Chapter 32: Anarchy

'Are you going to ignore me all day or all week?'

Orion practically jumped out of his skin as Lyra appeared out of nowhere, so distracted by fiddling with his eternally stubborn locker that he hadn't noticed her. He stared at her for a long moment, still hurt over the argument, he quickly decided against speaking and turned back to fiddle with the door. As usual the lock was off, but the door was jammed. Lyra sighed impatiently and proceeded to slam her fist into the door. He jumped slightly from shock but the door floated open obediently.

'You're welcome,' she offered, but he continued to ignore her.

He could tell as he started pulling out books that Lyra did regret to some extent what she said, but he wasn't sure just how sorry she was. Quite often Lyra saying she was sorry didn't actually mean that; it meant she was sorry she got caught. He could see through the vent how she leaned against the other lockers, pursing her lips, staring into space, clearly trying to figure out what to do. He knew that in some way she'd convinced herself that he should be grateful that she came to him first. She never thought she had done anything wrong.

'So are you happy or not that I didn't tell you I saw you and Riley arguing in the first place?'

'Wait what?' Orion asked sharply, closing the door, completely forgetting he didn't want to talk to her.

'I saw it, about a week before it happened... I didn't understand what it meant though, I couldn't hear what you were saying, you just looked really angry. I didn't know when it would happen, I didn't know what it would be about... I mean I recognised the JROTC uniform but either way... would you have wanted me to say something? Or would you have wanted to be continually suspicious of every interaction you had with your dad leading up to the point everything fell apart?'

Orion didn't manage to find a response to that, before asking after a long moment, 'What else did you see?'

'A lot of things that don't make sense, I don't have context for these events remember? I don't know if they're from the past, ten minutes from now or years into the future. I brush by Toby and have to have several unpleasant seconds of watching him swap spit with one of his ex-girlfriends. I nudge Mina and next thing I know I'm shopping in Hollywood. Seb... some of the things I see when I touch him I just don't want to think about at all. Ally even has some rather upsetting moments I just wish I hadn't known about. Anything I get off Jinx never makes sense at all, a lot of the visions I get off him are muted,' Lyra explained carefully, 'A lot of the things I see are too private for me to tell you, things that they should have the right to tell you if they want you to know... And sometimes, if I see something working out for you, being good, something that'll mean everything to you when it happens... I just don't want to ruin it, I may not be able to be surprised with how life twists and turns, but... you deserve to have something special just surprise you out of nowhere.'

Orion paused for a long moment, knowing this was just about as apologetic as Lyra was capable of getting, justifying her actions, unfortunately for his stubborn streak it had worked, '...I think I get it... Just say spoiler alert or something, you know... rather than lying to me... I hate it when you do that. Especially seeing as I don't know when it's happening. Deal?'

Lyra smiled softly, 'Deal. Look about the things I said yesterday-'

'It's okay, I drove you into a corner, I can see why you lashed out... But I still can't see why you lie to me about your parents so much,' he admitted.

He hadn't meant for it offend her, he hadn't asked her to tell him anything, it was a passing comment, an idle statement, but Lyra's expression changed. Her entire face blanched, and her hands seemed to almost instinctively clench as she tried to keep herself composed. The strangest thing about the look that came across her face was the sudden flash of fear, as she became very defensive, very quickly.

'Look. I can't talk about that,' she said so forcefully and bluntly it caught Orion off guard.

'Why?' he asked.

'Telling you why I can't talk about it would be the same thing as telling you about it,' she insisted, a twinge of anger coming into her tone, like she couldn't believe he was questioning this.

'Lyra you haven't told me anything honest about your parents that I know of, how am I supposed to know they're not-'

'Shut up. Shut up now if you know what's good for you,' she hissed, turning away from him, but he continued to talk, making her turn around to face him again.

'Lyra, I'm not like you. I can't take a single little hint and make a full-fledged story so close to the truth that I don't have to ask what's going on. I may have not told you about my past, about my mother, but I never lied to you. You haven't given me anything to go on except for lies. You know about mine now, so why can't you tell me about yours-'

'It is way more complicated than you think it is Orion,' she insisted, starting to walk a few steps down the corridor, but he strode after her making her stop in her tracks.

'How can I know that if you won't tell me anything? Lyra, please, I'm just trying to piece together what on earth has happened to your brain to make you react like this the moment I bring up your parents!'

'You don't know it for a reason Orion, if you take not knowing about it like this, I can only be forced to imagine what would happen if you did know,' Lyra avoided, still trying to walk away from him.

'How do you know I'd react badly-'

'Because I don't see how anyone could react positively,' Lyra insisted.

