Nos Faux Ratu Ch. 04byEvil Alpaca©
This story is a bit wordy and fairly long, so if you are looking for immediate gratification, you might want to look elsewhere.
The following story is a work of fiction. Any resemblance between these character and events and any real person or events is strictly coincidental . . . and pretty darn impressive seeing as it is a science fiction story. Do not reproduce or copy this story without the consent of the author.
In my magical, mixed-up world, characters don't worry about STDs or unwanted pregnancies except occasionally as a plot device. The author encourages the practice of safe (and hopefully satisfying) sex.
While this is a science-fiction story, it may at different points contain sexual behavior that might fall into other categories. You can rest assured however that there will be NO depictions of Non-Consent, Mind Control, or Incest for any purpose other than as plot devices, and certainly not for sexual arousal. Anything else is fair game.
Nigel had been careful to make sure that he was not followed when he left to meet with Jenna for coffee. He was surprised that she was sticking to her regiment, knowing that she was being hunted. After last night, she would need to be especially on guard.
He walked right past her the first time and almost did not recognize her. Jenna was wearing color. Admittedly, it was a simple blue blouse, and the slacks were gray rather than black, but for Jenna it was the equivalent of wearing pink pastels.
"What?" she asked. She started to fidget, feeling a little self conscious. This outfit wore comfortably over her body armor, but was confused why Nessa had ordered it for her and left a note requesting she wear it. Of course, after a few nights of the most restful sleep, and now one night of sexual exploration, Jenna found herself willing to entertain some of Nessa's ideas.
"Just . . . nice outfit."
Jenna glared at him. "Go order something."
"Should I find out what you had first so that we can coordinate our coffees --"
"I'm already on for treason, so killing you really does me no harm."
"I'll go get coffee," Nigel said, bowing gracefully. He could not help but marvel at the slight smile that played across her beautiful face. Then that face turned to street, but something was different about her. She was actually seeing everything that passed by rather than looking through it.
He ordered, waited the appropriate inordinately long amount of time, then returned to his seat. Jenna was on the phone, but hung up quickly when he approached.
Jenna just raised her eyebrows and took a sip. "Just so you know," she started, "the leader of the werwolves will be out of it for a few days."
"He got sick," Jenna said with a shrug. "Something he ate I suppose. But it means that faction is going to be a bit disorganized."
"Apparently so," Nigel said. "Enough so that six of them fell into the Fool's trap."
Jenna sighed. "This isn't good news is it?"
"Let's just say that the Hanged Man got to stretch his killing muscles, and the Fool violated several anti-torture conventions. He's still taking the 'Corporate experiment' line with the masses, but the upper echelons of the Major Arcana all know. The prisoner gave up everything he knew about the so called Night Breeds, his boss, the Council, how new Night Breed are created . . . everything. He gave up the name Nessa McGowan without much hesitation. Your new boss?"
Jenna nodded, not wanting to admit what else Nessa had become. "That would be her. Did he say how to find her?"
"Just said 'The Devil's Night,' but he wasn't a local boy, so he couldn't really give directions."
"I still need to warn Nessa. They'll need to be on alert."
"Good thinking. Oh look, there's April," he said. His girlfriend had come outside and was breaking up a potential fight between two school boys.
"Is she going to be able to handle it?" Jenna asked.
"Don't underestimate her," Nigel assured her. "There is one more thing you need to know. The werewolf described Nessa in detail, and then he described you. He didn't know your name, but apparently all the werewolves are supposed to capture you if they can. Fool recognized the description, so he knows that you're with the enemy. So he's moving the TAACP and bringing in a load of DoD special forces to help out. And now he's looking into you."
"What do you mean, 'looking into'?"
"He's trying to access your past. I didn't know you had personnel files that were closed to him, but it's pissing him off. He wants to find something that will force you out of hiding and to surrender. You know too much about the program and you're too dangerous."
Jenna's recently warmed heart froze all over again. If the Fool found out . . . No, she could never allow that. "Where are they moving the TACCP?" she asked, trying to keep her voice calm. While her voice was smooth and her heart cold, her brain was boiling with unspeakable rage.
