Out in the foyer, Cathrine sat in her trance like state. She had heard everything that Adam had done to Jason. She knew his wrath was terrible and she was terrified to stay and work for him but she owed it to Tian to stay here.
Tian was a strange man. He kept to himself. It was eerie to be in the same room or walk with him. The man never made a sound when he moved. The only sounds he made were with his voice. That was eerie for a regular person. For an Able, as she referred to what Adam called Changers, she should have been able to hear his heart beating and his lungs inflate and deflate. With Tian she, no matter how hard she tried, could not even sense his unique energy that normally comes from every living thing. She owed him so much, including the knowledge that made her an Able, and if he wanted her to stay in the office of this lunatic then she would.
Tian had saved many of them like her. Able, who had no one to turn to or no idea what they were doing, even some of them who were misguided, the Able that would have ended up like Adam, all power hungry and no morals. All of us now would die for him. All he had to do was ask it of them and they would do it.
Just as she realized what Adam was doing, it was too late, Adam burst through the door in a rage. "Cathrine, you have some explaining to do!" Adam had sensed her while she was in her trance, and now knew she was an Able.
Adam sent the thought patterns automatically. He threw the stream of accelerated air right at her, hoping to push her into the wall and restrain her but before he could fire off his first question, he realized that the bolt he sent at her did not even reach her. Then he felt it the icy pain of extreme cold, and wondered what she was doing. He did not have time to ponder for too long he fell into unconsciousness.
Cathrine had panicked and had done something she had no idea she could do. She had seen Tian do it but she did not know what it even was. She could not consider it for long because just as she lost her concentration the frost on Adam’s lips started to disappear as well as the frost marks he had made as he hit the ground. She decided it would be best if she left. She ran as Tian taught her to, so no one could see her. She ran through the shadows and away from crowded streets, taking back alleys and residential streets.
It was while she was running down a back alley that she felt their presence. She slowed, sat, and waited for them to show themselves. There was not much point in looking for them. Then they appeared right in front of her. John and Jim were seventeen but they acted like little kids. They still thought it was funny to jump out at people.
“You know you don't scare me when you do that."
“We know. Tian wants to see you."
She never could understand exactly how John and Jim worked. "How is it exactly that you find people and track them?" She asked as she began to get up and follow them out into the bustling street at the edge of downtown.
The two boys looked at each other and said at the same time, "We can tell her. She won't be able to do it." They both laughed. When they finished laughing, they started to explain. "You see we’re maternal twins, and as you've heard twins can have similar thought patterns and such. Well for us they’re identical; in fact we share most of our thoughts."
They went on to explain that they each only had one of the Able ability and as far as they knew they were the only ones that had them.
"John can bend light and make him and whatever else he wants, invisible.” Jim said with a smirk.
"Jim can sense peoples energy trails. If it is someone he wants to follow, he can. He can also absorb sound energy. You can sense energy too can't you Cathrine." John inquired.
"Yes but that is only if they are in the room and all I can do is sense basic vitals."
"Oh," said Jim "I sense those as well as peoples’ emotions and if they are injured, and roughly how old they are…."
John cut him off "So together we make the perfect tracking team."
All Cathrine could imagine was what if Adam got his hands on these boys or someone like them. She shuddered at the thought.
They walked the rest of the distance to Tian's loft in silence.
Adam woke up with a massive headache and moving hurt everything. Cathrine was gone. However, he had an answer to one question. He did not train all the Changers out in the world. This thought alone enraged him. The fact that one was in his office spying on him made him furious.
He let go of his rage when he heard the phone ringing. "Hello, you have Adam."
"Knock, knock" came the whisper on the phone. The doors on the elevator blew open sending shards of metal into the furniture.
There was enough heat in the explosion alone for Adam to get enough energy to block the shards and move at the speed that only Changers can. The men moved slowly as they swung in and off the rappelling ropes into the room. Some rolling to the sides popping up in position guns at the ready, others stood by the sides of the elevator door, eyes to sights. All eight poured into his foyer, only to find him gone and hear his office doors slam shut and bolt into place.
Adam moved as quickly as he could to orientate himself. Jason was gone; he must have woken up and left. The question crossed Adam’s mind briefly, as to why Jason had not killed him when he was unconscious on the floor. There was still the mess to clean up and he did not even know where to start. He was standing looking confused but he dropped out of the trance when he heard the knock.
“Adam you may want to open your door we have a message from an old and pissed-off friend.”
