Lenoir The Devil Inside Me
2-One More Question
”God, I hate Mondays. ”
Eyes; deep red. Almost crimson, with an air of sunken melancholy. Although they
e mesmerizing they almost seem artificial as if no life exists behind them.
Skin; smooth. Sickly pale, perhaps to an illness? Yet the smooth luster and alluring complexion make it seem ethereal.
Hair; is almost as white as snow. So stark white it practically reflects light. The hue makes it seem as if it were dyed. But no, its natural.
Body; chiseled. The v-shaped body is as if it were crafted by a heavenly sculptor. Perhaps it was?
Yet with all of these the air around the figure was heavy and sad. With no scars, marks, or defects the only scar was the one no one could see. The ones on the inside. Yet with a splash of water, all the feelings of dread quickly dissipated.
”God, I hate Mondays. ” I said tossing a handful of water on my face as I began to prepare myself for the ”excitement ” filled day. The grand opening of a luxury Variant school was scheduled today and I would end up being dragged along.
”What was it called again? HGVU, Herold Grant Variant University… Funny little name. ” I said to myself as I began to brush my teeth. Herold Grant was the first variant, who contacted ”the originator ” while hunting a runaway slave back in 1774. To think super-abled humans have been around for almost two hundred and sixty years is something.
I spat out the water-toothpaste mixture that was residing in my mouth as a swished around a smaller quantity of water. I checked the watch on my wrist before sighing.
It was currently about 9-Am and the presentation for the school would begin at 11. I shook my head one more time before walking out of the grandiose white marble bathroom.
I was immediately greeted by the stuffed face of a seven-year-old girl. The scent of what was in her mouth quickly hit my nose. Pancakes?
”Yari? ” I asked surprised at the sudden arrival. It wasn sudden, I sensed her four minutes ago when she first came to wait at the door.
”Dah said go downstairs. ” She responded chewing her breakfast. I smiled softly and pat her on the top of the head.
Me and my family of five lived in a massive estate, 13,000 feet massive. Eight Beds, twelve bathrooms, a basketball court, and three kitchens all on different sects of the home. I think the house was listed at Fifteen million dollars. I suppose thats the price for ”royalty ” in California.
It also had over three billion dollars worth of state-of-the-art defenses, an underground training ground, and a complete 45-vehicle hangar. But those were the items that weren listed. Only four of us lived in the house, with me, my father, mother, and sister. My older brother had left to join the army and was quickly recruited into a Variant Special Force Squad.
Lost in my thoughts I hadn even realized I was already in the main kitchen facing the other two members of my current family.
Allen, and Mariane Lenoire; two of the most feared Variants in the world, well one Variant and one human, father wasn a Variant. Allen, a genius businessman with a knack for military inventions. And when I say inventions I mean things such as armored suits that allow you to fly at a thousand miles per hour, or fire beams of light from your eyes. The world knew him as Quantum, the lead member of The Paragons.
As for Mariane unlike her husband she didn rely on technology as she was pure firepower from her awakened genes. Superhuman strength, speed, and perception. Her powers seemed even sharper during the night time which is where she got her name; The Night-Owl who was also a founding member of The Paragons.
I flashed a smile at my parents as I walked towards my spot at the mahogany wood table.
”Good morning. ” We all said, a maid setting down the plate before me. The pancakes were designed in an almost pentagonal shape, with what I was certain was some kind of soft caramel syrup. Something that was not too sweet nor bitter. The pattern on the plate had me mesmerized I couldn even find the will inside to eat it. It was too pretty to look at. I almost wanted to cry.
”So, are you excited? I mean todays the big day. A big day for both of us! You get to learn more about the academy and I get to make a big fancy speech. ” My father said taking a swig from his glass. I believe he was drinking orange juice.
I stretched my neck, cracking it as I glanced at him and then back down at the plate. ”I suppose I am excited. ” Not only was today the grand opening for the academy but also the enlistment of its first official class. From what I knew classes would start in about three months.
”So… Kaine, are you sad to be leaving your old school? I know you had plenty of friends there. Im sure youd like to see if they planned on enrolling as well? ” Mother chimed in picking her fork up carefully and slowly placing a clump of scrambled eggs in her mouth.
I let her words fall in my ears for a moment. Would I miss my old friends? I mean sure, we had good times but why should I be stuck in them when I could easily make new friends at a new school?
”I don know… ”
It was a large open field, maybe the length of a football stadium. In the middle stood five men, all from the school board. Which shocked me the most was that my father was also a part of the school committee. But why wouldn he be? He was probably a large financial asset. In front of the metal stands stood a large podium on which the men stood.
Mother and I were sitting in the front row, with Yari at her school. I had dropped her off.
A tall man, who seemed to be perhaps forty simply appeared on stage. He was dressed in a black and white dress suit with a black long coat, adorned by six tiny platinum stars on the right of his chest.
The stands held perhaps four thousand people, three thousand exact of which were students. The rest parents or paid workers fill in the spot of the teenage Variant.
”Welcome, students and parents! My name is Eric Heimel, also known as Mr. Miracle. But for the next year, you will know me as Head Master Heimel, or Dean Heimel. And on this stage stand five of our senior slash head supervisors for our university. ” He stood still for a moment as he pointed to the five men on the left of him.
The stands soon erupted with cheers. All five men were either heroes or superheroes, although they mean more or less the same.
Starting from right to left it began: Dark Titan, a Variant that was able to control his size but also the density and mass of any object he held. Being able to make a folded piece of paper hit you like a truck, or throwing a car as if it were a ping pong ball.
Then: Silver Sniper, as the name suggested was an expert marksman. Ex-Marine turned hero. His gene allows him to see the exact angle of trajectory of any object he shoots or throws. Making him… an impeccable sniper.
