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The Daily Bugle

Senator Hines has revealed how mutants will be handled: Sentinels.

A rumor traveled the circles of the supernatural. Mutants heard a safe, underground railroad was being started, inquire at the Summit. The beyond sought the strange power said to rest at the Summit of New York City. The gossip flitted amongst the rest: valuable information was to come to light when dawn broke over the Summit.
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 Prayer and Penance - (Training)

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Join date : 2012-12-24

PostSubject: Prayer and Penance - (Training)   Sun Dec 30, 2012 11:28 pm

“You haven’t done anything wrong, have you?”

The guy’s words were haunting him and so he walked. It was difficult to land on just any building when every other high rise was an embassy to some country. Thankfully that country’s flag was always plastered about like some gauche wanna-be’s attempt at art, but one could still manage. Still, Devon was finding it quaint and informative to walk.

He took his time down Mass Ave, finding the embassies of Papua New Guinea, Uzbekistan, Peru and the Philippines as well. Many small shops and numerous brownstones decorated the streets, mostly to the north like O and P. Clearly someone had gotten bored. How better to name your streets than by the country’s states and the English alphabet? At least it was laid out well enough…

Well here, where Massachusetts met Rhode Island you didn’t see Bristol, famous for the first 4th of July Parade or the woodlands traveled by Roger Williams, but the YMCA! It was a massive building and ducking behind and through a couple buildings’ alleyways, Devon rose suddenly up to the roof. He might have jumped over to the Beacon Hotel but there could be a lot of people in front there. It was best not to attract attention.

The sandwich and milk shake were long gone, the trash wisely discarded in one of the numerous waste bins lining the well maintained streets. The air was breezier up here but Devon was still comfortable. He was actually going to take that stranger’s advice, whatever his name was.

Taking a seat on the concrete, Devon inhaled deeply and looked up at the marred sky, its cerulean hues blurred with off-whites and subtle grays. There’d been a stray snowflake here and there, but nothing substantial. Devon wanted more. He was tired of waiting. He wanted… more.

Only in privacy did he turn to something more. Taking a hand inside his sweatshirt, Devon retrieved his cross and held it tightly. He didn’t pray aloud very often at all, even in church when he went. Hell, he didn’t even pray that much, but all the crossroads of Washington, D.C. seemed a huge coincidence to ignore.

~God,~ he prayed, ~You agree the jacket was a bit much right? Anyway, this is an update because while the world’s still turning, things sure seem tenser. Today, I…~

“This is stupid,” Devon sighed, hiding the cross behind layers of gray cloth again. He inhaled and nearly growled as he exhaled. Peeling off his backpack, he positioned it behind him and laid back so he could stare up at the partial cloud cover.

~God, you and I know I am not a church guy. We’re closer when I’m in the clouds than when I’m holding a cross, but I know the symbolism. I’m trying to be calm and serene here so I can try and focus on what I want, but I’m having trouble. You do have a plan right?~

Devon wasn’t always so sure that there was a plan to any of it, anything at all. Closing his eyes he thought back to a mere two weeks ago, when his peace had been disturbed by chaos. He didn’t know if it was guilt but he’d done it anyway, despite the risk.

Devon had left New York City a few weeks before that evening. He traveled light as usual but when he was en route he had his duffle bag to worry about, not just the backpack. He kept it close when in a city but out in the wooded areas of Pennsylvania, he only had to worry about backpackers and campers.

He was barefoot, having left his shoes with his bag hidden in a few trees at the small campsite he’d made for himself. It wasn’t likely to be noticed by anyone, lacking all the traditional signs: tent, car, campfire… There were rarely fires; he didn’t need them for heat. Only the light was necessary and he much preferred starlight to anything else. Maybe a ring of stones and the dancing flames kept some company, made them feel at home but not for him. Devon saw familiar shadows stretch out from the hungry fire.

Wearing a simple pair of jeans and a black t-shirt, he strode through the trees with a dour expression upon his face. He was contemplating where to go still and finding it difficult considering he had no desire to go anywhere. New York City was played out and the big metros were getting crowded. Yeah, they were always crowded but with supernaturals… The streets smelled of them.

Devon liked to walk the forest for it was quiet, peaceful. He could hear himself think but he didn’t have to think if he didn’t want to. He could merely be present and savor the fresh air. The trees didn’t mock the sky like many buildings, products of a humanity out to prove its place and rival the Gods. Nature lives in a cyclical harmony and the plants benefited from a healthy weather system more than any.

