Monthly Archives: February 2017

Majors and Minors: Short Story 1

Now that I’ve whetted your appetite (hopefully) with Majors and Minors, I’m going stop posting the original story. You’ll have to wait for the published version for the full story, whenever that happens. However, do not fear! After writing Majors and Minors, I realized how much there was that I could do with it. So, I created a new character. Hopefully, you’ll enjoy meeting him as much as I did.

The world explodes in a bright red flash. The tree that I just hit topples forward. “Ah, snap!” I yell, reaching out and grabbing someone. Lucy Cummings, I realize as the smoke clears. “Everyone grab on!” I call out, and the group gathers around me. Instantly, we’re rushing through time. Then, we’re sitting on the floor of the prison.
    My body is tired, but I pull myself to my feet. “Alfred, check for the guards. We need to do this like we did last time.”
    “Last time got Caleb killed,” Lucy, a short brunette, complains.
    “We can change that. You know that.” I keep my voice level, uneasy with the amount of stress I’m feeling.
    “I died?” Caleb asked. He’s shorter that the rest of us, with brown eyes framed by large glasses. Not that he needs them anymore. Not since the Shrinkage. I brought him along in the group this time because his eyes are so good.
    “Don’t worry about it,” I say, flashing a grin. I pull my hat on, a western style, kind of like what the cowboys used to wear. I looked around the group, fifteen in all. Lucy (Telekinesis), Caleb (Super good eyesight/lasers out of said eyes), Calligan (Speed/Sticky feet), Alfred (Ungifted but extremely smart), Bruce (Strength), Thad (Fire), Sloan (mechanics), Daniel (Also Strength), Constance (Smart ungifted), Ronald (Just a normal ungifted), Mary (Flight), Alicia (Control of plants), Ralph (Mind reader), Isaac (Ungifted), and myself.
    “Doctor, three coming this way.” Alfred the first’s comment is for me. That’s my nickname after all. The Doctor.
    After the Shrinkage, some of the people in the world got powers. I’m different than those people. I’m what you would call a Double Gifted. The ability to travel through time? Check. The ability to control any weapon around me? Also check.
    My real name is Evan Bell. But after people learned about my time traveling power, they dubbed me the Doctor. After some old TV show, from what I understand. I am not, however, an alien.
    The three guards walk past the door. I reach out my hand, more as a dramatic gesture than anything. The first man’s gun jerks out of his hand and slams into another’s jaw. The second man collapses in a heap.
    Lucy springs into action. With a quick motion,  the third man slams into the far wall. He slumps to the ground, unmoving. The first man is taken down by Caleb, blinded.
    “I’m never going to try and win a stare down with you,” Isaac says. No one laughs.
    Sloan runs up and unlocks the door. Bruce and Daniel pull it open and we run out into the hall. “Grab a weapon and let’s go,” I whisper, running forward.
    Suddenly, I hit an invisible wall. “What the..?” I mutter, reaching out with my mind. However, it’s just a plain glass wall, nothing fancy. “Why wasn’t this here last time?” I ask, but Bruce pushes me to the side. Doesn’t matter. We’ve got to get past it. With a single blow, the glass shatters, the shards landing on the other side of the glass.
    We all make our way as carefully as we can. As I go through, I look back. The second guard is starting to move, but that can’t be helped.
    We were being held in a ramshackle convenience store, and most of the shelves still have food and other supplies on them. I look around, but there’s nothing we need. Not today.
    Five feet from the door, Brutus steps out from behind a shelving unit. Shadow, as always, is by his side. “I’ll take Shadow!” I yell, and the others go after Brutus, a strength Gifted.
    Shadow is definitely tricky, as he can move as silently as a mouse, yet with the speed of an athlete. His gift, however, is not speed, but being able to turn invisible. Unfortunately for him, he choices to fight with a knife, which puts him at my mercy. Also unfortunate for him is the fact that I don’t have much right now.
    The knife sails from his hand, and speeds into my outstretched palm. My fingers close around it and I attack. Even with his speed and invisibility, there’s no way he can get out of the way. In a few seconds, his body drops to the ground, visible now that he’s dead.
