8 Any Leader Worth His Salt Always Has A Backup Plan

Days had passed and the work was nothing if not consistent. Devin had scouted the old concrete building and found that the structure was sound and safe though he couldn't say the same for the old wiring and the other fixtures. He told Strom that they would need to rewire everything and replace the pipes for the plumbing. He even had teams reworking some of the surrounding area to make it easier for surveillance. As he made these plans for them as well as giving orders for more, Devin was doing some scouting and research of his own. He couldn't find anything suspicious as of yet, but from the knowledge Devin had he knew that it was more a matter of time rather than a possibility. Devin didn't notice anything out of ordinary till a full week had passed.

It was another day of work. Checking on the progression of the workers and the various projects. Devin was looking over a blueprint that he had made for one of the rooms when several trucks came rumbling up the road. This absorbed Devin's attention as confusion filled him as there wasn't any materials due for a couple more days. Walking over to the trucks to inspect what was going on. Devin was given a clip board with lists on it. Computers and consoles for lab equipment made up the majority of the equipment contained within, but there were a few items that raised his eyebrows due to what they corresponded with in his memories and knowledge. There were equipment for genetic testing as well as chambers that could be used for who knows what. That was as far as Devin got before the clipboard was removed from his hand by Mr. Strom with a frown on his face.

"Sorry Mr. Price, but these aren't apart of your tenure with us." Strom said as he signed several sheets on the clipboard before placing it back in the driver's hand.

"Actually Strom if you plan on powering those things then I need to know if what we have wired and installed so far is sufficient for the job." Devin said as he folded his arms in front of his chest.

"Don't worry Mr. Price. We just need you to help with the basics and the security, the rest will be done by the staff later." Strom said as he turned on his heel and walked away. Devin knew that he wouldn't be privy to all the secrets, but the glimps he got at that list of equipment set off some major warning signals in his head even though he had barely any basis to base his suspicions on.

Once the day was done and Devin retired to his room he spent time looking up the items on that list and didn't get very much. Frustration began to set in when his phone rang on the night stand causing Devin to check the caller ID. Seeing that it was from New York caused his frustration to transform into confusion, an emotion he had become slightly familiar with in recent times.

"Hello?" Devin said as he answered the call.

"Hello Mr. Price, this is Susan Storm." said a familiar female voice through the receiver.

"Ah! Ms. Storm how are you? How goes your investigation?" Devin said with mild surprise lacing his voice. He hadn't expected to her from her or any of the other Fantastic Four for at least a little while longer. It is possible that he wasn't able to completely erase her suspicions and knowing her character she probably talked to Reed as well. It would explain how she was able to find his number out.

"I am good Mr. Price, thank you for asking. The investigation is the reason I am calling because we have some other questions to ask you about what you saw. We would also like to check you out physically as we are unsure if there might be any side effects to being exposed to the energy that we found at the site." Sue said alarming Devin. Devin could out right refuse, but that would make him look suspicious and they would continue to probe into his actions. He didn't want to reveal his abilities just yet if he could help it.

"I'm sorry to say, but I am currently not in the US at this time and I wont be back for at least a few more weeks possibly." Devin said as his thoughts raced at how he could possibly circumvent the discovery of his powers.

'Alice would anyone be able to detect the spirits while they are hidden inside my torso?' Devin asked his system.

[Negative master. The only way that the spirits can be detected would be either through activation or if the spirits were filled with spirit energy and exposed at the same time.]

'What about an x-ray? Would they show up on that?' Devin asked.

[Affirmative as the spirits are physical items they would show up though I am unable to tell what the results would be.]

"Is that so? Would you be open to scheduling a meeting here at the Baxter Building as soon as you get back?" Susan said with a persuasive tone to her voice. Seeing as they were looking for energy readings then Devin should be able to get away with making the appointment, but just to be on the safe side he needed to be as vague as possible.

"I would love to but I am not sure exactly when I will be getting back. Would it be ok if I called you back once I get home and we can schedule an appointment then?" Devin asked as it would give him some leeway as to when it would happen.

"That sounds acceptable Mr. Price. We hope to see you soon. Have a good night." Susan said to him in closing.

"You as well Ms. Storm. Good night." Devin said as he ended the call. Well, that just happened. Now not only did he have his investigation here to worry about, but now he had that to look forward to. A minute of quiet contemplation lead to Devin shelving that problem for later. How could he find out more about the equipment? It took a full minute to realize that thanks to his new history he might have some contacts that could enlighten him.

