E.G.G Episode 36: Days of Acacia Past
AND THERE CAME A DAY, A DAY UNLIKE ANY OTHER. WHEN THREE FRIENDS ROSE FROM THEIR DOOM TO FIGHT ON, VOWING NEVER AGAIN TO GIVE IN TO THE FORCES OF EVIL. ON THAT DAY, E.G.G WAS REBORN.
"Well this just got a shock of lot more interestin'. The girl's talkin' about Spider-Man, from the Heroic Age. Maybe this'll help us with our own little pest problem. Also, this seems like it's only a few sunrises before the Dark Day. What'd this little girl have to do with anything? Hm, whatever. Better round up the rookie and report back to Sloan. Somethin' tells me he'd be real interested in this. Interested enough to pay double."
Previously, on E.G.G...
Alchemax Digital Translator Version 12.0
Now translating document into digital copy.
Celeste Aoki: Diary Entry 9
April 24, 2015
So, Harry’s friends came down to visit. I met them, Mary Jane is nice. Peter is kinda geeky though, but in his own unique way. Mr. Westbrook was going crazy all day long because for some reason Spider-Man showed up. He helped take down the Syndicate Grand Master, or, Gravity Master now, who was trying to get revenge on poor Auntie Acacia! He got beat, again. When it was all over Spider-Man gave Mr. Westbrook one of his web shooters. It’s weird though, I always thought that stuff just came out of his arms! I guess that’d make him too spidery. Anyways, this is the only other time I’ve heard Mr. Westbrook talk for over an hour about any superhero that wasn’t Lightstream/Eileen. He was really happy. Still though, why was Spider-Man in Arizona in the first place? Oh well, questions for another day.
Much love, and confusion
End of translation.
Click here to read E.G.G Episode 35: Spider-Man
Click here for Episode 35 Q&A
-Days of Acacia Past-
Eileen was walking down the halls down E.G.G Base when she heard Acacia laughing hysterically. She paused, and curiously peeked into Acacia’s room to see her watching her computer, slamming her desk and laughing so hard she was crying. She turned and noticed Eileen standing there.
“How come I’ve never seen this?!” She asked as Eileen made her way to Acacia’s computer. Acacia was on YouTube, watching a video entitled ‘Fearless Director gets owned by Second in Command’. She gasped.
“Someone posted this?” She asked, watching the fight she and Josh had in the Inner Shell only months ago.
“Oh, don’t worry,” Acacia said. “Everyone thinks it’s fake because Nick Fury shows up in the end. But seriously, what was all this about? And where the shell was I! There was a perfect that’s what she said joke just calling my name!”
“This was when you were abducted.” Eileen answered. “The Skrull Acacia got in my head. She started going on about how you were third in command and that Josh was picking favorites. So I challenged him for leadership of E.G.G. I was just doing it to get him to consider a joint leadership…” Acacia thought for a minute, then looked up at Eileen.
“Well now that you think of it…” She said. “Why am I third in command? Was Josh picking favorites? Oh, this is so not fair!”
“Well, why don’t we go ask him.” Eileen said. “Before another video of our secret organization ends up on YouTube.” Eileen and Acacia walked down the hall and into a conference room, where Josh was talking to his computer.
“Okay, I get it Commander Hill!” He said. “It’ll be done by the end of the week.”
“Director Hill.” She replied. “And I want it tomorrow.”
“Fine! Tomorrow then!” Josh slammed his laptop. “Royal pain in the…” He looked up to see Eileen and Acacia. “Oh, hey guys. Look, we need to push construction on that laser deflection shield, Hill won’t cut me any slack.”
“Sure thing Josh,” Eileen said. “But we need to talk first.”
“About what?” He replied, standing up.
“About why I’m third in command!” Acacia answered. Josh was alerted.
“Not this again!” He said, assuming a fighting stance. “You think I can’t take both of you? Just let me get my Joshinator Armor and we’ll see-”
“We’re not here to fight Josh,” Eileen interrupted. “We just want to know why.”
“Oh,” Josh said, lowering his fists. “Well that’s simple. I don’t trust you, Acacia.”
“What the shell!” Acacia shouted. “After how many times I’ve pulled your fat out of the fire…”
“Okay, wait!” Josh said quickly. “Let me rephrase that. I didn’t trust you, then. I trust you now, but, honestly Acacia, I don’t know that much about you.”
