Epilogue

For what it was, the warehouse was actually quite well-maintained. One often expected places such as this to be leaky and derelict; however, this particular enclosure was about as homey as it could be with concrete floors and walls. The lack of windows and the single entrance certainly didn’t add to the domestic appeal, though the sprawled out rugs and series of sofas did bring several degrees of comfort to the equation. It only went to show, good or evil, human or Super, at the end of the day, everyone needed a soft place to sit.

Persephone limped through the entrance and approached the center area where the others sat. She’d been in too much of a hurry to look for a healer, only pausing to make a quick call from a payphone so they knew the operation had failed. It had been a hellish several hours getting here, and she’d only made this good of time thanks to a car stolen outside a dusty gas station.

Persephone made it halfway across the room when she felt her body lift from the ground and be pulled to a red chair. She was set down gently in the soft leather surface, facing three of her cohorts.

The oldest was the one who had relocated her, a powerful figure wearing a tattered and patched red coat that hung to his knees. To his right was a pale blonde woman as beautiful as she was silent, which is to say very. On his left was a young boy, barely over the age of ten, who looked at her with a gaze so furtively curious she couldn’t stand to be around him for more than a few minutes at a time.

“So the mission failed, and what’s more, George was taken,” the man said, his voice dark, deep, and calm as a mile below the ocean’s surface.

Persephone nodded. She didn’t need to bother with excuses. He was a seasoned warrior. He understood that sometimes things didn’t go as planned.

“That is unfortunate,” the man said, drawing out the word as if he was considering the appropriateness of its use. “Of all possibilities, it didn’t occur to me that our efforts would result in losing George.”

“Me either,” Persephone admitted.

“Still, you two drew enough attention for our other agent to complete his job, so on the whole we’ll have to consider this as a success,” the man added on. “And I’m glad you were able to make it back to us, Persephone. There is still so much work to do. Even more now that we’ve lost George.”

Persephone glanced at her feet, ashamed she hadn’t been able to help save George. The mission directives were clear, though: if they were compromised, she was to make escape the first priority. George could hide out in his robot form where he had no fear of telepaths. She would only have her discipline to rely on, discipline that could be broken by a professional with enough time. As her eyes stared at her worn and dirty shoes, she noticed something. The wound on her leg had closed, and the aches she’d been carrying since the wreck were no longer present. She turned her eyes upward and was greeted by a comforting smile from the man she’d once so greatly feared.

“You don’t need to worry, Persephone, I’m not mad at you. You did as you were instructed along every step of the way. And yes, while this operation certainly hit a snag, I find myself hard pressed to be too upset about it. After all, if he was able to help take down one as strong as George, then I can only conclude my son has flourished quite well in my absence. I’m a bit too topped off with pride to feel anything negative at the moment. So rest well; you’ve earned it.”

The man reached over and patted her on the knee. “I mean it. Enjoy this down time, because when next we move it will be a long while before we stop again.”

Persephone understood. She had an area that was hers to stay in within the warehouse, but she didn’t want to leave the comfort of his presence. Instead she lay down on the couch she was already sat upon and placed her head against the cushy arm in place of a pillow.

The future held terrible battles and nightmarish tasks, there was no question of that. For today, though, for just this moment, there was time to rest.