The Battle for New Millennium
Chapter 5: Aftermath
Rock Judge stood inside Mayor Louis’ office, waiting for him to arrive. It was only a day since the attack on New Millennium Airport, and Rock had more pressing matters. Nine of the eighteen of the members he brought with him were killed when the demon threw pieces of the airport at them, and six more were injured. This didn’t even include the hudred and thirteen people that were killed and the dozens more that were injured when the demon began its rampage.
He was avoiding his cousin as well. It wasn’t just that he didn’t want to hear an “I told you so” about demons being real, but he didn’t want to get sucked back into the drama with The Post after he tried so long to distance himself from the turmoil that surrounded his father’s life. Jonah may have wanted to live in his own father’s shadow, but Rock was fine with cutting his own path in his own way.
Finally, Mayor Louis came into his office alone an sat behind his big desk. He lit a huge cigar and looked at Rock with accusing eyes.
“You want to tell me what happened at the airport, Mr. Judge?” Mayor Louis said. There was an emphasis on the “Judge”. Rock had a sinking feeling about where the conversation would turn.
“The airport was under siege,” Rock said. “The New Millennium Wolves responded with force after answering the police’s distress call. We did what we had to, sir.”
“My brother-in-law is a detective in the NMPD,” Mayor Louis said. “Detective Malcolm. He said that he ran into you not too long ago.”
“I remember,” Rock said. Malcolm had been the detective that razzed Rock about his cousin and his involvement with the mess from six months back. Now he knew why Malcolm decided to run his mouth instead of keeping it closed.
“He told me you gave him attitude when he asked you about the events from six months ago,” Mayor Louis said. “That you refused to answer him about your cousin’s involvement in said events. I’m not here to chastise you. Don’t get that idea. I know my brother-in-law is an obnoxious prick. I just wanted to make sure you aren’t hiding anything about those events and Jonah Judge’s involvement.”
“I thought you wanted to talk about the events at the airport,” Rock said.
“We are,” Mayor Louis said. “Are you going to deny that your cousin was there as well? I have reports saying that he was.”
“He was,” Rock said. He almost said that Jonah wasn’t, but he knew the mayor was trying to bait him into lying for his cousin.
“To what end?” Mayor Louis asked.
“Jonah funds the DPA and The Wolves,” Rock replied. “He’s heavily involved in the safeguarding of this city.”
“Don’t I know it,” Mayor Louis said with a sneer. “I tried to shut the DPA down. After Jonah used it to take Deskue’s business for his own. It turns out that the DPA is actually a private business and not governed by the City of New Millennium despite its name and nature. The New Millennium Wolves, on the other hand, is a police force and can be governed by the City.”
Rock took a breath before replying. Was the mayor threatening him because he feared Jonah’s actions?
“I like you,” Mayor Louis said before Rock could think of any response. “I want you to consider taking a position in the New Millennium Police Department. We can always use good men like you. Perhaps you could help rebuild our own SWAT team. I don’t like the idea of our city being defended by an organization being funded by The Judge Corporation. It’s as if Jonah Judge has amassed his own private army.”
“I don’t understand what you’re saying,” Rock said, fully understanding but wishing the mayor would just come out and say it plainly instead of playing this game of wordplay.
“Do you know why they named this city New Millennium?” The mayor asked, changing the subject. He began talking again before Rock had the chance to answer. “Before the Dark Times, most of this city was destroyed. The war nearly destroyed the entire earth. It nearly took a century for mankind of flourish again. When they finally rebuilt this city, we were on the cusp of something new. A new era of mankind. A new millennium. This city represents mankind’s nature to come back after devastation, and I will not let it drown in corporate greed and violence.
“Do I make myself understood, Mr. Judge?”
“Yes,” Rock answered.
“Good,” Mayor Louis said. “We’re done here. I’ll be calling on you again. Be sure of it.”
Gabriel Cogs was finally let out of Dr. Sands’ care after Sands and his crew worked on him for most of the last thirty six hours. He was nearly dead when Sands finally came out of hiding and found Gabriel holding his chest on the ground. If Sands waited any longer, Gabriel would have died in a pool of his own blood and his synthetic parts’ fluids.
Sands’ crew worked tirelessly in shifts over the last day and half. The result was that Gabriel could walk under his own power again. Most of his parts had been repaired once again, and he was feeling stronger.
Except his heart.
When the crews were done Dr. Sands asked Gabriel how he felt. Gabriel still felt the pain inside his chest, but he told Sands that it was still feeling better. He felt it best not to let Sands know that his heart felt as if it were going to give way at any second. The final blow dealt by Kiz would kill him eventually, and he didn’t want to spend whatever little time he had left being examined and operated on.
