Ana felt herself stir as the sound of running water rushed through her ears.
She tried to open her eyes but it was as though a weight had been put on them, making them impossible to open. And not just her eyes, her entire body felt like it was being weighed down, impossible to move.
How long have I been out? Ana asked herself.
Her brain once again registered the sound of running water, and her half-lidded eyes flashed up to the sink, she felt a cold panicked breath leave her chest as she looked up and saw the water was still running.
She slowly rolled over onto her side, just as slowly pushing herself up as a pain unlike any hangover shes ever had rushed to her head, almost knocking her back down again. She felt herself sway onto her knees, her eyes closed as she wobblily steadied herself on the floor, pushing herself up to a standing position, her vision still clouded with black spots and her legs shaking as she shut off the water, feeling herself plop back onto the wet floor, holding her head in her hands as the throbbing slowly went away.
She felt her face heat up and hear a soft hum in her ears as she steadied herself. She told herself she was just imagining it until she felt the heat get closer as her hands got closer to her face. She hesitantly pulled her hands away from her head and held them in front of her face.
To her complete and utter horror, Ana located the source of the heat and humming to two large neon purple rings rotating around her wrists.
The air grew cold as she watched the rings swirled and buzzed around her wrists as some sort of axis. The rings weren as hot as they had been earlier, but one look at her wrists told Ana they were clearly affecting her skin. Ana turned her hands so her palms were facing her, but she wasn quite focusing on the previous damage. Instead, she was watching the rings spin in some sort of trauma induced fascination, wondering how long the rings had been spinning on her wrists.
Her breath was thin as she got an idea.
With extreme caution and hesitation, Ana touched the spinning ring with her fingers, anticipating a burn similar to the one she encountered earlier. To her bewildered and pleasant surprise, the ring dematerialized in a flurry of shimmers and sparkles, dissipating in a sound like wind chimes.
Ana felt a thick layer of sweat form on her entire body as she shakily touched the second one, which mimicked the behavior of the first one.
Ana sat in silence for a few moments, rubbing the skin on her wrist with her uninjured hand, her head swiveling around to look at the kitchen clock, which read 1:37 am. Anas eyes widened in shock, she needed to get home- like now.
With a bit more speed and more motivation than before, Ana, using the sink as support, stood back up and heaved herself out of the kitchen, flicking the lights off before she hobbled out of the room, her leg falling asleep as she walked. She shut the back door to the storage room, shuffling mostly on one leg to the counter, flicking off the lights there, then picking up her bag at the door, finding her keys and relocking the glass door, then pulled down the awning all in some sort of state of shock.
Ana limped along the city streets, seeing little to no cars driving through the city, as most of the shops were closed, she didn expect a taxi to be lurking around here anywhere, and even if there was, it would be incredibly expensive this time of night.
She approached the bus stop, a sliver of hope in her mind as she got closer, but the clicker of hope went out as she saw that there was no bus schedule for this time of night. Ana felt herself grow incredibly more frustrated, thrashing her arms around in anger at her awful luck. As if to make matters worse, Ana just now registered just how wet her clothes were and how uncomfortable they felt sticking to her sweaty body. After a few moments and a few tears later, Ana rubbed her hand over her face as she began trudging through the empty streets back to her apartment, which she could luckily see in the distance.
Just Ana braced herself for the long walk back to her apartment, she felt a hand grab her from behind and throw her on the ground. Ana let out a breathless wheeze as she peeked out from one eye and saw a gang of about six people glaring at her, and one woman with short black hair holding her by her shoulder and a tall man with dark brown hair was holding a knife at her. The woman kicked Anas legs, sending her flying to the ground, her back hitting the harsh concrete wall, making her hiss in pain.
”You a cop? ” One of them asked her. ”What? ” Ana exclaimed bleary, ”No! Im a college student! ”
A young woman in the back with a high bun looked her up and down. ”Yeah, and your other friend that came here yesterday was really an intern at an office that closed down two weeks ago. ” Ana frantically looked between the group, a feeling of gross panic deep within her stomach. ”I- I swear to you Im a student, I can show you my ID, I work at the disco diner just around the corner- I go to JHU- ” Ana spluttered, reaching into her bag for something, but she wasn quite sure what.
