View Full Version : Phantasmagoria: Beginnings :: IC
Victoria Quarter, London
They were hanging out in the shopping centre again. Best to hang out in public, though. Alfred thought to himself. Less chance of a fight, and as such, exposure. Not that you'd even join in, a voice in his head remarked. He frowned, before shaking his head softly. Too many risks. The others always show off anyhow. He looked around, still wondering in his head what it was that set them apart from the rest of humanity. Lights always seemed brighter around the gang members, and sometimes other, apparently-ordinary humans as well. Not that they always looked. Humans had a wonderfully resilient mental makeup; if you saw something that looked wrong, you ignored it. Trouble always finds inquisitive minds, apparently. Which was rubbish. Trouble found Alfred even though he'd done nothing in his life to deserve it. That was just how the cookie crumbled.
"Hey, Alf. Reading again?" That was Maya, a fire-wielding power user. Oddly friendly, given the usual fire-type disposition to be a (literally) flaming show-off half of the time. One of the ones he actually got along with, which was a shame. All the power users could do with getting to know each other better, however he found himself easily-irritated by those with . . . enlarged senses of self. Egos. Whatever.
"Not that much, just bored." He slipped the comic back into his satchel, legs dangling off of the side of the table. She grinned down at him.
"As always. You think to much, kid." Again with the kid. Just because she was 18, and a member of those Archangels. Still, at least they kept the gang together and in one piece. Roughly. Shame the same can't be said for some of the other gangs. The human gangs.
Man, was that inner voice annoying today. Standing up, Alfred wandered over to one of the shops in the centre. TVs in the window. Brilliant way to advertise thievery. Still, the news was on, and it was better watching it here than it was watching it at the care home.
11th Aug 11, 5:34 PM
MP3 Player Current Selection: Nickleback Burn it to the Ground (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_KB7tH3RIJI)
Lisa was just kicking around for the most part leaning against a magazine rack with small headphones in her ears. Mp3 player up loud enough that anyone standing next to her could easily hear parts of the music. Her wavy hair swishing about as the teen bobbed her head to the music lightly eyes half closed.
She really hated hanging out in the shopping center, it made everything so boring and predictable, everyone simply standing about reading various things or wandering around the center. The calm….normal demeanor just made her edgey as such that she spent most of such times simply listening to her music unless someone wanted to talk.
The girl looked over towards the main area of the center while she nodded her head, watching people come and go, “No light, no light, no light,” She stated muttering lowly looking at them, “Light, no light…” Quickly growing tired of keeping count on similar strangers to them she fell silent again.
“These are the dullest hang out spots,” She stated absently mostly to herself.
11th Aug 11, 6:21 PM
Serena sat on a bench in the middle of the shopping centre, watching the gang mill around with a bored expression. She looked as incongrous as ever, dressed in expensive designer clothes among the scruffy, independent gangers. She looked up as Natalya approached, watching the Russian girl with interest. She was a beautiful person, one of the diamonds in the rough around here. "Good afternoon."
Natalya looked over at the speaker, her deep blue eyes almost peering into the other. As usual, they seemed almost devoid of emotion, though anyone who knew Natalya knew that wasn't her at all. "Oh, hi Serena," she acknowledged the other as she took a seat, "How are things?"
"The usual. The librarian was giving me grief for sleeping in the library," Serena said. "As if there is anything else to do in private study periods. I've done all my homework, you know. I'm not going to invent work for myelf."
"Sometimes I miss those days," Nat said thoughtfully in thickly accented English, "Then I remember what things were like outside of the school and I'm glad they've passed by," she pulled out a comic book and began to read, "I also don't miss those Russian winters..."
"Then go to school here," Serena said. "You're smart enough, aren't you? If you don't catch up now there will be hell to pay later." She frowned, eying Natalya with disapproval. Reading while talking wasn't a habit that endeared her to others.
"Can't afford it," Nat replied, skimming the page for a minute before closing the magazine on her lap, "Besides I'm technically an illegal immigrant. I make ends meet okay, but not all of us have your good fortune," Her tone was light, no jealousy or anger at her own situation. Things simply were.
"Do you have a job?" Serena asked. "Well, if you're an illegal immigrant, I guess not... do you have a plan for the future? Or just a prayer? We can't hang around here forever, you know."
"I work," Nat admitted with a shrug, "Honest work except for my status. As for future plans, can't say I really do. I'm happy enough keeping our group together. Not much else I really can do or father may find me; last thing I want."
"Well, I'm glad you work." Serena frowned, looking out over the gang. "But you can't stay here forever. Neither can I. No one here can. We can't be satisfied with just this. This life is pleasant, but it's stagnant. Pointless, in the end."
"Funny, you always struck me as being quite satisfied with this," Nat said with a chuckle, "To tell you the truth I don't see any of us working some dull nine to five job. We were meant for greater things; it's in our blood. I just have no idea what those greater things are at this point. I'm amazed we've remained hidden this long, but one of these days our secret will get out. For all we know, it may already have but they've chosen to not interfere. For now, though, I work on ways to safeguard us for the future the best I can on my limited income."
"I disagree. We're normal. The fact we have freakish super-powers isn't important in the end." Serena closed her eyes. "There's no stories in this world. When I discovered my powers, I thought the way you do now... but when all is said and done, I'm just kicking my heels and hanging out with a bunch of other kids. That's all." She opened her eyes, glancing sidelong at Natalya. "I'll be going to Cambridge in October, you know. If I get the results. I won't be able to stay."
"Good for you," Nat replied with a smile, though it quickly turned to a sigh. "...I know that. One of these days my run will start again though I wish it didn't have to be this way. I've told you before that'll happen someday; I'll just disappear. I've stayed here in London a lot longer than I ever should have, but I like it here. I'll hate to leave when the time comes."
"It's not something I see as just a good thing." Serena turned her head away. Whatever answer she'd been looking for wasn't the one she had recieved. "Well, stay for as long as you can. You're safer than you might otherwise be here, under the circumstances. But if you're going to bring some really dangerous people down on our heads... well, I won't say anything. I don't have anything useful to say."
"It's been five years," Nat said, "He may have even given up but I refuse to get complacent. He'd probably just drag me home, punish me a bit...There's a reason I haven't told anybody here the whole truth, for their safety. I wish things could stay the way they are right now, but change is inevitable. When the time comes...I'm really going to miss you and the others. This is the only place I've found where I belong. If you'll excuse my indulgence, it's probably because I founded a significant portion of this group. They've come to rely on me, and I worry what would happen if I actually had to leave without warning. I just hope I've taught you guys enough to go one without me," She looked upwards, staring off into space rather than looking at anything in particular.
Serena shrugged. "We like you. But we don't need you. The kids can teach themselves without your help. They will be fine without you. Kids tend to be. So you don't need to feel responsible for this motley little group. Stay here because you like it, not because you feel obliged."
"Like I said," Nat replied, her eyes returning to the wind girl, "I belong here and teaching the kids? That's my place where I AM needed. Sure, our powers come quite naturally to us, but there's other aspects I believe we all need. I mean, some of the younger ones come here not even being able to read. I like teaching them...I've even pushed a few of them into higher learning but that was before your time here. Back when my money wasn't quite as tight."
