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Power Keys

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After being told that the box was a literal representation for his life, Bailey was rather reluctant to part from it (a reasonable reaction in his humble opinion). Even though he didn't necessarily agree with the ocean analogy, the kid called Alex had a point: if something were to happen, whether by coincidence or intent, they would all be done for, dead—piles of smoldering ashes if the building burned. He knocked on the wooden box at the thought. Even so—because Kara seemed adamant about it, not because he wanted to—he replaced the handicraft where he had found it, set it carefully back in the rusted locker with the doubtful steadiness he had pulled it out with.

 

Out of the corner of his eye, Kevin's striking hair disappeared up the stairwell, a girl in tow, Alex behind. He followed suit with finicky hands caught deep in baggy pockets; no one, he hoped, could see the nerves playing across them like a symphony. His right index finger struck his trusty hand sanitizer bottle in the orchestration, prompting the sudden, but familiar urge to lather everything in it, just to feel safe, and more importantly, clean again.

 

The seventeen-year old had his neuroses; there was no doubt about that. Today though, he seemed intent on ignoring every one of them. He kept walking, kept following, kept ignoring the positioning of his index finger because there were bigger and greater things awaiting him, things more important than his daily practices and routines. On the roof, for instance, a helicopter was comfortably perched, wind whipping around its rotors noisily. With a sly wink and a jovial pat on the back, Kevin handed him a microphone and a set of headphones.

 

"Helicopter regulations, y'know?"

 

Bailey clambered in and strapped himself into one of the more accessible seats. The wind tousled his hair. Cold seeped into his bones. He was unsure—so, so unsure—but here he was anyways. He put his best actor smile on at the same time he did his headphones.

 

"Hello, I'm Bailey. Pleased to meet you all."

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There was no hesitation. Usually with nerves, you freak out, you freeze, you don't respond. Gemma, however, still had it in their mind that insubordinance meant death. She knew it wasn't true. It was irrational, and as unlikely as that they were going to save the world. But, all Gemma could think was, Just follow orders. She carefully placed her box in her locker, closed the door, and headed up the stairs, behind Kevin and Kara. (Kevin and Kara? They've got to be related. Twins, even?)

 

Her hand, however, was frozen. Gemma clasped the red tuning fork like it was her life. She should have been doing the same thing to that box, but if they were going to be in action, maybe the lockers were the best place to leave them... Talk about fires worried her. And how come no one knew the way down there? Don't they have to just keep descending the stairs? Is there some magical charm that makes the stairs down invisible or something?

Anxiety, suprisingly, doesn't help with just follow orders.

 

The solid sound of helicopter blades spinning gradually grew louder as they ascended the stairs. Then, the decibels exploded and peaked when the girl at the front threw open the door. Shouldn't people be noticing this on the streets? Gemma herself had never seen a helicopter land on top of a building before, and definitely hadn't heard of it in this city.

Gemma struggled to walk against the sheer force of the helicopter blades shoving her away. Kevin put his hand on the back of her shoulders to help her out, and handed her a headset so she could hear everyone over the loudness of the blades.

"Buckle up!" Gemma barely heard him shout, his voice quickly blown away. She clambered on board and into the closest available seat, and adjusted the headset onto her head.

"Oh, are we doing intros?" She said after Bailey named himself. The headset made him, and her, loud and clear. "I'm Gemma." She still had to raise her voice to be heard, though.

Edited by Anak

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So Imperium’s goal was pretty much the fact that the group thought what Kara and Kevin were signing everyone here up for was a useless struggle, but instead of ignoring them and watching them possibly succeed they want to see the world turn for the worse. Alright then. It also seemed that Ethan had uselessly grabbed his box from the locker, as they were all given the instructions of placing the boxes back into said lockers. He could understand how carrying the box on his person would be counter-productive, but why keep them here? Was it really as safe as they felt it was? He simply shrugged at the order ad placed his box back inside before closing the door to the locker.

 

Following the lead of the others, Ethan began to make his way upstairs, excited to see what was in store. The unexpected wasn’t something that usually phased him, in fact, it was something that excited him. Why else would he follow the directions of a coin flip dozens of times each day? Although it was little, it did throw some extra excitement into otherwise dull days. He walked onto the roof with a smile plastered on his face. A helicopter was something new to him, as it probably was to a bunch of the other people here. This should be good. He rolled his coin between his knuckles, before palming it once more and casually approached the helicopter where Kevin handed him a headset. Stepping up and inside the vehicle, he took his seat, buckling himself in and putting on his headset.