“I watch the Doctor, I like tacos, my favorite color is periwinkle…”
“No, not that,” Josh said. “I, you know, I don’t know where you came from.”
“… Well when a mommy and a daddy love each other very much…”
“What? No! You know what I mean!” Acacia looked down.
“I’m sorry.” She said, pulling out a chair and sitting down. “My past is just something I don’t like to revisit often.” Eileen sat down next to her and put her hand on her shoulder.
“I’m kind of curious too…” She said. “The Skrull Acacia was bragging about how much more she knew about you alone than me and Josh combined. We’re your friends Acacia, you can tell us anything.”
“Yeah, we won’t judge!” Josh said. Acacia looked at him. “What? Okay, fine, not verbally.” She kept looking at him. “Okay, well I’ll try to keep it to a minimum! Geez, no credit…” Acacia sighed.
“Okay, fine, if you guys really want to know. But I’m not guaranteeing you’ll like everything you hear.” Josh pulled up a chair and sat in it backwards, resting his arms on the headrest.
“Try us.” He said. Acacia nodded.
“Alright. Well, it all began back when I lived in Oregon, years and years ago. When I was very young I was accepted to an institute for girls with unique talents called Cedaren Academy. They trained us to be fast, strong, smart, superior in every way…”
* * *
Acacia stood in the center of the room wearing karate training gear. She was surrounded by three other girls. A woman stood on top of a balcony.
“Attack!” She called. The girls rushed for Acacia. Acacia jumped up and kicked one of them in the face. She landed on her hands and sprung up, kicking another girl across the room. The last girl swung at Acacia, who dodged each attack, then blocked her last one. She twisted her arm and kicked her in the back of the leg, downing her. Acacia looked up to the balcony and bowed. The instructor smiled and bowed back.
- I was there best in my class. Headmistress Yamada always told me I was something special.
- Headmistress? Really?
- Sorry, continue.
- Anyways… My best friend at Cedaren was Fumiko Aoki, who as we all know recently died in our mission to Latveria…
Acacia walked into a dorm room and was about to lie on her bed when she stopped.
“Hiya!” Fumiko shouted, jumping at her from behind. Acacia caught her arm and flipped her onto the bed. “Wow! You are good!” She exclaimed as Acacia helped her up.
“And your stealth needs work Fumiko.” Acacia said, smiling.
“I’d be working on my stealth if Yamada wasn’t riding me about doing better in social studies. I hate the teacher in there, she is so boring and doesn’t teach us anything! I’m never going to be a teacher! Ever!”
“Hey, you never know.” Acacia said. “Anything can happen.” Fumiko laughed.
“So it can. Hey, I heard you got another honor today? Lemme see!” Acacia smiled and pulled out a golden medal engraved: 道主どうしゅ.
“You like?” Fumiko grabbed it and read the Chinese symbols.
“Dōshu,” She read. “Master of the Way. Ooh, congratulations!” She handed it back to Acacia.
“Thanks. Hard work and dedication Fumiko. You just might be a Dōshu someday.”
“Yeah, master of sucking.”
“Fumiko, don’t be so hard on yourself.” Acacia sat next to her and put her hand on her shoulder. “Headmistress Yamada sees promise in you. She’s told me. You will do great things one day Fumiko. I know it.”
“Thanks Acacia.” She said. “But you know what I really want?”
“I haven’t seen a boy in years! This place sucks!”
“Well, you can’t complain about the food. They’re serving cookies with dinner.”
“Cookies! Why are still waiting around then! Let’s go!” Acacia and Fumiko rushed down the halls to the cafeteria.
- That was when times were simple, and we were all happy. But everything changed when Norman Osborn showed up.
- Wait, the Norman Osborn? Stormin’ Norman? The Green Goblin Norman Osborn?
- Why was he there?
- Cedaren Academy trained us to go out into specific fields. CIA, Secret Service, even S.H.I.E.L.D. But sometimes we got big buyers that were looking for people with special skills. Contractors came and went, and I watched some of my friends leave to go on private ventures. But Fumiko and I were never separated. Until that day…
Norman Osborn stood on the balcony next to Headmistress Yamada. Acacia, Fumiko, and six other girls were sparring with each other.
