Archive for the ‘Road Trip’ Category

2 | 4 : Road Trip

Posted: 06/03/2014 in Road Trip
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We won’t be seeing Ellen again;  she won’t be seeing her family.  It was hard to let sink in.  I was standing outside the room where we just had our final meeting before being assigned as Juniors and having to deal with PR.  I wasn’t looking forwards to it.  Sure, I might see Ricky – or Plural, as he calls himself – but my thoughts were firmly with Ellen.  Maxine couldn’t have gotten anything higher than 3.  That was the criteria.  Seven.  What the fuck did she do?

Micheal was the last to leave the conference room, his lawyer covering his eyes behind him.  He walked up to me and the dim yet persistent glow faded away to nothingness.

“You ok Ryan?”  he asked, taking a seat on the bench next to me.

“I guess so,”  I lied.

We didn’t say a single thing for what felt like an eternity.  I eventually got up and walked off to the toilets.  Maxine and Derek were already called down to PR over the intercom, and Micheal really didn’t have anything to say.  I still remembered Agent Williams hesitating when Maxine asked him about Ellen, his reaction when I asked him to tell us something.

His fear when he mentioned that she was classified Risk Level 7.

“Ryan Anderson, Report to Room 207.”  the intercom buzzed.  I got up to leave, not even saying goodbye to Micheal.  He was too deep in thought like I was.

The hallways in the NHN HQ were surprisingly homely, albeit still fulled with office-like buzz.  Armed guards filled every hallway along with clerks, researchers and other people hired for everything under the sun from secretarial duties to cleaning toilets, as the halls were filled with idle chatter from videogames to who is going out with whom.  I was rather surprised at how easily they’d let us walk through the building.

Room 207 was evidently on the second floor, after a little guesswork and a quick moment to pause and ask for directions.  I was about to knock when the man at the other end when the balding skinny man at the other end opened the door and I nearly tapped him on the head.

“Ah, come in!”  he said with surprise.  I entered the room.  Costumes and newspaper snippets lined the walls, with three desks in the middle of the room.  Two were absolutely a total mess and the last was unspeakably neat.  There was a swivel chair at both ends of the neat desk, one of which I sat on.

“I’m Donald Darling. Call me Donald,”  he said as he sat behind his desk.  He wore a coat, stained with inks and paints.  He didn’t look like a person who was hired to deal with people at all.

“Sure thing, Donald,”  I said casually.

“Well, like I said to your buddies, you’ll be a doozy.  It’s not every day four Incontinents are given probationary contracts with the Junior Group.  Hell, it’s not every day the Hunting Party doesn’t cause a massacre with their formula!”

I clenched my teeth.  The Hunting Party.  Hate was to weak a word to convey my feelings.

“You’ll probably be under stress from the media, so I was thinking of breaking you up.”

“Si-”

“Buuut…”  he interrupted me. “You are the only thing that can reverse Derek and Maxine’s powers on the fly.  Or, as they are called now, Latency and Unperson.”

Wait, what?  I shot a confused stare.

“Here,”  he said, handing a bracelet from under his drawer.  “put this bad boy on.”

I snapped it around my right wrist. If glowed and shrunk, squeezing tightly for a moment.  I almost panicked and it stopped.

“That’s a Hudlet, according to Interface.”  said Donald, pointing at the shiny silver bracelet. A small bunch of screens appeared all over it, similar to a touchscreen phone.

“Interface?”

“Some Genius type guy in the East coast.  He’s good with designing CLI’s, GUI’s and whatever else.  Made this little ditty.  It’s powered by body heat and gives us a reading to your teammates and the main server back here.  All nifty in my opinion,”  he explained.

It dawned on me that my ignorance of the world of capes is going to become a real problem for me.  I looked at the screen shown and noticed a prompt.

Enter your callsign: _

I sighed deeply and harshly with disappointment.  I’m not a kid.  I don’t want to do this.

