Chapter 1: Exordium
I wasn't meant to survive this. I wasn't meant to be the last one alive. I wasn't meant to be the only survivor of this attack. I had friends whose lives were more valuable than mine. My best friends who knew I wasn't meant to have this life. I wasn't meant to be the last one here. The last one to survive this attack. I was meant to take my last breath with them, or without them as they would have been the ones to survive. But now they were dead, in a circle around me. My best friend's head laid on my lap. His light brown eyes looked up at me. A smile was painted on his face. He seemed so peaceful and I wished I was with him but I wasn't. I couldn't handle the pain of having him in my lap. He was dead, there was a dead body in my lap. I lost my best friend and the pain was too much too bear. My heart was in pieces as I looked at my other friends. They were my favorite people on the entire planet.
"Police! Come out with your hands on your head!" The door was locked but I could hear the knob jingling. I didn't want to move. He was still here, still in my lap. I looked up and put my hands on my head. I pulled my eyes off of my dead friend and looked up. My eyes drifted to the only door in the room. A shadow appeared in front of the frosted glass window.
“Come in, please, don’t hurt me! My friends are dead and three of them are on me. I can’t move them. I’ve been in here for days.” I really couldn’t move them at all. I had been here for a few days with no food. My body was too weak to move three grown men off of my small body. The door came down after three large thuds, probably from a policeman banging against it. The door gave way and three policemen, full SWAT gear, came in. My friends were light up by flashlights. My hands were on my head still. The police looked me over and my weak body. I probably looked like I was going to die. I probably would have if the police hadn’t found me.
“What are you doing here?” One man lifted his mask and looked at me. He had dark brown eyes and cropped blonde hair. My heart sped up as I looked up at him.
“That’s a bit classified.” I replied as snakily as I could while in my position. I raised an eyebrow and looked up at him. His smile grew as I looked at him. A smirk grew on my face. He chuckled and bent down to look at me.
“Now baby, I don’t think you want to say that around someone who could move these bodies.” I rolled my eyes and looked at me as I turned to look at the dark haired man next to me.
“Then I guess I’ll just have to move them myself.” I shrugged as a glow began in my stomach. A deep, rich red that began to flow through my veins and towards my hands. A ball slowly began to form within my hands. I smiled and touched the body of the friend’s who herd was in my lap. His eyes glowed red and moved closer to me, pulling himself up. I smiled lightly, touching the two friends next to me. They did the same and looked at the police man. He looked on in terror as I touched my last friend. He also stood and began to work his way towards the policeman as I stood up weakly. A smile appeared onto my face as my ammoniated body began to move.
“W-w-what the hell? What are you?” He asked, shuffling backwards. His friends turned from inspecting the rest of the room. Their eyes widened as they looked at me. I smirked and looked at his partners. My friends moaned, drooling lightly. I smiled and looked at the man’s friends. My friends screeched an ungodly noise and lunged towards the police. In a flash of blood, guts and flesh, the police were gone. I smiled and brought the friends back towards me. They collapsed into a pile of guts and onto the tarp I had brought with me. I wrapped them up and smiled lightly, throwing the wrapped up bodies over my shoulder. I turned and ripped the police badge off of the man’s chest. I also took his friend’s badges and shoved it into my back pocket.
I turned and walked down out of the room. My body was hurt but I knew that I had to get out of here as fast as possible. I turned and looked at the empty room, well empty expect for the fact that there were dead bodies in there. We smiled and looked in front of me. The light from the sun came in from small skylights above my head and a small door, the one I had come through when I was sent on this mission. I smiled and headed towards it. I giggled and looked at the sun as soon as I got outside. The sun hit my face and giggled as I looked up. I smiled and looked at the dessert ahead of me.
We won’t call it a fight when we know it’s a war. I always felt sorry for the people we lost. I’m sorry if you want to call this a fight. I’m sorry that you have such bigoted views that you want to say that this whole situation that you left us in is a fight. That a lot of people were too extreme when all we wanted was equal rights. That’s all we wanted were our rights and that’s all we wanted. We were slaughtering ourselves with our bad decisions. These bad decisions lead to a war. A civil war, to be more honest. A war of which was worse than any of the world had ever seen. The bloodshed came in the tons of gallons and the bodies came in the hundreds of thousands. The bodies were so high in number that no one knew where to put them. So, there were mass graves underneath the cities. These were the biggest cities, of course, as they had the highest populations. There were tons of dead. Tons of dead bodies. All of which decaying right now. There were also loads of lost spirits. All Hallow’s eve was the worst. We were overrun. When all the spirits came to play, we hid. We hid like madmen. Ghosts ran free. We had been trapped.
There were humongous catacombs under the cities. People could go and visit them anytime they wanted. But only on special, designated holidays. The catacombs were closed the rest of the year. They were very eerie and creepy when you moved through them. They were filled with cobwebs and bones, no shit. Bones filled the floors and if you weren’t careful, you’d crush the bones. We weren’t supposed to crush the bones. You would be cursed if you crushed a bone. Then you weren’t allowed back into the catacombs. You would never be able to see your family or ancestors again. I guess that wasn’t okay for most, but okay for others. I never knew someone who was banished from the catacombs. Technically all Wild Ones were banned though, but we all snuck in anyways. Well, everyone but me since I had no family. Not many Wild Ones had families either. Not many of us did and we were able to sneak those who had families. We were happy to help them out to see their families. But it was highly illegal and just one of the many rights we had lost to the Free Ones, or normal people.
Wild Ones were outcasts from society and most people were. Some outcasts even were able to assimilate into the culture. They hid in plain sight. We were just the outcasts from the outcasts. We were the worst of the worst. The most terrible of society, the unfixable. We were mostly anyone who wasn’t white, and even some white kids were here, and who weren’t fitting into the norm. People hunted us all down because some of us had this special blood. They needed us to make some special serum and we were going against that. We needed to run away from them. We were not going to leave our fates in the hands of some weirdo.
The end of the world as we know it did not come quickly. The end came very slowly, in fact. Laws were slowly passed and people were taken away to government facilities. There were no bombs and there were no wars. That war was called The War on F.E.A.R by news outlets. People who rebelled were called Wild Ones. Wild Ones were the outcasts of society. They were the rockers and the metalheads. Wild Ones were what “normal” and “regular” people called emos, goths and scene kids. Of course, some of them are emo, goth and scene. But not all of them were. The people who didn’t rebel were normies. They were the one hundred and eighty degree total opposite of the Wild Ones. Then there was F.E.A.R, the religion and idea that controlled every little movement of everyone. The government religion that was created out of fear, obviously, of the religion of Islam. They wanted to be able to keep different people out of our great United States of America. The president even decided to build a wall separating America from Mexico. That’s when it all started in my mind. Others trace it back to that election. They said too many people were blind to the right choice. There were too many bigots in the world and that election showed it.
The War on F.E.A.R has been raging for years, generations in fact. The war stretched back as far as anyone could remember. Children were left homeless orphans, cold and hungry as they were left in the streets. Parents were left in the dusty streets. All because they didn’t conform to the regulations that the new government had set in place. The rules were so strict that even people complained that we were no better than the robots we had long since destroyed. This happened way before any of us were born. We are children of war. We don’t know any different. We know nothing other than tears and bloodshed. We are one heartbeat, one life. We just did not know it yet. We were ignorant to that fact until half of our population was dead or dying.
Normalcy was not a subject the world was used to. It had never been used to normalcy. It had been constantly changing and growing since Pangea, the supercontinent. They were still pulling out of conflicts caused by a president who will go down in infamy as one of the most hated presidents in the history of America. No one thought to make an attempt on his life. Many people talked a big game but all of them were too cowardly to actually do anything about it. That was until the president was killed by a man named William. He and his Shadows killed the president to take over for themselves.
I sat inside an old cathedral. It was wood and stone, mostly crumbling and beautiful. The stained glass windows were broken for the most part but the desert sun spilled through the unbroken glass splattering colors on the golden dirt ground. I moved like I was on broken glass. My back never to the door for long. I was scared of being tracked down by my old boyfriend and his Shadows. I had betrayed him and the cause we had worked for. That and the cathedral was off limits for F.E.A.R was always watching. They were especially watching me, for I had been one of them once way back when I strayed from the light of the Wild Ones and had believed in the power of F.E.A.R.
The cathedral was on the outside of a run down Los Angeles. I learned from war lessons that Los Angeles was a bustling city and was a major hub for F.E.A.R supporters. Los Angeles was one of the first major cities to be taken over. Los Angeles, then Seattle, Washington D.C and Cleveland were in the first wave. Slowly other cities feel to the power of F.E.A.R. When they, F.E.A.R, were found out to be a pretty bad group in their own right, a group of rebels formed. Their name was unestablished until F.E.A.R deemed the rebels “The Wild Ones” after their wild and unpredictable nature. I was apart of them as soon as I learned of their plans to kill off anyone with special powers.
Let me pause for a second and talk to about F.E.A.R for those of you who somehow stumbled upon this story by accident and I hope you stay until the end. I hope I make it to the end, to be honest. I guess the both of us will see who makes it farther, me or you. Last one to the last sentence is a goner. They’re the one who avoided and probably read the most spoilers. They’ve probably even see some awesome fanart. I really hope that there’s fanart of me. I don’t want to become one of those stories. I want to have a cult following and everything. I don’t want to be forgotten.
I normally came to this cathedral to pray and meditate. Though, I never really took in the beauty of the run down place I came to on a weekly basis. I had been coming here once a week for most of my life. This was the only place where I truly felt comfortable with myself. I wasn’t overly conscious about my weight or appearance when I came here.
It’s not unlike the US government to make everyone’s life a little bit worse. Some of us were rightfully pissed. Others turned to the church set up by the government. Those who turned to the church ended up seriously messed up. The whole church was just a set up. They brainwashed people and spit them out into the world. Those who were brainwashed had a mission. A mission to brainwash and control other people. The church controlled the whole government. People were just too blind to see what was really going on in the world.
The human race was clearly fucked up. The president of the United States of America was going batshit. He mocked disabled people. He was clearly a misogynistic asshole. He was homophobic and transphobic. He lead the entire country to hate instead of love when just a few years early gay marriage was legalized. The president was just so aggravating and terrible. The whole world was fucking crushed. The US president brought our world to its knees.
I had been taught by one of the Wild Ones. A man who went by the name of Mystic. I called him Jinxx and he had allowed me to harness my elemental powers safely, even if he only knew how to control fire. Fire was the easiest one to learn as Mystic was a good teacher. Luckily, I had learned one of the more dangerous of my powers first. Then the Prophet, a pretty douchey guy by the name of Andy, taught me how to control my seeing powers. Now I was on a whole new watchlist for F.E.A.R. I was never put on any kind of wanted list or anything, but I knew that I was being watched.
Being this far away from base with my warpaint on was dangerous. My warpaint wasn't subtle to say the least. It consisted of red and gold feathers that extended from the middle of my forehead all the way and into my hairline. A mask covered everything from my forehead and down to my top lip. It was an old bird masquerade mask that we had picked up on one of our raids. One of the people on the raids had said that the mask suited my fiery personality and said I should take it for my own. So, I did and it became apart of my persona ever since.
My life as a Wild One definitely wasn’t very conventional. I’ll admit to that fact almost immediately. I started off basically on the other team in my first few years of life. Then I was taken to the other side of the war. Eventually, by my own will and someone else’s, I was pulled back to the other side. From there, I bounced back to the other side and that’s where I am right now. From there on, I was being watched for any time that I was alone. I was sure that I would be pulled back to the “evil” and “terrible” side sooner than later.
I’m not essentially evil or immoral. My “magic” isn’t evil or immoral. It’s just shades of grey instead of black and white. I have done evil or immoral actions in my life. Every human has done those types of actions in their lives. Does allowing a singular evil or immoral act to consume your life evil or immoral? Welp, that depends on the human being asked. I do believe that does make a person evil or immoral. If you let those feelings of guilt consume you, you become evil and immoral.
I sat down in a dusty and old oak pew who’s hinges groaned in disgust as I sat down. I looked at the man people called Jesus in the old times. I dropped my bag of people on the floor. I looked over at the room and sighed lightly. I smiled and looked at the stained glass windows. What if there was a huge city here once? One with more churches like this. One with more freedoms and more rights given out. A world where America was actually a good country. I wouldn’t know if it would have been the best for me, living in the past, but I knew it was good for some people. I just felt bad that I had to fight for these rights. I sighed and looked down and picked up a bible from the back of the pew in front of me.
“‘The kingdom of God is inside you, and all around you. Not in a mansion of wood and stone. Split a piece of wood and God is there. Lift a stone and you will find God.’ It honestly sounds like a bunch of bullshit. Hmmm, I wonder if anyone actually believed in this stuff. Like really believed in it. So much so that they went to this place to worship their gods. I guess not considering that the world almost at its end. Maybe they did and they watched the world end as they prayed for the world not to end.” I got up and brushed off the dirt my ruined leather jeans and walk away, leaving the book.
I hurried back and pick up the book, taking it with me. I had changed my mind, it might turn to be useful later. I don’t know how it would be useful to any of the Wild Ones, but it just might save our lives one day. It wasn’t like we needed to be saved from anyone other than F.E.A.R. But, F.E.A.R was just a concept made to confine the United States citizens and other select groups in the world. This book might allow for the Wild Ones to gain some knowledge for F.E.A.R.
F.E.A.R was a construct created by the angry cheeto known to some as the forty fifth president. His name has been wiped clean of anyone who was there to see his term as president. We choose not to remember what he did because it was just that abominable. He was not our president, he was a way to get F.E.A.R into power. He let them take over and he let them start a war on us. He saw when we were at our most vulnerable. Then he launched his carefully thought out plan to exterminate us. He may have seemed very dumb at the time. He went on twitter rants and made obscene comments. Yet, he was much more cunning than the rest of us gave him credit for. He was the most cunning man to grace this earth, other than Hitler.
You must give both men credit where credit was due. They were cunning man who knew how to manipulate people. If you could manipulate people, you could have anything you wanted. From a strategic standpoint, both men were utter geniuses. This doesn’t excuse their behavior at all. Yet, many people only look at what horrible actions they took. If only they looked at their actions like actual war. The games that they played with actual human beings. Instead, they thought of them were pawns. All humans were in their minds were pawns. They were just a bunch of chess pieces to them. As a matter of fact, humans are still pawns. They are the pawns of their religion, their beliefs, their values and their moral codes. They will never truly be free minded humans.
Feebleness is not a weakness as some might lead others to believe. Every person has a weakness that they won’t show to others. Some mess up and their weakness gets them in trouble with the laws set up by society. Pedophiles and caregivers to non-age regressing littles are weak for little children and have an innate desire for sex with young children or those who act like little children. Rapists are weak for non consensual sex with other people. Serial killers have a weakness for their untreated mental illness which bring them to kill or just kill even though their mental health is in wonderful condition. Others have more physical constraints to them. Some people suffer from arthritis in certain joints. Others suffer from less serious mental illnesses.
Either way, we will be tested, not only on our physical capabilities, but our mental ones as well. In high school, people always talk about grade point averages and test scores. The higher a person ranks, the more likely that person will have a better life. More opportunities are set before these people. They are allowed to live the high life if they so choose to take it. The lower scoring people are looked down upon. They are given the jobs no one else wants. But that does not mean that people can rise and fall in ranks. Scandals and miracles happen all of the time. This all depends on the person’s willingness to move forward in life and the laziness of the people who are accustomed to the luxurious lifestyle.
I trudged back to the flattened city, my legs paining me with every step. My legs were so sore and they had been for nearly three weeks. I had taken the hike back to the compound like this almost every day. Sometimes I would have someone accompany me with a set of wheels. Then we would make our way back in record time. I had had enough energy to essentially fly myself here, but my powers in the element of air were pretty weak. They drained me if I used them for long. Too long essentially means like five seconds and that is quite depressing. I needed more training with my wings but Jinxx was never free. He always had some other trainee in the room with him. So now I had to walk ten miles back to the town square with a constant fear of being captured. It’s not like I would get captured on my way back home, it was just another fear of mine. Fear is what had always controlled me.
I turned and looked over my shoulder as I looked at him. I just had to make sure that I was alone. It wasn’t like I was paranoid or anything. But I just needed to. I kept walking and sighed lightly. I wouldn’t be home for at least another hour. I didn’t need to be here anymore. I wasn’t meant to meant to be here and I knew it. I didn’t need to be here. I smiled and looked down lightly. I sat down on the hot sand and looked up. It reminded me of the day Andy picked me up. One day I was reminded of very often. Especially here in the desert so near to when I was found.
The hot afternoon sun beat down upon his back. Andy moved closer and closer to the funeral pyre. Ashley stood behind him, his chocolate brown eyes wide in fear and wonder. The pyre still smoked and it seemed like it had gone up in flames only a few hours before. Andy slowly moved closer to the skeleton of a Shadow. Its cloak and clothing had burned easily as cloth was always the first to go when lit on fire. The air stank of burning flesh. Andy pulled a bandana over his face and moved even closer. The skeleton moved slightly and Andy pulled back, holding out an arm to stop Jinxx from moving any closer to the skeleton. All of the kids were between ten and seventeen.
“I have to investigate Andy. You know how important this discovery is to my research.” Jinxx held up his ripped up black leather journal and a stubby pencil. Andy shook his head and Jake pushed forward. Ashley stopped him and CC sat on the ground, pulling out a bag of M&Ms and munching on them.
Andy looked back at CC with a fire in his eyes. CC rolled his eyes and stowed the M&Ms away. He slowly stood up and glanced over at Jinxx who gave CC a nod and a knowing glance. CC took this as permission to keep eating his candy, so he opened his bag back up and began munching on the candy once again. CC sat down again and a plume of soft dirt flowed up behind him.
“I don’t give a crap about your freaking research Jinxx.” Jinxx gasped, astonished by Andy’s language. CC smiled and leaned back, taking in the sun on his, at the time, pale face. Jake moved up and behind Jinxx. Andy nodded and let Jinxx move forward.
Andy watched on as Jinxx leaned over the Shadow. He checked over the skeletal figure and poked at it with his pencil. Flesh clung to the figure like wet clothes to a person after a long storm. The fire must have been put out before the skin had been completely burned off. Most of the skin was charred and it was next to impossible to see what age, race and gender the Shadow was originally. Jinxx was launched back in fear when a ten year old rose out of a pile of ashes underneath the Shadow’s stomach.
“Who am I? Where am I?” A young girl said. She had raven black hair, one baby blue eye and another flame orange eye. She was tall and lanky. She was crying, the tears on her face sparkling in the desert sun like diamonds.
CC stood up and slowly walked towards the girl. Jake pulled a First Aid kit out of Jinxx’s sack, which Jinxx had dropped when he went to go investigate the Shadow. Andy watched on as the rest of his team went into action, pulling the girl into a standing position. They looked over her, checking for any injuries. Andy moved closer and closer, eventually he was standing near her. The girl smiled at him as Ashley pulled her hair back.
“She’s got a tag!” Ashley said, urgently. Everyone crowded around her neck. There were a few numbers tagged onto her neck, almost burned like a brand. Those letters and numbers called her to a place, location, owner and date. The date was too hard for anyone to read as it had been burned off.
“HOT dash CLE dash SHA dash FIV. The rest is burned off. We don’t know a date.” Tags were always written in three letter code. HOT meant hotel, CLE meant Cleveland, SHA meant Shadow and FIV meant five or the fifth month of the year, May. Dates were everything in this kind of branding. That was when a slave or Shadow was born. That determined when they could be sold off to other pods. Pods were basically small forms of people put under the watch of a voice of F.E.A.R. Shadows and slaves were then sold off to other pods and constantly shifted around.
I kept moving and sighed to myself. Nothing else would work and I would be missed. If I dropped and never came back, someone would know. My body dropped and I sat on the hot sand. Someone would come for me. I was the most valuable asset to the Wild Ones. I was their last hope for any kind of salvation. Andy said I was some sort of angel fallen from heaven. That I had fallen when I was a baby because whoever was up there dropped me. That I was meant to save them. I didn’t know how true that was. Rumors swirled that he needed me to be an angel because he was losing support. That he needed me to make his support from other people grow stronger.
I didn’t want to believe the rumors either. I didn’t want to think about him being a liar. Or at least, him deceiving me all of these years. I wanted to believe the memories he gave me. I wanted to believe in him, a prophet. I really did and he never seemed to want to be able to give into what actually happened. I sighed as I stood up and kept walking towards the city. Someone was bound to notice my absence. I had been gone half the day. Andy was sure to notice my absence.
I turned and began working on my way back. The sand hit my eyes, making me tear up, and I pulled some goggles over my eyes. I smiled and looked down. I was heading home. I was heading back to the only home I ever knew. I only knew this home. I smiled and looked over at the city. It was gorgeous from way out here. I smiled and looking at him. I looked down a bit. I smiled and looked at him, the city. He smiled at me. I was amazing and I knew that much. I was this city’s savior. The only one who could save anyone.
I walked and walked. I was miles away from the city. My absence would sure to be noticed. I was going to be noticed as soon as I got home. My feet pounded on the hard ground as I looked around, nothing to be see for miles. The sand hit my face as the wind picked up. A sandstorm was on its way. I needed to get home soon. I was going to be caught in the storm. I turned and looked at the city. It was getting closer to me. The city looked at me as I sighed I did the same. I was going home.
The wind kicked up as I pulled my goggles closer to my eyes. Sand was already pushing into my eyes. I sighed and looked down lightly. Tears filled my eyes as I tried to get the sand that had entered my eyes out of them. My pace picked up as I began to jog back to the compound. I was still a few miles around and I would take awhile to get home. I sighed and kept jogging. I jogged all the way home, hoping that no one would miss me. I walked past the receptionist and smiled, knowing she wouldn’t complain about the dead body smell or look. I put the bodies back into their animated state and they began to move around freely. I never kept my friends dead for long. They were my favorite people and they willingly died for me every once in awhile when I had to do a mission. Luckily they were cool about maybe being dead for a few hours to a few weeks.
“What’s up with us staying dead for like a few days? That rigor mortis shit really fucking hurts.” Chris came out of his room and smiled lightly as he stretched.
“It’s not my fault that the police took three days to come find me. It’s not like my phone was fully charged that entire time. Not like we set up near an outlet or anything.” I smiled and giggled as I looked at Chris. Vinny walked out of his room and smiled at me, sitting across from me at the table. We had gutted the whole top floor of the apartment, much to our amazement as we thought that the landlord would shut down, and now I lived here with ten other men.
“Chris, you should go shower. You smell like death.” Vinny pinched his nose and giggled lightly. I smiled and looked at him, nodding lightly.
“Of course, but you need to shower after me.” Chris smiled and looked at Vinny as he nodded. I turned and looked at the maps spread out across the table. I smiled and played another pin in the map, right where the school was.
“How was the mission, did you kill Justin?” Andy leaned on the door frame of one of the old apartment buildings. I smiled and looked at him, nodding lightly. I produced the badges from my back pocket. I smiled as Andy took the badges. His hands moved lightly as I giggled lightly, proud of my accomplishment. He nodded and looked at me, heading back into his room.
"Hey, good job on the mission." Ashley looked at me and smiled lightly, patting my shoulder lightly. I smiled and blushed lightly. Getting praise from Ashley was possibly the best part of doing any mission. I thought he was super cute and I had developed a small crush on him. He smiled and looked down at me.
"Thanks." I smiled and looked at him, he smiled and looked at me. I broke eye contact and looked over the maps. What would be the next mission? Who would I take down next?
"I think you need to take a break from doing missions." He looked at me and smiled lightly, touching the small of my back, electricity shot up my spine. A blush creeped up to my cheeks.
"No, no I don't. I want to take up another mission. A lone mission." I turned and looked at him, bouncing on the balls of my feet lightly. He shook his head and crossed his arms. Ashley tapped his foot and bit his lip as he looked over the map. He clicked his tongue a few times, eyes scanning the California map.
"I know taking down F.E.A.R means a lot to you but, I don't think that you need to go on any more missions. I mean, look at you, you need to at least eat." He looked me over and sighed. I rolled my eyes and sighed lightly. He was right and I couldn't deny it. I definitely hadn't eaten in a few days.
"I'll at least eat, do we have any food in the house or do I have to make a grocery run?" I raised an eyebrow and looked at him.
"You need to make a grocery run." Ashley raised an eyebrow, smiling lightly as I nodded lightly and smirked a bit. I ran into my bedroom and grabbed a black down jacket.
A grocery run basically meant that I was going to go to a Target or somewhere else that sold food and necessities. Someone else would accompany me and I would take as much as possible. Normally Ashley would accompany me. We would stuff my coat and pockets with food. Most time we would go during the morning, when there were less people there. We would only take what wouldn't get us dinged at the security scanners. But we had found other ways out, like the emergency exits. A few employees would help us a bit but those were the people who hated working at the stores. Ashley and I had a lot of fun doing these "raids".
"Ready to go?" I asked, coming out of my room and smiled. Ashley nodded as he finished tying his hair back into a bun. CC came out of his room and smiled, looking us over.
"Going on a raid?" He asked as turned towards the fridge, opening it up. I heard his stomach growl as I looked at him. I smiled and looked at him. He shrugged and looked at me.
"Yeah, might have want to let me answer that before you opened up the fridge." I laughed and looked at him lightly. CC walked over to me and looked at me.
"Can I come with you then? Pick up a bit of food for myself?" CC asked as I prepared to go out on the raid. I smiled and looked at him, finishing up my job.
"Of course you can come with us, the more fingers the better." I smiled and looked at him. He smiled and nodded, throwing on some sandals and heading out with us.
Chapter 2: I am Bulletproof
Don't forget to comment because comments are what keep me going and make me want to continue writing. I do not get paid to write this and I could be using this time to study for my AP Government and Politics exam and all of my college courses (I'm a dual enrollment child). Comments are your way of giving me my "paycheck" and feedback on my writing. So please help me put by commenting.
(See the end of the chapter for more notes.)
The warm California air hit my face as we drove into the city. My hair blew in the wind, hitting me in the face. CC and Ashley’s hair blew back and hit my noise as well. I smiled and looked at CC, who seemed to be having a grand time. Ashley seemed to be having a good time too. I smiled and danced in the backseat. Ashley looked in the rearview mirror and at me. I watched them sing along to the music and just be so carefree. These are the moments I held close to me. We didn’t get these moments very often. When we did, we clutched to them harder than normal people. We were just too damaged to not hold onto the good movements.
