|Not so Super Nox
Author: Network Dreamer PM
Nox is pretty much an infamous teenage underdog where he's from - and all because he can't develop superpowers like the rest of his family. But things start to go haywire for both the good and bad guys when he's kidnapped... Please rate and review - I'd really appreciate it!Rated: Fiction K - English - Fantasy/Sci-Fi - Words: 3,016 - Follows: 2 - Published: 11-04-12 - id: 3071400
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
John Leonard Ryder's Journal (entry no. 72)
It has probably been years since I last thought of writing another entry, and I can't fathom why I would have to mention the inevitable incident that I knew would happen. Tonight would be my son Nox's sixteenth birthday: Nox hadn't made any improvements at all. I don't understand today when the doctors, biologists, cognitive scientists had handed me that single report with just the single fact that my son wouldn't evolve, I just couldn't understand why. Why had it to be my son?
Sometimes I feel so ashamed of Nox, only a typical normal teenager. Both my elder sons are brilliant with their supernatural abilities, as was expected. Within a family of such rank, it is indeed disgraceful. I enrolled him in Heilong's school with such high expectations. It seems that Nox's lack of profound abilities has undeniably made it hard for him to even gain friends. It pains me so; I do not know what I should do, I feel completely lost without Rhea. She was so proud of Aether and Tyche, and I know if she was here she'd manage to be proud of Nox too. If Nox could at least even cause the tiniest of spark, the most basic ability, it wouldn't even be so awful.
Today is his birthday…and yet again I didn't meet him. That fragment of shame and guilt prevents me so forcefully… Rhea, I wish you were here.
The night's heavy rainfall had left Heilong High's forty mile grounds a soggy mush. Nox carefully stepped past the tiny mud-pools trying not to get his shoes dirty; the janitor anyway hated his guts, he didn't feel like incensing the dude anymore. Picking up his backpack, Nox made his way to the massive structure. To most, Heilong High seemed like a formidable monolithic edifice, but to Nox it might as well be called home. His father, Mr. Leonard Ryder, was after all the headmaster of the school. Nox had lived the entire sixteen years of his life here but yet that didn't put out the mysterious factor of the school even to him.
Heilong School wasn't any ordinary school; it was a school for the gifted, or rather, for the supernatural kind. Heilong wasn't exactly situated anywhere close to the Heilong River or even in China for that matter but was founded by Nox's great granddad who happened to be part Asian. The powerful bearded fellow's face was everywhere on the school building etched onto almost every pillar; all the more reason to feel embarrassed. Nox wasn't gifted like the rest of his family and now it's proven that he'd never be. Everywhere around him kids streamed past; some hovering, flying, jetting out fire or spouting out water. Nox didn't care anymore; this was what he'd call a common scenario. But he was the odd one out. He was the uncommon being among the supernatural.
Nox didn't have much of friends, they were only a few but it was obvious that they were only sympathizing with him. And it seemed that one of them was heading his way. It was short plump boy with spiky blond hair over-done with gel.
"Hey, Nox, sup?"
"Detention." said Nox drily. He wasn't in the mood of talking and hurried his stride towards the giant detention hall. Gade didn't leave his back though, trying to move his short legs as fast as he could to keep pace.
"Cool – I'm headed there too." He said cheerily.
Nox didn't see what was so 'cool' about the prospect of facing one-and-a-half hour detention. "Dude, it's detention," Nox said zipping up his jacket against the freezing wind, "you can't possibly enjoy it?"
Gade smiled sheepishly, "Umm…it's not so bad. Anyway," he said quickly changing the subject, "what landed you into detention?"
"Well," Nox looked down at Gade still walking fast past the students filing out, ignoring them completely; he felt he might as well have the power of invisibility, "I screwed up the physical combat test…again." He snorted; it wasn't fair, he thought, not when you're up against power-hounds.
Gade patted Nox's shoulder and shook his head sympathetically, "Tough luck, eh? Sometimes I feel like that too. I mean I've got the stupidest power in the world, I mean you can't even call it a power. All I have are stupid gills! I might as well be an alien."
Actually, a fish, Nox wanted to say, but he thought it best he didn't, Gade didn't look too cheerful. "No point feeling sorry about it, Gade," Nox said matter-of-factly, "it's better than nothing. Anyway," he said, turning around a bend, "let's go up to the roof, I see Tyche's up there as well."
"Uhh… but Nox we've detention and besides how are we supposed to get up there."
"Easy, I do it all the time. C'mon." with that Nox jumped over the railings.
"Yeah, uhh, I think I'll stay here."
"Your loss." Nox called out, doing a double jump on the rickety railings and scrambling up onto a ledge. He'd done it enough times to master it by now; it was only Nox and Tyche who knew how to get up there without flying. Tyche, who had the uncanny ability to manipulate fire according to his will, was Nox's older brother, they lived in Heilong long enough to learn its little secrets. Through a few more complicated passageways that ranged from five meter high holes to pint sized tunnels (training with supernatural beings had its benefits), he reached Tyche lazily dangling his legs at the edge with headphones jammed to his ears, probably listening to Burn it Baby.
