Afflictions: Part Thirty Six

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Jeremiah had an interesting week. He’d spent the past few months or so in a containment unit specifically for supers, but before that he was locked in a cell quite similar to this one. The containment unit he’d been in basically left him with the ‘lower threat’ supers, since he didn’t seem to have any overwhelmingly threatening powers. The rule was simple, don’t use your powers or you get an increased threat ranking. He’d served about a quarter of his sentence at this point, so he wasn’t trying to get in trouble. His wife had stuck by him and was doing her best to raise the kids, but that wouldn’t last if he got involved with anything.

This all changed when the guards woke him up before dawn, and without explanation, stuck him in a van. Before he knew it, he was back here. He sat in a chair behind a table with two chairs on the opposite side.

He jumped as he heard the loud clang of the door lock. The door slid open, and outside stood two familiar faces: a giant metal man, and a scrawny white kid. The pair stood still for a moment before Deven lunged forwards.

Jeremiah’s eyes went wide in an instant. Deven cleared the table before anyone had time to react, and wrapped his arms around Jeremiah, who reciprocated.

“It’s good to see you, Deven.” Jeremiah sighed in relief, as he gave Deven a pat on the back. “It’s been a while.” He felt warm tears soaking into his shirt.

“I didn’t think I’d see any of you again…” Deven cried.

“I wasn’t so sure myself.” Jeremiah nodded. He wasn’t quite sure where this was going. This didn’t bode well, an assembly of former criminal supers, and one of the heroes. Then again, he figured it couldn’t be much worse than prison.

“Hope you’ve been well.” Paul nodded and edged his way towards the chair.

Jeremiah thought for a moment, and settled on a direct approach. He wasn’t sure what was going on, but if he was here, it might mean he could see his family again. He knew Jamal would want him to ask about Deven, but that would have to wait. “So what’s going on?”

“Well, your sentence has been partially commuted, contingent to a few terms, of course.” Paul leaned back in the chair.

Jeremiah was relieved that the kid was doing well, after what he’d done. He wasn’t sure. He wasn’t ever really told what happened, but he never got charged with murder. He knew he wouldn’t ever be able to fully atone, but he’d spent his time haunted by it, and had to move on. Now he was focused on what he’d just said.

Jeremiah’s heart raced. If his sentence was commuted that means he could see his family again. His phrasing was unsettling, though. “What do you mean?”

“I have an assignment for you.” Paul slid a manilla envelope across the table.

Jeremiah looked down at the closed envelope, and opened it. Inside were a couple of documents, and a picture of a quaint house by the sea. “What kind of assignment is this?” He said, as he skimmed the text.

“You’re going to Washington state. There’s a house on the outskirts of a small town by the sea, and you’re going to be on house arrest there more or less.”

“Why? What am I supposed to do there?” Jeremiah looked up from the file.

“You’re going to complete some basic medical training, and wait for an old man to arrive for you to take care of. Eventually, someone who you’ve harmed will arrive, and you’ll make it right. There’s a catch though.” He paused. “You can’t have contact with anyone from your old life, and this will be monitored. You’ll be able to return to your family when the devil sets you free.”

Jeremiah stared forwards. “What?”

Paul sighed. “Look, it’s all written down in the file. You’ll still serve out some more of your sentence like this, but it’ll be shorter than what it was supposed to be, and in a quaint town in Washington rather than a prison.”

Jeremiah thumbed through the files and found the instructions written nearly exactly how Paul had said. “Can’t you give me something more clear?”

“No. Mysterious ways and all that.” Paul shook his head. “Any other questions?”

Jeremiah thought for a moment. Even if he still couldn’t see his family this was a pretty decent deal. He had to do a few things and make amends for his mistakes, which was fair enough, and it would be shorter than it originally was. Not to mention his time would be served in Washington rather than a jail. “So all my food and stuff will be provided? Or do I need to get a job or something?”

“You won’t need a job, everything will be provided by the DSR, and a contact I have on the west coast.” Paul nodded. “You’ll be meeting him today.”

“I guess I don’t have too much of a choice if the other option is prison.” Jeremiah nodded, as he came to terms with what was happening.

“Great. He’s waiting outside.” Paul got to his feet.

“So he’s leaving?” Deven asked.

“Yeah, I need him to help me plan for something.” Paul replied. “Remember, this is top secret. So don’t tell anyone else.”

Deven nodded and led Paul out of the room. Outside, a slim man in a suit was looking down at his watch. He escorted the trio out of the concrete prison and into a modern lobby. Outside was a large muscular black man.

“Jeremiah, I presume?” He spoke with a British accent. “I’m Darryl, nice to meet you.”


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