Featuring Velocity, Ivy, Flashpoint, Kraken

Guest Starring: Ken Gear, Mary Hanewick

Cameo: Rebecca Weiser

May 26, 2000, 8 am. Cookston Junior High School

April Hanewick stood alone on the lawn of the large brick building, clutching her binder to her chest. The building itself looked old with large stone pillars connecting to a huge slab of grey slat to make an entrance way. Stone steps lead to the double doors. The grounds were littered with bike stands and stone benches on which students lounged and joked. Beside her stood a statue of Captain Cook for which the district was named. In his hands he held two flag poles, one running the Canadian flag.

The other flag was a white Pit Bull on a field of dark blue. Another new school, she thought bitterly. Feeling resigned to the whole thing she trudged up toward the main building, thinking about where she would find a comic shop in this town. In the last two years she had been transferred to 4 different schools with little or no warning, as her mother suddenly decided that moving would be good. At least Mary lives in New London, if mother decides to move again I'm moving in with my sister!

Suddenly something solid hit her from behind and she sprawled to the ground. Only her quick reflexes helped her avoid slamming her face into the ground. Her binder and purse decided that scattering would lessen the impact for them. April looked up. Figures, she thought, almost using a burst of speed to gather her things, she quickly reached up to adjust her dark glasses, before anybody saw the black marbles that her eyes were. I am totally freakazoid, she thought.

The boy that had hit her was just regaining his balance. He was about her age, and only slightly taller. He was wearing jeans and a muscle shirt with the New London Totems logo. His skin was dark and his liquid brown eyes held real worry. He was frowning but April decided that he was more used to smiling even laughing.

"Ah, man. I am really sorry. Are you all right?"

The boy dropped to his knees and looked her over, "'Cause if you're not my mom taught me first aid," he paused and pain quickly flashed through his eyes.

Wow, so soulful and concerned… its fate… we were destined to meet like this, here during this desolate time in my life he comes…just like a book…well more like a TV show… or movie…no in a movie I would have been running from from… Columbia drug lords and he would have driven up in a sports car and machine gunned… God he has the greatest eyes! All this flashed through April's mind in approximately an 8th of second while in response to his question she said something insightful like "Huh?" A delicate pink blush came to her milky cheeks and only deepened when she saw that some of her comics had slipped form the binder in the fall.

Panic flashed through his eyes, "Mary Mother, I've concussioned her! Just lie still, I'll get the nurse."

"Oh, no, I'm ok, fine… really fine, right as rain, "she winced at the corny line, "how are you, I mean you look ok and everything…"

"You must be new here," he smiled in relief, and it was like the sun coming out on a rainy day. He began helping her pickup her things, "I am really sorry but you shouldn't be standing in the concourse."

He picked up one of the comics, "Wow, you read Kingsmen!"

April tensed visibly when picked up the comic, and sighed when at response, "Yeah its like, so cool, I mean the plotlines are little intense… but I love the art…"

"Look I would really like to talk but I got to meet someone. You'll like it here, Mrs. Burtse is a peach and the teachers are all pretty kickin'. Tell you what, you eating in the cafe?"

Without waiting for a response he continued "Okay, I'll meet there and introduce you to some of us," he promised, walking backwards. He got about 30 paces then dashed back.

"My name's Andrew, you?"

"I'm April… April… Hanewick," she replied, her last name was one of the myriad banes of her existence, but she persevered waiting for her knight to giggle.

"Hey, April, cool name. See you at lunch," with that he disappeared around the corner of the school. April finished shoving the last of her stuff in her purse when she saw the wallet.

A totally dreamy guy, looking at her, even talking to her. Wow, on the first day too, if mom tries to leave, I'll just just… I don't know, she sighed, clutching her binder to her chest. Hey, what's that? she stooped down to pick up the wallet, flipping it open to look inside.

