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Flareback and Family
Prologue: The Beginning
The patchy light from the blue sun provided shafts of contrast against the purple-grayness. Fiona liked days that turned out like this because the streaks of lights gave her a sense of comfort. Fiona, like many other teens, was walking home from school with her friends having a normal conversation on a normal day. Fiona could be considered both unique yet common. She by most standards, can be regarded as very attractive for a teen except that unlike other teens on her planet who have hair that range in color from blue to white, her hair color had become the color of straw. That one fact has made her stand out and because of that, Fiona has always felt awkward and a bit of an outsider. She feels lucky to have the few friends that she does have. Without them she feels that she’d go mad with only her brothers and sister to keep her company. Brian, her twin, is not so bad, but he tends to spend a lot of time either playing sports or droning on about historical battle strategies of famous generals. She does love him more than the other brother because of the twin bond they share. She always felt that she was never alone because no matter what she got into, he’d be there to help her out. She also thought he felt the same about her and that she’d be right there to cheer him on. Greg though is another matter. He’s known as being a clown and had always caused mischief and mayhem and usually aimed his efforts at Fiona and their sister Chloe. Chloe is the youngest and for that reason she has always been the Prima-Donna of the family. Chloe has always played the princess and has overly played up any stress that she may have endured. It’s that feeling of entitlement that Fiona finds most irritating. Many times Fiona has been shuttered into reality as she had drifted off thinking about ways she’d like to see Chloe humiliated in one way or another.
“Fiona! What do you think?” Her friend Sam said loudly.
“What? Oh, I guess so.” She replied tentatively
“Honestly Fiona, We sometimes wonder if you don’t spend all your time in the clouds and not with us. You know, we’d like to have you down here with us normal folk!” Her other friend Jas retorted harshly.
“Sorry Sam, Jas, I’ve kind of been feeling a little off today. Maybe I’m coming down with something.” She said meekly.
“Must be something! Let’s get you home, you’re practically moist!” Jas stated with concern.
At that moment a wave of heat struck Fiona making her gasp. A second later followed a searing pain in her gut as she doubled over shocking her companions. She was unsure what was going on. She’d looked up at her friends and they were looking at her in shock which was quickly turning into looks of horror. Fiona was in agony. Every fiber of her being was screaming out in pain as if she was burning up alive. Through tears she could see the two girls before her slowly moving away from her as strands of her hair in front of her face began to change from the color of straw, to fiery orange. Slowly she tried to reach out in desperation to one of the girls when her hand ignited abruptly send both girl running screaming at the tops of their lungs. Fiona was scared now. She had no idea what was happening or how to stop it. She thought that this was the end and that she’d die on the street burnt to a crisp for some unknown reason. She was in full panic and the only thing that was coming to her was to get home. She fought against the pain, struggled to her knees and began crawling towards home. A couple of steps were all she could manage, the pain was too great. She rolled over and in a loud scream burst into flames. The burst must have been large because moments later Brian came bursting through the field at top speed to get to his sister. He yelled her name and without though picked her up even though her hands were glowing hot. She was barely conscience when he began to run towards home. She questioned if it was him and he told her to be quiet, that he had to work on getting them home, that they were still a ways away and that he’d need all his strength to get her there. She knew that he could do it a told him so before hugging him to make his burden easier to carry. That’s when her hands touched him. They were hot, very hot. So hot that Brian felt the moment of pain radiate from his back where Fiona’s hands had touched him. But he was determined to get her home. He gritted his teeth, resolved himself against the pain and began sprinting to their home. The more he concentrated the less pain he felt but at the same time he felt more strength flow through himself. His only concern was getting his sister home and in less time than it would normally take, he had broken through the back door and laid Fiona on the stone topped table in the kitchen in front of their mother.
“What in the four heavens happened?” Their mother exclaimed in surprise.
“Fiona…on fire…carried home…got burned too…” he said while panting harshly.
“Oh no, it’s too soon! Too soon! Get what you can gather while I get your father out of the shed! This was not supposed to happen until next week! The Guard will be alerted by now! Stop gaping at me and MOVE BOY!” their mother yelled out wildly.
“Momma, is that you? What’s happening to me? Am I dying?” Fiona asked weakly.
“No babe, you’re not dying. We don’t have much time and I need to get your father, you’ll be ok sweet. Gather your strength because we need to leave quickly!” Her mother replied.