“Where do they keep the rest of my armor and weapons?” Gabriel ask Sands as they left.
“They are on the fifth floor,” Sands said. “The door is marked ‘experimental weaponry’. You don’t plan on fighting back, do you? We are still a long way away from having you fixed. I’m still afraid that your heart -”
“My heart feels fine,” Gabriel said, a little too quickly. Sands’ stern look made Gabriel think that Sands knew he was lying, but if he did, he kept any comments to himself.
Gabriel went up to the fifth floor where Sands told him the armor would be. Gabriel found it, and started putting it back on. He hadn’t worn it since his fight with Rev. He felt the power when he picked up his sword and put a little bit of power in to it. It sparked and glowed with whitish blue power, just as it had done before Rev had broken it. He looked at the power level indicator on his right forearm out of habit. It showed a full battery. His body would regenerate any power he used, but if he used it all up his mechanical and synthetic body would go into shutdown.
The irony didn’t escape Gabriel for a moment as he attached the hard-power shield to his left arm. He had resolved himself to stay out of the fighting since he took Rev’s life to protect the city six months ago; but now that his life was almost at its end, all he wanted to do was extract some form of revenge against those that were causing the deaths and destruction.
There was seventeen dead at the DPA when the demoness, Kasayda Kiz, came marching in, The Wolves lost nine of its members, and over a hundred innocents were killed at New Millennium Airport. The time for cowardice was done. If The Post wanted to use him as a weapon he would oblige, but he would not be their weapon.
He would be his own.
Jonah entered The New Millennium Wolves facility. He showed his badge to the clerks at the desk, and they let him through the double doors that led into the main facility. He knew that Rock would be here. There was a lot to answer for since the upheaval at the airport.
“Rock,” Jonah said, entering Rock’s office. “We need to talk.”
“Should I leave?” Mona asked. She was sitting in Rock’s office as they were going over papers of some kind.
“No,” Rock said. “Jonah won’t be here long, and you should hear what he has to say. Nine of our men are dead along with all those civilians. Are you going to come clean with me, Jonah?”
“Come clean?” Jonah said, offended. “About what?”
“All of it,” Rock said. “The Post. The DPA. The sword and shield. What the hell is going on?!”
“Now you want to talk about The Post,” Jonah said. “All this time you’ve been avoiding me and avoiding The Post. Now that it’s finally in your face, you want to listen. This is typical of you, Rock.”
“Don’t give me that shit,” Rock said, rising from his chair. He had a foot of height on Jonah, easily. “I may not have had the relationship with my father that you had with yours -”
“Don’t bring that up,” Jonah said, seething with anger. “Our fathers died together. Their bodies were found together. There was no difference between them. The only difference was you and I.”
“Of course,” Rock said, rolling his eyes. “You were always meant to follow in both of their footsteps, weren’t you? Heir to the Judge Corporation. Heir to The Post. You never saw my father when it was just him and I behind closed doors. He pushed me harder than your father pushed you. Your father used love and respect to motivate you. My father used hate and fear.”
“We took separate paths,” Jonah said. “But here we stand, all the same. War is coming. This was just the beginning. The demon that broke into the DPA stole something. She stole a device that will kill the power grid to the entire city. Once the detonate, the war will begin. We’ll need The Wolves to fight.”
“No,” Rock said.
“No?” Mona asked. “If the city is under siege we will be there to help. That’s our purpose.”
“Our purpose?” Rock asked. “Our purpose isn’t to bail Jonah and The Post out of hot water after he picks a fight with a demon!”
“Where’s this coming from?” Jonah asked.
“I had a meeting with the mayor,” Rock said. “He’s threatening to shut us down if we continue working for you.”
“You don’t work for me,” Jonah said.
“The Wolves might as well!” Rock snapped. “I’m running The Wolves, and I’m doing it my way. I’ll do it with or without the Judge Corporation’s money. If New Millennium needs us, we’ll be there to defend it against whatever foe may come. Otherwise, don’t call me to fight your battles.”
Jonah stared at his cousin in disbelief. “If this is what you want -”
“It is,” Rock said.
Jonah turned and left Rock’s office. Mona looked at Rock’s expressionless face, but didn’t say anything. Rock went back to his paperwork regarding the deaths of the nine men that lost their lives fighting under his leadership.
