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The Miracles: Reborn



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Roxie1563

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After that moment of silence drifted by and thinking of what Jack said to her, that to him she was like a sister to him, Claire wondered if she was part of his family. But just looking at him from the reflection of the river shimmering by, that wasn't the case and it made Claire wonder: Could she be adopted?

Claire started to ask this to him when he placed his coat on him while commenting on seeing if anyone else may have powers and the possibly chance of storms on the horizon. Slipping it on, Claire mumbled her thanks, confused on why this person would just hand over to her when she didn't know herself?

"Yeah.. That sounds fine to me," Claire commented on the plan to return back to this girl's apartment. "I mean, I think I might had hit my head on something and it still hurts when I woke up." Claire patted the part of her head that felt like a rock as they got up from the ground, heading back the direction where they came from.

On the way, something registered in her brain and it wasn't what she expected. Claire quickly got in front of Jack and asked him by what did he meant by powers?

"Jack... Are you saying I have powers? That you have powers? Is that why I feel weird with the whole memory loss or what??" Claire bombarded him with questions she was suddenly curious of. "How did that happen?"

Claire wasn't sure how to process all this as she turned back on the path, not wanting to push him any more further as while she didn't know what happened to herself still, there was something in Jack's face that showed he wasn't himself for some strange reason after that look Claire happened on to see from the reflection.

One thing she DID know was her name was Claire and that's important to her.. For now.
 

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~- An Art of Being Shadows -~

"Sir, I need to speak with you, if you have a moment."

General Matthews looked up from his paperwork, a frown creasing his features as Will stepped into his office. "Colonel Paragon? This is a surprise. What can I help you with?"

He had his opening; he had to take it. Keeping to protocol with the duty manager, Will started, "Sir, I'm afraid there's no possible way that I can, in clear conscience, train this new Private that I've been assigned. Private Jiang is..."

"Is there a problem here?"

Will did a slow spin on his right foot, being careful to keep as much pain from his face as he possibly could. General Paragon had entered the office right behind him, that familiar, calm smile centered on his face. He turned that smile to Will, quite a fatherly gesture, but something about it sent that familiar shiver down Will's spine at having that serene smile turned in his direction.

Even so, Will had to stand by the reason he'd come to see Matthews tonight. His leg was stiffening up more by the second, and all he wanted to do was get an icepack on it and sleep off the worst of the pain, but he had to see this through. If he didn't convince Matthews
tonight that he needed to reassign Jiang to someone else, Will knew he wouldn't get the chance to again. Meeting General Paragon's eye as directly as he could, Will reiterated, "I won't train Private Jiang, Sir. It just isn't a possibility to do so without extreme bias on my part."

General Matthews was still watching him, but he was now the farthest thing from Will's mind. Will knew that this had now become a matter of convincing General Paragon; grey eyes meeting grew Will tried to urge the General to side with him, even as the stone began to settle...

"I don't see where the problem with your assignment is," General Paragon said at last. The stone dropped fully into Will's stomach, and he had to grind his teeth together to keep the futile protest from trying to escape his lips. That benign smile in place again, the older man continued, "I understand your concerns, Colonel; you were friends with Jiang briefly when you were both children, after all. However, I have no doubt in my mind that you can set that aside and be the professional in his training that I know you to be quite capable of. Or am I mistaken?"

The fight had been the moment that he'd walked in behind Will. Even so, his father wasn't the only able actor in their family. Will gave him a brief bow, murmuring softly, "Of course I can, Sir; you're not mistaken about that." Turning to Matthews, Will swept him a salute, saying quickly, "Forgive me for wasting your time tonight, Sir; it appears that I don't have any pressing matters to speak with you about after all. If you will excuse me now, General Matthews? General Paragon?"

Matthews nodded, though Will noticed the quick look he sent the other General before the duty manager said, "Of course, Colonel Paragon. Dismissed, and have a good evening."


A soft sound from Starset pulled Will from his thoughts and the three week old conversation. Who...? Will schooled his features quickly, hiding the grimace that nearly surfaced as Jiang came into view. Will was careful that no cracks showed in any of his armor during the interaction; even so, he once again felt like he'd swallowed acid as the Private walked away. Even with the events surrounding the reactor explosion, Will was having a difficult time getting his head away from his own problems. Train Jiang?

Fuck.

~- So Much to Say -~

"They said you were awake. Are you okay?"

Cyrus turned to the door, not surprised to see Juliet and James standing there. He managed a bit of a smile, but he still turned back to the window as he said, "Fine and dandy, thanks. Did you guys enjoy your nap as much as I enjoyed mine?"

Jule walked up to him, her tread silent as always. He felt her fingers wrap around his wrist, her thumb coming to rest against the pulse point and rubbing gently. Warmth spread beneath the point of contact, and Cyrus felt oil seep into his skin. He raised his hand to his face, taking a deep breath as the scent of saffron and passion flowers filled his senses. It wasn't the teas she made for him, but the scent alone was so deeply ingrained with the association of balance that he felt himself calming. A real smile touched his face as Cy turned his eyes up to meet Jule's.

"Radiant as the sun."

"Excuse me?" Juliet laughed, and Cyrus reddened as he realized that he'd spoken out loud. Even so, that smile wouldn't leave his face, even when James started jabbering a mile a minute, asking about Cy's release and a million other questions. They'd been dreams, Cy reminded himself. Those strange phrases, the memory of his father, everything. Whatever it had been about the reactor exploding, whatever the reason was that he'd been out of it for three weeks, the rest didn't matter. Even what he'd said to Juliet; it was an echo of one of those dream phrases, and it slipped because it fit her. That's all everything else had been.

Just dreams.
 

Roxie1563

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Since after that conversation with his brother, Michael had drifted off to sleep and didn't wake up until late that morning in time for his long-term recovery of his legs, his mind on so many things none of them any more appealing than the last. Grunting alongside to the radio as it droned on with news not well wanting to hear, but it was a must to hear considering the incident hasn't left the media, the doctor painfully walked forward, his hands on the railings in case he did fall.

'Least it wasn't THAT worst, considering the alternative being dead..' Mike thought to himself, making sure to keep one foot going and the other as well. While he would have done it by himself, his physical therapist assigned to him insisted to be there.

Michael already had checked himself out of the hospital and ready to go home, but the doctor in charge of his health insisted he at least start it early for his own good which Mike had to agreed to be released. Within the hour and already reaching his limit, Mike nodded to his new babysitter, ready to collapse.

