Origins, Episode 8: The [Team] and The Robot

Narrator:                           As we walked through the darkened corridor upon exiting the strange hidden elevator, the only thing that really was sticking in my mind was a memory. My mother had a scented lotion she would wear, and it made her smell like chocolate, almonds and honey. To this day, when I’m unable to sleep or I’m anxious about a case or life in general, I make myself hot chocolate with some honey-coated almonds. I stopped walking, closed my eyes and breathed in deep. I could smell it.

Jordan:                             One of the last people to be in this room was my… er, our mother.

Narrator:                           I gently gripped Jericho’s arm and made him stop and smell.

Jordan:                             You smell that, Jericho? Mom would always smell like that.

Narrator:                           There was a silent moment between us, wherein I saw a tear roll down his cheek and a half-smile creep across his face. I put my other hand on his shoulder and made him look me in the eyes. It was like looking in a mirror and I was almost taken aback for a minute. I smiled.

Jordan:                             You have to know, Jer, that our mother loved you. I’m sure dad loved you too, and that he would’ve taken you in his heart. We may never know, but I can feel that. The sins of your father are only on him.

Narrator:                           Jer nodded, and smiled.

Jeremy:                            I know, fre… I’m sure. I just… I wish I could hear that from them, you know?

Narrator:                           I nodded, put my arm over his shoulder for a second. I took a deep breath, which Jeremy mimicked. We strolled further in through the hallway.
We entered what appeared to be a large atrium. I felt around the wall for a light switch and found it. I turned the light on, and I gasped.

Jeremy:                            [under the breath] Mezan mi…

Johanna:                          [gasping] Um… boys… what is this even?

Narrator:                           Before us was a large room, roughly the same length as the ballroom, which I reasoned we were underneath. A few paces in front of us, on a slightly raised platform, was a computer station so advanced that it must have made Johanna swoon. We were on this platform, so everyone except Jo stepped down the tiny steps on the side. To our left along the wall, there were 6 glass display cases, that contained shadowed, vaguely humanoid figures we couldn’t identify. On the right wall, there was weightlifting gear, dummies that were worn with use and time, and a supply of weapons fit to outfit an entire platoon. The ground was made of metallic squares arranged like tiles on the floor. I could feel, when I closed my eyes, that we were inside the Earth itself.

Jeremy:                            What is this place...

Narrator:                           Jer was near me and looked just as awestruck as me.

Jordan:                             Jer.... did we just find our parents’ batcave?

Narrator:                           Jer looked to me and shrugged. Marilyn hung slightly back, and turned to look at Jo.

Marilyn:                            Johanna, you’re technopathic, yes? Do you think you can get the lights on in here, and maybe activate the computer?

Johanna:                          You’ve got it.

Narrator:                           Jo’s eyes glowed for a second, and the overhead lights came on for a second and then they dimmed on their own, shirking Jo’s command. I looked back at her, as her face turned to that of confusion. She touched the computer screen, but nothing happened. I walked back to where Jo stood.

Johanna:                          [whispered] It’s not responding to me... It’s barely even ‘talking to me.’Like... you know how most of the non-networked items in our apartment actually talk to me and each other? This one is only saying one word and it’s hard to make out...

Jordan:                             What is the word, Jo?

Johanna:                          I think... I think it’s your name. It sounds like a woman saying Jordan.

Narrator:                           I raised an eyebrow, looked at the computer. I reached out my hand to touch the screen. As soon as my fingerprint brushed it, I felt something crackle slightly in the air. It felt like something was broken. The computer abruptly began to whirr back into life. And that caused the back wall to illuminate. The back wall was technically a very large screen monitor. On the back wall, the family crest that was emblazoned on my chest floated and spun around like a slowly spinning coin. I used the mouse to click on the symbol. The symbol stopped spinning and another window opened up, and it was a video file recorded in the same room we were in at that moment. I gasped. The man and woman in this video were my mother and father, approximately 25 years ago. They were smiling, but looked serious all the same. Mom had on the same face she had when I first asked her what happened to Sherlock Holmes in Hound of The Baskervilles. They were 35 when they were murdered, and it struck me in that moment just how young they truly were. When they opened their mouths to speak, sound filled the hall.

