————— Nearby —————

“This is as far as we go Mr. Tremaine” said one of the suits, placing a hand on his shoulder, “Eve has said we are to only take you as far as we can assure your safety”.

Alan smiled his thanks back at the man. Well he was here to do as Eve had asked. Use his powers to distract or disable the gunmen on the farmhouse side of the road so she could reach the family on the inside. Was he supposed to be some sort of soldier then he wondered, putting his life at risk so that he could progress his scientific career. He wondered if Newton or the Curies had ever had to do anything like this for their work.

Focusing on the area where he had been told most of the terrorist group was he let his mind sink into the ground. He could sense the rock there and to a lesser extent the soil. He gaped in wonderment at the strength of the rocks he could sense. This was so much stronger than the concrete he had felt in New York, even stronger than the bedrock beneath that. This was intriguing and he was curious to find out why. He wondered if he could use Hellfire resources to investigate this.

Snapping his mind back to the task at had he focused his power.

The Earth around the outhouses began to tremble.

————— Inside the Morinstar Residence —————

“Dermot what are we goin ta do?” said a middle aged woman, as she helped the man she addressed push furniture against the door to the bedroom there were in.

“Just help me get this bookcase over here Joanne”, replied a weathered looking man wearing a pair of blue overalls. “We can figure out what to do when we make sure those idiots out there can’t get to Danny”. He heaved the heavy, oaken bookcase into place and moved to the wardrobe in the corner, “We can put this in front of the window” he said. He began to move it as his wife Joanne went over to the single bed in the room.

On it was a young man, about 20 years of age. He was curled in a ball and occasionally a small moan would escape his lips. Joanne sat down beside him and stroked his forehead. He was burning a fever again. She got up and fetched a cloth from a basin of cold water sitting on the bedside table. Sitting back down and ignoring her husband’s grunts of labour, dabbed the cool cloth on her sons head. His blonde hair was soaked with sweat and he was trembling. She didn’t know what to do; her perfect quiet life and her perfect loving family had suddenly been thrown into chaos.

Danny had been in the well field checking the wheat yield. They were hoping for a decent crop this year. It had been just another day on the farm except for Dermot having to deal with an awkward calving. She had been in the kitchen going over some of the farm finances when a massive flash of light had lit up the kitchen. She had run to the window and saw a plume of smoke rising from the fields behind the house. Grabbing Dermot from the yard they had run toward it and had been stunned at what they found.

In the centre of the wheat field was a large crater in the soil. At the centre was Danny, naked, curled up in a ball. She had run down to him and immediately felt for a pulse. A former nurse she immediately did all the normal checks to see what was wrong but couldn’t seem to find anything. Then he had stirred and looked up at her. His eyes were glowing bright white and then flickers of white-yellow energy had raced across his body. “Mam, I think something’s wrong” he had said before passing out.

For the last day and a half he had lain on his bed, falling in and out of consciousness. He had also released a blast of energy from his hand creating a large hole in the wall. It was then Joanne and Dermot had realized that their son might be one of these mutants that the news was always going on about. Afraid to take him to the hospital she had tried to make him comfortable but whatever his body was doing was obviously painful and he needed something. Then today this had happened. These men had shown up at the door and asked to speak to their son about fighting for the IRA. Joanne had immediately shut the door in their faces, her family would be having nothing to do with that.

After that all hell had broke loose. All these men had shown up with guns and threatened to take Danny by force. Then some other men had shown up and started firing at the first group. That’s when they had decided to bar themselves in. She looked over at Dermot as he maneuvered the wardrobe toward the window. It was a heavy, real wood affair and it was taking him some time. He had just gotten it halfway when they heard a knock at the window. They both froze and stared at the window, trying to peer at the dark form partially hidden by the net curtains covering the glass.

“Mr. and Mrs. Morinstar, please let me in, I’ve come to offer my help” came a female voice from without.

“Who is it?” replied Dermot in a gruff voice.

“My name is Eve, I came when I heard about your son, I know he is a mutant”, replied the voice.

