MI:13 “Letters From Home”
“Sebastian, are you even listening to me?”
Sebastian Druid looked up from his bare feet, which were nestled into the golden sands of the Hawaiian beach. His girlfriend, Sharon, stood before him, hands on her hips. She had a neat figure and was the best-looking girl he’d ever dated. Neat, short blonde hair sat on her head, while the sides remained shaved.
She was hot and cool, and Sebastian was wholly ambivalent towards her.
“This is so like you! God, will you just fight for once? Just to show you care. This is why we have the same damn argument each time, because you’re so…passive. MAN UP.”
Sebastian nodded slowly, looking from his feet to her eyes. Tears stung the edges of hers. He looked entirely calm, staring from her face to the middle distance.
“See? Get mad! Show me you care, damnit!” Sharon shook her short blonde hair and bare her teeth in anger.
“I’m sick of this, Sebastian,” she said. Sebastian nodded slowly, digging his fingers into the sand.
“Ok. I’m Sorry.”
“Yeah,” she said, shaking her head, “always sorry. You know what? I can do better than this.”
Sebastian nodded, looking out onto the horizon of the sea again.
“Yeah,” he said, “you probably can. I’m sorry.”
Well, Sebastian, I tried to love you, but three months of this. The lack of passion, the lack of…connection? I can’t do this anymore. It’s…it’s exhausting,” she said, a quiet, sad anger coming over her.
“I’ve heard it before,” he said quietly, “There’s something wrong with me.”
Sharon knelt down in the sand and touched his wrist gently.
“There is, Sebastian,” she said, standing up, “I think you’re a psychopath or something. You’re unable to care about anything.”
“Ok,” Sebastian said, nodding. He offered a weak smile as a Pink haired girl hurtled through the sand and threw herself bodily into the water, “Take care, Sharon.”
“Oh, Wow,” Pixie shrieked “BEEEEEAAAAACH!”
The young Welsh mutant had a beach bag thrown over her shoulder. Her T-Shirt was tied in a knot around her stomach, and she steamed through the sand towards the sea. Behind her, in an over sized beach hat and swimming costume, Siryn slouched.
“SAND!” Fazia Hussein quickly followed the pink haired teenager onto the beach. Siryn slouched even lower. Fazia held up the hem of her dress and jumped into the golden, sunbaked sand. She grinned at Siryn.
“The closest I came was when we went to Kent for the Summer Holidays, and I got to go to Botany Bay. It was packed and there were cigarette butts and empty drink cans and stuff there, but…Sand!”
The Irish mutant said nothing, as the pink hair girl threw herself into the ocean. Fazia lifted up the hem of her dress and pushed her pale feet into the sand. She sighed in pleasure and muttered something under her breath in Arabic. Pixie came up for air with a gasp, and looked out for Anarchronism, who was standing close to Rahne, his bare chest already glistening. She pushed out her chest and tried to grab his attention.
“Careful,” Siryn said, “There’’s Killer Whales in there.”
“What?” Pixie said, freezing in place in the water. Her chest shrunk back immediately, wings fluttering in nervous energy.
Siryn turned around to see the small, well-toned body of Amanda Sefton slowly touch down on the beach. Bare feet sizzled the sand around her, her hair seemingly dripping from her shoulders down to the small of her back. Everything about her screamed sex appeal, including her inexplicably thick European accent, a linen dress caught what little breeze there was.
“Hamming it up a bit aren’t you?” Siryn said.
“Theresa, dahling,” Amanda said, “100% of men’s thinking is influenced by their biology, I’m just trying to expedite this process so we can get back to what we’re supposed to be doing.”
Amanda offered a wink to the nearest man, who dropped his ice cream. His girlfriend elbowed him in the chest.
“I think we will win with this combination, don’t you think?”
Theresa bunched her fists together and stomped onto the sand.
“I think that Wisdom stitched us up, and that an away party of a Welsh teenager, a European sex-hound and two Scottish idiots isn’t going to result in us getting a hold of who we want.”
“Y’worry too much, Theresa,” Rahne said, walking past the Irish woman and headed towards Pixie. Anachronism walked behind her.
“She’s not interested, you unambitious nudist!”
Theresa rubbed the bridge of her nose gently and inhaled sharply.
Sebastian Druid, lay on the sun-drenched beach. He was sipping from a bottle of water, a short haired blonde walking away from him, wiping a tear from her eye.
“This is who we’ve come halfway around the bloody world for? I dinnae ken, really I dinnae.”
Rahne shook her head and walked away from Sebastian, who looked over his shoulder.
“Hi,” Siryn said.
Theresa nodded to him and guided Anachronism towards the beach front.
