Author: CuppaJoel PM
This world's different to ours in many ways: Mutations are as ubiquitous as air. Hitler won the war and decided that normal is the new Jewish. People don't like being killed for their genes. They rose up. Hitler fell. Supes and Norms spent a lot of time killing each other before reconciling. Tensions are still high. Supes are split- "Should we kill or protect the norms?"Rated: Fiction T - English - Adventure/Drama - Chapters: 2 - Words: 5,095 - Reviews: 5 - Updated: 01-27-13 - Published: 01-24-13 - id: 3095011
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
Cacoethes–Noun- An irresistible urge to do something inadvisable.
Those who do not have a superpower are called Norms, and those with superpowers are called Supes. There are sects of people in each group who aim to kill those who aren't like them.
This is my first fictionpress story, but not my first story. I really hope this doesn't suck. Keep in mind, reviews are like happy pills. So pretty please?
Thomas McCarthy walked with his arms awkwardly immobile at his side. He was used to having something to keep his hands occupied, and the small cell phone he held in his stiff grip wasn't cutting it. So, praying to god that no one was staring at him because he was feeling self-conscious enough, thank you very much, for being the only one in the crowd that was built like a running back. He wanted to get the groceries and go home. Something that Harvey, apparently, was inclined to procrastinate on. Tom'd sent Harvey out to get the five things they needed – five things, that's all! – over an hour ago.
Brent was sequestered in the lab (well, attic turned room full of computers, but who's going to nit-pick?). That left Tom to go catch up to their tardy team-mate. He'd tried calling Harvey once he'd gotten to the supermarket, but that proved to be less than helpful. Brent had picken up on the other end, listlessly saying that obviously he'd left his cell phone here, and that Tom was an idiot to believe Brent wouldn't have already tried reverse-tracking Harvey.
When Brent heard Tom begin to seethe and boil on the other end, he suddenly found an interest in his coding again, and said that he'd have to go. "That's right, insult me and then run off scared," Tom snarled into the dead line. "That always fuckin' works."
Then, out of the corner of his eye, he saw a man with his bright gold hair slicked back. The man sported a black eye and a cocky swagger, carrying a dirty and slightly torn bag of groceries in one hand. Tom crossed the street, cut off the other man's path, and proceeded to drag him by the upper arm back to the house.
"Tom, Tom," Harvey grouched, "Toooom!" He squirmed, a futile effort, trying to regain feeling in his hands. Tom just kept his eyes straight ahead, grinding his teeth together and trying his hardest to keep from breaking his friend's arm.
Arriving at the door, Tom spun back on him, getting in his face, he snarled, "I gave you a list of five items. How did you manage to fuck that up? It was a simple task! What went wrong?"
Harvey smirked slightly, bitterly, at Tom's weakening control. He said, "I got pick-pocketed by some brat." Tom's eyes widened with worry. "Oh no, don't worry. The kid's alright."
At this, Tom let go of Harvey completely and sighed. "Let me guess. The groceries were damaged in the scuffle?"
"An apt deduction!"
"I'll be back in fifteen minutes." And with that, Tom braved the outside world once more, once more exposing himself and his friends to radical idealists. He really just wanted to get some coffee and some eggs in the house so there wouldn't be any fighting. Running into idiots who couldn't learn from WWIII would really end this day on a sour note.
Harvey stared at the door after his friend had left, a guilty knot in his stomach and a throbbing in his arm. Briefly he considered going up to help Brent with his latest asinine idea, but he decided it'd be better if he just went to the basement and started hitting things. So he did.
Out and about, for the second time, wasn't any less awkward for Tom, but he got what he needed and started back. On his way, a teenager, maybe sixteen or seventeen, ran in to him. Obviously, the teen had expected some sort of give, and when he didn't get it, he slammed right against the ground. He glanced up at Tom, muttering, "Sorry?"
Tom helped him up, or rather pulled him up. His eyes scanning for any sign of injury to the man, Tom asked him his name. The teen had reddish orange hair and youthful green eyes. He brushed himself off and gave Tom a distrustful stare. "My name's Matthew. Garrison. Matt for short. Who are you?"
He smiled, gave his name, and asked Matt if he'd like a warm meal. Without his say so, Matt felt his defenses shut down completely and he nodded, even squeaking out a small 'please'. It'd been a long time since he'd had a warm meal.
Tom led Matt to the house. Along the way, he got Matt to agree to stay the night, in heating, and not out on the streets as he'd gathered Matt had been doing. Then he told Matt about his Mission – help the Normals, the Norms, defeat the Nazi-Supes, superpowered humans who misused their gifts to kill the Norms out of revenge.
Matt, though he tried to hide it, knew his eyes had lit up in interest. Tom didn't ignore it, but chose not to mention it. Instead, he slyly inquired whether Matt wanted to meet his teammates. He didn't even hesitate, despite his mind telling him play it cool, he's just getting your hopes up, there's no one else. He stole a glance at Tom and slowly let his wings relax from their hunched position against his back. As they unfurled and pressed through the slits in back of his jacket, Tom, whose eyes had begun to widen in shock, forced a calm façade and smiled at him. Matt's guard fell ever so slightly again. This man is used to freaks. He's around freaks like me! Frequently! He's not screaming!
