Family Business (Excerpt)

October 25, 2004

Excerpt from Family Business, Part One (Originally a script, fleshed out into prose)

The only light in Jack’s bedroom is the pale glow coming through the window from the full moon outside. He glances at the clock on his nightstand. Ten forty nine. A little early, he thinks, but he could alway use the exercise patrol allows him. Standing, he walks to his closet and pulls out a dark blue and grey costume. There’s a knock on the door as he pulls his shirt off. Without waiting for an answer, Jack’s uncle, Edward, enters holding a bundle of red and blue. He almost looks tired, Jack thinks. His tie is loose and his sleeves are open and rolled up his forearms.

“Going on patrol?”

“Yeah. It’s early, I know, but I need the air.”

Edward stands there silently. Jack reaches for his uniform.

“Been sorta quiet lately, you notice that?”

“I noticed.”

“So, What’s up?”

“You’re going alone.” It’s not quite an order, but no one could call it a question.

“No, Aleister’s meeting me.”

“No.”

The bundle crosses the distance between them.

“Put that on.”

Without a sound, Jack unties the knots and unfolds the clothing. The brightly colored uniform of Pinnacle, complete with mask and cape.

“You’re kidding.”

“You’re ready. It’s your turn.”

“I– Jesus. I– You’re serious.”

Edward just stares at his nephew as Jack studies the costume.

“Strength enhancers, flight capabilities… oh, nice, a force field generator. Matt finally figured out how to copy your powers, huh?”

“The suit has a thirty six hour charge. Power switch is inside the belt buckle. Force field’s automatic, you’ve practiced with the rest.”

Jack can only nod.

“Get out there.”

Edward turns and leaves Jack alone. He stares at the costume in his hands for a moment, then undresses and pulls it on. Looking in the mirror, he hesitates a moment before pulling the cowl over his face.