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THE GREENSDALE PROJECT

Bone-breaking training, blood-curdling workouts, and no time for the ladies. This was the hell Chase endured for the last few years after his little brother Andre died tragically. Training, that was his life to compensate for his averageness. But when reality hits him like a truck he finally understands that no matter what he will not be powerful enough to equate to the Heroes that guard us.

Taking the first step in applying to the Greensdale Project in Arizona to become a Super, but as he learns that superpowers don’t make the Super he has to use his wit, strength, and will to push through outside forces and inside ones to enter and graduate from the Greensdale Academy for Supers in Arizona.

If he survives that is.

Click Home than Table of Contents for the Table of contents.

 

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The Greensdale Project 2.35

I joined the group just in time to see the reason the groups seemed to be getting smaller. There was a man surrounded by the rest of the soon to be students, he calls out two names and the two guys approached him. The authoritative man in the middle promptly grasped each of their forearms and they blinked out of existence then blink back in a moment after to call another duo.

Officially the second teleporter I saw in action.

Someone tapped on my shoulder “Hey Chase looks like we’re the same group,” a familiar voice went.

“Whats up Julian, I didn’t know where you were you didn’t answer your phone,” I said with a grin as I kept one ear out for my name being called.

Julian was looking a bit different then when I saw him at the facilities, his hair was brushed to one side and he seemed to stand a little straighter, maybe something happened when we left. Or maybe it was because of what happened that made us leave early.

“Oh, that’s… weird I didn’t get anything,” Julian stammered sullenly as he patted his pants on his phone.

“Chase Millers, and Ethan Sharpino,” A firm voice commanded from the center.

I glanced back as I recognized my name before responding to Julian “Good luck man, do your best!”

“Y-yeah I will, you too,” Julian called back while wringing his wrists, the first sign of his now-obvious nervousness.

Unlike Julian I was not nervous, rather the opposite. I was anxious to get this party rocking. What was there to be nervous about? Everything is entirely up to you, whether or not you will succeed is based on how hard you push yourself.

I physically and metaphorically shook this thought out of my head as I saw the guy they called Ethan, who which I assumed would be my first opponent. The first out of many, I mean sure this was an evaluation or whatever but it was also a contest. A contest that I intend to win.

We both reached the teleporter at the same time, just as the man grabbed our own wrists like the others before us Ethan and I locked eyes, my coal-black pupils to his similarly dark, void-less pupils, officially solidating each other as enemies.

The world twisted out of my vision and into nothingness then back into reality faster than you could say badonkadonk. Which is to say quite fast. It took a few seconds to catch my bearings, my eyes were rolling around in my skull as dizziness took its hold on me. But it must’ve been purely psychological due to it going away as fast as it started.

A stray thought popped into my mind as I took hold of my surroundings. That instant where everything went dark what was that? If teleporting was just moving at light-speeds shouldn’t it be white as the colors clashed together? Black was the absence of color so maybe we weren’t moving at all, and if we weren’t moving how did we arrive at this parking lot? Why couldn’t powers be rooted in physics? Or maybe it is but it’s so difficult to understand due to our level of technology.

But that was for nights where I wondered about life’s imponderables.

Now I had to get my head in the game and figure out what was what. Ethan and I were left in what seemed to be an empty parking lot that of all places. Instead of empty desert around us there, trees were scattered around the lot, and it was nighttime. Which was odd considering we were teleported in the morning? You know When it where it was daytime. There was even a black minivan parked at one of the parking spots near one of the light poles that illuminated the dim parking lot.

That’s when I noticed the two people that were staring at me oddly. One was a tall woman in a short skirt and button down shirt that I figured was some sort of referee or something and the other was a less pleasant sight. He was staring at me with a crooked, taunting smile that wanted me to punch him in the face. He had one of those douche-pretty boy faces that looked very punchable.

“What?” I asked innocently.

“I said good luck,” he answered slowly as if I was retarded.

I was just checking out my surroundings.

“Whoops, you too,” I said with a grin that I hoped would irritate him.

He murmured something under his breath that sounded like “idiot.”

I took a deep breath to calm myself down a bit, anger is a good tool in the right amounts and too much could cloud my technique and style. Plus, I had plenty of time to release my emotions in a few minutes.

A few seconds of awkward silence ensued until the women broke it, “Well now that your introductions are in place before I start are there any questions?”

“Yeah I got a few,” Ethan roled his eyes as if I was the idiot.

Hey, He who asks a question is a fool for five minutes; he who does not ask a question remains a fool forever.

So really he’s the fool.

“Why is it nighttime?” I questioned as I stared at the twinkling stars up above in the sky.

“Cause, the sun’s on the other side of the earth dumbass,” Ethan replied sarcastically to a question that wasn’t intended for him to answer.

My right eyelid twitched.

She glanced at Ethan before answering “We have training areas all throughout the world to emulate different conditions for our training exercises and yes, matches between students. We simply were brought to one in the middle east perhaps.”

She must’ve been teleported as well I guess.

“Anything else?”

Ethan glanced at me before I shook my head no.

“I’ll start with the match rules and such, both of you are able to use whatever abilities you may possess and whatever materials around the parking lot to win the match. The ways you can win are simple, you can either force the other into submission for a minute which shows total control.  You can force the other to surrender rendering you the winner by forfeit. Put the other in a state of unconscious, or a state that renders the opponent not able to do anything.”

I nodded in understanding while Ethan responded with a dismissive wave of the hand.

“While anything could happen, intentionally trying to fatally harm the other will lead to the automatic disqualification and consequences that may follow. If you are fatally injured, the match will be stopped and you will be treated to healing, whatever you have done in the match or matches before will be evaluated for admission. You will not be healed of any injuries between matches if you win so conserve your energy wisely.”

That could work to my advantage, with the whole not feeling pain shebang I could maybe take more hits than the average joe. Another thing was conserving my energy, I still get tired and I should be careful, but if I don’t work hard enough I could lose. So the smartest thing really was to go all out.

“Now before we start is there any questions?”

Nothing came to mind so I just stayed silent.

“Bring it on,” Ethan’s face twisted into a sneer as he taunted confidentially.

Almost.

My knuckles itched with temptation.

“I’ll be ready to intervene on the sidelines good luck to the both of you.” She stated as she sauntered to the edge of the lot.

“Get ready,” She yelled from the outer edge.

Instantly I grasped onto my power and switched into an offensive stance, my heart was in my throat as information swirled in my mind. While my body was tense, he stood there lazily, his hands rested on his thighs and a cocky smile was plastered on his face as he saw me shift. Something about it was wrong, my instincts were in direct conflict with my brain as I waited for the go signal.

“Begin”

Opting for the safe choice to start, I visualized small root-like carbon-crystal to emerge and interlock around the ankles to trip Ethan up and pushed that visualization into existence. As quickly as my power surged through me it was ripped away, like water flowing out of a hose for it to freeze immediately in the air.

I tried again, I pushed and pushed, my neck straining with tension as my power kept pushing against something for it to be crumpled. My vision started to go red, something that hadn’t happened for a month, something fitting for an occasion like this.

“Having trouble?” Ethan remarked in feigned sympathy.

I glanced back at him, who hadn’t moved a muscle. Whatever this cocky bastard was doing it negated my power and that was the gasoline being thrown into the smoldering fire.

“N-no,” I stammered, the words getting stuck in the back of my throat.

“Strip someone of their powers that they’ve been relying on and everything goes to shit.” He said with a shrug as I struggled.

“Not only can I make it so your powers don’t work I can take them away, so even if you somehow beat me you won’t use them in the next fight. I’m thoughtful like that” He chuckled as he made his first move towards me.

A single step and I felt it. A tugging feeling caught hold of me one that my instincts screamed at, clenching my body I started to pull against it, a vicious superpower tug war. I’ll be damned if that was going to happen.

His expression shifted slightly as I took hold of that power in me and through gritted teeth and a guttural roar I shredded the metaphorical rope that tethered him to me.

“Not today bro.” I wheezed as a spike of pain, not unlike the one when I used my power pushed against my head.

“How?” Ethan’s shocked expression was nothing short of pleasurable to see.

Powers or not I hadn’t trained for years to lose to this self-centered asshole. Since I had him  Lunging forward with as much speed I could muster I went for a simple knee grab, a tactical decision as I could offset his balance and topple him, but really I just wanted to feel the bones of his knee shatter.

Quickly clearing the few yards between us, I went low and went in for a tackle on his legs to a grip. As quick as a whip Ethan disappeared from view and a kick hit my stomach with a dull thump and I literally flew a couple feet before skidding on the pavement shredding the skin on my forearm to nothingness.

I bounced to my feet quickly before barely stammering “What?”

“I also have enhanced strength, speed, and endurance. Enough chit-chat though, I want to get on to someone who poses a challenge.” Ethan said before for the first time this match switching into an offensive stance and advanced.

Ethan didn’t rush in, his body was relaxed but coiled, he was sure he was going to win so he was going to conserve his energy.

Smart but stupid.

Ignoring the warm blood now dripping off my arm I moved in to try to set the tone for the fight, If I could get him to come down to my speed I could overcome him. But as quick as I got near him a flurry of punches pushed me back. Left right left right, I could barely get my arms up to block each hit before another one came.

“How’s it feel to be so outclassed? Did you really think you could make it in the Academy?” he taunted as he effortlessly carried on.

As much as I didn’t want to admit it he was faster, and stronger, had a counter to my ability, and probably had more training than me. But the tricks that I had hidden up my pants were my one of my strengths.

So I’m going to play to them.

The key to a feint was to make it believable, and if I didn’t know what I was doing, how would he? So I started throwing myself in different directions, I dodged another kick to my side and started to wildly throw different moves together in such a way that didn’t make sense.

It didn’t have to be showy, or effective for that matter, I was just soaking up hits as I got a feel for him and his patterns. Everyone had patterns I just had to find it. I went bananas, throwing punches in different directions while kicking and turning, jumping over invisible kicks and ducking non-existant punches, to be met with very real punches to my body. The hits began to pile up as I moved left and right to see an opening or weakness to him.

But when there is no weakness, you have to make one.

So I did.

Dropping my erratic behavior in an instant, letting a fist sink into my shoulder I knew the one-two punch to my head was coming so instead of dodging the punch I met it head on, literally.

His knuckles collided with my skull as I headbutted as hard as I could, a 50/50 that could prove extremely risky on my side. A crack that could be audibly heard came from either my skull or his fist sounded. It felt as if my brain hit the back of my skull and snapped back as his fist crumpled underneath my skull full force.

“What was that!?” Ethan howled in pain for the first time.

I staggered backward as the force had me seeing stars, but I stayed on my feet, falling would be as suicidal as literally closing my eyes. Although I paid for it I could see Ethan’s pain plastered on his face as he clenched his right fist. I blinked the dizziness away as his body slowly came into clarity.

I could literally see the white bone sticking through the back of his knuckles and the odd way his fingers twisted. And it felt hella good. I stepped forward to push the initiative when a wave of nausea rolled through me.

Okay, it didn’t feel that good.

“I took two to get one in,” I mumbled as I spit out a glob of blood.

Well more like twenty to get one in.

Worth.

“You crazy?” This time Ethan was staring behind me to the women who had yet to intervene.

“My dad always said I was hard-headed,” I grunted.

The adrenaline was pulsing through my body causing me to shake slightly. I didn’t know what to do, I was out of options, I couldn’t keep on going like this or I would get knocked out before taking him out. I couldn’t use my power- wait, could I? Ethan made it seem like it was useless but the way it felt when I tried to use it was that it felt ripped away when I made something outside my body.

Sparing a few precious seconds as Ethan began to look murderous I looked at my knuckles… yes! The crystal-carbon seemed to be infused in my skin like a callous on my palms. Maybe when I headbutted, sub-consciously there was a growth of the crystal-carbon on my forehead allowing me to hit with equal force.

If so I probably looked pretty weird.

“I’m done playing around!” There was a murderous glint in Ethan’s eyes as he advanced with a ferocity not found in him before.

With as much speed as I could manage I met him in the middle, taking advantage of his shattered left fist I stayed on his left. Playing to his weaknesses and to my strengths was how I was going to win this. He was quicker than me but now that I felt his patterns and with my experience in fights It didn’t matter how fast he could move if I knew where he would be.

Stepping over a parking block I started to push us towards the car, any blockade would be beneficial to me. As fast as he was moving, the way I was weaving around his hits and returning some of my own was turning the tables. While I moved I started to push the carbon into my skin, but it felt like I was moving through syrup with it. So instead of both fists, I focused on the bony parts of the knuckles on my right.

“How’er you not feeling this!?” Ethan screamed as his fist connected with my jaw again.

Ignoring the buzzing in my teeth I returned one with my right that was so solid it caused his head to snap back and his whole body to stumble back the car (which was only a few yards away). His dazed eyes couldn’t focus on me as he tripped over a parking block. Seizing the opportunity I surged forward and half-carried half-tackled him into the minivan’s window headfirst.

Glass fragments cut me as Ethan crashed into the door, causing a human-sized dent into a not so human-sized door. The force sent me stumbling back as black spots began to appear in my decision.

