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Interlude Twentyseven point Two, PsycFlex Reading

Jim was busy disposing of the daily garbage at the Wander-No-More House when his communicator vibrated. He set down the bag he was about to toss into the compactor and answered the call after checking to make sure he was alone.

Jim moved over to a quieter part of the alley way, wouldn't do to have someone find him in Hero mode. Getting comfortable, Jim wondered what this could be about. Since the episode with Saruva it still nagged him, that he had neither stopped the Doctor or rescued the girl. A deeper sense of shame pushed its way up for a moment, using this momentary lapse in concentration to make itself felt. He thought of his mother. "Great all I need more guilt." Jim thought. "Can't think about that now, I've got to take this call...But I should see her again sometime." A reluctant thought added.

Changing his voice to match that of his alter ego, he flipped the switch and answered the call, "Flex here..." Then added with in a self mocking tone, "and ready to help."

The now familiar voice of the Wanderer spoke, "I need to see you."

"Huh!" Was about the best a stunned Jim could get out before pulling himself together and adding. "Uh sure, um where and what about?"

"Do you know where the Wander-No-More House is? I'm here checking up on some things that I saw in a report Sting and Ka-sador submitted and your name came up. Can you be here in thirty-minutes?"

Jim thought quickly, he could meet the Wanderer but he would be taking a chance. A sudden thought occurred to him and he replied a little more confidently,"Er yup, I can't see that being a problem I be waiting on the roof. Flex out."

Moving back inside after stowing the last of the rubbish, Jim moved to see the Sarge. The Sarge was checking in some new people, going over their things and allocating them rooms. Jim indicated to him that he needed a word. And Sarge indicated to wait a minute.

Once he had finished Sarge came over and nodded to Jim, "What's up?"

"Nothing much, I've done the rubbish like you asked. But I need to run an I'll be gone for a little while. I wanted to let someone know. You know, with all the weird stuff that's been happening, I didn't want anyone worrying." Jim replied, trying to sound casual.

"Ho kay, but I still need help later with that fence so don't be gone too long now will yah?"

"No sir I'll be a little while that is all."

With that Jim walked out and around the back of the building. Making sure no one was about he changed his features and jumped up the side of the building, to the fire escape and then onto the roof. Getting comfortable he tried to remain calm about seeing the Wanderer.

Soon after Flex arrived the sound of displaced air popped and the Wanderer was with him. "Ah, you're early. Good. I just wanted to thank you for what you did in shutting down that little operation down below." The Wanderer tapped his foot on the roof over which they stood.

"I assume this had something to do with the 'underground' matter you phoned me about, so tell me, how did you find out about Dr. Carlson and Dave?"

Flex was ready for this. He knew difficult questions may be asked and thought that though it pained him to lie, it would pain him further to reveal to much about himself. Especially before he felt he trust the Wanderer with his identity.

"I have some contacts - from a past best left. I hooked into something that was going on through them. It was a simple matter of observing this place to ascertain the regular time of delivery that were being made. Then followed the courier Dave to the station. when I lost him the first time I realised they must be using some disused part of the Subway but I could not follow. Which is why, yes I contacted you about the tracking device.

Well without that I decided to take a more up-front approach. I changed into the Doctor, who was helping Saruva, the one who you had here. Then I bluffed the rest of the way. It was in that confrontation, that I found out Saruva was behind this. And, lets say, like Sting I also have a personal interest in the Doctor.

Anyway I got ahead of the courier, changed to Saruva and met him at the tunnel. And again bluffed my way in. Once I got there, I could not turn back. They would have known their cover was blown and so I had to try and do something while I was there. Only, I was not prepared for the opposition and had to fall back anyway. I tried to contact you, but the Com unit was jammed or maybe we were too deep. But that was about it - I guess you know the rest.

The Wanderer payed attention intensely at the story and even at one point pulled out a bag of peanuts from his coat to snack on. "Well, it sounds like you had quite an adventure. But do be careful in the future, you could have gotten seriously hurt." Slowly he walked over to the edge of the building and stared off deep into the city, "It hurts me that there are women out there being preyed upon."

"Tell me, what happened to the women that were there?"

Flex looked distant for a moment, the thought of that women trapped in that liquid carrying who knows what for Saruva's purpose made him shiver. "Wanderer I know what you mean." Flex sighed. "It's not easy for me to say this, but I felt so helpless. There i am powers and all and this poor women, already the plaything of men trapped by Saruva's perverted plan." Flex paused for a moment least the guilt he still felt made him start to cry. He had to be tough there was too much baggage he was carrying and now was not the time to off load it.

"I now this much, when I broke the glass container that the women was in. I Tried to free her, an alarm went off. Saruva was locked out of the lab but when he heard that alarm he did sound concerned. Concerned not because of the women but becuase of what she carried. Maybe that bought her time, she was valuble while she was still alive. I know this much I hated Saruva before now I have even more reason to get that creep." Flex stopped, it would do not good to reherse the past. Nor how he had crossed paths with Saruva before.

So what now, Carlson is behind bars or did those IPAC guys spirit him away to some secret lab?

"I assume he will be taken care of by the authorities." The Wanderer shook his head in disgust. "To think that that entire operation was going on here, I really should blame myself for not taking a more active role. I trust Granny and Sarge, but I can see that more needs to be done."

The Wanderer turned to Flex and extended his hand. "I want you to know that I have instructed Granny and Sarge to use whatever means necessary, both formal and informal, to investigate every man and woman employed in the Wander-No-More House. This cannot happen again, and by the end of the month, I intend to know everything about anyone collecting a paycheck from my foundation."

"You have nothing to worry about, this will not happen again."

"Whah! Oh yes, that sounds like a sensible idea!" Flex said, suddenly aghast at the thought. It was not so much his criminal background that he worried about, although that was cause for concern. It was more that they should find out' that they had a wanna be super hero staying with them. "Oh boy, what am I going to do?" Flex thought. "We'll have to cross that bridge when I come to it, I have weather such storms before. Besides I don't think the police have a record on me...I never got caught. Still, Sarge may still hear about 'Sly' Jim Reed and put two and two together."

Conscious of the Wanderer hand still outstretched, Flex quickly grabbed it, as he mumbled an apology for being distracted. Quickly taking charge of his thoughts, Flex forced himself to face Wanderer and ask him, "Err listen, one of the things I have thought about a lot is..well this isn't easy." Flex clearly looked flustered as he tried to act more determined. "When I was in Saruva's base...Well, as you said early, I realise how stupid I was going on my own. But, well do you know anyone who needs a partner?" Flex said in a nervous rush.

"That was dumb. What am I doing. Ever since Dad died and Mom got taken away, I have only trusted no one but me? I must be nuts!" Flex thought as he realised how impetuous he had been asking the Wanderer - of all people such a question.

The Wanderer chuckled slightly, "Well, I haven't seen any advertisements in the Port Alexander Times. My recommendation would be to keep your eyes open, you never know who you may see....or who may be watching you!" With that, the Wanderer waved goodbye and was gone in the blink of an eye leaving Flex alone on top of the roof with the midday traffic the only sound.

Last Updated 15 October 2002