Date: 28 September 2035
“And stay out!” the large man shouted as he threw a smaller man out of his bar. The man watch as the large man went back inside and slammed the door shut.
“Yeah (hic), who needs ya!” the man shouted as he got up. Staggering slightly the man walked off, grumbling as he did so.
The man walked down the sidewalk, not really paying any attention around him, when suddenly he was grabbed from behind. He was pulled into an alley and thrown to the ground. The man looked up and saw he was surrounded by several large, strong men.
“Give us your money,” the leader growled at him. The man grinned stupidly and stood up. (Hic) He wasn’t afraid of some muscle bound idiots. He put up his hands in a boxing style and started jumping around. The other men laughed.
“Come on stupids, I’m (hic) not afraid of you,” the man said. The men glared at him, cracked their knuckles and attacked. Within minutes the man was on the floor, broken and bleeding. He watched through narrowed eyes as the men left with his money, laughing. He closed his eyes, and took his last breath.
Date: 29 September 2035
Emma screamed as she shot up from her bed. Only to scream again as she grabbed her right shoulder. She closed her eyes, fighting to keep the tears from falling. She breathed deeply for a few minutes, sweat covering her from head to toe. She fell back and stared up at the ceiling.
Emma took a deep breath, letting it out slowly. She knew that was no dream, and she knew it wouldn’t be the last one she was going to have. It was a memory of something that did happen, something that happened while she was Slipping into the shadows. She shuddered as she rolled onto her good shoulder, and thought back on what happened after she got away from Yelrood Manor.
She doesn’t remember much in the beginning. She does remember falling from the roof into Wesley’s lab. Wesley quickly realized she was shot and that something was wrong with her. She told him she was slipping into the shadows and he started to talk to her. It went blank a bit and then she saw a woman there. The woman helped her out of her shirt and started on her wound, all the while Wesley was telling her about Business Management. Emma snorted; she had felt like she was in class.
She didn’t remember much about seeing what they did. She heard them, but she didn’t see them. Instead she was forced to watch things from the shadows. Mostly she saw people sleeping. Sometimes she saw teens in clubs, or adults working late into the night. She saw people mugged and killed and even worse things happening to them. She saw a boy from her class run away and….
She saw June.
Like Emma, June wore a long black pant and a long black shirt. She was kneeling on the floor in a darken room, one of the only two lights shown upon her. The other light was on a panel of three judges. Emma couldn’t hear what they were saying –she could only hear Wesley talking to her- but she could tell they were assessing June on something. June was nervous, an emotion Emma hardly ever saw on her.
Emma reached up to touch her shoulder. It was still tender, but it was much better than how it was before. The bullet had gone right through her shoulder, shattering the bone inside. When Amanda –the woman who helped her and Wesley’s personal assistant- and Wesley worked to fix her shoulder, they had to use a Knitter, with was an old style Regenerator. The knitter wasn’t very efficient, but unlike the Regenerator, which couldn’t be used on the same person in the span of several days, it could be used repeatedly.
The Knitter starts with the bone, and then goes to the muscle and then the skin. It was a painful process. Although, it was thanks to the pain that she didn’t slip completely into the shadows.
After her shoulder was bandage Wesley took her home. Luckily she had thought to get her ID card before going to Wesley’s house. They drove silently, she still getting over her ordeal and he being… well his sonic self. When they got to her house Wesley got out of the car and walked with her to the door.
She didn’t see much of her parents’ reaction to Wesley arriving at her house. While he went to talk to them, she had gone upstairs to fetch Wesley’s belt and the flash drive from a corner in her closet, where she had sent them to. When she got downstairs she found Wesley sitting at the kitchen table drinking coffee. Her mother had her back to him and her hands on the counter, breathing deeply. Her father was drinking water, his hands shaking.
“Wesley,” she said to him, drawing his attention. Wesley turned to her while her father started chocking and her mother drew a deep breath.
“Ah, Miss Knight, you have it I assume,” Wesley said.
“Hm, Yes. Here you are,” Emma said handing him his things. Wesley stood up and took only the flash out of her hands, leaving the belt behind. He then took out a disk (she found out the USB was empty when she got home the day before) containing the video about her using her abilities and gave it to her.
