Four months later…
Before she opened her eyes, Nicola was slowly regaining her senses. Her head was still spinning from whatever they used on her. She knew she was bound to a chair with her hands handcuffed behind her back. Nicola could easily free herself with her ability but she had no idea where she was and her head was still spinning.
The air in the room was very cold as if the air conditioner was turned up to make the room an ice box. Even though a portion of her brown hair freely flowed to cover her eyes, Nicola squinted at first to adjust to the brightness of the light over her head. Besides the chair she sat in, the room only had a small metal table and another chair opposite her. She heard a noise from the lone door in the room.
A male Nicola did not recognize walked into the small room. He sat down in the other chair. After she silently stared at him for a moment, he asked sharply, “Who are you?” He waited for an answer but Nicola remained silent. As he slammed a fist on the table, he asked again with more volume, “Who are you?”
After taking a short breath, she replied in a low tone, “Go to Hell.”
The door opened again. Nicola felt something she never felt before. It was an odd feeling she had to shake off. However, her questioner strangely already knew who it was that entered without even a glance back. He said while he kept his gaze on Nicola, “Augustus, I’m busy here. Can it wait?”
As she looked at Augustus, he placed a folder on the table. Augustus said as he looked at her, “The report on her fingerprints came back, Cole. And DC wants to talk to you now. I’ll keep an eye on her.”
Cole stood up. “When I get back, I won’t be gentle getting the information we need.”
After Cole stormed out of the room, Augustus took the seat across from her. He looked into her eyes as she just glared at him. Augustus said as he moved his hands over the table, “I saw the report so I know your name. It’s Nicola Michaels. So why don’t you explain yourself?”
Nicola gave him a frown then after about ten seconds she said, “You can go to Hell, too.”
Nicola sat silently only giving Augustus a mean stare no matter what he said to her. She could feel it from him and wondered if he felt it as well. And if he did feel it, why did he not say something? Or it might be he did not understand it so she tried to cover it up as best she could. But she felt he was trying to get her trust but she was not sure what to make of him.
Augustus said in a pleasant tone, “Look, the sooner you cooperate the sooner you will be able to leave.”
Nicola asked softly, “You really think I’m going to get to walk out of here?” After he nodded, she said with anger, “Then you are a fool! You people have violated a few of my rights!”
Augustus nodded. “Rights given to U.S. citizens but you’re Canadian.”
Nicola was not sure if the smile was to show he meant it as a joke or it was there to show him being smug. Either way she did not like it. She quickly did a fast checklist in her mind of the items in the room – she was bound by metal handcuffs, the uncomfortable chairs also metal, and the table was metal as well. And she was tired of covering up her secret.
In an instant, the handcuffs that bound Nicola exploded away from her. She pushed the table towards Augustus and she felt his power push back. Unfortunately for him, she discovered she was the stronger of the two as he got pinned to the wall by the table. Nicola looked at the door and used her magnetism to rip it from the hinges and throw it out into a hallway on the other side. She could feel Augustus fighting back on the table that had him pinned when she barely turned her attention away. Nicola thought, “He’s actually stronger than I thought so might be he was holding back too.”
Nicola ripped the door off the hinges using her magnetism. When she ran out of the room, she found herself in the middle of a large hallway and had no idea whether to go left or right. However the noise almost made her decision for her as she heard the rush of many individuals and the cocking of their weapons to her left.
She turned to them. She was shocked at the way they were dressed. Nicola thought, “Military?” Unfortunately for them, their weapons also made of metal. She used her magnetism to rip them from the soldiers and into the air. Nicola then used the guns as projectiles towards the soldiers.
Nicola heard a door open behind her and swiftly spun around. Nicola expected to see one of the two faces from before. However this one was different. When their eyes met, she glared at him then used her magnetism to launch the metal door towards him. Much to her surprise, this one used the power of wind to swat it aside before it reached him. He then blasted her with a powerful wind gust that lifted her off the ground and slammed her into the wall. As she tried to get back to her feet, he used his power to pull air away from her.
Nicola struggled to breathe for a minute before she collapsed to the floor unconscious. And everything went black.
Once again, Nicola woke up and already knew she was in a chair again. She was bound but differently this time. When she looked across the table the one who bested her sat in the other chair. Nicola let out a moan. “What did you do to me?”
