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Aberrant: 2011 - There's No Stopping Here.. [AU][NC]


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It was on the third day that she woke.

***Three Days Prior***

Lina sat in a car, her arms crossed and her face point out the window. She wore a gorgeous black, silk dress, and her hair was done up behind her head. Upstate New York is so.. bleak. It’s always cloudy, there’s too many tree’s, and there’s too much gunfire. As she looked out the window, the forest seemed to stretch for miles. Cities weren’t safe, so she had no choice but to use the forest for travel, and small towns for sustenance.. the towns that were friendly enough to let them in, anyway.

In recent years, the entire state had gone to hell. Gangs, money, and mercenaries ran most of the cities. Novas were hunted for a bounty, and on the off chance they were actually caught, they were put to death. There weren’t many of them to start with, but now the chances of seeing one were near nil. Lina envied those other Nova’s who weren’t so obvious. Her skin was snow white, and her lips were blood red. Lina put her hand on the window, and looked to the front seat. A large man was driving, both over weight and muscular. Lina’s ex-boyfriend had hired him to safeguard her, and the money was apparently good enough to not turn her in. Ravenshire.. Lina thought. She seemed to obviously grow sad, and the man noticed. “Are you tired?” He said. “Shall we find a place to sleep?”

Lina cleaned up her face in an instant. “No, just bored.” She responded. He nodded, than brought full attention back to driving. There was no one on the two-lane road, and they’d not seen anyone in several hours. There were enough gas stations to get them from one to another, but that’s it. They were running from everything, and were attempting to find a way out of New York. There were checkpoints at all cross-state roads, and checkpoints meant death to Lina, and not far off for the man protecting her. “Do we have anything to eat?”

”Sorry, but no.” He said. His voice was low, and dull. He looked back and smiled at her. “We’ll be upon a town soon enough, though.” They’d been passing signs for a while. Turns out that a rural city formerly known as Binghamton was coming up, so they’d stake it out in the suburban-rural outskirts of the city, Lina staying out of sight at all costs. Even when they were traveling, she’d lay down in the back seat. Most cities didn’t have checkpoints, so they didn’t worry.

And it was half an hour later that they saw suburbs begin, and it was a town called Endicott. The place looked to have been nice in it’s day, but now it was rundown completely. “This place used to sell shoes and computers” The man said. “Endicott-Johnson was a shoe company decades back, and they’re responsible for most of the people living around here. They went out of business, and IBM came in, as I remember it. This was IBM’s headquarters and base of operations. The town used to be nice.”

Dave knew stuff like that. Whenever they were upon a town, he’d always say some random fact about it. It was like he’d been everywhere there was to go. In New York, anyway. “Think it’ll be safe to camp out here for a few days? I’m growing more and more weary of this car.” Lina said, taking in the new scenery. It was mostly housing, with scattered rundown and closed businesses. They passed a sign that looked to be a greeting, but had been spray-painted over. “This is Bat Country” it read. Dave made an audible laugh, but Lina didn’t get it. She didn’t bother asking though.

“Yeah, we can find a place I’m sure. You ought to be laying, though. We don’t have the luxury of tinted windows anymore, remember?” Lina didn’t say a word, and laid down several seconds later. They took several turns, than came to a stop. “I’m going to use the phone. This place looks secluded, so no one will be stopping by and looking in at you.” Lina didn’t say a word, this was regular. He’d phone someone, and they’d tell him where it was safe to stay. Occasionally they wouldn’t have a safe place to bed down, and in that case they’d just move on. The tranquility went on for a few minutes, and Lina heard a few voices. She moved slowly, and peaked her head up over the front seats. Dave was holding the phone in the air, and there was one man on each side of him.