She held the belt and disk to her chest as he turned and left the room. No goodbyes, no so longs, no anything. Like none of it ever happened.
Her parents didn’t talk about the encounter; they just sent her upstairs to sleep. And sleep she did. Mostly anyway. Every few hours she would wake up from a nightmare; lay awake for an hour or so before drifting off to sleep.
Her thoughts never straying far from the last couple of days.
Date: 01 October 2035
Emma rolled her shoulder slightly as she used her left hand to open her locker. According to the doctors she should have full movability within a few hours once the last of the medicine worked its way out of her system. Until then she was stuck using her left hand. Not that it mattered really. In 2013 a law was passed that every person had to learn to be ambidextrous. Thus, now, before a child is admitted to school they should be able to use both hands. Emma herself can’t even remember if she was left handed or right handed.
“Are you ok Emma? Everyone heard you got shot,” Jessica said.
“I’m fine Jessi-”
“And why exactly did you get shot?” a voice came from behind. Emma and Jessica turned around to see June.
“June!” Emma said excitedly. She grinned happy to see her friend, her sister, her twin, her…everything?
People say you start to look like the people you spend the most time with. That could be said concerning Emma and June. The girls dressed similar, talk similar, walked similar, and looked similar. There was always a mirror between the girls.
Emma thought things were different now, after the things she’s experienced. Looking at June her grin fluttered. That morning she had looked in the mirror and saw a darkness in her eyes. Looking at June, she saw the same darkness. The mirror was still there.
“Well, I’m waiting Emma. Why were you shot?” June asked.
“I was mugged,” Emma lied. It was the story she and her parents had come up with.
“You. Were mugged?” June said in disbelief.
“Yep,” Emma said. June looked at her.
“They had guns! You know how I’m like around guns!” Emma said trying to defend herself. June snorted, only slightly convinced.
“Come on June, leave Emma alone,” Jessica said. Emma winced, knowing what was coming.
“I suggest, Hale. That you leave. Now,” June said nastily. Jessica looked at Emma, who nodded, and left for class. Emma took the last of her books and closed her locker. Throwing her bag over her shoulder, Emma followed June.
“So what do you want to do? Skip school? Flood classrooms? Start a food fight?” Emma asked. June laughed. It sounded like she hasn’t used it much.
“Actually I’m thinking of something a little bigger. But the food fight is a good idea,” June said.
“Well there’s this party tonight that I think would be pretty fun.”
“Yeah. All the big wigs are going to be there.”
“WHAT! You want us to sneak into some fancy rich arse party! And do what? Purposely get ourselves arrested?” Emma asked. June looked at her, surprised. After all, Emma always went along with her plans.
“Chill Girl! We’re going to wear disguises. And as for what we’re doing. Well… I think that food fight is going to come in handy,” June said throwing her arm around her friends shoulder.
“I know I’m going to regret this but fine. Let’s do it,” Emma said.
“Good we’ll meet at my house after school,” June said.
“Your house?” Emma asked, surprised. June’s house was in the bad street of the bad part of the city. They had money to move, but her parents had lived there. Emma’s parents didn’t like her going over. At all.
“Yeah sleepover,” June said, “Will your parents be cool with it?”
Emma though about her parents. The last time they really talked was when they were agreeing on her cover story. They weren’t on the best of terms right now. Then again, when were they?
“Yeah. They wouldn’t care,” Emma said, “by the way. When did you get a cat?”
Emma stared at her now black hair as she fixed it into an up style. It was weird having black hair…and wearing a black dress. Usually it was June who wore black and Emma who wore red. Emma turned to her friend, who was putting on make-up. Seeing her in red was even weirder.
“This is weird,” Emma said as she went back to looking at herself.
“Just a bit, yeah.”
“Why are we doing this again?”
“I told you. We got into trouble just the other week. If this turns south I’d rather not have anyone recognise me-us, recognise us.”
“Your concern for me is heart-warming,” Emma said sarcastically. She knew June wouldn’t say anything. She wasn’t one to apologize.
