Jessica and Fey were waiting at the gate. They weren’t waiting together of course, just occupying the same general space. Jessica was waiting for Alecia, and seemed to brighten up when they made eye contact. Fey was doing her usual creepy thing, disturbing to Alecia at least, no one else had seen Fey in action.
Everyone else just saw Fey as she appeared to be, an eight-year-old with a beat-up stuffed bear. That liked hanging out at schools handing out lollipops. The PTA certainly wasn’t going to complain about her, even if they did the cops couldn’t do anything. The heroes who had some inkling of her powers all stepped lightly around her, and the villains were just scared shitless: Alecia include.
Jessica had something of a platonic crush on Fey, as far as Alecia could tell. It probably helped that Jessica had been the one to find Shrieks body after Fey’s dogs had finished with it. The incident earlier that evening where Fey had asked Alecia were to find Shriek was the reason for her rather justified fear.
Alecia tried her best to just ignore Fey, a tactic that generally seemed to work, Fey had never offered her a lollypop. Today however was apparently different, as Fey started walking along an intercept course, to get to Alecia before she would get to Jessica. She stopped in front of Alecia and began rummaging around in her blue backpack covered in pink hearts. As Alecia plastered on her best fake smile.
“Blue or red?” Fey asked holding up two lollipops.
“Red, thank you.” Alecia said. Taking the offered sweet.
Fey unwrapped the blue one and stuck it in her own mouth. “They’re going to catch up you eventually you know.” She said.
Alecia dropped the lollipop, Fey didn’t talk much, and when she did it wasn’t to give advice to people like her; at least not friendly advice. She would ask questions, usually painful ones. Alecia wasn’t the only one surprised, not that anyone knew their history, but plenty of people knew how rare it was for Fey to say anything. More than one person stopped walking by to try and listen, and Jessica took a half step forward before thinking better of it.
Fey who seemed to be going for maximum impact chose that moment to disappear. It wasn’t invisibility, magical or tech-based teleportation. It was a trick that baffled sorcerers and mad scientists alike, Alecia had her theories one of which had panned out quite well.
“Jess… could you get me out of here?” Alecia asked her voice tight. It wasn’t that she was freaked out, she just didn’t want to be around so many people.
Jessica who had experience with both wanting to make a quick exit, and deferring questions complied very quickly. She was fast, inhumanly fast a fact that Alecia could only fully appreciate as the air was ripped out of her lungs. Alecia didn’t have Jessica’s resistance to g-forces, or any forces; being physically a normal human.
What felt like no time at all, but was closer to thirteen seconds, Alecia found herself a rather considerable distance due north; in a corn field. The corn field wasn’t a surprise, Bluemont had corn fields to the north and east, alfalfa to the west and what was called a suburb to the south. The suburb was the second most popular relocation spot for the witness protection program. Needless to say the school didn’t like neighbors who might talk to the press about odd goings on.
“Is there anywhere you wanted me to take you?” Jessica asked, “I figured out wanted out fast so I just grabbed you and ran.”
“Not even going to ask about Fey acting all out of character?” Alecia asked, panting a little as she tried to catch her breath.
“Seems pretty self-explanatory, you pissed someone off. If the rumors about you are true it was off-planet. Somehow Fey found out, and knows that they can find you here or you didn’t get out clean. I won’t dig any deeper than that.” Jessica said.
“What Rumors?” Alecia asked, she already knew most of them but a little vanity never hurt, besides there might be new ones.
“Everyone know’s you’re active, probably one of the convert teams likely off planet or trans-dimensional. Uriel’s interns sometimes get cagey about you. Some of us even have a pool going.” Jessica answered.
Alecia hadn’t known about the pool, which was odd the rest wasn’t new. “I try to avoid the dimensional stuff ever since the time disaster, and I don’t have a spaceship anymore so that makes the off-planet stuff hard.”
“You were involved in that? Holy crap half the people in the disaster don’t remember and the other half don’t talk about it. Also what happened to your spaceship?” Jessica asked.
“I lost the ship in a breakup, and I wasn’t involved in the disaster nothing happened.” Alecia gave the standard response everyone involved in the disaster would give.
“Sure nothing happened, where do you want me to take you anyways?” Jessica asked. “I’m not going to just ditch you in this field, and you don’t look up for coffee.
“My office will do I guess.” Alecia said.
Jessica was acting differently than in school, less timid. It took Alecia a couple of minutes to figure out why as Jessica carried her and they chatted. She wasn’t talking like they were classmates, but like a co-worker it was a noticeable difference. Alecia wondered which one was an act, if both were or if both were true. She had met people of all three scenarios.
