You probably want all the details of this daring plot involving all my family and these students.
We’ll get to it. But rather than focus on the negative I’d like to put our attention on why positive events end up sucking.
There are days that I love. Not many in the grand scheme of things, but definitely a few. In fact, there’s more in these last few months than there had been since my powers kicked in.
Then there are days that are so perfect that I’m left devastated in their wake. Not physically. I’m talking the kind of stuff that effortlessly cracks you open, finds the dark corner your soul has been rocking in like an autistic patient having a breakdown; then sooths out everything until there’s no more hurt or pain or even concept of time.
It’s not this moment of peace which breaks me. It’s when it’s gone and reality comes crashing back.
These days are called birthdays. For me. There’s been exactly four since my powers kicked in. The first one was shortly after my parents left me. Which was right after my sister’s legs were theoretically damaged beyond the powers of regular science to fix. But not spaces horses. Because fuck logic.
Never mind that. This is about my first birthday post shit-storm.
I’d been sitting in the, as of that day, still standing house which my parents owned. Furniture, food, my clothes, all of it still there. But no one else. Only me. I went to bed somewhere around five in the morning, exhausted beyond anything I’d ever dealt with and still shell shocked from my first abduction.
And that night, the morning of my birthday, I dreamed a beautiful dream. I thought my family was there with me. I thought they’d come home and were hugging me, keeping me warm and telling me it would all be alright. That everything had been a nightmare and my life hadn’t been turned upside down. That I hadn’t been abandoned for being a shitty child.
Around midday, I woke up to the sound of my house being demolished by a powered idiot. Someone got work orders mixed up and a one man super powered wrecking crew wanted to “get work done before one, because he had a hot date”. All the metal in my house turned to shards. All the wood turned to sawdust. I woke sneezing, crying, and bereft the imaginary family that had come to comfort me in my depression.
Every birthday since then, it’d been the same dream. The same perfectly relaxing scene that made me feel like worry was an impossible concept. Then reality came crashing back. Reality, if you can’t tell from my snide thoughts, sucks.
Anyway, back to the current events. Which are also stupid so I’ll sum them up with an extremely accurate interpretation of all their back and forth babble. Which took hours. Which I hated.
“You’re a dumb-dumb McDumb face!” Leticia said in an extremely useful manner. “I am very smart and know what’s best for everyone.”
Lady Alexandria flailed her arms wildly. “We must punch all these foes in their mouths so I can go back to having sex!”
To which my dad responded, “I’m a toaster oven and a veteran of many toaster battles. Our plan to throw my first born at them will work.”
Followed by my mom saying, “Listen to me. I am not a walking talking sexy maid blow up doll. You will not have therapy issues about this for years to come. We love you and do what I say.”
None of them actually said that. Except this part. Alice said, “Let’s go make twins.” Then her hair shifted to pure raven black and floated a bit. That Alice also said, “Let’s go make twins.” But she said it in a way that made my dangle bits shrink.
To which I said, “I’d rather be shoved into an escape pod and fired through the portal over here at their planet.”
To which Lady Alexandria responded, “Decisiveness is the mark of a good leader,” and promptly shoved me into the escape pod and, as stated, fired me at a portal toward the enemy planet.
Lost yet? If you want a clear answer on “What in the fuck is going on”, I’ve already explained parts of it. Those key points have been scattered and recapping them here might be might numbing to some. I mean, I try to keep it straight. I do. Running from Alice. Off to a school. Off to help crystal people against dirt people on the moon. Off to some further planet where mole people were enslaved by shadow creatures.
Logic, kindly take yourself and fuck off quietly in a corner. That corner is the same one where we exiled sanity during the last tale.
Anyway. Birthday’s aside, we’re focusing on what comes next. At this point in my three part story, I’m in a quiet cramped compartment with the emptiness of space all about me. That’s the detail that matters. Oh, and I was hurtling through this void toward a portal that would probably rattle my teeth and make me sing show tunes. That matters less.
The pod I’d been shoved into had no windows. Instead I had a few seconds to watch as the wall next to me puled away into a long dark swirling tunnel. My face met an invisible barrier and yanked sideways. I shifted my gaze to the far wall in time to see my own eye, somehow, a million miles away and growing before every bit of me passed through the portal.
