Fiction, Other Awesome Fiction, Super Hero

Stand. ~ Chapter 6

Your welcome, everybody.  I’ve now managed to do the assumed impossible of myself: I’ve procrastinated for about three weeks about posting something that was already written.  Thank you.

This chapter is written by Julia Elizabeth… Farm Girl… Julia… Julie… *sigh* I’ll figure out her preferred name eventually, but for now… On with the story!

 

 

Chapter 6

 

Reese sat atop Aralin’s house, looking out across the sprawling houses of New York. He sighed in frustration, thinking back to the previous night. It had been completely pointless. Just a bunch of silly teenagers standing around, dancing, snacking, completely ignoring the dire situation of their world.

And Xander… he scowled in disgust, thinking of the mushy look on Aralin’s face when he’d asked her to dance. It had been ridiculous. He’d hoped she was better than that. Reese sighed, shaking his head at himself. He was just being jealous. He needed to stop. It was stupid and pointless.

Saving people from that explosion, on the other hand. That had been enthralling. He’d raced up there, rushing people to a nearby makeshift hospital, where they’d been cared for. Then he’d tracked down the Assistant who’d started it and given them quite the fright. A grin split his face as he remembered the excited feeling that had rushed through him as he fought.

Of course, when Aralin found him, sitting on her roof, waiting for her, she’d given him quite a berating about running off without telling her. And when she’d found out he hadn’t even bothered to wear his mask… she’d been livid. That had been pretty funny.

Reese sighed, then glanced down at the mask Aralin had made for him, his face twisting into an annoy scowl as he thought of the time she would have wasted making it. Time she could have spent doing useful stuff, like fighting Assistants, or coming up with a plan.

A sudden light made him look up, and Reese was startled to see the sun rising. He’d been sitting up there for quite some time. Sighing, Reese incorporealeated himself and dropped into the attic, where he set his mask on the mattress, then changed into his school clothes.

Once he was dressed, Reese dropped down to the main floor. Aralin looked up at him, startled. She was dressed for school and appeared to have been working on another mask.

“You know, there’s a ladder.” She pointed out.

Reese ignored her.

“More costumes?” He groaned.

She shrugged.

“It’ll make them think there are more of us, which will make a general feeling of chaos, and help our plans.”

Reese stared at her.

“We are literally living in a city full of chaos. Why would we need to make it feel more chaotic?”

“We need it to feel chaotic for the people in charge.” Aralin explained.

Reese just rolled his eyes. He turned, expecting his backpack to be by the door, as he normally left it in his hovel. He sighed, remembering that it had been blown up.

“I’m going to need a new backpack.” Reese announced, not bothering to look at Aralin.

“Who are you, Spiderman?” She snorted. “There might be something you can use in the basement.”

“Great.” Reese started dissolving himself. “Oh, and we’ll need to head to school from different sides and at different times. I’m going to come from my usual direction, though I’ll take a different route.”

Aralin nodded, barely paying attention to him. Reese sighed inwardly, dropping silently to the floor of the basement. It didn’t take him long to find a small, dirty sack sitting in the middle of a pile of boxes and sacks. He pulled it out, dusting it off, then walked up the stairs, back into Aralin’s room.

“Got any spare textbooks?” He asked. “Most of mine blew up in the hovel.”

“You store your textbooks and schoolwork in you locker at school.” Aralin said, not skipping a beat as she put finishing touches on a glittering red mask.

“Some of them, yes. But I kept the basics in my pack.”

“I don’t have that many spare school books.” Aralin said. “They’d be a grade lower than yours, anyway.

Reese shrugged.

“I just need something to make it look like I have my books, ‘till I can slip into the storage area and grab new ones.”

Aralin looked at him flatly.

“We’re going to need to talk about your kleptomaniacy sometime. It doesn’t set a good precedent for New York’s heroes go around stealing things.”

“Kleptomaniacy?” Reese stared at her. “You’re worried about me stealing a few overpriced goods when you literally plan to kill Golding Kerwin?”

She shrugged.

“He deserves it.”

Reese sighed, rolling his eyes. He turned to go, first grabbing a few random books.

“See you at school.” He said, shoving the books into his pack.

Aralin nodded, and Reese walked out the wall and through a series of buildings. Once he was far enough from Aralin’s house, he walked out a building and started down the alley as if it was any normal day and he was on his way to school, backpack slung over his back, a casual lilt to his step, an unconcerned look on his face.

The walk to school was uneventful, and actually rather pleasant. Reese found himself smiling as he strolled down the streets, nodding to passers by. When he arrived at school, of course, that all changed.

The smile was wiped off of his face, and replaced with a scowl. He changed his carefree walk to a shuffle, and bent his back slightly, like the other children heading in. Hopefully to the stern, armed guards standing at the door, he just looked like another bent, broken child heading to a day of carefully regulated instruction.

School started well enough, with a boring math class, boring language class, a short break where Reese managed to slip away and get a new set of school books. After science was lunch. That was when everything started to fall apart.

Reese had hoped that Aralin would leave him to himself during lunch, and really through the whole school day. It would be suspicious if people saw them talking together suddenly, and they didn’t need people paying a ton of attention to them. After last night’s party, where both of them had made quite a stir, they were being watched with barely veiled curiosity.

However, once Aralin had sat down with Reese, he saw no point in turning her away, and instead grudgingly allowed her to sit across from him.

“So.” Aralin said.

Reese grunted.

“We should probably work on our plan.”

Reese grunted again.
“I was thinking that, once we cause enough chaos in the city, which will draw Golding’s guards out, we could sneak into his palace and assassinate him.”

Despite what he thought of that ridiculous plan, Reese grunted yet again.

“Are you even listening to me?” Aralin asked.

Reese grunted, which caused the energetic girl to sigh in frustration.

“Look, I didn’t want to help with this. You dragged me along, to be your ‘extra muscle’ or whatever. If you want someone dedicated to your cause, you can find someone else. I’m just here because you need someone to punch things.” Reese stated.

Aralin raised a haughty, skeptical eyebrow.

“Then why did you come?” She asked.

“Because you made me.” Reese retorted.

Aralin just laughed.

“Yeah right. Just face the facts. You want to do this.”

Reese stared at her.

“This is getting annoying.” He stood up. “Look, I’ve got to go to class-”

“No, you don’t.” Aralin replied. I checked your school schedule. You don’t have anything for the next period. Luckily, neither do I.” She grinned mischievously. “I may have had a hand in that… so we can work on our plan, right?”

Reese groaned inwardly. However, there appeared to be no getting out of it.

“Fine.” He muttered. “I’ll be in the library. There are plenty of places there where we can plan without being interrupted.”

Aralin nodded eagerly. She started to get up, but Reese shook his head.

“Get up a while after me. And pretend to head in a different direction.”

Aralin nodded, sitting back down. Reese walked out of the cafeteria, heading towards the library, along with several other students. Among them, he was irritated to notice, was Xander. Stop it. Reese chided himself. You don’t even know him. Stop pretending he’s annoying just because he likes Aralin.

He ignored Xander for the rest of the walk to the library. Once he’d entered the quiet, calming atmosphere of the library, Reese relaxed. He made his way over to some bookshelves sporting dozens of books on advanced chemistry. Hopefully people would assume he was just browsing, looking for research books.

Once Aralin entered the library, Reese made his way over to a research table hidden in the far corner of the room, blocked from view by several bookshelves. Thankfully, Aralin followed silently.

Reese sat at the table, pulling over one of the large school computers. Aralin sat beside him. Opening a secure writing file, Reese started typing.

“So.” He said out loud. “How was math?”

Aralin glanced at him, then at the page, where he had written the words ‘Have a normal conversation out loud. We can write our actual conversation here.’ She raised an eyebrow, then shrugged. Grabbing the keyboard from him, she wrote ‘Okay.

“Pretty good.” Aralin replied.

Reese nodded.

“So, what particularly were you struggling with? I know that geometry can be a bit confusing with all of the shapes and names to memorize. Or is it trig? Do you guys do that already?” Reese asked.

On the paper, he wrote ‘Pretend I’m tutoring you in math. That’ll give us an excuse to be quiet most of the time.’ Aralin glowered at him, snatching the keyboard and typing ‘I do fine at math!’ Reese shrugged. ‘Too late.’ He wrote.

Still glaring at him, Aralin spoke once more.

“It’s the geometry, yeah. All of those shapes… they get confusing.”

Reese nodded, opening another tab on the computer and clicking a math website.

“Well, I generally find this pretty useful.” He said. “There’s a lot of reading though.”

“I don’t mind.” Aralin replied. Despite her irritance at the role Reese had shoved her into, she was playing it quite well.

Reese clicked back onto their secure ‘chatting’ tab, writing ‘So, what are your ideas? Other than kill Golding, that is.’ Aralin rolled her eyes. ‘They’re pretty simple. We need to cause chaos. Make Golding think that there’s a big riot in the city. He’ll send out his guards. Then, using that general air of chaos, we can sneak into the palace. I’ll use my mind map to find him, and voila. We kill him.

Reese nodded slowly. It actually sounded doable. There were dozens of things they’d have to work out, and it was extremely unlikely, but still… ‘That actually sounds really possible.’ He wrote. ‘I –

He was cut off as someone coughed behind them. Whirling around in his chair, Reese felt a rising sense of panic as he realized who was there. Xander. The incredibly annoying boy stood, a cocky smirk on his lips, head tilted to the side.

“Hey, Aralin.” He said. “So…” Xander stepped forwards. “Whatcha doing?”

Reese immediately shifted to block the computer, while doing his best to close the window, or just turn off the computer, before Xander could see what they were writing. They did not need what they were doing to get out.

“Nothing.” Aralin said.

At the same time, Reese said, “I’m helping her with math.”

Xander raised an eyebrow.

“Really?” He leaned around Reese, peering at the computer. “That doesn’t look like math.”

Reese glowered at the younger boy.

“Can you please leave us to do our school work?” He asked.

“No.” Xander replied.

He stepped up, then leaned in, eyes skimming the page. Panicking, Reese fumbled, then pressed the power button and turned off the computer. But it was too late. Even as the screen went blank, Xander turned to them with a half surprised, half triumphant, half delighted look in his eyes.

“You.” He whispered. “Are in so much trouble.”

Christan, Fiction, Super Hero

Stand. – Chapter 5

Hey guys!  This is a chapter I wrote.  Here are links to the PrologueChapter 1Chapter 2Chapter 3, and Chapter 4 if you’ve missed any of them.