One of the guys pulled out a knife and pointed it at her, making her freeze in her tracks, a burning sensation taking over her head and arms.
”That ID could be fake, come on how gullible do you think we are. ” One of the women in the back snarled at her.
”I- Im telling you- ”
One of the guys in the back shifted uncomfortably as tears began streaming down Anas cheeks. ”Guys let up, look at her, she has to be telling the truth- ” ”Cops will do anything to bust gang activity! ” The same girl from earlier snarled at him this time. ”This is just an act shes clearly working for- ”
Anas attention went to the smell of burning cloth coming from her bag, and clearly the gang had began to smell it as well.
”Show us your hands! ” The second guy with a knife commanded. ”Now! ” He prodded when Ana hesitated. Carefully, Ana pulled her hand out of her bag, the bright purple ring humming and making a grand appearance.
The two guys holding knives jumped away from her.
”Shes a super! ” The woman with the high bun exclaimed. ”No way- ” The first guy said. ”This is a trick! Its not the first time someones pretended to be a super! ” He went to grab Anas arm, but in a stroke of panic caused by the whirring rings, she jerked back, throwing her arm away from him clenching her hand into a fist, which somehow sent the ring flying off of her arm, ricocheting off the walls of the alley and bouncing all over the place.
”Gah! ” Ana shouted, covering her head with her hands, pulling her legs as close to her chest as possible turning herself into a human ball as the ring continued to bounce and buzz violently, letting of a sound like a can being tossed along the walls.
”I FUCKING TOLD YOU SHE WAS A SUPER! ”
”Oh no, bigger problem.. ”
”We don need that kind of an enemy, ” She heard one of them say in a panicked tone, ”LETS MOVE! ”
She heard the gang run off, letting out a quiet sigh of relief and only peaking from behind her hands when the sound of the metallic ring bouncing off the walls had subsided. Ana heard soft footsteps approach her, and saw a tall shadow looming over her body.
With a fresh new wave of terror that she knew was no good for her heart, Ana looked up and saw the last person on the face of the planet she had ever wanted to see aside from maybe her homophobic aunt or the grim reaper.
Clad in a bright orange body suit that was so tight it looked more like a second skin, light blue strips along her shoulders and waist, yellow thigh high tight boots matched with yellow gloves that went all the way to her shoulders, and yellow shorts in the same identical shade of yellow. There was a white collar that cut off her costume and a large blue circle with a brown tornado in the center of her chest. She had an orange mask that covered the top half of her face with two large white circles on either side, and a large yellow T in the center of her tight mask. Everyone in the entire country knew her name for her vile terrorism and gruesome attacks.
Ana stared up at her, trembling, wondering why the universe was set on trying to kill her tonight. She opened her mouth but the only sounds that came out were soft whimpers and squeaks as Twister continued to stare down at her.
”I see you found number fourteen. ” Twister said at last. ”I was beginning to think that one was lost. Quite a unique power, that one is. ”
”So the rumors are true about you- ” Ana rasped, finally finding her voice. ”You really can detect newly transformed supers! ”
Twister stared down at her with a dead eyed stare. Her black sclera and white iris and pupils putting Ana at an intense unease, she looked like a demon from those horror movies her cousins made her watch as a kid to scare her, this time in an orange bodysuit.
Ana gulped as she stared back at her, avoiding her dead eyed gaze. ”So you know about me. ” Twister drawled in a low but commanding monotone voice. ”That means you also know who I work for. ” Ana gulped as she silently nodded, a million thoughts racing through her mind. ”S-so, what do you want? ” Ana whimpered.
Twister let out a low growl that made Ana push herself further into the concrete wall as Twister kneeled down to her level.
”I want you to come with me. ”
Anas eyes widened at she envisioned every different disastrous scenario that would ensue if she went with Twister. Dismemberment, torture, used as bait, human experiment, human super soldier-
” Ana exclaimed, still trying to push herself into the wall, her previous pain forgotten.