Maybe it shouldn’t have, but the contact felt so good.

Whispers in the back of my mind that came not from me urged me on the finish it. Ethan moaned as he slowly peeled himself from the car. His perfectly styled black hair was matted with blood, and his face was stained with mine. He stared at me in dazed horror as I don’t think I looked much better.

“It’s not possible. You can’t use your powers,” he mumbled as he shakily walked back with his eyes glued on me.

“I didn’t, every Super has a weakness. I just found yours,” I taunted as I moved forward.

I just got lucky, but he didn’t need to know that.

Pushing my urges down, I really didn’t want to hurt him too badly, I mean we both had the same goal, to be a Hero.

“Quit and you can get healing, I don’t have to do this,” I pleaded as took a step closer.

Doubt flashed on his mind before it dissolved to resolve “No.”

And with that I sprinted forward, he stumbled away slightly and managed a weak punch that hit my torso before I grabbed his knee and slammed him down on the pavement.

“Give up,” I commanded.

He spat in my face in response.

“Shove it up your-”

I hyperextended his knee and exponentially increased pressure till I felt the snap and held it there while I counted to sixty seconds in my head.

His whimpers made me lose count once or twice.

“Let go you win Chase.” A dangerously stern voice commanded from behind me.

I obediently let go and took a few steps back, the women said something on her radio before turning to me.

“Congrationizations you made it past your first fight, you will have five minutes until your next match.” She said coldly.

“Is he gonna be okay?” I asked weakly.

“With healing, he should be fine.”

I nodded in response, we both played the game and I won.

And it felt good.

The same teleporter from before blinked in to touch Ethan and blinked out. I took off my shirt and started wiping the grime, sweat, and blood from my body as I waited.

I might as well stretch too.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Greensdale Project 2.34

The car screeched to a halt as my father turned to look at me.

“Are ya sure you don’t want me to come in with you? It’s really no big deal I already took off the day from work.”  He raised an eyebrow inquisitively as I stared out of the window to my right.

Unlike the facilities during the summer that was hidden on the outskirts of nowhere, the Acadamy was actually located smack dab in the middle of the city of Pheonix, Arizona. Maybe it was due to my ignorance of common knowledge, but wasn’t it better for a school dedicated to training Supers that could cause earthquakes, explosions, vaporizing energy, and super strength be somewhere else other than a highly populated city?

“It’s fine, the papers didn’t say anything about any parents to attend.” My eyes skimmed the letter for confirmation.

“Yeah, nothing,” I added.

A couple weeks after leaving the facilities I’d received a letter in the mail. It was quite a meaty package since more than half of the papers that lied inside were the legal ones. Basically, they said if I got maimed or died they weren’t liable and whatnot. These papers didn’t help make my mom feel better about my leaving but hey I’m going to fine.

Probably.

The rest was info about what I would expect at the Academy (if I got accepted after a “testing”), and what would happen if I got accepted. Although not a whole lot of information on what I was going to expect, maybe it was because of security issues, or maybe they don’t want to scare us away too soon.

“Alright, if there’s anything call me. Call me or your mother if you need anything.” He kissed my forehead as I gathered my backpack and opened the door.

“Oh, and kick some ass!” He yelled out behind which elicited a smile from me.

Mom doesn’t really encourage cursing but eh.

I’m gonna kick some ass alright.

After saying goodbye, I popped the trunk and retrieved my suitcase (which held clothes and other utilities) and rolled my way across the street. The entire Academy was actually quite marvelous, like many regular universities it wasn’t just one gigantic building, but more of a community.

Or at least that’s what the letter said.

As I sauntered on the concrete path that led to the entrance I turned in every direction with wide eyes at the sight. Bordering the path were massive lawns, where other students milled about, read books, and conversed with others. Which thinking about it was weird, since the first “real day” for regular students was tomorrow.

To my front was a wide set of steps that led to three pairs of double doors, which opened into what I guessed was where I was supposed to be. Maybe I should ask someone… Nah ill figure it out. The path finally diverged into three, in front of me was the beginning concrete steps to the doors, while to my left and right they led to the sides of the building to where I assumed was another clearing.

After bumping my suitcase multiple times on the steps I threw open the door and sauntered in.

Woah.

The room was larger than expected, a fortunate luxury due to the unholy amount of people that were packed inside. There must’ve been at least a couple hundred people in here, students and parents alike. They must be here for the same reason as I, I know its like orientation day or something but still like they’re suffocating me with how close we were packed. Like Sardines. I could literally take a step in any direction and bump into someone.

As I scooted my way towards one of the four lines that led to a desk (that held four receptionists) I glanced at around at everybody. You’d think that Supers would be easy to pick out (I assumed that all of them were), but not really. About eighty percent of the people who waited around talking looked like regular joes, except for small differences in them, like a change in eye color, sharpened nails, or an unnatural voice. But the other twenty percent where outlandishly different, some had mottled grey fur, some were at least over seven feet tall, a girl even had a falcon perched on her shoulder obediently.

Maybe Julian could talk to birds.

Speaking about Julian where was he and everyone else? Just as I was about to leave the line a voice spoke up.

“If everyone would quiet down please,” A soft voice whistled in my ears like I was wearing headphones.

Everyone began turning in confusion to locate the voice.

“If you would please look to the front near the double doors.” The soothing voice commanded.

Like a puppet on strings mostly everyone ceased talking and turned to the front where, indeed, a man stood.

“Now, for those who haven’t already signed in do so, the rest of you come with me to the auditorium. Parents, unfortunately for you this is the farthest you can come with your child today,” he commanded once again before turning and going through the double doors behind him.

Half of the crowd in here followed him out (the bigger ones went last since they could barely fit through the door), a problem that seems like it would happen a lot at an Academy for Supers.

I waited in the line and gave the women at the desk my name, which she then promptly gave me a sticker with my name on it. Which I proudly stuck on my shirt, and walked into the loud auditorium.

I surveyed the scene and again I couldn’t find the rest of my friends so I just sat down in an empty seat in the back and whipped out my phone and flipped it open. Now since I “lost” my last phone and I didn’t have insurance I was blessed with a flip phone. As it was supposed to teach me some “character”, or since I was broke it was all we could really afford.

I shot Julian (we’ve been texting over the summer) a text asking where he was, it took a minute since I had to click a button multiple times to get the letter I wanted.

Pure torture.

“Excuse me” I jumped slightly at hearing this.

I still haven’t really recovered from the “incident” over the summer and was still a bit jumpy and paranoid.  I mean that’s why I was sitting on the edge seat in the row, it’s easier to get ready.

“Scared much?” She chuckled with a smile.

As I stood up and moved to the side I eyed the falcon on her shoulder, it had a white underbelly, dark grey wings, and dark beady eyes that was seemingly locked onto mine. Something about the bird gave me the chills, but I just couldn’t put my tongue what.

“Just nerves,” I bit my tongue sightly as I lied.

A technique that I used to pass off a lie, as the slight painful expression would appear on my face, not the lie. Maybe it was my imagination, or my mind playing tricks on me, but the look that the falcon was giving me seemed much more intelligent than any other look that a bird gave me. Could this girl talk to animals or something? Her tree-bark brown hair swished past me, I even caught sight of one of her hair clip things that girls wore, it was green and leaf-shaped.

Maybe she was a tree hugger.

She sat down with a plop one seat over and glanced at me with a playful smile. One that made something in my chest go aflutter. Weird, although thankfully the bird was on her other shoulder (right one) so It couldn’t stare at me anymore. I was just about to ask what the deal was with that bird when something caught my eye.

Since I was one of the last aspiring students to arrive only a few more people entered and sat down in the auditorium before a man walked up on the stage in the front. The whispering that plagued the auditorium fell silent on its own as the man tapped the microphone.

“One, two, three, testing… okay do I have y’alls attention?” The man had a stomach that bulged through his button-down plaid shirt that was tucked into his shirt, and a strong southern accent that cut through the air like a knife through cheese.

The girl next to me giggled slightly as he spoke, not really in a malicious way though.

“Each and every one of you here is a Super, a person with abilities that awes science, and threatens religion. Due to probably having lived life easy due to your status you may think the Academy will be much the same. It won’t, half of you here today will never get the opportunity to even attend the Greensdale Academy for Supers. For those who do y’all will be taught how to harness your unique abilities, and be pushed to and through your limitations.” He paused for a moment to glance at the crowd as if he was picking a turkey to eat for Thanksgiving.

I shuddered slightly, though not from nervousness or fear, but from anticipation. This is what I’ve been waiting for and I’d be damned if I let this opportunity slip through my fingers.

“Enough dilly dally, the first test will be your easiest, but also the hardest. After your evaluation for those who aren’t immediately cut you will be ranked by your performance, this rank will be your lifeline at the Academy. More information will be available and rewarded to you if you manage to stay in. You will be evaluated by your performance on one on one single elimination matches,” Everyone was on the edge of their seats as they hung on to each and every word, including me.

“We use the evaluations that you have either conducted here or elsewhere and use that information so y’all be pitted against an evenly skilled or powered Super, there are two outcomes to a match, win or lose. If you do not meet our requirements for acceptance you’ll be eradicated from the group, we only accept the strong. More information will be given before the matches start, leave any luggage you may have brought here, they will be cared for and listen for your name and go to the group that was specified. Good luck, and I hope to see all faces after the rankings. To those who will be attending the Acadamy I’m Dean Link.” And with that, he left the podium.

Everyone was in stunned silence, and everyone was thinking the same thing. We were going to fight each other? Instantly the air turned hostile as people began to identify everyone else as enemies, again including me. I also didn’t do any evaluation, but probably Mr. Richards (RIP) did something, or one of the other men in suits did something for me.

While others may be nervous at the prospect of fighting I was ecstatic. This was exactly the kind of test I was hoping for, I wouldn’t have the experience or fine touch with my power as others would have (as they probably had their powers for many years longer than I.) Even if I’d been training my subtle touch with my power it still was many years away until I would consider it a strength. And if it’s not a strength…

“Good luck! I’m Nikki by the way” The girl to my side sad wildly.

Something about her wasn’t quite right either, weird bird girl.

“Chase,” I retorted as I moved out of her way as she sashayed her way to one of the groups that began to form on the sides of the gym (a group surrounded a person that stood on a small platform.) The same soft voice whispered in my ear guiding me to own group in the far right corner.

I checked my phone one last time for any texts (I got their numbers before I left) and headed towards the oddly receding groups. Almost as if they were disappearing. Shaking that thought out of my heard I started to get my head in the game.

It’s time.

And not time to buy a watch.

Time to kick some ass.

 

 

The Greensdale Project 2.33

I wiped away the sweat from my forehead as I proudly stared at my work. This last month or so had been one of the happiest summers I’d ever had. It was the first month of playing with myself, or I should say with my newfound powers. Sure I messed around at the facilities but I wasn’t given any free reign or space to explore what I could do, and after a month of experimenting I was beginning to understand my power better.

After making the finalizing touches on my project I took a step closer to analyze it. It took hours of work but It was at long last done! I created a chair! Now many may be thinking this was a waste of time but creating objects through my power and making them satisfactory and/or usable was a task much harder than it sounded.

Staving off the urges to see how much power, and size, I could make something I wanted to test out my fine, artistic touch, due to hearing control is pretty important in a hero. And anything that I made to fast or too big caused a splintering headache that made training a bitch. So I naturally chose a chair for my first project. After multiple failed attempts at even creating a passable framework for one I scrapped the project for the time being and started small. With a simple sphere, which took me only a day but that day included four hours of creating and dissolving my work (amorphous lumps at first) which naturally led to a blistering headache.

From the sphere, I went on to the cube, the pyramid, and eventually, after around a week, an idea struck me. I could create gym equipment, or at least the free weights, a revelation that blew my socks off.

I slumped into the chair and relaxed my arms on the armrests. The back of the of the chair was perfectly balanced and curved to my specific back letting my spine align at just the right angle, a perfect balance with my butt indentation on the seat which was custom made after an hour of experimenting with my butt. I glanced at the clear-crystal like gym ensemble in the corner of the garage (or my training guru as I liked to call it.)

To the outside eye, it looked like every dumbell, barbell, and plate was made of glass. Which I was pretty sure it wasn’t, I mean come to think of it I don’t really know what the element was anymore, it was carbon to start off now it was a hard, clear, crystal solid. I added it to the mental list that consisted of all things I’d do/ask at the Academy. Since my sphere making skills were already pretty good the dumbells weren’t that hard to make, and the weights were even adjustable (I could add or decrease how much of the crystal-carbon on the sides to add or decrease weight) so it saved space. I even figured out to add little grains on the handle to make it rough so the weight wouldn’t just slip out of my hands.

I should open my own gym.

After a week of training my dad came up with the brilliant idea to research more about Creationists, but I had to go to the library because of me leaving my phone underneath literal tons of rock.

Stupid terrorists.

After checking out no more than three, four-inch volumes about powers I read them from cover to cover in only two days. I could read it so quickly due to me actually being interested in the material, unlike the books they made us read at school.

