Friday, August 5, 2011

Unrighteous Dominion: Chapter 10

John pulled the car right up to the alley and stepped out to see Stacy kneeling over Tian, who he knew with a quick glance, was asleep. “Hi, you must be one of the passengers Tian was talking about. Why is he asleep?”
            “I don’t know why he is asleep, he just sort of fell over into it. I think he is exhausted past the breaking point. Moreover, yes, I am one of your passengers, could we get these two into the car and then get out of here, and I think it is only a fluke that the cops or any of the other creepy guys haven’t come this far from the building. Besides I think your headlights are starting to attract some attention. I don’t know if we should grab the Priest looking guy.”
            “Yea, let’s get moving if we have time we’ll grab him too.” And with that he lifted Tian up by the shoulders and dragged him into the car. He came over and had moved the officer before Stacy could even offer to help. “Get in,” he said as he slithered into the driver’s seat and revved the engine.
            Stacy ran out of the alley and sat onto the seat through the door that he had opened for her. As she sat and pulled at her seatbelt, she could see three uniformed cops running in there direction. “Apparently they saw us move the bodies.”
            “Yea no shit.” This might make you feel uncomfortable.” The instant he finished the statement she disappeared and so did everything else the car, the sleeping passengers, and Jim the young driver. The smoke still appeared as the invisible tires squealed against the pavement.

            The cops did not hesitate when they saw the car quickly fade out of the reality that they knew. They started shooting blindly where the car had been. They got some gratifying sounds of broken glass, and it appeared shattered on the ground. Each one of three did not want to be the one to tell the chief about that, and they argued about it all the way back to the warehouse where the strange night had started. They all had a sneaking suspicion that no day was ever going to be normal again.

            Tian was awake by the time John pulled the car into the underground parking stall under the building his loft was in. “John I want you to take Stacy and the officer upstairs. I have some business I have to take care of with a very old acquaintance.” He walked over to the elevator it opened before he even had to push the button. Some of his mage abilities he did not have to be in the trance like state to do. Stimulating electrical currents was easy and the small energy changes he did on a daily bases he didn’t even have to think about.
            He rode the elevator up to his loft and stepped through to laughter in his living room. “Well that is good. She is in a good mood,” he thought to himself.
            “Ahh, there is Chris now, I do believe, am I right?” Sheryl said before Tian was anywhere close to her being able to tell it was he walking toward to living room.
            “Yes it is,” Tian said as he stepped into the living room. “Jim didn’t inform me that you were a mage. Although looking back it doesn’t surprise me that you are one,” he continued as he moved toward the sofa. “You always were good with your mind.” She smirked at that, as Tian sat down.
“It sure is good to see you,” She said leaning forward to bare as much of her chest as possible. “How have you been? You look less dead. It’s been what like three years?”
“Yes about that. What is it that brings you to my humble abode? I hope it isn’t business.” Tian turned to Jim who was still sitting on the other end of the sofa. “Jim, would you be so kind as to go get us something to drink? I’ll have a beer. Sheryl?”
“I’ll have a soda water if you have some,” said Sheryl. With that, John was off.
Tian leaned back, tilted his head back and said, “Sheryl, you and I did not leave on a good note. I can’t imagine why you are here, and I would greatly appreciate if you would be so kind as to take whatever you want and leave. I know you work for the same government I did and according to them I’m dead so it clearly can’t be business related…”
“This won’t take long,” she cut him off rising to her feet. “Adam knows you’re alive and well. He has your little spy and would like to meet with you tomorrow for lunch. Here is the address.” She handed a card to him. At this, she turned and walked towards the elevator. “It was so nice to see you again. We’ll be in touch.” She smiled and it conveyed a look of ultimate victory. Then she was gone.
Tian stood awestruck. This was one thing he was not expecting, Sheryl to be working with Adam. So many things were not working out for him. As long as Cathrine would be fine, it would be ok.
Jim walked back into the room empty handed. “Where did the bitch go?”
“She left. However, I know what happened to Cathrine now.” They started walking toward the back rooms where John had taken Stacy and the officer. “Has the officer woken?”
“No not yet.”
“Where is my beer?”
“Uh, I think John drank it all.”
“I’m sure he had no help in that venture at all.” Tian smiled. One could always trust that boys would always drink the beer. “I don’t care. Would the two of you be so kind as to go out and get some more? I am going to want one and I’m sure the officer is going to need one once I explain the whole mage thing to him.” Jim stopped and turned to go to the elevator. Whereas, Tian kept walking toward the room Stacy was waiting in. “Oh, and take John with you as well,” he said as he approached the door.
He knocked twice, “Stacy?”
“Oh, come in.” came a muffled reply from behind the door.
Tian opened the door to see her sitting on the bed. She looked a lot better than she did earlier that night. Apparently, she had just gotten out of her private shower and had not had time to dress yet. She still had the towel wrapped around her.
“Oh, excuse me…”
“It’s ok,” she interrupted. “The way I figure it, with you healing me with your mind and all, you have seen far more than what is under this towel.”
“It isn’t quite like that…” He trailed of looking at her legs. Then he remembered why he was there. “Would you be so kind as to join me in the living room when you are ready? Did you want something other than your dirty clothes to wear? It may not be the most glamorous but it will work until we can figure out what is going on.” She nodded. “Okay I’ll be right back.”

