Hurt & Comfort

Book 11: Creating Comfort

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Chapter 13: Rhodes Warrior

"I don't know what you think it is that witches do, but I promise you that I don't know any spells that would make someone a better fighter." Beau said emphatically.

"To tell you the truth, I don't have a clue about your power or capabilities. All I see is a possible outcome where you help Lisa gain that power." Brian said seriously.

"Can we go on in? I'd like to check on Marc." Lisa asked anxiously.

"Sure. Just remember to be quiet. Either Marc or Gar could be asleep right now." Beau said in a cautioning tone.

"Whatever you say, Doc." Seth said with a playful grin as they started walking down the hall again.

"As much as I'm looking forward to being called that someday, I can't do it until I've earned my degree. It wouldn't be right." Beau said firmly.

"I guess I can understand that." Seth easily accepted, then asked, "What about Tex?"

"Yeah. I guess. At least I've already earned that title." Beau happily agreed.

Brian smiled at the exchange and seemed to be satisfied with the outcome.

* * * * *

"Dr. McCoy? Is it okay if we come in?" Lisa quietly asked from the doorway.

"Your timing is fortuitous. Marcus has just awakened and I am certain that he would enjoy your company. However, you will need to maintain reasonable quiet since Garfield has fallen asleep." Dr McCoy cautioned.

"We really need to talk to Marc. Would you mind if we took him somewhere so that we don't have to be quiet?" Seth asked hopefully.

"Marcus requires rest. He cannot be moved." Dr McCoy said firmly.

"Just show him, Seth. It's a lot easier than trying to explain it." Slash said seriously.

"Okay. Yeah." Seth said as consuming darkness erupted from his horns.

* * * * *

"Where have you brought us?" Dr McCoy asked hesitantly as he looked around.

"This is the sideway. We're in the exact same place that we were before except on another dimensional plane... or maybe between planes, depending on who you ask about it." Seth carefully explained.

"The last I heard, the members of your class group only had passive abilities." Dr McCoy said cautiously.

"Um, yeah. You might want to take another look at that. I think that us being together might be changing us." Seth said seriously.

"What was it that you were going to ask me about Marcus?"

"We just thought that I could bring him here to the sideway. That way we could talk privately and have a team meeting without having to move him or worry about waking up Gar." Seth explained.

"So, are you saying that you can 'shift' Marcus without moving him?" Dr McCoy hesitantly asked.

"Yeah. In fact, I could shift him sideway right now if you wanted so that you can see that he doesn't have to move an inch." Seth said, then waited for Dr McCoy's decision.

"Very well, but I expect you to return him to his natural state the moment he shows the first sign of fatigue. He's been through an extensive trauma and needs his rest."

"Hey Jesus! Can you hear me?" Seth asked into the air.

//I wasn't paying attention, but I can now.// Jesus responded.

"It's now that's important. Will you ask Marc if it will be okay if I shift him sideways so that we can talk to him without waking up Gar?"

//Hold on. I'll ask him.//

"If he says it's okay, let me know when he's ready."

//Will do.//

"To whom are you speaking?" Dr McCoy asked curiously.

"Jesus. He's the rat riding in Louie's backpack." Seth answered easily.

//Don't worry Doctor. I don't have any plague germs or fleas or anything like that. I promise.// Jesus tried to assure him.

"Where are you?" Dr. McCoy asked as he looked around the dim blue-gray cave that they appeared to be in.

//I'm just a few feet from you, in your regular dimension.// Jesus answered easily, then continued, //Marc says that he's ready if the doctor says it's okay.//

"Can I?" Seth asked hopefully.

"Tell me again, what exactly will you be doing?" Dr McCoy asked cautiously.

"If you say it's okay, I'm going to shift Marc here to the same exact space as he is in your dimension. Because of that, he won't have to move at all."

"Do you intend to move his bed as well?"

"No. This pile of stuff right here occupies the same space as his bed. I guess the universes do that automatically."

"He also has medical devices, most notably a catheter, that probably need to be considered."

"I think that since our clothes come with us when we shift, that that should probably come too." Seth said seriously.

"If this doesn't work the way you expect, can you send him right back?"

"Yeah. All I'll have to do is touch him."

"Very well. You may try. But at the first sign of any trouble, I want you to abandon this plan and return him to his bed."

"Whatever you say, Doctor." Seth said confidently, then asked into the air, "Is he ready?"