The woman, Sandra, brought up his chair and helped him down. Panting, Michael grabbed a towel and messed it around his face, cleaning it free of sweat then tossed it aside, wheeling himself for a shower. Once done and done, he simply left the center and into the limo he usually rode, ready for the day as his driver set up the wheelchair in the back and into the front seat.

"Where to, sir?" His driver asked, ready to take him anywhere to go.

But Mike was distracted as he dug his way around items that he had received earlier that morning, no thanks to the Twins as usual. This time, he didn't complain because as it turned out, the victims that was in ground zero, all their labs came back and while some of the patients were cleared, the ones he was interested in most were the ones in actual ground zero and out of it within a few miles radius came back positive.

"Positive!" The doctor mumbled to himself, surprised at this news. That meant not only was the utilities in the city affected but people as well, but the Particles itself somehow stuck itself in these people's body! Yet they survived, but something told him that sooner or later like those gangs that were affected that these GZers would soon show signs of extraordinary changes and they would require help. Help he will provide in one way or more.

But for now, he would need help and what better person to do this than that boy Ellis had brought over during that meeting three weeks ago, what was his name again..?

Flipping through pages upon pages, he wasn't sure if either Casper or Crystal had forgotten to actually change the numbers into names he could really remember. Mumbling out-loud to himself, he finally found it.

Adam Jiang was the guy he was looking for and apparently, he was due for a visit to someone in the base. He flipped another page and realized who it was.

Shit.

"Hey, Rob! Get me back to the base! Turns out I have an meeting to break up!" Michael hollered, the driver already pulling out of the parking lot and into the main street.

As the limo rode by, Dr. Wells gazed outside the tinted window, unable to escape the new world he and these people had found themselves into. Dozens of buildings had managed to survive the initial blast, but it would take time to repair all that damage. While the banks slowly recovered, he wasn't thrilled to hear that the stocks had dropped down 50% which he correctly deduced it would be, it didn't help much for STAR Labs as its reputation had fallen down around the field of science. But then again, nobody knew it would end up like this.

What he did know was this city would sorely need heroes of being to combat this image and while he understood the implications of it, the citizens didn't and by extension the military. As the limo made it way through the gate after a brief checking of their IDs, the doctor set back the papers into his bag, his eyes stopped briefly on one file he had managed to get from a friend in a different branch of government service.

The Miracles Initiative. An idea that was brought up post WW2 but never came into fruition. It was suggested to bring a group of beings to protect the self-interested values of America and their allies, yet after years of searching of these beings there were none to be found and so it quickly became dust and forgotten.

Until now.

Michael knew these beings did exist; they were just very well hidden from the world and thanks to the accident, more had begun to emerge and none of them weren't going to do good for their country let alone their allies. Of course, there will be more time to research that later, considering he had a meeting to crash.

Carrying his bag on his lap as he made his way in, he hoped he wasn't too late to prevent Mr. Jiang from making anymore foolish decision, judging from his file he read on the way here. Turning to his left, he pushed on, ignoring those who would distract him from his objectives before reaching the door he was looking for. As he made it, he could hear voices echoing through the door.

'Dammit, don't tell me I'm late..!!" The doctor screamed at himself mentally, blaming himself for not getting there on time. No matter, as long as he's here, Michael will make sure Bradley will never ever find out of his new status.

Gripping the door and opening it, Dr. Wells rudely entered the room only giving the general some form of heart attack as he spoke out of turn.

"Sorry about that, boys. Didn't meant to do that," He said, making sure it was well aimed at Bradley as he rolled upfront beside Mr. Jiang. "I was hoping to catch Mr. Jiang at first, but turns out I had therapy to attend, so please forgive me for the intrusion.. You see, the boy here is assigned to me to help out with a certain project that was recently found of late."

Mike turned to Adam, hoping he got the hint to play along. Turning back to the general, he continued on. "General Wells was kind enough to lend him to me for a good amount of time and if you really, REALLY want to piss him off, go ahead then; Really, I insist," as he motioned with his hands to call him and in doing so, calling his bluff.

After a beat, he simply motioned Adam to follow him out the door, hoping he would actually call his bluff. But nope, the asshole actually believed it!

As they rolled on away from the room and down the hall, the doctor simply smiled to himself before turning to Adam, offering his hand for a friendly shake as he spoke. "I'm pretty sure that we would be so screwed if he did that, but in the end, I saved your ass. And yeah, Ellis didn't really give me you."

He hoped the boy wouldn't mind lying since in a way, having a man like him would prove being useful to the good doctor. He pushed on as they reached outside.

"Actually, I need your help, Mr. Jiang, in finding these people," Mike spoke as he pulled out one single page with addresses and handing to him. "While I could do it, I'm unable to do it in this condition. I know you might have questions as to why, please hold it off until you found them and brought to STAR Labs' airport. From there, you'll get your answers."

Dr. Wells smiled to him as he was being helped into the limo. Before he left the premise, he lowered the window and hollered at him: "I would start off with Commissioner Fair, considering he would be interested in this meeting I'm giving. I'm sure he lives with his girlfriend as of now. Good luck, Mr. Jiang."

With that, he pulled up the window and motioned Rob to leave and return back to STAR Labs to prepare for the meeting of the potential candidates for the Initiative.
 

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~- Call Out Your Name -~

Jack felt guilty for upsetting Claire. Dropping his eyes, he heard Claire's questions about his comment about powers. He blinked, startled by his own comment. Why would he say that? He watched as she doubled back, and he sprinted after her. Instinct had him reaching out, he grabbed her hand and pulled her closer. "Claire, please wait." He begged, his eyes sorrowful.

Realizing what he'd done, he released her hand and backed up, his hand hanging by his side. "I-I'm sorry, I shouldn't have done that." He took a step back, weariness and longing battling for control on his face. He hid his hands behind his back, blocking her view so she wouldn't see them tremble. "I don't know if we have powers, it's a guess. As for when it happened, there was this special event you and me went to three weeks ago. There was an explosion during it and we were both knocked out, only came to within the last couple of days." He explained, his eyes briefly darting to the right before he focused back on her.

He could tell the trembling stopped in his right hand. Holding it out, he smiled at Claire and asked gently, "How about we head home?" He glanced back towards the apartment, trying to figure out what to do if Claire refused his offer. He couldn't just leave her alone with no memory.