I learned loads about people like me, the first was that Creationists could be split up into three groups (well four if you counted metalloids which I didn’t). The ones who could control gases, and the ones who could metals, and the ones who could control man-made elements. Although the Creationists who could control man-made elements had to come in contact with them at some point, which was why elements like plutonium were so rare. To be crazy enough to take the time to touch an ultra-radioactive element such as that one was… well suicidal.

I obviously fell into the metals group which led me to research deeper about my power. Turns out there actually wasn’t much known about us (scientifically), but there was still a bunch of interesting things to learn. But the biggest rule about powers was that every single one was different. For example, two people who could run at super-sonic speeds had look-alike powers but one could simply be slowing down time and running normally while the other could move their body parts at well… supersonic speeds.

But even due to these differences they may have different training regimes and uses. The one who could move their limbs quicker would have an acceleration period before reaching optimal speeds while the time-slower would be able to go instantly top “speed”. But flip-flop it, while the time-slower would be able to hit their top speed instantly the one who could move their limbs quicker could have a higher potential due to not having time-constraints on how slow there could slow down time (until stopping it which no-one has ever reached, or at least no-known person.)

There was also tidbit in one of the chapters that alluded to Creationists being able to control different elements but couldn’t due to the belief that they could only control one, leading to a sub-conscious psychological block on them forever. That’s when I stopped reading and started solo, I wanted to experiment with my own ideas. It would make me think about my power more creatively and could make breakthroughs without any sort of bias on it (or at least as little bias as possible.) So I dropped the books and went back to the garage, which was nice, cause reading is for nerds, and continued my own self-experimentation.

I snuggled more into my rock-hard chair that was surprisingly much more comfortable than even some of the puffier chairs I sat in before and enjoyed delicious ache of the soreness in my muscles. Spying my first completed sphere that was no larger than a baseball on a shelf I had an idea. Without moving I narrowed my eyes at the sphere and concentrated, a slide of crystal began to grow out of the edge of the shelf (just in front of the sphere). I created little inch thick pillars to support it as the slide grew inch by inch toward my chair until approximately twelve feet of slide remained. The slide was a semi-circle that resembled a slide at a water park (with sides so the people/sphere wouldn’t fly off.) I created another small pillar behind the sphere and guided it to the edge.

Slowly the sphere rolled down until it plopped gently into my hand, I’m a genius! Or maybe just a lazy bum, but still I just created a slide smooth enough that it could support itself and a crystal ball (another future item production maybe?) The bridge/slide was familiar though, I through the sphere up and down as I thought until it hit me. It looked like the aqueducts the Romans had to transport water, great minds do truly think alike. Or maybe I just copied the structure from a memory on accident.

The reason I made this slide though was because of four reasons. One, I didn’t want to get up. Two, I wanted to play with the sphere. Three, it was actually good practice. The fourth reason was the most important, and the most key. I couldn’t create anything in thin air, no matter how hard I concentrated, visualized, and pushed nothing came out (not that way.) It turned out I could only make the crystal-carbon build off another solid, an interesting limitation that I needed to work around.

I guess I wouldn’t be dropping boulders of clear carbon-carbon. Who know’s maybe I could make a catapult and throw those boulders, what a sight that would be. Wait, I looked closer at the sphere. It wasn’t clear but it was a shade of baby blue with insides that had a milky fog that I didn’t notice before, a fog that made it so I couldn’t see through it.

Weird.

A knock from the door of the garage disrupted my deep interest in my ball.

My dad walked in with a glass of water, “Hey, still playing with your balls I see.”

I smiled slightly on the play on words.

“You haven’t drunk anything for two hours, drink some,” He prodded as he handed me the glass.

Coincidentally enough it was one of the glasses I made.

“Thanks,”

I accepted the glass and drank deeply from it. After I dropped a glass carelessly and shattered one another one of my brilliant ideas of making one with my power. The cylindrical glasses were easy enough to create but champagne glasses were a class above what I could make. Another product to add to the list, since glasses were meant to be well… glass and… clear, my crystal-carbon gave it an intriguing and expensive look. I also hadn’t been able to create small designs on them yet but it was on my bucket list. And since hero’s were paid on a government salary (since they worked for the government of course) most weren’t making that much. Other than the more popular ones who got merch deals and payed by companies.

This was a good thing too because I don’t know anyone who would buy a crystal chair, other than me of course.

Style points.

After draining the cup I handed it back to him and trailed my fingers on my chair’s armrest.

“So are ya excited for tomorrow?” My dad questioned as he moved closer to inspect my bridge/slide.

“Tommorrow?” My eyebrows furrowed in confusion as I racked my brain for what could possibly be tomorrow.

“It’s your first day at your academy!” He exclaimed with a laugh.

“I can’t believe you forgot!”

Neither could I, had the day really come so close? I stood up excitedly at the thought of tomorrow, now I could barely wait for th4e next day to come quicker.

“Hmph, I was wondering why you were wearing yourself out before the first day,” He commented as he poked on the slides pillars (which didn’t even budge).

“Shoot,” I grumbled as I dissolved the bridge to my dad’s surprise and returned the sphere to its rightful spot on the shelf where my other knick-knacks and shapes lied.

“Do you know what I’m gonna do there tomorrow?” I inquisitioned.

My dad rubbed his scraggly beard for a moment before answering, “Well the letter we got said to bring your stuff to move in. Oh and something about a good attitude cause you’re gonna be evaluated or something.”

That really got me going, I loved getting testing and seeing how I stacked up against my peers. But hopefully, I wouldn’t be too worn out tomorrow if I got a good nights rest and a big dinner.

My dad walked over to my chair and picked up the glass and examined it before asking “So how strong is this “carbon” anyways?”

This threw me for a loop, I mean I never saw it break before… Maybe I should add that to the list and test how much it can withstand at the Academy, they probably had things or Supers to break other things. I mean what professional Academy wouldn’t have such a staple benefit?

“I dunno.”

“Well, it’s steak night tonight so take a shower. You stink.” He commanded with a chuckle before walking out.

I sniffed my armpits tentatively, and phew, did I stink.

I stunk more than a gopher in August.

And that’s saying something.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Greensdale Project 2.32

I kept going over my memories as I started out the window at the trees flying by. Recreating them, going what could happen if I did something differently, the what if’s were plaguing me like a toe fungus that wouldn’t be going anywhere anytime soon.

We’d been driving home for the last hour, both my parents came with a myriad of emotions strewn on their faces. After multiple variations of “are you okay?” I finally convinced her I was (mostly) by having the paramedic check me off. After carefully repeating the story where left out some parts that would surely make my mom try to end my career as a Hero before it even started. After that whole escapade, she went to talk to the men in the suits for the boss of the facilities (much to me and my dad’s annoyance.) She was subsequently not given a straight answer which spurred her to ask for their manager which was when she was promptly ignored.

Due to the strained silence, and the long car ride, even counting how many blue cars that drove by couldn’t hold my interest for long. It started as curiosity, I wonder if I could use my power through windows? I mean maybe it was a stupid thought but a window is like solid, but maybe my power couldn’t work through solids. My first try resulted in the crystal-carbon to form on the window (which I dissolved.)

Realizing my mistake, I focused on the edge of a license plate on one of the cars that drove next to ours and grasped onto my power. Ignoring the twinge in my head I visualized the growth of the crystal-carbon and materialized it. Due to their being nothing on the window it should be a success! Grinning I looked for my work on the car… which I couldn’t see, which was weird because I could feel it being there, something that I never noticed before…

Now frowning, I leaned in closer to the window, the feeling was akin to being able to close your eyes and being able to touch with your finger any part of your body without looking. I knew the carbon was the size to about a grain of sand was there even if I couldn’t see it, a sixth sense of sorts. Hmm, that also means I could feel what the crystal-carbon was on, at least to an extent. It also meant a few other things as well, first it meant that to create it accurately I needed my sight, but afterward, I could create more and cover a person without being able to see them. Something I’d have to play with over the summer before the Academy.

Then it ended up into a game, for every car that came into sight I “tagged” it with my grain of carbon. Now many people may think this would be boring after a few minutes but not me. Since I could feel what the carbon was attached I could actually track where the car is and it’s movement (to an extent) and after a half an hour I had almost eighty cars tagged. There was a humungous influx of information that stimulated my mind to a degree that I’d never achieved before. But I wanted more, so I began to individually pick out grains and alter them. At first, I started out small, picking one out of the tens of options and enlarging/reducing its size, then I picked out more and simultaneously did the same untill I had almost ten changing under my control.

Oddly enough with each one that I began altering the pain in my head increased till I couldn’t go any further in fear of passing out. Which understandably may have caused some panic in the car (if I slumped forward since I had my eyes closed for a while.)

“It’s because we love you and want you to be safe” My mom interrupted, causing me to lose hold of the grains.

The feeling faded away to a dull feeling in the back of my mind as I wondered how much of the conversation I missed.

“Uh… what?”

My dad turned around to glance at me in surprise “Were you not listening we’ve been talking for ten minutes. Well I guess your mother has been talking for ten minutes”

I blinked.

“Oh, I was just… daydreaming…” I finished lamely.

“Like I was saying, your father and I think you shouldn’t go to the academy and instead pursue some more of the safer choices in life, like becoming a doctor, or lawyer.”

My fists clenched and my face twisted into anger, I couldn’t believe I was hearing this. After these past few years of training, dreaming, talking about it to them, being encouraged, then dropping the ball on me like this was cruel.

Like, abusing a dog cruel.

“Now Maggie, let’s think about this I wasn’t much older than Chase when I joined the army, It’s his choice if he wants to do this, he’s becoming a young man now and he’s more independent.” My father pleaded for me as he changed lanes.

“He almost died! He’s lucky he didn’t lose an arm! It’s not safe and I’m losing another son!” her voice cracked which lead me to believe she wasn’t far from crying.

As much as I didn’t want her to cry, I wanted to go to the Academy more.

“No! This is all I’ve been working for, this is why I entered on the project to become a hero, this is who I am now. I just can’t stop and file papers, that’s like pissing on the graves of all the kids who came with a dream just like mine-” I could barely speak out of anger and frustration.

I don’t want to be coddled, I don’t want a boring life, and I don’t want something as stupid as this to stop me from doing what I’ve already begun to love.

“Listen to me, you aren’t going. When your older and have kids you’ll look back and thank me.” She replied with a final tone.

“No, you listen to me. For the last three years, I’ve done everything you’ve asked me. I didn’t go to any friends houses, parties, I never left the house without making absolutely sure you were okay with it. And I dealt with it, cause like you I felt like shit since Andre’s death, but it’s time for you to get over it and move on.” I snapped, all my pent up frustration coming out.

But instantly I felt guilty. Even my dad, a man who’s fought in two wars with and against men with the power of gods, looked thoroughly astonished at my outburst. Silence enveloped in the car once again, the silence was way louder when it’s awkward. I tried to get back into my game that I was into before the loud conversation.

Inexplicably, I could feel only a fraction of the carbon tags that I put on the cars. Maybe I have to keep “control” of the carbon to keep it from dissolving? No that didn’t make sense lots of times I stopped concentrating  (slept) and the carbon stayed so it’s something else. After few seconds of highly intense thinking, a lightbulb appeared above my head. Maybe since we were driving they took an exit and started driving away, combining that with our driving maybe I have a range to where I can “feel” my carbon? A thought-provoking revelation from something not from seeing but feeling. First time for everything, wait… the second time.

We finally arrived home, already my body was itching for a hot twenty-minute shower. But when we grinded to a halt in our driveway my dad didn’t unlock the doors from the driver’sivers seat. I sat in confusion, oblivious to the situation at hand. My mom turned around in her seat to face me, her eyes bloodshot, which made the guilt strike harder to my home base.

“Your father is right,” She began which elicited a shocked expression from my dad.

She never admits when he’s right.

Has the world gone mad?

Or have I?

“Maybe it’s time for you to go out in the world and experience life, and… maybe it’s time for me to let you go, but if your butt gets hurt your butt is coming right back home you got it?” She asked sternly although a smile small threatened to crack onto her lips.

I grinned, the panic and frustration scrambled back into my subconscious as relief flooded my… conscious one.

“Thanks!”

“Do me proud kid,” My dad added on as he unlocked the door to sweet, sweet freedom.

As much as the relief felt good.

A shower felt better.

But after.

Aho.

I had some training to do.

 

 

 

 

 

The Greensdale Project 1.31

After a few more moments of standing in bewildered silence, I took action, or as much action I could in my broken-down state. Shuffling back down towards the commotion I staggered to one of the suits who just got off the phone.

“Excuse me but uh, what will happen to Mr. Richards?” I questioned boldly.

He glanced at me in confusion, his attention split from talking on the phone and me.

“Eh? Scaddadle kid, go talk with one of the guys over there for instructions on what to do,” he pointed to my right and scoffed as he turned and sauntered over to another suit who was on the phone as well.

I crinkled my nose in annoyance, of course, he wouldn’t tell me anything, all I am in his eyes is a child. Although I guess I am, but that’s not the point, it’s the principle of not being rude. Shifting to face where he pointed a noticed a small group of people in similar black suits and ties, talking with the other kids who made it out.

