna make a bet”, she asked him.

            “Yea, I bet you better make it back in one piece”, he grinned. “I don’t want to be stuck with these kids forever”.

            “Amen to that”, Kiera added.

            “We’re not deaf”, Plasma barked at them.

            John stopped flat in his tracks and turned to look at the six of them as the piled into each other before they could catch themselves. “You guys can’t even walk in formation without tripping all over each other. Having some kind of super-ability doesn’t make you a super-hero. Only experience can do that and you guys have none. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not trying to sell you short on who you are but I am determined to make sure we all make it back alive so follow our orders and trust us, always…can you do that”?

            “Only when you start trusting us to be there for you as well”, Rewind replied.

            “Oh…did she ever get you”, Night raven replied with a chuckle as all of them boarded the lift leading to underground parking…sort of.

            “This isn’t a test of mental wills”, John replied seriously.

            “Guys, my partner isn’t trying to…”, Kiera started to say when John stopped her.

            “I’ll do my own explaining, Night Raven”, he interjected and continued. “How many of you have caught a train that’s derailed and understand that catching the train isn’t just grabbing the thing to stop it but knowing that you have to catch it, slow it down and then bring it to a stop”, he asked them.

            “Why not just stop it”, Rewind asked.

            “Because, the train would crush under such a sudden stop…killing everyone on board”, Tally replied and added, “I get what you’re saying…granted, I’m probably the only one…but, Invincer…we really will do our best to help you guys figure this out”.

            John leaned over towards Kiera and told her, “Just remember…he’s on your team”.

            “I’m actually good with that…I’ll need him when it comes time to figure out our way back home”, she replied with a smile.

            Tally simply blushed as John asked the others, “I know Plasma is fire-based, Tally’s a super genius and Rewind can control time to some extent but what do the rest of you do”?

            “Actually, I’m more than just a human calculator…I’m called Tally because of my quick mental reflexes but my physical reflexes are just as equal giving me unparallel speed”, Tally replied.

            John smiled, half-way tempted to challenge him to a race but he resisted the urge…for now. “What about you Rewind…is there more to you than we know”?

            Rewind sort of blushed after being thrown into the limelight. Then, she replied, “Yea…I can turn back time up to thirty minutes…but, for every minute I turn back time…there are consequences”.

            “How so”, Night Raven asked with a look of puzzlement and concern on her face.

            “Years ago, I stumbled across a man dying in an accident. I used my ability to allow myself to get there for him sooner, thereby saving his life before the power lines fell on his car. What I didn’t know was that he was a wanted murderer and because I saved his life that night, he went on to kill five more people before I could track him down and stop him. Now, I limit myself to turning back the clock to a minute”, she explained.

            “Can you move forward in time”, John asked her.

            “I learned a hard lesson about doing that as well...”, Rewind replied. “Truthfully, I can move through any point in space and time”.

            “Whoa”, Plasma gasped. “Sooo…if you can float through time, you could be rich as rich could get”.

            “Then I wouldn’t be one of the good guys”, she told him flatly. 

            “True, but there’s something else you’re no telling us”, Fulcon told her gently. Up until then, Fulcon had remained quiet as a mouse. John had barely noticed the guy hiding behind the dark hair with even darker eyes.

            “She can tell us what she wants to when she’s ready, Fulcon”, John replied when he saw her eyes plead to him to let it go. “What’s say you tell us more about you, instead”.

            “I’m…a shifter with telepathic abilities”, Fulcon replied coldly.

            “Oh”, Rewind softly exclaimed. “Then, I guess there really shouldn’t be any secrets among us, then”?

            “No…there shouldn’t”, Fulcon replied prompting her to tell the rest of them what he already knew.

            “What Fulcon was getting at is that I do use my abilities to make money. But, I don’t do it for myself. The council uses my ability to help fund Guardian Angel and the academy. They were afraid that if everyone knew this, the ones with the real hero complexes would walk away from us”, she explained.

            “So, I guess that makes you our benefactor”, Night Raven replied. “We should be grateful…without your funding of this, we wouldn’t be here”.

            John smiled at Rewind and told them, “She’s right guys…we keep this a secret, period. If it got out that one of us was using their ability against our own code of ethics it could destroy the Guardian Angels”.

            “No doubt”, Plasma agreed. “You’ve got my word…I won’t say anything”.

