“It’s not as bad as it could be.”
“How could it possibly be worse?”
“We already knew Keanan was a created being, now at least we know he isn’t a walking bomb. Heck, we probably even know how Owl tried to kill Prysim now.”
“Yeah, Owl goaded Prysim into creating artificial life. End result Keanan, who isn’t likely to kill his maker, assassination averted.”
“Par for the course for people like us I’m afraid.”
“What’s that suppose to mean?”
“I understand people like Prysim and Owl, because I’m a lot like them. Goading each other into death by creation is practically a greeting. If I wasn’t one of the good guys I’d do it too.”
“So you’re saying Keanan was born as a result of a crazy fairy trying to get a crazy girl to kill herself, and the crazy girl doing it anyways just because.”
“It also explains why Owl offered him sanctuary, she feel at least partially responsible for him.”
“That is not comforting.”
“It also explains why Alecia said we should take him, she already knew.”
“What? Explain that one again.”
“She was completely unfazed at the thought of an ultra class threat, she already knew Prysim knew her identity, so that didn’t worry her.”
“What is she doing associating with people like Prysim?”
“I don’t know ask her.”
“If you don’t know who you’ve reached you have the wrong number, please leave a message that doesn’t contain anything classified after the beep.”
“What the hell do you think you’re doing associating with people like Prysim?”
Jessica watched as Bernard paced back and fourth in the middle of the room. She did her best to try and disappear into a corner. Bernard didn’t really have a target for whatever it was he was feeling, since Sofia was the only one willing to engage him it fell to her. Or not since his communicator gave a chirp, and a disembodied voice came out.
“Video call from your Alecia sir.”
Non stealth hero communicators worked on the theory that since half the people in the room would be able to eavesdrop anyways they might as well be loud enough for everyone to hear, and to prevent a false sense of security. Stealth type either used bone induction, telepathic communication, or visuals projected into the eyeball. Non stealth types also included a projector for video calls, how the other person saw them apparently involved a hybrid of omnidirectional cameras, and echolocation. Alecia’s image was projected onto the wall, she looked tired. Apart from the bags under here eyes she look otherwise ok. She was wearing a baggy light green/brown coat that looked vaguely military, baggy cargo pants to match, and what had once been a white tank top, but was now stained a different color. It looked like it had been cleaned recently, the stains were just permanent. She appeared to be in one of those old time military bunkers, all concrete and pipes.
“Hey mom, dad. Jessica is that you? You’re going up in the world. What’s up?”
“Alecia, we were just talking about you. Were are you?” Sofia took the lead, Bernard was still in too bad of a mood.
“I, uh don’t actually know how to pronounce this planet’s name. Look I don’t have much time for small talk the batteries are going to burn out soon, I had to jury rig a comm out of clockwork, literally. Total power hog.”
“Sounds interesting, so what do you need?”
“Nothing really, just I won’t be able to get back for another month at least. Look if you’re ever asked to help throw off the yolk of alien invaders oppression, just ignore them, not worth the effort.”
“Are you fighting wars without us?”
“No, I’m forcing a stalemate and negotiation, so much worse. I’m almost done here, but my way home got blown up so I need a new one.”
“You need us to send you anything?”
“No, but it’s going to take a little while, this place is running on 40s tech.”
“It shouldn’t take you long to get home with 40s tech.”
“Never mind, I’m impressed at your timetable.”
“Good, my batteries are fading. I just called to tell you not to worry when I’m late coming back. Gottogobye.” The last words were rushed and the screen faded and was replaced by static.
“Connection lost” Ever helpful those communicators.
Alecia walked out of the custom built room, pulling off the jacket. The room had been made with appropriate materials, and building techniques. She could have used a hologram, or just put in a back drop digitally, but her mom might have seen through either of those. Same with the outfit. They had both been made months ago for just such an occasion. The clockwork communicator had not been made to trick her parents, she had designed it for a science fair, her mother would be able to recognize the transmission patterns, a good way to prove it really was her. The transmission itself had been routed through a dimensional relay, so her mother couldn’t legally trace the source of her transmission. There were way to many intergalactic treaties dealing with those. This setup was one of sixteen different ways she could contact her parents and reasonably expect to not be traced. Considering the sheer volume of different way there were to contact her parents it was a small list, and half of them would only work once. This one for instance would no longer work after telling her parents she was back.
She finished stripping as she walked into a mostly empty room. Mostly because Hercules was in it. He had something of a frown on his face, it had been there for a while, it had actually gotten worse the closer they came to this moment. Also in the room was a breathing apparatus and tube. In the floor was a circular hole filled with green liquid. Beneath the liquid she could see her fake floating there. Once she arrived Hercules confirmed that Ms. Yamada, his insistence on calling her that had rubbed off on her, was in her room and the not the medical bay. Hercules pulled up the double as she filled two syringes, one with muscle relaxant, and the other with enhanced metabolism brick type painkiller. This painkiller was heavily restricted, since just about any dosage was lethal to a normal person, it had been easier to make her own than to buy it.
“I’m still not sure why you think you have to do this Prysim.”
“I think I’m in love.”
“If you were certain I would support you, but this is going to hurt and it probably wont work.”
“I’m the best remember? This will work.”
“If you want to just call it off, I’ll build you a cabin on my island.”
“I need more men like you in my life.”
“Yeah, if my ex calls tell him I don’t care if he invades with his armada of doom ships, I’m still not interested.”
“It worries me that I don’t think you’re joking.”
“Enough stalling, once I’m stable give Ms. Yamada her laptop back will you?”
“This place has unsecured wifi, she could contact anyone.”
Without any more ceremony she stabbed herself in the neck with the syringe containing the muscle relaxant. She gave it a few moments to kick in before inserting the breathing tube down her own throat, and securing it. It made Hercules a little queazy to watch. Alecia went to the edge of the pool, gave a little bow, and injected the second syringe into her arm. Four minutes until the painkiller stopped her heart and induced massive organ failure. If this didn’t work she wouldn’t last that long, but she wouldn’t feel a thing. She stepped into the green liquid, it started to boil around her, stripping her skin from her muscles, it would move onto them next.