“Can I put my own name in this thing?”  I asked Donald.

“Why’d you ask?”

“Because everyone will know my name anyway.  I’m on youtube for fuck’s sake,”  I responded.  Donald smiled coyly at me in response.

“And?  Many capes have been outed and still go by callsigns, it’ll happen eventually,”  he said, waving his right hand like a magic wand.  “It’s better to choose a callsign you like or get one labeled by the people.  They are pretty awful.  Hell, most of the ones people choose are still awful, but that’s my opinion.”

“I don’t want my armband calling me anything other than my name,”  I replied, punching my name into the prompter on my Hudlet.

“So I’m going to assign you, Derek and Maxine to Oklahoma City,”  said Donald once I finished.

I shot a look up from my Hudlet.  It was a nifty little thing with all the features of a phone, and a few small status indicators measuring stuff like my blood pressure and heart rate.  “Oklahoma?  Why?”

“King of Texas.  He’s started acting up after an attack by Conquest and we can’t fight him normally without his powers going off on our regular armies, so we need some capes around the border.  Also, we need beefing up on our junior unit in the south after a few gangs popped up.  There are a few other reasons but those are the main ones,”  he explained casually.

I nodded at every point he made.  He eventually waved me off after giving me a card for a tailor.  I initially refused but he told me that it’s more for utility than cape culture.  I took it before he finished the story about Hammerhead’s bikini and the shotgun.  It sounded painful, and I saw the images.

 

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I was woken up at roughly 7:00 AM.  Not the time I’d normally get up, but I had no real complaints.  I needed every second to think.  Breakfast was served at 8:00.  Sorta okay-ish factory food.  Light and fluffy.

At 10:00 AM, everything changed.

The intercom in my cell buzzed.  “There is a visitor for you, Ryan,”  said Alliance.

I could only guess as to whom it was.  My parents.  I’d only given them a brief thought when I’d been caught in Norfolk.  I guess I didn’t want to have them see me.

The cell door clicked and a pair of guards led me to an interrogation room.  I couldn’t hear or tell if any of the others were in their cells as I was walked by.  In the Interrogation room was my Mother, Father, Alliance and two others.  One was wearing a NHN badge woven into his blazer.  The other was a bald, fat man seated next to my mom, wearing a suit and holding several folders next to a briefcase.

“Mr. Anderson,”  said the man whom I guessed was a lawyer,  “It is a pleasure to meet you.  I’m Sterling Washington, your lawyer for now.”  He offered a hand to shake.  I did so.

My mom stood up from her seat from between dad and Mr Washington and grabbed me in a tight hug.  “I missed you, I thought you were…”  She trailed off and squeezed tighter.  I couldn’t breathe.

“Mom,”  I tried weakly.

“Susan Anderson, your son is turning blue.”  said Sterling.  She let me go and grabbed my head, giving me one last kiss on the forehead.

She nearly broke down.  “I’m sorry, it’s just…”

“I understand, I just didn’t want the boy to faint,”  the lawyer joked.  Mom smiled as she sat back down.  I noticed that my father had been tapping his fingers on the table the whole time, impatiently.

I found a seat at the table and sat down and the NHN agent began to speak.

“Good morning,”  he began,  “I’m Agent Williams of the National Heroes Network.  I’m sure you all have an understanding how serious this situation is for the young Ryan Anderson here.  He is not only going to have to be held for Analysis and Risk Assessment according to the Incontinent Powers Detainment and Analysis Act, but he may also be charged with one account of vandalism, one account of hijacking and five accounts of complicity with Indefinite detainment with a Power.”  Dad looked at me.

“Um,” I stuttered, interrupting Williams. “Can I ask a question?”  I was asking my lawyer more than the NHN Agent across the table.  Washington gave me the go ahead.

“Yes, you may.”  said Agent Williams.

“Does indefinite mean it’s forever?  Like you can’t end it?”  I asked.  Agent Williams looked at me funny.

