Egypt is a place that still baffles my mind to this day. Once we landed in Cairo, I got lost in the bustle and hustle of the arid land. At first as a water elemental, it felt awkward to be in a place that had no water readily present for me to reach out and grab a hold to. The heat was another problem for me, as with English weather, this kind of weather was more than foreign to me. The days stayed around 35 degrees, nights dropping to a welcome 22. Mum and Jenny loved it though, something about being able to relax in the heat, letting it evaporate their problems. Not my cup of tea really.
I left them alone most of the time. Now that I knew about their relationship, they seemed more willing to move it forward. Granted, I accepted it for what it was, a loving relationship between two people who both loved my father, it still was a difficult thing for me to see at times. Mum understood a bit more of this then Jenny did, so they tried to keep their PDAs subtle enough not to embarrass me.
I guess when we first arrived, it was beginning to sink in, watching my mother and Jenny hold hands, look normal, that I was never going to be normal. I'm taller than ninety percent of the people I'll ever meet and those taller than me have MORFS as well. I can get used to people staring at me, just right now, I want to feel like I'm some what normal. And in a place like this, I stand out like a fish out of water. Pun intended.
Walking the streets, dust following me along with the stares of others, I acted relaxed. But really, I searched for something: water. In a land so dry that I could feel it leaving my body, I wanted to know where water was.
Think back to the compartment during our ride through Europe, I began to focus on the water in the smallest sense I could: water in a glass or bottle. Being the middle of the day, and in the desert, it wasn't hard for me to 'sense' the water. By sense I really mean feel, like it was an extension of me almost, like I could in a moment's notices, reach out and pull it back in. My hand went out to my left as I could sense someone drinking it. Drawing my fingers into a fist, I concentrated on pulling the water to me.
I don't know what happened next. To me, it felt like a failure as the water didn't move anywhere. Or that's what I thought. My mother and Jenny where behind me somewhere, browsing through the stands when they saw this man's water bottle being ripped from his hand. In my direction. They didn't tell me that until well after the fact though.
I continued to walk down the streets, knowing that Mum could see me towering over the crowd from just about everywhere and at anytime she looked up. I spotted several subtle changes of MORFS as I walked around. Different color hair, maybe a tail or fur. Lots of cat people, a couple dogs. My brain must have flipped a switch or something cause those dogs looked more like jackals, like something off the ancient Egyptian hieroglyphics. I'd have to look up some of this stuff when we got back home. It seemed odd that so many of the people who fit into the culture in the same area. Was it just the MORFS that caused them to change like that, or was it the culture that welcomed the people and made them stay?
I stopped in the center of the road, watching for my mother and Jenny. I figured that they had probably stopped somewhere to look at some trinket. I wasn't sweating, something I quickly picked up with my elemental strengths. My body evaporated it quicker, and then drew it back to keep me hydrated without drinking. Still it was hotter then hell out here. If I was feeling it, then the children I keep seeing with sad faces must be seeing it as well.
I'm not trying to sound conceited, but my mother is well off. We can afford a lot more than some, but not as much as others. We don't need a lot, and Jenny was the one who suggested we donate a substantial amount each year to various charities. Before all of this change, I never gave a second thought to how we lived, and how it was different from others. MORFS seemed to spark that 'look at the world' feeling I had been having these past few days.
"Everything okay?" I turned away from the children sitting off to the side and looked at my mother. Jenny was holding a bag of some trinkets in one hand and my mother's hand in her other. They just looked right. I didn't feel like smiling at that pleasant thought though.
"No, its not," I said. I let my sense spread, finding water just below us. A young girl who probably had hybrid parents as she was too young to have gone MORFS herself, stared at me with large cat eyes. I gave her a smile, hoping to get one in return. She just cocked her head and continued to stare at me.
"Those charities that we give a lot, what are they? By that I mean, who are we giving to?" I looked back at them as I fished for my wallet. I stopped when I realized that money wasn't what they needed. It was a family, a place to stay, somewhere safe. There were cuts and bruises on them, malnutrition showing throw the dregs of clothing they wore.
"Some to children, some to veterans, it varied, depending on who your father felt like giving the money to," Jenny said with a shrug. I turned back to look at the children, only to find the shadows dancing over where they were.
"When we get back, I'd like to switch whatever funds we have going to charities to some children's aid programs," I said. Those eyes still stared back at me. Like I had seen that pain before, or at least, like I was going to see it again.
Mum and Jenny said nothing, just grabbed one of my arms and began to pull me along the way. I let them carry me away with their happiness, like a current I didn't want to fight. It didn't stop me from sensing the water ways of this alley.
The night brought a sense of calm to me. I don't how else to explain it, but just by watching a sea of stars above seemed to remove some of my doubts of the day. And standing in that Egyptian hotel room, what doubts I had were gone. Especially about how far I could take my abilities. My gifts.
It had started with watching a Metal Elemental shaping some trinkets in front of us. He had drawn a crowd of at least a dozen people, probably more to him by the time we walked up. I cleared the way for us, but that didn't stop him from working.
He looked frail, yet it amazed me as he began to warp the metal without even touching it or applying heat. Like in a dance, the metal moved fluidly, shifting from one pose to the next. the man paused only a moment when he saw me before motioning toward the chair in front of him. Still in shock I sat down and did what had come to be natural for me: I drew the water from his glass and began to have it dance with the metal.
My water moved with even greater grace the the metal, lifting off the barrel the man worked up and going around his art. I never touched it, not in fear that it would break the man's concentration, but rather, it would ruin the art of our dance.
The metal began to slow down, the dance ending, yet I felt like I could continue for hours. The man on the other hand was beginning to show the fatigue from show. The metal had taken the shape of a Western image of a tree, its limbs spread out and beginning to form leaves. If anything, this only added to my fun as it took a bit more concentration to move the water around the limbs without touching them. The metal was growing lighter as well, translucent as the leaves began to form. By the time the metal was completely clear, the water was trapped inside the tree and its limbs. I stopped my dance, but the water kept moving around the limbs, a current created by the man's own gifts.