CC had gone through an eating disorder and years of depression. He had been in and out of hospitals most of his life. Up until recently, he had spent a few years in an inpatient eating disorder ward, one controlled by F.E.A.R. He knew what kind of mind games F.E.A.R used on people. He knew what kind of tactics they used to make people submissive. CC was useful to all of us as Wild Ones. He knew what went down with the community that oppressed us. He had the best experience with them. Ashley also had experience with F.E.A.R but less of a first hand experience.
Ashley’s parents worked for F.E.A.R and so did his grandparents. luckily, his grandparents had escaped and joined the first generation of Wild Ones. He was the only one who knew what went down with F.E.A.R and he allowed some more insight into F.E.A.R. He said that they were pretty terrible and were responsible for his parent’s car crash. We had very little evidence of that right now. We were sure we would get more evidence once Angie came back from her mission. She was supposed to be extracting more information about Ashley’s parents. Apparently there were some files on their deaths at F.E.A.R head quarters. I guess it was super important for Ashley to see them. He says that his parents death wasn’t an accident. That is was apart of a plan, a conspiracy.
I was the only one who was very close to F.E.A.R but that was only by birth. But, I wasn’t useful for any sort of information. Andy said that the Wild Ones were the first people to find me and I believed him. I had no reason not to. I had no other memories proving him wrong. I never knew who my parents were and I hoped they weren’t that big in F.E.A.R but assuming I came out of a Shadow, they probably were. Either that or they were druggies, homeless or just couldn’t take care of me. I assumed that they were good people. I assumed they were able to give me a good life, whoever they are. Maybe I sound a bit too much like Annie but it’s the truth. I wanted them to be good people so badly. It only made sense, I was a good person so they had to be.
Ashley finally pulled into the parking lot, parking the car as far away from the Target. He pulled off his clothes and motioned for us to get out of the car. I got out and held CC’s hand as we watched Ash clean out the car. Ash was always through with the cars we stole. He cleaned it down and stripped the VIN number. He looked at me and smiled lightly. Ash motioned for us to put our hoods up, we did, and we walked towards the entrance.
“We’ll have to scope for a new car but that’ll be pretty easy. Don’t think many people are going to pay attention to us, at least I hope no one pays any attention to us.”
People normally left their keys in their cars. It was Los Angeles but it wasn’t what it once used to be. It was said that Los Angeles was full of people who wanted to make it big in the industry. More and more people soon came their to start their careers. Skin thin models ran alongside purvey men looking for another child actor to feed off of. The downtown area had more of a suburban feel to it. All of the rockstars, actresses and models had either joined the Wild Ones or became mind controlled zombies of F.E.A.R. Work in LA had dried up and the whole city was revamped. It was still the health conscious city it always was, just with a more normal batch of people. It was safe and clean, perfect almost. F.E.A.R had done a good job at cleaning up cities, pulling out anyone who didn’t belong.
The store was brightly lit with fluorescent lighting. The hum of them drowned out what little conversation was going on. CC went off in search of some candy while Ash and I went to the food aisles in search of actual food. We filled my pockets with frozen meals and whatever bread I could shove into my pockets. CC came back moments later with his pockets stuffed to the brim with candy. Ash shook his head and continued to stuff more reasonable food into my pockets.
“He’s getting a little more handsy, don’t you think?” CC whispered in my ear, shooting a look at Ashely who was more concerned with actually getting food than focusing on our conversation.
“Don’t think a guy like him could ever swing that way. Even if he did, I’m sure he’d try to knock Juliet out before he made a move on Andy.” I shot a look at Ashley as he pulled out some frozen pizzas. We could easily pull three hundred dollars worth of food out of here, but we would need a lot more than that to feed eleven people.
“Nah, Andy isn’t an Ashley type as much as he likes to think that. We all know Andy would swing more for a Jinxx type anyhow. I wouldn’t be surprised if they were fucking right now.” CC kept an eye on Ashley and any cameras that were in place.
“Okay, and? What does Andy’s type have to do with Ashley being all handsy?” I shot another look at Ashley and pulled out some frozen mashed potatoes.
“Well, it seems like he’s putting out feelers. He’s trying to get you to make the first move, verbally at least. I bet you he actually likes you.” A heat creeped to my cheeks as I looked over at Ashley once more.
“There’s no way in hell he actually likes me. If he did, it would be a risk to even ask me out. It would be an even bigger risk for me to ask him out. You both know where we stand. If we got together, all hell would break lose.”
“Fuck Andy and his stupid rules. He shouldn’t be able to do that to you. He shouldn’t control you. Just because you’re an important asset doesn’t mean you can’t be a bit more relaxed sometimes,” CC looked up at the camera as it whirred a bit, zooming in on his face. Panic set in one his face as he looked down at us. My stomach dropped. I knew what he was going to say almost immediately. “We have to go, like right now. They got me.”
We were fugitives of the law. Wild Ones were of course put on an immediate watch list because we were actively committing treason against our president. But there were a few other reasons they wanted us. Andy was an escaped CIA agent and Ashley’s parents were agents of F.E.A.R. CC was an escaped convict, wanted for some weird reason. We don’t even know what his original crime was. Jake was wanted for the most crimes. Jake was wanted for animal abuse and neglect, he used human insulin on a dog. He tried justifying it but to no avail. He was wanted for scamming people. He had a clothing line that he overpriced. Jake was also wanted for harassment. He bullied a little girl, told someone to kill themselves, constantly called people names and bullied his ex-girlfriend/fiancé with his own wife for no reason. Jake was still bullying his peers, which sucked because he would never listen to us. He created massive hype for a song that no one really enjoyed which incited a riot, so he was wanted for that. Jinxx was wanted for hacking and arson. He was also wanted for doxxing people, but that was for the FBI to handle and not the local police.
Ashley perked to attention upon hearing CC’s words and grabbed my hand. He dragged me, a few frozen dinners falling out of my coat. I grabbed CC’s hand and dragged him along with me. I dashed along with Ash and CC, trying to keep up with their long legs. My shortness was good for everything except for running. I tried to keep up but I had to stop every so often for my legs to catch a break. Ash and CC got a car wired up while I took a break. We were about a block away from the Target now. I could hear police sirens wailing in the distance. They pulled the car up alongside me and I jumped onto the roof of the car. I smiled and tapped the front of the car for good luck. Ashley shook his head as I turned to look at him. CC smiled widely and I could only assume he was giggling at my antics. There was no way I would have time to get into the car with the police on our tail.
As soon as Ashley started the car, the police rounded the corner. I smiled and hopped onto the top of the car. The police were on our tail now. I knew it wasn’t a good idea, standing on top of a car we had just stolen, but the police had never chased us before and I was on a high. The police didn’t say anything as we weaved in-between cars. I smiled and just let myself enjoy the ride. I giggled and looked at down at my boys. CC was screaming something about feeling free and Ashley was focused on the road. We pulled onto the freeway and I prayed to god that we would lose them.
“Get off of the car, miss.” The crackling sound of the megaphone covered up some of the message but I could get the gist of it. I growled lightly and rolled my eyes. Was my face really that feminine? I looked down at Ashley and his eyes popped up to look at me.
“If they say ‘miss’ one more time then you can go off on them, okay? If you go now, it’ll look a bit suspect. But the second time will look a bit less suspect. Plus, we have to wait until they start shooting. We need to get them off out tail, okay?” Ashley yelled up at me. I nodded, a pain growing in my hands as claws formed from my hands. The loud screech of nail on metal pierced the air. A burning pain came from my shoulder blades and I smiled. As much as I hated having wings, they came in handy sometimes. I latched on as Ashley began to erratically through the cars.
“Miss, please get off the car.” The cop in the passenger side of the car pulled out a gun and started shooting, trying to pop a tire. I smiled, my cue to go absolutely batshit on them. I leapt off the car and flew into the air.
My claws latched into the glass of the windshield. The cop in the passenger seat looked at me, terrified. The other cop seemed to think nothing was wrong. Good, I truly was only visible in this form to people who believed in demons. I guess the man was an atheist as most other people would believe in some sort of demon. A small smile appeared on my face. I turned and looked at Ashley, who was about half a mile away from us. I ripped off the windshield off and threw it onto the pavement beside me.
I reached in and grabbed his throat, crushing it in one fatal squeeze. He didn’t even struggle with me. I reached over and killed the other cop the same way. He didn’t struggle much either, which was good. The car spun out of control and I reached in, grabbing the wheel. The other hand reached and flung the driver out of the window. I tossed the passenger out of the now open hole that once was the windshield. I gained control of the car, turned off the sirens and pulled up next to Ash and CC.
Ash gave me a thumbs up and I gave him one back. I smiled and pulled off the highway, exit 120, and onto the desert. Ash followed close behind me. We pulled up towards our abandoned apartment building. Well not really abandoned, just forgotten about. It was way out of anyone’s reach and no one wanted to trek half an hour into the city almost every day or time they wanted food. Not many people wanted this kind of seclusion but the Wild Ones enjoyed the privacy. We didn’t want anyone butting into our business.
“Think anyone followed us?” I asked, looking at Ash as I jumped out of the car. Ash smiled and shook his head.
“Probably not, unless they put in an APB for all of us. I’m sure F.E.A.R soldiers are on their way though. We are all wanted and they scanned CC’s face. He can’t go out for a while, they’ll be searching for him.” Ashley looked over CC and scanned him for any injuries. He did the same to me and I did the same to him. We all looked relatively okay, but Juliet would have to check us out, she was the healer of the group. I nodded and looked down, heading inside. We passed a few normal people, those who wanted to just get away from the city. I smiled and headed up to our apartment.
“What the hell was that, Max?” Andy stormed up to me, arms crossed in front of my chest. I rolled my eyes and looked at him. “It wasn’t all my fault. I wasn’t the one who was caught on camera.” I turned and pointed at CC. Ash rolled his eyes and looked at me.
“Why do we have to throw CC under the bus?” Ash looked over at CC, he looked at me. Andy looked at me and smiled.
“It’s the truth, he was the one who was caught on camera. He was the only one who kept looking directly at it.” I looked at Andy and sighed.
“You were on TV. People saw you, Max.” Andy glared at me and sighed lightly. I just walked away. I wasn’t ready to deal with an angry Andy just yet.
I waited in my bedroom. I didn’t know what I was waiting for, I never did. Yet, I was still waiting for something. The bedroom was just an old room with crumbling walls and possibly mold. I had tried to fix it up, with duct tape no less, but to no avail. It wasn’t supposed to be much though. We moved around a lot. F.E.A.R kept a lot of tabs on us. My bed wasn’t that much either. It was a little fold up twin bed. It had some hand me down sheets as well. There were holes and such from moths and wear. I sighed and flopped onto the thin mattress. It wasn’t much, but it was mine. A place away from everyone. All the yelling and all the other people. I was a bit of an introvert anyhow. I hated being around a lot of people and being around nine men and one genderfluid person, made me feel so drained. Sometimes I hated being around other people.
“Max, what the hell is wrong with you? You probably got us tracked.” Andy stood in the doorway and looked at me.
“It wasn’t my fucking fault, okay?” I turned over in my bed, facing away from him. I curled into the ratty teddy bear my adoptive dad had given me.
“Was it really all CC’s fault? If you weren’t so hungry, you wouldn’t have gone on a raid. CC wouldn’t have gone with you and gotten caught, now would he?” He looked at me and all over my body.
“Where’s Juliet? I think I’ve got some injuries or at least some minor ones.” I looked over at Andy and watched his face twist in disgust.
“She should be in the basement doing god knows what.” Andy nodded in her general direction. I got up and moved lightly. I walked all the way downstairs and into Juliet’s lair.
She wasn’t just a natural healer, she was a witch as well. But she never really did much with it. She normally kept to herself. Juliet kept to herself besides trying to fuck Andy. We let her be most of the time. Juliet never seemed to mind much either. She was just doing her thing and we let her be, she was okay. I looked down and frowned a bit as I opened the old wooden door. It creaked a bit as I opened it. Juliet was looking over some of her own books. Her face looked at me as I peaked in.
“What do you want from me?” Her eyes scanned my body as I stepped further into the room. I smiled lightly, our relationship wasn’t all that good. Apparently I had stolen her man or something like that.
“I just want you to check me for some injuries, see if you can do anything about the ones I have. I mean, that is if I have any.” I looked at her as I walked over to her workbench. I sat on the only open space and peeled off my shirt. The sooner I got out of here, the better. She looked at my chest.
“I saw the chase, doesn’t seem like you would have any injuries, but I guess I’ll check you over.” She began looking me over for any wounds. It appeared as though I had none.
“Yeah, Ashley was worried that we might have any injuries. Ones we couldn’t see, but I doubt it.” I looked her over and sighed, she was worryingly skinny. She probably hadn’t eaten in a few days.
“Yeah, you were right. There are no injuries I can see. You’re pretty much okay.” She shooed me off and I got up, grabbing my shirt off the table and walked outside.
It was such a good day outside, is I decided to head out and sit out for a bit. I grabbed a lawn chair and sat on it. Today was going to be super nice. It was already turning out to be a good day. I had gotten into a police chase and I had sustained no injuries. I was on cloud nine. I smiled and just let myself get a bit of a tan. I giggled and looked at Ashley, who was working on burning the cars. He was shirtless and only wearing a pair of boxers. I smiled and looked him over. He was a good looking guy, I wasn’t going to lie.
Ashley looked the police car over, dropping the gasoline by his side. He made a line from the car to a spot a few yards back. I smiled and looked him over. He looked over his shoulder and looked at me. Ash winked and smiled lightly. I smiled and looked at him. I blushed lightly and looked down. I sat in the sun and smiled lightly. I felt the sun warm my already tan skin. Ashley started the fire and the car burst into a ball of flames. I smiled and the few people who were outside cheered. I smiled and he walked towards me. I giggled and smiled lightly as he sat down next to me.
“Like the fire?” He looked at me and smiled lightly. I blushed and smiled as his hand brushed against mine.
“I do, but are you sure that no one will find us here?” I looked at Ashley as he watched the fire. He looked at me, smirking lightly.
“I don’t know. I don’t really care either. We need a change of place anyhow. Though, I’m not sure where we would go either.” I smiled and looked at him, shaking my head lightly. I knew that he knew that Andy would kill him if the police found us. Andy always said that Ashley would bring the cops to us. I always said that Andy’s dumbass would bring the cops to us.
“Great, we don’t have a place to go if your dumbass brings the cops here.” Ashley laughed and looked at me.
“I mean, I’ve scoped out a few places. They’re all nuclear fallout shelters. But I’m not sure it would hold us all.” We had like two hundred people in our little set of Wild Ones. Oddly enough, we were the smallest group. All the others had roughly five hundred to a thousand people.
“I’m sure a few of them could just hold us for a bit while we find another place.” I looked at Ashley and smiled lightly.
“Yeah, but with all of our equipment, I don’t think we could all fit.” Ashley’s hand brushed up against mine again.
“We’ll figure it out as soon as we get raided, yeah?” I looked at him and smiled lightly. We laid back and stayed there for a bit. I smiled and looked at him.
The sound of police sirens was nothing new. It was rare, but it happened often enough that it didn’t alert anyone. That was until the police sirens got closer. I stood up and looked over at the highway, which wasn’t too far away from where we were stationed. They began pulling off the highway, one by one, and slowed their speed. I knew there were no other complexes around us. All of them were destroyed except for this one. I looked at Ashley and he nodded, running inside. I headed inside as well, shoving past a few people. We all began panicking, freaking out. People ran past each other and were all groveling to get to their rooms to pack. I ran up to my room and began packing.
“I heard the sirens, are they coming here?” Vinny asked, stopping in the doorway as people rushed past my room. I nodded hurriedly as I threw my bag over my shoulder. My teddy bear hung at my side as I turned a bit. He nodded and headed to his room. I ran down to the only room that actually looked like an actual apartment. I knocked at the door and sighed. The door swung open and I was face to face with my dad.
“The police-“ My dad held up a hand to shush me and just nodded lightly. His eyes were filled with sadness as he walked to an old recliner. He waved me in and I sat down next to him. People were screaming and trying to get out as fast as possible before F.E.A.R began shooting up the place. I knew I didn’t have a lot of time with my own father. We wouldn’t have much time with each other. The police must have already been here by now, knocking the down the door. The receptionist would keep a few of them back for awhile.
“I don’t think I can go on anymore. My body is getting too old. I can’t move around anymore. My body just won’t do it, it can’t do it anymore. I don’t think I can make this trip.” I looked down and nodded. Even if Juliet could heal him, I knew what was coming. His eyes were old and losing their color. His skin was sagging and his joints creaked with every movement. He would be too much of a liability if I took him with me. We had this agreement since I was a small child. If he ever got too old to be with the Wild Ones anymore, he would go down one final time. He would use the last of his powers to protect us.
“I understand dad, but…I want you to know that I love you. You’ve been the best dad I have ever had. I can not thank you enough for all that you have done for me. You have given me the best childhood I could ever ask for. I know how much you have tried to give me a normal life. I appreciate you and all that you have done for me so much.” It wasn’t easy saying goodbye to him. He was all that I had known in life. The only male figure that wasn’t somehow corrupt. I loved him as much as a son could.
“Thank you Maxwell. I love you so much too. I knew this time was coming and I think you knew it was coming too. But, in my final hour, I want to give you something.” I heard the screams of a few people as shots ran out. My heart beat faster as I looked around. My dad looked at me and nodded lightly as he smiled. He pulled all of his rings off of his fingers and put them into a small baggie. I smiled and looked down lightly. His rings were always something I coveted. Each one had the birthstones for each month and another one had my birthstones with the other two being my brothers birthstones. I never knew my brothers and looked at him. I smiled and looked at them as he reached over to give the bag to me.
“Find your brothers, I haven’t been able to find them in my whole lifetime. I want you to do what I couldn’t do. Their mothers have a ring just like the one I gave to you. Three birthstones in one ring. They should be giving their sons the ring today. Please, wear the ring as a sign to your siblings that you are someone they can trust. Find them, as my final wish, find them. I want you to find your brothers and get them away from F.E.A.R and their teachings. They’ll be in a city and under F.E.A.R’s brainwashing.” I nodded and heard more shots ring out. I smiled and looked at him. It was a bittersweet feeling, knowing that he was giving these rings to me as a final wish. I looked at him and looked down lightly at the bag of rings. My dad shooed me out and nodded.
“They’re under F.E.A.R’s control?” I asked and he held up a hand to shush me up. I looked down and sighed lightly.
“We don’t have much time left. F.E.A.R’s agents will be here soon.” I looked down and sighed lightly.
“C-can I at least get one final goodnight?” I asked, pulling out my phone to start recording a video of him. He nodded and began singing our favorite lullaby, an old African one that his mother had sung to him. He smiled and looked at me, saying I love you one last time. I stopped recording and smiled lightly.
“Now go, I’ll fight them off. Go be safe, my little lovebug.” I nodded and got up, taking one final look at him. I gave him a kiss on the forehead and sighed. This would be the last time I would ever see them. I grabbed my teddy bear and left, running downstairs and into the line of fire.
I knew Andy, Jinxx, Jake, CC and Ashley would be out in the desert already. I knew that they needed to be protected even more than what we would like to do. They were the most important. Tens of people were already dead. I looked down and sighed, looking over the bodies. Loads of them were still alive. Their bodies were twitching and moving lightly. I looked down and left a few of them behind. I couldn’t save them all. They were all friends of mine too, so leaving them was super hard. I looked down and sighed lightly. I moved towards the back of the apartment building.
Hundreds, and I mean hundreds, of F.E.A.R agents were shooting at the remaining Wild Ones. If someone was wounded, they would arrest them and throw them into the back of the SWAT van they had brought. I looked down and stood behind them. If I got noticed, I would be hurt as well and I was ‘the chosen one’. Andy would kill me if I got caught by F.E.A.R with the rest of them. I sighed and looked down lightly as I watched my friends get slaughtered. I took a look at my father’s window. F.E.A.R agents burst into the room. My father stood with his back to the window. In a single, silent stroke a F.E.A.R agent put a bullet in his head. Blood splattered the window and I held back my screams. Tears threatened to spill but I held back. My dad’s body fell lifeless.
An idea hit me like a bag of bricks as soon as I saw Andy from across the way. He was hiding with the others behind some bushes. There was a dead F.E.A.R agent next to me. I picked her up and dragged her back to a wall of bushes by the apartment building. I pulled on her outfit, it was a bit baggy but I didn’t care. I shoved my bag into her backpack. I also took my teddy bear and the rings my dad gave me into the bag as well. I grabbed her gun and walked back towards the SWAT van. I smiled and looked at the wounded people in the van. I didn’t want to the dramatic pull-back-the-mask-to-surprise-the-wounded trick but I was itching to have a hero moment. I turned and looked at them lightly. I shifted lightly.
My head spun lightly. I had no idea had gone through me. I had just done gone through with impersonating a F.E.A.R solider, which was highly illegal. If I got caught, I had no idea what was going to happen to me. I heard of one guy getting sentenced to a concentration camp and he almost died. He's still in a coma to this day and I felt so bad for doing something that could possibly kill me. If all went well, I could possibly find my brothers. My stomach churned as I looked at my friends. None of them seemed to notice me. I sat in the back of the van and we rode for a few hours. I had no idea where we were going and it didn't look like any of the others seemed to know where we were going either. I looked at them and tried to make out who was with me. It looked like Vinny, Chris, Josh, Ricky, Ryan and Ghost seemed to make it on all safely. They sat in a long chained row across from me. As long as I knew where they were and that they were safe, I was okay. But there were a few faces I had names to but I wasn’t sure if the names I had actually matched to the faces I was seeing.
There was Jamie, a soft haired girl with bright eyes and a knack for staying out of trouble. She was the one we sent out when we didn’t want to be caught. She was more of a pawn to the Wild Ones than anything else. There was Ryan Ashley, a woman who I knew only through legends. Ryan Ashley was a tall, tattooed woman and she was apart of a long line of witches. Her bloodline drew all the way back to the Salem Witch Trials and beyond. She was decently powerful as well and never seemed to pass up the chance to show us her power. She was always making sure we all had protection charms and sigils all around whatever compound we decided to stay in. I wasn't sure that her magic worked this time. Either that or she thought we were safe enough to not warrant these kinds of protections. I wasn't going to blame the killing and capture of all two hundred Wild Ones all on her. I just wasn't in the mood to actually do anything about it. There was a woman with deep red hair who I only knew as Phoenix and the was more powerful than anyone I had ever seen. She was able to catch herself on fire and not get burned. Of course, Jinxx had that power but it was very subdued. I couldn't imagine him using it on the scale that Phoenix used. I had access to Hellfire but that was only if I worked up enough strength to do it. The whole Hellfire thing just wiped me out. But Phoenix, she was super special. She was just able to catch fire and spontaneously combust only to pull her charred remains back together over a short period of time. Those were the only faces I could actually The ride into the city, or wherever we were going, seemed shorter than what I expected. I didn't like it because that mean that they were close to where our compound was and they were just waiting for the right time to pound. They were watching us the entire time and I knew it. There was no doubt in my mind that they weren't watching us. I was sure that they were just waiting around until one of us showed our faces. Those fucking assholes! I couldn't wait to just..I don't know, start a revolution or something. But I had to restrain myself a bit. I couldn't tell them all just yet. The van stopped and the back doors opened up to a whole new compound. It was underground and not like what I expected. It was just as put together as out place, and that was saying something. It was covered in a layer of filth and dust. The only high tech thing about it was their campaigning. It was all a front. Well, as much of a front as a government funded religion could put up. All of their tech seemed to be at least a generation older than what we were working with and we were already two generations behind.
The F.E.A.R soldiers came out and took the prisoners to their cells and I followed their lead, I was going to have to go undercover after all. I turned and looked at one of my friends, deciding that I would lead Josh to his cell. He was the only one I could trust to not blab to. Everyone else, I would have totally set off as soon as I grabbed hold of them. I followed the lead of the other soldiers and followed them down to a catacomb like jail. I turned and looked at Josh. He sneered at me and growled, fangs showing lightly. I backed up and sighed lightly, still holding onto his arm. I knew how much Josh hated F.E.A.R agents. His whole kind was killed off by F.E.A.R agents. I was just another F.E.A.R agent to him and that kind of hurt. Though, I knew what I looked like to him. He looked at me as I tossed him into a cell with five other people and closed the door behind him.
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Chapter 3: New Year's Day
I walked down the damp hallways looking around at the people walking around. I was too afraid to take off my mask. As soon as I took it off, I would be noticed as a Wild One. The rooms seemed to be numbered based off the serial numbers on the outfits. I looked at the number only outfit, 24465, and walked up to the second floor where I assumed the room this woman lived in was. The hallways were long and dark, only light by dimming fluorescent lights. I walked up to a heavy metal door imprinted with the number 24465. It was faded to almost nothing but I could still read it. I looked at the door and smiled lightly. The door handle was cold and rusted, almost falling apart in my hand. I opened the door and walked in.
The room was falling apart. The floor was dirt and the only light came from a slit in the ceiling. Branches reached in and tried to grab the bed. Roots from trees reached in and poked up from the ground. A blanket was draped across a root that was underneath the skylight. There was no bed, presumably one wouldn’t fit. A bunch of pillows and blankets in the corner of the room replaced what would have been a bed in any other more normal situation. The room was a step down from what I was used to, but it wasn’t the worst place I had ever stayed.
I was in F.E.A.R headquarters, or what looked like it. So, all I had to do was somehow free my friends and somehow get in contact with my brothers, which might prove hard. I had no idea what they looked like or what their names were. I would have to do a DNA scan on everyone in the F.E.A.R database. I could get some hits but I could also set off some alarms. I’m sure F.E.A.R had a trace on all of my DNA. I would have to tie my DNA to a child who was just born or something. The whole brothers thing really just came second. I would first have to dream up a plan to get my friends out of here. I looked around the room and sighed lightly, I guess that was the general plan of action.
“H-hey, do you mind if I hide in here for a bit?” I turned around and came face to face with a small man and by small I meant short. He maybe had a few inches on me and he looked super scared. He was shirtless, black and grey tattoos covering him from his waistline to his neck. His hair looked like it was normally done up in an Elvis-like style but it was messy now. His whole body was shaking and his skin was stretched over his bones. I ushered him in and he rushed to the pile of blankets and pillows, covering himself up. A bunch of F.E.A.R agents rushed past my doorway and one stopped in front of me.
