Squad Support

“Taking the visor off,” Eury advised the room by habit. The 14 year-old-girl in pajamas sat on the edge of her bed and looked down at the floor. She removed her violet-crystal visor and placed it on the nightstand next to several spares. Then she slipped on her sleep mask as she lay on the bed. “You there, Abby?” She asked aloud. Her friend was the only person in the room when she gave the warning, but she might have left in the few seconds it took Eury to lay down. Or she may not have felt like talking; the real reason Eury learned to wait until her eyes were covered.

“Yeah, I’m here,” Abby called back. Eury was glad she felt like talking. “What’s up?”

“Who’re you going to be tomorrow?”

“I’m still gonna be Abby I guess. That’s a weird question.”

“NOOooo.” Eury sat up in bed and faced the direction of Abby’s voice. “It’s the first day of school!” Eury threw her hands on the bed in excitement. “The first day of a brand new school! A school just for UNIQUES! No one knows us; we can be who we want to be!”

“Oh, okay,” Abby nodded in understanding, not that her friend could see. “Yeah, I’m still gonna be Abby.” Eury groaned with frustration and threw herself backward on the bed.

“Why aren’t you more excited?”

“I haven’t lived my whole life wanting to go to school,” Abby shrugged. “I’ve already been. It’s not that great.”

“And you’re not even a little bit excited about meeting SoundCrowd?” Eury asked.

“No way. They know we’re on Ballisea’s team; I’m sure they’ll treat us like jerks because we’re the ‘bad guys‘.”

“They wouldn’t do that!” Eury replied. “Probably. Some of them might, but Dirge wouldn’t!”

“Whoever you’re pretending to be will disappear the moment the rest of the students find out we’re Ballisea’s side,” Abby said.

“But it’s my chance to be cool!” Eury whined at the ceiling.

“Eury,” Abby said with a softer, closer voice. Eury felt the bed shift as Abby sat down next to her. “You kill people by looking at them. How much cooler do you want to be?”

“I guess,” she grumbled.

“What’s wrong with Eury?” Eury recognized Lupe’s voice from the direction of the doorway and guessed the girl just walked in.

“She’s nervous about school,” Abby replied.

“I’m not nervous.” Eury faced the direction of Lupe’s voice. “I thought it would be a good time to try out a new me.”

“She thinks she needs a cooler identity,” Abby added.

“What? No way,” Lupe grinned. Only Abby saw it. Eury felt the bed shift in the other direction when Lupe joined them on her bed. “You’ve already got a cool identity.”

“I know. I kill people by looking at them,” Eury said meekly.

“Nu-uh. That’s cool too, but there’s something even better.”

“Really?” Eury sat up again. “What?”

“Yeah, what?” Abby asked.

“You too,” Lupe said. Eury got the impression she was talking to Abby.

“Us three and the boys were all hand-picked by Ballisea. The strongest Unique that ever existed chose us…,” Eury felt Lupe poke her arm to drive the point home. “…to be on her derby team. You both know the stakes; you know she really wants to win this. She thinks we’re the best shot she has.  You guys…,” Lupe stood up. Eury felt the bed pop back up in her absence.

“…we’re the B-Squad!”


Frank stared at the black hole at the back of his empty locker and took a breath. He stepped back to scan the flow of students for anyone watching his locker, but no one seemed to notice him.

“WHO STOLE MY BOOKS?” he yelled. The crowd stopped moving for a second, long enough for everyone to give him an awkward look. Then, the students continued to their next class.

“I did! I’m sorry!” A girl squeaked. Frank turned to see a short girl with dark hair approaching him. She wore a violet, translucent visor over her eyes. “I thought this was my friend’s locker!” she smiled. As she apologized she wiggled her fingers at the black hole. It moved forward to the front of the locker, then disappeared. It left behind Frank’s notebooks and laptop. He looked at her and smiled.

“Honest mistake. I’ve got my stuff back, no complaints,” he lifted his arm for a half-hearted introductory wave. “I’m Frank, a Diablito.” The girl grinned and returned a wave.

“Eury, La Muerte.”

“What’s the visor for? Is it corrective?” Frank asked. Eury shrugged but nodded her head.

“Kinda. It keeps me from killing people when I look at them.”

“Move,” a different girl said. Frank saw a head of black hair push Eury forward toward him. He managed to sidestep out of the way then catch her around the waist as she stumbled forward. Once he helped her get steady he turned to the dark-haired girl opening the locker next to his. She wore a visor like Eury’s, except hers was opaque black.

“Hey,” Frank started to say something, but Eury placed a hand on his shoulder.

