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Aberrant: 2011 - Your own personal Kryptonite


Alexander Vector

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He floated there and it was wonderful. His body hung above the earth Alex could see the approaching dawn racing across the Atlantic Ocean. When they had told him at the clinic he could survive in space he didn’t believe them, almost didn’t want to believe them. Before tonight he wouldn’t go to far up, never more than a few hundred feet off the ground at least until tonight.

Tonight he got his feet wet with the world he was now a part of. Other Novas living their lives doing what they do. Meanwhile what did he do? Ggo bowling with Matt came home then played online with Robert while trying his best to act like he fit in with the Nova’s in that chat room he'd found. Trouble was he didn’t fit in, if the topic was sex he didn’t have the first clue about it. They spoke about a party he did not attend. It didn’t seem to go over very well at all and then that murderer showed up as casual as just another person passing by in the night.

Alex shut his eyes as the world spun beneath him. The laces of his tennis shoes floating haphazardly at his feet, his unkempt mess of hair floating atop his head in the vacuum. Heroes, villain or what? Did it matter what others were? Did it dictate what he was or should be? Raising his hand Alex traced the large red S on the blue T-Shirt following it from beginning to end. There were heroes in the world, people who tried, Pax, Skew and others. Slider had given her life to say that heroes were real. Was he willing to do the same?

He was a week old, he couldn’t change the world! Cyn, Geryon and those like them had such a head start. Knew so much more than he did, they were to powerful. Alex finally opened his eyes. The dawn was licking at the East coast and he wanted to be back before his mom realized he was gone. Diving fast he felt the heat build around him as the atmosphere ignited, he aimed at the cluster of lights that was Pittsburgh and began to gently push back against the pull of reentry until he was soaring over downtown and aiming for his home south of the city.

Quietly he closed the door to his room and pulled the Superman T-Shirt off kicking his shoes into the corner of the room. Let someone else be the hero, he would be happy enough just to finish High School.

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Crack!

The sound of the bat meeting the ball was a glorious sound one that could mean glorious victory or utter defeat. Today it just meant two young men were taking swings inside a batting cage.

"So you met a Nova porn star?!" Matt's eye were wide as he grabbed the side of the cage as Alex swung again.

Crack!

"I told you I didn't meet anyone. I just talk to them online, just some chatroom for Novas on N! seems kinda popular." Alex turned away from his friend muttering. "Stupid helmet. 'Policy is everyone has to wear a helmet.' blah blah blah ."

Crack!

"Still Caramel Bath! I have two of her movies man! I.." Alex glared at him. "I don't want to hear about anything you did while watching them." Matt rolled his eyes. "Like you haven't I am sure."

Crack!

"That's her job.." "Okay what about the girls you have the hots for?" Another glare at his best friend. "I don't have the hots for anyone. Solstice I have no idea about and Lina is seeing that Ravenshire guy." "Lex any guy who names himself after some hobbit village is a total dweeb even if he has a node the size of a basketball. You should totally steal her."

CRACK! The ball sliced through the netting hitting the far wall and exploding on impact. Several others stopped their practice and looked at Alex. "Sorry folks sorry." He dismissed the accident and glared at Matt. "She ain't property to steal! Besides that guy is smooth. No super muscles and flying is gonna beat that.."

Matt considered this as Alex sent another ball into the net. "Okay fine we will drop the Lina thing until next weekend. But After she visits I am smelling your fingers." Alex's grip embedded itself into the aluminum bat. "Dammit Matt just leave it alone."

Crack!

"Look you come out here tonight saying you need to practice for some Nova baseball game then tell me you met all these Novas who just so happen to be girls I might add."

Crack!

"Let's see." Matt held up one finger. "Porn star Caramel who I would literally kill my mom to sleep with." He held up a second finger. "Cute little Lina who is playing you while dating some blond hunk." A third came up. "That bitchy Solstice girl who you are going out with Saturday night mere HOURS after spending the afternoon with Lina." A fourth "Kittie the cat girl who wants to spread the virtues of fulfilling relationships." Fifth "Aura some nerd girl who hates the stuckup Solstice girl you are gonna go out with."