And with that, Fiona’s mother raced out the back door headed to the shed. The stone surface of the dining table seemed unusually cold to Fiona. Even so, it was still a welcomed relief from her earlier experiences. As she tried to catch her breath, Fiona noticed Brian in the hall with two packs draped over each shoulder and their younger siblings Greg and Chloe in tow being pulled by the arms. The young ones seemed to be protesting too much until they got into the kitchen and saw their sister lying on the table. That moment they quickly hushed and they moved into the den while Brian tossed Fiona the outfit that was in Chloe’s hand to replace the tattered and charred remnants of her school clothes. Brian seemed to acting in a way that seemed more like a drill than an improvisational act. Fiona had never seen the jump suit that Brian gave her and she began to wonder what her family knew that she didn’t.
Abruptly Fiona’s parents dashed through the back door and her father began by looking Fiona over and asking questions about powers. Her mother put a halt to the questions by replying with the word fire before snapping him into the present and getting him to concentrate on the emergency at hand. With in seconds, Fiona’s mother had hit a hidden button in the pattern of the wall causing a secret door to open exposing several large weapons. Brian was heard gasping out a ‘whoa’ just before his father ushered him into the den. At the same time, his father caught one of the weapons and activated it by turning off the safety. Fiona was pulled into the den by her mother and in one motion sat Fiona down next to her siblings and was told a brief story by their mother before they went on further. They were told of how their mother was a war hunter commando twenty years ago and how their father was a scientist. Their mother told them how they knew that there was a great chance that the kids would become Abhorrent and how their father was working on a power inhibitor serum to mask their presence. She also told them that Fiona’s powers flared up early but that Brian had been drilled in how to escape should anything go wrong. The children had looks of shock on their faces after everything was said but the silence was shattered when their father yelled out that Aimee, who was their niece, was in the street in front of the house.
In the blink of an eye, the mother had opened the door, commanded that Brian take all the others to the shed in back, and screamed at Aimee to run just as an announce horn was heard.
“Beaconine Family. This is Captain Dursagon. I have orders to apprehend all present adults and to incarcerate all children on the premises. This by order of the supreme council shall be complied with or lethal force will be applied.” was heard through out the neighborhood.
It was a second in time but it was one of those seconds that seemed to last a lifetime. In that second, a little girl in the road was scared to the point that she froze in place from the shock. Also at that time Mrs. Beconine realized that there were dozens of soldiers in front of her seeing a woman at a door with a weapon in hand. Mr. Beconine had been made aware of the exposure of his wife and shoved his weapon through the window while telling the children to run. Lastly, the commander of the soldiers, Dursagon, went wide-eyed at the sight of people willing to kill to protect some Abhorrent. With the moment in time seeming like an eternity, the next moments ran faster than flood waters.
Laser fire blasted out in all directions as Dursagon yelled out to open fire and the Beconine’s responded in kind while screaming to the little white haired girl in the street to run. She was shakened out of her fright from the sounds of the weapons going off but before she could turn and run, she was shot in the ankle and she fell hard onto the ground crying out in pain. Mrs Beconine was heard calling out the name barbarians as a hail of laser fire shot out from hers and her husbands’ weapons. Brian had pulled all the children to the back of the house with Fiona yelling out for their parents as she was being pushed to the back door. The soldiers were firing back and advancing on the house with Dursagon quickly behind them. And then for Fiona time slowed to a crawl in front of her eyes as she was the only one to see the laser fire pierce both her parents.
Fiona got out of the grasp of her brother as he flew out the back door with the other kids, watched as solders came busting in through the door and windows as her parents were falling to the ground. The second they landed fully on the ground, Fiona was glowing red with fire and the soldiers briefly saw a fiery child seething with anger just before she exploded violently. And in a flash, the house was utterly destroyed and the only thing left standing was a red-headed girl wavering in a daze surrounded by smoldering wreckage. Slowly, Brian rose from the debris and saw his sister on the foundation of the house ready to faint. With sharp focus, he ran up to her, caught her and moved her back to where their other siblings were sprawled out on the ground. Gathered together by Brian, they began to make their way to the shed. Brian hit a button, but nothing happened. Again, Brian hit at the button cursing that the floor should open up. Desperate, He drops to the floor and pounds at it with his fists and after a few hits, the floor began to crinkle at the impact points while the shed warmed up. The heat woke up Fiona from her stupor and she noticed that her twin was getting hot. Just when Brian had jammed open the doors revealing a set of stairs, Fiona begged him to stop heating up the shed before he killed Greg and Chloe. Brian calmed himself down and Fiona helped him get everyone down the long passage. After they looked at each other, they both understood that where Fiona had the power to wield fire, Brian controlled his body heat to provide himself with super strength.
Just when they were all beginning to pant from the exertion of running such a long distance with no rest, the small corridor that they had ran down opened up into a large, cavernous room with what looked like a spaceship in the middle of it. The ship was silver and blue and had the family markings on the side. The kids all looked at each other and Brian broke the silence by ushering them to the ship. Once they got into the ship, the lights came on and a computer voice wavered into existence.
