“Godammit Wilsons get this shitty pack off me. It didn’t do shit to that class five! Holy crap have I got news for the boss. Theres some heavy hitters out here in the west, we were just hunting small time techno-junkie hackers and lame water-walkers. But a mutant that can take the juice of Dr. Finks electro-gun? Damn. Damn, damn, damn.”
The “FBI” agent was sputtering this speech over taking off the pack by loosening its many straps. The backpack and the cannon weighed roughly in the hundred and twenty area so it was quite a burden, until science finds a way to make it smaller. FBI Agent Grimstone finally had the pack on the ground, and then reached inside his vehicle for his cellular. While pressing buttons on the phone he looked around.
Wilsons, the rather nerdy looking detective was standing before the other ICE men as they rang out with questions, “What did you mean by class five? By Boss do you mean The Old Bird? Major Spinner? Whats a mutant?”
“Godammit just shut the fuck up you idiots. Wilsons just get that fucking pack ready. Which fucking way did they go?”
He was asking the other ICE men and his partner, wide-eyed and collar soaked in sweat. They all pointed into the dark where the branch last rustled at the unidentified super-man’s exit. Grabbing a shotgun out of the back of his car Grimstone began to walk off, pocketing the phone.
“Come on Wilsons. I’ll need backup.”
The small visage of Wilsons appeared next to Agent Grimstone, with the top of the pack level with Grimstone’s malicious gaze and Wilsons tiny body somewhere below. The two of them stomped off into the woods in the direction they intended to find their new prey. As they moved through the woods they bantered.
“What do you think would happen if we called the drop team in sir?”
“The drop teams a last ditch effort Wilsons. I don’t want us to have to call them till I know we need to call them. So far I think we can take the Mexican we just can’t let him touch us. He killed that ICE guy back there with just a Vulcan nerve trick or some bullshit. Shit, I’m feelin a little gutsy right now.”
“I’m very scared sir. Will you keep the drop team button within thumbs reach?”
“It’ll stay in my pocket Wilsons. Till I know. And I will know.”
They climbed the mountain side where ripped burned clothing and metal disc fragments lay about in the most obvious of bread crumb trails. The level of fear was rationalized as they deduced their prey may be as scared as they were. Their last conversation together ended at the lip of the gem perch.
“…and we double backed and caught them together in this tight formation and they were twice as scared as we were at that point. We killed them all though. No time to spare a second after we had the surprise on them. But boy did it turn the tides when we finally did get the drop on them.”
“That’s a great story Wilsons. Reminds me of my young days in the bush. Hey listen, if we do have to call the drop team don’t be afraid to run. They’re they heavy hitters. We’re just scouts in this game. Got it?”
“Sure thing Grimstone. Thanks for lookin out.”
“Shut the fuck Wilsons. You want to see that fat baby of yours again? Then make sure you tuck tale and run when the shit hits the fan. And don’t look back for me. I’ve been meaning to die in some deep x-files bullshit encounter so let me go. Got it?”
“Yes sir. Grimstone! What. What is this?”
“Godammit Wilsons just shut the fuck up from here on out. I don’t like what I’m feeling here. Let’s roll. You cover my ass.”
The two men entered from the perch side of the gem labyrinth. Wilsons pack hummed louder as the echo amplified past the entrance. Other noises included the draining and dripping of water, the shuffling of feet unaccustomed to walking on prismatic blocks and points, and some sort of crackling electrical noise. Grimstone brandished the shotgun like an expert while steadily moving down the shifty corridor clearing each passageway until they found what they were looking for.
Sight was sorely ruined as they turned a final corner to find extremely bright natural light flooding a gemstone chimney. There was no one but the lights, and the lights were mysterious enough as their shine originated out of thin air. Grimstone inched to the edge of the walkway, just barely at the dividing line between his shadows and the glowing stone. He reached out at first with the barrel of his gun and when it passed into the light with no effect he stepped into the cylindrical room of glowing rock.
At first nothing happened and Grimstone looked about in wonderful awe. Then when Wilsons stepped up to the platform a lurching hum began to vibrate throughout the crystal stack. It reverberated to low pitches and high pitches all the while sounding almost strained, as if it were being controlled. The two agents stood their ground, befuddled.
Next came an eruptive thunderclap as short lightning waves licked out from the walls, conducting into a ball of energy hovering in the air just above the agent’s heads. The walls went dark as the ball lightning drained the essence and color into itself. Then with another thunderclap the form of a man was hovering briefly in midair – the light faded to night – till he fell to the ground at the agent’s feet, light as a feather.
Wilsons swallowed and stared at the newly formed man. Grimstone lowered his shotgun at first and raised his free hand in a sign of neutrality, hoping for something rational. This energy stranger stood up then and glanced between the two men. He was a solid man with wisps of molecules drifting away at the shoulders and tips of his hair like sand flowing from the tip of a wind-whipped dune.
“We don’t want to hurt you,” Grimstone started, “We just want you to come with us till we know who you are and that you can handle yourself in the wild, comprende muchacho?”