Crack!

"I never called her a nerd Matt she just seemed a bit bookish." "Nerd, bookish, whatever." His other hand came up. "Then to top it off some psychobitch killer named Cyn came in there last night. No wonder that Austin Powers clone with good teeth Gabriel hangs out there! It's an all you can eat buffet!"

Crack!

"I shouldn't have even told you any of this." Alex said shaking his head. "Ohh maybe Liberteen will show up. She will lay you on the general principle that no seventeen year old American male should be a virgin!" Matt burst out laughing as Alex swung away.

Crack!

"You know I could crush your skull in one hand." "Whatever Alex." Matt leaned one shoulder against the batting cage. "You should so try to bang Lina next weekend then go for broke and nail Solstice that night. Man you should give me a million dollars someday, just think of all this quantum powered sexorz you will be getting and it is all thanks to me!"

Crack!

Alex sighed. "For fucks sake Matt! I went into space last night! Doesn't that matter to you!? All these things I can do all the ways I can help people and all you want to talk about is who I can score with!"

Crack!

"Okay so you've been to space and saw the wonders of the final frontier. I say your biggest challenge is in Lina or Summer's panties. Apparently with you, going into space is much easier than getting laid."

CRACK! BOOOOOM! The noise was like a thunderclap the net tore away but the ball was no where to be seen. The hole in the far wall made it obvious to everyone what happened. Alex held the mangled ruins of the aluminum bat in his hands. "Way to go." Matt called out from behind him as the manager walked briskly toward them. "Bowling last night and a batting cage tonight. In a weeks time we aren't going to be able to go anywhere fun because of you."

The dark haired teenager came through the cage door shoving the bat into his friends hands. "Oh wait I thought I was supposed to thank you for this. You're up." Alex smirked as he turned to go apologize to the manager.

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It was addicting. Alex hung suspended in space looking down on the earth. The patterns of light below him twinkled like the stars behind him. He couldn't help but to smile, if someone had told him even a week ago that he would be in space and not even his first trip but his second he wouldn't have believed them. He still didn't really believe it, how could he? One moment you are worried about your S.A.T. scores the next you are floating above the earth with no space suit on and got their under your own propulsion.

His mind drifted, he could fret about what Matt had said to him tonight but not while he was up here. All of that belonged down there, below him. Closing his eyes Alex opened his arms wide to either side and reveled in the sensation of existing in the vacuum around him.

Thirty minutes later and over one hundred miles lower in altitude Alex snuck through the back door of his home quietly clicking the door shut behind him. The effort was for not as the kitchen light snapped harshly to life above his head.

"Alex. Where have you been?" His mother spoke with the cool tone that only years of practicing law and motherhood could perfect. "I just went out for a flight mom." He replied in his best innocent awe-shucks voice. "After that incident with Matt last summer I thought you weren't going to do anymore sneaking." Alex threw his hands up helplessly. "Mom, it's not like that. I am.." He paused looking for the words. "I'm just trying to figure this all out."

Linda rose from her stool at the center island counter of the kitchen and went to the fridge pulling out a fresh gallon of milk from which she poured two glasses. "I wish I could help you dear. But I can't much help you with just being a guy let alone everything else that's been thrust on you in the last week." She placed one glass in front of him which he took a sip at.

"I was in space."

"What?!"

"I went up there last night too. It's nice, peaceful."

Linda was dumbfounded she had seen Team Tomorrow rescue that shuttle but that was something entirely different than your son admitting to you that for the past two nights he was sneaking out of the house to hang out in orbit. "Are you okay?" She said after a sip of milk.

"Yeah. Well not exactly, but not because I was in space." His mom's worry shined clear as day on her face and he had to explain. "It's been a week. I feel so far over my head. I can't run track anymore but I am the most popular kid in school now. I never wanted that." He took another sip. "I met some other Novas online but it's not what I am used to either. Some act just like Matt." "Oh lord." "Yeah exactly. But others, Some I like, they seem to have things figured out, they seem to know what they are doing."

Linda watched her son try and explain but she knew she couldn't totally understand. Her hand slid over top of his gripping his warm hand. "I know you will figure it out. You are like your father like that, give it some time. It's only been a week."

