Synergy & Blitz
(A MORFS Universe Story) Part 2
Chapter Two A new old enemy
We had just taken our seats in the lecture hall, when someone I had never seen before stepped into the hall. He looked around for a while, with a scowl on his face, like he was mad at someone. He spotted an empty seat without too many students near it and sat down. He looked a bit familiar, but I couldn’t place him. Shrugging it off, I paid attention to the lesson.
During lunchtime I asked Gabe, “See that guy? He was in my Math class. He looks familiar, but I can’t seem to place him. Do you know him?”
Gabe looked at the boy for a moment, but shrugged, “Never saw him in my life. He does look a bit familiar, but I don’t know why. Maybe he has just one of those faces.”
I had to agree with him, but it still unnerved me that I couldn’t place him.
In the next few days it turned out that the guy was in about half my classes. I was sensing with my feminine intuition that he was trouble and that something was going to haunt me, but I couldn’t put my finger on it.
The cafeteria was packed during lunch, and I was on my own this time. Gabe had a day off and was working at the restaurant. He had prepared a few wonderful sandwiches for me though. He knows just what I like and if I didn’t watch what I ate, I would get fat in no time. Well, it helped that Gabe uses fresh and healthy ingredients for his foods.
As I looked around for a place to sit down to eat, I heard someone talking. He said, “I just think it was a bad decision to let those animals study here. It should be only for humans. I mean look at some of them, they should be locked up in stables.”
I couldn’t help myself, I had to respond. “And who are you to discriminate other people for what happened to them?”
The boy who had been speaking rose up looking for me. It was the boy that I had seen before in half my classes. He snarled, “Education should be limited to people, it should not be tried to be taught to dim witted half breeds that have ancestors who had sex with animals.”
I really was enraged now, “You don’t even know how MORFS works, do you? Even you could get it and be turned into some kind of hybrid.”
“I’m a pure blood, I’ll never catch that disease. It only hits the imperfect and diseased populace. We should be treating them like cattle, intelligent cattle, but still livestock. They don’t need an education to be slaughtered.” The boy really went on a rampage now.
“Why are you so against hybrids?” I asked him. “What have they ever done to you?”
“My aunt tried to help them get rid of the disease or to teach them to be a useful contribution to this world, all she got for her troubles was getting killed by a hybrid.” He looked at me, “I see by your eyes that you’re a hybrid too. Cat, right?”
I stood my ground before him, “Yes, I’m a partial cat hybrid. I’m glad too, since it cured me of a disease that would have been fatal.”
My answer fueled his arguments only, “See, that proves my theory, it only hits the sick and diseased. Are you getting along in your studies? Need some more study time, little kitty?” he taunted me.
“I’m smarter than you are,” I quietly told him. “So don’t go lecture me about who should belong here or not. I’m sure the teachers have better things to do than try to teach something to a stupid boy like you.”
“I’m not stupid,” said the boy. “I, Gerhard Magrav, will show this world that hybrids are evil and stupid and shouldn’t have the same rights as the superior human race.”
I recognized the last name and paled. Was this stupid asshole related to my dead nemesis Verity Magrav? I needed to be sure, but I didn’t want him to find out who I was. I wasn’t looking for a fight, yet. I couldn’t flat out ask him for the name. But luck was with me as someone else asked before I could say anything.
“Who was your aunt? Was she famous?” asked a girl I barely knew.
“My aunt was Verity Magrav, a brilliant scientist and leader of a group that strives to put those mongrel hybrids where they belong.”
I paled even more; my past had caught up with me. I stumbled away and Gerhard noticed, “See? This partial hybrid can’t even bear to be in the neighborhood of a pure blood human. See her scurry away like the animal she has partly in her.”
I was furious, but didn’t want to alert the stupid twit to who I really was, nor what I could do. Maybe he would even sue me for killing his aunt. Technically though, I didn’t kill her. She was killed by a bullet from the forces that liberated me. I just got out of there and went to get fresh air. As I sat outside eating my lunch, I didn’t even notice the good taste of my food. I was thinking things over and decided to make a phone call.
I autodialed Gavin and deactivated the holo-projector. I didn’t want anyone else to see me calling someone.
After a few rings Gavin picked up with, “Hello, Maren. How are you?”
“I’m fine,” I lied, “I just have something to talk to you about.”
Gavin’s voice took on a more serious and professional tone, “What is it?”