    That had just gone quicker than the last time, which was most definitely a good thing. I run towards Brutus, who’s having a hard time holding off my friends. The knife hovers behind me, and I attack with it, not even holding it in my hand. Brutus falls as well, the knife buried in his brain.
    I dislike killing, and having to do more than one is enough to make me sick. However, until I can get to Card, the boss of Houston, I’m stuck with doing it.
    “Doctor, we’ve got to go. Now.” It’s Lucy. She knows what’s going to happen, when I get to Card, but she follows me anyway. That’s real dedication to a cause.
    “Lucy, if you want, I could take you back with…” I trail off when I see her expression.
    “Look, Doc, I like you, but no that much. If it’s all the same to you, I’d rather be clueless.”
    “I would take them all back,” I say at her retreating form as she moves up through the group. The excuse doesn’t even fool me. Shaking my head, I walk up the road to where we found the tank last time.
    Then there it is, with the same two guards sitting on top. Calligan speeds off, up the side, fists flying. The fury knocks one out immediately, but it’s up to Lucy to drop the other.
    The group clamber in, except for Thad and Mary, and the ones they give rides to, as we don’t have powers that allow us to move without being on the ground.
    As the tanks is technically a weapon, I’m able to control it. Sloan also helps, as it’s also mostly mechanical. We start moving forwards, and Lucy gives me a warning look. I nod; that last time, we barely made it out of the drive way before crashing into the tree. This time, however, I both have more experience, as well as Sloan. We turn onto the main road, heading away from the convenience store.
    “Follow this road, then take a right. First left, and Card’s at the end, in a mansion.” Caleb’s voice is squeakier than usual. His eyes are screwed tightly shut, as he finds it easier to focus his gift of sight that way.
    “Thanks,” I say, turning back to the road. The road is bumpy, and it takes both of the drivers to keep it steady. Not that we’re in danger of tipping over. Not in a tank.
    About fifteen minutes later, we pull up to Richard card’s mansion. I look at the group. “Well, it was great the days we had together, wasn’t it?”
    “We won’t miss you, Doc,” Constance says. “We won’t remember you at all.”
    “I’m going to remember each and every one of you,” I say, pulling her into a hug. Then I hug the rest of the group, one at a time. Some of the other boys start joke hugging, pretending to cry as if they were actually going to miss each other.
    I open the top and pull myself over the edge. Ten guards stand at the front door, and their guns are pointed at me in a second. “I need to see Card,” I say.
    Richard Card is a mystery. No one, aside from me, knows whether he’s Gifted or not, but he’s definitely the most powerful man since the man who called himself the Neph Master.
    The guards still don’t let me pass, and I frown. I drop the ground. “Please, let me see Card.” They remain stolid in their silence. I take a step forward.
    “Don’t take another step,” they order, but I keep going. Instantly, the bullets rip through my body. I’m fading, quickly, and with my last bit of strength, I push myself back through time a few seconds. I’m now standing, with no bullet holes.
    “Don’t take another step,” they order, and I put my hands up. I know they’re not bluffing.
    “Not trying that again,” I mutter. “Once again, let me see Card,” I order.
    “Why?” one of the guards, the one with the big bushy mustache, asks.
    “To show him the light,” I reply cryptically.
    “The one at the end of the tunnel? Many people have tried to do that.”
    It takes me a second to realize what he was talking about. “No!” I exclaim. “I don’t want to kill him! I just want to talk to him.”
    One of the guards heaves a giant notebook in front of me. “Then make an appointment,” he say.
    “No.” My voice is quiet, but forceful. “Let me see him now.”
    “Not a-” Moustache gets out, just before his gun explodes in his face. The distraction is just enough time to slip past the rest of the guards.  The guns sound behind me, but I skid around a corner just before I get hit.
    A large staircase lies in front of me. The easiest defense against anyone who suffered the Shrinkage. Unless, of course, they’re Gifted.
    Time slows, and I start up the stairs. I can’t, however, hold it to slow for too long, and by the time I’m halfway up, the guards are coming along the hall behind me. I reach out and blow up another gun. My muscles burn, but I press on. Within a few seconds for everyone else, I’m to the top. I rest for a second, then I look down. A flight Gifted is floating up the stairs.