His eyes burned black like the extents of space while breezes rustled trees. Devon flitted from branch to branch, rolling underneath and through canopies of coniferous firs and cedars. He sent vast washes of dried, dead leaves through the air, spinning them about as he followed them in a maddening flight. Sometimes it was fun just to start the windstorm and see where it took you.

That gave him idea as he hung and hovered some eighty feet atop a pine. Why not start a localize updraft and then see how it got carried out by other currents? That would give him a direction and his destination would ultimately be on the way. His alignment would be like that of sailors old: with the wind.

In trial, he inhaled deeply as the tree bucked around him from the swirling gusts that began at the ground and flowed upward. Pine needles scattered in the wind like water from a falls. Devon concentrated, his eyes focusing on the intermingling currents and he let go, bringing another gust to bare him aloft and follow what he’d set in motion.

Now he knew there was a storm already churning in the heavens. He’d seen it yesterday and the converging low and high pressure systems, the graying skies and the heavy clouds today promised his forecast were true. That didn’t worry him as he rose higher in the air while rocking slightly from the conflicting pressure systems. He drifted south east and then north east, but turned on a current spiraling to upper atmosphere. Twenty thousand feet was a beautiful view, no matter what the weather.

Shortly thereafter, the current joined another major stream flowing predominantly south east. He had his random destination generator by way of his powers after all. He zipped through the clouds excitedly, carrying an exhilarating sting from the cold moisture as he pushed his speeds and then descended rapidly to race over the trees and between them. He had to work on his reaction time to gauge the winds properly and if he wanted to maintain high speeds that meant regular practice. This kind of work was well worth the effort.

Devon headed into town for a cheeseburger and fries, returning back to the quiet of the campground to eat. He could grab a shower in the camp wash building in the morning and then send up another draft to see where it led. Based on what he saw as he chewed his fries, it looked like the prevailing winds would still be mostly southeast tomorrow.

The winds picked up but Devon’s eyes were still blue. They rolled black when he got tired of his burger’s wrapper fluttering against his fingers. Small flakes of snow came next with a couple stronger gusts. The snow storm was going to be fun, though not for sleeping. He’d have to fly in and find a hotel room after all.

That is not before he had a little post-dinner exercise. Stashing his wrappers in his bag, Devon flew once more, batting winds with his own intended gusts. He roared upward, shouting from the rush as he reached over thirty thousand feet of dark clouds and the snow traveling down from them.

He kicked his feet along them, above them. He pretended he could walk on them. He spun them back and forth against one another, hoping to stir up a charge of lighting. There were often electrical currents jumping from cloud to cloud far overhead most never saw. All those air particles were charged one way or another, and in a storm of conflicting weather systems there was bound to be activity.

So it went for Devon as he had numerous times. He enjoyed his carousing in a way very few could. He sailed through the clouds and inhaled deeply, his body adapted for the low oxygen but still wanting it after all.

The rushing roar gave him only a couple seconds alert before a plane sailed overhead. They weren’t faster than sound but that reverberation moved slower in thinner air. He shuddered and fluttered himself into the clouds before rising up to trail after the airliner. It was massive…

And was it supposed to smoke that much?

Lights came in and out along the wings and at the tail, but a few unwelcome flashes from near the engines reminded Devon of hungry campfires. He followed, curiously for the plane wasn’t lowering but it skirted the storm clouds beneath it. When the small flames seemed to go out, the smoke lessened but clearly something was still wrong.

Never a student of machine aeronautics, Devon could only guess at the reason for the delayed or slowed spinning engine propellers. The plane was losing altitude and Devon was gaining speed. He followed, watching with a curious sort of wonder. He wasn’t shocked or scared, but there was something about this that was causing a pressure in his chest.

The air within and below the clouds was messy. Ice sheered at odd angles. Snow fell in wetter needs. The wind knocked it all around. The plane was struggling to keep its heading but Devon didn’t like the odd angle at which it was flying. It wasn’t straight down, but he had a feeling it might be soon. The pressure he felt – and wasn’t he used to feeling any sort of pressure even at this height – was getting stronger. It made him feel jittery, anxious.

New red lights blinked earnestly along the length of the plane as it rocked side to side from the storm. Devon could no longer ignore the dangers faced by those aboard. The alarm was clear.

First, he had to keep the ice from stinging his eyes and flesh. He pushed his will against the storm. He needed the winds to hit him so he could fly, but a buffeting force would cut the currents the storm generated to either side of his body, away from him and out of his sight. Snow and ice ricocheted down and away.