June walked over to the handbags, one red and one black, took them and handed the black one to Emma. She looked at her friend.
“Your right. This is really weird.”
“Told you. Are we going with the bike or are we Shadow Traveling?”
Emma nodded as June rapped her arms around her friend, closing her eyes. Emma walked towards the larges shadow and touched her hand to it. She concentrated, a bit more than usual, but ever since the incident on Friday she had been more careful with her powers. Slowly she pushed in.
The ball room was in full swing. Men making business deals. Woman bragging about this and that. Older men complaining about how in their day-. And lastly young woman trying to snatch up any and all rich and powerful bachelors.
“So what’s the plan Red,” Emma asked as they walked through the doors. June’s lip twitched. Red was actually Emma’s nickname, but if the shoes fits.
“Split up. Mingle for a bit. After a while come at me with a pie and-”
“Shove it in your face. Then you throw it. Try and aim for an old fart standing next to a young guy. That would get the food fight started.”
“Obviously. Ok, let’s break.”
June headed for one of the groups with young woman, easily blending in and striking a conversation. June was like that. She could blend in with anyone. Leave her on the streets with homeless people and they’ll think she’s one of them in less than a minute. Emma would know; she’s seen the other girl do it.
Emma on the other hand, wasn’t very good at it. Oh she could blend into the shadows just fine. But that was making people ignore her. On her own she always looked and acted like she didn’t belong.
Maybe because she didn’t.
Emma sighed and headed to the buffet. She didn’t really want to be here. But June’s her friend and they haven’t seen each other in a while. Besides, the idea was pretty funny. Emma easily decided to stay around the food; it would just be easier that way. This is where she’ll get the pie from, and if anyone tried to talk to her, she could pretend to be eating.
“Everything is back in place. In a few weeks production will progress as scheduled.” Emma froze when she heard that voice. Part of her wished that she would never see that man again. Another part of her…
“In a place no one would find it.”
Emma turned her head slightly, so that she could see, but her face could not be seen. It was Wesley. Dressed in a completely black suit. Next to him was a man- who like she and June- was almost a mirror image of Wesley. The man wore a white suit, making his black hair (practically the only difference between them) stand out. He also wore one small hoop earring in each ear. Emma recognized him, however, many people would. It was Percy Felix. The Vice-President.
“Good,” Felix said before smiling. It was a terrible smile, one that promised complete and utter humiliation, “So how did you get it back?”
Wesley stiffened and glared at the other man, “I told you, my cousin helped me.”
“Riiigghhtt. Wesley, I’m not an idiot. I know for a fact that your cousin is back in the Capital.”
“You know, technically N.I.C shouldn’t even know about the Capi-” Emma watched as Wesley froze when he turned his head just so and saw her. They stared at each other, neither moving. Felix turned, trying to find the object/person that turned Wesley into a living popsicle. He quickly found Emma and walked to her. Wesley, seeing Felix move, snapped out of his shock and followed him.
“Hallo,” Felix said pleasantly.
“Hi,” Emma squeaked out, because seriously, what do you say to the second most powerful person in the world?
“And you are?” Felix asked as he took one of the campaign glasses.
“Um-” Emma started; only to be saved by Wesley.
“She’s probably just someone’s date.”
“And yet you recognized her.”
“Percy-” Wesley started.
“Wesley,” Felix said, cutting him off. Emma watched as the two men stared intensely at one another. Her eyes shifted between the two as she wondered if she would be able to escape. Carefully, praying she wouldn’t be seen, Emma took a step back-
“Don’t move Miss Knight,” Wesley said suddenly. Emma cursed under her breath as Felix took a sip of his wine.
“I win,” Felix said, causing Wesley to glare at Emma. What the hell did she do?
“So, who is she?” Felix asked. Wesley sighed, annoyed, and-
The three, along with many other guests, turned to the source of the noise. They saw a young woman in red; eagerly try to explain what happened.
“What the-” Wesley muttered as he looked between the girl and Emma. Only then did Emma remember that she was wearing black. How did Wesley even recognize her? But that wasn’t important right now.