“We already told you people that you are not having him” yelled Dermot angrily at the window.

“I’m not with the paramilitaries Mr. Morinstar. I represent a group of people that help mutants control their powers. Especially those that seem to have trouble with control”.

Joanne glanced at Dermot. “What do we do?” she whispered to her husband.

“Nothing, tell her to get lost and we will stay put” he answered.

“Dermot John Morinstar” she said crossly, “If we stay put we will end up filled with bullets and Danny needs help we can’t give him. Does that woman outside sounds like she’s with the ra? For God’s sake she has a bleedin’ American tongue on her”. With that she stormed over to the window and threw it open. Stepping back she allowed this Eve woman to step into the room.

Eve surveyed the room she had managed to talk her way into. Basic, sparse and homely, the stereotype she had been expecting. She eyed up the Morinstars, the father was a typical hard working Irish famer, tanned in the face and arms, but slightly worn and beaten by the hard life. The young man on the bed, well well, this did not look good. The mother, well she was motherly looking, sensible clothes, sensible shoes and a look in her eyes that said if you hurt my family I will kill you. She looked like a strong woman. Right, Eve thought, I know how to work this.

“Mrs. Morinstar” she said directly looking at the woman’s face. She made her voice sound pleading, reassuring and soft, “Your son, Daniel, he needs help. His powers have manifested late and quite violently. They will consume him if he does not get the right help”.

“And I suppose that you can give him that” snapped the father.

Eve ignored him and walked over to the bed. Reaching into her bag she pulled out a small metallic collar. She held it up so that they could both see it. “This is an inhibitor, it will suppress Daniels’s powers and allow him relief from the pain”, she explained. She looked up at the mother. “Without this and my help…” she trailed off. The mother looked anxious for a moment then after considering it nodded her assent.

Eve reached down to attach the collar around the young mans neck. As she did so his eyes suddenly snapped open and he grabbed her hand. “Mam, Da, what’s goin on?” he asked, fear tinting his voice. He looked up at Eve and tried to back away.

“Its okay darlin’, this woman here is gonna help you” Joanne tried to explain. He looked at his mother and then at his father. They both looked afraid, was it because of him? Then he heard the sound of gunfire from outside.

“What’s goin on out there?” he said, jabbing a finger toward the yard.

“There are men here trying to take you away”, said his father, “This woman can help you, she is going to get us out of here and help you get rid of that pain of yours. That’s what that thing she has is for”.

Just then there was a huge crash and the bookcase that was blocking the door to the bedroom flew apart. Three men entered the room along with a fair amount of smoke and noise. They raised their guns. Eve threw her weight against Daniel, throwing him onto the floor on the other side of the bed, and dived after him. Gunfire rattled around the room and for a few seconds the sound of ricocheting bullets filled her ears.

“Mam, Da!” yelled Daniel as he threw Eve off the top of him and leapt to his feet. The gunmen were prodding the forms of two bodies on the ground. His parents had been shot dead. He felt the mess of emotions swell through him and, acting on instinct, raising his fists he incinerated two of the men in the room. The third jumped back toward the door and raised his gun toward the young man. A shot rang out.

Daniel watched as the gunman slid to the ground, a surprised look on his face. He spun around and saw that the woman dressed in red was putting a small pistol back into her bag. She had just saved his life. Just then two more men arrived in the doorway and took in the scene.

“Miss Eve. The front is secured” one of them addressed the lady.

“Hold it for a bit” she ordered and the two men went back outside. She turned to Daniel and stepped around the bed, glancing at the bodies of his parents. Putting a hand on his arm she looked into his eyes. “I’m so sorry Daniel” she said.

“They’re dead” he answered numbly, staring blankly at the floor. He suddenly doubled over as a wave of agony coursed down his body. The headache that had been present for the last day or so suddenly came crashing back. He fell to his knees. He felt the woman Eve kneel down beside him and put an arm across him. “Daniel please put this on, it will stop the pain. I can take you away from here. Somewhere you can learn to control this power you have, so that what happened here today will never happen again”. She handed him the collar and he took it in his hands. He looked at it and then looked up at her. She could still see the hesitation in his eyes.

