This started as a couple of images in my mind that would not go away and shortly became a small look into the world of one of the lesser known members of the Force Seven team.
Quick note: if you are not familiar with my version of BoTP, I strongly recommend you read the Intro first (separate document in my section), so you have some idea who these people are.
The usual disclaimers, the BOtP characters are not mine; I just borrow them for my stories. All other characters are mine, flaws and all.
Thanks for reading.
The guard looked up from his magazine and eyed the young woman standing
in front of him.
“Can I help you, Miss?” he asked.
“Yes, I would like to see Doctor Jennings.”
“Doc Jennings?” The guard reached over to pick up a board and started
“Doctor Alys Jennings. She usually works in lab four.”
“Eh. All right. Who should I say is calling?” he asked as he reached
for the phone.
“Tell her it’s her daughter.” The young woman smiled and looked around
the main lobby of the nuclear research complex. Tiled floors, high
ceilings, utilitarian furniture, a few generic pictures hung on the
otherwise spartan walls, produced a room that echoed even the softest
whispers. It would be very hard for someone to walk in without the guard
on duty noticing them.
After a couple of seconds of soft conversation the guard hung up the
receiver. “She’ll be out in a minute.”
“Thank you.” She nodded politely and turned around to give the lobby a
The guard eyed her thoughtfully. While she was a bit tall for his taste,
she did cut quite a figure. Casually dressed, he could still tell she
was slim and graceful, she wore her hair lose, just past her shoulders.
He thought he wouldn’t mind running his fingers through the soft brown
waves in that hair. A second after that thought the woman turned to look
at him. While there was no real expression on her face, the look in her
eyes bothered him. It was almost as if she had heard him. He coughed
and reached back for his magazine. He didn’t see the shake of the head
and humorless smile on her face.
The muffled sound of quick footsteps on the other side of a door to the
left of the guard station drew the attention of both guard and visitor.
A soft beep preceded the door opening by a few seconds as a key badge was
run across a scanner on the other side.
Doctor Jennings came through the door, already looking around. “Ellisha!”
She moved across the room to hug the younger woman. Well into her fifties
with hair more grey than black, worn in a bun at the base of her head,
she looked almost the typical image of a stodgy scientist. The lab coat
and semi-casual business attire beneath it only enforced the image. The
only thing that didn’t fit the stereotype was the lack of glasses. Alys
Jennings had had her vision corrected several years before, saying that
glasses got in her way.
“Hello Mum.” Ellie smiled and kissed her foster mother’s cheek. Even
after nearly two decades of living a quarter of the way around the world
she kept loose contact with the closest thing she had ever had to a
“Is everything ok? What’re you doing here? How long can you stay?”
Ellie’s smile widened at the rapid flow of words. “I’m fine, Mum. I had
some vacation time so I thought I’d come stay in the cottage, if that’s
alright. I’ve got two weeks before I have to go back.”
Alys stepped back and looked her foster daughter in the eye. “Of course
you can stay. Why didn’t you call? I’d have opened everything up
“Would you believe I wanted to see if I could surprise you?” Ellie
ducked her head and grinned sheepishly. “Besides, I get so tired of
everything I do being mapped out. Sometimes I just want to do things, go
places - “
“Without having to fill out itineraries,” Alys finished for her.
Alys put her hands on Ellie’s shoulders. “You can stay as long as you
want, just promise me two days, so we can catch up.”
“As a matter of fact, I’ve some leave time myself. What’d you say to us
driving out tonight, soon as I get off? Or would you rather have a day
or so to yourself?”
“That would be wonderful. I don’t mind at all. You’ve always given me
the space I need, and we can start catching up.”
“Good, it’s all settled. I still have a few hours left; let’s find you
something to do in the meantime.” Dr. Jennings started to turn back
towards the door.
“Ah, Doc, she shouldn’t be just walking around back there.” The voice of
the guard stopped them.
“This is my daughter, George. She has more clearance than half the
“Mum,” Ellie held up a hand, “he’s only doing his job.” She turned and
walked back to the guard station, pulling a small card out of her right
pocket. “Will this suffice?” she asked.
George’s eyes widened as they scanned across the white card. “Crikey, I
never thought I’d see one of those.” He held his hand out for the card,
tipped it in the light and blinked when he saw the hologram of the logo
of the Galactic Federation of Planets. “Eh, it looks real enough.” He
wrote down the number printed on the card and handed it back to Ellie.
“These babies give you access to near everything we have. But I’d still
suggest you stay near your Mum.” The guys at the pub were never going to
believe this, he thought.
