I want to start off by apologizing for the near year-long absence. I guess I'm someone who doesn't have a good grasp/concept of time, and it didn't really hit me how long I've been gone until I said the word 'year' to myself, like fuck, a whole year? I understand if with the update you realize after me being gone for a long period of time (again) has caused you to lose the majority of interest in the story, but all I can do is apologize and say I had to prioritize other things in my life since I'm in a big transition phase and needed to get my affairs in order so I could settle in properly and be in the most comfortable place to then come back to this, and I have come back, haven't I?
Part of the delay that kept me away for a few extra months was that I originally had this chapter going through the entire 'Revelation' episode, and originally had it about halfway written, but ultimately I decided to completely scrap it and start over about four days ago because it just didn't feel right with me. Now I've decided to change up what is going to be happening in it, as well as the next chapter (since I'm breaking it into two,) and decided to focus on some current (and future) plot points. For the most part this chapter is very Saph-centric in that it's very in his head and dealing with the things on his mind, and more so serves as a sort of introduction chapter for me in getting back into writing, and for everyone in terms of coming back to the story.
Anyway, once again I apologize for being gone for so long, and hope you enjoy this sort of introductory, easing back into the story-waters chapter of me being back.
Everything was hazy, and I mean everything. It was like when you've been staring off into space while someone else is talking to you, then snap back to reality and realize you haven't caught a single word or important piece of information from what they're even telling you about. As that was happening now, I realized I could hear strangled screaming around me…..somewhere in this….swamp? No…more of a bayou really. I blinked a couple of times, realizing I was wearing my visor, which meant I was doing something important…maybe? That's when I saw him in front of me, on his knees in the murky water, screaming like it was the only thing he knew how to do.
"What-what is t-this?!" the gargled voice of the man wretched out, "My body….make it STOOOOOP!"
I watched as he convulsed and twisted in front of me, the man trying to resist whatever force had nearly completely taken over his body, but try as he might to resist, his limbs and torso still bent and shifted like a grotesque and horrifying marionette all while his screams filled the thick, humid air.
I watched, unable to do anything else, as the figure started bending in ways I didn't think possible, at least not possible while remaining without pain, and knew that pain now had to be horrifyingly agonizing. I tried to look around at where I was further, or what was happening, but I couldn't even get my body to listen to a simple command like turning my head…..it was like I had no control over my own body either…..where had this happened before? This had happened….didn't it? Where am I now…..what's going on? Why am I wearing my visor? Am I fighting this man? Am I fighting at all?
I was torn from my confused thoughts and attempt at gathering my wits when the man let out his loudest, shrillest cry yet; the pitch of the scream surprising given the stacked physique he had. Where though…..where had this happened…..before…..no…..nonononono-
"SAPH STOP!" someone from my side called, "MY GOD, STOP!"
I couldn't though, and the piercing, haunting screams continued and continued, almost to a truly horrific and maddening extent. They just wouldn't stop as the body twisted and convulsed, and as I was forced to watch, all I thought was that I would be hearing those shrill cries of agony for the rest of my life.
Suddenly though the world around me was blurring together, and felt like I was submerged in deep waters, only to finally be suddenly, and harshly pulled back up to the surface.
I woke with a fierce jolt and immediately flew up right in my bed, my chest heaving as everything in my head came crashing back to me. What was that….what the fuck had I just dreamt? As I continued to in and exhale at a rapid pace to try and slow and ease my drumming heart, I began to notice the burning sensation located behind my eyes…..a sensation that I realized I had felt about a week ago, and was immediately both raising red flags, and making me even more sure that it wasn't just a simple nightmare. What was new this time though, was the lack of urgency to get away from the threat of danger, so this time I just sat there, paralyzed still by the memory of those screams, screams so potent that I could still feel the ringing of the slicing cries in my ears, my head throbbing, throbbing, and throbbing as the core of my being turned to ice, my mind horrified at what I had witnessed. I tried to calm myself down further, or at least calm my raging heart….but those screams…..fucking shit those screams.
