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Aberrant RPG - Diary of a Nova

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<h1 align="center">Diary of a Nova </h1>

<h2><a href="mailto:otha@aeonsociety.org">Written by Steven Otte</a></h2>
<hr>

<font size="3"><font size="4">August 12, 2008</font> Happy Sweet 16 to me! Sick of cake already. I got a cute sweater set from Gran, a portable MP5 player from Mom, a bracelet with a heart charm from Brad (cheap, but sweet), and of course, this new diary from Jen! The old one was old and almost full anyway. Hmmm, how'd she know that I needed a new one? She wouldn't would she!?!? Have to ask her some "subtle" questions later. Haven't heard from Dad yet. Surprise surprise. Not much else to say, so I'll close.</font>

<font size="3"> </font> <font size="3"><font size="4">August 13, 2008</font>

Not much to write today. Talked to Brad on the phone, and he said the bracelet and charm are gold-filled. Must have cost him real money. I feel so bad for dissing it in yesterday's entry!!! Mea culpa. I'll make it up to him when I see him for the Cool Thing on Saturday.</font>

<font size="3"> <font size="4">August 14, 2008</font>

Geez, a brand-new diary, and three straight days of yawn. You'd think that when school's out, I'd be able to go out during the week and have some excitement, but nooo. Not with MY 'rents. I guess they think keeping me disciplined over the summer will get me in a mindset to work harder when school starts. I tried to tell 'em that I was trying hard, I'm just hopeless. They gave me the old "You've got so much potential" line of crap again. Every parent uses that line on their kids. But not every kid has the same potential, so it must be b.s. for some of them. (Me, frex.) I'm just not cut out for school! I'm gonna be an artist anyway, I don't know why they think I need to go to college.</font>

<font size="3"> <font size="4">August 15, 2008</font> Did the Cool Thing with Brad. Saw Jen, Becca and Thad there. That Becca is just ad-DICK-ted to Thad! They were hanging and slobbering all over each other the whole time I was talking with Jen. He actually had his hand right up her skirt right there in the food court!!! Jen practically had to pick up my eyeballs. She was unfazed o'course. Speaking of addicts, she can't keep it in her pants either -- her credit card that is. Showed me the new shoes she picked up that day. Ferragamos. Of course. Must be nice to have her dad. Or a dad.

<font size="4">August 16, 2008</font>

You'll never guess!!! Dad showed up Sunday, and said that since I got my learner's, I ought to be driving to school! So he gave me a car!!!!! It's an old 'Stang, a '96, that belonged to the brother of one of the guys on his crew. Must have set him back about a grand, Brad guessed. It's baby-blue, and kinda rusty on the bottom, and it's hard to work the manual shift, but it's still sweet! Even Jen doesn't have a car yet -- she's gonna be so green when I roll up in that thing first day of school! Mom blew her top later -- in fact I can still hear 'em going at it down in the kitchen right now -- but she's gonna give in in the end, I know it. She always does, 'coz she knows she can't afford to get me the kinda stuff Dad gives me. She says it gives me "false values," but ya know what, today I don't care because I am a Car Owner!!!

<font size="4">August 17, 2008</font>

After Mom calmed down today I started begging her to let me drive the car to work tomorrow. Started in again when I got home. Finally she said yes! WooHoo! Tomorrow it's gonna be Thunder Road baby!!! I feel so grown-up.

<font size="4">August 19, 2008</font>

Three words: Oh. My. God.

I know I haven't written in two days, but those two days have been so incredible that I find it hard to put them down in words. I'll start at the beginning.

Tuesday morning, I left for work in my new car. I found out quickly that a Mustang doesn't handle like Mom's subcompact, which I learned to drive in. For example, Mom's Daihatsu is an automatic, the Mustang is manual; the Mustang has power steering, but the "Do-I-hates-you" does not. Anyway, I was on my way home when it happened. I was on Route 60, where it runs alongside Stoddard Creek. I came up over that hump that leads to the bridge, when I saw another car coming at me straddling the middle line. I jerked the wheel to the right and stomped on the brake -- only I missed. I forgot it was a manual and stomped on the clutch instead. The power steering did the rest, and before I knew it, I was pumping that stupid clutch all the way down the ravine into the creek.

I didn't know it, but the creek's pretty deep there. I had the window open, so the car immediately started to fill with water. In a couple seconds it was up to my head. Try as I could, I couldn't find the stupid button to release the seatbelt. I tried to pull the shoulder belt over my head but it was one of those automatic kind, and it had locked in place. I thought for sure I was going to die right there, drowned at the bottom of a stupid creek on my very first day as a grownup.

That's when it happened. My head felt like it was splitting open, though I didn't remember it hitting anything in the crash. The whole car was full of water, and I couldn't breathe. Suddenly I felt a surge of panic rip through me, and I just grabbed the seatbelt and yanked as hard as I could, and it ripped right out of the mountings in my hands. Then I leaped out of the car.