What he had brought her was a pair of flannel pajama pants and a big pullover sweater. She dressed quickly with a million questions running through her mind. She still felt remarkably calm about the whole situation. It must have been something to do with the healing that Tian had given her. What kind of name is Tian anyway? The noise that the twins made when they came in brought her back to the moment.
“We got the beer.” They yelled to the household. What was Tian doing living with them. The age gap was a little odd. She thought they definitely weren’t brothers. “I guess the only way I’ll ever know is to go ask.” She said to herself looking at the baggy clothing in the mirror.
She walked out into the living room in her bare feet. The slapping noises of her steps on the hardwood floor distracted her thoughts from her questions and where she was going. She walked into the living room staring at her feet, only to look up to see Tian standing holding a bottle of beer staring at her.
“Nice of you to join us. I bet you have a lot of questions,” he said handing her an unopened bottle. “I can’t guarantee I will be able to answer all of your questions but I will try, and hopefully you can tell me what happened tonight” with that, he turned and sat on the couch, motioning her to join him.
“Ok, first and foremost what is your last name?” she asked as she walked over to the couch and set the still unopened beer on the table. Stacy did not like beer much. “Secondly, who are your room mates and what is your relationship to them?”
“Well my last name is Renfrew. The boys’ names are Jim and John, and they were once homeless teens cast out by their parents because of the boys’ abilities. How they came to live with me is a rather long story, but shortened it works out to I was able to look after them and was able to help with their abilities. Next question.” Tian said this smiling. He seemed to enjoy this, or he could have just liked the beer.
            “Alright, well I’ll jump right into the big question, what happened today at that warehouse? What happened to the police officer? In addition, where the hell did you get those ‘abilities’ you keep talking about?” She said this, her body starting to shake at the memories of the evening past that seemed forever ago.
            “Hey, hey… calm down.” He said this rising to go sit next to her and put an arm around her. “If this is too much for you we can do it tomorrow or even later. You’ve had a rough night.”
“No, no I can handle it. I’ll feel better once I know what is going on. I’m still in a little bit of shock and denial as to what happened. The sooner you explain what is going on, the sooner I’ll feel better.” Stacy said taking a deep breath.
“Ok. So first things first, the world isn’t how you think it is. The world has been without magic for ages the powers that be used to actively hunt magic users. Witches, heretics, scientists and even artists of old I suspect were what I call Able, or mages. Up until the end of world war two those who were able were hunted But with the world as it is now and religion dying and human rights it is just coming back into the world now. Some others and I can use so-called magic to do things, except it isn’t the type of magic that is unexplainable. . I don’t like to call them mages cause it isn’t really magic. It is more the changing of the energy around us to do what we want it to. This making sense?”
“Kind of, can you give me an example?”
“Sure.” The room got slightly colder. “Can you feel that?”
“Yea it got colder.”
“Ok, now watch this.” A tiny fireball formed right over the palm of his hand, and then went out and the room went back to its previous temperature. “I used the heat in the room to create that fireball. I focused the energy in the room into I tiny point to create the ball of fire.”
“Wow. How did you do that?”
“Through deep meditation and a lot of practice. For some people it comes naturally, although some people can’t do it at all. I don’t know why it is that way but it is.” He said finishing his beer. “Now as for what happened today at the warehouse, I don’t know. I had no idea that there were so many Able out there.”
 “Ok so there is magic in the world. That is the only explanation I’m going to get for what happened today.”
“That is really all I know. I am trying to use the magic for good in the world but there are going to be those that use it for evil. My roommate from college is one of those people, I think. I know that he is trying to set up a school for teaching magic. Right now, it exists as an underground type of school. As for those people at the warehouse, I have no idea who they were or what happened. I hope to get some of that information from the police officer or you.”
“Well all I know is that I was walking down the street headed home when I heard a lot of noise so I ducked into the back alley then everything starting crashing around shaking and then I fell don’t remember much till I saw you shoot lightnight at the guy dressed like a priest Sorry I couldn’t tell you more. I didn’t see much.”
“It’s  ok, I’m hoping to get a little more information out of the officer when he wakes up. If he wakes up.”
“What should I do now?” She asked.
“You are free to do what you would like.”
“Is it alright if I hang around and wait for some better answers from the officer? I mean my entire world was just flipped upside down.”
“If you answer some of my other questions first. I don’t want some stranger in my house.” He said with a friendly smile.
“Anything you want to know, I’m an open book.”
“Ok well who are you? Stacy, I know your name that is about it.”
“Well I am a personal trainer at a gym in the neighborhood where the warehouse is. My last name is Underwood, and I grew up in Canada.”
“I spent some time in Canada. What part are you from?”
“Yellowknife actually, up in the Northwest Territory.”
“Wow cold. Ok Stacy you are more than welcome to stay in my home. There are some rules. Umm, don’t eat all my food or drink all my beer. And I get first rights on the remote control.”
“Thank you. I’ll try not to wear out my welcome.” She said with a smile.

