Being Watched: Part 4

Jaclyn shook her head. Knowing how Grandpa was treated at the beginning of the war, I’m the last person who should be saying, “Don’t worry about it, the government will do the right thing in the end,” but do you know that they won’t?

I considered it. I don’t. Honestly, I really think they will eventually, but I don’t know how long that’ll be, and well, you know about Lee and everything. If that’s Abominator tech, it’s likely to be booby trapped.

I sensed confusion from Izzy.

Who’s Lee?

Oops. I hadn’t meant to pass that on. I felt a pulse of worry from Jaclyn.

A friend of my grandfather who knows a bit about Abominator tech. Anyway, it’s not just the way they’re using it for politics, I’m worried they might not be taking appropriate precautions.

Daniel’s mental presence, quietly but solidly there, slipped into the conversation. I haven’t sensed anything wrong with anyone who went through the government version of the power impregnator.

A flash of interest from Jaclyn, You can sense the difference?

No, Daniel said, but I know which of the kids here went through it. They’re happy, not deranged.

Got it, Jaclyn thought. I’m not against running people through our power impregnator if we’ve got a reason, but I don’t want to get in trouble. I know they want us in the program, but this is big enough that they could throw us out. Do any of you have a backup plan for paying for school if this falls through? I had to refuse the scholarships I got when the government stepped in to pay for everything.

Izzy started in with a blast of emotion intense enough that I couldn’t name it.

You can’t let this go because of college. This isn’t right. There’s enough of an imbalance between supers and everyone else without keeping powers within the same group of people and their kids. We should be telling people what’s going on. This should be in the news.

Uh… No. I paused to organize my thoughts. I’m a little worried about everyone knowing. Someone I know did research and leaving power juice in your system when you go through the power impregnator will likely mess you up for good. I don’t want a bunch of Red Lightnings out there.

Another blast of intense emotion from Izzy. What’s going to make it safe is if people all over are testing and examining it, and the government has to address it openly.

I don’t know, Daniel thought. I think if it got out, the government would make it illegal immediately with the need for more testing as an excuse—just like they are with power juice.

I sensed Izzy stifle her first response, but then she thought, That might be true, but I still think we need to help people outside of here get powers. And we shouldn’t stop there. We should go to our handlers, tell them we know what they’re doing, and that it’s not right.

I caught a feeling of impatience from Jaclyn, and then she thought, If we were going to talk to them, wouldn’t it be better to just talk to them and not run anybody through? If anybody finds out we’re giving people powers, they’ll do what they can to shut us down. If we’re only arguing with them, they might listen. If we’re arguing, and deliberately working against them, they’ll never listen, and we’ll get in trouble.

This wasn’t quite what I had in mind with the discussion.

I wasn’t ever thinking about making a political statement. I just wanted to help Courtney. I don’t even know anyone else I’d consider, so this might just be a one time thing.”

Why Courtney? Jaclyn asked.

I thought about it. Well… She wants to do something, and I think she’ll keep on using power juice one way or the other. Plus, I know she wants permanent powers. If she gets them from us, it’s better than someone else. She might help us.

And she might go nuts. Jaclyn said.

Right. Now we were getting into territory I’d already thought through. Believe me, I’m going to look into that before I do anything. I don’t want to create another Red Lightning.

* * *

We spent Saturday morning learning first aid from Guardian, who as I remembered was a doctor in normal life.

He stood there in his silver uniform, muscles outlined under the fabric, talking about first aid. Seeing him up there with gauze, bandages, gloves, and tape laid out in front of him on the desk struck me as weird.

Alex sat at the desk next to me, playing with his pencil, smiling a bit as Guardian said, “All of you need to learn first aid. The skills could save your life and the lives of your friends…”

He didn’t pretend to be interested either. You’d think he might when you considered he was dating Brooke, Guardian’s daughter.

Four hours of lecture, demonstration, and practicing later, we moved on to the next class—basic combat training.

We met in the gym, and I recognized the instructor. He had a blond, buzz cut, wore camouflage, and stood around six and half feet tall. Weapons from various eras lay on the concrete floor in front of him, ranging from knives to swords to pole arms to automatic rifles.

He introduced himself as Gunther, but I didn’t need to hear the name.

It was one of Lee’s forms.

14 thoughts on “Being Watched: Part 4”

  1. Izzy’s got quite the sense of justice. I can see how Evil Beatnik could have manipulated her based on her wanting to go out and do something about all the wrongs out there. She’s going to get herself in trouble just charging in like that, though.

    Now we have Lee involved in this program. I wonder who got him to do it this time? It almost seems like a given that he was their secret resource alone. Or maybe he’s just so determined to train them that he bopped their real instructor over the head.

    Also, nothing says “A Beginner’s Introduction to Weaponry” quite like a SAW.

