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Extrasensory {CLOSED} IC

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IC Thread to Extrasensory OOC


E.D.E.N. Secret Base: The GARDEN


It had been eight years since E.D.E.N. was first formed. A small collection of ESPers Lars had met and gathered over the years who agreed that the world was wrong. That the way ESPers were treated was wrong. That they needed to do something about it to even have a hope at peaceful lives for ESPers. And now, it was massive. The largest organization of ESPers in the entire world, second to only the Government. Certainly the largest criminal organization, but that label felt wrong. E.D.E.N. wasn’t a group of terrorists. They were revolutionaries fighting for freedom of all ESPers. Generations of ESPers to come could live happy lives with no fear of persecution or discrimination as long as they succeeded.

But in the way of all of that stood the Government.

It would be easy to topple them, actually. E.D.E.N. was a large group even if the Government was technically larger, and they had a much wider spread of their resources. The Government was concentrated in large groups that made it almost disgustingly easy to wipe them across the floor. Looking down at the large map of the United States stretched out before him, he traced his hands over the midwest, pausing over Philadelphia. A bright red pin had been slammed into the map, marking the location of one of the Government’s bases. They knew where they were. They had known for some time. E.D.E.N. had spies everywhere and something as big as the bases did not go unfound for long. He could have ended this years ago. With the Government crushed, it would be simple enough to take over the entirety of the United States. After that, the rest of the world came easily enough.

And yet, he knew he couldn’t. There were ESPers inside the Government’s base that would die with the rest of them.

He couldn’t kill all of them.

He wouldn’t kill all of them.

Sighing, Lars leaned against the side of the ship’s controls, watching as the boat was guided through the water, seemingly on it’s own. The main area of the Garden was heavily restricted, meaning only longstanding members could access it. In terms of clearance, members usually had to earn Lars’s trust enough to access the bridge before even hoping to be allowed in the main base. Unless they were children. Lars had a soft spot for young ESPers and made sure they were safely led to the main base before leaving to work. He never forced them to work for him, simply gave them a place to stay where they would be safe and happy.

Walking around the large map in the command room, Lars looked out over the ship, admiring the plant life that flourished on the deck that had earned the ship it’s name. It was a brand new day. It had been some time since he had left the Garden, a few weeks in fact. On his orders, E.D.E.N. had been very quiet for the past few months, laying low and hardly stirring up a fuss at all. That meant it was the perfect time to start recruiting again. Grabbing his coat from nearby, he shrugged it on as he made his way over to the door, leaving the bridge in favor of making his way down to the main deck. If he could find a teleporter he could easily avoid the long flight back to the United States but trying to track down one ESPer on the ship could be very frustrating.





Nano bit down on pencil lightly, holding it between her teeth as she leaned forward in her chair, looking at the coffee table in front of her. Glancing at the cup of coffee sitting next to her, she sighed slightly and closed the book she had been reading about places to travel. Heh, yeah right. She was already waist deep in work so even when the season was slow and nothing seemed to be happening, she still had an ass crap amount of paperwork to do. Really, she never should have ditched her supervisor since the man had always done her paperwork for her and she had much more free time, but she couldn't stand someone else being in control of her schedule and constantly watching over her. Like, Jesus Christ, she had a life to live.

Taking her coffee to go, she stepped out of the coffee house, pausing briefly outside to pull out a flask and dump some of the contents into the coffee. Sniffing the concoction carefully, she shrugged then sealed the flash up again and began drinking the new creation. While it didn't exactly taste good, she already knew what was waiting for her at the office and she needed her drink to be spiked if she was going to deal with that mess. Honestly, those people were so paranoid. E.D.E.N. was probably just taking a vacation like they all SHOULD be. Even criminals had to have breaks every once in a while, right? They should take the weeks they aren't active to relax instead of freaking out and riding her ass about getting her paperwork done on time.

Swallowing a large mouthful of the coffee, Nano strolled down the street, deliberately walking in the opposite direction of the facility. She had a bit more time to kill, after all. The sun was barely up in the sky and she had a phone in case something huge happened. They could always call her and tell her where to go and who needed to be rescued.

Or have their face get aquatinted with the pavement.

Either one worked, really.

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This week had been...slow. Really boring, in fact. She hadn't been contacted by either side in about five days and as such, had all their wanted items on her person. Intel for either side. She was an obvious double agent, taking what mattered little to either side of the massive conflict and jacking it up to seem important. Which, she guessed, it could be. If it wasn't papers, it was actual objects. Technology, weapons. The stuff she could actually steal.


The big thing in her backpack was actually pretty small. A prototype, to be exact. Of an ESP-blocking device. It had long since been deemed not-so-valuable by the DoD, so she had just...walked in and picked it up. The prototype was of little value to an agency that had already fine-tuned and replicated such a device to become a combat stable.


Of course, she wasn't quite ready to put it on the market. She needed to test the waters a little, see if Lars was in a good mood. They had been...associated for a year or so now. And although Namina liked Lars just fine, the young man was smart enough not to trust her. If he knew all the information she had stolen from under his nose...well, he'd likely open fire. Flipping open a temporary-albeit useful-trac phone, she punched the leader's number into the device and typed a short message.

[unknown number]Have something you'll wanna see. Willing to negotiate a price.


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My research proves that there exists - within the minds of all men and women - a single, unused nervous system connection. It manifests as a small cluster of nervous cells and tissue, size dependent solely on the individual. Yet it is the source of these ESPer abilities some people call miraculous or divinely manifested.


Now, the only problem is - there is a gene, or a group of genes, which controls whether or not this group of cells is active. As evolution has progressed, this group of genes has become more and more prominent. However, I have not, as of yet, been able to isolate the gene, Lars. Yes, I know that you've devoted a lot of EDEN's funds to this work and I apologize but you don't understand the extent of this sort of scientific discovery. The genes seem to... randomize themselves, almost as if they're a sentient strand that continue to mutate even after the birth of an individual. I mean, this makes sense, I suppose, if you consider the fact that powers seem to change based on amount of time a person with powers has lived. I mean, you yourself have to admit you did not begin as strong as you are now.

But I promise you, I shall devote my mind completely to the work at hand. We both despise the government, that much is certain. If what you say is true, and this discovery will mean you can bring them down, then I will do it without question.

Praise be to the ESPers.




The brain is a very intricate subject. Some can refer to it as a simple mass of nervous tissues. Others look at it more extensively to research every fold, every membrane, every layer, to try and find what makes humanity "human."

With the recent abundance of ESPers, this sort of research has become even more desired, the field being clung to by almost every single man with even a glimmer of scientific talent.

Four years ago, and perhaps even further than that, Archer White was one of those people, a man desiring nothing more than to delve fully into his own brain and discovery what made him what he was. And what he found twisted him into what he became, and then what he hated most of all.

Archer, more commonly referred to as Arc, placed hand upon his knee as he sat within the isolated room, tapping his foot on the linoleum floor below him with a steady tempo. His eyes were filled with boredom. His hair was untended, as it normally was, so it fell loosely over his face in a messy fashion. The only parts of him that looked clean were his clothes, creating a strong contrast to the rest of his body.

And, in front of him, lay a naked, female form, covering herself in a towel. Her eyes were closed, but her body was full of anxiety. Arc, however, was calm, completely at ease.

The room was silent. Arc's eyes gazed around it, ignoring the girl before him as he looked around for something else to gaze upon - for looking at her was admittedly now making him a bit more self-conscious.

Nothing very spectacular about their current living conditions really stood out to him. A clock, hung precariously on the wall as though to bring about some vain hope of normality. Two beds, pushed together due to her occasional night terrors making her unable to sleep alone. Blankets which hung loosely over the sides. The floor was linoleum, the color of autumn leaves, but some of the floor had been chipped away by age. The walls were as normal as you could get, plain and unpainted. The only two doors out of the room were both locked. Her clothes were in a pile near one of the doors, by a pair of laundry machines.

"It has been roughly thirty minutes." he sighed, growing agitated. "This is no time for frivolous enjoyment."

His irritation was short lived. Soon, her eyes fluttered open, the pale color of them seeming bored. She turned slightly to him, the rest of her body immobile.

"Nothing within range." she assured, beginning to stand. "Are you sure that this is the best way for me to develop my abilities, and not as some method to see more of me than you should?"

"The human body holds no interest for me, Mel." Arc said, leaning onto his right hand with nonchalance. "Especially not one so ragged. But I suppose I shouldn't be one to talk. Neither of us are very attractive right now."

She didn't respond, walking quietly over to her clothes and casting him a glance. He sighed and turned away, crossing his arms as he looked out the window.

"Are you absolutely certain you didn't see anything?" he asked finally, the sound of her rummaging through her clothes grating upon his mind. Damn this natural male curiosity. Years of scientific study, and yet...

"Nothing at all." she said, running her hands through her hair as she turned back to face him. "And I'm finished."

"Thank good- I mean, how slow." he amended quickly, turning back to look at her. "And yes, I believe this is honestly completely necessary. I needed to be able to see any signs of negative influence caused by your dreaming."


She didn't speak at all but merely stared at him for a long while.

"What." Arc asked, holding out his hands. "Are you hungry? I told you we don't have anything right now and I'm not taking the chance to purchase food until midnight."

"No." Mel replied, rubbing her arm. "That's not it."

"Is it the fact that you don't trust I didn't look at you while you slept?" Arc asked. "Really? By this point, you'd think I'd have garnered a bit more respect than that. I'm a madman, not a perverted lunatic."

