The Academy of Caldera

Edit* This piece was written before the character of Anya was established and as such may be different to more recent pieces.

The Academy’s newly appointed subsidiary; the Geneforge, would be the new avenue of scientific discovery. It’s crowned masterpiece. Along with the newly development of genetic manipulation equipment, and procedures to filter out flaws in new hatchlings. The young of the Caldera, would be altered to coincide with the intuitions believe; that true progress of their species was through forced evolution. This wasn’t widely accepted by everyone but the Academy of Caldera would undermine the efforts of anyone who would protest of otherwise hinder it’s creation.

Inside of a sterile laboratory chamber, sat centre back of the room, was a large cylindrical tank.Tubes and wires feeding in and extruding out from the top and sides, that melded the whole contraption into the wall. Filled with a semi-translucent green liquid with bubbles of gas rising to the surface. Held aloft with a mirage of tubes and mechanical arms, sits a large egg. The bright lights spread around the room illuminating every possible corner, make out the moving silhouette inside the egg. A new born in it’s final developing stages.

One of the scientist stood outside the tank, decorated more than the others to indicate his seniority. Taps in on the console a series of commands with his curved pointed nails. With the last press key stroke, one of the idle mechanical arms inside the tube springs to life. It’s end tool; a large hypodermic needle, coupled with a long tube slowly filling with a viscous liquid substance, a deep red in colour with an accompanying ambient glow. Injected into the egg with absolute precision. The display monitoring the process indicates it’s completion rate.

Moments later the new born inside starts twitching with an agonizing spasm, the creature writhes in pain unable to vocalize to it’s overseers. Displays showing the heartbeat of the newborn’s life would periodically slow, ending with a whining high pitched tone. Many of the scientists around the room sighed as their lead member punches the console leaving a crack, forking out from the epicentre of the impact.

Seconds later proceeds to press a large button prominently placed on the console and the process begins anew. The egg it’s released and is sucked through the bottom of the tank along with the liquid in to a black void, flushed away to be discarded like a half eaten piece of food, now unwanted and disposed of.

Afterwards a new egg shortly takes it’s place inside the tank which starts to refill with the same liquid as it’s predecessor, the mechanical arms grasp the new egg and the displayed promptly display a new rhythmic beating tone. The same process repeated once again as the room is again filled with activity. One example of the many failed attempts at the experiment with in the Geneforge that day alone and the look on the scientists narrowing faces suggesting it won’t be the last.

The egg that was given up so hastily flushed out, continues down a snake into the cities sewer. Bobbing upon the waters surface as it slowly drifts down to an unknown exit. Remnants of previous attempts discarded and abandoned to what ever creatures inhabited the foulness below the city streets.

There was no need for a sewer treatment system, most if not all refuse was simply dumped into the fiery bowls of the active volcano to be incinerated. Constant vents and columns of steam rose up leaving most of the atmosphere in this particular grimy biome hazed over with a dense fog that filtered up through to the city streets above.

There are residents of the sewer, beyond the the rodent, insects and crustaceans.A few types of life feeding on any scraps of food disposed of, that were unfit by the cities inhabitants standards. Many of the exiled mages and the homeless would live in the larger chambers of the sewer network, creating a self sufficiency subterranean society. Life her was hard but not impossible, the mages would use their power to create a habitual life for those who felt forced to live here.

The pre-hatched egg was chanced upon by a couple wandering the cities underbelly. They brought to the rest of the sewer-folk to be cared for, although many at first glance considered eating it until realising that inside the hatchling was still alive.

Protected from it’s harsh environment for month the hatchling would emerge from it’s hardened cocoon. It’s head pieced the shell, mucous and egg shell parts spilled over as one of it’s protectors clears it’s covered face preventing suffocation.

For year afterwards the young hatchling would be the focus of the undercities attention, because of the rarity of the occurrence of the event leading up to her discovery. Equating her as a saviour for the magic welders against their oppressors. She would train with the other mages upon realising that she possessed as innate level of magic, skill of which would take years for others to master.

She would not be able to live up to their expectations however as shortly after her twelfth birthday, the section of sewers she called home would come under attack from solders of the Academy. In the event of an emergency her adopted parents had an pre-made escape plan. Upon realising there was no escape, they sought to hide her in a pipe leading up to the surface.

While out of sight from the soldiers of Caldera who had stormed the place, they managed to seal their child away. The soldiers finally reaching her parents trained their weapons on to them and were gunned down in front of her. With their dying breath they issued a desperate blood curdled command to climb through the pipe to safety. With her reluctance the young girl done so and slithered away.

Upon ascending through the pipe she reached a drain cover, she prized it open to be blinded by the brilliance of Sol’s light creeping through the narrow gap. Recoiling momentarily in discomfort before exiting into an alleyway, away from the prying eyes of everyone but the old drake standing next to a makeshift bonfire. From here on out she would be alone with no one to trust she would be forced to fend for herself.

The Order of Lumis and the Fallen Paladin.

Edit* This piece was written before the character Ayron Gloran was established and there may also be changes and continuity differences since I’ve written additional pieces.

The Tower of Lumis is a magnificent structure of white smooth durastone, twisting skywards in a cylindrical fashion. Inside and out the surface was lined with intrinsically carved ornaments, laced with highlights of radiantly polished gold. The constant of clear skies is no hindrance to the barrage of Sol light – Hexterra’s primary star, from reflecting of every angle, showering the city in a spectacle of amber rays. The tower was quite literally the beacon of the city, both metaphorically and literally. The chamber at the very peak of the tower held the cities very own Magicron, the sixteen sided orb radiated with an aura of brilliant white light. The chamber had a series of closable partitions that prevented this light from keeping the city permanently lit during it’s night life.

The city was protected by a large towering squared wall, scaling over the horizon of the largest buildings, encompassing the entirety of the cities boundaries, broken only by the strategically placed watchtower. The city was in the middle of a open flat plain, so vast that no invading army would be able to approach without first being seen, during the night the Magicron would be used to illuminate any potential threat. It’s main use of protecting the city from invaders.

This wasn’t the limit of the it’s power, as the cities scholars eventually realized it’s true potential. The Magicron’s aura could be harnessed with a large lens than was positioned to pivot around the housing chamber, it could be focused to a point. The beam was capable of disintegrating any hostile force with an intense beam of super heated light and with complete impunity.

The city surfaces were meticulous cleaned and polished regularly. Every road stemming from the Tower’s base had lush greenery running parallel, from grass, shrubs and tall trees, breaking up the monotony of white marble and gold inlays. Every home had hanging gardens on every free balcony and ledge. It was truly a paradise to behold. However one that would came at a high cost.