“Yes, why do you ask that?”

Alliance jumped into our conversation.  “Sources tell me young Ryan here has a form of neutralization that can free the five victims.”  Williams shot a surprised glance at Alliance and then at me, before clearing his throat to bring the discussion back to what he was saying.

“Well, I guess those circumstances may have to be considered.”

My lawyer broke into the discussion this time.  “I do suspect that if you already know about his powers, you’ll have no need to do any analysis,”

“We are actually considering a compromise for Ryan and his friends.  It is the same we offer to every metahuman under 18 we have encounters with; a probationary contract with the NHN Junior Group,”  replied the Agent.

I cocked my eyebrow.  “Was Ri- Plural offered this?”

“Yes, he was.”

“And if my son does?”  my father finally spoke.  “What then?”

“As I said, it’s merely a probat-”  my father interrupted the Agent.

“Not that.  What about the fact that he’s known, that Micheal is known, that all of his friends are currently on the internet and on WANTV?  You do know that one of their classmates was talking about them.  Personal details about my son.”

The agent took a second to compose himself.  Most people did, my father was very threatening when he spoke, and the idea that me and my friends had become famous overnight was actually daunting.

“Nothing can be done, I’m afraid.  Sorry about that, Thomas.”

Dad was stunned, a little.  Reputation wasn’t much for him, but he liked to preserve what little he had gained.  becoming one of the parents of  ‘those kids who became incontinents from a supervillain’ wouldn’t bode well for him.  It wouldn’t bode well for anyone’s family.  Revenge was still in my heart.  I didn’t know why, but hearing dad reinvigorated it.  For the worst reason possible, I wanted to do something.

“I’ll do it.”  I said.

Agent Williams tried to hide his smile.  He nearly failed.

 

***

 

After a discussion with both my lawyer and my parents I’d agreed to join the NHN Junior Group if my results from the Risk Assessment test came back with a number lower than 4.  From my interview and the few tests I’d received I’d only gotten a 2. They also asked me to explain what I knew of my friend’s powers. Maxine and Derek in particular.  I’d stated a little about them, like how Derek’s loops stopped nearby me and Maxine’s power fails when I go near her, and they did a lot of comparing and discussion in some committee while I waited back in my cell.  I was still unsure of where everyone was, but after two days I was brought back for the second test and saw them.

I’d ended up wearing the issued clothing put in our cells.  Shirt, trousers, boxers, and socks.

The Powers Analysis test was mainly a feedback discussion.  I’d been brought to a large round table with chairs along with Mr. Washington.  Micheal was here, I could tell by the glowing.  He was wearing something that made it dimmer, but I still couldn’t look at him.  I sat down on a seat that had a piece of paper with my name on it.  Ellen was nowhere to be seen.

“Hey,”  I said to everyone.  “I missed you guys.”

Maxine looked in my direction.  I noticed her and Derek wore the same grey clothing as me, but Maxine wore a pair of goggles over her eyes.  They probably did something to help her with her powers.

“Good to see you again,”  said Micheal.  He was still loud, regardless of how his new clothes dulled down is piercing glow.

“Good evening,”  Agent Washington began,  “Again, I’m Agent Washington, the Proctor for this discussion.  Your lawyers are here with you because of the nature of what we are about to talk about.  As you already know, we have taken and assembled notes and summaries of your powers and placed a copy of the penultimate revision on the folders in front of your chairs.  These files are the subject of discussion for today.  You all may each ask as many questions as you like.”

“Where the hell is Ellen?”  asked Maxine.  She looked cross, or I thought she did.  The goggles hid her eyes too effectively for me to tell.

“I can not legally tell you.  I’m sorry.”

“What can you tell us?”

“Ellen… failed to meet the qualifications we asked for you all to meet.  On the Risk Assessment test, she scored a 7.”

A seven.

“What?”  I blurted out in surprise.  “How could she get a seven, she had no powers at all!”

