A/N: I've been neglecting the vast majority of my secondary characters. Philosophy - don't introduce them if you don't intend to use them. Excess, yet wholly unnecessary characters just clutter a story. This is what I've been neglecting - the escape. Here it is, people. The beginning of my finishing arc. And since all of my characters will be utilized - I'll make a list and define each character, so it doesn't feel like I'm just throwing random names at you. Don't care for the list - just skip it. The chapter is after the list XD
Covenant of silence:
Reid Garwin: gift of healing.
- Reid's father died in the first war.
Caleb Danvers: Can't tell you - spoilers.
- Caleb's father fell into addiction because of the first war
Pogue Parry: Can't tell you - spoilers
- Charles Parry
Tyler Simms: Empathy
- Tyler's father abandoned him after the first war.
Covenant of Justice
Cotton Warren: Gift of persuasion.
- He betrayed his covenant and they are all dead.
Covenant of Peace
Bartholomew Stryker: Protective, blunt father of June.
Maybellene Connor: Wary and strict mother of Marshal.
Shadow: The in-between of the first and second generation. He is twenty two and silence for the most part. He possesses the gift of telepathy.
Marshal Connor: Basically the leader. This is what happens when your leader doesn't know how to lead you. Can't tell you his gift yet.
Beatrix Warren: Cotton's sister. The inevitable downfall of the covenant of peace. She's the traitor. And her gift is illusions.
June Stryker: The polar opposite of her father. Her gift is glamorous and mimicry - aka shape shifting. She was extensively trained in martial arts and thievery.
Jacob Ozbourne: Youngest. His mother abandoned him and his father was killed due to the first war - ironically, it was his mother who had the power. He - himself - wasn't involved in the first war, because he didn't have his power yet. His gift is technopathy.
And read on, my little ducks.
The world is dying from an orgy of self-sacrifice.
Reid forced himself to remain still, hands fisted, arms crossed stiffly over his chest, cigarette crushed between clenched teeth. He felt tense and he hated it. It was suddenly so much easier to feel it all, inside of this body, all of these emotions twisting inside of his head, clawing and stabbing at him until he wanted to scream out in pain, or insanity, or frustration. He didn't even know. He felt so much and yet he wasn't sure what he felt at all.
He didn't like them. Pogue, and Tyler, seemed to have adapted to this new other Covenant annoyingly quick. Pogue obeyed orders Reid knew he'd scoffed at before. Pogue didn't obey, not for anyone that wasn't Caleb. And hearing how these people talked of Tyler annoyed Reid even more. Pogue kept saying how Tyler had really stepped up, how all these thoughts of his really helped them out. How losing Tyler is going to cost them. Who was this Tyler they kept referring to? He knew it only felt wrong because it felt different. He knew how stubborn he was - how he hated change. But shouldn't that have changed too? Did Tyler hate change just as much as him? Did Tyler hate how they talked to him too? Did he hate being in charge - a real adult for the first time in his life?
It was the captured hunters that inevitably broke down in the end. A lot of hunters were hardened, changed by what they'd done, what they'd seen. Perhaps some had always been hardened. But the two that were captured were not naturally hardened. They cried. Stryker reasoned that this was probably why they were so easily captured. They were trained well enough, they didn't crack as easily as they were supposed to. It took more than both June and Shadow's futile attempts to crack them. Shadow was telepathic, but the hunters had pointedly been thinking about something else entirely - calculus and latin of all things.
Shadow was twenty-two, and silent in ways that a young man rarely ever was. His face remained blank, even as he felt the frustration rippling through his body. Even as Reid felt it. It was Reid who expressed Shadow's frustration.
June could sometimes inherit memories when she shape shifted. But the mind had to be extremely simple if she were to adapt to it so quickly. Sometimes she preferred complex minds, because it was easier to retain a sense of herself longer. This wasn't one of those times.
Both attempts failed.
It was Stryker who succeeded. Jacob and Pogue had made bets over it. Jacob lost. Stryker didn't use his Power, and he didn't possess an ability. He was first generation. He used torture. Torture methods that would make assassins and mob bosses grimace and writhe in discontent. And he did so with the greatest of poker faces. It was a teaching opportunity, and June conducted the class in a hushed whisper, speaking to Jacob, Reid and Pogue - ignoring Reid's own discontent. His own grimaces of fear and pain. They didn't belong to him. She didn't seem put off by the blood or the tortured screams of agony either.
