Chapter 2 — The Power of Three
Day 10 — Jacksonville, FL — The Jacksonville Landing — The Parking Area
“So tell me guy, who are the people that captured you? What part of the government is it?” Darren asked as he looked at JT. “Are they really part of the government or is there something else going on? How were they able to hold you, being as powerful as you are?”
“I—I don’t know,” JT replied as he looked down. “There—there was this guy there. I—I think I know him from somewhere, I just can’t remember where from though.”
“Is it somebody you went up against in the past? Is it someone you dated? Is it someone you know from another reality or something?” Tara asked as JT sighed.
“I don’t know,” JT replied with a frown. “I—I just know that he’s someone I should know.”
“If it’s someone you should know, then what’s this person’s name?” Darren asked.
“I—I don’t know!” JT snapped as the area around them shook again as ripples glided across the water in the river.
“Calm down man, you know what happens when you get upset,” Tara stated as she sighed and then shook her head. “We don’t need you shaking time and reality with those magical powers of yours.”
“It’s not my magical powers I’m concerned with right now,” JT stated as he shook his head.
“Then what is JT? What’s really going on here?” Tara asked.
“There’s something—something is wrong with me,” JT stated as he turned away from Tara. “While—while I fought with those military men, I—I wasn’t able to morph any energy around me. Hell, at the last minute, they were able to take me out with gunfire.”
“They were able to take you out with gunfire,” Tara said as she looked at JT closely. “Are you kidding me JT? Are you telling me that you were taken out by bullets from a gun? You were taken out by bullets from an actual gun?”
“Yes,” JT replied as he looked down as Darren looked at him and Tara.
“Come on now, I know it’s been a long time and all, but I know your telekinetic powers can deflect bullets,” Tara stated, walking around in front of JT as she got closer to him, lifting his chin so she could see his eyes. “Your telekinesis are working, aren’t they?”
“As far as I know they are,” JT replied as he waved his hand as a trash dumpster near them floated into the air and then fell to the ground, loudly.
“I guess they are,” Tara stated with a frown. “So tell me, what’s going on around here? What was that earlier comment about your powers about? Why weren’t you able to escape on your own?”
“I—I can’t explain what happened back there,” JT replied as he shook his head. “One minute I was kicking ass and then the next, I’m going down like the damn Titanic™.”
“How did that happen JT?” Tara asked as she looked at JT and then back at Darren.
“I don’t have that answer. I was able to fly, lift all those men with just a thought and even control the elements. At the last minute though, something strange happened and before I knew it, I was knocked out. My telekinesis didn’t even stand a chance against all that was going on around me. It was like I was a damn baby, trying to fight with an adult or something,” JT explained as he shook his head, looking down at the ground as a few tears fell from his eyes.
“Were you some place that dampened your powers or something?” Tara asked.
“No,” JT replied as he looked over at Darren. “He was able to get in to rescue me, so there couldn’t have been any power dampeners around.”
“That’s not really the case JT. You could have been in a place with power dampeners and such,” Darren stated as he looked over at JT. “She used her mind powers to find you and I used a magical spell to travel to where you were, to get you and us out of there once we had you.”
“That can’t be the answer either,” JT stated as he rubbed at his head. “My—my own magic didn’t work, if it had, I wouldn’t have been there as long as I had been.”
“Did you try to use your magic JT?” Tara asked as JT’s eyes glowed an eerie purple-pinkish color. “Ah JT, what’s going on?”
“We have company and we might have to fight,” JT stated as a few military men moved in around them, aiming their rifles at them.
“You three, stop right there!” Someone yelled.
“Oh here we go,” Tara stated as she shook her head and then jumped into the air, taking flight.
“We have a flier, take precautions!” One of the military men yelled.
“Man, are you able to protect yourself?” JT asked as he looked over at Darren as the man smiled and then waved his hand as a strange glitter-like energy rained down on him as he disappeared. “I guess he can.”
“You, stop!” One of the military men demanded as JT shook his head and then flew into the air quickly, but crashed into some sort of invisible barrier that blocked him from moving further as he fell to the ground, hard.
“What in the hell was that?!” JT screamed as he rolled over on the ground as a few military men surrounded him. “Damn it, that hurt like hell! Why isn’t my psychic armor working to keep me from feeling the hurt?”
“Don’t move freak!” One of the military men screamed, moving past the other soldiers to stand in front of JT as he pointed at gun at him.