 

Chapter 5

Aralin smiled in all her victory’s as she watched Reese climb back up the ladder into the attic, probably to change back into his other clothes.

That was… easy.

“Easier than I thought, anyway.” She whispered, finishing her thought out loud.

“What?”  Reese stuck his head through the floor and into her room, looking rather strange with only the top part of his body sticking out of the ceiling.

Aralin jumped, which made him give a rare grin, though he quickly concealed it.

“Tell me, why you can’t just skip your party and go put your plan into action before I change my mind?” Reese said, somehow using his superspeed to pull his head out of the ceiling, come down the ladder, and pull a chair over to sit backward on it all in mid-sentence.

“Well, for one you’re not going to change your mind.  Two, I only missed one of my best friends party’s when I sick and not appearing at her house in less than an hour would be suspicious.  Three, never do what you just did again by sticking your head through the ceiling.  Kay?  Thanks.”

Aralin nearly threw on her hot pink hoodie before she noticed her tattered sweatpants and top.

“I could change my mind whenever I want, Ar-”

“Out.”

 

“We shouldn’t be going to parties.  I thought we were starting a war!” Reese whisper yelled.

“A war?  More like… an assassination that will be stretched out over a long period of time with many people involved.”  Aralin said seriously, sipping some sort of pink drink that exactly matched the color of her dress and flats.

Reese rolled his eyes.  I wonder if there will still be party’s when this is through. Aralin barely had any time to finish her thought.

“Ara, so glad you came!”  Peggy walked past Reese like he wasn’t even there, giving Aralin side-hug.  

She smiled, though not at Peggy, but at Reese’s annoyed face.

“I’ve been waiting for you to get here, we have so much to talk about!”  Turning, Peggy stopped, noticing Reese standing there with a flat face.  “Uhh,” Peggy pointed at Reese with her purple fingernails and a slightly disgusted face, “who’s this?”

Feeling an unknown annoyance from her acting strangely towards Reese, she frowned, “My friend Reese.  You’ve always told me if I wanted to invite anyone extra to go ahead.” Aralin put on her fake smile.

“Oh,” Peggy put on her less-practiced fake smile and the three continued forward to an empty corner in the stuffed house.

“If we talk with him, will be labeled weird.”

Peggy, Peggy.  Always worrying about appearances.

“Absolutely.” Aralin said, continuing on.

“Anyway,” Peggy said, looking slightly troubled, “did you two hear about he escapes?”

“What escapes?” Reese asked as the two girls sat at the table and he pulled a chair over to sit on backward.

Peggy leaned over the table slightly, “I heard that two people with superpowers escaped two of Golding Kerwin’s Assistants.”

Aralin, still sipping her drink, immediately started coughing, and Reese flinched.

“What?”  Reese asked, quickly recovering.

“Well,”  Peggy continued after her friend stopped coughing, “I overheard my father talking to… actually it was your father, Ara.  Anyway, then your dad told mine that the Assistant found it practically impossible to beat this girl, who was only around our ages, and he was about to bring her in when a boy came in with super speed and stopped him while this boy was also dealing with Golden-Flash.”

“That was Golden-Flash?” Reese blurted out, eyes wide.

“What do you mean?” Peggy leaned even further into the middle of the table.

Aralin cleared her throat, “Reese was telling me that he was walking through the city and found a few of his shards.”

Peggy, looking slightly disappointed, said, “Oh, I thought you might have seen the fight since you… live near there.”

Reese narrowed his eyes, “Yeah.  Something like that.”

Peggy opened her mouth to continue talking, but someone came up behind her and tapped her shoulder.  This woman was Peggy’s mom, Aralin knew as she had come over to her friend’s house several times a week.

“Peggy, dear, there seems to be a bit of a disturbance over in the right entryway and you know your father won’t be happy if anything’s broken.”

Peggy sighed, “Ok.  I’ll be back in a little while, you guys.”

They both nodded and she disappeared into the flood-like crowd of teens, but her mother lingered for a moment, inspecting Reese with a curious expression until she left and went back to wherever it was she came from.

“I don’t like her.” Reese immediately said, speaking just loud enough for her to hear over the loud music.
“I don’t really like her either, but you don’t say it.”

“I don’t like Peggy, her mom, or any of the kids coming to this ridiculous party.”  His voice was strong, but Aralin could tell he was enjoying it because his glare was more practiced than real.

“Yeah, yeah, yeah.  Anyway, how many kids do you think know about us?”

Reese stared at her for a second as if he couldn’t hear her, “Oh, yeah, ‘the escapes’.  At least some of them know that I saved you and you didn’t get out by yourself.”  Reese seemed to be cracking himself up, but Aralin immediately frowned at Reese’s laughter.

“We need to talk about that.”  Aralin gave him a moment to control his hilarity, “I was winning against that Assistant, believe me, I was, but when I was he did something that made me start to lose.”

“What, like, started beating you?” Reese raised an eyebrow, still shaking with laughter.

Aralin frowned yet again, “This is serious.  Stop acting like a three-year-old.  This Assistant drank something after I, uh, blasted him through a tree.  When he drank it, he started talking to me through my mind, and he gained my powers.  After that, I was kind of freaked out because his voice in my head sounded just like my voice in my head.”

“You have a voice in your head?”

“Is that really what matters right now?”

Reese shrugged.

“Anyway, if they have some sort of potion-”

“Potion?”

“-that can gift them another person’s powers then that explains why there’ve never been any escapes.”

“Yeah, but that doesn’t make any sense.  The lab doesn’t exist so they can figure out how to get more people into the lab.”

Aralin shifted, suddenly uncomfortable.  Should you tell him?  You really just met and can’t trust him that much.  He did save your life though…

“My mom actually works in the lab.”  Aralin whispered, leaning close, “She’s one of the more important scientists there, in fact.  As one of the leaders she knows what’s going on.”  Pausing to watch Reese react, which he didn’t really, she continued, “My mom knows that Kerwin is trying to make some sort of concoction that will let him live forever.”

Reese looked at her.

“Your mom works for the lab?” He sighed. “It was bad enough that your dad is one of Kerwin’s right-hand men. But this?” He shook his head.

“My dad is a businessman, he goes to other country’s to make deals with other rulers.”  Aralin said flatly.

Reese stared at her.

“Um, no. Ask almost anyone at school. Your father is one of Kerwin’s most trusted helpers.  Silver Shard, also known as Markus Makenzie.” He cocked his head. “You know that, right?”

“What are you talking about, that’s crazy, I know what my dad does.”  Aralin said, offended.

Reese frowned.

“Ask anyone. They can tell you who he is, and probably his most notable arrests over the past few weeks.”

“No,” Aralin  mumbled, “ my mom works in the lab, and my dad works as Golding’s  ambassador.   You must be thinking of someone else.”  Aralin could feel herself freaking out.

Reese shrugged.

“Whatever. Doesn’t really matter. Just don’t tell him what you’re doing.”

“What we are doing.  Reese, you are doing this with me.”  Aralin bit her lip, digesting the new information.

He audibly groaned head turned down with his hand covering it.  “Anyway, does the plan stop because your dad is Silver Shard?”

“No, why would this change anything?  It’s just a little, err, casualty.  Besides, I don’t have a plan, just an outline.”

“You what?” Reese asked, shocked, “I thought you said you had a plan that you wanted to put into action soon.”

“Eh, not really. I just had… an idea for a plan.”

“And what’s that?” Reese asked.

“My idea?  Kill Golding.  I have some ideas linked to my main idea of how to do that, but my optimism only goes so far.  Besides, what successful people plan to be successful?  I do, but you don’t and your pessimism goes so far it can cover both of us.”  Aralin smiled, mostly back to her sarcastic self.

Reese sighed, “I can’t believe you’d work so hard to get me to do this with you and you don’t even have a pl-”

Peggy, squeezing through crowd, appeared, making Reese have to stop talking.

“What were you saying?”

“I wasn’t talking to you.”  Reese said.

“Right.”  Peggy said, frowning, “Anyway, Ara, the dancing is starting in a few minutes.”  She paused, then with a mischievous smile added, “Reese, do you dance?”  He stared at her flatly.

“Of course not.”

“Ok, then.” Peggy sighed just as the music changed, and just a moment later there was a loud crack that came from what seemed to be a few streets over.

She stopped herself from sprinting out the back door to see what had happened, thankfully.

Aralin and Reese seemed to be the only ones in the room who took notice of the bang.  These things were now so normal that everyone just trained themselves to be blind.

Turning to Reese when Peggy was distracted for a moment, she almost got a word out before someone tapped her shoulder.

Tense, she slowly turned, but immediately smiled shyly once she saw who it was.  

Xander was a tall high school senior Aralin had… taken interest in since fourth grade.

He smiled lightly.  “Umm, they’ve started the dancing, do you want to be my partner for the next few songs?”

Aralin stood there, staring with a smile.

You shouldn’t say yes.  Reese needs you now and you can’t just-  Aralin caught Reese leaving through one the back doors.

“Of course she would.” Peggy said, dramatically pushing her friend forward into the crowd and next to Xander.

Reese won’t mind…

Yet he was the only thing she could think about for the next half-hour.

Christan, Fiction, Super Hero

Stand. – Chapter 4

I forgot to post it earlier this week, opps!  Well, anyway this chapter is by Julia Elizabeth.  Enjoy!

 

Chapter 4

 

Reese walked casually down the back alley, allowing his mind to wander randomly as he strolled towards his home. He’d been spying on Aralin earlier that day, which was incredibly boring. One would think that someone like her would have something more interesting to do than sit around thinking, or coming up with ridiculous superhero outfits.

However, she’d ran off earlier that evening, so he’d went to do a bit of late night thievery. He’d made a round of all the shops owned by Kerwin’s minions, taking a little here and there of their overpriced goods. Now, he was headed back to his home, glad to have stocked up on food. The city was starting to run low on wares, which was never a good sign.

Reese was just a few blocks away from his hovel when something struck the ground beside him. He frowned, bending down to look at it. It seemed to be… he froze. It looked like a golden scale.

Head jerking up, Reese stared in horror at a man, nearly seven feet tall, with scaly dragon wings. He hovered above the buildings, glaring down at Reese. Wings flapping and causing a strong wind to sweep over the alley, nearly knocking Reese down, the man descended.