Right through the roof.

I ended up landing on my feet, all the way back up by the side of the road -- about 10 yards away! My clothes were pretty beat up, but there wasn't a scratch on me. Of course I thought, OK, I'm dreaming. But I was all wet, and my heart was pounding, and my head was still killing me, and the guy in the other car (the one that ran me off the road) ran up and started blabbering. I could smell the alcohol on his breath -- both beer and whisky, probably about one and a half times the legal limit -- plus pot. The pot was on his clothes, not on his breath, though. I could smell a lot more of it wafting from his car about 50 yards down the road.

That's when it really hit me. Not ripping off the seatbelt, or jumping out of the car; that all seemed too much like a dream. When I realized that I could not only name everything this guy had eaten in the past eight hours, but what brands of soap, aftershave, shampoo and deodorant he used, I started shaking.

I am a Nova!

I wasn't even listening to anything the pothead was saying; my mind was racing too fast. He had a big wad of bills from his pocket and he was peeling off what looked like 100s, asking how much it would take to forget who had run me off. Before long I heard sirens, which pulled me out of my thoughts. I looked at him and it was obvious he hadn't heard them yet. I listened and counted and it was nearly a whole minute before he heard them too. Apparently all my senses are at least 3 times sharper than they used to be.

Anyway, when he heard the sirens, he turned and ran for his car. I reached for him, grabbed a handful of shirt, and ripped it right off him! He just kept going. I don't know what I was thinking, but I went after him and when he started the car, I just grabbed the trunk. Grabbed his car trunk, planted my feet and held on. He peeled rubber, squealing stinky white smoke everywhere, but the car didn't move. I held it there. He got out, with The Club, of those metal anti-theft things, in his hand, and swung it at my fingers. It bounced off. I thought he missed and hit the trunk lid, but he did it again, and I realized I was feeling it -- it just didn't hurt. He was kind of freaked out, but Nova or not, he wasn't the kind to be scared of a 95-pound, 16-year-old girl. So he swung it at my head.

That's when he got me mad. I let go of the car and caught his wrist mid-swing. There was a snap, and he sank down on his knees screaming. I picked up The Club he dropped, put his other wrist through the U on the long end, and punched the end through the bumper, trapping him there like a padlock.

I went back to the creek where the car went in and tried to pull it out. I could feel it move, but that cheap plastic bumper ripped right off in my hands. I realized that I was going to have a lot to explain, and if I couldn't get rid of the car, the hole in the roof at least was going to let them know something weird happened. (Not to mention my entire handprints permanently dented into the back of his car. Duh.) So when the cops arrived I went back up the ravine and met them there.

Well the next six hours were "full Dali," like Becca says -- totally surreal. They asked me to come down to the station with them, and asked me all kinds of questions and stuff, different guys coming in and going out and asking the same questions over and over and over. Finally I asked where my mom was and one guy said she was on her way. I knew immediately he was lying, and called him a liar to his face. Their tone changed immediately. Where they had been inquisitive before, now they were all weirded out. I pushed it and said I wanted to talk to Mom right then or I was leaving. They pretty much fell over each other getting to the phone.

Anyway, Mom came, and she cried and hugged me, and I told her it was all right. I figured she didn't know about the Nova part so I told her the whole story and tried to break it to her easy. Her face went all kinds of gray, but I told her I was OK and everything was going to be OK, and she broke down and sobbed in my arms. I'm used to her being the strong one but I guess finding out your kid is a Nova was too much for her.

Anyway, when the cops said they wanted to talk to me some more, I told them I didn't want to answer any more questions, and I wanted to leave now. So they said OK, and Mom and I went home. It was nearly 10 by then so we just went through the Wendy's drive-thru for dinner, and went home and talked for about four hours straight, then went to bed.

The next morning there was a knock on the door at 8 exactly. There were 3 people there in dark suits: a really handsome black guy, a tall woman in dark sunglasses, and a really big guy who must have had a 72-inch chest. They asked to come in to talk to us about "the incident," and Mom was about to let 'em when I stepped up and said no. I told Mom to go call Uncle Phil (he's a lawyer), and stood in the doorway so Tall, Dork, and Handsome had to stand on the porch. They asked me if I remembered what happened yesterday, in a kind of patronizing way, and I basically said "Duh," though in an only slightly less smartass way. They looked a little annoyed, which I thought was good -- I wasn't about to let some M.I.B.-style goons who hadn't even bothered to tell us their names control the situation.

They just stood around kind of uncomfortably for a while, when the woman asked my name. "Don't you know?" I asked. She sort of laughed and said yeah, but she was just trying to be friendly. She had a vaguely eastern-European accent. "You haven't told me yours yet," I answered.