“Access code and name” the ship requested.
“Bee, three, see, Kay. Brian Beconine. Fiona, Greg, and Chloe, we are all that’s left. Initiate auto protocol Deathflight.” Brian replied.
“Understood, please ensure that everyone is secured within the next 5 minutes as pre launch sequence is initiated” the voice stated.
“Brian? What’s going on? Where are we going?” Fiona asked nervously
“Your guess is as good as mine sis. Mom and Dad didn’t tell me anything beyond this point. We are on our own from this point on.” he stated uneasily.
“Oh, great, what else can go wrong?” She retorted.
All around them the ship came alive and powered up in preparation for launch. The kids moved from section to section until they got up to the cockpit of the ship. As they strapped themselves in, a monitor came down and a picture of their other flashed onto the screen. Fiona gasped and choked back a tear as the automated recording began playing.
“Hey everyone, I’m so sorry your dad and I didn’t make it with you on the ship. I know this is scary but I need you all to have courage and strength. I don’t know how many of you made it on the ship but I will assume that Brian got you all on. Brian, hun, I asked you to do this only because I knew you could focus enough to get the job done. Fiona, sweet, we weren’t sure if you could have handled the emotional burden of getting everyone to safety. I knew that if anything went wrong that you’d probably decide to stand and fight instead of running, that and the fact that Brian has developed some unique ability before we could finish finding a way to hide you all and your eventual powers from the public. We thought Brian would be the first to develop his powers so we entrusted him with getting all of you to safety. In the past, anyone who had become a abhorrent had extraordinary powers and were able to get them quickly under control after they surfaced.” The recording started.
“But mom, it was me who burst into flames first.” Fiona replied sadly.
“The history lessons will happen after the ship is underway. I will tell you now that you’re heading to a remote planet that is five years away and is on the rim of the galaxy. It’s called the Sol system and there is a primitive planet that should be both suitable and out of the way so you can all grow up and leave in relative peace. If everything goes well, you can make your way back to our planet and live normal lives. We’ve made the choice to put things into motion that hopefully special people like you will be accepted into society and not feared. The most important thing is the choice you have at this time. I leave it up to you. In each chair is a set of buttons. The choices are travel in stasis and have everything including education forced into you, or you can travel in luxury and still have education forced on you. Yes, even you Greg. The stasis button is the black one and the white button is for the freedom of not being in stasis.” The recording continued.
Without reservation, all the children pressed the white buttons on their seats. A moment later, and the ship shook as it took off down a long large corridor that opened at the same time the engines roared to life. Their new life was just about to begin.
Hours later at the site of total destruction, a patrol sifts through the debris in search of survivors. One soldier finds the child in the road whimpering from the pain in her foot. They work quickly to get her onto a transport to a hospital. Then soon following her departure, another soldier yells out excitedly that they heard another moan from under the wreckage near the foundation. They remove the shattered remnants from the house and find a soldier burned beyond recognition so badly damaged that it made a couple of soldiers convulse from the site. One man screams for medical and checks the barely living body for signs of identity.
“Oh my, hurry up, hurry up! We got Captain Dursagon here! Emergency! Get here now!” the soldier yelled.
Before today, Dursagon was a handsome man with white hair and a stoic look about him. He had been the top in his class and excelled at everything. He took great pride in himself and his accomplishments. He was known as a fair leader and cared deeply for his troops. The military was his life and he strove to keep himself in good standing with both those below him and above. It was once joked that he’d make general before he was 30 and it looked like he was. It looks as though those dreams have been shattered along with his body. As the medics move him into the transport, he wavers in and out of consciousness.
Months later Aimee is released from the hospital with a new foot made out of living alloy graciously given to her by a race of beings that were on good trade terms with the Draygu. Dursagon was still in a coma because of the battle but he was alive. It was a long battle both externally and internally but he was stable. Mentally, He found himself reliving his life but when something good happened to him the images shattered and exploded. Over and over a voice told him that the red-headed child took everything away from him. He began to scream in his visions as each part of his life shattered and fell away to reveal the one image of that red-headed child looking at him with pure hate in her eyes just as she explodes.
A commander is discussing options with the doctor in the room as Dursagon rests.
“Is there any idea how long he’ll be in this state?” the commander asked.
“I don’t know. His wounds are very severe. It’s a miracle he even survived this long.” The doctor replied.
“Well, at this moment he’s under military control and when he can be released as stable with minimal intervention, he’ll need to be moved and kept under watch.” The commander stated.
And just as he was about to continue, a moan was heard from the bed. The men looked in shock as the head of Dursagon began to move slightly and his one good eye opened a little.
