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Posted: 05/21/2014 in Entry
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“Who has a suggestion for leaving town?”  I asked everyone.

Micheal spoke first.  “Larry still leaves the keys in his porch.  We could take that.”

“We’re not stealing Larry’s fucking truck,”  interrupted Derek.  “We could walk.”

“Walk? are you kidding?”  Micheal looked at Derek incredulously.

“You honestly think driving a pickup with a fucking confederate flag on the bonnet is a good idea?”

Micheal paused for a moment to think.  “We could cover it in paint.”

Derek took a moment to think.  “Ellen might blow it up.  We don’t know what she does.”

“If she’s holdi-”

“Ryan can’t hold all of us,”  interrupted Derek.  “You know that, Micheal.”

“Okay Derek,”  said Micheal who was now slightly peeved at him.  “Let’s not leave town and spend the rest of our lives at a cape asylum.  That’s a great idea.”

Another camera flashed.  “Can we stop the fucking presses, guys?”  I asked with a barely hidden tinge of annoyance.

Micheal moved out of the huddle and lit up.  “Everyone, no more pictures.  This is a warning.”  He said, with a voice that was loud enough to prompt Derek and Ellen into covering their ears.  I figured it must be part of his powerset, because it hurt enough to give me tinnitus for several seconds.

“-loud and bri-”  I could barely make out what Maxine said.  Micheal looked at us and gave a thumbs up, I think.  I couldn’t really look at him.  He held onto my shoulder.

“The Hunting Party is probably going to go southwest, to Elizabeth City,”  he remembered.  “We can get there before them easy.”

Maxine cut in.  “He’s right, they won’t attack for a month now.  If we skip the other places they’ll attack we can ambush the fuckers.”

“Road trip, Anyone?” I asked.

 

***

 

We all ran to Larry’s house.  It was in the suburbs nearby, where both Micheal and Derek stayed.  I held onto Maxine’s hand, Micheal, Derek and Ellen ran freely, with Micheal in the back so as not to blind us.  He’s been getting brighter the whole time we’ve been running, I thought to myself.  Derek carried a tub of paint we looted from a nearby store.  Surprisingly, the Hunting Party’s event hasn’t caused much chaos at all.  Micheal would have pegged it on Norfolk being boring.  I pegged it on the short time frame of the event and how it only affected us.  A thought came to my mind on how odd we all seemed to agree with this plan, but I didn’t mention it.  It’s too late now.

“Here we are,”  said Derek as Micheal grabbed onto me.  I turned my head and saw not a single person outside.  Figures, after what power incontinence can do to people.  Even I saw news stories on the TV about Biohazard’s debut.  Derek put his hand on my chest.

“I’m going to get some clothes,”  said Derek, handing over his tub of paint to Ellen after opening the lid.  “Get the keys and paint up the bonnet.”

Ellen nodded and Micheal and Derek ran off.  I turned as Micheal lit up from letting go of me.  It’s going to blind me eventually.  Ellen poured white paint all over the Bonnet of Larry’s car.  Larry had always yelled about how that black so and so wanted to wreck his ride, but I guess he never figured everyone else did too.  Well, everyone but Ricky.

Maxine had torn a strip of her knee-high denim skirt, and made an impromptu blindfold.

“Hey, don’t let go,” I said.  “You could’ve messed me or Ellen up.”

Maxine finished tying her blindfold on and smiled in my general direction.  “It’s okay,”  she explained.  “If I’m not looking, no powers.”

“Good,” I said.

Micheal returned and placed his hand on my shoulder.

“Got a bag of all sorts of clothes,”   he said while tossing them into the back of the truck.  “Anyway, where’s Derek?”

“Didn’t he come with you?”  asked Maxine as she slowly felt her way around the truck, touching wet paint and wiping it on the remainder of her skirt.

Micheal shook his head.  “No.”

Ellen and Maxine hopped in the back of the truck and Micheal walked over to Larry’s doormat to get the keys to his house, glowing again.

“I’ll go check,”  I said to everyone while leaving for Derek’s house.  His house wasn’t far away from Larry’s place, which made everything really suspicious as I looked around.  The streets were still empty.  This was just plain creepy.  Derek’s house was unique in that it was the only door that was pelted in with a golf club.  They’d been too poor to replace it and the damage was superficial anyways.  All the blinds were closed and the door with a ’14’ was open.  Derek must have gotten in.