“I don’t think so!” Tara yelled as she landed behind the soldier, kicked the gun out of his hand as JT’s eyes glowed brightly as he disappeared as Tara vanished next.
“No! The freaks vanished! The boss isn’t going to like this one bit!” The soldier snapped as he and the others ran in the opposite direction, heading for a helicopter.
‘Tara, do you want to play tag along?’ JT telepathically asked Tara as the area where he previously lay on the ground started to change, looking as if something was walking across it.
‘We might as well find out what’s going on and who these people are and who that so-called big boss is,’ Tara mentally replied as she and JT Moved through the area, unseen by the military men around. ‘How long are we going to be cloaked like this?’
‘Forever or until my power stops working,’ JT telepathically responded as he and Tara boarded the helicopter with the military men.
Two Hours Later — A Secret Government Installation on the Outskirts of Town
‘JT, do you happen to know where we are?’ Tara mentally asked as she looked around, still cloaked by JT’s power. ‘Are we even in Jacksonville still?’
‘I believe we are,’ JT telepathically answered as an alarm sounded in the area that he and Tara walked into.
“This is not a drill! We have an event!” One of the soldiers yelled, taking on a fighting stance as he readied his rifle. “Men, be prepared to fire, on my command!”
“Stand down men,” a tall white man spoke as he walked into the room as the other men saluted. “Someone turn that blasted thing off! There isn’t an event here!”
“Sir, the monitoring system has detected strange energies emanating in this area,” one of the soldiers spoke up, reading information from a computer screen.
“Then there has to be a problem with the detection system here,” the man said as he walked over to a soldier in the room. “This information can’t be correct. It says the energies detected are emanated from this room, just a few feet away from this very spot, but we’re the only ones in here soldier.”
“Sir, there is nothing wrong with the detection system, they are calibrated daily. The readings are correct,” the soldier spoke as he looked around. “There is something or someone here and it’s emanating tremendous amounts of energy.”
“Nonsense,” the man spoke as he pushed the soldier out of the way and then took a seat behind the computer terminal as he pressed some buttons as the lights in the room changed colors and then started flashing off and on as some other lights in the room came on, bathing the area in a strange glow.
“Sir, the readings haven’t changed,” the soldier spoke as he pressed a button on another console. “The energy readings are still in this room.”
“Soldier, have all of these men been certified?” The man asked as he looked around at the other soldiers in the room.
“Sir, these men have been certified,” another soldier spoke up as he pressed a button on a terminal as the strange lights stopped flashing and then a new light enveloped the room.
‘JT, are these machines detecting your energy wavelengths?’ Tara mentally asked as the man walked over to another machine in the room, pressed a button and then moved towards where Tara stood as another alarm sounded and then the lights in the area went out as the air around JT’s body crackled.
“Soldier, it seems we have an event!” The man yelled as the soldiers moved into a firing position, aiming their guns at the general vicinity where JT and Tara stood. “You might as well show yourself. We know you’re here. We can see the electromagnetic aura around your body.”
“In that case, here I am!” JT snapped, his body materializing slowly as he raised his hands quickly as all of the soldiers guns flew from their hands, floating to the ceiling and crashing together, grinding into dust. “I’m not going to allow you evil people to hurt me or anyone else with your weapons!”
“Hello again,” the man said as he walked over to stand in front of JT. “Remember me?”
“Get away from me!” JT snapped as Tara materialized nearby. “Oh no, sorry Tara, I—I lost my concentration.”
“What’s going on here? Who is this guy?” Tara asked, looking at the man strangely as she removed a lasso from her belt.
“Don’t know that and I’m not trying to find out right now,” JT said as he grabbed Tara’s hand as the two of them floated upwards, but were stopped by an invisible barrier “Oh no, that that barrier thing again!”
“Sorry freak, but I can’t let you leave here,” the man said with a smile as he walked under where JT and Tara floated as he snapped his fingers as a button was pushed and then JT and Tara fell to the floor.
“Damn it! That hurt like hell!” Tara snapped as JT shook his head and prepared to get up as a few soldiers poked rifles in his face.
“As I said freak, I’m not letting you or her, leave here,” the man said with a smile as Darren materialized in the area.
“Sorry dude, you don’t have a choice in the matter,” Darren said as he placed each of his hands on Tara and JT’s bodies as the three of them disappeared from the room.
“Damn it! No!” The man yelled, stomping his feet on the floor like a little child would that didn’t get what it wanted. “Search this base damn it!”
