Vengeance Will Be Mine

Chapter 10


Claudia and Steve were currently sitting down in front of the computer inside the warehouse going over both Christine Bellows' and Renee Travelers' criminal records with a fine tooth comb, hoping to find something more that could lead the agents to them and MacPherson, while Artie, well Artie was off making cookies as it helped to keep himself from worrying too much, as there was nothing more he could do right then. Myka wanted to be left alone as she remained back at Leena's to take care of her partner.

Claudia started to share with Steve more about whom MacPherson was, but shortly after doing so, Steve spoke up as he asked, "What caused a man good enough to become a warehouse agent, turn out like all that?"

The youngest of their little family answered, "He started believing that the artifacts belonged out in the world instead of bundled and locked up tight inside a stuffy old warehouse where no one could enjoy them. Then, his wife, or girlfriend, I'm not exactly sure what she was to him, was caught up in a fire and so he stole the phoenix to save her, causing five firemen to die. That's what the artifact does. In order for it to save a life, it takes a life in return and James knew it. He was fired and banned from the warehouse, then injected with some kind of serum that causes a person to implode, rather grotesquely, if he or she were to re-enter here. What Artie and the Regents didn't realize at the time was that James had been stealing other artifacts and selling them to the highest bidders. They tried to catch him, but it wasn't until he came back to the warehouse in order to de-bronze H.G. so that he could gain access to another certain artifact that he couldn't get his hands on without her. Then, she turned on him; killed him, just so that she could escape."

"I'm beginning to understand why all of you are hoping that we'll have to kill him, again," Jinks responded. "He really is evil."

"He's more than simply evil," Artie replied as he walked back into the room carrying a tray full of cookies. "He'll kill each one of us without even blinking an eyelash in order to have his way with the artifacts and he doesn't care who else he hurts or kills either. I was sympathetic at first, but…"

Claudia interrupted, "He certainly doesn't deserve our sympathy anymore. Man, I can't imagine how Pete must be feeling right now… I mean, other than the suffering he's feeling because of what the artifacts are doing to him."

Artie answered despondently, "No doubt he's blaming himself for allowing James and the thieves to get the drop on him. If anything happens to any one of us because of MacPherson being brought back, he'll lose all faith in himself and pray for death to come to him. That's just how Pete is."

"Hey, I've got something," Claudia said swiftly as she looked back at her computer after it suddenly began to beep, alerting them to some kind of newsflash. "Oh boy, this isn't good."

"What is it?" Artie asked. "Was one of our thieves found dead or something?"

Claudia looked over at Artie as she responded in surprise, "Actually, yeah."

With just as much surprise in his voice, Artie asked again, "What? I meant... I was being sarcastic. Who?"

"It looks like Christine Bellows' body was just found inside some hotel room here in South Dakota; nowhere around Univille, but way up north," Claudia replied as she began to type wildly to scan through the police report. "She was stabbed to death and the local police say that there's no trace of whoever it was that did it. There's a shock."

"Why would MacPherson kill one of his own stooges?" Steve asked. "Do you think that she tried to double cross him? She was just a kid."

Artie shook his head as he answered, "No, I doubt it. A girl crazy enough as she was most likely just got in his way. He probably killed her because he wasn't about to let a teenage girl keep him from staying alive. We told you he was evil."

Jinks responded, "Yeah, I got that."

"So, it looks like we won't be able to find MacPsycho by looking anything up on the youngest of our thieves," Claudia spoke up again. "However, maybe we'll get lucky with more information on Miss. Travelers."

"I doubt it," Artie replied skeptically.

Claudia looked over at Artie again as she asked, "What, now you've decided to bring back your usual pessimism?"

Artie glared at her as he answered, "No, I'm just saying that I doubt he'll be stupid enough to hide somewhere other than in a place that he's the only one who knows about. They must be close by because we know that he's still after the artifacts they wanted and probably even the warehouse. He wants revenge. They won't leave wherever they're hiding until they're done."

"Any ideas on how to locate them now?" Claudia asked fearfully.

"None," Artie stated in frustration. "You know how good James was at hiding. I've got nothing."

Meanwhile…

Myka continued to sit beside Pete on the side of his bed as she gently wiped down his face and body with a cool, wet cloth in hope of bringing down the raging fever, or slowing down whatever it was that was happening to him because of the artifacts that were threatening to steal his life away.

While she did so, she kept quoting several books from her parent's bookstore, hoping that just maybe he would wake up again to crack some kind of joke as he always did, indicating that she was a total nerd. It also gave her small comfort, as the written word always could, which she desperately needed. Unfortunately, nothing happened. Her partner remained in an uncomfortable sleep, small tremors still shaking throughout him as his body continued to weaken by the moment.

"Cosette and Marius fell on their knees, overwhelmed, choked with tears, each grasping one of Jean Valjean's hands," Myka quoted from the book, Les Miserables. "Those noble hands moved no more. He had fallen back, the light from the candlesticks fell across him; his white face looked up toward heaven, he let Cosette and Marius cover his hands with kisses; he was dead. The night was starless and very dark. Without any doubt, in the gloom, some mighty angel was standing, with outstretched wings, waiting for the soul."

After finishing saying these words, Myka suddenly stopped as she looked down at her partner's pale, almost lifeless face, then quietly spoke to him saying, "I'm not sure why I'm quoting Les Miserables to you, let alone the words Victor Hugo wrote as the main character dies. I'm pretty sure you've never heard of it. I doubt you've even seen either of the movies, seeing as it has nothing to do with the superheroes from your comic books you love so much. If I knew lines from any of them, I might try quoting them instead. The heroes from my kinds of books may die sometimes, but your Iron Shadow and Batman never do. You have to keep fighting, Pete; like them. Please, don't leave me."

It was then that a single word finally slipped from his mouth, while his eyes remained closed, in a barely audible whisper as he had earlier at the graveyard, "My… Myka."

Nothing more than her name was spoken, but it gave Myka the hope she needed, knowing that he was still fighting to live and aware that she was sitting there talking with him, then, as she took hold of his hand in her own, she responded quietly, "I knew you weren't giving up, Pete. Prove to me that I was right to choose you as my favorite superhero and not Superman."

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