“I stopped you from making a bad situation worse.”
Nicola looked around. Different room but same layout. Metal table but she could not sense it. She said, “My powers…”
“Gone.” After Nicola glared at him, he continued, “Now temporary or permanent is up to you.”
Nicola asked, “How did you steal my power?”
“Your bonds. They are power inhibitors. Used at Arango.”
Nicola asked, “Am I at Arango?”
“Does this look like a prison to you?” After Nicola motioned towards her bounds, he continued, “No. But you can be sent there. It depends on how you answer some questions. Like why are you with the Discord since you’re a metahuman?”
Nicola looked away from him to look at the door. “I have my reasons.” Nicola wished she never got herself involved with them now but so much time had passed.
“Hey.” When Nicola looked back at him, he continued, “Something tells me in my gut that you don’t want to be with them.”
Nicola nodded slightly. “I can’t get out now,” she said softly. Nicola did not understand why but something about him made her believe this one was not so bad. Might be something in his eyes made her want to trust him.
“We can help you get out if you give us some information.”
Nicola asked, “How do I know you will help me? I don’t even know who you are.”
“We’re part of the U.S. Super Soldiers.”
Nicola let out a small laugh. “I figured that part out. Military guys out there when I tried to escape and metahumans working with them. I meant who are you.”
She waited for him to take his time to answer. He finally said, “My name is Joseph Blake, Nicola.”
Nicola asked, “Does this mean the Super Soldiers are going after the Discord?” After he gave her a short nod, she said, “It’s about damned time. Is it because of the political power play they did a while back? They screw with people with powers all this time and once some politician’s kid gets killed because the Discord get mutants into a feeding frenzy, then the Super Soldiers want to get involved.”
Joseph asked, “What are you talking about? What kid?”
Nicola shook her head in disbelief. “The Discord has some politicians in their cause. To try and convince others to join, the Discord has fed certain information to the mutants leader secretly so that they would attack certain people. So those people would also join their cause. A while back, the mutants went so far as doing an all-out attack at the University of Miami and killed a politician’s kid.” Nicola noticed the startled expression on his face. “What? Don’t tell me you people didn’t know this already.”
“This victim – it wouldn’t happen to be Carolyn Gordon, would it?”
Nicola nodded. “That would be the one.”
Joseph said, “She was a friend. One of my best friends.”
Nicola noticed the sadness in his eyes but the anger on his face. “I didn’t know that. But I have proof of this. I found a copy of the transmission the Discord slipped to the mutants. It’s a long paper trail but it’s there. It’s so long that the mutants may or may not even know they are being used by the Discord to start a war.”
The door suddenly burst open and Augustus stormed in. He pointed at Nicola and yelled, “Tell me what you know!”
Nicola noticed he was pretty angry as well. The expression on his face made her believe he was even angrier about what she said than Joseph. She looked back at Joseph as she felt he was a bit more genuine with her. “I’ll tell you everything I know. I was never with them actually. I was working undercover for my school paper to expose them.” When she noticed the exchanged look between them, she said, “Ask the editor. She knows. Her name is Lacey Harper. It was her damned idea to begin with.”
Augustus said to Joseph, “Joe, go check out her story. I’ll keep an eye on her.”
Nicola returned with sarcasm, “I bet you will.” She looked at Joseph. “Does he just like bossing you around?” She looked back at Augustus, “Don’t tell me. You think you’re better than him because of skin color? I know it’s not because of who is better with his powers.”
As Augustus took a step towards her, Joseph jumped out of his chair and held him back. “May be I should stay with her and you go check out her story, bro.” After Augustus reluctantly turned and walked out of the room, Joseph returned to his seat. “You shouldn’t be so rough on him.”
Nicola shook her head. “I hate racists.”
“He’s not one. And another thing, he’s my brother.”
Nicola looked at him. “You mean like brothers? I had a person who was like a sister once.” She took a breath then said, “But this damned undercover assignment hurt that. She’s a metahuman too and thought I turned traitor. I couldn’t tell her the truth.” Her mind thought of Vanessa. She thought of how they first met years ago and been best of friends ever since. That was until Vanessa believed Nicola joined the Discord. She said softly, “So you’re lucky to have a friend that’s like a brother I say.”
Joseph let out a small laugh.
Nicola asked, “What’s so funny?”