I walked into the house softly.  “Derek?” I asked. I asked again, louder as I walked into the living room.

Derek’s dad turned to see me.  Derek’s dad turned to see me.  Allan turned to see me.  Allan sat down.  Allan turned to see me.  He wasn’t looking directly at me, but it was almost as if he had.  My face turned white with shock, seeing Allan like this.  He looked worried, sitting down.  He must have been, he loved Derek so much.  Allan turned to see me.  Allan turned to see me.

He spoke one thing.  “Der-”  Allan turned to see me.  Allan sat down.

What the hell did Derek do?  I took a single step towards his dad and he fainted from exhaustion. I walked over to him and checked up on him. He was alive at least, which was a small blessing.  I looked up from the couch and noticed his mother, hands over her mouth, terrified. He was frozen solid, probably due to Derek too.  I took a step towards her with my hands outreached and she slowly fell to the floor.  What the fuck are you doing Derek?  I thought as I walked up the stairs to his room.

Derek was sitting in the corner of his room holding a grey shirt.

I grabbed him by the shoulders and threw him into the wall.  “What the fuck was that!?”

As he began to regain his motion, I saw that he was crying his eyes out, and I hesitated.

“Fuck off Ryan!  I didn’t mean it!  It just fucking happened.”

I took a deep, slow breath.

“What happened?”

Derek began stammering and hiccuping from his crying.  “I-I touched paw an-and he started to lo-”  He couldn’t even finish his sentence.

It dawned on me how terrible our idea was.  Maxine can’t see.  Micheal will guarantee countless attention. Derek is doing something inexplicably awful. Whatever Ellen can do is a wildcard. Worst of all, they were developing.  Micheal wasn’t loud and Derek didn’t do what he did to his parents when Micheal carried him to the mall.

Still, we had already decided on this.  There was no going back.

 

***

 

Both me and Derek took as many clothes as we could and some other utilities.  A first aid kit, some face wipes, mouthwash and a torch.  Ellen and Maxine would have to get used to wearing boy’s clothes, although Ellen would have to moreso than Maxine.  Maxine had bought and worn clothes normally held in the boys isles of clothing stores anyway.  We got back and everybody was all ready to go, with Ellen and Micheal in the front seat and Maxine in the back of the truck.

Ellen noticed us first.  “Hey, Derek isn’t like he should be!”

I turned and Derek was actually moving, which was odd considering he had no body contact with me at all the whole trip back.  I took a few steps away from him and he turned back to his motionless form.

“Well that solves the huddle problem,”  I said to everyone.  I hopped into the front next to Ellen after tossing Derek’s clothes and utilities in the back, and Derek hopped up next to Maxine.

“What happened?”  asked Micheal, as he stopped shining with his incandescent glow and his volume returned to normal.

I looked at Micheal.  “Derek will tell us when he needs to. Just avoid touching him when I’m not nearby, okay?”

We set off for Virginia City.

 

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Posted: 05/19/2014 in Entry
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I was torn between what to do.  Derek made a stupid decision again, the Hunting Party and the National Hero Network were fighting and we all had the looming threat of an incontinent power or whatever those injections would do to us.  Micheal looked at Maxine for a moment, then looked at Derek who along with the twins was being pounded on by a guy in a green spandex and facemask.  It was very odd having to look at Derek for some reason.  He had no motion at all.  It was like stop-motion, but at one frame per second.

Micheal ran after Derek.  “Ryan, get Maxine and Ellen into the mall!  Hurry!”

I took Ellen by her left hand and dragged her over to Maxine.  I took a breath, then grabbed Maxine’s right hand.  Nothing.  I let out a breath of relief.

“Maxine,”  I said.  “I’m escorting you to the mall, okay.  Don’t worry, me and Ellen are here.”

I could barely hear Maxine.  She’d been crying the whole time.  “Okay.”

We trudged slowly away from the fighting.  We all heard a whirring noise followed by an explosion, and I squeezed Maxine and Ellen’s hands.  Practically nobody was around, apart from one or two bystanders trying to get a view of the fighting from a massive distance.  I sat Maxine on a bench in the mall and put my hands on her shoulders.

“Maxine, what’s happening to you?”  I asked calmly.  I was slightly shaken, but I didn’t want Ellen to notice it.  Maxine moved her head away.  I asked again, firmer.