Friday, July 29, 2011

Unrighteous Dominion: Chapter 9

Cathrine had been taking too long. Something must have happened to her on her way. Tian was worried sick about her especially with the news that she had told him about Adam and how angry he was when he found out about her spying on him.
“Hey Jim, how long does it usually take for Cathrine to get here?”
“I don’t know. Ten, twenty minutes on a good day depends on if she gets distracted,” He said distracted with an emphasis. He meant that she liked to stop on the way. Nothing was ever too important that she couldn’t stop for a cup of coffee.
            “It’s been almost an hour I think I’m going out to find her. Can you make sure that…”
            “Yea, yea just go.”
            Tian walked down the usual alleys between his place and Cathrine’s. Why Cathrine lived where she did always confused Tian. It was on the more industrial side of downtown. She lived in a shitty little apartment that couldn’t even let Tian’s height lay down anywhere in the apartment. Cathrine liked it because she never had to worry about anyone breaking in to her place. Her landlord was one of the largest drug dealers in the downtown area. He managed to make the news at least once a month, whether it was a new racketeering charge or a drive by shooting, he happened to witness. Cathrine had always felt very safe in the neighborhood since the landlord had to help her with her ex boyfriend and told her that she no longer needed to be afraid.
            Just as Tian was approaching the spot where he would be entering into this neighborhood that Cathrine loved so much he felt the pull of enough energy that he could feel it sliding by his fingers like the running of a river when you dip your hand into it. In order for him to feel this much energy moving while he was out of focus it had to be massive. He instantly dropped into the state of mind where he could trace the flow of energy to whom it was that was drawing it all. He followed it down an alley that lead completely away from Cathrine’s place. The flow was getting increasingly powerful as he went. This had to be more than one mage that was drawing all of this energy. No one man could have handled all of this.
            “Ughhn” Tian heard the grunt and the thud of someone hitting the ground just before he rounded the corner to see a mostly burnt Police officer wearing what was left of his swat gear.
            “Back away my son”
            “What?” Came Tian’s reply as he approached the body of the fallen officer.
            “Back away from the enemy of god.” said a priest as he stepped around the corner. He had lightning dancing all over his body.
            “This man is hurt. Who are you Father to condemn this man to death?”
            “I am the servant of the true god and follower of his second coming.”
            “You’re telling me that god, the true god, ignoring how paradoxical that statement is, told you to kill this police officer who is sworn to defend the peace?”
            “Yes I am and if you don’t move out of the way I will think you are in league with him and the spawn of Satan against my lord, who walks again.”
            “Well I won’t let you hurt this man, regardless of who you follow. Wait a second though, you’re telling me that Christ has returned? The second coming of Christ has happened?” Tian said still edging closer to the fallen officer. Whom he could sense was still breathing but barely.
“Yes the embodiment of god has returned but Christ is the name of the New Testament. God has returned as “I am that I am” The God of the Jews and the God of the Old Testament. He is a vengeful God and if you do not back away from his enemies, you will cast your lot in with them.”
            “I think I’ll take my chances. I’m not afraid of a fledgling Able like you. You and your false god Claim an unrighteous Dominion over this world and you cannot claim anything over the chaos that is reality. Your mind has learned to manipulate it but you are still subject to it and so is the god of yours.
            “Quit trying to distract me. I’m in no mood. How dare you insult God you shall feel his wrath.” Lightning started to crackle all over his body as the priest spoke and he raised his hands just as he finished speaking.
            Tian instantly was ready for the blast of electricity that flew from the priest’s hands. He raised one of his just as the bolt gathered in-between the priest’s hands and flew at him. The bolt stopped dead in and angry ball of blue fury between Tian’s fingers. The look on the priest’s face was of pure insult and surprise.
            “You are not supposed to be able stop the power of god”
            “It isn’t the power of god. It is just manipulation of energy.”
            “Blasphemy, god shall smite you down for this indignation.” The priest body was slowly growing a coat of blue lightning that danced on his body.        
            “Why are you so stupid?” Tian said as he released the lightning that had been trapped between his fingers, half into the priest and half into the ground sending small shockwaves into the buildings on either side of the alley. A couple of broken windows shed their already worthless panes.
            “Just enough to knock you out for a couple of hours.” He said as the priest’s Shocking cloak went out and he collapsed to the ground in a disheveled heap.
            Tian walked over to the unconscious police officer. There were fires all around, plenty of energy to gather and put into the officer. Tian felt the flames quiver and die out as he drew the heat from them into himself or rather that realm of control that was not part of him but could not really be described as anything else but part of him. It almost did not exist for those tiny moments of transfer. Tian pondered on this, wondering how exactly it worked. He had almost understood when he was interrupted and reality crashed back in on him, overwhelming his heightened senses.
            “What are you doing? Don’t hurt him, he’s a police officer.” It was a shorter woman with curly brown hair and brown eyes. She had the cutest glasses on, one with a cracked lens.
            “Who are you? And what are you doing here?” Tian said releasing the energy; he had trapped in that ethereal realm. The girl shrieked in freight as the fires flared large from the sudden rush of energy. The fires shrank back to the original size as the young woman crept out of the shadows. Her face smudged with mud and soot.
            “Don’t hurt him. Please don’t hurt him I’ll do anything.”
            “I won’t hurt him. I am going to help him.”
            “But you killed that priest. Why and how would you do something like that? I’m so confused.” The girl said as she fell into a ball on the ground.
            Tian rushed over to her and cradled her head on his lap. “You must be exhausted. My name is Tian, I try to stop people like that priest from hurting people like that officer over there. Now what is your name and I’ll see what I can do about those bruises of yours?”
            “My name is Stacy. What are you going to do to me?” She said starting to squirm away, not getting very far for her weakness.
            “I am not going to touch you at all. You should just feel a faint tingling sensation.” Tian said drawing again on the energy from the fires. They winked out of existence as Tian forced the energy; very tiny bits of it into the healthy cells surrounding the damaged ones on her body. He could sense them twitch grow and divide. The bruised shrank faster than water flowing down a drain. Stacy’s eyes grew as the energy was forced into her body and gasped as Tian finished.
            “Slight tingling my ass. That burned.”  She said as she darted awake. “What did you do to me?”
            “Nothing, see for yourself.” Tian said slightly drained from the amount of concentration and focus it took actually to force the energy into the cells meanwhile being careful not to put too much into them to burn them. He rose slowly to his feet and walked towards the fallen officer.
            “Hey look all my bruises are gone. How long did that take? It looks like the sun is coming up.”
            “It took about an hour.”
            “Really it felt like moments.”
            “Yea, so are you convinced enough to let me near the officer without screaming at me?”
            “You don’t look so good. Are you ok?” She said as Tian stumbled over to the fallen officer.
            “Yea I think so I just need to help this man before he dies. I may have already been too late.” Tian knelt and groped for the remnants of loose energy in the area, he did not have the strength to draw any from the secondary sources around him. “There should be enough, help me for a minute,” a nod to continue as she rushed over to help him to his feet.

            The strange man, named Tian wobbled back and forth as he looked off into the distance. It looked as if he was looking at a sunset far on the horizon. It was one thing to experience the healing but to witness it as it happened was quite startling.
            The marks and bruises on the officer’s hands and face just seemed to fade. They went through all the healing processes that the body would normally take weeks to recover. They went dark purple then to green then faded away into natural healthy looking tissue. The officers breathing went from the labored whisper to a steady healthy pull at the atmosphere. Bones seemed to realign when they were at strange angles. The officer’s obviously dislocated shoulder slid back into place with a sickening pop. The whole process took about ten minutes, a lot shorter than hers had taken. When Tian finally turned away from the body, the officer looked like he was just sleeping.
            “Why did it take almost an hour to do what you did to me and my injuries were minor compared to his. You managed to heal everything on him in mere minutes. Why?”
            Tian turned to her eyes heavy and shoulders slumped. He looked as if he had not slept in weeks. “When the victim that is being healed is unconscious it goes faster because you don’t have to be as careful. If I had done what I did to him when he was awake, his mind would have been broken. The pain of that much energy going through the body would drive someone insane. I don’t envy some of the early people I saved from injury and death.”
            “Oh, Okay. So now what do we do? You need to get somewhere you can rest.”
            Tian Turned from her then pulled his phone out of his pocket and dialed his house. The twins were always there; they loved their video games. After it rang twice, someone picked up but it was not by one of the twins.
“Hello, Chris. Long time no talk,” came the feminine voice. After a pause, she added, “How clumsy of me, this is Sheryl. You remember we used to live together in College.”
            “Hello Sheryl, Yes I remember, but what are you doing in my house? Where are the twins?”
            “Oh I was in town and I just thought I’d say hi to an old friend. The Twins are right here. Would you like to talk to one of them?”
            Tian was utterly confused by the situation. None of it mattered now he was excessively exhausted. “Yes I would greatly appreciate it. I’ll be home in a bit and we can chat then.”
            After a moment’s pause Jim answered the phone. “Hey, what do you need?”
            “I need johm to take my car out and come get me,” Tian looked around for a minute than gave the address of the alley they were in.
            “Are you ok? You haven’t used the car for moving around town ever you know how to run.” He was watching his words around Sheryl what a good kid.
            “Well yes, I know but I’m not alone we will have some passengers. Any word on Cathrine?”
            “No, sorry buddy, and yea john will be there in a moment. What do you want me to do?”
            “Entertain Sheryl we will be home in a bit. Oh and don’t let Sheryl leave at all costs I need to speak to her.” At this Tian clicked his phone off and slid it back into his pocket. “Will you be so kind as to come with me I have some questions about what happened here and I would be greatly pleased to at least buy you dinner.”
            Stacy startled out of a trance of staring off into space looked at his face, a face that she thought she could trust. “Yes I will come with you. What are you going to do about the cop? In addition, who are you that you can do all this stuff I’m overwhelmed. I’m so confused.”
            “I’ll answer any question you want, later. The Officer will come with me I’ll take him back to my place and make sure he heals fully. Then I will explain to him the whole situation. How I healed him? That is not so easy. I did it by using my mind to push minute amounts of biological healing energy into the damaged cells causing their metabolism to speed up and therefore heal themselves and reproduce to fill in the missing cells.” At the end of this, he looked as if he had just gotten the worst news in his life. His face went pale and then he fell over backwards to lie right next to the police officer.
            “Hey!” Stacy yelled as he fell and she was there next to him in a second. It only took her a minute to realize that he was just asleep. “Holy Shit you scared me.” She said to no one.