I think I screamed, but I might have been to mentally exhausted to even summon up the energy for a yell. I’d like to think I was becoming a jaded road weary traveler who couldn’t be phased by anything, but being so twisted and distorted that I could see my own limbs stretch across light years was still new.
Whistling filled both years. Muscles on my neck bunched. The world spun to a stop. My body slammed into a wall but hardly felt it. Both arms blindly fumbled around. My knee jerked and banged into the wall. Pain doubled me over and my forehead slammed onto the door. My teeth were strangely rattle free. It’s everything else that hurt.
I think I’ve given everyone the speech about teleportations. Clench your gut. Or don’t. One of them means throwing up and I’ve forgotten which one it is. Which ever one it was, I got it wrong. My empty stomach attempted to find anything to throw up. Thankfully, I’d left my moms cooking utterly untouched.
I’d like to say I could creatively cuss while suffering. I’d like to tell you those choice curse words. Instead, all I could say was “Ow.” And sort of whimper like a puppy until the nausea passed. My body crumpled into a ball on the capsules bottom half.
“Everything’s going according to plan,” I mumbled. “Flux?”
Nothing beeped. The floating eyeball robot hadn’t caught up with me yet. It’d probably stayed behind to get more footage of my moms chassis. Or whatever. This way no one would witness manly exit from the wormhole.
I would have counted down the seconds to impact but couldn’t see outside. I couldn’t even be sure I’d transported to the right spot. How much air did this thing have? Not enough, which would probably cause a mess. According to the plan I’d soon be crashing into their planet. From there I’d have to simply exist and hope chance and my powers worked chaos upon the enemy.
Not enough air. Venturing into the depths of space. Enemies all around that might blast me out of the air for simply being a questionable chunk of metal in their area. Me, Herald of Failure to the Mole People. What about this shadow race?
Shadow creatures were creepy as hell. They moved against walls and spoke in vibrating tones that always came from somewhere behind your head. They could be in here with me now. Watching. Waiting. Ready to claw my eyes out and put them back in wrong.
That had happened once. I didn’t like it. The thought of being subjected to their twisted experiments at human reassembly terrified me. It hadn’t lasted. It hadn’t been allowed to by my powers, but five minutes of being jigsawed into a barely human shape served as yet another memory I didn’t want.
Standing would calm me down. I put a hand on the wall and pushed myself up into something metal. Back down I went. Red light blared and something above me spun. Stray hairs were yanked out. I jerked a hand to my head and banged into the object again.
I slowly turned my head upward. There hadn’t been enough room in here for two people on really good terms, despite Alice’s protests. Now I had to share the remaining space with a robotic eyeball.
Flux beeped again then spun a circle. It didn’t seem impressed with our current confines.
“You got anything for me? A map? The radio? A second escape pod with more air?”
It was getting thin in here. I recognized the signs. Breathing took effort. The air felt thicker. Both eyes water. That last one may have been the back to back banging of my body parts against everything in range.
Flux continued to spin. It didn’t care about me. I couldn’t even get a sandwich out of the blasted thing.
There I stayed, huddled on the bottom half of a crowded compartment. I tried to recall most of the plan but losing air made my thoughts turn muddled. This planet for our goal and the other had been vaguely close in size. That’d mean a lot of ground to cover if I wanted to find something useful to destroy by proximity.
Or maybe the planet had been smaller. I couldn’t remember. The air felt too solid. A heavy mist that did nothing to resolve a burning in my lungs. My head swung side to side.
“Flux.” My hand flopped. “You’re taking all the air.”
It gave a useful beep. I gave a useful finger, maybe. My arm functioned beautifully.
Time passed. How much I couldn’t say. Flux’s giant red eye glared at me. The metal bits around the edges that made up eyelids spun and tightened hypnotically. We stared at each other eyes to eye. Enough thought ran through me to wonder what the comments would be on this feed. People would see a dying man and probably get excited.
People were assholes. Mole people and aliens were too. Splodge monsters from another dimension were assholes. Everyone had problems and I’d seen too many of them. I’d been thrown into them. This time, I’d fucking volunteered to venture forth.
I waited to die. Not because I wanted to, but because even if this war continued forth, it might be best if someone with my fucked up powers were simply removed. Every day I spent away from Earth would be a better one for all those assholes.