  2. Interesting the gov’t has Lee working for them as they warned the Rocket about Lee @ one point.

  3. I’m thinking Lee doesn’t want anyone training Nick wrong and he thinks it could be fun. I think he went to the government and said “I’m going to train these guys.” He’s most likely not a guy you say no to.

    Also for the government it may be an “enemy’s closer” kind of think.

  4. Well he probably IS the best there is at what he does. That and his race was responisble for the abominator tech by leaving artifacts for them to find. So he would have some inside knowledge about the foes theyre gonna be fighting ( the abominators now freed slave soldiers). It makes sense.

  5. Lee: Real old badass, involved in WW2, immortal, hard to kill, lived in medieval times and was even briefly ruler of the Roman Empire, plays music, good with a sword, can look European or Asian(or any way he wants to look), cut off an immortal supervillain’s body parts.

    Christopher Lee: Real old badass, involved in WW2, known for portraying an immortal called Dracula that is hard to keep dead (just as the Belmont family), played Saruman in medieval fantasy, sang as Charlemagne on a rock album, probably good with a sword, is English but portrayed Fu Manchu, cut off an immortal villan’s body parts as Count Dooku.


  6. I like that Lee is training the next generation. It means he’s going to have fun when/if he ever has to fight them for real.

  7. Jeff: If Lee ever does fight them for real, he may be the only one having fun.

    PG: You know, I’ve never imagined Lee taking Christopher Lee’s form. That would be strange.

    As for why Lee’s there… It would be really funny if Lee had knocked off their regular instructor and replaced him. If he had, they might not ever know–well, except for Nick.

    Dwwolf/Rain/Daniel: We’ll know shortly why he’s there. I think. It kind of depends on how aspects of the next update go.

    Rain: Is this your first comment? (I know I had to approve it) Anyway, welcome.

  8. Typo:

    I wasn’t ever thinking about making a political statement. I just wanted to help Courtney. I don’t even known anyone else I’d consider, so this might just be a one time thing.”

    “Known” should be “know”

  9. I’m really liking Izzy here. She seems like the only one out of the gang that’s in it for protecting the innocent. Nick and Daniel were pulled in by Cassie and eventually the rest of the team were too.

    Heh, I wonder how well she gets along with her dad with that attitude.

  10. Ace, it could just be a matter of who is seen as the innocent needing protecting. I don’t know how familiar you are with the American South or a little movie called Birth of a Nation, but some people really do believe in the physical, mental, and moral inferiority of African Americans. Some of those also believe that black men want to get their hands on some white women.

    Then there’s the fact that for a long time, the South saw slavery, then segregation, as part of their traditional values and way of life, and them damn Yankees were trying to destroy it in their view. Then came the Southern Strategy.

    Anyway, you get the point I was trying to make.

  11. @Pyscho Geeko
    While there were people who did see it that way, they weren’t exclusive to the South. In fact some of the worst Race Riots, of the American Civil Rights movement, occurred in the North. The racism of the South, while bad, has been played up quite a bit by the media.
    Heh sorry for jumping on my Soapbox but being from the South myself it really bugs me when people go on about how racist we supposedly are down here.
    Anywho Good job as always Jim and PG you certainly have a good about how it depends on who you feel needs protecting.

  12. Well, Paradox, normally I don’t go back to previous sections to discuss things, but I happened to notice you here.

    Now, where I am in the South, it is plenty racist. Hence why I’ve heard people around here use some rather nasty slang. Dirty, hard manual labor? Thay call that n***erwork. Jury-rigged? No, they say n***er-rigged. Doesn’t that just make lovely everyday conversation? Let me tell you, it sucks to be someone with a brain around here, because you’d be looked at funny for any of that progressive stuff like calling them out on that ignorant bullshit. Because those are the people that outnumber you. They also tend to believe that African Americans are going around killing white people out of the blue in retaliation for Trayvon Martin (Because, you know, a black kid in a hoodie is automatically threatening to ignorant people).

    In less direct knowledge, I also remember about a Mississippi high school that has segregated proms. To this day. Then again, that was a couple of years ago, so it could have been only until THAT day.

    So yeah, I do go on about how racist we are down here.

    It is also certainly correct that quite a bit of racist attitudes existed in the North and West at that particular time. In some ways, the North was worse about how it treated African Americans, as it had always had fewer. Having less interaction with what you see as a different group tends to lead to misconceptions. One major example is the minstrel show, which started in the North. Irish people dressed in blackface performing what they thought were the kinds of music and dances that African Americans would do. In actuality, the music they came up with sounded quite a bit like country music.

    As for the West…there were the damn Coon Chicken Inn restaurants.

    Anyways, I dislike discussing idiots so I’m going to end this at this point, but as someone else in the South, I don’t think I was overestimating the attitudes of people I see everyday when I quoted them.

  13. I want to be a fly on the wall in a conversation between C and Izzy.

    I imagine C would have LOTs to say to her, and I’d be willing to bet that Izzy would at least try to listen.

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