Sterling gave me an odd look and put his hand on his chin.  Agent Washington sighed deeply, his head held firmly in his hands.

“I understand your concerns, Ryan.  It’s just that she did manifest powers and those powers did have a dangerous effect.”

Maxine slammed her hands on the table, causing her lawyer to jump slightly.  “I can fucking erase people from memory when I look at them and Derek freezes people in time! What the fuck could Ellen do that’s worse!?”  She was angry.  I would be too.  Alliance tensed up slightly.

“I can’t tell you right now.  I apologize.”

Maxine’s lawyer put her hand on her shoulder, calming her down.  She begrudgingly sat back down, looking at her folder.  My lawyer had spent the meantime ignoring the commotion and reading mine.  He offered it to me.

I looked at the file.

PROFILE OF NATIONAL HEROES NETWORK JUNIORS PROBATIONARY MEMBER

I looked further down, skipping personal details like my age and name.  They were all correct.

Power(s): DETECTION BASED POWER NULLIFICATION.

Activation Classification: INCONTINENT PASSIVE.

Detection based?  I decided to ask.

“Um, Agent Williams, Why does it state my powers are Detection based?”

The agent was relieved to see people actually discuss something other than Ellen’s unsure fate.

“It appears that you can only nullify aspects of powers you are aware of or have been told about.”

“I see.”  The discussion went back and forth several times, with no real changes made.  None of us had made a mention to the fact our powers had grown stronger, or that we were unsure if they’d stop.  I had a feeling they already knew.  I also had a feeling we were too afraid to say it out aloud.

five minutes had passed.

“I see we have a unanimous agreement on the penultimate iterations of the profile folders given, am I correct?”

The lawyers and us all nodded and gave murmurs of agreement.

“Well then,”  he said.  “Congratulations to everyone present.  You are all official members of the NHN Junior Group under probationary contract.  Tomorrow you’ll all be given your assignments and meet with Public Relations.  You can leave now.”

I got up first.  I needed time to think.  To think about Ellen.

 

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There was a circle of disdain and fear around all of us.  They had distanced themselves enough to be out of reach but they had still clearly formed an impressive mob.  If I was in their shoes, I’d have done exactly the same thing.  Incontinents are dangerous.  We are dangerous.

“Lets go,”  I said to everyone.  We walked out as they pierced us with their eyes.  I looked over to Maxine.  She wasn’t taking it well at all.

We saw Derek in the car park outside the motel.  He’d caught up with the robbers and he’d frozen them just like his parents at his house.  One drew his gun over and over. The one who had grabbed the cashier was turning around, with her over his shoulder..  The one holding the bags of loot was still running.

We all half jogged half walked over to Derek.  He turned to see us and began to speak when we reached him and my power turned him to normal again.

“Look, I know thi-”

Maxine struck him hard in the face.  He fell right on his back.

“Holy shit, you knocked him out!”  yelped Ellen in surprise.

Maxine kicked Derek in the stomach.  He began coughing.

“Why the fuck would you do that!?”  she screamed.  Another kick, this time to the crotch.  I squirmed internally. Micheal gave a small grunt.

“What the fuck is wrong with you!?”

Micheal grabbed Maxine and pulled her off Derek, who was clearly trying not to throw up.  I didn’t move.  If anything, I wanted to kick Derek myself.  He’d fucked everything up for us, after all.  Maxine struggled relentlessly against Micheal’s hold.

“Max, calm down,”  said Micheal.  “This isn’t worth it.”

“Let go of me Micheal!  This fucker is only causing problems!”  Maxine screamed at everyone, tears welling up.  “First Ricky gets caught in Norfolk, and now this!”  Ellen slapped Maxine hard across the face.

“Shut up.”  she ordered.

Several seconds passed.  Maxine finally broke down in tears, no longer struggling to break free.  She stopped after five minutes.

Ellen was the first to break the silence.  “We should just go to Virginia City.”