 

“I’m Ethan,” he proceeded to introduce himself, seeing as the others were doing the same. If these people were to be his teammates he should be making an effort to get to know them, and what was a better time to do that than when you’re all cramped on a helicopter? “Who else is excited?” he decided to ask, might as well lead the conversation along.

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"Tony!" she introduced herself, securing her buckle as she spoke. Three of the other four had introduced themselves before her but she already knew Alex's name from down in the basement. Kevin hurried into the co-pilot's seat, giving a thumbs up to Kara who remained on the roof with the other people, likely to board the second helicopter that was hovering out of the way. The machine lurched, gradually rising from the helipad that evidently took up much of the rooftop.

 

As it lifted into the air, Ethan asked if anyone else was excited. Tony quickly shook her head and frowned. "Not really. I'm kind of way beyond my comfort zone here. Like, into the next lifetime "beyond"," she replied. It would have been difficult to hear everyone without the headsets and it made Tony wonder just how prepared the red-haired siblings had been. How would they have known enough people would answer the message to require two helicopters, no more or less?

 

"Alright! We're on our way to the training facility!" Kevin's voice filled her headset, dripping with energy and excitement. "Once we're there, we'll give you guys a tour of the place and then set you free to decide what rooms you'll stay in for the time being. Af-"

 

"Wait! We're not going back home?" Tony questioned, a bit of panic entering her voice. She hadn't expected to be gone for more than a few hours. What was she going to do? Her mother would freak if she didn't get home by nightfall.

 

Kevin started laughing, turning to look over his shoulder and give a reassuring smile. "Don't worry! We've got it covered! We've already sent notices to any family members at your addresses saying you'll be away on a camping trip. You'll have several opportunities to call them too and update them on your health," the man replied. He seemed rather at ease for the situation. Tony, however, was unnerved by the idea that they had sent letters ahead of time. Another prediction of knowing just how many people showed up. And the type of people.

 

She shifted uncomfortably in her seat, swallowing hard. Had she chosen right, following the word of people she knew nothing about? They seemed to know a lot about the gathered group though, more than just names and addresses. Feeling rather exposed, she wrapped her arms tightly about herself and glanced at the other four strangers. "Well, I don't know about the rest of you but, I think my stomach is churning...."

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Alex wasn't one to panic but this was the time to, but like anything it was a slow build up to panic. "Look at the horizon Tony, it helps. My mom would know me better, I wouldn't just drop everything and go camping, besides with who? I have really no friends who's idea is spending time around a fire instead of paddle boarding on a lake or doing laps in a pool! She'll think something is up. I have a responsibility it's called a job! Have you heard of one? Sunday at nine I teach kids ages five to ten how to swim and stay safe in the water, after that, at ten, scuba lessons along the reef. Noon, I'm showing twins how to skateboard for their birthday, and at three I am at the nursing home for water aerobics class and Mrs.Hathaway's weekly tea time. I never miss those and the sweet old lady wouldn't talk to anyone else!

 

I am very busy. I only had three days mandatory days off because I work so much, my boss told me to use some of my time to myself, so I came here. I love my job, and I'm all for saving the world, but Mrs. Hathaway was going to tell me her secret recipe for her devil's triple chocolate fudge brownies....and.. Her family is all gone. She thinks I'm her grandson, I can't let the old woman down."

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(Whoops I never even saw these posts until 2 weeks later)

 

"We're not going home?!" Gemma said with the others. She didn't exactly have any important family, and her friends probably wouldn't care that she was gone, but... What about the life she had left behind? Her apartment? There weren't important things back there in the eyes of others, but the sentimentality was too much for her to leave them behind. Books, music, her laptop, little old ornaments... Unless the twins had somehow retrieved all of those things, how would she ever get them back?

"What about all my stuff at home?" Was the best she could ask.

 

Gemma turned her gaze to the outside, watching her previous life drift away. If she knew this was the path that was going to be taken, she would have prepared. She would have done something. I wasn't even going to do this, Gemma thought to herself. I was just gonna ignore it and go to work. Now look where I am. She sighed, her eyes softening with with longing. No going back now, not unless she jumped out of the helicopter, yet that would bring a rather undesired end to it all.

I can stick it out.