“I looked at Ricky and everyone forgot.”  she said.  Who the hell is Ricky?

“Ricky?”  I asked.

“You won’t remember.  Everyone forgot who he is.”  I could barely hear her mumbling.

I tried to think.  Ricky.  Who was Ricky?  Then I remembered.  The extra syringe.  Why Micheal had to get a chair at the cafe.  Why I enjoyed English class yesterday.

“I’ll believe you.  It may sound shallow, but I’ll believe you.”  I said softly, holding her firmly.

“Thanks.”

I patted her on her shoulders, and turned to Ellen.  She wasn’t crying anymore, she just looked ahead.  I knelt down so I could be at eye level with her.  She glanced at me, and looked at the floor.

“Ellen.”

She looked up.

“It’ll be okay.  Micheal will bring back Derek, and we’ll all take turns kicking him for being an ass, got it?”

“My mom is probably scared.”

I smiled a little.  “Your mom only got Micheal’s call, and she doesn’t know how to contact him.  She won’t know, ok?”

She let out a small sigh.  “Ok.”

The explosions were getting louder.

***

I could tell where Micheal was because his glowing was ridiculous.  We couldn’t even look in the direction he’d come from his glow was that bright.

“Christ Micheal,  That shit hurts you know?”

“Deal with it.  That bitch broke the syringes while I was getting Derek,”  he said, dropping what I could only assume was Derek in the floor of the mall. “Goddamn moron.”

I looked around and could see small clusters of people staring from behind banisters and isles.  A camera flashed somewhere.

“So everything’s permanent.” I guessed.

“Afraid so.”

I combed my right hand through my hair.  “Shit.”

“I saw Ricky.  He was panicked as hell and the National Hero Network took him and that clone of him.”  Micheal said, after a pause.

I looked surprised.  How did he remember Ricky?  “Huh?  How’d you remember Ricky?”

“I don’t know.  For a moment I sorta remembered about Ricky, and there was two of him for some odd reason.  I just took him with me.  How did we forget about him anyway?”

“Maxine’s power.”  I said.

“Ah.  How’d I remember, then?”  he asked.

“I Dunno.”  I didn’t really have a clue, and Micheal could come up with any better solution than I would.

“What about the Network?”  I asked him.

“Hold on a second.  What happened with Maxine again?”  Micheal was already in one of his moods.  It was hard holding a conversation, as he was blinding me even while I faced the opposite way from him.  I pitied Derek, who was lying at his feet.

“I took her and Ellen here and talked with her.” I replied.

“Ellen and you don’t know what your powers are, right?”

“Assuming we got them.” I said.

“So, did anything happen when you got here?”

“No.”

“Anything at all?  Like did you breath on her or touch her or anything, or Ellen?”

“You don’t need to pressure him.”  Ellen interrupted.  It wouldn’t have been of any use, Micheal wouldn’t have stopped anyway.

I sniggered at Micheal’s comment.  Some days I swear he knows exactly what he is saying.  “One: I’m not a beast.  Two: I calmed her down with a pat on the back, she needed one after what happened.”

The light suddenly faded away.  “I see.”  I jumped when I saw Micheal with both of his hands on my shoulders from behind me.  One of the cameras held by the people hiding in the mall flashed again, taking another photo.  It was getting annoying being gawked at.

I pushed him back.  “Micheal!  Watch it with the space.”  He lit up again and I fell over while covering my eyes.  Ellen laughed, and Maxine joined in.  I took Micheal’s offered hand and dusted myself off.  Micheal put his hand on my shoulder again.  I moved to take it off but he shook his head.

“No can do, buddy.  It seems Ryan is the lucky bastard of the day.”  I caught on quickly.  I had power nullification.  I took a firm hold of Micheal’s left hand with my right and we slowly walked over to Maxine.  I placed my arm around her shoulder, and after a countdown of three seconds, Micheal pulled off the bag over her head.

Maxine suddenly began to protest.  “Hey!  What are you doi-“

“Shut up and listen,”  I interrupted her quickly.  “I seem to undo what you do, and turn the worlds dumbest lightbulb into something that is as bright as he is stupid.”  I felt the dope slap before it hit me.  “Ow.  Anyway, hold on to me while the mask is off okay?”

Maxine nodded and I sat down next to her on the bench.  Derek blinked from lying prone to standing.  He hasn’t said a thing since the injection.  Ellen looked over and sat on the ground in front of me, Maxine and Micheal with her legs crossed.