Is that wrong? To hate everyone and hate yourself more? That’s probably wrong. If I ever meet an invulnerable therapist I’ll ask what twisted spin of logic made me both angry at a group and want to ease it’s suffering too.
Now, let’s bypass oxygen deprivation for a fun fact. Assuming that you don’t burn up or rattle apart or simply pass out, there’s a change in sound once you hit atmosphere. The world tilted and my face pressed against the side of the pod.
“Ah. Doom.” I think I said that. It could have been “Ah. Boom.” Or “Nah. Gloom.” You figure it out.
We were headed toward something big. Big enough to pull the tiny pod. My body shifted slightly then started to float in the middle rather than being pressed against the back. I tried to remember how long it might take to hit bottom. On earth, freefall lasted almost a minute from full orbit. A minute of watching the ground come toward you. Even with a slight tilt and anything that caught the air, it wouldn’t take long.
Something would happen to stop me. Something always happened. I just might not retain awareness.
I slowly moved my fingers in an attempt to count time. It was that or think about my parents and sister. They were more machine than flesh. I couldn’t think about Alice. She was more nightmare than human. I couldn’t think about myself. I was more disaster than, well you get the idea.
It didn’t matter. None of it would matter. I’d get through this. A result would come out, and then it’d all start over again. Something bigger. Something worse. I blame the vague thinking and going in circles on lacking oxygen.
The pod flashed gray, dimming out even Flux’s eyeball. Everything went weightless as inertia stopped existing. I’d managed to count all the way to seven hundred before my power pulled in a random coincidence to save me.
Sweetness tickled my nose.Flux’s beeps were in full swinging. They sered as distant background noise despite our cramped quarters. My eyelids were barely open. The endless gray made it hard to tell.
I felt fairly sure we were moving. Down still, hopefully. A tractor beam on some space ship, maybe. I’d faded for a few seconds then woke up against when Flux bopped me on the head.
My arms were to heavy to wave him off. The pod shuddered violently as we collided with something outside. My escape hatch that served as a door squealed as it was pried open. I stayed vaguely calmly and put my forefingers up in the sign of a cross. It might scare off shadow aliens.
Flex fled, leaving me a gray but clear view of two figures outside. Their feet and legs stood side by side. I crawled slowly toward the exit, breathing in fresh air and trying not to pass out. Just outside the pod I flopped to the ground and flipped over ot my back to stare up at them. The gray pulled back and slowly revealed the other two figures in all their perceptual glory.
Two of the girls from my high school outing were waiting. One wore their goofy looking face mask while the other had on normal clothes. The sky behind them glittered with stars and the hint of sunrise poking over the horizon.
Midnights eyes were black and dead looking. Like Alice’s but without the feeling she might stab me. They were cold, detached, and a thin black glow hovered about her skin. That little special effect hadn’t been there before.
I put off standing. They backed up anyway, which was probably for the best.
“How did,” I cut myself off and decided not to care. They’d made it here ahead of me somehow and that couldn’t be good. It was probably outright terrible. It would be someone else’s problem. Like Walker for letting them come along in the first place.
So, now I had Whitewash and Midnight with me. I couldn’t exactly punch either one repeatedly until they gave up and stopped following me. Even if I tried, they were probably actually trained to fight mundane guys like me.
Instead, I focused on something useful, like air, and wondering what the hell else had gone wrong with our plan.
“Either of the others here?” I asked.
Whitewash shook her head slowly. Her hair tips trailed pale white through the air. The effect created a kind of halo about her face.
I pointed at them, happy with my functioning arms. “How are you two here alone?”
“Why aren’t the others with you?”
Pulling god damn teeth. That’s what I had to do to get answers. They were theoretically my students. This was theoretically my class field trip.
“I should fail you both for being stupid. This is a defense.” I doubled up and coughed. My body was still adjusting to being able to breathe real air. After a fit, I rolled ot my side and slowly got upright. “Both of you. Fails. No passes. And what on Earth possessed you two to come here alone?”
Predictably, Midnight stared at me.
Are you counting? Two of these dead eyed girls. It was bad enough that Alice used to be that person, but now I had the undead Cindy, and the sullen Midnight. They were like a plague. I missed Jade. She at least had the decency to flash too much cleavage and fill my head with dirty thoughts.
