Posts Tagged ‘Agent Louie Regis’


Lee groaned slightly as he shifted against the tombstone. The morning was damp. It had been a bit since his last visit. The fire-bombing of St. Jude’s, dealing with Insurance Companies and their scams, working with contractors, and keeping the little parish that could against all odds afloat at the MLA donated office space had taken up his time.

Though not as much as the crazy at his first night, when all he wanted was sleep. Now the window has plywood up, and… “Yup Lexie, my landlord is a Supra. Think she’s the legacy super hero known as Speedster. She didn’t reveal my identity, but it tracks when the skinheads hit. The old man took some shots, I got grazed in the shoulder.” He could feel his wife’s scorn and the playful punch to his wound. That’s just how they rolled, Lexie constantly warning him to quit stirring the pot, with her smirk and giggle.

“Crazy, so it’s a trailer that was owned by Shotgun MacKay, he suicided, before that it belonged to that weirdo Zed we always read about in the online self-help stuff. The kid, Beth Venus set me up with it, still have no clue how she fits in. The old Asian guy is a former agent in this weird world, goes by the name Louie Regis he’s pushing eighty or something and has been having visions.” Lee pauses in his tale. Did he have to tell her of the coloured sights of the family and the voices? Or did she know? What was Camelot anyways?

“Even though Speedster is supposed to be as fast as sound, Mel and Sean beat her to the punch in his old truck, and they both can swing mean baseball bats. Six gun men all together taken down, none speaking about why they hit.” Lee couldn’t help but chuckle at the thought of MLA Moon swinging a bat in her jeans and hoody with retired Constable Sean James.

“Almost created one of those goofy comic book moments of a new team coming together, all looking the same way and smiling. Instead a lot of sirens, police and EMS.” Jacobs rubbed the back of his head. He was still fatigued and tired. Just needed time to relax and sleep, before that some coffee and to check in with Moon that it was still a go for tomorrow at her office for church.

“Thanks for listening babe, if you hear of anything about Camelot let me know.”

Jacobs pushed himself up slowly, crossed himself and blew a kiss to the tombstone beofre walking away.

Louie Regis let his black ray bans slide down as he watched the minister walk out of the grave yard. Jacobs nods, as the lanky graying Asian comes into step with him, his black rumpled suit seeming at odds with Jacobs jeans, hiking boots, zipper hoody, and plaid jacket. “Why so grumpy, Louie?”

Regis chuckled. “Thought I was done with all this crap, and then bam. People’s new sense of self-entitlement and selfishness is harming the world as a whole. Inability to think outside themselves in actions. Re-education being used to indoctrinate into new cult and terror groups like anti-vaxxers, alt-right, f’ing Nazis…”

“Miss the days of the universe attacking super villain huh?”

“Life was simple then Father Jacobs, it was easy to spot the villain, and easier to silence the idiot.”

“Bloody social media.” Jacobs said.

“And the lack of critical thinking, with anyone able to post an opinion like it is gospel truth. So where do we begin?” Regis replies.

Jacobs scratches his beard, a bit fuller than he would like, but it has been a roller coaster ride for sometime. “First, I check in with Ms. Moon to ensure my parish has a place of worship tomorrow.” Shepherd first he thinks to himself, adventuring wanna be hero later. “Then, what do you know about something called Camelot?”


“You’re not MacKay?” retired agent Louie Regis said. He appeared just around 60 years old, but was closer to his mid-70’s having chosen to retire after seeing far too many of the heroes he had known in his long and not so illustrious career make the transition to Valhalla. It was supposed to be a time of relaxation, possibly writing the memoir he had thought about. Instead his personal home phone had gotten a voicemail from MacKay asking for help. He probably should have updated that voicemail to actually track things like dates however.

Though finding a… Priest…in a dried blood soaked kitchen was not what he was expecting. His hand went to the snubnose .38 he was carrying illegally (Canada didn’t have open carry permits, and handguns were on the restricted list). He pulled back the hammer. “Well Padre, who the hell are you?”