After a quick sweep of the group I thankfully picked out Ashley, Julian, Jayden, Ana, and even Mack. Most of them looked relatively fine on physically, (outside of some small cuts) although each and every one of them had their shoulders hunched over. As if they were carrying a burden that threatened to flatten them out on the ground if they weren’t strong enough to keep standing. With a small smile plastered on my face, I ambled towards the edge of the small group.

“What’s poppin?” I asked softly, trying to bring up the mood.

But to no avail as when Ashley turned to face me her eyes were bloodshot and her cheeks were shining. Julian turned as well, his wings seemed to be tucked into his back which explains how I didn’t notice it earlier. Although he wasn’t crying he still carried a haunted expression, something I didn’t judge for a second due to what they just endured.

“These guys are talking to everyone who was inside, you should be called up soon as everyone is almost finished up,” he answered softly.

I slowly nodded as I turned my attention to one of the men who was talking delicately with a sniffling dark-haired girl that I recognized to be the girl who could sparkle. A Super with a power that would seem relatively useless in real life (other than impressing people at parties) survived an ordeal that a world-renowned legend did not. Ah fate, thou art a heartless bitch, well if I believed in fate anywho.

“How’s everyone holding up?” I murmured to Julian who was staring at Ashley being consoled by Ana.

It took a few moments for the question to get through to Julian before he responded.

“Well, as you can tell everyone is pretty down right now, how about you?” He responded.

I didn’t want to tell him how I really felt because I really didn’t know. I mean, I’ve already regarded the same people who escaped, who cried, who sat with fear struck in their hearts, as “they.” As if I wasn’t in the same boat with them, or rather I was, but I was on the poop deck while they were under the brig. I just really wasn’t feeling it, maybe after a cold shower, I would.

“Peachy.” I uttered back.

We stood like that for a while, Ana tried amalgamating Ashley streaks of rainbows that danced off her fingertips, but each color was muted, dulled, like seeing it in through dark sunglasses. Or maybe it was fine and it was just me who was seeing everything a little bit of a bleak tint.

“Is there anyone else who hasn’t spoken?” One of the suits up front called out.

Everyone turned heads to see if there was anyone who hadn’t, after a few seconds of contemplation I decided to go up. I mean, they were gonna find out that I was in there anyway, might as well rip off the band-aid now. I was curious as well and wanted to ask some questions of my own.

After catching his eyes he gestured for me to sit down in and asked, “And you are?”

“Chase Millers” I responded while I plopped myself into the seat.

I fidgeted with a bandage on my forearm while the man checked a clipboard that I didn’t notice before. What was the point of calling out if there was anyone else if he had a list of names? If the list had our names on them anyway, after a few more tense seconds of waiting he finally looked up from his clipboard.

“So why don’t you walk me through what happened Chase.” His deep voice annunciated.

I took one more look at Ashley before steeling myself, if she could go through this so could I.

“Okay, it started when I walked into the training room to workout,” I started.

I explained everything that happened in as accurate as possible, a tip that I took from watching cop shows, every detail matters to apprehend whatever criminal did whatever heinous deed. Although I may have embellished slightly on some accounts it was it was the same account really, I was just painted in a bit of a light shine. For I think if I thoroughly explained what I felt they might commission a therapist. Oddly enough I didn’t stutter, I didn’t cry, I didn’t even blink when going over the deathly bits. Something told me I should’ve felt something, but all I felt was anxious.

Throughout my whole spiel, the man (who did not give me his name) made some small notes on his clipboard and nodded faintly during some key parts of my recollection of events. All in all, it was much as I expected really.

“That’s when I got to the surface” I ended with an anti-climactic flourish.

He said nothing as he reviewed his notes on his clipboard. For some reason, my heart was beating a little faster than normal as I waited.

“Is that the bronze guy that you mentioned earlier?” He said as he pointed behind me.

I followed his gaze until my eyes rested upon Bronzie, he was in worse shape than the last time I saw him, which was an achievement in itself. There were dents and intrusions n his metallic skin that countered my masterpiece in his chest. The clear crystal seemed to be much more ingrained than I had previously thought. Like veins, the crystal-like mineral spider-webbed from the core area of his heart. Maybe a small part of me should’ve felt horrified by what I’ve done but all I felt was pure satisfaction.

“And you admit to doing that to him?” He questioned further.

“Yeah,” I said hesitantly.

Maybe I should’ve pleaded the fifth or some crap like that, but it wasn’t like I didn’t do anything wrong. It was self-defense, but as I looked back at the man who seemed to be still alive due to all the paramedics around him it may look like I was the problem. Even if I put him on his deathbed, he was part of an attack on a government facility. I don’t think he’d get any mercy. I hope he wouldn’t at least.

He made some more notes on his stupid clipboard for a few seconds before looking at me once more.

“Okay, since you became a Super in the Greensdale Project I’m assuming you want to continue your journey to become a Hero?” He questioned once again.

I nodded in reply before he continued.

“Due to being part of the project you get to be automatically entered into the admission stage for the Academy, although how you do on that and if you succeed or flunk out is entirely up to you, as they will give you no special treatment.” he went on in a practiced speech.

This time he leaned forward and said more sincerely “I hope you do well and succeed, there aren’t many people who would fight back the way you did. Personally, I would give you a medal, but don’t get a big head now okay?”

“Yeah okay, thank you,” I answered sincerely.

He nodded once before turning his head to face the group that seemed to be dwindling slowly as parents arrived, “Anyone else?”

Taking my cue to leave I walked over to where Ashley, Julian, Ana, and Jayden were standing and talking amongst themselves. Their faint words faded away as I joined them, I didn’t know if that was either a good sign or a bad one.

“What’s sloshin around the bucket?” I jokingly asked hoping once again to no avail that I can bring up the mood.

I got various expression replies to this, Julian rolled his eyes, Ashley and Ana simply looked at the floor and Jayden. Jayden repeatedly dropped a rock from his hand and watched it fall to the floor as if it would share the secrets of the universe.

I tried again, “Uh, I just wanted to say I’m sorry for… before, ya know down there. I was just a little, high strung.”

Julian patted me on the back with forgiveness (which I appreciated), Ana gave me a small supporting smile even though she didn’t even see it, and Jayden kept playing with his rocks. The main reason I apologized had her eyes glued to the ground. Oh well, I’ll talk to her in private.

Hopefully.


I hated long lines, especially ones where everyone is anxious to leave.

“Uhm, just give me a minute, I know I have coin-purse in here somewhere” The women in front of me apologized while she rummaged in the goliath of a bag that hung around her shoulder.

After another minute of her rambling, I just couldn’t take it anymore, “Here I got it,” I said as I handed the five to pay for the two coffees that she ordered.

I could practically touch the relief that flooded through everyone in the line and the cashier as I handed him the five.

“Thank you so much,” She said with a smile as she took her two coffees and left the building.

At least have your money ready to play with while you wait in a five-minute line, it’s common courtesy. I glanced back at my partner who was sitting with a pained expression on his face, ugh another one? It’s already five and I don’t get paid by the hour, I quickly ordered my own double-coffee and paid the cashier. After collecting our coffees I sauntered over to join my partner at the table.

“Find anyone new?” I questioned hoping upon hope he would say no.

Since he didn’t respond I started to blow on my coffee to cool it down as I waited. Due to the increase of the circle we have been finding more and more Supers for the Boss’s plans, all thanks due to Alex. A powerful Sensor who could tell if someone was a Super in a radius of around five miles, and could store different auras and recognize old ones.

After what felt like an eternity he answered with “Yes, it’s faint but powerful at the same time.”

I sighed heavily as I stared longingly at my coffee that I would not be enjoying in peace.

“How far Alex?”

His eye twitched slightly before answering, “Maybe ten minutes? It’s close.”

He grabbed his cup before I lead the way to our sleek, black convertible, a car that seemed redundant to Alex but a luxury that I enjoyed, no needed, due to the Arizona heat.

It took actually twenty minutes to arrive at the location due to Alex’s habitual way of not being able to tell directions. One point he was sure it was straight east, the next he is swearing up and down its north.

“You sure this’s the place?” I asked slowly.

Although Alex has never been wrong this has been a first for both of us, and I wasn’t dying to enter this place.

“Of course, I’m zeroing in now, just give me a minute,” Alex answered as he led me into the cemetery.

We walked seemingly aimlessly around the graves and tombs for a few minutes, although it wasn’t aimless to Alex. I wasn’t here to help track potential Supers, I was here as the muscle. In case of any problems arrive that I need to… deal with.

“So how powerful would you say,” I asked casually.

Without missing a beat of his incoherent walking he replied “I was hesitant at first to comment on it but as I come closer it’s becoming more clear, this person, whoever he or she is, is powerful. Possibly an upper Class Two.”

My jaw practically hit the ground at this news, an upper Class Two was as strong as it was rare, which is to say stupidly powerful. I was only a Class Four and I’m pretty influential around the community, the boss himself was a Class One which shows the strength of this individual. After a few more minutes he stopped in front of a tombstone, not a gardener or something that was working on the tombs.

“Uh, are you sure?” I asked as I stared at the tomb.

“Positive, better call for backup and for some shovels we’re digging up a casket,” Alex responded with no remorse as we both read the words on the stone.

Here lies Andre Millers

A boy with a smile that could light up the world.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Greensdale Project 1.30

“I’ve gotta disinfect the wounds, bite down on this, it’s going to hurt,” The paramedic gave me a damp rag, which I promptly stuck in my mouth.

Apparently, I had sustained multiple injuries throughout the whole ordeal that would have been fatal with time. I still did not feel any physical pain in my body whats so ever, which countered my splitting headache.

The paramedic began to pour a cold liquid (that I assume is a sort of rubbing alcohol) over the cuts that plastered my body. After a few seconds of not a single grunt being uttered the paramedic (a man with a tag that said Dave) glanced at me surprised at my silence. I ignored him as I blankly stared forward, although I had already decided that I wanted to keep a bunch of things to myself and act normal I couldn’t be bothered to keep up the act right now.

After a while, my trap and a bit of my neck were bandaged along with parts of my legs, my ribs, torso, back, and arms. I kinda looked like a mummy, but not the cool ones from those mystery show on television, but from a low-budget film with a romantic love triangle with a mummy, vampire, and a red puppet that helps kids learn to count.

Dave the paramedic slapped my shoulder approvingly before commenting “You’re a champ, stay here until someone comes to pick you up, do you want to call your parents?”

I nodded slowly before taking the damp rag out of my mouth and placing it on the ground next to the chair that I was sitting on. Dave the paramedic murmured something before placing a cell-phone in my hand and a towel over my shoulders before leaving to talk with another paramedic several yards away. Without making a move to dial a number I just sat there drinking everything in.

I caught a few words such as “in shock”, “therapy”, and “delirious” as they were glancing at me every so often before heading off. After climbing up the stairs and reaching the surface with Julian and Jayden, the rest of the day had gone by in a daze. The facilities that I lived at for the last couple of weeks were in ruin, buildings were in ruins, rubble littered the ground, and I heard rumors that the underground had collapsed upon itself.

There was so much going on, so many things that cluttered my mind, it was madness. Heroes alongside ambulances and men in suits arrived shortly after making it to the surface. I was taken to the side hurridly as I must’ve looked like a victim from a horror film with all the gore that stained me, while Jayden and Julian were escorted to off to God knows where to leave me here to like a toddler to think about my actions.

Which was fine with me, there was enough crazy shit going on without me dealing with rehashing the story over again, although I would probably have to at some point I was content with just sitting here and thinking. My euphoria from surviving quickly crashed as the implications of what really happened hit me harder than any punch. People were dead, people who had families, lives, people who were corpses. To what did they matter, to what did I matter? It could’ve been just as easily been me who could be buried underneath tons of rock right now never to see the day of light again.

What terrified me the most was not suited man shrouded in darkness, (although he was definitely top three), but myself. So many questions, to not so many answers. After the guy in the suit shot that black snake thing up my nose there was something…altered about me. After taking a few cursory glances around me to make sure no one was looking I started to feel the outside of my nose (I avoided the inside for now because we were in public) to see if that snake thing was still up there hibernating in the cave that is my nose.

Unfortunately, I could feel nothing of a difference other than my nose seemed to be pointing slighter more to the left then I remembered. A thought flashed through my mind as I returned my hands to my lap where the phone still lay. Doesn’t the holes in my nose lead to the brain? And if so what if it’s in my brain? And what did it do to me? Things were much simpler when the most I had to worry about was whether or not I would get varsity.

“Gah,” I grunted as I shook out the existential questions out of my mind, there are other things to think about.

I need to think about the bright side of things, like some of the cute girls here. Well, if they made it out. Hopefully.

If they didn’t…

Well, I’td would have made this like the worst day ever.

I could worry about that stuff later, as well as the problems with my power and how it changed. I glanced back down at my lap and picked up the cell phone, it was an old-school phone that people used back in the early 2000’s. I brought up the call screen on it and considered briefly what number to call before punching in my dads. It ringed three times before he picked up.

“Hey Chase, we haven’t heard from you in two weeks your mother was worried! Was it because of a cute girl?” My dad exclaimed over the phone.

