Character Name: Mercury: 2004
Alternate Identities: Rachel Thomas
Player Name: Alan
|Hair Color:||Light Brown|
|Eye Color:||Brown||Height:||5' 10"|
The girl refused to cry even though the pain was like nothing she had ever experienced. It had started with a demand for lunch money and escalated when she’d refused. In the end, she kept the cash but at the cost of a broken nose. She sat quietly on the paper covered table as the school’s nurse gently tested the damage with only a hiss when the pain increased.
“Well, it is broken,” she finally said. “And you are going to have two black eyes tomorrow.”
The school’s Zero Tolerance policy was going to doom her to a suspension for fighting even though she’d never touched the boy that had hit her. The vice principal opened the door to the small dispensary and stepped in.
“Your father is here to take you home, Rachel,” the woman said. “I have told him of the situation and of the school’s policy concerning fighting …”
“I didn’t do anything,” the eleven year old started.
“Regardless, you must be suspended,” the vice principal continued. “However, since you did not retaliate, it will only be a suspension and for the minimum amount of time.”
“How long’s that?” Rachel asked.
“Five days,” the woman told her.
“Rachel?” Her father pushed past the woman to reach his daughter. He gripped her chin and swiveled her head from side to side inspecting the damage. “You’re gonna have a couple of shiners.” And though he sounded serious, she could see a glint of amusement in his dark eyes.
“I am sorry, Mr. Thomas,” the VP said. “But we have a Zero Tolerance policy.”
Her father looked over at the woman, lips in a thin line. He said nothing, just gave her ‘the look’. After less than ten seconds the woman began to fidget.
“She can return to school Monday week,” the woman said. “Have her check in at the front desk that morning for clearance.”
“And the boy that hit her?”
“We can’t discuss that with you, I’m sorry,” she told her dad. “But be assured, he will be dealt with.”
Her father turned to Rachel.
“How old was this kid?” he asked.
She lifted a shoulder “I dunno, high school I think.”
“What is a high school boy doing at an elementary school during a recess?” Her father directed the question to the vice principal.
“We are looking into that, Mr. Thomas,” she said.
Out came the wallet. He let it drop open to reveal the gold shield and laminated ID card below it.
“We’ll be looking into it as well,” he said, folding the leather case closed and tucking it back into his inside jacket pocket.
“Mr. Thomas, I am sure this is nothing for the DEA to worry about,” the woman’s face was flushed.
“We’ll make that decision,” her father said placing a hand on Rachel’s elbow and helping her down off the table. “Where is the boy now?”
“He is in another room with Mr. Bord, our security officer,” the woman said. “We haven’t been able to get a hold of his parents.”
“Where’s the nurse!” a frantic woman’s voice erupted from the outer office and the VP turned to see what the commotion was.
A woman in her early forties was carrying is girl of about ten in her arms. The nurse was at her side in a moment.
“What happened?” the nurse asked.
“She just collapsed,” the woman said. “Right in the middle of class.”
“Daddy, that’s Juanita Tennis,” Rachel tugged at her father’s elbow. “She was the one that boy gave something to. I tried to stop him …”
JR Thomas pulled a cell from his pocket and hit 911 then pushed past the nurse. Lifting the child’s eyelid with his thumb, he spoke rapidly into the phone.
“This is RJ Thomas, DEA, we need an ambulance immediately at the Miami Park Elementary. We have a drug overdose of a ten year old female.”
Rachel watched in awe as her father, the man she had always told people was a traveling salesman, go to work. Without asking the nurse, he had the girl vomiting on the floor before his open cell phone hit the reception counter. Within three minutes the sirens announced the ambulance and her father relinquished Juanita to the men in the white suits. As soon as they had gone, the police arrived and her father spoke in a whisper to them before turning to the vice principal.
“Where’s that kid?” He demanded.
She pointed to a door that stood open, a security guard watching the action. Rachel’s dad pushed the heavy man in the uniform out of the way and stepped into the small room. He was out in an instant.
“You let him get away,” her father growled to the guard.
Rachel peered through the crowd to see the room was empty and the window wide open.