Friday, July 22, 2011

Unrighteous Dominion: Chapter 8

Chapter 8

The complaint call had come from the small sandwich deli across the street from the abandoned warehouse where the explosive sounds were coming from. The squad car that was sitting charred in front of the warehouse was barely discernable as a car never mind a police car. Sgt Wilson was sitting in his communication van letting his team set up the proper perimeter that would be necessary. The witnesses from when the first squad car had pulled up were just finishing their statements and the sheets of paper were passed into the sergeant’s hands.

The police car pulled up in front of the warehouse and the officers were walking to the door when the delivery bay doors opened, a fireball the size of a mini-van flew at a massive velocity hitting the two police officers. It hit them thrusting them into the police car with the largest explosion that most people would see in a cheap action flick. The witnesses never even saw the person that was responsible for the fireball. It was what one could guess by looking at the charred mass of metal sitting in front of the now silent warehouse.
The Sergeant and his swat team were brought in to get into the building and neutralize the unknown threat. Mr. Nigel was the team’s intelligence guy and he was coming at the van at a quick jog. He arrived out of breath and more than slightly disheveled in appearance. 

“Sir I can’t really explain it but I can’t get anything from inside. All I can get from inside is a bunch of weird temperature readings. It is only like ten degrees Celsius. Every piece of electric equipment I attach to the building is shorted before I can get readings. The temperature measurements I get from inside are from old fashioned thermometers.” Nigel said with the flamboyant hand movements that go with his words and descriptions.

“What do you mean? Explain this to me. How could this happen.” Came the sergeant’s reply.

“Well you see every time I get a device on the building it shorts out. It just stops working. The only way for this to be possible is for there to be a powerful Electromagnetic field around the entire Building, this seems impossible for the amount of energy to maintain the field would be astronomical and there is no proof of anything.” Nigel emphasized with shrugs of his shoulders and then pointing. “See, look none of your monitors in the truck are working either.”

“Then how come our radios work?”

“I don’t know. It doesn’t make any sense.” His face all twisted “I don’t understand and it makes my head hurt.”

The sergeant quirked his head sideways at the strange man that was his surveillance and tech guy. “So you’re telling me we have no Intelligence on what is in the building?” A nod from Nigel, his hands still in his hair, the pained look still in his eyes. “Ok, Then we are going to have to do this the old fashioned way.” As he grabbed the radio and brought it to his mouth, “I need Red and blue team leaders to appoint two three man teams each to approach building and gain Intel on what is inside. Come on people this is basic espionage don’t let me down.”

As he brought his radio down from his mouth, the team leaders' orders were ringing out from the speaker. “Do we at least know if the building has a land line I can get through on?”

No one moved. “Let’s go people you all know your jobs. What is wrong? You are all slacking today. Move faster. MOVE” And with that, he clapped his hands together and a bustle of movement commenced in the tiny swat trailer they were using as head quarters.

Just as everyone was getting things together and Nigel had just walked up the phone in his hand started to ring. “It is the land line, sir. I don’t know why it is ringing though.”

“Give it to me.” Nigel handed the phone to the sergeant. “Hello?”

“You need to leave now sergeant.”

“How did you get this number? Whom am I speaking to?

“How I came across this number is unimportant. I am that I am. Don’t question me and we won’t have a problem.”

“All right, I’m listening.”

“You need to leave; you have 3 minutes to get you and your men away from my warehouse and away from my windows. If you fail to comply, you will have some severe consequences to pay. Do not toy with me for I am a vengeful god.” That was followed by the click of the receiver on the other end of the line.

“Madeline, come here.” Madeline was a little plump woman who was the closest thing to a psych specialist the city was willing to pay for. In reality, she was just a social worker. “What is your take on ‘I am that I am’?”

“Well I feel that he is deeply disturbed and feel he has a sense of divine power. He is highly dangerous and will probably do his best to hold to his threats.

“And since we don’t know what his munitions are we are stuck blind. We don’t know what kind of machinery or anything. We are truly blind.” just as he finished the phone started to ring.
“Hello?” said the sergeant into the receiver.

“You haven’t left yet, now I will give you a reason to leave.” As soon as he finished saying this, the radio on the table started to garble.

“Sir, the front doors are opening and a figure is stepping out.”

“Hold your fire” the sergeant fired off the response into the radio while still holding the phone to his ear.
“Now feel my wrath through one of my disciples.” With that, there was a huge explosion that ripped through the air as if thunder was right outside the surveillance van.

“Report?” yelled the sergeant into the phone and the radio at the same time.  The voice on the phone was the first to reply.

“I have just killed two of your men. If you do not leave in three minutes I will have to kill the rest of your men and you with them.” The phone clicked off before the stunned sergeant could reply.

