Salamander 2 part 2
Tuesday, 27th of November, 2035

I woke early to get ready, though to be honest I hadn’t slept all that well, so it was more giving up on sleeping than waking up early. After I dressed in my uniform and had some breakfast, I was a bundle of nerves waiting for D to come by so we could walk in together.

When she did turn up, Gwen gave me a big hug and whispered in my ear, "I'm sure it will be fine, have a nice day at school."

I was quite quiet on the walk in, steeling myself for the trial of being the new girl. after we met up with Jane en route, she and D chatted while we walked.

Just before the school was in sight, I switched on my blue eyed Mandy disguise. Jane turned to say something and let out an exclamation of surprise. This caused D to turn, and both of them to stop stock still. They stood staring at me for a good few minutes.

"I see what Mum meant now about it being ingenious," said D.

"What?! You look totally different, I'm sure you didn't look like that earlier. How did you do that?" said a confused looking Jane.

"I ... Made a mask," I said hesitantly. "With my mind."

They continued to stare at me, Jane with shock, D with an assessing thoughtful look.

"Oh and gloves," I added, showing my hands, now pink and flesh-like.

"Hmm it's pretty convincing, you'll have to be a bit careful shaking hands or some such or people will feel your scales. When Mum mentioned you were going to hide yourself, I was thinking gloves and make-up. I forgot about your illusion abilities. The eyes are really good" D told me

I smiled a bit at her praise, because it made me feel good inside. She looked thoughtful, then smiling, she continued, "Ha, I suppose you could have gone for the full invisible girl option, bandaged yourself up like Claude Rains in the invisible man. That would be great for a fancy dress party, you have the powers to pull it off."

"But why are you doing that? Why the mask?" asked a still confused looking Jane.

"I wanted to look more normal," I said, shifting uncomfortably.

"Oh, I see," said Jane.

“Won't telepaths spot what she's up to though?” D asked.

“No you're forgetting that Tish is telepath proof,” said Jane. “They will probably not even notice she's there. Her blocking has got a lot better as she has started to consciously control her empathy. I can barely tell she's there, not that I'm that powerful. I would suspect at school whatever slight signal she gives off will be masked by the huge number of other people about. Unless they consciously notice the discrepancy, that her mind is closed and stealthed, they will just skip right over her, to louder easier pickings.”

They looked at me a bit more, then we carried on, Jane stealing glances every now and then. They didn't mention my disguise again, though they shared the odd concerned look when they thought I wasn't watching.

We arrived at the school a short while later. Jane and D led me to our class room for registration. They said hello to a few people along the way, mostly I wasn't given a second glance. Unlike my old school, it was big enough that you were unlikely to know everyone in your year, let alone the school. So a new face, especially my disguised one, blended into the scenery. Having experienced the mental onslaught of emotions the previous day, I was better prepared to handle it. I was less on edge as we made our way through the halls.

Once we got to our classroom, on the second floor of the English building, I drew more interest. Various girls came up to D and Jane as we walked in. It was still early, so there were only a handful of people, almost all were giving me interested looks.

“Who's the new Girl, D?” asked one slight brunette.

“This is Mandy, she's starting today,” D replied.

“Hi,” I said.

“You get lumbered with showing the new girl around or something?” asked a blonde, who had cat's eyes.

“Nah, Mandy's a good friend of Ours. She used to live a further away, but she's moved to the big city with her sister,” D said.

“You are so terrible at introductions,” Jane smirked as she took over introducing me around.

I promptly forgot the names of everyone I was introduced to. I did notice I was getting appreciative glances and emotions from some of the boys. I tried to block as much of that out as possible, not wanting yet another thing to fluster me. I noticed there were a few obvious MORFS survivors in the group, some boys, some girls. Usually they were partial hybrids of some description, none stood out quite so much as D & I did. Another thing I spotted looking at the class was that, apart from D, I was probably the tallest girl. I was even taller than most of the boys.

