Character introduction from the background: new graphic!
Previous Chapter:Chapter 5: Second Communion
Chapter #6: Gemini and Discord
June 25th, 2027-CE
The couple of weeks leading up to the fourth of July are always a festive time for the town of Greeley. As such, the city put up a carnival at Island Grove and called it the Greeley Stampede. Usually, it was a time of year that Lone Wolfe and his mother would go to the carnival. They would jump on the rides and go through the midway to play games. They would tie up their day of fun by having some funnel cakes and other fried food and drinks at one of the food stands just off of the midway. He was hoping to share that experience with Relena this summer.
Since that was no longer possible he preferred to stay as far away from stampede as possible. He wanted nothing to do with that place. His friends wouldn’t be there and his father wasn’t going to take him there. His father was still in mourning. He was mourning in his own way. His father had offered him money to go to the stampede but Lone Wolfe still refused to go.
He wandered west along fifth street. He wasn’t sure what he was looking for. He wasn’t sure if he was looking for anything. The day was hot. The only thing that hinted him to that fact was the silver chain around his neck was starting to burn. He refused to take it off and do anything more with it. The pendant on the end, a triskal inside of a circle, was one of the few things left of his mother. In his pocket, his phone, was the other one. His mother refused to give him one for years because she didn’t think kids should have them but now a single father, his father thought it would be appropriate he have one. It was either that or cancel the plan and figure out what to do with the old smart phone.
As he walked he could sense that someone was being harassed. That tended to happen during the time of the stampede. It troubled him and his mother but his mother had to protect him and keep him from harm. Now that she was no longer here, there was nothing to stop him from intervening. He also didn’t feel like protecting himself anymore. If he could help anyone he would do so.
He ran toward the trouble. When he got there, he found four people surrounding a person. He could feel the terror bleeding off of the person. They held a knife to the man’s throat. One of the people growled and said, “Give us your money!”
“Stop it!” Lone Wolfe shouted at the top of his lungs.
The four of them glanced over to the boy, “Beat it kid! If you know what’s good for you!”
“Run back to your mommy, you little brat!” Another one shouted.
That comment enraged Lone Wolfe. His gold eyes saw red at that point and he sprinted toward the group. The man with the knife turned it towards Lone Wolfe. Fight or flight instinct kicked in, empowered by his Clairvoyance, at that moment. The result was him twirling around the man as he charged. His reflexes were dramatically increased and the world seemed to slow for him. As they all made their way to punch him and keep him away from the man that made the comment about his mother, he was able to dodge their blows and blows with the knife.
He kicked and knocked one of them to the ground. He saw that they had forgotten about their first victim. Lone Wolfe didn’t, “Run for it!” He shouted.
The man nodded, “Thanks,” He sputtered and took off.
Good deed done and the man out of danger, Lone Wolfe turned his attention back to the man that made the comment. He was determined to do something to the man. Rage coursed through his veins. He kicked and punched his way, knocking one of the men out. The other two made sure they were armed with weapons like the one with the knife. It only served to keep Lone Wolfe from getting too close to them while they were face to face with them. No one could land blows on him while he was using his Clairvoyant abilities, “What’s with this kid?” One of them shouted.
In response, the one that made the comment about his mother made a series of three whistles. A moment later the faint reply of the same series of whistles could be heard over the wind, they summoned help, Lone Wolfe remarked to himself. He didn’t care. Four were no match for him. If he knew more on how to fight, he could have taken them all out already. It would be something he would fix later.
More people ran into the fray. When he noticed the flash of gun metal he stopped. He focused on the man with his telepathic ire and fired off an attack with full force. The man dropped the gun and screamed in sheer pain. If they were going to up the ante with deadly weapons, he would break their minds with his telepathic powers.
Unfortunately for Lone Wolfe, He stopped moving to get a fix on the man with the gun. In that instant one of the men with the knives ran up and stabbed the boy in the back. Lone Wolfe dropped to his knees as his mind exploded and started to attack all of them. The pain only fueled his abilities as he attacked them mentally. The ones coming after him with the knives struggled to think of what they wanted to do. They slowly moved towards him to try to end him.
Lone Wolfe could make them collapse if he had less of them to concentrate on. It was all he could do to unleash his fury upon them. He could hardly move, the will seemed to be seeping out of him and his strength with it. He dropped to his knees as he concentrated. He willed for the ones that tried to reach for their guns to stop what they were doing and they complied. He willed for the ones to drop their knives but it was too much for him to focus on.