Joseph shook his head. “No, he’s not like a brother. He really is my brother. Although, he was adopted. And trying to make it out like he’s a racist is his trigger.” Joseph looked into her eyes and she actually felt her heart skip a beat. After a moment, he said, “I’m going to try something. If you promise not to try anything, I’ll take the inhibitors off you.”
Nicola smiled. “I just need to promise?”
Joseph nodded. “Besides, I was the one that took you down. Actually, twice.”
“That explains why I woke up with my head spinning the first time.” She looked directly into his eyes. “I want two promises from you too. First, I want you to promise I get to help you guys take down the Discord.”
“We already have someone with the power of magnetism.”
Nicola smiled wickedly. “I’m stronger.” After he let out another small laugh, Nicola said, “You had practice taking on someone with magnetism before. No wonder.”
After he nodded, he released her from the inhibitor.
As she felt her power returning, Nicola asked, “He seemed a bit angry. A little too angry. Even before I implied about him being a racist. What was his problem?”
Joseph nodded. “Carolyn Gordon. She was my friend but they were – involved.”
“Oh. Sorry.” It was all Nicola could say. She worried that saying anything else will not sound right.
“By the way, what is the second promise you want?”
Nicola gave him a small grin. “I need my name cleared with someone who thinks I truly joined the Discord.” When she noticed the puzzled expression he had, Nicola continued, “She’s been my best friend and my sister forever. It’s important.”
Joseph thought a moment then nodded. “Simple enough. Why not let’s do it now?”
Two hours later and much to her surprise, Nicola led Joseph, Augustus, and Lydia to the dorm at Berkeley that used to be where she lived prior to going undercover. Augustus had insisted on not letting Nicola out of his sight and Nicola had no idea how Lydia was allowed. Nicola led them to the second floor to the door. She paused before she knocked softly on the door. When the door opened, Nicola’s eyes were met by Vanessa who frowned at her.
Vanessa asked sharply, “What do you want?”
Nicola motioned to those with her. “They have something to tell you.” Nicola noticed that when Vanessa and Joseph looked at each other that there was something between them. An attraction that her magnetism could not detect as it was more emotion.
Vanessa asked, “Are they part of the Discord too?”
Augustus was the one to answer. “No. We want to take them down.”
Vanessa looked at each of them. “Who are you?”
Augustus replied simply, “Lydia, show her.”
Nicola noticed that Lydia opened her right hand and a small flash of static emerged. It made the fine hairs on the back of her neck stand up. She looked back at Vanessa and said softly, “Nessa, meet the Super Soldiers.”
Vanessa asked Nicola with anger in her tone, “How did you go from the Discord to the Super Soldiers?”
Joseph answered, “She’s going to help us against them. She’s been working undercover. Can we talk about this inside?”
Nicola watched Vanessa nod but not take her eyes off Joseph. She looked at Joseph who returned the look. Nicola looked back at Vanessa and said jokingly, “Hey, I saw him first.” Nicola watched as Vanessa turned and walked back inside without a word. She said, “Oh, she’s pissed. We’re going to take so much crap explaining how she’s been mad at me for no reason all this time.”
Lydia replied, “Who cares? She doesn’t seem like much to me.”
Nicola looked over her shoulder and noticed the looks on each face. She saw how annoyed Joseph was by the comment, how smug Lydia looked, and how Augustus glared at her which Nicola was still trying to figure him out for some reason. Nicola sighed then said, “In these closed quarters, she could probably take us all down without breaking a sweat.”
Augustus asked, “She’s a metahuman too?”
Nicola nodded and walked in the dorm room.
MY NAME IS…
Sixteen years later, Kurt Wade walked out the door where a blast of the cold winter New York air hit him hard. He pulled his overcoat tighter around him. The night was cold and being on the top of the parking deck did not help matters. He walked to his car parked as he took out the keys from his pocket. Halfway to the car, he thought he heard something behind him. He quickly looked over his shoulder and found nothing there.
Kurt suddenly felt himself lifted off the ground without being touched. He was unable to free himself. He could feel himself being slowly turned around. Kurt noticed he was in the presence of a familiar group. He thought, “It had to be mutants.” When none said a word, Kurt asked, “What do you want?”
“You should know better than be caught out on the night streets alone, Wade.”