    Instead of waiting for him to catch up, I dash down the hall. I head for the most heavily guarded room. Which is also the only guarded room. Card is most likely there.
    The guards prove no problem, as a single gun blowing up stuns them long enough for me to slip past. A conference table is set up, with about thirty men sitting around it, delegates from other cities. Card is on the far end, but I recognize another face. “Derek Hastings?”
    “Doctor?” Derek exclaims, jumping up. “I’ve kept my promise, I swear!”
    “I know Derek. I can see all of time, remember? I’m here for Card this trip.”
    Richard Card leans forward, interested. His dark skin seems out of place in a room filled with white. Not that I’m any different, as my skin is darker than most. “And who might you be?” he asks, his tone light, as if I’m a child to be humored.
    I hop on the table and strut across, kicking different notebooks and writing utensils out of the way. Up close, you can see the scar on Card’s right cheek, the one given to him by Scorpion, the self named super villain who tried to take Houston from him.
    “You could call me the Doctor, like everyone else. Or you could call me by my title. Which, Mr. Card, would be son.” I lock eyes with him, my brown eyes perfect replicas of his. “I’ve done my research. You thought that you and your wife couldn’t keep the baby, so you put me up for adoption. Wise decision, by the way.”
    I look at all the others. “You all will call me the Doctor.”
    “Evan?” Card says, half whispering. He’s on his feet now, and I turn to him.
    “That’s me, yes,” I reply. Suddenly, the guards burst through the door. I know I have to act fast, which for me is a relative term. I grab my father’s arm and slow time, with us being the only two not affected.
    “Listen, Dad,” I say, the word feeling strange on my tongue. “I’m going to take you back through time, to a point just after the Shrinkage. You’re going to keep the knowledge you already have now, but we won’t be together.”
    “Why can’t you just let me live my life from this point on?” Card asks, and I smile sadly.
    “I’ve killed to many people today, I can’t just go back a few days, either. If I do, I won’t be able to help anyone before that time.”
    My father gives me a blank look, and I smile indulgently. “Okay, think of it this way. My life is a line, right?” I drew a line. ______ Card nods. “My power allows me to move freely along that line. I can’t, however, go to a point before the Shrinkage, nor to any point after my age of seventy. The latter part of that is only because I haven’t lived past the age of seventy yet.” My father raises an eyebrow.
    “Wait, how old are you?”
    “I don’t know how many years I’ve lived. I’ve gone around a lot, back and forth, changing different things here and there. Suffice it to say, I’m older than I look.
    “Anyway, back to explaining. When I go back and change something, then that’s a point on the line.” _.________ “The other part of that is the fact that if I go back and change something before the dot on that line, then that dot is erases, and I have another dot to go by.” .________ “So, if I go back just a few days, I get less time to change things. Do you understand?”
    My father raises an eyebrow. “Kind of. But it’s still confusing.”
    “Imagine trying to living it,” I deadpan, then tighten my grip. Instantly, we’re going through time. My gift allows me to see time as cities, and me being on the highway. Dates and exact times for events speed past me, and I close my eyes. When I open them, I’m sitting in my room. My old room, the one I had when I was younger, before the Shrinkage. This is the place I stayed after the Shrinkage, for weeks afterwards.
    My internal clock tells me that it’s only been three hours since the Shrinkage, which is perfect. The four other people I brought back through time were before this point.
    I flash through time five years, to the point in time at which I had helped Card. The new memories fill my head, ones of Richard Card, peacemaker between the warring cities, the kind ruler of Houston, then spreading all the way to all of Texas.
    I’m standing in the middle of a deserted street. I pull my hat tighter on my head, and start walking forward. After all, with all of time at my disposal, there’s no telling what could happen.

 

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