He didn’t have to. He heard two sets of foot falls racing up to the scene. He thought the police had come to investigate the disturbance. While his clairvoyance was right, his rescuers had come, they were not the police. As they focused on the group, they unleased a telepathic attack of their own. The attack washed over the group and passed Lone Wolfe over as if it were nothing more than a breeze. Their eyes widened as their minds were filled with freight and pain. They dropped their knives and took off away from the two new telepaths.
Lone Wolfe rose to follow them in pursuit but a hand forced him to remain on his knees, “hold, on! Simmer down, let my sister take a look at you, you have been stabbed there, brother.”
It was at that point that Lone Wolfe was forced to acknowledge the pain in his back. It seared from just below his kidneys. He wiped his hand over the source of the searing pain and it came away bloody. It was then that he decided to glance at his rescuers. Standing to his right was a tanned man with short brown hair and dark amber eyes. He was dressed in a gray shirt and black jeans. He glanced to his left and saw a girl standing over him. She had long brown hair and the same dark amber eyes and tanned skin. She wore a black button up blouse and gray slacks. Both of them looked to be about his age.
It was to the girl he pleaded to, “You have to let me after them! If I am to die, at least let me take one of them with me!”
The girl smiled back at him, “Well, aren’t you a little ball of darkness. You aren’t going anywhere until I have a look at you. You won’t die while I am here. Unless that knife happened to be radioactive or anything.”
When she smiled at him, it made him feel like his heart was going to melt. That was what made him compliant, more than anything else. It was either her smile or the loss of blood that was making him act funny. He nodded and she knelt down next to him. His nose was filled with the scent coming off of her body at that point. The subtle smell of rose scented perfume and her natural musk made his heart beat all that much faster.
She blushed and smiled slightly as she placed a hand on his shoulder and looked at his back. She placed her other hand just above the wound. After a few moments, he felt an electric tingle run through his body. The feeling was familiar to him. It was something similar he felt when Jena used her Empathic abilities to heal him when they were little. It felt like that before Jena learned how to use finesse with her powers, she’s an Empath, he remarked to himself.
“What’s your name?” She asked while she worked to heal him.
“Lone Wolfe,” He answered.
“That doesn’t sound much like a name,” the girl remarked.
“There’s a story behind it but everyone calls me that. The only ones who didn’t are now dead,” Lone Wolfe answered.
The pain was gone after a few moments and so was the tingling. She swooped her arms under his and pulled him to her feet. The act made him blush slightly and only made her smile grow, “May I know the name of my rescuers?” he questioned.
She nodded, “I am Robin and this is my twin brother Raymond.”
“Ray for short,” The man nodded.
“Where are you two going?” He questioned.
“We are going to the Boys and Girls club. It is about half a mile down the road from here,” Ray stated.
“We were members back in San Diego,” Robin commented, “we decided to check out the one closest to us. We happened to hear your attack has we approached.”
“You weren’t heading to the carnival?” Lone Wolfe questioned in response.
They cocked their head in curious excitement, “There’s a carnival in town?” They both asked at the same time.
Lone Wolfe nodded and glanced at the two strangers, “you two aren’t from around here? Are you just visiting?”
“We are new here,” Ray started.
“But we are here to stay,” Robin finished.
Lone Wolfe smiled, “Well I wasn’t planning on going to the carnival today but if you wouldn’t mind following me back to my house, I can pick up some money and show you around.”
Robin returned the smile but shook her head, “Carnivals are more fun in the evening and at night. Would you like to come with us to the Boys and Girls club? We would have to start a new membership anyway so we can walk you through it. If you have two 1-dollar coins to rub together, that gets you a membership for the year.”
“I got that on me,” Lone Wolfe replied and nodded, “I think I will follow along, if you don’t mind.”
“Wouldn’t have said anything if we didn’t,” Robin nodded and led the way.
“Seems strange that we are new here and yet we are leading the way,” Ray stated after a moment, “I would have thought a local would know where the club is.”
“Never heard of it before today,” Lone Wolfe replied, “I wish I did know of it before now. Would have been a better place to spend my summers at. Although I wouldn’t have been able to train to control my telepathy if I hadn’t.”
“Train to control?” Robin repeated.
“I know, I am an odd one,” Lone Wolfe replied, “My abilities are potent and when I was little I had no in born concept on how to control them unlike some of my other friends and family. I had to be taught how to control them and how to use them with other telepaths.”