“Agent 24465, have you seen this man?” The agent held up a picture of the man I was harboring in my room. On instinct I shook my head ‘no’. The agent nodded and headed on his merry way. The man got up from his hiding place upon hearing the agents leave and looked at me, smiling lightly.
“Thank you so much for doing that. They’ve been looking for me for ages. I kind of don’t like going to the doctors.” I pulled off my helmet and looked around more clearly. My face was probably red and sweaty. His face turned from grateful to terrified in a minute.
“What’s wrong? Is there something on my face?” I asked, looking at him before turning to the dusty mirror to check my face. It was red, as I had predicted.
“Aren’t you a Wild One?” He asked, his voice trembling lightly as he looked me over. I turned back to him and furrowed my brow. I turned and looked down at the dirt.
“How would you know what a Wild One looked like? Even if I was a Wild One, I wouldn’t reveal it to you.” I took a cautious step forward towards the man.
“Well, first off, if you were a F.E.A.R agent you would have turned me in. I don’t think anyone in F.E.A.R would have let me stay here. Second off, you have a scar on your neck.”
“Fuck.” I leaned into the mirror, looking at my reflection, the pale W on my neck. I had forgotten all about the brand of the Wild Ones. Just like the lore of some pirates, being marked with a P, us Wild Ones got our own. Only a few of us, the ones who had been caught before, had the mark of a true Wild One. I sighed and wanted to rub the damn thing off.
“Guess your secret is out. Now what the hell are you doing in here? Thought you all couldn’t find us.” He looked me over.
“Bunch of us got captured and I had the stupid idea to impersonate a F.E.A.R agent to see if I can find my brothers. It was my father’s last wish actually. If I went with the Wild Ones, the remaining ones, I wouldn’t have this chance pop again. At least not for awhile. I was impulsive so I decided to come with the captured ones, only to come as a F.E.A.R agent so I had access to all of the equipment I need to find my brothers. My dad said they were in F.E.A.R schools.” I turned and looked over my shoulder at him.
“So, why are you trusting me with this? For all you know, I work for the other guy.” He looked at me and smiled lightly.
“I don’t know, quite honestly. You just have one of those souls.” I looked over my shoulder at him. He smiled and looked down at the dirt.
“So you just trust my soul? You just trust someone who could be working for F.E.A.R?” He asked, looking me over. I nodded and looked back at him. He looked down and smiled lightly as he looked at me. I rubbed at the scar awkwardly and looked down.
“Yeah, it sounds a little ridiculous. But I guess you could just call me crazy.” I looked him over and hid the scar with the hoodie I had underneath the uniform.
“I don’t think I would call you crazy.” He gave me a smile and looked me over. I nodded and looked over the room once more.
“So, what’s your name?” I asked him. He gave me a smile and looked down a bit, covering his smile up a bit. He had a nice smile and I had no idea why he covered it up.
“The name is William.” He extended a hand and smiled at me, not covering it up this time. I extend my own hand and shook it.
“The name is Max, but I think I might have already told you that.” I looked at him and smiled lightly as he looked me over. His brow furrowed as he looked at me. I did the same back, looking back at him.
“So how did you get that scar? I know you’re a Wild One. I also know you came here to get your friends out and to find your brothers. But I don’t know much more than that.”
“Well you might also want to open up to me as well if you’re going to ask those kinds of questions.” I winked and moved over to the makeshift bed, looking at him. He nodded and sat down next to me.
“Well, tell me about how you got that scar.” He looked at me then at where my hand cover the scar. I nodded and uncovered the scar as I looked at him.
“I got it when I was raiding this Target near our old compound, the one before this one that just got raided. I was stupid enough to keep my hood down and look directly at the cameras a few times. F.E.A.R tracked me down and decided that I was going to be arrested. They took me in and ran my DNA against the Wild Ones they had in the system from previous arrests. I came up from a petty crime I had committed when I was enrolled in a F.E.A.R school. They saw my clothes and more arrests. They saw that I had dropped off the grid not long after the petty crime. It wasn’t hard to determine that I was a Wild One. They weren’t going to keep me, not from what I heard of their conversations, this was only my second strike which meant that I was going to get a few days in jail and get my branding. I did my time and got the brand. What’s your deal?” I shrugged and looked at him, nothing else to say.
“I am shocked that you really don’t know my face. I am, more so was, the face and voice of F.E.A.R at one point. F.E.A.R agents picked me up on the side of the road. I was drugged out of my mind. I was on a cocktail of drugs. Herion, PCP, cocaine and loads of others. All I needed was something to clutch onto. I don’t know why but when F.E.A.R agents came banging on the door of the drug house I was in, I didn’t put up much of a fight. I just went with them. They saw my face and decided that I was going to become the face of F.E.A.R and if I didn’t agree, I would have to die. I went along with it and I was that face. I went almost insane with power. They locked me up as soon as I was of no use to them. They kept running my words but there has never been a new one yet. They were going to make one today but I ran away before they could get me all prepped and ready.” He shrugged and looked down. I wrapped an arm around his shoulder, not knowing what else to do.
“I honestly thought that things would be very different.” He said after a long silence. I looked down and dropped my arm.
“What would you mean by that? I don’t think you and I have ever seen any different.” I asked, sitting next to him.
“I mean, we could be normal. Do you see all of the perfect people out there? Their perfect lives with their perfect children? Their perfect houses and perfect jobs? I mean, we could both have a totally different lives. Maybe I could be doing something more with my life and the same with you.” William looked at me and smiled lightly.
“I don’t think that could ever happen. We’re too a messed up of a society. If we hadn’t let F.E.A.R take over and if we hadn’t resisted.”
“Do you wish you could have done it differently? Like if you chose to be compliant to F.E.A.R instead of just leaving it all behind and resisting? Because I want to do everything over. I wish I had never gone into drugs. I wish I never let my life get that far. I wish I had just shut up and stayed quiet.”
“There are times when I think about it. I lie awake at night and just think about how different my life would be if I hadn’t gone with Andy. That if I had ran away from him and gone into the city, I would have been in a F.E.A.R orphanage. I think that if I hadn’t been born from a Shadow, I would have lived a totally compliant life. That I was going to be a little brainwashed teenager going to college. But I don’t think I would ever change anything.”
“Wait, you were the child who came out of a Shadow?” He looked me over and I nodded, pulling my ponytail out of the way to show the markings on the back of my neck. He smiled and raised a hand to it, barely touching the black markings. I smiled and looked back at him. His smile widened and his fingertips touched my markings.
“Those are the markings I somehow got while I was in a Shadow. They say my mom was one and that I was ‘born’ from her when Andy and the crew opened up the Shadow.” William’s eyes widened and that was my cue to keep going. I smiled and looked at her.
“What the flying fuck? How the hell did that fucking happen?” I shrugged and giggled lightly. The sounds of F.E.A.R agents hushed us up for a few seconds.
“Yeah, I know. It’s so fucking weird. I don’t remember that much, mind you, but I just remember kind of crawling out a Shadow. I never really knew what the fuck happened before that. But that was like almost a decade ago.”
“Yeah, you’re like eighteen aren’t you?” He asked, looking at me. I smiled lightly and got even more comfortable. His soft grey
“Round about. I could be a year or two older or younger, Jinxx matched my dental and bone records to other people around the age they thought I was and I matched almost, but I’m generally considered eighteen.” William nodded.
“I have never heard of a Shadow giving birth. It seems so weird to me. Then again, I have never actually seen one in real life nor do I know the inner-workings of one.”
“From my experience and knowledge, and don’t quote me on this, the Shadows are created when a person dies. At least, that is if they are the right kind of person. Shadows are only created with druggies and diseased people. Once the person dies, F.E.A.R takes them in and lets them sit in the sun for a few days. Then they take the person to the depths of the compound that specializes in Shadows. This is where a majority of process to turn the corpse into a Shadow happens. In the darkness, the corpse is flayed open and allowed to ‘drink in’ the darkness. The corpse stays in there for two weeks. Then, the corpse goes through a mummification process. During this time, F.E.A.R covers the corpse with water. As soon as that’s done, they take the corpse into the desert and allow the sand to cover the body. They put the corpse into the Shadow outfit and bring the corpse with the outfit on back to the compound. There they burn the whole thing as the apart finale. If the corpse burns, it’s not a good enough corpse. If the corpse doesn’t burn, the final part is completed. F.E.A.R stitches the corpse into the outfit and places a microchip into the heart and brain of the corpse. That’s how they control the whole thing. There are also Shadows that have living people in there but most of them have died due to exposure, dehydration or malnutrition. Which is why people normally work with just corpses. It’s pretty easy to make one without the outfit or the microchips but that’s coming from the necromancer. I have tried to make one before. That was after I looked through a F.E.A.R approved book on how to make one. Though, it did come from someone who used to work with the Shadows.”
“That’s so cool. Well, not really but you know what I mean. Were you a least successful?” He looked at me with wide eyes. I looked down and nodded slowly. I fiddled with my hands and took a deep breath before opening my mouth to speak again.
“Yes, I was successful. I was successful seven times but I have kept them alive. In their living state, they do not know what they are. I have told them that they die, I have kept from them the horror that they have really gone through. All of them are kind of powered in one way or another. My first experiment was on a vampire. I just wanted to see if a vampire was able to turn into a Shadow. It was highly successful and I continued with more people. I turned to a person who could see ghosts, a medium. He was easy and his powers were actually heightened after I killed him. So was my little human computer. I also challenged myself by allowing myself to work on an alien and the process works on him to. I also did it on a half human, half animal. It worked for him. The process almost went array with my little dragon. He still has nightmares about the process but it Since I am able to bring the dead back in a zombie-like form, I don’t really have any need to create a Shadow but I experimented. I got addicted and Andy finally told me that six was enough. I worked on a wolf in secret and he’s still alive somewhere but I never got a chance to reign him back in. He seems to be wreaking some havoc as well from what I can see on the television.”
William and I went silent. The damp air hung around us. I looked at the wall across from me. I couldn’t bare to look into my new friend’s eyes. My heart was poured out to a person I barely knew. It was raw and bare. I didn’t even know who he would tell if I let him go. I hadn’t even told the people who were Shadows that they were Shadows but I had told a stranger. My heart beat faster and in the silence, I swore William could have heard it. We barely moved and not a word was spoken between us. Eventually William just wrapped an arm around me. Tears escaped my eyes as I curled into his body. My fingers dug in-between his ribs. I held onto him and broke down crying. Both of his arms wrapped around me.
All of this emotion came flooding in. All of the emotions that I had repressed over the past few days, months, weeks and years. I was angry at myself for ever joining the Wild Ones. I was saddened by the fact that I never had any sort of normal life. I was terrified of the future and what it held. I was alone and I was the only one who I could trust. I was turning into a monster. I was the monster that little kids were scared of. I was the monster who killed their only friends and brought them back to life.
“You’re okay, you’re going to be okay. It’s okay to cry.” He looked at me and smiled lightly. I looked at him and wiped my eyes. I cried and cried for a bit, my eyes getting puffy and tired. I rubbed my eyes and looked down lightly.
“Hey, if you’re tired you should sleep?” My whole body tensed up. I barely got through a night without waking up in a cold sweat or because of Andy wanting to he the hell out of dodge. Being in a new place, without having scoped it out before? That made me super nervous and just straight up tense.
“I don’t think I can sleep right now.” I shifted in my seat and pried myself away from the man. My chest was tight and my heart rate sped up.
“I’ll keep watch, okay?” I looked at him as my heart rate slowed down a bit. I nodded and looked down as I closed my eyes. I wrapped a blanket around my shoulders.
Hot, dry desert even in the dead of night. The stars and moon light up my walking path. Dust kicked up and into my face. I pulled my shirt up over my nose and mouth. There was nothing but sand in every direction. No chance of finding the Wild Ones here. There was no sign of civilization in any direction. I had no idea which way to go before a figure began walking towards me. I stood in my place for a few seconds before walking towards the figure.
“Hello Max, my little bird. We’re worried about you but it seems as though you are okay.” Ashley smiled and touched my elbows. I blushed and looked at him.
“Yeah, I’m okay. I can take care of myself. Looks like you and the guys fled to the desert.” I looked at him and tried to take in his looks. He got better looking everyday and being gone from him made me realize how handsome he was. I smiled, looking him over. He smiled and looked back at me.
“Yeah, we saw you make the stupid decision. I’m sorry about your dad though. He was a good guy. He’ll be missed.” His eyes turned sad as he looked me over. I smiled and looked down, nodding a bit.
“I know, Andy’s going to kick my ass for that but my dad, he gave me a mission and you know his missions trump everything. Well, not exactly a mission but more so of getting my family safe. Safer than they are right now. They’re under F.E.A.R’s control. I couldn’t just leave our friends as well. I need to get them out of here.” Ashley’s eyes softened a bit as he looked me over.
“There are people who are still alive?” Ashley’s eyebrows jumped up, his eyes widening. I nodded lightly.
“Yeah, loads of them. Chris, Jamie, Ryan, Ryan Ashley, Josh, Ghost, Ricky and Vinny are all alive. I road with them here. They’re in holding cells right now. As soon as I get a hit on my brothers, I’m taking all of them out of there.”
“We’ve hot Gaia, Kylie and Juliet with us right now. How exactly are you going to find your brothers and getting all of them out of the compound?” He chuckled, knowing I never really planned anything out. I just jumped to conclusions and did whatever my heart told me to do.
“Connect my DNA to a newborn and trace them that way. As soon as I find them, wherever they are, I’m going to present this ring to them.” I pulled the ring out of the bag to show him. He nodded slowly and looked at me.
“That sounds a bit farfetched, don’t you think?” He asked, looking me over once more. My shoulders slumped as I took in what was happening and how stupid I was to think that that plan would work.
“Pretty stupid, huh? But I saw my opportunity and I knew I might never have a chance like that again. I mean, look at where you guys are trying to hide. There’s a fat chance F.E.A.R will find you there. I need to do this and I know you can’t stop me.” Ashley chuckled and looked at me, shaking his head.
“That’s what you’re known for, stupid decisions. I support you, just be careful out there. I don’t want you to to get hurt. Is there anyone who knows you’re there?” Ashley looked over my shoulder.
“Yes, a man named William. He doesn’t seem like too much trouble and I trust him. At least, as much as I can trust someone I just met.”
“Why would you trust a man you just met, especially in a F.E.A.R compound?” He shook me lightly and looked me over. I shrugged.
“I have no idea.” He looked at me and sighed lightly. His back turned to me. Ashley shook his head and crossed his arms. I walked up to him and placed a hand on a shoulder. His head dropped as he looked at me.
“I don’t want someone I love to get hurt.” His voice was soft and light. I could barely hear him. He shook his head once more.
“Love is just a bit silly don’t you think? A bit too dangerous for us Wild Ones. It would go against every rule we every put in place. No children to bring into this war, no danger, no ties to anyone.” I whispered, looking him over. He shook his head again and looked down. I sighed and looked down. I had messed up.
“But love is what can mend the situation we’re in and I love…” He trailed off, turning his head to look at me.
“You love who?” I asked, looking him over, trying to pry an answer out of him. He shook his head.
“I have to go. Andy doesn’t like it when I stay here too long. He always thinks I’m going to fucking die or something.” He nodded curtly and looked down lightly. He began walking away from me. I sighed and looked down.
Light, warm light, peaked through the skylight. My eyes opened weakly. They were puffy and I couldn’t hardly see out of them. I stretched, raising my arms above my head. William slept soundly next to me. My whole body tensed as I looked at the closed door in front of us. I didn’t remember closing it. But then again I was very forgetful. I rubbed my eyes and looked at the door. A light pounding in my head meant that I had a dream, a dream of my friends.
“What day is it?” I asked, my voice groggy, lightly looking at William. He gave me a confused look and furrowed his eyebrows. He probably thought I was crazy but to be honest, I haven’t looked at a calendar in my whole life. I never knew what day it was and the Wild Ones ballpark their birthdays. I was embarrassed that I didn’t know what day it was but it was a question I had.
“It’s the last day of the year. December thirty-first.” He looked me over and felt over my body. I’m guessing he was checking for a fever.
“Sorry but I never know what day it is. Wild Ones don’t really have access to something as simple as a calendar. It rarely matters when there are more important things we could be focusing on.” William nodded and looked me over once more.
“The Wild One life seems a bit stressful.” He chuckled and tried to lighten the mood but considering I had just cried, I wasn’t in the mood to laugh.
“Yeah, seems like it but considering I am the ‘only one who can save the world’ it gets even more stressful.” I pulled myself away from William and smiled lightly as he looked me over.
“So you’re the chosen one in the prophecy.” He looked me over and smiled. I furrowed my brow and looked him over. His eyes widened when he saw my confusion.
“What prophecy? I haven’t heard of a prophecy. All I’ve been told is that I was going to save the world one day.” Andy had never revealed any sort of prophecy involving me to him.
“Well, I guess I better tell you. This prophecy is an old one, maybe fifty or so years old. It dates all the way back to Trump and he even heard it. Only a select few have ever heard it. Every president of the United States of America has heard it but that’s about it. The only reason I know it is because I listened in while the Head of F.E.A.R heard it. It says that it shall be on the day that stars fall from the sky, children of darkness shall usher forth a rise in immorality and a time of serenity.”
“But children of darkness could mean anything. It can’t possibly be me or anyone in my circle. We’re not children of darkness, are we?”
“I mean, think about it. Look at your uniforms for the Wild Ones. All of you wear dark clothes. The F.E.AR. uniforms are white and more suited for looking for you guys in the hot sun.” He looked over my outfit. I still had the F.E.A.R uniform on instead of my normal outfit.
I stripped from the F.E.A.R uniform, “Don’t think I’ll be needing this anymore. I mean, not unless I need to head out of this room.”
“Sounds like a good plan. You’ll have to put it on tonight for the New Year’s Eve party. Don’t think F.E.A.R trains today, national holiday.” I looked at him and nodded lightly. I plopped back down on the bed and looked up.
“You seem distracted. Though I don’t know what that looks like. That was stupid, I’m sorry. I only just met you. I don’t know what distracted looks like on you.” He chuckled, rubbing the back of his neck and looked down.
“It’s okay. I’m a bit distracted today. I had a really weird dream last night.” I looked down and sighed lightly. I didn’t want to say any more but I had a feeling he would pry.
“Oh, okay. That’s cool. I mean not cool in a good way, cool in kind of a bad way?” He looked at me and sighed lightly, pulling himself out of the bed.
“So, what’s the schedule like here? I’m going to need to get the schedule down so I don’t look like a newbie. I’m assuming the agent whose place I took wasn’t much of a newbie.” He looked at me and then down at his watch. I assumed he was checking the time but he barely looked up as he continued through his rundown of the schedule.
“You guess correctly and I’m assuming you didn’t get a good look at her because you bear a striking resemblance to her, which is good. As long as you don’t miss anything, no one will suspect that you’re a fraud. Breakfast is at 8:30am and training is at normally at 9:00am, holidays are the exception to that rule. That leaves thirty minutes for you to eat and get ready. You train for three hours then at noon, you eat lunch. You train for another five hours then have an hour break to get ready for dinner. You have thirty minutes to eat dinner than you have the rest of the night to yourself. Your number will occasionally be called for raids or missions, be ready. Those trump any training you may miss. You may also be assigned to cell duty and that also trumps any training. There’s a library the floor above us. All floors below us are either cells or boarding. The training center is above the library, which is inconvenient if you’re trying to study after hours and someone else wants to train. I’ll give you my watch, it has both the correct date and time on it. It’s waterproof in up to eight feet of water but I don’t think that you’ll need it. There are cameras everywhere but none of them actually work. They’re there for show, nothing more. You’ll be pretty much safe here. No need to worry about scanning. As long as you stay out of trouble, you’ll be okay.” He stripped himself of the watch and placed the watch on my wrist. It was made of rubber, a material that hadn’t been used in over fifty years.
“What do I need to do to look like her? Sound like her? Act like her? But that’s only because I’m assuming you knew what she looked like.” I asked, moving the watch back and forth on my wrist.
“You’re talking to the only person to ever know what agent 24465 looked like. She never took off her helmet for anyone except for me. I already said you looked like her, so there’s no change required there. Her voice was a bit higher than yours but I’m assuming you took testosterone or are taking it, am I correct?” He asked, looking me over. I nodded. I had totally forgotten to take my medicine with me. All of the testosterone I ever wanted or needed was with Juliet.
“Then just say you’re sick and we’ll be okay.” I nodded and looked down at the watch. It was eight in the morning.
“I should get going. Breakfast is in thirty minutes.” I turned to go leave but William grabbed my wrist, pulling me back.
“The breakfast is cafeteria style. Get eggs and ketchup, orange juice and sausage. No more, no less. You will sit in the back of the room. Eat for exactly ten minutes. After that, you will get up and head to the library. You will go to the romance section and sit down in the middle of the aisle.” His voice was soft and serious. I gulped, nodding lightly before heading out.
I jogged up the steps to the cafeteria. It was dimly lit and smelled like canned food. Some people were already sitting down and eating. There was no talking and only the scraps of forks on plates. I smiled lightly and walked up to get my food. I smiled at the lady serving and she looked me over. Her brows furrowed as she looked at me. I cocked my head and looked back at her. I got my food from her and walked to the spot William told me to sit. I ate for exactly ten minutes, disposing of my garbage, and headed up to the library. It took me awhile to find the romance section but I did find it. I sat down in the middle of the aisle, waiting.
“Hey.” William poked his head into the section. He leaned against the bookshelf and crossed his arms. I smiled lightly and giggled. He looked up at a camera behind me and smiled.
“I thought you were going to hide out, not get caught by one of us.” I whispered and raised an eyebrow.
“They’re off duty, though I’m not going to push it any further than coming here to talk to you. There’s more information you have to know if you want your DNA in the system, attracted to a newborn no less, and break your friends out of those cells.”
“Okay, and you’re just magically the one who knows everything about everyone and everything? Did I meet the info-dumping plot device of my dreams?” I batted my eyes and rested my head on his shoulder. He giggled lightly and smiled.
“Maybe I am, maybe I’m not. It leans more to yes, I am. I am the info-dumping plot device of your dreams.”
“So why the romance section? Seems like you want to not so subtly want to say you want to start something with me.” William blushed lightly and chuckled. He pulled out a mustard yellow carton box with white markings and took out a singular cigarette. The letters were faded and I couldn’t make out what the brand was. He lit it up and took a drag.
“It’s the only place where I can smoke without being yelled at. I’m friends with the librarian and she’ll take the citation for me. Also, romance is kind of nice. It’s a lovely genre, not enough appreciation. But anyhow, what you need to know.”
“Yes, what do I need to know?” He took another drag and looked at me. His blue eyes seemed to smile at me.
“First off, tonight is the New Year’s Eve party and there’s going to be a lot of people Lilly knew there. Lilly is the woman you’re impersonating, of course. Her family will be there as all the families of F.E.A.R agents are invited to come see their kids. This is the only holiday F.E.A.R cerebrates so it’s a big deal. Lilly has two younger siblings. Her brother’s name is Joshua and you shall refer to him as such. Her little sister’s name is Jessica. She’s a little shy and won’t come out of her shell. Don’t try and coax her out. Lilly’s parent’s names are John and Kelly. They’re divorced and Kelly will try and bring her boyfriend with her. You detest him with a burning passion. You have never met him before today, if he does come, and they would keep you awake with their sexual exploits. You are trying to get custody of Jessica and Joshua as your dad is a drug addict and not fit to be a dad. Second off, Lilly and I were an item. Everyone knows that and you’re going to have to pretend to like me for the night. We don’t have to kiss or anything but we do have to act a bit cuddly. Third off, the new face of F.E.A.R will be giving a speech. We don’t have to be there but we do have to at least get there for the end of it. Got it?” He looked me over. I nodded and looked at him. I gulped and looked down.
We sat in the romance section for awhile before we headed back to my, more like Lilly’s room. William said that we needed to get ready. My chest was tight and my heart was beating fast. My palms were sweaty. I wasn’t ready. I didn’t want to go. But I had to go. We had to go. All to keep up appearances.
“F.E.A.R agents are required to be at the New Year’s Eve party. I need to be there too. F.E.A.R agents won’t get me there. They aren’t allowed to make a scene during happy times. You’re going to need to put your number patch on.” William stood and began rummaging through the drawers on the dressers. He pulled out a black lace dress and tossed it to me. I stripped the number off of the uniform. instinctively I turned my back to William. I stripped off the outfit I had, jeans and a ripped tee-shirt, and put the dress on. I struggled a bit but eventually got the dress on. I turned back and looked at him. William had changed into tux in the time it had took me to put on the dress. He was almost done buttoning his top. I smiled and looked him over.
He looked at his watch, “Okay, we have to go. The party probably already started and we’re already fashionably late.”
Chapter 4: F.E.A.R Transmission One: Stay Close
Sorry for taking so long with this chapter. I've been pretty drained lately. I had the SAT last Wednesday and a test for AP Government the day before the SAT and right after it so I didn't have enough time during those days to write much of anything. Also, I've been dealing a lot with a friend about to go homeless and a person I follow on Instagram about to kill themselves so that's a lot of external noise I've had.
(See the end of the chapter for more notes.)
“We expect the battle for humanity is about to begin. The Wild Ones are coming for us and we are trying our best to stop them. Within each uprising, a fake sense of safety will ignite in you and all of the Wild Ones. An unseen shadow will slip from doubt towards those who protect you and defend you. Let those thoughts slip away. Remain calm. Stay close to F.E.A.R, only we can protect.”
The room erupted into cheers and all I could do is clap politely. William did the same. The man who was standing at the podium came down and walked straight towards me. I groaned, turning my head away from the man. William puffed his chest out and placed a hand on my shoulder. I could not show fear. I stayed in my place and shifted a bit annoyingly. I already didn’t want to be here. I didn’t want F.E.A.R ideology shoved down my throat. Now, the head of F.E.A.R was waling straight for me.
“Just, be polite and it will all be over soon.” William whispered into my ear, turning me back around to face the man. I smiled fakely and looked at the man walking over to me. William nudged me in the side and I smiled a bit more naturally. He smiled right back and extended a hand to me. I shook it curtly and pulled my hand back as soon as possible.
“Lilly, you look gorgeous tonight. I imagine you took up that plastic surgery offer I extended to you for your good work. Your jawline is so masculine looking, I like this whole androgynous look you’re going for. It’s very in right now.” He smiled, just laying on his enthusiasm thick. I shot a look at William and he nodded a bit, egging me on. I shot a quick glare at William. He had failed to tell me this information. I smiled more genuinely and nodded lightly.
