Just a reminder that this fic has been inspired by WonderWoman 1984, and as such you may recognise the character of Babajide from there.
They broke apart slowly, Virgil smiling, slightly embarrassed. No one had dry eyes, but the smiles were soft and warm.
'Right, Dad. Tell me everything. I assume there is a plan?'
The plan was simple.
Before the first stage they had to get to New York. Once there they had two goals to meet. Kyrano needed to meet with his contact and there was also the preparing for the storming Tracy Towers that was.
There was an argument. An argument that lasted for several hours. Not heated, not by the usual standards of the Tracy boys, but then the most hotheaded of them all was not here. That thought hit Jeff hard, but he swallowed and sat back.
The argument was simple. Should Lucy and Grant go with them or stay behind? He wanted Lucy to come, to stay with him for as long as he could. But he could not deny that this was a mission was not a normal state of affairs. Jeff couldn't face putting Lucy in danger.
Eventually the conversation petered out, with no resolution, and they decided to sleep on it and see what the morning brought them. Whether Lucy and Grant went with them or not, they had decided who was going on which task.
Virgil and Alan would go with Kyrano while Jeff, Gordon and Kayo would get things ready for the storming. Brains was going to meet them there, promising to bring some equipment to help. They had planned the timings so that they would be all there for the late afternoon, giving several hours until they were in the position of storming the Towers.
They needed to get the Dreamstone off the Hood.
Morning came. No one had slept much. Jeff had literally lain one his side and spent the entire night staring at Lucy. She had mirrored his pose and had stared straight back. Their hands had intertwined all night. They hadn't needed words, both knowing what the future held if they pulled the plan off.
Breakfast was a sombre affair. Ruth and Grant didn't stay long, making their way outside to spend their last day together after the grandchildren had had time to speak to their grandfather. Virgil, Gordon and Alan had their own time to say goodbye to their mother.
Eleven am and they were ready to leave. Half an hour it would take to get to the airport, seats had been booked that had cost every penny Jeff and Lucy had. If it corrected the timeline then it was money well spent. If it didn't work, well, they had everything they needed. They had each other.
The six of them travelled in the two groups but on the same plane, and they arrived in New York in the early afternoon. They ate while finalising their plans and waiting for Brains. When he did arrive, they had a brief reunion before the two groups hugged and left on their own missions.
Kyrano led the two brothers along the streets of New York until both were quite lost, down back lanes and through small shopping complexes until they eventually ended up in front of a run-down record shop offering to buy and sell vintage vinyl. But this was not where they entered.
Kyrano knocked on a door next to the shop. There was nothing to indicate what the place was, and the man quietly called out, 'Babajide?' and they waited. Eventually a bleary-eyed man opened the door.
The first thing Alan noticed was the dreadlocks. As they walked through into the place it became immediately clear that Babajide lived in the storage area of the record shop. The place was tidy, but there were shelving stacks contains boxes of records, comics, books and much more.
There was clearly some Native American/South American blood in his appearance, and he smiled as Kyrano explained that the man was of Mayan descendant and had been one of a few outsiders who had trained at the temple in his homeland. The Malaysian asked was if he had the book they had discussed.
Babajide slid a huge book of a shelf and brought it over to the desk. He explained that the book contained a history of his people. And then he opened the book and showed them a language none of them could read.
Except, Kyrano could. The stone appeared, no one knew where from, and within a matter of months the Mayan empire was no more. Kyrano pointed to an image and frowned.
'Dechalafrea Ero. This is exactly the information we need.' They stayed quiet while Kyrano read further. Eventually he closed the book and looked at his best friend's sons. He was aware that he was still frowning.
'Have you ever heard of the Monkey's Paw?' As expected, Virgil nodded while Alan shook his head. 'It is an old horror story that teaches a very moral lesson. A couple are given a cursed monkey's paw that will grant the wisher three wishes, but at terrible cost.'
'I remember seeing a very old movie at school about it once. Didn't the husband wish for a small amount of money, and they got the money at the cost of their son's life?'
'Yes. You are right. It appears that this is exactly what the Dreamstone is, it takes what is most precious to the wisher.'
'Like Scott,' murmured Alan.
'So how do we put things right?'
'It is actually quite simple. We need to either destroy the stone, or the book explains, "give back what was given."'
'"Give back what was given"? So Dad only has to revoke his wish?'
'It would seem so, Virgil.'
'Well, that's easy enough. We can do that now and not worry about the Hood.'
'It is not that simple, Alan.'
Virgil looked to Kyrano as Alan scoffed. The man had infinite patience, and he smiled at them.
'If we don't destroy the stone then the Hood can use it again, on someone who will not know what they are getting themselves into. We cannot allow this to happen to someone else.'
They both nodded at this. As much as Alan, and Virgil, wanted things to return to 'normal', they wouldn't wish this on anyone else. Even though it had given them opportunity to say goodbye properly to their mother and grandfather, and for Alan to actually spend some time with them both.
'So, how do we destroy it?'
Kyrano and Babajide poured over the book some more, until a slow smile lit up Kyrano's face. It was a welcome sight, and both boys grinned back.
'Can we destroy it?'
'Yes, although it will not be easy and will take considerable self-control and a strength of mind and character that not many will have.'
'Do we need anything special to do it?'
'No, we will only need the stone. And each other.'
Virgil and Alan exchanged glances.
'What are we waiting for? Let's go join the others.'