Runaways Remix: Pride and Joy
Runaways Remix: Pride and Joy
There are an infinite number of universes, each parallel to the one we inhabit. Most are exactly the same, with some smaller differences. This is one of them.
Everyone is quite familiar with the events leading up, including, and following the original Runaways (Wilder, Minoru, Stein, Yorkes, Dean and Hayes) discovery of the Pride. Well, those same events also happened in an alternate universe, about 1 light-degree off of the one we know. Everything in that one is pretty much the same there, with one small exception, the sun of Glen and Melinda Hunter…
The Hunter Residence
"Jake, we need to go now!" Jake Hunter heard his dad yell through his door. He quickly dropped the book he had picked up while getting ready. "I'm almost done!" he yelled back through the door.
"What's taking you so long? Were already late for the Wilders' meeting!"
"I'm looking for my Star Wars tie!" Jake rummaged around, looking for his tie.
"Oh, honey, I put it in the wash." His mom called from outside.
"What! Lame!" he cried. "Well, I guess I could wear my Rebellion bling…" he muttered. "Where is it anyway?" He yelled outside. He heard his dad sigh. "Well, at least he's going to wear something better than last year." He said.
The Wilder Residence
The car ride to the Wilder's was uneventful, with the exception of Jake's dad putting the car to the red line to get to the meeting on time. Jake swore the car went faster than normal, but he didn't really care. He had bigger things to worry about. When they got there, most of the group was already assembled. Chase Stein was sitting by the stairs to the top floor. He nodded to Jake as he came in. The rest of the group was milling about. Jake spotted Molly, Gert and Karolina, but not Nico. "Must be late." He thought. He quickly moved when Mrs. Wilder came behind him. He noticed a table of snacks, and went to help himself. He heard Mrs. Wilder call for Alex, and the sound of feet on steps as Alex came down from his room. Jake looked over his shoulder, more interested in loading up a handful of fish crackers with fake cheese than anything else. He heard Chase greet Alex, and noted the lack of enthusiasm in Alex's voice. He raised his hand in greeting, his mouth now stuffed with snacks. There was a knock at the door, and the Minoru's finally showed up. Nico's dad came in first, lugging some bags. "Sorry were late all!" he said. "Big pileup on Cliffside." His wife muttered something Jake couldn't hear, then moved off to greet some of the other parents. He heard Alex mutter "Holy…" and turned away from his fake cheese.
What he saw made him almost choke.
He'd known Nico was hot, but now… Jake couldn't even describe it. "From the looks of it, I'm not the only one checking her out." He thought to himself, noticing Alex's reaction.
"Agreed." Said the voice in the back of his mind. Jake often talked to himself like this. Having no real friends except for the group, he kept himself company this way. The back of his neck tingled, and he brushed dull blond strands of hair away from the nickel-sized birthmark that sat at the base of his skull. He scratched at it, then stretched. He continued to watch the conversation between Nico and Alex. Nico mentioned something about some DVD's that Alex had lent her last year, and Alex just sputtered. Jake grinned at his friend's discomfort. "It's only gonna get worse Wilder" he thought with an evil smile. Behind him he heard Chase talking with Karolina, who seemed disinterested. She broke of the conversation with a cry of "Nico!" and ran to meet her friend. She complemented Nico on her outfit, calling it "hot" (although Jake thought she might actually be referring to Nico) and asked where she got it. Nico said she made it herself.
"Nice." Jake thought. "She's almost like…"
Don't got down there, said the voice in his head. Old memories are better left alone. He sighed and pinched the bridge of his nose. He thought about Karolina instead. Gert Yorkes walked up to him and grunted. "Hormones. Yuck." She said, noticing Alex's reaction.
"Got that right Yorkes." Jake commented, filling his mouth with more fake cheese. He offered her some, but she declined. He shrugged, and stuffed it in his mouth. Molly Hayes came up to them, looking incredibly cute in her hat. She turned to Gert. "Can I talk to you about girl stuff?" she asked.