“Of course. I wouldn’t miss the chance for the world.” The man smiled and looked at William, who nodded just as curtly as I had.
“I hear you didn’t make it to your appointment yesterday, caused a lot of panic. Where were you?” He asked, looking William over.
“I was at the library all day I got lost in the books.” William lied straight through his own gritted teeth.
“Third time this month you’ve missed a doctor’s appointment. The next time you miss one, you’ll have to go back to work.”
“What does he mean by that?” I whispered, hanging onto William’s arm. He tapped his fingers on my palms and smiled at the man.
“I’ll tell you later.” He whispered. The man looked at me and smiled lightly, walking away. I watched him leave, looking back to William after awhile.
“Who the hell was that? Why was he speaking instead of you? I thought you were the voice of F.E.A.R. What did he mean by ‘solitary’?” The questions came spilling out as soon as the man was out of ear shot.
“I’ll answer all of your questions but right now I have to get us to a place where no one can hear us. As least, not as easily as they can right now.” He pulled me to the wall, looking at the man holding a tray with glasses full of some light gold liquid that William had informed me earlier was champagne. I recognized this man as Josh.
“Can you please leave?” William looked at Josh. There were bags under his eyes, he hadn’t slept much last night. I wouldn’t have either. Josh growled lightly, looking me over. His dark eyes got softer when he recognized me.
“It’s okay William, he’s with me. He’s a friend of mine.” William nodded and looked at me. Josh went back to working.
“I don’t trust him.” William’s nose stiffened up as he looked Josh over. I rolled my eyes and looked at Josh. A polite smile appeared on his face as I looked at him. Josh nodded and walked away.
“You know, he has something that we could use. Maybe you shouldn’t dismiss people as easily as you just dismissed Josh.” William smiled, leaning against the wall. His tongue traced his top lip.
“Why don’t you tell me?” He asked, looking me over. I smiled and held my cards close to my chest. I wasn’t ready to play my hand.
“I have to keep something to my chest. I have more cards to play than just him but you’re the one who needs to give me information.” William chuckled as he looked me over, nodding.
“Okay, but you have to promise to tell me what you have in that hand of yours. I get to probe your brain.” He smiled and looked me over. I nodded, leaning against the wall and crossing my arms.
“Who the hell was that man? You and him seemed to have a bit of history.” I started with my first question.
“As I said before, he’s the new face of F.E.A.R. and he is a total douchebag in my opinion. He’s probably the only man I have ever gotten that feeling about. I could be wrong but I have no idea. His name is Montgomery Flux and he comes from a long line of wealthy people. People who have a lot of influence over us all.” I raised an eyebrow and looked at him.
“That’s it? No dark secrets? No weird quirk? No vendetta against him for taking your spot?” I asked.
“Hey, that’s more than what you originally asked.” He balled his fists and looked me over. I smiled lightly and looked at him.
“You never put a limit on what I could ask, so I can ask more if I want to Mr. Plot Device.” I smiled and looked him over.
“Okay then, I’ll answer them. No dark secrets. No weird quirk. A bit of a vendetta but I never liked the position anyhow. That position is kind of hard to keep up with. All of the meetings and all of the speeches. Most of all, I had monthly check-ups to see if I could stand up to the abuse. There are more after the position is given over to another person. Look,” He pointed over at Montgomery, who was talking to someone else. “There’s a mark on his neck from where the higher ups tried to hang him. Did the same thing to me about a year back.”
“So that’s why you were running away from those agents the other day. Another check-up?” I looked him over once more.
“Yes, another check-up but it’s just a cover for more abuse. They’re trying to test my limits and they will keep testing my limits until I die.”
“Wait, limits? Like powers? Do you have powers? What is it? Is there more than one power?” More and more questions were being brought to the surface. William shook his head and held up a hand.
“I’ll have to keep that one to my chest for now. So, as for the whole ‘I thought you were the voice of F.E.A.R’ thing. I was at one point but the higher ups really wanted to see more of my abilities and train me in that. I would be more useful on the front lines of the war, if one decides to start itself. But that’s about it. I believe that is all of your questions. I’ll wait until we head back to Lilly’s room to talk your history with Josh.” He looked me over and smiled. I looked him over and nodded.
“Well, you might want to have some caffeine. Your questions might take a while for me to answer. Lots of people I have to protect and a lot of backstory.” He smiled and looked me over. He giggled lightly, smiling.
“Of course, but let’s go enjoy this party a little bit.” He smiled and looked me over, taking me back out to mingle.
The whole party was very swanky and I tried to take it all in. I would never be able to come to one of these parties again. I don’t think the Wild Ones would ever be able to throw a party like this. We were broke and could never have any of these parties. There were white, gold and black balloons covering the high ceilings and floors. There were gold trimmings on the I smiled and looked at the interact designs in the walls. The space had a bit of dust, probably because it hadn’t been used in awhile. William had informed me that F.E.A.R barely used this room. It used to be a library and had been gutted out to make a ballroom. He said that they were able to get a lot done in a small amount of time. William looked me over and danced a bit to the classical music in the background. A smile creeped onto his face. He talked to a few people and held me close. Lilly’s parents didn’t seem to show up and neither did her siblings. There was a countdown clock on the far walls of the rooms. A new song came on and he looked at me.
He bowed and looked at me, holding my hand in his. A blush creeped up to my cheeks. “May I have this dance, Miss Lil-”
“Yes.” I cut him off before he could get any further. The fact that he said ‘miss’ made me feel very uncomfortable even though I knew I had to keep up appearances. He chuckled and looked me over, smiling lightly. He took me out to the dance floor and took me to the makeshift ballroom. I felt like a princess. A pretty dress and a nice guy. Music flowed through the room and all around me. I smiled and began to fall into the illusion. The chatter of people overtook the room.
“There you are. Hello my little lovebug.” A man’s voice broke the illusion as I pulled away from William. I smiled and looked over my shoulder. This man looked a lot like me. He more so looked like Lilly, whatever that looked like. He had dark curly hair and a smile as bright as mine.
“You call him father.” William ducked in and fed the name to me. I nodded and smiled quickly, pulling my father into a hug without missing a beat.
“Hello father. I have missed you.” Father chuckled and looked me over. I smiled and looked him over as well. His skin was tanned and it seemed more natural than from the sun. I smiled and looked him over. Brown eyes like mine and a smattering of freckles across his cheeks.
“And I have missed you too. You’re looking good, my love. I can not believe how strong you’ve gotten.” He touched my arm and gave it a squeeze.
“Not that that is a bad thing, right sir?” William butted in and smiled at Lilly’s father. He frowned and shot a look at William before heading back to me.
“I heard about that raid on the Wild Ones compound. Such a big raid, my love. Two hundred dead, fifty injured and thirty captured. That’s the biggest raid in history. Now, sweetie, are you sure you’re doing your job right? That it’s not taking a toll on you? Mr. Flux has said that you were hesitant to even go on the raid. He had to ask you personally to go and even then you were hesitant.”
“I was not scared father nor is this job getting to me. I am doing my job perfectly. There is no need to be worried.”
“I hope not, you’re our pride and joy. Your mother and I tell everyone that our daughter is an agent of F.E.A.R. Your siblings look up to you as well. Joshua still wants to be a scientist though. Jessica has changed her plans from wanting to be a doctor to wanting to be a F.E.A.R agent just like you.” I smiled lightly, hearing the genuine pride in his voice but a pit in my stomach formed. These children were being brainwashed into wanting to become F.E.A.R agents and they legitimately looked up to people like Lilly.
“Tell her she’s got a position waiting for her when she’s old enough.” Lilly’s father smiled lightly and gripped my shoulder.
“She’ll love hearing that from you. I’m sorry that they couldn’t come. They would have loved to see you especially since this is one of the only times we get to see you throughout the year. Mom had to stay behind and take care of them. Josh came down with a bad case of the flu and Jessica wasn’t about to come here without her big brother.”
“That’s okay, just send them my love when you see them.” I smiled. Someone called my dad’s name. I could not see who it was in the crowd of people.
“I have to go for now. I hope to see you later on, maybe once it hits midnight.” Lilly’s father gripped my shoulder one last time before heading off.
William pulled me back into him without another word. I smiled lightly and tried to shake off the odd feeling I had. There was something off about Lilly’s father. Maybe it was just because he hadn’t seen his daughter in months, maybe even a year, and just felt off about being around her again. The second is that he may have noticed that I wasn’t his daughter. I wasn’t expecting a lot of information but more than just ‘the kids are okay’. Transparency in the Wild Ones may have fucked up my perception of information. Everything was more subtle now.
We danced there for a few songs before a tap on my shoulder took me away from my thoughts. I smiled lightly and turned towards the man. He wore a mask over most of his face even though it wasn’t a masquerade ball, just a New Year’s Eve party. He wore a nice, all black suit and a matching tie. Piercing blue eyes looked me over and a wide smile appeared on his face. I tried to make out other features on his face but I couldn’t. The mask covered a lot of his face. William wrapped an arm around my waist and pulled me close, already protective of me. I smiled and looked the new man over as I tried to break away from William’s grip. William smiled politely and looked over the man, sizing him up.
“May I have the next dance with this beautiful young maiden?” He bowed and took my hand in his, looking up at me. I shot a look at William, not knowing who the question was going to.
“No, no you can’t.” William responded. The man straightened back up, looking between me and William. He turned towards William and smiled curtly.
“I was asking the maiden, if you don’t mind,” He turned back to me and smiled again taking my hand in his and bowing. “May I have the next dance?”
“Of course.” I smiled and was whisked away by the mysterious new man as the next song began to play. The man took me off to a far secluded corner of the room and out onto the balcony.
“What are we doing here?” I asked, looking up at the moon and stars. A hand wrapped around my waist and turned me towards him. He had unmasked himself in the time I looked up at the sky.
“Jinxx.” My voice barely worked and the name barely came off of my lips. It hung in the air as I looked at up at him. His eyes shown in the pale moonlight.
“You probably have a lot of questions, don’t you?” He asked, looking at me. I nodded lightly and looked at him.
“How did you get here? Why are you here? How did you get in? Do you know how dangerous it is for you to be here? How did you find this place? I thought you and the others were trying to find another place to stay? Where are the others? Are they safe?” I asked, looking him over.
“I came here by demon or by way of . One of your little friends had stayed behind to clean up the dead. He said you had joined the tuck of captured Wild Ones. Split second decision, just like you to make. It was fairly easy to get in tonight. Less security around the boarders made it easy to get in and everyone coming towards the same place made it easy to find. The dangers of coming here are really low for me. F.E.A.R isn’t out for me as much as they are for Andy, which is why he isn’t here. He’s finding a new spot for us with Jake. Everyone else is with me, scoping out this place. We’re all very safe and well.” He smiled and looked at me. I smiled back and held his hand.
“I’m glad you’re safe but you can’t be here. I made a stupid decision and I’ll have to deal with that myself. I can’t have your death on my hands.”
“I’m not going to die here. Andy saw it.” I rolled my eyes and crossed my arms. He looked me over and sighed lightly.
“You know how much I despise those prophecies of his. They’re not all that accurate and I don’t trust them all that much.”
“I’ll stay low and I hear you might want to get your DNA into the system?” He looked me over and crossed his arms.
“Yes and I don’t think I need a fire bender to help me. I think you need to actually go home or wherever Andy and Jake are.” I looked him over and sighed lightly. Jinxx touched my cheek and then over me.
“I think you’re going to need me soon enough and I’m going to stay here until you do because there is going to come a time that you’re going to need my advice.”
“What are you going to do for hiding out? You can’t really hide in plain sight like I am. You have to actually hide for once.” Jinxx shifted lightly and looked down.
“I’m going to hide with all the others in the cells. It seems a bit safer down there. I can hide behind the others.”
“That’s the bit too easy, Jinxx. It’s hiding in plain sight. You can’t do that, it’s going to get you killed.”
“You act like we’re going to get executed tomorrow. I can hide behind them. It’s plain sight, yeah but…,” He trailed off. I raised an eyebrow and smiled lightly.
“Yeah, you have to come with me. I’m sure William will pop up soon enough but I’m not going to count on him now. We’ll figure it out but you can not hide with the other Wild Ones. It will definitely get you killed as soon as one of the guards sees you. You are not going to be able to do that.” I dragged him off to Lilly’s room. The chanting of the countdown began, getting more and more faded by the moment.
“Five…” The people were now chanting with the clock, anticipating a new year, a fresh start. I pulled Jinxx down the steps and stepped into the hallway, looking over my shoulder for anyone who may have followed us.
“Four…” More people began to chant with the countdown clock. I tried not to think about the dangers of bringing him down here, of Jinxx being here at all.
“Three…” More people joined in this time. I pulled Jinxx into Lilly’s room and looked him over. He was safe here. At least he was safe for now.
“Two…” Two seconds away from a fresh start. Jinxx pulled me close to him, one hand on the small of my back and one cupping my cheek, my heart beating faster.
“One!” A new year had begun. He leaned in and kissed me, holding me close to him. I melted into his arms and wrapped my arms around his neck. His lips were soft. Jinxx applied some pressure but wasn’t overly aggressive. His hands were light and I could pull away at any time but I didn’t. He smiled and pulled back from me.
“Happy new year Max.” He whispered, letting me go. My head spun as I looked him over. Jinxx had never shown any interest in anyone except for his books. He seemed to be more in love with knowledge than any sort of human.
“You-you just-happy new year Jinxx.” My head was still spinning. Jinxx smiled like a cartoon character and I could almost see the hearts in his eyes.
“Who the hell are you and what are you doing here?” We both jumped, not hearing the footsteps that had lead to this voice being so near to us. William stood in the doorway with a metal bat in his hand. He waved the bat around wildly and I threw my hands in the air, blocking a blow from him. William yelled, swinging again. A sharp pain shot through my ribcage. I stumbled back, holing my arm against my body. My good arm wrapped around my arm and chest. William’s eyes were wild and his hair was messy. He stumbled forward, lifting the bat above his head again. Jinxx threw himself in front of me and put out a hand, looking William over. I bowed my head and looked at the ground.
“My name is Jinxx, more commonly known as the Mystic. I am a Wild One, Max’s superior and mentor. I’m here to try and break out my friends but it seems as though Max is already on it.” He looked me over and smiled.
“Is that your real name or are you lying to me right now?” William took a step forward, crossing his arms in front of him.
“That’s a nickname but I really hate my real name. Not even Max knows my real name and he’s known me his whole life.”
“Where did you come from? Where are you going after this? How long do you think you’ll be here?”
“You have no right to be asking all these questions.” I looked at William and crossed my arms. Jinxx sized him up and crossed his arms.
“Yes, yes I do. You said I could ask any questions I wanted earlier and now I’m getting to ask those questions. I want some fucking answers too, no dodging the questions.”
“I came from Webster City, Iowa if that’s what you’re referring to. But I came from the desert most recently. I plan on getting the hell out of dodge once I break those poor kids out of their cells. Don’t know how long I’ll be here but I don’t want to step on any toes.”
“Lil-Max over here mentioned powers earlier. What the hell is up with that? Does everyone get powers? Do people acquire them like fucking skills or something?”
“Some are born with them. Others have a mutation in their genes later on. Most powered people are males as it is a sex-linked trait. Mostly recessive but we’re not sure yet. Traumatic events can also lead to these powers. I was born with my fire abilities, passed down from my father.”
“Don’t fucking stop there. What the hell is it all about, smartass. Tell me fucking everything you fucking know and this doesn’t just include the fucking powers. I need to know about the Wild Ones.” William clenched his fists and looked over Jinxx. Jinxx knelt down and nodded, sitting back on his shins. There was no gun to his head but Jinxx was totally and wholly submissive to William. He raised his hands and put them behind his head. Jinxx kept his eyes on the ground.
“I always thought they taught out history in classes here but I guess they don’t. The Wild Ones date back only a few decades so the story is more fact than story at this point. It is said that the Wild Ones were stated around the third wave of feminism and when the new gay rights movement started up. Humans began to evolve, mutating and adapting to their surroundings. It started small. People began being able to breath through tear gas, not be affected by it. Others were able to spot injuries inside the bodies of those affected by police brutality, internal bleeding mostly. Again, they were just small changes. No one seemed to take notice of them. The mutation process began to speed up as soon as F.E.A.R began to become prevalent. The changes became more and more prevalent. Humans were adapting to survive, just like we always have. It is said that the president at the time was possessed by Satan and thus became a conduit for all the evil that was happening then and is now happening. Satan passed from person to person, allowing his spirit to take over a new person every time. Now we know him to be the current president but even Satan is just a puppet under F.E.A.R and only one person gets to see him. One person every New Year’s Eve.” William nodded intently, looking us both over as we talked.
“It’s all just a distraction to keep from the real fear that F.E.A.R is creating. They have let demons come to earth to wreak havoc on this planet. They want you all in petty squabbles over every little detail of your lives. Whether women deserve equal pay to men or if they deserve not to be sexual assaulted. It’s really over petty shit I don’t understand. Demons are all born equal no matter the gender or any differences they have. F.E.A.R has even begun breeding demons into humans/ I’m proof of demon breeding. I am able to communicate with demons and am part demon myself. I can not go to Hell until I die as I am bound to this physical body for now.” I interjected, picking up where Jinxx left off.
“Powers are delegated mostly through breeding as Max said. He is a lot more powerful than he seems. Max neglected to tell you that he can also control Hell Hounds which are his babies. They’ve been our ex-machina more times than I’d like to say. He definitely has more control over the demon world than I’m sure he’d like. Someone like my friend Jake, can get them through circumstances. He’s been a bit of an asshole since the beginning and only got worse with a bit of help from a siren named Inna. She didn’t have the best voice but somehow ended up getting him under his spell. Jake is wanted for the most crimes out of all of us and it’s the fucking worse. Jake is wanted for animal abuse and neglect, he used human insulin on a dog. He tried justifying it to us and the court system after they took his other dog away, Jake got caught by some F.E.A.R agents dumping the poor dog into a river, but to no avail. Jake got his powers after his dog died. In a sick twist of fate, he is now able to communicate with animals, his own dog as his spirit guide.”
“Powers that are sex-linked are pretty normal unlike mutations or circumstance. I’ve gotten my powers through my parents. Trauma based powers are also pretty common but not as common as sex-linked powers. Soldiers tend to have the same power of strength, mind control, mechanical control or thermal vision due to the gear they use in combat.” He smiled and looked at me.
“Think we missed anything? I mean, we touched on the creation of F.E.A.R but do you think he knows that?” I looked at Jinxx, who smiled at me. He nodded and looked at me.
“I think he knows about F.E.A.R, works for them.” He nodded and got up from his position. He smiled, moving over to me. Jinxx pulled me into a hug and held me. I smiled, holding him back.
“I worked for them. I just live here now. So, that kid Josh. You said he had powers too. What are they? Where did he get his powers?” William looked me over, letting his arms down.
“Why are we answering his questions anyhow? I don’t think this is a good idea.” He whispered into my ear. Jinxx pulled away from me and into my eyes. I looked away, not being able to look into his baby blues anymore.
“I made a deal with William over here. He’s answered all of my questions and I have to answer all of them.”
“Okay, guess that’s a good deal. Have most of your cards close?” He whispered in my ear, shooting a look at the man. William paced back and forth in front of us.
“Of course. This is the most information I’ve told him. He’s told me a lot more than we have. If we keep going we’ll have no cards left and he’ll have all the cards.” I whispered.
“So what do we do, just not tell him about Josh?” Jinxx nodded and held me close, turning our bodies back to face Jinxx.
“I’m sorry but we’re not going to tell him about him. It’d be disrespectful to him since we barely know him. We’re not as close to him as we are to Jake and we can not speak on his behalf.”
“Well, I guess I’ll back off then.” Jinxx and I exchanged a look. Getting William to back off was easier than what we thought. I turned and looked back at Jinxx. He smiled and looked at me. William backed off when I looked over at him.
“Can I have some time alone with Jinxx?” I asked, looking back at Jinxx. William nodded without a second thought and left the room. I looked out the door to my room and watched William stumble down the hallway.
“Think he’ll tell anyone about what we told him?” I turned back towards Jinxx and shook my head.
“No, he’s too drunk for anyone to believe him if he blabs now. He’ll sober up and either forget or come back to ask more questions.” Jinxx nodded and looked me over as I sauntered back to the mirror, standing in front of it.
“You look so amazing in that dress.” He looked me over and smiled, running his finger tips lightly across my body. My whole body shivered as I looked back at him.
“I never was one for dresses.” Jinxx knew how much of an overcompensating manly man I was. I barely had ever touched anything feminine in years. My skin crawled at the thought of being in this dress for a moment longer. I pulled out of his arms and pulled some sweats out of the dresser.
“I know but you pull off one so well. It’s just a bunch of fabric. Why are you so uncomfortable with some fabric?” Jinxx looked me over and I took a deep breath.
“I guess it’s just the thought of being perceived as feminine. I mean, I pass pretty well for this Lilly girl.” My heart sunk when I admitted that I passed for a female.
“But that doesn’t mean you are a girl. I mean, look at Ashley, he passes pretty decently for a girl and he’s not one.” Jinxx walked up to me and smiled, guiding me over to a mirror right next to the dresser. He rubbed his hands over my biceps and looked at me.
“I don’t know how that’s relevant seeing as Ashley is biologically a male and has had loads of testosterone running throughout his body since the beginning of time. I haven’t and I’m scared. I’ve been off my meds for only two days and I’m so afraid of what might happen if I’m off of it for any longer.”
“Isn’t there some way for you to get some more, not miss your weekly injection or something?” Jinxx looked me over, eyes wide with fear.
“You know how F.E.A.R feels about people like me. We’re actual monsters to them. I don’t think they keep some free testosterone just sitting in the cabinets of the med rooms. F.E.A.R agents are bred to be these perfect human beings. No flaws or anything. They have no need for testosterone or estrogen shots anyhow. It’s completely and utterly useless.” My hands shook, along with my whole body, violently. Jinxx held me and gripped my biceps a bit tightly.
“You’re going to be okay. You’re really going to be okay. We’ll figure this all out soon. For now, we have to break those prisoners out of here.” He looked at me and smiled lightly, calming me down a bit with only his hands and not in the sexual way.
“Yeah, how the hell are we going to do that? I have no idea how to get them out while I’m supposed to be at training.”
“That’s why I’m here, I guess. I kind of want to help you break those people out of their cells. We need every body we can get right now. Though I mostly wanted to know if you were safe, and you are.” Jinxx smiled, his hands stopping their movement.
“Could have just asked Ashley where I was. He was the one who popped up in my dream last night. Told me round about where you all were or more like showed me where you were. Or at least, were I expected you all to be and I mean all of you.”“I mean, that Death guy was really nice. Offered me a fast track here through the underworld. Don’t know how Chris and them willingly died for you. The underworld is so cold and…grim. Everyone down there is so sad, like”
“So what you’re meaning to tell me is that you’re not really here, that you’re just a spirit? Death can only give rides to souls. He can’t touch actual bodies. That is unless you’ve known of someone who saw this and they just so happened to be around to carry your body for him.”
“Jessie was willing to teleport my body here before my spirit caught up with it. Quite the shock to be honest. Never thought I’d die, but it was quite the pleasant experience considering I knew who was transporting my body, more so a friend of a friend.” I cocked my head to the side, confused for a moment but decided to brush it off.
“We need a plan of attack and it has to be more than just attack this time. Andy’s not here so we don’t have to deal with any ideas involving Juliet as the femme fatal or anything that requires more than a day if planning.”
“Since you’re already on the inside I assume you would have the most access to those who have the keys and whatever. You can also easily scope out anyone who might want to join our side as well.”
“So what? We’re going to look for new recruits now? This is not what I’m here for and I know that much. I came to get my brothers, hopefully, and release the others.”
“You mean release the only guys who would willingly die and come back to life for you? Besides, we need all the people we can get. Most of our crew is dead and we need more bodies if we want to defeat these guys.”
“Why do we even need to fight? Why can’t we just live on the outskirts of town in peace, not bother anyone and make a society all on our own? Why does anyone have to continue this?” My eyes dropped and looked at the dirt in front of me. I couldn’t face the man in the mirror, nor myself. I was disappointed for even saying those words.
“We need to fight for those who have fallen, for those who had no voice and for those who still don’t have a voice.” I looked back into the mirror and looked into Jinxx’s eyes through the reflection in the mirror.
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Chapter 5: Wretched and Divine
Grunts and groans filled the training room. Most people were working on fighting, expecting a battle for humanity to actually begin. Others were looking over plants and working on survival skills in different settings that they might find themselves in. I, on the other hand, hung back. I sat on a bench on the far wall of the room. My body was against the wall as I iced my arm and ribcage. I still had the bruise from William’s attack on New Year’s day. It was now a nasty shade of blackish purple. I was excused from training until my bruises healed and my cracked rib healed, which would be a while. We hadn’t talked to William since the attack and it was fine by the both of us. My eyes scanned the room for any sort of anomaly, a power of some sort beginning to manifest itself. If anyone here had a power, they were hiding it really well. I kept scanning and shot a look a Jinxx, who was hiding out in plain sight and against all of my better judgement. He was in the corner of the room with a mop in his hands, waiting for the bell to ring which signaled lunch, so he could start cleaning the floor. He nodded slightly and went back to looking out at the people training. The bell rung, signaling the end of the first training session of the day. Jinxx walked out onto the mats and I pulled myself off the bench and walked towards the door. As I passed him, Jinxx grabbed my good elbow and pulled me close to him.
“Next time you train, watch the man with the dreaded hair. He looks like he has some sort of mind reading abilities. He begins to block moves before his opponent even starts to attack.” I nodded sternly and wiggled out of his strong grip, heading out of the room to the cafeteria.