Kurt knew him all too well over recent years. Kurt was facing the most visible of all the mutants. “Taris, I’m too old to be afraid of some boogeyman.” Something that slowly descended to the rooftop behind the mutants caught Kurt’s eye but he could not make it out in the dark. He was sure it was a person but he had no idea who it was. The stealthy descent did not agree with the one he knew who could do that. And the one he knew could be stealthy could not pull off descending down onto a rooftop. But then he was in New York and there were the rumors he was there investigating. Could that be the one?
Taris said to Kurt, “You know you should be afraid.”
Before Kurt could respond, the shadowy one on the rooftop jumped off and quickly shot down to the ground. That is when Kurt realized the person was a girl.
Just before she landed on the ground, her right fist seemed to be charged with a small amount of dark electricity. As she landed, she pushed her fist into the ground that caused a massive shockwave. The force of the wave sent everyone around her backwards. She stood straight up and made eye contact with Kurt who was a bit shaken. She then turned to Taris with a frown on her face.
Taris returned the frown to her. It made Kurt think the two must have already met before. And if they knew each other, Kurt wondered, “Is this the legend of the Chosen One? She’s just another kid.”
Taris spoke directly to her as they stared intensely at each other. “You should know that the day will come that humans won’t care if you are a metahuman or mutant. They will hunt you down. Normally, we would only offer once but you are special. So join us or we will make sure you don’t get in our way.”
She took a small side-step to make sure she was positioned between Taris and Kurt. Kurt noticed that again the small dark electricity began to form around her clinched right fist before she unleashed a blast at Taris. The blast hit him directly in the chest that slammed in into a wall behind him.
As Taris was regaining his feet after the blast stopped, he said, “I’ll take that as a no.”
She replied, “You need to take that as a hell no.”
“And what will you do when they come after you and people you care about?”
She did a quick glance back at Kurt then returned her gaze to Taris. “If that day comes, then they’ll have the same problem you have right now with me.”
Kurt thought again, “Just another kid. Kids.” He slowly moved his hand to activate the homing beacon function on his communication device he wore on his left wrist that doubled as a watch. He also noticed other than Taris the rest of the mutants were backing off and not helping him.
Taris smiled slightly which made Kurt uneasy. “Then remember from this day forward, you are against us. Good luck with that.” He said with a smile, “Kaleb, take her. And don’t be gentle with the little bitch.”
Kurt heard the distinctive sound of bending metal from behind him. He turned in time to see a very large, muscular red-skinned mutant holding a huge metal object that Kurt realized was the remains of a street lamp.
The mutant called Kaleb began to run towards them.
The girl pushed Kurt aside and fired one her blasts at the approaching Kaleb. She got a direct hit but unlike the rest, it barely slowed Kaleb down. She fired another from her left hand this time but had the same result. Then she fired with both at the same time that also had no effect. Right before he reached them, the girl suddenly yelled out in pain as an energy of yellow enveloped her head and she fell to her knees.
Kaleb swung the metal he held in his right hand and hit her in the back of the head.
Kurt watched as the girl fell to the ground and he saw the stain of blood. He looked up to see Kaleb standing over him with an angered expression on his face.
Taris yelled, “Kill him!”
Kurt watched as Kaleb readied to strike him. He saw the blow about to happen but the suddenly the ground grew up in front of him to shield him from the blow. The ground beneath his feet he felt rumbling which gave Kurt relief because he knew the cause. He thought again, “Kids.”
Kaleb turned to Taris and asked, “Earthquake?”
Taris replied while looking around, “No. They don’t have those here. And that means it’s time for us to leave.” He paused then said, “Portal.” Suddenly a warp field opened up and the mutants rushed through it and disappeared. After the last went through, the field abruptly vanished.
Kurt noticed two figures stepping out of the shadows. He looked at the fallen girl however since he knew the two. He rushed to see if she was fine and noticed a faint pulse. “Cole, we need to get her some medical attention. Bring the car.” As Cole turned and left, Kurt said, “Teri, stay with me in case any mutants are still around.” He looked at the blonde teenager who just stared at the fallen. “And thanks for the save, Teri.”
“No problemo, Boss. So, is that the one people are calling the Chosen One?”
As Kurt was checking her for identification, Teri asked, “So who is she?”
Kurt only found a piece of paper in her pocket. He read it then handed it to Teri who read it.