Maxine picked herself up.  “I’m not going,”  she said softly.

“What?”

“I’m not going, Ellen.  Why should I?”  It was clear the toll was too much for her.  Her powers, Ricky, the mall, the motel…  it all culminated in her.  “Why the fuck should I go and do something I never really wanted to do?”

I couldn’t respond.  This whole revenge plan was poorly thought out, by both me and Micheal.  Ellen was the first to try and convince her otherwise.

“You want to spend the rest of your life locked up?”

Maxine only gave a curious glance at Ellen in response.

“We’re all going to be locked up regardless of anything,”  she explained, shrugging.  “It’s the law.”

“I don’t fucking care anymore!”  yelled Maxine as she turned and ran for Larry’s truck that we had stolen.  I quickly recalled we had forgotten to take the keys with us. That, and she was about to leave my range.

“Shit,”  I muttered to myself, running for Maxine.  Micheal and Ellen reacted too slowly and a glow shot out of nowhere from behind.  Maxine reached the door and was about to open it when I tackled her to the floor.  She punched the side of my head as I held onto her stomach.

“Stop it,”  I said while she pounded me in my temple with her fist.  She hit me one last time and I grabbed for her arm with my left hand, missing entirely.  She struggled free.

“Fuck off Ry-”  she yelled before a look of shock came across her face.  “Fuck.”

I got up and grabbed her by the arm. She pointed behind me to where I guessed Ellen and Micheal still stood.  I turned around and saw them.

Alliance and Queen ware behind me.  Queen tossed a pair of handcuffs at the ground in front of us.  “Put them on.”

Maxine picked them up instantly, and then hesitated.  I just looked at them, almost reaching.

“Put them on.”

Maxine clicked the cuffs around her wrists.  I tried my hardest to refuse, but a deep feeling of dread was building up within me. I reached again, slowly, and picked up the second pair.

“Put them on, Ryan”

If I don’t put these cuffs on, she’ll kill me.  I snapped the handcuffs around my wrists and suddenly relaxed.  Queen’s power is the most unnerving thing I’ve experienced.

I looked over to Ellen, Derek and Micheal, squinting to get the glow out of my eyes.  They’d been caught too.

 

***

 

We’d all been thrown into a convoy of vans.  Me and Maxine in one, Derek and Micheal in another and Ellen all by her self.

There were two rather well masked guards in each van holding funny looking guns, and from what I could guess from our situation, a hero from the National Heroes Network sat on the bench the opposite side of us.  Our van had the grace of Alliance with us.  I turned to look at where the driver’s compartment was and noticed the LCD monitor embedded on the wall.  I could see our reflection in it.

Both I and Maxine looked like shit.  Her face was red from crying, her shirt dirty from falling over and punching Derek in the face and her denim skirt was both ripped and covered in white paint.  I was both covered in dirt and tired.

“Hey, you know you might not get locked up,”  said Ricky as both of him took off their riot masks.

Ricky was both the faceless goons.  Maxine shot a look of surprise.

“What the fuck,” she exclaimed with shock.

I looked at Alliance.  He smiled.

“You can tell them, Plural,”  he said to Ricky.  No, not Ricky.  Apparently he’s called Plural now.  They are called Plurals?  Clones are weird.

Both Plurals looked at me and Maxine.  “You should know the Incontinent Detainment and Analysis Act only covers the procedures of what will have to happen when someone gets powers they can’t control,”  said both Plurals simultaneously.  “After that, what happens is essentially up to the National Heroes Network.”

Maxine didn’t say a thing.  She didn’t need to.  This is what we all needed to hear.

Alliance crashed the celebrations early.

“That’s if you are not deemed dangerous,”  he said.  “If any of you are deemed a passive threat there is the NHN Containment City.”