When they got inside and no one was immediately there, Matt gulped. Damn his brain for being right again! Then Tom reached for Matt's arm and led him up the stairs. "Should've guessed," Tom muttered to himself. Matt glanced, confused and slightly worried, at him.
In the attic (because, yes, it was an attic, no other room in a house has an angled roof like that) there were wall to wall computers, in varying stages of dis-assembly and cannibalization. And smack dab in the middle of the mess was a green haired man, flitting the fingers on his right hand across several different computers at once, and in the other he was going over a mess of hand-written notes. He was muttering something under his breath, blue eyes glowing feverishly with glee. Tom and Matt stood there a moment, waiting. Matt realized that this had to happen often, or else Tom would have said something. So he threw aside his uneasiness and, with a straight back, he waited alongside Tom.
Finally, the borderline manic man hefted a monumental sigh and looked up from his notes. His eyes landed immediately on Matt. Or rather, what was peeking out from behind Matt's back.
"Holy FUCK!" he shouted, leaping about three feet in the air. "You have wings!"
Matt blinked and said "yeah" because having wings, that was totally normal, it was Brent who was weird. Sure, not everyone has wings, but did that really need to elicit such a response from him? This is the era of mutations, after all.
"Oookay," he shook his head and attempted to return to his work. His eyes trailed back to Matt's wings, moving a mile a minute inside his eye-sockets as he digested the information. Then the fascination left his eyes and he turned his focus back to his notes.
"Ahem. Brent. I need repairs on the V.A.W.T." Tom pressed his hand over the notes. Brent glared up at him.
"Sure, sure, Tom. Now can I get back to my work?"
"In a sec. Matt, Brent; Brent, Matt."
Brent didn't look up again. Instead, he stared at his notes, as if willing himself to develop X-Ray vision so he could see through Tom's annoying hand. He muttered distractedly, "Yeah, yeah, nice to meet you."
"I was wondering if you could design me a pair of shock absorbing boots," Matt hedged nervously.
The other man stopped completely. He slowly raised his gaze to Matt's face. "Because you are young and new, I will forgive you that grievous, insulting ignorance. Could I? Oh, yes, yes I could. Shoe size?"
Matt blinked, a tad taken back. Tom didn't seem fazed in the slightest, if not amused. He placed the V.A.W.T (A bracelet! That's all! Matt had been expecting something more high tech) down on Brent's desk.
Matt apparently took too long to answer because Brent huffed his breath and waved them off. "Lemme get to work. If you're feeling useful, bring me some coffee."
Tom just laughed and led Matt downstairs to the kitchen.
"What's up with him?" Matt finally asked, unable to hold it in. He knew it was rude, but damn! That man was insane!
"That is Brent. He's, ah, a little strange."
"Okay, a lot strange," Tom allowed. "But he's an absolute genius. He designed the V.A.W.T- the Variable Assault Weapon Technology. It can adjust to my needs and it's like carrying a mini-armory on my wrist, but without all the weight."
"He's a weapon maker?"
Tom looked uncomfortable with the question. He hedged, "Eh... Not really. I'd say more that he's occasionally designed gadgets that help us on missions. Acts as a doctor if he can too."
"Oh, so a desk man, I get it. Working behind the scenes. That's cool."
"Well, kinda. He goes out in the field with us though so it's more... Hands on, I'd say."
"Him? He's scrawny!"
Tom just smirked slightly and gave Matt a once over with his eyes.
"Okay, okay, so I'm not buff either, but really? I have wings and super speed. He's got his brain-"
"And his electrokinesis. Hello to you too," Brent interrupted, pushing between them to get to the coffee machine.
"Oh, hey Brent," Tom smiled genially.
He just glowered slightly. "You took too long."
"Whoops. Sorry, I got caught up-"
"Explaining me to the newb. Yeah, I know."
Brent got his coffee and slunk back upstairs without another word. Matt looked to Tom.
"Is he always like that?"
"Sometimes he's worse," he admitted, only half joking. "C'mon. You still need to meet Harvey." He led Matt down the hall and into a relatively small gym. Harvey was punching the crap out of a few sandbags, a deep scowl of concentration on his face. He shouted out, "Harvey! Meet the new recruit!"
Harvey glanced to them, paused, and stopped the swinging sandbag from back lashing and smacking him in the face. "He's the brat who tried to pick-pocket me!" he accused bitterly.
Matt laughed a little nervously at the reminder of the previous events. "Oh, uh, yeah, sorry about that."
Harvey glanced at Matt, then to the sandbag. Something in his posture relaxed and he offered, "Wanna spar with me?"
Not exactly keen on the thought of facing the muscular man that had a grudge against him, he shook his head meekly. At this, Harvey's gaze narrowed. "Spar me," he snapped. "Or are you just afraid I'll beat your ass?"
