Monday, 31 December 1990

Anglo-Force: The Return of Gary Seven Chapter 2

Arthur Pendragon stormed into Anglo-Force’s headquarters. He was not a happy man. He marched into the living quarters and he soon found the person he was looking for, Lewis Anderson, the Chameleon.
    “Do you know who I just spent the afternoon with?” Pendragon asked.
    “You tell me!” said Anderson.
    “With a man from MI5. It seems that we could be in a lot of trouble if the government lose the election.”
    “What are you running on about?”
    “MI5 are worried about our current situation. They are worried about our lack of effort in finding replacement members. They are worried about your tenure as leader.”
    Anderson went to leave the room.
    “It’s nothing to worry about. We’ve been through worse before. It can’t be worse than the Black Squadron, or Moriarty!”
    “The Black Squadron didn’t threaten to cut off our funding!”

    Gary Seven sat at his desk. His cat, Isis, sat in front of him.
    “Computer, have you located James Watt and Phineas Magus?”
    “To locate the subjects I will need twice as much power.”
    “Then take the power.”
    “To do so would black out half of London.”
    “Then try to find the power from somewhere else.”
    Then, the computer sprang to life.
    “Location of James Watt established. Subject currently located on Muir Island.”

    For the past few years Muir Island had been the European base of operations for Professor Charles Xavier, the leading authority in the world on homo-superior, or mutants. The facility was funded by Warren Worthington, himself a mutant. To the outside world this building was known as “The School for the Gifted”. It was, in fact, the place where Xavier trained mutants. It was this place that James Watt had travelled to. During his battle with Woodwose he had discovered new-found powers, and in the absence of Magus he sought counsel with Xavier.
    Watt stood in a room with metal walls. Xavier overlooked the proceedings from the observation booth. Xavier activated the computer.
    “I will start off at phase one of the test.” said Xavier.
    Xavier threw a switch. A hatchway opened in the ceiling. A huge weight fell from the ceiling. Watt caught it with one hand and lowered it to the ground.
    “How heavy was that one?” Watt asked.
    “Three thousand pounds.”
    “It felt as light as a feather.”
    Xavier threw another switch. Another weight came from above. Again, Watt held it with one hand.
    “Remarkable.” said Xavier. “That weight was ten thousand pounds.”
    “Magus estimated that I could lift in excess of three hundred tonnes.”
    The two moved outside. Xavier sat in his wheelchair two hundred metres from Watt. Xavier signalled to him. He held a stopwatch in front of him, but before he could start it Watt stood in front of him.
    “Incredible, less than a second. What speed did Magus estimate?”
    “At last count mach three.”
    “I have a feeling that you are just about to find out about the true extent of your powers.”
    “But why, Professor? Why are they just about beginning to surface?”
    “You are a neo-mutant, James. “Ordinary” mutants have many years to get accustomed to their powers. You have had less than a year. Your “new” powers are beginning to appear faster than you can handle them. Without the proper guidance and training you could be in great danger.”

    Two days later the opposition party announced their candidates for the forthcoming General Election. The most interesting, from Anglo-Force’s point of view, was their candidate for the London South-West constituency, one Simon Kennedy. The party’s leader, Neil Smith, was adamant that Kennedy could defeat the sitting M.P., the Home Secretary, Sir Angus Campbell-Bannerman, despite his large majority.

    The Supreme Court building in Moscow was once again a hive of activity. The reporters had gathered outside, awaiting the departure of Katrina Velichev and her defence counsel, Phineas Magus. The charges against Velichev had been dropped, due to lack of evidence. All of the evidence pointed to the members of the Russian Nightmares, who were still at large, and not to Red Sun. Soon the two of them appeared in the open. The reporters swarmed around them, asking they various questions. Magus soon ushered Velichev into a waiting car, and they were soon on their way.
    “So what happens next?” asked Magus.
    “I would like to return to Britain.” said Katrina. “To be with James.”
    “That could pose a problem.” said Magus. “James is under some pressure at the moment. He must not be distracted in any way. If he is it could cost him dearly.”