Adam did not need his Social Worker anymore; Adam did not even need school anymore. All he thought of was what he could do. His imagination was the limit. Nevertheless, right now he just wanted some fun. Adam headed to Little Italy, a section of town notorious for its crime and illegal opportunities. When Adam got there, he stared down everyone he saw. Adam was looking for trouble; he wanted to fight. He had heard about illegal gambling circles and was walking through kitchens looking for them. Then he walked in the back door of a restaurant named Mario's Italian Factory. When Adam barged in, he saw the men at the table and cards in their hands. Then he saw the guards at the door that on seeing Adam immediately grabbed him and threw him towards the wall, but in mid-flight time slowed down the air got cold, frost formed on a guard’s thick mustache. Adam could see his breath and he could hear the breath of everyone else in the room slow as he sped up. He flipped himself around as he flew so his feet hit the wall ready to jump off it. He could feel the energy growing in him like a searing hot pain that just grew and grew. He waited until the pain went from enjoyable to exciting all the way, till it was excruciating, then he let it go.
The drinks, that had frozen from the cold of the room as the heat energy changed into something else, were scattered all over the place as Adam threw the guard with the frozen beard onto the poker table. Even before the guard landed on the table, Adam had nearly destroyed the other guard, his limbs a whirlwind moving faster than the eye could see. The first blow was a kick to the knee sending bone shards from the shattered kneecap through the pant leg, the guard let out a guttural scream on the impact. Then in a rage and losing his balance, he threw a punch at the now slower moving Adam. Adam caught his fist spun his arm then punched upward through the guards elbow, followed it around with a quick punch to the sternum that crushed the ribs and everything beneath them. Then something unexpected happened, the guard burst into flames a split second after the punch landed. By the time, the guard hit the floor the flames were out and he was a charred mass.
Before Adam could ponder how that happened the men still in the room pulled out their guns and started to fire. Adam was now moving slower and slower he could not dodge the bullets so he just thought about deflecting them and it worked. All of the bullets fired except one were deflected, that one bullet smashed into Adam’s collarbone destroying his shoulder. Although before he passed out from pain he heard someone say "Don't kill him we need to find out what he was doing here, especially now that we have hooks in the..." As he drifted into the abyss of unconsciousness, he thought that it was the dealer of the game talking, the one that had managed to shoot only one bullet and hit him. It was a regular gun but it had a red glowing Shield with an "E" in the center of it. The bizarre symbol was located on the left hand side of the barrel. However, all his thoughts disappeared when the needle pierced his arm injecting the sleep agent deep into his still fast beating heart.
Adam sat at his desk remembering. It had been three years since that day when he had awoken from the drug they had given him. He’d managed to kill another of the guards, and then the Gun was in his face, the one with the glowing shield. "I don't think you want to die, do you?"
That is where it all started. What he had not known at the time was that the leaders of a little known criminal group that called themselves the Changers were playing the poker game he interrupted. It was a weird name and Adam still does not know what it meant to the man with the gun and his almost cult like following. The man with the gun, his name was Demagonton Percherson, everyone called him Demo. Half in short cause of his name and the fact that he was willing to demo his gun at the drop of a hat. Demo was the leader of this group, The Changers. That was how Adam had gotten his start. After Demo had seen what Adam was capable of doing to his guards, and was finally convinced that he was not some cop, Demo hired Adam to be his personal bodyguard. Earning his trust had taken a while, and he had killed many for Demo. Eventually Adam had enough respect that when Demo disappeared, all of The Changers just came to him. Everyone assumed that Adam had killed Demo; no one cared to ask.
The group, The Changers, known to the world now as the Energy Changers was a school of sorts. Adam, being the only instructor, taught a person how to take energy and convert it into something else. This is what Adam had learned to do three years earlier. Except for back then he did not know how he was doing it.
Three years earlier, he had been able to take ambient heat, the energy that is everywhere and use it to his advantage. The easiest thing for him to do was to convert it into kinetic energy. He was able to speed up his own movements. However, in the kitchen, that Thursday afternoon when he caused that guard to burst into flames he knew there was more but he could not even have guessed the half of it.
Adam teaches about thirty people at the Changers headquarters, He was turning it into a sort of school, most fail; they can never ever reach the state of mind it takes to feel the energy then summon it to themselves. Still some pass, and those he makes sure he has some way to control them and that they know about it. He makes sure he has every Changer on the planet under his control.