The cities population consisted of a hierarchy, first there was Serfs. The Serfs were little more than a over controlled workforce and if they didn’t have enough money to buy full citizenship, they were basically slaves, and were only allowed to leave the city with permission from a sponsor. Most were even punished for the sightless of mistakes and there was no repercussions from anyone mistreating a serf, beyond murder, which was still illegal regardless of stature.

The rigorous attitude needed to maintain this high level of maintenance and in having to perform their religiously strict routines, would breed contempt from lesser serfs. Merchants and smiths were those who would craft anything required from; pottery and utensils, to weapons and armour, or furniture and decorations. Traders would only be allowed to leave with permission and even then they were required to have an armed guard service. Who would also act as chaperones, to prevent unwanted anti-Lumis propaganda or escape. Last was the ruling body of the city; the Order of Lumis.

The Order of Lumis dedicated to the Goddess of the same name, is the religious trinity that have absolute control over the city of Solaris. Promoting all the positive things that was expected of the general populous, by preaching goodness and respect. Those who did not comply were silenced with a ruthless authority that left many unable to express anything other than praise for the Order’s absolution.

The religious leader the High Priestess oversees the largest Cathedral in Solaris, consisting of priests and priestess’s tending the Shrine of Light; acting as the guides and heralds of the goddess of light; The Conclave. It’s members would also provide all forms of religious services such as weddings, festivals and seeing off the recently departed. Through the use of the Lumicron. An artefact in the shape of any standard leather bound book, although it has no pages beyond the two covers. Text would flow on either of the inside in a barrage of glowing cascading  columns.

The Inquisitor Council. A select group of members who write the laws in which all citizens must comply. Who also act as judge and jury for those who would commit crimes against the state or those who would refuse to believe in Lumis. They were feared by everyone and only those of whom were fully devote did not hide when one graced the streets.

The policing force of the city is the Kinship of Paladins, men and women of whom act as the enforcers and executioners of every law currently in effect. As order of extremely well trained elite warrior’s they are all trained both in the use of an wide array of weaponry, firearms and Sol magic. Magic which when used can both heal the wounded and smite the wicked. They become living examples of what everyone should aspire to be. The paragons that carry the eternal light of Lumis with in their souls to show the people just what it was to be a good honest person.

Paladins were also the force to impose the ideals and beliefs with impunity and if needed; a brutal resolution. One that left the cities general population uneasy around them. This had over time cause a development of a secret group with non-worshipers, members who wish to live their lives without the oppressive attitude of the Order, with in the cities walls. Hoping to do so without the strict rules and regulations imposed upon them.

One venerated paladin, who had become the Champion of Lumis after years of service to the Order, would soon start to question the strict jurisdiction of one particular member of the Conclave; Inquisitor Zhidar.

 The two never saw eye to eye and many of their arguments were broken up via third parties, whenever they would become heated. Zhidar was widely known for his rather callous methodology and almost zealot styled belief. Both were given the order to scrutinize a manor just inside of the cities wall. Under suspicion of harbouring anti-Lumis protesters. The Champion and Zhidar argued over the proposed methods of inspection, and after their debate both reluctantly agreed to a means, proceeding to the manor with a handful of squires in their charge.

After a rather vigorous search of the premises no trace of residence was found. No piece of furniture was over turned, no room ransacked. Zhidar however still judged them to be anti-Lumis sympathizers, such was his paranoia. So sure was the Inquisitor that he ordered that the family members of the house be immediately taken to the city square to be tried for their crimes. With out any indication of their guilt the Champion’s immediate protest that they could not be guilty.

The family; including two small children, were dragged through the streets by the other squires while constantly pleading their innocence. This was done so without the Champions order but Zhidar’s. Even though the squires themselves hesitated they continued through fear of punishment, they followed their ordered with a nervous compliance. The Champion and the Inquisitor would continue to rally their argued points to each other while storming to the cities centre. At this point a crowd had starting to form, following the noise from the streets.

The family was lined up in a row in front of everyone, they had silenced their persistent defense with a morbid sense of their impending doom, the children couldn’t help but wear tears on their face, streaks of salty water flowed down their faces to crash onto their crooked knees dirty knees. Regardless of being told otherwise many people had started to scream and hiss at the family. Pre-assuming their guilt. Such was the un-wavering loyalty of everyone of who saw no reason to question the cities authority. Others in the crowd merely stood still, petrified of not seemingly acting as one with the crowd.

The Inquisitor who was a rather stocky and over bearing type, with a bellowing voice that when speaking almost made the lungs of everyone in ear-shot to vibrate. Started to spouting various passages from the Luxicron. The revered book was a guide to some but viewed as a doctrine to many, saying so would result in extreme punishment. After a few minutes of preaching, Zhidar started to denounce the family as heathens and made statements to the fact, citing the reasons for his belief, and slandering their otherwise good nature with unproven facts.

Zhidar ushered the squires to strike down the family in front of every one. The Champion would take exception, his experience was far greater than that of the rest of his unit and called for a stay of execution. Defying the orders of an Inquisitor is at best a death sentence, worse still is to become a Penitent; someone who is punished by wearing a extremely heavy suit of made of thick plated gold, the armour would at best cripple those who could not wield due to it’s unwieldy weight. Those who were not as fortunate died an excruciatingly painful death.

The stay was at great expense to the Champion, as he became aware that Zhidar was merely using the family to cause his downfall in front of everyone. Forced to choose; condemn an innocent family to death, or face expulsion himself, for not complying with his oath to follow the Order in it’s entirety. The conniving Inquisitor had not anticipated what would happen next. The squires had also halted in confusion, unsure of how to proceed.

A frustrated Zhidar attempted to continue the execution of the family himself, by casting a magic spell. The area lit up blinding most of every who wasn’t quick enough to react by shielding their eyes. The spell built up charge but before it was cast the Champion had drawn his sword and cut down Zhidar. The spell fizzled into stray streams of light, as his upper torso tore away from the lower section of his body, collapsing in a heap of internal organs, the once stainless marble floor was covered in a enlarging pool of blood.

Members of the crowd who had up until now,  not regretted being there. Everyone including the squires were horrified, their faces wore a masked mixture of fear and awe at the powerful display of the Champions shear strength and ferocity. The Champion himself was at a lost. With no idea of what to do after his impulsive reaction to help those in need. He chose to remain disarming himself before the squires, knowing they were required to arrest the Champion sought solace in the fact that he would at least be given a more fair trial.

Under normal circumstances members of the public would only face a Inquisitor at a trial, however this was a rare occasion. The Champion was standing alone and in chains in front of committee of the Order’s highest members, the High Priestess, the Grand Inquisitor and the Prime Archon – lord of the Paladins. One after another respectable eye witnesses were summoned to accounted for what happened in the city square. After many had given their worded evidence, it was a full day before the three returned from their deliberations and in front of the court issued the punishment set before the Champion.