Terrance:                          Hello, my sons.

Narrator:                           Dad started with a big smile. I smiled almost involuntarily. There was silence in the video, while Dad put his arm around Mom. When he next spoke his tone was solemn.

Terrance:                          Son, if you are seeing this now, it means we were not able to watch you grow up into the men we prayed you would become. It appears however that not only have you grown up exactly as you were supposed to, but that you found each other. When we sealed this room for the final time, we enchanted it to make sure it would only open if you boys were present together. It is time for us to reveal the full story to you. The story we never told you before, the story we could only tell you once you’d already made the choice to fight for what you believe in and devote your life to keeping this city and its people safe. We couldn’t be more proud.

Malia:                               For generations, our family has fought to keep this city safe and also improve it with everything we have. You know we’ve done that through the RW Collective, of course, but we’ve also done so much more.

Terrance:                          No doubt by now you’ve come to learn that magic is not only real, but that this place is one of those focal points of a deeper more intense magic than other places. Beneath this city lies an large collection of magic energy. Most ordinary people cannot tap into it and most magic users cannot really handle that kind of magical energy without it consuming them entirely, but that doesn’t stop people from trying. And because people keep trying, we have to prevent that from happening. Most of the generations chose to do this alone, but our generation learned that we couldn’t do it alone. Look over at the cases on the wall.

Narrator:                           As he said this, the lights in the display cases turned themselves on. I gasped and put my hands over my mouth. Each display case contained a mannequin, and each mannequin was wearing the suit of a vigilante. The one in the center was made of black leather with the family crest emblazoned on it in gold and red. It looked almost exactly like my suit, but this one had a black cape with 2 red sleeve caps and gold lines running down the back, and a black cowl and red mask. If I had to make an honest comparison to mine, it looked like the Batman version of my suit. It was large and imposing, but absolutely badass. On the immediate left of that was an almost matching suit, but designed for a female frame, and with white and silver details. Left of that was a black cloak with purple trim and a purple domino mask. On the right of the center, there was a men’s black bodysuit with green elements and a green belt. To the right of that was a womens black bodysuit with gold trim, in a similar shape as the one Marilyn had created for Jo earlier in the night. The one on the end was empty. I gawked at them, mouth open, letting it sink in what I was hearing.

Terrance:                          Along that wall, you will see the suits that belonged to our team. My suit is in the center, your mother's is next to mine. The yellow one is belonged to Amerie Lovelace, a wonderful technopath. The green one belonged to Wilson LaCroix, the country’s most powerful medium and witch doctor. The purple cloak belonged to Cassandra Payne, the most powerful enchantress in the world. And in that last one…[voice goes cold] that belonged to my twin brother, Isaac.

Malia:                               We would only break these suits out when Uncle Jared called us with a case he couldn’t handle, or perhaps had magical influences. That didn’t happen too often, but whenever it did, the team was all there and ready. We called ourselves the Guardians.

Narrator:                           The video cut to a photo of everyone in their suits. My heart swelled with pride seeing my father, Terrance, in his suit. He looked so strong... as did my mother. I looked over to Johanna, who was seeing one of the only pictures of her mother that still remained in the world. She had her hands to her mouth and a silent tear was rolling down her cheek. Honestly, she looked a lot like her mother in that picture. I smiled to think of what this must feel like for her.

Malia:                               I’m hoping that you by now have figured out your team. Cassandra....

Narrator:                           My mom paused shaking her head slightly, before continuing sounding a wee bit annoyed.

Malia:                               Well, Cassandra read in the tea leaves that Johanna would be just like her mother, maybe even exceeding her ability. Wilson’s son, Keiran will definitely inherit the family trait. And I trust you will align yourself with the correct allies in this fight.

