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Chapter III

Agent Shield had never experienced a moment without the knowledge that he was special. Never doubted for one second that he was destined for something great. Never doubted that he was meant to change the world.

            Until now.

            The Hungarian Demtak Mine blinked silently on the table, marking the passage from his short pointless life to the longer eternity of his defeat.

            Agent Shield slowly took his left hand in his right and put pressure on his ring finger. The specially crafted brace snapped the bone along its old break and Agent Shield gritted his teeth. At least he could depend on some things.

            The force bubble was extremely subtle in appearance. The human eye did not want to see it, worked hard at denying it, only picking up its faint blue outline in transit. But it existence was irrefutable. If the bomb exploded now, Shield was confident he could contain the blast. The problem was the mine was remotely controlled. There was no way to determine when the bomb would explode, so he was at the mercy of the man controlling the detonator. For the time being he was safe but for various reasons he couldn’t just wait around. Lugging around the force bubble for the rest of the night was also a non-starter. Whatever was going on, he would need his mobility and at least two hands to deal with those responsible.

            He did not have the power to manipulate anything inside the force bubble, which was unfortunate. It would be nice to somehow reach inside the casing of the Demtak Mine and disable it. He could adjust the size of the bubble which gave him an idea. Not an idea he could exercise here, but a solid and workable plan. He needed space first, open air.

            The front entrances would be guarded, but the roof might work.

            He grabbed either side of his force bubble with the specially designed magnetic tips of his gloves and left the room with it. The noise from above had subsided, but not entirely vanished. He kept to the stairwells, especially after spotting his first AC operative. Clad entirely in yellow, each foot soldier wore a gas mask on their face and a pair of antennae mounted on either side of their heads. Something was off though. Generally an AC action squad would be composed of one or two henchman and a human controller. As far as anyone knew, the henchmen were like the Demtak mines, controlled remotely by radio. But these henchmen were actively searching each room with a calm methodical grace. He saw no sign of radio control. Another observation for his report.

            Shield reached the roof and tossed the bubble enclosed mine far into the air. Which, with frictionless, inertia-less objects, proved to be quite some distance. Watching it arc far into the night sky, he sought the knot of pain and trauma feeding the bubble’s existence. He breathed deep, visualizing the knot slowly slip, unraveling. Far above came a purple flash and satisfying pop to mark the mine’s destruction.


            Rubbing his temples to ward off a burgeoning migraine, he made his way back downstairs. Tonight’s escapade had been a set-up from the word go. He wanted to know who wanted him dead.

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Link to First Chapter

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When the light came back on, the room was empty save for a corpse and two baffled agents of Section Starfire, the premier Anarchist Spy Agency employed by the United States government.

Two trained pairs of eyes quickly scanned the room and found it devoid of anything worth mentioning besides an old battle-scarred table along one wall and a book shelf against the other and, of course, the body of the man Spaceman had just shot. For his part, Marcus Delacroix, Agent Shield, stood across the room from him, blinking in the sudden light, unable to focus. On the table by his right hand was a squat metal object about the same color and shape as a wheel of cheddar cheese. Instantly recognizing this object, Spaceman allowed himself a rare moment of panic.

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It was immediately apparent they were traveling downwards, not up. Marcus wondered aloud what sort of transportation they were going to find at the bottom of the station.

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Chapter XLVIII

Spaceman found it very easy to leave the station. His coterie of friends kept growing with each attempt at intervention until a kind of critical mass arrived. Whether or not he was a prisoner, or a Section Starfire agent, or a notorious addict became immaterial. Spaceman lead, and those looking to follow did so.

Heading up from the bowels of the engineering deck, they passed by the cryptozoological section. It occurred to Spaceman that his escape would be that much easier if the personnel in the station had something distracting them. A command to Mr. Doubtful cut off the emergency power to the pens, cages, and corrals keeping the cryptids at bay.

He figured the result would be a few sasquatch and sea serpents making a break for it. He hoped there were enough penguins in Antarctica to feed a new population of Big Feet. Big Foots? Spaceman chuckled to himself, bummed a cigarette from another engineer and directed his followers upwards.

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