"It's not that either." Mel said.

"Bathroom, then? Look people are an enigma to me. If you're honestly expecting me to be able to read you like a book every time you have some form of thought, you're incorrect." Arc leaned back in the chair, turning his head to look at the ceiling. "I'm a neurologist, a bio-medical engineer, and a chemist, not a psychologist. Fixing the brain does not mean reading it."

Mel stared at him for a longer time.

"Do... these clothes look nice, then?" she asked, looking down.

Arc's face was unreadable as he looked back down at her.

"Is that your real concern?"

"Of course not." she gave the slightest smile. "You... just seemed agitated. I believed a joke was in order."

He rubbed his hand over his face and then moved to stand up, sighing.

"Certainly, a bit of humor can alleviate mental stress, but as it currently stands, the only method by which you could help me calm myself is by solving our current issue."

"Which is?" She crossed her arms.

"What are we planning on doing now?"

"I thought you knew."

"I have absolutely no clue." Arc held out both hands in mock surrender. "All I had in mind was escaping EDEN and the eyes of the Government. It's been two years and no one has found us. I will now simply assume we have finally gone off the radar. We're in a remote part of the mountains near a small town where internet and cable are alien. AND, best of all, we're outside of the the range of EDEN's current radar systems. We have food, electricity, and shelter for the time being. And with your power, we can assure our safety within a very large radius without anyone seeing us. So, I ask you, Mel, what do you wish to do now?"

"Are you asking if I wish to start a family?" Mel put a hand on her hip, eyebrow raised.


"Normally when a man begins some sort of statement like that, he also finishes with 'marry me and let me make you mine.'" she cocked her head slightly. "Well, that's what I've discovered through much of my Dreaming."

".....Did you-"

"Just insinuate that you are attempting to make me your bride? Possibly." Mel leaned against the wall, arms crossed once more. "And what if I told you I would consent to it?"

Arc was dumbstruck. He blinked quite a few times, sitting back down in his chair so that he could absorb this information. For a long while, silence dominated the room.

".....I don't know whether I'm concerned that you're willing to .... do that, or maybe it's the fact you think I would bring that up... or.... I'm currently very unable to think." Arc finished, rubbing his forehead. "....Am I even..."

"You are a grown man who has left behind a world which despised him and are currently on a semi-sabbatical with a woman who also wishes to leave the world behind." Mel said, sighing. "The thought never crossed your mind?"

"....Well... I mean... no." Arc shrugged. "Is this another joke?"

"....How rude." Mel finished, turning to the door. "Then it is now your task to think upon it extensively."

"What? Why is that now my duty-"

"Because that is your dream, Arc." Mel finished.




Arc awoke to Mel's arm laying over his chest, completely asleep. He grabbed his own mind, concerned and confused. Quickly, he pushed her aside as gently as he could and moved from the bedside, unable to make sense of this information.

The room was as he had left it - a ramshackle shack with barely running water, electricity which decided to work, and low food reserves. Their situation was dire, and he knew it. But he made the best of it, as he currently could. He grabbed a glass and filled it with enough water to drown away the feelings of nervous tension and anxiety.

Was that the real Mel? Or his dream version of her? Had she entered his dreams again? He considered waking her to ask her but...

"I'm pleased, Arc."

He turned, concerned, to see her sitting up from the bed, her hair a mess, her eyes slightly closed, but her face happy.

"....About what?" Arc asked, taking a drink. His face began to grow hot even if he did not wish it to.

"That you think so highly of me." she said.

"...How... much of that... was... you?" Arc asked, putting his weight against the counter. He entire body felt on fire.

"All of it, I believe." Mel said. "But you don't have to worry about it now. It was only a dream, right?"

"...Whose dream?" Arc asked. "Mine...? Yours...?"

"....Who knows?" she said slyly.

Edited by Thaelasan

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I could tell you better than anyone else ESP is like a slumbering giant. Sometimes, people are born knowing they are different. That they have so much they can and will achieve.

I desperately wish that I was one of these people.

But, more often than not, ESP is something that must be shaken awake with a tremendous blow. It takes pain or trauma, emotional or physical, to rouse the sleeping beast.

I was one of these people.

I had to watch my mother be shot in front of me to finally unlock my ESP. And do you know what?

You haven't seen anything yet.




Lars arrived on the main deck easily enough, opening one of the doors that led outside against the winds of the ocean. It was a beautiful, clear day and the waves were calmer than the previous day, meaning a significantly less number of people found themselves ill. Which was always pleasant considering they were subject to the whims of the ocean. He did always find it funny how ESPers could move objects with their minds, jump from place to place with ease and defy physics in other ways, and yet they were still subjected to things like colds, the flu and even motion sickness. For beings with the ability to bend reality to their whim, they were still human.

Rubbing at his left eye as a slight headache formed in his brow from the sudden exposure to harsh, natural sun, Lars stepped out onto the deck, taking to the front of the ship and looking out over the bow. His attention was distracted for a moment by the sight-natural and untainted by humans-before a buzzing in the pocket of his coat distracted him. Patting the various pockets on his trench coat, he frowned slightly before finally pulling out his phone and looking at the screen. His eyes paused over the words before he sighed, rolling his eyes slightly at the message. Turning around and leaning against the railing on the front of the boat, he pressing his thumb against the phone’s screen and waiting as his fingerprint was read and the phone unlocked. Passwords were for people who wanted to get their phones broken into. The Government would find it much harder to break into his phone without literally cutting off his finger.

At least, if they wanted to salvage the material inside. Trying to access it any other way had more dangerous results for whatever computer it was connected to.

[unknown number]I was already headed into town. What have you got and where would you like to meet?

-Lars <3

He paused for a moment before, with a slight smile, adding another message.

[unknown number]I’ll be sure to bring something of value either way.

-Lars <3

Since E.D.E.N. could hardly use bank accounts to store their money, they tended to deal mostly in cash or other valuable objects. More recently, Lars had decided using actual things of value instead of money was better for business.

Rubbing the side of his head, he placed the phone back into his pocket and rubbed his hands together. Time to find a teleporter. If he was headed back for a deal, he might as well get someone to send him. Especially if he was carrying luggage. Strolling down the boat, he began to look around, trying to seek out the few teleporters on the ship.


Moments later, the air shimmered slightly around a door in a back alley before Lars stepped out. Kicking away a few cardboard boxes, he closed the door quickly and opened it again. Instead of showing the inside of a yacht, it showed the inside of an abandoned building in downtown Philadelphia. Having a teleport who could connect doors was frustrating since it was limited, but useful for getting between secret bases. Or getting to the city from a boat in the middle of the ocean.

Lifting up his briefcase, he paused, waiting for a text to arrive telling him where to go.

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I don't know, Lars, even to me, this seems rather unethical. Other scientists would call us madmen. But I'm not saying I won't do it.

At least it isn't children, I suppose. The theory, however, is solid - cause very strong, very important emotions within people to cause their genes to activate. From what you've given me, you're supplying roughly 25 individuals of various ages. We've taken blood samples from them in order to try and isolate the genes I think are responsible for the development of ESPer powers.

But something is a bit off.

You may want to look at this when you get a chance because I don't think you'll believe this. We just discovered an ESPer who can resurrect the dead.

You don't believe me? Signal for number B13. I'm serious. He just used his ability on a bird that we had brought in for testing purposes. It's like it was never harmed at all. I don't know if it's actual mending or just reversing time on something living but the results are astounding. He's also the one I told you went through mental trauma recently with the death of his mother. The one with the cancer.

I'll have to keep testing this if I want to be absolutely sure but I think powers aren't just hereditary. I think you're half-right - they develop based on need and want. Some powers seem to be genetically brought about but others seem to be developed through a risk and reward system. Still, I never thought these sort of power existed.

I'll keep you updated, rest assured - I know you won't want to miss a minute of this.




"It was a dream, wasn't it? A dream. That was all a dream?"

"If you believe it was, yes."

"And then, this is reality?"

"No. It's another dream."

He turned to her, confused, as she placed a hand on his face.

"And as long as you continue to lie to yourself, nothing will ever truly be real."




He awoke again, his sleep deprivation making him unable to even think straight. He grabbed at his skin, pinching himself to ensure himself of reality. But her power could make you believe anything, even pain was real.

God, why did he bring her with him? This was torture! Why was she doing this to him? For what purpose? Was it accidental or deliberate? He placed both hands on his face and tried to steady his breathing.

There was only, one real reason this could be happening, and he didn't want it to be so. But it had to be. It HAD to be. Her dreams about him were becoming so fierce that they were tying into his own. It was the only plausible theory. But that meant admitting he was dreaming about her, and why would he?!

He rubbed his face as he stood to his feet, realizing now that he was no longer in a room but in a void of purple, black energy. He fell to his knees, unable to stand it.

"You're trying to break me, aren't you?" Arc said.

"No. I promise I'm not."

Mel appeared from the folds of violet hues, standing before him, smiling, hands clasped behind her back.

"But you know why this is happening. I can hear it in your thoughts. You can't hide things from me here. You know that." Mel said, pleased. "Everything is completely out in the open, because you want it to be."

"But I don't!"

"You do. Otherwise this wouldn't be happening." Mel said, pacing around him. "And you know what you have to do to end it. There are only a few options. We both know that."

"Why did you choose me, though?! Out of all the people you know-"

"Do I?" Mel asked, behind him now. "Do ...I know many people?"

Archer turned, realization dawning upon him. Because of her captivity, no matter how smart she was or acted, she had had no social contact save the men and women who had forced her to abuse her powers. And he was the first one who had tried to show her a way out.