"That's commendable," Serena said. "But who is going to teach you and push you onwards? Are you satisfied with who you are, here and now? All I see is another kid, a bit smarter than the others."
"Joining a school would create a paper trail," Nat said with a sigh, "I can't take that risk. All I can do is get my hands on the odd textbook and teach myself."
"I'll lend you my textbooks, if you like. I can help you study." Serena folded her arms. "Though that's only because they say that teaching is the best way to learn."
"I appreciate it," Natalya replied, not being fooled for a second but playing alone. Serena was always like this.
Serena smiled to herself, looking down at the floor. "It'd be a waste to leave you here."
12th Aug 11, 4:18 AM
As she got up to leave, Natalya noticed the young fire girl who'd never given them a name, instead preferring to go by the name Eris. She acknowledged the other's presence with a nod and continued to walk by.
"Another line of ice queen's ramblings about 'important things'?" Eris snickered, approaching. "I swear I shouldn't probably exist by her rules."
"Funny, everybody calls me the ice queen," Nat deadpanned, "For multiple reasons I guess. Besides, I'm the one with the rules that restrict power use, remember?"
Eris shrugged. "Yeah? I thought you'd have those just out of the satisfaction that comes from breaking them. I swear I saw the rich-bitch do a flyby though. Was far too tempting to drop in, believe me."
"They mostly keep the younger ones in line," Nat shrugged, "Nothing wrong with enjoying what you are, but the younger ones tend to be more...reckless in their application. I do envy the flight the wind users have, I admit,"
"Yeah. Wish I could set people on fire earlier. That would change a few things." The girl looked around, instinctively twitching upon seeing a policeman walking by.
"We all have things in our pasts that our powers could have prevented," Nat replied with a shrug, "Just how it is,"
"Prevention isn't exactly the word I'm looking at here, miss popsicle." Eris chuckled. "I'd say something you'd consider 'reckless displays of mayhem, carnage and devastation followed by mad laugh'"
"Good way to end up dead, really. We need to avoid attracting attention. I'd rather not end up dead or in a lab somewhere while they try to puzzle me out," Nat replied in her usual dry tone.
"Would you finally chill a bit..." Eris paused for a moment, grinning at the odd wordplay. "...If you just beat the crap out of someone with a little bbq on top - you're not going to land in some x-files crap. At least till you make it a mass murder or something."
"Of course not. In fact, I wouldn't be surprised if the government knows we exist and has been keeping tabs on us so we don't do something stupid like that. As long as we're smart about it we'll be fine. That's why I teach the new ones now. To avoid the mistakes we've made in the past,"
Eris pointed at Nat. "Hey, I don't regret anything. In fact - I love every single choice I've made. Mistakes, if there were any, too." she mused for a moment. "To think of it, there haven't been many mistakes so far. Sides from not nailing Churchill to the wall when I had the occasion to do so..."
"Not too many here either. Just tough choices I had to make but don't regret. I suppose my only error was not coming here sooner if I had to pick one...and Sarah, I suppose,"
"Yuck. Come to think of it, Churchill may still be pissed. So if you find a way to frame him in a longer sentence... yeah." the redhead smiled.
Lisa glances over from the magazine store she'd been lounging about in, noticing the two going by the store, wandering out after them, her mp3 still going, "Please tell me one of you is as bored with this place as I am!" She states having not even heard any of their previous conversation.
"Not like I can afford to shop," the ice queen noted drly, "I only come here as the young ones are easier to manage in public," Despite her protest, Natalya did have a newer volume of manga tucked under her arm.
She eyed the manga tucked under Natalya's arm for a moment before impulsively grabbing it from its nestled spot and flipping through it after looking to see what it was titled.
Natalya didn't move but watched the younger girl with her sharp eyes betraying exactly how she felt about the intrusion.
"Now that, was lovely. Repat that with that lady's purse." Eris mused, pointing at some rich-looking woman walking nearby. "Joking. Too much security snooping around."
The fire girl didn't even seem to notice the look, though she frowned lightly looking through a few more pages, "Why is this completely backwards?" She stated before handing it back to Natalya, still oblivious glancing at Eris, "I'm not interested in getting whomped by a baton, or old lady."
"Hey, I'm not telling you to do that... although I could distract the security for a moment..." she smiled in a rather maleveolent manner. "Thievery jokes aside.... any ideas on what to do next that doesn't involve tormenting the local crowd in any way shape or form?"
"I'll leave you two to your fun, then," Natalya said dismissively as her eyes noticed something, "Seems I need to take a few of the newbies outside for a bit of a lesson,"
"Oooh. I want to watch miss glacier play a dom!" Eris laughed and followed Nat with a wide grin on her face.
She rolled her eyes watching the two walk away, letting out a huff before she looked about for something to do.
12th Aug 11, 7:57 AM
Alexandra was looking a little scruffier than her usual self and felt unusually cold. She was stood with Francis outside a small shop, away from the rest of the gang, where it is a little quieter. There was an air of awkwardness, since her and Francis don't really know each other. She was leaning against the wall casually.
Francis looked the younger girl up and down with a lazy eye before turning his attention to the rest of the group. "So, why are you here?" the older teenager said in an attempt to break the silence.
Alex looked at Francis thankfully. "Define, here" She said, smirking. She needed a little laugh, since she had been bored all day. And then turned away from Francis, to look where the rest of the group was, just in case we had to run away, quickly.
The dark haired teenager shrugged by way of an reply. "With the gang of course" Francis smiled slightly, "I'm here to save the world for instance"
The Ice talon laughed slyly as she thought about Francis' answer, and was also trying to come up with something clever herself. "I'm here to keep the gang out of trouble" Was all she could think of.
Francis chuckled dryly. "I'm joking in case there was any doubt. I'm not one to make such grand gestures. Keeping this motley group out of trouble though? Good luck with that" The young man grinned, folding his arms over each other. "I've seen nothing but trouble since I joined"
Alex laughed. "I know you were joking, I was too" She said, giggling to herself. She looked again to see if everybody else had moved. "I assume you been here a long time, right?" She said, suddenly getting a little more serious.
"I've been around" Francis said, noting the abrupt change in Alexandra's tone, "No more longer than most here though. You might consider me an unusually 'normal' case in come regards, why do you ask?" Francis replied cheerfully.
Alex looked at Francis, with a stern expression. "I ask because you seem to...I don't know really" She said, quickly. As she moved a little closer towards the rest of the gang.
Francis' face took on a something between a frown and curiousity as he raised an eyebrow at Alexandra's response. "Because i seem toooo? Okay..." Francis nodded to himself. "Thats ummm, insightful" The young man joked.
Alexandra ignored Francis and headed off to rejoin the rest of the gang.
12th Aug 11, 8:20 AM
Kris drifted about at a distance as always. Not close enough to the others to be considered social, yet not far away enough to be considered separate from the gang. As other shoppers moved about he maintained a gulf, slinking away so he could be what he always preferred: alone, and in solitude.
Occasionally his attention drifted to the shopfronts about: flashy displays of movie trailers or the latest must-have fantasy RPG. Might be fun if I weren't already living a twisted version of it.
He returned his attention to the rest of the gang. The usual as always: the conversations between the acquaintances, the cliques within the group, the acts of doing nothing. No one took notice of him - not that he minded of course. He never really liked socialising - he'd fumble with his words and look the moron as always, get laughed at, teased, everything bad that could happen. So in a way he relished the status quo.
