Join Date: February 22, 2006
Re: an Untitled story by my friend Catie and I
â€œA-wha?â€ I muttered feebly.
â€œGet up,â€ Fin said. My throat felt like sandpaper and my limbs felt like sticks with skin on them. On the whole, I wouldâ€™ve rather stayed unconscious.
â€œWhat the heck happened?â€ I said, pushing myself with all .003 grams of energy in my body. We were no longer in the wreckage, but in another warehouse. Whatâ€™s up with all the warehouses??
Iris was sitting at a table, her hands folded, her lips pursed. Fin stood over me. I found myself in a cot, just like the ones in headquarters.
â€œWhereâ€™d the water come from?â€ I asked weakly. Fin looked at me like I had just barfed a whole sandwich out, and then ate it.
â€œMe, Shame,â€ Fin said. I didnâ€™t like the nickname, but for the record, for the rest of the story heâ€™s going to call me that. â€œItâ€™s one of my powers.â€
â€œAnd the other?â€ I asked. Iris responded from her table.
â€œElectricity,â€ she said smartly. â€œBut his powers have a drawback that kinda sucks,â€ she added. â€œIf he tries to use both powers at the same time, heâ€™ll hurt himself. Learned the hard way, didnâ€™t you, Finnian?â€
Fin held up three fingers and muttered, â€œYou know what to do.â€ Then he said, â€œShame, get up, we have to get moving.â€
â€œAlready?â€ I moaned. â€œDonâ€™t we even know where to go or what to do? I donâ€™t even know if I got my powers back yet.â€
â€œYou got them back,â€ said Iris. â€œRemember, you have self-healing?â€
â€œOh right,â€ I uttered, slightly crestfallen. â€œBut what are we going to do?â€
â€œWe go to the Bum,â€ Fin stated flatly. Over Irisâ€™ face swept a look of concurrence. So theyâ€™d go to a homeless guy, most likely a drug addict, to help them? So I voiced my thought, and Fin snorted.
â€œHeâ€™s not a real bum.â€ Hmm, but some nickname though. That sound like some kind of guy youâ€™d go to for help. â€œHe used to be with Volmerâ€™s lot, but he got kicked out for sparing a Dumanizâ€™s life. This happened about twenty-five years ago, by the way. So now he still lives around here, and heâ€™s our ally.â€
â€œIn exchange for food,â€ Iris smirked.
The next day (well, I think it was day. I couldn't tell, because the room was still pitch black dark, or almost, at least), the six of us woke up, one by one. Butch sat in one corner, clutching his head in his hands. He'd obviously not slept much. I looked at him concerned.
"You seriously don't know how quiet my own mind is," he whispered dryly, almost smiling. The crawled to him and sat next to him.
"I know what you mean. I've only had my powers for likeâ€¦a week now, and I know something's missing. It's likeâ€¦a chunk out of my heartâ€¦or soul is gone. I feel so cold, and useless," I replied. To my surprise, Giggles was up too.
"See? That's what Vollmer does to people, Ro! We gotta get out!" she said, her little face set in determination.
"And we will. The first chance that we'll get, we'll get out of here. I'll kill if I have to," Ham told her. Now, granted, I haven't known these people for a long time. But seeing a little girl like this determined to break out of aâ€¦aâ€¦Torture place, for lack of better words, broke my heart. I wanted to cry, but I didn't. Something told me it would bring moral down even lower, and that couldn't be afforded.
Suddenly, without warning, the door slammed open, bright light filling the room and making me squint. Vollmer was again there with his team of soldiers. He ordered them to grab us, and for us to remain silence. Not thinking there was much we could do, we followed. And in no time flat, we were all led in separate directions.
Suddenly, I was alone. Well, there were likeâ€¦twenty guards with me, but I was still alone in a different sense of the word. They took me none too carefully down a long, white hallway into a room on the left. The room itself was like a gym, minus the lines and basketball nets. Off to one corner was another small room with a large window looking into the gym. Five or six scientist looking guys sat behind the window.
I was led in front of said window by a whole caravan of guards. I had no clue what I was supposed to do. Suddenly, one of the guard soldier people held his phaser electric thing to my neck. It wasn't that bad this time. In fact, it hardly hurt, but that wasn't what he was aiming to do. A quick flood of emotion ran through my body.
"Your chip is out. The scientists want to see your skills. You will perform your powers for them and nothing else. Otherwise, you will be killed," he said, placing what I figured to be my chip in his pocket.
"If you will, please imagine a vase of flowers," one of the scientists said through a microphone.
"W-what'llâ€¦What'll happen if I do?" I asked, my voice hoarse.
"If we find you capable of things such as this, then we'll recruit you. Your life will be safe; you will have spacious living quarters, and enough to eat. It would definitely place you in a better position than what you are living in already," another scientist replied, "Now, if you will, the flowers."
I just stood there. There was no way I'd work for Vollmer. I couldn't.
"The flowers. Do not waste our time, girl," the scientists said. I still stalled. He nodded to the guard with the phaser, who stuck it in my back and electrocuted me. I fell to my hands and knees, breathing hard.