The man gave me a smile as I stood to leave. A woman, his wife probably, spoke to him quickly as I gathered my shocked mother and Jenny.
"Sir, my husband wishes for you to have," she said. She held out the tree for me, the water still flowing smoothly. "It has been a long time since an artist better than he has worked with him."
"I'm no artist ma'am," I said. Jenny took the offered artwork, looking at it like the precise expression it was. The man stood up from his chair, and walked over to us, shaking his head.
"But you are sir, you just need to learn to embrace your gifts," she said. Her husband spoke is quick Arabic, saying something that got the other vendors and some tourist to nod. "He says that while he can speak to only a few and open their minds, your gift can speak to the world and open hearts." I looked at the man once more and caught the words "Allah" from him, though at the time it didn't mean anything to me.
"Thank you," the woman said again before turn back to her stand. Her husband looked at me for a moment before offering his hand. I held mine out to be shook, but he grabbed me forearm and shook like that.
At night gave me the time to think and realize, that he was first person outside of Mum and Jenny that did not see me for my massive differences, but rather for what I could do. He saw me as a fellow artist, a man with a gift of change.
Mum and Jenny took the master bedroom, at my insistence. It was better equipped for the two of them to do what they needed to do. It also let me work on my gift, which was something that I had been wanting to do all day. And the work with the artist only intensified that feeling.
I turned the faucet, the water rushing out. With a motion and thought, the water curved away from the drain toward me. I began to gather it in my hand, making a ball grow until it was about the size of a football. The rest I let go back into the sink.
I began to feel it, moving through my hands as I held it. My thoughts went back to not only the artist, but the Captain. How I needed to let 'her' teach me. When I worked with the artist, the water moved with me, it did not fight me actions. Now, the water was still, like it was waiting for something to happen to it. Like it was waiting for me.
Water does not have a mind of its own, it can not think and make rational decisions or even irrational ones. What it can do is give life or take it away. There was a power inside of the water. Inside of just about every little thing. Thinking of the water in my hands, I could see more than I had all afternoon. My sense of the water around me expanded exponentially.
Not just was there water in my hands, in the sink, down the drain. But in the walls, flowing through pipes. In the flowers upon the desk or the fruit in a complementary basket. In a glass of wine that I had been sipping from to calm down a bit. Even from the air itself, I could sense the faint aura of water, floating around him.
It didn't stop there. I followed the pipes out of the room and into the hotel. The vines and flowers on the window sill and out around the wall. The pipes carried me into the city, and into the homes of people. Then, oh god, the people themselves. I tried to stay calm, tried to keep a dark fear from building in me. But the horror, the beauty. It surrounded me....
With a thrust, I pulled my mind away, shocked and too amazed to process everything I saw. Even without reaching out anymore, I could feel the water. I could feel it....
The thought scared me more than I'd like to admit. I could still feel the ripples of water around me, like it was just out of reach or rather within reach. Looking at my hands, I felt for the first time the sea that I knew had become a part of me since I MORFed, was not fighting me anymore. I felt like as I moved, it moved, or was it as the sea moved I moved? I couldn't tell, and I began to feel the fear return. The captain's words were haunting me, and I just wanted to forget them.
I dispelled the thoughts from my head, not wanting to focus on them at all. There was always a darkness in everything, and that darkness I knew was within my grasp if I wanted to reach for it. But I didn't. I couldn't even fathom wanting such a darkness in my life. Or at least right now.
The glass of wine went down quickly. I could feel the difference of the alcohol in my system from the water that normally coursed through it. Too tired to care and too scared to try, I just let it be. It'd give me something to work on some other time.
"What's our estimate?"
"Four hours, just before sunrise."
The morning was on fire.
There were no other words to explain it. Heat engulfed me as I woke up, but it was not the heat of the desert. It felt closer, warmer. And there shouldn't be screaming in the morning.
My eyes snapped open to flames dancing about the room. Worlds burned at my normally tough skin, but all I could think about was my mother and Jenny.
The screams snapped me out of my funk and they were coming from the room Mum and Jenny were in. The door I had made sure was closed last night now opened inward, burning like the rest of the room.
Without another thought, I ran into the room, stopping behind a man dressed in black. Mum and Jenny were huddled together, holding each other close in the room of flames. Their bedroom. Mum's screams were the ones that woke me up.
I felt the depths of the water. A darkness that was always there, it would always be there. I couldn't explain how I let the water take over, let the storm that it could become, grow. But I did.
The killer whale is named such because of the carnivorous tendencies it has. Striking out of the water to eat a seal or even a gray whale. On occasion even a great white shark has been no match for the orca. It is an apex predator, with no match at the end of food chain beyond itself most of the time. For the first time, I felt apart of the my appearance's namesake.
My hand landed upon the attacker's shoulder, pulling him around faster then his finger could press the trigger. His face was covered by a mask, a gas mask, it had to be. His screams were drowned out, the pressure of my hand on his jaw nearly breaking it.
His spittle gravitated toward my hand as he tried to break free from my grip. I only squeezed harder, tightening my grip on his jaw and moving my other arm to hold him against my chest. He dropped the weapon as Jenny picked it up. I chanced a glance at my mother, fear present in her eyes. But it wasn't from me.
She relaxed under my gaze as I tightened my hold. The man began to squirm again, but I could feel the water. In a world of flames, water was sacred. And I had the power to bring it to me.
"Why are you here?" I said. My voice was even but I needed the answer. The room was falling apart. Burning around us, and the water of me became restless, wanting to move faster and faster.
His voice was muffled, even after I torn the mask off. The man was Arabic, though anything beyond that was beyond my understanding. And I was beyond caring and beyond patience. I would not have another attack upon my family.
It was instinct that took over. The ferociousness of the orca could not supersede my own anger as I just drew the water to me, like I had the previous night. Only this time, it was not from the faucet.
I don't know how I did it, but every molecule of water in the man's body was in my right hand, the one covering his jaw. If he could have screamed into my hand, I think he would have. But the water drew from his face first, before I took it from the rest of his body. Life left it almost instantly, like he was nothing but rags to begin with, and his life only a facade.