“Of course.” Ellie flashed him a sweet smile, pivoted smartly around,
slid the card into her pocket and went back to Alys.
“That’s not…” Alys started to quietly ask as she swiped her key badge to
open the door.
“No. I don’t carry that when I am on vacation; couldn’t, even if I
wanted to actually. Flagrant use of that card is highly frowned upon.”
“Like that is going to stop people.” Alys snorted softly.
“I know. There’s even a few that have somehow managed to get duplicate
cards, which is supposed to be impossible. I’m reasonably sure the
people that need to know already do. They simply choose to stay silent.”
“I suppose, given the nature of the people who have those cards, that is
not a bad thing.” Alys laughed and shook her head and lead Ellie back to
After being introduced to her mother’s co-workers Ellie initially settled
in a chair against the back wall. By the time Alys’ day should have been
over, she was standing next to her mother in her office going over the
They stayed well past Alys’ normal time finishing a report before
climbing in the car and heading for the coast. The drive out had been
peaceful. They stopped for supper at a small diner along the way and
agreed that sleep was the first order of business as soon as they
arrived. By the time they made it to the cottage it was nearing
Alys stood in the kitchen working on breakfast. Through the window she
could see a silhouette near the edge of the cliff moving in a series of
slow, intricate, circles. Each series of motions brought the figure back
to the same position. As rising sun gradually revealed the form, Ellie
finished and sat down on the cliff. Alys set the food and tea on a tray,
grabbed up a sheet and walked outside.
“Breakfast,” she called softly.
Ellie held up a hand and waved and pulled her knees up to her chest.
“Sometimes I forget how quiet and peaceful it is here.”
“You know you are always welcome here.” Alys dropped the sheet and
nudged it around with her toe. Ellie reached out without turning and
tugged at a corner to straighten it.
“I know. But I don’t have a key. I don’t want the key,” she added
before Alys could offer. She’d offered the key half a dozen times and
every time Ellie had turned it down. “There is a possibility, remote
though it may be, of a key being traced and I don’t want that.”
“I’m glad to see you’ve gotten past your issues with heights. It used to
be we couldn’t get you near the edge of the cliff.”
Ellie shook her head and smiled ruefully. “Only to a certain degree.
It’s still there; I just can’t afford to let it get in the way. Also, it
helps if I don’t look down.”
Alys sighed and set the tray down before carefully folding her legs and
settling down herself. “That was pretty, what you were doing earlier.”
“Tai chi. It’s a way for me to exercise and practice without being
obvious, unlike some of the katas.”
“I don’t remember you knowing Tai chi.” Alys turned her gaze out towards
the Irish Sea. “You have grown up so much.”
“One of my friends taught me a few years ago. And you sound like you
haven’t seen me in a decade.” Ellie half laughed. “It’s only been two
“Well, two years in real time is almost a decade in Mother Time.”
Ellie laughed. “I’ll try to keep that in mind in the future.”
Alys joined her in laughter as she handed over a plate of food and poured
the tea. “So how are your friends?”
“They’re fine. Maddening at times. Some days I swear they are hell-bent
on getting themselves killed while others I am almost left speechless by
their compassion.” Ellie took a sip of tea and chuckled. “You should
see what some of them do for “fun”. I thought the race driving was bad
enough, now we have one who has taken up rock climbing.”
“Rock climbing? That isn’t too dangerous.”
“It is if you are climbing El Capitan.”
Alys blinked. She wasn’t sure where this El Capitan was, but took it for
granted that it was dangerous. “What about the ones who were into horse-
“One is still doing it, more for fun than competition, the other has
stopped for now, he’s in college and doesn’t have the time right now.”
“Well, I hope he can find the time to start again. You said he enjoyed
Ellie nodded as she mopped up her plate with some toast. “I’m sure, in
time, he will. The guy’s really good with animals.”
“What about boy-friends?”
“Mum!” Ellie rolled her eyes. “You ask that every time we talk.”
“A mother can hope.”
“I simply don’t have the time for a relationship right now. Never mind
that your average man wouldn’t want to get involved with a woman who
could easily kill him. And that doesn’t even take my gift into
“That guy you were seeing several years ago, Gary wasn’t it, didn’t seem
“That was Jerry, Mum. He’s married now. I haven’t heard from him since
he went back to his home world.”
“If you haven’t heard from him, how do you know he’s married?”
“It was an arranged marriage.”
The women fell silent and watched the water turn from black to grey. A
faint smudge across the water hinted at the shore of the Isle of Man.
After several minutes of companionable silence, Alys patted her foster-
daughter on the knee and started cleaning up the breakfast dishes.
