Emerald Injections

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The Man in the Window

Cora could feel her heart pounding in her chest, jumping up and down like a bouncy ball. Thump. Thump. Her head felt completely full and blank at the same time, and an odd pull in her gut told her to tell her parents about the strange phenomenon that was happening in her.

"Cora, I have pulled up 0 results on pre-Oculus War and 39 results on Green Eyes. Would you like me to search anything else?" Citlali asked, letting Cora scroll through the 39 results she had found.

There was nothing of use, Cora decided. Almost all of them were about the Oculus War or Findlay Baele. There was absolutely nothing concerning weird powers that caused her hand to be able to change to different textures.

"No, it's okay. Come on, Citlali, let's go upstairs. It's safer up there for the both of us," Cora said absentmindedly. There was a tap on the window. Cora whirled around to see a man walking past, his eyes averted. There was something odd about it; he wasn't at the festival.

She couldn't help but let her eyes wander past the curtains, for just a closer peek.

His head snapped towards her. Their eyes met. She ducked down just a second too late. She was definitely screwed now.

Her parents returned at 5 PM, carrying large bags and wearing huge smiles. She wasn't quite sure what to tell them, so Cora sat on the couch, pretending to watch the interview between the woman and one of the many Dukes of Panterra.
"How was it?" she chorused the second her parents entered, almost causing her mother to drop her bags on the floor. "It was lovely," her mother answered, "You seem awfully jumpy today. How was staying at home?""It was fine," Cora started, "Can we talk?""What's wrong?" her father suddenly piped up, "You weren't seen, were you? You know how much trouble we go to in order to keep you hidden! The Sovereign Guards could take you away, they could take us all away!""No, it wasn't that," Cora lied, "This really weird thing happened, and I'm not sure why it happened or what made it happen and I'm so confused right now.""Oh, sweetie," her mother sighed, "I'm sure you'll be fine. We'll get through this together, I promise. Whatever it is, we'll accept you and..." "You don't understand, Ma," Cora's voice rose slightly, "It's really weird and stuff. My hand, it changes into leather and then it also went into the entire world and I saw people. Other people just like me.""Are you sick?" her father asked, raising a hand to her forehead, "No, it's not a fever. Maybe some hallucinations from some chemicals. Test her for allergies.""I'm being serious! Look!" Cora raised her hand, focusing all her energy into making it turn into leather. Her parents watched in amazement as her skin slowly turned red before taking on the texture of leather as well. "Erving," her mother whispered, "What are we going to do?""I can hear you, you know," Cora growled, "And I don't know. It changes randomly, too. It was metallic for a while, and the rest of my body can do it, too. Just not as well.""We'll just continue keeping her a secret, it's the only thing we can do. Cora, you're going to have to be extra careful. We all know what happens to enemies of the Sovereign," her father finally answered, frowning."Well, then," her mother sighed, "Do any of you want dinner? Let's leave all this behind us and have some food. How about pasta? Do either of you want pasta?""Sure," her father said, "Pasta sounds great. Come on, Cora. It's probably nothing. Don't worry about it.""What happens when I'm older, then?" Cora asked, her lips twitching down, "What happens when you can't take care of me anymore? Do I just wait until then and see if the Sovereign cares enough to send guards to excavate the house? Do I see if people move in?""Don't worry about the future, Cora," her father chastised, "We'll deal with it when it comes. Let's go get dinner.""Okay," Cora finally agreed, slightly defeated, "Do you want me to help with cooking?""It's up to you," her mother shrugged, "I can call up one of my cook droids."
The night was quiet once again when Cora curled up to the light of the moon. She had plugged Citlali into one of the charging stations for droids, and her parents were surely asleep by now. It was just her and the light of the moon. A small rustle in the trees was the closest she could get to sound."Moon, what am I going to do?" Cora whispered, "I can't stay here forever. And these powers, what do I do with them? They'll only harm my Ma and Pa. I really don't want that, but I don't want the Sovereign to take them, either. I've heard stories about them and...""You there!" a voice called from the darkness, making Cora duck back into her room. She peeked over the sill, watching as a man strode past her house and towards another figure in the dark. She had to stop getting so careless; she could have been caught by two people. The figure disappeared over the hill, and the man chased after it, before both were over the hill and out of sight. Cora found it rather curious. No one seemed to be out after midnight. Who were they?"Hey," a voice from inside her room called, making her jump up. She covered her mouth with her hands, making sure not a single sound was emitted. "Who are you?" she whispered, turning to face the shadow in her room. "We met earlier today, you stared out a window, I stared back," the voice replied, "Pleasure to meet you, Cora. How silly of me, I almost forgot to introduce myself."The figure stepped out from the shadows, extending a hand."I'm Jaxon," he grinned, "Part of the green eyed community. You know, the one you're in. The one that's currently being prosecuted by all of Panterra. Let's not forget about how much the Sovereign Council wants us all dead. Just because of a little bit melanin in our eyes. Isn't that just so weird?""How did you find me?" Cora whispered, staring at his green eyes. They mirrored hers, perfectly green. "Please. Those powers you have don't make you special, Cora. It's a green thing. Except for the fact that you're a bit of a late starter in this whole transformative program," Jaxon answered, showing her how he easily turned into a desk. "For all you know, some of us could be the leaves outside," Jaxon laughed when he saw Cora's terrified look, "I'm kidding, I'm kidding. This weird power thing only applies to a few of us. And even then, most of us die off before the process can be completed. So. We're the survivors, eh?""I never had any sort of process to be like this. I was born with these eyes, and they just activated a day ago," Cora argued, folding her arms across her chest."Who do you think activated them, darling? It was me!" Jaxon squealed, "All jokes aside, though, since you're not dead or anything, you should probably come with me. Theron would love a new member of the Not Dead Green Eyed People crew. You can shorten that to NDGEP if you prefer.""How come you haven't overthrown the Sovereign yet? You could literally turn into a knife and then jump over to them and kill them," Cora's eyes widened at the idea, mentally patting herself on the back for yet another well planned idea."Because, sweetie, it's not that easy. It's been a day and the most you can muster is a leather hand. And only when you're mad, too. As for me, I can turn into a table, but sharp metal? Not yet. Besides, from our studies, we'd probably die if we used these powers too much. So, are you coming with me or not?"
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