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[Fiction] A scared child.


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For the past week and a half Amped has been running from people approaching him. He's scared and terrified of things he doesn't know. In his current state there is plenty he doesn't know. He awoke a week and a half ago, in a place he didn't know, wearing clothes he didn't know, possessing abilities he didn't know.

He ran from those approaching him. That's all he felt he could do. Something was just telling him not to talk to him, but they kept following him. It was always the same two that tried to talk to him. He was about to give in until he found a place with people like him. People that could do unexplainable things. He visited nprime and was approached by one called Alchemy. He gave in and decided to trust him.

He ran to the spot agreed upon. It was a rest stop off of Highway 90. It didn't take him long to get there. Amped was able to get anywhere very quickly once he started moving. He saw the place and he had to make a very quick and abrupt stop, sliding across the cement, the bottom of his shoes being warn thinner and thinner, he stumbled into the rest stop, spying the McDonald's where he was meant to meet the gentleman from nprime. He was surrounded by food and starving, he walked by a table with a half eaten cheeseburger left on it. Snatching it up he went to a booth in the corner and out of the eyes of the employees and waited, hoping they wouldn't come for him again.

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Sitting quietly in the back of the Lee Plaza's old fashioned McDonalds is a sharp eyed bald man in a labcoat. His skin is a slightly splotchy white, as if he were recovering from bad sunburn or a similar problem. His presence is unremarkable among the wide variety of travellers there, and he quietly watches the entranceway.

Eventually, his eyes are drawn to a young figure in ragged, wind-torn clothing. When he sees the figure snatch a partially-eaten burger from a table (not yet cleaned up by the overworked staff) near the entrance and then head for the quietest corner of the room, he's sure that this is the one from the boards.

Alchemist stands smoothly, leaving his long-ago finished meal behind him. He slides deliberately between himself and the manager, who had also noticed the ragged looking individual who was about to eat a meal he hadn't technically payed for.

"There you are. I'm Alchemist, or Glenn Roberts if you preffer. I'm guessing you haven't eaten in a while. Let me get you something fresh, and then we can talk."

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He looks up from his half eaten meal. He sees a face he can imagine being the one going along with the little amount he read on nprime. His eyes suddenly light up a bit as if he's found a temporary savior. He stood up amazed at the offer for food.

"Oh thank you, it's been days since I've eaten."

His figure was young, his black hair was matted and it was obvious he hadn't cleaned himself up in days. In reality the last time he bathed was in a swimming pool he found 5 or 6 days ago and he hadn't touched actual soap out of a public restroom since he awoke that first time.

"Thank you Mr. Roberts, you have no idea how scared I've been. These two people have been following me. I keep running and within a few days they find me again. I don't know what they want, but I just have a feeling that I don't want to be around them. So I take off, I don't even know half the places I've been, and I don't know where I came from I was so panicked."

The child is well spoken for what he's been through, and it's as if he was consciously trying to be polite to the gentleman that was so willing to help him. Amped knows this one Alchemist is a nova, and it is still just setting in that he himself is a nova.

"I don't know what to do, I'm just so lost at the moment."

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"Well, at the moment, you're going to sit down and have a good meal."

Alchemist puts his words to action, dismissing the mildly protesting manager behind him with a glare. He walks to the counter and orders one of every meal, a shake, and an apple pie. The food, not being a special order or a large quantity of any given item, is placed on the tray within moments, paid for, and presented to the young man very rapidly.

Amped's hunger is obvious from the way he eats his food. A polite gesture from Alchemist postpones further attempts at conversation until he has finished eating.

Meanwhile, Alchemist further studies his new charge. His gaze focuses itself on the young man's left shoulder. He quietly 'hmm's to himself and allows the boy to finish eating. Then he asks, "Your left shoulder has been bothering you for a while?"

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Amped takes the last sip of his shake and sets it down. "It's been feeling a little funny lately, but I wouldn't say it's bothering me. There was a little dried blood on it when I woke up, but I couldn't tell if anything happened it just felt sore. As he spoke he pulled his tattered sleeve up to show the spot that the feelings were coming from.

He pulled what was left of his sleeve back down. Amped's gaze fell back down to the table as he began to remember his situation.

"I don't know where to go. Even if I could get these people to stop following me, I wouldn't know where to go. I don't know where home is, and I don't know where mom and dad are. I can't remember anything beyond a week and a half ago. How can I find my way."

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"One step at a time, kiddo. I can't get your memory back just by snapping my fingers. But I can ask a friend to help you look, and some other people I know would be more than happy to help as well. All of that can wait, though. Our most pressing problem is the guys following you. And I have an idea of how to deal with them."

Alchemist gestures for Amped to follow him, and begins walking towards the parking lot where his car is parked. Meanwhile, he digs out a brand new cellphone, and begins making opnet calls.

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Amped is wary to trust anybody, but Alchemist is the closest thing he has to a friend, and has shown him nothing but kindness since they've met so he agrees to go with him. His hesitation is quite obvious though. He waits patiently while Alchemist is on the phone, then begins to question him a little bit.

"What exactly are we going to do?"