"Won't know until tonight. Jenna, don't do anything rash. Everyone is gunning for you, and you've become a special project for the Hanged Man. On the possibly bright side --"
"The most lethal human being to ever walk the planet wants to kill me, and there's a bright side?" Jenna asked. Her mind was racing a mile a minute. She had never expected that it would come to this, but the Fool was rushing into where angels should fear to tread.
"The Major Arcana is not all behind this plan. A third of them are supporting the Fool, about half are on the fence, but there's a few that want to go over the Fool's head and contact the DoD Secretary. It's tense."
"Who's side are you on?" she asked softly.
Nigel was rarely truly offended, but that question did it. "I've done everything I can to protect you --"
"I know, I know," she replied bitterly. "I'm sorry."
"The Fool believes we had a falling out because of the fight. I don't know how he knew about that, but he did. So he's trusting me --"
"Or feeding you bad intel," Jenna countered. "You can't trust what he says, at least not completely."
Nigel nodded. He had considered that himself. "All I can do is tell you what he tells me. We'll figure out what it means later."
"This has gotten out of hand. All Nessa wanted was for the Nightwalkers to change tactics. This --" She waved at the world at large, "This is the worst case scenario. The Fool and others know about the Night Breeds, the werwolves are looking to exterminate all of you and possibly Nessa as well, and Nessa is running out of options. Hanged Man and DoD reinforcements be damned, I believe she'll kill every single one of you to keep this from getting any worse."
"And here I was thinking things were awfully dull around here."
"Not funny," Jenna said. "Not funny at all."
They finished their coffee, chatted idly about other things, but Jenna's mind was not in the conversation anymore. She was contemplating her next step. She had to kill the Fool. Tonight.
Later that evening . . .
Jenna was just sliding the last of her armament into place when Avery wandered into the armory.
"Jenna, I've been looking all over for you. I got . . . What the hell are you doing?" He looked at the woman who had changed so much over the last several days, but this Jenna scared him a bit. She was literally armed to the teeth. She had a laser pistol on one hip and a slug-thrower on the other. Knives were sticking out of both of her boots and two more were in her arm sheaths. She had a sniper rifle and an assault rifle slung to her back, and she had crisscrossing bandoliers of plasma grenades. To top everything off, she was carrying a Vulcan fully-automatic laser cannon. All of this told Avery one thing. Jenna had killing on her mind.
"I'm going out."
"Not until you explain what the hell you're doing. Is there some small country you were planning on invading?"
"No. Things are getting out of control. I'm going to put them back in control."
"With no backup or explanation?"
"Something like that."
He looked her over, but did not get out of her way. "Got a call today from some guys at the precinct. They promised to give me a holler whenever a key word or request gets floated their way. Today, I got a message saying that some mysterious government agency was poking around some classified files that I had recently shown an interest in. Your old case files."
Jenna grabbed Avery by the shirt and lifted him off the ground. "Who? When?!"
"What the hell's going on here?" Nessa asked, walking naked and sleepy-headed into the room. "Jenna, what's with all the guns?"
'Fuck!' Jenna though. She had wanted to be gone by the time Nessa woke up. "There's something that I have to do," she said, putting Avery down.
"Mind telling me what?"
Jenna knew that she could not lie, but maybe she could omit. "I'm going to kill the Fool."
Nessa looked wary. "Why?"
Jenna recited her conversation with Death earlier, downplaying the part about the Fool looking into her past. "This is going to get worse before it gets better. With the Fool dead, they'll send someone else, and hopefully they'll be more reasonable. If they promote Death, then we're in the clear for the most part."
"Are you going to kill all the Major Arcana who know the truth?" Nessa moved closer, staring into her friend's eyes. "With less than five hours planning, you've decided to launch a full-on assault on a base that you've never been to against a defense you haven't scoped out? That's your plan?"
Jenna nodded. "They won't be expecting it."
"Because it's stupid!" Nessa said, shaking the other woman by the shoulders. "It's the most insane thing I've ever seen. If I marshaled all my troops right now, I'd still spend more time than this to coordinate an attack of this magnitude. I am NOT going to let you do this."
