Canto 123 – Who Can We Trust?
Jadalaqstbr, more often called Jackie because Zaranian names are hard with no vowels at the end, was impressed by the way Alec had taken charge of the situation. She knew no one really liked or trusted Alec. He was abrasive and often not worthy of trust. But he had seduced her more than once by using his telepathy to invade her mind… more than three times already actually. And she liked it. There was something both sweet and sad about boys who were that pathetic and secretly needy. She had always had a soft spot for guys like that. Her own father had been like that before he died.
And she could teleport him to five hundred feet in the air and drop him on his head if he did anything really bad.
Jackie noticed Taffy was the one who retrieved the
“Do not touch the inside of that!” said Shen Ming-sensei with a frightening suddenness.
“Um, okay…” said Taffy, holding it gingerly. “Why?”
“Ah, so you see… I remember all of this now… when I could not recall any of it before… The Avenger helmet was created over 400 years ago to have an intelligence of its own. I overdid the wisdom circuits, however, and it blew out a morality capacitor. So, instead of using it to make our commanders smarter in battle, it simply went insane. We locked it away for four hundred years. It grew more and more insane with each passing year. Not only that, it can absorb the skills of those who wear it and amplify them. So, not only does it have Jai Chaing’s superior bow skill, it has Hassan Parker’s Psionic telepathy.”
“Oh! You mean it could take over my mind?” Horrified, Taffy dropped the helmet.
“Ah, this is better. So, perhaps a telepath should be the one to take this thing back to Mistress Li in the storage basement.”
“Right now, only Hassan and Alec are here with telepathy,” said Mai Ling.
“Ah, yes. Perhaps giving it back to Hassan is not the best of ideas. It did have him under its evil spell just moments ago.” Shen Ming smiled crazily as he shook his head no.
“Um, okay… I will take it to the storage basement,” Alec said rather hesitantly.
Jackie decided that if Alec was going to take such a risk, she was going with him to teleport him away the instant the evil thing showed the least sign of doing something bad.
Shen Ming and others walked towards the infirmary with Hassan while Alec and Jackie, with the helmet, started towards the stair to the palace basement.
Jackie was admiring Alec’s handsome face and not really paying attention to what Alec was looking it. He turned the helmet over and over in his hands, peering inside at the neural contact points.
“I wonder how this thing makes people put it on their heads?”
Jackie suddenly turned and looked directly at the former Black Spider student ninja.
“Hassan is the second strongest telepath on Gaijin. It must have a special power of its own,” she said.
No sooner had she said it than the helmet began to vibrate and glow. A powerful, dominating voice blasted through her head, probably doing the same to Alec.
“Put me on your head! You are in my power!” the voice directed at Alec. “Jackie, take off all your clothes! I am your master!” It directed at her.
She could see Alec struggling to disobey the voice, but the helmet slowly raised his hands above his head and slipped it into place on him, the fifth most powerful telepath on Gaijin.
And her own hands no longer obeyed her. She watched with horror as she completely undressed herself.
“We must escape to the Black Spider Castle!” the helmet said. The helmet did not sound like Alec. It seemed to have a voice of its own.
As much as it terrified her to see herself obeying the helmet, Jackie flung her clothing away and started to run. Alec, wearing the horrid, three-horned helmet ran after her. Where was she going? She didn’t know where the Black Spider Castle was, but apparently her bare legs did. She was headed to the last place in the universe where she wanted to be. And she was going there at high speed.