“They are all quite good.” She said. “Sonya is especially talented in hand to hand combat, and Juliet is an expert with a sniper rifle…”
“I want her.” Norman stated, pointing directly at Acacia. Yamada froze.
“Um, Acacia? She’s a bit… rough around the edges. Perhaps you should choose someone else…”
“I’ve made my decision Headmistress Yamada. I want her. Do not make me repeat myself.”
“Mr. Osborn…” Yamada cleared her throat. “Listen, Acacia is our best student, and honestly, I was hoping to keep her on for a future position as a Menkyo, so she could teach the next generation of students. Her friend Fumiko Aoki is just as good as her, maybe she would better suit you…” Norman firmly grasped Yamada’s shoulder so hard she winced in pain.
“I am paying you good money for this. You informed me I could have whoever I want, and I want her. If you have a problem with that Headmistress Yamada, you are free to speak with my lawyers.” He let her go. Yamada rubbed her shoulder, then sighed.
“Acacia.” She called. They all stopped fighting and Acacia looked up.
“Yes Headmistress?” She asked. Yamada motioned her up.
“Appi.” She said. Acacia nodded and walked up the stairs.
- Headmistress Yamada told me that Norman Osborn was going to take me to New York so I could provide my services to him. I didn’t want to leave, and begged to stay, by the Headmistress said the decision was final, and that I was leaving in the morning.
- Oh, Acacia…
- It’s okay Eileen. I wasn’t that cracked up about leaving, it was saying goodbye to Fumiko that was the hard part.
Acacia folded a shirt and laid it in her suitcase. Fumiko was helping her pack, eyes red from crying.
“Promise you’ll come back and visit.” Fumiko said to Acacia. Acacia nodded.
“Every free chance I get.” She replied. Fumiko stood up and hugged Acacia.
“If anything, promise me you’ll stay safe.” Fumiko said. “Please. I don’t want any harm to come to you.”
“I promise I will stay safe.” Acacia said. “Goodbye my friend. I will never forget you.”
“Nor I you.” Acacia and Fumiko released each other. Acacia bowed.
“Namaste, Fumiko.” Fumiko smiled and bowed.
“Namaste, Acacia.” Acacia zipped up her suitcase and pulled out the handle. She hugged Fumiko one last time, then she walked out of the door.
- Well, the next day Osborn and I hopped on the first plane to the big apple. He took me to Oscorp Industries, where I’d be living and waiting for my orders.
Norman opened a door with a key and let Acacia in. She wheeled her suitcase in and looked around.
“This is where you’ll be staying.” He said. “Enjoy the scenery and stay confined to this room. You will not wander the premises, you will not enter restricted areas, and you will not disturb me unless I summon you. Am I clear?”
“Crystal.” Acacia replied, sitting on the bed. Norman closed the door and locked it from the outside. Acacia sighed. She took out a picture of her and Fumiko and placed it on the nightstand. She laid on her back, put her hands on her stomach, and stared the ceiling. “Wonderful.” She said to herself. “Day one and I’m already on house arrest.”
- Days passed, and I just sat in that room. All day, all night. They brought me food, and there was a bathroom with a shower in it and everything. But I was going insane! So one night, when I got word Norman was out, I snuck out.
Acacia crept down the halls of Oscorp. She stopped to examine labs with experiments in progress. She walked into different rooms, peeking at what was going on in each. She turned another corner then bumped directly into Harry Osborn.
“Oh!” She shrieked, and began to run for it.
“No, wait, stop!” Harry called. Acacia froze in place. She slowly turned. Harry stared in amazement. “Wow, you’re… very beautiful…”
“What? Oh, um, thanks.”
“I haven’t seen you around here.”
“Well, I kinda live in my room, so you won’t really see a lot of me. You have Norman Os-jerk to thank for that.”
“Oh, right.” Harry looked around. “So, I guess you’re gonna head back?”
“Oh, okay, well, I liked meeting you.” He held out his hand. “I’m Harry.” She shook it.
“Acacia.” She turned and ran for her room, and Harry happily skipped back to his.
- Well, that was when I met Harry. A few more days went by and finally Norman called me up to his office for my first mission.
Norman sat at his desk, reviewing papers when there was a knock on his office door.
“Come in.” He demanded. Acacia peeked in.
“You called me, Mr. Osborn?” She asked.
