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[Fiction] Eye of the storm (section 2)


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Deacon Robert Bonnard, 34, of the Church of Michael Archangel's Austin compound was in the process of finishing his speech for his evening congregation when his cell phone rang. His hand paused while writing and his brow tightened. Normally, he did not react like that when his cell phone rang. But in this case, it was his ‘other' cell phone, whose number was only known to his close associates and his superiors in the organization. Usually, when he received such calls, it meant serious business was at hand. Probably involving Novas and/or plans to slim their numbers somewhat.

"Yes?" His voice was firm and strong, the type conditioned by years of public speaking and heavy with authority.

"Evening, Deacon," The voice was cheerful, almost chirpy. Sounded fairly young as well, most likely a teenager. It was also unfamiliar with the Deacon. "Pleasant weather, I hope?"

Familiar with prank calls and telephone-run salesmen, the Deacon was unfazed and snapped off a quick "I have not the time for this, don't call agai.." He ceased his order when it occurred to him that whoever had this number was no simple prank caller or salesperson.

"..who is this?" He asked with a hint of caution.

"My name?" The voice answered with another question, losing it's cheerfulness. "My name is Eric Arvich and I have a bone to pick with you. It concerns the death of one Kira Short, also known as the Elite "Sparkplug". She died recently."

Putting on an air of false sympathy, the Deacon gave a short apology. "I'm sorry for your loss, but I must ask how you got this number."

"Don't try to put on the caring mask." The voice suddenly hardened. "I know for a fact that your subordinates are responsible. The shot her in the goddamn back. They knew they could kill that way because YOUR investigations found that she needed to render her powers dormant in order to eat. You not only planned that death, but you planned two other murders."

Bonnard was already moving down the hallway from his room to another office. Inside, there were several men manning several advanced electronic terminals, meant for communications and other technical applications. The men's attention shifted from their work to Bonnard as he signalled for a line trace on his cell phone. Smiling with satisfaction, Bonnard turned his attention back to his phone.

"Do you have evidence of any of these accusations? Or would you rather meet me in court?"

"Oh, I'd rather not." Eric admitted. "I have a much easier solution to this problem of mine."

Again his voice sounded suspiciously friendly, but the Deacon was not fooled. The caller resumed the conversation.

"I hear it's fairly windy right now. Am I correct?"

The Deacon seemed perplexed by this question. Looking outside, he saw the filled parking lot, with the congregation filling in for the sermon. True to the caller's assumption, there was an ill wind stirring up. Dark clouds were starting to cover the formerly blue sky in dark grey and he could see some of those outside visibly bothered by the wind.

Turning his cell phone against his collar, Bonnard turned to the technicians. "Have you got the trace yet?" He whispered.

The technician nodded. "Deacon, the caller is approximately 300 yards away and we've identified the caller by his cell phone. His name is Eric Arvich, a Canadian Nova." The last word was said with a slight amount of flatness. The technicians were selected for both their skill and their faith in the Church. The Deacon slid the cell phone back up to his ear.

"Well, Eric, I must say, you are not endearing yourself to me. I have little tolerance for you kind."

"Funny, you consider yourself exclusive from ‘my' kind."

"Yes." The Deacon intoned, already feeling a speech come to mind on how to dissuade this annoyance to leave him before he delivered his sermon. "I am a man, filled with the holy spirit. You on the other hand, are an abomination in the eyes of God and those who can see past your facade."

Eric sounded almost bored as he interrupted the Deacon as he was about to hit his stride. "How are the headaches, Deacon?"


"15 years ago, when you were 19, you were admitted to a hospital following a intense migraine. The doctors found that you had a tumor in your brain the size of a golfball and that you were going to die of it within a year."

The Deacon narrowed his eyes. "How do you know that?" He spat.

"Medical records are easily found." Eric explained. "What I found interesting, was how it seemed to disappear in 2002, several years later, during a prayer vigil you held with your friends as your condition worsened. The doctors were amazed, but you didn't give them a chance to examine you. Just as you had denied the traditional treatment they were going to give you during your stay."

"I wanted to prove to myself that my faith could sustain me," Bonnard admitted. "And it did. I was healed and I've been doing my work for God ever since, in this Church."

"Really?" The caller asked skeptically. "Killing people is your work?"

"I've never killed anyone."

"You have ordered and supplied people to."

"There's no proof of that."

"I know. I was unable find any. My contacts are not that reliable. That does not mean I can't prove it."

The Church shuddered as the winds picked up in intensity. The building was architecturally very sound. It was meant to withstand strong winds easily, but these winds were by no means normal. The little bastard must've been one who could control the wind. He definitely presented a threat.

"What do you want, aberrant?"

