An Enemy Within — Chapter Fifty

23 Jan

Chapter 50

Shannon almost didn’t go up.  She was so intent on getting away from the New World Power members who were in the alley that she didn’t think that there might be more members on the other side of the building.  But by the time that she realizes this, she has already begun to step out of the building.  Upon exiting the building, she spots Crow.  Once seeing him, Shannon goes back into the building in a hurry.  However, Crow also spots Shannon as she heads back into the building and gives chase.

Back inside, Shannon notices the stairs and decides to run up them.  But as she starts to ascend, however, Crow has made it to the front door of the building.  As she ascends the stairs, Shannon’s foot actually slips.  This is because she didn’t adequately plant her foot on the step as she was climbing the stairs.  This causes her to fall, hard.  This agitates her already injured arm and shoulder, drawing blood in the process.

After hitting the stairs, Shannon turns to the door and fires her weapon at Crow, getting off a few shots in the process.  These shots weren’t aimed, so they go wild, missing Crow.  However, this action causes Crow to duck and fall back.  As he does this, Shannon manages to get back to her feet and continues to run up the stairs.  Seeing that Shannon is on the move again, Crow continues after her, though he’s weary as he makes his ascent.  He doesn’t want to rush forward and get shot in the head.  He would find that to be an unspectacular end to his life and could have serious consequences for the New World Power.  Even though the New World Power has committed lieutenants, the organization as a whole might not survive his death.  There is the potential that the New World Power would fracture into smaller factions and become less effective, not unlike what happened to Alexander the Great’s empire after his death.  But if the New World Power was able to survive his demise, Crow is concerned that there might be intense internal conflict that could severely weaken the organization, despite his attempt to give it a formal leadership structure.  It would be similar to what happened to Ancient Rome.

After making it upstairs, Shannon needs to find a place to hide.  This is because there is no way for her to make her escape.  The only way for her to get out of here is the way which she just came.  When she does find a place to hide and crawls into it, Crow appears, just missing Shannon.  As Crow makes his way down the corridor, it will take him right past where Shannon is hiding.  Hearing him coming, Shannon places her hand over her mouth in an attempt to remain silent and prevent a sound from escaping at an inappropriate time.

As Crow is making his way down the corridor, he sends out a telepathic message, saying, “Shannon.”  As he passes by her hiding spot, Shannon is able to pick up this message clearly.  This is because the barrier between Crow and Shannon is incomplete, allowing for Crow’s bioelectrical signal to reach her.  The message she receives is non-descriptive.  There’s no gender overtone or personal identification.  This is the essential nature of telepathy; it bypasses the bones of the ear and directly stimulates the auditory region of the brain, nothing more.  This is why the telepathic voice that someone receives “sounds” non-descriptive.  The only way to distinguish the difference between telepathic transmissions from two or more people is essentially by the way the message is sent, nothing else.  After hearing this message, Shannon establishes a mental block to help prevent Crow from detecting her telepathically.  It also prevents her from continually hearing Crow’s message.  As this is going on, Shannon’s heart is pounding away in her chest.  It’s pounding so hard that she can both hear and feel it.  A part of her is also scared that Crow would be able to physically hear her heart beat, it’s pounding so hard.

If Crow had the ability of Heightened Sense of Hearing, he might have.  And despite her attempt to prevent Crow from detecting her mentally, he can still detect her through an ability inherent in all psionics; that of detecting electrical currents.  Though with some psionics, this ability can only be used by conscious choice, it is a passive trait in others.  This trait in its passive form can be compared to the simple act of breathing.  Crow is one of those individuals who use’s this ability passively, as with all true psionics.  But fortunately for Shannon, Crow passes by her location without stopping or slowing down.  This is because Crow is distracted and is in a bit of a hurry.  This prevents him from doing a thorough search of the areas that he passes by.  Because of this, Shannon would be able to take advantage of the situation and could manage to escape.  But before she does, she wants to wait in her hideout for just a little bit longer, just in case Crow is still in her vicinity and would be able to spot her.  As she waits, Shannon hears something in the distance.  Sirens.  The police are on their way, and it appears that they are coming in force.  This comes as a bit of a relief for Shannon.  Safety is on its way and she can reach it if she can just get out of the building.  All that she needs to do is get away from Crow.

Refocusing her attention, Shannon listens to her immediate surroundings to determine if Crow is still in the area.  She doesn’t hear anything, but this is meaningless in-and-of itself.  Her immediate thought is that Crow has moved on, but this could be misleading.  He could have just stopped, being distracted by the sirens outside.  Either way, Shannon decides that now would be a good time for her to make her escape.  However, she runs the risk of being spotted by Crow, which would mean that she wouldn’t have a choice but to run in that situation. Shannon ventures a peak from her hiding place.  From what she can tell, the coast is clear.  At this, she decides to make a break for it, leaving the gun behind in the process.  However, once Shannon reaches the stairs, Crow spots her and quickly gives chase.

As Shannon descends the stairs, Crow does what he can to catch up with her.  This includes taking two steps at a time as he descends the stairs to help close the distance.  Once Shannon is within his psionic range, Crow uses bio-manipulation: stun on her.  Though not as exact or direct as bio-manipulation: paralysis, bio-manipulation: stun is still an effective tool, particularly in the given situation.  This is because Crow doesn’t have to think about a particular attack.  This is due to the nature of bio-manipulation: stun.  It’s a broad neurological strike meant to jar the target more than anything else.  And at the moment, that’s all he needs to do; stop Shannon from making any further progress.  If bio-manipulation: stun causes her to collapse and fall down the stairs, that’ll be fine as well because even though she’ll still continue to descend the stairs, it won’t be because of free will, but simple gravity.  Fortunately for Shannon, despite feeling the effects of Crow’s attack, she’s able to keep enough of herself to continue down the stairs on her own and head out the front door.  Caught up in the moment, Crow follows Shannon outside, right into the waiting arms of law enforcement.

Once outside, Crow stops in his tracks, with Shannon just outside of his reach.  Though there is a chance that he could escape if he turns heel and ran back through the building, the chances of him succeeding are very slim.  He knows that the police aren’t allowed to shoot at him unless he is armed and presents an immediate threat to the safety of the officers or to bystanders, but the situation is still lost.  And there are too many of them present for him to be able to fend them off.  So he decides that the best course of action is to surrender.  How he sees it, any other action would be futile as well as cowardly.  It’s important to know when one has been defeated.  He is surrounded by police as they shepherd Shannon away to safety.  So he surrenders to police without incident.  Sometimes, it’s best to surrender than to continue fighting and going out in a blaze of glory, despite what the cultural standards might say.  You can do more good living for a cause than dying for it.  And taking this path can take greater courage to fulfill than one might think and only fools and the weak minded will think otherwise.  With that, the police move in and arrest the leader of the New World Power.


(c) 2011 Bradley P. Thomas

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Posted by on January 23, 2012 in An Enemy Within


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