Thursday, June 23, 2011
...one month ago...
Jack lay on his bed listening to the police dispatch radio he had stolen from a patrol car. He was keeping a close watch on his city. Since he had killed the big figureheads and leaders of the crime racket in China Town, the Triads had moved in completely kicking out all the other families. There had not been only Chinese families living in this area since the first founders of China Town. Ever since their immigrant days the Triads have seen countless other criminals try to move in on their neighborhood.
Jack was comforted by their rule as a gang. There were little-to-no petty burglaries or assaults on innocent people. Only big picture crime syndicates like arms and drug trafficking and underground casinos. They kept their thugs and whores off the street, and the neighborhood kept out of their business. That is how it has always been. There is no trouble in that, until you have to deal with invading gangs.
But he was still expecting something...something big....
They would not let the Triads go unchecked, unchallenged, or get away with the Slaughterhouse Massacre. The first time Jack heard that catch phrase in the news he laughed. He had a good laugh. It was all too cliche to be real. But he knew out of everyone, the darkness that he wrought on that night against the corrupted and the wicked. Revenge would come, but not for him, it would come for the Triads. The only ones logically held responsible for the massacre. It was down to another choice for Jack...
Let the Triads rule or let them all wipe each other out?
Which would you do? Jack could not make a decision.
He had to find his Sensei. But he has been searching for him for weeks now. And has yet to find him. The last time Jack saw his Sensei was the night of the massacre. He remembered that night the old Chinese Man spoke weird. It was unlike his master to be so roundabout and indirect. From the day Jack met the old wise man, in his dojo, he was never anything but straight-forward and direct. Until that night he talked about a temple in the East.
But Jack knew deep down he was not dead. For one, the Sensei's family and dojo, including his grandson, were all cleared out. He knew, and did not feel insulted, that the Sensei did what he had to do to keep his family safe. It probably hurt him more than anyone. To leave the land that he loves.
He sat back up on his bed. He was out of leads. He had nowhere to go. Jack had to think. He needed to talk to the Triads as DarkFlood, but that would make his presence known. The only other option would be surveillance. He didn't know the first thing about tech. That was always somebody else in the squad. Right now, DarkFlood was an army of 1. That's when Jack looked up to find his long loyal yet persistently distant friend, Dr. Randolph.
Dr. Randolph was examining something with a microscope on the desk with his computer. Jack asked Randolph, "What's new inside the wide world of that microscope, Doc?" Dr. Randolph did not answer at first. But finished his experiment. He got up and walked over to the front door. He opened the case beside it and took out the fire extinguisher. Dr. Randolph walked straight for Jack. This time he knew what was coming.
Jack took a step back, but curiosity kept him from running.
Dr. Randolph sprayed Jack with the fire extinguisher. He put his forearm out to block the rest of his body, ducked, and took the blow. His arm got cold and frozen stiff. Dr. Randolph emptied the tank and put it down. The smoke escaped all over the floor and they looked at Jack's icy arm.
Jack was getting used to pain. He went to chop the frozen arm with his other hand. He assumed the doctor's theory was that his arm would grow back. But that is not what the Doctor was intending.
Dr. Randolph tried to stop Jack, but he went through with his hit anyways. Jack's other hand chopped right through the ice but when it came to his arm felt like he hit stone. The ice splintered and when Jack pulled his hand out, it shattered and fell to the floor.
"Just as I suspected."
Dr. Randolph had been doing thorough research on his patient's condition. "At first I was wrapped around the tumors in your body and why they were not progressing. I mean malignant tumors that do not grow are theoretically impossible. I though something was keeping them from growing, working for your body. A couple of days ago I came to a dead end. That is when I thought of something. A stone not yet unturned..."
Jack looked down at his arm, "...stone..."
"Yes, stone...Your body, those tumors, they don't act like anything natural, but they are not completely random..."
"What are you saying, Doc?"
"Your condition has a mind of its own like a symbiotic organism. It needs you just as much as you need it, that's why it repairs you...."
Jack's arm turned from stone back into his regular skin. Dr. Randolph kept going, "and defends you. My theory is that is why you teleported in the first place, to save yourself from dying. After that initial activation of that ability it seems that you can control the power at will. If my hypothesis is true I'm going to need you to try and turn your body to stone now..."
Jack stood back and looked at his arm, he looked at both of his arms and then closed his eyes. He flexed his muscles and thought about how he felt when the fire extinguisher was devouring his arm. He thrusts his forearm out and opens his eyes.
His arm is made of stone. Jack looks further and his entire body was stone. He moved and felt the joints of his body grinding stone against stone. When Jack exhaled the stone disappeared. He returned to his natural skin. Dr. Randolph smiled, "Exceptional, Jack."
"Thanks, Doc" Jack panted.
"The longer you can maintain that form-"
"The longer I am impervious. "
"I wouldn't say impervious...but you can break down walls."