Inside were a few pictures. One of his family, mother, father and little sister. The other was of Wayne Gretzky, signed even. A small card with his address, his name Andrew Hamilton, and his phone number. The billfold held 30 dollars. Tucking the wallet, April grinned, this was great… now she had more of an excuse to talk to talk to him so more. "Yess…!" she said then looked around, a little embarrassed.

The morning went by in a daze as April tried to get used to the school. Two teachers pronounced her name wrong. How could anyone mispronounce Hanewick anyway? she thought. She broke her only pencil and flushed her lipstick down the toilet by accident while reading one of her comics. She was definitely looking forward to lunch!

She made her way to the cafeteria, which was not, as she had been told, two doors down from the pool. Geez, real original… 4 schools and everyone tried that gag. As she entered the cafeteria she noticed that all the kids were pressed up against the windows, whispering among themselves. Outside, a police car sat in the driveway. Two constables were talking to several teachers. Making her way to the window, she bobbed and peeked trying to get a view of what was going on outside.

"Hey, watch the elbow, toots."

"What's up?" April asked, trying to keep her limbs more to herself. She always felt a little gawky.

"A drug bust what it look like," the Italian boy snorted. A girl next to him jabbed him in the side.

"Somebody's gone missing." Her eyes widened dramatically. "Maybe even kidnapped right off school property! His dad was here early and now the cops are asking some questions."

"He's just playing hooky," the boy snickered.

"You take that back," another girl joined the fray. "Andy loves school, he's an honor student. Unlike some of us who can hardly spell their name. Not naming any names, of course." She pointed did not look at the boy.

She then turned to April, "Hi I am Eda, I am in your home room."

Missing, she thought, Andy…her Andrew! April nodded to the girl and said in one explosive burst, "HellohowareyoudidyoukmowAndrewwhathappenedtohimisthereanycluewastheregunfiewhatdrugs?" Her powers got harder to control when she was excited. Noting the stunned look on Eda's face, she eh hehed, and repeated, "Hi, I was just wondering… was it Andrew, tall guy, black with really really…um brown eyes?"

She looked worried sick, but also strangely excited. Her knight was in danger. But she was no helpless princess! He'd helped her and now it was her turn. He HAD knocked her down…but that was fate and beside the point!

Eda looked at the other two, "You know Andy?"

The Italian boy shook his head, "Yes it was Andy that disappeared, and there was no drugs and no gun fire, he just disappeared," he grinned at the look the two girls sent him, "Hey my oldest sister talks like that all the time, man. Hey, I'm Carlos, by the way."

Over his head the two girls rolled eyes at each other. April could also see buses pulling up the driveway.

"If no one told you," Eda answered April's unspoken question, "every last Friday of the month we get out at Noon. Most of us are bused, so we wait here. You just got here today, how do you know Andy?"

"I… bumped into him…" April replied, lightly chewing her lower lip. "This going to be tricky…" she looked up, realizing she'd said that aloud. "Umm, I mean, my mom works and she didn't know…about us getting out early." She smiled. Where to start… getting out early was a lucky break but now what?

The three looked at each other.

"You saw him this morning?" the other girl asked.

"No one saw him this morning," Eda said at the same time.

"Maybe you should talk to the fuzz," Carlos drawled.

April's hand touched the wallet in her back pocket. She swallowed "HewsagonebeforethismoringbutIbumpedintohiminfrontofthebuilding."

April blinked. "I have his wallet, he dropped it… maybe Carlos is right…" she said just a bit slower. Sometimes heroines had to turn to the police forces, happened all the time. Glancing around the cafeteria, she looked for the constables she saw earlier. Her stomach grumbled a bit. All this was making her hungry.

She could see one of the constables outside. Excusing herself she made her way outside and approached the officer.

As she waited for him to finish with the teacher, she heard a familiar voice.

"April, what are you doing here?"

She turned to see her sister, Mary in full police officer uniform. In her hands was a note book and pen.

"SIS!" April yelled, leaping into her sister's arms. " How are you, we just moved here and today was the first day of school and there was this guy and now he's gone, but I saw him this morning but no one had seen so I guess I was the last… do you have a gun?"