“Enjoy your quiet, dear. I’m going to go open up the place, air it out a
Ellie nodded without looking up. Alys quietly gathered up all the
dishes, stood up and picked up the sheet and left her daughter to watch
the sea below her.
Closing her eyes, Ellie let the rising sun warm her back and listened to
the silence around her. Only the faint whisper from Alys in the cottage
hinted at human encroachment. No one else was around for miles in either
direction. The wind rising from the sea carried the sound of the waves
against the rocks below her and the smell of salt. The clear skies bode
of good weather for the day. With a soft sigh she opened her eyes and
watched the sea roll below her, the shadows from the cliffs slowly recede
across the rocks as the sun rose, and the birds diving in to the waves
searching for food, life playing out all around her. The sun had removed
all traces of grey from the sky and water when Ellie picked up a soft
“You’ll burn if you don’t put something on.”
Ellie smiled to herself. Alys understood her daughter about as well as a
cow understands a colt it is trying to raise, but she would always try to
watch out for her. Ellie stood up with a slow stretch and turned to walk
towards the cottage. She gently kissed her mother’s cheek as she came
“You know I always get lost in myself when I am out there.”
“You usually forget to put something on to protect yourself from the sun
too,” Alys gently scolded. “If you’re going to go walking, don’t forget
“Yes’m.” Ellie nodded and walked to the small bed room. Inside she
looked around at the whitewashed walls, the small bed and stand, and
wondered if it had changed much over the generations. The sound of birds
calling and waves lapping on the shore came through the open window,
beckoning her back outside. She splashed some water from a basin on the
dresser on her face, changed into a loose fitting shirt with long
sleeves, and ran a brush across her hair. Opening the satchel at the
foot of the bed she drew out a pad and a set of pencils. Tucking them
under her arm she started back out, pausing briefly to grab a wide
brimmed hat as an afterthought. “I’ll be back later,” she called towards
the open room that served as living room and office when her mother
Alys nodded silently and listened to Ellie walk out the back door. It
was always like this when Ellisha came home; she sought the quiet, empty,
places. She craved the solitude. She’d tried to explain her gift once,
how it was like being trapped in a room with a several televisions and
radios going constantly. There was only so much you could shut out. Out
here, she didn’t want anything on, didn’t seem to care what was happening
in the universe around her, but in town, it was a different matter, she
wanted a radio on, it didn’t matter what station was on, as long as it
made noise. She’d once said it helped screen out the constant racket she
alone seemed to be able to hear.
There were days when Alys doubted the decision to let Col. Anderson take
her daughter all those years ago. If Ellisha had stayed with them, she
and Richard would have adopted the girl, making her a daughter not just
in name, but in fact. Other days, most days if she were honest, she knew
it had been the right choice. Anderson’s people had spotted the gift
early, almost about the same time she and Richard had. They had ideas on
how to teach her how to use it, and, more importantly, how not to use it.
They had taught her other things too, things Alys didn’t care to think
about. But all and all, it had been for the best.
Ellie would be back later, maybe with some sketches, and maybe not. In
the meantime she could always review and update some reports.
The sun had long set, cloaking the town in darkness before Alys and Ellie
met up at a small tavern both women liked.
“These are very nice, dear.” Alys flipped through Ellie’s half full
sketch book while she ate.
“Thanks, Mum.” Ellie glanced up from her supper.
“You always did have an eye for detail,” she nodded at a sketch of a
flock of sea birds diving towards the water. “These birds couldn’t have
been there very long.”
“Eh, long enough. They kept repeating that pattern.”
“Oh, this is adorable. Who are they?” Alys tipped the pad to show Ellie
the picture she was looking at. Three children sitting on a couch, a
light haired boy sat in the middle holding a book on his lap while a
slightly younger, dark haired boy leaned against his shoulder and a
younger, dark haired girl with slight Asian features, was curled up on
his other side, her head in his lap. All three were sound asleep.
“That is Tommy, Joe and Crystal.” Ellie smiled. “Joe had been asked to
watch the younger two and apparently he decided to read them a story. I
saw them and did a quick sketch. Crystal’s mother asked me to do a
“This is it?”
Ellie shook her head. “Almost. I am planning on doing an oil version
shortly, as soon as I get back in practice of painting.”
“This is nice,” she tapped another page, “disturbing in a way, but nice.
I’m guessing that this multi-headed beast is the Alliance.” Ellie half
shrugged. “So, that would make all these animals you and your friends.”
Her daughter nodded silently. “I do like how you have one head dead and
another maimed. But the ones still moving, and the blood on some of the
animals, that’s disconcerting. Is that how you see what you do?”