When the beating of my heart finally began to slow I fell down back against my bed, lying flat as I processed what the 'dream' (past the horrendously horrifying screams) had meant. Following that particular mission and revelation to Red Arrow, who subsequently told Batman, about that certain….feeling, or as it was later dubbed, vision, Batman theorized with me that it was the beginning of the next step in my powers, just as the situation with Daniel had been…..and god…speaking of Daniel…
Anyway, while being examined by Batman the following morning in the medical bay, now recounting the prior night's mission, he theorized that given the fact that my eyes already had unique, superhuman abilities, he didn't think it was out of the question that what they would be able to 'see' would then evolve over time as well, evidenced by my otherworldly 'vision' that, according to my own retelling, and Batman's opinion, possibly saved Red Arrow's and my life.
However, there hadn't been time available to us to further discuss what this could mean, or how to tap into this new facet of my powers; Batman had work to do for the safety of the world, and I, well I had to keep up appearances and remove the threat of potential suspicion in my parents or peers by getting to school and acting like a normal teenager. After Batman 'discharged' me with a clean bill of health, and a face and set of eyes that looked as healthy as they ever had, the masked man told me that the subject of prior discussion would have to be put on hold until the very near future, when real, uninterrupted time could be put into it. As Wally came and collected me though, Batman assured me privately that he would still begin to look into any possible explanation and see what the potential visions could mean and add to in terms of finding out about the origins of my powers. I appreciated that the man kept this new discovery to just between us, in case I wasn't ready to share with anyone, but of course I would be telling Wally and the rest of the team about this for their ideas and input soon enough. As we went our separate ways though Batman finished by telling me when we had the time to meet up again, he'd let me know about anything he found…and that, well that had been, like I said, about a week ago.
It had been easy to sort of put those thoughts on the backburner of my mind when I flashed back to the conversation I had had only a few minutes after with Wally, and how lighthearted he could make something like trading mission stories and clothes could seem while in this turbulent existence we had. Maybe it was to help myself calm down further, but I let myself slip away for a few moments into that memory.
"Although the news of the giant gorilla and giant…..brain, among many other things, sounds horrifying, for the most part it still sounds to me like your mission was a good time," I told Wally as I got up from the medical bay bed to stand beside him.
"Maybe compared to yours," he suggested, "But being hunted down and nearly torn apart by violent, super-chemically charged beasts was no walk in the park either."
"Psssssh," I scoffed at him as I walked over to some of the cupboards to rummage through for clothing, "Violent? Sounds more like overly-friendly! I mean if Wolf is any indication then the animal kingdom you guys encountered couldn't have been that bad, or at least like you said, not in comparison to two angry androids, because let me tell you something Wally, no animal could throw a punch like those assholes."
"That's true, but Wolf is so not a good example for your argument here," Wally challenged in jest, "Before we got him on our side he was definitely one of the worst. I mean he tied up Superboy of all people for a good while, Superboy!"
"What are you talking about? Wolf is a big softie," I told Wally, "Conner brought him by this morning with breakfast and he seemed more than happy to let me pet him….Wolf, I pet Wolf, not Conner."
"Well I'm glad at least one person's memory of him can be solely good and all pets and cuddles then," Wally said, "I'll just try and forget about all the swipes and snarls I heard about."
"Good," I said, pausing in my search to look back at him. "Now that we've caught up, could you be of some help and find me some clothes that aren't just a thin t-shirt, sweatpants, or even worse, a hospital gown?"
The mention of clothes seemed to spark something behind Wally's eye and he immediately went over to his backpack, pulling out a parcel he then set down on the bed I had previously been occupying.
I eyed the pile briefly before looking up at his grinning face. "What's that?" I asked.
"I brought you some spare clothes," Wally said, gesturing to the small, neatly-folded pile, "I figured that since the ones you wore yesterday are probably dirty, and would raise some eyebrows for being worn two days in a row by people at school, coupled with the fact that you shouldn't be wearing anything from Mount Justice in case it could ever be traced back here, I ended up bringing you some of mine."
"Why not some of my clothes from home?" I asked as I picked up the maroon, long-sleeved shirt to examine it. "Or better yet, why not just speed me home on your back so I could get some of mine myself?"
