The Freedom Five

It Begins

It Begins

“Alright mom I’ll tell Juanita you called. Give my regards to Herman for me….
Oh did you get the set of sea shells I had sent you from our vacation?…
Good. Well I figured it was better that a T-shirt. Heh…
I love ya too mom, take care.”

Eric turned off the cell phone and then went back to reading the report about some type of ground quake or subsidence that had occurred this morning on Ironhide’s patrol in North point.

Thank goodness no one was hurt and thank all the gods that my home was not affected. A Revolutionary war grave yard. hmmm That is going to cause a market hit in the area, I wonder if I have any homes that will be affected? I better go over there on my patrol and check things out. Now that I am back to full power I might be able to spot some possible trouble, also get an idea about how big the area affected.

Eric finished the report and then typed up a report about his last patrol, a big nothing. Then he pulled up a third report about a new team of meta humans that were attacking “magic using” paragons. An eye witness reported one looked somewhat like a fly that spit acid and a second one has hair like razor blades that could be manipulated to slice and dice and a third wore a suit and tie but supposedly took three 45 slugs to the chest and was not hurt. The three then disappeared into the Fens.

Okay after North point I better hit the Fens and see what I can find out. Maybe Father Fornhill will have heard something. He’s pretty tied into the goings on in the Fens and the city’s poor in general.

Eric then updated his calendar on his phone with the new information of where he would be patrolling and why and how to get a hold of Farther Fornhill if he should fail to report in. Eric looked at the clock and then glanced at the window.

_ I think I will get out of here and go catch an early lunch with Juanita and then start my patrol a bit early. I’m sure glad we decided to get an apartment together. It has sure been nice having her around._

Eric swiped his palms down his pant legs self-consciously. He did not like to talk about it but small spaces made him uncomfortable and if he spent too much time thinking about the building he was in did not have any windows that could be opened and that all the air was recycled exhaust from other peoples lungs he began to sweat a bit. He then just wanted to shrink to give himself more room, but he could not shrink inside buildings. He was trapped. Eric’s palms began to sweat.

Yes definitely time for an early lunch.

Eric called Juanita to ask her if she wanted to catch some early lunch. Her rapid breathing and moans in the background indicated she was a bit busy at the moment but she did ask him to hurry over anyway to fill another craving she had. He ran out of the building and changed as fast as possible and shot back to their place, landed on their balcony and was inside the bedroom in 30 seconds.

The next hour was much better spent than eating lunch.

OXOXOXOX

After a quick shower Eric got out to the scene at North Point and looked around. Damage was not too bad but the grave site was too jumbled to be a graveyard, he thought it was more like a mass grave but he was no expert and the real experts were still working on the area. Eric spent most of his time shrunk down looking for leaking gas pipes or any areas that might shift again, and trying to locate and recognize historically significant artifacts. It was odd. When he was shrunk down he never really felt claustrophobic it was only in his “normal” form that he really noticed it. Like he was just too big for the area he was in.

After a few hours as the light started to fade out of the evening sky and it started to rain he left the scene with a promise from the lead investigator that he, Eric would get a report on this as soon as it was ready. Eric then headed off toward the Fens. He stopped at Frenchy’s drive-in for a turkey burger and sweet potato fries and then with the rain still coming down headed over to the Holy Trinity Catholic Church and Father Fornhill.

Holy Trinity was a very typical Spanish Mission looking church. With brown walls that could be mistaken for adobe at a distance, a red tile roof and even a bell tower. The church looked like it had just come off the set of The Good, the Bad and the Ugly. Three large doors to the chapel and another two story building that ran off behind it formed an “L” pattern. On the inside of the L was a small courtyard where Eric landed and then grew to full size. Glass windows faced the courtyard and several people witnessed his landing. Luckily he did not have a secret ID to worry about and that his clothes changed shape with him.

He walked from the courtyard into the chruch and into the stares of several people. Then a young boy piped up while pointing at Eric and holding his mom’s arm.

“Look mommy it’s Neutrino, the one that you called a pervert. What’s a pervert? Can I be one when I grow up?” Eric looked at the boy and then up at the pretty mother and grinned.

“I think I would like to hear that explanation too but I need to talk to Father Fornhill. Is he around?”

He watched her face cringe in embarrassment and then harden in anger.

“He is finishing up his confessionals. You will have to come back some other day and earlier I am sure, to fit in all your sins.”

_And there is the other hand to having a public ID. Everyone thinks they know you because of some magazine article they have read or had someone tell them about.
_
Eric sighed. “I am not here for a confessional, I am here for a real reason. If I wanted to bare my soul I would talk to my bartender, an actual God. Not some proxy! What? Just point me where he is. Thank you”
What’s with the dirty looks? What ever.

Eric walked down to the indicated office, knocked and waited for an enter. After a moment the door opened and a large blocky man with watery brown eyes, behind thick glasses opened the door and looked him over then grunted and gestured Eric in. The man then turned and walked back to a chair, sat down and went back to doing what he must have been doing before being interrupted by Eric, clipping his toenails.

The man’s feet were huge. Easily size fourteen or sixteen triple, or quadruple E’s and his nails were all cracked, split, and a filthy yellowish color. The nail clippers could barely clip though the thick horny growth that was the man’s toenails.
“God almighty Father go see a good pedicurist. Those are disgusting! I would recommend you one but then I would have to make you promise never to tell who recommended her.”

The father grunts again. Perhaps amused by Eric’s comment. His huge hands deftly moving the nail clipper from toe to toe, easily snipping the thick horny growths with his sausage sized fingers. Everything about Father Fornhill was thick, rock like.

They say he grew up in the coal mines of Australia. Fought his way out of there with his fists and his wits. He graduated to the docks where he loaded ships all day and did bare knuckle fighting at night. He then suddenly quite, moved to America and joined the priesthood. Rumor says he beat a man to death one night in a drunken rage over a woman in a bar. The father does not say but the scaring on his hands, arms and face tell an interesting story. He got to America late in the 90’s. Been in Freedom City for last ten years. Eric met him a few times before he outgrew the church. Who knew, Catholic.

Since then Eric had talked to him a little about issues with his mom and his Uncle Frank. Eric thought Father Fornhill may have helped Frank get the supervisor job at the food kitchen the Wyrd sisters sponsor but the father won’t say, and Uncle Frank doesn’t know.

Eric had also used him from time to time to find out about things going on in the Fens. The Father was well known in the Fens and well respected. He was not a stoolie, but he would sometimes pass on stuff to Eric he heard about Meta humans. Particularly if they were preying on his flock.

Father Fornhill finished the work on his feet and set the clippers down and then turned and looked at Eric. “How can I help you Eric?” His voice was resonate, and deep. Think Smaug in that old Peter Jackson, Hobbit movie.

Eric asked about the new Metas he had read about last night in the report and then Father Fornhill told him that they just seemed to show up last night out of nowhere, no one knew who they were, they killed a couple of people that were Paragon “magic users” and then they disappeared into the Fens.

While he talked, the Father changed into some sweats and then asked Eric if he would like to go down into the church Gym and work out for awhile. Eric quickly declined. One of the father’s little three hour workouts would leave Eric unable to move for a week.

Eric said his goodbyes and then went back out into the courtyard where the rain was still coming down, shrank down, and took off. The whole time Eric was wondering what the good father was not telling him, and why he looked so worried.

Comments

Interesting. Nice post. Neutrino is being very careless with the public. I’m sure that won’t have repercussions.

It Begins
rchipman Alfirin

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