The real art was to assure your subject that you could do anything to him. That no act was too great or too violent for you. If there were no boundaries, there was all the greater reason to fear you. Because without boundaries nothing could stop you. The idea of playing Britney Spears in the background was June's idea. Dancing erotically to the music was Jacob's.
"Put your shirt back on," Stryker grunted on his way out. Never dwell too long with the subject, or they might realize just how human you are. People are fucked up - but they're still instruments waiting to be played. Something struck their cords sooner or later, and Stryker was intent on taking his cords out of the room before they could be struck. Before the bewildered, lost moans could break through his already deteriorating shield.
"You like it," Jacob crowed after him. But he put his shirt back on. The hunter, a Mr. Thomas Fowl, laid on the ground several feet from the teenagers, clutching a bloodied hand to his chest - a hand three fingers less than when they'd first began. He should've talked. Jacob approached him with a skip to his step. And Reid stared after him incredulously. How fucked up did their lives have to be - for them to take torture with such a big smile? The music, still blasting from the basement stereo, had successfully drowned out the screams of agony. "We can get down like there's no one around," Jacob sang along, dancing his way across the room. "We keep on rocking, we keep on rocking." he knelt beside Thomas and the man visibly shrank away. "We can listen to Christina Aguilera next," Jacob offered with a smile. The man recoiled, as if the boy had verbally threatened him. Shaking his head, Pogue quickly left the room. It didn't help - the music vibrated through the floors above the basement, loud as if you were still in the same room as the stereo. As he followed Stryker, he heard Marshal mutter something about Jacob and female pop stars. As if it were a regular occurrence.
They had a location. A place no one but Reid seemed to recognize. It was foggy at best, because the memory belonged to him, not Tyler. It made sense, really. The covenant of Peace were outsiders, and the club under which the hunters appeared to be located was a really shady club. A club his friends wouldn't touch - wouldn't even think of touching.
They were all going. Ambush, or so that was the idea. Risky, especially when more than half of them were teenagers. June went in as one of the captured hunters; it was the easiest, quickest way to learn the layout of the compound. The guard shifts, the prisoner holding cells. Acquired knowledge she didn't really have to acquire. But the club had a theme, a theme that visibly set Marshal, his mother, Stryker and Pogue on edge.
"It's an S&M club," Reid explained. "You can't go in there in jeans and chucks, or they'll report you."
"Report us?" June echoed. "Surely there isn't a dress code…"
"What does S&M mean?" Jacob asked. And then he verbally took back his question at Reid's mischievous smile.
"Sadism masochism," Reid answered. "I dated a chick a few years back who was into that shit. Makes you feel weird, after being taught not to hit girls, suddenly they want it. Indecisive bitches."
"Watch it," Maybellene said in the sternest voice Reid had ever heard. She opposed cussing, and that felt weird - when Stryker spoke like a lost sailor.
"I don't get it," Jacob said.
"Some people like pain," June filled in. "Some people like inflicting pain. They fit together like a custom made glove. Evidently it's a sexual movement now. Get on with it, Garwin."
Reid flashed June a smile that was too flirtatious for Stryker's liking. "If they know you're an outsider," he began again. "They won't talk to you. And what we want most right now is to fit in seamlessly. To call attention to yourself would be to tell them where you are, correct?"
Reid seemed in command, as in command as Tyler had been, anyway. Pogue could almost forget that this wasn't Tyler. That this was the screw up he grew up with. Reid Garwin. The one who half assed gym class, who wrote his own doctor's notes and could forge any teacher's handwriting but refused to do his own homework. He was stepping up.
"I don't think this will be appropriate --"
"No," Reid said, shaking his head and successfully interrupting Marshal. Marshal didn't appear to like him anymore than Caleb had. But Caleb was his brother. When Caleb hated him, the love still existed. With Marshal - he had no love for Reid, so all he could acknowledge was his own hate. It was different. And Reid could feel that animosity radiating off of Marshal. It burned, and made him want to hate Marshal back. Or beg him for acceptance. Neither of which seemed appealing to Reid.
"Fuck that. Don't think about what is appropriate for your child. There are hundreds of them." Or so he assumed… "And like ten of us." He really hadn't counted. "You can't afford to concern yourself with your children. They're big kids now - they'll take care of themselves. What you see tonight will be seared into your brains. It will change all of us. But I don't care. Because right now, they've got Tyler. And Caleb. And hundreds others that we owe our loyalty to. Your innocence will have to die for them to live, but at the same time - you're preserving the innocence of generations, of thousands."