"Are you planning on killing me?" Jenna replied coldly.
Nessa was feeling very uneasy. "No, but --"
"Because that's the only way you're going to stop me from doing what I need to do."
Avery handed Jenna a data-disk. "Here are the files that the Fool was looking for. It'll take a while before he knows they're missing and can contact the Fed to get another copy. What are you so afraid that he'll find?"
"Hey, if you have aunts or uncles that you need to protect --"
"Her parents were both only children," Avery said. "Do you think they'll trace you back to the church? You don't need to go back there --"
Jenna stepped around Avery and headed toward the door. She had more time than she thought, but her private anger would not let her stop. She did not get far before Nessa was in front of her.
"No," the vampire said calmly, even softly. "It's a suicide mission. Tell me what's going on, and maybe I can get some help --"
"No help," Jenna said. "No one goes with me. I have to do this alone."
Jenna tried to go the other way, but Avery was there. To make matters more complicated, Anabella had just arrived.
"Please," Jenna whispered, her voice trembling with rage and tears in her eyes, "you've got to let me do this." Neither human nor vampire nor banshee moved, and Jenna knew she could not fight them all. She doubted she could even beat Nessa, much less when the vampire was aided by the other two.
"Tell me what's got you so spooked," Nessa said. "I'm not going to let him hurt you, but you need to --"
"I'm not worried about him hurting me!" Jenna shouted, her anger getting the best of her. "He can roast me over the fires of hell for all I care. I've already done that."
"Then what --"
"Dammit!" Jenna screamed, shoving Nessa back across the room with a strength that even she did not know that she had possessed, "I won't let the Fool get my son!"
And just like that, there was silence. All the anger and energy and adrenalin that had been running through Jenna's body abandoned her, leaving her feeling weak as a newborn kitten. She had just uttered something that she had never told another being . . . ever.
"Your son?" Nessa asked, her voice wavering with disbelief. "You mean --"
"I won't let anyone hurt him," Jenna said, mostly to herself than to any one of the three people facing her. "I'll burn down the world before I let that happen."
"You . . . but . . . Oh my," Nessa muttered. "The father --"
"Yeah," Jenna whispered. "Him. Even dead, he found a way to crawl inside me. They told me to that I could get rid of the baby and no one would blame me."
"But you didn't. Why? Why go through that?"
Jenna shrugged, her whole body a building mass of tension and nerves, and she was still faced with a burning desire to hunt the Fool down and kill him. "How could I? That son of a bitch took everything from me. I killed . . . he made me . . . my whole family," she spat out. Then her face softened. "He doesn't know I exist, but he was the only family I have left. How could I kill him like I did the others?"
"You didn't kill your family. The choice the Messenger gave you was a fucking illusion!" Nessa said, her voice growing angrier, though her true rage was not directed at the woman in front of her. "Let them suffer and eventually die or let them die now? And after all the he put you through, you still blame yourself?! You had his child and --" Nessa stopped. "You know where he is, don't you? Your son?"
Jenna's mouth moved, but no sound came out. "If you have any good in your heart," she said at last, "you'll let me protect the one good thing I ever did."
"If killing the Fool will protect your son and end this war, then we will kill him. But don't throw your life away doing it."
Avery was feeling clammy. He was a father himself, though his kids were grown up and away from this for the time being. "It will take a few days for anyone to go through the red tape. WitSec just doesn't move faster than that. We find out where the new base of operations for the Nightwalkers is, then we find the best way to move." He looked at Nessa. "I know you wanted diplomacy, but this is getting out of hand anyway."
Nessa just could not shake this news. "You must have been terrified," she said to her friend.
Jenna looked at her hands. "I was numb. I was so far beyond being afraid that there isn't a concept for it. I just couldn't let him go."
"Can your informant let us know when your old boss gets the intel?"
Jenna's head shot up. "Death? He could, but --" The words stuck in her throat.
"But you'd have to tell 'im," Anabella finished for her. "And you're still not sure you can trust him."
"I don't know if I should," Jenna agreed. "This isn't my life we're talking about anymore."
