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LOCATION: Granines Diner, Small Town, USA
Date: 10 September 2048
D’Amber stared coldly into Jaxson’s eyes. They were at unrelentingly stubborn odds about the issue at hand. “What world are we fighting for if we don’t do this?” She questioned.
Jaxson glanced down, taking note of the eggs and bacon D’Amber still hadn’t started on, before he answered. “The risk involved…it’s too much right now…”. Jackson lifted his fork and slid the last bite of cheese-stuffed omelette into his mouth. He clasped his hands over his fork, quickly chewing while calmly contemplating his wife’s beautiful amber eyes. “…we don’t have anything setup to pu—“
The waitress cut him off, “Would y’all like any more coffe this morning?”
“Uh…just one more. Thanks.” Jaxson answered politely; D’Amber on the contrary did not give the woman a single eye of attention. She kept focus on the conversation, finally stabbing away a piece of scrambled egg from her plate.
They both sprang into action the split second they felt the high chair begin to lift and hover. Each with a foot latched onto it, they stomped it back down — shocking the waitress who just managed not to spill the coffee she was pouring. The two year old, Jaxson Jr. aka J.J., laughed out loudly at his parents’ quick reactions. J.J. had discovered just last week, that he could levitate. An ability that provided both fear and pride in his superhuman parents.
They’d all three been seated and pushing a ball back and forth to one another; when Jax decided to toss the ball up to D’Amber. The excitement overjoyed J.J. so much that not even gravity could hold him back from going after the plastic bouncing orb.
“I’m taking him…” D’Amber stated as soon as the waitress left the table.
“How??”, Jax demanded. “You don’t even wear your contacts now! How do you expect to get yourself and a toddler halfway round the world without being noticed by the wrong people?!”
“I can go anywhere.”
It was an inarguable from Jax’s position — when one’s wife had wings, she could in fact go anywhere she chose. “At least let’s set some things up with the others. A network of safe houses along the way, y’know…”
“You mean like the Underground Railroad?” D’Amber commented jokingly, feeling the tensions between them beginning to lift, as Jax was now seeing things her way.
“Yeah exactly, but this is more of an above ground one…”, Jaxson smiled at J.J. as they continued their breakfast. “How will you get to it?”
“Just help me get close and I’ll do the rest…”
“The others…they’ll want to touch it too…”
“And they should. We all should.”
“But then how would we know who to trust with that much power?” Jaxson felt the error in his question the moment he asked it.
“…we wouldn’t…”, D’Amber responded.
In a matter of three weeks Jax had used his social networking & interwebbing dexterity to construct a safe flight path for D’Amber and J.J. Most of his contacts were also former survivors of the Clear Sky detention camps, but many more were just Amber-sympathizers and fans of the Dark Angel. A good thing because one such fan, one of her former band mates had supplied them with a private jet; that way he could join her in the trip to the Egyptian ruins and she wouldn’t have to risk flying herself. Not that she was deterred either way. Stubborn as she always was, he knew she would attempt the mission with or without him; but taking their only son to touch stone was not something he was not prepared to let her go at alone.
From what D’Amber had told him about the stone, Jaxson had gathered it was somewhat magical and had the affect on Ambers of unleashing their full potential. She had said she had almost no control over her wings before touching it and since she has proven time and time again to be one of the most powerful Ambers on the planet. Maybe the most powerful until Clear Sky began their operations on and around the stones’ powers.
D’Amber had done all she could to keep the secret only among Ambers; but of course as such things go they were betrayed. One would think in a world peppered with super humans that money would become a second-thought at best. However Amber or not, greed was still a powerful flavor of persuasion.
Clear Sky moved in on the artifact and setup a base of operations before any Amber with knowledge of its power could join D’Amber in strength. Not even Jaxson was quick enough, and he could break the sound barrier in a quarter-mile track sprint.
“How long before we’re allowed to leave now?” D’Amber pulled Jaxson from his pondering over the computer screen.
“Uh—uh…ju—“ Jaxson stammered taking in her beauty. He could never get over it, the way she leaned on the doorframe, her wings placidly draped to the side, slightly lifting from time to time by an unknown source of air. She wore orange shorts with a black tank top today, a combination that complemented her frame in such a way it threw all rational thought from his brain.
“Jax is down for the night, what’re you up to?”, she floated towards him and gracefully set a warm cup of tea in his hands. She leaned over his chair and began scrolling the message board herself.
He allowed her some time to scroll and took a sip from the mug before responding, “…about a week. Give or take a day…we’ve gotta be at that fancy private airport where your buddy keeps his jet within eighteen hours of getting the go ahead…”.