Terrance:                          Sons, we have compiled in here lists of what you might need to know, including a training regimen for the others on the team to be able to learn their various arts, both martial and magical. Johanna should be able to locate that on this computer. Lists of everyone we’ve ever fought, names to look out for or be wary of... All of that will be included. Stay safe, and fly high.

Narrator:                           The video ended there, with my mother and father’s faces looking at me. Silence filled the hall for a few moments, before another image popped up on the screen. It was a humanoid face, but it was entirely chrome and metallic.

Birdkeeper:                       Greetings. Welcome to the Combat Readiness Virtual Utility Simulation System, also known as the CORVUS System. I am Birdkeeper. Would you like to initiate a simulation?

Narrator:                           I had every intention of saying no. I was about to say no. But my father’s voice spoke up from the video and said  YES before I could say anything. I looked at the little image of my dad on the screen, unsure what to feel. My father in the video shrugged.

Terrance:                          YES, Birdkeeper. Let’s see what you’ve got, my son. Do me proud.

Birdkeeper:                       Commencing sequence 1A. Activating Robot Adversary Units 48L and 96E.

Narrator:                           The metallic face spoke with a smile on it’s digital face. Two panels of the floor suddenly rose up, and a robot stepped out of the small storage area the tile apparently was. The robot was about 7 feet tall, built like a wrestler and had 4 muscular arms. When I say muscular, I mean that it the casing for the wires was bulging in much the same way that the veins do on a bodybuilder. He was holding two 3 foot long flaming swords in one set of arms. The second set of arms were outfitted with palm blasters that would shoot some kind of energy that I didn’t want to discover. It’s metal was painted navy blue with a white cross in between its... well, it’s eyes. On its arms in white paint was the code 48L.
The second robot was similar to the first, except regular person size and there were 2 of them. The twin 96E units weren’t caring flaming swords, but black metal scimitars that looks sharp enough to easily cleave a limb off. They looked like muscular versions of Star Wars B1 Battle Droid but painted navy blue and very much real. Yes, I’ve watched Star Wars. College was a weird time.
I looked at Marilyn and Jericho, and realized now was not the time to be concerned about costumes. I nodded to them.

Jordan:                             Go to the weapons on the wall. I will cover you. Get me something sharp. Hurry.

Narrator:                           They listened and began to dart toward the wall. Turning to Jo, I nodded at her.

Jordan:                             Call Dean and Keiran, and get him here asap. See if you can disable the sequence. And if you can’t, then duck.

Narrator:                           Jo’s eyes began to glow as she stared at the computer. I could see the codes in her eyes, and I knew she was trying to hack into a system that was designed to be unhackable, and technopathy was not being very helpful in that endeavor. I prepared to possibly throw a forcefield around Marilyn and Jericho.
The eye receptors of the 48L robot locked on Marilyn, who immediately went invisible. The robots eyes switched from regular white to infrared and heat sensing. It charged extremely fast with its’ swords above its head. I tracked the trajectory, and assuming Marilyn hadn’t changed direction, 48L would strike her. I concentrated on Marilyn and summoned a field around her. The 48L collided with the forcefield, and my breath was knocked out of me as it struck the force field with the blade. The field held against the pressure, and I recovered from the shock quickly. This was going to be a challenge. Marilyn and Jericho reached the wall of weapons, and the two 96Es were just on their heels. Jericho crossed his arms defensively in front of him, as if to shield his body. His eyes glowed purple-ish blue and the glimmering of a forcefield took a slightly spherical shape in front of him. He gritted his teeth as the energy was building. He suddenly violently uncrossed his arms and let out a battle cry as his shield shot out forward like a shockwave. The sudden explosion of energy hit the 96Es squarely and they flew all the way to the back wall. The metal screeched along the floor until the robots’ heads hit the wall. That was a pretty neat move that I’d never used myself.
One of the robot’s head perked back up and I took that moment to sprint toward Jer and Marilyn. Jer grabbed a particularly menacing black chinese sabre with a gold handle. Marilyn grabbed herself a jian sword with a golden tang and bronze handle. I selected a pair of bladed tonfa. I chose those because I never got to use weapons that can kill, but it was clear these robot’s weren’t going to shy away from killing us. Lethal strength seemed necessary.
The robots froze for a second, and Jo’s voice blasted through the speaker system.