Maybe I would have been happier with a bunch of men around me instead. Right here is when I had the idea of a male version of Jade filling my head with thoughts and I shuddered. I’d make a lot of excuses for people’s powers, but that was borderline, well, whatever it is that set people off. That word.
Sorry, I’m distracting us from the situation at hand. Mostly because I stood there with my mouth gapping open for an age trying to understand what the hell to do.
“You have to talk. I can’t read minds. I don’t want to read minds. Minds are filthy.” I waved my arms wildly at the two.
Midnight blinked. Whitewash blanched then seemed to snap out of whatever trance they’d been in.
“You with me?” I asked.
“I’m here. Sorry. The effects of our joined abilities are hard to manage.”
“That’s because you’re both a mess. It’s a good thing that other girl is here. I can’t imagine what your powers plus her insanity might equal.” And I didn’t want to. I spun away to look at the landscape.
Mole people planet was long, dark, and full of sharp pointy objects that might have been mountains or some sort of crags. I couldn’t tell in the dark. The light show from Flux and the two girls only went so far, and my pod showed signs of running low on batteries. I kicked the side of the metal death basket. They hadn’t even had the decency to give me cookies or anything for my flight.
My head itched still where I’d banged into Flux. Pain echoed from every other spot. I didn’t have a plan for this next part but that’d never stopped me before.
So, I turned to the two confused girls and decided maybe they had a clue.
“Do you two have any idea where we are?” Or ideas about anything else. Other than being the instruments of my latest salvation.
“The mole people planet.”
“The shades planet,” Midnight said at the same time.
“Brilliant. It’s both. I’ve seen stranger planets.” I couldn’t think of any off hand. “Well. Stay close, I guess. That’s about the best bet. And maybe work out your issues when none of the others are around to cause problems.”
I hadn’t paid that much attention to the details of the planet. There were spinning projections and pictures to stare at. Or maybe Alice trying to distract me by whispering in my ear. I didn’t mention any of that earlier because most of it wasn’t suitable for polite company.
“Sure. I’m positive whatever hangups you two have were resolved by a few perfectly phrased words and now everything is okay. And your sister is great about it. And the cheerleaders support your relationship. And that nothing could go wrong if you keep touching. Like your eyes and hair changing.”
“What?” Whitewash asked.
They turned to look at each other. Maybe they hadn’t noticed the changes. Or maybe there hadn’t been any until now. Whatever was happening as a result of their powers merging was increasing in severity.
Here’s something odd to ponder. If WhiteWash has white memory erasing powers, and Midnight has black pain projection powers, why did their combined abilities let them form a personal bubble that canceled inertia and stopped lasers and shit? Here’s another fun nightmare to ponder, why is it that the side effects of these abilities simply seemed to accentuate their opposite physical traits? Because I’d been told that too much power usage or whatever would make them one being impossible to separate.
Think about it. I didn’t and should have. IN my world, questions like that were considered “not my problem until they were my problem”. A good teacher might have put a few minutes thought into it. A person trying to defend against stupidity would have put a lot of minutes into it. Like, at least one lesson plan with some slides and homework.
I chose to divest my time into dreaming about dinner because hunger had caught up with me.
“Alright. Think Adam. Think. What can I do?”
The girls were muttering at each other. Their expressions changed rapidly, even Midnight’s normally flat features had moved on to agitated. That didn’t help me figure out how to screw over two races by existing and go back to my normal life.
IF this worked, could my parents come back to Earth? Would they settle down and maybe exchange greeting cards once a year? I could have a girlfriend, a family, a job, and maybe my life would approach something resembling normalcy.
I’d still be bitter over abandonment, but at least I wasn’t an android or whatever. It’d be a gap in my life that could be fixed a bit. More importantly, I wouldn’t feel so damn alone. This whole teacher thing, that was temporary. I knew it. The same way I could feel something bad creeping up on us.
The ground stayed inert. That’s a fancy way of saying “boring”. The sky too, despite our crash landing and light show. Doom filled shadows were dull and lifeless. But something was wrong.
The girls joined hands. Black and white swirled together until they became a solid gray. I stared at it, thinking to myself that whatever disaster might be growing closer, had to come from this.
Red bubbled in the air near the other two girls. The color shifted to green then purple and back to red. Technically it hit all the fancy colors in between but I’m a guy and red is red, not mauve. Mauve is something you call a desert.