Edited by Anak

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Kevin continued to smile, motioning with his hand in a reassuring manner. "Don't worry! As I said, we planned for this! Alex, we covered your shifts with temporary replacements until you're back; it'll be like you never left! And, trust me. Working four days a week is nothing compared to having to work sixteen hours or more every day of the week," the man laughed, smirking. Glancing at Gemma his smirk turned into a warm smile. "You'll be surprised; your favorite things are already on their way. They should get to our destination before we do. Same goes for everyone else. We thought you'd all like some familiarity and other things to do in your downtime."

 

Tony shifted in her seat, uncomfortable with the image of strangers going through her room. However, she didn't say anything more and rode the rest of the trip in silence. She didn't know how long it took but, eventually, Kevin spoke up again. "We're here! To my right is the campsite and training facility. The blue buildings are the dorms you'll stay in, separated by gender. You'll learn more details once we're on the ground."

 

Looking where directed, Tony stared at the area. It wasn't gigantic but, by no means, it wasn't small either. The dorms seemed about the size of the average residential hall found on a collage campus and the training facility seemed to be all outdoors with a range of obstacle courses. Briefly, she wondered just how many other people were recruited and brought here.

 

The helicopter lurched as it settled on the ground, the blades continuing to spin rapidly but the engines certainly off. "Watch your heads on the way out!" Kevin warned, unfastening his seatbelt and climbing out. Tony followed suit, removing her headset to rest it on the seat she vacated. Gradually, the blades of the helicopter slowed to a stop but the sound and lashing wind didn't subside. Looking up, she saw the second helicopter come to land, Kara in the co-pilot's seat.

 

Soon, everyone was out and the crimson-haired siblings stood before the group. "Welcome to the training hub of Salvation Hive, your new home for the next few weeks. Once training is completed, you'll be sent back to your original residences and called upon as needed for missions. You'll have ample time to prep for each mission so you needn't worry about schedule conflicts. Shall we get the tour underway then?" Kara inquired, smiling humorlessly again. Without waiting for much of a response from the group, she turned and began walking. Kevin motioned for everyone to follow as he moved to the back.

 

"The blue buildings on the left are the dorms. The first one is for the girls, the second for the boys. You're expected to be inside by 9 PM each night. It is suggested, but not mandatory, that lights are off by 11 PM. Each day, training will start at 6 AM, break for lunch at 11 AM, and resume at 1 PM. Training will end at 4 PM and dinner will be served at 6 PM. You can grab breakfast at anytime after midnight but before training begins.

 

"In front of us and to our right are office buildings, recreation halls, and the cafeteria. The front building has the main office and medical bay, where you'll report for regular check-ups to make sure you aren't having any adverse reactions to your abilities. The cafeteria and recreation halls are in the left-side building. Also in the left building are conference rooms. When you start receiving missions, you'll be expected to attend each briefing on a scheduled date. Again, you'll know those details with enough time to avoid schedule conflicts." Kara went on and on, briefly detailing each area as they passed them. The training fields were separated into three: beginning, intermediate, and difficult. The obstacles changed with each level and so would the expectations. There was another building behind the courses reserved for advanced training and testing.

 

"That ends our tour. You are free to ask questions of the staff here but, please, refrain from personal questions. It is still a matter of security that you keep your personal lives to yourself should anything ill befall any of our members. Dinner will be in two hours." With that, Kara left and Kevin followed, walking backwards briefly as he gave the group a wave.

 

Rubbing her arm, Tony shifted her weight. "Well... I'm going to go find a bed then...," she murmured, turning towards the residential buildings.

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"I highly doubt they'll be able to being my things here..." He said as he headed to the dorms to no one in particular. When he got to his room though, he got quite the surprise. His hand made skate board was there, along with his body board, hung on the wall like he did at home. Two posters of old surfing legends on the wall beside the bed, and of course his clothes and favorite books and mp3 player. Something else too...

 

"Jenni? Jenni girl come here my little queen." He picked up the basilisk lizard from her tank and let her crawl on his shoulder as he got his skate board and headed out to check things out better. The skateboard was a colorful red wood surf board shape with wheels beneath it and gold hibiscus flowers painted on it in textured paint so he wouldn't slide off. He went out and skated around the dorms with a blue,green lizard on his shoulder.

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(How do I keep missing replies?? smh)

 

Gemma remained quiet for the rest of journey, and throughout the tour too. The whole place had been marketed to them as some sort of training ground, but to her it looked more like a university campus, or a hotel. They travelled in a helicopter, to a place where they would get free food, nice shelter, a recreation hall even. Had there not been a dangerous 'saving the world' element to all of it, Gemma might have looked forward to the prospect of staying there.

