Portal – Chapter 73

I don’t get it, Michael said angrily.

Do not trust her, the voice responded again. That was the only thing it would say about Elizabeth Jurgens.

What is your problem with Elizabeth? For once, I have someone who can help me and she’s hot. It’s not like I’m sleeping with her.

Do not trust her.

Dammit, say something else. She has already shown me so much. I need her. She is here to help me. She only wants to help the Enhanced.

Do not trust her.

Well, fuck you too!

“I just don’t get it,” Michael said unknowingly aloud.

“You don’t get what?” asked Wei, who was sitting next to him.

The trip to Military Park was only a few miles south of Butler but Metro needed to clear the streets for the Stryker vehicles. The police escort tried to move the cars and people who clogged the main arteries to Indianapolis but the process was slowed-down by the throngs of rubberneckers and cheerleaders. Michael could hear some of the mundanes chanting, ‘JTF’ from inside the lead Stryker vehicle.

The dynamic duo was driving this Stryker with most of the recruits inside. Lady Justice and Turbulence were flying overhead providing eyes in the skies traffic support and security for the convoy. Agent Thornton was driving the second Stryker with Director Lehrer, Elizabeth, Justice, Lieutenant Caldwell, and other members of the Bravo command staff. The rest of Bravo company was already at Military Park working security.

Michael looked around as several of the recruits were looking at him. He had argued with himself all morning trying to figure out why the voice hated Elizabeth so much. After their session in the garden, Michael was weak and trembling, his body shaken by the images that Elizabeth had shown him. He could feel the surge of confidence in his body now. He no longer doubted his abilities and was eager to push his powers to new limits. He would show everyone, especially those that would hurt his people, that he was a dangerous weapon.

“Sorry, didn’t mean to say that so loud,” Michael said quickly. Everyone else but Wei returned to their personal conversations. “I don’t get why you hang out with Justice. The guy is a dickhead and thinks the rest of us are lower than dirt.”

Wei sighed. He already had this conversation with Terrence after his electronic snooping the first day and locating the family immigration records. He had nothing to hide. The JTF already knew the story.

“I’m not an only child,” Wei admitted. “I’m not even the oldest.”

“What?” Michael asked. At first that admission meant very little to him but then he realized that Wei Chung came from a very different culture. “I thought China had a one child policy.” At least the college was not a complete waste of time. He did learn some things about other countries.

“That is true unless you have an Enhanced parent or child. I have a sister, Meilin, well, had a sister. She was three years older but I nicknamed her Mei Mei. It would drive her crazy.”

Michael knew that Wei was telling a joke but he had no idea what it meant. Wei laughed softly, the American culture did not understand the intricacies of sibling birth order.

“Growing up, she was always my father’s favorite. She’s a morpher like me but she can’t duplicate powers. She can shift into anyone she meets and stay that way. My duplication fades over time.”

“You both could do the same thing but differently. So, what happened?” Michael asked.

Wei looked down. This was the family shame and would stain their honor until it was rectified. None of the descendants of his family would ever be allowed to return to China. Even in San Francisco, the family was considered a disgrace. They were often turned away or refused service from the shops in Chinatown. Wei had to be home schooled because the other Chinese kids tormented him. He would never find a wife among his own people, no father would allow it.

“When we are sixteen, all Chinese children are tested for Enhanced service, much like the JTF here. Meilin already had her powers for two years and was instantly accepted. She was the pride of my parents, especially my father, who told everyone how great his daughter would be protecting China.” Wei paused.

“And then something went wrong,” Michael guessed.

Wei nodded. “Yes. After a year of Enhanced service, she came home and announced she was leaving to join a group of radicals. She had changed her name to Fuyinji, Copycat. In China, we do not take callsigns. Our given names represent us and she now only sees herself as Enhanced, no longer a daughter or sister.”

Michael raised his eyebrows and sympathized. Perhaps it was better he was an only child. “I bet your parents took it hard losing her.”

“She betrayed the family. They disowned her. To them, she never existed. I was never to speak about her again but the family was ostracized. The authorities were going to take everything – our house, our car, even me. To the government, the family is responsible for the behavior of their Enhanced children. Meilin betrayed China and my parents were labeled traitors.”

“Wow, I thought the system here sucked.”

“Some countries are much worse than the U.S., Michael. But to answer your question. I’m with Team Justice because they have the resources to help me find Meilin and restore the family honor. Father had to pay his life savings to criminals to smuggle us out of China. She needs to atone for her crimes. When I learned that the only child of Judge and Jury was training here, I moved from San Francisco to Indianapolis.”

“Sorry, Wei. I had no idea this was so personal. I hope you find your sister.”

Wei smiled at Michael. Not many Americans could understand the damage Meilin had done to the family but he was glad he could trust some of his team members.

Do not trust her.

Whatever, Michael replied as he leaned his head back on the seat. This was going to be a long evening if the voice would not shut up.