"I want you to show everyone what you really are."

The Deacon swore under his breath. "You mean make myself a martyr for my faith? Gladly."

"No, I mean show that you are a Nova. Plain and simple." The youth seemed to add a bit of finality on the last comment.

"You dare insult me like that?! I am a man of God. Nothing more, nothing less. I am a shepard, trying to prevent my flock from straying because of the influence creatures like you possess."

"Remember spring, 2009, Deacon? The train crash?"

The Deacon backed out of the room and leaned against the hallway wall. No one knew about that. Not even his closest associates. There was no way for ANYONE to know it. Taking a moment to steady his breath, the Deacon responded.

"It was a good year, I remember that year my church received a second wing to house all the people who would attend mass. It was the year this became the church with the largest capacity for worshippers to attend in all of Texas. I was never in any train crash."

"On paper, no. But you like to travel without leaving a paper trail, don't you?" The voice insisted. "Train 345, New Jersey to Illinois, was derailed in a sudden attack by presumed members of the Teragen. Over 100 people died."

"It was a tragedy, yes." With a voice heavy in disgust, the Deacon continued. "Causes by members of you damned blood. Why the masses of the world haven't woken up and realized what you are yet, I don't know why."

There was a sigh over the line before the voice of Eric pipped up again. "You were crushed under over 5 tons of wreckage. It took you 3 days to recover completely. After your body had regenerated enough, you ran off before anyone could find evidence that you were there. That's why I know you won't die when I obliterate your precious church with three simultaneous tornadoes."

The Deacon almost dropped his cell phone as his passing gaze confirmed what Eric had just said.

Outside, the dark overcast skies were now looming overhead, along with those black funnels that many in the area had grown to dread. They were making their way over towards them with agonizing slowness, almost conscious of the fear they inspired in people. The Deacon could hear calls of alarm coming from the congregation in the grand hall where he would've been presiding over.

"The Tornadoes will surround the building in approximately 2 minutes and will then converge on it. It won't kill you, but it certainly will slaughter everyone inside the building. Or rather, it would if they continued on unchecked."

The Deacon choked back a yell and tried to sound as calm as possible. "So you would kill hundreds of people to get to me?"

"No, but once the tornadoes get close enough, your passive abilities will make themselves apparent and your congregation will realize just how ‘holy' you are, Deacon." The voice had taken on a smug tone. "I want you to make sure that the FBI and CIA, not to mention the law enforcement agencies in both Canada and Texas, will know who is responsible for the death of Kira Short. You can do it anonymously or you can confess it to them yourselves. I just want justice for those who did it."

"And what will you do," The Deacon asked, knowing he was beaten. "If I go along with your demands?"

"Your secret will remain secure. I promise you that. Neither I, nor those who got this information will break it to the world. If we do, you know who I am and I can be charged with endangering people and attempted murder and perhaps terrorism. I'll also be damaging the reputation of Novas everywhere and giving your people a larger banner to rally under. So you do have some insurance. As far as I will be concerned, we never talked. Deal?"

Deacon Bonnard had never really cared for Novas, despite his being one. He used his abilities, which happened to include an enhanced commanding presence as well as his ability to recover from almost any injury to make it easier for him to gain control over people. It had been child's play to turn more people towards the Church of Michael Archangel. People were very fearful at this time in history and exploiting that fear meant profits. His abilities were low key, so his chance of exposure was minimal. Once the Michaelites gained enough power, he planned to simply disappear into the rest of society and live out his life as a baseline. A very wealthy one.

The wind began to rattle the glass of the windows as the tornadoes approached.



Several hundred yards away, Eric stood up from his Seiza (a formal sitting position that he preferred to the standard cross-legged leg position). After crushing the cell phone he had registered in his name, he ceased the flow of energies supplying the tornadoes. The died away much faster than a naturally occurring storm and the blue skies soon reappeared. As the cause for concern died away, so did the hesitation of the church's congregation and they soon ran off to their vehicles and drove off, their religious gathering eschewed in favor for safety.

"That was a much preferably outcome." Eric agreed with himself and soon took to the air.

‘I never wanted to be a murderer.' he mused to himself. "Maybe Kira was right. I should try to get what I want more often.'

For the first time in the last few weeks, he allowed himself a weary smile.


The 10:05 CBC News, April 5th:

"...and in other news, an anonymous source has informed several national intelligence agencies information that links over 3 dozen members of the Church of the Archangel Michael, a prominent anti-Nova rights organization, in a conspiracy that involved the murder of several Novas, including the late Graham Herron, also known as the "Houston Tornado" and Kira "Sparkplug" Short, who was murdered sometime yesterday by several of the linked suspects...."

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