Contacting the lost.
"Going to get here tomorrow? That's a...pleasant...thought..." Union's swizzle stick starts spinning rapidly between his fingers as he starts mulling something over. After a brief pause he continues talking. "OK. Good plan. If Duststorm can get us those numbers Delta V and I will see what we can't piece together. Actually, if you could get us in touch with the scientists who contacted you?"
Janet looks at Union for a moment, knowing he knows the answers already. "I could probably arrange that, but it might take some figuring. The message was only received last night, so I don't think the aliens are here already. But I will see what I can do about putting you two together." _After I figure out how to tell dad his baby girl is trying to save the world._
"Right. Anyway, once we have some numbers we can contact Gyrich and see what our government liaison makes of an alien visitor. In any case, while the three of us are doing that, Ravdna, why don't you and Malachi, um, spearhead the search for those missing Vikings. Don't hesitate to ask for help from anyone else. Malachi, if you can get anything out of the robot's remainsthey're still at the workshop. Who knows? There might be something in them."
_Aliens?_ Malachi thinks to himself. _This is much odder than I thought it was going to be._
"Searching for the Vikings sounds like a good start. I'll be ready to start whenever Ms. Ravdna is. I'll take a look at the robot later."
Union motions to one of the private rooms off of the main hall, "Aegis, can I talk to you for a minute?"
Once the two are alone, he reveals what's worrying him in a quiet voice. "You might be closer than you think. This afternoon the scientists from ESU said that tidal waves are usually caused by underwater seismic disturbances, but could be the result of some sort of meteor strike. If an alien spaceship hit the Atlantic Ocean..."
"Anyway, I'd like it if you could take a quick jaunt out that way tomorrowthe scientists have a pretty good idea where the wave started." Knowing the enormity of the task, Union holds up a hand to forestall any comments before he finishes, "I know it's a huge area and a long shot anyway, but...I'll be honest, the though of aliens has me spooked. Sending someone out there to check it out would make me feel a lot more comfortable. I'd go myself, but my suit is at far from peak ability out in the open ocean. If there is a problem out there, you're fast, strong and durable. You can tell us what's up before the Martians start pouring into Grover's Mill." Union looks to see Aegis response to his Herculean request.
Aegis whistles softly. "You might have a point. How far out is the place supposed to be? Might be better if I left tonight to get to wherever it is in the morning. If something did crash there might be stuff floating around still... long shot, but you never know." She can't really dredge up any enthusiasm for the thought of spending hours flying out there and backassuming she can even find the place, of course, and assuming that there's anything to find when she gets therebut has to admit that it is a good thought.
"As if we don't have enough to worry about...I wasn't sure I was going to mention this, but amid talk of aliens and killer robots, I guess it won't seem that odd. The other night I was running around the city, trying to clear my head. I found myself here, on the grounds of Victor's estate. I was near the graveyard, and I saw something. An apparition, if you will. It was Victor Dumas. When I went to investigate closer, it was gone. I thought it might be the stress or guilt getting to me, but I'm not prone to hallucination. It may have been the otherworldly presence of our late teammate."
Ravdna lowers her beverage and stoically says, "WE MUST ADJORN THERE. NOW."
At that remark, Victor glides over in front of the doctor. "I know your not vibrating that much right now, but you may start any moment," Victor says as he looks into the man's eyes.
As Connors starts to walk with the others, Victor glides backwards maintaining his position and eye contact in front of the speedster. He had not forgotten about the Valkyrie, but she had not given him any indication that she could see him, so the doctor was still his best bet at this time. Hopefully Connors was vibrating at all times to a greater than normal degreethen he could be in contact with the doctor's body when he arrived at the proper vibrational attunement frequency, then perhaps some sort of minor disruption would occur if not a direct optical perception itself. Victor passed his hand into the doctor's chest, hoping to make even the slightest of contacts and perhaps a match to his current vibrational attunement all the while keeping his back to most of the others.
As the group is heading toward the door, Ravdna clears her mind to prepare her mystical senses and, in doing so, notices an addition to the group. Quite near to Connors, the shade of Victor Von Doom is can be seen by the Valkyrie, but he remains invisible to everyone else.
Much to everyone's shock, Ravdna bellows "Hail! Mighty Specter. Are thoust capable of communing with us?"
Victor whirls around and stares at the Valkyrie. Quickly he glides over towards Ravdna and shakes his head in an excited no and waits for her next question or explanation to the others.
"Friends! Dumas hath joined us. Death hath only robbed him of the power of speech it would seem. He seems to require Delta V's attentions..."
Victor sort of shrugs thinking either the doctor or Ravdna herself could help him.
"Aye there were many moments when mine wishes were to silence yon verbosity but this is not such as those...speak so that we may aid you in this dire time." Ravdna continues speaking to the man, a shade of his former self.
Victor first raises an eyebrow in wonder at why she would have wanted to silence him in the past and then shakes his head no and looks on at her. Then realizing that she might not understand what he meant, he points to his mouth and shakes his head.
Janet watches in silent fascination as the Valkyrie speaks to open air. She closes her eyes, and reaches out with her mind. She can feel the excited breath of everyone in the room, the air currents from the vents, she knows where everyone is standing, where the chairs and tables are, and even feel the air rising off the hot foods.
But there is nothing but open air in front of Ravdna.
Victor thinks for a moment then shrugs his shoulders, turns away and curses.
"Damn, only if she could hear me." Victor says out loud.
Ravdna smiles and jokes "Would that I could as well, Dumas," clearly acknowledging that she can, in fact, hear him.
Victor whirls around with a surprised look on his face. "Fascinating," he says in reply. "I was hoping that Miss Walker's new alter ego could hear me, but when she was the one that appeared at the funeral instead of you, I was not sure when my next opportunity would be." Victor takes a breath. "I certainly hope that you can communicate to the others my predicament or perhaps help me yourself. All the information I've ever read about Valkyrie says they have a role in the dead's movement to the afterlife. I wonder, do you have an ability to reject me from going to Valhalla or the ability to fight Death on my behalf?"
It was a lot of talking, but he had been quiet for quite some time and had so much to say.
"I would gladly fight Hela herself for thine essence, Dumas."
| Top |
© 2000 Mark L. Chance et al