“Yes,” He said, pulling a file out of a drawer. “Your first mission. Tell no one where you are going or what you are doing. Follow the instructions to a tee. Am I understood?
“Yep.” Acacia replied, taking the file. She opened it and began to read.
- My first mission was to go to Stark Industries and destroy their high intensity fusion weapons development branch.
- Wait a minute? Stark? Weapons?
- Yeah, this was a little before Tony’s change in heart Josh. Literally and figuratively.
- Wow, that was a while ago. Alright, finish.
- Okay, well I made my way in following Mr. Osborn’s route, but that’s when things went wrong…
Acacia kicked an air vent open and dropped to the ground. She got against the wall and scanned the area for hostiles. Seeing no one, she pulled a duffle bag off of her shoulder and opened it to reveal C4 charges. She began planting them around the room.
- I didn’t even question whether or not what I was doing was right. All I knew was that I had my orders, and I was going to follow them. Until someone showed up.
“Hold it right there!” A woman called, shining a flashlight at Acacia. Acacia froze and put her hands up. “I don’t know what you think you’re… Acacia?” Acacia looked past the light.
“Sonya?” She asked. “I haven’t seen you since Cedaren! What are you doing here?”
“I was hired as security for this branch of Stark Industries. What about you?”
“I… I’m supposed to destroy this branch of Stark Industries.”
“What? No, I can’t let you do that.” Sonya assumed a fighting stance.
“Sonya, I don’t want to fight. I have my orders.”
“And I have mine.” Sonya lunged at Acacia and the two locked in combat. Sonya unleashed a flurry of kicks, Acacia dodging or blocking them. “I held back at the academy!” She shouted. “I won’t go so easy on you now!”
“Wasn’t counting on it,” Acacia replied. She back flipped and grabbed a chain from the ceiling. Sonya swung, but Acacia reversed the attack and moved behind Sonya. Acacia wrapped the chain around her neck, and Sonya began to choke. She struggled and struggled, but eventually fell unconscious. Acacia let her go and set the last charge. She grabbed Sonya and dragged her out of the building. Then when they both were safe, Acacia pulled out detonator and pressed the button, blowing off a good portion of Stark Industries.
- You actually bombed Stark Industries! Are you crazy!
- The judging, Josh, remember what you promised?
- But Eileen, she blew up…
- Ugh, fine, finish.
- Thank you Eileen. Like I said, I had my orders. But of course Sonya regained consciousness and told the Headmistress what I had done. Norman called me to his office the next day, but when I got there he was in a heated phone conversation.
Acacia peeked into Norman’s office.
“Now you listen to me Yamada!” He shouted. Acacia gasped.
“Headmistress…” She whispered to herself.
“What I have my agents do is my concern and no one else’s.” He growled. “I paid for her, she belongs to me! If I want her to scrape toilet seats she will! Now, your senseless prattling is making me increasingly annoyed and impatient. You had better watch your back Yamada, because bad things happen to people who make me angry.” He slammed the phone down and Acacia quickly closed the door. She knocked.
“Yes, who is it?” Norman called angrily. She walked in.
“Mr. Osborn, you summoned?” She asked.
“Yes, I did. Did you ever leave your room?” She froze.
“Once… sir. I am incredibly sorry, it’s just that I had been in there for days and…”
“Silence. I have no reserves for excuses. Either way, my son got a glimpse of you and was overtaken by his emotions. Your next mission is to date him.”
“Sir? I’m sorry, but I don’t…”
“You will do as I say.” Norman sharply interrupted. “My son is in his senior year and the boy hasn’t held a steady girlfriend for over two days. You will be his companion until further notice.” Acacia sighed.
“Coffee Bean, 8:00 tonight, do not be late.”
“Yes sir.” She turned to leave.
“And Ms. Blanco? She stopped.
“Don’t apologize. Ever. I never do.” Acacia stared.
“Right, okay…” She left the room.
- Imagine my surprise when I showed up at the Coffee Bean and saw who my mystery date was.
- Sorry, I can’t help it sometimes.
Acacia approached the table.
“Harry?” She asked. He stood up.
“Acacia!” He exclaimed, hugging her.
“You’re Norman Osborn’s son?”
“Oh man, that Os-jerk comment…”
“Hey, I know my dad isn’t the most friendly of guys, but he’s pretty nice when it really counts.”
“Right.” They sat down.