“Well,” Ray pondered, “Most of us have to be taught how to use them for the second point you mentioned. Usually, though, most of us just know how to use our abilities.”
“It’s like being able to see but not controlling how to focus your eye,” Robin added.
“Then consider me one of the people that had to be taught how to focus my eyes,” Lone Wolfe commented.
“Right before you got stabbed, before you moved wicked fast then you stopped and used your telepathy. We could feel the attack from here. If you weren’t focused, you could have hurt everyone around you in that attack,” Ray commented.
Lone Wolfe shrugged, “I think I did that latter, after I got stabbed.”
“We mentioned how powerful you were. We figured they were attacking you because you are like us,” Ray added, “That was the main reason why we rushed in.”
“They had no idea what I was. They were some gangster wannabies that were trying to shake down some random dude for money. I stepped in to save him,” Lone Wolfe commented.
“Why?” Robin asked.
“Why not? Seemed the thing to do at the time,” Lone Wolfe replied, “I never liked it when people picked on someone because they thought they could get away with it. Figured I would do to them what they were doing to the guy. Worked well until they whistled in some help.”
They leaned back and glanced at each other. In that instant, they exchanged a thought telepathically. Lone Wolfe had never been left out of a telepathic exchange before, at least not one while he was standing right there. He figured it was the proximity that allowed him to sense it. That or he was starting to get even better at his abilities. He glanced at them and said, “I heard that by the way. I didn’t hear the thought but I could tell you were communicating amongst yourselves. My mentor might consider that rude.”
“Well we aren’t your mentor,” Ray stated as he folded his arms.
“Hang on, how did you pick that up?” Robin questioned in response. Unlike her brother, she didn’t take offense at being compared to his mentor.
Lone Wolfe shrugged, “Like I said, I was taught how to use my abilities with other telepaths. It was one of the things I picked up along the way.”
“I get that but we have been around other psychics before and did this same number lots of times. No one has ever picked up that they were being left out,” Robin said.
They came to a stop light and waited for it to change before crossing. Lone Wolfe shrugged, “My mentor is different from most psychics. I learned how to pick up other waves as they are communicated. You may have used a link and that may fool any other telepath but I don’t think it would get past my mentor or my best friend.”
“Anyway, back to my question,” Ray stated.
“There was a question somewhere in there?” Lone Wolfe asked in reply which made Robin giggle a little bit.
Ray glared at the gold eyed boy, “I was getting to that. I didn’t detect any telepathy when you were moving like a ninja. Just what were you using?”
“My special ninja skills,” Lone Wolfe dodged.
“No, seriously,” Ray prodded, “What were you using?”
Outside of Jena and Scarlet, Lone Wolfe had only met psychics inside of his family. It hadn’t occurred to him that other psychics would not innately be able to sense when other abilities were being used. Jena seemed to have a knack for it and Scarlet taught him how to do it. When he thought about it; his father only knew what his abilities were because his mother was a telepath, empath, and clairvoyant. Scarlet even taught him how to figure out the strength of their abilities with his telepathic powers. A casual glance with his abilities revealed what they were when he saw them. They never picked it up. He didn’t know that this was not a common talent. That was, until now.
He glanced at Ray then at Robin. The light changed and he waited until they were across the street to answer, “I’m Clairvoyant.”
He could feel them again communicating. This time they were not leaning back to use their talents. Lone Wolfe stiffened, “Can you not project through me please?”
“How do you do that?” Robin questioned.
“Passively,” Lone Wolfe replied.
“What does that mean?” Ray questioned in response.
“When you project, you are actively using your abilities. Ever try to listen? Be receptive and open up just enough to let the information around you flow in? That is passively using your gifts. It keeps you alert as to when someone might be trying to eavesdrop on your thoughts,” Lone Wolfe replied.
“Never thought about it like that,” Ray replied.
“Clearly,” Lone Wolfe nodded and continued on.
“We haven’t met any clairvoyants,” Robin mentioned, “If you want to know what we were projecting just now. We were taking in a mental count of what we have met. There are lots of telepaths and empaths roaming around. Not a lot of psychokinetics, and Telekinetics are pretty rare. I wonder, how come there aren’t more of you around?”
Lone Wolfe shrugged, “Who knows.”
“So, you can predict the future?” Ray questioned.
“Sometimes,” Lone Wolfe sighed.
