Chapter 49: Origins
I drive PRINCE33 around FC to deliver the last of twenty or more so kids back off home, where they had been abducted from their beds at night. Some were bright eyed and happy to return home, others were so traumatised they could hardly even look at me, probably because they were not going to believe they’d be taken home until I delivered them to safety and not some other place they could be abused.
Each drive had been harder than the last, yet easier at the same time. I couldn’t believe Desmond King had been involved in all this, after seeing all their faces, I was glad Desmond was dead now. I finally park the car in front of the address provided and the kid goes bolting out the door to his home, I sit in the car for a second longer while I can’t get a particular image out of my mind.
When the lift opened at the top level of the Black Lair Clubhouse I saw fifty kids huddled in booths, some talkative but most so solemn. Most under the age of 10. It was like they had all been to war and survived and now they were suffering the shocks and the after affects. Plenty of the bruises I saw made me want to go on a murdering spree like Serge - killing any who’d ever lay a wrong hand on a young life.
It didn’t resonate or make sense with any part of me. I didn’t understand why kids, kids would be targets of anyone; except psychos. Psychos that needed to die.
I now jump out of the lamborghini and stand back from the steps as the door opens and two sunken eyed young parents look out in a daze. When they look down, they must think they’re dreaming. Their kid rushes at the father and wraps his arms around him, while the mother has to grab the door frame before she falls off her feet with the shock.
“Gabe!” she gasps as the father cries out with joy and lifts him up high.
I walk forward after their initial reaction passes and I gently explain what happened. After I’ve given them the necessary details, they thank me and I leave to allow them their privacy to reunite further.
I wipe away tears for the twentieth time and again, I end up managing to find a reason to laugh while staring at the graffitied dick on PRINCE33, or as we all agreed officially, ‘BPSQFC’ by the lovely poet, Strawberry. The blue balls and crown on the head of the dick make me laugh as I hop back in and start heading back to the Black Lair.
After spending at least four hours driving and delivering kids back home, I can finally park in the garage and return to my Brownie Squad, Viola, Casey and the Gang of Shadows... and hopefully Inertia. To be completely honest, I had no idea how far STRIKE would take potential threats to their ‘whore’. I was a little scared they might have ‘disposed’ of him by now... but, I was trying to give them the benefit of the doubt.
They recruited people all the time to be loyal to them in and around Frankincense City and Daniel was from a background of other gangs. His knowledge could be useful if we ever needed it. I found it fascinating that a group of mutants were trying to copy STRIKE; Vipers, or that the Silver Swans were interested in mastering their abilities. And last but not least, I can’t deny Daniel’s attempt at creating Triple D, was both amusing because of the title... maybe I was just turning into a legitimate horny whore, damn STRIKE and their cocks!... but, his creation really was amusing because of the title, and intriguing.
Daniel clearly wanted to do good, so if he wasn’t a traitorous character, perhaps we’d gain an asset into our team.
I think all this as I arrive back, park and then head up to the Black Lair Clubhouse; which was now closed for business until we sorted out a place for the kids to live.
When the lift from the garage slows and opens at the clubhouse level, I step out and avoid the second lift down into the bunker and then I turn to see how everyone is faring.
I stop and slowly smile.
On the stage, Strawberry was reading poetry from a small book while Raven smashed things as a side show to the poetry. Most of the kids were watching and laughing their heads off.
“This one is called Farts!” Strawberry proclaims, which has more giggles arising as Raven grabs a roll of toilet paper and dramatically rips it in half, “Don’t fear, don’t simmer in a waste land, of oh so gassy and smelly farts, how you remind me of my animal existence on this once beautiful orb of life. Don’t fear, don’t linger in your despair, because here you are in a broken land, alive and farting. Oh, farts, how they remind me I’m living. That’s one of my favourites that I saved for last. Do you like movies, kiddos?” the kids all cheer and agree and Strawberry throws her book of poetry in the air with excitement, “I know right?! I discovered them a week ago. I love them. Daniel should be all set up soon... we’re going to be watching some ancient dissnay movies. Excited?”
“What’s dissnay?” one of the kids calls out and Strawberry gasps.
“You’ll soon see!”
Besides this crowd, there is a small group of Sparkers with Blue, practicing their ability while she sits on the bar, cross legged in her PJs. These kids look shy but they admire Blue as she stares at their powers in awe. They have sparks coming off their fingers and they all speak quietly as they try different techniques... without, you know, combusting things around them or setting things on fire.
