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Aberrant: 2011 - Light of Retribution

White Light

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Lina hugged her bag as she sat in the seat that was made a little bigger than she was. She was on an airplane flying to Los Angeles to see her brother and Ravenshire. Mech had noticed that she was distracted ever since the day in the hospital, and often asked what was wrong. Lina would just shrug, though, and continue about her activities. When she was packing to leave, he asked her if she wanted him to take her, and she shrugged. He looked at her for a moment, and she closed the suitcase and began to walk out. He shouted something, but Lina didn’t hear him.

He had some scenes to re shoot, but she was done as far as she was concerned.

Her last few days on the set had been a type of hell. She was distracted and her acting was shit. People pretended not to notice her mood and clumsiness, but they all did. Everyone noticed her mood even when she tried to cover it. When she acted she seemed to only be able to simulate depression or anger. She, on more than one occasion, snapped at someone who asked her a question or request. She was becoming hell to be around, and she doubted anyone cared whether or not she showed her face for the rest of the recording. They’d gotten all of her scenes out of the way, several of which seemed to take hundreds of tries.

But now she was on her way. Lina had a dream the previous night that Ravenshire had dumped her as per Dark Spirals request, and Lina and her brother were hurt, but uninjured. Lina woke smiling, thinking that this had actually happened. She almost broke her hand hitting a wall when she realized that it was only a dream.

She was almost as angry at Ravenshire as she was at Dark Spiral. He was fucking leading her on, and she thought it was something he would have wanted. If something happened and I was out of Daniels life, they could be together. She thought that, but it was really that he didn’t want her flying off the handle. I’m going to put that bitch down after I see my brother and kill Ravenshire for causing this.

Lina tried to relax, putting her hands on the armrest and looking about the cabin. People smiled at her as they made eye contact, but she never smiled back. Everyone was much older than her, including the man next to her. He looked to be in his mid-forties, and probably a businessman. A Japanese man. Lina closed her eyes and leaned her head back. She was trying as hard as she could to not think about Dark Spiral, but the thoughts were making her stomach sick. She was about to open her eyes when she felt someone touching her hand. It wasn’t just touching, but someone was trying to hold it. Lina didn’t even have time to think about it before she reacted. Her right hand reached over to his right, which was on her left, and grabbed the thumb. She damned near tore it off as she pulled is arm across her. She shifted his wrist, and used her left hand to apply pressure to the back of his elbow. In an instant everyone was watching them, and it only took an instant to have the man in this position. “Say you’re sorry.” Lina said, twisting his wrist. The man screamed in pain, and people were shuffling in from other sections of the plane trying to view the commotion.

Lina let up on the pressure to allow the man to talk. “Oh! I’m sorry! Just let go of my arm!!”

“Tell everyone what you did, what your intentions were, and I might consider not breaking your arm in three different places.” Lina said coldly. The flight attendants where were previously moving to make an attempt to stop the conflict stopped when they arrived in front of Lina, as they were completely unsure as to what to do. Lina began twisting, and than let most of the pressure go. The man screamed.

“Ow! Shit! Fuck! I held her hand! That’s all!” The man screamed in a panic.

“Did I say you could touch me? None to less hold my hand?”

”No!” He screamed, and she let him go. He bent over, looking to be examining his hand and crying.

Lina stood up, and everyone was watching her. “Give me another seat.” She said, and they obliged immediately. The rest of the trip was without incident, or excess sound for that matter. She was briefly questioned and warned of what consequences could come of her ‘retribution’, but was ultimately let go. She found a cab, and was off to the hospital.

Lina didn’t bother looking at the sights. She was too angry, sad, and anxious to get to the hospital. She kept her head down, and the driver saw no reason to bother her. The ride was long and seemingly circuitous, but eventually they arrived. Lina sat for a moment before handing the driver some money and stepping out. A deep breath seemed to help the anxiety, but not much. Are my parents here? Is Ravenshire here? Where is Dark Spiral? Will my parents be angry with me? Will Zach? She pulled out a piece of paper that gave her the room number that her brother was in, and slipped into the lobby. She kept her eyes open and moved with caution. Many glanced at her, but no one stopped her. She saw her parents from a distance. They were in the gift shop/diner eating some slop while looking sad. Lina thought about making herself known to them, but ending up not doing so. She immediately found an elevator and hit the button for the third floor. The elevator seemed to drag on and on and on, and the other people stared at her. Lina closed her eyes, and instinctively walked out when the elevator stop. She took a few steps, and found herself in front of her brothers’ room. The door was closed, but Lina didn’t heed the halt it implied and moved in. Oh.. god. She said to herself silently.