"No. This is a terrible idea. You should leave me behind and go find someone else." Arc protested, waving her away. "You don't understand. You really don't."

"But when I look at your memories, Arc, your dreams... everything you are... I don't have headaches." Mel said, leaning her back against his. "Can you really say that doesn't mean anything? It's so much fun to enjoy this world alongside you."

"You're toying with me, aren't you?"

"I'm not."

"Then let me wake up, before both of us suffer. Where are we, really?"

"Wherever you want to be, Arc." Mel said, now in front of him. "Wherever you wish to go. Our bodies no longer matter. Our souls are now free. You forget, we can live a lifetime in the span ...of a moment."

She leaned forward, now squatting before him.

"Did you know... that when you dream, you experience an entire reality within the span of two hours, yet your mind only remembers fragments of it?" Mel asked, cocking her head. "Every night you sleep, an entire life,... and you forget it when you awaken."

"Yes. I.. I know this." Arc said, placing a hand on her shoulder. "But Mel, we can't keep dreaming forever. We can't. What happened? Why are you doing this?"


She was silent for a long while as she stood back to her full height. She pondered for a long time, reluctant, as she rubbed her arm in discomfort.

Finally she held out a hand, and a vision appeared to Arc's left.

"We were driving out to a place in the mountains, where we would be safe, where we would be able to live in comfort, and then there was a device..." she trailed off.

"The Anti... the anti device. It went off." Arc said, recalling. He began to stand to his full height.

"Our powers stopped, and they fired at the car. We've fallen from the mountain. And you were dying." Mel said sadly, tears forming in her eyes. "And I didn't want you to die. I want you to live."

Arc turned to the vision, frowning.

"Stop there.'

Mel paused, confused.

"The mountain. There's a cave there, isn't there? We went off the mountain the car at this angle?" he said, tracing his finger across the side of it.

"....Y...yes?" Melody commented.

"And you said our powers are active now?"

"Yes but the car is in the water! If you use your power-"

"...They want me to kill us both."

Mel nodded silently.

"......Wake us up." Arc instructed, taking her hand in his own. "Hurry. Wake us up."

"But your power..."

"I swore to you I would save us both. Wake us up." Arc repeated. "Trust me."

Mel frowned for a long while, then closed her eyes.

And then there was silence.

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[unknown number]It's a secret wink.gif


Mina couldn't help but grin. She wasn't giving away information like that where it could be recorded. She crossed her legs on the crate where she was sitting and stared at the phone. Lars was such a loser. Texting with a friggin heart emoji. What a dork.


She didn't even bother looking up when the nearby door opened. She had learned to memorize things. Footsteps. Breathing sounds. Things like that. And Lars was pretty easy to pick out. Instead, she slid the backpack off her shoulders and into her lap. A short shuffling through, and she hesitated. "I'm sure you know about the latest innovations from the Department of Defense." Her green eyes flashed with mischief as she spoke. She wasn't going to show him without proof of purchase.


"I have something that will help you fight back." A wicked grin twisted on Namina's face. He already knew what she was talking about. The anti-ESP signals, or ASP for short, devastated the last major fight between both sides. It was a clear victory for the American government. "If you want it, of course."

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Lars strolled closer to Mina, taking each step as if he owned the entire world. He was confident, poised and ready for whatever she had to wow or impress him with. In his hand he held a briefcase, filled with whatever valuables he had decided to bring along this time. Sighing slightly at Mina's behavior, he lifted the briefcase up and held it in one hand while he undid the latch. Turning to show her the inside was crammed with gold, he smirked then snapped his fingers, causing the briefcase to close and hover next to him.


"Anti-ESP devices, then?" He asked, looking slightly interested. But just slightly and that could very well be his normal expression. It was fairly obviously known Lars liked to play and joke around with everyone he met. It was like he never really grew up and certainly made it harder to get a proper read on him. He acted like a child.


"How outdated is it, then? I know the government wouldn't give up their only edge on us so easily and you aren't one to make that kind of suicide run." He glanced up at the case flying in lazy circles above his head then shrugged. "Well, I suppose it doesn't really matter. I'll buy it either way if that's what it is. If you want more, you'll have to bear with me while I head back to the ship. I only brought the one briefcase, I'm afraid." Tilting his head to the side, he smirked slightly. Clothing aside, he did look much younger than his age. Apparently, being a criminal really held off the wrinkles since, wearing the right clothes, he could probably pass as a high schooler. Not that he would ever try that. Lars had exactly two outfits and didn't need to manage more than that. He liked his work outfit with his coat and he liked his casual outfit for when he was just being a person. Both worked well for his needs and managing actual clothing was hard. He didn't need to commit to getting new clothes on top of all of his other work. He had things to do.

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"The grandaddy of them all, baby." Winking not-so-subtly at Lars, Mina shoved her second hand in the bag. Being the oldest model, it was also really big and clunky. But she seemed to heft the machine with not much a problem. In her hands was a large rectangle, about the size of a loaf of bread, but as heavy as a brick of lead. In other words, heavy. "I needed to take something they wouldn't miss. This...well..." For emphasis, she scraped a little dust off the top of the machine. "Definitely won't be missed."


At the sight of her payment, the woman's grin faded somewhat. She didn't often drive a hard bargain with Lars, as the man payed well. "Hm..." But she did like to mess with him a little. "You gotta fetch a high price on a deal with the Devil, you know." Once again did that sly look pass across her face. "You know why?" Slowly did she stand, stalking towards the young man. Namin leaned in close, her breath hot on his covered neck. "Because you'll go to Hell no matter what."

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Anti-ESP devices, Lars? Those are easy. I can't believe you're trying to make me figure out how they work when I already know.

Look here, see this? It's a trigger that amplifies a signal which irritates the part of the brain that causes our powers to be activated. It also makes it harder to focus, meaning our powers become roughly 1/4 of their original strength. Good news is - the signal must be manmade. It's not created naturally.

Now, that means with proper ear protection, you could probably avoid being stunned altogether, but that means people could sneak up on you. Just give me some time, if it's that important. I can probably make some defenses against them.

Weakminds won't beat me in games of ESPer warfare, Lars. Trust me. But I know that they'll keep trying. I'd suggest monitoring their development of this type of technology.

Otherwise, this little molehill could become a mountain. Heheh.





Nothing but blue and black darkness, which submerged and shrouded all thought. The only other sights were the fractures of the car's glass as the pressure began to collapse upon it.

But before that, there was the pain. A shot of nervous system emotion that nearly caused Arc to react violently with his tendrils before he willed them to stay silent. He needed time to concentrate.

Another crack, the sound deafening in this silent underwater realm. The abyss was threatening to swallow them both. He didn't have to look backward to know the car wasn't floating. If they didn't hurry...

He began to concentrate for a long while. Mel was right. There had been an Anti-ESP device activated very recently, and - worse - the water hadn't stopped the vibrations very well. The ringing was still there, barely on the edge of the threshold of being able to hear it. A normal human couldn't. But an ESPer could just BARELY listen to that shrill noise, and it was as irritating as a dog whistle to an angry canine.

But he wasn't too worried about it. He didn't need much of his power, and thankfully the car was preventing the majority of the signal. He allowed his tendrils to flow from his backside - four of them, invisible to the human eye. They sparked and shocked weakly, Arc trying his best to subdue his natural current. Years ago he had learned how to mix telekinesis with his body's own energy to produce these things but now it was hard to restrain the power, like trying to put a cap back on a bubbling pot.

But he just needed to focus. The tendrils pressed themselves against the front of the car, on sturdy points. Slowly they began to fight against gravity, lifting the car - and consequently, the passengers - from the murky depths.

He crossed his legs in the car seat with anxiety as the cracks continued to build. Even as the pressure lessened and the weight subsided, the car had already been weakened. If water was allowed to enter, he would no longer be able to use these without risk of electric shock. He had to act quickly but carefully.

Slowly, but surely, the front of the car emerged from the surface, followed by the body. Arc's body began to fight against him with the exhaustion of such a battle but he had to continue. If he stopped now they would just sink again.

The cave. He had to reach the cave.

Melody's eyes began to flutter open as the car floated gently atop the surface of the water, Arc leading it towards the mouth of the cavern. His face was red now, all of his energy necessary for this sort of physics-defying situation. The weight of an entire car was upon him with every second, as well as himself and Mel. Trying to lift oneself would be impossible otherwise.

Finally, the lip of the car touched the cave mouth. Arc shouted loudly, kicking the windshield hard.

"GET OUT! I CAN'T PUSH IT ANY FURTHER!" he roared to Mel, grabbing her arm. "JUMP! JUMP FOR IT NOW!"

She pushed her own foot against the window and it collapsed, the cracks giving away. The entire back of the car shuddered as it fell back into the waves, just as Mel and Arc pulled themselves from it and landed inside of the cavern, frightened but alive.

Mel grabbed his shoulders, looking him over.

"I... I promised you, didn't I?" Arc said, smirking weakly. "This... this should do for now. We'll find-"

He found that his lips could no longer move for they were connected to hers.




"This is what you dreamed about, right?"

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I can’t say I am pleased with these results. We’re behind, Arc. We can’t afford to be behind. They’ve installed these devices in airports now and government buildings. It won’t be long until they’re everywhere. We’re riding on the greed of rats wanting to hoard their money as long as they can.

We can’t do that. Do you know what happens if they install them everywhere?

