The Shimmer Project

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The Heat

Number 5

I stood waiting and watching on our balcony. The warm air blew gently against my face. There was a fog covering the Golden Gate bridge in the other direction, I could only see the mist. But the south was clear. I could smell the pollution, a dark car parked on the street was dripping with oil. I held a pair of binoculars up, in the distance I saw them. Two planes, landing in a field near Pacifica, then the helicopters. I watched the lights as the trucks wound through the field, then only the highway as they cruised towards town. They had come, they had found us.

“They’re suicidal,” I murmured.

“What was that?” Concordia stepped onto the balcony behind me.

“Look,” I handed her the binoculars and pointed in the right direction. She looked through them then handed them back frowning.

“How could they be so stupid? Don’t they know how powerful we are?” I muttered.

She pursed her lips gazing out at the city. “Maybe, they’re a decoy. Either way, we shouldn’t go. It’s a trap.”

“What? Are you kidding me? Of course, we have to go! They will keep coming, Connie!”

“You know, we could run. We could leave here. We don’t have to kill them all,” she suggested.

“We can’t run. We can’t run all our lives. We have to make a stand! We have to fight.”

“It’ll be a massacre!” she cried back. I glanced at her wide-eyed.

“I know you hate it, Connie,” I whispered stepping back inside our room. “So do I. I’m not asking you to come with me. But I have to stop them,” I started towards the door. I could sense her hesitate then rush after me. She clung to my arm.

“I’m your sister Eris. I’m not letting you do this,” she breathed. I turned my head slightly gazing into her black eyes.

“You shouldn’t try to stop me. You know that,” I told her bitterly.

“You would never hurt me.”

“I would, you know I would,” I insisted. I noticed Vigdis appearing in the doorway wearing boots. Her eyes were hard, she was ready. Concordia glanced at her as well.

“Please,” she begged. My brows pulled together in frustration. I shook my head violently.

“You know I have no choice," I breathed. “I have to protect you. They must be destroyed."

I felt Concordia’s grip loosen as she crumpled to the ground sobbing. Vigdis ran to her side, then realizing she wasn’t hurt she looked up at me.

“We should go,” she said. Concordia balled up, her sobs racking her shoulders.

“It’s a trap!” Concordia cried.

“They can’t catch us, we’re free,” I replied nodding to Vigdis. We left Concordia crying on the floor and marched out of the apartment. I glanced at the square box Caleb had called an elevator then started running down the stairs. Vigdis followed behind me.

We took a taxi, it drove us to Pacifica in about twenty minutes. I paid the driver and hopped out. Vigdis and I then started walking out of town. It took us about ten minutes to find them, resting, waiting in the field. They were lying around waiting. Probably for the others downtown to find us and bring us back. Were they the trap, or the bait? I felt Vigidis tense beside me. We were crouched behind a bush.

“Should we attack or tell them to leave first?” she asked me in a whisper. I shrugged slowly.

“Either way they’re going to try to attack us aren’t they? So whatever pleases you most,” I answered.

Vigdis grumbled something. “Let’s ask nicely to start,” she suggested. I nodded in agreement grinning.

I could hear all those men, feel their strength, I longed to take it from them. I could imagine all their strength flowing into me. The last time I killed so many at the same time, we were escaping. I had so much power that day, I could fly. I felt almost giddy to kill the rest of the soldiers. My powers were restless inside me. I pushed them down, trying to listen to my human instincts first. They were buried so deep these days.

"Stay down for now," I breathed, then I stood up, facing the moonlight. I felt my powers moving restlessly through me, rushing through my veins, pushing to get out of my skin. The air seemed to hum around me. I looked at my hands, they were shimmering in the moonlight, I stood like a beacon, on the top of the hill.

I watched and waited until they had all noticed me. The field grew quiet, the soldiers stared at me in horror. I saw them gasp and shudder as Vigidis stood up next to me.

“We know why you’re here,” I said softly, but they could all hear me, the field was so quiet. “And you know what I will do to you if you don’t leave. So this is going to be simple. Leave now, and never come back.

They didn’t answer. I cocked my head to one side.

“Or die,” I continued casting my gaze over them. They were trembling, scared out of their wits. I recognized their guns, one that had been fashioned for us, to hurt us. I recognized the sigils on their outfits: Morgan Laboratories. My teeth ground together, these men had been trained to keep me and my sisters locked up until we died. Trained to destroy us, like I was made to destroy humanity.

“Too slow,” I growled allowing my powers free. They surged through my body, I felt my skin tingling, my heart racing. My eyes clouded over.