Fuck. Lina stared, afraid to move. They were keeping their eyes on him, and we were watching them. She watched, hearing muffled voices and seeing nothing other than mouth movements. Lina had not talked to a stranger in several months, and wasn’t sure she missed it. It seemed to go on forever, until another car pulled up. Someone stepped out, but still hid behind the door. She heard a shout, and they began escorting Dave to the other car. He looked cool, though. He never let stuff get to him, because things always seemed to work out. After a few seconds of walking, Dave spun around the man behind him, and looked to be holding the man’s arm behind his own back. There was a shout, and the man who was in front of Dave looked to be holding a knife, while the one behind the car was wielding a small handgun.

Lina noticed that they all dressed alike, with baggy blue jeans, grey shirts that were way, way to big for them, and black beanie-style hats. Dave shouted, and began moving towards his car. The man with the gun kept his weapon trained onto Dave, but the other was helpless to do a thing short of throwing his knife. When Dave got anywhere near the car, Lina put her head down and slid into the foot-space. After a few seconds, she heard a shout, than the door opening. Dave seemed to jump in, and hit the gas. They reversed, and gunshots were heard but not felt. Lina heard the other car giving chase, and couldn’t stay quiet. “It seems moot at this point, but what did the guy say?” Lina said.

Dave laughed. It was weird, he never laughed in situations like these. ““We can't stop here, this is Bat Country.” That’s what he said, and that’s what we’re doing. Because those guys are Bats’ and they know we’re here.”

“We?”

“Yeah. We. Next time, keep your fucking head down.” Dave laughed a bit, always amused by her curiousness, even if it meant danger. They made it onto the highway, and Lina moved off the floor and back onto the seat. She peeked her head up, and found that two cars were following them. The chase went on for a few minutes, and it seemed almost peaceful. Someone began firing shots, and a tire went out an instant later. Lina looked in front of them, and it was almost poetic. The city in front of them was an obvious shit hole, and there seemed to be blazing fires across it. Some buildings looked to have been demolished, and Lina wondered for an instant if it was professional or not. It was then that she saw the turn in front of them. “We won’t make this turn, Lina.” He said solemnly.

Lina didn’t understand.

“We’re going to fast. If we slow down, they will catch us. If we keep going at this pace, we won’t make this turn.” At the end of the turn, there was another road below it, and a river beyond that. Lina understood. “I just want you to know that the retainer Daniel gave me was up several months ago.”

Lina felt touched, and than they went over the side.

***Three days later***

It was on the third day she woke, and it looked like she was in a basement. She couldn’t move, or at least her body wouldn’t let her. There was an inaudible voice in the background, and what sounded like button tapping. Lina stayed quiet, trying to remember what happened in the car. She began to look around, and found no trace of Dave. She did, however, find that the room was well furnished. There was a guy with his back against her, sat in front of a television. It took a few seconds, but Lina realized he was playing a video game. Where the fuck am I?

After a few more minutes, Lina could begin moving her body, and tried to move quietly. She didn’t do so, though, because the guy turned his head. His hair was parted in the middle, and brown. Lina wondered if she would have found him attractive if she’d not spent the last two years fucking a god, but the silly thought left her mind several seconds later. He smiled at her, and hit the pause button. “Good to see you awake, I knew you’d make it.” He said, walking towards her. Lina sat up cautiously, eyeing him and every move he made. “Don’t worry about me, I’m one of the good guys.”

“Good is a point of view matter.” She said to him. “Good can mean turning me into the police by some standards.”

“Good guy, as in Peter Parker and Bruce Wayne good.”

”Who?” She said back to him, confused.

“Never mind.” He said. His voice was very unremarkable, along with his face. He was fair enough, but was a bit plain. His hair was very unkept, and it looked like he tried to keep a bad beard, but failed horribly. “I’m William, and I pulled you from that wreck to not turn you into the police.” He held out his hand. She just stared at him. “And by good, I also mean that I’m a Nova too.” Lina looked more confused, and kept quiet. “Introducing yourself is a lot easier with a voice.” He said, obviously looking uncomfortable. This was just more of a reason for Lina to keep quiet. “Okay, fine. Nice to meet you, Lina Doritha.”

This shocked her for only a few seconds, but than she remembered that everyone knew who she was. “Do you want a cookie?”