I could feel Maxine’s heart shatter.  The City.  Even I heard of the stories.  The only place in the universe with true power nullification.  I thought about my own powers for a second.  Maybe I’m immune, or I have a similar power as to the Mayor of Containment City…

“But first, you’ll have to be evaluated,”  Alliance stated, breaking my train of thought.  “We’ll be going to Casen City HQ for that.”

I looked at Maxine again.  I’d been paying a lot of attention to her after Norfolk.  She’d taken a lot on her and to be truthful, I’d not be surprised if she was sent to the City.  She probably thought it was all but guaranteed to be her fate.

“What if one of our powers is bad, but not that bad?” I asked while gesturing.

Alliance thought for a moment.  “That’s not my place to decide, but I’ll put in a good word.”

The rest of the trip to Casen City was silent.

 

***

 

As everyone got out of all of the vans in the convoy, we looked at the National Heroes Network HQ.  It was big, imposing, had a front made almost entirely of glass with two statues.  Alliance, Queen, six Plurals and a final cape I could not remember led us through the doors of the building. Me, Micheal, Ellen, Maxine and Derek were all walked through the main lobby, which had a sizable population of civilians and Grunts working for the NHN everywhere.  Some were in a gift shop, some were at reception.  Government sponsorship get you places,  I thought to myself.

Civilians saw us still cuffed as we walked to the other end of the lobby and a few whispers managed to creep into my ears.

“Aren’t those kids from the video?”  said one voice of curiosity.

“Can the heroes handle them if they go berserk again?”  muttered one voice of fake concern.

We were walked downstairs to a temporary holding area.  Probably the jail cells many villains spent their final days in before being moved to the City, Lotus Island or the Basin.  We were given a cell each.  There weren’t any other occupants.

“You’ll sleep here for the night,”  said Alliance to us all.  “We’ll do the analysis in the morning.”

I looked around.  The cell was lit, but not blindingly so.  Just enough light that we’d see.  There was a bed with a pile of clothes on top. I walked over and picked them up.  Cheap prison clothes, dyed an ugly shade of grey.  There was a small desk nailed to the floor and a monitor embedded on the wall.  A shower was in the corner.

I shoved the clothes onto the floor and lay in the bed.  I needed the sleep.

 

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2 | 1 : Road Trip

Posted: 05/22/2014 in Road Trip
Tags: , , , ,

I was both relieved and rather frightened at the fact my Nullification aura could cover the whole pickup truck.  Was there any point we would stop progressing?  Would I cover a city, or the state with my aura?  What would happen if I died?  What would have happened to Allen if I didn’t stop Derek’s powers?

Micheal broke the silence.

“So we are going to Virginia City, right Ellen?”

“Yes,”  Ellen replied, quietly.  “We will go to Virginia City.”

If there is anything I had an achievement in, it wasn’t knowing shit about the metahuman scene.  Sadly, I’d have to grow more proactive about what we’d be dealing with until we could take our revenge.

“What’s Virginia City like, Micheal?”  I asked.

He was busy on the road.  He took a turn off the motorway and I glanced at the dashboard, low fuel.  “It’s okay, my dad took us down there once.”

“Really?”

“Yeah,”  he said.  “Low tier cape scene though, which makes it all easy.”

“Low tier?”  I asked.

“Yeah, the teams aren’t that good.  First of all, there is some guy named ‘Stacker’ who multiplies and victories or losses, but that goes for himself as well.  He has two underlings called ‘Firecracker’ and ‘Heavy Metal’.  If you can’t tell, all the good names were taken.”

I could tell.  God knows what callsigns the National Heroes Network will give us.

“Oh, that’s all?” I asked.

“There’s another incontinent type metahuman called ‘Pariah’, there’s a branch of the National Heroes Network, A branch of NHN Minors, three or four other metahumans who work alone and a gang called the Dark Warriors, who are just a bunch of whiny middle class teens with powers,”  he said, sounding angrier as he talked on.  “Oh, before I forget, there’s also a bunch of racist fucks called the White Society or some shit like that.  Everyone else doesn’t have a single power, are hiding it or were taken out by Pariah or the NHN and Juniors, which isn’t saying much when the branch in Virginia city sucks ass.”