Great,”  I thought, “As if I don't stand out enough already.”

We took a seat towards the back of the room and chatted about this and that, fielding the occasional, “Who's the new girl,” questions.

Soon after the bell rang for the start of school, a fairly stern looking middle aged man rushed in. “Right lets get started, OK, first things first. We have a new student starting today. Amanda Wilson, are you here?” the teacher asked.

I raised my hand.

“Right, Right. Come up to the front, so people can get a look at you,” the teacher said.

I walked to the front and faced the class, once again getting a barrage of emotions. As all the eyes in the room locked on me, I tried not to squirm too much, but all that attention made me want to disappear.

“I'm Mr Griffiths, your house teacher, I also teach maths, I think you're in my class if I remember rightly, so I'll see you a bit later,” He said to me, then he turned to the rest of the class, ”Anyway, I hope every one will make her feel welcome and so forth. Does anyone want to volunteer to show her around?”

Half a dozen boys stuck their hands up. Then D spoke up, “Jane and I will show her round, we know her well already.”

“Right! Good, good, Dorothy, take a seat Amanda and we can get on with the register.” Mr Griffiths said.

I walked back to my seat, the disappointed gazes of the boys who had volunteered following me all the way back. Mr Griffiths took the register, they went by surname, so I was nearly last. There were a few announcements, then the bell rang again. Everyone sprang to their feet and headed off to the first lesson of the day. It was English for me, a class I shared with both D and Jane. The same dance was repeated again, where I was the new girl made to parade in front of the class. Then it was down to business.

They were reading Shakespeare, Romeo and Juliet. I would have to catch up, but it seemed they were not going at a very fast pace as I read along. Towards the end of English I was starting to feel the strain of keeping my blue eyed Mandy illusion up all the time. I put my hands under the desk, dropping the gloves, it reduced the strain of maintaining the illusion, and I felt a bit better. Being the new girl, I was one of the lucky ones made to read out a section aloud. I felt very nervous speaking out loud to a group of people I didn't know. Though after hearing some of the other attempts after mine, I guess I didn't do too badly.

After that bit of light reading, it was time for humanities. I kept my hands hidden on the way, so I didn't have to cloak them in illusion, reducing the strain of maintaining my disguise. There was a similar new girl routine in humanities. It was beginning to get a little tiresome. We then settled into the lesson proper. It got increasingly hard to maintain even just my mask, the strain giving me a splitting headache. I took a calculated risk and dropped the eye portion of the illusion. No one seemed to notice the switch from blue eyes to my natural unblinking iris-less orbs. Dropping the eyes bought me some time, but I could feel the strain wearing me down. I barely made it through the lesson. As people turned their attention inward to the room again, I drew on the last on my reserves and covered my eyes again. Luckily it was break time, I needed somewhere safe to drop my disguise, and spend a while regaining my strength.

When I asked D and Jane where the nearest toilet was, they showed me the way and waited for me. Inside, I found a free stall and locked myself in. I dropped my illusion, practically collapsing from the strain. I sat quietly, allowing myself to recuperate. I knew from experience that I wouldn't take me too long to recover enough illusion juice to be ready to go again. I would have to be more careful about conserving my power, getting so low that I lost my mask completely would be disastrous.

Feeling my power levels returning to normal, I put up my illusion and headed out. As I was heading out the door of the bathroom, I almost walked straight into Stacy Smith, the anti-MORFS girl who had attacked me at the shopping centre. When she walked right past me, not even seeing me, I decided my disguise had just passed the acid test.

When I walked over to where D and Jane were waiting, Jane asked. “You were gone rather a long time, are you alright?”

“I'm fine.”

“It's the strain isn't it? You can only keep the disguise up so long before needing a break,” D stated.

I looked at her and nodded, then looked away, feeling ashamed at my weakness.