I winced slightly at hearing this before answering, I completely forgot about calling in to check in.

“Sorry, a lot has happened over here, and…maybe a cute girl or two have caught my attention,” I said with a small grin.

Understatement of the year if I ever spoke one.

“Atta boy!” he congratulated.

I decided to start off with the good news.

“So, uh, I got my powers and now I’m a Super,”

I could practically see his smile from through the phone line.

“That’s great! What can you do?” He questioned.

I pondered this for a few seconds, I mean I knew what the classification of it was but now it was a tad bit more complicated.

“I can make carbon out of nothing and shoot like pillars and stuff” I answered.

A few beats passed.

“So you can make rocks.”

I blinked.

“Well, yeah.”

When you put it like that it didn’t sound as badass as I thought it was.

“You sound shaky, is everything all right over there?”

I drunk in my surroundings, no everything was not alright and I’d stalled enough.

“Well, there was like a terrorist attack or something, and uh- people died, I’m fine, and I’m probably gonna be coming home soon.” I spout out as I watched a couple guys in suits talk to one of the kids that I saw here and there in the last couple of weeks.

My dad was silent for a few moments before answering “Well, I’m glad your fine but we’re gonna be there stat so hang tight,”

He was surprisingly less freaked out than I thought he would be but I haven’t talked to the hurricane that was my mother yet.

“Alright, see you in like an hour, love you,” he said.

“Bye.”

I hung up the phone and dropped it next to me on the rag, maybe not the most polite thing to do with someone’s phone but hey, I’m feeling selfish. Shrugging off the towel and letting it drop I stood up from the creaky chair. Immediately Dave the paramedic hurried over and began to retort but I waved him away. He kept insisting so I brought out the big guns and imagined myself being propelled away from Dave the paramedic by a rising platform.

What really happened is my headache increased ten-fold and I tripped over myself. What was even more humiliating was that he actually caught me, helpful bastard. I was forcibly escorted back to my chair. This is stupid, I don’t even feel anything on my body, I want to go find Ashley, or Julian, or even Mr.Richards. If he’s still alive that is.

Another ten minutes passed under close eye I finally managed to hobble away, but not towards the area where the rest of the kids were being “interrogated” but to the side where the road ended. I wanted to get a good look at the rubble, and away from the redonkulus commotion. That ninja teleporter hero kept popping in and out of the rubble with equipment, valuable items, and ever so often a person. Sometimes alive. Others not.

Kinda put things in perspective, I mean just like two hours ago I was content with a satisfied tummy from my chicken alfredo. Now I was literally watching stone turn to dust, and not even in the fun way too. At least hopefully I’ll have some scars that I can score some sympathy with the ladies.

A couple more minutes went by as I went over the last few events in my mind and their implications. Especially the resurfaced memory of Donny, from that my privacy invaded, well I guess it’s always had been when living in a world where telepaths were alive. But still, it’s weird.

As I stood lost in my thoughts the teleporter appeared once again with a body, hope pulsed through me as he appeared. That hope was quenched as the person’s entire body was limp, limp like a steamed stalk of broccoli. Instantly paramedics and suits alike surged forward when they saw the person. The lifeless husk of Mr.Richards was caressed into a stretcher and carried to one of the ambulances as more suits started to take out their phones and dial numbers.

Now it really is the worst day ever.

 

The Greensdale Project 1.29

The now sizzling energy dagger plunged into Jayden’s chest, all the way to the hilt before it stopped. There was no slow motion, no catching him in midair, just him crumpling to the ground like a doll. Stupid action movies.

A myriad of emotions flooded my consciousness, first fear, not for Jayden’s life, but my own. The whispering inside me began to tempt me, to finish the job. To swing the killing blow, but as I hesitated, shame pulsed throughout me. Shame for even thinking such thoughts. Finally, the alpha of all emotions gripped me, fury.

As if I was a puppet on strings my body moved on its own accord to an action that will plague many ponderous nights. Instead of moving back as a shield to protect any new onslaught, I turned to take a step toward where the projectile blade came from. I ignored the flapping of wings and the shifting of wind as my eyes scanned the room until it locked onto my target. My victim, the whispers were taunting me, seducing me to walk off the cliff into the dark abyss that is cold-blooded anger.

A stout man, clad in the same grey uniform as the others as before, had six blades hovering around him with three on each side of him poised for action. He was sprinting to the side to get a better angle for another throw. The blades bobbed with him as he ducked and ran through and past gym equipment and platforms.

Again without thinking my arms pumped upwards like I was celebrating a goal in soccer, but really it was a motion to bring carbon pillars to skewer him. But as I grasped upon my power and tugged what I received in return was less than pleasant. The stabbing pain that exploded behind my eyes and in the base of my skull felt like getting kicked in the nuts but in my head. Twice.

What the hell is wrong with me? Emotions that were previously foreign to me were now common, and my power unlike before which acted as smooth as butter was like stepping on glass. My perceived eyesight was blood-red, a canvas of color that was painted upon my eyeballs. Goddamn, how the tables have turned on my life. I slowly peeled my eyes open, because apparently, I had closed them in tension.

A cold liquid dripped down my cheeks from my eyes, slid from my nostrils and filled my mouth. I spit out a gob of blood mixed with my spit as I then realized I was on the floor, slowly I got into a sitting position. My extremities felt like frozen turkey that’s been thawed out from a microwave then put in the freezer once more.

The adrenaline that was pumping through my veins slowed to a stop as the ache in my head lessened ever so slightly. I kicked some rubble from under my feet and stood up slowly as I took in my surroundings. The man with the blades was surprisingly sprawled out on the floor as if he’d been knocked out by an invisible attacker, or a teleporting one for instance.

Tearing my eyes away from the man I made my way past Julian’s massive wingspan to lay eyes on Jayden. His body was slack, but his jaw was tense. Either post-Morten rigor or he was still alive, a somewhat small, but important detail in this chapter of horror in my life.

“H-help!” Julian yelled out as he spun looking for aid that would not appear.

Everyone else had already evacuated, even the yelling of fights all around the facilities had begun to cease. It was just Jayden, Julian, and I, and the corpses that surrounded us as we stared at the blood that began pooling around Jayden. Reality slapped me in the face like an ex-girlfriend on a sitcom as I sprung into action. Vague memories of health class clouded my mind as I kneeled next to him and began to apply pressure to the gaping wound in his torso.

“C’mon bro,” My voice was barely above a whisper as I hoped beyond hope that he would survive.

Another death on my conscious was something was something that I may not ever recover from like I would recover from the travesties of today. Julian began to gag beside me as the Jaydens sticky blood seeped between the spacing of my knuckles and onto my hand.

“Stay with me, think of all the ladies you’re gonna miss out if you die,” I pleaded as his jaw began to relax.

He was giving up, and what’s the point of saving someone who isn’t fighting to survive? I should’ve been ready, I should’ve known, and I shouldn’t have been such a dick to be out for blood. I removed my palms and stood up and unlike Julian who was struggling not to empty his lunch onto the ground and had his back turned, I watched Jayden. For only a coward would turn his back on a death that rested on your own shoulders. No offense Julian.

But it must’ve been a Christmas miracle, in July. Jayden’s entire body tensed as hard as a rock before his blood began to flow back into his body like watching a video in reverse. I stared in awe as with each second the pool thinned around him as it re-entered his circulation.

“Julian,” I called out in awe.

“N-no, I don’t want to see,” he responded.

Most of the blood was gone now, white bone marrow began to interlock where the bone used to be in his chest.

“Julian!” I yelled as I awkwardly grabbed his wing and tugged for his attention.

“What!” He yelled as Julian this silky soft wing brushed my face as he turned.

Skin began to form over the wound until the last bits of evidence of there ever being a wound there was erased.

“Woah,” Julian whispered.

Even the uniform began to re-stitch its self. Like what the hell? I’ve never heard of that happening, or maybe that was just because I’m not that informed of all types of powers. In my defense, I had other things on my mind, like lifting weights and getting dates.

“What the shit dude!” I yelled out as Jayden’s eyelids flew open.

He stared at me then Julian with his eyes wide open, he did not utter a single syllable. Jayden slowly stood up shakily as if every movement cost him something. Julian and I glanced at each other before looking back at Jayden who was as pale as a ghost. Wait, what if he is a ghost back from the dead? I slowly walked up to him and poked his shoulder. My index finger hit the fabric of the suit and his flesh, fortunately.

“Huh,” Jayden mumbled as he touched his chest like if you were looking for your keys and couldn’t find them.

Before I could respond, Julian pushed passed me and hugged Jayden with more gusto then I would’ve thought he could muster. Huh, I didn’t think they were that close, maybe they became better friends from the time I was unconscious, or maybe it was just the nerves. Whatever it was, it must’ve been awkward to hug back with those monstrous wings still flapping about excitedly.

“W-wha, there was so much blood…, how did you-” Julian stammer.

Jayden looked down at his body as if seeing it for the first time, there was something different about the way he held himself now. His back was straighter, his shoulders were set back as if he could take on the world. Maybe he could, who knows?

“I don’t know, but I feel… different. Like something inside me has changed,” He answered.

Well if Jayden doesn’t know then how will I? Instead of going in for my own hug I let Julian and Jayden talk I took in my surroundings. Rubble littered the ground, from pebbles do boulders they have strewn around as if a tornado surged through here. But perhaps most disturbing of all were the bodies. The ground was slick with still wet blood, adults and children alike. It was sickening, again bile rose in my throat and I let it all out.

After I was finished I wiped my mouth with the back of my hand and avoided eye-contact with…them. It wasn’t the time to think about them, not yet, not with people watching. Stepping away from my now smelly vomit I was just about to tell Jayden and Julian to get outta here with me until the hero from before blinked into existence.

I got a better look at him from up close, like a ninja black skin-tight cloth covered his entire body with the only opening was where his eyes were. We stared at each other for a few awkward seconds before the hero broke the silence.

“What did he want” His voice sounded like it got dragged through gravel then ground into bits and blended together, maybe he covered himself because his body was a reflection of his voice and if so I thank him.

Well, we’re fine asshole, thanks for asking, but I guess he did save us sooo I guess we’re cool. But what does he mean who? I had an inkling of who he was referring to, but if he was playing the pronoun game I wasn’t going to know exactly who he was talking about. I didn’t want to look like an idiot any more than I really was.

“Who?” I asked tentatively.

I could practically see his eyebrows furrow in annoyance behind the cloth before answering “A man covered in shadows, or if you saw him wearing a tuxedo.”

Oh, why didn’t he just say that in the first place? Now Julian and Jayden have noticed our conversation and scooted behind me to listen.

“He said something about the serum here and… and I think he found it,” I answered slowly.

He grumbled something under his breath before turning around.

“Hey do you mind teleporting us up-” I began before he blinked out of existence.

“To the surface,” I finished to nobody in particular.

I took one final glance around me, I would burn this image in my mind. For this is what will happen over and over if I’m not good enough. I had a lot to think about, and a lot of training ahead of me. If I’m going to be a hero I need to work. For my friends, for my family, and for the ladies.

“Let’s get outta here,” I murmured as I turned and stomped out, not bothering to see if they would follow.

 

 

 

 

 

The Greensdale Project 1.28

Through the occasional tremors that plagued the foundations of the ground, the screaming, the firing of guns, and powers going off I could still feel the ticking of the battered watch in my hand. With each tick that marked the passing of a second, it was a second that would go by with Andre buried six feet under.

But I wasn’t going to lay down like a lil’ bitch and cry, at least not right now, blinking away the tears in my eyes I slowly pulled my self up to a kneeling position. My body moved slower than before, like I just bathed myself in an ice-cold bath for an hour. As I looked up, adrenaline began to course through my body as I became aware of my surroundings and what just happened.

The man in the suit and tie that was shrouded in darkness was nowhere to be found, what lay in his wake though was still terrible. Four men, the Barrier Super from before, the man coated in bronze, and two others I didn’t recognize were beginning to advance toward me and the others. The benefit from laying on the floor presumably dead is that the bad guys won’t focus you. The bronze guy took notice of me personally and eyed me for a second before readying into a stance that was similar to the one earlier when he leaped toward me.

Knowing full well I had only a few seconds before I’d have my hands full, as fast as I could I spared a glance behind me as I stood up fully. Body’s were strewn awry,  blood stained the concrete around them, behind the horrific display of corpses were the rest of us, many were scrambling to the back looking for an exit while a few brave and/or stupid guys stepped forward.

In an instant, everything slowed down, through the years of fighting my instincts were honed to a point where my subconscious picked up clues of imminent danger, or just a punch or kick in the groin heading my way.

I spun on my heels to my left as the giant mass of bronze mass flew by me, although not before clipping me in the shoulder with his shoulder. The bronze man landed with a crash to my left as I stumbled back clenching my shoulder. I began to expect the soul-crushing pain that came from a hit like that, but I remembered my no-pain thing. Gripping my fists in new-found vigor I positioned my body to face him, his bronze legs created small divots into the concrete below as he stood up, not a single dent in his body.