“You know I meant what I said the other night. You really are beautiful.”
“Thank you…” Harry took her hand.
“I mean it. I normally don’t stick with girls too long, they only get with me because I’m rich. But there’s something amazing about you that just draws me in. I can’t explain it, you’re charming in your own way. And sweet, like a honeybun!” Acacia blushed and turned away.
“Well, I guess you’re not half bad yourself.” She replied, smiling. “You know, for an Osborn.” They both laughed and continued to talk into the night.
- That’s so sweet.
- I’m gonna puke.
- Stop it Josh!
- Kidding. So aside from your and Osborn’s romantic endeavors, what else happened?
- Well, a few months passed, and I went on one destructive mission after another. All while dating my boss’s son. One day though, after me and Harry got back from a movie, I was headed back to my room when I overheard another conversation between Norman and Headmistress Yamada.
“You are a fool Yamada!” Norman shouted into the phone. “And I’m tired of hearing your empty threats. If you want Acacia back, I dare you to come and take her from me. That is if you’re still alive in the morning!” He slammed the phone down, then pressed a button under his desk. The bookshelf behind him moved. Acacia’s eyes widened.
“What the…” Norman walked in, and it closed behind him. Acacia thought for a bit. “He sounds like he’s up to no good, I’d better tail him.” She crept into the room, looked around, then pressed the button under the desk. The bookshelf moved, and Acacia walked in. Then she stopped. “Oh no.” She said to herself.
- Weapons, as far the eye could see. Pumpkin bombs, razor bats, ghost bombs, Goblin gas, bat gliders, you name it, he had. Worst of all, was the Green Goblin costume, hanging on the wall. I suddenly heard laughter, and when I went to see what it was, I saw the Green Goblin, flying away on his glider, laughing. I knew Headmistress Yamada was in trouble. And I had to save her.
Acacia kicked the last security guard unconscious on the roof of Oscorp and rushed for a helicopter.
“Acacia.” She stopped and turned to see Harry.
“Harr-bear,” She said, “what are you doing up here?”
“Why are you knocking out Oscorp security?” She bit her lip. Then she sighed.
“Your dad is threatening people very close to me, Harry. I need to stop him.”
“And if you do? What then? Will you still work for my dad? Are you coming back?” Acacia sadly shook her head.
“No. I’m sorry Harry but, life here has been a nightmare since day one. I… I can’t come back. Not even for you.” Harry began to tear up.
“Listen, I know my dad told you go out with me. He wasted no time telling me how I owed him. And even though it may have just been another mission to you, it was real for me. I love you Acacia.” Acacia walked up to Harry, grabbed his shoulders, and kissed him.
“It was real for me too.” She said. She got onto the helicopter and took off.
- I flew as fast as I could for Oregon, but I was too late. I have no idea how he got there before me, but he did. And when I approached, Cedaren Academy was engulfed in fire.
Josh's Threat Assessment on The Green Goblin
“No!” Acacia screamed. She landed the helicopter on the ground and rushed out towards the burning building.
“HAHAHAHAHA!” She heard. She looked up to see the Green Goblin flying away. Acacia kicked the doors open, and girls came rushing out. She scanned the crowd.
“Headmistress?” She called. She was nowhere to be found. Acacia rushed into the burning building. She ran up a flight of stairs just as they collapsed. She rounded a corner and ran as fast as she could down the halls. She finally approached two large doors, and kicked them open. “Headmistress Yamada? Can you hear me?”
“Acacia…” A weak voice came from behind a desk. Alerted, Acacia rushed over and moved it to see Yamada lying there, two razor bats in her chest and bleeding badly.
“No!” Acacia said, kneeling down and lifting her head. “Hold on Headmistress Yamada, I’m going to get you help.”
“It is… too late for me…” She managed. Acacia began to cry.
“Please don’t go.” She choked through her tears. “I need you.”
“It is… my time.” She reached up and touched Acacia’s cheek. “It is so good… to finally see you again…” She moved her hand and touched Acacia’s heart. “Remember, you are special. And I will always be with you… In here.” Acacia grasped her hand and nodded.
“I know you will. Goodbye Headmistress Yamada.”
“Goodbye… Acacia…” Yamada’s eyes fluttered and she silently died in Acacia’s arms. Acacia continued to cry, then she heard fire engines approaching. She laid Yamada down gently, stood up, and rushed off. As she was running down the halls she heard a cry for help.