Jacobs eyes scanned the kitchen. Trying to shake the cobwebs from his brain. He used to box, well more like fight as he wasn’t so keen on the rules boxing brought with it, but it had been a while since his bell got rung like that. Time to bide sometime, was this some old guy pulling a Frank, from god bless america (Bobcat Goldwait’s movie about a couple of spree killers trying to end the mean narcissistic culture by killing the rude, and hapless reality stars of the country).

“Don’t call me Padre, only my friends can do that.” Jacobs said. In the back of his mind he worried about Beth Venus showing up, the kid would be a liability in this situation, bad enough they almost got blown up together at St. Jude’s, he didn’t need her getting shot by the angry senior.

Jacobs rolled up into a crouch, the muscles and joints of his tired old body screamed at the sudden movement. The senior leveled his gun at Jacobs. “Did you kill MacKay?”

Jacobs chuckled. Using his right index finger he flicked the white cardboard square from his collar and undid the top button. He slowly rose to a standing position, the old man may not be happy but he doubted he would risk a gun shot in this trailer park. Rainbow colours began dancing on the wall behind the old man, Jacobs squinted closed his eyes and let out a slow exhale hoping to refocus. That was messed up. He opened his eyes, and the bearded face rippled through the rainbow before it vanished.

“No, Ms. Storm let me stay here after some rat bastards of hate fire bombed my church’s manse.” Jacobs said. “Who the hell are you?”

The old man seemed taken aback. He startled a bit like one who had been through a bit too much in his life to deal with aggression. Jacobs lowered his tone, “Can we lower the gun?”

The older man seemed stunned he was holding the snubnose, he slowly lowered the hammer, and placed it back in a back holster. “Retired Agent Louie Regis, and you are?”

Jacobs rubbed his chin, all he had wanted was a cup of tea and an early night. “Father Lee Jacobs, rector of St. Jude’s.” He offered up his hand, and Regis shook it. Jacobs motioned to the living room, he took up an arm chair while Regis sat on the couch.

“I got a voicemail from MacKay saying he needed help. Friend calls, you come. Then I find you Lee.” Regis said.

Lee scratched his whiskers. “What kind of help?”

“Didn’t say, but then there’s blood, no MacKay and you.”

“You say he’s a friend, that blood is really caked in and dried out, MacKay passed a while ago. Think you are a bit late on the call for help there, Louie.” Jacobs said.

Louie exhaled slowly. His suit was rumpled, many during his tenure at the Supra Agency had made comparisons to Columbo and him. Always underestimated, but always came through for the win. Now this priest was busting his chops about not making it in time to help his friend. Which, was true. He was so lost in his own self and the work he had missed a lot.

“Ate his gun didn’t he?” Louie asks. Jacobs noncommittally nods. He hadn’t worked out all the details, but evidence did jive with other gun suicides he had attended in his journalist days. “Damn.” Louie had chosen retirement to avoid the demons eating his soul, MacKay’s demons chose his life for him.

Louie rose slowly from the couch. “I’m sorry for bothering you, Lee. I will be on my way.”

Jacobs stood and shook the man’s hand. Regis walked by the bay window at the front of the trailer. Jacobs saw a glint of red. He shoved Regis onto the floor, “down!”, as the bullets fly through.

Regis feels a rib or two give way as he hits the floor. A bullet blows off the tip of his ear, and a few others whizz past his hair. Jacobs feels one tear through his left upper arm muscle.

Regis sees the blood. “Lee!”

Before he blacks out Jacob retorts, “Call me Father Jacobs!”

To Be Continued…

 


Debriefing Room. Canadian Supra Agency (also known simply as The Agency). Somewhere unknown (but definitely not the Balzac Bunker that was taken out, so possibly around the Torrington Gopher Hole Museum- but that is probably a red herring or someone would have to kill you for knowing top secret information). The Agency uses rooms designed for literal psycho-analysis. where an analyst would sit back to you, while you were laid out on a couch speaking aloud to arrive at your own insights. To save money they removed the Freudian and replaced it with a room wired for digital recording. Now, instead of a couch, it is a comfy chair and a half, leather wing-back, with side-table stocked with the agents drink of choice.