“Sometimes.” Ellie nodded. “We all see it that way from time to time,”
she added. “It’s hard not to. But those kids you saw, they’re part of
the reason we keep doing it.”
“I understand.” Alys smiled gently and closed the drawing pad. “You do
what you must to protect the next generation, even if they aren’t yours.”
Ellie glanced across the room, towards the entrance, watching a couple of
people who just walked in. “Do you have your phone?” She asked quietly.
If Alys noticed that she only heard the question in her mind she didn’t
indicate. “In my bag. Why?”
“Good, take your bag and go to the Ladies Room. Ring the local police.”
Alys reached for her hand bag and started to stand up. “And?”
“And tell them this place is being robbed.”
Alys half nodded and headed towards the back of the eatery. She didn’t
waste her time asking her daughter how she knew or telling her to be
careful. “Let me know when it is over,” was her only request.
Once Alys was safely out of harm’s way, Ellie stood up and made her way
to the front of the tavern. She moved up behind one of the two men who
were standing in front of the cashier and leaned towards him.
“I wouldn’t go through with it, if I were you. It’s been a quiet night
and the drawer is rather light. It’s not worth the trouble.”
As the guy turned Ellie could see a glint of light off a steel blade.
“Mind your own business Missy, before someone gets hurt.”
“The only one who is likely to get hurt is you,” Ellie calmly told him.
“Now put the knife down and leave.”
“You think I’m afraid of a little bit of a thing like you?”
“No, I don’t. But your friend over there is about ready to piss on
himself. Look, you really haven’t done anything yet. If you leave now
no one will get hurt or arrested.”
“Come on, Colin. She’s right. They’ve probably tripped an alarm or
something.” The second guy looked around nervously.
“They ain’t got an alarm, stupid.” Colin shifted his stance, bringing
the knife closer to Ellie.
As he turned Ellie’s left hand darted out and grabbed his right hand just
behind the thumb and twisted. A second later she had him with both
hands, his wrist twisted and the knife pointing straight up. Pushing her
weight towards him she continued twisting the wrist. Before Colin could
register what was happening she had him on the floor.
“Drop it, now!”
He tried to scoot around her, pulling his arm down to break her grip.
There was a soft pop followed by a scream and the knife hit the floor.
“Stupid move,” Ellie told him. She didn’t move as Colin’s partner tried
to grab her from behind. Before his arms could completely encircle her
Ellie ducked, shifted her position slightly to the left and jammed her
elbow into his ribs followed by a quick reverse, she wrapped her left
hand around her right and drove her right elbow into his solar plexus.
He dropped to the floor gasping for breath.
Ellie straighten up and nudged the knife away from Colin with her foot.
“Now would be a good time for you to stay still. I really do not want to
hurt you again.” He stopped his efforts to regain the weapon and glared
at her. “Do you happen to have a first aid kit?” Ellie asked the
The cashier blinked and stared at her in shock. The entire fight had
taken less than two minutes to end. Finally she shook her head. “I, er,
think we have one in the back.”
“Good, can you get it please? I think I broke his wrist.”
The cashier nodded and scurried off, wondering if she had a crazy woman
on her hands. By the time she came back with the first aid kit, bat
wielding cook in tow, the two would-be robbers were sitting in chairs
brought over from the dining area and the crazy woman was standing with
her hand on the leader’s shoulder. By the look on his face the grip was
not too gentle. Two other patrons were standing a few feet away staring
at the scene with a mixture of awe and fear.
“What’s going on here?” the cook demanded.
“A poorly planned robbery attempt,” Ellie told him. “If you’ll hand me
that kit and some cardboard, or a magazine, I want to splint this wrist.”
The cook looked at her, took in the swelling in Colin’s wrist and the
pale face of his accomplice, laid his cricket bat against the counter and
turned to the cashier. “Give me the kit, Dena, and go get the old supply
catalog. It should be the right thickness.” Taking the kit he turned
back to the odd scene and chuckled. “Looks like you lads picked the
wrong person to fight with.”
Colin muttered something under his breath and received a cuff alongside
“I’d ask you want your mother would say if she heard you talking like
that,” Ellie told him, “but I get the feeling she wouldn’t care.”
The cook snorted softly and stepped between the two chairs. He handed
the kit to Ellie and put a heavy hand on the shoulders of both men.
“Right then, you do what you need to. These two will sit here like
gentlemen until the police arrive.”
Dena reappeared with the supply catalog and held it out to Ellie who took
it without turning around and started bending it to form a loose half
circle. A few moments later she had it around his wrist and was wrapping
a bandage around it. She felt him tense up as she tucked the end and
“Unless you want to see if I can break something else, stay still.”
