The Negative Man: Project Jericho #2

Project Jericho Cover

(Be warned, major spoilers for City of Chaos are in this series.  If you haven’t read the main novel, you might not want to keep reading…)

**8 Years Old** 

“Ellison, how much longer is this charade going to last?”

It was the same argument every time with Cooper.  “The progress he’s making is remarkable.  The boy is smarter than we could’ve ever imagined.”

We were watching him reassemble a computer piece by piece he’d taken apart not but a half hour ago.  The boy, who went by Jericho now due to a story book I’d given him, had a gift for electronics.  It was almost as if he could manipulate them on a cellular level.

Cooper was still very antagonistic towards him.  “Do you remember six months ago when he lost control and nearly shut this entire project down?  Three guards were lucky to make it out alive!”

“You sent armed guards into a child’s room and expected him to understand?  You might be a doctor, but you’re far from an intelligent man.”

Face red, Cooper stormed off down the hallway, back to his laboratory to sulk no doubt.  The other man in observation with me, General Lambert Talon was firmly on my side of the argument.  “Cooper will never understand how being a human to this child will help us in the long run.”

I knew what Talon was hinting around at.  “The rash of powered people from the nuclear fallout is disconcerting, but I don’t understand where Jericho fits in.  He got his powers in a very different manner.”

“The President wants someone under government control who can stop, by lethal force if needed, these threats to national security.  The public is truly worried Ellison.”

“Be that as it may, Jericho is still years from being ready for anything like that.”  Then there was something else.  “Limiting the time his mother gets to spend with him is only going to cause anger towards us later in life.  Can’t we up her visitation?”

Talon’s face crinkled up.  I’d gotten him to consent to once a week visits and they were improving Jericho’s moods.  Miranda was so happy to see her son and even approved of the name he’d chosen.  “I can probably get twice a week, a couple hours at a time without too much fuss.  But I can’t push for more Ellison, no matter how much you want me to.”

I smiled, knowing I’d won this time.  “That’s better than a kick in the ass.  Thank you Lambert.”

“Now it’s my turn to ask something of you.”

Ahh the back and forth negotiation never stopped.  “You want me to start testing his true ability, no?”

Talon gave me a hearty pat on the back.  “It would make my bosses very happy to start getting status reports about what the child can do, besides almost killing guards.”

The strangest part about that whole episode was no one was all that upset at the boy for his uncontrolled outburst.  Call me a fool, but a fatherly instinct to protect him kicked in and I was ready to fight tooth and nail if needed.  Instead, people seemed to shrug it off and let us continue on.

Looking in at Jericho as he turned the computer back on and it booted up perfectly, “I can’t deny that starting him early is a good way to get him to learn control.  Children are much better at adaptation than adults.”

Talon turned towards the door.  “Thank you Ellison.  If we’re lucky, in a few years he will be ready to start field trials.”

I smiled, but privately I hoped very much to protect the boy long enough to find another solution.  One that would be happier for everyone.

-Jeremy

You can grab a copy of The Negative Man: City of Chaos at http://ucfgk04.wix.com/twodudesbrewsbooks!

Don’t forget, The Dark Lion’s story – The Negative Man: Rise of the Lion, can be found either on Wattpad or on Goodreads, both on my personal pages.

 

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About Jeremy Croston

I'm a comic loving, soccer playing, devoted husband who has a writing addiction. I can be found at Orlando Solar Bear hockey games, at the local sports bar cheering on my teams from Philly (go Flyers!), and being led astray by my schnauzer, JJ. Check out my Amazon page at www.amazon.com/author/jeremycroston to see my collections. Feel free to friend me on Facebook too at www.facebook.com/jcroston2 (there is another one of me out there apparently). Outside of writing, I work in business development and am considered an expert in all things Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. Thanks for stopping by and looking forward to talking to you soon!
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