A place to ruminate. To exhale. To let out everything about the mission. Unwind. Safe, and no worries about someone outside the Agency hearing secrets they shouldn’t (okay too many Analysts were compromised, it wasn’t just cost sharing). Agent Louie Regis shared at the projected windows of what would be different inspiring sights from around the world. He loosened his already loosened argyle tie. Tossed the rumpled beige trench coat over the back of the chair. Undid the top button of his shirt, rolled up his sleeves and clumped in to the wing back. He poured himself his second glass of whisky. Picked up the cheap cigar from the table, bit the end off in a very barbaric fashion and began the lighting ritual.

The other upside he saw over the Analyst not being in the room is no one to complain to him about it being non-smoking. Though how he would debrief this mess. Regis exhaled the cigar slowly and took a sip of the amber liquid. How would he phrase this mess. Started with the Agency- hell he had been recruited out of high school, day after graduation. Little known fact to the super hero community, he was older than Shotgun. In any real world Canadian setting five years ago he should have retired.

“Too old for this shit.” A slight chuckle. The supra reporter, Rick Saturn years ago over coffee had shared how back when he had trained to be a pastor he was shocked to discover a culture of scripture memorization (not application or understanding) in college (Saturn had never been a church goer as a kid)…so to pass his one course on apologetic he had to memorize a passage. Many students chose whole epistles, Saturn simply chose John 11:35- Jesus wept. Got him an “A”.

“Jesus.” another puff on the cigar as he wiped tears away, thankfully the video recording would think it was caused by the smoke. His body ached. Old wounds- bullet and knife holes. Strained muscles from far too many years sleeping in his old hatch back Honda Civic. That especially painful spot in his right foot where he always stepped on his swiss army knife blade waking up during stake outs.

The sound of the body bagging zipping shut. The new Bionic Knight telling the battle story. From his pants belt Regis pulls the smart phone. Clicks open the app he had tech install. Three generations of Supra’s he had outlived. The fourth was emerging. The young Knight, and widowed Speedster were the new line.

The app’s name was simple: ENIGMA.

Regis remembered where the Bionic Knight said he had offered Shotgun a spot on the Great Crime Fighters. That wink of the green glowing eyes under the helmet with his trademark “Trust me, he’s a hero now.”

Regis remembers his response, “it will end badly. Guys like him can’t be redeemed.”

The smart phone falls to the hard would floor. The screen cracks. The steel heel of his shoes finish it off. Regis pours another glass. “Somedays it is good to be wrong.” Though the universe– the world was saved… the redeemable life was lost all to a simple game, a wager on a yearning for the past would pull the hero to the result needed.

Regis unhooks his shoulder holster and lets the gun and holster fall to the ground.

What to let the official record say?

After 52 years how much blood was truly on his hands?

He stubbed what was left of the cigar out in the now empty glass.

Standing up, he pulls on his rumpled trench coat.

The mechanical whir of the voice recorder, “please state outcome for official record.”

Regis’ hand goes into his left jacket pocket. Much candy wrappers, and cigar ends fall onto the ground. He pulls out the badge fold. Opens it and stares at it.

“What would it be like to wake up one morning and not have to worry about whether or no the fate of the world was in your hands?”

Regis looks up to one of the corner cameras. “Outcome: Mission accomplished. Agent Louie Regis. Badge number 5- Gamma. Taking sanction Omega.” Sanction Omega- retirement.

The badge falls from his hand and hits the wing back. The screens blink to black. The cameras switch off. The recorders end.

Green light flashes over the door.

It clicks open. Regis steps out into sunlight of the prairie, walks across the short lot to his Civic.

The dust trail is the last scene.

Regis’ finger switches from news radio to the top 40 country station. A smile crosses his lips. “Finally get to sleep in my own bed.”

 


 

I’m sorry Dad..I love you.

Said Johnny “Power” MacKay.

In a scroll across the screen in giant green letters.

