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Psychic Volume 1: Chapters 1-8 (Exam Part 1)
Author's note: My first volume of Psychic. I plan on making it an ongoing series, and I thought that putting... Show full author's note »
Break-In!Night had quickly fell upon Mercury City. The loud steps of businessmen started to disappear as the night thugs and gangsters started to emerge. Most of the buildings were closed all around the city by this point, with the exception of some skyscrapers, and the city was now lit up with the exterior lights that ran across every last inch of Mercury.
Mia sat down on a bench in the East Disctrict’s park, which wasn’t too far from the Pillar. Her brain was beating every second or so from a dreadful headache. She tilted her head up, eyeing down a zeppelin that flew high above the city, but moving at a gradual pace. After a long day of no progression, Mia felt nothing but despair.
“Ugh,” she said. “What a waste of a day. Not one of those worthless peasants from the South was worth it. And of course, the one that was actually useful has to protect his ‘precious’ sister. Honestly, I felt like beating the crap out of that jerk for telling me off like that! I swear, if I ever see hi-”
“Talking to yourself again?” Mia turned away from the zeppelin and looked to her left. She spotted a well built man with a completely clear face and sparkling eyes. Like Mia, he wore the higher classed brown uniform. He whipped out a smoke from a newly bought pack of cigarettes.
“Here, take a cig,” he said.
Mia rolled her eyes. “I’m not gonna risk becoming an addicted smoker like you, General Aster.”
He laughed to himself. “Just call me Rend, sweat heart.” He took a seat next to Mia and lit up a cig with his lighter. “So, looks like the boss got in a pretty bad situation today, no?”
Mia looked over at Rend, annoyed. “It would’ve been nice to have you there with me, you know. It’s kind of hard having to deal with such a big situation all by myself. Where were you anyways?”
“Well,” started Rend. “I thought that going on duty during some wedding seemed kind of boring, so I found a good lookin’ babe and took her out on a date.” Idiot, thought Mia. “Anyways, I couldn’t help but overhear some guards talking about your new, well, idea?”
“The exam?” she asked.
Rend slapped an annoyed look on his face as he blew smoke out of his nose. “Yeah, that. It’s funny that you’re allowing psychics, you know, the same psychics that killed Momo, into the blessed house, where they have the chance to kill the mayor of Mercury. Honestly, Mia, I thought you were smart, but I guess I was wrong…”
“I know it’s risky,” said Mia. Rend could hear the nervous tone in the back of her throat. “But really, what other choice do we have? We can only hope for luck from this point on.”
“Yeah, yeah, if you say so. Christ, for all we know, the same psychic that killed Momo will probably show up.”
Mia looked away, aware that her face was blushing from embarrassment. Conversations like these are why she hates being around Rend. “I doubt it. As a matter of fact, I actually met a really strong, trustworthy psychic earlier today.”
“Really?” asked Rend. He was starting to get interested now. “He’s really gonna show up, huh?”
“Well…” Mia hesitated for a second. “He said no, but I have a good plan to get him to come to the exam. You’ll see. I mean, I’m number one in the MSG for a good reason.”
Rend grinned and, once again, took another huff of his cigarette. He got up and lightly patted Mia’s short, blonde hair. “You’re only number 1 because you can fight so well. You still don’t know how to use your brain.” Mia’s face blushed up completely. This guy, she thought. I want to beat his ass so bad right now. “Well, I have to be off. You know, the regular ‘I have a date so I’m going to blow off my job’ kind of deal. See ya!” Mia would always be annoyed that he got his position despite his constant slacking. Mia said nothing as she kept thinking about how she was going to get Knox to take the exam. She couldn’t waste such potential, it just wouldn’t be acceptable to her.
Knox entered his shack, examining the broken down wooden furniture. Almost everything was made out of wood in his house. His doors, tables, cabinets, floors and ceiling, and all of it was getting eaten away by termites. He wasn’t sure how much time this house had left before it was gone. At the table, Celia was sitting quietly, doing her homework. She glanced up to Knox and smiled. “Welcome home,” she said.