Scrambling out of the way, Reese squawked with delayed surprise. Then, doing the thing that was to him most instinctive, he dissolved and ran inhumanly fast towards his hovel.

When he arrived however, even more surprises awaited him. As Reese slid out of a building into the area where his hovel was, he paused in shock, stumbling to a stop, still half incorporeal.

His hovel was gone. In its place was a smoking crater. Bits of rubble were strewn about. He sniffed, nose wrinkling at the smell of smoke. Explosives? How…

He froze as he caught sight of Aralin standing across from him. Standing before her, somehow shoving little spikey bits of metal straight towards her head was an Assistant.

Immediately, Reese froze time. It was more an instinct than on purpose. As everyone and everything around him slowed, he dashed forwards, desperate to save Aralin. Behind him, wings flapping lethargically, the winged Assistant landed in slow motion.

Reese ignored the flying monstrosity, continuing his dash towards Aralin. He pulled to a stop as he reached her, and couldn’t help smirking at the look of surprise slowly forming on her face. It was always amusing to see people when they were frozen.

He snatched the pieces of metal from the air in front of Aralin, discarding them to the sides. Then he raced to the Assistant, kicking him in the gut and pummeling him to the ground.

As he turned from the Assistant, Reese could feel exhaustion setting in. Slowing time for so long was tiring. He sighed inwardly, then allowed everything to speed up to its normal pace.

Immediately, a gust of wind knocked him backwards. Reese cried out in surprise, sailing through the air. He didn’t have time to become incorporeal, and landed hard on the solid ground. Gasping, Reese clutched at his side. He leaned his head back, trying to gather some breath.

Then, standing up, he lunged towards the dragon-ish assistant, slowing time just a bit to give himself an unnatural speed. Dodging around him, Reese kicked the assistant, allowing time to resume its usual play.

He dissolved, slipping into the cement as the Assistant whirled about in anger, wings sending a gust through the small area. When Reese popped back out of the cement, he was pleased to see Aralin dominating the other Assistant.

Gritting his teeth, Reese reached down his leg, pulling out a long knife he kept strapped there. Raising it, he ran towards the dragon creature again. Reese had no experience throwing knives, so he didn’t bother trying. Instead, he jumped up, right into the Assistant’s arms.

This move completely startled the Assistant, which gave Reese a wonderful opportunity to plunge his knife into the man’s shoulder. With an angered cry, he rose into the air, wings flapping wildly.

Reese was shaken off as Dragon Man, as he’d decided to call the Assistant, spun wildly in the air. Yelling in surprise, Reese tumbled towards the ground. This time, however, he managed to become incorporeal before hitting the ground.

Unfortunately, the momentum of his fall sent him plunging through layers of cement and dirt, deep into the earth. Inwardly, he groaned. It was going to take forever to climb out of this mess. Sighing, he began the long, tedious process of pulling himself out of the earth.

By the time he finally crested the surface of the dirt, Reese found Aralin standing triumphantly above the other Assistant, who appeared to be unconscious. He nodded to her, then turned about, looking for the other assistant.

“He flew away.” Aralin said.

“Huh?” Reese turned to her again.

“The other Assistant. He flew off that way.” She pointed towards Kerwin’s tower.

Reese groaned.

“He’ll be getting enforcements for sure. We need to get going.” He glanced at his hovel, which was completely obliterated. “And we’ll need to find somewhere else to stay.”

“How about my house?” Aralin suggested. “They haven’t connected… uhh… me with me yet.”  She explained, indicating the mask she was wearing.

Reese shrugged, following her as she headed towards her house. He knew this was pretty much agreeing to help the silly girl with her ridiculous plan, but he did need some place to lie low. So, sighing, he walked through the busy streets, heading towards her mansion.

Night was falling as they walked, which made Reese relax. It should be much easier to blend in –

He froze as wind shook the small alleyway they were running through. Muttering in annoyance, Reese grabbed Aralin’s arm, turned them both incorporeal, and pulled her into a nearby wall.

Aralin tried to shout in surprise as he held her, but being incorporeal made it nearly impossible to talk. Turning himself partially corporeal, he turned to her.

“Keep holding me. It’s easiest to turn you incorporeal that way.”

She nodded, and together they set off through the buildings of lower New York, towards her house and possible safety. Reese stayed on his toes the whole time, so nervous he kept forgetting to keep them incorporeal.

However, they reached Aralin’s house without incident.

“You stay here.” Reese whispered. “I’m going to do some reconnaissance.”

They stood in a building not far from Aralin’s house, watching it through a section in the wall Reese had made incorporeal. Aralin seemed likely to protest, so Reese just slipped through the wall, then down into the ground, slowly approaching the house.

Once he was below it, he climbed out of the ground and into a small basement full of boxes and storage. As quietly as possible, he crept up the stairs, scouting out the house.

Everything seemed in place, so, sighing, he sank back into the ground and went to get Aralin. She simply watched him as he climbed out of the ground, eyes looking rather spooked, though that was most likely because of creepy he looked, pulling himself from the dirt like some undead creature.

“It’s clear.” He announced. “But we’re going to need to enter through the ground to be sure no one’s spying on it.”

Aralin rolled her eyes at the extra safety precautions, but Reese had no intention of getting caught by an Assistant. So, Aralin gripping his arm tightly in order to remain incorporeal, the two of them sank into the dirt, making their way carefully towards the house.

They surfaced in the basement, Reese turning them both corporeal. Aralin didn’t move for a moment, then said, “You know, I could have just used my mind map?”

“Your what?” Reese frowned.   

“My mind map. It’s one of my powers. I can see everything around me for about a mile. It helps me find people.”

“Oh.” Reese shifted. “You could have mentioned that.”

“I don’t use it unless I need to.” Aralin laughed at his discomfort.

“Well.” Reese looked around the room. “Do you have a hidden tunnel or something? You’ll need a way to escape if I’m not here to turn you incorporeal. And what about food stores? How long would we be able to bunker down here?”

“Bunker down?” Aralin laughed again. “Why would we need to do that? We’ll hardly spend any time here, between school and crime fighting.”

“I’ve already told you, I’m not going to help you with this stupid scheme.” Reese insisted.

“You came here, didn’t you?” She grinned, grabbing a small, round, and flat object, then tossing it to him. “Here. I’ve got the rest of your outfit upstairs.”

“Outfit?” Reese stared at her in complete disbelief.

“Yeah, outfit. Do you expect to kill the ruler of New York City in… this?” She gestured to his clothes.

“No. I don’t expect to kill the ruler of New York at all.” He replied.

She just shook her head sadly.

“You know, if we don’t do this it’s never going to happen.  Superheroes are disappearing and if we don’t do this now, and end up getting taken to the lab in a year, how are you going to feel about this choice?” She asked.

Reese stared at her flatly.

“I’m not going to end up in the lab.” He replied.

“Think of Sting.  I don’t think he planned that either.”

Sting. Reese gritted his teeth in annoyance. He wasn’t like Sting. He wasn’t innocent, unassuming, and careless. However, he was getting very annoyed at Aralin.

“Fine.” He threw up his hands in resignation. “I’ll help you. But don’t blame me when this goes bad.”

He turned, stalking up the stairs.  When he got up there he saw a room full of school books, a backpack, and several other things. Most likely Aralin’s little space. Then saw an old ladder made of metal poles leading up to the attic. Shrugging to himself, he climbed up.  

At the top he found an old foam mattress shoved against the far wall, a pile of blankets and pillows sitting atop it. Pillows. Reese hadn’t seen one of those in a long time. Beside the bed sat a rickety chair that looked like it would crumble if anyone tried to sit on it.

Draped over the chair was a gray sweater, black long sleeve shirt, and a simple pair of black sweatpants with red streaks down the sides. Reese raised an eyebrow as he regarded it. Really? He thought. However, it wasn’t as bad as he’d worried a ‘superhero outfit’ made by Aralin would be. Sighing, Reese walked over and picked up the outfit.

Several minutes later, he came down the ladder, wearing the outfit Aralin had chosen for him. Aralin was sitting in a colorful bean bag chair, snacking on some candy.

“You look good.” She nodded to herself.

Reese rolled his eyes.

“I haven’t even put the mask on yet and I already feel stupid.” He replied.

This time it was Aralin’s turn to roll her eyes. They stood in silence for several moments.

“Well?” Reese asked. “You wanted to save the world. Shouldn’t we get going?”

“Of course.” Aralin replied. “But not tonight.”

“Why not? You wanted my help, and now that I’m offering it, you don’t want it?”

“No, no. It’s not that.” Aralin popped another candy into her mouth. “It’s just that there’s a party tonight.”

“A what?” Reese stared at her.

“A party, you know, where people go to someone’s house and talk and hangout and eat food.”

“I know what a party is.” Reese retorted. “I just didn’t think you’d go to one. What am I supposed to do all night while you’re ‘hanging out’?”

Aralin cocked her head. Then she got an evil gleam in her eye.

“You could come.”

Reese shook his head.

“No way.”

“It’s settled, then. You’re coming.”

Reese opened his mouth to protest, but there was no arguing with Aralin.

 

Christan, Fiction, Super Hero

Stand. – Chapter 3

This is Chapter 3, one that I wrote.

 

Chapter 3

Aralin rolled her eyes as she walked down the sidewalk, nearly ready to ‘meet’ with Reese again.  That boy was a pain.  Her grandfather had always talked about alot of girls having crazy dreams, like becoming famous models, or popular singers.  Her dream wasn’t that crazy, it was just taking down the ruler of New York City, and Evans repetitively said no.

She stepped into a darkened alleyway.  After a day of stalking this boy, she found he came here everyday after school to steal food.  

Aralin frowned at how many homeless people were huddled in corners with nasty looking blankets around them.  This is why Golding needs to go.  

She reluctantly forced herself make all the poor family’s leave the alleyway, reminding herself she needed to so it would be easier to talk to Reese and convince him to help her.

After a few minutes of waiting, searching through her mind map with her back against a cold brick wall opposite of the shop, she spotted him coming down the road.  Opening her eyes she felt herself flinch at the darkness.  Light was always better, in her opinion.

When he finally got there, Aralin found herself smiling at him, though he couldn’t see her.  Poor guy.  Thinks he’s safest not fighting.

“Evans,” she stepped out of the cold shade, “I’m sick of you saying no.  This is something that needs to be done, and you are literally the only kid in school who can help me.”  

He crossed his arms.

You’re sick of me saying no?” He asked. “Well I’m sick of you.”