'Yes' his mind whimpered. "Oh hell no," his mouth growled.
Harvey walked to the center of a ring made of mats and motioned Matt to join him. He heartily entered the ring. Tom stared from the sidelines, a disapproving scowl on his face. Grudgingly, he counted, "Three, two, one, fight!"
Harvey swung out first, his fist breezing past Matt's ear as the younger man dodged. In return, he ground his teeth together and attempted to uppercut Harvey in the jaw and, aided by his super speed, he landed the blow. Harvey retaliated by trying to sweep out Matt's legs. He dodged this easily and smacked his elbow into the center of Harvey's back. A definite smirk on his face at that point, Harvey delivered a quick floater to Matt's ribs, then another to the base of his sternum. They all hit their mark and hit hard. Matt grunted as he tried to punch him in the jaw again. He moved out of the way, however, throwing off Matt's balance. He stumbled forward as the older man prepared to jab his foe's solar plexus, his momentum shoving him into Harvey's fist.
Winded, he fell forward, cheek pressed into the mat and a wide grin on his face as he clutched his stomach. Harvey held out his hand to help him up. The younger man took the offered assistance gratefully.
"You're pretty good, kiddo. What did you say your name was?"
Matt smiled, introduced himself, and brushed some dirt off his knees.
Harvey and Matt talked for a while - they hit it off pretty well despite the circumstances of their first meeting - about a variety of subjects. As Matt had never once even been out of the town, Harvey told tales of the neighboring towns; and to return the favor, Matt told Harvey about how he'd learned to fight that way (On the streets, mixing and matching different parts of his previous foes' techniques) and the different sorts of people he ran into.
Tom had gone back upstairs to drag Brent to dinner a while ago and was only just now successful in getting Brent to acknowledge him. The genius had the amazing gift of ignoring his surroundings.
"Brent, family dinner," he called out, exasperated. If this continues, I'm carrying him downstairs.
Brent paused for a moment to stare at him, twirling a pencil between his fingers idly, before returning to his work.
"Brent, didn't you hear me?"
"Yeah, I heard you. And?"
"You should at least try to get to know our new teammate."
"Oh, so it's official then?"
"Not yet, but-"
"Fine. I'll be down in a minute, just let me finish this design."
"A real minute, or a two hour minute?"
"Meh, probably the latter."
"Then you're coming with me now," he said.
Brent was just about to protest that and say he was currently in the middle of something, but he couldn't quite reach the desk anymore. He blew out an exasperated sigh, Tom's shoulder poking into his abdomen.
"Really? You're going to carry me, a full grown man?" Brent grumbled, "I can walk you know."
"True, but you won't."
He muttered some obscenities but didn't struggle any further. Tom dropped him into the chair that was normally empty (that is, normally supposed to be his) and smiled serenely, as if it wasn't weird at all that he just carried his teammate to dinner.
Matt, sitting in the seat next to Brent's, squirmed uncomfortably. He glanced at the group of faces. All of them were friendly or, if they weren't, completely blank and unreadable.
Harvey put down the take out boxes, earning himself a glare from Tom. "What?" Harvey shrugged, "I got sidetracked."
Brent's eyes landed on Matt. He said, "Speaking of which. So, is his membership permanent?"
At Brent's blunt question, Matt gasped and coughed to expel the food that had followed the air down his throat.
He spluttered, "W-What?"
Rolling his eyes, Brent repeated the question.
Tom glowered at him, but the other man ignored it with a slick grin.
"I vote yes," Harvey said. "Kiddo's a good fighter. We need that."
"I agree," said Brent without hesitation.
"You haven't even seen him for longer than thirty minutes," Tom accused.
"Now you're just being ridiculous. Of course I'll say he's in if Harvey does. Matt, is it? He's got to have skill to get an approval from him so easily." Brent paused to gesture at Matt's wings. "Plus, wings. Mother-fuckin' wings. Do I smell air recon?"
Tom sighed, "Brent, it's not that easy."
He just quirked an eye brow at that.
Matt swallowed hard and said, "If it makes a difference, I'd, um, like to join." Uh oh, now you've done it! You've committed yourself to them!
"See?" Harvey crowed, "He wants in! He's willing, he's able, so why not?"
Tom just sighed and stared at his pork fried rice. Was this really a good idea? The others obviously thought so. He glanced up and nodded with all the authoritative bravado he could muster.
Harvey shouted a congratulations to Matt, who, shrinking into his seat, weakly thanked him.
"Well. Welcome to the team, dysfunctional as it is," Brent smirked slightly, the only proof that Tom had reacted just as planned. "I'll be upstairs if you need me."
Tom was about to protest, but he saw that Brent was taking his plate up with him, so he closed his mouth and pursed his lips. To Matt, he said, "I'll brief you in full on the mission tomorrow. For now, just relax. None of us bite."
As an aside comment, Harvey snorted, "And if he doesn't tell you about how we work, just ask Brent. The guy's brutally honest about everything."