The last place Detective Vasquez would have looked for Firebird was in her own station. However, one floor directly above her, a minimally disguised Jordan passed through the front doors of the station in search of her “old friend”. With just a hoodie and sunglasses, Jordan felt no need to go overboard hiding who she was since no sane person would waltz into a police station with their wanted poster plastered on every wall and every officers computer and cellphone. She stopped briefly to admire her wanted poster, complete with a photo of her wearing her D.F.D. uniform. Kurt, donning just a baseball cap, leaned over and whispered to her.
“It’s gonna be fine. If we do this right none of this will have ever happened, okay?” She nodded absentmindedly.
They moved towards an elevator on the far wall that would take them to their two destinations: the holding cells… and the morgue. Kurt pulled out the access card Quickstrike had lifted earlier off an unsuspecting officer and waited for the signal to swipe. On cue, Quickstrike blew into the station and promptly began making demands and destroying everything in her path.
“Where is he? Where’s the son of a bitch that killed my friend?”
She proceeded to use her Katanas to slice several desks in half and threaten the officers on duty. The whole station was thrown into chaos as officers fired on Quickstrike only to have bullets deflected back towards them at lethal speeds. Kurt smiled to himself; she was quite the distraction. He swiped the card and pushed Jordan into the elevator as soon as the doors opened. She stood off to the corner, not entirely engaged in the moment though the plan had been hers. He checked the blueprints Taylor had given him on his phone and pressed the basement key to take them to the holding cells. He needed Jordan to plug back in, quickly.
“You okay?” She looked up startled as if she hadn’t remembered he was with her.
“How do I tell him?”
“How do I tell him that the love of his life, mother of his child, is dead?”
She was referring to Legend, the “old friend” they were about to break out of a holding cell. He and Nona had been high school sweethearts and only parted ways when he refused to leave his violent lifestyle, even with the impending birth of their son. Now they were in desperate need of his help for Legend possessed a unique ability, even among the super-powered. He could turn back time.
Kurt shook his head, knowing how he would feel if he had to receive such news about Jordan. The elevator came to a stop with a bump and they quickly headed down the hall towards his cell. The guard had been called away to deal with Quickstrike and Taylor was controlling all the cameras remotely for the next ten minutes, a small window for a resurrection. As they reached his cell, Legend, sitting on a cot head in hands, looked up.
“I already know.” He stated flatly, eyes rimmed red. Legend was a handsome man with smooth caramel skin and a well-trimmed Ceaser. He usually wore all white, his gang’s primary color, yet his outfit today looked dingy and wrinkled. It was clear he hadn’t slept in days. “Let’s do this.” Jordan nodded solemnly and tapped her comm.
“Let him out Vixen and unlock all the doors to… our other destination. On my mark.” She paused briefly. “Mark.”
The electronic lock on Legend’s cell popped open and the door slid back effortlessly. He stepped out and immediately pulled Jordan into a strong embrace. She gripped him tighter than she would have expected from herself but released him quickly. Legend kept a strong hand on her arm, continuing to offer support. He turned and jerked a thumb towards Kurt.
“Who the hell is this?” Kurt drew himself up a little taller, feeling a twinge of jealousy and answered Legend firmly.
“I’m a friend. We should go.”
The three made their way down the corridor until they ducked into a sterile room with cold, steel lockers all along the wall. The morgue smelled of antiseptic and was eerily quiet considering the way Quickstrike was destroying things just a few floors up. Kurt grabbed a clipboard off the wall and flipped through until he found the name they wanted.
“ Number 27.” He read out loud.
Legend was the first to approach the locker, second from the bottom.He yanked the door open, and slid the shelf out. There was a white sheet draped over her face and Legend peeled it back reverently. Jordan approached silently, unsure of what she would see. She was surprised to see how peaceful Nona looked, paler than usual and missing her trademark piercings but with no signs of the torment she had endured before her death. She laid a shaky hand on her sister’s cool forehead and breathed unsteadily. You can do this. You’re the only one who can. She silently coached herself as Kurt readied the medical supplies behind them.
“How far?” She was pulled out of her revelry by Legend’s deep voice.
“How far back do we need to go?”
“Three days.” The thought gave her pause. Had it really only been three days since she and Nona had met in that dark apartment? Legend looked concerned.
“I’ve never gone back that far before. It would take a lot of energy.”
“That’s why I’m here.” Jordan offered. Legend scoffed, then held up his hands in surrender when she looked offended.
“No offense, but you don’t really seem yourself. You’re barely staying on your feet!” Jordan knew she wasn’t at her best but they really couldn’t wait for her recovery to be complete. It seemed Legend thought it was a long shot and he would do ANYTHING to make sure his son had his mother back. She was about to defend herself when Kurt spoke up.
“That’s why I’m here. Six minutes!” He called out. They were running out of time. It was now or never. “I’m going to inject you both with Adrenaline, should give you the needed boost to make the jump.” Legend nodded.
“Three days? Let’s hope your friend knows what he’s doing.” He laid a hand gently on Nona’s chest and reached the other one across the table to Jordan. “For it to work we need to all be touching.”