“On it sir,” One of the soldier’s said, gesturing with his head as the soldiers left the room.
“This is the third time you’ve gotten away from me. There won’t be another,” the man said as he wiped at his head with a handkerchief and then turned and left the room.
Somewhere on Staten Island, NY
“What in the hell was that back there JT?” Tara asked as the three of them appeared. “Who in the hell was that man? Apparently he knows you and you know him. How in the hell did he get from Washington so quickly?”
“I don’t know Tara, I can’t give you an answer to that question,” JT stated as he sighed and then shook his head.
“He knows you JT. He knows enough about you that he can stop you from using your powers and he can detect when you’re using them,” Tara stated with a frown as she scratched at her head.
“Buddy, you need to search that psychic mind of yours and figure out who that guy is,” Darren stated as he pushed JT’s shoulder. “I’m not going to allow you to put my wife in any more damn danger!”
“I—I wasn’t trying to put her in danger,” JT replied as he looked down.
“Like hell you weren’t!” Darren snapped as he pushed JT’s shoulder again. “What in the hell were you thinking when you teleported the two of you into their base?”
“I didn’t teleport us into their base, we—we took a ride with them to it,” JT stated as he looked at Darren strangely.
“You did what!” Darren snapped as he threw his hands up.
“I didn’t teleport us anywhere, we rode with them in their helicopter,” JT stated.
“But… I—I saw you two disappear,” Darren stated, pointing his finger in JT’s face.
“No, you saw me use my magic to blend us in with our surroundings,” JT stated with a small smile. “I’m sure you know how to enhance a glamour spell, being that you’re magical too.”
“I—I wasn’t thinking about anything like that,” Darren stated as he looked down. “I was thinking about how much danger my beautiful wife was in!”
‘Sounds like someone is overreacting,’ JT thought as he shook his head and then sighed.
“Come on baby, I’m fine,” Tara stated as she moved over to Darren and then kissed his lips as she caressed his cheeks.
“We’re not fine right now. I’m sensing something heading for us,” JT stated as his eyes glowed an eerie purple color as his body glowed brightly as a strange ribbon-like energy that looked like fabric flared around his body.
“What is it JT?” Tara asked as she turned around.
“I—I think it’s someone—someone is running towards us,” JT stated as he scratched his head. “I know it’s not the person I thought it would’ve been.”
“Maybe we need to get away from here,” Darren stated as he looked over at JT and Tara. “We’ve been out in the open for a bit too long for my liking.”
“Yeah, we’ve been in the open for far too long,” JT stated as he turned around as the energy and ribbon that flared around his body collapsed upon him, revealing a new set of clothing, mainly a black pair of pants with what looked like lightning bolts on each side of the legs, a black under-armor top with what looked like a planet symbol in the center of the chest with dark blue boots and gloves, two gold colored belts that hung loosely around his waist and a gold colored visor over his eyes.
“A new look,” Tara said with a smile as she looked JT up and down and then looked over at Darren.
“There’s nothing wrong with an upgrade,” JT stated as Tara giggled as she shook her head.
“I guess so, being that you’ve added something to that goth look you’re so used to having. I’m glad you added some color this time,” Tara stated as JT raised an eye at her.
“Tara, this is the costume I had when we were kids, it’s just a bit age appropriate now,” JT stated as he turned around, waving his hand at her in a dismissing manner.
“Uh huh,” Tara replied as she spun around in a circle as her body exploded in light, revealing a costume JT hadn’t seen before.
“Wow, you got rid of the blue, white and whatever color that was,” JT stated as he smiled at Tara. “I like this black and gold you have going on. How long have you had this costume?”
“Since you left and went into hiding it seems,” Tara replied as JT looked down with a frown on his face.
“I—I didn’t go into hiding,” JT stated as he sighed. “I just preferred living my life. I wanted to live my life Tara. I didn’t want to be running around trying to fight or run from Halloween, Talisman, Master Power, Lord Zeos or any of those other fools that tried to kill us on multiple occasions.”
“I know the feeling, but nothing compares to kicking ass as a super hero,” Tara stated as she moved back just in time to see a dozen police cars driving past them. “Damn! What in the hell is happening with that?”
“Yeah, what in the hell is going on?” Darren asked as he looked at JT and then back to Tara as they all watched the police cars.
“It seems the little speed demon that I detected earlier is causing some problems for the local police. It seems he’s competing with them,” JT stated with a frown as he shook his head. “This guy is reminding me more and more of an old friend of ours.”