Much to his relief not to be executed or even given a penitent sentence. Knowing that the people of the city would not accept his execution, due in large to his reputation and valiant past deeds. Nor would he be imprisoned or forced to become a Penitent, to remain in the city as a symbol of defiance. Stripped of all of his past honours armour and he would be forced to leave the city never to return, an exile to everything he knew and loved. As the first in many centuries to become a member of the Fallen.

After the sentencing, his punishment was put into action immediately. With few clothes, no weapons and little money, he was compelled to walk the streets with an armed escort in tow. Streets which were lined with a plethora of citizens, polarized with a variety of views and objections of his innocence or guilt. Given his one remaining possession; a Luxicron. Held with both hands to his tightly to his chest. He would have to brave the wilds beyond the city wall alone.

Unsure of his future, he walked through the city gates. Turning once to see one remaining group of people. The family he had a day since saved, who had stayed to see him off, the children had refreshed the tears on their cheeks but now accompanied smiles and waving hands. Hoping that he might be able to assist those in need far from the boundaries of Solaris. The newly Fallen Champion walked further and further away, until the city had grown small in the horizon. Knowing he had lost his home he was not dishearten, his persistence of seeking justice in Lumis’s name was still intact. His internal light would still remained.

The Knifed Skull and the Unknown Rogue

Edit* This was written well before I had established the character of Laurena Reaver, and as such she is not mentioned so in this piece yet

Deep in the merchants quarter, among the crooked streets, lined with stalls of all types astride the cobble paths, was an over-crowed tavern. One of much fame to the locals, or infamy if your an outside. It wasn’t the biggest in the city or even the prettiest. Not that there was anything to look at in this city beyond the towering Blackspire in the centre of the city. But this particular public house had it’s history. The Knifed Skull it was called. Mainly due to the large Torporc skull that was the priced trophy above in the loft space in the main hall. The grand centre piece, the main attraction, one that made every new patron crack their heads back upon first sight of the monstrosity.

How it was ever placed in such a building was subject to many a opinion and the instigator of just as many fights, some say the tavern was built around it from the ground up, the original owner couldn’t tell you, not from his grave. The wooden beams holding it aloft had buckled over time under it’s shear weight, only to have makeshift replacement planks patch up it where the split wood now grew. Adorning the now tarnished bone was with the famous longsword of swordsman Fedrick Spatose or so legend says.

Protruding at the acutest of angles in the beast’s right eye socket, it’s point exited through the left of the jaw bone wedging in it firmly. Age had covered much of the once polished blade to rust, however it’s value to the current proprietor or the aesthetic of the décor had never diminished. The odd tooth had been prized away from its large sloping jaw but enough remained to show off its gaping bite. Needless to say the Knifed Skull was home to many a drunkard, lured in to see this magnificent sight. Some one not so taken back by the splendour was a lonesome rogue, who used this place as a common retreat.

She always wore her leathery wardrobe, always worn with the hood up, one that covers the majority of her head. Her long bristre satin hair draped down through the hoods opening gape, flanking the sides of her face, one which nobody could see the true beauty behind. Her tight fitting outfit extenuating her slender figure, one that wasn’t made with the cheap leather in found stores. Nearly everyone in her profession most certainly wore a garb of much less quality.

Clothing not made from Vis or even regular cotton, was normally made with leather sourced from locally farmed Ferrisus, The six legged Ferrisus swine was also one of the main food sources for the city not for it’s irony taste of course. It’s leather was often used for armour and heavier clothes, it was tough and flexible as the same colour as flaking rust. The perfect material for creating garbs for those who wanted some measure of protection. Seedier persons would often darken their attire staining it with colour from the almost black crushed Noxweed petals, mixed with soot as an offset additive. To this stylish rogue sat in her corner wearing her more pricey regalia; and to someone of her experience, they were just in a childish costumes.

Her own outfit was made from actual Ferapex hide, it was the much prized material for those sordid types of a darker disreputable profession. Hide that didn’t come cheep either, not because of the rarity of the source animal but the stealthy ferocity of it’s nature, sulking the forests preying on large game or the a wayward caravan traversing the paved route through the dense foliage. A nocturnal predator of almost unbeaten prowess. Many people die when hunting one of these beasts is pursuit of it’s skin, claws and teeth. The veteran hunters of the creature, have an on going inside bet to see which of the rookie hunters fall prey to it first. The inexperienced unknowingly aware that they are but fodder for the Ferapex, as a means to slow it down. Survivors of a successful hunt were considered by many to be heroes, when in reality they had been lucky no to fall prey to the beast ferocious apatite.

It’s highly valued chameleon like skin retained this adaptable property even after the creatures death, as was like it was permanently alive and aware of it’s surroundings. Covering the skin was semi-light bending fur, each strand refracted light away from it’s body. The perfect predatory disguise. It’s special quality imbuing the rogues own attire as it would scantly blend the rogue in with her own surroundings, to the point that she rarely seen by even those who had not drunk a drop of liquor and although the fireplace blaring light and embers didn’t even cast a shadow of her.

There in the far corner however did seat someone, the quietest of rogues, she spoke when needed and only entertained the idea of chit chat with those of whom she most trusted. There was no one of that description here. Nursing her ale as if it was the last in the world. She sat alone, with one the male maids occasionally bringing her a renewed beverage. Leaving with the previous empty container and the four required coins already cascading on the table, a pre-order for the next.

Her feet resting crossed on the short and narrow, thick planked table. Her feet acting as the bouncer, guarding her from the rest of the taverns clientèle. So relaxed and laid back you could swear she was sleeping, her eyes were wide open of course. When her roguish paranoia kicked in her eyes scanned the room of it’s occupants, broken back up again by staring inside of the tankard. Occasionally when she felt comfortable enough she would stare blankly into oblivion as some of her past regrets that couldn’t help but take up the majority of her concious mind.

Strategically is was the most optimized place for a person who’s business generated a small amount of notoriety, very few knew of her true occupation,. Most of those who have, had taken that secret with them in their untimely swim in the Deadflow. Backed by the taverns brickwork and a lack of a shadow. Both of her sheathed serrated long swords rested by her side, making sure both hilts with always with in reaching distance. All entrances could be seen, along with the wall length bar. No one was going to sneak up on this tactful advantageous individual. She made sure that even while at her most drunk, no one could blind-side her. Her fast hand could reach for either of the twined pistols strapped to each side of her hips. Inebriation didn’t dull her reflexes least of all her aim.

The last person to try; attempting to force himself upon her. Even after she made it abundantly clear she wasn’t interested. Had to hastily vacated the tavern while screaming in agony. Both hands cupping the remains of his genitalia. At the same time being laughed out by those more wise to leave this woman alone. No one made that mistake any more. It was due to the combination of acknowledgement of previous deeds around the city and that type of fear that was rooted in the unknown. The sure-shooting woman in her colour changing leather left alot to the imagination about her past. Everyone knows her speed is unmatched save for an ignorant few, and all of the locals afforded her an un-leveled amount of respect…and she liked it that way.

