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Aberrant: 2011 - When Karma Sleeps [Complete]


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October 12, 2009, 9:46 a.m.

Novas shouldn't live this way. Novas shouldn't be scrapping a living by making drugs to sell on street corners for desperate addicts, and they shouldn't live in hovels in Germany.

But here she was. Kylie sighed and shoved herself away from the table in her 'lab,' though honestly it was just the second bedroom in the apartment she'd managed to arrange when she'd arrived in Germany last month. And thinking of how long she'd been here reminded her that it was time to move on; the Project was always right behind her, and Aura had no intention of rotting in Bahrain.

With a sigh, Aura walked out into the rest of her small apartment, looking around at the life she'd built here. Decaying furniture, given an extended lease on life by baling wire or duct tape, sparsely occupied the dirty room. It was by far the best place she'd stayed since going on the run, and she was a little surprised to realize she'd miss it.

That was not quite true. She'd actually miss the stability, the simple joy of having a room to come home to, of having a place to relax.

She missed Gabe. She wished that she dared to contact him, but she couldn't risk his life and well-being; if the Project thought he knew something, they might question him. The truth that she couldn't admit to herself was that she didn't want him to know what she'd done. She knew he wouldn't understand, and if she wasn't there to explain herself, the Project would turn him against her.

Suddenly, her room seemed constrictive, and Kylie grabbed her jacket and headed out the door. She needed to do something other than think about Gabe; she really needed to plan where she was going next, and how to get there without leaving a paper trail. Maybe some walking around Berlin's seedier areas of town would clear her head, give her a new perspective, and a new desire to keep going. Because she was tired of all this; she wanted her old life back.

With a sigh, she headed out into the cool German morning.

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Alptraum sat in the cafe, as usual, perusing new events on his laptap and people watching.

If one could call these whores and pimps 'people'.

The rage that swelled up within him filled his mouth with the taste of metal and his ears with the sound of thunder. Filthy immigrants. Half-breeds. Jews. Hardly a decent German among them. Victims and animals, all of them. The question was, when would he finally do something about it. When would he start to cull the heard of animals that stained his beloved country? He wasn't feeling any satisfaction from the depredations done to animals. The screams of a kitten as he pulled it's eyes out didn't give him the same sense of fulfillment. Even if he knew that those idiots on RPG-Post would rage so impotently against his actions.

Gott im Himmel. Wenn etwas nicht bald geschieht, gehe ich geisteskrank. Die Wut muß fließen.

His hands tightened and his knuckles went white. Who knew what might have happened if he hadn't seen her. She walked into the kaffeehaus and could not have been anymore out of place. Even more so than the shit-skinned animals that crowded the streets. And something about her...

Something pinged. Like a sonar touching upon steel in an empty sea. She sang out to him. She was so much more real than anyone else here. It must be fate.

She seemed nervouse, he wondered what it was that was making her nervous. Perhaps she was hiding? She had the look about her. Time to see.

He took a deep breath and when he exhaled a portion of him misted out, invisible to the human eye and wafted over to her. This part of him slid into her eyes, through her nostrils and penetrated into her, inte her brain, into her mind. He formed a picture of reality and placed it over what her own senses told her. Nothing much changed, the kaffeehaus was still the kaffee house. But as she sat down she saw a police officer walk into view. A large man, officious looking, with a piercing gaze.

Wie sie reagiert?

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Her reaction was so casual he almost misses it. She pauses and kneels to tie her shoe, disappearing behind a bench. All he can see, for a moment, is a vague scene of her location along with her fingers working on her shoes under the bench.

When she stands up, she's tugging a hoodie over her head, a hood he was sure hadn't been part of her jacket a minute ago. And with a casual glance at the officer, she turned and walked perpendicular to his path, crossing the street. Once there, she casually began to windowshop, keeping an eye on the cop.

Aura was sweating now, a cold sweat despite the chill in the air. It's a baseline cop. You can get away from him, easily, she reminded herself. The power danced in her fingertips, but she keep a hold on it. It was would let them know where she was, and she couldn't let that happen. She couldn't give up her hard-won freedom over a petty street cop.

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Und die Jagd fängt an.

As he stood up his quantum flowed out, subduing his presence, graying him out of the social landscape. Unnoticable, inconsequential.

He followed her for a few blocks. Practice had taught him that rushing the fear would spoil the hunt. He wondered if she was heading back to her home or if she was walking farther, trying to convince herself that she wasn't in trouble. Of course, that assumed he was correct, that she was running. It did seem likely.

Fürchten Sie sich erkannt zu werden? Oder ist es nur die Polizei, die Sie sich sorgen?

He decided to experiment and reached out again. Overlapping her view of the world he changed the faces of fellow pedestrians. Where in reality they passed by without a second glance she saw them give her a second look, flashes of what might be recognition.

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Don't panic, Aura said to herself, hunching lower and shivering under her hoodie. Still, she glanced up at the people passing, and continued to see the same reactions, the first glimmer of recognition. Don't. There's no reason they would know you. They just couldn't. Her feet still picked up a bit, until she was almost running, zipping through the crowd.

The occassional German curse floated after her, which she ignored. Aura kept moving, until she finally came to a square where a small bazaar was in progress; without hesitation, Aura ducked into the crowd, doubled back, and found a place to hide, waiting, watching.