He turned to walk out of the alleyway.   

“Yeah, I got that vibe from just looking at a picture of you.”  Aralin crossed her arms.

“How’d you get a picture of me?” He asked, now sounding curious for the moment.

Aralin shook her head, “This isn’t about that.  Now, stop complaining.  Look, all we need to do is kill Golding.”

All we need to do?” Evans asked, incredulous. “You do realize how hard that would be, right? He’s got dozens of bodyguards, and people say that his skin is impervious to all weapons.”

“Well, then we kill the bodyguards.  Evans, listen to me, ok?  If we don’t try, then no one will.  I mean, no one has tried for over 50 years.  So if we don’t start no one will.”  Aralin tried making her voice sound caring, even just slightly, but it felt impossible to get through to him.  Nothing’s impossible.  If impossible existed then what are you doing?

Evans slid his hands into his pockets and leaned against the wall, Aralin could tell he was covering up most of how annoyed he was.  “I don’t care if I’m the only other kid in all of New York City with powers, Makenzie.  Leave me alone.”

Aralin sighed as she watched him become incorporeal. “Wait!”  The boy stopped and turned around with a face that was now more mad then annoyed.  “I left bread and candy under a sheet of metal next to your, uh,  house.  Feel free to change your mind anytime before I die.  See ya.”

Leaving Reese to his thoughts, she walked out of the alleyway, knowing he was going to come with her one of those times.  

Be patient, he will.  You just have to wait.

 

Aralin sat on her astonishing uncomfortable bed, across from a small desk like table with three things on it; a picture of her family, and two brand new masks she made.  One for her, one for Reese.  The masks had a new, rubbery material on the inside that would make it stick to her face.  She didn’t know what color to make it, so she just melded a very thin sheet of shiny, blue tinted metal onto the outside with point on each side of her face.

Reese’s was rather simple, mostly black, but with red streaks down the sides, because of how he looked when using his super speed power.

Her parents had no powers, they both worked for Golding as advisors and travelers.  The only reason didn’t have to live in an alleyway was because her parents worked so hard to keep her out of harm’s way, and knew part of that was getting her her own place.  They are working so hard for you, and you throw it away.  It’s so we can help people who don’t get looked after.  You’re parents will lose the jobs they’ve worked towards their whole life.

 She closed her eyes to go through the city with her mind map, there had to be something she could have been doing to take her mind of the constant arguments for, and against herself.  Aralin’s mind drifted over to the poorest part of town.  Oh well that’s just perfect.  I have nothing to hit!  Well, nothing to hit until one of the hovels exploded.

Aralin stood and went over to a the window facing towards the explosion.  Not that she could see it from where she was or anything, but standing seemed right.  Closing her eyes again she looked closer, and recognized it.  Feeling as if she had been there before, she bit her lip.  

Quickly stuffing Reese’s mask in her hoodie pocket, she stuck her mask on her face, and tied up her hair in a way that made her look different while sprinting out the door.

 

For just a moment she felt ridiculous rushing through the city in a black/blue hoodie, grey leggings and black tennis shoes to save a boy she barely knew and pretended to hate, then caught herself saying pretended right when she saw his place.

It looked like the rest of the places now, but more of an empty hole then an actual shapeless blob with an empty middle.

Aralin glanced around to look for anyone, then closed her eyes to see if she could sense him there.

You shouldn’t be here.  They’re probably waiting for you.  Run.

Aralin stood there, ignoring her thoughts.  She closed her eyes again, looking around for who did this.  

Oh dear.  She jumped from where she was, dodging several bullets.  She reached out her hand and, for the first time in nearly a year, used her favorite power.  Grabbing the Assistant flying incredibly high the sky and pulled him to the ground.  He hit the ground with a painful crack and… he wasn’t there.  Aralin blinked several times to get glimpses of her mind map, but didn’t dare keep them closed.  She noticed he appeared directly six feet behind her.  She flipped around and pushed him with her gravity into a rusty lamppost with as much power as she felt she ever had in one push.  Letting go for just a moment, she swung some spiked clips of metal at him, but he had disappeared again.

She blinked again, but the only thing she noticed was when her eyes were open, a huge fire raising in front of her.  She took a quick step to her right but the fire was all around her, leaving for her only a small box on this inside.  She looked up and saw the Assistant floating above her.

“Have fun in the lab!”  He laughed mechanical.

“You killed him.” Aralin whispered, and not five seconds later grabbed the whole foundation of the fire around her – discovering fire was very heavy – and thrust forward onto him.

Looking surprised, he transported himself next to her.

“Fighting is useless, child.  Accept your fate, just like the other child.”

Aralin was about to respond, but as she recognized this Assistant she cocked her head and said, “You tried killing a school child once on their way to school.”

“Doesn’t everybody?” He smiled, showing pointed teeth.

This was the man that tried to kill her when she was 11, this was the man Reese saved her from.  If only she could have saved Reese from him.

“Let me refresh your mind.”  

She kicked his stomach, using her powers to hit harder.  Then pushed him away, walking backward herself.  He can’t transport anywhere if he’s moving to fast. Aralin felt proud she actually remembered reading that somewhere as she swung him through a leafless tree.

“That’s it!”  the Assistant screeched.  He reached into his pocket and grabbed something out, then swallowed it.

You should have run when you could have, Miss Makenzie.  Aralin eyes widened.  

Scared now?  Perfect.  Let me explain the extent of my powers.  I have your powers, I can read your mind, I can give you ideas that may be yours, may be mine.  That’s right.  Be scared.

Aralin felt her breathing and heartbeat speed up.

The Assistant started approaching, pulling a nearby shard of metal into his hand with her powers.

This is one of the many things you’ll be tested for in the lab.  You’re such an amazing fighter… I’ll get a much higher position when I turn you in.

Aralin let out a yelp, then ran, but got nowhere.  She felt him dragging her closer.

“Let go of me!”  She leaned forward as far as she could to put more weight on him, but he continued pulling.  Then it stopped for a moment and Aralin fell from leaning in a position nearly parallel with the ground.

“Thanks a lot!” Aralin said sarcastically, “These were my favorite shoes!! When we’re done with this, I’m going to have to get new ones, how am I supposed to explain that to my parents?”

The Assistant froze, giving Aralin just enough time to use her powers to tear the slice of metal from his hand and push it towards his chest.

The Assistant caught it with her powers and pushed it in her direction.

Reese wouldn’t have died if you had been more persuasive.  He probably wouldn’t be fighting with you, but he’d still be alive.

“You’d have been amazing for testing on.”  The Assistant said, “You’ll be a fine specimen, though.”

Aralin lost focus for a moment, and that was all it took for the Assistant to use her power to gain control the the shard, and thrust it, spike first, toward her heart.

 

Christan, Fiction, Super Hero

Stand. – Chapter 2

Reese leaned back in his chair, his teacher’s voice droning on in his ears. He barely paid attention. Their lesson, a review of solving simultaneous equations, was incredibly boring, and he already had a good grasp of the concept.

So, even though he knew that he should be focusing on his lesson, his thoughts wandered to Dunny, a boy who had been one of his few friends in school. Dunny wasn’t in class. He’d been missing since the previous afternoon. When he didn’t show up in class, their teacher hadn’t even bothered to ask where he was, or send a student to find him.

She had probably heard about the incident in the hallway. For someone had found out that Dunny had powers, and he’d been taken by Kerwin’s minions to the secretive lab where all ‘superheroes’ in New York were taken.

That, of course, meant that all of the teachers were on alert and jumpy. This then transferred to the students, most of whom were barely able to focus on their lesson. Reese kicked impatiently at his desk, wishing that the bell would just ring and release him. He needed to get home. There were things he had to do, plans he had to make.

The class droned on, their edgy teacher stuttering over her words and forgetting half of the concept. Finally, the bell rang, and before they could even be dismissed, most of the class was out of their seats and headed for the door. They all were desperate to get home.

Many of them would be picked up by their parents, though only if they had a car, which quite a few people didn’t. The particularly rich would ride in the bus. But the majority would walk home. Not Reese. He didn’t do any of those options.

Mostly because he didn’t have a home. That is, unless a pile of broken bricks, chunks of stone, metal framing, and other random junk counted. Sighing, he walked over to his locker, flipped the lock first one way, then another way.

It slid open easily, and he reached inside, pulling out several small packages, which held a various assortment of things. He pulled out the majority of his school books, shoving them into the locker and putting the sacks in.

Most of those packages were filled with food, money, or random odds and ends he was likely to find useful at some time. One would be surprised at how useful a piece of string or light bulb could be when trying to survive on the streets.

He zipped up his backpack, shut the locker door tight, and made his way towards the doors with the general flow of students. Most of them moved in small packs disturbingly similarly to the way Kerwin’s gangs of troublemakers moved.

Reese slipped out the doors, doing his best to walk normally, though he’d much rather sprint towards his hovel. The students flooding outside chatted casually, discussing normal things like tv shows, sleepovers, and parties. He shook his head to himself in a mixture of disbelief and exasperation.

Who even cared about such mundane things as parties anymore? The world was full of superheroes, their very city was overtaken by an evil crime lord who’d ruled for over fifty years, and what did the youth do? What they had always done. Have parties.

Whatever. He didn’t have time to care about such things. He needed to survive. So, while the rest of the kids planned when they’d hang out and complained about their parents, he made his way towards a nearby shop, owned and operated by one of Kerwin’s minions. The prices were ridiculously high, of course.

But Reese had discovered an incredible trick to getting himself food completely free of charge. He walked around behind the store. Several miscreants and beggars huddled in the garbage back there glared at him, but when the saw that Reese wasn’t leaving, they made their way out of the alleyway.

Reese smiled to himself, then walked straight through the back wall and into the storage room. Crates of junk food, frozen meals, and iced drinks sat in the small room, waiting to be sorted. He chose several bags of candy, because, well, if you were going to steal food, candy was a must.

Then, because he needed to have at least some good food, he grabbed a frozen loaf of bread and a hunk of something green and leafy. Taking a deep breath, to calm his nerves, which always got tense whenever he used his powers, Reese slowed time, dematerialized, and raced through the city.

He didn’t head straight to his hovel, of course. Instead, he simply enjoyed buzzing around the city for a while. Then, reluctantly, he slowed himself, not far from the store he’d just relieved of some overpriced goods.