Three days later, Kurt sat in the hospital room next to her bed as he has been since his rescuer was admitted. She has not regained consciousness even though the doctor said she was stabilized. Kurt wanted her to open her eyes so he could ask her questions that he wanted to know the answers. Kurt barely got much sleep in the last three days himself.
The door opened and another young person he knew walked in. Her name Terilyn Keaton although she goes by the name Teri. Her power was the ability to make the ground bend to her will. She was very capable which made Kurt reluctantly allow her to work in the field under Cole’s supervision. Times have changed. The days of the Super Soldiers are over after the incident known as ‘The Betrayal’ and Kurt thought of a new direction was needed. Instead of training metahumans for a war as soldiers, Kurt figured it would work better to train young ones on how to just be good people. And Teri was the first and so far only one in the new program. Teri did not make it easy for him however. At her heart, she was as much a warrior as any he ever met. But she did not need the heartache that the members of the Super Soldiers had to endure.
Kurt thought about how things were back then for a moment with the Super Soldiers. It happened a lot when he looked at Teri. Teri and her parents came to DC looking to get her into the Super Soldier program when her powers came out. However the program was mothballed. Kurt and Cole were all that remained. Joseph and Vanessa did not want to come back but they endured too much and he understood completely. Partly, Kurt had given up on the ideal of it all as well. That is, until Teri came into his life. But she was still a teenager.
And now another teenage girl with powers has come into his life. She rescued him from mutants and for her effort, she is now in a hospital. Kurt walked over to the window to look out. Cole had the girl’s prints ran and it came up nothing. No matching missing person report. The girl was not very well dressed. There was an odd necklace she wore with a strange crystal on it.
Teri broke the silence by speaking. “What do you plan to do with her?”
Kurt did not turn away from the window as he answered, “Ask some questions about her attackers and why they wanted her. Taris said they offered her to join them before but she refused. Mutants recruiting metahumans now?” He looked at Teri who sat in a chair and gave a very slight smile. “Good thing they can’t recruit you.” After Teri nodded, Kurt looked back out the window.
Without a word, Kurt knew why Teri hated mutants. Teri had an older brother named Richard who she idolized. He was killed by mutants when they discovered Teri was a metahuman when she first got her powers. Richard tried to protect his sister but it cost him his life. It was the reason her parents sought out the Super Soldier program for her. Her parents said Teri became a bit colder after her brother died protecting her. There were times Kurt wished he met Teri before her brother died.
Kurt looked back to see Teri glaring at the other girl. Kurt looked to see she barely opened her eyes then closed them again tightly. He sat down in a chair next to her bed and asked, “How do you feel?”
She rubbed her head as she just replied, “It hurts.”
“Who are you? What is your name?”
She looked at Kurt then Teri then returned to Kurt. “I don’t know.”
Kurt looked at her a moment then said to Teri, “Get the doctor in here.”
Forty minutes later, Kurt stood outside the room with Teri at his side. The door to the room opened and the doctor walked out. He said to Kurt, “It appears that head injury she took has caused amnesia.”
“Other than that, are there any other problems?” Kurt asked. After a shake of the head from the doctor, Kurt continued, “Then we’ll transfer her to our own doctors in DC. You did a good job but we have better – let’s just say better things for her in DC.”
Kurt walked into the room and looked at the girl who stood at the window. He walked over to stand next to her. “We’re going to take you to our facility in DC to treat you.”
“Why? Do you know me?”
Kurt thought about it for minute. “You saved me. I was about to be attacked and you stopped it but took a blow to your head. I owe you.”
She looked at him. “What’s my name?”
Something in her brown eyes touched him. Like when he saw determination in Teri’s eyes those months ago, the hopelessness in his rescuer made him want to help her any way he could. She helped him and now he will do all he can to help her. Kurt reached into his pocket and withdrew a piece of paper and handed it to her.
She read it and then looked at him again.
Kurt nodded. “That was all we found on you. So that’s what we’ll call you until we find out differently.”
She looked back out the window a minute then looked back down at the paper in her hand. The paper that only had the words – “My name is Talia”.
PSI VERSE ORIGINS IS OVER (for now)
The Universe Is Set!
Unknowingly, Kurt is assembling the team that will race into the fire and the world will be shaped by them.
Now begins the ones that become LEGENDS.