I dropped the man, his dry body cracking against the ground and dust burning into the air. I felt tired all of a sudden, like that single act took more out of me than I could ever had. The fear was beginning to return.
"We need to get to the embassy," Mum said. I nodded, the water moving around my right hand in a current, twisting and pulling away from the heat. I held it together, close to me without another thought. I was too scared of my own actions to think about anything else. Mum grabbed my other arm and pulled me and Jenny out of the room with her. She had us halfway down the hall before I had come to my senses.
And my senses told me of four men approaching us from behind. I could not tell of anyone else in the hotel beyond us, like it was planned attack against us, but I could feel their water coming quickly toward us. As well as the water still in the pipes. It was a choice that only stopped me from draining the water out of them as well. A choice my mother made for me.
"Help us please" Mum stopped us from continuing down the hall. The men raised their weapons, again speaking in Arabic. They were shouting over the roar of the flames, and it was all I could do not to reach out and grab the water to protect us.
The heat was unbearable and all I wanted to do was just relax and not feel this darkness grow inside of me. "Mum, we are leaving, now."
"But..." Her voice trailed off as they raised their guns toward us.
Instinct took over.
With my left hand, I raised it toward the wall and the pipes in it. It took only a pull to bring the water bursting out of the pipes and into the fiery hallway. It did not phase the men aiming weapons at us, but it did give me a chance to 'practice' a bit.
My first priority though, was the safety of my mother and Jen. Jen's face was hardened, like she had expected a fight after we left the room, while my mother still looked on in disbelief. Jenny nodded to me, acknowledging something that we both previously agreed upon, albeit it was unspoken: protect Mum.
Out of the corner of my eye, Jenny wrapped my mother in a protective embrace as I moved in front of them. The water was beginning to fill up to my ankles, more then enough for what I wanted to try and do. The world dimmed for a moment, growing hazing as I tried to stand straight. I felt tired, exhausted from my efforts. But I had to keep working. Had to push through the pain that was stabbing at my skull.
Water is an interesting element. At times, you'd be surprised to see it do anything more than lap up against you, calmly, cool, collected. Its a peaceful feeling, to just be, and not worry. Yes there are storms that need to be sheltered from, and waves to rock the boat, but for the most part, on the surface, water will let you do what you need to, be who you need to be, and live the life you want to live. It is accepting of any and all that don't try to hurt it or the worlds that live inside of it.
Now my world is under attack. Even if for a moment, that moment still hurts. And damn me if I didn't fight back. Or at the very least, protect my world.
A wall of water stood between us and the attackers. Water. Nothing more, nothing less. I had seen those myth shows, that show what happens to high velocity bullet when it enters water. And these boys were about to fire something nasty at us. All I could do was hope that I got lucky. That and increase the pressure the water exerted.
"You sure about this?" Jenny asked. I only looked back and shrugged. The fires still roared around, but that did not drown out the firing of those weapons.
I flinched as the bullets impacted against the wall of water I had made. With a smirk of a prayer on my lips, I turned and brought my arms around both Jenny and my mother before pulling more water into our hallway. The soldiers did not stop firing, though they were beginning to move closer.
"What are you going to do?" Jenny yelled into my ear. It was getting harder to hear, with the fire, rushing water I kept pulling toward us, and the firing weapons.
"Not get killed." With water pooling at out feet, I began to concentrate on a water slide. Something that I hoped would carry us out of the hotel, and I hope, safely to the ground. I hoped.
The water rose up behind me and beneath us. I felt the coolness of it rippled and wave against me, letting my body relax despite the tense and admittedly frightening situation. If this worked I certainly had something new to practice with.
Jenny and Mum clung to me tighter as our feet left the ground. It almost felt like we were swimming, but I still felt something solid pushing against my feet. We needed to leave, now. I took a step forward, the water rising with my feet. The world was getting dimmer, my head heavier as I tried to concentrate on the task at hand.
The water slide popped back into my head, a hopefully safe way to get us out of here. Focusing on pushing the water out the window, it rose and broke through the cracked glass. The soldiers were getting closer and seemed to give up firing their weapons at us. I didn't think the wall would hold up against them pressing their way through it and wasn't about to test it.
With a final push, the water shot out of the window, carrying us along with it. I began to focus on twisting the water toward, a spiral to carry us safely to the ground. I'm thankful for closing my eyes, focusing solely on the image of the slide spiraling into the pool. My head and body began to get heavier as I heard the water hit the ground. It took my lost few ounce of concentration to keep us from slamming into the ground, and let the water take the brunt of the force before we landed.
Out of the burning hotel, safe on the ground, I gave Mum and Jenny a smile. "You think you can get us to the embassy?" I asked, now leaning on them instead of them leaning on me. Jenny just looked at my mother before Mum nodded, taking the choice of her hands. I just smiled back and let the darkness take me as I fell to the ground, face first.
..... I swam in my own world.....I couldn't move.....I couldn't talk.....I could barely think.....any colors were too warped to make out a form ..... and the lines just seemed to bleed into one another if I tried.... any words I heard were too mushed together..... blurred in with the colors I kept hearing..... the lead in my arms and legs prevented me form even trying to make sense of where I was..... my thoughts weighed me down as well.....I wanted to remember what had happened when the world was aflame ..... but I couldn't ..... all I could fell was that darkness I swam in was closing in on me again..... I swam .... forever it seemed..... there was no end..... no beginning.... just me and the water.... the water was me.... or I felt at home in it..... the darkness did not leave me ..... yet I was comforted by it...why.....
.....Mum.....Jenny....where are you?
"What do you mean they escaped?!?"
"The large black man with them, sir, used the water to defend them and make a ramp for them to exit with."
"From twelves stories?"
"Sir....he is a threat, he attacked and killed one of our operatives."
"We don't know sir, the body however was completely void of moisture, like all just disappeared."
"Do the others know?"
"We don't believe so. Our men were able to pull him out of there before they had a chance to see us."
"Good, he tipped his hand. We'll know what to expect from them next time."
"Proceed with the operation, however, execute Order 1214."