We need to counteract these devices. Blocking out the sound worked at first but they realized this and changed the approach. They’re faster than us. We’ve been left in the dust again.

If we can’t match arms with them, at the very least try to counteract them. Even if the design is different, it still operates on some kind of frequency. They’re designed to target out brains and stop the ESP functions before they can even start. It’s much better than the original model, and much more effective. Even if they can’t operate on a larger scale, we need something to scatter that frequency. Keep us safe so we can still use our abilities instead of being left powerless while they strike us down.



Lars eyed the machine carefully, looking it over from a distance before straightening his back. Turning his focus to Mina as she slinked closer to him, he clicked his tongue softly in his mouth but didn’t move as she closed the gap between them and leaned in close. A faint…something flickered across his face. Some kind of emotion that was quickly suppressed as he looked up at the tall woman. He wasn’t exactly the tallest man around and that worked to his advantage at times, but his charming good looks and sweet personality only got him so far. When it came to Mina, that distance was nonexistent. He had been dealing with her long enough to know these kind of taunts and she had been working with him long enough to know he wasn’t exactly the biggest or best flirt on the block. If anything, he absolutely hated it.


“Mina,” He replied, leaning backwards, away from her. Not moving his feet at all, he raised a hand between them and gently pressed it against her chest. The warning was present, but really, it was unnecessary. Both of them knew he’d never resort to that. He always had been a more defensive fighter. And by that, he usually dodged more than throwing his own punches. “Please, don’t push me. I’m not in the mood for it today.” He tipped his head slightly to the side as he regarded her, waiting for her to take a step back. Or literally push him since Mina never liked people telling her what to do. He supposed that came with being a thief but he wasn’t in any place to judge. “Take the deal or don’t. It’s entirely up to you and it’s fair. But don’t waste my time."

Edited by pudding

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Dammit. DAMMIT.

Lars, why didn't you contact me sooner with the new schematics? The design you gave me was months old! That was merely a prototype compared to what the boys just brought in from downstairs!

This device... how did they make it? The Weakminds! It has to be their work, of course, but they couldn't have made this without MY WORK! No one else has the notes I have! I keep them on paper, IN MY STUDY! And I'm the only one with access, unless you or one of your subordinates leaked the key - and I KNOW you hate traitors!

You have to believe me - the ONLY way they could have developed this sort of technology is with my information, the code I found! That's the only way they could have known to target it, and avoid the sonic wave altogether! Damn. DAMN! DAMN!

If you really want my help you need to stop keeping so many secrets! I have no reason to turn upon you! You KNEW they had my papers, so you thought I leaked them!? Dammit, Lars, why would I want someone else to take credit for my work!

Look, I'll create SOMETHING for the time being but it won't be a permanent fix. We need to find out who the mole is and quickly!

It's not going to be a mountain but just multiple molehills that ruin us!




Mel was covered in a blanket salvaged from their belongings, whatever they had managed to pull with them from the car. She had it pulled tightly around her shoulders, shaking nervously.

Arc was silent, standing at the mouth of the cave for a long time, his hands behind his back, his entire front half invisible to Mel from her position.

The only sound for a long while was the water hitting the rocks below the cave mouth, the sound of sirens far in the distance reacting to the use of an Anti-ESP weapon, and the wind which blew into the cave and seemed to tear at one's very core - yet Arc seemed unaffected.

"You betrayed me, Mel."

She looked up, depressed, as he continued to stare out at the seawater without any movement other than his mouth. She looked back down at the ground, biting her bottom lip.

"I have told you many times about controlling your fear - about making sure you put your faith in me. Just now, your little detour almost cost us both our lives, and we'd have been at the bottom of the ocean with that car."

She couldn't speak. Truthfully, she almost never did, unless she was in a dream. The years of captivity had made her afraid to voice her words or make a sound. Yet, in a dream, the world was hers. She could talk freely.

But here... this was almost a nightmare.

"But we aren't."

Mel looked up for a moment to see Arc half turning to her. His face was pleased, forgiving. His hair was blowing in the sea's winds and his coat was billowing, but his face was utterly serene.

"We didn't die, Mel, because you trusted me." Arc said, turning back out to the water. "And you should continue to do that. I'm not going to let us die or betray you. That's for fools. Fools are weak. They must lie. They must cheat. They must use others to feel powerful. Lars is a fool. The government is full of bureaucratic fools. But I'm not a fool. I'm simply a hypocrite who wishes to make up for what he did."

He sighed, breathing out into the wind with a sound that seemed filled with all of the anxiety and worry he had felt, now gone with the rest of his emotions. It was now time for him to clear his mind. Otherwise, he couldn't operate successfully.

"You are my charge, and my salvation. I am a selfish man with a vendetta, and I have no plans to lose that which keeps me sane so I may operate. You can think of yourself as a tool or as my most precious other half - whatever makes you comfortable." he said, turning fully around. "Because like you, my true self is only visible in my dreams, and for now, that's where it should stay."

A single tear was now visible on his face, but he ignored it, walking towards her and taking a seat across from her with a silent movement. She sat for a long moment, then took a stick from nearby, tracing symbols on the ground with it for a long time.

Arc waited patiently, knowing that right now she was too shaken to speak. Truthfully, he didn't know how he was able to blow it off so easily. He supposed it was because he'd almost died numerous times working for EDEN.

Back then...

She made a small noise, a whisper that he couldn't understand, before she moved backward slightly, pointing at the drawing.

"...Hmmm?..." Arc said, sliding over to look at it.

A large oval shape, decorated with boxes and stick figures drawn elegantly with clothing and other designs, some even realistically, stood within what Arc could only understand to be water. On the other side, she had drawn caricatures of several known politicians all looking very undignified and idiotic.

"EDEN. And.... the government." she whispered. "I... saw them... in my dreams."

"Yes. I knew of this. What do you want?"

"No. What do you ... want...?" Mel replied, tapping him with the stick. ".....I trust.. your.. choices. I don't .. know... what to do. So... ..I just don't want to.. kill anyone... but they keep... bothering us... and I'm afraid... we may get hurt..."

"I... see." Arc said, "Well you're right. Lars wants me back because of the research I did for EDEN, and the government wants me for the same. Unfortunately, Mel, you chose to partner with one of the most wanted men... and because you know all of my secrets and notes, you're also a liability to them as well."

"...I... don't mind..." Mel pulled her legs tighter to herself, smiling. "You had... good ideas... and some.. funny ones... And... you seemed... really happy... when you made things... when you built things... except when you yelled at Lars..."

"Well, yes." Arc scratched the back of his head. "Lars... admittedly isn't a bad man. He just needs to see what he's really accomplishing. He's trying to lead a group of criminals as though they can be saints and saviors, and he's keeping them leashed and chained. But if he's not careful, those chains will snap, and those wild dogs..."

He trailed off, Mel looking at him knowingly.

"...They'll... bite... back.." she finished, drawing a picture of a dog in the dust.

"You draw very well, Mel." Arc complimented.

She paused a moment, slightly surprised at the compliment and a bit embarrassed.

"I... like to sketch the worlds.. I see.. in my dreams.. a lot." she said, looking at the wall. "Because they.. don't have walls... like these... No barriers... I'm free... And I see so much.."

Arc watched her for a bit before standing back to his feet.

"I'm going to go keep an eye out for search parties. They're going to be looking for bodies and wreckage. Once the coast is cleared, we'll start moving again, ok?" Arc assured, turning back to her. "You can sleep if you want to. I won't bother you."

"I'll.. .go looking around us.. then!" Mel said, hopeful. "I'll try to see.. if there's anything around.. that looks important..."

"And I'll do what I can to make sure you sleep well, Mel." Arc promised, heading to the cave door as Mel lay her head upon the stone floor, her eyes closing comfortably.




Another dead end.

The young girl punched the wall in irritation, sending papers flying everywhere as she sighed, displeased. Although she didn't look very muscular, a large crater appeared in the wall where her fist had been, sending vibrations through the building.

Two people near her were currently very concerned for their well-being, shaking heavily, mouths agape. But all she could do was stare forward, searching the room for clues.

"Um.. umm.. ma'am... are you.. looking for something?"

The girl looked down at the man behind her, face irritated.

"Oh.. right... the ESPer I was supposed to enlist." her face relaxed slightly. She reached down to the radio on her side, clicking the button.

"I've got the runner. Send in the team if you want. He doesn't look worth it though." she said quietly, releasing the button.

A quick message back, and then the doors burst open. Five men and a woman came charging through, taking strategic positions. One of them helped the man to his feet, smiling.

"Today, you have been liberated, brother. Your power of metal control can be learned better with us and we can guarantee safety from the government. We apologize for the actions of Lesley here, if you thought she would cause you any harm."

Lesley raised an eyebrow but said nothing.

"....You can... teach me?" the man asked, allowing her to assist. "....Yes. Please. I've been running for far too long."

"Take him to the vehicle, Ruth." the woman said, handing him to a nearby soldier. "And call it in to Lars. He'll want to know we recruited someone so talented."

"Roger." Ruth said, reaching for his phone.

"I'll do it." Lesley stated, grimacing.

"Uh.. o..k?" Ruth replied, putting his hand back down and moving with the man toward the door. The woman and another man stayed behind as the rest of the group left, leaving only them and Lesley.

"He was here? Really?" the woman - Barbara - asked. "In a warehouse?"

"The trail leads here, before he went off the radar again. A man and a woman rented this place under the guise of storage for roughly two months. Cash payment. No IDs. For all the owner cared, they could have been building nuclear devices and have destroyed half of the city and two surrounding it. Figures. Damn Whelps."