“Right, I’m going to talk to Indiana Jones with a spare tyre, and try and get him to…I don’t know. Come with us? You, stick with Amanda. I don’t want her picking up more Americans, or Hawaiian’s before we’re ready to go home.”
“But…I wanted to stick with…”
“Look, kid,” Siryn said, “I appreciate that it’s all very nice to be in a situation with some very attractive female heroes. Rahne’s lovely, but she isn’t your type, is she? Look at her. She’s a good Catholic, and she turns into a wolf. You’re probably better off with Pixie. Look at her.”
Siryn pointed out towards the sea, where Pixie had stripped down to a skimpy outfit, and was splashing in the water. She was looking directly at Anarchronism and trying to be as sexy as a 16-year-old Mutant fairy could be. A wave splashed into her mouth while she posed, nearly knocking her over.
“Teenager. You’re a teen as well. Why don’t you go and…teen together.”
Anachronism stared at Theresa.
“I appreciate the advice,” he said, quietly, “But I’m not interested in the little Welsh Pixie. I’m the physical embodiment of Celtic, Scottish mind, violence. I’m not interested in that Gallic girl. There’s a beautiful Scots Woman right in front of me, and I intend to get her interested in me. I’m also, like, nearly an adult, so I don’t need someone who’s nearly middle aged telling me what to do.”
Theresa cocked her head to one side.
“Go to Pixie, Go to Rahne. Go to Amanda. Just go to one of them before I crush your face with my HANDS.”
Anarchronism coughed a little, puffed out his chest, and then sagged immediately, walking towards Amanda and Pixie.
The narrow streets of Edinburgh were now home to some burning buildings, some dead police, and some increasingly more terrified MI:13 agents who huddled away from the mechanical whirring of the huge units, stomping their way down the street. Four HYDRA agents, dressed in their traditional Green garb, had small octopi clinging to their faces, and necks. Several of the tentacles were rammed down the mouths and throats of the agents, bulging their necks out like goiters.
A small contingent of these mechanical monstrosities held back the combined efforts of England’s superheroic powers, the arm which was little more than an enormous cannon aimed at the heroes before them.
“Where in Godsname is Euro-Force?” Wisdom yelled. The charred skin of his back was showing through his suit. He leaned against the side of a building, watching as a Fury Unit, stomped down the narrow streets, a thick cable dragging a feral looking human being with it.
“I can’t do this again,” Brian said, pulling himself out of some rubble. Wisdom had never seen his friend and long-time wit-rival so scared. His face was that of a little boy, facing down the bullies that always took his lunch money and gave him Chinese burns.
“Brian,” Wisdom said, “Brian!”
Wisdom clicked his fingers a few times and the heart of Britain snapped back to reality.
“Pete,” Brian said. Wisdom nodded.
“Hold up,” Wisdom said. The whinny of a horse sent a look of puzzlement across Brian’s face until he recognised it for what it was. The cavalry.
Dane Whitman, riding atop Strider, his White, winged Horse, swooped into battle. The HYDRA agent within the Fury suit looked up. Dane leapt off, followed by the flying form of Meggan, who hurtled towards the Fury unit. Her body shifting violently between her beautiful blonde form to that of her Warpie form covered in fur.
Dane’s blade went straight through the Fury’s right arm, which fell off and landed heavily on the floor. The Agent inside looked at Dane.
“You’re not so tough, really, are you?” Dane smirked.
“Uhm,” Meggan said, as the Fury unit’s fist smashed into Danes side. The hero dropped his sword and crashed through the front of a shop. The glass of the windows in the shops all along the Edinburgh facade shattered, raining Wisdom, Brian and Meggan with shining fragments.
“I’m not necessarily sure I am the appropriate hero for that,” Meggan said.
“Who gives a fuck!” Wisdom yelled, leaping over a bin and hurling hot knives at the Fury unit. They embedded themselves in the creature, while it stomped forwards, completely unaware of the attack.
“Oh, shit off.”
Peter turned back to Brian, grabbing his friend by the shoulders.
“Brian, there are things in this world where a mutant with the ability to shot hot knives from his fingers cannot handle. I do spy stuff. Mostly preventing people from killing the Queen and shit, I am not a superhero. Do you see me wearing the pissing Union Jack on my underwear? You don’t. You know why?”
Brian stared over his shoulder at the Fury unit, seemingly unmoved by his friends rant.
“Brian! You know why?”
Pete slapped Brian in the face, as hard as he could. He could see the heroes pupils dilate a moment in anger.
“Because I ain’t fucking Captain fucking Britain. Go be a hero, you dick!”
Brian stared at Wisdom for a moment and then looked across at Meggan about to wrestle with the Fury.
