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Part Three: Beginning

Emily boarded the ship and it soon left the docks.  Emily felt like stone as the turned back toward the dock.  Far off in the distance she could see him, Hobb, laying on the deck.  She watched him disappear into the dark of night.  The crew just left her alone save for smattering talk behind her back.  

She saw one old man who looked out of place.  Wearing a grey suit and smoking a cigarette over the side of the ship.  He gave her a long good look before shaking his head and tossing his cigarette over the side.

The blood was drying on her as she walked up to him.  “Hobb won’t make it,” she said in a hoarse whisper.  She could barely bring herself to say it.  Her eyes began to water.

The old guy smiled softly. “I think you’re underestimating the guy.  I’ve known him for a while and the old dog is tougher then he looks.”  He didn’t have an accent, which Emily could tell.  He didn’t sound like her to say the very least.

She shivered in the cold.  “Not this time.”  Her face skewed, trying to hold back her emotions but a flood of tears came out.

He pulled off his jacket and draped it around her shoulders.  “Well if that's the case he died doing what he thought was right.  As far as I can figure that's all that mattered to him."  He put his arm around her and leads her across the deck and into a passenger cabin.  It cabin itself was simple, with faux wooden walls, windows on either side to look out onto the ocean, a comfortable looking bed, a footlocker, and a smaller door leading presumably to the bathroom.

She sat on the bed wiping away her tears with her bloody hands.  “Yer McCoy?”

The man stands there with his hands in his pockets until she's done crying and nods.  "Yep, Owen McCoy at your service."

She looked so small on the bed in his coat.  “So, what do ye do?”

"A bit of this, a bit of that,” he began.  “Your friend Hobb caught me grifting a few months back in Birmingham.  He had me cuffed, and all hell broke loose.  We helped one another get out of the mess.”  He shrugged.  “After that I've owed the guy."

He seemed trustworthy, but she was too tired to care.  She sighed heavily.  "So, where be this Bal--ti--more that this ship be going."

He chuckled.  "The United States. It'll be a few days by ship getting there though. From there I got you a train ticket  to take you to New York. I've got some friends there, they should be able to keep you out of harms way for a while."

She scratched her head.  “Ta keep me outta harms way.  Sounds like a lot of trouble ta me.”

“You’re special,” he smiled.  “Can't let anything happen to you until you can take care of yourself."

"Ta take care of meself... I don’t remember much of anything."

"I can't tell you much, but I can tell you for certain that if you play your cards right you'll find what you're looking for."

“What make me so special,” she asks nobody in particular.  She fell over to lay on her side.  She gripped her wound on her side and it was stanched with Hobbs jacket.  She sighed again.  “Since Hobb trusted ye, so do I.”

He looked down at her.  "You got a friend in a high place. She gave you a gift, I figure she saw something in you she liked. She can be rough with you though, you gotta learn to use her gift without letting it use you."  He patted her shoulder and stood up.  “I got some girl’s clothes in the footlocker for you.”

“I just wanta sleep,” she said wearily.  “Kin I gotta sleep now?”  She looked up at him, and a pleading question was written on her face.

“Yeah, you do that.”  He smiled and looked down at her one more time before turning to leave the room, closing the door behind him.

Emily lay their for a moment before she pulled out the wallet from Hobb’s jacket.  It was old and battered as if it seen one too many days.  She opened it and that it held a badge and ID.  Hobb’s badge and ID.  She curled up around the wallet and fell asleep.

* * *

Days went by aboard the ship.  The crew left her alone as she walked the deck, the dress she wore fluttering in the sea air.  Her wounds slowly healed, after McCoy got the ship’s physician to look after it.  McCoy himself seemed to always be there when she was feeling lonely.  The old man always had a glimmer in his eye and seemed to know more than Emily did, about most things really.  Now he was sitting up by the bow smoking another cigarette looking out on the sea as if deep in thought.

“I was thinkin’,” she said leaning up against the rail.  “Who is she?  My friend in a high place?  Ye seem to know.”

"See that's tricky. I can tell you, but I don't know if it'll make your problem better or worse. I want to make matters better. I'm thinking that it's something you might want to learn on your own."

She frowned.  “So ye don’t wanna tell me.”  She sighed and looked out over the ocean again.  Far off in the distance she could see the far shore.  “Then tell me about Hobb.”

He smiled.  "He was the type of guy who was born to be a cop. Helping people came naturally to him. Once the Black Out happened though he started to notice a whole different bunch of people needed his help."

She sighed.  “Black Out.  What kin ye tell me of that?”

"Six months ago everything electronic in the world went out for 30 seconds. People on life support died, some planes fell from the sky. People were freaked out something awful.”  He lit another cigarette.  “But then the next day someone showed up able to shrug off being hit by a bus. Everything changed from there. People with powers like yours cropped up all over the world."

“So I am not the only one.”

“Nope.  Hell that guy who was after you was one.”

She shivered.  “Yeah, him.”

"You're lucky you killed him. The prick would have come back for revenge."

“So, why don’t I want her take over?”

“That's how you lost your memory.”  He took another drag of his cigarette.  “For however long your personality ceased to exist and her's took over your body. Whether she let you have your body back, or you took it back, you lost most of your memories in the chaos. If that happens again you risk never getting your body back, and you cease to exist forever.”

“And this be a bad thing?”  She wiped her eyes.  “When she took over... when Hobb died, she felt... sorry.”

He sighed.  "She's complicated. She's caring, she's protective, she's also prideful, arrogant, and merciless when she's pissed off. And if she takes over your body and doesn't give it back we run the risk of losing Emily forever.”  He reached out and patted her shoulder.  “That would be a damn shame if you ask me.”

She looked at him.  “Thank ye, but all I have left be this name.”

"You're more than your memories Emily. That pain you feel at losing Hobb, the courage you showed in facing down that killer. That was you, that's not her. That promise you made Hobb, that's all you too."

She felt her skin crawl and took a step back.  “How do ye know of that promise I made!”

"Didn't I tell you Emily, you're not the only special person out there."

She continued to eye him closely.  “Makes sense I guess.”

He flung his cigarette out over the side.  "We're going to be in Baltimore in a couple of hours. I left a bag in your cabin. Take any clothes you want. I put your train ticket in the front pocket.  You'll be meeting my friend Alexander in Penn Station. He'll take care of ya."

“Okie.  Alexander in Penn Station.  I just got a question.”


“Wot be a Penn Station?”

He laughed out loud.  “It’s a train station in New York City Emily.  If you need anything I put some money in that bag too.  You better get your stuff together.  Don’t want to miss your train.”

In the cabin, she was packing.  It wasn’t much but one thing she remembered, the only thing she couldn't live without: Hobb’s ID.

* * *

Meanwhile back in the cornor's office of Byron in England William Hobb's body sits on a slab nude and very dead. Then suddenly he takes a deep breath and bolts upright putting his hand on his chest.  His eyes go wide.  “Holy shit!”

End Part Three: Beginning
Part Three of Emily's story. This ends her preview.

Another post-stroke story.
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October 5, 2007
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