Her brother lay before her on a white bed, wearing a robe. His brown hair was a mess, and he looked to be asleep. There was a needle in his arm, and he was breathing heavily. White bandages wrapped around his head, covering his eyes. Lina closed the door behind her softly while laying her bags on a chair. She heard her brother sit up, alerted. “Who’s there!?” He shouted. He was scared. Lina took another step, toe first, and her brother seemed to tense more. “Lina!?” He cried. She took another step and was to him. He reached to her blindly, and wrapped his arms around her. Lina climbed onto the bed, despite her reduced movement, and lay next to him. He kept his arms tight around her, and began to sob softly. Lina buried her head into Zach’s shoulder and closed her eyes. She was in a lot of pain, but it must be nothing compared to what her brother was in. Tears began to run down her cheek, and they held each other.

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Ravenshire climbed back into the elevator. He had stopped by earlier in the evening after work. Zach’s parents had been there so he had made his stop brief. After that, he had gone searching for a diner, but ended up in a bar instead. Daniel had hoped to lose himself in that den of forgetfulness, but all he ended up was feeling sorry for himself again. Instead he had stopped well short of drunk and wandered the few blocks around the hospital. He had no clear recollection of were he walked to nor how he ended up back at the front doors.

Daniel had a grim countenance when he came in. It was a familiar look for him these nights. He was never far away from the suffering that Zach was going through for him. Thoughts about what to do about the one who had brought this pain to life were there as well. During the days, Ravenshire could bury himself in his work deeply enough to buy him some piece of mind. There were prospects to research, fortunes to manage, and clients to contact. Only after a hard day’s work did all his efforts seem so small and pointless. Now he was back to the only thing that really mattered at the end of the night – the people closest to him.

Ravenshire moved off the elevator and walked resolutely to Zach’s room. The first thing he noted was the lack of the parents talking. He was relieved to not have to once more face their looks of accusations. As he drew closer he heard someone moving the sheets and Zach was sobbing. That drew Daniel up short and for an instant a pulse of fear raced through him. Was it Dark Spiral come back to do even worse?

He barely hesitated. Ravenshire couldn’t leave Zach alone. He stepped rapidly through the door and drew up short. It was Lina. Now what was he going to do.

Ravenshire tried his best to leave the tension out of his voice. Instead he spoke in a calm, compassionate tone.

“Welcome back, Lina. Good evening again Zach.”

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Lina nearly died when she heard the voice. It scared and infuriated her. No anger. No lies, just love she told herself. She spent the past few days in a constant anger. She loved Daniel, but it was nothing in comparison to her love for her brother. Lina waited until the feeling in her body was back. She decided that she loved the sound of his voice just than, but wished it hadn’t been there. This was going to be hard for her.

As she lay, Zach moved his head as if to look up at her. He ran his fingers across her face, and Lina let him do his motion. Lina remained quiet, wondering if Ravenshire would let them have their time before she, no doubt, ruined any moment with her anger. After another minute or so, Zach finished his inspection of her than murmured a “Hi Daniel.” to Ravenshire with a little malicious intent.

Was that just because I’m here? Lina asked herself. She ran her hand through her brothers’ hair and whispered something nearly inaudible to anyone but Zach. He took his hands from around her and she remained still for a moment longer before sitting up and turning around. There were tears on her face, sharing with the intense pain that she was feeling. “Its not real until you witness it.” She said to him, sounding like she had nothing else to say. “Should we go somewhere else where I can rip your eyes out?” She said coldly, and as she spoke parts of her body seemed to glow unconsciously under her clothes. Her brother sat up behind her, and felt his way up her back. His bandages peaked above her small shoulders like he was peeking during a hide. Lina was physically effected by this, and she dropped her head slowly.

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He didn’t feel jealous over Zach’s special bond with his sister - not now. Zach greeted Daniel but got no rise out of him. Zach had good cause to throw barbs Daniel’s way. She whispers to him and then turns around and faces Ravenshire.

“Its not real until you witness it.”

It had been real enough for him. Dark Spiral had placed him in the hospital twice now. He knew how painful her black lightning could be. She had never scared him in the vicious way she had Zach. No, she had let him know what she was going to do and left him lying there.

It had been real enough every day and night since Daniel had been able to leave his room at this same hospital, too. He didn’t let himself forget because he kept coming to the same conclusion every time he saw Zach.

“Should we go somewhere else where I can rip your eyes out?”

Behind that fragile, young woman’s exterior was a vicious, vengeful hear. Right now it was full of rage and anger and he was the lone target within reach. Zach peeked over Lina’s shoulder and she lowered her head. Daniel nodded and said,

“We’d better. This comes back down to me and you.”

Ravenshire held the door open for Lina to come with him then called over his shoulder.

“Zach, good night. It’s been real.”

