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Aberrant: 200X - Night on the Town


Eliot Krogen

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Eliot stood beneath the running water in his steaming shower. He felt that he might have been burning off layers of his skin, but they were tainted anyway. He knew that he could walk into a room covered in grease and dirt, and no one would mind. They liked having him around, but Eliot had standards. For himself, anyway. He was lost in his mind, wondering what tonight would have in store for him. He'd been in this exact situation hundreds of times, and the outcome was usually the same. He could never say no.

The water stopped as he pushed the knob down, but he didn't move. Steam shot from his body as the cold water gushed from the spicket, and he realized how much he hated this feeling. It was immediately off again as he stepped out of the shower, nearly slipping on the wet floor beneath him. A clock on the wall read 1830, and it was almost time for him to meet BlackThorn at the park. He dried himself off in a haste, leaving several parts of his body most. His hair was a wreck, but it looked exceptional. He threw on his grey suit with a buttoned down blue dress shirt, along with his black shoes and a pair of sunglasses. He stepped out of his loft after grabbing a photo of himself and a marker, than locked the door behind him. Alexis would already be waiting for him at her designated location, and it would be a surprise to Eliot. It was 2130 in New York, and he ran to the park where he would find BlackThorn.

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This would go down as one of his stranger jobs, that was for sure. Here he was, standing out in an open area waiting to pick up one of the most noticeable men on the planet. Tessio felt it was kind of funny. Normally he tried to remain out of the highlights, but the opportunity had been too much to pass up.

Eliot was too easy to spot. The man - the nova left a wake half a block wide. People were stumbling over themselves and staring either over their shoulders or in slack-jawed amazement at what was most likely the best looking man on the planet. A grin slipped unwelcome onto his face as he also cronicled that there must not be a non-heterosexual bone in his body. The Envy was bad enough.

Tessio was himself noticeable tonight. There were no other young men standing around with black silk suits on, custom-tailored (to make his pistols less obvious) and fitted to make the most of his sleek build. Also, Blackthorn was handsome in a way that only a nova could be. Not in league with someone like Eliot of course, but a worthwhile attraction in most eyes.

The two men met like a collision between a boulder and a pebble - that is to say most people witnessing the meeting would remember that Eliot met a man ... mostly sure anyway. Tessio didn't mind. You couldn't get mad with Eliot outshining you anymore than you could get mad with water being wet. You all but had to go along with the wave of good will.

Blackthorn's fingers typed along his handcomp with quantum enchanced precision.

"Hello. Ready to go?" came out the mechanical voice. Message delived, Tessio produced in a liquid motion a notepad and pen. He opened it up to an empty page and offered it over.

A quick examination showed a variety of autographs, most unrecognizable and unfamiliar. A quick swipe of the pen and the bill was paid.

"I'm ready," Eliot half-lied to himself. Tessio nodded and texted another message

We are on our way.

A few seconds passed. Blackthorn took Eliot's hand and a warm wave of quantum passed from Tessio to Eliot. A second later, Eliot was standing barely a hair's breath away from an incredibly lovely creature. Before he could breath again, there was the noticeable abscence of his attendant. Eliot was alone with her, but God Knows Where that was.

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The hairdresser tugged a bit harder on Alexis' black hair, but the nova didn't feel any pain. The only thing she was feeling was impatient. "Hurry up!" she snapped, glaring at the poor woman in the mirror.

"Yes, ma'am," the hairdresser said fearfully, afraid of losing this customer. She'd known that this would be hard the second she'd seen her client; the nova was clearly agitiated and nervous about her date. She finished arranging a curl and stepped back, holding up the mirror like a shield.

Alexis looked between the front and back view and relaxed. "Thank you, Mary," she said, smiling. "You'll send me the bill, right?"

"Of course," she said, her hands shaking as she put the mirror away. "Have a good night."

"Mmm," Alexis muttered in answer, already having dismissed her. The nova was already picking up her eufiber dress and willing it to slide around her body, arranging itself into the newest evening dress, a black number by Balenciaga.