Linda finished her milk and rinsed the glass in the sink before returning to her son and giving him a hug. "Granted your little stint at the bowling alley and batting cage cost some money but you are learning. At least you better be." She said with mock anger as she slid away and up the hallway. "Goodnight son."

"Night Mom."

Alex sipped on his milk and reflected on his day then turned to see Linda come back into the room with a digital camera in hand. Placing it on the counter she smiled at him. "Next time you go." She thumbed up toward the ceiling. "Why not get some pictures. Let me see what you think is so 'nice' about it." With a kiss on her son's cheek Linda headed upstairs to bed while Alex looked at the camera with a smile.

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With a click the alarm clock radio blared to life.

‘You don't need money, don't take fame, don’t need no credit card to ride this train’

He was drooling on his pillow, face down knees drawn up beneath him. Anyone who ever saw him sleep like that always wondered why he did so but he could never tell them because he honestly did not know.

‘It's strong and it's sudden and it's cruel sometimes but it might just save your life That's the power of love’

Alex leaned back smacking his lips he turned his bleary eyes toward the alarm and slapping it off before pivoting himself to the edge of the bed. His ritual of getting ready for school had normalized at least a little. It was amazing just how fast he could get ready now. Teeth brushed, Showered and clothed in five minutes then sitting downstairs watching the news from the flat screen on the fridge.

His Opod ring tone came on. ‘I’m an asshole!” Sang by Dennis Leary told him it was Matt. “What’s up superchump?” Came his friend’s usual insulting form of greeting. “Hey man, could you come pick me up. I need a ride to school, mom already left for work.”

“Why the hell do you need a ride to school? Did you lose your powers?”

“No, I just… Didn’t want to fly there today.”

“I am not driving out of my way for you to whine about not wanting to fly.”

“Seriously I don’t want to fly today I want to go to school like normal.”

“What’s normal for you anymore Alex!? God stop being such a freaking whiner. If you don’t want to fly then walk you aren’t that far away “ The line went dead. “Fuck you too pal.” Alex growled as he shoved his phone back into his pocket.

Alex slung his backpack over his shoulder and locked the door behind him. He looked into the sky once then back to the sidewalk. “Not running late so why not.” Withdrawing his Opod again he stuck ear buds into each ear and turned on music as he headed to school on a warm spring morning.

‘I want to get free; I want to get free right into the sun! She never loved me, she never loved me! Why would anyone!’

Lost in the oblivion of loud music blasting in his ears he didn’t hear the roar of the engine behind him or the thump as the car swerved up onto the sidewalk. These things became obvious to him as the beaten up Subaru Forrester slammed into his back sending him skidding up the hood then launching skyward off the windshield.

Books flew like birds their covers flapping in the wind. The Opod rotated end over end like some spacecraft in 2001. It was like a bomb of school material had exploded over the sidewalk followed down quickly by Alex landing in a heap on the lawn adjacent to the sidewalk.

“Josh, He ain’t moving!” Bruce said as he looked over his shoulder at the carnage his friend had wrought. “I am telling you he is fine. I hit him with a shot put last week the freak could survive a little bump from a car.” “I dunno man he is just laying there.”

The crew cut blond snorted as he gripped the steering wheel pulling the car back out onto the street. “I could care less. Freak didn’t need to be at our school anyway.” Josh sped up roaring the Subaru’s engine as they headed toward school.

Alex wondered what had happened. One moment he was walking to school next he was flat on his back in the Johnson’s yard. Sitting up he saw his ruined backpack the contents of school and notebooks scattered and blowing in the breeze. He also saw the dirty pine green Forrester speeding away and he realized just what had happened. “That bastard!” Rage filled him he never even tried to stand up he simply straightened and rocketed toward the fleeing car.

,,

“Oh shit! He got up.” The color in Bruce’s face drained as he saw the form of racing up the street behind them. “Like I care.” Josh said confidently before the car lurched violently.

“You jock asshole! You could have killed me!” Alex bellowed as he grabbed the frame of the car lifting it easily off the ground. “Hey! It was just a joke!” Josh screamed the arrogant confidence of a moment before gone entirely. “I knew you wouldn’t get hurt come on man put us down!”