“Awww…”, D’Amber played with his cheeks coyfully, “Are you still upset that I have a rockstar for a friend?”
“No…”, Jaxson playfully pushed her arm aside, she protested with the full mouthed pouting thing she did, that he absolutely loved. “I’m upset that he’s giving us his private smrivate jet…as a favor…who does that?”
“Okay and you have friends literally lying to foreign governments for us right now….”, she sat on his lap with her wing brushing lightly against the nape of his neck.
“That’s different.”, Jaxson leaned back staring into her eyes trying not to break into a big smile.
“Oh is it?”, D’Amber stared back not breaking her gaze as his hands wrapped around her waist. The pseudo-argument dropped into oblivion as they embraced. Kissing Jaxson made the world pause for D’Amber.
9 days later: They’re phones rang at the exact same time and they knew what it meant. After locking serious eyes for a moment of confirmation they sprang into action. D’Amber flew up the stairs to the nursery and began collecting J.J. and the bag they had pre-packed specifically for this day. Jaxson bolted to the office and began the sequence on his workstation to wipe all their data; he then grabbed his load out bag, fully equipped with weapons, communications equipment and other necessities. They were out of the door and Jaxson was sending coded messages from a temporary phone in less than four minutes.
“Ha ha!!!” He yelled out excitedly, as they dove into the donor Jeep.
“What?!”, D’Amber asked frantically afraid something was wrong. She just knew the plan would fall apart and she’d have to make the trip by wing.
“…beat our practice time by forty-five seconds!” Jaxson shook his watch near her face as he threw the Wrangler into Reverse.
“I’m not doing this with you right now…”, D’Amber exhaled as she sank fully into her seat after buckling J.J. in.
“Fast…”, J.J. commented on his Father’s driving in complete admiration.
“That’s right lil man.”
They didn’t have to fear a speeding ticket until they left the stateline; perks of Jaxson’s Amber-network.
It was a fourteen hour drive from their home to the hangar, straight shot — only the pilot would be there to greet them.
Jaxson floored the accelerator for most of the trip despite the threat of being pulled over — to which D’Amber had reminded him of constantly. Having only had to make three pit stops they made it to the hangar in just under fifteen hours. With three hours to spare, they were ahead of schedule and full of confidence as the planes wheels left the tarmac.
D’Amber watched solemnly as the dark clouds and stars treadmilled past the slit-window. J.J. had already been asleep for twenty minutes but she continued to run her hand through his hair, tucking it behind his ear repeatedly. It was calming to them both.
“Are you serious right now?!” She scolded Jaxson for opening a bottle of champagne.
“What…might as well enjoy the amendments.” He smiled pouring two glasses, “When in Rome, right…”
“We’re going to Egypt…”
“To Egypt then.” They clinked glasses at that.
Jaxson stood after a long pause and massaged D’Amber’s wings. He knew by her expressions how they longed to stretch out in the wind. As a result of the relaxing drink and mood she soon fell asleep. Jaxson was not fond enough of the silent pilot to risk such an act; he followed their route with his pocket GPS unit instead of sleeping.
They landed at a small, empty airstrip somewhere in the desert of Mali. Trading salutes with the pilot was the only communication they had shared with the man since they’d boarded the aircraft. He pointed them towards a small watch tower and dismissed their presence with the shear professionalism of a man who’d seen more than his fair share of “no questions asked”-clients.
Inside the tower Jaxson struck up cheerful banter with his old pal, while D’Amber took her time fitting Jaxson Jr into the custom made heat and wind resistant body suit. She had been present when Jaxson field tested it and the hundreds of other prototypes with baby dolls, so she felt assured in its ability to shield her heart.
“…..twenty pounds of protein bars, just like you asked. All cookies and cream flavored!!” The bolstering man slapped Jaxson’s shoulder as he pointed out the rucksack.
“You’ve outdone yourself my friend.” Jaxson thanked.
“And you have Rhea’s coordinates right? In Sudan…”
Jaxson mouthed off the proper coordinates and went over the route with D’Amber one last time before they said they’re goodbyes.
“The minute you give me the word I’ll be there in exactly one hour and twelve minutes. Exactly babe…”
“I know. I know.”, D’Amber shrugged, “We’ve been over this so many times…”
“Yeah. Okay. Okay….but listen do—“
D’Amber interrupted his be-safe rant with a kiss, he bit her lip to know it was well received. “Don’t run too fast with my baby!”, she earned as she kissed J.J.’s forehead and pulled his goggles securely over his eyes. She double and triple checked the pneumatic strapping mechanism to ensure they were on seated snugly.