“Ah! Well, it seems the patient has more stamina than you thought doctor. Dursagon, can you hear me?” the commander started. After he heard a moan from Dursagon in reply he continued, “Your raid on that house was a total fiasco. Because your troops fired on and injured an innocent child, we had to deny all knowledge of the incident.”
“Commander, not yet, we don’t know what state his mind is in!” the doctor interrupted.
“Don’t interrupt me doctor, I must inform the prisoner of his legal status while he is awake!” the commander snapped back.
At the word prisoner, Dursagon also snapped. His eye flashed open.
“Dursagon, you have been found guilty of injury to a child. You have been found guilty of the murder of the Beconine family and of your troops under your command.” the commander continued.
At that time, Dursagon’s eye started darting about the room and the monitors began to alarm wildly and the bed began to smolder with black smoke and all the electronic equipment began to shake.
“By order of the council, you are to be incarcerated for the remainder of your life, stripped of all military rank and privileges!” the commander shouted above the ruckus of the room shaking.
Then all the electronics in the room began to move in on Dursagon. Wires began to imbed themselves into Dursagon. Whole pieces of equipment shattered as the fragments raced to him and slapped against his flesh digging in deep. Circuitry mingled with muscle and metal fused with bone and Dursagon wailed in agony as his body was assaulted wires. Finally he succumbed to the pain and fell into the darkness. To Dursagon it seemed like a second later, he woke with his vision slightly off color and digital readouts dancing about the edges of his view. He saw nothing but scorched land for a couple of miles around and that he was floating in the air and below him stood several robots holding the commander who was berating him earlier. Dursagon looked at his body and found it encased in metallic armor of gold banding with blue plates shielding some of the banding and circuitry embedded underneath. Dursagon felt a power seething within him and he could also feel the robots that were around him. He took his time to soak in all the new sensations he was feeling. Dursagon flexed his hand and the commander screamed in pain as one of the robots twisted his arm. Then Dursagon remembered what the commander said to him.
“So commander, I am a prisoner? I do not think so.” Dursagon started with an electronic sounding voice while inflicting more pain to the commander with each pause which caused the commander to scream in agony.
“I am guilty of murder? NO! Those abhorrent attacked my men first! It was self defense. It was they who drew shot first. I will not have the facts blurred by politics. The child in the road was known to the family and as regrettable as her injury was, she is no innocent.” He continued.
“I believe that at this moment the Council has no jurisdiction over me. They no longer have the power to imprison me, I shall do as I see fit and I also will take the rank of General and as such will take your life in due time for your insults against me!” Dursagon finished.
And with that said a flash of dark energy shot past Dursagon’s shoulder and incinerated the victim held by the robots. Dursagon rounded in anger and grasped a dark being around the neck. This being had white hair with streaks of blue in it, a Confucius style beard and mustache, short blue horns above each temple, long thin ears, a dark purple carapace covering his body with wrinkles of dark ligaments between the pieces, and a demon-like tail with a flat purple arrow point tip at the end.
“Why did you kill him? I was not done with him!” Dursagon spat out.
“Master, I will be your eternal servant but do not think for one moment that will give you the right to lay a hand on me. I will send you back to the darkness if I have to, but I think we can both agree that in doing so will be of no benefit to either of us.” the creature replied.
Dursagon let go of the creature and began by asking, “Who are you and what are you doing here?”
“Firstly, thank you for releasing me, and please accept my humble apologies for killing the prisoner. I am called Adirael and I am here to help you in any way I can.” He replied with a subservient bow.
“Very well then, I feel that I will need all the help I can get if I’m to see the death of the child who stole my life from me. Before we track her down, I will need to throw this planet into utter chaos and destroy it completely.” Dursagon stated flatly.
“As the darkness wishes,” Adirael began, “But your power can’t destroy a whole planet, can it?”
With a hidden smirk, Dursagon replied, “Ah, it doesn’t take power to destroy a planet. It takes intelligence to do that. It is also intelligence that can rend a planet apart in the most slowly and painful way possible. An artist does not make a masterpiece by spilling a can of paint on the canvas. He takes his time and works with a stroke at a time.”
“I see Master, and then which strokes of death shall you start with?” Adirael responded.
“Destroy the top of the pyramid of power and the walls will implode due to the lack of stability at the pinnacle. That way we have maximum effect with least effort. We will do this slowly. While we do this, we also need to keep and eye on a certain little child. She’ll be the key to finding my prize. We keep her in view and she’ll lead us where we want to go but she and her protectors must not know of us. We must go to the spaceport so that I may create a vessel worthy of our future travels.” Dursagon stated with finality.