Devon wasn’t going to let that happen to the plane however. He jettisoned ahead, nearly hitting the tail, which he could only guess would have hurt him a lot more than it. He rose up and over, while extending his hands out as if he could grasp the wings of the plane.

Turning them palm upward, his chin went down to his chest and his feet fell below him as he assumed a standing position as if he were hovering. His brow narrowed over black orbs even as his hair seemed to slow dance in contrast to the raging winds nearby. The plane bucked but Devon struggled to catch the plane.

It was too big for him to contain and guide like he could do to himself. The plane dipped and he lowered along with it. He breathed faster, sweat not from heat but the mental exertion wetting his brow. If he couldn’t contain it, he’d have to guide the wings and that would take more concentration than Devon typically had.

Tempest, the raging storm, was an air spirit. He was Tempest. He might like to forget what all he was sometimes, but acknowledging it now gave him a renewed sense of pride. He was greater than this storm. This storm was no Tempest. He had will and desire and this storm had only need.

“Stay… with… me…” Tempest growled; he was a dark blot in an already dark sky as he hovered over the descending plane. It bucked and dipped, but with every gust that came, he countered it with one of his own. He felt his heart pounding in his chest with every gesture he made to send of two currents to grap and tweak the plane’s alignment. Knowing a bit more about how planes worked would have really helped…

Devon wasn’t certain where they were going but looking now, there were many lights in the distance. Were they heading for Philadelphia? That had to be it. He didn’t know how it would all end up but he knew they weren’t going to reach it. The best place Devon could see for it to come down was a large lake, far closer. How did planes do in water? They did have floatation devices for passengers…

His mind was wandering and the plane suffered for it by turning on its side nearly forty five degrees as the right engine failed again and the snow-buffeting winds surged. Tempest groaned and clasped his hands into angry fists before pulling them to his chest as if he were lifting box weights.

The plane righted and the back and forth of the storm continued with Tempest. He kept funneling gusts and errant breezes away as possible, but corrected against them when he could. He lifted the wings to balance out the momentum and then supported the nose to ease the pilot’s emergency landing into the lake. When it seemed the plane was off at angle, Devon blasted the plane with a burst of air that shook the plane’s occupants but put the plane on the right path.

A thin sheet of ice cracked and sprayed the air along with the water from the emergency landing. Devon struggled with an updraft near the center of the plane in hopes to ease any sinking. Clearly the pilot knew what he was doing however and indeed, when guided enough a plane would float for a time.

Devon watched as the pressure of the air around the plane shifted and balanced as air was released from within. Doors eventually opened and in the distance, he could hear sirens. There were rafts and people coming to the shores. Chaos followed and Devon floated down into the trees. He needed to catch his breath.

Eventually, he joined the onlookers, the survivors, the emergency staff and the crew in the jumbled around a massive beach fire that had been gathered and lit. Someone gave him a blanket, thinking him either a foolish young man or a boy from the plane. People were hugging and exchanging food and hot drinks.

Devon listened to the heralding of the heroic pilot and his co-pilot. He clapped though he did not cheer. He was interested in how easily everyone was working together. They all smiled and clapped each other on the back. No one was pointing fingers or yelling angrily. They were just happy to be alive, even if there had been injuries aboard the violently shaking (at times) plane. Devon was amazed and saddened it took a possible tragedy to bring people together.

When he’d had his rest, Devon wandered off and flew back. He had to get his duffle the many miles away. His mind lingered not on the event or even his part in it. He was still thinking about the reaction. A real tragedy, the unfortunate likes many on the world have seen, was an even stronger motivator for such sentiment. Could people only be reactionary?

Laws seem to grow only out of perpetuated crime. Sorrow and tragedy unified people in their grief and then with new hope. What did that say for mutants? Not until they’d been tragically killed in a Boston Massacre would there be peace and diplomacy? Would it take slaughter and war before people stopped and thought? How would he find his place in all of this? Would he yet again be a mere bystander, balancing the calamity only to remain quiet out of- Was it fear that kept him silent?

He found his bag under a half foot of snow. With shoes back on his feet, he stumbled into a cheap motel room and tossed his things aside. On went the TV, not for entertainment, but for the news. Devon loved to watch the news.

Apparently a plane had almost crashed but luckily all had survived. Nearly one hundred fifty people had been aboard: men, women, and children. Would they all be as happy if they knew a mutant had been involved?

“Or would they blame him?” Devon sighed quietly before falling back on the bed.

Devon found himself opening his eyes with the same question as he’d had then. He didn’t expect God to give him an answer for this was about helping oneself. At least now Devon knew what he’d felt watching the plane.