But then again, there was still the part of him gnawing at him to be more open, more accepting. Something yearning for acceptance, something more than mere acknowledgment of existence.
At least nothing bad's going on...
12th Aug 11, 11:59 AM
“Get the fuck out of my way!”
“Fuck you!” A young man with a green colored mohawk shouted as he shoved the red-haired punk who ran beside him. “This was you’re fucking idea! ‘Oh we’ll just grab the stash. We can handle a few kids.’ GREAT PLAN JACKASS!!!”
“Shut the hell up Donavan!” the other man snapped, angrily cursing as he half tripped over a garbage can. “How the fuck was I supposed to know they have backup there?”
“BECAUSE IT’S THEIR FUCKING TURF!!!”
As the two men sprinted through the alleyway, the sound of yelling quickly rose up behind them.
“Hey! Two of them went this way!”
“Damnit!” the mohawked youth swore. “Sal is gonna fucking kill you for this.”
The two men emerged from the alleyway and slowed as they found themselves in a broken-down lot. To their left was the wall of an old building, it’s windows shattered and broken, and an old rusty fence ran along their right topped with barbed wire. The lot was dotted with broken bottles and an ancient looking dumpster. The only other escape rout the two men could see was another alley on the opposite side of the lot.
“Shit!” The man called Donavan muttered as he ran to the fence and shook it angrily. Though it was old, the metal links would not budge. “We need to get the fuck out of here!"
“With all due respect gentlemen; I don’t think you’ll be going anywhere.”
The two men spun around and stared as they noticed a figure walking out from behind the dumpster. She appeared to be a young woman, Asian by the looks of her, with long black hair pulled back in a ponytail. She stood casually beside the large metal container, her blue eyes unblinking as she studied the two men before her.
“Well fuck! Who the hell are you supposed to be then?” The red-haired man shouted angrily as his partner moved to join him.
“What language.” The young woman chuckled as she pulled a pair of black leather gloves from behind her back and slowly put them on. “I’d say I was shocked you would talk to a young girl in such a fashion. But then again… that would be a lie.”
"There they are!"
The two men spun around as a group of four individuals emerged suddenly from the alleyway, lining up to block any escape. Their leader appeared to be a brown haired man, tall, scared, and fierce enough to make even a bear second-guess a confrontation. Next to him stood a young boy and girl, twins by the looks of them, wearing matching outfits of torn jeans and t-shirts. The two of them looked to be no older than sixteen, but both had wicked looking grins on their faces, made more menacing by the intricate tattoo over the brother's right eye and sister's left. The final member of the pursuing group was another young man with fiery red hair and bright green eyes. He was the only member with no shirt, but this served only to increase his intimidation as it revealed the heavy muscles rippling across his upper body, as well as the massive tattoo covering his entire chest. The design was that of a Celtic cross over which flew a wicked looking hawk.
"Oy Michaela!" The shirtless man shouted towards the Asian girl, flashing a mischievous smile at the pair of fleeing men as he did so. "I should'a known you'd beat us to these lads. Why not let us to take 'em off your hands?"
"Michaela?" Donavan muttered, his eyes widening as he turned back to the young woman blocking their path. "Why the hell would the Saint be here?"
"The real question is..." The young woman stated, her smile vanishing to be replaced by a cold stare. "Why you boys and your… friends… felt a need to initiate such hostilities against us? This is Hawk territory, isn't that right Daniel?"
"Aye!" the shirtless man chuckled, cracking his neck menacingly. "That it is. And believe me, they'll be taking this attack personally. I know I sure as hell am."
Daniel took an aggressive step forward, but stopped as the bear of a man at his side halted him with a raised arm.
"I'll tell you what gentlemen." The young woman sighed. "We'll give you a chance to decide how we'll proceed from here. Option 1: you surrender to us now, and we turn you over to the Hawks. Option 2: you take your chance with my friends here, and if you manage to get past all four of them maybe you'll be lucky enough to get away before the Hawks reach us."
"I like the sound of that one." Daniel remarked. "Come on lads. I promise we won’t bite.”
“Or Option 3:…” Michaela continued raising three fingers. “You boys come at me. I am after all just one… little… girl.”
The two men traded glances with one another, and as one rushed forward towards the young woman. Behind them Daniel gave a disappointed sigh as the large man at his side let loose a rumbling chuckle.
“Rookie mistake…” The girl twin laughed as she sat down to wait. “Absolutely rookie.”
12th Aug 11, 11:58 PM
Gauche walked through the bookstore, legs swinging as he walked casually through the store, simply taking in the atmosphere. He liked bookstores. For a little while, anyway.
After some time inside, he figured he'd head out and see what the others were up to. He'd met his new friends not too long ago, yet already felt like he'd hanged with them for years. They were good people. There was even another American!
As Gauche was preparing to leave, he caught the silhouette of a fighter plane from the corner of his eye. Glancing over, he saw the newest copy of Time, the cover story a big article on the American forces currently in Iraq. Gauche sauntered over, picking up an issue to flip through it, the images of American warplanes instantly piquing his interest. Once he saw the exact airbase covered, he instantly went to the front counter and bought the magazine before rushing out to a bench.
Gauche gazed down reverently at the Time magazine in his hand, almost hesitant to open it lest he tear it, yet at the same time unable to resist. Finally, he opened it up, holding the crisp pages close to his face as he raced through the table of contents, quickly flicking through the various editorials, boring political cartoons, geography, and other filler before the hallowed article caught his eye. He made hardly a sound, devouring the text surrounding the most important part of the magazine: the photos of Al-Asad airfield in Iraq. And there...
"Oh, wow! Wowowow! Check it, hey, look!" Gauche beamed, dashing over to whomever was near and pointing to the photograph in the magazine. A few men in fatigues were walking down the dusty airfield as various enlisted went about their daily routines. Behind them, a C-130 was taxiing down the arid pavement, passing a pair of F-15E Strike Eagles that had the markings of the 379th. Black Hawks and Apaches were lined up in the distance, swarmed by men performing much-needed maintenance.
"Look, right there!" Gauche hurriedly pointed, his finger hovering over one of the F-15s. "Look, that's my dad's! See, there's the squadron emblem. He's down there, you can see it! How cool is that?!" Gauche cheered, overjoyed for even the smallest connection to his father, and immensely proud of his old man. He'd keep this in his room, maybe even see if there was a spare frame to put it in or something. He'd treasure this for years.
14th Aug 11, 6:54 PM
Kes was wandering aimlessly down the shopping mall. She had what she wanted and was now just looking around. She knew there were others around, but she never really did connect to most. They lived a different life. The girl was still trying to not disbelief everything she was seeing here, most of the others just took it for granted.
The girl was in the garages by now, just feeling the need for the cool air, when someone caught her from behind.
"Oi there!" A man with a green mohawk spun Kes around. "I saw you nick that wallet in the store. This ain't your turf. Hand the thing over. Or I'll cut you." He growled.
The guy was defintiely strong, but already beat up by someone. Kes managed to spot bruises all over.
Serena stepped into the garage, frowning. She'd been browsing one of the shops when there was a commotion about a pick-pocket. She had gone after them, fearing it had been a member of the gang. The car park was the only likely place left... and to judge by the situation before her eyes, she had hit the jack-pot in more ways than one. "Gentlemen, let us be civil," she said, her hands held...