“I just encountered someone at school who claims to be the nephew of the woman that had me kidnapped twice and tried to enslave me.”
Gavin breathed heavily, “Are you sure about that?”
“He said that Verity Magrav was his aunt and that she got killed by a hybrid.”
“I see what you mean. Can you give me some time to look into it? I’ll get back to you as soon as possible.”
“Fine. Don’t take too long though, because I don’t know how long I can stand to be around that stupid asshole. He’s as twisted as his aunt was. He was saying that hybrids shouldn’t have the same rights as pure humans. I got out of there before I lost my patience, but he is in about half my classes, so I can’t avoid him.”
“I hope Gabe wasn’t there when this happened.” said a troubled sounding Gavin.
“No, Gabe has the day off. Why do you … Oh no, with his temper and protective behavior, Gabe could have zapped him into next week.”
“Well, I don’t think it would have come to that directly, but he can be overprotective about you. You don’t need it though. Don’t forget, both of you are registered here as potentially dangerous.”
“Gee, thanks for reminding me. It completely slipped my mind,” I sarcastically told him.
Gavin chuckled before telling me to take it easy and that he would get back to me. I closed the connection and went back to class. I had a bit of excitement waiting for me that afternoon. Robin Gazzara had come to school to have a look at my progress in the classified project.
“Hello Maren,” said a chipper sounding Robin Gazzara.
“Hi Mr. Gazzara.” I replied.
“Please call me Robin,” he responded. “So, what can you show me on your project.”
I showed him the results of the tests I had done with the various settings on my thruster. I hadn’t had time to make emitters from the new materials he had sent me. It would take time on a special tooling machine to make those. “Can you tell me what the best ways are to tool these materials with? I will need to book time on the machines.”
Robin explained to me what I could use best on the different materials and I wrote it down in my tablet. I tried my best to not show him my anxiety over what had happened at lunch, but I guess I did a poor performance on it. He worked with me on the project for a while and talked to my teacher about it. They made an agreement to have it locked securely and that I could work on it alone without being watched by others. It meant that I would spend some of my after school hours at school though.
Then after all that was settled, he pulled me into an empty classroom. “Maren, please tell me what is bothering you. You’ve been distracted all afternoon. I know that something is bothering you. I hope that it isn’t me or the secrecy on this project.”
I looked at him, ‘He noticed my worries!’ Then I laughed, “No, it has nothing to do with you or the project. You know about the mishap near Yellowstone. There is someone in my classes that is related to the person responsible. I already had a run in with him, and barely managed to get away without revealing my past. I’m still quite upset about it.”
Robin smiled, “Well, I’m glad it isn’t something I should worry about then. I’m sorry that I can’t help you with that. But I have confidence that you can manage it by yourself.”
“Thank you. I already talked to my counselor about it, he’s going to check things and hopefully give me advice on how to deal with it”, I said with a wry smile.
Robin smiled back at me, “Gavin is really good at his job, so I have no worries. Now, I think we have done all that we can for today. You have your work cut out for you; I hope to see more results next month.”
I thanked him and showed him out of the school. As I prepared to leave for Everybody’s Place, I saw that Magrav boy walking out of school from a distance and barely contained myself from doing something rash. I was still fuming when I arrived at Everybody’s Place. Gabe was waiting with a nice meal, which lifted my spirits and I almost forgot all about it. I didn’t even tell Gabe about it.
It did however affect me in another way. I hadn’t had a nightmare in months, but that night I got a big nasty one.
I was lying on the cold table with my eyes taped shut again. My hands and feet were tied and I couldn’t move them. My tail was tied too and quite painfully. ‘Am I being held by Verity Magrav again?’
Then a boy’s voice sounded, “I’m going to finish what my aunt started. You’re going to contribute to society as a power generator. That is what you’re good for, you don’t belong in society.”
I screamed out loud, “Fuck you, you moron! I’m getting out of here!”
I started gathering energy from light, sound, heat and everything else around me. But it was going so slow. ‘Why is it going so slow?’ Then I got frightened, is this a new power siphoning machine?
I was about to destroy atoms around me to power up faster than any siphon could suck out of me, when I felt arms around my neck and a voice in my ear said loudly, “Maren, please stop, you’re having a nightmare again.”
I woke up from my nasty dream and found Isabel hugging me. “Isabel? Why are you here?”
“I couldn’t sleep and felt your anguish from your dream. What happened? Were you back in the mountain?”