Humming to herself, she took one more look in the mirror, and smiled. She looked fabulous. Blowing herself a kiss, she exited her room and headed into her foyer. Positioning herself precisely, she glanced at her watch and waited.

She was just starting to get bored when she got the text message. Straightening up, she dropped the phone in her purse, counting to herself, "5... 4... 3... 2..."

On one, he was there. Alexis had planned what she was going to do, but two things stymied her. First, he was a little closer than she thought he'd be, though later she'd work out that it was her fault for being a few inches off her spot. Second, he was beautiful - angelically, breath-stealingly, impossibly beautiful. "God," she whispered, and her intention to give him a welcoming kiss on his cheek was swallowed by another desire.

She saw someone else in the room, but she didn't react to them; had it been a trap, she would have been completely had. Nothing existed for her but Eliot, and without further hesitation, she leaned forward and kissed his perfect lips.

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When Eliot appeared in the room, he was holding his breath. He'd never actually teleported before, and he would have been lying if he said the idea didn't scare him. When he felt steady enough he opened his eyes and looked upon Alexis' face. It was a beautiful face and a smile came from Eliot's face. For a moment she seemed to be in shock, and Eliot could not say whether or not it was his appearance or the way he appeared. Either way, he was happy the travelling was over and he couldn't have beaten the price. He was about to open his mouth to speak when she stepped into him. In truth, they'd only been inches away from each other to begin with, but now there wasn't enough room in between them for paper.

He pressed into her, holding the kiss for moments. He had a fleeing thought about how their clothes would only be in the way, but quickly dismissed it as he took a step back. He got a chance to see that they were in her foyer. He wondered if they'd stay here a bit longer before heading out to the bars, but he was trying hard not to just think about sex. He looked her up and down for another moment, trying to do anything other than step into her once more.

His voice had a mild accent. It was beautiful, his voice always hit the perfect tones. "I like what you've done here." Referring to both the room and her action. He was smiling, resisting the urge to hold her with all his will. The double entendre spoke of his desire enough.

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Alexis blushed as her libido dragged her mind into the gutter, helped along by Eliot's fantastic voice. "Thank you," she said softly, smiling at him. God, his eyes...

*Alexis...* Her brother's voice calmed her and steadied her. His tone, almost a warning, was enough to give her a little self-control, just as the twins had planned.

*Thanks,* she replied, tucking her hand around Eliot's arm and guiding him to the elevator. "I have a car waiting to take us to Dylan Prime," she told Eliot as they entered the elevator. Alexis pressed the G button, and it started to descend. "I don't know if you've heard of it, but it's got some fantastic drinks."

The elevator was fast; the doors slipped open with the softest of sounds, revealing a garage and two waiting cars. One was a limo, the other a nice sedan; both sported tinted windows. The driver waiting next to the sedan opened the door, clearly indicating for them to enter. As they climbed in, the limo pulled away, heading toward the doors and clearly serving as a distraction.

"Sorry about this," Alexis said, "but sometimes, we have to go through charades like this for a bit of privacy. And like this." Her dark hair shimmered and shifted, settling into a curly red, while her skin tone paled and freckles brushed her nose. Her now-green eyes twinkled as she smiled at Eliot. Without a lurch, the car eased out the door and past the crowd of parapazzi, all of whom disregarded the car in favor of chasing after the limo.

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As they stood in the elevator Eliot had trouble taking his eyes off of her. She spoke words, but they spent a long time in translation. He needed a cold shower. Or a good drink. "Dylan Prime? Can't say that I've ever heard of it. There's this great little place out in Vancouver if you can ever make it out there."

Eliot watched the limo pull out. He liked limos and this was something that made him feel a little sad. He knew it had to be done if they wanted to get any kind of privacy, but it was still a limo. He shed a tear for the departed, figuratively, than moved his eyes back to her.