...loosely by her side. "Thievery is immoral, but two wrongs do not make a right. Though if you are the sort of low-lives who refer to 'turf', then I suppose that's not the problem here, in your eyes."
"Now, now Serena," Natalya said as she walked up behind Kes, "The young ones still have a lot to learn about how the world works. We all don't have the luxury of honest work..." She fixed the thug with an icy stare.
"I know, but there are better paths to take," Serena said. "If none exist, I will have to make one."
"I know, but there are better paths to take," Serena said. "If none exist, I will have to make one."
"I have already tried with this one," Natalya said with a frown, "She's too damn stubborn,"
"Oi who do you bitches think you are." The greenhaired man shouted, nervously. He was put off by the two women, talking around like he wasn't even there.
"I'll gut her, you 'ear. I'll gut this chick unless you scram."
"I'm just a passing friend of the girl you are threatening," Serena said. "I decided I'd better cut in, so you don't wind up dead by her hands. You hear me, Kes? Don't make head-lines here, please."
"The guy isn't even holding the knife right." Muttered Kes, already wondering where to kick him.
The man screamed out in pain as his wrist snapped. "The fuck bitch!" He shouted at Nat, at least until Kes kicked his balls.
Serena snapped forwards with surprising speed, her leg snapping upwards as she kicked the man in the face with her trendy designer trainers. He collapsed backwards, felled by the consecutive blows. "Well, that was a little gratutious of me," she admitted.
"Fuck off punk. My cash." Finished Kes at the whimpering green-haired man. Whoever he was, he wouldn't think of cornering girls in London ever again.
"Sometimes pain is the only way," Natalya said regretfully, "To teach I mean," she looked at the fallen gangmember, "Get the fuck out of here and, as for you Miss Kes, I've warned you about stealing before..." There was a hint of menace in her voice now as she looked at the young girl from Africa.
"Nat. Who's that?" Kes pointed at Serena. She had a feeling she'd seen her before, but wasn't sure when or where.
Serena snorted. "Don't make me kick you in the face, Kes. Serena? I stand out more than you do in our little clique, which says something."
"I've not been hanging around much. Still finding the ropes. This places is different to what I am used to." Kes responded. Not sure if she ought to abashed or not.
"Whatever. Anyway, Nat is right. The gang is split on thismatter, but I hate to see petty criminality. One day you'll get caught, and nothing good will come of that."
"I'll get caught, or I won't. Not much I can do about it. And I hate to ask. Never worked out before." Kes shrugged. These people were different. In some ways more like her father, or at least what she remembered of him.
"I mean how else can we get some cash? No one needs us to do anything and no one willing to give food in return. It's a weird situation."
"I have a job," Nat said with a hint of pride, "You could do the same."
"I..I don't know anything. And not sure just how strong my papers are. If anything could get one caught, that's that." Kes was starting like a kid amongst adults. "I'm still keeping that wallet though."
"Well, I need someone to carry my shopping," Serena said. She pulled out her wallet. "I fancy buying some clothes right now, but carrying them is a pain. So help me out. That way you might learn my name." She pulled out a twenty pound note, offering it casually to Kes. "I'll have other jobs that need doing this week, mind, which I'm including in this payment. If you're just stealing because......you're lazy, don't bother."
"I'll do it. But keep your money. Buy me dinner instead." Kes smiled before growing solemn again. "So what do we do with the guy. Slit his throat? Should be the simplest."
"Fine. You're more sensible than I initially thought," Serena said. She put her wallet away, scowling at Kes's words. "Or perhaps not. We do not kill people. So leave him be."
"Sorry, I keep forgetting this place is different. So what do you do when they talk?" She wondered aloud.
"It shouldn't be a problem," Serena said. "We didn't use our talents."
"Alright. Serena correct? So what do you do for a living?" The girl asked Serena, stepping over the greenhaired man.
"I'm a rich kid," Serena said. "Daddy gives me an allowance." She shrugged. "I'll be going to uni in October. Right now, I go to school."
"That's different. So why do you hang out with us church mice. I'm sure there's a lot of others with the ability with money. To be honest I'm still surprised everyone seems to be hanging together. Would have expected there to be more than one group of people. Everyone seems to be so happy for a change. No one thinking of killing someone else. Or not openly at least."
"I was bored," Serena said. "You lot are different from my usual crowd. That's all, really."
"I think it's our particular talents," Natalya said with a shrug, "We superior humans need to stick together,"
"you know those genocides that had been happening in Africa these past fifty years." Kes started playfully. "Most of them started with just that line."
"Well, quite," Serena said. "I don't see things that way, myself. We just have silly, pointless gifts."
"Well it was nice to find people here that you can talk to. I think that was the thing I was the most afraid of. That there'd be absolutely no one around. I've been alone for far too long. Growing up around people you can't really trust."
It's not arrogance," Nat said with a shrug, "Just a simple fact and you should know I'm against genocide since I helped form this group to prevent such ideas. We can survive just fine by pretending to be normal humans, but I've accepted that I'm different. We're not the same as most and that's just how it is,"
"Listen Kes, you obviously need a place to stay so find me when we're finished here. Just help with the chores sometimes," Natalya said, placing a hand on the younger girl's shoulder.
The girl tensed as she felt the hand. "I'll try to look for you. In the place where most folks meet up?"
"By the fountain," Nat said, patting Kes' shoulder once, "I'll see you later,"
The girl flinched at every pat but held it. "I think I should help Serena now, shouldn't I?" She finished.
16th Aug 11, 5:12 AM
"Look Miss, if your going to buy something can you do it quickly?" the shop keeper said as he swept the floor of his store "You come in her every day, and stand there looking at the ice creams with the door open. It's not good for business you know?"
"But there is just so many choices, do I go for the pure chocolate cream? Or perhaps the Lemonade flavoured popsicle?" Ethaula replied, smiling at the old stop keeper "Plus, you're the kindest store keep around these parts; the others forced me out before I even made it through the door"
"I may be a nice old man, but I do have a business to run" he smiled back before walking over to Ethaula at the ice cream display "If I were you, I've pick the vanilla cream; it may not be as fancy as chocolate, but it's light and fluffy" he said as he grabbed the ice cream and placed it in her hands "Take it, on me"
Ethaula replied with a smile before slowly leaving the store, the cold chill filling her palm as she wander the streets down to where she spent most of her days. The local park had somewhat become her home as of late, it was quiet, peaceful and the people of the village seemed to not care at all about the homeless girl sitting in the part in the afternoons with her feet in the stream. She wasn't exactly lonely there, the local children often asked her questions about what it was like to live out on your own, with no parents; and Ethaula replied with lies and honest truths about how it was lonely and how she missed a mothers kiss or a fathers hug. Still, it was funny to her them talk of how they wish they could run away like she did and live in some park in a far away town, but unknown to them, this was far from where Ethaula had wanted to end up, still being somewhere relatively safe was better than being back at the orphanage.