~- Only A Crack -~

"Do you want to talk about what happened a few weeks ago? I heard you've been having trouble recently."

Adam watched Bradley, his muscles tense so he was ready to flee at moment's notice. Bradley had a kind smile on his face, he was acting like the perfect commanding officer. Concerned, wanting to see if there was something he could do to help. Adam didn't want to look at him, he didn't want to absorb the emotions, he didn't want the oil slick on his skin. "Private Jiang?"

Adam shook his head, not daring to speak and risk angering the Furher. "It's nothing Sir." He mumbled, cursing himself mentally for talking, he dared a quick glance and regretted it as he was slammed by the emotions. A look wasn't strictly necessary, but it did make it easier on absorption. It also helped that he had a previous connection with General Paragon.

"Have you seen Will?"

Adam bristled at the question, he knew that it was a tactic to get under his skin. One that Adam had to deflect carefully or reveal his weaknesses to a man he didn't want knowing them. "Yes, Sir. It won't be a problem working with him, Sir." He answered.

He took a deep breath, he even called on Will's resolve to get him through this. Lifting his gaze to Bradley, he asked politely, "What did you really call me here for, General Paragon? I know you don't like me, and that you hate making idle chit-chat. Um, Sir."


A flash of something passed across Bradley's face, but Adam didn't dare try to analysis it. Bradley had composed himself quickly, and he started, "Well first you have a mission to investigate some things, but more importantly I wanted to make sure you were okay af----."

Slamming his hands on the table, Adam jumped to his feet and cut across, "Bullshit! You are the last person that'd do that! Do you think I've forgotten about our private chat after the horse riding incident? Do you think I forgot about you putting me in the system again? Hell, if I didn't know any better I'd say it was your fault that Will's leg is fucked over in the first place!" Adam's temper and voice rose with each word, until he was trembling in front of the Furher. He knew he'd just screwed up. Wells would rip him a new one.

His heart jumped into his throat, Bradley was perfectly calm and on his feet. The General leaned toward him, grey eyes flashing danger as Bradley answered back, "I'd advise you to watch your tongue Private, wouldn't want another acc--."

The door banged open, causing Bradley to recoil and instantly slap his "nice guy" face on. Adam backpedaled to get away from the patriarch of the Paragon family. His heart was racing, and he raised an eyebrow as his savior started talking. It took him a moment to process it was Dr. Wells, and when it did a rush of relief came over him. He was safe. Despite his fear of Dr. Wells, something he couldn't understand, Adam knew he wouldn't get hurt. It was an act, he knew it before Mike sent him a look to play along.

Nodding his head, he laughed nervously, "Yeah, Ellis told me last night! Sorry for running late, Dr. Wells."

Bradley was calm on the outside, beneath though was a different story. The swirl of emotions spun wildly, trying to make sense of what was going on. He could see that Bradley almost considered calling Ellis, but seemed to hesitate. Forcing a carefree smile, he laughed, "I wouldn't call him, he's super busy trying to do damage control! He doesn't like being disturbed when he's working."

Dr. Wells decided it was time to leave, and Adam snapped a quick salute before hightailed it out of there. Shutting the door forcefully behind him, Adam trailed after the other brother. It was only after they stopped and shook hands that words were exchanged again. "I'm pretty sure that we would be so screwed if he did that, but in the end, I saved your ass. And yeah, Ellis didn't really give me you."

"
I figured as much, and I don't think so. Ellis knows I don't get along with the Fur- General Paragon. He would have went with it to protect me." Adam countered.

He knew it.

He trailed after Dr. Wells until they reached outside, and he almost reached out to help but hesitated. Would Dr. Wells take it as an insult? He was startled when he was handed a sheet of paperwork, he glanced at the addresses on it and listened to Dr. Wells debriefing. "Wait? What? I don-." Adam stopped his protest, choosing to let Dr. Wells finish it. He was left alone feeling more confused than before. Taking a deep breath, he steady his nerves before he started walking to the abandoned bunker. He needed time to think about this. He needed time to research the addresses and figure out the best way to accomplish his mission.

Pulling out his phone along the way, he sent out a quick text to Ellis's personal number. "Just had a weird encounter with your brother. Can we meet at the bunker and talk about it? I don't understand."

It took just a moment, then his phone alerted him to a new text. Looking at it, he read Ellis's response. "What do you mean? I'll be there within a half hour. There's something I need to talk to you about." Adam put his phone away and started jogging, deciding that returning to the bunker would be better than just heading straight out. Besides, he wasn't entirely sure how to approach the Fair boy. He needed to do some research first.

~- Feel It Under Your Skin -~

James trailed behind Jule, he watched their exchange. He sent Cyrus the stank eye as he snarked, “Ease there lover boy!” He walked over, a grin on his face. Looking at Cyrus with concern, he added, “Are you feeling okay?”

James glanced up at his sister, the smile briefly being replaced by a frown. He was worried about the two of them, he couldn’t explain why but something didn’t feel right. Looking at the window he grumbled, “Why can’t the window be open? It’s so stuffy in here!”

~- Land of Enchantment -~

Valerie opened the door, she locked it behind her and made her way through the apartment. A thought coming to her mind, she decided to give her boss a quick call. The call skipped to voice mail, and she asked, "Hey it's Valerie, when do you want me to come back to work? I know that it's been a little dangerous recently, but I was curious about it." She hung up, figuring he'd get back to her when he got back to her.

Turning on the news, she listened to the report. Closing her eyes, she let the words wash over her. She opened them and turned it off, heading for her bedroom she tried to think of her next move. She'd made contact with the military, but she didn't know how to get a hold of the Nightshade boy. She didn't want to think of it too much, maybe a nap would help out with it? Curling up on her bed, she closed her eyes and let herself different off to sleep.

~- See the Bigger Picture -~

Ellis had finished his report, it was the headache he figured it'd be. He also had someone investigating the former employee his brother had mentioned. Harley Rathway. His mind went back to what his brother said, about accusing his "family", and he blocked out the twinge of pain at that. He didn't blame his brother, the military had morphed into his family but he still considered Mike his brother.

Walking along, he came across one Colonel Paragon. He remember that the young man used to be a good friend of Adam's. He remembered Adam explaining that was part of his bad mood. What was the reason though? Adam hadn't really wanted to talk about it, only saying it was a long story. "Good morning Colonel Paragon," he said, a smile spreading across his face.