Johanna:                          Guys, I can’t disable the sequence. I can only hold them for 60 seconds. Get your suits on and prepare to fight.

Narrator:                           I turned to Marilyn.

Jordan:                             Care to teach me that spell now?

Marilyn:                            You know how you recharge? That’s actually a spell, it’s a grounding spell. Magic is energy, intent and exchange. Imagine your suit, summon the energy it would take to move it from one place to another, and then release that energy toward your goal. Watch me.

Narrator:                           She closed her eyes for a second and put her hand over her heart. When she spoke next, her voice was slightly layered and reverberating.

Marilyn:                            Revestam.

Narrator:                           There was a slight flash of light as the energy clapped out of existence, and her suit was on her.
I followed suit, and apparently I am a very quick study. On the first try, my suit appeared on me, as though it had transported itself from my messenger bag onto my skin. I allowed myself a moment to think about how much more convenient this would be when fighting, before refocusing. Jericho was in his suit, still holding the chinese saber. Marilyn and I took our places on either side of him. We glared at the 3 robot units.

Marilyn:                            Boys, I want that big gens there.

Jeremy:                            May Weh, go ‘head, beb.

Jordan:                             I got the one on the left.

Narrator:                           Jo’s hold on the robots broke. The robots rushed forward, and we rushed toward them. My 96E was on me quickly, and it’s sword struck my tonfas creating sparks. It slashed with both blades with laser like precision. The robot kept swinging, and I kept catching them, though it was getting very close. Too close for comfort. I hadn’t fought anyone like this in a long time. I was looking for an opening, but this robot was programmed to give no indication of opening. It became clear I’d have to create my own. As it brought one of it’s blades straight down towards my head, I crossed my blades just above my head. I caught the sword at the top of the x the blades formed, and I raised my foot and slammed on the 96E’s knee joint. The robot faltered back a little bit, being suddenly unbalanced. I used that moment to take my right blade and slash off it’s right arm. The arm fell to the ground, clattering and reverberating through the room. The robot was temporarily stunned, but recovered and started to stand again. I crossed my blades again and closed my eyes. I conjured a forcefield before me, filling it with slightly extra force. I let out a yell, and the force field exploded out toward the robot like a bullet. It hit the 96E like a freight train, and he was knocked back about 5 feet. I normally would’ve paused to cheer the fact that I discovered a new move, but instead, I got a running start and jumped up to gain force. I punched the bladed tonfa through the robot’s head. The blade sliced right through every layer of metal and struck the ground, pinning the thing down.  It twitched and sparked impotently, before failing. One down, 2 to go.
Marilyn was trying to finish her robot off and separate it’s head from its body. She had it covered as long as she kept going. The 48L however was causing issues. It was swinging wildly, and Jeremy’s defenses were admirable but ineffective with this big one. With one particular swing of the fire sword, he broke Jer’s sword and sliced his shoulder in the process. Jer cried out in pain. I dropped my second tonfa and grabbed my dart.
As an aside, I’d been trying to come up with names for my rope dart, and it was in that moment that I knew it’s name. It honestly was very obvious, given the bird motif we were going with. My rope dart from then on was named Talon. I yelled, to distract the 48L.

Jordan:                             Oi, big guy. Leave my brother alone.