'Come on Lyra, I'm trying to figure this out, can't you just tell me something, anything about your parents-'

She pushed him away, half running up the corridor as she tried to avoid him, but he caught her arm and turned her around to face him, 'Go away Orion-'

'Not till you tell me something! I don't see how anything could be horrible enough for you to tell me for years they're on the other side of the world! You acting like this is giving me some very bad ideas about what could have happened to your mum and d-'

But he was forced to cut off as out of nowhere Lyra's hand whipped out and smashed him straight across the face; he recoiled, stepping away, lightly touching at his bleeding nose in the now silent corridor. Everyone was staring at them, but the girl he would have once called his sister looked positively deranged at this point. The pain was taking up the entire left side of his face; she had never hit him before. Okay, maybe she had but not properly; it was always a little joking smack on the back of the head when he was being an idiot. This time she seemed like she really meant to hurt him.

'You think you've got some bad ideas about what could have happened to them?! Well guess again because nothing you could have come up with in your sheltered world would be anywhere remotely as bad as it is! Yeah, your mother died, but at least you got to say goodbye to her! I will never get to say goodbye to mine, never! And until you can except that I just can't talk about it, you're just going to have to stay away from me! Far away from me!'

'What are you talking about!?' he demanded, his words sounding slurred through the pain in his jaw.

'She's dead you moron! And you don't deserve to know any more than that!'

The corridor remained silent as Lyra ran out of there, unable to stay where there were so many people staring at her. But it wasn't the argument; it wasn't the slap that was keeping them all so quiet. It was the fact that for the first time that anyone in that school had seen, Lyra, was crying.

'Um… Principal Anderson? You wanted to see me?'

Seb awkwardly hung by the door as Mr Anderson looked up from where he'd been typing away on the computer, 'Ah, yes, Sebastian, come in.'

Seb awkwardly slunk into the office, feeling on guard, sinking into one of the three chairs positioned in front of the desk. Carefully he placed his bag beside the chair, that wasn't one of the ones Lyra and Orion partially owned, he tried to look casual, but unlike Lyra and Orion he wasn't as accustomed to being called to the principal's office in the middle of class. All he felt was nervous, was this another interview about the bullying? It really hadn't been bad since Jinx stuck it to Lucas at camp. And Toby kept giving Seir and the other jocks the biggest exasperated looks he could manage every time they went near him. The incidents had diminished themselves to the occasional shove or muttered comment.

'So, um, what have I done?' Seb asked nervously, 'I swear that fire in the Janitors closet had nothing to do with me.'

'Why would I think that has anything to do with you Sebastian? That was just faulty wiring unless you want to contradict me on that?' Principal Anderson said quirking an eyebrow at him.

'Is this about Lyra and Orion's fight then? I really don't know anything, I only heard about it,' Seb insisted.

'Whatever Miss Franklin and Mr Ehra are arguing about has nothing to do with you, we already have several accounts of the incident,' he explained patiently, but Seb didn't let him finish.

'Then why am I here? I don't think I did anything. Did I?' Seb asked, sounding panicked.

'Sebastian this is just about your school fees,' Mr Anderson assured him.

But Seb turned slightly purple as he heard that comment, 'School… fees...'

'We usually wouldn't talk to the student about this but we were unable to get hold of your mother. They're several months overdue and we just were reminding you that the payment must be made. We may not be a private school like St Evans, but we still do need the students to pay their fees on time.'

'Ah… sorry about that… how much… exactly do I need to pay?'

Mr Anderson simply picked up an envelope from the desk beside him and handed it to Seb, 'all the details are in there, just give them to your mother or father, we'll expect the payment as soon as possible.'

Seb nodded uneasily and slipped out of the room, nearly running into the doorframe as he went. He walked out into the school corridor, before walking over and slamming his head into a nearby wall. He took a long moment before he dared to open the envelope, staring at the four digit number printed on the bottom of the form. He felt his heart drop into his stomach a he processed it, knowing there was no way he had the money to pay for this.

He'd been working less since the whole onset of powers thing, if he hadn't been working so much over time they would have already kicked his mother and him out of their apartment. It wasn't like he wasn't over spending at all, in fact he'd disabled the electricity so his mother wouldn't use it, did his homework by torch light every night. He even procrastinated showering so the water bill wouldn't go up. But he had to pay this bill for school fees; no doubt it included the camp they'd just been on. He hadn't wanted to go, but somehow he'd been talked into it. And now he was paying for the price for trying to fool himself into thinking that he could just be like the other kids for even a week.

