Terra and I walked down the hall toward Brice’s open door. The temperature seemed to elevate as we got closer. Mentally, I try to calm myself. We’re the good guys, I shouldn’t feel so “pushed” everything we exchange words.
We appear at Brice’s office door. “Brice, we really need to talk.” I note to myself how stern I statement is made. It’s not my intention to project Brice as the bad guy – I really just need him to stop holding secrets.
Brice looks up crossly. Nonchalantly, he responds. "Sure."
Always the peace keeper, Terra interjected. "Look. We don't want this to seem like some kind of interrogation. But we need to know what happened on top of the building the other day. She nodded to me. "Show him the totem."
I held out the new totem I found, cutting my eyes at Brice. "What can you tell us about this? I’m sure it looks familiar. Or perhaps you can imagine another one just like it... with YOUR face on it." I didn’t want to admit it, but my temper really started kicking in. Maybe we needed a moderator.
Brice stood to look at me and Terra. His expression seemed blank for a second, then there was a flicker in his eyes. “I don't know from whence these trinkets have arisen, but I will relay this to you and whomever else dare trifle with my pursuit in the knowledge of their beginnings-Don't! I will uncover their origins and when I do, the person, persons or whatever else will know I am trailing them! Now is their anything else that Wonder Woman or Superman would like to accuse me of, or have your thirsts for tabloid-like fodder been quenched?"
Terra squinted her eyes as her brows folded down. "Brice, or Enigma, or whoever the hell you are today, put your ego in your back pocket and listen. This affects all of us. Whoever's making these totems isn't just after you. This is beyond JUST YOU!" She poked her finger into his chest, leaning over his desk – then forced herself back. "Look. Nobody's trying to attack you. Nobody's jumping on you. But we all need to work together on this. As a team. Like we're supposed to be."
Brice grimaced. "A team? A TEAM?!?!?!?...that's absolutely laughable."
Being a part of this exchange reminded me again of my inability to hold on to patience. I walk up to Brice, almost nose to nose. "If I find out that you have anything to do with my friends getting hurt, I'm gonna tear you in two pieces." It was a whisper, but it was loud enough for Brice to know that it was not just a threat, but a promise.
Brice looked me in the eyes. He wanted me to know he was not afraid… But I don’t want fear, I want truth. The truth is, Brice knows about these totems – so tell. The other truth is I will tear down on him like a hungry fat guy with a country breakfast – he should realize that.
Looking me in the eyes, I heard Brice loudly whisper – though his lips barely moved. “You obviously don't know me well enough to know that your power is no form of intimidation to me. I fear you not. Dispatch brought me here for a reason and I suggest you humbly approach him and find out why. I will never bow down to what you believe to be powerful forces of persuasion. Match or no match! So if you wanna rumble, let's rumble." Brice stepped back and took a fighting stance.
This is music to my ears. "Oh... you wanna fight now.” I think I smiled with some sort of joy. “That's my favorite conversation to have." I clenched my right fist as I stepped back to close his office door with my left. "Maybe you need to call Dispatch and ask him why he brought you hear, because as of this moment you are no longer wanted." I flexed every muscle for intimidation. This dude knows I hit hard – and if mind reading is all he's got then he is in a world of trouble.
Suddenly, Terra’s head snapped back as my eyes changed to a deep, hard green. "Brice," her voice slightly changed. "Do we really have to go through this?" She leaned to him. "Please let's work together."
"Terra...we don't have to do anything, but you need to get your showboating counterpart off my back or the whole neighborhood will quake!"
See, now he just threatened me. "What, you afraid of a lil' vibration..." My power is based in vibrations, I don’t scare from a little bit of shaking.
"I remain!" was Brice’s only response.
The tension slightly broke when Ean entered the office. He demanded an explanation, but this was no time for spoken words. “No more talk…” I grab Brice by the throat and slam him against the wall. Cracks form at the impact.
Brice’s eyes glazed red and he grabs my wrist. I felt an overload of pressure in my head. "One day you will learn that my concession to your lead is truly not because of who you are or what you believe you can do. It is my role. Can the tiger not rip the Lion apart limb for limb? Does the wingspan of the Condor not eclipse that of the Eagle? Can the venom of a rattlesnake not paralyze the great Anaconda? Do not test the power of those beneath you for they are the support upon which you draw during battle. Do not attempt to extinguish the wind beneath your wings for your flight will end abruptly!"
Useless metaphors. For a smart guy, Brice might be a bit stupid. He's feeding my power back to me. I feel my temper burst through the ceiling. My eyes roll to the back of my head and I grind my teeth. This is the part about my power that ain’t so pretty. I do a lot of hitting, but when I take damage, it all stores up. Once the bottle is full, it explodes. I manage a cocky smile as I force my focus to Brice. "You want to raise the stakes... Let's do it." I release the explosion of sonic energy directly at Brice. The backlash shatters the windows and blows his computer.
I look at Brice. He’s a bit dazed. "You look like you the anaconda just crushed the breath from your lungs." I pick up his desk to hit him with. "There is a reason the lion is king, b!t@h!"
"Yeah...because he hasn't been tested. Let's do this." Brice regained his stance as the whole building started shaking. I was suddenly light-headed, blurry and unfocused. I struggled to hold the desk, feeling as if I had tried to lift a Mack truck or something. Has to be Brice playing with my mind. I had to push through it.
I dropped the desk and concentrated to push Brice from my subconscious. Just in time to catch him within striking distance. We exchanged punches. Someone taught him out to fight, but he doesn’t hit as hard. I swing a hard left. I wanted him to go down and stay down. Brice drops into a side split, then, slides through my legs – standing back up behind me. This dude watches too much tv.
Before I can turn around, something yanked me from behind.
"Dammit! Enough is enough! This shit ends now!" Terra’s tentacles were everywhere. She usually doesn’t let them out, but I guess the calm me could understand the need for damage control. But I ain’t finished with the damage part.
"You two handle that macho bullshit at another time." She stood in the center of the room while she brought her tentacles back in. Ean was still recording. "Leroy. Take a walk before we don't have a job to come back to. I don't know about you guys, but I need the paycheck.” She had a point about the job. This was definitely the wrong place and time.
Terra walks over to Brice "Will you talk to me?" The calm, motherly side of Terra is hard to resist.
I grab the totem and leave. Outside of Brice’s office, our coworkers were gathered. Though the door was closed, somebody had to explain he damage. Then I thought, I may get fired behind this. Hell, if I’m going to be fired, I might as well go in style.
I walked back into the office where Brice stood next to Terra. They both looked a bit shocked to see me come back, and I wondered how much damn recording space did Ean have on his camera phone. Just as quick as I reentered the office, I stepped up to Brice, pushed Terra to the side and planted my foot right into Brice's chest. The kick forced him through the wall. I wasn't trying to kill him, that's not how heroes do - and we are only on the third floor. But I get the last word.
"See me on the play ground later, school girl..." I called out as I left the office. I grabbed my things from my desk and left work for the day.