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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.

Link to Next Chapter

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.

Pushing past Marcus, Space dashed to the door and tried the handle. Inevitably, it was locked.

“Do you know what this is?” said Marcus, slowly regaining his faculties.

“Yes,” said Spaceman as he darted to the b…

Chapter II

Agent Spaceman did not have much difficulty leaving the embassy. He had features and a demeanor easy to forget. Only his habits left their unsavory, distinctive marks.

Apparently there had been some kind of intrusion into the embassy. Every hall, staircase and exit was blocked by yellow-suited mercenaries of the AC’s. There was a time in the dim, distant past where this situation would have demanded his attention, his action. Thankfully, he had moved past such concerns.

Why had he even bothered coming out of his ‘retirement’ in Morocco? His inactive status stipend had been more than generous for his limited needs and the climate had been more favorable to his health. Really, if hadn’t been for that fever dream he would have stayed there the rest of his life. Having secured the object of his curiosity, he intended to return as soon as possible.

Which meant he needed money.

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Chapter LXII

It took only thirty-six hours for a Section Sanitation Team to arrive at Santa Rosa. Leaving the town a smoking ruin was a non-option, especially with half the world on the look out for the Anti-Cerebrists.

It did surprise Shield to see The Chief leading the Sanitation Team. In the year or so he’d been an active field agent, he’d never heard of The Chief traveling more than five miles outside of D.C. The expression on his face suggested travel did not agree with him.

“We would have, of course, preferred if you had taken him alive.”

Shield looked around the remains of the town. Which him was he referring to?

“Sir, Spaceman resisted D with the apparently preternatural assistance of The Master. It was all D could do to put him down.”

“I wasn’t referring to Spaceman, I meant the Master.”

Ah, Shield thought, well that was a bit more awkward. “Actually, sir, he simply died. By the time Agent Two-Eyes and myself had come down from the bluff, he was already in cardiac arrest. Believe me when I say,…