I walked up to the cafeteria line and grabbed some food. All of the meals besides breakfast were controlled by F.E.A.R and designed to help keep energy up for training. I walked to the back table, the only one that was empty. A few people looked at me as I passed by them, glaring lightly. They would clench their fists a bit before going back to eating their food. Others looked at me and smiled lightly. I smiled back as I passed by them. I sat down at the table and began eating my food in peace. More people had filed in behind me and began filling up the cafeteria. I looked around and took in the sights. Loads of people but all of them looked the same. Brown hair, brown eyes and small lanky bodies. Some were lithe and others were bigger but they were all round about the same body type. I dropped my head and looked back down at my food. I ate a bit and focused on the chewiness of the food. None of it tasted like anything. There were mashed potatoes and some sort of meatloaf. It all tasted the same, like hardened air almost. I looked down and kept eating before looking up once more to scan the room. No dreaded hair just yet but It seemed like he would be here sometime soon. He was in my training class and I would have to see him soon. There weren't that many people here in the room. It only held less than a thousand people and I was going to see some purple hair amongst the brown. I looked down and sighed lightly. If I can't see him now, he'll show up soon. It was mandated for him to be in here. I was going to see him soon. I continued to chew on my food, occasionally looking up to scan the room for his purple hair. I turned to look at the people entering the room.
I eventually saw the man walk into the room. I smiled and watched the man grab his food. I smiled and watched as he looked around the room, eyeing my table. There were no other seats in the room and all the tables were filled up. I smiled lightly as he walked over to my table. He would have to sit next to me. I could test Jinxx's suspicion then. I would have to think of some lies and if he asked any questions pertaining to my thoughts, I would be sure he was a mind reader. He sat down across from me and smiled lightly.
"Hi, I'm Lilly. I don't think I've ever seen you before." I gave the man with dreads a kind smile and looked him over when I extended my hand to him. He smiled and shook it lightly.
"The name is James and I'm new here. Got here last night. Nice place, don't you think? I love it here already.”
"Yeah, really is. So, what's with the dreads? Most of the people here have some dark hair. We all look the same. F.E.A.R doesn't like differences."
"They don't but they made an exception for me. They wanted to see how useful I would be. I have an asset they couldn't refuse.” The corners of his lip raised as I raised an eyebrow and nodded lightly, trying to keep my cool in front of him.
An asset that they can’t refuse huh? I wonder what that could be. I didn’t voice this but I hoped that he would be able to hear me. I had no idea what I would do if he did here me. I hadn’t get that far in my plan.
Mind reading. But I think you already knew that. I saw you with that janitor guy. What’s that guy’s name anyhow? Was it Jinxx? Or was it The Mystic? My eyes widened as I shoved myself away from the table, taking the tray with me. I rushed to throw away my food and put away my tray. I ran all the way back to my room, slamming the door behind me. Jinxx popped up out of the pile of blankets, seemingly about to take a nap.
“What the hell is wrong? You look like you’ve seen a ghost.” Jinxx rushed over to me and gripping my shoulders to hold me in place.
“Ghosts are a lot less scary then what I just went through. T-that man. You were right. He’s a mind reader. He-he read my mind. He did it. He read my fucking mind.” My body was weak and shook violently. I felt so violated and I didn’t like it. That man, a stranger, had just read my thoughts. Thoughts were supposed to be personal and private. I couldn’t muster the strength to tell him anymore.
“I was right for once?” Jinxx rarely, if at all, guessed someone’s skillset. Hell, he could barely tell a powered person from a normal person.
“Yes, you were right for once and I don’t like it.” I pulled away from his grip and walked over to grab a blanket. I wrapped it around my body and shivered still.
“He…did he? I don’t understand. What do you mean you didn’t like it?” Jinxx looked me over cautiously and sighed lightly.
“He fucking entered my fucking mind! He spoke to me with his fucking brain! He’s a fucking mind reader and he can fucking talk to me to. All through the brain! He can fucking do the thing!” My voice was fast and rapid. My brain could barely form the sentences before I spat them out. My body was still shivering as I looked him over.
“He can-he can do-he can do-he’s a telekinetic? I found a fucking telekinetic? Me?” Jinxx bounced on the balls of his feet happily.
“Bitch, this is not what we need to be focusing on! I just had my mind entered without my mind entered without my damn permission. How the hell did he do that? I thought they couldn’t do that without your permission. Like explicit said permission.” My mind was all over the place. I turned to the wall and sat down, staring blankly at it. I was cold but not physically. There was something deep inside of me that was cold. Something within the pit of my stomach that made me feel so cold.
“I don’t know. I’m not a mind reader. I can’t tell you all the rules.” His words fell on deaf ears. I was hearing him but I was not listening as intently as I wished I was.
“We only know the rules of our own power. I can only visit the underworld if I am invited by a demon themselves. I can only summon them with enough power. You can only create fire when there’s enough heat in the room. But how would he get his powers? I mean, how could he fucking enter my mind?”
“Did you ever look at him at all? Maybe he can enter your mind through eye contact.” I shrugged lightly and looked him over.
“Maybe, I still didn’t like it though.” I shivered again and looked down. I didn’t want to move from my spot but I heard the bell for training. I slowly got up and moved out of the room.
“See you later, Lilly.” The new name was growing on me. More so, the name of a woman who died fighting for her country grew on me. As much as I hated taking over her entire life and every single one of her habits, she had a pretty nice life. Her father had reached out to me a few times to make sure I was okay. I had more pictures of her siblings. They were doing well in school and Jessica was ready to be a F.E.A.R agent.
“See you later Jeremy.” Jinxx physically shuddered at his name, and the name of the janitor whose life he took over. I smiled, having fun with the idea of his name bothering him.
Training was as boring as it could be for actually not being able to do anything. I wanted to move and work. I wanted to be able to spare with someone. I wanted to fight someone. I had all this built up anger from the injury and the Training would be a good thing for me if I could actually could move. I would be able to know how I could defeat these bastards. I wanted to see how F.E.A.R agents moved and worked. If I ever broke those prisoners, my friends, out of their cells I could teach them about how F.E.A.R soldiers and agents moved. We would be able to actually hold our ground when we saw them, crossed their paths.
My foot tapped against the floor as I looked over the people. A few people looked at me and a few of the other injured. I knew that they thought we were defects. If they only saw how powerful I could be, how powerful I am, they would be quivering in their perfect white ass boots. I sighed lightly and looked over at the man with dreads and raised an eyebrow. He stopped his sparing and walked over to the dummy in front of me. He smiled and began sparing with himself.
You never should have looked at me the first time. His voice was smooth, cold and calculated. I shook my head and looked down at my shoes. I knew it was a bad idea. He didn’t have to tell me that.
So you’re powered same as me. I raised an eyebrow watching the blood drain from his face. He paused, one hand in the air ready to go in for the uppercut. His hands dropped as he looked at me, head turning ever so slowly.
Same as you? What do you mean same as you? He looked at me, his face twisting into a look of anger.
Same as you. We seem to have a radar, us powered people. We tend to seek each other out without any sort of indication that we are what we are. There’s a reason the janitor and I are in cahoots.
I don’t understand what you mean. I’m the only one in my town, my family, the entire city. Hell, I’m the only one in the entire state.
Seems to me that someone here besides me, you and that janitor have powers. Look around, how many minds can you read in here. Ten? Fifteen? Twenty? All of them?
I can only read half of them. My eyebrow raised as I looked him over. Half of them? That meant a good three hundred of them were powered.
Rule has it that mind readers can only read the minds of powered people. Though I would have no idea. I’m no mind reader.
Three hundred powered people in this training class alone? There can be more? I raised my chin towards a man with tawny brown skin and long dusty brown hair.
What about him? Can you read his mind? I asked, looking the man over. I was immediately attracted to him. Something deep within my heart told me that he was going to be powered somehow.
Very faintly. I can hear him but it’s like static almost. I get bits and pieces of what he’s saying. Chunks but never whole sentences.
Bring him over here. I want to speak to him. The mind reader did as I said and brought the man over to me. I smiled and looked the brown haired man over. His hands were crossed in front of him.
“What kind of power do you have? Whatever it is, it must be very weak if dreads over here can’t hear your thoughts all that well.” The young man looked like a deer in headlights. A smirk appeared on my face, he didn’t know.
“The name is James. We just met like thirty minutes ago, how can you forget my name that fast?” The man with the dreads interjected. I held up a hand to stop him from speaking and looked back at the man with brown hair.
“Let the man speak for himself. He has something to say.” I didn’t know how I was controlling two grown men but I had done it. Maybe it was all of the
“I have no idea what you’re talking about. I don’t have any sort of powers, sir.” I smiled and cocked my head to the side, looking him over. He was stocky and had an athletic build. He would come in handy if he agreed to come with Jinxx and I. We would need him to carry bodies or cases of materials. He smiled and looked me over all the same.
“Of course you do. Why don’t you show him what you can do, dreads?” I looked him over and smiled. James nodded and looked at the other. The man’s face contorted in fear, shock and rage. James kept a calm face throughout this whole exchange. The other man nodded and broke eye contact. James smiled and looked back at me after awhile.
“His name is Noah and he comes from Ohio, or at least he thinks he’s from Ohio. That’s the last place he remembers being. He was sent here by someone. He doesn’t know who though. Says he doesn’t know of he has any powers but since we tell him he has some, he’ll trust us. Never really heard of F.E.A.R before. He was hit on the head just before he got here. He was checked out by the nurse and said he had a concussion. He also suffers from a bit of amnesia due to it. I don’t know but it sounds a bit sketchy. There’s no way he hasn’t heard of F.E.A.R before.” I nodded and looked over at a man instructing some younger kids on different fighting techniques.
“What are you going to do with us, sir?” Noah asked, looking me over. My body perked up. This is one of the only times I had been called ‘sir’. I had some really girlish features and most people mistook me for a woman which made sense. I barely passed and at the moment, I didn’t mind. It was just kind of shocking that while masquerading as a woman, someone called me ‘sir’. I shrugged and looked back at them. I shook my head a bit and leaned back on the wall. I waved a hand, shooing them off for now. They headed off and went back to sparing.
Training went on for a bit before the bell rang. I smiled and got up out of my seat. A few of the others who were injured got up slower than me. They walked off while I hung back to look at Jinxx. He had begun cleaning up the mats. I’m sure he saw my entire encounter with Noah and James. He was working on whatever Jeremy the janitor would be doing. He was really into this whole cleaning thing. I smiled and nudged his side. He looked up and smiled at me. I smiled back and looked at him.
“So we got another on board?” He asked, looking at me then back down at his own work. I nodded lightly and looked straight ahead.
“I guess we do, seems like we do.” Jinxx nodded and looked at me. He smiled and looked me over once more before moving forward. I walked away and smiled, looking down lightly.
I walked off to dinner, grabbing some food. I looked around and smiled lightly, seeing that my own table was free. Well, more so, Lilly’s own table was free. I headed to sit down at the table but two people beat me to it. James and Noah sat down, looking over their shoulders almost simultaneously to look at me. I smiled lightly and looked at them both, finger comfort in their faces amongst the more hostile ones. I sat down across from them and smiled lightly.
“So what will happen if we keep talking to you? What are the consequences? What are we in for? I mean, we kind of just followed you without knowing who or what you’re about either. So tell us a bit about yourself.” James smiled and looked me over, chewing on some food. I looked over my shoulder and around the room. Upon seeing that we were a decent distance away from the other tables, I leaned in and lowered my voice.
“My name is Max, but I go by Lilly here as that is how I got in here. Lilly was dead and I took her suit to sneak in here. It was a stupid split second decision but now I’m here. I’m from originally from the Wild Ones. More so I’m from the Los Angelos, California sect of the Wild Ones,” James scooted back and Noah gasped lightly, looking me over. “Don’t act so fucking surprised. There more of us than you actually think. I’m sure one of us broke in here before. It’s pretty easy to fucking break in here. I came in here with no fucking plan and I haven’t been caught yet. I don’t think I’m I work along with that janitor guy. He goes by Jeremy here, that’s the name of the janitor, and surprisingly that’s his real name. He prefers Jinxx though so don’t use Jeremy when referring to him outside of this little group. It’s hard for us to trust people inside of F.E.A.R because they’ve been not so nice to us in the past. So we’re here, I came here, to break some of my friends out of the cells downstairs. Of course Jinxx wants to scope out a few more powered people like you too. If we are going to break them out of here we’re going to have to have a few powered people to help.”
“I mean, why would you trust us? Why should we trust you?” Noah looked at me then over his shoulder.
“Why do we trust anyone? I trust you because you have powers, it’s all I’ve known. Some of the nicest people I know have powers and some of the meanest people don’t have powers. There’s this certain amount of trust and respect for people who have powers, especially those who had gotten their powers because of trauma. I know what it’s like for people like us. All of the racism and sexism we face. The homophobia and transphobia that some of us face. F.E.A.R hates anyone who’s different and they’ll come for you as soon as your DNA passes through that system. They’ll track you and do god knows what to you. I’m assuming experiments and testing. I don’t think they’d ever be nice to people like us.”
“No they don’t, they keep the peace. Anyone who doesn’t agree has to be exiled and they stay out of the exiled person’s way. It’s all about keeping the peace here, nothing more and nothing less.” James rolled his eyes and crossed his arms.
“So that’s the lie they’re feeding you know? First it was that there was a disease, one that only infected people like me. Then there was just straight up differences, which I didn’t mind all that much. Now they want to tell you that they’re trying to keep the peace? What peace are they trying to keep when they’re gearing up for fucking war? Why the hell are we doing right now? They’re training you for war. They’re gearing you up to fight and die for them.”
“This place is a training center for people who want to become agents of F.E.A.R. We’re going to be police officers or S.W.A.T members.” Noah retorted.
“Agents of F.E.A.R have killed hundreds of my friends. They have taken every single home I had ever been in. They have hunted me down. I have to look over my shoulder every single time I go out. My face is always covered and I have to take all necessary precautions. I rarely go out unless absolutely necessary.” Noah rolled his eyes and crossed his arms. I did the same, blowing a piece of hair out of the way. James leaned forward and looked at me.
“How the hell do you know how the blood tests work? I don’t even know how those blood tests worked. I thought our blood passed through the system when we’re babies. That they never really tested us again until we went in for doctors appointments.” James leaned back and crossed his arms.
“They test you as soon as you turn eighteen or when you join F.E.A.R, whichever comes first. They want to make sure you haven’t contracted any diseases since then. But they also secretly test for any powers, at least the sex-linked one as they are the most easily trackable, that you may have gotten.” Noah nodded lightly and looked at me. I turned my gaze away from them, looking out over the crowd. People were beginning to leave the hall and head to their leisure activity. I shot up out of my seat and looked at the two other men. They looked back at me. I stood in silence for a few seconds before I spoke.
“We should go, don’t want to look to suspicious. If we’re the last people here everyone will suspect we might be up to something.” I grabbed my tray and walked over to the trash can, throwing all of my uneaten food away. Noah and James followed behind me, throwing away their food as well. I lead them all up to the library and sat down in the romance section. The scent of cigarettes was in the air. It was faint but it was there. I looked around, trying to find the source of the scent. I turned and looked over my shoulder at the librarian. She sat reading some big book. The pages were yellowed and the cover worn. William had been here and within the hour.
“Shit. This fucker is here? This pain in the ass.” I whispered, spotting some smoke rising from the aisle right in front of us. I motioned for the two to be quite as I stood, rounding the corner. William sat there, reading a book and smoking. He smiled lightly at the words on the page.
“Well, well, well, look who finally showed up in the library. You’re late.” William had barely looked up from the pages of his books.
“I kind of need to keep up appearances, dumbass. I’m not about to not do anything that Lilly wouldn’t do.” I smirked and crossed my arms. William put the book next to him and smiled up at me. I nodded and sat down next to him.
“Of course you do. I’m sorry for the New Year’s Day incident. I was drunk and that’s no excuse for what I did but I’m trying to get better, okay? F.E.A.R wants to take me to rehab, make sure I get off the alcohol and drugs.”
My heart sank deep into my stomach and my heart sped up, “You’re turning to F.E.A.R? I thought you were here for us, turning on F.E.A.R?”
“I have to go, mandated or I lose my placement here. This is the only home I have ever known. This is the longest place I have ever stayed. I can’t have my place here taken. I wouldn’t have a place to go.” His eyes turned sad as he looked at me.
“Okay then, so just move? Find another place to go too. Don’t you have any friends?” I looked him over, not getting what he was saying. I had moved all over the place in the past few years so moving was all that easy.
“Thing is, it’s not as simple as that seems. Not a lot of people move around as much as the Wild Ones. We’re not as comfortable with that as you are. F.E.A.R has this whole process about moving around. It’s a whole bunch of fucking paperwork. I don’t think you know how much this place means to me. They took me in, F.E.A.R took me in, and made me who I was. Before F.E.A.R came into my life, I was a druggie and an alcoholic. I still am a druggie and an alcoholic. My whole life was a mess. My super religious parents had kicked me out of the house. To be honest, I was an eighteen year old high school dropout addicted to drugs and alcohol working on a band that was never going to go anywhere, we all knew it. I was working the worst job of my life. I was a dishwasher at this crappy pizza place. It took months of working to actually save up enough money to get an apartment, before that I had been living out of my van, and I had this shitty little apartment, nothing more than a bed. I fucked around with a lot of prostitutes, tried to settle down. I wanted a family or something of the sort but it never came to anything. I took in this kid named Jack. He lived on the streets for a few years before I found him. He became like my son. F.E.A.R made me do rehab for a few months before they turned me into the Face of F.E.A.R, said I was a rags to riches story. They took Jack too and I have no idea where he is. I would be the perfect little poster boy but that meant that I didn’t have my kid. Back then F.E.A.R didn’t allow kids to be given to single people. They said it was too dangerous.”
My chest tightened a bit, my heart sinking. A pit in my stomach formed as a few tears filled my eyes. I wiped them away and smiled lightly at him. I looked at him as tears filled his eyes. He wiped them away and looked me over. I smiled and wrapped an arm around him. His body leaned into me as his head on my shoulder. More tears poured out of his eyes. I allowed him to sit there and cry for a bit.
“Then just run away from here.” I shrugged and looked at him. He raised his head to look at me, his eyes turning softer than I had ever seen them.
“What about Jack? He could still be here.” He looked me over and wiped more tears from his eyes.
“I guess I could add that to the checklist, yeah? I think I might head to the science wing tomorrow after training so I can look him up in the database. I’ll be there putting in my DNA, so why not look for your son.”
“First off, thank you for that. I’m sure he’s in there. Second off, how the hell are you going to get up there?” I lifted my shirt, twisting my body to show him the busies left on my body.
“I have to go in for a check up tomorrow, so I can easily sneak into the DNA room. I scoped them out the past few times I’ve been in there for this thing and my cracked rib.” William nodded and looked me over. I pulled my shirt down and looked in front of me.
“Of course but you’re going to get caught.” I shrugged and looked him over. He smiled and looked me over.
“Not really. I know how the guards work.” I took the cigarette out of his hand and out it out on the ground. William whined before going to light another one.
“Come on, you don’t know that. There’s too many variables.” I shrugged, twirling the cigarette butt in my fingers.
“Then it’s a good thing that I’m good at math.” I got up, holding the butt in my hands, walking away. I went back to the men and sat down across from them.
“Who were you talking to?” Noah asked. I pulled out a lighter and light the butt back up. James furrowed his eyebrows as he looked me over. I shrugged and just let the smoke rise into the air.
“Just an old friend of mine.” I leaned back against the bookshelf and looked up at the ceiling. James leaned forward and so did Noah.
“There has to be more than that.” He looked me over and smiled lightly. I shook my head, crossing my arms.
“Nothing more than that. Just an old friend of mine. No need to worry about them.” He looked me over and I did the same back.
“Okay then, just an old friend.” Noah leaned back and against the bookshelves. I nodded and looked back at him before turning my eyes to James.
“So, what are you going to do tomorrow?” James tapped his fingers against the wood. Almost immediately my fingers began to do the same.
“I have to go to the medical unit tomorrow and get this rib checked out. I have to go into the DNA room and do the switch before I head back to the Wild Ones. You know, after I break these guys out of their cells.”
“Want us to help out with anything? Like being lookouts or something?” Noah offered up, resting his head in an open spot between books.
“Nah, you guys have to be in morning training but the DNA thing won’t take too long. We’ll need to break my friends out as soon as possible after that. My DNA will almost immediately ping back to me and the guards will most likely know that I’m here. So after that it’s go, go, go. We’ll have to sprint down to the cells.” Noah nodded and looked at me.
“Is there anything more to that plan than just go?” Noah looked me over as I began to tap on the wood even more.
“I guess I’ll meet you guys at the edge of the training room when I’m done. You’ll have to quickly and quietly get out of there. I’ll have to make sure I run down to the cells and grab the keys for them from one of the guards but that will be more of an on the fly part of the plan. But I’ll need one of your abilities to get us out of here. Most likely James’ ability since we have no idea what power you posses, Noah. But we’ll make it through. I know that we’ll be able to do it. That I’ll be able to do it.” Noah and James nodded.
“Guess that’s the plan then.” Noah got up and brushed off his uniform. I hated the pale beige of tank tops and pants. The material was thin and scratchy. It took a few days to actually get used to the material. I got up as well almost instinctively brushing my own uniform off. Noah extended a hand to me, I took it and he helped me up. I smiled as our faces were only mere centimeters away from my own.
“Want to come to my room for a bit?” He asked, letting go of my hand and running it through his hair. A boyish smile appeared on his face. I smiled and looked down at my hands, nodding lightly.
“Sure. That sounds like fun.” I smiled and looked up at him. He nodded and headed out of the room, leaving James all alone.
Noah walked me all the way down to the rooms. It was a route that I had taken many times. Noah looked me over and smiled lightly, holding my hand as we walked. Jinxx stood, looking down the hallway. I smiled, waving at him. Jinxx caught my eyes and waved back. A smile spread over his face. Noah smiled politely and we walked down the same hallway Jinxx was in. He took me to a room that was right across from Lilly’s, my, room.
“I didn’t think that you were that close to me. I have never seen anyone come out of these rooms before.” I noted, looking around the decorated room.
The floor was carpeted which meant that there had to be some sort of other flooring. A bed was against a painted wall. There was also a vanity across from a wall of posters. I looked over at the vanity then at the posters. They were all from bands that were older than the war. Noah flopped down on his bed and looked at me, arms above his head. I turned in a circle and took one more look at the bedroom. Noah whistled and looked me over. I turned towards him and stopped my turning. He smiled and looked at me, motioning for me to come over. I moved over and sat on the edge of the bed. It was the complete opposite of Lilly’s room. Where Lilly’s room was bleak and worn, Noah’s was more homely.
“You’re like able to do what? You must be powered if you’re with James.” He looked me over and smiled lightly.
“I’m a demon man. I am able to communicate with demons and every once in awhile I am able to reach into Hell and grab them out to help me out. It’s nothing all that special. There are others like me ” I looked him over and smiled lightly. Noah nodded, biting his lip.
“Sounds a lot better than me. I don’t understand why I’m even here. I can’t remember where I came from or why I’m here. I wish I knew what I could do. I wish I had some sort of idea who I was, where I come from and what I can do. All I know is that you’re here and you’re saying that I have some sort of powers.” He looked me over and played with his hands.
“We’ll figure it out soon enough, okay?” Noah nodded and looked up at me. He gave me a small smile before going back to looking back at his hands.
Chapter 6: We Don't Belong
Excuse the shitty chapter you are about to read.
I walked out of the room and looked down the hallway. No one was in the hallway, which was good. My hair stood on end as the silence held me captive. The whole place was still dark. Not a single person moved. The worst part was that today was the day I was going to break my friends out of their cells. I had barely seen them since New Year’s day and that was only just Josh. F.E.A.R must have beenMy senses were on high alert. I walked towards the end of the hallway, turning to the left. My feet guided my way to the hospital wing, a walk I had done a few times before. The walk there was cold and I hadn’t thought to bring a jacket. I shivered lightly and looked at the crowed walls.
I never thought that F.E.A.R would condone violence or propaganda to their own but the posters surrounding me made me feel as though they did. Actually, it wasn’t just a feeling, it was a fact. I could see the anger behind every poster, the brainwashing of their own kind. There was nothing but hate behind every single poster. ‘Make America Great’ they had claimed. If great meant white, male and straight than great it was. It was the only thing F.E.A.R cared about. The closer you were to the great race, the better off you were. The darker the skin, the worse off you were. It was just like the slave days all over again, at least from what I’ve heard. I had no idea why these people seemed to keep dark skinned people around. I had seen many of them walking around the compound. I guess it was so they they could keep the features they liked about them and just make them whiter.
The posters spoke out against people with powers and forced normality, whatever that was. But that seemed all wrong. They kept so many people in their boarders who had sex linked powers. The whole corporation was fucking bogus and I had no idea what to think. I had seen this…this cult was forcing people into submission. They made people who were different, feel like shit for things they couldn’t change. I had heard the horror stories from people who had escaped. Those who were forced to go to conversation therapy or were just tossed out onto the streets for being too dark. Their powers seemed to stem from that or whatever but it rarely correlated as they had probably had a traumatic event before then. I sighed lightly and kept walking.
I walked into one of the clean, sanitary white rooms. I turned and looked around, the bright white of the room almost blinding me. I rubbed my eyes and tried to focus on something that wasn’t white for once. I stumbled over to the chair and sat down on the cold metal. I sighed lightly and kept rubbing my eyes. My whole body was weak. I could barely stand up anymore. My legs couldn’t support me anymore. The room began spinning around me. My stomach churned and I puked onto the floor, last night’s dinner. Sitting down wasn’t helping much either. The room was still spinning and my stomach still churned. I turned and looked around. There were no gases leaking out of the pipes. At least, there was none that I could see. The air didn’t smell funny and there was nothing open that I could see. There was no causation for what I was feeling.
A nurse walked into the room, a smile painted on her face. It was wide and fake and plastic. Her red lipstick was Her hair was dark brown or black, I couldn’t tell. My vision was blurrier than usual. My head ached and throbbed, even sitting down. I grasped it between my hands. She walked up to me, the sound of her heels stabbing my brain. My eyes closed wearily as I tried to stop the pain that was going through my head.
“What’s wrong sweetheart?” She asked sweetly, pulling my hands away from my face. I was too weak to fight back.
“Nothing. Just a headache. Can we get this over with? I want to at least eat a bit of breakfast before I head to training.” I whispered, trying to keep from passing out. The lights were still blinding me.
“Of course my love.” She smiled and looked me over. I lifted my shirt off and pulled the bandages off my arm. The sound of adhesive peeling off of skin filled the room. Pain shot through my arm. I groaned lightly and looked at the blue and purple bruises. There was still a bit of red and a few blood blisters within the huge bruise. There was a bit of swelling and I was surprised that William didn’t break my arm.
“How have you been?” She asked me, looking me over. Her hands were moving swiftly, moving over the bruise lightly with her fingertips.