I see Daniel, up on a small second level, fiddling with a projector that will display the movie on the screen behind the theatre.
And then I see what I had been hoping to see, but wasn’t sure I’d be lucky enough to witness.
My beasts were helping; they were not hiding from this.
I can not see Dale, but the rest are up here. Jose is awkwardly handing out brownies and pancakes, that I assume Casey and V are making fresh in the kitchen down below.
Serge and Ace have me tight lipped.
Because, I see something I don’t think I’ll ever see again, in my lifetime.
Ace and Serge share a booth, opposite each other. Ace is making baby formula with freshly boiled water from the bar, and Serge has both arms cradling two swaddled babies.
They are both wide eyed babes, quietly watching Serge while he very, very patiently, waits for Ace to finish mixing the formula.
“You don’t have to follow the measurements to the very grain, just mix it,” Serge growls quietly, “My kids are hungry.”
I nearly burst out laughing and have to choke back a full blown snort, but it doesn’t stop me making a squeak of humour.
Serge’s eyes bounce up to see me standing not far away and I completely wipe the smile off my face, hoping he doesn’t lose his temper and scare the babies.
I’m surprised at how calm he is when he sees me, his gaze simply hooded as I start to waltz my way over.
“Nice work,” I can’t help but say something, I just hope they don’t think I’m mocking them.
“Shut it, Alyssa,” Serge uses my name, which shocks me enough, but not as much as him growling out, “Who else is going to take care of these little ones when their parents have been murdered?”
“Little Jax is the twin’s older brother, 10 years old,” Ace explains to me, “He’s with Blue, got some strange Sparker ability where he apparently attracts bolts of lighting whenever there is a storm brewing. Serge likes that. His very own lightening junior -”
The babies in Serge’s arms both make disgruntled cries of complaint, and then they start egging each other on.
Ace starts panicking and starts adding water to the mix in each bottle, shaking rapidly.
“You need to cool it down before you feed it to them,” I explain and Ace pauses.
Then he yells out to Jose, who is by the booths still feeding kids and attempting to make funny jokes, “Bald and ugly, get me a bowl of cold water! Quickly!”
Some of the older kids in the booths relaxing in new friendship groups, giggle nearJose when he is insulted and he shoots Ace an enraged glare.
“Do I look like a waiter to you...?” Jose snarls, his hand clenching and bending the metal tray that holds the brownies, “Get it yourself, you lazy piece of- oh hey... Alyssa, doll, didn’t see you there,” Jose just notices me and seems to check himself.
He slowly puts the tray down with the kids, who all gasp in delight that they are receiving extra treats as Jose heads off to grab what Ace needs.
“Yeah, Alyssa, he’s a dick when you’re not around,” Ace whispers to me, “He’s broken my heart more times than he’s ever broken my bones.”
“Alyssa,” Serge growls quietly, not to disturb the babies, who look like they are both on the urge of screaming after just making their little bouts of compliant, “Did you deliver the kids back safely?”
“Yes,” I answer.
“Good,” Serge nods at me and I stare at him in shock. He’s like a new person, ”What?” he growls, scowling.
“Ah, I-I’m not used to you calling me Alyssa,” I say anything rather than, you’re cute holding babies and they seem to calm you the fuck down, “So, where did you find baby formula?”
“Jax brought it with him,” Ace explains, “Poor kid thought we were going to seperate him from his little sisters. Meet Avery and Sally, they look the same so it’s hard to tell wh-”
“Avery,” Serge murmurs quietly, nodding down to his right bundle and then nodding to his left, “Sally.”
“Okay, okay,” Ace shrugs and stops shaking the bottles, looking suspiciously at Serge as am I. Ace and I share a glance and it’s one of complete misunderstanding.
Serge was either acting way off or he was just a secretive super dad in disguise. I mean, he was always a bit rough with Casey, though...
“Here you go, mother,” Jose growls, trying to insult Ace as he pops up next to me and puts two bowls of water down for Ace, who places the bottles in the water to cool the milk down.
Ace sighs after his job is done, now bored.
“Where’s Dale?” I ask, “Fixing STRIKE or...?”
“These kids have already proclaimed they want to stay,” Ace explains for me, “We’re setting up an abandoned level in the bunker for them to stay safe.”
“It’s hardly a secret anymore,” I shrug, not that I mind before glancing at Lightening, “Serge, you want to adopt those babies or...?”