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"First, we're going to Boston. I'd prefer to have this confrontation somewhere I'm familiar with, and I have friends in Boston. I'm not very good in a stand up fight, and your powers are too new to you, so the our best option is to call in friends and use the element of surprise. So I'm setting a trap."

Alchemist climbs into his car and gestures towards the passenger door. He waits patiently, aware that Amped is still unsure of him. When Amped finally decides to get in, he gives Amped a friendly smile and begins driving east.

Once on the highway, Alchemist starts talking again. "First, you should know that there's some kind of transmitter, probably a tracking device, embedded in your shoulder. It's sending out a signal every minute or so. That's almost certainly how these people have been tracking you."

Alchemist glances over at Amped, and spots the look of concern that crosses the young man's face. "I spotted it while you were eating. I can see pretty far into the electro-magnetic spectrum. That's why I asked if your shoulder was bothering you. From what you said, I'm guessing that they tagged you with some kind of tracking projectile, one that could be fired out of a gun or something."

Amped looks slightly more relieved by Alchemist's reasoning, but not entirely, so he continues. "Don't worry about it, though. I should be able to remove the tracker. I don't want to destroy it yet, since it's the only way of luring whoever is following you. And they're the only link to your past we have right now."

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Amped looks back at his left shoulder as Alchemist tells him what it is. He squints a little bit and concentrates.

"I think I can actually see it. I mean it's nothing bright, but it's a little brighter there and I think I can see a shape."

This is the first instance of learning one of his abilities that hasn't frightened him. He feels at comfort being around another Nova that doesn't feel like he needs to be running away from.

"I don't know who they are. When I woke up the first time, they were approaching me, and in the back of my head, I just feel like I had to run away. I started running, and I just kept going faster and faster and faster. I was afraid of how fast I was going. I've never seen anything go that fast. It's like everything else was moving in slow motion. I was afraid to stop. I don't know how far I ran, but when I was done my shoes and clothes were more ratty and tattered then they were when I first awoke. For some reason though, they always seem to go back to what they were like when I first woke up. I've ran the bottoms off several times, yet they are still there."

This could almost be considered a breakthrough for Amped. This is the most he has spoken to any one individual in over a week.

"I'm not so afraid anymore either. At least I don't feel the same as I did a few days before I met you. It's just nice to know I have an ally now."

He was sounding a bit more adult as he spoke now, just a little more confident. His voice wasn't quite so hesitant.

"I hope your friends can help. I just want this all to be done with."

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Several hours of driving later, Alchemist pulls off of the Mass Pike and into a motel. He gets two rooms, so that Amped can have some personal space, and also provides a change of clothes, resizing some of his own luggage while Amped is cleaning himself up.

It's been days since the last time the kid has had a decent shower, so he doesn't hesitate at the chance.

After a few more calls, hammering out the details of the trap, they settle in to wait.

"Alright. I think it's about time to get that transmitter out of your shoulder. Amped, do you trust me enough to let me remove it? I'm not a doctor, but I've got quite a bit of first aid training, and it doesn't look like the transmitter is in there all that deep. But I'll understand if you want to have a professional remove it."

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Amped doesn't hesitate at a chance to take a shower. He hasn't been clean in a while. He pulls the clothes over his head and hops into the water. After the shower he pulls on the same clothes he had before, not realizing they are in much better shape now as well. He goes next door to Alchemists's room and knocks on the door waiting for a response before he opens it. Alchemist is on the phone when he walks in, but after he's off he asks him about the removal of the transmitter.

"I don't know who I can and can't trust right now, and you're the closest thing I have to a friend at the moment. You can take it out. What exactly are we planning to do with it once we get it out though?"

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Alchemist nods when Amped agrees to the removal. He busies himself getting together things he will need. He removes two tubes of ointment from his lab coat's inner pocket, a local anisthetic and an anti-bacterial ointment. A handful of tissues from the hotel become a roll of bandages, and some plastic utensils taken form McDonalds become a scalpel and tweezers.

Once this is all gathered, Alchemist begins to expertly remove the bullet shaped transmitter from Amped's shoulder. Even without the anisthetic, which does not always work on Novas, the procedure is simple and well executed enough to be nearly painless.

As he works, Alchemist answers Amped's question, and explains the remainder of their plans to him. It's a simple plan, but all good ones are. Soon, everything will be in place, and all that will be left is to wait for the right moment to spring the trap.

Once Amped understands what's going to happen, Alchemist goes to the alley behind the hotel to finish his own preperations.

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Some time has passed since they've arrived in Boston and Amped was passing the time walking around outside the hotel. He had a lot on his mind and he needed the fresh air to think. He didn't want to stray to far from Alchemist though, so he simply made it around the block a few times.

He was making his 3rd lap when he heard two familiar voices.

"There's the little runt."

"Grab him, he won't get away from us this time."

Amped's face turned to one of panic. He hadn't seen them coming this time around. He took off running around the hotel. Hoping to lose them. They persued him on foot, not realizing he hadn't taken off at the usual speed. The followed him around two bends of the hotel. As they rounded the last turn, they saw him duck into an alley.