He noticed the subtle agitation the other soldier felt, he had learned subtle cues with Adam. A sigh escaping him, he asked, "What's wrong?" His phone dinged, a quick look had him briefly concerned before he gave an answer. Sliding the phone back in his pocket, he waited to see what Will would say in answer. It just didn't make sense on why Adam would be so irritated with someone he'd considered a brother.

It left Ellis wondering how Will felt about it.
 
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Eternal Dream

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~- Afraid of Heights -~

"Good morning Colonel Paragon."

Like this morning could get any... actually, it could. It could be General Paragon with him, and not General Wells. Even so, Will's guard went even higher as he replied, "Good morning to you as well, Sir." Please go away, please go away, please go away...

"What's wrong?"

Okay, so we're doing this. Well's wasn't an empath, but he'd practically raised Adam, so Will knew he could read people pretty well. Even so, Will gave a practiced, easy smile as he said, "I'm afraid I don't understand what you mean, Sir. There's been some upheaval because of recent events, certainly, but I'm certain that it's nothing to be troubled over in the long run. If you'll please excuse me, Sir, there's some paperwork I need to pick up, and than I need to collect Private Jiang for training. With you're permission, Sir?"

Even to his own ears, Will thought it sounded like a load of bullshit; but people had been fooled by less, so maybe it would be enough. It had enough truth in it to sound believable, in any case. All Will knew for certain was that he was rather tired, today. He hadn't slept well the night before, and he was in no mood to deal with Adam or the man that was, for all intents and purposes, Jiang's father.

~- Very Well -~

Lies. Everything that the good Dr. Wells had spouted were the feeblest of lies. Even so, Bradley couldn't help but applaud the man for his audacity to sell such falsehoods just to get an insignificant boy away from him. He would let Wells believe that he'd gotten the upper hand on him, just this once. He'd allow the doctor some time to train the boy, but then Bradley would be taking him back. He had use for the powers he could sense budding in the Jiang boy.

Rising from his chair, Bradley went to stand before the window of his office. Below, he saw that Will had been approached by General Wells. This was certainly interesting; both of the Wells brother in close proximity on the same day? And than there was the relationship that Will used to have with Adam, though that one seemed to have crumbled into bitter animosity.

"Almost makes me curious about you, brother..." Bradley muttered softly, a curl coming to his mouth as he watched Will try to extricate himself from General Wells.

~- Hearing Your Voice -~

“Are you feeling okay?”

Cy laughed, but Juliet noticed that it didn't quite meet his eyes. He reached out, ruffling James' hair as Cy repeated, "I feel like I should be more rested after sleeping for the last three weeks, but I'm fine, Windseeker. I'm just fine."

Windseeker? James was fast on his feet, but that seemed like an odd nickname. Cy seemed to think so, too; Jule saw his eyes tighten at the corners slightly, but then his features smoothed out. Even so...

"Tell us a story, Cy?" she asked. Sitting on the edge of his bed, she slid him a smile, one that he readily returned. Cy started talking, weaving a tale of heroes, of a battle between an evil shapeshifter and a fire wielder as the hero tried to save the life of a little girl. And all through the story, Jule watched Cy, relaxing the more that he got into the story and he started to relax himself.

He was still a little agitated, but he'd calmed considerably. She'd check into her herbal mixtures when she got home; she needed to make sure his doses were right, and maybe see if there was something else she could add to calm him more. Even if the extra was only needed for a little while, Jule wanted Cy happy. For a moment, she let herself forget the news she'd gotten in the last couple of days, and just enjoyed the sound of Cyrus' voice as the story unfolded.

~- Nocturne -~

The cool night air was a welcome relief from the heat trapped beneath his skin. He stepped quietly, keeping to the shadows as he walked steadily toward the tree line. Welcome as the breeze was, it still wasn't enough; he needed a way to cool off, or he knew he was going to burn up before morning. As much as he didn't understand it, he'd found a way to bring this strange, building fever down, but it was a method that had to be done in utmost secrecy.

The trees greeted him, reaching down with gentle branches to say hello, but he kept his hands in his pockets. He didn't want to hurt these innocents with his touch, not when he'd already caused so much trouble in his young life. He kept walking instead, making his way steadily toward the clearing with the small, clear pool of water.

His safe haven.

Reaching the clearing, he knelt by the water's edge, dipping his hand into the pool. Steam curled up as the water came into contact with his fingers, rising up until he could breath it in, the warm, moist air opening his senses. Removing his hand, he wiped the water off on his pantleg, then he brought both hands up in front of his face. He took a deep breath in, then slowly let it out. Deep breath in. Let it out slowly.

Flames sprouted before his eyes, twin torches held in his cupped hands. He willed the fire away from him, watching as it sent tongues of flame to lick at the night sky. Gently, he pushed the fire down, until it was hovering just above the surface of the pond, a watery reflection flicking its own light just beneath the flames.

Slowly, he sent handful after handful of flames to hover over the water, sagging in relief as the unbearable heat slowly left his body. For a while, he watched his mass of lanterns that were hovering just over the surface of the water. He'd let them go in time, and the fires would die out as soon as they touched the pool's surface. But for now, he watched his fires, watching to see how long he could control them before he became too tired to do so any longer.
 

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~- Circling -~

Mavis held the shopping basket, staring at the boxes of cereal but not seeing them. Her eyes were glazed over. Setting the basket down, she sat on the floor. Closing her eyes, she whispered, “Show me.”

The images flashed before her eyes, rapid so it was hard to track. The flash of teeth, flames dancing as a wall of water rushed toward her. The shape of a canine bowling into someone else. The shouts of panic... A gun being fired. The vision abruptly stopped, Mavis’s head ached. The vision didn’t make sense, then again they were usually like that when it included multiple events. Standing up, she grabbed the basket and she moved back to shopping.

I need to find them. It’s crucial. She thought, her eyes still a little glazed. She should ask Em about it, or even Kelly. She heard her phone ring, and without looking down she accepted the call and said, “I was just thinking about you Kells. What’s up?”

“First, you're creepy. Second, there’s a lot of tension since the explosion. Did you..?” Kelly trailed off, clearly trying to keep Mavis’s secret.

“Yes. 7:30 and the nearby cafe. It’ll be easier for you to sneak away and meet me.” Mavis answered.