"Well to do that, if alone, I would have had to break in to your house, and I didn't feel like taking a page out of your crime book, even though with my speed it would have been super easy." Wally grinned at me, "But in all seriousness, I figured you didn't want me rifling through your stuff. I mean we're about the same size anyway, I'm just a little bit bigger, but I figure my stuff won't noticeably drown you or anything. And I could have taken you home, but I didn't know if you'd be fully healed up when I came back this morning, so I figured maybe it'd be best to avoid your parents just in case they caught sight of your busted up face. I figured though at school that would have been fine since you can easily intimidate anyone dumb enough to ask or stare too long with your super-bitch abilities and all."
I stood there for a moment, just staring back at Wally, the last piece of his explanation definitely hanging in the air the most. "Fair point….on all counts," I finally said with a nod, laugh, and grin of my own, "And the clothes are already here, so thanks Wally, I mean it"
"Don't mention it," he replied, his tone still as warm as before, but with a slightly serious edge to it.
As he ducked out to go wait in the kitchen area while I changed, I couldn't help but think about that change in tone and the words he had said to me the night prior.
"I swear it! I won't let them hurt you again."
As I pulled the grey, medical bay shirt off and over my head, before replacing it with the one Wally had brought, I couldn't help but think about the strong conviction Wally's words and voice held, and wondered now if there was more meaning to him bringing me his own clothes, rather than mine. As I slipped off the sweats and pulled on the dark pair of jeans I began to think maybe it was a display of unconsciously primal behavior, like animals did in packs, scent marking each other for their own comfort and protection or whatever; a way to mark each other as under one another's protection or something, or perhaps as a sign to potential enemies to recognize what was theirs and to back off, unless of course they wanted trouble.
Maybe I was thinking too much into it, I mean I had taken a serious injury to the head only about twelve hours prior that could still be affecting my thought process. However, if I wasn't though, it was nice, and dare I say…..comforting, to think that Wally really was looking out for me, even if just subconsciously. Or seriously, maybe I was just an idiot and reading way too much into some damn clothes.
As I lied there on my bed, coming out of my head and the happier memory of Wally, I realized I hadn't seen Batman since that point about a week ago, and let me tell you, it had been a long week. It seemed though that this period of harrowing events was only about to get longer now that I had a new storm on the horizon, which seemed to be something following me since birth, and because of this reemergence of this 'vision' ability, it looked like more storms would keep on coming after.
I mean, my entire life I had gone through the daunting change of events and emotions that had started with shock over discovering my initial powers, followed by coming to terms and grips with them and what it meant about me, and then of course the fact that I would have to hide them from everyone over fear of exposure and losing my parents' love. This however…..this was something else now. I mean, like I said, I grew up experiencing coming to terms with super human abilities manifesting themselves in me, and then coping with the reality of hiding them from everyone I knew out of fear and rejection, all until I had a bit of a break in my psyche that ultimately led to their reveal, albeit only to a select few who didn't think much of the powers, rather just thought what I was doing with them was wrong. This however, how does one cope with the fact that they can possibly see parts of the future, and in the two instances thus far, parts of the future that had seemingly spelled out at least one person's demise?
When I had told my friends, the team, a few days ago, we had all sat and speculated about it, with individuals like Robin, Artemis, and M'gann thinking along the same lines as Batman, and that I could now see glimpses of a potential future. On the other hand, members like Wally and Conner decided to play devil's advocate in a sense, theorizing the other alternative, to keep some balance and possibilities open, by saying that maybe it was a onetime thing, or that maybe I thought I saw something, when really my mind was just so dazed from the fight that in turn, my brain was playing tricks on me. Kaldur decided to take a middle ground stance and just say that we wouldn't know for sure until more time passe. After that we didn't delve too much deeper into it though, and discussion of my possible new ability was put to rest when Wally noticed that I was beginning to grow uncomfortable over growing further mystery surrounding my powers, while concrete answers about them remained at a zero, and thus, he quickly changed the subject.
That had been the last of it from anyone until this morning, and now that I had had my second 'episode' or whatever you wanted to call it, now I wanted to speak to Batman, or any of my friends, now more than ever, not just to see if Batman had found anything out about my powers, but to potentially warn him and the others of what I had now seen. Because if I was wearing my visor, in front of a screaming man in a place I had never been to, while I possibly couldn't move well….that couldn't be a good thing. I argued maybe I couldn't move just because I was 'dreaming' but told myself the last time something like that body manipulation happened, I couldn't move then either.