An hour later and several phone calls later and Devin had his answers. An old college acquaintance who works in genetics had given him a rundown on the pieces of equipment he could remember. Apparently the equipment that they were bringing in was usually used for experiments involving genetic modification and therapy. When Devin heard this he started to get ideas on where this could be leading to. In the movies Scarlet Witch and Quicksilver were siblings from Sokovia and were experimented on in a secret AIM base, but in the comics as well as the x-men movies they were children of Magneto. Devin didn't even have a way to find out as the only ones who could give him an answer were people he didn't want to encounter right now either.

The new day saw the advent of a plan being implemented for future use. Arriving at the site, Devin went through his usual schedule of checking on the worker's progress and addressing any problems. It was as he was checking the security systems that he slipped a small thumb drive into a slot and uploaded a ghost program before retrieving the drive and continuing with his day, As he was checking the supplies he snagged some leftover explosives from the blasting they had to do when they were making room for certain projects. He took a walk while everyone else was on lunch to hide the pilfered explosives in the walls of the perimeter wall so that should the need to bring it down arrive then he would have the ability to. The rest of his preparation he could do when he got back to the hotel. Today as well, trucks with what Devin assumed were equipment arrived and were signed for by Strom again. Devin's stare was apparently too strong as Strom turned to see him staring. The stare off lasted for about ten seconds before Strom turned and entered the building.

The rest of the day was uneventful with menial tasks to be performed. At this point the majority of his job was almost finished even though the work hadn't been completed. Walking down the hallway of the hotel Devin noticed that there were three men in gaudy clothes and jewelry surrounding a small figure. After a few more steps Devin realized that the small figure was the girl that he had teased on the first night here. He could tell that she was distressed and was trying to get away, but the men had her surrounded to closely. Devin had had enough when one grabbed her arm.

"Hey! Leave her alone and piss off!" Devin said as he approached them. The entire group looked up at him. Had surprised looks before they morphed into scowls of annoyance. The girl was also surprised but her's morphed into a hopeful and pleading smile.

"This doesn't concern you so mind your own business!" said creep #1 aggressively.

"Yeah! Leave if you know what's good for you!" said creep #2 with arrogance.

"How about this, you three apologize and then fuck off." Devin said with arms crossed and a glare on his face. Now the men were pissed and moved to surround him instead.

"You should have minded your own business, now we're gonna beat you down and take the girl with us." creep #3 said before charging Devin with his fist cocked back for a punch. Devin leaned to the side before tripping and throwing the man head first into the wall, knocking him out cold. The second man rushed in low to try and tackle Devin, but was stopped after Devin planted his feet. Next, Devin wrapped his arms around the man's waist before picking him up bodily and power slamming him into the ground back and head first. The last man saw both of his friends lose and pulled a switch blade from his pocket before going in for a thrust to the chest. Stepping to the side, Devin avoided the blade while wrapping his own arm around the other man's and with a quick snap, broke the man's arm like a twig. His shout of agony was cut short as Devin grabbed his head and drove a raising knee into his face finishing him off.

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Looking at the downed men, Devin turned to the girl to check on her. At some point she had sunken to her knees with a shocked look frozen on her face.

"Are you alright miss?" Devin asked as he kneeled in front of her.

"Yes sir." She said slightly dazed. Devin nodded before introducing himself.

"My name is Devin Price. What's yours?" Devin asked.

"My name is Yana Silenko." she said as Devin nodded again before noticing a person in a cheap suit walking quickly toward them.

"What happened here?" the man said looking at the carnage in the hallway.

"I stopped these three bastards from molesting your employee." Devin said as he helped the girl shakily to her feet.

"I apologize for this esteemed sir. I shall have security take care of this right away." the man bowed before producing a radio and speaking into it. The girl was given the rest of the night off and escorted by security home. Before leaving she rushed up to Devin, clasping his hands in hers and looking into his eyes.

"Thank you so much sir. I will repay this one day." Yana said to him.

"That's ok Yana. Just stay safe from now on." Devin said to her before she was led away. After clearing everything up Devin got back to his room and with a sigh he sat down on the bed for a breath. After a minute of relaxing Devin opened his laptop and finished setting up another measure against what ever might happen in that base in the future. The ghost program allowed Devin to create a back door to not only the security but their entire system. He also set up a master code that would allow him access to all of the doors in the future. If Devin was correct in his assumptions then this might be the start to a super soldier program possibly and if so Devin might have to intervene later. Soon the weight of the day's events began to weigh on him so he decided to turn in for the night. His last thoughts being about what else he could do as a counter measure in case of future problems.

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