As he made his way towards his home, Reese noticed something odd. A young girl, maybe a year or two younger than him, appeared to be following him. He felt a glimmer of fear. No. Surely no one had noticed his powers. Yes, he’d been careless with them, but he was good at blending in. They couldn’t have found him.

However, after several more turns, it became obvious that the girl was following. By then, however, Reese had decided that she wasn’t working with Kerwin. He’d seen her at school before, and now recognized her as a ‘freedom fighter,’ as many kids nicknamed her and the others who tried to fight Kerwin’s oppression.

What is she doing? He wondered.

But the girl didn’t seem willing to answer his question. Instead, she continued to follow, far enough that it wasn’t immediately obvious she was following him, but close enough to keep an eye on him.

A cheeky grin lit Reese’s face as a rather mean, but incredibly funny way to scare her came to mind. …but he wasn’t going to get to try that out. He still didn’t know if she’d figured out that he had powers, and it would be stupid to carelessly blow his cover if it hadn’t even been blown.

So, instead, he walked briskly towards his hovel. Perhaps it would have made more sense to go somewhere else, so that she’d assume he actually had a home. But Reese found he didn’t care. Bablar *cough* New York was big enough that he could easily escape this girl.

As he neared his hovel, he began slowing. Glancing back at the girl, he felt a stab of pleasure, seeing how confused she was. It made sense, of course, for her to be confused. The area they were walking through was almost completely destroyed.

Buildings were burnt or pummeled to the ground. The concrete was smashed and broken. Few people walked near them, and those that did were shabbily clothed and eyed everyone else suspiciously.

Reese made a few more twists and turns, then stopped at his hovel. Before he stepped in, however, the girl called out to him.

“You’re Reese Evans.” She stated. “I’m Aralin Makenzie, and I know what you can do.”

Reese froze. That was probably the most terrifying sentence someone in New York could hear. ‘I know what you can do.’ Or, well, really any version of someone stating that you had powers. He turned to glare at her.

“Go away.”

“I don’t think you’d like it if I did that.”

“Why?” Reese sighed. He didn’t have time for mysterious conversations.

“Because then I’d try killing Golding, and end up killing myself, but before all that I’d tell him who you are.”  The girl Aralin smiled.

“I’m Reese Evans. So?”

The girl closed her eyes for a moment, then opened them and said, “Reese Evans.  15.  Powers: Ability to become incorporeal, and has super-speed.”

He frowned. What was she, a mind reader?

“Actually, it’s just slowing down time.” Reese corrected her. Then he caught himself, staring at this strange girl in complete horror. “How did you know that?”

“Well, your parents died under mysterious circumstances.  You saved my life when I was 11.  And you’re the strangest boy in school so… that’s how I know.”  

“Great. So, what are you going to do? Tell Kerwin? He’ll just send his goons after me again, and I’ll switch to a different school, maybe leave town. No big deal.” He was bluffing. Maybe she’d noticed, maybe not. If so, she gave no sign of it.

Aralin cocked her head and said, “Really? You can’t leave town.  Not with that tracker on you.”

“Tracker?” Reese glanced down.

Aralin pointed at him, “That. It’s the tracker I placed on you when you went through the back wall of the building.”

Reese glared at her, inwardly terrified. She’d seen him walk through the building?

“Whatever. What do you want from me?”
“I want you to help me kill Golding.  It’s not that much to ask, and it only take a year or two… depending on how hard you work.”  She turned to leave, “Nice house by the way.”

Reese clenched his fists. Now that was just downright mean.

“As nice as your persuasion skills.” He retorted.

She glanced at him with a little sparkle in her eyes, and Reese got the feeling he would pay for that later. It was the same with all girls.

“But,” Aralin continued seconds later, “I have an empty basement and attic, I think you’d like more.”

Reese gave her a flat look.

“I’m fine.” He turned and walked straight through a chunk of stone, rematerializing inside his hovel.

He set down the food he’d grabbed, pulling open the bag full of candy, then dematerialized his head and cautiously poked his head out of the wall. His eyes quickly found Aralin. She was walking confidently away, though Reese wasn’t sure why.

Once she’d turned the corner, Reese slipped out of his hovel, still holding the bag of candy, and followed her. He made sure to stay at a far distance from her as to not be noticed, but still keep an eye one her.

He didn’t intend to reveal himself. All Reese wanted to do was make sure she didn’t tell the authorities about his powers. He followed Aralin for several minutes, until she came to a large house.

Well, in reality it was tiny. However, compared to what most people currently called normal, it quite large. Roughly the size of a large garage with, shockingly an attic, basement, roof and actual glass windows, most people would now consider Aralin’s house a mansion.

Reese froze when he saw the symbol on the door. Hundreds of golden rings, all intricately interlocked. That was Golding Kerwin’s symbol, which meant that Aralin’s family worked for the tyrant.

He stood on the street, hands in pockets, glaring at that door as the girl walked towards it. He slid into the shadows by the house, reaching the fence which surrounded her yard. He wanted to simply step into the wall and hide, but that wouldn’t be safe in an area so full of Kerwin’s minions.

As Aralin opened the door and prepared to step inside the house, she turned and looked straight at him.

“Well, are you coming? I’ve got a pretty good attic where you could stay. The basement would work too, I suppose, though it’s pretty cluttered.”

Reese looked at her, trying to judge what her game was. Then he turned around and walked back the way he’d come.

“I want no part in any of Kerwin’s schemes.” He called over his shoulder before walking straight through a building, ignoring the danger of doing it out in the open.

Other Awesome Fiction

Stand. – Chapter 1

As promised, here is the first chapter in Stand.

I wrote this chapter, hope you like it!

 

Chapter 1

Aralin cleared her throat with her head in her small, blue locker.  It had just passed lunch at school and she was checking her mind map for traces of anything unusual. She saw an Assistant walking down the halls.

Relax, Aralin.  This is the fourth time he’s shown up this week, and he has barley even lain eyes on you.  Aralin pushed her conscious, and every other thought in her mind aside as she strained for power to continue using her mind map.

She reached her hand into her backpack to make it look like she was searching for something, then closed her eyes one more time before deciding she had to get to class before she stayed there so long it looked suspicious.

“You looked stressed,” Aralin jumped, “Girl, what’s wrong?”  She took a short sigh of relief as she saw it was just Peggy.  Her incredibly curly black hair bounced every step she took, and her dark tanned skin was without a scar; which, living in New York, was very uncommon.

“It’s just… nerve racking.  I saw an old man get attacked at lunch and-” Peggy cut her off.

“You tried stopping the mugger.  Ara, you have to just accept this world.  Your 14, this isn’t elementary school anymore where we can just express our opinions without consequence.”

From anyone else, Aralin would have told them to back off, but from Peggy, she listened, and nodded when she finished.  

“I have to get to History.  Don’t you have science now?”  Aralin smiled slightly and nodded.

Peggy turned the corner, disappearing from sight.  Appearing from out of sight, however, was the Assistant.

Aralin started walking to science as quickly as she could without her looking strange, though kids often ran from these people so it wouldn’t look to unusual.

Two other kids were walking a few feet from her, but one stopped in mid-step, surrounded by a faint orange light.

The other kid, whoever she was, turned to the boy and the Assistant.

The Assistant smiled deeply and his outstretched hand became a fist.

The older boy gasped, and there was a bright white light.  The Assistant stumbled back a few steps, and the boy stood strong in a fighting position.

From what Aralin could tell, this boy must have had the power of teleportation to be able to fend off the Assistant so easily.  

He jerked his hand forward and a white laser shot out, hitting the Assistant on his shoulder; she remembered a time when she did something like that, though she punched an Assistant rather than laser them.

The Assistant said something, though it was too quiet to hear.

Aralin noticed the Assistant moving his hands in a way that meant he was going to transport them, so she swiftly moved her hand outside her hoodie pocket and steadied herself to use her gravitational powers to tug him out of the Assistance transportational powers reach, but it was to late. *dramatic music*

The boy glanced back at the girl beside Aralin right before the Assistant and him vanished.

 

It was really, very normal for a student to disappear, it was just that Aralin had never been present during their ‘disappearances’.  And the look on that poor girls face when that boy disappeared.  She hadn’t come back to school, most likely too afraid to come back.

She scolded herself, in a way, for being glad the boy was taken.  It might have been her… and to be so foolish as to almost try and help him… It was a ridiculous idea anyway.  If she had used her powers those kids would have known, and would almost definitely turn her in, because children that turn people with powers in were rewarded.  Their family might have gotten a better home, or maybe a pet.  A girl would even turn in her best friend just for some money to let her parents stay home instead of work.

Aralin tried paying attention in math class, but with all these thoughts running through her mind it was hard.  You shouldn’t have these powers.  You don’t deserve them if you don’t do anything with them.  You’ll try hiding them for the rest of your life, then end up like that poor guy; in a lab.

Aralin let her thoughts run more freely now because they made her want to fight back, they made her want to do something. The smart side of her refused.

“And that’s why, all organic peroxide compound having two oxygen atoms joined together, is explosive.” Aralin’s eyes unblurred as she heard the compound – it was her favorite.  Sitting up, she counted to three and the bell rang.  

She only had 30 minutes until the 15 year olds got out, and the less people who left the school, the better.

Aralin quickly got to her locker and stuck her head inside just slightly and closed her eyes to see if anyone was in the computer lab.  Then she slung her backpack over her shoulder and started walking to the door, making an unnoticed turn to the left towards the computer lab.  If only she had a cool power, like invisibility, or the ability to become incorporeal, or even teleportation would be cool.  Instead she was stuck with being able to see everything around her within a mile from whatever perspective she wanted, and the power of gravity.  

I don’t know why your complaining.  This dose let you walk on walls.  Smiled faintly.

She pushed the door to the computer lab open.  It was time to look for any other superheroes in this school.

 

“Seriously?” Aralin crumpled another page of paper and stuffed it in her backpack.  She hacked into the school files and made a search for anyone who had parents, grandparents, or great-grandparents with superpowers.  People with superpowers were rare enough she didn’t get over a hundred options of students who may have powers, but Assistants were good enough at capturing said people with powers there were only three real options: Tasha Mink, Sting Age, and Reese Evans.

She had printed these kids portfolios out, and the first one out was Sting Age. The boy taken by the Assistant days ago.

Aralin looked at Reese Evans picture and dismissed him.  No boy who had amazing superpowers could ever look so plain.

It had to be Tasha Mink.  Short white hair, dark brown eyes, and age…

This is when Aralin crumpled the page.  Tasha Mink, age 29.