She took his hand in hers, closing her eyes as she concentrated on power flowing from her body, through Nona into Legend in a continuous loop. Legend closed his eyes as he began to feel the effects. He opened them for a split second and turned to Kurt.
“Hit us now!” Kurt ran up and slammed a needle into each of their arms before recoiling from the energy rolling off them.
“Will I remember?” Jordan had opened her eyes in reaction to the stab of the needle. She looked at Legend intently. “Will I remember what I need to know to save her?” Legend stared back sadly, their combined powers swirling around him.
“You’ll remember EVERYTHING.” Then an intense flash of light blew Kurt off his feet and they were gone!
Jordan was cold. The surface underneath her was icy and hard, pressing painfully into her cheek. She opened one eye cautiously; the room around her remained dark. A pair of boots moved into her line of vision and she stiffened immediately as realization dawned on her! I’m back! The ache in her ribs told her that the fight had already started. Her back was also stinging but she couldn’t understand why because none of that had happened yet.
“So what do we do now? You shouldn’t have come! Do you know what he’ll make me do to you?!” Jordan remembered this part quite well. “You’re just going to let me beat you to death? Without even putting up a fight…”
Jordan heard the warning in Nona’s tone. She was going to attack again. Jordan pushed herself to the right seconds before Nona’s boot slammed down where her head had been! Another quick roll and she was on her feet. This was it; she had to get the nanites out her sister NOW!
“I’m sorry,” she whispered, watching Nona’s face twist with confusion. Then she seized her sister’s wrists and poured everything she had left into the contact.
Immediately Nona began to scream, collapsing to the floor and taking her sister with her. Jordan didn’t let go, couldn’t. Before she came back Taylor had researched nanites, finding that extreme heat was the most effective manner of destroying them. So she held on, even as her sister begged her to stop, smoke rising off her convulsing frame. She let go only when Nona started shaking and retching violently. She watched with growing concern as her sister spewed a sparkling blue liquid all over the tiled floor. It moved and undulated with a life all it’s own. Clearly, the nanites weren’t dead yet. Jordan fired another flame onto the floor, devouring the living liquid in the blaze. She let out a breath she didn’t know she had been holding.
Scrambling over to her sister, Jordan pulled her head onto her knees. Grabbing a towel off the counter above her she wiped her sister’s mouth and face. Nona’s cheeks were stained with tears; her eyes still squeezed shut in pain. Jordan rocked her gently and stroked her face.
“Nona? Can you hear me?” She pleaded with the prone form in her arms. “Please open your eyes.”
Nona swallowed hard, her Adam’s apple bobbing roughly along her raw throat. She slowly pried her lids open to see the concerned face of her older sister. The same older sister who had just…
“Set me on fire…” she murmured, her mouth still dry from vomiting. Jordan was so relieved she nearly dropped her sister when she spoke. She leaned an ear closer to Nona’s mouth so she could hear her.
“What?” Nona swallowed again and spoke a little louder.
“You set me on fire.” It was a statement, not an accusation. Jordan let out a small laugh and kissed her forehead lightly.
“Yeah, well, we’ve been hurting each other A LOT lately.” Nona’s eyes slipped closed again and Jordan had to remind herself that Nona was okay, even though she looked as still as she had in the morgue. She took the quiet moment to fish out her phone and text Legend.
“It worked! Nona ok.” It read. “Come pick us up at…” She grabbed a bill of the counter behind her and typed in the address.
Then she settled down to wait, scooting her back against the counter behind them so she could pull Nona further into her lap and farther away from the burned nanite vomit. She hissed loudly when her back connected with the cold surface. It still felt like she had been slashed repeatedly with a box cutter! But that couldn’t be. That hadn’t even happened yet.
When she reached a tentative hand under the hem of her black Henley, she knew it was true. Worse yet, some of the stitches had come loose and she was bleeding again, slowly, but still bleeding. It didn’t make any sense and she decided she would worry about it after they were rescued. She leaned her head back and waited. Ten minutes later, Legend slipped in the unlocked door and turned on a small table lamp.
“Hey.” He shook Jordan lightly, hoping the older sister was just resting after the draining act of time travel. She opened her eyes slowly, unaware she had fallen asleep. She blinked a few times to adjust to the dim lighting, then smiled when his face came into view.
“Hey yourself. We did it.” She tilted her head toward the sleeping Nona and Legend knelt down to see the miracle himself. He pushed a lock of hair out of her face and pressed his forehead to hers.
“I never thought I’d get another chance…” He spoke mostly to himself. He quickly slid an arm under Nona’s legs and the other around her shoulders and pulled her up with him as he stood tucking her against his chest. Jordan got to her feet much more slowly and Legend noticed how she winced with each motion. “Are you okay?” Jordan nodded but seemed unsure.
“I think,” She took a sharp intake of breath as if she’d been struck. “I think some of my injuries followed me back.” Legend was immediately concerned. He tilted his body towards her.
“Here, lean on me. We better get you BOTH to your doctor friend.” She just nodded and clung to him for dear life, each breath more labored than the last as she felt the blood trickling down her spine.