“It’s okay. Abby’s just rude,” Eury smiled at him. She tilted her head at the girl behind her. “That’s my friend, la araña. I thought your locker was hers,” she explained.

“Oh. Well, nice to meet you, Abby,” Frank waved. Abby faced him and he wondered how she could see anything through the visor. It was so dark she might as well have been trying to see through tar. She kept facing him but did not acknowledge his wave in any way. Frank lifted his hand in front of her face.

“I’m not blind,” she said.

“Sorry,” Frank apologized and pulled his hand away. “So does your visor keep you from killing people you look at too?” he asked.

“No. It keeps people from freaking out,” she said. Frank gave her a confused look.

“Freak out about what?” he asked. He saw one corner of Abby’s lip tug upward when he asked.

“Nothing. Let’s get to class Abs,” Eury interrupted. She grabbed Abby’s arm to lead her away, but she turned to wave at Frank.

“I’ll talk to you later, Frank.”

“Uh, okay,” he waved, unsure why they left in such a hurry. He pulled his node out of his pocket and called up the school map. A green arrow guided him through the school. Frank split his attention between following the green arrow and looking up to get his surroundings. The school was almost as big as the shopping mall in his hometown and he wanted to learn the layout as fast as possible. No better time to start than the first class of the first day.

He reached the highlighted room and the arrow disappeared from the display. The moment he stepped in the room he heard his name.

“Frank!” Eury called. She sat at a waist-high black lab table with Abby on one side of her. They were the only people in the bright, fluorescent room. Each table in the classroom had three stools and Eury motioned for Frank to join her table. He sat next to her and smiled.

“Hey, cool. I wonder how many classes we have together,” he chuckled.

“Four,” she replied. A loud, hollow thwack sounded when Abby smacked Eury on the back of her head. The only thing Frank saw was a blur of motion, then Eury immediately burst into nervous laughter. “HahahHA! Or more. Or less! Who knows? Could be any number. There’re lots of numbers.”

Weapons of War (4-6-18)

[WP] I didn’t want to start this fight, but I’ll finish it. [Link to post.]

“I will NOT.” Flutter growled at the kids in front of her. She stood still, though maintaining her composure took effort. 

“You think you have a choice?” Felix, the natural leader of the group, and the instigator of their revolt stepped forward from the group. He shook his head. “Ballisea’s off world, she can’t protect you.” The brown haired boy gripped his weapon tighter; his hands began to glow with a golden light. Scales formed over Flutter’s body to protect her. 

“I always have a choice,” Flutter said. Todd, a blonde boy, dropped his weapon then took a step backward leaving the two girls between him and Felix. Flutter smiled at Todd.

“Oh, they didn’t mention that I’m half dragon, did they? Good, I’m glad one of you is reconsidering.”  Abby, a dark haired girl wearing a pitch black visor over her eyes moved to grab Todd’s hand and pull him forward.  

“C’mon Todd! We can totally take her!” Abby encouraged him, then leaned forward to whisper something in his ear. Todd glanced upward in an obvious fashion and Flutter followed suit. She gasped when she saw thousands of spiders, in all varieties, streaming down from the ceiling at her. 

“Your armor won’t do you any good if you can’t move,” Abby said with a smile. The spiders began to land on Flutter’s golden scales and she brushed them off as fast as she could, but there was always more. They swarmed her, covering her tall 7′ form in crawling black and brown. Flutter had enough sense not to open her mouth, but in seconds she toppled over as the spiders encased her in layers of webbing. She wriggled on the ground trying to free herself while the four kids ran to her. 

“Nice one, Abbs,” Todd said, and they exchanged a high five. The spiders continued to wrap Flutter while on the ground tighter and tighter. Felix kicked Flutter’s prone form in the stomach. 

“You always have a choice, huh?” He kicked her again for good measure. “Not this time.” Abby lifted her weapon, but Felix held a hand up to stop her. He shook his head. 

“Eury first,” he said. 

“What? But I trapped her!” Felix nodded. 

“You did, your spiders are awesome. But we’re a team. We help each other,” he said. Felix waved the blonde girl with a purple visor over her eyes forward, and offered her his weapon. “C’mon Eury. you’re in this with us too.” She looked at Abby. The dark haired girl nodded her head and smiled in return. 

“He’s right.” Eury took the blunt weapon from Felix, and a slight smile tugged at one corner of her lips. Abby’s spiders cleared from Flutter’s wrapped body, leaving behind a large wriggling mass encased in white. Todd chuckled.