“Hey,” said Jane, “you know you don't have to hide who you are with us. I understand that you don't want to attract bullies after what you've been through. We just don't want you to hurt yourself by trying to hide your wonderful true self.”

When both D and Jane put a hand on my shoulder, I looked up and gave them a smile. They were great friends, I was so lucky to have them.

We were about to head over to go on a little tour Jane had cooked up, when Stacy emerged from the toilet. She had been joined by one of her henchgirls, Becky.

“You're new here, aren't you. Why are you hanging around with the big dumb animal. Normal people should keep as far away as possible,” Stacy said, with characteristic venom.

“Bite me, Smith! Has your boyfriends been beaten up by any more little 16 year old girls yet?” D retorted.

Stacy gave her an icy stare then turned to look at me. When she looked more closely, her expression turned to one of confusion. “You look familiar. Do I know you?”

“I don't think so, I'm not from around here, I only moved recently,” I replied hoping she wouldn't see through my disguise.

She was about to start in on D again, giving me the odd confused glance, when her eyes seemed to lock on me and hate burst out from her like an explosion. “YOU!!!” she screamed, her voice raw with hate.

She started towards me and just I was getting ready to run or disappear, when I realised she was looking past me. I turned to see Helen, the girl who had been one of Stacy's helpers back when she attacked me, standing in the corridor behind me. Fear and helplessness radiated from her as she turned and ran with a terrified squeal.

Stacy and Becky raced after her, Stacy shouting, “Come back here, you freak lover! I told you if I ever saw you in my corridors again, I'd beat you to within an inch of your life.”

I watched the retreating Helen, with Stacy and Becky in hot pursuit. I felt a bit sorry for Helen. While she had taunted me, I knew what being in fear like that was like, I wouldn't wish that on anyone.

We continued on our tour, my friends taking me through the buildings, pointing out the quick way to get from place to place. Jane told me what short cuts were OK to use, which ones teachers frowned upon but you could get away with if you were sneaky, and what routes were strictly off limits.

As we were walking through the corridor in one building, we came to a section that looked like a bomb had hit it. There were holes in the walls and the ceiling looked damaged.

"What happened here?" I asked.

"Oh, some of the anti-MORFS crowd picked on some newly changed girl who went a little nuts and started throwing them through walls, She put at least one of them in hospital, so I heard. That's what I meant about Smith’s boyfriend, he was one of the injured ones. It took weeks for them to get back to their usual nastiness," D said.

"I can't believe they still haven't repaired this, that was months ago," Jane said.

"What happened to the girl?" I asked.

"No one knows," answered Jane. "The common consensus is she was expelled, but no one knows for sure. After it happened, she just never came back to school again."

We continued our little tour they showed me all the places where people could meet, where to get lunch and so on. We went to the library for the remainder of the break, D took us to the back where there were very few people and suggested I “relax” for a bit. I took a look around seeing only a table of 4 people, one of which was the hybrid boy I had seen being attacked the other day. I figured D wouldn't have brought me here and told me to relax unless it was safe to let my guard down, so I dropped my illusion and rested as just me.

It was a relief, maintaining the illusion was taxing. Jane told me that the library was a safe haven of sorts for MORFS survivors. Miss Gordon maintained an iron rule and had a zero tolerance approach to any sort of bullying. I figured I might well be spending a lot of my time hidden away in here.

While we were there, we did some of homework that we had already got. I had received a fair number of things to do in addition to the standard homework, mainly catch up work getting me up to speed with where the rest of the class was.

We decided to leave a bit early, our next lesson being right across the other side of the school. On the way out, I switched on my blue eyed Mandy mask. Miss Gordon sitting at the front desk caught a glimpse of me as I did it and got a fairly shocked look on her face. “I didn't know you were a shape shifter, Amanda. Normally that sort of thing is mentioned, to stop people passing themselves off as someone else in exams.”

I gave a sheepish smile then said, “I'm not a shape shifter, I have some localised illusion abilities. I can make illusions in a shell around my body. As a side effect I can make small changes to my appearance. Anything more wears me out pretty quickly.”