Well shit, if he could land into concrete and not break himself but a substance that foundations were built on what could I do to him? Flexing my muscles from head to toe, I dived inwardly to grasp the power that flowed through me, oddly enough it was harder to do this time. Bronzie sauntered toward me in obvious cockiness, a look that I learned to read as I’ve been faced many a look such as that one in the last few years.

“Good dodge kid, I’m sorry I have to do this,” He grunted, his actual metallic sounding voice sounded almost sorry.

He sounded sympathetic as if he’d rather be anywhere but here, only more than a few yards away he dashed towards me.

“Me too,” I muttered.

In a single half a second calculation sprung into my head, not the mathematical ones but the practical kind that came with years of fighting experience. From the speed of his body, his limbs, how much he weighed, his distance away from me, my body’s position in relation to him, how fast I could react and move to dodge, reflect, or counter and what I knew about his style led me to my decision. For those exceedingly bigger and stronger they become cocky, believing they can power through with strength and take any hit their opponent could dish out leading them to expect their opponent to dodge.

With only a couple of yards between us, the noise dimmed around me till all my focus was centered on one unwavering foe. I lunged forward to meet him head-on, all the while pulling upon my power to materialize pillars into Bronzy’s torso. But just as my feet shifted forward they got locked into position like they were handcuffed together which lead Bronzie to slam into my abdomen forcefully football style, as if I’d collided with a semi, and not in a good way either.

I must’ve lost consciousness for a few seconds because when I came too I was being held in the air like a trophy for the world to see, a humiliating scene. His bloody fist, still smeared with the gore of the women from before that held me up by the suit trembled ever so slightly. His bated breath that he slowly exhaled seemed to catch in his throat as his other hand gripped my throat.

I stared him the eyes, I may be broken and bloodied but my last sight of life won’t be of the crumbling ceiling, it would be of the one who took it. His eyes were straight bronze, no pupil, just a metallic sheet of copper that somehow conveyed sadness despite being devoid of emotion. His grip began to tighten as the pressure increased, there was no pain but that only made me feel more hollow, as if I was cheating by not really feeling Death’s everlasting grip on my throat.

People always speculated what you would see before you die, the scientists said it would be peaceful because of the endorphins flooding into your brain, the priests said you will see Jesus welcoming you to heaven, and grandparents said they will see their children and loved ones.

I saw myself ripping this man’s heart out, I saw myself watching him bleed, I saw him begging for mercy as I crushed his throat as he did I. Black spots began to spot my vision as I grabbed hold of my power once again, when I would look back at this moment I would try to convince myself it was once last huzzah to at least make it easier for my friends to escape, one last stand for my brother.

The power that surged through me was different, like the jagged edges of a broken beer bottle. It was like a tree that struggled for sunlight only to be stunted growth by a parasite feeding off it and a dark poison being splashed at its roots. Fresh pain rocked my mind, an almost euphoric feeling amidst the dull throbbing as my fingertips brushed the touch the spot just above his heart.

My fingertips trembled not from the de-oxidation of my body, or from the fear of intentionally ending a human life, but from the eagerness. The power poured into my hand, and through my fingertips as I planted the seed. Even though I couldn’t breathe new vitality began to flow into me, my eyes never wavered from his eyes as they changed from confidence to fear. Faint whispers in my head urged me on. The seed began to grow, almost translucent but still foggy crystal-like roots began to spread from my fingertip, deeper they ingrained as they spread out from the point of origin. The pressure against my neck lessened as my heart beat like a drum in my chest.

But before I could finish off what I was doing something out of the peripheral of my eyes flew to my side and grabbed me from the now weak grasp of Bronzie. No, no, no, nonononono I was so close! I stared in disbelief and frustration at Bronzie who was now on his knees began to shrink as I carried in the air away. I turned my head to the side to glance at the person who was carrying me and again to my utter surprise it was Julian. He had milky wings, with frosted white tips in contrast with the light gray wings, each flap of his wings that had a wingspan longer than Julian was tall carried us to the back with the rest of the Greensdale participants in the back.

As we landed I struggled out of his steel-like grip and stared daggers at him before yelling “What the hell Julian? I had him right there!”

His face twisted into confusion before answering “He had his hand around your             th-throat for a bit and you weren’t even moving,”

I took a step forward, ignoring the people pushing past me into exit in the back of the wall, my eyesight began to turn red as I stepped forward. Voices inside me whispered me on, pushing me to do it, for revenge for Julian stopping me. Julian stepped back, his new-found wings folded upon itself slightly in fear. Before I could act I caught Ashley’s eyes to the right in my peripherals. They were wide, her dark pupils in her ice-blue eyes dilated in fear, in fear of me.

The realization struck me harder than any blow, glancing at my right hand in shame I saw my fingertips crystalized with whatever mineral I created fined to a point like claws. The whispering inside me ceased as I stepped back and said “I’m… I’m sorry, I-” But I stopped my stuttering as I saw Ashley look away and scamper out the door.

Julian stepped forward and put a hand on shoulder in acceptance of my apology “It’s okay, you can apologize after,”

Sweat, or tears, or a combination of the two poured down my face, I reached up and dried it with the back of my hand. I stared at it in shock for a few seconds as I understood why my vision was red. It was not because of anger but because of blood. Before I could contemplate the implications a weird fact struck me.

I nodded than hesitated as I noticed the lack of present danger near us, “Wait, why aren’t we like, running for our lives?”

He turned me around and pointed at the scene going on “While, you were… fighting that brown metal guy, a uh… hero appeared and started teleporting around.” Julian said in awe.

Indeed it was, other than Bronzie who was still on his knees staring blankly in front of him two other Supers were attacking a man clad in a jet-black costume who was simultaneously kicking their asses. It seemed like with every nanosecond the hero in black would appear in behind, to the side, or in front of an attacker hit them and disappear, only to do it again a second later.

One of the Supers seemed to be a strongman based on the cracks that formed whenever he stepped and the other was alight with flames that didn’t seem to burn anything around him. I watched in shock as again and again, the two Supers began to crumble beneath the strength of the teleporter.

Jayden’s voice behind us withdrew us from our stupor “We should head out soon, there are more dangerous men out there that can attack us at any time, not mentioning whether the building will collapse upon us,” Jayden cautioned.

I tore my eyes from the scene as I laid them on Jayden, he had a cut on his cheek but other than that he seemed as calm and calculating as ever.

“O-” his eyes widened and locked onto something behind me before I could respond, Jayden let out an inhuman scream as a translucent blue blade buried itself in his chest.

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Greensdale Project 1.27

I dropped my backpack at the door and grabbed a banana from the kitchen counter since it was another hour until my parents could come home and feed me. Sure, I ate on the bus ride home, but two sandwiches don’t really fill me up like they used to. I peeled the banana as I walked to my room to grab some clothes before I went in the shower, it was almost the end of six grade but school still sucked. But before I could even get to my room I passed Andre’s room, and I could hear dull, sniffling sobs from behind the door.

I stood there unsure how to proceed, I don’t want to deal with him crying today, I want a nice shower and a sandwich. Awkward seconds ticked by as the crying ensued, I glanced longingly at the bathroom door only a few yards away. But my dad told me a man helped people in need, and right now Andre was in need of me.

Without knocking I twisted the knob and pushed the door open and flicked on the light to see Andre bawling his eyes out all the while sitting on his bed with his arms tucking his knees to his body. My first instinct was to tease him of crying like a little baby but I buried that down. Since Andre was in the fourth grade and I in the seventh he got home earlier than I did by a whole hour even though we went to the same school (elementary, middle, and high school are all located on the same campus.) It meant it wasn’t time for me to make fun of him, if it’s been an hour and he’s still in his room bawling his eyes out it was serious.

“G-go away” He stammered as rolled over to show me his back and hide his face.

I stood there torn between leaving and staying, Andre was still wearing his school clothes which meant he hadn’t changed out of it. Usually, he was scrambling to come and play with me when I got home, for some reason none of his friends ever came home to play with him.

“Why are you crying?” I said slowly.

This was a rare sight, I almost never see him crying nor does he see me, for that was a lesson our Dad taught us about early on, about not showing your heart on your sleeve for others would tear it out. But Andre was the opposite of me, an open-book, expressing his feelings as if he was merely clear glass portraying his emotions.

I moved closer to the bedside and said the only thing I could think of for him to talk “Andre, stop and tell me what’s up or I’m gonna eat the last of the candy in the fridge.”

That got his attention, he slowly let go of his legs and turned around slowly still sniffling to face me. His eyes were bloodshot and puffy, and tears streaked his face like the Nile river in Africa. His face was a little paler than I, as well with a lighter shade of brown eyes.

He wiped his eyes and nose with his hand and wrist before speaking “Th-they t-took my watch!” He said, almost bringing him to tears again.

I shuffled my feet nervously as I asked “Daddy’s?”

Daddy gave Andre a watch a few days ago for his birthday, but when I brought up that I didn’t get a family heirloom he just smiled. Daddy told me I would get something when I became a man. Then I was confused, how would he know I was a man much less how I would I know?

“Ye-yeah, I w-was showing them to my friends on the playground and some old guys t-took it!” He stuttered, now tears were again falling down his cheeks.

“Daddy told you not to show it off!” I said incredulously as I sat down next to him on the bed in silent support.

I don’t bring anything of value to school, mostly because I didn’t have anything of value but I knew that one time a kid took my sandwich. I never trusted anyone at school again with my stuff after that betrayal.

“B-but I wanted to show it to someone! And now this guy and his friend took my watch he’s gonna get mad at me!” He stammered in retort.

Still rooted to the spot an idea started to formulate in my head, what If I went and got it back for him?

“Who took the watch from you?” I asked him.

Andre looked at me hopefully before responding “Some guy called Donny and his friend.”

I furrowed my brows at this, Donny was a head taller than me and much stronger with big muscles in his arms! But I already made up my mind and I’m gonna help my little brother. He always was there for me and wanted to cheer me up and play when I was down and I’m going to be here for him.

“I’ll get it back Andre, don’t worry,” I said already worrying on quite how I was gonna do that.

“Really?” After nodded he jumped up with a smile that reached from ear to ear, “Thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you” He repeated as he started to jump up and down on the bed in happiness.

“Go get me another banana before I change my mind” I teased.

He zoomed out of the room like a rocket while only falling once to the kitchen as I peeled my first banana to eat before I get the second.

The next day at school went slowly as I was waiting for P.E at the end of school, and of course, as all things are when you are waiting for something time moves all the slower. But finally as math class finished up and I turned in my multiplication sheet I anxiously made my way out the door and towards the yard. Normally we would be doing certain exercises but today was a free day and we could do whatever we wanted on the field.

The sun was blazing, already after only a minute of being in the heat a sheen of sweat coated my body. After a few moments of scanning the yard I targeted my….well target, Donny was throwing a football with his friend on the field. The glint of my dad’s battered silver watch caught my eye as Donny threw the football back. Andre’s watch, the one they stole, he wore on his wrist like a trophy for the world to see.

With my palms getting moist from not the Sun’s radiation, but of my own anxiousness I made my way towards him. I went on the outskirts of the yard though as I was still nervous to talk to him and was stalling for time. But as the minutes ticked on I steeled my nerves and walked up to him and tapped on his shoulder before his friend can throw back the football.

He turned around and glanced down at me, he really was big. Donny was at least a head taller than me and almost fifty percent wider. With wavy hair, a shining smile, and a sly tongue he was one of the most popular kids. Even all of the teachers loved him because of his talent in sports and how he put himself in positions where he looked like the good guy.

“What do ya want,” He said down to me and not just in physically as if I was someone less then him.

I stared back, another lesson from my Dad, letting people walk over you was the first step in losing yourself.

“You took my brothers watch and I want it back,” My voice much more confident that how I felt.

He chuckled to himself as he nodded for his friend to come over “Who says this is your friends watch? This is my watch, it’s nice right Joe?” He asked his friend sarcastically.

“Oh yeah, I remember when you first got that as a gift from your grandma last year,” Joe went on with it.

I clenched my jaw, drawing in my frustration and anger, “No it doesn’t.”

He smiled again coldly, “Yeah, but who’s gonna believe you? By the time you tell a teacher the watch would be long gone and you’ll never see it again. But hey,” He shrugged. “Good thing it isn’t yours huh.”

I glanced back at the PE coach who was lazily sitting on his foldable chair “supervising” us while he scrolled aimlessly on his phone. I had a choice here to make, I could either let my brother and myself down or I can do something.

Both of them grinned at me as they sensed what I was thinking, but all that did was bring out the anger and frustration before. Gripping hand into a fist, making my knuckles go white with tension and I swung at Donny’s smug face like I saw in the movies, ready to knock the bully out and claim victory.

What really happened was he dodged the punch and deftly grabbed my wrist as if he knew I was going to try and punch him in the first time. A fist crashed into my stomach, making me double over gasping for air as Donny let go of my wrist. I couldn’t catch a breath, every time I inhaled not enough air went into my lungs causing me to cough. A vicious cycle, but I didn’t fall.

“Look what you did now, tried to attack me huh? Isn’t that against the rules?” He sarcastically asked Joe who just nodded and laughed with him.