“I’ve been okay, want these bruises to be gone. They’re a pain in my ass to be honest.” She looked me over, nodding lightly.
“They look really bad but they don’t hurt as much as they look, do they?” She looked me over as I nodded and smiled. “Who did this to you anyhow?”
“I don’t think I’m a liberty to say.” She nodded knowingly and looked me over once more. She placed an ice pack on my arm and wrapped my arm up. I turned to my side and looked out of the widow to the room. Her hands worked quickly on my ribs, rubbing some numbing cream on it. I smiled lightly and watched as more and more people began waking up. There were doctors and nurses coming in. They moved quickly grabbing some prescriptions for other people. The ICU wing was just down the hall. I smiled lightly and looked at her reflection in the mirror. The headache and dizziness was going away. She was one of the more attractive nurses I’ve had. She was curvy with huge plastic boobs, which was odd because F.E.A.R rarely allowed plastic surgery, and had her red and brown hair pulled back into a ponytail. She wore some high heels and red lipstick.
“You’ll have to tell me who hurt you one day. I have to fill out paperwork for you insurance. Of you don’t you’re going to lose it.” I shrugged lightly and looked down. She finished up her work and patted my back lightly.
I got up and walked out of the room. She followed me and looked me over. I headed down the hallway towards where the training room was headed. I walked until I was out of her sight. I hid behind some boxes and waited until she was out of sight. I began walking back towards the rooms and right past them. My feet moved quick and confidently. I tried to keep calm. Doctors looked me over and squinted their eyes lightly. I kept moving and nodded lightly. Some of the doctors tried to stop me but I kept moving. I looked around for the DNA room. A few doctors looked at me as I walked in. My heart beat faster as I locked the door behind me. People had seen me, taken in my face. I looked at the rows and rows of computers. A woman sat on a computer. I walked up to her and touched her shoulder. She whipped around and pulled out a knife.
“Fuck dude, how the fuck did you get here? I thought you were chilling out in the middle of nowhere.” Angie asked, looking at me. Her hand was on her chest. I smiled lightly.
“Long fucking story to be honest. I don’t have time to explain. I need to get my DNA in this system and break some friends out of the cells below. I don’t think it will be safe for you to be here any more after that so I think you might want to get the hell out of dodge as soon as I stick my blood in there.” She smiled lightly and nodded.
“Want some help?” She asked, looking me over. I nodded lightly and looked at her. She smiled once more and looked at me before turning back to the computer. I pricked myself and put my finger on a fingered next to the computer. She smiled lightly and looked at me.
“You have to make the DNA is attached to a newborn baby. It will stall us for time while I look for my brothers.”
“You have brothers?” Angie asked, looking me over. I nodded and looked at her. She smiled lightly and looked me over.
“Yeah, as weird as it sounds I have brothers. Dad just told me before I got here which is super fucking stupid because at this point I assume he’s dead. What about a kid named Jack? He would be connected to a William last and would have gotten here a .” Angie got up and hugged me lightly. I looked at her and hugged back. She smiled lightly and pulled back. She sat back down and looked at the computer.
“I’m so sorry to hear about that.” She looked at me and frowned. I nodded and looked at the computer. It thank for a bit and Angie redirected the DNA to a baby. It pinged as three people showed up on the computer. A man named Slash and his two sons, London and Cash. It was a familial match. Angie printed out the page and grabbed it. She searched up for the kid named Jack and surprisingly only one result came up.
“Where is he located?” I looked at the weird numbers and symbols that had shown up on the screen.
“You’re not going to believe this but…they say that he’s here, in one of the cells.” Angie looked up at me.
I took her hand and began running. The alarm began blaring as we passed the hospital doors. A rush went through my body as we ran together. She smiled as we headed down to the cells. My whole body was full of adrenaline. I looked her over and smiled. She looked me over and smiled. We ran quite fast and I barely felt any pain. I ran into the training room. I picked up Noah and James and we ran towards the cells. A few powered people had joined the pair. Not as many as I wanted, maybe a ten to twenty people had joined the two, but it was okay. The alarms were still blaring. I smiled lightly and looked at her. Noah tripped and fell a bit. I smiled and looked back at him. He smiled lightly and looked at me. We turned and looked at the cells. I heaved and heard the steps of agents above us. I turned and looked at her. She smiled lightly and looked at the cells. A few of my friends had cowered into the back of their cells. I took a deep breath and looked at them. Jinxx pounded down the steps and stood next to us. I took his hand and squeezed it reassuringly. My chest heaved as I looked over the small cells.
“Are you sure you want to do this?” I nodded and looked at my friends. The doors looked pretty weak and I had forgotten to grab the keys in my adrenaline haze. I grabbed the door and prayed it off of it’s hinges, waving for my friends to get out of their cells. They ran out and began helping out the others, opening up the doors. I turned my head over my shoulder, looking at my friends. Soldiers and agents came down the stair cases. My heart beat a little bit faster as I looked back at the others in front of me.
“Move! Go!” Some stared at me in shock, dragging their feet on the dirt. Others didn’t even move at all. I rolled my eyes back into my head, my wings coming out of my back. A deep growl formed in my thought as I turned my head up to the sky. I knew what was going on and in my haze I could feel the fear of my friends grow. My body turned to the soldiers as I stepped forward.
The rags feel off of my body and turned into a large suit of armor. Claws extended from my fingernails. I turned my palms up to the sky as the mist formed into sparking balls about an inch above my head. My feet turned into hooves and horns formed above my brows. Steam came out of my nostrils as anger filled my stomach. My eyes opened up as I looked over at the soldiers, armed and ready. A dark black mist formed around my feet. I sighed lightly and stepped towards the soldiers. A few fell to their feet in praise. Others stood their ground, holding their guns shakily. My feet took me until I was a few feet away from them.
“W-what are you?” One managed to spit out. He was young with blonde hair and blue eyes. Not that muscular, probably his first day on the job. I would hate to hurt him.
“Your worst fucking nightmare.” I smiled, showing my fangs. My wings flapped nicely and provided the wind some needed to drop their guns.
One man lunged towards me and I waved my hand. He flew against the wall with a loud crack. He fell to the ground limp. His eyes still moved so I guess I only just paralyzed him. I smiled as more tried to come for me. The old one at a time trick. I sighed and kept smacking them against the walls. I began to just not look at what was happening as more and more came towards me.
“So you’re just going to come at me one by one or are you guys going to actually make this a bit fun for me?” I raised an eyebrow.
They began coming two at a time now. I smiled lightly and began to actually fight some of them. The cracking of lightning and bone against bone filled the air. I walked over to one of the cells and light the room on fire. The dry wood almost immediately burst into flames. I smiled lightly and looked them over. I tossed a few of the paralyzed ones into the room. I don’t know how the soldiers were letting me do this but they did. I walked over to the other side of the hallway and started another fire. I began tossing the live ones in there as well. Their screams filled the air as some of them came out kicking and screaming. I turned into a small room as more and more soldiers came down the stairs. I closed my eyes as a light grey mist began filling up the room, surrounding me.
“What do you want from me this time?” Hades stepped out of the shadows and crossed his arms. He looked more like a worn out eighties rockstar than a god of the underworld.
“I’m getting attacked by some damned F.E.A.R soldiers and they are going to fucking beat my ass.” I looked at him as he circled the room, inspecting the walls.
“I asked what you wanted and not what was happening.” He growled as he looked back at me. I sighed and rolled my eyes. I hated calling in favors with gods because it always came with a twist down the road but whatever, I needed his dog.
“You know I hate to ask but I need Cereus for a little while. I can’t fight off these damned soldiers alone.” Hades snapped and the huge dog appeared in front of me. Cereus feel onto his back and wagged his tail happily. I gave him a quick scratch on the belly and smiled.
“I’ll need him back soon.” Hades flashed away and left me with the dog. I couldn’t even get out a thanks.
After I had summoned, more so asked for him, the huge black wolf with three heads named Cereus to keep the runners at bay I began attacking more and more soldiers with a newfound confidence. The wolf smiled and began attacking the soldiers. Their screams were cut short as he ripped their throats. I smiled and began working on my own problems. I fought with the soldiers, mostly engaging in hand to hand combat instead of using my powers. I was too tired to actually dip into the spirit world again. I sighed and stabbed the last solider. Once I had taken care of most of the soldiers had died, throwing the dead bodied into the fire I had created and the tying up the still conscious ones I turned Cereus into three wolves, just incase I needed him again in the near future.
Everyone began running down the hallway and out of the compound. I began helping out more and more people to get out. I got to the last cell and looked over my shoulder once more. William ran up, chest heaving, and smiled lightly. Inside the cell was a preteen boy. He looked more like a child. He was so malnourished and his skin was grey. I smiled lightly and picked him up, my dogs following close behind. I smiled lightly and looked at the small child.
“Jack!” William rushed into the room and picked up the child. He held him close and kissed his temples. The smiled lightly and giggled happily.
“Daddy! You came back for me! I missed you daddy. I really missed you.” The child sounded real small. I just Tears began streaming down Jack’s face as I took another look down the hallway. The soldiers were getting closer.
“Go, you guys have to go!” I pushed the men out of the cell and off to where the others had gone off. The soldiers got closer and closer. I ran off with William and Jack, trying to keep up with my short legs. I tripped over a few branches and was only a few paces behind the two. We kept running until the bright light of day hit our faces. The Wild Ones who I saved were waiting a few feet away from us.
“Run! What are you doing! Run!” And as if to make my message more urgent, soldiers came out of the doorway William, Jack and I had just run out. We ran until we were met with a crossroads. The soldiers were far behind us so we had maybe a minute or so before they caught up.
“To the city or to the desert?” I asked, looking at the group. I knew the soldiers would expect us to head into the desert.
“The city. I have contacts there that will help us out.” Angie chimed in. The others nodded and looked at us. I smiled lightly and looked at her. We snuck through the gates of the city, watching the soldiers head into the desert.
“Good idea Angie.” She nodded and lead our way into the gated city, the capital of F.E.A.R. I hadn’t known how close we were to the capital. I smiled lightly and looked at her as we walked into a bustling marketplace.
“What the flying fuck?” F.E.A.R cites were supposed to be the height of technology, at least the ones who got the funding for it. But a marketplace? This seemed out of place for the lies I had been fed through the grapevine. Though I guess a marketplace was the height of technology for some people. I smiled lightly and looked at Jack. His eyes were wandering and looking over at the food. I grabbed a small apple off of a cart and handed it to Jack. He smiled and bit into the apple hungrily. His eyes lit up and smiled lightly.
“This is the capital, not as advanced as we think. At least on the outside.” She smiled and looked at me.
“This place looks amazing.” I smiled lightly and looked Angie over. She smiled and led us into the hustle and bustle of the people. Our group weaved through the crowd and went over to a cafe that was also outside. We sat down and looked at each other. Most of us were dirty and weary.
“We’ll need to find you all shower. You probably haven’t showered in awhile. We’ll also need some food, especially for the kid.” Jack finished his apple and looked at me.
“I’ve got the food part.” I smiled and grabbed a woman’s shopping bag, heading over to the stands of meat and fruit. I grabbed whatever I needed with my sticky fingers and didn’t pay a dime. There were no cameras here so all I had do was keep my head down. I kept moving, filling the bag up to the brim in food before heading back to dump the food on the table. Everyone began feasting. I went back to the fruit stands and grabbed more and more food. I filled the bag once, twice, three times. On the fourth time, I came back and sat down. I smiled lightly and looked at everyone eating. Jack was filling his stomach with food. He had eaten the most out of everyone and I smiled lightly. He had eaten maybe three bags worth of food. I went out and grabbed some seasoning for the meats and grabbed some drinks, mostly water. I grabbed some more meat and smiled lightly.
“See you’ve got some sticky fingers too. F.E.A.R prices are too high for you? Can’t feed yourself?” A man was looking over some meats and eyed a huge piece of steak. My mouth watered even at the sight of raw meat.
“It’s all a ploy to get us to buy into the big fast food corporations.” I smiled and bit into an apple. The man smiled and looked at me, nodding lightly as I looked out across the crowd. The man looked at me and smiled lightly.
“Of course.” He nodded and looked me over. I smiled and finished, heading back to the table. I looked at them and smiled. Jack was still eating, his body hunched over a pile of food. His entire spine was poking out of the thin shirt he wore. I dumped the whole bag onto the table and Jack kept eating. He looked at the new food on the table and smiled
“Are we going to let the kid keep eating and take all of out food?” Jinxx looked at me and I looked at James. James gave me a knowing look.
“He’s powered, he needs all the strength he can get. We’ll need his strength for later.” Jinxx looked James over then looked back at me, eyeing the two of us.
“James can read the minds of powered people.” I explained. Jinxx nodded knowingly and turned back to the kid. Jack smiled and held a mango close to his mouth and smiled up at me, juice and mango guts spilling out of his mouth. William had moved him from a seat next to him to one on his lap. He kept trying to smooth Jack’s hair down but it failed at least ninety percent of the time.
“So what’s our plan now, Angie?” Jinxx looked at her and Angie threw her hands up in the air defensively.
“I just got us here. I’m not about to do anything else besides get in contact with one of my friends and hole up in one of their apartments. I have no idea what y’all are going to do but that’s what I’m going to do.” She looked us over as I almost launched myself over the table to fight her. She smirked and looked at me knowingly. I growled as Jinxx held me back. I looked down and sighed lightly. I sat back and crossed my arms. ‘Fuck you’ was all I could mumble out in the silence between the two of us. William covered Jack’s ears and looked at me. I stuck my tongue out at Angie and she did the same back. I sighed and looked at the bag of food at my feet.
“Come on Angie, we would all appreciate it if you could get a place that could hold us all. I know it’s going to be really hard but we would all really appreciate it if you did this for us.” Jinxx smiled sweetly and looked at Angie. She smiled and looked us over.
“Anything for you, my sweet Jinxx.” Jinxx gave me a slight nod and a pinch on the arm. I smiled as well and sighed lightly. She got on her F.E.A.R bought phone, anything above an iPhone X was controlled by F.E.A.R, and looked through the contacts.
“You better be nice to Angie. She’s the only one who can actually get you into good graces with Juliet.” I tolled my eyes and crossed my arms.
Everyone knew that Juliet and I didn’t have the best of relationships. Though, I’m not sure anyone really did. She was the exact opposite of me. Where I was a literal dude, she was a girl. But I think she got really mad that I ‘betrayed my sex’ and ‘would never get that I’m not a real man’. She was just the stuck up woman who thought that beating her husband into doing whatever she wanted was okay. She was lazy and entitled. She rarely did anything and everything I did seemed like ‘too much work’ to her even though I just did the bare minimum required of me. She would complain about healing the wounds of the injured and just half do the job when need be. But we tried to put it aside as often as possible.
“I don’t need to be nice to Juliet or Angie. Angie is at least half decent. I can tolerate her but Juliet serves no good to me. I can clean up my own wounds myself. She has no use to me.” Jinxx rolled his eyes and looked down, crossing his arms. I sighed lightly and looked up at Jack.
“How long do you think he was in there?” I looked up at William as he looked over Jack. I smiled lightly and looked at the small kid.
“Seven, maybe eight, years. I haven’t seen him since he was like ten.” My eyes widened. This small person, who looked like he should be ten, was my age. He was supposed to have hit puberty and actually gotten way bigger than he really was. William nodded and held the teen close. I looked him over and sighed. Jack was still eating as he looked at me. His blue eyes were getting bluer as he ate more and more.
“You think we can get him to a doctor?” I looked over at Angie. She shrugged and barely looked up from her phone.
“Maybe. I don’t know. You’re on the run now and we can’t get everything as easy as those names.” She didn’t look up at all from her phone. She smiled weakly up at us before turning back to her phone. I sighed and looked at Jack. He was so small and fragile. It was hard not to feel for the kid. He was supposed to be as big as William and instead he was stuck in the body of a ten year old.
“I guess we’ll just have to wait and see about that.” She nodded and looked me over. I sighed lightly and looked down, rubbing my temples.
“Yeah, we’ll have to wait and see.” I looked down and sighed lightly once more and Jinxx held me close.
“But I’m sure there is something I can do to help.” Angie looked up from her phone and then back down at it, her fingers flying fast.
“Let’s hope. Otherwise breaking all of you out was for nothing.” I looked at her and then at Jack. Jack smiled and finished up his meal. My three dogs ate a few pieces of meat out of the bag. I smiled and watched them chow down on their food.
“It really is inhumane to have a wolf, let alone three of them.” Angie sneered. I rolled my eyes and looked at her.
“So what? PETA doesn’t exist anymore and you don’t really adhere to the vegan diet. Anyhow, this is the demon dog that guards the gates to hell in the Greek mythos so I wouldn’t really want to get on my bad side.”
“You never had a good to begin with so what even is your bad side?” She smiled and snipped back.
“Well, you can be on my bad side which gets a good word put in with the god of death and the grim reaper or my worse side and my worse side gets you your own personal hell, so your choice.” I smiled lightly and cocked my head to the side.
“I’ll take the bad side.” Angie laughed nervously and went back to her phone. Jinxx pet one of the dogs, one I had named Jason, and smiled. Jason rolled over onto his back, his huge paws hitting the table, causing it to shake violently. My heart sped up as I took a glance around us. A few onlookers shot glances at us but I don’t think any of them saw my little pets. I took a sigh of relief and looked back at Jinxx.
“Jason really seems to like you.” I smiled lightly and looked at Jinxx. Jinxx smiled nervously and looked at the huge wolf. Even if it was a wolf, it was much bigger than one. It was about six feet at the shoulder and wasn’t very easy to hide to those who saw demons.
“I prefer cats but I guess these guys aren’t that bad. They’re a bit big for my taste but they make you look pretty badass.” Jinxx smiled and looked at me. He smiled lightly and looked at me.
“Yeah, wish I could have them with me all the time but sometimes Hades needs them and I have to return these sweethearts back to where they belong. Though, if you think these babies are big, you should see Fenrir.”
“Who’s that?” Jinxx looked up at me, his brows furrowed. I smiled lightly and chuckled, petting another one of my puppies, Jacob.
“He’s the son of Loki. This big huge wolf. He’s like, the size of a fucking moon or something. He’s huge. A massive wolf who looks like he would eat you, but won’t.” I smiled.
“You guys got a place, it’s not the best place but it’s somewhere. It’s an abandoned hospital building that my friend owns. He’s going to fix it up and make it pretty. Said you guys could stay there if you start cleaning the place out and painting it. It’s got heat and a working stove. He’s going to turn it into an apartment building. It’s big enough to hold you all.”
“Sounds like a plan.” I looked at her and smiled lightly. She smiled and looked at me. I looked back and smiled lightly. Jinxx looked at me and held my hand. I looked down and sighed lightly.
“Yeah, after this, you’re on your own. I’m not going to help you any further. I’m in enough trouble as it is for actually being where I don’t belong.” Angie didn’t look up from her phone as she looked at me.
“You’re going to do well as our leader.” James looked at me and smiled lightly. He held my hand tighter and smiled. I nodded and looked at him.
“What am I going to do?” I stood up and pulled Jinxx to the side. He looked at me oddly and sighed lightly, letting me take him to a small corner of the room.
“What do you mean ‘what are you going to do’? You have to do this. I mean, we all know Chris and the others trust you. They’re the ones who literally die for you. Noah and James only trust you because you’re the one who convinced them to even recruit others.” Jinxx looked at me and sighed lightly. My three dogs followed close behind me.
“I can’t do this. I can’t be a fucking leader. I don’t know what the hell I’m going to do. I don’t even know how I got Chris to even die for me the first time. Noah and James just somehow went along with it. I don’t know what kind of authority I have over them. They could leave anytime they want and I wouldn’t be able to stop them from doing it.” I looked at him and sighed lightly. My hands were shaking and my chest was heaving.
“Yes, yes you can. You can be a leader. You have to be a leader. Chris came to you that first time because he was so scared of actually dying that he wanted to know what it felt like. Do you remember that?” I shook my head. “He told you that he didn’t want to fear the darkness that he’d see on the other side. He wanted to know who was going to pick him when he died. You took the fear out of dying for so many people. Every time you make them die, their fear of dying goes away a bit more. You’re their leader because they trust that they’re going to come out to this alive. Other than that I have no idea what to tell you about being a leader.”
“I can’t do this. I really can’t do this. I can’t do this. I can’t do this. I can’t.” My mind was racing and I couldn’t see ahead of me. My fingers moved frantically, trying to grasp for something that wasn’t there. I sighed and looked around the courtyard once more.
“You can. You have to do this. You have to do this for us. You have to do this. We need you to do this so that you can survive” My heart raced as I looked around the courtyard. Everyone was looking at me. I needed to get out of here. My stomach churned as I looked back down at the ground.
“Fucking hell! I can’t fucking do this.” I looked back at the man as he shook me. His hands ran over my body. “Why did you break them out then?” He looked at me lightly. I shook my head over and over again. I tried to shake out the thoughts in my head.
“I don’t know. I don’t know. I don’t know why I do anything anymore. I really don’t know why I do any of this. I don’t know why I jumped into the back of that truck. I don’t know why I decided to talk to someone in F.E.A.R. I don’t know why I followed my father’s instructions. He’s not even my father. I should’ve stayed with you guys. I should have waited. I don’t know why I did any of this. I’m not fit to be a leader and yet I lead myself and a hundred different people into the capital of fucking F.E.A.R. I swear to god I have no idea what I’m doing half the time and I am so fucking scared of what might happen. You all might die or get captured and tortured. I have no idea what the hell I was thinking. I mean, you’re the smart one. You’re the one who should really be leading us.”
“Shhh, you’re talking yourself in circles. You’re upset as all hell and you’re about to have a panic attack, it’s written all over your face. Now, we have to work on that a bit before you go back to those people and lead them. You’re scared you’re going to lose us and that’s based in reality. We’ve lost loads of people before and that was under Andy’s command. You’re not Andy, never have been.”
“So what? I learned everything from him! I’m not about to lead them with his voice in the back of his head telling me what to do.” My chest heaved even more as I looked around at the people, they were still looking at me and what I was doing.
“But I’m here and willing to put that voice at ease.” Jinxx looked me over and kept rubbing my arms.
“I don’t fucking care. He’s still going to be there telling me that everything I do is wrong.” I looked at him and sighed lightly. My heart rate was going down and I looked down at the ground. A bit of smoke had gathered around my feet and it was sparking violently. The sparks weren’t their normal color either. These were a dark maroon instead of the bright electric blue.
“What the hell is going on?” I looked up at Jinxx as my chest began rising and falling rapidly. My palms got sweaty, moist with anxiety.
“I have no idea but it doesn’t look all that good. Try to calm down, my love. Try to take some deep breaths for me.” Jinxx held me close and smiled lightly. I looked down and sighed, taking a few deep breaths. My hands were still sweaty and I was still breathing heavily.
“I don’t know how to control these new powers. This isn’t something that shouldn’t be happening. Puberty is over for me, unless you count the testosterone and even then I haven’t noticed any new powers with those. I don’t know what I have to do to control these powers at all, the ones I have are scary enough and now I have new ones popping out of fucking nowhere? They’re fucking terrifying. They make me feel so weak and scary. I feel so weird because I can communicate with things people rarely believe in now. They’re getting weaker and weaker by the day. Then I’ll be left with nothing, I’ll be fucking powerless. I will be a normal person after people stop believing.”
“There will always be people believing in a higher power. I don’t know what else to tell you. You’re fearing over something that will not happen for another fifty years at the minimum. We’ll figure these new powers out once we’re settled but for now we have to go back to the others and make sure they’re all okay.” He held me still as I looked at him. I nodded lightly and took a deep breath, walking back to the table the others were at.
Chapter 7: F.E.A.R Transmission Two: Trust
The old hospital was as creepy as it seemed. The rooms were even creepier than the outer appearance. The outer appearance of the hospital was dilapidated. There were vines overtaking the hospital and looked as if they were trying to swallow the whole building whole. When we all walked inside, we were all taken aback. The stench of dead bodies hit our noses. A few people coughed and one person puked.
“Ugh, you would think this thing wouldn’t smell like dead bodies. What happened?” My face turned to Angie.
“They used this place to hold bodies while the city waited for cemeteries to open up.” She smiled lightly and looked down.
“We’re going to have to plant something, get this place smelling better and looking better from the outside. This place is in need of a good sweeping and dusting. We’ll need to get windows open, if we can even get them open.” Josh nodded and headed over to the windows behind the receptionist’s desk and opened them up. Fresh air came blasting into the house. I smiled lightly as the light came in.
“Want me to go open some more?” Josh walked up to me, rolling up his sleeves to show more of his enchanted tattoos.
“Of course, thank you.” I kissed his cheek and watched as he walked away, blushing lightly. He rubbed the back of his neck and had his head down.
“I’ll go get some paint from the hardware store down the street. Want me to get anything else while I’m down there?” Chris asked, looking me over.
“Just whatever tools and cleaning supplies you can get your hands on, we’ll need it and don’t get into any trouble. You have the counterfeits I gave you?” Chris nodded and looked at me. I had given them all some fake money incase we ever needed to actually make a purchase.
“Okay then, go off then.” Chris smiled and looked me over once more, hugging me quickly. He walked off, heading out. I walked over to the supply closet and found some brooms along with some mops.
“Alright gang, let’s get to cleaning this place. It’s not going to clean itself.” I tossed some brooms to the others and mops to the rest. I threw some rags on the desk and began cleaning it up.
James came over with a water bucket and placed it down next to us. I smiled and dipped my rag into the soapy water. There were layers of dust all over the place. I had to scrub for hours on end and in just one place to even get a single layer off.
“What happened back there at the courtyard?” James asked, looking at the desk in front of us. I shrugged and looked at the desk, it was wood from what I had cleaned off.
“Nothing for you to worry about, okay?” I walked around the desk to clean the other side and put some distance between the two of us. This side was easier to clean as there wasn’t as much dust on it.
“Okay then. If you never need to talk to someone, you can ask me. It’s not like I’m going to judge you or anything.” James smiled cockily and looked over the desk, finding a radio and an intercom. He turned it on and began blasting some music from before we were even born. I smiled as the 80s music filled the air. I covered my ears and shook my head. Even for someone who used to listen to this kind of music with their dad, who insisted on it being loud, it was too loud for me. James turned it down to a more acceptable level before heading back to work.
“There’s only a few people I trust with my inner most thoughts and you are not one of them.” I said, knowing he wasn’t going to hear me. James danced and smiled lightly. I giggled and stopped my work, watching as my friends let loose. Vinny walked up to me and smiled lightly, extending a hand to me.