“You should show her its primary function,” said D mischievously.

“This calls for a little showmanship,” winked Jane.

She waved her arms with a flourish, “I, the great and powerful sorceress, Jane The Mighty, will make a girl disappear into thin air before your very eyes. See? Nothing up my sleeves, nothing hidden in my hands, and now the magic word, Abracadabra!”

As she gestured to me, I switched on my invisibility. Miss Gordon gave a gasp, then a chuckle. With a smirk she asked, “Oh great and powerful sorceress, what will be your next trick?”

“How about levitation,” I said. Moving to stand behind Jane, I grabbing her by the waist, lifting her quickly into the air.

Jane gave a shriek and waved her arms about a bit, “Put me down, Tish. You'll drop me.”

I made myself visible again and lowered her to the ground.

“As you command, oh great and powerful sorceress,” I said with a grin, which caused D to burst out laughing.

“That's a neat trick you've got there, Amanda. Anyway, you girls better get off to your next lesson,” said Miss Gordon.

I turned my mask back on and headed out the door as we set off for our next lesson.

On the way we encountered a large group of MORFS survivors, standing at a corner of a building. They seemed different in their attitude from the other individuals I had encountered in the library and halls. They carried themselves with a sort of swagger, like they could walk right through any obstacle in their way. Of course for all I knew that was the case.

“Oh great,” Jane groaned. “It's the power freaks.”

I looked at her quizzically, but she just shook her head. As we approached the corner I practically walked into Helen, who was coming the other way looking flustered. When I apologised, she looked at me with a confused look on her face. I felt a burst of intense surprise, forgetting I was in disguise.

“It's you, the girl from the shopping centre!” she said.

Shocked, I looked at D and Jane in a panic. I wasn't sure what to do. Should I admit it or deny that I was who she thought I was.

While I was mulling this, a hand clasped Helens shoulder and she was wrenched backwards. A very large, almost as tall as D, green skinned boy had her in his grip. “You aren't welcome around here Baxter. Where's your little friends Smith and what's-her-name?” the boy asked.

“They cut her loose, some falling out over doctrine, or hair colour, or shoes, or some such.” A small brunette girl with red glowing eyes gave a wicked laugh.

A group of four other girls, seemingly slightly separate from the other group of MORFS survivors, joined in the laughter. Though they sounded genuine, to my empathic senses, they seemed to be faking and were a little afraid of the small red eyed brown haired girl. There was definitely a hint that they were deferential to this seemingly weak girl, which was odd.

The rest of the group as a whole seemed to be about strength and power, they had a distinctly macho vibe coming off them even some of the girls. I puzzled over the subgroup, a little not sure why they were different.

Maybe they're some sort of gang, and the little red eyed girl is the leader or something,”  I reasoned.

“So you don't have the Neanderthals to save you now. Better run, little mundane and don't let me catch you round here again,” the green boy said with menace.

He shoved Helen hard, knocking her down. She screamed and scrambled to her feet, disappearing down the corridor. I felt even more sorry for her. Now she was hated by both the anti-MORFS lot and MORFS survivors alike. This lot seemed to be much more militant than the other survivors I had encountered.

“D, good to see you. When are you going to come and join us, stop hanging around with these low powered misfits and mundanes?” the boy asked.

“I'm fine as I am, Winston. I don't choose my friends based on their powers,” D said.

I noticed that Jane and I were being more or less treated as invisible. I felt only disdain emanating from them. The group and the sub gang of girls gave Jane and me looks of thinly veiled contempt. They seemed to treat D as an equal, a compatriot, but that didn't seem to extend to us.

“Well, better get going,” said D.

“Come back any time, D,” Winston said, then gave me and Jane a look that strongly suggested we were not included in this invitation.

As we were leaving, the red eyed girl walked up to Jane with an evil grin. “Hey Collins,  want to try and keep me out of your head again?”