“The Weathers nice here, isn’t it?” Siryn sat down in the sand next to Druid.
“Irish?” Druid said, sipping the water, “By that I mean…”
“Yeah,” Siryn said, “I am. Whole family is, actually.”
Druid smiled softly and looked down at his feet in the sand.
“My Dad liked England, I think. That’s what my Mom told me. Not quite the same but…closer than we are now. Can I help you with something?”
Siryn brushed a hand through her thick, red hair and leaned a bit closer. She modulated her voice to gently tickle the receptors in his endocrine system, releasing hormones that would make him instantly attracted to her.
“I don’t know…can you?”
Druid pulled himself away from Siryn, and pushed himself to his feet.
“I’m sorry, you’re very pretty but..I’ve just broken up with my girlfriend and I don’t think now is an appropriate time for…this.”
Siryn growled under her breath and looked up at him from underneath her hat.
“Listen, your Da was Anthony Druid, who did…magic or something. I don’t know. He wasn’t exactly Dr Strange, was he? Basically, we need you. We need whatever magic you apparently have inside of you, and we need you to come with us to save Britain.”
Druid cocked his head to one side.
“Who are you?” he asked.
“My name is Siryn, and I’m an X-Man. Over there, with the Pink hair is Pixie. Also X-Man. The slaggy looking girl is Magik. X-Man. The woman in the Hijab, is Faiza Hussein. Not X-Man, and the guy with the chest is Anachronism. Tit.”
Druid sighed and crossed his arms.
“So, you’re X-Men?”
Siryn shook her head.
“We’ve been sent by the British Spy Agency to recruit you by any means necessary. At this point, almost everyone on the team is a girl, and was thinking about trying to appeal to your biology. I just think being direct works. Will you come with us and be a hero? Maybe learn to do British magic?”
Druid sucked his bottom lip.
“I don’t have any powers, though.”
“Yeah,” Siryn said, “But actually you do.”
“Wisdom,” Meggan said, blood dripping from the side of her head, a black eye encircling her face, “They’ve got Warpies as well.”
Peter was pressed against the crumbled wall of a building, blood covering almost every part of his exposed body. In the distance, the prone form of Captain Britain lay.
“We can’t do this,” Wisdom said, quietly, “No Euroforce…Brian’s down, who knows where Dane is?”
The sound of a minor explosion, followed by something smashing through a shop window made Wisdom wince.
“I think Dane is out of the fight as well,” Meggan said quietly.
“I wish I’d never sent the others to get Druid,” Wisdom replied. His head dropped and hung low.
“How did HYDRA do this?” she asked.
“They stole this stuff from us,” Wisdom said.
“No, I mean..they have Warpies on leashes and now they’ve got Fury units with agents inside them who look like they’re coughing up Octopi. I tried to hit one, but they’re protected.”
Wisdom shook his head.
“It’s Hive. He’s some sort of weird alien thing,” Wisdom shrugged, “I don’t bloody know do I? I do spy stuff, this is superhero territory. If we survive this I’ll get whatever I can from the states, from Euro, from wherever I can get information from, OK? We just need to survive this and stop them.”
Meggan nodded slowly, standing up and pulling her bottom-length Golden hair into a pony-tail.
“OK. I’ll try and hold them off a bit longer. You need to try and make some calls, get anyone in. Even Micromax.”
“Yeah, even Micromax. Never thought there’d be a day when we needed a growing midget.”
Meggan scowled at him.
“He isn’t a Midget, Wisdom. He’s a person.”
Meggan leapt over the wall and hurtled towards the nearest fury unit, casting a strong wind and violent rain on it.
“Mental woman. Mental.”
“Where is this?”
“This,” Siryn said, standing next to Druid near the Helicopter door, “Is the Ridgeway. It’s the oldest road in Britain and it is where Druid’s get their powers from.”
Sebastian looked over his shoulder at the Red haired hero.
“I am not sure that is factually accurate.”
“Whatever,” she said, “Do I sound like I’m bloody British?”
“Isn’t Ireland part of Britain?”
Siryn shook her head.
“You’re a fucking disgrace.”
“WHOA!” Pixie lurched forward too late, as Siryn pushed Druid out the Helicopter door. He screamed like a girl and hurtled towards the ground below him. Pixie, flying past Siryn leapt out of the door and swooped down towards Sebastian, who was already crying.
“Wow,” Rahne said, getting up and standing next to Siryn, “You got really hardcore.”
“No, I’m just sick of this,” Siyrn threw her hands in the air, “Wisdom clicks his fingers and we run off to the states to ONCE AGAIN pick up an American who can help defeat the forces of darkness in Britain. WHY can’t we do it ourselves? Why do we rely on this bloody idiots to ALWAYS fight our battles for us?”