Kelly laughed, the sound was smooth and still lingered as she answered, “Sure, see you there.”

The line went dead and Mavis smiled. It would be easier for Kelly there, given what happened before. She needed snacks for the evening and drop the groceries off.

She was going to have a busy day.

~- Plans -~

Ellis listened to Will, there was enough truth in the words that he could believe it, but it was an excuse. The pressure started to build between his eyes. He almost pinched the skin, when he caught General Paragon watching them. He admired the man, yes, but even he couldn’t deny that the two grown men had changed. He just didn’t know what was wrong.

“I can’t dismiss you for what you said. You’ve got new orders Colonel,” he smiled as he paused. “Go get some sleep, the rest can wait until afterwards.”

Taking a step closer, Ellis leaned in and whispered, “I’m just trying to understand what happened all those years ago. I’m on your side, but I need you to trust me. Take this card in case you need me. Do not throw it out.” Ellis pressed a card with his personal number on it into Will's hand. Taking a step back, he repeated, “Get some rest Colonel Paragon, you’re exhausted. The paperwork and Jiang can wait.”

He walked away, his mind churning from that encounter. He also couldn’t figure out what his brother would want with Adam. He knew the fastest way to find out though.

It took some time but he reached Adam’s new quarters. Taking the elevator down, he saw the way Adam had gotten it arranged to fit everything he needed but was still neat.

The young man in question was typing at the computer, his head down.

Walking up behind him, Ellis cleared his throat. “What’s got you focused?”

Adam didn’t look up as he answered, “Your brother gave me a list of addresses of people he wants me to bring to him. It doesn’t make sense!”

Ellis frowned a little, Adam paused briefly and turned to face him. “He told General Paragon you lent me to him for a few weeks. I...”

He put his hand on Adam’s shoulder. “Don’t worry, I’ll get this sorted out. I’d like it if you could keep me updated on what Mike has you doing. You can’t let on you’re reporting to me though.” He replied, stern yet reassuring.

Adam nodded, his head down. A worried frown came to Ellis face, he guided Adam over to his bed and sat down with the younger soldier.

“Do you want to—-?”

“No! I don’t want to talk about either of them!” Adam snapped, clearly stressed.

Ellis again wondered how strong Adam’s gifts were, he’d always suspected the boy knew how someone was feeling.

“I met a boy today in SACC. He was...sad...even frustrated because of moving again. More than that I think he’s stressed because of his dad.”

It was one of many things that had seemed off about Adam. There was also his comments about the way Ellis felt toward his brother.

“You’re distracted again.” Adam whispered.

“Tell me exactly what my brother said.” He ordered, Adam did as he was told.

He nodded, the saw dust on the floor caught his attention. Adam followed his gaze and commented, “I’ve been sparring with punching bags, it’s helped. I think I’ve gotten some duds though, they keep breaking after a few rounds.”

Ellis glanced at him, unable to hide his surprise as he did recall it. “Adam, you’re pushing yourself too hard. Take it easy, that’s an order.”

Adam smiled sheepishly, Ellis reached out to pat his son (may as well be) on the head. The heat reached his forearm. A worried look crushing his face, seems as if he was doing it a lot today, Ellis checked for a temperature.

“Get some rest and then continue with your assignments. That’s an order.”

Adam started to protest, but Ellis silenced it with a look. Getting to his feet, he walked to the computer and looked at it. Jackson Fair. Interesting, a family about as famous as the Paragons.

He printed two copies of the information. He repeated the process with each address, pausing briefly when he saw a picture of Laguna, recalling when he’d tried to recruit the boy. Continuing the work, Ellis split them into two piles. Copying the addresses down, he collected his pile. He glanced over to see that Adam was asleep.

A smile came to his face, Adam looked peaceful. He crossed the floor and patted Adam’s head, the smile intensifying as Adam sighed happily. He left the room, Adam’s pile on the keyboard, Ellis had to get back to his office to include this in his private files.

~- Dying -~

The day was sunny, he rode behind Will. The two horses were calm, enjoying the exercise. He ran his fingers through the mare’s mane, it was so soft and a pale cream color. He couldn’t remember her name, nor the one Will was riding.

They’d probably been at this for a half hour. They’d talked briefly about heading back but had de...

Fear gripped Will’s horse suddenly. Adam went to give a warning, but Will was thrown. Redirecting his horse so she didn’t accidentally hurt Will, he jumped off and ran to the older boy. Crouching, he pressed his hands onto the leg to help stop the bleeding (the horse had moved away). Will cried out from the pain.

“I’m sorry, I tried to tell you but...”

The scene dissolved, he was older now. No longer a boy but an adult. He was on the ground with an angry stallion rearing above him. Rolling out of the way, he just avoided getting stomped. The stallion came at him again, Adam just dodged. His blood roared as he tried to figure out how to get out alive. It looked so much like the one that had died in the accident.

He hit the rock, blocking him from rolling to the left. He couldn’t move up or down fast enough and the right would be too dangerous. The horse was above him again, bringing its hooves rushing toward him. He closed his eyes and hoped it’d be over soon.


The softest of whimpers escaped him, even though by then he was alone. Ellis had been gone for five minutes before the nightmare had started.
 
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Roxie1563

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Glancing up and down at Jack then his hand, Claire wondered if this guy was really someone she knew or not, but then again with her memory loss she may as well think that she may not be herself after all. She was surprised that her and Jack went to some sort of event together and that's what led to her memory loss.

No matter how much she tried, there was nothing to remember something that happened weeks ago other than her own name which frustrated her because it felt like there was more to her than that. However since Jack said they were like brother and sister, Claire had to assume they must be family to an extent. Either that or it was just a thing she or him said it repeatedly.

Looking back at him, Claire said to him, "You're weird, and I don't even know if it's a good or bad kind of weird, but you're weird either way."

With that, Claire turned back on the path that guided them back to the apartment. Within minutes, they finally arrived and the first thing Claire saw as they came to it was that the house itself was partially collapsed from whatever it was that caused it in the first place. Smoke was in the air and so was the smell, the kind you'd associated it with natural campfire as the local law enforcement, the firefighters, and paramedics became engrossed into their job, they didn't notice the two pairs making their way.

While Claire took in the sight for herself, she glanced at Jack, who quickly made his way toward the girl, Hazel, as she was being lifted into the van for transportation. She wasn't sure if she should join in or not, but apparently Jack waved at her on. Pointing at herself and filled with uncertainty, Claire joined his side as they watched the van take off.