It was nostalgic moments like these that he thought about his old roommate, Chris. Adam had heard Chris had disappeared the same day Adam had dropped out of school, that same afternoon that Adam had gotten his new Career.
"Excuse me, Sir?" It was Adams secretary.
"Yes, what is it Cathrine?"
"There is someone here who needs to see you." She said almost scared. It had been a month since the incident but she was still shook up. One of his students was trying to bribe him for money. The silly girl actually thought that she had enough power and following to take out Adam the founder. Cathrine had walked in as Adam shot a string of fire into the poor girl’s hair. The screams as she burned would have been enough to haunt most people for years. Instead, Cathrine had apparently shrugged it off. It was only moments like this when Adam could sense her terror.
"Send Jason in." Jason walked past Cathrine before she could say a word.
"I have made a breakthrough on the project you assigned me." He said so excitedly. It was weird that a twenty two year old could sound as excited as a four year old at Christmas.
"That will be all, Cathrine." Before she could leave the room, he began talking. "So what have you found about the gun." Demo had left behind his Gun, The one with the Shield and E engraved into it. Adams shoulder still ached from the wound from the bullet. The weird thing is the engraved mark on the gun never glowed again and as far as anyone else thought, it never did.
"The shield and E were carved with Energy changing. I don't know what the purpose was but I can replicate it."
"But does it glow?"
"No, but I don't see why you want it to or care about it so much." Adams reaction to that statement was quick and brutal. Frost formed instantly on the windows and Adam was moving too fast for Jason to respond. Adam could sense Jason trying to draw energy but Adam was taking it all. His breathing sped and before Jason could respond, Adam had him by the throat and threw him across the room. Jason smashed into the big picture window, sending a spider web of cracks threw the first and second panes. The glass splinters fell all twenty-three stories to the ground. Adam had grabbed Jason by the leg before he could hit the ground and then flipped him over in a high arc over his head, smashing him down onto Adams desk, which was now brittle from the cold. Adam was on Jason the instant he hit the ground. Adam was so focused on Jason he didn't even notice the splinters in his feet. He got real close in Jason’s face and whispered "Don't you ever assume I am wrong. Ever." However, Jason did not hear him nor remember. Jason’s concussion blocked all memory of the event. Adam sat back in his chair and thought. He started meditating felt the familiar sensation of every muscle in his body quiver as he slipped into the state of relaxation and external perception.
Chris came into the gym around six. Adam sensed him coming down the stairs when he was two floors up. Adam could feel his bodies nagging opinion of its discomfort. He was sitting in an uncomfortable position with his chin against his chest and was sitting on his hands. This was where he was when he heard the door unlatch and open.
"Adam," the name whispered so quietly that it was almost impossible for Adam to normally hear, but he did. He could hear the jawbones open, the air leave the lungs of Chris and his irregular heartbeat "thumb thumb thathumb thum" repeatedly. Then it was gone his concentration broken.
Adam was curious to see what it was like to meditate with someone else; he had always done it alone. Adam watched Christian walk so slowly over to the mat next to his and sit; his mouth seemed to open so slowly.
“What!” His jaw moved so fast he bit his own tongue and the blood flowed instantly. It took effort to slow down to a normal speed. "Cough" "what?" he finally got out with effort to slow down.
“I said, so how do you meditate, anyway." Chris asked, "Holy crap, are you bleeding?"
"It’s nothing,” he brushed off quickly “and to meditate you have to find the most comfortable position, and then let your thoughts drift then when you feel sufficient time has passed you start to organize your thoughts. Then, and only then can you start to think of your surroundings and learn things."
"You found that position comfortable?" referring to the awkward position he had found Adam.
"No not really I start out in a position like this." Adam moved to the wall put his hands in his lap. Feet out in front of him, legs straight, his back against the wall, chin up.
Christian moved to the position that Adam was sitting in. "This isn't that comfortable."
"The key is relaxation; you need to be comfortable to be relaxed. The position isn't important; just find a position where you don't have to move around a lot to stay comfortable."
Christian moved around for a while and eventually settled into a position where he was sitting with is back against the wall his knees bent, elbows on his knees, chin against his chest. Although he was comfortable, he could not get into the tranquil like state of meditation. After an hour, he gave up.
"I'm going to class.” He finally said around seven-thirty.
Adam did not respond. Chris did not know Adam had just found something new, something that had never happened before. Something that if Adam had been in his natural state of mind he would have laughed at. Chris just assumed Adam was too deep into meditation to realize that he was leaving but he was not. He knew all too well that Chris was leaving and knew every single muscle he used to leave. Adam was more in tune with his environment then he had ever been before. He got up and the room felt cold but he was warm and he knew why.