"And like this." She said, and her appearance began to reshape. Her hair, eyes, even skin were all now a different color. He'd not seen an active power in a long time and he still wasn't sure if he was used to it. Red hair, green eyes, freckles.. it was something Eliot could appreciate.

"You took precautions, but I am afraid I am a magnet for attention. Where we go, the people will be sure to appear." He paused, knowing that what he just said was increasingly obvious. He looked at her smiling, taking in the new Alexis and happy to be in its company. He really wanted his martini.

Eliot shifted so he was lounging agaist the corner of the seat and the door. He ran a finger up Alexis' arm and he spoke softly. "So tell me about yourself, Lexy. I know you're now nineteen, I know you live in New York, and I know you can make yourself a red-head. But I don't know anything about you."

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"I more took precautions for me," Alexis admitted, smiling as she leaned into the leather seats. "The media attention I've gotten since eruption has been annoying, to say the least, and while I usually tolerate it, there are times I won't. At least this time, I won't be the center of attention; just a companion to your spotlight." Her grin became mischevious. "Let people wonder who the mysterious woman with you is."

His light touch brought a pleasant zing of electricity as sexual tension danced over her skin. "Well, I have a horse that I used to show, before they decided that me being a nova gave me an unfair advantage. Her name is Bitter Summer Wind, and I board her near here. I attend school in Boston, Harvard, of course, and I'm studying Interior Design. I have a twin brother, Davian, and will someday likely end up working for my parents, at their company. I can fly, create force fields around myself and can produce damaging bolts of energy." She quirked an eyebrow. "Beyond that, I'm a perfectly normal woman."

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He listened to her speak, entirely contented to let her talk for the time being. The words were somewhat calming to him, but he'd never have shown his nervousness anyway.

"Perfectly normal." He smiled with a tone of laughter. He would never admit his jealousy towards nova's with actual powers either. "I wasn't aware Harvard taught anything other than law, actually. But than again, I've never actually met someone who went to Harvard." He paused for a moment. His talk was boring him and, no doubt, was boring her too. He got the urge to ask to sometime visit her horse with her, but he wasn't sure how tonight would go. He'd leave that for another time. He looked past her onto the New York streets and saw people wandering, seemingly aimlessly, and thought about his youth.

"My little sister has a horse." He said plainly. It almost seemed to escape from his mouth without his permission. "I don't think she's seen it in a year." He said as a follow up. "How long until we're at the bar?"

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She could have listened to him read the phone book. His eyes, his voice, his face: all demanded her complete attention. He's opening up to me, she thought with a thrill of hope. But before she could ask him for details about the more private side of him, he asked her about the bar.

"Soon," Alexis answered softly. "One of the nice things about being on the Upper East Side is that you aren't fair from anywhere worth partying at. Are you getting bored?" She shifted a touch closer to him. "You shouldn't be bored, or else I'd be a bad host." Another inch closed between them as Alexis leaned a little closer. "Do I need to entertain you?"

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Eliot was smiling broadly. He ran his finger up her arm, onto her shoulder, and across the back of her neck. The smile slowly faded slowly. It wasn't a sad fade though. "I was just curious.. " he said softly. "You're doing great." He leaned forward and kissed her on the forehead. He held it for a moment then pulled back.

"We can keep that for later." He said as he moved his hand across her shoulder than down her arm. "There anything particular you just need to know about me?" He said, emphasizing the need with a grin on his face.

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His lips on her skin made her shiver with excitment, and the promise of later was electric. She had started this date with no intention of later being tonight, but that intention was melting with each moment in his presence. Only the thought that she was in this for the long term helped her stay strong.

There were a million things she wanted to know about him, but she settled on something simple. "What is Corona like? I've never met her, but always wanted to."

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Eliot smiles at her. It wasn't a bad question, but it wasn't really about him either. He wasn't quite sure what to take of the question. "Well." He said solemnly. "She's really.. " They pulled up to the bar, and he stopped speaking.