I sighed, my room was cold and dark, I shed some of the internal energy as heat and light, before answering her. “I thought I was, but then it changed. I haven’t told you this yet, but there is a boy in my class that is a nephew of that woman that tortured me. He is as twisted in his ideas as she was. I was dreaming that he continued with the same thing that his aunt had done. I’m scared about it happening again. I never want to experience that again, Isabel. I’ll blow everything to hell before it gets that far again.”
Isabel looked distraught, “Please don’t do it here. We want to live a bit longer. You’re just dreaming, it won’t be like that again. Please constrain yourself around here.”
I hugged her, “I’ll do my best, dear sister. I’m just afraid that I can’t keep it in check.”
“I’m here to keep an eye on you; you’re not alone in this.” Isabel told me with a smile.
I giggled, “I know, I’ve got Gabe to protect me. He can keep me safe.”
Isabel picked up a pillow and hit me with it. “That’s not what I meant.”
I threw a pillow back at her, “I know that silly. But seriously, thanks for sticking with me. I appreciate it.”
The next few days went by without problems, though I avoided Gerhard Magrav as much as possible. I had other things occupying my thoughts. There was going to be another dance contest and I had been practicing a long time for it with Lance. Gabe would be there as well, since he got the order to cater the event.
Lance and I danced our hearts out at the contest. The bar had been raised to a very high level and several couples had been weeded out by the jury. In the intermission I had to watch what I ate, since it was all so good. I didn’t want to dance with a full stomach. I noticed that a few couples had trouble controlling themselves with the food. Gabe had out done himself again with the catering.
Finally we finished the last dance and I went over to Gabe to praise him for his food. I gave him a long kiss to which Lance frowned, but said nothing. ‘Well, he’d better not say anything.’
The jury announced the final results of the contest and we ended up second with just a minor margin of difference between us and the winning couple. They had turned out to be the surprise of the contest, especially for Lance; because Adam Harding and Cynthia Hosier had been declared the winning couple. Cynthia had appeared with a brown hair color, no doubt due to a dye job. I surprised Lance even more when I went over to Cynthia to congratulate her. “Congratulations Cynthia, I guess I have to do better next time.”
Cynthia hugged me and said, “I owe it all to the dance lessons from you and your mom. I’m sure you’ll win next time.”
“I plan to; by the way, your hair looks nice today.”
Cynthia smiled, “I discovered that Red dye makes my hair go brown. Thanks Maren, for everything.”
After I got back to where Lance and Gabe were waiting, Lance asked, “Maren? What was that all about? I thought you hated Cynthia and vice versa.”
Gabe smiled mysteriously, and I smiled as well. “We worked things out and are good friends now, Lance. We need to practice more for the next time if we’re going to beat them.”
Lance agreed with me on that but still found it hard to believe that I was on such good terms now with Cynthia. Gabe packed up his things and escorted me back to the waiting car to drive me home.
Gavin at the MORFS center.
Gavin found a direct number to the dean on his directory and had it autodialed. A woman picked up, “Hello. Dean Smithson Savannah State speaking.”
“Mrs. Smithson, my name is Gavin Benson from the MORFS center in Savannah. It has been brought to my attention that one of your students is antagonizing several MORFS survivors with rhetoric about being pure and that MORFS people should be treated as second class citizens or even denied human rights. I have looked into the file of this student and a relative of him was killed in a shootout with law enforcement agents after she kidnapped some people. I don’t have any legal prospects against the boy, but I fear that if he isn’t stopped in his actions someone might lose control of power and do serious damage to either the boy or worse, to the campus.”
Mrs. Smithson thought for a moment before asking, “What is the name of the student in question? We do not tolerate any discrimination, nor do we tolerate fighting on campus grounds.”
“It concerns one Gerhard Magrav. My source told me that he wants to prove that hybrids shouldn’t have the same rights as humans and that some should be considered cattle.”
“I see, I will have a talk with this young man. I’m guessing that your source is a hybrid with powers?”
Gavin hesitated a moment before answering, “Yes, I already told her that I would look into it. She is a responsible person, but with a potential that can be devastating. Even worse she has a friend with an equal potential of power. So, please do your utmost to rein this boy in.”
“Thank you for being candid with me, Mr. Benson. I’ll do my best.”
Gerhard Magrav at Savannah State University.
