The Necklace: A Jaycen Wise Fanfiction
Anyone that's been in the Black indie comic book scene knows Richard Tyler, Jr. a.k.a. Uraeus. He's an amazing brother and creator, most well known for creating the Black Heroes Matter slogan. Another amazing creation by Richard is Jaycen Wise, the immortal hero. I'm a huge fan. Here's a short story I wrote based on this amazing character.
Jaycen leaned over in his first-class seat to gaze at the Atlanta skyline. The
October sky was crystal blue, the summer haze long gone. The attendant offered to refresh his wine but he refused. He drank it the old way, diluting it with water the way it was meant to be enjoyed. He'd always enjoyed flying, from his first leisurely trip on a dirigible, his stint as a war pilot with the French during the First World War, to his current occupation as a collector of ancient artifacts. He leaned back in his chair and sipped a little more wine before the attendants announced the final approach to Hartsfield/Jackson International. No sooner had the wheels touched the tarmac did he turn on his i-phone. A message waited; he opened it and grinned.
What are you doing in Atlanta? You were expected in Addis Abba today. A slight detour. Something of sentimental value. No time for sentiment.
Jaycen smiled after he read the last text. They still didn't understand. He worked with them, not for them. I'll be on a plane tomorrow. This won't take long. Jaycen turned off his phone. He exited the plane and went immediately to his rental car, a black Dodge Daytona with tinted windows. The GPS displayed the directions to Emory University and he set off. The infamous Atlanta traffic greeted him as he merged onto I-85, so he settled in for a long wait. He fumbled through his briefcase, taking out the brochure for the exhibit. The Lost Kingdoms of the Nile, it read. The collection was on loan from the Boston Museum to the university for the summer, but because of its popularity it had been extended to the end of the year. Jaycen had planned to retrieve the artifact in Boston, but the Emory location was perfect. Security would be less. There wasn't much to the exhibit, but there was one item that he had to obtain. As treasures went it was valuable but not exceedingly so, as a spiritual piece it was worthless. But to him, there was no more important item. He had to have that necklace.
Jaycen found the parking lot close to the exhibit. Security was present but sparse,
confirming his suspicions. It was a short walk from the lot to the museum building, a structure that had apparently lived a previous life as a classroom structure. He peeked into the bookstore left of the entrance, amused by the collection of books on Khemet and Kush and the toy Sphinx statues littered on the counter. At least the receptionist seemed to be enjoying his job; he shared a wide smile as Jaycen approached. "Good morning, sir!" he sang. "Are you here for the Kush exhibit?" "Yes, I am. "That will be seven dollars, sir." Jaycen looked in his wallet and sighed. "All I have is Euros." "That's fine, sir." Jaycen paid the man and received his ticket. "The exhibit is on the third floor, sir. I hope you enjoy it." Jaycen exited the elevator before the entrance to the exhibit. A security guard took his ticket and he entered, exited and concerned. It was always good to see pieces of his past, but the fact that they were stolen from his homeland was the reason he did what he did. He bypassed most of the artifacts, searching for the necklace. He found it in the next room, surrounded by a family. The father, a handsome brown man with graying hair, read discussion to his twin daughters and lovely wife. "They say this necklace was found in one of the Kushite pyramids in Meroe," the father said. "I wonder who it belonged to?" the wife said. "Her name was Asanamek, and she was as beautiful as the night sky over the Nile," Jaycen answered. "Her father was a pharaoh and she was destined to become a queen, but she was in love with a Kushite warrior who refused to hide his love for her. He gave her that necklace, knowing that their different status would not allow them to be together. She wore it from that day forward until she died." "I've never heard that story before," a female voice said. Jaycen turned to see a tall woman dressed in a conservative blue suit that displayed her attractive form. Her hair was pulled back into a thick pony tail, leaving her almond eyes, small nose and full lips on display. She smiled at Jaycen as she extended her hand. "Hello, I'm Candace Pearlman, curator of this exhibit." Jaycen took her hand and kissed it. "Wise, Jaycen Wise." (haha!) Candace's eyes brightened. "The Jaycen Wise?" "The only one I know." She looked at the family. "The story you heard is probably true. Mr. Wise is one of the foremost experts on Egyptian and Kushite culture." Jaycen looked at the twins. "I just read more books than she did," he whispered. "I'm flattered you took the time to visit our exhibit," Candace said. "I wish I knew you were coming. We could have made an event out of it." "Exactly what I wished to avoid," Jaycen confessed. "I would like a tour, if you have the time." "Of course, Mr. Wise." "Just Jaycen." Candace gave him a devilish grin. "Okay...Jaycen. Follow me." Jaycen watched her walk away. "That won't be hard," he whispered.