Thankfully, today was a Saturday, and that meant no school, no responsibilities, and nothing I had to do. That in turn meant I didn't have to go to Mount Justice, although I knew the rest of the team would probably be there, but that didn't mean I wasn't about to go and join them now anyway. Knowing that this couldn't wait, I immediately got up from bed and headed for the shower, making quick work of freshening up and getting dressed. I was pulling on a light cardigan and was about to leave my room when I paused with a hand on the doorknob, my thoughts being consumed once again by my dream-vision. Assuming that it was a vision, like the one I had had with Red Arrow, I could guess that what I had seen would be happening, or at least the situation that put me into that possible scenario would, and even though there were no bayous in Central City, the last vision I had had was definitely in close time proximity to when the possible scenario would have occurred. Knowing that, and knowing it was always better to have something and not need it, rather than need it, and not have it, I turned back around and made my way back to my closet.
As I slid the door open I pulled over my backpack and immediately started dumping out its contents and shoving them under the bed. Once the materials were properly hidden and out of sight, I turned back to my closet and immediately started moving to the small space's back, to the pile of extra blankets kept there for the winter months. Moving the stack of blankets aside, I revealed the seemingly normal corner of the wall. It was only once I applied pressure to a square spot about the size of my hand, did the piece of drywall give way, and fall back into an opening. I smiled slightly to myself as I reached my hand in and maneuvered the square piece out before setting it onto the floor next to me. After, I reached in and pulled out what I was looking for. First out was a new visor, one given to me by Robin from Batman after being briefed on the original's destruction in my last mission. Next was my new uniform, which was the same as the last, only now with my personal insignia, or logo, whatever you wanted to call it, that Robin had designed, now etched onto the back. I quickly removed the thin plastic film that it had been placed in to avoid dust or debris from within the house, and packed it away at the bottom my bag. Last were the gloves, boots, and onyx, water-carrying belt, that I all quickly packed away into my bag, before pulling off an extra set of clothes from their respective hangers, as well as some texts from my English class, to place on top of the clothes and my uniform and accessories, to hide their existence, and to add to the credibility of potential lies I might need to tell.
I thought for a moment that I was being paranoid, that surely I didn't need to take my gear with me at this very moment, that I could just use a spare or something that I knew was at Mount Justice. However, I realized I didn't know when or how I'd be getting to the place in my vision, and that until that event passed, I should be prepared for action at any time, in any place. With my mind made up, I placed the piece of drywall back and covered up its existence again with the blankets. After, I was heading down the stairs to put together something for a light breakfast that I could eat on my way to Mount Justice.
As I reached the bottom of the steps and entered the kitchen, I found my father sitting at the table, reading the paper, while my mother stood at the stove, making what looked like eggs. "Good morning Saph," my mother greeted as she noticed me entering.
"Morning," I replied, making my way over to the pantry, opening it, and rummaging through its contents.
"Did you want some eggs?" my mother asked, obviously noticing what I was doing, "I was making some already for your father and myself."
"Thank you for the offer," I said as I pulled out some packaged pastry bites before heading over to the table to grab a few pieces of fruit, "But I'm actually heading out for a bit."
"Where are you headed?" My father asked, not glancing up from whatever article he was reading.
"Wally's," I told them as I pulled a water bottle from the fridge while also quickly suppressing the simultaneous guilt and shame over not only lying yet again, but doing it with practiced ease as well, "We have an essay test next week for English, so we want to get a jump on preparation and start reviewing all the material it could be on."
"That's my boy," my father answered, still not looking up, "Do you want a ride over there? The Wests live on the other side of the city, don't they? I could take you if you want."
"That's alright," I told him as I placed the fruit and water inside of my backpack, "Your breakfast looks done, and I don't mind walking; it's good exercise to wake my body up."
"Alright, if you're sure," my father replied, dropping it.
"When should we expect you home Saph?" my mother asked as she started plating up the eggs.
"Don't know," I told her as I started zipping my bag back up, "I would assume dinner at the latest."