“Hey,” Rahne said, touching her shoulder gently, “We’re not relying on him. We’re getting his help.”
“It’s the same damn difference, Rahne! We’re constantly being taken to task for by these damn fools when they’re consistently producing half the problems on the planet.” She shook her head. “We’ve just flown halfway around the world, again, to collect a guy who doesn’t understand the different between England and Ireland, and HE is supposed to save us?”
Sebastian could hear most of what Theresa had said, and he closed his eyes. It was better like this. Better to just accept it all and go away. He was a disgrace. He was a disappointment to everyone, even his Father who he’d never met.
Pixie’s hand slipped over his forearm and jerked him awake, his arm pulling itself out of its socket.
“NaarGHH!” Sebastian managed before Pixie found his general bulk was too great to hold onto herself. The pair of them, with Pixie’s wings beating as quickly as possible, hurtled the last twenty feet onto the Ridgeway in Britain.
The Oldest Road in the Country.
The route through the centre of the United Kingdom’s.
Home of Magic.
Theresa pulled a hand over her eyes, to prevent herself from being blinded by the light. Rahne did the same. Anachronism leapt out of the Helicopter after Pixie and Druid, towards the light.
“HA HA! This is Bloody AWESOME!”
The Chalk outline of Sebastian Druid moved from a laying position on the stone road, into something resembling an upright human being. His clothes blasted themselves apart and reassembled on his body, closer to a hoodie and a pair of jeans than a Hawaiian shirt and some manky shorts.
He stared out into space, feeling the energy through the grass and stone, seeping up his legs and filling him up. He felt every tree along the ridgeway. Every animal, and everything mineral. It spread out from it, like a crackling vein system, every element of Britain flooding into his mind and his heart. He felt the coastline of Cornwall, the Mountains of Wales, the Lakes of Cumbria, and the Hills of Scotland. He loved the Fens of Norfolk, and the Cliffs of Kent. He fell in love with the valleys of Yorkshire, and the untouched beauty of Ireland.
His head dipped in silent prayer, and he felt, and he loved, and he was, for the smallest moment.
He was England.
Anarchronism landed a few feet away and grabbed hold of Sebastian’s arms, snapping the young man out of whatever magic induced trance he was under.
“DUDE! How do you feel?” Anachronism asked, light exploding against his skin.
“I feel…” Sebastian looked around and felt the tears come. He felt as though he’d been waiting for this his entire life, “Whole?”
He wept and leant into Anachronism’s arms while Pixie slowly brushed herself off. Anarchronism leaned away from Sebastian’s embrace and coughed, looking at Pixie with begging eyes.
“He’s…crying or something? Not cool. Don’t you know you don’t do open emotion in th’UK?”
Sebastian tried to get himself together, his eyes suddenly grabbing a far-away look.
“This place…” he said slowly, moving away from Anarchronism. Siryn landed next to Pixie and touched her shoulder.
“Stupid, though,” she said quietly, “Me going after him and you pushing him. He could have died.”
“He didn’t,” Siyrn said.
“Coulda, though,” Pixie repeated. She turned away from their adoptive leader, as Sebastian turned around.
“Oh, Wow. So this is…magic is it? This is…Ha. Right, Over there? Soft spot – you can go to Otherworld through there, and here?” he knelt down and picked up a handful of stones, “This is God Sweat. I can see…I can…Ow.”
Sebastian slapped the side of his head and looked North, towards the location of Scotland.
“We need to get to Glasgow. Something horrible is happening to magic there.”
“Oh Yeah?” Theresa said, raising her eyebrows, “And you’re the leader now are you?”
Sebastian turned back to her, a big grin on his face.
“Oh no, but, I’m a Cunning Man.”
Sebastian grinned and began to walk along the road, disappearing through a blinking portal.
Theresa stared for a moment before she spun on her heels fuming.
“GET US to Glasgow,” she yelled.
Anachronism looked at Pixie, who was still trying to cover her anger.
“Uhm, Pix?” he asked, looking down at her slight form, “What just happened?”
She shook her head, pink curls falling over her shoulder and highlighting her freckles.
“I think Sebastian just turned into like, a proper Druid.”
Anachronism nodded slowly.
“Yeah, I think so too. I mean, I know that part but…why has he managed to walk into some light?”
Pixie stared up at him, in open disbelief. She smile and touched his forearm.
“He can do magic now,” she said.
“Oh,” he replied, “Cool. You wanna go and beat up some bad guys as well?”
“Yeah, I really, really do.”
Next time: Fighting with Bad guys!