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  1. #41
    Cassie’s sandwich no longer tasted as delicious as it had before. Her cooking wasn’t to be blamed but rather, as Ronald revealed more about Wesley wanting to force the Earth into an ice age, her stomach recoiled at the thought. While she swallowed her last bite, she tasted ashes on her tongue. Billions of humans would be affected, let alone countless species of plant and animal life. She’d discovered since their childhood, Wesley would never back down once he’d set his eyes on something. There would be no stopping him unless…unless he was eliminated. The question was could they do it?

    She stared at Ronald and saw anger, sorrow and desperation in his blue eyes, remembered how he’d broken down in tears after the last fight he’d had with his brother in Times Square. Wesley’s hatred for Ronald was unyielding but she couldn’t say the same for him. Though he had a darker side tucked into the deepest recess of his mind, he was honorable and selfless. It was because of this she knew Ronald made it his obligation to stop Wesley, having chosen to carry that burden alone. After witnessing their last fight, she had concluded he had grown stronger but if Wesley ever obtained the power enhancer, there would be no doubt who would achieve victory. She couldn’t take any chances.

    Not when it came to Ronald’s life.

    As she was about to console him, Cassie noticed Anna placing her hand on his left forearm. Her spirits dampened considerably. A frown marred her features and she couldn’t help but glare at Anna. She hated that it was the only way she could express her displeasure. Annoyed, she rose from her chair, her plate in her hand.

    “We’ll find a way to stop him together,” she said, giving Ronald a bitter look. “I won’t let you do it alone.”

    She placed the plate in the sink and stomped out of the kitchen, heading back to the living room.
    Last edited by Risa; 09-30-2018 at 06:41 PM.

    "It was impossible, of course. But when did that ever stop any dreamer from dreaming?"

  2. #42
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    “What’s wrong with her?” wondered Anna, after she watched Cassie storm out of the room. She had glared at her in a nasty way before leaving too. Ronald did the same, though he could more or less tell what was wrong. That’s why he felt the slightest tint of annoyance within him: he was trying to figure out a way to overcome everything that was about to unfold, whereas Cassie trying to pursue something that was completely irrelevant. “I don’t know. I really don’t know.” he replied. “Do you think she can handle what you are planning to do?” asked the blonde girl in return, her eyes avoiding the gaze of the speedster. Ronald let out a sigh. Cassie had told him that she wouldn’t let him face off Wesley alone, but she didn’t really have a choice in the matter. Ronald already had one partner in his mind that could help him. And it seemed like he found another just now. “To be honest I don’t think she even comprehends the gravity of the situation. Cassie is the type of person that convinces herself she can do something until it comes to actually doing it. Then she realizes it wasn’t what she expected. That’s… you know…” He didn’t want to say the word. Deep down he knew Cassie was anything but weak, though her cheerful profile made some things impossible for her. And Anna was quick to catch on that. “A weakness?” she filled in. Her eyes had long lost the uninterested look in them. They were finally paying attention now to the person that sit across the table. Ronald had noticed that as well. “Yes. The kind I can’t afford to have. Plus, her power set isn’t fit to be of any assistance. Wesley would just ice her.” he said with a sad expression. Straightening his back, his face took a more serious expression as he carried on.

    “It might sound far fetched but I believe you might be helpful instead.” Anna was surprised to hear that. Even after having explained that her powers only made things worse around her for other, without filter, why would he require her help? “M-me?” she stuttered, feeling a bit anxious again. Despite not realizing it, Anna possessed every quality Ronald was looking for. The speedster had become quite good at analyzing people over the years, so he could understand what Anna was like. She was the type that could keep a calm head during high stake situations, while also not letting her emotions influence her behavior. In lots of ways she was the opposite of Cassie. And unfortunately that was what Ronald needed. “Yeah. You don’t have a personal connection with Wesley. You don’t even know him. Plus I wouldn’t mind having some good luck on my side.” he explained shortly. “But… that is very, very subjective. My luck can easily become your… misfortune.” replied Anna. She had never been good at teamwork and this was why. She could really understood what Ronald’s task meant to him and she didn’t want to jeopardize it. At this point Ronald stood from his seat and walked towards the sink. “Anna, I have outran death on many occasions. With my powers the term misfortune is out of the equation. I can adapt myself to anything.” he said as he washed his hands. After dying them to a nearby towel, he turned around and walked towards the door. But before he exited the room he had one last thing to say. “Don’t worry about me. Just… consider it. And don’t tell the others. Please?” As a reply, Anna nodded to him. Seeing this, the speedster smiled and proceeded into the living room.
    この状況でお前はどうすることもできないよ。

    お前の死は確実だ。お前の野望は大きすぎた…

  3. #43
    Cassie sank into a couch and released a deep sigh. She’d overreacted when she’d stomped out of the kitchen but she couldn’t make herself regret her decision to leave. She felt more comfortable in the living room than in the kitchen what with those two getting cozy. The day surely had turned out crappy at its best. She closed her eyes momentarily, focusing on her breathing, untying the knots of frustration in her heart, willing them to slip free. Sometimes, she wished she could be someone who shunned emotions and needed no one.

    “What’s wrong, Cas?” Tonks asked. She was still sitting on the lone sofa chair, a spell book plopped open on her lap.

    Cassie breathed out another sigh. “I feel so stupid. You’d think after all the time we were apart, he’d be a little happier to see me, you know? Following him around for months and months…What the hell was I even thinking?”

    Tonks placed a bookmark on the book and closed it. “Well, you’re not stupid. You just need to be more…imperturbable.”

    Cassie raised an eyebrow. “Imperturbable?”

