————— Morinstar Residence, Oldcastle, Westmeath —————
The cars had taken a small back road when Alan woke up. It was funny but he did not remember being sleepy when he got into the car. Stretching out his arms and legs he looked over to the seat opposite him. Ursula was curled up with a blanket covering her, apparently still fast asleep. He watched as she made the little noises people make in their sleep. She looked so cute he thought. He looked out the window at the green fields rolling past them, this really was a beautiful country he thought, and literally only two days ago he had been a struggling scientist with no funding. He could not get his head around that. Instead he decided to think about what he would do with the equipment he had been set up with. He would be able to perform experiments that years ago were only an out of reach dream. He refocused his attention as the car suddenly slowed down and came to a complete stop in the middle of the road.
Reaching for the car door he was about to open it when he heard what distinctly sounded like gunfire. He pulled his hand back thinking he had better wait till he knew what was going on before getting out.
“Why have we stopped?” asked Ursula waking up and yawning.
“I don’t know” he replied just as another shot sounded in the distance.
“What the hell was that?” asked Ursula, looking a little bit frightened as she tried to get a look out the windows.
“I think it sounds like a gun” said Alan. He slid across to the other door and looked out the window on that side. He could see three men in dark suits standing on the road. They were talking to Eve who had appeared to have changed into a maroon coloured trouser suit. She was listening to them talk and one of them was gesturing expressively with his arms. As he looked on he saw Eve reach into a bag she was carrying and take out a small radio. She spoke into it and the third car that was with them suddenly drove around them and pulled up beside Eve. The doors opened and six more large men exited it, all of them dressed in dark suits. What the hell was going on?, he thought.
Suddenly the darkened partition that separated them from whoever was driving their car lowered. Another suited man leaned back over the drivers chair. “Miss Eve says you are both to get out and go to her car”. After that brief speech he looked forward and the partition rose again.
Alan looked at Ursula and she just shrugged her shoulders. “I guess we get out then” she said.
They stepped out of the car onto the uneven tarmac of the road. As they approached Eve the suited men standing around her ran off, heading the way the cars had been only minutes before.
“Where are they going?” asked Alan, watching them disappear over a hill.
“I’ll explain in the car” she replied, holding open the door so they could both get inside.
Alan stepped in followed by Ursula. As they got comfortable she got in and closed the door. Crossing her legs, she leaned forward and rested her chin in her hands. “Well my little protégés” she smiled, “its crunch time. We finally get to see if you are worth the time and money the Hellfire Club is willing to put in to you. The mutant boy we have come to offer our aid to is in a bit of a pickle. That is why we have stopped”.
“What sort of trouble” asked Ursula.
Eve looked at the former stripper and tutted. “Miss December, patience is a virtue. Now as I was about to elaborate, the trouble is local in nature. I do not know how aware either of you are with terrorist organizations in Ireland, but as of late due to advancements in technology they have become much more, shall we say, aggressive”.
She leaned back in the leather chairs of the car and pursed her lips. “I am unsure as to which one of them is causing the current problem and frankly I could care less, but they have made this retrieval a little more complicated. Basically they have gotten word of this new mutant and want him for their own purposes. It appears a rival one had also gotten word of him. And now the residence we were headed toward is in the middle of an arms fight between the factions. My men have gone ahead to assess the situation”.
Just then the small radio she still had in her hand crackled to life. A voice came over the static, “Free to come ahead Eve, over”.
“Acknowledged” she replied back, “Driver, get as close as you can”. The car trundled forward at a slow pace and crested the hill.
Ursula looked out the window and gasped at the scene spread out before her. At the bottom of the other side was a fairly large farmhouse, with a few out buildings and a yard. A few cars and a tractor were scattered around. Nothing appeared to be moving in the house but the area around it was quite the opposite. There were men covered completely in black armour similar to riot gear and were wielding an array of weaponry. There was a cluster of them across the road from the house, around what looked like a hay barn. Another group was skulking around the outbuildings and farm yard. As she watched one of the men ran and dived behind the large wheels of the tractor, closely chased by a spray of bullets. The attack was answered by a small grenade exploding off the side of the barn.
“Um, Eve, that looks a little… well, insane. We are not going into that are we?” she asked nervously.
“We? No. I will be going to the house to try and save this man from the machinations of these small minded fanatics. You two… well I have an idea”. Eve winked cheekily at Ursula and smirked to herself. “My dear its time to earn that promotion I just gave you”.
————— Laboratory 515, Hellfire Club Headquarters, New York —————
A man in a lab coat got up from his work station and approached another man in a lab coat across the room.
“I finished running the tests. I think it is ready” he said.
“Good, the suit is performing better than we thought. Mobility is more flexible than we thought it would be and the gauntlets are a finer make than the first prototype” the oter man replied.
“Good”, they both walked over to a fluid filled chamber and stared through the glass. Inside was what looked like a suit made of glass.
“I will inform Eve it is ready when she gets back” said one of the scientists. “She should be extremely pleased with the results” he smiled.
————— Morinstar Residence —————
Ursula was repeating the same phrase over and over in her head. It went like this, Oh my God, oh my God, oh my God. She couldn’t believe she was actually doing this. She was with three of the suited men, making her way toward the group of terrorists that were gathered near the barn. Already they had incapacitated three people while she had just sort of numbly followed. The men were leading her toward the largest group and she was supposed to use her powers, the ones she had like discovered she had yesterday, to take them out. How on Earth was she supposed to do that? She thought back to yesterday when she had woken up after passing out in the changing rooms at the club. Frost everywhere, coating most of the room.
Eve had explained she had some sort of ice like powers, involving air moisture and pressure. She guessed she was expected to freeze these men so that Eve could get to the family trapped in the house. But she was just not sure if she could do it. How do I get them to even work she thought, do I have to say something or wave my hands in a particular pattern? Her mind refused to give her an answer, it was like the body she had used for so long to her benefit had suddenly abandoned her in her hour of need.
She felt a hand on her shoulder, “This is as far as we go Miss December” said one of the suits, “Eve has said we are to only take you as far as we can assure your safety”.
Well that makes me feel somewhat better she thought. She felt her heart rate increase as she panicked that now she was supposed to do something. Her personal mantra from earlier began to repeat itself, Oh my God, oh my God, oh my God. She took a deep breath and steadied herself. She concentrated and let her mind settle.
Then she felt the temperature drop.