“She looks like Mundo,” he said. Eury’s smile grew, and the rest of the group laughed. The laughter was drowned out by Flutter’s scream. The two seconds the spiders did not maintain the webbing keeping Flutter contained was enough for her to tear herself free. She shredded the webbing and rushed to her feet to stare at the four slackjawed kids. The exertion took a lot out of her, but Flutter spoke through her ragged breathing.

“I didn’t want to start this fight, but I’ll finish it,” she said. The giant 7′ woman leaned down and grabbed a velvety purple pillow from the floor. “And after I win this pillow fight, it’s definitely bed time you guys.” An answer hit Flutter in the face as Eury threw her blue pillow at her. 

Circus to Circus (4-4-18)

[WP] ”Everyone here has their story” she said, looking around her. ”So what is yours?” [Link to post.]

Todd took a couple of deep breaths to relax before he pushed the solid, grey metal door open. It swung into the room easily, then he stepped across the threshold. The size of the room surprised him. When Ballisea told him to join “the others” in the cafeteria he expected a bright, wide open room filled with seats and tables. Instead he found a smallish dim room and a group of four people sitting at a round table. Dozens of pizza boxes were piled on a buffet table that sat against one of the walls. Most of the boxes looked empty and some looked older than others; it seemed like pizza was all they ate here. Todd wouldn’t complain. 

He looked over the four “others”. The first one that caught his eye was a giant pale woman with fiery red hair braided behind her. The other three looked about his age. Two girls and a boy. The blonde girl wore a translucent purple visor over her eyes, the dark haired girl wore a pitch black visor. Todd wondered how she saw through it. The boy sported a chestnut colored crewcut and wore a pair of sunglasses, but he seemed more focused on his slice of pizza than Todd’s entrance. The other three stared at him, as far as he could tell. He waved.

“Hi. Uh, I’m Todd. Ballisea told me to come introduce myself.” The giant woman stood from her seat and walked to Todd, with an outstretched hand and friendly smile.  

Hey Todd, I’m Flutter. That’s EuryAbby, and Felix.” The towering woman pointed to the the girl with the purple visor, the one with the black visor, then the boy. Todd shook her hand while staring up at her, he guessed she was at least 7′ tall. “Grab a slice, and have a seat.” Flutter said, then went back to her own seat. Todd shook his head and went straight for the table.

“No thanks, not hungry at the moment.” He sat in an empty chair between Felix and Abby. “Am I gonna get cool glasses too?” he asked. Abby chuckled. Felix started on another slice of pizza, while Eury stared at Todd. She did not so much as crack a smile. 

“Abby and Eury have their reasons, Felix just thinks he looks cool,” Flutter said. She mussed Felix’s hair, then yanked his sunglasses off while he tried to fix it. 

“Hey!” Felix said. “I’m sorry we don’t have them on my Earth.” Felix tried to snatch them from Flutter, but gave up after the third try. 

“Your Earth?” Todd asked, looking around the table. “You guys are from alternate Earths too?”

“Yep! Each one of us is from a different one. It’s awesome!” Abby said, with a large smile. Eury only nodded. 

”Everyone here has their story,” Flutter said, looking around her. ”So what’s your deal?”

“Hey I wanna hear you guys’ story too,” Todd said, looking at Eury specifically. 

“Abby is #33, La Araña. Felix is #46, El Sol. Eury is #14, La-” Flutter’s quick introduction was interrupted by Eury. 

“I’m Death.” Eury said. She stood from her seat and walked out of the room. 

“She’s still warming up to the group,” Abby said. “Which one are you?” She asked Todd. 

“#54, the frog,” Todd replied. “But, I’m already feeling kind of useless. From what Mundo told me Sol and Death are wicked powerful.”

“Oh yeah, I’m #42, La Calavera,” Flutter added. “Just to rub it in,” she smiled. “Don’t sweat it, everyone’s here for a reason.”

“I’m just a Spider, we’re on the same tier,” Abby said. “But how’d Ballisea pick you up?” 

“Uh, she bought me?” Todd shrugged, the right side of his mouth turned up in a half smirk. “My parents run a circus. We’re on the road a lot, so I’m supposed to be homeschooled. My parents never bothered with it though. Ballisea saw my act and said she wanted me to go to school, but my parents didn’t want to lose one of their biggest acts,” Todd said. He spread his arms wide and leaned forward in a mock bow. “So she asked how much it would take to convince them otherwise. They named a number, Ballisea made it happen, now I’m here.” 

“So you’re a Frog, what can you do?” Felix asked, then started on a third slice of pizza. 