My head was heavy, yet clearer than it had been in the darkness. Yet still something was off. My mind reached out, checking the water in me and around me before I could even stretch my muscles. The water could move, and there was a saline solution suspended above me. Other than that I felt constricted, trapped by something.
My eyes were too heavy to open and I felt like I was in that damn hospital bed again. Last time I woke up in one, my life changed forever. Something told me that today was not going to be any different.
I kept my eyes closed though, as I began to try and reach further out. I vaguely heard the click of something.
"Stand down son," a voice said. I stopped the reach and pulled it back, not knowing what was going on. The voice seemed to extend further than the words, like the world slowed down and it echoed off something.
I did not move until I heard the sound of something clicking again. I slowly opened my eyes to find myself in a very white and very bright room. The click was the sound of a someone pointing a gun at me and putting their finger on a trigger. I stared down the barrel for a moment before looking around again. Or as much as I could, my head was strapped to the bed, along with the rest of me.
"You move, we shoot," the man said in English. I couldn't tell if he was English or not, but that meant nothing to me at the moment. "You try and use your powers, we shoot." I opened my mouth to speak, but he raised the gun. I felt several other guns being aimed at me as well. "You speak, we shoot."
I just stared at him for a moment before focusing back on the ceiling. He said they recognized when I used me powers. That meant a telepath or something. Maybe another Water Elemental, WE. Unlikely, but that could be the case.
A door opened and the sound of feet approaching filled the room. Several doctors or scientists stood around me. "Patient is awake and seems to be responsive."
"Shows increased mental activity, though sedation is the recommended approach."
This went on for several moments, with them leaning over me and looking at several different things. I felt some probes against my mind, something that I did not take kindly too. There however was nothing I could do.
"Patient shows resistance to mental scans, permission to press?"
"Granted." This voice came from beyond the circle of scientists, but I recognized it anyway. A voice that I hated. Alberto Horiato. I felt a little fury bubble, but I pushed it down. I had to remain calm, not give them any more to work with.
I began to concentrate upon deep sea inside of me. I felt it wrap around my mind, and even as the tendrils of their mind scan moved through it, they were sluggish, pushing against everything. I moved around them easily as I swam. The light came from what I thought was above me and I watched as fish and maybe a mammal or two swam by.
They were talking again, but I didn't care. I took in the words, listening for only a few key ones. But that was not my intention.
I had been focusing on what my gifts could do to the world around me. Now, I wanted to see what it could do to the world inside of me. If I learned that, then maybe I could learn how to do it to another.
I dove deeper into my mental image of the sea. As I swam, I concentrated on the flow of my blood, wanting to become a part of it. In moments, I changed from swimming in darkness in a sea to swimming in darkness in what had to be a vein. There was the same light following me from the sea as there was here. I did not stop moving, as the current took me along.
I began to make a map of my body, following the vein as I traveled to the heart. My mind spread out, following other veins and it was like watching several screens that were mapping my body. Once I got to my heart, things only got weirder.
With a single pump, my mind spread across my entire body and it took several moments for me to draw it back to the heart, only for this to happen again. Taking a chance, I began to force my blood to move as I held the heart still. It hurt, like nothing else I've ever felt. Like I was on fire, but I held my heart, the water around it as the blood continued to flow, moving quickly to ensure that my brain continued to function.
Splitting my mind from this created another problem, but slowly I was able to concentrate upon holding my heart still, making the blood flow anyway, and hear everyone around me panic.
"Get a crash cart in here!"
"What's going on?"
I let my heart go, letting the pump begin slowly this time. If anything, I felt better at the slow simply pace my heart took. They stopped rushing around it seemed as they stared at the heart monitor. My concentration began to slip and I drew myself back to the sea.
I felt good to know that I would have something to practice on at least. I was tired though, and felt the darkness slipping back again. Though would not know though, their tendrils were still fishing for me. My body was caught by an orca and I felt it pull be around, steering me away from them as the darkness filled me again. Even in sleep, I knew I would be protected.
"What do you mean cardiac arrest?"
"He went into cardiac arrest about two hours ago, sir. Before we could do anything, his heart started to beat on its own again."
"The operation failed it seems."
"No sir, we did not even have a chance to begin."
"The continue as planned. Proceed with caution."
"Make sure that Horiato does not bugger this up."
I woke again, still swimming in my depths. The weapons were still pointed at me, but I could feel them sticking needles into me, trying to give me some type of drug.
I grabbed whatever it was as it flowed through my body and clumped it together. That might sound strange, but given that I just forced my blood to hold the drug together, this really wasn't much. It took work to make the drug move as I wanted it to without dissipating into my body.
It was hard to keep track of time, but I began to catalog everything that my body did and what they were trying to do to it. Granted, this all means jack to me because I have no idea about the intent. But I'm tied down here and haven't been told why. I kept my heart rate at a slow steady pace, far below probably what they wanted.
Still, I had to be careful. I didn't know if they could sense me working on my body from the inside. But they never made a move against me. If anything, they were still as scared of me now as when I wasn't tied up. And hadn't done anything when I was free. Well, might as well give them something to fear.
I reach out, slowly, inch by inch into the world. Sensing where the water was and how it twisted, turned, shook, and moved about in the people and things around me. This seemed to work as they didn't notice me reaching, nor did they notice me holding in the drugs. They just seemed content in taking notes and leaving me alone.
I liked being left alone.
Time meant nothing to me, and internally, I could only do so much of nothing before getting stir crazy. At that point, I'd reach out another inch in every direction. Over the course of time it took me to go crazy again, I'd memorize the surrounding areas again. Repeating this became my life for until my mind had made a rough sketch of the entire building and a partial one of the surrounding areas.
Time was slow and I hated it. They kept feeding my drugs and all I could do was move it out with my solid wastes. After a while they began to force different ones through, but still they had no effect on me. Whether bad or good, I don't know the intent. I do know I didn't want anything being put in me that I don't know what it does.
Back to the map of the place. I began to track everyone and everything that had water, once I knew they were not watching. Of if they were, they said nothing about my methods. Or shot me for that matter.