She went back to staring at Reese Evans picture.  It had to be him.  Looking closer, she thought she remembered him from somewhere.

Of course you do, her conscious told her, you probably share classes with this guy every day. No, wait.  More than that. More than that, more than that… what is it?

“Right!”  Aralin sat up from her slouched over position.  It was so obvious… Well it wasn’t, but she knew herself to be very good at spotting the inconspicuous.

She scanned more through his file to learn as much as she could about him.

Aralin found it strange that she was finally doing this.  Her whole life she had been the top Freedom Fighter, getting closer to getting killed than almost any other kid in the school.  Here she was, sealing her death by asking this random guy to help her kill the most powerful guy in New York City.

Yep, that sound like you.  She shook her head.  Getting the last bits of useless information about this boy memorized, she tore up the papers in the old paper shredder at least ten times before she finally slipped her backpack over her shoulder and tenaciously went to the front door to hide behind something for a minute as to blend with the crowd when they came out.

One minute and thirty-three seconds.  Aralin skidded to a stop, not realizing how fast she was running.  One minute and sixteen seconds.  She leaned her back against a huge pillar so she could easily stand and continue on her why once the 15 year olds flooded out.  She glanced down at her pink camouflage watch for the third time.  One minute

“Aralin?”

She let out a small scream, falling off the rounded rock she was sitting on but still landing on her feet, then losing her balance and falling again.

“Wow, sorry!  You ok?”  Peggy leaned over the rock and stretched out her jewelry-covered hand to help Aralin up.

She nodded, “Yeah, I’m fine Peg, thanks.”

“You seem really spooked today. You ok?”  

Aralin paused, “Yeah, it’s just the kid that was taken recently.  I just wish I could have done something is all.  Anyway, why are you here?”

“Well, I was curious why you were in there for so long-”

“Gym.”  Aralin cut in.

“No.”

“Detention?”

“Try again.”

“Picking the locks of richer kids lockers and putting useful stuff in poorer kids lockers.”

“Believable.  Anyway, I stayed here so long because I forgot to invite you to my party.  There’s going to be lots of people and lots of food.”  Peggy smiled mischievously.

Aralin laughed and opened her mouth to say something, but barley a sound came out before the bell rang directly over their heads.

“Uhh, I’ve got to go.” Aralin yelled over the noise of students flooding into the murky light of day, “When is it?”

“Saturday night.  See you then, girl!”  Peggy waved and disappeared into the crowd, soon reappearing on the sidewalk and climbing into a slick, black painted car.  Aralin tried imagining what it had been life back when Golding wasn’t alive had been like.  Her grandfather said everyone rode in horse-drawn carriages, and some important people had really old fashioned cars.  He told her how there were these people called Police who stopped crime, and people like them to keep everyone safe.

Now, there were a few Freedom Fighters who tried their hardest to stop homeless people from hurting others.  Now, there were Freedom Fighters, who were failing.

This is why you have to find Reese Evans.  Aralin snapped back to attention, and began to look for him through the crowds of people.

There.  She took of running after Evans.  He was in a pack of kids going one way, but broke off, heading to what Aralin knew as the poorer part of the city.

Staying off at a distance, but close enough to watch with either her eyes or mind map, she continued to get good glimpses of him.

This was definitely the boy who saved her life.  He looked the exact same as he did before, but he was a few inches taller.

He turned into an alleyway and she closed her eyes and opened her mind map, then continued following him.

Christan, Fiction, Super Hero

Stand. – Prologue

Ok, so Julia and I have been working on a novel we’re calling “Stand.”  We’ll try posting a chapter per week, but for now: The Prologue.  Julia’s parts will have a blue heading (like this: Prologue) and my parts will be written in purple (like this: Prologue).  Enjoy!

 

Prologue (Part 1)

The crackle of a flame. Panicked shouts. The smell of smoke. Twelve-year-old Reese Evans tensed immediately, one hand reaching for his backpack, where he’d hidden a small handgun. Stupid, maybe, but a necessary precaution. It didn’t take him long to identify where the fire had been started. Just up Duront Street. Great. That was directly in the middle of his path to school.

With a sigh, Reese continued on his way, figuring that there was no point trying to avoid the fire. There would probably just be another one, or a mugging or something else whatever street he went down. Taking a deep breath, he shouldered his backpack, gripping it with tense fingers.

As he walked down the street, he saw people hiding in the shadows. Some were afraid. Others watched him maliciously. Thankfully, none attacked him. He was, after all, a schoolboy. And Golding, tyrant though he was, had some very strict rules about school children. They weren’t to be attacked on their way to or from school, or while they played during recess.

Reese suspected that it was to keep the kids going to school, which was the easiest way to test them for powers. Powers. Reese shivered as he thought of the strange, superhero-like abilities that had started manifesting in people nearly one hundred years earlier. It was now common to see someone streaking through the air, or walking down the street surrounded by a mini tornado.

Some countries had prospered, growing an amazing infrastructure and economy based off of these powers. Others had crumbled. Reese didn’t know much else about the rest of the world, however. Living in New York , which was currently ruled by a tyrant known as Golding Kerwin, one didn’t tend to learn much of the outside world.

Golding didn’t let people out, and few came into the apocalyptic city, for fear of being forced into labor. The few that did come tended to be opportunists, crazies, and deceitful liars. So what little news they recieved of the outside world was always subject to suspicion.

Reese was shaken out of his thoughts as he neared the fire. As he’d suspected, it had been set by one of Golding’s minions. No surprises there. Golding had hundreds of Assistants all over the city, wreaking havoc and keeping the city in a state of fear.

To his surprise, however, the minion setting the fire appeared to have been interrupted. Reese froze as he took in the situation. A young girl who he was pretty sure he recognized from school stood, looking back at the Assistant, who appeared to have been kicked in the stomach. Was that kid nuts? Interfering with Golding’s plans was a major offense. She could get killed for doing something like that.

Then Reese noticed what she, too, had undoubtedly seen. A young woman, up several floors, desperately trying to find a way out as she shielded a small baby from the flames. He hesitated, then shook himself. This was stupid. He needed to keep heading to school.

But that woman… he could hear her screams, and that of her child. Glancing at the Assistant, Reese saw that he was fully distracted by the young girl. So, with a sigh, he slowed time and rushed at the building.

As he neared the wall, Reese dematerialized, sliding right through. He rematerialized on the other side, racing up a set of stairs, through some walls, up a few more stairwells. He casually walked around the fires, which were slowed so much that they didn’t affect him.

Finally, he found himself in the room, seven floors up, where the woman was. He allowed time to speed back up, grabbed her, awkwardly, and leapt out the window. She screamed the whole time down, but there wasn’t any need to worry. As they hit the ground, Reese made them both partially dematerialize. They slowed as they plunged through the ground, then Reese slowly climbed back out, the terrified woman still clutching to him.

He dropped her off at the base of the building, then turned to head to school. He’d just neared the end of the street when he heard a scream, coming from near the building…

 

 

Prologue (Part 2)

Aralin Makenzie nervously walked down the streets, carrying her backpack in her hands because of local thieves.  She saw the area get fogged slightly and she smelled smoke.  It was a normal thing, really.  Fires happened all the time in New York; at least, they did now.  Aralin was already, 11, so her parents felt they no longer needed to walk her to school.  At least her dad did until her 11 birthday, most only patted their kids heads and said stay safe as they walked to school through a battlefield.  

She jerked awake when she saw is was one of Golding’s assistants that set the building on fire.  She didn’t know why she was always surprised, they were always doing something horrible, everyday it was just something else.

This assistant, it seemed had powers of fire and… there was always one more.

Aralin’s conscious told her to just do it, she had powers of her own that would definitely outdo his.  But she held back.

She sharply looked up as she heard a scream just the blazing hot building.  On the seventh floor – she made it a point to always count the number of floors in buildings incase one suddenly disappeared one day, which they always did – there was a young woman, most likely in her young twenties, screaming for help while clutching her child to her chest.

Aralin froze for a moment as she realized the assistant moved closer to her as she was distracted.

Without thinking – because if she did she wouldn’t have done this – she swung her body to the side and kicked him.  That was the worst thing she could have done.  Freezing yet again, she turned and spirited away.

Apparently, The Assistant had transportation.  Aralin ran several meters, then glanced behind her shoulder to see him standing there with his hand him his stomach.  When Aralin looked forward again The Assistant was just standing there.  Why hadn’t she seen that?  Her map would have notified her.

She slid below his fist, just missing it.  Well, fine way to show your colors, Aralin. She rolled her eyes, her pessimistic side told her she was going to die, her optimistic side reminded her that this man wasn’t allowed to do what he was doing.

“Lord Kerwin’s Lawbook, chapter 14, A3, commands you’re not allowed to hurt, kill, or kidnap a school child going to or from school!” she blurted out.

The Assistant stared at Aralin, who was nearly on her back with her hand outstretched in front of her face.  Finally he said, “Unless they touch you first.”

“It doesn’t say that.”

“You should have read between the lines child.”  The assistant made a huge fireball in both hands and aimed at her.  

Only two feet away from the flame, Aralin had no other ideas.  Unless she used her powers…

Sparks flew and Aralin screamed, but for no reason.  Something bolted by with a speed that made her only be able to see a streak of black and red, and this streak hit right into The Assistant.  She quickly got to her feet, only seeing streaks going to hit The Assistant, while he just stood there dumbfounded.

Well, he looked dumbfounded until he fell.  The streak stopped moving and Aralin saw it was a kid, wearing a black hoodie and black jeans.  The kid wasn’t facing her, but she could tell it was a boy by the way he stood.

He was just standing there, staring down at The Assistant.  Aralin grabbed a lamppost to steady herself, then used her powers to make all the air surrounding every little fire The Assistant made, go out.

She also used her powers to tug on the back of the boys hood.  Brown hair.  He flipped around and faced her, but she was nearly 20 feet away and her eyes were blurred.  Closing them, she went to her mind map and looked closer at him.  All she saw was a black eye before he disappeared in a streak of red and black light, zipping between two buildings into an alleyway.

Other Awesome Fiction

Reegan Sence | Chapter 2

Ok, everyone!  Ment to post this earlier but I went over to Farm Girl’s house before I had the chance!  Here you go and I hope you enjoy!!

 

 

Reegan woke up, yet squeezed her eyes shut to remember her dream.  It was a scary dream; her favorites.  The dream washed over her again:  Pounding feet echoed. Eerie screams. Creaking doors. Then, suddenly, darkness.   Wait a minute, she thought, that happened last night.