Nox shuffled and sat beside him, he hadn't seen much of Tyche nowadays; he had quite the daredevil spirit and didn't hang out much at Heilong anymore. Tyche turned towards the silent figure sitting beside him, "Hey Nox, long time no see."
"Dude," Tyche said. "It's your birthday, what's with you?"
"This morning Dad got 'the bad news'; that I'm not gonna have some lousy super powers. Well…he wasn't happy."
"Yeah, I know. Talked to Aether already." Aether was their elder brother, whose IQ apparently skyrocketed at the mere age of three. "He didn't give a damn about your reports though, said that he could fix you. Though he's a genius and all, I still doubt it."
Nox sighed, the prospect of Aether using him as a guinea pig for his new inventions wasn't so pleasing.
"Crap it, bro. No need to get your head messed up over this junk. Being completely human's cool; in a way. By the way, you got detention, don't you?"
"Like you said, Tyche, crap it." With that Nox stood up to leave, Miss Vladez had called him up to her office, which was all the way up at the heart of the city, so it called for an early start.
"Going to Vlads'?"
"Just don't hook up with her." Tyche smirked. "She can be quite the she-devil you know."
Nox grinned, "Yeah, you would know."
Miss Vladez was a personal instructor to almost every high school student in Heilong. She would delve into their weak spots, and encourage doing better. Nox hated these one-to-one classes; they were aimed at supernatural people, and he wasn't one of them. If only his dad wasn't the principal, he'd have skipped them.
The snow had started falling, as Nox made his way to the large gates of Heilong School. Nox shoved his hands into the jacket pockets; the evening was freezing cold. He passed by few security guards, most of them clad in dark grey uniforms, taking each step vauntingly. There was one that guarded the gates at all times, Bev, he seemed quite scrawny and small, shorter than Nox, but the guy had unbelievable strength. That provided quite the advantage for him to boast. And he'd never miss a chance to do just that.
"Oi, where'd you think you're going, 'human'?" he sneered at Nox.
Bev's job was to check ID badges, not ask questions. Nox gritted his teeth; he knew what would follow next.
Bev was stretched lazily on his swivel chair at the security chamber, "You know, kid, you should just get lost from here. Go and never come back. Mr. Leonard Sir doesn't even want you…sad, eh?" It was obvious what Bev was trying to do; trying to start a fight. He loved violence of such sorts, it gave him an opportunity; the wonderful opportunity to show off. "Ah, how despicable you are."
Nox groaned; this was getting tiring. His first impulse was to punch the dude, right through the tiny hole in the glass panel, but that would be as pointless as flinging a toothpick to a rock. Besides, wasn't that what Bev wanted?
Bev was dutifully scanning Nox's ID, but that didn't keep his trap shut, "They're anyway gonna kick you out someday, now that you're proven to be a lame human. Good riddance, actually; you don't belong here. You know, you can always go to – "
"And you," Nox said stepping forward to snatch away the ID badge, "can go to hell." He stared hard at Bev before turning away, disgusted. Nox hated his guts; 'a worthless idiot', but the worst part was that whatever he said was true. His rubber soles squelched on the thin snow, as he trudged passed the gates. He glanced at the side to see the giant emblazoned face of his great granddad, who grinned down at him under his heavy mustache. Nox didn't smile back.
Heilong Academy was pretty much in the middle of nowhere, the only structure within its ten mile radius was an abandoned military base. You couldn't actually call it a base, more like a temporary camp, parts of it crumbling under the thickening snow. Nox didn't even know how old it was, or even why it had been set up, but whatever the case, looting it was pointless. First time he went there was when he was six, the place had seemed to be been ransacked long before; the only thing he found there was an ancient gazillion ton Gatling gun and an even more ancient Playboy magazine.
Even though the magazine didn't prove to do anything cool, at least the Gatling gun made up for that. Now it was situated right at the mouth of the academy's defenses, of course major adjustment were made to it by Nox's eldest brother. It was Aether's one and only love – well at least for the first few months since it was found.
No matter how often Nox would see the ten feet tall machine gun, even now as he passed by it, it still was unnerving. Even the snow could not deter it, the flakes simply slid off its smooth silver surface. Its mere presence was intimidating, what with its five, three meter long gun barrels aiming straight at him. Of course, that was just the autofocus; its aim kept following Nox until he disappeared behind the academy's warehouses.
The moment Nox was within the shadows between two sheds, he saw a black figure flitting across the other end.
Why would someone be snooping around?, he thought, There is obviously something wrong.