Gerhard Magrav had received a message to report to the dean. He wondered what was up, he didn’t feel like he had done anything wrong. Telling people his views and insulting them didn’t register to him as being wrong.
Just after he knocked on the door of the Dean’s office, he heard, “Come in!”
“I’m Gerhard Magrav, you wanted to see me?”
The woman behind the desk, where a nameplate said: ‘Dean Smithson’, looked up at him and said, “Yes Mr. Magrav, I wanted to have a talk with you about your behavior.” Gerhard was about to object, when she raised her hands and said, “Hear me out, before you start objecting.”
Gerhard shut his mouth and listened to the woman with disdain as she started.
“You are loudly voicing your opinions on MORFS survivors in general and hybrids in particular. Though you have the right of freedom of speech, you are hereby reminded that people may take offense to something that happened to them. Please refrain from ranting in public. I give you fair warning, if you continue your practices, you may face disciplinary charges, or worse someone with powers might take offense and hurt you. Though the use of powers for fighting is not allowed on campus, if someone lashes out in anger over your ranting, I will call it mitigating circumstances. Have you understood what I have just said?”
Gerhard was seething, but through clenched teeth said, “Yes, I got it. Is that all?”
“That is all, dismissed.” The dean replied clearly with a disappointed look on her face.
Maren at Savannah State University.
As I walked with Gabe, we headed out to a new electric van that bought to use for his work. I talked about school and our work. I had mostly forgotten about the stupid boy that was so intent on hurting hybrids. Gabe unlocked the doors of the car as we reached it, but then I heard a voice behind me.
“You complained to the school administration about what I said, didn’t you little kitty.”
I turned around to face the idiot Magrav boy. “I haven’t said a word to the administration. Someone must have picked it up and reported it.”
He scowled at me, “I don’t believe you, the dean told me that a hybrid felt offended and that I shouldn’t speak my mind in public. I know you did it, it is just something a filthy hybrid like you would do.”
Gabe took a step, positioning himself just ahead of me growling, “Be very careful what you say about hybrids in general and my girlfriend in particular.”
“Or what? You’re going to beat me up? Try it, I’ll kick your ass. I’ve had special training in dealing with assholes like you.” Magrav replied.
I could feel Gabe powering up, as he was clearly getting really upset at the hybrid hating idiot. I didn’t want him to get into trouble, so I touched him and absorbed his charge. “Please Gabe, don’t do anything. I’ll handle it and tell you all about it later.”
Gabe grumbled, “Fine, you handle it, but if he doesn’t let up I’ll make sure he gets the point.” Then he went to the car with both our bags to load them in.
“You can think all you want,” I told the Magrav boy. “Point is, I didn’t talk to anyone from school. I just talked with my case handler at the MORFS center. He probably had a talk with the administration. I had to talk with him because of your family.”
“My family, what are you talking about…” Gerhard Magrav was about to add something, but I cut him off.
“I mean your aunt. She wasn’t a heroic savior of human kind. She was a sick bitch that wanted to experiment on people without any consideration for civil rights or the law. She also didn’t get killed by a hybrid. She was shot by law-enforcement officers. I know this for a fact, since I was there. And let me tell you I wasn’t there by choice. I had been kidnapped by her henchmen for a second time. I’m giving you fair warning, leave me and other hybrids alone or I’ll show you why your aunt wanted to experiment on me. Trust me, you won’t like it.”
Gerhard Magrav glared at me before exclaiming loudly, “You’re the hybrid that killed my aunt. She was my favorite aunt, I’ll get you for what you did.”
Then he lunged at me trying to either hit me or grab me, I wasn’t quite sure which, since I didn’t wait for him to succeed. I already had a charge inside me from Gabe, so I flashed him with a powerful light burst. He was blinded, and put his hands in front of his eyes. “You’ve blinded me. I’ll sue you for everything you have.”
I snorted, “Oh, please. You’re just temporarily blinded and it was in self-defense. You made the first move, I’m telling you to back off. You’re outclassed big time.”
Gabe had stepped out of the car again when he saw the boy attacking me, but I motioned for him to get back in. I got in the other side and without any more hassle we drove off.
As soon as we were on our way, he asked, “So, what was that all about?”
“Please, I’ll tell you all later. I don’t want us to have an accident by you getting distracted.”
Gabe sighed, “Fine, I’ll wait. I do want to know everything though.”