"Alright, see you then and have fun studying," my father said, effectively dismissing me for the day.
I thought that that would be the end of it and started heading for the front door and began to pull it open, when my mother's voice had me pausing and turning around. "Saph," she began, her tone very soft and gentle, "You…you'd tell us if there was something going on right? Something good, or bad? You know we'd want to know, right?"
"I know," I told her before preparing another lie, feeling guilty over the fact that I was about to manipulate her emotions so that I could get going and diminish the red-flag inducing worry she was expressing. "Everything's fine; there's nothing to worry about. I'm just going to study at Wally's, that's really all."
"Are you sure?" She pressed on, allowing concern to shine through, "You've just seemed a little distant lately sweetie, and I mean that's fine, you're growing up and need space, I get that, it's just that your father and I, well mostly I, worry. So, maybe you're off to see a boyfriend you aren't telling us about? You have been spending an awful lot of time with Wally, haven't you? Is he your boyfriend now?"
Oh Jesus, Wally as my boyfriend? I didn't give myself time to dwell on that thought though and quickly answered by quickly painting a smile on my face to avoid looking like I was hesitating and that she had stumbled onto the truth….when obviously it wasn't. "I have yes, but no, he's not my boyfriend, he's straight Mom." I explained to her, "He's just a really good friend, someone I feel completely open and comfortable around." Huh, well there was some honesty on my part for once.
"Alright dear," my mother responded, sounding thoroughly convinced, or at least I hoped as much, "Have a nice day okay?"
"You too mom," I said, stepping back to give her a hug that she returned with gusto.
I took a moment to truly relish the affection, to pretend for a moment that she and my father would still love me unconditionally if they knew the truth about me and where I was really headed. As quickly as that feeling of relief had come though, it was fading away, because I knew that I was going to be right back in the thick of things soon enough, and that I had obligations bigger than most people could imagine, so large that hiding and playing pretend would never truly be an option again.
"See you later," I told her as I broke away and headed back for the door, "Call me if you need anything!"
And with that I was out the door and off, headed for the one place that would probably crush my parents spirits and love for me if they knew about.
I had been walking for a good twenty minutes now, pushing away the growing anxiety about my parent's reactions to the true life I was living, when I finally felt stable enough, and in a clear enough state of mind, to pull out my phone from my pocket. I scrolled through my contacts as I side–stepped out of the way of two older women, and pressed call when I found who I was looking for.
As the dial tone transitioned to ringing I plugged my headphones into the device so I could maintain some level and degree of privacy while walking down the busy (it was a Saturday after all) city streets. After the sixth ring, the person I was hoping to get in contact with, finally picked up.
"Hello?" Wally's voiced answered me.
"Hey," I greeted in return, "Are you up? And before you say something like 'well obviously, I did answer after all' I mean like up-up, like already going about your day?"
"I wouldn't have said that," Wally defended, no sound of sleepiness detected in his voice, "At least not in that exact phrasing."
"I'll take that as a yes then," I told him, "Are you at MJ right now?"
"No," Wally said, his tone firming up into a more serious one after recognizing not only the code for Mount Justice, but that I usually wasn't the type to bring it up unless involving official work. "I was thinking of heading over there anyway though."
"Okay good," I said as I came to a stop, waiting with a growing crowd for the street-cross signal to change, "I'm on my way over there right now. I think there's something we need to talk with everyone about."
"I take it that this is pretty serious then if it's coming from you," Wally said, his concern staying level, "What's it about?"
"That's the thing," I told him with a lowered voice just as the light, and thus the signal, changed, "I'm not entirely sure how serious or what it's even truly about, but I do know that it's most likely not good."
"Alright," Wally responded, sounding slightly exacerbated by the mystery problem I was bringing to his attention, "When I get there I'll call anyone who isn't already there and round everyone we can up."
"That sounds great, thanks," I said back to him, "I'll see you soon."
"You're good though right?" Wally questioned, "You're okay, nothing is wrong with you, right?"
