Author's Notes: This is a concept that came to me in a dream. You heard that right.
It's a little different from my usual fair. This will just be a side project. Lights, Camera, Action! is my main focus right now.
Anyway, moving on to the actual story...

Dawn of a New Age

Chapter 1- Auras

The young man was simply walking down the street home from school. His backpack was slung casually over his shoulder and sunglasses covered his eyes. He soon found himself confronted by a group of older boys who immediately came up to him and grabbed him without provocation. One ripped off the boys sunglasses revealing his glowing white eyes.The older boys began to attack the smaller one with the unusual eyes until the air seemed to ripple outward and they were all thrown back by some unseen force. The boy with the strange eyes attempted to run away, but his attackers were in hot pursuit.

"Every day, psions face discrimination from their peers," said the voice-over narrative. "As it is, what little legislation exists to protect them is only weakly enforced. If this crisis is not brought to an end soon..."

Kagome turned off the TV, not wanting to see anymore. The image winked out abruptly and the young girl sat alone in her apartment with only her thoughts. Those ads made her feel a little uncomfortable. Despite the fact that they worked for the greater good, it still didn't put her mind at ease to be reminded of how she was hiding her nature as a psion from everyone except her family.

Kagome drew her knees up to her chest and sighed. Her powers had first started manifesting when she was fifteen. Fortunately, her family worked with her to try and control them. It was a mixed blessing, really. Her strange healing powers were only the tip of the iceberg, but it would certainly come in handy when she got to medical school.

For the time being however, Kagome had just moved into her new apartment after graduating from high school. The hectic life she had lead from trying to cope with her new powers had brought her to the decision to take a year off before going to college. She was in the top of her class, after all. It wasn't like there was a risk that she wouldn't get accepted. She just needed time off to get things straightened out and hope that the tensions between humans and psions would eventually die down. Of course, that last part certainly wasn't about to happen in the span of just one year. That was wishful thinking at best.

Kagome glanced up at the dry-erase calendar on the far wall. June 16th, 2033. Had it really been three years ago today when her powers manifested for the first time? Shaking her head to clear it of that thought, Kagome stood up and walked over to the calendar to see what plans she had made for today. She still had to finish shopping for furniture. A little decoration around the place would be nice. As it was, there were only the posters and brick-a-brack from her original bedroom and the nice African violet her mother had given her that was now on an endtable next to the window. Tomorrow she was going to visit her grandfather in the hospital. He had thrown out his back trying to help Kagome get moved in and would be in therapy for at least another two weeks.

Heaving a sigh, Kagome gathered up her purse, baseball cap, and her keys and went out of the apartment building to her car below. The best place to go for the kind of stuff she was looking for would be Lion's Share Imports. They always had a good selection. She mused over that thought a minute as the gentle hum of the electric engine came to life and the air conditioner began to push the hot, stale air out of the car.

As she drove down the streets, Kagome couldn't help but continually glance at the occassional driver or pedestrian. It was mostly becasue she knew that they were more than they appeared. In the last year, she found herself being able to detect auras. The family doctor, Kaede, had said it was because part of her psionic talents was an enhanced sense of energy fields. All human beings emitted minor amounts of various forms of energy which is where the concept of auras came from. If Kagome concentrated, she could see auras that described a person's mood, health, or state of mind.

The individuals she was looking at however gave off a different kind of aura. These were psions like her. They had a very distinct energy about them that set them apart from other people. It was at once a little discomforting and reassuring. On the one hand, it only made her feel that much more distant from the human race. On the other, it's nice to know you're not alone.

Wanting to get rid of these thoughts, Kagome turned on the radio. Much to her relief, they were playing one of her favorite bands, Idols of Fortune. Them and Ninja Pirate. One thing you could always count on was music and movies. Even when the entertainment industry went through a cycle where style mattered more than substance, good stuff managed to find its way through the woodwork and never discriminated. Kind of strange to get comfort in that, but hey, sometimes you just take what you can get. The next day, Kagome arrived at the hospital to find her grandfather sitting upright in his adjustable bed reading a book, half-moon reading glasses perched on the edge of his sharp nose. He looked up from his reading and his face broke out into a large smile. "Why, Kagome! I see you found time in your new busy life to visit your old grandfather."

Kagome just giggled. "Gramps, come on," she said sweetly. "You knew I was coming today. I can't help but feel a little guilty here."

"It wasn't your fault that box had a vendetta against me," he replied in a joking voice.

"How's your back feeling?" Kagome asked as she sat down at his bedside.

"Oh, better," the old man answered. "Still a little tender. But at the end of each session I get to spend some time in the hot tub, so it makes it difficult to complain."

"The doctor did say that you were pulling through remarkably well for your age."

"And just what is that supposed to mean young lady?" His tone was slightly scolding, but there was still a smile in his eyes.

Kagome just shook her head. "Just that you're not as young as you used to be."

Gramps just gave a fake scoff. "Just because my hips aren't made of bone anymore..."

It did Kagome's heart a lot of good to see her grandfather like this. He was in his seventies now, but he still remained young in heart and mind. He'd probably keep it up for the rest of his life, too.

As Kagome continued to make small talk with her grandfather, she became aware of a strange aura. It wasn't that it had suddenly appeared. She simply stumbled on it by accident when she wasn't paying much attention to her thoughts. There was something about it that was so unusual... In ways it was like a psion's aura, but there were certain differences in it that set it apart and made it unbelievably difficult to describe. There was... a great power in whoever created the aura, but it was dormant as if the person was asleep or in a coma. But there wasn't any sickliness to it, so it couldn't have been one of the patients. What's more, there seemed to be an almost primitive, feral element that confused Kagome to no end. She had never felt anything like it before. It was faint though, so it seemed to be very little wonder that she had never detected it during her last two visits this year. But what was causing it?