Seb just sunk down the wall and stared at the bill, he'd have to give up the savings he'd been accumulating to send his mother to rehab and it still wouldn't be enough. Not that it was much, maybe thirty dollars a month was able to be spared for that fund. But it had been his attempt to make things better, his attempt to make his life less likely to implode any moment. This letter was a death sentence to someone living pay check to pay check. He was doomed.

The bell went and kids started crowding back into the halls on their way to their next class. They didn't notice him sitting there, but why should they? He was just this irrelevant, little person waiting for the sky to start falling in. He heard snippets of their conversations as they passed him, and every now and then he heard them complaining. They talked about trouble with their boyfriend or girlfriend, failing a test, their parents grounding them, almost getting caught drinking. Those were the concerns that Seb wished he could spare a moment to be concerned about. He was a teenager for god's sake, that's the sort of crap that should be happening in his life. Not being petrified about what would happen if he couldn't scrape the money together for this bill.

Seb just sat there, head on his knees, hiding in his jumper; he didn't even notice someone standing over him for a good minute until they cleared their throat, 'Ah… Seb… what are you doing down there?'

'I was always this height, didn't you notice?' Seb replied as he recognised Toby's voice.

'...Ah… are you… okay?' Toby asked at the height of awkwardness.

'Fine,' Seb said rather flatly.

Toby considered his statement for a few seconds before rolling his eyes, spitting out, 'Liar,' and snatched the letter from his hands.

Seb instantly panicked, leaping into the air trying to get it back, not wanting Toby to see what was written on it. But Toby was more than a foot taller than him and given the look on his face he'd gotten a pretty good gist of what it was about. But Seb just got angry and his abilities seemed to take over, snatching the letter from his hand with telekinesis and shoving Toby backwards from him a good meter. He ran off down the corridor, refusing to look back. He didn't need to give the jerks around here another reason to make fun of him.

But what he didn't realise was how conflicted Toby looked as he watched the smaller boy run off down the hall seeming so panicked and hurt. Toby bit the inside of his cheek, thinking for a long moment, he'd have had to be an idiot to not understand what was going on. He'd seen the list of things needed to be paid in that letter. And with Seb's home life what it was it was no wonder he was freaking out. He very much doubted Seb had the money to pay it.

Toby didn't even know exactly what was compelling him to walk towards the front office at that moment. It could have been guilt over the heckling he'd partaken in. The one or two times Seb had spat something out at him unintentionally and he'd responded with his fists. It could have been the fact that he knew that no matter what he did; he knew he couldn't put the brakes on the bullying. It could even have been because he knew that he wasted all his money on crap and Seb was scraping by. Or maybe just the fact that he'd been spending so much time with the guy. But he wasn't going to let Seb stress over this.

'Hi,' he said as he walked up to the window, knowing instantly that this office lady had no idea he was a student.

'Hello, how can I help you?' she said brightly and Toby reflected on the fact she was probably new.

'Hi, ah I'm here to pay for Sebastian Sternschrei's school fees? I work for the family company,' he lied easily, still wondering why he was doing this.

'Oh yes,' she said and began typing in the name, taking a good few goes to get the spelling right, 'You need to pay-'

'I'm aware, I'm just putting it on the company card,' he said knowing that he was less likely to regret this if he didn't know exactly how much he was forking out.

The woman shrugged seeming to think he was in some sort of hurry and just typed it into the machine. Toby still queried as he swiped the card and put in the pin why he was doing this. He didn't quite get it, but he just felt compelled to help Seb, and if he had the funds to do it, why shouldn't he? He just felt like it was the right thing to do and he didn't do that nearly often enough.

Lyra was still fuming as she stormed up the street, determined to go home so she could punch a wall before she punched someone's face. She didn't want to think about her and Orion's fight and what she'd done wrong. She was more so focused on the fact that after all she'd done for him, the ungrateful bastard thought he could treat her like this. She didn't even notice Jinx as she stormed past him, what she did notice however was the fact he threw an apple at her.

'Oi, where are you going? Skipping school huh? Always thought you were a perfect little angel,' he teased lightly.

Lyra glared at him intensely and lobbed his apple back at him, missing his head by a millimetre as he ducked under it looking smarmy, 'What?' she demanded.

Jinx seemed to hesitate, noticing just how upset and enraged she looked, but at the same time just couldn't help riling her up, 'Bad day huh? More sappy teen problems? Boyfriend break up with you? Crush got a new girlfriend? Cafeteria stop giving out the low fat pudding?'

'Just go find a hole to die in Jinx,' Lyra turned on him.

Raising his hands in mock defeat Jinx just smirked, sidling over to her, 'come on Princess, talk to your uncle Jinxie. Tell him all about how the world is so unfair.'