“Are you serious?” Serge asks me, “No. I’m a fighter not a father.”
“You seem pretty content there...” with my words, Ace grins and snorts.
Serge narrows his eyes.
“Watch yourself, doll-” Serge growls and then the babies start screaming for food.
“Okay, okay, it should be fine,” Ace takes out the bottles and I grab it off him to test it on my hand since I’d seen it done before... on T.V.
It’s just warm and just right.
I come over to Serge and hold the bottle for Avery’s feed first, and then I grab the second one from Ace and hold that one for Sally.
As I stand nice and close to Serge, helping feed the twins, he grudgingly looks happy with me.
“If you ever hold this against me, doll,” Serge says, normally, before whispering so kids near by aren’t traumatised further, “I will get Dale to help me impregnate you with octuplets. Eight little lightenings.”
I can’t help but whisper back, “Octuplets? I’m surprised you even know what that means...” I glare at him and he chooses to look down and assess the twin’s condition.
"Doll... Dale will need your help,” Serge growls, stopping himself from insulting me as he glances up at me briefly, “Finish and go help him before you accidentally pierce the bottles and milk falls all over their heads. I’m not joking, Alyssa,” Serge looks up at me, warning me not to stuff up.
I just raise a brow.
“Not that it’s bad, but why so protective, Serge?” Ace asks, curiously and innocently while I feel a warm hand reach over and spread across my ass, greedily clenching my butt while it’s exposed to him. I try not to roll my eyes.
“It might not make sense... but it just feels... right,” as Serge explains, the babies quickly finish off both bottles.
I step back and pass them to Ace.
“What level is Dale on?” I ask both of them.
“Try 6,” Serge answers while Ace winks at me after his hand has left palming my ass.
“Horny already?” I ask him, “Don’t I satisfy you all enough...?”
"Never,” Serge and Ace growl and even Jose, who has been listening in from not too far away, growls with them.
“Good to know,” I back off and wave as I head towards the lift.
I press for level 6, but when the doors open to 6, it’s just Casey and Viola running around a huge old medical set up, like a hospital. They are helping set up beds with new and fresh sheets and pillows. They must have cooked up all the batches possible and decided to help down here.
“Hey!” Casey calls out as he spots me, while my eyes search for Dale.
“Where’s your father?” I call out and Casey points down.
“Level Secure, for some special cell batteries or something,” Casey explains while V waves at me
I wave back while my Ultimate mind is suddenly excited.
Level Secure. Interesting.
“Thanks, Casey,” I nod and back up into the lift which I had been holding open.
I press for [S] and wait patiently as the lift descends.
When the lift stops and the doors silently slide open again, I see level Secure is still in darkness with small lights leading the path to the golden ring with the green emerald which held information the Five Reds desperately wanted to get ahold of.
I hold the lift open when I see Dale holding special batteries in his hand... but he’s also watching the footage concealed in the ring and being played out onto the screen behind it.
This was footage I hadn’t seen and Dale is watching it solemnly.
At first all I see is a military field with explosions going off, then loud laughter from men. I watch curiously as the camera swings back to focus on a group of four guys. Two with dark hair, brown eyes and two with blonde hair and blue eyes. All middle-aged with familiar features, just... imperfect. They all laugh and set off another explosive, which has the camera shaking.
“Way to close, you idiot!”
“Where’s the fun in far away?”
“You shoot things far away for a living, so you hate your sniper now, huh?”
“So as you can see, this is what an elite team does when we get a test field all to ourselves... and it’s pretty awesome stuff.”
“Give me the camera, I’m the explosive’s expert-”
They all banter and then the video cuts off and some photos appear of the same men. One with his daughters and family, one graduating the army with his friend holding a sniper and the last one is holding his ten degrees from university proudly with a smirk.
The imperfect normal beings I see look hardly anything like them. But at the same time, they look so alike. Just imperfect and normal. Human... without the super factor.
I’m pretty sure I’m not meant to see it but it’s too late now. Now, I knew where most of their extra genes came from. Their Supreme Gene Inserts.
STRIKE, they were based on these men, clearly.
And from the date on the video and on the photos, that my keen eye happened to notice... these men were still alive.
Older, yes, older somewhere. Or maybe they were dead.
But one thing was for sure, these men were the members of the original STRIKE and the inspiration behind the super soldier’s creation.