“Somebody! Is anybody there- cof- cof- Help me!” She ran into the room to see Fumiko trapped under a dresser.
“Fumiko!” She shouted. She rushed over and grabbed the dresser.
“Acacia!” She beamed. “I thought I’d never see you again!” Acacia lifted the dresser.
“I said I’d come back, didn’t I?” She threw it to the side and grabbed Fumiko.
“Ah!” She shrieked. “My leg…”
“Hold on tight!” Acacia said. She put Fumiko’s arm around her shoulder and led her safely out of the building. From a distance, Acacia and Fumiko watched their home burn to the ground.
- Are you… crying Eileen?
- It’s sad Josh.
- It’s pretty messed up I agree, but come on! Well whatever, I’d assume this is where the story ends?
- Oh no, not at all. You see, Norman Osborn killed my master, hurt my friend, and burned down the only place I was proud to call home. I was pissed off and ready for revenge. So, Fumiko and I went on a little escapade…
Acacia rushed out of an Oscorp laboratory in Hong Kong, China.
“Did you do it?” Fumiko asked, holding a detonator.
“Yeah, they’re good, go, go! Blow it!” Fumiko happily pressed the button and the watched the lab blow sky high.
“Woohhhooo!” They both cheered simultaneously, jumping up and down in joy.
- Wait a minute, YOU were the Oscorp Arsonist?
- I see my reputation precedes me.
- Acacia! You were number 3 on S.H.I.E.L.D’s most wanted list for a while!
- Really? Sweet!
- No, not sweet! Not sweet at all! What happened? Who finally stopped you?
- Well, we had been going for a few weeks, but that night in Hong Kong was my last big move. You see, Fumiko and I were fleeing the scene, when…
Fumiko was happily jumping roof to roof, Acacia just behind her. Suddenly Fumiko stepped into a net and was snapped up and trapped.
“Ah!” She screamed. “Acacia! Help me!”
“Fumiko!” Acacia rushed towards the net but was punched from the side. “Ah!” She shouted, rolling across the roof.
“Acacia Blanco.” A female voice said from the shadows.
“Let me guess, you’re here to kill me?” She asked.
“Those are my orders, yes.” The voice replied. “But I’m going to give you one chance to surrender and come in silently.”
“Never.” Acacia growled, assuming a fighting stance. The woman sighed.
“A shame.” She said. She emerged from the shadows and was revealed to be none other than Eileen Wuthrich. “I was really hoping we could be friends.” Eileen lunged and began to attack.
- Whoa! Whoa! Whoa! Hold up! Wait a minute! Time out! Eileen? Are you telling me Eileen was there, and trying to kill you!
- Yeah. What, she never told you?
- Eileen? Is this true?
- Uh… Maybe…
- Okay, be honest Josh. If I would have told you I met Acacia on my mission to kill her, would you have even agreed to look at her let alone meet her for yourself?
- I… well, no. Okay, good point, I guess…
- Well, I really thought you knew this part. But since you don’t, I guess I’ll tell you. The battle was hard fought, but in the end, I was a little off my game that night…
Acacia slammed into the ventilation system. She slowly got to her hands and knees. Eileen walked up, drew her gun, and placed it at Acacia’s head.
“Acacia!” Fumiko screamed. “Get up!”
“Stay down.” Eileen said. Acacia began to cry.
“Well what are you waiting for? Do it! Pull the trigger!”
“You killed a lot of innocent people.”
“I did not! Why don’t you tell your superiors to get their facts straight before they send you out to kill someone! I pulled the fire alarm at each location and cleared out the buildings. Then I blew them. I may be a vandal, but I’m no murderer.” Eileen thought for a bit. Then she holstered her gun and held out her hand. Acacia looked up. “Why are you sparing me?”
“Because I’m not a murderer either.” Eileen replied, pulling her up. “And I can tell you’ve had a rough life Acacia. But you also have a unique skill set. Tell me, how do you feel about joining S.H.I.E.L.D?”
- Well, that was pretty much it. I took Eileen’s offer and we joined up with S.H.I.E.L.D. It felt good not to be fugitives. I finally had a new home. I met some new friends…
Acacia walked into a training room with other agents. Quartemain entered the room.