Jonah sat in his home watching the lights from outside dance on the wall. It had been so long since there was a night he didn’t have to train. He killed a strong demon, with Killian and Rock’s help, and needed his body to heal. He knew this was only the beginning of the problems for New Millennium.
He thought about Rock again. His thoughts kept going back to his cousin and the way he was when he met him in his NMW office. He knew about Rock’s feelings for most of their lives, but it was different now that he had said them out loud. Jonah knew that the Wolves was his life; and he would do anything to keep them running, even if that meant bring funded by Jonah and the Judge Corporation while despising what it all stood fore.
“I need you to look after Rock,” Jonah’s uncle had told him shortly before his death. “He inherited his mother’s defiance, and I fear that his defiance will turn into anger if kept unchecked.”
Rock had just stormed out of a training session. Jonah’s father had walked around the two boys in their family’s dojo, speaking the words of The Post. Jonah’s uncle was teaching the young cousins hand-to-hand defense. Something Jonah’s father said had upset Rock, and he walked out with no argument. The days Rock didn’t say what was bothering him seemed to be the bad ones. Jonah could only imagine what happened with Rock returned home.
“Why does Rock run away from this?” Jonah asked.
“I think he still blames me for his mother’s death,” Jonah’s uncle said. “Maybe he blames The Post. Perhaps if I wasn’t so busy preparing for the immanent battle of good and evil I could have stopped her from…” He trailed off and stopped talking, realizing that Jonah was soaking in every word.
“This battle may not be mine and your father’s to fight,” Jonah’s uncle continued. “It may not be yours. All we know for certain is that one day it will come to us to defend this city. The Post must remain watchful. I pray that your task will also be training the next generation and not fighting in bloody battles in the streets of this city.
“Look after my son for me. He is older than you, but you are much wiser. He’ll need you. He may not see it right away, but he will need guidance. He can be a great warrior. I just pray he’s never tested in true battle. I pray that none of us ever are.”
Rock looked over the large map of New Millennium City that was on the wall of what his men playfully called his War Room. There were large red pins in the areas of recent attacks on the city. The most recent was the pin sticking out of New Millennium Airport (which would remain shut down for weeks or even months as it was repaired and rebuilt), and another pin was stuck on the DPA’s building as well. There was also a pin sticking out of 42nd street, where the mysterious woman (that Rock now knew was called Tsu-Kata thanks to Willow Bowman’s intel) had transformed the cityscape into a grassy wet lands before killing and feeding on dozens of New Millennium’s citizens.
Rock added three yellow pins to the board for the events from six months back. One was for New Millennium Penitentiary where a demon rampaged from the inside out, killing everything in its path. Another was where Jonah had fought the demon in the streets. The last one was for where he and Gabriel battled the psychotic Rev on the same night. He contemplated adding one where the body of Leon Deskue was found with his throat torn out, but Rock still wasn’t sure how Deskue fit into all of this mess. He contemplated calling Jonah to get the whole story again, but decided against it.
Normally, he would look for a pattern, but he knew none would pop up. This was chaos incarnate. The enemy didn’t have some grand scheme in mind like some fictional villain. The only plan was for complete chaos and death, and despite their wins over evil, the forces of evil were winning.
Rock wasn’t mad at his cousin anymore. He was becoming increasing angrier with himself, though. The mayor’s anger wasn’t because of Jonah, even if it was misdirected in his direction. The mayor was scared and had a city full of scared people. How many had died recently between Tsu-Kata’s descent and the demon’s attack on New Millennium. Add that with the events from six months ago, and the death toll climbed. It would have been a lot higher if Jonah, Killian, Gabriel, and Rock hadn’t stepped in and stopped them.
If they hadn’t been vigilant. If they hadn’t been prepared.
Rock shook the thoughts from his head. His father was long gone, but he still felt funny about admitting that he was right all this time. The Post served its purpose and served it well. If it weren’t for Jonah and The Post, the city would be in flames by now.
Rock looked at the red pin the symbolized Tsu-Kata’s attack. The DPA was investigating the attack on their facilities, so Rock took it upon himself and The Wolves to find out where this strange woman was and put an end to her before she materialized again. Willow lent him a few scientist to track Tsu-Kata’s whereabouts. They said they’d have him pinpointed within forty eight hours.
Rock decided he would take as few soldiers as he dared to once Tsu-Kata’s den was found. There was only one man he wanted by his side. The same man who faced Rev with him six months ago. The man Rock new had the strength and fortitude to take on an opponent like Tsu-Kata.
Rock Judge left his office to head back to the DPA to see if Gabriel Cogs would fight with him once again.