He smiled at her, than walked to the other side of the room. He opened up a container, and pulled out two cookies. They looked to be home made, and chocolate chip. “No, but I got one for you.” William walked back over to her, smiling. He held it out to her, but she didn’t take it. He place it next to her, and leaned against the back of the couch. He didn’t say anything for a few minutes, than looked back to the television, and back at her. “Care for some Battlefronts?” Lina shook her head.

“What happened?” She asked, simply.

“Eat the cookie, and I’ll tell you.” He said to her, watching. He didn’t appear to be joking. She picked it up and studied it, than took a bite into it. It was definitely home made, and entirely delicious. She continued eating it hastily, and he began speaking.

“You were in a car accident. Bats were about to prey on the wreckage, but we scared them off.”

“We?” She was confused.

“Yeah, my friends and I. You’ll meet them in time. Anyway, your friend, whoever he was, didn’t make it. We tried what we could, but nothing. Sorry.” Lina looked down, and felt sorrowful. She hid it well though. She took another look around, and noticed a few model Gundam’s around the room. “You wouldn’t have made it if it wasn’t for your increased stamina. We brought both of you back here, but you were the only one who recovered. Your friend had a proper grave.”

”How about we stop talking about him?” Lina asked, and it brought an obvious sad emotion to William.

“I.. I’m sorry. Well. You made a recovery, and I’ve been waiting for you since.” They stood in silence for a few minutes. “You were great in Gundam.” He finally said.

Lina smiled and nodded. Compliments were nice, even if they felt empty. It reminded her of Connor, though, and it made her frown. “So who are you?” She asked.

William looked concern. “I told you, I am William. Are you having memory problems?” He looked around for a flashlight.

“No, I mean who are you? You said you were a Nova. You scared away the Bats. Who are you, and who are your friends?”

“Your friendly, neighborhood crime fighting team, of course.” He said, smiling. “I am The Fantabulous Indie-spider, and you’ll meet my comrades soon enough.”

“You’re kidding me?” She said. Had she been knocked into some bad comic book? “You describe yourself as Fantabulous, and your name is based off of a terrifying bug, and a type of music. Tell me you are kidding me?”

He shrugged.

“Oh god.”

He shrugged again.

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What light there was earlier in the day had faded entirely. William left a few hours back, and locked the door behind him. I could get out.. But why? He seems nice enough. And he thinks he’s keeping me safe.. Lina laid on the couch, trying to sleep but succeeding only in being bored. There was no proper cable, but she was used to that. New York was seemingly fucked in the way of technology.

William and her talked for about an hour about the city that she now resided in, his and her past, and their likes. She did her best to calm his early nervousness, but it faded on its own. She often made fun of his dorky ways, and his even dorkier name. He didn’t speak of his ‘comrades’, though. Dave rarely crossed her mind. His loss was having very little effect upon her, and she didn’t want it to feel this way. I’m dead on the inside. She told herself. After Ravenshire, anyone else’s death will mean nothing to me. I wonder what it will be like if I live to see Zachary die.

With her eyes closed, the world didn’t exist. It was only her consciousness, and the world was made up. A place as terrible as this shouldn’t exist on any plane. She opened her eyes, and there was still nothing there. Everything was black, and she still felt nothing. Sometimes she thought that it was sadness that she felt, but convinced herself that it was nothing. Nothing was better than depression. Lina closed her eyes once more, and thought she saw a face. It was an oval that shifted appearances. First it was her brother, Zach, than it was Ravenshire, than William, than Dave, than everyone else she ever knew at once.

Lina threw herself into an upright position to find that the sun was shining, and that she was no longer alone in the room. There were four others, and only one she knew by face.