Her eyes flashed open.  This was not her bedroom.

Reegan glanced around the room and, confirming that nobody else was in there when she couldn’t find the common mist, flipped her thick blanket off and slowly tiptoed over to a mirror.  She could clearly see a thin cut between her right eye and ear, a twig probably cut her when she tackled the boy…

The boy.  Where had he brought her?  How long had she been asleep?  Why her?

Reegan just noticed a pair of clothes on a chair near the half-open window.  When she walked over to it she reached into all the pockets, flipped it inside-out, and studied it before putting on the outfit.  Stop being so paranoid, she scolded herself.  Reegan was normally a very trusting girl, but something about this room gave her the creeps.

Looking out the window Reegan assumed it was around 8 o’clock in the morning, but she was quickly sidetracked by the beautiful trees.  In fall tree’s leaves change color, but not like this.  They were all sorts of pink, orange, and purple.  She was so mesmerized she almost didn’t notice there was a young man who was quickly walking through the courtyard, face turned and on his toes.

He didn’t hurt me yesterday, Reegan didn’t really know it that even was yesterday.  She figured out how to open the window and jumped 3 story’s into a pile of dead plants and fallen leaves then, completely ruining the neat pile, quietly sprinted to him.

 

 

 

Hi.” Zak flinched, he really had to work on being inconspicuous… or Reegan was just good at finding the inconspicuous.

He slowly turned his head toward her, “H-hi, can I help you with something?”

“Why did you attack me last night?  Why did you bring me here?  Where is here?  What’s your name?  How long have I been asleep?  Why…” Zak cut her off.

“I didn’t attack you, you’re the one who tackled me!   I was sent to retrieve you and someone else got there before me.  I’m not completely sure where here is and I’ve lived ‘here’ for over a year.  My name is Zakary Blade, I’m 15.  You’ve only been asleep for 7 hours, one of those hours was spent with me carrying you, three others we were traveling here, and the rest you were in your new bedroom…”  Zak paused.  Why had he told her all that? “Now if I can ask you…”  the girl cut in front of him, forcing him to stop walking.

“I thought you heard my name last night, I’m Reegan Sence, R-e-e-g-a-n.  I jumped out my bedroom window into a pile of leaves.  What did you say last night right after you picked me up?”

Reegan Sence, what a pretty name.  She’s so demanding, so powerful.

And I’m her Superior for the rest of the year.

“I said it because I knew you couldn’t hear.” Zak smiled.

 

 

 

Reegan frowned, “Fine.” she turned to continue walking, “what can you tell me about this place?”

“Well…” he seemed hesitant, “This is a school for kids who have the powers of a Kink.”

Reegan wanted to say she didn’t have powers, but he had already seen her make a force field.  So instead she said, “I’m just a Flix.”

Zak just sighed, “Yeah, sure.  Like anyone’s gonna fall for that.  Look, Reegan, you are a Kink.  You have all twelve Akronimal powers, and here at Virtus Academy they teach us how to use it all and stretch them to their limits.”  He made a motion with his hands like he was tearing something apart.

“Ok… What if I don’t want to?”

“You do anyway.”

“What would parents think of that?”

“They-” he paused, “I-I actually don’t know.”

Reegan stared, then finally said, “Okay.  Where are we going?”

am going to Superior training.  I have to start three days early so I get trained to be in charge of other students here in Virtus.”

Reegan frowned, but he was trying to pretend he wasn’t paying attention to her anymore,  “Who’s in charge of me then?”

“I am, hopefully.”

“So… Can you teach me something?”

Zak turned to her, “You’re not my Bit yet, so I can’t; unless you want me to teach you how to walk out the door instead of jumping out windows.”

Reegan hesitated a moment, she seemed to be asking way too many questions.  It didn’t seem he minded though, it actually looked like Zakary was enjoying the chat.  “Bits?”  Reegan asked curiously.  She turned on her favorite power.  She called it her Mist-finder but was sure there was another more professional name for it.

“As a Superior, I’m higher than all Bit students, which means students that are one or two levels lower than I am.  I’m specially put in charge of 3 Bits and can choose one more once I get to training.  If someone else wants the Bit I’ve chosen we fight for him or her with our Akronomial powers.”

“So I’m the Bit you chose?”  Reegan looked at him with curious eyes, seeing his blue mists light twirl around him freeze; The mist around people always worked faster than they did.  So, if the mist froze then just a moment later he would pause; or the night before when his mist was thick like water, that meant he was extremely nervous.

 

 

 

It wasn’t a weird question, he just didn’t want to answer.  If he said yes then he and she would both assume he was her Superior, but if he said no then if he did become her Superior after all that would be weird.  For a few moments, they were silent.  Please keep talking, Zak thought.  It had been a while since he had a decent conversation with anyone.  Almost all the kids in Virtus knew he was an outsider and avoided him at all costs.  Even as a Bit the year before his Bitmates ignored him, so getting such a girl as Reegan to be on his good side would be great for his status.  And she looks nice.  He rolled his eyes at himself.

“Maybe, you’ll have to see.”

“Ok,”  she didn’t really seem to care.  “Anyway, kinda changing the subject here, who do we fight?  What do we call them.”

Zak looked down, “We’re not supposed to say.”

“Oh,” she said, then whispered, “Agno’s?”

Zak turned to stare at her with slightly wider eyes and his mouth slightly open as if to say something.

Reegan said, “What?” but no noise came out.

Zak quietly said, “Reegan!  I said we’re not supposed to say!  The word is forbidden in the school, and whenever a student says it outside of classes you lose your voice for an hour.”

Reegan squeezed her eyes shut and groaned, which was very strange because you could see warm come out of her mouth into the cold, but no sound was transmitted.

“I have to get to class,” Zak put his hand on her shoulder and found the corners of his mouth twitch into a smile, “you just browse around, and I’ll find you at lunchtime in the Café.  You have everything else you need in your room.”

Reegan looked at him confidently and nodded, then stopped.  Glancing back at him with a smile, Zak understood and smiled back before Reegan headed back.

 

 

 

I’ll try having the next chapter out by Wednesday next week, though no promises!

 

Let’s Write a Chat script

 

Do you like my story so far?  Do you have ideas/suggestions for future chapters?  What do you think about Reegan and Zak?  Do you think Zak is going to be able to get Reegan as a Bit?  Tell me what you think!

Other Awesome Fiction

Reegan Sence | Chapter 1

I was writing this mainly for a contest, but it turned out pretty well so I’ve decided to post it here since nothing’s been posted since July.   😐     Sorry for the inactivity!

 

Shifting in bed, Reegan blinked and found darkness.  Sitting up she saw it was 3:29 am.  Laying back down she wondered what woke her, then she heard a door open.  Reegan flipped her thick blankets off and jumped up, ready to pull out her dagger that was hidden under her bed, strapped to the top.  Listening carefully she made the assumption mum and dad were home, though it was a bit early, they weren’t supposed to come till 5 in the morning.

Tightening a belt around her house pants, she slid the dagger in a foldable pocket on the right side.  It would be fine if mum and dad were home, but Reegan was hoping for someone else.  The one who promised to visit again, David, the boy that gave her magic, is who the 13-year-old girl hoped for.

Unfortunately, there was also the chance it could be Kamron, he also promised to come back, though he was not welcome.  The only reason she was still alive was that of David, Kamron attempted to kill her at 9 years-old and David gave her magical abilities that saved her last second.

Peeking into the hallway, she could tell her parents weren’t home.  The light coming from the window showed their coats and shoes weren’t there.  She scanned the room and saw a figure standing there with only a faint light illuminating it.  It was definitely a boy, he looked worried.  He had dark blue mist surrounding him, unlike Reegan’s swirling purple or David faint orange, the boy’s looked so thick he could drown in it.  His wrists were also tied together and he had something tied to his right ankle… It wasn’t Kamron.

Reegan pulled out her dagger and nearly spoke before she saw the door to her house open again, it was David… Maybe?  The second boy had the sprinkled orange around him and the same dark brown hair with that red glint in the moonlight, but why was blue-mist there?

David seemed to scan the room and almost immediately spotted her.  Obviously.  He sort of trained her.  His face was still in the darkness though.  As he walked to her, Reegan’s froze and suddenly wanted to wake up, this was a dream.  An amazing dream that she wanted.  The same one she had every night.

Though this one felt too real to run from.  “David?”  She said in a whisper, “Is that you?”

He nodded but didn’t say anything.  Reegan looked down.  Maybe this was just a mistake.  Maybe he wasn’t supposed to be there.  Maybe he’s forgotten.

Just then Reegan cocked her head and saw how perfect everything was.  His hair was brushed, his clothes were perfectly blue, with symetrical lines, and he walked without a stumble, hands clasped behind his back.   David liked things messy.

“This isn’t right.”  She whispered, her heart dropping.  They had known each other for years before he saved her and the world stopped fighting Flix and Kink’s, she knew his every personality, every dream.  He hated looking nice, so why was he perfect?  All her hope gathered in her heart, dropped like a nuclear explosion.  She angled her feet and waited for a moment, wanting to run, but she couldn’t, not from this nightmare.

The David-imposter was slowly edging closer.  Reegan almost ran around him to the door, then remembered the blue-mist boy.  He was almost always a good guy, and he was tied which probably meant he was the enemy’s enemy.  And that ment he was Reegans friend.   She suddenly sprinted to him, attempting to cut David-impostors shoulder with her dagger, but missed.  She flipped around and used her dagger to start chipping away at the bonds on blue-mist’s leg.

Kamron –it must have been him– immediately followed but Reegan put up a force-field to block him.  If he got through in just a few seconds he was a Kink, if he didn’t he was a weakly powered Flix with maybe only one ability.

As she cut, it took him only a second to break through, this was a powerful Kink. This did give Reegan enough time to cut off whatever was on ‘blue-mist-boy’s’ right ankle.  He took off, leaving Reegan behind, but she just managed to skid outside and shut the door.  A long sword coming through the wooden door was a nice effect too.  Reegan chased after the boy until he slowed down.  Then she tackled him.