“Thanks. Sorry I was so late, had some problems at work.” Celia got up from her chair and examined Knox very carefully, up until she noticed a long cut going diagonally down the back of his neck.
“How’d you get that cut?” asked Celia.
Knox became stiff and gulped. He waited a second before giving an answer. “Just some complications at work.”
She gave him a long frown. “You were fighting again, weren’t you?” Knox hated admitting to Celia whenever he got in fights. She hated any kind of physical harm to any living thing. She even hated when she sees someone step on a plant.
“Sorry, I know you hate when I fight, but this dude attacked my boss, and he was asking for it, so I couldn’t back out.”
“You at least won, right?”
Knox nodded. “I never lose, trust me.” That wasn’t always the truth, but he liked to give Celia the idea that nothing could harm Knox, Knox scurried over to the counters and pulled out some pots and pans. “Mr. Lans let me take home some spaghetti yesterday, does that sound good?”
“Yeah, definitely,” she replied.
Outside of Knox‘s shack, behind a puffy artificial bush, the two soldiers that Mia sent after Knox stood silently. Both of their heads peeked above the bush, watching in one of the few windows, where they could see Knox and Celia feasting on their dinner.
“So, uh, what do we do?” asked the first soldier.
“Let‘s just contact Mia,” replied number 2. He whipped out a flip cell phone and dialed in some numbers quickly. The phone rung for only a few seconds before, though it was fuzzy, Mia’s voice came in from the opposite side.
“What’s going on?” asked Mia.
“The two are still awake.” said the second soldier.
Before responding, Mia looked at a clock near the bench, where she was still seated. 7:30. “Alright, you guys should get going in 4 hours. Remember to leave the letter in the kitchen, too. You got it?”
“Right, at 11:30, We strike.” Mia hung up the phone and grinned. Her plan was destined to work out perfectly.
The second soldier looked slightly nervous as he looked at the letter. “How did she know we wrote a letter to the boy?”
“Damn, I dunno. The b**** must be crazy or something. She knows a lotta stuff that we don’t tell her about.”
“Whatever, just check it out to see if it’s alright.” The soldier’s partner snatched the letter from his hands and quickly read over it. It was messy, but it would do.
After a painfully long 15 minutes, Knox finally finished washing the dirty dishes. He looked around and, despite the place being a total junkyard of a house, he was proud of the way it looked. He looked outside into the dark night, listening to the crickets fill up the empty noises, and from far away, a dog barking ferociously.
Knox turned to Celia, who was half asleep at the table after finishing her homework. Knox walked over to her and scooped her into his arms. “You know,” said Knox, in almost a whisper. “If you didn’t fool around so much, you could finish your work a lot faster.” He opened the door to Celia’s room and lay her in her bed. She quickly dozed off, beginning to breath heavily in her sleep.
Knox was tired, and as badly as he wanted to go to sleep, he couldn’t take his eyes off of Celia. Everyday, he warned himself over and over again, ‘Protect Celia for dad, protect Celia for dad’, and the thought of failing that request was terrifying for him. One thing he was certain of, though, was that he didn’t plan on giving up, even if his life was on the line.
Knox raised his exhausted body up and shuffled over to the door. He looked at Celia one last time before heading off to bed. “Love you,” whispered Knox.
The two soldiers were laying prone on the ground in the exact spot from earlier. They were both chattering their teeth from the abnormally cold weather, despite it almost being summer, and they felt artificial prickers, which they personally saw as being too sharp, digging into their skin. The worst pain of all, though, was the boredom of sitting there and doing nothing for four hours.
Soon enough, the second soldier opened up his phone, seeing that it just hit 11:30. He signaled his partner that it was time to go, and in seconds, they were off. They dove out of the bush and started fast walking towards the house with intentions of finishing the job quickly. Each step they took was a quiet one as they stealthily made their way to Knox’s shack. Soon enough, they lined their bodies up against the scrap metal walls and slid their way along the house.
