PowerTrip III: Wargod, Alias Colonel Faith Jackson

In 2036, Gladiator was treated like a head of some nationalistic religion that was sprouting under her feet, thought Jackson. She was now a spokesperson for Amnesty International and publishing a guest column in the Economist praising female leadership as the means to weave a stronger fabric of society in every nation. And it didn’t hurt that she was friendly, beautiful, and Earth’s first alien. And she’d chosen Canada. Us. 

Wargod alone on Shadowforce has no superhuman powers. Her women and men of JT2 would disagree. No matter the prowess at any martial art: kung fu, karate, boxing, mixed martial arts of ever species–every trainee fighter found their art failed in some essential way against some art Wargod had found and sought to impart. A master art not all could master. Wargod was 51 years old and was a little slower than she had been, but her voracious study of war and killing more than compensated.

So what? Faith thought, smiling and shaking the alien woman’s hand for the photos, a little nervous about being hurt in the process, for Gladiator could throw a tractor like Faith could a medicine ball. But could Gladiator deal with the horrors of war? She was a PR dream. Was that why she was leading this team? She had trained in her world’s special forces but never served. Time would tell. Faith basked in the crispness of the moment as she turned and waved to the crowd, smiling. Hmm. Being a costumed hero… the maroon was her favourite lipstick colour. 

Faith liked Gladiator, the alien ambassador and her team’s leader–her leader–very much. Faith was her hand-toGladiator was 82, very young for a woman of Thara’s (Gladitor’s) people, and Faith could see inexperience through the spaces in her undeniably noble and tough exterior. She was exceptionally valiant, and a whole world had chosen her to get acquainted with a new intelligent species. Gladiator had not failed Canada yet, and in their black ops missions, she had been tested. As had Faith. When Gladiator did fail, Faith would help her learn that failure was itself a learning accelerant.

Faith trained every member of the current JT2 forces, all 350 operatives. She’d turned them into flexible forces as comfortable ferreting out nests of terrorists as fighting militias of irregular fighters that conscripted child soldiers. She was always an active field operative though an instructor and had bled and killed for Canada throughout her career.

Wargod was learning knife fighting at age six and at 51 she was master of any bladed weapon, or any other weapon to some degree. She can pick up and use any weapon new to her and wield it with competence on her first try. Wargod’s mission gear includes nunchucks, shiroken stars, three knives tipped in a paralysing poison, an AK-47, an M82 sniper rifle, and a pistol she designed and machined herself which fires three kinds of ammo: armour-piercing, rubber, and explosive.

2037. Months after Gladiator was named leader of the newly created Shadowforce team, Colonel Jackson was invited to join Shadowforce by Director Pamela Quinn-Singh, an inscrutable woman who ran the Forces’ skunkwork projects.

In the following weeks Gladiator had impressed Faith, who took the codename Wargod. Gladiator could lead in dangerous, morally confusing situations—find the truth to fight from. Faith thought back to the destroyed subway station: Gladiator had found a girl broken under a slab of rock, clinging to failing life, dying in pain. Gladiator was bent over her, trembling.

“Okay, let me.” Faith put a gloved hand on Gladiator’s shoulder.

Snap.

“It’s okay. It’s done. She’s at peace now.”

Peer pressure. Gladiator had nearly failed to do what someone had to do. Gladiator was a good woman. But she would need all of the pressure Faith put on her, all the trust Wargod had in her, to keep Shadowforce balanced on a very narrow bridge across a long, deep chasm.

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