Both of them grabbed me and led me behind some trees, well half-dragged as I was fruitlessly attempting to get free each second. As I caught my breath I glanced around at my surroundings, the field was surrounded by trees. You could hide anywhere here and not be caught unless they started looking. And no one was looking for me.

“See, some people think I’m a bully. But really I just want people to know they stand, and where I stand above them.” Donny said his words strangely excited as he and Joe moved closer to me.

I gritted my teeth to prepare for what was to come, there were rumors of Donny. But that’s all they were. Rumors, by people who heard it from their friends who heard it from people who didn’t even see what happened. But rumors, that made my heart flutter. Donny motioned for Joe to leave who although hesitantly did so.

“There is this one thing that not many people know about me though, not my so-called friends, not teachers, not even my family. Although my family will learn when the time is right, and this thing I have it needs practice. And since you aren’t going to say anything about it, since if you will no one will believe you.” He said casually as he moved closer to me now only a few feet away.

I stood still, my hands slightly shook as cortisol pumped through my body sensing danger.

“So don’t scream, or something much worse than a stolen watch will happen to your brother,” he said before coming only a foot away from me.

I stared at his eyes, his face, something was off. It was as if the mask of sporty Donny fell away to reveal something beneath, something quite not on its mark. Something, deranged. A gleam in his eye and a twitch of his mouth he began.

Nothing happened for a moment, but then I began to experience it, a tingle in the base of my skull, an indescribable feeling. But it began to morph, to change, like a drill it began to push its way into me. Not through bone and sinew but through my mind, a carnivorous beast pushing its way inside me. My knee’s beneath me gave out and I crumpled to the ground. Only the growl in my throat escaped me, not a scream. Not one.

The drill was like having a nightmare come alive in your mind, it didn’t just occupy what I felt in my mind but my body. My body thought there was a parasite in its body began to attack its self, white blood cells attacked regular blood cells as if it was a virus. Then when I couldn’t take it no more something began to shake inside me, like something that lay dormant was waking.

“What is this…” Donny murmured, his words devoid of sympathy but that of curiosity, not of a persons.

The metaphorical spike inside me struck this shuddering…thing till it was silenced back into it’s dormant state.

“Interesting” he muttered before moving closer to inspect me.

The spike in me stopped, as did the pain. My body went back into equilibrium as if nothing ever happened, I glanced back up at Donny horrified and terrified.

“Don’t worry, you won’t remember a single thing soon.” He said the spike began to release its grip. Like an anvil crushing my throat being lifted slowly off.

“That’s for being such a good sport,” He said before taking off Andre’s watch and throwing it on my chest, then he sauntering off like he just came to take a piss on a tree.

I could feel whatever he did to me, the spike that drilled into my psyche, didn’t fully leave, nor did the changes it made.

The next hour or so flew by, I didn’t dare say a word to anyone what happened, nor could I. I kept my head down, and just went over and over the scene in my head as I clenched the watch in my fist the whole time. When I got home I went up to Andre’s room, to give it to him.

“Hey Andre, look what I got here,” I said as I opened the door to show him the watch.

He looked at me, then the watch in surprise, “Chase! Thank you so much!” He asked innocently as he gave me a big hug.

I hugged back feeling his warmth, like I’ve never felt it before, warming up a now cold spot in me.

“Anything for you,” I said.

Already the memory, no the nightmare of what happened was fading. Like a scream of fear the wind, it withered away. But what it left behind wasn’t what it carried, but what it left behind.

Sensing my discomfort Andre slipped out of the hug and frowned at me “Are you okay?”

I smiled confused onto why he was asking me, “Yeah, I’m fine! Why don’t I take a shower and we can go outside and play?”

At that, all thoughts of my well-being vanished, “Yeah!” before sprinting out the door.

Crazy kid, why didn’t he think I was fine? It was just like any other day, chuckling under my breath I walked to the bathroom and looked at myself in the mirror, noticing the dirt smudge on my face I quickly washed it off. Where did I get that?


My eyes flew open, the memory a bubble coming to the surface to pop after being kept under for so long. Tears welled up in my eyes as stared straightforward at the ceiling, ignoring all the commotion around me. I grasped the battered silver watch on my left wrist and let the buried emotions come forth.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Greensdale Project 1.26

The training facility was as quiet as a cynic at a cemetery. Everyone, including my friends and I, and especially the adults were straining to hear any more sounds from the entrances. Finally, to what felt like an eternity, unlike before a screeching noise came from behind the entrance doors. The sound of nails scratching chalkboard grinded our ears making me wince at the horrific noise.

“Everyone get behind us” Equinox again commanded as he took control of the group once again.

Ashley glanced at me wide-eyed before following everyone’s lead and walked behind him, we almost touched the platforms that stood at the back-end of the center circle where we stood. I should be scared, but I’m excited. I mean we’re going to be safe with the superheroes protecting us, and with my friends, we may get some real-life action ourselves. But then the bloody memory of the revolting remains of the woman’s head and the whimper of defeat that the shifter gave me pause.

More screeching, louder this time like they were close to breaking through whatever barrier that stood between us and them. Who were they? What did they want? Were there more secrets that were buried here in the facilities? It began to struck me how little I knew of the things that went around here, I mean sure they tell us what was happening to us. But how much do they not tell us mere children in their eyes the things that were conducted unbeknownst to us?

Whatever the reason I had to focus on the situation at hand, also thinking too hard about topics I don’t know was going to give me a headache. Well If I got those anymore, the screeching increased from irritating to mild agony. I squinted my eyes at the entrance doors, scouring anything for details onto what was happening.

Suddenly, there was something. Cracks began to appear around the central door, with each second that passed the cracks grew larger, dust began to haze the air in front of it like when someone dropped an ancient spellbook in the movies as well. The entire began to creep back as if the distance between us mattered in the big picture.

As if all was needed was one big puff of wind from the big bad wolf, the door alongside the wall around it shattered as if a wrecking ball crashed into it at full force. Instantly a luminous green shield appeared, it stretched from wall to wall, ceiling to floor, instantly dividing us and the unknown. Whispering began to spring up around me, while the older guys were deathly quite the kids around me were not quite as brave.

A familiar crackling caught my attention to my right, the older Supers were obviously getting ready. One man was creating one rapidly enlarging ball of blood red electricity, one had white spikes beginning to form over his fists, skull, and coated his skin, the only woman had snowflakes circling her gracefully like a satellite orbiting Earth.

“Everyone capable enough to help get ready but stay back and out of the way. You will do more harm than good in intervening.” Equinox said, his voice barely above a whisper but everyone understood.

Before I could even think of what I could do to get ready a figure, a step away from being able to be distinguished began to make its way out of the dust that shrowded the person. Why was the person just standing there? Equinox nodded almost indistinguishable to the lanky man, the ball of electricity was now larger than a basketball, sparks were flying off of the orb or energy. I could almost feel it’s power from several yards away.

He cupped both hands together and extended them forward quickly right as the shield of energy opened up a small hole for him. With a crack, the orb flew through the opening like a cannonball being shot from a… well cannon, although it soared through the air erratically like it was being pulled at all sides as if barely being kept together.

Closing my eyes subconsciously as I’ve been on the other side of that power, although maybe not as potent. The boom, like a lightning strike hitting a tree, and the force that followed made up for my blocked sight, was unlike anything I’ve felt before. Like before the ground shook beneath the force, I could hear the cracking of concrete and rubble falling from the ceiling. If the invisible fallback of the catastrophic orb of thunder was even a fraction of how potent it was then whoever stood before it will surely fall.

“Woah” Julian whispered to himself in awe.

Smoke, ash, and soot was now the primary reason to not being able to see clearly to what we were dealing with, but fortunately, with a whistle coming from the smog it all dissipated instantly to reveal a group of men who were unfortunately not as injured as I hoped. At the forefront was a short, stocky guy on one knee A bubble of white energy much like Equinox’s surrounded the group. The front of the bubble was a dark red unlike the rest of it, it was the darkest at its center and grew lighter to the outsides like a paintball splattering against the pavement. This time it was my turn to go woah, the man shakily stood up but was still alive and intact like his bubble.

I glanced back to my friends, each and every one, and yes even Jayden were sporting an expression of shock and awe with me.

I quickly counted and what I could see there were six men all in all and from them, I could only recognize the bronze dude. One who was powerful enough to sustain an attack that shook the very foundations of an underground room, who knows how capable the others were. From behind him a man in a tuxedo stepped forward, a movement that signaled bubble guy to drop his shield. Even from my limited views on human body language, the group as a whole seemed to cower before him almost…afriad.

Even aside from the fact that unlike his crew who wore different attires (gray suits) and he wasn’t shadows shrowded his face even though nothing physical was creating them.

Even from the heavy breathing of all the people on our side of the green energy shield I could here Equinox whisper frightened “That’s not possible.”

“What isn’t possible?” I whispered to Jayden who before could respond the man in the suit spoke.

“Well, this is certainly a pleasant surprise!” His voice was garbled, like it went through a modulator of some kind making it distorted. “Guess this kills two birds with one stone, now since I’m in a good mood I’m going to be polite only once. Where is it” He said all the while I strolled almost causally towards the shield, making direct eye contact with Equinox.

Equinox still in shock at…something took a second before answering in complete innocence “Where is what?”

Instantly the room darkened, both physically and metaphysically, I took an involuntary step back sensing danger, like the red sunrise before the storm.

“Tsk, here I am asking politely after you fire a ball of death our way” he sighed seemingly sorry.

“You attacked our facility!” Equinox retorted as he clenched his fist.

Instantly, before anyone on our side or theirs, green energy encased the man in the black suit. But… something was wrong, after a few seconds of nothing happening a seed of blackness appeared in the shield. Like a virus it grew,  corrupting the pure energy with its insidious power. Its disconsolate tendrils grew until it encased the shield, just as fast as it happened it dissolved like a food rotting, leaving the man without even a smudge on his sleek tuxedo.

Silence ensued, this was unprecedented. We were supposed to feel safe, to feel protected by an unbreakable legend. But that legend had blood now dripping from his nose like he had a nose bleed, and from his mouth like he’d been stabbed in the stomach.

“That little trick won’t work against me, nor will you ever be able to harm me. For unlike you I am not a shield, I am a sword. And now you’ve spoiled my good mood.” He said slowly as if he was upset.

Instantly a shadow, moving at light speeds to connect with the shield, but unlike before it didn’t slowly decay, it shattered like a porcelain glass pot being hit with a baseball bat. An unhuman like scream came from Equinox, now broken. He crumbled to the ground, blood began to fall from his blood-shot eyes as well, the whole ensemble.

“Now now, think about the mere children around you. They did nothing wrong yet here they are in the middle of all this monkey madness.” He said slowly as he approached the fallen hero.

His entire body was a shadow, it was difficult to even get a lockdown on his body. It was as if there was an entire absence of color, it wasn’t even black it was a void drinking of all color. I knew I should be doing something, but after a display of power like that, I don’t even think I could even annoy him with my petty sticks and stones.

“It’d be a shame if one by one…they were torn away from their family, and so full of hope too…” He almost sounded remorseful, if not for the tendril appearing at every one of our throats.

Groans rang out, a soft stifled sob from behind was sharper than any knife, shadow or not. A sob of sadness, of fear, of remorse. Julian was shaking to my right, while Jayden was as still as a stone while I was… I don’t know.

A fellow teenager to my right fell with a shriek of pain, without moving my head in the corner of my eye I saw him, blood was gushing out of his throat as he lay spasming. Bile rose in my throat but if I leaned over now to throw up it may be the last of me. And I’m not going to die vomiting my chicken parm so I quickly swallowed it down.

“One by one they are going to fall until you tell me where the lab is that holds that very special serum,” He said while with every second another kid fell.

I gritted my teeth, again I was helpless, after becoming a Super I thought I was finally going to be able to do something. But yet after all those years of being something less than a Super I’m being pulled around like a puppet on strings by an aberration of God who would mindlessly kill children.

“O-okay fine! The lab is down another floor to the right, down the hallway until you reach the second door on the left. Just please let the children go” Equinox muttered, his words hollow.

No more people fell, it was still for a moment before the man went on “And the code?”

Equinox sighed apparently hoping to pull one over him “It’s four, six, two, two, three, eight, nine” He said defeated.

A shadowed hand made a signal behind him and two men left the room. It stood there for a moment, with a shadowy head cocked to the right.

“You better hope you are telling the truth, for if you are not…Well, there are worse things than death for some people…” The man in shadows said.

That’s when the tensest minutes of my life passed, each second ticked by slowly. Sweat dripped from my brow, down my nose and dripped down to my feet. The only sounds were the stifled sobs, the heavy breathing, and the gurgling of the shadowed man’s victims on the ground.

My throat began to tighten, a sign of crying. But no, I had to be strong, I don’t want to die. But I don’t want to live in the shame of bearing weakness in the face of it either. This was not how I will live, I will not wallow in fear, in weakness. I will be a construct of strength. I will be an anchor for those in need. I will be Super. But I’ll be none of those if I don’t stay still and survive, I mean I have to think of the ladies of course as well.