“Ever think about using your abilities to win the lottery?” Ray asked.
“Doesn’t work like that,” Lone Wolfe replied.
“Why not?” Ray asked.
“It’s not an ability you can always use actively. The part that is usually active is the precognition you saw me use earlier. That was the part that allowed me to see what they were going to do before they did it and avoid it. It gives the illusion of moving really fast. It also has a secondary effect of making everything around you feel like it is moving slower.” Lone Wolfe replied.
“How about seeing someone’s future?” Robin questioned.
“That is the oldest question in the book,” Lone Wolfe sighed again, “I will give you the same answer I give my friends that have our talents; when it comes to other people, if I focus on it to try to gain a vision of the future, I can either focus on a date and get something that may have nothing to do with you or I can focus on you and get something from anywhere in your future. Haven’t been able to nail down how to do your future on a specific date. As you mentioned; there aren’t a lot of us so there isn’t a wealth of information on the topic.”
“Ever think about practicing on someone until you get it?” Ray questioned in response.
“Trust me, knowing too much about your future is a bad thing,” Lone Wolfe replied.
“Why?” Ray questioned.
“Because knowing too much about the future will change it. When you get used to that fact, you will come across a fixed event; something that you cannot change no matter what you try to do,” Lone Wolfe replied.
Robin noticed his gold eyes carried a lot of emotion in them at that moment. She almost didn’t want to know what he had experienced to put that flood emotions in there. She was starting to learn a lot about the boy next to her and she couldn’t figure out why but she wanted to know more. She again projected to her brother to continue to ask questions. She wanted to make sure that his opinion of her was not colored in any way.
“You might want to stop before I stop it for you!” Lone Wolfe growled, “If you don’t want to state something aloud then fine but at least include me. It’s starting to get annoying.”
“I’d like to see you try,” Robin smiled and said before she could keep her mouth shut.
Lone Wolfe smirked, “One more time. You’ll see. Make it a good one.”
On cue, Ray questioned, “Give us an example of knowing too much of the future that will change it or is that just clairvoyant code for not being able to see the future as clearly as you think?”
“Go ahead and goad that some more,” Lone Wolfe stated, “What have I done so far that leads you to believe that I could be steering you astray?”
Ray waved his hands in the air, “I’m not trying to goad you in anyway. I have just heard that line many times before about ‘oh seeing the future can change it.’ It’s a bit cliché by now.”
Lone Wolfe nodded, “While that’s true, it doesn’t make the statement wrong. If you must know, let me give you a scenario. Suppose I will say that while walking down the sidewalk tomorrow, you will find twenty bucks. You will spend all of that day looking down at the ground for that twenty. You may not pay attention where you are going and smack into something and alter your plans for that day. You could run into a pole and knock yourself out and the twenty will be found by someone else. Had I not said anything, you would have found the twenty.”
As they rounded the corner and started to head down a driveway toward a parking lot and a building beyond, Ray questioned, “Ever think about telling an outside observer about the future and testing it that way.”
Shock occurred to him at that moment, “No. That had never occurred to me.”
“Well try telling both of us something about the future,” Robin suggested.
“Okay,” Lone Wolfe suggested, “about what?”
“Who’s going to be next president?” Ray asked.
“How about something that doesn’t rely on a date,” Lone Wolfe questioned.
“I thought that would be a shoe in, the election is next year.” He stated.
“How about something someone has already put into motion. Something that you cannot stop,” Robin suggested.
Lone Wolfe nodded, “Good thinking.” Lone Wolfe stopped just short of the gate of the building and closed his eyes. After a moment, he opened them and there was a momentary look of panic on his face. He covered it well as he glanced into Robin’s dark amber eyes, “You have already done something that will start a war amongst the hidden world in the future.”
Ray raised a fist to him, “Are you suggesting my sister is evil?”
“I’m not suggesting anything. It could have been an innocent interaction. It could have been something she said, something she shared. A comment online. Who knows. All I know is, you did something, maybe small and innocent, that will cause a war that a large part of the population will never see,” Lone Wolfe replied.
They again began to communicate telepathically. In mid comment, their link went dead, cut off. They both glanced at Lone Wolfe who crossed his arms and Smiled, “I told you I would stop that if you continued.”
“How?” Robin questioned.
“It’s called suppression. I can focus it on one person or I can focus it on an area,” Lone Wolfe replied.
“Is it permanent?” Robin asked.