"Under no circumstances." Gert replied monotone. Jake laughed, spraying fake cheese into the air.
"What's so funny?" asked Gert in the same monotone voice. Jake laughed even harder. He managed to gasp for air, then caught his breath. He smiled. "It's just how you said that." he said. "Your all monotone and whatnot. Way funny." He grinned like a maniac. Molly came up to him. "Hey, I'm the one who made her say it!" she said angrily, crossing her arms. "How come I don't get credit?"
"Believe me kid, it's better to not have credit for stuff like this." Jake said, giving her a noogie. She giggled. Alex's dad cleared his throat. "Well, now that we're all here, I believe the adults will be retiring to the library for a few hours." He said. Alex motioned for the rest of the kids to follow him, and Jake joined in, stopping for a second to grab a thing of fake cheese. Then he jogged to catch up to the group.
The Game Room
About an hour and a half later, the teens had fallen into silence, and Jake finally ran out of fake cheese. He threw the empty can into the garbage (Chase whistling at his accuracy) and began stuffing his face with chips. Nico yawned. "What she said." Said Gert. Jake snorted. Alex sighed. "Listen, I know we'd all rather be somewhere else right now," he said, leaning forward "But we're stuck here for at least another hour, so we might as well try to amuse ourselves."
"Got that right." Jake muttered to himself. He shook his container to see if there was any more fake cheese. There wasn't.
"So what's the plan, man?" Karolina asked, legs uncrossing.
"We could play video games…" Jake suggested. There was a pause. "Nah!" he said. Behind him Jake heard Chase whispering something that sounded like "Please be beer…" over and over again. Molly giggled.
"Sorry to say Chase," Jake said, turning on the couch "But the likelihood of the Wilder's leaving a group of teens and an 11-year-old with anything even closely alcoholic are about the same as Karolina's parents eating meat."
"Now that's an idea!" Alex sat up quickly. "Let's go spy on our 'rents."
"How?" Nico asked. "Our parents lock themselves in your library for, uh, whatever they do."
"Yeah, well my dad's like, totally obsessed with surveillance and he put all these secret passageways into the house to keep an eye on stuff."
"Gross." Gert said. Jake stuck out his tongue.
"Bletch." He said.
"He's not a Peeping Tom or anything," Alex said, moving over to the wall next to one of the arcade games. "He's just, like, paranoid around his security." He moved to the back of the machine and fiddled with it. A section of wall sprang back, revealing a dark passage. "My dad doesn't know that I know, but I found this a couple months ago when I was looking for Christmas presents."
"And you think it will be fun to watch our parents argue over if something is deductible?" Gert asked.
"Haven't you ever wondered what their like when we're not around?" Nico added.
"I don't know really." Karolina said quietly. She looked back at Jake, who was still on the couch. "You in Jake?" She asked. Jake thought for a second. "Sure." He said. "Right behind you." He got up off the couch. Chase reached into his jacked and pulled out a liquor bottle. "You guys sure you don't want to play spin the bottle?" He asked with an eyebrow raise. Jake looked the other teens, who all blinked. "Huh?" said Molly.
"Okay, lame secret passage way it is!" Gert said, pointing towards it.
"Let's go." Jake said, striding towards the passage.
"This is like the Haunted Mansion at Disney… only boringer." Jake heard Molly say up ahead.
"It's not that bad." He said, looking around. "What do you think Karolina?" he asked.
"Its Okay, but it's a bit on the dark side. I can't see anything." Karolina replied. Jake looked around, then cursed as his leg hit something.
"Ouch!" came Molly's voice.
"Sorry!" he said quickly.
"Keep it down you two." Alex said from up ahead. "I'm pretty sure these walls are soundproof, but I want to be on the safe side."
"What about these windows?" Chase asked, pointing at one they where passing. "Won't they be able to see us?"
"They aren't windows Chase." Alex replied. "They're one-way mirrors."
"Let's hope they are." Jake muttered to himself.
"Hey Jake, I got a bad feeling about this." Karolina muttered.
"I don't like it either." Jake said. Up ahead, he heard Alex and Nico whispering to each other.
