The Birds Of Prey Book One: Rise

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Chapter 12: The Darkness Within

"Hey...wake up,"

I slowly stirred from my slumber to see Kit sitting in front of me. He pointed at a plate of food on the table beside me. I sat up to see that Angela was already awake and was eating silently.

"You'd better eat something because we need to make ourselves scarce," he said.
"Why? What's going on?" I asked.

His eyes narrowed.

"I heard a lot of things during your nap...and we're not at all safe here," he explained.

I shook my head, still confused. He took a breath.

"My mother and sister...are still alive," he said.

My eyes widened and I heard Angela gasp audibly.

"W-W-What?" I stuttered.

He closed his eyes and looked away.

"Baneford assimilated my mother and now she's under his control...and he's experimenting on my sister," he explained.
"Experimenting? What is he trying to do?" I asked.
"He wants to become the first ever Eagle-Hawk-Vulture hybrid...the perfect being who has access to every single unique property of the Raptor genes," he explained.

I shook my head.

"But...that can't be possible; the genes reject each other which is the reason why children from different strains are born human," said Angela.
"Baneford has found a way to modify existing DNA to allow it to accept other strains...if he manages to infuse the powers of an Eagle and a Vulture in addition to the unknown number of gifts he's managed to assimilate...I don't think there's anyone on the planet who could stop him," he explained.

I cursed under my breath.

"He must've forced the research out of your mother," hissed Angela.
"No...my mother took precautions,"

He pointed to his head.

"In addition to giving me the drive, she implanted a part of her consciousness inside of my brain and within this fragment of herself, she hid all of the research that she was aware of...whatever Baneford has discovered now was acquired entirely on his own," he said.

I looked at him in confusion.

"You...can talk to your mother?" I asked.
"In my dreams mostly...but I know it's her because I can feel her presence in my mind whenever I tap into my gift," he said.

I finished my food and rose to my feet.

"So what are we going to do?" I asked.
"We're going to have to get off the ship before we're discovered; Baneford is planning to launch a crusade across Canada in order to hunt down all of the remaining Eagles...and we need to warn the others," he replied.

I picked up my bag discarding the second one because it was filled with clothes that I didn't at all need right now.

"What's the plan?" asked Angela.
"There's going to be a dinner party in the ballroom in fifteen minutes, we'll sneak out of here and try to keep under the radar's range," he said.
"...But what if someone sees us?" I asked.

He shook his head.

"Then we'll have to improvise,"

He picked up his bag and Angela followed suit, shouldering her belongings. However...I noticed a lot of hesitation in Kit's movements. Clearly, something was bothering him.

"What's wrong?" I asked.

He let out a heavy breath.

"It's...just difficult to believe that my mother and sister are still alive; I thought my mother was killed in the invasion and I thought for sure that Baneford executed my sister already," he explained.

I put a hand on his shoulder.

"We'll save them...but we can't do it alone," I said.

He looked at me, a slight smile forming on his previously disheartened face.

"You're right...now let's get out of here,"


"Any word on Kit and the girls yet?"

Oliver waved his hand over the holographic device. His eyes widened.

"They somehow managed to escape the ship and they're coming towards us at a really fast pace," he said.
"How long until they arrive?" asked Carl.

Oliver did some typing for a few seconds.

"That's odd...not even an hour ago they weren't moving but now they're only 20 miles away," he said.
"What do you mean not moving?" asked Mili.
"I mean they were stationary...for a moment I thought they were captured," replied Oliver.
"What did the cameras say?" asked Nate.

Oliver shook his head.

"They weren't in any of the rooms that contained cameras so my guess is that they saw an opening to go and they took it," he replied.


He made a few more keystrokes and then gasped.

"Damn it...they're being chased by several others going at a high speed; they're ahead but it won't be long before they catch up to them," he said.
"What're we waiting for? Let's go get them," shouted Iris.

Oliver shook his head again.

"We can't; if even one of them escape and they see all of us, Baneford is going to know that we're here and we can't afford to lose the element of surprise," he explained.
"So what the hell do we do then? Sit and wait for them to die?" growled Fabiana.

Oliver smiled.

"Kit can take care of himself and the girls aren't pushovers either," he replied.
"So what's the plan when they get here?" asked Alex.

He opened up a holographic globe on the device and hovered over Australia.

"This is where we're going to hide after a few days," he said.
"We're going...to where most of the regular humans are?" questioned Nate.
"Precisely,"

Mili shook her head wildly.

"Are you out of your mind? Why the hell would we risk getting them involved? They've done nothing to deserve this!" snapped Fabiana.

Oliver raised a finger and made a gesture towards the hologram. It proceeded to zoom into a large compound.

"They would never think of looking here for us because it's the place that's been labeled taboo; in order to preserve the balance of nature, no superhuman is allowed to attack a normal person which is precisely why we can go there to gather our strength,"

The compound seemed large enough to more than accommodate a great number of people.

"This is property that hasn't been used in years and it's up for grabs, which is where Carl's friend comes in," said Oliver.

He looked at Carl for a moment, causing the Hawk to nod.