Much later we were sitting in a out of the way corner at his work and both had a drink and a snack. He just gave me a demanding look. I sighed before starting, “Okay, I’ll tell you everything; just promise me that you won’t do anything rash.”
Gabe just nodded and I continued, “That boy turns out to be a nephew of the woman that had me kidnapped and wanted to use us both in that mountain.”
Gabe rose up from his seat, “What? Are you sure about that? I’ll …”
“No Gabe! I’ll handle it, I already called Gavin in on this, but he made the mistake about going directly to the administration of the university. He thought that I had squealed on him to the dean, but I didn’t. He also thinks that I killed his aunt and doesn’t believe that the FBI shot her.”
“I should do something,” Gabe said calming down from his earlier outburst. “I won’t have you stalked by some moron who thinks he’s better than most other people.”
“I know that Gabe, thank you. Just let me handle it for now. If it gets out of hand, you’ll be the first I’ll call for help. Don’t forget that you’re registered as a potential danger to the public, Blitz.”
Gabe laughed, “So are you Synergy, so don’t go preaching to me about taking it easy.”
The next morning I had a surprise waiting, the dean wanted to see me. I should have seen it coming, but I didn’t. Gabe went with me into the office, since he was a witness to the event, and it might get him involved as well.
“Hello Miss Johns, welcome. Why are you here Mr. Kramer?”
I answered her question, “Mr. Kramer is my boyfriend, and he’s also a witness and possible target if I am right about why we got called here.”
“Please do tell Miss Johns.” The dean said with a faint curious smile on her face.
“If I’m correct you called me in here about an altercation yesterday afternoon with Gerhard Magrav.”
“Very good, Miss Johns. Why did you use your powers on him?”
“I told him the truth about his aunt’s death and he didn’t believe it. He thinks I killed her and lunged at me. In self-defense I flashed him with a light burst so he would back off. I could’ve used a stun beam maybe, but then he would be unconscious instead of blinded for a few minutes.”
Gabe spoke up now, “That is what I saw Dean Smithson, Maren only flashed him when he lunged for her. If she hadn’t told me to go to the car, I would’ve seen to it that he didn’t get off so lightly.”
“Oh, and what would you have done Mr. Kramer?” Dean Smithson asked.
“He would have used his stun beam to knock him out. You should know that I’m an Energy Converter and Gabe is an Electricity Elemental. We are both registered as potential dangerous, so I can tell you that we won’t use our powers lightly.”
“Okay Miss Johns, I am curious for the reason why Magrav has a beef with you and why Mr. Kramer might be a target as well.”
I sighed, my past kept on haunting me or rather both Gabe and me. “The aunt, that was killed, had me kidnapped twice and captured Gabe the second time. She had been and was going to experiment on us for use as generators. She was killed by FBI agents that rescued us. I can have them testify to that if you want.”
“I see, so how do you propose we deal with the situation. I can’t throw Mr. Magrav out of the university, yet. Nor am I inclined to punish you two. However I want this problem resolved soon, before it escalates.”
I shrugged, “There is nothing I can do or say to him that will make him back off. I suggest that you discourage him to approach me and I’ll keep my distance from him.”
“Well put Miss Johns, I think that you might have a future in politics.” The Dean said with a smile.
“Oh please, I have no political aspirations.”
The dean quickly dismissed us both and on our way out I saw Gerhard Magrav waiting in the ante chamber for his talk with the dean. He saw us exiting the office and scowled at us going out looking so free of distress. Well, that was my idea anyway.
Whatever the dean told Magrav, seemed to work since I didn’t get any attention from him. He ignored me and Gabe and seemed to make an effort to keep out of our way.
In the meantime I was hard at work with my projects which had to be done mostly in secret. Only the tooling and more mundane tasks were something I could do in the lab were the others were working as well. I did get some questions on what I was doing, but I managed to brush them off or tell them that it was classified. I even used the phrase, “I can tell you, but then I’ll have to shoot you!”
One day I was stumped on a problem and went to see the professor to ask him for a clue. He was busy with another student; I think his name is Henry or something. The student was agitated, “Professor Rosenthal, I know that I found the solution for the problem with this chip, I just can’t test it properly. There isn’t anything in this school that can produce what I need.”
Professor Rosenthal spoke calmly, “I hear you, Henry. But we can’t detonate a Nuke just to test your solution. We don’t have a NNEMP available as well and I haven’t heard of other EMP generators with that kind of power output.”