"So what now?"

"I call Lars and tell him we need another lead. I want him back as badly as Lars does. He should start helping me more." Lesley sneered, grabbing her phone.


Target moved again. However, captured Me Ma Target. No current trail. Need new information. Be quick about it for our sakes.

- L.


With that, she put her phone back in her pocket and stepped forward frowning.

"Two years you've made me follow you like a wolf to a rabbit... But sooner or later, your luck will run dry... and you'll have to return to the burrow." Lesley grimaced.

Edited by Thaelasan

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Mina visibly stiffened upon being touched. She didn't like being threatened. Lars was fun to mess with but damn, he could ruin a joke fast. For a moment, a hand hovered above the one placed on her chest, as if she was pondering what to do. Violence, she decided, wouldn't help this situation. Bouncing away like she hadn't a care in the world, she returned to her cache of valuables and began to shuffle through them.

"Take a joke, you tightass." she huffed, sticking her bottom lip out to pout. "You're not gonna make some 'new nation' in a day. You have the rights to chill out." Namina rifled through her bag once again, this time pulling out a smaller, sleeker device. Although it looked similar to the prototype, it was most certainly a newer model.

"Besides, I was just pulling your leg about that dinosaur. This is the one I'm offering. That nasty thing? Can be used as a doorstop, I guess." Hefting both machines with surprising ease, she extended the armful towards Lars. "I was gonna show it sooner but...you decided to get a little mean."

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Do you know how many ESPers there are in the world? The numbers are only approximate but the estimates have come in.

In this world, less than .0005% of the entire population are ESPers. That's only thirty five thousand people. That's smaller than the entire population of the Faroe Islands.

But it's enough.

They number over seven billion and yet, they fear us. They create technology designed to clip our wings and stop us from rising to our full potential. Have you ever seen an ESPer older than fifty?


Neither have I.

They fear us, Arc.

And they should.




A small, barely noticeable breath slipped past Lars's lips as Mina bounced away, retreating to her bag. His muscles relaxed slightly and his shoulders dropped down as he let the briefcase float back down into his hands. What a frustrating person Mina could be. He needed her to supply him with these sorts of things since not many people were cocky enough to steal from the Government and sell to them, especially so often. The idea of the Government's ESPers finding out was enough to scare off most criminals. His own organization stole often enough but they could afford to leave behind enough leads to steal directly from the Government.

He always could if he wanted to. Their security was surprisingly lax in several areas and there was enough wiggle room for a powerful ESPer to sneak in. But there were too many risks and the possibility each of these was a trap to lure him in. The Government certainly could be sneaky. He wouldn't put it past them to lay a trap just for him.

"Now where did you get your hands on that?" Lars asked aloud, looking much more interested as he set a hand on his hip, looking at the sleek device Mina was holding. Was it actually functional? He'd never seen that model in use before but it was clear it was one of the newer ones. Probably didn't rely on sound anymore unlike the first fossil she had pulled out. "Can you turn it on? I want to see if it still works." Even if it was broken it would still provide a great deal of help to him. His researchers could look at it and try to get it functional again, and then finally have one of the newer models and attempt to make an anti-ESP negating device to depower it.

Or would that be anti-anti-ESP? He wasn't the most original when it came to naming but that could be worked out later. Leave it to the press or something of that nature. Shrugging slightly, he plucked his phone out his pocket and eyed the text message on the screen. Turning his gaze away from Mina completely, he unlocked his phone quickly and typed out a response.

[unknown number]Already talking with M. Will attempt to find more leads. Will poke the Government to see if they know anything.

-L <3

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You're right. We can't afford any more mistakes. Not now. Not ever. I will not allow there to be further delay in our advancement.

Rest assured, Lars, that fear they hold for us is a valuable weapon. You and I both know the government wouldn't dare to approach us, and we still have a few ESPers with abilities bordering on godly, such as the one who can resurrect the dead, and the one who can turn any part of her body into a weapon.

We're not defenseless, it's just a matter of making everything work.

But Lars, tell me - if we DO manage to defeat the bureaucrats and finally bring justice for ESPers over the Weakminds, what are you actually trying to accomplish? Who will take control? You?




The rain water was spilling into the mouth of the cave slightly as the tide rose. The calm sounds of water sliding against stone only served to make Mel fall deeper into slumber. But she was no longer within that sleeping form which lay upon the stones of the cave floor. She was now far away, walking along the road above her, looking upon the wreckage caused by their car's crash.

Sure enough, a group of officials had already tied off this section of road, setting up pylons and a car blockade. Reporters were being shooed away by officers who really had no time for this sort of business. It was the natural sort of event that happened when something of this scale occurred. Mel put both hands over her lap as she stood, watching, invisible to them. Only ESPers could even see a hint of her in this form, and - even then - it was as if she was barely on the edge of vision.

She sighed. It was only in this spectral form she felt truly human. She could observe the actions of the world without being fettered by mortal bonds. It was almost as if she had really died. She remembered having done this back when she worked for Strife. But the farther she went from her body, the longer it took her to wake up, and eventually she would awaken with a headache that pressed her skull against her brain and caused her to scream.

She couldn't do that here. These officials would certainly catch the noise, and that would put her and Arc in danger. Frowning, she stepped away from the crowd and leaned against the broken railing, looking down at the water.

Somewhere, below the surface, far down in the depths, their car and some of their supplies were lost forever - as though it had never existed at all. It would take them hours to get a crane out to hitch it and pull it from the sea.

Then, the Government would subtly take over the investigation, since it involved ESPers, and send out their own Anti-ESPer team to check over the evidence and try to locate the ones responsible. By that time, Mel and Arc would be long gone - again.

He always came through, somehow. His funds from his years of working with EDEN had not gone unused. Millions in leaked funds were in his hands, sealed off from anyone who would try to touch them without his fingerprint, retinal scan, and vocal password. Using a proxy, he was able to quietly leak them monthly to himself on a foreign account, then back to his own wallet, under an assumed name. Only $4,000 a month, but it was enough to keep them afloat and then some. It was enough to put a cash down payment on shelters they could live in for a short time.


She was suddenly drawn back to her body, her spirit flying beyond her control back into the mountain where the cave sat. Arc was kneeling by her, shaking her lightly. She knew what he'd done.

"Found... shelter?" Mel mumbled, rubbing her eyes. She noticed Arc had created a contained fire, barely creating any smoke. They couldn't risk leaving a signal, but he had caught a few fish using his power or some other means and was roasting them over the flames.

"Yes. An abandoned storehouse near here." Arc said, returning to poking the fire. "It's not that spacious but it has suitable living conditions."

"As long as... .we can both... live there.." Mel replied, pulling herself to a sitting position. "Right?"

"Right." Arc responded, grabbing one of the fish and handing it to her. "Careful of the bones, ok?"

"I know." She began to eat the fish quietly. Arc had noticed she didn't eat much, and he worried for her health. When she had been kidnapped, they had barely fed her at all, only giving her milk and bits of food, enough to keep her alive. Apparently they had "rewarded" her with actual food if she had complied with their orders, but those times were few and far between.

She looked healthier under Arc's care, now, but she still had a very fragile look, almost like she could snap at a sudden movement. He didn't enjoy this appearance, which was in sharp contrast to her dream appearance, which Arc realized had to be what she WOULD have looked like. Or perhaps simply it was how he WANTED her to look. The very thought frightened him.

Arc knew he had to get her some real food, some real nutrition. He patted her shoulder and then finished eating his own fish, offering the rest to her. She looked as though she was about to turn him down.

"No. I'm fine, Mel." Arc assured, putting the rest of them in her hands. "You need to eat."

"...Thank.. you." Mel said gratefully, beginning to nibble on the rest of them. Arc nodded and headed back to the cave mouth, looking out.

"Did you see anything suspicious?" Arc asked.

"No... They haven't... even called in.. the Anti-ESPers yet... They're still arguing.. over jurisdiction... One of them was really mad..." she giggled, her voice changing to a weak, male impersonation. "'Someone's used the Anti- ESPer systems without my consent!' Hehhehe...."

She continued chuckling for a short time before trailing off, continuing to eat. Arc placed his hand on the cave wall, uncomfortable.

"Mel, the problem is how we're going to GET there." Arc said, pondering. "I suppose I'll have to use my telekinesis...."

Mel shuddered slightly.

"What's wrong?"

"Bathroom. I'll be back.. shortly..." Mel said, walking off. Arc frowned, rubbing his chin, but said nothing. He looked out to the water, hands in his pockets.

"This doesn't feel right at all..... Who activated the device then?" he asked no one in particular.




Lesley grunted as she read the message, then closed her phone and locked it. She was currently riding in the backseat of the transport vehicle, a very inconspicuous van which had tags that would lead people to a car that looked VERY similar, owned by no one at all. It was another method by which EDEN had managed to stay under the radar.

"You're really determined about this." Barbara said, turning the wheel slightly. "It's been two years. I'm surprised you haven't handed the case off to someone else."

"He's MY brother." Lesley replied, arms crossed. "I'm not letting someone else have the pleasure of bringing him back."

"Still, you need to worry about your own health too. You haven't slept, have you?" Barbara said, her face visible in the rear view mirror.

"Just worry about the road, Barb." Lesley snapped quietly, turning to look away from her.

"Sheesh." Barbara frowned, looking at Ruth. "Well, I suppose-"

"Wait, what the hell happened here?"