So she laid in the grass, staring up into the sky as she at her vanilla ice cream with the cool wind blowing through her toes as she held them up into the sky, the sun slightly warming her as she laid. The wind kicked up a handful of dust of blew it over Ethaula, with dirt landing in her ice cream and over her face, suddenly he felt the familiar feeling of a sneeze coming on and before long it happened. As the sneeze exploded from her, so too did the force of the frost within, causing the grass surrounding her to freeze within an instant; what was once a vibrant green now was pure white of snow. It had always been an uncontrollable reaction she had, sneezing seemed to set it off the worse, but even dreaming caused the frosts to creep out of her and snap freeze the area around her, even people were not safe from it. She likened it to a defensive force that protected her even when she wasn't needed its direct help, though it had saved her a few times in the last couple of years; especially from the types that saw a lonely girl as a prize to conquer.
Ethaula brushed off the snow flakes and threw her sand covered ice cream to the ground, perhaps the ants would find some use of it she though as she began to wander down the lane, when she stopped at a bus stop and sat down. It wasn't long before the bus pulled up and open its doors, "Where does this bus go?" she asked the driver "Into the city" he replied, and with that she paid the small fee and took her seat aboard the bus. It would be said to leave the place that she had called her home for some time, but something told her; she would be needed in the city.
Victoria Quarter, London
Talking with friends, enemies and acquaintances. Such was the nature of their human sides. Such folly, in the face of disaster. One can only hope I gather them swiftly, to teach them of their origins.
A massive explosion rocked the shopping centre. Screams rent the air, panicked people suddenly falling over each other in their efforts to bolt. Several were rooted in place, desperately trying to figure out what was going on. Kris' view of the adverts was obscured, to his frustration. He wasn't particularly concerned with an explosion; the centre backed onto a large train station, and as such terrorist attacks, while nowhere near the norm, were something that he, and indeed any other member of the gang, could handle with relative ease. He wasn't that concerned until the secondary explosion tore through the entrance to the shopping centre, sending rubble and flames up the main concourse. It may be prudent to gather the others. For the first time in a while, his eyes glittered with interest. Concern at the cause of the attacks aside, something was happening.
Francis was already inside, eyes wide with surprise at the devastation. Not your usual day in London. Even for a gang member, where excessive fighting and posturing were a byword for "usual". His arms itched; a sure sign that his powers were rising to the fore. But doesn't that only happen with the bad guys nearby. His eyes narrowed, he stumbled through the smoke and frenzied humans, attempting to locate his friends and allies. Not good.
Gauche had already taken advantage of the mass confusion to pocket the magazine before heading back out to the others. I thought England was dull? Obviously not. He bounced up and down a bit, his legs suddenly excited. Fighting signs? But nobody but us are here. If anything, he bounced higher as he grinned. Nothing like a fight.
Michaela, for her part, had just finished off the last thug when the sound of a distant explosion attracted her attention. She looked down at the men she'd just dispatched. Unconscious, this time. They are, after all, only human. Looking back up at the sky, she frowned. A terrorist attack in London, after all this time? Unlikely. The frown turned to brief shock as the buildings around her ignited, brick and mortar collapsing under the intense heat. A brief wind picked up around her feet, cooling her slightly and fending off approaching flames. The sign of another. But who? This is an attack . . . we very rarely encounter others who are not yet a part of our group. Puzzling, but she had more to worry about than their identity. A blazing strike blinded her vision, the flash fading away to reveal the two charred corpses of the men she had recently struck down. Anger clouded her features, before her hand lashed outwards, scoring deep gashes in nearby brickwork with tightly-controlled blades of air. Nothing. Wait, movement. Flames. A fire-based fighter, obviously.
"Retreat! Warn the others and get to ground!" Not even questioning her judgement, her friends scattered. Now, I'm going to pursue this guy and judge him for his crimes. Murder most foul, indeed.
Victoria Quarter, London
The rest of the group gathered in the shopping centre, despite being disorientated by the twin blasts, had at this point managed to recover their footing. The American kid had returned, Serena noticed with dry amusement. Not like we could ever lose him. Still, the complex was under some form of attack. Now that the fire had died down, the creaking of metal could be heard over the crumbling masonry. Somebody was attacking the foundations of the building, perhaps attempting to trap everybody left inside? It was hard to tell. Terrorists often took hostages, or so it was assumed. Alfred frowned slightly, his fingertips numb. An enemy? Surely not. The likelihood was . . . astronomically low, to say the least. At least the immediate action was obvious.
"We've got to get out of here before we're trapped. Breaking out should be no problem, for us, but that would expose us to the media . . . an unfavourable result. Where do we go from here? Down to the trains? Out one of the back exits?" Somebody needed to command, eh? Alfred was getting seriously sick of that inner voice.
Ethuala relaxed slightly on the bus as it drew closer to the inner city; the feeling of familiarity was increasing, as she thought it would. That relaxation was broken by a sudden feeling of coolness, with alarm she noticed icy motes gathering around her chest. Not here, not now. There are humans nearby! Her panic appeared unfounded, however, as the buildup slowed, merely remaining as a cool, restricting feeling around her chest. She had felt this before. but not very often. It usually preceded a fight that involved her . . . skill. But there was no-one here? A few humans, none of them threatening in the slightest.
Behind her, the schoolchild eying Ethuala intently grinned broadly. A fine day to play, heh. A fine day indeed.
25th Aug 11, 4:54 PM
"The food court," Natalya stated calmly, trying to keep everyone as levelheaded as she almost always was, "There should be a service entrance for deliveries near it we can use to escape. Going underground is suicidal if our attackers are truly after us,. Agreed?"
26th Aug 11, 6:16 PM
Francis winced in the aftershock of the second explosion as the heat wave passed him. The young teenager began to move swiftly as he picked his way through the chaos in an attempt to locate the others. He felt abruptly lost, engulfed within the smoke and with no clear line of sight to any opening. Still, he couldn’t shake the tingling within his arms which had caused him some concern.
“I need to hurry and find the res…”
There was a groan which Francis instinctively recognized as the sound of metal failing under stress. “Shit” Francis muttered with a tentative glance around him. The smoke was beginning to stain his eyes now and he knew he had get moving but again he felt that tingling drawing his curiosity.
“Common Francis! Make up your mind!”
27th Aug 11, 6:31 PM
The group headed upstairs and into the food court, heading for the fire exit at the back of the floor. By now the humans had managed to either flee or hole themselves up in some of the undamaged areas of the building. Thankfully nowhere near us, Alfred noted wryly. The odds of this being a specific attack just got higher.
Gauche, for his own part, was keeping pace with the group until a metal slab smashed through a near wall and towards him. Keeping up his run, he instinctively kicked the metal plate, crumpling it and halting it's progress. Then more slabs started breaking through the wall, floor and ceiling, flying wildly across the food court.
"So much for this being a normal terrorist incident," Natalya stated plainly, "Run for it!"
"This is ridiculous," Serena screamed, sprinting forwards and searching desperately for any kind of cover.
"That was too close," Gauche gulped, picking up his speed to keep up with the others. He ducked to avoid a piece of flying debris, scrambling back to his feet in a hurry. "Wait up!"
A large piece of metal broke through the wall, obviously being propelled at an angle, at Serena. She screamed as she lashed out with her left hand, boring a hole clean through the middle of it and blasting the slab back into the wall from where it came. There was a sudden pause in the onslaught, which the gang took to take cover behind a set of doors.
"God damnit," Serena said, panting for breath. She tried to stop her limbs from shaking. "This has to be a person's work. Someone is after us!"