“Excuse me,” I interrupted, “May I interrupt?”
Professor Rosenthal calmly directed his attention to me, “Yes, Miss Johns. Something I can help you with?”
“Well, yes; that is why I came here. It isn’t why I’m interrupting however. I couldn’t help overhearing what you were talking about. Why do you need an EMP generator?”
Henry smiled wryly at me, “This project I’m working on is a new approach to harden chips against EMP pulses. Unfortunately there’s never a nuclear explosion nearby when we need it.”
I smiled mysteriously, “But I do know of the next best thing. How much power do you need for that EMP and how are you going to monitor it?”
Henry looked at me like he didn’t believe that I knew what they were talking about. “Ideally would be about several Gigawatts of power. I’m planning a normal hardened chip and my project with some special current meters with Rogowski type coils, calorimeters and gauss meters to measure the fields. But it is all a moot point, since we can’t have a NEMP or NNEMP here and even then I wouldn’t get clearance for a test around here.”
“Well, there would have to be special arrangements made, but I can get you a NNEMP on short notice, if you want.” I told Henry calmly with a smile on my lips.
“What, but how?” Henry exclaimed.
The professor was interested as well, “Yes, Miss Johns. Please elaborate on your idea.”
“I looked around, but nobody else was close enough or paying attention to us. “I don’t normally tell this, but I have been known to produce a large EMP myself. I’m an Energy Converter and once I brought down a helicopter with standard hardened electronics with a pulse that I generated.”
Henry looked at me like I was joking or telling a make belief story. The professor knew a little about my powers, so he wasn’t as surprised about my revelation. Henry asked with disbelief in his voice, “Are you serious about this? The energy output is enormous, you’d need to be as powerful as a nuke to do something like that.”
“Try me, I can deliver what you need. I do have evidence of what I’m capable of, but it is classified. The kind of: I can tell you, but then I’ll have to shoot you.”
Henry was contemplating it, “We would need a secluded space for that, how wide spread would your EMP field be, or can you concentrate your beam?”
“I can make it very tight, but it will also travel a lot further inside the narrow field and of course the field gets wider the further it gets.”
We continued discussing a bit longer how to set up the test, till another student came to talk to the professor. Even then Henry took me to an isolated corner to write down what we were going to need. He proposed to have the test done at the beach, pointed towards the ocean and have the coast guard clear the area just in case the EMP field fanned out more than expected. I agreed on that and soon we had a plan with a specific date when we were going to perform the test.
Gabe Kramer at Savannah State University.
The solution Maren had suggested actually seemed to work, since I didn’t see her getting any more trouble from the boy. I decided to keep an eye out just in case, it was doubtful that such an asshole would give up so easily.
Things turned back to normal and I was thinking of what to get my uncle and aunt for their wedding. They finally set the date and Frankie was already in conference with them about the wedding cake. I was going to oversee the catering, but wasn’t going to cook myself.
In class the teacher Mrs. Smalls, had a surprise for us. She showed us an episode of the restarted TV show Masterchef USA. Some of the students started to gossip that some of us might get asked for the show. But it was even more than we thought. Apparently the organizers wanted a cook off against a team from outside and they thought that our school would be a good opponent. Just as the whispers and rumors were starting, one of the organizers stepped into the class room.
I recognized him directly, chef Danpierre was famous for his unconventional dishes at his restaurants. He currently had five places in the world, I wanted to follow his example and have branches elsewhere as well. Intently I listened to what he had to say. “Good afternoon, young chefs. I would like a team of your best cooks to go up against the five remaining participants of Masterchef USA. We also arranged for some very well-known chefs to judge the cooking. Now who amongst you would like to participate?”
Immediately everyone raised their hand and chef Danpierre sighed, “Of course, we can only have 5 of you in the team against our contestants. Mrs. Smalls, you know your students best, which one would you recommend?”
“Nico McKenna, Maresol Aletha Chicas, Isao Sugita, Debra Vroman and Gabe Kramer would be my first selection.” Mrs. Smalls said without any hesitation.
“Will the picked students please step forward, so I can have a talk with you?” Chef Danpierre said with a clear voice.
I stepped over to him with my fellow picked students and chef took us out of the classroom to a meeting room where he had us sit down with him. “Well now, I know Mrs Smalls well enough to know that she picked her best students for this cook off. So can you tell me a little about yourself and why you think you should be on the team. Also I need for you to pick a leader for your team, he or she will manage the tasks for the team besides cooking him or herself.”