“No,” Lone Wolfe answered, “I am not aware of a way to do that to someone permanently. I would rather not know either.” He knew part of that statement was a lie. He didn’t know how to do it but Scarlet does know how to permanently suppress telepathy. She told him that should have done it to him once before she realized he couldn’t control his abilities.
“That’s good,” Ray breathed a sigh of relief, “I have never heard of an attack like that before.”
Lone Wolfe nodded, “That’s because it isn’t an attack in a specific sense. When you attack someone telepathically, you are attacking their mind. Suppression is like a jamming signal only better.”
“We can jam people but never like this and people know we are jamming them,” Robin stated in response.
Ray started to shift uneasily, “Can you stop this suppression now?”
“Only if you promise to include me in your projections from now on,” Lone Wolfe offered.
“I don’t see a problem with that,” Robin stated before her brother could debate the issue. She then glanced at Lone Wolfe with a smile on her face, “I must admit. I like you, Lone Wolfe.”
Instantly, all of them could feel the thoughts of others around them. The twins breathed a sigh of relief in response. Robin waved for the boys to follow her as they continued to talk, “So when is this war that I will cause supposed to happen?”
“Caused,” Lone Wolfe corrected, “I focused on the catalyst; something you did already. As far as to when? I don’t know. Some of us will be there to find out.”
“Sounds like you can only fix on one variable at a time,” Robin commented in response.
“Never thought about it that way but you could be right,” Lone Wolfe shrugged.
“We can get an idea,” Ray suggested, “What is the farthest out you have seen into the future?”
“I will let you know when we get there,” Lone Wolfe suggested.
“Are you suggesting that this war is the furthest thing out you have seen?” Ray questioned in response.
Lone Wolfe shook his head, “I have seen further but I haven’t been able to figure out how far yet.”
“How about how far that you have gotten right?” Ray goaded.
“Well that ranges increases every year. Predictions I made when I was five still haven’t come true. Come to think about it, I did foresee meeting two people with eyes like mine when I was four so about ten years. That was when I was four. I can see farther now. So, if you want an accurate answer you will have to strap in and get ready for a long ride,” Lone Wolfe answered.
“You do have yellow eyes,” Robin nodded and smiled.
“You could have made that up,” Ray stated in response.
“How about this?” Robin said, “Have you seen your own death yet?”
Lone Wolfe shook his head, “Haven’t seen that far yet.”
“So, you can’t see about eighty years out yet?” Ray questioned in response.
“How about your mother, can she see when she is going to die?” Robin questioned.
Lone Wolfe didn’t answer but as they glanced to the doors he asked, “How do we get into this place?”
“I think the entrance is through the back,” Robin suggested. She wanted to use her telepathy to ask her brother why he shut down again but knew that Lone Wolfe would just suppress their abilities again. Instead, she chose to deal with not knowing for the moment.
“Odd way of doing it,” Lone Wolfe commented.
“Well, it looks like an old building,” Ray shrugged.
Lone Wolfe followed them in and proceeded to the front desk with them. From there, one of the workers walked over to them and asked them to sign in. When they said they were new and wanted to sign up she provided them with forms and asked for contact numbers to their parents in which they agreed to give. They called right away. Lone Wolfe had enough time to text his father and get approval to sign up. Apparently, his father did know about the club after all and was going to suggest it as soon as the stampede left.
They paid their dues and filled out the forms after they got approval from their parents. After that was done, they were signed in. Ray waved to them and started to walk down one large hallway, “I am going to the gym and hopefully find someone to play a game of basketball with.”
Robin nodded, “I think Lone Wolfe and I will play pool while you are off in the gym. Have fun. Try not to break the back board!”
Ray smirked and nodded, “Hey Lone Wolfe, try not to check out my sister while I’m gone!”
What is with people? Lone Wolfe asked himself as he followed Robin, First Curtis with Jena, then my dad with Scarlet, now Ray with his sister-his sister! Am I broadcasting something I’m not aware of? Lone Wolfe asked himself. Robin walked over to the other end of the counter and took off her shoes, “I would like two pool cues and a set of balls please.” She stated as she handed the shoes over to the volunteer at the counter.
The volunteer swept up her shoes and returned a moment later with a plastic tray with sixteen balls, a triangle sitting atop of them, and two long pool sticks. Lone Wolfe cocked his head in confusion. It was his turn to be the ignorant one, “Why did you trade in your shoes for those?”