Thanks for reading.

This is a short side story to a larger one I am working on, and may or may not be changed at any time to co-inside with it, nor is it indicative there of.

Laura Steel.

A “novel” attempt

Here is my first attempt at writing that has taken me a few months of on and off writing. I largely wrote it while free writing, and had no idea of what the outcome for even the basic plot as I was typing. This has clearly not worked out for me as I can’t get my head back into it at the moment. I effectively dove into the deep end and drowned. That said, bare in mind the spelling and grammatical errors, although that should be a given.

I am posting it because quite frankly I’ve burnt out with it’s progression and finding it hard to continue with it. Starting fresh with another more planned out story that will hopefully have a beginning – middle – end. Taking my time to plan out the characters, setting and story next time around.


It’s a first person narrative of a woman who is rather apathetic and drivenless in a world filled with super heroes, villains and everything in between. She is aware of her super human nature but doesn’t actively use them for good or evil and has merely become a tool of convenience for her as well as a burden. Forced to cope with the events around her, not wanting to use her powers for a high purpose but finds out that that can’t last forever.

Word Counts

Chapter – 1 – 2,852, Chapter – 2 – 2,732, Chapter – 3 – 1,192, Chapter – X – 940

Current Total – 7,750

Chapter 1

It was hard keeping up this deception, learning to live two lives was a burden that I was never hoping to bare, but I had no choice. Apathy, while a curse to many, was a blessing in disguise for me. It allowed me to live relatively stress free, in a status qou of a lifestyle that all too many have become accustomed too. I was one of them, consigning myself to a bored life with no real reason to live.

That all changed the moment I became a part time villain, it has perks of course; the freedom of thought, the freedom of action, freedom very few have the privilege of experiencing. I knew one day it would all catch up with me however it was only a matter of time. Nothing lasts forever, at least not for me. Negativity always triumphs if it wasn’t for the small things that help prop up your spirit from time to time, the crutches everyone uses to get them through the day, I had yet to find mine. I was just getting out of bed when that god awful Inspector showed up at my flat…

“Miss Arkins…Miss Rachael Arkins! Inspector Chase. Open up!” That bellowing fool knocking on my door with his gorilla sized fist.

Inspector Gregory Chase, this was a stupidly apt name for someone who couldn’t run a tenth of a mile with out coughing up the contents of his lungs. His belt almost buckling under his second stomach. That upper lip shelved a course brush of a greying moustache, under nether his bulbous nose, his eye’s had darkened and sunken with age, peaked above his sagging porous red cheeks.

“Open up Miss Arkins, we have a warrant!” The door continued to rattle under his heavily fisted politeness, any harder and more frequent and the door would undo itself from it’s hinges and fall flat on the hallway floor.

I knew the warrant wasn’t justified, you can’t just barge into someone’s home without a good enough reason, they wouldn’t be able to look through my possessions otherwise, I never complained or fought back, I don’t won’t to give them any more ammunition than they already had. It’s foolish to hand your enemies the nails they need to seal your coffin, making them was just idiotic. They think they have something on me but without anything concrete they believe the random spot checks on my home may turn up a clue, or anything that would prove some wrong doing. This was the forth time he has come to my home, it was like an episode of a law drama on TV, the detectives would crawl back to the suspects home when ever they think they have found a minute piece of evidence, looking for that eureka moment that would seemingly solve the whole case, only to be rapped up in the last 10 minutes of the show.

“I’m coming, I’m coming!” I shouted towards my front door, in my early morning voice that sounded as if somehow a frog had crawled into my mouth as I slept. Scrambling to cover myself with the clothes I managed to lay my hands on; t-shirt, knickers, bra, all checked off. Along with my half clean dressing gown, the one my mother brought me as a teenager, it still fit and was a little warn, but it always comforting to wear. I never used to sleep naked, but when you run a high temperature due to being active most of the night it helps, burning over thirty degrees in the middle of the night mid July when the country was facing yet another heatwave.

The fan used to be one saving feature from the heat but after being over charged so many times it’s motor had burnt out and with me being my lazy ill-motivated self couldn’t be bothered to replace it. Fans don’t last long when overcharged, specially when they aren’t meant to work without first being plugged into the mains. Sleeping naked was the next best thing and was free. So being able to store and channel several thousand volts through your body has it’s perks, but very rarely doesn’t anything electrical last long enough to see the end of it’s manufacturer’s service life. I slumped to the door and unlocked it, opening it to the maximum the chain lock would allow, I could immediately see Chase and his three goons in uniform leering behind him.

“Open up!” As he lifted the warrant to my face. Unhooking the door chain I took a step back, not saying any thing while pressing my back against the wall allowing them to walk past, one remaining officer stood outside making me a prisoner in my own home.

I know he won’t find anything my flat was completely clean of any and all wrong doings, making sure of that any time I go out for a midnight stroll I’m not as stupid as other ‘criminals’. Keeping no trophies or tools of the trade. I don’t even have a costume, not that I’m opposed to wearing a skin tight latex suit. My prowling nightwear was just hoodie, jeans and trainers most nights, not very fashionable but it didn’t catch any ones eye. I wasn’t a hero however, and this wasn’t a comic book, one where heroes and villains alike seemingly all get their second skins from Spandex-R-Us. I wouldn’t no the first place to even find a latex suit, let alone afford one.

It was just my boring flat located on the edge of Hammersmith, overlooking the end of the M4 flyover. This is where nothing special happened or so the police would claim, the constant crime wave caused by the recent boom in super villains over the past decade. Sure it was good for public moral to feel that they could walk the streets alone at night, enjoy the odd night out of the town or that romantic trek with a loved one during the twilight hours. But the truth was obvious, crime was at an all time high. Despite the good nature of self styled heroes; the disinfectant of your typical villain, it wouldn’t make the slightest difference in cleaning the infected streets of criminals. Since the ‘****’, crime sky rocketed leading to a world wide panic, the heroes of the planet that selflessly took to using their powers for good, caused an uneasy stalemate at best.

Along with the new hero-villain combination of society, the creation of the world’s first “anti-villain” task force; U.N.I.O.N – The United Nations Information of Organized Non-humans. It was created to deal with anyone not remotely human, even extraterrestrials ‘Although non had yet been found’. The organization was nothing more than a two sided global racist group. The organization, while set up from several of the worlds more powerful nations was headed by a select council of electorates from each member state. What ever their agenda, I couldn’t help but feel extremely uneasy whenever they are mentioned in the news, which given today’s standards of media was almost weekly.