The shadowed man lifted an arm as if to swat a fly and Grimstone’s bullet-belt exploded in a hail of shot. The heat from the simultaneous explosion of all the ammunition on his body caused his clothing to catch fire. Some of the shot ricocheted around the room, flying harmlessly through the stranger. Grimstone fell back out of the wide chimney and found a place where water had collected in the main walkway to douse the flame and cool the burn.
As Grimstone shuffled by, “Blast him Wilsons! Full power!”
Wilsons took one look at the alien being then clicked a red button that was for strict emergencies only. A memory trickled into Wilsons mind about when Dr. Fink was instructing his apprentices at the lab. He told the students about “The Emergency Over-Power Button.” This was for rare occasions when the pack may need to be juiced at it’s fullest possible potential, to get a big bang obviously, but also to field test a new gadget. This was it. That test. Wilsons’ test. He pressed the big red emergency over-power button while pulling the trigger soon after.
The air around Wilsons body pulsated as his hair was thrown back and his tie was flung over his shoulders. The wind force that the cannon let off had a jolting surge like none other as Wilsons tiny frame managed to aim it. With the hum of an engine going into hyperdrive, and tip of the cannon sparkling through heated wind turbines Wilsons could barely hang on.
The blast was an amazing amalgamation of purple and blue lightning rippling around a white core. The flash dazzled everyone in the room briefly, but the connection was solid. Wilsons had the perfect angle down the corridor centered on the stranger, connecting the vortex of ultra-powerful energy. Within seconds the beam was shot the cannon end had melted off. Bright orange goo dripped to the floor where the barrel had been. The shock-gun was useless now, but the target had disappeared entirely.
With a wisp of air Wilsons’ sight cleared and he saw what can only be described as moonlit molecules of a sort drifting in a majestic spiral up the chimney through the hole. The tiny particles floated about on the air disappearing from sight at the end of the chimney. The entire time Wilsons held his breath for the next move. The next holy-shit disaster to break the world in front of him. But instead all that came was a cool breeze that made him realize he was extremely warm.
Wilsons detached the clamps and belts harnessing the huge pack to his back, all the while the sound of dripping water echoed off the walls along with his huge breathes of air. He took the rain-soaked handkerchief from his pocket and wiped the streams of sweat from his brow. Heat was still emanating from the gun, and Wilsons began to hear a low rumble emerge from the pack.
Glancing over the back pack area to run a test cycle on the power grid he came across another sign that triggerd a memory. When Dr. Fink was analyzing the power conduits for his field test kit he noted once the power levels fluctuating to unstable heights where the readings were bright red in the converter window. He had to abandon the pack in the wilds of Siberia as it was too dangerous. Nothing happened to the pack but for safety the Doc had it neutralized. The dial reading at the time was just too off the wall and bright scary red. Just like it was right now in front of Wilsons. And as this realization dawned on him and he was holding it in his hands, the hum of the vibration began to grow. Dropping it and running were the only things left to do.
As he rushed out of the hallway connected to the main vein where his partner was waiting in a puddle he cried, “Eeeeaaagh! Grimstone, get clear! The packs gonna blow!”
As the two men leaped from the perch of the mountain side the explosion from the over-surged pack in the heart of the tunnels let off a red flaring energy that lit the cave from end to end, from every open sky hole to every tunnel pointing to the sky. For a brief moment at a distance the top side of the mountain was a great horned hideout with red twisting lights pouring out of it’s holes. The allure of evil was all too captivating until the whole tip collapsed in on itself. An abundant explosion rocked the earth right afterwards and a rockslide formed like a wave.
Hurdling down the hill as huge boulders rumbled past them Wilsons and Grimstone ran for their lives. The spry and sleek veteran with his bullet burned clothing and the drenched in sweat suit dodged left and right as they looked over their shoulders for what could potentially be the rock that could take out their ankle, or their leg, or their torso, or their entire body. Amazingly the two emerged from the rubble with just bruises and cuts, but otherwise alive.
As they patrolled around to get their bearings they realized they weren’t far from their vehicles. Scouting back over the newly glazed terrain their cars were all two to four feet deep in soot, freshly ground soil, and sediment from all over the place. The ICE agents were gone as well as any of the hostages.
Looking around Grimstone locked eyes with Wilsons his voice was gruff and aged, “Yep Wilsons. We fucked up pretty bad. We got some new intel though, and field analysis information. With the wave of dirt we won’t have to worry about the bodies.”
“Yeh. Right the bodies. The Doc will want to know about the potential for a catastrophic reaction,” Wilsons younger voice chimed as they both surveyed the wreckage site, “I wonder how many of the others lived?”
“Call it in Wilsons. A Four Oh Niner at Eleven hundred on the dot!” As Grimstone began to rummage through the dirt, “Tell em that the media should cover it as a mining accident. We’ll backtrack the information later and pin it into existence when we make it back to base.”
“The radio is in one of these cars.”
“The white hummer had all the radio equipment in it, remember?” said Grimstone while hurling mass loads of dirt over his shoulders, “For now call in the local law enforcement and have them look for any of the escapees, they may know something. Also radio base. Tell em we’re stranded and to send a flyer, code Blue Mary. Find the flares and throw em out after your done with all that.”
“Yes Sir. Master Grimstone. What are you going to do?”
“Godammit Wilsons! I’m digging for sandwiches!”