“A quaint little ‘trust but verify’ system. They figure; if you have skin in the game then you will most likely return their stuff when you want yours back,” Robin replied and handed him the sticks.
Lone Wolfe nodded and followed her as she walked over to one of the back tables. She sat the set of balls down, “Do you play pool often?”
“I’ve been known to send balls flying off of tables like this from time to time,” Lone Wolfe replied.
Robin chuckled as she sat the triangle down in front of the tray, “Good answer. I rack, you crack?”
Lone Wolfe nodded. She took the cue ball and flung it in the air. Lone Wolfe caught it with his left hand without much effort. Robin smirked but before she could make her remark another boy from a neighboring table barked, “Hey! Don’t do that!”
Robin glared at the boy and nodded, “Sorry.”
All of the neighboring people around her, as her ire filled her body, started to clutch their stomachs like they were starting to have stomach aches at the same time. Robin took a breath and glanced to him, “Sorry about that. I was going to comment; you’re also a lefty.”
“Most of our kind are,” Lone Wolfe nodded. He noticed that the people around them seemed to return to normal as her mood perked up again, she’s doing that and she doesn’t realize it. He commented to himself. He was still getting used to his empathic abilities but he could tell that her abilities were wild like his. He was starting to wonder why they moved here.
She finished racking the balls and pulled the triangle out of the way. Lone Wolfe sat the ball and aimed with the stick. She took a solid center shot at the cue ball and sent it flying into the triangle of balls, scattering them everywhere. A solid fell in the corner pocket, “I’m stripes.” She stated.
Lone Wolfe nodded and walked around the table. As he did, Robin walked around the table, keeping it between them. As he studied the layout of the table, his gold eyes drifted up. It was the first time his eyes drifted from her mid drift up to her face. Unlike Jena, she filled out her black blouse well, as if she were already an adult. Robin blushed but smiled. Lone Wolfe blushed and glanced down to the table, “I developed early on,” She commented.
“Sorry, I didn’t mean to gawk.” He commented in response.
“Don’t be. If you do something wrong, I will let you know. I’m not exactly shy,” Robin stated.
“I can tell,” Lone Wolfe commented.
“You going to shoot or do I need to do something?” Robin asked.
“Excuse me?” Lone Wolfe questioned.
“You know, aim at a ball and shoot at it with the cue ball?” Robin scoffed, “You were so intelligent until five seconds ago. Did your brain lose blood flow suddenly? If you were just a couple inches taller I might be able to see if that is the case.”
“You have to learn to transition the conversation better,” Lone Wolfe stated, “You were talking about physical development one moment then about pool the next.”
“If we were in a pool the conversation would be related,” Robin giggled as he took aim, “Maybe I should go back home and change into something more revealing.” She said as he shot. He hit another solid into a pocket but it wasn’t the one he was aiming for, “If I knew my shirt would have this effect on you then a spaghetti strap should really get your motor going.”
“You really leave nothing to the imagination, do you?” Lone Wolfe replied as he took aim at another ball. Before he fired at it he said, “Also, we didn’t know each other a couple hours ago so you wouldn’t have known. You are an upper echelon telepath and an elemental empath. You aren’t clairvoyant and neither is your brother.” He sunk the ball and went toward a fourth ball, “In fact, your brother is only telepathic, an upper echelon at best.”
She cocked her head in confusion, “you seem to have all of the cards in this game. You are also a pool shark.” She added as he sunk a fourth ball.
He went towards a fifth ball, “My dad and I would play at bars when I was younger a lot. Ever since I could hold a pool cue. He said my mom thought it would come in handy someday.”
It was at that moment that he finally missed. It was when he was forced to think about his mother. It was a shot he could have made as well. The miss at an obvious target after the skill he demonstrated was not lost on Robin as well. She had to keep silent on it for now. It wasn’t the time to bring it up. He would dodge it again. Instead she took aim and smiled at him as the blouse was now revealing some of her cleavage and he was unintentionally staring at that instead of the table, “I would like to think that she was thinking of this moment. Moving past that,” She said as she shot and sunk her first ball, “What did you mean by upper echelon and Elemental? I never heard of those terms before.”
