Hi everyone! Today we continue with part seventeen of Book 4. One more part till Book 5. Hope you enjoy!
Mr. Smith handed the phone to Warren Goldstein as the voice on the other end continued to rant in a loud southern drawl, “It’s for you” he said in his trademark monotone voice sprinkled with an unusual dry sarcasm.
Warren eyed Mr. Smith with skepticism as he put the receiver to his ear.
“…and furthermore! What the blazes is this hogwash I hear about ghosts taking over Red Hook and the whole damn Upper New York Bay?” President Carver bellowed through the phone. “I thought your little rodeo clowns were on top of things in New York and yet ghosts are taking ships in your own backyard! What the Sam Hill is going on up there? I bet on you and your horses to win, and you are not even keeping pace. Ghosts taking over ships! Jimminy cod nuggets Warren, tell me things can’t get any worse. I signed up to let your little team keep my interests out of harm’s way, and now it looks like my interests are headed down the proverbial crapper! What’s next, Werewolves taking control of Times Square and giant bunnies repopulating Central Park?”
Warren Goldstein had put the phone on speaker and looked at Mr. Smith as he covered the mouthpiece, “Do you think we should tell him about the Bunnyman?” he asked.
“I am fairly certain that our illustrious leader’s head would actually explode at the present time” Mr. Smith whispered in response.
“Mr. President!” Warren yelled into the telephone interrupting the President’s never-ending rant, “you have to calm the heck down and tell me what the heck you are even talking about. Right now you sound like a raving lunatic! If I didn’t know better, I would say all that Camp David air is messing with your head.”
President Carver had seen it coming even before he was hastily sworn in as the new Commander in Chief. His first days in office saw him spending most of his time trying to salvage what was left of the nation’s highest office while at the same time trying to quell the growing onslaught of attacks on the Whitehouse itself by protestors.
The protests had started in earnest even before he was sworn in and had grown from only hundreds of disenchanted demonstrators to the tens of thousands that now completely cut off the Whitehouse from the rest of Washington. As many Americans fled their falling cities with nowhere to run too many had descended on their country’s most iconic symbol of power in search of safety and answers. When it became clear that the Whitehouse itself was destined to fall, President Carver and his most trusted cabinet members abandoned it and had fled to an undisclosed location to ride out the storm. Many assumed it was Camp David, others believed it was Los Alamos, but what everyone agreed on was that although he was still the man in charge he had bailed on the American people.
“Warren you and your team are the only people left in New York that I can trust. Everyone else is polishing up the old pitchforks and looking for a good old-fashioned lynching” the President’s rhetoric had slowed.
“Look” Warren interjected abruptly, “we don’t work for you. We never did. It is your job to save this country and stop this madness. We developed this team to protect the offspring, to protect Dylan and others like him. So far, we have been successful, and we have helped as many citizens as we could along the way. That is our mandate. It is not to save your ass. When this is all over if you want to sit down with Mr. Smith and me and have a discussion about putting this country back on track we are willing to listen provided you have somehow managed to stay in office. Right now you need to tell me what all this crap is about ghosts in Upper New York Bay as it may pose a serious threat to what we are trying to do.”
The President took a moment to reflect on the truth that Warren had just leveled on him and then began to speak, “We have received a report that the Triad was wiped out by an unseen army in broad daylight the day before yesterday. They were aboard the Zen Dawn, and there was only one survivor who is now deceased. When he made it to shore, he was already half dead and was shouting his story to anyone who would listen until his death. The most disturbing part was he found on the ship when he came to. The Triad Boss had been…umm, how should I put this? Disassembled”
“What do you mean by disassembled Ron?” a perplexed Mr. Smith asked.
President Carver continued, “Well apparently his body parts had been removed and then reattached but not the way they should have been. You know, feet for ears, that sort of thing. I can’t even imagine such a thing.”
Warren looked at Mr. Smith and mouthed the name that Mr. Smith already knew was coming. Dr. Zu.
“These are not ghosts Mr. President they are flesh and blood just like you and I. We don’t know how they pulled this off, but you can rest assured we will find out. New York and the offspring we are protecting are not safe as long as this group is breathing. We will take care of New York. You need to look after the rest of the country Ron I suggest you get your ass back to the Whitehouse and get to work” Warren hung up the phone and he and Mr. Smith looked at each other silently for a moment.
Mr. Smith then broke the silence by simply stating what had to be done, “I will assemble the team in Hangar B and de-brief them on this new development. You talk to the tech team and get to work on some sort of cloaking mechanism to upgrade the RAIFs with and program a New York Harbor simulation into the ARAMARK. The Champions are going to have to learn to fight an enemy they cannot see. I will also move Dylan to the safe room immediately. They may not know where we are yet, but it is only a matter of time.” With that, he turned and walked hastily out of the door.
Warren Goldstein sat down at his desk and tried to digest what had just happened. He always knew that it may come down to a fight to the death yet somehow hoped it would never materialize. He felt like a terrible parent for leading his young team of champions into this mess in the first place, but he also knew that if The Professor’s team of psychos ever captured Dylan things would be much worse. Not just for the U.S. but for the world.
He pushed a hidden button under his desk to reveal a concealed drawer on the side of his credenza. He pulled out the letter and read it for the hundredth time. It was from Dylan’s father and had been delivered just days before he and the rest of the superheroes had disappeared. “If people really had any idea it would change everything,” he thought to himself. He returned the letter to its hiding place and headed to Plum Island’s technology hub.
(To be continued…)
That’s it for now! The next story will be published as soon as is possible. We will keep posting stories leading up to the anticipated Project-X announcement.
If you’re interested in reading the individual background life summaries or viewing the updated artwork of our Champions and Villains, then please follow the links here: Champions and Villains. The main story that ties all the characters together in Project-X will be updated at the following link as stories are published: Story-line.
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DISCLAIMER: THIS IS A WORK OF FICTION. NAMES, CHARACTERS, BUSINESSES, PLACES, EVENTS, AND INCIDENTS ARE EITHER THE PRODUCTS OF THE AUTHOR’S IMAGINATION OR USED IN A FICTITIOUS MANNER. ANY RESEMBLANCE TO ACTUAL PERSONS, LIVING OR DEAD, OR ACTUAL EVENTS IS PURELY COINCIDENTAL.