“Would you like to dance?” He smiled and looked at me. I nodded a bit and took his hand in mine.
“You’ve always been too good to me.” He smiled and looked down lightly, blushing as we slow danced to the fastest music I have ever heard. I blushed and looked at him. He smiled and looked at me.
“Of course, how else would I act around my friends? I was raised this way, to be nice to people. Maybe sometimes to a fault sometimes.” Vinny blushed and looked me over. I looked down and sighed lightly as he looked at me.
“I don’t know. It’s made me feel like a good person. Like I have been important in someone’s life for the first time in a little while. It’s almost like a confidence boost.” He smiled and looked me over, swaying us back and forth a bit. I smiled and giggled lightly as his hands were in the right place, staying there. I smiled and looked at him lightly.
“Then I am glad that I make you feel important, makes me feel good hearing that I boost your confidence.” He smiled and looked me over. I giggled and looked him over. Chris looked at us, eyeing us with jealousy. I pulled away from Vinny and went back to work. Chris’ gaze made me feel a bit odd. I looked down and sighed lightly. I looked up at James and sighed.
“What’s up with that dude with the gauges?” James looked me over as he went back to cleaning his side of the desk.
“Which one?” I asked earnestly, looking at the other men who also had gauges. James chuckled lightly and shook his head.
“You’re right. The one you’re so worried about,” James pointed to Chris who was still doing his section of cleaning. “That one.”
“He’s just a friend of mine, a very important friend of mine.” Chris noticed me looking at him smiled and looked down a bit, blushing.
“So like your boyfriend?” James asked. I shook my head, dipping the rag into the bucket and bring it back out to keep cleaning.
“No, never. He’s with someone else at the moment.” I bit my lip lightly and kept cleaning the desk, putting more elbow work into it.
“Oh, so does he actually like you?” He prodded. I shook my head once more and kept my mouth shut.
“No, no he doesn’t like me. He’s not into guys anyhow. He’s not a Wild Ones because of his sexuality, it’s for his body modifications.”
“Oh, okay. So why does he look so worried about you? If he seemingly has no ties to you.” James looked down and scrubbed at a particularly hard part of the desk.
“He…I’m a demon…well part demon anyhow from what I understand and I can dip into the demon world, all of the hells in mythology combined, and take out demons and other more important fallen angels. I can also…make people die and bring them back. Chris has been dead multiple times as he wanted to know what dying felt like so he had no fear of it. The more he dips into death, the more he understands about dying. He trusts me more than anyone.”
“So he worries because he trusts you, he needs to have the knowledge he needs so that when he actually dies, he’s not afraid.”
“Yeah, he’s kind of using me for that but I don’t mind at all. If I can help one person not be afraid of my friends, then it’s all I need.”
“So basically, if you die, he no longer has that connection to the underworld that he needs to not be afraid.” I nodded and looked down.
“Yeah, don’t know if he’ll become afraid again but I guess I’ll cross that bridge when we get there. For now, he worries about me.”
“I guess that makes you feel like you have an older brother, yeah? Didn’t have much of an older brother though, don’t know what a good one feels like.” He smiled and kept cleaning. Vinny came up behind James and smiled at me.
“Hey Vin, how are you?” I asked as the small man blushed a bit as he picked up a rag. Vinny smiled and looked at me.
“I’m okay. How are you?” He asked, not paying James any attention. I smiled and stopped my working to talk to the man.
“I’m doing pretty well,” Vinny reached out and his shirt pulled up a bit to show fresh cuts on his arms. “You sure you’re okay?”
“No.” The response was quite and almost a whisper. I reached over and looked at the man as I took him away to a secluded corner of the hospital.
“What’s up with you?” I asked as he pulled his shirt down over his arms. I sighed lightly and looked down.
“Nothing. I’ve been more than okay.” I looked down and rubbed my arms, a chill running over me.
“There are fresh cuts on your wrist. I know you only do that when you’re feeling pretty damn useless.” Tears welled up in his eyes as he held me close.
“I missed you and I had no idea what else to do other than restrict and do that. I’m not proud but I missed you so fucking much.” I smiled lightly and held him. As much as it hurt me to see that Vinny had gone back on his promise not to hurt himself again, it was sweet that he missed me.
“I’m not going to go anywhere anytime soon.” I pulled away from him and looked down as I held his hand.
“Are you sure?” He asked, holding my hands in his. I nodded and pulled him back into a hug, holding him tight.
“I am not going to go anywhere anytime soon. We’re going to be okay, Vin.” He smiled and held me close.
“If you say we’re going to be okay, then I guess I have to listen to you.” Vinny chuckled and looked at me. I smiled lightly.
“Of course, we’re going to be okay. Loads of things have just been popping up these days and it’s make me anxious. Like, we’ve had us being captured and you just coming out of nowhere to save us and break us out. Granted I was stressed before that because I’m scared of what I might do.” Vinny looked at me and smiled lightly. I smiled lightly and looked down.
“You’re going to be good if I leave you alone for the next few hours or do you need to hang out with me? You know I worry about you.” I asked, looking at him lightly. He nodded lightly and sighed lightly and looked at me.
“I’m going to be okay. But can you…can you sleep with me tonight? I don’t trust myself tonight, at least until I get used to this new place.” He looked at me softly looking like a lost.
“Of course. Will you be fine for the next few hours though?” I asked once more to make sure he really was okay, looking at the small man. I subconsciously held his arm and when he pulled back, I dropped my hand. I mouthed a ‘sorry’ as I looked down at the floor. He smiled lightly and looked down.
“I think I might. I’m sure you’ll be around and within sight most of the day so I know I’ll be fine. You’ve always been my rock.” He smiled and walked out. I followed behind and smiled lightly as I looked at the small man.
“He’s okay? That is, if I’m at liberty to ask.” James asked as I went back to working on the desk. Chris began to paint a bit of the walls. He had picked out an obnoxious yellow for the lobby area and some beiges for the rooms. I sighed lightly and rubbed my eyes as I looked at the yellows. I groaned and looked down.
“It’s okay to ask, as long as you don’t get too deep. Yeah, of course he’s okay. We just needed to talk for a bit. He missed me while I was gone. Don’t think I’m able to disclose the rest without his permission.” I sighed and rubbed my eyes once more as I looked down. The yellow was so fucking bright. It was brighter than a fucking highlighter and that was saying something.
“Hey, did Vin get to talk to you?” Chris walked up to me and pulled my elbow a bit, nudging me back towards the spot where I had just talked to Vin. I stumbled at the force of his pull and sighed lightly, looking down.
“Yes, Vinny did talk to me but what’s up with everyone wanting to talk to me today? I just want to get some work done in peace.” I asked, wiping off a bit of paint that was on Chris’ face.
“I’m a bit concerned for him, of course you looked pretty concerned for him as well, and I don’t think he told you the real reason he did…he did what he did.”
“And? Shouldn’t that be for him to disclose to me and not you? I mean, it is his problem and a very personal one at that. He should build up the courage to tell me in his own time, kind of a decent thing to do.” I crossed my arms and looked at the others.
“Yes, which is why I’m asking you to act a bit shocked when he actually tells you about this but he’s in love with you and he’s been so fucking broken up about it too. He says he’s too gross to be loved by you and he even says he would rather kill himself than not be loved back by you. It’s a whole thing where he stands in front of whatever reflective surface he can find and pokes out every bit he hates about himself. I tried to get him to stop since he ended up really harming himself a few times but I can’t get him to stop. He’s been moaning and groaning almost every night talking about how he wants to love you and make you feel like the prince you are. Though, I don’t really know how else he’d make you feel like a price, you’re already spoiled enough as it is.”
“Oh? So you think I’m spoiled? Just because I was born into some shitty ass circumstances that make me the fucking ‘chosen one’ doesn’t mean I want to be spoiled at all. I didn’t fucking ask for this. I never fucking asked for this. I didn’t want to be spoiled, okay? I want to be normal like the rest of you all but you know that I’m the chosen one and no one seems to care that I’m a human being with actual fucking feelings that needs to be treated like one. Though when I think he says he wants to treat me like a prince he means treat me with the common human decency that most people fail to give me which would be much needed considering that people seem to treat me like a piece of meat with powers.”
“Oh. Guess I shouldn’t have said that.” Chris could barely get anything else out as I turned back and went back to cleaning the desk, which was thankfully almost done. I sighed and looked down as I went to mopping the floor with Vinny.
“You’re looking great today, though you always look good.” Vinny blushed and looked at me as I mopped up a spot next to him.
“Thank you. You look great too.” I smiled and looked at him before going back to work, turning my back on him. Someone tapped on my shoulder soon enough and I turned around, facing a man with blonde hair and blue eyes. He had a surfer tan and a smile to boot.
“Hey, what’s playing on the radio?” The man’s hands flew around as I looked for something to ground me. I smiled lightly and looked at him. He smiled when I asked him to slow down and he signed it all again.
“Oh, okay, okay. They’re playing some old 80s hair metal, kind of cheesy but it makes sense since we’re doing a cleaning montage of sorts.” He smiled and nodded lightly, thanking me. I turned and went back to cleaning.
“You know sign language for no particular reason?” Vinny asked as he looked me over. I nodded and looked at him.
“Yeah, I’ve run into a few Deaf and Hard of Hearing people in my life. Taught me all I needed to know.” He smiled and looked me over. I smiled and looked at him as well.
“Okay, good to know.” He nodded and smiled lightly as he looked at me. I looked down and kept moving. I smiled and looked down lightly.
“Yeah, kind of good to know but not very used much any more. Signers have been forced to the back of the rooms and told not to sign at all. They’re forced into speech therapy as soon as possible and they make them use their voices as much as possible.” Vinny nodded and smiled lightly.
I looked down and began cleaning up. We finished the first floor in a few hours and headed up to the second floor to start cleaning that floor before we all passed out. We began beating out the beds and washing the sheets. Vinny and I made the beds as well. We smiled lightly as we worked in tandem almost. Chris tossed the blankets to us and Ghost mostly began flirting with others, swaying her hips and vexing anyone who came in contact with her. She smiled and looked at everyone and filled the air with her perfume, which stunk after awhile. Vinny shook his head and smiled at Ryan who looked decently confused. Poor little alien boy never really knew what to do. Ricky tried to help him out but to no avail. Even with all of his smarts. He couldn’t help him. I smiled and looked at the bunch as Chris whipped them all back into shape. We smiled and looked at each other.
Chris started bringing beds in from airing them out outside and smiled when he started bringing one into the room Vinny and I were in. I stepped back to allow him to do his thing and tripped over my own two feet, landing on the floor, catching myself with my hands. Vinny looked at me and extended a hand to me. I grabbed onto it and pulled myself up, landing inches away from his face. Vinny blushed so furiously that even his ears turned red and looked me over, biting his lip a bit. I smiled and stepped back, putting a bit of space between us. He frowned and looked down at his feet, pinching his thighs lightly. I looked down and sighed lightly as I back away from him, letting him go.
“I’m sorry about that. I should go. Then I wouldn’t be much of a bother to anyone.” Vinny looked at Chris and walked out of the room. Chris dropped the bed onto the bedspring and sighed. I turned and looked out of the room. Vinny was talking to Ricky, who glanced down at the hallway to look at me.
“I should go follow him, shouldn’t I?” I asked as I looked at Chris. Chris nodded and began straightening the bed up. I smiled and looked down the hallway. Ricky and Vinny were still talking to each other. Vinny smiled as he took a glance at me. I smiled lightly and looked back at Chris.
“No shit man, he does like you and that’s not some fucking trick. If I was that close to Gaia, back when I actually liked her, I would have acted just the same. He’s probably feeling a bit embarrassed for not saying anything. I say you should go see him and that’s only if you actually like him, which I’m assuming you do, don’t you? I mean, you blush most of the time when he’s around.” Chris turned to look at me, a smile on his face as he looked at me. I hadn’t even admitted it to myself and even though the feelings weren’t new as I had always had a crush on Vinny, they felt new now that someone was pointing them out to me. I nodded and looked down. A smile broke out on my face as I thought about the man. I turned on my heels and headed towards Vinny. Ricky walked away and smiled lightly as he looked at me. He gave me a smile and looked at Jamie.
“Hey, I’m sorry for being such an id-“ I cut Vinny off with a kiss on the cheek. Vinny blushed and looked at me when I pulled away. He took me into an empty room and locked the door behind me.
“Took me a long time to admit it to myself that I liked you too.” I blushed and looked at him. Vinny held my waist.
“Well then, I guess Chris told you that I liked you. Not that I’m bothered by it, just wish I had told you myself.” He smiled and looked at me.
“Yeah, he told me that you liked me. Told me to keep it quiet but I couldn’t keep it quiet for even an hour.” I smiled and looked down at the ground. Vinny smiled and held me close.
“I don’t mind one bit, as long as you’re mine. I mean, that is if you’ll be mine.” He smiled and kissed up my neck. She smiled and looked up at me.
“That I will.” I smiled and looked at him. He smiled lightly and looked at me. We stayed there for a bit. He smiled and looked at me once more. He jumped a bit and smiled lightly as he looked at me.
“I’m so freaking happy. You’re mine. You’re mine. You’re mine.” I smiled and watched as Vinny broke away from me to dance a bit. Vinny smiled and jumped around like a bunny rabbit. I smiled and looked down at all the trash.
“Be careful, Vin. There’s a lot of trash in here and I don’t want you to get hurt.” Vinny stopped and held a hand on my hip. I smiled and blushed lightly.
“Of course, I’m sorry for worrying you my love.” Vinny smiled and looked at me. I smiled back and looked at me. He smiled once more and looked at me. I smiled back and smiled lightly. Vinny looked at me and smiled, watching me. I felt his hands move up my arms and his gaze ran down my body.
“It’s okay. Just didn’t want you to get hurt. Wanted you to watch where you’re going.” Vinny smiled and blushed lightly. I smiled and kissed his cheeks. He blushed even more. I smiled and looked at me.
“Thanks for watching out for me.” He smiled and watched as I rubbed his arms as well. Vinny pulled me close.
“Welcome babe.” Vinny blushed lightly and held me close. I smiled lightly and looked at him. He smiled and held me close.
“I really do like you and I don’t know how we didn’t realize this before.” I smiled and looked at him. He smiled lightly and looked at me.
“Me neither. Guess everyone knew but all of us.” I giggled and smiled lightly as he looked at me. He smiled once more and looked at me.
“I guess they did and I guess we should get back to work, yeah?” Someone knocked on the door and I jumped.
“I’m such a scaredy cat.” I said, holding a hand to my chest. Vinny giggled and held my free hand.
“It’s okay shows you still have a set of emotions, unlike all of us.” He smiled and looked at me. I smiled and walked out of the room, heading to clean out more rooms.
Vinny and I were separated for most of the day. We didn’t meet up again until I sat making dinner for the whole group. I make some vegetarian options and vegan options for those who had “morals”. A few people had set up tables. Others had gone out to get more plates and some tablecloth. Those people came back soon enough. I smiled and began to work on the meat options for my friends, I prepared more of that since I was assuming more people would want that. A pair of arms wrapped around my waist and a heat creeped up to my cheeks. The arms began swaying me back and forth. I smiled and looked at the food in front of me, concentrating on cutting up the onions.
“You look amazing when you cook.” Vinny whispered in my ear, his voice slightly husky. I blushed and turned around to look at him.
“Thank you, now let me cook. These people can’t feed themselves.” Vinny smiled and looked at me, blushing. He smiled lightly as I turned around. I went back to cooking up some meatloaf and lasagna.
“You hand make lasagna noodles?” Vinny sounded surprised but I couldn’t read his face with my back turned to him. I nodded in answer and smiled lightly. I could still feel his hands on my waist.
“Yeah, don’t know where I learned to do it, but it helps in a pinch. Noodles are pretty easy to make by yourself. Only really need eggs and flour.” I smiled and turned to him, walking over to the fridge to grab some cheese. Vinny smiled and looked me over.
“Why the hell are you so handsome?” I turned and looked at him. A dopey smile was spread across his face. I smiled lightly, dropping my eyes to the floor. Vinny lifted my chin with a finger and kissed my cheek. I blushed lightly and looked at him. He smiled and blushed as well.
“You’re really the only one who thinks that.” I told him. It was true, most people thought that I was ugly.
“Anyone who thinks otherwise is an asshole who can’t see.” Vinny growled almost like a dog and let me go so I could finish up dinner.
I threw the lasagna into the oven, which somehow still worked. I set a timer and headed to dust off the tables. Vinny helped me out, smiling as I wiped down the table with some water and a rag. I turned and pushed a few more tables together and threw some cloth on the table. I smiled lightly and looked at him. He smiled that same dopey smile he always had on him and looked back at me. I smiled back and began working on setting up the table. He smiled and looked at me. I lightly threw some plates, nothing fancy and nothing cheap either. They weren’t fine china and they weren’t paper plates. They were something in between. Vinny followed me and placed down some silverware. I smiled and looked at my handiwork, our handiwork. Vinny looked at me and threw on some slow music.
“May I have this dance, my handsome prince?” He asked, bowing lightly as he looked up at me through his eyelashes. He extended a hand to me and smiled lightly. I nodded and took his hand.
“Of course.” I whispered. He smiled and looked at me. I watched as he stood up, wrapping an arm around me. The music took over the room as I let myself be enveloped by him. He smiled and looked at me. I smiled back and looked at him, his eyes closed lightly as he placed his chin on my shoulder. We more so hugged than properly danced. He smiled and just swayed with me. I blushed lightly and held my hands above his waist. I closed my eyes and felt our swaying. The sound of the timer dinging brought me out of our trance.
“Fucking stupid ass timer.” He smiled and went over to the damned thing, turning it off and opening the oven. I grabbed an oven mitt and pulled the lasagna out of the oven, both pans looking perfect. I smiled and looked at him, turning back to the food for a split second. He helped me put all the food on the table, vegan options and all. I called out for the others to join me and they all came running down. The perfect little family of misfits came rushing down to eat their food.
“Serve yourselves but I’m going to need your attention soon enough.” I yelled over the loads of people talking. A few of them nodded but a majority of them seemed to ignore me. Once they were all served and sitting down, I sat down at the head of the table and banged on it. The loud voices silence as I looked at them. I hadn’t even begun to serve myself.
“Now, you all did a good job at cleaning today and we’re going to have to do a bit more before this place it up to code. Remember, to stay here we have to clean this place up and make this place look like a real apartment building. As soon as we clean up this room, we will no longer be using this place for meals. All meals will be taken in your room. We need to keep this place as perfect as possible. I don’t want Angie’s friend to see this place and think it’s a mess that he can’t be sold off to other people okay? We’re also technically the place’s first tenants, so that’s also a contradiction to what’s going on. We’re all fugitives now. It may be a shock to some of you. I’m even more of a fugitive now and so is Jinxx in a way. I broke you all out, against better judgement. So it’s my duty to get to know all of you.” Jinxx smiled and looked at me happily. She smiled and looked at him.
“I’m Jinxx and I can manipulate fire. My friends, the other Wild Ones, are Jake, CC, Andy and Ashley. Jake can speak to animals. CC is super strong. Andy can talk to God, and yes there is a god and many of them. Ashley can shapeshift.” Jinxx turned to the woman next to him. She was small and had purple hair. She was silent for a moment before she spoke.
“I’m Jessica and I don’t know what my power is.” She smiled and looked at the man next to her. The man shifted lightly and looked at me.
“My name is Jake and it looks like I’m an animal communicator as well,” My wolves whined. “They want you to feed them some scraps.”
I leaned down and looked at my little babies. I dropped a few scraps of meet onto the floor and smiled lightly. The rest of the table went. There were a few duplicates, as expected. I smiled and looked at the long table in front of me. A few people were still eating even though this whole thing took about an hour to do so. I smiled and looked at them. A few of them left the table and went to bed. Others stayed to talk each other. I went up to a room and sat on the bed. I smiled and looked at the unpainted walls. It was a lot better than the place I spent about a week in. The walls weren’t chipping and the paint seemed to have stayed on pretty well. Everything about this place made me want to be fix it up. The broken walls and the old paint. All of it needed to be fixed. I laid back and smiled, looking up at the ceiling. The whole ceiling looked like it was going to fall down on me in the night.
“Knock knock.” Vinny stood in the doorway. I lifted my head and looked at him. He was in a pair of boxers and little to nothing else. A blush creeped to my cheeks as I looked at him. He blushed as well and looked down, covering up his stomach as best he could with his arms.
“Come on in.” Vinny walked in and smiled, sitting down at the foot of the bed. I smiled lightly and looked down lightly. Vinny looked at me and then down at his hands.
“So, we like each other and I know we’ve never really spent a lot of time together. For me it was just a feeling that you were the one for me. This strong attraction that I don’t even know how to begin to explain and I know people are going to hate me for this and probably on you if what you have felt is anything similar to me. But I do want to get to know you a bit better because we barely know each other even though we do like each other. Maybe this is all lust and infatuation but I wouldn’t know.”
“Ask me anything you want. I don’t mind anything as long as you don’t get too deep too quickly.” Vinny nodded and looked at me, his eyes full of worry. I furrowed my brow and held the blanket closer to me.
“Why do you hold that blanket so close to your chest?” He asked, looking me over. My arms tightened as I looked him up and down.
“Because I can.” I whispered becoming more and more self conscious about it. I pulled my knees up to my chest and curled up. Vinny nodded and looked down lightly.
“I’m sorry I guess I got too deep too fast, now didn’t I?” He asked, looking me over. I nodded and looked down at my hands.
“Yeah, but I guess I should tell you why I do it. That way you don’t have it looming over your head. I’m not…I’ve been living mostly a lie.” Vinny raised an eyebrow. “I’ve been telling everyone that I’ve been male since birth and that’s not the whole truth. I was female at birth and have been taking testosterone ever since I knew what being trans even meant. I got my surgeries in secret, I went into the city to get them since the science is a lot better there and I’ve got all the functioning parts. My dick works pretty well, I can pee and cum and all that good shit. It’s like I never even had a vagina. I only told a few people considering the fact that it’s kind of a personal subject. I try to hide my chest scars as much as possible, they’re not fully gone yet but that’s perfectly okay. It feels weird to be off of testosterone but I’m sure Angie can find me some, if she’s willing to help.”
“Oh, I shouldn’t have pried like that but thanks for letting me know. It doesn’t change how I feel about you at all. Actually, it makes me love you even more.” Vinny smiled and looked over at me. The blanket slipped a bit and I pulled it back up to cover my chest. Vinny blushed lightly and looked back down at his hands.
“It’s okay. I shouldn’t have been so secretive about it, especially know that I’m all done with my surgeries and everything. I have nothing to hide anymore. I guess everyone already thinks I’m a guy.”
“You don’t have to tell everyone, or anyone, if you don’t want to. This is your personal journey and you can come out to anyone at anytime. I’m just sorry I broke this out of you. I didn’t mean to as well.” He looked down as I turned to hang my feet off of my bed. I leaned my head on his shoulder and sighed.
“I know, but it just feels like I’m lying to everyone. Anyone who thinks I’m a guy is being lied to. I was originally a woman. I was born with a vagina and any potential person who wants to get to know me should know that. Though, it does tend to drive people away.” Vinny nodded and held my hand in his.
“I don’t think it’s going to drive people away. It didn’t drive me away, though I don’t know about others.”
“That’s the whole fucking problem. I have no idea how people are going to react to my coming out and that’s fucking terrifying. I’ve heard about the old times. People used to get hurt, and badly, for coming out sometimes. Some would just get kicked out of their houses and others would get beaten up. Those are more tame since some survived those being beaten and being hurt and homeless. Though, others were murdered for coming out. I know the Wild Ones are supposed to be these amazing people who are super accepting but I’m so terrified. There are Wild Ones who don’t really accept people like me. They’ll probably think that I’m s fucking monster which is pretty reasonable.” I shuddered at the thought of being murdered or beaten up for being who I was.
“You are no fucking monster and anyone who says that they are is going to get beaten up themselves.” Vinny squeezed my hand reassuringly and smiled lightly.
“You don’t have to do that. I think I can handle myself just fine, I know how to fight.” I smiled lightly and looked up at him. A blush creeped up to his cheeks as he held my hand. A light smile appeared on his face.
“I just want you to know that you’re protected. I’m here for you and I always will be here for you.” Vinny smiled lightly and looked at me.
“That’s very nice of you, Vinny.” I smiled and looked at my hands. Vinny pulled me close and smiled lightly. He kissed my cheek and looked at me.
“I don’t know why but you’re so kissable.” Vinny blushed and looked at me. I shook my head lightly and frowned.
“I don’t know about that. I don’t think I’m that kissable.” Vinny squeezed my hand once again and smiled lightly.
“You are to me and I love kissing you.” Vinny smiled and looked at me. He pulled me even closer and rubbed my back lightly. I blushed lightly and leaned back on the bed. Vinny followed me and held me close to him.
“At least someone loves kissing me.” I pulled the blanket closer to me and smiled lightly. Vinny smiled and looked at me.
“You don’t have to cover up around me. It’s only if you’re comfortable with being shirtless around me.” I nodded and looked up at the PA system as it crackled to life. My body shuddered as I looked at it.
“More than one hundred rebels have left the main compound in Los Angeles. Be on the lookout for anyone who looks suspicious as they are most likely rebels. We have also received a letter from the Wild One who goes by the name of the Prophet. He claims that his uprising is gaining more and more traction with this escape situation and thus will be able to take us down. He says that a more accepting world is on us. The rebels claim their brave new world is upon us. Do not be fooled by the chicanery with which they lay their claim. It is false, and their uprising will not succeed. You will place your trust in F.E.A.R, you must.” I shuddered at the words and looked at Vinny. Fear filled his eyes and his pupils widened.
Chapter 8: Devil's Choir
I honestly have no idea where this is going anymore.
My chest puffed up as I looked at Vinny. Panic and adrenaline filled my veins as my heart began racing for the first time since the courtyard. Vinny shot out of the bed and looked at me. I threw the blanket off of me and ran to all of the rooms. I knocked on the doors of those who already weren’t running around like chickens without their heads. Chris ran up to me and held my shoulders as my chest heaved. I looked down and held my chest lightly. I calmed myself down a bit before turning back to the doors. Chris helped me out and began knocking on more doors. We looked at each other before turning to Vinny. Vinny had just stood there and looked at us.