“Fire!” someone shouted. The soldiers didn’t move, they knew how dangerous we were. I looked at them, fear, I read it in all their eyes. They were young, all of them.

Then someone fired, the bullet-headed straight for my heart, it didn’t take me a second to react. I took command of it and sent it flying in a straight line directly back into the shooter’s own heart.

His falling against the earth was the only sound heard. His death replenished me. Gasps, I saw all around me the soldiers aiming, their guns clicking into place. I heard Vigidis chuckling lightly, I glanced at her standing a little behind me her eyes black.

“Ready when you are,” she said aloud, loud enough for the soldiers to hear. Primates, stupid primates. Following orders. They thought they could beat us, destroy us, they had more chance of surviving by running away. I’d let them live if they left.

Vigdis made the first move. Lifting her hands, I felt her straining as she took control of the closest five soldiers. They lifted into the air, then split in two. Their screams were cut short and their bodies toppled to the ground. Vigdis let out a gasp as their life flooded into her. I saw her skin begin to shimmer, I could feel her powers radiating beside mine.

An instinct, deep inside me, told me to kill her, to steal her awesome powers and be the most powerful. I pushed it down and faced the soldiers. They’d begun to shoot. There were men in the trees that I hadn’t noticed, they were shooting as well. Bullets showered down over us. Like I had practised in the testing area in the lab, I unleashed my powers and allowed them to wrap around my body and glue themselves to my skin, like a shield. I was the first Chimeramortus to ever be able to stand in front of a shower of bullets and not be harmed. Neither Vigidis nor Concordia could stretch their powers as I could. I remained standing, my powers flowing through my body and sending the bullets shattering to the earth at my feet.

Beside me, I saw Vigidis drop. She had to concentrate on each bullet coming towards her, send it back with her powers. Her powers were stressed, she could deflect the bullets, as she always had done, but she wouldn’t be able to attack. Not until I got rid of the shooters.

I killed the first twenty quickly, absorbing their strength then I faced the tanks. They were lined up, ready to fire, all of them pointing at Vigdis. They’d understood that I’d die before I let them take her. They were going to use her against me. I suddenly regretted that I’d encouraged her to come and I was glad Concordia had the sense to stay home. They were my weaknesses. Maybe the soldiers knew this, maybe that was their plan of action. Was Concordia in danger?

I gasped quickly and wheeled around towards town. As soon as one of the tanks fired I took control of the sabot round and sent it flying back into the tank. It burst into flames. Smoke billowed into the air, the soldiers in it and around were roasted. I felt their strength flow into mine. With my new strength, I lifted two tanks into the air and crashed them together. They collided in a spectacular explosion that echoed in the silent night. Trees burst into the flames, a large column of smoke rose into the night sky. Soldiers withered in the dirt, screaming as the fire licked up their bodies. Their pain and their deaths only strengthened me more.

In the reflection of a truck’s windows shield I saw myself; my skin, my hair was glowing, shimmering, almost as bright as the stars. The trees behind me, the earth at my feet was illuminated by my glow.

I turned back to town quickly, would Concordia be strong enough to defeat them, or was this their plan? Would James know she’d refuse to fight?

I started running, away. I felt the bullets suddenly stop raining on me, I turn in time to see the men showering their bullets on Vigidis and moving closer to her. If I went for Concordia they would take Vigidis, if I stayed with Vigidis, would they get Concordia? They didn't know where she was…I hoped.

Letting out a moan I wheeled around and ripped the heads off the closest soldiers to Vigdis. They cowered back shouting orders.

The sharpshooters in the trees kept their fire aimed at Vigdis. They were weakening her. To remove them, I tried taking control of the trees. But they refused, they didn’t like being burnt. Instead, I took control of the flames on the burning tanks and transferred them to the bases of the tress with men in them. Smoke rose as the men tried to find a way down without touching the flames. Everyone was watching the flames rising slowly up the trees' trunks. The men started dropping from the trees. One fell in front of me. I knelt to look at him. He was still alive, breathing his last breath.

“You should have left when you had the chance,” I murmured brushing my hand over his chest. I took control of my heart and crushed it. He let out a gurgling sound, spat some blood, then stopped breathing forever. I felt his life flowing into me, strengthening me even more.

Most soldiers had stopped shooting, those who still were aimed at Vigdis. Some were running. I was glad. They weren’t cowards, they were smart. The rest were just stupid. Vigdis stood up, she could defect the few bullets that were directed on her easily now. But her eyes were hollow, her powers were exhausted. She understood that I’d come back for her, that she’d needed me to save her. She didn’t like feeling weak, in my debt.

