– Gale Knightley – ‘Knightingale’ –
– Wednesday – 11:51 Eastern Time –
Gale Knightley sighed and slumped over the table with her head firmly rooted in her hands and exhaled long and loud. It had been a very arduous morning sorting through the finer details of the new building with Kyle Jordan and she now knew why Famke had delegated this particular piece of business to her. This had been the tenth such meeting this week alone and it was only Wednesday.
She considered herself an intelligent woman. Cambridge University educated, top of her class. She had always excelled academically. It sounded vaguely big-headed, but she had a knack for succeeding at pretty much anything she put her mind to. Only twenty-five and she was a well-regarded doctor, an expert in the field of genetics and was the youngest ever Empath to gain a level 50 security clearance.
There was little in this world that Gale Knightley could not wrap her head around.
Yet, whatever Kyle Jordan was talking about, it was on the short list of things that Gale just did not get.
The man was on a whole different level intellectually and bar a few minor enhancements and alterations to the designs, Gale had simply gone along with his judgment and signed off everything. And by everything, she meant everything. Kyle Jordan was as fastidious as he was intelligent. Every design specification and plan was being combed through in minute detail to ensure things were right for the build.
At this moment in time, he was flicking holographic images at her too fast to follow, images which showed the layouts and schematics of the power room. The Femmes new base was to be totally independent. The Atlas Park building currently ran off the Paragon City power grid, but that was to change.
Indeed, while there were a great many fantastic features the building had on paper, none of them could cure the headache that was starting to thump away in the back of her skull. Not for the first time in her life, she rued the fact that she could not use her clear-mind ability on herself.
“I’m sorry to interrupt, Kyle, but I’m going to need a few minutes break. I’ve the mother of all headaches settling in for the long-term. Can we take five so I can grab some tablets or something?”
Kyle Jordan paused in mid-sentence and looked at the young Empath and smiled.
“I’m so sorry, Gale. Sometimes I get so caught up in this stuff and we’ve been at it for hours. Let’s take a break. Grab some food and drink, too.”
“That would be very much appreciated,” Gale smiled back. “If I can grab a sandwich and a coffee I’ll be good to go. You have any preference on what you’d like? The kitchen here is pretty good, as you know, though not a patch on the specifications I’ve seen for the new building.”
“We aim to please,” Kyle smiled. “Sandwich and coffee sounds good.”
The industrialist swiped his hand through the holographic display with a gesture that closed the images being displayed. Each exploded floor plan contracted and came back together, eventually zooming out to show the building as it would look in its entirety. A moment later, the building exterior blended into an InfiniTech logo which spun gently in the ether before gradually fading out as the console shut down. After hours of working on them, the absence of the dancing images of multi-colored building plans and specifications left the room looking oddly empty.
They left the conference room and headed down the corridor towards the lounge and before long they heard the rambunctious tones of Rogue coming from down the corridor ahead of them. As they approached the entrance to the lounge, two young women exited. One of them Gale recognized immediately as Pyra, the other was unfamiliar to her, but knowing that they were expecting a new member today, she surmised the newcomer must be Sarah Ardent.
“Sarah, this is our deputy leader, Gale Knightley. Codename: Knightingale,” Pyra introduced. “If you can’t get hold of Famke, then this is the lady to talk to.”
“Welcome, Sarah. I hope you’re settling in well?” Gale smiled and held her hand out to greet the new Femme Fatale.
“Everyone has been wonderful so far. Very friendly and welcoming, thank you,” Sarah replied.
“Glad to hear it,” Gale nodded.
“She even met Rogue and it doesn’t seem to have put her off as yet!” Pyra laughed. “And weighing in on the side of more sensible menfolk, this is Kyle…”
“…Jordan,” Sarah finished. “It’s such a pleasure to meet you.”
“Pleasure is all mine, I’m sure. First day?” Kyle inquired.
“Yes,” Sarah nodded, “flew in from the UK this morning and arrived in Paragon a few hours ago. Not even had time to look around the city yet.”
“Another Brit like Gale here. Love the accent,” Kyle said. “Paragon is a great city, well worth exploring. Just be careful in some areas. I’m sure the ladies will give you a heads up about where it’s safe to wander and where it’s not. You chose well with the Femme Fatales, they’re a top-notch group.”
“You’re only saying that because we’re spending millions on a new building with you!” Pyra retorted.
“I was a regular here long before you decided to spend your hard-earned cash on a new Headquarters,” Kyle Jordan shot back with a grin.
“Kyle here sometimes dons the cape and joins us in a little heroing himself from time to time. We can’t decide if he’s a thrill seeker or is just interested in one of us. Smart money is on Gale…” Pyra arched an eyebrow and grinned mischievously.
Gale instantly blushed a deep crimson, while Kyle Jordan looked momentarily uncomfortable before replying.
“Myself and Miss Knightley have a purely professional relationship. The reason I enjoy going into action with the Femmes on occasion has more to do with the fact I think your SuperGroup colours contrast nicely to the yellow and black on my Mr. Infinity costume. Simply that,” he replied smoothly.
“Right…” Pyra laughed. “Not getting off the hook that easily, Jordan. Anyhow, I’m taking Sarah here to get settled into her new quarters, so we won’t keep you any longer.”
“Go and get settled in, Sarah,” Gale said softly. “I’ll come by and visit you later on once I’ve finished with Kyle.”
“Pleasure to meet you, Gale, Mr. Jordan.”
“It’s Kyle, please. Only my lawyers call me, Mr. Jordan.”
“Kyle it is then.”
Gale watched Pyra lead Sarah down the corridor and as they disappeared around the next corner. After a moment, she turned back to see Kyle Jordan staring at her.
“You know, Gale, what Pyra said…” he stammered at her. “I didn’t mean… You’re an exceedingly attractive and worthy woman, it’s just…”
“Kyle, you’re one of the rare people here who knows about my passive telepathy, and you know that I know how you feel about me…and other Femmes… Believe me, I’m not offended, and your secret is safe.”
Kyle looked at her for a moment and then smiled wistfully.
“Sometimes I forget you’re so young. You have the head of someone much older on those young shoulders, Gale Knightley.”
“You’re a fine one to talk!” she retorted.
Kyle laughed for a moment as he realized the irony of what he had just said. He himself was an old head on young shoulders. His true age was close to fifty-nine, but an accident in the laboratory with some Infinitanium had caused his cells to regenerate and his age to regress back to a point where he looked only a little older than Gale herself.
“Touche,” he chuckled and started walking towards the lounge again. “If only the head ruled the heart, Gale. You and I were practically made for each other. Alas, you can’t control who you fall in love with.”
As they approached the lounge area, Gale could hear the contagious laughter of Rogue and Famke as they shared a joke that Kyle and Gale were too far out of earshot to hear.
“Very true Kyle…” she said quietly as they entered the room.