As they turned the corner, it was obvious that there were two windows engraved in the house, giving them a warning to be extra cautious. The first soldier went slightly ahead, carefully maneuvering himself towards the first window. He ran his fingers across the bottom of the window, wiping off some dirt that stuck to the sheet metal. He peeked inside, and the first thing he saw was Knox, who was still wide awake.
The soldier panicked as the sound of his heart started to beat over his thoughts. He tightly wrapped his left palm around his mouth to block out any excess sounds. The second soldier became aware of Knox’s pressence, and in panic, threw his body to the ground.
From inside, Knox slipped off his shirt and threw it on the ground. He was about to drop onto his bed, but suddenly, a sound came from outside of his window. It was muffled, but he was aware that something was out there. He walked over to the window and looked out into the dark night, where Knox couldn’t even see 5 feet in front of him. He looked both ways, trying to spot what made the noise, but nothing could be seen. The soldier right below him, who could see Knox’s head sticking out, felt like his stomach was going to explode. If that kid looks down, he thought, I’m done for.
After a minute of scouting around, Knox grew bored with his search. He released a loud yawn as he shrugged in confusion, blew out the candle that just barely lit part of his room, and plopped into his bed. The 2 soldiers, who were still lying on the ground, waited a good 10 minutes before they tried anything else. The first soldier nodded to his partner, telling him it was time to advance.
The two quietly made their way to the other window. Though scared that someone could still be awake and in that room, the soldier raised his head just enough so that his eyes could see through the window. In the room, he saw Celia, who was sound asleep.
They climbed through the window and stepped onto the dirt, making very little noise. The two of them walked over to Celia and observed her. “This is her, right?” asked the first soldier.
“Pretty sure,” responded the second one. “General Rose told us that he only lived with his sister, so this has to be her.”
“Alright the-” In the middle of the soldier’s sentence, they could hear the unstable wooden bed squeak as Celia rolled over. Her arms raised into the air and started stretching, soon retracting to her tired eyes. She yawned once before opening her eyes. “Huh?” said Celia, who was too tired to be startled by the strangers.
“Oh crap!” The second soldier pulled Celia out of the bed and blocked off her mouth and nose with his elbow. He squeezed his elbow as hard as he could, trying to put Celia back to sleep. Celia struggled as hard as she could, trying to make as much sound as possible, but it was hopeless. Her vision started to fade away, and everything got quiet. Soon enough, she was out cold.
“You idiot!” whispered the first soldier. “You were talking to loud.”
“Oh, shut up! We got the girl as instructed, so don’t worry about it. Now go put that stupid note on the table to we can get out of this place!” The soldier did as he was told, and quietly placed the note on the table next to Celia’s homework. The job was done, and with Celia kidnapped, the two soldiers made off into the night.
The next morning came fast to Knox as always, though he wished he had some more time to sleep in. Like every morning, he woke up, got dressed, tried to tidy up his hair so he looked somewhat presentable, and went into the kitchen to start breakfast. Today, though, something wasn’t normal. Celia wasn’t sitting at the kitchen table every morning like she has done for as long as Knox could remember. He went into Celia’s room, figuring that she wanted some extra sleep, but her bed was empty, too.
“Celia!” called out Knox. The only thing he could hear was the slight breeze from outside. What was going on? Knox knew that Celia wasn’t the type of person who would just leave the house without permission. He sat down at the table, starting to feel a nervous twisting sensation in his stomach. He looked down at Celia’s homework, and next to it, he noticed a letter with his name on the envelope.
“Hmmm, it’s been a while since I’ve gotten a letter,” said Knox, curiously. “Something isn’t adding up.” Knox ripped open the envelope, revealing a piece perfectly folded piece of paper. Before reading it, he glanced down at the bottom, and to his surprise, it was written by Mia Rose.