//He's ready when you are.//

Seth leaned forward and laid his hand on a nonexistent arm.

Before their eyes, Marc resolved into being, complete with his sheets, blanket, and pillow.

"I hope that wasn't too jarring for you." Dr McCoy said in a leading tone.

"I didn't move at all. The rest of the world did." Marc said simply.

"I'm going to go get everyone else. I'll be back in just a second." Seth said quickly, then vanished before either of those present could respond.

* * * * *

It was silent in the darkness until Dr McCoy finally asked, "How are you feeling, Marcus?"

"Like I'm letting Lisa down when she needs me the most. She shouldn't have to face all of this on her own." Marc said frankly.

"You're letting her step up and be the strong one. This could be an important learning and growing experience for her." Dr McCoy said seriously.

Before Marc could respond, a flash of light heralded the arrival of Slash, Seth, Louie, Jesus, Beau, Brian, and Lisa.

"Marc? Are you okay?" Lisa asked as she moved to his side.

"Yeah. I think I'm probably as good as I could possibly be."

"You're not feeling any pain or excessive fatigue, are you?" Dr McCoy asked with concern.

"I'm feeling fine. I promise." Marc said soberly.

"Very well then. I will allow you to have this meeting on the provision that you return to MedLab immediately at the first sign of pain or fatigue." Dr McCoy said seriously.

"Yeah. You got it." Marc said solemnly.

Seth turned to Dr. McCoy and said, "I'm going to send you back. If you need us for anything, just call Jesus' name aloud and he'll hear you."

"Rest assured, I will do that."

At that, Seth placed a hand on the enormous doctor's chest and gave a slight push.

* * * * *

"So this is it? This is our team?" Slash asked appraisingly as he looked around.

"Not all of it." Brian quietly responded.

"Who are we missing?" Slash asked uncertainly.

"The one who will help Lisa make use of her natural abilities." Brian said seriously.

"I don't mean to be a problem, but I have no idea where we are, who you are, what we're doing, or what you're talking about." Marc said frankly.

"Seth has the ability to shift us to another dimension, he calls it the sideway. That's where we are. This is Brian, Slash's roommate. What we're doing is having a meeting of our group, the Meerkats, to plan on how we're going to stand together and help each other so mutant hating gunmen and TV news reporters won't be able to push us around." Lisa said firmly.

"And what we're talking about are mutant abilities..." Seth began to say, but was interrupted.

"Not just mutant." Brian quickly added.

"Right." Seth conceded, then continued, "But no matter if we're mutants or not, we have to know who has what ability so that when things get crazy, we'll all know who we can count on to do different things."

"So far, the biggest thing I can do is my blackout fog." Slash said simply as he made a small cloud in his open palm, as an example.

"He's been able to use it to stop news reporters from bothering us two different times now." Seth said with admiration.

"That's right. No matter how great our abilities are, they mean nothing if we can't use them under fire. Slash has already shown us that he can perform when it counts." Lisa said seriously.

"My mutant name is Kricket. What's yours?" Louie asked curiously.

"Slash, I guess."

"That's your name name. You need to have a mutant name that we call you when we're being a team." Louie said emphatically.

"I guess since I can only do the one trick, I can just be called 'Blackout'." Slash said uncertainly.

"Seth? What about you?" Louie asked excitedly.

"Like Slash said, I've only got the one trick. I guess you can call me 'Sideway'."

"Jesus is already called 'Vile', so what about Beau?" Louie asked seriously.

"I don't have any powers or anything." Beau protested.

"Seth already named you." Brian interjected with a grin.

"Huh?" Beau asked uncertainly.

"I did?" Seth asked cautiously.

"Yes. When you wanted to call Beau 'Doc'." Brian said in a leading tone.

"Right. He said I couldn't so I called him 'Tex'." Seth said with a smile.

Beau thought about it for a moment and finally shrugged and said, "I been called worse."

"Do you have a team name?" Marc asked Lisa as he reached over to take her hand.

"No. Not yet." Lisa admitted, then quietly said, "I don't really have much of an ability so I figured that they could probably just call me something to do with my mutation, something like 'Bunny'."

"No way." Marc said as he squeezed her hand.

Lisa looked at him with surprise.

"I don't mind if it has to do with your mutation, but I won't go along with it being something that makes you sound small and weak. I never want you to feel that way."