The van shuddered to a stop in front of a large amount of wreckage. The railing had been broken in a section of mountain from what Barbara could see. Police officers were diverting traffic.

An officer approached the window of the van, flashlight out at this time of day.

"Good evening, ma'am. Sorry about this." the man said, trying to be chipper. "Just a small accident. Nothing to worry about. You'll need to take the fork to the left back there. If you're heading to the-"

"What happened?" Barbara asked, looking back at the railing.

"Oh, just a couple driving off the mountain. We're sure it's just drunk driving. A terrible accident for the two of them. Thankfully, no one else was hurt."

Barbara knew the man was only telling half the truth. After all, her personal ESPer power was Interrogation. She frowned, blinking once.

"Er, ma'am..." the man began, his eyes wide, her power taking hold of him. "An Anti-ESPer device was used and I have no idea why. The pair drove off the cliff. We have not recovered the car yet or the bodies. Wow this woman is very pretty. Maybe I can get her number."

"Maybe someday, if you keep talking so kindly to me." Barbara cooed, releasing her grip on him. The man shook his head, confused, as if nothing had happened. He then adjusted his hat and waved at her to reverse the car, frowning.

"That power of yours is horrifying." Ruth said, leaning over to whisper. "You never did that to me, did you?"

"Once, actually, when you first joined the force and tried to tell me that you had no prior experience."

"You didn't tell anyone right?"

"Of course not, hon."

She smiled at him disarmingly and then turned the wheel, the van beginning to move backward. Lesley, however, was staring out the window.

"....How long ago did they say this happened?"

"Oh. I didn't ask." Barbara slapped her forehead, grinning. "My mistake."

"...It was them."

"It was who?"

"Them. My brother. It's him."

Barbara turned back to look at her for a long while, concerned.

"Are you certain?"

"...Absolutely. I can feel it. He used his power near here. We can feel each other, just like when we were kids." Lesley said, opening the door. "I'll catch up at the meeting point. Go on without me."

"Hey! Get back in the car!" Barbara commanded, frowning. "The police aren't going to like it if you try to snoop around."

"Then they won't know I'm doing it. Relax." Lesley assured, leaping out of the car to land on the pavement. "I'll only be a few minutes."

"Dammit..." Barbara sighed, driving off. Lesley looked after her as the van went into the distance, then turned a curve.

Lesley then turned to the accident site with a frown.

"....Where are you?.."

Edited by Thaelasan

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"Oh? This little thing?" Mina smiled innocently at Lars, giving the device a shake. She narrowed her eyes to gaze up through her eyelashes. "Why, someone owed me a favor. You can get your hands on quite a lot of you pull the right strings." Upon the request, she set the two rectangles down on a larger crate. "No problem, Mister Revolutionary." Upon locating a small-albeit plain to see-switch, she flipped it on. An unpleasant buzz filled her thoughts as soon as the signal began. Being a pure shape-shifter however, her composure remained. The sweat that beaded her forehead was thankfully hidden by her bangs. "Does it work?" She asked, tilting her head to feign interest. She already knew the answer to that question. But he didn't know she knew. It wasn't a lie, just...a lack of truth.




The Philadelphia branch of the Department of Defense was a pretty small one, compared to many of the others. Mainly, it was used for storage. Local ESPers congregated there for meetings with officials, simply because it was safer there as opposed to other places. But man, was it dusty. There was so much junk there, it was hard to believe it was a top-secret area. It looked more like Uncle Sam had a hoarding problem.


But what was the most haunting, was the...thing that stood a little past the makeshift meeting table. It looked hauntingly human, but was covered in a mixture of dust and oxidation. One of its arms hung on by little more than a few wires. Rust laced its limbs and traced up its neck. If it wasn't for these obvious rundowns, it was just...creepy.

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Of course not. I have no desire to rule, you should know this.

My only desire is freedom. Freedom for this generation of ESPers and those to come. I never want to see another child that had to suffer like I did. As soon as the world is in their hands, ESPers can choose their own path. If they decide they need a ruler, they can choose someone other than me.

Assuming that I even make it to that point. ESPers aren’t invincible, we can be killed all too easily. You, me, everyone else on this ship. There’s a clock ticking over each of our heads and not even these powers can stop that.


Haha, sorry. I got really morbid there for a second. These conversations give me a headache, though. Why don’t we both just get back to work? I have a meeting I need to get to.


— — —


Lars watched as the machine buzzed to life, the small contraption quickly emitting several powerful waves. It didn’t even take a full second for the anti-ESP device to hit Lars and take hold. The briefcase, which had been flying casually in the air a few moments previously, faltered and fell to the ground. Before it struck, however, Lars extended one hand. The briefcase screeched to a halt in it’s descent, shaking slightly before flying back up, though not nearly to the same height it had been at before and obviously with some difficulty on Lars’s end. He could feel a strong weight both on his back and inside his mind. It was a crushing force trying to drive him to his knees.


Man, anti-ESP really gave him a headache. Lifting a hand up, he grunted slightly as an invisible force hit the small button on the side of the machine, quickly powering it off again. The relief was hardly immediate as his skull still felt like it was being crushed, but at least the pressure was starting to go away. Moving his free hand to his head, he rubbed the side of his head with one hand, trying to work out the headache that he was feeling. How frustrating. Trying to work through a headache was the worst, especially when he was dealing with someone like Mina. “It works,” He replied with a small nod. “Well enough to stop most ESP in it’s tracks.” He grunted slightly then waved the briefcase over to Mina. “Now that we’ve sorted that out, I have a question. Have you heard any information about an ESPer that goes by Arc? He ran off from E.D.E.N. a while ago and we need to track him down.”


— — —


It was later on when Nano strolled back into the Department of Defense. Holding her toolbox in her hand, she paused briefly to set a few things down on the table before setting moving around the table to look at all of the junk. For one of the official government areas, this area sure was filled with junk. This was probably why everyone choose to meet in the other building instead of this one. Well, she found useful things amongst the junk, at least. All sorts of illegal things that she could use to improve the things she’d been working on.

Moving away from the table, she rummaged through the junk for a while, tossing various items away and setting others down on the table. She worked her way around the room, sorting through everything. Arms full of scrap metal, she walked past the robot leaning against one of the walls before pausing and looking back at it. The thing had been there longer than anyone could remember at this point. If no one was going to use it, maybe she could salvage it for scrap metal. Or at least try to fix it and see what it was supposed to do.

“Huh,” She muttered, shifting the metal to one hand as she ran a finger over the metal, eyeing the dust that had gathered on it. Well, if it didn’t work out, she could always keep dressing it up for the holidays. Well, that was decided, then. She was going to try to fix the old thing.

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Oh. Right. The meeting determining our next move, right? Go ahead. I didn't mean to keep you. But take this with you - it's a report of our current numbers and progress. I'm not going to send information up to you anymore, even as a privately locked email. I'll deliver it in person. It's the only way I'll be sure you get it.

And I won't make spare copies, besides mine and yours, so that and the one in my hand - those are the only two that exist. So don't lose it.

If something happens to me, I just hope someone else can pick up where I left off.




Arc was sitting down as Mel returned. She stood in front of him, frowning.

"Did... you... bring any... water?" she asked, kneeling back down.

"I thought you grabbed the bottles from the car." Arc stated, searching his own bags. "Weren't they-"

"They were... in the.. black case..."

"Oh." Arc said sullenly, dropping his bag back down. He leaned against the cave wall, sighing, a hand over his chest.

She sat silently for a long time before slowly sliding towards him, trying to do it without him noticing - as his head was turned towards the water. But right as she leaned next to him, he coughed.

"I was serious." he muttered, forlorn. "I want you to be certain. And besides, this sort of petty romantic affiliation would cloud my judgment."

"....Oh...." Mel said, looking down at the floor. "Not even a hug...?"

"Why?" Arc said, turning to look at her for a moment. "What purpose will it serve?"

"It will make me feel safer!" Mel said with certainty, nodding furiously.

"...Something like that? A simple embrace? How could it-"

She was already hugging him, pleased. Now he realized how cold she was. She really WAS afraid. And she could feel that he was too.

"Someone knew which way we were going..." she whispered, a bit louder and more sure than usual.

"That's the only explanation, yes." Archer replied.

"And... they had access to... the weird machines.. the ones that cause so much pain..."

"They did."

"I don't like that... feeling. Those machines are just harmful..."

"They are." Arc said, remembering how his research had been at fault for their prototypes in the first place.

"Why are they so afraid of us?" Mel asked, releasing him and moving back a bit.

"Simply put, you're talking about people who could kill a man just by looking at him, read every thought he possesses, make him rethink his life choices - basically, shake up that perfect, little world every mortal man on this earth has forged from the moment he's born." Arc said, closing his eyes slightly. "Every single person is raised and creates this beautiful vision of the world as they see it. Some are dark. Some are hopeful. But anything that alters that view in a large way causes panic, causes terror. And we alter it on a very large scale. A lot of people wish we didn't exist at all, so they could go back to living in their facades of normalcy."

Mel paused for a while, considering this new information.

"....Oh...." she said quietly.

"Pack up your blanket, Mel, or something. I feel we should go now. The sirens have gone quiet. We need to hurry."

"Right.." she said sullenly, removing the blanket from her shoulders and beginning to fold it up. That's when Arc noticed the blood pouring from a gash on her left side.

"WHAT the hell!?" Arc exclaimed, moving forward quickly. "What were you thinking? You wanted SEPSIS? Why didn't you tell me you'd gotten hurt?!"