Nico, Maresol, Isao and Debra simultaneously stated, “Gabe should be the leader.”
Chef Danpierre looked at me and asked, “So, why would they pick you as the leader, Gabe?”
I shrugged, “I work at a restaurant in my spare time, so I have the experience.”
Maresol snorted, but didn’t speak up fortunately. If chef Danpierre noticed, he didn’t let on. Instead he asked the others about their experience and specialties. He also asked my specialty and I told him that I was studying to be an all-around chef. Again I heard some snickers, but this time couldn’t identify who it was.
Chef Danpierre got up from his seat and said, “Okay then, I’ll leave the details of your team effort to you. We will begin shooting and cooking next Saturday in a hall nearby. If you can be here at the entrance of the school at 7.30 am, we’ll have you picked up and transferred to the location. Are there any questions?”
Isao only spoke up, “I have one, who will be the judges on the cook off?”
Chef Danpierre smiled mysteriously, “That’s going to be a surprise, we contacted some special guests to judge this event. I’m afraid you’ll have to wait till the cook off to see whom we have asked.”
After he said goodbye to us and left, we continued talking for a moment. The others tried speculating who the judges would be, but I showed no interest. Debra asked me, “So, Gabe. Who do you think will be the judges?”
“It doesn’t matter, I want us to do our best anyway. Sure, if we knew we could cook specifically to their tastes and preferences, but we don’t know and it shouldn’t matter. We need to focus on what to make and who is going to do what. Also since we don’t know if there is a theme or a limited set of ingredients, I would like you all to make a list of things you could make for a specific theme and with different ingredients. I will do the same.”
Nico stated, “I’d want to make the appetizers. You all know that’s my strong suit.”
The others said what they’d want to make and I was left with the desserts. Well I wasn’t the expert in that, but I could hold my own. None the less I would confer with Frankie about it. He is still the expert on desserts.
Maren at home.
Coming home late after another long day at school, I had been working on my thrusters again alone. I was unwinding in my favorite chair, when I got a text message on my eCom. The message said, “Please Maren, can you come to me? I’m in trouble, meet me at Hillcrest Area on the grounds of the Savannah golf club. Harriet.”
I thought back to how I started my friendship with Harriet, she had just morfed from being a boy into a girl with hidden dog hybrid traits. She had been getting help from Gabe, which had led to me almost breaking up with him. I was talking to her regularly on how to be a girl, since I had been in the same situation. My sister also had some talks with her, since she’s the empath in the family. I was worried about Harriet now, what kind of trouble would she be in and how could I help her?
Maybe I should have called some people with me in hindsight, but then again I’m a big girl and with my powers I can take care of myself.
On my patented hover board I quickly made my way to the golf club and looked for Harriet. I couldn’t locate her and thought, ‘Is she hiding from me? What is going on?’
Just then my light sensitive cat eyes noticed movement from behind a tree. An arrow was coming directly at me and though I managed to twist out of the way, it made me fall from my hover board and I landed not very graceful on my butt in the grass.
Someone in some kind of weird suit was running towards me and I had no doubt that this person had shot the arrow at me. As I struggled to get up I pointed a finger at the person and fired a laser beam from my finger. I expected to at least give the person a nasty burn, but to my surprise the beam bounced off and continued into a new direction and fizzled into the grass. ‘What the hell is that?’ I thought as I got up and the person got closer.
A familiar annoying voice said, “Didn’t count on me having a light refracting armor, did you little kitty!”
‘Darn it, that asshole Magrav is at it again. What does it take to get him to quit harassing morfed people.’ “What do you want asshole?” I said with a sneer.
“I want you to pay for what you did to my aunt. With this refracting armor you can’t hurt me, so I’ll take my revenge now.”
I stepped back, so he couldn’t reach me directly. He was about to lunge at me, so I quickly spoke, “You still don’t get it, do you. I’m not a light elemental, I’m a converter.”
Without delay I powered up and made it ice cold around us from absorbing that much heat. Then I stuck him solidly to the ground by increasing the gravity in his area and infused the air around me with kinetic energy towards him. Within moments he was struck by a gust of wind with gale force and as soon as that was on him I decreased the gravity in his area to a fraction of normal. He got lifted off his feet and flew 30 to 40 feet through the air till he impacted with a loud thud against a tree and fell down in a crumpled heap.