            “None of us will”, John instructed the others. “Paragon, tell us about you”.

            The sandy-blonde, blue-eyed country boy smiled and told them, “Unlike you guys, I didn’t come from another world. A freak accident gave me, my abilities. I was a cop working a beat one night when this tiny little speck of meteorite hit me dead in the chest like a bullet. At first, I thought I would die right there in the alley where I was chasing a purse-snatcher. But, instead of dying, I became something…more.

After taking a few days off, I was back on the street chasing down some speeding lunatics when their car struck a little girl, killing her. I reached the little girl as they sped off around some curve. When I touched the girl to check her vitals, she…healed. It was the weirdest thing I’d ever seen”.

“So, not only do you regenerate but you can heal others around you by touching them”, John asked.

“Not exactly…the reason I chose the name Paragon is because my hands are like the hands of fate. In other words, I can’t heal bad people…only good folks caught in the crossfire. What’s neat though, is that I also picked up a second ability off of the deal…I was able to track down those speed demons and put them behind bars. It was really weird…a week later I was back at the place where they had struck the girl when I went into a kind of trance and when I did, I saw exactly where they drove to, found them there and arrested them. After that, no criminal could hide from me when they normally would have gotten away”, he explained in depth.

“Maybe you should have called yourself, Tracker”, Plasma suggested.

“Nah…I am the Paragon of Justice because I won’t stop until I’ve brought every criminal to Justice on earth. When I’m not busy on assignment for the Angels, I work my own clock tracking down cold cases”, Paragon replied.

“How in the devil do you find time”, a brown-headed girl with green eyes asked.

“Easy, Ranger…one of the other kickbacks from my encounter with the meteorite dust is that I never need to sleep”, he replied with a prideful grin.

“What about you, Ranger? What’s your deal”, Night Raven asked her.

“I took on the name of Ranger, because I can go anywhere on earth and blend in”, she replied.

“Elaborate”, John prodded her.

“I have the ability to speak any language in existence with perfect local slang and I can even make myself invisible by blending in with my environment”, she replied.

“Then, why not call yourself, Chameleon”, Rewind asked out of curiosity.

“When my family moved to this world, my father joined the American Army. He wanted to use his abilities to help and he felt that was the best way to do. Eventually, he trained for the Rangers and I’m proud of him for all the lives he saved during his time in the service where he died saving others. So, I call myself Ranger, to honor him and his memory”.

“Guys…clock’s ticking…we need to get going”, Tally told them.

“Actually, I have a better idea”, John interjected. “Rewind, if you turn back time will we remember anything”?

“Only if you’re touching me when I do it”, she replied and asked, “Why”?

“Maybe we can get a better idea of what’s going on if we go about this the right way”, Invincor replied.

“I thought we were supposed to split up into two teams and scour the globe”, Night Raven told him sarcastically reminding him of their orders.

“Yea, but if we can go back to when the first team was sent in to investigate this matter, we might be able to find out what happened to them as well as why these others are here searching for whatever it is they’re searching for”.

“I’m afraid we can’t do that, Invincor”, Rewind told him. “To leap back in time would create a paradox for all of you…I don’t exist in any one given moment of time hence I can exist in all of them, but if I took you guys a few days back in time, it could very well undo whatever mission you were on at the time costing lives and changing Fate”.

“Fine…we’ll do it the hard way. Night Raven, be careful and stay in touch”, he told her with a twinge of frustration in his voice.

“You know as well as I do that the easiest way to get something done isn’t always the best way”, she replied.

“Yea, I get it but I still feel like we’re not weighing out all our options”, Invincor replied.

“It’s not options you seek”, Fulcon replied. “You’re sensing what I am and it’s not a good feeling. He’s right guys…Tally, I know we’re on a tight limit for this but we really need to stop and look for some alternative”.

“Why don’t both teams group together and head to one site. We’ll ambush whatever comes through portal and get some answers before we risk being lost forever in some other galaxy”, Plasma suggested.

“Now, that’s a plan”, John agreed. Night Raven nudged him without their teammates noticing and smiled. “Can’t have you worrying about me”, he whispered to her with a grin.

“Well, brains…what’s the plan, then”, she asked him.

“We start by getting there…let’s roll team”, John told them. “We’ve got a deadline to make”!

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