Posts Tagged ‘Ricky’

Honestly, I found today the most relaxing in recent weeks.  I guess that’s the irony in this whole situation, with everyone tense enough as it is.

“One ham and cheese toastie, one 5 peice breakfast and one soup of the day,”  said the waiter.  I thanked him with a nod as he placed the food on the table where I, Maxine and Derek sat.

“Kinda miffed we can’t eat with the others outside,”  said Derek, blowing his spoonful of soup.  “I like Maxwell, he’s a cool dude.”

“It’s to be expected, seeing as how well we are known,”  Maxine replied.  I made a small glance and saw that attention was slightly directed towards us from a few random tables.  “I mean, all of the people like us are.  You know, people who were caught by the Hu-”

“Anyway let’s change the subject,”  I interrupted a little louder than I should.  Maxine gave me a glance and I noticed I put too much pressure on my toastie, crushing it a little.  I wiped my hands on a napkin that wrapped my cutlery.  “We should maybe try and call Micheal and Ricky.  They’d like that, and they haven’t talked to us at all yet.”

Maxine and Derek relaxed a little.  I stopped tensing up.

“I mean,”  I continued,  “I’m pretty curious to as how they are doing right now, aren’t you?”

Derek swallowed a spoonful of soup and put the spoon down, before pointing at me.  “You know, you are right about this.  I’m actually missing Ricky.”

“They might get homesick, or we might get homesick,”  said Maxine, interjecting as she cut a fried egg open.  “I’d check up on the news, first.”

“You know where they are stationed?”  I asked.

“They fucking told us you moron,”  said Derek, kicking my shin from under the table.  “They are in New York, how’d you forget that?”

I thought for a moment in between chews of ham and cheese.  “Fuck me,”  I said.  “I actually forgot.”

We continued talking about irrelevant things, both to distract ourselves and because we hadn’t done so properly in a long time.

“So, about what happens soon,”  said Maxine, interrupting my daze.  “I mean, The Holidays ends in a week, what do you think?”

“Maybe we have a deal cut in with a nearby school?”  Suggested Derek with a little too much optimism for my tastes.

“I don’t think so,”  said Maxine.  “I’m thinking private tutoring, if we are lucky.”

“I don’t think we will stay here actually,”  I said.  “I mean, Pivot said to me we were only here because of the kingmaker thing. Once this blows over, We’ll all go home.”

Derek took a last spoonful of soup.  It was cold by now.  “Most of us.”

Right.  I forgot.  Ellen.

“Let’s check up on Ricky and Micheal,” said Maxine.  We paid, tipped and left.

 

***

 

“Bullshit,”  I said to everyone.  “This is bullshit.”

“Relax Ryan, you are too stressed lat-”

I interjected, louder.  “That’s total fucking BS, what the fuck!”

“Don’t swear so much, you sound like a thug,”  said Maxine.

“Yeah, but it’s totally unfair!”  I said again, pointing at the screen.

“That’s how things go,”  said Derek, trying to keep a grin hidden away behind his hand.

“Fuck that! Gimmie a phone or something!”  I looked around the desk for a mobile, tossing papers aside from the desk.  They looked like blueprints from Pivot.

“Hey!”  called out Maxine, bending over to pick them up.

I walked into my room, remembering my old cellphone.  I found it in a drawer, untouched.  I rummaged through the contacts list and put it on speakerphone.  Ricky answered as I walked back to Maxine and Derek, who has keeled over laughing by the time I got back.

“Hey there, Captain Cockblock!”  said Ricky in a rehearsed deadpan.

“Fuck you man,”  I replied, trying to hold in my own laughter.  “I could have lost an arm, and all you do is give me a shit name!”

Laughing occurred in the background.  Micheal was there.

“And fuck Micheal too.  Take turns, go fuck each other.”

“Dammit Ryan, let me speak,”  said Derek, taking the cellphone and placing it down.  “Sup, Maxine’s here too by the way.”

“Hey there!”  Maxine said.

“Sup Maxie.  How are you all anyway?”

“Blocker is mad cause he tried to block a car last month, Maxine’s alright and I’m fine.”  replied Derek, before grunting as I jabbed him in the side with an elbow.

“How are you guys doing?”  interrupted Maxine, pushing in between me and Derek.

“Hey darlings!”  yelled Micheal over the phone.  “I’m fantastic!  They have this amazing Pizza place three blocks away, and a cinema!”

I was great to hear them, I was right.  “We miss you all,”  said Ricky, quieter than before.  “Visit us soon.”

“We will.”