“Evening ladies and gents. My name is Clay Quartermain, and I’m your new combat instructor.” He said. “I’m telling you now, this ain’t gonna be easy. But if you cooperate…” He saw Acacia. He smiled and winked at her. She turned and blushed. “Then your life oughta be a lot easier.”
- And so did Fumiko.
Fumiko was walking down the halls of the Helicarrier carrying a large stack of papers when a guy ran around the corner and crashed into her, sending papers flying everywhere.
“Oh man, I am so sorry!” He said, bending down and helping her pick them up.
“It’s fine, you were in a hurry,” Fumiko replied. They collected papers until they reached the last one, which they both gripped at the same time. They looked up and stared into each other’s eyes. “Um, hey…” Fumiko said, clearing the hair from her eyes. “I’m Fumiko. Fumiko Aoki.”
“Terrence Freidman,” he replied. “Brigadier General of the Air Fleet! You can call me Terry, I’m a pilot.”
“That’s so cool.” Fumiko said. She cleared her throat. “Wanna help take these papers to Fury?”
“Uh, yeah. I can skip the daily flight. Let’s take the scenic route, talk some more.” They both walked off down the halls.
- In the end, I put my past behind me and began to focus on the more positive things in the world. I reconnected with Harry, let Fumiko shape her own future, and enjoyed my new purpose. Then, years later, I ran into Eileen again. And that day was the beginning of my brand new life.
Acacia was walking down the hall when she turned the corner and spotted Eileen.
“Hey!” She called, walking over. “Acacia, right?”
“Yep, that’s me. You’re Eileen?”
“Yeah. So how’s life been treating you?”
“I have to say, a lot better than I was years ago. Thank you Eileen, you literally saved my life.”
“Hey, no problem. Say, I have some time off, me and my partner Josh were about to head down to the Santan Mall in Arizona. You in?”
“Sure, I could use some hang out time!” Acacia happily replied.
- And the rest is just history.
Eileen and Acacia approached Josh in Barnes and Noble, who was reading a comic book.
“Josh,” Eileen called. “This is Acacia Blanco.” Josh stood up and shook her hand.
“Joshua Westbrook,” he said. “Maybe I’m pleased to meet you. Time will tell.”
“Hi,” Acacia said. “Nice to meet you. You hungry? I heard there’s a Paradise Bakery here and they make the best broccoli and cheddar soup, in a bread bowl!”
“A bread bowl you say?” Josh asked. “Is it edible?”
“As edible as it gets.” Acacia replied.
“I love her.” Josh said. “Let’s keep her. I wanna rename her Fred.”
“You can’t do that Josh!” Eileen said.
“Whatever. Let’s go get that soup!” And the three newly acquainted friends all rushed for Paradise Bakery.
* * *
“Wow.” Josh said. “That was some story. I did not expect all that.”
“Yeah, I told you.” Acacia said.
“Thank you for sharing Acacia,” Eileen said. “I know it must have been hard for you.”
“I’m fine.” Acacia said. “So Josh, is that enough about me, or wanna know what I got for my 5th birthday?”
“I’d say that’s enough.” Josh said, smiling. “Commander.”
“Whoa, wait, really?” Acacia asked.
“Yep, you’ve earned it.” Josh said.
“Congrats!” Eileen said, hugging her. “We’re the same rank now! This is gonna be so much fun!”
“Wow, thanks Josh!” Acacia said.
“No prob.” Josh replied. “Besides, when it comes time to choose a new director, I get to watch the best super powered cat fight of all time!” Acacia looked at him.
“Oh, you wanna see us use our powers?” She said, as her hand lit on fire and Eileen’s gathered electricity.
“No, no, no! I was kidding! I was kidding!” Josh screamed and ran, and Eileen and Acacia chased him through E.G.G Base for the rest of the day.
Agent Rice sat at a table in the library café. He sipped his coffee and continued reading The Art War. A waitress approached him.
“Can I top you off?” She asked.
“Sure,” Rice replied. She filled up his cup and left. Rice looked at his watch, sighed, and finished reading.
See you Thursday!
Tune in on Thursday, April 30, for the Q&A for this episode, and then prepare for Episode 37: Revelations, on Friday, May 1! And don't miss Marvel's Avengers: Age of Ultron that same day! Shocking secrets will be revealed! See you next week!