"Because... I didn't want.. to worry you.. you were already... really mad... And ... really scared." Mel said, poking it slightly. "It's ok.. it doesn't hurt.. that much."

"The hell it is." Arc stated, reaching into his bag. "You must have sliced yourself on some metal when we crashed, or one of the glass fragments. Either one of those would have cut very deeply. If you get an infection, we can't treat it easily. Hospitals are out of the question and you know it."

"I'm sorry..." she said, pulling up her shirt slightly so he could get to the wound.

"My god, how were you able to stand this much pain, Mel?! I can see bone!" Arc sighed, rubbing his face. "Look, this is going to hurt terribly but it has to be done."

"I know..." Mel prepared herself, Arc handing her a stick to bite down on.

"....If you scream, we're both done for." Arc instructed. "....I'm sorry."

He applied the sanitizing fluid to the wound.

Her face was in agony. The stick almost broke from the force she applied to it. She fell to the ground, sweating.

"Alright. We're almost finished. I need to stitch it up. It won't hurt as badly." Arc promised, frowning. He really wasn't enjoying this.

"Just hurry." Mel gasped, removing the stick from between her teeth.

Arc did as he was told, quickly moving the metal and thread through her skin to seal the wound as best he could. Finally, he placed a large, medical bandage upon it, taping it down with gauze.

"We'll have to resupply medically soon. And I need to keep an eye on that, so don't touch it." Arc placed a hand on her shoulder and helped her back to her feet. "But we don't have time for you to recuperate. Just get on my back and let's be off."

Mel slowly placed her hands on his shoulders. One of his tendrils wrapped around her to prevent her from falling off. The other three were unnecessary.

He stood at the cave mouth, breathing in deeply. He was a pure telekinesis user, but he had converted much of his ability to specific functions. He hadn't flown much in recent years, and the strain was intense.

He should have learned from Lars, he said to himself, swearing lightly. But he'd been too involved in his studies.

His feet began to leave the ground, his tendrils now moving to grab their luggage and supplies. Soon, he was in the air, experiencing that sense of weightlessness yet with weight.

Humans had always dreamed of flying. And Arc could do it without any machines. It had always fascinated him, his own abilities. But he couldn't keep them up for long, especially not after how much he had used them in the car. He just needed to get back on the road, and they could walk from there.

He floated along the mountain side, Mel humming behind him as they slowly and quietly escalated through the air itself.

"Mel, I need you to keep an eye out." Arc instructed. "Can you sleep?"

"....Of course..." Mel said, closing her eyes.

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Although she tried not to show it, relief washed over the thief once the device was turned off. Ugh, she hated those things. They made her head feel as if she were made of mush. Had she not been a "pure" ESPer she, would have looked much worse. But she was rather resolute in both mind and body. The nausea that lingered would go away eventually. The headache well...she could pop a few pain pills.

"Arc?" They hadn't spoken in quite some time. That guy was a serious recluse. Sometimes, he would pop out of nowhere, asking to barter for machinery and such. And then, he'd be gone for another five months. "Well...he and I have an agreement." Gingerly did she take the briefcase into her hands and slide it into her massive backpack. It was really a wonder how she carried it at all. "He says he can't work well with you riding his ass. Or something like that. So I agreed to zip it about any time we happen to meet." Mina zipped up the bag, and slung it over both her shoulders. The ASP was taken into her hands and extended to the man. "Besides, I have a bit of a kindred spirit with him. Another runner. And he's almost harder to track down than I am."

Absentmindedly did she flip her phone open, scrolling to a number named simply with the letter A. Did he ditch his phone? Would he even reply. It was still safe to warn him.

[unknown number]Seems like you're getting heat from both parties. If you need a temporary face to hide behind...find me.





Dust fell in sheets as the long-cold machine was touched, revealing several things. The first, was a name. Painted on the left side of its chest was the word JET, its letter chipped and faded. The second was a set of solar panels, set where collarbones would exist on an actual human. Having been cleared from dust...


A horrible grinding sounded within the machine as freshly-powered machinery began to act. The robot jerked to life in a matter of seconds, its previously dead eyes lighting up a soft blue. The expressions it made were...surprisingly human. Confusion, then fear, then sheer terror flickered across the synthetic skin on its face, and it made a small noise. A squeal, perhaps? As soon as it tried to move away, however, it fell like a rock. A solid clang of metal resounded as it fell. Smaller devices within its body could be heard falling into places they didn't belong. Sparking violently, the android seemed to panic.

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(( This robot interests me very much. No doubt Arc would want to study it extensively. ))


A soft vibration from behind Arc stirred Mel slightly. She blinked, confused, as she looked down at her pocket.

"Oh... the.. phone you.. gave me...." she whispered, perplexed. "I thought.. you said.. we had... another month..."

"That's what I assumed." Arc frowned, concerned. "If she's calling us now..."

"Is that... bad...?" Mel whispered, utterly nervous.

"Is it a call or a text?"

"....A text." Mel said, sliding it to unlock it. "Oh... apparently she's... aware.."

"Of course she is. She taught me half of what I know about hiding under the radar." Arc grinned, landing on the cliff edge silently. In the distance, he could still see the lights of the police cars as they patrolled the perimeter, dogs barking as they sniffed for survivors. Arc frowned, rubbing his chin.

"The water should have dulled our scent but there's no point in taking chances." Arc turned slightly to Mel, his eyes filled with concern. "Can you walk?"

"No..." she lied. "My wound hurts too much... You should... carry me..."

Arc sighed, smirking knowingly. But he wasn't going to say anything. Not here. Besides, it was nice to have her like that, the warmth pressing against his back, sure that she was safe and alive.

He began to walk forward, hands in his pockets, their supplies hovering in the air around him. To the naked eye, it would look as though Mel was floating on his back somehow, and the bags around him were possessed. Those tied to ESPers, however, would see the faint outlines of his tendrils, now calmed, so they did not hurt Mel and their belongings. He just needed to stay calm.

"So she knows we're being followed by someone outside of the sector?" Arc asked, striding down the street. It was fortunate that no one was driving down this stretch of road, due to the accident. But still, something was nagging at the back of his mind. It felt like they were being watched, and he didn't like it.

"Text her back this, exactly as I tell you it, Mel." Arc said quietly.


"'Picked up the number 15, using it as you asked. Dropped off the new package at 14 after leaving. Only moderate heat. Don't go for 2 h. Meet at number 16 in 1 d. Lars may know."

"Lars... knows what?"

"That the device she has has a tracker on it." Arc added, "You remember what we left at our last position? The key?"


"That activates it. We need Lars to take the device. Right now she's trying to sell it. If she succeeds, our plan can begin. But if she's texting us...."


"Then she might be seeing him getting suspicious and is worried we'll have to use our contingency."

"But why would you need to know where Lars is?" Mel asked, concerned. "Are you... gonna... kill him?"

"No. Not even if I had the opportunity right now." Arc sighed. "I can't do it. Even though I hate him for betraying me and how narrow-minded his views are, the man still actually wants the betterment of the world. We just need to find common ground."

"You still.. want to help him?"

"Even after all of what happened, yes. But the most important part of all of this is you, if you'll help me."

"....Always..." Mel promised, leaning further on him. "Always."

"Good. Just continue to trust me."

As the two of them continued along the path, in the distance, Lesley was searching the cave they had been in only hours before.

And cursing that yet again she was just barely there...




(( I'll be sending you a message with the translation, Shadow, if you need it. ))


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He couldn’t help but frown at that explanation. An agreement? He had never heard about that. But it certainly sounded like Mina was harboring him, now didn’t it. That wasn’t good. Not good at all. But it brought up an important question of how useful Mina was to him. Sure, he could probably work that information out of her. He was an ESPer after all, and even with that machine next to her, he had the upper hand. But as soon as he tried to attack, he cut off a very important part of his business. He wouldn’t be able to easily get access to other information and technology that otherwise would be a real pain to get.


So the question remained: Did he care more about all of that? Or getting ahold of Arc?


“Hmmm,” He said after a moment, the threatening look fading from his face as he scratched his blond hair. Relaxing back, he leaned against a nearby crate as he twirled one finger in lazy circles, causing the briefcase to spin in the air. “I was wondering how he always managed to slip away. Here you’ve been helping him the entire time.” He flashed a smile at her, leaning back and shrugging his shoulders. “Oh well,” He replied with a small smile, pushing the briefcase towards her. “Let’s focus on this deal first. If you want more, you’ll have to take a trip with me back to the Garden. But I think this is a fair amount considering I am overlooking the fact you’ve admitting to knowing something about a former researcher of mine.” He smiled brightly at her, waiting for her answer. If she wanted more, he could give it to her. But that depended if she wanted to go back to the Arc with him.



—— —

Nano jumped back in surprise. Literally. Her form blinked out of existence immediately and reformed on the other side of the table as she stared at the machine as it groaned loudly. Wait, did this relic actually work? She hadn’t even pressed a button and it certainly couldn’t be motion activated. What was it even meant to do? It looked so….so…



“Hey there,” She muttered, watching as the robot fell to the ground. Shifting around the side of the table to get closer to it, but still cautiously keeping her distance, she looked at the machine. How advanced was it? Was it just a fancy toaster? What was it supposed to do? “Can you speak?” She asked, unsure of what else to ask as she reproached the robot.


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It seems as if Lars had hit a nerve, bringing up Arc like that. Namina's expression soured as he pressed lightly against her claim. Inhaling forcefully, her face hardened into an impassive expression. "Why, I know about anyone who's important." She replied. Just like that, she shook of the implied threat. She wasn't afraid of Lars. She knew just how important she was to his cause. Killing her-or even implying the notion-would cause EDEN to lose out on one of their most important sources of both products and information.