“What are you doing just standing there? Start rounding them all up and get them into one place,” I smiled lightly and looked at Vinny, realizing how rude I sounded. “Please? Send them to the dining hall, yeah?”
Vinny ran off and began to herd all of the people into a single spot. A few people were rubbing off numbers and picking at pieces of text. I looked down and sighed as I finished up the last of the doors on my side. Chris did the same and looked at me. We herded the rest into the dining hall. Jinxx looked at me and rubbed his eyes. He was in some sweats and looked at me. He rubbed his eyes and looked at the others. He looked very confused.
“F.E.A.R made a transmission. They got a letter from Andy.” Jinxx perked up and pulled me aside.
“Are you sure that it was from Andy?” He asked, looking me over. I nodded lightly and looked down.
“Yeah, I’m pretty fucking sure. He would never fucking contact F.E.A.R without good reason. I know he’s bluffing but I know him to bluff when he has something up his sleeve and I’m assuming that we are that something that is up his sleeve.”
“He worries me a bit with all the bluffing that he does. I mean, we couldn’t be the people that are up his sleeve.” I crossed my arms and looked at him.
“You know that is absolute batshit. We are defiantly the ones up his sleeve. I don’t think he has anyone following him out in the middle of absolute nowhere. Think about it for a bit. We only gained fifty new members in the few years I’ve been with you. He does not have enough to make an army. But us, we have an army. Word spreads pretty fast around these parts and I’m sure that most of what happened got to him and the others pretty quickly.”
“So he’s making a plan from the outside? Still puppeteering us from miles away?” Jinxx looked at me and crossed his eyes as well.
“He’s always been the puppeteering us. He’s always been the head honcho. There has never been a day in which he hasn’t been controlling you, me, all of us. He needs to be in control of every tiny detail he can get his hands on. Andy is just that kind of person.”
“He was never that way, at least before Juliet.” Jinxx turned his head towards the others, who seemed to be a bit panicked.
“That we can agree on.” I growled lightly at the thought of her. She didn’t bother me all that much. What really bothered me was Inna, Jake’s girlfriend. She was the real witch of the two.
“You okay?” Jinxx touched my arm worriedly and I nodded quickly. I forced a smile onto my face and took a deep breath.
“Yeah, I’m definitely okay. I have to be if I want to lead these people into battle, yeah?” Jinxx nodded and looked me over, a worried look still on his face. I walked out into the dining room and sighed. The room fell silent in my wake. My hands shook but I wouldn’t let them see my hesitation towards leading them.
“For those of you who don’t know, the real name of The Prophet is Andy Biersack and he’s my ‘boss’ for lack of a better term. He’s the one who trained me to fight just like I’m going to do for all of you. Andy seems to have sent a message to the big honcho at F.E.A.R to tell him that Andy is on his way with an army. That army does not exist.” Gasps filled the room. Noah and James leaned forward.
“What do you mean by ‘there’s no army’?” A woman, who had introduced herself as Amy during dinner, called out.
“There is no army, at least not with Andy, because we’re the army and I need to train you decently fast if Andy getting a message to the Face of F.E.A.R is any indication on how fast he’s going. I will need to train you to the best of my abilities to fight those damned soldiers. Luckily, we have two recruits with us. They were the ones who brought you here. I’m assuming most of you know a bit about their fighting style anyhow so there’s no need to go over the basics again.” Jinxx stood next to me and put a hand on my shoulder. I took a deep breath and looked over at Vinny, who gave me a thumbs up. I giggled and looked down, trying to keep my joy from bubbling to the surface.
“So we have to fight the people we know?” Amy asked, taking a step out of the crowd to reveal her scared face a bit more.
“Yes, that’s the sad truth of war. You sometimes have to go up against friends or people you know. You may even have to kill them.” One side of Amy’s face dropped while the other stayed in a permanent smile. I looked down and sighed lightly, turning my back on them. I took another deep breath and steadied myself. Jinxx still held onto my shoulder, but a bit lighter now.
“I need you to finish this. I can’t do this. I’m too fucking nervous.” I whispered, looking down at my hands. Jinxx nodded and looked over the others.
“You’re guys are going to start off with training tomorrow morning. I want you all rested and ready to go. We start off with basic fighting and maybe some more. We will begin at first light. Anyone not fit to fight will be making weapons with Josh,” Josh waved and smiled at the group. “We will make sure we are prepared for anything that happens.”
“Basic fighting styles? What if we already learned that with F.E.A.R?” Amy asked, looking us over.
“There is always room to learn more. We need to go over the basics to make sure you’re okay. We all need a bit of practice.” Amy nodded and looked down, backing up. Jinxx looked over the rest of people.
“Any more questions?” Jinxx looked us all over. Everyone else was silent as I looked at the wall in front of me. Jinxx turned me around and smiled lightly. We smiled and the others looked at me. I looked down and sighed lightly.
“Since there are no more questions, go to bed and get ready for tomorrow. We’re going to need you all rested.” The crowd dispersed and grumbled sleepily. Vinny walked up to me and smiled lightly. He took my hand and smiled lightly. Vinny swung my hand and looked at me.
“You’re a very good leader, you know. Even if you were a bit nervous.” Vinny rubbed his neck a bit and smiled lightly, a blush creeping to his cheeks. I smiled and looked down lightly.
“At least you think so.” I blushed, taking his fingers in mine as I held them. I shot a look at Ryan, who smiled and began walking up to the both of us. I smiled back and looked down.
“Aren’t you two the cutest thing ever.” Ryan patted Vinny on the back and smiled lightly. Vinny blushed and tried to hide his face. A laugh exited my mouth as I smiled lightly. Vinny smiled and looked at me, also laughing. I giggled and looked down lightly, calming myself.
“We’re not that cute together, Vinny is the only cute one in this equation.” Vinny looked at me and smiled lightly.
“Come on babe, you’re pretty cute as well.” Vinny wrapped an arm around my shoulders and smiled lightly. I smiled lightly and looked at my hands, a blush creeped to my cheeks.
“You two are adorable. When’s the engagement?” Ryan giggled and touched Vinny’s shoulder. I blushed and Vinny did all the same. Vinny smiled and looked at me.
“Not for a long time, unless he wants to do this right here and right now.” Vinny smiled lightly, beginning to get down on one knee and looked at me. A joking smile painted on his face. Ryan giggled and smiled lightly. I looked down at him and smiled lightly.
“You’re so freaking weird.” I looked at him, giggling lightly as he stood back up. He smiled and looked at me.
“I’m only weird for the one I love.” Vinny placed his chin on my shoulder and kissed my neck lightly. I rolled my eyes and giggled, placing a hand on his head and played with his hair. Vinny began purring lightly and smiled.
“Is Sammie this weird with you?” I asked Ryan, looking around the compound for Sammie. She stood with Chris, looking pretty flirtatious.
“She was at one point. Then she got wondering eyes for Chris and when I confronted her about it, she broke up with me. We haven’t been together for awhile.” A soft, sad smile appeared on his face. Tears welled up in his eyes. I placed a hand on his shoulder and looked down.
“I am so sorry to hear that. I didn’t mean to open old wounds.” I looked at Vinny, who wiggled out of my grip to look at Ryan.
“Wait, what? She was like obsessed with you! How the fuck did she break up with her little alien nerd. That’s just not right!” Vinny shot a look at Sammie and then back at Ryan.
“It’s okay. I kind of deserved it. I’m nothing good.” Ryan looked at me and sighed lightly. I shook my head lightly.
“You didn’t deserve that at all. She loved you.” I whispered, rubbing my eyes lightly. My eyes got dopey and Vinny picked me up.
“My prince needs some sleep. We’ll pick this up tomorrow.” Vinny carried me back to the room and smiled lightly. He laid me down and smiled lightly.
“You didn’t have to do that. I know I’m so fat and I’m heavy.” Vinny shook his head and looked me over.
“You did that all without a shirt on. I’m proud of you.” I looked at my chest and covered it up. Vinny looked down and sighed.
“I wish someone would have told me. I’m such a fucking idiot.” I whimpered lightly and sighed lightly.
“You are not a fucking idiot. I was just saying that I was proud of you. I mean, you did it on adrenaline and wasn’t really thinking about it.” Vinny smiled lightly and laid down next to me.
“I didn’t want to do it. I wasn’t ready to do it. That’s the whole point.” I looked down lightly and sighed. Vinny looked at me and held my hand.
“Well, you did it and I’m decently proud of you.” Vinny looked at me and smiled. His eyes trailed over me and looked at me.
“Thank you. You can get closer.” I offered, looking at me. Vinny looked at me and smiled at me. He pulled me close and smiled. I smiled lightly and held him.
“Thanks for letting me get closer.” Vinny smiled lightly. I looked down and smiled, curling into him. He smiled lightly and looked at me.
I walked down the long black hallway and looked around. I could barely see a few feet in front of me. A glow coming from behind me the only thing lighting my way. I looked around and sighed lightly. I was getting frustrated by the fact that I wasn’t able to see much. A growl filled the room as I looked around. It was from in front of me. A shadow crossed my peripheral vision. I turned and looked at the shadow. I looked around and sighed lightly when all I saw was nothing. I looked at the cobblestone floor in head of me. I kept walking as I looked at the ever stretching hallway. People began singing and a light appeared in front of me. I looked around for a source of the noise but found nothing. The room was growing colder and colder.
“Beware.” A gravely voice entered my head as I looked straight ahead, my neck locking into place. My feet stopped and my whole body froze. All I could do was look straight ahead.
Chris passed by a mirror in front of me and looked over at it. I jumped back as I looked at the man’s reflection and I couldn’t move away from him. The normal Chris that I had seen in face paint and clown makeup was now gone. Instead, there was a faceless monster standing where Chris’s reflection would be in the mirror. It’s teeth were shiny with saliva and the face paint smile had turned into a gaping mouth with a long snake-like tongue darting out every few seconds. Chris’s legs and arms had turned into pointed, spider-like legs. His body had grown into a grey mass that connected the head and legs. The skin was the same color of a storm cloud ready to burst. Four smaller legs came out of the belly of this beast. On the back of the monster were huge, bat-like wings that were the same storm cloud grey as the rest of the beast in front of me. The beast let out a garish scream and fire was let out of the orifice that was the beast’s mouth. I could feel the heat of the fire even though the creature was just a reflection.
“Babe, are you okay?” I shot awake and looked at the wall in front of me. My chest heaved as I held my hand close to my chest.
“Just a nightmare, it’s okay. I’ll be okay.” Vinny sat up and put a hand on my shoulder, grounding me. I sighed lightly and looked down. My heart finished it’s race and I was going to be okay.
“Nightmares are stupid and they’re just dreams. You’re always going to be okay.” Vinny leaned down and kissed up my neck. I smiled lightly and looked down.
“That I will as long as you’re here with me.” I smiled and looked down. Vinny looked at me and grabbed my hands in his. He kissed my knuckles and smiled.
“I’m here for you always babe. I always will be here for you.” I blushed and smiled lightly. VInny kept kissing up my arms and smiled.
“Babe, stop.” I giggled and smiled. Vinny looked at me and smiled lightly. I laid back down and smiled. Vinny followed me down and smiled lightly.
“I will never stop loving you and I will always love you.” Vinny smiled lightly and giggled lightly. I smiled lightly and looked at him.
“Thank you. I will never stop loving you either, Vinny.” Vinny smiled and looked at me. I held his hand and smiled.
The next morning I walked down to the kitchen and began making breakfast for the group. Jinxx was out training the other people. Josh was making weapons with a girl who was part dragon, much like Vinny. Vinny smiled and looked at me, cleaning up the table. I looked up at them and smiled. Josh finally came up after an hour or two. He smiled at me and smiled lightly.
“What’s up Josh?” I asked. Josh smiled and looked at me. I turned and looked down at the food in front of me.
“We’re doing okay, just got a bit hot.” Josh, a man of relatively normal build, was stronger than he looked. I often imagined him as a bit more athletic than what he was. His tattoos were enchanted to move. I smiled and looked back at the man.
“You always make the best weapons.” Josh smiled and pulled something out from behind his back. It was huge and covered in a black cloth. He got onto his knees and smiled, extending the package to me.
“This is the first weapon I have made since Ryan Ashley and I broke up, though before that I only created one weapon. This is for you.” Josh smiled when I took the package from him, only after I made sure the food wouldn’t burn. I smiled lightly and pulled a sword out of the package. I smiled lightly and looked at it. It was larger than any other sword I had ever seen.
“Woah, thank you!” I smiled, testing the weight and balance of the sword. Josh smiled and looked at my reaction.
“The sword was forged with the blood of your enemies, don’t ask me how I got all that blood and the hilt, it has a wonderful little gem called a ruby. I thought it added a nice touch to it.” Josh pointed it out and smiled lightly. I smiled as well and looked down at the hilt. There was intact a wonderful ruby in the hilt of the sword. I smiled lightly, setting the sword down.
“Thank you Josh, this is a wonderful weapon.” Josh smiled and pulled me into a hug. I smiled lightly and hugged him back.
“You’re welcome.” Josh smiled and pulled back. I smiled and looked at him as well. Josh looked me over and smiled once more.
“I don’t know how I got so lucky. You’re a wonderful friend.” I smiled lightly and turned back to my food.
“Thanks. Never feels like I have any friends though. You all are so busy being leaders. Chris over the Motionless men and you over the Wild Ones.” Josh sat up on the counter and looked at his hands, which rested in his lap.
“It’s not like I can just leave my position, though you’re a leader as well.” Josh chuckled and sighed lightly.
“Leader of one.” Josh smiled and looked at me. I smiled lightly and looked at the piles of food in front of me.
“Better than being a leader of none.” A blush creeped to his cheeks as he looked up at me. I smiled and looked at him.
“That it is.” Josh smiled and looked at the tables. It was now filling with people from the first training session. I smiled and looked at the food.
“Want to help me put the food on the table?” I asked, Josh smiled and nodded. I grabbed a few plates of food and smiled. Josh did the same and smiled.
Some people asked for better options of food but I ignored them. This was all I had for the time being. I sighed and looked down lightly. Josh smiled and looked at me. I smile all the same and sighed once more. Josh smiled and looked me over. I shook my head and sighed, finishing up the food. I smiled lightly and sat at the head of the table. Josh sat next to me and smiled. I smiled lightly and looked down.
“Good morning all.” A few people mumbled a a response before tiredly eating. I sighed lightly and leaned back. Josh leaned forward and smiled at me.
“You know, you really are a good leader.” The compliments kept coming and made me a bit uncomfortable. I smiled and looked at Josh.
“I hear that I lot nowadays.” Josh chuckled and looked at me. I smiled lightly and looked down. Vinny placed a hand on my shoulder. I smiled at the man and looked down.
“It’s because you are a good leader.” Vinny looked at me and smiled lightly. I smiled and looked down lightly. My back straightened as I looked over my followers. They all smiled and looked at me, at least a few of them. I smiled back and looked down. I stood up to go put my dishes away. Josh and Vinny followed me to do the same.
“Thanks. It means a lot.” I yawned lightly and leaned against the doorframe. The room began to spin, but not as much as it did when I was in the hospital wing. My body felt heavy and I wasn’t even tried. Vinny looked me over and brought a chair.
“Are you okay?” He asked, helping me down into the chair. I nodded and flexed my fingers and toes a bit.
“Yeah, I’m okay.” I whispered, getting more and more tired by the second. Josh placed a hand on my shoulder.
“You don’t look okay. What the hell is wrong with you?” Josh asked, dropping to his knees in front of me. I tried to keep my eyes open but to no avail. I just closed them and leaned my head back.
“I’m okay. I’m sure my blood sugar is just low. Can you get me some orange juice?” I asked, reaching out a bit to get some juice but I couldn’t reach it. Josh nodded and poured me a glass. I drank the glass in one gulp and Josh poured me another glass. This went on until I was done with the whole pitcher of juice.
“Did that help at all?” Josh looked me over and rubbed my knee lightly. I shook my head and tired to get up.
“Woah, don’t try to get up just yet. We don’t want you to get hurt.” Vinny bent down to look at me and smiled lightly.
“I’m going to be fine. It might take awhile but I’ll be okay, yeah?” I asked, trying to get up again and both of the men kept me down. I chuckled and looked down, sitting in my seat. Vinny smiled and looked at me.
“And you will take that while in this chair, okay? Don’t try to move all that much.” Josh looked me over and sighed.
“This is a bit worrying. Have you had these symptoms before?” Vinny went over to the sink and began washing the dishes from the others.
“Yeah, only once and that was in the hospital wing of the F.E.A.R compound.” Josh looked at me and sighed.
“What? Do you somehow know something I don’t?” I asked, turning my head towards Josh, my eyes snapping open to look at him.
“No, not at all. Just seems like F.E.A.R is up to everything. This has nothing to do with you and everything to do with them. They’re little plans ruin everything.” Josh smiled lightly and looked at me.
“Yeah, I guess they are all up to everything.” I sighed lightly and looked down. Josh smiled and looked at me. Josh looked at me and lifted his arm onto my legs, draping it across my lap. I smiled and watched the tattoos move. I smiled lightly and looked at them. I tried to trace them but failed. Josh smiled and looked up at me.
“I loved what Ryan Ashley did to your tattoos, they were pretty before-don’t get me wrong-but they’re even prettier than before.” Josh chuckled and smiled lightly. Chris walked into the kitchen and looked at me.
“What happened you?” Chris stopped in his tracks and looked at me, dropping his dishes into Vinny’s hands.
“Honestly, I have no idea what is going on with me. Joint pain that lasts for a bit. I’ll get rashes sometimes, maybe a fever. Now I have this stupid dizziness and tiredness.”
“Think it might be Lupus? My brother has it and last time I talked to him got some medication for it.” Chris looked at me and smiled lightly.
“I think I might be okay right now.” Chris nodded and looked down lightly. I smiled lightly and tried to get up again. Josh held me down with his arm and sighed. I looked down at Josh and sighed.
“Josh, let him up. He seems pretty okay at the moment. He’s going to have to stand up at one point and you can’t stop him.” Josh let me go and I stood up lightly. I leaned against the doorway once again and smiled lightly.
“Are you going to be okay?” Chris asked and looked at me. He put a hand on my shoulder and smiled at me. Vinny finished up the dishes and smiled at me. I nodded and looked down lightly.
“Yeah, I think I just need to go sleep. That or just lay down.” Josh picked me up and smiled lightly. He took me upstairs and I directed him towards the room I resided in. He laid me down and smiled lightly.
“Just call if you need anything, okay?” Josh looked at me and brushed some hair out of my face. He tucked me in and smiled lightly. I nodded and looked up at him. He smiled once more and looked down at my body. I rolled over onto my side and looked down.
“I’ll be okay. You don’t have to stand here the whole time. I’m going to be okay.” Josh looked down and sighed. “We worry about you. You’re human and we don’t want you to feel like you have to push yourself beyond whatever you’re capable of. We want you to be safe, not like this. Even if it is some sort of disorder, we need you to be okay.” Josh rambled and looked at me. I looked down and sighed lightly.
“I will be okay. I will definitely be okay.” I looked down and sighed when I saw Josh’s face. Josh was sad and it was written all over his face. I took a deep breath and looked at the wall. Josh pulled up a chair and sat down. I rolled my eyes and looked at him. Josh smiled and looked at me.
“I’ll just wait here then.” Josh sat down and looked at me. I looked down and sighed lightly. I tried to fall asleep but I couldn’t. My whole body was tired but I couldn’t sleep.
“You don’t have to sit here. I really am okay. It’s probably something to do with my blood sugar.” I looked down and sighed lightly.
“Well is the orange juice helping?” I shook my head and tried to lift my hand up but I couldn’t. Josh moved closer and held my hand, sighing.
“Hasn’t helped just yet.” I whispered, even my voice was weak. I looked down and tried to get up.
“Are you sure it’s just your blood sugar levels? How are you feeling?” Josh moved lightly and looked at me.
“I am very sure it’s just my blood sugar. I am super hella tired.” I whispered and looked down lightly. Josh nodded, looking down.
“Symptoms?” Josh drew his eyes back to me and laid his arm on my lap, instantly calming me. I smiled and looked down at his arm. I traced the tattoos once again and smiled. Josh giggled at the sensation and looked at his arm as well.
“Other than being tired and dizzy?” I asked, looking him over as I continued to trace the tattoos. He nodded and looked up at me.
“Yeah, other than being tired and dizzy. I think we covered those two.” Josh smiled, chuckling lightly and looked at me.
“I did used to have joint pain. Nothing too bothersome though. I normally would just take some pain killers.”
“Joint pain, okay. Any rashes or fever with that?” Josh asked. I giggled lightly and looked back at his arm, playing with his fingers now.
“You sound like a doctor.” I quipped. Josh blushed and shook his head, looking down at his hands.
“I just want to make sure you’re feeling okay and if that means being your doctor, then so be it. I want to make sure you’re decent. So answer my questions and you’ll be on the road to recovery soon enough.”
“Yeah, twenty four hour to two week joint pain then a rash that lasted anywhere from a few hours to twenty four hours then I’d get sick. But now I’ve got this tiredness and barely any joint pain.” Josh nodded and looked at me, applying a bit of pressure to my lap. I relaxed a bit more and my eyes got heavier.
“Sounds a bit like lupus, I’m not going to lie. But I’m defiantly not a fucking doctor.” Josh looked at me and smiled. He laughed at his own joke, looking at the doorway.
“May I?” A small, lanky man with wispy hair stood there. He was young and definitely attractive, though I found most men attractive so I didn’t know how my own opinion held up against others. His dark hair was complimented by light blue eyes.
“Who are you?” Josh stood and looked at the man. I waved lightly at him and smiled. The man waved back.
“My name is Tom and I know a few healing spells that might help him in the short term while he’s waiting to see a doctor.”
“I don’t recognize your face.” Josh’s chest puffed up as he looked back at me. I smiled and looked down lightly.
“Josh, I recognize him from the tables at meal time. I think I trust him enough. He trusted me enough to follow men he barely knew.” Josh nodded and backed up.
“I hear you’re having some tiredness?” He asked, walking over to me. I smiled lightly and looked up at him.
“Yeah, some tiredness.” I confirmed, looking at Josh. His chest was still puffed up and he looked back at me. I nodded and looked down once more, hiding my eyes from him.
“I think there’s something I can do to help you.” Tom smiled lightly and looked down. He turned and gestured to the chair behind him. I nodded and let him sit down. He smiled and looked at me. I sighed lightly and looked down, watching his hands move over my body. They glowed lightly as I looked at them, a soft orange color.
“What are you doing? I thought spells had to be spoken for them to be effective.” I asked, looking up at him.
“Well this one doesn’t have to be spoken to be effective. So, let me concentrate and allow me to get some work done.” Tom raised an eyebrow and looked at me. I nodded and shut my mouth. Tom smiled lightly and went back to work. My body still felt tired and weak. I sighed and looked up at Josh. Josh smiled lightly and looked down lightly. His chest deflated as I looked down lightly.
“Feeling any better?” Josh asked, looking me over lightly. I shook my head and let my limps rest. Josh sighed and looked at me. I sighed lightly and rolled over when Tom egged me on. I smiled and looked down as he worked on my back.
“I hate not being able to help you. You’re too nice to be in this much pain.” Josh sighed and looked down. He walked up to me and placed a hand on my shoulder. Josh frowned and looked at me.
“I am not too nice to be in this much pain. I’m in pain because I need to be in pain. How else will I get stronger?” I asked lightly and looked down. Jinxx walked into the room as well and looked me over.
“Feeling any better?” Jinxx looked at me and smiled, frowning when he saw my face. I was so tired. So extremely tired. I was fucking exhausted. I looked up at him and smiled.
“No but I think this might help. I don’t know if it will help long term. I need to see a doctor for treatment. I need to see someone soon.” Josh nodded and looked at me. I sighed lightly and looked down.
“We’ll make an appointment as soon as possible. I’ll have to see what is going down with Angie. We’ll get this figured out as soon as possible.” Jinxx smiled and looked at me.
“Okay,” The glow left Tom’s hands. “I think that’s it. I’ll have to stay and see if it takes affect, is that okay?”
“Yeah, of course.” I replied almost instantaneously. Tom nodded and pulled out a book, opening it up to a random page and reading a bit. I smiled and looked up at the others. Jinxx backed out of the room. Josh followed soon after, saying he wanted to get me something. He came back with a light pink blanket.
“It’s an anxiety blanket. It’s weighted and shit. I thought that it might help with sleeping. It can mimic my arm.” I smiled lightly and watched as he brought the blanket over to me. He pulled it over me and smiled down at me. The blanket was nice enough and it did mimic the weight of Josh’s arm, which always calmed me.
“But what about the tattoos?” I asked, looking up at my partner in crime. Josh chuckled and looked down at my hands.
“Looks like you’re already occupying your hands.” Josh tilted his chin up and I looked at my own hands. My fingers were rubbing the blanket. My index finger running up and down over my thumb. I smiled lightly and looked back up at him. I stopped when I saw what I was doing. Josh chuckled and looked down.
“Didn’t even know I was doing it.” I whispered. Tom flipped a page in his book, breaking the silence.
“You also suck on your tongue like a pacifier. Don’t think you can change that habit now, been doing it for years and it’s not harming anyone.” Josh kissed my forehead and walked out of the room. I smiled and looked down, falling into silence with the man in the room.
“So you’re the one everyone wants to capture? The most wanted person on the face of the planet?” Tom asked, looking at me from his book. I nodded and tried to pull my eyes off of him.
“That would be me. Though I don’t really like the title of F.E.A.R’s most wanted.” Tom nodded and looked up at me. I shifted under his gaze and turned my back on him. He sighed and went back to reading from what I could hear.
“What’s up with you and that Josh guy anyhow? Do you like him?” Tom asked after a long silence. I shook my head and hoped that he would see it but there was no page turn, even after five minutes.
“No, I don’t like him. He’s just a friend of mine.” I replied as simply as possible. I didn’t want him to know everything just yet.
“So then why the whole arm thing?” Tom turned and looked at me. I shrugged and turned my body back over.
“I honestly have no idea. It just happened one day and we kept doing it.” Tom nodded and went back to his reading.
“Good to know. The magic should be kicking in now.” My eyes went heavy as I looked up at him. A knowing smile curled the corners of his mouth. I turned my eyes up to the ceiling and sighed. I looked down at my hands and pulled them into the blanket. I covered my feet and turned my body over once more to get into a more comfortable position.
“Good night then.” I whispered, huddling into a tight ball and closing my eyes tight.