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Lina sat straight up from her sitting position, without using her hands. Her eyes connected with Ravenshire, opening a direct window to her pain and anger. "Yeah, somewhere else. I'll be back, Zach." She said coldly, and Zach didn't take his 'eyes' off of Ravenshire.

Lina stepped of he bed and put her other foot out quickly to catch herself, but than slowed to a walk. It all looked very normal and very smooth. Lina glided by him without even giving him a look and turned down the hall toward the elevators. She assumed Ravenshire was behind her, but paid to mind to confirming this. At the midway point the elevator door opened and Lina's parents began walking down the hallway. Once they noticed their daughter, they stopped and waited for her. Lina didn't notice their faces, but they were filled with incredible sorrow. Lina walked right by them and into a door.

She continued to take the stairs upward and soon found herself on the lonesome roof. She walked to the edge, and decided to sit facing outward. "Explain." She said coldly.

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The tone, not the words, sparked anger within him. He had been a victim to after all. She was owed an explanation, but he was owed some understanding too.

“Dark Spiral came for us late at night. I don’t know how she got past the perimeter alarms, but the downstairs motion sensors picked her up.”

As he spoke he looked past her back and out over the city.

“I got Zach and we were making our way when to the Safe Room when I heard someone else running in the house. I sent Zach on and went to intercept the intruder. I ambushed her. Dropped her to the ground and put her under my guns.”

Ravenshire shook his head sadly.

“I couldn’t just shoot her. It felt wrong … right up until she told me she had come for Zach. I put through bullets from the .454’s into her center mass … to no effect. My guns were useless. I kicked her in the head with all I had. Nothing did any good. She didn’t even get angry with me this time. She swatted me aside and I blacked out. I came to with the cops standing over me.”

“She had gotten to Zach. I still remember hearing his sobbing. I don’t know why he didn’t make it to the Safe Room. I don’t know if it would have made any difference. The FBI came to me at the hospital. They contacted you and your parents before I could even get my stuff back.”

Daniel kicks the roof while he pauses for a moment.

“She left me relatively uninjured this time and I can only guess why, though I have little doubt it was deliberate. She’s playing mind games with both of us – trying to drive us apart. The thing is I think it’s worked. I can’t protect you or Zach. I can’t stop her from doing this again and the Feds don’t have any leads on Dark Spiral. I can’t think of a way to keep her at bay … right now.”

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Lina listened to the story while looking down at the ground. Several people had noticed her up top the tall hospital, but few stayed to watch. In truth, Lina had all intentions of jumping.

She turned her head back to Ravenshire and stared at him for a long moment. A doubt entered her head but only for a second. This is the truth, I know. She thought of the aquamancer from the ferry and realized that she had never told Daniel about it. "I think I'll go after her." Lina said softly, just enough for him to hear. She sounded unsure, but dedicated. She looked down the side of the building and wondered how injured she might get.

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“I think I will go after her.”

That snapped him out of his melancholy and back to a deep and abiding concern for Lina’s safety. Ravenshire reached out for her arm, but his touch never reached her flesh. Instead a white glow flared up beneath his palm and held him at bay. He filed that away for later contemplation.

“You can’t do that Lina. She’s with the Teragen. She will know you are coming for her long before you have a clue as to where she is. Then there is the matter of shear power. You haven’t met her. I’ve been confronted by her twice and she has totally overpowered me.”

Daniel’s voice was tinged with an air of desperation.

“I’m not giving up on finding her myself, but I know more about the circles she’s running with than you do. Whatever is done about her has to be done quickly and quietly.”

Daniel takes a step back and gives up his attempt to touch Lina.

“We can’t do this alone is what I’m saying. We need allies. We need people to help track her down and others to help confront her. When I make my move against her I don’t want her to have a chance to get away.”

Ravenshire took a deep breath.

“She doesn’t get away with this, but our vengeance must take some time. We just aren’t powerful enough to figure out her weaknesses and strike at them.”

Only now does Daniel realize how close both of them are standing to the precipice. He extends a hand to Lina saying,

“The right way is to do this together and with a plan.”

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Lina looked back over the side, than back at Ravenshire. It was like he finally realized what Lina wanted. He wanted to do something about Dark Spiral. But his way wasn't quick enough for her. "That sounds nice." She spoke softly, and with a smile.

Lina looked back down the side of the building as she stood up. "You know, it doesn't actually look that far from up here." Lina said cautiously. In truth, the building was only a few stories high. She looked back to Ravenshire, wondering if she should listen to him. In truth, her mind was already made. Daniel couldn't protect Zach and Dark Spiral was already after Lina, so Lina was going to make it happen on her terms. "The next time you hear about me I'll be a murderer, or I will be dead." Lina said coldly while looking into Daniels eyes. A second later she was out of sight.

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