It was that question that I paused in my steps, causing someone behind me to bump into me and curse at me for 'stopping like an idiot' before continuing on, that I realized what me bringing this to Wally's attention meant. Yes, I had planned on bringing the vision, in the sense that we, or at least I, had some sort of confrontation approaching, to the team's attention, as well as the fact that I had even had another vision at all, but in my panic and haste to share the information, didn't realize, or failed to remember what the content, me using my powers to harm….potentially kill someone, was, and what the revelation could mean.
I stood there motionless on the sidewalk as people passing me by began to move around what probably looked like some spaced out or high teenager, before replying. "Yeah...I'm good…..just a little shook up is all, but don't worry, I'm good." I told Wally, quickly trying to offer some explanation as to why I went silent and to hopefully prevent him from prying further.
"Alright, if you're sure," my best friend replied, "I'll see you there. Bye."
"Bye," I finished, hanging up.
Once I had put my phone away and took a few breaths to try and calm myself down, I decided to move over to the side of the street so people wouldn't have to part around me like I was Moses and they were the Red Sea. Running my hands through my hair and tugging sharply, I cursed myself for the potential mess and atomic bomb my life could be turning into right now, before turning to look back ahead of me. Strangely enough, I was standing next to a flower cart, and given the sight of all of the brightly colored and beautiful petals coupled with the growing dread and anxiety over my vision and particular facet of my powers, I knew there was one other place I had to stop first before heading on to Mount Justice.
You would think walking down the halls of a hospital in a busy metropolitan city on a Saturday that you would see more people than you did, despite the part of the hospital I was currently in being the intensive care unit, but to my surprise, and relief actually, the hallways were fairly deserted save for two or three nurses making their rounds or off headed to where they were needed more. Normally I wouldn't be taking the risk of potentially being recognized by anyone who had come to see Daniel, but the last time I had visited, the boy's mother, Rebecca, had told me that up to that point, no one had visited him, and given that the nurse I checked in with told me there hadn't been any change in his condition yet, I didn't see why the number of visitors Daniel had, would have suddenly changed either.
I stopped just at the edge of the window to Daniel's room and peered in slyly, just in case someone I recognized was already in there and thus if I would have to do a swift about face and hightail it out of there and the hospital altogether, but once again, was hit with relief when I saw no sign of anyone; not even his mother. After taking one last glance around the hallway to make sure no one I knew was coming, I was stepping inside the room, and shutting the door behind me.
As I walked over to one of the chairs in the room to place my bag down I started to feel slightly guilty. Here I was, once again, slinking around like a rodent, just to avoid being recognized by people who were actually important to Daniel, all so I could see the victim of my powers' uncontrolled rage and havoc. After my bag was down I went over and place the wrapped bouquet of flowers I had purchased from the cart I saw, next to Daniel's bedside. The flowers had seemed like a good idea; they would show Rebecca that someone had stopped by to visit her son, giving her that comfort, I didn't have to sign the gift and link it back to me, eventually the flowers would die and wipe out any real proof that I had been here, and I guess, most importantly, it was a silent sign of support and care to Daniel, even if he wasn't aware that they were here...or want them there if he was.
The last thought made me scoff at myself though, because who was I kidding, and what was I really here for? Last time Rebecca's sudden and unexpected appearance had prevented me from facing my biggest crime yet, alone and in isolation, to really confront my thoughts on what I had done, but now, now that I was alone, and it seemed like Rebecca wasn't just momentarily out getting coffee or something, this time I had only myself, my thoughts, and the boy in front of me. So now that I could really look at Daniel, really look at him and be confronted with what I had done, I questioned why I was here. Was I here just to try and absolve myself of some guilt, to say 'Hey, look, I'm not a bad person, I came to visit him!" or maybe subconsciously I wanted to punish myself by not only forcing myself to stare down at what I had done, but also run the risk of people who knew him, drawing connections to Daniel's current state, and me. I mean, my intentions for being here obviously weren't one-hundred percent noble, no way, how could they be when before this he didn't care for me at all, and I certainly didn't care for him? So was me being here just callous and completely fake on my part? Or maybe it was me realizing I couldn't run from what I had done, and had to be here to force myself to look upon the pain I could create if I didn't stay disciplined…but even that felt shallow and horrific on my part….reducing nearly, and still possibly, destroying a person, and those in his life, just to teach myself 'a lesson.'