“What do we do now?”  she asked everyone.  I had no answer.  The silence was bitter.

Micheal broke it first.  “I don’t know about you but I don’t want to go to a cape asylum.”

Maxine nodded.  Derek blinked next to us.  Still, like a statue.  I had an idea.

“Derek,  touch me.”  I said.

His face blinked into a quizzical look.  “Trust me.”  I insisted.

He blinked his left arm onto me, and began to move.

“Jesus fucking Christ.”  he sighed.

Derek breathed out a second sigh of relief and rubbed his face with his other hand.  “I’m sorry guys, but this is the worst thing ever.  It’s like everything keeps skipping like in a CD.”  I nodded in agreement.

“You could hear us, right?”

“Yeah.  Can I suggest we get revenge on that bitch?”

Micheal and Ellen and I smiled.  “Sure.  But first of all, who has a suggestion for leaving town?”

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I was tied to a chair in some basement or store-room.  I could hear Derek screaming.  Ellen was tied to the chair to my right, asleep.  Micheal and Maxine weren’t here, I could only assume they were already being worked on, or were killed.  Sacrifice walked in, and sat on top of my lap, facing me.  I’d enjoy being straddled by a naked woman if the person was not wearing a rotten goat’s head and wasn’t caked from head to toe in dry blood, which I could only hope belonged to the aforementioned goat.  I also figure the whole supervillain thing  also is a turn off.

“You know, there are two ways to get powers, dear.”  Oh god she talks like my mother.  I groaned.

“A ‘Want’ or a ‘Give’.  Have you ever heard of them?”  she said as she walked her fingers of her right hand up my chest.  I’ll add ‘reminds me of my mother’ to the growing list of turn offs.

“A ‘Want’ is when somebody wishes for something so hard they are given powers to help them.  For instance, if somebody wishes desperately not to die, they might become invulnerable, or immortal.”  Sacrifice stopped her hand at the top button of my shirt.  I gulped.  She started walking the fingers of her left hand up my chest.

“A ‘Give’ however, is when you are given powers from someone or something else.  For instance, your loud friend here is being given a nice little serum to empower him, like those two black-haired kids you were with.”  she explained as she stopped her left hand at the same button.

“You should see what the girl does, sweetie.  Poor thing.”  She unbuttoned the top of my shirt.  I moved my head away from her.  The smell of dead goat was getting to me.  I looked at the eyes of the goat she was wearing.  They were popping out of the goats sockets, and a fly was crawling over it.

“Shut up!”  I blurted out.

I screamed as pain soared through my chest.  Looking down, I saw her hand pressed flat against it.  She tensed her fingers and another spike of pain shot through me, making me scream again.  She rose my head with her chin, and looked straight at me from the goat’s mouth.  She has blue eyes.  Angry, blue eyes.

“Listen kid,”  she said.  “Every time you piss me off I’ll take it out on one of your friends here, like that little lady over there.”  She turned my head to face Ellen.  She was still asleep.  I thought of Ellen and how her mother must be feeling.  Hopefully the local heroes will find us soon, or the police.

She stuck her tongue out of the hole in her mask and licked the side of my cheek.  I suddenly felt dizzy as my balance started to give way.  Derek had stopped screaming at some point, I can’t tell when.  I heard a door open, and Sacrifice turned around.

“Druggie, do this bastard next.”  she snarled as she got off me. Sacrifice and a man in a Surgeon’s mask who I could only guess would be ‘Druggie’ dragged my chair to another room. There was a few stains of blood, a lamp and 2 syringes on a table, both containing a silvery liquid.  There were 4 on the floor.  Derek, Maxine, Micheal and somebody else.  I swallowed a little.  Druggie stood in the light, and he looked a lot like a surgeon. He had the mask, the gloves, the scrubs.  I could see that a little blood stained his clothes.  He picked up a syringe and walked over to me.

“This will hurt.”  he said.

He plunged the needle into the side of my neck.

***

At some point I passed out from the pain, and when I woke again I saw Derek, Micheal, Maxine and two others in the same room with me.  It was a bathroom.  Derek sat on the toilet, still as can be.  Maxine was tied up with a bag over her face.  Sacrifice’s taunting came to mind, and I shuddered to think about what happened to her.  Micheal was glowing.  He literally was.  I couldn’t look at him because it blinded me.

