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Paris, France

March 17th

1650 Local Time

            Natalie arrived in Paris very swiftly in order to pick up the pace. She was down to her final Elite. She tuned into the police radio frequency and translator in her aircraft. The entire cockpit went silent as Nat listened for a sign. Listening for something to happen, or some sort of paranormal activity. She had no idea who she was supposed to be looking for. After an hour of waiting, she finally got a sign. The Police Radio came to life with a report of a robbery not too far away. The computer chimed in and said “The Paris Police Department reports three men attacking a local bank roughly three kilometers west of your current location. Police are in pursuit of a small 1973 Renault with a damaged bumper fleeing the scene, and one person going on a motorbike.” Amber tuned into the helicopter cameras and saw one person running on foot away from the scene. As the cameras turned away from the biker, Amber caught a bright flash out of the corner of the picture. That’s gotta be him. She thought. She sprang back into action and lifted the jet out of its spot in the park. The jet raced towards the bank where the flash went off and saw a person in a white and red cloak following behind the person who fled. In the other direction, Amber saw a car making an escape. She quickly pushed a button on the console and opened a hatch and jumped down into it. Amber landed inside a metal cage and slid her feet into two large gaps until she felt a stand. She slid her arms into the front end of the cage and grabbed a pair of handles directly in front of her. There was a loud whirring noise as the bottom of the cage dropped out, sending this smaller aircraft plummeting to the ground. The bottom thrusters then kicked in, as Amber hovered in pursuit of the biker. The jet swiftly turned in the opposite direction and followed the car.

            Amber’s glider sped after the biker, but she kept a safe distance above after spotting a rifle on the crook’s back. She looked to the right and saw the cloaked figure leaping from building to building. He jumped between the buildings and slid down the gutter until he reached a balcony. The cloaked figure showed agility, unlike anything Amber had ever seen. He soared through the air as if he carried no weight. While he wore a hood, the rest of his face was concealed with a face mask. His eyes were steel grey, but his right eye had a blood-red glow to it. The hooded silhouette shot a grappling hook across the narrow street onto the ledge of an unfinished building. When Amber looked back, she saw the parkour artist swoop down, and knock the biker off his moped and onto the sidewalk. The crook picked himself up and sprinted for an empty construction site. 

            Amber landed her hovercraft in front of the building as the cloaked figure landed swung down next to her. Noticing the emblem on Amber’s shoulder, he said in English “This one’s mine Madame.” His voice was not very deep and cracked a bit as he spoke, but his accent was not super thick. In the blink of an eye, the new Elite had vanished. Amber wanted to get in on some of the action too, so she walked into the building alone. Three floors above her, the crook had his gun ready. He could hear the floor creak below him and footsteps. The entire building went silent, and all the thief could hear were footsteps getting closer and closer. The sound grew louder and louder until it was right underneath him. He took his gun and shot at the floor beneath him. The rapid bullets pierced right through the floor and down to the ground. Suddenly, a massive rock tore through the floor, sending the thief down to the floor below, where Amber lunged at him. She threw the thief to the ground, but he retaliated with a hard kick to the stomach. Just before he could pick up his gun and shoot the girl, the cloaked Elite reappeared behind the crook and grabbed his gun. He put his left hand over the thief’s eyes. The Elite’s hand then flashed a bright light into his eyes. The thief screamed in agony as his eyes were scorched in an instant. Blinded, the thief was thrown into a wall by Amber and knocked unconscious. The cloaked figure then removed his mask and hood. “I was wondering when one of you would be coming back. It took long enough.” The Elite said. His hair was dark brown the last time the Elites were in Paris, but now it was blood red to match his eye as well. Amber noticed this sudden and smirked. “New hair dye hmm? It looks cute on you.” The Elite looked sternly at Amber and asked: “How have you been Natalie?” Nat replied, “I’m good Jacque.” Jacque then turned away, replying “Last I checked you weren’t doing so hot. Five months ago your sister came by and told me that you left the team. So is this your way of coming back?” Natalie removed her mask and said “Hell no. I’m just back to finish what I started. Once Endgame is destroyed, I’m retiring for good. In the two years, I’ve been an Elite, life has been nothing more than a living hell. I’ve seen my friends suffer from crippling injuries! I died, Jacque. DIED! I’m literally a reanimated Elite with powers that I didn’t even ask for! And for months after I gained these abilities, everybody expects me to be some kickass warrior goddess that’s gonna do what’s right.” Jacque interrupted “Why have you come back, Nat? You’re trying to dance around this. It’s not gonna work. You turned your back on everybody that cared for you. And instead of facing the problem that YOU created, you pick up and leave. So I’m gonna ask again: Why come back now?”

            Natalie paused, and let out a long sigh. “Guardian has been taken by Endgame. I’m helping Sam to find him so we can get this over with. This may be my last chance to get back at Endgame after everything they’ve done to me. Maybe after I destroy them, I can finally be at peace with what I’ve become. I can be at peace with what they made me.” Jacque said “You think Endgame wanted to make you one of the most powerful Elites on the planet? That bullet from Onyx should have killed you, but you fought it off. That bullet didn’t give you powers, it was all you. The bullet just gave you a reason to finally use them.” Nat replied, “So you’re saying I’ve had these powers this entire time and didn’t know it?” Jacque said “Where do you think our powers come from? Nicole got hers from her biological mother, Robert got his from both his parents, Jayson got his from his grandfather. I got mine from my father. You’ll have to search for your ancestry. By knowing your history, maybe you can find out who you really are.” Natalie put her mask back on and handed Jacque the communicator. “Thank’s for listening bro. You haven’t changed a bit. Stay safe, and use this communicator if you get in any trouble! One of us will come back for you if Endgame comes after you.” Amber then boarded her hovercraft and headed back to her landing zone. The jet had already returned and was waiting for its pilot.

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Jeremy Gay
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