Chapter 9: Lauren
“Stay still!” the blonde girl screamed at me. For some reason she was the only one who withstood the attack by that asian girl. David, I knew, he shot the leader of these people and was still out for the count. I was happy about that, that man, Pirithous kidnapped me and was going to make me his next meal. I didn’t want to know what that even means. All I knew is that this girl had a good hold on me. My arms were pin to each side from her bear hug. Her legs were spread enough so I couldn’t kick her, She nested her head to the side of my face, so I couldn’t head-butt her.
“Just let me go, I don’t know what you want from.” I made it more of a statement than question. My heart raced as I continue to struggle against her. Between trying to get away with her and calm myself down, I looked at the ongoing battle in front of us. David, Kevin, and their friends were fighting the rest of the gang. Everyone had different colored glowing eye and exhibiting some sort of power.
David kept firing the gun he picked up, but the ammo that came out were blue laser like bullets, but his opponent kept dodging. Kevin was losing his fight, but created robots from his cell phone and watch. Joan laid in front of another gang member.
I could still see everyone, but I wasn’t physically in my body. I couldn’t explain it, but it was like I was in another dimension. Observing from afar. The world around me turned into a loft. There were easels, a desk for a computer, and other artistic tools.
“Welcome to your mindscape.” a winged mermaid flew in front of me. Her wings were made of a yellow light. Her upper torso was human like, but her bottom half was that of a snake. Her face looked like mine, but her eyes were huge. Her body looked liked somebody poured water into a figurine.
“Yes, your mindscape is a representation of who you are. I’m your conscience, but right now all you need to know is that I’m also your miracle. We have the power of enhanced speed. Use that ability and fight!”
I return my focus to the physical world. Kevin looked like he was pinning down his assailant. I still didn’t have any leverage to escape from mine. My body felt different, almost lighter than 110 lbs I am. I whipped my head towards the side of her. I mean really whipped, faster than what I should of been able to do. The momentum helped me smash into her and she release her hold.
“I knew it, your miracle has activated too.” she said.
“Yes,” I said and I ran a circle around everyone before returning to where I was standing. “I don’t think you’re going to be holding me anymore. Not with my speed.”
“Maybe you’re right, maybe you’re wrong.” She made a gun gesture with her hand and pointed at me. Smoke appeared and engulfed me. I couldn’t see anything and started choking in the dense smoke. “Soon you will see how dead wrong you are. My smoke is fast and it’s only a matter of time before you choked to death on it. That is my miracle,
I dropped to one knee. Covering my mouth with my hand.I need to get out of here. I ran towards where everyone was fighting, but the smoke was everywhere. Were my friends and their friends trapped too? A sudden jolt of pain ranged from my cheek.
“I can see you. The smoke I generate doesn’t affect me at all. I can see you clear as day and I don’t choke on my own supply.” She punched me again rocking me backward. I couldn’t run without knowing where to go. This time she kicked me in the ribs, I doubled over.. I felt more pressure coming from above me. She sprayed more smoke down at me. The spraying sounded like a continuous squeeze of spray paint. The fumes attacked all of my senses. I couldn’t see anything, not even my own two hands.
I couldn’t let it end here. I didn’t achieve anything yet. My whole life I was told I would have a crappy life. I rebelled against that proclamation. I would build a great life, one full of art, love, and happiness. That’s why I came here to study art and computer animation. I thought about my boyfriend Brandon and the last three years together. I couldn’t die now, not here, and not like this.
The smoke kept coming. I started thinking about comic books and heroes who had my power. I stood up against the smokes air pressure and stretched my arms out to the side. My feet started to move and I spun in a circle as fast I could. The more I spun the more smoke started to clear. When I was done the smoke was gone and the girl stood there breathing hard and fast.
“You, you cleared my smoke?” she step back. Her cheeks rosy from spending all her energy into choking me.
“Thanks to my comic book knowledge.” I ran towards her and she tried to get away. My movements seem so sleek now. All the chest pain from the smoke were gone now. Almost like someone gave me a second wind. I don’t’ feel any pain from her previous blows either. I guess I heal fast too. “You were better off choking me, now you’re going to pay.”
I straddled her stomach and rained down punches. Each hit coming with the speed, making up for my lack of strength. She managed to block a few, but after around 15 blows, she stopped. I won my first fist fight. No time to celebrate though and I knew I should be happy, but I wasn’t. I had to hurt her in self-defense. She laid there with her bloody nose and swollen eyes. The only reason I knew she was still alive was because of the rising of her chest.