"The flowers," they repeated. I shook my head. And got electrocuted again.
By this point, I was shaking with both pain and anger. Something inside me was released in full power. It was scary, but I knew it had to be done. I imagined them dead. Or hurt. Or tortured, or something! And I ran. Once I got to the wall, I imagined the wall not there. And it wasn't. I could still hear people trying to chase after me, but I was too far ahead. Without a moment's hesitation, I leapt out of the 20 story building, unfurled my wings, and soared away.
I was out.
Iris and Fin took me to a storageâ€¦ well, area, in the warehouse.
Actually, come to think of itâ€¦ seriously, though, whatâ€™s up with all the warehouses? I thought. The government was aware of our existence, so could this mean that they were, like, storing us until we were needed, when theyâ€™d come and pile us onto a truck and distribute us, you know, like to different people who might need mutants to protect things or to kill and/or rob enemies?
Wait, no, that made no sense. The government selling people? Well, with olâ€™ Dubya leading the countryâ€¦ I doubt I need to say more on that.
But what if it wasnâ€™t the government that was keeping, storing us?
Hey, Shamus Oliver Dougal, my conscience/inner-child/guardian angel/momâ€™s voice said. Maybe weâ€™re just in hiding, from federal knuckleheads such as Vollmerâ€¦sometimes if it werenâ€™t for my conscience/inner-child/guardian angel/momâ€™s voice Iâ€™d be in a mental hospital.
..or government knuckleheads like Dubya. I sniggered aloud.
â€œWha?â€ I Iris uttered, severing my connection with my conscience/inner-child/guardian angel/momâ€™s voice . â€œWeâ€™re here, hop into the cart.â€ She beckoned to a blue golf cart in which Fin was sitting. Iâ€™d always loved golf carts.
â€œCome on, Shamey, youâ€™re drivin,â€™â€ Fin said. He slapped the black padded seat.
A few miles and two nearly gas-less golf carts later, we took our turn into an alleyway decorated with specifically-placed candy wrappers, cardboard boxes, and old strips of junk paper. Actually, someone had made ribbons of a big old poster and hung them in the middle of the alley. Also, there were Christmas lights hung all around the alley. White, but not the icicle kind.
â€œHello?â€ called Fin and Iris. â€œBum?â€ Quite appropriately, a piece of garbage tumbled across the alleyway. Silence.
â€œItâ€™s Iris!â€ called Iris.
â€œMe, Fin, too!â€ shouted Fin.
A cardboard box started to pulsate. Groans escaped the sliver of an opening. A gray bearded man dressed in sweats, a very old jacket, and an assortment of rags came out. He was wearing a fading plaid, torn beanie. In his hand there was a knife, in his mouth there was a cigarette. I swore there was a homeless bloke who looked exactly like him who hung out by the mall.
â€œWhaja-?â€ the Bum stuttered stupidly. â€œOh, itâ€™s you lot, eh?â€ He spoke in a Cockney accent. A British Bum? Cool.
â€œI thought it was Vollmerâ€™s lot,â€ he said loudly, slightly mad. â€œA bloke and a lady were pokinâ€™ around me alley the day after last. But I done hid in the manhole,â€ he ranted. At the word manhole he gestured insanely at several places at the ground, none of which contained manholes. â€œWell, anywho, ye interrupted me nap.â€ Yet beauty sleep would do nothing anyway..
As he finally got his apparently drunk body up, he rubbed his belly and glanced at me, then did a double take. â€œâ€™Oor â€˜you, den?!â€ he yelled. I jumped and nearly peed. He still hadnâ€™t dropped his knife.
â€œUh, I, mm, uh,â€
â€œShamus,â€ came Iris to my rescue. Then I almost said, â€œWhat?â€ in reply.
â€œNew guy, eh?â€ he looked over me, taking particularly long glances at my hands and arms, face, and legs. â€œWell, well, well!â€ he laughed with quite a wheeze. â€œHe be a cutey, eh, Iris?â€ Iris rolled her eyes, but looked like sheâ€™d been ready with a combat for a few minutes.
â€œShut up, Bummy Boy, or Iâ€™m not giving you this ham sandwich, diet coke, cookie, and yogurt.â€ Iris nonchalantly dangled a paper bag high in the air.
â€œUeheuh,â€ the Bum groaned. â€œShut up, ye, donâ€™t make me jump for it, I ainâ€™t a bloody Chihuahua,â€ he whined, snatching the bag quickly from her hands.
Iâ€™ve never seen a cookie eaten so fast. I meanâ€¦ wow. It looked like it disappeared. No crumbs or nothing on his faceâ€¦ damn!
I flew blindly, not having a clue where I was going. I felt like a traitor, leaving the other's behind. I didn't know where I was, I didn't know when I was. I didn't know how to control my powers. Some mad-man was after me, unafraid to torture and/or kill me/us.
