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The Powers That Be

Posted on Mon Mar 11th, 2019 @ 6:09pm by Nathan Sinclair & Aiden Osceola

Mission: Mission 1 - From Normal to Super
Timeline: 09/01/2018 2230

Aiden finished with his dinner about the same time that Nathan did. He gathered up his trash and stood to his feet moving to the exit. When his roommate had caught up with him he said, "I should be tired, but I'm not. I was going to walk around, do a little exploring. Are you up for coming along, or do you want to head back to campus?"

“I’m good to walk around,” Nate replied. “I’ve explored a bit, but not enough. I still don’t know what shops are nearby. Most are probably closed by now, but it’ll still be good to see what’s close by.” Nate looked at the street the restaurant was on. “Campus is back left. So we go right?”

"Yeah, right works for me. You say you've done a little exploring, what interesting things did you come across?"

They started walking down the street further away from the campus. “Most of what I’ve seen has been closer to campus,” Nate explained. “And to the other side of it. A few coffee shops on the campus, plus the bookstore. A small strip mall and more restaurants. Then it becomes residential, a lot of it student housing. I still haven’t found a mall or any good box stores.”

"Probably have to go to Houston for that," he said. But, hey, if you ever need a ride, and don't mind hanging on for dear life, I can always take on my bike."

Nate couldn’t help but laugh. “Thanks. I might take you up on that at some point.” The two continued walking. There weren’t many stores, and the ones they did see were all closed. Most appealed to the residential population; homeowners, not students. Nate definitely didn’t notice the two men following them.

Normally Aiden would have been. His grandfather had taught him all about tracking and though he wasn't by any stretch of the imagination, a spy, evasive tactics, and he'd learned his lessons well. But, he was too absorbed in his conversation with his new roommate.

The houses they were passing reminded Aiden of some of the poorer areas on the Reservation, they were run down with peeling paint, their yards filled with weeds rather than grass and more than one yard had a car up on blocks.

"Hey, boys, we hate to interrupt your little romantic stroll, but we need your wallets, watches, cell phones. You know the drill. Just hand them over and maybe, maybe we won't hurt you."

Nate froze. Muggings were common enough everywhere; he was just lucky not to have ever been through one yet. He had heard that it was best to cooperate.

But he also desperately wanted to run away. In his mind, he knew that was a bad decision. These guys were probably bigger than him, certainly more numerous, and were likely armed with guns. He couldn't outrun a bullet no matter how hard he tried. But still, that urge to get away was powerful. He couldn't resist it.

He turned his head and saw the path between two houses. Through it he saw the next street over. Instinctually, Nate grabbed Aiden by the arm--

--and suddenly the two found themselves on the other street, easily fifty meters away from where they were, the muggers nowhere in sight.

Aiden's initial reaction had been fear. Like Nate, he'd never been mugged, but he'd been in some pretty precarious situations. His subconscious mind was still trying to decide between his fight or flight options when Nate grabbed his arm. A nanosecond later when they found themselves out of danger he turned to his roommate and said, "What the hell just happened?"

Nate looked around, panicked. They still weren't safe, but safer. And he had no idea how it had happened. "I don't know!" Nate said. "But we can't stay here. Let's get back to campus, try to figure it out there."

The trio of would-be muggers hadn't seen where Nate and Aiden had gone, but as shocked by the incident as the two roommates were. they weren't going to stick around to ask questions, they took off running. The two men who had just experienced the phenomenon made it back to their dorm room without any other incidents or much conversation.

When the door had closed behind them Aiden asked, "So, did you make that happen?" His tone was insistent but not judgemental.

"I..." Nate began, sitting on his bed. He couldn't help but shake a little bit. "I think so? I saw where I wanted to be, and suddenly I was there. I grabbed your arm, dragging you along, I guess."

"Well, I'm certainly glad you did," Aiden said laying a comforting hand on Nate's shoulders, "I didn't want to be left with those assholes. I'm assuming that this hasn't happened to you before."

"No, that was the first time," Nate said. "On the one hand, I'm wondering what the hell is happening to me. On the other hand, I want to see if I can do it again."

"I'm not going to tell anyone what happened, your secret whatever it is, is safe with me. I've seen some pretty strange stuff in my time. Not that weird, but unusual enough. Do you want to try it here? I mean there's not a lot of room, but you could try."

"Thanks," Nate said, relieved his new friend and roommate would keep the secret. He stood from his bed and gestured for Aiden to move away from the middle of the room.

He closed his eyes and concentrated. He then opened them and stared at a spot on the floor a few meters away. He focussed long and hard but stayed firmly planted where he was. "I guess I still need to figure out how this works, huh?"

"Maybe, it was the heat of the moment," his roommate suggested, "you know because we were in a pretty scary situation."

"Yeah, maybe," Nate agreed. He yawned. The adrenaline was beginning to wear off and he was starting to crash. "I'll try again in the morning. But for now, I think I need sleep." He started to undress for bed. Too tired to find sleepwear, he just slid under his blanket in his boxers. "If you want to stay up a while, that's fine. I can sleep when it's light pretty easily."

Aiden was still not adjusted to Texas time, but he decided to at least lay down. He changed into a pair of gym shorts and a tee shirt that had once been white and was now a dull gray.

As Nate slept, his dreams were vivid. He tossed at the sound of the men asking for his things. He turned at the sight of the police at the party.

He awoke in a cold sweat...outside Hawkins Hall, in the grass, two stories down.

Confused and a bit sore, though clearly not injured, he stood up. He must have jumped again, this time from his bed to down here.

He could see the window to his room. He remembered that he’d closed the windows, while most rooms had open windows. Scared and confused, he looked at the window frame and focussed hard...and was suddenly up at the frame, holding on for dear life two levels up. He tapped the window, hoping to stir Aiden.

Adien was naturally a pretty light sleeper had been having a much more pleasant dream than Nate. He'd been walking along a beach, the moonlight over his shoulder, walking towards the water When a cloud passed over the moon. Then, an instant later it started to rain the water making a pinking sound as it bounced off of something solid. Sand wasn't solid.

Then suddenly he jerked awake. It took him a few seconds to put two and two together, then he sprinted to the window, lifted it up with one hand, while he reached down and grabbed Nate with the other.

"What the fuck man?" he asked.

"I don't know what happened!" Nate said as he was pulled into the room. "I woke up outside, on the ground. But I managed to...I don't know, jump? port?...up to the window. I had trouble getting into the room though. Probably focussing too hard on holding on for dear life outside the window." From solid ground inside, he breathed heavily. "But at least I know I can do it on command, at least once!"

Aiden closed the window, not saying anything until he turned around, "Wow, my roommate is a superhero. How rad is that? So this like, just happened to you? Do you know why or how?"

“Well, since the first time I’ve ever jumped like that was tonight, I can’t say I’ve given it much thought.” Nate walked to his dresser and grabbed a pair of pajama bottoms. He put them on and put his room key and phone in the pockets. “In case it happens again,” he explained. Then he fell onto his bed and passed out into a deep sleep.

Aiden didn't know his roommate that well yet but was concerned for him. So, as tired as he was he propped some pillows up against the wall and watched over Nate.


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