His hand automatically went to his right pocket, curling his fingers around a pocket knife. It might as well been called a compact dagger, being about six inches and all. The thing was, this wasn't any ordinary 'pocket knife', it was one of Aether's creations, which meant there was a fifty percent chance that there'd be something wrong with it. And sure enough there was; the thing weighed a ton and it stared at him with numerous keys that made utterly no sense to him. Right then, a humongous dark figure appeared around the bend. Nox stared saucer eyed as the behemoth slowly inched its way towards him, Nox was frozen on-site, like the thickening snow around him. He looked down dismally at the high-tech switchblade that he's gotten this morning as a birthday gift from Aether. He tried to press any extremely dangerous looking key, but it would just beep in denial. The stupid thing required a stupid fucking password. Nox didn't have time to think of the password right then.
What?!, Nox wanted to scream, What sort of pocketknife has a fucking child-lock system?!
With the monster of a human getting closer, Nox did the only thing that seemed quite sensible to him; he charged. Sprinting in the deep snow, Nox pounced on the so called goliath, grabbing onto his collar. From under his winter jacket, the man gave out a startled gasp, as if he didn't expect a teenage kid to swoop in on him – but then, who did? Before the man could do anything else, Nox positioned his massive switchblade; using it like an empty gun, he thwacked the consciousness out of him.
The giant fell backward, dragging Nox along with him. Nox fumbled, untangling himself from the man's grasp. Standing up stiffly, he breathed a sigh of relief; he looked down at his trusty switchblade, still gleaming without a dent. Well, so much for high-tech, Nox thought, pocketing it.
Turning around, Nox studied the unconscious man, his winter jacket's hood still pulled over his face. Nox knelt down and pulled it off – he momentarily stiffened – he knew this man. His face was very familiar; a rugged face, bristles on his chin, a thick mustache flecked with snow and buzz cut hair. The sort of haircut all men at Heilong security were required to have. Nox wondered why this security guard was after him, when suddenly he felt a stinging pain on his left shoulder. He whipped his head around, to find a slim syringe like projection with its needle imbedded into his shoulder. He gasped – a tranquilizer dart – he'd seen enough of them in Aether's lab to recognize them by now. He winced as he quickly pulled it out, but it was too late, the syringe was empty. Printed among the measurements was also the label 'M99' – which otherwise meant, Etorphine. Aether had told him once that etorphine was pretty hard to get and was legally available for only veterinary use. Aether had also unnecessarily told him that it only takes less than thirty seconds to be knocked out. In the short time lapse Nox glanced up at the direction of the shot; there was a hooded guy perched on the warehouse roof with jaw-length blonde hair escaping from underneath his hood, he was dressed in ratty clothing like a street thug, well away from the turret. He carried a Pneu-Dart rifle.
Shit, Nox cursed, as he looked down at the unconscious security guard. He'd been conned; he'd attacked the only thing that could've saved him.
You gotta be kidding me. Nox cursed his own stupidity. He managed to glare at the distant figure above him. The last thing Nox saw before passing out were stormy grey eyes like the darkening sky surrounding him, they willed his knees to buckle before he finally collapsed, sinking into the damp snow.
RULE NUMBER SIX
"Hey, kid, wake up." Kellan poked the possibly deceased Nox. Nox's body was limp, but strangely enough, he felt relaxed and fortunately alive. Opening his eyes, his vision was hazy, water depositing on the corners of his eyes, he couldn't make out the figure peering down at him and he couldn't move either; he was tied to a decaying wooden chair.
"Hey, kiddo, you awake?" Kellan whispered hoarsely.
"Yeah, dude, I'm awake," Nox's vision was clearing; Kellan didn't look but a few years older, "and stop calling me kiddo."
Kellan appeared to be scrutinizing his captive, Nox decided to do a bit of studying himself.
Rule number six: Whenever in an unfamiliar terrain, observe all primary exits (which meant skylights and windows) and secondary exits (the common doors).
In this particular room, there wasn't much of a primary exit, except for a trapdoor, that probably led down to the basement and a front door that was covered in mould, decaying, possibly. His captor didn't look tough either, seemed like an easy escape.
"What's your name, kiddo?" Kellan asked, a mop of blonde hair falling on to this temple as he bent down to face Nox. In the light, Kellan's biceps seemed to have bulged tenfold its size. Nox realized his misconception gulping down his fear, determined not to show it.
"I said, stop calling me kiddo," Nox tried to keep his tone resolute, which was quite unnatural for him, "the name's Nox."
"Whoa? You supposed to be noxious?" Kellan chuckled, "I prefer calling you 'kiddo'."
"Stop tormenting the kid, Kellan." It was a nasty voice from deep within the shadows. Nox was surprised he hadn't noticed the person before; he was always naturally perceptive with his eyes. It gave him an idea that he was dealing with a lot more than just a rotten room.
Kellan didn't seem to be afraid of the withering fellow, who appeared out of nowhere. "Hey, freak, great timing. I hope you remember our deal, I got you what you wanted; now you do your part."
Nox absorbed the information, studying each of his captive's expressions. Apparently the withered fellow for some unfathomable reason wanted him...