"I think we're here." He said, looking out the window. "I'll answer that question later, but now we have an appearance to make." He opened the door and took a step out. No one seemed to notice him at first so he offered his hand to Alexis to help out of the car.

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Alexis smiled as the driver became flustered when Eliot did his job. The smile, an expression of true good humor, lit up her face beautifically. By the time she had stepped out of the car, people were noticing.

Alexis held onto Eliot's hand, enjoying the looks of envy from men and women. She'd had those looks before, but usually they were directed at her completely. It was nice to have them be directed at her because of who she was with, not of who she was. It was nice to not be in the limelight for once. She'd once been able to get away with blending into the crowds, before her eruption, but she was a hometown nova now.

Just inside the door, Alexis quickly whispered to the waiter, discreetly letting him know what name their reservation was under. He nodded and ushered them to a table. The Dylan Prime wasn't just a bar; it was also a steakhouse, and the smell of cooking meat filled the restaurant. It was decorated in trendy modern colors, and filled with the buzz of dozens of voices on this busy weekend night. The drink list was prodigeous, and their vodka martini was a featured drink.

"The supposedly best martini bar in town has a rather poor vodka martini," Alexis told him as he looked over the list. "This place has the best one in the city." She sat back, smiling and looking pleased with herself.

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Eliot was smiling as she took his hand and escaped from the car. People were noticing him and her, as Eliot had expected. He was sure none of them actually knew who he was, but they certainly did know he was. As they strode for the door people stared as they cleared a path. Eliot knew that within a few minutes this place would be mobbed.

As the waiter lead them to their destination Eliot took in the place. He was expecting more of a bar, that along the lines of a martini pulp bar. He wasn't hungry previous to their entrance but he suddenly was now. The smell of steak filled the air. He was having trouble keeping his hands of Alexis, but knew enough that it was not the time or the place. He kept her hand in his own and watched the envy-filled eyes of the patrons. The atmosphere had grown quiet and nervous by the time they sat down. People seemed to be more interested in him and the girl he was with then they cared about their drinks and food.

Eliot contemplated making a speech to the crowd, telling them that he'd like for a quiet meal. He could tell them if they wanted to say hello, to do so, but than leave him alone. He knew better, and he knew that it would only make matters worse. The best action was no action, ignoring them until they became bored with him. He smiled as he looked into Alexis' eyes as she spoke of martini's.

"Well, I know what I'll start off with then." She was pleased with herself, and he liked that. "Vodka martini, please." He said, directed to the waiter. People were beginning to whisper their conversations once more. "And you, Lexy?"

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"The same," she said, smiling up at the waiter, who was currently struggling with his sexuality. Alcohol wouldn't get her drunk, anymore than water, and it was really stupid that she had to go through all this trouble for a drink.

As the befuddled waiter stumbled away, Alexis turned her full smile on Eliot. "We were talking about Corona," she said softly, and she braced herself for the surge of jealousy she felt toward the woman. Sure they insisted they were friends, but was that all there was?

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Eliot looking into her eyes, trying to figure out why she was so curious about Corona. Whether it was plain curiosity or a hidden meaning, he wasn't sure. Was she making sure they weren't together? Did she have something deeper planned?

"Michelle.. " He paused for a moment and, with a flashy smile, started over. "Corona is exactly how you'd imagine from what you've seen of her. She is capable, proud, generous, fun, beautiful.. Everything." He tried to guage her reactions on everything he was saying. "She's a good friend. We don't see each other too often but we do try and talk a lot. Usually this entails me flying out to Australia and us having dinner." He paused again, looking around the tables. "That whole team out there is something else."

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He kept saying 'friend,' which made Alexis feel much better. Maybe he was protesting too much, but that supported what she'd been able to find on them. "Sounds like it," she said, picking up the conversation again. "I've seen some of the Utopians, since they like to do charity work with Layton Biotech. They always seem like good people." She thought of Slider, and tried not to feel sad. It was such a waste. "I've thought about joining, but it doesn't seem right for me."

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