"So much for hiding it I suppose," Nat said, trying to keep her voice light so Serena didn't take it as criticism, "Serena's right, we're being hunted and it seems by someone with abilities like ours."
"Why would anyone be after us, we didn't do anything!" Gauche panted, biting his nails as he spoke. "Anyone have a cell, call the police?"
"Good idea," Serena said, fumbling for her mobile and dialing 999. "As much as the police must already know..."
"We need to keep moving," Natalya stated, "Sitting around is a good way to die. On the count of three let's make a run for it."
"And run where?" Serena demanded. "Hello? Police, please."
"Where would we run to, though?" Alfred piped up. Serena, in turn, was answered with a static buzz after the traditional automated reply options. It seems the network was cut off, or at least being interfered with.
"Bloody hell." Serena slid her mobile back into fashionable handbag.
"Good question," Nat replied, "First we need to get out of here so let's stick to the plan and make a run for the exit. They'll have a harder time going after us out on the street."
"We had a plan?" Serena said sarcastically. "No one told me!" But she nonetheless prepared to make a break for it.
"Sounds like a plan. Tell us when to go?" Alfred stood up, getting ready to run.
"3, 2, 1...Now!" Nat yelled, vaulting over the door and taking off towards the fire exit.
Serena ran after her, surruptitiously trying to keep Nat and Alfred between her and the walls on either side.
"Oh man, oh man, oh man," Gauche muttered, chasing after Nat, putting as much strength into every stride as he could and sprinting for the fire exit. Gotta stay strong, keep moving. Was this what it was like for his Dad?
The gang moved as a whole out onto the streets of London, suddenly blinded by the mid-afternoon sun. Connor and Lisa had the easiest time adjusting, but the rest of the teenagers stumbled as they escaped the smoking structure. The scene in front of them was one of devastation. Police cars and vans overturned, mostly on fire. Water everywhere. Metal protruding through the earth. Alfred was the first to speak.
"This can be done . . . by people like us?"
"If this is the fucking rioters, I will vote for the first politician who promises to hang them high," Serena said.
"This isn't people like us," Nat stated, wide-eyed at the devastation, "None of the gang is this strong. Come on, I've got a place we can hide out in the south end of town."
"I'm going home," Serena said. "Stuff this. My mother will be having a heart-attack, and I don't want anything to do with this." She pulled out her mobile again, trying to see if there was any signal now.
"Hiding seems best. The media coverage of this event is going to spark a frenzy. Especially since we managed to escape relatively unscathed." Alfred nodded to himself. "I'm sure there will be people in there that are injured. Why aren't we, again?"
"This is me not caring about that riddle," Serena said.
"And if these people attack your home?" Natalya said pointedly, "You can fight back but I don't think your mother can. I'm heading to the riverfront. There's a place there I've used before."
"I'll take that chance," Serena said. "If they can do this, there is no safety in numbers."
"Except that we are power users. Which is a significant force multiplier. It's like in the Fantastic Four."
"We cannot fly," Serena snapped. "Don't screw with me! We can do party tricks, but these guys aren't playing games here! If they catch up to us, we're done."
"Sounds to me like you need a helping hand." Serena, Nat and the gang started, before turning around to be disappointed by the sight of an old man in a worn suit.
"And so is your family if they follow any of us to your home..." Natalya started, her voice still calm.
"What are you doing here?" Serena demanded, watching the old man closely. He should not be here. He should not speak to them with that tone, in this situation.
Natalya placed a hand on Serena's shoulder to try and calm her. "What business do you have with a group of street kids like us?" she asked in a firm tone.
"Whoa, chill out, it's just an old guy," Gauche raised his hands as he glanced over at the man. It was a good question, though. Maybe he was homeless?
"Oh me? Rather suspicious, aren't I?" The guy chuckled, before waving his hand. Two figures emerged, both shaken, but otherwise unharmed. One was immediately recognisable; Michaela, one of the protectors of the gang. The other nobody knew.
Serena began looking for an escape route. Suspicious wasn't the half of it.
"Who send you?" Natalya asked, "Was it my father?"
[17:58] <&Gorb> With nobody speaking, the old man seemed content to fill in the gaps. "Found these two on my way into town. Both beset by trained users. This girl here, Michaela, seemed quite confident in her skills, but there's only so much sparring on the street is going to teach you." He chuckled at Nat's words.
"So, you're here to help?" Gauche breathed a sigh of relief.
"No, lass. I barely know any of you. Well, I know of you, and that's about as precise as it gets. I'm similar to you in a few ways. A teacher, perhaps? If you're willing, which is an incredibly cliched film plot, I know."
"Hurry up and reach the bit where you teach us kung-fu under a waterfall," Serena said. "And I'll go home while the rest of these idiots are doing that."
He shrugged his shoulders. "I persuaded these two to follow me, because I figure you lot need help. These attacks are probably the first of many, and you only got off lucky because your attackers had to be cautious of injuring too many humans."
"Too many humans?" Nat said incredulously, "I feel like I'm in some bad shounen manga. Quite simply, we have no reason to trust you. We can handle ourselves, I assure you."
The guy grinned. "Fair enough, miss. But I'll be watching, like the creepy pervert I am being assumed to be. Just do me a favour. Watch over this girl, Ethuala. She's not the people type, but it seems to me like some of you have enough problems in that regard." He winked at Serena. "Good luck surviving over the next few weeks. It should be interesting to watch how you grow. If you grow at all, heh."
Raising his hands in mock surrender, the man turned around and walked down the road, not looking back once.
Serena scowled. "Glad to see the back of him."
"Everything," Serena said. "He's not cute at all. But let's go home. All of us."
"I dunno." Alfred peered quizzically down the street. "What I find more interesting is that we disregarded him out of hand, calling his claims unrealistic . . . when we all have powers akin to those of superheroes, and we were just attacked by slabs of metal defying gravity."
"Most of us don't have homes," Nat said with a shrug, "And I don't want to endanger yours. The man was a creep, Al. Something about him just made me not want to trust him."
"I believed him," Serena said. "But he knew more than he told us, and never gave us so much as a name. Screw that. I don't trust those who make a fetish of being enigmatic."
"He could have just spoken up instead of being a creeper," Gauche said, agreeing with the others.
"True enough. Man of mystery and all that." Alfred grinned at Serena. "Not that you gave him much of a chance to give him a name." He slung his bag over his shoulder. "Anyhow, I'm off back to the main hideout. See who's knocking around. See you guys later."
"Bye," Serena said.
"You sure that's wise?" Nat asked, "I think we should avoid that place for now."
"I have no desire to stick around a pissed-off Serena." Alfred chuckled nervously. "She kinda scares me."
"It's just how she is," Nat said shrugging, "But I think we need to stick together as much as possible. We're being hunted."
"Well, excuse me for getting a little heated when Victoria station just got fucking wrecked by guys with superpowers who are trying to fucking kill us!" Serena screamed, all her anger and fear overflowing in a single emotional outburst.
"Then why don't we head to the police station? If we can't call them, it's the next best plan. Maybe I can call my aunt from there, too," Gauche offered, worrying about whether there was trouble in his neighborhood too.
Serena breathed out for several seconds, her shoulders shaking. "A sound idea. Let's do that."