Alex didn’t put them down instead the two teammates found themselves several hundred feet in the air. The car’s frame creaking and groaning around them. “Well your stupid car has airbags right so you shouldn’t get hurt if I dropped you then!”

“Come on man it was just a Joooooooke!” The bottom fell out beneath the car as Alex let go and broke for the ground. The two football heroes shrieked as gravity demanded it’s due the car’s brake lights blazed to life as Josh stomped then in some insane hope that the car would stop like in some bug’s bunny cartoon before crashing to the ground.

For those watching below (and their were many spectators as Alex chose his stage carefully) the car’s silhouette plummeted out of control. Some screamed in disbelief as others ran for cover. But just when collision with the earth seemed imminent the car slowed and came to a stop. The car’s horn honked as josh’s face bounced off the steering wheel and the still running car dropped into place in the high school’s parking lot. The car lurched in place once as it was still in gear then died.

Bruce seemed to be the first to realize he had not died. Josh followed quickly tears in his face as he repeated over and over. “Just a joke. Just a joke!” Alex slapped the car’s roof leaving a dented handprint and smiled. “Gotcha guys.” He laughed as Principal Roe ran to the scene. “What is going on here Alex?!?” She demanded from the Junior. “Aww. These two just played a joke on me so I got them back. Right guys?!” Alex gave them a well placed glare two which the two nodded. “Yuh.. Yeah Ha Ha you got us good Alex!”

Roe didn’t look impressed. “Alexander Vector, no more of this car’s flying through the air stunt. You scared a lot of people.” Distastefully she looked into the car. “As for whatever you two did. Don’t do it again.” She turned to leave more concerned with defusing the gathering crowd than getting to the bottom of the event. “Also you two might want to go home and change.”

Alex smirked at them as he floated back into the air. “Yeah you two should go change your jeans I gotta run back and pick up all my books. Hope you drop in again soon.. Assholes.”

Alex dropped onto the lawn and began gathering his books together in his tattered backpack. He was going to be late now thanks to those two not to mention he couldn’t find the second page of the report due today. Falling back onto his butt Lex clenched his teeth and growled. “I hate high school.”

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Click Click click click.

Solstice] 10:26 pm: Vector - I'll visit you. Trust me I want to get out of New York for a bit.

[Vector] 10:26 pm: Uhm okay.

She was coming here?

Matt sat up from the bed still trying to look over Alex's shoulder. "She is coming here?!"

"No."

"You fucking liar!!"

Alex swallowed hard and turned away from his nosey best friend.

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Tonight it didn't help. The earth below should have brought him joy but it did nothing to bring him out of the hollow hole in his gut. How could have have let Matt talk him into doing what he did. How could have have done what he had done in the first place!?

Alex looked down into his hands. The Blue T-Shirt with the familiar symbol and two polaroids that Lina had took of them together the images could barely been seen in the darkness of the night side of the earth but he didn't have to look at them to know how much he had screwed up. Placing the two pictures inside the shirt Alex folded this shirt as small as he could get it and pushed it away from him into the cold hard vaccum.

He paused on the walk down the hallway to his room running his fingers along the hole in the wall she had made in her anger it had become a monument to his own failure and he couldn't wait for the thing to be repaired. The torn poster still laying on his bed was easier to deal with wadding it up and throwing it in the garbage was out of sight and out of mind. But it wasn't really out of mind at all in fact his mind kept going back to it over and over.

How could that have happened. How could he have been so careless. One night they were telling him on the forum that he couldn't be careless with his powers. That it had been a mistake to drop Josh in the car like he had. It wasn't 'responsible' of him. Then the next day he is staring at Lina in the shower like he had a right to do so. He was glad Matt had said something and made him confront the truth. It made him realize he didn't deserve Lina or anyone else he had met. He was the same old Alex expect he had powers and that didn't help him one bit in the end.

The clothing he wore was tossed haphazerdly into the corner near the hamper as he climbed into bed. He fell asleep still dwelling on his mistakes and weaknesses.

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