Everything was overwhelming her and she didn't know how to push it away, but pushing it away she did as Claire turned to Jack for whatever plan he had in mind, she would be sure to stick by... For now.
 

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~- Lazy Afternoon -~

"Freedom!"

James galloped ahead as Juliet and Cyrus followed behind him, their pace more measured and calm. The boy couldn't seem to settle, though. He raced ahead before doubling back, almost coming to a stop before the teens before going to complete his circuit again. Cyrus laughed, and he found it difficult to stop long enough to choke out, "Honestly, you'd think it was you who just got released and not me. Chill out, kid!"

James did come to a stop in front of them this time, giving the two of them a smile, revealing a tooth that was still only half way in. "I'm celebrating for you, Cy; you're too calm, so I'm showing your excitement!" Then he tore off again, leaving Cyrus and Juliet to laugh at him.

"He never changes, does he?" Cyrus chuckled. Juliet laughed in agreement, slipping her hand into his. Cy threaded their fingers together, and he relaxed even more when she rested her head against his shoulder. The two of them kept walking, and Cy waved to his mom where she stood by the car, waiting for the two of them to finish making their way over. She already had James bundled in, no mean feat in Cy's opinion, since he could see that the kid was still full of energy.

Sunlight warmed him, and Cy stopped walking for a moment, turning his face skyward so he could enjoy that warmth a little more. Juliet stopped beside him, mimicking his pose. He thought she felt warmer by his side, and turning his eyes to her, he thought she looked more radiant than ever, a sun kissed glow spreading across her skin, her lashes glittering like spun gold.

Juliet opened her eyes, and the moment passed. She laughed, and the two of them broke into a run, racing to see who could get to the car first.

~- Shadows -~

What... what just...? Will froze, some defensive reaction making him turn to a statue at Well's concerns. It wasn't what he'd been expecting from the man at all, and he had absolutely nothing to say, not even when Well's pressed his card into Will's hand, telling him to call him if anything ever came up. Will was stone, he was silence. Don't react, don't show anything. School your features....

Soft pressure against his leg, and an even softer whine. Will looked down, thawing instantly as he saw Starset looking up at him. He scratched her behind the ears, tucking Well's card into his pocket to be examined later. Still ruffling her fur, he whispered softly, "What do you think, girl? Which set of orders should we follow?"

Starset woofed quietly, taking a couple steps away from him. She stopped, looked back, and then spun two tight circles, woofing again. Will laughed then, knowing exactly what she wanted. "Okay, let's go, girl." He followed behind her as she ran ahead, trying to force the encounter with Well's from his thoughts. It didn't do to dwell on ciphers, or things that couldn't be changed. Trying to figure out what happened? Will understood exactly what had happened; there was nothing to figure out. The past was a mark to be blotted out.

Erased.
 

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~- Calling -~

Adam woke with a start, confused at what time it was. He walked to the computer, he saw the papers on the keyboard. He saw the phone numbers that were circled, key information that was highlighted. Jackson Fair was the police chief's son, he had a hearing disability which he used hearing aids to counter. He had two dogs, one a pet and one a work dog called Altair and Aquila. He flipped to Tyler, he saw the similar notes of boy's phone number and key information that could be used. Snow was the same thing. Claire too. He did notice that all four profiles made reference to the other three.

Friends? Could I use one to get the others? He thought, before he shuffled it to Kyle's information. He'd gotten tangled up with the bank robbers a couple weeks ago and was now in therapy, Adam felt uneasy at that since it was so personal. The Bardans had a connection to one Vanguard. Interesting, that did make his mission easier. Especially since he still felt his skin was on fire, pulling out his phone, he punched in the number for Snow despite Dr. Wells suggestion for him to start with Fair.

"Who is this?"

The voice was tense, guarded even, and he shuffled back to Snow's file. He stifled his surprised gasp, he recognized the boy from a couple of weeks ago. A thought coming to his mind, Adam answered, "Not important Chaudrhi, what is important is that you listen to me. You need to take yourself and your friends Nightshade, Fair and Johnson to the Star LABS airport. There's things that Dr. Wells will be discussing that'd be of interest to you four. If you don't, well you won’t get the answers you want and need. Besides....Dr. Wells might be able to help your friend Nightshade."

"Are threatening me!?" Snow snapped, his anger wrapped around Adam's throat.

He closed his eyes, he took a moment, before he answered, "No. Simple statement of fact, it'll be in your best interest for you and your friends to go to Star's airport. I'll be there myself, we can fight it out if you want there." Adam shot off the address really quick and hung up before Snow could answer, that took care of one group, and he was already exhausted. He looked down at the stack, he shuffled through them to find the Bardans and Vanguard. Adam called Vanguard's number, he waited until the young man on the end picked up. He could feel the other man's hesitation, and he couldn't blame him, so he decided to proceed quickly, "Dr. Wells is meeting people at STAR Labs airport. He wants to talk about the Particle Accelerator explosion, the same thing you just got out of the hospital for. It'd be in your best interest if you and the Bardan siblings went." Adam waited for a moment, and then he read off the address for the destination.

"I wish you good luck Vanguard, especially given the two siblings you're with." He finished cryptically, before he once again hung up suddenly.

That just left Kyle, taking a moment he called up the last one. He almost sent a text instead of doing yet another call, but this felt right. So he'd wait, if he didn't get an answer he'd send a text out.

~- Leap of Faith -~

"You're weird, and I don't even know if it's a good or bad kind of weird, but you're weird either way."

Jack gave a sad smile, it wasn't the first time Claire had accused him of being weird. Although it was usually meant in a playful fashion, this one though was legit. She didn't know him. He gave a sad laugh as he answered, "Yeah, you could say that Claire. I promise though, we do know each other." He guided her back to the apartment, and his heart jumped into his throat as he saw what was going on. He took a step forward, his eyes focused on Hazel when he stopped, turning to look at Claire he motioned for her to follow him.

He saw the reluctance in her face, and apparently his dad did too. Next thing he knew his Dad was right next to him, Jack flinched in answer. His dad frowned and signed, "Everything okay?"

"Hazel's unconscious, Claire has no memory and the hearing aids broke." He answered back, his dad wordlessly held his hand out and signed, "Tell your friends so they know."