It took some effort to keep her speech below the triple digit speed range. Her sister, the police officer, this was so cool… together they could do anything. Hastily she pulled out the wallet and showed it to her sister. "It's Andrew's I saw him this morning… doesn't he have dreamy eyes?"

"Ken, we have another picture," Mary spoke to the other officer, "and apparently a witness."

The other officer walked over. He was a bout 6', dirty blonde, with blue-grey eyes and an easy smile. He was evenly tanned and filled the uniform well. "Well, my lady, can you tell us what you saw?" the constable, Ken?, smiled at April.

Looking at the officer, April swallowed hard, gawked some more then swallowed again before speaking, "I…He bumped into me this morning, right outside of the school… just sorta of an accident….he seemed ok and everything and said he was going to meet me for lunch. He was wearing jeans and a New London totems shirt… He did mention he had to meet someone. I can take you to where I saw him if you want…" Wow… what a cool guy, she thought then felt guilty. Andrew was still in danger and she had to work with Ken… oh and her sister to find him.

April lead the two officers to the EVENT and pointed in the direction that Andrew had run off in. The two officers moved slowly over the area. Rounding the corner, April spotted a small clump of bushes. While Ken searched the area, Mary began searching the the bushes. A few seconds later she called out.

"Definitely a 34, better call it in."

April leaned over her sister's shoulder, trying to see if she found anything. "What's a 34?"

April looked into the bushes and saw that a side gate was obscured by the bush.

Mary looked at April and sighed, "Kiddo." She reached out and gave her a hug.

"A 34 is kidnapping. See here," she pointed at the ground, "no, don't touch anything. This is sign of a struggle of some sort. And over here," here she moved some lower branches with a pen. Under the bush, a small black sliver that looked like some sort of dart lay in on the ground.

"Oh, gosh…" April swallowed hard. "But who coulda, I mean he was a real nice guy… man…this sucks…" An angry expression came over the young girl's face, and she folded her arms. "I want to help, what can I do?"

Mary shook her head, "This is the worst type of kidnapping, few clues, no witnesses and no ransom demand. I am not going to lie to you April, most of the time we never find them. The few that we do it is too late. I think the only thing you can do offer up a prayer. That and keep an eye out for anyone suspicious looking in the area. And for God's sake, don't go anywhere alone."

A look of terror passed over April's face as her sister spoke, my god… it couldn't be true, she thought. The slight air of being a game this held was gone. She stood in silence, mulling over her sister's words.

Ken walked in to view, "You are not going to believe this, apparently the sister found a photo wallet in the backyard. Had her brother's photo in it as well as others. We have to head back."

Mary stood frowning. "We can't leave the scene."

"They are sending a guy over, we wait until then," Ken smiled at April and then pulled Mary aside.

April stepped a little closer, trying perhaps to eavesdrop a little.

"We are the only unit assigned to this Mare," Ken whispered.

"I've got a bad feeling about this Ken."

"Yeah," Ken nodded, "like why a 12 year old kid has 30 dollars in his wallet, goes to a secluded spot… Classic case, Mare, lost his mother earlier this year, father works…" Suddenly both cops grow quiet, as they stare at April.

April eye's narrowed behind her dark glasses, "You not trying to say… no… he's not like that… I know he isn't" she said with a certainty only the very young can muster.

Mary sighed, "Honey, you don't even know this kid. You just met him this morning and probably not for very long."

Ken shrugged, "We could be wrong. But we have seen it before and as good cops we have to cover every angle. Besides it gives us another angle to work from."

She shook her head vigorously. "I know he's not like that, nobody that nice, with eyes like that could do that… ". Her stomach rumbled again, much louder. April sighed and blushed. Damn mutant metabolism, she mentally cursed, kept her eating like a horse… well at least she didn't get fat, maybe couldn't get fat. "I know you'll find him Mary… you're the best cop there is". Smiling April hugged her sister again, then headed back toward the school, realizing she was probably just in the way. Back in the cafeteria, she hunted around for Eda and the others giving the food line quite a few longing glances.