Micheal really has an issue with racists.  They didn’t really go down in membership since the sixties, mainly because the civil rights movement ended with Martin Luther King being thrown into the sun on national television.  The event Invigorated racist states and politicians who saw the event as protection by supers.  It also caused a shit ton of legislation on the use of powers, most notably the Political Neutrality Act and the Incontinent Powers Detainment and Analysis Act.  I guess being mixed race in Virginia city will be an issue for him when he isn’t glowing and people can see his half black skin.

We sat Silently while Maxine and Derek chatted away in the back, holding on to our bags of clothes.

Micheal interrupted the silence after 15 minutes of boring road.  “We need to stop soon, low fuel,”  he said.

“Okay,”  I replied.  We pulled into a conveniently located gas station, diner and motel hybrid.

Maxine was first to say what we were all thinking.  “Do we have enough for food everyone can eat?”

We reached into whatever wallets we had, thankful we were actually going to spend a day out not long ago.  It was surprisingly late, when we thought about it.  looking at our money, we had about $467.50 dollars.

“We’ll also need a room or two,”  I said.

Micheal looked at us all.  “You think they have a five bed room?”  he skeptically asked.

Shit, I thought.  “Family room?”

“Really, Ryan?  You gonna be the big daddy to wikkle baby Micheal?”  joked Derek, nudging him.  Micheal punched his shoulder hard enough for him to stumble.

“Shut up idiot,”  Micheal responded.  “I’ll have to sleep near Ryan anyway.”

I nodded and went inside, everyone following behind.  The building was called the ‘Long’s Way’, according to the neon sign above the door.  There were a few stragglers about, almost all eating food with the occasional one or two leeching wi-fi.  The cashier at the counter was a rather cute blond if I say so myself, who was busy reading some romance novel.  Everybody has their hobbies, I figure.  I walked up to the counter and she sprung to attention.

“Can we rent a family room for the night, and some gas?” I asked, followed by Derek interjecting after me.

“Food too,” he said.

“Sure, the Bed is $80 a night, Gas is $14.06 a gallon and Food is on the me-”

A gunshot ripped through the ceiling and broke a ceramic tile, bringing it down to the ground.  Three men stood with handguns, two of whom were pointing from person to person, with a last focused on the cashier.  They all wore jeans, a simple jacket than similar black shoes.

“Nobody move, this is a fucking robbery,”  the one with the gun pointed at us and the cashier stated calmly.  He eyed our money.

“Everybody toss your wallets and shit in this bag here,”  he instructed while pulling out a black rubbish bag from his back pocket and holding it open. He walked over to us, and I glanced at the other two men who did the same to the other customers.

I tossed the money into the bag, and looked to see everyone’s reaction.  Derek was antsy.  Everyone else begrudgingly was okay with it.  After a few tense moments as the robbers moved throughout the motel, everyone had their money, jewelry and other important belongings of worth collected.

They gathered up together. One robber took the three bags. Another walked over to us while his partner pointed his gun from customer to customer.

“One last thing,”  he said firmly.  “I’m taking a hostage.”

He grabbed the cashier by the wrist and pulled her over the counter, to everyone’s outcry.

“What the fuck!”  yelled Derek.  He was almost greeted by a bullet to the face as the masked robber pointed his gun at him as Micheal held him back.

“I’ll kill anyone who fucking tries to stop us!”

They left for the door.  Several seconds of stunned silence as the screaming cashier grew fainter and fainter.

“Fuck this,”  muttered Derek.  He burst out of Micheal’s grip and ran for the motel door.  Crossing half way, he left my aura, turning to his glitching, blinking form.  The crowd of customers let out gasps and small screams of shock, then they all turned to us.

“It’s them!  The kids from Norfolk!”  shouted one customer from the back.

We’d been caught out.

 

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