“Man, you sure love that pizza,” Todd chuckled. Felix began to reply, but the mouthful of bread and cheese prevented any discernible words from leaving his mouth. 

“They didn’t have pizza on his Earth either,” Flutter said. Felix nodded vigorously while chewing. 

School Dreams (3-19-18)

[WP] You are a girl inside a research facility. Whenever you see someones face, the person dies. One day, a person wearing a golden mask comes to visit you. [Link to post.]

“Goodnight, Eury. I’ll see you tomorrow.” Dr. Argyris said into a camera. She spoke to Eury from a large screen display mounted on a wall in the girl’s secure room. “I love you.”

“‘Night, mom. Love you too,” Eury said. She stared at the screen through watery eyes. She only saw her mother’s face for a few seconds every night through the TV, just enough to say goodnight. Even though the use of technology helped minimize Eury’s ability, that tiny amount of time added up over the years. Eury knew her mother was only 35 years old, but she appeared to be much, much older. She carried the wrinkles of a 90 year old woman on her face, and what remained of her hair looked like a stringy nest of silver and white. The TV shut off, then Eury lay down in her large bed, hugged her pillow tight, and cried.

Every day her mother looked older, but not once did she complain or lash out at the young girl. Eury knew her mom already arranged plans to insure Eury would be looked after once she died. Probably within the next couple of months. The rest of the staff in the lab were nice enough, but everyone was too afraid to say goodnight. Eury was prohibited from watching movies because even pre-recorded images somehow triggered her ability. She tried to binge watch a show once, but only made it to the second episode before her mother made her stop. The entire cast of the show was hospitalized that day. Eury knew that once her mother died, the staff would stick to pre-recorded audio only, and leave her as a very well cared for prisoner.

“Hello, Eury,” a female voice said. Eury rolled over from facing the wall to look at the center of the room. The owner of the voice was a woman wearing a long black dress with slits cut on both sides that carried up to her hips. She wore white stockings, and black high heels. Eury scooted herself back into a corner on her bed where two walls met, while keeping her eyes on the shiny heels. “It’s okay, you can look up.” The voice said again. Eury shook her head anxiously, then pulled her knees up to her chest while staring at the ground. “Trust me.” The voice said again. Eury looked up, and gasped.

A golden mask, like a stylized sun, covered most of the woman’s face, leaving only her mouth visible. Pointed sun rays surrounded the rest of the mask. Behind them Eury also noticed a pair of bone-white, curling ram horns on the woman’s head. Eury kept quiet, but stared at the golden mask.

“See? I know all about you Eury, and I want to help you,” the woman said. Now that she had Eury’s attention she took a step toward the young girl’s bed.

“Stop!” Eury blurted out. “What do you want?” Eury’s hand moved to the bed and slipped under her pillow to find the emergency phone her mother left her. It was not a smart phone, just a simple one button kid’s phone that allowed her to call one person. It looked a lot like the one the masked woman waggled in her hand.

“You won’t need this, I’m not here to hurt you. Like I said, I want to help you.” The woman tossed the device to the side. Instead of landing on the floor it fell into small, impossibly dark hole. After it went through the hole disappeared.

“How?” Eury asked.

“By teaching you how to control your power. Don’t you want to watch movies, or go out and meet people? Watch people play and have fun. Don’t you want to go to school?” The woman said, her visible mouth turned up into a soft smile. School. That was what Eury wanted more than anything. Her mother let her go through old yearbooks she picked up at garage sales, after making sure everyone in the book was already dead. The kids looked so happy, and there were so many people! Eury moved an inch on the bed, toward the woman.

“How?” Eury asked again. An entirely different question this time. The woman’s smile grew broader.

“How what, dear?” The woman stepped closer.

“How…” Eury thought for a second, then changed her phrasing. “I want to go to school,” Eury said. The top points of the woman’s golden mask came forward a tiny bit as the woman nodded.

“My name is Ballisea.” Ballisea made a gesture with her hand and a larger black hole appeared in the air next to her. It was as big as the tall woman, from shiny black heel to bone-white horn. “Come with me and I promise you’ll be in school in a few months.” Eury bolted off the bed, but stopped when she saw the TV monitor behind Ballisea.

“My mom?”

“Is dying,” Ballisea said, keeping her tone flat. “You have a lot to learn about your powers, but I’ll tell you this much. The only reason she’s at death’s door is because she sees you every night. You’re very powerful, and right now your power is always on. Your mother is constantly being affected by it. Now that she won’t be seeing you every night, she can get better.” Eury didn’t need anymore reasons. She’d get to go to school and save her mother’s life. She jumped into the black portal without another word.