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Aberrant: Infinite Earth - Fiction - Meeting the competition


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February 25th

Uptown Seattle, near midnight - 2 am

It had only been a couple weeks since Sophie and Asche had officially started their lives together. The weeks it took to set up an income stream than was beginning to feed Asche’s plans for this world; manipulating scientists and buyers for his inventions and ideas, buying property, setting Sophie up in a private schooling program, all that was a whirlwind of days and nights running together. It wasn’t until recently, nineteen days ago to be exact, that Sophie really began to call this place home. She had her own room now, one that was clean and smelled good. She actually wanted to go to school. Between the private tutoring from Asche and the advanced lessons from her teacher, the 13 year old was having a blast.

Asche still had made no positive contact with any of his team on this earth and he was, for all practicality, certain now that he was on yet another parallel earth. Most of the once he had seen were mirrors of earth but in some way, vastly different from the ‘true-earth’. This one though, seemed almost identical and as of yet had the only difference of having ever seen him or any of his team or people. This was actually a good thing; it meant that his enemies had no reason to search out this place and if he kept things to a dull roar, he could develop some form of signature masking protocol and hide here indefinitely. In the mean time, he still had to make quite a few more contacts and develop influence the hard way.

A lone specter sat amongst the shadows of air conditioners and fire prevention equipment on a 12-story building looking over Western Ave and Myrtle Edwards Park. Asche had heard from his various street contacts that it was here that sometimes one can get their hands on some banned tech, so he has stood silently on various vantages over the past several nights. His plan of being a sentinel was a game of patience, and someone who had seen over a hundred winters without a roof over his head had patience a plenty. The only difference was now he had a cloak that helped him stay hidden and quiet; even one with low levels of nova senses would likely look over him if he was still. Tonight was one of those nights where being still was easy. Nothing was going on.

He was beginning to wonder if he had gotten old news and perhaps the meet was never going to happen here. That or perhaps Utopia had gotten wind of it already and flew their teams in to bust the deal all up. At any rate, when he saw pair of men arrive discretely a little past one am, at first he almost didn’t pay attention to them. Then it clicked in, they were running security for the area with the help of a third set of eyes not on site.

The first arrived and walked a straight line through the shadows of the trees for the shore of the park and a good view into the dark clear over to Bainbridge Island. At first he looked like no more than a late night walker perhaps a hotel worker getting off a late shift.

The second arrived not five minutes later and even from several hundred yards Asche could recognize the bulge in a hidden shoulder holster. He took a point not very far into the park but out if sight from the street and sat on a bench about a hundred feet from a picnic area with several more tables and benches, likely the meet area.

The fact that they left a gap in their sight and defenses is the only reason Asche even thought twice.

*If they had a left a person about there, this would be a near perfect look out team. Yup, there they are. These must be my men.*

The third set of eyes was south of the shadowy roof where Asche was hiding not more that 2 blocks away. Asche was brutally careful that when he spotted the person on the roof he spent no more than a second or two looking at them. Some Novas had a nasty way of knowing when they were spotted and this guy was definitely a nova. The fact that he was simply leaning against the wall 10 stories from ground and NOT sliding down the vertical service was all the tell Asche needed. Number three mist have some means for crossing the few hundred yards between his vantage point and the park to be of any use if things went south. He must also have heightened senses to be able to sense the area well enough from so far away.

*Another sentinel. Interesting.* Asche thought.

All he had to do now was wait and see what the other side of the party brought. These guys might simply be a disinterested third party hired to secure the area. Only time would tell.

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  • 1 month later...

It only took another ten minutes of waiting.

A black sedan motored up and took a parallel parking spot on the street adjacent to the park. The vehicle ran a bit low to the ground, likely armored. A man stepped out of the passenger side followed by the two backseat passengers. One of the passengers held a device in hand, probably a form of radar and simply set it down on the roof of the car. It began to send out ultra frequencies and Asche could sense the disturbances it was causing in surrounding frequencies, in particular microwave channels that most satellites used. This whole area was now under a blanket of secrecy. Observing the other three men here now he began to follow a new path of logic; everyone here now was security for the package.

The delivery was probably waiting in the sedan but there was no way to be sure. From here Asche tuned his vision to peer through the vehicle and look at everything out of the ordinary. Cycling his vision through various frequencies and looking for various energy signatures he concluded there was simply nothing to tell from the contents of the vehicle.

Even the men were of no real interest, none save one emanated a quantum pattern. This team here was practiced and definitely professional so Asche simply stayed himself and observed. From this distance he listened in.

The nova from the car walked toward a park bench on the edge of the park. He was alone but not too far from the spotter in the dark looking over the water. The man removed an op-phone from his coat and pressed a few buttons then placed it back in his coat.

A moment later, not ten feet away from him, three men appeared out of nowhere; They teleported in from somewhere prepared for the worst.

One of the three was surging the quantum energies about him into a dome of energy around the three men while the second stood ready for an offense; his yellow glowing hands gave the tell he too was a nova. The third man, probably the teleporter, looked around the arrival area intently for a few seconds. Being satisfied with what he did not see, he signaled the man from the car to come over.

“I assume you have the package ready.” Teleporter stated.

“Yes but the silver man has a chair against the door. Dorothy is back from Kansas and not very happy.”

“Is the baby-sitter with her boyfriend as usual?”

“No. Called in the monkeys. Their swimming near the dock and are impatiently awaiting relief.”

“Ok. Tell your people we owe them.”

The teleporter appeared to concentrate a moment and then the three that arrived thirty seconds ago were gone. Asche was not happy at their exchange. The fact that they had an information manipulator spoke volumes.

He remained still and memorized the pattern of the single man from the car who spoke in riddles. He and Asche were going to have a meeting later.

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