Jane visibly tensed up, “No Trisha. I'm fine with the fact you are the more powerful telepath. I don't need to play any more power games.”

“Too late,” the girl said. Something passed between them at the edge of my senses, Jane let out a yelp.

I could feel the after-effects of what ever Trisha had done, and it didn't seem pleasant. She laughed wickedly, obviously taking pleasure in hurting Jane, her gang joining in, cackling along. I was beginning to see why they feared her, and was more than a little worried, when she turned to regard me with her red gaze.

“Who's the new plaything? I bet I can get into your head even quicker than plain Jane,” Trisha said.

She looked at me, her eyes glowing brighter. I flinched back, which caused her to laugh. Then nothing happened, I felt her confusion, her smile gradually drooping to a look of surprise. I could sense her probing, trying to get in my head. She was very powerful, but she couldn't get a grip on my mind. It was locked up. I didn't want to take any chances, so I focused on locking it down tighter, using the exercises Jane had taught me to prevent any more episodes of psychic backlash.

Her confusion intensified, as her powers now failed to even find my mind, slipping off its tightly armoured exterior like someone trying to grip water. She was starting to get worried, perhaps that her power's were failing or something.

“Why can't I sense you!” she said in horror. She started to move towards me, to what end I don't know. Luckily, the bell went off behind us, distracting her.

“Time to go,” said Jane, grabbing my hand and practically running away.

When we were safely away from the group, I asked, “Who were that lot and what was with the girl with the red eyes?”

“Oh they are the antithesis of the anti-MORFS crowd, the power freaks as I think of them. They have gained some fairly substantial abilities through MORFS and think they are better than anyone else, especially the anti-MORFS lot, not only anyone else who has yet to go through MORFS, but also those of us with lesser abilities. It's an exclusive club, the requirements for entry some serious high level powers. There are only a handful of people in each school year that qualify, the percentage of those that go through MORFS and gain serious powers being what they are. D just about qualifies, being big and strong. You could get in no doubt, if you wanted to,” Jane told me.

“No thanks, they seemed as bad as the other lot.”

“My thoughts exactly.” Jane gave me a radiant smile, obviously very pleased that I felt like her.

“Who was the red eyed girl?” I asked.

“That's Trisha Jackson, a seriously powerful telepath. She has a chip the size of the London Eye on one shoulder and one the size of Big Ben on the other. She's a well balanced individual,” said D, with a heavy dose of sarcasm.

“Like the rest of them, she thinks, that her abilities make her better than anyone else. Unlike the rest, she likes to prove she has the strongest mental muscles. She likes to toy with people,” said Jane.

“She's a big bully, but mental rather than physical,” D said.

“I felt her when she was trying to get in your head though. All that power she was exerting, it was a like a psychic H-bomb going off, and it was just bouncing off or sliding past. It was quite something,” said Jane with a satisfied smile.

“Probably best to avoid her though. Now that she has tried and failed to get in your head, she's not going to be happy till she cracks you open like a walnut. She's physically pretty weak, you could take her if you had to, but best not to aggravate those nutters unless you have to,” D said.

We hurried on to our lesson. It was the same story as before, I did the new girl routine again. I was more careful with my use of my illusion, maintaining the bare minimum I needed to remain disguised, without wasting energy. Soon it was time for my next lesson, the first one where I wasn't in the same class as D and Jane. It was Maths, which I was in the top set for, but neither Jane or D was. I was a bit nervous. Until now I had my friends to support me in each new class.

I got to the room and as I looked for an empty seat, a pretty dark haired girl sitting in the middle row asked me, “Are you new?”

“Yes, I started today,” I replied quietly.

She smiled, “You have that caught in the headlight look. Take the seat next to me, it's empty.”

I thanked her and sat down. A few moments later Mr Griffiths came running into the room.