Classes went by extremely slowly for Chris. He had a hard time paying attention he kept staring off into space. In psychology class he ended up drifting in thought and staying in the class until the next block, he came back to reality in Middle Eastern history. He ran out of the class confused. His next class was not until two and it was only eleven thirty. He decided that he should just take a break, sit under a tree, and sort his thoughts. He tried but he kept having other whispering voices in his head, so much that he thought he was going crazy. He kept having problems identifying which ones were actually his. There were whole conversations going on. Stuff that did not make sense in his head, there was an engineer doing complex calculus that he didn’t even know how to do, but it was there nonetheless. He had troubles focusing his eyes, his ears were deceiving him; they would go silent and then loud. Soon he had a splitting headache. He could swear he was going crazy. Dizziness soon followed. In the half hour he was sitting there, he went from just confused to utter bewilderment. His world was spinning out of control and he did not know why. Then all of a sudden he was fine and he found himself laying on his back in the center of the field with an audience, staring at him. Apparently, he had been rolling around screaming in pain. Then he heard the sirens, he couldn’t afford an ambulance ride all he could do was get up and run. His thoughts were running wild he could not understand what was happening. He did not know where to run to so he took a back way to class... he could not afford to miss any more classes.
His Professor was not making any sense his words were slow and slurred, almost as if he was drunk. Soon Chris found himself staring off into space. He kept catching himself before he got to deep into the trance. It must have been boredom. The next thing he knew he could smell smoke and hear screaming. The smell was so acute he could tell what type of wood it was that was burning, he could also tell that there was paper burning. Then all the rest of the scene came crashing through on him. His desk was burning and his textbook was aflame. All he could do was join the rest of the class running away. As he was running though, he could hear the class saying his name. It was spreading as fast as the fire; he was responsible for the blaze. He needed somewhere he could think and just be alone. He ran for the dorm, Adam still had his last class and he could be alone in his room for an hour or so. He did not realize it but he was running faster than 45 km an hour. He could hear the screams of shock as he ran past the fellow students but he did not care. Most of the students could not believe what they were seeing but the rumors spread and Chris knew that the police would know about the running by the time they came for him. They would come for him it was just a matter of time.
As he walked onto the floor, everyone was in the lounge and as one; all of them turned and looked at him. The news was on, it was a picture of the lecture hall, and it looked a lot similar to the pictures on the news that morning of the monastery in Greece. Then the things his floor mates were saying broke through his concentration.
"Sorry dude, the police are on their way"
"How did you do it?"
"Are you a terrorist”?
"I can't believe you would do such a thing."
Then the most important words he heard yet..."Adam is missing."
"What do you mean Adam is missing?"
It was Sheryl, her intense green eyes blazing with hate, which responded. "He never went to class; in fact no one has seen him since last night. He had that meeting with his social worker and missed it, that is what the police were on their way here for, but now this with you."
"Oh no they are going to think that I had something to do with it, with this whole lecture hall thing. I need to go!"
"Where do you think you’re going?” inquired Sheryl with a glare. "You need to talk to the police and we're not letting you out till you do, you and Adam mean to much to us to let you both disappear." She had stressed Adams name too much and it was obvious she was upset about him being gone without saying goodbye.
"Sheryl, get out of my way!" He said calmly and waved his hand. Surprisingly she did; she flew across the room headfirst, faster than the eye could see, and cracked the plaster on the wall where her head hit. To everyone else it looked like she just appeared at the wall but to Chris she moved ever so slowly and he didn't even wait for her to hit before he was running down the stairs and into the afternoon air. Air that seemed too thick for him to breath, his lungs had trouble normally with the high humidity of the day, never mind at this speed. He ran until he left the campus He ran and ran until he had to stop and puke, his lungs felt on fire.. Then he dodged into an alley, where he focused on disappearing.
As written at the base of the pinnacle of the explosion
Honest and uncensored lest we forget the horrible event
The explosion ripped through the halls of the monastery, instantly incinerating the small weeds that had taken over the tiny cracks in the cobblestone hallways. Nothing stopping it, the rampant inferno raced from room to room. The searing heat, burning right through the stones, it scorched the flesh off the bones of the monks. Their souls shrieking inhuman screams of torment as they were torn from their earthly forms, their moaning complaints will haunt the towers of Meteora forever. Debris flying through the dusk air mocking the peaceful serenity of the Greek sunset will be forever remembered as the end of the beginning and the start of the finish.