"I've personally been to a monument to the largest rabbit anyone has ever seen. Back where I'm from, the genus Lepus are a little more respected than in most other places." Beau said frankly, then added with a teasing grin, "I've even heard tell of the rare and dangerous Jackalope who is said to terrorize the West Texas ranchers."

"Would you like to be called Jackalope?" Marc asked Lisa gently.

"No. But I like the sound of Lepus." Lisa responded thoughtfully.

"Lepus?" Marc asked consideringly, then slowly said, "I like it. It's strong. It sounds worthy of respect."

"What about you, Marc?" Seth asked with a grin.

"I don't have any abilities. I mean, unless you want someone on your team called 'Bullet Sponge'." Marc said unenthusiastically.

"If Lisa can't put herself down with her name, you can't either." Slash said firmly.

"That's right. And I already tried the 'no abilities' thing. They wouldn't go for it." Beau said frankly.

"But I don't have anything special about me to give me a special name." Marc said honestly.

"Brian? You knew about Vile Kricket, do you know Marc's name?" Lisa asked cautiously.

"If we're using team names, you should address me as Chesser. And for Marc to get his name, he's going to have to talk to the expert." Brian said firmly.

"Who's that?" Beau asked with his impatience clearly showing through.

"I'm talking about the one of us who is most knowledgeable about superhero teams." Brian said in a leading tone.

"Oh. Okay. I got it." Seth said to Brian, then turned and asked, "Louie, what team name do you think that Marc should have?"

"Archer." Louie said simply.

After a moment to consider, Seth finally asked, "Why?"

"Because a lot of hero teams have someone who doesn't have special powers except for being a good archer. They're always an important part of the team and usually end up helping everyone do their best."

"I've never even touched a bow and arrow." Marc quietly admitted.

"Maybe not, but it might still be a good idea." Slash said thoughtfully.

"How's that?" Marc asked quietly.

"Whether it's a bow and arrow or a crossbow or even a gun, it's still someone with a weapon that doesn't depend on mutant powers to be effective. I think there's a place on the team for someone like that." Slash said seriously.

"Do you want to?" Louie asked hopefully.

After a glance at Lisa, Marc finally said, "Yeah. Okay. Why not?"

"Good. Then that's it, isn't it? We're a team now. Right?" Louie asked excitedly.

"Not quite. We're still one short." Brian said simply.

"C'mon, spit it out. Who is it, Chester?" Beau asked curiously.

"Chesser. And it's going to be up to you to make contact and decide what should be done to make things work out. Me telling you anything more will make it not your idea and completely change your motivation. What happens next has to be up to you." Brian said firmly.

"That's not going to work if I don't know what I'm supposed to be doing."

//Talk to Emily, then do what you believe is right.// Jesus suggested simply.

"So you know about all of this too?" Beau asked cautiously.

//Of course. Telepathy isn't like talking. It doesn't stop when you shut your mouth. I usually just ignore what doesn't have to do with me and keep the rest to myself.//

"What do you know about Emily?"

//I know that she's a ghost sent by your uncle to encourage and inspire you to learn your craft.//

"Yeah. Well, I just figured most of that out since I got here. But I have a feeling that my uncle doesn't do anything out of the goodness of his heart. He must have had a plan. I don't know what it is or was, but I'm pretty sure it involves backing me into a corner where I have no choice but to do whatever he says." Beau said seriously.

//Excuse me for asking, but does that have anything to do with this?//

"I don't know. I really can't be sure about anything at this point."

"So you're going to spend the rest of your life not doing anything just to spite your uncle?" Slash asked uncertainly.

"No. I'm just not going to make the mistake of believing that my uncle always has my best interest at heart." Beau said frankly.

//Fair enough. But what about Emily?//

"I've always trusted her, but now, knowing that she was sent by my uncle makes me automatically question everything she's ever done, for as long as I've known her."

"That could be what your uncle was trying to teach you. Maybe he'd rather see you learn to watch your back than blindly trust the wrong person... even him." Slash said frankly.

"Okay. So what do you expect me to do?" Beau hesitantly asked.

"Talk to Emily. In helping her, you'll also help Lisa." Brian said firmly.

"Sorry Chestnut, I don't think you have any idea of what kind of dark power we're talking about. Before you start volunteering me to do things, you should have some idea of the cost involved."

"It's Chesser." Brian reminded him, then continued, "You're right. I don't know about your power. But I do know what will be lost if you do nothing. That price is too high."