The shadowed man put a hand to his ear and cocked his head to the side as if he was listening to an earpiece.

“Guess you were telling the truth, it warms my heart to see such bravery.” He said without emotion.

In a blink his shadowed hand plunged deep into the kneeling man’s chest, skewering his heart, killing him instantly.

“That was for my father,”

Before the barest of a spark of electricity was formed in the lanky man’s hands tendrils of darkness did the same to each of the adults that stood there, killing several Supers in less time than it took to say bangarang.

“And that was for me,” He said before even the largest man, presumably a strongman that took hits that would make the great wall of china shudder fell dead.

It was Anarchy, screams rung out as the shadow at everyone’s throat dissipated, freeing us from its cage. The intellectuals ran to the back behind the massive platforms to hide, the cowards stood in shock, and one idiot charged the man shrowded in an abyss.

Those kids were like me, they had dreams, they had principals, ideals, family, and even crushes. And this, this monster killed them without a thought, so I came at him without a thought. Maybe not my smartest choice but it was a hell of a way to go out, with a growl I flung myself at him with carbon pillars following me and propelling me for a crash course for the man.

In a flash, blades of shadow made ribbons of my pillars turning them into dust. Tendrils of impalpable darkness grabbed me mid-flight and threw me past him into the ground. my body thudded as I hit the ground, and bounced once before hitting the base of the platform. Before I would be incapacitated by the pain, but I was not nearly as gifted as I am now. I slowly crawled myself to a standing position, ready to go at it again.

The man stood there a second before laughing, a cold hollow laugh but one of what he thought was good nature, “I like you boy, you got spunk.”

He chuckled to himself, “You seem like a good kid, with a bright future in front of you, but as bright and as fast light moves, darkness will always be there to greet it.” He said cryptically.

He raised his hand, opening it a small black like snake which was somehow darker than himself slithered off of his hand to the ground and towards me.

“Be grateful kid, many would kill for a gift like this,” He said as the snake slithered its way towards me.

Before I could squash the thing, well if you could squash a snake made out of the absence of light, it jumped forwards straight up my nose.

 

The Greensdale Project 1.25

Maybe it was a drill? But as the ground shook like God was playing with blocks, and we were the one which was toppling off I had a gut feeling that it wasn’t. I secured my footing on the edge of a platform as I watched the doors hoping I could tell what was happening. But I pulled the short stick apparently as there wasn’t anything of interest out there other than the scrambling of other people, but I had to get a closer look.

Fainty I could hear the commanding of Equinox shouting “Everyone stay calm, panic is the worst thing we can do right now.”

Ignoring the wailing of the alarm and Equinox, I nimbly made my way closer to one of the doors about twenty yards to my front but walking while your feet were being jostled by an impalpable and unpredictable opponent was practically impossible. But even if something was almost impossible was still possible. After stumbling a no less than eight times I finally reached one of the three entrances to the training facilities.

I took a deep breath to brace my self for whatever came next and swung open the door. Nobody was there, While bracing my self on the door frame I stook my head through and looked left and right. The hallway was empty, I exhaled shakily as I almost laughed, I was safe for the time being. I glanced back at my friends now crowding around Equinox and the adults.

But I still couldn’t shake the feeling of something was wrong, and not just the ever-growing nausea in my stomach. Even if there was an earthquake why would the alarm be going off? Due to my curiosity, I let the door hang open lest it locked when it closed and I would be stuck out here and slowly made my way to my left. Hugging the wall I snuck my way towards the hallway that cut to the right, thankfully the shaking was beginning to dim and I can kind of make my way easier.

Before I could even make it to the turn I heard the panting of a…dog? That’s weird, I haven’t seen a single animal in my short time in being here. But as whatever it was got closer I began to hear more details of the beast, what I assumed to be its claws clinked against the tiled floor. The musty smell of a feral mutt wafted my nose as I stood there in shock, in fear. The clinking stopped, a few tense seconds passed until a deep growl radiated from the throat of the thing now just behind the corner. My heart was in my throat, I should’ve been ready to fight for my life, or running, but somehow I doubted that would help.

Before I could begin to pray God for salvation or whatever you’re supposed to pray for, the thing burst into view. I got a brief glimpse of the furry thing before raising my hands in front of me to create a carbon shield that extended up and down and curved slightly around me like a riot shield. A paltry defense for what I saw, from the brief glance it was a gigantic wolf, only a head shorter than me, a mighty feat since I was over six feet tall. With claws the size of my thumb and a snout as thick as my thigh.

Bracing my self for whatever came I waited, but nothing came. After a few more tense seconds I peeled my eyes open one by one and peered around my four-inch thick shield. Instead of a snarling beast, a sniffling man stood before me.

“It’s okay, you can come out I won’t harm you, I’m one of the guards here,” The man said.

He was wearing the same silvery shifters uniform that I saw when I first arrived here, guess that explained how he was a wolf a second than a man. Unless he was a werewolf…no those don’t exist.

“Sorry for the scare you can never be too sure of who’s who right now and you smell…different” A boom and some faint yelling could be heard from the hallway.

I mean I don’t smell the best right now because I was sweating pretty hard. I mean I’m a growing boy I’m allowed to smell, but what made the sweating worse was the anxiety now coursing through my veins as I heard the disturbance.

He quickly moved towards me in now apparent hurriedness “Quick, is the rest of adults in the training facility?” he questioned.

“Uh, I think so…” I answered unsurely.

“Okay go in there and tell them we have a code black, don’t follow me, go in there and tell them okay?” He asked his dark eyes shifting frantically.

I nodded acceptably.

“Initiate lockdown protocol A3,” He said as he touched his earlobe.

“GO!” He commanded after turning.

Instead of instantly jumping to obey his command I watched him as he began to shift. His body began to mold, both muscles and bones moved under his skin like tumors growing and shrinking. His shoulders narrowed, the same color hair of his head began to sprout across his body, the silver suit shrank under the growth and soon it disappeared into nothingness, or too small that I couldn’t see it. his legs shortened a tail sprouted from just above his ass.

Mans best friend bounded around the corner, although he told me not to follow how could I not? After a few silent steps, I cautiously peered around the corner. Shock struck me as I stared, the hallway was in tatters. The floor was littered with rubble, presumingly from the various craters in the hallway and ceiling. There were three people and a dog running in there, two wore suits, not unlike ours but grey. One was outfitted firing two massive cannon-like firearms and strapped to various parts of his suit and ammo bags like Rambo. He was firing at a woman fighting another, but the bullets were stopping in mid-air around the women as if stuck in puddy.

The other guy had bronze skin, he was fighting against the woman on our side. Each of the man’s steps caused cracks to appear beneath him, he was wildly throwing punches at the women who scrambled back. A fist thrown by the man was on a crash course towards the women’s face but at the last moment it was apparently deflected by some invisible force and smashed into the wall to her right.

The wolf-shifter finally reached near Rambo, the wolves muscled grew taunt before leaping towards the man’s face like a predator pouncing its prey. For Rambo, man’s best friend was man’s worst enemy, the furry beast’s incisors sank into the man’s shoulder, causing him to drop one of the firearms. The paws scratched at the chest attempting to further maim the gun-slinging madman. But as always, man beat beast, with his free arm he emptied a clip into the shifter.

Right as I was going to jump into the fight the wolf, fell to the ground with a whimper like someone stepped on his tail. At that exact moment, the woman’s concentration faltered as she saw her fallen comrade, a dense fist slammed into her skull crushing it. Unable to look I way, I stared in horror at the gory mess.

“Hey!” Rambo caught me watching.

Just as he raised his firearm to spray death at me his friend leaped with a boom at me leaving a crater where he left. Just as I was turning to avoid anything a bullet clipped my left trap muscle, out of desperation I created a wall of carbon right at the corner just as the strongman was about to arrive. A hole crashed through the center of the wall but it held, I then began to fill in the hallway with carbon from top to bottom. Anything to slow them down, as I scrambled back and filled the room with the coal-colored rock I noticed a slamming sound behind me.

A metallic wall slid into place just in front of the door as if it was never there, thankfully started on the opposite side of the facility, I quickly added a bit more carbon to the now half filled hallway and scrambled into the training center right before the last wall slid into place locking them out and us in. I slid down the wall while letting out a long breath counting my lucky stars that I was alive. I touched my trap muscle just next to my left, there was a small gash there but it looked like the bullet just went straight through, I took my hand away looking at the blood that stained my hands.

I started laughing quietly to myself, I was alive and even though I got shot I didn’t even feel it! After a bit more self-chuckling I stood up and got serious, I had a job to do, right? I wasn’t going to not honor the last words the shifter spoke. The shaking of the ground has dimmed to almost nothing but as I walked every once and a while I would feel a shudder beneath me. The alarms stopped blaring and apparently Equinox got everyone to calm down.

As quickly as I could and as quietly I made my way to the center where everyone stood talking amongst themselves, ignorance is bliss. I doubt if they saw the horrors outside they wouldn’t be so calm. I walked past my friends who like the others were talking in a circle. Ashley’s eyes went wide when she saw me and pointed at me and said something to the group.

I mouthed for them to wait before heading over to the group of adults in the center, there stood Equinox, the two men I saw sparring, and some other adults I didn’t recognize. After standing there a second pondering how I would approach this I went with the good ole excuse me.

“Uh, Excuse me?”

They all turned around with annoyance flittering there faces, just another kid interrupting an adult conversation they probably thought.

“Yes?” Equinox said.

I quickly told them what just happened outside with as much detail as possible, from the shifter, to the fight that I heroically fended them off and putting a massive barrier to shield us for a little while. There was no need not to embellish a little.

“He also said for me to tell you it was a code black” I finished.

Throughout the story, their eyes widened a bit with each detail and they all exchanged somber looks when I explained their deaths but this elicited the biggest reaction out of the entire story. They stared at each other before turning their backs on me whispering furiously amongst themselves all the while leaving me standing around like a dumbass.

“What does code black mean?” I asked them.

One of the adults (a woman)turned around to face me “Don’t worry about it, thank you for telling us and don’t worry everything is going to be fine” she said before again turning around.

Of course, they wouldn’t tell me in their eyes I’m just a mere child, probably scared as shit and just as useful too. I left them to go to my friends, people who actually care. I sauntered toward them slightly frustrated at the adults and the stares I’ve been getting.

“Where were you Chase? We thought you left during the earthquake, and why were you talking to Equinox? And your bleeding!” Ashley said worryingly.

“Look there was no earthquake, or at least not a natural one, and don’t worry about it, it’s just clipped me,” I said, and honestly I was fine.

At least I thought so, before I could start my story she continued “What clipped you?”

I sighed “The bullet”

“What bullet?” She went on.

“From Rambo”

“What?” She said exasperatedly at the name of the movie character.

“Let me explain,” I said with a smile, it was sweet that she was so worried about me.

My heart now warmed by the display of friendship, I started my story beginning with the shaking. After ending with my ever heroic stalling of the defiant enemies, Ana spoke up.

“What if…you died?” She said.

I subconsciously grabbed my bleeding trap as if even if my body couldn’t feel the would it still perceive the damage. No false bravado this time, I mean what if I died? How many other people would mourn my death, other than my family? Would I just be a speck in the history of the world? Meaningless after achieving my dream after so many years?

“I mean that’s the point right? Of being a Super I mean, what’s the point of having all these powers and do nothing with it? If I didn’t do anything I might as well be the bullet that kills someone due to my doing nothing to try and stop the person from pulling the trigger” I said with complete honesty.

“Well he’s right about it not being an earthquake, the shaking was too inconsistent. It was probably a Super making the shaking, or making explosions.” Jayden chimed in after being silent the entire conversation.

“Are we going to be safe?” Julian said voicing all of our thoughts in a sentence with a slight tremor in his voice.

They all looked at me as if I knew the answer, well with the exception of Jayden who was staring at the locked doors in thought. I looked back at them, their eyes wide with worry, for themselves and others.

Might as well repeat what the lady said even if I didn’t believe it, “One of the women said we’re going to be safe and with Equinox here we should be protected from harm”

Relief seemed to flood into their faces as they glanced back at Equinox and the adults who were still talking rapidly.

“And we have Ashley here to protect us with her kung fu moves!” I said jokingly trying to make light of the situation.

She glanced embarrassed at the ground before speaking “I never fought anyone before in my life, I don’t think I would be that useful against Supers”

“Aw come on you train in martial arts and you’ve never been in a fight with someone? I retorted.

She shook her head, at this Jayden spoke up “But you trained in karate, they require spars in their learning regime.”

“Not at the one I went too, the only reason I took karate was because I hated other sports, I mean I hated to get dirty and it took me years to be even comfortable sweating this much. I also joined because my dad wanted me to learn some self-defense in case…you know In case I ever had to defend myself against anyone” She said seemingly.

That made sense, most fathers feared their daughters would be attacked at night and…defiled, I never had the fear of walking at night or outside by myself due to my confidence in my skills but I could understand where she was coming from.

Before anyone could respond a resounding boom radiated from the walls where the entrances were.

<<<Authors note: Yay, a quarter of a way to 100 chapters and a half to 50. Milestone?>>>