It wasn’t atmospheric pressure or the cold, and not guilt at all. It had been purpose. He knew he could help; he’d been born with the ability to help at least in that regard. He was determined to keep finding purpose and acting. He just hoped in doing so that helping wouldn’t find him put under blame.

They’d all blamed him for what had happened at his school – the police and his parents anyway. They were right, of course, but it hadn’t been intentional. What was the law for unintentional mutant power manslaughter? Again, the reactionary response was likely not to be one Devon would like. It wasn’t his fault.

He wanted to help. He wanted to know the wonders of his abilities, not hurt people. But it wasn’t that simple. It was chaos and tragedy and now fear… Someone had turned the world upon them. All mutants were dangerous. No one was going to listen as long as there were dangers; and some really were dangerous. How many were going to use this to their advantage? How could even ask such a ridiculous question in the capital of taking advantage that was Washington, D.C.? Devon couldn’t play politics and even if the winds had led him here, what was he to do but fly on? He couldn’t fix the past even if he wanted to. He didn’t want to kill anyone but that’s what had happened.

“I’m sorry,” he prayed, closing his eyes as he felt something wet upon his cheek.

It wasn’t raining.

Above 3154 words.

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PostSubject: Re: Prayer and Penance - (Training)   Wed Jan 02, 2013 1:13 am

As night fell, Devon woke. He dashed away the small bits of ice on his face. “Must have flurried,” he said dismissively, though his supernatural senses told him different as he strained his eyesight.

He stood up slowly, yawning once as he began to stretch out his legs. His arms rose up and his hands made as the clawing buildings of the metropolis where he’d napped. Reaching for the sky, they yearned to grasp at it. Soon enough they would, though for now Devon stuck with some simple calisthenics

He focused on his breath. It was a common practice now as he found it helped his concentration. Every inhalation brought the sky in. He felt the currents around him and then they filled him. It was more than simply seeing the air and perceiving. This was knowing. He felt the temperature of currents. He felt every pressure change in his lungs and against his flesh.

When he exhaled he gave of himself to the sky. The world’s weather was something he was apart of; he just didn’t understand it all yet. His body’s warmth mingled with the faint breeze created by his breath, joining the currents that strode on and over. The air was never still. People didn’t understand like he did.

He stretched out his arms and legs, rolled his shoulders and arched his back. He couldn’t cramp while flying; that was more embarrassing than falling. If you were too out of shape to fly, you probably should hit the treadmill first. Devon wasn’t sure he ever ate enough to have that problem anyway.

After ten minutes and stretching and fighting the urge to go grab a drink and relax in a coffee or book shop, Devon inhaled once more. His eyes darkened and the winds wrapped around his body, rocketing him up into the air. As he neared ten thousand feet he roared out excitedly. This was freedom; this was joy.

He trailed after the winds he saw. They took him around Dupont, to the east of the north side and then he hooked down southeast to come around to the southern part of town. He wasn’t going to get too close to the White House after all. Even if he was too small for radar to pick up, he wasn’t going to risk getting shot at.

Devon had heard that the worst crime in the country also occurred in its capital. He found that hard to believe, but then he’d seen the news at a Starbucks. There weren’t simply back room deals and shady politics in D.C. There were constant thefts, stabbings and sometimes shoot outs. The poverty line was almost a clear street as the southeastern part of town was little more than slums, run down homes and heavily tagged walls of graffiti.

How did you fix an economy, a culture, the entire living conditions of a complete set of people? You didn’t. Devon didn’t try. Instead he ventured beyond to the south side with bars and clubs not as upscale or “alternative lifestyle” as around Dupont. Here there were bars just for drinking and clubs just for dancing, well maybe the ladies were allowed to dance anyway.

Devon had been doing these haunts for a while now. He didn’t hang near the bar, but floated along roof tops away from the, watching for an eager shadow to catch a drunk walking home or a young woman alone. Sometimes they wanted money and sometimes they wanted more. It didn’t matter if Devon could prevent it.

He threw up his hoodie and zipped up his jacket as he alighted on the roof of a closed convenience store. The air was cool, a breeze urging the winter chill. Devon liked the rush of the cold. He was longing for a snowstorm.

A group of women exited a bar. They were laughing. One said something about the cute guy inside. Three went to a car parked nearby but the last began to walk north past some closed storefronts. She was the one Tempest followed.

Errant breezes rose up as he flew quietly, landing ahead of her each time to peer down alleys and keep himself alert. He stayed back, not looming over the side to ensure she didn’t spot him. There was no need to alarm those he tried to watch over.