“Right, sit down everyone, we have a lot to do today. We also have a new student, Amanda Wilson. That's her there next to Alice Killian. Introduce yourselves and swap your life story's on your own time. Right, algebra,” and we were right into the lesson. He didn't let up and went very quickly, yet he had the knack of explaining complex things without losing you completely, like all really good teachers. Still it was an effort to keep up.

At the end of the lesson I was exhausted and barely hanging on, both as a result of my mask and the frantic pace of the lesson.  As I packed up my stuff and got ready to go, the girl next to me stopped me. “I'm Alice.”

“Mandy,” I replied.

“So, did you just move into the area?”

“Yeah,” I was starting to feel the strain. I was frantic to get away and have a rest.

“It's a nice enough area, I've lived here my entire life. What are you doing for lunch?”

“I'm meeting my friends D and Jane.”

“I see,” she put strange emphasis on the words, almost like she disapproved. At other times I might have been able to sense her emotional state, but I was too tired from holding my disguise.

“I should get going.”

“See you later,” she said brightly.

I grabbed my bag and bolted out of the room. I dived into the first girls' bathroom I could find and took a rest. After I had recovered sufficiently, I headed out to meet D and Jane. They were waiting for me outside the canteen and after explaining how the lunch system worked, we joined the queue.

I was ravenous, it must have been the strain of maintaining my illusion, or maybe just all the extra thinking I was doing. Either way, I tucked in to my lunch with gusto. I couldn't quite grip a knife and fork in either hand yet, so I resorted to using a spoon. I barely tasted the food, but it filled me up and was most welcome.

We chatted a bit about how our lessons were going, and then I mentioned the girl Alice who had been friendly to me. Jane fixed me with a serious stare, “You need to be careful.”

“How so?” I asked.

“Well I've heard some things about Alice. I don't think she's overtly anti-MORFS, but there are rumours about ... tendencies,” Jane said.

“Oh,” I said.

“I don't want to see you hurt, Tish,” Jane said with a smile.

I thought about that, it was always possible that the rumours were wrong. I would just take it as it came, but it would be nice if I could make more friends. Still, it was only my first day, plenty of time to make new friends. I told D and Jane about the rest of the class, including the frenetic pace of Mr Griffiths' lesson.

“I'm glad I'm not in the top set for maths. That sounds like a nightmare,” said an aghast D, to which Jane nodded, looking similarly shocked.

Our lunch finished, we continued our tour taking in the sports fields, the tennis courts, the schools indoor swimming pool, and the PE hall. We wandered some of the other blocks, then went back to the library. D and Jane had to go and get some printouts from a teacher for one of their classes. After much persuasion that I would be alright left on my own in the library, they dropped me off.

I wandered over to the reference section and, spotting an empty table, sat down to get started on the mountain of homework I had been accumulating.

A few moments later a vaguely tomboyish blonde girl with short hair, walked up and said, “That's Jen's seat, you can't sit there!”

“I'm sorry,” I stammered. “I thought it was free.”

I quickly packed up my things and moved to another table, this time checking that no one else was about. Come to think of it, I hadn't seen anyone at the previous table, but maybe there was some etiquette that I wasn't aware of. I shook my head, trying not to get too worked up about it. I worked away at my homework, making slow progress through the various tasks.

Beginning to get a strange sensation of someone watching me, I glanced up to see the blonde tomboyish girl giving me a look. She stared at me for a bit, then went back to what ever she was doing. Her table now had a few people sitting at it. I remembered seeing some of them in there before, maybe that was their regular table. I would have to try and remember that in future, I didn't want to annoy anyone. If the library was my only safe haven in the school, I didn't want to ruin it by offending everyone here. The seat I had been sitting in earlier was still empty and as I didn't see any other girls around, I wondered where this Jen was whose seat I had taken.

A bit later, as I was getting a book down to look up something for history class, I saw the blonde girl was a few rows over getting a book herself. I decided to speak to her.