William stood up, looking to be in concern. It took a minute for him to see that she was more curious than worried, as her face moved from person to person. Next to William was a fat man, looking to be of the same age and height of William. William looked like a twig next to him, though. The man must’ve weighed 1.5 to 2 times as much as William. On the other side of the room were a man and a woman. Both looked to be a good six or seven years older than William and the fat one. He wore a black fedora, and had a black katana sheath propped up next to one of his legs, with the hilt wrapped in black and gold sticking out of the end. He wore a fashionable leather jacket over a grey sweatshirt, and 5 o’clock shadow around a blonde goatee. The woman who stood across from him was almost as small and slender as Lina. Her hair was short and red, and wore a black hooded sweatshirt with a pair of tight jeans. She smiled, but her face looked to be in a constant scorn.

The fat man looked to be annoyed by her presence, but tolerant enough to let her stay for a while. Everyone else seemed happy enough. “Will? These are your friends?”

“Ha!” Laughed the fat one. “I told you she would. Ten bucks, now.”

“Settle for a coke?” William replied, looking away from Lina. He didn’t make eye contact with anyone, she began to notice.

“Fuck no, and fuck you. I want my money.” Said the fat man, smiling.

“Okay. How bout I give you a Shasta.”

“You mean my Shasta?”

“Yeah, and I’ll buy your iHOP tonight.” William said. The girl on the other side of the room wrapped her arms around the guy, looking away from Lina. Lina suddenly felt left out of everything, and wondered if they’d let her just up and leave.

“Deal.” The fat one said.

William moved over to a mini-fridge, and spoke. “You were right, Gerg. This is Lina. Lina, that’s Gerg and Lindsay over there.” Lina looked over to the older man and woman, not smiling. The older woman smiled at her, and Lina smiled back as a pleasantry.

“I thought so. Hi Lina.” He pulled out a pack of Camel Turkish Royal Gold cigarettes, and offered one to the woman holding onto him. She accepted it, and Gerg held it out to Lina.

“No thanks.” She replied, and he shrugged. Gerg light his up first, than lit hers up. William handed the fat man a can of soda, and offered one to Lina while still holding one for himself. She accepted it, but set it on a table.

“And this is Franklyn.” William said, and they both opened their Shasta’s at the same time.

“So does Will get money if I call you Frank?” Lina said, wondering if it was a joke or an insult.

“No, but ‘Will’ gets more and more pissy each time someone calls him ‘Will’. Right Will?” Gerg laughed from across the room, and William looked very, incredibly annoyed. Lindsay, as far as Lina could tell, was entirely too apathetic.

William punched Franklyn in the arm, and Franklyn rubbed here he hit. “Yeah, please don’t call me Will. Bad affiliations come with that name.”

“It’s okay, you can keep calling him that.” Franklyn said.

There was another minute of silence after William hit Franklyn again. Lina wondered what the others could do, but wasn’t sure if it should be asked. It was a more important issue to find out what would be done with her. Everyone kept to their own activities for the small time where no one said a thing, until Lina decided to speak up. “What are we going to do?” She asked. Everyone seemed to look at Gerg and Lindsay.

“Well, you can stay here for as long as you like. Hiding is easy enough in most parts of these small towns, especially when you know the right people. And besides, The Bats don’t own everything.” Gerg said, blowing smoke into the air. William opened a small and high window.

“Hide? How!? Have you looked at me? Do you think that I would trust anyone around here not to just turn me in?”

Everyone looked at each other for a minute, not sure what to say. William spoke. “Three of the four of us are like you. Your skin is white, and we each have our own problems. Fortunately, we have Lindsay over there.”

Everyone looked at Lindsay for a moment, and only Gerg could see that she closed her eyes. Lindsay let her arms go from around Gerg, and handed him her cigarette. He put it in his mouth next to the other. She moved towards Lina, and sat on the couch with her. “Hold out your arm?” Lindsay requested. Lina looked at everyone, and William nodded to her. Lina held out her arm, palm down. Lindsay flipped it over, and inspected the wrist. Her other arm reached into her sweatshirt pouch, and pulled out an exacto-knife. Lindsay let go of Lina’s wrist, and pulled out the sleeve of her own sweatshirt. She pressed the knife to her wrist, and William looked away. Immediately, blood began to gush out of the wound, and ran down her wrist. Lindsay said something indecipherable, and blood stopped flowing from the wound. Some dropped onto Lina’s wrist, and she pulled it back as a reflex.