I watched her concentrate on a jeep. She was unable to lift it, so she moved flames onto it. It exploded. I saw her powers growing again. She started glowing, just slightly, not like I was. I was so bright now, brighter than the flames. My whole body pulsed with heat, strength.

Tanks all turned against us more seriously now. They prepared to shoot at the same time. I turned my powers to protect my sister. I let them slide around her body. She glanced at me gratefully.

Under my protection, she was able to crash one jeep against the other. Her powers continued to grow quickly as she moved on to slaughtering three soldiers hiding behind a burning tank. I was watching her fighting, making sure she’d have enough powers to protect herself more fully. Then I felt it, the horrible sting as the gigantic sabot round came shooting past my stomach. I cried out and dropped to the ground. The round had just brushed against my belly, ripping deeply into my flesh, but it hadn’t done more damage than that. I could feel my warm blood pouring out, soaking my shirt. Vigdis took a step towards me her eyes wide. I stopped her reaching my hand out and sending the sabot round right into the tank. It exploded immediately.

The soldiers showered us in bullets as Vigidis knelt to work on my stomach. I protected us wrapping my powers around us then healing my waist as well. It took under five minutes for it to be healed. I stood up slowly. I wasn’t shimmering anymore. My powers were exhausted. Gritting my teeth I crashed two jeeps into each other, taking their strength I crashed another tank into a jeep and played with the flames, dancing them away from the shrieking trees and towards the soldiers.

In the distance, I heard sirens. I turned to face the highway. Racing towards us were a dozen police cars and a few jeeps.

“Damn,” I heard Vigidis mutter. She glanced at me as I took control of three of the police cars and crashed them together.

“Vi, we need to leave. We need to stay together and leave. They may have gone after Concordia!” I said feeling my powers strengthening. I glanced back in the truck’s window, which I hadn’t touched in on purpose, to see how I was glowing. I was so bright now that I couldn’t even see my facial features through the glow, I could only make out my black eyes and a scatter of blood over my nose.

Smoke filled the sky, soldiers lay on the ground coughing. The smoke didn’t touch Vigidis and me, something we’d found out in the test room when they had filled the whole thing with thick grey smoke. We could just tell it to stay away, and it would, gladly.

“We need to get to Concordia. If they already have her, we need to get the upper hand! Destroying the tanks is the most important, they are the only things that can hurt us. Then the trucks. We leave the police alone if possible. But if they dare fire at us, we’ll teach them a lesson,” I said watching the cars and trucks cruising towards us.

“M’Kay,” Vigdis agreed. I sent two tanks crashing into each other and onto a truck. There was a horrible explosion. Gunshots could be heard, the remaining few tanks started firing. I had to duck to dodge one, I sent one round flying back to its source then jumped to the side, rolling over the scorching earth to avoid the third one. Beside me, Vigidis was taking care of the trucks, her powers growing steadily as she took the men’s lives. I looked at the last tank. It suddenly seemed very small. It aimed and fired at me. I used my hands to help my mind manipulate the sabot round, it arched into the aim, spinning them dropped down onto the tank. While my tank exploded I kept the sabot round in my control and dragged it towards the police cars. They all swerved in time. The sabot round dropped onto a truck instead.

Shots came from a police car that had parked behind a burning tank. I swirled around quickly to glare at it. The police officers were shaking in fear, one of them wet his pants.

"Dare to shoot me,” I growled leaping into the air. My powers were growing, I could feel that I almost had control of the air. It was a power I’d discovered the night of the escape, controlling the air meant that I could fly. I was able to push myself up and arch in the air before my powers lost their grip and I rolled to the earth in front of the police car, twenty meters from where I had stood. They started at me in awe.

“Mercy,” one of them begged. I glanced down at the cowering man, his pants were soaking.

“They never had any for me,” I muttered as his head slipped off his neck. The other officers got the same treatment.

“Kill the bight one! Keep the bullets on the dark one. Kill the other one!” I looked up at the man shouting. He stood on top of a truck with a large gun pointed at me. He was young, he looked about twenty. The soldiers obeyed him immediately showering Vigidis with bullets. I ground my teeth together turned to face the man. He shot, the bullet bounced away from me into a soldier. His eyes widened. I was about to kill him when a truck exploded over my head and hurtled into the trees. Vigdis chuckled.

“Stop!” I turned quickly to see who was shouting.

It was him. Daddy dearest.

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