Narrator:                           It turned it’s gaze on me. It picked me out, and it started firing blasts from it’s palm toward me. I dodged as best I could, and moved toward him. As I got closer, I thought I might deflect the blasts by spinning the chain in a figure 8 pattern around me to deflect the onslaught of random energy blasts. I had used Talon to deflect bullets this way, but I was pleasantly surprised to realized it worked on energy bursts as well. The robot realized it wasn’t working as well, and began to advance with its sword arm drawn. I swung my dart around the robot’s legs. I slid past it, on my knees, striking at the back of its knees with one of the 3 kunais I keep on my thigh. This did almost nothing to the robot other than irritate it. It spun around and tried to bring its flaming sword down on my head, narrowly missing me. I pulled Talon and the big lug fell on its back, dropping its sword. I was too close to the big robot, and it grabbed my ankle and threw me toward the wall. I hit the ground about 8 feet from where it through me. My breath left me for a second, and I tried to stand up. I fell back down from the pain coming from my ankle. It was excruciating and I cried out. That would have to be handled soon.
The 48L had gotten back up, and was preparing to launch a energy blast straight at my face. I closed my eyes, preparing to take the blast.

Dean:                               HEY.

Narrator:                           The robot looked up, just in time to see Dean jumping off the mini balcony, and with his newfound super-strength, punching the 48L directly in the face. The metal crumpled and buckled, and gave way to Dean’s fist. The back of it’s head and body hit the ground, and Dean straddled the robot’s chest. It sparked and it’s arm twitched toward Dean. Dean caught it, and releasing a yell, he tore the arm from the body. He threw it at the 96E Marilyn had been fighting, which was at that point separated from its head by about 9 feet. He rapidly punched into the core of the robot, cracking its casing and pulling out all important wiring like a squirrel trying to open a particularly tough acorn. He did this until he reached the power source, pulling it out and crushing it in his hand.
Dean turned to look at me. When I saw the look on his face, I gasped. I almost couldn’t recognize him with his face contorted in rage. His eyes glowed a deep green color, with energy rising from them like smoke. I’d never seen him that angry before. He was huffing and puffing, emitting a low growl that sounded as menacing as a jungle cat. He took a deep breath and closed his eyes. When he reopened them, they were their regular green that he normally had. I just sat there staring at him, as he looked at me and then at the robot he’d mutilated and then at his hands. Keiran came up to me and began to bandage up my ankle.
The back wall screen came to life, and the Birdkeeper appeared on screen again, as did an image of my father, a slight bit older and in an outfit I remembered him wearing, as he was wearing it the day he died.

BirdKeeper:                       Units 96E and 48L have been defeated. Sequence 1A completed successfully.

Terrance:                          Well done. I knew you could do it. I only wish I could have seen it for myself.

Narrator:                           Keiran finished setting my ankle, which I felt bad that he had to do, considering my ability to heal. I didn’t use that power in this moment. Keiran helped me stand up and then we walked over to the suits. We stood before the suit of Wilson LaCroix. Up close, i noticed a necklace of animal fangs and a rosary made of bone. I looked to Keiran.

Jordan:                             Keiran, did Jo tell you what this is?



Narrator:                           He shook his head. I looked back to look at the suit. I whistled to Jo, who was sitting at the computer looking at records that my parents kept, to open up the case on the wall. As the case opened, I spoke to Keiran.

Jordan:                             This belonged to Wilson LaCroix, your father. My parents say that he was the most powerful medium and witch doctor in the country, and that you’d have his same gift. So, I figure that means this….

Narrator:                           I pulled the suit off the bodyform, folding it up to neatly hand it to Keiran.

Jordan:                             This belongs to you.

Narrator:                           Keiran took it from me, running his fingers over the necklace and cross. He smiled, and shook his head slightly.

Keiran:                              You know, this doesn’t actually surprise me that much. I’ve heard about this gift before… from my dad.

Narrator:                           He put his back against the wall, and slid down holding the suit to his chest. He paused, and i could see the pain in his eyes.

 

Keiran:                              We all thought he was just going crazy. When he'd go on and on about the spirits and the ghosts and all that, we would just roll our eyes and say [pause to hold back tears and emotion building] ‘it's just Dad being crazy again.’ [shaky sigh] When he started going out at night, we got worried and we told him to get therapy, but nothing was wrong after all. They said he was Schizophrenic and delusionsal... but nothing was wrong. They gave him all those pills and medication... and there was not a single goddamn thing wrong. [sniffed and brush the tears away] Which meant nothing was wrong with my brother either. You said this is genetic?

