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Mutants & Masterminds: Future Imperfect - Fiction: Blank Slate [Complete]

Travis Kincaid

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Three months ago ...

He awoke from a dream, a nightmare where he was buried alive. The cot creaked in protest to his movements but the man sat up. The room was dim lit by the light from a doorway and a pair of red exit lights. Row upon row of cots and simple metal frame beds filled the room. Where the hell am I?

He looked down at his hands, his clothing and saw a dirty and ragged appearance. As he became accustomed to the darkness he could see that the others in the room were likewise dirty, clothed in worn garments either too big or too small. A homeless shelter. I don't remember coming here, I don't recall why I would come here.

In a panic now he searched himself as the realization came that he could remember nothing before waking. He laid everything out on his lap. Some string, a crusted over lump of stale bread, a bottle cap, a matchbook, a few dollars in change and small bills, and a battered driver's license. Scooping the rest back into one of the pockets without holes he brought the bent and worn plastic card to his face. Travis Kincaid. Is this me? He rose from the cot, its spring sighing as they returned to their unstretched form, and shuffled toward the lit doorway. He was too preoccupied to notice that in his wake, like some sort of dervish or poltergeist were at work, small bursts of kinetic energy shoved blankets and loose items around randomly.

The brightness of the lit hall made the man blink and squint while his eyes adjusted to the light. He fumbled his way to the bathroom, noticing for the first time that he wore two different shoes. The bathroom stunk, it was sweat and dirt, old beer and old farts, and blood and urine. It was a place where even those at the bottom of society sloughed off their grime. He stood in front of the sink and looked at the mirror at the man staring back at him. Travis Kincaid. He held up the license and the picture was unmistakable. How can I not even remember my own face? Despair and rage boiled up within him. A sudden spike of agony shot through him and the mirror shattered. Travis lifted his hand to his nose and when he looked his fingers were slick with blood, the pain made his head thud like a drum and he felt almost sick. What happened to me?

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People were messed up. People were sick. They were burned out, or burning up, or just ready to put themselves on fire. You backed away from people, because if they didn't want anything else, they wanted answers.

"Hey Mister, are you okay?"

Adrian had gotten out of the shower a minute earlier. He had gone to put on his jeans and come back to dry his hair and comb it in some semblance of order. Now someone had gone and broken the the only reliable mirror in the joint.

Was that blood? Coming from his nose? Oh, that wasn't good. That could mean paramedics and then the Law. Adrian didn't want to have to move Beca this late at night, as cool as it was outside.

"Mister, you're bleeding. What are you on? What have you taken?"

Maybe he could solve this without outside intervention.

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Travis grabbed a wad of paper towels and used them to wipe at the blood as he turned. "Umm. I don't think anything. I don't know. I ... do you know me? Do I know you? I just woke up ... I mean, I can't remember." He looked the younger man over but his features didn't bring up any memory. Dammit what is going on?!

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Adrian was a far cry from a doctor. He'll he was a far cry from a cut man in a boxing ring. Sure, he had seen his share of bleeding wounds, but usually he caused them. The Bronzed God didn't get them.

"Okay," Adrian took Travis by the arm and led him back to the room with all the beds in it. He led him down to the corner next to one of the large windows. There was a beautiful young woman waiting there for them both.

"Sit down and let me have a look at this."

As Travis sat down, Adrian knelt before him and tilted Travis' head back.

"Seems to be slowing down," he said as he dabbed at it. "We can walk you to the nearest clinic, but its a hoof. I don't want to be carrying you if you're going to bleed all over my clothes."

The young man seemed sad, but serious.

"How do you feel? Light headed? I know you don't know who you are, but do you know were you are?"

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Travis shook his head and pressed the paper back to his nose. "I mean I assume this is a homeless shelter. But I can't remember anything before maybe five minutes ago when I woke up. It feels like I have a a spike in my head. Wicked headache. I can walk though." Travis looked at the young man, then held out his crumpled ID card, "I guess this is me, umm," he stole a look at the card again, "I'm Travis, you?"

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Adrian looks at the card then reads off the address. He shook his head. It wasn't legible. Hell, it was as if someone went to some effort to remove it.

"Someones done a good job of ereasing this address. I can't make it out. It looks deliberate. Anyone had this done to them normally would get a replacement."

The bleeding had stopped and Adrian was calming down now.

"We could check the phone books. I've got a nasty feeling its unlisted. This is wacked. Really man, this stinks."

He thought about it for a moment then made his decision. This guy needed help and Adrian and his sister could wait one more day to find a job. They had enough ... sort of.

"What you really need to do is have yourself arrested. The cops can provide you with your home address. Unless you did something wrong, and I'm guessing you did, then being caught by the law would suck even more."

"Do you have any phone numbers on you? In the movies, you usually leave a message or a phone number for yourself."

"Brother, I'm running out of ideas. Can you remember anything at all?"

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Travis turned out his pocket, aside from some money and a stale piece of bread there was a matchbook and a bottlecap. The matchbook wasn't even in English the bottle cap was for Budwieser, hardly something unqiue and traceable. "I can't remember anything before when I just woke up, its like, its like I was just born or something. I, suppose maybe a tatoo? I guess I should maybe see." He pulled his sleeves up and his pant legs but there were no tatoos, "I'll be right back."

A few minutes later he returned from the bathroom and shook his head. "I think I should go to the police tomorrow, maybe they can tell me who I am, maybe somebody is missing me?"

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Adrian looks him over.

"Well, you were dressed by someone else. These clothes aren't your own."

Seeing how odd this must be, coming from a homeless guy,

"I've got to develop some fashion sense over the years."

How many years wasn't that obvious. Adrian didn't look twenty.

"Good luck with the cops. I hope you don't mind if I make myself scarce first. No need for me, or my Sis, to borrow trouble."

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Travis looks at the worn out rags, "I should hope I didn't wear this out of choice. Nessecity perhaps, or by way of force, but hopefully not choice." He offers Adrian a lopsided smile.

Travis nods, "I thank you now for the help. Hopefully I'll be able to repay you at some point for your troubles." Travis offers the other man his hand.

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Adrian shakes that hand. To the repaying commment, the young mutant can only give a lopsided grin of his own.

"We'll try, but I seem to have misplaced my cellphone."

He pats his pockets for emphasis.

"Seriously though, you take care. No memory means no one you can really trust. I mean that. Some one messed with you and since you are still alive, I can bet you that messing isn't over with."

"And watch that nose bleed. Go to a free clinic, or find your insurance card and get that looked at. Bleeding from the nasal cavity isn't a sign for anything good."

That was the end of his words. Adrian looked around, but there was nothing more to say except,

"Sleep well."

He turned and nodded to his sister. She lay back down on the bed next to his and quickly headed off to slumber. Adrian followed her, watching Travis head back to his own bed.

Come sunrise, Travis was gone.

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