The public face of the group promoted peace with non-humans, this was to many, myself included, just the public relations section. Glossing over the more seeder side, one which was hell bent on arresting anyone who wasn’t remotely human, just to be rid of the public growing outcry of protesting groups. Wanting to rid the world of this new global menace, rumours spread of the group even killing people in the poorest countries who they believed to fit the criteria of a non-human. Images and accounts of these atrocities had found there way on to the numerous websites dedicated to putting the spot light on the illegality of U.N.I.O.N. Most didn’t last long enough as most of the websites would frequently disappear overnight, along with their creators.

I despised them greatly, it was bad enough that this moronic Inspector was breathing down my neck, but to have people hunt you down for simply being born different was just a horrific thought, and they call me a ‘villain’. They were no different, the Nazi’s, the Ku Klux Klan, the apartheid in Africa and now U.N.I.O.N. All just a bunch of bigots trying to justify their actions under some false pretence, or just being flat out ignorant.

There was always going to be the igniting factor whenever two groups with polarized ideals fought it out for supremacy. Even when their followers seem to convey some hint of intellect, their belief in something they didn’t quite understand, would always fan the flames of the minority of persons who motives are only ever know by the themselves and the ‘gods’ they supposedly worshipped. At least you can try, if you wanted to, empathise with the corporate power hungry megalomaniacs. Greed is a common trait everyone is capable of. Being an apathetic and a lack of faith, allowed me some protection from their propaganda albeit is has made me rather cynical. Not knowing anything for certain doubt can play more of a bigger role that everyone wants to admit, even myself. This was depressingly and most probably why I don’t have a lot of friends, not knowing how other people think is .

Over the past decade various super hero groups formed, either for fame, fortune or a common goal aiming to eradicate all evil, super heroes became the new celebrity section of everyone’s admiration. Movie stars, artists and musicians were now second class, with the few exceptions where the few celebrities that also became ‘****s’, they saw the spot light shine brightest on them. This would act as an almost impenetrable barrier, these were these super celebrities were both truly untouchable and immortal. Most of the super hero groups found a uneasy truce with U.N.I.O.N, some sided with the organization, some actively protested at arms length. Regardless, nothing was going to change for the better unless something drastic was done.

“Are you looking for something in particular?” I smirked…pausing to read the warrant. Suspicion of possessing illegally obtained items, as I read the warrant and the Inspector’s chief reason for his ‘legal’ entry into my inner sanctum.

“You need to try harder Inspector, you really think I had a hand in robbing a bank?” He glared towards me as he barged into my home, “I know you had something to do with it…” He grunted, eye balling the confines of the flat “…and I WILL find it!”

This also wasn’t the first time he’s tried to find any incriminating evidence I my possession, I’m the ‘master villain’ and he’s the God-sent hero after all .

“Careful Inspector, this is starting to look suspiciously like harassment.” Continuing my streak of sarcasm from the side of my face.

“Shut it. Stand by the officer.” He scoffed back. “We have reason to believe you were involved with several robberies in the greater London area.” I was silently contemplating which one. There were many over the past few weeks.

“What robberies?” I tried the playing dumb routine, this was always the first line of defence with anyone suspected of a criminal act, it doesn’t work but then I had guests. A good host always ‘entertains’ their guests.

“You think I’m stupid Miss Arkins?” I knew the question was rhetorical, but I couldn’t help it.

“I’m sure your Mensa membership was just lost in the post.” Another notch on my sarcasm scoreboard.

“Don’t piss me off Miss…we have CCTV footage of you present at each bank on the days they were robbed…care to give your account of what happened? Or do I have to ask you the same question at the station?” Chase squared up to me, as if that would intimidate me.

My suspicion first arose when I was found to have been present at each of the banks on the days in which they were robbed. I didn’t do anything illegal but the coincidence of my presence was enough for my predicament, It almost makes me wish I had robbed the banks, at least it would justify Chase’s determination to keep up his crusade.

I couldn’t help but notice one of the officers heading towards my bedroom…

“Try not to grease up my underwear too much” An aside remark directed to the officer as he pushed through the door to my bedroom, giving me a frustrated and slightly embarrassed look. The second officer was charged with scouring the rest of my home, plucked the cable in my bath room as he stepped into the only room in the flat that was capable of becoming a pitch black abyss. An embarrassing wave of unease washed over me as I wasn’t one hundred percent that the toilet was flushed. The toothpaste was oozing out of the tube and the cap had fallen of and rolled underneath something never to see the light of day again. The shower curtain had started to collect mildew along the bottom half and the toilet bin had started to overflow with the cardboard cylinders of toilet rolls and tampon wrappers. I wasn’t a slob as such, but was a clear front runner for procrastinator of the year award.

“So am I under arrest or not?” Asking as I wasn’t too sure if he would try to drag me to the police station under some false pretence.

“That would depend Miss Arkins…” Inspector Chase spurned.

“On what?” I replied, half expecting an impending arrest attempt.

“Why were you at the banks at the same time they were robbed” Chase asked with clenched teeth, I’m sure if the other officers weren’t here he would use violence to get his answers.

“I was looking at transferring some money.” As I answered, in my normal indifferent tone. “Or trying too…” Which was true but I doubt he would believe me.

“…when someone blasted through the door and started demanding cash from one of the clerks, two guards tried to stop him, he somehow threw a fiery ball towards both of them and they both exploded into a bloody mess. After threatening everyone, he left with his rucksack full of money. I ran home after they had left” A vague but truthful account, I knew who it was, but I didn’t let on, that’s one hassle I didn’t need or want. The officer in my bed room left, closing the door behind him.

“I couldn’t find anything Inspector!” Claimed the officer, who’s no doubt got the smell of my underwear still firmly lodged in his nose.

I could just fry them all to a crisp like a over roasted chicken left too long in the oven, flooding the house with smoke constantly pouring from it’s soldering charred remains. That would only mean I’d have to disappear try and create a new identity, start a new life. I’ve never been a fan of hide and seek. Not when your a suspect in multiple robberies, and the United Kingdom’s police force undoubtedly know what you look like. I new staying put was the more sensible and safer option, so I continued this charade between the Inspector and myself.

“Already boys, I’ve had enough…and “thank you” for your co-operation Miss Arkins” Chase ‘s own brand of sarcasm, the officers and the Inspector walked towards front door, the officer stood behind me had to stop starring at my chest, I’m surprised he didn’t limp out.

“Will be back with more questions, Miss Arkins” Chase added, as he pulled my front door shut.

I thought I could spend the rest of the weekend off, but moments later the phone rang…it was looking to be one of the days.

“Hi honey, any chance of my daughter coming to visit?” My mother’s voice was a welcomed reprieve to the tension headache. Even if she was trying to guilt me into visiting her.

“Hi mum, I could do with a visit…it’s been one of those shitty mornings.” I didn’t want to tell her why, there was no need to panic her over nothing. “I can come over now if you would like?” I answered knowing full well my mum already knew the answer to her question.