She was a little apprehensive about inviting Jessica; and active hero, into her office, but still gave directions to the Uriel tech teleport pad hidden in the alfalfa field. She had used Uriel tech so if a hero did have to come in fewer questions would be asked. Of course she did have to designate an entire generator to the damn thing, fuel efficient they are not.
Her office was barren, intentionally so. It was a stainless steel cube lit by glowing strips along the seams of the walls. There was a metal desk built into the, floor and a metal chair made similarly. Nothing else was visible, instead built into the walls and would slide out on command. There was nothing to say who owned or used the room, and Alecia wanted it that way.
“Were are we?” Jessica asked looking around trying to find any form of human touch to the room.
“Downtown.” Alecia answered, Jessica just raised an eyebrow demanding more information. “Classified underground complex, usual rigamarole don’t tell anyone about it k.”
“Complex? This place doesn’t have a door, or teleport pads, how did we even get in here?” Jessica asked.
“The pads are in the ceiling, I modified them to work through metal over a short distance. The door is right there.” Alecia pointed at a wall to the left of her desk, that was identical to the other walls.
“This place has the esthetics of a shady government organization.” Jessica observed.
“Shh, don’t blow our cover.”Alecia said in a mock whisper doing her best to sound conspiratorial.
“Holy crap you really are one of the suits aren’t you?” Jessica said laughing.
“I have no comment, and neither does my lawyer.” Alecia said switching to very serious mode.
“Do you know everything about me then?” Jessica asked still giggling.
Alecia answered seriously, without the humor. “Not everything, I know your powers codename, and track record. A few other things and I suppose I could find out if I wanted.”
“Please don’t go looking.” Jessica asked. “So at school, what’s with that?”
“What? Trying to be friends with you, no agenda beyond my usual ones.” Alecia answered. “I just thought you might need a friend.”
“Yeah, it’s not like I have massive plans for domestic affairs or something.”
“You work internationally?”
“I really want to know what it is you do now, and who you work with.”
“So does my father, ask him about it.”
“Why does your father want to know? Didn’t you tell him?”
“I’ve been refusing to tell him my powers, codename, what team I’m on, what organizations I’m affiliated with, and what my areas of operation are. It drives him nuts, he keeps trying to make me slip up. I’m winning.”
“It’s a game?”
“Did you jus make me a new player Alecia?”
“Yup, but only if you want to, if so go talk to my dad.”
“Who’s your father?”
“He is, truly.”
“Your father is the prince of war, considered to be the greatest strategist alive, and he can’t figure you out.” Jessica said sounding equal parts aghast and impressed.
“I take after my mother.”
“As in Uriel, the smartest woman alive.”
“Yes, actually now she’s the second smartest. We think Prysim might be smarter, but don’t tell her that.”
“She’s getting scary isn’t she?”
“Who? Prysim? Not really.”
“You just called her smarter than Uriel.”
“Yeah, but she’s smart and sane an uncommon combination but a good one for everyone. She’s in it for the money; she doesn’t want to take over the world or do anything that would break one of Fey’s rules. Hell, some reports indicate she occasionally leaks info on some of the bigger nasties when they are planning things. She might be dangerous, but she doesn’t scare us.” Alecia said.
“You’re just saying that because you don’t have to fight her.”
“Possibly, I’m not saying she doesn’t deserve her spot on the ultra class list. She qualifies for that danger rating, and it does represent her full capabilities. But she isn’t going to kill a bunch of people, she hasn’t killed anyone yet, making her the only person on that list capable of that claim. Sure she has done some nasty things, but mostly to the kinds of people we don’t care about.” Alecia said.
“He got new eyes.”
“Eww, what about the flying dinosaur robot that threatened the city during rush hour.”
“A test drive for some antigrav tech. She finished auctioning it off before the responders finished taking it apart.”
“So what, the government should just hire her?” Jessica asked.
“They tried, turns out they can’t afford her.” Alecia said.
“I don’t want to know how you know that.”
“I got a copy of the proposal.”
“Oh god, you’re one of those.”
“I admit to nothing and neither does my lawyer.”
Jessica was happy for the first time in a long time. She actually enjoyed being on patrol again. Hanging out with Alecia in that creepy room did more for her than the therapy did. From a professional perspective she would be a good friend, to have. People like her always had a hand in things no matter how much they might deny it. In her musings Jessica almost missed Ares flying down to her rooftop. He didn’t bother with any formalities.
“My daughter tells me you saw her office. Tell me every detail.”