When I looked around everyone was still fighting. Our side looks like they were winning. The losers underestimated us, but Joan was still down. Her attacker straddle her and prepared to punch her. I ran and covered the distance in time to catch her blow. She looked up in surprised as I attacked her the same way I did my attacker, with a flurry of punches she couldn’t keep up with. The pain was too much for Joan’s attacker and she past out too.
I started to listen to Joan’s heartbeat which was still steady. She must of passed out somehow or her attacker had some paralyzing power. I cradled her in my arms and that’s when I notice I had a tattoo of a wing encircled by a laurel wreath, both colored in green.
“I’m sorry, it was the only way.” Joan started to stirred and looked up at me. Her eyes were tired from battle. She was cool to the touch, She wasn’t dying though, I could sense that she was powerful.
“What was the only way?” I looked onward as David, Kevin, and their friends continue to fight. The tide seem to have turn and each battle looked vicious. Everyone was giving their all, despite not knowing how to use their powers. Maybe that’s why it seem violent. The attackers didn’t seem to be too experience with their abilities either. Each fight was like putting two kindergartens, but with abilities.
“Giving you my favor.” She pointed at the tattoo on my hand. “It was the only way to help you unlock your miracle.”
“You did this to me, how?, why?”
“My attacker had some sort of energy resistance power. I was already weakened by Pirithous. I underestimated him, thought he was weaker than me.” She coughed in pain as she grabbed her ribs. “I thought by unlocking your aura, hopefully your abilities would help us. Seems I was right, but I apologize for not giving you time to decide for yourself.”
“What does this mean? That I belong to you?” I hope for her sake it doesn’t I spent my whole life rebelling against those who told me I would have a crappy life. I spent hours honing my art skills and my mind to get into this college with a full scholarship. I didn’t belong to anyone.
“No, you are not my slave, more like a partner, but every,” she paused looking for the right words or trying to substitute what she was going to say next with something else. “Psychic has the ability to transferred their aura and implant it into creatures or objects. Granting that subject a piece of the psychics ability. Your friends have been given marks from Brian. They don’t know it yet, but that’s why they are winning. That was his plan from the start. I should of known. It’s my fault, I put the idea in his head instead of letting your friends stay behind like he suggested.”
“He’s using them?”
“Yes, and no. Brian is…weaker these days. He needed help defeating Pirithous and he knew from the jump those other students were part of Pirithous’s favor. That’s why they can use their ability, but he gave out too much of his own power. Thats why your friend David was able to knock him out with a single shot. He needed them and they needed him. He unlocked their abilities and they must of all met in the mindscape where they came up with the plan. His favor protecting them and guiding them into their fights. Help me up, please?”
I help lift her unto her feet. “So, you giving me your favor is what unlock my ability. I should be thanking you. Does that mean taking it back will cause my power to disappear?”
“No,” she took a deep breath and tried her hardest to ignore the pain. “Once a psychic has their ability activated, it stays activated unless some extraordinary circumstance comes into play, like amnesia. No, marks can be removed before they become permanent.
“What does that mean? Permanently being partners?”
“I told you, I apologize.You didn’t get a chance to”
“Don’t worry about it right now. I’m not sure if I’m happy with your decision, but it seemed to have saved us.” I looked at one of David’s friends. He had a red glow and was viciously stomping on the head of his attacker. David had to pulled him off.
“Doesn’t make it right. I acted just like Brian, I had to win. That is my greatest strength and my greatest flaw, but it looks like the fights over.”
She was right, the attackers were all incapacitated. Brian came over to us in his wheelchair. He was in his forties, maybe fifties, with long blonde hair that was greying in certain spot. His build seemed average, but he had a strong chiseled chin. He was breathing heavy too.
“Joan, are you two-”
“We’re fine.” Joan said. I did what you had too.
“Joan, you know you’re not skilled for that. You could of killed yourself. No victory is that important to give up your life.”
“I know you are not lecturing me, You wanted to win this fight just as much as I did.”
Brian looked at me and then back at Joan. “Better call in a response team to clean all this up.” Without waiting to see if Joan did, he wheeled back towards the others.
“I can’t stand that man.” She turned toward me. “I’m Joan.”
I shook her hand, “I’m Lauren.”
“Well, Lauren, how about you come with me to make some calls?”
“Okay.” I said. Looking as the rest of them dragged the attackers together in a circle. What was going on? How did I get involved in all this? I looked at my tattoo again. “And what does being her partner really mean? I guess I will find out soon enough, until then. Phone calls.