(Read Episode 1: HERE)
The news was on, Chad hated the news; it was never good.
“In the last 10 years there have been an increasing number of documented cases of spontaneous human mutation. These mutations are varied, and often manifest in the teen years. The old term “changeling”, used for children thought to be swapped at infancy by fairies, has been coined for this phenomenon.” the clean cut, smiling man said this in a calm reassuring voice. “Most of these changelings are unfortunate, but harmless. However there are small percentages of cases that have manifested dangerous powers, threatening civil authority and public safety.” The news puppet frowned in mock concern here. “These dangerous individuals need to be controlled and studied to help prevent further tragedies.”
“Chad…” the sound of his name jerked Chad away from the TV. He turned his massive head to look at the exotic beauty of Ms. Wick. Tall and graceful, Wicked Green always made Chad feel even more big, dumb and clumsy. Not that she tried to, but anyone with bright green hair and sharp gold eyes turned heads. Chad only turned heads in horror, looking the part of a “dangerous individual” even if he didn’t feel like one.
“Yeah Ms. Wick?” Chad asked, standing up and moving across the room to her. With short brown hair and brown eyes, his looks would have been homely on a normal sized individual, but at his size the features became monstrous. Chad was bigger than the biggest WWF wrestler and twice as ugly. He could also twist any of them into paste if he was so inclined, but he wasn’t inclined to do much of anything lately. Ms. Wick called it the ‘teenage blues’ and said that he would find his purpose and peace with time. Being 18 years old though, Chad really didn’t know if one more year was going to make much difference on his ‘blues’.
Ms. Wick looked worried and distracted, “Go fetch Mechal and Shawn and meet me in the War room ok?” She was looking at a bunch of papers in her hands, flipping through them over and over.
“What’s wrong?” Chad asked, the “kids” as they were called, had never been invited into the War room.
“Just grab the others, I’m on my way to get Mitzy, and don’t dawdle!” Ms. Wick punctuated this with a finger pointed at Chad’s nose. Only problem was she was like a dandelion trying to boss a redwood.
“Yeah, ok Ms. Wick.” said Chad meekly; being less inclined to argue than possibly any of the other ‘kids’.
After dragging Mechal out of his room, and prying Shawn off the Playstation, Chad entered the War room and looked around for a seat. Then he groaned inwardly, this room wasn’t set up for his… ah… girth. Squeezing around the map table in the center of the room, Chad settled for leaning against the far wall. It was just easier that way. Across from him several computers were set up against the other wall, with a dry erase board on the wall across from the door.
Ms. Wick walked in with Mitzy in tow. Mitzy was a very opinionated 10 yr old with blond pigtails and a tendency to blow things up when angry, but Chad liked her ok. Shawn, though… well the less said about Shawn the better. Shawn thought he was the best the world had to offer, and that everyone should treat him accordingly. Chad wanted to punch him on a daily basis.
Mechal sat down in a chair close to Chad at the table. Mechal was the only person Chad cared to call friend, and he was pretty much an impossible read. The only way Chad knew Mechal liked him at all was because Mechal believed in telling it like it was. So one day, after a grueling practice, Mechal just came out and told Chad that he liked him and wouldn’t mind hanging out more. This came as a complete shock to Chad, mainly because it’s not every day that you got to repeatedly beat up a 100 year old vampire in a 17yr old body and then have him invite you to hang out. They have been hanging out ever since though, and Chad suspects that he’s the only person Mechal can stand to be around for any length of time.
“Ok, here’s the situation.” said Ms. Wick, coming directly to the point. “We have an opportunity to rescue a changeling we have had on our radar for a year. Problem is our window of opportunity is small and we are going to need you kids to pull it off.” Ms. Wick started handing out papers around the table.
“Finally! Some action!” said Shawn, holding his fists up on either side of his head as if he had just won a game he had been working on.
“Just because we get to go,” said Mitzy, “Doesn’t mean you get to fight anything Dork.” she made a face at Shawn.
Shawn’s face fell with his hands, “Nawww…. you gotta let us fight someone!” he was looking pleadingly at Ms. Wick. “I’ve been bored out of my brain since I moved in here!”
“Don’t worry Shawn, for this to work you will all have to use your talents. But that doesn’t mean you get to beat people up.” She looked measuringly at Shawn with her sharp gold eyes and he shrank into himself a little. Very few people could stand up to Ms. Wick’s gaze.
Rumor had it that Ms. Wick had been a student at some prestigious college, when her professor had suddenly jumped off the top of the main building. The resulting investigation turned up a suicide note stating that he could no longer teach because he gave her all A’s and couldn’t explain why. Here to find out Ms. Wick was unknowingly using her talent on her professor, compelling him to give her straight A’s no matter what she did. All Ms. Wick has to do is look directly into your eyes and she has you in a light kind of trance. This makes you very susceptible to suggestion. If she concentrates harder she can order you to do something and you cannot refuse. Ms. Wick didn’t know she had this talent, as far as she knew her mutation was only skin deep as they say. So during the course of the year she had looked into her Professors eyes, discussing her wish to get better grades for instance, and over time he had unconsciously taken the implied suggestion as an order. She had fled the school before they could charge her with anything, and soon after joined The Guild.
“Yeah, sure, I know that. I wasn’t talking ‘bout hittin nobody…” Shawn mumbled to the table.
Ms. Wick seemed satisfied and started in on the briefing, “The subject is Cassandra, 17, currently residing in Italy’s Maximum Security Prison’s Psyc. Ward. We…” she paused dramatically to look over the group, “are going to break her out.”
Amid the shocked silence Shawn asked, “Wow, what did she do to get in there?”
Ms. Wick looked at a file in front of her and said thoughtfully, “She blew up a TGV high-speed electric train killing 236 people.” in the even more stunned silence she added, “Including her father, which has caused her considerable mental distress leading to a diagnosis of Schizoaffective disorder.”
“Are you sure it’s a good idea to let her out then!?” squeaked Mitzy with wide eyes.
“She didn’t do it on purpose Mitzy.” Ms. Wick said reassuringly, “According to our sources she had been suppressing her very powerful gift. And you all know what suppressing a gift can do.” She looked here at Shawn, who was very industriously studying the paper that was passed out. “Her gift is manipulating electricity, and on a high speed electric train, that is a recipe for disaster.” Ms. Wick looked worried and a bit sad, thinking of this poor child, suppressing such a strong gift, and then being faced with some stressor that caused her gift to go rogue killing all those people and her father. It was no wonder she was a bit unstable.
“Why isn’t The Guild going for her?” asked Mechal in his soft voice.
“The Guild has bigger fish to fry right now Mechal.” Ms. Wick’s face pinched with worry, thinking of the others. “We are the only ones able to respond to this opportunity.”
“So what is the big opportunity?” Chad asked.
“That’s what we need to discuss Chad, if you will look at the paper I gave you, you will see the work order for the prison. All of the security cameras are offline with limited communications. Without them, they will not be able to respond as quickly, but it still won’t be easy.”
© Maria Rich 2011
(Read Episode 5: HERE) Coming soon