The glare which Lyra sent his way could probably have been the cause of the next apocalypse, but Jinx just didn't seem to know when to stop. However, before he could start on his next round of teasing, Mina raced up to them, out of breath and slightly flushed.

'Lyra, are you alright? I heard about what happened between you and Orion-'

'Seriously, they're arguing again?' Jinx rolled his eyes.

Mina flashed him a quick look which said "behave yourself" and turned back to Lyra, 'talk to me sweetie, what happened?'

'It doesn't matter,' Lyra said bitterly, looking away from both of them.

'If you've walked out of school in the middle of the day it most certainly does matter,' Mina insisted, 'and someone said you were...crying-'

'Lyra has tear ducts?' Jinx piped up again.

Both girls gave him a glare which could have curdled blood and he clamped his jaw shut, 'Give it a rest Jinx,' Mina sighed.

'But what be the fun in that? I mean really, teenage girls just make it so easy to take the mickey out of them,' Jinx smirked at her.

'You are really immature sometimes, you know that don't you?'

'Yes I do, and I'm proud of it,' he sounded awfully triumphant when he said that as Mina's streak started to turn a pale shade of red.

'Why don't you just grow up Jinx?'

He seemed to think about what she had just said, tapping his chin in a mock ponder, before shaking his head with a grin, 'nah. Don't feel like it. I mean, I do have to stay down at your level, if I get any more mature than I am now, you just won't be able to keep up.'

Slowly, Mina's streak began to become a brighter red as she glared at him sourly, 'I'm more mature than you've ever been in your life Jinx.'

Casually, Jinx bent down so he was at eye level with Mina, 'so, the pretty little princess who knows nothing of the world still thinks she's better than everyone else?'

'Better than the sour old jerk who hates himself but still thinks that he's better than everyone,' Mina retorted, her streak becoming brighter and brighter.

'Hate myself? Why would I hate myself? I'm fantastic. You used to think so as well Mina, but I guess you're just not that good a judge of character,' Jinx practically purred.

By now, Mina's streak was practically glowing fiery red, and Lyra had had enough. She stepped forward between the two harshly, pushing both of them away from each other and from her.

'Enough, both of you. If you hadn't realised, more people exist than just each other right now!'

Mina huffed and turned around but Jinx was not going to let himself be lectured, 'Oh I am more than aware of that, in fact-'

'Oh cut the crap Jinx, you were so busy staring at her that whole bicker fest you could have been hit by a bus and not noticed!' Lyra snapped furiously.

'Excuse me?' Jinx demanded.

'Lyra, for god's sake,' Mina began, but neither got further than that.

'The sexual tension between you two is enough to set off freaking Mount Vesuvius. At least Mina was honest about it in the beginning. You on the other hand Jinx have had to push her away with a freight train to avoid confronting the fact that you like her way more than you're willing to admit.'

'Lyra, that would only be relevant if I still liked him which I-'

'Don't? Really, you're going to try that one Mina? When Mason tried to ask you out again you told him it wasn't the right time. That there were still some things you had to sort out. And I bet the only thing stopping you was this jackass right here. Because you can't forget the way he looked at you when you showed up in your freaking ball gown.'

Mina was ready to shut down the idea but Jinx had finally found his voice, 'Really Lyra? You think I could possibly have feelings for-'

'Doi! It's so freaking obvious, it makes me sick. Why don't you two just make out already and get it over with?! Because the rest of us are just so exhausted dealing with all of your crap!' Lyra yelled.

If they hadn't been so engrossed in the scene they were making, then it would have been surprising to the three of them how many people were gaping at them. But all three were just staring at each other with such fury that they couldn't be bothered to notice the startled looks from the civilians around them.

'Over my dead body,' Mina hissed furiously, unable to believe Lyra would do this.

'For once blondie and I agree on something,' Jinx growled.

'I am so done with this crap,' Lyra muttered angrily and began to stalk off.

'Hey, where do you think you're going?' Mina demanded.

'Anywhere but here,' Lyra retorted and spinning on her heel she got out of there as fast as she could.

Mina looked away from her old friend and glanced at Jinx who was still staring at her and gave him a questioning look. He averted his gaze innocently, before picking up his stuff and walking off. Mina rolled her eyes and began walking back to school, thinking to herself how she never should have bothered coming after Lyra in the first place. Trying to be friends with Lyra was the sort of thing that automatically got you hurt.

'Okay… okay… yeah she's a total bitch… yes Mina… okay… okay… goodbye… yeah I'll talk to you later, I've got things to do- No I'm not going to hang around Jinx this arvo, I've got homework- I do so do it… sometimes… okay… okay… bye.'