"Hey, I think we're getting close to the library, so-" Alex stopped mid-sentence. "What the…?" He said, looking into a pane of one-way glass. The rest of the group formed around him. Jake heard sounds coming from within. He jammed himself between Molly and Chase and rested his arms on Nico's shoulders. All their parents where there, alright, but it wasn't what Jake had imagined. Their parents sat around a table, wearing costumes. Jake saw his own parents sitting between Chase's parents and Nico's, wearing what looked like Halo Spartan-II armor, minus the helmets. Alex's dad was saying something, and Jake caught the tail end of it.
"…I suggest we move on to the Pride's final order of business." Jake heard him say.
"What the hell is going on?" Jake thought.
"Is…is that my mom and dad?" Karolina asked.
"Looks like it. Why are they wearing wet suits though?" Jake asked.
"The Pride?" Gert muttered behind Jake.
"Check out those costumes." Nico muttered.
"Wait, you thinking what I'm thinking?" Alex asked, turning to the group.
"Yeah, our parents are totally gay." Chase said. Jake heard Karolina turn to look at Chase. He could just imagine the look she was giving him. He smiled to himself.
"No, I think they're super heroes." Alex said in awe. On the other side of the mirror, Alex's dad started speaking again. Jake couldn't hear what he said as Karolina had moved in front of him, and his face was pressing into her back. He didn't really mind though. "Think of all the guys at school who would kill to be in this position." He thought. He did manage to move up a little and look out. Outside the mirror, Alex's mom opened a door behind a bookcase. Inside stood a girl in the shortest pair of pants Jake had ever seen. Mr. Wilder led her out by her wrist.
"Whoa, who's the piece?" Chase asked, obviously turned on.
"Okay, this is starting to get way to much like Eyes Wide Shut…" Gert muttered.
"Uh, Karolina, you might want to take Molly back to the game room. Now." Alex whispered.
"Hey!" Molly yelled.
"Set it on mute Molly." Jake said.
"But I wanna-"
"Go." Alex said sternly.
"Come on Molly. Our parents are just faking it all. Let's go fix your hair."
"What's wrong with it?" Molly muttered, fiddling with a strand.
"I'll fill you in on anything that happens." Jake said to Karolina. She nodded. Jake raised himself up to take her place, putting his hand on Nico's shoulder to steady himself. Outside the mirror, Gert's dad said something. Jake caught a snippet of it, something about drugs and the Fourth Dimension.
"What the hell is the Fourth Dimension?" Jake wondered outloud.
"Did… Did he just say drugs?" Alex asked in amazement.
"Alex, what if they aren't good guys?" Nico asked.
"Well duh." Said Gert. "I've know out 'rents where evil since I was five."
"Speak for yourself." Chase added. "My parents are practically saints.
"I've got a bad feeling about this…" Jake said, adrenaline starting to roar in his veins.
"Relax everybody. We still don't know everything that's happening. Maybe she's, like, a runaway they rescued."
"Doesn't look like it." Jake said, pointing. Outside, something was wrong. Molly's parents seemed to be holding the girl in some form of telekinetic lock. "Hey, Molly's parents are, Jedi or something!" Jake said. Mr. Wilder turned to Chase's parents and quickly exchanged words. Then he nodded to Nico's dad, who started to say something in a weird language. Throughout the entire display, Jake's parents sat calmly, apparently doing nothing.
"I really don't like this…" Jake said. His hand unconsciously tightened on Nico's shoulder. Below him, Alex whispered to Nico. Jake didn't hear what he said. Outside, Nico's dad stopped saying something. Alex's dad moved towards the girl, pulling something out of his shirt as he did. He said something Jake didn't catch, then he lunged forward. Jake heard a distinctive "Shunk", and the girl went still, a look of surprise on her face. Alex's dad dropped her, and she fell to the floor, lifeless. Nico screamed. Instantly, everybody in the room turned towards the mirror.
"What was that?" asked Chase's mom.
"Oh shit." Jake thought.
End of Issue One