"From the sound of things, he has stood by you through everything. And you picked him of all people to be your one friend, which has got to say something." She put her hands on those strong shoulders; shoulders than must be tired from carrying such a heavy load for so long. "This Fool will find out about your son eventually, so trusting Death may be your best option."
"And you can trust us too," Avery put in. "I can send a word through the right channels, and he'll be hidden away --"
"No," Jenna snapped, then her voice lapsed into the apologetic. "I'm sorry, but he has good parents and goes to a good school, has good friends, and he's even got a date for the Winter Ball. You can't make him give up everything because of me. I'll give myself up to save him."
"And the Fool would still be able tah use 'im to make you do whatever he wanted," Anabella pointed out. "I'm on board with the killin' 'im idea, but yah gotta do it right."
Nessa met Jenna's gaze. "This is what you wanted to hold back from me, isn't it? The tower in your mind is where you store memories of him." This was a statement rather than a question. "You've obviously been keeping close tabs on him."
"As soon as I could, I found who he'd been adopted too. When I got into the Nightwalker intro program after a stint in the armed forces, I used what influence I could to make sure he got into good private schools. I've put money away so that he'll have a special scholarship that I've made sure that only he can win . . . He's only fifteen," she murmured painfully. He's not even a year younger than I was when I had him. He deserves a life."
Nessa knew that she was trying to compensate for the life she basically lost by making sure this young man wanted for nothing. "Did he ever try to find you?"
Jenna just nodded. "He sent letters to the adoption agency and the hospital but . . . Like everyone else, I let him think I was dead. His adoptive parents are so good to him --" She stopped and walked to the other side of the room. Nessa approached while Avery and Anabella stayed behind.
The Nightwalker did not even turn to look at the true vampire. "Everything's gone wrong," she said, looking out at a night broken by speckles of orange street lights and the occasional white of an office light left on. "I had a job and a friend and my son was safe and everything was peaceful --"
"This fight would have come whether you were here or not," Nessa said. "And wars hurt innocent people."
"It shouldn't be his war," Jenna replied bitterly. "Not for my sins."
Nessa was becoming exasperated. "You have committed no sins," she said with forced calm. "You want to help your son? Get your mind back in the game. I've got a good strike team, but you know what tactics the Fool is likely to use. Help train my people."
"Train," Jenna said, almost grateful that she finally had something to wrap her head around. "Train a bunch of Night Breeds to kill my old boss and hopefully stop a werewolf revolution."
"And you thought things would be boring."
Jenna actually laughed briefly. "Meeting you has brought me many things, but boredom isn't one of them."
Nessa touched her friends face. "I know it's a lot to ask, but if you do want to tell me your son's name, I'll make sure he gets somewhere safe if the going gets rough."
The Nightwalker relaxed just a little bit. "Thank you."
"Go train my men and help get them up to speed. That'll be thanks enough."
Elsewhere . . .
"I want that bitch," Garon said as he flexed his hand. "I want her to be begging at my feet." The silver poisoning he had got from, of all people, Nessa's new bed toy, had cramped up his arm and given him the heaves, neither of which were fun. "Have we gotten a name for her yet?"
"No sir," Simon Glickler replied. "No one on the outer fringe has any idea who she is. Just McGowan's inner circle, and capturing one of them will be a bit more problematic."
"What of our missing wolves?"
"We just received word that blood and scent traces that matched them were found near signs of a struggle. It looks like they were ambushed. They had reported in that they were pursuing the false vampires, then nothing. They were good men sir."
"Not good enough," Garon replied. "But we will howl tonight in their memory nonetheless."
"And we have word of an influx of 'unmarked' trucks moving in and relocating their base, but we do not know where. It is also believed that they have called for reinforcements."
"We expected as much. It seems that this Fool of theirs is going to keep this out of the media. Perhaps he will publicly maintain that we are simply 'Corporate experiments' like he has the vampires."
"So what is our next move?"
"Call in the Alabama wolves. I want them here by the weekend. We wipe them out, burn their new base to the ground, then I'll deal with --" He paused, looking again as he injured hand. He was going to hurt Nessa for this insult, and he figured the best way to do that was by hurting the blonde angel.
The next day . . .