BEEP BEEP BEECLICK ... Nine minutes pass in the dorm room of Christian Renfrew and his room mate Adam Michel.... BEEP BEEP BEEP "Dude turn off your ‘BEEP’ alarm, ‘Click’
Adam lets out a long yawn. "Alright I'm up."
"Why do you get up at five in the morning if you don't have classes till eight?"
“I get up and meditate down stairs in the gym. No one is ever there so it is nice and peaceful." replied Adam as he put on his socks.
"Why do you meditate? I mean, I find sleep way more important than pondering nothing all morning." Chris said sarcastically as he rolled over in his bed.
"I don't just ponder nothing, as you say,” Pausing to throw a random shoe at the lump in his roommate’s bed. “I focus my energy for the day, I go over goals, life, everything even homework. I find that I do everything better for the rest of the day if I meditate in the morning. It was something that I picked up from my social worker when I was twelve. Since then, I have done it everyday. You should try it." Adam was just finishing up putting his things in his backpack, was heading for the door when Chris spoke up and jumped out of bed.
"Sure I'll come. I’ll try it, anything to pull up my GPA." He shrugged. Then he saw that Adam was on his way out the door. "I'll meet you down there." Chris said not wanting to keep his roommate waiting.
The TV in the lounge caught his eye as he walked through and it gradually slowed his steps until he stopped right in the middle of the lounge. The news was on; it was showing a clip from a helicopter camera shooting the remains of one of the monasteries of Meteora, huge stone pinnacles in the center of Greece. The TV screen had the red alert border around it signifying a terrorist attack. The news reporter was firing off statistics: all three hundred monks living in the monastery dead. Remains not found, millions of dollars in damage. Then the TV showed a small clip showing the actual event. The clip looked like it came from a camcorder, probably some tourist filming the sunset but caught the explosion instead. The reporter’s voice droned on and Chris was going to leave when something caught his ear. “The explosion is believed now to be of an unknown origin and is a new weapon developed by terrorists. There was no accelerant or an explosive used, and scientists are baffled at how the horrific blaze could have happened. The western world is terrified at this new ability the terrorist underground has found.”
Chris put the story together in his head. The terrorist group came up with this new weapon and needed a way to show the world they had it. Therefore, to show the world their new power they attacked the only things that were completely neutral: Monks. Poor defenseless monks that if killed would stir the whole world, not just the United States, into action. What Chris could not understand was what type of weapon it was. It did not make sense, for there to be a fire there had to be an accelerant. Then all of sudden he was snapped back into reality.
“Whoa, Chris you’re up early.” It was Sheryl, the cute blonde, who lived in the other wing. She was lying on the couch. She looked gorgeous in her skintight pink Capri pajama bottoms and white low cut tank top. She flipped her blonde curls over to her other side of her head as she stood. She was the only other person watching TV probably the only other person up on the Floor. “What are you doing up so early. I never see out of your room till five minutes after your class started.”
“Ya, I’m heading down to the gym to meditate with Adam. What are you doing up?” Chris tried not to stare at Sheryl in her skimpy outfit. Everyone on the floor knew Adam and Sheryl were together but were not official.
“I don’t sleep much, too much on my mind.” She said smiling, looking incredibly good, too good. Chris was not going to let Sheryl start a jealous feud with him and Adam. She loved drama in her life and did whatever she could to get it.
Chris Just shrugged; he did not want to hear about it now nor get involved. “Love to stay and chat but I have to go, Adam left half an hour ago.” He finished his sentence as he was running down the stairs, not giving Sheryl a chance to answer.
Sheryl had always thought Chris was cute. Cuter than Adam but Adam was the bolder one and she had taken him when he made the first move. Chris intrigued her though he was secretive. He did not date many people or have many friends but he still managed to know everyone and everyone knew him. His rugged good looks were particularly accentuated today, as he was up early and had not shaved yet.
The conversation with Chris had disturbed her. He seemed to focus way to long on the television when it was showing the news about the tower explosion. He stopped long enough to look at the news, but not at her, maybe that is what had disturbed her. She took pride in her skimpy pajamas and loved to show them off but Chris had not even taken a glance down at her half-covered chest or her other curves that the skintight pajama’s had shown off.
To be honest, Adam was great, she had no reason to move on and try anything with Chris. All the same, she liked him a little bit less now then she did five minutes before.