No, I could sense when they were tense as the water movement changed, or when they were nervous. If they were men or women. Old or young. Fit or obese.
Once I had the map of the building, it was not difficult to identify Mum or Jenny. They were being held here too, and by gun point, if the positioning of the guards' arms meant anything. I wanted them safe, but didn't know how to get Horiatio to agree to anything. It was obvious that man was in charge. And Mum was probably out of a job. That meant Jenny was too.
Back on subject.
I found them, and knew the building. To me that was only half of the goal. The other half was getting out of these restraints and getting Mum and Jenny out alive. And to do that, I'd have to move quickly and swiftly. Maybe effect my room and their room as well. Water in the pipes.
My mind was getting tired again. I felt the drain fill my body. even in my mental image of sea, I could see the orcas guiding me, fish blocking and disrupting probes, and even some sharks taking the drugs and moving them about in my system. I was becoming the sea. And only hell could stop me.
"He's not responding to the treatment, sir."
"Have you tried solids?"
"Yes sir, even then the treatment is have no effect."
"To a degree, but most of the drugs are not in that form sir. When we can knock him unconscious, his body still is rejecting the treatment."
"Continue attempts, but we may terminate the project if this continues."
My mind left and came back several times, and if anything it showed they were getting reckless. Reckless enough to know these soldiers were not resting their fingers on the trigger anymore. How I knew they were fingers? Well...
By mapping my body for its water, I was able to generate a mental image of how water should be in other's body's . But because they were not my body, there are differences. Actually, finding the differences between males and females in just their water concentration wasn't so hard. No, mapping water was second nature to me, but it was controlling the water that was like breathing.
See, if I can control water, I can control how much give it has, whether none at all like steel, or even less then fluff. Fluff that wouldn't hurt with the give, from any distance of a fall. And by the way I could see the water coming out of my Mum's eyes, the misshapen water on Jenny's bruised body.... they better pray all I do is hurt them.
"He's coming around."
"He knows what's good for him." The gun cocked. In fact several guns did. Excellent.
"He's just staring at us."
"No movement of his powers." That was because I didn't need to move what I already had control of. My mapping gave me the knowledge, and by extension, the ability to control what I could see had water.
"He's staring at me." Of course I was, this man was about to poke me with a syringe of something that I believe could kill me. Of course I'm going to stare at him.
"Just do your job." See, that man had the right idea. Do your job. Yours was to poke me with syringes, his was to die for some orders that there was a chance he didn't truly believe in. Lucky day, they both win.
He poked me with the syringe again. This time, I didn't let my water give. It broke against the skin. And hurt like hell, but they didn't need to know that.
The male nurse just stared at me, and I stared back. "Something wrong?" A soldier asked that. Might as well as give him an answer.
Reaching out, I grabbed hold of the water in the hands of all the soldiers with guns in not only my room, but if I guess right, the rest of the building as well. Mainly Mum and Jenny's room. Taking control of the hands was much easier then the entire body, letting me do what I needed to.
My control was tentative, letting them move their guns up into position was icing. Especially when the nurse turned and said: "Yes."
The sound of popcorn popping filled the air, but heartier, fuller. The moans that followed and the dropping to the floor of me, cradling hands to the chest were the only evidence of their pain. I just did it here, not in the other rooms.
I had forced the water to hold against their muscles, pushing where the muscles didn't want to do. Doing this at speeds where movements may be slow, but responses are fast, the bones in the hands either snapped, cracked, or simply collided. Either way, any of the three are designed to cause a great deal of pain, especially when spread across their entire bodies.
I watched the nurse just stand there, still shocked at what I had done. "What are you trying to do to me?"
The nurse stammered for a moment. "We're just running tests." I moved the water again, the loud snap of a soldier's leg break echoed in the room.
"On what?" My voice was calm.
"I don't know, please don't hurt me." I moved the water again, snapping the leg of another soldier.
"Untie me, and we'll see." The nurse quickly obeyed. To be honest, I wasn't going to hurt him. He didn't know that though. The catheter shoved up me was uncomfortable, but it needed to be removed. He did that without my prodding, knowing that if it wasn't, I'd be angrier, which was true.
Sitting up was a chore. After not moving my muscles for who knows how long, I was surprised they still worked. The nurse seemed surprised too, as did the one that came in after him.
This nurse looked shocked at the men on the floor. "Don't mind them Miss, they'll be fine once I'm out of here." I knew she was coming, her water told me so.
"You can't leave," she managed to get out. I swung my legs over the side, rubbing them as their dead weight regained some of the feeling.
"I think you mean, 'you can't leave,'" I said. "Try moving your legs." I motioned with my head, as my hands were busy getting the feeling back into mind. I stopped the water moving in hers, or at least made it more difficult. The slight pain she felt when trying to move her legs would be nothing compared to the pain of the soldiers' broken limbs. "See what I mean? You can't leave."
"Don't hurt me," she said, beginning to cry. She stood perfectly still, despite me releasing her from the bonds.
"No harm will come to you by my hands," I said. "You were not my captor, for that I leave you be." I pushed off the bed, finally taking a look around the cold room they had me in.
The walls were white, excite for the black lens of cameras in the corners. They were watching me, but those in security couldn't move. I wasn't letting them.
There was a pain beginning to push right behind my left eye. It came from me exerting my abilities, my strengths, my sea. It was not going to stop me, however. Only make me move a little faster.
Moving down the halls, and up the stairs, I followed the plan that I set up in the sea. I had mapped a route out of the basement of this place, yet Mum and Jenny were near the top. I wanted to hold them as long as possible, immovable, yet I knew that I had to concentrate on other things once Mum and Jenny were released.
Guards could only watch as I walked by, holding their water in the skin rigid like steel stopped them from moving without unspeakable pain. They would not stop me. I began to draw water toward me, feeling the water beginning to pool around me. Pipes were bursting in bathrooms and flooding the hallways. Not enough to drown anyone. They hadn't pissed me off that much....yet...