“It is what your parents wanted” she whispered.

He closed his eyes and she watched as a tear formed and rolled done his sweat slicked face. He reached up and she helped him fix the collar around his neck. Activating it, eve watched as the relief flooded through him and he passed out into a blissful state of unconsciousness.

A suited man appeared in the doorway again. “Take him to my car and inform Sebastian that the acquisition was a success” she said. Watching the man leave with Daniel held in his arms she stood up and brushed herself down. Reaching into her bag she removed a container and screwed off the top. The small of kerosene filled the room as she splashed the contents around. Walking to the doorway she looked back, her face revealing nothing of any emotion she might be feeling at the moment. She tossed a lighted match into the room and walked away.

————— Somewhere in Manhattan ————–

Eve walked down the alley way toward three teenagers who were leaning against the wall at the back of it. She had rested briefly after getting back from Ireland and had quickly changed and got ready for this new endeavor. Number three she thought to herself, mentally picturing the list Sebastian had written for her.

She stopped a meter away from the group as they noticed her. She noted that the two boys were completely high on whatever had been in that syringe that was lying on the ground. They were not her interest though; it was the girl that was with them.

“Kiden Nixon?” she asked looking at the girl.

“Who wants to know?” came the cheeky reply. Kiden was on edge, this was the second person in as many days who had randomly known her name. And the first had given her a cryptic warning about a second one. She backed away warily. This new woman looked substantially more up class than that Janet woman. She was in a red skirt with a matching blazer. Admittedly the blazer did little to hide the ample cleavage of the woman and her hair was arranged in some sort of spectacular structure that seemed to defy gravity. This woman however was clearly no hooker.

“My name is Eve and I have come to offer you a way out of this pestilential existence you have found yourself in”, Eve replied.

Kiden stepped back in shock. The Janet woman had been right. These were the people she had been talking about. She stepped behind Draco and narrowed her eyes. What would she do, she was not going with these people, whoever they were. She decided to blow this woman off and then she would decide what to do.

“I don’t want your help” she snapped.

“But surely you cannot like your situation?” said Eve. Her voice sounded confused, like she really wanted to help, Kiden found herself relaxing, but as soon as she did she threw her guard back up.

“I don’t want your freakin’ help” she screeched at Eve, taking another couple of steps backward, “Now get the hell away from me before I get the rest of the gang on you”.

Eve was slightly taken back. She had certainly not expected a reaction like this. She had imagined this to be one of the easiest people to recruit. She peered at the girl trying to gauge if she was high or something. She seemed fine however. Something was not right. Eve decided to bring this to a close. She would back off for now but this was not over.

“Kiden I promise you I was only trying to help” eve explained, “But I can see that you are not in the right frame of mind for this today. I will come back; don’t think I will give up on you this easily”. With that Eve turned and walked off back toward the main street.

“Oh my God she is coming back for me” screamed Kiden when the Eve woman had disappeared. She grabbed Mickey and shook him, trying to make his eyes focus on her. “What am I going to do?” she asked, hysteria creeping into her voice.

Mickey just laughed and pushed her away, “God Kiden whatever, I’m so bored of you. Hey Draco lets find somewhere else to go. This bitch is really bringing me down”.

Kiden watched in shock as her only companions she had since she had run away, ditched her and left her standing on her own. She fell to her knees and started to cry. Oh God that woman was right she thought she was going to be taken by those people. Suddenly she remembered the card. Scrambling around in the filth of the alley she found it, covered in something that smelled of…oh it was that. The number was still legible. She ran to the exit of the alley and looked about for the nearest public phone.

As she ran it started to rain. Silently she wondered what exactly a Black Queen was.

Next!: Hellfire #4 Genesis – Alan and December meet Daniel for the first time and meet some interesting people in the Club. Kiden must strike a bargain to save herself from a perceived threat. On top of this, Eve has moved on to the next target on Sebastian’s list.