The radio clicked as the reports came in. “Sir, Robertson is down. His body looks like it has been on the barbeque for too long. There is nothing left of his gear nor uniform. Robertson is burnt solid. It happened right in front of me. It was like he was one of those…”

 “Bring him and yourself to the van now.” interrupted the sergeant and then he followed that with “Who else is down?”

“Sir it’s Agent twain, the one from the FBI. It looks like he was boiled alive… from the inside out.” crackled the radio.

 “Bring him and yourself in for a debriefing.”

The sergeant’s head was reeling. So many questions, who has that kind of power to strip the clothing never mind the body armor off a human being; then to be able to do it to a man behind cover and only to him not to his teammates. This is the problem not the solution. Quit thinking of the problem and start thing about the solution.

 “Who is our weapons specialist tonight?”

 “Umm I think it is Anders, He is bringing in one of the officers that are down.” said someone behind the sergeant.

 “Good I’ll meet him outside. I’ll take a radio if you need me.” He turned to leave and then looked back. “And if that phone rings do not answer it.” The door slammed shut behind him.

The air was filled with smoke but was still surprisingly cool for a summer night. The sergeant thought that he could see his breath for a second, he checked again and he couldn’t. “Must be losing my mind,” he said aloud.

 “What was that sir?” It was Anders; he had arrived with the rest of his four-man squad or what was left of it. They were carrying the burnt corpse of the dead officer. The skin looked to be peeling away in their hands. One man dropped the body, turned, and puked.

 “Officer, show some respect,” The sergeant yelled at the man, then the smell hit him and he vomited right there, no time to turn. “Never mind that Anders.” The sergeant said totally ignoring the fact that he vomited.
“Sir, with all due respect I think we should pull back.” Anders said as he set the corpse down on the ground. “I have no idea what that was.”

“What do you mean you have no idea what that was?”

“That is just it sir. I have never seen anything in the world like that.”

“That is what I was afraid of.” The sergeant said as he pulled a handkerchief from his pocket to cover his mouth as he knelt down the take a closer look at the charred remains of the fallen officer.

“Sir?” Anders face was a look of consternation.

“Do you remember about five years ago there was that terrorist attack in Greece and then there was that lecture hall fire?”

“Yes sir. The attack on Meteora was the largest attack since Nine Eleven.”

“Well do you remember what the conclusion was as to the way those attacks happened?”

“They said that there was no conclusion to be made. There was no weapon used. Spontaneous combustion is what they called it.”

“Technically that is just what they told the public. The truth of the matter is that they believe that the terrorists have figured out how to manipulate energy and cause spontaneous combustion.”

“Yea ok I follow you but how would it work?”

“You see that is just it. They never figured it out at least not on my level of clearance. But I think that this may be one of those things from what I’ve been told.”

“Well that may be possible but there was nothing spontaneous about what happened to him,” he said as he pointed at the corpse on the ground. “That was done on purpose.”

“Well I’m plum out of ideas,” said the sergeant. “Do you have any idea what it could be?” Just as he finished talking, the back door of the van opened and someone shouted out over the ringing of a phone.

“Phones ringing.” It came in over the radio as well as the sergeant hearing him from the van.

“Thanks tips,” he said as he was running towards the van. He grabbed the phone from the cradle just as it finished ringing the fifth time. “Hello, I don’t know how you did it but I will be pulling back give me another 5 minutes please.”

“You have five minutes and that is final if you are not gone in five minutes I will kill you and your entire team. I want every one of your vehicles gone and every one of your men. If you fail to comply, I will have to use force to show you my true power,” and with that the phone hung up.

The sergeant grabbed the radio and screamed into it, “I need all the group commanders to the COM’s van yesterday.”

It took a matter of seconds for the commanders to get to the van. They formed an informal horseshoe around the back of the van. The sergeant was standing on the rear bumper. “Alright everyone, I need you to listen very carefully we are dealing with a very volatile situation. I need you to feign a retreat. You will pull all your positions back about 50 meters and hold.” His hands were talking almost as much as his mouth. He was signaling that he wanted them to pull back but tactfully. He wanted them to fire when fired upon; kill all potential enemies, while avoiding direct confrontation.

They all left at a quick jog making sure that they were yelling the retreat order louder than was necessary.  When they arrived at their respective squads, they told them the same thing that they were told, feign retreat then wait in hiding to see what follows, be on full alert and fire when fired upon. Shoot to kill.

The phone rang, as the group commanders got back to their respective groups and started to retreat at a quick pace, declaring it on the radio.

“Hello,” came the calm voice over the phone, “I see that my demonstration of power has made you realize I’m not to be trifled with…wait what is this, Sergeant why have your men stopped? You wouldn’t want me to think that you aren’t going to hold up your part and leave?”

“My men haven’t stopped!”

“Don’t lie to me. I can see them. I am all knowing.”

“There should be no way you can tell my men haven’t stopped.”

“Don’t try and use trickery of words to get by this. I have given you enough chances to leave. You and your men will die.” The phone clicked off before the Sergeant could respond.

The sergeant grabbed the radio. “Be on gua…” he didn’t even get the word out before the roaring thunder and noise came with the shaking of the ground enough to rock the COM’s van and knock everything off the edges of the small desks and tables the van had. The sergeant ran for the door. He tripped and fell out of the back of the van. He was falling and was about half way to the ground when the massive fireball smashed into the tractor-trailer that once was the COM’s Van. The Sergeant’s body caught in the flames but he fell out of it and smothered the fire when he hit the ground.

His blackened body heaved a couple times and his ears heard the horrific screams over the radio of his men dieing while he dragged his body into a side alley where he collapsed into unconsciousness.

Friday, July 15, 2011

Unrighteous Dominion: Chapter 7

Cathrine ran as fast as she ever thought she could. She had never realized it, but she had begun to hate Tian. In the early days, she loved him and longed for his embrace, but whatever embrace she had gotten from him had always been colder than a dead fish. Now after the three years of mystery, she was sick of it. She decided that when she got there she was going to take him up on his offer ... never see him again, ever.

Cathrine slowed to a walk at human speed when she figured she was getting close, but as she looked around at her surroundings, she had no idea where she was. Then she sensed it the whisper of the dart as it flew through the air propelled. Nevertheless, it was too late, by the time she had summoned enough energy into herself the only thing she could do was feel the Dart slowly pierce through the skin layer by layer. The prick it should have been a second lasted what felt like an eternity. The tranquilizer on the dart worked even faster in her now that she was tranced. She crumbled to the pavement in a heap. Sheryl walked out of the shadows, followed by four men in combat gear, and Adam, who looked exactly like a child does when he gets what he wanted. "Grab her, oh and don't be gentle.” He snickered as he walked to his car.