FROM

ENIGMA.

They found a pulse. Very faint, barely audible. “Thank you, Louie.” Hate saying those words to an agent of the Agency, but Louie Regis, though appearing Columbo bumbling is quite proficient, and pro-Supra (well Pro being a decent human being). He nods to me; his greenish hued eyes say it all. He still is not sure if I am fully on the side of the angels. But he enjoys the fact that the resurfaced Enigma was wrong. Big bad monster taken out. Hero alive, if on life support. The beating “Thankfully” wore my kid out enough that his invulnerability had worn down enough due to open wounds to allow for the needed intubation and IV’s.

His body was burnt bad. He had what amounted to hopefully a temporary colostomy. Rumour he may have lost his spleen if not some severing of the vertebrae, and yes, the machines were doing the heavy lifting on breathing for him.  But my boy was here. And knowing the pain he must be in I was thankful for pharmaceutical pain killers and opioids being pumped into him. The hard part for a Supra. Always prepare for not coming home from saving the universe, but what happens when you return but almost gave all?

The Great Crime Fighters were getting through the Noro Virus. The enigmatic alien George was sill missing in action. None of that mattered. The short video I got on my tablet coming alive, I believed was the last thing I would ever hear my son say. We had fought through so much in life before the legacy power chose him. Even me being distant, his mother culminating her emotional-spiritual abuse of me and taking off with him so I lost touch until we reconnected when he got the power.

Regis taps my shoulder and nods. “Take care of him old man.”

All I can do is repeat the same phrase. “Thank you, Louie.” He leaves us in the hospital room. The slow-motion safety closure of the door stops the hard thump as it closes. A few moments before next rounds, the lights are already low.

“Tough like his pops Wil.” Said Rick Saturn. I do a double take at the voice by the window coming out of the shadowy dusk light. Rick the missing. Here. This is far to weird.

“You mofo where have you been!” Okay I may be a bit angry that the best hero—ever chooses now to pop back into reality.

The form shimmers a little. Not quite solid. Is this a weird cosmic-Camelot thing? Magic or aliens? When one holds to a belief someone will be real in their time of need, they can manifest them or something like that I remember Zed going on about, Tulpa? “I cannot help in what is coming, but I can help in the now.”

What would I need in the now? How ass backwards is this sitting with my son in ICU watching machines wondering if he will be strong enough to leave? He used to be able to bench press sky scrappers? And now, the cosmic evil that a child may pass before his father? Was Regis saving him a blessing or a curse? The doctors want to know the plan, I don’t have a plan. Super-heroes don’t plan what if they come back in this shape… they only ever come back whole or dead and then resurrect.

“Or crumble under magically induced neurological illness and PTSD.” Says Tulpa Rick. “But I am here for you, you struggle, your child is alive.”

He is right. I do struggle. At what point do I truly know my son is no longer here? Enigma rebooted to send me his “death” only to have him pulled from that fate. There is some warped interstellar thing coming. The alien who can explain it is missing. My friend and his family have vanished.

And I am here talking to the shadow of what my friend once was. Journalist-Activist-Pastor-hero, but what did he always say? “What did you always say?”

“Always the lighting to Susan’s lightning rod and…”

“Father of two amazing twins who will change the world.” I finish.

The machine beeps as it checks vitals once more. Numbers dance, lines squiggle. At one point another teammate years ago tried to explain it all to me. All I cared about was the simplicity, when does it mean they are alive and when dead? The shimmering Rick touches my hand as I sit in the uncomfortable hospital visiting chair holding my son’s massive hand. Wrapped as most of the skin has been burned off when he battled the first wave.

“As long as there’s numbers. There’s life.”

I look up as the setting son darkens the room naturally.

I lightly feel Johnny squeeze that space between thumb and index finger. Not much more strength than when he was first born.

But where there’s simple acts.

Simple breath.

Faint pulse.

Life…my son.

“I’m sorry Johnny, I should’ve been there.” I feel the tears begin again. “I love you.”

 

WE COME.

-Enigma