One of the other captives was sitting in the walk in shower, and another in the bathtub. Me and Maxine were on the floor.  We were all tied up with rope, but no longer in chairs.

Fractal opened the door.  I could hear crying.  Ellen was crying.  He snapped his fingers, and our ropes weren’t there anymore. He snapped again, we were suddenly in the middle of a street. Sacrifice and two other members of the Hunting Party stood around us.  A short, fat man holding a lamb shank and eating it messily was to my left.  He smirked as I looked at him.  The girl to my right was dressed as a clown.  How cliche.  I turned to look at everybody else.  Maxine was still wearing a mask over her face, and Micheal was still glowing.  I worried about myself and Derek, when I noticed him shift suddenly.  I didn’t even see him move.  I haven’t seen him move at all.

Ellen appeared out of nowhere, right in front of us.  Fractal must have done that.

Sacrifice cleared her throat.  “Listen up kiddies,”  she said.  “The National Hero Network will arrive in roughly one minute.  I have in my hands a special part of Druggie’s serum.”  She held 8 syringes in her hands, each filled with a blue-ish liquid.  “I’ll break them all if you attack me or any of my teammates.”  She dropped one.  It broke on the ground, its contents spilling everywhere.  “If you be good little children and fight the NHN, I’ll give you a syringe.  These are the only things that will stop your powers from going fully incontinent.”  Micheal looked at Maxine.  “I’m not sure you 6 friends would like to live your lives in a cape asylum.”

Wait, six?  There’s me, Derek, Micheal, Maxine and Ellen, right?  What about the other two?  Ellen, Derek and I looked at the two men with us.  They looked the exact same.  Twins?  Why only six then?

A thunderous boom shattered the windows of the nearby houses breaking my train of thought and I instictively ducked along with Ellen who let out a small shriek.  When I looked up, five figures stood before us all.  The National Hero Network.

Sacrifice looked at us and then the five heroes.  “Nice to see you, Alliance.”

The man in the center wore a short cape of white and red, with a large ‘A’ over his chest.  He yelled, his voice booming.  “Nobody move!”

Sacrifice turned to us.  “A free syringe for anybody who kills those capes!”

Only Derek and the twins ran towards them.  The Hunting Party followed behind.

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Posted: 05/18/2014 in Entry
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I was tired and hot.  Summer does that to you.  What also does that is a classroom with no open windows because they are held down with – I shit you not – zipties.  Apparently the hinges are loose enough that breaking them would cause the whole window to fall off.  I honestly believed my teacher, because a building with flood warnings for a hallway after a bought of rain and walls enough concrete and drywall removed you can see the steel supports  usually came with other glorious defects.  Thank god I don’t have to use the elevator.

My teacher, Mr Craig was droning on and on about political studies.  A new class in the school.  Considering the political changes the last five years, it’s overdue.  I stared out the window aimlessly.  I didn’t care about politics at all.

“Anderson,”  I was brought back to reality.  “I repeat, how many nations are there after the Kingmaker incident?”

Oh, Great.

“300-ish,”  I said.  “I wasn’t listening properly, sir.”

Mr Craig sighed.  “Ryan Anderson, answer me properly.  Are there more or less nations now than before the Kingmaker incident?”

I didn’t know.  Honestly, I didn’t know much because most things weren’t in my interest.  How I get the marks I do on tests, I’m clueless.  I must by lucky.  I tried to answer his question, even while I didn’t know what he was on about.

“Less?” I said, unsure.

“No.”

Damn.  No luck today.  Mr Craig walked back to the front of the class to repeat what he was probably saying.

“As you all know, apart from Mr Anderson over there,”  he said, pointing to me,  “The Kingmaker incident is the result of the metahuman known as Kingmaker using his power to rampage through Asia into Europe.  Even after his death, there are still people affected by the Kingmaker aura, including the King of Texas and the Queen of Wales.”  He finished writing a bunch of nations on the board.  Most of them were monarchies, which is what Kingmaker caused.  “Due to this, rather than having just under 200 nations and sovereign states, there are roughly under 300 of them.  Oddly enough, there are only fifteen Kingmaker states.  Many of the other nations are either former kingmaker states or states recognized because of the push towards the recognition of former self-governing communities like Zululand, Scotland and Xinjiang.  The answer is 600, Ryan.  Write that down.”