“Great, I’ll see you soon.” She sounded excited,

“Ok mum I’ll see ya in a bit.” I always kept it short when using the phone, I didn’t want to have to buy a new one. I hang up and gazed into the mirror positioned over the phone stand, I didn’t look that much of a mess, but I tried to make an effort when seeing her. I finished getting dressed and tried to make myself presentable, leaving through the front door when I didn’t look as homeless.

Chapter 2

Stepping outside my flat and was immediately blinded by the afternoon sun, it almost prevented me from locking the front door, fumbling around I managed to lock my door and left through the rusting chipped black paint gate. The garden was clean and well kept but that wasn’t through any of my effort, the old woman that lives above me was the real culprit. She was a nice old woman, she wasn’t that active of a person but the gardening gave her something to do. Most of it was covered with a rainbow of varieties of different flowers and plants. I didn’t know much about her, but she would always exchange pleasantries if our paths met. She was rather plain for an old woman, but I couldn’t help but feel she had lived a life that was only conceivable in novels. She just had that aura of experience that I just couldn’t place, that or it might have been her lavender scented perfume. It was rather odd for her to not be outside at this time of day, given the weather, but I carried on to my mothers none the less.

Under the cover of night I could have simply ran and leapt across rooftops to my mother’s house. I never used to have an affinity for running fast or leaping large gaps without fear, but since my powers activated, fear wasn’t an emotion I felt often. The extent of my athleticism was playing tennis, excluding of course the school’s P.E lessons. I used to play with my best friend from school Georga Dawkins, she was the main reason why I played it. I never liked playing it in truth but it was one of those things you do for a best friend. I had to stop playing it though, it didn’t feel right to play it after she died. Killed, in a hit and run, while we were on our way home from a game at our local sport centre. It felt like I had cried for a week afterwards.

I couldn’t get what happened out of my mind, was there anything I could have done…something…anything just to stop it from happening. What if we played for a few minutes later, took a different route home, stopped of for a drink in the corner store we passed shortly before. Would she still be alive. I still think about her from time to time. I kept all the pictures I had of her, most were in a box in my closet, keeping my favourite ones on the side cupboard in the living room. We used to do everything together, go shopping, talk about our favourite pop and movie stars, braid each others hair. We were inseparable. I loved her and more than just as a friend. One regret I had was not telling her how I felt, and I will never know if she felt the same, although I suspect she didn’t, not knowing has always hurt whenever I’m reminded of her.

I was never the same again afterwards, I stopped going out with my other friends, lost interest in school, which reflected on my grades. I was practically forced by my family to see a councillor but that felt futile. I managed to get out after awhile, I was brought a bicycle for my seventeenth birthday, it was a purple twenty one speed mountain bike. My mum and dad brought me it as a way of getting me outside. Knowing full well I would ride it as to not feel guilty through not wasting their gift. It worked of course, thats what parents are for. Fixing problems. My dad Donald had a way of manipulating people. Not in a malevolent way, but in the way that he knew what was best for others. It was only natural for him, having worked as a contractor for an construction firm for nearly twenty years. If you can’t manipulate a bunch of men into hard manual labour how could you not learn how to influence you own daughter out of her depression. It was an annoying trait of his but one I have never resented, knowing it was out of love.

I would have used the bike, it was in the spare room, but it had a puncture that I had yet to fix. I still took care of it, even though the years had caused it to see many scratches and dings. Throwing it away was impossible, it was the last thing my dad brought me and parting with it felt like I would be throwing away apart of him, it hurt just thinking about doing so. I often joked to my mother that I was going to end up being buried with it, it always made her smile knowing that her husband’s influence wasn’t lost on me.

The next quickest mode of transport I had available was the bus, I waited at the closest stop to the fast. Another woman was already waiting, talking on her phone, she was all tarted up wearing a dark navy blue suit, cream silk blouse combo. She was clearly one of those overly pretentious business types, the kind of person who saw me as beneath them. That kind of person always made my skin crawl, not to mention I always used to feel uneasy around people I didn’t know but the knowledge that I could just sum up a bolt of electricity and fry them made me feel untouchable. She didn’t pay me any attention as the bus pulled up walking on the bus buying her ticket without so much of a smile, she was on a talking marathon with an unknown entity, only stopping to say her destination, it was done so effortlessly I was amazed how fluid the transaction was. I followed after her and brought my fare, the bus driver gave me a smile, but it’s only the involuntary version everyone receives whenever someone is insincerely trying to polite. I proceeded to sit down in the middle of the bus. The woman who got on before me was continuing her conversation as if she was already there. I couldn’t help but admire her enthusiasm towards what ever it is she does.

After the thirty minutes bus ride and a few minutes walk I was at my mother’s house. It was further out in Brentford, where I grew up. I walked up to the door and before I could knock, the door opened.

“Oh Hi honey, I was just putting the rubbish out, go in and make your self comfy.” She brushed past me in her summery floral print full length dress, gripping a black bin liner full of rubbish in each hand. She always put effort into her appearance, even when she wasn’t going out. Her hair was always cleaned, well cut and styled. Always applying fresh make up and wore a elegant perfume that cost a lot more than it should for it’s quantity. It was like looking at a cut out of a photographed celebrity in a fashion magazine. I could never work out how she found the energy to always look her best, but she did. Even the house was well kept, everything in it’s place, every little china ornament never moved. Not one speck of dust was on any of them, if she didn’t have superpowers I swear she had help from little dust eating pixies.

My mother Audrey was more alone now, ever since Dad died nine years ago from a heart attack He keeled over and died on the spot at the construction site he was contracted for. My sister Molly and myself were the only ones who really visited. Molly now lived in Everton with her husband Dennis, with their two children Alex and Emily. I didn’t see them much nearly as much as I wanted to, whenever they did visit they would run up to me screaming “Aunty Rachael”, while leaping at me for a hug. One of the few moments in my life I felt happy, if I wasn’t careful I would end up jealous, wanting my own. Who wants children from a sulky, soon to be spinster, like me. I should just start collecting cats. I would most likely opt for stuffed, I could just about afford to feed myself, plus I didn’t want the dear Inspector Chase ransacking my flat, light footing over piles of cat poo, like he could light foot anywhere with those trunk shaped hooves.

I collapsed into the sofa which was like most house holds parked squarely in front of the TV. I closed my eyes thinking I could just wish away all my stress, that’s what parents houses are for after all. Throwing your mind back to when your a child and your only real responsibilities are not getting hurt, trying not to have an accident in your underwear and making sure you eat your vegetables. My mother walked back in, holding her hands alof, trying not to get any remnants of the rubbish smell all over the door handles. She was so house proud like that.

“Turn the TV on if you want hun…. putting the kettle on, want the usual?” As she walked towards to kitchen, holding her hands high like they were radioactive.