What was that? Someone was coming from a side alley. He was walking along, dressed in a sport coat. Devon assumed he’d walk on.

“Oh good evening,” the man said in alarm as he approached the woman. “You surprised me.”

The girl chuckled good-naturedly, “Oh I’m sorry. Have a good night?”

“Yeah, though I’m a little turned around. Is south H this way?” he asked.

“No, you should be going the other way. If you follow Rachel Avenue, it’s back this way,” she pointed the way she was going.

“Thanks, I’m an idiot down this side of town. Kind of creepy too,” he laughed quietly.

She nodded, raising her shoulders and tightening her jacket as the man started to walk nearby her. “Things were getting better but then…”

“Yeah, the mutants,” he nodded. “It’s too bad.”

Devon’s black eyes narrowed as he flew ahead, listening. Looked like they’d be fine, even if they were racist. Or was it geneticist? He wasn’t sure how to say it. Really it shouldn’t matter but it was bound to come up sooner or later though the chances of hearing the news speak of mutant rights any time soon seemed a pipe dream.

“I don’t think they’re all bad,” she said quietly. “They just don’t know what they’re doing. They’re sick.”

“Oh I don’t think they’re sick. They know what they can do,” the man clicked his tongue. Meanwhile, he was reaching into his pocket. His phone fell to the street. “Oops.”

“Too much to drink tonight?” she asked, pausing.

The gentleman laughed, “Yeah I guess so.” He bent down to grab his phone and as he rose up, he suddenly rushed the woman against a wall. She screamed for a brief second but he had a gloved hand against her mouth.

She struggled against his hold, grunting. He’d been kind and friendly. She felt stupid; he took advantage of her trust.

“Sorry sweetheart,” he said urgently. A hand dug through her purse as he leaned in and inhaled the scent of her hair.

Devon frowned. It seemed he couldn’t trust a sport coat to mean gentleman after all. He couldn’t trust the image as the assumption was going to always get him in trouble. He was lucky this time, but not as much as her.

A sudden gust howled down the alley, knocking trash around. The man glanced around as he pulled at the woman’s purse. “Damn it’s cold. Glad you’re so warm,” he cooed like a villain.

The woman grunted, clearly scared, as he sought out her wallet and phone. She needed to call the police; she wanted help. “Oh God, why didn’t I get a cab,” she cried.

Three new winds roared and spun through the alley. The first gust took out the man’s legs, while another smashed into his side and knocked him twenty feet down the alley. The last picked him up and tossed him into the wall. He grunted in pain.

The woman croaked out a scream and clutched at her purse. She stood frozen, staring as the man started to groan, attempting to get back on his feet. When he tried, another gust knocked him another thirty feet further away from the woman and brought a few cardboard boxes tumbling over his pained body.

The woman shouted in earnest and took off, her heels clacking as she scrambled to find her phone in the purse. Tempest lingered upon the building’s roof where he stood, a vigilant dark sentinel. Every time he stirred, Devon knocked him back down until he couldn’t hear the woman anymore.

As he took into the air, a howling gust flowing over the buildings, he heard the distant sirens. He hoped it was for the woman and not another attack. There were always going to be problems, but Devon hoped he could curb the appeal of such violence. He could practice a little and prevent a bad night from getting worse.

He visited a few other bars that night. One he followed a man who wandered back to his car unbothered. With another he deterred a guy from passing out and sleeping in an alley. There was a young guy who looked hungry enough to rob the guy Devon followed from a topless bar.

Taking out his wallet, he pulled out a ten dollar bill and let a breeze carry it down past the young thief. He picked it up even as the other guy walked on by. The boy left, heading for a McDonald’s. The other finally got to the bus stop. Devon was pleased his plan worked, even if he was out ten dollars. Were people really that in need that they’d turn to crime?

It was almost four a.m. Taking the last hour or so of darkness, Devon soared up into the clouds and played with the early snow flakes that were forming. The slow flurries began to fall as he flew down and looped back up into the grey cloud cover. Landing back on the roof of the YMCA, he gathered up his bag and took one of the doors inside. It was relatively quiet in the building save for a few early morning risers. You just couldn’t keep some people from the gym.

Stashing his things in a locker, Devon went to the showers. Just because he didn’t get cold didn’t mean he couldn’t enjoy a hot shower. One day he could summon his own rain, warm or cold, but for now this would do.

He leaned his forehead up against the wall, letting the steam surround him in a comforting embrace.

Above 3154 words + 1655 words = 4809 words.

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