“Hi,” I said. “I'm sorry I sat in your friends seat earlier. I'm new so I didn't know it was taken. If you point her out I can apologise, I don't want to upset anyone, where is she?”

She stared at me for a few seconds wrenching torment, guilt, and sorrow churning up from inside her. It was so sudden I was taken aback and physically staggered back into the bookcase.

“I don't know,” the girl wailed and ran off crying, before I could apologise for whatever it was I had said that had upset her.

Several of her friends came running up with hostile looks.

“What did you do to her?!” shouted a boy who had a bent back and short limbs, though otherwise normal looking.

“I ... I just asked where her friend Jen was. I sat in her seat earlier by mistake. I'm new,” I stammered close to tears myself. “I didn't mean to upset her, I asked so I could apologise for taking her friends seat.”

“Oh,” he said, the anger draining from him. “She's a bit sensitive about our friend. It's not your fault.”

As they wandered off, I saw D had returned. She walked up to see what was going on. “What happened? It looked like they were going to rough you up or something.” 

“I don't know,” I replied. I described what had happened and D gave me a knowing nod.

“You know that girl I told you about, the one who caused all that damage and never came back to school?” she asked, I nodded in reply, ”Well that was their friend.”

“Oh …” .

I picked up my book and we went back to our table. I got on with my homework. Half an hour of dreary maths and history later, it was time for lessons again. I applied my mask and we went off to more of the same stuff in technology. It was a double lesson, which rotated as the term went on, through various things like home economics, sewing, woodwork, and graphics. At the moment we were doing graphics, which was a bit like drawing, but with more expensive rulers.

At the end of the day, I was exhausted, both physically and mentally. I could barely hold the mask, and dropped it as soon as I got out of sight of the school. My audible groan when I turned it off, prompted a worried look between Jane and D. Eventually D and I walked home together after Jane said her goodbyes and went off in the opposite direction.

“So how did you like your first day?” D asked.

“It was OK I guess. I would say school is school, but this is nothing like my old one.”
“Yeah I guess so,” D said.

as we walked on in silence for a bit, I kept getting this nagging feeling that we were being watched, but I couldn't see anyone. I decided my tiredness was getting to me, making me imagine things. We walked to the entrance of my road, D gave me a big smile and said she would see me tomorrow.

I wandered up to the flat and plonked down on the sofa, sorely tempted to just crash there and then. I couldn't rest yet though, I still had several stacks of homework to do. A few hours later when I had finally got the homework I needed for tomorrow out the way, as well as some of the other bits and bobs that I had got but was not due for a few days, Gwen returned from her job and I helped her with the dinner.

“Well, how was it?” Gwen asked

“Tiring,” I said succinctly.




We watched the girl as she walked home from school with her large friend. She was a complication, but one that we could handle. The girl’s disguise had temporarily confused us, but we soon learnt her tricks. One had been right to caution us. Though she looked relatively harmless, she was tricky and full of deception.

Her appearance was demonic, a sure sign of her dark nature. That she hid it, showed she knew she needed to blend in so that others would trust her. We watched her as best we could without attracting attention. While she was in school, even a discrete watch would have attracted too much interest. We would have stood out too much, so we waited till time for her to go home.

Five and I took pictures and scans of the girl. It could have been my imagination, but the girl seemed to sense us.

“Evil little monster,” said Five, pulling a knife from somewhere and proceeding to sharpening it.

It occurred to me that the girl wasn't that little. Her habit of hanging around with the big half-breed and slouching in on herself, made her appear much smaller than she was. Everything about her was a contradiction, and probably calculated. She appeared small and weak, but was strong. She hid her true appearance, taking the guise of a normal school girl. She used the others like her as armour, recruiting the half-breed to act as a bodyguard and a distraction. She acted like a shy scared girl, but she was a fearsome beast under all that camouflage. She would make good prey.

We watched her as she returned to the flat she shared with the normal sister she had somehow enthralled, then reported back.



To Be Continued... 




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