"Good job gentlemen," I said to the two guards standing outside the room I wanted in. I had forced all of the guards to stand rigid, at attention. Even if I had broken their hands. "You'll excuse the water." I released control of their heads for a moment. All three of us looked down at the water now lining the floor. "Had a pipe burst, some floors up, nasty spill too. Flooded the top floor I think." Or enough to make it spread to the lower levels.
"I'm going in, that cool?" I didn't wait for an answer, knowing I'd never get one.
Jenny was holding Mum tightly to her side. Both women were crying, and I swear had it not been their eyes pinning me to the floor, I would have gone out and found Horiato then.
"Don?" Jenny looked up at me slowly, Mum following her lead. I nodded, not knowing what to expect from them. They had been beaten, that was the worst of it. If one was place in a situation where something worse could happen, the other stepped in. They were good for each other. Plus, if anything worse did happen, those soldiers' legs I broke, well, they would all be dead, instead of just in pain.
"It's me," I said. I held out my arms slowly, letting them choose the next move.
The crushing sensation that surrounded my ribs told me they were hugging me. But it was the laughter and happiness to see me that told me they would be alright. Maybe not right now, but they will be.
"We need to go," I said, bring us back to the now. Their tears were now on my chest; they were my shield.
"We can't escape, they'll find us," Mum said, the scared look still in her eyes.
"We'll worry about that when we get out of here," Jenny said, wiping her eyes. "You know the way?" She pulled back and gave me a once over. It sunk in that I currently was running around without any pants or form of clothing whatsoever. "Impressing." Jenny got a slap from my mother at the words, and I could not help the warmth that filled my cheeks, but I ignored her comment.
"Are you kidding me?" I asked as I dropped my arms from around them. Jenny and Mum moved instinctively closer to each other once I did. "I know this place like the back of my hand." The pain hit again, but I was able to ignore it for the most part. "You two follow me, and stay behind me."
"How'd you escape?" Mum asked once were were out of the room. Unlike me, they at least had shoes on, but it really became a burden with the water now lapping at our feet.
"If I don't want water to move, it won't," I said as we moved past a pair of guards. "This building in nearly ten stories tall, and right now, no water is moving unless I say so."
"You mean?" Jenny stopped to look at the guards that stood like statues.
"Yes, they're not moving until I say so," I said. "But its ten stories of control I'm holding here. And been doing so for the better part of an hour. We need to get a move on."
To be honest, I'm impressed too at my abilities, but right now was not the time.
The halls were mapped out before me, and I had already planned my route. The stairs were not that difficult, though, the water that I had covering the floors made running for Mum and Jenny an obstacle.
The pain had receded once I reached a point. I hadn't let go of the control, it just became the constant, like my map was. By being a constant, instead of a variable, I was spending less energy upon this. Now, it was only a dull headache that I could deal with.
"Only one more floor before the ground floor," I said. They were tired, not used to this. And to be honest, neither was I, but we had to keep moving. It would only be a matter of time before they - "Damn."
"Donovan, language," Mum said. I couldn't help the laugh that came out, but she still glared at me. "Now, what's the problem."
"I've got a block of something that just moved into the building from the back entrance." I pointed behind. "Because they are not a part of my map of the building, I do not know where the water is in them. While I can try to map them as well, doing so quickly would mean I might loosen control over the rest of the building."
"So don't, we'll deal with it when they get here," Jenny said, pushing us both on the back. "Don said we need to get to the lobby. I assume from there you know where we go."
"We aren't going to be able to just walk out, but I should protect us enough to get us to the American embassy."
"Why there?" Mum asked. Another block entered, this time from the front. With a quick run through of the map I had, someone had managed enough strength against my control to send out a call. I could tell who is was by the way he stood: Horiatio. It took only a thought and I crushed the bones in his hands, the water pulling inward.
"I'm still a citizen, and you're my life partner, they should offer you asylum too," Jenny said. She began to blush as she looked at me. I really wasn't bothered with what she said, so I just nodded. I'd be bothered later or let myself be. More important things right now.
"They're more tolerant of MORFS than other countries are, you know that Mum," I said. The block was moving slowly, like it was trying to catch us. They would go for the security cameras.
I concentrated on the basement, where the electrical and pipes met. Increasing the pressure on one of the pipes, it burst into the basement. There was no one down there, and I'd release them if they were down there. I'm not a killer....yet....
The water moved toward the breakers. Flattening the water, I carved it into a knife, sharp enough to cut through the metal and wires. It took a few swings for me to get the feel of the knife, but it flowed in the air, gracefully. Without even seeing it, I like how it worked.
I have no electrical knowledge, and hardly know which line deals with telephones, electricity, etc. There also were no other patients in this place, leaving me a free conscience. That made the decision to destroy everything so much easier. With a few quick swings, a couple of punches, and just plain letting my imagination run wild in the basement, the lights were out. Everything had stopped working.
I could not help the smirk as the two blocks stopped moving. They weren't stuck, but they hardly had the opportunity to attack that they did before. "Outside communication is down. We've got a moment. Any ideas?"
"That wall you made? Can you make it again?" Jenny asked.
"Probably, the question is what else do you want me to do?" I looked down the hallway, finding the darkness comforting, if only because I had lived in my depths for so long. And the water moving around me made the world feel even more in my control.
"Getting cocky?" Jenny asked. Her comment was meant to lighten the mood, but it didn't phase me.
"Jen, be nice," Mum scolded, that got me to smile. Apparently, that was what they wanted as they shared a look before turning back to me. As if I knew what I was doing.
"The only thing I can ask is that you stay behind and not hate me for what I'm about to do." I dropped my hands into the water at our feet, crouching low as I felt it move past me.
The flow centered around me, like it was drawn toward me. Unconsciously, I thought. But still, it was there, for me to become a part. The water moved in depths around me, the darkness adding to the forbidden dance it would soon bring upon the blocks.
I did not know them, and in another life, maybe we could have been friends. But right now, they stood against, if only because of orders. Orders that meant for me to die.
"Let's go." I stood, the water rising with me. It clung to my hands, falling down in waves and rising back up at the save time. Twisting and turning, like a raging river, a torrent of power.