I wrote down ‘asshole’ on my notebook.  He continued on and on, about how developed nations disproportionately have had history of being ruled, governed or somehow given access to knowledge based metahumans and their produce and more boring shit like the scrapping of the Outer Space Treaty of 1967.

It’s not my problem.

 

* * *

 

Class finally ended and I sat down to eat with the only two people who can tolerate me.  Michael and Ellen.  Micheal finished his mean in record time, and took it upon himself to lecture me about the previous class.

“Ryan, you shouldn’t go and piss the teachers off all the time,”  he said while adjusting his glasses and closing a tupperware box filled with crusts.  “He’s getting paid to teach you, and it is your problem.  The world changes.  Accept it.”

I ran my hands through my black hair and leaned back on the bench.  I’ve already had this conversation before.  I’m not getting myself invested in the world of lunatics.  I don’t want to hear about heat vision, teleportation, invisibility or all that other crap.  Superheroes and supervillains are not on my list of issues, nor they ever shall be.  I glanced over at Ellen.  She was as intent as Micheal to get me to pay attention.

“…and it’s not just about superpowers or politics. You don’t do math, you litter, you don’t write down notes or keep to times without help…”  Micheal was still talking?  Damn.  I’ll write down a little more next week and hand in a piece of homework or two.  That always works.

“What about tomorrow?”  Ellen asked him after he was done.

“Uh?  Tomorrow?”

“Yeah, aren’t we all going out with Maxine and Derek to Newton Cafe?”  Ellen replied.  “It’s at 3 pm, Mick.”

Micheal turned to look at Ellen quickly then back to me.  “Okay, I remember that.  I think.”

“Maxine and Derek should call later on if they still want to go.” I said.

Ellen shook her head.  “They are fine.  They just decided to not come in.”

“Really?”  I asked.  “Unfair.  I have nobody to talk to now.”

Lunch passed by uneventfully with our topics of discussion alternating randomly from why fast food for breakfast is gross to why burning down a house isn’t a good way to distract a mugging.  I got up and walked to my English class early as Derek and Maxine are not here and neither Ellen nor Micheal have any reason to be in class with me.

I sat in class and wondered about how the day tomorrow would go.  It was difficult balancing what everybody liked and hated enough to avoid causing disaster.

Micheal was the easiest to manage.  He’d do anything me and Maxine were doing anyway.  Ellen needed her parents permission to do anything, but Micheal and Maxine was able to convince them for tomorrow.  Maxine seemed to have similar tastes as me, but she’s a lot more brazen about them, and has her own friends she talks to.  It was lucky that I was able to invite her for tomorrow.  Derek is hated by everybody who isn’t us for some reason.  He has a few issues, but severe bullying does that to a person who’s first friends are in high school.  He’ll just tag along.

I already had an idea of what to do.  There was a nice event happening in a restaurant nearby.  One of the bands Maxine likes was playing tomorrow at about 3:15.  Maxine would say yes, and Micheal and Derek would tag along easy.  Ellen wouldn’t need much to convince her, she likes to rebel from her mother every now and again.

A slam of a book on my desk.  “Ryan, pay attention.”

Damn it.

 

***

 

It was 2:59.  Derek, Ellen and I were sitting at Newton Cafe.  I couldn’t wait to tell them about the band.  Ellen was twirling her blond hair, and Derek was telling Ellen about how his neighbor’s dog jumps over his fence every day for no reason.  I checked my phone again and started playing some small app I downloaded.

“Hey,”  Maxine said to everybody.  “What’s up?”   Micheal was with her.

“Hey,”  Derek replied.  “Waiting on you two.”

Maxine sat down at the table while Micheal took a chair from the table nearby and dragged it along the floor.  “So are we just gonna drink coffee and hog wi-fi?”

“Nope.”  I said.  “The Open Doors are playing in Basil’s coffee-house.”

“Why didn’t you tell us to meet up there?”  Maxine huffed.

“It’s in March street. Ellen’s mother wouldn’t agree to let us take her to that.”  I said.  “Right, Ellen?”

Ellen shrugged her shoulders and took a sip of mocha.  “Yeah.”

I looked over at Maxine.  She wanted to go there so bad she started figiting with the ring on her finger.

“Who’s coming with me?”  I asked everyone.

Maxine smiled.  “I would have dragged you all down anyway now I know they are in town. You lot need to listen to them.”