“Scarlet, my mentor,” Lone Wolfe stated as she took aim at another target, “and Jena, my lifelong friend and fellow telepath, came up with a system to rate the strength of psychics. Sub echelon are those that barely have any abilities. I have the feeling my newfound empathic abilities fall into that category. Coverage and options are spotty at best, you could say. Lower echelon are psychics with more stable but not very powerful abilities. Middle echelons are your average psychics. Upper echelons are your uncommonly powerful psychics and elementals are the strongest of the strong.”
“So, you are saying you are stronger than me telepathically?” She stated grumpily as she sunk in the second ball with more force than needed.
“If our powers were reversed then you could have broken through my suppression,” Lone Wolfe replied, “An elemental can break through it with a great deal of effort. Anyone stronger than me could break through it with less effort. So far, I have not met anyone with stronger telepathic abilities than Scarlet, Jena, and myself.”
“I see,” She said as she hit a ball and shot the cue off the table.
Lone Wolfe jumped just before the cue ball left the table and caught it in midair. He glanced at her and said, “I don’t know how they play in California but here we call that a scratch.”
“You’re move, Lone Shark,” She smirked. As lone Wolfe returned to the head of the table and studied where his balls were, she questioned, “So Scarlet is a girl?”
“She’s an adult if that soothes your savage jealousy,” Lone Wolfe replied as he sat down the cue ball and took aim.
“It does. Is she a cousin or an aunt?” She asked in response.
“No relation, she is a teacher’s aide,” Lone Wolfe replied.
“How odd,” Robin remarked as he sunk in his fifth ball, “usually a family member trains you.”
“My mother forbade that,” Lone Wolfe replied, “My mother’s side of the family tries to pretend we don’t exist even though a lot of them are psychics themselves. My father’s side of the family scared her. She said no to the training. I was attacked by a teacher and Scarlet figured out it was because my abilities were wild, like your empathy, and she figured that was the cause. That and she was driven mad by my wild telepathy.”
“I was starting to think that you had been spared a fate that most of our kind face,” Robin stated, “And who said my empathy is wild?”
“Look around,” Lone Wolfe stated.
She glanced around and noticed that most of the people around them were moving slower as if they were starting to come down with the flu. She sighed and glanced up at the ceiling, “Damnit, I thought I had that under control!” She took a deep breath and he could feel the rest of her emotions starting to fade. With it, the rest of the people around them were starting to perk up as if the two-minute bug had passed over them.
“When you have wild and potent abilities like us, control is a constant struggle,” Lone Wolfe admitted, “I still have days when I slip up myself.”
She gave him a smile, “You understand. I haven’t met another one of our kind that understands.”
“Neither have I,” He returned the smile.
As lone Wolfe took aim for the sixth ball, Robin questioned, “So, Is this Jena your girlfriend?”
Lone Wolfe managed to sink the ball but he messed up the shot so the cue ball followed the ball into the pocked, “I happen to be an only child but on the same day I was born, in the same hospital, Jena was born. We met in day care when I was learning how to walk and have been friends ever since. If you have a twin brother then by all accounts I should have a twin sister and Jena would be that twin sister.”
“That is a lot longer than no,” She stated flatly as she fished the cue ball from the pocket.
“The short answer is no. Could you date Ray?” Lone Wolfe questioned in response.
Robin shook her head, “God no! He’s my brother!”
“I’m giving you my representation of how I feel about Jena. I feel the same way,” Lone Wolfe replied.
She smiled and took aim. She managed to sink two balls in one shot but it cost her a scratch to do it. He fished the ball out of the pocket and as he took aim at his last ball she said, “How about loser buys winner a soda?”
“You know how this will end, right?” Lone Wolfe questioned as he shot and sunk his last ball. It left him with a bank shot at the eight ball.
Robin shrugged, “I got the money to cover it, do you?”
Lone Wolfe nodded, He sighed as he took a look at the shook. She smiled, “The one good thing about being behind is that there is a lot of trash to keep you from having an easy shot.”
Lone Wolfe took aim then pointed with his stick to the corner pocket before taking aim again. He took the shot. The cue ball bounced off of the bumper and sailed into the eight ball. The ball rolled towards the corner pocket with just enough energy to waver for a moment before going in. He smiled and said, “I didn’t think you would like trivial displays of chivalry. If I am wrong I can still buy the drink.”
“You are correct sir,” She smiled and took out the tray, “I don’t like stupid displays of chivalry. I will get the soda. You wait here while I return the balls and get my shoes back.”