Jaycen followed Candace throughout the building, noting the entrances, exits, vents and security points. This would be an easy job; he estimated he would be in and out in less than five minutes. As they left the building, he noted the nearby trees and underbrush. This building was a security nightmare. He became suspicious for a moment but dismissed it. It was a university. They just didn't know any better. "Have you had lunch, Jaycen?" Candace asked. "As a matter of fact, I haven't." "The restaurants close by aren't great, unless you're into fast food. You don't strike me as the McDonald's type." Jaycen smiled. "No, I'm not." "Come on," she gestured. "I know a great Greek restaurant nearby. We'll have to stop by my apartment first. It's on the way and I need to change." Jaycen smiled wider. He was being set up for a nooner. Centuries of experience taught him to regulate his emotions, but he decided to let go. She was beautiful; reminding him of Asanamek with her directness. He decided to play along. "Change? You look fine to me." It was Candace's turn to smile. "Of course, I do. I just like to be more casual when I go to Ziti's. It's not far. It won't take long." "That's what you think," Jaycen whispered. It was close to two-thirty in the afternoon when they finally left the apartment. "I can't believe I did this," Candace said. "You must think I'm a whore." "I thought you were great," Jaycen said. Candace leaned her head on his shoulder. "I'm a sucker for celebrities." She pulled him towards her convertible. "Come on, let's go eat. I'm starving." Jaycen's I-phone rang. He looked at the screen and frowned. "Just a minute." He flipped open his phone and began a heated argument with his clients. When he hung up, Candace looked at him in amazement. "Were you speaking Meroitic?" Jaycen cursed himself mentally. He was so used to no one understanding the ancient tongue he'd forgotten about Candace's credentials. "No," he lied. "Just a dialect from my homeland." "You're Ethiopian, right?" "Yes, I am," he lied again. Candace grabbed his hand. "Come on, let's eat." Jaycen followed, his ears burning with his clients concerns. They were right. It was time for him to get back to work. He would, as soon as he secured the necklace.
The hot summer day descended into a warm humid night on the Emory campus. Cicadas buzzed unseen while fireflies blinked under the broad canopies of the white oaks bordering the campus green. Jaycen parked his car in a secluded part of the condominium complex across the street from the campus. He ruled out wearing his normal stealth gear, opting for black khakis, sneakers and black t-shirt. If he was seen he'd resemble a student from a distance; if he was spotted up close, he would deal with it. He needed no special gear for this job because of the lax security. He made it to the rear of the building, disabling the security system in seconds. The rear door was easy; Jaycen found himself before the exhibit, dealing with the extra security door provide for the artifacts. With the power dead the door was easy to open. He moved through the rooms like a leopard to the case holding the necklace. To his surprise, it was gone. "Looking for this," someone said. Jaycen turned to see Fatima standing in a body-hugging cat suit, the necklace encircling her neck and a devilish grin on her face. The guards lay sprawled behind her. "I knew you would come for it. Sometimes you are so predictable.”
Jaycen extended his hand. “Give it to me. It has no value to you.”
Fatima rolled her eyes. “No value? This necklace is worth millions. But I guess to you its priceless.” She took a seductive stance. “How does it look on me? Better that it did on Asanamek?”
Jaycen lunged at Fatima and she spun away, dropping low for a leg sweep. He jumped over her extended leg. They fell into a graceful give and take, Jaycen choosing a cautious ngola style to Fatima’s flamboyant Sezales. Fatima’s skills were no match to Jaycen’s but she was good enough that the only way to defeat her was to seriously injure her, which Jaycen would not do. Their relation was complicated.
“What the hell is going on?” Candice’s shrill voice caught both of their attention. Fatima reacted first, jumping across the floor and grabbing the startled curator in a choke hold.
“She’s cute,” Fatima said. “As a matter of fact, she looks a lot like Asanamek. I wonder if she’ a whore like her, too?”
Jaycen moved towards Fatima gingerly. Fatima wasn’t a killer, but she was unpredictable when she was angry…and jealous.
“Leave her out of this,” he said. “This is between you and me.”
Fatima grinned. “Exactly.”
Jaycen felt the power shifting in the room. He leaped at Fatima, grabbing her wrist as she shifted. The weight of the three of them was too much for Fatima’s limited abilities; the three of them emerged on the ledge of the museum building.
“You have to make a choice,” Fatima said. “The whore or the necklace!”
She shoved Candice off the ledge. Jaycen jumped after her, streamlining his body to catch up. He wrapped her in his left arm, turned in mid-air while snatching the grappling gun from his waist. He shot the rope into a nearby oak and they jerked and the rope took hold. Jaycen hit a red button on the side of the gun and the winch mechanism lowered them slowly to the ground.
“Are you alright?” he asked.
“Jaycen, what’s going on? What were you doing in the museum? Who was that woman?”
“I’ll explain everything back at the apartment. Let’s go before security arrives.”
Jaycen hurried Candice back to her apartment. As soon as they stepped inside the questions began again.
“Candice, please calm down.” He took her hand and gazed into her eyes, whispering a calming chant he learned long ago in India. Candice eyes drooped and she sat down.
“I’m just trying to understand what’s going on,” she said.
Jaycen went to the refrigerator and made Candice a glass of orange juice.
“Drink this, it will calm you down.”
Candice did as she was told. She was asleep in moments. Jaycen gathered his things and drove downtown to the W Hotel. He checked in, showered then lay on his bed. Fatima was long gone, he was sure. He knew his past with Asanamek bothered her, but he didn’t realize how much. Their relationship might have been just as rich if not for Fatima’s insatiable greed for precious artifacts. It was a difference neither of them could compromise and they would always be adversaries because of it.
The next morning found him at the airport. The receptionist at the Delta terminal greeted him with a warm southern smile.
“How can I help you, Mr. Wise?”
“I need to change my flight,” he said.
Jaycen smiled. He knew where he would find her and when he found her, she would be wearing the necklace.