“Who are you?” she said when she finally got him pinned down with her knife above his face.  He paused with an awkward stare into her eyes.  Jerking the dagger to get his attention, the boy blinked and said, “I’m…”  The rest was filtered out as she felt a prick on the hand pinning the boy’s hands above his head.  She felt her ear fluid freeze making her unable to hear, blackness filled her sight and she felt herself topple over being unable to move.  She was awake long enough to see the boy cut the bonds off with her dagger and bent down to lift her into his arms.  He stared into her eyes again mouthing something that Reegan couldn’t clearly make out before she drifted off to sleep at the sound of a distant yell, calling her name, and the soft bounce of a running teen.

 

 

 

I hope you liked it!  Tell me what you think in the comments!  I’ll post the next chapter tomorrow!

 

Let’s make Chat Script

 

What do you think will happen next?  How are you liking Reegan’s character?  Who do you think the boy is?  What do you like most about this chapter?  Do you have any ideas for future chapters?  Do you like cats?!

Other Awesome Fiction

Outlaws

Chapter Twelve:

Charles turned from the driver’s seat to look at me.

“What is it?” He asked, looking surprisingly eager.
“If the Crimson’s have been using my mother as leverage to get Father to do things, all we have to do is show up at the castle door with Mother. Father will stop everything he’s been doing, and your brothers can reclaim the throne!” I was delighted. It had been so simple! Why hadn’t we seen it before?

“You realize there are like, a zillion holes in that plan.” A voice from behind me said.

I looked back.
“Tennyson!” My face lit up. “How are you feeling?”
“Like I was just trampled by a horse.” He grumbled. “But as I was saying, there are a ton of holes in your plan.”

“Like?” Charles asked defensively. “I thought it sounded like a good plan.”
“Sure.” Tennyson snorted. “But how are we going to get to the castle without getting killed? And then, how do we convince Duke Deerview that we really have his wife? Also, we have to get your overly suspicious brothers to believe that he really has left the throne. Next, we need to bring your brothers back to the castle and set them up on the throne without causing a civil war. And don’t get me started on the problems these ‘Crimsons’ could make.”

“Well, it was just an outline,” Charles muttered. “And anyways, that wasn’t a ‘zillion’ problems.”

“It was a figure of speech.” Tennyson retorted. “If you’d-”

“Alright, alright!” I interrupted. “You two need to work on getting along. We can’t pull this off unless we’re all working together. Charles, if you start us in the direction of the castle, we can begin to work on the plan.”

Charles sighed, then stiffly turned back to driving. Tennyson struggled to sit up, eager to begin planning. I turned to my mother.
“You know the Crimson’s plans, and you know Father. Do you have any ideas on how we should do this?” I asked
Mother cocked her head to the side, like a bird.
“I believe I do.” She smiled a devilishly excited smile.

Over the next four hours, as we planned and schemed, I learned something about my mother and myself. We both had a flair for the dramatic. Our plan was so detailedly complicated and intricate, I had trouble remembering it all, though that might also be because I was exhausted.
“Won’t this plan take months?” Ariana asked as we worked on the details of how to lure Ethan and Allen to the castle.
“Hardly,” I said. “There are several servants in the castle who are loyal to Allen. If we get them on our side, we should be set. Charles’ll have to do the talking, though, since they probably won’t trust me.”

Ariana nodded slowly.
“What’ll my part in the plan be?” She asked.
“Your part?” I said, feeling a sinking feeling in my stomach.
“Yes.” Ariana raised her head. “I can be useful.”

I sighed, reluctant to let her in another plan. However, I figured that it was only fair. Her magic had saved us last time. Perhaps it could come in useful this time. My eyes lit up.
“Could you disguise us with your magic? You know, make us look like lower nobles. That would make this plan so much easier.”

She nodded slowly.

“I think I could. I’d only be able to do one or two people, but it wouldn’t be that hard.”

I grinned.
“Awesome! If you disguise Charles and yourself, you can sneak into the ball along with several other rebels. Then the rest of them can hide as servants. I’ll be waiting with mother, and once we set our plan into motion, it’ll be like a charging horse!”
“A charging horse?” Ariana asked.
“So, crazy, unpredictable and dangerous?” Tennyson suggested.
“No! It’ll be unstoppable!” I replied, exasperated.

“I think you could have used a better metaphor,” Tennyson remarked.
I sighed, then settled back. We had several days before we reached the castle, and I wanted to take that time to rest. I’d be leaving earlier than everyone, of course, but I’d still get a day of rest if we rode slowly.

“Jo! Jo, wake up.”

It was Ariana. I cracked an eye.

“Can’t you tell that I’m trying to get some sleep here?” I asked, irritated.
“We’re in the woods!” Ariana replied.
I shot up. It was extremely dark outside. I could barely see Ariana sitting in front of me. The only light came from that of the moon, which shone overhead.

“Already? How long did I sleep for?”
“About eight hours. Charles wants to get this over with, so he drove straight through.”

I sighed. Go figure. As soon as I get a chance to rest, it gets spoiled. Ariana handed me a pack. I slipped it over my back, then jumped lightly out of the wagon. Charles stood on the ground by the horses, looking hesitant.
“You know, I could do this instead.” He said. “Then you wouldn’t have to sneak around. I could just tell my brothers.”

I shook my head.
“We’ve already discussed this. They most likely wouldn’t believe you. They’d simply take you under their wing and never let you out of their sight. This is the best way. I’ll be back soon.”

Charles sighed, but handed over the reins of one of the horses. I swung on. I’d have to ride bareback, not that I minded. I’d done that for as long as I could remember.
“Stay safe,” Charles said.

I nodded, then spurred the horse into the forest. I felt the thrill of riding coursing through me as I trotted through the forest, oblivious of all else. I slowed the horse as I neared NarrowDell. It wouldn’t do for Allen and Ethan to know that I was in the vicinity.

Finally, I halted, slipping off the horse and tying its lead rope around a branch. I wouldn’t be gone for long, so I figured it should be okay. Then, taking a deep breath, I set off towards NarrowDell to set the first stage of our plan into motion.

I slipped through the trees, taking care to avoid all of the guard posts as I stumbled through the darkness. After several more minutes of quietly sneaking through the woods, I emerged into a small clearing. Right in front of me was a deep chasm. NarrowDell.

I smiled, then slipped over to a small section of the cliff with a bush. I reached into my pack, pulling out some rope. Then I searched for a tree to tie it around. I tossed the rope down into the chasm. It nearly reached the bottom. That was good.
Gritting my teeth, I grabbed the rope and began to shimmy down it. It was not a pleasant experience. The darkness hid me, but it also made it a lot harder to see where I was going.

After several minutes of slowly inching down the rope, losing my hand and footholds every few feet, I reached the end of the rope. The ground was only several feet below me, so I jumped.

I landed on my knees, and barely kept from crying out at the pain that coursed through my legs. After several minutes of deep breathing, I climbed to my feet. All around me was darkness, though I could see a faint flicker of light from the fire near the heart of the camp.

Taking a deep, calming, breath, I made my way towards the tents. I paused by Allen and Ethan’s command tent. There was no noise. I wasn’t sure if that was good or not. If the brothers weren’t there, they’d most likely be by the fire. That meant getting Luke away from them would be a lot harder.

I continued onwards, creeping carefully through the camp. When I reached the edge of the trees just outside of the campfire’s circle of light, I paused, scanning the crowd of outlaws. Finally, I spotted Luke sitting on his own near the fire. He was sharpening his sword, gaze transfixed on the fire.

I hesitated. I didn’t like being in this camp, so near to so many people who would probably like to kill me. I didn’t want to wait for Luke to leave the fire to talk to him. But how could I alert him to my presence without letting others know that I was here as well?

If I used one of the signals that we had come up with, Ethan and Allen would recognize it. If I tried to get him to see me, I’d risk someone else noticing me as well. Then an idea occurred to me. A devious smile lit my lips as I reached down and picked up a small pebble.

When Luke and I were younger, we used to shoot messages at each other using slingshots and rocks. I’d always carried a rubber band around in my pocket in case I needed it. As the outlaws settled back for the night, I slipped a small rock into the rubber band, then pulled it back and shot the pebble at my cousin.

It took several tries, but I eventually managed to hit Luke. He looked up sharply, brow furrowed. I grabbed a tree branch, waving it slightly in the air. Narrowing his eyes, Luke ever so slowly stood and began making his way towards the trees, sword forgotten on the bench behind him.

I slipped through the woods, occasionally cracking sticks or waving branches to get Luke’s attention. Finally, I deemed that we were far enough away from the fire that I could reveal myself. I waited for Luke to stumble into the small clearing, then stepped out of the shadows.
“Who-” Luke began. Then he froze. “Jo? Jo, is that really you?”

I nodded.

“Where have you been? Are you alright? What-”

“Luke,” I said quietly. “I don’t have much time. I need to head back to the castle tonight.”

“The castle? What are you doing there? You aren’t working with him, are you?” Luke’s face was worried.
“Of course not!” I exclaimed. “We’ve got a plan to stop all of this. But for that to work, Allen and Ethan need to be at the castle in four days for a ball that Father’s going to be holding. You need to persuade them to come.”

“A ball,” Luke said flatly. “And what is so special about this so-called ball?”
“It’s the ball celebrating the day that King Edrith conquered the Jutes and claimed our country. Remember?”

“Oh…right. Never paid much attention to those history lessons. So you’re saying that something’s going to happen at this ball, and Allen and Ethan need to be there?”

“Yep. Try and convince them not to do anything until the second night, so that nothing interrupts our plan, okay?”

“I guess. But what’s your plan?”
I smiled mischievously.
“You’ll see.”

Luke groaned.
“That is never a good sign,” he declared.
I shrugged.

“See you soon, hopefully.”

He nodded, and I turned, slipping back through the sparse woods that dotted the valley floor. When I reached the rope, I groaned inwardly. I would have to climb all the way back up, without falling or alerting anyone to my presence.

Sighing, I wrapped my hands around the rope and began to scramble up the cliff side. After the better part of an hour, I finally hauled myself atop the cliff. I lay there, dangerously close to the side of the cliff, panting.
Finally, I hauled myself up, then towed up the rope and untied it from the tree, leaving no sign of my having been there. Then I slipped off, moving silently through the trees like a lynx.
When I reached the horse, I smiled, undoing its reins and slipping on. I urged it into a canter, racing through the trees, wind whipping at my hair, eyes sparkling. The first part was completed. I’d done what I could to ensure that Ethan and Allen would be at the ball. It was up to Luke to convince them.

With that first part done, it felt like our plan was a rolling snowball, picking up speed and momentum. Now all that we needed to do was save the world.