"Okay. I'll talk to her. That's all I'm promising for now. But if I end up needing to do some kind of complicated spell, I'm going to need supplies. I don't have anything with me. I never thought I would need it." Beau said honestly.

"After you've had your talk, let me know what you need. I may know someone who can help us find supplies for you." Lisa said quietly.

"What are we going to need to do next? I mean, as a team?" Seth asked slowly.

"If Beau's willing to listen to Emily, the first thing should be that, I guess." Brian finished uncertainly.

"Can he do that now?" Seth asked cautiously.

Brian looked to Beau to answer the question.

"I guess I could summon her but I doubt that I could do that here. I'd probably have to go back to our regular dimension to do it." Beau said uncertainly.

"Is there any reason you couldn't do that right now?" Seth asked seriously.

"None that I can think of." Beau said honestly.

"Call out to Jesus if you need for us to do anything." Seth said as he brought a hand up to Beau's chest.

"But..." Beau began to say, but dissolved from existence before he could utter another word.

"Jesus? Would you mind keeping a telepathic ear out for him, just in case?" Seth asked hopefully.

//I can try. But I have to warn you, there's an incredible psychic presence here. I suspect that he could mind-blind me in a heartbeat without even trying.//

"Just do what you can. If you lose contact, let me know and I'll bring us back." Seth said simply.

"Do you think you're in charge?" Louie asked Seth curiously.

"I'm in charge of the dimension hopping. Once everyone's where they need to be, I'll step aside and let someone else take over." Seth stated simply.

"Then who is in charge?" Louie asked curiously.

"I don't know. Is the new guy going to be our leader?" Seth asked curiously.

"I doubt it." Brian answered seriously, then added, "The leader should probably be someone alive."

"The new guy is dead?" Seth asked with surprise.

"Yes. That's how Beau fits into all this, his specialty appears to be Necromancy... death magic." Brian said uncomfortably.

"Is that the only reason that Beau's included with us?" Slash asked curiously.

"I can't answer that. We're all included because we're here and we fit together like pieces of a puzzle. If there's a bigger reason or someone else behind it all, I'm not aware of it." Brian said frankly.

"So this isn't some kind of 'game' scenario that you've concocted?" Lisa asked gently.

"No. Maybe there's someone bigger and better than me at work, but as far as I know, this is us being a team because we're stronger together than we are apart." Brian said frankly.

"I've been saying all along that I need for this to be real." Seth said quietly.

"You're not the only one. I'm chasing a dream and I'm already past the point where I can turn back."

"What point is that?" Lisa asked curiously.

Brian looked at her and considered for a moment before quietly admitting, "My only other future took place in that safe and secure windowless room that Jesus told you about. No matter how much I may end up regretting it, I made my choice. I can't go back."

"Do you want to go back?" Louie slowly asked.

"No. Not right now. I can just envision a future where I regret all of this." Brian said frankly.

"Do you see another one where you don't?" Slash asked curiously.

"At every crossroads I do my best to find the most favorable futures. Right this minute I'm living in the best one that I was able to find." Brian said frankly.

"Is there anything else that we should be doing while Beau's talking to Emily?" Marc asked cautiously.

"Brian? Do you have anything?" Seth asked seriously.

"Not really. I can't see past the decisions that Beau and Emily are going to make. Once they have committed to their courses of action, there will be new scenarios for me to inspire and influence." Brian said frankly.

"That sounds creepy as hell, you know that, right?" Slash asked hesitantly.

"I know that, but I'm not very good with... well, people. From what I've seen, when I'm honest I come off as creepy and weird but when I try to be what people expect me to be I come off as creepy, weird, and fake." Brian said regretfully.

"Fair enough." Slash easily accepted.

"What about you, Louie? Do you know of anything else that we should be doing right now to get our team set up right?" Marc asked curiously.

"If we're having a team meeting, then you should call me by my team name. Call me Kricket." Louie said firmly.

Marc reluctantly smiled, then said, "Okay, Kricket. Since you're our expert on superhero teams, what should we be doing to get our team started the right way?"

"Having Sideway on the team gives us a teleporter, not every team gets one of those. But having him makes us pretty high rank." Louie said thoughtfully.

"Plus it's good to know that if we get in too deep that we've always got a back door." Slash said frankly.

"Right." Louie enthusiastically agreed, then continued, "Another thing we've got is Vile, he's a telepath and a telekinetic. It's not as rare as having a teleporter, but usually only the best teams get to have psychics."

