Part 2

by CM Towns

   Araminta’s eyes fluttered open and close. She felt light, comfortable under sheets, dreaming of dreaming. Finally a shock of memory came rushing back and she popped up-smacking her already hurt head into the bunk above. She groaned in pain, rubbed the top and looked up then she looked around. Araminta was in a room with a couple dressers, a closet, a nightstand by the bed she laid, and a bookcase by the metal door with no handle. There was a type of electronic lock to its side and Araminta got nervous that she had been abducted.
   Her mind raced back to the attack at the school, Reina Titán coming to her rescue only to leave her and-“I must’ve gotten hit,” she said aloud.
   Araminta got up and was surprised by the cold tiled floor. She than noticed she was wearing PJ’s. Rather plain ones but another disturbing thought came to mind of being undressed by perverts. A shiver ran up her spine, she grabbed herself and looked at the door.
   What am I gonna do? Raced inside her head. A sense of nauseousness came up from her stomach into her throat but she fought it down as a the pounding of fear slammed the walls inside her head.

   My powers. No… Her power of teleportation might be useful but unless she knew the lay out of her location she could not be sure where she would land. Araminta walked over to the door and knocked on it. She could not tell how thick it was but she figured a two to three foot jump could get her outside without getting-No bad thoughts. Focus on escaping.
   Araminta’s eyes looked on the electronic pad by the door. There were two buttons and a small screen. She pressed the second button and the screen said LOCKED. She pressed it again and it went UNLOCKED. Araminta pressed the first button and the door slid open, she peeked out, looked both ways before leaving the room. She saw the pad on the outside, larger with a number keypad plus two similar buttons. She pressed the first button and it closed, she considered the second button was to lock so she wondered what the keypad was for.
   Araminta turned away and looked around. It was metal walls, soft lighting above and an ambiance that disturbed her. A sound caught her ear and she considered seeking it out. If she was a prisoner they would have put guards on her, or at least locked the door. This seemed like something completely different. She walked toward the noise, passing by a couple more rooms and one marked Restroom. Araminta could see a turn coming up and quickened her step over to it while hugging against the wall to take a look around.
   Before she could peek a beast popped out and scared her. “Sneaking around kitten?” it asked.
   The tall, black skinned creature reached for her, putting his hand on her shoulder and instinctively she kicked out to its groin and ran screaming past it down the hall he had come from. She ran by two large rooms. The one to her left had noises coming from it, Araminta did not look back. She ran faster and faster but screeched to a stop when she saw a man walk out.
   “Hold on! No need to be scared,” he said. The man, or rather teenager, was white. He had most his head shaved with the exception of his ungroomed mohawk. He wore a couple piercings in his lip and a pleasant smile. The boy was sweating hard and was wearing a towel around his neck.
   Araminta was breathing hard. She pointed back and screamed, “Monster!”
   “That’s not a nice thing to call Elijah. He’s already got insecurities about his looks,” he joked.
   “What?” she said.
   “He’s saying we come in peace,” said the voice behind her. Araminta took a better look at the beast. He was over six feet tall, black colored skin, yellow hair and white eyes. He seemed odd and out of place in jeans and Nike shirt. “Name is Elijah. ELIJAH STERLING COLLINGSWORTH the THIRD. We just met and do not fear, I am not here to eat your flesh. This is FRANK.”
   “FRANK TREMAINE,” he said
   Araminta’s mouth was open and she finally said, “Araminta.”
   “Nice to meet you, we should take this into the cafeteria. Dinner is ready. Frank, get Reed and the pet,” he said. Frank nodded and Elijah motioned to the nearby double doors. “Come now.”
   She stared at him for a moment, waiting for him to go first before she followed. He did indeed lead her into an empty cafeteria. He started speaking, “The food is at the first table by the chow line. Come, I brought out extra bowls and utensils on the chance you’d be up or we would have the others here.”
   “The others?”
   “Reina,” he started, “RED SPRITE, KID VICTORY or maybe even the PROFESSOR or TESLA.”
   “So Reina Titán did save me,” she said.
   “Of course she did.” He pulled out a chair for her when they finally made it to the table with the big pot. She sat down and he served her a bowl. “Vegetable soup with beef and rotini pasta.”
   Araminta took a spoon and tried it. She took another bite. It had been a long while since she had real home cooked food. She said, “It’s good.”
   “Thank you kindly,” he replied pulling a can from a box of soda and putting it by her. “Here’s the others.”
   Frank walked in from the kitchen with a smaller boy following him. He seemed to be a tad shorter than Araminta. The Caucasian kid had uncombed blond hair and seemed thin in appearance. “I know you,” she said. Before she was taken back by the wolf beside him.
   “Don’t fear kitten, Wolf’s harmless,” Elijah said putting down a plate of raw meat.
   “So you know the infamous HUNTSMAN,” Frank said sitting down.
   “Yeah-the news,” she said.
   “Hate the news,” said REED TELLE.
   “He’s one of our powerhouses,” Frank said.
   “So you’re like-the Avengers?” asked Araminta.
   Elijah was pouring bowls as Frank answered, “Except we have more firepower and our Hulk doesn’t quite have anger issues.”
   “Thank you for that,” Elijah said while serving the food. He sat down and started talking, “I guess you haven’t kept up with the news. You were the target of a super neo-nazi organization called the TEIWAZ. They have been targeting possible superhumans as well as…” Elijah paused and breathed in, “Non-white individuals who live near hot spots. Places believed to have a spike in magical activity or were visited by aliens, super-machines, the like.
   “I am a victim of the second sought after youths. The doctor gave me this make over and I hope the chance comes that I can personally let him know how little I think of his work,” he finished.
   Araminta’s face was frozen in disbelief. She had heard something about this Teiwaz but she rarely followed the news. The idea of kids and teenagers getting abducted and experimented on made the food rumble in her gut all of a sudden. Elijah smiled, said, “You’re making me feel bad.”
   “I’m sorry. I mean-” she stumbled to say something. He touched her shoulder, smiled and turned to his food.
   “Myself and Reed were targets. Reeds obvious,” Frank said.
   “I was playing video games in the basement of the Y when they busted in. I shot them up, cost my uncle the job, and ran into Kid Victory,” Reed explained in between bites. Araminta knew the basics of Reed’s story. He turned into a machine man that could fly, had super strength, and can turn his right arm into a laser cannon. They hated him in his home of Charlotte.
   “In my case they tracked me because I had been exposed to alien machinery. This weird box, spiked sphere thing. Was messing around-BAM!” he hit the table. “Out for a couple hours but no visible effects. The powers didn’t show up for a few weeks later and now I can shoot lightning,” Frank said.
   “What do you do?” Reed asked.
   Araminta answered, “I can jump through these gates that can transport me from one place to another.”
   “Teleportation,” Elijah commented.
   “I can create shields and even heal wounds. At least, to some degree,” she continued.
   “Multi-talented,” Frank shined a grin at her that made Araminta look away with a little smile.
   Araminta then got a thought in her head she had to express. “But-how did they find me?”
   “That’s a question we can only guess but for now, enjoy the food. We’ll show you around, get you settled in,” smiled Frank.