"The price is fine. I already agreed to it." Although she acted just as casual as she usually was, there was a subtle edge to her voice. It was agreed upon early in their exchanges that Lars was not to ask about her other clients. And well...Arc wasn't really a client. More of a...friend? Something like that. As her phone buzzed once more, and only skimmed over the words before flipping her phone closed. "I have another customer wanting to rendezvous, I'm afraid the idle chatter will have to end. Can't make it to the Appalachian Trail while chatting."


It wasn't a lie. Safehouse 16 was a rental cabin, one she sometimes rented out to people. It was one of the coziest ones in the lineup. Working heating and cooling, several cases of bottled water, wireless, and a stash of canned food. For two ESPers on the run, it was a dream getaway.

Not that she'd ever tell Lars of all people where it was.




For a short while, there was silence. The machine struggled to sit up, and when it did, inched away from the stranger. Finally, however, it began to cycle through many known languages, settling upon English.

"Yes." It stated simply. It even had a jaw that moved, and the plastic that served for skin was seamless. This had been no hobby creation, for sure. Somebody poured their life and fortune into the machine's creation.

"But who are you? Where am I? Where is [REDACTED]" Surprise flickered on the android's face when it found that information had been erased. Something was missing. There was someone important and they weren't here. And he couldn't remember them. "I...Don't know what happened to me..."

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The fifteenth safehouse. They'd only be staying here a day, just to get things situated and to avoid the police searches. As Mina had promised, everything had been set up by some of her associates.

Their deal was simple - not money, but information. Namina wanted Arc to continue working on his research and information regarding EDEN, for whatever reason - Arc didn't really know, but he honestly believed Namina had nothing bad in mind - and as long as he did so, she provided him and Mel safety for short periods of time when things got too rough.

Mel was running for a different reason. The people at Strife didn't forget escapees easily. A group of renegades from EDEN and those running from the government, they served no side other than themselves, and they were still hunting her. Arc knew she'd had nightmares about them sometimes. God he wished he could kill them all, if just to rid her of the monsters in the closet. He hated watching her suffer.

Once, and only once, had Strife caught up to them, accidentally, one of them grabbing Mel's arm, the other preparing an Anti-ESP device with haste. They would have made it away.

And in that moment, Arc transformed into what he had once been, a madman hell bent upon the destruction of anything within a mile radius, even if it killed him. He admitted, he was a selfish man, and Mel belonged to him. Anyone who tried to take her from him would suffer, extensively.

And they had, writhing within his tendrils as he shocked the life from them, the lightning burning their flesh, his eyes alight with delight. It had taken another dream from Mel before he had been able to think clearly again.

But then, Mina had called. Somehow, she had slipped a phone into his pocket at some point that day, and her only message had directed them both to the first of the safehouses. Thus began the next year and a half of fleeing using Mina's directions in return for codes and keys which Arc was more than happy to give. But they both knew he wasn't giving all of his research, only enough. Mina was no fool but she was patient. Arc feared if she would take the trouble to keep them alive if he completely gave her everything. In this situation, it was better to always have at least ONE ace in the hole - and he had several.

He unlocked the door with the key provided under the mat. As soon as the door opened, he sighed. It had suitable accommodations for the day, with food already prepared by Mina's associates. He had no idea who she worked for or how many people worked for her but the woman had connections.

He sat down in a very comfortable chair, wiping his forehead to ease his anxiety. They were safe, for now. He leaned back in the seat.

Mel, however, was already at the counter, looking over the food with desire. She looked at Arc, hopeful.

"Well, it has been hours since we last ate. Go ahead and start. I'll join you in a moment.." Arc said, waving his hand.

"No. We eat... together.." Mel stated, grabbing a bowl. "Together.... like always..."

"....Right..." Arc said, sitting up slightly as she brought it over. She then stared at him.


She motioned for him to scoot over.

"This is a one person seat, Mel."

She emphasized the movement, face stern.


She put one hand on her hip.

He rolled his eyes as he slid over a bit, Mel immediately sitting next to him and starting to eat. Arc stared over the food with disinterest.

"Not hungry?" Mel asked, confused. "Even.. after that?"

"No. I am. I'm just..."

"You can eat. It's... safe. Look!" Mel said, taking a bite. "It's... delicious. Oh... do you want me to... fe-"

"No. We are not going that far." Arc immediately shot her down, face serious. "There is a LIMIT."

Mel stared at him.


Her eyes were hopeful.

"N. O."

It could have made the devil weep.


She put a hand on his shoulder.


Arc would never openly admit to the following events but it is most likely that yes, he did allow his 19 year old cohort to feed him some of her own food, even though his thoughts were far away.



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Lars casually levitated the briefcase closer to Mina, letting it come to rest on a crate next to her. As soon as it was near her and settled down, the anti-ESP device floated up and darted over to his hands. Despite the fact Mina seemed to carry it with both hands, he didn’t bother doing the same. Instead, he let it float a few inches above his shoulder, head tilted to the side as a wide smile formed on his face. “Oh, of course,” He replied with a nod. “Although, I’ll still be in town for a while. E.D.E.N has been lying low for some time now and I think it’s time I remind the public we still exist.” Smiling, he turned around, turning his back on Mina as he pulled out his phone. Unlocking it and quickly typing in a number, he waited for a few moments before the call connected.


“I need a door opened for me to get back to the Garden,” He said and then, too quick for whomever was on the other side to answer, ended the call. He waited a few moments before the a light suddenly gathered at the edges of the door before opening it, revealing the boat on the middle of the ocean. Smiling and waving to Mina, he quickly stepped through and pulled the door shut behind him, causing the light to fade away. All he had to do was deliver the device to the researchers and then make his way back to the city. This time, he might even take the scenic route and try flying back.




Okay so if it was a toaster, it was a very smart one. Kneeling down so she was more level with the robot’s current height, she slowly inched her way across the floor, making sure not to startle the thing. This robot looked like it had some very advanced AI, a point further proved when it attempted to speak and gain awareness. Weird, it acted just like a person. In fact, if she fixed it up, it could probably easily pass as one. She’d have to mend the arm for sure and fix whatever was rattling around inside of it’s body but what else was she going to do?


“Okay well my name in Nano,” She replied. “I’m an ESPer working for the Government. I was in here trying to find some scrap metal with all this junk and you just sort of woke up on me. You’ve been in here for ages though so it very well could have been years since you last powered on.” She frowned at this then suddenly moved away, standing up and going to the table instead where her toolbox was. “I can try to fix you up a bit better but I can’t promise much."

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Mina didn't do much more than wave before she was packing up her stuff. All of it was crammed into her bag, no matter what size. If not for the obvious strain in the massive sack, one could speculate it was endless. That was not the case. Tearing a sweatshirt from the same bag, the woman pulled it over her head. When her head re-emerged, it was entirely different. Male, with dark skin and close-cut hair. These changes spread to the rest of her body as well, leaving a black man instead of the tall woman that had met with Lars. This man then walked out of the warehouse, to a green SUV parked only a block away. Seemingly at ease, they slipped into the driver's seat, started the vehicle, and drove away. They had a bit of a drive ahead of them, one that wouldn't take a day, but they could arrive a little early.




The machine fell silent as it processed this information, confusion and surprise slowly melting into sadness. He couldn't remember. He had been tasked to do something very important and he couldn't remember what. "I..." He looked up at Nano, the blue light in his eyes dimming quite literally. "This is one of the time where I wish I had human functions." He admitted softly. "Humans that are comatose are cared for, and have loved ones waiting for when they awaken. I...I am sorry." The machine's voice softened and wavered, as if it were crying. But no tears fell from its glass orbs. "I am JET. My...name was an acronym, I believe. But I can't recall what it meant."


Slowly did he extend a metallic hand towards Nano. Its wrist swiveled perfectly, its fingers spreading in just the way a human might do it. "Thank you. For not letting me fall apart. I don't know the circumstances of how I have come to arrive here, but...your kindness is greatly appreciated."

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She finished, moving backward to put their bowls away.


"Thank you." Arc said, waving to her. "I needed a moment to think. I couldn't focus on eating."

"I... know..." Mel smiled, putting the utensils away.

"We'll be heading to sleep shortly. I need to wake you up at around 9 A.M., because we don't have a car."

"...But then what's... that in front of our house...?"

Mel was looking out the window, eyes wide. Her face was beaming. Arc moved to look out of the window, moving the curtains aside slightly.

A damn Mercedes. A top of the line, current model, white and red Mercedes with absolutely no damage. It's as if it had suddenly appeared in front of the house, gleaming in the moonlight and the streetlights.

"....This isn't.. a dream of yours, is it?" Arc asked, staring.

"No!" Mel quickly stated, shaking her head. "It isn't!"

"How did she know we had lost...." he began, but then gave up. Of course she would know. The car had probably had some form of tracker. Or maybe she had just guessed based on their current situation.

"Can we go sit in it!?" Mel asked, excited. Her normally hushed voice was completely forgotten in her joviality. She jumped up and down, then winced.

"Don't forget your wound." Arc said, holding her steady. "You can't shake around like that."

"I'm sorry..." Mel began, but Arc silenced her with a smile.

"Of course we can see it. Come on." Arc said, taking her hand. Her eyes widened as she accepted it, confused. Arc was not one for such acts.

But it was obvious he was just as happy as her.

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