“Goodby,”  said Micheal.  “Thing came up.  Some cape thing.”

“See ya,”  replied Derek.

“Visit soon,”  I said.

The phone turned off.  I picked it up and turned it off, turning to Maxine and Derek.

“That was great,”  I said, smiling while shaking my head.  “Remind me to punch that asshole.”

“Remind me to give him a hi-five,”  replied Maxine.

A siren interrupted our fun.

“God damn it,”  I said, heading to my room to put the phone away.  I tossed it in the drawer, opening my closet and taking my costume out.  It was new, the old one was ripped when my arm broke.  After putting it on, returned to see Unperson and Latency sitting in chairs, already dressed.  Pivot and Stacker had entered in the meantime while I and the others changed.  Maxwell walked out of his room, fully geared.  Event Horizon entered last of all.

“It’s Texas.  The borders have opened,”  she said grimly.  “We are at war.”

“So we do what?”  asked Stacker, before Unperson could raise her hand.

Event Horizon pointed at one of the walls in the room.  It was actually a screen, embedded and hidden away so that it did not distract people, I assumed.  The contents were more important than what was used to create and embed a screen behind the wall.  We saw the view of the Texan army, descending on Mexico.  Capes and soldiers clashed on the battlefield in a flurry of fire and many other colours and shapes.

“We do nothing, Mexico is the country in trouble,”  said Event Horizon.

“What about them?”  asked Unperson.

“The NHN is already en-route.  They’ll attack from behind with the aid of a few other factions in an attempt to assist Mexico.”

And take whatever technology they can find, I thought to myself.

 

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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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Alliance walked into the meeting room of the New York National Heroes Network Debriefing Room.  He looked over at his fellow agents and at down in his chair.

Array stood up and turned on his projector.  “As you all know I and Hindsight have been following the Hunting Party for the last month,”  He said, pointing at his masked colleague.  “They’ve hit Norfolk an hour ago.”

Undertow clenched her fists.  “Why didn’t we hear about this now?”

“I suspect that somebody is allied with their cause.  It’s most likely Agent Jameson, but that isn’t important.”  He said.  “Six teenagers were kidnapped.  We all know their usual MO.  Expect these kids to be highly incontinent with their powers.”  Array handed 6 folders, one to each person in the room who isn’t himself.

“Myself and Hindsight have already written down the best course of action.  I expect you to follow this to the letter, as usual.”

Alliance, Undertow, Vortex, Queen, Water Strider and Agent Mulch opened the folders and read them.

Agent Mulch was the first to protest.  “What the fuck do you mean, only capture the cloning ability user!?”  he said.

Hindsight smirked a little under his mask.  “I’ll assure you that if you go after anybody but the twins, you will die.  This is the only option.”

Agent Mulch snorted.  “If they are dangerous at all, then any loss to prevent another fucking Buffalo City event is perfectly fine.”

Undertow looked at the agent with bared teeth.  She let up after Water Strider but his hand on her shoulder to calm her.

“I assure you,” said Array. “They are all perfectly harmless to normal people.  I do note that they will cause damage only if somebody with powers tries to attack them, however.”  He put his hands up in the air.  “I’d like to catch them all, really.  I hear a professor in Ethiopia came up with a cure to Druggie’s super serum.”

Undertow finally spoke.  “I’m not going to fucking allow you to experiment on minors.”

Array smiled.  “I have full permissions, and you are assuming I’m going to create some godzilla thingy.  Besides, I need their permission to perform any experimental treatment, both from the doctor and the children.”

Undertow looked at Agent Mulch.  “Come on.  Don’t let him.”

Mulch sighed.  “I have to agree with Undertow here.  This stuff is an unproved science, and I don’t think the risks of what could happen outweigh the benefits.” Array opened his mouth to speak but was interrupted.  ” …and before you go to cry about it, I’m not going to allow it this time because Hindsight says it’s okay.  His duration for his ability to see the future is short a majority of the time, and the problems may be long term.”

Alliance stood up.  “We should go.”  Undertow, Water Strider, Vortex and Queen followed suit and left the meeting room.

While they walked down the halls, Vortex was the first to break the silence.  “So when is the honeymoon, newlyweds?”  he asked Undertow and Water Strider.

Water Strider gave him a look and smirked.  “I’m not telling you.  God knows what prank you’d try and pull.”

Vortex shot his hands up in fake surrender.  “I’m not like that all the time, it was only once!”

“You teleported Undertow’s bra onto alliance.”  Queen interjected.  Undertow put her head down slightly.