//It is true that it helps the team to have someone who can defend you against psychic attacks.// Jesus added seriously.

"Yeah. And with Vile Kricket, we have a speedster. The team doesn't always need someone who's super fast, but when they do, there's usually no easy way to work around it." Louie said consideringly.

"Wait. Who's Vile Kricket?" Marc asked cautiously.

"Would you like to give him an amazing demonstration?" Slash asked Louie hopefully.

//Do you want to?// Jesus hesitantly asked.

"Do I want to change into my superhero identity? Oh, let me think about it." Louie said with a broad smile and a hint of a chuckle.

//If we're going to do it, let's do it right.// Jesus said in prelude.

The others in the blue-gray space all devoted their full attention.

//When the people of Westchester are in trouble, who can they turn to? What force of good will rise up to defend and protect them?// Jesus projected in a dramatic voice, then a blur of black seemed to consume Jesus and Louie, reforming them into something that was neither human nor animal.

"Vile Kricket!" The combined being said with flourish.

"Wow. That's really... something." Marc said as he fought to make sense of what he was seeing.

"We don't really have any attacks yet, but we're fast and kind of strong, so if we practice, we'll probably be really good team members." Vile Kricket said enthusiastically.

"Are you Jesus or Louie?" Marc asked uncertainly.

"Some of both, really. We're still working on that, too." Vile Kricket said hesitantly.

"Not bad for only being the second time that you've transformed." Slash said encouragingly.

"We've definitely got to work with Matt about learning some attacks." Vile Kricket said as the black blur began to dissipate.

//It's all just dress-up unless we're able to do some damage when we need to.// Jesus said frankly.

"We'll be having defense training at seven in the morning. I trust Matt. I think he'll help you learn as much as you want to know." Slash said confidently.

"Yeah, and after school we're going to get to take driver training." Lisa told Marc enthusiastically.

"We will?" Slash asked suddenly.

"Yeah. Matt told us after you and Seth had already left to take Beau to class." Louie explained.

"Your class is Tuesday and Thursday with Clark, John and... I think he said Trey." Lisa finished uncertainly.

//Yes. That's what he said.// Jesus confirmed.

"Brian, Beau, and I will be having class on Monday and Wednesday." Lisa happily announced.

"I had always thought that we'd learn to drive together, but I guess that this way you'll get to drive me around wherever I need to go, like my own personal chauffeur." Marc said with a wistful smile, obviously trying to hide his disappointment with humor.

"Nope. Matt already said that you'll be in our Monday-Wednesday class as soon as you're ready to go back to school." Lisa finished with a giggle.

"We kind of got sidetracked there for a minute." Marc said, obviously trying to change the subject, "Louie, tell me more about how our team stacks up against other teams. What do we still need?"

"Call me Kricket. And even though we've got a really good start at being a team, right now, what we're missing is fighters. I mean, Lepus is strong and that's really good for us, but it probably won't do us much good if she doesn't know how to use her strength." Louie said thoughtfully.

"If everything goes right, Beau will be taking care of Lisa's situation. I'm a little more worried about Marc and Beau. While hand-to-hand would be good for them to know, it's probably not going to be enough if we end up standing against mutants with even a little bit of fire power." Brian said seriously.

"What do you suggest?" Marc asked thoughtfully.

"I actually think that Louie's probably right about the 'Archer'. I think that both of you would do very well to learn how to use a range weapon, maybe more than one." Brian said intently.

"Is this from you using your ability or something that you thought of?" Lisa asked curiously.

"I foresaw this exchange, but I haven't chosen any preferred outcome. I've just taken some time to think about it and decide what I think is the best way to protect the most vulnerable members of our team."

//What are the chances that Beau will be able to do for the rest of you what he's doing for Lisa?// Jesus asked curiously.

"There is no chance that I am aware of." Brian said simply.

"What does that mean?" Marc quietly asked.

//As I understand it, Brian's ability is to follow strands of possibilities to their conclusion, then determine which of those strands to empower and bring to realization.// Jesus said speculatively.

"Yeah. But he can also make people forget that he even exists. If he wanted to, he could probably walk out on us and we'd never even know that he'd ever been part of the team." Lisa said simply, then glanced in Brian's direction with question.

"Yeah. I could." Brian admitted.

"Jesus, do you think you could tell if Brian did that?" Marc asked cautiously.

