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Uno and Fog: An Offer Declined

July 12, 2019

“I could heal you.”  The pale young woman offers looking with concern at my burns.  Considering what she had been through, I was more than a little surprised, and suspicious, at the amount of empathy and gentleness in her voice.  It occurred to me that a vampire’s blood in many stories was used to both turn people into them and enthrall them.

My first thought was there’s no way I was going to risk becoming a bug eating Renfield.

The next, and frankly more worrisome though was that she had fed a bunch of endowed people her blood.  The idea of angry people with special powers and abilities that were enslaved to a specific individual was an archvillain’s dream.  A bunch of vampire supervillains was a step worse from there.

“I’ll be fine.”

She looks at me for a moment and bites her lip with those needle like teeth that change what would be perhaps an endearing behavior into something slightly horrifying, “I’m not a vampire and my blood won’t turn you into one.”

I kept from retorting that would be exactly the thing a vampire would say.

Barely.

Someone slithers out of the hole beside us, interrupting us.  I couldn’t tell if it was a man or a woman, the eyes blinked, and I swear there are two sets of lids closing, the thing turns away from us and start’s moving rapidly outward.

I wonder if it could shapeshift or was stuck like that.  I hoped for their sake they weren’t stuck.  Most people wouldn’t want anything to do with a human snake even if they were benign.

I remember when I was little my father taking me to the national aquarium.  They had, in a tropic display a live anaconda.  The creature was at least twenty-nine feet long if not more.  I don’t recall ever having seen a live snake before yet I was instantly terrified in a way that the sharks, and other animals that were obvious predators did not.

I suspect there is an instinctual fear and dislike of snakes built into the firmware of people because snakes have been a viable threat to us from the start.  There’s a reason its a snake in the garden of Eden.

I kind of wish I had time to figure out how the captives had been held, I was getting more and more convinced I was going to need that information in the future.

There are others escaping the cells all around us below and we start to back away.

“We should getting going.”  The Fog suggested.  We both nod and make our way out of the ruined building.  Oily fires burn across the darkened landscape.  I wonder if the island is going to have a grass fire, despite the winter chill in the air.  There were more bodies strewn haphazardly around the area in heaps.  Some of them were still moving, which I took as a good sign for the future.  There were several upturned vehicles, one truck that was smashed in, and the remains of one jeep that had been thrown into the up into the building behind us.

In the distance I could see flickers of flames, muzzle flares and beams of energy flash causing areas to light up briefly.  I could hear the sound of automatic gun fire, people shouting, some screaming.

“I’m going to have to let go of the systems.”

“No helping it.”

I nod and let go.  Almost immediately we can hear and feel a rumbling beneath us.  The young woman looks at me curiously, but I don’t particularly feel like giving her anymore information on me than necessary.  The mental strain of holding the power back eases and I feel the way one does after taking a long exam in school.  More relief than tired.  My burns are still there, I can recover but not that fast. “You know you don’t have to stay with us, you’re free now.”  I point out.

“I think my chances are considerably better with the two of you, if you don’t mind.”  Which she says in the form of a statement more than a question but there’s a hopeful lilt to her voice when she says it.

The Fog nods and I don’t feel like arguing.  She visibly relaxes at that point.

“If we’re going to be together for a while, what should we call you?”  I ask.

She smiles a little, “April.”  I was expecting something like “Nocturna” or maybe “Evelenne.”

I almost say nice to meet you, but catch myself, “O.K. April, I’m Uno and he’s The Fog.

“Nice to meet you both.”  Again she sounds earnest, but I keep think of how she had been treated for who knows how long and everything that was going on and earnest and slightly happy just wasn’t normal.

Even so, I’d rather have her with us so I can figure out what she can really do and act accordingly.  If I could do so, I would round up all the escaped captives and have them come with us.  Already I see some of them shoot up into the sky, some look like sparks flitting about.  Almost all of them head for the city, some head north, others head southwest over the water.

“Do either of you fly?”  She asks hopefully.

The Fog chortles.

“No, can you?”

“All I can do is heal, and heal others,”  she says with a hint of sadness,  “Not that I’m complaining,” she rushes to add, “but is limiting and flying is so cool.”

“It is that,” I agree, “but she brings up an important point, there’s no way we’re sneaking off the island on the ferry now.”

“Granted.  I suggest we head to the lighthouse and see if there’s anything there that well help us get out of here.”

I look in the direction of the lighthouse, against the dark horizon heading toward us and the island I see several large dark shapes on the horizon.

Helicopters.

 

 

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