As I flew, I cried. I briefly wondered if anyone would feel the tears falling from my face, but I was too frantic to worry about anything like that. People could go ahead and think that it was only raining on them. I didn't give a care. I wanted to fly home, but I didn't know where home was. I didn't even know what this place was called. I didn't want to use anymore of my powers. I had been fueled by anger when Iâ€¦killed them back there. Anger is a strong emotion. It gives you more power, adrenaline. Stuff like that. It hadn't been like when I made the table. I'd thought about that. I'd thought about it hard. This was spontaneous. It justâ€¦happened, like the fights I'd get in with Shamus.
Hell, I would even like to find Shamus right about now.
Luckily, I got what I'd wished for.
The weird thing about this futuristic, dingy, ugly city was that no one was outside. No one. At all. So when I saw four people in an alleyway, I immediately swooped down to see who it was, mentally preparing myself. If it was Vollmer's guards/soldiers, I would kill them. They deserved, for what they wanted to do to us. Always do to your enemy what they would do to you. Show them no mercy.
I landed in the filthy, littered alley and three familiar faces looked at me like I had-well, just dropped out of the sky. And there was some hobo there, but I didn't care. My cheeks were still wet with tears, and I sobbed even harder when I saw Iris, Fin and Shamus standing there. Well, Iris and Fin, anyway. But continuing, I sank to the ground, just letting the tears flow.
"Ro! What happened?" Iris asked, trying to make sense out of my blubbering mass. I tried to talk, my voice shaking.
"Iâ€¦I left them. Vollmer's soldiers took me to see what my powers could do. They took away the chip that stopped me from using my powersâ€¦and they told me to do something, and I refused. I killed them. I killed the guards and got out, but the others are still there! We have to get there! Vollmer's dangerousâ€¦heâ€¦tortures-by only touching you! It'sâ€¦horrible. We have to get them out of there!" I replied, shivering.
"Did heâ€¦you know, likeâ€¦torture you?" a soft voice asked. It was Shamus. Actually acting like a human, and not Pig man, like usual. I slowly looked at him and nodded, dropping my head onto my knees.
"I'm afraid he's going to kill themâ€¦because I got out," I whispered.
"Ro, listen. Vollmer's not going to kill them. We're powerful. We're like him, the last of a dying breed. He wants us. So far, he's been able to control this whole place, pushing everyone inside, erasing our past and future. Killing families and loved ones, great, great people. He's brainwashed others, like Rip. Or Rip might've been in on it all along. Truthfully, I don't really blame the guy. He probably had enough to eat every night, didn't have to worry about dying. If it wasn't the epitome of evil, hell, I'd sign up for the draft," Fin explained casually, "But trust me; the others won't be killed, unfortunately for them."
I didn't respond. I wasn't really sure whether that made me feel better or worse. A little of each, actually.
"Well, she is right. We have to get them. Ro's been inside already, she knows some things that she can tell us. Right?" Iris asked. I nodded again. I had stopped crying, but something was missing. Not like when my powers were gone. It wasn't the same as thatâ€¦it was justâ€¦a void, in my chest.
"Bum, can you help us?" Fin asked, turning to the hobo. Bumâ€¦nice name. And I thought Rowina was badâ€¦
â€œHelp â€˜oo?â€ said the Bum, like he didnâ€™t know that a winged girl just landed in his alleyway-home. Then Bum say her, and jumped like she was wearing a mask. â€œâ€™Oly lord!â€ he cried. Roâ€™s wings were still unfurled, stretching almost from one side of narrow alley to the next.
I wasâ€¦ actually glad to see Ro. I mean, at least she was alive. If she was deadâ€¦ then Iris, Fin, and I would have no hope. Now we knew that everyone was still alive. There was a chance left to beat Vollmerâ€™s pale ass.
Ro looked incredulous. â€œUmâ€¦â€ she muttered. â€œIs he always like this?â€
Iris grinned in spite of the wheezing, brandy-sipping Bum, limping and muttering off to retrieve something from behind a hanging sheet. â€œOnly after a grenade exploded five feet away from him.â€
â€œOh,â€ said Ro and I under our breaths. Ro kept looking at me funny. Uh, yeah, Iâ€™m here, I exist, what do you want?
The Bum hobbled back with a chest. He dropped the chest, and as it hit the ground with a loud boom, he jumped, wincing, but then seemed to remember it was just the chest. â€œNow,â€ he said, clearing his throat. Pointing to both Ro and I, he asked, â€œWhat happened the day you too discovered your powers?â€
Ro silently and without any â€œumsâ€ or â€œuhsâ€ told the story of the lightning storm, until the point she was unconscious. Then I told about how I go shocked by the telephone and everything, down to the point where I, too, was unconscious.
â€œFinally, I was in my house, somehow,â€ Ro finished.
â€œAndâ€¦ thatâ€™s all.â€ Great ending, Shamus, I thought sarcastically. The Bum â€˜hmmedâ€™ and nodded. He closed his eyes, taking in our whole story. For a minute I thought heâ€™d actually fallen asleep. Then he said, his eyes still closed, â€œThat wasnâ€™t no lightning storm.â€