The pain pushing against my skull grew, but I would get used to it. I'd let the darkness take me once Mum and Jenny were safely out of the building. They followed me silently as I tracked the block closest to us.
The group that entered the front were my target. Granted, they may have a telepath or some other MORFS survivor to assist them, but that didn't matter to me at the moment. What matter was that I had control of almost everything about the situation.
"They're in the lobby, so the other group is moving up the stairs to the control room, possible in an attempt to get intel," I said. "If I can release control over some of the guards, mainly the ones of this floor, and the ground floor, we'll have a better shot."
"We'll do it, if you do something for us," Jenny said. Mum had looked resolved, the fear temporarily pushed aside while she was here.
"What?" I looked up from the hallway where the guards were still standing.
"Grab some pants," Jenny said, patting my cheek. I looked down again and had to blush. The two of them walked off, down the other hallway. I hope they know what they're going to do.
"Just smack them upside the head with something really hard," I yelled at them before shaking my head. The block wouldn't reach them, especially since the block hadn't yet separated.
By block, I meant that there was a rough shape of five men standing with weapons of some sort. Where they were in the room was difficult for me to tell, but I knew at least when they would be coming up the stairs, as the water was now leaking into the lobby and the rest of the ground floor.
As I walked down the hall, I let me anger get the better of me once. With the water still wrapped around me hands, I took a swing at the nearest guard. The water rushed to the other side of his head as my fist connected, but the force was enough to knock him off his feet, especially since I hadn't given too much with my control.
The water swelled up behind me as I drew the anger back into me. Checking quickly for a pulse, happy to find one. My anger did that, my anger could have killed him. I could have killed him. I almost did.
Looking back at them, the water behind me rose upward, about the height of the guards. "Lights out, ladies." I couldn't help it, really. My father said stupid lines like this when he was nervous, and I'm starting to think that I picked up the habit.
Letting go of the control over them, I released the water. The concussive force of the wave knocked them all of their feet, but I managed to catch them, again with the water before them fell to the floor.
I couldn't be the killer that these men seemed to think I was. No matter how angry I got. I couldn't. No, I might turn into something worse, but I still would not be that man these people were making me out to be. A monster.
Taking calming breath, I felt the pain that had been slowly building taper off. I had to wipe the blood that was now dripping slowly from my nose, but other than the headache which was quickly turning into a migraine, I was fine.
I grabbed the largest soldier there, though I probably had a good two inches on him. Stripping him of his pants wasn't too difficult, and the walkie talkie I grabbed should give me an idea of what the hell those soldiers are doing down below.
I pulled the pants on quickly. Now that they told me I was naked in front of them, the embarrassment of it set in. Granted, the situations did not call for anything else but still.....
The pants were tight, but I'd manage until I found something better. Course, the water wasn't helping me any, but then again the things I did for my Mum.
"You done yet?" Standing back up from an attempt to stretch the pants, I saw Mum and Jenny both smiling at me. "We've been done for several minutes." Jenny said.
"Not now," I said with a slight growl. The headache was quickly ruining the calm I had managed to maintain. I flipped the radio on, letting the static fill the air before the voice echoed in the halls.
"-Above us." "Roger."
"I'm going to ask that you either stay up here or defend yourselves some way," I said.
"You going to kill them," Mum asked. Looking back at the men now on the wet floor, I wanted to tell her that I wouldn't kill them. That I would be better than them. I wanted to tell her this so badly that it hurt.
"If they give me no other choice." The water drew back up to my hands, sweeping around them. "But I do not expect that."
"Be careful," Jenny said, letting Mum give me a tight hug before I entered the darkness.
I walked on water as I descended the stairs. They could not hear my steps and if they saw me, then I was technically unarmed. There was a sprinklers system in the lobby, and these men were wading through the center of it. Applying pressure to the system forced it open, showering the soldiers. Of course, there was the added bonus of the applied pressure to my skull. But I could see them and that pressure died quickly as I released my limited control over the sprinklers.
They were covered in water.
They were now mine.
As one, they raised their weapons, aiming toward me. "Move slowly, and put down your weapon." English, which meant that they knew where I was from, and knew more about what they were doing here.
I looked at my hands for a moment before taking a step forward. The water slide from my hands back around the floor. The splash must have confused them as their weapons lowered slightly.
"I'd like to leave." My hands were resting at my side, but I could feel the water as if it were still around them.
"Stand down," the leader said. The water around them drew tighter in on itself, but not tight enough for them to fail to move.
"What are you going to do to me?" There was water rising in the basement, pooling deeper at our feet. I did not need to fake the fear in my voice, it truly was there. "I just want to go home."
"Can't let you go son," one of them said. The water was rising, to knees of them by now.
"No, you probably can't," I said, taking another step forward. And another.
The guns were leveled against my head. "Do not move." The voice gave no room for arguments.
There were no tendrils I had come to expect from the telepaths. I had no reason to not believe that I was the largest threat in the world. And these men needed to know why.
The water rose in front of me, building not a wall, but a wave of such force that it would knock them off their feet. Bullets began to flare against the wall, but like at the hotel, I increased the pressure of the wall until they barely moved inside. They wanted to play with bullets, I'd give them my own version.
From behind the wall, I raised my hands, watching the men move outward. The images were refracted in the water, so I had no idea where they were. To me that did not matter.
I sent out a test shot. A single droplet of water. That was all I needed. The droplet shot off toward one of the refracted men.
The droplet missed, but it gave me the info I needed. Between the pressure I gave the droplet of water, and the speed I sent it flying with, the crack against the wall and the sound of something shattering was enough for me to take my chance.
Behind my wall of water, I was protected enough that the bullets weren't getting to me. The problem was that they had figured this out. Crap....
Their voices were muffled from behind my wall. Even flipping on the radio did not help me. I couldn't spend time on these fools. I needed to get out of here. I needed to make sure Mum and Jenny are safe, then find out what the hell is going on!
More water moved around me as my mental tirade began. The anger was boiling inside of me and I felt a viciousness that only overcame that night in the hotel. The orca in me was rising to the surface again, riding the waves of fury that were building inside of me. They wanted to keep me here, to study me, to probe me, to kill me when they were finished. Who knows what they would do to Mum, let alone Jenny? More than that, why? Why were they doing this?