Tristan had been a young man of simple tastes. He liked to drink beer, watch Nascar and work on his engine. He went to church every Sunday his entire life. It was here that things started to change for him. It seemed so natural looking back at it now. One Sunday the topic of the sermon was slightly different then it had been before. Slightly more animated. The topic was the second coming of Christ and with it Armageddon. The priest would talk about the state of the world. He said it was in what he called disrepair. The congregation would nod their heads in agreement; being spoon fed exactly what they wanted to hear. The next week the service would take a more heated tone and get that little bit louder. The audience would agree even more whole-heartedly. This continued for weeks, until what had been a quiet worship was now a zealous rant about the state of the world, and the worshipers were enthralled. With the added excitement, the congregation grew. The people loved the screaming sweating priest as he called out the iniquities of the modern world.

This had not been a completely smooth transition from small service to huge sermon. There was what the priest had called premature crusaders, which had taken the fight to the wicked before being called upon by the return of the son of god.

“The time isn’t right, we must consolidate our forces. We must prepare for our liberation from the oppressors of the cancerous infectious society full of evil doers and naysayers. However the Christ shall return and his loyal and faithful will be Chosen and rewarded with unlimited power to dethrone the wicked and tainted in his name.”

The sermon ended with a cheer. That day after the sermon and Tristan was saying his goodbyes to everyone The priest pulled him aside.

“You are a man of strong faith in the lord aren’t you?”

“Yes of course, he is my lord, my god, my personal savior and my best friend.” Tristan replied.

“Good my son, I’ve got a study group we meet on Wednesdays and I’d love for you to join us. You interested?”

“Sure that sounds like fun, where? Let me know I’ll be there in a heartbeat.

The address was written on plain cardstock. It was handed over with a firm handshake and an excited grin.
Wednesday could not come fast enough for Tristan. There was something he felt about it that excited him. He read the bible a little longer every night just so that he would be ready for the meeting. No matter what he would have done he wouldn’t have been prepared for what those meetings did to him.

There was probably about twenty people in the room when Tristan arrived. He was cutting it close to the start time. He recognized a couple people from his own congregation but there majority of faces he didn’t know. No one was saying anything. There was a feeling in the room a quiet tension that Tristan felt if he talked, he would ruin, and everyone felt that any noise would destroy the quiet peace that everyone was feeling. It just made Tristan feel as if he were intruding, he felt out of place, strangely uncomfortable. He turned to leave and was blocked by a man that came in behind him. Tristan was sure he had never seen the mad before. He would have remembered. The man standing in from of him was the most impressive man he had ever seen. The man was perfect, he had the perfect physique with nothing extra. He was muscled but had the look that those muscles would be used, and regularly were. His face was symmetrical, no visible flaws what so ever. The man was perfect, no excess, just the right amount of everything.

“Hi there you must be Tristan, I’ve looked forward to meeting you for a long, long time.”

Tristan still feeling a little out of place and not wanting to offend replied, with a simple, “thank you.”

“My apologies, have a seat Tristan and we will get started.”

Tristan sat and what happened next will be engrained into his mind for the rest of his life. It was the beginning of the new Life he was going to live.

“Hello everyone and thank you for coming. Anyone want to lead us in an opening prayer?”

A young woman volunteered and gave a different prayer then Tristan was used to hearing, but would become common in the weeks to come.

“Our father, Lord my god, I ask you to watch over us as we study and learn to be your chosen; Your children that will stand by your son’s side on that day of days. Amen.” As the young lady finished she adjusted her shirt ever so slightly looked at the man, smiled, and then licked her lips just the tiniest bit.

“Thank you, child, that was a good prayer, but you must purge the lust from your heart before that request could possibly become the truth.” The young ladies face went white, and she instantly turned her eyes to the floor and murmered some sort of apology. “Do not worry my child, the temptations for the flesh are the hardest to resist. The devil will fight for you the hardest now.” The man then turned to the rest of the group. “Shall we have some introductions we have alot of new people here. My name is Jay, and I’m leading this little study group. Let’s start the other introductions with you.”, as he pointed to the young woman that was still staring at the floor.

“My name is Abby, I’m here to purify myself and be made ready and worthy to be one of the Chosen.”
Next to her was a very young man of about the age of fourteen. “ I’m AJ, i’m here to prepare myself for when I’m older so that I may also be one of the chosen.”

The Man laughed a little “Oh AJ, there is no minimum age to be a spiritual warrior for your god.” The young man’s face brightened immediately.

The introductions continued around the room everyone wanting to be a part of these chosen. Tristan had heard the term used in the Sunday sermons but had always thought that the word was synonym for the faithful. He had been thinking about the past Sunday’s sermon and was not paying attention when all of a sudden it was his turn.

“Hi, i’m Tristan and i’m here to become a  more spiritual person, and to have my faith grow.”

“You don’t want to be one of the chosen, to stand by His side when he comes?” asked Abby.

Before Tristan could respond Jay said “On the contrary Abby, I think his lack of greed and pride is exactly what most people lack on the quest to be one of the chosen.” Tristan could feel his face turning bright red at the attention. “Modesty is a virtue Tristan. I think you are far more spiritual then you may think.”

The introductions continued around the room every response was very similar to Tristan’s, no aspirations other then to become a better Christian.

The rest of the study group went as expected. Most of the meeting was focused on studying the book of revelation, and the second coming of Christ. A lot of debate as to the signs of the arrival, whether they were literal or metaphorical. Some time was spent on discussing whether the words in the bible were the literal words of god or man’s interpretations. Someone even brought up the possibilities of mistranslations and lost meanings when crossing languages.

Tristan ended up leaving the meeting with his head spinning, and looked forward to the next week’s group discussion. He vowed to spend a lot of time studying.

That Sunday at church the sermon was about accuracy in the bible, it was odd the switch over from the bible being exact and literal like the church used to say. The priest was saying that in the modern world the bible has to be taken as a metaphor because there was no way that when it was written the men would be able to comprehend the modern world. Prophecy in the past would have been really confusing, even if they did see the way the world would turn out they wouldn’t have had words to show it. The sermon closed with the priest saying that maybe it is a mystery on purpose, god is said to work in mysterious ways after all.

