The coffee machine whirred to life as Ray Redeagle got out of the shower and dried off his impressive seven foot frame. He wiped the mirror in order to see himself brush his teeth and comb his military short black hair. He donned his SWAT uniform and tucked his black hood in one of the pockets. Ray gave himself a final check to see all was in order. Satisfied, he made his way to the kitchen. In the hallway, he walked past pictures of Native American heritage and pride. Ray was of the Cherokee people and beliefs. Living up to his heritage and occupation were very important to Ray. He considered his life a path of honor.
He poured a cup of steaming hot coffee, black and sat down at the kitchen table. The dog door flapped loudly as Ray’s little terrier struggled in dragging the newspaper.
“Hey, Tonto! Good boy!” He gave the dog an affectionate scratch on the head and took the paper. He shook his head as he regarded the listing of soldier deaths overseas. Gas prices showed no sign of getting any better. For that matter they promised to get worse. “When will the world learn, Tonto?”
The little dog cocked his head and stared up at his master. “That’s exactly how I feel, Boy.” Ray stood up and walked over to a cabinet and brought out a box of dog food. He poured some in a bowl and set it down for his dog. “Well, Boy, gotta go to work. You stay out of trouble, okay?” Ray shot down the remainder of his coffee and strolled out the door of his small home in Great Neck, New York.
Neighbors often found it amusing to watch Ray fit his 7-foot-body into a sexy, low riding, red Ferrari, but he always managed. Ray just had to have the seat as far back as it would go. Ray backed out of his driveway as a chuckling neighbor waved goodbye. Ray gave a polite wave and drove for the freeway. It was time to hit the radio buttons. Ray hated morning talk shows and depressing news. Music, preferably classic rock, always helped him with long morning commutes. Ray groaned as he reached the onramp for the freeway.
“Man, I really should just run to work. I would get there a lot faster.” Ray Redeagle was much better known to coworkers as Agent Redeagle. He worked for the Federal Protection Agency. The FPA supports law enforcement across the country including the FBI. They specialized in dealing with what was referred to as “powered” threats. People with incredible powers existed everywhere. There were even people with magic and mystical abilities. Ray was well aware of this, since his Grandfather was a powerful Shaman. All officers with the FPA were either specially trained to deal with special threats or had their own special abilities.
Ray remembered a fated morning with is Grandfather vividly.
“My Boy, you will be blessed. You will be a great protector. So long as you protect the lands you came from, this will continue. You will have the eyes of the eagle, strength of a bear, swiftness of the wind, and stealth of the mountain lion. You will hear better than the trickster rabbit. You will become more cunning than the crow. Now you will become a man. Never forget where you are from.”
Traffic seemed to crawl inches at a time. The ocean of cars and trucks made Ray feel like he was drowning. He drummed his fingers on the steering wheel and ignored the irritated drivers honking their horns. The Midtown Tunnel was just up ahead. He wondered if he would reach it soon. Finally cars lurched forward and Ray took his foot off the brake with anticipation. As his car started to move forward, everything went dark. Before Ray could react, he hit the car in front of him. He almost started cursing at his accident when the Ferrari was hit from behind. It wasn’t just him. He could hear multiple impacts with sounds of crumpling metal and breaking glass all around. Ray shook his head and blinked his eyes. He thought he had gone blind until he saw the console of his car was still lit up. He looked out the windows and saw nothing. Total blackness was everywhere. People started to open their car doors, and the dome lights of vehicles came on. Whatever was happening, it wasn’t blindness.
Ray opened his car door and struggled to get out. On the way, he grabbed his flashlight and gear bag. Thanks to the time of day, there were no streetlights. The only light anyone had was what they could get from their cars. People started to shout about turning on headlights and many did. Ray gazed up at the sky and saw only blackness. His mind spun and he wondered what kind of disaster he was witnessing. Ray realized he needed to get to the office right away. He pulled out his cell phone, but there was no signal. He heard many other people around him mentioning the same issue. Ray looked at his mottled car.