Tinkering: Part Two

From the Story Arc: Trench Warfare

Previous Story in the Arc: My Father's Son: Part One by Agn Stratonik (Tuesday, June 14, 2005)

Next Story in the Arc: My Father's Son: Part Two by Agn Stratonik (Friday, July 22, 2005)

(posted Wednesday, June 15, 2005)

“What?” I question the person walking up behind me as I diligently work on the prototype suit.

“I just came to see what it was you’ve been doing since seven o’clock this morning.”

“What time is it now?”

“One o’clock in the afternoon.”

I stop my work and look out of a window across the room. “There’s still light in the day. I’ll keep working until I get tired.” I begin working again.

“Suit yourself.” I hear a chair being drug across the floor until it comes to a stop near the table I’m working at. “What are you doing?”

“Well, seeing as you’re not the first person to ask me this question, Bella, I’ll oblige you. I’m working on a prototype suit.”

“Oh, really? What is it for?”

I stop again and look at her with a blank stare. “I just said it was a suit, didn’t I?”

“Wow, aren’t we moody? I meant WHO is it for?”

“Ah…it is for me.”

“Why? I thought you were a Martial Artist. Why would you need a bulky suit weighing you down?”

“It is because I will not be performing any Martial Arts techniques inside the suit. The purpose of the suit is to protect my fleshy, human body from suffering permanent damage, such as death. Everything will be controlled through the suit and it will grant me different abilities.”

“Like…?”

I sigh and point to the metal gloves of the suit. “Here, I’ll be able to shoot energy bolts. The boots will allow me to fly and the faceplate of the helmet will allow me to see with both eyes through infrared sensors.”

She places a finger on her lips and raises an eyebrow as she stares at me. I furrow my eyebrows and stare back. “What?”

“Nothing…it’s just that this is really the first time I’ve had the chance to see you without a mask on or anything obscuring your face. So you really can’t see out of your right eye, which explains the eye patch. I read your file, but I always thought the goggles were a bit suspicious.”

I smirk and begin working again. “You didn’t read enough.”

She crosses her arms and frowns at me. “You sure are the mean type. Is there something you need to talk about? I’m a great listener…”

I stop working long enough just to look at her with a sarcastic smile. “When you become a nun or priest and I become Catholic, I’ll take you up on that offer. I have my own demons to deal with and I’ll keep them to myself, thank you.”

I can tell by the look in her eyes that she is a bit taken back by my words. She stomps out of the laboratory, her footsteps still echoing in the room minutes after she leaves.
“He is moodier than Khrushchev! What’s eating up his ass?!” I hear these words loud and clear from three rooms over. Bella is a bit angry at me. Moodier than Khrushchev, though…that’s harsh, but a compliment nonetheless. I continue working as the sound of more footsteps approach. This time Commissar Bestial Boy stands leaning in the doorway.

“You know, Agn, not many people can do what you just did. That’s talent.” He chuckles as he sits in the chair Bella had sat in. “Whatcha doin’ there, bud?”

I look at Zachary, deep into his eyes, with the glare of a caged lion. “Whoa, whoa…take it easy. I was just asking. Sheesh…so much violence in this HQ. Hey Agn, I don’t think I ever apologized for my actions with the Savate incident and…”

“Nyet…don’t apologize. He nearly killed us all and your actions were justified. I did not take offense…you were only worried about our comrades. Commissar Saviour made you a Commissar for a reason and it wasn’t in vain.”

“Thanks. I needed that. I’m gonna go and calm Bella down before she turns this place into another Chernobyl. I‘m already green enough.” He chuckles as he walks out.

I reach over to the other end of the table, searching for pliers, but what I find is a container. Inside are a neatly packed sandwich and an assorted array of fruits and vegetables and with the container is a bottle of water. Someone was thinking about me. I think I know who.

Twenty minutes later, I take a break and walk out into the HQ. At a table sits Althea and Alexei, known as October Star II, after his father. I walk past the table to hear Alexei speaking of wedding preparations. I see Althea glance up to me out of the corner of my eye. I go to the locker room and suit up into my CCCP uniform and head for the front door to start some trouble. Before I place my goggles, I walk pass the table once more and look Althea directly in the eyes. “Thank you,” echoes into her mind, as I smile to her and head out the front door.