The cook chuckled at her soft warning and leaned his weight onto their
shoulders. “You lads really should listen to the lady.”
The police arrive as she turned to check the other robber’s ribs. They
stopped in the doorway and looked at the unusual scene.
“Well now, Benton, what do you have here?”
“These two pillars of society decided to rob us and this young lady here
put them in their place.”
Ellie stood up as the two officers looked at her.
“You?” The one doing the speaking looked her up and down in disbelief.
“You did that?” He nodded towards the splint.
“I happen to be a Second Dan Judoka.”
“A what?” The second officer looked confused.
“She’s a second degree black belt in Judo,” Benton translated.
“In which case, these guys got of lucky. That Jujitsu is some wicked
“Judo, not jujitsu,” Ellie corrected. “They are similar but not one and
the same. It’s a common mistake,” she added with a nonchalant shrug.
The second officer shrugged and started putting hand-cuffs on both
robbers. It took him a moment to adjust the cuff around the make-shift
“So, what happened?” The lead officer looked at Dena and Benton.
“They came in a little while ago, while I was checking the drawer,” Dena
told them. “Started looking around the place. I was about to ask them
if they wanted to sit down when I saw the knife. A second later she was
standing behind them,” Dena nodded towards Ellie. “The next thing I know
they were both on the ground and she was telling me to get the first aid
The officer looked at Benton who shrugged. “I was in the back. I didn’t
know anything was out of order till Dena came back looking for the kit,
saying there’d been a fight. I came out to put a stop to it and found
our friends here sitting like nice and quiet like.”
Turning his attention to Ellie, the officer raised an eyebrow. “And your
part in this?”
“I was having supper with my mother, saw them come in and heard them
The officer glanced around the room, taking in the hand full of occupied
tables and the ones that had food still sitting on them. “From over
Ellie sighed. “Can we speak in private?’
He nodded and followed her a few steps away.
Ellie turned to face him, arms crossed over her chest. “I don’t normally
advertise this, but I’m a telepath.”
“Sure you are and I’m Saint Michael.” He shook his head and thought that
in a way she reminded him of a Border collie bitch he had a child; small,
slightly dangerous, and not always right in the head.
“Pleased to meet you, Michael. Colin there wanted the money to support
his drug habit, which is getting worse. His partner, James, just wanted
it to help his grandmother. He thinks if he tells you about her, how
she needs money for her medication, you’ll go easy on him, since he
didn’t really do anything. Oh, by the way, I’ve been compared to a lot
worse than a collie, and if you want to meet a real bitch, I can
introduce you to some friends of mine. “Ellie paused and gave him a grim
smile. “Those guys would probably be dead instead of just needing
“Bloody ...” he cut himself off. “So you’re one of those psychics.”
“I don’t talk to ghosts and I don’t see the future. I simply hear what
people are thinking, especially if they are hyper focused, like how they
are going to rob a place.”
“A telepath who knows judo just happens to be here on the night they
planned to rob the joint?”
“That’s the long and short of it.”
“You know no one at the station will believe any of this.”
“Which is why I would appreciate it if you didn’t mention that part in
your report. Just put it down to extraordinary timing.”
“I may have more questions for you.”
“I’m staying on the shore with my mother for a few days. Do you have a
card?” She held out a hand. He nodded and handed her one of the cards
he usually left with a complainant and a pen. She flipped the card over
and scribbled down a number. “If you need anything else call this number
and leave a message. They will see to it that it reaches me.”
He took the card back, looked at the number. “Star-one-one exchange,
that is a Federation H. Q. number. If you work for them, I recon the
less said the better. Ellisha, eh? Unusual name. Mine’s actually
Prescott by the way. You check with them regular like?”
“I’m on vacation at the moment, but I do check in from time to time.”
He nodded and turned back to the main group. “Alright Kelsey, let’s take
these fine gentlemen to clinic and get them treated and get the paperwork
started. You got the information from Benton and Dena?”
Kelsey nodded and took hold of Colin’s upper arm.
Ellie waited till Prescott had walked away then headed back towards her
table. Their food was long cold but it would be a shame to let it go to
waste. But first she needed to let her mother know everything was under
control. Hopefully the rest of her vacation would be somewhat more
The fight sequence was written with the help of “Judo For Women”, written by Ruth Horan, printed in 1965.
Tommy, Joe and Crystal: Thomas Asidi, adopted son of Jason and T.C., Joseph Anderson, son of Neal and Amanda, Crystal Anderson, daughter of Mark and Jun.