    Gary Seven watched the television report from Moscow. It seemed that a chance presented itself to him.
    “Perhaps it is time to make my presence known to Dr. Magus.”
    Seven once again entered his transporter with his cat, Isis. He soon stood in the streets of Moscow. Isis jumped to the ground as Seven took out a small tracking instrument from his pocket. He held it in the air. After a minute or so he adjusted the setting.
    “Damn! I can find no trace of Magus whatsoever.”
    Seven returned to London. His computer could also find no trace of the elusive wizard.
    A few hours passed until Seven journey to Muir Island via his transporter. He materialized only a few metres away from the building. He walked around to the front entrance. As usual Isis was with him. As he was about to knock on the door it opened. He was greeted by a burly looking gentleman.
    “Who are you?” he asked in a thick Russian accent. “What are you doing here?”
    “I understand Captain James Watt is currently staying here. I must speak with him.”
    “That is impossible. He is indisposed. He is under the care of Professor Xavier.”
    “Then may I speak with him then? It is very important.”
    “That is also impossible.”
    “I cannot be detained much longer.”
    Seven pushed his way past the huge Russian and matched into the building. At that moment a glow appeared around the huge man, and within a second his flesh had been replaced by steel, his strength had increased a hundred-fold. The Russian, in fact, was the mighty Colossus. He walked after Seven and grabbed him by the shoulder.
    “I told you they are both unavailable.”
    Seven took another instrument from out of his pocket and held it in front of Colossus’ head. There was a slight hum, then the mighty Russian froze in his tracks. Seven continued on his way down the corridor, in search of James Watt. Then, suddenly, he heard a huge scream. It came from the end of the corridor. He opened the door at the end of the passage and he was surprised by the sight that greeted him. He was now in what appeared to be the infirmary, but there was only one bed in this room. On that bed lay James Watt. But what was strange about him was the eerie glow that surrounded him. There was also a look of complete and utter terror in his eyes. Watt let out another huge cry of pain. Xavier sat in his wheelchair next to the bed. His eyes were closed, and his right hand was on his temple. He was trying to sooth Watt’s pain.
    “Be calm, James. The pain will pass.”
    “What’s going on here?” boomed Seven.
    Xavier opened his eyes.
    “Who are you? How did you get in here?”
    “My name is not important. I must speak with Captain Watt.”
    “Captain Watt is in no state to speak with anyone. Now please leave this room before I have you escorted out.”
    “I’m not leaving until I get some answers.”
    Xavier closed his eyes. After a few seconds he opened them again.
    “It can’t be. I’ve heard of your kind and your race. But I never thought I would meet one of your kind. My apologies, Mr. Seven.”
    “You know where I’m from?”
    “I have heard of your kind. I have heard that you try to set things right with the world, and I know why you want to speak with Captain Watt. But I’m afraid he is in no state to speak with anyone.”
    “Why? What’s happening to him?”
    “Captain Watt is undergoing a physical change. His body is finally beginning to cope with the cavourite contamination he was exposed to in his accident nearly a year ago. His entire cell structure is changing to fit his new-found powers. They are altering so they can cope with his immortality!”
    “How long will this change take?”
    “I don’t know. It could be a matter of hours before the change is complete. But even after that he will still be too weak to speak to you. I only wish that Dr. Magus was here. He is more of an expert on Captain Watt’s condition. I have never encountered a case like this before.”
   
    The election campaign had begun in earnest. The opinion polls had the government only two percentage points ahead of the opposition. The polls also gave Simon Kennedy no chance against Sir Angus Campbell-Bannerman.

    Gary Seven had returned to his office several hours later. It was now the early hours of the morning, and he paced up and down the room. He tried to plan his next move. What could he do next? He had spoken to Arthur Pendragon, but perhaps turning Chameleon’s friends against him was the wrong tactic. He had wanted to speak to James Watt, but Watt was in no condition to speak to anyone. He had almost found Dr. Magus, but Magus had vanished again, before Seven could speak to him. What other tactic could he now use? Then, it hit him.
    “That’s it!” he cried. “I’ve been going about this the wrong way. Maybe there is something in his past!”
    Seven walked over to his computer and activated it.
    “Computer, give me full personal history on Lewis Anderson, also known as Chameleon.”
    A few seconds later the computer screen came to life.
    “Lewis Charles Anderson, born 17th July, 1976. Current age twenty-six. Father Henry Arthur Anderson, civil engineer. Mother Carol Samantha Anderson, home-maker. Henry Anderson arrested six times for taking part in demonstrations organised by the British Nationalist Party. Has served a total of three years in prison.”
    “I can’t hold him responsible for the actions of his father, even if he is a racist.”
    “Attended Manchester University on an engineering scholarship. Was known to be involved in the University Front, a group that opposed the registration of students from ethnic minorities.”
    “Interesting. Perhaps he is like his father. I wonder why Anglo-Force did not know about this this?”
    “Was suspended from university after taking part in a racial demonstration. Was saved by expulsion by his grandfather.”
    “Ah, the millionaire. It seems that power still corrupts, even in the 21st century.”
    “On leaving university joined his father’s civil engineering form.”
    “This is all pretty tame. He has shown some racial tendencies as a teenager, but that’s probably because of the influence of his father.”
    Then the computer paused as it linked to the computers of the national press.
    “What is the delay?”
    “Am conducting search of said subject in the national media.”
    A few more seconds passed. Then an image appeared on the screen.
    “What is this?”
    “A newspaper photograph of the London Race Riots, 4th March, 1997.”
    The computer began to highlight faces on the photograph. It circled the first face.
    “Subject identified as Henry Anderson.”
    It then began the search again. It circled another face. A slight smile appeared on Seven’s face.
    “Subject identified as…”
    “Lewis Anderson. I remember reading about those riots. Fourteen black youths died as a result of that riot. I wonder how the government would feel knowing that the leader of their foremost crime fighting team was involved in a race riot nearly three years ago?”