    Tonks nodded. “Yes, sensible, calm—”

    “I know what it means. It’s just your choice of words is a little odd.”

    As she received a poker face from her friend, Cassie let out a laugh. Tonks was clueless to what she meant. Now and then, she sounded like a prim and proper lady which horribly clashed with her personality and looks. It was probably a result of reading too much Victorian fiction. Earlier, she’d spotted a couple of Victorian romance and detective novels lying underneath the couch. Tonks had done a clumsy job at hiding them. Besides, it was only a few days ago she’d called Cassie a “gluttonous saddle-goose” for eating the last chocolate bar from the fridge. The thought brought another fit of laughter.

    “What is it now? You sure you didn’t hit your head at the fight? You’re acting strange,” Tonks' green eyes were narrowed in suspicion.

    She sat up. “Look who’s talking.” Cassie pointed at the pile of candy wrappers and a fresh batch of unopened sweets on the tray. “You should take a break from those. They’re not good for your health or teeth. Maybe I should confiscate them.”

    Tonks grabbed the tray and held it to her chest as if she was carrying a beloved child. “Don’t you dare!”

    Cassie shrugged. She remembered Tonks’ words and realized they were true. Her friend must have noticed the way she’d stomped out of the kitchen like a naïve teenager. She needed to be more calm and keep her emotions in check. It wouldn’t do her any good if she couldn’t remain cool-headed in a fight considering the fact that the world could potentially be in danger and there would be lives at stake. She glanced up at Tonks and noticed she’d gone back to reading her spell book.

    “Any good news?” She hoped her friend had made some progress.

    “Yes and no,” Tonks said. “I’m reading about a powerful tracking spell which means I can trace the power enhancer. It’s going to take some time to prepare it though.”

    Cassie peered at the book. Some of the writing on the page had arcane letters and there was an illustration she couldn’t make out. It looked a lot like an alchemical symbol. “How long?”

    “A day or two at the latest,” answered Tonks.

    Cassie didn’t think they had much time.

    _______________

    Somewhere in the dingiest alleys of the Bronx, May Blackwood squeezed through the narrow slat of a broken window. The signboard outside had long lost its neon glow. Five years ago, Storm’s Pot had been a flourishing club in the neighborhood until someone had tipped the police of drug trafficking. Soon after, it had been shut down, left to rot, the guilty owner and his accomplices locked behind bars. It became a treasure cove for thieves to loot and a canvas for graffiti artists to paint and when there was nothing of value left, Storm’s Pot was abandoned.

    It was Kieran who found it a year ago.

    He’d had a knack for it, always finding unique places to explore. As May walked across the ruins of a dance hall, dodging debris and broken furniture with ease, she recalled the day they’d stumbled into Estelle l'étrange, a quirky vintage shop in the streets of Paris. The Hive members had just completed a successful heist mission in the forbidden section of the Louvre Museum and had been left with six hours to spare before their flight back home. Kieran had taken it upon himself to show her around the city and it had been he who had found Estelle l'étrange. They’d walked into the shop and had been dazed by the shelf upon shelf of various paraphernalia, from antique umbrellas to twentieth-century flapper dresses, ivory canes to top hats, porcelain figurines to collectible telephones. There was stuff everywhere. May had even spotted a charcoal iron displayed on a wall.

    The shop owner had been a sweet septuagenarian and she’d let them try out the clothes as long as they would put everything back in place. After all, they were just two adults barely out of their teens and she did mention the shop could use a bit of youthful cheer. They’d modelled different outfits, often goofing around with mismatched combinations. Kieran picked the most ridiculous clothes and occasionally, threw in a funny commentary in horrible accent while he twirled his fake French mustache to make her laugh. Before they’d left, they’d bought souvenirs for the others. It had been one of her favorite memories.

    Walking into a storeroom, May turned on a flashlight. She could see better in the dark than a regular human but the extra light helped her spot the hidden switch behind the rickety shelf that held empty barrels. As soon as pressed the switch, a section of the floor receded into the wall, revealing a set of stairs leading down to the howling dark. It was strange that there were no lights below. She’d looked for Kieran in the other “bunks” as he’d like to call them but he was nowhere to be found. If he wasn’t in Storm’s Pot, where else could he be?

    Her phone buzzed in her pocket. The caller ID read Dead Poet. Kieran would never ditch her in a mission. He always had her back. So when he didn’t show up at the auction, she’d alerted the other Hive members. May picked up the call and waited.

    “I contacted HQ but they’re unable to pick up his signal. He’s completely off the grid,” Eli said, his voice inscrutable.

    May didn’t say anything. The feeling of dread returned tenfold.

    “We’ll keep looking. Don’t worry, we’re doing everything we can to find him.”

    She thanked Eli and hanged up before descending the stairs in a daze. A coppery scent drifted to her nose. The smell became more noticeable when she stepped onto the hidden basement. On a long table, an emergency light cast an eerie glow on the sets of computers, black cables and giant screens. It wasn’t the hardware that drew her attention. Nor was it the familiar Roman numeral of number thirteen etched in blood across the wall. It was the still figure of a man lying on a crimson pool underneath the table.

    “Kieran!” she cried out.

    May dropped to her knees, her vision swimming with unshed tears. Kieran’s skin was pale, his blond hair matted to his scalp, his lips tinged blue. There was a stab wound on his torso and it was still bleeding. She took off her jacket, turned it inside out, folded it and applied pressure on the wound. With a shaky breath, she placed her fingers on his neck.

    There was no pulse.

    "It was impossible, of course. But when did that ever stop any dreamer from dreaming?"

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