…And we are back for part 2 on this 2’fer Monday. We will get back on track this Thursday for the actual regular release, I promise!
Issue #17 – The Missing Day
When I came to, I was at the bottom of a very large crater, covered in debris. I had to push sand, dirt, and bits of the van off myself to get free. It was a painful journey out of the hole, but when I made it, I collapsed again on the desert.
It was night out, so the cool air was refreshing against the exposed skin from my ruined outfit. My goggles that Jericho gave me were still intact on my head, but most of the rest of my custom uniform was in bad shape. As I looked around, I saw yellow police tape up all around the area. No officers were present, but it was clear an investigation was underway.
I had to get out of here, quickly. The desert was unforgiving during the day and we weren’t that far from Indian Point. I made a tough decision that was going to take me further away from Jericho. I was heading back to Indian Point.
The walk nearly killed me. It was still night when I entered the city limits and through some careful back alley negotiating, found a small, well concealed corner to rest in. It was close to an Italian bakery, so before I wrapped myself up, I broke in the back and stole some baked goods. It wasn’t all that filling, but it would have to do.
I don’t know when I fell asleep, but I was woken up by a stray cat licking my face. I shooed it away, but the sunlight breaking through made it impossible to fall back asleep. I put my hands on my head, not sure where to go from here. The best idea would be to wait it out as long as I could, hopefully until nightfall again.
There were a few close calls during the day, but as night fell, I began to feel better and a bit more confident. With the darkness of the alley as my only ally, I left my hidden sanctuary and slowly made my way out into the city. My first priority was changing into some decent clothes.
There was a group of college girls looking as if they were headed to a fancy dinner. Thinking quickly, I reached out and grabbed the last one, stealthily putting my hand over her mouth. “Stay quiet,” I whispered. “You do that and you won’t die tonight.”
She looked like she was going to cry but she complied. I took her clothes and made her put on my old uniform. This solved two problems; one she’d be accused of being me and two, it would give me time to get my escape plan put together. Her jeans were a tad tight and the heels weren’t ideal for walking, but it was better than expected. Leaving the sobbing girl, I walked out onto the main street.
What I really needed was a shower. There was a hotel along the main strip, right next to an electronics store. It’d be as good of a place as any to get my bearings together. As I passed the electronics store, the news was playing, so I stopped to listen.
The older man on the crew was doing the reporting of the headlines. “As the second day of the desert explosion continues, the mysterious field blocking the crater has disappeared. Police are baffled as the investigation continues, and no official word has come out yet.”
Wait, as the second day comes to an end? How long was I down there?!
“If you have any information, police are asking you to please inform them. The bodies discovered so far match up with vigilante Dust Devil and members of the crew known as The Fatal Five…”
I walked away, briskly. The Fatal Five were dead, I somehow survived, and apparently was out for over a day before coming to. And that’s not even considering a mysterious force field that had to be somehow connected to me. A shower could wait; this trip had been a disaster and I needed to get back to Pacific Station immediately.
As luck would have it, a guy who was way too preoccupied in me for his own good got out of a pretty nice sports car. This would be like taking candy from a baby…
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