Lone Wolfe nodded. He waited for a few moments before she sat down with a bottle of soda. She sat down right next to him, close enough that their bodies were touching and he could feel her body heat. Part of him wanted to shuffle away from her but enough of him held him in place. She offered him the soda and as he unscrewed the lid she suggested, “We should trade numbers.”
Lone Wolfe twisted the lid shut and sat the bottle down in his lap. He fished the phone out of his pocket and turned it on. It took him a couple of tries to unlock the phone. Robin giggled as she already had her phone undone, “Just joined the twenty-first century?”
“You could say that. It was my mother’s phone,” Lone Wolfe replied.
She nodded, “I understand, this phone is a hand me down too.” She glanced at as she entered a list, “What’s your number.”
“Not sure,” Lone Wolfe blushed in response.
“Exactly how long have you had the phone?” Robin asked in response.
“Less than a month,” Lone Wolfe replied.
“Okay, hand me your phone. I will call my number from your phone. That way you can save it to your contacts list and I will have your phone number on my recent calls,” Robin suggested.
Lone Wolfe nodded and handed her the phone. She dialed the number and her phone rang in her other hand. As he took a sip of his soda, she showed him his number in the call log of her phone, “Would you like to memorize it so you don’t have this fiasco in the future?” Lone Wolfe nodded and started to memorize each digit.
As he studied his number on her phone he failed to notice that she had entered her contact information into his contact list then started to go through his phone. After a few moments she said, “You have nothing on your phone other than a large phone book.”
“Can I have my phone back?” Lone Wolfe asked.
“Hang on,” Robin stated as she continued to go through his list, “How old are you?”
“Fourteen, why?” Lone Wolfe questioned in response.
“How does a fourteen-year-old score a job?” She asked instead.
“I didn’t,” Lone Wolfe stated, “I don’t have a job.”
“Then why do you have a contact that says ‘work’ in your list?” Robin questioned.
“You listen well, it was my mom’s phone,” Lone Wolfe stated, “That was her work phone number.”
“So, she erases everything off of her phone but the phone book before giving it to you, that’s bizarre,” Robin stated.
“My mother didn’t erase anything on the phone,” Lone Wolfe stated.
“So, she only used it for calls? You have hardly any text messages except those to your dad. I don’t even see anything to Jena. A couple of texts from Scarlet but that’s it,” Robin said.
“My father went through the phone and erased everything off of it but the phone book. He figured I could use it. He renamed some of the contacts. Like, ‘Dale’ became ‘Dad’ and, ‘Ben’ became ‘Cousin Ben’ and so forth,” Lone Wolfe replied, “He is really good with computers. He was a technician in the Marines years ago.”
“So, your father gave you your mother’s old phone?”
“Not old phone,” Lone Wolfe corrected, “Just my mother’s phone. There was no new model or replacement.”
“So, what’s going on between them?” Robin asked.
Lone Wolfe swiped his phone from her hands, “Nothing.”
“I know what it’s like,” Robin offered.
Lone Wolfe shook his head, “No you don’t. Don’t poke this yeti with a stick, Robin.”
“My parents just went through a bitter divorce. That is how we ended up here. My father moved here from San Diego. He got a job out here as a project supervisor…”
“There is no divorce!” Lone Wolfe growled.
“Then they are separated,” Robin stated, “It’s not bad. If they get along then you can see them both.”
“No, I can’t!” Lone Wolfe shouted, “You don’t listen and you don’t understand. My mother is dead! She died in a car crash just after school ended. She wasn’t the only one in the car, either! The only other member of my family that would hang out with me also died in that car that night! Her number is missing from this phone! For the last month, it has been just me and my dad and he has been closed off for the entire time! I have had no friends around and have been looking for trouble ever since! It would be nice to have them divorce because they both would still be here!”
Shock ran through Robin’s eyes as tears filled up in his. She gave him a hug and the walls holding his pain in collapsed. She placed his head on her collar and said, “oh, Lone Wolfe, I’m so sorry. I didn’t know. I didn’t know that was what you were holding in all this time.”
“I’m tired of being alone!” He shuddered.
“I’m here now. We have each other’s digits,” She stated lovingly, “You won’t be alone anymore. Let’s go to the carnival tonight.”
“Are you sure you want to go with a ball of darkness and whinny tears like me?”
She gently lifted his chin up to glance at him in the eyes, “Hey,” She said softly, “You held yourself together better than anyone else I know. I don’t know if I could hold up like you if my mother died, let alone two loved family members. Of course, I want to go to the carnival with you.”