Gerg grabbed a near-by piece of cloth, and walked over to the two girls while the ordeal was still in progress. Lindsay took the cloth and began wiping the blood from her arm and what fell onto the sofa. Everyone else watched Lina, and Lina stared in disbelief. From where the blood had fallen, her skin was changing color. It radiated from the blood, but her skin was reverting back to its human color, soft peach. Lina was in disbelief, as everyone with the exception of Lindsay watched her. Lina felt the blood rushing to her head. Her vision faded to black, and the last thing she felt was the collision of the back of her hand and the gentle hand that caught it.

Suddenly, Lina was standing in a hall. She was as white as snow, Ravenshire was in front of her, and all felt right in the world. He looked at her with a smile, and swept his long blond hair behind his ear. "Don't worry, Lina." He took a step, and wrapped his arms around her. She felt invincible right than. He moved his arms from around her, and the feeling was swept away. Lina remembered what would happen next. She tried to scream, but she had no voice. She just stood there, smiling. Ravenshire took her hand, and gave it a kiss. She leaned forward, against her will, and kissed him on the lips. This wont happen again! No! It wont! I wont lose him again! She was trying to scream, but she couldn't stop smiling. Ravenshire pressed pass the doors, dragging her behind. No! This cannot happen! She tried closing her eyes, but there was no success.

Ravenshire walked to the podium, and stepped up to the microphone. Lina stood behind him and to his left, looking proud but feeling terrified. It was an outside setting, at a park with a lake. Ravenshire started speaking of peace, and of treaty. The crowd shouted with him, and Lina tried shouting against him. Run away! She screamed to herself. She looked proud, but the look betrayed her.

It happened in an instant. A far off shot was fired, and Ravenshire was down. He was dead before he hit the ground, and Lina could only watch. She felt the tears cloud her vision, but that wasn't forced upon her. In her head, she was sobbing.

She couldn't even recognize him as he lay on the ground. Her silk black dress rippled in the wind, as did her black hair.

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Lina didn’t even get a chance to open her eyes to realize that she felt good.

It wasn’t until now that she knew that ever since she became a Nova, her mind was clouded with a big headache. She always had to deal with it, and did to the point that she often forgets about it. But now it was no longer there, and she wanted to laugh.

She opened her eyes, and the pain in her heart was still there. She missed everyone she knew, and would gladly take the headache back on to lose this other pain that infested her. She almost used it to define herself these days, and the days seemed to be growing more and more bleak. Lina tried to remember when she was last awake. The blood.. my skin.. !?

Lina sat up, looking for her hands. They were the color flesh should be. A dream.. Like Daniel being shot. This is just a dream. Something will wake me up and ruin this. It’s too good to be true. She tried to bring the light to her hand as she had been able to do for so many years before, but there was no success. I’m no longer a Nova. I lost my powers.. maybe a life in quiet solitude is possible.. She realized that she was not alone in the room. On the foot of the bed in front of her was a cat in the colors of ember, white, and black. Lina reached her hand out to it, and it raised its head to her. She stopped her hand, and the cat stood up from its laying position. It stretched and yawned, than walked onto Lina’s lap. She began to pet the cat, and it laid upon her lap almost instantly. The tag said Rita.

This went on for a few minutes. Lina petted Rita, while still inspecting her new skin. She didn't know is she was supposed to be happy. She wasn't sure what to feel. It was the moment that she decided to try and be happy that she heard another light noise in the room. It was a series of long, noiseless breaths. Lina moved to the edge of the bed and looked around the room. She couldn't see a thing beyond several inches in front of her. "Hello?" She said softly, and the long breaths turned shallow. It was followed by a comparitive racket of someone standing up, than stumbling into a wall. The room became illuminated, and she saw William standing next to the door. He wore a pair of ripped-up grey sweat pants, and that was it. His hair, both brown and short, still somehow managed to be messy. "Hi." Lina said.