"My friend Jose, who is the one who gave us this house we're at now has already bought out the compound and will meet us there; he's a Hawk that sympathizes with us so he'll help us however we can." he explained.
Oliver then looked to Doan.
"If anyone gets too suspicious, that's nothing that Doan's persuasive gaze won't solve...so it should be no trouble to secure it for our own uses," he said.
"But how do we intend to incite a rebellion in a place where we can't hurt anyone?" asked Alex.
"That's precisely it isn't it? We're not igniting the flames yet...we're gathering all the resources to ensure it burns bright once we finally strike," replied Oliver.

Nate put a hand to his chin.

"It's a very crazy idea...and I don't like that we have to live amongst humans which basically forces us to once again never make use of our powers else we risk scaring them to seek The Purity's help...but it could work if we're careful," he said.
"I agree," said Iris.

Alex looked back at the hologram.

"This is an abandoned facility that was opened by Arthur Matthews; I'm tempted to think that there may be something hidden there because no one's been able to get into the bottom floor of that place," he said.
"You knew about it Alex?" asked Oliver.

He shook his head.

"I visited this place for one of my contracts a few years back...heard stories from some of the people there about some kind of door that won't open for anyone," he explained.
"I could probably rip it off," said Nate.
"And then scare the hell out of everyone nearby? Not a chance," snapped Iris.


Oliver cycled the hologram back to the radar that was tracking Kit and the sisters...to see that they stopped.

"They're about ten minutes out from the coast...why did they stop?" he muttered.

After some frantic typing, the satellite pulled up an image...of the trio fighting what appeared to be a moderate number of Vultures.

"Damn it! They were followed!"

He pressed a blue button on the small device which caused the hologram to disappear and instead, a phone appeared.

"Kit! Can you hear me!" shouted Oliver.
"You?! How the hell are you talking to me?!"
"There'll be time for explanations later, right now you and the girls have got to get out of there; there's a large number of Vultures converging on your location and there's no way you'll be able to fight them all," said Oliver.
"Amelia's exhausted; she had to use her powers to take down an Alpha. Angela took a blow that was meant for her and I think she broke her arm."

Oliver cursed loudly.

"I know you want to fight them Kit...but we can't afford to lose either of you,"
"...Where do I meet all of you?"
"How fast can you fly at top speed?"
"...I haven't done that in a long time...I don't think either of them will be able to withstand that kind of friction but I can thanks to my healing factor,"
"Hold them both and coat their bodies in telekinetic energy. Go as fast as you can to cover 300 miles north," said Oliver.

There was a short pause.

"Get over there right now; they need medical attention,"
I took a deep breath and looked to Amelia, who was still struggling to keep her balance in the air. She was panting heavily and I could tell she was fighting her body just to remain conscious. I immediately unleashed a large pulsation of telekinetic energy, sending all of the Vultures flying a short distance away. Angela immediately made her way to her sister, gripping her left arm.

"...I don't have much left in me," she panted.
"I can't keep fighting like this Kit...my gift tires me out quickly." said Amelia.

I closed my eyes, hesitating greatly at what I was about to do.

"Do both of you trust me?" I asked.

The fact that neither of their heart rates increased meant that they felt no fear.

"I need you both to hold onto me and close your eyes," I said.

I immediately sense a build up of heat behind me and I erected a shield of telekinetic energy just in time to block a torrent of blue fire. It was difficult for me to hold them all back with my current level of focus...so we had to act quickly. Once I felt both their arms around lock around my neck, I turned towards the direction Oliver specified.
"Don't let go,"

I gathered my energy, focusing a telekinetic shield around both of them as I felt the anger and hatred flow through me. Before I knew it, I felt myself beginning to lose control.

"I don't need to go further than this...I just need to hold onto this point until we get to the others,"

I took off at a tremendous speed, releasing the shield I kept up to hold back the flames. I did my best to keep my mind focused on the objective to make it to the others...but I could feel my darker side beginning to get in the way.

"You know you want to go back and kill all of them...they tried to hurt your friend and they played a part in the death of your father...let me take over so I can make them suffer,"

It was beginning to get difficult to focus; my vision began to blur, my fists subconsciously clenched and my anger was reaching it's boiling point.

"If I lose control now...there's no way that the girls will survive, I have to keep it at bay for just a little longer,"

I removed the device from my jacket and watched as I closed the distance towards the coordinates Oliver specified. It would only be a few more seconds before I arrived and I knew that I had left the Vultures completely in the dust. I began to slow down, forcing back my anger and rage as best as I could until I finally stopped and landed. I panted heavily, waiting for my healing factor to kick in and regenerate the skin I peeled off from the intense speed I was flying at. I then lowered myself to the ground to see that both girls had passed out. Thankfully, I was able to keep the shield around them the entire time and both were unharmed apart from the injuries they took during the fight.

"You're here,"

I heard footsteps approaching us as I stood defensively in front of the unconscious sisters. My vision was blurry due to how exhausted I was so I couldn't make out who I was speaking to.

"We're not hostile, you can relax,"

I took a deep breath and closed my eyes, allowing myself to be at peace once more. Then...as if something drained all the energy from my body, I collapsed and blacked out.
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