"That's why we need to stick together," Natalya stated, looking at Serena, "Gauche, would they believe us? I doubt that, but it's worth a try."
"We don't mention the magic bullshit," Serena said. "Or we demonstrate it with our own powers. Whatever. This is beyond child's play right now, the authorities should help."
"Of course we don't mention our abilities," Nat said dryly, "But they'll want an explanation for why we were at the centre of a terrorist attack. We need to decide on a story."
"Hi, we were attacked by flying slabs of metal that some of us managed to deflect with our bare limbs." Alfred quipped. "If we go to the police station they'll want a statement. Are you suggesting we lie to the police? About people who wrecked an entire police squadron?
"We were kids hanging around a shopping centre," Serena said. "The truth works. Who is going to believe the bombers are a bunch of teens who went to the police themselves?"
"It's not lying, it's omitting unnecessary details," Serena said, as an afterthought.
"Fine then," Natalya stated, "Where's the nearest station? I am not too familiar with this neighbourhood."
"Me either," Gauche shrugged.
"I'll just check Google Maps," Serena said, raising her phone. No signal. Naturally. "I have no idea. Let's look around and ask around."
"Unnecessary details? Serena, these people that are hunting us took out a police squadron while they were attacking us!" Alfred's eyes were wide, before he caught himself, lowering his tone. "I'm just saying that your stance smacks of denial. Go back home and be a stuck-up princess for all I care. We are being hunted by people who have powers like ours. I do not intend to wander down to a police station to fabricate a story about not having goddamned powers!"
"You do what you like, kid," Serena said. "We can't handle this shit, and I'm fine with admitting we have powers. You go your way, we'll go ours."
"Good luck admitting your power to the police. It'll be amusing to see you slung in a cell for your arrogance." And with that, Alfred turned on his heel and headed up the street.
"Wait! C'mon, don't be like that!" Gauche called after him, jogging up.
"Oh, fuck off," Serena shouted after him.
Natalya sighed. "Do I always have to calm you guys down? Serena, if we speak to the police we all need to be on the same page and admitting to our powers will just makes things more difficult. We're best not speaking with them at all at this point. Remember: I'm a bloody illegal."
"Then you go home," Serena said. "I can go to the police with the kid, and I'll hide my powers if you insist."
"No," Natalya stated firmly, "No one is going to the police. It would mean the end of our entire group."
"I'm going," Serena said. "You aren't the boss of me."
"Fine then," Natalya stated, "Guess I can look forward to a nice prison cell thanks to you."
"Oh, stop being ridiculous," Serena said. "This isn't fucking Russia, we're not going to be arrested for being victims of a terrorist attack!"
"Jeez, pull it together guys!" Gauche shouted, walking back after failing to convince Alf to return, running a hand over his USAF cap. "Let's just calm down, yeah?"
"I'm.a.bloody.illegal. Do I really have to spell it out for you?" Natalya stated, "An illegal who may have bounty hunters after her as well. Going to the police for any reason means my deportation back to Russia, and most likely death."
"I'm not going to bloody name-drop you," Serena said. "You are small goddamn beans right now, given what just happened. Victoria just exploded, but the police are sure to care about one miserable illegal!"
"They have me on camera. They have us all on camera. We're suspects." Nat pointed out, "And no attacker as far as we know."
"Us running in fear is so goddamn suspicious," Serena said.
"We're not really suspects, right?" Gauche laughed her off. "I mean, really?"
"It's bad either way for me so do what you like," Natalya stated with finality, "Cell might be more comfortable than home anyways."
"I'm going," Serena said. "As I said before. This isn't something the fucking 'Archangels' can deal with, Nat. This is open war. We can't go it alone any more."
Nat sighed and started to follow her. "I may as well go with you. Otherwise I'm the chief suspect."
"Open war..." Gauche thought about what it really meant. He couldn't even believe this was really happening. Why would anyone want to kill him? Again, he hoped his aunt was all right. He'd try to call her as soon as possible.
"Hey, wait for me!" he called out, chasing after the others. Last thing he wanted was to be alone right now.
The group moved down the street towards the nearest police station, despite a few of their number having decided to strike out on their own. The tone was somewhat subdued, with even Serena reduced to a stoic silence as she lead them down the road.
Natalya followed silently. This was possibly a death sentence for her but she would face it as she'd faced every hardship; adapt as needed and never, ever let them know your fear.
"You all right Nat? I'm fine with backing out if you want," Gauche offered, seeing the Russian's grim face. He doubted Serena would back down, though, but anything was better than this.
Natalya ignored him. She wasn't going to say how she really felt about all this.
As the group made their way round the corner, a scene of further devastation awaited them. There was a brief silence, broken by Connor's "Well that would be why I haven't seen any cars on the way down here." The entire street was a wreck.
"This is exactly why we need to find the authorities," Serena muttered.
Metal slabs jutted through broken tarmac and car wreckage, all the way down the road. Roads were scorched and water was running everywhere. The police station, located on the far end, didn't seem to have escaped unscathed, with smoke spiralling into the sky and the small figures of police officers frantically milling about the site.
"Let's just get this over with," Natalya responded.
Gauche took the hint, looking down at his feet as he walked, looking up only when he heard Connor spoke up. "This is insane," he glanced around.
Serena sighed. "No kidding, kid." She patted him on the head. "Let's see if they have time to get you home. If not, we can walk to another area and find another station."
"...yeah. Thanks," he replied, looking up at her with a grin.
"It'll be a nice, comfy cell for me..." Natalya muttered quietly.
"You don't have to come with us, you know," Serena said. "Aactually, it'd be fairly daft if you did. Wait outside?"
"They have me on camera, Serena," Natalya said with a shrug, "I'm doomed either way."
"You don't have 'I'm an illegal' written on your face in neon paint," Serena said. "Calm down."
"I have a record," Nat stated, "From an early misunderstanding when I first came to London,"
"I think these guys are a bit busy," Serena said. "Fires do bad things to computers."
Natalya shrugged and kept walking.
Serena moved down the street, trying to catch a policeman's eye. "Excuse me! We were just caught in some kind of terroristic attack at Victoria. We'd like help, but we're not injured, so we can wait if you're busy!"
The policeman, for his own part, was lugged a splintered door off of the road and onto a pile of similarly-styled rubbish on the pavement. It took him a few moments to notice the soot-stained, battered faces of the teenagers. "What the hell are you kids doing here? Everybody was evacuated a good half-hour ago! Did you just get out of Victoria Station or something? I know there are still people stuck in there . . ."
Natalya avoided looking at the man and stayed to the back of the group, hoping to not be noticed.
"We were lucky, I think," Serena said. "And we'd like to be evacuated ourselves, if it's not too much trouble." She bit her lip. "We're scared, you know. I don't know who is behind this, but I'm pretty sure they were trying to kill us. Who did it? Some extremist group?"
"Nobody knows. Heck, we barely know anything. Communications are fried, something was jamming our wireless and the phone lines have been cut. By the time wireless was restored we'd learned that this has affected the whole of the damn inner city."
He eyed the group up, relaxing visibly. "Honestly, get out of here. We have no idea when they'll be back to strike."
"Jesus Christ," Serena said, with feeling. "Do you know any safe areas? What about safe routes out of London? The underground is right out, but what about trains?"