The next couple study groups were different then the first. It seemed a little stange for Tristan but who was he to make a judgement, he was just there to learn. The meetings were spent doing meditation, and praying. Jay was teaching them that in order to have their prayers answered they had to be open to god. He was teaching them to open their minds to the universe, to feel the energy around them. Only when they could fully embrace the world around them could they ever hope to be in true connection with god. Most importantly he pointed out that in order to be one of the Chosen, one would have to be a conduit for the power of the lord. Tristan felt amazing after leaving each meeting; he could feel himself looking at the world differently.

Every Sunday seemed to have the same focus. It seemed a little odd to Tristan that there was so much attention being put on the second coming and punishing the wicked. Again who was he to judge right; he would just trust in his faith.

The cycle of debate, study, and preparing to be used as a tool of the lord continued for a while. Tristan looked forward to every meeting, even if he didn’t learn anything at all he just wanted to feel that same serenity that he felt every week, he loved the feeling of peace that came over him.

That serenity was gone all of a sudden at one of the weekly Wednesday night meetings. When Tristan arrived, Jay wasn’t there. The meeting went poorly, Tempers were hot and flared heavy during the debate. Abby and a couple others were adamant that the faithful should do anything to purge the world of the wicked before Christ arrived at the second coming. “The wicked should not be allowed to continue to thrive while the righteous stand idly by. The faithful should unite and punish the wicked.”

Tristan was appalled and couldn’t believe what he was hearing. “Christians don’t do that. We are taught to turn the other cheek. The meek shall inherit the earth.”

“Christians are supposed to turn the other cheek yes, not a blind eye. Modern apathy has allowed too many indiscretions of evil people to go unpunished.”

“That may be Abby, but we are supposed to love our fellow man, no matter what.” This brought Abby to her feet, pacing back and forth. The room was completely silent, filled with just the heavy breathing and footfalls of Abby’s pacing. Tristan was following this steady beat when the calm peace and serenity that had been missing filled the air and everyone sighed at the same time, even Abby sat back down.

“The emotions of mankind are the exact reason why they must wait for the leadership of the son of god” said Jay from the door where he was leaning on the jam. “However Abby is correct about one thing, the wicked do need to be punished. The kingdom of God will be carved out of this world. However that is only when the time is right. Go home everyone see you next week. I will be on time.”

That Sundays sermon seemed demure by comparison to the past Sundays the priest called patience and steadfastness in faith. “Time of the Lord is nigh” was the last whisper of the day said to a spellbound and silent congregation.

The next Wednesday’s meeting was the last meeting Tristan ever went to, it changed his life. Up until that week Tristan was still the average guy, sure he had stopped drinking, he didn’t have his weekly cigar after the nascar race. He was still just a guy that liked cars, he still had a regular job that he hated. That all changed at the study group.

The meeting room had been cleared of all the chairs and Jay was just sitting with his back to the wall opposite the entrance as everyone came in. The normal serenity that Tristan normally felt in the presence of Jay was there, but it was different. It felt almost lethal. It had a definite tension to it. Everyone else could feel it too cause everyone went silent as they entered the room. They would walk slowly to a space in the floor and just sit. They all sat in complete silence afraid to breathe until Jay broke the silence.

“It starts today.” Jay said as he rose to stand on his feet. The door to the room slammed shut giving the statement its exclamation point. “I Am That I Am” The sound of Jay’s voice reverberated through Tristan’s body, “and I am NOT pleased. I have come to exact my father’s vengeance upon the wicked and you my children are my chosen this is the beginning of the end. I take your allegiance and because of it, I grant you the use of my everlasting and eternal power. I will teach you to use my power, as it has never been felt on this earth. It starts now.” Jay rose off the ground and light shone from him that burned the eyes to look at, Tristan tried to look away but it was already too late. He was blind.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Unrighteous Dominion: Chapter 6

Christian sat on his couch with a glass of wine and waited for the phone to ring. He knew Cathrine would not let it be settled that easily. Chris, the young man from the university still considered missing, but Tian was a thriving businessman who made his fortune in real estate. It all started when he had wanted to disappear. He changed his name illegally then joined the army. He advanced through the ranks of the army fast. He was recruited to be a special ops agent; he was an assassin. The government paid him well to kill the people that they didn’t want around anymore. He made himself disappear again when he heard about Adam’s Changers. He returned with enough money to start his investments and then he started with the training of the Able.
 Tian’s life was laid out on paper and was out in front of him; all of it except his finances that were a little too complicated to put on paper.  He was sad that he never let anyone close to himself; he guarded his secrets so closely. The Phone Rang he didn't even have to look at the caller ID "Hello Catharine,"

The response drowned in tears and sobs. "Tian ... whatever your last name is you won't get rid of me that easy.... And what is this you dismiss me with a note and a wad of cash..."

Tian waited until she droned off into sobs, "Come over I have some things you need to see." He hung up the phone.
Adam smiled at his good fortune. Sheryl the Blonde bombshell was more than happy to call off her goons, the ones that destroyed his lobby, once they had a talk. Of course, during this, heart to heart Adam was about thirty yards away strapped with enough c4 explosive to destroy a parking garage and Sheryl stood with the detonator and about fifty guards with large assault weapons.

"Why did you screw me like that?" She yelled.

"Like what?" Adam was so confused. He had not seen Sheryl since he left School.

"You left me to tell the Police everything about you and Chris. I can tell you they weren't pleasant."

"What are you talking about?"

"After you left that mess in Little Italy, Chris left that mess on campus when you both disappeared. The Police were going to come to the girl you were sleeping with."

"Wait, Explain Why would they care about Little Italy and Chris well isn’t' he dead now?"

She walked onto the grenade range. “You’re so dense, aren’t you, so caught up in your own little world. Chris burned down a building without an accelerant. Just like the monasteries the week before. They figured he was a terrorist. You were on probation, and disappeared, implicated into a double murder in Little Italy, which never made it to the courts,"

"What are you getting at Sheryl?"

"What I’m trying to say is you left me a fledgling Changer, as you call them now, to be interrogated."

"Ya, so they questioned you, whets the big deal."

"They had a mage Adam. The police had a mage."

"What do you mean mage?"

"Fine a changer whatever you want to call it. There are no laws as to what a changer can and can't do to someone in interrogation."

"Sheryl you’re not making any sense."