”Absolutely not! No way no how! You
e gonna kill me! Or- or- make me work for Zalic, or kill other people! Or- ” Twister held up a hand to silence her. ”Im not going to do any of those things. And Im most certainly not going to bring you to Zalic. Nor is she in the state. ” Twister said calmly. ”But- but the articles-! ” Ana spluttered.
”She was at the scene of the abduction but shes not here anymore. Shes looking for something she won find in Texas. ” Twister whispered. Her demeanor now peaked Anas interest. ”How do you know she isn going to find it in Texas? ” She whispered back to her. ”Because I sent her there. ” Twister said, a blaze in her black eyes. ”With false information. A wild goose chase if you will. ”
Ana took a steadying breath as she began to relax a little. Or nod off, at this point Ana couldn really tell. ”And what is she looking for in Texas? ” Ana asked. Twister looked around. ”I can tell you here, but if you come with me, Ill explain everything. ”
” Ana said, mustering up all the strength she had left in her to put a tone of finality in her voice.
”I don trust you, nor do I even like you. Ive seen the articles, the news outlets, the testimonies! You
e a monster. ” Ana spat.
To her surprise, Twister flinched slightly, an uncomfortable expression on her face at Anas words, and for a brief moment Ana thought the expression was that of hurt.
But how could she hurt over being called a monster, shes done so much evil, hurt so many people, one would think shed be proud of it, gloating at all of the crimes she was responsible for. Ana thought to herself.
”Don believe everything you see in the media. ” Twister said, a fire in her voice, but Ana couldn help but roll her eyes. ”Right, everyones wrong but you, classic. ” She said, unamused. ”Listen, I know it looks bad, and Im not denying any of the crimes that Im responsible for, but trust me when I say the media doesn have the full story. Some of those witnesses gave fake reports to cover for me, and a majority of things Ive been blamed for have been blown disastrously out of proportion. Of course, this is great for my image with Zalic, but its going to be hell for me after everythings been done. ” Twister told her, and Ana swore she heard her get a bit chocked up at the end.
”When whats done.. ” Ana couldn help but query.
Twister took in a deep breath and looked around. ”I want to tell you, and I plan to, but you have to trust me. Zalic cannot find you, under any circumstances. Please, come with me before someone sees us. ” She sounded sincere, but Ana assumed someone as heartless as her was capable of pulling on a few emotions. But.. still.. What if she was telling the truth.
”How can I trust you? And why should I? Youve given me no reason to genuinely believe you other than tell me the media is wrong. ” Ana asked her. ”Megumi Tan. ” Twister said. ”What? ” Ana asked, confused. ”My name is Megumi Tan. The police have been trying to find that out since my first appearance in the public eye. Im 21 years old and I go to JHU, my major is chemistry. I- ” Twister, or Megumi stopped herself and reached into a small pocket on her boot that Ana hadn seen before. She unzipped it and pulled out what looked to be a thin wallet.
Ana stared curiously at her as she pulled a thin card out of the wallet then handed it to her. Ana took it, and it showed an Asian woman with the same name, at the same school Ana went to, but she swore she recognized the face, Ana couldn remember where or when, but she knew she had seen this womans face before.
Twister took it back and put it in the wallet, then put that back in her boot pocket. ”Now do you believe me? ” She asked, slightly desperate. Feeling petty, Ana replied. ”You couldve stolen it, or faked it. ” Twister gave her a flat look and Ana looked down at the ground.
”Now, will you come with me? You
e not exactly in a state to say no, whats the alternative I leave you here? You can barely walk. ”
Ana huffed at her and attempted to stand up, a rush immediately going to her head and knocking her back down, a dozen black spots clouding her vision. Twister continued to give her a flat look. Ana sighed. ”Fine, ” She caved, frustrated. ”Ill come with you. But if you ” Ana pointed a shaky finger at Twister as more and more black spots blocked the super form Anas vision. ”Do ANYTHING I swear Ill- Ill- youll regret it. ” Ana weakly threatened.
She felt herself continue to sway as she slumped on the ground, her eyes feeling unbelievably heavy as she slowly lost consciousness.
”Yeah, ” She heard Twister chortle in her monotone voice, ”Sure. ”