Yes, I know that’s not true. I don’t care.
The bubbling mixture of colors burned brightly. I looked elsewhere until the whole mess finished. Their magical powers only cast light about a hundred feet. It might be useful to know that. It might not. I couldn’t see any signs of Mole People or Shadow Whatevers floating around near us. They might be too stupid to have an alarm system for when random strange objects show up out of the blue.
If they were all underground, we’d probably never see them. They could have some sort of dirt motion sensor. In ten minutes a mob of angry slobbering upright rodents would surface and scream “Death to the Above-Worlders!”. We’d be hit by gobs of green melty goop and I’d lose my clothes.
The light show died down. Around I turned, only to see that the lights had become a person that lay motionless on the ground. Her body bent an unnatural angles. Arms and legs went in directions they shouldn’t have. Strangely, there’d been no cracks or sounds of snapping. Not shouts of protect. Only lights, my dumb musing, then bam, body.
I put out both arms and gestured to the broken person pile. “You did what?”
“We used our power to find a solution.”
“A solution to what?”
Flux gave a stuttering series of beeps. Probably laughing.
“Us as in the three of us. Or us as in you two and not me or this planet or the problems that have brought an interplanetary war to Earth that threatens all of Earth?”
Do you get why I had to emphasis that last point? There’s a time for personal drama. This wasn’t it. Not that I’m one to talk, but I think me being a fuck up was enough for one party.
“We didn’t say.”
Midnight crossed her arms. “You didn’t. I said we should have.”
“Oh,” WhiteWash cast her eyes downward and shuffled a foot.
I felt fairly sure they hadn’t said anything. It had just happened. But they’d also been muttering a lot while I looked around searching for a way through this insanity.
“Is she?” WhiteWash asked.
She had no pulse, at all. I mean, I never been a medical expert, or an expert on anything. But I’ve seen a lot of dead people. Leticia The All Knowing, was dead. I nodded.
WhiteWash didn’t burst into tears. She stood there staring dumbly at the deceased body. I’d expected rage or bitter tears but she simply stood.
I sighed for the umpteenth time that day.
“Great. I’ve been in charge for a day and already gotten someone killed.”
Sure, it’d been a few hours. Sure, me being in charge had been a joke that no one in their right mind took seriously. The body in front of me defied those two facts and continued to not breath. Remember my interpretation of her last words? I sort of feel bad about that now.
“It’s okay. She’s died before,” WhiteWash said.
My jaw hit the floor. “She what now?”
“She’s died before.” Her repeating it didn’t help my comprehension.
Midnight crossed her arms. “She should stay dead.”
WhiteWash bit her lips then said, “Midnight killed her.”
The hits just kept on coming.
Name: Bonnie Rents (Midnight)
Age: 17 Earth STandard Years
Generalized Ratings as Follows
Strength: 3.7 (Scrawny)
Intelligence: 5 (Passes tests. Hates people)
Agility: 4 (Barely agile)
Luck: 2 (Fairly Shitty)
Attitude: Sullen, quiet, bitter, young
Items of Note
Midnight gets her name form the colors of her powers when activated. Her dad was kill in action in a war. Her mom works two jobs. Going to “super hero school” was mainly done to spare her mom the bills of taking care of her. Gained powers when she, and the two sisters WhiteWash and Laticia, broke a mood ring of an inter dimensional god.
Bonnie’s powers aren’t specifically pain, but more about projecting memories of items like pain. They could be used to project any other feelings associated with stuff the user has experienced. It’s also true that she has a bit of backlash when it happens.
The main poewr she’s figured out is condensing a person’s lifetime of one emotion or another and forcing a person to relive it. This means if she chooses pain, she can make a person feel a lifetime of their own pain, which is often enough to kill someone.
Then she suffers the backlash, which is only a fraction of the pain.
Midnight is a fairly common super powered name. Nearly none of them end well. It’s a known fact that before her powers came on board, when she was friends with WhiteWash and Laticia - she loved unicorns and glitter. Not because they were colorful, but because they made other people look at her strange and that was funny to her.
Now she hads colors. She hates light. She hate sa lot of stuff but it stuck dealing with it. It’s even more aggravating that her best friend’s sister now shifts colors rapidly sometimes, like the rainbow pony unicorns Midnight used to collect.