"Was I snoring? Did I wake you?" He asked, looking concerned. He opened up the door and stuck his head out. The rest of the house, or whatever they were in, seemed still and dead.

"Doubtfully. How long was I out for?" Lina replied. She took inventory of herself, and found that she wore a pair of pajamas that actually seemed to fit her. "Did.. you.. "

"Change you? Now, what do you take me for.. a Will?"

"What?"

"Uh, nothing. Inside joke.. thing. Lindsay did it. Their hers, too." He looked back at her, taking a long time. "You do look differently. How do you feel?"

"Better than usual, worse than some. Where are we?"

"Vestal, New York. It's right outside of Binghamton, and borders Endicott and Johnson City. We're in the hills and backwaters. We've got several hundred acres that The Bats and their associates don't impede on.. mainly because everytime they do we strike at them thrice as hard."

"If you can strike at them that hard, why don't you just drive them out?" Lina asked.

"Well." After a moment, William shrugged. "We don't want to lose people in possible battles. There has been casualties on both sides.. betrayels too. We keep it peaceful enough."

"So, peaceful enough is comfortable with you?" It was quiet for a long time, and William put on a raggy black shirt. "Who are The Bats anyway?"

"Mostly a gang. Like The Bloods, Crips, etc. Soon after NYC fell, Binghamton fell too. Government collapsed, and a monarchy was established. Guys name is Norris, and he's an embarassment to rulers everywhere. He fancies himself a gangster."

"Did you just say 'Fancies'?" William was quiet for another minute, half between being embarassed and laughing. It made Lina uncomfortable. "And let me guess. The Bats is his rag-tag group of 'G's' from the hood?"

"Precisely."

"You said associates. Who are they?"

"Well, the main would have to be the '607 Kids'. New age 'New Kids on the Block' of you ask me. They're a bunch of hardcore kids who follow an embarassment almost as big as Norris. Jason Raimi, though he gained the nickname Morrison through the years. The 607 Kids are basically a bunch of assholes who beat up woman, listen to bad music, and dress like clones. Black, zip-up hoodie, blue or black jeans midway between too tight and barely loose, hair dyed black with a Gerry-Curl wanna be strung across their face. Goth meets Greasers."

"I understood maybe half of what you just said. Stop it with the cultures references." Lina said, sounding annoyed.

"Sorry, but its what I do. Anyway, there is one more. No one associates with him because no one wants to be around him. He's a Nova with a slight detachment of reality. He thinks he is a cartoon character."

"Ah ha. This place is ridiculous." They were both quiet for a few more minutes. Lina continued to pet Rita, until Rita moved from her lap to make for William's. "Yours?"

"No, Franklyns. She loves me though."

"Ah." Lina said in response, leaning backwards. "So.. is.. this permanent?"

"The skin change? No, only for a few days. Know that you also have no powers, too." William said, playing with Rita who was on his lap. "Lindsay can use her blood to heal. Heal wounds, heal abnormalities, heal anything really. Gerg would be dead three times over if it wasn't for her."

"Ahh, yeah. I could sense there closeness. They've been together a long time, haven't they?"

"Don't read too much into that. Neither are faithful, to each other or to a faith."

"Are you?" Lina asked, wondering if she should be leaving. It'd be a great excuse to leave.

"Faithful only to my apathy." William said.

"What is Gergs power? And is Franklyn the one without powers?"

"Gerg has no powers. He's a really, really good martial artist with a fucking amazing teacher named Jack. Franklyn's power is.. complicated."

"I've got all day." Lina said, curious as to how it was complicated.

"Well. He weighs several tons."

"That's a really, really bad joke."

"And he can distribute his weight into anything he is touching, and anything that thing is touching, and so on. The only restriction seems to be he can't do it into other living objects."

"Still. It was a bad joke."

"It was. Lets get you ready. We're going out to eat."

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