"Listen, kid, I don't know if you realise the scale of what has happened or not, but the entire city is under siege. Traffic is at a standstill and people are encouraged to not use any form of transport other than a pedal bike or their own two feet." He made a shooing gesture with his hand. "Now move, I've got to help the rest pick up the pieces of our damn station."
"Sending civilians on foot through a city that's been turned into a warzone," Serena said, folding her arms. "That's a class act."
"Can't be helped," Natalya whispered, "We'll find somewhere close until things calm down,"
The policeman stood up straight, frowning slightly. "Hey. Do you understand what is going on? We have to start on repairs, clear the streets for the emergency services. We don't have the manpower to escort kids to their houses. Nobody knows when and where the terrorists will strike again. It's a logistical nightmare." He stared at Serena. "So perhaps go and tell someone else how to do their job, if that's all teenagers these days are good for."
Serena smirked. "I'll let you get on with your busy work of sweeping up the street, if that's all police these days are good for. Bye."
She scowled as they walked away from the police. "A swing and a miss. Gauche, how far away is daddy's airbase? A long way away, I guess?"
She scowled as they walked away from the police. "A swing and a miss. Gauche, how far away is daddy's airbase? A long way away, I guess?"
"Yeah, his old one was off in Alconbury. Not much help, I realize," Gauche frowned.
"My place isn't too far from here," Nat offered, "Though things will be a bit cramped there with all of us."
"I'm farther north, and I'm sure there's more room for us, but if we're being followed I don't want to put my aunt in danger," Gauche chewed on his lip, thinking about the possible consequences.
"Yeah that's an advantage with my place I suppose," Nat said with a shrug, "It's just a dingy flat above a supermarket."
"How was it sis?" The schoolboy swung his legs idly, resting on a street bench.
"It went okay, some parts went better than expected, others went worse. We can't expect much more, especially considering the interference of that man." At the mention, the young boy scowled.
"Just when I was about to have some fun as well." Looking around, the child suddenly grinned. "Eh, Zach? At least I didn't get beasted by that old fart, more than I can say for you, hah. Why do you always pick on the fighters?" The surly-looking teenager didn't respond, he simply stood there, inwardly fuming. Thinking.
Could've had her; she was self-trained, probably the best of those brats. Tony was prattling on again, trying to bait him. Despite his fiery demeanour, Zach knew better than to respond. That kid's attitude is going to get him in a mess one day. Oh, wait, Miranda was speaking again. For all his attitude, he knew that messing with Miranda was a Bad Idea.
"We should perhaps try and attack them again. We have our orders, after all. The local police is in disarray, and from what I gathered at the shopping centre, most of them are kids with no idea what their powers can do. Of course, we can't kill them, but we are allowed to incapacitate." Miranda cocked her head, his mind processing the available options. "Besides, maybe their terror will bring out their strength. It's no fun toying with helpless rabbits. Regardless, if it looks like we're outgunned, we fall back. They shouldn't be able to pursue, being so inexperienced, assuming they - "
"Miranda!" The schoolboy, Tony, had bounced off of the bench, his usually relaxed features stretched in shock and elation.
"What is it, Tony?"
"They're there. Over there! I can see them as clear as day. Feel 'em, too! Can't you?" And, sure enough, a group of teenagers appeared to be making their way down the back streets, though the three noted that their number had been reduced compared to their observed numbers earlier on in the day.
"And less of them as well." Miranda smiled softly. "Well this should be interesting. Let's see how many fighters there are amongst them." The three split up, each trusting the other to coordinate their part of the attack correctly. They had done this before, after all. They were the reason London was in ruins. Normal people couldn't hope to compare to the focused, destructive power of a trained Favoured.
London, near Piccadilly
The group was moving under Nat's recommendations when suddenly metal slabs thrust themselves out of the ground in front of them, eliciting shrieks from some of the less-controlled members and a single "Woah!" from Gauche. Fire rained down around them, hemming the frightened teenagers into a box, while behind them the ground grew slippery with thick sheet ice.
Miranda landed in front of them, while Zach and Anthony took the other points on the triangle. They were outnumbered at least two-to-one, but didn't show any signs of fear. If anything, they appeared confident in their teamwork and ability.
"Well, children." The girl stated with a thin smile. "Let's see if you have what it takes to consider yourselves Favoured."
13th Sep 11, 4:34 PM
Natalya eyed the newcomers with a smirk. "I find it odd you refer to us as children when you are around our age and definitely younger than me in particular. Isn't it past curfew? There's quite a crisis occuring here if you haven't noticed."
She felt the exhilaration of her power awakening inside her, like a caged animal needing to be fed. A thin coating of ice glazed over her skin as she sized up her foes. She reached inward, using her Voice. She seemed to be the only one within the group capable of silent communication; she hoped that’d through her opponents off guard.
They’ll attack as one. Gauche, Francis I need you two on intercept. Keep the attacks off the more fragile members. Our tactics will be rather blunt here: I want the majority to focus on our opponents one at a time. They’re confident which means they are probably quite skilled, but we’ll overwhelm them by numbers and brute force if necessary.
Still, watch yourselves and each other; we win or lose as a group here. I’m going to try and slow them down a bit. Serena, I need you to stick close by in case they try something funny. Archer, keep an eye out for weak points in our attack and assist where needed.
“So, some new kids in town want to play?” Natalya stated calmly, “It seems not all of our brethren care as much about hurting innocents. Oh well. Pay attention kids as it’s lesson time. Frigid bonds!”
Natalya snapped her fingers and the air around her targets dropped to an alarmingly low level for a human.
14th Sep 11, 9:56 PM
Gauche nodded slightly, acknowledging Nat's commands as her voice rang out in his head. His eyes danced between the odd trio around them, as various thoughts raced through his head. Favored meant they had powers, right? How many more were there? Why do they want to kill us? Can I do this?
He clenched his fists and gritted his teeth, hiding his anxiety behind boots of darkened steel. The weight of the metal brought with it a strength of mind. He was the son of a soldier; he wouldn't let fear overtake him.
As his senses opened up, he felt a lightness in the air, releasing some of the tension in his shoulders and lessening the burden of the boots. He squared himself off against the guy in front of him, staying light on his toes, one leg slightly lifted for quicker reactions. He'd teach these guys what it meant to mess with an American.
15th Sep 11, 2:51 AM
Kris swallowed nervously as he tried to appear confident before the enemy. But even so he could help but shake involuntarily, feeling cold sweat slip down his face. Before he could do anything Natalya had already made the first move, attempting to slow the enemy with her signature style of sheer cold. Gauche had responded similarly, moving easily into a combat stance even as he appeared to itch for a real fight.
"... why can't you just leave us alone!" he managed to say as he edged fearfully away, trying to put what little distance there was between himself and the newcomers.
16th Sep 11, 8:59 PM
Kes had been quiet for now, not completely sure what was going on. A lot of what was going on reminded her of growing up. Some of the screaming, the groans of pain, even the fires to an extent. And it was usually best to not talk much when stuff like that happened.
Still she looked at their new "enemies" and made an assessment. "They're just punks, don't know anything real." She said to the rest. "Look at them posturing around like Antelopes." She said to the rest.
Still she felt a taste of wind on her lips, she seemed to more and more being with these people. Brimming with energy for a wild shout...
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