Despite my wall of water, the floor had flooded to fill up to my knees. These men would have an advantage as long as they could stand. I could try and fire at them like I did with that first droplet. But that only made them more cautious. They had stopped firing against me and the closest soldier was nearly ten feet away. They had regrouped.
The other block had continued to move up to the security room. All systems were down, communication was done. As long as no one went for my family, just a floor up, then these men would leave here alive.
Water surrounded my waist, and if I let the water wall drop, then it should reach to mid chest. More than enough to hinder these guys almost completely. If they weren't elementals, and they hadn't shown any movement otherwise, then this would work out well.
I took a deep breath as I crouched in the water. This was no different them my swim in the Olympic pool. I had ten minutes, but I didn't need that many. I was in my element, and I was my element.
The wall dropped, quickly filling the room with water. Blinking once, then twice, I found I could not see that well in the darkness. Panic began to swell in me and could not stop myself; I opened my mouth, and my rumble of a cry came out. All of a sudden, the world lit up, slowly, but it did nonetheless. The colors were not there, but I could make the outlines of the people and their small movements through the water. Testing myself again, I let out another cry as I changed direction. Same thing. The further the cry traveled, the less detail I had. The men were moving slowly though, which gave me time to swim to the furthest one.
He did not either see me or notice me. Either way, I had the advantage. Grabbing his legs, I pulled down while forcing the water upward. This made the splash larger then it really was. I knocked the man out before he even knew what had happened. All it took was a hard blow to the back of the head, and he was unconscious and in danger of drowning. He floated back up to the surface as I turned to find my next target.
By now, they were firing into the water, which made it difficult for me to swim around like I had before. I watched their movements. There was no need for my cries to echo, the bullets were doing a fine job of showing me where everything and everyone was.
Swinging around to the perimeter of the lobby, it was easy to get behind the next target. It took only moments for me to get a chance an attack. The man turned away from for an instance, and that was all I needed. I grabbed the ankle of the man, pulling him down as the water was forced upward, giving me a chance to breath. Water wrapped around my hand as I swung it against his head. The helmet spun off and sunk in the water even the man floated back to the top.
Mum and Jenny were fine and the block had made it to the security room. It was only a matter of time before they began to search the rest of the building, if they hadn't known where they were already.
This had to end quickly. All I could think of was a vortex, one that would give me the cover of the water and the strength of it at the same time. And I still needed to get Mum and Jenny out of here. With these two still here, that meant that there was the chance of more outside. I was the water. And it was me.
The water began to form a current, twisting around the room, gaining speed as it spun. I did not need to place much effort into swimming back to the stairs, the water carried me there and I just pushed myself gentle out of lobby.
"You trust me?" I said, not even pulling myself out of the water. Mum and Jenny just stared at me as I held out my hand for them to take.
"Is it safe?" I gave them a smile. It wasn't safe enough for us to walk out, but to do a little surfing...well...that was a horse of a different color. Which there were now because of MORFS. Freaky...
Mum and Jenny both held out their hands, stepping slowly into the water. I glanced over my shoulder, where the vortex had formed in the lobby. I couldn't see it, but I felt the current beating against my body. The men were now trapped in the center, with no way out. The other block was moving in our direction. Now or never.
"Take a deep breath, and don't let it out until you feel us surface again," I said. They would never be able to hold their breaths as long as I could, or even swim in these currents. While I could do both, it wasn't my intent. "Hold on tight, and I promise we'll get out of here, and you'll get to the American embassy." They both nodded, and didn't question me when I qualified my answer by saying only them. They'd realize when they got there.
Wrapping my arms around them, I took a short breath before diving under again. I let the water carry us around the lobby once, gaining a feel of the speed. Mum and Jenny couldn't handle this much longer. The water swung us past them, the unconscious soldiers swinging around in the vortex.
Now or never.
I pushed the water out of the door, carrying us just behind the break of the wave. Swimming to the top of the wave, I stood on it, much like I would if I was surfing, if I knew how to. Mum and Jenny began to cough, violently, but they were both alive, still clucking to me. I brought them closer to my side, concentrating on the street before us.
We were in the city, riding what had to look like a tidal wave, under my control no less. And all I think about was what would it look like if I stopped an asked for directions. Again, my father's sense of humor breaking through.
"Take, -cough- a right up here," Jenny said. I gave her a squeeze, silently thanking her for the help. The pressure was building in my head, and I could feel the pain joining it. "It shouldn't be more than a few blocks." Thank God.
"Donovan," Mum said, reaching up to touch my face. I felt her wipe away something.
"Not now, Mum." I could see the American flag flying. I brought the water lower, swinging between cars. At the height I was riding before it didn't matter if there were cars or people. The water moved out of the way fast enough for me not to care.
The pain was unbearable at the end. My head felt on fire and the water reacted like it was. The movements were no longer graceful. It took my strength, all of it, to hold onto Mum and Jenny. It took determination, the last of mine, to drop them off so they didn't weren't hurt.
I spun the wave upside down, letting them fall slowly to the ground as I moved past them. The current was strong enough to carry me onward and outward without worrying about them too much. It took little thought to continue the speed, if anything, it was too easy to make it move faster or slower. If Mum and Jenny were angry, they were too shocked to show it. It took all my spirit, to the last ounce, to leave them there. The guards surrounded them immediately and began to fire at me.
By now, my momentum was too great for a single bullet to take me off course. The fire burning through my head began to burn through my chest, the left side as I twisted again, joining the water in a corkscrew.
There was a sewer, nearly a dozen yards away. Concentrating on that, I pushed the water upward, directing my own toward it. My lungs were burning, my chest was burning. As the water I road joining the sewer, I plummeted back to earth, riding the disgusting water inside there. My head was burning and I felt the world grow dark once more.
The water carried on, the current taking me to safety, hopefully. And Mum and Jenny were safe too.
My world was still burning though.....
The entire MORFS Universe can be found at http://morfs.nowhere2go.org/