I quickly ran towards him and was amazed that he got up seemingly unhurt. ‘How can he survive that, better yet, how can he even get up so easily?’ I shot at him with my maser lightning, but it didn’t even faze him. ‘Stupid, girl,’ I thought. ‘You’re better than that with physics, glass doesn’t conduct.’
Gerhard Magrav started again, “You can’t hurt me, but I can and will hurt you, little kitty.”
This time he lunged at me and I let him, I just grabbed his wrist and pulled him along, while stepping out of the way. He sailed past me and fell into the grass. My uncle Lando had taught me this move and it finally paid off in using it. As he fell down in the grass I was directly on him and sensed that the armor he was wearing wasn’t glass. It was a new kind of metallic compound, that I hadn’t encountered before. It didn’t make a difference though, I could still destroy it easily. Putting thought into action I destroyed the metal particles on his armor with my disintegrating power of absorbing the molecular and atomic bonding energy. It spiked my energy reserve and removed the reflective protection from his armor at the same time.
I released him and stepped back to see what he was going to do now. Just then I realized that I could also have cooked him with my microwaves, but that would be almost fatal to him, so it might just be good that I didn’t use it on him. Then a thought came to me, ‘Maybe the microwaves are reflected as well? They are after all electromagnetic waves as is light.’
Magrav got up again and looked at me, “Is that all you got, little kitty?” He sneered.
I was really angry, but made myself appear calm and said in a controlled voice, “I could have cooked you alive with microwaves, but that’s a bit excessive. So instead I’ll just stun you now.” With that I released quite a bit of power into electricity towards him and he fell down like a log.
He was still conscious though, to my surprise. But it was even better for what I had to do. I bowed down to his face, “Where is Harriet? What did you do to her?”
He laughed in my face, “You’ll never find her, I’ve put her in her place as the dog she is.”
Furiously I punched his face and knocked him out. I would have to do this the hard way then.
Decreasing the gravity around me and increasing my energy reserve even more, I jumped up high above the ground. Hovering there for a moment I tried to use my power as I had never before and tried to sense infrared energy around me on the ground. Magrav’s body lighted up like a shining spot, and I ignored it. There were several minor spots all around me, but those were probably animals, living in the area.
As I was about to give up and thought about calling the authorities, when I noticed a brighter infrared spot near the edge of my scan. It was in a equipment shack of the golf club, so it shouldn’t have any heat source. I was already descending back to the ground and quickly made my way to the shack.
The door was locked with a padlock, but a laser beam from my finger quickly remedied that. Inside I found a battered Harriet, who was barely conscious. I examined her quickly and decided to leave her in here to have her checked out by professionals. Taking out my eCom I auto dialed Gavin.
He answered quite fast, “Maren? What are you doing calling so late?”
“I need some help. My friend Harriet Kominsky is hurt bad and I was attacked by Gerhard Magrav. We’re at the Savannah Golf Club. Can you have some police and EMT’s come to me?”
“Of course, I’ll alert them right now, please stay put.”
He cut the connection and I waited frantically for the help to arrive.
When people did arrive I called out to them and expected them to start helping. Instead the police officers pointed their tasers at me and ordered me to put my hands up.
“I’m not the attacker, he’s out there on the grass.” I said with a cracking voice. “He did this to my friend and attacked me afterwards.”
They wouldn’t listen to me and were about to start shooting their tasers. I wasn’t worried about those though, my power can handle them easily. But right then Gavin showed up with some people in EMT uniforms. Gavin said to me, “Please Maren, I’d consider it a favor to me if you went willingly with these officers to the station. I’ll be there as soon as I can to get it all straightened out.”
Then he stated to the officers, “I urge you to handle Miss Johns with care and she will go willingly with you, so no need to use cuffs. I don’t want an all out war on my hands here.”
The senior officer put his hand to the other one and they both put away their tasers. Then the man put his arm around me and guided me to the waiting patrol car. As we neared it, another officer approached and said, “I just checked the fields, there isn’t anyone there.”
I thought, ‘Oh no, he got away? Is he getting away with it again, they’ll think I’m a crackpot and that I hurt Harriet. Maybe they even think that because she’s a dog hybrid and I’m a cat-hybrid, we have been fighting.’
I still kept thinking how bad this would be for me, despite the assurances from Gavin.
The entire MORFS Universe can be found at http://morfs.nowhere2go.org/