Toby sighed to himself as he hung up the phone; Mina was totally pissed off at Lyra, Jinx and anyone who looked at her funny. Including her cat. Something he'd been forced to reply to with, "bad Friday, you feed her and everything how dare she look at you funny." It wasn't the most prideful moment of his life but it was Mina for god's sake, he kind of had to go along with it.

He'd only got the gist of what had happened in the fight between Lyra and Mina, something about her bringing up the Jinx issue when she was finally over it. He knew that the last part was a lie, but even the most insensitive person on the planet, also known as Lyra, should have known not to bring it up. He noticed a scrap of paper on the counter and picked it up and recognised Jinx's handwriting.

Gone drinking. Don't need me while I'm gone. Kay? Kay.

Toby rolled his eyes, typical Jinx, didn't even invite him; he could use a drink right about now. But knowing he probably should do that HSIE assignment that was due tomorrow, he decided to head upstairs. Too lazy to walk he teleported into his room, landing conveniently on his bed. Although since he was already comfy, he decided a small nap before he started work wouldn't hurt anybody.

He was drifting off to sleep very quickly but suddenly he opened one eye, a bad feeling in his stomach as he started to do the math. Lyra had argued with Orion. Lyra had argued with Jinx and Mina. Lyra was pissed at Ally. Lyra couldn't get Seb to tell her anything about his problems. Lyra hated him on principle. Ipso facto, Lyra was going to do something stupid. He swore and sat up, trying to think about what sort of stupid thing she'd do purely to spite the rest of them and found the answer blindingly obvious. She was going to go back to the base. Alone.

Swearing once again he leapt off his bed and grabbed his keys running out the door leaping onto his motorbike, bypassing a confused looking Manuel on his way, 'Master Toby, is everything alright?'


'Be careful!' Manuel called after him, but Toby had already disappeared down the street.

Lyra knew what she was doing was probably stupid, but at this point she didn't give a damn. Walking across the barren land, she was probably about a hundred meters from the base and still positively fuming. She hadn't been able to contain her anger when she got back to her apartment. She'd punched a wall and left a significant dent, lost an argument to Karma and screamed at some stupid reality tv show. And none of it had removed a fragment of the anger pulsing through her system.

She wove her way through the gap in the fence and entered the compound, but she'd barely gone more than a few steps inside before she felt someone grab her. A sweet and sickly smell forced its way into her nostrils and suddenly she felt faint. She tried to force the rag away from her face but she just didn't have the strength as her knees buckled and she fell to the floor. She tried to keep her eyes open, but she just couldn't and just before she lost all consciousness she forced them open just in time to see a plain white mask facing her. A jolt of fear ricocheted through her system. And then there was nothing.

As Toby skidded into the base running as fast as his legs could carry him he saw Lyra's crumpled form on the ground. Instantly panicking he ran forward, grabbing her wrist feeling for a pulse, but then he sensed someone behind him. He slowly turned around, ready to face anything that he came across but the blow connected with his skull before he could do anything. He struck back trying to fight his way out, but to no avail. In mere moments, he too had passed out.

Hello readers… long time no see… we probably should have given you a heads up in advance, but know from now till early November that updates will be grinding practically to a halt. Chances are you will see two or three chapters in that time. You see, the two of us have started Year 12, and in Australia that means HSC, huge exams that are designed to turn us into hermits and prompt mental breakdowns in the strongest of people. After that however, it's on, and chapters will be flying at you from all angles, especially seeing as we've gotten to the build up to the climax.

So things are finally happening people! Get excited! How will our brave heroes and heroines survive the unknown perils soon to befall them?... This is starting to sound like a corny 80's TV show… so completely our style. A quick thank you to our fabulous reviewers. Minty Van Quirke, Orion Ehra and Guest. Now Orion, because you asked so nicely, we'll specifically reply to your review seeing as we did accidentally miss one of your other reviews.

Orion Ehra: So sorry about the review debacle, things were happening and we missed by accident. So onto the review portion, not even Ray knows if its his first, last or middle name, a fact that amuses us so much we intend to keep it that way. May we suggest Dr Ray? Shrink Ray? Psychray? Ian is the uncle, well sort of, not blood relative its just one of those adoptive relationships. Good job with the smilies, one step closer to mimicking human emotions, we applaud. Thank you for the deluxe toppings they were delicious. In future we'll aim not to skip your reviews. Till next time!

So lovely, lovely readers, we'll be back… as soon as possible… we swear... even we have to have study breaks… So please, drop us a review, a favourite, follow, or just keep reading! We'll see you as soon as possibly can, and let us know your theory for what's going to happen next. We love conspiracies!


:) Ally