I'm fucking leaving Germany. I'm doing it tonight, Aura told herself, her eyes wide as she kept a look-out for anyone noticing or following her. Fuck this shit - go back to New York, find Gabe and make him understand the truth about that bitch. And then we can run away together, forever. Aura smiled for a moment, the hunted look leaving her face for a moment. Gabe and me, forever. I like that.

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He froze slightly when her eyes met his once he'd found her in the crowd. But her gaze kept going. Of course, he was just some little nobody thanks to his bland aura. He walked a bit and found a good place to finish this up. He hid slightly behind a stack of boxes and watched his prey relax slightly.

As he was in the alley he took out his laptop and started a quick search. She was definetely a nova, she was white and she was on the run. The beauty of the OpNet manifested itself in a postive identification with just a few minutes of searching. Aura. How lovely. One of the whores from that disgusting little opsite.

He studied the scene and noticed that one of the vendors was watching a little portable television set. He again adjusted Aura's sensory input and turned up the voltage on her nightmare.

"Flüchtlingnova AURA ist in Deutschland gesehen worden. Beachten Sie, daß sie als in hohem Grade gefährlich gilt."

Aura turned as she heard her name squawk out from a cheap television set and saw what had to be the last straw. While she couldn't speak German she could recognize the international image of the public warning. The simple stark photograph and the tone of voice that screamed out "Danger! This person is scary!". She pulled back involuntarilly and held her breath. The old woman watching the TV looked up at her, likely to ask if she wanted to try on a scarf and then fear and recognition crossed her features.

The old woman began to shout, "Kriminell! Rufen Sie die Polizei an!" Others turned and the fear and the shock began to spread. Aura whipped around, looking for somewhere to run. An empty alleyway leading to what looked like a busy street seemed to be the only place empty of pointing and accusing people.

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No, no! Aura's breath seized in her throat and her power leaked out; slowly at first, then with increasing speed. Her hair ran with gold streaks before solidifying and turning a strange, dark gold. Her skin, eyes - everything followed after the hair, bleeding into a gold that looked as though it was covered in a sickly green sheen.

The effects from her transformation were seen immediately. Those closest to her burst into flame as the promixity to the radiation poured heat and energy into their cells, igniting them. Those further away, or those quick to run, merely recieved a lethal dose of hard radiation.

Aura didn't limit her damage to incidentials; all of her rage and frustration from the last months unleashed itself in a mad fury. Those who 'reacted' to the bulletin about her recieved direct blasts from bolts of radiation, thrown from Aura's fingertips. Within seconds, the small plaza was a charred, razed ground of destruction.

For a second, the golden girl stared around her in shock. Her mind sought to cope, tottering between two possible reactions: guilt or power. She choose power, as it occurred to her that she never had to sit back and let others push her around. She was powerful. I never should have hired Cyn to get Cara-slut. I should have taken her out myself! Aura giggled. Power-drunk, she released her quantum energy and turned to run, her purpose renewed.

She was going to get out of here, like she planned, but she was done running. She'd find them; she'd find every last one of them and make them pay. She'd kill Caramel herself; she'd beat down Summer and make her cry and then maybe kill her or maybe leave her broken; and she'd find Gabe and show him how glorious she was.

With a giggle, she ran up the alley, eager to start the new phase of her life. "Good-bye, shy, silly wallflower! Time for a new girl on the block."

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Her sudden transformation caught him by suprise and the wave of pain that tore into him caused him to nearly drop his hold on her sensory input. Only his grim determination to not fail, to keep hold kept him in control.

But as he saw death fly from her fingertips and set suprised shoppers ablaze his determination became more focused on staying alive than trying to control what was obviously out of his reach. Every square inch of his body felt like it had been scraped with a razor and dipped into alcohol. His coat smoldered slightly and his vision was blurry, his eyes stinging with heat.

He slouched down, hidden more than ever behind the stack of boxes in the alley, as Aura ran into it he created an image of a large truck block the far end and behind her he reduced the number of phantoms he'd littered the plaza with. Hopefully she'd chose the easier path and leave without actually entering the alley. He was afraid of how she might react when she found that it was not actually a throughway, but a dead end that he'd hoped to lure her into. Even if he was capable of unleashing his venom into her he was sure it wouldn't work fast enough. She'd live long enough to burn him to the ground and he'd be damned if some American whore would be the end of him.

No, he'd let her go.

Yes, he'd let her go.

And deep in his mind he prayed that he'd be able to convince himself that's really what happened.

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Aura stopped her head-long run, realizing that what she had thought was an escape was actually a dead-end. Spinning, desperate for a moment, Aura couldn't decide which way to go. The confusion racking her brain was an uncomfortable reminder of her days as a hapless baseline, before she'd met Gabriel Law and learned who she really was.

Her eyes were drawn by a stream of running people, and Aura ran after them. Like a creek followed out of the woods, they showed her the way to go. And now, she was just another woman running from the demon-made-flesh, a wolf indistingishable from the lambs.

No, that wasn't quite true; she was a wolf who had been behaving like a lamb. As she merged into the crowd, even stopping to help a woman to her feet because she could, she knew that she was a wolf. It was time to act like it.

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