“Yes please.” I replied as I hit the remote, trying to insulate my hand with the sleeve of my jacket. It sprung to life with the channel locked onto the news, it was showing yet another atrocity in one of the third world countries. Hundreds of people were being killed, dumped into mass graves and being set alight. Any signs where someone; man, woman or child, displayed signs of being a ‘****’. Even if there was only one person in the village, the rest of the populous were not spared.

I could feel my stomach churning over the thought that had I been unlucky enough to be born there I was most likely going to be in the same situation. My blood boiled over this kind of racist attitude, it made me want to go there just to enact revenge.

“Oh not again, those poor people.” My mother commented on as she walked into the sitting room, grasping two cups of boiling liquid. It was almost as if she wanted me to confess, like she knew I was a **** too. Could I risk it and tell her? I felt the words bubble up from my heart and into my throat, wanting to escape from my mouth. I was handed my beverage and managed to suppress the words.

“It makes me sick.” I replied, after swallowing my secret.

“I know, it’s terrible. I wish something was done…” She responded with a general look of sympathy, it was actually comforting to know there’s people like her in the world. It wasn’t enough to tip the balance between good and evil though, which was nothing less than shameful. One person can’t change the world.

“So hunny, any thing new with you…” She was always the one to start the conversations. “…or anyone new?” Fishing for anything, while baiting me with a plate of chocolate biscuits she had pre-planted on the coffee table in front of us.

“Not really, I’ve just been doing the same.” I tried to defuse the conversation.

“Liar…you look troubled hun, what’s the matter?” I guess I was wearing my depressed face again.

“Please don’t take this the wrong way, but I might be in trouble.” I rubbed my eyelids, just thinking about it was making my headache worse.

“What kind of trouble…do you need more rent money?” She asked with only that level of concern a mother can have for a child. I had borrowed a few months worth of rent money the last time I was unemployed and was at risk of losing my home. I had yet to pay her back.

“The police seem to think I might be involved with robbing a few banks.” In any other instance parents would think their child was just joking. I of course wasn’t, and she knew.

“Robbing banks?…You mean those ones that have been on the news?” She was looking more concerned that I was hoping.

“Yes, and a particular Inspector seems to have it out for me.” Every sentence I revealed, I could feel the weight lifting of my shoulders.

“What do you mean?…and why didn’t you tell me sooner?” Showing just that hint of frustration a concerned parents has when they know their child is in trouble. Even if it isn’t their fault.

“I was at the banks on the days they were robbed but I didn’t do it. They seem to think otherwise and I’ve had the flat searched several times.”

“Oh hunny, I believe you… but you should have told me sooner.” Her hand rested on my knee, like she was trying to sap the stress away and absorb it.

“I don’t know what to do, my life seems to be spiraling downwards like someone has it out for me on a cosmic level.”

“If you didn’t do it then theirs not a lot they can do, you are just going to have to brave what ever they throw at you, and remember I’m always here, as well as your sister. Even though she doesn’t live close any more she will be there for you.” Spoken in her calming voice, I felt more of my stress melt away. It was also true about Molly, she was there when Georga died, and helped me get through it. She might not have superpowers but she’s a hero to me, I just wish she was around more often, I wish I was a better sister to her as well.

“I know.” I took another swig of my coffee.

“Come on let’s head down town, it’s been awhile since we spent some time outside this house together”

“Ok.” I agreed only because I could never say no to her.

“Great, I’ll just grab my coat” She sprung up from the chair like she was sat on hot coals and only just realized. I managed to pull myself from the sofa and downed the remnants of my coffee, and stood by the door to wait.

We talked and walked into the main shopping section of town, by-passing the blur of fast food and emptied stores, including a sweet shop me and my sister frequented whenever we were dragged into town. I knew were my mother wanted to go, there was always a Red Cross store that had clothes for sale. She always liked buying her clothes from here, knowing it was going towards a good cause. I could never buy a second hand piece of clothing, under the impression that they are only there because someone had died in them, I still humored her by pretending to look interested in something making sure as to not touch them.

“I must go and book another appointment with Sally.” She tugged my are towards her favorite hair dressers.

“Ok.” I agreed reluctantly. I almost felt six again, about to throw a tantrum because I didn’t want to be there. The store was flooded with the music of one of the recent pop idols who just barely had enough talent to work the auto-tune machine. I tried to focus on the hum of the hair dryers it was more soothing, mother spoke to the over groomed Barbie doll at the till, caked in more make-up than I have ever worn in my life time, continuing to natter away with Sally after making her appointment, who was sweeping away the remnants of her previous client. I stood by the door, trying to avert eye contact with the rest of the women at the various stages of metamorphosis. After ten minutes of uncomfortable boredom mother and I walked out of the shop. Had it been a minute later the life I had adjusted to would have remained the same. Seems that fate truly has it out for me.

Chapter 3

It all happened so fast it was like it wasn’t even me, it didn’t feel like me. It was like watching a movie in slow motion, a scene that was slowed to a crawl for added effect. A mother had screamed when her little girl had freed herself from her mothers watchful gaze, the girl had dropped her ball she was clasping which had inconveniently rolled into the middle of the road. The little girl ran after it unknowingly into on coming traffic.

I could see the car, it’s metallic body cruising towards the girl at enough speed that would have prevented him from stopping in time. The horror on his face was intense, the thoughts that must have raced through his head of sheer panic and regret of even leaving his house that morning. The sinking feeling he felt in his gut the second he saw the blonde curls through his windscreen.

Spared both of them a horrific fate that no two people of any variety should go through. launching myself from the opposite side of the road. The sparks of electricity had bolted through my legs and into the surrounding objects that were even remotely conductive. The street lights and the lights of the parked cars I ran between popped as they received too much power, mother along with a few others walking past us at the time all jumped back in surprise like someone had burst a balloon behind their heads unaware of the impending prank with the added effect of electrical arcs dancing around sporadically until this dissipated into nothing but static.

My hands clasp the young girl, clutching her frail young body while lifting her up mere seconds before impact. She was so light, it was like lifting up a piece of paper. I wasn’t as lucky as I felt the corner of the cars bonnet kiss my hip, shunting me forwards and onto the path, skidding to a complete stop. The adrenaline was so new to me that I felt sick to my stomach. My heart was pounding so hard I thought it would explode out of my chest like a mallet to a water melon. I didn’t even feel pain, at least not for the first minute.

Everyone who had witnessed what just happened was looking at me, their eyes piercing me as I lay on the floor still clutching the young girl around her head and torso. Jaws had dropped among everyone who was equally stunned and horrified. Her mother had run up shocked and distraught shoving her way passed several other people who were gravitating towards me. While still laying down I released the young girl, her soft golden hair filtering through my fingers almost getting tangled as she stood up and ran to hug her mother crying.

“Oh my god, thank you, thank you, thank you!” Tears wear rolling down the mother’s red puffy face, as this young woman’s worst fear had almost become real. She had knelt down to hug her most prized possession more so than I just had.