Eda and Carlos leaned on the inside of the empty cafeteria door. Eda raised her hand when April came into view.

"Hey, what did the cops say?"

"Umm, nothing really, no clues and anything, "she replied quietly. April slide into seat next to Eda and Carlos, after getting a tray with double servings of everything. "Did either of you guys know Andrew, "she wolfed down a mouthful," I mean what kind of guy was he?"

"Andy was a great guy. Man what an arm," Carlos drawled.

"He IS a really great friend," Eda frowned at Carlos, "I can't believe this is happening. First his mom and now something happens to Andy."

Eda shook her head and glanced out the window as a car horn sounded, "Well there's m ride, you know I live only 3 houses down from Andy. If this could happen to him, God I don't think I am going to sleep tonight."

"Yeah, I know. You live that close to him…" She looked thoughtful. April wolfed down spoonfuls, pausing to wave to Eda and give her phone number. "Call me or something, ok?"

Eda nodded and then stopped, staring out the door. April rose to her feet, bringing her plate with her. Eda was staring at a red headed girl, getting into a Benz.

"Whoz that," April asked around a mouthful of food.

"Her name is Rebecca," Eda shivered, "she's kinda strange. Her folks come from old money but there wasn't much to go around so they live here. I mean all she does is read and sit by herself, hardly ever speaks."

"Some say, " Carlos whispered near April's ear. He grinned when she jumped.

"Some say that she is a witch. And that the old family mansion is haunted."

"Cool, "April murmured, "do you know where she lives?"

April swallowed as the car drove by the trio. Rebbecca seemed to be looking right at them. The car horn went again, impatiently and Eda dashed out to red Honda. In the front seat a young woman adjusted her hair in the mirror.

Finishing her meal in record time, she hopped up from the chair. "Hey, Carlos, see you around ok…be careful, I gotta motor!" The rush she always felt after eating was kicking in, built up along with all this nervous energy. Heading out of the cafeteria she started to pick up speed, going at a brisk walk ( a jog to must people) off school grounds. Her mother wouldn't be off work for another few hours… where to… what to do… She looked around for a phone booth or something.

Down the street, was a phone booth. She quickly opened the book to the yellow pages and hunted up Comic Stores. There were two in the district of Cookston - Stargate and 'Verse.

"What's ya looking for?" a male voice asked at her elbow.

Whirling, she shrieked looking at up ,down, back and fourth at all about the same time. "whowhatwhenwherehowwhy!?"

"Whoa," Carlos exclaimed raising his hands and backing up, "chill. I just wanted to see if I could help."

"Oh, sorry its just with all the stuff going on, ya know?" she smiled. " I was looking for a a… well… for a comic store… " Here it comes, she thought.

"Well, Stargate is the closest. And they carry a big backstock. I could show you the way."

A half hour later the store came into view. April stopped and stared.

The door to the StarGate Comic and Game Shoppe was a large swivel doorway. Other then that the building had no windows. As the two entered, another boy shoved past them, mumbling an apology. The store itself was wall to wall comics with a small section on games. There seemed to be noone at the counter.

April looked around, a smile slowly spreading over her face. "Yep! this is the place!" She started browsing the shelves, looking for her favorite titles. "Who runs this place anyway?", she asked Carlos, "its great." She moved over to the role-playing section, looking over the games there. "Could use some more RPGs though." She whirled on Carlos, "anybody around here role-play?"

"Umm. I do," Carlos grinned, "and as for the shop. It opened up last year. They don't carry a whole lot of rpgs but… Hey what's that smell?"

April looked around. A roll-a-way shutter had fallen over the entrance and a slight hiss filled the room. The other boy, glanced over at Carlos and April with big eyes. He then crumbled to the floor.

April began coughing as the gas invaded her eyes and lungs. The last thing she saw was Carlos knocking over the rpg stand as he tumbled to the floor.