“Sorry, that’s my cue. Gotta go,” Emma said quickly before grabbing a pie and heading straight towards June. Part of her wondered why the men weren’t stopping her, but she figured that they probably wanted to find out what she was about to do.
“You man stealing little bitch!” Emma shouted as she shoved the pie in Junes face. All around them people gaped. June pulled the pie from her face- only Emma saw her eyes shift to her target- and threw the pie. Emma ducked and the pie hit its mark. A young man laughed, and the food fight began.
Emma and June quickly ran and ducked behind a statue as food started flying everywhere. Part of Emma honestly didn’t expect the whole food fight thing to work. After all, weren’t rich arse people supposed to be more sophisticated than high school children? Apparently not, Emma thought as she ducked to avoid some sort of pudding.
Emma looked up at June, about to tell her this was the best idea ever, only to stare at her in confusion. June stood still, staring at the wall; her hand in her handbag, looking like she was really concentrating on something. Emma wasn’t sure what her friend was doing. Maybe something happened.
Emma was about to ask when, out of the corner of her eye, she saw something heavy head straight for the other girl. Emma swiftly grabbing June’s arm and jerked her to the floor.
The sudden gunshot immediately threw people into a mass hysteric state. Everyone ran around as the security rushed into the room. More gun fire was heard as Felix tried to call everyone to order. Emma and June ran to the exit but the crowd of people quickly separated them. Emma moved, trying to get back to her friend when someone grabbed her from behind.
“You’re lucky I’m not going to have you arrested!” It was Wesley.
“I’m sorry! How was I supposed to know you were going to be here? June and I just wanted to start a food fight,” Emma said, shaking him off of her. Wesley sneered and looked over at Felix, whom was staring right at them as security pulled him out of the room. He then turned back to Emma.
“Where’s your friend? I’m going to get you two out of here.” Emma looked around; quickly spotting the big red blob that was June.
“RED!” Emma yelled. June turned and ran to her. She was angry. About what Emma didn’t know. Once she could, Emma grabbed her hand, pulling June towards her.
“Come on!” Wesley yelled as he dragged them out of the room.
“Who the hell are you and where are we going?” June sneered as she ripped her wrist out of Emma’s grasp. She moved to rip away Emma’s wrist when Wesley grabbed her by the arm, easily keeping her in place. June struggled as she looked right into Wesley’s eyes.
“Let me go or I’ll-”
“Or you’ll what?” Wesley sneered at her. Emma could see her friend visibly falter before looking at the ground.
“Good girl,” he told her before looking at Emma and whispering, “Can you shadow travel?”
Emma nodded as June looked up. She didn’t have time to react as Wesley pulled them out of the room. No one stopped them as he marched the girls to the nearest bathroom. Shoving them inside, Emma heard the unmistakable sound of the door locking behind them.
“What the hell,” June said as Emma searched for a shadow big enough.
“Not now,” she said and grabbed June, pulling her into the maddening darkness.
“What the fuck was that!” June screamed as they reappeared in her room.
“June. You need to calm down,” Emma said softly, desperate to calm her best friend.
“NO! What the hell happened while I was gone? How does he know that? Why did he know that? Emma! What the hell is going on?” June shouted, angry. Very angry
“Look. June. I- I know it sounds bad-”
“Bad? BAD? This isn’t bad Emma. It’s worse than bad! What happened?”
“I can’t talk about it,” Emma said backing away. June moved forward and grabbed her, squeezing her forearm so tightly Emma could feel her circulation cut off.
“Tell ME!” June hissed angrily. Emma looked at the hand on her arm and then back to her friend. She could feel her own anger coming forth.
“Then tell me what happened to you,” Emma said evenly. June stood straight, loosening her grip slightly.
“That! Is none of your business,” June said, her voice turning emotionless.
“Then. What happened to me is none of your business,” Emma said, ripping her arm out of her friends grasp. Emma turned and walked over to the nearest shadow. She was stopped, however, by a hand grabbing hers.
“Are you going to stop me Jupiter?” Emma asked not turning around.
The girls stood facing away from each other, only their hands touching.
Slowly the girls let go and Emma disappeared.