Part 744 – Chase Scene

N1 pushed herself to keep running and running, even though her chest hurt and her body just wanted to drop on the ground and die.

She kept running.

Until she realized which way she was heading.

Back to the bad side of town.

She stopped in the middle of the street, breathless and jittery.

Cars made strong declarations of irritation as they whooshed around her.

I didn’t mean to come back here. What should I do?

She glanced around.

Her breathing stopped.

A young boy, no older than sixteen, leaned against the front window for the Salvation’s Time and Dine store. His unnaturally gray hair was long and shaggy. His bangs hung in an uneven line.

He looked up.

He saw her.

She turned quickly and ran in the opposite direction.

She dodged around cars and motorcycles. None of them appreciated sharing road space with her. She didn’t care. She felt safe in their midst.

Until the light turned red.

The cars stopped.

And MLO was there at the crosswalk.

He ran towards her.

She ran to the other side of the street.

Just as someone in a Buick LeSabre decided that red lights didn’t apply to Buicks.

The car hit her at full speed and kept on going.


MLO stopped.

Oh. Shoot.

She isn’t moving.

He hurried to her side.

He knelt and looked her over without touching her.

She’s so still.



Eyes open.

She isn’t blinking.

He checked for a pulse.


Not even a flutter.

He sat back on his feet and sighed. “Antioch isn’t going to like this.”


Missy followed Barbara back to the car. She kept glancing over her shoulder, expecting him to be there.

She even looked up at the sky a couple of times.

Just in case.

Barbara didn’t say anything. Didn’t ask any questions. Didn’t tell her to just chill already.

“Should I feel relieved or disappointed?”

Barbara unlocked the car. “I’m sorry, what?”

Missy shook her head. “Just talking to myself.”


They both got into the front seat: Barbara in the driver’s seat, Missy shotgun.

As she pulled out of the parking lot, Barbara smiled. “Oh, well. The day wasn’t a total loss. We did manage to find you several nice outfits.”

“And new underwear.”

Barbara smiled. “And new underwear.”

Thoughts about MLO left her mind. Missy leaned back in her seat. “I can’t wait to see what Raven thinks about my new wardrobe.”

Barbara giggled. “I think he’ll just be glad it isn’t that hospital gown mishmash.”

Missy laughed. “True. Thank you so much for buying all that stuff for me.”

“Not a problem. So, who is MLO?”

Missy’s face turned serious. “You had to bring him back up just when I was about to daydream about my lovely shirtless Raven.” She sighed. “MLO is one of The Institute’s creations. He’s always been there. I think they may have made him there, but I don’t know for sure.  I don’t even know where I came from. Who knows? They could have made me from scratch too.”

“Can they do that?”

Missy shrugged. “I know that’s one of the things Capernum’s been working on. He’s in charge of creating artificial life and Antioch is in charge of making weaponized humans not that they ever told me this I just worked it out from bits of overheard conversations.”

“What did they do to you?”

“They made me an elemental. A fire creature but Antioch fixed me so I can’t transform anymore and I have my voice again.” She smiled happily. “You have no idea how wonderful the power of speech is until you don’t have that power anymore.”

Barbara nodded her head. “I guess that’s true.”

“If I could just talk in one long sentence all day and night I so would just because I love my voice. The way it sounds the way it feels the way I can TALK OUT LOUD or whisper real soft and I can feel it. I can feel the difference in the volume.”

“What about MLO? What is he?”

She looked outside. “He’s what that little girl called him. A monster. He was created to sneak up on people and steal them away. He isn’t pretty. He’s terrifying.” She focused on the smears on the window. “I’m worried about why he’s on this side of town. Maybe he’s looking for me maybe he isn’t maybe he’s looking for someone else.” She sat up straight and gave Barbara a panicked look. “Maybe he’s after Raven. Hurry home. Please hurry home!”


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