He nodded at the order, and did as he was told. He glanced toward Hazel, concern in his eyes, and caught his Chief Fair's attention again. "Get one of your friends to go check on her, it'll be too frustrating without your hearing aids if the doctor doesn't know about your situation." His dad ordered.

Nodding, he shot a quick text to Penny, asking the red head to check on Hazel for him. Even sending her the information on which hospital she was most likely to go to. No problem, take care of yourself. I'll keep you updated until you can check on her yourself. Penny shot back, including a smiley face to help reassure Jack, it earned a smile from the blonde. Only for him to frown, as a text from Snow lit up his phone.

Some weirdo says we should go to Star Labs Airport. Apparently Dr. Wells will reveal info we'd be interested in. Whatcha ya think?

Jack frowned as he texted back, Not sure. You know their name?

No.


The frown deepened before he glanced at Claire, and he sighed before texting Snow back one more time. I don't like it but we go, Claire's memory is all messed up. Maybe Dr. Wells can help? He might even be able to help Tyler. It took a moment for Snow to answer back with a grudging "kay", and even dropping the tidbit that this stranger apparently knew things about them and would be there. Behave Snow. Jack shot back, putting just enough emphasis in the words to get his warning tone across. Pocketing his phone he glanced at Claire and commented, "Um, we've got somewhere we need to go if you're interested. They might be able to help with your memory, but there's somewhere I want to go first. Is that okay?" He asked, his concern and exhaustion shining in his eyes.
 
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Eternal Dream

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~- Can You See the Moon? -~

It was like they'd picked up where they'd left off at, but with a few differences. They were in Cy's room this time, James jumping on the bed while Cyrus sat at his desk, transferring a story from one of his notebooks onto his laptop. Jule sat on the floor, one leg drawn under the other, balancing her guitar on her raised knee while she teased a soft melody from the strings.

"James, for the last time, would you please stop jumping? It'd be just my luck that either you'll break either yourself or my bed, so knock it off!" Cy's voice was loud, but there was no real anger in it, not yet. Even so, James took the warning, bouncing one final time before landing on his butt. He reached for the controller on Cy's dresser, the question clear in his eyes, when Cy's phone rang.

Cy huffed; he hated being interrupted while he was working with his stories. Reaching for his phone, Cy called to James, "Fine, go ahead. Not Assassin's Creed, though; you're too young for that!" Cy walked out of the room, and Jule followed behind him, taking just a moment to lean her guitar against the wall before she went through the door.

"... the two siblings you're with." The phone call was practically over by the time that Juliet got out into the hall, although she was surprised by the fact that she'd heard that over his speaker. Cy hung up, his features tight as he stared at the device in his hand. Jule reached over, laying her hand over his. She waited until his eyes met hers before asking, "Who was that?"

"The warrior unleashed," Cy said softly. He blinked, shook his head. Blinked again. "What the...? I'm sorry, Jule, I don't know where that came from."

"The same place as Windseeker and 'Radiant as the sun'?" she suggested, and Cy gave her a guilty look. He covered it quickly, but there was a dark fear in his eyes, one that didn't need a voice to air its concerns. Not when they both knew that dark ocean so well. She laced her fingers through his, then said gently, "Never mind that. What did they want?"

"Something about a Dr. Wells and the explosion a couple weeks back. He thinks we'd be interested in hearing what Wells has to say. What do you think?" Cy was studying her, his eyes shining softly like reflected moonlight.

She rubbed her thumb across his skin, just thinking for a moment. Finally she nodded, saying in turn, "I don't see what the harm would be in going to hear him out. They want to see all three of us?" At Cy's nod, she said simply, "Okay. Than let's go."

~- Dark Hunger -~

They were communicating to each other. Their voices were low, an indistinct murmur, his head bent low so he could whisper something into her ear. She giggled, looping her arm tighter through his before laying her head against his shoulder, every line of her body radiating contented happiness. Soft clouds covered the night sky, the moon a mere sliver of light, but light enough that the two young lovers didn't have much to fear as they followed the path through the park to her home.

Foolish lovers.

The hunter watched from nearby, the fall foliage that still clung to the branches just enough camouflage to disguise its form from its prey. The hunter stalked across the branch, leaping the ten foot gap from one branch to the next when the lovers moved too far away from the tree that the hunter had been in originally. It landed lightly, not a single leaf rustling to mark the hunter's presence. Silently, it continued following after the lovers, never once taking its eyes off of them.

The couple had reached the heart of the park, and that seemed to be when the male got an idea. He pulled them to a stop, brushing a hand across the female's face when she turned her eyes up to look at him. Before she could say anything, he'd bent his head down, and she raised to meet him.

The hunter struck. Leaping from the tree, it landed on the male's back, bringing both of the lovers down as the hunter sunk sharp teeth into the male's neck and skull. The hunter bit down, warm blood flooding into its mouth as bone crushed beneath its teeth. Its stomach roared to life, demanding the life force the male once possessed, but there was an even deeper hunger that had been awakened, one that demanded satisfaction in the small window that the hunter had.

The female.

It rose to its feet, turning a bloodied muzzle to the surviving lover. Her eyes were wide, horror etched across her face as she pushed herself away from the hunter and the corpse of her lover. Blood covered her hand, and the hunter ran its tongue across its lips when she lifted her hand to pull herself further away, leaving a perfect handprint. The horror in her eyes, the terror thundering through her quivering breast with so much force that her heart roared with blood, near to exploding.

It was a symphony.

The hunter lept, landing on top of the female. A quick rake across her stomach with razor sharp position, and cloth, flesh, muscle and sinew where shredded, leaving her innermost glory for the hunter's rapture. The hunter lunged forward, drinking in the terror in her eyes, teeth clamped tight around her throat just as she drew breath to scream. It bit down, stealing her voice, insuring that the female would indeed join the male in the beyond, but not before this. Not before the hunter was sated. The male would give the hunter flesh, and the female would give her life. She would die slowly. Turning from her face, the hunter faced her ripped open belly.

And began to feed.
 