Juanita died at the hospital. It wasn’t the pain of a broken nose that made her cry; it was the loss of a friend.
Rachel moved, twisted, fainted and scored. The small crowd of parents clapping politely. The two opponents bowed to the ref, their teacher, and then to each other before they both broke into grins.
The teacher stepped over to Rachel’s father and shook his hand.
“I’ve never seen anyone that can move like that,” he said. “It’s like she has eyes in the back of her head.”
Rachel had been taking Kung Fu for nearly a year and at first she had been a typical awkward pre-adolescent more concerned with how she looked than what she was doing. Six months into her training though, two things had happened. First, she’d gotten her period and second she became almost untouchable. It was as if that transformation of girl to young woman had changed everything. Within days she began to realize she was quicker than everyone in her class, not just running but other things, like the time she caught that book before it hit the floor when that new girl dropped it. Reflexes, she found out that it was called. She had also discovered something else. Mari Trelane.
Mari had moved from Colorado and lived with her retired grandmother. Rachel had been instantly drawn to the other girl in a way she’d never experienced. Within minutes they had exchanged cell numbers and by the next class period they were texting like mad.
Mari grinned at Rachel, totally unconcerned that the other girl had just showed her up for the rookie martial artist she was.
“God your fast!” She made to slap Rachel on the back but as she’d expected, missed as the other seemed to sway out of reach. “Even if we’re just goofing I can’t touch you!”
Strange thoughts flashed through Rachel’s imagination and she blushed.
“You just telegraph every move you make!” she told her friend. And it was true. It was as if Rachel could see Mari’s muscles bunching in preparation to strike but for almost six months now, she hadn’t been touched once in a spar.
“Nobody’s that good!” the woman said in disbelief watching the Quarter Finals of the International Martial Art’s Federation championship. Already she’d qualified for the semi-finals and was observing possible opponents.
A girl of fifteen was pitted against a former champion nearly twice her age and the girl was making the older woman look inept. A beautiful combination of three rapid fire punches missed cleanly as if the kid were made of air and the retaliation strike had rocked the former champion back on her heels. The kid stepped in and finished her off with two quick shots to the solarplexes followed by a spinning back fist that put the woman on her back, not moving. The girl dropped her hand and back to the edge of the mat as the referee counted.
“Holy shit,” the watcher whispered under her breath. She’d fought the loser on several occasions and had each time been bested, yet here was this kid stomping the crap out of her.
The referee indicated the winner and bowed. On the arena’s electronic score board things shifted and the girl’s name advanced a spot. Rachel Thomas, age 15, was in the semi-finals.
Rachel bounced on the balls of her feet and circled left, eyeing her new opponent. This one was only a few years older than she and had at least forty pounds on her. She’d heard the woman also had a punch like a pile driver. Rachel smiled in anticipation, weaved right then back left as two punches whizzed by her head. She countered with a low punch to the side that scored then bounced back and hit her square with a front kick.
Watching her foe carefully, Rachel backed away to allow the referee time to make his count. She watched the woman’s chest breathlessly until she saw it move. Relief flooded into her. She hadn’t just killed the woman. The kick had been pulled just enough to knock the woman out but not do any permanent damage but Rachel was a little worried. She decided to go a little easier on her next opponent.
The final match was televised on ESPN and was billed as East meets West with the surprising American teenager going up against the champion of the Chinese national team and three time winner of the event. In Las Vegas odds stood five to one against the American and heavy bets were being laid down on the duration of the match with just about everything under three minutes covered. It was a bad day for the bookies.
On the screen the two competitors met at the center of the mat, bowed and stepped back waiting for the signal. It took a slow motion camera to record the American girl’s move and a frame by frame count to get the exact amount of time the fight had taken. Officially the fight lasted 832 milliseconds and involved a single kick. It was the fastest knock-out in history and caught the eye of a man in Washington.
“Test her,” he said to another man.
“Force level?” the man asked.
“Let’s not kill anybody.”
|Rachel is a pure martial artist with the enhanced ability to predict any sort of attack almost before the attacker is aware of their intension. Because of this she is just as capable blind as normally. She also has an uncanny ability to strike in the most vulnerable spot on an opponent.|
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