Narrator:                           I nodded. Keiran let out a sigh.

Keiran:                              Well, i guess that's good then. I wasn't going to tell you, any of you, about this but... I've started seeing people...  seeing people who aren't there. It started as a combat medic. I was seeing soldiers we couldn't save. They'd give me messages for their people back home. I honestly was worried that i was gonna wind up like... that i would be… [starts crying]

 

Narrator:                           He couldn't continue. The pain was too great. I put an arm on his shoulder. And rested my head against the side of his head. Marilyn came over and kneeled before him. She crooked her finger and cupped it under his chin, bringing his eyes to meet hers.

Marilyn:                            The best way to honor his memory is to honor the mantle. His blood runs through you, his power runs through you. I learned this when i discovered my the truth about my mother and her powers. Give it time. You have an entire team on your side.

Narrator:                           She kissed his forehead and hugged him tightly. I thought that was bold, given that they’d just met. It didn't take a genius to see, looking in Keiran’s eyes, that being that close to Marilyn’s bosom was a dream come true. I smiled; while I couldn't be sure about his sexuality entirely, I definitely knew one specific way that he leaned. I strolled back to where Johanna was sitting.

Jordan:                             Hey, can you do me a favor, and keep it quiet?

Johanna:                          Yeah, what's up?

Jordan:                             Text Scarlett. Tell her I'm heading to her place. I just realized that something big is happening tomorrow. I have right now. I'll tell you at home.

Johanna:                          You got it. Should I keep people here for now?

Narrator:                           I looked around and nodded.

Jordan:                             I want you all to look into Cassandra. We will need as much info on her as possible. And... See if you and Marilyn can go about getting these old suits ready for everyone here. I’m going to give Scarlett Cassandra’s old suit, but I think the color may need tweaking.

Johanna:                          Sure... but I'm going to leave your mom and dad’s alone, at least for now.

Narrator:                           Jo always understood me.

Jordan:                             I'll see you soon, Jo.

Johanna:                          Get home safe, Jordan.

Narrator:                           As soon as I got to the elevator,  I heard Dean calling my name. I bristled, but turned to look at him over my shoulder.

Dean:                               Jordan... wait up.

Jordan:                             Oh... Dean, hey. Listen, I want you to stay with the others. I have something I have to do.

Narrator:                           I tried to put a half smile on my face, but my eyebrows furrowed against my will.

Dean:                               Why?... what's wrong?

Jordan:                             [sarcastic laugh] So, are you going to pretend I didn't just watch you go into a werewolf rage, and rip out the heart of a robot?

Narrator:                           He looked like he was going to have a rebuttal, but he stopped, and looked ashamed.

Dean:                               I just... I don't know what came over me... i just got so scared that it would kill you.

Jordan:                             So you disarm it. Or you disable it. You went in for the kill, babe, and then you went into overkill.

Narrator:                           I noticed an edge sneaking into my voice. I thought about trying to tone it down, but I couldn’t. He didn’t understand that Dean’s actions in there meant so much more than just what he’d do to keep me alive.

Dean:                               I just saved your life, Jordan.

Jordan:                             You did a lot more than just that. What if that had been a person?

Dean:                               I would do anything to keep you safe. You know that. Anything. I love you.

Jordan:                             Even murder?

Dean:                               [Shout] If that's what it took, yes!

Narrator:                           [There was a pause, and then I spoke softly.]

Jordan:                             [softly and building] That is wrong. It is reckless, and I never want you to kill for me. If you're going to be in my life, my bed, or on this team, you have to keep yourself under control.

Narrator:                           I paused, trying to bite back my next comment, but I couldn't stop it.

Jordan:                             The last time you lost control, you broke my heart. How am I supposed to trust your control over who you fuck if I can't even trust you to control yourself in the battlefield?