By then Mom came back and asked them in. I stepped aside, and the three of them came into the living room. The big guy had to turn sideways to get through the door -- it was almost hilarious. Mr. G.Q., I guessed he was in charge, sat with the woman on the couch, and the big guy just stood there with his arms folded across his chest. He could hardly do it, he was so big; his arms barely overlapped. I had to keep from laughing.

Anyway, the guy gave Mom this dazzling smile, and thanked her for her hospitality; even though it was a total line of B.S., I could tell she was really lapping it up. I realized the big guy probably wasn't the only Nova in the room, they were all Novas! I was steamed he would use his powers on Mom like that. He started to ask her about "the events yesterday," and I cut him off in mid-question. "Nobody answers anything until my uncle gets here," I said, though if the woman had powers anything like the boss did, Phil would be worse than useless. Since his wife left him, he'll do backflips for anything in a skirt -- even one without the bod of a goddess.

Anyway, Uncle Phil lives about an hour away, so they made smalltalk for a while. Both of them had some kind of manipulation power, it seems, and though they didn't use it much, I could tell they flipped it on whenever Mom seemed to get uncomfortable. That pissed me off, so I decided not to wait for Phil.

"Who are you people?" I blurted out.

The woman turned to me. "We're from a group that finds and helps people like yourself, extraordinary people, adapt to who and what they've become." She was very smooth; it was obviously a very practiced little spiel. "We help you figure out what it means to be special, and teach you how to use your newfound abilities, and use them for good."

"Utopia?"

The man answered. "No, dear. We work for the federal government."

He had the smooth turned on full, but the "dear" grated me. Was it the "dear," or am I resistant?

"We're from the government, and we're here to help you," I said. "Now where have I heard that one before? Oh yeah, right between 'The check's in the mail' and 'Of course I'll respect you in the morning.'"

There wasn't a visible reaction from the three, but I felt the air go frosty. Mom gasped. I pushed on. "And if you want us to trust you so bad, why won't you even tell us your names?"

"Fair enough," he said, holding his hands up in a "you got me" kind of gesture. "You can call me Mr. Green. This is Ms. White, and Mr. Brown. Now that we all know each other, we can talk about what happened to you yesterday."

I could just feel the waves of you-like-me rolling off him. I looked over at Mom, and she was obviously in it deep. I felt myself slipping under, too, but caught myself at the last minute. I had to do something to break the spell completely or I might not get another try.

"What happened?" I asked the black guy. "When they were handing out cool code names, Mr. Black was already taken?"

Man, did that hit a nerve. You should have seen Green whirl on me. "That will be quite enough, girl!" he raged. Mom was just babbling in the background, "We didn't raise her like that," apologizing. I got to my feet and shouted right back -- pushed my words at them, their trick. I could feel my voice rumbling out of me, like somebody else speaking through me.

"No, that's enough out of you three! We didn't ask you here, we don't want you here, we don't want to talk to you, GET OUT!"

All three of them recoiled like they'd been slapped. Mom fell silent. White quietly took the other two by the arms. "Let's go," she said quietly. Green was still steaming, but he looked like he was fighting to control himself, and went quietly. Brown ducked sideways again and closed the front door behind them. I don't think either Mom or I breathed again until we heard their car start and pull off down the street.

I sat with Mom and tried to calm her down. I told her that I didn't talk about black people or others like that, but I could feel they were trying to influence us, and had to do something to shock them out of it. She sort of nodded weakly. I hope she understands. She's always done a good job of teaching me how to treat people, that folks deserve to be treated the same no matter what they look like on the outside.

I'm starting to wonder if that applies to Novas, though.

Anyway, Uncle Phil showed up later; we'd both calmed down by then. I told Phil the whole story since the crash and my Eruption, and he listened to the whole thing, only interrupting occasionally with a low whistle. Then I got to our three visitors this morning, and how I threw 'em out. Phil's eyes got wide, and he hung on every word.

Phil said they were probably from "The Directorate" -- no, wait, that's wrong. "The Directive," that's it. Anyway, The Directive is a government Nova group set up by the U.S., Russia, Japan and some other countries. They're sort of like a cross between Utopia and the F.B.I., kind of international Nova law enforcement. He said they were probably there to recruit me -- and that I probably did good to turn them away. He didn't have any real reason to say that, but things he's read about them just gave him a bad feeling, he said.

Anyway, Phil said I should give him a dollar to make him legally my attorney, so I did. We talked about things we could do, legal things and other things, to protect me and Mom in the future. First order of business would be to go to one of Utopia's Rashould clinics. The nearest one's in Chicago. We have some things to take care of here first, but Phil said we should probably try to go before this weekend.

All the talking and planning took most of the afternoon. I called in sick to work, and Mr. Jurgens didn't argue with me, said to take all the time I need. Guess they'd heard about the crash and my erupting and all. It wasn't until that evening, when Phil left, that Mom brought in the paper, and we saw it.

My story was on the front page, along with pictures of both cars and my last year's yearbook photo.

My life's never going to be the same again.

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