She got really close and whispered    "Adam think Changers have been around a lot longer then you it’s just now more and more people are doing it and there are more and more abilities. Governments have known for a long time. They wanted to keep it under control. Changers on the loose could cause many problems. Even now the government is using you, you have to send a list of everyone enrolled in your, so-called, school to the government; they know every person you’ve trained. The government sent me here to deal with you. Adam they want to know what your motivations are. They sent me here to either kill you or get you on our side. Adam we need changers, we need them in police uniforms, we need them in the army, we need them in every aspect of our lives, and you’re the one that can provide them, we… I will give you anything you want, anything.” She had been walking toward him and was really close to him now and at this she took the opportunity to nibble his ear, sending shivers down Adams spine.

Adam knew what she had been after, although Adam had bigger plans he decided to give her what she wanted. After they had finished with the formal interrogation, they went back to Adams building. He lived on a couple of the lower floors as his personal suite. Sheryl was most impressed with Adam and his unique abilities. She was even willing to help him find Cathrine, after he told her the story of her spying on him.
They went up to the office, and to Adams surprise, the doors had been fixed as well as everything else. Adam just looked at Sheryl,

"I told you we needed you. That whole swat thing, it was mostly just to show you what we are capable of, if crossed. Oh, and by the way Chris isn’t dead, he goes by Tian and he used to work with me in the same government program I’m in. He thinks the government thinks he’s dead. We know better. Shall we go find this Cathrine? I can only assume that she is working for Tian. He left the program right after you announced the opening of your school.”

“Very interesting.” Adam had only thought he was angry before. This? This was a completely new feeling of rage.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Unrighteous Dominion: Chapter 5

Tian's loft was gorgeous. Cathrine had no idea how he could afford to live downtown in such a large space. His loft was on the fifth floor of an old power plant and factory, quite a large building making for a large loft. The completely remodeled building had windows that encompassed the top two floors, replacing the old red brick. Therefore, the room the boys had told her to wait in had an amazing view of the river. There were hardwood floors and expensive looking paintings. His kitchen, which was open to the living room, filled with stainless steel appliances. His cupboards were oak and his counters were marble. Because of how poor Cathrine’s family had been, she had never been allowed into such a nice place before she met Tian. Here she was sitting on a Corinthian leather sofa waiting for the man to whom she owed her life.

            They had met in a Club just after she had broken up with her boyfriend of five years. Frank, her boyfriend, had told her that she had to find her own ride home and that her stuff would be on the lawn waiting for her when she got there. Tian had walked up to her while she was crying with her head down on the bar, tapped her shoulder and said, "Excuse me, do you need help with anything? You look a little glum." She had stood up and just hugged him; he was not offended he just hugged her back. She thanked him but explained that she would be fine and the hug was all she needed right then. They had a couple of drinks and it was later when she was leaving the club that she had really needed him. Her bastard of an exboyfriend was the jealous type and was not very happy that she met a new guy already. He was outside with all his friends when Tian walked Cathrine out to her car. They rushed Tian and Cathrine in the parking lot. Cathrine does not remember the fight because she had been hit on the head early on. All she remembers is waking up on a couch in a large living room, with an ice pack on her head. Tian was sitting at her feet and smiling. He said, "Wow you took a good one to the back of the head. But I don’t think they will be bothering you again."
She later learned that most of her ex-boyfriend’s friends were carrying guns but Tian was fast enough that they never had time to use them. All the guys that had been waiting outside the bar now understood the meaning of what an Able person was and what they could do.

That night Cathrine had tried to sleep with Tian but he gently refused and said he respected women too much, and that was not what he was looking for from her. Then he did the most amazing thing; he created a fireball in his hand. The fireball just floated in the air above his hand about three inches in diameter. The ball twisted and turned on itself like a liquid fire that could burn forever, it never gave off any smoke. That was the night she learned she was an Able. Looking back now, she wondered if Tian had known she was an Able when he first met her at the bar.

She had not noticed it but with her thoughts drifting, she had summoned a fireball in her hand. Tian and the twins had walked into the room and had been watching her drift in thought. The Twins were standing next to him when Tian spoke.

"Nostalgic for the old days?"

The question snapped her out of the past and into the present, instantly sending her fireball into non-existence, the flames crackling as they died. All of a sudden, Cathrine was furious at Tian. "How can you just walk in here and be all happy? Adam tried to kill me today. I think you owe me an explanation."

"I agree. I do." Then he turned to the twins "Would you excuse us?" he waited until he could not sense them in hearing range. "I am so sorry Cathrine. I had no idea Adam would be so violent. I assume he found out you are an Able and that’s why he wanted to kill you?"

"I was listening in on Adam and one of his students. Then Adam started to trance before I could get my energy under control and he found me out."

"Hmm. What were Adam and his student talking about?"

"It was Jason, he's badly hurt now. He was responsible for the Gun that Demo left behind. You know the one that Adam believes has special powers. Jason failed and then questioned Adams intentions with the gun. So Adam beat him, quite brutally too. "

Just then, Tian’s phone rang. He pulled it out of his pocket. "Hello?" There was a long pause, and then he covered up the mouthpiece. "I'm sorry Cathrine but I’m going to have to take this. You have been so helpful, go home and rest. There is an envelope on the kitchen table for you."

Cathrine walked over to the table picked up her purse and the envelope. When she got to the entrance, the twins were there, waiting for her.

"So did you find out any of his past?" Jim inquired as he got up from the Hall bench.

That is when Cathrine realized she never got her explanation. "No I didn't. I hate how he does that; he can convince you he is telling you something when really it's you who is giving up all the information."

"Ya, you should try living with him.” John sneered.

John and Jim have lived with Tian ever since Tian found them both dying from hypothermia out in the snow. Their parents had abandoned them. From what the boys had told Cathrine, their parents were abusive anyway. They were happier with Tian. Even though they did not know anything about him or where he got his money. "It is uncomfortable living with someone you don't even know." said John.

Cathrine gave them both hugs. "Thanks for being there for me tonight." Then she excused herself, and left the building.

Exhausted she got to her small apartment. The emotions of the day had totally depleted her, yet she knew she would not be able to sleep for hours. The envelope that Tian had given her had a wad of cash as thick as her hand. There had been a note attached to it, which read, "This is for lost wages. Your debt is paid. I’m sorry for the attack on your life, and I understand if you never want to see me again" then she noticed the signature. She couldn't read it but the name was definitely longer then Tian. She jumped up from the sofa and started looking for a magnifying glass.