Derek stuck a hand up for a second.

Micheal shrugged.  “Whatever, sure.”

Ellen looked at the ground.  “Um, okay?”

I smiled.  Unanimous agreement.  Perfect.  I got out my seat and took my coffee with me.  “I know the way, we’ll be there for the band if we walk over right now.”

We left the coffee shop and left the mall.  We reached the high street when the bells rung.  Ellen screamed out a little.  Micheal looked up at the speakers.  Derek sighed and muttered something under his breath.  Maxine looked at Micheal, and then me.

A screech as the speakers blared out a feedback loop and blared a message.  “Warning, please return to your homes,”  I gulped.  “The Hunting Party has been sighted in the city center.  I repeat, the Hunting Party has been sighted in the city center.  Everyone is advised to return to your homes.  The National Hero Network will lend aid shortly.”

Ellen looked like a puppy died in her hands.  Michael wrapped his arm around her.  “I’ll call Susan,”  he said to her.  “We’ll head to your house, and call our parents and stuff from there.”  Everybody looked grim.

“Yeah, we’ll do that.”  I said.

We jogged the way we came.  There was slight panic, as traffic built up and the warnings still blared out, but faintly enough we could talk.  I swallowed my pride.

“I’ll be honest. I don’t know about the Hunting Party.”  I said.

Maxine shot me a look.  “Ryan, the Hunting Party are a group of supervillains who specialize in creating other superhumans.  The problem is that people who get powers from them usually can’t stop using them, because they are passive powers.”  We reached the end of the high street and jogged on to the suburbs.

“Although, we don’t actually do it the normal way.”  a voice said behind us.  I turned around to see a naked woman wearing a goat’s mask over her head.  Ellen screamed.  Maxine and I jumped back.  Micheal held on to Ellen tighter.  Derek nearly turned tail and ran.

“Congrats, kiddos!”  the goat headed woman boasted like a gameshow host.  “You’ve been chosen!”  She cocked her head at us, watching our terrified reactions.  I realized that the mask she was wearing was a real goat’s head from the smell.

“Sacrifice. Her name is Sacrifice.”  Micheal whispered in my ear.

Sacrifice looked at Micheal.  “Yes?”

“I wasn’t talking to you, I was telling Ryan your name.”

“Really?  Does this Ryan not know a celebrity like me?”

I gulped down my fear and looked her in the eye.  “I don’t pay attention to things that don’t effect me.”

I regretted acting tough immediately.  Her head arched back as she held onto her stomach and she laughed repeatedly with a cartoonish exaggeration.

“You hear that, Fractal?  This kid thinks we aren’t his problem!”  She yelled to nobody in particular.  Derek elbowed me hard in the side.

I turned to face the others and Maxine shot me another angry look while laughing came from all around.  We all huddled closer.  “We are going to effect you.  You won’t forget this day, any of you.”

Sacrifice put her hand on Micheal’s head and he fainted.  Ellen began screaming.  Derek ran away.  A man appeared out of nowhere in a yellow jacket and hit Derek in the stomach.  I pulled on Maxine and Ellen, but Sacrifice caught her and she fainted too.  Maxine and I ran into the main street.

I turned back and Sacrifice was just standing there, waving goodbye.  She was mocking us.  We ran into the mall which was thankfully empty, and we hid in a nearby toystore.  Maxine punched me in the face and I fell over.

“You fucking asshole!”  she yelled at me.  “Why would you piss her off like that?”

“I was being honest!”  I protested.  She kicked me and I grunted. It was a weak kick, as we had both ran half way across the city.

“You don’t know what they do to people!”  She was fuming at me. “You don’t pay an ounce of attention and now they are going to… FUCK!”  She swiped all the toys off an isle and kicked a box across the store.

I lay down from when she punched me.  “Tell me then.”  I said.

It took Maxine five minutes to calm down.  The Hunting Party was still nowhere in sight.  You’d think they would have found us already.

“The hunting party create people with powers, but they can’t turn them off,”  she said.  I nodded in confirmation.  “So people either have to kill them or lock them up before they do something really dangerous.  You know Buffalo?  They caused that.  They also caused Pittsburgh, and Morgantown.”

I didn’t know what she was talking about. I opened my mouth to ask another question.

“And it looks like we’ll cause Norfolk too.”  Maxine let out a small squeak. I didn’t bother turning around.

Everything went pitch black.

 

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