Amped had them following him, just like he was told. He had to struggle not to take off at a faster then sound pace, but he wanted it all to be over. He ducked into the alley just as they rounded the turn behind him. He saw everything was set as he took a leap into a dumpster waiting for the preparations to be put to good use.

The two goons rounded the corner, seing an animated Amped standing there in the shadows, his back against a wall with nowhere left to turn. The larger of the two thugs spoke.

"Looks like you have nowhere to run this time punk. You've caused us enough trouble trying to cover our tracks, after we're done with you we won't have anything left to worry about."

The smaller of the two thugs raises his hand pointing towards Amped. Light bends around the thugs hand as a beam of Quantum energy heads towards Amped, ripping through the air.

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The Quantum Energy rips through the air heading towards Amped and ...

... impacts on blazing, blue shield. The alley wide shield fails and fades, and the energy impacts on the novas chest, with little effect.

The image about Amped fades and now, a previously unseen nova is hovering in between Amped and his assailants. Beside this new nova, a fierce looking hispanic woman releases hold of the mirage and crouches down, ready for combat. On the fire escapes above, and to either side of Amped are four armored police officers with MBPD-NE clearly emblazoned on their black uniforms. These policemen are holding large rifle-like weapons aimed at the attackers.

Amped can see another team of armored officers sprinting up behind the thugs, sealing the trap. The 'friend' that Alchemist brought Amped to walks calmly among them. Despite the extreme danger the two 'elites' represent, he walks like a man completely in charge of the situation. Amped could swear this man gives him a reassuring smile.

"Halt! Police," booms the hovering nova known as Virgil. Amped is close enough to hear the hispanic officer, Selena Ramirez, growl like a protective lioness.

"Fuck thi- ..", begins the other assailent. A blinding flash from above piledrives him into the ground. Everyone shakes and rattles from the impact. A gaping whole now exists were the nova was standing a moment before. Glass rains down in a block radius and Amped can clearly see the fear in Mr. Quantum Death's eyes. The man turns, trying to put the wall to his back. His head snaps back and forth as he looks for some way out of this.

"Stand down, Maulfyre," says Preston, addressing the attacker. "You are surrounded by multiple combat trained novas, along with over twenty support personnel. You do anything but put your hands down by your sides and you are dead. Is that clear?"

The attacker named Maulfyre takes one last, long look at Amped, half-desperation, half-down right hatred, then turns to Preston. Amped can hear the quiet whine of the policemen's laser rifles pick up a notch as they prepare to fire.

When the nova rises up out of the hole, dragging Maulfyre's unconcious/dead partner with him, the man gives up. His hands drop to his side and he lowers his head.

The nova rising up out of the ground, Crusader by name, puts a hand on Maulfyre's shoulder and quantum energies course down them into Maulfyre's body. Maulfyre shudders slightly and the energy dissapates from around the attacker's hands.

"You have the right to remain ..." begins Crusader with his crisp Manchester accent.

Alchemist's hand falls upon Amped's shoulder and he stears him away from the crime scene. Selena shadows them, keeping between Amped and Maulfyre until the trio round the corner.

She turns to Alchemist,

"Well, Glenn, you and your charge get the hell out of here now. We have them on Assualt with Deadly force on a police officer. You make sure you Opmail us your statements as soon as you get to were you are going. Good luck."

She shakes Alchemist's hand and give Amped a close hug,

"You did real good, kid," she says and gives him a wink. So close, Amped can make out the obvious aberrations about her. The thinkness of her body hair and the predatory nature of her eyes, along with a burning sensuality he gets from her touch. She turns and heads back to the other cops.

As they turn to go, they catch a glimps of Virgil stepping out of the alley and rubbing his chest were Maulfyre's blast melted the eufiber into the man's chest. He smiles at Amped and gives him a vigorous 'thumb's up'.

As he heads out for whatever destination awaits them Amped can at least feel somewhat comforted that there are others out there willing to risk their lives to help him out, and that maybe the world isn't such a dark and dangerous place.

In Amped's pocket is a message slipped there by Selena. On it there is a name, his name perhaps, and the name of a law firm along with a contact number. The message is in Preston's handwriting and it says,

"This is your past, if you chose to pursue it. I suggest you at least make peace with it before you build something new. The law firm works for your family. Trust Glenn and good luck."

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On his way out of Preston's crime scene, Alchemist thanks everyone for their efforts. He assures Officer Ramirez that both of them will keep in touch, and he especially thanks Preston for looking into Amped's past.

Then, leading Amped back in front of the Hotel, he gets into the already packed car and begins driving back out of Boston.

He muses quietly to himself how he would like to due something poetic, like melting the transmitter from Amped's shoulder into slag. Unfortunately, Preston had insisted on keeping that as evidence. Shrugging internally, he turns to Amped and asks simply, "What do you want to do now?"

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Amped ponders his choices briefly then speaks.

"I guess we should talk to this law firm. I do want to know who I was, and I want to know who my parents are. Even if I don't go back to that life, I'd like to know what it was before hand."

"I have a feeling, things will never return to the way they were, but I have to grow mentally as my body and abilities have."

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