A New Life
Vehicle: standard (rank 1)
Sarah had lost Clyde less than a week after the funeral, but two months after signing up with Harrison she had made enough money to buy herself a new one. Clyde II was a beautiful piece of machinery. Clyde II was all sleek midnight black where his ancestor was candy red. There were two notches scraped in the left handlebar to indicate Clyde II’s position as the second. It didn’t have all the souped up bells and whistles that the original Clyde had, but Sarah was working on it.
Sarah and her partner were sitting together on the beige carpeted floor of their shared suite playing a game of cards. Sarah was winning, as she always did, and of the candy they wagered, Sarah had a much taller pile. Though it was stacked against him, Firestarter played jovially. It seemed he was just happy to have someone to play with.
A thought occurred to Sarah. “Hey, what’s your real name?”
Her partner paused for a second and thought about it. “Well, I don’t have a birth certificate and I have two names depending on which parent I’m with. My mother calls me Otto.”
“What does your dad call you?”
“It’s unpronounceable in human tongue.”
“Oh,” Sarah showed her hand and grabbed some Swedish Fish from Otto’s pile. He smiled and started shuffling again. As he dealt, the phone rang. Otto checked the Caller ID; it was Harrison. Firestarter hit speakerphone, and Harrison’s voice came through. “I’m patching a client through. Firestarter will take the call. Two hour appointment.”
The line went dead for a second as connections were made. When the call came through, Firestarter spoke with a voice so authoritative and strong and different that it made Sarah jump. “We will be your bodyguards. You have us for two hours.” They continued to talk over details, where and when the bodyguarding detail would begin.
Mind Blast: superior (rank 2)
- Ranged Attack
- Area Affect
- Super Area of Effect
Sarah and Firestarter sat across from each other in a very expensive restaurant. It was, by far, the most expensive restaurant that Sarah had ever been in. They had chandeliers over each table. The waiters addressed the customers as monsieur and madame. Sarah reveled in the new experience, while trying to remain focused on her job. Five feet to her left, the client - who was paying for the restaurant - sat with an intimidatingly large Russian man. Sarah and Firestarter were positioned just far enough that they couldn’t hear the client’s whispered conversation over the din of the restaurant, but close enough that Sarah and Firestarter could be between the client and the Russian in under a second. Sarah called it ‘bodyguarding distance’.
The dinner progressed calmly, with Sarah slowly working her way through venison. She couldn’t stop glancing over at the Russian. Something seemed wrong with his manner, his expressions, and the urgency in his whisper. Something about him made Sarah feel uncomfortable, something other than the fact that he was obviously carrying a gun. Sarah could see the imprint bulging in his jeans from where she was sitting and could not imagine that it wouldn’t be used.
The conversation turned quickly ugly. The Russian man stood up from the table knocking his chair backwards. There was a blur of motion as Firestarter dove between the armed man and the client. The bullet ricocheted off his back and into the wall. Sarah psychically slammed the gunman back down into his chair where he slumped like a marionette with its strings cut. At the sound of gunfire, the entire restaurant turned around. More than eight people leveled guns toward Sarah, Firestarter, and the client who huddled behind them.
Sarah flipped a table sending food, drinks, and silverware to the floor and ducked behind it. She felt guilty momentarily for ruining the nice carpet, before the sound of a bullet thudding into the wood behind her reminded her to prioritize her concerns. Firestarter slid behind the table with the client in tow.
“I set off a distraction, we charge out the back through the kitchen. Plan?”
“Sure.” Sarah concentrated hard for a second and let off a psychic bomb on the other side of the restaurant. She heard bodies drop. Firestarter stood up, ignoring bullet pinging off him. He took a deep breath, exhaled, and suddenly the restaurant was on fire. The heat stung Sarah’s skin. She made a mad dash for the exit, pulling the client along by the hand. They made it safely back to the client’s car and drove off away from the blaze.
A few blocks away in the safety of the client’s backseat, Firestarter started furiously admonishing Sarah. “What the hell is wrong with you! Do you know how many innocent people you hurt?”
“Geez!” Sarah recoiled. “They were shooting at us. I wanted to neutralize the threat. I aimed in the middle. It’s not like anyone got hurt.”
“Someone did get hurt. A woman was running out when you hit her. She fell and cracked her head on the corner of a table. I don’t know if anyone picked her up.”
Sarah sat still for a while. “Well,” she said eventually. “I’m not dead and I’m getting paid. Seems like a victory to me. There’s nothing for you to be complaining about.”
Firestarter didn’t respond and the car ride passed in silence.
Berserker: standard (rank 1)
In the suite, Sarah and Firestarter glared at each other from two couches across the room. Sarah held that she was not a murderous psycho bitch, and in fact, was just a loyal employee devoted to the protection of her charge. Firestarter, who was more passionately angry, protested that any person or persons who fires into a crowd of human beings should be removed from society. And with that difference of opinions, they sat and waited for Harrison to arrive.
When Harrison did arrive, he listened to both arguments with equanimity and cheerfully tossed a rubberbanded stack of bills at both of his employees. Then he said to the room at large, “You two are great. Sarah, you’re loyal. You follow instructions. I like that. Firestarter, you got heart. I like that too.”
Sarah and Firestarter continued to glare at each other, but having both received their paychecks; the argument was suffocated under the weight of money.
Harrison beckoned Sarah out of the room. “Your loyalty has given me reason to involve you in my next doing, but first, a bonus for your propensity to do as you’re told.” Harrison held in his hand a small eyepiece.
Confused, Sarah took it and put it on. She could feel it sucking on her brain power, stealing away her consciousness. And then suddenly it stopped. The drain was gone and Sarah felt clearer than ever. She turned to Harrison, breathing deeply. “What. The Hell. Was That.”
“Psychic Amplifier, now come.”
They got in the elevator and went down to the basement floor. When they got out, the first thing Sarah noticed was the smell of cleaning fluid, the overpoweringly bad smell of cleaning fluid. She plugged her nose and soldiered on. Harrison directed her to a closed room.
“There is a man on the other side of this room,” he whispered. “I’m gonna need you to really mess his mind up. We’re trying to get some information, but he won’t speak. So maybe, I don’t really know how your magic works, just work your magic.”
Sarah stepped into the room. Tied to a chair was a man, head hung as low as it could in his position. The walls were caked with blood, presumed to be his. He looked up as the door opened and smiled as Sarah stepped through. She gave him a psychic nudge to the man’s nociceptors. He screamed in pain flinging himself about in the small chamber. The chair tipped over and slammed his head against the concrete floor. More blood flowed. Sarah was amazed at how much damage had been done.
She bent down to inspect the man. His teeth were bared like a wild animal. His eyes were wide open. On the lapel of his shirt he wore a pin. It read “Sentinel” in curly script. Sarah grinned and closed the door behind her.