After that in the middle with two men on both sides sat my Father: a military tech genius, billionaire arms dealer, and part-time detective.
On the left of him second, to last was a man of small stature. His hero name, Nimble: He was something akin to a ninja. A ninja who didn care about stealth perhaps. He wore a bright yellow suit when he fought crime. He was what we call a speedster, being able to run at almost Mach 20, or roughly 15,000 miles per hour.
And finally: Weston The Carver, a man whose gene lets him cut through even steel as if it were air, no matter the weapon. As long as it had an edge it would be fair game.
”Silver Snipers gonna be one of our teachers!? ”
”Is that really Quantum! ”
”I think I want his autograph! ”
”Man I can wait to start school. ”
Murmurs, shouts, and cheers filled the air, with the six important men on stage taking in all the glamor.
”Now, parents and future students I have many many words but, Ill be saving that for orientation in the next few months to come. For now please enjoy the prepared speech by our very own, Quantum! ” Dean Heimel announced.
Once again the crowd erupted in cheers. Many people stood up, screaming and clapping.
I glanced over to my side and saw my mother with a slight blush. Her eyes met mine as she spoke in my ear over the noise.
”Your father did always bring attention. Ill have to tell you a story about it later. ” She spoke.
I flashed a quick smile before laughing. ”Yes mother, Im sure you will. ” She squeezed my hand and looked back at her husband who was now standing up and walking to the middle of the stage.
He grabbed the mic and almost instantly the crowd went silent.
”Talk about one hell of an opening huh. ” He said.
He took the mic from its stand and began to walk around, presumably gathering his thoughts before he addressed the masses.
”I was born in 1981, I know I don look like it, but yes Im old. ” He took a pause allowing the crowd to laugh.
”1997, That was the year I began to fight crime. The year I would officially call myself a hero. I watched many things happen throughout history in the business. Ive seen heroes born, and heroes killed. Ive seen villains born, and villains killed. Humans and variants alike, Ive seen them risk their lives for their loved ones. Or hell, even the innocents around them. ” He took another pause, now walking in the other direction of the stage.
The sun peaked itself from the clouds raining down a golden spotlight on the stage.
”In 2018, 17 years ago I officially retired. Some may know this and some may not, but that year not only did I get married, but I was soon gifted with an amazing child
A gasp filled the air. It made sense, Father did have an intense need for privacy especially when it came to his family. Seeing how many of the audience members were around my age it would make sense for them to not know.
”I knew he was married, but he had a kid? ”
”Are they strong? I mean Quantum is human… ”
”Is the kid a Variant? ”
”Where are they now? ”
”Yea where are they! ”
”Bring them out! ”
”Bring them out! ”
”Bring them out! ”
”Bring them out! ”
This was the chant that quickly became a roar. Who knew so many people would be interested in someone having a child?
Father simply chuckled and smiled as he brought the mic back to his mouth.
”Gotta give the people what they want! ” He shouted, glancing back at the Dean. Dean Hiemsel also laughed and gave a slight shrug.
”Kaine! Get up here. ” He shouted with a smile plastered on his face.
”Who that? ”
”Where is he? ”
Mother patted me on the shoulder as she too joined in on the laughter. I shook my head and pushed myself up out of my chair. The crowds eyes beamed toward me.
I smiled as I heard the sound of women fawning.
I took a few moments to strut towards the center of the stage walking up the stairs to join the men on stage.
The Dean came up and shook my hand, patting me on the shoulder while guiding me to my father.
”Hi, son, glad to see you up here, ” Father said, pulling me into an embrace.
”Yes, it is dad. Very good to see you as well. ” I responded turning around to face the crowd.
The sun hit me in the eye causing me to wince. I scanned the crowd taking in the thousands of faces.
Those people would be my classmates in a matter of months.
Father walked to me and wrapped his arms around me. Or at least he tried, I was a few inches taller than him.
”Like I was saying, 17 years ago I watched this little guy come out of the hospital. And as selfish as it sounds, no matter how many people I saved, how many criminals I tossed in jail, or hell how many brand deals I did, nothing would ever top the time I was able to spend with my kid. ”
We looked at each other ignoring the shutter sounds of camera shots.
”Being a hero is many, many things. But the one thing is it isn easy. Whether it be things that challenge your body causing you to fight against the pain as you move rubble with 20 broken bones or a mental adversary where you need to choose who to save, there will always be a light at the end of the tunnel.
All of the students here today I saw this to you. I am grateful I get to teach and watch over the growth of the next generation of heroes.
Once again the crowd erupted…
There was no noise.
The arm that was once slung around me was still there, this time with nobody connected. The stage was now a sea of fire as the wood and steel crushed in on itself setting the grass ablaze. The front row of the stadium was all but intact.
Nothing but charred flesh heaped together in a crimson nightmare.
The crowd looked on in panic as in the air there stood a man floating above the stadium. He was clad in an all-black trenchcoat, a black fedora, and some sort of shades.
I turned around the find the remains of my father. He was laying still with the debris of the stage puncturing his entire side. His dress suit had melted itself into his skin, his skin ashen and chared. Twisted flesh protruding. His eyes wide opened with eh look of shock screaming on his face.
I turned back to the crowd as I watched them run. Looking back up at the sky the man was also gone.
I heard shuffling on the stage behind me. Four of the six men had survived the attack. Dark Titan, Silver Sniper, Weston, and the Dean were shaken up or injured but they were still alive.
It seemed Nimble wasn … nimble enough to escape. ”Haha, ” I chuckled. ”May he rest in peace. ”
e sorry, we couldn protect him. ” Dean Hiemsel said hugging me.
The noise around me faded out as I thought to myself;
With mom gone, whos gonna make food?
”God, I hate Mondays… ”
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