“At least they fit him,”  said Vortex.  “God know what would happen if Alliance had bigger boobs than Undertow.”

Undertow put her hands over her mouth to stop laughing and hide her embarrassment.  Queen decided to smack him over the back of the head instead.

“Thanks, Queen.”  said Water Strider.

They reached the roof and huddled in a circle. Alliance, Undertow, Water Strider, Vortex and Queen held hands.

Vortex smiled, giddy at the upcoming fight.  “Here we go!”

Thunder struck the roof of the New York building, and they disappeared.

 

***

 

The National Heroes Network stood in front of the Hunting Party.  Sacrifice, Fractal, Glutton and Jawbreaker stood in a circle around 7 teenagers.  One was glowing brightly.  One had a mask over her face.  Two were identical.

Sacrifice was holding several syringes in her hands.  Alliance knew that colour.  It was Druggie’s self destruction formula.

“Don’t let her inject anybody with that formula!”  he ordered.  “Attack the Hunting Party, we’ll deal with the kids later!”

He turned to face the hostages and the Hunting Party.  “Nobody Move!”

Sacrifice yelled something.  Nearly everyone charged into the fight.  Fractal appeared right in front of Undertow’s face.  She waved her hand and he was flung into a building with a crash as the window was broken.  He suddenly appeared behind her and touched her back.  She disappeared.

Vortex teleported himself and Queen in front of Sacrifice.  She tried to stab at them with her syringes, and Queen dodged back.  “Squeeze your hands.”  Queen said.  Sacrifice crushed the syringes in her hands, and leaped forwards to punch Queen.

“Kneel.”  Sacrifice stumbled, missing her punch.

“Kneel.”  Sacrifice stumbled again, almost flipping over.

“Kne-”  Queen was struck in the face with a plank of wood before she could finish.  Fractal then teleported behind Vortex holding the wooden weapon but suddenly shot up into the air and hovered there, floating at the height of a small building.

“Got him!”  yelled Water Strider.  Undertow raced back into the fray riding a small puddle at break-neck speed down the empty road.  She crashed into one of the teenagers who hadn’t run away.  There were two of them, looking the exact same.  How did she not see him?

The two teenagers were yelling at the same time, to a third who was eerily still.  “Derek, listen to me!  The syringes are gone!  We have to go back to the others!”

The still boy pressed on, refusing to listen to his comrade.  Undertow felt a thud as  he hit her.  She tried to punch back, and went right through him.  Water Strider charged into the fray, kicking and punching all three teenagers, somehow hitting the still boy.

“Stop, I’m trying to help!”  Said both twins at the same time.  Water Strider stopped attacking.

“On your hands and knees then!”  he ordered.  The twins acted at the same time.

A glow became brighter and brighter.  “What the hell is that?”  asked Vortex, shielding his eyes.

It began to fade, dimming slowly.  “One of the kids.”  said Alliance as he walked towards the group from his fight.  He looked beaten up.

“Jawbreaker and Glutton got away, as predicted by Hindsight.”  he said.

Alliance looked at Sacrifice as Fractal blinked in and out of existence, taking her with him.  Undertow kicked some dirt into the air and screamed at the sky.

“That was a waste of time!  Fuck!”

Alliance looked at her sternly.  “We stopped a potential disaster, and according to Hindsight’s report, we have a source of useful information from the cloning boy.”

Undertow shot Alliance an angry look.  He was always so calm and by the book, which aggravated her to no end.  Even Vortex couldn’t get him riled up, and that guy has tried many times.  Alliance stood firm in his opinion, and Undertow conceded defeat.

“Okay.  I understand.”  she didn’t.

Alliance picked up the twins by the arms.  “Kid, your name.  And don’t give me any callsign stuff, you are not wearing a mask.”

The twins took a second to think, then explained in unison.  “I’m Richard, but everyone calls me Ricky.”

Alliance relaxed a little.  “What do you know about the other hostages, Ricky?”

“I know them all.  They’re my friends, sir.”

“Really?  You know their names?” Alliance inquired skeptically.

” Micheal Scott, Maxine McKinnon, Ellen White, Ryan Anderson and Derek Smith.  They’re good kids sir.  It isn’t our fault this happened.”

“I know son,”  said Alliance.  “It was just bad luck, really.”

Queen and Water Strider walked up beside Alliance.

“You’ve been injected with a serum from Druggie,”  explained Queen.  “We’d like to run some tests, to get an idea of what will happen to you and your friends.”

Ricky nodded slowly.  “Okay.  I understand.”

1 | 3 : Entry

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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