 

She followed one girl (Tony, was it?) to the dorms. Not knowing which room would be her's, Gemma assumed that the door would have her name on it, or something like that. With luck, one door did have her on a nametag. In one swift motion, she swung the door open, turned around before she could see anything in her room, and slammed the door shut. Gemma rested her head on the wood of the door, closing her eyes, and breathed slowly. She felt herself clinging onto her past life, even though it was nothing special. Everything's going to be here, Gemma thought to herself. It's like nothing's changed.

 

She turned around, and saw her past life staring back at her.

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The helicopter ride to god knows where was not all that interesting to Roxy. She would admit, she gawked out the window during the lift off and watched the town roll away behind them. The cabin consisted of just herself, the nameless pilot and the creepy red head twin. Or clone. What was the hosts' deal anyway? Roxy had been silently trying to figure it out if this was for real or some kind of elaborate ruse and if it was, she couldn't figure out why she would be involved.

 

Roxy wasn't exactly a desired citizen. She had been drifting from city to city for the better part of two years. She met plenty of people along the way, some friends, most not. None of them would want to do this to her though. Roxy continued to mull this over while she nodded off in the backseat of the helicopter.

 

Her nap was interrupted by the helicopter lurching to a stop as it touched down on who knows where. With a stretch that popped both her hips and her lower back, she groggily stepped from the craft. She ignored the pilots helpful hand and stepped down onto the tarmac. The wind from the blades wiped around her mohawk, ruffling her thick hair and her baggy cloths. She joined the rest of the group in front of their hosts and listened to their explanation and everyone's nit picking in silence. She didn't have and qualms with a free place to crash and three square meals. Not to mention these supposed abilities they were suppose to be getting.

 

After the tour, everyone seemed eager to get to their rooms to make sure all their stuff was there. Roxy didn't know what to expect when she got to her room but she worried about it the whole way down the hallway. She reached the door and inspected the name tag on the door, she looked left and right. She produced a multi-tool and pried the plate off the door. She looked down at the reflective plate and smiled, bending it in half and sticking it in her inner vest pocket. She pushed the door open and flicked the light on.

 

Her footsteps echoed in the empty room. It was furnished with just a wardrobe, a simple bed and a dresser. Roxy really didn't have a home anymore or any belongings other than what was in her bag. She touched the dab a wetness running down her cheek. Oh god was she crying? What the hell? She knew she didn't have anything but seeing this just... made it real. She sat down on the bed to have her moment.

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I'm closing this anyways. As stated in the OOC, I will make an endgame post this week and then have this locked by a moderator.

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This wasn't supposed to happen. They were trying to avoid this! The economy, ruined. The government, broken and overthrown by criminal powers. The countries, at World War Three.

 

Tony switched from news channel to news channel, trying to find a glimmer of light. But there was none. In the course of two years, everything she had known to be, everything she and the others had been promised, was gone.

 

And they were responsible for it all.

 

Kara. Kevin. The twins had orchestrated a means to manipulate people with powers like them, to use them - her - to destroy the Earth as it was. But, why?

 

"Simple. For power. We were given these abilities and we must use them. We have the right to be in control. When the world is ready, we will be rulers and hold the world in our hands." Kara was behind her, smiling. Tony wasn't surprised but she was angry about the continued invasion of her mind.

 

"You told us we were going to make the world better! That we were saving it!" she shouted, turning on the woman. Kara only continued to smile, her crimson hair dark in the low light and matching her elegant dress. Tony growled and held out an arm, wanting to use her abilities against the female. But she couldn't. None of them could touch Kara or Kevin. Especially not when they had the boxes. "We were pawns..."

 

"That's right. And you still are. You and the rest of your group will continue to work for us, grudgingly or not. You'll be well taken care of, don't worry. We don't abuse our troops after all." Turning away, Kara left the dark room, leaving Tony by herself.

 

Outside, buildings crumbled and burned, sirens blared but no figures of authority could make their way to every single incident.

 

They should have seen this outcome approaching, Imperium had.

 

But they didn't.

 

And now the world was suffering for it.

 

End Game

 

Sequel? Maybe. It would be focused on the group trying to correct what they created while trying to get out from under Kara and Kevin's thumbs.

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Topic opened for work request, please do not make posts. Please do not delete.

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