“Is she ok?” I asked between my heavy breathing towards the mother. I tried to stand but my legs were not as willing, any energy they had exploded outwards from the opposite side of the road.

“YES I THINK SO!.” She glanced at her child with all the knowledge of a fully trained doctor. “I don’t know what to say.” Asking the relieved mother. Not say anything as I shook my head, “It’s ok” replying as I glanced across the road towards my mother who had front row to what had happened. She had made her way across the road as fast as she could, the traffic behind had all but come to a complete stop, a small gathering had built up around us, consisting of concerned citizens

“Oh my god, hunny are you hurt?” Despite what she just saw her concern was my well being, which was such a relief when I just revealed to the word I was a walking dynamo.

“My hip is a little sore, but I’m fine.” I lied, It was more than sore it was agonizing. I really didn’t want to try to stand the pain was all I could think about, I had fallen over and grazed my knee as a child before, burned my finger on a boiling saucepan as a teenager, that level of pain was wishful thinking on my part now.

“I’M SO SORRY!” The male driver of the ill fated car had vacated to express his regret at the situation after prying his white knuckled hands from the steering wheel. “SHE CAME OUT OF NO WHERE!” He was clearly hysterical and with good reason and skin so pale he looked like he was about to vomit his lunch. “Is she ok?, please tell me she’s ok!?”

“She seems fine.” I tried to calm him down, surprised by my level of self control most people in this instance would have more than likely bit his head off even though it wasn’t his fault.

Looking back at the car I could see the huge dent and the smashed head light, it seemed pointless to try and explained that away. It apologized to its driver who had now calmed down enough that he managed to face the hugging mother and daughter combo, he shocked state had subsided. I even managed to stand despite my mothers and a few other’s protest, the pain was still in the forefront of my mind but for some reason I didn’t care, it felt justified, like it was meant to happen.

All those years I felt guilt over Georga’s death had gone. The anger, the sadness, everything had been lifted from me that moment I realized what I had done it when I looked up at the young mother and her daughter. She was still hugging her while she looked into my eyes, her all red and puffy from the relief as she mouthed towards me the words “thank you”.

While under heavy protest from my mother and a few others I still managed to walk back to mother’s home, she insisted I sought out medical attention, being my stubborn self I kept refusing. She was clearly in need of answers, just as much as I was. It was a massive relief to see the the edge of her house, it was enough to keep me going, walking through the door I sought out the same seat I was sitting in less than an hour before. The ease in pain was spread out among the soft cushion, I forced my eyes closed hoping it wouldn’t return.

I could feel the breeze in the wake of mother wisping past me as she sat down gracefully in her chair. Anxiety was building up in me, all I was doing was anticipating her 20 questions worth of inquisition, but she said nothing.

Chapter X

I had so many questions racing through my head with no answers to rely on. Having to learn everything from scratch was a daunting experience, it’s not as if learning to control your powers is taught in the curriculum of any school. I’ve always felt isolated I just wish I could have found someone to talk to about it.

I just love the freedom. Knowing I could, if I really wanted to, just go completely nuts and live life by my own rules, become a villain the thing that keeps children up at night. Total disregard of the law and any moral standing that might be left of and do what the hell I want. Something I always envied about your typical sociopath.

The only real thing stopping me was the amount of effort it would take just to keep myself from being captured. Living the life of a minimum waged waitress was the closest I came to being free. No responsibilities beyond not dropping the food or drink on the floor, and giving it to the right customers. That was my level of stress, contentment in life.

Apathy was not a great human quality, more so when as an **** non-human I have the power to do great good ‘or evil’ in the world. This is what the process was called for the new non-humans; “****”. It sounds like something out of a comic book. The process in which some peoples abilities activated changing them into marvels or monstrosities. This all happened the night the world witnessed the first modern day meteor crash into the Pacific ocean.

Men, women and children all over the planet for the past ten years started to awaken with strange new powers, more often than not with disastrous results. Some with their appearance dramatically shifting with a variety of colours and shapes, it was almost as if some higher power got a play dough fun factory and started popping out human sized pieces, mashing them together in a twisted sense of fun. If there was a God he was clearly not firing all cylinders.

It’s hard to read the newspaper when most of the time it’s about some young boy or girl killing half their class room when they lose control of their powers or have no idea of what they are capable of. I’ve learnt to blank it all out mind you, I’m twenty seven, and I’ve become completely jaded to the idea of young children dying. It was distressing at first, like any normal person would experience, recoiling at the thought of children dying. Thankfully I was on my own when my powers first emerged for the first time.

My powers first appeared eight years ago while walking home from work. A crackling of the air around me built up, with a weird sizzling sound that was only thought to have existed in sci-fi movies deafened my ears. A sharp tingle ran from across my spine, down my arms, and the first arcs of lightning shot from my hands into any thing remotely metallic and conductive. Every time an arc shot out it was accompanied with a rush of excitement and adrenaline, like an intense static shock and the feeling of pins and needles when it’s at it’s most pleasant and not the agonizingly aching numbing kind.

That electrical burn smell that reaches the back most part of your nose, once was odious to breath in, was now at the forefront of my mind. This was now my cocaine, I loved this intoxication, the spectacle, the music I could generate. I would often sit in my flat sparking arcs between my fingers just to get my fix, hypnotized by the beautiful firework show I could muster with no notice what so ever. This is how flies must feel shortly before being fried to death in that blue neon haze, just in my case it wouldn’t lead to a premature death.

I remember when it first happened, I had panicked, and ran all the way back to my flat. I must have looked like a lunatic running all the way home, I had to take of my shoes just for the extra grip the soles of my feet could provide. No one saw thankfully, as I usually braved a particular alleyway on my way home from the restaurant. The only illumination was a few small external lights above the rear fire exits. This was the extent of my adventurous side, risking being mugged or worse. Just to save a few minutes for my return home rather than take the main street like any other normal person would, basking in the protection of the orange street lights would provide, this was before my life changed forever. I didn’t want to believe it at first, I tried everything to forget about it, but whenever I attempted to use anything electrical, arcs would pulse from my finger tips.

It was like the electricity coursing through my body was a king cobra, trying to find a rodent or lizard, striking to eat, like it could consume it in one mouthful with it’s terminally paralyzing after effect. Every time I resisted it would try leaping from me looking for it’s next meal. I felt almost sick at the thought that my once content-able life would be drastically changed forever, no going back, no retries. Would this have happened if I didn’t walk down that alley way, or lived where I lived, or was it just who I was, my genetics, could I blame my parents for setting me on this collision course headed for disaster…

This is where the story ends unfortunately, maybe one day I will pick it back up…but not today. The main character is not indicative of myself by the way…well perhaps a bit.

Thank you for reading,

Laura Steel.