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Walls of ice surrounded Kyle. There was a rough grip on the collar of his shirt which pressed him against one of the frosty surface. He shut his eyes as the events replayed themselves again. Though he couldn't see, he could still feel what was happening. The icy embrace surrounding Kyle was contradicted by the intense heat of a flame thrower held near his gut. The intrusive smell of cigarette smoke filled his nostrils, nearly making him gag. Then the heat expanded as the flamethrower combusted, setting the room on fire. On cue, Kyle's feet carried him to the exit door, but it refused to budge. Kyle opened his eyes. He pushed and pulled but the door didn't open. The sound of water met his ears and as he turned around, Kyle saw the ice-riddled walls had begun to melt at an impossible rate. The fire from the explosion had caused the frost to melt as if it were a mighty glacier and already the water was up to his knees. The water was ice cold and it penetrated into his femur, freezing him in place. The water filled the room the same way a water hose filled a bowl, and Kyle quickly found his head underwater. The fear of drowning was overtaken by the intense freezing pain that started in his lungs and expanded outward throughout his entire body. Then something in the water moved. A human figure. The same one that haunted his flame-filled nightmares was now also in this waterlogged twisted version. Her half-melted face once again rushed up to him, her still-flaming arms swinging wildly at him despite the water. As she approached the familiar paralyzing fear and dreadful fear met him. As she made contact with his skin, the incredible heat jolted him awake.

Kyle let out a quick gasp as he jumped awake in his booth. He had fallen asleep in the restaurant he had visited without meaning to, and the usual nightmare that originated from the night of the explosion had shifted from a fiery field to a watery grave. Kyle took a few seconds to catch his breath as he wiped away the sweat that had formed on his face. He got a few looks from the small amount of people who noticed him, but he ignored them. After Kyle managed to compose himself, he reached into his jacket's inside pocket and gripped the flask filled with alcohol. He was about to pull it out before stopping himself. No. No no no, this wasn't the way. Placing the flask back, he instead reached for his phone and dialed a number. After a few seconds of ringing, a woman answered.
"This is Dr Kate Jones."
"Hi, Dr? It's Kyle. I have an... I have an issue." There was a slight pause before Kate responded.
"What is it?" She asked, not unkindly.
"I had another nightmare--it was like the others but this time it changed halfway through. The room filled with water instead of burning away into an empty field."
"Did the figure still attack you?" This time Kyle paused.
"I...yeah. Yeah it did. It was on fire too, even though we were underwater. What do you think it means?"
"I'll need some time but this might be a good sign, even if it doesn't seem like it. We've moved past the intense heat and are transitioning onto something new. Moving forward is good."
"Right...Right. I just...thought you should know."
"Thank you for keeping your trust in me. I'll call you back soon with more information."
"Yeah. Yeah, okay. thanks Dr Jones--I mean, Kate."
The line went dead a few seconds later. A plate of half-eaten food sat in front of him. He touched a bit of it. Cold. "Excuse me," he called out to the waitstaff, "can I get this rehe--" Kyle's phone buzzed loudly. "Uh...nevermind, actually." He never answered the phone to unknown numbers, but the new nightmare left him in a state and he clicked the green button without thinking. "Thank you for calling the First National Library of--wait shit. Uh. I mean. This is Kyle Circe speaking. May I ask who's calling?"
 
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Eternal Dream

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~- Rose of May -~

"Come on, Maddy! We're gonna miss the show!"

Diana laughed, but she kept following after Ollie as he galloped ahead. It was a nice day today, the perfect day for an outing after spending a few weeks in an unexplainable coma. Tish had wanted to make it all four of them, but Aqua had talked the other girl into letting Diana and Ollie spend the day together instead. On the one hand, Diana would have liked having the girls along; but she appreciated being able to spend the day with just Ollie even more.

"Maddy; come on!" Still not happy with how slow she was moving, the little boy had come running back again to grab at her sleeve. He hopped up and down, causing her to laugh again, which made him puff his cheeks out in annoyance.

She reached out, ruffling his hair affectionately. "We've got plenty of time, promise. But tell you what. If I'm wrong, not only will we stay around to make sure we get the next show, but I'll take you out for ice cream too. How's that sound?"

Ollie's eyes glittered as he nodded his head. "Sounds good; sounds great! Let's go!" He started moving again, but he stayed by Diana this time, his hand reaching out to hold hers. She wrapped her fingers around his, and looked to the sky. It was a beautiful day today, but she had this strange, staticky feeling breezing across her skin. The weather reports said they were supposed to have clear skies for the next three days, but she almost swore she smelled rain on the wind...

Diana shook her head, and picked up her pace just enough to make Ollie happy. It was best to push such strange thoughts to the back of her mind. They had a show to catch.

And no, they didn't miss it.

~- Eros -~

Wells had ordered Will to get some rest; however, nothing in those orders had said anything about Will returning to his quarters and sleeping. He did stop by his room long enough to get a long, soft leather case that he slung over his back, but he was quickly out the door and on his way again, Starset still running ahead of him.

Man and dog continued walking for a while. Well, Will walked, and Starset bounded around, chasing after insects and investigating scents. She was well trained, and would come to attention immediately if he commanded her to do so, but he enjoyed her energy, and watching her enthusiasm helped him to relax.

Eventually, though, the two of them arrived at their destination. There was a small copse of trees on the grounds of the base, with a small pond on the outer edges of these trees. This area did see some traffic from the other soldiers, but it was a marginal amount, and it was the place that Will found himself most drawn to when he needed a moment to himself to think. Walking over to the log that he'd dragged near the water's edge at an earlier time, Will eased himself down onto the rough bark, then reached to open the leather case.

A beautiful guitar lay inside the case. As always, Will ran a hand along the deep red body of the instrument, his mind turning to his mother. What would she say if she knew he'd been put in charge of Jiang? Will exhaled, the slightest of smiles almost coming to his face. She'd beg him to give Adam a chance, Will knew that. She'd watched Will struggle with Adam abandoning him after the accident, she'd known how much worse the rejection of his best friend had hurt him than all of the surgeries and the pain in his leg did. Even so, she'd ask Will to give Adam a chance. She'd say that maybe it was a misunderstanding; they'd been so close, so how could Adam have shut Will out so completely when he'd needed him the most?

That was the million dollar question.

Will pulled the guitar out of its case, set it across his knees, and then started working the keys at its head to make sure it was in tune. The movements were practiced, second nature to him, which allowed his thoughts freedom to roam. Even as he decided that the guitar was ready, even as he picked the first soft, tentative notes from the strings, he kept coming back to that same question. Twelve years of pain. Twelve years of isolation. Twelve years of feeling like he couldn't trust anyone. Could Will get over all of that to give Adam the chance to explain himself?

Could he?
 
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