“Why is he competing with the police?” Tara asked as JT shrugged his shoulders as his eyes glowed.
“He’s racing with a squad car as we speak,” JT stated as he jumped into the air, taking flight, keeping an eye on things from the sky.
A Few Miles Away — A Police Blockade
“Come in Barton, do you have the street blocked off yet?” One of the police officers asked as another officer nodded his head.
“I don’t think a road block is going to stop this guy,” the other officer stated as two more patrol cars arrived on the scene.
“So what’s the word?” The first officer asked as he looked over at the two new arrivals.
“The perp has hit ten more department stores and it seems no one can seem to get a good visual on him,” another officer announced as something moved past him quickly, knocking him down to the ground as one of the patrol cars flipped over.
“Damn it Haynes, are you okay buddy?” Another officer asked, assisting the officer on the ground up.
“Whatever this is, we have to do something to stop it. We can’t let this thing get away,” another officer stated as he stepped back. “This thing is like a damn wraith or something.”
“There’s no such thing as a wraith,” another officer stated as something moved behind all of them as there was a loud noise as all the officers covered their ears quickly, falling to the ground.
“Oh God, no!” JT screamed as he floated in mid air, covering his ears as he flew erratically through the air as his eyes glowed brightly as the young speedster stopped momentarily to watch the chaos and devastation he had created.
“What the fuck is happening?!” Tara screamed as she fell to the ground, rolling around as something fell from her body, hitting the ground and then growing in size, revealing that it was Darren’s body as he screamed out, his voice alerting the young speedster that was nearby along with the police officers that lay on the ground.
“What in the hell just happened here? Who in the hell are those—those damn people?” One of the police officers asked as he rushed over to where JT, Tara and Darren were on the ground. “Stop, get your hands up!”
“No!” JT screamed, using his powers to knock the police officer backwards to the ground as the gun floated from the officer’s hand and exploded into multiple pieces.
“What just happened here?” Tara asked as she sat up on the ground.
“It seems our little speedster there broke the sound barrier just now and caused a great deal of reverb,” JT stated as he shook his head and then got up to his feet. “If I hadn’t reacted when I did, I wouldn’t have been able to shield myself from the impending shockwaves that came with it.”
“It seems someone’s a bit selfish,” Darren stated as he sat up on the ground, rubbing at his head. “You could’ve shielded the rest of us from that crap too.”
“You were not with me,” JT stated as he assisted Tara with standing up. “Oh great, the little troublemaker is gone, but it seems we have some unnecessary company of our own to deal with.”
“Not up for dealing with the police,” Tara stated as she waved at the officers and then flew off into the air as JT and Darren disappeared.
“Did you see that?” One of the police officers spoke as he pointed up at the sky. “That woman just flew away like a damn bird and the other two, they—they vanished as if they weren’t here.”
“Can it Haynes, the Sarge will think you’ve been hitting the bottle with talk like that,” another officer spoke as he rubbed at his head. “There’s no such thing as flying girls and vanishing guys.”
“But she just flew up into the sky, I saw it with my own two eyes and the other two were right there, they disappeared like they weren’t really there,” the officer stated.
“We don’t have any actual proof that they were here, so they weren’t,” the other officer said with a frown as he took off his heat and then fanned his face with it.
“Look man, I know what I saw. I’m not going crazy,” the other officer stated as he showed the middle finger to the other officer and then walked off.
“He better learn to keep his mouth shut before he say something to get himself killed,” another officer spoke as he opened the patrol car door and then got inside as he started the vehicle and drove off.
Not Too Far From the Statue of Liberty
“Hi there guy,” JT spoke as he floated down in front of the young speedster.
“He—he’s flying,” the young man spoke as JT held his hand out as the young man shook his head and then turned around quickly to run away, but wasn’t able to move. “What’s happening? Why am I not moving?”
“Nope, I’m not going to let you get away. You’re not leaving from here,” JT stated as he stepped closer to the young man.
“What are you doing to me?” The young man asked.
“I’m stopping you from drawing more attention to yourself,” JT stated with a weak smile at the young man. “What you did earlier wasn’t called for. You could’ve hurt someone and you could’ve leveled this town with that reverb you created when you broke the sound barrier.”
“That was cool wasn’t it, that was my best effect yet. Besides, I was only having a little bit of fun, no harm down man,” the young man said as JT’s eyes glowed.