 

 

Narrator:                           Dean looked like I'd slapped him. The elevator dinged behind me, and I stepped into it, leaving Dean behind. It only took the elevator getting to the library for me to feel the full effect of how much of a dick I just was. Blaming someone for being hypnotized genuinely didn’t make sense to do. He was no more in control that moment that I was when Alejandro told me to drop my dart. I didn’t blame the guy who tried to kill Jared, under the influence of the Prince, because I knew he didn’t want to do it. But at what point does that end? And how true was it that he didn’t want it? How did I know he didn’t want to hurt me? My mind flashed back to when Al hovered above me, trying to screw with my brain.

Alejandro:                         I didn’t have to use my powers. He wanted to do it. He wanted to hurt you.

Narrator:                           The crazy thing is… I could almost believe it. Really, at that point, why would Al have tried to lie to me? He was in the middle of his villain monologuing, when they reveal their plan and motivation, and the hero rolls their eyes repeatedly. But this part had struck a chord with me. When Dean was a kid, his moms put him in therapy after a few outbursts and fights at school. They put him in Karate to channel some of that aggression, as well as wrestling and briefly football. The day he met me, his moms told me later on, that he calmed down and smiled more than he had in awhile. He’d contained himself, controlled himself naturally. He apparently controlled himself for the next 14 years, with the exception of 1 moment. During the early part of Dean and I actually dating in college, he got jealous about how some guys were looking at me. This resulted in me patching a hole in the dorm wall using my powers after he stormed out. But other than that, he’d been fine. I never felt afraid around him, or even afraid of losing him… So why was I doubting him so much now?
Also, why was I worrying about this now? There were much bigger issues at hand. Like the fact that my murderous Uncle was actually in New Ark City at this very moment.
I sent a text about a time to meet with Tim tomorrow. We’d meet at 2:30 pm at Salem Park in the middle of the city and decide where we’d meet up. I had to tell him something important.
I arrived at Scarlett’s tiny house. She opened the door just before I knocked.

Scarlett:                            Come in, come in.

Narrator:                           She beckoned me in, and I sat down at the same table where she’d told me my future. She sat across from me, and looked me in the eye. I felt her energy touch my mind, which felt gentle and nearly imperceptible like a downy feather landing on your arm. I showed her my recent discovered by thinking of an image. She gasped and her mouth went to her lips.

Scarlett:                            My god… it can’t be.

Jordan:                             Oh it is. And I realize that something big is coming. The anniversary of my parent’s death is tomorrow. And I think I know what it is, and if I’m right... it could level the entire city. We need to be prepared for it. I need you to teach me how to break that kind of spell.

Narrator:                           She nodded, grabbed some supplies from somewhere in her house, and then wrote down the instructions.
I decided to walk back home, but I decided to walk past the cemetery and see my parents plot. It was only a few minutes out of the way. The moon was just a crescent in the sky, but it illuminated the ground beautifully. Everything looked melancholic, which given that it was a cemetery, felt just about right.

Narrator:                           I sat down in front of Mom and Dad’s grave. I put my face in my hands, ruffled my hair, and let out a puff of air.

Jordan:                             Well, Mom and dad, I guess y’all probably are seeing this from wherever you are, but life just got really…. Really crazy. Understatement of the year, I know. And… I don’t know what to make of it. I guess I’m just here really to tell you that I’m confused, I’m tired, but I have a plan. I am here… because I need to ask your forgiveness.[sigh] If this doesn’t go the way I want it to… well, really regardless of how things go, someone from our family will be dead by tomorrow night, and it will be at my hand. I know I promised that I wouldn’t kill, and I promise that I will try to not kill... But I have to protect this City. Even in it means laying down my own life. It’s what you would’ve expected from me… I don’t know if I can stop death. If I can’t stop it… I’m sorry. But The city will not fall. I promise you that, mom and dad. This city will not fall.

Narrator:I waited for a moment, feeling the wind whip across my face. I turned and walked out of the graveyard, unsure whether it would be Jeremy, Isaac or me that would join the family plot after tomorrow night.