***Older Justin: First, remember, this was five years ago. Go easy on the criticism. I had to put a clamp on my need to edit stuff, so this work is purely unedited – I typed it as it was in the old book. Comment gently. The next keystrokes represent the thoughts of a much younger me***
“I’m in,” Quent said.
“Good. Alert Morpho as soon as status is clear.”
Quent walked towards the receptionist.
“Good morning, sir. How may I help you?”
“Oh, quite simply ma’am. May I have senator Blackley’s room number?”
“I’m sorry sir. It’s a private room. I have instructions not to reveal it. I’m really sorry.”
Quent gave a frustrated smile. “Most certainly understood, miss. However, I am a friend of the senator. It certainly won’t hurt if you call him, maybe?”
A few seconds passed in which she assessed his clothing and tried to reckon whether a man of his type could be a senator’s friend. He must have passed her assessment, for she chirped: “hold on sir”, and picked up the phone.
That was Quent’s cue. Frowning slightly, he began using his psionic trails to search for the phone’s frequency. On making contact, he rapidly re-routed it to his own mind so that the woman, in essence, was making a call to Quent’s ‘mind’.
“Hello, senator Blackley”
Quent mentally intoned “hello”.
“There’s a Mr.…”
Quent disconnected temporarily to answer the question. “Harrison. Harrison Richards.”
He reconnected with much effort; his mental cells were rapidly weakening.
Bzzrtt. Mental crackles
“Mr. Harrison Richards here to see you…”
“Send him up, quick! He’s a very good friend!”
Quent disconnected rapidly, his mind heavily labored. He leaned against the receptionist’s desk, perspiration gathering at his brow. Hopefully, she wouldn’t notice him gasping for air.
“Room 172, sir. Upstairs”
“Thanks, lady.” He flashed a smile.
As he walked, Morpho joined him. Morpho was currently feminine, even hot-looking, dressed like a banker, with her hair in braids. She was presently pouting.
They walked on in silence. Morpho knocked on door 172.
“Go away. I don’t need anything.”
“A fuse’s bad in the master’s. Might result in a fire. We’ve gotta check it out, unless you want us to go and – “
“No, no. Come in”
The door opened to reveal the pot-bellied senator in a terry robe. There was coffee in his hand.
He saw one man in a suit, and another in work coveralls.
“I said, come in.”
The two men came in. Wasting no time, Morpho (the man in the coveralls) slammed the senator on the head with a vase.
“What the – OWW!” the senator collapsed, spilling coffee.
Quent sat on the sofa, ruminating on the next phase.
“If only Porter were here…”
“Yeah,” Morpho muttered. “Porter”.
They both knew Porter was about 5,300 miles from them, in a force field where her teleporting skills were useless.
“Okay”, Morpho was an exact replica of the senator now. “Let’s do it”.
Quent hefted the senator by the shoulders while Morpho clung to his ankles.
The receptionist looked up to see the senator and Mr. Harrison hefting a large box marked in red tape: “Government: Official”
“Have a nice day, senator!” she called.
“You too, Clarissa!” the ‘senator’ quipped.
The Sportage was already there to pick them up. Once inside, Morpho and the real senator reverted to their original shapes.
DeLaney was in the passenger seat, taking drags at a cigarette.
Quent sighed. “Yeah. I’m losing strength.”
“It’s to be expected. You were closer to that field than any of us.”
“I don’t wanna stop being an ultra.”
“That’s why we have the senator,” DeLaney replied.
Morpho sat quietly. She was not the chatty type.
PitBull looked at the computer printout. It was utter gibberish to him. He handed it over to Genera.
“Thirty seven guards total,” she said. “Seventeen in the inner perimeter”
“Ooh, scary”, PitBull remarked, cracking his knuckles.
Genera shook her head. “We are supposed to move in without being noticed. Stealth, brother, stealth!”
“Why use stealth when I can smash?”
Under her breath she muttered, “Someone must really hate me for hooking me up with this imbecile.”
Louder, she said, “Let’s go in”.
PrimeGlory kept soaring on, oblivious to the presence of Zentra-X. If Zentra-X could smile, he would have at this point.
His turbo-thrust deployed, and he was airborne in seconds, darting rapidly towards PrimeGlory.
Meanwhile PrimeGlory was pondering on other unhappy subjects. How had the Ultra-SWAT come across such technology? Who was or were the brains behind these new fields?
He mentally replayed the tape where JetBlack had been trapped in one of the damned fields. He had been agonized to see JetBlack’s pale-pink skin for the first time as he lost his Ultra Powers.
It is all wrong, PrimeGlory felt like screaming. Wrong! Ultra-SWAT is neutralizing the good guys while people like DeLaney were home free! If someone deserved to be neutralized, it ought to be –
An explosion flung him off course and he crashed through a wall. Amidst the dust and rubble, his golden wings covered his prone form. He slowly shook off the concussion.
– It ought to be this freak that shot at me!
Zentra-X towered over him, red eyes glowing.