“You don’t worry about that. Just take care of yourself up there, I got the ground loved one…”
With a single flap of her powerful wings she rose twelve feet above their heads. Out of fatherly reaction Jaxson shielded his and J.J.’s face from the swirling sand she produced; although their face masks and goggles were rated against sand and debris traveling over one-thousand miles per hour he couldn’t resist his protective instincts. D’Amber blew them a kiss and swirled off into the clouds, rising rapidly out of eyesight, on her way to the safe house on the outskirts of Cairo.
“Your mom’s an angel kid…”, Jaxson stated, he reached down to pat his son’s head and found nothing but air. How could he lose the kid before they even set off?! He spun on his heels quickly and spotted his Air Traffic Controller friend struggling to keep his feet on the ground as he held onto the levitating ankles of the toddler reaching out for his mother. In a flash he was by his side and strapping the ankle weights to J.J.’s ankles. “That was a close one bud…”. He tried to laugh it off, but his friend just shook his head and walked back into the tower.
Jaxson’s radio crackled, “I saw that…”.
A moment later D’Amber rushed by, coming from behind them and flying so low she was able to give Jaxson a slap to the back of his head for almost letting her son out into the atmosphere.
Jaxson strapped his boy to the front of the specially made suit of his and in a sound breaking cloud of dust sprinted away closing the distance between himself and D’Amber in a matter of milliseconds. Before he could get close enough to touch her she erupted into the air with a loud laugh.
D’Amber slowed to a hover to check the GPS unit once again. She felt as if she’d been flying well long enough, but the past eight times she had descended there hadn’t been a single roof painted with a Dark Angel symbol, the signal of the safe house. She figured why not try again as she started to descend; she’d be sure to let Jaxson know how faulty his coordinates were when he keyed her back on the radio.
There it was, the symbol, finally she could get some rest. She landed directly in the center of the roof, and pinged the radio channel labeled on Jaxson’s instructions as “Cairo SH”. She tapped the Morse coded signal and waited several unresponded minutes before trying it again. This went on for about twenty minutes before the radio finally cracked statically.
“Jet to Dark Angel, over….”
“Jet….really?” D’Amber jokes over the comm system.
“What you don’t like my call sign?” Jaxson questioned back.
“No it’s lame…”, D’Amber replied in jest. “Put my son on. I wanna hear his voice.”
*Static* “Hi mommy…”
“Hey baby boy. Did you like running wit Daddy?”
“Yeah we—“ his response was inaudible.
*Static* “So hows Cairo?” Jaxson came on once again.
“Well the roof is nice, but no ones responding…”
“Hold on…” *Static* “Did you use the right signal?”
“I did exactly what’s on your notecard.” D’Amber said with annoyance in her tone.
A few minutes passed by and D’Amber passed the time by swinging her legs off the side of the building admiring the lightless night sky. It was so peaceful not hearing the bustling noises of life at home or having city lights flood out the stars. It was just night and nature. The sounds, the smells, the vibe was just blissful.
“Okay, babe come in…”
“I’m here….”, D’Amber responded and immediately set the radio back down with a sharp exhale.
“Try 136.4 not 8…I just got them no problem.”
“So it’s your fault…”, D’Amber changed the station of her radio before waiting on his response and sent the Morse code signal. Moments later the rooftop hatch door opened.
“Is Dark Angel?”, a hoarse voice asked from the dark doorway.
D’Amber squinted, but couldn’t make out the shape of the persons body; so she spread her wings and held her arms out in a “sure is” gesture.
“Yyyaaaayyyy!!!!” Four young children pushed past the dark figure in a sprint towards her.
“Stop. Stop. Give her space!!”, the hoarse old lady called out to the children as she emerged from the shadows.
“They’re fine. They’re fine!! I’m just so glad y’all are normal!” D’Amber consoled the woman between hugs and high fives with the kids.
“Come, come. I have big dinner planned for you!” The older lady welcomed D’Amber into their home. Of the entire household D’Amber noticed only the woman was a non-Amber. She assumed given the array of complexions and similar ages that the children were not of familial relations to the woman.
The feast they had prepared was not a let down at all. D’Amber filled her tired body quickly with flat bread and an abundance of vegetarian delicacies. They played a ton of games; from Seega to Mancala and she even learned a new from of checkers called Zamma. Somewhere between her love of children and her wings the youngsters were entertained into a frenzy. They all crashed hard soon after, including the Dark Angel herself. Tomorrow would be a trying day….
To be continued.
To the reader::::::Part V is broken into two parts due to its length and complexity. Be on the lookout for part two in the next day or two!!
Copyright © 2020 Kacy Gilbert (Writing as Remontz)
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