Paradox – Chapter 35

“Where did you dig up this fossil, Alaina?” asked Justice as he released Michael and stood up. Scott rubbed his hands down his legs to dust them off.

“You know who this is?” Alaina asked surprised. Scott did not take offense. He was not the most studious of agents.

“Of course, I do. He’s the bastard that was my dad’s best friend and partner before he decided to go vigilante and betray him. Am I close, Maze?”

With a push of a button, the Nanoblade retracted back into the hilt before Maze slid it back in the holster hidden on his belt. “No, I think you got most of it right.”

“And you’re running with him now?” Justice asked as he stared disbelieving at his former girlfriend.

“But you did get one thing wrong,” interrupted Maze. “I was killing scumbags before I even met Justice and continued while we worked together. He understood that some criminals were incapable of rehabilitation and just needed to be planted in the ground.”

“I doubt my dad was okay with you behaving as an executioner.”

“Drones, black-ops, Enhanced assassins, the people in charge have been working outside the law long before I showed up. At first Judge didn’t like it, but then I showed him where things were heading and he experienced some it himself. But your mom had other ideas.”

Justice laughed. “I can’t believe I’m saying this, but she’s right.”

“Son, I’ve lived in this world far longer than I should rightly expect to, but there are some memories that will never leave a man, no matter how old he lives. Some people are just evil creatures that will do ungodly things to others in the name of science, religion, government, take your pick. If you try to save everyone, you will only get more innocent people killed.”

“Easy to say when you’re holding the gun,” Justice responded.

I didn’t always, Maze thought as he felt the invisible straps around his wrists. He could almost hear the sounds of the daily bombings overhead and the plaster landing on his forehead.

“And he came here with Michael,” Alaina said helping up the fugitive and hugging him. “But I’m going to help them, Scott. I’m going to make sure the JTF never gets a chance to use him against our kind. It will never stop once the genie is let out of the bottle.”

Justice shook his head in disbelief. “Even with all the shit I did, it doesn’t even come close to the carnage these two have and will do. You’re out of your mind, Archangel.”

Justice did not wait for a response. He turned his back to the trio and ran off towards the black smoke.

* * *

“Leave her alone!” screamed Trauma as she pushed one of the Bravo team agents away. She stepped over the unconscious Valkyrie laying on the ground to prevent the agent from hitting the handcuffed prisoner again. Scimitar, standing next to her, formed a shield around Trauma’s back to prevent any hits from behind.

“Dammit, Kim. Stop this or you’ll get us both suspended or worse!” Scimitar said scowling at his girlfriend

Trauma ignored him. “Director Thorton, you will order your men to step back or those men back at the wreckage can forget any help from me. And unless Preacher suddenly became a field agent, you don’t have another Enhanced medic in the area.”

Thorton turned red with anger as his subordinate threatened the life of his men. “Listen here you stupid girl, you will back down and do what you are fucking told! Do you understand me? Or I’ll arrest you so fast your head will spin. You’ll…”

“Please do,” Trauma responded cutting him off. “Let’s go to court and my lawyer will be happy to subpoena the video footage from your body cams.” Trauma pointed to the camera of the agent she just pushed away. “I’m sure the American people will love to watch Federal agents beating the shit out of suspects. The all-day news shows will personally thank you for the ratings.”

“Stop!” growled an inhuman voice from the shadows. The deep bass of the man’s and the sound of metal vibrating reverberated throughout the chamber. The image of Trauma pointing to the camera froze on the large flat screen monitor of the wall.

“That one will interfere with our plans, Herr Metall,” the blond beauty said stepping into the light flooding the middle of the room. Jury knew all eyes were on here, some in lustful fantasies, others afraid of her connection to the powerful Enhanced criminal leader, Herr Metall, sitting in the shadows along the wall with a perfect view of the screen. Jury fed from both strong emotions.

“She is but an insignificant insect. The Fräulein will either join the cause or be swept away with the others that oppose me.”

“As you wish, Herr Metall,” Jury acknowledged with a bow of her head, her hair whipping down across her exposed cleavage and back over her shoulders for the entertainment of her admirers. “But this other one, I believe he might be useful.” As she spoke, the image darkened except for the outline of Trauma’s protector, his round shields surrounding the pair but his face looking directly at the camera.

“The metal shifter?” the voice from the shadows asked.

Jury nodded again. “Yes. He mentally meets the criteria our team is looking for and we believe his physical abilities will make his evolution blend well with our other projects.” Although Herr Metall did not move, Jury knew her speech was unnecessary and mostly for show. Herr Metall favored any Enhanced with metal abilities, believing they were from his bloodline, his children, and Khaleel Mahmoud would be an excellent candidate for the project. He did not associate with the other members of the team except Trauma and he followed orders to the letter. The girl would be extra security to prevent any non-compliant behavior from the test subject.

“You may proceed as planned,” Herr Metall responded.

“Danke, Herr Metall,” Jury said bowing again and stepping out of the light and returning next to the shadows.