The longer I stood there, with my arms folded, back pressed up against the opposite wall where Daniel's head lie, the more I reasoned that it was more than likely a combination of all of those things, at least to some degree or capacity, and that I wasn't going to reason through this, or figure out how I truly felt, in only one visit and about fifteen minutes of inner reflection. On top of that, I had to get out of here, I needed to get to Mount Justice and talk to my team about what I had seen and prepare all of them for the storm that was coming before it got here…..and before the wrong person saw me. Maybe this was just me rationalizing an excuse to go running away though.
As I collected my bag and threw it over my shoulder, I figured there was probably one last reason my head had pulled me here first today though, and that was back on the subject of the vision. Maybe me coming here and seeing Daniel was the final push I could give myself and whatever internal, subconscious force inside of me, not to let the vision I had, turn to reality, that this was the result of me using that part of my powers, that nothing good would come from them bubbling back to the surface. If even with this stark reminder and warning, I still felt that pull and loss of control come, I had to find a way to stop myself, no matter what.
As I pulled open the door, pulled off and chucked my visitor's pass with fake name and all, into the hallway trash, and started making my way for the exit, I began to think that maybe all of this anxiety, worry, and doubt is what brought on the reemergence of my powers in the vision in the first place. After all, I had been highly emotionally stressed the first time they kicked in, so now, maybe I was fulfilling my own prophecy so to speak, by spinning myself into such a cloud of worry about what I had seen, that I would be the one to actually turn a possible fiction, into a real fact. Fuck, this was too fucking complicated.
With my entire head a mix I just told myself that I had to get it together, that I couldn't let myself or my team down, and more importantly, that I couldn't let anything like this happen again.
It took me about another twenty minutes of walking before I finally got to where I needed to be, and finally into a stronger headspace. I was just entering the booth to be transported to Mount Justice, listing off my access and recognition identification to the machine when I heard an audible rumble off in the distance along with the feeling of the ground underneath me shaking. Before I could do anything though, I was being enveloped in a familiar golden-white flash and taken across the country.
"Recognized, Cascade, B08"
Now at Mount Justice I was immediately stumbling forward, catching my balance before falling over, turning around to quickly stare back at the Zeta-Tube. That rumbling, I knew it couldn't be anything good, and because of it, I began to suspect that my vision had to deal with a much wider spread problem than just the one I had seen myself engaging in. "It's starting," I uttered in realization.
"What's starting?" someone asked from behind me.
At the unexpected question I was flinching away and letting out a yelp that sounded akin to a cat's yowl, before spinning back around on my heel to find out who the asshole that startled me was, and surprise, surprise, it was Wally with an amused look now sporting his face, with an equally amused Artemis slightly behind him.
"Christ Wally," I cried before hitting him lightly on the shoulder, "Why do you have to sneak up on people like that!?"
"Well you should have known I was going to be here," Wally replied, "You did call me about it after all."
"Speaking of which," Artemis began, entering the conversation, "Why the Saturday call time? I mean I was already here, but I hadn't planned on doing anything other than watching Superboy look good for a few hours. "
Normally I'd join in on Artemis' joke and invitation to silently gaze at Superboy, but instead I paused to look back again at the Zeta-Tube and thought of the deep rumbling I felt before leaving Central City. Turning back to the two I said the only thing that came to mind. "Actually...I think we're all about to find out right now."
Alright, that's it for this chapter. I originally had intended it to be a little bit longer, but after typing out that last line there by Saph, I felt like it would be a good place to stop, since I felt like it'd be the best place that would keep this chapter and the next, kind of balanced in length.
Overall it's definitely noticeably shorter than the length I had been delivering before the hiatus, but like I said, this is just to work myself back into the groove of it, get a feel for how I want this to go again, as well as to set up the next mission plot wise, and maybe leave you guys guessing what's going to happen. The good news with it being short though, means that since I had planned and already written more material, that means I've already started next chapter and have about 1.5k done for that.
Feel free to leave a review if you'd be so kind, either of what you thought, or maybe a mistake you found and like to point out, but either way, hope to hear from you and thanks for staying loyal, coming back, and reading. Hope you enjoyed.