//I might know it if he were thinking about doing it, but if he hit me with his power... I might just block the random unknown stranger out of habit.// Jesus said frankly.

"You don't have to worry about me leaving, I've got no place else to go." Brian said simply.

"Actually, I think that's what bothers me. If you're only staying due to a lack of other options, then we'd probably be doing you the most good by finding more options for you and getting you somewhere that you'll be happy." Marc said seriously.

"No. I really do want to be here. I chose to be here. I'm just saying that if it doesn't work out for some reason that I don't have any other place to go. I've already burned those bridges." Brian said anxiously.

"How did you do that?" Lisa asked hesitantly.

"Back in Portland, where I'm from, I used my ability to erase myself from everyone's memories. No one remembers that I was ever there. I can't go back."

"Even your parents?" Lisa asked in a whisper.

"Especially my parents." Brian confirmed, then continued, "When they found out that I was a mutant, all they wanted me to do was hide it. When this place opened and I said that I wanted to go to a mutant school and learn how to use my ability, they threatened to cut me out of their lives... I guess everyone ended up getting what they wanted."

"So you travelled all the way across the country on your own to be a part of this team?" Marc asked dubiously.

"Being forgettable has advantages. Just keep your head down, your mouth shut, and travel with the herd. But yeah. One thing led to another and on to another, so I didn't really think about it in that way. I guess I did kind of take a leap of faith, didn't I?" Brian finished with a smile.

"Is it enough?" Louie asked as he looked at Marc seriously.

"Is what enough?" Marc asked curiously.

"Is what he went through and what he gave up enough for him to keep being part of our team?" Louie asked frankly.

"That's not up to me to decide." Marc immediately defended.

"What do you think would happen if you said that you didn't want Brian on the team? Who'd stand against you? Who'd stand with Brian?" Louie asked persistently.

"Why would you even ask that?" Marc asked anxiously.

"Even if you're not the leader, you're one of the leaders. I just want to be sure how you feel about the members of the team before I start thinking of them as my friends." Louie said honestly.

"Okay." Marc said in acceptance, then thought to ask, "What was the question again?"

"Has he given up enough to prove that he's serious?" Louie asked frankly.

"I honestly don't know why you think my opinion matters. But for what it's worth, I'd say that Brian's proven that he's serious about wanting to be here with us." Marc said as he watched for Brian's reaction.

"Louie probably thinks your opinion matters because you nearly died. Maybe he thinks that because of what you've been through, your place on the team is already assured. I can't say how it happened, but I agree with him that you're being looked at as one of the leaders." Slash said seriously.

"And you're another one." Marc countered.

"I guess so." Slash easily admitted, then added with a smile, "As Beau would say, I've been called worse."

"Beau's one too, isn't he?" Lisa asked curiously.

"Yes... I think so." Marc said thoughtfully.

"What about you, Jesus?" Slash asked curiously.

//No. I can't see me being a leader.// Jesus said frankly.

"I think that you're probably like me; not really a leader but willing to step up when it's something you're good at." Seth said seriously.

After a moment, Jesus quietly responded, //I will be honored to stand beside you as an advisor to the leaders.//

"Yeah. Sounds good." Seth said with a grin.

"How are you feeling Marc? Are you getting tired yet?" Lisa asked with concern.

"No. I feel wonderful right now, like we're doing something really important. Everything feels right." Marc said peacefully.

"Okay. I just don't want for you to get too worn out." Lisa said gently.

"I'll tell you at the first sign." Marc promised.

"I think Beau is going to be joining us again soon." Brian said distantly.

"Do you need more light so you can do your dice and cards?" Seth quietly asked.

"No. I'm not influencing anything that's happening right now. If Beau doesn't make all of these decisions completely on his own, it makes all of it meaningless later." Brian said seriously.

"Then how do you know that Beau is going to be joining us soon?" Seth asked curiously.

"Because I just saw one of the 'strands' of a possible future become stronger and several others fall away as no longer being possible. I think that means that Beau has talked to Emily and that she's helped him to make contact with 'Fallen'."

"Is that the new guy's name?" Lisa asked curiously.

"According to the strand that I'm seeing, that's his team name. In private, we'll call him 'Piotr'."

To Be Continued...

Editor's Notes:

I am seeing a lot more interaction among the team members. That seems like a good thing.

It seems as if each action taken by one or more members knits the team closer together and solidifies the trust that is beginning to build up within the group.
Darryl AKA The Radio Rancher