Author Topic: Chapter 7  (Read 10579 times)

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Offline Daen

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Chapter 7
« on: July 29, 2022, 05:37:30 AM »
I don't know how long I was out, but when I came to, I felt strange. My whole body felt like it was tingling. Buzzing even. And I could feel everything again- somehow.

I reached down to my side where I'd been shot. My shirt and pants were stained with blood, but the skin underneath it was unbroken. What the hell? I stood up quickly, still feeling that buzzing sensation. It looked like I hadn't been out long; there were no sirens in the distance yet. Maybe Gwen hadn't left yet.

Running down the hill in the direction she'd come from, I cursed myself. All her delaying tactics and dismissal of my fears. The fact that she was a recent transfer, from New York where Vought was based, and her very job itself. I should have seen it coming. At least I hadn't told her about Amanda and the recordings. She should still be safe from Vought.

As for how I was even moving, that was an even bigger mystery. I pulled out my little utility knife and flipped it open. Doing so on the run wasn't easy, but I wanted to test something. I nicked my thumb with it, and saw blood drip down the finger. Then it stopped flowing. I ran my other fingers over the skin... which had sealed up, almost immediately!

This was instant regeneration! I'd read about supes with powers like that. There was only one explanation: Kieran had saved me. Somehow, he could control which powers he gave.

There wasn't time to ponder that, though. Down below in the parking lot, I could see Gwen and Kieran. She opened the door to her car and practically threw him in. Keeping her gun pointed at him, she followed into the driver's seat.

If she got going, I wouldn't be able to catch them! I sprinted at them, belatedly noticing that my breathing hadn't sped up to match. I might as well have been strolling. Meanwhile, the car had started moving.

I charged at the side of the vehicle, and was rewarded with a momentary look of shock on her face before I collided with the window. I didn't weigh much, but I also wasn't holding back at all. The glass shattered in on her, and I grabbed hold of the wheel, turning it to the side. The car swerved, smacking into the parking lot's wall, but thankfully not very hard. Kieran wasn't strapped in!

We struggled for the gun through the shattered window. With a grunt, I leveraged the gun out from her hands and pointed it at her. Kieran took the opportunity to unlock his door and jump out of the car. I held a steady aim at her, as he ran around to my side. "You're alive!"

So he hadn't expected that either. At least we had that in common. "Apparently," I said to the side, and then looked back at the car. "Your car's not going anywhere, Gwen. Neither are you. You stay perfectly still in there, or I will shoot you."

"You don't have the stomach for it," she said defiantly, but at least for now she was staying put.

"You just shot me, and it really hurt. Trust me, you don't want to push me right now," I warned her darkly. Keeping an eye on her, I stepped back a few steps. Kieran moved with me. "Are you all right?" I asked in a low tone.

He nodded. "I think so. Are you?"

Grimacing, I felt glass shards being forced from my arm and hands, and dropping to the ground. "I guess I am. You didn't know you could heal me?"

"No. I just grabbed you, and really didn't want you to die."

"Either way, you saved my life. Thank you, Kieran." He smiled in the darkness, and nodded. I caught a glimpse of movement out of the corner of my eye, and fired a shot over the car. "I said don't move!"

Gwen froze, and raised her hands, glowering at me.

"What are you waiting for?" Kieran asked me, glancing over at Gwen. "Shoot her, and then let's get out of here."

I stared at him for a moment. Despite all the blood and horror of the past ten minutes or so, somehow the idea of a kid insisting on murder was even worse. "No. There's no need to kill her."

Gwen must have heard us despite our lowered voices. Her face went white again. "She's seen what I can do!" Kieran said urgently. "If you let her go, she'll just tell Vought, or those Capes for Christ people."

He was perfectly right. Once Vought found out that Kieran could actually control the powers he gave people, his value would increase exponentially. He wouldn't be just a useful curiosity anymore- he'd be their golden goose! But he was also completely wrong, and not through his own fault.

He'd grown up in the system. He'd known his real mom for what... a day before Vought had murdered her? Kieran had never had anyone to teach him right from wrong. Well, anyone other than a soulless, evil corporation and some actors pretending to be God's servants.

"Listen, Kieran. I know your mom died a year ago. Do you have any other family? Anyone else who can take you in?"

I didn't expect him to have anyone, but I still felt bad for him when he shook his head. "All right. Now, for maybe the first time in your whole life, you have a choice. You can go back to Vought if you want. They won't want to hurt you, but they will control you, probably for the rest of your life. Or you can leave, and go wherever you want, on your own. Or... you can come with me. I know a few places we could hide, while we figure out what to do next."

His eyes widened. "You want me with you? Won't you get in trouble?"

"I was planning on quitting my job anyway," I said easily. "Besides, I'd rather uproot my whole life than let a kid get controlled and experimented on like that. You're as sharp as they come, Kieran, and you deserve a better future for yourself."

I meant the offer even as I made it, but there were a bunch of details to work through. I wasn't on anyone's radar just yet. I would have time to empty out my bank account- to go home and pack a few things. Where to go was trickier. The safest place was Mexico, probably. Once there, I could use my contacts to stay out of Vought's sight. Getting across the border would be a problem. Maybe Kieran could give me flight powers and I could fly him over an unoccupied area at night. If he was willing to come with me at all, that was.

Kieran smiled broadly. "I'm with you, then," he said happily, and I let out a relieved breath.

Nodding at him, I straightened up and approached the car. "Take this message back to Vought, Gwen. If I get so much as an inkling that any of their other little stooges are after either of us, the truth about all of this will be made public. If you thought the world had a field day with the truth about Compound V, then you know what they'll do with this. Kieran will be safe, no matter what Edgars or any of the other Vought higher-ups want."

I was so focused on her face that I didn't notice her pose at first. She'd gone stiff as a board, eyes still wide open. Then I saw Kieran's arm through the window. He'd reached in and touched her.

"What did you do?" I pulled him back from the door and opened it. I put two fingers to her neck, and then listened at her mouth. "She's dead!"

He'd killed her. With just a touch. I stepped away from the car, both from Gwen and from him.

"I just did the opposite of what I did for you," he said calmly. Innocently, as if he'd done nothing wrong. "It worked, didn't it? We're safer now."

That was true enough, but it was also beside the point. "Killing is wrong, Kieran. It doesn't matter why you do it. It never matters."

He shook his head, uncomprehending, and I just sighed. I reached out and took his hand: a gesture of trust in this case, rather than control. "We can talk about that later. I've got a lot to teach you, and I get the feeling you'll be teaching me a few things too." Wasn't that how parenting worked, anyway?

All those bullets back there, and six bodies in the area. A missing supe kid, and a dead tv investigator. The end of the publicized fight between two groups, both being led by fakes. I was walking away from a hell of a story here.

But I was also going towards something. We both were.