"Kagome?" She was snapped out of her thoughts by her grandfather's voice and his hand on her shoulder. "Are you alright?"

"Huh? Y-yeah. Just... my powers are getting kind of wonky." Well, that wasn't exactly a lie.

"Hmm. Maybe you should schedule an appointment with Kaede." At his granddaughter's nod, he visibly brightened. "Well anyway, my next therapy session starts in a few minutes. Why don't you run along, dear? I'm sure you have better things to do today than watch a few doctors messing with my spine."

Kagome smiled softly and stood. She and Gramps kissed each other on the cheek as they said their goodbyes. As Kagome walked down the halls, that aura began nagging at her again. When she reached the ground floor, it was stronger than ever. As was the temptation to find it.

Glancing around to make sure no one was watching, Kagome slipped off, trying to track down the source of the strange aura. She maneuvered carefully through the hall until she found herself looking down the stairs into the basement. There was nothing down there but medical supplies, so what the hell was a bizarre aura doing down here? Didn't a scene like this belong in some bad movie?

Taking one last look back, Kagome descended the stairs and into the basement. It was well-lit, and lined wall to wall with all sorts of supplies one would expect to be in a hospital. At first, nothing seemed out of the ordinary.

Kagome contemplated turning back when she spotted a door at the far end of the room, half-concealed by boxes of various surgical tools and tubing on a shelf that had been put up in front of it. She knew that whatever it was she was looking for was behind that door.

She cautiously approached. Upon closer inspection, it looked as if that door hadn't been used in years. Judging from the way everything was arranged in front of it, the attendants probably never saw a need to use the room behind it. That in itself was kind of strange.

Kagome carefully removed the boxes from the shelves and reached back to turn the lever of the door handle. It resisted slightly from disuse, but clicked open anyway and the door slowly moved back with a squeal from the hinges which had fallen into disrepair. She peered through the shelves into the room and what she saw caused her breath to catch in her throat. At the far end of the room was a strange apparatus that looked like some kind of large tube with a glass front. Inside of the tube was a young man with pale skin and a lean, strong build. He wore only a pair of white drawstring trousers. His hands hung at his sides, fingers ending in small claws. His eyes were closed and he appeared to be sleeping. But the most shocking features about him were his waist-length silver hair and the two triangular dog ears at the top of his head.

Kagome took a moment to stare, just trying to figure what it was she had found. After it became painfully obvious that she had found someone, in who knows what kind of state, in some kind of weird pod in the hospital basement, she was torn. One part of her wanted to run as fast as she could out of their and call the police. The other wanted to satisfy her curiosity and try to learn a little more. It was the latter half that eventually won.

She climbed through the shelves slowly and with much hesitation began to move closer to the strange pod. As Kagome got closer, she saw something she hadn't noticed before. There was a small, circular object on the young man's chest over the heart. The center was red and looked like a button. Four thin little claws extended from the sides and were lodged into the flesh beneath them. Whatever it was, it didn't look like it was good for him.

Kagome swallowed audibly, feeling as if something was about to blindside her as soon as she let her guard down. This whole experience was just so unreal. She tentatively reached a hand out to the glass and touched it to make sure it wasn't just some dream. It was clear that this was the source of the strange aura. She concetrated a little and tried to focus in on it. The boy inside was definately alive, but he wasn't exactly sleeping either. It was like he was... was in suspended animation. There was no other way to describe it. Just like his entire body had been hit with one big "PAUSE" button.

Curious to see if there was more to this, Kagome concentrated a little harder, trying to summon up her powers to see if there was more to this that she couldn't see. Maybe he had some kind of disease, or maybe she could find out his age. Anything would be better than continuing to stew in confusion and dread. Her hands glowed faintly pink and after a moment, the boy inside jerked as if he had been shocked.

Kagome jumped back, holding back a cry of alarm. She hadn't meant to do that. But she nearly panicked when a small display on the side of the pod began blinking in bold red letters "ABORT."

Abort? Kagome did not like where this was going. She cringed as a loud hiss escaped from the pod and the glass door slowly swung up. The young man inside remained still, but now he was out in the open, still unconscious in his slightly reclined position.

Kagome licked her lips nervously. What if she just made a mistake? Would he die? Would he wake up? She stepped forward cautiously and reached out a hand to check his pulse. His skin was warm, but there was no pulse. He didn't feel dead, though. His aura showed that he was still alive. What was going on here?

Kagome glanced up at the ears on top of the young man's head and bit her lip as she felt a pull in her hands. "Might as well get it out of my system," she thought aloud, and reached up to rub his ears a little. There was no response, however.

Sighing slightly in relief, Kagome looked down to the little device on the boy's chest. She curiously reached out to touch it. Cold metal. The tiny little claws had gone in between the ribs and left tiny tracks in the skin until they went so deep they vanished. Kagome experimentally pressed her fingertip to the small red center and snapped her hand back in shock when it lit up. The tiny claws drew up out of the skin back into the device itself which rolled harmlessy off onto the floor.

There was a tense pause. It was only a second but it felt like hours. When it was shattered, Kagome nearly screamed in surprise when the boy in the tube abruptly arched his back with a loud gasp and his eyelids shot open to reveal bright golden eyes.

Author's Notes: Good to get that out of the way. Now to get back to Lights, Camera, Action! Oh, by the way, if a couple paragraphs seem to not make sense, it's because the damn site is being a pain in the ass again. As I type this, the editor won't let me seperate a couple of paragraphs and it apparently has decided not to recognize hyphens anymore. I would rant, but that's already been done in the author's notes of chapter 10 in LCA!