“Now isn’t the time to be seeking fun Brian Steele,” JT stated as the young man turned and looked at him strangely. “Yes, I know your name.”
“How do you know my name?” The young man identified as Brian asked.
“Let’s just say that I’m a mind reader,” JT replied as the young man looked down and then stopped trying to move his legs. “I’m just like you, well not just like you. You have the power to run fast, I have the power to—to do other things.”
“So you’re a super person too,” Brian stated as JT nodded his head.
“Yes I am, but you have to stop what you’re doing,” JT stated as he looked around, waving his hand through the air as Tara appeared as Brian’s eyes widened.
“How—how did you do that?” Brian asked, looking at JT strangely, not taking his eyes off of him.
“As I said, I can do other things,” JT replied as Darren grew to his full size as he stood next to Tara. “That’s really freaky.”
“Oh come off it J, I’ve seen you change your size before,” Tara stated as JT shook his head.
“No Tara, when you would see me change size, I was normally growing taller to a giant, not growing from the size of an atom to normal size. That’s just odd,” JT stated as his eyes glowed brightly, creating an aura that resembled a firebird around his eyes. “Guys, we have trouble approaching quickly and it seems to be our new government friends.”
“I suggest we get out of here then,” Darren stated as he looked over at JT.
“Brian, I think you need to come with us,” JT stated as he looked over at the young man. “You being out here in the open, the way you have been, as of late, isn’t a good thing.”
“I don’t need you guys, I can take care of myself,” Brian stated as JT shook his head.
“With your actions earlier, I don’t know if that can be considered taking care of yourself. It was more like super mischief,” JT stated as Tara raised an eye, looking at him strangely. “Besides, it’s time that you allowed others to help you.”
“I don’t know you man, but being out here on your own isn’t a good thing,” Darren stated as Tara looked at him strangely as JT raised his hands as energy crackled around his body.
“Come on, let’s get out of here, before those people come to tag us and take us away,” JT stated as he looked over at Brian.
“Fine,” Brian stated as JT motioned with his hand as the four of them disappeared just before some military soldiers reached the spot where they were.
Day 12 — The South side of Jacksonville, FL — The Avenues Mall
“These are normally two hundred dollar shoes girl. I can’t believe I got those for such a low price,” Jennifer stated a she and a friend walked through the mall, carrying shopping bags, while pointing out different items in other stores they passed.
“I know girl, I can’t believe it either,” the young woman spoke with a smile. “I can’t believe the sales lady give you all those discounts like that. Do you know her or what?”
“No, I don’t know her, but I’m glad she did what she did,” Jennifer stated with a smile. “I’m glad I get these, I’m going to break them tonight at the Metro.”
“So you’re going out, yet again,” the young woman stated as Jennifer nodded her head.
“Why not, I have nothing else better to do,” Jennifer stated as they got to the escalators. “I’m feeling a bit lunchy girl, are you hungry?”
“A little bit,” the young woman replied as Jennifer nodded her head in the direction of the food court. “It’s been a while since I had something to snack on.”
“I know the feeling,” Jennifer spoke as she adjusted the shopping bags in her hand.
“Do you know what you want?” The young woman asked, adjusting the bags in her hands as she looked up to see a strange looking man that stood over by an exit door, watching the two of them.
“Why don’t we go down to the first level and get something to eat from the food court,” Jennifer stated with a small smile as she checked the guy out from the corner of her eye. “I think I can go for some Chinese. What about you Laci?”
“I can go for that. Would love some shrimp fried rice, chicken wings and some lo mein,” the young woman stated as they rode the escalator down. “What are you going to get? Jen? Hey Jen, girl are you okay?”
“I’m fine,” Jennifer replied as she looked around to see that the man was gone, no longer in her range of vision.
“Are you sure?” The young woman identified as Laci asked as they stepped off the escalator and then walked towards the food court.
“I’m sure, I’m just a bit hungry,” Jennifer stated as she walked quickly over to a set of tables and placed her bags down. “Why don’t you go over and get our food ordered and I’ll sit here and watch our stuff.”
“Okay girl,” Laci stated as she walked over to the Chinese food counter to place their orders.
“Okay, you might as well make yourself seen. I don’t know who you are, but I’m not going to let you get the drop on me,” Jennifer spoke aloud as she looked around, noticing that there weren’t many people around them in the mall as it normally would’ve been for that time of day at the Mall. “Maybe I’m being paranoid here, but where are all the people that should normally be here at a time like this?”
To Be Continued…